When building a deck, sometimes you might start off with the intention of building a truly competitive deck, but then you find yourself adding something that doesn’t quite fit. Lots of people tweak netdecks they’ve seen online to help fit their own preferred playstyle, or because they think they know better, but others do so out of love.
That sounds odd, love when building a deck isn’t a common thing, but sometimes it happens. Have you ever been enraptured by a card and therefore made some incredibly strange brews to accommodate it and make it happen? Well, then you probably already know what a pet card is.
What is a pet card?
First of all, what exactly is a pet card? Well, it doesn’t always have to be a bad card, but it’s one that’s caught your eye, and a card that you think is good enough to see play, often at a time when it’s not getting any attention. It could well be that you’re ahead of the curve, but it could also be that you’re simply in love with a bit of its design, or its stupid face, or something.
Sometimes it can be an outright bad card you just like the effect of, and that’s fine, but the main thing tends to be that it’s not seeing play at a competitive level, so you’re often one of the few who are singing its praises. It’s an odd thing to have, but it can also help you become a better deckbuilder by learning more about deck construction, as well as when to call it quits.
In case you’re still not sure about what we’re talking about, we’ve got an example to show you that might help you to better understand.
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Have you ever tried using Kiln Fiend in Modern?Kiln Fiend is a two-mana 1/2 that gets +3/+0 whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell until the end of the turn. It’s a little Elemental Beast that dies to just about every conceivable form of removal in Modern that’s ever seen any kind of play, including the old flashback cast of Lava Dart. It’s also a kill on sight kind of creature, because it simply does far too much damage if left unchecked, which means you need to do a lot of work to not only keep it alive, but also to make it work.
However, it really doesn’t take much work to make Kiln Fiend a lethal threat, and the reward for doing so is often worth the things you have to go through to protect it. Picture this, you’ve got a counterspell, let’s say Force of Negation in hand, a Lightning Bolt, and of course, that almighty Temur Battle Rage. It’s at this point you’ll note that Temur Battle Rage is also clearly a pet card, but just ignore that for the moment.
Assuming it’s turn three, you can now swing in with your Kiln Fiend, protect it with Force of Negation, Lightning Bolt either the blocking creature or the opponent, and then cast Temur Battle Rage to do up to twenty-three damage depending on other blockers and whatnot. Pet cards might not always be the most competitive around, but you can’t deny that using one of your favorite cards to do something truly absurd is worth the pain of probably losing a lot.