Ancient Cornucopia
4, Apr, 24

Terrible The Big Score Mythic Highlights MTG Major Set Problem

Article at a Glance

The Big Score is a very unusual MTG set. For starters, it’s not really even an MTG set at all, and it’s barely even a bonus sheet. Instead, The Big Score is replacing The List in Outlaws of Thunder Junction. This bizarre circumstance is all thanks to the worst MTG set of all time; March of the Machine: The Aftermath.

Originally, The Big Score was intended to be an Aftermath-style set, just like March of the Machine’s. Designed to release after the main set The Big Score would have provided extra flavor and new Standard-legal cards. Since March of the Machine: The Aftermath bombed so hard, however, Wizards had to change their plans entirely.

Scrapping the separate micro set, Wizards smushed everything together, replacing The List with The Big Score. In theory, this less-than-elegant solution is fine, as it gives players the cards they’d otherwise be missing. As time has gone on, however, more and more problems have started to emerge, especially with the set’s cards.

The Most Disappointing Mythic Ever?

Ancient Cornucopia

Yesterday, Ancient Cornucopia was revealed as one of the many mythic cards from The Big Score. To put it bluntly, this card is bad. For 2G, Ancient Cornucopia provides a somewhat steady source of life gain while being a weak mana rock. Bizarrely, Ancient Cornucopia only really works well in a five-color deck, since the life gain only triggers once per turn.

Unfortunately for those who enjoy the art of Ancient Cornucopia and want to play it, very few life-gain decks are five-color. To make matters worse, the few five-color life-gain decks have a lot of better options than this new mythic card. Ultimately, it seems that Ancient Cornucopia is never going to see widespread play in any format, as it’s just bad.

In any other set, Ancient Cornucopia would quickly be declared Draft chaff and not given a second look. In The Big Score, however, this card has been bumped up to mythic rarity, much to the bemusement of players. Across social media, many players have been quick to ridicule this downright disappointing and practically unplayable card.

Theoretically, if Ancient Cornucopia didn’t have the once-per-turn restriction, it could at least be a new life-gain engine. Thanks to also being Manalith on top of this, the card could genuinely be playable. Unfortunately, we don’t live in this magical Christmas land, so it seems Ancient Cornucopia is destined to be forgotten.

The Short End of the Stick

Legion Extruder

On paper, Ancient Cornucopia being practically unplayable is hardly the end of the world. While it’s odd to see it applying to mythic cards, Draft-chaff is nothing new in MTG. On MTG Arena, however, this card is a lot more egregious since its cost is dramatically higher. Unlike on paper, each mythic card on MTG Arena costs the same, and they’re by no means cheap.

Selling as a microtransaction on the MTG Arena store, mythic wildcards can be purchased as a pack of four for $20. Thankfully, Mythic Wildcards can also be earned simply via opening packs, but they’re nonetheless rare. This makes Ancient Cornucopia that little bit more insulting to MTG Arena players, as it’s a total waste of a Wildcard.

While Ancient Cornucopia is the worst example we’ve seen, this problem extends to the entirety of The Big Score. If anything, the set’s other cards are much more offensive to Arena players, since some of them are actually playable. Unlike Ancient Cornucopia, players may actually want to use cards like Legion Extruder.

For Legion Extruder and many other cards, MTG Arena players are getting the short end of the stick. Rather than being able to use a more accessible wildcard, players are forced to get lucky or spend valuable resources. Thankfully, this problem doesn’t extend to paper, as the change to rarity may actually be a positive.

When March of the Machine: The Aftermath was released, one of its many problems was card duplication, especially of uncommons. Since they were so common, packs often contained two of the same card, with boxes providing far more than a playset. Thankfully, this frustrating issue should now be solved since The Big Score cards now all appear at the same frequency and rarity.

The Big Oddity

Ezio Auditore da Firenze - Memory Corridor Frame

Ultimately, there’s no denying that The Big Score is full of unusual quirks, perhaps more so than any set. Considering the circumstances of its release, any oddities are completely understandable as Wizards had to scramble to change things. While this is obviously less than perfect for Outlaws of the Thunder Junction, thankfully it shouldn’t happen again.

Following the disaster that was Outlaws of Thunder Junction, Mark Rosewater stated a new Aftermath-esque set is “pretty unlikely.” Outlaws of Thunder Junction has effectively proved this point, as Wizards went out of their way to scrap their plans. As a result, it seems almost guaranteed that we won’t see another Aftermath-style set.

That being said, as much as Aftermath sets may be going away, they still live on through Universes Beyond. With Beyond Booster debuting in July of this year, it seems Wizards hasn’t given up on micro-sets just yet.

Read More: Thunder Junction Two-Card Draft Death Combo Discovered!

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