This is an article about Type 4, a variant of Magic: The Gathering
You can read more about it here

Type 4 | The Tragedy of Split Second

In Type 4, Split Second cards are a trap. They look really interesting, at least until you play a few games.

Wipe Away Word of Seizing Trickbind

Straight up, they’re un-counterable. That’s nice, considering most of the good ones are removal rather than threats. But the real reason why you want to play them (and why they ironically end up failing) is due to those cards with abusable, repeatable activated abilities. Like our dear friend Legacy Weapon.

Legacy Weapon

The dream play goes like this: Timmy has a Legacy Weapon that he’s been wrecking the board with. And I want it!

Normally, if I tried to cast Confiscate or Steal Artifact on his dear Weapon, he could respond by having the Weapon blow itself up. AHH but with Take Possession, he won’t have the chance!

Confiscate Take Possession

The problem here is that priority is very important in Type 4, what with all the bomby spells and convoluted stacks they produce. For better or worse, priority tends to get really messy and loose in a real game. When you have four or more friends sitting at a table, you quickly give up on asking everyone if they want to respond to everything in turn.

Normally, this is fine: people play out of turn a little but most of the time you can just stack more activations on top. “Oh you’re trying to destroy my Vengeful Archon? Well I’ll just activate it ten thousand times in response”

Vengeful Archon

But if Johnny jumps out of turn to cast his Krosan Grip, that’s when things fall apart. Who knows if Timmy was done stacking activations on his Legacy Weapon? In practice, people will just say stuff like “blow those things up”, without explicity stating that they’re DONE blowing things up. Split Second cards don’t allow do-overs or “in response!”

Krosan Grip Legacy Weapon

More often then not, someone playing a Split Second card results in one or more players feeling cheated. The utility it adds doesn’t outweigh the mess it can create.

Maybe Angel’s Grace would be okay though, since it doesn’t affect the board or other players. I’ll get back to you on that one.

Angel's Grace
Written on July 13, 2014