Out of every popular Cube card, this is the one that I do not understand the most. It was in my Cube in 2011, and it wasn't good then outside of decks that dedicate synergy slots to it with the most obvious being Upheaval (where honestly almost any 3 drop is good after an Upheaval...). In this modern Cube environment, I have no idea how it is good. Not trying to be argumentative or anything; I just genuinely do not understand why so many people love this card.
My experiences mimic TheTenneseeFireman. One game, it's just amazing. The next, it looks completely silly as a 3 drop. I've decided it's a high variance card and that's OK. I'm not currently running it, but I am always looking for a reason bring back Dr Teeth so he usually doesn't stay out of my list for long.
Discard outlet. Great blocker. Screw the maths and board states on the field. Also quite potent on offensive in some cases. Does have the upside to finish a game with Upheaval. Allow easy delve tricks and reanimator. Combo with stuff like Bloodghast, Bloodsoaked Champion, Gravecrawler and Goblin Nabob. Suitable with flashback spells and Snapcaster Mage. I think this card actually do a lot. And most important asset, he's very versatile.
I like Psychatog for it's flexibility. It can pull its weight in a lot of decks, and is a powerhouse in a few (Upheaval). However, it's jack-of-many-trades, master-of-some status is why I'm thinking about cutting it. I am going to move away from gold cards being role-players/good stuffs to being more build-around or key cards in a strategy. So I think I'm going to play UB Tezzeret over 'Tog. It's true Tog is somewhat a build around/lynch pin, but he's not crucial to the Upheaval deck (just a "nice to have") and Baleful Strix/Finkel are better in UB Control. Reanimator will miss 'Tog, but I'm going to give reanimator some more mono-black tools.
I am beginning to dislike gold cards that are good in their color combo, but don't send a strong signal. I want to cut some of the gold cards that, while they may be as good or better than some mono-color cards, don't entice a player to pick them over a mono-color card. Psychatog is the kind of card I'm often happy to get in UB, but not a card that's going to pull me into UB. Granted, Tezzeret may not be powerful enough, but if I go Wurmcoil -> mana rock and then see Tezzeret, I have a plan for the draft. In a pack with a bunch of good mono-color cards and 'Tog, I'm probably picking a mono-color card over him each time.
I realize that the discussion here is whether he's "good enough" and I think he's pretty good overall. I just want to reduce the number of multicolor cards in my cube, and he's the least interesting.
You should make a thread (if one doesn't already exist) on that subject (what type of gold cards to run - general or narrow - and advantages/disadvantages of each approach). It's an interesting topic and one I've flipped flop on over the years.
My allure to Psychatog is that it seems that it does something different every game. Gone are the days of getting new cards like Fact or Fiction / Gifts Ungiven that really makes both players think. Wrath of God is a great card, but it only does one thing and doesn't make for a great story. On the other hand, a card like Living Deathis always doing something different and produces some of the most memorable games people have played.
Gone are the days of getting new cards like Fact or Fiction / Gifts Ungiven that really makes both players think..
What other cards do you think do this? Just curious.
Really bad examples compared to FoF / Gifts, but...
- Steam Augury is probably the best example of a recent card. That card was really good when it first came out, but unfortunately got pushed out of most cubes when Dack Fayden was printed not too long after.
20 to 0 Touch of Death with Psychatog I pulled off today
Deck: Esper (UBW) Spells Matters Control
STARTING SET UP
6 cards in hand / 6 cards in graveyard (mainly cantrips / counterspells / fetchlands)
5 lands in play (including Faerie Conclave)
Land Tax + Psychatog
My opponent casts Liliana, Death's Majesty (leaving 2 mana open), but I Arcane Denial the Liliana (+1 card in graveyard). So the following happens my turn
5 cards in hand + Arcane Denial (+1) + Land Tax (+3) + Draw (+1) = 10 cards in hand.
Discard 9 cards to Psychatog (leaving Miscalculation in hand just in case) + exile 16 cards in graveyard = 18 Psychatog damage + 2 Faerie Conclave damage for a total of 20 damage. I could've done 20 damage with Psychatog alone by cycling Miscalculation, but I didn't want to get blown out by Swords / Path
I love this card as a reanimator/discard and a potential blowout. Even later in draft, this ia a great pick. It big win is its "unpredictable math" which can shape any many directions - i.e. a Fact or Fiction can add a total of 2-3 cards to the GY and 2 to 3 to hand as insta fuel, which isn't uncommonn in these colors