by Terence Jason Dorman
Today's article highlights one of my favorite cards from Seed Two: Gloamspike's Revenge. As some of you may already know, Arcanist is my favorite trade found in The Spoils so I am always excited to see it get powerful new cards. Redonkulous, today's feature card, certainly does not disappoint on that end.
Name, Art, and Flavor
Redonkulous has the distinction of being one of the many cards in The Spoils that features a word in its name that I frequently use in regular conversation. Where the word “redonkulous” came from I do not know, nor do I really want to, but it's definitely a funny word and provides a little extra emphasis when you're talking about how ridiculous something is. The art by Gong Studios does a wonderful job of depicting exactly what this Arcanist spell is doing to its victim, namely turning him into a donkey. Combine all this with simple yet humorous flavor text and you have a card that fits right in with the Arcanist theme and The Spoils as a whole.
The rarity of this card is a bit of a misnomer due to the fact that Seed Two: Gloamspike's Revenge did not have any Uncommon cards. Had this card been printed in a bigger set I definitely think it would have been an Uncommon. Instead, though, this card is a Common and Arcanist players all over the world should take advantage of that in the Limited formats. Constructed players will have no trouble getting their hands on this card for their Arcanist decks, so Redonkulous being a common only adds to the greatness of this card.
Trade, Card Type, and Subtypes
The name, art, and flavor of this card clearly scream Arcanist, so it is a no-brainer that this card is part of that trade. This is also a card that Arcanist desperately needed to become viable again (more on that later) so I was extremely excited to see that this card filled the void that Arcanist previously had. As a tactic, this card is a constant threat that the opponent needs to keep in mind anytime he sees an opponent with two Obsession threshold. Also, as a tactic this card does not have a subtype, but we can let that slide because of how great the card is overall.
Threshold, Cost, and Additional Costs
At two threshold this card requires a player to put a little bit of effort into running Arcanist, even if that effort is just finding and playing a Crest of Obsession. Had this card been one threshold I believe we would have seen it splashed in almost every deck around, so I'm glad this card was bumped up to two threshold. The two threshold also shows how specifically Arcanist this card is as not all of the trades should have access to this kind of sorcery.
With a cost of three this card is easily affordable. It fits nicely into many situations as most players will always have at least three resources unattached during a turn so they have the option to draw cards if need be. It is also affordable enough that it doesn't break the bank on your own turns, meaning you can play this as a combat trick will still having enough resources left over for other tricks or more characters.
The additional cost for Redonkulous is the simple “Pick a character” cost. It's the kind of cost that is negligible as you it is only hampered by cards like Ferrous Ferret and Mistaken Identity. Plus, if you really have to, you can pick your own character with this card if you're really in the kind of wacky situation that requires it.
This card has Flip Up and that is absolutely amazing! I would argue that Arcanist has the best ways to manipulate Flip Up cards (and I don't think anyone would argue against me), so giving this card Flip Up is yet another way to make it effective. You do not need to hold onto it to make it an effective card, you can just lay it as a resource and save it for later. This also prevents your opponent from discarding it or seeing it before you play it, giving it even more viability as a combat trick. It does cost a little bit more to Flip Up than to play it normally, but this card gains a benefit from being Flipped Up, so I don't think there is any reason to complain about the extra two resources being spent.
This is where the card truly shines. Ignore the Flip Up effect, this card has the potential to remove a character from the game. This is a rare ability in The Spoils and one that is immensely powerful. Just think about how nice it would be to get rid of a Deadly Striker without losing any influence. Now think about the fact that you can! Redonkulous provides not only a “kill card” but one that gets around effects that trigger “when this character is destroyed” or “if this card is put into a discard pile from play.” Prior to this card, Arcanist's primarily “kill card” was 12 Man Brunch of Doom. While the Brunch is still a good card in its own right, Redonkulous is much better suited to Arcanist builds and provides a little extra “oomph.”
The downside to the effect is that, in order to remove the character from the game, the opponent must have three or fewer cards in their hand when this card resolves. This means that the opponent can respond to you playing this card by drawing extra cards to get above that requirement, so you have to be mindful of how many resources your opponent has when you choose to play this card.
The downside, however, comes with two upsides. For starters, you are playing Arcanist, so it is likely that you will have some discard in your deck (before considering the Flip Up effect) to get your opponent to that number. Secondly, you can use the power of this card to bait your opponent. If your opponent is in a situation where they really want to keep their character on the board, they may choose to spend resources to fill up their hand to avoid this card. You can use this idea as a way to effectively attach your opponent's resources, leaving them less options to handle whatever you choose to play during the rest of that turn.
This card doubles in power, however, when you look at the added effect gained by playing this card via Flip Up. If you choose to do so, your opponent must first discard two cards when this card resolves. This effect happens before Redonkulous checks to see how many cards are in your opponent's hand. This means that, without any responses, your opponent must have six or more cards in their hand when this card is played via Flip Up to “dodge” the removal effect. Six cards in hand is a good number for any player with any deck, not to mention one playing against an Arcanist build that probably has some discard. This effectively means that, when you play Redonkulous, you are likely to get both effects as it will be hard to maintain the four or more cards required to get around the removal effect.
Playing Redonkulous with Flip Up does cost two more resources, but the effect gained considerably outweighs the cost. If you break it down, those two resources and loss of a resource are essentially paying for the “your opponent discards two cards” effect. I see that as a worthwhile expense, especially considering how easy it is for Arcanist to "synergize" with this card (more on that later). Paying two for your opponent to discard two is unheard of in the Spoils, with the only cards that come close being Ritual of the Screaming Cheese (which requires your opponent to choose that option) and Ritual of the Double Monkey (which requires steep threshold). Even Stupidify costs three resources, and that card has no removal effects.
The most obvious combo that comes to mind with this card is coupling it with Wanton Wizard. After you Redonkulous, regardless of how you paid for it, you can pay three for a Wanton Wizard and get it back to your resource row. Add in a few bounce effects for the Wanton Wizard and you could have a never ending stream of Redonkulous.
Speaking of bounce effects for the Wanton Wizard, how about Inadequate Wand? You can play your Wanton Wizard to the board, bounce it with your Wand, and search your deck for ANOTHER Redonkulous. I don't know about you but I certainly like the sound of that.
Obscene Astrologer is another card that that can be fun with this powerful tactic. If you have three or more Obsession threshold and an Astrologer on board, you can deplete the Astrologer to play this card from your hand for free. Astrologer combines nicely with other discard cards as well, meaning you do not have to worry about playing this card through Flip Up to reach the hand size requirement.
This may seem like a cheap way out of writing a conclusion, but to be honest, I don't think a conclusion is needed for this article. The card really speaks for itself. It's Redonkulous.