Iwamori of the Open Fist

Discussion in 'Single Card Strategies' started by Mikeymike, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    Iwamori of the Open Fist
    2GG - R
    Legendary Creature - Human Monk
    When Iwamori of the Open Fist comes into play, each opponent may put a legendary creature card from his or her hand into play.

    Alright, I'm sure I'm not the first guy to like this card. I haven't been reading strategy articles online recently, but I'd wager there have been 1 or 12 written on Iwamori.

    Anyway, this guy is a freaking monster! A 5/5 trampler for 4 mana, that can easily pop out on turn 3, with a limited (but potentially dangerous) single-instance drawback. And even if they can drop a creature, it has to deal with a turn 3-4 5/5 trampler. He's a beast.

    You'd never see me play him in block constructed, but then again I don't play much block constructed to worry about that.

    This guy is the rare version of Hunted Wumpus, with built in semi-evasion and a lower chance of blowing up in your face.

    The one potential drawback I see to this guy is that he is Legendary, and aggro decks (which this guy would most likely fall into) don't often like to run 4x Legends. Still, he should be fun to Kung-Pow with.
  2. Crackdown New Member

    I'm just thinking of the Legendary creature cards opponent could put into play:

    Kukosho, the Evening Star (I'd block with it.)
    Yosei, the Morning Star (same)
    Some Nasty 11/11 Indestructible Monster with a Long Name

    Sliver Queen

    Backed up with something that reveals their hand, this could be a nice card to play. I'd be concerned if they held an Eladamri's Call or Mystical Tutor. :)
  3. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    It's a terrible and great multiplayer card.. terrible because lately (in my playgroup) there are a lot of the new legends going around and whether or not they could kill a 5/5 trampler is not really relevant; you are giving all your opponents a free creature.
    Plus I feel the speed-gain isn't really a big advantage in MP.. you could probably run a Moss Kami for similar beatdown.

    What the great thing is, everybody gets to play a legend. Chances are, someone else is going to put down a bigger threat than you did. It can nicely shift the powerbalance of the game to your advantage, but not draw all attention to you.. (like a 11/11 indestructible would, which isn't legendary so why is he mentioned?)

    I had a lot of fun playing a deck with four Tempting Wurm and hardly any removal at all, just because my opponents really had to focus on each other..
  4. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    Let me start out by saying that I am a sucker for undercosted creatures, especially ones that
    A) do not have recursive drawbacks (like sac 2 lands during your upkeep)
    B) drawbacks that are fairly easy to work around.

    Iwamori meets both of my criteria, and has trample. Yay for me!

    Regarding his interaction with MP, I can definitely understand your vision of him being terrible. Two reasons why this isn't a problem for me - which I should have stated in my initial post:

    A) I'd wager that my group is not the typical MP. Few of us have incorporated CoK Block cards into their decks yet (for multiple reasons) and we max out at 3-4 players per night right now.
    B) I have a Hunted Wumpus / Steal creatures deck, which has displayed to me the merits of Hunted Wumpus. Compared directly I feel he is a superior creature.

    That said Limited, you do bring up one of his more interesting MP aspects - lending a hand to everyone else. I love doing this in MP, as it adds a particular chaotic element to a game that I get a kick out of. Such examples of cards I've played in the past which operate in such a manner include:

    Hunted Wumpus, Pandemonium, Horn of Greed, Eladamri's Vineyard, Show and Tell, Eureka, Rainbow Vale, Indentured Djinn, Varchild's War-Riders, Questing Hippo, and a very many more. I pretty much always have some manner to turn these effects for the opponent's into positives for myself, but until I find those methods I'm usually fine with letting everyone else benefit because (as you state) it helps keep people off my back.

    On top of being a sucker for under-costed creatures, I also love to turn drawbacks into positives. So Iwamori gets puppy-dog eyes from me :D.
  5. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Whenever I play Pandemonium and say that it is going to help everyone, they all attack me...

    Anyway, this guy is probably just as good as Hunted Wumpus and maybe better, which is not a bad place to be at all...
  6. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    Still kinda figures.
    "Hmmm.. he's playing a card that helps everybody, but he still wants to win.. Maybe there's a combo I don't about with that card or he's has some trick up his sleeve. Better take him out, just to be safe.."

    And to prevent other players to take advantage of the Pandemonium :cool:
  7. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Then again, most players seem to not notice when I've built up some Pandemoniums and Saproling Bursts in my graveyard (but at least they'll pay close attention after it kills them once).

    Thinking about it, this guy's drawback is so much friendlier than that of Hunted Wumpus. With the Wumpus, even if your opponent can't capitalize on it and drop a Serra Avatar or something, it can still leave an unexpected Mother of Runes for you to deal with. You're safe against creatureless decks or opponents with empty hands, but you're still letting your opponent drop a creature.

    This guy, on the other hand, will only benefit opponents who are using legends, er--legendary creatures. Unless my deck is particularly Kamigawa-heavy, this isn't very likely to benefit me. Sure, I might have a Sliver Queen or Nicol Bolas waiting to smack you around. But the percentage of creatures in Magic which are legendary is pretty small.

    Is all of that worth losing a point of power and toughness? I should think so. And this sucker tramples too...
  8. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    If you're set up for him he's probably a house... GG2: put two huge rare monsters into play from your hand.
  9. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    You don't get to put a legend into play; just your opponents. Sorry.
  10. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    In that case why are we even having this discussion - he's utter pipe.
  11. orgg Administrator

    How many LEGENDARY creatures are in top decks right now, Giz? Kiki Jiki? Any others?
  12. jorael Craptacular!

    How many legends? In my playgroup: several legendary dragon spirits (kokusho, grrrrr),demon spirits (kuro, spirit spirits (he who hungers, kodama), samurai (Takeno, Fumiko, Godo), snakes (shesiro) and ninja's (higure, Ink-eyes)...

    But, I think the drawback is still not too bad: an opponent not only has to play with several legendary creatures, but also have one in his/her hand. Most kamigawa decks pack 8 legendary creatures maximum. The odds are small enough to take the gamble, if you ask me.
  13. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Okay, casually, a lot of players will be playing with legends since there are a lot of them in CoK and BoK. But without that to influence things, this dude would be much better. Once Kamigawa rotates out of Standard (which won't be for a while) I expect to see the occasional player taking advantage of the decreased presence of legendary creatures...
  14. jorael Craptacular!

    Agreed, in a tournament environment, Iwamori's drawback becomes even less dangerous. Kokusho and kikki-Jikki probably being the most played legendary creatures at the moment, so you could always use your sideboard space to replace Iwamori against decks that use them.

    I immediately rated this card with casual play in mind. For tournament play I would certainly test this monk. For casual play, I'm already thinking about a Monk deck.... :)
  15. Istanbul Sucker MCs call me sire.

    Gonna have to disagree with you, Gizmo.

    Worst-case scenario: Your opponent drops an ugly legend. So you get your 5/5 trampler, and he gets his nasty legend.
    More often than not: Your opponent looks at his hand and cusses because he has no legends in his hand at the moment. You get a 5/5 trampler for 2GG and your opponent cries.

    I mean, really, think it over. With the help of Birds of Paradise (or the soon-to-return Llanowar Elves), this guy comes out on turn 3. So your opponent drops...what?
    Kiki-Jiki? Okay, fine. What're the odds he has anything on turn 3 that's even worth Kiki'ing, much less that poses even a mild threat to your 5/5 trampler?
    8 1/2 Tails? C'mon, he's 2 mana. Probably already out on the field if your opponent has him.
    Isamaru? See above.
    Zo-Zu the Punisher? Puh-lease. Run right over that.

    The only things I'd be afraid of are the ChK dragons and Horobi. And while they're pretty impressive, the ODDS that your opponent will happen to have one in their hand when you play Iwamori (I've never seen any deck run more than one of the above, so you're talking about 4/60 cards) are pretty slim.
  16. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    It's going to depend on the format and board condition. If he'd been printed in another set he'd be much stronger - at least for competitive magic.

    He's much stronger when you are attacking than defending - but you face the problem that your opponent is the first to get an attack phase with the legend you gave him. If the best he's doing with his legend is holding back to trade off with Iwamori then you've nothing lose. But if you're relying on Iwamori to block then it could would out only accelerating your demise.

    In Kamigawa block I think I'd shelve the guy, and in the post Mirrodin Type-II I think that legends will still be too influential so he'll be weaker there. That sets you back to Extended to use him, and I don't see him really getting the nod ahead of other potential 4cc drops in an aggro green deck - he's a good option but maybe not the best. For casual Magic it would entirely depend on what the people around you are playing. I know that I could sit down in the shop and cast him one game and have nothing against him, then I could cast him in the next game and be facing a Nicol Bolas. I'd rather play something that I know will do me a job.

    He's also a victim of the shifting mana curves of Magic - ten years ago a 5cc trampler for GG2 would have been WAY off the curve. Now it's barely ahead of average even assuming your opponent doesn't have a legend to play. Kodama Of The South Tree, in a deck suited to it, is FAR better than Iwamori.
  17. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    And vice versa.
  18. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    Umm... how do you make a deck suited to a bland 5/5 trampler? Play forests?

    "I decided to abuse Iwamori to the max by including green mana sources in my deck"

    It has no interactions whatsoever with the rest of your deck UNLIKE the Kodama, whose strength is entirely determined by the cards it is used alongside. So, politely, what the smeg are you wittering on about?
  19. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    Iwamori in a deck with few creatures and a pile of removal/discard?

    I could see Iwamori being decent in a green/black deck with Duress and heavy discard and piles of creature removal. Iwamori is tempo disadvantage, not card disadvantage. Your opponent doesn't get a new card, he just gets to play one earlier than he otherwise would. If you kill his hand or have the firepower to kill his play with cards your probably saving for his big threats anyway, since Iwamori > small threats, the card would seem to have possibilities.

    Iwamori as the hitter in a control deck?

    Problem is, there are still other options for this.
  20. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    That's supposed to be polite? Also, how was my three-word post "wittering on"?

    Your argument seems to be that apart from green mana sources, nothing in a deck factors into how well that deck can utilize a 5/5 trampler. Is that really what you think?

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