September 30, 2022

Weird Dominaria United Spoiler Could Replace MTG Staples!

No one knows for sure what happened, but it looks like Wizards of the Coast accidentally released some Dominaria United cards earlier. They reversed their mistake, but the result was an absolute 24-hour flood of spoilers. A Spoiler card, in particular, is reminiscent of a card that already sees the game in multiple constructed formats and may threaten to replace it. It’s an effect we’ve never seen before, so the question now is whether Cut Down is good or not.

Reduced MTG

This truly bizarre effect is made famous by its incredibly low mana value. Cut Down lets you destroy a target creature with combined power and toughness of five or less at instant speed for once black mana. We already know from effects like Fatal Push that this card could potentially be powerful. The tricky part is how different the restrictions are for Fatal Push and Cut Down. We need to compare them more clearly to decide whether or not it can replace staple format.

Reduce VS Fatal Push

fatal thrust

Determining which card is superior to your situation will require analysis on your part. These cards are prepared to fight different types of threats. To gauge which card is best for your situation, determine which common threats you expect are dealt with by one card that cannot be dealt with by the other. These will mostly spawn when there are threats with a mana value greater than two that Cut Down can kill. We won’t be reviewing Standard because that debate makes no sense there (Fatal Push is not legal), but here are some cases to consider when choosing your withdrawal!

Sorrow in modern Rakdos

pain

Grief has seen a slight increase in the secondary market and modern game lately. This is partly due to the emergence of the genre of Rakdos Short-lived style deck that uses effects like Malakir Rebirth with Voidwalker Dauthi, Painand Fury to gain a ton of benefits. Grief is a great case where a Fatal Push just won’t be good enough. If you trigger Revolt, Fatal Push will do the job, but Grief into Malakir Rebirth lines usually happen on the first turn. If you have the mana to stop it, Cut Down can save you a card in hand and a 3/2 threat threat in play. That being said, most decks will play the Evoke Elementals on this, so this discussion can only apply to low budget players.

Swiftspear Monastery (Small creatures that can grow)

monastery quick spear

Swiftlance Monastery is a unique case as it can dodge Cut Down. With just two Prowess triggers, Monastery Swiftpear can get their statline down to a temporary 3/4, mocking Cut Down in the process. Fatal Thrust will always kill him, regardless of his stats. Of course, Pioneer Heroic can God’s will and protect their Swiftspear, but that eliminates both options anyway. Fatal Push is the clear winner here.

Appearance of Skyclave

appearance of the skyclave

Here is another case with a clear winner. Fatal Push can only kill Skyclave Apparition if its owner can trigger Revolt. Reduce offers with Appearance of Skyclave no problem. The same can be said for Reflector Mage and Sanctuary Prelate in Modern. Other uncommon modern threats like Flickerwisp are also dealt with by Cut Down, where Fatal Push is to trigger the uprising.

What’s the verdict?

Along with Cut Down being a clear contender for removing the bounty in Standard, which map best suits your needs will largely depend on what threats you expect to face. Fatal Push is much better at dealing with Prowess creatures like Swiftlance Monastery and Soul-Scar Mage, while Cut Down can hit some niche creatures that Fatal Push may have trouble with. However, it is only if we take Fatal Thrust regardless of the Revolt.

If you can consistently trigger Revolt in your deck, Fatal Push is the apparent winner. There are very few instances beyond this point where a Cut Down can deal with something an Uprised Fatal Thrust can not. If these corner cases become popular in a Constructed format, you will always have Cut Down to lean on. Either way, Cut Down is an incredibly cool map releasing on Dominaria United, and we’re excited for all the talk this map is going to generate!

Are you looking to pick up some of the cards featured here? TCGplayer is running a sitewide Bonus Bucks sale! It’s only live on Friday, August 19, so make sure you get there before it’s too late!

Here’s a summary of everything MTG has to catch up from August 18 so far:


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