Winterflame – A Magic the Gathering Card Review

Winterflame from Magic the Gathering’s Khans of Tarkir set is no Fire // Ice. Whereas Fire // Ice, a popular Legacy card, was a split card which let you choose which half to cast, Winterflame gives you the ability to get one or both effects. Most of the time, you would choose both. But it’s not quite as good as the classic split card.

Fire for 1R gave you the option to split the 2 damage between one or two creatures or players. Ice gave you the option to not only tap a target permanent for 1U, but also drew you a card.

Winterflame is definitely a powered down version of these two effects. It only allows you to tap creatures, which isn’t quite as useful as Ice, plus you don’t get the benefit of drawing a card. It’s much weaker than Electrolyze, which is basically Fire except that it also draws you a card, also for 1UR. It’s a weaker version of those two cards. Adding drawing a card as a third option while still only allowing two to be chosen would have made this much better. As it is, Winterflame probably wasn’t even good enough to be a rare.

Although Khans of Tarkir turned out to have plenty of powerful cards, Winterflame was certainly not one of them. It didn’t really see any sideboard play. Even in Commander, a format that tends to adopt many competitively shunned spells, only a handful of Melek, Izzet Paragon EDH decks bothered to include this card. Outside of Khans of Tarkir Limited (drafts and sealed deck), this card was pretty much a dud.

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