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CardName: Pyrrhic Survival Cost: 3R Type: Instant Pow/Tgh: / Rules Text: Exile Pyrrhic Survival, then restart the game, leaving in exile all cards named Pyrrhic Survival. Your life total becomes 1. Flavour Text: Set/Rarity: Name That Card Mythic

Pyrrhic Survival
Exile Pyrrhic Survival, then restart the game, leaving in exile all cards named Pyrrhic Survival. Your life total becomes 1.
Updated about 8 hours ago by jmgariepy

History: [-]

2020-05-18 23:47:27: jmgariepy created the card Pyrrhic Survival

Welcome back to Name That Card! Today's card is a big reset button for the game. But you'll need to win that next game without taking any damage (or by gaining life faster than you're taking damage.) Rough... well... unless your opponent is playing combo or some sort of extreme control deck with zero early creatures. But maybe that serves them right?

Originally, I just had this spell counter any future copies of NTC #031 when they came up in the second game. But I figured there was enough stuff out there that made red soceries 'uncounterable' so I went with Karn Liberated's wording in the end. There are also ways of getting cards back from exile, but it requires so much stretching that if your opponent wants to make that goofy deck, then more power to them.

Annoying. Panic is perfect, but already taken.

Shahrazad, oh wait

Divergent timeline

I wanted Second Chance :)

I also had a bunch of cultural references that weren't really black border material: Again for the people at the back; Reset button; Do-over; I can do this all day :)

­Last-Ditch Effort is also taken... so's Do or Die... Desperate Gambit... Last Gasp...

Frantic Reset?

Hmm, I mean, most of these type of names are taken, I was going to say Desperate Decision but it's pretty similar.

I'm going to go with something a little weird, that invokes heavy yugioh vibes namewise, but is definitely appropriate for the MTG story it references:

Urza Activates the Golgothian Sylex

[kind of sounds like a conspiracy card :)]

If that's too weird for ya, maybe: "Reckless Devastation" is better. It's still pretty similar to existing ones but if the art had Urza and the sylex, players might make the connection. Flavor text could just be ripped from the Brother's War, but i've not read it so I can't be sure if it has an appropriate quote.

Edit: Also, I have an idea for a name that screams 'killing everyone else and nearly yourself' but i cant find a way to describe that elegantly.

Edit #2: Ooooh, Pyrrhic Victory is perfect, though it's not really a victory to 'reset the game' for a tie, but anything else with the first word would flow funny, probably, since it's only ever used in that combination. I mean, Pyrrhic Survival is probably more appropriate, but would need flavor text and possibly even art to have it resonate like just the name of the former does (since it's a common-ish phrase)

Ok, I second "Shahrazad, oh wait" as the card name.

Picture can be a startled tiger.

If none of my choices win, I second Divergent Timeline, it's quite appropriate.

Roundhog Day Revels

High Stakes Rematch

"Sarkhan's Gambit" If printed during Tarkir block.

"Chandra's Last Dance" If printed during Zendikar block.

So you Hive Mind this and mull until you have Lightning Bolt and a Mountain, right?

wow, a Turn ??? Combo Win was found this quickly? Well, I guess this works, but it takes some setting up the first game, and none in the one following. However, a forced tie + an easy win + an unknown game is still only a 50% chance of winning the match (either getting 1/3 or 2/3), right? And that third game you wouldn't play this, because what's the point in tying a game? Or do magic rules say whomever has the most wins? In which case, play this game 1, bolt turn 2, and this turn 3 and of three games, there was just one that had a non-tie, which was you, meaning you win?

I don't really know how tournament rules work, but this is how i intuit it to work with my knowledge of best-of-3 (which dont usually have ties, in my experience, but I guess idk)

WAIT, i read the card wrong... it restarts the game, doesn't start a new game... so never mind, just do this at least twice and you win... well, no fun at all, but not really busted... right? I mean, probably not too good in standard, since i doubt they have the cards to pull out hive mind too early... they definitely can remove it easily... a quick Naturalize or seasonal variant will do just fine. Sure, everyone else gets one, but at least you don't auto-lose.

In vintage this would suck to play against, but i mean it's vintage, so who cares (just kidding, i think).

Anyway, this couldn't see print now that I think about it, i mean, i think wotc kinda swore off 'restart the game' since shahrazard... or , did she do a subgame? i dont know im all confused now!

I think in most formats if your combo includes a specific 6-mana enchantment and a specific 4 mana sorcery it's probably not really a problem. Not that I'm much of a developer. My thinking was almost the reverse, if I have an unreliable combo deck, this might be a reset button to give me a second go at finding it if I don't find the right cards the first time round. But I don't know if that's actually likely.

'I think in most formats if your combo includes a specific 6-mana enchantment and a specific 4 mana sorcery it's probably not really a problem'

That's what I was trying to say, but simplified greatly.

@Jack: Usually that's a reasonable assessment. But Hive Mind is an open ended card with a lot of strong combos. This isn't so much a combo deck, as it is a Hive Mind deck with occasional auto-wins.

That said, I don't know if it's worth designing around Hive Mind. The card is barely in Modern. And Modern decks are so fast that a Hive Mind deck may not be reasonable, even with occasional auto-win.

Though I do often wonder whether, even if a card isn't unhealthy for tournament, if it can still be bad for casual. Is Aetherworks Marvel bad for casual? Even when it's only being used by a player who's being a little goofy, does it offer too much power?

As someone who plays a lot of Marvels in casual, it's fairly high variance if you're not trying to be competitive with it, which keeps it in "fun" territory

As per usual, it's not fair having to choose one. But Froggychum caught me with Pyrrhic Survival, and I'm just going to go with that. Funny thing: A did a quick google search for that term, and it turns out a number of people have used it in their articles and essays.

I don't know. It's nice to see the occasional word that's only ever used in the context of one expression branch out and actually get some use somewhere else. Searching around, I found out there's a name for this. They're called 'fossil words'. Wikipedia has a page on it here.

But don't think you can butter up the judge by piling through this list. If you ado a champ by harking at words bygone immemorial, I troth your turpitude will shrive you on your petard, post-skelter.

2020-05-25 00:58:53: jmgariepy edited Pyrrhic Survival

I love words like that. Although I think "pyrrhic" is a bit different. It refers to King Pyrrhus who (apparently) had an infamously costly victory against the numerically superior Romans, causing quotes like "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined."

I don't think "Pyrrhic" was ever used to mean anything ELSE famous about him, although I would enjoy doing it if I ever had a chance to talk about him :) But I think fossil words more means words that used to be common, but aren't any more.

For what it's worth, there is one alternate definition for phrrhic: It's an ancient Greek dance used in preparation for war. So if you'd like to imagine that this card instead represents a sudden war dervish just before committing to an even more vicious fight, then have at it. ;)

The Wikipedia Page

A Pyrrhic Dance with modern participants

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