Pulse for the people

Mike Flores previewed this card earlier this week:
I was interested in this at a basic level, as it’s sort of a Vindicate -/+. Minus, because it can’t hit a land, plus because of the “echoing” feature.
The big question is where the Pulse fits in. Although our initial impulse might be to slot it into the Pernicious Deed position in a B/G rock-style deck, it isn’t nearly as reliable in that role, since it’s only a sweeper in those instances where your opponent has run out many of the same token (or, even rarer, many of the same card).
That said, it can still assassinate a planeswalker, and is even more versatile than Pithing Needle, which is our other reasonable choice in a pure B/G deck. With that in mind, I threw a B/G deck together and did a little testing. Click through to the extended entry for the list.

Maelstrom Elves

20 Creatures:
Wren’s Run Vanquisher
Wolf-Skull Shaman
Civic Wayfinder
Imperious Perfect
17 Spells:
Eyeblight’s Ending
Garruk Wildspeaker
Liliana Vess
Primal Command
Profane Command
23 Land:
Gilt-Leaf Palace
Llanowar Wastes
Twilight Mire
Treetop Village
15 Sideboard:
Kitchen Finks
Cranial Extraction

Now, this is just a knock-together list to give me a feel for the cards. That said, I decided to forgo the normally obligatory Llanowar Elves in favor of creatures with abilities (it’s an addiction, I know). This deck basically has four one-drops in the form of Treetop Villages, and then makes its way up to twos and threes right away. So how do our new cards fit in?
The main deck features four copies of Maelstrom Pulse. These are just as good as you’d imagine in matchups like R/W Boat Brew, where you can sweep the field of Spirits and Goblins with a well-timed Pulse. They’re also awesome off the top as a way to kill an inconvenient planeswalker (usually meaning Ajani in his younger, more vengeful days).
So I’d say, at a glance, the Pulses are good. Shocking, I know.
The Hemorrhages over in the sideboard haven’t been tested, but the configuration shows how I envision them being deployed, as a splash. Initially, I started tweaking toward a full three-color build, with Firespouts, but then I realized that was really going to screw up my whole “have eight manlands and make an actually effective deck” plan, so I tossed it and went back for a Wayfinder-fueled splash to let me just bring in the Hemorrhages without otherwise jacking up the deck as a whole.
Anyway, that’s a framework for some testing on two of the cards that I foresee picking up and using when Reborn comes out. I expect I’ll do some more tinkering, but honestly, as excited as everyone else is about Reborn, I’m not quite onboard yet. I’m hoping to have a more coherent view following the prereleases this weekend, once the legitimate full spoiler is available.

1 thought on “Pulse for the people

  1. Maelstrom Pulse really is a solid card and has some small advantages over Vindicate. I would love to see this played while several Demigod of Revenge are in play.

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