An innocuous 2-drop I barely noticed for the last 12 months, Crashing Drawbridge caught my eye recently when it began over-performing in my Kinan deck.
Usually, decks that want to control game tempo might use the body of a cheap 0/4 Wall like this to stall aggro players, but it’s Drawbridge’s ability that we care about here, and there are good reasons to find find space for it in other kinds of decks too.
Decks that absolutely should be running this are those with cards like Kinnan, Nylea and previously Golos, where the late game strategy will be to dump mana into their abilities and try to put creatures on to the battlefield.
The problem with these abilities is that if you have to wait for the other players’ turns before you can attack with your new creatures it’s too easy for them to find removal and ruin your big finish.
So giving haste works by depriving them of those opportunities, and will very often close the deal.
When you start falling behind in multiplayer, you’re behind several players who’re each plotting your demise, and the lost distance is effectively cumulative.
In this situation, if you can get cast a ‘value creature’ like Silverwing Squadron, Drana, the Last Bloodchief and Elder Gargaroth, Drawbridge can get give them haste too, activate those abilities, and help get you regain some parity.
Another reason Drawbridge punches above its weight is that it’s very likely to survive from turn to turn because at only 2 CMC it takes advantage of the fundamental economics in MTG that – all other things being equal, players want to retain parity with their opponents‘ cards and mana.
Thus, the cost of removal must be cheaper than the cost of the cards being removed, or the player risks falling behind other players. This is additionally critical in multi-Brawl, where the card pool is smaller, strategies are harder to optimise, and disparities are harder to mitigate.
And the cost of removing Drawbridge is almost always going to be higher than it’s meagre 2, so your opponents will be reluctant to destroy it so uneconomically.
Out of Character
A final reason for Drawbridge’s strength is that it ‘plays against type’ by providing a key characteristic of one color to decks using other colors that doesn’t usually have it.
This is a strong deck building tactic because the colours each have strengths and weaknesses, so if we can combine them as we do with multicolour decks, we may get a disproportionately advantageous effect.
Having had a few good wins off this card I’m finding I want it in pretty much every deck that doesn’t naturally have haste; which is essentially every deck that doesn’t have Red.
Try it for yourself and see if you like it, too.