Blastoderm is a green creature card in Magic: The Gathering. The card was first released during the Masques block with a common rarity in the Nemesis set. It has since been released three more times, in limited format or collectible editions for casual play. The reprint art was executed by Nils Hamm, who depicts the beast as a gargantuan swamp-monster with multiple tusks, breaking aside saplings while walking out of encroaching fog. The original art - offered by Eric Peterson - depicts an immense mustard yellow canine with indigo forepaws and hindlegs. The animal is descending from the canopy layer of a forest with widening, anticipatory jaws and deepset, protruding fangs from its lower mandible. At stage right, drawn to the scale of one of Blastoderm's paws, is an anonymous human silhouette frantically brandishing two torches in front of a treehouse. It's a wonderful juxtaposition of humanity's constructive, and nature's brawnish, tendencies.

Blastoderm has a converted mana cost of four (2GG) which is quite the bargain for a 5/5 creature which enters play with shroud (cannot be target of spells nor abilities) and fading (enters play with 3 fade tokens; remove 1 fade token during upkeep phase or sacrifice card). Green being the color of aggro and mana efficiency, 4 mana for a 5 power creature is a perfect fit along the accelerated mana curve green creature decks like to employ (by running, typically, 4 x Birds of Paradise and 4 x Llanowar Elves as mana-generating supplements).

While it was current (MTG rotates two consecutive blocks at a time in standard Type II tournament format, the most popular format offered), Blastoderm was a force to be reckoned with - and this creature did require reckoning. Once in play, Blastoderm was protected from any spell or ability which employed the word 'target' - including friendly ones. The three biggest weaknesses of the card were when it was in the players hand versus a discard deck, when it was first in the stack versus a control deck, and when it was in play versus a deck with global effect spells such as red's Earthquake or white's Wrath of God. Otherwise, each summoned Blastoderm would draw blockers or blood for three turns - during each of which a competent green aggro deck would likely have placed two more creatures to be blocked, or a global enchantment of their own.

IronNoder 2018: 08/30