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Stygi has a good point on all counts. Certainly a staple in the Magic world, and obviously an icon, if nothing else. With cards like Rite of flame nowadays, though, it is possible that this could, though not quite as consistently, hold up the Groundbreaker in terms of speed of casting.
Posted By: Lateralis0ne (5/20/2010 4:30:35 PM)


You know how most of The Dark sucks? It's probably because the awesomeness of the set got absorbed by this card. This card is like a burn spell on legs. Legacy fans will especially enjoy our buddy Fireshrieker or Grappling Hook.
Posted By: NARFNra (12/7/2010 4:12:24 PM)


I love the nostalgia that surrounds this card. Ball Lightning just sums up red beautifully. Huge amounts of damage, fast, unforgiving and it dies right after. Red is about instant gratification. Kind of like credit cards. haha we all love to have stuff right away, but sometimes(most of the time actually), it ends up biting us in the you know what. But I love it!
Posted By: EvilCleavage (6/9/2011 1:30:12 PM)


Epic card that could still hold its own today. Pretty much defined the concept of red having high power / low toughness creatures with Haste.
Posted By: Radagast (11/4/2011 7:40:12 PM)


@NARFNra: "Burn spell on legs" was probably the idea. The sacrifice clause told me that the flavor was supposed to be not an ephemeral lightning elemental, but a lightning spell aimed directly at the enemy planeswalker that a loyal defender could at least obstruct most of. The chaos mage's version of an armor-piercing round?
Posted By: SkyknightXi (3/8/2013 10:04:11 AM)


I've always had a soft spot for Sligh, and this was the card which turned me on to it. I still put four in almost every aggressive red deck I make, and it holds up just fine against years of cards coming after it, even remaining superior to close relatives like Skizzik, Blistering Firecat and now Hell's Thunder. I have to concede though that Groundbreaker may be better, seeing as how it can come out a turn earlier with regularity.
Posted By: stygimoloch (12/1/2008 3:31:08 PM)


Ball lightning is an amazing card that really fits into red. It can be very risky to play due to pingers who can kill it before it even attacks, and pretty much any card that deals at least one damage at instant speed. Also creatures with firststrike really ruin ball lightnings day. But when you get past all the little problems that can present themselves as threats for ball lightning it is pure undeniable power.

I have seen three ball lightnings hit the field in one turn and it was gg right then and there.
It is one of thouse few older cards that has actully aged well. R&D knows that this card is loved by many, infact that is why it has seen so many reprints and knock offs. Put simply it is a classic.

Also, if you love Ball Lightning and you perfer to play green (possibly for the mana excel) consider groundbreaker.
Posted By: Silverware (8/5/2010 4:32:46 PM)


As of today newest version is Arc Runner. Not better in monored, but more flexible in twocolor deck.

Coal Golem was btw. made so that any deck could run Ball Lightning.
Posted By: tavaritz (5/15/2011 5:22:31 AM)


Dies to Tundra Wolves.
Posted By: Test-Subject_217601 (9/17/2010 8:09:13 PM)


The original 1st turn kill. Used to pull it off all the time in the old Microprose Magic on PC.
Turn 1: Black Lotus, Mox Ruby, Mox Emerald, land. Ball Lightning, Blood Lust, Berserk. :P
Nowadays, your opponent would just drop Force of Will, or even worse, Elvish Spirit Guide & Fog.
Posted By: aPimpNamedEmrakul (12/13/2010 5:34:04 AM)