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It's an awesome card, both powerful and fun, but people do sometimes overrate it. Its big weakness is that you have to imprint something on it out of your hand, which leads to two more weaknesses in turn:

1. It's very vulnerable to removal. If it gets naturalized the moment it hits play, that's an automatic -1. (You can sometimes avoid this by using it immediately to at least get the benefit of the imprinted card once, but many popular imprints aren't useful like that.)

2. You need to have the other card ready to imprint on it, or it's just deadweight in your hand. This is the real reason you never really saw it dominating at tournaments -- isochron scepter is unbelievably powerful when it works, but it's not enough to just have an idea for a strong imprint on it. To really use it well, you need a deck that naturally contains a large number of 2-mana instants and is still strong even if it takes you a long time to draw your scepters. There aren't very many decks like th... (see all)
Posted By: Aquillion (5/1/2013 10:09:00 PM)
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Questions how does this work with split cards and fuse splits?

1st, split cards with fuse I can't find a ruling. I know on split cards you can cast only 1 side without paying it's mana cost. I'm only assuming you can't fuse the spells because it would be like paying a kicker or similar?
Answer I found - If you’re casting a split card with fuse from any zone other than your hand, you can’t cast both halves. You’ll only be able to cast one half or the other.

2nd, I need confirmation on this ruling: "If the copied card is a split card, you may choose to cast either side of the split card, but not both. The split cards Fire/Ice, Illusion/Reality, Night/Day, Stand/Deliver, and Wax/Wane all have at least one side with converted mana cost 2 or less."

To me you can choose what side you are casting upon activation not that you are only coping one side and can only cast that side since it doesn't say copy only cast in the ruling. I have a judge telling me I can only copy... (see all)
Posted By: Tower_Mazer (5/11/2013 6:11:43 AM)
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Gatherer Challenge!

Think of a situation in which you'd willingly use the 'may' clause of the second ability.
Go!

Bonus points for coming up with a different situation for each of the 'may's.
Posted By: AeroSigma (2/19/2014 5:25:22 PM)
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0.51.01.52.02.53.03.54.04.55.0

 


@Toquinha1977: You can only Cipher the spell card itself, not a copy, as the rules for Cipher specifically state that you may exile "this spell card". A spell cast through Isochron Scepter (or, for that matter, through Cipher itself) is not a card, so you cannot Cipher it.

@HoboColin: "Alternative cost" means something like Force of Will where you do something else instead of pay its usual cost. You can't do that with scepter. "Additional cost" is something like Fling where you have to do something else in addition to its usual cost. You CAN put Fling on this but you'd have to sac a creature every time you use it. Kicker is an optional additional cost. You are never forced to pay the Kicker, but you have the option to. If you choose to Kick the spell then you have to pay the kicker cost.

@Tower_Mazer: First, you can't use Fuse with Isochron Scepter. Fuse is an alternative cost, like buyback. Second, in every case where you imprint a split car... (see all)
Posted By: adrian.malacoda (5/25/2013 6:31:21 PM)
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One of the reasons I bought IVG. I wish they'd given it an Izzet-flavored artwork though.
Posted By: Okuu-chan (9/7/2012 4:36:23 PM)
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What's even crazier is that they put Fire/Ice in this deck! God I love this duel deck series.
Posted By: TherealphatMatt (9/14/2012 10:57:56 AM)
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Damn it. I was gonna make a joke about my Boomstick...

And damn you people too. Time Walk is a sorcery.
Posted By: Hunted0Lesser (7/17/2013 9:49:58 AM)
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People who think this card is crap greatly underestimates its use. there are dozens of one and two cost instant cards out there that can stall people or just stop them in their tracks: Fog/Holy Day are great against heavy creature decks. Counterspell just to stop anything and everything being played and there are dozens of others to choose from.

And not to mention being able to get this out turn two possibly one if your lucky and you have a good start to keeping your opponent at bay for a while. yes there are ways to get rid of it but if you get it out early your usually good to go.
Posted By: TheDanath (9/18/2012 11:53:57 PM)
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Just.. All of my wat.

For this alone, I'd buy four copies of Izzet vs Golgari..
Posted By: BastianQoU (9/7/2012 9:48:01 AM)
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Giving the Izzet access to an Isochron Scepter is like giving a 7-year-old boy access to a nuclear arsenal.
Posted By: Totema (9/7/2012 1:45:50 AM)
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