Sometimes you need to learn key life lessons. I’m talking things like what happens if you give a mouse a cookie, how to train your dragon (DTK taught this), and in today’s case, how to flip your Werewolves. Without further ado:
- Pick up your Human Werewolf and turn it to the back side. If it was already flipped and is transforming back, show its humanity again.
Note: if you’re using sleeves, either resleeve after flipping or let your Werewolf roam free on top of the sleeve for easy future flipping…
Oh what’s that? You wanted strategic Magic content? Okay, I can provide that too.
The biggest mistake I see is that a player will forgo casting a spell early in the game just to flip their Werewolves. There are a number of ways this can go wrong, but the two most common ones are that the Werewolves get immediately flipped back by two cheap spells or are simply killed. Both of these result in huge tempo losses, which lead to game losses.
The better approach is to continue casting spells, and then at a convenient time when you don’t have any spells to cast, pass the turn to flip the Werewolves. Not a super exciting line of play, but effective. Better yet, have an instant up so as not to have wasted mana. This approach also works well because sometimes your opponents won’t be able to cast a spell on their turn and you’ll be able to flip all your Werewolves.
Of course, Werewolves aren’t a one-size-fits-all creature type. Despite their bluntness, there are situations where you’ll want to play differently to flip a Werewolf or two earlier than waiting to play out all the cards in your hands. Let’s go through some of those examples.
When Flipping Leads to a Massive Early Advantage
If you cast turn-2 Lambholt Pacifist into turn-3 Geier Reach Bandit, it will often be worth skipping your 4th turn to flip both because you’ll gain an immediate advantage that also snowballs very quickly. If your opponent can’t kill your flipped Bandit or cast 2 spells, your future Werewolves will be way above the curve. Again, this should be done on a case-by-case basis. The better your hand is, the worse this play becomes because it introduces much more variance into a game you were already ahead in.
A similar example that is quite a bit more common involves a turn-1 Neglected Heirloom into a turn-2 Hinterland Logger. In this case, I’ll almost always equip and pass. This is different than the situations described before since your opponent can’t cast 2 spells to get out of trouble. Additionally, +3/+3 and first strike is so good that even if your opponent deals with your 4/2, you can simply play another cheap creature and equip it to make your own giant monster.
Instant Speed is the Best Speed
If you have a Werewolf or two in play and an instant in hand, you can pass with the intent to flip your Werewolves rather than play another creature, even when the instant isn’t quite as good as the creature you’d be adding to the board. The value of the flipped Werewolves plus the instant-speed effect will usually outweigh that of just playing another good spell.
For example, if you have a Spiteful Motives in hand, attack turn 4, and your opponent doesn’t block, it might be worth it to simply pass the turn rather than play another 4-drop. At the end of your opponent’s turn, flash in the Aura on the best target and you’ll be ahead of your opponent in creature size. Sure, you’d rather have eaten a creature with that Spiteful Motives, but using all your mana and adding 6-10 power to the board between Werewolves flipping and the Motives itself is still going to be the best thing you can be doing.
Waiting to flip your Werewolves is going to be the right play most of the time. But you can sometimes forgo long-term advantages for short-term gain if the payoff is high enough, especially in spots where increasing variance in a game can help you win (when you’re further behind). Most of the time, this short-term advantage needs to impact the board enough that you don’t lose if it doesn’t work out. Finding that line makes all the difference.