How is Gigantosaurus Even Remotely Balanced?

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Posted on Aug. 28, 2018, 10:51 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

The most recent core set introduced Gigantosaurus, a creature with ten power and toughness that costs only five mana and has no drawbacks.

I understand that creatures are gradually becoming more powerful, but that card is not remotely balanced. To have such a huge power/toughness to mana cost ratio, it would need to have a drawback of some form, but it does not.

Therefore, I ask the users of this forum: how is that card even remotely balanced?

Baltec says... #2

Well, the obvious answer is 5 green. This can only be played in a very heavy green deck, essentially mono green. Having higher power creatures with a downside of a lot of mana symbols is not new.

August 28, 2018 11:01 p.m.

Homura_Akemi says... #3

It doesn’t even have trample . . .

August 28, 2018 11:15 p.m.

Firegriff says... #4

As mentioned, the highly specific mana cost is one reason. And its lack of evasion (ie, flying, menace) and trample means it can be chump blocked readily. There are plenty of cheap deathtouch creatures (such as Skittering Heartstopper that will trade with it and plentiful removal to kill it. That being said, I have had it out turns 3 and attacked with trample on it by turn 4... It all depends on what you play with it.

August 28, 2018 11:34 p.m.

ork_mcgork says... #5

GGGGG is pretty tough outside of mono-green.

It doesn't have trample.

It can be countered, killed, enchanted, bounced, and (granted it'd take a lot) burned.

So...?

August 28, 2018 11:42 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #6

A 10/10 for five specific mana with no combat tricks and no natural protection and no evasion is basically a removal waiting to happen.

August 29, 2018 12:23 a.m.

kysg says... #7

If he thinks this is bad, he should look at Carnage Tyrant

August 29, 2018 6:43 a.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #8

Although, to be fair, if you attach Strider Harness onto it when your opponent is tapped out, you can certainly have a ton of fun with it.

But a 0/1 chump blocker stops it dead in it's tracks, sooo...

It's really just more of a meat shield. You literally might as well put Defender on it and call it a day.

August 29, 2018 7:21 a.m.

Lame_Duck says... #9

While mana:power/toughness ratio is a decent way of quickly assessing the value of a creature, it's far from the only consideration and raw p/t increases suffer from pretty serious diminishing returns. 10 power is good because it'll kill a full health opponent in just 2 hits but with no evasion and no defenses a 10/10 is exactly as good against 1/1s or a Murder as a 5/5 would be, which, given it costs 5 mana, the opponent is reasonably likely to have by that point. Compare it to something like Deity of Scars, which is significantly smaller but is still going to be better in most situations.

Plus, as others have stated, is a drawback.

August 29, 2018 7:45 a.m.

legendofa says... #10

I think the single largest drawback for Gigantosaurus is costing --five specific mana. Pretty much any other argument is brought into question by another creature that's infamously "just a beater without evasion".

August 29, 2018 11:03 a.m.

dbpunk says... #11

Like, as everyone has been saying, this card is essentially only useful in mono-green decks and has to be cast for the five green mana. That's a huge drawback, especially since to cast it, you need five green producing sources, and even then the only thing it really is a vanilla beat stick.

Comparing this to other mono-green dinosaurs beatsticks such as Ghalta, Primal Hunger, Wayward Swordtooth or Carnage Tyrant.

In the case of Ghalta, Primal Hunger you have a mana cost to power+toughness ratio of 1:2, with creatures however it could actually shift to an amount of mana paid to p+t ratio of 1:12. However, it's a lot easier to cast off the back with mana ramp artifacts, creatures etc. Not to mention it has an evasion ability. It's much more easily splashable in the right decks and can potentially be cast many turns earlier.

Carnage Tyrant has a similar claim. It's mana cost to power+toughness ratio is 6:13, or to look at numbers much more easily, 1:2.17. Not to mention, it has both protection against removal, against prevention of it's casting and an evasive ability. For it's cost, it's also easier to cast in multi-color decks.

Finally, Wayward Swordtooth is perhaps the easiest of the four cards to cast in multicolor, with a much harder drawback than the other three mentioned in return for a larger mana cost to p+t ratio. Comparatively, it's 3:10, or 1:3.33 ratio seems like the best, but it has the downside of essentially being an enchantment until you have 10 permanents in play. It also lacks both evasion and protection abilities. However, to combat that, it has an ability that makes it's downside more negligible AND with more uses than a basic beatstick such as Gigantosaurus.

But let's say you're building a multi-color deck. In almost all cases, Ghalta, Primal Hunger, Carnage Tyrant and Wayward Swordtooth will almost always be more easily cast in those decks as compared to Gigantosaurus. In addition, they'll also be more easily cheated in thanks to the addition of another color.

However, with just a large beatstick isn't always useful. Let's say you're on turn six in a group game against a token deck, a midrange creature based deck and a control deck. If you have a Wayward Swordtooth in hand, you can cast that, play an additional land and potentially play some removal to deal with the midrange decks creature before your dino is dealt with. If you have creatures, you can play your Ghalta, Primal Hunger and have a serious threat that may intimidate each opponent while leaving you with mana to protect it. If you cast the Carnage Tyrant, you don't only have a threat, but you also don't need to worry about target removal or your spell being countered. However, if you cast the Gigantosaurus, not only do you have to worry about protecting it while maybe not having the mana, you also have to worry that it'll be chump blocked without dealing damage or aiding you in anyway.

You should also worry about the colored mana to power+toughness ratio. That's also important. For example, Ghalta, Primal Hunger has a colored mana to p+t ratio of 1:12, Carnage Tyrant has a colored mana to p+t ratio of 2:13, or rewritten as 1:6.5, and Wayward Swordtooth has one of 1:10. Gigantosaurus has one that's 1:2, which is decidedly worse than all the others.

tl,dr: A creature that's vanilla is generally a downside already, regardless of p+t ratio, colored mana to power+toughness ratio matters and abilities make a card deservedly better in the long run.

August 29, 2018 11:16 a.m.

DemonDragonJ says... #12

I have long been under the impression that the rule was that a creature's power and toughness could not exceed its converted mana cost unless it had a drawback of some form; when did that change?

August 29, 2018 5:27 p.m.

cdkime says... #13

You're looking at this wrong - there is a drawback to a cost - the mana cost itself. As others have said in more detail, that basically locks you into mono-Green, which creates all sorts of problems for deckbuilding.

To put it another way, compare to - Wizards clearly understands coloured mana is more difficult to muster than generic, and invented an entirely new mana symbol to reflect this fact. In fact, if we look at Gigantosaurus in terms of hybrid mana, its converted mana cost would be 10.

There's a long and glorious history of using high-devotion costs as a drawback (ex. Phyrexian Obliterator) or using multi-colours to make a spell more difficult (ex. Fusion Elemental).

If you were curious, Alpha's Savannah Lions is the earliest example of a creature whose power or toughness exceeds its CMC without a drawback.

August 29, 2018 5:51 p.m.

Sarkhan420 says... #14

just out of curiosity, what creatures have you been playing in your decks until now, that follow this little rule of yours? have you really never experienced someone in your playgroup using a creature that broke that rule?

August 29, 2018 8:40 p.m.

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