Permanent control (PC) is something that is often sought after in Elements, as PC can destroy a pesky weapon or an irritating shield, turning the tide in the user's favor. While most PC cards are one use, multi-use PC is often very powerful, but this is balanced by high costs. Compared to Pulverizer, Earth's rare weapon capable of destroying one permanent every turn, Butterfly Effect might seem a bit weak, but Butterfly Effect (BE) is a common card, and it only requires one element to be used, giving the element of Entropy reliable permanent control.
- If Butterfly Effect is cast on a creature that has been out for more than a turn, the creature can immediately use the Destroy ability that same turn
- Destroy removes the creature's current ability
Butterfly Effect, while a powerful control card, cannot be used by itself. Butterfly Effect requires a creature with less than 3 attack to be cast on in order to be used. Below is a list of all creatures with less than 3 attack:
|Voodoo Doll||Voodoo Doll|
|Gnome Rider||Gnome Gemfinder|
|Iridium Warden||Vanadium Warden|
|Schrodinger's Cat||Schrodinger's Cat|
|Fire||Ash Eater||Brimstone Eater|
|Fire Spirit||Fire Spectre|
|Red Nymph||Fire Nymph|
|Graviton Fire Eater||Graviton Firemaster|
|Amber Nymph||Gravity Nymph|
|Graviton Salvager||Graviton Salvager|
|Shard of Focus||Shard of Focus|
|Forest Spirit||Forest Spectre|
|Light||Photon||Ray of Light|
|Time||Deja Vu||Elite Deja Vu|
|Fate Egg||Fate Egg|
|Dune Scorpion||Dune Scorpion|
|Steam Machine||Steam Machine|
|Arctic Squid||Arctic Octopus|
However, because Butterfly Effect removes a creature's current active ability, that can potentially cripple some creatures and decks. Below is a list of creatures without an active ability, and thus can only benefit from Butterfly Effect:
|Darkness||Voodoo Doll||Voodoo Doll|
|Gravity||Graviton Salvager||Graviton Salvager|
While this may seem restrictive at a glance, with only 5 unupgraded and 4 upgraded creatures filling those roles, many creatures can actually do fine without their abilities. Devourers have Burrow as an active skill, their main use comes from their passive ability that absorbs quanta, and thus can afford to sacrifice their tunneling abilities for a permanent destroying one. Deja Vu has a nice ability, but it loses it upon splitting, and is a perfect candidate to be a permanent killer. In short, a player's discretion as to what to play this on is pivotal to this card's usage.
Butterfly Effect doesn't have to be used offensively and destructively, it can also be used defensively to cripple annoying creatures. Because Butterfly Effect essentially lobotomizes a creature, playing this on an opponent's Mind Flayer or Ray of Light can shut down their strategies. Since most players will not be carrying enough to make use of this, this card can act as minute creature control for the opponent's weaker creatures.
Butterfly Effect's main downside is the fact that extreme conditions need to be met for it. Having a deck filled with 2 attack creatures isn't often a great idea, and not many decks can afford to pay 3 per turn to fund the ability. Additionally, creatures that are applicable to receive this boon often are very fragile, and if a Lycanthrope with Butterfly Effect gets struck down by an Ice Bolt, that's 2 cards and lots of down the drain.
Antimatter inverts a creature's attack, and thus, any creature that is hit with Antimatter will become a candidate for Butterfly Effect. Antimatter and Butterfly Effect are also both in Entropy, facilitating this combo. Like Butterfly Effect, this can be used offensively as well as defensively. Offensively, casting a quick Antimatter on one's own creature allows a creature to destroy permanents, and if later, another Antimatter is applied, this can create a powerful (though extremely expensive) combination such as a Purple Dragon with 10|5 stats and the ability to Destroy. Defensively, Antimatter by itself only stops a creature's attack, not its ability, but when combined with Butterfly Effect, the ability is shut down too. No more will negative attack Lava Golems grow out of their negativity, no more will Ash rise, and no more will antimattered Scorpions poison.
As mentioned above, Devourers are an example of a creature that can afford to give up its main ability without suffering too much. Devourers are already pretty powerful at control and denial, slowly sucking the enemey's quanta away, but letting them destroy things makes the ire they draw grow exponentially. A BE'd Devourer can destroy pillars, constricting an adversary's flow of quanta even tighter, but its main use is in countering the one card that stops Devourer cold in its tracks: Sanctuary. A hard counter like Sanctuary essentially negates all Devourers, but letting a Devourer destroy a Sanctuary lets it regain its purpose, as well as delivering dark ironic revenge. Even better for the Devourer + Butterfly Effect combo is that Nightfall and its upped counterpart, Eclipse raise Devourer's attack just enough that it stays within the range of Butterfly Effect.
The main problem of effectively using Butterfly Effect is its extravagant 3 per turn. Shard of Readiness alleviates this problem, by letting a creature with Butterfly Effect destroy one permanent per turn for FREE. Shard of Readiness is a bit harder to use with this combo due to requiring quanta, but this opens up more combos with cards like Deja Vu, and the relatively cheapness of the shard lets it be run off of pendulums or even a mark.
Other Cards With Synergy
Some creatures obviously benefit from this "buff" more than others. Voodoo Doll enjoys being able to act instead of being used just as a punching bag. Graviton Salvager can now destroy as well as retrieve permanents. Micro Abomination is a match made in heaven with this, having decent 2|4 stats for 1 , though unupped players may have to stick to a cat or lycanthrope. An extremely risky strategy can be to cast this on a Singularity, in the hopes it might bring some tiny help, though the troubles and cons it brings are often not worth it. To protect creatures with this valuable ability, Cloak or Quintessence may be employed. Finally, Shard of Patience and other buff cards can be used AFTER casting BE to create a useful growing creature that can also deal damage.
Butterfly Effect is a powerful and flexible card, but its high cost and demands often detract from its value. Careful planning and use of this card is key to its success, as the benefits it could potentially bring are immense, just as long as Entropy and lady luck wills it to.
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