“Value” in Magic: The Gathering is something you want to look for when constructing a deck. Every slot in a standard 60-card deck needs to serve a purpose. Can a card help you win? And by how much? How easily?
A common trap some players in cards games fall for is getting drawn in too much by the potential of a given card versus its practicality. Technically, any card CAN be good in the appropriate situations, but how often can these ideal circumstances occur? Cards may lose a lot of points in this department if you cannot find useful consistency.
When it comes to cards like Kalonian Hydra, however, the in-game value is as plain as day.
This is a strong card in so many ways. The built-in trample is great and very fitting for its green color.
The main appeal of this card revolves around its use of +1/1 counters. Kalonian Hydra comes into play with four +1/1 counters to make it into a respectable 4/4 creature initially. Whenever attacking, though, Kalonian Hydra suddenly becomes quite the threat to your opponent.Not only does it double its own +1/1 counters, Kalonian Hydra doubles the amount of +1/1 counters on ALL creatures you control.
For instance, let’s say I have Champion of Lambholt (one of my favorite cards at the moment in my main deck) with two +1/1 counters.
As I am entering combat and declaring my attacks with Kalonian Hydra and other creatures, Kalonian Hydra does its doubling effect across my side of the board. Assuming this is Kalonian Hydra’s first attack of the game, it would now go from four +1/1 counters to eight, making its stats into an 8/8 trampler. The Champion of Lambholt with two +1/1 counters now has four +1/1 counters, for stats of 5/5 when everything is said and done in this case.
If I were to attack again next turn, my Kalonian Hydra would then grow into a 16/16 creature, while the Champion of Lambholt would turn into a 9/9 creature, respectively. As you can see, this can get out of hand for your opponent to deal with if Kalonian Hydra is not dealt with quickly. Pretty cool, eh?
Overall, Kalonian Hydra is an excellent card. I love its effects, PLUS it oozes value with its converted mana cost of five. It packs a lot of potential and practicality.