This one took quite a long time to write. In large part, that was due to my studying for my comprehensive exam I needed to pass in order to get my TESOL Master’s degree. I aced the test, by the way.
The parts I cut were on the Flailing mechanic, which was incredibly lame, and more in depth discussion of the free spells. Gush is amazing, of course. I really hate self-inflicted two-for-ones, so I didn’t deal at length with Unmask. (But sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to take a card advantage hit, which is why Force of Will is a thing.)
There are times when I need to get into macro issues, such as why free spells can be a very dangerous thing for the game, or how the nature of mana fixing has changed over time to be more and more generous, or the unmistakable nature of creature power creep (which is what I am talking about every time I mention Baneslayer Angel). But if it derails the discussion so that the set I’m talking about falls off the radar, then it’s got to get cut. These issues need a show of their own. If there’s anyone out there who really wants to tackle this issue, I’d say, go for it, please.