Escalate - Discard a card
Choose one or more -
- Target opponent reveals his or her hand. You choose an instant or sorcery card from it. That player discards that card.
- Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn.
- Target opponent loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.
Talking about versatile cards. Here is a card strictly worse than duress but with alternative functionalities. The good part is that you can choose one or more of them, at the cost of 1 or 2 cards.
First, I only consider this card for the combo or maybe combo-control.
Against combo, you want to remove them the bomb; let's hope first ability does it. Against control it takes a fluster or fow, and gives information.
Second ability kills thalias, revokers and many other small creatures (including mentor and pyromancer)
Third ability seems pretty marginal, unless you are playing storm or confidants. It's just a bonus, but I don't expect it to be played often (if it is, then the card is bad).
Thoughts? I really think TPS or DPS can play this, at least as good answer to hate. I think it can be even maindeckable, depending on the build. Oath can also play it, to clear path, or to kill containment priest/aegis.
PD: I was also going to spoil Tamiyo, Field researcher (first and third abilities seem damn playable, while second is crap), but casting cost is awkward. Also Distended Mindbender has some merit if you play tasigur/gurmag angler, but these are not commonly playable cards in vintage and Mindbender alone is pretty unplayable.