Zendikar Card Review – Batch 3

Welcome to batch 3 of our ongoing Zendikar preview series.  As with the last two batches, I will give each card a knee-jerk reaction within the paradigm of limited play, occasionally speculating on legacy and EDH, while James will primarily comment on Block, Standard, and Extended, with occasional banter on other topics.

We love hearing from you in the comments section.  Without further ado…

Armament Master – WW
Creature – Kor Soldier (Rare)
Other Kor creatures you control get +2/+2 for each Equipment attached to Armament Master.
2/2
Illus. Steven Belledin
#1/249

JOE

Might randomly be awesome in the right pool / draft, but there’s a lot of pieces that have to fall into place.  Usually this is a rare that’s a slightly-worse-than-usual runeclaw bear.

JAMES
This is a great theme-driven deck (“Tribal”) but I don’t see a fit for this in anything competitive.

Arrow Volley Trap – 3WW
Instant – Trap (Uncommon)
If four or more creatures are attacking, you may pay {1}{W} rather than pay Arrow Volley Trap’s mana cost.
Arrow Volley Trap deals 5 damage divided as you choose among any number of target attacking creatures.
#2/249

JOE

The trap cost here isn’t a huge savings, but it hardly matters.  Whether for the trap cost, or full price, this is top shelf removal for white.  This should take down a minimum of two attackers, and will often leave your opponent wrecked.

JAMES
Maybe I’m just a sucker for the Trap mechanic (I think I’ve said this same thing about 6x ! lol!) but I feel the non-trap cost is a bit ridiculous. 5cc? That’s more than Wrath of God and Day of Judgment and really it’s not going to kill anything that frightening. The ability to divide the damage is certainly appealing. I see this card fitting more into control decks. I’m not sure that 5 color control/cascade has a future because of loss of Reflecting Pool, filter-lands and vivid lands; that being said, it’d be a great side-board option if token-based/winnie decks make a comeback. Outside that, I see better removal spells in Path to Exile, Harms Way and even to some extent (some) Celestial Purge and Martial Coup. Martial Coup may be a better benchmark because for two more cc you get to “wrath” and fill the board back up with 5 of your own dudes.

Kor Aeronaut – WW
Creature – Kor Soldier (Uncommon)
Kicker {1}{W}
Flying
When Kor Aeronaut enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, target creature gains flying until end of turn.
2/2

JOE

A solid creature with a respectable kicker.  At 1WWW, it’s white-intensive, but this can often push through important damage for aggressive archetypes that are a white mainstay.  I like this uncommon just fine.

JAMES
Pretty interesting card. It helps to have it on turn 2 because of the flying and then mid/late-game you can cast with kicker to just send in a dude with flying. That being said, for the same cc I would rather play Elspeth, Knight Errant or Ajani Goldmane–Elspeth pulling the majority of weight in my mind because she gets a loyalty counter & gives a creature +3/+3 and flying. Maybe this will go into that Kor-themed deck I mentioned above but not into anything competitive.

Kor Hookmaster – 2W
Creature – Kor Soldier (Uncommon)
When Kor Hookmaster enters the battlefield, tap target creature an opponent controls. That creature doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step.
2/2

JOE

Another tempo-oriented card that’ll shine in aggressively curved decks.  A solid gray ogre variant.

JAMES
I’m trying to figure out if this is playable or not. I want to say yes. The appeal of a targeted Sleep is pretty strong and it’s not overly costed. You can trust that this creature will get in for 2 the next turn–well, big assumption but let’s roll with it for a moment. With that assumption we have to assume that we’re tapping down something bigger than this 2/2. Is the 2/2 going to cause enough of a tempo change? Probably not alone it won’t! What board position would we want to see this in? Certainly not in an opening hand; we want it for punching through the final points of damage. Tapping a Baneslayer Angel seems hawt. What else? Hmm, my surmise is that we’d rather play Brave the Elements (new from Zendikar) which at 1cc gives all your creatures pro-whatever-color-you-need-at-the-moment (i.e. one-turn evasion for the finishing alpha strike). Definitely not a good choice for Extended or Standard and highly unlikely for Block.

Kor Outfitter – WW
Creature – Kor Soldier (Common)
When Kor Outfitter enters the battlefield, attach target equipment you control to target creature you control.
2/2
#21/249

JOE

This will only ever save you a couple mana, so it’s mainly a bad grizzly bears, but still has a place in what looks to be a white-heavy aggro archetype in this set.

JAMES
Plays well with the first card on our list today, Armament Master but that’s assuming an “ideal world” where we have Armament Master in play AND a worthwhile equipment. I’d like to pitch this as playable if you’re equipping a bomb equipment like Sword of Fire and Ice or Umezawas Jitte but really wouldn’t we rather just pay the two and equip it than put another dude into play? I sure would so…yeah, this isn’t really that great of a creature.

Nimbus Wings – 1W
Enchantment – Aura (Common)
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+2 and has flying.
#28/249

JOE

Auras always have the “exposure to 241s” danger.  The risk is that you enchant your guy only to lose two cards to the opponents single removal spell.  If the rewards are greater than this risk, the aura in question is playable.  It’s my opinion that flying and a small boost are probably worth it in some cases.  Evasion is very nice, and giving the right creature flying can win the game.  I think this will have a home in WG decks with lots of ground-based fat green creatures.  Suit one up with Nimbus Wings, and you should be putting your opponent on a fast clock.  I like it.

JAMES
I don’t see this being played outside limited. Maybe there’s a spot for in block (?) but really for 2cc (1 & W) I would rather drop Honor of the Pure. The bigger butt (i.e. Holy Strength) makes this a somewhat defensive card which runs against the grain of giving a creature evasion. What’s the point of having evasion if you’re just going to sit around and block with the creature? It’s a little underwhelming imo.

Ondu Cleric – 1W
Creature – Kor Cleric Ally (Common)
When Ondu Cleric or another Ally comes into play, you may gain 1 life for each Ally you control.
1/1

JOE

Life gain has been growing in popularity.  I think this will see play, but it’s not my kind of thing… however, the Ally deck is reminiscent of affinity in Mirrodin in the sense that “the more the merrier” seems to hold true.  I can see running this mainly for its type line.  Its own ability is incidental to the fact that it’s an ally.  It’s like running off-color mana-producing myr or off-color spellbombs in mirrodin.  It’s about critical mass.

JAMES
If Ally makes a surge in Block, maybe otherwise no. As sad as it is to say Essence Warden & Soul Warden seem better since they aren’t “ally” based. Plus, how many allies are you going to have in play at any given time? 3? Regardless, I see better Ally-cards in White at 2cc (such as Kazandu Blademaster–which after seeing more and more of the spoiler, I realize I was too quick to judge as “just a 2/2″).

Quest for the Holy Relic – W
Enchantment (Uncommon)
Whenever you cast a creature spell, you may put a quest counter on Quest for the Holy Relic.
Remove five quest counters from Quest for the Holy Relic and sacrifice it: Search your library for an equipment card, put it onto the battlefield, and attach it to a creature you control. Then shuffle your library.
#33/249

JOE

Well, if you’re particularly creature heavy and have one bomb equipment, maybe this is worth a slot.  Almost always, it’s not.  You want cards that do good things all by their lonesome.  This has a lot of strings attached.

JAMES
Too bad the quest is “when you cast” because it’s probably just too slow to justify. Being able to tutor out a Jitte is pretty sexy but it’s altogether under-powered and slow. It’s not on the same threat-level as Luminarch Ascension which I find a lot more appealing. General aside: The vulnerability of these ‘quest’ cards is that a simple Naturalize hoses 5 turns or more investment. (Qasali Pridemage comes to mind as a playable)

Windborne Charge – 2WW
Sorcery (Common)
Two target creatures get +2/+2 and flying until end of turn.

JOE

Another way to ram through damage in the white rush archetype.  I like it just fine.  Also great in the WG kind of deck I mentioned above.

JAMES
Expensive. So far as constructed goes, same comments vis a vis Elspeth apply here. Just straight up better: both are at sorcery speed, Elspeth sticks around to be a continuing threat, and does a better job pumping the creature (33% better).

Summoner’s Bane – 2UU
Instant (Common)
Counter target creature spell. Put a 2/2 blue Illusion creature token onto the battlefield under your control.

JOE

Not bad at all!  I seldom play control in limited, but this is an essence scatter I can definitely get behind.  It’s somewhat easy to see coming, alas, but still… a good counter for limited.

JAMES
Certainly provides the right kind of card advantage that U needs to win. I wish the illusion had flying but maybe I’m just being a bit greedy. This is a really good card in limited, btw. It’s cancel on steroids imo. (Maybe Essence Scatter is a better counter examle but the 2 U in the casting cost makes me think of Cancel more than Essence Scatter). I can see this being a great counter spell in Block and also making some appearances in standard. Unless I’m totally blanking on some amazing control cards in U, the counter-suite seems a bit dry–probably because Cryptic Command has played such a meta-defining role and its absence is a gaping whole where once was a God of CounterMagic. I do like this counterspell.

Caller of Gales – U
Creature – Merfolk Wizard (Uncommon)
{1}{U}, {T}: Creatures you control gain flying until end of turn.
1/1
#43/249

JOE

Nice one!  Levitation always suffered from being an enchantment and from being costly.  This is a lower mana investment and can occasionally beat for 1.  I like it.

JAMES
It’s good that it’s multiple creatures otherwise it’d be strictly underpowered. I personally wouldn’t want to rely on getting my miniature creatures through on the back of this card but the Merfolk decks will probably toy with this. —-CORRECTION–checking out the spoiler on mtgsalvation right now and it looks like it’s changed to target creature. Okay, so it’s underwhelming.

Cosi’s Trickster – U
Creature – Merfolk (Rare)
Whenever an opponent shuffles his or her library, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Cosi’s Trickster.
1/1
#45/249

JOE

Interesting card.  Soldier of Fortune had a torrid love affair with this merfolk in the late 90s… little known fact.  No, this is potentially interesting in constructed, but it’s basically a 1/1 for U in limited.  You can’t ever count on it being much more.  I mean, maybe it grows to 2/2 or 3/3, but it’s almost certain to be out of your control.  Usually, this sits the bench; that’s my prediction.

JAMES
This could be a really aggressive card. Fetchlands will be making a strong appearance in every format from Extended to Block so I would expect this to be an amazing tempo-play. If you’re going full on merfolk then sleeving this up with Merfolk Sovereign is a great choice. What I really find appealing about this card is that in the early game U players can flop this puppy down and then simply protect it and keep counter magic available to tempo-play the opponent all the while exerting pressure on the opposing player. It’s proably not a game winner in and of itself but I definitely see this having a spot on the team.

Gomazoa – U
Creature – Jellyfish (Common)
Kicker {1}{U}
When Gomazoa enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, return target creature to its owner’s hand.
0/3
#46/249

JOE

An 0/3 makes me sad.  As a 1/2 I’d play this every time.  This is just a weird, pricey unsummon.  It still has a place, but I’d probably use it in a spell slot, not a creature slot, and I’d rather this guy had flash.  It’s an effect that needs to be instant to be fully useful.

JAMES
I don’t see the point of this card. Just play Unsummon[card] and then play a better creature (like [card]Cosis Trickster above).

Paralyzing Grasp – 2U
Enchantment – Aura (Common)
Enchant tapped creature
Enchanted creature doesn’t untap during its controller’s untap step.
#58/249

JOE

This has been done many times, and it’s a good example of “soft removal,” which is the normal kind of removal for blue.  Not bad at what it does.

JAMES
Very playable in limited though I can’t think of many instances where this would see play in constructed decks. Better to just have an Essence Scatter and not get that creature into play in the first place. Imo.

Sky Ruin Drake – 4U
Creature – Drake (Common)
Flying
2/5
#66/249

JOE

A solid flier in common.  Will definitely see play.

JAMES
Very interesting for limited. The big butt makes it easily a stabilizer against early-rush strategies while the 2 power lets it switch over to an attack after it played its stabilization role. Pretty cool. That being said, it’s not playable in constructed decks. (too expensive).

Sphinx of Jwar Isle – 4UU
Creature – Sphinx (Rare)
Flying, shroud
You may look at the top card of your library.(You may do this at any time)
5/5
#68/249

JOE

In limited, being a 6-drop 5/5 flying shroud makes it a bomb.  The top card thing is gravy, but mostly just a cute sideshow.  In constructed, maybe this can pair with djinn of wishes?  I dunno.

JAMES
Weird. I don’t see the value of looking at my library as worth it in this instance. It’s certainly a fairly efficient creature but it’s very boarderline. U-based decks typically don’t use big creatures for exerting pressure–simply because tapping out for a big spell like this allows your opponent to “finally” play their win-condition and they’ve been playing around the permission strategy for a few turns. Why give them permission?

Umara Raptor – 2U
Creature – Bird Ally (Common)
Flying
Whenever Umara Raptor or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Umara Raptor.
1/1
#75/249

JOE

This might end up being the most popular common ally.  This is playable all by itself as a flying (you guessed it) gray ogre.  The fact that it can easily go well beyond makes this, in my mind, a likely first pick for blue.  Definitely a very high pick.

JAMES
Agreed. Strong ally at 3cc for a 2/2 flyer and mid-to-late game it’s not a dead card. A player can cast this spell and still leave some mana open for countering another spell. Well balanced. I’d expect to see this floating around in Block.

Welkin Tern – 2U
Creature – Bird (Uncommon)
Flying, defender
{T}: Shuffle Welkin Tern and all creatures it’s blocking into their owners’ libraries.
0/3
#76/249

JOE

Pretty neat!  I like that it’s the chump blocker par excellence!  This ought to be thought of as a soft removal spell… it’s not terrible.  Block a few bears until a scary beast comes to town, then send him packing.

JAMES
I don’t quite get “and all creatures it’s blocking.” It’s not allowed to block multiple creatures so it’s just a one-for-one right? It’s ‘aight…but probably not worth it.

Grim Discovery – 1B
Sorcery (Common)
Choose one or both – Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand; and/or return target land card from your graveyard to your hand.

JOE

An awesome raise dead variant.  This will help you get double-duty out of whatever fetchland you cracked if you got lucky with landfall.  Worst case it’s raise dead for 1B.  Worth it for sure.

JAMES
I find this card really good. For the Vampire/MBC this seems like a great option. It’s cheap, does more than one thing, etc. In fact, I’ll bet it will fit really well into the Grixis-Control style decks using Soul Manipulation and Architects of Will.

Hagra Diabolist – 4B
Creature – Ogre Shaman Ally (Uncommon)
When Hagra Diabolist or an other Ally enters the battlefield, target player loses life equal to the the number of Allies you control.
3/2

JOE

A solid ally capable of doing double digits worth of life loss with the right number of allies.  However, as a 5-drop, you’ll need a few early allies to maximize your return with this guy.  3/2 is a little weak on 5 to run this guy as a sole ally.

JAMES
I just don’t have enough exposure to these allies to get a gauge on their power. Assuming you’ve been exerting even a modicum of pressure on your opponent this could be a very simple way of getting in the last few points of damage. (Assuming 3 or allies total on the battlefield). He’s pretty expensive though.

Malakir Bloodwitch – 3BB
Creature – Vampire Shaman (Rare)
Flying, protection from white
When Malakir Bloodwitch enters the battlefield, each opponent loses life equal to the number of Vampires you control. You gain life equal to the life lost this way.
4/4
#100/249

JOE

Damn.  This is a bomb.  Even as your only vampire, a 5-drop 4/4 flying is solid.  Just ask air elemental!  This should see a lot of play in constructed too, as vampires are on the rise.  This will probably be worth some $$ as well.  Pro white positions him quite well to battle a certain baneslayer angel, as well as dodging wall of reverence.  Constructed ain’t my thing really, so this is partly “on-a-limb” but I’m thinking this is a shoe-in for constructed vampires.dec.

JAMES
Seriously? This is ridiculous. Vampires is looking so damn strong. I see this as super playable. Even if the “total vampires” you control is only 2 (counting this one), then a four point swing in life with a 4/4 flyer is looking good. Pro-white is just gravy.

Mire Blight – B
Enchantment – Aura (Common)
Enchant Creature
When enchanted creature is dealt damage, destroy it.

JOE

This is on the extreme weak side of soft removal, but sometimes we all do things we’re not proud of.  Running this will be one of those times.  It happens.

JAMES
Weak.

Hellfire Mongrel – 2R
Creature – Elemental Hound (Uncommon)
At the beginning of each opponent’s upkeep, if that player has two or fewer cards in his hand, Hellfire Mongrel deals 2 damage to him or her.
2/2
#130/249

JOE

Who can guess what red creature I’m about to compare this to favorably?  If you said gray ogre, give yourself a gold star.

JAMES
Blightening loves this. There’s looking to be a few great discard spells in this set that will mesh well for a B/R strategy. I see this making an appearance in Type2. It only cost 3cc, will put pressure on an opponent and is sorta like a Sulfuric Vortex. Not bad.

Obsidian Fireheart – 1RRR
Creature – Elemental (Mythic Rare)
{1}{R}{R}: Put a blaze counter on target land without a blaze counter on it. Lands with blaze counters on them have “At the beginning of your upkeep, this land deals 1 damage to you”. (The land continues to burn even after Obsidian Fireheart leaves the battlefield.)
4/4

JOE

I’m not sure whether that parenthetical remark, “The land continues to burn even after Obsidian Fireheart leaves the battlefield,” is a joke or not, but it seems like sloppy rules execution.  The fact that the land gets this new ability already indicates that the effect is not dependent upon Obsidian Fireheart being in play.  The “continues to burn” thing is unnecessarily confusing.  Here’s hoping it’s a joke.  Anyway, the card itself seems more like a constructed card with RRR in the cost.  In limited, there’s no question it’s a huge creature for 4 mana though, so if you’re base-red, this should be a bomb for you.  The fact that it doesn’t require tapping to add counters makes him sweet.  On turn 6, they’ll already be taking lightning bolt-worth of damage per turn… FROM THEN ON.  I think it’s a bomb, but a quirky and odd one.  You need to be base red, but if so, you’re probably good to go with this guy.

JAMES
I’m not commenting on this card until I see it. It’s wording is all weird–total FUBAR imo. I can’t get a straight answer on the forums about whether this is confirmed or complete conjecture. Seems like random guesses in the dark about what it could do. Let’s see a scan of the card! ;-)

Unstable Footing – R
Instant (Uncommon)
Kicker {3}{R}
Damage can’t be prevented this turn. If Unstable Footing was kicked, it deals 5 damage to target player.

JOE

I only like it when it’s kicked.  How often is damage prevented?  An instant lava axe though?  Sign me up.

JAMES
I can think of instances where preventing the prevention of damage would be really useful. Too bad it doesn’t stop lifegain too. Would be a total shoe-in for SB. Harm’s Way cries a little in the dark when it sees this card. The kicker just gives it late-game viability. This is worth experimenting with in SB (before the tourney of course).

Oran-Rief Recluse – 2G
Creature – Spider (Common)
Kicker {2}{G}
Reach
When Oran-Rief Recluse enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, destroy target creature with flying.
1/3

JOE

Not bad.  If it had deathtouch too, it’d be properly insane.  This seems decently balanced as is.  I run him in green.  Fliers are green’s traditional downfall.  Maindecking an answer is not such a bad plan, usually.

JAMES
Pretty expensive. I don’t see this having the goods for constructed play. But heck, it will destroy a Baneslayer Angel so it can’t be all bad. Maybe think of it as a 6cc spot removal for Green? Does that make it swallow-able? Maybe…

Quest for the Gemblades – 1G
Enchantment (Uncommon)
Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to another creature, you may put a quest counter on Quest for the Gemblades.
Remove a quest counter from Quest for the Gemblades and sacrifice it: Put four +1/+1 counters on target creature.

JOE

Only needs one quest counter eh?  And blocking will do the trick.  I think it’s a solid giant growth kind of card… it’s a little weird, and a little slow, but it’s like a seal of strength, essentially.  Lets you bluff your way through future combats for sure.  I’m down with that.

JAMES
Very interesting. The cheapest Quest of all? (cheapest as in “most accessible to actually achieve the goal of the quest). Pretty damn cheap. Too bad the counters can’t be divided. I guess that would make it over powered? Well, blocking occurs pretty frequently in combat, I’m just a little wary of saying, “put this in your deck” because I’m viewing the quests as all together un-reliable a strategy. Maybe someone will play this in some decks and leave a comment on how they work out. For now, I’m a skeptic.

Relic Crush – 4G
Instant (Common)
Destroy target artifact or enchantment and up to one other target artifact or enchantment.

JOE

Solid.  Should go into many EDH decks the day of the pre-release.  This is not terrible in limited either, since by the mid-to-late game, you’ll usually see some kind of enchantment or artifact.  Maybe it’s a sideboard card, maybe not.  This set has tons of equipment and weird enchantments of all shapes and sizes.  I’m guessing a fair number get maindecked.

JAMES
Too expensive and what artifacts are we talking here? Pass

Savage Silhouette – 2G
Enchantment – Aura (Common)
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has “{1}{G}: Regenerate enchanted creature”.

JOE

Hmmm… it’s better than regeneration, but I still worry about the 241 exposure here.  It’s right on the margin here for me.  I guess it depends on what my creature suite looks like.  I dunno.  I’d much rather not be in the situation where I need another card in my deck, and this is among the top contenders for the slot, let’s put it that way.

JAMES
Definitely not a bad pick in limited. Being able to Regenerate isn’t bad either. Has to be played late game when you’ll have the mana open to protect it. I don’t’ see this making the cut for constructed play though. (for example, I’d rather just play Cudgel Troll–but I don’t run that as it is…)

Territorial Baloth – 4G
Creature – Beast (Common)
Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, Territorial Baloth gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
5/5

JOE

5-drop 5/5 is alright by itself.  Occasionally a 7/7 makes it superb.  A solid common sure to be a vertebrae in the backbone of many green decks, and the splashed beef of others.

JAMES
Probably too expensive for constructed play; there’s better G in this set.

Expedition Map – 1
Artifact (Common)
{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Expedition Map: Search your library for a land card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

JOE

Neat, flavorful name!  This is a colorless civic wayfinder without the creature.  Surely has a place as a common fixer for non-green multi-color decks.  That’s its purpose, and it serves it well, but fairly.

JAMES
This is a tad bit better than Civic Wayfinder since we can pull any land (i.e. pain lands). I’ll wager this is excellent in limited and then not quite good enough for constructed play (due to the lack of a body).

Explorer’s Scope – 1
Artifact – Equipment (Common)
When equipped creature attacks, you may look at the top card of your library. If it is a land card, you may put it onto the battlefield tapped.
Equip {1}

JOE

Whoa, nice!  Free lands, free landfall occasionally.  If you have multiples in play, they stack up nicely, letting you hit a two-land pocket every blue moon.  I dunno… it sort of doesn’t do much… that’s my only beef here.  Getting free lands is nice, but it doesn’t really enhance your creature any.  It’s a weird kind of accelerator, being on an equipment.

JAMES
Interesting enabler. And you just have to attack. Free lands = card advantage and can be activate as early as turn 2. Not bad at all. I’ll bet this little puppy finds a home in some creative decks. I wouldn’t even laugh if it was in Extended. Getting the mana boost will go a long way in that format. Heck, it’s great for a Naya-Zoo deck that wasn’t able to get a Plains-Mountain-and-Forest onto the Battlefield (Wild Nacatl). I’d test this card out. It’s major draw back is that if you want to reliably have this card early game (when it’s useful as it’s not as game-impacting late game) you’d have to run 4x. That being said, it’s still somewhat helpful late game when mana is plentiful and players are entering near-top-deck mode….that’s essentially what makes it construction-worthy imo.

Grappling Hook – 4
Artifact – Equipment (Rare)
Equipped creature has double strike.
Whenever equipped creature attacks, you may have target creature block it if able.
Equip {4}

JOE

Awesome.  Steep in cost and equip cost, but a huge payback in the end.  I don’t see myself ever opening this and not playing it.  Not exactly a bomb, I’d say, but quite solid as equipment goes.

JAMES
Dang expensive but late game as a 2-of it’s not horrible. I just worry that at 8cc total investment, it’s too pricey to justify. Being able to Lure can be great but it’s only one target creature. “any number of target creatures” would make me think this could be excellent. As it is, I don’t see it providing the pressure necessary to justify inclusion. Maybe I’m missing something…

Khalni Gem – 4
Artifact (Uncommon)
When Khalni Gem enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you return two lands you control to your hand.
{T}: Add two mana of any one color to your mana pool.

JOE

Okay, so you can still tap this once for two mana, then sac it… I’m thinking the tempo loss might be a bad thing… maybe not worth it.  On the other hand, this is an awesome way to enable many-colored decks.  I think it’ll see play, but will be a risky thing to do with decent artifact removal floating around.  I’d rather not have to resort to this kind of fixing.

JAMES
It’s not my style. I don’t like to open myself up like this. If it’s bounced or destroyed, you pretty much have to scoop.

Spidersilk Net – 0
Artifact – Equipment (Common)
Equipped creature gets +0/+2 and reach.
Equip {2}

JOE

Weak.  Not that interested.

JAMES
lol. Too bad the equip cost isn’t 1. That’d make it okay. I don’t see it being worthwhile outside of limited.

Soaring Seacliff
Land (Common)
Soaring Seacliff enters the battlefield tapped.
When Soaring Seacliff enters the battlefield, target creature gains flying until end of turn.
{T}: Add {U} to your mana pool.

JOE

This can, again, help push through valuable damage.  In this cycle, this is probably my favorite card.

JAMES
Free jump I guess but at the cost of playing something on curve. Certainly looking at this as a one-of in a limited deck makes me think it’s fine since it could be a game finisher (enabler, that is).

Turntimber Grove
Land (Common)
Turntimber Grove enters the battlefield tapped.
When Turntimber Grove enters the battlefield, target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
{T}: Add {G} to your mana pool.
#227/249

JOE

Kind of a weak effect, really.  I’ll pass.

JAMES
I feel like we reviewed this cycle already. Blah, pass.

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