Category Archives: set reviews

Mirrodin Besieged Set Review

Hello hello. James and I talk about all the new cards in this set review. It’s lengthy, so let’s jump right in.

Land (2)

Name:Contested Warzone
Type: Land
Rules Text: Whenever you are dealt combat damage by a creature, that creature’s controller gains control of Contested Warzone.
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
{1}, {T}: Attacking creatures get +1/+0 until end of turn.
Rarity: Rare

(Joe) I think we should talk about these lands first. This one seems like a quirky one to try. The next, however, seems very cool indeed

inkmoth nexus

Name:Inkmoth Nexus
Type: Land
Rules Text: {T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
{1}: Inkmoth Nexus becomes a 1/1 Blinkmoth artifact creature with flying and infect until end of turn. It’s still a land. (It deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Illus. Jung Park
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #145/155

(Joe) Blinkmoth Nexus is a respectable pedigree here. This land will prove to be an important factor to consider when evaluating the new infect creatures in this set. In Scars of Mirrodin, there were not yet enough Infect creatures to make a viable standard deck. That may be changing soon in large part due to helpers like this one. Having an evasive man-land that also creates a temporary artifact creature is a very good set of abilities and will synergistically power up every infect deck out there. Not only that, but this land can potentially interact with shape anew to create a sort of artifact creature polymorph deck. Luckily there’s another infect take on a classic mirrodin era card in blightsteel colossus waiting to fill the 1-of role once more, only this time he’ll be capable of winning with a single hit. Anyway, I’m highly anticipating this card.

Name:Accorder Paladin
Cost: 1{W}
Type: Creature – Human Knight
Pow/Tgh: 3/1
Rules Text: Battle cry (Whenever this creature attacks, each other attacking creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.)
Flavor Text: “I fight for the suns, the surface, and everything in between.”
Illus. Kekai Kotaki
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #1/155

(james) This is an extremely aggressive card and will be a great addition for Boros/White-Weenie-esque deck strategies.

(Joe) Agreed, though personally I’m not seeing how Battle cry can make much of a splash in constructed. In limited, this is indeed like the aggressive bear model.

ardent recruit

Name: Ardent Recruit
Cost: W
Type: Creature – Human Soldier
Pow/Tgh: 1/1
Rules Text: Metalcraft – Ardent Recruit gets +2/+2 as long as you control three or more artifacts.
Rarity: Common

(Joe) Whoa nelly, 3/3 is serious beef for a one drop. At first blush, this common looks to enable some interesting archetypes in limited, and potentially even some metal weenie standard deck. But it seems rather unlikely that you’ll have the requisite artifacts by turn two even under the best of circumstances. I’m guessing that outside a very narrow setup, this should usually be evaluated as a 1/1.
(James) Maybe there’s room for this kind of card in Legacy? a 3/3 is really good for one mana and Legacy seems to have a lot more artifacts…
(Joe) Perhaps. But even then, three is a lot of artifacts. At least you have the artifact lands there. You’d need to play the artifact land, plus some kind of mox, plus one more artifact… top or vial maybe… and only then do you get access to this 1-drop 3/3. I dunno. Zoo will probably give him a shot somehow.

Name: Banishment Decree
Cost: 3{W}{W}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Put target artifact, creature or enchantment on top of its owner’s library.
Rarity: Common

(Joe) I was always a fan of Plow Under, and while this is clearly no plow under, it’s got the same kind of tempo play feel to is. This spell specifically can’t mess with your opponent’s mana development, but it will still prove to be annoying and tempo swinging. Some times it can be game winning, as when you return the clutch blocker to enable an alpha strike. Being an instant helps with the surprise factor as well allowing for end of turn shenanigans.
(James) Seems like a very expensive card for what may simply be a minor tempo play. Certainly can win games but seems really narrow. I’m not an immediate fan…
(Joe) It is expensive, that’s for sure. But that’s kind of relative. If you play this late game and the thing you return costs more than 3WW, then you’re ahead.

Name: Choking Fumes
Cost: 2{W}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Put a -1/-1 counter on each attacking creature.
Flavor Text: “Fall to your knees and welcome our embrace.”
-Qal-Sha, Priest of Norn
Illus. Scott Chou
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #4/155

(James) Sexy-time! I think this is much better than Marsh Casualties which was a staple first pick during Zen drafts. Instant speed, easily splash-able, potentially devastating. Man…minus one counters…destroys myr & poison decks.
(Joe) Wow, you’re right, this thing is a beating of an uncommon. Very one-sided.

Name: Divine Offering
Cost: 1W
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Destroy target artifact. You gain life equal to its converted mana cost.
Rarity: Common

(Joe) This is an awesome reprint, and should help give white a tool to combat the ever-more-likely ascendancy of whatever artifact deck emerges from this block.

Name: Frantic Salvage
Cost: 3W
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Put any number of target artifact cards from your graveyard on top of your library.
Draw a card.
Flavor Text: “We will mourn when there is time. For now, we survive.”
Illus. Scott Chou
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #6/155

(James) This is pretty interesting. Helps combat mass removal. I have a feeling it might be a little too high on the mana curve for standard but maybe not. Can I put them back in any order? Or the order in which they are in the graveyard? The draw is what makes this pretty cool.
(Joe) You’ll get to choose the order in which they go back. I agree that the draw part is clutch. It really pushes this card into decency. I like that you can play this on your opponent’s EOT, and return a single artifact to your hand without missing your draw step, or you can stack two on top, and have both in hand for the next turn.

Name: Gore Vassal
Cost: 2{W}
Type: Creature – Hound
Pow/Tgh: 2/1
Rules Text: Sacrifice Gore Vassal: Put a -/1-1 counter on target creature. Then, if that creature’s toughness is 1 or greater, regenerate it.
Flavor Text: “Rid them of their unfaithful organs. Bring new hearts to the unbelievers.”
-Tome of Machines, verse 1703
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #7/155

(James) This is really interesting. On the one hand you could use it as spot removal for pesky cards like plated geopede’s but you could also use it regenerate one of your creatures (as in an anti-Day of Judgment situation). It’s interesting for sure. I think I would pick this up as a potential removal card in limited but I don’t see it fitting into a constructed deck.
(Joe) Agree. He can also chump block something huge and leave them weakened, or set them up for proliferation. Cards like this improve if you already have a contagion clasp or whatever.

hero of bladehold

Name: Hero of Bladehold
Cost: 2{W}{W}
Type: Creature – Human Knight
Pow/Tgh: 3/4
Rules Text: Battle cry (Whenever this creature attacks, each other attacking creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.)
Whenever Hero of Bladehold attacks, put two 1/1 white soldier creature tokens onto the battlefield tapped and attacking.
Illus. Austin Hsu
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #8/155

(Joe) This guy is like the knight titan.
(James) I’m pretty sure this will make constructed. It’s a great card advantage piece, creating two 2/1 attackers per turn. (1/1′s plus the +1/0). Seems like a card I will immediately put into a deck with Eslpeth or Ajani as a token-like strategy. I’ll probably go Mirrian during the pre-release just to pick up my first copy…
(Joe) He’s definitely strong, and if this Battle cry mechanic makes any kind of splash, it will be with the Hero, I think. You’re right, this thing just blasts out attacking savannah lions all day long.

Name: Kemba’s Legion
Cost: 5{W}{W}
Type: Creature – Cat Soldier
Pow/Tgh: 4/6
Rules Text: Vigilance
Kemba’s Legion can block an additional creature for each Equipment attached to Kemba’s Legion.
Flavor Text: The squabble over succession was quickly replaced by the struggle to survive.
Illus. Anthony Francisco
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #9/155

(Joe) Multi-blocking is flavorful and cool, but it’s seldom a strategic asset of much worth. I’m tempted to call this an exception, however, since this guy has vigilance and will be powered up by the equipment you would presumably be running alongside him. Still, seven mana is a ton, and I’d want a little more bang for my buck than a 4/6 vigilance with a provisional ability with a provisionally useful effect.

Name: Leonin Relic-Warder
Cost: {W}{W}
Type: Creature – Cat Cleric
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: When Leonin Relic-Warder enters the battlefield, you may exile target artifact or enchantment.
When Leonin Relic-Warder leaves the battlefield, return the exiled card to the battlefield under its owner’s control.
Illus. Greg Staples
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #10/155

(James) I don’t see this as a main deck strategy for constructed, though there are some interesting SB options–such as when decks rely on enchantment removal (Journey to Nowhere). I think this will be a pretty good role player pick in limited…there are a lot of very difficult to deal with artifacts and this would be a good card to pick up early in a draft (since we start with expansions before main sets now during drafts).
(Joe) Good analysis.

Name: Leonin Skyhunter
Cost: {W}{W}
Type: Creature – Cat Knight
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: Flying
Flavor Text: “The infection has spread farther than we could glimpse from the heights of Taj-Nar.”
Illus. Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #11/155

(James) 2/2 flying for 2 mana in the common slot? Seems like a good common to pick up during pack one; it will certainly provide a few more options to the U/W archetype. I don’t find this as exciting for constructed. It’s no Stoneforge Mystic, that’s for damn sure…
(Joe) This is a reprint from Mirrodin, and is definitely awesome in the UW skies approach. Pushes the bear / knight envelope for sure. A quality 2-drop. I think white weenie ran this guy back in mirrodin standard.

Name: Loxodon Partisan
Cost: 4{W}
Type: Creature – Elephant Soldier
Pow/Tgh: 3/4
Rules Text: Battle cry (Whenever this creature attacks, each other attacking creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.)
Flavor Text: “This war is not about loxodon or leonin, Sylvok or Auriok. To defeat these rotters, we must do it together.”
Illus. Matt Stewart
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #12/155

(James) Battlecry seems like it’s going to be a pain the rear. A few low-cc creatures curved out to a Battlecry will be difficult to deal with. What would be interesting to see is how many cross-color variants we start getting in limited. Infect cards with Battlecry will be very scary to deal with…
(Joe) Infect / Battle cry is actually an interesting take. I’m not terribly convinced about battle cry though. Usually you should still be able to chump block and kill the same creatures you’d be able to otherwise, since Battle cry doesn’t pump toughness. If the Battle cry player can punch through the defenses, or faces a defenseless foe, then sure, they can punish them more, and win more quickly. I guess that’s a decent aspect.

Name: Master’s Call
Cost: 2{W}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Put two 1/1 colorless Myr artifact creature tokens onto the battlefield.
Rarity: Common

(James) I see this as borderline. It will help hit an early metalcraft so if you’re thinking you might push the metalcraft, then go for it. It also has the surprise blocker factor, so you might be able to consider this a “weak removal” spell. But that’s stretching it a little…
(Joe) I would definitely consider this as soft removal… but this is also a way to blast out some early dorks to battle cry with, isn’t it?

Name: Mirran Crusader
Cost: 1{W}{W}
Type: Creature – Human Knight
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: Double strike, protection from black and from green
Flavor Text: A symbol of what Mirrodin once was and a hope for what it will be again.
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #14/155

(Joe) Seems like sideboard fodder.
(James) I wonder if there’s any room for this in Extended. Pro-Green/Black seems pretty strong…adding double strike makes it really strong. I’m imagining a Jitte attached to this guy. Dang. So far as standard, I also see this being a potential include for sideboards. Well, for limited too. I would even consider running it main since it does have double strike. Pretty neat. Unless I’m not in white at all, I would be pretty happy to see this card.
(Joe) Well, he does dodge black removal. I’m sure the knights tribal deck will appeal to a lot of players. He’s definitely no slouch in limited.

phyrexian rebirth

Name: Phyrexian Rebirth
Cost: 4{W}{W}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Destroy all creatures, then put an X/X colorless Horror artifact creature token onto the battlefield, where X is the number of creatures destroyed this way.
Flavor Text: As long as one drop of oil exists, the joyous work continues.
Illus. Scott Chou
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #15/155

(Joe) WHAAAA? This is an insane wrath of god variant. Doing a take on wrath has become a bit of a tradition, and this one is superb, with a built-in board position re-establishment clause.
(James) So I pay 2 more mana and then get a X/X in return? This is really interesting and probably worth looking at for standard U/W builds. It’s the mainboard Day of Judgment that you’re not constantly playing around. Pretty cool

Name: Priests of Norn
Cost: 2{W}
Type: Creature – Cleric
Pow/Tgh: 1/4
Rules Text: Vigilance
Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Flavor Text: “May our blessings sever the tongues of the forsaken.”
-Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Illus. Igor Kieryluk
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #16/155

(James) White’s getting infect now. That’s really weird but I guess it’s the “result of the corrupting affects of Phyrexia.” This is also an infect that looks about as difficult to deal with as Tangle Angler due to the vigilance.
(Joe) Yeah, this guy can hold the fort, alright.

Name: Tine Shrike
Cost: 3{W}
Type: Creature – Bird
Pow/Tgh: 2/1
Rules Text: Flying
Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Flavor Text: A new bird of prey – one that hunts sentience.
Illus. Adrin Smith
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #17/155

(Joe) Hmmm… white infect is hard to judge, and infect loves evasion, but I have a hard time embracing a 4-drop 2/1, flying or not.
(James)I’ve won a few games on the back of a Plague Stinger so this is pretty interesting. By going white we get access to battlecry. A 3/1 infect (due to battlecry) removes 33% of your “non-poisoned life” which is hardcore. I’m sensing a w/b draft archtype emerging…
(Joe) I definitely missed the infect + battle cry thing at first, but I think you’re right: that’s a nutty combination.

Name: Victory’s Herald
Cost: 3{W}{W}{W}
Type: Creature-Angel
Pow/Tgh: 4/4
Rules Text: Flying
Whenever Victory’s Herald attacks, attacking creatures gain flying and lifelink until end of turn.
Flavor Text: The corruption stirred the heavens above, awaking a shining champion.
Illus. rk post
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #18/155

(Joe) Angels are always fun, and this one doesn’t disappoint, as a 4/4 flying proxy of noble purpose and levitation.
(James) This is niffty but I’m not seeing this as a good constructed card. Too conditional for my preferences. I mean, would I rather pay 6 for a 4/4 lifelink or 5 for a 5/5 lifelink, first strike (Baneslayer)? I will pretty much always go with the 5/5… (I’m assuming a vacuum here, not the “ideal situation” with lethal on board because of the levitation affect–Ben Lundquist pretty much drove this method as a must-use for card evaluation).
(Joe) Yeah, she’s no baneslayer, but she’s still a pretty good bargain for all her various effects. In Magic, there are several tribes of Johnny collectors… some collect dragons, some legends, and some angels. The angel geeks will be happy, that’s mainly what I was getting after. It won’t disappoint them. And in limited, assuming you’re in white, she’s obviously sick. But I agree about constructed.

Name: White Sun’s Zenith
Cost: X{W}{W}{W}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Put X 2/2 Cat creature tokens onto the battlefield. Shuffle White Sun’s Zenith into its owner’s library.
Rarity: Rare

(Joe) One of the worst zeniths, and yet it’s still very strong. Obviously a heavy white bomb in any limited format, and the kind of thing you might see as a redundant or budget copy of Decree of Justice.
(James) Looks great for limited…but a bit expensive for constructed. 4 for a single 2/2, 5 for 2 2/2′s…it doesn’t get really interesting until around 8 mana (5 2/2′s).
(Joe) Good math skillz. I concur.

Blue (19)

Name: Blue Sun’s Zenith
Cost: X{U}{U}{U}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Target player draws X cards. Shuffle Blue Sun’s Zenith into its owner’s library.
Flavor Text: “The Origin Query will wait. We must ensure we survive to return to it.”
-Pelyus, vedalken ordinar
Illus. Izzy
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #20/155

(Joe) Instantly I think of Stroke of Genius, which was a more splashable version of this same spell, but which didn’t re-shuffle itself. The predigree suggests a bright future for this Zenith. Occasionally you can exhaust a deck with this, too!
(James)Just like mind spring except an extra blue for instant. I think that makes it much more playable for control decks. They can keep the mana open for counters, then draw x cards at EOT and put the spell back in the library. Neat. Question is how many to run? Two?
(Joe) Yeah, it’s pricey, so it probably takes the slot previously held by the odd Jaces Ingenuity.

Name: Consecrated Sphinx
Cost: 4{U}{U}
Type: Creature – Sphinx
Pow/Tgh: 4/6
Rules Text: Flying
Whenever an opponent draws a card, you may draw two cards.
Flavor Text: Blessed by the hands of Jin-Gitaxias.
Illus. Mark Zug
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #21/155

(James) That’s fun…really fun. This is worth toying with on the constructed side but certainly a very strong pick for limited.
(Joe) Yeah, EDH loves to play this kind of beast too. I’m with you on the fun factor. I can’t wait to play a prosperity with this guy on the board.

Name: Corrupted Conscience
Cost: 3{U}{U}
Type: Enchantment – Aura
Rules Text: Enchant creature
You control enchanted creature.
Enchanted creature has infect. (It deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Flavor Text: Karn’s creation is now his master.
Illus. Jason Chan
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #22/155

(Joe) This is an interesting take on Mind Control, though often you’ll wish that this didn’t grant Infect… I think the creature you steal with this may often sit back on defense. Still, this will swing a lot of games, simultaneously giving you an extra creature and removing the most problematic creature your opponent controls.

Name: Cryptoplasm
Cost: 1{U}{U}
Type: Creature – Shapeshifter
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: At the beginning of your upkeep, you may have Cryptoplasm become a copy of another target creature. If you do, Cryptoplasm gains this ability.
Flavor Text: “If left in the enemy’s shape too long, it might be lost to them.”
-Vy Covalt, Neurok Agent
Illus. Eric Deschamps
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #23/155

(Joe) Vesuvan Doppelganger was one of my favorite cards when I got into magic back in the Revised era. It was the last card I lost to ante, deciding I’d had enough of that gambling. This version is similar, but doesn’t acquire a copied form upon entering the battlefield. That seems like a fair trade for the full two colorless mana that have been shaved from the casting cost. I think this will be an interesting Clone variant, but like other such cards, it won’t be as effective as Spike demands, but may still be as cool as Timmy and Johnny hope.

Name: Distant Memories
Cost: 2{U}{U}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Search your library for a card, exile it, then shuffle your library. An opponent may have you put that card into your hand. If no player does, you draw three cards.
Flavor Text: “The fleeting shadows of his primitive self have all but vanished.”
-Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
Illus. Karl Kopinski
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #24/155

(James) Hmmmm, I’m not sure how I feel about this. It wants to be like a gifts ungiven but it’s just not as good. I’d like it more if it were instant I think…but even then it’s value is dubious.
(Joe) I don’t think it’s really like Gifts as much as a weird modal card that’s either concentrate or slightly worse diabolic tutor. That said, I don’t know that I’d play either of those in constructed. Aside from the spell’s ability, this artwork is pretty interesting, with Karn flashing back to Venser, the last person he spoke to before disappearing, and Urza behind him.

Name: Fuel for the Cause
Cost: 2{U}{U}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Counter target spell, then proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
Flavor Text: Your ideas will be discarded and your will repurposed.
Illus. Steven Belledin
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #25/155

(Joe) Infect is an interesting mechanic, and as I’ve said, I think the time has come, and that some kind of deck will emerge. However, I’m not entirely sure it will be of the blue proliferate variety. I could be wrong though… Throne of Geth and Steady Progress maybe?

Name: Mirran Spy
Cost: 2{U}
Type: Creature – Drone
Pow/Tgh: 1/3
Rules Text: Flying
Whenever you cast an artifact spell, you may untap target creature.
Flavor Text: Accurate information is a precious commodity in times of war.
Illus. Dave Kendall
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #26/155

(Joe) Hmm… not bad in limited, as it’s evasive, decently tough, and sometimes effectively has vigilance. Nothing spectacular, but a roleplayer in some limited archetypes probably.
(James) I like this card for limited. Not enough big butts on the U-team…

Name: Mitotic Manipulation
Cost: 1{U}{U}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Look at the top seven cards of your library. You may put one of those cards onto the battlefield if it has the same name as a permanent. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
Flavor Text: “They can’t even comprehend nature. How could they improve it?”
-Venser
Illus. Dan Scott
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #27/155

(Joe) This, to me, is a very interesting spell. Decks with 4 Jace the Mind Sculptor may consider this as a way to blast into legend-rule pseudo-removal copies of the planeswalker in mirror matches. Otherwise, this can produce some interesting momentum. Even if all you get is a land, you’re still gaining some tempo and card advantage. It seems like a space for some innovative thinking and perhaps some unorthodox applications. Sometimes, though, it’s a win-more kind of card that won’t do a lot all on its own, or when you’re behind and desperate.

Name: Neurok Commando
Cost: 1{U}{U}
Type: Creature – Human Rogue
Pow/Tgh: 2/1
Rules Text: Shroud
Whenever Neurok Commando deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card.
Flavor Text: “There’s no more time for secluded study. Answers are there only for those with the courage to take them.”
Illus. Matt Stewart
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #28/155

(Joe) Ophidian type card drawing is an ability with a precedent for being better than it might initially seem. This guy’s not terribly evasive, however, and despite the shroud, he dies to any kind of combat. Shroud also means you’ll never be able to buff this guy, either with spells or equipment. I’m giving him the thumbs down in the end.

Name: Oculus
Cost: 1{U}
Type: Creature – Homunculus
Pow/Tgh: 1/1
Rules Text: When Oculus is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may draw a card.
Rarity: Common

(Joe) I don’t see the point of this guy outside of a combo designed to loop him through the graveyard. Otherwise, even with cantrip, I’m not interested in a 1/1 for 2 mana.

Name: Quicksilver Geyser
Cost: 4{U}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Return up to two target nonland permanents to their owners’ hands.
Flavor Text: “Phyrexians are tenacious. That’s not the same thing as clever.”
-Tezzeret
Illus. Erica Yang
Rarity: Common

(Joe) This common will win games. Super awesome in limited. Very splashable. Very flexible.

Name: Serum Raker
Cost: 2{U}{U}
Type: Creature – Drake
Pow/Tgh: 3/2
Rules Text: Flying
When Serum Raker is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, each player discards a card.
Flavor Text: The serum from the blinkmoths they gather greases the joints of witch engines.
Illus. Austin Hsu
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #31/155

(Joe) I like a 3/3 flying for 3U. When it’s less splashable, weaker, and potentially has a downside when my opponent top-decks removal, but I still have cards in hand… well, then I’m not as enthusiastic. Still, in an evasive aggro-control kind of limited deck, sometimes a critical mass of fliers is needed, and quantity makes up for quality.

Name: Spire Serpent
Cost: 4{U}
Type: Creature – Serpent
Pow/Tgh: 3/5
Rules Text: Defender
Metalcraft – As long as you control three or more artifacts, Spire Serpent gets +2/+2 and can attack as though it didn’t have defender.
Flavor Text: A mirror to draw its eye, a rod to rouse its rage, and a sword to break its bonds.
Illus. Johann Bodin
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #32/155

(Joe) He seems passable when you don’t have metalcraft, and pretty awesome when you do. Seems like the main requirements of a limited-playable metalcraft card… mostly that it doesn’t suck all on its own. This doesn’t suck terribly on its own. I think it sees some play. Obvioulsy you won’t want more than one or so in your deck, but it’ll stall whatever little guys are on the board when it hits, which is what you want this kind of card to do. Then, it has the bonus of being useful later, when you’ve established better control.

Name: Steel Sabotage
Cost: {U}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Choose one – counter target artifact spell; or return target artifact to its owner’s hand.
Flavor Text: “You are hopelessly obsolete, my brothers. Come and join the Great Work.”
-Rhmir, Hand of the Augur
Illus. Daarken
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #33/155

(James) I’ve yet to see someone playing counters in Scars limited and I’m not sure this is something that would help with that. At its best, I could see this being a SB option if artifacts start running rampant in constructed. I will admit that having two options makes this card potentially useful.
(Joe) I guess I disagree, though you hedged a bit at the end there. I think this is plenty useful. You can counter something devastating, or you can bounce it if you drew this later… and if all that fails you can always use this to bounce your own trigon or whatever to reset the charge counters. And in constructed, this seems really decent as well. Annul saw play, and seldom countered any enchantments in mirrodin. It’s not extremely good, but it’s decent enough.

Name: Treasure Mage
Cost: 2{U}
Type: Creature – Human Wizard
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: When Treasure Mage enters the battlefield, you may search your library for an artifact card with converted mana cost 6 or greater, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.
Illus. Ryan Pancoast
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #34/155

(James) Neat twist on the Trinket Mage. I bet people start running this in EDH (Commander) decks. Could also be pretty high utility for limited since it does tutor and there are some pretty powerful 6cc cards in Scars.
(Joe) Tutor up wurmcoil engine seems fine. Yeah, this guy is awesome. EDH loves to riptide laboratory this guy every turn.

Name: Turn the Tide
Cost: 1{U}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Creatures your opponents control get -2/-0 until end of turn.
Flavor Text: “Let their mindless armies come and face the might of genius.”
-Varil, Neurok Partisan
Illus. Jason Felix
Rarity: Common

(Joe) I’m not a fan of this kind of effect. If I ever feel insomniac, I’ll just contemplate a deck built on this kind of card and… zzz ZZZ zzz.

Name: Vedalken Anatomist
Cost: 2{U}
Type: Creature – Vedalken Wizard
Pow/Tgh: 1/2
Rules Text: {2}{U}, {T}: Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature. You may tap or untap that creature.
Flavor Text: “Specimen 211 examination report. Observation: graft sublimation incomplete. Result: death. Prepare specimen 212.”
Illus. Greg Staples
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #36/155

(Joe) My guess is that this handy wizard will be a big deal for many proliferating limited magi.
(James) Wowzas. -1 counters and tapping. Well worth the cost. Probably worth picking up a copy even if you’re not a poison/proliferate deck.

Name: Vedalken Infuser
Cost: 3{U}
Type: Creature – Vedalken Wizard
Pow/Tgh: 1/4
Rules Text: At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a charge counter on target artifact.
Illus. Ryan Pancoast
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #37/155

(James) This seems way too narrow to be playable.
(Joe) Well, it definitely won’t be played outside of a deck that specifically wants to get bonus charge counters…. so it’s indeed narrow. But even in that kind of deck, why the heck would you run this instead of any given proliferate card? Maybe because he doesn’t require additional mana, he’ll be good with lux cannon or titan forge or something. Use him and proliferate, each turn.

Name: Vivisection
Cost: 3{U}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: As an additional cost to cast Vivisection, sacrifice a creature.
Draw three cards.
Flavor Text: Phyrexians research with the grace of surgeons and the finesse of butchers.
Illus. Anthony Francisco
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #38/155

(Joe) If this were an instant, it would be insanely good. As a sorcery, you’ll never be able to use a graveyard-bound creature. Also, if this spell is countered, you’re still out the creature. Luckily creature removal won’t suffice to two-for-one you, it will require a real counterspell. I don’t know… I can see how this might help replace early game creatures with relevant mid and late game ones, but I still think I’ll shy away from this and let someone else try to prove how awesome it is.

Black (19)

Name: Black Sun’s Zenith
Cost: X{B}{B}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Put X -1/-1 counters on each creature. Shuffle Black Sun’s Zenith into its owner’s library.
Flavor Text: “Under the suns, Mirrodin kneels and begs us for perfection.”
-Geth, Lord of the Vault
Illus. Daniel Ljunggren
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #39/155

(Joe) I really like the zeniths, and the black one is no exception. What a beating! This can be a tailor-made Damnation. Alongside man-lands, this will really shine.
(James) One sided mass removal. Very hot. Paying 3 for X @ 5cc will probably end most opponents’ game plans.

Name: Caustic Hound
Cost: 5{B}
Type: Creature – Hound
Pow/Tgh: 4/4
Rules Text: When Caustic Hound is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, each player loses 4 life.
Flavor Text: At first, the Mirrans aimed for its exposed gut. The survivors quickly learned to do otherwise.
Illus. Dave Allsop
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #40/155

(James) Good 22nd or 23rd card if you don’t have anything beefier. Just want to make sure you’re not in lethal territory if it hits the graveyard!
(Joe)

Name: Flensermite
Cost: 1{B}
Type: Creature – Gremlin
Pow/Tgh: 1/1
Rules Text: Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
Illus. Dave Allsop
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #41/155

(Joe) This creature sucks, IMO. Infect wants evasion, especially on a 1/1. This is pointless. Instead of lifelink, he ought to suck poison out of his master… so you should have “poison-counter-lifelink” where you lose poison counters when he deals damage. I dunno… this card just seems dissonant above and beyond just plain sucking.
(James) I can’t add much to that.

Name: Flesh-Eater Imp
Cost: 3{B}
Type: Creature – Imp
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: Flying
Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Sacrifice a creature: Flesh-Eater Imp gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
Illus. Johann Bodin
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #42/155

(Joe) This imp is more like what you want in infect. Evasive and with the potential to pump. Awesome.
(James) Nantuko Husk (sort of) plus infect? Wow. Could end games very quickly.

Name: Go for the Throat
Cost: 1{B}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Destroy target nonartifact creature.
Flavor Text: Having flesh is increasingly a liability on Mirrodin.
Illus. David Rapoza
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #43/155

(Joe) Now where have we seen this before? Obviously awesome, as Zak sez.
(James) Ah! the Power9Pro preview card! Def’ playable. (We wouldn’t unveil a non-playable!). ;-)

Name: Gruesome Encore
Cost: 2{B}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Put target creature card from an opponent’s graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. It gains haste. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step. If that creature would leave the battlefield, exile it instead of putting it anywhere else.
Illus. Adrian Smith
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #44/155

(James) Sweet. Steeling people’s cards and smashing them with it is so much fun. Just make sure it will win you the game!

Name: Horrifying Revelation
Cost: {B}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Target player discards a card, then puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
Flavor Text: “Ours is a glorious transmission! Behold a future where all bow to the Father of Machines!”
-Isila, Priest of Sheoldred
Illus. Shelly Wan
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #45/155

(James) Interesting. This is kind of interesting around turn 5 – 7 when the hands are thinning. Probably a “wow, I have 22 cards here and need another…” sort of include.

Name: Massacre Wurm
Cost: 3{B}{B}{B}
Type: Creature – Wurm
Pow/Tgh: 6/5
Rules Text: When Massacre Wurm enters the battlefield, creatures your opponents control get -2/-2 until end of turn.
Whenever a creature an opponent controls is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, that player loses 2 life.
Illus. Jason Chan
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #46/155

(Joe) This Mythic seems pretty neat for limited, but I doubt it’s got much of a chance at seeing standard play. This guy might just Blistergrub your opponent out of the game on the spot.

Name: Morbid Plunder
Cost: 1{B}{B}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Return up to two target creature cards from your graveyard to your hand.
Flavor Text: Even the dead are raw materials for the Phyrexian vision of perfection.
Illus. Mike Bierek
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #47/155

(Joe) Solid in limited right about the time you start to reach top-deck mode to refill your hand with the best candidates in your yard.
(James) You do get two cards back so it’s a pretty nice recharge. I’d probably pick up a copy for a limited deck but I don’t see much advantage in more than one.

Name: Nested Ghoul
Cost: 3{B}{B}
Type: Creature – Zombie Warrior
Pow/Tgh: 4/2
Rules Text: Whenever a source deals damage to Nested Ghoul, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield.
Flavor Text: “The chest cavity is cleared of useless meat. I know just what to do with the space.”
-Gyed, Vault Priest
Illus. Dave Kendall
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #48/155

(Joe) If you randomly end up with Prodigal Sorcerer and this guy, it might be cute. He does at least replace himself with a 2/2 most of the time.
(James) Yeah, the best way to look at it is, “he died and now I have a 2/2 to replace him,” which isn’t necessarily bad. There is something to be said about “two creatures for the cost of one.” I just think this is pretty expensive. An X/2 isn’t that impressive.

Name: Phyresis
Cost: 1{B}
Type: Enchantment – Aura
Rules Text: Enchanted creature has infect. (It deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Flavor Text: “Perfection is at hand. You have been freed of weakness and made compleat.”
-Sheoldred, Whispering One
Illus. Izzy
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #49/155

(Joe) Hmm… pretty damn boring. Once in a blue moon, it might just enchant a big flier that goes all the way in a few swings. Even then, it’s probably better off being a removal spell instead of this weirdness.

Name: Phyrexian Crusader
Cost: 1{B}{B}
Type: Creature – Zombie Knight
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: First strike
Protection from red and from white.
Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in form of -1/-1 counters and to players in form of poison counters.)
Illus. Eric Deschamps
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #50/155

(James) A very good infect card; not the best, but still pretty good.

Name: Phyrexian Rager
Cost: 2{B}
Type: Creature – Horror
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: When Phyrexian Rager enters the battlefield, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
Flavor Text: “I believe many worlds will bow to Phyrexia. Mirrodin is merely the first.”
-Sheoldred, Whispering One
Illus. Stephan Martiniere
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #51/155

(James) Sweet. Very well costed. I would pick these. Splashable, balanced and not an x/1.

Name: Phyrexian Vatmother
Cost: 2{B}{B}
Type: Creature – Horror
Pow/Tgh: 4/5
Rules Text: Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in form of -1/-1 counters and to players in form of poison counters.)
At the beginning of your upkeep, you get a poison counter.
Illus. Stephan Martiniere
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #52/155

(Joe) Interesting. I think 4 / 5 is about the right size to be worth the upkeep poison counter.
(James) Just pull this out if you’re playing against poison? So long as you’re bashing in with 4 poison, it’s probably a fast enough clock that it wouldn’t matter. Poison can be so explosive so I’d hesitate to keep this in against another poison deck.

sangromancer

Name: Sangromancer
Cost: 2{B}{B}
Type: Creature – Vampire Shaman
Pow/Tgh: 3/3
Rules Text: Flying
Whenever a creature an opponent controls is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may gain 3 life.
Whenever an opponent discards a card, you may gain 3 life.
Illus. Igor Kieryluk
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #53/155

(Joe) Wow. I love this guy in limited… you won’t gain much from discards, but you’ll probably get 6-9 life on average if this guy sticks around. Plus, he’s a flying Hill Giant.

Name: Scourge Servant
Cost: 4{B}
Type: Creature – Zombie
Pow/Tgh: 3/3
Rules Text: Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Flavor Text: “The union of the oil and necrogen has produced many pleasing reactions.”
-Sheoldred, Whispering One
Illus. Daarken
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #54/155

(James) Nice and big but damn expensive. 3/3 infect will be tough for non-infect to deal with so keep an eye out for this if you’re leaning toward B/x infect.

Name: Septic Rats
Cost: 1{B}{B}
Type: Creature – Rat
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Whenever Septic Rats attacks, if defending player is poisoned, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
Illus. Cos Koniotis
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #55/155

(James) Also very interesting and the same note about the 3/3 being difficult to deal with applies here as well.

Name: Spread the Sickness
Cost: 4{B}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Destroy target creature, then proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
Flavor Text: Life is ephemeral. Phyrexia is eternal.
Illus. Jaime Jones
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #56/155

(Joe) Yup, quality removal and proliferate in black. This will be backbone material to limited decks. Deck vertebrae.

Name: Virulent Wound
Cost: B
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature. When that creature is put into the graveyard from the battlefield this turn, its controller gets a poison counter.
Rarity: Common

(Joe) In limited, this surely gets some mileage, even solely as soft removal. If you’re playing infect anyway, so much the better. In constructed, I think this may be a sideboard option similar to the role played by peppersmoke in faeries decks. If you’re proliferating anyway, this thing can kill even 2/2 stuff like fauna shaman, all while accellerating the poison kill. It will probably prove useful in mirror matches as well. That is, if the deck has legs. I’m interested to see whether Infect will “have the goods” now that this infusion of cards joins the pool. I guess I tend to be hopeful about such things. I want the deck to succeed in some form. I think poisoning people is cool.

Red (19)

Name: Blisterstick Shaman
Cost: 2{R}
Type: Creature – Goblin Shaman
Pow/Tgh: 2/1
Rules Text: When Blisterstick Shaman enters the battlefield, it deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
Flavor Text: A productive warren requires a good deal of prodding.
Illus. Svetlin Velinov
Rarity: Common

(Joe) This is like flametongue kavu, jr. But junior is a bit of a fatty… a big mouth to feed, having half the power and toughness and doing half as much damage as daddy, but eating (costing) only 1/4th less. Boo-urns to that. But it’ll still be good. 2 power for 2R is still in the traditional gray ogre ballpark. This guy can hit players, too.

Name: Burn the Impure
Cost: 1R
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Burn the Impure deals 3 damage to target creature. If that creature has infect, Burn the Impure deals 3 damage to that creature’s controller.
Flavor Text: Flame doesn’t kneel to Phyrexia.
Illus. Nie Klein
Rarity: Common

(Joe) Neat, a little infect hoser. This is sure to be played in limited, as it’s highly decent creature removal. The only way this sees constructed play is if the Inkmoth Nexus and friends find a solid home and become widely popular. Will it happen? Fingers crossed! “If y’all believe in faeries, clap yo hands!” -Peter Pan (paraphrased)
(James) I like this.

Name: Concussive Bolt
Cost: 3RR
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Concussive Bolt deals 4 damage to target player.
Metalcraft – If you control three or more artifacts, creatures that player controls can’t block this turn.
Rarity: Common

(Joe) I think this is an awesome way to alpha strike. This metalcraft card has a very high disparity between the power levels of its enabled and disabled metalcraft states. But even when disabled, it’s still on par with a fireball to the dome, though to be fair, worse than ye olde lava axe. So while clearly you REALLY want this to be played with metalcraft, it does do more than nothing even when it’s not, which is the main requirement.

Name: Crush
Cost: {R}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Destroy target noncreature artifact.
Flavor Text: A golem’s hands know no tenderness.
Illus. Matt Stewart
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #61/155

(Joe) Sure to be a set staple across formats.
(James) Wow. This is a (sort of) red version of Deathmark at instant speed. Top pick removal for sure.

Name: Galvanoth
Cost: 3{R}{R}
Type: Creature – Beast
Pow/Tgh: 3/3
Rules Text: At the beginning of your upkeep, you may look at the top card of your library. If it’s an instant or sorcery card, you may cast it without paying its mana cost.
Flavor Text: It chews open Mirrodin’s husk and feeds on the outpouring of energy.
Illus. Kev Walker
Rarity: Rare

(James) Um, okay. I’m wondering if this will make it to constructed. Being able to cast spells for free off the top of a library is pretty powerful for burn strategies…For limited this seems too conditional. Meaning, I don’t think you’d be able to draft enough cards to enable this card to do anything spectacular.

Name: Gnathosaur
Cost: 4{R}{R}
Type: Creature – Lizard
Pow/Tgh: 5/4
Rules Text: Sacrifice an artifact: Gnathosaur gains trample until end of turn.
Flavor Text: Mirran creatures that could withstand the Phyrexian oil found an abundance of crunchy snacks.
Illus. Jason Chan
Rarity: Common

(James) Boy, I hope I don’t have to run this during the pre-release. 6 mana for a 5/4? Lame.

Name: Goblin Wardriver
Cost: {R}{R}
Type: Creature – Goblin Warrior
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: Battle cry (Whenever this creature attacks, each other attacking creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.)
Flavor Text: “A true warrior fights with whatever’s handy.”
-Qerk of the Secret Warren
Illus. Chippy
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #64/155

(Joe) I’m not sure I fully understand the ramifications of Battle Cry, because several of these leave me unimpressed. I think I may need to see this in action or something. Even when you have two or three of these guys out, you’re not really in that wildly-advantageous of a spot. Three of these could attack as 4/2s together. Perhaps there’s a critical mass that this bear-knight-guy can be a part of. He is still a bear, to his credit.
(James) That’s an interesting perspective. I think enabling an extra +1 to “all the other dudes” makes battlecry really strong. If you’re swinging with 3 dudes, that could easily be 6 damage to the dome. A pretty hefty clock for say…turn 4. I’m also perversely interested in using battlecry with some infect creatures. lol.

hellkite igniter

Name: Hellkite Igniter
Cost: 5{R}{R}
Type: Creature – Dragon
Pow/Tgh: 5/5
Rules Text: Flying, haste
{1}{R}:Hellkite Igniter gets +X/+0 until end of turn, where X is the number of artifacts you control.
Flavor Text: Its flight sets the sky itself on fire.
Illus. Jason Chan
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #65/155

(Joe) I am going to hate the punk who sits down across from me and whoops me with this thing. I can see it coming. Hoard-Smelter Dragon is superior. Still a bomb in limited.

Name: Hero of Oxid Ridge
Cost: 2{R}{R}
Type: Creature – Human Knight
Pow/Tgh: 4/2
Rules Text: Haste
Battle cry (Whenever this creature attacks, each other attacking creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.)
Whenever Hero of Oxid Ridge attacks, creatures with power 1 or less can’t block this turn.
Illus. Eric Deschamps
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #66/155

(Joe) I like how this guy nullifies walls, but I’m still not sure I grasp how this mechanic is going to blast off. He doesn’t hold a candle to Marton Stromgald, that’s for damn sure.

Name: Into the Core
Cost: 2{R}{R}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Exile two target artifacts.
Flavor Text: “They believe they are driving us back, but we’re leading them to their doom.”
-Kethek, furnace stoker
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #67/155

(Joe) Yow! I’ll buy ten shares of this stock. This will ruin some afternoons.
(James) I like the exile bit the most. Destroying is good but there’s a lot of ways of getting pesky artifacts back.

Name: Koth’s Courier
Cost: 1{R}{R}
Type: Creature – Human Rogue
Pow/Tgh: 2/3
Rules Text: Forestwalk
Flavor Text: Koth sent partisans into the Tangle to bring survivors to the safe haven of the tunnels beneath Kuldotha.
Illus. Wayne Reynolds
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #68/155

(Joe) Well, it’s a fine sideboard card for limited red decks.

Name: Kuldotha Flamefiend
Cost: 4{R}{R}
Type: Creature – Elemental
Pow/Tgh: 4/4
Rules Text: When Kuldotha Flamefiend enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice an artifact. If you do, Kuldotha Flamefiend deals 4 damage divided as you choose among any number of target creatures and/or players.
Illus. Raymond Swanland
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #69/155

(James) This is interesting. I’m not a huge fan of sacrificing my own stuff but I suppose if I can remove a creature or two of my opponents, it might be worth it. Something tells me that destroying my things to kill someone else’s does not work in my favor (i.e. there’s no real card advantage).

Name: Kuldotha Ringleader
Cost: 4{R}
Type: Creature – Giant Berserker
Pow/Tgh: 4/4
Rules Text: Battle cry (Whenever this creature attacks, each other attacking creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.)
Kuldotha Ringleader attacks each turn if able.
Flavor Text: Being surrounded by goblins is less objectionable when they’re fighting for you.
Illus. Greg Staples
Rarity: Common

(Joe) This guy survives long enough to make his Battle cry ability pretty annoying I guess.
(James) Staple battlecry for limited.

Name: Metallic Mastery
Cost: 2{R}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Untap target artifact and gain control of it until end of turn. That artifact gains haste until end of turn.
Rarity: Uncommon

(Joe) Nice. So we continue a theme with red that includes Mark of Mutiny and Act of Treason in Standard. Again, under the right conditions, this could definitely have a 15 minutes of fame in any given format. It just requires a fairly popular baseline of desirable targets in one’s metagame.

Name: Rally the Forces
Cost: 2{R}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Attacking creatures get +1/+0 and gain first strike until end of turn.
Flavor Text: “Drive them back! Make their underworld into their grave!”
-Koth of the Hammer
Illus. Steven Belledin
Rarity: Common

(Joe) I can dig it. I feel like a party pooper cause I’d rather pump my guys like this than use the Battle cry. I’ll be battle crying myself to sleep tonight.
(James) This is a good way to finish a game but why not use battlecry and this together? Now that’s tits. ;-)

red sun's zenith

Name: Red Sun’s Zenith
Cost: X{R}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Red Sun’s Zenith deals X damage to target creature or player. If a creature dealt damage this way would be put into a graveyard this turn, exile it instead. Shuffle Red Sun’s Zenith into its owner’s library.
Illus. Svetlin Velinov
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #71/155

(Joe) Yes, this zenith is insane! Such a bomb in limited. I’ll also hate the punk who burns me out with this. This will make the rounds in EDH for sure too. It’s just unfair in limited though. I’ve won tons of games in limited on the back of fireball. It’s often easy to splash into decks that nobody expects the late game blast from. I’m a zenith fan.
(James) Cool. Always nice to see mega-big burn spells.

Name: Ogre Resister
Cost: 2{R}{R}
Type: Creature – Ogre
Pow/Tgh: 4/3
Flavor Text: He didn’t have a word for “home”, but he knew it was something to be defended.
Illus. Efrem Palacios
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #72/155

(Joe) Such sad flavor text… I think old Rei Nakazawa must be going soft. This guy’s a good size for the price.

Name: Slagstorm
Cost: 1{R}{R}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Choose one – Slagstorm deals 3 damage to each creature; or Slagstorm deals 3 damage to each player.
Flavor Text: “As long as we have the will to fight, we are never without weapons.”
-Koth of the Hammer
Illus. Dan Scott
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #75/155

(Joe) Fabulous. Flamebreak, which this sort of reminds me of, still seems a bit better in my mind, but also costs a full three red. Given mana to play either, Slagstorm is only barely worse, since it will usually do less, and never do more, than its predecessor in the same situation. Both are solid cards. This is mass removal, and will win games in limited, and can do so in constructed as well. Firespout comes to mind there, too.
(James) Holy cow. Amazing card for limited and I can see this being playable in constructed (Burn, not RDW).

Name: Spiraling Duelist
Cost: 2{R}{R}
Type: Creature – Human Berserker
Pow/Tgh: 3/1
Rules Text: Metalcraft – Spiraling Duelist has double strike as long as you control three or more artifacts.
Flavor Text: “I never move the same way twice. These rotters can’t grasp chaos.”
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #76/155

(Joe) He seems fragile and conditional. I’m not sure the upside is entirely worth the fragility. Maybe in the right deck, with lots of removal to clear the way, but also a suitably high metalcrafting artifact count.
(James) The ‘duelist’ meme is typically pretty weak on the butt. The issue I have is that this doesn’t even have first strike without metalcraft. I feel like it’s just a rip-off.

Green (19)

Name: Blightwidow
Cost: 3{G}
Type: Creature – Spider
Pow/Tgh: 2/4
Rules Text: Infect, reach
Rarity: Common

(James) I like spiders and this one is pretty good. I’d pick it up even if i weren’t going Green.

Name: Creeping Corrosion
Cost: 2{G}{G}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Destroy all artifacts.
Flavor Text: “We will reveal the futility of their heresy by showing them how fragile their relics are.”
-Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
Illus. Ryan Pancoast
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #78/155

(Joe) A green udate to shatterstorm, and I must say I think it’s more at home in green than in red. Flavor disputes aside, the effect is obviously situationally insane in an artifact heavy set. Nice reset button, eh? Wish we’d had that back in our first journey to the plane of Mirrodin. Guess the corrosion hadn’t crept so far back then, eh?

Name: Fangren Marauder
Cost: 5{G}
Type: Creature – Beast
Pow/Tgh: 5/5
Rules Text: Whenever an artifact is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may gain 5 life.
Flavor Text: “The fangren fight without comfort of any kind. We can ask no less of ourselves.”
-Tilien, Sylvok Partisan
Illus. James Ryman
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #79/155

(James) Not the worst 6-drop I’ve seen previewed in this set…but not the best (by a long shot) either.

Name: Glissa’s Courier
Cost: 1{G}{G}
Type: Creature – Horror
Pow/Tgh: 2/3
Rules Text: Mountainwalk
Flavor Text: “So, the survivors from Oxid Ridge are on the move. Let them come and witness predation in its purest form.”
-Glissa
Illus. Dave Kendall
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #80/155

(James) Probably a great SB option and it’s common so you’ll potentially be able to get 2.

green sun's zenith

Name: Green Sun’s Zenith
Cost: X{G}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Search your library for a green creature card with converted mana cost X or less and put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. Shuffle Green Sun’s Zenith into its owner’s library.
Flavor Text: As the green sun crowned, Phyrexian prophecies glowed on the Tree of Tales.
Illus. David Rapoza
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #81/155

(Joe) This is the best zenith in my opinion. I can’t wait to use this in EDH. I will be shocked if it doesn’t impact Standard promptly. It may often ride the pine in limited, however.
(James) Oh, man. This is good. You are allowed to be really excited when you see this card in your packs.

Name: Lead the Stampede
Cost: 2{G}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Look at the top five cards of your library. You may reveal any number of creature cards from among them and put the revealed cards into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
Illus. Efrem Palacios
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #82/155

(Joe) Most often, I’d rather just play a creature on turn 3, instead of trying to dig. Maybe a fast deck uses this later on turn 5 or 6 to refill while still making a 2-drop.
(James) I like this as a one of for refilling mid-game. I’m a bit short on time so I won’t do the exact math on this but you should nab at least one creature with this card. Hmm. Is it worth getting one? The drawback is that you may blow through some removal.

Name: Melira’s Keepers
Cost: 4{G}
Type: Creature – Human Warrior
Pow/Tgh: 4/4
Rules Text: Melira’s Keepers can’t have counters placed on it.
Flavor Text: Her warriors are the last defense against the coming storm.
Illus. Eric Deschamps
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #83/155

(Joe) Interesting ability here. Obviously a solid blocker of infect creatures, eh?! 4/4 is fine for 5, as well. Seems decent.
(James) This is pretty strong but it sort of sucks to think that it might actually have to block. I think I would take this as a very late pick.

Name: Mirran Mettle
Cost: G
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
Metalcraft- If you control three or more artifacts, that creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn instead.
Rarity: Common

(James) Giant Growth sort of. Not bad. Late pick and 23rd card…

Name: Phyrexian Hydra
Cost: 3{G}{G}
Type: Creature – Hydra
Pow/Tgh: 7/7
Rules Text: Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
If damage would be dealt to Phyrexian Hydra, prevent that damage. Put a -1/-1 counter on Phyrexian Hydra for each 1 damage prevented this way.
Illus. Mike Bierek
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #85/155

(Joe) Wow, this guy’s a beating. Short lived, perhaps, but not without taking down some enemies, with any luck. And unopposed, it can seal the deal quickly. Again, I’m curious whether this finds a home in constructed, but I’m less hopeful about this one than some others, mostly because while this hydra starts big, it can only really go downhill from there.
(James) Oh, man. That is one nasty Hydra.

Name: Pistus Strike
Cost: 2{G}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Destroy target creature with flying. its controller gets a poison counter.
Flavor Text: “Even a nuisance such as the pistus fly has a purpose in our new world.”
-Glissa
Illus. Jaime Jones
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #86/155

(James) Better than Wing Puncture? Maybe; the poison counter bit is pretty conditional. I mean, what would I think if this didn’t have the poison counter part? I’d probably feel that it’s easily a great sideboard option and main decking one probably isn’t that bad of an idea.

Name: Plaguemaw Beast
Cost: 3GG
Type: Creature – Beast
Pow/Tgh: 4/3
Rules Text: {T}, Sacrifice a creature: Proliferate.
Flavor Text: Phyrexia’s spiral of consumption grows ever wider and darker.
Illus. Whit Brachna
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #87/155

(James) I don’t see the proliferate being worth it. You have to be winning with that ability to have it make sense. “pass it to the left” (or right).

praetor's counsel

Name: Praetor’s Counsel
Cost: 5{G}{G}{G}
Type: Sorcery
Rules Text: Return all cards from your graveyard to your hand. Exile Praetor’s Counsel. You have no maximum hand size for the rest of the game.
Flavor Text: As the Phyrexian contagion eroded Karn’s body, the praetors whispered psalms to corrupt his mind.
Illus. Daarken
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #88/155

(James) lol. This is too expensive for limited and I’m not convinced it has legs for constructed.
(Joe) EDH will L-O-V-E this crazy thing though. Azusa can play this thing super quick, though it requires running another non permanent. I think this is worth it though, since it’s like the ultimate regrowth or restock, so if you’re not inclined, you can at least market the card this way to your EDH buddies when it comes time for trading.

Name: Quilled Slagwurm
Cost: 4GGG
Type: Creature – Wurm
Pow/Tgh: 8/8
Rarity: Uncommon

(Joe) Seven is a lot of mana, and 8 is a lot of both power and toughness. He’s big and dumb, and that’s all. Play him with acceleration if you decide to play him, that’s my advice.

Name: Rot Wolf
Cost: 2{G}
Type: Creature – Wolf
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Whenever a creature dealt damage by Rot Wolf this turn is put into a graveyard, you may draw a card.
Illus. Nils Hamm
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #90/155

(James) This card will be really good if you can pick up a good equipment. Bladed Pinion and (believe it or not) Accorders Shield come to mind.

Name: Tangle Mantis
Cost: 2{G}{G}
Type: Creature – Insect
Pow/Tgh: 3/4
Rules Text: Trample
Rarity: Common

(Joe) I like this common trampler. A neat effect for a hill giant. This guy loves some buffs, or to wear some of the ubiquitous equipment in the set.

Name: Thrun, the Last Troll
Cost: 2{G}{G}
Type: Legendary Creature – Troll Shaman
Pow/Tgh: 4/4
Rules Text: Thrun, the Last Troll can’t be countered.
Thrun can’t be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.
{1}{G}: Regenerate Thrun.
Flavor Text: His crime was silence, and now he suffers it eternally.
Illus. Jason Chan
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #92/155

(Joe) Being uncounterable rocks. The ascetic troll thing rocks. Regeneration, if all else fails, rocks. 4/4 is a lot for 4 mana. And plus, he’s a new general, and a damn fine one for use as an equipment platform in “voltron” style general beatdown. I get that he rocks, but I’m not sure he justifies the initial price leaps I’ve seen. I hope I can get a copy on the cheap (like, you know, in my sealed pool at the pre-release, please?).

Name: Unnatural Predation
Cost: {G}
Type: Instant
Rules Text: Target creature gets +1/+1 and gains trample until end of turn.
Flavor Text: “Domination by the strongest – that is all that matters in the Tangle now.”
-Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
Illus. Shelly Wan
Rarity: Common

(James) The conditional giant growth is better.

Name: Viridian Corrupter
Cost: 1{G}{G}
Type: Creature – Elf Shaman
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
When Viridian Corrupter enters the battlefield, destroy target artifact.
Illus. Matt Cavotta
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #94/155

(James) Pretty cool. Not a bad uncommon to pick up.

Name: Viridian Emissary
Cost: 1{G}
Type: Creature – Elf Scout
Pow/Tgh: 2/1
Rules Text: When Viridian Emissary is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may search your library for a basic land card and put that card onto the battlefield tapped. If you do, shuffle your library.
Illus. Matt Stewart
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #95/155

(James) Solid accel card that will clearly help with color fixing.

Multicolor (2)

glissa, the traitor

Name: Glissa, the Traitor
Cost: {B}{G}{G}
Type: Legendary Creature – Zombie Elf
Pow/Tgh: 3/3
Rules Text: First strike, deathtouch
Whenever a creature an opponent controls is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may return target artifact card from your graveyard to your hand.
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #96/155

(Joe) Another new general, I’m not sure precisely how best to abuse her peculiar last ability. She’s fine in battle, though, and can come down somewhat quickly. Apparently she uses the P90X workout system, cause check out those abs.

Name: Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
Cost: 2{U}{B}
Type: Planeswalker – Tezzeret
Pow/Tgh: 3
Rules Text: +1: Look at the top five cards of your library. You may reveal an artifact card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.
-1: Target artifact becomes a 5/5 artifact creature.
-4: Target player loses X life and you gain X life, where X is twice the number of artifacts you control.
Illus. Aleksi Briclot
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #97/155

(Joe) Don’t be fooled, the -1 is not “until end of turn”. That nihil spellbomb or whatever is a 5/5 for good. TezzAoB seems okay to me… it’s interesting to see him with a draw ability in place of the tutoring of yore.
(James) I think I should have pre-purchased these on Ebay. I think I might go do that now…

Artifact (46)

Name: Bladed Sentinel
Cost: 4
Type: Artifact Creature – Construct
Pow/Tgh: 2/4
Rules Text: {W}: Bladed Sentinel gains vigilance until end of turn.
Flavor Text: The Mirran partisans created hundreds of patrol sentinels to divert Phyrexian assaults from the Tangle.
Illus. Tomasz Jedruszek
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #98/155

(Joe) I like this cycle a bit. I like to wonder whether someone would ever be desperate enough for the body to run these guys off color and not bother to splash at all.
(James) Seems like a good roleplayer for W/x decks. Not the best costed card but there are a lot worse!

blightsteel colossus

Name: Blightsteel Colossus
Cost: 12
Type: Artifact Creature – Golem
Pow/Tgh: 11/11
Rules Text: Trample, infect
Blightsteel Colossus is indestructible.
If Blightsteel Colossus would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, reveal Blightsteel Colossus and shuffle it into its owner’s library instead.
Illus. Chris Rahn
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #99/155

(Joe) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iZOmjLrFMs] Daaaaaamn! Obviously this is the infect version of nostalgic fan favorite of his day Darksteel Colossus. This guy is every bit as ridiculous, if not moreso. The one mana extra buys us infect, which speeds the kill up a turn, making the overall expected turn of death roughly the same in hard-cast scenarios. But given that we normally cheated darksteel colossus into play, I think infect represents a real upgrade that’s effectively at no additional cost compared to the original. In EDH, of course, this mostly just means we can now run two similarly bonkers gargantua, and that tooth and nail can now go find the brothers steel. Color me dork-buzzed about this card. Way stoked.
(james) There’s been a lot of contention with this card on Twitter. Do a search for #BSD and you’ll see quite a few hate tweets directed at Maro. Ooops. I think people find this a bit too broken. (One kill infect swing). It is a shame that a card that hits play with no answer in hand will essentially end the game. And of course it’s cheated into play…

Name: Bonehoard
Cost: 4
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, put a 0/0 black Germ creature token onto the battlefield, then attach this to it.)
Equipped creature gets +X/+X, where X is the number of creature cards in all graveyards.
Equip {2}
Illus. Chippy
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #100/155

(Joe) This name makes me think, for some reason, of a lesbian dildo stash… the bonehoard! This Living Weapon Lhurgoyf looks pretty damn sexy though. Careful not to cast a dead living weapon, kids!
(James) Maybe this goes into a dredge deck? I don’t think this is a very good card for limited but there are some constructed options. I would be disappointed to open this in a draft.

Name: Brass Squire
Cost: 3
Type: Creature – Myr
Pow/Tgh: 1/3
Rules Text: {T}: Attach target Equipment you control to target creature you control.
Flavor Text: “I admire it. Few pull off pluck and subservience at the same time.”
-Ezuri, renegade leader
Illus. Ryan Pancoast
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #101/155

(Joe) Well, the argentum armor decks showed that this effect can actually have a place at the table. A 1 / 3 is a pretty typical run of the mill defensive creature, so he’s not entirely useless when you don’t even have equipment, or costly equip costs.
(James) Seems pretty viable. As Joe pointed out, Argentum Armor loves this card. Stoneforge Mystic + Argentum Armour + Brass Myr?

Name: Copper Carapace
Cost: 1
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and can’t block.
Equip {3}
Flavor Text: “We will fight as they do: our flesh protected behind metal.”
-Tae Aquil, Viridian Weaponsmith
Illus. Franz Wohwinkel
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #102/155

(Joe) I think this could really power out some evasive creature strategies, wherein you typically don’t intend to block with your evasive attackers. This also fits well into a “bear” heavy curve, letting you drop the carapace turn 1, a leonin skyhunter turn 2, and then equip and swing for 4 flying from turn 3 onward.
(James) Great for a skies/evasion based deck. I don’t like the tension between the casting cost and the equip cost. There is essentially a draw-back yet I have to pay 3 to equip. Strider Harness is better at 1 to cast and 1 to equip even though it’s “only” a +1/+1 and haste.

Name: Core Prowler
Cost: 4
Type: Artifact Creature – Horror
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
When Core Prowler is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, proliferate. (You choose any number of permanents and/or players with counters on them, then give each another counter of a kind already there.)
Illus. Dave Allsop
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #103/155

(Joe) I love this card in the proliferate style poison deck. It’s an optimal card to sacrifice to a throne of geth. I’m skeptical of whether this would make the cut in a constructed build, but in limited you might nab those last few poison counters with these sorts of shenanigans.

Name: Darksteel Plate
Cost: 3
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: Darksteel Plate is indestructible.
Equipped creature is indestructible.
Equip {2}
Rarity: Rare

(Joe) I love this card, and can’t wait to add it to a number of EDH decks. That said, I’m not sure it has much likelihood of seeing standard play. It’s a fun card, but not likely a devastating one.
(James) Everyone is screaming about EDH viability… I’m not so hot on it (and I don’t play much EDH). Maybe I’m just being overly conservative. 5 mana to make one of my creatures indestructible? Just not sure about that… I really like this on Goblin Gaveleer though. :)

Name: Decimator Web
Cost: 4
Type: Artifact
Rules Text: {4}, {T}: Target opponent loses 2 life, gets a poison counter, then puts the top six cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
Flavor Text: Mycosynth grew unfettered beneath the black lacuna, metastasizing into a matrix of noxious energy.
Illus. Daniel Ljunggren
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #105/155

(Joe) This can potentially make your day (or not!) in limited, but it’s probably destined for the dollar bin thereafter. In fact, “The Decimator Web” might make a cool alias for the old dollar bin itself. “By all means, browse through out extensive decimator web.”
(James) I think this is a flavorful card and that’s it. The etymology of ‘decimate’ is 1/10th but the common, contemporary use is “destroy.” And this does not destroy. It’s slow and lame imo. Waste of paper and a slot in Besieged.

Name: Dross Ripper
Cost: 4
Type: Artifact Creature – Hound
Pow/Tgh: 3/3
Rules Text: {2}{B}: Dross Ripper gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
Flavor Text: “Such a creation serves no purpose other than exterminating every one of us.”
-Sadra Alic, Neurok Strategist
Illus. David Rapoza
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #106/155

(Joe) Technically this is a hill giant, so he should be passable, but this just makes me feel like I’m working too hard to get a 4/4.
(James) Borderline card. Maybe good as the 15th creature.

Name: Flayer Husk
Cost: 1
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, put a 0/0 black Germ creature token onto the battlefield, then attach this to it.)
Equipped creature gets +1/+1.
Equip {2}
Illus. Igor Kieryluk
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #107/155

(Joe) Love it. Can’t wait to try it out. I think this will prove to be quite neato indeed. Living weapon is awesome: it’s like the weapon is ensouled, but only has the power and toughness it would otherwise grant its wielder, literally like a weapon come to life. And upon its death, you still have the equipment, so what the hell, right?!
(James) Much better than Bonehoard imo. It’s a viable turn 1 drop and a cheap equip that you don’t hate doing on turn three+ (presumably when your 1/1 is dead).

Name: Gust Skimmer
Cost: 2
Type: Artifact Creature – Insect
Pow/Tgh: 2/1
Rules Text: {U}: Gust Skimmer gains flying until end of turn.
Flavor Text: Phyrexian smog clouds choked the skies, threatening creatures who couldn’t comprehend the menace below.
Illus. Dan Scott
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #108/155

(Joe) On the one hand it’s a bad bear that’s able to go in any deck, and on the other hand it can jump and sometimes that will be the tempo boost that won the game. This one has a very good chance to play a role or two in limited.
(James) I feel like this is worth the cost and really helps with the W/U skies decks that have problems matching hits in the early game.

Name: Hexplate Golem
Cost: 7
Type: Artifact Creature – Golem
Pow/Tgh: 5/7
Flavor Text: “Use everything. Iron, rust, scrap…even the ground must join our cause.”
-Ezuri, renegade leader
Illus. Matt Cavotta
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #109/155

(Joe) Vanilla 5/7 for 7. I know it’ll be played here and there. I don’t get thrilled by this card.

Name: Ichor Wellspring
Cost: 2
Type: Artifact
Rules Text: When Ichor Wellspring enters the battlefield or is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, draw a card.
Flavor Text: “Our glorious infection has taken hold.”
-Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Illus. Steven Belledin
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #110/155

(Joe) This definitely has ‘engine’ written all over it, and will be the cause of many a magic card database search I reckon.
(James) Seems pretty well costed. There are some nice sac outlets, so it’s plausible to get the 2 cards. Pay 2, cantrip and have an artifact sitting there ready to power a metalcraft…not a bad option…

Name: Knowledge Pool
Cost: 6
Type: Artifact
Rules Text: Imprint – When Knowledge Pool enters the battlefield, each player exiles the top three cards of his or her library.
Whenever a player casts a spell from his or her hand, that player exiles it. If the player does, he or she may cast another nonland card exiled with Knowledge Pool without paying that card’s mana cost.
Illus. Mike Bierek
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #111/155

(Joe) This is pretty interesting, though it can easily set you up to simply lose 6 mana and mill yourself for 3 when they shatter this thing. However, when it works out, you should get lucky only about half the time, and the other half you’ll actually be disrupting yourself. I mean, it works great when you imprint Blightsteel colossus and then play ponder, but when you imprint three cheap spells, it’s more of a bummer, since you won’t get to cheat much, if at all. In the end, this is too conditional for my liking, and I’d probably prefer to just play a big 6-drop rather than roll the dice with this card. In constructed, where you can run 4x preordain, or in EDH with senseis divining top, you have a much easier time ensuring the cheats work out.
(James) I agree; this is pretty interesting. Maybe there’s room for some shenanigans in constructed. But that really could just be wishful thinking.

Name: Lumengrid Gargoyle
Cost: 6
Type: Artifact Creature – Gargoyle
Pow/Tgh: 4/4
Rules Text: Flying
Flavor Text: “Anything that watches without sleep and fights without fear is a valuable asset against the Phyrexians.”
-Kara Vrist, Neurok Agent
Illus. Randis Albion
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #112/155

(Joe) Well, this is what it is: a 4/4 flying that any deck can play. This makes it very decent in limited, and unlikely to get any constructed play whatsoever.
(James) Very solid limited pick but like Joe said, “That is.”

Name: Mirrorworks
Cost: 5
Type: Artifact
Rules Text: Whenever another nontoken artifact enters the battlefield under your control, you may pay {2}. If you do, put a token that’s a copy of that artifact onto the battlefield.
Flavor Text: The faces of Geth’s corpse-dredgers are disturbingly similar.
Illus. John Avon
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #114/155

(Joe) This seems rather nutty, and will probably enable some manner of insane infinite combo in some constructed format or other. For limited, the value of this card is highly dependent upon having something useful to copy.
(James) I think this is near the power level of Mimic Vat, though not quite as good. The ability to put a copy of every artifact that enters the battlefield for 2 mana is pretty insane. I also like that it doesn’t require an imprint (and so there’s no 2-for-1). Should be something constructed-side that comes from this card.

Name: Magnetic Mine
Cost: 4
Type: Artifact
Rules Text: Whenever another artifact is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, Magnetic Mine deals 2 damage to that artifact’s controller.
Illus. David Rapoza
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #115/155

(Joe) Should be bonkers alongside Slagstorm and/or Creeping Corrosion. Otherwise it seems rather conditional, and even a bit weak when conditions are right. It’s got the stink of megrim on it in that regard.
(James) Weird. Could be pretty effective if you’re light on artifacts. Pairs really well with Slice in Twain and Shatter (among others) but it is fairly conditional. Not a top-pick imo, nor constructed worthy…though mainly because shatterstorm isn’t a reprint for type 2…well, and that so far as I’m aware there’s no “clearly overwhelming artifact deck” right now.

Name: Mortarpod
Cost: 2
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, put a 0/0 black Germ creature token onto the battlefield, then attach this to it.)
Equipped creature gets +0/+1 and has “Sacrifice this creature: This creature deals 1 damage to target creature or player.”
Equip {2}
Illus. Eric Deschamps
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #115/155

(Joe) This is a useful card that might seem like a bad deal at first. This guy will chump block, will often nuke some annoying early game play, and will provide added value throughout the game. It’s slow incidental “removal” but it’s still reusable. I’m Joe Klesert, and I approve this message.
(James) Thumbs up as a role player in limited; just don’t build your deck around it. ;-)

Name: Myr Sire
Cost: 2
Type: Artifact Creature – Myr
Pow/Tgh: 1/1
Rules Text: When Myr Sire is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, put a 1/1 colorless Myr artifact creature token onto the battlefield.
Flavor Text: For the Phyrexians, death is not an end, nor a one-time occurrence.
Illus. Jaime Jones
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #116/155

(Joe) Again with the engine pieces. This is destined to be used as sacrifice bait, particularly of the recursive sort.

Myr Turbine

Name: Myr Turbine
Cost: 5
Type: Artifact
Rules Text: {T}: Put a 1/1 colorless Myr artifact creature token onto the battlefield.
{T}, Tap five untapped Myr you control: Search your library for a Myr card and put that card onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.
Illus. Randis Albion
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #117/155

(Joe) I like it. Sure, you will sometimes pay 5, get a 1/1, and lose the turbine to removal. But other times, a constant stream of 1/1s, and the eventual tutor effect, will represent quality gains in card advantage and board position. I love that no further mana is required to pump out the myr.

(Joe) Wait a second… where have I seen this artwork before? WTF?
Myr Matrix
(Joe) I guess those myr have a consistent sense of aesthetics and building design.

Name: Myr Welder
Cost: 3
Type: Artifact Creature – Myr
Pow/Tgh: 1/4
Rules Text: Imprint – {T}: Exile target artifact card from a graveyard.
Myr Welder has all activated abilities of all cards exiled with it.
Flavor Text: Memnarch designed some myr to follow the levelers and reaffix lost parts. Mirran partisans put that instinct to good use.
Illus. Austin Hsu
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #118/155

(Joe) So this guy can provide a slower version of the Necrotic Ooze, Triskelion, Phyrexian Devourer combo, replacing the ooze. However, I think there will likely be other applications that will push the welder into some constructed decks. This guy’s so random, though, that it will prove difficult to effectively abuse him in limited. Still, there are bound to be a bunch of really advantageous combos with this guy, even in Scars block limited.

Name: Peace Strider
Cost: 4
Type: Artifact Creature – Construct
Pow/Tgh: 3/3
Rules Text: When Peace Strider enters the battlefield, you gain 3 life.
Flavor Text: “The Vanished must have sent it from beyond to aid us in this struggle.” -Kessla, Sylvok shaman
Illus. Igor Kieryluk
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #119/155

(Joe) Yawn… almost fell asleep there, reading that one. This is lame, boring, uninspired, etc. Still, it’s a hill giant for any deck, so it’ll see limited play, but not constructed play.
(James) Not sure this is main deck material. Could be if you’re light on creatures…

Name: Phyrexian Digester
Cost: 3
Type: Artifact Creature – Construct
Pow/Tgh: 2/1
Rules Text: Infect
Rarity: Common

(Joe) Incredibly boring, but like the card before, since this is a colorless pseudo-gray ogre, and it’s capable of instilling two -1/-1 counters by blocking, it will still play a part in limited decks. Infect often needs a critical mass, and at some point in that curve, quantity trumps quality. But this is a pretty simple card… nothing nuanced really.
(James) It’s better than Blackcleave Goblin…which isn’t saying much I guess. :p

Name: Phyrexian Juggernaut
Cost: 6
Type: Artifact Creature – Juggernaut
Pow/Tgh: 5/5
Rules Text: Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)
Phyrexian Juggernaut attacks each turn if able.
Flavor Text: Where nature impedes, Phyrexians overcome.
Illus. Kev Walker
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #121/155

(Joe) Seems rather fantastic. Bordering on bomb territory. This is big enough that it can be your only infect creature, and you’ll still often poison opponents out. Two full hits is all it takes, so they’ll throw a string of chumps in its path. Therefore, he essentially becomes some kind of recurring removal spell. “Each turn, during your combat step, your opponent sacrifices a creature. If they miss two such payments, they lose.” Something like that. Not bad for an uncommon colorless card.
(James) Whoa. Watch out. I love how the juggernauts “have to attack”…like that’s some kind of drawback on a 5/5 infect! This will be a very difficult infect card to deal with, and it’s an uncommon so more than one could float in a draft. Ouch.

phyrexian revoker

Name: Phyrexian Revoker
Cost: 2
Type: Artifact Creature – Horror
Pow/Tgh: 2/1
Rules Text: As Phyrexian Revoker enters the battlefield, name a nonland card.
Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can’t be activated.
Flavor Text: Basic senses like sight and taste are reserved for those in power.
Illus. Kev Walker
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #122/155

(Joe) I’m very stoked about this card. It’s one of the cards I’m most looking forward to, having always loved pithing needle and meddling mage and the like. This guy murders all the fancy schmancy planeswalkers, though perhaps not as permanently as vampire hexmage manages. I just love this bear, though. And it can stop mana abilities. Very cool. I’m guessing it makes a splash in constructed formats all over, and ends up being a legacy roleplayer. And of course, someone will put a deck together with all the “name a card” spells… the ones I’ve mentioned along with maybe cabal therapy and friends? Should be fun to try.
(James) Pithing Needle that attacks! Sweet.

Name: Pierce Strider
Cost: 4
Type: Artifact Creature – Construct
Pow/Tgh: 3/3
Rules Text: When Pierce Strider enters the battlefield, target opponent loses 3 life.
Flavor Text: “Pain isn’t a negative stimulus. Pain is a sign of your imperfection.” – Sheoldred, Whispering One
Illus. Igor Kieryluk
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #123/155

(Joe) Just like his peaceful cousin, this is a good-enough card, but not exactly jaw-dropping.
(James) I actually think this is twice as good as the peace strider version because the life totals are going in the right direction–opponent losing life and all…It’s amazing how I think this is twice as good as the lifegain.

Name: Piston Sledge
Cost: 3
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: When Piston Sledge enters the battlefield, attach it to target creature you control.
Equipped creature gets +3/+1.
Equip – Sacrifice an artifact.
Flavor Text: Only the goblins could make a simple machine so complex.
Illus. Pete Venters
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #124/155

(Joe) Keep this card in mind as a potential sacrificial outlet. 3 mana isn’t terribly much for the large buff this grants. The equip cost is the tradeoff, but again, in some cases it will prove to be a hidden benefit, and in others, you’ll usually just try to get the most value out of the first “freebie” attachment.
(James) Whoa, nelly. Hot stuff. No equip cost when you initially play it makes this extremely compelling. Plays very nicely with Ichor Wellspring–and goes up in value if you can pull one of these equipments.

Name: Plague Myr
Cost: 2
Type: Artifact Creature – Myr
Pow/Tgh: 1/1
Rules Text: Infect
{T}: Add {1} to your mana pool.
Rarity: Common

(Joe) I like this quite a bit better than the Phyrexian Digester above (the 2/1 for 3). While digester will normally be intended to ride the bench while better creatures do battle, and will only join in the reindeer games if there aren’t enough quality men to do the job, this guy’s a mana myr for every deck! I think this will often get played by non-infect decks, and in such cases it will have the nice side benefit of being a better-than-average chump blocker. Solid.
(James) Agreed. This is a top-quality mana myr pick for most decks, non-infect included.

Name: Psychosis Crawler
Cost: 5
Type: Artifact Creature – Horror
Pow/Tgh: */*
Rules Text: Psychosis Crawler’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in your hand.
Whenever you draw a card, each opponent loses 1 life.
Illus. Stephan Martiniere
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #126/155

(Joe) This isn’t terrible… kind of a reverse underworld dreams on a stick… Built-in empyrial armor is pretty dope too. Clearly strong in limited. I’m not convinced it has a future in constructed though… it’s not very resilient to the now-ubiquitous artifact removal and doesn’t do enough work fast enough to matter even when he sticks around a while.

Name: Rusted Slasher
Cost: 4
Type: Artifact Creature – Horror
Pow/Tgh: 4/1
Rules Text: Sacrifice an artifact: Regenerate Rusted Slasher.
Flavor Text: “It’s a beautiful vision. Discarded debris is reborn as a single entity.”
-Urabrask the Hidden
Illus. Adrian Smith
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #126/155

(Joe) No, thanks. Maybe if I need sacrifice outlets.

Name: Razorfield Rhino
Cost: 6
Type: Artifact Creature – Rhino
Pow/Tgh: 4/4
Rules Text: Metalcraft – Razorfield Rhino gets +2/+2 as long as you control three or more artifacts.
Flavor Text: Adapted to tread on razorgrass, the rhino proved adept at treading on Phyrexians as well.
Illus. Kekai Kotaki
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #127/155

(Joe) Well, like a lot of metalcraft cards, this is barely mediocre when you don’t have metalcraft, and barely above average when you do. So, to the extent that your deck is likely to be metalcraft enabled, this improves.

Name: Shimmer Myr
Cost: 3
Type: Creature – Myr
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: Flash
You may cast artifact cards as though they had flash.
Flavor Text: It evades Phyrexians by hiding in the spaces between seconds.
Illus. Jim Schirmer and Johannes Voss
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #129/155

(Joe) I’m enamoured with this as well. I think this will be very strong, enabling the artifact decks that emerge to do sneak attacks and dodge some removal. The era of the EOT artifact flurry has dawned. Or at least, here’s hoping so!

Name: Shriekhorn
Cost: 1
Type: Artifact
Rules Text: Shriekhorn enters the battlefield with three charge counters on it.
{T}, Remove a charge counter from Shriekhorn: Target player puts the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
Illus. Erica Yang
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #130/155

(Joe) Hmm… kind of a temporary, but faster, millstone. Probably good enough to enable some deck exhaustion strategies, that is, once Rise of the Eldrazi rotates out. Proliferate, and the many glint hawks of the world will also help prolong this card’s effectiveness.

Name: Signal Pest
Cost: 1
Type: Artifact Creature – Pest
Pow/Tgh: 0/1
Rules Text: Battle cry (Whenever this creature attacks, each other attacking creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.)
Signal Pest can’t be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.
Illus. Mark Zug
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #131/155

(Joe) Personally, I don’t think battle cry has enough potential that this little guy ever sees the light of day, but I could be wrong. The math never seems that impressive to me… battle cry’s buff is a ‘far cry’ from, say plated geopede even in the best scenario.

silverskin armor

Name: Silverskin Armor
Cost: 2
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and is an artifact in addition to its other types.
Equip {2}
Flavor Text: Partisan spies warned that no armor would protect the body against Phyrexian infection. Neurok strategists took that as a challenge.
Illus. Therese Nielsen
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #132/155

(Joe) If you haven’t seen the artwork for this piece yet, check it out on Nielsen’s blog, and when your pavlovian drool subsides, come back to us. Not bad, eh? The buff is not insignificant in limited, making this a likely player. Also, this marginally helps turn metalcraft on. Very cool.

Name: Skinwing
Cost: 4
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, put a 0/0 black Germ creature token onto the battlefield, then attach this to it.)
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has flying.
Equip {6}
Illus. Igor Kieryluk
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #133/155

(Joe) A 4-drop 2/2 flying is pretty standard fare for limited. It sees play, and being colorless doubly ensures that. 6 seems like a lot to pay to re-equip, but remember that that’s just gravy above and beyond the 4-drop 2/2 flying you already got the benefit of.

Name: Sphere of the Suns
Cost: 2
Type: Artifact
Rules Text: Sphere of the Suns enters the battlefield tapped and with three charge counters on it.
{T}, Remove a charge counter from Sphere of the Suns: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
Illus. Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #134/155

(Joe) Solid. A colorless accellerator and mana fixer, this is 100% certain to see limited play.

Name: Spin Engine
Cost: 3
Type: Artifact Creature – Construct
Pow/Tgh: 3/1
Rules Text: {R}: Target creature can’t block Spin Engine this turn.
Flavor Text: “It will be battle-ready before our strike at Oxid Ridge, and it will guarantee our victory.”
-Ketuc of the Helm
Illus. Pete Venters
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #135/155

(Joe) I like this for aggro decks. I’ve grown to like panic effects in certain archetypes.

Name: Spine of Ish Sah
Cost: 7
Type: Artifact
Rules Text: When Spine of Ish Sah enters the battlefield, destroy target permanent.
When Spine of Ish Sah is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return Spine of Ish Sah to its owner’s hand.
Illus. Daniel Ljunggren
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #136/155

(Joe) Very cool. Very innovative card design. Unorthodox and fairly unprecedented. This has awesome interactions in older formats and EDH. Goblin welder anyone? But yeah, in limited, try to have a way to re-use this, otherwise its a bad desert twister that’s still cool for decks that have no business using this kind of effect.

Name: Strandwalker
Cost: 5
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: Living weapon (When this Equipment enters the battlefield, put a 0/0 black Germ creature token onto the battlefield, then attach this to it.)
Equipped creature gets +2/+4 and has reach.
Equip 4
Rarity: Uncommon

(Joe) A 2/4 reach living weapon. Hmm. Yeah, I think for 5, many limited decks will run this.

Name: Sword of Feast and Famine
Cost: 3
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from black and from green.
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card and you untap all lands you control.
Equip {2}
Illus. Chrisn Rahn
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #138/155

(Joe) I like this cycle, but I think Fire and Ice remains the undisputed king. The effects here do jive with the colors and the name. I’m not a huge fan of the mythic rarity, and I regret that the rest of these swords will all be mythics, seemingly.

Name: Tangle Hulk
Cost: 5
Type: Artifact Creature – Beast
Pow/Tgh: 5/3
Rules Text: {2}{G}: Regenerate Tangle Hulk.
Flavor Text: “A true Phyrexian predator. It will never know death, just as nature intended.”
-Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
Illus. Mark Zug
Rarity: Common

(Joe) Not bad, but won’t change many lives.

Name: Thopter Assembly
Cost: 6
Type: Artifact Creature – Thopter
Pow/Tgh: 5/5
Rules Text: Flying
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control no Thopters other than Thopter Assembly, return Thopter Assembly to its owner’s hand and put five 1/1 colorless Thopter artifact creature tokens with flying onto the battlefield.
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #140/155

(Joe) This pre-release card features artwork by Volkan Baga which is very unorthodox for his typical style and subject matter. An odd looking contraption, with an equally awkward board presence. You cast this thing, and unless you’re supporting it with other thopters, then as soon as it loses summoning sickness it’s bounced to your hand and replaced by five 1/1 tokens which all have summoning sickness. Now… this is definitely some decent card advantage going on, but it’s quite slow and cumbersome. If this is your only thopter, you must wait two full turns to finally attack with this card.

titan forge

Name: Titan Forge
Cost: 3
Type: Artifact
Rules Text: {3},{T}: Put a charge counter on Titan Forge.
{T}, Remove three charge counters from Titan Forge: Put a 9/9 colorless Golem artifact creature token onto the battlefield.
Illus. Svetlin Velinov
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #141/155

(Joe) I like to collect the tokens from each set. I know it’s kind of dorky, I don’t care. So I look forward to this 9/9 token. As a strategy, however, I must advise against getting aroused by this siren’s call. How easy is it to kill your opponent’s Titan Forge EOT when he’s already gone through the pains of putting three counters on, and happily passes the turn? All too easy.

training drone

Name: Training Drone
Cost: 3
Type: Artifact Creature – Drone
Pow/Tgh: 4/4
Rules Text: Training Drone can’t attack or block unless it’s equipped.
Rarity: Uncommon

(Joe) I don’t know what to make of this guy… it’s definitely an interesting ability. Obviously you’d need to have a very high equipment count to consider running him, but with all the living weapon equipments, perhaps that’s achievable. It remains to be seen. If you can achieve a critical mass, then a 4/4 for 3 is certainly a bargain price.

Name: Viridian Claw
Cost: 2
Type: Artifact – Equipment
Rules Text: Equipped creature gets +1/+0 and has first strike.
Equip {1}
Flavor Text: “Phyrexians can’t corrupt what they can’t get close enough to touch.”
Illus. Marc Simonetti
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #143/155

(Joe) This small seeming effect can be quite good in limited.

Scars of Mirrodin – Impact on Standard (Type 2)

Scars of Mirrodin.  Looming large over the horizon, Wizards’ newest expansion is set to hit the stores on October 1st.  With the release of Scars of Mirrodin new strategies will emerge and once powerful decks will disappear to the realm of Extended.  With all of the available spoilers it is time to speculate on what changes will occur to the Standard (type 2) meta-game.  This shift will be important with the 2010′s State and Provincial Championships on October 9th.  We will see if we can figure out which cards will make the biggest impact in the post Shards of Alara/M10 tournament world.  It is a time of new beginnings and a time to revisit places in our past.  Thinking about our past, I would like to take one moment to say goodbye to all of our Shards of Alara friends:

So long, Jund!

Time to hang up our Putrid Leechs and Sprouting Thrinaxs.  No deck was more dominant in the Shards meta-game than this B/G/R build.  High powered threats and spectacular removal made Jund the most feared and prepared against deck since the Faeries of Lorwyn.  The biggest loss?

Bloodbraid Elf

Forget Maelstrom Pulse and Broodmate Dragon, this Elf provided amazing card advantage to steal games all by herself. Without Bloodbraid, Jund would not have been remotely viable. This Elf Berserker found a home in every deck that could support her colors. Easily the best uncommon in the set. Now for a few more farewells:

It’s been fun, but now we need to move on. See you in Extended!

Out of the dozens of cards that have been spoiled already, I have picked up on a few that seem like they will make an impact on the Standard Meta currently dominated by U/W Control, FauNaya, Valakut-Ramp and Mythic Conscription.

U/W Control
Come rotation on October first U/W Control will loose a few pieces, most notably Elspeth Knight-Errant. It will be interesting to see if Elspeth Tirel will be able to replace her old incarnation. The new Planeswalker costs one more and cannot generate counters and token together. I think that the five mana casting cost will not prevent the switch initially but might come to really matter since the meta game is so fast right now. On the flip side, Elspeth’s new ultimate is very powerful. The next option in Planeswalkers is the powerful Venser the Sojourner. Also comining at a casting cost of five, the U/W walker has some interesting abilities. Being able to exile your Baneslayer Angel and following that up with Day of Judgment is a strong play in control. The other loss is the token generating Martial Coup. This loss should not impact the archetype to significantly since most build will only include it as a one-of. Path to Exile is another big loss to U/W, the role will need to be filled by the more situational Condemn.

FauNaya
This archetype is on the way out in my opinion. Scars of Mirrodin does not offer anything to this deck that is on par with Knight of the Reliquary or Noble Hierarch. The deck also looses Oblivion Ring, Qasali Pridemage, Realm Razer and the superstar Bloodbraid Elf. I am sure that the Vengevine/ Fauna Shaman engine will still be around but I think the deck will look vastly different.

Valakut-Ramp (Titan-Ramp)
The plan is simple; ramp into Primeval Titan and use him to set up a kill with Valakut the Molten Pinnacle. This is the big dog in the yard, Valakut-Ramp only looses Rampant Growth in the rotation. However, nothing in the new Standard will fits the curve of this card. Cultivate might work. I like Strata Scythe as an alternate win condition if you need to play around Spreading Seas. I also think that Genesis Wave fits nicely in the deck. Valakut-Ramp will be the archetype to beat early in the season until new strategies are discovered.

Mythic Conscription (Eldrazi Conscription, Mythic)
The biggest loss for this deck is Sovereigns of Lost Alara. The Exalted Spirit let you search up your Eldrazi Conscription in order to put the game away. Without the ability to tutor for the key enchantment, Mythic should no longer be a threat in Standard.

What’s Next?
Scars of Mirrodin offers us a vast selection of powerful spells that are sure to have an immediate impact on the new Standard. Take a look at some of the things you should be hoping to pick up at your Pre-release event this weekend:

Scars of Mirrodin will offer us plenty of new options and old favorites will soon go by the wayside. I am really looking forward to playing Phylactery Lich with Darksteel Axe. I recommend going to a Pre-release this weekend since there will not be much time to prepare for States coming up in October. The 2010′s State and Provincial Championships will be the first big events to play with the new Standard. Study your spoilers and see what you can do to deal with U/W control and Valakut-Ramp. Goodbye Bloodbraid Elf, and thanks for all the fish.

Top Picks in Rise of the Eldrazi Draft

The Prerelease was very eventful. I started with draft, and first picked Joraga Treespeaker because to me green seems like the most powerful color in Eldrazi limited. My second pick was Ondu Giant, and once third pick came around I knew it was a Prerelease: Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre was in the back of my pack. From there I got a few Smite, an Oust and Guard Duty to combat the Eldrazi. I ended with two Skittering Invasion, Artisan of Kozilek, a bunch more ramp in the form of two Overgrown Battlement, two Joraga Treespeaker and Growth Spasm. My back up plan, if I wasn’t ramping into a turn 4 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre was just beat down. Dawnglare Invoker and Wildheart Invoker were absolutely ridiculous. Needless to say I went undefeated in four rounds of swiss.

What I took from the draft were top five picks for commons and uncommons in each color:

White:

1. Dawnglare Invoker

2. Knight of Cliffhaven

3. Oust

4. Kabira Vindicator

5. Guard Duty

Dawnglare Invoker breaks through stalemates, flies, and makes an aggressive strategy viable. It is how you can stop those blasted Eldrazi from attacking with Annihilator, and making the green decks unable to ramp with Joraga Treespeaker and Overgrown Battlement, so tap them down during their upkeep. I honestly feel that Dawnglare Invoker might be the most important limited card in this format.

Knight of Cliffhaven is the best aggressive creature in white. You could probably make an argument for Caravan Escort, which I might switch out for later down the road, but I have a feeling that Knight of Ciffhaven flying over early turn walls, and being out of Last Kiss and Staggershock range is more important.

Oust is amazing at dealing with Eldrazi, fully leveled creatures, early ramp creatures, creatures with Totem armor on them, and pretty much everything. It is the best soft removal white has, and might edge up to second place down the road.

Kabira Vindicator has a huge toughness, and makes your Eldrazi spawn relevant attackers. He sits out of Flame Slash range very quickly, and hard even to kill with Induce Despair.

Guard Duty is an interesting choice for top 5 but I think if you don’t have an answer for an Eldrazi you should pretty much scoop em up. It does combo well with Grotag Seige-Runner, which is kind of cool.

Smite and Hyena Umbra are both honorable mentions. Perhaps even Demystify as there are a lot of important enchantments.

Blue:

1. Regress

2. Enclave Cryptologist

3. Narcolepsy

4. See Beyond

5. Domestication

Regress is tempo setter, combat trick, Totem armor disruptor, level resetter, and a catch all card for blue. It’s 2U casting cost is easily splashable and a great first pick for blue.

Enclave Cryptologist is a looter in a bomb oriented format, with “haste” on turn two after playing her on turn one. She eventually becomes a straight up Archivist and is incredibly powerful. Also fairly easy to splash as you only really need one island.

Narcolepsy is an answer to an Eldrazi hitting board. Also punishes Totem armor on creatures, and all around locks a creature out of the game.

See Beyond is like a looter effect but allows you to shuffle your unwanted Eldrazi spells in the early hand back into the library for later use. It helps dig to your key spells, which blue will usually be a support color due it’s weak creatures and spells.

The only reason Domestication is in over Hada Spy Patrol is because it needs an answer for Dawnglare Invoker. The power of Dawnglare Invoker is really that large.

An honorable mention is Sea Gate Oracle, as he might be better than See Beyond in certain decks, but probably not most.

Black:

1. Nirkana Cutthroat

2. Induce Despair

3. Vendetta

4. Suffer the Past

5. Bloodrite Invoker

Black is a difficult color to rank due to its tremendously underpowered spells. It has a couple good removal pieces, but really lacks in good creatures. It mainly excels in its bombs at rare/mythic rare status. Nirkana Cutthroat is the most  efficient black creature the color has. Probably the next creatures in line are Zof Shade and Null Champion which isn’t saying much. It isn’t bogged down by big walls due to it’s Deathtouch, and it can trade with big ol’ Eldrazi when it is on defense.

Induce Despair is a bit situational due to the creature needing to be in the hand clause. With an Eldrazi in your hand, it doesn’t make it such dead weight. Also, it gets around Totem armor by giving the creature -X/-X instead of dealing damage.

Vendetta is good at killing little creatures at instant speed in response to leveling or even Totem armor. It might not be better than Induce Despair the more I play, but I like where it is positioned right now.

Suffer the Past is an interesting variant on X spells. It can certainly end games pretty quickly, and at instant speed to boot. Right now I like this card a lot, but it may drop over time, I’m slightly on the fence, but I like it a lot.

Bloodrite Invoker is an invoker that ends the game very quickly. Like most invokers, they are great in stalemates.

Black isn’t a very deep color at all, with very little variance in their spells and not a lot of tricks, just rares that are very color specific and incredibly powerful.

Red:

1. Flame Slash

2. Staggershock

3. Brimstone Mage

4. Heat Ray

5. Traitorous Instinct

Flame Slash kills nearly everything in the format. I like Staggershock as a burn spell a lot too, but I think what it doesn’t kill is really annoying, although both are tremendously powerful. Staggershock can hit players where Flame Slash cannot. Creatures have bigger butts in this format.

Brimstone Mage is a tank. He gains a formidable power and toughness, and decimates creatures and opponents. He might be the best pinger of all time.

Heat Ray with a lot of mana can kill nearly any creature at instant speed. It also deals with bigger Eldrazi later in the game. It can be nearly any size and doesn’t take a lot of red mana investment. Very splashable.

Traitorous Instinct grabs Eldrazi, and clears the way of blockers. It is a Threaten that can put some serious pressure on the opponent. I like it a lot.

Green:

1. Joraga Treespeaker

2. Beastbreaker of Bala Ged

3. Pelakka Wurm

4. Wildheart Invoker

5. Kozileks Predator

Joraga Treespeaker ramps you so incredibly quickly, and you never even have to level it past the first level. The way it comes down on turn one and recycles the level investment you put into it the next turn by producing GG is remarkable. Five mana on turn three with only one spell played. The beauty of levelers.

Beastbreaker of Bala Ged is aggression and efficiency all in one. Tramplers are important in a format of chump blocking. Also, being able to dish out four damage to terminate walls is incredible.

Pelakka Wurm is a tremendous creature, with usefulness after usefulness. The 7 life and the 7/7 body gives you a great stabilizing card. The trample gives you aggression. The card lets dig to more spells after it hits the graveyard. It is the dream wurm for green.

Wildheart Invoker makes creatures into huge attackers with trample. They way he breaks stalemates is phenomenal. Even a lousy Eldrazi spawn can become a 5/6 trampler. A four mana, 4/3 is also nothing to scoff at. Wildheart Invoker is astounding for green to punish the opponent with.

Kozileks Predator makes two additional eldrazi spawn tokens when he enters, which allows for ramping, and blocking. The beauty of him is he is a 3/3, so he is fairly aggressive, and he creates board presence very early.

Rise of Eldrazi is an interesting draft format for sure, but unfortunately it isn’t very exciting. I can’t wait for M11 now. After a few drafts I feel like certain colors have little to no depth, and others just have everything. Also, losing to an invoker is probably the most common death.

Happy earth day!

Rise of the Eldrazi Set Review and Analysis: Colorless

Power 9 Pro is excited to bring you another set review for Magic the Gathering’s expansion set Rise of the Eldrazi. With Pre-release and Release tournaments coming up over the next two weeks and a full spoiler available, the Power 9 Pro Team is putting in a collaborative effort to review and analyze the entire set. We’ll be looking at the cards from the vantage point of limited, affects on standard, extended or legacy-formats and whether Rise will have any new must-haves for Elder Dragon Highlander. This post is for the colorless portion of Rise of the Eldrazi.

James

Board sweepers are inherently strong so I imagine this is no different. I was a bit disappointed that Planar Cleansing never went anywhere (that I’m aware of); however, this could be a one-sided Day of judgment. Artifacts use to be safe until wotc started printing colored artifacts so saying this will see play in artifcat decks isn’t even the case anymore. Neat but is there enough colorless cards to build around this as the sweeper? Maybe this would be a good SB option against Open the Vaults style decks? That would be pretty narrow…

Joe

This looks like an amazing Wrath of God variant. Akromas Vengeance saw play at 6, and with even one of the new eldrazi support lands, this will cost the same. Seems a bit niche, but probably still powerful since it can be one-sided outside of the mirror.

Zak

I really like this card, because it’s a sweeper that doesn’t require a specific colour. I don’t think we’ve had one like this since Oblivion Stone. The ability to take out noncreature permanents is a big plus, and I believe that this could possibly see play in non-Eldrazi themed decks. Think of all the control archetypes that don’t use white. This could be extremely valuable to something like Grixis control, which doesn’t quite have a full sweeper at its disposal, but has all the other elements of a solid control deck.

Bryan

This card is very interesting and will see some play in the future. Akroma’s Vengance but easier to cast? I like it, but dont know how good it will be in the coming standard season. Obvious note should be taken that it is a tribal spell so it gains bonuses for the reduced pricing from Eye and Temple.

Dillon

This card deals with Planeswalkers, Colored Artifacts, Enchantments, Creatures, including indestructible ones, and ones with Totem armor, and fits in any color. It is truly incredible. Black finally gets a way to destroy Enchantments and Blue gets to kill creatures. Very powerful.

Rob

I suspect there will be a colorless deck after Rotation with Colored ramp spells and removal and Colorless Permanents so it can break Symmetry. Awesome with Artifact control, but playable by any deck, which brings me to a concern. If we have truly powerful Rare or higher Colorless spells, expect back breaking prices. A card playable by any deck, with any set of colors, and be a decent finisher is going to demand a price. Might also be playable in a Standard 43land-esque deck? This card will see price increases once the Scars of Mirrodin block starts dropping. Get them before then.

Mike

This takes board destruction to an entirely new level. Making it Sacrifice Colored Permanents instead of destroy them gives the card great interplay with some of the other Eldrazi cards and gets around normal tricks like Regeneration and Indestructability.

Justin

OK, this big sweeper is the first card I have seen that makes an Eldarzi deck plausible. This card goes into artifact themed EDH decks (I’m looking at you Karn). Are Urza’s Lands still in Extended? What about Cloudpost? Seems like some brown style fun to me.

  • James

    Wow. That’s pretty sick. Seems like an amazing way to get back a Broodmate Dragon or even one of these crazy Eldrazi cards. This a pretty efficient way to spend 9 man.

    Joe

    The eldrazi that can exist in your graveyard should prove to be good reanimator targets. Also, at a “mere” nine mana, and at uncommon, this seems like a likely candidate to see at least SOME limited play.

    Zak

    I think that this card shows just how swingy the Eldrazi can be. Assuming you have a worthwhile animation target when you hit 9 mana (which you should), this card is almost impossible to deal with without an opponent also casting an Eldrazi. It’s hard enough to have a removal spell in limited that can take down something of this size, but with another free creature along with it, Artisan promises to wreck limited (in a good way).

    Bryan

    Rise from the grave effect is cool, but this guy costs so much that I dont see him seeing competitive constructed play. Bomb in limited.

    Rob

    One thing I like about this guy is that if your opponent has sent one of your great guys to the bin, you get to return it regardless of any possible counterspells and if he resolves, you’ve doubled up the threats and pressure, likely enough to crack through. If expensive mana costs become par for the course, this guy seems pretty good.

    Mike

    This seems like it has a minimal effect on other Eldrazi cards, which only trigger when you cast them. Though returning a double digit P/T creature with Annihilator is nothing to slouch at.

    Justin

    This guy is a must in Eldrazi themed decks. Probably best as a 2 of. Recursion is always powerful and with the mana commitment inherent with Eldrazi, it is important to keep tempo.

    [card]

  • James

    I’m a bit sad to see this doesn’t have the new Totem ability. I’d really hate to invest 8 mana more into a creature and then have it removed from the battlefield immediately there after…or before it resolves.

    Joe

    Wow. I’m glad I have a set of nomad mythmakers! This is an excellent aura, costing very little from an Eldrazi perspective, and enchanting a creature already on the board, essentially giving you pseudo haste with your 10/10 +, trample, annihilaor beats. Should often be GG the turn you play it.

    Zak

    I love this card. Finally Arcanum Wings has a home, and a darn good one. just switch off a measly flying aura for this, and you’re golden. Too bad Extended season is winding down…

    Bryan

    When you read this card the first impression i have is “Win”. this card is pretty crazy in the sense that it can make any creature on the battlefield a complete threat. Of course the fact that it is an Aura will reduce this card from seeing any sort of competitive play. Especially when we have so many good pieces of spot removal currently in standard.

    Rob

    Nomad Mythmaker, Auratouched Mage, Zur the Enchanter all put this thing to use in older formats to voltron together some suddenly scary creatures of doom, but in standard we have Sovereigns of Lost Alara which can make any random dork into a true monster late game. EDH will make the most use of this, seeing as Auras usually mean too great a risk for too little a reward in competitive, but I wouldn’t rule this out completely. Unlikely, but not impossible to see play.

    Mike

    If the new locations that make Eldrazi Spells cheaper actually work, this could be crazy in limited, but as card types usually go, it doesn’t get much worse than Aura-Rare.

    Justin

    Auras have to be pretty great in order to see play. An 8cc aura should be amazing. This one is not.

    James

    pretty insane. I like how this continues the Lorthos (or Vorthos theme as Joe discussed on Power 9 Pro) and Darksteel Colossus theme of making really huge, mythic creatures. This one is a bit off the hook. Any way of cheating this out is great. Hypergensis loves this; as do Polymorph and Summoning Trap. Insane.

    Joe

    I am very excited about this mythic, mostly because it’s the pre-release foil, so I’m sure to get my hands on a couple. It’s also looking like one of the better Eldrazi to use in a Sneak Attack type deck. Outside of this kind of cheat-onto-the-battlefield kind of strategy, this seems like a very high CMC. I’m dusting off my copies of warp world and summoning trap.

    Zak

    My inner Johnny wants to use this with Maelstrom Archangel, because it would be that awesome. I find it extremely hard to believe that this will ever be cast normally, even with the aid of Eye of Ugin. It seems like Progenitus just got replaced in extended Hypergenesis, because this does all it does and more.

    Bryan

    Of course all the abilities on this card are crazy, but the chances of me casting this 15 mana dude are very slim. Fast decks such as Boros and allies are still viable and the likely-hood that you live to cast this is slim. Having this guy in your opening hand is a mulligan.

    Rob

    This guy is cute. So expensive, but most likely it will be cheated into play or abused for its casting cost. I’m looking at you, Djinn of Wishes, Polymorph, Lurking Predators, Riddle of Lightning and Explosive Revelation. If you are hard casting and your opponent can’t counter, the card might as well just say “You Win”. Though, a lone Vampire Nighthawk can bring the giant down… @Zak: Protection from colored spells is nowhere near as strong as Protection from Everything, but on all other accounts, yes this is scary in that role, unless it is just chumped blocked with random flying dorks.

    Mike

    This guy is obviously a Baller amongst ballers. Emeria wins the Eldrazi god-war. If you can slap this guy down it’s good game. I mean you take an extra turn just by casting him and he can’t be countered. 15 mana is so hefty though.

    Justin

    This is Kozileks’ angry drunken uncle. No one wants to see this guy resolve. Again it seems like Eldrazi are all about mana acceleration. If my Eldrazi deck curves out at 15 then this is my finisher. Concordant Crossroads, Cloudstone Curio and Emrakul’s nephew Kozilek seems like fun.

    Joe

    With all the Eldrazi Spawn generators, this seems among the most likely of the Eldrazi to see the light of the battlefield in limited. Alas, it’s only annihilator 1, and has no evasion. I’m not planning to run this guy without tons of the spawn generators.

    Zak

    This is the weakest of the Eldrazi, but albeit one of the easier ones to power out. In limited, I can see these guys getting picked much higher if you can amass many spawn generators. The best part is that all these are common, and if you can land this guy early, you can steadily decrease the probability of an opponent dropping an eldrazi by making them sacrifice their lands. If they opt to sacrifice other permanents, congratulations, you just gained card advantage!

    Bryan

    not that bad of a dude. Annihilator is going to be intersting to play with. I always like having options with how to cast my spells.

    Rob

    This could be the fastest little colorless guy you can get out. Shame that doesn’t mean much.

    Mike

    This guy is interesting, he might be the easiest guy to cast in limited b/c of all the cards that produce Eldrazi Spawn, but after looking at some other creatures here, 7/7 with A1 sauce isn’t anything to write home about.

    Justin

    This guy screams tempo in the Eldrazi deck. I think he is a great fit. I like how Shapeshifters from Lorwyn also count as Eldrazi Spawn.

    James

    This is pretty well priced. I’m not sure how all these mega-costing creatures are going to shape up. Are we stuck playing 18, 19 lands in limited? Seems like it would be really slow. Anyway, if this sticks around, it’s hot sauce. The draw ability is pretty tits.

    Joe

    I think Kozilek will prove to be a bit of a dud. He can’t sit in the graveyard, and his best benefit, the draw 4, doesn’t trigger when he’s cheated into play. He has a high annihilator count though. You have to commit to casting this guy. Now, that said, in limited you might find yourself awash in Eldrazi Spawn, in which case, kozilek is quite castable as early as turn 5 or 6 in some cases. In that situation he’ll surely shine.

    Zak

    Looking at all the eldrazi, Koxilek seems like one of the best. He’s a reasonable (I use this term lightly, and only in the context of Rise) 10 mana, and just wrecks face when you cast him. If you open him in limited, you should have no trouble winning games. Constructed might be a different story, because the sheer amount of removal that exists will make it hard for the annihilator to trigger. However, at least you get a free Tidings!

    Bryan

    In my opinion, one of the better Eldrazi. his casting cost isnt that far off from playable and the rewards are pretty good. Refulling late game hand and getting a large creature is always nice.

    Dillon

    This will probably be the one hitting the most battlefields out of the Eldrazi cycle. He completely reloads your hand and then wrecks your opponent. 10 mana actually seems doable rather than 15 mana for Emrakul.

    Rob

    When first spoiled this guy seemed pretty silly, then Emrakul was spoiled and put him in perspective. If you are going to cheat, go all the way. If you are going to hardcast, go lower and get more done with less risk.

    Mike

    10 Mana actually seems reasonable for this guy. You draw four cards, he’s pretty big, he might end up being played in blue based control decks because of his relative cheapness and his card drawing.

    Justin

    I am assuming that drawing 4 cards is good. I thought of something when I saw Annihilator… sacred ground? Also in extended (for now).

    Joe

    This guy can live in the graveyard and therefore be reanimated. Seems like a natural for black decks that run one of the ubiquitous sacrificial edicts, such as cruel edict. Just animate dead and you’re on your way.

    Zak

    I’m loving having some Eldrazi that will make decent reanimation targets. And if they weren’t powerful enough, this card has intense synergy with itself and other Eldrazi, netting you a reward for attacking with cards with Annihilator. However, the odds of getting 2 Eldrazi out at the same time seem so low that this appears to be a “win-more” card. Time will tell, though.

    Bryan

    the obvious point on this guy is the lack of a graveyard clause. This gives him the ability to be reanimated. Pretty cool if you ask me. Could this card be good with Maelstrom Pulse?

    Rob

    High Casting cost, niche ability. Yes, Annihlator will be running about, but once you have 12 mana to drop guys, you probably have better and more reasonable advantages to expect out of your cards than stealing a few of you opponents permanents. Wish this ability was on a cheap Enchantment or Artifact instead.

    Mike

    This guy is pricey, but his ability is crazy with all the annihilator running around. I just don’t know if it will matter since if you’re annihilating your opponent’s entire board aren’t you already on the path to victory?

    Justin

    It That Betrays has the coolest name in the set. Its ability seems a little too win-more for my taste. You should already have the game in control by the time this ability is relevant.

    Joe

    I dig the flavor of a free [card]hindering light]/card] kind of effect for eldrazi themselves, but a normally Eldrazi-costed spell for lesser beings and spawn. Unlikely to make the cut in any limited deck I run though.

    Zak

    If an Eldrazi-specific deck emerges, you can bet that this will play a key part. However, on it’s own it’s just a terrible counterspell. I eagerly await a deck that can drop an Eldrazi, bait the opponent’s removal spell, and then cast this. Unfortunately, it does nothing to stop Day of Judgment, which is something the Eldrazi must all fear.

    Bryan

    Not good. situational cards like this are never good. You could play hindering light and atleast not be completely out of the game the whole time.

    Rob

    Playablity would be this not being a Hindering Light, being 3 or 4 mana cheaper, or working on power 5. As it is, it is very niche and people will shoehorn it into more than just Eldrazi control decks (if such a thing can really exist). On the plus, if you are tapping out to drop a big guy, you have a free counter to keep him from getting a Path to Exile before you untap.

    Mike

    If you’re only playing Eldrazi then I could see this being decent? Depends on how badly you want to swing in with these guys, but the good ones do crazy stuff just by casting them so who knows? I could see being really frustrated if you just sac’d a bunch of Eldrazi Spawn only to get blown out by doom blade though.

    Justin

    Counter magic in a color other than blue is pretty sharp. I would like to see this in an Extended Eldrazi build. Probably wont. Situational at best.

    James

    Hmmm. Uncommon. Probably a first pick uncommon. Players will be hard pressed to deal with this. Problem is that it’s not “crazy” to think of there being two of these in a draft pod. Colorless means that anyone casts it too. Man, I just don’t see this not being the shit in limited. For constructed, there are better Eldrazi at about the same cost.

    Joe

    Yikes, that’s nifty evasion, especially since they must sacrifice 3 to the annihilator. 11 is pushing it, requiring a bunch of spawn to get him out there, but it’ll probably happen. Not bad for an uncommon. This will probably turn out to be a common curve-topper for people with spawn but no rare or mythic top dog in their pool.

    Zak

    I really don’t know how relevant the blockers clause is. If all my opponent wants to do is to sit and chump-block my Eldrazi, I’m happy to just sit there and whittle away their board presence. however, it could be relevant if one wants to come out victorious when both players have Eldrazi out; whoever’s Eldrzai goes unblocked the longest will win out.

    Bryan

    This guy has a pretty cool ability that we’ve seen before. The requirements for blocking should make this guy almost completely unblockable after a few turns.

    Rob

    Uncommon Eldrazi like this guy are going to warp the way we understand Limited. He is every bit the bomb. Guys like these should really only lose to someone sitting on removal or who plays a bigger badder Eldrazi when the turn comes back. Which brings me to the thought, “Where is all the Removal?” Oh well, more cards yet to be spoiled.

    Mike

    Annihilator 3 combined with his blocking limitations makes this guy a real beater, better at attacking than anyone other than Emeria.

    Justin

    This fatty is a nice high end creature. Especially when you look at his rarity slot. In limited this guy is nuts. Not as good as other Eldrazi we have seen, but he’s not a mythic. I could see taking this guy really early in draft but I doubt the Pathrazer can find the road to constructed.

    James

    Seems like filler. I mean, why pay 7 mana to get 5 back? For the blockers I guess…There are a lot of these spawn-mana dudes in this set so maybe it’s a way of cheating the mana requirements? Hmm, after thinking through that, I guess I can see this having a use. It’d be a role player at most though. One or two of these spawn guys and a mega eldrazi could work out pretty well. I like the concept of not having to run 20 lands in limited.

    Joe

    This makes your turn 8 consist of a 12-drop. So I think this it likely to be a key part of many BigEldrazi approaches. Without a healthy supply of spawn, I just don’t see how the Go Big plan will work.

    Zak

    This is the sort of card that the Eldrazi needed, and while a 7-mana ramp spell may not seem like much. I love the idea of bringing out a Hand of Emrakul on turn 7 or earlier, and this seems like it will help make larger Eldrazi frequent the battlefield a little more in limited. I suspect that these will get passed a fair bit in Pack 1, but will get snapped up more frequently in pack 3, because people will have their big Eldrazi and will be more concxerned with bringing them out.

    Bryan

    one of the better ramp spells to play your eldrazi.

    Rob

    At cost, this is inefficient. With Discounts from Crazy Markov’s Eldrazi outlet Temple and Ugin Optical, it gives a decent chunk of chump blocks, or annihilator chumps, and replaces itself or ramps for the next big spell. Could this type of thing find it’s way into Storm decks in older formats if you get the cost reliably under 5? I think its possible.

    Mike

    If this were an instant I think it’d be incredible, as is it’s probably just awful.

    Justin

    I first I found this card a bit underwhelming. Then I remembered Eldrazi Monument and got a little excited. Then I thought about it a bit more and realized I wanted Coat of Arms instead…. There are better ways to generate mana. I find myself asking “What do I want to be doing when I have seven mana?” The answer is not drop a small horde of chump blockers that can possibly generate some mana. Twincast? Mirari? Not a fan.

    Joe

    Wow. I never thought I’d see an activated ability that just straight up costs 20. This guy’s not bad at spewing spawn, but it begs the question of where you got the 10 for Spawnsire in the first place. Still, he’s a huge wall, capable of fending off the uncommon Eldrazi while he ramps to even Bigger guys. I’m guessing that his “ultimate” will not be activated in any tournaments unless an arbitrarily-large-mana-combo exists in the format. Even then, surely there’s better ways to win.

    Zak

    This guy’s last ability makes me want to make an Extended deck with Cloudpost, Vesuva and the Urzatron to see what could happen. If you don’t automatically win if you resolve this ability, remember that you “cast” the eldrazi, so feel free to cast Tidings, Vindicate, and Time Walk via Kozilek, Ulamog and Emrakul respectively if you manage to get this off, and have devoted sideboard slots to them.

    Bryan

    Crazy abilities that will never be relevant.

    Rob

    Best thing about this guy is the token making. But again, you should be doing something better with your mana at this point.

    Mike

    This guy isn’t impressive at all but he might be a necessary evil when, in playtesting, you realize how hard it is to consistently cast large Eldrazi creatures.

    Justin

    TIMMY! I like this guy as a way to litter the battlefield with tokens. If you are playing Eldrazi then you have the mana to make this guy sing. I think this card has the the raw power that Timmy loves as well as the potential for Johnny goodness.

    James

    I like the idea of knocking out another Eldrazi with this; problem is that if you’re casting this guy to kill an Eldrazi that means you’re already behind in the game. All these cards with Annihilator are just nutso though.

    Joe

    This, and Emrakul, are the eldrazi to hope for. Indestructible will be huge, as all these guys have huge targets on their heads. He’s got a high annihilator count, he goes all angel of despair on the opposing Eldrazi, and he’s got a middle-of-the-road cost for his kind.

    Zak

    Frankly, I’m dissapointed in the last of the three titan Eldrazi. Both Emrakul and Kozilek net you insane amounts of advantage when they hit the field, and destroying a single permanent appears lackluster when compared to the other two. The indestructibility effect is nice against the likes of Jund, but in a format where Path to Exile and Oblivion Ring see plenty of play, I’m not sure how releavnt this guy will be compared to the other Eldrazi goodness.

    Rob

    If only this was when it enters, instead of when cast. The thought of more Hypergenesis fodder is sexy, and I haven’t even gotten the deck built yet, but sadly this fails. It does win the trump war with Kozilek, killing him when cast. but still likely never sees the board against Emrakul. Meh.

    Mike

    The last of the three gods here is pretty good, but I don’t think it’s as good as many of the other Eldrazi creatures who at least have a niche, this guy is a shriekmaw.

    Justin

    This is the annoying cousin to Kozilek. It seems like this Eldrazi Legend is easily the weakest of the bunch. Indestructible is nice but I feel that Kozilek’s ability to draw cards has a much bigger impact on the game.

    James

    And of course, we get to the common Eldrazi that only has Annihilator 2 and is a piddly 8/8. This will be the guy who wins games. This is the card you pick up first and never look back. Man…so crazy. 8 mana for Annihilator 2 on a 2/2 would have been the shizz and they made it an 8/8!! In-Sane!!! And at “only” 8 mana, I bet this could be played in constructed too…without any fancy shennanigans to cheat it out.

    Joe

    Common Eldrazi, annihilator 2, 8 CMC. This guy will be played for sure. He can come out fairly quickly on the back of a few spawn. Holding back on some removal seems likely to be a key play in this limited format.

    Zak

    This seems to be the benchmark for Eldrazi in limited, and an effective deck could easily pack 2-3 copies of this guy. This could see some constructed play as a finisher for decks that relally need one, but I thiink there are probably better options for not a whole lot more mana. Excellent card in limited. He will win games; I guaruntee it.

    Rob

    Common limited bomb? It is going to be so hard to adjust to this limited format because of all the fat. ‘Attacks each turn if able’ as a drawback? Doesn’t Annihilator 2 almost make that a given anyhow?

    Mike

    This is exactly how i’d dream up a common Eldrazi creature. At 8 mana it’s actually castable in a limited game and it’s going to be a pain in the butt to block with annihilator 2 every turn

    Justin

    This guy is a common so he will have a BIG impact on limited. I have yet to see any spot removal spoiled so this guy is a house. Not versatile enough for constructed.

  • James

    I’m not moved or overly excited about this. Kinda tough after the awesomeness I Just went through.

    Joe

    Hmm… pretty un-amazing card drawer. I hope I don’t end up having nothing better to run than this.

    Zak

    Uhh… If this costed 2 it would be much better, but as is it doesn’t seem to do a lot. Compared to Jayemdae Tome, this costs one more to get in the first place, and requires you to lose life to activate it. As much as I love drawing cards, by the time you take enough for this to be relevant, I’m sure some other card would have been better for you, and this will be too little too late. Awesome art though; go Chippy!

    Rob

    The 5 mana cost hurts, but then to only gain back half of the life AND pay 2 mana and four counters to activate it, the card I draw I don’t think really makes up for this super slow late game card. Maybe a Fog/Control Variant with Mirrodin tricks in the future, but for now, I disapprove. Still using the Art as a Wallpaper though.

    Mike

    This card just seems very slow, and on what turn is a control player going to cast it? If you have to take 4 damage to even activate it, how long is it going to be useful for? I don’t like this card much.

    Justin

    The mana cost makes this card unappealing. This card reeks of something that R&D was excited about and then they watered it down when annoying decks popped up in the Future Future League. I’m sure it can find a home in some wacky Johnny build but all in all it seems a bit sub par with all the gigantic creatures running around. I would sac this to Annihilator instead of a plains in a heartbeat.

  • James

    Master Transmuter comes to mind as an abuse outlet. Maybe I’m just a sucker though; I always felt she was just waiting to be super good… The abilities are pretty weird. I don’t like that you have to pay three and then sac to get the 3 cards. Type to draw 3 cards seems sufficient. For limited I’m starting to think cards like this are going to be pretty necessary if we players are ever going to get to 11 mana…

    Joe

    This looks strong, ramping you to Eldrazi, or drawing you into answers. I like it, even if it’s a bit slow and unorthodox for a mana artifact.

    Zak

    Thi card seems fantastic. It’s excellent in limited if you want to power out Eldrazi behemoths more reliably than with temporary sacrifices of Spawn tokens, and in constructed it can go well in a control deck. And do I really need to talk about how awesome this could be in EDH?

    Rob

    Um, ok. Mana ramp for Eldrazi guys, but for those of us trying to win, this accel comes about 4 land drops too late. I’ll enjoy playing with it in Limited and EDH but I’m not likely to play it in any constructed tourneys. Of course all that could change when Scars comes out with a good Artifact Control deck.

    Mike

    This is an interesting ramp card. It’s weird a ramp card costs six, but with everflowing chalice this card is reasonable. The fact that you can draw 3 cards when you’ve caught up to your mana is definitely a cool ability.

    Justin

    I like this card for EDH, especially in colors where card drawing is scarce like Red. It seems too slow for Construted at this point, but that could all change when Shards rotates out.

  • Joe

    Big, slow, not my style.

    Zak

    Sigh… It’s Anodet Lurker‘s big brother. If you’re spending six mana on this in limited, you’re doing something wrong and wil probably get overrun by levelers and/or Eldrazi.

    Rob

    I’d rather have a Lodestone Golem.Otherwise see the same comments for Dreamstone Hedron.

    Mike

    I like this guy, 6 mana isn’t too much for a limited game, he will definitely get you to the late turns when you can start casting your big eldrazi stuff if you go that route.

    Justin

    In a set full of high casting cost, powerful threats, this guy is underpowered. Lame for an uncommon.

  • James

    Sweetness. Rare so not the craziest of them all but it has high utility; especially on an overcosted flier as I’m sure Rise of the Eldrazi has.

    Joe

    Should be hot. Even if you just run out a flier and equip, you can often race before your opponent hits Eldrazi town.

    Zak

    It’s so expensive, but it might just make it as a singleton target for Stoneforge Mystic to tutor up and play cheaply. I have this vision of a Baneslayer Angel attacking with this, but I just don’t know how relevant it could possibly be when another card would probably be more effective

    Rob

    This amuses me. So many guys could be awesome with this on them, but we need to use guys like Stoneforge Mystic, and Kor Outfitter, who have fairly low CMC, thus defeating the purpose largely.

    Mike

    This is equally as pricey as grappling hook and has a lot more potential. The fact that it’s rare is kind of annoying, because if this had trample it’d be outstanding.

    Justin

    Not really impressed with this piece of equipment. The gains are marginal on early drops and the impact is small late game. Do I want to spend 4 mana for this on turn 4? Nope.

  • James

    Kinda neat. I’ve not really played the “mill deck” so I can’t speak to its viability. Maybe this would be a good sideboard option against Dredge? Those decks fill the graveyard up quickly. “5 mana” (after the 6 to play) to mill 20 cards would be pretty off the hook. I’m sure someone will throw this into a control deck to see how it goes.

    Joe

    Auto-mill for 6 + one turn? I like this as a win condition more than any of the Eldrazi. This will be a commonly played card in EDH too, though maybe not as much in multi-player matches as in 1v1.

    Zak

    So we have a Millstone steroids. People might be tempted to play this in limited, but I would caution against it, because in the 4 or so turns you spend casting this and milling them, you’ll probably be crushed underfoot by an Eldrazi or two. I do echo Joe’s sentiments about EDH, this could be pretty awesome.

    Rob

    Strictly EDH and Casual. With three Gaea’s Blessings running around the format, and Milling usually being a subpar strategy (and I love to mill people) this is really kinda worthless.

    Mike

    This card could get out of hand quickly, especially in a limited game, but as for constructed applications, things like archive trap just seem more consistent to base a mill deck around once Font of Mythos rotates out

    Justin

    Holy crap! This goes right into my Szadek, Lord of Secrets EDH deck. YAY! I like it a bunch…. yeah only for that reason. I think it would be funny to play late on a dredge player too.

  • Joe

    Should be awesome in limited, then become a bookmark forevermore.

    Zak

    It lets your more mediocre guys trade with the big Eldrazi, but it shouldn’t be a permanent solution due to it’s intense equip cost.

    Rob

    5 to equip? I’ll pass.

    Mike

    This card would’ve been Kor Outfitter’s best friend if it wasn’t triple ROE draft, otherwise it isn’t awesome

    Justin

    Equip cost is way too high. I would rather play Feast of the Unicorn.

  • Joe

    This feels like a “win more” to me, but sometimes it’ll go on a flier and count all your walls for the boost, so I might play it in such a deck.

    Zak

    The cost for this is way to high for something that resembles Scion of the Wild. If you’re going for the Eldrazi style win-condition, is this gong to be relevant at all? Methinks not.

    Rob

    Cantrips, filters mana, and is a good basic Utility Card. Going to be great fixer in limited.

    Mike

    Well, open the vaults just got a new friend. That deck could definitely come back before Shards of Alara rotates out this fall.

    Justin

    House. This card is powerful in a subtle way. I like it for multi-colored EDH decks. Strong in Limited and I could see it making a splash in Standard. I would not feel bad cascading into this.

  • Joe

    It cantrips, so if you need this fixer, it’s relatively painless.

    Zak

    YES!!! Remember how Time Seive was used in an awesome combo/stall deck before Zendiakr came out? The only thing which stopped the deck’s growth was the rotation of Elsewhere Flask. Well now this deck is back and should be able to make a serious gash in the metagame now that we have another 2 mana cantripping artifact in addition to Kaliedostone.

    Rob

    Cantrips, filters mana, and is a good basic Utility Card. Going to be great fixer in limited.

    Mike

    Well, open the vaults just got a new friend. That deck could definitely come back before Shards of Alara rotates out this fall.

    Justin

    House. This card is powerful in a subtle way. I like it for multi-colored EDH decks. Strong in Limited and I could see it making a splash in Standard. I would not feel bad cascading into this.

  • Joe

    Wow, even artifacts get walls in ROE. This is going to be interesting to see how slow the format really ends up being.

    Zak

    Umm…I guess? This seems like it could be okay in limited, but what good does preventing one damage to you (not a creature) do when there are Eldrazi wrecking your board.

    Rob

    Quick and dirty cleric wall. What’s not to like.

    Mike

    This is a great limited concept. I love the stats and the tap-ability. I love everything about this card getting you to your bombs in a draft or sealed.

    Justin

    Meh. Its a wall.

  • Joe

    Interesting bear here. I’m not usually keen on drawing cards for my opponents, but this guy at least helps any deck with aggressive intentions to be on-curve.

    Zak

    This also could help out the Time Sieve deck in standard, because you’re already using Howling Mine effects. Outside of a deck where you really don’t care what the opponent plays, I can’t see this seeing too much play. The opportunity for your opponent to capitalize by you playing a 2/2 in this environment are just too great.

    Rob

    Another cheerleader for Scars of Mirrodin. I’m soo looking forward to cobbling together a great colorless control deck. 2/2 for 2 colorless plus a card seems about right for letting your opponent get a card, and if you can punish your opponent for that card, or take it back away from him, it is awesome.

    Mike

    Pretty crazy ability. I’m not sure how big the drawback is of letting your opponent draw a card in a limited game. I wan’t to say I don’t want to let my opponent do that, and this guy is just a grizzly bear, so I guess it depends on how badly you need to fill your curve with no mana issues.

    Justin

    I like this guy. Perfect at uncommon. I can see this one hitting the $3-$5 dollar mark pretty quick. Great tempo and card advantage that can fit in any color.

  • Joe

    Way too slow. If it cost 3 or less, this would be fine, but then it might be pretty insane in constructed I guess.

    Zak

    There’s no way this will ever see a great deal of play. It’s a pity that it doesn’t count the instants you cast in order to ramp up to it, and seems like a junk rare.

    Rob

    This is such strange card. Seems like another Casual or EDH player only. It’ll be a buck rare unless someone finds a way to put it where it doesn’t belong, like in a burn deck or some sort of permission deck.

    Mike

    This card might as well just read Bulk Rare. There might be a casual deck out there based off this, or maybe something with everflowing chalice in a blue control deck going on, but 7 is expensive. It is an interesting way to kill your opponent while just sitting on counters though.

    Justin

    This card is looking for the guy who is going to go “OMG! this would be hilarious! I have to build a deck around this card right away!” Not sure if that guy is out there but there is a chance.

  • Joe

    I like this, whether it goes on your flying wall or just a random dork.

    Zak

    I knew that this set would have an Animate Wall variant, and this doesn’t disappoint. At very worse, it’s a slightly more expensive [cxard]Vulshok Morningstar[/card], which was just fine in limited.

    Rob

    Turns walls on. I’m always skeptical of any equip cost higher than 2, but to make a hard to kill and cheaper than normal guy into a swinger can turn a passive game into a race to the end.

    Mike

    It’s a little pricey, but man are there a lot of walls in this block, so this could be interesting on a Gomazoa

    Justin

    Trying to make walls exciting is like trying to make watching paint dry exciting. How does a wall get into a chariot anyway? Poor flavor here.

    We’d love to hear your thoughts. Did we miss anything?
    You can also check out the rest of the set review and analysis. :)
    Colorless White Blue Black

  • The New Rise of Eldrazi Mechanics

    So, everybody wants to be a Figure of Destiny.

    I just spent a week down in my favorite city in the world (New Orleans) and on my shaky flights home I took notes on an article I’ve been meaning to write since I landed this gig at p9p. However, when I got home and punched “Daily MTG” into google for the first time in eight days and found the Rise of Eldrazi visual spoiler and some crazy new mechanics, I knew that I’d once again have to shelve that other article and talk about power levelling.

    So far we’ve got three Light Warriors who can level up at will (well, sorcery speed will):

    Guul Draz Assasin Lighthouse ChronologistKnight of Cliffhaven

    It’s pretty tough to analyze these guys after only seeing three of them, but their rarity speaks to me a bit. One mythic, one rare and one common; there will likely be a fair number of these guys in the set, maybe 2-3 per color.

    I think the major thing to consider about this mechanic is how exactly to play it (even before we consider how good this mechanic really is or isn’t). For example, take a look at Guul Draz Assasin. When are we playing this guy? Play him on one, level him up maybe on 2, then on 3 you level him up again and make their 2 drop -2/-2. That’s obviously one streamlined option, but does this guy get worse if you can’t play him on turn 1? Maybe not. Turn 3 you can play him and pump him once, then on turn 4 you can pump him again and still have the option to make a guy -2/-2 which can make combat really tricky that turn if they can’t kill him. The main question we need to ask ourselves at this point is how does our board look? Is a casting cost of 2BBB worth it to have a 2/2 that can run shop on the board?

    What this mechanic really is, is “slow-kicker.” The fact that the rare ones seem color-intensive could make things really problematic, but the common Knight of Cliffhaven (anybody else thinking of Cliff Claven?) levels for three colorless mana, making him a much better limited card even if his level up cost is pretty expensive. We’ve seen 2/2′s for 2cc go a long way in limited over the years, and we’ve seen 2/3 flyers do pretty well too. But a 2/3 flyer for 5 mana? Eh. If your curve falters it’s fine, and if you’re really struggling to stop a flyer he is obviously very handy, but really I think most times this guy is going to be a good limited staple (since we’re drafting triple ROE) for white but no real practical constructed application.

    This mechanic gives us a new template which is cool if not fugly, and I think the power level of the rares will be the deciding factor on whether or not these guys can hang in constructed standard, because I’m sure some will be usable in block.

    Dennis Rodman plays magic?!

    Rebound is the only new mechanic with the potential to do really unfair things. This is what we have so far:

    Prey's VengeanceVirulent Swipe

    Right now we only have things that are pumps, which is fine because so far they’re both forms of removal that are really good when you play it on your opponent’s turn and rebound it on your turn.

    I don’t think I really have to go too in depth into this, as it’s pretty obvious that if you can block, play Preys Vengeance to go +2/+2 to kill a creature and keep your guy alive, rebound into your guy being +2/+2 again and attack in bigger than anyone on the board you’re going to be looking pretty good. Same with Virulent Swipe, you can play it on defense to force a trade and then swing in the next turn with someone else and make them trade with you again or take some damage. It seems like a good way to make use of a guy who has become outclassed by the other creatures on the board.

    It’ll be interesting to see what else they do with this mechanic. The two cards we have are uncommon so I wonder if there will be just one uncommon Rebound card in each color that’s some form of pump. It’s easy to assume that the white card will give us lifelink and the blue card will give us flying, but maybe R/D will be a little more inventive than that.

    But it would be really cool if they gave us real board changing cards with rebound. Like a blue card that bounces a creature, a black that kills, a red that burns etc. It is a really cool, strong mechanic that doesn’t seem TOO powerful.

    I’ve already said something on totem armor in the power9pro spoiler article two weeks ago, but this new card is exactly what I was looking for to think that this mechanic has potential:

    Hyena Umbra

    First strike is one of the most powerful of the most used keywords on creatures. It can absolutely rule combat, so casting Hyena Umbra to give a guy +1/+1 and first strike and “Regenerate for free” makes this a nifty little power package at a very, very low cost. Kindled Fury was one of my absolute favorite cards in M10 draft and won me many a pack on MTGO, this card reminds me of that. And, since it’s white I like it as a card that can make Knight of the Reliquary even better. I’m interested to see what the other colors with this mechanic have to offer, especially at such low costs.

    The only other new mechanic is Annihilator and I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s one of the most powerful Mechanics magic has ever printed. Obviously it’s main hindrance is that none of the cards it’s printed on cost less than 8, nor do they have haste, so you’re not going to be Annihilating anything without great effort.

    There’s also a little something going on with Defender, but that’s not exactly new or exciting, just that they’re getting really into defender for this set, which (with apologies) doesn’t excite me whatsoever. Though this card was spoiled today by WOTC:

    Guard Duty

    That’s it for me, I’m always excited about new cards even if I’m not excited about their constructed applications. I’m hoping we get a lot more out of rebound and some interesting Level Uppers in all the colors, until then I’ll be cascading.

    Mike Gemme
    BobbySapphire on MTGO
    mike@power9pro.com

    PS: here’s a link to the WOTC Visiual Spoiler, check it often.

    Power 9 Pro Spoiler for Rise of the Eldrazi

    The release of Rise of the Eldrazi is right around the block and as customary for the Magic the Gathering community that means, Spoiler Season!

    Power 9 Pro is elated to participate in its first spoiler. To get a broad look at these cards, we thought we’d do another round table discussion (carried out via email). Without further ado. :)

    Pathrazer of Ulamog, Rise of the Eldrazi
    Pathrazer of Ulamog, Rise of the Eldrazi

    Sean:
    If this guy attacks he will just take over the game. The problem is the 11 mana price tag. There isn’t much more I can say. If there is the mana accel that people think there will be in the format he could be great. If there isn’t, he will never come into play.

    Mike:
    Just knowing that this guy is uncommon is his most interesting trait. I think WOTC gave us Everflowing Chalice and Eye of Ugin in Worldwake and not Rise of Eldrazi for a reason, and non-rare Eldrazi creatures are likely the reason. I have a feeling it’ll be hard to cast these creatures but when they’re getting passed around the draft table it could get awfully silly.

    Justin:
    I think this card shows that Eldarzi will all be pretty darn expensive CC wise (time to pick up any extra [card]Eye of Ugin[/card[). Annihilator seems like it will be an Eldrazi only mechanic. It fits if you have read any of the MtG fiction from this set. Makes me wish (shudder) for Urzatron to come back in M11.

    James:
    Rather than mana acceleration or cards that reduce the cost by one, there could be a mythic Master Transmuter like card as a way to cheat this into play–or any of the anticipated big mana Eldrazi? It would be neat if it turned out to be a 2/2 Kor creature.
    Annihilate is ridiculous obviously; I just don’t get all drooly for an 11 cc creature. Annihilate 1 on a 5cc creature would be sick though.

    Valakut Fireboar, Rise of the Eldrazi
    Valakut Fireboar, Rise of the Eldrazi

    Dillon:
    The Valakut Fireboar looks like a nice finisher in Limited. I could see him being splashed for in a control style limited deck. I don’t see red wanting to run him in Constructed when they have three Ball Lightning effects at their disposal.

    Rob:
    Valakut Fireboar is a Wall for Red that can get there in a final push. If you are attacking with him and your opponent won’t die this turn, you’re doing it wrong.

    Justin:
    I have to agree with Rob “If you are attacking with him and your opponent won’t die this turn, you’re doing it wrong.” I want to put this piggy in a Chandra Ablaze red control deck. I HATE the flavor text on this card. Boo.

    Mike:
    I think in limited this is fine. We’ve seen similar creatures at similar costs stabilize boards. Now this guy can turn things around and Kill it. Probably counter intuitive to what you want to be doing with red, but there’s limited potential here.

    Sean:
    Rawr!

    This guy is red’s convertible turtle. Sometimes you need a guy with a huge ass, which the Fireboar certainly has. He will only attack if the board is empty or if going for the win, but that’s fine. Sometimes red just wants a guy to keep the pressure off. I see this guy as a role player in limited.

    Mammoth Umbra, Rise of the Eldrazi
    Mammoth Umbra, Rise of the Eldrazi

    Mike:
    While this card isnt very strong (but, if ROE has a lot of trample it could see limited play), the mechanic is interesting. It’ll only be relevant in standard if there are low costs versions in specific colors. The creatures that could benefit from this right now are pretty limited and only Knight of the Reliquary leaps out in my mind as potential busted card with extra protection, especially when he can load you up a sejeri steppe to protect anyone else your opponent might try to destroy.

    Sean:
    Why are auras bad in limited? 2 for 1s. Unless we are talking about something absurd like Gigantiform or Power of Fire, this risk of bounce and removal are too great. WotC’s latest attempt to solve this problem seems to be Totem Armor. It could have simply been “If enchanted creature would be destroyed, instead regenerate it and destroy this Aura”, but they didn’t even go that far. It’s just remove all damage, which only saves the creature from burn spells and combat.

    About the card itself, it costs too much. I expect the card will be fine in limited and never see play in constructed.

    Justin:
    Once again WotC is trying to make auras playable *sigh*. The biggest concern when playing an aura is obviously getting 2-for-1ed. This card would be house if we did not have O-Ring, Path, or an exile (rfg) zone. Limited seems like the only place we will see this hit the table. Maybe white gets a wall that brings back enchantments??

    Corpsehatch, Rise of the Eldrazi
    Corpsehatch, Rise of the Eldrazi

    James:
    This looks like the exact reason that auras just don’t make the cut. After counting the Spawn’s mana, this is the same cc as Hideous End and that card is obviously good. Everything so far has been uber-expensive, and this is certainly a form of the ramp everyone’s been alluding hoping for.

    Mike:
    This is fine removal for limited with 2 chump blockers or ramp. It’s pretty clear it won’t have any constructed applications but if removal is light in the next set then there’s no reason why this card wouldn’t be fine.

    Sean:
    This card is pretty strong in limited. 5 mana removal is a little costly, but always welcome in sealed. The value of the two dudes will largely be determined by the rest of the set, but at worst they chump block pretty well. I’m thinking this card could be comparable to Skeletonize, despite it’s sorcery speed.

    Rob:
    These give me a feeling of WotC repeating a mistake they made in the Kamigawa block: Pricing pieces higher to make up for generated advantage elsewhere. In Kamigawa block, pricing on Arcane spells was wonky and higher than they would have otherwise been because they can be spliced onto. Here, I think they are pricing things higher because there will in theory be plenty of abundant mana floating around.

    Take Corpsehatch for instance. For 5 mana, we kill any non-black (non-pro-black) creature, Get two chump blockers, and those two blockers can become mana. With you investing mana into guys that can give some back, you get to do funny things. For example: Turn 6 you can kill the opponent’s Baneslayer, making the spawn, sacrifice the two spawn and tap mountain to Ghostflame his Kor Firewalker and be free to swing in.

    Add spawn token generating spells to Storm in older formats and things could get out of hand fast. If you have ramping upwards cycles of spawn makers, you can cast devastating chains of spells, reclaiming the spawn to make more, until a finale. The only way to combat this is to make things cost more. Sadly, this is likely to be applied to most of the set.

    Justin:
    More bang for your buck. This card plays into M.J. Flores’s “Grand Unifying Theory of Magic.” (More info: Zvi’s original response and a recent post on Five with Flores) 5 mana to off an opposing creature and get 2 bodies that store mana is strong.

    Mnemonic Wall, Rise of the Eldrazi
    Mnemonic Wall, Rise of the Eldrazi

    Dillon:
    Mnemonic Wall has a lot of potential. It reminds me of Nucklavee, which usually targeted Cruel Ultimatum and Cryptic Command. Right now there aren’t powerful enough instants and sorceries in blue to target.

    It can’t target Planeswalkers which would have been a bit plus. It also doesn’t have flying which is a bit hit to it. It is a card I feel that will see play, but just not right now. It targeting a Martial Coup is awesome, but you are usually winning after you resolve one anyway. It can’t get you an Oblivion Ring, but it can get you back a Treasure Hunt. It is obviously useful, but not right now.

    Justin:
    Recurring key instants is always huge so the cc price tag doesn’t put me off in the slightest. I think that blue EDH decks will make room for this guy. Don’t forget that Æther Tradewinds is out there to have fun with.

    Mike:
    If there’s a really strong instant or sorcery in limited I could see this being playable. But, in control decks right now, most people are not playing any creatures that will make an opponent’s removal “Live.” This card doesn’t accomplish that, and drawing into cruel ultimatum is just as good as regrowthing it most of the time.

    Sean:
    It feels to me like this guy is costed at 5 mana to be ‘safe’. At 4 mana I expect he would be pretty good, but at 5 he is just limited filler. Izzet Chronarch was a reasonable popular card in casual formats so I expect the Wall will be too.

    James:
    Hmm, I like this for Urzatron and Gifts Ungiven plans. Flying would have made that a little too strong I guess. Shrowd would make it a lot better. Nonetheless, I really had fun playing with Gifts Ungiven decks and the idea of this fitting in well is tantalizing.

    Mike:
    Totem armour seems extremely strong; if they make anything low cost I could see it being a real player.

    These are all really expensive, I wonder if anything in the set will cost less than 5 haha.

    James:
    If we do get a reprint of Uraz’s lands, or a new variation of them as we saw with Cloudpost, that would be really helpful.

    Rob:
    Totem Armor will depend solely on casting cost as to whether it will be good or not. If I can armor a guy up when you don’t have mana for removal yet, then I just got a toy and a free regeneration shield. I think the Mammoth would have made more sense with Trample than Vigilance, but it also seems out of place flavor-wise in White too, so I digress. Also, how innovative will they get with the Totem Armor? Could we get one with Flash? Gives a Creature Regenerate? Enchant Creature or Land so that your man-lands can have a bonus and be safe from LD/Removal?

    Justin:
    All in all I think that most of these will be good in Limited. EDH will love the wall and any Kozilek decks will want Pathrazer. If the big mana Eldrazi thing sticks I don’t think it will make an immediate impact on our current super-fast standard.

    Drafting ZZW (in a 64-Man Premiere Event on MTGO)

    When I applied to write for Power9pro.com I highlighted the fact that I attended drafts pretty often and would be glad to write about them. One of the local stores has draft FNMs as well as a draft every Tuesday night as well. But with LOST moving to Tuesdays and trying to factor in dating with PTQs every saturday, my draft nights have been few and far between.

    One of the great things about Magic Online (MODO from here on out) is it’s super easy to get in a draft. UNLESS those drafts happen to be the 64 man release event drafts. Those you have to sign up for days in advance. I haven’t had a chance to do one of these since I top 4′d an M10 64-man. What a top 4 in these events does is qualify you for the set release championship. It’s a sealed tournament where first place is a foil playset of the new set. Not bad. So my ultimate goal was to qualify for this. And being on a hot run of limited lately, I thought my chances were pretty good.

    I had monday off so I spent it running errands and cleaning my apartment and playing MODO. I kind of got sick of that so I started playing xbox. I did this thinking I had all afternoon free b/c I signed up for the 8pm 64-man draft. Only I didn’t, I signed up for the 4pm. So when I got up to check my email for a second and saw the MODO tab blinking I was pretty pissed. Luckily I only missed one pick. I didn’t have my draft recorder set at the time (reformatted my CPU recently) but I can only imagine what I passed someone for the very sweet autopick of Soaring *Bleeping* Seacliffs.

    Already disenchanted, I did my best with what I could scrounge up and ended up Red/Black with 2 plated geopede, 2 corrupted zendikon and light black removal. I had to pass 2 searing blaze because I was extremely low on creatures. I did end up with chain reaction, which I figure would get me back into games I was behind, but I only drew it once and I never cast it.

    I never had to. I went 2-0, 2-0, 2-0 winning my pod and top 8ing.

    Here’s the deck I ended up with. It’s missing a card but 3 of my game replays from the first pod were missing and whatever the card is, I never ever drew it in those three games.

    Notable sideboard cards were Mind Sludge, Mire Toll and Bog Tatters. I don’t pick mire toll early, but it can deal with a guy who is otherwise undealwithable.

    Now a few words about my personal feelings on Zendikar Block Limited.

    -I really, REALLY like blue. All it’s good creatures are excellent. They have a lot of tricks with bouncing and tapping down and paralyzing. Vapor Snare might be the best non-rare in limited right now.Everything they do is really strong but you have to stay aggressive with them. I think that UB or UR are exactly what I want to be seeing and while I’m not willing to force it, I feel like if I can get blue even if it’s UW I’m going to be happy with having the chance to play into the top 4.

    -I think white is really strong, but I don’t ever know what to couple it with. I’ve never been able to pull off mono white but I think if one could pull that off it’d be pretty awesome. White has some great stuff and I’d e happy to open any white.

    -Unless I’m mono green I don’t really want anything to do with it.

    -Above all else, I want to open Ob Nixlis he is the card I pray for every time I queue a draft or sign up for a sealed.

    The draft converter software online does not come out well on our webblog here so I’m pasting the good old MODO converter text below so you can check out my picks with commentary!

    Pack 1 pick 1:
    –> Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
    Piranha Marsh
    Sky Ruin Drake
    Journey to Nowhere
    Makindi Shieldmate
    Caller of Gales
    Mark of Mutiny
    Bladetusk Boar
    Needlebite Trap
    Grazing Gladehart
    Desecrated Earth
    Cobra Trap
    Forest
    Cliff Threader
    Turntimber Grove

    1 – I barely looked at the rest of the pack and saw I was sending Journey and mostly junk. I don’t like BG so I didn’t care about the gladehart, but I do like Black with any other color and wanted to be cognizent of what was shipping. Ob Nixlis is my favorite first pick. He’s the guy I pray for every time I start a draft. I even joked to my friend Andy about likely passing him in the first draft when I missed my pick.

    Pack 1 pick 2:
    Ruinous Minotaur
    Slaughter Cry
    Blade of the Bloodchief
    Joraga Bard
    Stonework Puma
    Feast of Blood
    Scythe Tiger
    Akoum Refuge
    Mire Blight
    Sunspring Expedition
    Paralyzing Grasp
    –> Mark of Mutiny
    Pillarfield Ox
    Mountain

    2 – This pack blows. My options are paralyzing grasp, mark of mutiny, stonework puma, slaughter cry or blade of the bloodchief. Forcing vampires is hard, so blade and feast of blood are off the table. I narrow it to mark and grasp, I’d really like to be UB but I don’t want to force it and I take the mark.

    Pack 1 pick 3:
    Ior Ruin Expedition
    Swamp
    –> Disfigure
    Pillarfield Ox
    Explorer’s Scope
    Punishing Fire
    Trapmaker’s Snare
    Vampire Lacerator
    Kor Hookmaster
    Bala Ged Thief
    Brave the Elements
    Sky Ruin Drake
    Timbermaw Larva

    3 – I don’t like lacerator much and it’s not nearly as much a signal as disfigure, as disfigure rules combat so well. For disfigure to get 2 packs to the left means I should have no problem getting enough black to justify my bomb.

    Pack 1 pick 4:
    Seascape Aerialist
    Noble Vestige
    Merfolk Wayfinder
    Tempest Owl
    Shatterskull Giant
    Spell Pierce
    Zektar Shrine Expedition
    Hedron Scrabbler
    Plains (FOIL)
    –> Giant Scorpion
    Bloodghast
    Swamp

    4 – I go back and forth on this pick quite a bit and I actually originalyl almost slam-clicked bloodghast. Bloodghast is fine but like lacerator gets outclassed quickly so I take the scorpion who is usually a great piece of removal.

    Pack 1 pick 5:
    Kabira Crossroads
    Mold Shambler
    –> Windrider Eel
    Goblin Ruinblaster
    Hagra Crocodile
    Graypelt Refuge
    Cliff Threader
    Soaring Seacliff
    Island
    Oran-Rief Recluse
    Teetering Peaks

    5 – It could be wrong but I took the presence of EEL to be a signal. Eel is great if they don’t have removal and can end games on his own. I really would like to be blue over any other color so I slam this down figuring the croc will wheel if I really want it.

    Pack 1 pick 6:
    Swamp
    Unstable Footing
    Beast Hunt
    Cancel
    Quest for Ancient Secrets
    –> Bog Tatters
    Shieldmate’s Blessing
    Crypt of Agadeem
    Slaughter Cry
    Kor Outfitter

    6 – Even if I’m not playing black this guy blocks big guys well and is a force to be reckoned with when turned sideways.

    Pack 1 pick 7:
    Vampire Lacerator
    Highland Berserker
    Landbind Ritual
    Vastwood Gorger
    Harrow
    Trailblazer’s Boots
    Kor Cartographer
    Island
    –> Whiplash Trap

    7 – Another tough one, again I don’t like lacerator and though my deck isn’t aggressive right now, I don’t expect it to stay that way and I windmill slam one of my favorite cards in the format.

    Pack 1 pick 8:
    –> Goblin Shortcutter
    Plains
    Desecrated Earth
    Caller of Gales
    Spidersilk Net
    Caravan Hurda
    Trailblazer’s Boots
    Narrow Escape

    Pack 1 pick 9:
    Piranha Marsh
    –> Sky Ruin Drake
    Caller of Gales
    Needlebite Trap
    Cobra Trap
    Forest
    Turntimber Grove

    9 – one of my favorite blue cards, should be called Stabilizer Drake.

    Pack 1 pick 10:
    Scythe Tiger
    –> Akoum Refuge
    Mire Blight
    Sunspring Expedition
    Pillarfield Ox
    Mountain

    Pack 1 pick 11:
    Ior Ruin Expedition
    Swamp
    Explorer’s Scope
    Trapmaker’s Snare
    –> Bala Ged Thief

    11 – She could make it if I end up with some Umara Raptors or other allies.

    Pack 1 pick 12:
    Noble Vestige
    –> Tempest Owl
    Plains (FOIL)
    Swamp

    I don’t hate tempest owl as a board card when I’m playing a deck that will just stall the board out.

    Pack 1 pick 13:
    Kabira Crossroads
    –> Soaring Seacliff
    Island

    Pack 1 pick 14:
    Swamp
    –> Quest for Ancient Secrets

    Pack 1 pick 15:
    –> Island

    —— ZEN ——

    Pack 2 pick 1:
    Bog Tatters
    Archmage Ascension
    Shoal Serpent
    Khalni Gem
    Grim Discovery
    Kor Outfitter
    River Boa
    Spell Pierce
    Runeflare Trap
    Torch Slinger
    –> Crypt Ripper
    Forest
    Demolish
    Territorial Baloth
    Soaring Seacliff

    16 – Pretty bad pack, but I’m heavy black and would like to stay that way and Ripper is just fine for that. He also commands the board if I run 10+ swamps.

    Pack 2 pick 2:
    Heartstabber Mosquito
    Beast Hunt
    Gomazoa
    Summoning Trap
    –> Welkin Tern
    Forest
    Needlebite Trap
    Spidersilk Net
    Soul Stair Expedition
    Shieldmate’s Blessing
    Shoal Serpent
    Plated Geopede
    Molten Ravager
    Sejiri Refuge

    17 – Tough call here, but as I said before I’d like to be aggressive and welkin tern is the most aggressive 2 drop that blue has.

    Pack 2 pick 3:
    Turntimber Basilisk
    Highland Berserker
    Reckless Scholar
    Magma Rift
    Savage Silhouette
    Zendikar Farguide
    Shieldmate’s Blessing
    –> Mind Sludge
    Bog Tatters
    Mountain
    Slaughter Cry
    Kabira Crossroads
    Cancel

    18 – Awful pack. I don’t much like reckless scholar, and in the off chance I am nearly mono black I take the sludge.

    Pack 2 pick 4:
    –> Guul Draz Vampire
    Tuktuk Grunts
    Narrow Escape
    Expedition Map
    Blood Seeker
    Kazandu Refuge
    Spreading Seas
    Harrow
    Island
    Seismic Shudder
    Hagra Diabolist
    Goblin Shortcutter

    19 – I’m not a huge fan of guul draz but I don’t love blood seeker either. Guul draz has a lot more upside so I snag it.

    Pack 2 pick 5:
    Ior Ruin Expedition
    Scythe Tiger
    Nimbus Wings
    Harrow
    Relic Crush
    –> Summoner’s Bane
    Frontier Guide
    Trapfinder’s Trick
    Vampire’s Bite
    Mountain
    Spire Barrage

    20 – I don’t love this pick but it is a great sideboard card and a tempo swing. Vampire’s bite is possible but I didn’t see myself running it as most of my guys have some form of evasion so far.

    Pack 2 pick 6:
    Magma Rift
    Baloth Cage Trap
    Mountain
    Mire Blight
    Zendikar Farguide
    Soul Stair Expedition
    Khalni Heart Expedition
    –> Jwar Isle Refuge
    Quest for Pure Flame
    Molten Ravager

    21 – this pack sucks but I’ll take the fixing.

    Pack 2 pick 7:
    Plains
    Goblin Shortcutter
    Lethargy Trap
    Tanglesap
    Hellfire Mongrel
    Goblin Bushwhacker
    –> Crypt Ripper
    Blood Seeker
    Spidersilk Net

    22 – Was really excited to see this guy, at pick 7 in this pack I’m likely the only heavy black drafter.

    Pack 2 pick 8:
    Savage Silhouette
    Ravenous Trap (FOIL)
    Hagra Crocodile
    Island
    –> Windrider Eel
    Stonework Puma
    Quest for Pure Flame
    Kor Cartographer

    23 – Though I now have a lot of high drops, they’re all top notch.

    Pack 2 pick 9:
    Archmage Ascension
    Shoal Serpent
    –> Spell Pierce
    Runeflare Trap
    Forest
    Demolish
    Soaring Seacliff

    Pack 2 pick 10:
    Beast Hunt
    Forest
    –> Needlebite Trap
    Spidersilk Net
    Shoal Serpent
    Sejiri Refuge

    Pack 2 pick 11:
    Savage Silhouette
    Shieldmate’s Blessing
    Bog Tatters
    Mountain
    –> Cancel

    Pack 2 pick 12:
    Expedition Map
    –> Blood Seeker
    Island
    Seismic Shudder

    Pack 2 pick 13:
    Scythe Tiger
    –> Trapfinder’s Trick
    Mountain

    Pack 2 pick 14:
    Mountain
    –> Mire Blight

    Pack 2 pick 15:
    –> Plains

    —— WWK ——

    Pack 3 pick 1:
    Surrakar Banisher
    Jagwasp Swarm
    Nature’s Claim
    Kitesail Apprentice
    Eye of Ugin
    Corrupted Zendikon
    Swamp
    Kitesail
    Smoldering Spires
    Crusher Zendikon
    –> Bloodhusk Ritualist
    Join the Ranks
    Refraction Trap
    Cosi’s Ravager
    Ricochet Trap

    31 – This pack is brutal. I love corrupted Zendikon and I really want it, and it would go along with my “be aggressive” aim here, but Bloodhusk ritualist is a blowout, look for it to win me a game down the road.

    Pack 3 pick 2:
    –> Horizon Drake
    Claws of Valakut
    Mordant Dragon
    Groundswell
    Veteran’s Reflexes
    Quest for Renewal
    Surrakar Banisher
    Fledgling Griffin
    Grotag Thrasher
    Snapping Creeper
    Plains
    Halimar Excavator
    Shoreline Salvager
    Khalni Garden

    32 – Shoreline salvager is awesome and obviously with UB he’s so premium, but is a 3/3 four drop really going to compare with 2 rippers and 2 eels? probably not. Though horizon drake is tougher on my mana, he makes the three best Zendikons look so stupid, and he gets in for 3 in the air.

    Pack 3 pick 3:
    Mire’s Toll
    Battle Hurda
    Island
    Halimar Depths
    Quag Vampires (FOIL)
    Twitch
    –> Dead Reckoning
    Leatherback Baloth
    Permafrost Trap
    Refraction Trap
    Akoum Battlesinger
    Explore
    Agadeem Occultist

    33 – I hate to see a second refraction trap get passed as it’s probably the biggest blow out instant in the format, but I love dead reckoning, especially with Ob Nixlis considering I couldn’t snag any grim discoveries.

    Pack 3 pick 4:
    Swamp
    Kitesail
    Enclave Elite
    Nemesis Trap
    Dread Statuary
    Bojuka Bog
    Ruthless Cullblade
    Grappler Spider
    Hedron Rover
    Bull Rush
    –> Caustic Crawler
    Iona’s Judgment

    34 – Another high drop, but he has so much value in this format. there are hundres if not thousands of creatures in Zendikar and Worldwake with just 1 toughness. But it was tough to pass a two drop.

    Pack 3 pick 5:
    Walking Atlas
    Ruthless Cullblade
    Hedron Rover
    Roiling Terrain
    Sejiri Steppe
    Battle Hurda
    –> Urge to Feed
    Dispel
    Forest
    Calcite Snapper
    Sejiri Merfolk

    35 – Here I pass another ruthless cullblade for urge to feed because I’m really removal light. Calcite snapper was another option but I would rather not double blue.

    Pack 3 pick 6:
    Grotag Thrasher
    Surrakar Banisher
    Forest
    Veteran’s Reflexes
    Vastwood Animist
    Selective Memory (FOIL)
    Snapping Creeper
    Perimeter Captain
    Khalni Garden
    –> Halimar Excavator

    36 – Halimar Excavator is fine, he blocks a ton of guys. I don’t end up maindeckiing him but I board him in every match.

    Pack 3 pick 7:
    Bull Rush
    Iona’s Judgment
    Island
    Grappler Spider
    Scrib Nibblers
    Bojuka Bog
    –> Ruthless Cullblade
    Enclave Elite
    Spell Contortion

    37 – Finally I take a ruthless Cullblade.

    Pack 3 pick 8:
    Perimeter Captain
    Forest
    Cosi’s Ravager
    Kitesail Apprentice
    Grappler Spider
    Mysteries of the Deep
    –> Æther Tradewinds
    Halimar Depths

    38 – I’m not going to run mysteries and I really like tradewinds, bounce in general is good when you’re trying to be aggressive.

    Pack 3 pick 9:
    Surrakar Banisher
    Nature’s Claim
    –> Corrupted Zendikon
    Swamp
    Smoldering Spires
    Cosi’s Ravager
    Ricochet Trap

    39 – Never have I been so happy to see a card wheel.

    Pack 3 pick 10:
    Veteran’s Reflexes
    Quest for Renewal
    –> Surrakar Banisher
    Snapping Creeper
    Plains
    Khalni Garden

    40 – He won’t make the cut.

    Pack 3 pick 11:
    Mire’s Toll
    Island
    Halimar Depths
    –> Quag Vampires (FOIL)
    Twitch

    41 – This guy is an all-star and I got him 11th pick, makes my curve so much better with his presence.

    Pack 3 pick 12:
    Swamp
    –> Enclave Elite
    Bojuka Bog
    Bull Rush

    42 – Same potential as the vampires but not as good and could come in out of the board.

    Pack 3 pick 13:
    Roiling Terrain
    –> Dispel
    Forest

    43 – Awesome. In case of refraction trap!!!

    Pack 3 pick 14:
    Forest
    –> Veteran’s Reflexes

    Pack 3 pick 15:
    –> Island

    Here’s the 40 I end up with:

    I ran the maindeck cancel over mind sludge b/c if I drop Ob Nixlis with Cancel backup they only have one turn to kill him before he’s going to end the game. Also it’s just good for dealing with bombs that my deck is not built to handle very well. Also cancel is just a huge tempo swing when you have crypt rippers beating in next turn.

    I ended up boarding out Guul Draz Vampire almost every match for Halimar Excavator. the 1/3 is just too good of a statline to ignore and I never drew GDV.

    Top 8 Round 1 vs. LAB103

    Game 1 I kept 2 swamp, 2 island, Jwar Isle Refuge, Urge to Feed, Windrider Eel on the draw.

    He starts with Bojuka Brigand on turns 2 and 3 but he never sees a third land. I drop a topdecked Welkin Tern on 2, urge to feed his 3/3 on 3, drop my eel on four, then on 5 drop a land with corrupted Zendkon and crush.

    Game 2 I brought in Bog Tatters for Guul Draz Vampire and kept this on the draw: 2 Island, Jwar Isle Refuge, Windrider Eel, Bloodhusk Ritualist, Cancel, Bog Tatters.

    He gets stuck on land again after leading with a Bojuka Brigand and Corrupted Zendkon. I trade Death Scorption with his 3/3, then Curve into Eel then Bog Tatters. He has hideous end for the Eel, so I drop a cullblade leaving cancel mana up. He taps out for Nimana Sell-Sword and I cancel it, then drop ripper and strike him down to 4. He has gatekeeper to pare down my board but he has nothing for Bog Tatters who swing in ftw.

    So I’m qualified for the Worldwake championship, which was my goal. I missed the 64 man drafts for Zendikar, but I got to the top 4 in an m10 64-man. That time I bounced out due to bad keeps in the top 4 when I had an extremely strong deck. I didn’t want that to happen this time.

    Round 2 vs. Ace of Drafts

    Game 1 is missing from my recaps but I know I got there with Ob Nixlis despite his Felidar Sovereign. I know I was really low so I had to triple block the Sovereign to kill it even though I feared refraction trap, luckily he didn’t have it and Ob Nix went the distance.

    Game 2 I decided not to bring in dispel b/c I didn’t see refraction trap but I did bring in the excavator. I kept: 2 Swamp, 1 Island, Eel, Drake, Crawler, Whiplash trap.

    Definitely a slow hand, but he had a slow w/r deck game 1. This game he comes out swinging with Kazaandu Blademaster followed by cliff treader. He swings on 3 and tries to Join the Ranks to pump his blademaster but I cancel it.I drop my eel and trade with his treader, which may have been a mistake b/c when he dropped Grotag Thrasher next turn I really was behind in combat for the rest of the game. I stabilized a bit until he dropped Bladetusk Boar who went the distance.

    Game 3 I keep 3 swamp, ripper, crawler, bloodhusk ritualist, halimar excavator on the play.

    Not the best hand but it’s fine and I almost never mulligan in limited. He has a turn 2 steppe lynx, I play a turn 3 Corrupted Zendikon and a turn 4 blood seeker without a fourth land and swing with the Zendikon. He swings with his lynx and on my turn I rip blue and drop the excavator after swinging with Zendikon, seeker. He join the ranks and trades a token with my seeker. He swings in with his lynx and a hellfire mongrel he played the previous turn. I block the lynx with the excavator and disfigure the mongrel. He has no play so I drop ripper and swing him down to four, still fearing a refraction trap that never comes. Then he drops Felidar Sovereign. Great. So he has 2 card in hand, I have 5 lands out but one is the Zendikon. I can Bloodhusk Ritualist him out of a hand, but he’ll definitely be able to swing in with his Sovereign, I decide on this and he discards Land, Brave the Elements which would’ve had me calling my mama if he had the chance to play it.
    On his turn he swings and goes up to 8 and I’m at 8. I go in with just the ripper with 4 swamps up, he chumps with the ally token. I pass b/c I just ripped urge to feed. He comes in with sovereign after Passing Ionas Judgement on my Zendikon. I block with Ritualist and Excavator, Urge to Feed pumping my Ritualist and he scoops to his dead Sovereign despite being at 9 life.

    Finals vs. DutchMojo – This guy was cool, one of the cool few people I’ve come across on modo. He wasn’t spiteful about my bombs and even pointed out when I handed im game 2. He said he doesnt modo a lot but I threw him on my buddylist b/c I like to see when ppl are in certain rooms playing events. I’m a total stalker.

    Game 1 on the draw I keep – 1 island, soaring seacliffs, jwar isle refuge, disfigure, ob nixlis, ritualist, ripper.

    His first two turns he spits out Adventuring gear and Trusty machete, with no guys, and only mountains.

    He plays a goblin shortcutter on 3 and equips the gear, figuring he’s short on guys I disfigure it. I rip cullblade and drop that. He pays three for a goblin torchslinger. I attack and he doesnt block, so I drop ritualist kicking once, he discards grazing gladeheart. He double equips the slinger and beats me down to 15. I swing him down to 14 and drop ripper in main 2 with a swamp up so I can trade if he doesn’t hit a land. He hits a forest and swings me down to 9 and drops summit apes. I’ve got ob nixlis and 2 islands in hand. I drop my ob nix and make him a 6/6. he double equips the apes, plays a land making him a 9/5 and swings. I trade my cullblade, my ripper and my ritualist for the apes. My turn comes I rip whiplash trap, make Ob nix a 9/9 and drop a welkin tern that I drew the turn before. He drops oren-rief recluse and passes. In his endstep I whiplash his 2 blockers and alpha ftw.

    Game 2 on the draw I keep 2 swamp, Island, Jwar Isle Refuge, 2 rippers and Aether Tradewinds.

    He leads with a shortcutter and I rip bloodseeker and drop it. He plays claws hitting me for 5. I swing for 1. He drops goblin guide and swings in. He gives me a swamp and I tradewinds the bloodseeker and his shortcutter getting rid of his claws. He redrops shortcutter in main 2. I rip horizon drake and drop it hoping to block and trade b/c I don’t want to trade either of my rippers who will totally outclass his 2 power guys on turn 5 becuase I can pump and control the board. I trade with his goblin guide after it reveals Quag Vampires. I decide instead of ripper to drop the Quag as a 2/2 and drop bloodseeker, hoping to trade across the board and then let my crypt rippers reign supreme. In his main 2 he drops a slinger for 3 and passes. I do my aforementioned play but he has a second shortcutter to mess up my blocks. I play a ripper next turn and swing pumping once and drop my second ripper with just 2 islands in my hand. He drops adventuring gear, equips and passes. I swing with a ripper for 3 and drop a windrider eel keeping my 2 lands in play. He plays a land and swings with his equipped shortcutter which I chump with bloodseeker. Then he drops summit apes.

    Here’s where my opponent says I screwed the pooch and after rewatching I totally did. He’s at 11 with a summit apes and a goblin shortcutter. I have eel, and 2 crypt ripper with 7 black mana sources. I dropped an island making my Eel 4/4 and decided not to swing with just the eel. But If I had done the math I would’ve realize that he had to block both my guys or he dies. As a result he ended up dropping two more guys and being able to get me to 4 and spire barrage me out. so I lose game 2.

    Game 3 on the play I keep 2 swamp, 1 Island, death scorpion, crypt ripper, urge to feed, whiplash trap.

    He has a turn 1 goblin guide (for the record has anyone ever won with a turn 1 goblin guide in limited? I know I haven’t) revealing halimar excavator which I play on turn 2. His turn 2 is Basilisk Collar. SERIOUSLY?!. I swing w/ my 1/3 and drop another 1/3 in Death Scorpion. Instead of equipping he plays claws of valakut putting me to 14 since I can’t block it. His GG gives me a swamp and I rip another swamp on my turn. I attack him to 17 with my army of 1/3s and urge to feed his goblin guide. He has no play on turn 4 so I drop the ripper with one swamp up but I choose not to pump for fear of punishing fire or burst lightning or something. (while I haven’t seen these cards, I almost never tap out with ripper on the board if I can help it, he’s too important to let die).

    On his turn he drops highland bezerker and equips the basilisk collar. I rip jwar isle refuge, drop it and then aether tradewinds it and his bezerker so I can beat in for 5 and catch him down to 8. He plays Spire Barrage on my ripper then passes and I swing him to 6. I topdeck dead reckoning which I use to get back my ripper and shoot his bezerker for 2 but he has groundswell to keep it alive! Haymakers are going left and right right now and I’m out of answers to his basilisk collar for the moment.

    He goes, equip gear, plays a land and drops shortcutter and goes up to 10. My hand is whiplash trap and swamp with Crypt Ripper on top of my deck. I drop my ripper but he moved his collar to the shortcutter to hold me off. This turn he swings in and trades with my scoprion but goes up to 14. Then he equips his bezerker and passes. My draw is ritualist, so if I wait on attacks and whiplash trapping, I can let him gain more life but will be able to bounce in his end step, then make him discard his whole hand, basically taking him out of the game. So I wait again and he swings again and I don’t block so it’s 18-8 in favor of him and I’m pretty sure he thinks he has the game. He drops Crusher Zendikon in main 2 and passes. In his end step I bounce his enchanted land and his bezerker, then in my main2 I discard his hand with ritualist after swinging for 10. On his turn he rips a shortcutter and equips but I drew disfigure so I kill it and swing in for the win before he can try and re-stabilize with life gain.

    So I win my first ever premiere event, pocketing 20 packs and 6 QPs. I’ve come up short on QPs the last two seasons with 7 each, but this season I’m already at 9 and it hasn’t even been a week, so at this point I’ll be just trying not to choke. But with a trip to New Orleans slated for next week I’m going to be hard pressed to fit in MODO. I’m also going to be missing one of almost a dozen PTQs online and in New England over the next two weeks, which is kind of a bummer, but I already let magic affect my every day life well… every day, I really don’t want to let it affect the special plans I make to take trips and do things with friends and/or babes.

    Thanks for reading,

    Mike Gemme
    mike@power9pro.com
    Bobbysapphire on MTGO

    Worldwake Set Review – Green

    Welcome to the Green section of our Worldwake Set Review series. We began with white here, for those just tuning in who’d like to see all the reviews. As usual, I will add my comments, evaluating each card with an eye toward primarily limited play, but with the occasional anecdote on Eternal formats and the beloved EDH format. James will then add his comments evaluating each card for standard, block, and extended play.

    Here we go!

    Arbor Elf
    G
    Creature – Elf Druid
    1/1
    {T}: Untap target Forest.
    Rarity: Common

    Hmm. Well, I guess he’s essentially a Llanowar elves, which makes him very playable. He’s got a slight edge on the original, though, since you might have a forest that’s a creature, or is enchanted with something like wild growth, or more likely some modern equivalent. Anyway, he’s a great mana ramper, and will let you drop a 3-drop on turn 2, etc. A solid common, especially for monogreen or base-green.

    JAMES

    Playable. I like this in extended for untapping Murmuring Bosk. This is defintily a good construction worthy card. I say, take out the Llanowar Elf and put in Garruk, Wildspeaker‘s little cousin.

    Avenger of Zendikar
    5GG
    Creature – Elemental
    5/5
    When Avenger of Zendikar enters the battlefield, put a 0/1 green Plant creature token onto the battlefield for each land you control.
    Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on each Plant creature you control.
    Illus. Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai
    Rarity: Mythic Rare

    This will be huge for the random monogreen drafter who opens it. Even better is someone who is in Gw or Gr, because they can splash Bold Defense or another global pumper… even something as seemingly innocuous as Goblin Bushwhacker could become quite deadly… the tension in non-mono-green builds, however, will be that the fewer forests you run, the fewer plants you get at the outset. Anyway, this is very solid, giving you a big beater, a ton of tiny guys, and a way to grow them. Alas, as a mythic, you can never really plan for this guy, you just have to get really lucky. Then again, this might be passed by anyone not heavy in green, so maybe you’ll see it more often than the typical mythic… so slightly-less-than-never rather than just “never”. :-)

    JAMES

    Wow. What a great ability. If you can stick this one turn and then next turn follow up with an Overrun it’s probably good game. It does setup up for boardsweepers like Day of Judgement and the new red sweeper Chain Reaction. But we can look at cards like Cloudthresher which was the same 7cc and know that it’s not completely out of the question for a Green player to plop something like this on the table. If you don’t have an answer it is seriously GG.

    Bestial Menace
    3GG
    Sorcery
    Put a 1/1 green Snake creature token, a 2/2 green Wolf creature token, and a 3/3 green Elephant creature token onto the battlefield.
    Rarity: Uncommon
    Set Number: #97/145

    I love the wackiness of this card. How random! Wtf are a snake, a wolf, and an elephant doing together? It almost sounds like some kind of joke… “a snake, a wolf, and an elephant walk into a battlefield…” Anyway, this is a stone cold bomb in limited, and I’m already pumped for monogreen between this crazy uncommon and the Llanowar variant in common. this is not “just” 6 power and 6 toughness for the bargain basement price of 5 mana. It’s THREE bodies! This is very nice. It exponentially increases the relevance of spells like the aforementioned Bold Defense, albeit by an exponent of 3. Still, as Broodmate Dragon should have proved to us all beyond a shadow of a doubt, making several creatures is very very strong, often quite a bit stronger than a comparable creature that rolls solo. This is going to wreck shop, I’m convinced. Just be aware of the sweepers like Marsh Casualties!

    JAMES

    5 cc for three creatures totaling 6 power/toughness. Interesting. If it was something like “choose one: 6 1/1′s, 3 2/2′s or 2 3/3′s” I might be more inclined to say, “yeah, this is gonna make it” but the lack of options make me think it’s too underwhelming. Compare to the Avenger of Zendikar above and you get a LOT more for your mana.

    Canopy Cover
    1G
    Enchantment – Aura
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature can’t be blocked except by creatures with flying and/or reach.
    Enchanted creature can’t be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.
    Rarity: Uncommon
    Set Number: #98/145

    This is an aura I can get behind. The main reason is that it shields the creature it’s on, protecting you from the ubiquitous 241 associated with auras. It also provides evasion, which is nice… Green has trample and that’s it, typically, but this is a neat combination of the abilities from Troll Ascetic and Elven Riders, all at an affordable cost. If you have something that needs to connect, this is the ticket.

    JAMES

    Nice. Evasion and shroud. What would you stick this on though? It better be damn worth not playing a more utility card. It’s also fairly narrow. Tough call. Auras just don’t get much loving and with good reason: they suck. lol.

    Explore
    1G
    Sorcery
    You may play an additional land this turn.
    Draw a card.
    Rarity: Common

    Okay, this one was contentious on my discussion email thread, but we all ended up with a consensus: this is somewhere between solid and “da bomb.” Okay, break down the scenarios: Ideally you have this in your opener along with 3 or more lands. In that case, it’s a fine turn 2 play, especially if you also happen to have two 1-drops, or say, Arbor Elf and a 2-drop. This card propels you forward in a mana ramp fashion AND replaces itself! Okay, so the mediocre situation: you draw it early, but lack the land drop… you still get to cantrip. If you’re going to miss your 3rd land drop, you might as well play this to cantrip (draw 1). This is still a fine turn 3 play when you’re lacking that crucial early drop. Okay, so least impressive scenario: you draw this on turn 18, in top deck mode. You still get to just “cycle” this for 1G. That’s juuuust fine, folks. Hakuna matatta. No worries. This is solid. I’d probably run as many as 3 in a super fast mana ramp kind of deck, but 2 seems fine, and if you just have the 1, well, just hope to see it extremely early under good circumstances.

    JAMES

    Playable. Manaramp loves this kinda stuff. It costs the same as Rampant Growth and essentially does a better job at the task: get an extra land in play while also replacing itself. Very nice. Definitely a standard worthy card for Manaramp, Lightsaber and Jund–at least for testing to see how it goes.

    Feral Contest
    3G
    Sorcery
    Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control. Another target creature must block it this turn if able.
    Rarity: Common

    Hmm. Not really my style… it’s a pretty telegraphed “trick” and it’s the softest kind of removal, unable to hit tappers, etc. I dislike this.

    JAMES

    Sort of lame really. why is it so expensive? It’s not a guaranteed removal spell and it only marginally puts the attack phase in your favor…

    Gnarlid Pack
    1G
    Creature – Beast
    2/2
    Multikicker {1}{G}
    Gnarlid Pack enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
    Rarity: Common

    Again with an incrementally better update on a staple limited guy employing multikick. This one’s among the best of the cycle. He’s a grizzly bear! No wait, he’s a hill giant! No wait, now he’s… okay, he’s a 6-drop 4/4… not great but not terrible. Anyway, this is solid all the way around, and will be on par whenever you drop him, or above par really late, where despite being over-costed, you’re getting the flexibility part out of him… remember, this takes up the grizzly bear slot in your deck… you will still, hopefully, have high end guys too, it’s just that this grizzly bear doesn’t envoke the sigh of the original when you draw him late. Good stuff.

    JAMES

    I really don’t like this cycle. I guess big mana decks like green might see a use…but it’s stupid.

    Grappler Spider
    1G
    Creature – Spider
    2/1
    Reach
    Rarity: Common

    Meh. Reach bear. Not bad, not thrilling either. Has its place, which will often be on the bench due to having better options.

    JAMES

    Wow. Very weak-sauce. I’d almost rather it be a 0/2…but still super lame. 0/2 Deathtouch. lol.

    Graypelt Hunter
    3G
    Creature – Human Warrior Ally?
    2/2
    Trample
    Whenever Graypelt Hunter or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Graypelt Hunter.
    Rarity: Common

    Trample hill giant on common? This is strictly better than hill giant. This is very playable, even as your only ally. With any other allies, he increases marginally. In a full on allies build, this is going to be one of your premiere beaters thanks to the trample. This is a sick common ally.

    JAMES

    weak.

    Groundswell
    G
    Instant
    Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
    Landfall – If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, that creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn instead.
    Rarity: Common

    No joke! This is the kind of trick you should look for in green. It’s cheap, and usually doesn’t need the land drop to do its job as a simple combat trick type removal spell. For the times when you want to alpha, you should have no problem sandbagging a land for the right turn. This makes me happy. Monogreen was already flush with these kinds of effects, with Vines of Vastwood and Primal Bellow. Now you should be able to draft the exact number of such spells that you want. When I’m in monogreen, I obviously pick Primal Bellow very high, but I might start skimping on the vines, even though they have particular effectiveness against spot removal… but now you can expect to make up for one passed vines in pack 3, at least in terms of tricks / pump.

    JAMES

    Cool. Green never misses a land drop. “never” lol. Anyway, It’s a decent ability. Not strong enough for constructed necessarily but a neat little pump spell.

    Harabaz Druid
    1G
    Creature – Human Druid Ally
    0/1
    {T}: Add X mana of any one color to your mana pool, where X is the number of Allies you control.
    Rarity: Rare

    Well, again we see a theme with the better allies: they’re good enough on their own, and superb in allies. This is no exception. I can definitely see running this without lots of allies, or picking it as my first ally in pack 3. If a constructed allies deck is viable, I’m guessing this is part of it, but it’s too board-committed for constructed I think. We’ll see what James says. All in all, this rare is cool in any green deck, and obviously, even cooler in any strongly allies deck that includes green, as many such decks will.

    JAMES

    Not bad. It’s no Noble Hierarch but few things in life are. Allies really needed a fixer and this is a cheap, potentially powerful one.

    Joraga Warcaller
    G
    Creature – Elf Warrior
    1/1
    Multikicker {1}{G}
    Joraga Warcaller enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
    Other Elf creatures you control get +1/+1 for each +1/+1 counter on Joraga Warcaller.
    Rarity: Rare

    Whoa… a neat rare… also introduces a small elves tribal theme. Anyway, this is a bit slow unless you have several other elves. It’s just that he’s not really big enough to live long unless you pay 6 or more… I dunno. I’m skeptical for limited. I think the times this guy’s killer in limited are few and far between.

    JAMES

    Nice. Very freaking nice. Elves ala Eldrazi Monument will probably like this one. 3cc for a Glorious Anthem on all your elves? Not bad. Try it out in your Elves! builds. :)

    Leatherback Baloth
    GGG
    Creature – Beast
    4/5
    Flavor Text: GEE GEE GEE, BABY BABY BABY
    Illus. Chris Rahn
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Yikes! This is huge for monogreen, obviously. I don’t think any other archetype can even play this, unless you’re maybe base green with a small splash. But holy cow! What a 3-drop! It can stop everything you’ll see on the ground before turn 5 or 6 at the earliest. And it can throw down too! Beats for 4 will have to be contained, and good luck killing this guy with blockers… especially against monogreen! “You have G up? Crap, now what?” I love this… it’s the kind of card that will often be passed to the delight of the monogreen drafter, because others can’t really do with him what’s best. Anyway, monogreen was already a pet favorite archetype of mine in ZZZ. Now I’m even more excited for those packs that I open Gigantiform or something, and go into monogreen.

    JAMES

    Am I missing something with that flavor text? I’m hoping it’s random, mtg-salvation text that isn’t real. Prety cheap. I like this as Doran #2 but the trip-G may be hard for the builds. Very solid beater in mono-green/Elf builds.

    Nature’s Claim
    G
    Instant
    Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Its controller gains 4 life.
    Rarity: Common

    You know, I liked this a lot early. It’s reminiscent of the speed of Oxidize or Crumble before it. It’s definitely cheap and solid, so I think it will see play. But a pal pointed out to me that this kind of spell ( disenchant variants in general) have fallen out of favor, replaced by creatures with EtB effects doing the same. Krosan Grip will still likely be the de-facto spell for older formats too. But this is an awesome option to have in your sideboard, killing pesky quests or equipment for a low cost, usually putting you ahead on mana. The life gain is negligible compared to the effect of anything you’d spend a removal spell to kill. Anyway, I still like the spell, but I have tempered my impression of it for constructed formats, and I look forward to seeing James’ opinion here.

    JAMES

    This is a really cheap way of dealing with a Umezawas Jitte. Also great against Edrazi Monument. This is a great looking common. I dunno. I guess as a green mage (whether jund or whatever), I’m not particuarly worried about someone gaining 4 life. Lifegain doesn’t typically worry me when it’s not attached to a creature like Baneslayer Angel or Rhox War Monk.

    Omnath, Locus of Mana
    2G
    Legendary Creature – Elemental
    1/1
    Green mana doesn’t empty from your mana pool as phases and steps end.
    Omnath, Locus of Mana gets +1/+1 for each green mana in your mana pool.
    Rarity: Mythic Rare

    EDH General? Perhaps… he’s cheap and big, and lends himself to all the various green infinite mana engines. Also, even absent those combos coming together, he’s a fine general for giving him a sword (or jitte) or even a cloak, and letting him win the general damage race. He’s definitely unshielded though, and EDH has lots of answers to creatures… so I’m guessing he ends up marginal as a general. In limited… well, I think he’s still awesome in monogreen and playable in green with splash. He’s going to get bigger and bigger. He’s a must answer threat. These are attributes that translate into “playable” or even “strong.”

    JAMES

    weird. Very weird. It’s pretty cool if you think about it. Add three green to your pool, attack for 4, have mana ready for Vines of Vastwood or just ready for 2nd main phase. Very cool. Worth experimenting with at least!

    Quest for Renewal
    1G
    Enchantment
    Whenever a creature under your control taps, you may put a quest counter on Quest for Renewal.
    As long as Quest for Renewal has four or more quest counters on it, untap all creatures you control during each other player’s untap step.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    An interesting take on Seedborn Muse. I like this spell in a deck with mana elves, and it’s even okay in a straight-forward aggro deck. It lets all your guys essentially have vigilance, except it’s even better for your tappers. Looks fine to me.

    JAMES

    Kinda neat. Pretty easy to get going too. I like this as a varriant to test for Elves (in standard). Quest cards are sooo hard to guage. They always seem borderline hot-sauce but end up being mild and borning.

    Slingbow Trap
    3G
    Instant – Trap
    If a black creature with flying is attacking, you may pay {G} rather than pay Slingbow Trap’s mana cost.
    Destroy target attacking creature with flying.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Yeah, this will be good. I’m not sure whether it’s maindeck or side though… green is traditionally weak against fliers, despite all the reach creatures… I think it goes in the side, but in about half of the game 2s you play, it will save your neck from some brutal flier or other.

    JAMES

    I like this for dealing with Vampire Nighthawk. What a big B of a card. I hate that card. lol. Certainly an interesitng SB option but probably a bit too narrow. Worth the Jund/Elves/Lightsaber Zoo players experimenting with though.

    Snapping Creeper
    2G
    Creature – Plant
    2/3
    Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, Snapping Creeper gains vigilance until end of turn.
    Its vastly spread roots alert it of distant dangers.
    Rarity: Common

    Lame ability, but this is still a decent ground clogger if you don’t already have enough. He stops bears, that’s his best attribute. He’s like the bear killa.

    JAMES

    Lol. I think of Little Shop of Horrors.

    Strength of the Tajuru
    XGG
    Instant
    Multikicker {1}(You may pay an additional {1} any number of times as you cast this spell.)
    Choose target creature, then choose another target creature for each time Strength of the Tajuru was kicked. Put X +1/+1 counters on each of them.
    Illus. Christopher Moeller
    Rarity: Rare
    Set Number: #113/145

    Pretty dang good… this will end some games in a hurry because it’s an instant. EOT? Strength for 6 on my trampler! Have any removal? No? GG. Very strong.

    JAMES

    Sicko instant. Probably worth 5cc to put 2 plus Counters on two creatures. It’s a colorless multikick too making me think that this isn’t really restricted to mono color builds. What would this go in though? I’m not sure. It’s pretty steep on the curve but is the ability worth it?

    Summit Apes
    3G
    Creature – Ape
    5/2
    As long as you control a Mountain Summit Apes can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Yeah, this is solid on color, and still takes either a removal spell or a big blocker / attacker with it. I’d play him.

    JAMES
    4cc for a somewhat evasive 5/2. Does lend itself well to taking out multiple creatures but it’s weaksauce butt makes it damn vulnerable. I guess it’s not strong enough for constructed…

    Terastodon
    6GG
    Creature – Elephant
    9/9
    When Terastodon enters the battlefield, destroy up to three target noncreature permanents. For each permanent put into a graveyard this way, it’s controller puts a 3/3 green Elephant creature token onto the battlefield.
    Illus. Lars Grant-West
    Rarity: Rare

    Very cool rare. Again, thinking about monogreen… often you’ll kill your own lands with this guy, believe it or not. In fact, I might wager that this is the usual way to play Terastodon. In that case, for 8 mana (and three lands which are mostly superfluous at that point anyway), you get 18 points of power and toughness on 4 creatures! Every once in a while, you’ll nuke an opponent’s ___________ (whatever) and take a mere 15 points of power instead. Either way, this is a mega-bomb, in my opinion, and should win you the game as often as not. This also happens to be a neat LD type spell for EDH decks, as well as a great reanimator target for some such decks. Recurring this thing seems naughty indeed, maybe with Moat in play?

    JAMES

    Might be okay but not as good as Avenger (above).

    Vastwood Animist
    2G
    Creature – Elf Shaman Ally
    1/1
    {T}: Target land becomes a X/X Elemental creature until end of turn, where X is the number of Allies you control. It’s still a land.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Well, this is an ally I’d only play in solid allies, and even then, I think there are better options. Still, in allies, critical mass is important, so the Type Line of this card may end up being its best feature.

    JAMES

    Too weak. the mass of Allies required to make this work is too high to justify playing.

    Vastwood Zendikon
    4G
    Enchantment – Aura
    Enchant land
    Enchanted land is a 6/4 green Elemental creature. It’s still a land.
    When enchanted land is put into a graveyard, return that card to its owner’s hand.
    Illus. Rob Alexander
    Rarity: Common
    Set Number: #117/145

    My least favorite Zendikon in some regards, but still decent. I think as a later drop, this has the advantage of being less of a tempo speed bump, since you’ll still probably have plays you can make, and being set back from 5 to 4 is a lot easier than from 2 to 1 mana, for example. So playing this “on curve” is easier on your tempo. I dunno… these are hard to evaluate. I’m usually going to hope for better actual creatures, but these are in the middle of my pick orders at present, especially the flying zendikon. Playable, I’d say, but uniquely weird.

    JAMES

    I’m not too hot on this. It’s definitly beefy enough on the attack and butt side that the stats don’t completely stink but it’s really not impressive.

    Wolfbriar Elemental
    2GG
    Creature – Elemental
    4/4
    Multikicker {G}
    When Wolfbriar Elemental enters the battlefield, put a 2/2 green Wolf creature token onto the battlefield for each time it was kicked.
    Rarity: Rare

    Bomb. Absolute bomb. Nearly a bomb without being kicked, but not quite. Kick it twice and it’s out of control. Even once is great. When you top deck this on turn 14 or whatever with 8+ mana in play, you’re going to win, absent a counterspell. Very strong

    JAMES

    Balanced on the cost side but it’s not as good as Master of the Wild Hunt because you can’t use the wolves for spot removal. Hmmm, it’s tough to say. It’s certainly big enough but I worry that if I pay 5cc for this and get a 2/2 I’m going to be a little behind on board position. It’s also not an “on curve” play like the Master of the Wild Hunt because I have to drop this on turn 5 or 6 to really get my mana’s worth… Maybe I’m being too conservative?

    That does it for Green. Stay tuned: our multicolor, colorless, and lands batch will finish our review series up, and should be published in the next 24 hours or so. Thanks for reading, and as always, let us know where we screwed the pooch in the comments!

    Worldwake Set Review – Red

    Time to look at some red cards. If you’re just tuning in, we’ve broken the new Worldwake cards into colors and given you our initial reactions to them. I will evaluate each card with an eye toward limited play with an occasional word about EDH or eternal formats. My colleague James will gear his comments more toward constructed formats like standard and extended. To read the series from the beginning, start with our white review, here.

    Tally ho!

    Akoum Battlesinger
    1R
    Creature – Human Berserker Ally
    1/1
    Haste
    Whenever Akoum Battlesinger or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may have Ally creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.
    Rarity: Common

    I like this global pump ally. It’s a more fleeting kind of ability than the counter based allies, but this should help fill out an aggressive ally build for sure. A nifty common.

    JAMES

    As I’ve mentioned a few times through out the set reviews (white, Blue and black), I don’t see Allies being much of a powerhouse. They’re generally “meh” so for the time being I’m going to forgo looking at Allies cards from a constructive perspective–at least unless something really catches my eye. The time frame for constructing a kick-ass Standard/Type 2 build using Allies is just not within the scope of these reviews. One avenue worth examining is whether Boros Bushwacker could be converted over to an Allies deck (at least partially)…

    Bazaar Trader
    1R
    Creature – Goblin
    1/1
    {T}: Target player gains control of target artifact, creature or land that you control.
    Illus. Matt Cavotta
    Rarity: Rare
    Set Number: #72/145

    Well, I’m immediately reminded of Trix, a notorious deck that used Donate on Illusions of Grandeur as its kill. I’m not sure what the best thing would be to use this ability on in recent times. Abyssal Persecutor, also from Worldwake seems cute, but not very good, really. Immortal Coil? Donate your Platinum Angel…. no wait! Maybe you donate your Platinum Angel to the guy who controls Abyssal Persecutor! Then what? I’m getting sidetracked here. In limited, I can’t think of a reason you’d activate this either. Maybe I’m missing something huge, but I think this is the Steamflogger Boss rare of Worldwake, only for limited you don’t even get a hill giant, but rather an anemic bear I’d probably not play in my monored deck.

    JAMES

    why would I want to do something like this? I am writing this review through a fog of [what I hope is] a 24 hour flu but I’m not seeing this. Maybe I’m just a selfish player but I can’t think of a card that if I gave it to my opponent, he/she would lose…so wtf would I want to do this for?

    Bull Rush
    R
    Instant
    Target creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
    Rarity: Common

    Well, it’s an okay trick I guess, but it’s definitely nothing flashy. Seems old fashioned. I like its simplicity, which is has in spades, and doesn’t have much else.

    JAMES

    At least it only costs R is all I can think of. There are so many better cards for constructed that deal two points of damage and have more flexiblity than this.

    Chain Reaction
    2RR
    Sorcery
    Chain Reaction deals X damage to each creature, where X is the number of creatures on the battlefield.
    Illus. Trevor Claxton
    Rarity: Rare

    Holy smokes! Say hello to one of the chase rares, folks. Feels a lot like a red Wrath of God, doesn’t it? Can’t praise this more than that. This is a global sweeper, and is an extremely strong card in limited. But sometimes it will be a lame pyroclasm, so it’s not quite the same as WoG. But for most intents and purposes, it’s a red wrath. Very cool.

    JAMES

    This is pretty sicko. A new varition on a Day of Judgement for red. Mass removal at 4cc is typically played extensively across a number of formats. I’ll wager this makes SB for Type 2 decks like mono-red burns (to bring in against Vamps and Jund). This is the kind of card that completely reverses the card advantage-nature brought about by Bloodbraid Elf, Sprouting Thrinax, Broodmate Dragon, and Gatekeeper of Malakir. I can also see this in the U/W/r control decks as another way of punishing players for over extending. That is [card]Wall of Denial[card] will likely sitck around (x/6 butt is huge) while the opposing players entire force will be reset. Hawt card.

    Claws of Valakut
    1RR
    Enchantment – Aura
    Enchant creature
    Enchanted creature gets +1/+0 for each Mountain you control and has first strike.
    Rarity: Common

    A strong aura. I have an aversion to auras because I love snagging someone in a 241 by killing their dude in response to their aura, or just killing it whenever with an aura like this that doesn’t shield the creature. Also, I don’t like having to carefully play around this pitfall when I’m the one wielding the aura… I often fail and fall in the 241 pit. So I have this aversion. But… this is the kind of aura that CAN be an exception in some narrow circumstances. In a very quick monored or similar deck, especially with evasive creatures, this can be the nail in the coffin. As your opponent struggles to keep up with your early pressure, you’ll have an opening sooner or later to confidently lay this on an evasive guy, and get in for serious damage. Anyway, this is usually not my bag, but I’ve seen it done to great effect, and if I’m in fast monored, I’ll definitely try one of these.

    JAMES

    Pretty interesitng. If you can plop this on a creature with at least an x/4 butt this could be nasty. I can’t think of many auruas that see play–and the reason is obvious: auraus go to the graveyard if hte creature dies–contrasted with equipments that stick around. (ahem, Mr Obvious). So while probably a good play for a mono-Red play in limited it’s not that great for constructed. Too bad it’s not +x to toughness where x equals the nuber of non basics you control. that would be slick.

    Comet Storm
    XRR
    Instant
    Multikicker {1} (You may pay an additional {1} any number of times as you cast this spell.)
    Choose target creature or player, then choose another target creature or player for each time Comet Storm was kicked. Comet Storm then deals X damage to each of them.
    Illus. Jung Park
    Rarity: Mythic Rare

    I like comet storm, but I am of the opinion that banefire is superior. This is not germane to the discussion of limited, in which this card is hands down bonkers nuts, and I’m glad it’s a mythic. Fireball type effects that can dome or is creatures are already sick in limited, and ones that can do both are fantastic. Ones that can potentially hit several creatures AND dome for a significant amount later on? Well, that’s just nutty. Comet storm does have speed issues, but this is Zendikar, home of landfall and 19 land limited decks that curve out at 3. I mean, you’ll have a chance to do stupid things with this. Or, hopefully, you’ll just need the one target, amirite?! Love comet storm.

    JAMES

    Well, let’s see. 8cc to deal 5 damage to a Baneslayer Angel and 5 to an opponent. On the low-end it’s pretty cheap to knock out a bunch of creatures–it’s cheaper than Fireball at least that is massively epxensive to hit multiple creatures with any real affect. Anyway, this is a good card. I’d not be surpised to this going into a Mono-Red Burn deck as a 1-2x or a x/R-control style deck that needs more kill outlets late game, such as Crypt of Agadeem powered deck. (not really controlling, I know, but it came to mind as a “big mana” deck).

    Cosi’s Ravager
    3R
    Creature – Elemental
    2/2
    Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may have Cosi’s Ravager Servant deal 1 damage to target player.
    Rarity: Common

    I’m not that pumped about this. This is too expensive for a piddly 2/2 that has a cute ability that won’t hit creatures. Nope, I don’t dig it.

    JAMES

    It’s aight. Not going to be very good in constructed.

    Crusher Zendikon
    2R
    Enchantment – Aura
    Enchant land
    Enchanted land is a 4/2 red Beast creature with trample. It’s still a land.
    When enchanted land is put into a graveyard, return that card to its owner’s hand.
    Rarity: Common

    Teetering Peaks, your time has come my friend.” TP: “I’m a real boy!” Sorry, Pinocchio reference. Yeah, I’m not into the red one as much as the blue and black ones so far. Still interested to see how this gets put to use.

    JAMES

    Lol @ Joe. Anyway, these aura series are okay. I mentioned liking the blue variation and I’ll stand by that being the most likely to see play.

    Cunning Sparkmage
    2R
    Creature – Human Shaman
    0/1
    Haste
    {T}: Cunning Sparkmage deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Yeah, this guy’s got the goods. Very nice. He’s even better than Vulshok Sorcerer, IMO, since the one power isn’t relevant on a pinger / timmy, and the extra R made the sorcerer less spashable. But a haste pinger is always superb.

    JAMES

    I don’t THINK this is good enough. I like pingers and a hasty pinger is definitly better. I just don’t think it’s good enough. I guess I have to ask myself, “If this guy/gal cost 5cc and did 2 damage, I would say, Yeah!” but as it is now, only 1 damage isn’t enough. I guess I just can’t think of a deck where I’d rather play the pinger over a straight up burn spell…

    Deathforge Shaman
    4R
    Creature – Ogre Shaman
    4/3
    Multikicker {R}
    When Deathforge Shaman enters the battlefield, it deals damage to target player equal to twice the number of times it was kicked.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Pop Quiz: how many times do you have to multi-kick Deathforge Shaman before it is more efficient than a Comet Storm to the dome? You might be surprised to hear that a Deathforge Shaman multikicked four times (total mana cost 4R + RRRR or CMC 9 is more efficient than comet storm for X = 7, also costing 9, and the efficiency then grows in favor of the shaman. Kicked only three times, the two spells are equally efficient, costing 8 and doing 6 damage. This is all providing you have tons of red mana, as this multikicker requires. Plus Comet Storm is removal too, I’m just pointing out that this guy can be every bit as much of a late game neutron bomb laser beam as any X spell of old, and a 4/3 ain’t shabby either. I dig this guy.

    JAMES

    Cool. I like Joe’s breakdown actually. Need a LOT of mana to get it going but you do have the creature too. Neat. I’ll bet it’s too expensive as a 5 drop but the concept of a 1x is interesting. But building decks with a bunch of 1x’s is for the EDH crowd. ;-) What I mean is, this is too expensive for constructed play.

    Dragonmaster Outcast
    R
    Creature – Human Shaman
    1/1
    At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control six or more lands, put a 5/5 red Dragon creature token with flying onto the battlefield.
    Rarity: Mythic Rare
    Set Number: #81/145

    Yowza yowza. Okay, so this seems totally crazed. Than goodness this is a vulnerable 1/1! I think if you even get one dragon out of him, you’re looking just swell. Man. I’d definitely run him and I think I’d splash him as my only red card if I see him but aren’t playing red. “Used all your removal yet? Let’s find out.” It’s a must kill removal bait if nothing else. And if they don’t have such, you just won the game for sitting there and then tapping a mountain. This is the kind of thug that makes removal king of limited.

    JAMES

    Ultimately the issue I have the 1-drops that do amazing things (like Scut Mob) is that they are seriously vulnerable and you don’t have much incentive or playing them early game. And Red decks don’t like have 6 mana on the table. That means they missed a copule of burn spells or the opponent was able to stablize and the game state is swinging toward the red burn deck ‘never’ winning. There is the off-hand chance that this makes an excellent SB option for Red that (as I just said) has serious issues digging out of late game states…Testing will tell.

    Goblin Roughrider
    2R
    Creature – Goblin Knight
    3/2
    Rarity: Common

    Well you can’t be strictly better than gray ogre and be less interesting than this, I think. Still, not bad stats for a vanilla guy.

    JAMES

    Nothing here.

    Grotag Goblin Thrasher
    4R
    Creature – Lizard
    3/3
    Whenever Grotag Goblin Thrasher attacks, target creature can’t block this turn.
    Rarity: Common

    Yeah, I like this. I’ll wait a turn and pay more for my hill giant for this. Very cool.

    JAMES

    WAAAY to expensive for contsructed.

    Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
    3RR
    Legendary Creature – Ogre Warrior
    5/4
    Whenever a creature under an opponent’s control attacks you, put a 3/3 red Ogre creature token onto the battlefield unless that creature’s controller pays {3}.
    Rarity: Rare

    Hey, not bad! Swell body for the cost, and maybe an ogre here and there. More likely you staunch much of their attacks until they can kill this. Also, this is a dud EDH general.

    JAMES

    Very freaking interesting. Very. The general stats are good enough to warrant a look. My biggest hestiation is that it costs 5cc and doens’t “mana-sap” your opponent enough. There are plenty of deadly two drops like Putrid Leech that will take this bad boy out. I guess that means I don’t see this being a constructed staple.

    Mordant Dragon
    3RRR
    Creature – Dragon
    5/5
    Flying
    {1}{R}: Mordant Dragon gets +1+0 until end of turn.
    Whenever Mordant Dragon deals combat damage to a player, you may have it deal that much damage to a creature that player controls.
    Rarity: Rare

    5/5 flier for 6 is damn good in limited, and this one pumps and represents long term reusable removal. This is a house in limited, in short.

    JAMES

    Cool dragon. It’s no Broodmate Dragon but it acts as a piece of flying removal too. That’s pretty cool. Red Deck Wins style decks should toy around with this. I know it seems expensive but being able to knock out creatures is nothing to scoff at. It’s an “investment” play. That is, you’re investing in next turn removal. Maybe too risky in the end but DAMN worth experimenting with.

    Quest for the Goblin Lord
    R
    Enchantment
    Whenever a Goblin enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a quest counter on Quest for the Goblin Lord.
    As long as Quest for the Goblin Lord has five or more counters on it, creatures you control get +2/+0.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Well, I dunno about this one. How many goblins are there? Torch slinger. Goblin shortcutters. I’m not sure you can get enough of them to make this even go active. Even if you did… well, I guess if you did it’s still a constant trumpet blast, which is good, I’m just highly skeptical about how consistently this will go active.

    JAMES

    Luckily there are enough very good goblins that this might be doable. Goblin Guide, Warren Instigator, Siege Gang Commander. Hmmm…Probably a playble goblin I’m forgetting. I don’t like this card as a main strategy but the only way to use it reliably is to play it as a 4x. Hmm, what does everyone else think? Too dependent on other goblins to make it worth it?

    Ricochet Trap
    3R
    Instant – Trap
    If an opponent cast a blue spell this turn, you may pay {R} rather than pay Ricochet Trap’s mana cost.
    Change the target of target spell with a single target.
    Illus. Jaime Jones
    Rarity: Uncommon
    Set Number: #87/145

    I’ve always been a sucker for Deflection type spells, so I’m already in love with this spell, even at full price. The discount against blue is a tradition dating back to Red Elemental Blast. This is an awesome spell, in my opinion, and it’s a particularly insulting subtype of 241 interaction when you send your opponent’s removal spell back at their own hapless minion. I love this. Don’t forget that this spell is effectively “counter target counterspell-like spell with a single target” or something along those lines, because you can use this spell to change the target of a counterspell, cancel, flashfreeze, etc. that’s on the stack to target Ricochet Trap instead. This is a largely unknown use of these spells… I’ve seen people punt on this in the past, so know the trick!

    JAMES

    I’m trying to remember the rules around Cruel Ultimatum and whether you can swing this at the opponent’s dome. For some reason I remember it doesn’t work that way because it’s “target opponent” and (baring not a multiplayer game), you’re the only opponent so it resolves on you anyway. If I’m completely about that ruling then this is great. But I’m 99% sure I’m right. [Sad Face].

    Roiling Terrain
    2RR
    Sorcery
    Destroy target land, then Roiling Terrain deals damage to that land’s controller equal to the number of land cards in that player’s graveyard.
    Rarity: Common

    This looks like fun. In a lot of games, this will actually Lightning Bolt your opponent or better after nuking their land. Between fetchlands and extra lands being discarded and the land you kill with the spell itself, 3 seems like about the upper limit for limited. In constructed formats, this could be a nice 4-slot land destruction spell, since it doubles as burn and will do much more in those formats. I like it in limited simply because LD spells, even as late as turn 4, will punish most mis-step draws an opponent might have. If they miss one of the first four land drops and you don’t and you cast this spell… well, that should be game over right there in a majority of such games. Therefore, this definitely has a place at the table.

    JAMES
    This could be sort of interesting. There are a lot of fetch-based mana builds. The question is, Is removing one of your opponents lands (knocking them back a turn, granted) AND doing maybe…3 damage worth 4cc? I don’t think it’s enough. Wouldn’t a Red mage rather cast something like Hells Thunder AND have mana left for an EOT Lightning Bolt? That’s 7 damange for the same 4cc. Plus, what type of player are we doing this to? Vamps is going to scoff at your play because of the low mana curve–same for Boros and mirror Red burn. I think Jund and U/W/x are the most vulnerable to this card. It may be worth taking Jund off color–that is destroying their only green source for example. But then it’s likely you’re only doing 1 damage (they don’t run a lot of fetches…only 4x Verdant Catacombs). Yeah, I guess this is a “no” conculsion.

    Rumbling Aftershocks
    4R
    Enchantment
    Whenever you cast a kicked spell, you may have Rumbling Aftershocks deal damage to target creature or player equal to the number of times that spell was kicked.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Nice. This could potentially sneak into a weird mini-archetype of its own creation. There’s enough multikicker spells, it seems, to have a deck that can consistently mutlikick a spell or two in the late game. But this doesn’t do anything “on its own” which is usually the hallmark of bad spells for limited. Still, I think if the critical mass is there, you might get away with this. Enchantment removal is seldom maindecked, and you can always play mind games in game 2, siding this out if it’s your main or only enchantment. This is a very narrow, unlikely deck to succeed with, but I still think it might be fun to try. For 90%+ of situations in limited, I would advise you avoid this card.

    JAMES

    Barfy, do-nothing spell.

    Searing Blaze
    RR
    Instant
    Searing Blaze deals 1 damage to target player and 1 damage to target creature that player controls.
    Landfall – If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, Searing Blaze deals 3 damage to that player and 3 damage to that creature instead.
    Rarity: Common

    I like this spell, reminiscent of Lash Out. Ironically, the place I want this most outside of limited is a dedicated burn deck, the mirror match of which happens to make this the worst card in your deck, as you have to have an opposing creature to target in order to cast this thing. Anyway, that’s irrelevant to limited, where this will almost always be two lightning bolts on one card with the requirement that you hit one creature with the first bolt and dome them with the other. Sounds good to me.

    JAMES

    Proably good enough for limited…but even there I think “one damage isn’t shit.” I’d say “yes” if it was 2 damage divided as you choose between any number of creatures or players. Alas, it is not and you’re stuck doing an amazing 1 damage each for 2 red. It is good against Mirror Red burns where the player is running x/1 tramplers like Ball Lightning…I guess I really don’t like this. Seems too underwhelming to me.

    Skitter of Lizards
    R
    Creature – Lizard
    1/1
    Multikicker {1}{R} (You may pay an additional {1}{R} any number of times as you cast this spell.)
    Haste
    Skitter of Lizards enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
    Illus. Warren Mahy
    Rarity: Common

    Yet again we have a 1/1 that can be a gray ogre or a bad hill giant or an even worse… uh… 7-drop 4/4? Anyway, this is all helped by the haste in this case, making the 1/1 version a Raging Goblin, and the 2/2 version a Goblin Chariot, and the others…. well, the other versions are hasty, put it that way. I’m not sure there are historical antecedents. This is among the best representatives of this cycle so far, I’d say. I’m happy to play this guy in fast red decks.

    JAMES

    Weak sauce just like the whole cycle.

    Slavering Nulls
    1R
    Creature – Goblin Zombie
    2/1
    Whenever Slavering Nulls deals combat damage to a player, if you control a Swamp, you may have that player discard a card.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Not bad. It’s the right bear body for the money, and will sometimes nuke a slow opponent in the style of Ravenous Rats or some such. I think this has a lot going for it. What’s with the (mono)red zombie? That’s a Magic first, from what I can tell (not counting Changelings). Am I missing something? This one gets the nod, but barely. I’d rather have Goblin Shortcutter, for example.

    JAMES
    Turn three could be pretty brutal if you get hit with a Blightning AND this guy. In the black review, there was also a discard outlet I liked. (Bloodhusk Ritualist) Maybe R/B running this guy, blightning, bloodhusk ritualist, quest for the nihil stone, and good ol’ Hypnoic Specter could be good. Backed up with the standard suite of Lighning Bolts and Burst Lightnings and a Bloodcheif Assension???

    Stone Idol Trap
    5R
    Instant – Trap
    Stone Idol Trap costs {1} less to cast for each attacking creature.
    Put a 6/12 colorless Construct artifact creature token with trample onto the battlefield. Exile it at the beginning of your next end step.
    Rarity: Rare

    Holy crud! 6/12? Twelve? Really? I can see this costing 2R a lot of times. It’s going to kill something, so it’s a decent removal spell, but then it also is going to either kill something else, soak a removal spell, or smash your opponent for upwards of 6 damage. So yeah, I think this is knocking on the door of Bomb country for limited.

    JAMES

    I’ve seen extended Doran, the siege tower decks running blue for counter magic but I wonder if against the Zoo decks this is better than blue. Probably not but it is a good stabalizer…Just don’t want to pull this off a Dark Confidant. I REALLY don’t like only getting the one chance to swing with it but it needed to be balanced I guess. Hmm, that was really the only immediate application I saw but in standard this is also viable. The trample makes it huge. I’m on the fence.

    Tuktuk Scrapper
    3R
    Creature – Goblin Artificer Ally
    2/2
    Whenever Tuktuk Scrapper or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may destroy target artifact. If that artifact is put into a graveyard this way, Tuktuk Scrapper deals damage equal to the number of Allies you control to that artifact’s controller.
    Rarity: Uncommon
    Set Number: #94/145

    Interesting. Definitely gets played in allies, where critical mass is uber important. This will usually not hit a lot of artifacts though… I’m thinking 1-2 on the high side. Still, there are a couple of really annoying artifacts, and this uncommon helps allies combat them with little lost opportunity cost. I like it okay, even though it’s a very vulnerable 2/2.

    JAMES

    I like the idea of destroying a Trusty Machete but that’s limited. I don’t think this will see much play in any format outside limited.

    As always we want to hear what you think. Did we miss anything? Are we completely off base on any of our comments? Let us know in the comments! :)

    Worldwake Set Review – Black

    Welcome to the black section of our Worldwake set review series. The series started here with white, for those just joining us. I will initially evaluate each card for Limited and eternal formats / EDH. James will then add his comments for the realm of standard, block, and occasionally extended. Let’s get down to business.

    Abyssal Persecutor
    2BB
    Creature – Demon
    6/6
    Flying, trample
    You can’t win the game and your opponents can’t lose the game.
    Rarity: Mythic Rare

    Oh man, Black starts with a bang. This guy made some waves in my dork email threads. Now obviously this twist on Platinum Angel is going to require that you have some kind of sacrifice outlet in your deck: big deal! Constructed has a plethora of options, most notable, perhaps, being Gatekeeper of Malakir, a card black decks love running anyway. All of this is germane to constructed, however, whereas in limited, you may not be able to play this guy simply because you have no way to kill him. And as a mythic rare in pack 3, you’re not going to be able to prepare specifically for this card, so your sacrifice outlet may have to come from your Worldwake booster. Just keep this stuff in mind when contemplating this otherwise rather deadly 4-drop flying trampler.

    JAMES

    I don’t see this as much of a drawback. I can just see people ussing Assasinate on their own guy so they can win. lol.

    Agadeem Occultist
    2B
    Creature – Human Shaman Ally
    0/2
    {T}: Put target creature card from an opponent’s graveyard onto the battlefield under your control if its converted mana cost is less than or equal to the number of Allies you control.
    Rarity: Rare

    Another ally that will be gruesome indeed when the times are good, and pitiful to negligible when the going gets tough. Allies is very much an “all in” kind of strategy in this regard. This will he hawt for the heavy allies drafter who is passed this by other players with no interest in hating.

    JAMES

    Not bad for 3 cc but there really aren’t enough low-costing allies to justfiy this. I just don’t think Allies have much of a future outside limited and MAYBE block…Think we’ll see allies in later sets? Rise of the Elderazi? And afterwards?

    Anowon, the Ruin Sage
    3BB
    Legendary Creature – Vampire Shaman
    4/3
    At the beginning of your upkeep, each player sacrifices a non-Vampire creature.
    Illus. Dan Scott
    Rarity: Rare
    Set Number: #49/145

    Now THIS might make an interesting EDH general! Sheldon Menery, prepare to hate this guy’s Timmy hostility. He’s cheap and disruptive. This is another guy who’s significantly better if you happen to have a few vampires already, but he’s also good enough that few people will pass him, unlike the ally above. I think he’s going to create some serious problems for opposing mages in limited.

    JAMES

    Kinda cool. Tons of vamps in these last two sets (Zendikar & Worldwake) but this is getting pretty pricy. I just don’t think it’s a game winner and for 5cc I want a game winner. I’m comparing this to Malakir Bloodwitch

    Bloodhusk Ritualist
    2B
    Creature – Vampire Shaman
    2/2
    Multikicker {B}
    When Bloodhusk Ritualist enters the battlefield, target opponent discards a card for each time it was kicked.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    This guy’s going to be great for monoblack EDH decks. My pal and I have slightly different Maga, Traitor to Mortals builds, and we’re both happy about this card. It’s another big mana discard spell that comes with a gray ogre attached to it. Not bad. He’s also solid in limited, because as I’ve said many times, gray ogre is often good enough to run on its own, and this just gives it some extra oomph. On turn 5 you’ll sometimes be emptying your opponent’s hand of those high-curve bombs he was about to drop. Not too shabby, I’d say.

    JAMES

    First reaction? “Holy Shit”. Seriously. Sitting on the bus (38L w00t) writing this and I said, “Holy Shit.” It’s so damn cheap!!!–Playable.

    Bojuka Brigand
    1B
    Creature – Human Warrior Ally
    1/1
    Bojuka Brigand can’t block.
    Whenever Bojuka Brigand or another Ally creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Bojuka Brigand.
    Rarity: Common

    Pretty mediocre guy, strictly worse than Oran-rief Survivalist but still essentially the same creature. Good enough as a “grizzly bear +”.

    JAMES

    Not strictly worse, joe. The same. Meh…I guess there could be a hybrid colored Ally deck in these cards…but for standard? extended? GTFOH.

    Brink of Disaster
    2BB
    Enchantment – Aura
    Enchant creature or land
    When enchanted permanent becomes tapped, destroy it.
    Rarity: Common

    Well, it’s a bit expensive, and your opponent gets to decide when the permanent dies, typically. They can also buy themselves time to find removal if that’s what they want to do. I want harder removal than this. This is quite soft.

    JAMES

    Hits the battlefield too late to be viable. Meaning, it can be played around.

    Butcher of Malakir
    5BB
    Creature – Vampire Warrior
    5/4
    Flying
    Whenever Butcher of Malakir or another creature you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, each opponent sacrifices a creature.
    Rarity: Rare

    Another bomby rare here, but with far fewer strings attached. If your deck can live to drop a 7 consistently, then this will help considerably with the late game attrition war, if the 5 points of flying power doesn’t do the trick on its own. I’m thinking you can suicide attack with some confidence once this guy’s on the battlefield. Top marks from me.

    JAMES

    It’s aight. Pretty damn expensive for 7cc. So, yeah…too slow for constructed.

    Caustic Crawler
    3BB
    Creature – Insect
    4/3
    Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may have target creature get -1/-1 until end of turn.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    This uncommon will be another element that can theoretically slow this format down a bit, taking out the various 1-toughness speed beaters of the ZZZ era. This guy isn’t bad at 4/3 for the cost, and the ability should help you out significantly. Save some land drops for that second main phase, folks!

    JAMES

    Very cool uncommon. So HAWT with Marsh Casualties. It’s a LITTLE slow at 5cc becuse a kicked burst lightning takes thsi guy out before you [concievably] start using his soft spot removal but it’s very appealing. I guess I’m talking limited. For constructed it’s just too hefty a cost for this meta.

    Corrupted Zendikon
    1B
    Enchantment – Aura
    Enchant land
    Enchanted land is a 3/3 black Ooze creature. It’s still a land.
    When enchanted land is put into a graveyard, return that card to its owner’s hand.
    Rarity: Common

    You know, I like the flying blue zendikon best, but this is a close second. It’s a watchwolf with a weird kind of built-in tempo loss and additional potential tempo loss, but it’s probably worth it. The more I think about these zendikons, the more I’m getting on board with them. I’m definitely interested to see how they play out. I’m on the fence, leaning toward embracing these.

    JAMES

    Pretty cheap actually. Not sure B wants to do this on turn two though. I’m thinking in Blightning packing decks. Turn two is (typically) reseved for Putrid Leeches and having to replay a recently lightning bolted creature isn’t very appealing.

    Dead Reckoning
    1BB
    Sorcery
    You may put target creature card from your graveyard on top of your library.
    If you do, Dead Reckoning deals damage equal to that card’s power to target creature.
    Rarity: Common

    Wowzers. This is quite a removal spell. Common, too! I think black has a lot of recursion potential these days, enabling the already fast color to play a more deliberate long game strategy as well. I like this card as a mid game removal spell. You do exchange your next draw for the recurred creature, but you’ve nuked an opponent’s spell as well. If your returned creature was something like the aforementioned Gatekeeper of Malakir, then you’ve got a mini engine online. Should be a mainstay, I’m thinking.

    JAMES

    Sexy. I like how it potentially works off ETBF abilities like Bloodbraid Elf…Man, cascade on a 4cc creature is broken. lol. This is a cool card that has some power to it…I wonder if “to creature or player” was just too broken…question for R&D i guess.

    Death’s Shadow
    B
    Creature – Avatar
    13/13
    Death’s Shadow gets -X/-X, where X is your life total.
    Rarity: Rare
    Set Number: #57/145

    This is one of the most exciting and hyped cards of my email thread discussions. People are pumped about this guy. I love the silly combo with Lich myself, but that’s just me. I think the most prescient thing to note about this guy came from a guy on my thread who said something along the lines of: “drop this with 10 life, and it’s still a 3/3 for 1, only now the more life you lose, the bigger he gets.” Nice way to think about him, I think. I know this will play well with early Vampire Lacerators and such. Seems fine to me. As a rather obvious side note, this is likely unplayable in EDH. Lol.
    JAMES

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see this as a 1-2x SB option for bringing in against either Red Burn or Boros Bushwacker builds. It’s SO freaking cheap. It makes Scute Mob feel stupid.

    Jagwasp Swarm
    3B
    Creature – Insect
    3/2
    Flying
    Rarity: Common

    You know, I think this card would otherwise be fine in limited. 3 power and flying for hill giant’s mana cost… usually this is fine. But this format can kill 2 toughness creatures with relative ease. I’d be a little hesitant about this guy, therefore. There’s a lot of creatures nowadays whose envelope has been pushed farther than this. Anyway, he can fill a needed gap, but otherwise, I’m looking for something a little better. This will still do some beating though. He’s on the solid side of marginal, if that makes any sense.

    JAMES

    Meh. Moving on.

    Kalastria Highborn
    BB
    Creature – Vampire Shaman
    2/2
    Whenever Kalastria Highborn or another Vampire you control is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay {B}. If you do, target player loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.
    Rarity: Rare

    Not bad for a bear, albeit a rare bear. In heavy vampires, the ability could net you 8, 12, or 16 point swings… usually you’ll get at least a 4 point life swing if you play conservatively… and even if he dies when you’re tapped out, you still had a bear, so big deal. I think vampires might be a new archetype to force along the lines of allies in ZZZ and presumably ZZW. There’s quite a good pool of vampire synergy now. The mass appears to be approaching critical. We shall see.

    JAMES

    WOW. This card LOVES Bloodghast. Certainly worth playing with.

    Mire’s Toll
    B
    Sorcery
    Target player reveals a card from his or her hand for each Swamp you control. Choose one of those cards. That player discards that card.
    Rarity: Common

    Hmm. Well, it’s a weak kind of weak blackmail, since later on, they won’t have as many cards left as you have swamps anyway. I’m not crazy about this one. Sometimes, though, in limited, you can time discard right to nuke their high-curve bomb… so if your deck is wicked fast but lacks late game, this might be an option for you when your swamps equals their cards in hand, and you can ensure you ditch their best threat. Meh… I’m waffling here. This card has a place, but it’s not a real universal killer.

    JAMES

    Nice. This will definitly see some play. It’s no Mind Sludge or Duress but there are some distinct advantages to it; it’s SORT of like a cross between sludge and Thoughtsieze making me think it’s playable. Hmmm, worth tinkering with for Mono-B (or R/B) builds in Standard and for extended decks that run swamps. I’m hesitant to say the same for Jund-style decks because of the high dual/tri-color lands…Test it out! is all I can advocate.

    Nemesis Trap
    4BB
    Instant – Trap
    If a white creature is attacking you, you may pay {B}{B} rather than pay Nemesis Trap’s mana cost.
    Exile target creature, then put a token that is a copy of that creature onto the battlefield. Exile it at the beginning of the next end step.
    Rarity: Uncommon
    Set Number: #61/145

    This thing is nuts, IMO. Against white it’s through the roof, but even at 6 it’s going to usually be a 241, guaranteed… the only trick then is getting them to attack forcefully into your six untapped lands! I think it’s good enough though. Cards that will consistently 241 your opponent are good. This one will, and this one is. Imagine that they attack you with a Kor Hookmaster? Or a sphinx of lost truths, or a turntimber ranger, or a Bala Ged Thief, or, or, or… you get the picture.

    JAMES

    Craziness. I REALLY like this as an anti-Baneslayer Angel play. Certainly worth experimenting.

    Pulse Tracker
    B
    Creature – Vampire Rogue
    1/1
    Whenever Pulse Tracker attacks, each opponent loses 1 life.
    Rarity: Common

    Not terrible, but wimpy. In dedicated vampires, with things to do with a 1/1 that becomes roughly irrelevant mid to late, then sure. I’m not playing this outside of a very dedicated vampire theme though.

    JAMES

    Not really good enough. I like that on T2, unblocked you’re doing 2 damage and if you keep presenting threats on-curve then really the 1/1 won’t be blocked making it essentially a 2/1 for 1cc. That puts it on par with Elite Vanguard which saw (and may still see) some play. It’s certainly no Vampire Lacerator though.

    Quag Vampires
    B
    Creature – Vampire Rogue
    1/1
    Multikicker {1}{B}
    Swampwalk
    Quag Vampires enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
    Rarity: Common

    He’s a gray ogre usually. Late game he’s a 5-drop 3/3. Not exciting. Then he’s a 7-drop 4/4. He does make a great sideboard against black, and he IS slightly more versatile than a plain old ogre. But he’s not terribly exciting. Again, though, dedicated vampires might drop him as a 1/1, so he has uses.

    JAMES

    No thanks. No, really. No thanks.

    Quest for the Nihil Stone
    B
    Enchantment
    Whenever an opponent discards a card, you may put a quest counter on Quest for the Nihil Stone.
    At the beginning of each opponent’s upkeep, if that player has no cards in hand and Quest for the Nihil Stone has two or more quest counters on it, you may have that player lose 5 life.
    Rarity: Rare
    Set Number: #64/145

    Initially I thought you sacrificed to deal the 5, but knowing that it’s a recurring 5 any time they’re hellbent… well, that makes it significantly better. This is very easy to play around in limited absent discard though. I’m not seeing how this will wreck a careful player’s day.

    JAMES

    Wow. There are some very interesting quests coming out in this set. I’m very intrigued by the interaction between this one (Q. for the Nihil) and Bloodcheif Asscension. Esspecially on the back of some of the insane discard like Bloodhusk Ritualist (see above)…and a long time favorite of mine Blightning.

    Ruthless Cullblade
    1B
    Creature – Vampire Warrior
    2/1
    Ruthless Cullblade gets +2/+1 as long as an opponent has 10 or less life.
    Illus. rk Post
    Rarity: Common
    Set Number: #65/145

    A weak bear and then later on, a 4/2 for 2. Solid all the way around. Should be a staple filler vampire warrior. Keep this kind of guy in mind for pack 3 when you’re deciding whether to fill a bear slot in your vampire deck with something like surrakar marauder or the like… it might be better to wait for a real vamp. Definitely a situational consideration, but know that there are common, decent, early vampires in worldwake.

    JAMES

    I’ve always liked Guul Draz Vampire and I still do–at least over this one. I like the evasion of Guul…it’s sickaliciousness. and this one isn’t.

    Scrib Nibblers
    2B
    Creature – Rat
    1/1
    {T}: Exile the top card of target player’s library. If it’s a land card, you gain 1 life.
    Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may untap Scrib Nibblers.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Ah, book eaters. So you can potentially make someone miss a land drop… but it’s pretty random, and I can’t see what kind of game plan this would further. I’m not down with this rat.

    JAMES

    Puke.

    Shoreline Salvager
    3B
    Creature – Surrakar
    3/3
    When Shoreline Salvager deals combat damage to a player, if you control an Island, draw a card.
    Rarity: Uncommon
    Set Number: #67/145

    Nice hill giant! He’s Johnny Magic (shadowmage infiltrator, for the n00bs) if you’re in blue, a natural pairing for black, though this color combination wasn’t super popular in ZZZ to my limited knowledge. I think this uncommon will help make that color combination better for sure. But you can’t count on seeing any given uncommon in pack 3 really… I dunno. He’ll randomly be great for some people. I wonder where my own decision point will be when it comes time to potentially hate draft one of these. I mean, a plain old hill giant isn’t THAT terrible, really. I dunno. If you’re solid black or black with another non-blue splash, and you crack this in your pack 3, do you try to add blue? Hard question. But I think he’s around that powerful. I’d sure be tempted to get greedy.

    JAMES

    I sorta like this. I don’t see this being all that hot in constructed because the cost is so high. BUT it’s looking good for limited.

    Smother
    1B
    Instant
    Destroy target creature with converted mana cost 3 or less. It can’t be regenerated.
    Rarity: Uncommon

    Awesome reprint. Solid removal. Very strong. Moving on.

    JAMES

    I expect this to see play. I’m happy to see this solid reprint.

    Tomb Hex
    2B
    Instant
    Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn.
    Landfall – If a land entered the battlefield under your control this turn, that creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn instead.
    Rarity: Common

    More excellent removal for black, the removal-iest color of them all. This is just plain solid. Trick some fools with a fetch land and sudden death one of their guys!

    JAMES

    HOLY SMOKES, BATMAN. this is redonk!! Well, not as good as Sudden Death (by a LONG shot) but it’s super solid. Next to Smother it’s not that hot either…man, i guess i’m resinding this. I just think it looks so cheap. But I was getting ahead of myself. Great for limited without a doubt though! (and I know weaker players will walk their Baneslayer right into this one……but we’re not tuning our decks for weaker players, or we shouldn’t be at least.)

    Urge to Feed
    BB
    Instant
    Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn. You may tap any number of untapped Vampire creatures you control. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on each of those Vampires.
    Illus. Johann Bodin
    Rarity: Uncommon
    Set Number: #70/145

    Whoa mamma. A common with Tomb hex, plus uncommon smother, and this beautiful uncommon, reminiscent of Last Gasp. The removal looks good. This thing will be a cool play for the turn after your opponent drops a 3-toughness wall or whatever, thinking they’ve stopped the flow of vampire attacks. Then on their EOT, you smile and tap your team, growing them beyond that previous barrier, all while killing one of their peeps. Love it.

    JAMES

    OKAY, now this is getting a little insane. Declare blockers step has never looked more fun. ;-) Vamps will have to include this. To not include it would be silly.

    Worldwake’s affect on Standard decks

    Worldwake is an interesting set with a few tricks up its sleeve when it looks onto the Standard scene. We have some powerful cards that are sure to make it into every archetype available. Lets look at Jund first.

    Jund became the most powerful deck when Zendikar first pushed Lorwyn and company out of the way. Jund only had to use a single card, Verdant Catacombs, from the Zendikar block. It was easy to build, and had so much raw power from cascade that decks could not compete with the card advantage. At Worlds, players were replacing Putrid Leech with Rampant Growth to help fix their mana, and ramp up to their more powerful cards such as Broodmate Dragon and Siege-Gang Commander. Now, Jund gets to look at the new face of mana ramping: Explore.

    exploreImagine your turn 4 Bloodbraid Elf cascading into Explore. I like that it allows me to draw a card before I play my land, so I get a chance to draw a land that I might prefer to put into play. Explore will be a go-to mana ramp spell for decks that run off Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, or are trying to just play Warp World. It is a fantastic choice for many different decks other than Jund.

    Speaking of lands, Jund gets the option of a couple new ones.

    ragingravineRaging Ravine plays nicely with Explore, where it wouldn’t with Rampant Growth as it is a non-basic land and can’t be tutored up. Raging Ravine is the perfect example of how these new manlands are so powerful. They fix your mana and can be a threat at any moment. My friend Seneca pointed out a trick with this land as you can pay the 2RG multiple times to stack the “Whenever this creature attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on it” ability, so when it does end up attacking it will be granted multiple +1/+1 counters. This land can surely get out hand pretty quickly. The other beautiful thing about these lands other than being able to help your land and being almost no investment in a reusable creature resource, is that it will be living through Day of Judgment and will be unaffected by things like Sleep and Oblivion Ring. These lands will almost be invaluable in every deck they rest in.

    Vampires is the pet tribe of Wizard’s right now. They want it to succeed, and they want it to be a powerful deck. With Worldwake they got their wishes. Vampires get access to a plethora of different spells one of them being Urge to Feed.

    urgetofeedThis will be competing with the already powerful removal spells Disfigure and Tendrils of Corruption, but I see this replacing Disfigure in nearly all Vampire main decks. There is another removal spell that is returning from a hiatus nearly as long as I have been playing this game, its name is Smother. Both Urge to Feed and Smother are powerful cards, but Urge to Feed can do more relevant things such as kill Bloodbraid Elf, Ranger of Eos and even bring Baneslayer Angel down to size so that Vampire Nighthawk is able to tango with the big flier in town. The side to Urge to Feed that also interests me is its ability to pump an entire flock of Vampires. I can foresee turns where the Vampire player cracks a Marsh Flats and bring back their two Bloodghast from their graveyard, plays Urge to Feed on your Emeria Angel and pumps their entire crew of creatures getting ready for an alpha strike of their newly resurrected, now 3/2 Bloodghasts and a 3/4 Vampire Nighthawk. Its potential to turn combat so one-sided is what I love about this card. Smother on the other hand has fewer targets, but can hit things Urge to Feed can’t kill. For instance Smother can kill any token, be it a Broodmate Dragon token or a 5/5 Quest for the Gravelord zombie token. Smother can also hit the new manlands, which is pretty awesome. They both have their shining moments, but I foresee Urge to Feed being the crowd favorite by a long shot.

    Another spell Vampires have in their clutches is Mires Toll. It is more of a controlling card but sure to be a hit among a lot of players.

    mirestollIt reminds me of a middle ground between Ravens Crime and Blackmail, with a bit of Mind Sludge in there. I am still kind of up in the air about if it will beat out Duress, I’ll have to play with it a bit and see. What I do like about it is as long as they have cards in their hand, it will always hit, unlike Duress. It can also hit land, which might or might not be relevant. I do like the card though, it has a lot of power.

    Vampire players get another gem in Worldwake, one that I think will be popular at first, but end up as a two-of in Vampires lists. Her name is Kalastria Highborn.

    kalastriahighborn

    Kalastira Highborn is obviously very synergistic with Bloodghast with perhaps even an Eldrazi Monument mixed in there. She gives the Vampire players a bit of reach, but she with be battling with Vampire Hexmage as the ‘other’ two drop to Bloodghast and you obviously don’t cut any of him for Kalastra Highborn as they are nearly meant to work together. Vampire Hexmage having first strike is sometime invaluable, but in some matchups it might not even be relevant. I see Vampire Hexmage getting the full boat maindeck slot while Kalastria Highborn perhaps comes out of the board. Her “put into a graveyard” clause sometimes does not as trigger as much as the Vampire player would like due to Celestial Purge and Path to Exile picking off Bloodghasts and Vampire Nocturnus‘ left and right. That all being said, Kalastria Highborn is a powerful card in matchups like red deck wins, where cards like Bloodghast are nearly useless. She also has a cool synergy with Bloodchief Ascension that almost cannot be ignored.

    White decks of all shapes and sizes get some creatures that, for the most part, are highly efficient. Lets look at Hada Freeblade first.

    hadafreeblade

    This is the friend Kazandu Blademaster has been looking for. These two guys will work together with Honor of the Pure to create a serious army within the first few turns. Also, they are both Soldiers allowing Veteran Swordsmith to perhaps pump them into the red zone. Not to mention Ranger of Eos can pickup Hada Freeblade and bring him into the battle, along with Elite Vanguard and Akrasan Squire. There is another card that allies are going to enjoy, and coming in at instant speed is Join the Ranks.

    jointheranksJoin the Ranks is a card that will usually be a blowout in Limited, but in constructed it can be a house too. Getting multiple triggers on allies at instant speed very powerful. Imagine having a Turntimber Ranger on the battlefield and then playing Join the Ranks as your opponent attacks you. Turntimber Ranger will get two +1/+1 counters, he will put two 2/2 wolf tokens into play and then you will get your two 1/1 allies. That is an army at instant speed. Lets look at Hada Freeblade and Kazandu Blademaster both getting two +1/+1 counters, probably becoming a 4/5 and a 4/4 respectively, and you are getting two 1/1 allies. That is without an Honor of the Pure on the field. It is a powerful card, but the only problem with it is that it competes with Ranger of Eos at the four casting cost space, and we already Conquerors Pledge. It has its work cut out for it, that is for sure.

    White also gets Admonition Angel.

    8bjdgc5ifh_EN

    She is able to Oblivion Ring targets just from a landfall trigger, and has a steady 6/6 body for six mana to boot. If you are facing down an Admonition Angel and you can’t find removal, I feel sorry for you. There are going to be games where she comes down, you either Tendrils of Corruption her or perhaps you Terminate her. Then as you pass your turn, during their upkeep their Emeria, the Sky Ruin just brings her back. The mono white control decks are going to be cutting their Felidar Sovereigns and playing with yet another angel.

    White decks get Silver Knight 2.0 in the form of Kor Firewalker.

    korfirewalkerKor Firewalker is a creature that not only shuts down an entire archetype in Standard, but will be reaching his way across the formats. He makes Hellspark Elemental utterly useless, Ball Lightning just hit for a mere 3, and makes Earthquake cry. With his built in Dragons Claw, which is already in a few sideboards, you get the body of a soldier, and a seriously powerful sideboard card. Jund decks can kill it with Maelstrom Pulse and maybe block it with Putrid Leech. I see Smothers sliding into the Jund sideboard to kill this guy. The Boros mirror is going to be a fight to see who gets him out first. He isn’t exactly metagame warping, but his presence is sure to create a lot of waves.

    Red also get some good cards. It might be all for not because of Kor Firewalker, but we shall see. The first card is Chain Reaction.

    6mvou0qxyd_ENI nearly see this as a red Day of Judgment in some circumstances. Against Boros, obviously Pyroclasm is almost as useful, but it can kill Kor Skyfisher most of the time. Against Elf decks where they are all pumped up over 3 toughness, Chain Reaction can do some serious damage. I like because it can very easily do 3-4 damage to everything, which isn’t that common.

    Next up, red gets Dragonmaster Outcast.

    dragonmasteroutcastA new, and more powerful variant of Scute Mob, this gal can give you a board dominating presence in no time. Unfortunately, she has to live long enough for that to happen. Seeing as how every removal spell in the format can kill it, it isn’t going to be living long. It suffers the same problem as Elvish Piper, powerful effect, but too vulnerable. Obviously Dragonmaster Outcast has an advantage of only costing one mana, and she can be tutored up with Ranger of Eos, but at the same time, I just don’t see her being beyond a one-of card that you might get late game. She is good at what she does, but isn’t good at surviving.

    Red got very few good cards, but the last one I think that will make some Red control deck happy is Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs.

    kazuultyrantKazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs is the type of card that is costed just right. At five mana you can justify him almost all day long. Red doesn’t really get any good five mana spells other than Chandra Nalaar. The Tyrant and her seem like you could pair it with aforementioned Chain Reaction and you might just have a red control deck under your belt. Perhaps even some Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and some burn spells. I think Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs has just enough board presence and power to see play. I’m sure whoever builds this deck isn’t going to enjoy seeing Kor Firewalker though.

    Eldrazi Elves got a few powerful cards, the big one is Joraga Warcaller.

    joragawarcallerThis is what Eldrazi Elves have been waiting for. He has lots of synergy with Oran-rief, the vastwood, he is an Elf, and he makes their army of Elves really large, really quickly. The problem with cards like Elvish Archdruid is you usually just don’t have something to dump all that mana into. Joraga Warcaller is the guy who can take all that extra mana and make it worth your while. There are going to be those games where you just go Llanowar Elves into Elvish Archdruid and from there you can just play out your hand. Perhaps you just play Nissa Revane, summon up a Nissas Chosen, and then tap your Elvish Archdruid for GGG and get your Joraga Warcaller like another Elvish Champion on the table. There is also the ability to not play Nissa Revane and just dump it all into Joraga Warcaller. He is the type of card where he is sometimes ‘just’ an Elvish Champion but there are also times where is like an Elvish God, giving all your other Elves +5/+5. A cool trick I see is where you play Joraga Warcaller, as he comes into play he pumps your army, then after you attack some guys and your opponent blocks, you can tap your Oran-rief, the vastwood to put a +1/+1 counter on your Joraga Warcaller to pump them all a little more. Seems like something you can only really pull off a couple times against one person, but throughout a tournament could catch lots of people off guard. Once you do it though, be sure get back to me on how surprised they were.

    Another card that has some serious board presence, and works well with Oran-rief, the vastwood is Bestial Menace.

    bestialmenaceFor five mana you can get six power worth of guys, and they are all green. Also, the three different named tokens are Maelstrom Pulse proof, so it isn’t shut down like a Conquerers Pledge would be. I remember Cloudgoat Ranger seeing a lot play back in his day, although that is a bit different as they put Kithkin soldiers into play and they were all pumped by Wizened Cenn, but nowadays we have Oran-rief, the vastwood to pump them all. Although, we don’t have Windbrisk Heights to put this spell underneath. Either way, times have changed, but Bestial Menace is still a powerful card either way you look at it. There isn’t much else Green would rather spend five mana on. You could argue Ant Queen but Bestial Menace is harder to handle with removal, and if next turn you are looking to play Eldrazi Monument then Bestial Menace is going to deal more damage, faster, unless you have a bunch of mana to spill into Ant Queen, but at that point, you are probably winning anyway.

    Control decks have mustered some power in Worldwake, too. First off is their go-to draw spell Treasure Hunt.

    treasurehuntThis is one of the cards I am really excited to play with alongside Ponder. Going first turn Ponder and then setting up a beneficial Treasure Hunt turn is going to almost be backbreaking for your opponent. Control decks are notorious for running 25-27 land as it is, so they are the ones who will be getting the most bang for their buck with Treasure Hunt. The library manipulation will go a long way for these hunters. This spell would be great with Brainstorm.

    In comes, Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

    jacemindsculptorHis ability to Brainstorm every turn without losing loyalty is incredibly powerful. Then, when things get rough, he can start Unsummoning to create an easier board for you to find your Day of Judgment or Essence Scatter to deal with that nasty Baneslayer Angel or Knight of the Reliquary. Perhaps, you are in a stalemate so you begin building up loyalty, deciding what your opponent will draw with his +2 ability. Also, like most Planeswlakers, his ultimate ability is usually game winning, and Jace’s is no different. Exiling their library and replacing it with their hand will almost certainly win you the game. This is an incredibly powerful Planeswalker, and deserves to see a lot of play in anything running blue. If people are talking about how the old Jace Beleren came down a turn earlier, just show them Everflowing Chalice.

    chaliceThis can come down on turn two for the control deck and push out a turn three Jace, the Mind Sculptor kind of like old times. Everflowing Chalice doesn’t stop there though, it can get you to Martial Coup mana on turn five if you play it on turn four. Unfortunately it isn’t Mind Stone with the ability to draw you a card, but it can help cast some really powerful spells much sooner than certain decks would have ever seen. I see Everflowing Chalice finding its way into many decks that are more top heavy. Also, it is important to note that how it produces mana is by having charge counters on it. You can remove those with Vampire Hexmage. Also, if you want to stop your opponent from removing those counters you can set a Pithing Needle on “Vampire Hexmage” and it won’t be able to activate. I also see Jund and Naya decks perhaps packing Vithian Renegades in their sideboard to destroy their opponent’s Everflowing Chalices. It will be an important card for the control player.

    I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Worldwake. Have fun at the Prerelease this weekend.

    -Dillon

    Undiscovered Treasure: A Complete Worldwake Review

    So what happened is that I wrote up my review yesterday for my local playgroup and thought, “Hey, James might like this”  But my style is a little different and I’m not as deep into the analysis as his excellent white review is.   We talked and instead of integrating my thoughts into his review, I’d just publish mine.

    In short, my opinion on the set as a whole is a little lukewarm.  I’m the guy who likes to buy x4 of everything, and this time I think I’ll sit it out as I see a lot of “jump through the flaming hoop” cards that Johnny’s like, and some EDH goodness.  Most of the cards I want I either picked up (Jace) or I don’t see them going up in price too much.  In the long run, when the set rotates out, the cards will depress.  I’m of the feeling that it will be easy to trade extra fetches (just an example) for almost anything I want out of this set.

    I also evaluate for draft by default.  In that respect I think draft is about to become a bit more organic, as all the speedster cards get replaced by fatter guys, defensive guys, and better flyers.

    Anyways, I haven’t done a set evaluation in a while, so sorry if it’s a little scattered.  I  do evaluation on a couple different levels so I’ll break it down by category.

    Chase – A chase card is usually a premier, high value rare. Chase doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a must own, sometimes the card is just too expensive or it’s very specific to the environment that’s its being played in.  But you should know what they are, and why they demand that value.

    Ex. Jace, The Mind Sculptor, Thoughtsieze, Baneslayer Angel, Tarmogoyf

    Staple – A staple card are generally “must own” x4 copy.  These can be any rarity, and you’ll see these over and over again in the course of the format.  The difference from these and “evergreen” cards is that you’ll see them drop in value as they rotate out, or they’re roleplayers for a certain type of deck or format.  Sometimes, because of mana cost or ability they might be good, they won’t be relevant to every deck.

    Ex.  Rampant Growth, Duress, Bloodbraid Elf, Honor of the Pure, Blightning, Tri-lands, Duals, Fetch Lands.

    Staple – Evergreen – I think I’m the only person I know who uses this term – – The best example I can give  off the top of my head of a “staple” vs. an “evergreen” is Elvish Archdruid vs. Great Sable Stag.  Archdruid is a great card, but he fits a role in a particular deck type.  GSS is almost always a good deal – he’ll be a staple, a roleplayer, sure, but he’ll definitely go into any almost any  green deck, as opposed to having you have to build around him.

    Evergreens provide resources to multiple deck types in casual play, multiplayer, EDH and competitive.

    Ex. , Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, Acidic Slime, Tri-lands, Duals, Fetch Lands.

    Role player – These cards are decent, but only in certain archtypes.  I generally advise newer players to stay away from these cards unless you’re a Johnny and get the sense that you want to break it in half.

    Ex.  Megrim, Traumatize

    Bomb (Draft only) In a Draft, bombs are usually first picks out a pack, they’ll have a huge effect on the game if they resolve, and will almost always win you the game unless your opponent has an answer.

    Ex. Fireball, Hellkite Charger, Marsh Casualities

    To keep the review as easy to read as possible I’ve just linked the spoiler here.  I’m not going to clutter up the review with all the stats unless it’s appropriate.  http://mtgsalvation.com/worldwake-spoiler.html

    ***White***

    Admonition Angel – Draft Bomb, Role Player

    The four big flying fatties seeing play in standard are Sphinx of Jhar Isle, Baneslayer, Malakir Bloodwitch, to some extent Broodmate Dragon.  Sphinx and Broodmate are decent because their mostly immune to removal, and Baneslayer is too good not to play.  Malakir is immune to most removal, gains you life, and can block Baneslayer.  Any new entry into the “flying finishers” gets compared to them.  While Angel is bigger, it’s slower and very vulnerable.  In draft though, very little can deal with it.

    Apex Hawk

    You expect a 2/2 flyer for 3 casting cost.  And a 3/3 flyer for 5 is par as well.   Decent draft pick

    Archon of Redemption – Role player

    Same issue as Angel above but he’s got under average stats for his cost.  He’s begging you to build a deck around him.  I’d actually play Serra Angel over this.  Gaining life is overrated, AND you have to jump through some hoops to really get value.

    Battle Hurda

    Pretty boring., kind of lower pick draft card.  There’s enough x/4′s  that he won’t matter as much.

    Fledging Griffin

    Solid draft pick, very fair.

    Guardian Zendikon

    Well now we have some defense in draft. Too bad he doesn’t fly.

    Hada Freeblade – Role player

    If Allies becomes a standard deck, this guy will be in it.

    Iona’s Judgement.

    It’s removal.

    Join The Ranks – Role player

    See Hada Freeblade

    Kitesail Apprentice

    Pretty bad.  Duelist is better and didn’t get played all that much- Compare this to Skyfisher!

    Kor Firewalker – Staple – Evergreen

    Huge card that really really hurts mono-red.  And it’s a soldier. The gain life ability just puts it over the top.

    Lightkeeper of Emeria

    I actually prefer this card in draft to the archon above. It doesn’t really ask you to play other cards to make it better,  It’s got decent stats even as a 2/4 with no kick, since it comes out early to play defense, and if you draw it late, the life gain will help out.

    Loam Lion – Staple

    This is weird, because it might see play in extended zoo but white green isn’t the best deck in standard right now.  Amazing statistics for its cost, just like Kird Ape.

    Marsh Threader

    Cliff Threader’s good, so I would guess this is.

    Marshal’s Anthem  – Role Player

    I like this card.  Resurrection was never bad, and neither was Glorious Anthem. I think it’s a little under the radar but it’s good in control, and it’s pretty huge in EDH.  It’s probably too expensive for tournament constructed in multiples which is why it’s so low in cost.   I’d probably pick it for draft though.

    Perimeter Captain

    Third in the list of “red black aggro just doesn’t want to see this card in draft”

    Refraction Trap – Role player

    This is a huge card in draft, and may see play in standard.  Note that it protects planeswalkers, which harm’s way doesn’t do.

    Rest for the Weary

    Like Sunspring expedition, it’s a Decent Sideboard card for the aggro matchup in draft.

    Ruin Ghost – Role Player

    There’s an infinite combo with this and some other cards on the forums,  He’s got bad stats, but yeah, sometimes you want lands to come in multiple times.

    Stone Forge Mystic – Role Player

    Yep, someone’s gonna make a kor deck with him.  Bad stats otherwise.

    Talus Paladin – Role player

    This is a big swing in Allies and may push that deck over the top.

    Terra Eternal

    Makes your man lands INDESTRUCTIBLE!  And that’s it.  Now you youngsters will have that special feeling you only get when you open an animate wall as your rare.

    Veteran’s reflexes Bleh.

    ***Blue***

    Aether Tradewinds

    Solid Utility Common.  Like Narrow Escape, it wants you to play permanents with comes into play abilities (Halimar depths! ), and it slows down your opponent.  Worst case scenario, in the early game you can put an opponent’s land back in their hand.  Boomerang has been a tournament staple, maybe this card has a place.

    Calcite Snapper

    Another common that owns the speed deck in draft, and it can bash for four if you like.  And shroud.  Tournament level, possibly, because of that last ability.

    Dispel

    Wizards just hates hard counters, this is another bad counterspell I’m just going to ignore.

    Enclave Elite

    Slightly worse than Apex Hawk in draft, but no slouch.  Blue usually doesn’t get fatties with no drawback.

    Goliath Sphinx

    <Hork>

    Halimar Excavator

    Woo Ally mill deck.  We continue the theme of decent defensive stats again, that 1/3 ass for 2 is no joke.

    Horizon Drake

    Sure!  3 power flying for 3 is great.  The ability might even be relevant.

    Jace the Mind Sculptor – Chase Rare.

    It’s good. The pros have already been sleeving and playing it.  Brainstorm is no joke.  And that ultimate is a 40 cal straight to the noggin.  You don’t walk away from that.

    Jwari Shapeshifter – Role player

    Basically, you’re either playing allies and want this card, or you don’t care.  It’s really good for that deck of course.

    Mysteries of the Deep

    Instant Speed Card draw is pretty clutch.  It’s expensive, but Blue Mages hate to tap out.  Not sure if this will see play over Mind Spring in standard but it seems okay.

    Permafrost trap

    I’m sure this is decent, but I’m not first picking it in draft.

    Quest for Ula’s Temple

    I actually have a deck for this.  The other 8 million magic players out there?  Out of luck.

    Sejiri Merfolk – Staple?

    Seems pretty strong for the cost.  Great draft pick for those colors

    Selective Memory  – Role player

    We’ve seen cards like this before, someone always figures out a way to break them.  I still don’t feel good opening this in a pack.

    Spell Contortion.

    Fairly costed, if it was costed any other way it would be a must play staple.  This is sort of fair.  I think people are still locked in on Flashfreeze as THE counterspell, will take a white or blue deck actually winning more for them to start considering other stuff.  I like it though.

    Surrakar Banisher

    This is no veldakin dismisser, but its got a decent body.

    Thada Adel, Acquistor

    Definitely in EDH.  If it were 2/2 for two it might see play in legacy.  It’s playable, but how many artifacts are in play in standard?  May be really good in Rise?

    Tideforce Elemental

    I think this is part of the combo with Ruin Ghost.   First pick in draft too.

    Treasure Hunt – Staple – Evergreen

    This is a huge card for blue.  The math has been done and the long and short of it is that you get 1.75 cards for 2 mana.  If you can manipulate the library (halimar depths and jace) then you always get more bang than divination.   Also, you always, always draw a spell.

    Twitch

    This is a reprint.  Can’t really complain too much.

    Vapor Snare

    Pretty bomby.  Mind Control is always good.

    Voyager Drake

    Great stats, great ability, great first pick.

    Wind Zendikon

    Another huge card for blue.  2/2 flyer for 1 with a minor draw back (you slow yourself down a bit to get aggro).   It’s a great card without a deck right now.

    ***Black***

    Abyssal Persecutor  – Chase

    I’m on the fence on this guy.  I like him, but not enough to shell out a twenty for him, then build a possibly weaker deck around him.  His price is leveraged around the fact that he is a solid mythic in a mostly bad set.  The black deck in standard is Vampires, and this is based on it’s synergy, and he doesn’t contribute to that at all.

    Agadeem Occultist

    Another weird rare. He’s pretty good in Allies, but not in constructed, since you have no idea what’s going to be in a graveyard.  Bad stats for his cost too.

    Anowon, the Ruin Sage.

    He just HAD to be 4/3.  Malakir Bloodwitch is so much better than this, and that’s a low cost rare.  He could have been 4/4 and relevant.  I don’t see what’s wrong with abyss in standard, I really don’t.  He’s legendary, too.  People might try and play him, and he’s just going to feel clunky.

    Bloodhusk Ritualist.

    The question posed earlier was “Is this better than Mind Sludge?”  Short answer: No.

    Mind Sludge just ends games.  Ritualist is probably best in an edh or casual deck, but ultimately you’re paying for a 2/2 for 3, which isn’t that great.  Decent in Draft though, another solid 2 or 3 for 1.

    Bojuka Brigand (why I do I feel like we’re back in Betrayers of Kamigawa land?)

    The ability to block is fairly irrelevant anyway – I think black allies will rally around growers like him and the sellsword to get past all the fat blockers.  And coming out a couple turns faster is worth it.  Sick card.

    Brink of Disaster

    It’s removal, and it kills land, which is pretty relevant.  Not a Befoul though.

    Butcher of Malakir – Bomb

    A little highly costed for standard, but it does wreck some of those shroud strategies.

    For draft, I suspect ZZW will be a bit slower, so this can make an impact.

    Caustic Crawler

    Meh.  I’d rather play shatterskull giant (which just got a lot better by the way) 4 is a much more relevant power now though.

    Corrupted Zendikon.

    3/3 for 2 casting cost in black is aggressive.  I can dig it.

    Dead Reckoning

    Huge draft masher two for one.  Might be good in standard where you want to get value back when you get hit by blightnings  – Grim Discovery saw play for that same reason.

    Death’s Shadow – Role player.

    Meh. Though you can search for it with Ranger of Eos

    Jagwasp Swarm

    Playable draft pick.  Like I said I think flyers and evasion is better now.

    Kalastria Highborn.

    Some people will love this card.  The question is whether it’s better to play than Hexmage in the vampires slot.   For the moment, I don’t think so.   If you have a deck for this guy, that’s great.  He’s slightly better in casual though, which I think is why his price is up.  He’ll go down over the long run I bet.   He’s no Rotlung Reanimator.

    Mire’s Toll

    There was a card in standard called blackmail which was 3 cards for B, and it was pretty bad. You want to play discard early, not late.

    Nemesis Trap – Staple

    This is Broken Visage as an uncommon. This a great card, fun to wreck people with, and will could see play in standard to 187 those baneslayers.

    Pulse Tracker

    I sort of like this card as 1 drop vampire, and a rogue, and he does an extra damage.  He quickly becomes irrelevant when someone drops a blocker, but he can still do duty as a vampire for you.

    Quag Vampires

    Same deal as Apex Hawk and the Merfolk.  Not as good as either but swampwalk is relevant.  If you’re playing swamps you can at least hate it so you don’t get killed by it.

    Quest for the Nihil Stone  – Role Player

    Except this one is actually really good!  Five life is pretty huge, and there’s some great discard out there.  This is totally under the radar right now (1 dollar on SCG), and I suspect it will jump up once someone breaks it.

    Ruthess Cullblade

    Ok draft pick.  He’s a vampire, decent stats, and an okay ability.  But in Standard he’s competing with Hexmage again.

    Scrib Nibblers

    What’s to say?  He’s got a mill ability, and can maybe gain you life.  Sucks in combat for his cost though.

    Shoreline Salvager.

    Good Stats for his cost in draft, and the ability is no slouch.

    Smother – Staple

    Another proven reprint that just rotated out of extended.  Now it’s back and extended players will be happy.  No slouch in standard either.

    Tomb Hex

    I like. Solid removal in draft.

    Urge to kill

    WOW does black get a lot of stuff that kills stuff. And yeah, it’s good for vampires.  Vampire players do a little dance.  Again.  Yawn.

    ***Red***

    Akoum Battlesinger

    I can imagine this scene, where wizards is sending a memo around to all the colors that they should slow down a bit, and of course Red got the memo, didn’t bother reading past the first sentence, and decided to wing it.   Red’s just gonna keep aggroing it out, like that loud drunk guy at the party that’s making everyone uncomfortable.

    Ummm. yeah, not the best card unless you’re committed to mashing with allies.

    Bazaar Trader

    Wut?  It can’t even give away an Illusions of Grandeur.

    Wizards fell down, least they could do is give us the other half the combo piece…

    Donating the demon is the best I can come up with.

    Bull Rush

    RAAARRRRREEDDGHKAGHTG!!!

    Chain Reaction

    This is pretty good for red.  Not Earthquake good, though. Much more of a Multiplayer Wrath.  Phone this rare right into your EDH deck.

    Claws of Valkut

    RAAAAAAA…..It’s lightning Talons, basically.  But not always as good.

    Comet Storm – Bomb, Staple – Evergreen

    Solid red Bomb.  Instant is huge.   For standard it’s weighed against cascade, but it’s  fantastic card for casual and draft.

    Cosi’s Ravager

    Not particularly great.   It’s not as good as hellhound, though I guess with land tricks it can do a few extra points. Maybe there’s a combo deck in him.

    Crusher Zendikon

    Unlike the Black and Blue Zendikon, this guy doesn’t have good stats for his cost. Draft playable, since that 4 power is more important.

    Cunning Sparkmage

    Solid draft pick

    Death Forge Shaman

    I thought he was good, then I realized the damage is only to target PLAYER.  Well he’s a body.  If you have 8 mana he’s pretty nasty.

    Dragonmaster Outcast – Chase

    He makes dragons.  He’s fetchable with Ranger of Eos.  He takes a turn longer to smash face than with  scute mob, but he makes flyers.  Multiples of flyers.  He makes DRAGONS.

    Goblin Roughrider

    Sure.

    Grotag Goblin Thrasher

    Good stats for the cost, and this is about as close as you’re going to get to evasion in red for that casting cost in draft.

    Kazul, Tyrant of the Cliffs – Bomb

    Everything that Anawon the ruin sage isn’t, except he’s not a vampire.

    Mordant Dragon – Bomb

    Same issue as Admonition Angel for his cost in standard.  In draft he’s a slightly worse flameblast dragon.

    Quest for the Goblin Lord –Role player

    Now that’s cute, cheap, and easy to pull off.  Siege Gang Commander anyone?

    Ricochet Trap

    Wizards keeps making deflect/swerve variants and they keep sucking in draft and ride the margins in standard.

    Roiling Terrain

    This is interesting but expensive.  The card this compares to is molten rain, but it’s not as good.  Against some decks it’ll just whiff on the damage.  But then lands are better now…

    Rumbling Aftershocks

    Meh.  Kind of hard to build around it in your last pack.

    Searing Blaze – Staple

    It’s kinda like lash out, but worse.  But red loves two for ones, and red has lots of ways to make land fall happen.

    Skitter of Lizards!

    ARARARRARARAGAGGHHH!   Solid beats. Early game it’s a goblin chariot, late game it’s a tuktuk, whatever you like.

    Slavering Nulls

    Decent stats, it’s a zombie goblin, and it has a discard effect.  I miss that red/black deck… could it be back now?

    Stone Idol Trap

    Kills an attacker, swings in for 6 (probably)  But is it a staple, really?  I really can’t say.  Seems good, but what do you take out?

    Tuktuk Scrapper

    Crappy body (like most of the allies) but the artifact ability is pretty nasty.

    ***Green***

    Arbor Elf  - Staple

    It’s llanowar elf, with the possibility that you might whiff if you don’t have an actual forest in play (you have savage lands/oran rief etc out) But it’s still probably good.

    Avenger of Zendikar – Bomb

    Pretty cute, and fun in casual to.   Someone’s going enjoy killing with plants, I’m sure.

    Bestial Menace – Staple

    Flores already called it in Eldrazi green. Any deck that makes tokens.  Think Cloudgoat ranger.  Except you hit for nine.  It’s fairly bomby in draft.  If you were to get that by p/t paying “fair” it would cost you 7.

    Canopy Cover

    Funny,  I was just talking about how elves needed a silhana ledgewalker…  dunno if it will see play, but seems like a good draft pick. Think Whispersilk cloak

    Explore – Staple

    Better than rampant growth.  Great flip over in cascade decks especially.

    Feral Contest

    Another awkward green attempt at stall-breaking.

    Gnarlid Pack

    Bear, or Hill Giant, or better, it’s all good.  Solid draft beater.

    “Back in my day, we played Kickered Grizzly Bears, and we called it Kavu Titan, and we lit in on fire so it had  haste.  I remember those days… ”

    Grappler Spider.

    Eh.

    Graypelt Hunter

    So it’s Nimana Sellsword with Trample?   Sold!

    Groundswell – Staple

    Might of Old Krosa, I missed you.

    Harabaz Druid

    Could be interesting.  Again, I’m not all that interested in Allies.dec

    Joraga warcaller – Staple

    It’s a great finisher in Elves, and you’ve got the mana and ways to put on counters.  If you’re playing elves, you should pick this up.

    Leatherback Baloth – Role Player

    Same issue as always – Straight green always runs into problems. It has no tricks, no card advantage, and no reach (the ability to finish the game with a random top deck or through a stall).  And elves is usually better  because of it’s synergy. But people are gonna pick it up and play it, and Wizards will promote it, and will rotate out, and no one will care.

    Nature’s Claim

    Nothing wrong with this, it’s a solid card, but not even naturalize is seeing play right now.

    Omnath, Locus of Mana – Chase

    Debatable on its power level, I think it’s a great general and someone’s likely to break it.  It’s a tempo choice – you invest in the attack at the cost of progression on the board – but Omnath is an insane late game top deck.

    Quest for Renewal

    Seems strong, especially in casual Multiplayer

    Slingbow Trap – Role Player

    It’s targeted green removal, and will have targets in draft.  I think windstorm is the sideboard card for this in standard.

    Snapping Creeper

    Good stats, will probably have vigilance.  Just another guy that slows down the board.

    Strength of the Tajuru – Bomb

    Nice finisher there – see the comet storm chart for stats.  Oh yeah, and combos with Warcaller.

    Summit Apes

    Huge beater in draft.  Might be too fragile for constructed… Someone’s gonna try it though.  Might be really good.

    Terastadon

    Blow up your own lands and get 18 power for 8 mana.  Or just play crush of wurms.
    Blow up their lands and they get stuff.  I dunno.  EDH, but kinda dull.

    Vastwood Animist

    Another good ally card with bad stats

    Vastwood Zendikon

    Craw Wurm was usually good, except this attacks a turn early. Pretty saucy.

    Wolfbriar Elemental –Staple – Evergreen

    Pretty solid beater.  Decent stats on his own and late game drops some extra threats. Might not be standard worthy but he’s still really good overall.

    ***Multicolor***

    Novablast Wurm – Bomb

    It’s almost like Wizards designed EDH just so we could have a place to play big fatties like this.  I dunno, we’ve got acceleration, and this blows up stuff.  While it’s still pretty slow for standard, this is a great effect to have.

    Wrexial, the Risen Deep – Bomb

    Made for EDH again.  He’s got a great toughness, is immune to terror, and has evasion.  His ability isn’t that relevant to standard, but casual, OMG he’s got targets.

    ***Artifacts***

    Amulet of Vigor

    I really can’t comment on Amulet of Vigor without bias.  At this point I’m a bit sick of yet another “jump through the deck design hoop”  rare.   I don’t have the mental fortitude to start looking for all the CIPT permanents in standard and extended and casual that this might go with.  It’s just exhausting.  Let the Johnny’s have their cake, I’ll just do what I usually do – wait til someone figures out how to break it then lamely shell out for an overpriced rare.  …or I could just play nature’s claim on it and let you play with a slow deck.

    Basilisk Collar – Bomb

    There’s a Kor deck. This card isn’t good enough for it, since you never want to attack with Armament Master.  But re-usable deathtouch is sick in draft.

    Everflowing Chalice – Staple – Evergreen

    Turn 2 chalice for 1, turn turn 3 chalice for 2, turn 4 do fun things with 6-7 mana.  Like Play novablast wurm :D   Solid card for most formats.

    Hammer of Ruin

    Not exactly a bonesplitter, nor is the ability that relevant.

    Hedron Rover

    Better than Hedron Scrabbler, I suppose.

    Kitesail

    Better than Hammer of Ruin, in cost and utility. Flying matters.

    Lodestone Golem

    I really like this guy.  Might be a role player in an esper deck, or something likes to eat lands.  Anyone notice he’s got Juggy stats?

    Pilgrims Eye – Staple – Evergreen

    Stats and flying are kind of fair, but irrevelant.  We play the Borderland ranger and we’re fine. For EDH as well, anything that thins you out early is generally good.

    Razor Boomerang

    Wait, it is Betrayers of Kamigawa.  I should have called it at the evil red griefing Legendary Ogre for 5.  Well, Hankyu very much.

    Seer’s Sundial.

    I dislike that the default casting cost for artifacts that draw you cards seem to be four.  Still, I could see this (possibly) playing support in a red or green casual deck with no other way to draw cards.

    Walking Atlas – role player

    There was an elf a while back that had this ability, and it saw play. You could do some silly things with this and Geopede, maybe.

    ***Lands***

    Bojuka Bog – Staple – Evergreen.

    I don’t necessarily like what this card means for the reanimator deck archetype, especially in casual.  Of course it’s a land, so you have a choice of holding back vs. playing it, but in my case I would do the thing I usually do with functional lands like Maze, I just play one less business spell and treat this as a spell. It’s uncounterable.  It’s like, reanimation in standard isn’t that great, we’ve got crypt, leyline, and relic in extended, was this really necessary?   Seems like an odd call.

    Celestial Colonnade – staple

    It’s a dual land, it becomes a flyer.  Is it any good?  Well, as good as any manland would be.  They’re all great for casual, and they dodge  removal in standard.. could be good.  And if they were, it just makes land destruction and sea’s claim decks that much better.

    Creeping Tar Pits – staple

    I can get behind this card as well. Unblockable is pretty key.

    Dread statuary

    Sure in draft.  Seems slow and vulnerable in standard. 3/3 would have been better.

    Eye of Ugin

    Of Ghostflame fame.   We get a hint of the next set (Steamflogger Boss?)   The funny thing to me is, that if Eldrazi spells are actually playable/competitive, then a land that gives a discount of two to all of them is pretty crazy, like workshop crazy. But it’s legendary!

    The ability is pretty silly, but I guess some casual deck might like it.  Another random Johnny rare.

    Halimar Depths – Staple – Evergreen.

    Great card, especially with Treasure Hunt.

    Khalni Garden

    Some people don’t like this card.  It does give you a guy, which is relevant.  Polymorph decks will find some fun with this.

    Lavaclaw Reaches – Staple

    Sure.

    Quicksand – Staple.

    Sure to be popular in control to stem the aggro rush, and always good in draft.

    Raging Ravine – Staple – Evergreen

    I REALLY like this guy.  He starts off as a 4/4 and continues to get bigger.  What’s not to like?

    Sejiri Steppe

    Here’s the question – if you’re playing this as a spell slot in order to ignore the question of whether you should play this as a spell or ramp, , it’s not necessarily as good as Brave the elements (The latter is a reactive instant, after all)

    And if you’re playing it as a land, it’s kind of like Soaring Seacliff.  So yeah maybe I answered the question.

    Smoldering Spires

    Well, red actually likes it when you can’t block.

    Stirring Brush – Staple

    Good stats, but my Raging Ravine is better. You could be playing w/g though.

    Tectonic Edge  – Staple – Evergreen

    I’ll take Wasteland where I get can get it, I guess.