Category Archives: worldwake

Tales From the Worldwake Prerelease

This morning I woke up only to receive a telephone call from my friend Matthew, asking if I wanted to go to the prerelease in the nearby town of Sherwood Park. Normally I go to a closer one on Sunday, but with the offer of a ride extended, I packed my Dragon’s Egg and trade binder and was off for a prerelease a day earlier than I had anticipated.

When I got to the site, I was happy to see several faces that I hadn’t seen for several months, and exchanged pleasantries for several minutes until the product was handed out. Here’s what I received.

The first thing I noticed in this pool were the rares. We can safely say that Bazaar Trader and Emeria, the Sky Ruin are unplayable, as we don’t have an Abyssal Persecutor or enough cards to warrant a mono-white deck to make either worthwhile. We also have a Mordant Dragon, which is an amazing bomb, although ti requires a heavy commitment to red. Likewise, we have Celestial Mantle, but that is hindered by the same high-colour cost as the dragon. Finally we have Guul Draz Specter, a card I’m always happy to have, and the new Theda Adel, Acquisitor which has the potential to steal a timely Blazing Torch, Trusty Machete, or even a Lodestone Golem.

Looking at the white cards in this pool, we have some very good support cards, such as an Ionas Judgment, an Apex Hawks and the always amazing Brave the Elements, in addition to the aforementioned Celestial Mantle. All in all, I don’t think that there are enough high-quality cards for white to warrant being a main colour, which pretty much excludes the mantle from getting played.

Blue in this pool is actually quite deep. We have bombs like Living Tsunami, Vapor Snare and Merfolk Seastalkers, as well as the neo-Sleep: Permafrost Trap. This can definitely be a main colour, as it has some of the most powerful cards in the pool.

When we look at the black cards, we unfortunately come up a little light on removal. However, we have solid cards like Giant Scorpion and Vampire Nighthawk. Also worth noting are the 2 copies of Pulse Tracker, which can act as a pseudo Savannah Lions, so if we have the cards to play a bit more aggressive deck we can go that route.

The red cards in this pool are okay, but they all have a tendency to get outclassed relatively quickly. While Crusher Zendikon and Goblin Shortcutter are fine, I just don’t know exactly how much we can count on the red cards in this pool to still be relevant in the late game.

Looking over the artifacts and lands, nothing super-special jumps out at me, except for the pair of Adventuring Gear, the double Tectonic Edge and the Quicksand. However, I don’t want to play too many lands that produce colourless, and I think the Edges are best suited for the sideboard, to be brought in against any opponents lucky enough to open a new manland.

In the end I decided to play an aggressive blue-black build, using my early drops like Pulse Tracker and Welkin Tern in conjunction with Adventuring Gear to swing in for lots of early damage, and then use my late game cards to clean up the leftovers.

Here’s the list I ended up playing:

In round 1 I was paired against Tom, who told me that this was only his second sealed deck tournament ever, after starting around Conflux. I didn’t want to let my guard down, as I wasn’t familiar with the new cards he might have, so I made sure to treat him just like any opponent. I game 1 I got the jump on him with a pair of Pulse Trackers and an Adventuring Gear, and when he finally mustered a defense in the form of a Shepherd of the Lost, I had the Vapor Snare to punish him for playing such a good card, and he quickly succumbed to the beats doled out by his own angel.

Game 2 was quite different, with him resolving both the Shepherd of the Lost and an Archon of Redemption. He also had an Oracle of Mul Daya which ensured that he was able to dig through to his threats extremely quickly. I made one misplay in this game which probably would have bought me an extra turn or two. He had a 3/3 Gnarlid Pack which he attacked with into my Caustic Crawler. I blocked and used my Quicksand to weaken his attacker and ensure the survival of my creature. Looking back, I should have let the creatures trade so that the next turn I could cast Dead Reckoning for 4 to kill off his shepherd, rather than keep taking beats from the angel. Eventually I get a Vampire Nighthawk and equip him with both copies of Adventuring Gear, gaining 6 life in a single swing, but I fail to draw enough lands and quickly roll over to Baloth Woodcrasher and his fliers.

In game 3 he gets a Hada Freeblade on turn one, which I meet with my double Pulse Tracker and Adventuring Gear. On turn two me casts Explore and fails to play a land, while I augment my forces with Vampire Nighthawk and Thada Adel, Acquisitor. Even when he finally gets a third land, my fliers have dealt too much damage to him for him to recover.

1-0 (2-1)

In round 2 I’m up against Andrew, a player who was showing off his triple Windrider Eel and double Harrow earlier, so I’m wary of landfall creatures. He has a Wind Zendikon which trades with my Welkin Tern, and I play a turn 3 Theda Adel, Acquisitor when he has an Island on the battlefield. When the merfolk connects, I snag a Blazing Torch, which I use to later dispatch a Windrider Eel. Theda gets through on the next two turns to snag a Pilgrims Eye and a Walking Atlas over the course of the next 2 turns. Add an Adventuring Gear to my unblockable merfolk and the game is quickly mine.

When sideboarding I think about boarding in a Tectonic Edge to lessen the impact of a Zendikon, but I decide that my mana base is fragile enough with all the early drops I want to make, and the Quicksand is probably a better utility land in this situation. In the second game, I again get a Theda Adel, Acquisitor, as well as my Living Tsunami and a Vapor Snare to take a Windrider Eel. He can’t really do anything against this, and I take the match in 2 games.

2-0 (4-1)

In round 3 I’m up against my friend and ride for the day Matt. I’ve seen that he has a red deck packing both Mordant Dragon and Hellkite Charger, in addition to an Omnath, Locus of Mana. Needless to say, I’m worried. He starts out with an Arbor Elf and a Vastwood Animist, but doesn’t draw any mountains for a while. I punish him with my Ruthless Cullblade suited up with some Adventuring Gear, and his lack of removal spells defeat for him in game 1.

In game 2 he has a pair of early Harrows to ramp up his mana, and he quickly resolves a Hellkite Charger. I think I’m set when I draw a Vampire Nighthawk, but he has Claws of Valakut to make my vampire a lot less impressive. However, I have enough creatures on the board so that he can’t attack multiple times with his dragon and live, so he needs to spend 7 mana (including his Arbor Elf) to give his dragon pseudo-vigilance. Luckily for me, I draw the 5th land I needed to cast Vapor Snare, taking his untapped dragon and swinging for the win thanks to the dragon’s haste.

3-0 (6-1)

In round 4 I’m up against another one of my good friends, Josh. I know he’s packing Sorin Markov, Abyssal Persecutor, and Lodestone Golem. In the first game he resolves a Marsh Threader and swampwalks his way to victory, aided by a Hedron Rover. In game 2 I take the draw and Quicksand his threader as soon as he attacks with it, and I use Welkin Tern and double Adventuing Gear to pound for 6 repeatedly and clinch the second game. In the rubber match, I keep a 2 land hand on the play, and live to regret it, as I don’t draw a land for 2 or 3 turns. By the time I cast Vampire Nighthawk, I’ve been taking 4 a turn to the double Marsh Threader assault, and he has no problems casting a Journey to Nowhere.

3-1 (7-3)

Due to my tiebreakers I get second place, earning me 5 packs of Worldwake. I realize that I shouldn’t have kept the 2 land hand in the last game, and I realize that I need to mulligan more often, as I have a tendency to keep sketchy hands. I also realized that Treasure Hunt is a very poor card in limited. I must of cast in 7 or 8 times in the day, and I never drew more than a single card off of it. I think that it is much better in constructed, but in limited, I’d much rather have something that affects the game state more. Like Twitch, and I have a personal vendetta against the reprinting of Twitch. I also love the irony of how in yesterday’s article I touted Marsh Threader was extremely important in this new limited format, only to lose to a pair of them in the finals.

Anyway, the tournament was great, and I look forward to using what I learned tomorrow, when I play in another Worldwake Prerelease. If you want live updates of how I’m doing, make sure to follow my twitter feed at www.twitter.com/zturchan, and as always, post any comments, suggestions or questions in the comments section, or email me at zak -AT- power9pro.com.

Cheers,

Zak

Zendikar and Worldwake: A Combined Limited Format

Well it’s that time of year, where Magic players from all around the world gather together to play in the prerelease for the latest set, in this case, Worldwake. This set brings with it some of the most powerful cards to hit standard in recent memory such as Jace, the Mindsculptor and Abyssal Persecutor. However, standard isn’t currently in season, and I’m still getting a feel for extended, so I decided to write about limited, and how to best succeed at your local prerelease.

Unlike Zendikar before it, Worldwake is a second expansion, which means that we’ll still be using three packs of Zendikar for our sealed pool. Thus, we cannot simply consider cards in the context of the Worldwake set, we must consider them in the context of the entire Zendikar block thus far.

For example, take the new one-drop ally, Hada Freeblade. In Worldwake, there are 11 allies, 4 of which are rare. We can discount the rare ones because they will seldom show up in a limited card pool. Of the other 6 non-rare allies, none of them share a colour with the Freeblade, and although we will often play multiple colours in a limited format, the benefit of any ally is greatly reduced when you have a low density of allies. Of course you could remedy this by increasing the number of colours you play, but then you run the risks associated with an unstable mana base. Thus, we can say that in a format that only includes worldwake, the Freeblade is most often going to be a white Norwood Ranger.

However, when your sealed pool is a 3-3 split of product, the power of freeblade goes up because of the number and quality of allies in the Zendikar expansion. Freeblade is best when you can follow it up with a turn 2 ally, ideally Kazandu Blademaster, but something like Oran-Reif Survivalist also works. Compare the survivalist to something like Bojuka Brigand, and you see the difference in card quality.

Another card I think has huge potential in Limited is Marsh Threader, the companion to Zendikar’s Cliff Threader. We saw in 6x Zendikar sealed that the most popular colour combination was without a doubt red/black. This card is a tool that will hopefully be good enough to see mainboard play because of the sheer number of players that choose to play black for cards like Hideous End, Urge to Feed and Disfigure. The allure of the removal spell is a strong one, and many players will choose these colours for that reason. Therefore, I think that this card is an extremely viable candidate for any deck playing white. In Zendikar limited, having efficient creatures is of the utmost importance, and so when we have a creature that will be unblockable against the majority of the field, we might wish to overvalue it a little bit more. In the same vein, Quag Vampires might be a bit more playable in this format than it normally would, but the colour commitment for that card is slightly higher and thus makes the vampires slightly less attractive.

Oftentimes in Zendikar limited, I would notice that some creatures were amazing in a vacuum, but never stayed alive long enough to be absurdly powerful. I’m talking about cards like Territorial Baloth, Merfolk Seastalkers and Baloth Woodcrasher. All these cards were powerful, but they were only a Hideous End or Inferno Trap away from being destroyed. Even some bombs out of Zendikar packs could be quickly invalidated by removal, making them a lot less spectacular. For this reason, I believe that Canopy Cover is a Worldwake spell that should not be overlooked. Of course it can be responded to, but it adds so much resiliency to your creatures that are otherwise so vulnerable that I would run the risk of the 2-for-1 that accompanies all aura to better enhance my long-term game plan.

These are the 3 cards that I believe should not be undervalued now that Worldwake has been added into the mix. While most players will be able to identify the likes of Bestial Menace and Apex Hawks as powerful in limited, the best players will look beyond those for the cards that are best suited to the environment.

If you have any ideas as to what cards might be great in limited out of Worldwake, sound off in the comments. Any questions/comments/suggestions can also be aired there, by emailing me at zak -AT- power9pro.com or via my twitter feed at www.twitter.com/zturchan.

I wish you all luck in your prereleases, and may open many copies of Jace, the Mindsculptor.

Cheers,

Zak

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.

Worldwake Set Review – Blue

Welcome to the Blue section of our Worldwake Set Review. Thanks for coming! Let’s get to business.

AEther Tradewinds
2U
Instant
Return target permanent you control and target permanent you don’t control to their owner’s hand.
Rarity: Common

This is a VERY useful spell in limited, even post-M10 combat damage rules changes (before the change, this would have been absurd). This should let you avoid a bad combat step while simultaneously setting up either a guaranteed landfall by returning a land, or another Enters the Battlefield (EtB) effect from one of your creatures. All while messing up the opponent’s tempo. Strong one here.

JAMES

For limited it looks great. I always like playing a one-off Teetering Peaks–especially if I’m in white and have a Kor Skyfisher or get Living Tsunami–and I can see this fitting in well with that. Prevents a turn of attacking from your opponent…you see what I’m saying. So far as constructed…well, I don’t see the use.

Calcite Snapper
1UU
Creature – Turtle
1/4
Shroud
Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you
may switch Calcite Snapper’s power and toughness until end of turn.
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #25/145

This looks entirely unappealing to me. There are better options for holding down the ground, and this just doesn’t do much. I’m hoping not to play with this card until I make some kind of Turtle theme deck for my kids. Until then, this is a bookmark.

JAMES

No thanks.

Dispel
U
Instant
Counter target instant spell.
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #26/145

This should see play in some constructed formats, I’m thinking. It’s a good way to fight through counters. In limited, it’s very narrow, and is thus only likely to be in your sideboard. I can’t see ever maindecking this, but picking one up isn’t too terrible for your sideboard. I’d pick it low though, even then.

JAMES

Wow. What a great counter spell! It’s a narrow card making it more of a SB option than MD–at least for any U based decks I’m thinking of. That being said, all the major decks are running Lightening Bolts AND Burst Lightening (and of course Path) so there’s certainly an argument in favor of testing out the right number for your decks. I think U-light decks in extended may also run this to counter the Cryptic Command or [card]Mana Leak[card].

Enclave Elite
2U
Creature – Merfolk Soldier
2/2
Multikicker {1}{U}
Islandwalk
Enclave Elite enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
Rarity:Common

I really like these “Gray Ogre ++” variants. They’re passable on their own when dropped turn 3, albeit a little behind the modern curves, but they stay relevant (or more relevant than usual) when you top deck them late. I’m less pumped about this one than I am for the white flying version (flying instead of Islandwalk), but against some opponents, this will be even more of a trump. It’s evasive and relevant whenever you draw him. I like the looks of this cycle.

JAMES

I don’t see this being played outside of limited and even there it’s only marginal. The kick cost is too ridiculous after even one kick.

Goliath Sphinx
5UU
Creature – Sphinx
8/7
Flying
Flavor Text: Go ahead, TACCOM.
Rarity: Rare

Big. Flying. Any questions? This always makes the cut if you’re on-color, unless you have some kind of crazy aggro curve. Usually, he’ll be in. Lots of times, he’ll win you the game when you top deck him. Big dumb fliers are great in limited.

JAMES

Neat but damn expensive. Just too damn expensive for constructed play.

Halimar Excavator
1U
Creature – Human Wizard Ally
1/3
Whenever Halimar Excavator or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, target player puts the top X cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is the number of Allies you control.
Illus. Kev Walker
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #29/145

An interesting addition to Hedron Crab based archetypes. Now, when you see a crab, you might be well advised to take all the allies you can as well. This should make the archetype interesting indeed… I think it may be viable. The key is getting an early crab to set you in the deck… you can’t really “force” this otherwise. In “regular” (crabless) allies, I don’t see this decking mechanism going all the way, but I could be wrong. You’d need at minimum 2, preferably 3 of this guy, I would think.

JAMES

Interesting. Getting milled always stinks…but I’m pretty sure block builds of Allies won’t include the mill strategy. This route is inherently too slow.

Horizon Drake
1UU
Creature – Drake
3/1
Flying, protection from lands
Rarity: Uncommon

Interesting protection clause. Take that Valakut! This guy’s nice mainly because he’s aggressive and evasive. Wasp Lancer was comparable, and did great things in its day. This will sometimes die, but will usually get some good damage in before taking down some kind of spider or opposing flier. I like it, but it’s not really my first string of fliers. I’ll take him though.

JAMES

Watch out! it’s a land!!!…oh…right. barf. Too narrow. There just aren’t enough lands worth worry about to justify this card.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2UU
Planeswalker – Jace
3
[+2]: Look at the top card of target player’s library. You may put that card on the bottom of that player’s library.
[0]: Draw three cards, then put two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.
[-1]: Return target creature to its owner’s hand.
[-12]: Exile all cards from target player’s library, then that player shuffles his or her hand into his or her library.
Illus. Jason Chan
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #31/145

This looks incredible to me. A bomb in limited, probably more so in constructed, but I’ll try to let James handle that. Limited is pretty straight-forward as well… this guy does so many useful things, it’s hard not to see why he’s great. I want to talk about EDH for a moment though. I think most EDH decks that can access this guy will play him. He adds another Hinder effect (in this case, I mean the “put a card on the bottom of your opponent’s deck” part of Hinder) for decks that run the Tunnel Vision combo, which is most blue decks. It also helps you with the brainstorm effects and the bouncing. Subtly, in EDH you might have more of a chance than you think to use the ultimate ability here. EDH tends to go long, and lots of decks can fend off creatures indefinitely in the late game. So Jace, tMS, should occasionally deck the sad EDH player. All in all, a very exciting mythic planeswalker.’

JAMES

This version of Jace is very interesting. Weird sort of telling time-like abilities. The draw backs are that this guy costs a LOT for his initial abilities. A control player has to REALLY be dictating the turns to justify this card. Certainly don’t want that player to activate the ultimate ability but I don’t see there being enough time to pull that off. …6 turns to “go off”? If you taret your opponent with ability one and you hit a land, dud. target yourself and hit a land, good. Use ability two, very nice. Ability three is also pretty sexy. I’m thinking the card’s use will be restricted to the first three abilities. Bouncing creatures is pretty hawt if you can then counter them. Hmmm, very interesting.

Jwari Shapeshifter
1U
Creature – Shapeshifter Ally
0/0
You may have Jwari Shapeshifter enter the battlefield as a copy of any Ally creature on the battlefield.
Illus. Kev Walker
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #32/145

Hmmm… narrow indeed. If you happen to open it in an already-allies-dedicated pool / deck, consider yourself lucky. Otherwise, this will seldom see play, as it won’t be consistent enough. In allies, it’s probably only “strong” not even “bomb” levels of good… you have to have another strong ally in hand before this does much of anything aside from keeping the ally flow going.

JAMES

Pretty cheap. Pretty freaking good for limited but marginal outside that–but mostly because Allies seem weak in Block. I like the concept though. Maybe there’s a U/W/R Ally deck in block…

Mysteries of the Deep
4U
Instant
Draw two cards.
Landfall – If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, draw three cards instead.
Illus. Veronique Meignaud
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #33/145

I like this one. It’s a bit of a conundrum though… instant card draw is great because you can play it on your opponent’s end step. But this will usually get you one fewer card then… of course, you might have harrow or a fetch land, so who knows. I still like this even if you just main phase it out there for the three, or decide to live with the mere two cards to maintain a control posture.

JAMES

It’s costed somewhere along the lines of Mind Spring and Sift, both of which I’ve always felt were pretty expensive. I don’t think this does enough for constructed play.

Permafrost Trap
2UU
Instant – Trap
If an opponent had a green creature enter the battlefield under his or her control this turn, you may pay {U} rather than pay Permafrost Trap’s mana cost.
Tap up to two target creatures. Those creatures don’t untap during their controller’s next untap step.
Rarity: Uncommon

Whether for the trap cost or full price, this is a beating, and will win games. In the skies archetype, you will push through the last points of damage with this guy. It’s a tempo nightmare for an opponent that’s unprepared, or who over-committed. Very strong spell here, IMO.

JAMES

I like this for standard. It’s an interesting tempo play. Bloodbraid Elf played by opposing player. Boom, trap that down! Hehe. Thats’ really what I would play this for. It’s sweet for one mana because it buys two turns (one from the hasty bloodbraid and one for the next turn). Looks good to me in this currnet meta game.

Quest for Ula’s Temple
U
Enchantment
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may look at the top card of your library. If it’s a creature card, you may reveal it and put a quest counter on Quest for Ula’s Temple.
At the beginning of each end step, if there are three or more quest counters on Quest for Ula’s Temple, you may put a Kraken, Leviathan, Octopus, or Serpent creature card from your hand onto the battlefield.
Illus. Rob Alexander
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #35/145

Gimmicky. If you have a ton of the right creatures in your deck, then maybe, but I guess I missed all the Krakens, Leviathans, Octopi, and Serpents… sure there are some, but… I dunno. I’m not touching this with a ten foot tentacle. Looks like crap to me.

JAMES

Lorthos is what comes to mind first. lol. Looks good for casual, fun, theme based decks but otherwise it’s just too damn narrow.

Sejiri Merfolk
1U
Creature – Merfolk Soldier
2/1
As long as you control a Plains, Sejiri Merfolk has first strike and lifelink.
Rarity: Uncommon

Another Kird Ape wannabe. This guy’s a house. Two very relevant abilities in the color combination that’s the best natural fit for blue aggro. This will be a fine super-grizzly bear, even if he just swings once, then scares off smaller ground attackers.

JAMES

Pretty neat. The abilities aren’t something to scoff at because a W/U control deck has something that is cheap and can take out Bloodbraids, gain life and stick around. It’s really a question of what to pull out of the U/W deck over this…Because the lifegain and first-strike ablity is so relevant and helpful for the U/W control build, this guy will eat removal. It’s certainly worth toying with.

Selective Memory
3U
Sorcery
Search your library for any number of nonland cards and exile them.
Then shuffle your library.
Illus. Chippy
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #37/145

Very interesting rare here. Not playable in limited, but see Treasure Hunt below for some thoughts on what this thing can potentially do…

JAMES

[[[scrolls down to Treasure Hunt below…]]] Blah. Whatever. Maybe in 1.5/1 formats but I don’t see the point in exiling my own library. why not just NOT play this card AND whatever it is you don’t want in your deck. the concept of exiling my own library of cards I don’t want doesn’t make any sense to me. I look forward to reading the comment of someone who breaks this card and proves me wrong. I will happily say, “wow, I didn’t think of that. You rock.”

Spell Contortion
2U
Instant
Multikicker {1}{U}
Counter target spell unless its
controller pays {2}. Draw a card for
each time Spell Contortion was
kicked.
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #38/145

Seems utterly insane in constructed, and not terrible in limited. Usually in limited, you’ll counter something early and be happy. Occasionally you’ll go all constructed on us, and you’ll nab this late. Then you counter their play, whatever it is, and kick it into infinity and beyond! The fact that they can easily pay the 2 is not really germane here, as what you’re really after is drawing (N-3)/2 cards (round down) where N is your available mana. :-) That is going to be great in constructed, and not terrible in limited.

JAMES

Pretty neat. It’s a little more expensive than Cryptic Command and a bit more narrow but very late game you could draw two cards off this. Most of the time it will be an expensive Mana Leak though. Worth testing out but I don’t see control players running more than a couple to round out a counter suite.

Surrakar Banisher
4U
Creature – Surrakar
3/3
When Surrakar Banisher enters the battlefield, you may return target tapped creature to its owner’s hand.
Illus. Matt Cavotta
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #39/145

This kind of guy has traditionally been way better than it might seem at first. The tempo is really nice here, clearing one of their attackers and leaving behind a hill giant. Every once in a while you’ll want to return your own creature. Not a terribly high pick, but no slouch either… this is a fine addition to most decks with access to him.

JAMES

Interesting tempo card. He’s big enough that with the bounce he’s not HORRIBLE. I just would have loved to see this guy cost UUU or UU2 because then there’s at least the hope of having counter mana open. Otherwise you’re bouncing a big creature that’s just going to be there again when it’s time to attack, gaining you a whole lotta nuthin’.

Thada Adel, Acquisitor
1UU
Legendary Creature – Merfolk Rogue
2/2
Islandwalk
Whenever Thada Adel, Acquisitor deals combat damage to a player, search that player’s library for an artifact card and exile it. Then that player shuffles his or her library. Until end of turn, you may play that card.
Rarity: Rare

Every time you see a new Legendary creature, you should be thinking “would this be any good as an EDH general?” I know that’s the first though I always have. In this case, old Thada looks a bit weak. He’s very killable, has a questionable effect, though against 99% of all EDH players, you can at least play their Senseis Divining Top! I just don’t think he has enough of an effect to be worth the coveted general slot. ANYWAY, in limited, this is also usually a dud, but occasionally great. You have to just think of him as a gray ogre with islandwalk when deciding whether to play him. Sometimes that’s good enough. Rarely is it anything to get pumped about.

JAMES

I can see this getting some play in extended mirror matches for Fairies/Wizards that almost rely entirely on their ability to get Jitte down for their win. There are a TON of U-splashed decks also running Jitte that makes this card pretty interesting. It’s all about the islandwalk and that will ultimately determine how playable this is. Not the worst card on this U list.

Tideforce Elemental
2U
Creature – Elemental
2/1
{U}, {T}: You may tap or untap another target creature.
Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may untap Tideforce Elemental.
Rarity: Uncommon

Very strong here. This can do a lot of tricky things, and because of the landfall effect, it does marginally more. This card is strong in limited. A wacky (read: cute and worthless) combo occurred to me, involving this card and two others from Worldwake, along with azorius chancery… the two cards are Amulet of Vigor (untaps permanents that EtB tapped under your control) and Ruin Ghost (creature with {W}, {T}: exile target land you control then return it to the battlefield under your control. All this does is let you loop picking up and dropping the chancery, with each iteration adding another “return a land you control to your hand” effect to the stack. Lame? Yes. Worthless? Yes. Funny? If you have a sense of humor like mine, then… kinda.
JAMES

Kinda cool. Super cheap. I like this for constructed because it will help with the turn-purchasing until the contorl player can setup a real win like Sphinx of Jwar Isle.

Treasure Hunt
1U
Sorcery
Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card, then put all cards revealed this way into your hand.
Illus. Daren Bader
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #42/145

Okay, this is a card I’m excited about for Legacy, and I don’t know exactly how it will pan out. There’s a popular deck known as 43Land.dec in Legacy which runs… 43 lands! The question, then, is how many non-lands in that deck can be replaced by this card, and if you do that, how many cards are you drawing on average? Another question I have relates to EDH. If you run this spell in EDH, where Muddle the Mixture and the like can find it for you, and you also run Selective Memory above, can this combo you out? I know that Lands End / Seismic Assault both come to mind here… can you combo? I think these have some potential. In limited, this is probably worth running 1-3 copies, since it will sometimes just cantrip, and sometimes run you through a land pocket into business, guaranteeing the next couple drops. I know I’ve been running 18 lands and up in ZZZ typically, because of landfall… this will be another synergy to play with high land counts. I love this card.

JAMES

This is a good draw spell. There will be times when this hits a pocket of lands and then your opponent is going to be a sad panda but mostly just hitting 1.5 cards on average is nice. I can also see this playing well with Ponder. Certainly a ‘see what you can do with this’ kinda card.

Twitch
2U
Instant
You may tap or untap target artifact, creature, or land.
Draw a card.
Rarity: Common

MEh… it cantrips and saves you from one attacker… not high on my list, really.

JAMES

Bummer. There’s just not much to this.

Vapor Snare
4U
Enchantment – Aura
Enchant creature
You control enchanted creature.
At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Vapor Snare unless you return a land you control to its owner’s hand.
Rarity: Uncommon

I like this. Steals a creature and turns it into a pseudo Living Tsunami. Sounds good to me! Landfall makes this “downside” an upside.

JAMES

the mana cost makes this mid-to-late game and stealing a creature at that point is awesome-sauce. Especially if it’s something like that Baneslayer. There won’t be a lot of landfall that the U-based plaer is playing (that I can think of) so I dn’t see the potential for landfall being a bonus but it’s not that bad of a card. A blue player should be in control and be leveraging this card as a win condition. good for Block and Standard

Voyager Drake
3U
Creature – Drake
3/3
Multikicker {U}
Flying
When Voyager Drake enters the battlefield, up to X target creatures gain flying until end of turn, where X is the number of times Voyager Drake was kicked.
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #45/145

Man, oh man. They’re really pushing creatures these days, am I right? All by itself, this is a flying hill giant. Very strong. But then you get this gravy additional multikicker which might be relevant, but it doesn’t matter because you’re already playing a flying hill giant! I think it might be passe to compare everything to grizzly bears, gray ogres, and hill giants anymore… we’ll see. This IS uncommon, so it’s not necessarily the new hill giant. Man, this looks sweet.

Not so bad. I don’t think this will see constructed play but it certainly looks interesting for limited.

Wind Zendikon
U
Enchantment – Aura
Enchant land
Enchanted land is a 2/2 blue Elemental creature with flying. It’s still a land.
When enchanted land is put into a graveyard, return that card to its owner’s hand.
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #46/145

I’m still unsure about these zendikons, but I like this flying one a lot. It only costs U, which is very cool. Time will tell. There just aren’t a lot of ways to get caught in a 241 with these guys because there aren’t a lot of instant speed land destruction spells, so you’ll almost always at least get your land back when your creature is killed. This should make these good enough. I’m willing to try them, and I want to try this flier version most.

JAMES

I really like this version of the cycle. It’s a cheap flier for a color that’s only going to be attacking some times anyway. The risk is someone trying to bolt the creature down. But that’s using removal on land that a person can just replay. We’re also looking at the blue version so you should have a counter available. (like Dispel, above). Neat.

Worldwake Set Review – White

Hello and welcome to another Power9Pro set review. It’s that Magical Christmas-morning-like time that happens quarterly for us Magic dorks of the world: Pre-release time. The set has just been completely spoiled, and if you’re anything like us, you’ve been chomping at the bit for the last two or three weeks, at least, Jonesing to play with these new babies.

My fellow teammate and Power9Pro founder James DiPadua is going to be the counterpoint to my points here, hopefully calling me out when I’m way off base (or misreading a card!), and pointing out anything I miss. As is our custom, I’m looking at these cards specifically from the standpoint of Limited except when otherwise noted. My second love is EDH, so you’ll see some comments with that format in mind as well, while James will cover the more constructed-tournament-oriented evaluation of these cards. We’re breaking the cards into color groups this time around, so without further ado, let’s dig in to White.

Just a disclaimer (from James): These reviews are obviously done without any play exposure. Also, at least so far as my reviews, I’m working through them color by color without first seeing what the ‘other colors’ have. Some of my comments need to be taken with that perspective. What we as a collective at Power 9 Pro will do is have a full review afer a week or so of acquainting ourselves better with the cards. So, these reviews are really meant as a “first impression and guide” for Prereleases and any Type2 events you have over the next few weeks.

Admonition Angel
3WWW
Creature – Angel
6/6
Flying
Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may exile target nonland permanent other than Admonition Angel.
When Admonition Angel leaves the battlefield, return all cards exiled with it to the battlefield under their owners’ control.
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set Number: #1/145

Okay, let’s start with a 6/6 Flying for 6 mana. This is already a huge bomb in limited, capable of winning the game on the back of evasion + huge stats. So we’re already dealing with a winner. Now consider the recurring landfall removal… this becomes huge. This spell will often be held until turn 7 so that you can drop the angel and immediately landfall to nuke something. However, unlike Roil Elemental, another 6-drop landfall guy, this creature has a 6 point backside, so it may hit the battlefield on turn 6 a lot more of the time than its predecessor, if you can consider the elemental such. Admonition Angel can also play some tricks with other creatures that YOU, the controller of Admonition Angel, control. If you have a Sphinx of Lost Truths on board, don’t forget that you can crack that fetchland in response to removal pointed at your Admonition Angel, triggering landfall, removing the sphinx, and getting you a free Ideas Unbound of sorts. This won’t happen often, but might be relevant somewhere, sometime. I give this a big thumbs up for the formats I’m concerned with, though I suspect James will say of this creature, as with many (any) new ones, “Baneslayer Angel casts a large shadow”… James?

JAMES

The mana cost is right; it’s not over-costed since it has flying and an exile ability…but it just doesn’t seem right to me. I really don’t like spending 6 mana on something that can be exiled itself…and after it is exiled (say ala Path to Exile) any of the cards I was able to remove with it come right back into, er, the battlefield.
Yeah…sorta lame. Neat from a flavor standpoint but certainly not Type 2

.

Apex Hawks
Cost: 2W
Type: Creature – Bird
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: Multikicker {1}{W} (You may pay an additional {1}{W} any number of times as you cast this spell.)
Flying
Apex Hawks enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each time it was kicked.
Rarity: Common

I find this interesting at common, as the “skies” player should have no problem virtually counting on getting one or more of these. They’re already a flying Gray Ogre, which would already be a premium. But the multikicker makes it more relevant late game. For a mere 7, you get a 4/4 flier: not amazing on its own, but this is the gravy dept. we’re talking about here. This is the bonus free boost to a flying 2/2 for 3 that you’d happily play already.

JAMES

Interesting but expensive if you want it to be anything bigger than a 2/2 with evasion. Kick it once and it’s already the same cost as a Baneslayer Angel. Meh.

Archon of Redemption
3WW
Creature – Archon
3/4
Flying
Whenver Archon Of Redemption or another creature with flying enters the battlefield under your control, you may gain life equal to that creature’s power.
Illus. Steve Belledin
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #3/145

Archon of Redemption fits the “hiding in Baneslayer’s shadow” bill even more than the angel above, since they share casting costs. However, this is still a fine bomby rare in limited. In the right kind of skies deck, this is both a hard-to-kill flier, and a stall card all in one. You’ll be able to sit back and gain life while you whittle away at your opponents in the air. Very strong here for limited.

JAMES

I certainly agree with Joe’s assessment that it’s going to be good in limited, especially since in mirror matches it can standup to-and kill-your oponent’s Sheppard of the Lost.
So far as constructed, I don’t see a deck that would pay the exact same converted mana cost as the Baneslayer and not play the Baneslayer. Maybe people who aren’t willing to/been-able-to drop the $200 needed to get a playset of BSA?

Battle Hurda
4W
Creature – Giant
3/3
First Strike
Rarity: Common

Hard to evaluate. He’s a turn slow and only blocks well to make up for it. Does he clog the board enough starting on turn 5? He does end up trumping other ostensibly cheaper Hill Giant type 4-drops. I’m not picking this high, but I look forward to seeing whether it turns out to be better than my first impression.

JAMES
This is the Shepard of the Lost’s retarded Giant Cousin…that’s not so Giant. Good at common in the sense that if you need a little something extra, fine. But for constructed play, there’s no place for a rather boring Hill Giant.

Fledgling Griffin
1W
Creature – Griffin
2/2
Landfall – Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, Fledgling Griffin gains flying until end of turn.
Rarity: Common

Should be just fine, another mainstay of a UW flying aggro strategy. This will be a grizzly bear every once in a while, but will usually be, for all intents and purposes, flying to boot. This is the kind of creature that defines limited archetypes. Very solid.

JAME

Mike Flores has been discussing how to break down cards into their effectiveness on a “what you get for the casting cost.” On Twitter today, he asked me to find a case where someone would pay 2cc for a vanilla 2/2. I’m not sure if we can count this as a vanilla 2/2 since it can get the flying. I just wonder if this could be a candidate. But I’d hate to say something like that just because I’m looking for an example to show Flores.
Yeah…this is interesting but it’s uses outside of limited are fairly dubious. Maybe I’m just totally corrupted by really good 2 drops like Tarmogyof, Knight of the White Orchid, Ethersworn Canonist and Kor Skyfisher (to name only a few), that I can’t claim this will see play…

Guardian Zendikon
2W
Enchantment – Aura
Enchant land
Enchanted land is a 2/6 white Wall creature with defender. It’s still a land.
When enchanted land is put into a graveyard, return that card to its owner’s hand.
Rarity: Common

This cycle will really test the common wisdom that auras are inherently weak due to exposing you to two-for-one (241) card disadvantage. If these become heavily played (their effects are all somewhat appealing, and the 241 is mitigated by the land-return policy), then keep your eyes peeled for LD spells, especially instant speed ones. Personally, the effect from these needs to be devastating to justify inclusion. I still think it’s enough of a tempo loss to enchant my land, then lose my creature and get my land back, to risk messing with these guys. A 2/6 defender isn’t arousing me much. As an aside, keep in mind lands with Enters the Battlefield (EtB) effects and/ or sacrificial effects. Dark Depths? Maybe if the right Aura is printed? Probably not, I’m just saying… think outside the box.

JAMES

What is nice about this card/cycle is that it acts as creature while allowing the caster to access the mana. I don’t think this is the one that will be seen in play but it is an half-okay fit for a control player. I don’t think this is “the one.”

Hada Freeblade
W
Creature – Human Soldier Ally
0/1
Whenever Hada Freeblade or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Hada Freeblade.
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #7/145

A 1-drop Ally. Definitely solid to any Ally archetype. Thank you, Dr. Obvious. I’m unsure what else to add here. Allies has always been about critical mass. I think this probably takes the place of a few Makindi Shieldmates and/or the like. Allies will likely remain a playable strategy, especially in times when you force it hard and early and end up one of, if not the, only player in that archetype.

JAMES

Kazandu Blademaster really needed an on-color ally one drop and this could be it but the pool of allies is pretty thin that I don’t see a creature like this making the Ally an archetype in Type2. Allies are pretty strong in drafts if you can pull them off and one thing I’ve noticed is that while Kazandu Blademaster is sweet it’s so conditional on getting more playable Allies. In the end we have to ask ourselves if we’re willing to pay 1cc for a 1/2. Probably not…so my verdict is “keep on looking.”

Iona’s Judgment
4W
Sorcery
Exile target creature or enchantment.
Illus. Mike Bierek
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #8/145

Very solid removal in a color usually lacking it. This will hit any creature, and doesn’t trigger graveyard effects. This will be a high pick despite its high cost, because randomly nuking Quests and such at the last moment will be clutch. Very strong here, IMO.

JAMES

For constructed I don’t see why a person wouldn’t just play Oblivion Ring for one less (yeah, yeah, drawback…but kinda only against Maelstrom Puls and the Jund player would rather use Maelstrom on something…well, better). Are enchantments such a big freaking deal? Not unless your playing against Fruity Loops (or whatever it’s called…the Pyromancers Asscension deck). If enchantments/planeswalkers aren’t your weakpoint, then I suggest Journey to Nowhere or the instant-speed Path to Exile. The bar is pretty high so far as removal in white for constructed play and this just isn’t it…not for 5cc! Play the BSA; that’s removal and lifegain all in one.

Join the Ranks
3W
Instant
Put two 1/1 white Soldier Ally creature tokens onto the battlefield.
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #9/145

Instant speed double-ally trigger. Just keep this card in mind as you play your first limited match against an allies player! In dedicated allies, this goes from “very solid” to “absolutely devastating”. This should usually be the equivalent of a Windborne Charge or a kicked Bold Defense in terms of “I win” potential. Outside its home archetype, this is still very good, posing as white-like removal, letting you surprise block to your advantage.

JAMES

I like the fact that it creates Ally tokens. When I frist read this card a week or so back I didn’t catch the Ally part. Pretty sweet for limited. Again, I’m not sure that an Ally deck is going to be a powerful enough archetype by itself. Jund is still putting up some massively good numbers and this little ally-token maker doesn’t make enough of them to offset the card advantage inherent from Bloodbraid Elf, Maelstrom Pulse, Sprouting Thrinax and Broodmate Dragon.

Kitesail Apprentice
W
Creature – Kor Soldier
1/1
As long as Kitesail Apprentice is equipped, it gets +1/+1 and has flying.
Illus. Austin Hsu
Rarity: Common
Set Number: #10/145

This is tricky to evaluate. With enough equipment, I might consider running this, as it instantly gets evasive and bigger. With an Explorers Scope or a Trusty Machete, for instance, I’m tempted by this guy. Otherwise, I’m hoping I don’t need to fill the early drop hole this bad…

JAMES

I’ve tried building a mono-white soliders deck with a lean toward Kor and a couple of pieces of equipment but was never able to figure out something that was very competitive. I’m not trying to imply that this will be the card that tips the scales but it’s certainly worth toying with if you’ve been playing a wheenie Kor deck (and getting smashed). There are some very decent equipment cards such as Adventuring Gear, Behemoth Sledge and maybe even Bone saw (hey, it’s SUPER cheap–and on a card like Kitsail it’s a rough beating).
–returning back to reality: I’ve always felt that Kor weren’t very good for even limited considering that it’s a new creature type for Zendikar so if i have a Trusty Machete or an Explorers Scope (or both) I could consider taking some Kor knowing that they’ll be lightly drafted. It’s worth testing…but don’t come crying to me if you get your ass whooped. I said that it can be super weak and worth trying out.

Kor Firewalker
WW
Creature – Kor Soldier
2/2
Protection from red
Whenever a player casts a red spell, you may gain 1 life.
Rarity: Uncommon

Wow, this looks like a constructed metagame hoser to me. Seems like a Dragons Claw stapled to a weird, slow poke Silver Knight. Since either of these are already played against certain red decks as sideboard options, we can safely conclude that this card has a similar fate. As for limited, there’s nothing wrong with a Grizzly Bear, and the extra rules text is gravy when it’s relevant. I like it.

JAMES

Pro-red has been really good over the last few years and i expect to see this making the cut. mono-White builds have been sadly underpowered and here we have a creature that can block Bloodbraids, Thrinaxes and Goblin Guides (oh, my!). It is ‘only’ a 2/2 for 2 (aheh, mike…) but I can see this being a great SB selection for that player looking to make a go @ mono-white weenies.

Lightkeeper of Emeria
3W
Creature – Angel
2/4
Multikicker {W}
Flying
When Lightkeeper of Emeria enters the battlefield you gain 2 life for each time it was kicked.
Rarity: Uncommon

Whoa mamma! Nice uncommon here. This is the kind of card that Multi-kick was made for, making what’s already quite relevant and good enough (a 2/4 flier for 4 is solid-to-fantastic in limited, traditionally) relevant when you draw it later and later into the game. In your opener, this is quite good provided you can make drops. Nothing wrong with playing this guy turn 4. But when you top deck this on turn 18, suddenly you’re gaining like 10 or more life. Seems like a bargain for an uncommon. Skies looks like a healthy archetype so far, and it was no slouch in ZZZ either.

JAMES

Interesting but I don’t see this being THAT great. It’s only 2 life and I have to pay a bunch for it. It comes down to this: would I like to kick this a couple of times (or even once if I’m sitting at 5 open lands) and gain 2 life each time OR leave mana open for other options (such as Path, Harms Way, etc)? I think I’d like to have mana available for other things.

THAT means I’m only looking at a 2/4 for 4…barf.

Loam Lion
W
Creature – Cat
1/1
Loam Lion gets +1/+2 as long as you control a Forest.
Rarity: Uncommon

Ah, the fabled “New Kird Ape” cycle. This one looks neat enough. I know a lot of old school Legacy types who will love to play a WG stompy with fetches into Savannah into this guy… but what’s crazy is that this kind of play is only about marginal for such a deck. This guy might have legs in standard too, given the presence of fetches there. I just think he’s pretty sad on turn 1 naked. In limited, it obviously hinges entirely on being on-color, but when he’s on color, he should be a very good foil to the typical ZZZ aggro deck, blocking crap like Vampire Lacerator all day. Also dodges Disfigure and un-kicked Burst Lightning. All ticks in the Pro column for Loam Lion.

JAMES

I’ve also experimented with G/W builds that weren’t quite strong enough and I’ll have to see about adding this in those builds. Having a ’3′ sized butt is nice. This is also worth considering for the Zoo decks that just haven’t been able to keep up with Jund builds…2/3 for 1 really isn’t that bad.

Marsh Threader
1W
Creature – Kor Scout
2/1
Swampwalk
Rarity: Common

If you think this is unplayable, I’ll refer you to Cliff Threader. This is the kind of guy, a 2/1 for 2, that is deceptive… these guys DEFINE limited in almost all limited formats. True story.

JAMES

Pretty nice for limited, sure, but not so great outside of that. The 2 power just isn’t enough to kill that much in this meta…

Marshal’s Anthem
2WW
Enchantment
Multikicker {1}{W}
Creatures you control get +1+1.
When Marshal’s Anthem enters the battlefield, return up to X target creature cards from your graveyard to the battlefield, where X is equal to the number of times Marshal’s Anthem was kicked.
Rarity: Rare

WHAAA? This is a crazy sick mashup of a card. It’s like Glorious Anthem slipped a Flibanserin into the drink of Resurrection, and nine months later, we get Marshal’s Anthem. This card gives me a bit of a res-erection. As a late game bomb, this thing will swing the game for you. It’s mana-into-card advantage. I don’t know what else to say. Compare with the card’s ancestry. Play this thing. Pray you started in W/x when you crack this pack 3. Etc.

JAMES

Hmmmm…it’s not Honor of the Pure which at WW (plus 2 more) is the best comparision (especially because the kick requires TONS of W) but the attrition rate of white decks makes this SORTA appealing. Just sorta. I’ll say this is’nt nearly good enough for constructed. It’s just way too freaking expensive to get anything out of it. (8 mana for two creatures AND +1/+1?? pssshhh, just play [card]Emeria, the Sky Ruin[card] if you need creatures from the graveyard and keep your mana for dropping [card]Captain of the Watch[card] + 1 for Path to Exile)

Perimeter Captain
W
Creature – Human Soldier
0/4
Defender
Whenever a creature you control with defender blocks, you may gain 2 life.
“We stand between the jaws of chaos and the mantle of order”
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #16/145

Again, they’re pushing lifegain in fun new ways. This guy actually fits the bill for the Skies archetype I’ve been obsessing about up until now: it comes down early, stalls the board, and when it finally dies, it usually bumps you up a couple life points, aiding the cause further. I think it’s a good fit for decks that want to stall and/or tie up the board on the ground.

JAMES

This is a good construction card. The weird defenders have been making a good impression on constructed for the last two…three blocks (from Plumveil to Wall of Reverence to Wall of Denial). This one is actually a little better since it has a big enough butt to matter AND buying more time against the aggro builds that U/W control struggles with. I’d definitly put this in my build. It’s also GREAT in limited, skies decks that leverage Kraken Hatchling to stall the ground but needed a little more to help with that…dang, I like this one.

Refraction Trap
3W
Instant – Trap
If an opponent cast a red instant or sorcery spell this turn, you may pay {W} rather than pay Refraction Trap’s mana cost.
Prevent the next 3 damage that a source of your choice would deal to you and/or permanents you control. Refraction Trap deals that much damage to target creature or player.
Rarity: Uncommon

Hmm… obvious constructed (and limited) sideboard options here. I’m not sure I play this main though in limited… however, Shieldmates Blessing got some well deserved play, and in the right deck was quite strong. Then again, that was essentially this card with the trap cost moved to the casting cost. So I dunno… I’m in the air here, but I think this stays in the board for me, and it picked not-too-high.

JAMES

Jesus. Move over Harms Way there’s a new sherif in town. If a player casts a red instant or sorcery? yeah, that NEVER happens…

Rest for the Weary
1W
Instant
You gain 4 life.
Landfall – If you had a land enter the battlefield under your control this turn, you gain 8 life instead.
Rarity: Common

Long time readers (and I know they are legion) will recall that I’m no fan of lifegain in and of itself. I don’t mind incidental or abusive-recursive lifegain, but a spell like this is a waste of a slot in my opinion, even at the ever lower mana costs and ever higher payoffs that are being pushed these days. That said, in the right context, these kinds of spells are great. If you’re just trying to buy time against weenie rush strategies, and your late game is solid, then this is just fine.

JAMES

freaking lame.

Ruin Ghost
1W
Creature – Spirit
1/1
{W}, {T}: Exile target land you control, then return it to the battlefield under your control.
Flavor Text: “Haunting us, these different meanings and spectral beings. We’re fighting sleep with broken, rusted weaponry.”
Rarity: Uncommon
Set Number: #19/145

I like the landfall-as-an-instant mechanic here, which is the entire point of this spell. Should be good enough, and should be picked fairly high. Lots of skies decks will want this. Don’t forget that you can do seemingly innocuous crap like leave only white up, but then shennanigan an island out of and into play, and then use that U mana to counter, and other miscellany like that. This is a new skill testing tricky card that enables LOTS of shennanigans. I think it might be higher picked than some might think. He is a 1/1 though, and you have to have something relevant to do with him. Every draft will have someone who is pumped to have opened this, let’s put it that way.

JAMES

I don’t like spirits that can’t fly so I HATE this card. lol. jk. I think the ability is too slow. It’s just way, way too slow…and do you konw what it’s like to be way, way too slow? Well, I don’t know and you don’t want to. ;)

Stoneforge Mystic
1W
Creature – Kor Artificer
1/2
When Stoneforge Mystic enters the battlefield, you may search your library for an Equipment card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library.
{1}{W}, {T}: You may put an Equipment card from your hand onto the battlefield.
Illus. Mike Bierek
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #20/145

Alright, our first EDH must-have! I think every EDH deck that has access to white will likely want this. It’s basically a second copy of Steelshapers Gift or another more narrow copy of Enlightened Tutor. Let’s face it, lots of decks just want to get Umezawas Jitte. These are all redundant copies. Everything aside from the EtB effect is windowdressing. The same kind of scenario plays out in limited. Did you nab a machete? Then he gets the nod.

JAMES

Hmmm, interesting. I also think this might be too slow. Most of the equipments that a Kor creature will want to fetch are cheap enough to cast. Plus, it excludes cards like Sigil of Distinction which is a pretty darn cool equipment…maybe getting Quitus Spike or Umezawas Jitte would be good? I don’t know…I don’t think this is worth playing.

Talus Paladin
3W
Creature – Human Knight Ally
2/3
Whenever Talus Paladin or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may have Allies you control gain lifelink until end of turn and you may put a +1/+1 counter on Talus Paladin.
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #21/145

Lifelink is huge, despite what I said about lifegain. Lifelink can be thought of as one step across the “is it recursive?” line for lifegain. Anyway, this will make some ally strategies bomb-tastic. However, you’ll have to open it yourself, as most people will take it if they’re on color and not in allies, because a 3/4 for 3W is good enough to hate the card away from anyone who happens to be in allies. I like him.

JAMES

Interesting. This makes me think that mono-W (or splash for something…but not sure WHAT) Allies might not be a complete waste of cardboard. The fact that they get the +1′s is what makes this appealing. It’s too bad it has to stick around long enough to attack…but I guess the Ally deck is going to have to be defensive to start with…maybe with Honor of the Pure? This is wroth toying around with in the lab…at least for five mintues.

Terra Eternal
2W
Enchantment
All lands are indestructible.
Rarity: Rare
Set Number: #22/145

There’s probably a cool combo with this, but I can’t think of it… maybe Legacy 43Land.dec will like this? This will be a recurring comment for me, lol. I know there’s at least one blue card for which the same thought occurred. Anyway, this is lots better when you have a man-land of some kind. Luckily there’s just such a cycle in this set…however, since both are rare, it’ll be… um… rare to see both in limited.

JAMES

I dunno…Legacy is beyond my meta knowledge. I see a LOT of strip mines played in vintage but I dont’ see the vintage players jumping out of their seats for something like this. Meh.

Veteran’s Reflexes
W
Instant
Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Untap that creature.
Rarity: Common

An awesome combat trick in a color whose removal usually comes in this form. This should be seen as a removal spell. Occasionally you’ll do that magical last point of damage to an unsuspecting opponent. I like it. This should enable many an ambush block.

JAMES

lol. COULD act as a piece of removal but it’s not the best removal in the world…at all. If it gave your creature first strike too, I’d be all about it…but it’s really just border line…

That does it for white. Please chime in down in the comments section to let us know where you agreed and, more likely, where you disagreed with our evaluations. Thanks, and we’ll see you again in the other posts.