Tag Archives: Rise of the Eldrazi

What We Should Expect from Scars of Mirrodin

We just recently had the last set in the Zendikar block come down the line and the Standard environment is starting to shift about to fit some of the epic Eldrazi and their associated mechanics and cards into winning and promising decks. So, I want to look at what the Scars of Mirrodin block will likely hold for us and what Zendikar block cards we should be excited about playing in the Zendikar-Scars Standard environment.

Some of you may feel that we are too far out from the Scars release to begin serious speculation as to what the block’s contents will be, but let me explain why I am taking on this task and the unprecedented support we have in this venture compared to other block speculations in the past.

Much like a couple of the people I follow over on Twitter, namely Kelly Reid of Quiet Specualation (@kellyreid) and John Medina of MTGMetagame Blog and the recent Pack-to-Power project at Mananation (@mtgmetagame), I believe in trading for value. It is partly due to necessity as our beloved Magic is not the cheapest pursuit to be enamored with, and because the trading is also like a game in itself, a place to practice salesmanship, bartering, and test your wits and savvy against others.

Part of the way I play the trading game is to get a slight edge in trades and get a huge edge in speculative growth. This is a strategy that I’ve read Kelly Reid talking about before, and many people participate in speculative purchasing when a new set is about to drop to ensure they get in on cards before a price spike, real or perceived. The biggest key to speculative trading or buying is to put together knowledge and make tentative conclusions about the future. Scars of Mirrodin gives us a special quantity and quality of fore-knowledge about what cards we can expect and what cards we should be making sure we acquire before any fluctuations in demand price them out of our grip.

Thanks to the below points of knowledge, I feel pretty secure talking about which cards to keep an eye on and what to look for as we get closer to the release of Scars of Mirrodin.

Rotation Situation

WotC likes to maintain certain staples in one form or another, as shown with the Onslaught fetches rotating out of Extended coinciding with the Zendikar fetches rotating into the format. We can expect similar rotational repeats to occur in this exchange. Certain staple cards of importance to the formats’ health will reoccur, possibly directly but more likely in an indirect approximation.

We can expect to see cards that will fill the roles of Engineered Explosives, Chalice of the Void, and Chrome Mox. Personally, I suspect that they will take yet another crack at the Lotus, attempting to create yet another variation of it that will be attractive but balanced, likely as the replacement for Chrome Mox.

Inter-block Synergies

Remember Vampire Nocturnus, the quirky mono-colored Vampire Lord who had barely any vampires to lord over at the time he dipped into the very multi-colored card pool? If you had the foresight to grab them for $2-$4 when they were first being cracked, just a couple months later you could have off-loaded them at the peak price of around $45 each. That’s quite a return. How about Knight of the Reliquary, which suddenly became super-relevant with the introduction of Zendikar Fetches and Spell-lands? I intend to feel out the next Nocturnus or Knight of the Reliquary while it is still in its larva ‘Junk Rare’ status.

Déjà vu

We’ve been to Mirrodin before, and we know what we saw the last time we were there. Last time we were visiting Mirrodin we had the following themes and these are my thoughts on their chances to return or matter, and which cards to grab or watch for with that in mind:

Modular

Modular isn’t likely to return in any meaningful way as the unintended consequences of moving +1/+1 counters around in mass with any artifact or creature sacrifice outlet can lead to much confusion, hilarity and terror. Cool concept, but abuse potential is too high.

Equipment

Equipment is going to be amazing, and there is plenty of support for this using the Inter-block Synergy premise. Look at Armament Master, Stoneforge Mystic, Kor Duelist, and Kitesail Apprentice. Mirrodin was the birthplace of the Equipment subtype in Magic history and would be a perfect place to explore new design space. Stoneforge Mystic and Armament Master might prove to be undervalued at current prices if juicy and innovative Equipment comes out of the Mirrodin Armories.

Artifacts matter/Affinity

Affinity is dead. There is too much danger in how easily it can and was abused to even touch it again. If something even looking like affinity drops. You can expect a massive chorus of people singing ‘The End is Nigh’ and also players just leaving due to having ‘been there, done that’ before. It should go without saying, but the Artifact lands will also be only a memory, just like affinity.

Other artifacts matter cards will of course be abundant and they should be. As such, I’d make sure I have some of the Zendikar Block Artifacts set aside just incase they should prove integral to one archetype or another. Khalni Gem, Eldrazi Monument, Eternity Vessel, and even Seer’s Sundial have use or abuse potential if made a little better by also adding to your ‘Artifacts Matter’ counts.

We also have a couple cards that already care about Artifacts in Thada Adel, Acquisitor, and Lodestone Golem. With Pilgrim’s Eye and Everflowing Chalice helping your mana develop and giant colorless game finishing creatures abounding, Scars may provide enough support for an Artifact/Colorless Control Deck to form and for an anti-artifact control deck to challenge it for superiority. With very strict counterspells being the norm lately, Annul might see print again, making a deck featuring Thada more attractive to battle the artifact hordes for diehard Blue players.

Charge Counters

There are five cards in Zendikar block that reference charge counters and three are considered junk Rares, Angelheart Vial, Sphinx-Bone Wand, and Surrakar Spellblade, one is a junk Mythic, Eternity Vessel, and the last one is Everflowing Chalice, a utility colorless mana acceleration card that could be broken in half if you can manipulate charge counters. Mirrodin had a few ways to play with charge counters on the various artifacts and this seemingly innocuously named class of counter could provide a subtle inter-block window to doing some very disturbing things in Standard. If you can somehow add counters to an established Eternity Vessel or Everflowing Chalice, you can begin an unexpected climb to recovery or victory where you would have otherwise been dead. Surrakar actually may have the most potential however as he generates charge counters that may be moved about and his own ability is pretty great as it is now with cards like Distortion Strike.

Sunburst

This one I’m on the fence about. Sunburst cared about how many different colors of mana you paid to cast something. After all of the multicolored pains of the past two years with Shadowmoor and Alara, this may be one thing they let fall aside to make room for something less colorful. There are also no cards at the moment that really would make this exciting to see, so put on the spot I’ll say this isn’t going to come back.

Imprint

This is dead. As much as Chrome Mox rocks, players want to cast their spells, not discard them from the game attached to something else. WotC has been particularly attentive to want players want to do lately rather than rewarding them for doing the counter-intuitive. I might expect something that seems reminiscent of Imprint in that you may reveal a card, use a card already removed, or use cards in your graveyard to apply some trait to the artifact in question, but they are going to let you keep the cards in your hand until you’ve used them or your opponent takes them away.

Indestructibility

This could become a theme that will make combat and various strategies more complex but also make playing the cards and killing them more rewarding. With the Edict effects on cards like Gatekeeper of Malakir and Consuming Vapors, the door is open to introduce indestructible permanents that can still be answered. Consequentially, Consuming Vapors may see a corresponding rise in price if playable indestructibles are spoiled. I’d also pay closer attention to ways to neutralize things without destroying them, such as Oblivion Ring and Path to Exile like cards that may show up in M11.

Entwine

We like modality and this seems ripe for a review and expansion just like Kicker received. We saw  Entwine in Mirrodin the first time around and I hope to see it again with a new twist, but I’m cautiously optimistic here. The reason for caution is that kicker had been gone for a single Extended Rotation before it returned, leaving a year that the Extended format had no kicks. We may see a similar period for Entwine when Mirrodin rotates out, but I hope not because it seems like just the type of flexibility we would want upon losing all of the multicolored support and options.

In either case, there are very few cards that I can think of off hand that could benefit value-wise from such a comeback. In fact, the only one is Pyromancer Ascension, and then only if the right kind of options show up on the cards. Perhaps a few of the Rebound cards can get together with some Entwine cards and make Johnny happy with a little Pyromancer’s combo deck.

Colorlessness

Ok, so this wasn’t really a theme, but you have to admit that Mirrodin’s colorless Artifacts and the Eldrazi seem to be made for each other. WotC also seems to be dropping a hint to this extent and some possible reprints in the issuing of Cloudpost, the massively colorless mana producing Locus, as the May FNM promo. The price of the Eldrazi titans and all the colorless spells could see a significant bump up if Locus reappears in either Cloudpost or an associated form. Another thing that might have a similar effect is if a good colorless manabase can be formed up out of Quicksands, Tetonic Edges, Eldrazi lands, and colorless man lands like Dread Statuary or new iterations of Blinkmoth Nexus or a Mutavault-esque land.  Finally, also be on the look out for  a reappearance of Urza-tron in M11 either exactly or a series of role sharing similar lands. People want to cast Eldrazi titans and WotC wants people to want and do just that, so they’ll be sending enablers down the pipe.

So there you have it. By analyzing WotC’s trends and past, as well as player’s behaviors and desires, we can make some predictions on what cards that are currently floating about our environment that may become suddenly much more relevant once Scars starts getting spoiled. In five months you’ll be able to look back to this article and thank me for convincing you to grab a couple extra Lodestone Golems and Consuming Vapors now, while they were obtainable.

Agree? Disagree? Predictions I missed? Say so in the comments section below, or catch me on Twitter @RobJelf!

Top Picks in Rise of the Eldrazi Draft

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

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

White:

1. Dawnglare Invoker

2. Knight of Cliffhaven

3. Oust

4. Kabira Vindicator

5. Guard Duty

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blue:

1. Regress

2. Enclave Cryptologist

3. Narcolepsy

4. See Beyond

5. Domestication

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black:

1. Nirkana Cutthroat

2. Induce Despair

3. Vendetta

4. Suffer the Past

5. Bloodrite Invoker

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red:

1. Flame Slash

2. Staggershock

3. Brimstone Mage

4. Heat Ray

5. Traitorous Instinct

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

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

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

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

Green:

1. Joraga Treespeaker

2. Beastbreaker of Bala Ged

3. Pelakka Wurm

4. Wildheart Invoker

5. Kozileks Predator

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy earth day!

Tales from the Rise of the Eldrazi Prerelease

Well, another prerelease has come and gone, and we’ve all got our hands full of Rise of the Eldrazi. I was participating in a conference on water and sustainable development over the weekend, but I arrived back in Edmonton to make a draft flight or two.

Rise of the Eldrazi limited is something that’s quite different than the vast majority of limited environments, with a strong emphasis on massive creatures in the late game. However, these titans are not the only cards which determine how 40-card decks fair, there are levelers and aura which can easily swing the tide of the game.

For example, consider this deck I drafted:

So this deck has some really great things going for it. Most obviously we have bombs in the form of the board sweeper All is Dust and Deathless Angel. We also have 3 of (in my opinion) one of the best Eldrazi in limited: Ulamogs Crusher. As an additional win condition, we have Dawnglare Invoker, which will pretty much kill your opponent if it doesn’t get removed. Unlike the other members of the new Invoker cycle, this one has a much more drastic effect on the board.

During the mid-game, we have a pair of the always-awesome Wall of Omens, as well as a pair of Knight of Cliffhaven. This will hopefully allow us to make some early drops, and then effectively use our mana to follow through for the following turns with effective midrange drops. If all goes according to plan, we should be able to drop a win condition relatively easily.

One thing I’d like to address is the 19-land manabase. I had people at the launch party saying that it was a ridiculous call, and that it would be ineffective. However, I must tell you that the above deck would never have worked without the ability to consistently hit your land drops. The one or two turns i’ll draw an extra land are mitigated by the fact that I can almost assuredly win out with this deck in the late game.

Here’s how the deck faired:

Round 1: vs Steven

Steven is a player who just starting coming to Wizard’s comics, and he’s been a great addition to the crowd of local regulars. In game 1 he drops double Sporecap Spider with an Ogres Cleaver. However, I have a Wall of Blossoms and a Kabira Vindicator which levels up fully. This lets me stall enough to force Steven to overextend, and I happily cast All is Dust to reset the board. An Ulamogs Crusher just gets there over the next few turns.

In game 2 I drop a pair of Dawnglare Invoker and follow them up with a Knight of Cliffhaven. I get to 8 mana, and just tap his team every turn to allow me to attack through his army of Cleaver-wielding Spiders with my creatures.

1 – 0

Round 2: vs Atilla

Atilla starts the first game with a few walls including Vent Sentinel and Battle Rampart. I drop a Kight of Cliffhaven but his progress is halted by a Rage Nimbus. I resolve Deathless Angel and Atilla has the double Flame Spike. Again, I force Atilla to overextend into my All is Dust, and I use a Hand of Emrakul to lock up the game.

Game 2 involves us trading creatures and removal spells for the first while, but I’m able to resolve a Ulamogs Crusher and whittle his permanents down and kill him.

2 – 0

Round 3: vs Matt

It’s 8pm and I have a 7am class the next day, so we agree to draw. After this arrangement, Matt says that my deck was probably better than his.

2 – 0 – 1

So I go home with 4 packs of Rise and the sexy new plastic box for cards, although its still no Dragon’s Egg. I also got to judge the last couple drafts, which is awesome practice for when I finally am able to get my level 1 certification.

This deck was extremely powerful, and I can easily see the 8/8 eldrazi for 8 becoming picked much higher (I got them as late as 5th pick) due to the awesomeness it brings to the table. As well, [card[Dawnglare Invoker[/card] should not be underestimated by any means, because it can stave off entire armies of creatures. I believe that Red/White is an excellent draft archetype because of the removal and efficient creatures it gives you, and I hope to draft a similar deck this Friday at the Rise of the Eldrzai Launch Party.

As always, feel free to contact me via email (zak -AT- power9pro.com) or through my twitter feed at www.twitter.com/zturchan.

Until next time, Cheers, and have fun opening some Rise!

Tales from the Rise of the Eldrazi Prerelease

Well, another prerelease has come and gone, and we’ve all got our hands full of Rise of the Eldrazi. I was participating in a conference on water and sustainable development over the weekend, but I arrived back in Edmonton to make a draft flight or two.

Rise of the Eldrazi limited is something that’s quite different than the vast majority of limited environments, with a strong emphasis on massive creatures in the late game. However, these titans are not the only cards which determine how 40-card decks fair, there are levelers and aura which can easily swing the tide of the game.

For example, consider this deck I drafted:

So this deck has some really great things going for it. Most obviously we have bombs in the form of the board sweeper All is Dust and Deathless Angel. We also have 3 of (in my opinion) one of the best Eldrazi in limited: Ulamogs Crusher. As an additional win condition, we have Dawnglare Invoker, which will pretty much kill your opponent if it doesn’t get removed. Unlike the other members of the new Invoker cycle, this one has a much more drastic effect on the board.

During the mid-game, we have a pair of the always-awesome Wall of Omens, as well as a pair of Knight of Cliffhaven. This will hopefully allow us to make some early drops, and then effectively use our mana to follow through for the following turns with effective midrange drops. If all goes according to plan, we should be able to drop a win condition relatively easily.

One thing I’d like to address is the 19-land manabase. I had people at the launch party saying that it was a ridiculous call, and that it would be ineffective. However, I must tell you that the above deck would never have worked without the ability to consistently hit your land drops. The one or two turns i’ll draw an extra land are mitigated by the fact that I can almost assuredly win out with this deck in the late game.

Here’s how the deck faired:

Round 1: vs Steven

Steven is a player who just starting coming to Wizard’s comics, and he’s been a great addition to the crowd of local regulars. In game 1 he drops double Sporecap Spider with an Ogres Cleaver. However, I have a Wall of Blossoms and a Kabira Vindicator which levels up fully. This lets me stall enough to force Steven to overextend, and I happily cast All is Dust to reset the board. An Ulamogs Crusher just gets there over the next few turns.

In game 2 I drop a pair of Dawnglare Invoker and follow them up with a Knight of Cliffhaven. I get to 8 mana, and just tap his team every turn to allow me to attack through his army of Cleaver-wielding Spiders with my creatures.

1 – 0

Round 2: vs Atilla

Atilla starts the first game with a few walls including Vent Sentinel and Battle Rampart. I drop a Kight of Cliffhaven but his progress is halted by a Rage Nimbus. I resolve Deathless Angel and Atilla has the double Flame Spike. Again, I force Atilla to overextend into my All is Dust, and I use a Hand of Emrakul to lock up the game.

Game 2 involves us trading creatures and removal spells for the first while, but I’m able to resolve a Ulamogs Crusher and whittle his permanents down and kill him.

2 – 0

Round 3: vs Matt

It’s 8pm and I have a 7am class the next day, so we agree to draw. After this arrangement, Matt says that my deck was probably better than his.

2 – 0 – 1

So I go home with 4 packs of Rise and the sexy new plastic box for cards, although its still no Dragon’s Egg. I also got to judge the last couple drafts, which is awesome practice for when I finally am able to get my level 1 certification.

This deck was extremely powerful, and I can easily see the 8/8 eldrazi for 8 becoming picked much higher (I got them as late as 5th pick) due to the awesomeness it brings to the table. As well, [card[Dawnglare Invoker[/card] should not be underestimated by any means, because it can stave off entire armies of creatures. I believe that Red/White is an excellent draft archetype because of the removal and efficient creatures it gives you, and I hope to draft a similar deck this Friday at the Rise of the Eldrzai Launch Party.

As always, feel free to contact me via email (zak -AT- power9pro.com) or through my twitter feed at www.twitter.com/zturchan.

Until next time, Cheers, and have fun opening some Rise!

Rise of the Eldrazi Set Review and Analysis: Red

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

James
I don’t find this guy particularly interesting for any format.
Joe
This guy is behind the curve in terms of power / toughness compared to his cost, but the mini flametongue kavu effect will often steal an opposing creature post-combat, etc. In limited, these kinds of slower guys often have a place, but I’d be trying to fill my deck with more exciting guys first and use this as a filler after the first string is chosen.
Rob
Kills an x/1 in limited but even there, it costs a lot for little reward.


James
This is pretty attractive looking. Plop down one of your big Eldrazi with Annhilate (they all do I think) and your turn 3 blocker gives it haste. Sweet!
Joe
This is an interesting wall, presenting you with the choice of leaving a blocker, or hasting a guy. There are obviously a fair number of creatures in this format to whom extending Haste is an incredible benefit.
Rob
If you are running Red Eldrazi somehow, this guy can buy you time to hit your mana, and then fling your fresh freaks from the Blind Eternities at game winning speed. Of course, just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should be.
Mike
This guy is slightly wallish in a limited game, and could make combat interesting but I think this is the kind of guy to get double-tabled since 1 power isn’t what you want out of a red deck generally.


James
This is a great card for limited. Forces the pre-combat casting but the extra damage is probably worth it since it’s likely whatever you’re attacking with is now a 4/x. Pretty tough to deal with and at a much more reasonable casting cost than the Eldrazi. Essentially a role-player.
Joe
While the creature itself is fairly piddly for a 4-drop, in some cases, you can boost some evasive attacker, so sometimes this will make the cut.
Rob
What a quirky ability on a Common. Might find his way into Block Goblin decks and be a powerhouse.
Mike
This guy I like, he can really break up a stalled board.


James
Wow, this is crappy.
Joe
At first this struck me as a terrible prodigal sorcerer variant, but I think in the slower kinds of games I’m anticipating in this format, this guy will be strong. Even though it costs a whopping 11RRRR to fully level this guy, I suspect you’ll get there in some games, and then you’ve got lightning bolt on a stick, which is very strong indeed. The nice thing about these levelers is you can prompt removal, or get an opponent to over-commit without committing much to the board yourself. So paired with sweepers, these are quite strong.
Rob
I’ll stick with Cunning Sparkmage in general, thanks.
Mike
This guy is not better than Cunning Sparkmage or even Prodigal Pyromancer which are both in standard right now.


James
This is hilarious. I imagine people will try to use this in constructed. Getting 3 mana for 2 is alright but assuming no Day of Judgetment, you’ll get that big fattie out pretty fast. I’m just not convinced that the Eldrazi are really that doable in the current meta. For limited, you’d need a lot of spawn creators to make this viable…Hmm, I guess this is a “watch” card. Fiddle with and see if you can make something of it.
Joe
This looks like a key card for the ramp-to-eldrazi decks, as it’s common and produces 3 spawn for the low cost of 2 mana.
Rob
Spawn are going to be clogging up tables everywhere. I’m surprised we didn’t get even more Spawn enablers really, as seeing this requires a Spawn to start off. We could of had a cool land that Tapped for 2 colorless and put a Spawn into play under your opponents control, or something of the like. I don’t see this ever being played on turn two, but can ramp neatly later on.
Mike
An interesting ramp concept. It’s pretty weird that all the colors have these spawn cards, but Spawn: 3 is truly intruiging.


James
This card is going to win people games at the draft tables. The casting cost is so doable, it’s affect is explosive and it’s a 5/5 flier to boot. Hot sauce.
Joe
A strong enough creature on its own as a 4/4 flying for 6, the [car d]threaten[/card] effect really pushes this rare into bomb country, especially if you have any kind of sacrifice outlet on board to nuke their creature before you have to give it back.
Rob
More casual rares for Bazaar Trader decks. If he had Haste himself he’d be completely insane. But without Haste or some sort of blinking tricks, why bother?
Mike
Another in a long line of expensive, flying limited bombs for red. I would love to steal a baneslayer angel with this guy in constructed though.


James
Hmmm, I guess this would be more than broken if they had haste. I’m thinking it can’t be more than border-line.
Joe
Risky business here. This seems like more of a constructed card to me. Lands are fairly important, and to make the tokens worthwhile, you’d want to sacrifice most of your own lands. But if you float 3W, then cast this followed by, say, armageddon, that should work out okay.
This is all about Haste. If you can power this down around counters and give the tokens Haste, you should win the game.
Rob
This is all about Haste. If you can power this down around counters and give the tokens Haste, you should win the game.
Mike
This card is kind of good. I think it’s much better in limited, which makes its rarity annoying, but it’s a really fun looking card.


James
Whoa. This is narly. Constructed worthy? Maybe…pretty costly…
Joe
One-sided mass removal? This is a nasty bomb.
Rob
I love the flavor, but I’d rather use Day of Judgment, Pyroclasm, Consume the Meek, or any other number of just plan better sweepers.
Mike
So pricey but it’s got a badass text. If you can figure out how to use it in a real deck, there’s nothing better than mass-creature kill that only hits your opponent’s guys, but good luck doing so.


James
I really like this card. It’s so awesome for limited. It’s one reason I think Birthing the Brood will be pretty sweet. This is at common too.
Joe
Another common that will be central to many Eldrazi ramp stratagems.
Rob
3/3 guy maker makes guys, guys then make bigger spells. What’s not to like? Well, it’s no Siege-gang, but chumps and mana. Might not make it to Constructed without a combo or Spawn synergy concept.
Mike
This guy only costing 5 and being a 3/3 makes him playable if you’re trying to do something with high cost. These red cards getting Spawn: 3 is a lot better than what the other colors are offering right now.


James
Be-geez. This is looking awesome. Not really for constructed because red-decks are going to want lower curves (or traditionally do). Great for limited.
Joe
Wow, this is like a cantrip version of erratic explosion. If you have any kind of way to manipulate your library, this turns into a solid card, but otherwise it’s very luck-dependent. Still, this format seems to lend itself to very high mana curves, so you should usually do 5 or more damage for the card, which seems like a good deal.
Rob
This made me giggle a little. Jace, Selective Memory, Halimar Depths, or even some tutors in Eternal formats can make this 15 damage with an Emraluk, 16 with a Draco. That’s like casting 5 bolts at the same time. So fun. I like this for a run at an extended deck using Riddle of Lightning as it does very similar things.
Mike
I think this is a fine limited card. We’ve seen things like vengeful rebirth be good in limited and this reminds me of that in a lot of ways. It’s a cool take on the treasure hunt mechanic we got in the last set.


James
I guess…It’s aight. This would be pretty sweet at 4cc. 5cc just makes me not like this.
Joe
Versatile, but likely a sideboard card.
Rob
One mana and one restriction beyond real playability for now. Once Scars comes down and we have more must-kill artifacts, this will surface occasionally.
Mike
Pretty gosh-darn expensive of a card in a limited format where there really aren’t any blow out lands.


James
Sweet. Doesn’t hit players so probably not good enough to justify in constructed but certainly powerful enough for an early pick in limited.
Joe
Excellent removal that will change the typical math for creature toughness. 4 is no longer safe.
Rob
I like it. I think the Sorcery speed and the player exclusion makes up for the extra damage nicely. Becomes a strategy play as to whether to kill now, or wait till it comes back to you.
Mike
Inferno trap for it’s trap cost? Power creep? Magic is so weird sometimes.


James
Cool. Sorcery speed to knock out two x/1′s? Sure. So cheap.
Joe
I love the flexibility of this spell, even though it’s not an instant.
Dillon
The Fire side of Fire//Ice. I think it is really good, I was wondering when they would print it on it’s on card. I’m not sure if it is better than Staggershock, but perhaps in time.
Rob
Nice. I wish it was instant, but I’m a Red player a lot. Neutering Elves and WW are going to be the real order of the day when you have this card in hand. Of course it can also be a shock if you need to seal the deal.
Mike
This is something everyone is going to have to play around now. A nice little piece of removal/burn for very cheap.


James
There aren’t many early drops in Rise so I suppose this is okay if you want to try for an aggressive start. Just doesn’t seem right for the rest of the cards in the set. Probably great filler for a top-heavy curve. Constructed? Maybe, it’s similar enough to Mogg Fanatic that it’s probably worth throwing in a deck to see how it goes.
Joe
I’m not really into this. A 1-drop 1/1 seems out of place in ROE, even with the potential to help you profit in combat.
Rob
Mog Fanatic! So good to see you again!


James
Hmmm…are there enough creatures for this to be justifiable? I just don’t see it. Sometimes strategies change once you get to play more with the cards. I don’t see it though.
Joe
I think this will be another lynchpin of rush decks, should that approach prove viable. You will definitely need ways to squeak by the ubiquitous defenders and fatties.
Rob
Maybe in Block Goblins, but mostly it just feels like Filler.
Mike
Another thing for red to use to break a stalled board. That’s two sest in a row we’ve seen stuff like this, an interesting path for the red mage.


James
There ar emore than enough walls in this set to justify this. I’m pretty sure it’s an amazing SB option for limited and it’s going to be a great mid-pack pick. I’m even thinking this is a dream for constructed play SB options…
Joe
This is another bear that will go well in a rush approach. You need ways to kill big walls, plain and simple.
Rob
A good sideboard card if Wall decks become as prominent as WotC wants them to be. The Lunge effect is nice too.
Mike
The wall-killer! This guy is cool, there are a ton of walls in this block and I could see this guy being a neat sideboard card and a really good limited card.


James
Nice. I am definitly going to look forwad to playing with this card. Guess I can’t get my hopes up too high; it is a rare after all. Still, pretty cool. Maybe I’m just way too into the spawn meme.
Joe
Wow, this should be a bomb, assuming you have even mediocre eldrazi spawn generation.
Rob
Upgrade all of your Spawn into threats. Sounds good. I like that the Sacrifice is on resolution, so if it gets countered you aren’t left out in the wind.
Mike
This card is bad ass, man. Especially in those stalled out games when you have a bunch of eldrazi spawn on the board.


James
Great reprint that’s going to be so awesome for limited. X in the casting cost? Automatic amazing first pick. :)
Joe
Solid common removal. A high pick for any deck, and easily splashable.
Rob
Banefire is obviously strictly better, but in Limited, this will do a lot of heavy lifting in cleaning up the opponent’s board.
Mike
Another great piece of removal for red. Though these cards aren’t very versatile, they’re quite handy.


James
I’m pretty sure this is the best (or second best) level up dude. Level up is hotly debated and frequently bemoaned for being a sorcery ability but this is just great at any point in the game for a red deck. One of the simple lessons Ben Lundquist gave during our workshops was that it’s crucial to evaluate cards on a “early game, mid-game and late-game” basis. That is, good early? Yep. Good mid-game? yep. Good late-game? Yep. Not as good as Tarmagoyf which is the card Ben was using to illustrate the point but this is still very solid. Mythic so don’t expect to see him during the pods (very often).
Joe
This is one of the more powerful levelers, but you need to be fairly committed to red.
Dillon
I love this guy. He is nowhere close to “Mythic” but I think he will see loads of play. He flies over Kor Firewalker, he is something for red to dump mana into. I can see him in October, tearing it up side by side Obsidian Fireheart, and Staggershock. If he has protection from white or first strike he would be loads better, but I won’t be picky.
Rob
I don’t like how much mana it takes to get this guy to his first change. RRRRRR for a 4/4 Flyer seems odd to me, I really don’t like the thought of it dying with the critical level on the stack.
Mike
I dont like Levelers who can’t completely upgrade on the very next turn, but this guy has some potential to be a 4/4.


James
Pretty cool to be sure. This is the kind of card that makes me think a fast deck might be possible. Just maybe…pretty cool.
Joe
I don’t like this guy, but you will sometimes be able to do neat combat tricks with him. He seems easy to kill, even if you pump him. This is a creature that will usually be blocked, though, and if he isn’t, you might sneak in 4 or 7 damage.
Rob
This guy can just get wholly out of hand. Drop him Turn 2, Turn 3 I Bolt you, Bolt you, and swing with a 7/2 for 13 Damage total. And that’s not all that unlikely of a scenario with some variation.
Mike
This guy seems like filler, though he could do some serious damage with the amount of cheap spells that we normally see from red.


James
I mean, everything costs 8 mana so this is probably doable. lol. Everything in this set is super-sized so I guess this “pip-squeek” is minatureized. sigh.
Joe
Hill giant is usually playable. It remains to be seen whether this holds true in the realm of the Eldrazi.
Rob
Uh, yeah, filler. Nothing to really say here.
Mike
Another functional reprint.


Joe
An Overrun-esque effect on a gray ogre seems good to me, even if it’s much slower and lacks the trample clause. This is an ogre they need to deal with before you hit the magic 8.
Rob
I don’t like how small he is, but this might be the best of the Invokers, not that the bar was set too high. A goblin, he beefs up you whole team, and he’s a red mana dump for when you are in top deck mode.
Justin
How underpowered can you be? I imagine R&D had a pretty broken 1st draft of this guy to end up with such a watered down creature. Yuck.


Joe
Another strong leveler, and the kind of hill giant I can get behind in RoE. If he goes ultimate, you should win the game with this guy, which puts him near, or across, the boundary of the “bomb” category.
Dillon
Aggressively costed and a serious beater. Red will take him happily. I can see him in Big Red as the main skull shatterer for the deck.
Rob
Leveler tries to level, takes a bolt to the face, controller loses more mana and a card. Film at 11. And if you really can’t race its controller or kill it before level 6, you deserve to get a beat down.
Mike
Here you have another hill giant with some potential. I don’t see this guy making it past level 1 but I don’t think you really need it to. It’s just not really what you’re looking for when you open a rare, though there isn’t a lot of removal that will deal with it easily at 3/3.


Joe
This might not be that terrible if your opponent drops some smaller guy, or if you have an 0/X wall that can block him every turn without killing him.
Rob
This will be the difference in some Limited games, but I doubt it will see the light of day anywhere else.
Mike
This is a pretty interesting take on an aura. It could really blow out your opponent if he has a 1 power creature on the board that you can just trade 1 for 3 damage with all game.


Joe
Reusable removal is very strong, even if you have to sacrifice dorks to get it. Remember that you can block and then use this ability before damage is dealt.
Rob
This just seems bad. Did they really need filler in the Rare slots?
Mike
This guy has potential to be decent with some spawn but otherwise he’s just a 4/4 unless they allow you to stack damage again someday.
Justin
I feel like this guy has a rightful place in Goblin decks. Look for Magmaw’s value to jump as Extended season comes back.


Joe
A neat wall. Pretty unremarkable, as it does what it does and that’s it.
Rob
Red Wall. At least it will eat anything that plays interference while swarming you.


Joe
This is a strong wall, able to clear out armies of tiny creatures, controlling opposing eldrazi spawn, etc.
Rob
A Good Red Wall. It Flies, It Provokes, and it have huge power. If you can give it First Strike it’d be silly.
Mike
I like that this guy can force a trade with someone your opponent might be trying to protect but I’m not a huge fan of walls that look like they should be beating the crap out of my opponent.


Joe
This might not be a bad thing to play in an early-rush deck. Just remember that it does nothing on its own, so it isn’t as good as your central strategy.
Zak
Rob
This seems like it could be really good. Boros and Goblins can set this off like nobody’s business.
Mike
This could be really decent in a quick little goblin deck with a low curve. the fact that it’s common makes it scary in a swarm style 40-carder.


Joe
Yow! If this gets in there unopposed even once, you should have no problem going to Eldrazi town. I like the looks of this trampling uncommon. His main drawback is his high cost, as your opponent will likely have some sizeable defenses built up by the time this hits play.
Rob
Pretty slow and clunky. I throw it in the “Why Bother?” pile.
Mike
If this guy was just a little chaper I’d really like him, but 6 cost is a lot for someone who isn’t going to potentially win the game for you, and that 4 toughness isn’t very impressive at 6cc. He has a lot of great synnergy with a bunch of other red cards though.


Joe
First strike really saves this guy from being unplayable. As it is, he’s still only marginally playable. But with enough eldrazi spawn, he might be your best wall as you stall into your fat. Or he can just swing into wall after wall.
Rob
Meh. Too often this will be a really expensive 1/1 or 2/1 and that just won’t get there that well.
Mike
This guy could be off the wall with the amount of eldrazi spawn red looks like they can produce.


Joe
I like this spell. It lets you finish off a creature that your opponent assumed would live, and it gives you a spawn token. It’s not the most powerful burn, but I’ll run it either in a pinch, or in a deck that wants to spawn race. Remember that you can simply use this to nuke an opposing spawn token if you’re afraid they might win the spawn-into-eldrazi race.
Dillon
This is another spell for Big Red that will help buy it time and save it time in the same moment.
Rob
I kinda like this. You get 1 mana back in the form of a Spawn and you can pop off one of their Spawns, or better.
Mike
pretty bad.


Joe
Turn any creature into Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker‘s cousin! This is a very cool card with multiple uses. Try to find a creature with a great “enters the battlefield” effect to slap this on.
Rob
A semi-decent Rare? It’s like it came from a whole different set! Auras are weak, true, but this has combo tricks written all over it. Make infinite tapped Glamer Spinners in Extended+, but do what with them? Hmm…
Mike
We’ve seen cards like this before. It has a certain appeal to it, but really it’s an expensive card that makes the creature it enchants a total lightning rod for removal. If you get it on an even halfway decent guy though, it could do some damage.


Joe
Basic removal / burn card. Definitely worth playing in limited. I missed the rebound at first and still thought this was decent. With rebound, it’s very good indeed.
Dillon
The most important burn spell next to Lightning Bolt. It is nearly card advantage for red, which doesn’t happen very often. I like it a lot, and I am nowhere near being a red mage.
Rob
Imagine Shock with Flashback for 2. Seems good right? Well, this is just one step below that. Good enough for me.
Mike
This is a card with a lot of hype already, it seems like the perfect application for Rebound.


Joe
This is a neat spell. If you only have one instant in the yard, you can use this to play said instant two more times!
Rob
Random is not a word I want to play with in Magic outside the Randomization of my Deck.
Mike
Sorcery speed makes this card pretty bad, but Rebound gives it potential. I don’t know what likely targets for this card would be, but I’m sure it has some application somewhere.


Joe
This is the aforementioned threaten on steroids. A very strong, game-swinging card, here.
Rob
Awesome in Limited, Casual Bazaar Trader deck is the permanent home though.
Mike
We’ve seen mark of mutiny and co. do work, and this card is just silghtly better. It can get you there maybe a turn earlier than it’s predecessors.


Joe
Dare your opponent to block this legend! He seems cute, but there are so many 0/X walls that send old Tuk-tuk to frown town that I’d be hesitant to rely on him without some other way to sacrifice him (and ideally then return him from the graveyard to sacrifice him again).
Rob
I really like Tuktuk. I love the flavor and story behind him, and his ability is neat and possibly abusable.
Mike
I don’t know mucha bout goblins as a constructed deck but this guy is a great blocker in limited.


Joe
Valakut Wall Killer is about the extent of this guy. He makes a great blocker and a great, if vulnerable, attacker too. I like him okay, but he’s got that vulnerability which shouldn’t be overlooked.
Rob
Attack only when it’s the killing blow. No constructed playability. And by that I mean it would really surprise me.
Justin
A red wall that does not play well with the defender focus in RoE. Can be a decent finisher in Limited.


Joe
Wow, this is probably going to be an archetype of its own. If you get 2-4 of these guys and a bunch of walls, you can just turtle up and win the game during EOT steps. This is pretty dang strong in my opinion.
Rob
When Defenders Strike Back. Seems ok. I wonder how many playable Defenders there are? That will tell us how good this guy will be.
Mike
There are a lot of defender cards in this block, if there’s a deck based around them I imagine this guy would have to be a staple.


Joe
Two turns of double-alpha strikes is definitely worth the 3RR here. This is another spell that might incentivize you to play a rush strategy against the grain of the defender-themed set. Imagining having an annihilator creature on board when you cast this seems mighty dirty.
Rob
You can’t create much more pressure than this, assuming you have any threats at all on the board.
Mike
I think this card has a lot of potential in a deck with evasion, 5cc is simply not too much for what this card has the potential to do, which is control 4 combat phases in 2 turns.


Joe
This common will be another weapon in the arsenal of the rush player, since you can kill the wimps and/or spawn, and neutralize the walls for a clear attack.
Rob
More removal for Spawn and Mana Elves. Seems fine in some decks.
Mike
Just one more way to swing in for the win. Of course there’s some 3 for 1 potential in there… as much potential as Ancestral Visions being reprinted.


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

Rise of the Eldrazi Set Review and Analysis: Black

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

Joe
He’s fast, but he dies to walls… which makes him seem pretty bad here. Then again, he can brawl with some mid-level fatties.

Mike
This guy is really interesting. Normally vanilla creatures don’t hack it in constructed formats but it’s clear that he’s much stronger in a world where 1 power creatures are far more rare. There are good creatures that would take this guy out (stoneforge mystic comes to mind) but you have to at least consider using a 4/4 for 3cc.

Justin
I think this is a solid early to mid pick in Limited. Black has the removal in Vendetta, Consume the Meek, Corpsehatch and others to make the drawback almost painless.


Joe
I love it! This is like Wall Bane.

Mike
An interesting mini theme is forming here. This looks like a fine limited sideboard card that could potentially deal with the rare cycle of Level-Up creatures, but his mana cost is probably just a bit too high to make him more than a niche, fringe creature.

Justin
Nice in Limited to wipe out those silly Level Up creatures. 4cc 2/3 with an ability seems like a decent mid-round pick.


Joe
Yikes. I’m not planning to run this kind of thing unless I have >5 cards with CMC > 9, and I don’t know how I could ever justify running that many cards that are so expensive.

Mike
This is one expensive enchantment. Did they reprint dark ritual? Free recurring damage is clearly strong but I don’t know how many formats allow for a 7 cost enchantment to do work.

Justin
Maybe as an alternate win-con in Eldrazi centered decks? Still seems pretty expensive with BBB in the casting cost.


Joe
Man, once you’re on 8 mana, this is pretty sweet. Until then, this is a pretty wimpy guy. I’m willing to give him a try.

Mike
Seems like a fine blocker in limited, but are you really going to want to go out of your way to try and use 8 mana for this guy?

Justin
This one and the green Invoker are probably the best of the cycle. However that is not saying much. I would have liked this better as a 1/3 or a 2/2. You want him to be able to stick around long enough for his ability to matter.


Joe
Hmm… a smaller, faster nantuko husk. should be good, esp. with all the spawn.

Mike
This guy will replace vampire aristocrat in decks that found it necessary to play him, but at 1/1 he’s really behind on the power of 2 drops that vampires already have.


Joe
Faster, smaller, but flying gravedigger makes me happy. I’ll run this in any Bx deck.

Mike
I think this guy is pretty good, people love recursion and cards like this in limited are usually really handy similarly to Worldwake’s Pilgrim’s Eye.


Joe
Man, this will sure help anyone running late_game.dec. And instant speed too! Yow!

Dillon
A very interesting Instant speed sweeper. What it kills is unfortunately outweighed by what it doesn’t kill right now. I do like it though. It has it’s place in sideboards.

Mike
Considering most black decks are a bit aggro I don’t see this having a ton of application but plenty of decks operate under the 3cc threshold, I could see this having implications in extended vs. zoo though it is a little expensive.


Joe
This is some excellent card advantage. Definitely worth a slot, though you’ll want to try and time this right so they don’t just lose two spawn tokens.

Mike
This looks great. Double creature kill for 4 mana and lifegain? Rebound looks like it’s really good on a good card and this is likely the best example in the entire set.


Joe
Blech. No thanks.

Mike
These auras are usually not used very often but 2 life for a tap is pretty strong. This card as your turn 2 on the play will go a long way.


Joe
Uncommon removal is the stuff of limited. This one gives you blockers to boot, and even help repay the principle cost. Seems good to me, even at 5.

Rob
Only removal not on a creature so far. Seems ok. Makes Spawn which are going to be the center of all sorts of attempted tricks. Goodness, I’m having Thrull Flashbacks.

Mike
This is a fine removal card, it’s pricey but ramping you to something bomby from the mythic rare selection of this set gives it just enough intrigue to make it better than fine.


Joe
Hmmm… I don’t think so. Maybe I side this in if I notice my opponent is monocolor…. but probably not even then.

Mike
This is a fun color hate card. I don’t know how widely it’ll get used but it could definitely do some serious damage in mono-colored limited and possibly even constructed.


Joe
Hmm… I’m not seeing it. This is definitely worse than mogg fanatic by a wide margin.

Mike
I can’t see this guy doing much, but he could get in there for a damage or two in the right kind of game. The fact that he’s just a human wizard makes him about as bland as bland can be.


Joe
Not without tons of fliers to target.

Mike
At first I thought that this card was pretty janky, but given the 1cc mana cost (awesome) and eldrazi tokens running rampant, this card could do some serious work on a flyer. I absolutely love the cost of this card. I’m excited.


Joe
This is a re-usable removal factory. Bomb for sure at a very aggressive cost.

Dillon
She is a machine gun and she swings over to destroy your life total after she is finished with your creatures. I think she will absolutely see play.

Mike
This guy is just a limited bomb. But here we are with another 5 cost vampire. Everything in vampires costs 3 or 5 and to be honest I don’t know if this guy hangs with what we already have. Yes, he has built in removal but the Legendary status really holds Drana back from the potential to staple himself to constructed decklists.


Joe
Two spawn seems like too few to me.

Mike
This is the kind of creature that tables twice but the Eldrazi player in the draft doesn’t really hate having. He blocks well and he has Spawn: 2.


Joe
This is interesting since they probably just take 1 a turn, even if they have walls that live through a 6 power attack. I might try him, but he’s low on the list… he might be creature 12-14 or something.

Mike
This guy is pretty cool, except at one toughness does it really matter if you ever block him? He seems like a perfect target for demonic appetite though.


Joe
This seems might fine. Fits in the stall & ramp approach nicely.

Mike
Pretty pricey for a life drain of 3 but it might serve a purpose somewhere, sometime… though I doubt it.


Joe
Again, I think the only hope for aggressive decks is to have a critical mass of evasion, and to selectively use removal only on flying walls and such. So, I think this normally-mediocre flier might have a home here.

Mike
Vanilla!


Joe
So for 5 total mana you get a reusable disfigure, and that seems mighty good to me. Later on you can even get a not-so-sudden death. Very nice indeed.

Dillon
He is reusable and a Vampire. He is pretty solid even without a huge mana dump. Once he gets to that last stage, which goes pretty quickly actually, he is a Jedi at killing creatures.

Rob
Leveler. Disappointing. I so hope I’m missing something with these guys.

Mike
I think these one drop levelers are giong to be the best. If you want to waste your first couple turns feeding this guy, he will rule combat until someone smothers him.


Joe
Talk about an all-in creature! However, this might be the back-breaker if your deck has a fair number of Eldrazi to boot. Such a deck would be mighty fun to play, I think.

Mike
All-Your-Eggs-In-One-Basket Demon? Too much of a gamble for me unless my opponent is at 6.


Joe
Strong removal. Run it.

Mike
This is a great removal card in limited. It makes your bigger drops at least a little useful and I think it could see play in some standard vampire decks with their plethora of 5 drops; a great way to kill the baneslayer.


Joe
Seems like a potentially strong card in some constructed formats, but it won’t do a whole lot in limited, I think.

Dillon
I love this card just as much as I am disappointed by it. I love it on turn one, maybe even turn two, but nowhere else. I feel like running 3 of them maindeck is all you can afford, but when is it better than Duress? I feel like it is a sideboard card at first glance but then I realize you only bring it in against things you either just want to Duress or you can kill it with Deathmark.

Mike
Pretty decent. I could see this going into a Dark Depths deck over thoughtseize when all you really want to do is eliminate a removal card for your marit lage, which this will take out every time.


Joe
Another decent removal spell that can potentially finish the deal.

Mike
This is fine I suppose, but at 2 damage I don’t know how many things it’s going to kill in a constructed format.


Joe
Interesting. I’d be afraid to run it unless I had some spawn generation myself. I wouldn’t want to rely on my opponent to pump this guy.

Mike
This guy has some potential in the right deck but eldrazi spawn make this guy scary. You could definitely build a limited deck around him if you were able to pick up 1 or 2.


Joe
Another situational sideboard card.

Mike
People love playing black in limited, and this will probably end up as a 22nd or 23rd spell in one of those drafts where 5 people are black so things are pretty thin, and then you have a way to finish off 4 of the opponents at your table.


Joe
A strong leveler. Good at level 0, good thereafter.

Mike
This guy is pretty good, decent stats off the bat and his level up makes him something your opponent has to deal with on the very next turn.


Joe
Seems fairly strong to me, but obviously better the more swamps you run.

Mike
This guy is downright scary, and isn’t too overly priced for 6cc, especially when he’s doubling what you can do with your mana. Obviously the mythic rare status is what holds him back from excelling in what would be his best format: limited.


Joe
A good example of a leveler that’s probably not good enough. He’s no good on level 0, and only barely okay at 1-3. I’m not excited by him.

Mike
This guy will be a filler in a limited curve but I don’t see this cycle of 2 cost Levelers who level for 3 colorless being gamebreakers.


Joe
This seems like a superb way to generate spawn tokens.

Rob
This guy seems really good. Maybe the heart of some silly combo, as these are the sorts of cards that enable such things. It brings to view that so far the Uncommons seem better than the Rares in this set.

Mike
I’m sure that this guy will have his uses in certain decks, he seems a little expensive for something like dredge but he’s a type of creature that could be excellent years from now in extended if something similar to dread return gets printed.


Joe
I don’t relish it, but it’s a mediocre way to forestall an impending Eldrazi I suppose.

Mike
I perish the thought of ever casting this card.


Joe
Super strong, but expensive. Should be hard to match once he’s online.

Mike
He’s really pricey, but he’s a walking, talking Damnation if you stick him.


Joe
A fun card for multi-player, but not ideal for limited. It’s more like a “lose less” than anything. Kind of the opposite of a “win more” card.


Joe
A decent sweeper that would be much better as an instant.

Mike
A cute combat trick, but seismic strike didn’t do anything in Worldwake so I don’t see this doing anything either.


Joe
Not a lot of bang for your buck here. He’s very easy to chump block.

Mike
I just can’t see running these guys unless you had the potential to stick dozens (and I mean doezens) of eldrazi spawn per game.


Joe
This could potentially be a good finisher. As an instant, you can just pop this off at your opponent’s EOT when you don’t have anything else better to do.

Dillon
I love this card. It being instant speed is amazing. It feels kind of like Corrupt in a way. I think it will see play if x/B control rears it’s head. Where it shines is when you can just dump mana into it and just tear away hellspark elementals and some burn spells and get some life out of it. Even against Knight of the Reliquary decks and all of their fetch lands, you just gain so much life and neuter their life total as well as their Knights. I think it is solid, especially side by side with discard spells.

Mike
I dig this card, it’s got some real potential across a number of formats and has great synergy with mill decks.


Joe
This isn’t a terrible way to cycle through the dead weight in your hand, but it’s significantly worse when you actually like the cards you’re holding.

Mike
This guy is pretty interesting if you’re really flooded, I could see him doing decent things in limited. But he’s rare, so…


Joe
This is very strong removal, destined to see constructed play (again).

Dillon
I want to see a return of Rock decks. Probably more than most people, and this card being reprinted makes me excited to maybe see something in that direction. I’m not sure if it is better than Deathmark right now, but I think it will have it’s place soon.

Mike
Very interesting. We already know how strong a 1cc removal card can be in standard over the past year and a half and this one looks like it could pick up with Path to Exile left off.


Joe
Awesome removal that will nuke walls well, but it’s less than stellar against annihilating Eldrazi.

Rob
Rebound is going to wreck people. Combat trick Deathtouch is wicked. Then if you put it on your biggest guy on the rebound, or on a pinger, you clean up their board or apply a sound beating. Rebound combat tricks are a win-win choice for any deck not running Cascade. Jund need not apply.

Mike
Double removal for 1 mana is just good. It’s pretty limited, but if they’re not blocking your creature you’re getting some damage through. I think it’s best played on your opponent’s turn but it’s pretty versatile.


Joe
Too weak.

Mike
It’s too pricey to be really good but it could potentially block some serious threats you might not otherwise be able tod eal with.


Joe
This is a terrible leveler.

Mike
I think this is simply too expensive to level up, and without levelling it up it’s really just not that good.


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

Rise of the Eldrazi Set Review and Analysis: Blue

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

Joe
Cantrip on enchantment alteration seems like a neat card. This is essentially a very soft, situational removal spell. Unlike the original, this must target one of your own creatures.

Zak
I like this in limited if you have enough auras, but unless a really strong enchantment decks comes up, I don’t think this will see much standard play. I can see this being a dead card whenever you don’t have an aura out that can enchant one of your creatures so that makes it all the less likely that this will see play.

Rob
You can save a non-totem armor aura from being wiped away with the guy getting killed, Ninjutsu an aura from the guy you are holding back onto your attacker as a combat trick or or move an aura from your tapped guy onto a blocker likewise. These all have one problem though: they involve auras and increasing risk of getting x-for-1′d. At least the cantrip helps a little.

Mike
You have to work a little too hard for this card to be a 2 for 1 in limited. Unless you have lots of spicy targets and little men, it will be tough to even cycle this one. Random blowouts, but beyond that, this should probably be on your bench.

Justin
This is a fun little cantrip that can be pretty sweet in the right deck. This seems like casual play material only. This will have no competitive impact at all.


Joe
Seems pricey enough that even a time walk sort of deck will have trouble setting it up. It just seems too gimmicky to me.

Zak
There’s no way this is seeing standard play. I would much rather play Maelstrom Nexus, because that affects all spells and costs 2 less, and that doesn’t see play (although costing a full WUBRG might have something to do with it). In EDH, this is the nuts. Double Time Stretch anyone?

Rob
This set’s version of Maelstrom Nexus. Sure, you could try to build around it to do cute things, but shouldn’t your mana be doing more by this point? Though, looking at it now, it does bring to mind that rebound spells can help make Pyromancer Ascension better, for whatever that is worth.

Mike
An extremely powerful effect, but probably too expensive to ever actually use. Very reminiscent of Reflection Mirror, Archmage’s Ascension or Maelstrom Nexus, where you get to do something absurd but at a cost that isn’t quite approachable.

Justin
I like this for EDH decks like Erayo. Great to have in play with your card drawing spells. Seems a bit too slow for constructed and is a dud in Limited.


Joe
Hmm. Unless I had ~5 or more levelers, I’d shy away from this common.

Zak
This seems bad, but it is highly dependant on your levelers. What I want to say is that if you have sufficiently advanced levelers out, why aren’t you spending this mana on leveling them up some more?

Rob
I like the flavor of this card, and it could be powerful in the right decks, but you’d probably rather have a leveling flyer in the same role.

Mike
Fairly narrow, but if you happen to open enough levelers than this card can be an absurd win condition. I could see drafting a weenie deck based around this and the quickest levelers possible, as a 4/4 flier is a force to be reckoned with.

Justin
Maybe good in draft? I am not a fan of Level Up so I can’t be pleased with this common.


Joe
This has promise. I could see trying it in some older format merfolk decks, even though better options exist on the face of it. Legacy merfolk decks are already very tight, and they have lots of lords already, but this is a decent substitute for, say, sejiri merfolk, if you lack the tundras to make the Uw version. In limited, he’s awesome as a 2UU flying hill giant, or a 4UU air elemental largely because of the installment plan that is level up.

Zak
We don’t usually see merfolk with flying, so this is a nice change. However, merfolk’s strength has always been in how cheap and efficient its lords are, and this is neither. Having a Lord of Atlantis die to a Doom Blade is expected, and you can easily replace him. This guy? Not so much.

Rob
Speaking of the leveling flyer you’d rather have over Champion’s Drake, this guy has potential and if level was a better mechanic, I’d ponder applications in Legacy Fish decks for him. I think all levelers want to reward you for the first level, but so many don’t and this is a prime example. 2UU for a 3/3 Flyer doesn’t seem horrible, but it doesn’t seem good either. Just missed the all-star mark, but might see some play if standard Fish take-off. I wonder if there are any merfolk on Mirrodin?

Mike
Speaking of the 2 drop flier, too bad this isn’t a common with some irrelevant 2nd level. As a rare Air Elemental for 6 spread out over a few turns, this card is probably just OK in the perceived limited environment. Likely not good enough for the mana intensive Legacy fish decks.

Justin
OK, as far as Level Up goes, this isn’t very bad at all. Blue is the color that can benefit the most from long drawn-out games. I am still not a fan.


Joe
I like the crab flavor, but the ability isn’t very tricky. Just keep any tapping creatures you might have in mind when you’re considering this card.

Zak
This seems like you’d play it more as a proactive regeneration shield than anything else. Your opponent will most likely not fall for you untapping a blocker with this, but it does change their playstyle. However, if you desire this effect, you have to leave 3 mana fallow every turn, which is not something you really want to do.

Rob
Meh. I’m sure it will fall in with all the other untap mana maker combo-enablers. Just another in a long line.

Mike
Filigree Sages was just OK in a limited Esper deck, and that was a 2/3. Certainly not worth a card investment.

Justin
Not the best Umbra by a fair margin. Will see some use in Limited but that is about all.


James
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Joe
If you’re in base-blue, run this card. It will stop Eldrazi shennanigans before they even hit play. Very good. Probably playable in standard and perhaps beyond due to EtB lands.

Zak
I dislike this card for limited primarily because of how it slows you down a turn when you’re aiming to land an Eldrazi. However, I’m glad wizards didn’t make it rare as it was originally spoiled, because this could be relevant in standard. Replaying a Halimar Depths can be excellent, but then you’ve really set yourself back on tempo. The versitility of this card is the only thing that’s making this card better than Negate or Essence Scatter.

Rob
I know permission is insanely good because I hate sitting across from it. This gives Counter Control decks all sorts of building options. Run it with spell Lands, non-land mana, late game nearly tapping out, or just when you need to stop a bad thing before it starts. It will certainly make the rounds in the hands of Good Blue players. The Bad Blue players will just whine that it’s not Counterspell.

Mike
We asked for a balanced counter, and R&D is certainly getting creative. Familiar’s Muse failed because blue decks typically didn’t want guys on the table early to activate it. This falls to a similar problem, as it forces you to take another action that your deck likely does not want to put up (Time Walking yourself). Factor in that the other 2 drop counters are pretty solid in this current format (especially Flashfreeze) and this simply isn’t worth the cost.


Joe
This might be what you need to force through the last bits of damage in your aggro deck. Still seems a bit on the weak side to me.

Zak
This seems okay in the late game as a way to ensure that your Eldrazi don’t get chump-blocked to death. However, it doesn’t cantrip which makes it a pretty dead card for most of the game. Not seeing myself playing it.

Rob
This is good for letting a monster into you opponent’s house in limited through their wall of defenders, but I don’t think it’ll do much else.

Mike
Blue decks are usually full of fliers, and rarely will you need to force your annihilator into action as he should be winning anyhow. A reach spell in the wrong colors it feels like.


James
kind of a cool way to use Abyssal Persecutor to win the game…on curve too…neat…but the sac outlet is a bit weird. glad i was able to think of at least one way to use it…

Joe
Neat flavor. Should be a decent control magic.

Zak
It’s a Threads of Disloyalty variant for standard. Unfortunately, for 5 mana more, we can get straight up Mind Control or Vapor Snare. I don’t see this seeing much play.

Rob
In a set with so much fat, why bother printing this? It’s a bad Mind Control. Maybe in a U/R Baazar Trader deck it will be extra stealing effects, but I doubt it’ll see any real play.

Mike
Honestly, this card is extremely tough to evaluate without any actual experience in the limited format. Confiscate effects are typically insane as they are automatic 2 for 1′s (removing their guy and getting yourself one), but it is often because you are taking their best man. With the limitations of this card and the context of the format, however, and may be rather subpar.


Joe
Seems like a tough one to ever untap. Maybe this is a good reason to pick up a crab umbra?

Zak
It’s Deep-Slumber Titan‘s little sister, and it will probably see just as much play, or lack thereof.

Rob
I kinda stopped caring about the time I saw that it enters Tapped and doesn’t untap. 5/5 for 3 is good. 5/5 that is useless for 3 and needs even more cards and mana spent at it is bad.

Mike
Remember when you first started playing Magic and worked and worked to make a card like Leviathan work? Remember how much that sucked? Pass.


Joe
A very strong umbra. Not many of the walls fly, so evasion will be key to aggressive strategies, and this will let you take to the skies at about the time the ground gets clogged up.

Zak
There we go, one of the best auras in the set, easily first-pickable. It turns your crappy early game creatures like Glory Seeker into something that puts your opponent on a huge clock. First pickable.

Rob
Too Expensive. Play a 3/3 Flying guy for 4U and you’d be better off.

Mike
Largely depends on the colors you’re paired with in your limited deck. Giving some evasion to a big beasty to avoid those Walls and Spawn tokens is quite helpful, but keeping it with your other blue fliers is pretty subpar.


James
Hmm…Probably too expensive. the Pyromancer Ascension is way better…

Joe
This seems entirely too slow. Mirari makes him completely obsolete in older formats… though I guess Vedalken Aethermage can tutor for this guy! Really his problem is speed. Once he’s online, his effect is nice, but it takes 3UUUU + UU and tap to copy the first spell. That’s way too much to be very relevant, even in such a slow format.

Zak
This seems really unstable. If you ever level him up to max and untap with him….You’re going to copy 2 Terminates and then he’ll die. That’s if you’re living in magical Xmas land. Or you could get 2 more copies of Day of Judgment. This guy just doesn’t cut it.

Rob
Spell copying amuses me in Casual. I like to ponder what it would be worth in doing broken things in competitive, but the conclusion is usually that it takes too much to set up. I think this supports that conclusion.

Mike
Another insane effect that just requires too much investment. The fact that this guy can simply be Terminated for insane value across an open board is a little embarrassing, and how many instants and sorceries really need copying anyhow?


James
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Joe
This is among my favorite totem armor auras. Flash makes it a nice combat trick, and it can even trade with a slightly bigger creature and live to tell the tale.

Zak
This is solid, as it makes for a combat trick which will play similar to Kindled Fury in M10 limited. However, it’s effect seems like it won’t be very good late game, unless you want to keep an extra 2 mana open when you’re casting Eldrazi, which you really can’t afford to do.

Rob
Giving Aura’s flash make them a lot more playable as you get a lot more flexibility in playing around opponent’s abilities to react and you can use them as combat tricks. Also, with Totem Armor you can save one of your guys from an incoming Terminate or the like.

Mike
I happen to like this card a lot, as it has both the flexibility of an Unsummon targeting your own man to protect him from a removal spell, while also giving him a small boost to prevent an otherwise trade. However, both effects may be too small, as +1/+1 is almost negligible when fighting 0/4 walls and monstrous Eldrazi, and having the poor side of Unsummon is less than exciting.


James
Aren’t there cheaper ways to do this in standard? Anyway, i’ts not the worst card for limited. At least there are Eldrazi that will recur back to the llibrary regardless of where they’re “going into the graveyard from.” I can see this being really good in limited actually. But not in constructed.

Joe
An expensive merfolk looter, but a looter nonetheless, and with slight benefit for longer games.

Zak
This is fine for limited. Remember that [card]Reckless Scholar[/card saw play, and he didn’t attack very much. This also gives you a more relevant effect in the late game. Solid, solid pick.

Rob
UU1 for a 0/1 Looter, UUUU3 for a 0/1 Card drawer. I see so many ways that this seems a waste of mana and card. Just run Reckless Scholar. Really.

Mike
Looter effects are always fabulous in limited (yes, even Reckless Scholar was fine despite the format), and I see this as no exception. If it’s in your opener, it is almost as good as Merfolk Looter as you would probably pass on turn 1, and the investment is fairly small to actually start punching out card advantage.

Justin
I don’t see why you would dump 7 mana into this guy. I don’t understand how the series of play is supposed to pay off. Turn 1: Plau Cryptologist. Turn 2: Level up Cryptologist with no mana open. Use ability to cycle a card. Turn 3: Level up Cryptologist again w/ one man up, use ability to cycle card. Stare across table at Wild Nacatl x2 and Knight of the Reliquary…. Bad, just bad.


Joe
Sort of a weak, situational combat trick, but cantrip saves it and makes it passable in my book.

Zak
It seems like this set is full of cheap blue instants that just don’t do enough. Wouldn’t pick in limited, has no home in constructed.

Rob
Filler common.

Mike
Reminiscent of Aura Finesse – too small of an effect that even cantripping cannot save.


Joe
Not bad for a flying 3/3. Only one colorless more than hill giant and decidedly more sexy.

Zak
This seems absolutely fine in limited, and the ability to send your army to the air for a turn can be extremely relevant as the game progresses. At worst it’s 5 mana for a 3/3 flying, which is totally reasonable.

Rob
It’s that 3/3 Flyer for U4 I was talking about back on Drake Umbra! You would be better off playing this than that. But of course you’d probably be better off running a lot of things rather than this. I wish the invoker cycle this time around would have been better than the old ones, but oh well.

Mike
3/3 Fliers for 5 are respectable, but not exciting. The 2nd ability isn’t irrelevant, but its too slow and expensive to ever truly surprise your opponent. Happy to play with in limited, just above filler level.

Justin
Way overpriced. This one is only slightly better than the white Invoker.


Joe
Situationally awesome.

Zak
Umm… it seems like a turn-5 answer to boros. You should probably be dead by then. I really don’t see any place for it.

Rob
Cool for those Flyer decks, except a Flyer or removal spell would be better here. Oops.

Mike
Probably quite good in your limited deck where anything without flying is probably on defense anyhow. Way too expensive for constructed.


Joe
This is the wall you want more than just about any other.

Zak
This is the ideal wall, a Fog Bank. It stalls for as long as you need, and it’s a wall your opponents can’t just attack through.

Rob
This has potential to be really dangerous and jarring. He’d be a great target for some Auras and doing his job just eating any guy your opponent throws your way.

Mike
Beloved Chaplain was a good man, and even though I can’t stick a Boar Umbra on this man to much effect, he holds the fort down well. Solid role player for limited.


Joe
Well, initially I thought this would be too slow, but maybe this is the extemity of the lengths to which you must go if you want to race the walls. On turn 3, you’ll still be starting your 10 round clock with this guy. I dunno… he seems to be on the margin between playable and unplayable. Definitely not seeming stellar to me.

Zak
I can’t help but compare this to Aether Figment. However, with the abundance ofwalls in this set, the unblockable might be more relevant the originally thought.

Rob
Leveling cost too much, but at least it is a low climb to get use out of his levels. Rewards you for the first time you level him, which is cool, but the cost and risk of throwing away mana with a Level on the stack puts him out of my typical consideration.

Mike
If leveling was 1 cheaper, he’d certainly pair well with the 1/1 flying 2 drop. As is, the investment is probably just too much.


Joe
Another situationally awesome card. I might leave it in the side unless I was short on walls.

Zak
A wall that becomes an attacker in the late game seems like a good pick, but a 6.6 doesn’t seem as relevant against an Eldrazi. Although you could board this in against a blue player, I’m not sure how often the last level will be relevant.

Rob
Massive wall action without defender. The pay off for leveling this guy just once edges him just barely into consideration. I love how epic he becomes at level 5, but getting there will be a trial.

Mike
Again, I can’t help but think about what is missing – if only it had Defender on levels 1-4, I think this card would be much better. However, I probably want to be a bit more productive than inching towards a 6/6 with a decent wall left behind. Likely a 22-23 sort of card.


Joe
Slight improvement on gray ogre in blue makes me willing to give this crab a try.

Zak
I don’t really have anything to say on this, I probably wouldn’t play him in limited because of all the walls.

Rob
I’m sorry Jwari Courser, but Hedron Crab is the only Crab in my life. All hail the Mill Crab’s superiority over all other crabs.

Mike
Vanilla is a good flavor of ice cream.


James
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Joe
Another card that can deal with Eldrazi. Not bad.

Zak
Man have we comme a long way from Cryptic Command. I love the art, but it’s just not nearly could enough for the cost it demands. In limited it’s fine though, because Countering an Eldrazi can be game-breaking.

Rob
Underwhelming for a 4 CMC counter. Knowledge is power, but knowledge can be bought cheaper.

Mike
Discombobulate never saw any serious play, and while that card is no longer in the format, the bar still is not that low.


James
This guy should just be a wall. Make it a 0/3 for level 0. 0/4 for levels 1-6 and then a 0/6 for 7+ with the ultimate ability. I mean, it’s all pretty useless other than that.

Joe
It’s kind of silly to evaluate mythics for limited, but a 1/3 can slow the game down so that his “ultimate” kicks in, and it should rapidly prove decisive from there.

Zak
I love this in EDH, especially group games. However, he seems like he’ll die really easily. Don’t expect this to live for long if you go ultimate.

Rob
A powerful control deck could use this guy as the U Level-up cost could be spared mid-late game while maintaining Control mana. EDH will love to hate this guy. Best Leveler so far, but many more to be spoiled. Later: This guy got bumped for best leveler by Student of Warfare, but he’s still ok all the same.

Mike
More insane effects for equally absurd costs. If I found myself in Mono-Blue I would take this guy without much thought, but outside of that he becomes pretty subpar. Think Timbermaw Larva.

Justin
OK this guy could fit into an Eryo EDH deck. 1/3 for 2cc in Limited is actually pretty good. I still think level up is horrible.


Joe
Meh. Only in bears.dec

Zak
Umm… This just seems bad.

Rob
Filler common. Not a bad one though, but not really good either. Just kinda ok.

Mike
More small effects to give value to cards you shouldn’t be playing anyhow. If any information I’ve read and perceived from spoilers is true, you don’t want to be playing less-than-bears.


Joe
Evasion, I’m guessing, will be the only way to roll with any sort of “fast” deck, and you’ll probably need guys like this in such a deck.

Zak
A 2/3 flying with vigilance is pretty solid for 4, and he can jump your mana producing capacity by 1, provided you play multiple spells. In short, awesome in limited.

Rob
2/3 Flying with a pseudo Vigilance. Might be good with mana ramp guys too, but cost seems clunky. I don’t rule him out of having good synergies with his triggered untap ability though.

Mike
Reminds me of a weak Kinsbaile Baloonist. Could be good if walls are extremely prevalent, but again suffers from being in blue where your men are likely flying through. The fact that it’s not very good at attack does not help either.


James
Looks great for enabling Pyromancer Ascension…heck this is just sweet.

Joe
Love it. This guy is part of the “slow things down” movement, designed to make Eldrazi feasible in limited. This guy should help the cause tremendously, regrowth-ing a removal spell, upping your defender count, and providing an 0/4 wall.

Rob
Tricksy. I’d like to cast Skitter Invasion on the cheap, then tap U and sac for Spawn to cast this and get Skitter back. Not saying that’s best or even good, but these are the types of tom-foolery we should be thinking about with this.

Mike
Izzet Chronarch was a good man in limited, and while a bear is probably better than an 0/4 defender (and Compulsive Research made for a sexier target), this guy should still be alright.

Justin
I like him in x/U EDH. I think the Standard meta is way too fast for this guy. Maybe after Shards rotate out the format will be slow enough to make this wall playable in some sort of control variant.


Joe
Good soft removal. Able to keep an Eldrazi at bay.

Rob
Limited Common Fodder.

Mike
Curse of Chains, but just for blue – and blue removal is some good. May even find a niche in blue mage sideboards to solve the problem that is Putrid Leech, though your probably paired with a color that offers better options (Journey to Nowhere comes to mind).


Joe
Against opponents lacking pingers, this is a find staller, but often they will have trivial, free ways to eliminate this wall. Still, lots of times, you suck up some kind of trick or removal spell with this wall, and until then, you stop the bleeding.

Rob
Another Limited mainstay. The glass wall. Seems ok for it’s intended role.

Mike
A big wall thats effectiveness largely depends on the number of targeting effects printed on played limited cards and cheap flexible spells (such as those cantripping ones).


Joe
Another card that can help you alpha strike / alpha block.

Rob
This card’s possible applications have yet to be fully grok’d. I’ve really got to get my hands on some and start to think about how to abuse it in more depth. I’d make sure I have a set tucked away and meditate on them.

Mike
An apparent limited blowout. While not quite as effective as Sleep, the fact that it is an instant and has additional flexibility in its second mode should prove it to be almost as good.


James
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Joe
Risky. How many cards will your opponent have on turn 6? In any other set, I’d avoid this, but in ROE, there’s a good chance they’ll still have a few left. If they have 2+, I guess it’s not shabby. This is about the worst top deck imaginable though.

Rob
Possibly good card draw and pressure to make your opponent over extend by playing out before the Rebound, but at the cost and the Sorcery speed, I don’t know if it gets there as far as playability.

Mike
Remember when Tidings was in Standard, or Compulsive Research? Does anyone else die a little inside when they cast Divination outside of M10 limited? It’s almost mocking that they printed Rebound on this, as the opponent will obviously make all efforts to make this as bad as possible on the come-around.


Joe
Wait until the end of your opponent’s first main phase before you return their Eldrazi to their hand with this card. This is a solid spell all around. It even hits lands, like the original boomerang. A strong tempo-oriented option.

Zak
I wish they just reprinted Boomerang, but this is still good at bouncing the all-in Eldrzai play off of spawn tokens. Also can dispatch a fully-leveled creature, which could be nice. If you’re desperate, you can always just bounce an opposing land.

Rob
Boing! Oops, was that your Savage Lands I just bounced Jund? Huh, sucks to be you. I like this with Resounding Wave, Spreading Seas, the black swamp maker and maybe a bit of red for Grixis charm and old fashioned Land Destruction.

Mike
A nice filler for my limited deck, as a simple bounce spell is always appreciated and useful. Not close to constructed play.


James
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Joe
So this guy will let you have pseudo-haste when you drop your Big Eldrazi scumbag. Not bad at all. There are other pleasant uses here too, but that’s probably going to be the most common.

Zak
This seems fine in EDH, and will be amazing with any Eldrazi by giving it pseudo-haste. You can also copy a card with a cheap level-up cost, and then copy something with a splashy ultimate and higher level up cost.

Rob
This is an odd on-board clone. It doesn’t enter as a guy, turns normal at end of turn and lands vulnerable. Stays a sad little chump when it drops. But, if you are using the most powerful allies (those that count allies when they trigger) then this guy could be ok. Maybe.

Mike
If only this guy kept his state until YOUR next turn (so that he did something on defense), or could copy your opponent’s guys, etc. Vesuvan Shapeshifter this is not.


Joe
card selection and a decent body makes a good staller.

Zak
It’s Sleight of Hand on a stick! This is awesome for improving your mid-game turns and ensuring your land drops. Awesome in limited to make sure you wreck face with your Eldrazi on time.

Rob
I really like this guy’s ability. It’s like Cantrip v. 1.5. Will be great in limited.

Mike
Not quite Court Hussar, but this effect is much stronger than the other marginal effects showing up on undersized bodies in this format. Good limited filler.


Joe
A good card drawer that puts the big card you don’t need yet back and gives you the cards most relevant for now.

Zak
I really like this cards as a Compulsive Research variant, because it can send away cards you don’t need. I think that combo decks will have a great deal of fun with this, because you can just reshuffle excess pieces.

Rob
Great with Treasure Hunt. Draw a land and something good. Play this, draw whatever and shuffle the excess land away. Better than just binning a card.

Mike
I’m not sure if this is better than Lat-Nam’s Legacy, a card occasionally appearing in Vintage Oath lists, as it cannot be fetched with Merchant Scroll. Otherwise, this card will probably show up in Summoning Trap lists to be essentially a draw 2 for 2 when your holding a brick. Solid.

Justin
Oh Man how I wish this was an instant. Still this is a very solid bit of card draw.


Joe
A “fixed” ancestral recall that still seems mighty strong to me. Tapping spawn is no biggie, especially the turn you spawned them. Seems good. I’ll run it if I have even middling numbers of spawn generators.

Zak
I’m hesitant to play this without a large amount of spawn generators, because it could be a dead card most of the time. In constructed, I might play this in an UW aggro deck, but it’s still so risky to play this.

Rob
Really cool on one hand, on the other hand, I wonder how Blue will reliably have out four guys. Of course, this isn’t meant for Blue. This is meant for Green or White who are splashing into Blue for the Card Advantage not to fall behind the Jund and Control decks.

Mike
Gaze of Justice was not the easiest one to pull off, but if your deck was full of Icatian Criers or fetchable Rebels, things were rocking. In a similar vein, if you can get some Spawn makers, this should be rocking.

Justin
Good solid card drawing. I like this in U/W or U/G builds. Great way to shrug off a Blightning.


Joe
3U is a traditional cost for a 2/2 flier. This should be okay.

Zak
I would expect to get a 4/2 flier for 3U (which is what this gives you if you have Training Grounds out), but not for such a long term investment when it dies to almost any burn. Pass.

Rob
Too small and too much cost per level. Gimicky Common Filler.

Mike
The level up effect is a little expensive, but you essentially get to play Wind Drake with a potential upside. Not exactly exciting, but not the end of the world if I’m running it.


James
Wow. Really great for a control deck (constructed) and just big enough to play with the Eldrazi (thinking limited…I’d race with this). Seems more than decent to me.

Joe
6-drop flying 6/6 is a winner in limited. Drawing cards and adding counters makes this just plain nutty. Bombs away!

Zak
This is a fantastic card for limited, and a potential finisher in standard. However, Sphinx of Jwar Isle really doesn’t want to lose his place to this. It’s too bad this dies to Terminate, or he’d see more play.

Rob
Seems playable in some decks, great in others and insane with a Training Grounds in play. Watch it to be alongside it’s Jwar Jwar and Lost Truths brethren as the face of the Blue endgame.

Mike
Limited bomb, but not cutting it for constructed.

Justin
This guy is a solid Rare. Good in Constructed or Limited. Extra good with training grounds in play. I want him in my Kami of the Crescent Moon EDH deck. Four please.


Joe
If you have some kind of consistent way to make him evasive, this ophidian variant will rock. Otherwise, this is a weak, overcosted bear that won’t ever attack into opposing walls.

Zak
This card could be really good with Distortion Strike in limited, but don’t count on opening too many of these. In constructed, he could be good, but you’d have to pair him with a bunch of instant/sorcery removal. Maybe a UR deck could abuse this interaction.

Rob
A strange Magpie, and a bit on the fragile side for not having any evasion. The use of charge counters reminds me of the possibility that Scars might bring us ways of charging up guys with more counters.

Mike
Another Shadowmage Infiltrator without his necessary invasion. Too cute to be good without giving him more help than occasionally drawing cards is worth. Think Dimir Cutpurse, Cephalid Constable, etc.

Justin
Really needs some sort of evasion. A bigger butt would help too.


Joe
WOW! This is likely lame in limited absent some good levelers, but there are crazy uses in constructed, I’m guessing. Ambassador Laquatus is all that comes to mind initially, but there’s sure to be some gimmicky decks to come with this card.

Zak
This is a pretty awesome card because it makes so many cards once called “unplayable” much more so. I love the Ravnica Guildmages or Filigree Sages with this, and the latter can combine with Gilded Lotus for infinite mana. A fun and potentially powerful card all around.

Rob
This can be crazy. Already this has been pointed to as a linchpin in a turn four infinite mana combo that will be legal in RoE Standard.

Mike
A card asking to be broken. Very high ceiling that could lead to broken things or time in the 50 cent bin.

Justin
Crazy Johnny potential here. I can see EDH decks abusing this for infinite combos. I definitely want a play-set.


Joe
Another decent way to combat most Eldrazi, assuming you’re going to be up on spawn tokens when your opponent goes for the big guy. Seems like a decent assumption. The danger is that this will sometimes go dead in your hand right when you need it most.

Zak
This is one of the most solid counters in the set, and even in standard I could see this getting played. Maybe some sort of UW midrange deck could use this along efficient beaters like Sejiri Merfolk and Calcite Snapper.

Rob
Seems good for splashing control to protect your army of guys. Also reminds me of Lullmage Mentor. Maybe WotC thought he would be the card to break in Zendikar and had Unified Will and Shared Discovery and other merfolk guys as support for him. Hmm…

Mike
Similar issues to Familiar Ruse in that your blue deck should never really be ahead on the table.

Justin
I like this in Momir Vig EDH decks. It seems like a counter made for x/U decks. Pretty solid in a set where creatures really matter.


Joe
Very strong when paired with the right levelers. I see him drafted high when you’ve opened a leveler for pick 1.

Zak
This guy will get picked much higher if you have a set of good but expensive levelers. However, you need a good reason to play him, because Scathe Zombies is just terrible. It would be interesting to try him out in a constructed deck, but I’m not sure how well this archetype will turn out in constructed.

Rob
I am kinda surprised he isn’t a leveler himself, but either way he’ll be fine in limited Level decks. As for Constructed, I’ll keep an eye on it, but Levelers seem to be a bit shy of the mark.

Mike
Reminiscent of Join the Ranks for limited, a card that’s value swings heavily depending on the rest of your deck – from all star to bench fodder.

Justin
Blue seems like the best color for Level Up centered decks. Yawn.


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

Rise of the Eldrazi Set Review and Analysis: Colorless

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

James

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

Joe

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

Zak

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

Bryan

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

Dillon

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

Rob

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

Mike

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

Justin

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

  • James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Bryan

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    [card]

  • James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Bryan

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Bryan

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Bryan

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Bryan

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

    Dillon

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Bryan

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Bryan

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Bryan

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Bryan

    one of the better ramp spells to play your eldrazi.

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Bryan

    Crazy abilities that will never be relevant.

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

    James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • Joe

    Big, slow, not my style.

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • James

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

    Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

    5 to equip? I’ll pass.

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

    Meh. Its a wall.

  • Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

  • Joe

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

    Zak

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

    Rob

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

    Mike

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

    Justin

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

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

  • Rise of the Eldrazi Set Review and Analysis: White

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

    James
    Once upon a time I thought this could be used for trick removal but I can’t think of a creature in this set w/ a butt of 2 or less. lol. I guess one of the level up guys. Pretty narrow. Meh

    Joe
    A gray ogre that acts as a removal spell like shock most times. The +0/+3 part here is flexible, so you might even pick off a 1/1 and use the toughness boost to win a battle between two other creatures. This is a pretty good combat trick for limited.

    Zak
    I think that Wizards has been very careful as to what cards they give flash to after the menace that was faeries. As James rightfully points out, this will only remove a Glory Seeker, which really shouldn’t be a worry for you, and it will only do that once in a blue moon.

    Rob
    Combat trick on a creature is good. A nice surprise to set an attacking opponent back on his ear and put you back into the game.

    Mike
    This is an interesting card, you don’t see too many defensive pumps being used but based on what we’ve seen from creature power in this set, I think this guy will be extremely handy and not too quickly outclassed as a standard 2/2

    Justin
    Solid combat trick for Limited. a 2/2 for 3 that has flash is nice and economical. Solid.


    Joe
    gray ogre for white would be playable in most limited formats, but here we have a defender / wall theme to contend with. I don’t think this guy will be relevant until level 5, at which point he’s, roughly speaking, a 5/5 first strike for 10W. Not exactly stellar, even when you can pay in installments. Aggro strategies only.

    Zak
    This seems like a basic way of explaining the new level up mechanic, and this ends up being pretty underwhelming. I guess if you get other ways to put level counters on your guys this could be okay, but it still seems weak compared to the rest of the cards in the set.

    Rob
    Fetchable with Ranger of Eos, but not good enough to really matter. If the early levels could give it a bigger toughness or an ability, it might have been manageable.

    Mike
    This guy is sure to be a fine limited drop if you really need to fill out your curve. If you’re stuck on low drops he will certainly fill the role, but there’s very little chance he’ll be the 5/5 first striker he so longs to be.

    Justin
    I am not a fan of level up no matter what anyone says. Seems like poor resource management. D.


    Joe
    Wow… this should help you win the race you started with your bears deck… once you reach 8, that is.

    Zak
    I actually love this card. If you untap with it, your opponent’s Eldrazi become neutered and you can hopefully use the extra turns to bring your own behemoths to the table. Also seems solid in EDH with cards like Land Tax to help you get the land you need.

    Rob
    Invokers! Thank goodness they are common. Would have been a waste of any other slot. Limited fodder.

    Mike
    These 8: creatures do nothing for me, though a 2 power flyer for 3 is probably fine for limited.

    Justin
    Alpha strike in Limited? If I am going to pay 3 for a 2/1 creature it better have Flying (I’m looking at you Kelnore Bat).


    James
    Nice flier but indestructible won’t save this Biatch from Annhilate

    Joe
    Cute effect, and a nice scantily clad picture. Angels seem to want for tailors up in the heavenly host of Magic. Is this deathless angel or robe-less angel? Anyway, I suspect that merely being a 5/7 flying would make it pretty effective in limited, it’s also got the indestructible thing going, making it resilient as well.

    Zak
    As angels go, this is prettey meh. Remember, for the 2 mana you want to keep open after you cast her, you could cast Iona, Shield of Emeria. Could be fine in EDH I suppose.

    Rob
    This will be great standing up to those Eldrazi as they swing into me. Wait, they make me sac perms when they swing. #$!@#$! I may eat my words but those words are: No Constructed, Subpar Limited.

    Mike
    A fine limited bomb but outclassed my most other rares in any constructed format.

    Justin
    Indestructible is not as good as it once was with so many reusable sac effects running around in this set. Still a 5/7 is pretty good in Limited but I think it gets easily out-shined by big fat Eldrazi.


    Joe
    Excellent reprint here. Good for nuking Umbras, I’m guessing.

    Zak
    I disagree with Joe’s opinion, and I think it’s a crappy reprint. IOn a set where man is really not an issue, wouldn’t Disenchant have been better? Although I guess Naturalize already has that spot. This just seems so narrow, even for limited.

    Rob
    Reprinted cheap enchantment removal. If I’m mono white, it might be good to have in the sideboard if an enchantment like Eldrazi Conscription or Training Grounds becomes prevalent, but overall I’d rather have Nature’s Claim and the option of shooting artifacts.

    Mike
    Well, if you want to destroy an enchantment and you’re a white mage I can’t think of anything cheaper or more narrow.

    Justin
    Why not just give us Disenchant? Oh yeah, Naturalize. Pretty basic.


    Joe
    This is the kind of umbra which will make a piddly wall into the great wall of China.

    Zak
    Joe, we don’t need any more Great Walls in Magic. All joking aside, this card is fine for a Leveler that you’d like to keep around in time to get to its later stages, because it disrupts both destroy- and damage-based removal.

    Rob
    Not as good as the Hyena Umbra, but almost playable. Almost.

    Mike
    If you have a real hard-on for totem armor I’m sure the cheap cost will appease you but otherwise: WHY?

    Justin
    Not diggin this aura


    Joe
    I like this trick… save a dude, hopefully negating one of your opponent’s spot removal cards, and then sneak past their walls the following turn.

    Zak
    This reminds me of Brave the Elements except that it doens’t require as heavy a colour commitment. I think that it’s an excellent tool when paired with an Eldrazi to save it from a removal spell and allow it to attack unblocked the next turn.

    Rob
    Right at home in WW and great for splashing in any number of decks. A great compliment to Brave the Elements and Kabria Evangel in their respective decks. Negate some removal and give a retributive strike the next turn.

    Mike
    Not quite the brave the elements white is accustomed to, but in a multicolor deck it could protect a guy you absolutely want to protect. But if that’s all you want to do why not just rock some totem armor?

    Justin
    I like this in Limited. Goes great in a white build to push those last bits of damage through. Rebound makes it better.


    James
    Seems pretty cool to me. I like this for the G/W builds I’ve been gravitating toward since the release of Shards. The abilities are really the kind of stuff that aggro decks don’t like to deal with. Also, what happens to the counter count if you use the last ability (turn into a 6/6 until EOT)? Does it change back to whatever count total was prior to the change or does it effectively reset to 6? It’d be SICKO if i goes back to 6…

    Joe
    I wonder what can be done with guys like perimeter captain and ol’ giddy J here. To the extent that you can make good on his initial ability through defense, then you’ll have reusable removal and a quick built in win condition for the turn you finish mopping up the opposing army.

    Zak
    As I said when thiis guy first was spoiled, I’m not sold on a card that cost 3WW and isn’t named “Baneslayer Angel”. However, I think that this can be a great way to forcibly trigger Perimeter Captain or Wall of Frost, and that it gives white some nice reusable spot removal. Can also help Elspeth, Knight-Errant rack up loyalty if she’s played before Gideon.

    Sean
    I’m really uncertain about this guy. He seems powerful in certain situations, I just don’t know if he will see play in the highly competetive 5 mana white slot in constructed.

    Dillon
    Probably one of the more powerful spells in the set right now. His versatility on the battlefield is really what makes him great. A controlling Planeswalker and an aggressive Planeswalker. The beautiful mending of the two. He breaks stalemates forcing the opponent to attack into you, and he can just kill pesky creatures, then deals an enormous about of damage. The whole time he is a planeswalker therefore it is very cheap to do.

    Rob
    Tap all your guys for 3WW. Oh, I guess I can Assassinate a guy in White, that’s kinda nifty, but Path, Journey, O-ring are all better. And why the hell would I turn my planeswalker into Terminate/Path bait? Maybe it’ll be good against Removal-less Green decks.

    Mike
    This guy is interesting; he clearly has many applications, maybe the best of which being he can tap your opponent’s entire team, something normally only blue has access to. Furthermore, he can still go and do some damage on his own my becoming a 6/6. Seems to combo nicely with safe passage.

    Justin
    I like it when they introduce new Plansewalkers but this one made me scratch my head. His +2 ability is situational at best. -2 is pretty good. the 0 ability is what I find the most interesting. Seems like a cool way to pop off some damage post Wrath (or DOJ). You can’t block with him so he doesn’t fit in with the defensive flavor of white. Could be good against some sort of defender home brew. I see Gideon gathering dust in trade binders for quite some time.


    Joe
    I don’t see bears working unless your curve stops at about 3, and you’re flush with removal for the ubiquitous walls in this format. Glory seeker has a tough time as a reprint in RoE.

    Zak
    Another reprint I dislike. With another 2/2 for 1W that’s strictly better thank this (Knight of Cliffhaven) at common, I really wonder why WotC thought he deserved a slot.

    Rob
    White bear is a bear. Rawr.

    Mike
    Zzzz

    Justin
    What? Why do we need a white bear? At least my Pegasus has flying for 2cc. In Limited just a late pick.


    James
    Lame. I don’t like this. Somone prove me wrong on the lameness of this card. (disclaimer: this is partial spot removal for a fliers based deck in limited).

    Joe
    I love the big hulking guy in this artwork. It seems like a really cool take on removal and the concept of defender from a flavor standpoint. I love the fantasy-realm feel of this one. This is about as soft as removal can get.

    Zak
    This stops Eldrzai From pulling their Annhilator shenanignas in limited. Few cards in this set do that so cheaply, so this will be an important card to have ion your limited deck if you’re playing white.

    Rob
    Uh, ok. I guess it is something to neutralize a guy with in limited.

    Mike
    This is no pacifism, in fact it’s probably pretty annoying. If there’s any creature you don’t want attacking you I can’t imagine you want him blocking you instead.

    Justin
    Good way to stop an opposing Kozilek in limited. Pacifism light.


    Joe
    A steep cost for a fog effect, and it won’t stop annihilator effects from triggering. You’ll have to use this to put the final nail in the coffin in an aggro deck, and even there, it’s a stretch. More likely, you’ll want removal, not a stall tactic. This might help slower defensive decks more.

    Zak
    I really don’t know what to say other than this seems to be worse than Safe Passage. I don’t think that a one-sided Fog was worth 4 mana. Maybe I was just spoiled by Pollen Lullaby.

    Rob
    I’d say this is Jacerator/Turbofog fodder, but we have those three Gaea’s Blessing bouncing around. Perhaps it’ll find play with other stalling tactics.

    Mike
    Not bad, a little pricey for a fog effect but it’s got absolute blowout potential when you’re on defense obviously. The fact that this is common in Triple ROE makes white a real powerhouse in the redszone.

    Justin
    This is the worst Fog I have ever seen. Really I am not kidding. 2WW? Why? Bad Wizards of the Coast. Bad!


    Joe
    4WW gets you a 1/4 guardian seraph. Not exactly above par, but still somewhat decent as walls go. This will definitely slow the game down a bit. Probably playable.

    Zak
    I’m still a big fan of Guardian Seraph, and I think there are better things to do with your mana than play this guy. Binder fodder.

    Rob
    For a leveler this doesn’t seem too bad. I liked Guardian Seraph, so I think I’ll like this guy. He does something the first time you level him. He gets out of bolt range the first time too. I like him even better with a Training Grounds on the field.

    Mike
    This is probably fine in limited but it might not even make your 22 if you’re mono white. It’s just a lot of mana for an 0/3 if you want it to do anything but sit there and look pretty.

    Justin
    Not digging this guy as a rare in a big set. I know I will end up with 10 of these guys. Grrrr. Level up is…. boooooo.


    James
    Cheap and extremely efficient. The totem ability makes the crap-level of enchantments go down a little. A smidgen. I’ll probably use this in my limited decks, figuring the amount of damage I’ll get in (and past an opponent’s creatures who are too pussy footed to block) will justify the cost. Plus this is cheap.

    Joe
    The umbra cycle also seems flavorful to me. The bar is pretty high for auras to be worth exposing yourself to two-for-one (241) situations though. One white mana for a boost and first strike is on the borderline. Yay defense theme!

    Zak
    I love totem armor, but that’s mainly because I love Auras to begin with, and I’m happy any time they make them better. This should help a mid-range creature out in limited, especially a leveler whose stats are not yet maxed out. Also good for when you happen to attack with Valakut Fireboar.

    Dillon
    This will be the go-to Totem Armor for a GW Spiritdancer deck. It is effectively costed and grants an ability that is just amazing. I like this one a lot.

    Rob
    This is playable. Turn two before removal really gets online for most decks, I can turn my, let’s say Loam Lion, into a Knight with a Regenerate Shield. Not an all star, but definitely playable. Might be best enchantment in the set.

    Mike
    I think if anyone is going to play a totem armor in any format other than limited, this is going to be the one (except maybe ones that have flash).

    Justin
    I like this card. I would take it pretty high in Limited if I was in white. I also like it for my Uriel, the Miststalker EDH deck as a way to avoid Wrath effects.


    Joe
    5W gets you a 2/6 vigilance, eh? Well, it might be worth it, given how slow this format looks on its face, but endorsing this kind of card goes against all previous precedent.

    Zak
    The best levelers are thos who you look forward to fully upgrading. This guy is not one of those. Yay, I just spent 18 mana so I can…stall the ground some more???

    Rob
    So expensive to level. Might as well read as a 5W 2/6 Vigilance. Which is no good. Big on defense. If it had been fetchable with Ranger of Eos, it’d have been ok.

    Mike
    Once again the guys who cost colorless mana to level up seem pretty terrible.

    Justin
    OK, I can deal with this level up guy at common.


    Joe
    This guy is good because even on level 0, he’s playable enough. Eventually he boosts the team.

    Zak
    This guy is strictly better than Pillarfield Ox, and will see play in limited. Anthem effects have always been valuable, and if it lets your Eldrazi become just stronger that those of your opponent, you should be able to tip the game’s balance in your favour.

    Rob
    Programmable lord is kinda cool. Cost out of playability is really bad. Too much work to protect him.

    Mike
    This guy is pretty crazy for uncommon. He could definitely do some damage in a constructed format with a bunch of weenies. I think he’s probably the only uncommon limited bomb I’ve seen so far from this set.

    Justin
    I am running out of things to say about Level Up. I only want to level up my D&D characters.


    James
    It’s aight for an early drop for a set that is leaning toward the high costing. That may end up being a strategy in itself: can I race my opponent with huge, annihilating creatures? only one way to find out…tell your friend to try it out and report back. ;-)

    Joe
    I dug this cycle from the moment I saw it. I’ve seen lots of people bemoaning that leveling up is a sorcery. It seems to be acknowledged that sorcery speed does make the actual decisions involved more important and varied and therefore more skill testing than would be the case with instant speed leveling. At any rate, I just like the overlap of this ability with dungeons and dragons. It seems like the natural evolution of cards like the flip cards in Kamigawa, and Figure of Destiny. I like it as a concept.

    This particular creature, however, is uninspiring. I’d hope to have better flying creatures than this bear. If I was short on bears I might run this goldilocks.

    Zak
    Alright, this is what aggro needs if it is to work in Rise limited. Not saying it will, but this is a step in the right direction. that fact that it gains flyin is extremely relevant, and means that this guy won’t spend an eternity just crashing into walls all game long.

    Rob
    I can’t get over this being 13W for a Serra Angel, and on top of it, I’m just going to bolt it in response to your fourth Level-up Activation, so it isn’t even as robust as Serra. Most levels seem to suffer these same drawbacks thanks to Sorcery speed.

    Mike
    This guy is a decent Leveler. He’s a kor which is always a good thing in this block, and you can make him a flyer the turn after he comes into play if you have nothing better to do with the mana, I’ll take it.

    Justin
    Level up makes me laugh. It involves a huge mana commitment. However, I think that with all of the big spells running around you might be able to pull off some leveling. This guy seems pretty bad regardless. Playing Magic, especially competitively, involves making tight plays. Level up seems to contradict this philosophy by making you waste precious resources.


    Joe
    This guy could be huge in this format of walls. He should never lack a target, and will help you race, if that’s your plan.

    Zak
    Umm…a Blinding Mage variant? I don’t know, but tapping down a weak creature seems bad in this format. Although, it could allow for some early beat by getting through some low-power walls.

    Rob
    Nothing impressive.

    Mike
    It’s been a while since we’ve had a tapper in a set, this guy has some pretty big limitations so I don’t like him much.

    Justin
    This is ok in Limited I suppose. Nothing special.


    Joe
    I’m very excited about this card for Legacy, where I think it will give enchantress decks new legs. This guy loves auratog and rancor, for example. In limited, it’s a bit more of a gamble, but the low cost will make it worthwhile assuming you have 4+ auras that are desirable on their own.

    Zak
    I’m loving this guy. He’s like Auramancers Guise on a stick, and helps to mitigate nay lost card advantage that comes with playing auras. Could be constructed playable, time will tell.

    Dillon
    I don’t know why but this Aura Wizard has me intrigued. I just imagine GW Spiritdancer being effective. Canopy Cover maybe seeing a little play, but we shall see what other Aura’s come out. It isn’t going to be super effective while Path to Exile is still legal, but I can see it in the fall as an aggro plan after Jund rotates out.

    Rob
    Pocket card for some Enchantress builds to be played with in Standard. Like most cards that rotate around auras, this will be fun to toy with in a more laidback format, but competitive would need to be a very special place for it matter there. Not before Jund leaves use at the very least. Likely never.

    Mike
    This guy has a lot of potential in limited, could even be decent in constructed if you can get an aura that gives him shroud quick.

    Justin
    I like this for Enchantress builds. I think it might find a Home in Zur EDH decks as a way to benefit of enchantments stuck in your hand. Not too likely though. All in all I think this little Kor can be pretty good with the totem armor running around.


    Joe
    Well, I can’t see anyone attacking into this poorly enough to lose men. It’s a skill tester that’s just too obvious… I can’t see running this unless I REALLY want to stall… i.e., I got the nuts Eldrazi pool.

    Zak
    It’s more a stall card than anything, but with all the walls in this set, I don’t think we really need this card. As well, does it really matter if you deal 1 damage to a lone Eldrazi? It’s like a mosquito bite: annoying, but nothing that can’t be ignored until it’s no longer relevant.

    Rob
    I’d suggest this for Control, but I’m not sure it is worth it. Stops the random x/1 from attacking. Causes problems for Ball Lightnings, but doesn’t do a thing for a lone x/2. Why bother with this?

    Mike
    This is going to have some applications as a ghost prison, ensnaring bridge kind of card. It’s not hard to play around but it will find it’s way into some sideboards over the next few years.

    Justin
    Can be good with multiple copies in play. Not sure about the rarity. I guess if you are hiding behind all of RoEs walls it could be relevant. Not a fan.


    Joe
    Hello EDH General! Wow. Not even mana abilities skirt this angel, so Rofellos has a new enemy, as do many other generals out there. This should also be a house in limited, where it’s an evasive and aggressively costed 3/4 who shuts off all opposing Eldrazi Spawn, leaving your own unscathed. Alas, as a mythic, you’ll seldom get to run her, but when you do, pray your white is deep enough to support a capital W in your deck’s color description.

    Zak
    I love this card. Awesome artr with an awesome effect at an awesome cost is awesome. Too bad it’s a mythic, because this could be a key player in some sort of prison-style deck. This card’s success in type 2 will largely depend on how many levelers get played. Although turning Putrid Leech into a Grizzly Bears is also okay.

    Dillon
    This angel is seriously powerful. Shutting down your opponents creatures to just triggered abilities is amazing. Mana abilities fall into activated abilites, therefore she is worth playing.

    Rob
    Levelers just stop. Knight of the Reliquary can’t find solutions. Lots of otherwise playable guys get turned off.

    Mike
    I feel like I could be doing a lot more at 2WW than this, though in limited I’m sure it’s a real bomb because it shuts off tons of guys in this format. It also shuts off eldrazi spawn which might be it’s greatest boon.

    Justin
    This is the Angel to get in RoE. Abilities are what make creatures shine and this lady says “All for me and none for you.” I can’t wait to see her as a General in EDH.


    Joe
    A bear will have enough of a hard time in this format. The life is okay, but I’d recommend playing this only in the most aggressively curved decks.

    Zak
    Venerable Monk is rolling over in his grave. I don’t think that life or the puny body will matter in this limited format, but it could prove to be nice in some turbo-fog decks which want the blocker and the life.

    Rob
    A tweaked Venerable Monk. So, WotC says that one toughness on a guy is worth him giving you 2 life. Interesting to know.

    Mike
    I dig this guy. He will find his way into kor decks and sideboards as well as be a good two drop in limited in a number of archtypes.

    Justin
    This is a solid common for Limited. 4 life can be a big deal in games that are finisher light and 2/1 for 2 is not that bad.


    Joe
    This can nullify opposing creatures with power 4 or less, and severely curtail bigger ones. It can enchant a wall to prompt a nice board stall. All around great card for limited, especially in a slow controlling deck.

    Zak
    Hmm… a white variant of Contaminated Bond I wonder how many creatures’ attacks this will actually be able to offset? It seems like a lot of this set’s removal is designed for weak creatures, which aren’t exactly the most daunting of foes in a limited environment.

    Rob
    I’m going to be amused to drop this on my opponent’s guy in limited. Otherwise, worthless.

    Mike
    I think this is a fine card. I’ve drafted mostly-walls decks and this is only going to get you to your bombs faster.


    Joe
    Good size for a 4-drop flier. Able to attack or block well. Solid, evasive dude.

    Zak
    Again strictly better than Pillarfield Ox, and could make an excellent midrange card in limited. Simply slap some totem arm,ors on this guy and he’ll wreck face in the sky.

    Rob
    Limited Fodder.

    Mike
    Sure, probably fine in limited. Nice ass, shorty.

    Justin
    I like Griffins. Probably will only see play in Limited.


    James
    Over costed…

    Joe
    Again, this is a sizeable boost, but you’re setting yourself up for a 241 against instant speed removal, and at best 1-for-1 against the aura’s benefits. Might be worth it on a first striker or something. It is splashable.

    Zak
    I think this card’s best targets are the midrange creatures which will get outclassed by Eldrazi in the later game. If you can get a creature to have 7 or 8 power, and have some choice permanents to sac to an anhiliator trigger, this can keep you in the game for the long haul.

    Rob
    If there weren’t eldrazi, this might be good in limited to turn an early guy into a finisher. But we have Common and Uncommon eldrazi and very little removal thus far, so this is not that great.

    Mike
    If this gave trample or flying I’d be very into it, but as is, for this cost? I don’t know. Celestial mantle wasn’t even a widely played card when drafted and that thing was grosse.

    Justin
    I like the Umbras I have seen so far for Limited and not much more. I might throw this into a teaching deck but odds are this is just 5cc hamster cage lining.


    James
    LMAO. Ad Nauseam until you get to one life?
    I bet the most interesting part of this card will be the different suggestions people give for how you can use this to win…

    Joe
    Hatred comes to mind as a way to reach this goal quickly. Maybe channel? It’s kind of slow and awkward. Angels grace?

    Zak
    I’m pretty sure you need something like Worship or Fortune Thief to make this work. Either that, or be the luckiest player ever. Whichever you like.

    Rob
    Many people will crack this, try to win with it, and then throw it into their junk pile. If you could flash this out somehow, maybe it’s be ok.

    Mike
    Worship just got its win condition.

    Justin
    Somewhere, somehow, someone will make this work I just know it! I want to see it happen.


    Joe
    Wow. On turn 6 you can really go berserk with this. Turn 7 can set up the alpha strike, since you’ll get double the tokens on the rebound. Seems very strong, assuming your deck can maintain a board position. This might be just the sort of finisher Walls.dec wants to see in its 40.

    Zak
    This seems like it wants to be played with Conquerors Pledge, but the fact that this play leaves you wide open to a timely Maelstrom Pulse makes it unattractive. I think Pedge is just a better card than this, because why would you want to over-commit to the board when you have so many creatures out? Remember, if they wipe your board after the first cast, the rebound will have no effect.

    Rob
    Turn after Martial Coup for 5, this will break backs. Of course, Martial Coup for 5 already breaks backs. When else would this be better than a MC5? EDH. I’ll drop it in that box.

    Mike
    This could be really good in the right deck. Anything with rebound has serious power potential but you really have to design your deck around spitting out tokens and there just aren’t that many en masse token makers in this block.

    Justin
    Chancy, especially with bad things like DoJ and Pulse running around. Seems like it was meant to hold back Annihilator.


    Joe
    This is amazing removal, and will make Eldrazi players cry, especially if they were stoked about running theirs out on the back of 4 or more spawn tokens. This probably has legs in other formats, except for two issues: sorcery speed, and the prevalence of cards like ranger of eos and bloodbraid elf and the like, which you never want to see hit play even once, let along hand your opponent the second activation with a 3-life dessert.

    Zak
    This is just fantastic, and will take a skilled player to use correctly. It’s excellent against “all-in” styles of deck in both limited or constructed. You simply have to be careful what you target with this and you can put yourself in a much better position. Nothing like scaring away a crucial blocker for a few turns so that you can punch through for a bit more damage and tap some of your opponent’s lands when the recast it. Great card.

    Rob
    This is going to own some people. It’ll be the new Path when Path rotates, assuming Path doesn’t get reprinted in M11. Used WITH Path, people are going to cry when they have to chose whether to wait two turns to get one of their guys back, or get a land and shuffle up, trying their luck.

    Mike
    This is pretty random. Sorcery speed is kind of janky but it takes out anything and buys you some time. I don’t really think it’s very good though.

    Justin
    Great spot removal. I like that Eldrazi players will start crying after sac-ing spawn tokens for nothing. Perfect.


    Joe
    This is good removal, except it’s in a block where removal of very big creatures, preferable BEFORE they attack, is a must. Still, this can remove pesky walls, and so it’s going to be huge for the early rush approach.

    Zak
    This is fine, and it’s best limited application will be shooting down unpowered levelers to prevent them from reaching maturity. And I guess it kills walls, if that ever comes up.

    Rob
    Doesn’t seem special, or particularly playable.

    Mike
    It’s much more versatile out of the sideboard than deathmark is in an extended zoo mirror depending on how that deck evolves this year. Other than that we could’ve used this as a way to take out vampire nighthawk all year.

    Justin
    Not bad. Not as good as Oust but when is white blessed with tons of good spot removal?


    Joe
    Amazing. This will help you push damage through in the rush approach.

    Zak
    It’s either a card which lets you dig for an answer or a card that lets you punch through. I love cards like this that are in essence modal spells depending on what you want to use this for. in the late game, and end of turn Repel can wreck your opponent’s predictions for the next combat phase.

    Rob
    Tapping a pair of guys and cantripping. Seems good for White Control decks.

    Mike
    This is an excellent, excellent limited card if things stay attack-based in that formate. But tapping two guys in white and tripping is very good.

    Justin
    Good card. Cantrips can be hit or miss but this one does its job well. Good in Limited and Constructed as well.


    Joe
    I love this reprint. Alas, it’s less than stellar against the eldrazi, but with Wall of Omens now in standard, blocking is in. I think this will be played.

    Zak
    Fantastic card, as it can remove an eldrazi for little to no upfront payment. It only requires a blocker to cast, and with the plethora of walls in this set, there should be no troubles there. Could see some play in constructed, but Path to Exile is just so good.

    Rob
    The look on someone’s face when a flashed in Affa Guard Hound Smites their Emrakul swinging for lethal will be priceless.

    Mike
    I like all this removal white is getting in limited, but it’s not going to work anywhere else.

    Justin
    Hey a Stronghold throwback! I see this being useful in Limited but Path and Oust are way better.


    Joe
    soul warden has seen play before, and I see no reason it wouldn’t continue to do so with all the Spawn generators.

    Zak
    So strictly worse than Soul Warden (The trigger is not mandatory). This might signify Soul Warden getting the boot in Magic 2011, but it seems like it doesn’t improve the game that much in limited when the creature will take such huge chunks out of a players life total.

    Rob
    A Soul Warden without the gamestate maintenance issues. I might make a Casual deck running 4 of both this and its predecessor.

    Mike
    Another functional reprint but with a “may” effect this time? I mean it’s good but do we really need standard and extended decks that can run 8 soul wardens?


    Joe
    This is a huge wall on 5. Definitely the kid of thing you need if your plan is to stall until you can visit Eldrazi-ville.

    Zak
    One of the few walls that can both strike back at opposing attackers and block creatures with flying. Expect this to be a crucial card if you intend on surviving against some sort of skies deck in limied. Pretty meh in Constructed.

    Rob
    Fat. Just a flying blob of fat.


    Joe
    Man, they’re pushing this theme hard. I think that anyone who wants to stall to the mid-to-late game will not have problems doing so, and only the most shrewd aggro decks will be able to penetrate such defenses.

    Zak
    I’m not a big fan of this, as most walls are already big enough to weather most blows. I don’t think that playing a souped-up Valiant Guard is really all that worth it.

    Rob
    A lord for defenders of sorts. I like the idea, and he fits nicely in a curve with Perimeter Capitan and Wall of Denial to either side, sharing slots with Wall of Omens.

    Mike
    I guess if you’re playing a bunch of walls this guy is doing everything you want him to be doing, but what are you doing?!


    James
    This is pretty interesting. It costs 3cc for a 3/3 first strike which isn’t so horrible. I’m not so sure about the 8cc for a 4/4 double strike but it’s certainly not horrible by any means. The nice part is that it’s spread out over multiple turns (obviously) so you can concievably squeeze out the one extra cc each turn. One nice thing about a cheap level up is that late game it’s better than drawing a 2/2 that does nothing. I mean, at least with these you can channel all the extra mana to something useful. and a 4/4 double strike is pretty gnarly.

    Joe
    The picture made me hope he could learn horsemanship, but alas, no such luck.

    For WWW, he’s a very cheap 3/3 first strike. On turn 1, if your W one-drop can survive a turn, he’s a very cheap 3/3 first strike attacking on turn 2. I think, therefore, he’s a shoe-in for consideration in white weenie decks. You’d hate to splash this guy as your sole white card though.

    Zak
    Okay so here’s a really nicely costed level whose first level would be acceptable on it’s own. As it is, this card has much more potential in the late game, and his an amazing pick in draft if you find yourself in heavy white. Also makes for an excellent Ranger of Eos target in standard.

    Dillon
    Student of Warfare will be bashing on turn two like Kithkin of old. White Weenie embraces her with open arms. Nothing wrong with this card.

    Rob
    Possibly the best card in the set, and funnily enough it has the worst mechanic in the set. Leveler doesn’t make me giddy as a general rule. It really needs to work hard to earn my respect, but this guy, with the low casting and leveling cost, Ranger of Eos Fetchability and landing just above par as a 3/3 first striker swinging on Turn 2, is pure laughing gas. I love it. If you kill it as I power it up, I don’t feel so bad, as it is on curve. If you don’t, it gets out of hand quickly as the cheap cost is easily spamable and I can leave mana up to protect him.

    Mike
    I think this is my favorite leveler. a lot of times in WW you want to be just swarming, but if this guy hits on one and becomes a 3/3 first striker on 2, I’ll take it over a white knight or a blademaster. This guy is excellent.

    Justin
    Volkan Baga did the art. “Nuff said.


    Joe
    This isn’t my kind of card, but it CAN net you 4 life and two cards, so it’s card advantage in white… I feel compelled to endorse this sorcery, despite it being decidedly “not my style.”

    Zak
    It’s an interesting card that’s potent in the early-mid game. With that said, it makes for a terrible topdeck when you’re getting beat down, so it’s probably a 23rd card at best. I don’t really see a constructed application for this.

    Rob
    This is a good playable card that gets a lot better in the right deck. Lifegain Defender decks with maybe Felidar Sovereign as the win-con can use this to keep edging towards the goal and keep answers in hand.

    Mike
    I think this is a fine card, could even make it’s way into some block decks. Gaining 4 life and drawing 2 cards for 3 mana is really very decent considering Divination has been a popular standard card over the last year.

    Justin
    Situational at best. It seems a bit overpriced when the cantrip is conditional. Mediocre.


    Joe
    Hmmm… I dunno. I would want a minimum of 6 levelers to run this.

    Zak
    In constructed, it could be okay, especially with some of the white levelers we’ve seen. Not certain about limited applications, but it’s a card that could wheel a bit. That is until some guy goes and drafts 12 leveler.dec and wrecks everyone.

    Rob
    This makes good levelers ridiculous. It’s a shame that means only two or three cards. I like the idea of this in the same deck as Student of Warfare.

    Mike
    They’re really pushing levelers here, but how many levelers are you realistically going to be sinking mana into?

    Justin
    Nothing will make me like Level Up.


    Joe
    Antelope! A 2/5 that tutors for an aura is pretty dang good, especially on common. This ties up the board and sticks around with the umbra you find. All around solid, even though it comes on board in the mid-game.

    Zak
    It’s a pseudo-Idyllic Tutor on a stick, which is okay. It gives you a body to play that aura on, and provides a nice body which can clock a fair few creatures in the format. I like all the support that enchantments are getting in this set.

    Rob
    Too expensive and does too little to be truly good. He is sadly a shadow of an awesome guy. If he was say a 1/3 for 2W and did this, he’d be balanced and useable. If he put the aura into play, he’d be marginally playable. As he is now, he’s just a janky filler common.

    Mike
    The best thing about this guy is Creature type: antelope.

    Justin
    Maybe in EDH? Seems too slow for constructed and downright bad in Limited.


    Joe
    This card got a fair amount of discussion online when it was spoiled. It’s a 3/3 for 3, which makes it very aggressive even if you never level it up. That said, a couple turns later, with 7WW invested, you’ve suddenly got a 6/6 lifelink, which is a very good installment plan, as leveling only costs you 1. When you reach level 12, you should be hard pressed to lose that game.

    Zak
    This card could potentially be played in some sort of mono-white control deck which uses Emeria, the Sky Ruin and other long-term plans to control the game while keeping you at a steady life total. Add to that the fact that it’s a 3/3 for 3, and you’ve got a very playable mythic.

    Rob
    This guy will be great in EDH and I love the flavor of him. With Time of Heroes he might be constructed playable alongside Student of Warfare, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. It’ll hurt pretty bad the first time he gets bolted or pathed with his 6th level on the stack.

    Mike
    Man, six level ups before this guy gets good? I mean, a 3/3 for 3cc is fine in limited but he’s a mythic rare. This set annoys me.


    Joe
    Again, 6 is a good number… if I had 6 auras I’d consider this, but then I’d have to ask myself whether I’d really like to be running 6 auras. At least you get gray ogre, but the ogre has never had it as bad as he seems to in ROE limited.

    Zak
    I think that this could be an excellent candidate for some sort of enchantment deck, and well help enchantress protect her namesake creature in legacy. All in all, a solid support card.

    Rob
    Zur EDH deck. Another attempt to make auras really good, and it makes me think, but even with the possibility of turning a guy into a 2-for-1 threat, the risk of getting 2-for-1′d yourself is usually enough of a deterrent in most competitive situations.

    Mike
    Auras are already pretty bad, nobody runs them. Is this guy going to make them better? Maybe in some formats, but not any competitive ones.

    Justin
    There is some potential here. I like the Idea of Rancor enchanting an x/1 creature.


    Joe
    Much has been written about this card. Many pros pegged it for the best card in the set at the time it was spoiled. It’s sure to see tons of play as a white wall of blossoms, and will be very annoying in walls.dec. Don’t trade these away if you plan to play standard. This will be another 3-5 dollar uncommon.

    Zak
    This card is going to have a role in standard liek no other wall in recent memory has. If effectively blocks Bloodbraid Elf and Hellspark Elemental while remaining impervious to Lightning Bolt. And to top it all off, it replaces itself setting up a better third turn. I’m calling it now: This card will be one of the WPN promo foils for Rise of the Eldrazi.

    Dillon
    What it does is create time for the control decks without spending a card essentially. It cycles but it also grants you a 0/4! It is incredibly staple as it is essentially not even taking up a slot in the deck. It will be the most important card of the set, but it also works so well Perimeter Captain that Aggro decks will need to get creative.

    Rob
    0/4 wall for 2 mana cantrips. Nothing to complain about. Seems good. Doesn’t seem broken. I’m just going to smile, collect them and move on.

    Mike
    I love efficient cards. If ever you wanted a wall in a constructed format, this guy would make the cut. I don’t think you will want a wall in that format, but this one is pertty solid if you do, especially once putrid leech rotates.

    Justin
    WOW a WALL! SWEET! But seriously this wall is not bad. Another Stronghold throwback only in a new color. Great for control style decks.


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

    Let us know what you think in the comments below.
    You can also check out the rest of the set review and analysis. :)
    Colorless White Blue Black

    Power 9 Pro Spoiler for Rise of the Eldrazi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sean:
    Rawr!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Prey’s Vengence: A Rise of the Eldrazi Preview

    Correction: When this article was posted, I mentioned cascading into a spell with Rebound. Note that this doesn’t work as assumed, for you must cast the card from your hand. The error has been corrected below.

    Well today the 6 “pooled” spoilers have been released, and I’m going to talk about the one which has the most potential impact in standard. Let’s look at some cards which are similar to this new card, and how they’ve affected constructed magic throughout the ages.

    42

    Force of Will is a card that has defined both Legacy and Vintage for the past few years due to the ability to get an effect for almost free. Why is this so relevant? Let’s examine it using Mike Flore’s Grand Uniffied Theory of Magic. Simply put, the player who most effectively uses their mana will win the game. Thus casting a card like Force of Will should give you the outcome of having played a Counterspell, but with the added benefits of not having to tap mana for it, and playing when its effect will be the most crushing. The printing of Force of Will showed Wizards that they had to be very careful with “free spell” mechanics, because they are so format defining.

    Let’s look at another card, shall we?

    50

    Bloodbraid Elf is a card that has defined the standard format since its printing in Alara Reborn. The cascade mechanic allowed you to get multiple spell effects out of only one card and one payment of mana. Thus decks like Jund and Boss Naya have flourished due to the combination of free spells and card advantage they provide. Note that the aforementioned Force of Will is inherently card disadvantageous, but the cascade mechanic (and today’s preview card) both create card advantage.

    We’re getting closer to the preview card. Let’s look at the actual effect this card provides.

    14

    Combat tricks are a part of almost every magic set, and Giant Growth is a classic. The ability to act as either a pseudo removal spell or an extra 3 points of damage is invaluable in limited, but very few of these cards become competitively played. Today’s preview card will (in my opinion) change all that, and should see play in a variety of constructed and limited decks.

    The last piece of the puzzle is this little gem.

    78

    Twincast has been a player favourite because of the ability to do some pretty insane things by doubling the effect of a spell for 2 mana extra. However, the problem that this ability has is that it’s a dead card without an appropriate target on the stack. Again today’s preview card solves this dilemma.

    Okay, you’ve waited long enough. Here is Prey’s Vengeance.

    Screen shot 2010-03-14 at 11.34.13 PM

    Rebound is a new mechanic for Rise of the Eldrazi which lets you copy a spell during the upkeep after you play it, like a toned down version of Epic on cards like Enduring Ideal. While many players must make a choice between using a pump spell in combat or to make a more powerful attack next turn, Prey’s Vengeance allows you to do both.

    Remember how much of the world considers cascade to be a “broken” mechanic? This seems to be just as powerful. This pump spell can save a creature from a Lightning Bolt and make it even more powerful next turn for an additional 2 points of damage. Best of all, this package comes in the form of a single mana instant.

    Now imagine if a card like Shock were printed with Rebound. The explosive and pivotal plays that a card with rebound can have are profound, because they can easily swing the tide of the game over a few turns.

    It should be noted that in this case, the free mana effect has been “fixed”, so that if the spell is countered, you don’t get the copy (unlike Cascade), because the reminder text states that the spell must resolve.

    The implications that this keyword can have on a format are immense, and I sincerely hope that Wizards has carefully picked which cards get this mechanic, or we may very well be in for another two years of standard dominated by free spells and swingy plays.

    With that, I hope that you all enjoy the rest of the Rise of the Eldrazi previews, and that you come back in around a week when I discuss extended here at Power 9 Pro.

    Cheers,

    Zak

    Breaking News – Rise of the Eldrazi a "Big" set…

    Wizards announced today that Rise of the Eldrazi will be a “big” set.  The third set of the Zendikar block will contain 249 cards.  Not only that, but when limited is played in this block, Rise of the Eldrazi (ROE) will be played separately from its two sibling sets.  That is, you’ll either draft ZEN-ZEN-Worldwake, or you’ll draft ROE-ROE-ROE, but there will NOT be drafts featuring Zendikar-Worldwake-ROE.

    A bold and somewhat un-precedented move on the part of wizards.  Please post in the comments section if you have an opinion on this potentially contentious issue.

    In the mean time, feast your eyes on this excellent image provided with the announcement… if nothing else, Rise of the Eldrazi promises to be a smorgasbord of eye-candy!