Dragon’s Maze Preview: Deadbridge Chant and more

wave 7

Deadbridge Chant

deadbridge chant

Awesome design in every respect

A nice way to debut Wave 7! This is great design through and through. Part casual/Commander and part asking desperately to see play in a more competitive format. I for one, believe many will try with mixed result. At worst, it’s a Golgari Phyrexian Arena. A card that continues to see play in tons of formats and is in my shortlist of cards to always trade for personally.

This beautiful enchantment has the ‘advantage’ of actually accomplishing something even if it gets Oblivion Ring‘ed. Ideally you want to fit it into a deck that gains value by milling itself. Obviously, I would try to fit it into that bad deck I listed a few months back. Don’t look, it’s hideous! The card feels mythic too, kind of like the ultimate Golgari spell (sorry Putrefy! and to that extent Pernicious Deed).

It also scream reanimator to some extent and it already is in the colors of most Standard reanimator lists. You would either reanimate on of your big dudes, draw another card that allows you to dreadge, another reanimator card or just ….

overgrown tombIt could be worse.

I feel this can have a home in more of a junk Enchantress-style deck. It would be the ‘sort of’ Argothian Enchantress. The deck would not necessarily need to gain an advantage from the self-mill, but it would be nice. Once the rest of the set is spoiled, I will get to work on such a deck. I’m not promising it’ll work or anything, but there seems to be decent support for it and who knows? Maybe the create-a-card winner will become part of it.

Speaking of which, here is what I would have submitted:

Need for Greed

B

Enchantment

Sacrifice a land: Draw a card

I think it’s feasible and it’s probably not something you’d do early on anyhow. Unless of course in Legacy/Modern or such where you might benefit from cards like Life from the Loam. I would have Photoshopped an image with the default black mtg card template or something, but that will have to be for another time. I would picture a Lich-like or Dark Paladin creature sifting some kind of precious substance from say a swamp. And he/she would have the usual bad guy-ish maniacal laugh going on. It would be a top down shot with his face as the focal point.

The ‘Need’ cycle would begin, we already have:

need for speed

Thought it was just a videogame, did you?

Of course, one of the main problems Deadbridge Chant possesses is mana cost. I’m not sure you want to pack ramp cards just to get to play this and draw more cards. You kind of need to do something in between. This can’t be your end goal, it’s more of an enabler or ‘engine’. As such, it’s hard to justify the 6 mana you pour into it.

It’s preselling at about 7$ at the moment. For a mythic, that’s not too bad. If it finds a home in Standard, you can be sure this price will rise. However, I have a hard time seeing it fit in a current deck (even reanimator). Look for it to slowly drop as the Commander crowd nabs their singleton copies and the demand lowers.

Blood Baron of Vizkopa

blood baron

Vampire ‘cleric-type’ dude

I really hate it when in a day and age of making sure most creatures have more than one creature type, Vampires seem to get the short end of the stick. Clearly this thing is a Vampire ‘Cleric’ , but is Wizards of the Coast afraid to print it as such? Is is sacriligious? I’m not entirely sure.

A lot of you will simply look at this and think : “Bah! Commander card!”. I beg you to reconsider. It has probably the 2  best color protections this side of Standard and i usually out of burn range. 5 mana for a 4/4 body with all bonuses. Of course the ‘ultimate’ one being that it will one-shot your opponent if he is at 10 life or less. The conditions are not impossible to meet as you are probably always attacking with it and gaining life in the process. If your opponent is playing stricly Orzhov colors, he is somewhat limited in his solutions (Merciless Eviction, Liliana of the Veil, Terminus) to name a few.

He’s hot right now and will continue to be for a long long time. At around 10-12$, he is a good deal. I cannot see this going under 10$, it’s just that playable.

Legion’s Initiative

legion's initiative

Wait, What??? 

Legion’s Initiative is probably one of the most insane Honor of the Pure variants ever to see print. It was something that Boros decks probably needed to be able to properly compete as a speedy aggro deck. Now the Boros swarm has an answer to Supreme Verdict and Terminus! You get to blink out your creatures for the whole turn, that’s

nuts

Pretty much.

It’s probably tied with 1-2 other cards as hottest card of the set so far. I mean, the second ability doesn’t have to be an anti-mass removal response. If your deck has a lot of  ‘enters the battlefield’ creatures, you just gained even more value. While a lot of the Boros cards are more Battalion- driven, we may yet see a need breed of Boros deck. You get to cast this on turn 4 and have the mana available to protect your little Boros dudes if your opponent goes Turn 4 Supreme Verdict. It’s miles ahead of something like Rootborn Defenses, but then again we are comparing a two color mythic to a white common.

rootborn defensesStill better in the token aggro approach

There’s some ‘fine’ print to this ability. Did you catch it? No?

‘Those creatures gain haste until end of turn’

Not too shabby! So this means we can get a huge one-shot Fervor out of it later in the game. How awesome is that? This card is pretty much always relevant. Of course, it requires a key element: creatures. We’re playing Boros, our deck is predominantly creatures. No worries there. We obviously need 4 of this beast of a card since we almost always want to draw it and we always want to draw at least 1 copy each game.

I’m probably going to run this in my Gisela Commander deck as well, since it obviously contains a lot of  ‘come into play’ cratures. It’s tutorable when I sacrifice my Academy Rector to something like Goblin Bombardment and then save my creatures for a Wrath of God effect. Of course there’s always Boros Charm, but in Commander most people probably have more mass removal than you have anti-mass removal. You can only abuse Sunforger and Mistveil Plains for so long.

 

 

sunforger

Still enough time left to maybe see a Dragon’s Maze reprint

A small glimpse into the future will reveal that this card will maintain its sizeable price tag as it is :

A) a mythic

B) a four of in all non-Commander decks running it

C) hugely popular amongst casual and competitive players

D) ALL of the above

Of course, the answer is D!

Look for it to maintain if not increase in value in the very near future.

 

 

 

Nivix Cyclops

nivix cyclops

I just really love the art on this thing!

Let me just start by saying that I am a huge fan of Wayne Reynold’s art. He has drawn some pretty nice stuff. I first took notice when he did the original Ajani Vegeant.

ajani wallpaper

That’s one p$%ed off Ajani!

I also like his Cunning Sparkmage art and had drawn a custom playmat of it a while back.

cunning sparkmage mat

Don’t get much free time to draw these anymore

Back to our friendly Cyclops! Most people will compare him with Kiln Fiend.

kiln fiend

Blast from the not too distant past

Nivix Cyclops is basically safer to most removal and gets to attack less. He is not destroyed by cards like Ultimate Price, Searing Spear or Pillar of Flame. He will probably be one of the more played commons of this set in constructed formats. Of course in something like Pauper, he is your Kiln Fiend # 5-8 (as most of those kinds of deck already play Izzet colors). You can also save up your Instants/Sorceries and just have him attack for 4 each turn. He also gets to properly block something the turn he comes down, which is a big big plus when trying to win damage races.

Tajic, Blade of the Legion

tajic blade of the legion

One mana army? Not quite

Boros is seemingly getting some nice Indestructability bonuses, almost as though they were made out of Darksteel. It’s a nice way to incorporate the whole amor/weapon aspect without necessarily always printing equipment.  Tajic will always be the one left standing, keeping the aggro going. He might otherwise also be your last bastion of defense versus other aggressive decks that pack more removal.

He is surely going to find a home in every Boros EDH/Commander deck ever. I know i’m going to include him in mine. He is the ideal equipment holder, always. Still wielding that Sunforger or Sword of Light and Shadow, while his fallen comrades look on from beyond the grave cheering him on so that he may possibly resurrect them.

I’m not entirely sure he will make the cut in standard since if you can realistically keep Batallion going, I would run Odric instead. Although I’m pretty sure that in a deck where you really want the little guys to keep piercing through defense, a 4 drop that ‘might’ help you is not ideal. I would much rather run Firemane Avenger, but even that suffers the ‘dies to flashed in Restoration Angel‘ death.

Tajic benefits from not being part of the Starter deck lineup, but will it be enough to keep his price slightly up? He’s currently 3-4$ and will probably settle a 3$ for the time being, until he ends up possibly being cut from Team Boros in Standard.

Give/Take

give take

It’s a give and take relationship.

We get another split card, this time for the Simic Guild. So far I’ve enjoyed the split cards and this one is rather decent. Of course it works best with the evolve mechanic, but the Take half offers some fun interactions in many formats. I won’t enumerate them, as a quick search in Gatherer will reveal many many possibilities.

Each side costing 3 is fine, but probably not good enough to see competitve play. The card is obviously great in limited and should be a high enough pick if drafting those colors. The card as a whole can see play in a Bant Phantom-themed deck (circa. Judgment) if you’re looking for some random casual fun.

Same time tomorrow!

Well, it’s not really a specific time per se, but we’ll keep the updates going.

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Dragon’s Maze Preview: Progenitor Mimic and more

wave 6

 

It’s already been 6 days of non-stop spoilers thus far and with Dragon’s Maze slowly approaching – things do not seem to be slowing down. Let’s just right into the spoilers:

 

Progenitor Mimic

progenitor mimic

Evolving Clones

Another clone! Oh joy! I think there’s enough of them now to face the Star Wars clones and come out on top. What’s this? It clones itself? What do you know, a veritable army of clones.

 

clone army

These clones seem to pop out of nowhere

Our little shapeshifter buddy here probably doesn’t propagate copies of himself as quickly as the Star Wars clones, but that depends on how long each upkeep comes along in Star Wars time. Our simic friend here is illustrated with an old school light saber and wings, so we know he can take it to the air.

The best way to analyse this card is to simply think of a creature (preferably non-legendary) that would work great in multiples. Initial thoughts tend to go to creatures that offer a pump effect to your team, but that’s just one facet. Even something as basic as repeatedly making Acidic Slime clones is pretty sweet (and it’s within the Simic colors).

acidic slime

Slime time!

Even the flavor behind it is rather nice: an ever expanding army of slime creatures dissolving almost anything they come accros, overtaking the battlefield and leaving everything covered in green goo. Seems like something out of an 80’s movie. The better the ‘enters the battlefield’ ability, the better your clone.

Clones tend to be ultra popular in Commander. It allows you to have a sort of wildcard in your deck that can adapt to whatever you would need at a given time (of course, based on what the battlefield has to offer). Some people frown upon them heavily as it promotes a rather uninspired/ brain dead approach to ‘casual’ deckbuilding. Copy effects in general are not everyone’s cup of tea.

I personally think this particular variation on the theme is pretty nice. It does cost a lot more than your run of the mill Clone. And it loses value depending on how early it is dispatched.

Being a mythic, this card is more highly priced than it normally would be. It’s at around the 7-10$ mark and probably will gravitate toward the 4$ mark in the weeks or month to come.

Possibility Storm

possibility storm

Oh the Possibilities!

This is a nice little ‘conditional Cascade’, however you are not limited to lower costs. Its 5 mana cost means it may see play in some constructed format (perhaps Standard combo deck). All hopes of using it with Epic Experiment were lost, since the card specifies ‘from hand’ (that and being unplayable if flipped via Epic Experiment itself).

Its effect is applicable to either player, a hint that it’s meant more to be used in multi-player mayhem. I would play it in a kind of Random Red deck with things like Chaos Warp and Grip of Chaos. You basically act as the random events guy (kind of like changing the weather in the game). Of course you can try to win as well, but it’s a good way to mix things up in Commander games.

At first sight, due to the abundance of red on the card, I believed it was a mythic. Thankfully, it is not.

Look for it to remain in 1$ territory, if not drop to 50 cents (as cards such as this tend to do)

Renegade Krasis

renegade krassis

Evolve lord?

We’ve been seeing these krasis creatures pop up here and there within the Simic guild and they have a kind of Bulbasaur look to them. They evolve, but not in the same way as Pokemon. This little guy is almost guaranteed to see some tournament play, paired with cards like Gyre Sage. Mono green aggro decks might carry over to the new Standard (once Innistrad block phases out in November) with this guy at the helm.

Traditionally cards like this have enough casual appeal  to keep a not too low price. He’s at about 2-3$ at the moment, maybe he’ll jump to 5$ (like Predator Ooze did a while back) but he’s going to have to prove himself worthy.

Savageborn Hydra

savageborn hydra

Primordial Hydra’s second cousin

Hydras seem to be popping up quite a bit these past sets, it’s almost as though Wizards of the Coast has a soft spot for them. The general hydra concept being that they keep sprouting up more heads even when you cut some off. This red variant is muhc more aggressive than its predecessors (gaining Double Strike) and also the Feral Hydra ability from Shards of Alara. It can pro-actively grow more heads, unfortunately not in response.

A nice little 5$ mythic to start due to its Timmy appeal. Look for the price do stay at around that range or take a slight dip depending on if it becomes a mainstay in a Gruul/Naya Standard deck.

The Cluestones

gruul cluestone

Mindstone + Signet

A nice little complement to the guildgates being reprinted, the cluestones fix our mana and allow us to ramp up. The card-drawing sacrifice ability will give them slots in Commander decks, but will it be enough to see any serious Standard play?

Being commons, these will just be like Signets in the future. Foil versions will see a premium due to heavy Commander play.

To be continued…

Dragon’s Maze Preview: Voice of Resurgence and more

wave 5

Voice of Resurgence

voice of resurgence

Mythically delicious!

How good is this card? Probably every Green/White aggro deck will run it. You cast it, your opponent plays a Restoration Angel at your end of turn step, BAM! free creature! not just some whimpy 1/1 token either. A token that can actually end up being larger than Restoration Angel.

Your opponent wants to kill it with something like Devour Flesh? Well, the trigger of  Voice of Resurgence goes on the stack, produces a token and you get to sac the token. You can also let the Voice die, in which case you will get another token (there are not really many situations you would want to do this though (unless you would get a really sizeable token, but at that point Devour Flesh would have sucked anyways).

What else does your opponent usually play on your turn? Counterspells ! This will maybe get him to reconsider countering a random creature spell. The token produced may end up being larger and more relevant than the creature you just cast (ie: Avacyn’s Pilgrim).

I would rank this thing as I would other hate cards like Gaddok Teeg normally. This card, however, is not Legendary. It’s going to be in really really high demand. I think its price will be close to the 15-20$ and has great potential of surpassing that price in the long run.

I highly recommend getting your playset as soon as possible, you might regret not picking these up early.

Council of the Absolute

council of the absolute

Enabler or Disabler?

Wait a second! Have we not already seen this picture?

grand arbiter

I knew it!

Once again, we have the lovely 2/4 stats. We get part Meddling Mage and part ‘mana reduction thingy’. Whatever expression you want to use for it, it’s pretty much a sort of derivative of Grand Arbiter Augustin.

The most immediate use I could find for it (quite fascinating!) is this card:

sphinx's revelation

Azorius Maximus!

So we get to effectively ‘negate’ our opponent’s copies of the card and make our Sphinx’s Revelations cost less? It’s non-legendary to boot, so don’t hesitate to drop multiples (even naming the same card). They act as pseudo Sol Ring but just for the name card of course. Good stats, ability but ugh! another Mythic! This feels more like a rare to me, but oh well… It’s going to affect its availability and raise its price in the short run.

For now, I see this being 12-15$ and then it will just stay in that range for quite some time. Get yours now!

Goblin Test Pilot

goblin test pilot

Almost good….

Why could they not have given this an extra point of toughness? I’m guessing they tested it and it was a little too strong? Perhaps… I’d try this in my low budget UR pingers deck for kicks. It’s obviously a card that illustrates the Izzet well. Potentially good effect, but it can maybe backfire.

Flying Goblins are pretty hilarious too! It seems like an Unglued card, but I think I would try one in limited once in a while. Who knows?

Putrefy

putrefyYes! So glad to see this back!

After being reprinted in Izzet vs. Golgari, I had a feeling this would somehow return to Standard. It’s one of my favorite cards as it combines Naturalize/ Murder (or Dark Banishing, Terror for the old school peeps). The can’t be regenerated part seems less important these days, but it’s a nice bonus. No longer does a Golgari, Junk, BUG or Jund deck have to decide on how it wants to deal with creatures and/or artifacts. You almost always have a target with this card.

It’s also one of the few targeted removals that hit any creature (barring protection of course) along with Murder and Orzhov Charm.

putrefy i v g

putrefy og

You can still pack the ‘older’ versions in Standard

If you don’t already have your playset, get one now or keep your extra copies from future draft/sealed events.

Far / Away

far away

Great versus Geist of Saint Traft

The ideal scenario for this is when your opponent has a random dude and another guy with Hexproof. You bounce the one you can target and make him sacrifice the other one.

The other play would be to bounce your creature in response to a removal spell and then make him sacrifice one of his (of course with 5 mana untapped, your opponent might have a clue that you are holding this).

As with all split cards, they offer a good deal of flexibility and being able to cast both sides when compared to split cards of past sets, is just gravy!

Flesh / Blood

flesh blood

You get to ‘fight’ for free

This one is probably one for the Bulk rare pile. The graveyard hate half is rather costly, but the other half shows lots of promise.

A lot of people will try to get the ‘Blood’ half to work and who knows, it just might. You get a Pit Fight only better (it is a rare after all). You can hit the player directly and if you manage to go for a full Fuse on this you get a great finisher!

It may start at 1-2$ or so, but don’t be fooled! This will be a Bulk Rare soon enough.

Ta Ta for Now…

Keep checking out the Previews for more ways you can improve your current decks or create new combos!

Dragon’s Maze Preview: Varolz, the Scar-Striped and more

wave 4

Blood Scrivener

blood scrivener

Kind of like a Dark Confidant that works under the old ‘Hellbent’ mechanic

Zombie decks have always had a big problem with the 2 cost slot and this is probably the best candiate ever. Not so far back I had encountered red-black zombie list that actually ran Walking Corpse. For real! these were lists from Magic Online events. Hard to believe.

Now that the Standard Zombie rage is pretty much officially dead, we get this fabulous card. Even the quote is awesome:

bleed the fine print

A classic!

Zombie decks tend to be for the most part aggressive ( hard to believe since they move so slowly). These kinds of decks tend to run out of cards rather quickly. They flood the battlefield with ‘ahead of the curve’ style creature ( Diregraf Ghoul, Gravecrawler) and aim to take your opponent’s life total down to Zero as soon as possible.

This card has a slight difference with the great Bob: it happens whenever you draw a card. I think the best use for this is when you cast an Altar’s Reap. You get to draw a total of 3 cards if you had none to being with. You would sacrifice a Gravecrawler of course. This is a lie of play that may very well become common in the new Standard format.

The bottom line is that this card is probably the hottest Rare to be spoiled thus far in Dragon’s Maze. You should probably rush to get your playset if you are an avid Type 2 player. I see it hitting the 10$ mark and maintaining or exceeding that value in the near future.

Bred for the Hunt

bred-for-the-hunt

Simic’s Coastal Piracy

Another hand refilling card, this time for the Simic Guild. This one requires a slightly greater effort since your boys need to get through  to the other side successfully. It’s even the same rarity as the original printing of Coastal Piracy ( Rare printing would have  been disappointing).

It’s a cute card for the most part and will see fringe play in decks featuring cards like Cloudfin Raptor and other ‘Evolve’ creatures. Probably a cheap little 50 cent uncommon for some time to come.

Oh yeah….

fifty cent

I couldn’t resist

Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker

mirko vosk

Turbo mill?

He’s like 4 x Balustrade Spy. Well, to be fair, he does need to connect with your opponent’s life total. Also, why 2/4? Is anyone else noticing this abundance of 2/4 creatures? is it just me? As with most legends, packing 4 in your deck is just asking for trouble. This holds even truer for this particular piece of cardboard, as its ability requires combat damage and is not an ‘enters the battlefield’ ability like the countless ones we are used to.

I would compare him to something like a Scalpelexis in that you are for sure milling at least 4 cards but maybe more. They both have great toughness so they can also block something and survive the turn they come into play and can’t immediately attack ( Damn you Summoning Sickness!).

This is probably going to be 1.50$ for the whole time it will remain Standard playable. It might gather up casual steam later on as they become more ‘scarce’, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

Obzedat’s Aid

obzedat's aid

Nice! I can understand this language!

So this nice little card is a Sorcery that allows us to Return any permanent from our graveyard back into play.

“Woah! “Every Commander deck that can run this card, ever!

Bring back anything from Legendary lands to planeswalkers. It might find its way into a few Standard deck here and there but this is purely casual goodness! It’s going to end up being very very popular in years to come once it’s out of print.

For the time being, I see it starting at around 3-4$ and then settling down into 2$ territory once the initial ‘hype’ wears down.

Rot Farm Skeleton

rot farm skeleton

It’s a me! Skeletor!

Basically:

Rot Farm Skeleton can’t block.

2{B}{G}, Put the top four cards of your library into your graveyard: Return Rot Farm Skeleton from your graveyard to the battlefield. Activate this ability only any time you could cast a sorcery.

Golgari gets a card that goes back to its Ravnica mechanic: Dredge. This mechanic is often associated with degenerate manaless Legacy decks and the like, but this card takes a different route. Instead of skipping a draw step it allows you to slowly mill yourself and get a non-blocker in the process.

I think it can realistically be a 2 of in a Junk or 4-color reanimator style of deck to keep  the self-mill going if you are unlucky and don’t draw Faithless Looting or Grisly Salvage or even Mulch.

It’s probably going to go for …. no not 50 cents. More like a quarter. I recommend storing a playset of these, you never know…

Sire of Insanity

sire of insanity

Take that you miser!

This is a nice little ‘throwback’ to Rakdos’s roots of emptying hands. You know that annoying guy in your playgroup that plays Commander and always seems to have infinite cards in their hand? Problem solved!

The symmetrical effect prevents us from fully abusing of it in constructed play. Well, that and its mana cost. If only they made another hand-concealing card like Bottled Cloister but that would always be active and allow you to cast the ‘hidden hand’ cards.

It’s about a buck now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it dwindle down into the land of Bulk Rares. Not many people are going to be happy about opening this bad boy in their Dragon’s Maze boosters.

Varolz, the Scar-Striped

varolz

Oh great, more Trolls!

After getting an ‘Unleash lord’ on the Rakdos side, we are now introduced to a ‘Scavenge lord’. No, I’m not talking about the people that pick up all the random commons and tokens up after a draft… This guy is pretty legitimate. His stats are average but imagine … Trollfinity!

A modern deck featuring low costed artifact dudes and this guy! I’m just trolling. Or am I?

I think the Phyrexian Dreadnought interaction is one to be explored for Legacy to say the least. Just cast it, let it die then pay a whole mana to put 12 +1/+1 counters on your mega Troll. It’s missing a few things and can probably run the regular Stifle, Trinket Mage package to become BUG Stifle-troll-nought!

phyrexian dreadnought

Grab some while they’re cheap!

Ah! the Death’s Shadow hike now begins to make sense! Was not sure why playsets were moving left and right. I’m kind of glad I stockpiled them (probably not the next Stoneforge Mystic, but still…)

This is one troll that is here to stay and is surely the real deal. I see it starting at 4-5$ and maintaining a 5$ price tag because it just allows us to do awesome things. The sacrifice outlet is a nice bonus too!

Zhur-Taa Ancient

zhur-taa ancient

That’s one big Mana Flare!

Here we have another huge Beast for the Golgari guild. It’s got a nice ability, five mana is not out of the question for something this size. Of course the drawback is that in the Standard format your opponent will get to use the ‘bonus’ first. If he’s playing a small weenie rush deck, who cares? You can then ‘rev up’ all your mana and cast a huge Devil’s Play/Clan Defiance on your turn.

I’m not going to try to convince you guys that this thing is the bomb. I know I’ll pack it in my RG Beast Commander deck that is in development. I just need a good Gruul Commander (I could always go with the Borborygmos default). It allows you to not have to sink too much mana into things like Contested Cliffs activation and Arena. Fight Fight Fight!

It’s probably going to start and end up as a 1$ card, but who cards right? It will probably be on everyone’s big creature Commander deck want list.

Breaking / Entering

breaking entering

You get one when you partake in the Release Event

Sweet pair of effects. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or engineer to explain it to you does it? Mill someone, hope they flip a sweet creature and Reanimte it from their graveyard. Oh! yeah, it also gains Haste!

I think a lot of you are familiar with Glimpse the Unthinkable

glimpse the unthinkable banner

This is what happens to you when you mill 10 cards, according to Wizards of the Coast.

Glimpse is a ridiculously expensive card considering that Mind Sculpt is a common and comes close enough to 10 in itself. It does however not allow you to mill yourself. Breaking, on the other hand does. Why would you want to mill yourself? We just came out of Innistrad block not too long ago or have you forgotten?

Either half of this card would have been fine as its own card really. It just becomes awesome when you can do both effects. The downside really comes with EDH/Commander. It forces you to play colors you may not want to play for cards you would love to cast on their own. Fortunately, card  redundance is something Magic: the Gathering has always been good at. You will notice this even when I compare new cards with old ones, long forgotten (I tend to do that a lot, I know).

Had it not been the Release promo card, I would be more hopeful as to this card’s future ‘value’. I think it will forever be banished to 2$ Rare territory for the remainder of its stay in Standard. (This is good news for most casual players as obtaining these should not be too hard).

Turn   / Burn

turn and burn

Ooooh! an Instant!

Finally we have this little gem of a card! It encapsulates everything we wanted to illustrate about split cards, that of course being:

twoforone

That’s the bottom line!

It changes things in combat , hopefully in combat involving opposing ‘flashed in’ Restoration Angels. Take that you wannabe sneaky mage!  ‘Turn’ their Angel and burn their other dude to finish him off with whatever damage he already took from one of your creatures.

Turn’em and Burn’em!

This is the modern day Fire/Ice. Well, technically it’s Electrolyze, but you get the point. It’s the great little instant Izzet Mages have been clamouring for. Pick them up at 1$ now because it’s sure to be in high demand.

What are you waiting for?

Go ahead and Pre-Order your Dragon’s Maze Singles today!

Dragon’s Maze Preview: Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts and more

wave 3

Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts

teysa envoy of ghosts

Hey!!! Sexy lay-day!!! Ooh ah!

We had the artwork available to us since PAX, but we never had the slightly more important part: Mana cost and Text.

This version of Teysa is obviously somewhat of a let down, but I’m sure she wasn’t really meant to be played competitively. She has quite a few abilities. The first two work great in tandem as they provide a great attacker/defender. No blockers and she block can block anything short of unblockables,flying and protection from black/white creatures.

The second text is a combination of No Mercy and a random token generation bonus.

no mercy

Ah! such a neat card

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that she will probably be relegated to casual and Commander play. Nonetheless, there is a very slight possibility of seeing here in a Black/White tokens build if enough support cards arise. She basically is a burn for 4 mana every turn (barring removal,etc,etc).

In the end, she will probably dwindle down to 1-2$ territory just like the old version.

Renounce the Guilds

renounce the guilds

Seems like an Odyssey throwback

I have no idea why this needed to be rare, but I guess Wizards of the Coast R and D has their reasons. Of course it’s another card to deal with the always-annoying Geist of Saint-Traft. I can always welcome that!

Other than that, you get to destroy some planeswalkers here and there .

Flavor text is kinda cool. It will no doubt see play in various sideboards where you need to immediately answer a multicolored card (Obzedat) and cannot afford to wait around for an Oblivion Ring. Greatest part of all?

snapcaster mage

Yep! This guy!

In the long run, demand for last second sideboarding might drive the price up to like 3$, but it will probably be like a 1-2$ card.

The Gatekeepers

sunspire gatekeepersopal lake gatekeepersubul sar gatekeepers

smelt-ward gatekeeperssaruli gatekeepers

Pauper fans rejoice!

Ah! the Gatekeepers! It’s really nice that they are pushing the ‘Gate’ keyword ‘mechanic’. I like the green one the best personally as it’s another card to stall with in a Battle of Wits deck (you can usually run gates in it because it”s almost always 4-5 colors).

The red one is like a very poor man’s version of Zealous Conscripts (only hits creatures). On the plus side they all have big butts (4 toughness) so you will want to play as many of them as possible within your colors in a limited setting (Pre-Release/Sealed). I just noticed that they’re all either Warriors or Soldiers, but I doubt they will ever really be played in a tribal deck.

Of course at common level there is not much room for these to grow. You should horde some of these and some Gates to build some cheapy pauper decks to give out to younger players in your school/area.

Exava, Rakdos Blood Witch

exava

Carnival Hellsteed, step aside!

The Rakdos guild champion is much better than I would have expected. It’s a nice little Unleash lord. Its stats are great and of course unleashing this for some haste damage action is going to be a common play. There are pretty good incentives to not unleashing too thanks to its first strike ability.

It will probably be a heavily traded card in general and its casual as well as competitive appeal will keep its price afloat for quite some time. It will probably maintain a value of about 5$ for quite some time.

Lavinia of the Tenth

Lavinia of the Tenth

Judge, Jury … Executionner?

It’s been hard to locate a proper spoiler art for this card , but the ability has been confirmed:

3WU

Legendary Creature – Human Soldier

  

Protection from red
When Lavinia of the Tenth enters the battlefield, detain each nonland permanent your opponents control with converted mana cost 4 or less.

4/4

Ah, a big pacifism. Alpha strike and win! It gets even better with blinking shenanigans. At least Venser, the Sojourner is no longer in Standard.

venser the sojourner

Remember him?

Of course you can just ‘blink’ her with Restoration Angel next turn and Beta Strike if you didn’t win on the first short. Not like you were counterattacked, since Detain lasts until your next trun.

The thing I most dislike about this card is the protection color. I mean red already has issues with blasting 4 toughness + creatures and it’s not like they can really get a huge benefit from Zealous Conscripts off of it (since it’s just an enters the battlefield ability). I think it was more of a flavor call than anything, since she’s ‘judge-like’.

 The cost is not too high and the ability is great in a more proactive Azorius deck. Playing a second one on top makes them die due to the Legend rule, BUT the effect will still go on the stack (so it’s not a bad idea if it wins you the game).

Due to the popularity of the Azorius color combination, this card is sure to hover at about the 5$ mark for a while.

Armed and Dangerous

armed and dangerous

Ack! I don’t speak Japanese!

You may or may not remember that line from a Chris Farley SNL skit. Here’s the English text:

Sorcery

  Target creature gets +1/+1 and doublestrike until end of turn.

//
All creatures able to block target creature do so this turn.

Lure plus Assault Strobe, I guess. A great limited ‘trick’, not really because it’s Sorcery speed. Another way to let your army through enemy lines. If your deck plays either color, you probably want to put this in (limited of course).

Irrelevant in constructed for the most part, it will remain a 50 cent card.

fifty cent

It should really become the official price tag for all 0,50$ items

Trostani’s Summoner

photo_unavailable

This next one we didn’t have time to get a picture for as it’s ‘hot off the presses’. Here is the card text:

5GW

Creature – Elf Shaman

When <this> enters the battlefield, put a 2/2 white knight creature token with vigilance, a 3/3 green centaur creature token, and a 4/4 green rhino creature token with trample onto the battlefield.

1/1

So you get 10 power worth of creatures for 7 mana on 4 separate creatures. Like a cone/pyramid with base 4.

o

o  o

o  o  o

o  o  o  o

A rough sketch

This is also the Dragon’s Maze Gameday promo, so make sure to mark the date on your calendar.  It’s probably going to be a highly sought after promo due to the absurd token generation it provides. It’s like your all-in-one Population Station.

Rhinos, Centaurs, Knights, Oh My!

I’m probably gonna horde infinite copies of this card because it’s just so awesome. I wonder how many I can realistically accumulate….

Until the next wave:

“This is DDT reminding you to help control the MTG pet population, have your tokens spayed or neutered!”

Dragon’s Maze Preview: Advent of the Wurm and more…

wave 2

Advent of the Wurm

advent of the wurm

Flash Wurm

One of the best abilities hands down on a creature is Flash. It allows you to keep your mana untapped and respond to what your opponent will do on his turn. Usually if nothing has been cast on his end, we will wait for the end of turn and Flash in something like a Restoration Angel.

flash logo

End of turn …

We spring into action once we hear the magic words! The ability is somewhat split between 3 colors, the Bant colors: Blue, White and Green. The proportions being in that order. This is one of the rare times that a multicolor Flash creature is not blue. I know what you’re thinking : this is not a creature card!

Technically you would be correct. However in the Selesnya colors, it’s much better as a token-producing Instant. It works nicely with the Populate mechanic, which to this day has not really see the light of day in competitive play. With the recent FNM Promo and now this spoiler we get the feeling that Wizards wants Populate to be a ‘thing’. We will have to wait for the rest of the set to be spoiled before we can judge on how viable the token strategy will become.

I see this being a pretty heavily traded for Rare that will eventually settle at around the 3-4$ mark as it’s just a really good card in general. Of course, we can’t purely judge Magic cards in a vacuum.

Master of Cruelties

master of cruelties

Poke of Doom

Up next we have a card that might as well have been the winner of the ‘Create a card‘ event that Wizards of the Coast is currently running. Three great abilities with a random ‘drawback’. Obviously he’s the ideal blocker, but we need to try and win and that does not happen by merely blocking all day long.

Of course all one needs to do is make him unblockable and there are a near infinite number of cards that do that, most or all of which are blue. Casual players will try and get cute with it and whatnot, they just need to remember to pack something to deal that final one point of damage. Even if Master of Cruelties attacks again the following turn, it will not change anything. Your opponent’s life total will still be 1.

This will be a good ‘build around me card’ but I’m not sure it will see heavy competitive play. Cards like this sometimes don’t have to as their casual appeal usually keeps their value pretty high. I’m going to say it will settle around the 5$ mark once prices stabilize.

Sin Collector

sin collector

Not bad at all

At first sight this is a great ‘Hate Blue’ card as it is the primary color of non-creature spells. I think it’s optimal usage would indeed be hating out a blue card, but not the one most people think….

supreme verdict

You again?

Let me explain. You are playing an aggressive Black/White plus maybe a third color deck and you don’t want to uselessly overcommit to the board only to get wiped out. Playing a card like Duress is not proactive enough to your overall strategy as you don’t advance your board and is kind of a dead draw when you need to get a creature on board or when your opponent has little left in hand.

The first comparison we can make is with this card:

tidehollow sculler

One of the best Zombies ever made

I must admit that most of the times I have personally used this cards it has been to exile an Instant/Sorcery with it. A lot of times it’s been something like a Path to Exile . Of course, the problem then becomes what happens when they draw another removal? Sure, they wasted it on the Sculler but they are also getting their other card back. In that respect, Sin Collector seems stronger.

The other thing that is very relevant at least for the current Standard environment is its creature type. At the time being, Humans are greater than Zombies. Sure, this may change. Having this interact with cards like Champion of the Parish or having it come back from the dead with cards like Angel of Glory’s Rise can be pretty sweet. It keeps the aggro going while having a small insurance versus any board wiping card.

Another card we probably want to hate on possesses the exact same two colors as Supreme Verdict …

sphinx's revelation

The 30$ answer

If you’ve been playing standard for the past few months, you undoubtedly know how frustrating it can be to have this card resolve against you. It’s almost soul-crushing. A little less so if you run your own copies of it, but it still hurts a lot.

I’m not saying that Sin Collector is going to be the greatest card ever printed, but he does have tons and tons of great targets. He will always be a solid 1$ Uncommon, which is saying a lot these days where most uncommons fall in the 25-50 cent range.

Vorel of the Hull Clade

vorel of the hull clade

Almost a proliferate card

We quickly read the card and think great things of it and then it happens: What? no Planeswalker? Yeah, it’s a bummer!

So it ‘Doubling Seasons‘ something. That’s pretty sweet.

In Standard it works really well with the evolve mechanic allowing your dudes grow when they would not be able to otherwise (not having creatures that are bigger than the ones in play). It makes sense to have a guild champion work with the guild mechanic.

assemblethelegion

What? oh wait….

No enchantment either? There goes any Assemble the Legion shenanigans!

grimoire of the dead

Hmmmm…

Grimoire of the Dead and the M13 Rings (ignore the Oblivion Ring in the Search results) say Hi!

gavony township hellion crucible

Hellion Crucible and Gavony Township say “What’s up?” (Of course you don’t directly add counters to Gavony, but you get the point).

As randomly cute as these are they are just that. The obvious use is to add +1/+1 counters to creatures, which is fine. I think it will hover around the 2-3$ mark, again when prices stabilize more (usually around 1 month after the set’s release).

Until the next wave, I hope I haven’t ‘spoiled’ your day!

Ppphhhil’s Progenitus Commander deck

progenitus EDH

by Steve DDT Giannopoulos

Progenitus Commander deck:

Progenitus

Spells

Vampiric Tutor 

Enlightened Tutor
Sol Ring
Demonic Tutor
Cultivate
Phyrexian Arena
Chromatic Lantern
Kodama’s Reach
Skyshroud Claim
Rite of Replication
Damnation
Supreme Verdict
Explosive Vegetation
Acquire
Unburial Rites
Bribery
Gilded Lotus
Mirari’s Wake
All Suns’ Dawn
Austere Command
True Conviction
Mana Reflection
Legacy Weapon
Violent Ultimatum
Titanic Ultimatum
Cruel Ultimatum
Akroma’s Memorial
Tooth and Nail
All is Dust
Debtors’ Knell
Conflux
Praetor’ Counsel
Omniscience
Genesis Wave
Blue Sun’s Zenith

Creatures

Restoration angel
Solemn Simulacrum
Sakashima, the Impostor
Rafiq of the Many
Phyrexian Metamorph
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Acidic Slime
Maelstrom Archangel
Urabrask, the Hidden
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Kamahl, Fist of Krosa
Consecrated Sphinx
Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Vish kal, Blood Arbiter
Rune-scarred Demon
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Angel of Despair
Avacyn, Angel of Hope
Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
Karador, Ghost Chieftain
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Lands
Plains
Mountain
Swamp
2x Forest
2x Island
Shivan Reef
Arid Mesa
Sacred Foundry
Ancient Tomb
Arcane Sanctum
Miren, the Moaning Well
Overgrown Tomb
Reflecting Pool
Transguild Promenade
Temple of the False God
Krosan Verge
Breeding Pool
Adarkar Wastes
Savage Lands
Steam Vents
Vault of the Archangel
Crumbling Necropolis
Jungle Shrine
Battlefield Forge
Temple Garden
Llanowar Wastes
City of Brass
Seaside Citadel
Karplusan Forest
Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
Reliquary Tower
Stomping Ground
Command Tower
Kessig Wolf Run
Fire-Lit Thicket
Rupture Spire
Yavimaya Coast

cultivate

Fixers!

The deck illustrates an important point when you are playing a 5-color Commander deck : Fix your colors and mana. Ramp it up and Tutor as much as possible. Once there, all your big spells will be castable and almost always great. A lot of staples are in the deck, so feel free to use it as reference for when you need some inspiration as to what would be missing in your own Commander decklist.