Magic 2014: Spoilers to date 4

It’s time for even more Magic 2014 (M14) spoilers. This time we start off with this little gem:

 

Brave the Elements

bravetheelements (1)

It’s back to make white weenie viable again

For those of you who were sick and tired of losing your little weenie horde to a Bonfire of the Damned (miracled or not), Wizards has the answer for you. Mind you this will probably be more played in a Green/White aggro style of deck but who knows – we might yet see a real white weenie contender.

Its offensive capability is rather great as it can allow pretty much your whole team through something like a wall of Thragtusk or 3/3 Beast tokens if you’re going in for the killing blow. I can’t wait to get a chance to play this again in Standard.

Doom Blade

doomblade

Does it simplify or complicate the black removal suite (Ultimate price, Murder, etc) ?

Opportunity

opportunity

I thought Wizards wanted to cut down on the instant-speed card drawing

Grim Return

grimreturn

Great card design but mostly Commander material for now

Shock

shock

Anyone ‘shocked’ to see this back?

Scavenging Ooze

scavengingooze

Awesome! It’s pretty much official at this point

Elixir of Immortality

elixirofimmortality

We’re pretty much all just getting used to it at this point …

Angelic Accord

angelicaccord

Well, don’t knock till you try it I guess …

Elvish Mystic

elvishmystic

Another Elves 1-drop

Corpse Hauler

corpsehaulerA more aggressive Gravedigger that you can use when you feel like it

Soulmender

soulmenderSoul Brotha?

Lay of the Land

layoftheland

Now you can keep that one-lander!

Corrupt

corrupt

Just how good will it be?

Claustrophobia

claustrophobia

Finally! an Innistrad reprint!

Accorder’s Shield

accordersshield

Just not the same without this guy

That ends another preview Blog for Magic 2014 and I for one think that the limited experience is sure to be dynamic to say the least. As far as constructed goes, I hope we can still get some more Standard playable cards before the totality of the set is revealed.

Here’s hoping!

 

Four Color Burn

four color burn

by Steve ‘DDT’ Giannopoulos

As promised, here is the decklist:

4-Color Burn

blood scrivener
vexing devil
rakdos cackler
deathrite shaman
ash zealot

18 creatures

bump in the night
pillar of flame
searing spear
skull crack
boros charm
blind obedience

20 spells

blood crypt
Sacred foundry
dragonskull summit
clifftop retreat
Godless Shrine
Moutains
Stomping Grounds

22 lands

Sideboard

tibalt, the fiend-blooded
toil/trouble
boros reckoner
blasphemous act
rakdos charm
warleader’s helix
pillar of flame

The point of burn decks in general is to get the opponent from 20 to 0 as quickly as possible. The strategy is usually restricted to mono red decks but Wizards of the Coast usually test the boundaries on how quickly you can burn someone down. With cards like Boros Charm and Bump in the Night, we have to splash a couple of colors to get the job done more quickly now. Seeing as how we have 2 sets of ‘duals’ for each color combination right now, it seemed like a good time to try it.

The deck is 3 colors but technically Deathrite Shaman is also green and we sometimes want to make use of the green ability to gain some life in a damage race. Keep in mind that you probably want to keep the black mana producing lands unused in order to further burn your opponent at end of turn as opposed to keeping Stomping Grounds untapped (unless you really have to).

This is the ideal damage output series of plays:

Deathrite shaman

Bump, Bump, attack

Charm, shaman activate

Pillar, Skullcrack, activate shaman

… or something along those lines. 20 uninterrupted points of damage without counting on any guaranteed attack

Of course this is just the ideal. You can also just win on later turns. The deck does pack some Skullcracks to deal with the Thragtusk life gaining. The Deathrite Shamans almost double your burn value as well so if you get into the mid-game you can still hope to win. The rest of the deck is very similar to your basic burn/aggro deck.

deathrite shaman big

He does good work, despite not being a red card

In Testing …

I went to a few local FNM’s and other tournaments with this build. It was fun winning a few games in 5 turns or so without ever having to interact with my opponent’s board except for casting a Skullcrack in response to a Thragtusk. This deck is a fine deck for any smoker, unfortunately I am not a nicotine addict.

It did really well versus established decks but fell short against the randomest of random decks. At one point, I actually managed to -4 my Tibalt and hit my opponent for 6 damage! I don’t know if most of you are aware of how much of an achievement this this. It’s a creature dominated format after all, so keeping Tibalt alive is rather tough (activating his ultimate is rather impossible). Unfortunately, he ended at 1 life (Tibalt would have hot for 7 damage, had he not flashed a Restoration Angel in response). It was almost as if he knew that 1 point of damage mattered. Still, running a Tibalt somewhat successfully got the deck noticed.

tibalt full

The other, other, other….other Planeswalker

The overall win percentage was about 55%, which means I’ll be looking for something else to run at the World Magic Cup Qualifier.

 

 

wmcq

Are you qualified?

Another problem was that a lot of people were playing decks like Naya Blitz, Red Green Aggor, Hexproof Bant and Black White Zombies. In these kinds of matchups, it becomes a war of attrition. Basically, the last random dude standing that gets to attack is probably going to win. Considering that 8 of my main deck burn cards cannot target creatured, I’m not going to win that attrition war.

You basically get to punish a lot, I mean a lot of midrange decks. They usually take a bit of shockland damage or are slow enough out of the gate for you to take advantage. Also, versus control, you can technically ‘overcommit’ on weenies if you are holding a Boros Charm for their Supreme Verdict.

I think I was overall really disappointed with the ‘fourth’ color (aka. Green). Eventhough I never ended up facing any Reanimator strategies, I felt that splashing for that was really weak. It seemed really nice, cool and techy in the beginning. Cutting the Green altogether would change the manabase quite a bit. The Shaman would stay as he does a great impression of Grim Lavamancer in this deck.

grim lavamancer

Oh, how this card is missed!

A card that I was unsure about playing is Brimstone Volley. After testing, I would definitely try 2 in a more refined build. Casting a late game Vexing Devil hoping they take 4 so that you can pay 3 mana to hit them for what should be the final 5 points of damage is really ambitious.

blind obedience

Not too shabby

Blind Obedience was obviously hard to evaluate with only one copy in the whole deck. If I recall correctly, it was rather good when I got it in play. Each burn doing one extra is really nice and I would eventually fit in a second copy into the deck. If it does more than 3 life loss, it was already been better than Bump in the Night. Then again, at that point in the game, Bump in the Night would have done 6 (assuming you had mana to flash it back).

The bonus of having your opponents would be blockers enter the battlefield tapped is nice when you’re attacking with little dudes trying to go through medium to big creatures. The Black/White ‘kicker’ to your burn spells is just gravy. Red being your main color, means you will probably have extra black or white mana to Extort your opponent. Also, it’s nice seeing an enchantment that doesn’t become useless when you put a second one in play.

blood scrivener

Did he pass the test?

The Zombie of the Hour! How did he fare? Well, for one, against anything running small removal spells (Aristocrats, RG Aggro, etc) he was basically a lightning rod. He did a decent job against slower decks by helping out with aggro a bit. In the end, he just seemed to be lacking a little something. Perhaps in a future version with Lotleth Troll as a discard outlet? Who knows?

The problem that you first notice is when you are ‘flooded’. I do not even mean realistically flooded, just for this deck. Flooded is anything over 4 mana, unless you are planning on flashing back a Bump in the Night for the final bits of damage. I think the Troll would fill this role nicely, since he provides great aggro and has trample so he doesn’t get token-chumped.

lotleth troll

The future of 4 color burn?

Getting back to the Blood Scrivener: multiple copies stack, which is great when you’re empty handed. Furthermore, with this deck we can just throw our last burn spell in hand at our opponent before our draw phase to get some more draws. Scrivener was no Dark Confidant, but then again what really is? He performed above average in most of my games, but nothing made me really go Wow! i don’t think he currently is awesome enough to play a Red/Black/x burn deck at the moment, but give it time. We have a whole new block coming in November and not a lot of these cards are rotating (Bump, Searing Spear, Pillar of Flame and some lands)

The best upside to Scrivener was the ability to mulligan a bit more aggressively versus certain decks. Knowing you are facing a slower deck allows you to maybe even keep a reasonable 5 card opener with Blood Scrivener. I’m not saying it’s Insane! but it’s something worth considering.

What now ?

I will personally keep an eye out for any other interesting Blood Scrivener deck posibilities (including Duskmantle Seer deck possibilities). Core Set M14 might bring something to the table. As of right now it offers:

 

chandrasphoenix

Gives more value to your burn and allows you to recover from a board whipe

shock

Instant speed Pillar of Flame is back!

youngpyromancer1

Maybe…

Still, there’s about 100 cards left to be spoiled. We can always hope.

If anyone has other suggestions on improving, tweaking or taking the deck in a whole new direction (other than the trash), please reply in the blog or hit us up on our Facebook page .

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Magic 2014: Spoilers to date 4

Time for some ‘Common Sense’ or whatever I would call this edition of the M14 Preview blog.

Let’s start it off with a bang!

Predatory Sliver

predatorysliver1

Muscle Sliver is back! and this time it only affects your guys (like all M14 Slivers)

Sliver Construct

sliverconstruct

Vanilla Sliver. Feel the flavor!

Hive Stirrings

hivestirringspromo

Lovely little sliver token generator/Game Day card

Trained Condor

trainedcondor1

Prepare to play across from this card or with it in draft

Minotaur Abomination

minotaurabomination

What Boros Reckoner did for the minotaur tribe, this card too away

Sporemound

sporemound

The longer it lives, the greater value you may get out of it

Shadowborn Apostole

shadowbornapostle

Relentless Rats ability + ‘Combo’ piece for the Mythic Demon of M14

Rumbling Baloth

rumblingbaloth

Solid card for 90’s magic, only limited playable now.

Charging Griffin

charginggriffin

Nice quote for such a lame card

Dawnstrike Paladin

dawnstrikepaladin

Not too bad (for a common) , if only they shave a mana off of it

Marauding Maulhorn

maraudingmaulhorn

It’s a Juggernaut at worst? Hmmm… not bad

Master of Diversion

masterofdiversion

 A proactive tapper, nice to see they got rid of the passive ones. They were a huge pain in limited

Advocate of the Beast

advocateofthebeast

Cute common, nice value with Thragtusk. A shame it’s rotating *sarcasm*

Sentinel Sliver

sentinelsliver

Yep! they’re probably going to use up all the keywords

Striking Sliver

strikingsliver

All the keywords!

Hunt the Weak

hunttheweak1

Drawn by ‘Mockup’ yay!

Blur Sliver

blursliver

All your keyword are belong to us!

Groundshaker Sliver

groundshakersliver

Maybe a little too costly for a Sliver

FNM Promo for August 2013

dimir charm promo

It sees almost no play now but some people are predicting great things for this Charm in the future

It’s pretty cool to see yet another charm as an FNM promo and part of me thinks that they will go ahead and make all 10 into FNM promos. This would probably be a move that almost everyone would be happy with. A lot of the charm effects are pretty cool and I for one play the Boros Charm in my EDH deck paired with an Obliterate. It almost never happens, but it’s pretty awesome when it does.

Remember to go play FNM at your local game store.

FNM_logo

 

At a Magic: the Gathering store near you!

4 FNM cards are distributed – 2 to the first 2 players in the standings and 2 at random. So remember to stick around until the very end to get a chance to grab a promo even if you didn’t perform that well. You never know…

Magic 2014: Game Day Playmat

m14 game day mat

Pretty epic looking mat no?

Attend your local gaming store’s Game Day with a Standard legal deck to show your dominance and win this fabulous playmat. Also, the top 8 get a FOIL Goblin Diplomats and everyone gets a full frame Hive Stirrings for their Slivers deck.

                     goblindiplomatspromo      hive stirrings

Magic 2014: Spoilers to date 3

Today we’ll take a glimpse at the spoiled M14 Uncommons. Let’s start with the successor to Ponder :

 

Glimpse the Future

glimpsethefuture

Seems fair. No Delver shennanigans! Maybe Reanimator?

Woodborn Behemoth

woodbornbehemoth

Pay 5 now for an average creature that can become rather huge later, not too shabby!

Young Pyromancer

youngpyromancer1

Very nice card and the possibilities are neat with ‘free’ cards like Hidden Strings and Gitaxian Probe

On a small side note: remember that Cipher cards are actually considered cast. This means you can do pretty cool things with things like this card, Delver of Secrets and Nivmagus Elemental.

Molten Birth

moltenbirth

Krenko’s Command with a possible upside? Why not?

Steelform Sliver

steelformsliver

For those who didn’t know: Sliver are back! This guy makes them harder to destroy.

Battle Sliver

battlesliver

This is what happens when they get angry.

Enlarge

enlarge

Revenge of the Hunted ‘s successor. Attack the merfolk evil kitty!

Kalonian Tusker

kaloniantusker

Here’s the beef!

The Staffs

m14 staffs

 

There’s probably a white one too, just no pic for it. They seem somewhat of in Limited I guess…

Vial of Poison

vialofpoison

Cute little removal card, plus you can fetch it with Trinket Mage. Value!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty excited for Magic 2014 Core Set. It actually seems like a blast to draft and a lot of cards show great potential for fun (oh yeah, there are also some more serious constructed cards too).

Next up:  M14 Commons!

 

Magic 2014: Spoilers to date 2

… and we’re back!

Today’s another small spoiler session. Let’s get the ball rolling.

 

Seraph of the Sword

seraphofthesword

Fog Bank‘s angel cousin. This thing is going to give headaches to more aggressive decks. At least it lacks Vigilance.

Ogre Battledriver

ogrebattledriver

That’s MR. Hill Giant you maggot!

Bonescythe Sliver

bonescythesliver

Slivers get their own Kinsbaile Cavalier

Into the Wilds

intothewilds

Oracle of Mul Daya version 2.0

Megantic Sliver

meganticsliverpromo

Big Daddy Sliver! He’s the Pre-Release promo? Woah!

Awaken the Ancient

awakentheancient

Technically costs 5 mana since you don’t get to attack if you play it turn 4 (barring ramp)

Vastwood Hydra

vastwoodhydra

This is going to make m miss Primordial Hydra.

Ring of Three Wishes

ringofthreewishes

A ‘fairer’ ‘cheaper’ Planar Portal

Ratchet Bomb

ratchetbomb1

Glad to have it back!

Guardian of the Ages

guardianoftheages

Nice flavor, but that’s about it …

That’s more or less the Rares and Mythic spoiled so far. I will be posting a new blog on the Uncommons and then Commons. It’s nice too see some new Magic: the Gathering cards instead of infinite reprints, even if they are not the greatest. This set is sure to be a blast to draft and Sealed as well as really sweet in the Commander formats. Who knows what cards will make it into Standard decks – probably Slivers?