Magic 2014: Wrap-Up Part 2

m14 logo

 

BLACK

 

Altar’s Reap

As far as the reprints in this set go, this is one of the better ones. I like it in both limited and constructed since it serves as both a sacrifice outlet and card draw. Works best with zombies like Gravecrawler and its partner in crime: Geralf’s Messenger

 

Artificier’s Hex

artificier's hex

 

Some innovation

 

 

Wow! Wizards is giving Black a nice new toy and some added reach versus artifacts, well more specifically Equipment.

I like the flavor of this: if there is a living being within the equipment, they get crushed within it. While it doesn’t technically ‘destroy’ the equipmen, we can all agree that the equipment has pretty much been rendered useless. Except of course:

 

haunted plate mailI really do love this card

Blood Bairn

blood bairn

Ack! a little vampire child

Ah yes, the obligatory Vampire Aristocrat reprint. Although it’s technically weaker since it cannot sacrifice itself.

 

Child of Night

M14 Vampires are back in full force. Well, actually it looks more like the second string line-up of Vampires.

 

Dark Favor

Can’t have the white without the black eh?

 

Diabolic Tutor

diabolic tutor

They really don’t want the new Commander players to miss out on this

Go go Combo decks!

Gnawing Zombie

gnawing zombie

 

Aw! such a cute Zombizzle! Can we keep it?

 

Blood Artist with stats and a sac ability, kind of. It’s definitely not unplayable.

 

Liturgy of Blood

liturgy of blood

 

This card does not harbor vast potential, regardless of its flavor text

It’s not horrible since you get 3 mana back, but it still actually requires you to have 5 mana to cast. I really hate it personally. Then again, it’s a common so it’s not horrible in limited and perhaps some Pauper decks.

 

Mind Rot

Can we hope for more new art? Would it make the card better? Nope and Nope.

 

 

Nightwing Shade

 

nightwing shade

Back to haunt your dreams

 

Shade abilities plus flying = Yay!

almost double the cost to play and activate the abilities = Boo!

 

Sanguine Bond

sanguine bond

Really? 

So now we get about 3 months or so of the 2 black enchantment combo. For those of you who are not aware, it comboes with this:

exquisite bloodAll that is required is one point of damage for the whole thing to go off (or one loss of life)

So basically play one on turn 5, then the other on turn 6 and drop a land. Play something like Shock and laugh maniacally because you are truly and ‘Evil Genius’.

Shrivel

Because -2/-2 might actually kill a few creatures and we can’t have that now can we?

 

Vile Rebirth

Not a terrible reprint, no a great one either. I suppose it may find its way into more eccentric sideboards that are seeking to disrupt reanimator strategies.

 

Wring Flesh

This actually saw some play when it was in M12, so I wouldn’t be surprised that it does so again in M14. Sure Disfigure is sill probably better but we can’t have ‘everything’ in Magic 2014.

 

RED

 

Academy Raider

academy raider

Not too shabby for a little red common

 

A cute little common that provides some aggro as well as card filtering, so you can hold those lands in your grip and wait for something better to potentially come along.

It would have been much better as a forced discard without the ‘if you do’ clause, obviously. Not sure how high these will go in draft.

 

Burning Earth

burning earth

There is no escape

 

So we get a Manabarbs variant which encourages you to play monocolored decks and punishes your opponents that probably play 2-5 color decks. I like it personally, since it’s rather obvious they would not print a hate card like Blood Moon in standard.

Burning Earth is sure to find its way into numerous sideboards for the full year or so that it will be legal in Standard, s pick up your playset now while they’re cheap.

Cyclops Tyrant

cyclops tyrant

Nice flavor text

I don’t think Cyclops’es’ were meant to get any better than this guy

 

Demolish

demolishPillage is not coming back, ever

Guess they had to bring this back with Acidic Slime not coming back to the party in M14.

Dragon Egg

dragon egg

A variation of Rukh Egg

You crack the egg and out comes a little Furance Whelp. Not too shabby. Block with it early on then go on the offensive in the late game.

Goblin Shortcutter

There’s usually one of these in Core Sets for limited purposes.

Mindsparker

mindsparker

Beautiful Hate

Being a fan of Wayne Reynolds, I absolutely adore the art on this card. Moving on to the card itself – I must say it’s really better than I expected. Its base stats are really nice and its hate ability can get out of hand quickly.

Of course it somewhat harms opponents casting Sphinx’s Revelation but it does a lot versus cards like Think Twice and Azorius Charm as well as Snapcaster Mage (which usually flashes back a blue/White spell). Of course you can always redirect the 2 damage to an opposing planeswalker which is really nice. It also trades with cards like Boros Reckoner which is really valuable since that is one really huge roadblock for a lot of red decks.

Overall I think Wizards of the Coast did a superb job on all the color hate cards. While they do not hose opposing colors, they do become a thorn in their side and give you a good enough advantage over them. I really prefer them over the instant color hate cards ( Flashfreeze, Combust, Celestial Purge, Autumn’s Veil and Deathmark).

Smelt

The new shatter is back for good.

 

Thunderstrike

A nice limited combat trick that can potentially double as the poster for the next Thor movie.

 

Volcanic Geyser

The instant Blaze finisher in red-based draft or sealed decks

 

Wild Guess

Works great with…oh wait, Squee was reprinted in Modern Masters

 

Wild Ricochet

wild ricochet

It’s been a while

It’s really nice to have this card back in the Standard format. I do remember that it was rather effective against a certain card called Cryptic Command. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

Similarly, I believe it can help combat cards like Warleader’s Helix and Sphinx’s Revelation. While you do not get the full benefit in the case of Revelation, it still nets you life and cards (Good!). In the case of Helix, it can pretty much close a game out if your opponent was in ‘Survival Mode’. It will still only net 4 damage overall, since he will helix himself, but gain 4 life (effectively blanking his copy) and then your copy can simply deal 4 to him.

That about ends this Previews article. Be back soon for the final one where we take a look at Green , Artifacts and Lands.

m14 promo coupon final

 

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