Dragon’s Maze Preview: AEtherling and more

wave 10

AEtherling

aetherling

Blast from the past?

After printing Torchling and Thornling as Morphling variants, most would have thought that Wizards of the Coast would attempt to complete the cycle. Instead we are treated to an update on the blue original. It is pretty safe to say that if you manage to untap the turn after casting this guy, you are probably in a good position do win the game. Unless of course you were in dire trouble to begin with.

Ideally you want to play Aetherling with at least one blue mana up. If things go bad, blink him out until the begin of the end of turn. This makes him safe from pretty much all removal, mass-removal and even sacrifice effects. In that respect he is much harder to kill than the original, he kind of feels like this Unglued card:

greater morphling

That’s a lot of text!

Maybe in hundreds of years when piles of old Magic cards are uncovered by future civilizations Greater Morphling will become a tournament legal card. Until that time, we get AEherling. You can obviously do ridiculous things like swing for 8 unblockable damage a turn (of course at the cost of 5 mana). It obviously just gets better when you can boost its toughness otherwise and attack for more. However,  if you are already attacking with it, things are already looking good for you. Expect to see it as a one or two-of in a controllish Esper colored deck. Of course everyone will be busy hunting down foil version for their Commander decks (Bling!).

Surprisingly, it’s not a mythic card. This is indeed great news for those looking to nab a playset of it. Sitting at around 5$ in preorders, it’s a great value from my point of view. It’s going to be on almost everyone’s Want list.

Korozda Gorgon

korozda gorgon

Got any turtles down there?

I really like the card overall and it’s kind of like a secondary Scavenge lord. It’s far from being Standard playable, but again that has not stopped most people from playing cards. The art is a cute little depiction of a Gorgon’s dwelling/storage space. She’s probably a Level 15 – Hoarder, unless there are collection pieces that are visible only under the sewer water. As with most Gorgon/medusa-like creatures, this one possesses Deathtouch. This probably limits a lot of her relationship possibilities, but I somehow doubt she cares.

In limited formats you will probably be looking to play it with Evolve creatures or as mentionned before, Scavenge. Mess up combat for your opponents and have fun doing it!

Unflinching Courage

unflinching courage

Welcome back, Old Friend!

It seems that Wizards of the Coast R&D also missed the original. This time we have it set to uncommon, mostly for limited purposes. You don’t want to be facing a deck that has a near-playset of this card. It also is less potent than the original since it can’t act as a pseudo-pacifism due to the Lifelink keyword versus the old text.

If you are not able to fully construct the modern Auras deck featuring Daybreak Coronet or are simply anticipating a reprint of it in Modern Masters, then by all means try this in your deck. It’s probably not as good but it’s a great way to still play the deck without pumping more money into it.

Blast of Genius

blast of genius

Ral Zarek looking epic

A nice little removal and card filtering spell rolled up in one! Something that’s very playable in Commander as it gets you great value.

The art is simply superb! Terese Nielsen is probably in everyone’s list of top Magic art talent and this cards illustrates why. You even get a little Niv-Mizzet looking on in the background as Ral Zarek performs his Sailor Moon-esque pose. The lightning effect is just so cool and the whole piece just reminds me of one of the main reasons I got into this game.

The big downside to Blast of Genius,aside from mana cost, is that you need to choose the target prior to getting to know what you will draw. Your big blast might end up being a simple poke, unless you already had a big converted mana cost in hand already.

Dragonshift

Dragonshift

Death from above

Rather ordinary without the Overload, but can be a situational ‘finisher/removal’ when need be. Works great in a tokens/creature swarm deck, but of course the colors and the cost are not ideal. It is almost 100% a casual card, but boy what a casual card it is! I will for sure be inserting it in my UR Pingers deck for when I actually have to do something the deck never has to do: Attack!

Wrap up…

There are definitely a lot of loose ends to cover (especially cards spoiled with no actual art). I hate to post cards without finalized artwork personally as it’s usually something I like to comment on and it just overall looks less official, so I apologize if there are some cards I have not yet covered. Rest assured that they will be viewed and reviewed here!

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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…