Gatecrash Preview: Biovisionary

bio japanese

Where’s Simon Tran when you need him? 

Oh nevermind, my eye for Foreign language cards tells me that this is a Japanese card. Guess I’ll have to find a translation:

At the beginning of each end step, if you control four or more creatures named ~, you win the game.

The ~ of course meaning -cardname- which in turn implies Biovisionary.

“Oh the posibilities!” – Every MTG brewmaster, ever 

Just how many people are going to go out of their way to make this work?

Populate and Cackling Counterpart seem like a nice enough fit.

Trostani, Selesnya's Voice

You all pretty much knew that ‘populate’ was just short for this card, right?

The other way to ‘tokenize’ (you like that? I just invented it!)….

To-Ken-eyes verb To make a token copy of something. “I tokenized my Emrakul and then I face-palmed!”

…. is Seance


See? you can totally see those token-eyes in the background!

It can probably fit into the whole Mirror-Mad Phantasm mill strategy and then you’d have this and Laboratory Maniac as weird ways to win. Eh….maybe not…for now.

Gatecrash Preview: Zameck Guildmage

zameck guild

I get this just for playing at the Gatecrash Gameday? Sign me up!

Somewhat reminiscent of the Simic Guildmage of Ravnica block past, this guy is rather nicely designed. He supports a small token sub-theme pretty well with his first ability and can keep the party going with his second one.

The art is kind cool too, Mr. Swanland toned down the spikes a little just this once.

You can also keep ‘evolving’ your other Simic buddies with that second ability so that you never really lose counters. Think of it more as a kicker cost for your creatures that allows you to cantrip. Pretty decent, mostly in limited though.

Gatecrash Preview: Nightveil Specter

nightveil specter

Hypnotic Specter? Not exactly!

So lets dare to compare:

1) This ‘mills’ , Hypnotic Specter discards.

Advantage: Hypnotic Specter

2) Nightveil is a hybrid card and thus has the potential to fit in more decks.

Advantage: Nightveil Specter

3) This new guy has an extra point of toughness making it extra relevant versus those who would try to simply Pillar  of Flame away the little guys.

Advantage: Nightveil Specter

4) You might not be able to cast the cards you ‘mill/exile’ unless they are lands. Hyppie doesn’t allow you to play what you make them discard anyhow.

Advantage: Nightveil Specter

Winner: Nightveil Specter ?

Now the reason this is not a clear cut winner is because Hypnotic Specter affects things more directly in its random discard than this ever will. It’s also better or at least was better in Legacy.

The comparison is a tad unfair as Hypnotic Specter is not even a Standard Legal card at the time being. For a comparable cost, it would have to battle it out with Vampire Nighthawk ( a card that is more relevant with what’s on the board)

.In its defense though, the Standard format as of late is increasingly multicolored (Dual lands will do that) so its ability to cast the exiled card might become more relevant.  It’s also a nice target with the Cipher mechanic (shocking eh?)  as you can double-up on its combat damage trigger.

Gatecrash Preview: Consuming Aberration

consuming abberation


A ‘goyf’ type creature that provides aggressive mill.

Here we have a variant on the whole Lhurgoyf theme (Tarmogoyf, Mortivore,etc.) Five mana is a little steep though, but it is somewhat more self-sufficient than the rest of its family. This thing is definitely a bomby draft/sealed card. It doesn’t target a specific player ad it gets pretty nuts in multiplayer as well.

Even better if you choose to go Dimir in your local pre-release as you get it in your guild pack. You are even encouraged to not play random cards like a newbie as well. Every card you keep in hand before this hits the table will just give you more value, so play conservatively!

Gatecrash Preview: Whispering Madness

whispering madness


Cipher? Well, it sure sounds cool. Kinda futuristic and cryptic.

So we have a Windfall effect that you can recur by dealing combat damage with one of your guys (probably with something like Invisible Stalker). Pretty neat, just put the card under your creature card kind of like an aura or equipment. Play some stuff out of your hand and reload before your opponent can really profit from his new hand. In theory it all works out great eh? Probably in limited too.

Will it have the power level required to see some serious constructed play? It’s hard to say, but I can see it in some kind of weird mill deck.

Gatecrash Preview: Treasury Thrull



Extort? Yeap, that definitely sounds Orzhov-ish!

So this is like a kicker cost that you can apply to all your random spells you cast when the Thrull is in play. Not bad, especially in limited if it’s been like pacified or tapped and can’t attack anymore.

Speaking of its second ability: It reminds me of the titans from M11 only slightly toned down and a bit more interesting. What nice little trinkets will you be able to re-use with this beast?…errrr…Thrull? It’s also the ability that will make it fun to use in EDH decks and I can imagine that FOIL versions of this card will be sought after early on. Any self-sacrificing creature can be great with it too (kinda like Sakura-Tribe Elder).

This is the coolest Thrull I’ve ever seen. It’s nice to know they’re making a comeback since Fallen Empires and Guildpact. Go Thrulls!

Gatecrash Preview: Simic Fluxmage

simic flux



This card was apparently opened in a Return to Ravnica booster (reminiscent of the Rootbound Defenses, which was opened in a pack of M13). It seems to be Wizard of the Coast’s way of ‘accidentally’ spoiling new cards. It’s kind of cool in my opinion.

Other than that, the card is sure to be a good casual seller. It boost your little army and can give itself a +1/+1 counter by boosting an equal powered creature upon its enter the battlefield trigger.

I know that I’ll definitely be trying to abuse this in limited formats.

Gatecrash Preview: Fathom Mage

fathom mage




We now have the Simic guild’s keyword spoiled: Evolve.

It’s a nice twist on the old one: Graft (from Dissension). This card rewards us for playing bigger and bigger creatures. Also, you can combine it with other things like Mikaeus, the Lunarch’s ability or things like Scavenge from the Golgari guild to get some nice card drawing.

It looks a tad on the week side, but most of the set is yet to be spoiled. Who knows what the future has in store for Fathom Mage?

Gatecrash Preview: Firemane Avenger

firemane avenger



Staying true to their more aggressive archetype, the Boros guild receives an ultra-aggressive 3/3 flyer for 4. You can always swing with it and a couple of friends n turn 5 by probably dropping a little guy on turn 5 and activating Slayer’s Stronghold to haste it. It will definitely be a staple to watch. Only time will tell if this deck will be fast enough to compete.

What are everyone else’s thought on this?