From the Vault: Twenty Spoilers

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More cards have been revealed at the San Diego Comicon panel. First off, I believe everyone was wrong about this one:


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So, it was NOT Mother of Runes, NOR was it Enlightened Tutor OR Force of Will

It ended up being an alternate art version of this

I know right? Rather underwhelming.

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The common link? Old people. How could we have missed that?

It really doesn’t matter much though since the ‘spoiler’ picture is never really a major card. Take From the Vault: Realms as an example. The spoiled card ended up being Glacial Chasm (as opposed to Thawing Glaciers).

Moving along….

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

jace tmsSure Wizards! just take our money already!

This one was probably the most popular of the revelations at the San Diego Comicon. Commander players rejoice while collectors were somewaht dissapointed. In the end, the brick and mortar stores are the big winners as this From the Vault will be selling for really really high prices. *sigh* Those complaining that Legacy costs too much are still somewhat disappointed as this doesn’t make Jace much more affordable in the end.


Gilded Lotus

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Commander players rejoice! (Again!)

We saw it be reprinted in Magic 2013 and now this. It’s not a bad thing I suppose. What tournament winning deck ran these again? I’m actually not sure…


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Even with the blue frame, it does not seem very blue

Hymn to Tourach

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Yay! the best card from Fallen Empires is back!

Akroma’s Vengeance

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Well they redid the art. The card is ok, but it’s not exactly hard to get these days

Cruel Ultimatum

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The last great powerful noncreature spell?

I have such fond memories of this card. One of which involves me almost making Day 2 at Grand Prix: Washington

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Yeah, I couldn’t manage to win one of my last two matches to get to Day 2. I started that day at 0-1 by the way. 

I also recall that i had to make a tough decision between Grave Titan or Siege-Gang Commander in the maindeck. Ultimately I went with the ‘Super Goblin’. There were quite a few planeswalkers in the format (Jace was beginning to ascend in the Standard format), so getting the chance to ‘shock’ some down a peg was a nice bonus over just watching my Zombie horde did to a Day of Judgment. I was packing Jace in my Grixis deck as well, so sometimes you’d even bounce Siege-Gang to hand and recast him to generate more dudes (although I probably never actually had to do that).

Cruel Ultimatum was something you actually had to build up to and it wasn’t an auto-win card either (although it often seemed that way). The new art pretty much reveals what the Shards of Alara is slightly more subtle about : the Grixis leader, Nicol Bolas. The deck never actually ran the planeswalker since Cruel Ultimatum was much much better.

I’m short on time and laptop power (no outlet) so I’ll end this here and come back later or tomorrow with some more spoilers.

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Return to Ravnica: Top 5

by Zac Clark

Here’s an RTR preview of top 5’s. (Limited and Constructed)

In the past (WAAAAAAY in the past), I was sort of averse to spoilers. I liked being surprised by the new cards and I wanted to experience a set in a face to face kind of way. Things change (I’m still not using a freaking playmat!), though, and I really dig the way the MTG community uses the weeks before a set’s release to generate interest, speculate and brew on SH*T THAT’S NOT EVEN REAL YET! It’s genius, really. So, I’ll back it up. I’d like to talk about my favorite 5 cards from the Return to Ravnica and their various applications. 5 for Contructed and 5 for Limited.

Here goes nothing…


5. Epic Experiment

Right, I know what you’re thinking. JOHNNY!

Calm down I’m not brewing with this yet, I’m simply saying this: someone will break this. It might not be until the next set or maybe the set after, but it’ll get some play. You’ll groan like you do now when you loose to infect, it’ll be second tier likely, but man! when this card gets cast you’ll be sorry. It’s a real good thing Overload won’t work with this. I expect this to be a set-up for Grixis tap-out or a one of in a Delver variant (which will need a mid and late game strategy with a lack of free spells). I don’t know, I think it’ll be important eventually. Mark my words! (shakes cane in the air).

4. Cyclonic Rift

I remember Boomerang… man I loved Boomerang. So many great applications. Turn 2 bounce a land and TIME WALK. All sorts of cool stuff… You could save your Air Elemental from dying. You could bounce a potential blocker, and you could bounce an attacker. Nothing was safe from, well, bouncing. Cyclonic Rift can’t target your stuff to save it, but it does have another application… AND THE BOARD IS CLEAR! and by “THE”, I mean “YOUR”. OH, I don’t not look forward to being on the business end of a C-Rift. It’s got the early game thing down, the mid game thing it’s still very important, and the late game it just wins games. Mizzium Mortars doesn’t do this as well. Sure it kills things dead but if your deck is built right, you shouldn’t have a problem making the next untap count.

3. Rakdos Return

Can you say late game Combos?

C-rift End of Turn… Rakdos Return during my main phase… RESPONSES?! Mike Flores said it first, but I’ll repeat. DON’T C- Rift a Snapcaster with open counter mana and a Dissipate or Syncopate or other counters without PATE in them, … (You will be laughed at). But like C-Rift (yea I’m gonna keep calling it C-Rift), it deals with Planeswalkers. It’s a mid-game phase 2 kinda card and it doesn’t affect the board, so stop crying and build around it, you baby.

2. Angel of Serenity

Did you read the part about when your opponent inevitably deals with this creature (ala Ultimate Price) the things you chose go to hands, AND NOT BACK INTO PLAY? SHEEEIT! wait you can target things in Graveyards? And ANGELS? Just sayin’ bro. She’s even easy on the eyes without making me feel all pervy (I’m looking at you Liliana of the Veil).

1. Jace, Architect of Thought

The Magic: The Gathering version of Batman, Jace is in full Dark Knight Returns mode here (He’s not the Planeswalker this city wants, but he’ll be the Planeswalker this city needs).

Plus, look at that sweet cape flair. I bet he conjured a large fan to blow that breeze. He’s got a defense, and a sweet a$% -2 ability. You’ll be card advantaging the willies out of you opponent. I’m not really thinking the Ultimate will see much action (You’ll be too busy drawing to want to build him up) but if that goes off I bet you’ll figure out a way to make it good.


5. Lyev Skyknight

It’s an Uncommon so i bet you can find this guy in the draft. NO! I don’t know what # pick. But he’s good.

I remember night unto a day when (gset up from rocking chair) 3/1 blue fliers for 3 mana couldn’t block non-fliers. AND WE LIKED THEM JUST FINE! This guy can block if you need him to. And he’s a Twiddle (for all intended purposes) at his least effective. You won’t always wanna throw him down the second you draw him.

4. Dramatic Rescue

I like tempo strategies in draft. This card helps. It saves your guy, it stops his, it buys you a turn, it gains you 2 life. It has a sexual joke between a man and a fat Hawkman in the flavor text. Did you know that in Ravnica they use the American system of measurement? TONS. 4000lbs of Pure HAWKMAN LOVE!

3. The Charms



Duh! Options are good – taste the rainbow.

I think Izzet is the best in Limited then Selesnya, Azorius and then Gogari and Rakdos are tied.

2. The Guildmages



Mid and late-game mana sinks, expect to lose if your opponent gets to produce 3/3 centaurs each turn while you draw another land.

1. Mercurial Chemister

The John Wayne Gacy of the set, in that he’s goofy looking but deadly. Pogo the Clown here draws two cards then he kills things. Untapping with this guy twice should win you games. With 3 toughness though, he’s a lightning rod. Mostly he’ll trade 1 for 1. When he gets going, look out! I’m playing Izzet at the prerelease based on Hypersonic Dragon and maybe maybe opening up this guy.


0. Pack Rat

After playing some online sealed with a friend, we both immediately notice the raw power of this card in limited. What’s that you say? Never draw a land and wish it was something else.

If you play this card on curve its good. But even though I believe this set is removal poor I’d suggest waiting until you can copy him. Once copied nothing short of two removal spells or a detention sphere can stop you. If you play this turn 5 and copy it. On turn six with a land drop you have 2 2/2’s. Not bad but nothing to write home about. You attack and create (with the land you dropped) two 4/4’s with two 4/4’s blocking from there it just gets insane. I’d switch to splash black in the third pack for this card. It won the board each time I untapped with it. It’s my favorite card in limited and it’s power might just be good enough for constructed.

So that’s my take on the RTR scene. What’s your favorite card for Limited/Constructed?

Disagree with me? You’re probably not correct but I’ll read your rants in the comment section.