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

 

Magic 2014: Haunted Plate Mail and more

m14 logo

 

Back already! A few nice cards were recently spoiled, so let’s take a look:

 

Haunted Plate Mail

haunted plate mail

Pretty legit card right here

Woah! I had to actually do a double take after reading it through. Essentially we get a ‘better’ Moonsilver Spear. Instead of getting a 4/4 angel when we attack, we get to have a 4/4 when we are down to no creatures. How useful is this? Very.

Bonfire of the Damned got you down? Well, now you get to at least defend yourself with a 4/4.

Just played a Supreme Verdict ? What are you waiting for? Attack!

Losing all your creatures left and right while your opponent is +’ing his planeswalker in anticipation for a nasty ultimate? Active and attack his planeswalker.

His creatures are bigger than you? Activate Haunted Plate Mail and equip another Haunted Plate Mail. You are now attacking with an 8/8. I don’t know about you, but that’s preeeeetyyyy big!

haunted plate equip

How’s that for big?

Another neat feature after you’ve equipped and attacked is that you can then activate the untapped Haunted Plate Mail in order to block any retaliation/counterattack. This is probably going to be seen quite often if this little piece of equipment becomes popular, so keep an eye out for it.

It’s probably one of my favorite rares in M14 as it can also easily be put into a Commander deck where quite a few people just spam a bunch of planeswalkers and play multiple Wrath of God, Day of Judgment, etc.

Tidebinder Mage

Tidebinder-Mage

 

Take that you Greenie Meanie!

This nice little utility merfolk brings us some answers to Thragtusk in Standard and quite possibly Tarmogoyf and Scavenging Ooze in Modern. I mention mostly the green creaures because red is more apt at removing our little merfolk wizard here. Plus, there aren’t that many huge red guys you want to tap down (aside from maybe a Thundermaw Hellkite).

I can also see it getting some much needed sideboard use in Merfolk Legacy decks that sometimes have issues dealing with Maverick creatures like Knight of the Reliquary. The problem is what to side out, but I’m guessing the Cursecatchers are the first to go in that matchup.

In a more casual environment you can amuse yourself by utilizing this guy with artifacts like Distorting Lens.

distorting lens

Works well with all of the color-hate creatures

Our final little spoiler today is clearly not as ‘cool’ as the two first, but he does have his uses.

Blightcaster Mage

blightcaster

Rancor + sacrifice outlet = removal?

You can get pretty creative with little wizard. He works really well with self-bouncing Auras such as Shimmering Wings . My main gripe so far as it was with the previous Core Set is that they still have not printed an ‘Enchantress’ card  like Argothian, Verduran or Enchantress’ Presence. Playing a ton of Auras or Enchantments is not very exciting without those.

In limited he will truly shine since he basically adds value to whatever enchantments you decide to include in your deck (Pacifism, Claustrophobia,etc)

More to Come …

See you soon for even more previews of Magic 2014!

 

M14 Preorders

Magic 2014: Spoilers to date 5

We finally get more relevant goodies from M14 and we’ll start off with the big one:

 

Mutavault

mutavault

I guess it makes sense with Slivers being back

Nice, so they give us a rare worth opening packs for! Despite being a reprint and just a rare versus a mythic this card will be in rather high demand. It allows us to do pretty nice tricks in limited and constructed. In Standard, it wil be a manland that will be there to ready to attack opposing planeswalkers.

On another note, the lands have yet to be spoiled. Seeing as how they give us one manland, do you think we will get these?

manlands

We can hope right?

Returning Planeswalkers

returning walkers m14

Well, Ajani and Liliana were definitely coming back (plus Jace had a new version in Return to Ravnica)

Most probably this means we get a new Chandra (more or less confirmed) and Garruk. Will there be a wildcard planeswalker (Karn or a Sarkhan variant)? That would indeed be nice. The Chandra’s Phoneix reprint more or less that as usual one of Chandra’s abilities will deal the player damage, but that’s about it. Garruk’s Horde being reprinted just kind of sucks.

Celestial Flare

 

WW Instant

Target player sacrifices an attacking or blocking creature

 

Well, we at least get this for the few months that Geist of Saint Traft and company are legal. Respond to the Geist’s token-making ability and kill the little bugger. Of course this only really applies against decks like Bant Hexproof.

 

Shivan Dragon

shivandragon

Not all reprints are created equal

Shimmering Grotto

shimmeringgrotto

For that extra splash color in draft

More to come …

As the release of M14 approaches, we will bringing you more previews from this set, so keep an eye out!

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

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!