I thought yesterday was full of wonderful gifts. We had no idea…
If your Japanese is a little bit rusty, I’ve found a few translations online that all seem to agree with each other.
Legendary Creature – Cat Warriror
3WW: Attacking creatures you control get +X/+X until end of the turn where X is equal to the number of attacking creatures.
4 mana for a 4/4 is not too expensive for token decks by any means. The best card in white token decks is a 5 mana Cathar’s Crusade most of the time. This card is getting slotted into a ton of decks. I made a mono-white Kemba deck on Gathering Magic this week, and it turns out it was a week early. Not only does Kemba want this, Rhys the Redeemed and Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice and other white token decks do as well. Is this card alone an impetus to buy the entire set for MSRP? Not for speculators. I think this will have price parity with Primal Vigor, which is to say a year later it will still be too cheap. Scoop these in trade if you can get them cheap, but take your time.
Creaure – Elemental Beast
When Gravesifter enters the battlefield, each player chooses a creature type and returns any number of cards of the chosen type from their gravexard to its owner’s hand.
Way too symmetrical for an unfair format. I imagine Elf decks will still want it, but this is a tribe-specific card which narrows its utility a bit. Symmetry is too fair for green EDH decks which have a million cards like this to choose from. You’ll notice Sylvan Primordial was bannable in EDH and Bane of Progress is not getting played. While the upside on Primordial was the real reason it was banned, havbing a symmetrical downside is hurting Bane of Progress.
However, some decks won’t care if their opponent gets 5 creatures back if they get 11. I don’t see people trying to use this just to bring one creature back at a time- who wants to pay 6 mana for a Gravedigger? You’ll see green tribal decks abuse this, or Sultai-colored graveyard-based decks, perhaps. Still, financially, even if I’m underestimating its appeal I don’t think I’m underestimating its price. This will have price parity with Bane of Progress most likely.
There’s your red Snapcaster Mage, folks! Mana-intensive outside of EDH but very decent, this is a better casual than competitive card, most likely. Copying their spells is going to be good in EDH, and three extra mana to boost your own is doable. Double Wildfire? Seems fine! Double their Tooth and Nail? Do it up! I don’t see this getting play in Legacy or Vintage most likely since it’s an expensive Snapcaster that you need the exact turn you want to double the spell unlike Snapcaster which is good whenever you draw it. I think this is most likely a casual card and will be priced accordingly. I don’t think this is this set’s True-Name Nemesis.
With one of these jammed in every deck, is it less likely that we’ll see Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx in every deck like I predicted? I don’t think so- this most likely takes the Temple of the False God slot from what we saw last time, leaving a spot open for a card to replace Command Tower. Will they replace the “common” Command Tower with a rare? Who knows? We’re just guessing at this point, but Nykthos would be great in a mono-colored deck.
What I do know is that Myriad Landscape is very good. Krosan Verge is worth more than you might think despite being printed 4 times. While this is not as good as Krosan Verge in most decks, it’s just fine in a mono-colored deck. This is in the deck as many times as the Teferi Planeswalker card and that’s something to remember when dealing with Commander cards. They might have an uncommon rarity symbol, but their real rarity is determined by how many of the 5 decks have this card in them. I suspect all of them, making this a relatively common card, printed 5 times as often as any given Planeswalker. Will this be worth Temple of the False God or Reliquary Tower money? I don’t think so – mono-colored EDH decks are the exception rather than the rule. Still, this is a staple in those decks and I expect these to be worth a nickel initially as speculators tear open the decks for 1 or two cards and throw the rest in the trash. Anyone who was buying Sol Ring for $1 knows what I mean. I will be picking these up when they bottom out.
I love this card. Love it, love it, love it. It may look durdly to non-EDH players, but you have to understand that annoying creatures like this get there in Blue EDH decks. Cards like Guard Gomazoa saw EDH play, and this is better than a great blocker because it keeps improving its body every time it loses and exchange. Eventually your chump blocker is a finisher. Mono-blue likes this, Blue-Green with Doubling Season loves this. Loves it. Pair this with a sac’ outlet and go to town if you want, or get a few good blocks for 4 mana and then unleash the Kraken.
I already know what I’m going to use as a Kraken token! You can own one, too.
Again, this isn’t an impetus to buy the set, but the blue deck is shaping up, and this is a card lots and lots of blue EDH players will want. My Vorel of the Hull Clade deck is waiting.
Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath
Meh. I’m not excited to use him as a Commander at all. He’s really fragile. He’s got a very good Ultimate, but I’m not inclined to limit myself to Mono-Black just for him. I could see him in a Superfriends deck (maybe) but this is a pretty disappointing walker. You have to make an enemy of the entire table just to get him above 3 loyalty, he has to go to 1 loyalty initially to protect himself (although if he’s your general, you could put him to 1 with the intention of recasting him and using his +2 when you do) and starting loyalty of 3 is pretty lame. His +2 can’t even hurt other Planeswalker generals. This isn’t going to sell precons.
Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury
This IS going to sell precons. Irrespective of its power level, it’s generating hype, and hype moves product. Let’s go over what I like here.
First of all, it generates tokens that not only tap for mana, they give you two tribal triggers. That means the token makes your Priest of Titania tap for one more mana and itself taps for mana. Not only that, the tokens are good in a deck with Gilt -Leaf Archdruid and other elves that also trigger off of druids.
The -2 is risky to use right away, but it’s just very, very solid utility. You’re going to use that ability a ton. It’s very, very good and bad players tend to not have enough cards that do this. Having a general that can blow up and artifact or enchantment the turn you cast it is useful, and you will be able to cast this from the command zone a ton with all of your mana elves.
The ultimate is better than you think in a lot of Mono-Green decks. Elf decks drawing a ton of cards is very dangerous and while you don’t get a cool emblem, you probably get the gas you need to win the game. You’re just digging for that Craterhoof Behemoth, so dig away. Still, if you never use the ultimate, these are two other very good abilities.
Again, irrespective of its actual utility (it’s not great outside of Elf decks, necessarily, and having this as your general locks you out of black, which EDH elf decks like access to) this is HYPE right now, and the green deck is the front-runner for “deck to buy” with really only one card spoiled. This will be an interesting spoiler season to be sure!