Gatecrash Spoiler Coverage

About Quiet Speculation’s Gatecrash Spoiler Coverage:

A team of Quiet Speculation contributors will be following the gradual spoiling of the upcoming Magic: The Gathering set, Gatecrash. Stay tuned to this page for insights from some of the brightest minds in the MTG Finance community on the noteworthy mechanics, cards and guilds.

Wanna know how we did on Return to Ravnica? Check out our coverage (and note Sigmund’s spec on Angel of Serenity) from then: Return to Ravnica Spoiler Coverage.

And if you’re an Insider, be sure to check out the Spoiler Season section of the QS forums for more Gatecrash discussion.

Number of Cards 249
Prerelease Events January 26-27, 2013
Release Date February 1, 2013
Official Three-Letter Code GTC
Twitter Hashtag #MTGGTC
Guilds Orzhov, Dimir, Gruul, Boros, Simic

Latest Spoilers:

01/21/13 – Gervaise

Simic Limited playables spotlights

I’m excited for the upcoming prereleases. I want to devote each day to another guild in terms of its playability in Sealed (prereleases) and Draft. This will include the latest spoiled cards as well as some older spoiled cards. Nevertheless I want to prepare you like I do for the preleases to win a big stack of boosters to trade away (or potentially crack them) :)

Urban Evolution
3GU – Sorcery; Draw three cards. You may play an additional land this turn

When you have board control already as simic with your early ”evolved” creatures, drawing three and ramping into bigger things (especially if you splash Gruul) seems pretty good.

Simic Charm
GU – Instant; Choose one — Target creature gets +3/+3 until end of turn; permanents you control gain hexproof until end of turn; or return target creature to its owner’s hand.

A high draft priority as it is a Giant Growth, Unsummon & Ranger’s Guile in one card giving you flexibility in every situation in Limited.

Shambleshark
GU – Creature – Fish Crab: Flash & Evolve

I am looking to experiment with this evolve mechanic as a combat trick. With a load of new mechanics we need to see them in practice but I think flashing this in at the right times in early game can snowball your progress.

Nimbus Swimmer
XGU – Creature – Leviathan: Flying Nimbus Swimmer enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it.

In a vacuum a 5 mana 3/3 flying creature does not sound enticing. Keep in mind that you mostly evolve your other creatures on the board to making it mostly a 5 mana 5 power + flying mechanic. There are also tons of move counters & bounce back to replay for a higher x amount.

Elusive Krasis
1GU – Creature – Fish Mutant: Elsuive Krasis is Unblockable Evolve

It is on the curve with your 1 & 2 CMC evolve creatures. the 4 toughness always give counters to your other creatures on the field. So add ”Put a +1/+1 counter on another target creature” at least once to the card.

Ivy Lane Denizen
3U Creature – Elf Warrior
Whenever another green creature enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.

For a common this will be deceptively strong as it can easily gain you an extra 3 power & toughness on any creature of your choosing.

Spell Rupture
1U – Instant
Counter target spell unless its controller pay , where X is the greatest power among creatures you control.

Mana leak is back! Or maybe a cheaper Convolute? Or a mediocre Miscalculation rip off. In any case this card has more upside than downside when playing Simic than Dimir. I perfectly can imagine players drafting a Simic/Gruul tempo deck with 2 of these maindeck

Sapphire Drake
5U – 4/4 Creature – Drake
Flying
Each creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it has flying.

a 4/4 Flying is already an improvement over Isperia’s Skywatch but potentially making your creatures pseudo unblockable is huge. And a 4/4 can trigger one or two Evolve triggers so that is why it is an uncommon

Keymaster Rogue
3U – 3/2 Creature – Human Rogue
Keymaster Rogue is unblockable.
When Keymaster Rogue enters the battlefield, return a creature you control to its owner’s hand.

This can potentially be superbusted with the moving counters, bounce the creature you moved counters from and replay it. Then evolve triggers. Or it can be a pretty weak card. It is surely on my watchlist during Drafts/Sealed

Frilled Oculus
1U – 1/3 Creature – Homunculus
1G: Frilled Oculus gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Activate this ability only once each turn.

This reminds me of Putrid Leech , Rootwalla & Basking Rootwalla. You do not have to pump it to 3/5 when attacking to get a damage in. But it can also keep their creatures at bay as 3/5 is hard to get through in early game without sacrificing card advantage. Definitely playable.

I left the obvious bomb uncommons (Gridlock) and unplayable commons (Clinging Anemones) out. Happy Simic’ing the prerelease!

 

01/21/13 – Sigmund

Boros Elite

So we have the 1-drop Battalion creature for Boros, and she seems quite powerful as far as the ability goes. As long as two other creatures are attacking, this is another 3/3 for one mana. While not so good on the block as Wild Nacatl or Kird Ape, she still may be noteworthy in aggressive decks. That being said, she has a lot of other tough one drops to compete with in this part of the mana-curve, so she may not make the cut.

Debtor’s Pulpit

4W: Enchantment – Aura Rare
Enchant land
Enchanted land has “{T}: Tap target creature.”

I don’t care if the artwork is an original Monet, this card will still be a bulk rare. For five mana and a sixth land you have way more important things to do than tapping a creature.

Urbis Protector

4WW: Creature – Human Cleric Uncommon
When Urbis Protector enters the battlefield, put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

Well, now we know where the angel creature token comes into play. But paying 6 mana for a 1/1 and a 4/4 flying angel isn’t exciting. Urbis is a human, but a six drop doesn’t really fit into the humans strategy very well.

Incursion Specialist

1U: Creature – Human Wizard Uncommon
Whenever you cast your second spell each turn, Incursion Specialist gets +2/+0 until end of turn and is unblockable this turn.

So it can become a 3/3 unblockable once in a while…whenever a blue deck feels compelled to play 2 spells before combat on their own turn. Yeah this is perhaps decent in Limited but it’s not financially relevant. If it got +2/+0 for every spell beyond the first in a turn, then I could see fun storm antics ensuing. Not competitively, but at least casually.

Last Thoughts

3U: Sorcery Common
Draw a card
Cipher (Then you may exile this spell card encoded on a creature you control. Whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player, its controller may cast a copy of the encoded card without paying its mana cost.)

Wow, they made the draw-a-card Cipher spell four mana! I guess they really want to play it safe. Even 3 mana would have been questionable, and 4 mana just seems unlikely. That’s all I wanted to say about this bulk common.

Realmwright

Hello super mana fixer!!! Could this card be playable as a backup plan in Modern Valakut decks? If every land you have in play is a mountain, then every other mountain you play will trigger Valakut. Even Valakut would count as a Mountain! Being on a delicate 1/1 body is sub-optimal, but Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth fetches decent coin for making all lands swamps. Though this one only affects your lands – not sure if that’s better or worse. This guy just might be worth keeping an eye on. Notice I said keeping an eye on but not preordering. At $2.49 the upside is gone unless the card breaks into Standard. If this was $0.99 I may have actually thought about ordering a set.

Illness in the Ranks

B: Enchantment Uncommon
Creature tokens get -1/-1.

Take that, Lingering Souls! I wonder if I should start selling my copies right now? Nah, probably not. Problem is, this card is only good against token-based decks. Nullifying a couple 1/1 Spirit tokens is cool but it’s not really going to do enough to justify being in your deck. Then again, if Jund is splashing for Lingering Souls in Modern, perhaps this becomes an actual sideboard card.

Ogre Slumlord

Translation: Creature – Ogre Rogue Rare
Whenever another nontoken creature you control dies, put a 1/1 black Rat creature token onto the battlefield.
Rats you control have deathtouch.

This is awesome for casual Rat-creature fans. I just wish he was legendary. You mean to tell me there are a bunch of Ogre Slumlords roaming about?? I guess it’s possible, but having a rat EDH deck with this guy at the helm would have been epic flavor-wise. Oh well, I probably won’t be too eager to acquire these.

Greenside Watcher

1G: Creature – Elf Druid Common
{T}: Untap target Gate.

Gates are only played in Limited, so this is only a Limited card. Done and done.

01/18/13 – Jason

Simic Manipulator

If this is an Old Man of the Sea throwback, WHY THE CRAP ISN’T HE A MERFOLK!? You’re likely stealing something small here unless you curve out perfectly, but being able to swipe one of their smaller dudes and killing another of their smaller dudes with it seems ok. It’s a little slow against aggro since you’ll be dead before taking a dude matters if you durdle with stuff like this and it’s slow against control because it’s hard to get enough Evolve triggers to take something big. I can’t see a use for this guy, which is too bad since I want to rep my guild at the prerelease and I’ll be getting sandbagged with poop like this all day. And it’s not even a merfolk!

Miming Slime

Nuts in Bant sealed (Selesnya + Simic), bulk uncommon otherwise.

Vizkopa Guildmage

I don’t think the combo here with Exquisite Blood is better than the combo between the Dimir Guildmage and Jace, Memory Adept. I don’t like it much, but this card did make Exquisite Blood go from a quarter to $2.50 in about 6 hours today, so this card didn’t do NOTHING for me. I think the combo is bad, but I think you sell into the hype anyway.

Truefire Paladin

Come back when you’re Stillmoon Cavalier.

Unexpected Results

EDH players will love this. I don’t know that there’s anything big enough in Standard that you want to bother cheating into play, I don’t know of very many good ways to order the top of your library to make sure you hit something good and I don’t know if whiffing but getting the spell back so you can waste 4 mana next turn is a sufficient consolation. I have no idea how much EDH will make this spike above bulk, nor do I think I want to wait that long.

Spark Trooper

Gavin Verhey was nice enough to lay a gem on us about this guy’s name in testing. He tried to get us to guess his playtest name in production (that someone came up with “balm lightning” amazed me. My guess of  “Ball Lightning Helix” was fun, but incorrect.) Balm Lightning is right. I actually think this card is pretty hilarious with Seance- if you got them once, they won’t appreciate you getting them again. Seance + Populate probably ends the game. Conveniently, that makes your deck Red, Green and White – the colors of the flag of the country “magic Christmas land” where that deck was developed. Still, a man can dream. Will Curse of Death’s hold and Izzet Staticaster sideline this guy? Is the 4 drop spot already totally crammed in Red White decks (here’s a hint; yes it is)? Would this guy have been unfair at 3 mana and therefore a potential cascade target for bloodbraid elf? I can only answer one of those questions, but this guy is nuts in limited, he has so much casual appeal it isn’t funny and I wouldn’t rule out a 14 point potential life swing actually being good enough to get there in standard. He’s preordering for $4, which seems about right unfortunately. I don’t see this going far above $5 unless he gets a ton of play, and costing the same as Gideon, Hellrider, Sublime and Riders of Gavony makes him a really hard sell.

Duskmantle Seer

“I’m not trading this guy, I need him for my vampire deck” – Something you’re going to hear at the prerelease at least 40 times. So, this set gets another $20+ mythic? Seems fine. This guy is so….FAIR. It’s hard to imagine a card this fair is any good. They managed to solve the “opponent draws first” problem that multilateral draw effects have suffered from in the past, and it doesn’t give them an extra card before you untap with him which is dandy. Lots of vampires with Lifelink should mitigate the life loss if you want to build that way, and watching your opponent draw an extra Thragtusk may be sad, but at least they net 0 from the transaction. This guy isn’t Dark Confidant, and his preorder price is so high I don’t think he’s a good buy. If this card doesn’t settle under $5-$8 I will be pretty surprised. I don’t see anyone playing with Bloodgift Demon right now, and Bloodgift Demon is a unilateral draw effect that maxes out at 1 damage. I am staying away from this guy and if I can get close to $20 for any copies I pack prerelease weekend, I’ll be happy to out this guy.

01/16/13 – Sigmund

Molten Primordial

Translation: Haste
When Molten Primordial enters the battlefield, for each opponent, take control of up to one target creature that player controls until end of turn. Untap those creatures. They have haste until end of turn.

So it’s a super-Zealous Conscripts. In other words, this card is made specifically for EDH. It’ll never see constructed play, though I’d still draft it early at FNM. On the finance side, I don’t think this guy will be so amazing so as to merit a high price tag. Wait for him to drop to a buck or less, then feel free to pick up a few in trades…but don’t expect these to pay out for a long time.

Thespian’s Stage

Wow, I guess Wizards felt bad when they took Vesuva away from us in Modern, so they printed this instead. The fact that it produces mana is quite relevant even though that mana is colorless. It means playing this land doesn’t cause you to miss a “land drop” and fall behind the curve. In Standard, this card likely amounts to mostly more mana fixing, with potential of getting an extra Nephalia Drownyard in the mirror. But in Modern, I can see this card copying man-lands, tron-lands, and possibly more. Quite interesting, and I don’t even know how to value it. Vesuva became quite valuable while it was in Modern. SCG is sold out with a pre-order price of $5.99. This card won’t be a $20 land like Cavern of Souls, but it will certainly be financially relevant. I’d look to the forums for some more discussion on this one.

Aetherize

Translation: Instant, Return all attacking creatures to their owners’ hands.

Love the artwork on this Uncommon. Very flavorful. It reminds me of Evacuation only it’s 1 mana cheaper and only hits attacking creatures. If your opponent slams with everything, you can set him back hugely with this spell. In a control deck, this can be potent! Even representing this card means your opponent may think twice before bringing the entire team. I actually do expect this Uncommon to see some constructed play, but not enough for it to be very financially relevant.

Firefist Striker

Wizards continues to up the ante on aggressive Battalion creatures. Making a single guy not block is so-so, but combined with two other Battalion creatures giving your dudes first strike, trample, and what not, and your force becomes unstoppable. I don’t think this card will become worth trading for but I do think aggressive Red creatures from older sets might be. I feel Boros has the most potential of all the guilds so far, and while Firefist Striker doesn’t elevate the guild into a higher tier, it provides ample support to make a Batallion deck workable.

01/15/13 – Jason

Glaring Spotlight

Glaring Spotlight? More like Glaring admission of failure! In addition to tacking on a clunky ability on Frontline Medic to hose cards like Sphinx’s Revelation, they bring us this card. Is it ruining Magic that hexproof+auras is doing well? Is Daybreak Coronet the next Stoneforge Mystic? Is Geist the Next Jace? Honestly, not only is this card clunky from a set design standpoint, odd flavorwise (so hexproof creatures are just really good at hiding in the shadows? Although I think it’s cool that you can use it to blind their creatures so they can’t block.) and so ridiculously specific it makes me think of Tsabo’s Web (worst children’s book EVER). Since I don’t think hexproof was a big enough problem to necessitate an entire card, I am not advising anyone buy this. Did you make a lot of money on Grafdigger’s Cage? I didn’t think so. Cage is a better card if you ask me and solves a more difficult problem. Aggro won’t want to run a card like this even though the second ability is nice in a ground stall, control doesn’t need to make its dudes unblockable and it has the tools to deal with hexproof anyway. That leaves midrange decks, and since this isn’t maindeckable I really don’t see buying into this. I mean, we’ve clearly established it’s not a buy and I’m continuing to kick the card while it’s down because I hate that they made this stupid card. I’d first pick it in limited, though. Making your team unblockable usually gets there irrespective of the hexproof clause.

Merciless Eviction

So far this set has given us a slumlord and an eviction. If they print “Obzedat’s Security Deposit” I may just vomit on myself. Heck, I vomited on myself already when I saw the mana cost on this guy. If this card said “pick two” I might be on board, but as it is, I’m really just impressed that they manage to give Orzhov a wrath effect that I like less than I liked Culling Sun. EDH will like this card a lot, but I learned long ago to stop buying new cards to cater to a 1-of format. EDH is going to make old, out of print cards suddenly worth money, but it’s not going to make new cards go above a few bucks if EDH is the only format that wants it. Best case scenario you’re going to hit 2 planeswalkers with this (and what deck wants to play this card but won’t have a walker of its own in play?) or you’re harcasting a Terminus all the time. Binning a bunch of auras can’t hurt against that silly hexproof deck, but if you’re alive at 6 mana they probably aren’t doing super great anyway, and I don’t see how it’s better to get rid of a Rancor and an Abundant Growth when just naming creatures will get rid of the rest of their enchantments anyway.

Orzhov Charm

Choose one – Return target creature you control and all Auras you control attached to it to their owners’ hands; or destroy target creature and you lose life equal to that creature’s toughness; or return target creature card with converted mana cost 1 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.

This is possibly the best of the charms, although almost all of them are pretty bonkers. I think you evaluate this card as a BW vendetta with a lot of upside. Control decks with few creatures may want to save said creature in a pinch and the ability to kill any non-hexproof creature for 2 mana is pretty insane. The list of 1 mana dudes in decks with black and white in them in standard is pretty small. It’s bigger in Legacy and I’m not unconvinced this card could see play there. With three useful modes this charm is quite good. However, it’s an uncommon and unless you’re getting these dirt cheap, I am not sure you bother. I don’t see any obvious other cards this improves, so in terms of financial relevance, I think this may be just another card that doesn’t matter a ton to us because there will be 12 of them in every booster box.

Gruul Charm

I never realized Gruul players were such babies. Twitter blew up with people complaining about this card last night. Ok, Gruul. You can be a guild that has a ton of amazing cards and a bad charm or you can be a guild with a ton of terrible cards and a good charm. Is that what you want? To be Simic? I thought not. This charm is obviously really disappointing, but Gruul has a creature that is also a combat trick that gives a dude +4/+4 and trample for GR so they can stand to have one bad card (2 if you count Signal the Clans).  You want a good card in Gruul under 4 mana with 3 useful modes? Well, you got a Planeswalker for that.

01/14/13 – Jason

Army Loyalist

Haste,

Battalion – Creatures you control get first strike, trample and can’t be blocked by tokens this turn.

This guy is already being heralded as the new goblin guide. I don’t see it. Do you think this guy is 3 times as good as Champion of the Parish? Think very carefully about your answer to this question before you shell out $60 on a playset of Army Loyalist. I would absolutely not buy this guy at $15. He may spike to $20 in the short term, but that gives you a small window to trade him out for a small profit before you take a big loss. Did anyone here shell out $20 for Lotleth Troll? How does that feel now? I’m not the least bit bullish on a guy who in my estimation is not 3 times as good as Champion of the Parish. If you need this guy right away, shelling out $60 is very likely going to turn out to have been a poor investment. He’s not even mythic. I don’t see this fetching Snapcaster money.

Lord of the Void

It’s really hard to evaluate big, durdly stuff that has a powerful effect. Are people going to be willing to pay the 7 mana for this behemoth? Will cheating it into play somehow make it more playable? Is there a hidden synchronicity between this card and other cards, possibly ones not yet spoiled that will make it a good buy? This guy is preordering for $20 a playset on the bay. I am reminded of Necropolis Regent more than I am Griselbrand when I look at this guy. You have to hit them with him for him to do anything. Decks wanting to mill them don’t need to spend 7 mana on a tome scour that won’t be guaranteed to hit them. I could be wrong, but he seemed prima facie unplayable and the longer I spend in the tank trying to see if there is anything I’m missing, the less I like this guy even at $5 a pop. Save your coinage, kiddies. We have another Moonveil Dragon waiting to happen.

Ooze Flux

More like Ooze SUCKS! This card should obviously be evaluated in terms of two abilities- evolve and undying. This seems fine with Geralf’s Messenger provided you have a sac outlet and want to turn 1G into 2 damage. Less awkward than that is Strangleroot Geist, but, again, why waste an slots in your deck on an enchantment that is really only good with one or two creatures? This also gets some additional value out of creatures with evolve if you want to make them smaller to make sure they hit their triggers, but, again, I don’t know on what turn I want to pay 4 mana to play this, on which turns I want to keep mana up to use this ability and how many slots I want to waste. I just really don’t see this being a marquis card in a deck archetype, which is almost what a rare needs to be in a set like this to be worth buying, even at bulk. It’s not liable to see any play so I would hold off on this guy, too.

Blind Obedience

The days of the cheap presale steal may be behind us. eBay pegs this as a $20 playset. I can see the tempo potential here, but its utility, while powerful, is narrow in terms of the decks that can play this. Rest in Peace seems like a good card to compare this to- and Rest in Peace made new deck archetypes possible. I don’t see this card affecting other formats as much as did Rest in Peace, and Rest is Peace is a $4 playset on the bay. I think this card goes down from $5 each, even if it’s played because so much product will be opened. Lotleth Troll and Armada Wurm are $5 for God’s sake. I don’t see this card settling higher than those cards, I don’t see it spiking in the short term, and I don’t see the need for this card the first weekend it’s out to be so great that you’ll justify its presale cost based on the “impatience factor”. I have only seen one card in the entire set so far that makes me wish I hadn’t decided not to preorder anything from this set, and that card is already pushing $30. Sorry to be a downer, but this is a rare that’s a little too good for bulk but probably going to take up space in your binder.

Or I’m wrong, which I’d be fine with because if someone does anything with this card, it will be something miserable to play against. But I’d stake a portion of my reputation on $5 never being a good deal on this card.

01/13/13 – Sigmund

Assemble the Legion

I love the flavor of this card, but for five mana I wish it was more relevant when it hits the table. Paying five mana to get a 1/1 Haster on your NEXT turn and then get 2 more 1/1′s on the following turn is just too slow. Maybe if these creature tokens were human, this card would be playable. But soldiers are meaningless, the haste is meaningless, and I just don’t see this card getting there.

Sarrg Guildmage

The Gruul guildmage has been spoiled at last, and he’s not half bad. Giving your Thragtusks trample until end of turn is pretty sweet, and turning lands into 4/4′s for 3 mana is a nice second ability. The guildmage can be relevant mid-game and late-game. But at Uncommon, he’s doomed to be ignored in MTG Finance.

Serene Remembrance

If ever there was a durdly card of Gatecrash, this would be it. Not sure what the card actually does – I mean, if you are losing to a Nephalia Drownyard, this card let’s you live a little longer. But, ummmmmmm…yeah, let’s not waste any more time on this Uncommon.

01/12/13 – Jason

We have a LOT to get through, so let’s get right down to brass gnats.

Aurelia’s Fury

If Admiral Akhbar himself were here, you could hear it straight from his gross fish lips- “It’s a trap”. Sure, this card looks good. You know what else looked good on preodering? Rakdos’ Return. While R&R (as it likes to be called) sat at roughly $18 preoder, a little engine that TOTALLY could called Sphinx’s Revelation languished at $4-$5. After a few months of competitive play, one of those cards is an all star and one of them is just OK. My point is, Aurelia’s Fury may LOOK like the BiggidabiggedaBOMB but let’s examine whether we think its $25 price tag is a good entree. I maintain that it is NOT. Just like the preorder price of $18 for Rakdos’ Return felt wrong to me, $25 on this mammer jammer seems like a bad joke. Sure, this card has a lot of utility. But I believe we’ve established that approximately a million boxes of this set will be opened, and even at its prime, Sphinx’s Revelation only flirted with the $25 mark for mere weeks. It’s a bargain buy at $12ish to date. Is this card TWICE as good as Sphinx’s Revelation? Your call- but if I hadn’t pledged not to preorder any cards from this set (something I stuck by even though I could have gotten ghost dads for $10 and now they’re sold out at over $20) I wouldn’t buy this monstrosity at $25. May I remind you that Temporal Mastery was a $30 preorder and Bonfire was around $8?  Buy in if you want (some people in the forums say this card could hit $40 in the short term – good luck with that) but I, for one, am staying the heck away.

Diluvian Primordial

EDH playable. Maybe. This may be the worst attempt at a Snapcaster variant in history. Remember Spelltwine? Yeah, that card’s bulk, and that card got twice as much value in a 1 on 1 match. No thanks.

In limited, a 5/5 flying for 7 hardly needs an ability to be playable. But limited isn’t all that relevant to finance, now is it?

Giant Adephage

Tokens are cool- in RTR MAYBE! LOL!!!!!111one. Seriously, though, although this card is everything I wanted Wayfaring Temple to be, it’s unplayable in contructed. That’s really all there is to say about that.

Thrull Parasite

This may be the worst way to deal with a Planeswalker ever printed. I’d rather swing at Vraska with Merfolk of the Pearl Trident than brook this 45th draft pick of a card. That’s right. 45th. Someone took a basic land before this guy.

Ok, so maybe a 1/1 for 1 can be played provided he enables Extort. I still say he’s not financially relevant, and that’s all that matters.

Prime Speaker Zegana

Call me crazy, but this is a Simic card I can actually get behind. The amount of value you’re liable to get here is non-trivial. In a Bant deck where you can play Thragtusk, getting a 6/6 for 6 and drawing a whopping 6 cards for your trouble is a pretty good proposition. Got a Restoration Angel? Then you’re on the express train to value town. Bare minimum this card is a 2/2 that draws 2 cards. Is that not all that great? Yea, admittedly it isn’t. However, with a lot of upside and a lot of opporunities for a sick amount of value in the decks this is likely to get played, I could see this doing good things. Its initial pricetag of $15 on you know where.com may be the result of a decimal place shifted over one space too far, however. You want to pay $15 on this beast? Good luck.

Five-Alarm Fire

I thought Beastmaster Ascension was bad, and I was mostly right. Sure, BMA (as it liked to be called) was OK in one deck archetype (and by “good” I mean “not a total embarrassment at casual night) but it wasn’t worth money. If you hadn’t noticed, this is a finance site. Irrespective of this card being slightly better or slightly worse than Beastmaster Ascension, the fact remains that this will be a bulk rare. I’d stake Sigmund’s professional reputation on it.

Boros Charm

Dear Players,

We’re sorry about Radiance.

Love,

Wizards R&D

This car is biggidyBownkers. However, it’s an uncommon in a set that will be opened approximately a metric butt-ton. There is no financial relevance for this card. However, this renders Supreme Verdict impotent, and may shift the burden for wrath effects onto Terminus (ew) and Mutilate (a card I am hoarding like it’s a crate of 4 LOKO and the mayor is outlawing frat parties two nights from tonight). So there is financial relevance here after all. Be prepared to either race aggro, have them laugh at your wrath (hey, that rhymes) or be able to deal with indestructbile dudes. Oh, and 16 life is the new 20. Ever seen a double-striking Thragtusk? Don’t worry, you will soon.

Luminate Primordial

I tried for like 5 minutes but I can’t come up with the onomatopoeia for a fart sound effect. Can you hear it in your head? Good. That’s what I want to convey here. “Hai guise! We made a really bad Angel of Serenity! Where’s everyone going?” – Wizards R&D

Whatever you pay for this card, you overpaid.

01/09/13 – Sigmund

Frontline Medic

First thing I noticed was that this creature is a 3/3 for 3 mana – definitely an aggressively costed Boros creature. The first ability is pretty nice, as it lets you push through that last bit of damage without risking your guys. If you have a couple 1/1 dorks (or lingering souls for that matter) [f]lying around, you can be a pest to your opponent thanks to this guy. Of course, if you need your creatures to be indestructible to attack, chances are your opponent has some bigger creatures on their side to block with, which also means they will likely be counter-attacking.

The final ability seems incredibly random to me, but it’s not irrelevant in Standard. While you may play ten games without sacrificing him once, the option to do so is a nice way to round out the creature. Star City Games has this at $5.99 now, but it won’t last. Like most fresh cards, this one too will drop in price upon release. This does make me eye some other older Boros creatures for speculation, however. Lots of buzz on Twitter and the QS forums regarding what Boros creatures to speculate on.

Biomass Mutation

Hey look at that, another X-spell that Frontline Medic can target! I love that this spell is an instant, and the casting cost isn’t too bad either! If only the ability lasted until the beginning of your next end step, so that you could use this spell to block and then untap and attack as well. I guess I can’t be too greedy. This could be a “win more” card, but I really want this card to be good. Star City Games has 19 in stock at $1.99 right now, which means some people want to mess around with it. I can’t advocate buying here as the price will likely drop, but if this ever makes an appearance in a deck it could be worth grabbing a few on the cheap.

Pit Fight

An instant-speed Prey Upon for 1 more mana. Cute. Moving on. No wait there’s another difference – you can use Pit Fight to have two of your own creatures fight…you know, if you ever get bored.

Prime Speaker Zegana

Well, here’s the Merfolk Lord we were anticipating. For 6 mana you get a 1/1 creature, hooray! Ok, I guess it will probably be a little better than that. How many creatures would you need to have in play for this 6-drop to be better than historically playable 6-drops? At least 3? The question is, can you keep a few creatures around long enough in order to enable Zegana? Drawing cards is something a control deck wants to do, but playing creatures is often not. So there seems to be a disconnect here. If we had Cursecatcher, Silvergil Adept, or some other value-oriented Merfolk creatures available then I could see this working. But I don’t see Zegana breaking into any format other than EDH at this rate.

Star City Games is preordering this Mythic at $14.99. I think I’d rather just play Sphinxs Revelation for my card draw, thank you very much. I’m passing at this price, but when she ultimately tumbles she’ll make a great throw-in for slow-paced price growth.

01/08/13 – Gervaise

Crocanura

A typical Simic card because it is a Crocodile Frog. Decent limited card for 3 CMC as it can grow to a big defender due the Evolve mechanic.

Sunhome Guildmage

In limited this is a pretty good card like most other guildmages. It can end games & generate tokens for the Batallion mechanic. When looking at Standard Constructed viability, the abilities are a bit too expensive to make full use in an aggro deck. Furthermore it has to fight with Thalia, Elite Inquisitor, Lightning Mauler in the 2 CMC slot.

Vizkopa Confessor

This card is a bit too expensive to be playable in Limited. I would not pick this highly in draft and maybe see it as a 23rd card if my curve is lacking. For 5 mana I am going to be expecting something more than a 1/3 body with extort and seeing my opponents hand. I think one mostly pays 2 or 3 life around Turn 5 – 8. Around that time you are either ahead hence you can afford paying 2 or 3 life with a 1/3 body. Or you are behind and this is going to be a mediocre blocker. Maybe I underestimate the extort mechanic but resources are limited in the early game.

 

Undercity Plague

A onesided Smallpox that you pay 4-5 mana for. Then you can Cipher it. Currently I do not see any evasive creatures being spoiled making this card very so-so playable in Limited. It is nice to connect with your creature constantly on Turn 6 and beyond. But that mostly means you are already winning. Valuewise this is going to be a bulkrare occasionally picked up by casual or EDH players.

Rubblebelt Raiders

If it only had haste, this would be a very good card to speculate on. Now it has to sit on the battlefield and compete with Hellrider, Thundermaw Hellkite, Zealous Conscripts. Basically this card needs Lightning Mauler to really shine in any constructed deck to make it worthwhile and that’s just too much to ask. With the cards spoiled so far, this is going to be in my bulkbox.

 

01/07/13 – Sigmund

Signal the Clans

This card is clearly designed to be a risky tutor of sorts. You pick three unique creatures from your deck and one will end up in your hand. I suppose if you feel like a simple shuffle, you could find two or more creatures with the same name and get nothing for it. No immediate use comes to mind for this creature in Standard. In EDH, there are functional reprints and many cards that in essence do the same thing, so I could see this card being casual-playable. Not sure how it becomes financially relevant while it’s in Standard though.

Stolen Identity

Lots of cloned creature tokens for everybody! I’m not sure how playable this 6-mana better-Cackling Counterpart can be, even with the Cipher ability and the ability to clone artifacts or your opponent’s stuff. I have little interest in pre-ordering this one. If it makes a showing at a Standard tournament I may consider otherwise, but for now I pass. Biovisionary shenanigans aside.

Mind Grind

Is Wizards trying to push mill, or what? The more Dimir mill cards there are, the more I’m in casual heaven. All these cards go really well with Duskmantle Guildmage, but I still don’t think there’s enough for the strategy to be viable. There needs to be another card that punishes players for milling their cards – there are already plenty that actual do the milling. I still don’t see decking your opponent as a viable Plan A strategy in Standard DESPITE all the control decks flying around.

That being said this casual gem can easily go the path of Mind Funeral or even Glimpse the Unthinkable. But keep in mind it is a rare in the Mythic Rare era, so I don’t expect this card breaking $6 in the short term without being played in constructed. Although, it is sold out at SCG at $3.99…

Urban Evolution

Whoa, this is a Divination + Explore combined – all the way down to the casting cost. The two cards were played in Standard independently, so can the combination be played as well? To start with, getting a 6th land on turn 5 is no where near as cool as getting a third land on turn two. But with significant ramp strategies in Standard, even this spell could be playable. It really all depends on the metagame – if Thragtusk is still rampant, I think I’d rather have the 5/3 beater and 5 more life rather than three cards and a land. But maybe I’ll be wrong – oh well, this is just an Uncommon anyways, so it’s not really worth buying at the moment.

Dimir Charm

I’m not sure what the actual charm is in the artwork for this card. It looks more like a building. Nonetheless, I do like the flavor contained within the card’s abilities. Each spell seems like it could be situationally very strong. If you’re winning, ding your opponent by letting him draw a blank. If you’re losing, you can destroy his Deathrite Shaman or other utility creature. If you need to dig for answers, take the best of three cards off the top of your deck. If there are any Sorceries worth countering, you could always do that too (Bonfire of the Damned, Terminus, etc.). Still, I don’t see the Uncommon being too ubiquitous nor do I see it exceeding a buck in trade.

01/05/13 – Sigmund

Elusive Krasis

Ummmmm, is there a reason this isn’t a Merfolk? I mean, I could see this Evolve creature being interesting in a Merfolk deck (though still not viable), but being a fish is just a slap in the face. At uncommon, this likely won’t see big bucks. It’d need Hexproof to really interest me at 3 mana. I suppose it’s a decent blocker since this fish is tough to kill.

01/05/13 – Gervaise

Clan Defiance

Currently 2.40 euro on TCGmarket & $3 on SCG. I think it has potential in Standard Constructed where it is crucial where the cutoff point is. Meaning where the most creatures’ toughness is going to be at. When most creatures have a toughness of x/4 then this card is near bulkpriced. This card is insane in limited though, I love it.

Hands of Binding

I am occasionally posting commons too for limited purposes. This card is excellent for what it does. It basically cost  U for the immediate tap and a colorless for the Cipher effect. Permanently shutting down a bomb with an unblockable or flying creature is how I like to play limited.

Foundry Champion

Since this is the prerelease card for Boros, I have my doubts on its financial value. The other prerelease cards from Return to Ravnica had meager value too except Deadbridge Goliath. The whole card in a limited environment is pretty good. By the time you can cast this, you probably have 3-4 creatures in play for some free damage.

Skarrg Goliath

A bulkrare in financial aspect but Bloodrush is going to be so much fun and complicating situations at the same time. If you know your opponent plays Bloodrush creatures, you have to start blocking on an entirely new level. I foresee many games being stolen because of Bloodrush

Nightveil Specter

The buy-a-box promo of Gatecrash. I think the card has some potential in constructed but I think one asks a lot from a 3 cmc permanent nowadays. This is a fun card to play in limited though if you can fix colours and exile their bombs.

Consuming Aberration

This is the Dimir Prerelease card. This has immediate EDH potential because it is each opponents’ graveyard. Being 5 CMC helps in that aspect as it is not ridiculously priced for an EDH cards. Remember Lord of Extinction ? Though I think the Prerelease promo card will suppress its price in the early stage, getting these under a dollar is fine

 

Rapid Hybridization

Translated: Destroy Target Creature. It can’t be regenerated. It’s controller puts a 3/3 green Frog Lizard token onto the battlefield

In Limited, removal is removal and blue especially is lacking. With this card the trade off is a 3/3 creature for a bomb you are mostly getting rid off. Or you can upgrade your own creature if that is necessary. One might see this in Standard Constructed if removal is really going to be terrible. Since splashing black for Ultimate Price, Tragic Slip is rather easy I don’t think this is going to get a home.

01/04/13 – Jason

Duskmantle Guildmage

This card is ok. This card in conjunction with Jace, Memory Adept has people wetting their pants. Yes, you can activate it twice to get two triggers per card milled. Yes you can kill them with Jace. If you didn’t get Jace under $10 that ship has likely sailed. Twitter has been all over this all day as well as the QS forums, so if this is the first you’re hearing about it, hopefully you have all the Memory Adepts you wanted. I think Memory Adept hits $20-$25 in the short term but can’t sustain it. Multiple printings and a flimsy combo will lead the bottom to fall out. I’m happy to sell mine at the old retail numbers and you have about 48 hours to get these for around $10 before they double. Meh. I’m not super interested in speculating on Jace but I had quite a few and sold them all in a matter of hours, so, yay for excitment about bad combos. If you can keep a 5 mana planeswalker around for a turn or two and keep a 2/2 alive long enough to activate it for 4UUBB I have good news for you. You were winning anyway.

High Priest of Penance

In fair formats, this guy is obviously nutty. He’s a great deterrent to attacking you in limited, he’s something people may want to brew with in Standard and he’ll almost certainly be a mainstay in formats like EDH where you have access to noise that will keep him alive and make him into a board-murdering machine. This card will likely be a cheap pickup but I wouldn’t order any. Barring an interaction with other cards in Orzhov to make him more than a mere, awkward 1 for 1 I would get cheap foils if I could for EDH players and little else. The card is great in limited, exciting, and not all that financially-relevant in this writer’s humble opinion.

Crypt Ghast

Yep. This is a card alright. Nirkana Revenant called. It wants to know when this card will be $8 years after its rotation. This card being non-mythic could put some downward pressure on the pricetag of old Nirkana, but with EDH tending to be a “that, too” and not a “this or that” format, players will likely just make room in their 100 to jam both. If this card lives, I think it’s going to be a beating. It doubles mana, and you can use that extra mana to extort every spell you play. It does stuff casuals like, it is a spirit so I obviously want to jam it in EDH, it doesn’t say “basic” swamp and it dies to every removal spell ever so it’s fair. I may not be evaluating this guy correctly, but I can see this card doing great things.

Skyknight Legionnaire

I’m baaaaaaaack. Ready to bust skulls and just as financially-irrelevant as ever, this card has me excited for Boros aggro. It’s a human AND a knight? Take note, casuals. And heck, take note Standard players. Maybe there is no room in a RW humans deck for this guy, but it triggers Champion of the Parish and gets a bump from Mayor of Avabruck. Solid mid pack pick in limited. I never don’t want to play this in RW in sealed or draft.

Mystic Genesis

I don’t know how to feel. Keeping up 5 mana is GROSS. Getting a super duper Mystic Snake gives the 15 year old Jason inside of me hope for the future spoilings in my guild. This card is obviously nutty in Limited (counterspells are super awkward unless they’re cheap hard counters or they’re attached to a body or source of damage). This is one counter I am fine holding 5 up for in limited because by the time you can keep that mana up, they’ll be playing something huge and it will cripple them when you essentially steal it. Countering a big 6 drop and getting a Craw Wurm-sized body out of it is A OK in my book. It reminds me a bit of Draining Whelk, and while this format may be a bit faster than Time Spiral limited was, this probably makes the cut. I like it a lot. I don’t know how playable this is in Standard. I’m leaning toward “not” which is sad because I like this card a lot.

01/03/13 – Jason

Skullcrack

Great googily moogily do I love this card. This is just what Standard needed to keep that Bant noise in check, it’s a cheap alternative to Flames of the Bloodhand for Legacy and Modern RDW builds and it’s a solid burn spell whose extra 1 colorless mana is more than worth it given its relevant abilities and instant speed. I remember how ubiquitous Lightning Helix was, and while this doesn’t have as many utilities as that card, expect to see this AT MINIMUM in sideboards as a nice kick in the pants for opponents who tapped out for a Sphinx’s Revelation or a Thragtusk. Plus the art and flavor text are all 3-Stoogy. Doink!

Alms Beast

Nope. You don’t want to play this.

01/02/13 – Sigmund

Angel Skirmisher

Quick Translation: Flying
At the beginning of each combat, choose first strike, vigilance or lifelink.
Creatures you control gain the chosen ability until end of turn.

Six mana for a 4/4 flying Angel…how many of these have ever been playable in constructed? Certainly not many. Giving all your guys lifelink or first strike until end of turn is cute, but it’s only good if you have a lot of creatures. And if you have a lot of creatures, you should be winning anyway. Besides, since this is just a rare I can see it being in some sort of event deck or something. I don’t see this going places.

Gideon, Champion of Justice

I’ve been following the Twitter chat on this Planeswalker a little bit, and so far my opinion has been reflected in what others have said: this Gideon just isn’t as good as the original. The only point on this new Gideon’s side is the one less casting cost. But it doesn’t protect itself like the old Gideon, the 0 ability is not meaningfully different from the previous Gideon 0 ability, and there’s enough removal in Standard to take care of this guy if he becomes a problem. I am a bit shocked to see SCG have this at preorder for only $24.99. I mean, that’s still too much, but a Planeswalker with a pedigree like Gideon could have automatically fetched $39.99 and gotten some buyers. But I’m glad to see SCG make some attempt to reflect an accurate price. A shame this one is destined for $10-$15 very quickly post-release.

-Jason here. I am really not all that excited. This will almost certainly end up below its prerelease price. It’s been predicted to hit $50 or $60 by some, the corollary with Jace seems obvious to them, but I think it’s more obviously another Vraska- a solid-looking card with exciting abilities and no home. This doesn’t do anything as well as the original Gideon, and I wouldn’t touch these for their preorder price. -Jason out.

Biovisionary

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

Ok, you have my attention. Four creatures named Biovisionary and I win? That’s a pretty sweet win condition! Playsets are listed via Buy-it-Now on eBay for $14, which means copies are likely to be selling around three bucks each once more stores start their pre-orders. Chances are the price won’t go up too much on this guy unless he’s actually broken – which isn’t impossible. Could a Clone, Evil Twin, Cackling Counterpart deck get there? Seems like the deck would be pretty fragile, and this may end up becoming another Nivmagus Elemental. All I know is, I’m not buying heavily until I see the deck actually win a match on camera.

Obzedat, Ghost Council

Ok, so this is a 5/5 for five mana that drains your opponent for two when he enters play. Then, you can kind of let him “phase out” so that when he returns, you drain for another two. The ability is certainly cute (cuter than the artwork at least), but I just don’t know if this guy gets there. It is just a vanilla 5/5 creature while it’s in play, and the draining ability is somewhat inconsequential the first time. I can see this guy getting out of hand in a control deck, where he enables you to win without attacking. Maybe in some sort of Esper control deck that sits behind counters and removal, this non-attacking strategy fits in. Talk about a slow and painful death.

-Jason here. Unless something else nutso gets printed we may have officially found the card in the set I’m most excited about. The sheer amount of value you’ll get from repeated draining and its ability to duck sorcery-speed removal are both going to make it annoying to deal with, and its mana cost to power/toughness ratio are spot on for what Orzhov is looking for. Red removal based on damage can’t touch it and Dreadbore, a card I expect to get a bit more popular with the ability to build Grixis but largely dependent on how good the set’s Planeswalkers turn out, can’t target it if it’s out of play. This should go above its current preorder price, but only in the short term. Order accordingly. -Jason out

Lazav, Dimir Mastermind

I love the flavor of this card, and the artwork is definitely neat. But this guy is only good if your opponent is playing good creatures. In a metagame full of control strategies with Sphinxs Revelation and Nephalia Drownyard, this card could be a boring 3/3 Hexproof a lot. I’m not buying this.

01/02/13 – Gervaise

Basilica Guards

It seems to be looking like a white variant of Lobber Crew. I am going to be extremely interested how grindy this card can be in the right draft deck. The flavour is made up when the designers where watching Gandalf in Moria.

Drakewing Krasis

Since he is green, I do not mind him being x/1 in toughness. There must be several pump spells available in Simic/Gruul in GTC limited environment to make this work. Definitely a solid common in limited.

 

Burning-Tree Emissary

Would this be the money uncommon of this set? It is only good if you can follow up on Turn 2 or Turn 3 with another creature. Being free is always solid if build correctly in an aggro deck. I would acquire this cheap in drafts or trade.

 

Zameck Guildmage

Being the Gameday participant promotional card can give this version a slightly higher price if the original art is not so desirable. I do not see this being played that often in competitive constructed because a 2 mana for a +1/1 counter does not seem enticing. The second ability needs either the first one or another form of counters present on a creature you control. In limited or EDH, this is going to be pure card advantage with the Simic mechanic.

Call of the Nightwing

This card is often constructed unplayable as the Cipher mechanic makes this card incredibly expensive. Mind you that you only get a 1/1 flying token for 2 mana and that Cipher says may, particularly relevant in competitive REL.

 

Viashino Shanktail

The card costs 4 CMC but the bloodrush cost only 3 CMC. Being able to choose to play it in Main Phase 2 as a creature or use it as combat trick makes this a pretty solid limited card. I would be surprised if this gets any constructed attention

 

Zhur-Taa Swine

First of all, Zhur-Taa sounds like an Asian stiry fry sauce. I love the art but the card itself is pretty powerful. Remember Streetbreaker Wurm from Guildpact? This swine has 1 power less but instead you get a 3 mana +5/+4 combat trick. This is a common and should be a centerpiece when drafting Gruul Aggro.

 

12/31/12 – Sigmund

Deathpact Angel

The mothership granted us with an array of spoilers this morning. I want to at least touch on the latest Angel spoiled right now, with the hope of talking some about the many commons/uncommons spoiled later.

While the angel isn’t up for pre-sale yet on SCG I do see some copies are listed for pre-ordering on eBay. The cheapest Buy It Now is $40 for a set, and this seems a bit high to me. Sure, the Angel can recur in a way, but that 1/1 Cleric will have repeated near-death experiences while he waits for his summoning sickness to disappear. I will have to get one of these for my Angel collection, but this is no Angel of Serenity. It is a Mythic Rare, so it could have a high ceiling should it have success in Standard. I’d hold off for now and wait for the price to drop post-release though, as this seems most likely.

Illusionist’s Bracers

The other rare card I noticed this morning was Illusionist’s Bracers. Awesome flavor text aside, I’m not sure how I feel about this card. On the one hand, it doesn’t really do anything by itself – you HAVE to build around it somewhat. On the other hand, doubling some creature abilities can be pretty powerful. But off the top of my head, I can’t think of any creature in Standard where I’d use this equipment. I don’t think I’m going out too far on a ledge here to say that this will not likely exceed $5 here, and it’s even very probable this becomes close to a buck. That being said, casuals will like this card and do all they can in EDH to create shenanigans.

12/29/12 – Gervaise

Domri Rade

 

I want to kick off first with the newest Planeswalker. I don’t see this played in a Gruul Aggro constructed deck. I think the +1 misses too much to make it worth a slot in a 60 card deck. The -7 is rarely reached & -2 is not worth paying 3 mana for as there are plenty of other solid 3 CMC cards in Constructed. I would compare this card valuewise with Vraska the Unseen; highly liquid in the early periods but will plummet eventually.

 

Borborygmos Enraged

The Gruul 8(!!) CMC Guild leader Mythic. It has EDH potential and therefore will be still liquid in your trading binder in the early periods. I would be happy to open this at the Prerelease & other limited events since it is obviously a bomb and highly appealing to casual & EDH players. I recommend trading this with low liquid Standard or EDH stock one have in his/her binder to increase liquidity.

Fathom Mage

 

The Evolve mechanic is going to be very powerful in limited formats. It has to be greater power OR toughness which makes it more viable. Fathom Mage draws one cards, Simic Fluxmage makes it possible to move +1/+1 counters around so I would not be suprised if something more broken with Evolve mechanic gets spoiled. Valuewise, this is just a bulkrare as a 4CMC creature has to be game defining in Constructed Standard like Firemane Avenger.

 

Rubblehulk

 

I primary want to discuss the Bloodrush mechanic. I think it has potential for Standard constructed where the creature or spell has to have decent manacost:power/toughness ratio and a relatively cheap Bloodrush cost. I think Wizards wants introduce Bloodrush with this bulk priced card so I am anticipating a more powerful Bloodrush card in the coming weeks. In the limited environment getting to 6+ lands is going to be relatively easy hence making this card a high pick. Looking at EDH, this is going to get some popularity but the rare rarity restricts its value to bulk.

 

Treasury Thrull

About the mechanic Extort: a very grindy (Orzhov) way to win games. Mind you that in EDH this can get out of hand soon (To the likes of Exsanguinate) for just 1 mana. I think the mechanic will rarely see constructed play unless it has a perfect combination of a decent permanent gaining the Extort mechanic.

About the card: Treasury Thrull’s attacking ability screams to be abused by Commander players. If you open this at the prerelease and you have an EDH audience, chances are likely you will trade these bulk priced cards for some sweet other EDH cards that are stable in price. Highly liquid in the early period but not something I want to invest my funds in at all.

 

 

12/28/12 – Sigmund

Enter the Infinite

This card perhaps should not be my first reviewed card. A 12 mana sorcery means you’re never going to cast this card. I can’t even imagine a 10 mana sorcery that saw constructed play unless it had an alternate ability / cost (Decree of Annihilation, Decree of Justice, etc.). Some sellers may stick a higher preorder price tag on this one because of how “cool” it looks. I’d stay away.

Hellkite Tyrant

We’re starting to get a little better here. My instinct is to compare this Dragon with Thundermaw Hellkite in order to determine if Hellkite Tyrant will see Standard play. He costs 1 more mana but he has 1 more power at least. No haste, which is a shame, though trample does mean he can’t be blocked by pesky 1/1 Spirit tokens all day. Though, Thundermaw Hellkite tapped fliers so he, too, could get past spirit tokens.

As for the special ability, I’m not quite sure how relevant it will be. If this were printed during Scars of Mirrodin block, I could certainly see this Dragon taking over some artifacts. But I can’t even think of 5 artifacts that a player would have on his side of the board at one time. And the 20 artifact clause is simply cute – nothing more. Five bucks to the first person who wins a Standard FNM game with this new win condition.

Whispering Madness

I’m a bit confused by this card upon first reading it. Isn’t there another spell that already does the same thing as this card (minus Cipher)? Cipher sounds kind of cool and I look forward to seeing other Cipher cards, but I’m not sure I care about casting this particular spell over and over again. This ability works best in an aggressive deck, where you can refill your hand over and over against a slower deck. But U/B is historically not known for emptying its hand. I could be wrong, but I put this one as a don’t buy for now.

Firemane Avenger


Hello Lightning Helix on a stick! I don’t love that this creature is only 3/3, but she is a 4-mana Angel with a cool ability. There is DEFINITELY some playability to this card, and many in the forums have already identified what other cards go well with the Battalion ability (and which ones not-so-well). Lingering Souls comes to mind quickly, but I could see this creature topping out the curve in Human decks very nicely. This card is currently listed on SCG for a pre-order price of $2.49, but it’s sold out. Wow, I’m shocked at how LOW this price is. A playable Angel should start at $5 minimum. I anticipate this one will go up in price before Gatecrash is released. Sets are selling for $15 on eBay – if SCG re-lists at $2.49 buy a bunch immediately. If SCG re-lists at $4.99 make your own judgement on this.

Aurelia, the Warleader


As the Angel collector, my reviews have to include all the new Angels, right? This is also the only non-shock land pre-selling on SCG for $14.99 – the highest price for a non-Planeswalker.

While Firemane Avenger was a Lightning Helix on a stick, Aurelia is a Relentless Assault on a stick! But there are two things I don’t love about this card – she’s only 3/4 and she’s 6 mana, which is pretty high on a Boros mana curve. The fact she has haste is huge, because you’re really paying WW for a 3/4 flying, haste, vigilance creature and 2RR for Relentless Assault. Breaking the creature up into two pieces like this makes this Angel seem bonkers. It’s difficult for me to take a guess at where this one will end up. I’d watch the forum discussions on her and make your assessment from there.

Sigmund Ausfresser

Sigmund first started playing Magic when Visions was the newest set, back in 1997. Things were simpler back then. After playing casual Magic for about ten years, he tried his hand at competitive play. It took about two years before Sigmund starting taking down drafts. Since then, he moved his focus towards Legacy and MTG finance. Now that he's married and works full time, Sigmund enjoys the game by reading up on trends and using this knowledge in buying/selling cards.

More Posts

Follow Me:
Twitter