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Creeping Tar-Pit

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Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast, Quiet Speculation has been given an exclusive spoiler, and what a spoiler it is!  While the card had been rumored on MTG Salvation, it is our pleasure to reveal and confirm it!

With 4 of the 5 Man-Lands revealed officially, we can really start to understand which ones will fit into decks and which will not.   The G/W one is rumored to cost 1GW for a 3/4 Reach, but we can neither confirm nor deny that.  As it stands, Lavaclaw Reaches appears to be far and away the best of the cycle.  The logic is as follows.  Lavaclaw Reaches is below par for a Man-Land without factoring in its X:  +X/+0.  You're paying 1BR for a 2/2, which is just worse than Ghitu Encampment.  Lavaclaw Reaches gives you a way to turn mana into damage without any prior resource expenditure and only a minor opportunity cost (the land coming into play tapped).  For that ability to come on a dual land of any sort is unprecedented. 

Enough about the Lavaclaw Reaches.  Let's talk about our new unblockable friend.  There is exactly one drawback to this card - its 2 toughness.  The key to most of these man-lands is the proper moment to activate them for the first time.  Terminate and Lightning Bolt are the most popular removal spells in the format, and both can blow away Man-Lands without discrimination.  Thus, these cards shine in decks that can draw out removal ahead of the Man-Lands.   This is more true with a card like the Reaches, which asks for a heavy mana commitment to reach full potential.  The beauty of Creeping Tar-Pit, however, is that it does not ask you to clear the way for it.  It simply asks you to bait out removal.  If your deck can craft a game state that involves a depleted hand across the table, Creeping Tar-Pit is likely enough to win the game. 

Some players will find the temptation to activate these without any guarantee that they'll survive the turn.  Please don't do that.  This is the same game played when your un-pumped Putrid Leech is facing down an untapped Mountain.   Just the mere presence of Creeping Tar-Pit will force your opponent to play differently, and that's a pretty tall order for a dual land.  It will effect games in which it is not even activated.   It seems like it has the most potential to effect the board in an average game.  Blue and Black decks are not often the best for clearing the board, a feat owed mostly to Red decks.  Black has good removal, but it seems like Red is the color you want for clearing the way for one big attacker (Lavaclaw Reaches).  Blue and Black are good at buying time, engineering stalls, and that's where Creeping Tar-Pit shines.  A 3-power unblockable attacker will do wonders for ground stalls.

It's unknown what the starting price for this card will be, but it seems like a lot of the Man-Lands are being undervalued.  Lavaclaw Reaches and Creeping Tar-Pit have the most immediate uses, but Celestial Colonnade has its place as well.  Raging Ravine is unimpressive by comparison and probably won't see play, and the rumored Green-White Man-Land does not impress.  The top Man-Lands should be fetching a higher price, especially Lavaclaw Reaches.    It goes directly into Jund decks and has a noticeable impact on the board.  Please bear in mind that Worldwake is effectively a Third Set, like Alara Reborn and Future Sight.  Rise of the Eldrazi will be a full-sized set and will be drafted alone. This means that we can start expecting a shortage in these man-lands about 45 days after Rise starts being opened. That seems like ages away right now, but remember how far away Extended season felt?  We're almost a month in!  You don't need to go buy these Man-Lands off the bat, but they should be top-of-list on Opening Day.

Kelly Reid

Founder & Product Manager

View More By Kelly Reid

Posted in Uncategorized

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8 thoughts on “Creeping Tar-Pit

  1. That two toughness really is a doozy, but I suppose that's the point. I can see this as an alternate finisher in grixis control as well alongside the reaches – that deck lives for the late-game. The only drawback for this would be hitting it turn seven with a cruel in hand, but in the colors of card-draw, other options may still be open.

  2. I don't see why you think Ravaging Ravine is bad I won FNM with it last night and after one attack it's out of bolt range which is huge. Lavaclaw reaches seems weaker by comparasion as you need then to have no blockers for it to be effective.

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