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Note: I write set reviews from a tournament player's perspective, not a financial perspective.
As such, I try to approach new set releases with a "wide net" of all the cards which might be relevant to tournament Magic, even if it's just a sideboard 1-of that will never be worth much. This will necessarily include fringe cards, too. I will discuss every Rare and Mythic, so you can pick out which of the unplayed ones will quickly be bulk cards.
Note: card tags will be broken on new cards until they're in our WordPress plugin. However, they're included for the people who refer back to this article.
For those of you reading before card tags are working, follow along with a spoiler (like this one) and let's explore the new possibilities M12 brings.
Aegis Angel: Junk rare that will see no competitive play in any format anywhere, but will be appealing to the casual crowd for a while.
Angelic Destiny: Everyone will become a great deal less excited about this card when they realize they can't cast it without pumping their opponent's Spellskite. It may be playable, but the bar that pump Auras have to jump is probably too high for this, especially while Batterskull and Sword of War and Peace are around. Unfortunately, M12 and Scars will both rotate simultaneously, which means this card may never have a home despite its high power level.
Archon of Justice: It's unlikely this will see play, but the ability could fit into the Birthing Pod deck at the 5-slot. It'll be an interesting choice between Archon and Acidic Slime.
Day of Judgment: If you don't have 4 by now, you should get them. It's a clear staple and will continue to be the default White sweeper for years.
Gideon Jura: Another reprint of a card that we already understand pretty well. With the demise of Caw-Blade, we return to the "Gideon or Baneslayer" dilemma that UW control was asking last year before SCG Atlanta 2010 unleased Super Friends and showed us that playing all planeswalkers and no creatures was the way to go. Gideon's mere existence is enough to make playing aggro an unappealing prospect.
Gideon's Avenger: This is a rare? I suppose it has to be for limited purposes, but in constructed it's unlikely to find a home. It's miserable against control decks, ramp decks and the like, and against aggro decks they'll just use a burn spell in their upkeep or Dismember it before it gets too far out of control.
Grand Abolisher: This is a solid hate bear, but it's not amazing. The fact that it dies to basically everything means that it won't do much other than take a removal spell away from something else, and Spellskite does a better job of that. Remember that the control decks are going to be playing sweepers and/or Gideon, so you're strongly discouraged from playing aggro to begin with.
Honor of the Pure: Another reprint, this has seen play in the past and will likely see play again. It's unlikely the pre-Innistrad format has room for a white weenie deck, but it's possible things will change later on.
Mesa Enchantress: Yawn. People might try to break this at FNM again, what with Auramancer being reprinted, but Legacy [card Argothian Enchantress]Enchantress[/card] has access to a great many key cards that Standard doesn't even have anything even close to: Solitary Confinement, Enlightened Tutor, Wild Growth, and Serra's Sanctum.
Personal Sanctuary: Crappy casual "Johnny" rare that doesn't actually serve any meaningful purpose, and never will - unless Wizards prints something that combos with it for an instant win down the line. Trade them away ASAP, then quietly pick up 4 at bulk rare prices later on, just in case.
Sun Titan: This is the "next level" after Kor Sanctifiers, and should be critical in any white-based control matchup. Whether the deck is viable or not is in the hands of other cards to handle the rest of the metagame, but if it's a real deck, your mirror matches will be dealt with by Sun Titan if Consecrated Sphinx is already maxed out.
Djinn of Wishes: The bulk becomes bulkier.
Frost Titan: The only Titan to be firmly outclassed by another option in its color, Frosty stands little chance of seeing much play in blue control decks due to Consecrated Sphinx. It's possible that he's a better 6-spot in a Birthing Pod deck, but I have to imagine they'd rather play Wurmcoil Engine first instead.
Jace, Memory Adept: In order to play this over Jace Beleren you have to really care about the mill. Right now, that's useless. After rotation, Jace Beleren won't be a consideration though. You really need the mill to matter, and milling your opponent with this is not the way to go. Garruk and Gideon are both better 5-mana planeswalkers. I'm going to pass on this, but it has potential to see niche play.
Jace's Archivist: This guy is extremely disruptive to long-term plans. He plays well with Runeflare Trap and Liliana's Caress, so that could be a fringe archetype (one which has historically been very good against control decks). However, since it has to survive a turn, it makes this a worse combo than... I dunno, Deceiver Exarch and Splinter Twin? After rotation, the Trap is gone (along with Splinter Twin), but there may be similar effects.
Lord of the Unreal: The Illusion tribe will be very popular at FNM-level events, but vulnerability to mass removal and a lack of Aether Vial effects mean this isn't the second coming of Merfolk.
Mind Unbound: Consecrated Sphinx exists. This goes directly to the bulk pile (after attempting to trade it off at value to casual players).
Phantasmal Image: Have you noticed how absurd Phyrexian Metamorph is? And this is even cheaper! Phantasmal Image is possibly the best new rare in the set. Cutting the cost of Clone in half in exchange for a mostly-negligible drawback is a tremendous jump in power. This will see play, and it's likely to be the most expensive rare in the set after a bit of time goes by.
Redirect: Even less relevant than it has been in the past, since Spellskite exists.
Sphinx of Ulthuun: Consecrated Sphinx claims another victim.
Time Reversal: Oh, the agony. For those of you who haven't been following, this was the last card to be spoiled, and it was known to be a Blue Mythic in between Sphinx of Uthuun and Turn to Frog. We were hoping for Time Warp and got this unplayable garbage instead.
Visions of Beyond: I think this falls into the overhyped box. 20 is a lot to be milled for, requiring 2 activations of the new Jace, or a messload of cantrips. By the time you get full value off this, you've worked so hard for it that you could have been winning some other way already. Legacy Dredge doesn't even have a use for this thing - Deep Analysis just does better in that deck's strategy.
Bloodlord of Vaasgoth: Really? Why couldn't we have gotten Vampire Nocturnus or Malakir Bloodwitch here? This is unplayable garbage.
Call to the Grave: I'm pretty sure this is just too expensive to do much in the modern era, but it's a popular casual/multiplayer card. This will likely tank the value of the originals, so don't bother.
Cemetery Reaper: This could be relevant, but it would require a lot of Zombies to be printed. Right now I don't think we have enough cheap zombies to fill out a tribal deck here. The graveyard hate ability isn't good enough at filling that role when Nihil Spellbomb exists, so this is either a maindeck card or not a relevant card at all.
Grave Titan: Remaining the best 6-drop in black, Grave Titan will haunt us for the next year. The question is whether it remains relevant after the 5-drop Vengeful Pharoah takes over.
Monomania: Persecute, this isn't. I don't expect this to see heavy play, but against certain decks it could be powerful, especially if it's being accelerated out. Turn 3 Monomania is crippling to both Valakut and Twin.
Royal Assassin: I'm a little surprised they reprinted this guy alongside Gideon in the core set. He's obviously going to be a fringe player from now to forever, but in dumb aggro mirrors it's a must-answer card. The problem, of course, is that answering him is extremely easy.
Rune-Scarred Demon: Casual garbage. This will see no constructed play.
Sorin Markov: Why would you play this when Grave Titan exists? Dropping someone's life total to 10 isn't a meaningful ability. If you're planning on comboing it with the drain-10 spell below, it's a straight-up worse Exarch-Twin combo.
Sorin's Vengeance: The aforementioned drain-10 spell, this is going to be unplayed. How often was Corrupt relevant in the past year? That won't dissuade the guy who's been screaming about how Mono-Black Control will come back at every set release since M10 reprinted Haunting Echoes, but logic hardly matters to people with that level of zeal.
Sutured Ghoul: Without Cephalid Illusionist, Dragon Breath, and a way to target the Illusionist a bunch of times for free, there's little reason to play this instead of the numerous other fatties that exist. The card is a combo card with no enablers.
Vengeful Pharoah: Now this is an interesting card. Like a defensive Bloodghast, he keeps coming back. Better than Grave Titan against aggro decks, but probably worse against control. It's going to take some time to figure out the right mix, and it's possible that Grave Titan is still better overall, but this is worth keeping in mind.
Chandra, the Firebrand: Finally, the first Chandra that doesn't suck. I don't think she's better than Koth of the Hammer, but doubling spells is quite powerful. The problem is protecting her for a turn to pull off the free Reverberate- and what are we doing that we couldn't have done with Reverberate in the past? It has to be something that scales - Day of Judgment is pointless. Sure, Sorin's Vengeance is an instant win, but that requires 7 mana. Again, if we're going to play 2-card combos, Deceiver Exarch and Splinter Twin has a monopoly on that title for the near future. Once they rotate, other options may be worth exploring. For now, I don't think the new Chandra will see a great deal of play.
Chandra's Phoenix: This card, on the other hand, will. The red deck gains an unparalleled amount of reach (defined as an aggro deck's ability to win a game that has gone long) from the ability to recur a cheap, hasty flier. It's no Hell's Thunder, but that's okay. Phoenix doesn't even have to go in the maindeck - it slows you down too much in game 1 against the combo decks. Postboard, Phoenix can come in as a way to get around control decks (yet another "answer" to Kor Firewalker) and win a long attrition war against other aggro decks. Trading a Phoenix for any of their creatures will likely win the game in the end, especially when you get to 3-for-1 them with Searing Blaze. (Yes, 3-for-1. Searing Blaze is a 2-for-1 by default. Under the Philosophy of Fire, dealing 3 damage to your opponent is worth one card. If you have a problem with this logic, you shouldn't be playing red. Go whine on a forum about how red decks take no skill to play.)
Flameblast Dragon: How irrelevant.
Furyborn Hellkite: Yes, it's basically a 12/12 for 7. That's not enough. By the time you have 4RRR in a deck that can trigger Bloodthirst reliably, the opponent should already be dead. As a Mythic, dump this one quick.
Goblin Chieftain: Finally, the Chieftain gets a chance to shine. The printing of Goblin Grenade means that Goblins will be played for at least as long as Goblin Guide is legal. Whether it's better than the normal red deck or not is hard to say - Goblins is less vulnerable to Leyline of Sanctity but more vulnerable to Kor Firewalker and sweepers, so it depends heavily on how the metagame responds to the onslaught of Mountains.
Grim Lavamancer: This is the most-anticipated M12 card for a reason. It's proven itself to be viable even in Legacy, and left alone it can win games by itself. Top 8s will be getting swept away in a torrent of Lava, and not even the [card Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle]Molten Pinnacle[/card] itself will be able to stand in its way.
Inferno Titan: This is why all those stupid Dragons are completely irrelevant, and will remain so for the next year. This is the best red fatty available, and it's not even clear why you would want to play red fatties at all right now. I suppose Twin needs a backup win, but that's about it... and Consecrated Sphinx is an option there.
Manabarbs: One of the best red sideboard cards of all time, the Barbs put the hurt on control decks and ramp decks alike. Manabarbs should win almost every game it resolves. The typical line of play goes like this: "You're at 7? Okay, Manabarbs postcombat. You cast Day of Judgment? Take 4! Untap, Lightning Bolt, game."
Reverberate: An underappreciated card. I made top 16 of GP Atlanta with 2 in my sideboard for non-Faerie Cryptic Command decks and the mirror match, and it served me well there. The metagame has to be right for it, since you need a lot of lands, but when it's good, it's very good. (Story time: At PT Amsterdam last year, I had 2 latepick Reverberates in my Day 2 draft deck. I obviously didn't play them, but I got paired against a blue deck that had 5 Phantom Beasts... so I had to take out my Berserkers of Blood Ridge. I brought in both Reverberates, since we both had spells worth copying. I got an opening hand with one during game 3 and drew the second. Turn 4 I was given the choice of casting Canyon Minotaur or sitting on both Reverberates. I cast the Minotaur. He untapped and cast Foresee. Naturally, I lost game 3 with both Reverberates still in hand.)
Scrambleverse: A sick joke. The primary function of this card is to steal valuable cards from other people with the same sleeves you have.
Warstorm Surge: You could play this. Or you could play Inferno Titan and not be a terrible player.
Arachnus Spinner: It's a 5/7 for 6 that puts a weak Arrest variant (Arachnus Web) on a creature the first turn it's in play. Okay. That's not utterly dismal, but... Primeval Titan exists. Go play that instead. (See why so many people don't like the Titans? Save for Frosty, they're all just obviously better than the other options in their color, and if they aren't, there's also Wurmcoil Engine to contend with.)
Birds of Paradise: If you don't know what to expect from Birds of Paradise by now, I'm not really sure what to say to you. Obviously Birds is somewhat outclassed by the Lotus Cobra + fetchland pairing in the ramp deck and Llanowar Elves alongside Arbor Elf in the Elves deck, but once Cobra leaves, Birds will probably find a home. A card this powerful never really stays homeless for long.
Doubling Chant: At first glance this looks like some garbage casual rare. On second glance, it looks like it could break open creature stalemates. On third glance you remember that Overrun and Overwhelming Stampede are both options and forget about this card.
Dungrove Elder: It's possible that between this and Leatherback Baloth there's a deck that just slams down medium-sized green dudes on small-sized-dude turns. Unfortunately, I suspect that deck is not only worse than Elves, but badly positioned in the metagame.
Elvish Archdruid: If Splinter Twin, Valakut, and Monored didn't exist, Elves might just be a powerhouse. Hm. Wait a second. Those decks all lose a great deal of power after rotation, whereas Elves gets to keep Llanowar Elves, Elvish Archdruid, Ezuri, Renegade Leader, and Copperhorn Scout. The loss of Arbor Elf and Joraga Treespeaker makes Copperhorn Scout worse, but it's possible Innistrad will bring more mana Elves.
Garruk, Primal Hunter: This is ridiculous. Easily the best new planeswalker, the Primal Hunter is a big draw towards green. I have no idea why his current price tag is lower than the new Jace's, but that won't last. He's now the best card-drawing Planeswalker in the format, and protects himself quite well.
Garruk's Horde: Garbage.
Primeval Titan: We all know this is going to be a big deal from now until rotation thanks to the existence of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. The question is whether or not it will continue to be relevant after that. Going from 6 mana to 8 really isn't all that impressive in a world where your lands aren't dealing 6 damage apiece when they enter the battlefield. At first glance, I'd have to say it probably stops being as relevant, since you'd rather run Garruk, a swarm of creatures, and Wurmcoil Engine or a Titan of a different color - or the very next card I'm going to talk about.
Primordial Hydra: If you play this as a 1GG 1/1, it attacks as a 2/2 the first turn it can. It then turns into a 4/4, then 8/8, then becomes a 16/16 trampler. If you play this as a 2GG 2/2, it attacks as a 4/4 the first turn it can, then turns into an 8/8, then a 16/16 trampler. If you play him turn 3 as a 2/2, he swings for 16 on turn 6. Sure, he probably gets killed, but that's a tremendous threat to pose to your opponent. A 3GG 3/3 swings as a 6/6 (the first level at which it's "above the curve", then as a 12/12 trampler. If you play this on turn 3, you're swinging for 12 on turn 5. A 4GG 4/4 swings first as an 8/8, then as a 16/16, and you can be doing this on turn 6. What if the game drags out and goes long and you drop him for 5GG or more? He's a massive trampler the very next turn!
The point is, it doesn't matter where you play the Hydra, it's ALWAYS a threat. This is probably the sleeper Mythic of the set, and I'll be looking to get 4 as soon as I can. The only drawback is that he doesn't play well with Genesis Wave, Green Sun's Zenith, and Birthing Pod. So what?
Rites of Flourishing: People are going to put this in their Valakut deck. They're going to get their faces burned off as a result. It may have a home, but it won't be a viable card until red is weaker.
Skinshifter: The QS preview card, this is one of those nifty utility guys that will be quietly responsible for a lot of tournament success. The 4/4 Rhino will probably be the main role for him, but being able to switch to the 2/2 Bird is a solid option when the board bogs down. Remember to check both possibilities when doing Overrun math. Switching him to a 0/8 plant is something you don't really want to do, but having the option is nice. (For instance, in a situation where your opponent has a Titan blocking and you've got two of these, you can turn the unblocked one into a 4/4 and turn the blocked one into a 0/8 so it lives.)
Adaptive Automaton: This is getting a lot of hype, but I'm just not seeing it. What type of creature are you wanting to Lord up in Standard that don't have a Lord already? You don't want this in Elves or Goblins. Illusions isn't a real deck, and Merfolk already have 2 lords in Standard - Grand Architect isn't a Merfolk, but he's a better lord for them than Automaton is! Consider that while Architect doesn't get pumped by Coralhelm Commander, he does a great job of maxing the Commander out. This is a solid miss, but it will be extremely popular trade fodder. Take advantage of that.
Druidic Satchel: This could see play as a sort of hybrid between Thawing Glaciers and Scrying Sheets. I think if you use this, you're wanting to use it to "draw cards" by putting lands directly onto the battlefield. The catch is that it's a 3 mana artifact instead of a land that taps for colorless, so it's unlikely to see play. If control mirrors become important after rotation, this will be a very good card to break mirrors with - it gives both card advantage and mana advantage over time.
Pentavus: Unlikely to see play without some sort of colorless acceleration giving you a reason to play this instead of Wurmcoil Engine, Titans, and the like. However, it does have a bit of nifty play with Proliferate, it can block quite well, and it doesn't tie up your mana as much as Thopter Assembly does.
Quicksilver Amulet: End of turn, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn (or Blightsteel Colossus). Is it good enough? Maybe. It's not as vulnerable to certain kinds of hate as Exarch-Twin (most notably Dismember and Act of Aggression in response to Splinter Twin), and it provides an alternate 2-card combo for people who want to dodge that hate. The downside is it takes an extra two turns to pull off in the natural draw, but the upside is it removes all color restriction from the combo deck. You can, of course, stuff them both together (though the lack of synergy between the combos would discourage that). This is probably a viable archetype in the new format.
Solemn Simulacrum: A utility value card at 4 mana is not where you want to be right now. Maybe later on, once Twin, Valakut, Amulet and monored are gone or greatly weakened, Jens Thoren's invitational card can shine again.
Sundial of the Infinite: I am pretty sure this is utterly terrible, but as I said about Personal Sanctuary, this is the type of card that just randomly gets broken in half. The thing to look for is something terrible which triggers at the beginning of your end step, then respond to that with Sundial of the Infinite. It's also another way to cheat out Phyrexian Dreadnought in Legacy, but there are better ways to do that already.
Throne of Empires: Even if you draw all the pieces on time, the best you can do is cast Crown of Empires turn 2, Scepter of Empires turn 3 (and get a ping out of it), and Throne of Empires turn 4 (and get a ping out of Scepter). After that, on turn 5 you can finally deal 3 damage with Scepter, steal a creature with Crown, and make 5 tokens with Throne. Okay. So for a 3-card combo you've done basically nothing to affect the board until turn 5, had no counterspell protection for your fragile artifacts, and have already died to red decks. Yeah, that's not going to work. Trade this to the casual players ASAP.
Worldslayer: Why would you even try to play this?
Glacial Fortress and friends: Whee. This set has shown itself to be a solid cycle, and I'd like to see this cycle get completed since it's a pretty clean implementation, but it'd be nice to get a new cycle at some point. I sort of expect to see the Hallowed Fountain cycle get a reprint soon, since the fetchlands are about to rotate, and it'd put the fetch + dual interaction back into Extended (if that's a relevant format). It'd be nice if Wizards would make new dual lands fetchable to reduce the pressure on the original duals in Legacy - a budget player could then play 1 Tundra and 3 fetchable Glacial Fortress duals and not be significantly worse off than a player with 4 of the originals. It's unfortunate that the life loss on the Ravnica dual cycle is far too much of a drawback for Legacy.
Overall, the set seems to have very few new hits. Most of the good stuff are reprints, and green and red seem to get the greatest benefit. It's nice to have a core set like this which is basically a breather, especially after having 2 in a row with expensive and powerful new cards. Garruk and Primordial Hydra are likely the only 2 Mythics which you need to get for tournament play, with Chandra and Jace having an outside chance of being relevant.
17 thoughts on “Magic 2012 Set Review: Rares and Mythics”
Weak article. Sorry bro.
Very meh article IMO. Sometimes completely ignoring Legacy applications while other times going out of your way to mention them while riding the whole article on Standard applications. Seems like it was written quickly and with little thought.
However you do make some very good points. I just wish these points weren't afloat in a sea of side notes and comments that any player, even casual, wouldn't need to be told after a few month's playing.
Good stuff, one of the more entertaining set reviews to read, and I'm glad you call out cards that look bad as actually being bad.
financial website, why is this not about the dollars?
We certainly publish financially-oriented set reviews, but as this is (among other things) a financial site that is sustained because members pay to read financial articles, they are only available to Insiders 🙂
I'm not a financial writer, though I do make a few predictions on the tracker. Once the market actually settles on some starting prices I'll pick out individual cards to target, but right now all the new stuff is overpriced.
This review was extremely mediocre. You need to understand that you're covering the same thing that people like Patrick Chapin and LSV are. You need to provide a reason why a reader would read your review and not just one of the above mentioned.
Also, you're judging everything based on the Pre-M12 metagame. Splinter Twin this, Valakut that. How do you know Valakut will still be viable after M12 when it's losing to UB Control before it?
Valakut may not be "viable", but it will be played. People were playing it even when it lost to Caw-Blade. It was the most popular deck on MTGO for a long time even though its win rate was terrible. In any case, it's rare that one bad matchup alone renderes a deck unviable – that deck has to also be a large percentage of the metagame, and we've yet to see how the post-M12 format shakes out. I expect a great deal of red, and I expect a sizable portion of the blue decks to splash white rather than black as a result. There's a Leyline vs Firewalker vs Celestial Purge thing going on there, and Valakut has answers to Leyline, so I'm not sure it's as bad as the UB matchup.
This is incredibly short-sighted and obviously written with little thought in a short time. There are way to many things for me to bother spending the time to point out, but here are some of the more egregious flaws.
1 – Everything with a target is bad because spellskite, but also everything is bad because splinter twin is a "strictly better combo". Shouldn't you acknowledge that Chandra/Sorin plus vengeance works through the ubiquitous spellskite you seem to think every opponent will have on the battlefield at all times? It also works through torpor orb which may be very relevent as well.
2 – Angelic destiny has a high power level… It doesn't. It would be unplayable as the only aura/equipment in the format in competitive magic. It begs to be 2-1'd and since it costs 4 mana it may as well be a timewalk. It doesn't help you play defense or gain you life and it requires a creature in play to use. Control deck and aggro decks would love love love you to play this card instead of a nother threat/blocker/removal spell… This is one of those skill-tester cards. You failed the skill-test.
3 – Primordial Hydra is good… I'll just let you figure this one out for yourself. I won't deprive the lucky guys who get to trade/sell you these of that opportunity.
And at this point I've had enough. You clearly didn't put any effort into this. This review is a shameful show of weak character and laziness. Why in the world would you put your name on it?
2 – Primordial
The "Prime Directive" of Magic is "never play a worse something else". Where 2-card combos are concerned, that's Exarch-Twin from now until October. The only thing that even comes close to standing a chance is Quicksilver Amulet-Emrakul because it avoids the color requirement and doesn't get hit by the same hate. For creatures, the Titans plus Consecrated Sphinx and Wurmcoil Engine shut a lot of other cards out of the format.
Angelic Destiny gives +4/+4, flying, and first strike for 2WW, and has a recursion ability stapled on. Since it's an aura rather than a 4/4 flying creature, it effectively has "haste". That is in fact above the curve. That doesn't mean it'll be played, but it does have raw power. It doesn't "play defense", true – but I suspect that statement shows your bias towards playing control.
I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on the Hydra – I view it as a variation on Countryside Crusher that you can "pre-load" excess mana into.
I stopped reading at the Chandra/Chandra's Phoenix comments. You start by saying that she doesn't suck but then find only reasons to discount her. Setting her up as a combo piece and then dismissing her since Splinter Twin/Exarch is better is disingenuous or at least short-sighted. I haven't spoken with or read anyone that wants to combo with her but maybe I just missed it. I agree that no one in their right mind would play Sorin's Vengeance but off the top of my head here are some cards that benefit:
Go For the Throat
Lead the Stampede
I realize not all of those have a place at the moment but the point I'm trying to make is that the people who set their sights on using her for utility will see a lot of profit.
Chandra is a splashable planewalker with a breadth of applications, especially with proliferate spells and as an enabler for Chandra's Phoenix which you liked so much. I think that you could have taken it further.
The only other comment that I wanted to make is that the smi77y's GUR deck which has been posting results uses Frost Titan over Wurmcoil engine, so your analysis of Birthing Pod decks not wanting him seems a little off.
I think she's a much better card as a preemptive Reverberate than as a "hasty" pinger.
Of course using her as such is much worse than Exarch-Twin; but that's only around for a few months. All of the combo cards (except Quicksilver Amulet) get a great deal better when Zendikar block rotates since they aren't just straight-up worse than Twin combo. I'm trying to analyze how cards fit into the current metagame plus which cards have the potential to be relevant in a new format full of cards we haven't seen at all yet- that's a lot tougher and forces us to view things more generally. Innistrad could have something like a 4 mana red spell that does 6 damage, and all of a sudden Chandra becomes over-the-top insane.
Somehow I don't really enjoy reading an article that makes it a point to insult the reader over and over. I made it to the red cards and that's about all I can take of this. Lighten up, get rid of the stick that's apparently up your butt. If you could say cards are bad without insulting the bulk of people who are playing this game, then I might care a little about your opinion. As it stands now, lighten the hell up.
Josh: good even-keeled response to Derk’s less-than-constructive criticisms. Some of his points are valid but the tone of his post seemed mean-spirited.
From what you wrote, it appears you didn't read and understand Arachnus Spinner and Arachnus Web.
Would you care to try again?
"Tap an untapped Spider you control: Search your graveyard and/or library for a card named Arachnus Web and put it onto the battlefield attached to target creature. If you search your library this way, shuffle it."
You can tap Arachnus Spinner to its own ability the first turn it's in play, so I don't see how that contradicts what I wrote.
If you're complaining that I called Web weak because you can continue tapping Spinner to bring Web back from your graveyard to lock down bigger creatures, then I have to ask you why you're okay with the idea of tapping your 6-drop every turn to lock your opponent's fat instead of just playing Doom Blade or whatever. Or are you playing other spiders as well?
I think the battle between Frost Titan and Consecrated Sphinx is closer than you think. The only Titan that is able to beat the glut of 6-drop finishers in combat is Frost Titan and while the Sphinx player is drawing a lot of cards, if they don't find an answer in the first two they are in a rough spot vs. Frosty. And if you think one Frost Titan is decent, two is freaking back-breaking, especially with cards like Phantasmal Image and Metamorph creating real potential by copying a 6-drop for 2-3 mana.