Insider: Into the Core, M13

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You may remember Spoiler Season from AVR. It wasn’t long ago.

You probably remember people mentioning, “Shortest Limited Season of the Year.”

Well, when it hits, it's still hard to imagine.

Core Set, Magic 2013, releases July 13, with prereleases only one month away. A big chunk of spoilers were revealed this past week, but we still have much left to see. What sort of impacts will the core set have on Standard? What about Eternal? While few new Rares and Mythics have been revealed, we do have a bit of a glimpse at the future. The spoilers I'm referencing can be found over at MTGSalvation, linked here.

Shockland Synergy

While no strict confirmation of Shockland reprints, we have tons of cards that have synergy with them. There are cards that care about Basic Land Types, yet not specifically Basic Lands. Either we have cross-set synergy with the future Return to Ravnica Block or we’ll see them in the Core. Or perhaps a split between the sets.

Not as if we needed more confirmation to know they were coming, but now the deal is sealed. If you’ve been holding out on selling your Shocklands, the time has already passed. But you are still likely better getting out now rather than holding.

Exalted Reprints

We’ve seen a bunch of cards with the Exalted ability, including some reprints form Alara Block. If a big chunk of the new cards weren’t Black, I’d say a Mythic style deck might return and what creature better to give the bonus to? Geist of St. Traft. Still there is a possibility we will see a Noble Hierarch reprint, but no Exalted spoiled yet in Green.

Blue Tribal

We have seen at least one Illusion (a potential 5/5 flier for 1 mana) and a few Merfolk, so time will tell what type of Tribal Lord we might see.

I do like the prospects of the new Legendary Talrand, the Sky Summoner. I could see him being a fan favorite, even if not a huge constructed card. Possibly an EDH general option, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did sneak his way into Standard. I expect foils of this guy to be disproportionally high.

If we do get a Blue lord, I’ll be interested to see which tribe they choose to support as neither Merfolk nor Illusions were supported at all in Innistrad Block. If there is Tribal support here, we’ll need additional tools in the Ravnica Block to make a splash in constructed.


We’ve seen reprints spoiled in Chandra, the Firemind, Jace, Memory Adept, Garruk, Primal Hunter and [card]Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker[card].

Rumors abound that we’ll see a 2BB incarnation of Liliana and a 1WW incarnation of Ajani, bringing all the original five up to version 3.0. The Liliana rumors have meat now that we’ve seen Liliana themed cards like Liliana’s Shade, and a reprint of Serra Avatar certainly falls in line with Ajani’s typical roles.

To me, the speculation target here is Liliana of the Veil. If we get a solid planeswalker at 4, despite the legendary rule, I expect both Lilianas to combine to make a serious deck. While it’s clearly too soon to tell what the planeswalker will look like, we’ve seen some solid support in Black (including reprints of Duress, Vampire Nighthawk and Vampire Nocturnus) where I’m expecting Liliana of the Veil to climb upwards towards $30, whether combined with her new version or not.

The huge risk, however, is that instead of a new Liliana, we get a reprinted Liliana. I doubt they’ll do this so close to her original printing, but it's still possible.


Tied in with my predicted success of Liliana of the Veil is the strong Vampire support thus far. Between Nocturnus and Nighthawk, we see the two main pieces that glued the Zendikar block Vampires deck together. The criticisms I hear of this speculation are that because many of the vampires in Innistrad Block are red, Nocturnus will not be as effective.

My contention is that most of the good Vampires are actually black and the only mono-red vampire that is desirable is Stromkirk Noble. While jamming a red one-drop into a mostly black deck may be too hard to fit, I expect a real Vampires deck to make a hit this summer one way or another. If you can still get your hands on Nocturnus around 10, it’s a solid pick up. Better yet, digging up any old Nighthawks you may still have is a wise plan.


Two utility cards stand out to me.

Smelt is a better version of Shatter that simply costs R. I’m not sure if there’s room for this in Vintage, but I do know that cheap artifact removal like this is typically played. I’m keeping my eyes out for foils early on.

The other is a new Green creature with an interesting ability: Mwonvuli Beast Tracker. He allows you to tutor for a creature with Hexproof, Deathtouch, Reach or Trample and place it on top of your library. A strong effect indeed. An instant EDH staple for Green decks and will likely see some play in Standard as it tutors for Thrun, Acidic Slime, Vampire Nighthawk, Wurmcoil Engine and Primeval Titan, among many others.

Again, as an uncommon, not likely to shoot too high, but foils may be a thing, especially in the EDH crowd.


I admit, I’m excited about Core this year. I’m hopeful to see a changing of the guard in Standard and am looking forward to new spoilers as we see them in the coming weeks. As crazy as it sounds, I'm even more excited to change Limited formats and I'm glad this was the set that got the least limited attention.

Are there any spoilers that are going to have a big impact that I didn’t mention?

Separate from all of this, I’m about 80% done organizing my sale list for this summer. I’ve prioritized items I feel are most at risk, including core set Duals and Rotating Planeswalkers. I’m going to get the bigger ticket items listed on eBay within the week and then give my local dealer a chance to quote on the rest to see if it is worth my time to list them myself.

Until next time!

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