Spoilers are just trickling in. There is a bit to discuss here to be sure.
Hold your horses.
I realize this looks good. It probably is. Now let’s talk about the decks that want it.
If you are considering this for a deck that already exists and the deck does not already run Grand Architect, then you probably do not want this card.
If you don’t think want to lose a game of EDH because you tapped all of your blockers, you don’t want this card.
The only expensive artifact in M15 is this one
You’ll notice it already has convoke.
Colossus of Akros coming down faster probably isn’t worth tapping all of your dudes. Do we want to ramp to a Soul of New Phyrexia? Cute, you tapped a few dudes to play a 6/6 but you get no discount on his activation.
I am sure someone will figure something out or they will release an artifact worth ramping to soon, but for the time being, I don’t think this card will have a home without people really stretching. I think if it doesn’t get solved quickly, it will end up bulk status just like Grand Architect was. Is there opportunity there? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. For the time being, I’m less impressed by Chief Engineer than some of you are.
A 4 mana activation to loot? When Scepter of Insight was spoiled, many pro players said that it was ridiculous to pay 7 mana to draw your first card. I submit it’s no less ridiculous to pay 6 mana to draw your first card and then discard it. Merfolk Looter is not an unfair card. I can’t understand why it was deemed necessary to make this card so bad.
To top it off, this is a real flavor failure as well. This is a 1/3 creature called “Research Assistant”. Presumably he helps out another, more powerful wizard with research. He works in a laboratory or library. When he’s not forcing you to overpay mana-wise for a modicum of card advantage, he’s shrugging off any amount of damage insufficient to kill a mammoth-sized creature. The same Lightning Strike necessary to kill a Hill Giant will be required to kill a bookworm who’s not even as good at scholarly pursuits as a creature who lives literally underwater, precluding book-based studies. Let me close by saying that if this card were submitted during a round of “The Great Designer Search” the candidate would be ridiculed mercilessly by members of R&D, and rightly so.
I remember when 6 mana blue spells ended the turn.
“Hey guys, I wonder if people will pay double for a Time Ebb that still lets the opponent draw the next card they were going to draw.”
Shaman of Spring
Why stop here? Why not replace Elvish Visionary with a 16 mana 4/4?
There are still a few gaps to be filled in, but when they’re filled, look to hear about it here first.