Sandsteppe Mastodon

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Sandsteppe Mastodon

Can you read this? This looks vaguely like it wasn't intended to be spoiled, but I saw Evan Erwin say "screw it" and post the text on twitter. The cat's out of the bag, so why not pretend it was a gift? And make no mistake, this IS a gift.

Sandsteppe Mastodon
Creature - Elephant

When Sandsteppe Mastodon enters the battlefield Bolster 5 (Choose a creature with the least toughness or tied with the least toughness among creatures you control. Put 5 +1/+1 counters on it.)

Awwww snap. Right away, Standard players said "Nice! My Elvish Mystic is going to be a 6/6 when I cast this guy!"

Right now EDH players are saying "Nice! I'm going to put 5 counters on Gyre Sage and it will tap for an extra 5 mana!"

Limited players are saying "Rares are good in limited, usually!"

Bolster is a sweet-looking mechanic. Not every creature is likely to be bolster 5, but even if they're bolster 1 or 2, they make your mana dorks formidable. This isn't going to make your Courser of Kruphix into a tank necessarily, but Elvish Mystic or Sylvan Caryatid might get beefier and become legitimate bruisers.

This is going to be good for triggering Ferocious on Temur cards as well, so I'm pretty excited. Bolster helps Abzan cards by putting counters on Anzan creautres that benefit from counters and helps Temur creatures get big enough to trigger ferocious. Not bad at all. I don't know how many of them will be good, but I think Mastodon at the very least gets some play in a deck like my Vorel of the Hull Clade deck where Doubling Season will be its best friend. I like this mechanic and I like this card specifically. I don't know how much money this will fetch, but a cheaper card with Bolster, maybe a 3 drop 4/4 or something with bolster 2, could be formidable.

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Jason Alt

Jason Alt is a value trader and writer. He is Quiet Speculation's self-appointed web content archivist and co-captain of the interdepartmental dodgeball team. He enjoys craft microbrews and doing things ironically. You may have seen him at magic events; he wears black t-shirts and has a beard and a backpack so he's pretty easy to spot. You can hear him as co-host on the Brainstorm Brewery podcast or catch his articles on He is also the Community Manager at and writes the odd article there, too. Follow him on Twitter @JasonEAlt unless you don't like having your mind blown.

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5 thoughts on “Sandsteppe Mastodon

    1. Heh, I meant with the bolster it would be a 4/4, not a 4/4 with bolster on top of it. Wizards knows a *little* better than that, although they did make Wild Nacatl fly recently.

  1. Just because a card’s new doesn’t mean it’s good. The writer of this article talks about it like it’s the new Tarmogoyf of something. It SUCKS. If you’re going to pay 7 mana, play Hornet Queen.

  2. My take on this is that the card is playable and the ability is borderline ridiculous. I play devotion, this can be cast turn four, right after courser generaly comes down.

    As far as the ability, if we get a uncommon under four mana that bolsters for maybe 2 I will be pretty happy. It would make devotion more aggressive early and with what ive seen I think that the format is heading that way. Good card, not amazing, and I cant wait to see the rest of the cycle.

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