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Fate Reforged Spoilers – 12/29/14

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We got a lot of updates over the weekend, so let's dive right in.

Kolaghan the Storm's Fury

Kologhan, the Storm's Fury is how Wizards chose to spoil the "Dash" mechanic. The mechanic may very well be fine on a smaller creature or one whose dash cost is cheaper than its mana cost. As far as how the mechanic relates to this card specifically, I'm not convinced this will ever be worth a ton. He's legendary, but I am not sure you want him as a Commander. He reminds me a lot of Archwing Dragon in that he is nearly identical to Archwing, only his Dashing is optional. I don't see this being a ton more financially-relevant. Though we are losing a Dragon from standard at rotation, that is a long way off and we still have Sarkhan the Dragonspeaker in the mean time.

Dash is an interesting mechanic, and while I played with Archwing, it never saw enough play to go much above bulk. This card's optional regular (unhasted) casting, buff to other dragons and legendary status will almost assuredly bolster his price above that of Archwing, but to an extent that's hard to predict. We've seen legendary creatures at bulk rare before. We'll have to see how many good creatures we have to boost and how many potential EDH generals the set gives us. I don't predict this going above its presale price.

Goblin Heelcutter

goblinheelcutter

A step below "Ankle Shanker" in the hierarchy of goblin Achilles' heel murdering, a hellcutter is still pretty interesting. As we predicted, we have a creature whose Dash cost is cheaper than his full mana cost, and we have an impetus for dashing repeatedly if we want to keep stymying a potential block. Dash is getting interesting.

Outpost Siege

We love charms as Magic players. Modularity allows a card to essentially be two or more cards in the same piece of cardboard, allowing it to be the answer you need in a variety of situations and generally just be an effective use of a slot in the deck.

Outpost Siege allows you to build around one of the two abilities, although it's more likely that you want this in a deck where you could take advantage of either ability.

Could the Dragons' ability forecast a lot of good creatures in the set with the Dash ability? You can trigger that ability when your creatures die, true, and doubling the damage of a Goblin Bombardment could make this a potent card in formats with a lot of tokens, but continually playing a lot of creatures with Dash is going to trigger it as well. We can only speculate and I'm not impressed with playing a 5 drop dragon to get an extra 1 damage a turn.

The first ability essentially increases the number of cards in your hand by one, especially if you get a land from its trigger and draw gas. It's awkward to be forced to main-phase an instant or lose a curve-topper early, but it may be worth it for the extra card selection.

As always, cards that have a lot of new concepts on them get people talking ("Could there be a whole bunch of cards that trigger if you attack with a coward?") but I don't predict other cards that stack based on how many permanents you have where you choose Dragons or Khans. This is a cool card but cool doesn't always help a card go above bulk, which is where I see this particular card heading. There's a lot of precedent for cool red enchantments being worth nothing.

Whisperwood Elemental

Whisperwood Elemental is one of a few cards with the Manifest keyword. It's an interesting one, potentially turning lands into 2/2 creatures or letting you beat with a dude for a while until you can afford to flip him up instead of having to pay 3 colorless or having him stranded in your hand.

Manifest aside, Whisperwood Elemental has a very interesting bit of anti-wrath tech in his second ability. It's essentially a free Fresh Meat for your non-facedown creatures. This card is no Voice of Resurgence but he reminds me of a combination of two cards that defined their era. The first card is Loxodon Hierarch. Hierarch had a good casting cost to power and toughness ratio and a very, very good first ability. Where Siege Rhino fails to measure up to Hierarch is in Hierarch's second ability. Some people forgot you could even regenerate your side. I've also used Hierarch's sac ability to make an opponent whiff on getting counters on Umezawa's Jitte. Being able to stuff a wrath for free is useful if that is their only out to your swarm of guys.

The second card I'm reminded of is Huntmaster of the Fells // Ravager of the Fells. Again, no lifegain here, but you are getting a 2/2 creature every turn on top of a solid 4/4 creature. This could be the new Huntmaster variant in midrange. I think these two abilities are very good in a green midrange type deck. You can play mana ramp to get this out early, pay to flip up manifested creatures and have more fodder for Whisperwood's Ultimate sacrifice.

I think this card is reminiscent of enough cards, including also the initially-underrated Master of the Wild Hunt that there is a real possibility that this card will be worth more than its presale price. Depending how cheap I see these, I may want to gamble on the presale price if it's around $5. I think this has significant upside and a significant chance of being mis-evaluated.

Ethereal Ambush

Another Manifest card, this is a decent combat trick, although the mana cost is high. Not much to say about it finance or playability-wise; you will play this in limited and like it, it likely will not see contructed play. Is manifest a Temur ability?

Soul Summons

Guess not.

Soulflayer

It's hard to believe Magic has gone over 20 years and has never had a card called "Soulflayer" until now. We've seen nice delve monsters, what do we make of this guy?

This has the potential to be very good in the right deck. You can essentially build a 2 mana Baneslayer Angel depending on the rest of your deck. In limited, he's likely getting 2 abilities max, but a 4/4 flying vigilance creature is nothing to sneeze at. Your deck needs to be good, but a 4/4 for 6 with delve is fine for limited anyway.

The real question is whether Soulflayer is good enough to be played in constructed formats. This has the potential to be $15 or more the very first weekend the set is legal if good players are building around him and scrambling for copies. More likely he ends up around a dollar to three dollars. We don't have much to compare him to other than Necropolis Fiend, a card that saw a bit of play and never went above a dollar. This is a good deal cheaper than fiend and can potentially get several good abilities depending on the deck. Still, the best black decks that fill the yard with good creatures would rather whip them into play than delve them out of the yard right now, so the metagame would need to shift pretty radically for this creature to become necessary. There is always a chance I'm misevaluating this card, but I think this is likely another Cairn Wanderer - cool card but the decks that can best use it would rather be doing something else.

It feels odd to be dismissive of a card that is potentially a 2 mana 4/4 haste or 4/4 flying so I will say this. If this presells for around two to three dollars, there is potential upside. If you have to buy in more than that, you'll have to believe in the card a lot more than I do. The best home for this could very well be a red black aggressive deck with a lot of haste, burn and fetchlands to power your delve. Even not being bullish on the card, I want these at $5 a playset if I see them at that price on eBay.

 

8 thoughts on “Fate Reforged Spoilers – 12/29/14

  1. I could see Outpost Siege seeing sideboard play in G/R Monsters as a replacement for Chandra, as it provides a bit of anti-wrath tech along with duplicating Chandra’s “draw” ability while also being useful in multiples.

    Could also see it at the top end of a tokens build, though the problem there is getting to 4 mana before a Bile Blight/Drown in Sorrow/Anger of the Gods/Arc Lightning/Barrage of Boulders.

  2. Outpost Siege is a Red Phyrexian Arena for all the EDH players of the world. 4 CMC probably keeps it out of standard, but that art is excellent and the first mode alone makes it a Red EDH staple.

    1. I rather like it in EDH as well. I could see using the second mode in Prossh a lot, and the first mode helps with card selection in an otherwise poor color at that sort of thing.

  3. We need more dragons in black for Crux! 😀 3-4cc maybe? Kolaghan is a good addition nonetheless to the heavy removal Rakdos deck who did well in MTGO a few weeks ago, and to the recent builds of Mardu running Hordeling Outbursts and Raise the Alarm.

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