Fate Reforged Spoilers – 12/30/14

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Shamanic Revelation

I saw someone make a post in my local Facebook Magic group that said "Better than Treasure Cruise? I think so!" which made me facepalm so hard that it's been almost 24 hours and I still can't get over it. We shouldn't be asking "Is this better than Treasure Cruise, a card that has fundamentally impacted Modern to such an extent that an emergency ban was requested by a significant portion of the Modern-playing population?" we should be asking "Is this card better than Harmonize?", a question to which the answer is "No, Harmonize is a better card than this is."

That isn't to say this card is without merit entirely. I just don't think anyone has done a good job of evaluating this card. This is a win-more most of the time, and win-more cards are generally bad. It costs too much mana to compete with Glimpse of Nature for example. Elves doesn't need a non-creature Regal Force. This is going to take the spot of Collective Unconcious in a few EDH decks. This looks better than it is to Timmies  and worse than it is to Spikes. EDH players are the only pragmatists and they are sort of "meh" about it, which seems about right. Momentous Fall was highly touted when it was first spoiled, and that had the benefit of having good sac targets in the form of Vengevine and Abyssal Persecutor. I have spent too much time on a likely bulk rare already.

Flamerush Rider


This has some potential. I don't know how good it will be in Standard without seeing the rest of the cards with dash and thinking about what sort of existing decks or emerging archetypes it can modify. This is easier to evaluate in terms of existing EDH decks, where it may play a role, but it will hit bulk before it comes to prominence if it even does in that format. My time playing with Archwing Dragon taught me that you never wanted to see a second copy and you never felt good casting it more than twice. If you're spending all of your mana dashing, you're soon going to run out of things to copy when this attacks and I think that's a real liability. Anything that puts you behind curve is a liability, and too many dash creatures is likely to do that.

Hardcasting this creature feels similarly bad. 4 mana for a 3/3 haste is pushing it, but the extra ability makes it worth it. Paying 5 mana for a 3/3 may not be good enough to hack it in Standard. This card has potential, but a lot of its potential is predicated on you having something else in play that's good. I'm not bullish.

Sage-eye Avengers

This is in a classification of cards that is very awkward. I classify this is "You're going to lose a lot of games to this in Limited, hate it, and then literally no other format, not even EDH, will want it and you'll forget its name in 4 months." A lot of people lost a lot of games to Tromokratis in limited not too long ago. Do you know what that card does anymore without clicking to read it? Literally the only thing it does right now is sell for a dime.

Could casual and EDH decks run this? Eh. I can't see anyone being overly excited about it. This is a bulk rare that will be very good in Limited, and as weird as that feels, that's just what's going to happen.

Temporal Trespass

It's nearly impossible to judge this card correctly. Judge it in a vacuum without considering how many cards Sultai decks are jamming into the graveyard right now and its delve cost seems insurmountable. Remember the lesson of how underrated Dig Through Time was and you're likely to be way too bullish. Remember the lesson of how overrated Temporal Manipulation was, and you're likely to be way too bearish.

We need to know more. Are there going to be more ways to put cards in the yard? Are decks that do that going to benefit all that much from an extra turn where they mostly draw more spells to put more cards in the yard?  Is UUU too tough for a 3-color deck? Does this have a deck? Too many questions. Anyone acting like they can properly evaluate this right now is fooling themselves. I do know a few things.

  • EDH plays Time Warp effects
  • This card will presell for a lot of money

I don't know whether that "a lot of money" will be too much like it was for Temporal Manipulation or too little like Dig Through Time. If I had to guess, I would guess that this is a fairer card than people think and it's unlikely it's as good as people who flip out over Time Walk cards always do. I'm not a buyer at over $10 preorder. Maybe I'm too risk-averse, but I am not wowed here.

Jeskai Infiltrator

Meh. Bulk rare. Thada Adel, Acquisitor was better than this and was bulk, despite having a deck it could go in. This card is a nonbo with itself. It doesn't even have prowess. Yuck. Bulk rare.

Is it possible this card is better than I think it is? Maybe, and if you think so, I bet this is a $5 playset preordered. Buy in if you want, but I'm not impressed.

Soulfire Grand Master

This card is nuts. Nuts, nuts, nuts. It's nutty. Good gravy is this nutty.

Do you think this was originally templated as a Legend until they realized people would give Blasphemous Act lifelink and get beaten to death by their EDH playgroup? I can't say. I do like that we're seeing a lot of creatures with the activation of the Khans' other colors.

There isn't much to say about this card that hasn't been said by the labored breathing of burn players all over. Gain 6 off of a Lightning Helix and put it back in your hand. Cute. Give Stoke the Flames lifelink. Dirty. This card is very good, but very fragile.

Want a card to compare this to? How about Pain Seer? I haven't seen preorder pricing for this yet, but this is likely to presell for way too much money. I'm not a buyer over $10 on this, and I bet it goes above that. Bust these from packs and out them before people come to their senses. Cards like this are the reason it's profitable to presell cards. Do I think this card is nuts? Yes. I love it. But let's be real - this is probably overrated right now, no matter how many times you buy a Time Warp back.

Dragonscale General

Until I see all of the cards in the set, I can't say definitively that this is garbage, so I'll say that this is probably garbage.

Archfiend of Depravity

This seems pretty good in Standard, although this may not be the best curve-topper in its colors. This seems really good in a small number of EDH decks. This is really hard to evaluate because there are two scenarios and one of them happens a lot more than the other.

  • This goes nuts in Standard, possibly after Theros block rotates, and goes to like $10
  • This goes to $1 then goes to about $3 over the next two years because of modest EDH and casual demand

I worry that this is better at killing Elvish Mystic than it is at killing Siege Rhino and that our opponents can do a lot of work with 2 creatures. Still, with the effect being asymmetrical this could put you way ahead. We've been burned by black fliers that are better on paper than in practice (Master of the Feast anyone?) so I'm cautious, but this seems powerful and this is going to annihilate a lot of creatures in EDH.

Temur War Shaman

I feel weird being so bullish on Whisperwood Elemental yesterday and not so enthused about this card today, but... not enthused. If you play this, it's a 2-of MAXIMUM. I jam Gruul Ragebeast in every EDH deck with red and green in it, just about, but this is less good than that card, which was a bulk rare and still is.This is harder to trigger than Gruul Ragebeast, so it's mostly a creature that probably costs 1 mana too many for its power and toughness rating and which Manifests every turn. While that's good, I don't know if this will make the cut, unless it's a 1-of or it's relegated to the board.


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