Hello everyone! Eldritch Moon spoilers are continuing to roll on. Yesterday kicked off official spoilers for the set - and left players with some amazing new cards and interesting new mechanics.
Instead of trying to awkwardly highlight the meld mechanic and the cards associated with it individually - we decided it would be easier to lump them together and talk about them all at once. Let's get to it shall we?
Gisela, the Broken Blade + Bruna, the Fading Light = Brisela, Voice of Nightmares
Here we have the new iterations of Sigarda's sisters - before they meet their gruesome fate (we'll get to that in a second). I want to take the time and highlight these individually:
Gisela: Extremely potent for the mana cost - it's like a mini Baneslayer Angel. We all know how impactful that was, so I'm fairly certain this can make an impact as well. It is Legendary, and it also dies to a lot of removal - but that's the thing, there's really not a plethora of good removal in Standard. Short of Declaration in Stone, there's no copies of Lightning Strike to worry about, unless players feel the need to start playing Oath of Chandra- which probably won't be a bad idea.
Gisela also curves extremely well between current creatures - as well as the new Thalia. There's nothing really taking up the 4CMC slot that would really contest it's inclusion into many different archetypes. Archangel of Tithes largely doesn't see play as it is - and even if it did, it likely wouldn't be enough to supplant Gisela.
I don't feel confident about other formats - but Gisela will certainly find a competitive home in Standard. It will likely be one of the chase Mythics of the set, and with White already being so powerful - this just puts it over the top. Side note - it likely won't matter, but Gisela also can't be bounced by Awoken Horror's flip trigger.
Bruna: It might not be a Constructed bomb - but Bruna is quite the solid card on it's own. I do think the flavor may be lost on some folks but, I think it's really awesome that Bruna can resurrect her sister and then Meld later that turn. Obviously it has it's uses in formats like EDH/Commander - but keep in mind that Bruna has an on cast trigger, so Kaalia of the Vast fans have to pump the breaks.
I'm speechless. There's so many things wrong, and right about this card at the same time. The story flavor is obviously oozing here, and like Sigarda, Host of Herons all we can do is weep when we look at what her sisters have become. Truly a gruesome and awe-inspiring monstrosity.
Obviously this is the result of the previous two creatures - and Brisela is going to end games extremely quickly. It also negates roughly 99% of cards that would be able to deal with this creature. Unless there's a viable high converted mana-cost removal spell, many players will have to be content to try and Collected Company to hit a Reflector Mage. Short of that - I don't see many viable strategies to get rid of Brisela, and the game will be over in short order.
Let's move on to the next exciting Meld creatures:
Hanweir Garrison + Hanweir Battlements
= Hanweir, the Writhing Township
Finally we see a viable red card back into the fold - accompanied by an extremely potent utility land. We rarely get to get our hands on lands that give creatures haste, and come into play untapped. It's been a long while since Hall of the Bandit Lord - and I'm quite excited by these particular Meld cards.
Battlement: Firstly, I love the fact that Battlements allows the player to control the meld timing, and isn't forced to Meld like with Bruna/Gisela. I'd much rather pay 3RR and have a better chance to successfully Meld without a hitch, and have a greater chance for it to make an impact on the game. It also can be played as a stand alone card to just give random good creatures haste. In the meantime, there's no extra investment to playing Battlement alongside Garrison, and sometimes just shrug and meld them together.
Garrison: I also love the fact that the theme of these meld cards continues - both cards are individually strong, and the meld is honestly gravy at this point. We'll get into the meld side of these two cards in a second, but Garrison is a very potent red creature - which is in short supply in Standard right now. The interactions between Garrison and Thalia's Lieutenant are simply absurd, there's no question. I wonder if those synergies can go further outside of Standard - coupling Garrison with the likes of Champion of the Parish or perhaps Lightning Mauler. The thought of it is scary for sure.
It's also extremely important that Garrison can profitably attack into certain creatures like Sylvan Advocate - we'll have to watch that develop as time goes on. Perhaps there's incentive for Collected Company lists to adopt Red and move into Naya as Standard moves along.
When this was spoiled we had no idea what to expect, or really how any player would flip into this. All we knew is we wanted to - there's so much value here. I think this is an awesome payoff to a "2 for 1". As I mentioned earlier, the Garrison/Battlement Meld set up is much more controlled and Melding them together at the correct time will end the game in short order. Much like Brisela, which I think is the central theme of meld. This is again, a great culmination of the 2 cards put together, and for less of an investment, and set up.
Should the Township be destroyed in combat, you at least keep the 3/2 eldrazi horrors for your trouble. In an aggressive, or even midrange strategy the ability to just randomly meld Garrison/Battlement is fantastic - and that's really the key. If you need to meld, you can. If you don't - you still have 2 solid cards individually.
Overall, I think meld is a success. I don't know exactly how many more meld cards we will see - I did hear in the meld tutorial video on the mothership that there are 3 "meld cards". If that's the case we have seen them all. I'm fine with a low number of these, as I think an over abundance would of killed the uniqueness.
I think everyone should look at meld from a meta perspective, in the sense that meld is just essentially gravy. In this instance - that's okay. I'm totally fine with the option to either stick with 2 cards that are individually good or to meld them for the win. It would have been a bigger disappointment if the individual cards were both mediocre, and the meld cards were slightly less mediocre. That's not the case here - and I think Wizards was successful in that regard.
Is it a little weird? Maybe. But, I really don't think it's a gimmick for gimmick's sake - it's a decision. A decision that can actually be beneficial in many scenarios, because the meld cards are actually quite potent and can lock up games quickly. Or, if that's not what you want to do, then by all means enjoy the individual cards value, because those are good also.
Bruna/Gisela: Gisela is a house, and likely will stay in the $15 range with continued play. Bruna is also quite good, but I question her constructed viability. If she starts off in the $2 range she could increase a tad, but it's doubtful. Foils will likely be highly desirable for both parts - since it's the only way to construct foil Brisela. Each card being an Angel helps in that regard as well.
Garrison/Battlement: These could both end up reaching $5-6. Garrison could go past that mark if it's format defining. Just keep in mind that it competes with Thalia 2.0. The price of the card will highly depends on continued viability in Standard (or Modern). Foils will not be as desirable as Bruna/Gisela, but they could still be a solid pickup given the uniqueness.
Until next time folks, hopefully you all enjoy Eldritch Moon thus far - and continue coming back for some stellar spoiler coverage.
Would love to hear comments and discussion. Let me know what you think!