Friday, April 18

The full spoiler can be viewed here.

Armament of Nyx

Jess: I kinda like this mini-cycle of Phyrexian Boons. It gives some upside to enchantment creatures, which has basically been the theme of this block. “Enchantments: Not as weak as we’ve been making them for years!”

Shawn: I looked real quick and thought the soldier had a T-Shirt gun. Dude is going to blast some sweet XL novelty sports shirts into the heavens.

Matt: It’s a t-shirt “canon,” Shawn.

Lagonna-Band Trailblazer

Jess: This seems pretty powerful, and that’s a turn three triggered ordeal, which minimizes your opponent’s ability to respond. I like it, and am considering it for my Pauper Cube. Shame, though, that there’s only going to be one pack of ordeals now.

Shawn: Pillarfield Ox with upside? Sign me up. In limited, I love a good defensive creature at the right price and this one is costed just right.

Leonin Iconoclast

David: This art just makes me think of Mulan.

Shawn: I really like the flavor text on this card. Might be my favorite so far.

Matt: Mulan rules. This art rules.

Oppressive Rays

Shawn: The first constructed deck I ever built had a playset of Kirtar’s Desires, so I guess I might have a penchant for situational Pacifism/Arrest effects but I like this card. In limited, it’s not insanely powerful, as it is situational, but it seems like a solid roleplayer in aggressive decks.

Phalanx Formation

Jess: Woof, this is going to be a limited blowout. Ghostblade Eidolon was bad enough, but double strike at instant speed, to two or three unblocked or trampling targets? Rough!

Quarry Colossus

Jess: Now this is a card for Commander. It’s a tuck effect on a sizeable body, but unlike traditional ones where the card gets stuck on the bottom, causing the person to hate you, this one is just an effective delaying tactic… until they shuffle, that is. I like it.

Reprisal

Jess: Cute reprint. Is it any good?

Shawn: Is that a Rimescale Dragon being banished? Return to Dominaria confirmed.

Brendan: Vanquish the Foul really quickly.

Skybind

Jess: Is this any good? It seems underwhelming for a reason. I guess it’s versatile? You can use it to reset your non-enchantment mulldrifters or falter an opponent, but at five mana that doesn’t seem particularly useful. It can hit land and debuff enchanted creatures, though, so I might be undervaluing it for limited.

Shawn: I run a prison style EDH deck with all of the enchantments and I still don’t think I would play this. The problem is that you need a lot of enchantments for it to trigger but then also have non-enchantments with ETB triggers which is sort of awkward.

Skyspear Cavalry

Jess: The three power first strike flier for 3WW in this block is a two power doublestriker. Is that good? Probably! But that two toughness makes me wary.

Shawn: While the toughness is certainly a vulnerability in limited, Double Strike is such a ridiculous ability that I think it’s still a high pick. Could you even imagine Titan’s Strength-ing this lady?

Aerial Formation

Jess: “And you get an overrun, and you get an overrun, and you get an overrun!” I mean, I get multikicker has a limited design space in a block focused on permanent buffs, but it’s weird how many of these are just overrun effects.

Cloaked Siren

Shawn: I thought for a hot minute that Breaching Hippocamp had flying. It never did. Problem fixed!

Brendan: Klingon War Bird.

David:  I still think Breaching Hippocamp has flying.

Hour of Need

Jess: I think this card would be more interesting if there was a common low-drop to enchant with “this creature can’t be blocked by creatures with flying,” as sometimes shows up. But I don’t think that’s in this set, so this is probably just going to be a counterspell for removal, and removal for enchanted monsters.

Hubris

Shawn: The concept of Hubris is so important to Greek Mythology that you would have thought Wizards would have slapped the name on a sweet card. The idea was obviously dispersed here.

Brendan: BOING! Targeted Upheaval seems good in this build-a-beast format.

Kiora’s Dismissal

Thassa’s Ire

Jess: Something like this is almost certainly going to be a combo piece in some ridiculous chain. The most obvious combo is Bloom Tender for instant infinite non-blue mana, if the conditions are met, but there are probably more interesting ways to use something like this. It certainly gives you inspired triggers!

Shawn: Not going to lie, I would have preferred a Flood reprint.

Triton Shorestalker

Shawn: T1 Shorestalker. T2 Ordeal. You win!

Warwing Siren

Jess: Does it hurt white and green’s color identity to give each of the other colors a heroic dude who gets bigger at common? Because this is a pretty spicy heroic dude, and the red and black ones aren’t too shabby either.

Brendan: This one is going to be good.

Aspect of Gorgon

Jess: This seems useful in limited.

Shawn: They have done such an amazing job in this block to do away with the stigma behind Auras. Bestow creatures don’t allow you to get two-for-one’d and a bunch of the cheap enchantments draw you a card when they hit play. Aspect of Gorgon is interesting because +3 toughness really is significant, but of course the minute your creature reaches its Voyage’s End, you feel really bad about this card.

Blood-Crazed Hoplite

Jess: Good to see design remember that black’s the color with counter removal. I kinda wish this guy was a zombie, though. It seems like that art was made for a zombie, and then someone changed their mind.

Cruel Feeding

Jess: I was going to be like “hey, another overrun, how unlikely!” but this doesn’t give any sort of pseudo-evasion. I think in my head, overrun is just a class of combat-related spells that affects multiple creatures and causes a swing in the game that is either going to end it or put it out of your opponent’s reach. I think instant speed power-boost and lifelink will do that, but my definition might be overly generous.

Shawn: It’s a little more flexible than Cutthroat Maneuver for what it’s worth.

Feast of Dreams

Brendan: This one avoids confusion. Does it destroy enchanted creatures or enchantment creatures? Yes.

Felhide Petrifier

David: The minotaur deck seems pretty cool if you can pull it off.

Jess: I love me some deathtouch lords. I wonder if minotaur tribal has enough to actually be a viable EDH deck. If so, the commander is probably going to have to be Karona, since this block has failed spectacularly at giving an actual Minotaur tribal legend. Mogis emphatically does not count.

Grim Guardian

Nightmarish End

Nyx Infusion

Jess: The relationship between this card and Boon of Phyrexia is blatant. Which is good, because I don’t know that I like the flavor of this thing. Ambrosia wasn’t known for killing people. And I know it’s not a direct corollary, because the Greek gods didn’t twinkle with ambrosia, but Nyx is also a place, and not just the starfields, so this thing has me all turned around. So, in conclusion, decent card, underwhelming flavor.

Blinding Flare

Jess: Mass falter is a type of overrun, right? What I like about this is you use the first couple of targets on making your attack really sweet, but then you can burn off the rest of your mana giving your dudes heroic triggers since “can’t block” isn’t a drawback on your own turn.

David: There are approximately one million pseudo overruns in this set.

Magma Spray

Jess: I prefer Pillar of Flame. I don’t know that instant speed makes up for the inability to shoot your opponent in the face. This is better art than the Alara version, though!

Pensive Minotaur

David: I never thought I’d see a minotaur described as pensive.

Jess: It’s a super weird descriptor! Especially since this card basically has the generic minotaur body. What’s supposed to be pensive about a ⅔ for three with tribal synergies?

Brendan: I’ve seen a lot of Matt Jones self-portraits with similar poses.

Rollick of Abandon

Jess: Did someone order some flowstone?

Rouse the Mob

Jess: Overrun!

Sigiled Skink

Jess: I like it. I don’t know if it’s good or not, but I like it. It’s going to look quite nice in foil (you know those sigils are foiled out more than the rest of it), and it might make it into the pauper cube for that reason.

Colossal Heroics

Jess: See, this overrun at least also doubles as a defensive combat trick. You don’t have to play it that way, since you can just use it for the power boost during an attack or inspired triggers whenever, but at least it’s not as boring as some of these overruns have been.

Consign to Dust

Jess: If this hits more than three targets you’re in trouble. Luckily, if it hits more than three targets you’re probably not going to be in trouble for much longer, so this is probably appropriately costed. And it might even be relevant for EDH and such, since green decks are pretty good at making obscene amounts of mana and this is a pretty good spell to dump all that mana into.

Humbler of Mortals

Jess: Overrun! Seriously, it’s getting to the point that I really want to know what they did with all the fogs. I think the only one is that “prevent all damage to players” one from Theros, but that can’t be right!

Market Festival

Jess: This effect is always fun, and this is going to see play in all those green-based enchantress Commander decks.

Nature’s Panopoly

Jess: Wait, so nature protects its own by growing blades and shields on its trees, to be snatched off the living organisms by humans? I don’t think we’re nature’s own, and I think the trees that are nature’s own aren’t going to do particularly well if they’re growing weapons. Those trees would be stripped bare immediately, assuming that a strong wind doesn’t just make the damn thing shred itself to pieces. Also, steel is heavy! Even if it makes any sense that a tree would be growing steel (and down its trunk no less), these things would be drooping! I would buy a pumpkin patch or bush of blades more than these ridiculous trees.

Nessian Game Warden

Jess: I’m a fan of any creature that has “draw a card” pinned to it, and the impulse effect here means it’s going to be a good one.

Solidarity of Heroes

Jess: Another potential overrun, although I like how they made this work with heroic.

Brendan: Sticking together is what good heroes do.

Swarmborn Giant

David: This is an interesting card. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it.

Fleetfeather Cockatrice

Jess: Cockatrices are unusually playable in EDH, because they make excellent rattlers. This one is going to be sweet, because once you’ve stabilized it goes on the offense quite well. I just wish it was a four-drop.

Shawn: This couldn’t just be a goddamn bird? My Derevi Bird Tribal EDH deck is crying right now.

Stormchaser Chimera

Jess: I am a sucker for repeatable scry effects. Add in a fairly reasonable pump, particularly if you have something powerful on top the first time you trigger the ability, and now we’re cooking with gas! What I don’t understand, though, is why all the enemy color pairs get an uncommon, but the only allied pair to get an uncommon is UB. I dislike unbalanced cycles!

Armory of Iroas

Chariot of Victory

Jess: While this is probably not good enough for EDH, since there are better things that give these buffs (like Helm of Kaldra), this looks like a super-solid limited card.

Deserter’s Quarters

Jess: Am I just dumb? There’s a bunch of things in this set that just don’t make a ton of sense, flavor-wise, and this is a prime example. Is this a) a sauna in the shape of a bull that makes it unpleasant to stay inside, b) some sort of arena situation, c) a murder in which a dude is being thrown onto the flames by his hair, or d) some combination of all the above? And why is the flavor text so specific about “one night’s stay” if the entire point of this card mechanically is that you can tie down a creature for more than one turn? It’s ridiculously opaque!

Gold-Forged Sentinel

Jess: Honey Chimera don’t give a damn.

Thursday, April 17

Banishing Light

Jess: O-baby! Now you can run two O-rings in EDH. There are decks that are going to want that. The real question is there a deck out there in Modern that wants eight of the damn things?

Deicide

Jess: Useless for singleton formats.

Brendan: Sure beats Revoke Existence, although in limited only the instant speed will likely ever be relevant.

Tethmos High Priest

Jess: This is the type of heroic ability I can get behind. That’s raw card advantage, and on a reasonable body to boot.

Brendan: I like the variety in heroic abilities. This one is much more relevant late game, when your other heroes have died.

Dictate of Erebos

Jess: I have grown to hate this effect. It was bad enough with the first enchantment and the vampire, but this? And with flash? Worst.

Brain Maggots

Brendan: Creepy art. I was on a boy scout camping trip once, many years ago before the Boy Scouts went insane, and a bug crawled in a kid’s ear. He had to go to the hospital.

Renowned Weaver

Nyx Weaver

Jess: I would run this, and not just in Mimeoplasm. It’s a little annoying that you can’t loop them, but it’s still a good combination of a powerful ability with decent combat stats and a weird plus, which in this case is feeding the graveyard. I plan to acquire a foil one, myself… I think it will look quite nice!

Wednesday, April 16

Font of Vigor

Matt:  The Helvetica of magic cards.

Shawn: This has to be the worst Font in the cycle, which I think makes it more like Comic Sans than Helvetica.

Font of Fortunes

Matt:  What’s not to love about destroyable Divination for four 2UU?

Jess: Glass half full sees it as a recurrable Divination for 2UU!

Shawn: At the end of the day this fills a better spot on the curve than Divination and while you are technically paying more to draw cards, being able to cash in the Font on an opponent’s end step is worth it. Courier’s Capsule saw play in Standard and I would bet that this will too.

Font of Return

Matt: this card sucks.

Jess: Again, the viability of the fonts seems based on the ability to reuse their permanent nature. If there are more enchantment gravediggers (maybe a constellation one at rare) then these could be solid. If not, they’re Ephara’s Radiance.

Shawn: I don’t think this is a constructed playable card, but, three creatures is kind of a lot.

Font of Ire

Matt: I keep trying to find ways that I’ll look foolish for hating these cards so much but I’m coming up empty. They’re all totally boring pieces of shit. Where’s my Daybreak Coronet?!?!

Jess: That’s a really good point. Why has the enchantment block not given Boggles any more tools?

Shawn: Who actually thinks Boggles needs more tools? I wish this dealt damage to creatures because then it would be an actual card in limited.

Font of Fertility

Matt: OMG WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THESE FONT CARDS?!?!?

Brendan: Constellation, man. You love stars, Matt.

Jess: The clear winner in an awkward cycle.

Shawn: I was just going to say that I actually kind of like this cycle…I also liked the Baku cycle, the Odyssey hound cycle, and the Burst cycle though so, maybe my opinion doesn’t count.

Golden Hind

Matt: Elk is probably my favorite non-Beast creature type.

Brendan: I hate Brooks Brothers, but this is a golden fleece I can get behind.

Tony: This is first pick bomb in pretty drafts.

Shawn: I was golden to try to make a Big Buck Hunter joke…

Strength of the Fallen

Matt: Potentially bad ass. Most likely just bad.

Jess: It certainly has potential, since you can go one drop, this thing, bestow Shieldmate. But that’s still only 7 damage by turn three, which is… Meh.

Harness by Force

Matt: Maybe we need to start playing a new game. It seems like it’s always “this set’s Threaten” is better/worse than Threaten. This bores the living shit out of me. Or whatever. This set’s counterspell. This set’s two mana green 3/3. Snore.

Jess: A red overrun that is probably going to be regularly cast as a game winning six-drop? I guess?

Desperate Stand

Matt: I’d watch a movie about these star beasts fighting shitty normal soldier morons. They’d probably have Michael Bay ruin it though.

Disciple of Deceit

Matt: I bet Brendan likes this card.

Brendan: Transmute this, baby! I love blue-black looters, and this is a good one. It’s no Bane Alley Broker but I am excited to see what this card can do.

Jess: Solid in Limited, might see play in EDH, probably never in 75 card formats. There are just better tutors out there.

Tuesday, April 15

Aegis of the Gods

Matt: I love this. I love being hexproof. I’d be hexproof if I could in real life.

Jess: A leyline of hexiness that beats face? I like it.

Tony: For the longest time, I thought this card’s ability was attached onto hexproof creatures. Like having a Caryatid somehow saved your face from Lightning Strikes.

Dictate of Heliod

Matt: Weird profile format art. All sideways. Wonky perspective. High mana cost. It probably needs a high mana cost. It’s probably correctly costed. What do I know? Kadar said it’s good.

Jess: Nielsen gets it done with the art again.

Eidolon of Rhetoric

Brendan: Modern storm hoser that doesn’t die to Lightning Bolt seems good.

Matt: I love this card.

Jess: I haven’t heard a lot of buzz around this card yet, which is weird since it seems good!

Godhunter Octupus

Matt: This card is bad AND totally amazing. Godhunter Octopus?! REALLY?!? HAHAHA!!! I love it.

Tony: This makes octopus tribal viable, right?

David: Rumor has it that some gods are going to end up dead.

Daring Thief

Matt: I was watching Clone Wars this morning and before the announcer says “Padme and Anakin are fighting and Jar Jar Binks gets in trouble!” the little Buddhist saying at the beginning of the episode was “Truth is the first casualty of war” and I thought “fuck this show is CORNBALLS.” And it’s true. It is. And it’s the best non-Archer cartoon of all time.

Jess: I kinda hate these effects, and I have grown to dislike inspired for Commander, and really all but the limited formats.

Battlefield Thaumatruge

Brendan: Mana reduction is always strong. Too bad the hexproof trigger doesn’t protect it from being killed in response to targeting it.

Jess: I like the math shenanigans the mothership did with this card, and in EDH it seems a strong combo with Strength of the Tajuru. Which, incidentally, why isn’t Strive just Multikicker?

Tony: Now this is the kind of card I’d like to build my deck around and horribly misuse.

David: @Jess—I feel like half of new mechanics these days could be renamed kicker/multikicker.

Bearer of the Heavens

Brendan: Atlas! So much flavor, so little playability.

Matt: Is it really unplayable? Seems ok.

Jess: I hate these abilities with a passion. They only see play in Commander, and if you blow up the world in Commander you’re a dick.

Monday, April 14

Pharika, God of Affliction

Brendan: I’m not sure about this one. Graveyard value is nice.

Matt: It’s good that the snakes are green/black, right? Or does that not matter b/c there are no mana symbols due to their lack of mana cost? Aw. Oh well.

Jess: Why did they nerf this card? It’s the only one that gives your opponent a potential advantage. I mean, it’s maybe good politically in Commander? But it would be so much cooler if it were just the Necrogenesis it initially appeared to be.

Nyx-Fleece Ram

Brendan: Terese Nielsen killing it again with the sick art. Good on defense too.

Matt: I’ma have to disagree with you, B-Mac. I don’t think I like Terese Nielsen anymore. I do like that her work is super different from other Magical art, but she’s too hungup on weird straight on perspective.

Jess: I’m not an art master, but I still like the vibe I get from her cards, and the Nyx star field has given her plenty to work with.

Riptide Chimera

Brendan: I want one too.

Matt: Shark Bat Crab is the greatest creature of all time.

Jess: Is this, as a 3/4, better than Esperzoa at 4/3? I am not sure!

David: One of my favorite cards of the set.

Master of the Feast

Matt: This card is freaking sweet. What a giving chubby bunny.

Jess: Hugs all around!

Prophetic Flamespeaker

Brendan: It might be hard to cast both cards you “draw” off a clean hit, but presumably you can play one. And if one is a land, that’s sweet value.

Matt: Brendan is right.

Jess: This looks like a limited bomb that could see play in Commander, since mono-red decks could always use more draw. And I like that red is just getting Chandra draws now as part of their color identity.

Twinflame

Matt: This card’s a neat take on the Splintertwin theme/problem. I have these guys in Diablo and they’re fun to watch run around and shoot magic. Mine are blue.

Jess: This strive card is too similar to Striving Act of Treason for my comfort. They’re both going to play very similarly.

 

Saturday, April 12

Mana Confluence

Matt: I’ll take it! Pretty sweet. Pretty sweet art.

Brendan: I love lands. City of Brass facsimile is pretty good.

Athreos, God of Passage

David: I think this is the first time I realized this god’s name was AthREos, as opposed to AthERos.

Matt: If I played Standard anymore I’d be either super scared of this card or, more likely, super freaking pumped about how amazing it is. This card is so freaking good.

Jess: Finally, after getting shafted during Ravnica block, BW gets a decent general for EDH. It’s a card advantage machine that drops down on turn three and sticks around when you wrath. I’m looking forward to taking advantage of that!

Brendan: Now we know where the scholar learned to kick ass.

Launch the Fleet

Matt: I remember D-Day from television. This is the same thing but Greeker.

Brendan: I hope a subgame develops to come up with the funniest reasons why a large number of people would suddenly leave an area.

Polymorphous Rush

Matt: You’re all pigs! HA!

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed

Matt: This card has the Midas touch.

Jess: So much flavor! I can’t tell if it’s good or not, but Paradise Mantle and Sword of the Paruns seem like an obvious way to abuse this ability.

Brendan: Doesn’t seem like much of a curse in limited. More like a sweet ability.

Tony: This card, paired with an Inspired enabler, can probably do horrible things.

Forgeborn Oreads

Matt: The video game the illustration is taken from looks pretty good.

Jess: If only there were an enchantment that gives your team deathtouch. Oh wait, they just printed one? Archetype of Finality? Well then, that seems like a strong synergy, huh?

Hydra Broodmaster

Matt: I LOVE EASTER! It’s the day a giant rabbit hides chocolate candy (some of which resemble eggs) for kids in a basket because Jesus makes him! That’s the story of religion! WOO! This hydra is much more terrifying than a bunny but it’s an interesting spin on an old story.

Jess: I guess R&D was like “do you know what card casual players loved? Gelatinous Genesis. How can we make that better? Let’s put it as a monstrous ability on a 7/7 for 6!” And thus, this.

Friday, April 11

Hypnotic Siren

Matt: She’s way too good for you, Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass. Put your bone down and know your place.

Jess: It bothers me this card isn’t a 2/2 flier for 3 with the same bestow cost. This is the type of card you’re almost never going to want to cast un-bestowed (unless you’re playing limited and have an ordeal in your opening hand), and with a slight tweak to the numbers it would have presented a better choice there. Plus, Yavimaya’s Embrace and Spirit Away both give +2/+2 for this effect, and I like symmetry.

Brendan: I suppose a 2/2 for 3 would have been overpowered in limited. Still seems sweet.

Kiora’s Dismissal

Matt: “I said get outta here!”—Kiora

Worst Fears

Matt: I’m surposed this doesn’t cost 4BBBB. They usually do that when cards are crazy and weird. I hope Elspeth learned her lesson. I wonder if it’s ok to name your newborn baby child “Elspeth” or if that’s corny.

Brendan: Do they have lawyers writing flavor text? I am not not unimpressed with the awkward double negative.

Ritual of the Returned

Matt: This card is probably bad (too expensive, too bouncably destroyable) but it seems neat and I like the weird biceps version of St Sebastian coming back from the dead. This reminds me of Easter, too.

Tony: Black has a lot of interesting cards in Theros limited—Rescue from the Underworld, graveyard recursion, March of the Returned. This card seems kind of awkward but hilarious, which means I’ll be drafting the hell out of it.

Spite of the Mogis

Matt: Mogis says, “FUCK YOU GUYS!”

Tony: Seems more Keranos than Mogis. And a last pick uncommon in draft?

Kruphix’s Insight

Matt: All Magical cards art involving Kruphix’s form are beautiful because Kruphix is so gorgeous to illustrate.

Pheres-Band Warchief

Tony: Centaur tribal is my kind of deck.

Matt: Centaur tribal is Tony’s kind of deck. I love this guy’s hammer/arrows combo. I bet he can hit them far. Look how sweet that bow is leaning on the side of his horse body. That’s great.

Jess: The bravery of a minotaur and the wisdom of a sphinx, huh?

 

Thursday, April 10

Kruphix, God of Horizons

Matt: I’ve never been more excited about a god card than I am about this one. I want to own the painting of it (if it isn’t done on a shitty computer). It’s beautiful. All that mana, forever. YES! Mike Simpson says it can only be used to cast Sphinx’s Rev but I bet it’s way awesomer than that shortly. (This, of course, means it’ll be a useless valueless card.)

Jess: A solid general. Omnath, Locus of Mana is a little too aggressive in its use of this ability, and the mono-green restriction can be a little frustrating. Kruphix solves these problems, giving you access to blue as a secondary color and keeping you from killing your opponent before you get to do anything fun with your infinite mana. I’m excited to build around this card and excited to just throw it into a couple of decks as a solid role-player.

Brendan: So you can save up mana over turns? That seems useful. Time to draw all the cards. Hopefully you have room in your deck for some cards that actually win.

Shawn: While all of the gods are gathered on Theros’ version of Mount Olympus, I just imagined Kruphix being a contrarian dick:

“Kruphix, dude, you have way too many cards in your hand! Aren’t you going to discard?”

“Nah. I don’t really do the clean-up phase.”

“What about all that mana you tapped, aren’t you going to empty your mana pool?”

“Nah. I’m just going to let it hang out.”

“You’re just going to have a bunch of colorless mana floating around in the air?”

“Yeah, Karametra, what part of god of the horizons don’t you fucking understand?”

Matt: Karametra is an asshole.

Silence the Believers

David: This would be way better as “Silence the Beliebers.”

Matt: “Fuck You, and Your Auras, Too!” is a good card.

Jess: I don’t know if the monoblack Commander decks really needed better spot removal, but this certainly is that. When you’re making nigh-infinite mana every turn, that multi-kicker isn’t too expensive… not really. Brendan: I’m glad they made a card like this. I’ve wanted to see a Turn to Slag effect in the format and this is a sweet one. Shawn: This card is awesome but I kind of doubt it will see much Standard play given that Hero’s Downfall exists. Also, I want all of my four-mana-black-exile spells to at least give me some gold. Tony: Upon closer inspection, the satyr is in fact not wearing a stylish red cravat.

Eidolon of the Great Revel

Matt: I’m a fan of almost all occult activity.

Jess: I haven’t read the books, or much of the arcana, but everything I’ve heard makes Xenagos seem the sympathetic figure in this block. Is it really so hard to welcome your new neighbors into your pantheon? Brendan: A new Sulfuric Vortex? Seems good for burn, especially since it can attack if the coast is clear. This is a surefire cube card and may make into some more competitive formats too. Shawn: Is it wrong that I just see double-red in the casting cost and know I’m going to hate this card?

Wednesday, April 9

Keranos, God of Storms

Brendan: Blue red is never turning on the god, so the static ability needs to be awesome. This one seems pretty awesome. In return for showing your draws to your opponent, you get an extra card or lightning bolt every turn? Sounds good to me!

Matt: BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! I love doing these write ups. I love drawing cards and free lightning bolts. This card rules. Daarken is about 50/50 with good/bad art and this one’s a winner. Shawn: This card is falls into the sweet-but-probably-not-playable category for me. I really enjoy slower engine cards, especially ones that allow you to draw cards, but the five CMC in blue/red means it has a pretty narrow chance of Standard adoption. Maybe Keranos is a one of finisher in URW control or something like that? Jess: My test for these gods is “can I see myself building around them as a general?” And for Keranos the answer is yes, yes I can. Rich: At first I was on the fence about Keranos, but then I remember that Scry is a mechanic in this block. That may be the deciding factor that pushes this into playable territory, especially once RTR rotates away in the fall.

Iroas, God of Victory

Matt: Iroas isn’t quite as starry as the other gods. What gives? His ability is insane. This card seems amazing.

Shawn: Iroas seems like the kind of card you want at the top of the curve for an aggressive RW deck. Unfortunately, the best Boros deck in standard, RW Burn, probably doesn’t want to play it. Still I could see a white weenie strategy splashing red for this and perhaps some Chained to the Rocks (if your Mountain count allowed for it). Jess: Similarly, I can see building around Iroas as a blazing Boros general. For starters, this god’s abilities affect itself, unlike Heliod, and in addition to keeping your fast, but small, attackers alive beyond a reasonable point in the game, but he ends the game in three hits. Solid, if not particularly exciting, commander material. Rich: Like Matt said, where did all his stars go? Jess: Guys, they’re in his belt. Like ORION. Isn’t that clever?

Ajani, Mentor of Heroes

Matt: uh … awesome? Draw cards, make dudes bigger? Yes please. If only it were a two drop.

Shawn: While gaining 100 life seems like a mythic ability, I just imagine Wizard’s development team tacking on the ultimate at the last minute. While all of these abilities sort of encapsulate what green/white is about, this Planeswalker doesn’t really feel cohesive. I don’t like the flavor of this card and don’t really think it’s constructed playable outside of EDH. Matt: Poor Ajani. He never quite gets there. Jess: He has gross synergy with Doubling Season and draws cards. What more can you ask for from a planeswalker in EDH? It’s not like five mana is particularly daunting in Commander, especially not in GW. Rich: Hey Shawn, Mark Rosewater confirmed on tumblr that they designed the ultimate ability as it is on day one when they created Ajani. Personally I love it. It’s massively in your face. It doesn’t try to be cute or complicate. 100 life. Bam. Every time you ultimate him in a match you’re going to look at your opponent and smile and say “come at me, bro.” Brendan: Yep, GW Ajani. I don’t think this is where GW needed help but he does things, I guess. He’ll be crushing in limited at least.

Underworld Coinsmith

Matt: I bet Brendan loves this card.

Brendan: This must be the economics professor at Athreos University. I like.

Shawn: I also really like this card. The art is sweet, the card border is beautiful, and the ability makes sense in relation to the flavor of the card.

Jess: I want to try this out. The cinch seems useful, and it’s not a wholly irrelevant enchantress ability.

Sightless Brawler

Matt: lame cycle of bestow creatures: go.

Shawn: Ok so, let me get this straight, the giant shirtless guy in the back is blind and the guy directly in front of him is giving him direction? Shouldn’t the smaller guy be drawn as yelling instead of motioning with his arm? Or does Bestow grant the bigger guy the ability to mimic the moves of the smaller guy? If that’s the case shouldn’t they be in the exact same position, to show this connection? Or maybe the smaller guy is the Sightless Brawlers enemy, and he’s just taunting because he feels pretty good about the fact that his opponent is blind… Matt: It’s kinda funny that the front guy is pointing to our left and the brawler is walking to our right. You know, if making fun of blind people is funny, which it’s not … so I guess it’s not funny.

Godsend

Matt: I’m an atheist but fully believe in this card’s power.

Jess: Oh filthy. I thought it was like an imprint ability, which means it would be practically useless in Commander, but if you exile their commander with this they can’t recast it until Godsend leaves the battlefield, even if it goes back to the Command Zone. Better than I had initially thought, since that Meddling Mage ability is otherwise useless in a singleton format. Rich: This card is nuts. N.U.T.S. White mana in the cost is a bit of a drawback but otherwise it’s mostly an improvement over Loxodon Warhammer. Shawn: The only thing I don’t like about this card is the ambiguity in pronounciation. It’s God-send! I know that I’m going to hear Gods-end across from me and want to flip the table.

Dawnbringer Charioteers

Brendan: Wingsteed Rider, meet Hopeful Eidolon.

Matt: But we’ve already met! Oh wait oh wait! I can say a jerk-off Magic thing, “this is a strictly better Seraph of Dawn.” Good card is good, right? RIGHT?!?!? Rich: Anytime a card is ‘strictly better’ than a good card it’s what we call in the business ‘strictly gooder.’ Or something like that.

Matt: ‘Strictly gooder’ is probably right.

Shawn: Adam Yurchick recently proposed a UW Heroic list with this guy(s) on the top of the curve. I could see this card seeing some Standard play though I mostly just think it will absolutely smash Limited games.

Ajani’s Presence

Matt: I don’t think I have anything to say about this card besides a note about how Ajani almost always looks terrible in card art.

Shawn: This seems like a potential sideboard card for Naya Auras to bring in against control. Being able to protect a guy from Supreme Verdict for one mana seems exactly like what you want to be doing.

Sage of Hours

Matt: So I can take how many turns? Six? Yeah I’ve got 30 counters on here. AWESOME. Why’d I wait? Well, how often do you get to take six turns in a row? Overkill? More like OVER AWESOME!!!

Jess: If you want a complicated means of taking extra turns… well, Magistrate’s Scepter is still an easier thing to break. Still, this is as close to an EDH-playable heroic card as we’re going to get, right?

Matt: Yeah it’s probably EDH City, USA for this card.

Rich: Most extra turn mechanics are limited to once a turn. I’m sure leaving this as a repeatable effect won’t come back to haunt Wizards at all. Also some genius over at Reddit already built an infinite turn combo in Standard with this guy, Ajani, and two copies of some Gatecrash aura. Brendan: You really have to want to take extra turns to get this to work. Mindreaver’s best friend, a.k.a. unplayable.

Crystalline Nautilus

Matt: This card accurately depicts the speed and ferocity nautiluses are known for.

Brendan: It looks like a jetski. Shawn: It is a jetski.

Dictate of Kruphix

Matt: Kruphix better have dope abilities because he looks sweet and this card is sweet.

Jess: Commander is the perfect format for this card. Rich: Solid upgrade over Kami of the Crescent Moon in your completely unplayable Modern Owling Mine decks. Brendan: At least you don’t have to let anyone else draw first.

Scourge of Fleets

Jess: This is a seriously interesting card for the 100-card set. Mono-blue ramp is a thing, and having some beef like this that not only swings for a reasonable chump, but helps you stabilize when it comes down… it’s a good combination.

Brendan: This seems really good, assuming you want to play a seven drop. Matt: Theros block has the best underwater art of any block. Shawn: I predict people will hum the Jaws theme before casting this card.

Whitewater Naiads

Matt: Naiads don’t fly? Rip off.

Dakra Mystic

Brendan: Well it’s a one drop, so it could be good in an ordeal deck. The ability is interesting but probably not very good that often. It can mess with your opponent’s scry at least.

Matt: How good are ordeal decks gonna be when we get one pack of Theros? This card reminds me that spring training is over and there are Mets and Yankees games to attend through September. HOORAY!

Sigiled Starfish

Jess: I am a sucker for cards like this.

Rich: C-c-c combo breaker with Keranos.

Matt: I really liked Killer Instinct.

Extinguish All Hope

Jess: This is going to be a solid wrath in Commander. There aren’t enough enchantment creatures in the format to make it much worse than a black Day of Judgement, and unlike Damnation this one’s probably going to settle at bulk-rare prices.

Rich: Someone pointed out to me that Extinguish All Hope doesn’t kill Hopeful Eidolon. Pretty epic flavor-fail.

Gnarled Scarhide

Matt: Boring. Sweet nasty arm and star-body, though.

Tony: Makes a strong case for Bx aggro, and not being able to block helps prevent me from making poor decisions. I’ll take four.

Doomwake Giant

Jess: Anything that says “X your opponents control” is worth considering in EDH, and this will likely devastate some token strategies. Maybe BW enchantress will be a thing… although unless the BW god is amazing, I’m going to guess that deck ends up in Junk colors.

Brendan: This looks good. Giant body for five mana and a real ability.

Squelching Leeches

Brendan: As a fan of mono black, I give a hipstery eyeroll.

Spawn of Thraxes

Jess: I could see playing this! It’s a little overcosted, but people play that red Corrupt so I think attaching a body to it would probably be a strict upgrade. Especially in a Kiki-Jiki deck.

Matt: Spawn is one of my favorite comic books of all time despite the fact that I haven’t picked one up in over ten years.

Mogis’s Warhound

Matt: Lava Puking Dogs seems ok.

Brendan: Cheap bestow is always good.

Dictate of the Twin Gods

Jess: This Dictate cycle seems spicy. I look forward to seeing the other three as well… plus I like the art on these “multi-god” cards.

Matt: Gods smash! Rich: Isn’t Aurelia still legal in this format? Is this a surprise 20 damage? Yikes. Could be good.

Satyr Hoplite

Matt: This seems like really bad news for everyone.

Brendan: Red isn’t favored over white, but now both have one drop ordeal machines.

Cyclops of Eternal Fury

Rich: This ability is always better than I think it is going to be in limited.

Matt: Dies to Eye Gouge.

Setessan Tactics

Brendan: Whoa, this could be a blowout. If you have big creatures.

Jess: Another potentially strong EDH card. It’s widespread spot removal in a color that could stand to have some more.

Spirespine

Matt: Angry porcupine is really angry.

Brendan: Try not to block with this.

Heroes’ Bane

Rich:  Interesting variation on Chameleon Colossus. Without any evasion I can’t see this getting much love outside of limited.

Eidolon of Blossoms

Jess: Enchantment? Enchantment!

Rich: Everyone is building Modern Enchantress now.

Matt: This card is awesome.

Ravenous Leucrocota

Matt: What a wonky weird looking thing. Straight out of Lorwyn.

Hall of Triumph

Matt: Archeology is sweet. This card is probably good.

Temple of Epiphany

Brendan: Never has a color pair wanted to scry more than blue-red.

Matt: Never has a color pair been a bigger asshole than UR. Or UW. Or UWB.

Temple of Malady

Matt: The more I think about Golgari colors the more I think I am Golgari.

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