This week we got our first big look at the Magic 2015 core set. We’ll take a look at the pre-release information and some of the high-profile spoiled cards to get a feel for what the summer will be like for the Magic community.

Welcome to Magic 2015 Core Set

M15 Prerelease Info

It seems like just yesterday we were opening packs of Journey into Nyx and completing the Hero’s Journey events at pre-releases. Now, nearly three months later, it’s time to dive into Magic 2015, and that means battling the veil-cursed Garruk:

The Hunter

The new core set is all about Garruk’s hunt for planeswalkers, including us. His curse has driven him to madness and now he is looking to take out his anger on the most powerful beings in the multiverse. Wizards has been building up to this for many months, starting with the previews at PAX East back in April. Now, to add to the experience, every pre-release box will contain this card (pictured above) which is an oversized Garruk.

The idea is to test your pre-release deck against this Garruk avatar. One of your friends will play Garruk and get to use one of his abilities every turn. Then you can switch off and brag about which one of you had the more spectacular death to a horde of wolves. On top of all that, every store will get an eight-foot-tall carboard Garruk for you to take your picture with. Upload your pictures to for a chance to win a Nerf version of Garruk’s axe.

Say Cheese!

M15 Spoiler Week One

So now we’ve seen how the pre-release experience will work, but what about the set itself? Will it be any fun? This week, Wizards laid out a lot of spoilers, and we’re going to look at the highlights here.

Slivers Return to Form

Silvers have been restored to their original artistic design, much to the enjoyment of the majority of the Magic community. Sure, some folks liked the new design, but most did not. This new land will fit nicely at casual tables and will see play in those fringe Sliver Commander decks. Fortunately it’s a rare so you won’t see it too often in limited.

The Soul Cycle


This is the new mythic 6/6 for 6 cycle which was originally the Titan cycle from Magic 2012 and Magic 2013. You may remember that cycle from being completely broken. This cycle isn’t as exciting for constructed play, but it still packs quite a punch, especially in limited. The Soul of Theros has a lot of potential as a finisher in a constructed deck. The artifact soul could see play in some older constructed decks as well. For the most part though, these will be relegated to limited and casual play.

New Planeswalkers


Ajani, Jace, and Nissa all got new planeswalker cards for the set, to go along with reprints of Liliana Vess and Chandra Pyromaster. The cool thing about these three is that we can see them in the “current” parts of their storyline. Ajani is mourning the loss of his friend Elspeth. Jace is dealing with the difficulties of being the living incarnation of Ravnica’s Guildpact. Nissa is coming to terms with her role in freeing the Eldrazi from their slumber on Zendikar.

Mechanically, only Nissa may be constructed playable, but hey, new planeswalkers are always exciting! Also, this week we expect there could be one more new planeswalker spoiler if Garruk shows up in the set.

Pain Lands Are Back

Well that’s a bit underwhelming. Sure, these guys haven’t seen the light of day since 10th Edition, but they’re not terribly exciting either. These were printed in Apocalypse, 9th, and then 10th edition. You can also find them in a handful of supplemental products. As far as dual lands go, they’re pretty much the baseline minimum for constructed playability. Hopefully Khans of Tarkir has some more exciting lands for us as the Ravnica shocklands rotate out in the fall.

Pro Tour Update

Top 25 Update

top 25

Grand Prix Chicago ended up having a modest effect on the top rankings. The big winner was Jared Boettcher who moved up from 22nd to 15th. He’ll be making a strong run for Rookie of the Year it seems. Meanwhile the top of the charts remains unchanged, but all that could shift over the next month between Grand Prix Washington D.C. and the upcoming Pro Tour Magic 2015.

Grand Prix Milan

gp milan

“There was only one thing (2) Jeremy Dezani could do to dethrone (1) Reid Duke as the leader in the 2013-14 Player of the Year race. He needed to win, and that’s exactly what he did.”

That’s how the coverage of GP Milan currently begins. How the tournament itself began was with 1,147 players, Dezani included, opening sealed pools of Theros block limited. At the end of the first day of competition, Dezani had made it in with a 7-1-1 record. The only other ranked pro in attendance was fellow countryman and Pro Tour Hall of Famer (22) Raphael Levy. Levy finished day one with a 7-2-0 record, looking for yet another GP Top 8.

Dezani began the second day by going 3-0 in the first draft while Levy only picked up a single win, knocking him out of contention for a top finish. Two more wins in his second pod carried Dezani to 7th overall with a 12-2-1 record. The path was not easy as he needed to defeat Portugese pro player Marcio Carvalho in the semis and then Swiss former World Champion Nico Bohny for the title. But he did it and surpassed Reid Duke in the player of the year standings.

Grand Prix Washington D.C.

gp dc

Meanwhile, a star-studded affair was taking place, appropriately, in the capital city of the United States across the pond from GP Milan. Here are some of the highlights in the top 100 of the standings at the end of day one:

  • 1st – Christian Calcano – 27
  • 3rd – Conley Woods – 27
  • 7th – Ari Lax – 24
  • 16th – (14) Shahar Shenhar – 24
  • 17th – (21) William “Huey” Jensen – 24
  • 21st – Chas Hinkle – 24
  • 31st – Brad Nelson – 24
  • 34th – Hugh Kramer – 24
  • 50th – Jelger Wiegersma – 21
  • 56th – (16) Alexander Hayne – 21
  • 59th – (11) Yuuya Watanabe – 21
  • 61st – David Ochoa – 21
  • 74th – Brian Braun-Duin – 21
  • 75th – Jadine Klomparens – 21
  • 80th – (4) Josh Utter-Leyton – 21
  • 92nd – Tomoharu Saito – 21
  • 94th – (5) Owen Turtenwald – 21

Wow. That is quite the event lining up for day two. You should head over to the official coverage site and check out the text coverage from a few feature matches such as Round 12’s Christian Calcano vs Conley Woods or Round 11’s David Ochoa vs David Reed. Meanwhile, Yuuya Watanabe was working his way up the standings and made the cut for the top 8, hoping to secure an amazing 7th GP Title. The former rookie of the year, Watanabe, made it all the way to the finals, where he battled American Grand Prix regular Mike Sigrist. In the end, Sigrist upset the Japanese pro and took home his first career GP title, denying Watanabe his seventh.

The Quick Hits

  • Sean Plott announces that there will be a second season of Spellslingers, a Geek and Sundry Web Series [Gathering Magic]
  • Worth Wollpert reminded everyone who plays MTGO that the V3 shutoff is still happening. We’ll have more on this over the next few weeks as we transition to V4 [Daily MTG]
  • Sam Stoddard talks about the decision to bring “pain lands” back into the current Magic environment [Latest Developments]
  • Gwyned presents a run-down of the lessons Wizards should learn from the success of Hearthstone [PureMTGO]
  • Wizards announces the September FNM promo and, gasp, it’s actually a playable card [Magic Arcana]

Wallpaper of the Week

You can tell that Nissa became much more powerful because her clothes are far more revealing this time around.

The latest incarnation of Nissa Revane is a vast improvement over the previous version, from a mechanics perspective. But what about from a visual perspective? Well, comparing the two we can see that Nissa looks much more pleasant. The old Nissa was stoic and introspective wondering what had gone wrong with Zendikar. The new Nissa looks much more comfortable in her skin.
Oh right, her skin. There’s a lot more of it nowadays. Goodbye pants and leathery armor and hello midriff and sexy stockings. Am I right? This Nissa will see way more “play in constructed” if you know what I mean. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
Jeez, I really can’t keep that going for very long. I miss the old Nissa presentation and feel like they decide to just tear her clothes off and give her a smile. I get it, she’s happy to be fighting against the Eldrazi, but really, she should be a bit more stoic. She is responsible for the destruction of her entire tribe and most of the people of Zendikar and possibly the entire multiverse if no one can stop the Eldrazi.

Grade: C

The Week Ahead

It’s July 4th weekend here in the States which means there’s no major Magic tournaments to speak of. Instead we’ll be looking forward to getting the rest of Magic 2015 spoiled before the pre-release in two week’s time. Meanwhile, if you’re having a barbecue party this weekend to celebrate Independence Day, make sure you take a moment of silence for the MTGO v3 client.

What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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