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Tuesday, January 6

Atarka, World Render

Matt: The sexiest dragon by far.
Zach: It’s a big, dumb dragon that attacks for 12. Seems strong. 4 toughness is pretty bad in this format, as is 7 mana, but the effect is large enough to justify the cost. She will end the game for you, if she doesn’t die or be stranded in your hand.
Shawn: I’m already sick of dragons. I just see the picture and my eyes gloss over.


Humble Defector

Matt: He’s the Garrak (Star Trek DS9) of the set.
Jess: This is like the perfect Commander card. Use it politically or sac it in response to the effect… either way, those are Commander plays.
Carrie: This seems hard to abuse in two-player Magic. Assuming you get rid of it after tapping it (sacrifice or something more fun like playing a Spirit of the Labyrinth or Curse of Death’s Hold) which makes it a Divination that costs two but requires untapping with it in play and having the other effect as well. Tormenting Voice is just better.
Zach: I love that this is a 2/1 for 2. The ability is very weird and likely hard to use… except perhaps not. It presents your opponent with the choice – don’t use the ability and give you a 2-for-2 (you’ve drawn 2 cards, but spend this one and your opponent gains a creatures) or use the ability and let you draw even more cards. Generally, giving your opponent cards is a bad idea, but this may force your opponent to do just that in order to keep up.



Matt: Kinda awesome. I like that it only shows like 50% of a morph art since morph art sucks.
Jess: I really am not loving these manifest cards. Like, now we have a manifest hydra? What’s next?
Carrie: Interesting card, making a green X creature with efficient stats.
Zach: This is a big, dumb creature that will sometimes be more than that (but the bigger you make your manifest, the less likely that an underlying creature will be relevant). It’s funny, I really like Soul Summons, and this feels like a good evolution of that design, but I’m not terribly excited. Perhaps it’s because I value bounce spells so highly.


Lightning Shrieker

Matt: Spitting lightning is a cool super power if you’ve already got flying and this thing already has flying.
Jess: Okay, so this card isn’t amazing or anything, but I want to put it into my pauper cube because a) it’s going to look nice in foil, and b) it’s a DRAGON! A real dragon, not the only other common dragon out there, Dragon Hatchling. Which may as well not be a dragon. Anyway, this seems slightly worse than Lava Axe.
Zach: Lava Axe is never a bad or great card, and this is a blockable lava axe that will rarely (heh) provide an extra dragon attacking trigger.


Harsh Sustenance

Matt: The Abzan eat dragons. THAT IS AWESOME.
Jess: Love it for pauper cube, but do not understand the scale of the art on this card. Did I just miss the point where this world has casual giants?
Matt: I think it’s a baby dragon.
Carrie: This makes me think R&D wants BW Warriors to be a viable constructed deck.
Zach: Hungry Abzan warriors take salting their meat to a new level. In Limited, this won’t always be able to kill what you want, but it will sometimes be able to kill anything (even an opponent) and net you a mountain (well, swamp/plains) of life as it does so.


Cunning Strike

Matt: This goat has a good jump kick.
Jess: Another strong pauper cube card, which is good, because the enemy colors had slightly fewer options for their gold sections.
Carrie: I like Izzet cards that deal damage and draw a card. The two-and-two effect doesn’t impress me too much, but it’s probably good.
Zach: This card costs 5 and is still likely to be great. When your opponent taps out for a morph, you kill a different face down card they have and draw a card. It’s not an efficient kill spell, but when it works, you’ll be far ahead.


Grim Contest

Jess: I love this reverse fight mechanic, and again, it’s a good card for pauper cube.
Matt: I agree with Jess. This is neat. It’s also insanely obvious that the croc is gonna fuck up that puny human.
Carrie: Doran fight!
Zach: This is awesome. You are guaranteed the at least one of the creatures will die. Love this design and expect to love it in draft.


War Flare

Jess: And finally, this one is perfect for pauper cube. I don’t know how other pauper cubes handle the Boros color identity, but in my cube it’s all about the token strategies, and this card is perfect for that.
Matt: If only it also gave lifelink, first strike, deathtouch, and trample. So close, Wizards.
Zach: This is another Trumpet Blast. Most of the time, this will be worse (since it requires more mana and another color), but every now and then the extra toughness will let you eat creatures when you’d normally trade and the untap will let you demolish an opponent’s attack.


Monday, January 5

Whisperer of the Wilds

Jess: Pauper cube, I think. Maybe replacing the flip mana dork? It seems easier to have a power 4 creature in cube than it is to reliably flip cards.
Matt: I love the hats these guys and gals wear. They’re sooooooo awesome. Tooth bangles. Huge fan.
Zach: Ramping from 2 to 4 isn’t that good in Khans (sorry, Embodiment of Spring), but ramping to 5 a turn early is huge for morphs. Seems decent, though not having any power or relevant toughness is a big strike against Whisperer of the Wilds.


Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Jess: This card drives me to want the color identity rules to change. This guy seems like fun, but not a good enough graveyard commander for Sultai decks, who have The Mimeoplasm and Sidisi, both of whom are better enablers. This would be cool in straight Golgari or Dimir, but alas!
Carrie: Yes please! Way better than Hooting Mandrills.
Zach: Trample is pretty good, so this ain’t strictly better than his Ape descendant (backwards evolution on Tarkir, yeah!), but he seems pretty nuts. Four mana to draw a spell is pretty awesome and the ability synergizes so well with delve.


Wardscale Dragon

Jess: I have a Scion of the Ur-Dragon deck that is going to love this guy. I like the whole cycle, but I think this one is a standout.
Matt: Least attractive and least good dragon.
Zach: Seconded, Matt. Dragons are good, but this ability seems most limited (and best against white’s reactive kill spells like Kill Shot).


Mindscour Dragon

Matt: Also shitty despite being much cooler looking than Wardscale Dragon.
Zach: This ability is actually pretty strong. In a long game, the mill should win you the game by killing your opponent, and it could power up a slew of super-cheap delve cards. I like this dragon a lot!
Carrie: Most of the time, dealing four combat damage will be a faster clock than milling four cards. I expect it to be best to mill yourself for value, but there will be times when milling the opponent will be best. Like if they gain a ton of life or all milling themselves already and thus short on cards in the library.


Noxious Dragon

Matt: By far the best of the uncommon dragons and easily the third coolest looking.
Zach: Blowing a morph on death is good. Not having your dragon die is better. These all seem good (‘cause hey, a 4/4 flying for 6 tends to be good, particularly when it plays into a dragon theme).


Shockmaw Dragon

Matt: I can’t deal with how amazing lightning-from-the-mouth dragons look. Lightning just looks sick all the time. Good job. I also like the lightning/molten materials combination. The light is beautiful. Second best looking dragon.Zach: More good dragons are good! A 1 damage ping will often not kill creatures (many of the decks that rely on X/1s are pretty aggressive), but it will make combat math harder on your opponent.


Destructor Dragon

Matt: Maybe the second best dragon at uncommon ability-wise. Definitely THE COOLEST looking dragon. Look at all those weird horns. Look at that green fire! Look how muscly and near-human s/he is! So fantasy. So wow.
Zach: Dragons are always good in limited. Usually you don’t want them to die, and the free Bramblecrush you get can vary from devastating (blowing up your opponent’s only source of a color or their Siege) to meh (blowing up your opponent’s extra land).
Carrie: Khans has no way to destroy lands, so this ability might be useful for attacking a multicolor manabase. More likely, that will be threatening enough that your opponent feels pressure not to kill this dragon. I like having 4/4 fliers that my opponent doesn’t want to kill.



Matt: This is probably good. It’ll come as no surprise that I love the way the electricity looks.
Zach: Neat! If my morph goes down, I’m taking you with me! Weird and potentially hard to set up, but oh so good when it works. This’ll make folks think twice before blocking with high power creatures.
Carrie: This seems like Anger of the Gods in limited – never what a red deck wants to do. But maybe there is value in a conditional wrath.


Warden of the First Tree

Matt: This is a much better Kin Tree Warden. Er, whatever.
Zach: Seems really, really strong. It’s a Nessian Courser to begin with and becomes an unbeatable monster with more mana.


Fruit of the First Tree

Matt: I can’t wait to evaluate this card as awesome and then have everyone shit on it! This card is awesome!
Zach: This card is awesome! …eh, it’s a cool engine card. Gaining 8 life from a Rotting Mastodon is insane, and putting this on any creature with 3 or more toughness nets card advantage.
Carrie: I don’t like this card at all. It’s better than unplayable garbage like Murder Investigation, since you can put it on your opponent’s creature, but it still feels like you can get more value out of playing cards that actually do things.


Wild Slash

Matt: My day job boss says “I’m gonna have a slash” whenever he’s going to go take a leak. I read the name of this card and imagined someone peeing all over the place. Anyway, it seems fine.
Zach: Shock in a format of 2/2s (and awkward removal) is very, very good. This may likely be windmill slam first pick.
Carrie: Shock with upside is good.


Thursday, January 1

Daghatar the Adamant

Matt: The Abzhan turn out to kind of be dicks, eh?
Zach: The templating here looks weird. Why isn’t it, “Move a +1/+1 counter from target creature onto another target creature?” They didn’t want to go over the line? This guy should vaciliate between strong beater in a Limited Jeskai deck, to absolute trump in Abzan mirror matches. Definitely a high pick.
Carrie: Not as good as High Sentinels, but still pretty good.
Shawn: I like a few things about this card. One, the name Daghatar. It just has a nice ring to it. Also, you can’t say it softly, Daghatar demands you say his name adamantly. Second, I like that it offers another Abzan general for EDH. If Ghave was too good for your playgroup, boy are you in for a treat. His name is DAGHATAR!
Jess: Yeah, but he’s such a mediocre commander!


Monastery Mentor

Matt: So little potential for lice in that group.
Zach: It’s Middle-Aged Pyromancer! The one that makes Magic a game of math! This card is amazing. I don’t expect to see it as much in nonrotating formats, just because it costs 3 instead of #1 Chandra Fan’s 2 (and isn’t in a color known for playing tons of cheap noncreature spells), but it’s got much higher potential upside.
Carrie: These Monk tokens are going to be valuable to collect.
Shawn: I love this card. While it takes a bit of work to get it going, unlike a certain standard legal goblin, I think there is room for the both of them in a Standard Jeskai tokens deck. For eternal formats, three mana might be a bit too much, but man, tokens with Prowess?!
Jess: Prowess is a weird ability for Commander, because of the spell/creature balance of Commander decks, but this certainly gives more upside than most.


Monastery Siege

Matt: I’m less into the feathered dragons than the snarly beastie dragons. I played some Ultra Street Fighter 4 last night and really dig that one guy’s lightning kick.
Zach: You’ve got a choice between an upgrade to Thassa (well, minus the awesome creature and unblockability) and pretty good protection for all of your aggressive dudes. I like this card a lot.
Shawn: Everytime I see a blue or white enchantment I look to see if it has a place in my Hanna, Ship’s Navigator EDH deck. While the draw ability isn’t quite as good as Honden of the Seeing Winds, and the Dragons ability isn’t quite as good as Karmic Justice, having options is awesome. I’m definitely picking up a copy of this card.
Jess: Ugh, combo is going to love this card in Commander. Either it digs you to your wincon, or it protects it. All for three mana! Terrible.


Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest

Matt: I wish Clayton still wrote the top ten shirtless guys in Magic art articles. This guy would get honorable mention because only his right pectoral is showing, but it’s a nice one.
Zach: Blue aggro creatures are awesome. Shu Yun looks to be terribly threatening to block. I’m looking forward to trying him out in cube.
Carrie: This card seems annoying. There are too many of these cards with powerful extra prowess abilities that cost hybrid mana.
Shawn: Tiny Leaders gets it’s first Jeskai legal commander! Also, this card should get an award for “Most Portal Three Kingdom’s name without actually being in Portal Three Kingdoms”.
Jess: So far this cycle has not lived up to the initially spoiled Yasova Dragonsclaw. Her ability seems most relevant for a commander, and even she’s somewhat weak.



Matt: Flavor text, “Get this shitty fucking morph art out of here!”
Zach: Awesome lifelink wind drake (that sometimes draws a great creature) is awesome. I love this cycle.
Carrie: Incredible card.
Shawn: What this card lacks in elegance it makes up for in cool factor. Lifelink Wind Drake that can sometimes be something else insane…sign me up.
Rich: I hope Matt starts photoshopping that awful dragon morph art into everything.


Wednesday, December 31

Frontier Siege

Zach: Frontier Siege could be amazing. You get GG each main phase, so that’s four extra mana a turn. If you’re a mana-hungry deck with morphs, this could be the perfect thing. As usual, the Dragons choice seems to provide a less flexible, but more game-ending option. If you’re running a green deck with lots of big flying creatures, go nuts!
Matt: Khans or Dragons is a fun game to play.
Carrie: Do you actually get the mana post-combat as well? I thought you just had one main phase that gets interrupted by combat. I guess I was wrong, although that seems stupid. The Dragons version is good with Hornet Queen.
Shawn: This might be too narrow for Standard but Carrie is right, this is downright gross with Hornet Queen.
Jess: This’ll do fine in Commander, though.


Wandering Champion

Zach: Now this is a card I can get behind! I like a 3/1 for 2 (even though I don’t like 2/2s for 2 in Khans) and I love the potential upside. This is a nice, aggressive two-drop for the decks that want one, and a sweet inclusion for Standard aggro.
Matt: This card is hot shit. Nothing says looting like jump kicks and shoulderless shirts.
Shawn: She’ll kick you apart…She’ll kick you apart!


Abzan Kin-Guard

Zach: Abzan Kin-Guard seems good, but not great. A 3/3 for 4 is decent, but not great in Khans, and lifelink is always awesome (but he doesn’t always have lifelink). We were hesitant to commit an early pick to multicolor cards in triple Khans and taking Abzan Kin-Guard is doing precisely that (since you need a fair amount of your deck to give Abzan Kin-Guard lifelink in order for him to be a good card).
Carrie: Headless giraffes must be a thing of the future.


Marang River Prowler

Zach: Unless there are bunch of sacrifice/recursion shenanigans, I have low expectations. He is only good at two things: doing small amounts of damage to your opponent, and coming back from the dead (sometimes) to do it again. Mystic of the Hidden Way this is not.
Matt: Hunter “S. Thompson” Slatonis art was weird/interesting. I think it went something like this, “That water table, man!” “Yeah it’s weird. Magic does its best with water art.” “Yeah, it’s so weird!” “Yeah, Dan Dan has the best water art.”
Carrie: DanDan does have the best water art. This guy seems hard to deal with.
Shawn: I love recursive threats, even if this guy is pretty far from Vengevine or Gravecrawler.
Jess: But in Commander, this guy’s gonna be sweeeeet!


Battle Brawler

Zach: Wow. A 3/2 first strike for 2 is nuts, and doubly so in format rife with 2/2s. A 2/2 for 2 is generally not bad, but I’ve been unimpressed by 2/2s for 2 in Khans (the benefit of their getting under morph creatures is generally outweighed by their uselessness when morph creatures turn face up). This little dude is a warrior, so he should slot right into WB warriors. I’m excited to play him, but less so if I’m fielding a lot of morphs myself (in which case, he won’t be able to see a white or red permanent until turn 4 or later, making him underwhelming).
Matt: Those shoulder blades tho.
Carrie: If returning from battle unscathed makes him sad, why does he get first strike?
Shawn: I think he’s upset about having first strike. Like he prefers not to have any red or white permanents around but when they are he’s like, “I guess I won’t injure myself.”


Hungering Yeti

Zach: A five mana 4/4 is nothing to be excited about, but also not terrible. A sometimes-flashy one is good for ambushing creatures, but when your opponent unmorphs their Efreet Weaponmaster and eats your Yeti, you’ll be feeling sorry. It costing five mana has a nice balance with morph; you can hold up five mana and pretend that your face down Kin-Tree Warden is good and instead have a flash Yeti… if you played a blue or green permanent on turns 2 or 4. I’ve low expectations, but the Yeti will be great at eating non-creature manifest creatures (which is a mouthful (for a yeti)).
Matt: Yeti tribal is getting the cards it deserves.
Carrie: This is like a morph you can flip from your hand. A 4/4 is below the value you get for a five mana morph, but maybe the surprise value will make up for that.


Palace Siege

Zach: We’re moving away from Syphon Soul templating because it’s busted in multiplayer, and that’s a good thing. Both of those modes seem very strong in Limited and both suffer from the problem of being on a five mana enchantment that does nothing the turn you play it. I’m not certain if this is a first pick bomb. I’d likely guess it’s something you pick up in the 2-4 pick range, but until we see some commons and get a sense of the speed of the format, I’ll keep my expectations in check.
Matt: That dragon on the right is totally freaking awesome. I’m gonna contact the artist and see if a sketch of this is for sale.
Rich: I would have liked to seen this cost way more mana (like 7BB) and return creatures to play and have a much bigger life swing.


Shamanic Revelation

Zach: Neat, a cheaper Collective Unconscious with upside. This will do little when you’re behind, but likely guarantee a win if you’re ahead or in a board stall. You’ll need to be drawing at least three cards to really pull ahead with this, but I can see this in Standard as a replacement for Garruk, Caller of Beasts in a green devotion deck. Or you can use Hornet Queen to break the color pie even more for fun and profit.
Matt: What Zach said.
Carrie: If the new draft format is even half as stall-tastic as triple Khans, this card will be amazing. There’s a reason they call this a revelation.
Jess: This’ll see play in Commander, because people play Harmonize and this is just better. The extra mana is definitely worth more cards and potential lifegain in most decks.


Tuesday, December 30

Dragonscale General

Matt: So tough, Dragonscale General. Bringing the war to the dragons.

Rich: This general would be cooler if instead of wearing dragonscale armor they were actually re-sized to the scale of a dragon.

GCB: This is one of those design mechanics that seems complex but will actually turn out to be really easy to use and annoyingly bomb-tastic.

Zach: This card is nuts. It’s like a cheaper Armament Guard that works every turn, and with a bigger effect.


Soulfire Grand Master

Matt: This card is nuts.

Rich: Hybrid mana is amazing. Also can someone tell me if this means that Lightning Helix would gain you six life? I’m not sure if this will be good in a R/W/x deck, but I really want to see someone find out.

GCB: @rich, yes it will gain you 6 life. Don’t ask me how many counters to put on your Ajani’s Pridemate when it happens, though. This card is good.

Carrie: Because Seeker of the Way wasn’t good enough.

Zach: This card is amazing. I love that spells can finally get keywords like lifelink (and deathtouch). It’s neat that giving a blue spell lifelink will not matter 99% of the time. I want a foil for the cube. And yes, it will gain six life with Lightning Helix.

Jess: This card makes me hope that the Commander gods rethink the way color identity works. This card seems a ton of fun, but since you can’t play it in straight Boros or Azorius it’s restricted to some of the worst generals. I like the card, but I never have more than one Jeskai deck put together at one time.


Sage-Eye Avengers

Rich: For six mana my blue rares really need to have some form of evasion, but this may miss the mark for playability.

GCB: I think the ability counts as a form of evasion. This card will be really annoying to play against.

Carrie: As BDM has observed on twitter, manifest makes bouncing “creatures” a little more interesting.

Zach: Bam! Bounce a morph or manifest for free! Get your face-down non-creatures back or disrupt your opponent’s board. I love it!


Temporal Trespass

Matt: WHAAAAAAT?! Great boob armor.

Rich: Haha it’s Time Walk for UUU. I bet this ended up going to print before Wizards realized how busted Ancestral Recall with delve was. Time Walk with delve won’t be nearly as good, but it could still see some play.

GCB: Time Warp floated around standard for a while without being a big deal, and that UUU bit is no joke. I don’t expect anything like a Treasure Cruise impact, but it could be pretty interesting in a Planeswalker-heavy control deck.

Carrie: I think I’d still rather just draw three cards, but this might do some work in Modern with Young Pyromancer.

Zach: Treasure Cruise is busted and more so than this. I (shockingly, once again) agree with Carrie that this likely has the most potential in a Modern Pyromancer shell. I’m mostly frustrated with the artwork (which has already caused a number of folks to misread the card as Temporal Temptress). There’s no sense of wonder at doing something so amazing as stopping time. The focal point is a sorceress that is in the middle of a hard-to-see battle. I like the idea, but not the execution. Oh, and please don’t play this in Limited.


Archfiend of Depravity

Matt: That flavor text tho.

Rich: I’m surprised the ability here isn’t symmetrical but who am I to argue with such a merciful being.

GCB: Nettling Imp grew up to be a real megalomaniac.

Zach: Good dragon with upside is good in Limited. Seems worse than Bloodgift Demon, though situationally nuts. But, c’mon, it’s an aggressively costed big flier – of course it’s awesome.

Jess: This is going to be annoyingly oppressive in Commander.


Flamerush Rider

Rich: Shenanigans

GCB: Dash seems like a much better ability in constructed than limited.

Carrie: Dash is supposed to enable raid, according to WoTC, but that’s a lot of mana to spend on the same turn. It seems like dash is more about avoiding removal.


Temur War Shaman

Matt: I’m loving the sabertooth tiger imagery in these Temur cards!

Rich: Thanks to the manifest mechanic all limited games will now go to time.

GCB: Thanks to the manifest mechanic I now understand why judges weren’t told to randomly check people’s morphs like they were back in Onslaught.

Carrie: Thanks to the manifest mechanic now it will be easier to deck yourself in limited.

Zach: Thanks to the Manifest mechanic, there will be even more gray ogres running rampant.


Monday, December 29

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Jess: This card makes me glad that Painter’s Servant is banned in Commander. In fact, my dream is to run some sort of Painter’s Servant/Urzatron/Ugin mashup that makes your opponents sacrifice their board, leaving you with an Ugin on an empty board. Probably not worth the work, though. Still, there are cards that do similar things in Commander, and I worry that this will be unpleasant in that.

Carrie: If Standard stays mid-rangey with powerful late-game engines like Whip being dominant, then Ugin will be one of the most powerful spells in the format. It’s a better Perilous Vault for UB Control, and combos very well with Nissa, who can ramp Ugin out and whose forest-creatures survive his minus.

Zach: Very few cards can survive Ugin’s -X. This might be the wrath/finisher control has been seeking. In Limited, this will almost certainly be the stone nuts. It eats morphs and manifests for breakfast, wraths the board, has a great plus ability, and has an ultimate that should invariably win you the game (if it doesn’t deck you, first).

Matt: I’m so glad I get to hate on all the new cards like I always do. This thing is an asshole no-fun card. I hate it and hope it burns in hell.

Shawn: Man, I thought Karn was unfun to play against. The big question for me is whether this guy has a slot in Modern Tron (if that’s even still a deck). I’m not sure the deck needs another finisher, especially one that costs more than the magic number seven, but it’s worth considering. I agree with Carrie that this guy could could be at the top of the curve for a Standard deck though, that seems sweet.

Rich: Looking forward to people flipping tables when Ugin hits the board

GCB: @Zach it doesn’t eat morph: they aren’t colorful enough. For 8 mana, this card does 8 mana worth of stuff. It seems like an inevitable standard card and a major role player in Urzatron modern decks.

Carrie: Ugin eats morphs one at a time, for +2 loyalty.


Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury

Jess: Can you Dash from the Command Zone? My guess is that you can, but I am unsure. This is a good dragon, but as a “dragons matter” Commander I still favor Bladewing the Risen. Still, this makes that 99, and it makes Scion of the Ur-Dragon and Prossh, Skyraider of Kher as well.

Zach: I think that you can Dash from the Command Zone. Seems like a generally-good Limited dragon. If sorcery speed removal is good in Standard and there are cheap dragons, then this could do more damage than Stormbreath or Sarkhan quite easily (but for more mana).

Matt: Are all the dragons gonna be weird looking? It’s awesome. If they’re not the usual two winged Smaug knockoffs I’m super into this. Kolaghan’s face/mouth is uncommon looking, his/her four wings are sweet, and check out those chicken feet! Get a less generic lightning-based background and we’re all good.

Rich: Doug Beyer confirmed that some of the dragons will be four-winged and some will be two-winged but that things are going to be interesting. So Matt, you should get to see some awesome new ideas for dragons. It’s surprising such a thing took so long for the company that also produces dungeons and dragons.

GCB: I don’t see a world in which this card gets played over Sarkhan/Stormbreath. Maybe in some misguided token-y Mardu deck.


Crux of Fate

Zach: Black has its own End Hostilities. It cannot kill Stormbreath Dragon or any of the new dragons. We’ll see how much play it sees in Constructed. In Limited, unless there are common dragons, this should likely be a board wipe, and might be one that spares your best creature (I heard that Duneblast is a card).

Jess: …why can’t it kill Stormbreath Dragon? Anyway, Black didn’t NEED new wraths, but it’s well costed for the ability.

Matt: This card would be even cooler if it was called “Destroy All Dragons or Destroy All Non-Dragons”.

Shawn: UB Control in Standard was teetering on the edge of “good enough” and this might be the card to push it over. Black needed a wrath and Perilous Vault and its million mana investment was not really the answer.

GCB: Awesome card. Can we get this for other creature types, like Goblins?

Rich: There really should have been a third mode that let you win the game if your opponent has Form of the Dragon in play.



Carrie: Cool card, annoying upkeep on the ability. Are we going to have to keep little slips of paper to write down which abilities it has? If you thought Pithing Needle was annoying to watch on coverage, wait for this thing. Delving away a Chromanticore or Akroma seems cool, though.

Jess: This reminds me a lot of Cairn Wanderer. Neither seems great for Commander. Baneslayers don’t see a ton of Commander play, since the name of the day is card advantage… and if you’re in black, and you got a Baneslayer in your graveyard, I don’t know if you’d want to exile it away. Still, if you nug one or two good cards with this, you can have a two mana Serra or whatnot, and that’s not all that bad.

Zach: Travis Woo will have a field day with this card. In a dedicated deck, this will blow Tombstalker right out of the water. In a random deck, this could still be a decent 4/4 with two random abilities.

Matt: This card is interesting, man.

Shawn: This card is so cool.

GCB: Cute, and will make for good stories, but I have trouble imagining it being relevant in constructed.


Whisperwood Elemental

Jess: These types of pure card advantage cards tend to find a home in Commander, and that’s even without the instant advantage that an end step trigger provides, or the wrath protection effect. Yet another reason to run a high creature count.

Zach: Wow. A 5 mana 4/4 mythic ain’t exciting, but “at the beginning of your end step, draw a card. That card is a 2/2” is pretty swell. I expect a lot of folks to forget about the second ability (which doesn’t feel elegant), but it’s also a strong one.

Matt: Look pretty sweet. I fucking hate elementals though.

GCB: There’s too much text on green cards these days. Whatever happened to Force of Nature? Trample. Upkeep. 8/8. Simple, ya know?


Yasova Dragonclaw

Jess: I like what this implies for the cycle, but I don’t think this is particularly good as a general. It’s got a fragile body! That’s relevant. Luckily, it doesn’t need to attack to steal things. Maybe it’s a good general for Temur Voltron, though?

Zach: Seems pretty decent in Limited. She turns on Ferocious, has a good evasion ability, and if you’re got the off-color mana, has a powerful effect. It’s key that Yasova doesn’t need to attack to steal a creature, since with only 2 toughness, Yasova likely won’t survive a blocker.

Matt: I love that she chills with a sabretooth tiger.

GCB: This card is a real jerk in limited.

Carrie: Yasova:Alpine Grizzly::Heir of the Wilds:Grizzly Bear


Honor’s Reward

Zach: Seems decent, if not exciting. It’s a combat trick that will rarely not have a target, but it’s also a combat trick that you won’t always be able to choose the target for. Granted, I’ll like Venerable Monk, and this is one that could be an 0-for-1, so I’ll happily try it out.

Matt: Gain four life for three mana?! SIGN ME UP!!! Seriously though, this card seems ok.


Soul Summons

Zach: Love it! A 2 mana 2/2 is good in a format of morphs, and a 2 mana 2/2 that sometimes draws a better card is both powerful and creates for exciting gameplay.

Jess: Stiflenaught? Summonaught?

Matt: Ugh. I so strongly dislike morph art. The color in this is sweet though.

GCB: Can you imagine the bad beat stories this card is going to elicit from both the caster and the opponent? It’s going to be beautiful.

Carrie: Because Courser of Kruphix wasn’t good enough already.


Valorous Stance

Carrie: Flexible card seems good. Removal that is still useful if they have nothing to kill, assuming you have your own creatures. Will be very good in limited and likely will see play in Standard.

Zach: Flexible card is indeed good! This is a good, maindeckable removal spell that is also a good, not-quite-maindeckable combat trick. I agree wholeheartedly with Carrie.

Jess: I can actually imagine a world in which this sees play in Commander… and not just in Narset, Enlightened Master decks, in which it almost seems an auto-include.

Matt: William Murai needs to give Chris Rahn his painting style back.


Jeskai Sage

Zach: Unless there are sacrifice shenanigans, this feels decidedly meh. Granted, I loved New Phyrexia’s Oculus and this is strictly better. Perhaps this is exactly what the control deck wants. Plus, if you activate prowess, you can trade with a morph creature and be up a card. Okay, nevermind, I’m in love. This is likely only situationally awesome, but that’s the deal with any prowess creature that’s not good enough on its own.

Matt: Zach, you’ll often find love “situationally awesome.” Like it’s good when it’s not raid night in Destiny. Or if you’ve got to go to a GP and s/he just doesn’t get why you want to play so much Magic all the time. Etc.


Hooded Assassin

Zach: I like it a lot! A 3 mana 2/3 in a format of 2/2s is quite good and the second mode means that you’ve got a conditional kill spell that leaves a body behind.

Matt: Not bad for a lil common baddie.

Carrie: “Destroy target creature that was dealt damage this turn” is, in my experience, a really hard ability to use. A 2/3 for three is a good limited card, but I don’t see much value in the other ability. Maybe it mitigates situations where you attack into their morph and get blown out. Or it just ends up killing stuff like Archers’ Parapet.


Gurmag Angler

Zach: For one more mana than Hooting Mandrills or Sultai Scavenger, you can have a bigger, non-evasive body. For one mana more (and a higher rarity), you can have Tombstalker. I’m a fan of big, dumb creatures that can be undercosted. I have lower expectations of the Angler, but mostly because I haven’t seen any enablers for it, yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being one of black’s stronger commons… or if it’s just a bit too slow.

Matt: Early vote for best art and creature type in the set.

Carrie: Reminds me of Marshmist Titan from Born of the Gods. That thing wasn’t very good, even though black has a hard time getting high-power creatures these days.


Goblin Heelcutter

Zach: This can be a pretty strong creature, though Master of Diversion was disappointing in M14 and Fate Reforged looks to be full of 2/2s that can profitably block Goblin Heelcutter. Perhaps it’s best to Dash him in and force your opponent to either block your good creature or to deal with the pesky Falter-guy before he gets out of hand.

Matt: Seems p-good as a pre-combat combat trick.


Outpost Siege

Zach: Your choice: a personal howling mine, or a damage-enabling engine. I expect that folks will be choosing Khans most of the time, but Dragons can allow for some Blood Artist-esque game ending. I love that we’re getting to play with cards that feel like Commander originals in Limited.

Jess: Red can definitely use more card advantage engines, and the Dragon side is pretty good as well. It’s probably going to be on Khans 75% of the time in Commander, but that Dragon ability is going to be brutal in the right context.

Matt: Kolaghan kicking some serious BUTT.

GCB: I do not understand why this card exists. Is there some flavor thing I’m missing here?

Carrie: There’s a cycle of these. It shows the choice of Khans or Dragons, which is the story point of Sarkhan traveling back in time.



Zach: LOVE IT! Love it enough to write a whole fraction of an article on it.

Matt: P-cool idea. I like cool ideas. The art reminds me of the end-boss in LIVE DIE REPEAT.


Frontier Mastodon

Zach: The power of this elephant depends on whether a 3/2 for 3 is good (unlikely, considering how ubiquitous morphs will be) and how easy it is to get a ferocious creature online (which wasn’t easy to do early on in Khans). The payoff of a 3 mana 4/3 ain’t bad, however, but I have only moderate expectations.

Matt: More like “Not That Big Mastodon” amirite? Nils Hamm successfully renders an illustration not wholy dependent on mist. That’s exciting.


Ethereal Ambush

Zach: A five mana pair of flash 2/2 ain’t bad. When you consider that each 2/2 is 50% or more likely to draw a card, this gets pretty sweet. There’ll be an interesting decision as to whether and which of your sudden manifest creatures you’ll want to blow with.

Jess: I can’t tell whether or not I like manifest so far, but if they are going to be good, blue and green are the colors to stack the top of your deck. I just worry about losing the ETB triggers. I live for ETB triggers when I’m playing those colors.

Matt: Neat.

GCB: I can hear the cries of “I have outs!” from here.


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