Welcome to Dragons of Tarkir spoiler season! Below, you’ll find all of the newest spoilers, along with some irreverent and (hopefully) insightful first reactions from all of your favorite Hipsters. Let us know what you think about all of the new cards in the comments!

Tuesday, March 10

Haven of the Spirit Dragon

Jess: Unexciting but solid. Definitely sees play in colorless Commander manabases and tribal dragons, might even see Commander play outside of that because dragons are good, commonly played as the top end in red decks, and this only takes up a land slot.

Matt: They spelled “Spend this mana only to cast a Dragon or Sarkhan spell” wrong.

Zach: Buried Ruin for your bomb seems pretty darned strong.

Brendan: First pick in draft.

Ire Shaman

 

Matt: The illustration of this card threw me off a bit. I mean it still does. Is this a Murakami illustration? It makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know if the discomfort is my own immature response or caused by unfortunately rendered artwork. I’m interested in discussing this.

Zach: Love the ability, love the cycle, and look forward to casting this. The art is indeed something else.

Shieldhide Dragon

 Matt: I love this illustration. The weird raindrops on the lense of the camera-that-is-our-eyeballs is a cool and funny effect for Magic art. Just don’t over do it, Wizards.

Zach: CLOVERFIELD, THE DAR-GON.

Artful Maneuver

David: This is no Artful Dodge. (It’s better.)

Matt: Is VIGO! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!

Zach: This is no Prey’s Vengeance. Granted, Prey’s Vengeance was in a weird Limited format where bears are bad and prowess doesn’t exist. This could be pretty gnarly, to quote another Zach.

Quarsi Deciever

David: I appreciate this recent theme of Blue being able to generate mana for weird things.

Matt: For once I agree with David.

Zach: Love the Kraken Hatchling with upside.

Brendan: Oh how I miss you, Trail of Mystery. I’ll play with this I’m sure.

Pitiliess Horde

David: Creature – Orc Berserker // At the beginning of your upkeep, lose 2 life. // Dash 2BB

Matt: German cards are German. But seriously, folks, I love German cards. And pink lightning.

Zach: A neat take on Grinning Demon/Earwig Squad. Could make for a sweet suicide black deck or a really bad Krumar Bond Kin.

Hedonist’s Trove

David: Enchantment // When Hedonist’s Trove enters the battlefield, exile all cards in target opponent’s graveyard. // You may play land cards exiled by Hedonist’s Trove. // Once per turn, you may cast a nonland card exiled by Hedonist’s Trove.

Jess: This is the most amazing Commander card they’ve yet spoiled. Play lands from your opponents’ graveyards? Yes please! Cast spells from their graveyards, off their lands? Totally! Exile their graveyard, which is a key resource for many decks? Amazing! The only downside are the color identity rules, which mean that a mono black deck isn’t going to be able to cast a lot of the liberated loot… but ramp is ramp. Even in the late game.

Matt: This card is highly abusable.

Zach: It does feel like this should work as intended in Commander, but if it had something like Daxos’ color-rider, then you wouldn’t need their lands. Perhaps it’s further reason to reexamine the Commander color identity rules?

Brendan: Sweet. I doubt I’ll ever cast this spell, but if I do it will be great.

Warbringer

Jess: Interesting enabler.

Matt: As an alcoholic I try to stay away from enablers but I really like this one.

Zach: Mardu Warshrieker, you’ve changed, but you’re still awesome. This set seems chock full of Johnny goodness.

Brendan: This plus dash creatures reminds me of Kragma Warcaller plus Ragemonger.

Assault Formation

Jess: I love these types of wall cards. I wonder if there’s going to be a walls deck in this battlecruiser format, like there was in Rise.

Matt: The colors in the illustration of this card! So beautiful! I, too, like these quirky card abilities. Makes me wonder what me miss in each set in both Limited and Constructed. Are there quirky cards we ignore on the regs that are potentially very powerful?

Zach: Doran, the enchantment. Seems very cool.

Brendan: This also doesn’t seem as fun as Trail of Mystery, but it might still be fun.

Avatar of the Resolute

 Jess: That seems like some cheap power.

Zach: Neat, more Johnny/Spike cards. Perhaps this’ll be best in the Gw Devotion deck? It’s good with Nykthos early, and later on, with Genesis Hydra and Polukranos, it’s enormous and evasive.

Matt: What Zac Hill and I think our own Rich Stein have said about KTK pushing cards for the little talked about Casual Player is especially true in DTK. Who thinks this card will be any good in Standard? Probably difficult to pull off in Limited (but not impossible). But it’s cool as shit.

Tokens

Zach: “D’awww, it’s a wittle Atarka dragon breathing a fuzzball of fiery death.”

Matt: After bathing in dragon fire, Atarka likes to try out green fire spit.

Zach: “I’m tripping on a rock as I’m stabbing you!”

Matt: Can’t draw feet? Put them out of frame! Distract with a tactically useless yellow cape!

Zach: “Yeah, I can fly higher than this, I just don’t want to.”

Matt: So much attitude. So much Aladdin.

Zach: Silumgar zombies are very fancy. No glowy holes through the head for them!

Matt: Best zombie token of all time. Hands down. Er, one gnarly ax-sword wielding hand up, one chicken foot hand down.

Zach: Looks very Grixis.

Matt: Nils Hamm’s work is maybe the easiest to recognize in Magic illustration. That red sun, the red-pink of the dead flesh, the purples, the haze, the crows … goddamn is he a goth kid’s wet dream.

Zach: Look at the cute little murderer!

Matt: Easily the cutest token of all time. Look at this lil’ guy. How’d he get from Lorwyn to Tarkir? Time shift storylines are powerful things.

Monday, March 9

Sarkhan Unbroken

David: Sarkhan’t wait to cast this.

Jess: Sarkhan makes terrible decisions, but playing this card would not be one of them. It makes me want to play standard again, and it definitely is going to find a home in any/all of my Temur Commander decks.

Hunter: Beautiful card. Love the Temur color palette. Also, seems like an incredible card—but why the one mana added to the +1? Seems random, design-wise.

Jess: I think the mana is green, the draw is blue, and the dragon is red. But you’re right, there’s probably a better way to show that.

Rich: How many more Planeswalkers need to be printed before Doubling Season gets banned in Modern? It’s starting to get out of control.

Zach: Never before has Wizards so blatantly proclaimed a card not to be broken. WE SWEAR HE WON’T BREAK THE FORMAT.

Matt: I love this card. I love it so much.

Derek: Defends itself. Check. Takes over the game. Check. Ultimate is game ending. Kinda? Still, though, 9.5/10 for me on the awesomeness scale.

Brendan: A planeswalker that either draws a card or makes a dragon every turn seems strong.

Kolaghan’s Command

Jess: Not the most powerful numbers, but it definitely finds a home in any Commander deck that’s also running Rakdos Charm. Instant speed discard is good, I suppose, but you’ll more be running it for card advantage and removal.

Shawn: This card is appropriately costed, the modes all make sense within the respective colors, and while none of the abilities are bonkers, the modal nature of this card makes it worth discussing for Standard. BR doesn’t have a strong presence in Standard right now but I could see an aggresive Br list or a midrange Mardu list existing after DoT is released. Right now I imagine at its most useful the card reads, “Destroy target Goblin Rabblemaster/mana dork, return target Goblin Rabblemaster/Herald of Torment from your graveyard to your hand”.

Rich: This spell has decent abilities, is at instant speed, is appropriately costed, but for some reason I just can’t get over how completely unexciting it is. Seriously, this is a good card, but, I dunno, it’s going to put me to sleep if I ever cast it.

Zach: The card is pure Spike. You choose the upside for your three mana Shock. Maybe we’ll see a use for the Shatter in BFZ?

Derek: Can I make myself discard goblin rabblemaster and then bring it back to my hand?

Brendan: I think Derek that the answer is no. But I do expect one of the common modes of this card is going to be “Kill your rabblemaster, get back mine that you killed last turn.”

Enduring Scalelord

Shawn: Let me preface this by saying, these kind of cards aren’t really for me. Historically, I don’t care about dragons except for the small subset of constructed playable ones. This card specifically is pretty unexciting. In limited it’s going to be a 4/4 flier for 6 mana most of the time. While these stats might be good in some limited formats, in a set inundated with big fliers I imagine this is to be an unexciting mid pack pick most of the time.

Rich: Will no one think of the damage these cards are doing to any environment with Doubling Season in it? How can Mark Rosewater sleep at night?

Zach: It infinite comboes with a copy of itself. For twelve mana plus an Anafenza or something. FORMAT BROKEN. I’m sorry, I’m just uber-Dragon fatigued at this point. Maybe the set will be awesome, or maybe it’ll be full of 6 mana 4/4s that are either unplayable or warp the format like high drops did in RoE.

Matt: I like how bright this guy is. He radiates light.

Derek: This whole set looks like it’ll be fought slowly, and in the air. First pick windstorm, where are you now?

Cunning Breezedancer

 

Shawn: Oh it’s a cycle of uncommon lackluster dragons…At least this one probably wins in combat against the other big stupid fliers thanks to the super-prowess ability.

Rich: Hey, Shawn, crapping on terrible cards is my job. But, I appreciate you not mentioning how this cycle is going to completely ruin the six-drop slot in Momir Basic on MTGO. I’m glad they got rid of Momir daily events since this cycle basically kills the format.

Zach: “Pretty things can be pretty deadly.” -Ishai, captain of the obvious puns.

Derek: I mean. Sure. This one is good. Seriously, tho, where are the giant reach creatures?

Brendan: This entire cycle seems like some of the best uncommons in DTK. I know we haven’t seen most of the uncommons but these are all really good. Miles better than the monocolor six mana dragons from Fate Reforged.

Ruthless Deathfang

Jess: Now this is the type of ability that Dragonlord Silumgar should have been rocking. This is powerful and interesting, and will find a home in any Dimir Grave Pact Commander deck.

Shawn: Ok, I’m done writing about these.

Rich: It took almost two decades but Grave Pact finally has a weaker version that can be killed by Flame Slash. Oh wait, I get it, this combos with Exploit. Very clever Wizards. All these dragons play nicely with their clan mechanic. It only took me three dragons to get that. Now I feel like skipping the other two.

Zach: Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!

Matt: I hate Silumgar and his bros.

Derek: Kadar?  Where are you Kadar? KADAR. THIS BUDS FOR YOU.

Brendan: I think for this same mana cost I’d rather cast Dinrova Horror but this card is pretty awesome too.

Swift Warkite

Jess: And this should have been Dragonlord Kolghan’s ability. I’ll definitely run it in Alesha, Who Smiles at Death as Sun Titan #2, but the ability is differently powerful, and I don’t want to sell it short. On a Boneshredder or other ETB creature, the final bounce is going to be huge.

Rich: Well that’s a card. That’s an insanely powerful effect to put on a completely unplayble dragon.

Zach: An effect we haven’t seen since Invasion on a cool uncommon? Yes, please!

Matt: This card has to be good. It has pink lightning in the illustration.

Derek: Why are we bothering to play cmc 3 creatures? arent we just slamming dragons every turn?

Savage Ventmaw

Jess: This is another fascinating ability. It would have been interesting to see it on Dragonlord Atarka, where you could have access to it reliably, but even on a random dragon it’s a powerful ramp. This plus Hellkite Charger seems like a combo that’s going to be super easy to abuse.

Shawn: It’s a two card combo with Aggravated Assault. Good news for people who like to attack with their infinite combos.

Rich: Hey Shawn you said you were gonna stop comboing on these cards. Guess you couldn’t resist taking one more stab. Also, to revisit my earlier point, this completely breaks Momir Basic. Just saying.

Zach: This dragon is cool, and by cool, I mean blasting liquid hot magma!

Matt: What’s the opposite of a fart?

Derek: So is plummet in this set, or?

Brendan: Another savage night at the opera.

Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit

David: Non-token 🙁

Jess: That having been said, I think this will be a good replacement for Thalia, Guardian of Thraben as my white weenie Commander commander. Definitely the darkest timeline, though. I wonder if she’ll be good in other formats.

Shawn: I like having more options for Tiny Leaders. While this probably isn’t better than Thalia, it’s a good build around me white weenie leader that is more interesting than Isamaru, less restrictive than Lin-Sivvi, and you know an actual card unlike Kentaro, the Smiling Cat.

Rich: Being a Khan in an alternate timeline apparently doesn’t pay very well in the new timeline. Except for Narset.

Zach: Seems like a fun card for lower-powered cube.

Matt: Anafenza fared better than Zurgo in the time shift.

Derek: I guess when you’re the foremost, something not so Abzan-y is gonna go down eventually. And here we are, floating mediocrely among the sands.

Brendan: This is basically the white Goblin Rabblemaster.

Surge of Righteousness

Shawn: In Khans and Fate Reforged limited, most of the sideboard-only cards felt entirely too situational. I can remember siding in that Erase I got 14th pick maybe once in dozens of drafts. Surge of Righteousness on the other hand is a high quality sideboard card that gets brought in against a ton of decks.

Rich: This feels like a card that could have been printed in Mirage block or Portal but it would have had a lot more text, so I guess that’s nice.

Zach: Celestial Purge too stronk.

Derek: Haha, yeah, I thought that also, Zach. “Let’s make it far more situational, but with a low impact upside!”

Brendan: I assume this cycle exists to show the contrast from Khans where each color worked with its two enemies. These kinds of cards tend to be either useless or oppressive, but not much fun.

Mirror Mockery

Rich: I thought beating your shadow was supposed to be symbolic and cathartic, not just an annoying way to essentially put Pacifism in blue.

Shawn: I see this card as a cheap way to generate some ETB effects in EDH. Maybe this would fit in a Roon-Blink type deck. I’m imagining putting it on Eternal Witness, Mulldrifter, or Sun Titan…While I don’t like getting blown out by removal, this card is cheap enough to at least consider.

Zach: I like this weird card. Put it on your own creature for shenanigans or put it on an opposing creature for shenanigans, defense, and a possible removal spell.

Matt: This card is new and interesting but doesn’t seem like much fun!

Derek: Mt Ordeals is where Cecil battles himself and becomes the Paladin, where once he was merely the Dark Knight.

Brendan: You the man of darkness wielding it means nothing to me.

Encase in Ice

Rich: Oh it’s a cycle of cards that belong in Mirage block, but this one still has a lot of text. Also, more blue versions of Pacifism.

Zach: Controlled Instincts returns. Thank goodness!

Matt: I like the way this guy is encased in stalactites.

Derek: Can’t I just have Tidebinder Mage back?

Silumgar’s Scorn

David: This seems very good—less flexible than Deprive but it has potential.

Hunter: They are really trying to push dragons in Standard, huh?

Rich: Mistform Ultimus returns to relevance!

Shawn: You know, a two mana Force Spike might be good enough for some control strategies in Standard. It might also incentivize UB control players to use Silumgar as the finisher of choice. I’m certainly not 100% on this but it’s in the realm of possibility.

Zach: I agree with Shawn. Having a Silumgar or an Ojutai can make this be a counterspell much of the time. Perhaps this’ll be best in a tricolor deck, so you have access to more dragons without running the risk of having multiple copies of the same legendary dragon?

Matt: I still hate counterspells.

Derek: I guess when we mush two good cards together and dilute them we get a modern counterspell.

Brendan: This seems weak to me, at least for constructed. The difference between the two modes is so stark, and yet the condition seems hard to pull off reliably. Stubborn Denial is much better because it is easier to turn on and it is useful for maintaining board advantage once you do turn it on. This thing is really good if you happen to have it in your opening hand along with a dragon, but unless control wants to play both versions of Silumgar (which it might) then I’m not buying.

Dragonlord’s Prerogative

David: Brendan, now’s your Opportunity.

Rich: Oh, I get it. Opportunity. Counterspell. If they really wanted to push dragons they would make a dragon-enabled version of Treasure Cruise.

Zach: Drawing four cards for six at instant speed is still good in Limited and Standard.

Derek: I can’t with this name.

Brendan: See this is way way way better than that force spike thing. Opportunity is already a strong card, and making it uncounterable if you have a dragon is just gravy.

Acid-Spewer Dragon

Rich: OH MY GOD ANOTHER DRAGON CYCLE! YES!

Zach: Look, it’s Noxious Dragon, but with lots of text. Is DTK going to be a battlecruiser set? Right before we re-encounter the Eldrazi?

Matt: This one’s pretty cute.

Derek: So I can pay 10 mana to get a 3/3 flier with deathtouch? sheesh. This format looks glacial.

Brendan: No, you get a 4/4 flier for your ten mana.

Self-Inflicted Wound

Rich: Strictly worse than Deathmark isn’t really where I expected this to be.

Matt: Missed opportunity for the flavor text to be “Stop hitting yourself!”

Zach: Well, sometimes it kills your opponent. Or maybe there’s a sweet hexproof creature, like Ojutai, that this needs to deal with.

Derek: I guess Devour Flesh was too good.

Dragon Whisperer

David: As Yoda once said, “There is another.”

Jess: Is this good? On an empty board it takes 18 mana to shit out a dragon, which seems like too much.

Rich: At least you only need to do it once for 18 mana but then you can do it cheaper the next turn!

Zach: I think most Formidable abilities need to be treated as mere gravy for when you’re either already winning or in a board stall. With that in mind, this is a fine beater that becomes a much worse Furnace Whelp and enables red devotion.

Matt: Jess said “shit out a dragon” haha!

Brendan: This is like Dragonmaster Outcast Outcast.

Dragon Roar

David: Instant // As an additional cost to cast Dragon Roar, you may reveal a Dragon card from your hand. // Dragon Roar deals 3 damage to target creature. If you revealed a Dragon card or controlled a Dragon as you cast Dragon Roar, Dragon Roar deals 3 damage to that creature’s controller.

Rich: These dragon-enabled spells are pretty good. Too bad keeping dragons in your hand is pretty much the opposite.

Zach: It’s a creature-only bolt that’s sometimes a Searing Blaze. Neat.

Matt: I prefer my cards to be in German so this one’s probably great.

Brendan: This seems like a good use for the dragonveal mechanic. It lets you do something with that Stormbreath in your hand on turn two, and that thing is something that a deck with Stormbreath and friends wants to do.

Crater Elemental

David: Not sure I really like how Formidable is developing. It feels like RG mechanics are overly reliant on random creature power numbers.

Jess: And the numbers on this card feel super random. I would rather have had it get firebreathing as its static ability and its formidable ability as some sort of Fling. This just seems bad.

Rich: Formidable kind of sucks, huh?

Zach: This card is indeed bizarre. It has the numbers 0, 1, 3, 4, 6, and 8. It’s a fine blocker and decent removal spell (though worse than Bloodpyre Elemental, a common), but just wonky.

Brendan: Apparently Crater’s Claws got downgraded even more than Zurgo.

Collected Company

Rich: Courser of Kruphix needed help, right? Yeah?

Zach: I like this weird Johnny/Spike card. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. Maybe look for Phyrexian Dreadnought-like cards.

Matt: Who plays with creatures anyway?

Brendan: Another savage night at the knuckleblades. This seems very useful.

Display of Dominance

Rich: This cycle is a really painful collection of enemy-color effects.

Zach: Like Ruthless Instincts, this combines two distinct effects in one strange card which probably isn’t good enough for Limited (unless you really want to destroy a Siege or counter a Supplant Form).

Brendan: This kills a lot of planeswalkers in Standard while also countering removal spells. Devotion just got a new tool against Control and Whip strategies.

Epic Confrontation

David: The fine print says that this punch attack is super effective against Dragon-type Pokemon.

Rich: So a ferocious savage punch is more powerful than a normal epic confrontation. Or punching bears is better than punching dragons, sometimes.

Zach: Good card is good. Flavor reference is great.

Matt: Next person who says “good card is good” is kicked off the blog.

Friday, March 6

Dragonlord Atarka

Jess: This cycle is undeniably powerful. Each card seems like a limited bomb, and they’re going to win many a combat. But they’re still boring. None of these seem like they’re going to be great commanders, or leave an indelible mark on the game. And, while the last cycle of Elder Dragons had its fair share of filler, it also gave us Nicol Bolas, the most memorable dragon in the game. Four years from now, I suspect these Elder Dragons will only be a footnote.

Zac: Seems like a solid top end to G/R ramp with the new mana dork.

Derek: Why doesn’t this cost 8? It’s obviously devastating and is a fantastic ramp target. Xenagos, Nykthos, even the new command. Reminds me of an overcosted Titan.

Matt: This guy is terrifying. How do the people of Tarkir have any hopes of a normal life. Farmer? No crops (burnt, smashed, etc.). Merchant? No goods, destroyed trades routes, destroyed suppliers, etc. About the only thing one could be is a freaking warrior. In that case, what are you even fighting for? For dragons that just ruin everything with their bullshit destructive attitude? Destruction is great when it facilitates creation. This is destruction for destruction’s sake. No one wins. I will be pleased when we leave Tarkir.

Zach: This is my least favorite of the currently spoiled (four) Elder Dragons. Sure, it’s good, but its ability (while cool and hearkening back to Bogardan Hellkite) is quintessentially red. This could easily be a monored, non-Legendary, non-Elder dragon. That’s unexciting. Why not have it pump your team, or fight something, or have an ETB Hurricane?

Brendan: This is a spell worth countering.

Rich: I miss the days of ramping into playable creatures like Primeval Titan and Inferno Titan. Maybe I just miss titans?

Silumgar’s Command

Zac: The Shards get to play 2 different commands. When will shard favoritism end?

Jess: This is an auto-include in any Commander deck that can run it, if you believe in such a thing. It just does a lot. It kills, it bounces, and it protects against Wrath of God. Traditionally, those abilities are good.

Matt: This is the best command and the best command art. Nils Hamm almost always does a great job. Tarkir should fully give into the zombies (as Innistrad should have fully given in to the monsters, demons, and zombies). They’re the only creature type that benefits from the endless dragon wrath. When death is on the menu those who feast on horror should be the only ones invited to the dinner table.

Derek: Yeah, this card is nuts… i’m sure it costed less in testing. And for good reason. It does everything a control deck wants to do. If Esper control becomes a real thing, its because of this command, the UW command, and Narset. So many new tools. I am actually excited to be playing all of them!

Jess: Sarkhan turned a wedge world into a hybrid of Grixis and Jund. Dana has an interesting theory about this being some larger statement about the history of Western colonial fuckery in Asia, kinda akin to the racial implications of the Alliance and the Horde in Warcraft, but I’m just sticking with this being the darkest timeline.

Zach: I like how reactive this spell is. If your opponent has no creatures or planeswalkers and isn’t casting a spell, then you can’t use this. Oh, and strong card is strong. They tend to preview those first.

GCB: The original commands were strongly impacted by their “passive” ability: the thing you could always do when you needed to use one of the abilities. Cryptic Command drew a card, where lots of other commands just altered life totals. The passive ability here is “bounce a permanent”, which is cool but not as good as “draw a card” in control. Might limit this card’s application to 1- or 2-ofs.

Brendan: I feel like in a good control deck you aren’t often going to have uses for two of these effects at once. I don’t know if using one of the modes plus bouncing a land is good enough, and bouncing a land is the only thing you can always do with this card. If your opponent sticks two threats that can be dealt with using different modes, maybe this will help you catch back up, but my sense is opponents won’t cast non-creature spells into five open mana if they have another threat on board that would get answered by this command. It seems easy to play around, which is very different from Cryptic Command.

Rich: Not as good as the R/G one but much better than the W/U one. I’m glad blue will have at least one good command, something it was previously sorely lacking.

Arashin Foremost

Matt: I rarely read Magic lore (because it’s usually convoluted and/or typical good vs. evil snore inducing lowest common denominator blech). I’m marginally interested in whether or not the Human Warriors are rebelling against the dragons? I mean, ah nevermind. I don’t care. Double strike is cool. Whatever.

Zach: MaRo says it’s not Anafenza, so sweet. White gets its biannual 2/2 double strike with upside for 1WW.

Derek: I hate the angle of this art. But I like the beast with the big horns. giggidy.

Rich: This feels like it’s on-par with Silverblade Paladin, and maybe a bit better on offense but a bit worse on defense. So this is the West Coast Silverblade Paladin?

Shorecrasher Elemental

David: Hold on, I thought Tarkir didn’t have oceans?!

Zac: Being from NJ, the Shore can be a lake a pond or someone’s above ground pool.

Matt: Artists on Tarkir certainly have a shitty way of painting the watery part of shore crashing. Sweet Photoshop filter, bro.

Zach: I feel like this card got lost from Theros. Not just for the devotion-enabling UUU mana cost, but also the art. It feels a bit underWhelming Wave for a mythic, but it’s still a mini Morphling (though AEtherling was a rare, and it was a big Morphling).

GCB: Comparisons to Morphling are exaggerated: the blink ability is useless against sweepers and leaves you with a very vulnerable 2/2 that is expensive to flip… and give no devotion. Still, this is awesome with Master of Waves. Elemental!

Derek: This card got me dusting off my master of waves and gods of the sea. Until I realized there is nothing resembling the old U devotion deck from last year. Sure, you have the top end covered, but without tidebinder mage (which would be seriously sweet in this format) and frostburn weird, there arent many 2-drops to curve from… aside from what, Mindreaver? What does that card even do? Sigh. Anyway, I have a simple man’s hope.

Brendan: “The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore” is one of my favorite episodes of Sunny. I think this card captures the essence of that episode quite well.

Rich: The reason Morphling was so powerful was because of the way combat damage resolved using the stack. Morphling isn’t any good anymore. Megamorphling, which is worse than Morphling, is even worse than how bad Morphling is. That said, I’m putting four of these in my Modern Sanity Grinding deck.

Anticipate

Zac: I would have played this in Theros Standard… I think I might just want Steam Augury to enable delve.

Matt: It is literally impossible to meditate on all outcomes. All means everything, right? I don’t even think one could process .01% of everything. This card is a liar.

Zach: All means three. There are only three possible outcomes whenever you look at the top three cards in your library. Oh, and selection is good, and mini-Impulse is still good.

GCB: The big feature here is the Prowess trigger on a useful cantrip.

Derek: Instant Speed is probably one of the best features of this in a reactive deck. Otherwise, its fine, right?

Brendan: This is better than the cheap blue cantrips we get in the post-Preordain world. It’s a nice alternative to Telling Time for Modern decks looking for such an effect. It seems better for finding Scapeshift, at least.

Rich: Yes! A new slightly less powerful version of Impulse. Did you know that the original version of Impulse says to shuffle your library afterwards? Wizards didn’t really understand templating back then.

Ultimate Price

Matt: This card is still good. This art is ok.

Zach: What Matt said. The ultimate price is apparently falling into a hole because you were holding a flag. Tsk tsk. Not a banner day for her.

Derek: Finally, an efficient removal spell that doesn’t kill Siege Rhino!

Brendan: That is not Sidisi in the art. Flavor dismorphism.

Rich: I never liked this card. It’s a waste of a really great name for a card that instead gets used on a more-or-less junk card.

Blood Chin Fanatic

David: Creature – Orc Warrior // 1B, Sacrifice another warrior creature: Target player loses X life and you gain X life, where X is the sacrificed creature’s power.

Zac: I’m willing to dabble in Mono black or B/R aggro know that there are a few good 3 drops and Brutal Hoardchief tops the curve.

Matt: A decent variation on the Drainlife theme that has run through all of Magic’s history.

Zach: It’s always nice seeing rares that can be really strong in a given deck and pretty blah in most others. I like build around rares like that, rather than just straight up awesome bombs.

Brendan: R&D really wants a Standard warriors deck to be competitive. I’m not sure how much this will do in limited, though.

Rich: It’s interesting to see sacrifice come back as a prominent mechanic given the abusive ways people have employed it in the past. I’m sure they’ve learned how to avoid breaking Modern with this kind of thing, right?

Roast

David: So close, yet so far, from Flame Slash. :-/

Matt: I’d probably eat roasted snake. I’m in.

Zach: If this were called Toast, it’d have Jaya Ballard flavor text. Oh, and this’ll be good in Limited. Shockingly, er, Boltingly, er, Explosive Impactingly.

Brendan: Are there any big creatures in this limited format that don’t have flying?

Rich: Roast deals 5 damage to target problematic green creature in <insert constructed format here>. I mean, who are we kidding. This thing is for Siege Rhino and Tarmogoyf.

Descent of the Dragons

David: Sorcery // Target any number of creatures. For each creature targeted this way, destroy it. Its controller puts a 4/4 red dragon token with flying onto the battlefield.

Jess: I like this card. Red doesn’t have a ton of destroy effects, and this fills that hole. It’s a minor downside that it targets, since you still can’t knock out Pro-Red creatures, the major downside of Red’s current suite of sweepers, but I like the versatility and the ability to play politics with this card.

Zac: Red/White Tokens Finisher?

Matt: Steve Prescott is hands down my favorite Magic artist.

Zach: This confusing wording allows you to keep indestructible creatures while letting them get eaten by dragons. I’m guessing that those dragons will have broken teeth.

Brendan: How does this fit into red’s portion of the color pie? I expect Mark Rosewater to denounce this card on his tumblr.

Rich: Wow. This is such a silly effect and I thought we’d never see it again but it’s always been in Red’s slice of the pie. Please refer to Mogg Infestation from Stronghold. This message was brought to you by a reminder that Rich has been playing Magic since 1994 and is incapable of forgetting completely useless trivia about Magic.

Den Protector

 

Jess: Good in tribal morph decks and in Limited, bad elsewhere.

Matt: I’m actually interested in playing this card in Limited. I mean, it seems super fun/awesome.

Zach: It’s worse than Eternal Witness, but that’s not saying much. Seems great in Limited, but not worth a cube inclusion.

Brendan: This looks like a fun card. Now if only we could pair it with Druid’s Familiar.

Rich: Remember the good old days when the Regrowth effect was good enough to be restricted in Vintage? Those were the days.

Thursday, March 5

Dragonlord Dromoka

Giaco: I love cards like this because it means I can think about less things while swinging with big creatures. Go take a walk, Combat Tricks!

Jess: I love it in Limited, but I kinda hate it for Commander. These Elder Dragons are all fairly uninteresting as Commanders so far. They’re powerful, but not fun.

Derek: the effect is very powerful, but any deck that wants to counter this also plays efficient removal spells. Untap with it, tho, and i’m sure shit gets real for your opponent.

Atarka’s Command

David: Is that Huntmaster of the Fells there, front and center?

Jess: I really want to see this find a home in Modern Burn. Yes, that means making a better manabase for the deck, perhaps using City of Brass and Mana Confluence, but the swing this card represents when you have a Monastery Swiftspear, or even just a Goblin Guide, makes it worth considering. Sure, a lot of the time it’s just Skullcracks 5-8, but it has two damage modes, neither of which get screwed over by Leyline of Sanctity.

Derek: Jess, that your head went straight to modern burn saddens me. 🙁

Brendan: I like the mode of end of turn hit you for three and play a scry land. Or a Raging Ravine.

Ojutai Exemplars

Hunter: How may I blow you out? Let me count the ways.

Giaco: Humans are really looking good in this set.

Jess: The ones that haven’t been zombified by their cruel draconic overlords, you mean?

Derek: Yeah, this card is close to exemplary for how I will lose games in this limited format.

Risen Execution

Jess: Now this is a card for the Commander players. I wish it were not mythic, but mostly because I want a playset and am bad at delayed gratification.

Derek: Waste Not your efforts to make this constructed playable.

Zurgo Bellstriker

David: Hi, Zurgo! Try not to smash the bell!

Giaco: My dream card.

Hunter: Zurgo’s just not built like he used to be. Needs to get back to lifting.

Jess: This probably won’t be a Commander all too often, but I like it all the same. I think he’s awesome, and I think he’s super strong for a one drop. Turns out, the more resources you put into something, the better it gets.

Derek: as if he’d ever be blocking anything, ever.

Lightning Berserker

Giaco: And this one, too. Another dream card. It’s probably terrible, or at the very least “not so good” but I don’t care. This is great.

Derek: why does a firebreather roam the lightning realm?

Shikiri Raptor

David: Creature – Lizard Beast // Deathtouch // Whenever another permanent you control is turned face up, you may return Shikiri Raptor from the graveyard face up or face down. // Megamorph 4G (You may cast this card face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its megamorph cost and put a +1/+1 counter on it.)

David: Is Lizard Beast the new Dinosaur?

Jess: I think it’s the old Dinosaur! I seem to recall a bunch of lizard beasts in the original morph set, although I don’t care enough to check it. Again, this is a card that is good in tribal morph, and probably not all that great in Commander outside of it, but I bet it sees a ton of play in Standard, perhaps with that Khans of Tarkir Phoenix?

Derek: its hard to imagine the speed and efficiency of reviving this card, and the rate isnt exactly the best for its straight up mana cost. That being said its a great defensive creature and probably bonkers in limited.

Brendan: very good card.

David: Would you as far as to say, good card is good?

Wednesday, March 4

Narset Transcendent

David: It’s hard to assess how good her +1 is, but having 6 starting loyalty might allow this card to be playable in a UW control shell despite her inability to defend herself.

Jess: This seems like a decent Commander Planeswalker. It’s not so over-powered as to draw a ton of aggro, but the -2 will lead to a lot of awesome situations. The only caveat is that the emblem is basically the biggest red flag you could throw up in a game of Commander. The only way to handle it is by killing the person who dropped it, and it’s the type of super annoying effect that is going to demand a handling.

Hunter: I predict that this will lap the table in competitive Limited events.

Derek: Hunter, I almost agree. But if LSV is present he will most likely go for it.

Zac: I like this card in UWR Control in Modern. I does compete with Ajani though. Might be room for this in that TAKE ALL THE TURNS deck. I suspect it’ll see Tamiyo level play in Standard. Solid role player in the right deck.

Zach: This like a Domri Rade with a stronger +1 (since Domri is limited to 1 card type and and can’t find himself, whereas Narset fits perfectly into noncreature control) and no ability to protect herself (other than her absurdly high loyalty). I have very high expectations of her for Constructed and very low expectations of her in Limited.

Rich: Zac likes every card for Jeskai control in Modern. That said, I hear those scry lands and Courser of Kruphix pretty popular.

Shawn: Today I stared at ebay when I should have been working wondering to myself whether I was going to drop $135 on a playset of this card. I hate you Wizards. I hate you for making something I love so much.

Brendan: Narset doesn’t impress me much. drawing lands is important for control decks and she can’t do that. The minus is good with card draw and token making spells and maybe bounce but that’s about it. The ultimate is only good in spell mirrors. Cool card but I don’t see her taking over standard.

Matt: This card seems good for all the reasons I don’t play much Standard anymore.

Derek: This card needs setup to be good in Standard. You can’t just slam this on turn 4 and Rebound your Dig Through Time. That being said, I would love for Narset to have the impact I want it to have in Standard. Everyone is gonna try and break her, and thats exciting in of itself.

Dragonlord Kolaghan

Hunter: Cool, big dragon, first-pick, whatever. I’m officially dragon-fatigued now.

Jess: An elder dragon that’s useless in Elder Dragon Highlander, also known as Commander? Ridiculous. And an annoying waste of the design space. This is worst than Ob Nixilis, Unshackled!

Derek: Take THAT, Satyr Wayfinder!

Zac: With Delve as a thing this punishes G/R Midrange.

Zach: It’s a giant flying dragon with Fervor and very specific graveyard hate. Oh, am I just saying what the dragons do now? How else am I going to remember what they all do. I miss young Kolaghan.

Rich: I guess they needed give it good stats so that it’s mostly useless last ability didn’t cause people to pass it in draft.

Brendan: I really dislike the design of the 10 damage ability. It seems too random. How does it interact with delve creatures? I think you can delve away any copies before the spell is considered cast, but I’m not sure.

Shawn: I remember looking at Anafenza when she was spoiled and thinking that the second ability felt tacked on, that it wouldn’t be relevant ever in constructed. I was wrong. The second ability on Kolaghan seems similar, I would imagine the ability being relevant a lot more than people imagine.

Matt: Dragon of Insanity would be a better name for this card. I love it.

Aven Sunstriker

Hunter: These weirdly costed megamorph cards seem hard-ish to evaluate—but I kind of think this one’s bad. A 2/2 double-striking flier is of course good, but to get that you have to pay a total of eight mana! I dunno if that’s worth it.

Derek: The perfect card for when you… have a set full of dragons?

Rich: Up first in this cycle is the latest in a long line of 1WW double strike dorks. On a scale of Skyhunter Skirmisher to Silverblade Paladin this card sucks (like Skyhunter Skirmisher).

Zach: How good this card is depends on how good pump is. A Runemark on this is pretty awesome, except Jeskai and Mardu Runemarks don’t provide it any benefit, and it’ll be hard to get the deathtouch from Sultai Runemark. Unmorphed, this is a Sunspear Cavalary, and that was a merely okay card in a block full of great pump effects.

Matt: New leader in the race for worst art in the set.

Giaco: I really wish this was just Silverblade Paladin. I miss him a lot.

Gudul Lurker

Hunter: Now that’s more like it—play it as a 2/2 for 3, then flip it up for real cheap and start getting in there with a 2/2 unblockable.

Derek: Look at this guy, creepin. Creepin hard, too. I like this little guy.

Rich: There are seven spells and now two creatures that cost U and provide some variety of “can’t be blocked” and every one of them is overrated.

Zach: This ain’t Mystic of the Hidden Way or Marand River Prowler, but it’s close.

Brendan: Very cheap and probably very good.

Matt: Leader in the race for best art of the set. It feels like the picture plane is a terrarium. That’s incredibly good and new feeling. I like.

Marang River Skeleton

David: Our friend River Prowler has seen better days.

Jess: Right? This set is weird and grotesque that way. Anyway, hello, strictly better Drudge Skeletons!

Rich: You say strictly better Drudge Skeletons but I say strictly worse Phyrexian Monitor because people will be tempted to play this as a 1/1.

Hunter: I say meh to this guy, who clearly shouldn’t have spent so much time in this weird river. A 2/2 regenerator (-er?) for seven total mana seems bad.

Derek: So for five mana I can stave off a non-dragon attacker with my 2/2 I left back? Gimmie back Kin-Tree Warden. At least he becomes 2/2 and can eat morphs.

Zach: It’s pretty meh. ‘nuff said.

Matt: I’m glad Wizards is starting to eek bits of the impending disasters hyperobjects present to the metaverse via subtlies on cards. What has happened to the Marang? Global warming.

Stormcrag Elemental

David: My favorite card of the cycle. The kind of heavy-hitting morph that red was missing in KTK.

Derek: David, it was called Snowhorn Rider!

Hunter: I might like the unblockable guy better, but I agree with Dave that this is a pretty sweet beater. Also, does anyone else notice the slight color-shifting going on in this set (and in this cycle in particular)? Double strike in white, trample in red? I know it’s not literal color-shifting, as these are secondary abilities for these colors, but still worth noting.

Zach: I think that this is fine but pretty meh. Sure, it’s a morph, and that’s awesome, but with so many dragons going around to fight for the top of the curve and so many other morphs, is this really that high a pick?

Rich: Hey guys, what’s better: a 5/5 for 6 or a 6/6 for 6? Is morph meant to be a drawback on this? That’s sneaky.

Hunter: Rich, it’s actually a 6/6 for nine. Or are you just trolling?

Brendan: I like this card a lot. Finally a good red morph other than Ashcloud Phoenix.

Matt: I wish the lightning was more pink and less purple. Can’t have it all.

Giaco: Being the grandaddy of all HOTC scrubs, I worry about cards like this. Megamorph is the type of ability I’ll forget I can activate until after my opponent has swung for lethal and I lost.

Salt Road Ambushers

Derek: How do the Ambushers ambush the road patrols if they can’t get the counter bonus? This Salt Road is confusing.

Hunter: Agree that this is a confusing-ish card. When you turn *it* face up it gets one +1/+1 counter, but other stuff that turns face up gets two? Seems like bad design. (But damn with that unblockable megamorpher.)

Zach: We ambush you by empowering creatures that slowly and expensively become MEGA! This reminds me of Abzan Kin-Guard; it promises a lot, but a Hill Giant really isn’t impressive.

Rich: Can someone make me a Mean Girls meme with Regina George that says “Stop Trying to Make Morph Tribal Happen”

Brendan: Seems worse than Pine Walker but still strong.

Matt:

Deathbringer Regent

Jess: “If you cast it from your hand” is the clause that basically prevents a card from being more than occasionally played in Commander. There are a ton of cards that would be balanced if they just had a normal ETB effect, but since they don’t they’re useless. If you can’t get value from reanimation, what is the point?

Derek: I think the modern design ethos that prevents us from casting Doom Blade for 1B also prevents us from any moderately bomby reanimation synergy.

Zach: Giant Plague Wind dragon is nuts in Limited, much like most of the other rare dragons. I hope that there’s a Plummet in this set, because it’ll be amazing.

Hunter: All I know is that I’m going to draft Return to the Earth very highly in the Fate Reforged pack.

Rich: I kind of wish they had given this Plague Wind and made it cost nine mana and called it Plaguebringer but whatever.

Matt: The color scheme of this card’s illustration is very good.

Foe-Razer Regent

Jess: On the other hand, I love this for Commander. It gives fight a boost, plus it’s removal you can reanimate. 4 stars!

Zach: I love it! It’s a weird green fight dragon. It’s enormous, but only if it gets you a 2-for-1.

Derek: This body sucks. How’s it supposed to win any dragon fights?

Hunter: Just another dragon, nothing to see here. (See? This is why you shouldn’t make sets full of dragons, because it makes them feel less special. Part of the reason why people love dragons so much is because they are, by definition, kind of rare and splashy. Not anymore.)

Rich: I have nothing bad to say about this card.

Brendan: What a horrible name. Pretty good ability for a seven drop, though if you can’t fight anything when you cast it then it’s really bad.

Matt: The color scheme of this card’s illustration is very good.

Giaco: I’m with Brendan. These names are ridiculous. Why not just Foe-Razer? Faux-Razor?

Dragonlord’s Servant

David: Favorite card of the set so far, mostly for its flavor. (Har har har.)

Zach: Now there are twice as many Dragonspeaker Shamans. This likely looks better than it is, but a turn five Shockmaw Dragon is a lot better than turn six Shockmaw Dragon.

Derek: Timmy!

Hunter: Love the art and the flavor text. Stinkdrinker for dragons!

Rich: Not as good as Mechwarper is a thing I expect to find in Brian Kibler’s set review.

Matt: Poor Gizmo. After the collapse of human civilization at end of the 20th Century he wandered aimlessly for hundreds of years until he came upon a rift in space-time. He stepped through and landed in an altered future version of Tarkir where his only means for survival was serving his new dragon masters. The dragon overlords did not know about Gizmo’s strange reaction to water and when the idea occurred to him to take a soaking bath in the corrupted Marang River, Gremlins of Tarkir, the hidden track of this block, was born.

Dragon Fodder

Zach: Welcome back, Devour fodder. You’ll work well with Exploit, even if you’re not in Silumgar’s colors.

Derek: Good thing we finally have a way to make Stoke the Flames playable.

Rich: So Exploit replaces Devour as the mechanic most likely to abuse Dragon Fodder. How early in design do you think this was added? Like, an hour in? Two hours tops.

Matt: The flavor text might as well say “We wrote this to fill space as it is neither interesting nor especially creative!”

Giaco: Agree with Matt. Come on, Wizards!

Scaleguard Sentinels

Jess: Amplify was a terrible keyword. This is way better than that, because it also counts cards on the battlefield. That having been said, this is not a Commander card, and thus a waste of promo space.

Zach: “Control a Dragon as you cast [CARDNAME]” is weird templating, but it makes for a card with potentially very strong upside. A two mana 4/5 is Tarmogoyf territory. Granted, a two mana 2/3 is Elvish Warrior territory. I have low expectations, since you want to be playing green, be aggressive, but also include a large number of (green) dragons in your deck. Perhaps there’ll be enough synergistic dragons to make this awesome for something like RG Standard Dragon Aggro, or perhaps there’ll be enough shenanigans to make Modern Changeling Dragon Aggro.

Hunter: This card seems real strong. A 2/3 for just two mana (even if both of it is green) is already a great rate, and a 3/4 for two mana is insane!

Matt: I was painted in a computer by artists from Blizzard! I am a shitty illustration!

Tuesday, March 3

Arashin Sovereign

David: For some reason this art reminds me of the dinosaurs from Dinosaurs.

Jess: As Commander cards go, this is definitely an easy cut.

Matt: “dinosaurs from Dinosaurs” is fun to say and read.

Hunter: Not the mama! I’m the baby, gotta love me! Also, seems infuriating in Limited.

Derek: Oh, you killed my 6/6 flying dragon? I guess i’ll put it on the bottom of my limited deck. Seems better that way.

Zach: This is the new Alabaster Dragon. It will be miserable to play against in Limited.

Rich: So it’s a 6/6 flyer for 7 which would be good 20 years ago. This is going to be greatly outclassed in this set.

Zac: Limited Rares are good in Limited…

Necromaster Dragon

Jess: Would this have really been too powerful if you just got the benefit, instead of having to pay for it?

Matt: This card is funny. Zombie shitting dragon.

Derek: And why do I want to mill my opponent?

Hunter: The same reason we’ve had for sets and sets now, Derek: no reason.

Zach: The milling is random. Why not have it be Sidisi-esque mill 2, then get a zombie if you hit a creature?

Rich: That’s a lot of text for a dragon. I feel like there are much better ways to achieve both effects.

Derek: @Hunter, I would actually prefer to mill myself with this card.

Zac: Yea not happy about ritualing my opponents yard for delve spells.

Boltwing Marauder

Jess: When I first glanced at this card I thought it was another Ogre Battledriver. It. Is. Not.

Matt: I don’t think I’ll get tired of pink-red lightning spewing dragons.

Derek: The name of this one makes me wonder how deep they went into drawing dragon descriptors from a hat.

Zach: It’s a big dragon with upside. Again. Dragon fatigue has set in. Can we just agree that pretty much all rare dragons are going to be Limited playable and move on?

Rich: At least this one doesn’t have a ton of text to figure out.

Zac: Draft Rares of Tarkir

Harbinger of the Hunt

Jess: I get that these are all priced to be answerable in Limited, but this is not a particularly good rate for this ability in Commander!

Matt: My favorite new dragon other than the Zombie Shitting Dragon.

Hunter: Seems v. fragile—and very expensive to use. If you play him on five, then drop a land on T6 and double up on one of his abilities you are probably getting some value, but it costs you your whole turn to do it. Still, five flying power for five mana is a decent rate.

Derek: I will have no idea how killable this is until I see the removal in the set.

Zach: I’m beginning to get a bit afraid that just like the legends of Kamigawa, there will be so many dragons it’ll be hard to remember what all of them do. This one is a Scour of Kher Ridges.

Rich: Obligatory dies to Lightning Bolt comment.

Zac: If every creature in this set has flying (which is seems like it does)…Frontier Seige is a combo with this dude.

Pristine Skywise

Jess: I have never played with Pristine Angel, and I can’t imagine playing with this as well. I mean, it’s powerful, and a Limited bomb, but it’s a Craw Wurm in Azorius colors! That didn’t make sense on Isperia, and it makes less sense on this thing.

Hunter: I like this card better than Sunscorch Regent in Limited, as it turns any noncreature spell into a Feat of Resistance. If you draft around this card, I feel like it’s going to be nigh-unkillable—and nigh-unkillable flying 6/4s end games fast.

Matt: I like the flavor text, kinda.

Derek: Yeah. I will lose to this card.

Zach: It’s a big, flying Craw Wurm with essentially prowess. Seems Limited strong, just like most other giant, flying dragons.

Rich: Haha easily the best Dragon in this shitty cycle because it can protect itself from removal.

Ojutai’s Command

David: So sweet.

Jess: Yeah, Commands are great. I can’t wait to see whichever one has the Austere Command utility, in the same way this replicates the utility of Cryptic Command. Also, I’d love for Azorius Control to be a thing in Modern again. I love me some Wall of Omens.

David: Wall of Omens and Snapcaster are awesome targets.

Matt: This card seems super good. I love choices.

Hunter: I don’t this is card is going to be gamebreaker in Limited. The first two abilities are marginal—you didn’t always play Timely Hordemate in Khans (especially not in Azorius colors)—and the last two aren’t stellar, either. That said, having four choices and being able to choose two of them sort of multiplies *all* the choices, so this card is probably better than I anticipate—but I don’t think this is a windmill first-pick at all.

Zach: Commands! COMMANDS! I AM SO EXCITE! Exclude is already a great card and this provides even more options. Sure, “Gain 4 Life” is pretty lame, but even with three modes, this card is sweet.

Brendan: This art is almost as bad as Jeskai Ascendancy. Plus ca change.

Rich: This will be good in all those top-tier Modern control decks right?

Derek: Sorry, Tim, I had to do it. Bunch of bros using a Selfie Stick. HA! But yeah. What Matt said. I love choices, also.

Zac: Finally a rare I’d be happy to open. I could see this seeing a little play in Modern.

Sunscorch Regent

Jess: This seems better than the rare Azorius one. And the rare Selesnya one too!

Hunter: Seems like a totally fine card, though it still dies to stuff like Bathe in Dragonfire (though not Collateral Damage, as the +1/+1 counter trigger will resolve before the removal spell does). I wonder if this won’t end up being a bit fragile.

Matt: There’s just NO WAY that guy flies.

Zach: Matt is right. That dragon is hanging from chains. I love how the giant dragon seemingly shooting enemies with light is actually gaining you small amounts of life.

Brendan: I hate this card. I will enjoy killing it in a non-toughness-based way however.

Rich: Technically does not die to Lightning Bolt so it’s got that going for it. Does die to Dismember though.

Derek: So big and fat, yet carries with it the weapon of the sun. I’m lost. I also can’t kill this by prowessing my Lotus Path Djinn with Weave Fate. Which makes me sad.

Radiant Purge

Hunter: Given that this is rare, I’m guessing that there will be plenty of spicy targets for this in Limited, and that it will be a first-pick-quality card (along the lines of Valorous Stance).

Matt: The middle part of that dragon is fuuuuuuuuucked.

Zach: It’s the white Doom Blade! I guess this doesn’t exile multicolor permanents because they don’t want it to hit planeswalkers.

Brendan: I can get rid of Pharika or Keranos but not Purphoros or Thassa.

Derek: Finally, I can answer Siege Rhino for 2cmc in two different colors!  Maybe now he will see slightly less play!

Rich: Finally an answer to Sovereigns of Alara!

Sulimgar’s Assassin

David: Creature – Human Assassin // Creatures with power greater than Silumgar’s Assassin’s power can’t block it. // Megamorph 2B (You may cast this card face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up at any time for its megamorph cost and put a +1/+1 counter on it.) // When Silumgar’s Assassin is turned face up, destroy target creature with power 3 or less an opponent controls.

Matt: New candidate for worst art in the set.

Zach: Matt, you sure seem to hate the artwork in this set. As for the card, this is a weird ability that feels more like cowardice than stealthiness to me. I wonder if we’ll be seeing much more of it in the near future.

Rich: This seems kind of weak in a set full of dragons with more than 3 power.

Derek: 2 for 1’s are first pickable.

Thunderbreak Regent

David: Creature – Dragon // Flying // Whenever a dragon you control becomes the target of a spell or ability your opponent controls, Thunderbreak Regent deals 3 damage to that player.

Jess: I’m a fan of this card in tribal dragons. SHOCKING. It’s completely unbelievable that Dragons of Tarkir is adding to my Scion of the Ur-Dragon deck.

Matt: I like Lava Spike Dragon.

Zach: RETROMANCER IS BACK AND ANGRY! He’s bigger, flying, all-upside, and more dragony than ever before.

Brendan: At least this doesn’t have haste.

Rich: Too bad red decks never get to four mana.

Derek: This competes with way better 4 drops in Red decks. That being said, an awesome rate for limited!

Shaman of Forgotten Ways

Jess: Considering the card it’s Formidable-ing is banned in Commander (Biorhythm), I wonder if this will get the same treatment.

Hunter: Seems like Development must have found this Formidable ability to be *very* good in Standard, because holy shit is that expensive/restricted. As for Limited, yeah, sure—seems like a fantastic card on a totally respectable 2/3 body (although perhaps 2/3 bodies, in a world of megamorph, aren’t as good as they were in Khans).

Matt: This is one weird card.

Zach: It’s a Somberwald Sage with a relevant body and which trades one mana for flexibility of colors. Even if this didn’t have Formidable, I’d be excited to play with it. I feel like the crazy expensive Formidable ability was tacked on to make it a mythic and even more Johnny friendly.

Brendan: The formidable ability seems a little slow against Ugin but in theory is a way to kill a control deck with no creatures if you have a ton of power on board. Because it’s hard for a green deck to win after it gets way ahead on board.

Rich: If there’s any broken effect I’ve been clamoring to see reprinted it definitely wasn’t even remotely close to being Biorhythm.

Derek: Elvish Mystic. This guy. 6 drop turn 3. I’m sorry but thats insane in green decks.

Zac: Not a terrible SB card (or just relevant ability) vs Control decks.

Monday, March 2

Dragonlord Silumgar

David: A+, would cast again.

Hunter: I predict that this card will be the ultimate groan test–passer in Dragons of Tarkir Limited. Pick it early and often. (Bonus points if manage to snag his younger version in the Fate Reforged pack.)

Derek: Just think of all the Planeswalkers you can steal in Limited! But seriously guys, seriously: What happened to the drifting deathouch’s toughness? Five is way smaller than seven. Perhaps being an elder dragon has its frailties.

Matt: “I’m just gonna sex up this bit of architecture here. That’s right. Look away. Give the Dragonlord Its privacy!”—Dragonlord Silumgar. Oh! HUNTER! Now we know, via the flavor text of this card, who lives in the Opulent Palace!

Hunter: Ha—correct, Matt. Dragonlord Silumgar: good at Mind Control, bad at coming up with cool names for his palace.

Rich: Is this really only a 3/5 for six mana? What a terrible mythic. Terrible against spot removal. Dies to Dismember. Just an awful card.

Matt: Rich, that’s a perfectly Joe Shi thing to say.

Brendan: From one opulent palace to another.

Jess: I mean, if Dimir Control needed another Commander, this is at least as good as Sygg, River Cutthroat… albeit in a very different way. I am pretty unimpressed, though, which is weird considering it’s a creature-type Elder. That’s cool. The card is just… not amazing.

Zach: He’s wearing Tasigur! AHAHAHAHAHA!

Derek: @B-Mac. I lolled so hard.

Zac: I find his lack of Bananas disturbing.

Dragon Tempest

Derek: This is the most Timmy card in the set so far, but it stands to reason theres gotta be some sweet cards you can pair it with in draft. heres hoping dragon whelp and granite gargoyle and roc of kher ridges return!

Hunter: Kind of hard to tell how good this card will be right now, given that we haven’t seen how many dragons or flying creatures there will be in the set (presumably a lot), but typically this effect isn’t good enough to take up a card slot. It’s cheap enough, though.

Matt: I may be a bit ahead of myself here, but I assume there will be a lot of dragons in a Magic set called Dragons of Tarkir.

Hunter: Remember Dragon’s Maze? Zero dragons! (But yes, there will certainly be a lot of fliers/dragoons in this set. Still doubt this card will pass muster in Limited, though.)

Matt: I do not remember Dragon’s Maze (the maze of a single dragon). If I did I would probably remember that it wasn’t called Maze of Dragons (which would imply lots of dragons in a singular maze, or a maze made out of dragons).

Rich: This seems like a bad combination of Pandemonium and Fervor but just way worse than either of them. Pass.

Jess: Except for in a dedicated dragon Commander deck, like Scion of the Ur-Dragon! This is going into that post-haste.

Zach: I want to do hilarious things with this and Mothdust Changeling in a janky Modern deck. That is all.

Profound Journey

Derek: Sooooooo rebound, eh? This card should be good enough for constructed. Another reason for Satyr Wayfinder to be the best card in Standard.

Hunter: Seems way too expensive, even with rebound. Fearsome Awakening sees no play in Fate Reforged already, and I don’t see how adding two mana to its cost (esp. in a color w/o self-mill) is going to improve that.

Matt: I agree. It should be called Profoundly Expensive Journey.

Brendan: Cast Staggershock, trigger Shu Yun. Rebound will be sweet. This card, probably not so much.

Rich: More like Profoundly Useless Journey. Am I right?

Hunter: Kinda sweet art, though, amirite? Should look dope in foil. Love all the snow.

Matt: The art is OK. We have seriously reached our limit of “amirite” usage and we’re only on the third card.

Jess: I mean, part of my unenthusiasm with cards like this is just… this is just a known spell, with rebound. Like, adding rebound is cool? It’s powerful, just meh.

Shawn: I don’t think this card will see constructed play, but it’s worth noting that Fearsome Awakening and it’s ilk only return creatures to play. This card brings back Ugin, Darksteel Forge, and Omniscience from the yard. I think this card is very cool, though I think its the same kind of cool as Obzedat’s Aid, a card which saw no play outside of EDH.

Zach: This costs too much and rebound doesn’t matter when reanimating one thing should be enough. Shawn hit the nail on the head – if Obzedat’s Aid was too expensive for Standard, this should be far too expensive.

Stratus Dancer

David: The newest Blue Ranger of the Mega Morphing Power Rangers Clan.

Derek: So I wanted Willbender, and I got Stratus Dancer? Deal!

Matt: Shittiest art of the set award winner.

Hunter: Welkin Tern with (lots of) upside? Yes please.

Brendan: Hold me closer, Stratus Dancer.

Rich: Surprise! Except just like Willbender it will always be obvious when this is on the board.

Jess: This seems decent, and might even see some play in Commander. It’s definitely going into my dedicated morph deck.

Shawn: I love this card. That is all.

Zach: I love this! I can’t wait to get a foil in my cube for blue aggro/control.

Derek: Zach, isn’t your entire cube blue aggro/control?

Zac: This reminds me of that time I used to cast the heck out of Frenetic Efreet.

Sidisi, Undead Vizier

David: Satyr Wayfinder OP.

Derek: I like this mechanic a lot. I also like Black a lot. And exploitation of unwanted creaturelings. The body on this new Sidisi is great for the current limited format. Just be careful of the blowout that turns this card into an overcosted diabolic Tutor.

Matt: Kadar won’t shut up about how good this card is. I think Demonic Tutor is a good card and this seems like its purplier cousin in creature form.

Hunter: Doesn’t have delve, though! I guess a Demonic Tutor w/ a huge deathtouching body on it is fine, but it doesn’t seem nuts. How much better is it than Shambling Attendants?

Matt: Does Shambling Attendants ALSO get you ANY card in your deck when it comes into play? Sidisi is much better than Shambling Attendants.

Rich: Did the Demonic Tutor demon ever see play in Standard? No? Just Commander? Carry on.

Jess: I would almost prefer that this be a weaker ability that triggers whenever you sacrifice a creature, as opposed to an ETB effect that only triggers conditionally. Also, I don’t love tutors, and in its weakest form this is just a five-mana tutor.

Shawn: I feel like it’s a cop-out to say, “I bet this will be good in EDH,” since lots of bad cards fit that criteria. Having said that, it seems good with Karador type decks and seems better than Maralen of the Mornsong as a general for whatever that’s worth.

Brendan: This actually seems quite good as one copy in Sidisi Whip. Go figure. It is in the same ballpark as Doomwake Giant, which is always a relevant body and sometimes has an amazing ability. In a deck that makes a lot of tokens and plays Satyr Wayfinder, this is way better than Liliana Vess, a card that seems some play. Dead Sidisi also combos well with Whip itself, as you can whip her back on an empty board for a tutor and in the late game you can play her after combat with a whipped creature to exploit. That costs nine but if you have nine mana, an active Whip, and you still aren’t winning then the tutor is about the best thing you could get and a 4/6 deathtouch will probably also help you not die.

Zach: Strong card in Limited is strong. Five mana for a 4/6 deathtouch is a good rate, and saccing a random two or three drop to tutor your best card is nuts. Remember, as long as what you’re exploiting for is worth a card, then you’re never down a card.

Jess: BAD CARDS?!?!  Commander is full of gems that were unappreciated in their time!

Sandcrafter Mage

Derek: Grizzly Bear, plus bolster 1 for 1. This is at worst a 3/3 for 3? Thats a good rate for Khans limited.

Matt: Look at this guy CRAFTING SAND!!! Such a good illustration. Not.

Hunter: Seems like a p strong common. I would much rather have this than a Dragon Bell Monk.

Brendan: Dragon Bell Monk sucks. This card seems solid.

Rich: So he bolsters a creature with an extra power and toughness worth of sand? That’s going to make someone’s armor very difficult to clean.

Jess: This is pauper cube fodder. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s also not amazing.

Shawn: I don’t think I’d play this in my pauper cube, but it seems like a reasonable mid-pack pick in limited.

Zach: This is reminiscent of Trusty Forcemage, a solid card (though it’s appreciably weaker). Unfortunately for it, most of Abzan’s “+1/+1 counters matter” mechanics seem to have gone extinct along with the clan.

Ojutai’s Summons

Matt: More like Ojutai’s Dancers, amirite?!

Hunter: Worse than Talrand’s Invocation. I guess you get the benefit from 2X prowess triggers? (But of course prowess will only be in the Fate Reforged pack now, which additionally will be drafted last.)

Derek: So bountiful. Such majesty is their flock.

Brendan: This just shows how ridiculously undercosted Talrand’s Invocation was.

Rich: This card sucks. That’s really all I have to say.

Jess: See, I kinda like this one. Like, maybe just for pauper cube, where getting an Air Elemental is pretty good, even over two bodies over two turns, but it also seems interesting to copy and whatnot.

Zach: I acknowledge that this card isn’t particularly exciting or fast, but it’s still a Wind Elemental at common. Rise of Eagles was a fine to decent card in Journey into Nyx and this card costs less.

Silumgar Butcher

David: Does this mean the clans are now named after their Dragon lord? The Silumgar, the Ojutai, etc?

Derek: So which creature did he Butcher? Two creatures, right? at one its a murderer, at two its a profession.

Matt: Dave Kendall has figured out that complementary colors make illustrations dynamic. Good job Dave Kendall.

Hunter: I was high on Collateral Damage in FRF, but a large part of that was of how cheap it was. This I’m less sold on, as it costs five, isn’t instant speed, and you have to sac a creature to make it go.

Brendan: A 3/3 that lets you turn a creature into a Bile Blight seems good to me.

Rich: This exploit mechanic should work nicely with that Delve thing and a free sac outlet never hurt anyone, right?

Jess: Conditional ETB. Boo! Why not just a card that comes in and kills a thing, no? PS: The new Sultai art looks grotesque.

Zach: This card and mechanic have a lot of neat interactions. I expect that, like Devour, this will be stronger than it looks, require deckbuilding support, and often be wrong to use.

Sprinting Warbrute

Matt: You’d sprint, too, if someone was zapping your fuckin’ legs with red lightning all the time. Jeez.


Derek: The art on this is so literal.

Hunter: If you’re in red and you’re not already attacking every turn with your 5/4, you’re probably doing it wrong. Dash is just gravy.

Brendan: The dash seems much better than hardcasting it, unless you need to block for a turn.

Rich: Just because Dash has a lot of design space doesn’t mean we need to use it.

Shawn: This card is garbage but I expect that I will die to it some number of times in limited.

Zach: This is a fine creature that’ll also trigger Ferociousand Formidable.

Stampeding Elk Herd

David: I’d imagine most stampeding elk herds are pretty formidable.

Matt: David stole my line.

Derek: From Ferocious to Formidable, the Feral beasts of the frontier are fearsome foes.

Hunter: Pretty much a strictly better Feral Krushok, which was already a totally fine card in FRF. Design-wise, though, I’m pretty uninspired by this whole “taking X mechanic and doubling it or adding one to it, now it’s a new thing,” a la ferocious/formidable and morph/megamorph. Seems p lazy.

Shawn: Almost as lazy as abbreviating pretty to “p”?

Brendan: So you need three extra power to give this (and whatever else) trample. If you cast a creature before combat to turn this on, you risk being tapped out and vulnerable to tricks.

Rich: This is going to trigger almost all the time, right? How does green manage to only attack with a single 5/5?

Jess: Pauper cube Overrun.

Zach: It’s a big, dumb creature that will turn a board stall or overwhelming board presence into a win. I like it!

Aerie Bowmasters

Derek: We teach the hounds to wield an arrow, so that they may better defend their kin.

Matt: Megamorph is the dumbest thing ever. MEGAmorph = +1/+1? I thought mega meant … mega!! Not “slightly better”.

Hunter: Matt hits the flavor fail nail on the head. Still, not a bad card, though I’d rather have a Sultai Flayer. (Although I guess that with this set’s dragon/flier theme, you’ll want to have beefy reach blockers.)

Brendan: Is this card better than Nessian Asp? Is any card better than Nessian Asp?

David: Bmac, there are very few commons better than Nessian Asp.

Rich: Surprise! This still won’t be able to kill most dragons that it blocks!

Jess: I am desperately trying to get on board with this megamorph thing, but JFC is it hard. If they wanted to do a spin on morph that uses the word morph in it, why not metamorph?

Zach: This a strictly better Cloudcrown Oak. I thoroughly expect to take these far too highly in draft. As far as a Megamorph is concerned, I’m okay with it; it’s very close to morph while still being a different mechanic (which keeps complexity down in a very, very complicated block) and sells that flavor of how the dragons being alive make everyone stronger.

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