Wednesday, September 16

Benthic Infiltrator

Carrie: I liked “benthic” better when it meant hexproof.

Rich: I don’t know if this is better than the 2-drop flier but I have a feeling the answer is no. Unless this set has an Eldrazi Conscription-like card. Also Benthic was better when it was Benthic Explorers.

Murk Strider

Carrie: Just because you see it doesn’t mean it’s there.

Rich: Apparently the design space on this new Ingest/Processor mechanic is very, very large. I’m looking forward to the next dozen or so Eldrazi sets exploring it but I’m also sad that WotC figured out they need to make it opponent’s only to avoid banning Dredge in Legacy and Vintage.

Jess: That would have been amazing in Dredge, and that deck needs some help ever since DRS meant running into mainboard hate that sped up an opponent’s clock. Still, probably a bridge too far. Anyway, I hope to see a new and interesting way for this ability to be used. So far it’s just situational versions of existing Mulldrifters.

Culling Drone

Carrie: RIP, Fleshmad Steed. I guess black gets 2/2s for two with upside now.

Rich: Wait this card has no drawback… is being colorless a drawback? Can’t pump this with Bad Moon I suppose?

Jess: I kinda feel like Ingest should work like Infect with regards to hot creature on creature action.

David: RIP Fleshmad Steed, vive Fleshmad Steve!

Complete Disregard

Rich: Common spot removal is the best kind of spot removal.

Carrie: Spoiler alert: this will be good in limited.

Mind Raker

Jess: I am always a fan of a card that says “each opponent.” I suspect this will see some play in Commander while people figure out the utility of this processing mechanic.

Carrie: Processing seems politically useful in Commander. Give one player back a key card that got exiled, do bad things to some other players. Although you make everyone else discard with this one.

Rich: Which commander would you use for an Ingest/Processor EDH deck? I don’t even know…

Jess: It’s a good question! Sisters of the Stone Death, maybe? But then you lose access to blue, which seems very relevant given the balance of these things.

Drana, Liberator of Malakir

Jess: She’s as powerful as original Drana, but for a different type of gameplan. She pumps herself, and the first strike means the rest of your team will usually get the benefit before they do damage.

Carrie: At least this Drana doesn’t win the game by herself. Now she’s an ally!

Rich: Now this is how you Ally. Can’t wait for the next set to come out.

Jess: How did I miss that she’s an ally?

David: Holy crap this is nuts.

Guul Draz Overseer

Jess: This is weirdly similar to Drana. Black overruns are not my thing. Also, when I saw the stats I assumed it pumps itself, but it does not… which seems odd.

Rich: Seems too slow to actually work out as a finisher. Isn’t there a red spell that does the exact same thing?

Beastcaller Savant

Jess: Is this the first mana dork with haste? I like seeing that, but I think the extra mana AND the restriction are both too much for this to be good. As a two-mana that could cast anything, or a one mana that could only cast creatures, I think it might be strong enough to see sustained play. This is worse than what it’s replacing in Standard.

Carrie: If this has a pet Lotus Cobra, I would think it would have learned how to be a good card.

Rich: If there’s going to be a ramp deck in this format then this guy immediately slots in alongside Rattleclaw Mystic as your two-drops. This is pretty good on later turns as well because it’s essentially a one-mana dork that you can’t play on turn one. There’s nothing you’ll really cast for 1, but who knows.

David: I miss 1CMC dorks.

Creature – Elf Shaman Ally // Haste // T: Add 1 mana of any color to your mana pool. Use this mana only to cast creature spells.

Tuesday, September 15

Horribly Awry

Rich: As cliche as this may sound, this card will either be really good because U/G tempo is a thing or it will be really bad because there’s no room for it. My guess is the latter.

Tim: My brain immediately removed the word “creature,” when I first read this. We see what we want, I guess. How sweet would that be for Modern, though?? As for the actual card, it counters Siege Rhino, Den Protector, and Deathmist Raptor, while also stopping the latter two from doing their shenanigans. That might be good enough for Standard.

Shawn: So it’s Remove Soul, just worse, except in the corner cases of exiling a recursive card like Deathmist Raptor?

Carrie: Being colorless might be useful, except that most things that protect from counterspells do it without focusing on color.

David: Counter target Den Protector/Deathmist Raptor.

Wasteland Strangler

Rich: I’m a bit surprised this is a rare to be honest. It means that development expects Ingest to be a common enough theme that this creature is a 2-for-1 more often than not and they needed to move  it to rare  to make sure it wasn’t showing up in every limited deck.

Tim: I’m really hoping that we get enough pushed Processors that we end up with a sweet, janky Flicker-Process deck in Modern (you flicker out their permanents, via Flickerwisp, and then drop them in their graveyard).

Carrie: To be uncommon, this would have to cost five mana. Not sure how easy it will be to get the -3/-3 on turn three, though. Even with Ingest creatures, you usually want to use removal to clear the way, but here you have to have already gotten a hit in to have exiled cards to process.

Molten Nursery

Rich: Seems good with artifacts. Love the flavor on  this card’s name.

Jess: Good backup for the Aether Grid in monored machine decks in Commander.

Carrie: Worse than Ghirapur Aether Grid for Affinity decks, since you have to dump your hand before you can cast either.

Dust Stalker

Rich: Could be very, very, very strong… but will probably never find a deck and just end up in  your bulk box.

Shawn: Is a 5/3 haste creature for four a constructed playable card? The ability seems like a worse version of raid and a slightly better version of Viashino Sandstalker.

Carrie: There’s going to be a Rakdos Eldrazi beatdown deck in limited. That deck will want this card. I doubt anyone else in any format will.

Jess: Why does this not have Ingest?

David: I’m confused about which Eldrazi get Ingest and which don’t. It seems pretty random to me.

Scour From Existence

Rich: Common, colorless, spot-removal? That could fix those long limited matches I guess…

Jess: I can’t tell if this is a good fit for my pauper cube. On the one hand, colorless instant removal that hits anything, which is bonkers. But on the other hand, I’ve been trying to keep it such that the color pie has some meaning, and a removal spell that can go in any deck seems like it undermines that. Still… it’s probably going to look sweet in foil.

Shawn: I can’t imagine putting this in my pauper cube. Each color has more efficient ways of doing what this card does. Sure red can’t deal with enchantments, but it has other methodologies for winning a game that are probably better than paying seven mana to remove a single threat. This reminds me a little bit of Desert Twister, a card that didn’t feel very green in terms of color identity and didn’t see much play because of how clunky it was. I think it’s cool for EDH purposes but I really hope to not have to play this in limited.

Carrie: Seven mana is a lot, but if games go long this gets the job done.

Angelic Captain

Rich: This looks terrible. Even if an ally deck becomes a thing I can’t  imagine this as the finisher.

Curtis: I’m just glad to see that distinctive blinding-halo of Zendikari angels again. Doug Beyer confirmed that all angels are made, not born, so were these celestial allies originally devoted to the Eldrazi “gods”?

Carrie: It’s hard for a four power flyer for five mana to be bad in limited. Angelic Captain is not bad, but it is worse than Air Elemental.

Shawn: I wish it gave all creatures +1/+1 for each attacking Ally. I don’t think that would be too good for standard. Also, I hate the flavor text, “Their span seeming to cover the sky” is a pretty weak description.

Quarantine Field

Rich: If your opponent only has one nonland permanent in play then this is a weird kind  of Wrath of God. Also, if you cast this and then have an Eldrazi Processor you can dump the exiled cards into your opponent’s graveyard and then they never come back. I’m sure you knew that already though.

Jess: I feel like a lot of cards in this set are like “what if we scaled another effect to huge levels!” This is only moderately interesting, although in a deck that can make big mana it’s going to be quite useful.

Curtis: I missed one X upon reading and foresaw the dawn of a terrible age of Enchantress. As it is, however, this still might merit a slot as an answer to a lot of Miracles’ board position all at once.

Shawn: I’ll put one in my Hanna EDH deck.

Scatter to the Winds

Rich: Strictly better than Cancel, but worse than  Draining Whelk. I miss Draining Whelk in limited (yes I’m old).

Tim: Totally called this card as soon as the mechanic was spoiled, because we always get a Cancel variant with the latest set mechanic stapled to it. Except they’re usually uncommon. This confirms that Awaken Control will be a legitimate deck.

Shawn: This card is awesome. It’s exactly what you want in a control deck. A way to interact early and and close out the game without wasting a slot on a win condition.

Carrie: It’s rare and only Awaken 3 (instead of 4 like most others) so you know it has to be good.

David: Instant-speed Awaken!!

Ugin’s Insight

Rich: Ugin’s insight: “Yes, Ulamog is going to eff your shit up, but Jace, dude, have you forgotten just how boned all of existence is? Now Scry. Scry like your multiverse depends on  it.”

Tim: Ew, gross.. what kind of respectable blue mage casts anything at sorcery speed? I’d rather have Jace’s Ingenuity.

Jess: The flavor text says interesting things about the storyline, although it’s fucking stupid insightwise. How hilarious would it be if Emrakul ends up a planeswalker at the end of the next set and squids off? Maybe a WUBRG planeswalker with devoid?

Carrie: Eldrazi are kind of planeswalkers anyway, right? They live in that stupid space where only planeswalkers can travel. Game lore is all made up nonsense anyway, so they can do whatever they want. Tapout control decks tend to have expensive permanents, and those decks will love this card. We’ll see if they exist.

Retreat to Coralhelm

Rich: I wish there was a colorless Retreat to Sea Gate that just ate all your opponent’s permanents. I hope there was one in design but development nixed it. FYI this is the best card in the cycle by a mile. That second ability is bonkers.

Jess: I don’t know… in the allies deck, you’re definitely going to get more value from the white one.

Shawn: I think this might be…the worst one in the cycle.

Carrie: Depends how long you expect the game to last. Making all your lands into scry lands is not really worth a card, unless you get seven scrys out of it, but then it’s like Monastery Siege.

Retreat to Hagara

Rich: More like Retreat to Useless Abilities amirite?

Jess: Yeah, this one is unexciting.

Curtis: I actually like this one! Deathtouch and +1/+0 is a pretty solid Limited ability to have on any attacking creature.

Carrie: Play this with Scapeshift!

Jess: Huh, that’s kinda brilliant. There are a lot of times Scapeshift only hits for 18 damage, which is usually enough for the kill, but stumbles a bit against lifegain or decks without painful manabases.

Retreat to Valakut

Rich: This card should be ashamed to bear the name of the most awesome molten pinnacle in Zendikar’s history.

Carrie: This is about as far from Valakut as possible. I never want to play this card.

Woodland Wanderer

Rich: Turn 1 Forest, Turn 2 Mountain and Rattleclaw Mystic, Turn 3 Tango Land and cast this as a 5/5. Then stand up and do a touchdown dance before your opponent casts the new Hero’s Fall on your dude.

Jess: I think it’s interesting that for Siege Rhino mana this is a 5/5. Did Abzan need a couple more copies of that thing?

Carrie: This card is very efficient. It doesn’t take any work to make it a 4/4, and anything bigger is ridiculous.  

Spawning Bed

Rich: Okay. That’s weird. A land that’s also a ramp spell of sorts. Auto four-of in a colorless ramp deck but won’t really find a home anywhere else. Solid in limited though. Super solid.

Jess: Also pretty solid in Commander. Those “sac to make token” lands are really strong when they synergize with your overarching strategy, and this one is going to play well with most, given the mana boost.

Carrie: I love this. Miles better than cards like Spawning Breath because it doesn’t take a card slot in your deck.

Blighted Cataract

Rich: Snore…

Tim: YESSSS! PRAISE ALLAH! I LOVE this new Divination land!

Jess: That’s going into a lot of blue Commander decks.

Shawn: This makes me really happy.

Carrie: I will play this often.

Sandstone Bridge

Rich: Oh it’s like that cycle of lands from Zendikar 1.0, a few of which saw constructed play. This won’t be one that sees constructed play.

Carrie: They had to have made all the non-Eldrazi cards look beautiful to contrast with the hideously pathetic aesthetic of the Eldrazi. This card is gorgeous.

Skyline Cascade

Rich: Nope, this one also won’t see constructed play.

Carrie: Take that, stupid beatdown deck!

David: SO GOOD.

Mortuary Mire

Rich:  Maybe this one? Counters that Ingest/Processor stuff I guess?

Jess: This one seems Commanderable, especially in decks that care about the top card of their library.

Carrie: This ability is WAAAAAAAAAAAY better than the others in this cycle. Putting a Siege Rhino on top of your library is great.

Looming Spires

Rich: The red one was constructed playable last time and maybe it will be this time because red loves getting a boost. Though, for the record, +1/+1 pales in comparison to +2/+0 for red decks.

Carrie: First strike helps get through blockers. Pretty useful.

Fertile Thicket

Rich: Oh look, it’s the one that might be constructed playable because I have a feeling between converge and allies and fetch-lands and tango-lands we’re going to see some four and five color decks. Then again, Sylvan Scrying just completely trumps this. Oh well.

Jess: This one also has some promise for Commander, and seems particularly strong with new Nissa.

Carrie: None of these abilities is worth a card, but you aren’t paying a card to get them. Abilities that come for “free” on a land are always better than they seem. That said, I don’t like this one very much.

Monday, September 14

Endless One

Carrie: This card embodies everything that I dislike about the previews I’ve seen for this set. As a theoretical exercise, an X/X for X mana is cool. As a card, it is quite powerful, so long as you just want efficient creatures and don’t care if they do anything above being a normal creature. It is all modular and nothing else. As a flavorful, scary alien monster that will devour everything, this card is a joke. Oh no, here’s comes the giant tapeworm of death! Wizards created this set that required them to make a bunch of Eldrazi to represent an army. The Eldrazi all look the same and most are effectively vanilla. Maybe the Eldrazi represent existential boredom. That is what this card triggers for me.

Jess: Well it’s certainly not a Commander card. Just because this is better than most hydras doesn’t change the fact it’s effectively a hydra. Also, as per usual, Carrie just nailed the flavor fail (failavor?) of these tiny Eldrazi.

Rich: I’m sure someone thought the design of this card was really elegant but in reality it’s just really lazy.

Transgress the Mind

Carrie: We had Thoughtseize in standard for two years. I don’t think we’ll see Inquisition of Kozilek back in standard any time soon.

Rich: Having a casting cost of 1B really is going to relegate this card to the sideboard for decks that otherwise would be packing 4 copies at a cost of B.

Crumble to Dust

Carrie: Colorless Sowing Salt that is easier to cast. Also easier to acquire, once the set is released. Is there any way this is not the strictly better card? Why would you ever choose to play Sowing Salt again? Shrine of Burning Rage?

Jess: Devoid is dumb.

Rich: You can’t counter this with Hydroblast. So much value. This seems like the kind of card development puts in sets, but I’m not sure why.

From Beyond

Carrie: Oh look, they made an Awakening Zone for 1/1s. And they slapped a tutor effect on it. This card is significantly stronger than Awakening Zone, except that it costs one more mana. The extra mana has to be a very big cost or else this card would be overpowered.

Jess: Totally a Commander card. The problem with Awakening Zone is that, while it’s amazing on curve, it is like the worst top-deck in the late game. At least this version gives you a six-mana Eldrazi tutor. Plus, obviously Scions > Spawns.

Curtis: Will this work in Enchantress?? No clue. I think not, really; you don’t usually tutor for Big Spaghetti, and a 1/1 every turn is a pretty unassuming blocker or win condition.

Rich: Is this what’s hidden at the center of an Awakening Zone? If I play a ramp spell on Turn 2 do I want to play this on Turn 3 as my four-drop? I don’t think I do. It’s a good card, but Kiora and Explosive Vegetation completely outclass From Beyond as the four-drop in a ramp deck.

Brutal Expulsion

Carrie: Here’s another card that does a lot of cool and useful things, including killing Etched Champion and Master of Waves, but that looks stupid and makes no flavor sense. I guess the flavor is that Eldrazi will fuck your shit up in ways you never knew possible. Film at 11!

Rich: Venser, Shaper Savant does the first effect and gives you a 2/2 body, so I don’t see this getting a lot of screen time in the near future. I guess the two damage is nice. If RUG tempo is a thing, this still probably isn’t good enough to get played.

Tim: A strong front-runner for my favorite card in the set.

David: So brutal.

March from the Tomb

Jess: Okay, I am getting really psyched for the allies Commander deck, something I’ve wanted to be feasible for literally five years. The problem is… what do you do with this chaff once you’ve made your one ally deck? Most of them are useless elsewhere.

Carrie: All this work and you still can’t take the Grail past the great seal.

Rich: Mark my words right now, there will be an aggressive Ally deck after the next expansion. If you can pick up some of these Ally rares as bulk rares for a quarter now, you should absolutely do so.

Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper

Jess: This being one of the exceptions, of course. I don’t love how this feels like a shitty Talrand, and the ally thing feels like more of a “why not?” than something with actual purpose, but at least they’ve been templating the awaken nicely… Back in Scars Block Standard I got dinged for mistakenly pointing to the wrong land for a Koth activation, and I’ve been rock-salty since.

Carrie: I guess we are all Allies now? Maybe they will reprint Coalition Victory? That’s the vibe I’m getting.

Rich: A reprint of Coalition Victory would be the lamest thing ever. I would come back to playing competitively just so I could quit again if they did that.

Exert Influence

Carrie: I am rooting for Zendikar to win this battle (even though they obviously won’t) because cards like this are beautiful and fun. I don’t know why her dress has to be slit up to her hip, but it could be worse.

Jess: Maybe this will finally be the mechanic that breaks Fist of Suns, as has been eternally promised and never delivered.

Rich: I always wanted to pay five mana to take control of Wall of Roots.

Prism Array

Carrie: If you assemble full domain, you can do a lot better things than play this card. But if you don’t care about being powerful or efficient, then Prism Array looks sweet.

Jess: I dunno… if the tap was an ice-down this might see some Commander play, but that ability restricts it to rainbow decks, and for the same mana you could get Maelstrom Nexus. So I am skeptical as to how much play this will see.

Rich: This would be a better card if they made the remove-a-counter effect Scry X and they made the WUBRG effect Tap X Creatures.

Painful Truths

Sorcery // Converge – Draw X cards and lose X life, where X is the number of colors of mana spent to cast Painful Truths.

Curtis: This could be really good, but three life lost is a hefty price, even without the Converge requirements!

Jess: What I hate about cards like this is that it’s weakest when you need it the most.

Carrie: Grumpy Neitzchean Cat says, “Mana screw is a painful truth. Do not look here for answers.”

Rich: Three life and three mana is a fantastic cost for three cards. Unfortunately it’s only good if you can actually go to three, because at two or one it’s not worth  the mana. Luckily, I think Sultai Control has a bright future in Standard.

Tim: Reaaaaallly would’ve wanted instant speed on this, but I’m sure it still sees Standard play.

Akoum Firebird

Jess: I knew Bloodghasts, and this is no Bloodghast.

Carrie: Would this be broken if it cost four mana to bring back?

Rich: Even if it never comes back, or comes back rarely, this could see play. See Phoenix, Chandra’s for reference.

Tim: Generic dumb mythic phoenix that comes back based on something to do with the latest set mechanic. Yaaaaaaaaaaawn…

Dragonmaster Outcast

Jess: Could have done without this reprint, honestly. Particularly in a mythic slot. This thing is just chaff 95% of the time.

Carrie: Glad I sold my copies last year when I moved to Denver.

Rich: Is this even that great in limited?

Jess: No.

Sylvan Scrying

Jess: So they give Tron the gift of making one of its idiotically pricy uncommons cost a reasonable amount again, and then print a better Sowing Salt. Okay then.

Carrie: Nice illustration. That waterfall kind of looks like a popsicle, but still cool.

Rich: I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get around to this.

Aligned Hedron Network

Jess: This is cool, and potentially makes for interesting board states in Commander.

Carrie: The new solution is to imprison Ulamog at Apple’s corporate headquarters?

Rich: Development must have been super worried about Eldrazi being good. Or all those dragon things. Is this an auto-include in every sideboard now?

Ally Encampment

Jess: Again, this is great in your one Ally Commander deck, but pretty damn useless everywhere else. At least something like those two Ugin lands from last block were tied to a generally powerful creature type. Allys aren’t exactly must-play cards without the right support.

Rich: Remind me in three months to go back in time and remind me to buy these up on speculation that Allies will be the dominant theme of the next expansion.

Sanctum of Ugin

Jess: I’m kinda getting tired with all these cards that don’t feel like they would be rare were it not for Limited.

Carrie: Does Eye of Ugin screw this up if you pay six to cast an eight-mana colorless creature? I can never remember all the ways cost reduction and converted mana cost interact.

Rich: How much of a flavor fail is it that you can’t actually use this to search for Ugin, the Spirit Dragon? I mean, come on, is it so hard to say “colorless creature or planeswalker card?”

Thursday, September 10

Greenwarden of Murasa

Carrie: Good luck ever beating this in limited.

Shawn: Deadwood Treefolk bulked up.

Jess: Now this is a Commander card! I just wish it wasn’t mythic, but I imagine it warped Limited at another rarity.

Stefano: Eternal Fatness. Card is way better than however good you think it is. Woodland Bellower doesn’t touch this in Standard (maybe even EDH?), even if this never dies.

Tim: I told my friends that I thought this card was garbage, and should’ve been a 6/6. Then I preordered 8, because either I get to say, “I told you so!” or make some money. Mostly hoping to have spent $40 to say, “I told you so!”


Drana’s Emissary

Carrie: This is a lot of value for the cost of playing two colors. It seems like BFZ encourages multicolor decks, which I guess Wizards does every other set now.

Shawn: I like that even if this gets outclassed in the air and can’t attack, it still gives you a two point life swing.

Jess: Meh. I always get annoyed when this effect isn’t “equal to the life lost”

Stefano: These Limited uncommons are really good. I also love that this is a Vampire Cleric Ally.


Herald of Kozilek

Carrie: Why does this have four toughness? This is very strong if you can cast it. Any deck that has this will have a bunch of scary giant colorless creatures. You won’t want to waste premium removal on this stupid thing, but it will lead to your quick death.

Shawn: I hate devoid as a mechanic.

Jess: I do like how well it works with spellbombs and whatnot…

Stefano: I do think it’s weird that Devoid got a whole keyword (and that Ingest got a keyword without a modular number), but it feels cool. This makes Ghostfire Blade into super-Rancor and makes Hangarback a Gray Ogre (or a 1/1 for 1) — and its name is now Exhibit One in my case for “Lore is a stupid reason to think they won’t reprint Inquisition of Kozilek.”

Tim: This card has me excited, as I think it’s very breakable. In the right deck, it’s a Goblin Electromancer that doesn’t die to bolt!


Catacomb Sifter

Carrie: Unless mana fixing is really bad, somehow, then these two color devoid creatures are all ridiculous.

Jess: Amen, Carrie.

Stefano: Catacomb Sliver???! Oh wait- oh- oh what

(Jokes aside this seems like what we all dreamed Reaper of the Wilds would be, in a Standard where GBx has serious options for SacUs.dec)


Resolute Blademaster

Carrie: Another game-ending uncommon. The power level of BFZ seems very high.

Jess: I am totally making an all-allies Commander deck now that they’ve got critical mass.

Stefano: Okay, these Limited uncommons are ridiculous. Pft lol nice Sorcer- wait it repeats? Uh

Curtis: That art though! Something I love about the pallette of this set is the diverse colors, armaments, and cultural trappings of the peoples of Zendikar against that dead bone-white wasteland of Eldrazi corruption. This guy is standing on the skeleton of his world. A+


Skyrider Elf

Carrie: Skyreach Manta except it doesn’t always cost five mana? Another very strong card. The only limitation I see in this set is mana fixing.

Shawn: Wait, but it’s X mana plus the counters from converge right? So if you pay 3UG, just two colors of mana, it’s a 5/5?

Carrie: No, the X does nothing except let you add extra colors. And dodge Counterbalance I suppose.

Shawn: Hmmmm, I should have realized that, it’s kind of like Engineered Explosives then. Anyway, this is basically Gaea’s Skyfolk with upside, which is totally reasonable in limited.

Stefano: This. Is. So. COOOOOOOOL

It’s a Gaea’s Skyfolk that can be a Skyreach Manta…and it gets around this very next card!

Tim: Possibly Standard-playable, even in a three-color deck. A card that can be a 2/2 flyer for two or a 3/3 flyer for three seems ok.


Void Winnower

Carrie: I hate this card. Why is this a mechanic? What relevance does even or odd have to anything in the game? Is this just a randomizer like a coin flip? “Well, we don’t want it to ruin their entire deck. Just half of it.” I guess this is a sly reference to Gilt-Leaf Winnower, which at least had some silly and contrived flavor explanation for its hatred of unbalanced power and toughness. I hope this card isn’t good enough that I ever have to think about how many “even” creatures I put in my deck.

Shawn: I like the design. It feels mythic to me. I think there was some identity crisis with the Eldrazi in this set after nixing the annihilator mechanic and this at least feels like a logical step forward.

Stefano: I actually really love this. First, I love that “Winnowing” is apparently the new unofficial word for “number-hate,” but this also incentivized diversified deckbuilding. Second, this could be the mirror-breaker for the prophesied See the Unwritten Eldrazi-ramp deck. If you manage to be the first to See, suddenly your opponents’ topdecks of See and Sylvan Scrying and Eternal Fatness don’t look so good. This beast also shuts down the Oblivion Cube and Utter End, while incentivizing that Downfall-on-a-stick spell.

Tim: I really have no idea what to say, except what a weird fucking card. I’m not sure if it actually sees any play, since most of the good removal is odd-numbered. Maybe they’ll give us his twin brother that shuts down evens in the next set. Maybe they’ll remind us again that zero is an even number. Maybe they’ll start stating other known and established facts as reminder text. “Draw seven cards. (seven is a prime number.)”


Creature – Cat Beast // Vigilance, lifelink // At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 40 or more life, you win the game.

Shawn: It’s nice to have a reprint of this card if only to lower the pricetag for the kitchen table crowd.

Stefano: This is actually pretty big finance news. Mythics are not necessarily safe to be reprinted only as mythics — not even iconic ones with big, splashy effects.

Curtis: Has this been confirmed? I thought I heard it was not

Tim:  I remember talking about how I thought Mastery of the Unseen was a huge mistake for Standard during GP Miami, when there were mirrors happening where the players would not even finish game 1. I called for a ban, out of how ridiculous the whole situation was. Thankfully, WotC heard our cries over the crazy board states that card can create, and rather than banning, they gave us an elegant solution.


Munda, Ambush Leader

Carrie: I find Allies incredibly boring, and Boros is my least favorite color combination. So at least I don’t have to feel conflicted about this in any way.

Shawn: Would the Goblin Ringleader ability be too good here?

Jess: See, I don’t think there are enough allies in any two-color combination to make this commander decent for the allies deck… and if there are two colors that could support it, they wouldn’t be red and white. This goes in the 99, not leading the team.

Stefano: To respond to Shawn: when I first read this as a 3/4 repeatable Ringleader with haste, I was about to pull up TCGPlayer and start buying out Constructed-worthy Allies. This card would be absolutely ridiculous if it was Rally = Impulse. It still seems potentially quite powerful, especially now that I realize it’s a “may” and doesn’t force you to choose between casting your drops and ever drawing a land again.


Shambling Vent

Carrie: Creature lands are so powerful that they don’t need awesome creature abilities to be great. Still, how boring and lame will it be if all of these new lands mirror the keyrunes?

Jess: That would suck! I mean, this doesn’t seem TERRIBLE, but it certainly compares poorly to Stirring Wildwood, let alone the good ones.

Stefano: Yeah, the art is cool, but I don’t see why this couldn’t be a damn 3/3 at least.

Tim: When I heard that they were splitting the manlands between the two sets, I really had hopes of the Abzan ones being absent from BFZ, because FUCK SIEGE RHINO. Guess I didn’t get my wish. I honestly think this card could’ve been a vanilla 2/2 without lifelink, and it would still see play in Abzan midrange.


Wednesday, September 9

Roil Spout

Carrie: It’s like Azorius Charm got old and slow but could still get it done.

Rich: This effect is probably the most griefer effect in all of Magic. Hey, you see that creature right there? Your best one? Yeah, it’s gone, and that bomb you were hoping to draw next turn? Nope, it’s gonna be that creature again. Ta ta.

Stefano: I don’t think most people realize this, so I’m gonna say it: Awaken is INSANE in Limited. Literally every Awaken spell will be amazing. This is a perfectly on-curve Temporal Spring-type effect, or it’s a goddamn 4/4 Vedalken Dismisser. (Hint: Vedalken Dismisser is HOOD. Also GOOD. But HOOD.)


Ulamog’s Nullfier

Curtis: THIS is what I’ve been waiting for: something that uses the “Ingested” (exiled) cards as a resource so efficiently as to reward their inclusion in a deck. I’m excited just from a design standpoint, but this looks super playable to me.

Rich: Mystic Snake was crazy good back in the day. It looks like they’re going to push a Sultai Ingest/Processor control deck of some sort. This is a pretty powerful creature in that kind of tempo style of deck.

Carrie: Pretty sweet that this can counter the delve spell that put the cards into exile. Also a colorless counterspell could be relevant here or there. Nice Pyroblast.

Stefano: This could be the Snake that Silumgar Sorcerer never could. I love the sort of raw way this uses Processing (i.e. a simple threshold and not a scaling module effect that counts the cards), and I love the fact that Processors coexist in Standard with Delve.


Grove Rumbler

Rich: Obligatory fetchland comment on a Landfall spoiler

Carrie: So this thing benefits from new lands by tearing them up to make weapons? I guess fresh trees hit harder. “Only green wood! Green!”

Stefano: I’m not even gonna keep commenting on how absolutely busted these gold Limited unbombons are.


Grovetender Druids

Jess: So I guess the plants evolved alongside the eldrazi spawn?

Rich: Zendikar fights back! Or something …

Stefano: So Spawns and Plants both grew up… (Plus now none of the set’s tokenbabies can be Winnowed.)


Deathless Behemoth

Jess: Again, I really wish all these “sacrifice two eldrazi spawn” cards just read “sacrifice two eldrazi. Although, from the perspective of a reader, I suppose this doesn’t look like a reiteration. Well, it is!

Rich: Seems unimpressive to be honest

Stefano: “Sacrifice two Eldrazi” is bad flavor, so I get it. Eldrazi are Elder-azi Gods; Eldrazi Scions are just food. Also, a 6/6 Vigilance for 6 for any Limited deck is also absurd, and this is also a freaking Salvage Titan. This feels like a high draft pick to me because it will never, ever Table.


Akoum Hellkite

Rich: Obligatory fetchland comment on a Landfall spoiler

Stefano: ^ lmao Riiiiiiich. I’m not gonna lie, these (presumable) Intro Pack rares are much stronger and cooler than usual. This subtype-matters Landfall variant is really clever and fun, and your opponent gets to try and guess how many Mountains are left in your deck…


Tuesday, September 8

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Carrie: Great card. Even just playing Gideon and making an emblem is solid if you need that, and the flexibility to make tokens or attack with a 5/5 makes Gideon quite strong. Just don’t try to +1 and attack with him the turn you play him.

Derek: this takes my vote for best card in the set so far. For only 4 mana Gideon is capable of winning the game, and on his own terms. He can make an army to protect him, attack, or Anthem your team forever. This emblem stacks well, so I foresee easily playing multiples in both control and aggressive decks.

Jess: I love how Gideon’s thing is that he doesn’t typically ultimate, with the one, rarely-played exception.

Rich: Allies for everybody!

Carrie: Has anyone in history ever used Gideon, Champion of Justice to exile all other permanents?

Jess: I did in Limited once. It was epic, but not good.

Tim: I did it in Standard, due to my horrible obsession with Superfriend decks! This Gideon rules, though. I could even see it breaking into Modern.

Stefano: I love this design. So subtle and nuanced. It builds you back up (with Allies!) when you have no board, tops off your curve when you do, or just pops out an unNaturalize-able anthem for 4. Whenever my casual friends say “Planeswalkers” are dumb, this is one card I’ll think of as proof that it adds dimension to the game.


Kiora, Master of the Depths

Derek: A limited bomb no doubt, as she protects herself with a creature that untaps, or draws you a card while fueling graveyard hijinks each turn, and her emblem is outright calamity. She also has a slight ramping effect, which indicates to me that RUG Ramp could be a deck post-rotation.

Jess: Now this is an emblem I can get behind. I mean, Kiora seems like a great Commander planeswalker, restricted only by her color identity. Ramp, draw, and graveyard fuel are all strong alone, and she has all three.

Rich: They’re definitely pushing a UGx ramp deck and it could be straight up UG with tempo or it could be Sultai or Temur to get a bit more punch. With fetches and dual lands I suspect three colors will be the way to go. There are going to be a bunch of creatures/lands that can tap for 2 mana so her +1 is potentially +4 mana.

Tim: *Looks over at his old, shitty, Ral Zarek Stasis brews* …we have work to do!

Stefano: Lot of potential for UGx ramp. -2 is close enough to Jace Architect, but +1 with nothing but Kiora, a Shaman of Forgotten Ways, and five lands out equals a nice smooth turn-5 Deckatog. I mean New-Mill-OG. I mean Tentacool.


Ob Nixilis Reignited

Carrie: Killing creatures and drawing cards are both good.

Derek: Killing creatures, drawing cards, AND providing a win condition. He does cost five… but that’s never a big hit these days in Standard.

Curtis: I’m delighted that Ob has come full circle – from Planeswalker, to hobbled demon, to freed demon, to Planeswalker once more. Good for you, guy.

Jess: Another great Commander planeswalker. I hope this dude bombs out of Standard so I can pick up a ton of copies on the cheap.

Rich: I can’t look past the terrible artwork. What happened?

Tim: This is a fine Standard ‘Walker. If they have two or more dudes on turn five, you board wipe; if they have one or less dude, you slam Ob!

Stefano: Rich, I dig this art! I just wish the worm’s-eye view was more pushed. But this is a fine Vraska variant with a dramatically better +, a really fun EDH emblem, and potentially an early price not unlike the Unseen queen’s. Wish I had noticed they were preselling for $15 before my friend did.


Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Carrie: I like this more than the original Ulamog. Not sure how you can beat Ulamog if he attacks a couple times, and exiling two permanents when you cast him is very strong. Probably won’t do much in limited, but there will probably be good ramp to make it possible, and if you cast Ulamog in limited you are very likely to win.

Derek: I never got to Eldrazi, as I never played RoE, so now’s as good a time as any to try casting giant monsters that eat opponents libraries. If you spend 10 mana you’d better guarantee at LEAST a 3 for 1.

Jess: I think this is a better commander than Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre. Not only do you have an extra exile upon cast, but this ability is a lot less rage-inducing than his annihilation was.

Tim: I’m no 12-post expert, but I could see this replacing OG Ulamog. You normally played that guy for the cast trigger, to get rid of troublesome permanents, anyways (Ensnaring Bridge, anyone?), and this Ulamog can hit TWO things that are holding you back.



Desolation Twin

Derek: Sure. But here is where I wish these cards had Annihilator. Two 10/10’s, while huge, are beatable. Not to mention one of them is a token that can be bounced. Color me unfair, but I like inevitability, and this is just a metric ton of P and T.

Carrie: I want to use Cryptic Command to counter the card and bounce the token. Just remember to let the cast trigger resolve first. This just seems like a worse version of Genesis Hydra, though.

Stefano: Super fun obv, but wish you could Tooth and Nail this and a clone for 40. Notable though that this is one of few Eldrazi #RampGoals that can’t be Gilt-Leaf Winnowed.


Oblivion Sower

Carrie: The duel decks art is much better. Usually the original art is better than the alt art, but not here.

Derek: I can’t wrap my head around 5/8. The exile ability is cool, and stealing lands is cool, but I want to see more ‘payoff’ cards for Ingest than this.

Curtis: To Carrie’s comment: generally agreed, but I love the Duel Deck art for Ivorytusk Fortress as compared to its set art. It looks so intimidating!

Stefano: This was more fun when we were left wondering what would set this up. I wish Ingest was Ingest [#] with different values. But this is a ridiculous EDH card, and as a Standard design I love the tension with Delve opponents: normally they want to exile lands first and always, but this existing at all strongly incentivized them to reconsider. Maaaybe this is a good midgame play for the fabled Eldramp (or Ingest?) deck, because it’s both a fat stick and a ramp spell.


Breaker of Armies

Curtis: I like the thematic justification for the “must block” mechanic provided in the flavor text. Stuff like that hammers home the link between cards, plane, and story.

Carrie: This is Lure and Thicket Basilisk on one card! Well, maybe they block with Tree of Redemption. I hope so. That card is sweet.

Curtis: I, for one, believe that we all need more Tree of Redemption. There’s some neat history that goes into that, too – a lot of the awful medieval spectacle-executions were intended and perceived as opportunities for spiritual purification for the victim to show repentance by meekly accepting this terrible punishment at the moment of death (and a reminder to all present that redemption was possible, as was REALLY BAD TORTURE). Thus a Tree of Redemption being an execution site makes sense! #grimhistory

Stefano: I can’t even believe how good all these Limited uncommons are. The fact that there’s even a 10/8 for 8 that goes in and deck is, again, ridiculous. The Eldrazi’s flavor gives WotC space to justify giving colorless creatures — inherently the easiest “color” to cast — more vacuum-power, rather than more vacuum-suck.


Conduit of Ruin

Jess: I like how this lets you cast the thing you tutor up.

Carrie: Summoning Trap. I bet there are a lot of ways to abuse tutoring an expensive creature to the top of your library.

Stefano: Eyesocket of Ugin. Love it. The subtlety of  “creature spell” rather than “colorless creature spell” or whatever is easy to miss, as is the combo-hindering “first.” So many six-mana sticks that are also value/ramp engines…


Blight Herder

Carrie: Wasn’t Luke Skywalker a blight herder on Tatooine? Watch out for this one.

Curtis: I’m starting to glaze over the details as I look at these monsters, but upon reflection you’re right, Carrie. This guy looks pretty real if you’ve gotten some Ingesting going.

Stefano: Curtis is right, it’s a little hard to tell these guys apart. More neon pastels would help. Anyhoo, I like that “Process 2” seems to be a default measure for a lot of effects and that they’re not all as scaling and potentially game-breaking as Oblivion Sower.


Eldrazi Devastator

Curtis: I like Ulamog’s Crusher much more for Cube. The humbler, non-rare Eldrazi really feel the loss of Annihilator most, where the New World Order of design dictates that they don’t get a flashy mechanic to make up for it.


Carrie: This is better than Ulamog’s Crusher. Unless you cast Savage Twister before attacking to clear their board down to lands. Not that I’ve ever done that on day two of a Grand Prix in Las Vegas three months ago.

Stefano: Annihilator’s annihilation aside, this is just a ridiculous limited common. Again, the idea that 8 colorless mana should get you this body at common is absurd in any other world but one befallen (benighted? be-spectacled?) by Eldrazi.


Kozilek’s Channeler

Curtis: I like this. Like the flavor text, like the abilities, like the rarity. I think this guy will define archetypes in Limited as both an enabler and reward for ramp (4/4 is no slouch!)

Stefano: Nice, simple, never been done. Good enough on its own, better with friends. Solid common design for a battlecruiser Limited field and a race defined by basically omnipotence.


Titan’s Presence

Carrie: Vintage Shops anyone? Not sure how many big colorless creatures you need in your deck to make this reliable removal, but people will find a way to make it work.

Jess: Yay for colorless removal spells!

Tim: Carrie, I think the Forgemasters and Lodestones are good enough, as they hit Delver, Pyro, and Deathrite.

Stefano: I. LOVE. THIS. CARD.



The flavor on this card is hitting on all the cylinders of my heart and probably taking them home from the bar. And its very existence opens very interesting possibilities for certain flavors of larger-format decks that don’t otherwise need white mana.


Fathom Feeder

Carrie: This is no Baleful Strix, but it should at least trade for something decent.

Curtis: The more I see the payoffs for Ingest, the more this guy looks like a valuable enabler.

Stefano: Very interesting. Shouts (but doesn’t scream) “I’m a Strix,” but will certainly be a linchpin of Ingest.dec if that’s a thing. Still respectable even without Ingest at all.


Brood Butcher

Jess: This is a good take on a typical BG archetype. It’s not blowing my mind, but it’s a solid card in your 99.

Stefano: Feels like an Intro Pack rare.  Ugly art from an artist I usually like. Insane for Limited, probably weak elsewhere. Siege-Gang Commander it is sure not.


Forerunner of Slaughter

Carrie: Very strong, assuming you have the right colors of mana. Giving Eldrazi haste will be good, as long as you have an extra mana to do that.

Stefano: Love it. A Flinthoof Boar you didn’t notice rewards a linear team. This is the card that made me say: Okay, maybe Ghostfire Blade spec is real, and maybe Hangarback’s still only at tablet(?) two of a Thragtusk-/Boros Reckoner-like dollar-value triptych.


Mist Intruder

Carrie: Eldrazi Storm Crow? Danger!

Curtis: *bangs fists on table* WE WANT WELKIN TERN WE WANT WELKIN TERN

Stefano: More…like…MAELSTROM CROW.

Nice simple Limited design for the newest iteration of the flying Stoneforge Mystic that can also pay for Force of Will. Also gets my blood boiling aesthetically. May submit this to #NihilisaFrank.


Drowner of Hope

Jess: It does seem like Eldrazi Scions are a lot harder to get in quantity as Eldrazi Spawn. I wish this ability worked with sacrificing any eldrazi, not just scions.

Carrie: I’m holding out hope for a new version of Awakening Zone, but that’s probably too good if it makes 1/1s.

Stefano: Once again have to observe that “Sacrifice an Omnipotent Elder God” would be much worse flavor and branding than “Sacrifice an Omnipotent Elder God’s Deplorable Serf.” I’m also not convinced a more flexible cost would play better, as there’s something to Scions as a fundamental resource that will make this Limited feel like a special world, even a new game. And yes this is probably a Limited bomb.


Incubator Drone

Carrie: Great illustration, very solid card for limited.

Stefano: A little simple, even for what it is. I wish it just 2U or 3/3, but that would be beefy for blue. Could (should?) have been green anyway; in blue at four, I’d have preferred a 1/4 with a friend over a 2/3.


Dominator Drone

Curtis: <still banging fists on table> WEL-KIN TERN! WEL-KIN TERN!

Stefano: I love the name and the effect. Again, this card is just begging you to jam turn-two Hangarbacks in Standard. But now that I think about it, how can a Dominator also be a Drone? WotC’s Fetish Research Department is either way behind or way ahead.



Stefano: If this could block, it might see Standard play. As is idk, but a real house for AggroDevoid.dec in Limited.


Smothering Abomination

Carrie: You need some serious Eldrazi Scion tokens to make this awesome, but if you do, this card is amazing.

Jess: I have been waiting for them to print this card for YEARS. Literally. I am so in love with this weird-looking card, and I want to get get a bunch of them.

Tim: Could be an interesting enabler in an Aristocrats-style (that’s just what we’re calling a midrange deck with lots of sac-effects, at this point, right?) deck.

Stefano: I disagree with everyone, in a way. This card is fucking stupid-ass good. 4/3 Flier For Four has a respectable history in Standard, and this is a Desecration Spy Network (and as Tablers know, anything that even looks like a Desecration Demon at least gets to spike just from dumb ol’ speculatorz). If I weren’t too strapped to buy in on a fat preorder spec right now, I wouldn’t publish the following statement until I’d already bought out SCG (at $1.99!?):

Did you realize that this eats Hangarbacks and Thopters? You know, the same ones your Forerunner gives haste to? The same ones that pick up your Ghostfire Blade — just like you should be doing — for 1?


Barrage Tyrant

Carrie: A 5/3 with Eldrazi Fling should end its fair share of games.

Stefano: Limited bomb for sure. Ratios feel a little Intro Pack though. Probably not a (maindeckable…?) Standard card unless we have yet to see a way to jam it out faster, but I could be wrong.


Prairie Stream

Carrie: This cycle is very strong. Not better than the shock lands, but probably better than most dual land cycles. These will be all over Standard and probably will see some play in Modern too.

Tim: I wouldn’t call the shocks outright “better.” I definitely think the decks that err on the side of slower, in Modern, will want to replace 40-70% of their shocklands with these. I also think if you play a build of Miracles similar to Joe Lossett’s (1 Tundra, loads of basics), you can get away with playing this in Legacy if you want to make your deck $200 cheaper without losing too many percentage points.

Stefano: Sick art. Obligatory: These cards are good. They’re better topdecks than shocks in the late game, many decks have already rebuilt their fetch targets around Blood Moon, and some decks (read: Scapeshift!!!) straight-up prefer these over shocks (and very well might be thrilled to fill up on both).


Sunken Hollow


Stefano: Cool name. Obligatory: These cards are good. They’re better topdecks than shocks in the late game, many decks have already rebuilt their fetch targets around Blood Moon, and some decks (read: Scapeshift!!!) straight-up prefer these over shocks (and very well might be thrilled to fill up on both).


Smoldering Marsh

Stefano: Wait…does anybody else think these names kinda sound like intentionally boring-old-school-tapland names? Obligatory: These cards are good. They’re better topdecks than shocks in the late game, many decks have already rebuilt their fetch targets around Blood Moon, and some decks (read: Scapeshift!!!) straight-up prefer these over shocks (and very well might be thrilled to fill up on both).


Cinder Glade

Stefano: SICK art. Clearly illustrated to demand the attention of Scapeshifters. Obligatory: These cards are good. They’re better topdecks than shocks in the late game, many decks have already rebuilt their fetch targets around Blood Moon, and some decks (read: Scapeshift!!!) straight-up prefer these over shocks (and very well might be thrilled to fill up on both).


Canopy Vista

Carrie: How is this a plains?

Curtis: I think you can see a plane flying in the distance.

Stefano: It’s a long, wide, flat expanse of uniform terrain! They’re going a little highbrow here, sure. Obligatory: These cards are good. They’re better topdecks than shocks in the late game, many decks have already rebuilt their fetch targets around Blood Moon, and some decks (read: Scapeshift!!!) straight-up prefer these over shocks (and very well might be thrilled to fill up on both).


Lumbering Falls

Carrie: Yay! This one isn’t super impressive, but a control deck could make good use of a 3/3 hexproof that is very hard to kill.

Jess: Creaturelands, as I understand it. Gender-neutrality is all the vogue these days.

Stefano: Very, very cool, but the art looks weird and non-alive. I hope these aren’t all just the Got Damb Keyrunes, and I hope they don’t all look “plain” so as to make the impending (I assume) Oath of the Gatewatch/Expeditions versions look hotter. They’ll probably all see some Modern play no matter how middling they may be, though.


Shrine of the Forsaken Gods

Jess: Isn’t this called something like “Temple of the Forsaken Gods”? It’s a neat callback.

Tim: I actually originally misread this and thought it actually was Temple of the False Gods. Kind of annoying that it’s mostly (not strictly) worse than the original and bumped up to rare.



Planar Outburst

Carrie: Dryad Arbor laughs at your Planar Outburst. This will be a total bomb in limited.

Stefano: Listen. My most powerful Sealed Deck of all time was a Champions of Gosh-Dang Kamigawa Release League list on Magic Online. I went something like 48 and 2 (better than a Tool song). I had so many Elders and Reaches that I played four-color (nonblue?) and even jammed in random-ass Just Good cards like the red guy from the “look at your top card and pump me” cycle. But the real reason I went 69 and 2 was probably that I had exactly one 5WWW Myojin of Destroy Everyone Else, and this card is much better than he was.


Lantern Scout

Carrie: Lifelink is a very underrated ability in limited. Good luck racing this card.

Stefano: Some of these Rally effects feel marginally broken… “Soulbond my team with lifelink” feels really good against red decks…


Hero of Goma Fada

Jess: Rally makes me excited for the Ally Commander deck that’s clearly on the verge of playability. Commanded by Reaper King, of course.

Stefano: Find a way to get this in at instant speed. Then we talk, world.


Stasis Snare

Curtis: No this is not going in Enchantress. I prefer my removal like I prefer my commute: a Journey to Nowhere.

Stefano: Finally. Some instant-speed Oblivion Bling.


Retreat to Emeria

Carrie: Very slow but very hard to beat in sealed. We’ll see how it fares in draft.

Jess: So, this is a cycle, right? I wonder what the other ones will be.

Stefano: Oh hey, it’s Gideon at uncommon!


Felider Cub

Carrie: How could you sacrifice this beautiful cat?

Stefano: Because I’m goddamn allergic and they have the card above this.


Gideon’s Reproach

Carrie: Gideon is disgusted by your creature’s vile odor.

Stefano: Nice and solid. Much better than the endless variants of this at three mana.


Sheer Drop

Stefano: I’m just gonna keep saying it: every single Awaken card is a house in limited. Think of Awaken as the “real” cost of an ETB stick and the actual cost as Evoke.


Tandem Tactics

Instant—Up to two target creatures each get +1/+2 until end of turn. You gain 2 life.

Carrie: I doubt combat tricks will be great in BFZ limited, but I assume they at least tried to make a small aggro deck viable. Not sure how good this will be in that deck, though.

Stefano: Carrie’s got a great point. If and when it’s an Allies vs. Gobpires race or whatever, this will end some games.

Guardian of Tazeem

Curtis: I like this guy. Seems like a huge beast in limited if you have a ton of Islands, and a reasonable presence outside where the new Tango-lands will aid in mana fixing and still trigger his icy ability. Maybe I’m wrong! I liked Conundrum Sphinx!

Stefano: Very, very cool. Separating the two halves of a Frost Breath effect is clever and adds nuance without much complexity.


Coastal Discovery

Carrie: Look what I found on the beach! A Mulldrifter!

Jess: Awaken is hella risky in Commander, but maybe it will finally give people a reason to play that “your lands are indestructible” card from the first trip to Zendikar.

Stefano: This is just shy of a bomb. Do NOT listen to the haters. 4 for a Divination is fine in Limited, and I will never “hard”(soft)-cast this unless I don’t have next turn’s land or any other four-mana gas at all. This is a 4/4 Mulldrifter in a slow-ass format. Draft it.


Ruinous Path

Carrie: This will be an amazing Standard staple. Probably better for control decks than Hero’s Downfall. Sure, it’s a sorcery, but you can play some other instant removal, and the Awaken ability is no joke.

Tim: UB/Esper Awaken Control is gonna be the real deal!

Stefano: Excellent. The first time you Awaken this in any format, you get an Achievement notification — straight from my heart.


Defiant Bloodlord

Carrie: Probably awesome in Commander. Probably bad in every other format.

Jess: I mean, people are very split on using the Sanguine Bond/Exquisite Blood combo in the first place. Adding redundancy isn’t going to change that, although this one is easier to recur.

Stefano: This is one of the most obvious casual/EDH fan favorites I’ve ever seen.


Zada, Hedron Grinder

Carrie: Do we have any pump spells that draw a card?

Jess: Love it! Precursor Goblin, as Dana called it.

Stefano: A sick general, a potential Standard card if the tools arise, and a GIRL. REMEMBER SHE’S A GIRL.

David: The newest author of Grinding It Out?


Radiant Flames

Carrie: If your opponent has Vryn Wingmare on board, you could do -4/-4! Seems narrow to me, but I think there will be some many-colored control decks that can use this.

Stefano: Interesting Firespout variant that 3/3.dec can abuse into a Pyroclasm. Should see Standard play against red decks, or in red+ sideboards against Allies.


Rolling Thunder

Carrie: There’s a famous circus march called Rolling Thunder that features massive technical displays from the low brass. My high school band director would make us play it when he wanted to inspire us to practice more. Also, I hear this card is good in draft.

Stefano: There is a very low chance your pack can ever have a higher pick than this.


Undergrowth Champion

Carrie: This may Languish on the sidelines, but could be an annoying threat.

Stefano: Phantoms are back! Phantoms are good. Never cast this until you can play a land after.


Nissa’s Renewal

Carrie: Isn’t this straight up better than Animist’s Awakening?

Jess: Totally strong Commander card.

Curtis: Spoilers (on spoilers)!!

Stefano: lmao wat prolly end up a $69 foil anyway


Oran-Rief Hydra

Stefano: This is really good, but may not be Standard good if that (M14?) Doubling Hydra never was. Def going straight into my Stonebrow, Krosan Hero EDH though…


Retreat to Kazandu



Scythe Leopard

Stefano: Is this good enough? Not bad, but def no Steppe Lynx (but maybe better than Steppenwolf or Atari Lynx).


Omnath, Locus of Rage

Jess: Well, this will make for an interesting archetype. It’s a decent commander for tribal elementals if you don’t want to go full Horde of Notions.

Stefano: Omnomnomnath:See the Unwritten::Thragtusk:Unburial Rites. An insane value threat that costs only marginally more than your cheaty enabler, hedging your bets for the games you don’t “go off.”


Bring to Light

Carrie: Four or five color combo decks rejoice! Manamorphose will be this thing’s best friend in Modern. In standard, it might be fun to use this to tutor up Dark Petition. Not sure what you do to win in that deck, but who cares?

Jess: It’s pretty damn cool.

Tim: This is one of those cards you look at and say, “This is either gonna be hot garbage or broken as fuck!” Is it worth playing in ANT as a means of getting Past in Flames and casting it? We were already happy to pay 6-7 to tutor and cast the quasi-Yawg’s Will.

Stefano: Weaker than it first looked I think, but the fact that you can fetch an instant and cast it for free the rest of the game…an instant like, say…a counterspell…


Veteran Warleader

Carrie: You need a lot of allies to make this good. I guess even one, along with some other creatures, make this thing tough to block.

Stefano: Scion of the Wild and Crusader of Odric just keep getting better. I have a sneaking feeling this will be the tie that binds Standard Allies.


Hedron Archive

Jess: Yay! We have Mind Stones at 1-3 now. Next one is going to be a cross between Mind Stone and Everflowing Chalice, would be my guess.

Stefano: Now that I’m done here, I’m feeling pretty…Mind Stoned…

ay lmao

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