Wednesday 29 June 2016

Eldritch Moon Preliminary Review Part 1

Emrakul, the Promised End 8.5

Lovely card design here, a really elegant set of effects and abilities that work well together. Spending time comparing this to old Emrakul seems fairly useless as they will be used in very different ways however.... The Promised End is a great threat and despite the lack of annihilator and -2/-2 on the stats it has a great chance of ending the game quicker with attacks in the late game simply from having trample. It is not the kind of threat you cheat into play that often though and this is because it isn't that hard to remove compared to Torn Eons nor does it threaten to disrupt. Eons Torn is great to cheat into play despite skipping the Time Walk for doing so but at 15 mana that is really all you can do with it. The Promised End doesn't care that much that it ins't worth cheating in compared to a lot of other fatties as it is wildly more playable that most other top end things. Emrakul, the Promised End can cost five mana. I'll let that sink in a little. A five mana 13/13 flying trample is an eye opener, toss in some mild protection and a bit of a Mind Slaver and things are looking really real.

The cube is presently at the stage where you can be running seven drops in midrange and control decks. This is even more so the case in things like sealed deck where you can do daft shit like playing Nicol Bolas and Garruk, Apex Predator in the same deck while still being able to cast them and win games! You no longer have to pack Grim Monolith, Mana Vault, Gilded Lotus and Thrann Dynamo (or be a green ramp deck) before you can play Karn Liberated or Ugin. While I don't suspect you will be able to play Emrakul for 5 that often I expect the average price you pay to be 8 or less which is really quite the fantastic deal. It should win you the game almost every time you play it, let alone resolve it. It is not too expensive, can be far too cheap, and is playable in any colour. It is certainly a card you can improve the value of within a deck list but doing so isn't all that hard or detrimental to your list. I suspect new Emrakul will be one of the most sought after cards in a midrange cube. I think any control or midrange deck will be very willing to pick up the Promised End and warp their deck a little to include him. As such it seems like the Promised End will be frequently a first pick card, incredibly rare for such an expensive card (even five is expensive by the standards of top pick cube cards). I suspect my rating for the Promised End will reflect this by also being the highest rated card I have done in a preliminary review costing above like 3 mana! What statistical relevance it has I have little clue but I also suspect if you multiplied the rating of a card by its mana cost that Emrakul, the Promised End would be the top of the pile, significantly so above almost everything else.

So, why is this winning the game for you when you play it? On its own the body can get a lot done but it can also just die and do nothing. Even when it isn't dead it still takes two further turns of yours to win a game with the Promised End on its own. Pretty much it is all coming down to getting your opponents next turn. Mind Slaver is like two time walks as you get three turns back to back, the Promised End is more like a normal Time Walk as you only get two turns back to back before normal rotation resumes. Even if you are paying 10 for your Emrakul it still blows Mind Slaver out of the water in game winning potential. When taking control of your opponents turn doesn't win you the game it is usually because they had nothing going on. When this happens you somewhat just cycled Mind Slaver in a really expensive way. Do nothing in your turn to make and use the Slaver then do nothing much with their turn then back to your turn again. Often this happens and you don't have much to do yourself given you probably blew your load on the Slaver which means you are just in some top deck war and have gotten yourself no where. When you wiff on your opponents turn with an Emrakul you haven't wiffed at all because you have a stupendously big threat and they have nothing.

As I see it you play your Emrakul and take their turn, a lot of the time this is good games, you empty their hand, kill loads of their stuff, run in awful attacks and waste as much of their stuff as you can in inefficient ways. Sometimes you find they have a silly card that lets you kill them like a Necropotence but the general rule is when they have stuff to do you are going to win. Having your opponents turn when they have stuff to do is substantially better value than having another of your own turns. It is one of the most powerful swings you can have in a game of magic and a supreme recovery tool. The icing on the cake with Emrakul is that when they have noting and your Mind Slaver effect is low value you don't care at all because you are going to win with your 13/13 dork instead.

Protection from instants sounds a bit limp but it is all you really need and works a treat with the other effects. By the time they get to play sorceries it is you who can play them. You are going to aim those Dreadbores at things other than Emrakul to keep him nice and safe. It also means they can't efficiently dump stuff like Path to Exile on your Emrakul before you get use it yourself on their stuff.

You can counter Emrakul but that doesn't stop the turn stealing which is often most devastating to the more controlling decks. They are also the archetypes most likely to rip a solution to a 13/13 body off the top as well so you really don't care that much about counter magic. So Emrakul is a fairly unstoppable card that threatens to kill people reliably in one of two ways and he does all this for a price less than a lot of cube cards that seem to do less. Craterhoof Behemoth is the closest I can come to thinking of a card that generally is just game over when you make it and it is more situational, fixed to one colour and more disruptable. Craterhoof is also one of the very best green cards in the cube and highly sought after so again, looking really good for Emrakul.

While I said I don't think you will cheat this guy in he does work with Reanimate effects what with having no reshuffle mechanism. Without the Mind Slaver this isn't that exciting however being a legend and hitting pretty damn hard pretty reliably I can see him getting played with Gyro's Vengeace, perhaps even in Sneak Attack. I can also see it in a more midrangy Recurring Nightmare deck being quite the problem card for the opponent.

Synergy wise the card is fairly simple. The broader range of different card types you have the better it gets. The more of those that are cheap or if a permanent, are ones you can easily direct towards the graveyard the better it gets. The more looting and discard effects you have the better Emrakul will get. With a lot of synergy I think you can reliably have Emrakul costing 7 or less, packing no synergy I suspect 8-10 will be the range. Either way, I suspect we have a card potent enough to spawn a who new archetpye - Promised End.dec!

While it will be fairly easy to fine tunes decks to be able to play abusively quick Promised Ends, without a lot of support cards in place like Tar Fire and Crib Swap to help you won't reliably get super cheap Emrakuls in drafts. I will be adding in some decent support for it, I think it will be worth it. If you don't do this though you may find the card to be less exciting.

Ulrich of the Krellenhorde 2

Unimpressive. Compared with lots of cards that do similar stuff like Wolfir Silverheart, which is just a far better threat and buff card, or Huntsmaster of the Fells which affords far more value and utility, Ulrich seems overcost. Worst case scenario this is a vanilla 5 mana 4/4, in two colours no less! That is far far too weak given the upsides really don't excel in any direct sort of way. I am not even sure you play this in a warewolf deck! It is a bit too midrange yet doesn't offer the sorts of things you really want in a midrange deck. A werewolf deck would likely need to be aggressive to have a chance and Ulrich is a five drop and a fairly clunky one at that. I will say for the card that it is still quite powerful and therefore would not seem too out of place in a cube. Werewolf style flip cards are better the higher up the curve you go as they are more likely to flip quickly and less damaging to do so yourself. Ulrich really misses trample too.

Coax from the Blind Eternities 3.5

A niche card for sure but a powerful one that will likely find some uses in some of the more obscure cube formats. For draft it is too fiddly to be worth it. It is cute but it is a limited 3 mana sorcery speed Wish/Tutor effect that has a more limited range than most. At least Eldrazi cards are incredibly powerful!

Thalia, Cathar Heretic 7.5

It was not so long ago that white had basically no top rate 3 drops. Now I am wondering which of the many it has that I will have to cut for this obvious power house. First strike on three power controls the board very well in the early game. It goes a long way to making up for the one weakness this card has which is low toughness. Odds on against a red deck you are trading it one for one with a Shock and as a result being behind in tempo. Short of removal Thalia will do good work with her body alone on offence or defense however her real strength is in the disruption effect she packs. Creatures and non-basic lands coming into play tapped is pretty much Kismet, a four mana spell without a free 3/2 first striker! For those who haven't played against a Kismet - it is no fun at all. You don't realize quite how unfun it is until everything is ruined. A sac land takes a billion years to fix your colours, all your haste creatures do nothing, you are always a turn behind on putting up defenses and always a turn behind on curve. Brutal. Old Thalia was symmetrical and often a real pain in the arse to have out. You could only play her is creature heavy aggro decks with low to the ground curves. New Thalia can go in any deck with white mana and will do pretty fine work against most other decks.

Supplanter of Identity 0

I don't like Clones to begin with and this is a pretty weak Clone offering. Offensively it becomes their best dork while removing it from being able to block. Defensively it is a 4 mana 0/3. So awful. They have no guys, it does nothing. They have crap guys and just want to hit you in the face, it does nothing useful. They have only guys with comes into play effects and all Supplanter does is help them out. No. If you must play with Clones at least stick to the good ones.

Graf Rats + Midnight Scavengers = Chittering Host 0

Interesting new meld mechanic. Who doesn't want to play with massive cards? Quality of life mate, five times the size of your normal cards. All told, this little trio is not enough to make the cube. As with normal flip cards you need to be looking at the starting side for most of you assessment of that card. With meld cards this is far far more so the case because of probability. The Graf Rats are so far below the curve for cube play it is painful. Midnight Scavengers might pack a bit more power than the Rats but being a five drop they are actually less playable in cube. All told we should never be seeing a Chittering Host in the cube.

Hanweir Battlements + Garrison = the Writhing Township

This trio is a whole lot closer to the mark than the Chittering Host posse. The individual cards have some strong cube potential, most notably the Garrison. Hanweir Garisson is somewhere between a Hero of Bladehold and a Goblin Rabblemaster. Rabblemaster hits for one then six ideally generating one additional body right away. Garrison hits for nothing, then four and then six. It is a whole lot less aggressive and a little less value when removed quickly. Neither really do a lot when there is a blocker around the 3/3 size. Where Hanweir Garrison starts to have some strengths over Rabblemaster are in the token generation and management. As it makes 2 per attack you will accumulate them faster even through some defenses. Being able to control when they attack or not will also allow you to keep more alive. As such you will be able to scale them better with pump effects and the like. If you want tokens then you obviously want more tokens! Interestingly they are humans which poses some synergy questions with some white cards and a green one. Lastly but far from least, we have 3 toughness. A 2/3 is significantly more robust and useful than a 2/2, especially if you just want to attack and live. A lot of cards that have been performing above expectation recently are those that seem to have a random extra toughness than you might expect. I think in red decks Rabblemaster is still probably the better card however in red and other colours decks I suspect the Garrison may become the card of choice. Redundancy in your token producing stuff is nice too. Just for the front side of Hanweir Garrison I think we can give it a fairly safe 6/10.

Next we come to Hanweir Battlements, a card we have seen almost already in Flamekin Village. I got excited about it at the time but found it to be wildly underwhelming in reality. Paying two mana to haste stuff up is a big extra cost and happens rarely. Further to this most of the best red dorks already have haste which makes it even less appealing to harm your mana base for. Colourless lands are painful, you can only have so many in a deck and for a marginal effect it never seems worth it. You have to really want to give stuff haste for a specific reason before you run cards like this in cube. They do still see play but in niche places but Flamekin Village never got picked and played in draft. The Battlements probably get a 4/10 rating, a better green card than a red one!

As for melding your cards together, good luck... Although one is a fairly safe land you still have to draw the other and not have it be killed while you get to six mana. You can't even do it right away as there is no untap built in as there is with Ormendahl? Don't quote me on this, no idea how meld works yet despite having read the thing. The resulting dork is pretty dangerous but it is never going to worth including the pair for. Sure, you deck might want one or other piece of this combo but I cannot ever see it being right to throw in the other one on the off change you can meld them. Even if you did do that you are just asking for a 2 for 1 in the face, not to mention the 9 mana you sunk into putting yourself at risk of such things.Having played with Flamekin Village in more aggressive red decks I can fairly safely say there isn't going to be a cube deck that really actively wants both of these cards in the list and so we shouldn't be seeing any Writhing Townships in cube play either. Shouldn't doesn't mean won't. People will try things and the Wizrards devs clearly know this!

Borrowed Malevolence 1

Interesting and cool but likely a little underwhelming to merit a cube slot. Escalate is a great mechanic but here the card has too little scope and too little power. Probably if your playing this you wanted some light removal, if so, you should play a better removal spell, Tragic Slip, Disfigure or really quite a lot of things that are not this.

Wretched Gryff 2

Another lovely mechanic in emerge. Sacrifice mechanics afford some interesting utility in themselves. Cost reduction is always an eye opener too. You can scale this card well by combining it with cards where most of the cost is in a one off trigger, things like Sea Gate Oracle or Snapcaster Mage. Perhaps you are sacrificing an Academy Rector. Mabey just a Wall of Omens. With it being a 7 drop you really need to emerge this for it to be cube viable. With that being the case it is overly narrow for just a 3/4 cantrip flier, good but the cantrip is mostly covering the cost of the thing ditched so you might as well just play Serendib Efreet and skip all the bother. Cool and interesting but not quite there for general use. Hopefully there will be some emerge cards that are more obviously cube material.

Crypolith Fragment 0

Slow and all rather aimless. If you want to play this consider playing one of the many better cards that actually do the thing you want instead. For my money that is Mindstone here but it could equally be a decks worth of other cards too.

Chilling Grasp 1

We are getting a lot of these tap and don't untap instants in blue. We got the spell mastery one, then the surge one and now this madness version. They are all control filler cards and while very strong in the right situation they are wildly poor do nothings the rest of the time. They are not unlike pump effects in aggro decks. Anyway, they don't get picked and played much and madness adds narrowness meaning it will be the least playable in a filler sense. Every now and again it might be the best for a specific deck but that is not going to earn it anything above a C cube slot! I like the card a lot but it is inconvenient when it should be convenient and it is slightly outclassed by some recent alternatives.

Gnarlwood Dryad 3.5

I want to like this one drop but I don't see where it fits. Green agro decks are the worst at getting delirium online. In a midrange deck where you can get delirium more easily why do you want a 3/3 deathtouch? I mean, it is fine, good value for money but it isn't a great use of a card. It reminds me most of Serra Avenger, just an undercost body with a keyword that you can't get online that quickly. Flying is a lot more value than deathtouch and the Avenger only sees limited play resulting it it being one of those flipflop cards I rotate in and out of the cube lots. The one strength of Gnarlwood Dryad over Avenger I can see is that it can be made early as a 1/1 and just trade with something, not great removal but perhaps a useful filler card. I will A cube this card to test it out more thoroughly, I think it has some potential in a RgDW style deck which is becoming more popular with the addition of Cinder Glade and Atarka's Command plus some golden oldies like Kird Ape, Kessig Wolf Run and occasionally even Orcish Lumberjack! Having aggressive red paired with your green makes delirium much more of a reality with instant and sorcery burn. Potentially powerful if it finds a home but suitably awkward that it isn't odds on to find said home.

Cemetery Recruitment 1

Good value and a nicely cheap card but a limited range of utility and rather narrow as just card advantage. If I want a cheap black two for one I am looking towards Night's Whisper. Prerequisits for this kind of card generally ruin them.

Bruna + Gisela = Brisela, Voice of Nightmares

Let us start with Gisela, the Broken Blade. What we have here is to Baneslayer Angel what Goldnight Castigator is to Thundermaw Hellkite. A cheaper version that pays for it by being that little bit less rounded and lacking of any weakness. The weakness of Gisela is 3 toughness and no other impact on the board bar herself. A lot of removal will kill her easily and this will be sad as you will be behind in tempo as most removal doesn't cost 4 mana. A four mana, four power flying lifelink first strike will dominate the game pretty hard if it is not removed. It will race most stuff or it will just beat it in combat. I significantly prefer Sublime Archangel as an aggressive tool if I plan on having other creatures in the deck. For a stand alone card in a midrange or control deck Gisela is fine but far from exciting. Quite a lot of power for not all that much mana. Rounded enough that you can play her any where if you just need a powerful card but not good enough at any one thing to be assured of a cube slot. I give her about a 5.5 in isolation.

Bruna, the Fading Light is a lot less playable than Gisela what with being a 7 drop. To make up for this somewhat Bruna is a lot more direct in purpose, she does a thing and she does it fairly well and if you want that thing then you might well play her. While the vast majority of white creatures are humans or angels white is not a colour that ramps into big things. White has some great top end like Elesh Norn but typically it doesn't play that much other than Elsepth, Sun's Champion at six or more. I don't see a white decks suddently changing things up to pack a Bruna when it isn't doing that for what it currently has. A 5/7 flying vigilance will hold most things off and apply a tonne of pressure at the same time. Despite being one of the best bodies in the game it is still somewhat of a liability, it dies easily to a lot of removal and only gets in the way of one thing. It has limited stopping power or survivability which is a problem for a seven mana card. Yes, you are getting something else back when you cast it but that could be fairly minor, you can't totally rely on it in the more limited styles of decks you might play this in. The expected outcome for the card is good, it should be at least a two for one with a pretty big swing involved but for seven mana I want my card much closer to the good games bracket than the decent value two for ones. I give Bruna about a 4/10, a card too narrow to be worth having in a drafting cube most of the time.

Finally we should pay some lip service to Brisela. It is not inconceivable that I shall encounter this in cube, hell, I might even have it myself! Comically it doesn't seem all that much better than having the two component angels... But its fat! Spot removal doesn't do much to this because it all costs 3 or less to be cube worthy! Wraths mostly get it as do some planeswalkers. Shriekmaw is also a thing. So while this should win the game it is quite a lot of risk on top of really poor odds. Mostly what it is is silly! I'll probably throw the pair into the cube for a laugh, they are close enough to the power bar to be in the cube. Brisela is no reason to include such cards but it will be a good chuckle if it ever happens. The fun factor might prevail for a while over strict worthiness.

Blessed Alliance 5.5

I am a huge fan of this card but I fear it may be a little too low impact and unreliable to see frequent use. It is almost entirely a control card. Lifegain is most important to them as is instant speed diverse removal. As a removal card this is highly unreliable if you are not the control player as you may well not be getting attacked all that much. Control will play this but as filler, it will be used to bolster your lifegain potential or sure up your removal suite or just because you lack two drops. It will very rarely be the go to card for one specific role. It is all a bit too fair on the mana costs to be an auto include sort of card. Later on in the game you can get some value from the card pretty easily but it will rarely equate to card advantage, just some bonus life. Every now and again the untap will ruin people but this should be super rare. Control decks don't have lots of dorks and they don't tap them when good blocks are possible. If they do they will stink of having this card and you might play round it and ruin them. It is a big part of why I like the card and want it to be worthy of an A cube slot. Just Edict a dork and 4 life would be very dull. Absorb is borderline at best and it is much more valuable. Hard counters are scarse and three mana isn't such a poor deal on one compared to two mana for mediocre removal. Hopefully the untap ability will lead to some cool plays and unexpected outcomes. Having bonus weak effects on otherwise good cards really diversifies the game without any real cost. More cards like this please.

Thalia's Lancers 2

Compared to a Kavu Climber this is quite the card. Sadly 5 mana is far too much to be paying for value in the cube. This is some tutor on top of value but again, if you are able to pack five mana tutor effects in your deck what the hell kind of combo are you packing? Sounds bad and slow. Sure, it could be to increase the consistency of your daft angel meld plan, good luck with that.

Unsubstantiate 6

Unsummon for one more mana or Remand without that card draw rolled into one painfully fair utility card. Why this didn't have some kind of escalate cost is beyond me. It would hardly have been the new Cryptic Command... This is a very cool card but like Blessed Alliance it struggles to keep up in power terms. I want to play this loads but I fear it will constantly get pushed out of decks for juicier things. Like a lot of the Charm cards, the effects are all too reasonably costed for it to feel that brutal. If used well cards like this will give you much more chance to play magic with your opponent, they give you the options but it is hard. You have to play super well if you are packing much stuff like this as those options come with a cost. This is a very potent blue tempo card, it is incredibly unlikely to sit dead in hand. An issue for it here is that it doesn't deal with anything and so despite wanting tempo recovery cards control decks are not going to want this all that much. You pay a card just to delay a problem, you still need to then draw a solution to the problem. It is far better for the more aggressive player and blue is not the most aggressive colour. Further more this card is brutal against slow and clunky decks and quite limp against the cheap aggessive ones. Despite all my complaining about how I wish this was a little better it is still a two mana counterspell and a cheap bounce card, both great effects to have access to.

Docent of Perfection 6

Well this is a rather curious one, perhaps a contender to fill the long empty shoes of Meluko in cube. It certainly blows Talrand, Sky Summoner out of the water... A five mana 5/4 flier is no bad starting point for a card, certainly a lot better than a 2/4! It is a bit slow and expensive for a blue card but things are going that way and this really should win the game if you flip it. I suspect this has a faster clock from 20-0 than a Thundermaw Hellkite when it is played. You will need 3 spells but blue can easily do this, and cheaply. You actually don't need three spells, just one and fill up the rest with wizards. Turns out an awful lot of dorks across all the colours are wizards, lot of the utility ones, lots of the cheap ones. Between this spawning 1/1 wizards from your spells and the odd ones you might have in the deck this seems like one of the easiest cards to flip. When you do so it should be game over, an Elspeth, Sun's Champion ultimate emblem for all your 3+ wizards on top of the now 6/5 flier is hitting for 15 or more in the air. This is a dangerous card, it gets out of hand fast and easily. It is not the worst value when it is at it worst, still just better than Air Elemental! It is easy to support, it does some reasonable defensive work if needed and has great game closing potential. I feel some more midrange prowess decks on the horizon.

Influence of Emrakul 0

Offensively bad. If you are casting 7+ CMC Eldrazi you are winning the game, you don't need a couple of extra cards. Four mana do nothing cards like this need to be spectacular when you start to use them and this really isn't. Presumably it is intended to work with the emerge mechanic in the set, perhaps it will be really good there... for block constructed. Odds on it being powerful enough to work in cube are so low, the only block mechanics that are powerhouses in cube are the ones they got wrong (affinity).

Santifier of Souls 0

A perfect example of a card not getting near the cube. It does some things, it is probably a good limited card but in cube it a massive no no. A 4 mana 2/3 is a bad start, a weak prowess style pump is no where near enough to offset that. Activation costs are bad too if you are paying for them as part of the card and this has a situational one that is pricey for what it achieves. I wouldn't entertain this as a 3 drop. Even if this were a two drop and therefore a very powerful and playable card you still wouldn't very often use the 2W activation.

Ulvanwald Observer 0

Better six drop green things that draw cards exist. Better fatties exist. This really needed at least trample before it gets considered and even then it would probably still never see play.

Niblis of Frost 7

Dungeon Geists was a pretty potent card in the cube. It was a bit midrange and without any sort of specific home but it always performed really well when it did see play. This takes a massive dump all over the Dungeon Geists.  Teller of Tales is one of my favourite limited cards ever and this will bring some of that quality to the cube. Niblis does need some support where Dungeon Giests just does its thing regardless. It is however the kind of support you will have and will likely actively want in the sorts of deck this will be found in. You can have it as the top end of an aggressive prowess deck or you can have it working pretty well in spell heavy midrange and control lists. Each spell puts a creature out of action for two turns. A couple of spells and you can lock their entire board down. Great for offence, great for defense. A prowess 3/3 flier is a serious thing too, hard to kill with burn if you have mana up and hard to tangle with in combat. It represents an acceptable clock in its own right. With both this and the Docent of Perfection I expect to see the return of Gush to the cube and perhaps some more instant and/or cheap and free cards coming back to the cube too.

Assembled Alpha's 0

Nope. A mana less and haste and we are a potential but this, no.

Noosegraf Mob 1

Cool design but sadly much like the Assembled Alpha this seems to be a 6 mana 5/5 do nothing. There may well be some combos with this hence it getting a rating but odds on they are silly combos because they use a 6 mana card in them.

Take Inventory / Galvanic Bombardment 0

They tease me with these lovely spells that are of no use in a singleton format. I lament the inability to play Accumulated Knowledge, I would happily play the weaker Take Inventory if I could but it has the same problem!

Grizzled Angler 0

Cute but slow and silly. Even with 100% certainty on a flip I doubt this would be close to cube level.

Lone Rider 5

A lovely card design that packs a lot of potential power without seeming at all unfair or over powered. If this card is playable will come down to how easily you can gain 3 life in a turn. If there are lots of incidental things like Lightning Helix then we are onto a winner, if not the card is going to be underwhelming. Cards like Mardu Woe Reaper and Soldier of the Pantheon help as they are also aggressive cards with lifegain potential however cards like Spinx's Revelation or even the new Blessed Alliance are pretty weak as they do not work towards an aggressive game plan. As it stands I don't have enough pump or aggressive lifegain cards for this to be worth putting in a drafting cube however I think it could fairly easily be setup to be worth it. You can flip Lone Rider the turn you make it and in other peoples turns which adds a lot to the convenience of the card. It also has good abilities on the initial 1/1 which means it can be scaled well with things prior to any transforming. Certainly going to A cube this out for a bit to test, I expect it to be a little too fringe to remain permanently but I also expect to crush some faces with it in the interim! Knight of Meadowgrain is a likely return to complement this card.

Tree of Perdition 1

 A rework of the green Redemption variant. In isolation a 0/13 wall that can become a 0/20 wall and do seven damage is a bit naff. It is a lot to pay for a card that achieves very little. It is also a dead weight effect if you  or they have damaged them below 14. The one merit of this card I can think is with effects that reduce toughness such that you can swap an opponent down to 1 or 2. This seems a bit slow and convoluted to be any sort of combo thing and so I don't see it getting play. They might print some card that is good with it and good on its own and this might get a bit of use there after but for now it is a dust collector.

Graft Stapler 3

Cheap and powerful but likely too much of a risk. They equip cost is significant and so you risk heavy blowout to a lot of kinds of disruption. Perhaps a reasonable tool to assist sacrificing things.

Curious Homunculus 6.5

I want to give this a higher rating but I am wary that it is a little fiddly. This is a card that could well find several homes however the obvious best one for it is a prowess style Izzet deck. Early in the game this is a little bit of ramp and a body, it is a lot worse than the green ramp cards all round and worse than the artifact ramp as just ramp however the utility of the body is not insignificant. Silver Myr is a good card but doesn't see cube play, the Homunculus has to be reasonbly likely to flip to outperform the Silver Myr and I think it is and does. You only play this in a deck with a high spell count because without it you are not going to benefit from the mana production of the Homunculus. As such getting to three in the bin will be very easy. From about turn four onwards I think you have good odds on flipping this guy. Another card that is like Serra Avenger and Gnarlwood Dryad but for my money this is better than both. It is still playable on turn two and still does a significant part of why you play it. It will indeed help you flip it quicker when you make as you have more mana to invest in spells. Once flipped you have a 2 mana 3/4 prowess Goblin Electromancer which is really quite the bargain. A 3/4 prowess in a spell heavy deck is quite a beast, it will threaten to defeat most things in combat and consequently do a lot of work offensively or defensively. Cheaper spells is also made of win. Another in built synergy with the prowess and presumbly the deck as a whole. The biggest issue with the card is that even when you make it turn 4 onwards it is spending a whole turn as a 1/1 and is a terrible blocker and highly vulnerable to removal. All told I think it is still worth it, the prowess decks are more tempo driven and so you care about the first attack much more than the first block and this will get to attack as a 3/4 from the outset quite a lot. The concern I have for this card is that it isn't overly playable outside of a prowess deck and might be a little too narrow to retain a cube slot. Blue needs meaty two drops, this isn't perfect as it comes with conditions but it is significantly the best on offer.

Gisa and Geralf 0

A gold four mana 4/4 that lets you cast zombies from the bin if you have them in the bin and they aren't already zombies that easily come back out of the bin.... This card is impressively unimpressive for a gold mythic of two named characters. I wouldn't play this in a zombies deck.

Bloodhall Priest 5

Quite a lot of card to take in! It is a lot like a miniature Inferno Titan when you have hellbent. Even without the firebreathing or ability to split the damage it is quite something for a four mana card. The madness is a nice sweetener as it works so well with the kinds of things that work well with hellbent. Flopping this out at instant speed for just three mana is really nutty! Having hellbent is easy enough to do but it requires a dedicated deck and that makes this card pretty narrow. Gold and highly dependent on having a lot of discard outlets in the deck. Black and red already have quite a lot of nice madness and hellbent cards and so it is easy to justify adding in some more support cards for them. The raw power of this card is huge when in optimal conditions, there are lots of good things to run with it, you can turn it on so to speak so you don't lose that much if you are forced into making it without hellbent and it isn't that weak of a thing to have when it is at its worst. Potentially powerful enough to really push a Rakdos deck to the top tier of the meta it just entirely depends on there being enough good support card for it.

Ingeious Skaab 1

Surprisingly playable for a 3 drop of this little power. Only playable if you really really want a prowess dork or a blue zombie at 3 mana. Seems almost certainly not going to happen but still, nice to see commons closer to the bar.

Haunted Dead 1.5

This isn't any good to hard cast, just not enough stuff for four mana. It is acceptable to bring back from the yard however you have to get it their first. It is a decent middle part of a chain but middles of chains are not the kind of thing you want in magic when you are drawing random cards. If you have it at the end is is really low power do nothing and if you have it at the start it sits in hand and does nothing. You need to pitch it with something like a Faithless Looting, then bring it back the next turn while tossing more stuff you want in the bin. Pretty wishful you are getting the one good outcome over the two weak ones with enough consistency that you can afford to play a card like this.

No comments:

Post a Comment