It was mentioned here by Wizards of the Coast that Magic 2015 (M15) will have 15 cards outside of the printed 269 that will be legal in Standard, and will only be printed in the 30 card decks that are given to starting players. It is cool to see that rares will be inserted into these decks, too, since originally the highest rarity of cards in those decks was uncommon.
Let’s take a look at these cards. There are 3 in each Green, Red, and Black, with only 2 in blue, and 4 in white, with each color having at least one rare.
Garruk’s Packleader is no newcomer to Core Sets, printed previously in Magic 2011 and Magic 2013. He’s also known to be a pretty good Pauper EDH Commander. Centaur Courser is also no stranger to Core Sets, appearing in both Magic 2010 and Magic 2013.
The green rare is Terra Stomper, originally printed in Zendikar. He’s an 8/8 Beast with Trample for 3 and 3 Green. An 8/8 with Trample for 6 mana is pretty good, plus he can’t be countered. For Beast Tribal decks in Commander, he’s really good, and could actually work his way into Standard Green Devotion decks.
Old favorite Shivan Dragon returns in Magic 2015, but he is going to be one of these rares not actually printed within the set. Joining him is Furnace Whelp, who has been in many Core Sets and pre-constructed products over the years.
We also have Seismic Strike, a decent mono-red removal card first printed in Magic 2010. It’s actually a pretty playable card, as it deals damage to a target creature equal to the number of Mountains you control.
Walking Corpse isn’t anything special, but Zombie Pauper players love him. Sengir Vampire is one of the oldest cards in Magic, and at one time he was even printed at rare (in 9th and 10th edition) because he was a fairly powerful creature in those days. He’s still good in Limited formats now, but he won’t be in M15 limited (although he took is a fine Pauper Commander).
Nightmare is another classic card that has been in tons of Core Sets, but isn’t nearly the force that he once was.
Blue only has two cards, but they’re both cards that have been played heavily over the years. Cancel is classic Counterspell for one more colorless mana and has been played in many formats over the years. Mahamoti Djinn was once a feared creature in Magic. A 5/6 flyer was not easy to deal with in Magic’s early days. He’s one angry djinni.
Speaking of iconic Magic cards, Serra Angel returns as an uncommon to the Core Set (yet another popular Pauper Commander! There seems to be a theme here…) Serra Angel was once one of the most powerful cards in Magic due to its presence in Control decks. Not having to tap to attack was pretty ridiculous back in the day and Serra Angel is still a formidable Limited card. But alas, no more drafting it in Magic 2015.
The two commons are Inspired Charge and Divine Verdict, both of which are solid cards in Limited. The only format they’ll see play in now is Pauper Commander.
Lastly, we have Aegis Angel, the white rare. This Angel is fairly popular in Commander for a variety of reasons, the two primary reasons being 1) an angel and 2) can make another permanent indestructible for as long as this creature is on the board. Being a 5/5 flyer isn’t bad, either.
Overall, these are some good cards to throw into free 30-card decks. Glad to see Wizards doing things like this.
Until next time,
– SolemnParty and Elspeth for the Win