Wizards of the Coast, I would personally like to thank you for bringing back one of my all-time favorite kitties, Wild Nacatl. Yes, I realize that she can be a 3/3 with a Sacred Foundry. I realize that is silly. But if Brimaz, King of Oreskos is going to take Naya Zoo to the next level in Modern (that is to a competitive level), you’re gonna need this tiger to roar, and roar loudly. Thus, she is lifted from the ban list.
Speculators have been sitting on Bitterblossom for a very long time, awaiting its removal from the Modern Ban List. Yes, this card was the bane of Extended, but in today’s Modern meta, where there is enchantment removal abound, this won’t necessarily stick around the whole game. Plus, you don’t have Bloodbraid Elf to cascade into it any more (which was pretty awesome in Jund). Personally, I’m a big fan of this card. Trading 1 life for a free 1/1 flyer is pretty good. One sad thing is that if you want Bitterblossom now, you’ll be paying upwards of $300 a play-set. Obviously, the price spike is pretty epic, and should calm down, but this card will probably be seeing a reprint in the near future now, as Jund players will be probably looking to use it the way that it’s been utilized in Legacy for quite some time now.
Speaking of Jund…
Deathrite Shaman is an amazing card that has seen play across all competitive formats. It’s nowhere as good in Standard as it is in Modern, Legacy, or Vintage. Being able to exile fetch lands (or Wastelands in Legacy!) to get a little extra mana is such an important ability. Also, making opponents lose life and making yourself gain life are pretty handy. It’s been all over the Modern format in a variety of decks. Now you won’t see it in any Modern decks, because it is now banned.
Honestly, I’m a little sad to see it go, but I understand that in Jund and the Life from the Loam decks running rampant in the Modern format at the moment, something had to go. Wizards is all about diversity in the Modern format, and Shaman is hampering that a little bit. For one card, three abilities is a lot, and the 2 toughness makes it a very solid one-drop. Yes, the price has dipped a bit, but it’s still going to be played in Legacy and Vintage in the long-run (and it’s pretty good in Commander, too.) I understand the reasoning for swapping this and Bitterblossom, because if that really was it, that makes a ton of sense, as that card will in fact replace this card in the Jund deck.
What do you guys think of these changes? I love the cards coming back, and while the incremental advantage of Bitterblossom is kind of nuts, I think no Deathrite Shaman does shake up the format in a good way. And we have an awesome kitty back!