Now that MTG Card Market has posted the list of cards from From the Vault: Annihilation, it seems that the cards from the booklet that was spoiled on reddit a few months ago were in fact the actual cards for the set. Below is the list:
- Armageddon (new art)
- Burning of Xinye
- Cataclysm (new art)
- Child of Alara
- Decree of Annihilation
- Firespout (new art)
- Fracturing Gust
- Living Death (new art)
- Martial Coup
- Rolling Earthquake
- Smokestack (new art)
- Virtue’s Ruin
- Wrath of God (new art)
Before now, only Wrath of God – with Theros-related art – Armageddon, Cataclysm and Rolling Earthquake were confirmed. Elspeth for the Win wrote a piece about Rolling Earthquake already. We’ll take a look at the rest of them now.
As we get the new arts for the cards, we’ll be inserting them into this article!
Armageddon is one of the original (and hated) board-wipes, destroying all lands in play. It was expected to be seen in here, and it’s not surprising in the least. Its popularity has increased as of late, mostly in EDH, for decks that can either make their lands indestructable (decks that include Avacyn, Angel of Hope or Darksteel Forge & Mycosynth Lattice) or don’t need lands as much, like some Stax lists of Grand Arbiter Augustin in Commander that rely mostly on artifact mana.
Burning of Xinye is a mean card from Portal: Three Kingdoms, one of three cards from the very rare Portal sets being reprinted in this From the Vault. Both you and a target opponent each destroy four of your lands. Then this card deals 4 damage to each creature. It’s land destruction and mass creature removal on one card. There are land-destruction themed Commander decks that have used this card, and now that it won’t be upwards of $80, it may start seeing a lot more play in the format as it will become far more affordable.
Cataclysm is a powerful card originally printed in Exodus. For 2WW, Cataclysm forces each player to choose to keep one artifact, one creature, one enchantment, and one land. Then all other permanents are sacrificed. Note that it specifically says sacrifice and not destroy. That’s right – it gets around indestructibility. It’s one of the nastiest board-wipes in Commander and it’s so powerful that it’s actually banned in Duel Commander, the one-on-one version of the format. It’s also found a home in variations of the Legacy Death and Taxes deck, most often in the sideboard. It’s been only around a $7-10 card, but the new artwork and the fact that it will now be available in foil should make it a fairly sought after card from this set.
Child of Alara is a card that many are happy to see in here. It’s a fantastic card, being a very popular Commander for 5-color tribal decks and 60-land decks alike (and Maze’s End). A 6/6 with Trample for 5 mana, it is a constantly ticking time bomb. Whenever it is put into a graveyard, you destroy all non-land permanents and they can’t be regenerated. It’s an impressive ability, and we’re glad to see it in FTV: Annihilation.
Decree of Annihilation is an extremely expensive board-wipe, originally from Scourge. But there’s good reason for it. For 8RR, it actually exiles all artifacts, creatures, lands, graveyards, and hands from the game. It’s an extremely mean card. If that wasn’t enough, you can cycle it for 5RR, letting you draw a card, and in the process destroying all lands. It’s not a very expensive card value-wise, and it was already available in foil before, being from Scourge. It does fit the flavor of the set, however, so it’s inclusion makes perfect sense. It’s a Commander-only card.
Firespout is one of the more surprising cards to see on this list, but as it can potentially deal 3 damage to creatures both with and without flying simultaneously, it makes some sense. It’s also the card that sees the art that was revealed along with this FTV in the first place as seen here on the Wizards site. That being said, Firespout is still a good card, going for around $1 USD for both the Shadowmoor and Commander uncommon versions.
Fracturing Gust is actually a card that’s seen some Modern play, really only in sideboards, but it does have a pretty strong effect. For 2 and three green/white hybrid mana, you destroy all artifacts and enchantments, gaining 2 life for each permanent destroyed this way. It’s a solid card, and it’s been a $4-6 USD card for some time now. It’s not a bad card to stick into a From the Vault, as it will definitely be wanted.
Living Death is a very good card. It’s been reprinted a whole bunch of times, but it’s now getting some new art – which we’ll have on this article as soon as we have it. It also has never had a foil printing, so why not now? It’s a Commander only card, as it’s a bit slow for Legacy, but it is extremely strong in Commander. For graveyard based decks, Living Death is a way to turn the tables on your opponents, since those sorts of decks will usually have far better creatures to bring back than the other players. It’s a fun card, and it’s cool to see it finally get that foil treatment, being a card that hasn’t been printed in an expansion set since it was first introduced in Tempest.
Martial Coup is only a board wipe once you actually put 7 or more mana into it, but it definitely coutnts with the theme of this set. It’s a cool card, and it has seen Constructed play at one time or another, and still sees some extremely fringe Legacy play. But it’s mostly a Commander-friendly card that can serve to simply make tokens or make tokens and destroy all of the other creatures on the board. It’s a fun card, but not one that desperately needed a reprint.
Rolling Earthquake was once a 200-dollar card from Portal: Three Kingdoms. It’s a great card, but not quite worth that much aside from being from Portal: Three Kingdoms. One good thing about this card is the fact it hits everything without Horsemanship, making Sun Quan a very nice card to combo with this card. It’s a card I don’t mind seeing here, especially due to it’s rarity and secondary market price, it isn’t surprising to see it here. Aside from it having the word horsemanship on it however, it isn’t much different than Earthquake or Magmaquake.
Smokestack is a card definitely worth of the From the Vault treatment. It’s never had a foil printing, being printed only in Urza’s Saga (and in Vintage Masters on Magic Online.) It’s still a fairyl valuable card, as well, with its current market value around $10 USD. At one time, it was a very strong card in Legacy, however. It is, in fact, the card that gave Stax its name, since you can over time stack counters on it to force players to sacrifice more permanents. It sees play in some fringe Stax decks in Legacy today, but it’s mostly a Commander card now. Still, it’s really fun to see a card that has some definite history with it being printed in a From the Vault, as that’s what these products should be about, right?
While Terminus is hardly worth anything anymore since rotating out of Standard, it is a card that belongs in a From the Vault. Not only is it an incredibly popular Commander card, and a staple in the Legacy Miracles deck, but it was also a force in Standard when it was in play. It already has epic artwork, and a card that puts all creatures on the bottom of libraries that can essentially be played for a single White mana is borderline absurd. The power level of this card means it belongs in the set.
The colors definitely needed to all be present in this set, and this is what blue does best – bounce everything. The only real downside to Upheaval being in the set is that it is banned in Commander, and for very good reason. Being able to be the only one to cast spells after playing it (floating mana and waiting for your land drop before casting it,) you easily take the lead over any of your opponents. Problem is, it’s not really playable in any format besides Legacy, and no Legacy decks play it. It’s a Casual-only card.
Virtue’s Ruin is a 2B sorcery from the original Portal set which destroys all White creatures in play. There’s been a trend of including cards from the Portal sets in these From the Vaults, so it isn’t surprising to see this here; Sun Quan and Cao Cao from From the Vault Legends. Virtue’s Ruin was going for around $7 USD on the secondary market, but if this were to be reprinted, it still would probably not be worth all that much, as other cards from the three Portal sets have all taken major hits to their secondary market prices after being reprinted.
Wrath of God was the first card confirmed. There isn’t much to say about Wrath of God – it was the first board wipe, being around since Alpha and Beta.
Obviously, the greatest disappointment is not seeing Damnation in the set. It’s possible that it may see a printing in the near future, perhaps in the mono-Black Commander deck in November 2014. While there are some worthwhile reprints in this From the Vault, this set is barely going to be worth it $35 retail price. IT will be interesting to see how card shops decide to price them.
Until next time,
– SolemnParty & Elspeth for the Win