Tag Archive: magic the gathering


Brain Maggot FNM Promo Card Review – November 2014

brain-maggot-fnm

Brain Maggot is a really strong card, and now, there will be a foiled promo version for you to take home from your Friday Night Magic events this November! Solemnparty is a big fan of the art, although it grosses me out more than a bit. It’s already a card seeing a very good amount of play, and these are always the best kind of Friday Night Magic promos. Banishing Light, the September promo, is also pretty awesome, whereas Fanatic of Xenagos, a card that I personally quite like doesn’t quite have the same value at the moment.

For those that are unfamiliar with Brain Maggot, he’s very similar to an older card called Tidehollow Sculler. The difference is that the Sculler was an Artifact Creature that cost WB to cast, whereas the Maggot is an Enchantment Creature for 1B. Their effect is the same, however. When Brain Maggot enters the battlefield, target opponent reveals his or her hand and you choose a nonland card from it. You exile that card until Brain Maggot leaves the battlefield. With Thoughtseize already a huge card in the format, you’ll already know most likely what your Brain Maggot will be depriving them of when it hits the board.

Mono-Black Control will likely still well be a pretty good deck post-Return to Ravnica rotation, and a lot of that will be because of this card. Now for people that can stomach the alternate artwork foil, they can have a FNM play-set to “pimp” out their decks.

– Elspeth for the Win

The Beginnings of Magic 2015 Standard

While I’m not a Standard player myself, I am always keeping up on the Standard meta-game, as it’s good to keep up with what people are brewing with. Also, after the release of a set, it’s good see how certain cards from the newest set are being built around.  Now that the Top 32 have been decided at Star City Games’ Standard Open in Baltimore, Maryland yesterday, we are finally getting a glimpse into how Magic 2015 might affect the format.

sign-in-blood-magic-2015

One Mono-Black Devotion list used 3 copies of Sign in Blood to help with draw power. It’s good to have this card back in Standard, giving Mono-Black a bit of an extra push in card advantage. This list also ran two copies of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to help Mutavault tap for black mana. Mutavault is a fantastic card, but being able to also tap for black mana makes it even more valuable. The winning list from Dan Jessup ran 2 copies of Sign in Blood, and one main-decked Urborg.

liliana-vess-m15

The winning list also included a copy of Liliana Vess in the sideboard. The classic Liliana can make players discard, or help you search out your library for an answer you desperately need. It’s also nice that she can bring back creatures for all graveyard to fight for you. But her first two abilities are solid enough, especially as she starts with five loyalty. I see her being played all kinds of places. Esper Control has also managed to main-board one copy of Liliana.

polymorphists-jest-magic-2015

Mono-Blue Devotion gained a copy of Polymorphist’s Jest for the sideboard, helping the deck out against aggressive creature-based decks, causing some potential blowouts. It’s a phenomenal card in limited, and in the right match-ups, it’s a really strong sideboard card that could really ruin an aggro player’s day.

cavesofkoilos

One deck that has definitely been helped by Magic 2015 is Black/White Midrange, a list piloted by 3rd place winner Lloyd Kurth. which now has the full play-set of Caves of Koilos and one copy of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to make tapping for black mana far easier. The changes are mostly only in the mana base, but mana-fixing is extremely important in any Magic format, and adding the four pain-lands and the Urborg to fix for black mana definitely helps.

sunblade-elf

One Green/White Aggro list found room for 2 copies of Sunblade Elf in the main board. They’ve also found room for two copies of Ajani Steadfast in the sideboard. It’s hard to say how much play the new Ajani will get due to the presence of Ajani, Mentor of Heroes in Standard already (as you can’t have two Ajani planeswalkers on the board at the same time). The 2nd place G/W Aggro list did not have any Sunblade Elves, but did have the two side-boarded copies of Steadfast.

ajani-steadfast

The new Ajani’s +1 is pretty decent, and his -2 is good if you already have a lot of creatures on board already. He also might see play in a “Super Friends” deck with other planeswalkers, but he’s sort of awkward in that sort of deck because of Ajani, Mentor of Heroes is a big part of that deck, helping you dig for more creatures and planeswalkers. Ajani Steadfast does have a rather nice emblem that makes you very hard to kill. I think he may see Standard main-board play once Return to Ravnica block rotates, but until then, he’s basically only a sideboard option.

The deck that has been affected the most by the new format, though, of course is Mono-Green Devotion. Why? The deck gained three new very valuable cards: Chord of Calling, Genesis Hydra and Nissa, Worldwaker. One copy of Hornet Queen and Reclamation Sage have also entered the main-board, as well as a copy of Darksteel Citadel for the obvious interaction with Nissa. The Hornet Queen, a 2/2 flyer with Deathtouch,  is basically played for the three green mana symbols in her casting cost, and the fact she brings in 4 1/1 Deathtouch flyers in with her. The Sage is played because Enchantments are running rampant, and optional artifact & enchantment removal is always good.

chordofcalling

The Chord of Calling is fairly obvious, as it’s an instant speed tutor for a creature straight from your deck. It does cost X and triple Green, but because of its Convoke ability, you can just tap down creatures to help cast it, helping you to get your bigger creatures out on the board at instant speed. Mono-Green is never at a loss for mana, so you’ll have plenty of mana to get your bigger creatures out onto the board quite easily.

genesis-hydra

There is also a full play-set of Genesis Hydra. It’s a card that I’ve liked since it was spoiled, but it’s cool to see it seeing instant competitive Standard play. It’s a great value creature that can tap for either small amounts of mana to get your smaller creatures on board, or be a mana-sink for massive amounts of mana to be able to drop your Nissa or Arbor Colossus on the board.

nissa-worldwaker

Nissa, Worldwaker is pretty much a one-mana planeswalker in mono-Green. She’s even better with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, as you use Nykthos to cast her, but then tap other forests and float the mana, then use her plus-ability to untap those forests. She’s a very strong ramp card. Never mind the fact that she has the ability to make lands into 4/4 Elemental creatures – the ramping element alone is enough to play her. Of course, her ultimate is bonkers, and can win games.

Sadly enough, the Mono-Green Devotion list that fared the best, piloted by Charley Murdock, finished 9th.

There are clearly a lot of good cards in Magic 2015, but in the current format, it’s clear that Mono-Green was the deck most affected by the new set. It may not be until October 2014 before we see more Magic 2015 cards taking the spotlight.

Until next time,

– Elspeth for the Win

Magic 2015 will actually have two pretty good game day promos, both of which are definitely playable. We’ve already gone into quite a bit of depth about Chief Engineer. The card I’m more excited about is actually the card everyone will get for playing Game Day, the uncommon Reclamation Sage.

reclamation-sage-promo

Besides having gorgeous art on the full art promo, Reclamation Sage is an Elf Shaman that is basically a better version of Viridian Shaman, which had a mandatory ability to destroy an artifact when it entered play. The Sage is a 2/1 rather than a 2/2 for the same mana cost (2G), but its ability isn’t mandatory and it also can hit Enchantments. Not only is this going to replace the Shaman in Legacy Elves, but it is definitely Standard Playable.

harmonic-sliver

Plus, Reclamation Sage may perhaps even replace Harmonic Sliver in Modern Pod as a more inexpensive removal card, both in mana cost (1GW) and money ($3-4 USD). Also, the Sliver has a mandatory ability, and blowing up your own Birthing Pod isn’t really that good.

In Commander, she’s even better, having the dual types of Elf and Shaman. Elves, obviously, are very popular in the format and there are cards in the format that care about the creature type Shaman like Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro as a Commander, and of course, Coat of Arms.

chief-engineer-promo

Those that make the Top 8 at Game Day events will also rece3ive a full art foil Chief Engiener. The art is pretty fabulous, and we’ve discussed the card at great length already. He’s going to be a sought-after promo in any case due to his Commander play-ability, so he’s a strong card to pick up even if his Constructed value doesn’t become what it hypothetically could. Decks are going to have to center around Chief Engineer for his value to skyrocket, which as we’ve discussed is definitely possible in Modern. However, Standard will have to add tons more Artifact support for him to really see his potential maximized.

I won’t be playing in any Magic 2015 Game Day events personally, as I do not play Standard, at least at this time, but I’m actually more excited about the Sage than the Engineer as a promo, as the Sage will see lots of play.

Which card are you more excited about?

– Elspeth for the Win

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Games and Mechanics – Evergreen, Part 1

An Evergreen mechanic is any mechanic that is usable in any set. In fact, you can find a list of them here.

These are the barebones basics of the game, and I’ll be going over each of them in the order they appear in the linked list.

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Deathtouch: Any amount of damage this deals to a creature is enough to destroy it.

First Key-worded: Future Sight

Deathtouch modifies what is referred to as “lethal damage,” or the damage required to kill a creature. For example, lethal damage for a 4/4 is 4 damage. What deathtouch does is make that number 1, no matter what. This creature just needs to be able to do 1 damage to the creature it’s fighting to kill it.

Defender: This creature can’t attack.

First Key-worded: Betrayers of Kamigawa

Defender is less of an ability and more of a hinderance. Creatures with Defender are completely unable to attack, but are generally limited to just Walls and other things that tend to have 0 power. Originally, Defender was not an ability – it was a side effect of being the creature type Wall. However, now it’s also on non-walls, like Pride Guardian and Wakestone Gargoyle. These creatures are generally designed to be just defensive creatures (hence the name of the ability) but is also sometimes used as a temporary limitation.

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Guardian of the Ages is one of those cards – it’s a 7/7 defender until an opponent attacks you, and then it loses defender and gains trample.

Double Strike: This creature deals damage in both first strike and normal combat.

First Key-worded: Legions

This needs a little bit more explaination,

First Strike: This creature deals combat damage before creatures without first strike.

First Key-worded: Alpha

First Strike damage takes place before normal combat damage. So for example, a 7/2 blocks a 2/1 first strike. The 2/1 deals damage before the 7/2 creature, and kills it as the creature only has 2 toughness. As the 7/2 is already dead, the 2/1 survives.

Now, to explain double strike, we’ll use a very similar scenario. a 7/4 blocks a 2/1 double strike. First strike combat occurs, and the 2/1 deals two damage to the 7/4. The 7/4 now has 2 damage on it. Then, we go into regular combat. The 7/4 deals 7 damage to the 2/1, but the 2/1 deals another 2 damage to the 7/4, which kills the 7/4, and the 2/1 dies to the 7 damage from the 7/4.

Now, keep in mind that double strike does not let you hit the player after you kill their creature, unless that creature has trample. Many players think that a 2/2 double strike killing a 2/2 lets you kill the creature and then hit the player for 2 damage. This isn’t true – and a lot of people will try to trick you with this. The creature with double strike is completely safe from that 2/2, but the creature is also still blocked.

Enchant states what an Aura targets when it comes into play, and was first key-worded in Alpha.

For example, most auras have “Enchant Creature,” which allows the aura to attach itself to a creature. Fairly straight forward.

Equip N: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. 

First Key-worded: Mirrodin

Equip is the activated ability that appears on Equipment that allows you to attach the equipment to your creatures. (Used equip a little too much in that sentence…) Equipments give benefits to the equipped creature, much like Auras. The difference between equipments and auras, however, is that equipments stay in play after the equipped creature is destroyed.

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Lightning Greaves for example is an equipment straight out of Mirrodin. A 2-drop artifact with the benefit of giving Haste and Shroud (which I’ll mention later), and has an equip cost of 0.

Fight: [Something] and target creature fight.

First key-worded: Innistrad

Fight was actually originally from Onslaught block, but took a very long time to get key-worded. It causes two creatures to literally fight. More specifically, the creatures each deal damage equal to their power to each other, just like regular combat. Personally, my favorite card that causes fights is Ulvenwald Tracker. For a cost, he forces two creatures to fight, and at only 1 green.

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This is, however, only part one of the evergreen articles. There will be one more, talking about the rest of the evergreen mechanics.

Until next time,

-SolemnParty

 

 

 

 

M15 Spoilers – Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

urborg-tomb-of-yawgmoth

Yes, that is Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. What has been a card that’s been well over $25 for a long time will now be available to a much wider audience in a Core Set. Why is a land of this power level in a Core Set? It’s hard to say. What is fairly obvious is that Wizards of the Coast really wants players to play Black. And we totally needed more mono-Black Devotion helping cards.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth has seen play in Legacy for a very long time, especially in the Dark Depths deck. It’s seen play in Mono-Black Pox, Tezzeret Control and some Reanimator builds. Making all lands into Swamps is a very powerful effect, especially with how much power Black has been gaining in recent years.

With the advent of the Modern format, demand for Urborg has increased quite rapidly. It sees play in Golgari Midrange, Black/White Tokens, Mono-Black Infect (to make Inkmoth Nexus tap for Black), Unburial Gifts, Ad Nauseum Combo, and a slew of other lists. Basically, any deck that can benefit by having all of its lands tap for black mana benefit. In Commander, it’s a Black staple. If you play Black, there’s little reason not to run it.

You might think, wait, doesn’t making your opponents’ lands into Swamps help them, as well? Potentially, yes. This is what makes the card fair. But for the decks that typically play Urborg, the advantage goes to the one playing them, as it allows those decks to play cards with greedier Black mana requirements.

As it stands right now, in Standard, Mutavault will get to tap for Black mana until it rotates out; of course, this fact still be relevant in Modern. The other thing that Urborg may allow to happen is a strong Green/Black deck built around Nissa, Worldwaker. It will also make splashing Black far easier in a wide variety of decks – and making fringe playable decks like B/W Heroic, U/B Control, and Esper Control far more potent. Making scry lands into Swamps is also pretty good.

The best part about Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is that it’s a fair card that helps everyone. It’s also far better than the last time it was in Standard (Planar Chaos) because of the updated Legend rule, in which all players can each control one copy of any given Legendary card. Kudos to Wizards of the Coast to reprinting a powerful card that old and new players alike can enjoy and add to their collections and decks. It’s a card good in every format. And yes, even in Limited.

– Elspeth for the Win

 

vampire-onslaught-magic-2012-deck

The Vampire Onslaught Event Deck from the Magic 2012 Core Set may be one of the best event decks Wizards has ever released! Its Magic 2012 Core Set counter-part, Illusionary Might, was not a bad buy for newer players, as it formed the basis of a fun Illusion-based deck that with some tweaks was a playable FNM deck. But Vampire Onslaught was, and still is, easily the best money deck of the two. In fact, it may be the best money deck ever put together as a pre-constructed release by Wizards of the Coast.

Why is this? It has a Verdant Catacombs/strong> in it. As of June 2014, it’s still a $45 card.

Let’s take a look at the list, which is actually pretty solid even beyond the fetch-land.

Lands (24)
23 Swamp
1 Verdant Catacombs

If you could get this deck back in the day at its MSRP, you already had made an incredible investment. Alas, I sold my four Verdant Catacombs back when they were worth about $15-20 (so I technically still profited from the deck.) That was back in 2011. There was no Modern yet. Oops.

But wait, there’s a lot more in here that is pure value.

Creatures (29)
2 Bloodghast

Bloodghast is a very, very good card that was long a Vampire deck staple. A card that can come back from the graveyard any time you play a land is pretty ridiculous. In Modern Dredge, he’s a fantastic card. Back then he was about $7 a copy, and still sells for roughly that same price today. Two copies of this in a single deck is fantastic.

4 Bloodthrone Vampire

Not a bad common, but it was in Magic 2011, and not in the 2012 Core Set. It combos very well with other cards in the deck, as it gains +2/+2 each time you sacrifice a creature. It’s not bad when you see how many cards work off of sacrificing creatures in the deck. (Interestingly enough, for those that actually looked to play this deck, Bloodthrone Vampire was in fact reprinted in Magic 2013.)

4 Gatekeeper of Malakir – One of the best uncommons out of Zendikar, second only to Vampire Nighthawk, he’s a 2/2 for 2 black, but it’s his kicker effect of one extra black that he’s played for. It makes your opponent sacrifice a creature. On turn three, when this guy was ordinarily played, that is a major setback, especially against a quick swarming deck like Vampires. Basically, you only ever play him as a three-drop. Then he becomes expendable for your Bloodthrone or Viscera Seers, which we’ll get to.

As of August 2011, a playset of these could cost as much as $10 USD on the secondary market. Unfortunately, they are no longer nearly near that value, partly due to a reprint in the Sorin Vs Tibalt Duel Deck, but also because he doesn’t see much Modern play. Still a good card.

1 Kalastria Highborn – The Highborn has long been one of my personal favorite Vampire cards, and she’s quite deadly. Whenever one of your creatures goes to the graveyard, you may deal 2 damage to target player or creature and gain 2 life. It’s that deal 2 damage to a creature that is most deadly. With how many expendable creatures you have in this sort of deck, the Highborn can get ridiculous. Securing a second copy of her for this deck was a pretty darn good idea at the time. She used to sell on the secondary market for about $5 USD, although now in 2014, she’s about a $2-3 card – sStill well above a bulk rare.

4 Pawn of Ulamog – Not a card you see very often, but this uncommon from Rise of the Eldrazi certainly isn’t bad. Any time a non-token creature of yours goes to the graveyard, you may get a 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn token, which can be sacrificed to give you 1 colorless mana. Probably not the best card choice for competitive Vampire decks, but with this particular build, there are advantages to having these tokens.

1 Vampire Hexmage – It seems a bit silly to only run one Hexmage. She’s pretty darn good, as she can one-shot kill planeswalkers and remove all the counters from any card. Plus, she’s a 2/1 with first strike, and that’s always good, especially for 2 mana. There are 3 side-boarded, but 2 main-board is a better move.

4 Vampire Lacerator – A solid little one-drop that used to see tons of Standard play. He’s a 2/2 for one mana, but if your opponent has more than 10 life, you have to pay 2 life during each of your upkeeps. The sad part about this is that it’s not an upkeep cost, you can’t choose not to pay it. This isn’t really that bad, though. Most of the time, you’ll be ahead in life anyway. Vampire decks could gain life back in a hurry and deal a lot of damage before many other decks can get set up, so running 4 is perfectly fine.

2 Vampire Nighthawk – There’s probably no excuse not to run full play-set of Nighthawks in a Vampire deck. 3 mana (1BB) for a 2/3 Flyer with lifelink and deathtouch makes for a very strong creature. The Nighthawk helps you both gain back lost life,hold the air, and hold off opponent’s larger creatures. It’s just an all-around spectacular card playable in any format.

3 Vampire Outcasts – The only of TWO Magic 2012 Core Set cards in the entire deck and the only card in the maindeck that will be legal in Standard come October (barring any reprints in Innistrad, and it isn’t out of the question we could see a few of these other cards reprinted). Vampire Outcasts is for four mana, two of which are black, a 2/2 with Lifelink and Bloodthirst 2. Now, a 4/4 with Lifelink is certainly not too bad. The truth is that you could easily swap these out for 2 Nighthawk and 1 Hexmage and have a far better deck, not to mention a lighter mana curve. Just not really too good a card outside of Limited, and not worth being in this deck.

4 Viscera Seer – A 1-drop 1/1 with the ability: Sacrifice a creature. Scry 1. Now, scrying 1 doesn’t sound that great. It seems far too high a cost to just see what your next card is and possibly put it to the bottom of the deck. But with Kalastria Highborn and Pawn of Ulamog in the deck, sacrificing a post-kicked Gatekeeper or a Vampire Lacerator that’s already swung for damage or outlived its usefulness certainly isn’t too bad. Most good Vampire decks only run a copy or two, which is probably good enough. (Also an excellent card for those Modern Pod decks!)

Non-Creature Spells (7)
2 Blade of the Bloodchief – Not a bad rare from Zendikar. Very playable in a Vampire deck. It’s a good equipment, but equipment in Vampires probably isn’t the greatest play. Still, gaining a +1/+1 counter every time a creature hits the graveyard (this includes even token creatures), and gaining a +2/+2 counter if it’s a Vampire, is certainly a lot of fun. It’s perhaps the crux of this deck’s strategy, hit for a ton early on…

4 Dismember – One of the best removal spells, ever. While they no longer sell for about $5 USD a copy, a play-set of Dismember is still quite valuable.

1 Mimic Vat – This card is a bit of a head-scratcher. It’s not that it’s bad. It’s a fun rare in Scars of Mirrodin block Limited, no doubt about that. Whenever a creature would go to the graveyard, you exile it instead and imprint it to Mimic Vat. You can do this any time you want, but each time you do, the card that was imprinted before goes to its owners graveyard. You can then pay 3 and tap Mimic Vat to create a token copy of that creature, that gains haste and is exiled at the end step. Honestly, why would you use mana in this way for Vampires? It just seems to be a waste. It’s not a bad card, but it shouldn’t be in a Vampire deck. Sure, it can copy a really good creature of your opponents, but it’s still quite an investment of mana. Granted you could use the spawn tokens from the Pawn of Ulamog and combo with your Viscera Seers and Kalastria Highborn for some cheap damage, lifegain, and deck manipulation, but this isn’t really the best tactic. It’s a silly card that really doesn’t belong in this deck.

Sideboard (15)
4 Distress – The SECOND of two Magic 2012 Core Set cards in the deck. Double black sounds like a bit much for a discard card, but it can discard any of your opponent’s non-land cards. There are situations you may want to board these in, perhaps against combo decks, but ordinarily you won’t. Still, not a bad card, but I still prefer the original Kamigawa/Tenth Edition artwork. The new one’s too creepy for me. Still, with no Duress or Inquisition of Kozilek in sight past October, it’s not a terrible option.

2 Go for the Throat – Very solid removal card against any deck that doesn’t run artifacts. It’s not out of the question to main board at least one of these over the Mimic Vat, and another over a Seer. It helps you kill a lot of whatever Dismember can’t.

4 Skinrender – Far from being a bad card, it’s some decent removal with its ability to put 3 -1/-1 counters on target creature. It is mandatory, however. Still, 4 mana is certainly worth it, and he’s a 3/3 creature. But he is a Zombie, and not a Vampire. He’s not a bad card. Certainly hold onto your playset, but he’s far better in a Zombie deck (Call of the Grave, anyone?)

3 Vampire Hexmage – At least one of these belong in the main board. Two should be in the side to make cards like Shrine of Burning Rage and Koth of the Hammer/Chandra the Firebrand sad.

2 Vampire Nighthawk – These should be in the mainboard. ‘Nuff said.

In the “How to Play the Deck” pamphlet that Wizards always include in these sorts of product, it was suggested to add Bloodlord of Vaasgoth to the deck. As a one of, that card was never too bad, but it rarely saw play. The trick with Vampires has always been to keep a low mana curve and swarm the board. Malakir Bloodwitch is another suggestion, and she was never a bad option for the sideboard as far as her protection from White is concerned. (She could stop Gideon Jura, for example, who was a massively played card in those days.)

Overall, this was a fantastic value for the money. As far as “Bang for Your Buck” was concerned, you would have probably get about $60 market value per deck, at a typical cost of $25-$35 a deck, even back in 2011. It was a no-brainer buy. They’re obviously very rare now. If you happen to find any hanging around for less than $50, they’re easily worth the buy. But you’d be lucky to find them for under $100.

This has been another Throwback Thursday Deck Review. If there’s any pre-constructed deck or even a Top deck from the past you’d us like to review, let us know!

– Elspeth for the Win

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phyrexian-revoker-french-m15

Early this morning, MTG France spoiled that Phyrexian Revoker will be reprinted in Magic 2015. In a Standard format that will have Pithing Needle until October 2014, this is great news for players who wish to combat the onslaught of Super-Friends popping up all over the place. It is a bit surprising to see a Phyrexian card being reprinted in a Core Set, but we do have Soul of New Phyrexia in the set, so its appearance makes a bit more sense.

Phyrexian Revokerwas originally printed in Mirrodin Beseiged, a set with its fair share of good cards: Blightsteel Colossus, Consecrated Sphinx, Green Sun’s ZenithHero of Bladehold, Inkmoth Nexus, Sword of Feast and Famine, and Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas to name a few. The Revoker sees main-board play in Modern, Legacy, Vintage, and Commander in a wide variety of decks. Being the creature version of Pithing Needle is really good. The fact that it can stop planeswalkers and problem artifacts (here’s looking at you, Mindslaver!) makes it very versatile. Also, even though it can’t target lands, it can stop mana-producing abilities, such as that of Noble Hierarch. Revoker mostly sees play in Death and Taxes – both in Legacy and Modern – but copies show up in the main boards of a lot of Eternal format decks.

In Standard, Phyrexian Revoker was very solid in a format dominated by artifacts with activated abilities. It stopped the top planeswalker of the time, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and it also prevented the dreaded Caw-Blade decks from equipping their Swords and Batterskulls. It also shut down Birthing Pod, and it still does that same job today in Modern and Legacy. Even Vintage decks play it to shut down important combo pieces. Commander decks also utilize Phyrexian Revoker to deal with problem Commanders and to shut down Sensei’s Divining Top (something also very useful in Legacy with dealing with Counterbalance/Miracles decks).

Besides its obvious continued usefulness in the Eternal formats, it’s not quite clear yet where Revoker will fit into Standard main-boards. Some Blue/White or Esper Control lists may find room for a couple copies, but most likely only in the side-board. After Return to Ravnica block rotates, though, Revoker could become an extremely important card if the new Standard is full of activated abilities.

At the very least, copies of the Revoker will now be easier to obtain, especially in foil, for Eternal formats.

How would you use Phyrexian Revoker, or how have you used it before?

– Elspeth for the Win

So, for those of you who saw the old site, I had a segment called Games and Mechanics, where I talked about some of the more complicated parts of the game. Mostly talking about complicated abilities like Banding.

Well, I’m bringing it back.

Due to the fact that the game is booming, there need to be guides like this out there. Whether it be mechanics, keywords, or just slang within the community, I’ll be doing my best to have the answers to the questions like “what’s tron?” or “what’s the stack” or “why is banding so damn complicated?”

This doesn’t mean I won’t still be doing Commanding Opinion, of course – I plan on still doing 5 of those a week, and most likely 2-3 of these a week as well. Once we’re out of the M15 spoiler season, I can guarantee that.

Until next time,

-SolemnParty

Some new common cards spoiled today over on MTG Salvation. Two of them are reprints, Razorfoot Griffin and Black Cat. There are also two new cards, Invasive Species and Miner’s Bane.

razorfoot-griffin-m15

We haven’t seen Razorfoot Griffin in awhile – since Magic 2010 to be exact. The 2/2 flyer with First Strike is OK in Limited for 3W, especially at common. Nothing wrong with reprinting this.

black-cat-m15

Black Cat is a particularly popular card among Magic fans originally printed in Dark Ascension. The fact that it makes players discard a card at random when it dies is pretty useful. What makes it especially popular, however, is that it is a Zombie, meaning that it sees play in Zombie Tribal Commander decks. Also, it is a Cat.

invasive-species-m15

Invasive Species is a 3/3 Insect for 2G. When it enters the battlefield, you return another permanent you control to its owner’s hand. The fact that it can be any permanent, a la Kor Skyfisher, makes this an intriguing card in Limited. Being able to reuse one of your lands if you don’t otherwise have a land-drop is always useful, and in some cases you may want to reuse an enter the battlefield effect here and there. It’s a good card at common if deployed properly.

miners-bane-magic-2015

Miner’s Bane is a big 6/3 brute of an Elemental for 4RR. It does have the ability to gain +1/+0 and trample until end of turn for 2R, and the effect to pump his power can be used multiple times in a turn. He’s a good late-game Limited beater, certainly. At common, what more can you ask for?

What do you think of these cards? When might you pick them in draft?

– Elspeth for the Win

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