And we’re back! (Click here for the prequel!)
Generally week one is the week with all the hype, excitement and realistically the better cards. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like week two only has bad cards but there’s a little something missing and a growing impatience to see the full spoiler. Personally my favorite part of the full spoiler is reading through all the flavor text because let’s face it, regardless of what I brew; I’ll probably just play a deck from the PT.
With that said, let’s dive into more spoilers, and remember the focus is the current meta, crazy brews come later.
While every mode on this card is definitely a White ability, their coalescence is entirely foreign to me. Being at sorcery speed means the potential for any blowouts with this card are off the table which means your opponent can see this coming, however destroying a Stasis Snare, a big creature in the way and pumping your team is something that can always come up. The cost of tapping a creature is real when you want to turn your guys sideways but let’s face it, Thraben Inspector has been slacking and it’s time for him to put in some work instead of standing on the sidelines.
Verdict: I see this as a sideboard card for the Mono White Aggro deck. Most times this will just be another anthem but being able to keep your options open is always great.
Imprisoned in the Moon
This is exactly the card blue decks have been wanting. It deals with pesky creatures and Planeswalker simply and effectively for three mana and can cause a total blowout for your opponents… Wait, what’s that? Sacrifice an enchantment? At two mana?
Yes it’s true, this card would be a pseudo Oblivion Ring in a format that is desperately lacking except for the fact that the most popular land is Canopy Vista and it is exactly the same colors as Dromoka’s Command. See you in Kaladesh.
Obvious comparison is to Mindbreak Trap except it can never be played for free. At the end of the day, this will never see play in Eternal formats however in Standard it’s another story. You know that friend who constantly complains about Eldrazi, well this is the card for them. There is no storm mechanic and counter wars are extremely uncommon in Standard. What is common in Standard is needing a permanent solution to some spells and this does that plus can also be used as a stifle if ever the opportunity arises.
Verdict: Four has always been a lot of mana for a counter as it is a blank against aggro decks however I still see these showing up as a way to answer your opponent’s late game very effectively, so that late game Ulamog is less great when the Cast, Sanctum of Ugin & Kozilek’s Return trigger are all being taken care of along with Ulamog himself.
They made a fixed Pack Rat that also draws cards. I feel this could end poorly.
I’m aware the power level is not the same as Pack Rat however if there will ever be a Zombie deck, this is the enabler. Being able to consistently pump out Zombies is relevant and the fact that you don’t need to tap Cryptbreaker to draw a card, makes all your later zombie plays even better. Remember, Relentless Dead, returns untapped!
Verdict: No deck in the current meta wants this card but the guy you face at FNM or whichever competitive tournament will definitely have four of these in their deck.
Black is really coming through in the flavor department in Eldritch Moon. This can make a lot of zombies, or a little bit of zombies. Essentially the Zombie deck will always want this because while it makes more Zombies, which is great, it always kills stuff and that stuff becomes more Zombies! The underlying theme in Eldritch seems to be you can never have too many Zombies.
Verdict: Zombies? YAY! No Zombies? SOON!
Liliana, the Last Hope
This card is certainly Liliana flavor through and through, except the small exception of the timing of her Oath (see below), the issue is where do you want to slot this in. We’ve seen from Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, her +1 ability will certainly be relevant and having an ever coming flood of zombies to block following a wrath or board wipe is fantastic, see Kiora, the Crashing Wave. Her minus ability just doesn’t seem to fit in exactly with what you want.
Control decks will want this for the first and last ability as it she slows the game down and proceeds to the late game however control decks do not have very many creatures to bring back and Raise Dead effects do not see much play outside of being part of another card, ala Sword of Light and Shadow.
Verdict: You can try and make the -2 relevant but ultimately this is a control card that can fit into the BW Deck. Being unable to greatly affect the board is too great a drawback that will keep her on the sidelines.
Remember that rant about the black version of this spell? Well Wizards heard and delivered this right on time. It’s illogical to think every deck will want every option all the time however you always want your modal spells to have at least one relevant ability at any time. An aggro deck can always make use of three damage to the dome, with the ability to clear a blocker or rid themselves of lands in a flood also relevant. A midrange/control deck needs creature removal and the ability to occasionally have more options later in the game.
This card is great. Five mana for a 4/5 with flying is fantastic, and this ability is off the charts. Currently there is a UR flyers deck running around and this card can fit right into it. It dodges Languish and interacts incredibly well with all the Dragons of Tarkir “Care About Dragons” cards that still exist and you might as well use them before you lose them!
TL:DR – Your opponent tries and kills it, all his creatures die. You try and pump it, shenanigans ensue.
I had to talk about one green card.
Actual, the true reason I wanted to mention this card has nothing to do with playability and somehow everything to do. I started playing Magic around the time of Mirage, my friends had cards and I played with their cards and Mirage was the most recent set. It’s possible other sets were out but we were 7 and had no money. The first pack I bought was an Urza’s Sage Tournament Pack. I got a Tolarian Academy, Phyrexian Colossus and Phyrexian Processor. My friends loved me!
I actually only started playing competitive Magic during Invasion/Odyssey Standard. Still being relatively a kid, I was on a budget, luckily at the time there was a Tier 1 budget deck called UG Madness. In my mind at the time, Wild Mongrel was the best two drop ever printed. Now unfortunately I don’t think we will see Wizards print Arrogant Wurm, Circular Logic & Road of the Wurm anytime soon but a kid can hope.
Thanks for indulging me, now back to other cards!
Heron’s Grace Champion
Straight talk, this is a card that boggles my mind. It has nothing to do with power level or effect neither, it’s honestly because this card skims the line between playable and garbage more than any in this set. Is four mana too much? Is a one time anthem better than the more permanent anthems that exist? Is Sigarda going to replace Avacyn as protector of Innistrad? That last question actually has nothing to do with anything really, just a thought.
Verdict: I see this as a one of in the Bant Humans sideboard. The effect is decent, and it helps to pull you way ahead in a race but four mana precludes it from being found off Collected Company and while it’s great when you want to go wide, you don’t always want to go wide.
Remember the last time, Wizards printed a 2/3 that cost 1UW, that worked out well for everyone right? Well it worked our sort of well for the people that didn’t play spells. Luckily, Wizards fixed that problem for you. This card is great, there are a lot of spells that cost 4 or less. In fact, currently most of Standard is built on spells that cost 4 or less. Need more convincing? You can find this off of Collected Company. Also it exiles any spell. This is the exact card that the first time I saw, I thought to myself, “I can never again cast Languish because I know, my opponent will CoCo with my Languish on the stack, find this and blow me out.
Verdict: I can see an argument for playing less than 4 of these. I can also see and argument for playing 4 of these. I will never accept any argument that involves playing none of these.
Deploy the Gatewatch: Who doesn’t love Planeswalker Super Friend decks? A lot of people actually and needing 15+ Planeswalkers to push your average find over 1.5 is a little too much. I know you can draw comparisons to Collected Company because they have similar effects but don’t.
Providence: There exist a bunch of these white life gain cards. The bright side is this one isn’t mythic and it can gain you life right off the bat instead of being a totally dead card until the late game. Sidebar, why 26? Is double 13 lucky? Is 26 somehow relevant to trapping Emrakul? This card poses so many more questions than it answers.
Selfless Spirit: On paper this seems to slot right into the Bant Company deck, strong ability with a solid body on a creature. Unfortunately, we’ve learnt in Standard that indestructibility is much better when it comes at Instant speed, see Archangel Avacyn and the predominant sweeper in the formation doesn’t care about Indestructibility, see Languish.
Fortune’s Favor: Always take the boat or don’t. This is like a Fact or Fiction but for players that have the soul read on their opponent or David Williams.
Oath of Liliana: The flavor win here in that when Liliana shows up, a zombie is around to defend her does not escape me. Unfortunately the edict effect is not great at sorcery speed while also costing three mana and what’s even more awkward, this is the only Oath that has the same converted mana cost as its Planeswalker which is unfortunate.
Incendiary Flow: Card is whatever but its flavor text game is ON POINT!
Nahiri’s Wrath: Alright, someone needs a time out, this is just going way too far.
Permeating Mass: This is a public service announcement, BDM would appreciate if you can send him a picture of a game state where the mass has gotten way out of control. Thank you.
Grim Flayer: I had to mention the site’s preview card no?
If there’s anything hit me up in the comments or on Twitter @Nodnolb.
Thanks for reading.