Gatecrash Set Review (Dimir)

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Welcome back for part five of my Gatecrash Review for Dimir.

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Constructed Rating

5 – Not only does this card go in every deck that plays those colors but you should warp your deck so that this card is part of it.
4 – If you play these colors this card will appear in your maindeck.
3 – This card will appear in a large portion of the decks across formats that can support it or a guaranteed sideboard staple for years to come.
2 – This card will see moderate play in Standard or Modern or will be a decent sideboard card in all formats.
1 – A moderate sideboard card at best and may see some main deck play.
0 – This should never see any serious constructed play.

Limited Rating

5 – Pack 2, Pick 1. Yeah it’s that good you should warp your deck for after opening this.
4 – This will always see play in if your deck can support it or it will be hate drafted for sure.
3 – A limited deck staple that will push your deck over the top and win games.
2 – The bread and butter of most limited decks.
1 – Cards that will be added to your deck to fill those last slots.
0 – NEVER play this card.

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Blue

Hands of Binding

Constructed – 0

If you play enough Standard you will run into the Invisible Stalker/Hands deck, then again I expect a lot of Invisible Stalker/Cipher shenanigans. Unfortunately Cipher is trying to give shenanigans a bad name.

Limited – 2

Being able to continually tap down a threat is awesome.

Last Thoughts

Constructed – 0

What is the correct mana cost for Draw a card/Cipher? Personally I believe it to be 2, making it one more than Curiosity makes sense to me.

Limited – 1

I don’t see myself ever cutting this from a deck but I will not necessarily be please that I am playing it.

Stolen Identity

Constructed – 2

It’s a recastable clone effect which has always proven its worth. While the cost may be a little high it is there to compensate for the Cipher mechanic.

Limited – 4

This is a straight up bomb. Not only do you get to clone the biggest threat but you can subsequently grow your army with more of that threat or a better one that appears later.

Voidwalk

Constructed – 0

While blink effects have certainly proved their worth over the past two years, this one will not be making the cut.

Limited – 0

Barring really needing a blink effect this should not see play.

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Black

Horror of the Dim

Constructed – 0

The horror of someone playing this card is unimaginable.

Limited – 1

He’s a decent sized creature with an unimpressive ability.

Mental Vapors

Constructed – 0

This is WAY too expensive, just like the draw a card Cipher card.

Limited – 0

The mental anguish of playing this card may be too much for some people to bear.

Midnight Recovery

Constructed – 0

I get that they don’t want to make Cipher spells too good but making them a little good wouldn’t of hurt that bad would it?

Limited – 2

Returning a creature even every other turn is still really good.

Shadow Slice

Constructed – 0

Part of the art reminds me of Mindslicer.

Limited – 0

I would rather hide in the shadows then play this card.

Undercity Plague

Constructed – 0

This card would easily be a 2 if it had the one-sided Pox effect, especially if repeatable. As it stands though, 6 mana is WAY too much.

Limited – 1

Once again the cost is a factor but this is also limited where by the time you reach 6 mana there will be plenty of permanents to sacrifice again yielding minimum effect.

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Gold

Bane Alley Broker

Constructed – 0

It’s been a while since Wild Mongrel has been around, which is about the last time looters were played.

Limited – 2

A looter is always playable and this one has a second ability that allows you to get back the cards meaning there is no downside to looting.

Call of the Nightwing

Constructed – 0

While 1/1 flyers have certainly proved their worth over the years, the current format is very hostile towards them. See Illness in the Ranks

Limited – 2

This rating should probably be closer to a 1 than a 2 but the upside of Cipher means you could be generating a small army of flyers which at worst serve as cannon fodder.

Consuming Aberration

Constructed – 2

Maybe it’s just me but I get the feeling there is something I’m missing that makes everyone think this is a bad card. Sure mill isn’t sexy but being able to grow a creature certainly is, especially in these colors.

Limited – 4

Again it might seem high but hear me out. At worse when this come in it’s a small creature but the ability to make itself bigger is very good and this being limited, milling out your opponent seems really easy with this guy, while simultaneously crashing with a fatty. I realize trying to win on two fronts is generally bad but this card does both quick well.

Dimir Charm

Constructed – 2

I don’t think this charm is particularly good in Standard. That being said my opinion makes a complete 180 in Modern. The sorcery counter hits Scapeshift and the creature removal hits Dark Confidant, Deathrite Shaman & Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker to name a few. As for the last mode it’s not fantastic but being able to buy yourself a turn in a top deck war has it’s value.

Limited – 2

Many limited games are controlled by Grizzly Bears making the removal quite relevant and the other two modes are alright in a pinch.

Dinrova Horror

Constructed – 0

I love me some Recoil but not at this cost.

Limited – 2

I love me some Recoil. Oh Déjà Vu, the HORROR!

Duskmantle Guildmage

Constructed – 0

There are certainly some cool interactions to be had with this card but the number of pieces required to work makes it seem unfeasible.

Limited – 3

He presents a very slow mill option at worst and at best a 2/2 for 2 which passes the vanilla test. The first ability will certainly play a role in many a games as you are able to nickel and dime your opponent.

Duskmantle Seer

Constructed – 3

Unlike my Podcasting partner in crime, I’m not sold on this card. It certainly has the potential to be very punishing and I think there exists a deck that will be downright nutty with it, so this is an into the future 3.

Limited – 3

This is halfway between a 2 and a 3 so I rounded up. A 4/4 flyer is a huge beating in Limited and drawing an extra card can certainly workout, however the downside is that decks that are well built along a curve will punish you for also giving them an extra card.

Lazav, Dimir Mastermind

Constructed – 1

Unlike Szadek this guy is not a house. He does produce a unique clone effect but in an environment that already features eighteen clone effects, the only real positive he produces is being a creature on an empty board.

Limited – 2

Pass the vanilla test, check. Copy one of their best dudes when it dies, check. Requiring a creature to hit your opponent’s graveyard, certainly less good but at the very worst he is a Hexproof Hill Giant Mind Grind

Constructed – 1

Dimir certainly has some interesting mill interactions, though if your goal is to win by mill, Nephalia Drownyard and Increasing Confusion are your best bet.

Limited – 4

This is a notch under Increasing Confusion but with a little bit of simple mathematics it will be quite easy to figure out what X should be to win the game.

Mortus Strider

Constructed – 0

This guy has an effect that historically has been able to abuse but I don’t see a way of that happening now.

Limited – 2

Infinite turn blocker. YEAH!!!

Paranoid Delusions

Constructed – 0

Glimpse the Unthinkable was a very polarizing card from the original Ravnica and I guess this is R&D meeting us halfway.

Limited – 1

If you are on the mill plan, this is going to be one of the better bread and butter cards you want.

Psychic Strike

Constructed – 0

As long as Dissipate is in the format and you can play the Richard Kane Ferguson Mirage version, this will see no play.

Limited – 1

The mill is rather lacklustre but a three mana counter spell can always be reliable.

Soul Ransom

Constructed – 1

Mind Control is awesome. The ability for your opponent to get back their creature for a four card swing is interesting but may turn out to be detrimental for you.

Limited – 1

Same argument as constructed but Limited has a bunch of junk cards you don’t mind throwing away.

Whispering Madness

Constructed – 0

Somehow Noah Long made his way onto a card. What I really don’t understand is how Windfall Cipher is the same cost as draw a card and discard a card Cipher. That being said, I’ve never really been a huge fan of Windfall effects outside of combo and in colors where you are nickel and diming your opponent it just doesn’t seem to work for me.

Limited – 0

If you are playing mill, this helps you out mill them quicker though it’s not an ideal strategy.

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Hybrid

Coerced Confession

Constructed – 0

No need for coercion, I confess this is a bad card.

Limited – 1

If you are playing mill you kind of want this, if you are not, run away.

Deathcult Rogue

Constructed – 0

On the bright side Sarah Palin can block him.

Limited – 2

He’s pseudo unblockable so that seems alright.

Nightveil Specter

Constructed – 2

This always hits a card and even if you aren’t in the same colors as your opponent you can skill cast their stuff should you hit enough lands. Obviously this is working in Magical Christmas land a little but I view this as a threat your opponent has to answer.

Limited – 3

Same argument as above but he is much harder to answer in limited.

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Artifact

Dimir Keyrune

Constructed – 2

I don’t know who though it would be a good idea to reprint a pseudo Creeping Tar Pit but Dimir mages are rejoicing.

Limited – 2

Forget about the ability to ramp for a second, I plan on playing this for the creature part first and the mana part second.

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There were players desperate to get Dimir into standard to be able to play a “good” control deck and the way Wizards decided to take Dimir gives the impression that those people will be a little disappointed. While Esper may seem viable, Dimir on it’s own is lacking in the punch department. It does not have the mass sweeper than the U/B control deck traditionally possesses and the idea of mill, while working in the past, doesn’t get the stall cards most needed that it had in the past. On the plus side though, Dimir Keyrune will be one of the most played keyrunes from Ravnica if not the most played.

As for Limited, the mill plan seems to be the way to go as it is present across multiple cards, instead of just a few key cards, like in the past and the spells available are slower which fits the limited environment. I also believe Dimir profits from the fact that very few of it’s cards will be significantly cut as they don’t coalesce well with the other guilds.

Top 5 Constructed Cards

5. Stolen Identity 4. Consuming Aberration 3. Lazav, Dimir Mastermind 2. Dimir Charm 1. Duskmantle Seer

Top 5 Limited Commons/Uncommons

5. Call of the Nightwing 4. Deathcult Rogue 3. Dimir Keyrune 2. Hands of Binding 1. Duskmantle Guildmage

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That wraps up part five of my set review. Once again, thanks for reading. You should also check out the Horde of Notions Podcast, sponsored by Face to Face Games, on MTGCast.

William

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