Gatecrash Set Review (Orzhov)

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Welcome back for part seven of my Gatecrash Review for Orzhov.

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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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White

Basilica Guards

Constructed – 0

Unless you play in a Basilica, this card should be nowhere near the constructed tables.

Limited – 1

This is the white wall you need for that wall deck. Only problem is Dragon’s Maze isn’t out yet for RtR-GC-DM draft.

Blind Obedience

Constructed – 3

In line with cards like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Stony Silence, this is the two mana white hate card that will be a key player from the board against the aggro decks. Sorry Hellrider, you’ll have to wait a turn. Extort is just a nice bonus.

Limited – 2

Extort increases the mana cost of your spells by one to be effective and having your opponents creatures tapped can be pretty back breaking. This won’t form the basis of your deck but it will be a key support card.

Dutiful Thrull

Constructed – 0

For all the thrull enthusiast out there, they’re baaack! What no one is a fan?

Limited – 0

This card would be pretty decent in Fallen Empires Limited but we’ve come a long way from those dark times.

Knight of Obligation

Constructed – 0

Speaking of Vigilance this guy has it but don’t feel obliged to play him.

Limited – 2

A 2/4 for four passes the Giant Spider test and while Reach is probably more relevant than Vigilance it does have Extort as an add on.

Syndic of Tithes

Constructed – 0

A syndic is a representative or delegate of a government or university. The More You Know!

Limited – 2

It’s Grizzly Bear with an upside!

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Black

Basilica Screecher

Constructed – 0

Squadron Hawk this is not.

Limited – 1

We’ve been spoiled of late with a bunch of better flyers and while Extort may seem enticing, this guy should be quickly outclassed.

Crypt Ghast

Constructed – 2

I’m still not 100% sure on how to best take advantage of this but I’m pretty sure you don’t want to let anyone untap with this in play because at worst, they can just hard cast Griselbrand next turn.

Limited – 2

Tons of mana. At worst this is a very good mana ramp.

Syndicate Enforcer

Constructed – 0

If this is Orzhov’s enforcer I don’t have any idea why people would fear them.

Limited – 1

He provides a solid body that I would be okay playing.

Thrull Parasite

Constructed – 0

I’m a huge fan of bringing back themes from older sets with a few notable exceptions. Fallen Empires is one of those exceptions.

Limited – 1

I’m not sure what counters you really want to remove, also Hex Parasite was a bad card and this is the worse version of that.

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Gold

Alms Beast

Constructed – 1

It’s a 6/6 for four mana, there’s never been such a good deal since Abyssal Persecutor and the lifelink will probably be irrelevant. That being said it will probably see very little if any play as even Persecutor was only fringe playable.

Limited – 4

This will be bigger than anything your opponent is casting on the same turns.

Cartel Aristocrat

Constructed – 0

Sacrifice your own creatures for minimal cost is very bad value.

Limited – 2

This card is a bear while also being a sac outlet.

Deathpact Angel

Constructed – 1

Meet Bruna, Gisela and Sigarda’s sister. At least now the Avacyn Restored Angel cycle is complete.

Limited – 4

A 5/5 flyer for 6 makes this an easy 3 and the ability of the Cleric token is just extra added awesome.

Executioner’s Swing

Constructer – 0

Swing and a miss.

Limited – 2

Admittedly it would be nice without the drawback but decent removal is decent.

High Priest of Penance

Constructed – 2

This is board stale at its finest. Find a way to pump this guy’s toughness and shenanigans ensue. This is easily one of the top three underrated cards in the set as it swaps one of your permanents for an opponent’s permanent of your choice and requires caution on your opponent’s part instead of reckless abandon.

Limited – 2

The limited effectiveness of this is slightly decreased from Constructed as there are less prime targets but it will always get their best attacker.

Kingpin’s Pet

Constructed – 0

I never knew thrulls could fly and yet what scares me the most of this card is the set of brass knuckles this guy has.

Limited – 2

If I was kingpin, I would certainly want a better pet. See Polar Bear.

Merciless Eviction

Constructed – 2

The casting cost is one too many to put this over the top as a wrath thus losing out to Supreme Verdict and Terminus but what many people are failing to truly see is the versatility presented, as Artifact and Enchantment removal is alright, the ability to get rid of multiple Planeswalkers has never been seen before and a huge positive.

Limited – 2

It resets the board of creatures primarily. The other three modes are very situational and will probably only be used 1% of the time where as it will act as a wrath the other 99%.

Obzedat, Ghost Council

Constructed – 3

This is the finisher the control decks need.

Limited – 4

For a group of fat and lazy ghosts they have pretty insane abilities.

One Thousand Lashes

Constructed – 0

Anyone who plays this, deserves at least one thousand lashes. Also fun fact, Thousand is the first number with an a in it.

Limited – 2

Arrest with a half leech ability is certainly playable.

Orzhov Charm

Constructed – 2

The worst charm due to not having any flavour text. All kidding aside the charm is alright though I wish the reanimate would have been for a 2 mana cost.

Limited – 2

This rating is a little high but I always overate unconditional removal.

Purge the Profane

Constructed – 0

Purge this card from your deck.

Limited – 0

You shouldn’t play Mind Rot and you shouldn’t play this.

Treasury Thrull

Constructed – 2

I expect to see this guy a decent amount at the table. His ability is borderline insane especially in a deck that supports his colors and at worst you can just constantly loop a card like Glaring Spotlight

Limited – 3

If you can provide him with a little protection, your graveyard will empty itself out quickly enough and your board will be overly cluttered.

Vizkopa Confessor

Constructed – 0

I confess, I wouldn’t play this card.

Limited – 0

Don’t get me wrong the ability is pretty sweet but it cost five mana. No one played Monomania and regardless of how much you try and Extort me I would never play this.

Vizkopa Guildmage

Constructed – 1

This rating is solely based on the fact that if I gave it a 0 Travis Hall would murder me. I used to be the guy that played awful combo like this but Justin Richardson beat that nonsensical notion out of me.

Limited – 2

Late game, the second ability will start to shine through but early and mid game the first ability will be obnoxious against your opponent.

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Hybrid

Beckon Appartion

Constructed – 0

I beckon you away from playing this card

Limited – 0

An apparition told me there were no good apparition puns.

Gift of Orzhova

Constructed – 0

At one less mana I think this card would certainly see play along with Geist of Saint Traft but at three is too much.

Limited – 3

This card is downright awesome and will single handily win you games even turning around unfavourable board positions.

Immortal Servitude

Constructed – 2

Following in the footsteps of Debtors Knell, Orzhov gets another awesome hybrid card. I think the magic number on this card where it will truly shine is 1 in Modern but I’m excited to see what can be worked out in Standard.

Limited – 2

Most of the times it will be a one target Reanimate without the life loss which is playable to me.

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Artifact

Orzhov Keyrune

Constructed – 0

Outside of Dimir, the Gatecrash keyrunes leave a lot to be desired.

Limited – 1

It serves as mana fixing/ramp but I’m not sure you are excited about playing this.

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I’m going to be honest and admit, I really have a blank when it comes to Orzhov. Most of the guild mechanics can be looked at from afar but Extort requires a closer examination. In limited, it favors the long game and chipping away at your opponent’s life but between Gruul and Boros, I have very weary of getting to late game as the creatures are outclasses in size and power pretty quickly. There is most likely a power I am missing in the guild but personally I would stay away from having to play these colors.

As for constructed, no deck will be built around Extort but there will certainly be cards played that will occasionally profit from it. Blind Obedience[Card] is the most likely target of profit as it provides Esper decks with an awesome control mechanic and the ability to profit off of their spells later on. Looking at Modern the deck that profits the most from Orzhov is Martyr as Orzhov charm can give a [Card]Martyr of Sands or Serra Ascendant second life, while even more powerful will be Immortal Servitude which will be bringing back almost every creature in your deck. Overall I’m a little disappointed in the way Orzhov was taken. Extort does make sense flavorfully and the Hybrid Cards are awesome but it seems to be lacking a little kick.

Top 5 Constructed Cards

5. Crypt Ghast 4. High Priest of Penance 3. Obzedat, Ghost Council 2. Immortal Servitude 1. Blind Obedience

Top 5 Limited Commons/Uncommons

5. Executioner’s Swing 4. Vizkopa Guildmage 3. Kingpin’s Pet 2. Syndic of Tithes 1. Gift of Orzhova

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That wraps up part seven 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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