Gatecrash Set Review (Simic)

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Welcome back for part eight of my Gatecrash Review for Simic.

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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

Clinging Anemones

Constructed – 0

On the plus side, Jellyfish!

Limited – 1

Jellyfish! Otherwise it’s a decent addition for a deck in need of a little defence.

Cloudfin Raptor

Constructed – 0

It’s not Delver though it does provide a glimpse at Wizards’ wish list for Jurassic Park 4: Flying Velociraptors!

Limited – 2

Evolve may be slow as it requires other creatures but this guy will soon outclass anything your opponent is playing in the same slot.

Frilled Oculus

Constructed – 0

It has Basking Rootwalla’s bad ability.

Limited – 2

If you can activate its ability this card is a solid two however if you can’t I would probably avoid this card all together.

Simic Fluxmage

Constructed – 0

I was a huge fan of Giant Fan back in the day but those days are long gone.

Limited – 1

Evolve should be really good in Limited and the ability to move counters and grow other creatures can pose problems for your opponents.

Simic Manipulator

Constructed – 1

The fact that you can permanently steal creatures leads me to believe this will at least see fringe play.

Limited – 3

Mind Control effects are outstanding in Limited and this is a repeatable Mind Control making this a fantastic card. How quickly you can trigger Evolve will be the critical part of how good this acts.

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Green

Adaptive Snapjaw

Constructed – 0

While you may want to play this card, you should try adapting to a better strategy.

Limited – 3

Since Evolve works for Power and Toughness, this guy can grow pretty large and even without Evolving he is still a beating, though watch out as Gruul will be taking this as well.

Crocanura

Constructed – 5

This rating is based solely on the fact this creature is a Frog Crocodile which is awesome.

Limited – 2

Another creature makes this a Giant Spider for one less mana, which is always a good deal.

Experiment One

Constructed – 1

As we’ll see later it took a couple experiments for the Simic to get it right.

Limited – 2

This will easily be a Wild Nacatl at worst most games and it has the potential to grow even bigger, though time it will certainly take.

Gyre Sage

Construced – 2

This is the mana dork with a through the roof ability. Admittedly you need a little work for this guy but after that mana will be flowing.

Limited – 2

Additional creatures in Limited is never a problem and this card will be a major player to power out the fatties of this set much sooner than your opponent would like.

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Gold

Biovisionary

Constructed – 2

R&D has recently gotten much more creative with their alternate win conditions cards and this guy is a prime example. Numerous examples exist of how to win the game with this card whether it be Infinite Reflection or Rite of Replication and while I don’t expect to see a ton of this guy he will certainly be fringe playable in Standard and Modern.

Limited – 1

Outside of drafting exactly the right rares the alternate win condition will never come into play and he comes in just under the vanilla test.

Drakewing Krasis

Constructed – 0

Meh.

Limited – 2

There doesn’t appear to be many fliers in this set, so having the 3 power represents a lethal clock against many a deck.

Elusive Krasis

Constructed – 0

Hello Invisible Stalker, oh you’re still here, I didn’t see you for a second.

Limited – 3

At worst he is doorkeeper, at best he wins you the game. I’d say that’s a pretty good bargain.

Fathom Mage

Constructed – 1

It certainly seems constructed playable but it is too slow for the current environment.

Limited – 3

I think the fairest comparison to this card would be Garruk’s Pack Leader though with the upside of not needing beefy creatures to get it going, along with the potential to grow large and any Simic interactions.

Hydroform

Constructed – 0

Form of the … not playing this card.

Limited – 1

Yeah this is really really fun as a card.

Master Biomancer

Constructed – 2

We are part way to getting a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle as a creature type. Also I see this guy being played in Standard and Modern as he offers a lot of versatility.

Limited – 4

So all my creatures get two +1/+1 counters on them at least? Yes please!

Mystic Genesis

Constructed – 1

The time of Mystic Snake has passed unfortunately.

Limited – 1

Counters are decent in Limited though very situational and if you want to get better value from the creature token you’ll unfortunately be unable to wait for more desirable targets to counter.

Nimbus Swimmer

Constructed – 0

This is the Simic portion of the X cycle from Return to Ravnica. Just kidding. Don’t play this.

Limited – 2

Night Swimming is a decent song by R.E.M.

Prime Speaker Zegana

Constructed – 3

Prime Speaker Xel’naga is the nuts. Oops wrong game but all kidding aside this is like the creature version of Sphinx’s Revelation. It’s not exactly the same but this card is a house with even a minimal creature.

Limited – 3

Draw a bunch of cards and get a fatty is awesome in Limited.

Shambleshark

Constructed – 0

This card is like Snapcaster Mage. Okay so it’s not as good but there is certainly some end of turn trickery that makes this worthwhile.

Limited – 2

I really like Flash on this and it can provide shenanigans in colors that love shenanigans.

Simic Charm

Constructed – 1

I get that this card is Giant Growth, Unsummon and whatever card gives all your permanents Hexproof but I don’t ever play those effects in my deck normally so I don’t see this being played separately. Although it does have the potential to be nuts in Modern Poison.

Limited – 3

Unlike my constructed pessimism, these are effects I want in Limited.

Unexpected Results

Constructed – 2

To be honest, this is my favourite card in the set by a wide margin and the only one when spoiled that actually got me excited for Gatecrash. Yes the ability is a one time Temporal Aperture, though with a much better clause for land cards and a deck can be build around it to be hitting fatties or Planeswalkers making your opponents life miserable. The downside is this is the one card where I see Duskmantle Seer shining against.

Limited – 2

If I have it, I will always play this card but it is certainly a very mixed bag. I understand why people wouldn’t play and maybe my love of this card in constructed is blinding me but it thins your deck and pumps out cards at a faster rate than your opponent, uncertainty aside.

Urban Evolution

Constructed – 2

It’s like three Explores but you get to play two less lands. Kidding aside this is the second card from Gatecrash that inspires me. The effect is really good and in any deck with Omniscience is a must play.

Limited – 2

Draw three cards in Limited is pretty awesome and the extra land is gravy. I think this card certainly loses value when you are behind but on an even board state this should push you ahead.

Zameck Guildmage

Constructed – 0

While I get that this could replace Melira, Sylvok Outcast it should not.

Limited – 3

Yeah this card is pretty nutty. The additional counters for creatures is pretty decent but it even a moderate Simic deck the card advantage it generates is really good.

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Hybrid

Biomass Mutation

Constructed – 0

Again Simic gets another awesome card while the other guilds wallow in the dust.

Limited – 3

This ends ALL board stales. Getting giant creatures is amazing and no more needs to be said.

Bioshift

Constructed – 0

Cute but unplayable

Limited – 1

This card really should have cantripped.

Merfolk of the Depths

Constructed – 0

This card should stay deep down in the dark depths never to remerge.

Limited – 0

On the plus side the flash works with Evolve. On the other hand, everything else.

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Artifact

Simic Keyrune

Constructed – 1

With the amount of shenanigans in Simic and their relatively expensive casting cost, I can see this card showing up in Constructed as a necessary evil.

Limited – 2

Depends how bad you want crabs? Kidding aside it represents a decent body in colors that take a while to get going.

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According to the Planeswalker Points poll I am a Simic Mage which I was a little unsure of until I saw this set. Turns out the quiz was right. Most of the cards that got me excited about the set and brewing potentials are in Simic. I expect to see Unexpected Results and Urban Evolution to see a lot of play in Constructed as everybody loves shenanigans. On top of that, Simic’s new guild leader, Prime Speaker Zegana is the best of the guild leaders and has a mechanic that is not only unseen but downright insane with very little work. While Gruul may be known for the fatties, I expect to see a lot of Simic beats going on with Master Biomancer and Biovisionary is among the top 3 best win conditions of all time. FYI, The Cheese Stands Alone is number 1.

As for limited, Simic faces the biggest problem of being cherry picked by other guilds. Experiment One and Adaptive Snapjaw are prime examples of cards that Gruul can pick up and easily use and even Dimir will be looking to pick up a card like Cloudfin Raptor. This represents how powerful Evolve is as a mechanic. The biggest problem I see as the Simic mage is making sure your deck has enough cohesion in it with others taking cards you could use and while it may not be able to match the Boros’ speed it is only a notch behind and given a little time, it can outclass Gruul’s creatures as well.

Top 5 Constructed Cards

5. Gyre Sage 4. Urban Evolution 3. Unexpected Results 2. Master Biomancer 1. Prime Speaker Zegana

Top 5 Limited Commons/Uncommons

5. Zameck Guildmage 4. Adaptive Snapjaw 3. Cloudfin Raptor 2. Drakewing Krasis 1. Simic Charm

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That wraps up part eight 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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