Monday, March 15, 2010

The Monday Six, from a Minotaur Perspective

At one point, I was going to talk about Amulet of Kroog of all things. Well, the history is past and I am once again swept up in Rise of the Eldrazi madness.

1. Well, I've already talked about Pathrazer's previously spoiled big brother Kozilek here. Many of the observations hold true. The Pathrazer offers a similarly ugly and hard-to-pronounce name to a similar creature…a big giant "fattie" with the Annihilator keyword. 

While Kozilek costs only 10, Our Man in Ulamog costs a whopping 11 for a strictly smaller body and no card draw. And it's easy to see why! Pathrazer has evasion, and he can be reanimated. Rise from your Grave! The sheer trouble this guy causes can even warrant using Corpse Dance or Dawn of the Dead. One turn is all you need to really swing things in your favor. Kozilek, on the other hand, requires something like Defense of the Heart or Tooth and Nail. Plus he totally wrecks any other graveyard synergy. Kozilek is better for EDH, while Pathrazer is better for people's crazy constructed decks where they can focus a little more. Of course, in EDH you could always run both, just to be sure.

It's important to remember that both of these big dogs indeed still die to REMOVAL. Even just a Doom Blade. But that hasn't stopped me from drooling over the possibilities for more Eldrazi.

Worried about how to defend against these unstoppable juggernauts? Magic has had the answer since the very first set, the little gem that is Icy Manipulator. Of course, nowadays we also have Blinding Mage and Scepter of Dominance. But you have to play white for those, bleach!

2. Valakut Fireboar is a Wall of Stone that is also a Ball Lightning (without the trample). In exchange for this duality, you pay a LOT more mana. I do have an Elemental deck, but I don't know if the Fireboar is going in it. Incandescent Soulstoke can throw one at your face for only 2 mana, but there are a lot of other really good elementals I would probably throw first. If it was a FLYING boar, then we could talk.

3. Prey's Vengeance. While the element of surprise is lost the second time around, the "virtual card advatage" more than makes up for it. Almost a Giant Growth, Prey's Vengeance will probably raise your creature up to at least a 4/4…in my eyes the threshold at which your opponent should be having to make some difficult blocking choices, unless it's very late in the game.

Much like Sheldon Menery, I am very excited to see what other spells will cary the "Rebound" keyword ability.

4. Mnemonic Wall. Definitely a card for the Johnnies out there. Perhaps…Johnny Mnemonic? Too Soon? This is one of those card advantage engines that people immediately ooh and ahh over. It's a pretty cut and dry card, people will certainly play it. They used Anarchist…they will use this. A crappy, crappy wall with recursion to make people jump all over it. Yawn!

5. Mammoth Umbra. Totem Armor! Mammoth Umbra has me excited, not so much for the card itself but for the promise it brings. I have always loved Auras, and always hated them at the same time. My opponents wait for the opportunity to 2-for-1 me, then I feel sad. Hopefully this Totem Armor ability is wide spread, I would like to see one in Red or in Black.

As for the card itself, 5 mana is a lot to pay for a downgraded Serra's Embrace that saves the creature it enchants. Can wait to see more of Totem Armor! Still not quite as good as most Equipment.

6. Corpsehatch. Another 5 mana spell! Why use 5 mana, when you could use 8 mana for something like Death Mutation. 5 mana is just a lot to play. 

I do like that you get 2 extra mana at a later date. This could be viewed like a Sengir Autocrat with an Phyrexian Altar built right in. If your mana is developing at the normal pace, this means you'd have 8 mana available on the next turn.  Again, this makes me wonder how many spells will have a similar mechanic. Hopefully there will be a version at least in each color. 

In EDH, Corpsehatch could be the removal spell to help get my General out of hock for one more go. The card does have possibilities. And I'm definitely hoping to get one so I can play around with it.

So there you have it. 6 cards from the coming Rise of the Eldrazi Set. 

Tomorrow…the Amulet of Kroog. Dun Dun Duuunnnn!

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