Friday, April 29, 2011


An anynomous poster on MTGSalvation put these two cards up as M12 spoilers. While there are questions regarding the cards' legitimacy, eyes far better than mine seem to think they might be early playtest cards. Which would explain why they each look like 2 cards glued together.

I'm not interested so much in the Solider, even though I absolutely love tapping down other people's creatures.

I am instead interested in the Dragon because it shows off how Bloodthirst might come back in a core set.

Up until now, Bloodthirst has mostly been the domain of the Gruul clan in Ravnica.

But then we had a set come along, Future Sight, filthy with one-off mechanics and such. And of course Bloodthirst was one of these mechanics as seen in Bogardan Lancer.

I love the mechanic because it favors the bold. Crazy plays should be rewarded, and if you can smash your opponent with a Lighting Bolt and then put down a Scab Clan Mauler, more power to you.

Of course Red has it really easy with spells like Lightning Bolt. Green usually has to sneak some creatures in to get the Bloodthirst bonus (except for Hornet Sting!) while Red has all kinds of direct damage. The New Phyrexia set has even given us Gut Shot…1 damage for the cost of no mana and only 2 life.

If I had a Bloodthirst deck right now, you can bet Gut Shot would be going in it. Along with Death Spark, another cheap way to zap your opponent for little bits of damage (this time, over and over again!)

Looking at the picture again, I also find the angle it was taken very odd. This is the kind of viewing angle at which David Copperfield might make the Statue of Liberty or a couple of elephants disappear. So I personally remain skeptical. But wouldn't it be cool to have some more bloodthirst cards!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mean Green: The Beast Within

What happens when you cross Pongify with Vindicate?

Apparently mono-green universal permanent destruction:

People are already talking about this card because it represents the exotic animal known as creature destruction in green. The last time we had this kind of all-inclusive smashitude, it was with the awesomely potent Desert Twister. A card I have always tried to play in my green decks every since I opened my first and only one out of a pack of Revised. 6 mana was competitive for getting rid of just about anything back then and it still is now…provided you're playing EDH green.

Pongify has already shown to me how inconsequential a 3/3 Ape is in most circumstances, so the idea of a 3/3 Beast is small beans. Well-known territory, folks. A lot of times people forget about the token, knock it on the floor, or eat it. (Pro-tip: always give your opponent delicious chocolates to use as counters.)

The planeswalker hate is really solid in this set, and really good to see. Creating a brand new card type unfortunately created a bit of a vacuum…few cards affected "permanents" up to that point, instead choosing the much more restrictive "artifacts, creatures, or enchantments."

I can imagine the R&D crew sitting around their tiny, communal 3-legged work table hammering away at cards with those little golden hammers.

Designer 1: Lets make a sweeper!
Designer 2: that blows up all permanents!
Designer 3: WAIT WAIT WAIT
Designer 1: What?
Designer 3: We should make sure to restrict it to artifacts, creatures and enchantments.
Designer 2: Good call…that would really frustrate people if all their land was destroyed.
Designer 1: What if we said non-land permanents?
Designer 3: SHUT UP!

I'm sure standard players are already drooling at the idea of turning Jace, the Mind Sculptor into a 3/3 beast. But the beauty of Beast Within is its versatility. You can take care of any problem. No worries, no hassles.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Torpor Effect

On the latest MTGCast, Conley Woods isn't too interested in Torpor Orb.

As a dedicated casual player, mostly from the Commander/EDH perspective, Torpor Orb has been a long time coming.

The first time I saw an enter the battlefield trigger on a creature, it was this one:

At the time it was a novel idea, essentially giving you both a Terror and a creature for a single mana cost. More removal, more creatures…people immediately saw the upside. But from that point forward, extra spell-like abilities have grown on creatures until they've reached a point of saturation…when the specialness really isn't there anymore. And the worst are enter-the-battlefield effects like Nekrataal, where the creature is more of an after-thought anyway.

How many enter-the-battlefield trigger creatures are in New Phyrexia? 24. How many are in all of Magic? 1052.

In the Elder Dragon Highlander world, people love creatures with enter-the-battlefield effects. I'll name two cards: Eternal Witness and Karmic Guide. If either of these creatures dies, you really don't care. In fact, you might even be happy. Because what you wanted was the recursion engine. The phrase "rinse and repeat" typically gets bandied about in these situations.

Even cards like Farnhaven Elf and Wood Elves are really just rampant growth spells with creatures tacked on.

A player with Teneb on the board needs two things: an enter-the-battlefield trigger and a sac outlet. When these are found the madness begins.

Should we get angry at people who use these types of creatures? No. I use them plenty…why would I get mad about cards I use? Instead, we should have interesting weapons to make it so that using these cards are not ALWAYS the correct option.

Torpor Orb is easy to cast, goes in any deck, and is actually pretty easy to tutor for. I for one am excited to see how it changes the game.

It even stops Aura Shards.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tough to Keep a Minotaur Down

Every time I escape, it pulls me back in.

So the entire set of New Phyrexia was spoiled. All the information we were going to get anyway, only sooner. Others have already reviewed the set. Me…I'm going to spin around in my chair and gloat because I got the name right.

What's that you say? About 95% of the other people in the Magic community also got the name right? Way to spoil my glow.

So what cards am I excited about?

How about this saucy little number:


Whenever someone decides to go ahead and reprint a pet card, you can't help but jump around the room. The ones I'll be slinging will continue to look like this:

The reprint does show continued relevance to screwing up all your opponent's carefully laid plans. Evil Presence nullifies the best land on the board, preferably Volrath's Stronghold or some such nonsense. It also does amusing things to a Genju of the Fields. Finding itself attached to a Swamp, the naughty enchantment falls off into your surprised opponent's graveyard. What a rush!

In other black mana news, I'm somewhat excited by this:

The Exarchs are "charm" spells attached to legs, powerful 2/2's with relevant enter the battlefield triggers in abundance. This particular Exarch brings a creature back into your hand, ala Raise Dead. Or it discards a card of your choice from your opponent's hand, ala Duress. Both one mana spells, but the 4 mana is pretty worth it to be provided with the choice. Especially in Elder Dragon Highlander. And especially when my deck already has this:

Crazy, crazy art frame. But so much fun! Any time a fun ability is the right mana cost to fit into a narrow tutor, you have to take notice.

Do you enjoy pouring salt in someone's fresh wounds? New Phyrexia is for you!

I have to say, despite my nay-saying some time ago, the set is really started to get me interested. Many reprinted old cards, and many new awesome effects. We will have to see what I dig up tomorrow!