Adventures In Magic the Gathering: Eldritch Moon Spoilers Week 1

Time flies in the world of Magic the Gathering it seems. It feels as if it was just yesterday that I was doing the spoilers for Shadows Over Innistrad, and now here we are, the first of official spoilers for the sequel Eldritch Moon already over. Spoiler season is one of the most anticipated aspects of a new set release for the game, and as many a time before, this past week hasn’t been all that disappointing. Before we get into the nitty gritty of the spoilers however, here’s the trailer for the set.

Since the reveal about the big bad of the set, and indeed the entire block, being the Eldrazi Titan Emrakul, it has certainly been an interesting ride. The reveal isn’t particularly that big since the powers-that-be were pretty hamfisted with the signals and following on from the Battle For Zendikar block, it isn’t that exciting a reveal either. However, putting that aside, some of the flavour of the set that has come out has been incredible, with some cool new mechanics, and a lot of the rares and uncommons look like they have serious potential. Not to mention the mythics, so let’s dive straight into the meat of the spoilers!

First off is the big baddy herself, Emrakul.

EmrakulPersonally, I’m not a fan of this card. I’ve been the target of Mindslaver-locks in Modern plenty of times to really hate the middle effect on Emrakul, the Promised End. It is depressing and a huge put-down. The card itself is pretty great, and gets across the flavour of the character really well, though it doesn’t really compare to Emrakul’s previous iteration of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. This is really tough to get off the field, and answers are few and far in between at the moment, so we’ll see how things shake out. This is going to have a huge impact on the format, especially when someone can string together the dream of casting this for 9 mana or less.

UlrichThe werewolf Planeswalker Arlinn Kord was a pretty incredible reveal for the last set. In comparison, the hype for this card has been in the opposite direction. As a 4/4 werewolf for 5 mana, Ulrich of the Krallenhorde isn’t that bad. His enter the battlefield trigger is also pretty neat, and there are definitely some combos that can be set-up to make full use of it. But the fact that he completely lacks any kind of an evergreen ability, something like haste or trample or what have you, that’s really disappointing. He doesn’t add all that much to a werewolves deck, and so the RG slot for this set is completely wasted. His flip-side is also pretty uninteresting, especially given the “non-Werewolf” clause, which is a flavour fail given the name on the flip-side. Very underwhelming.

TamiyoFor me, this is one of the most exciting cards from the set. The last time we had a 3-color Planeswalker in a set was Sarkhan Dragonspeaker last year in Dragons of Tarkir and unfortunately, he proved to be a dud. While that also had to do with the fact that the Temur colour combo was just not in the same level of competition as the others, the card also wasn’t that great. However, Tamiyo, Field Researcher is completely different. Her +1 ability is completely bonkers if you have any board, and even if you don’t, you can target your opponent’s creatures with it, so you end up with value nonetheless. Add in creatures with double strike, and things get a whole lot better. The -2 ability is a way that the walker can protect herself, and it is nice to see something different in that slot than “destroy target so-and-so”. Tapping two nonland permanents is huge. And then the ultimate, that’s definitely a thing of beauty. Very powerful and cool to see, it also seems to fit Tamiyo’s own flavour really well. Can’t wait to see what shenanigans are pulled off with it!

DecimatoroftheProvincesThis card is doing a lot of different things. It is one of the byproducts of Nahiri calling down the hunger of Emrakul on the plane of Innistrad. The Eldrazi Titan’s influence on the plane has corrupted numerous indigenous lifeforms, turning them into something much more vicious than they were before. And the Decimator of the Provinces is one of the best examples of that, in a way. The card highlights one of the new mechanics of the set, Emerge, and it is definitely a very exciting mechanic at that. On the face of it, this seems like a card that only a ramp deck could use, but in any creature-heavy deck, this can have some big dividends. A late-game play, but one that can be gotten at a discount of 3-4 no problem at all. The “Overrun” effect on the card is just too beastly and it is on cast too, so you get the value regardless of whether or not this hits the battlefield.

 BrunaAs angelic rares go, Bruna, the Fading Light isn’t bad per se. Given the lack of any good early angel creatures in the format right now, this doesn’t do much with its on-cast trigger, but every now and then, I expect that it will be put to good use by bringing back an Archangel of Tithes or Linvala, the Preserver. Returning the creature to the battlefield is pretty huge, and I expect that that is where the true strength of the card is. I love the art for this, which shows how far Bruna, Light of Alabaster has fallen, and she is also an Angel Horror now, which is pretty damn cool. We know that Avacyn was already affected by Emrakul, and she went made, so it is fulfilling in a way to see how the Eldrazi Titan has affected Bruna as well. Competitively, given her high mana cost, I don’t see her being used as more than a 1-of in any deck. 2-of would be a real stretch. But then again, the sweet thing about her is what she transforms into.

GiselaAnd that’s where Gisela, the Broken Blade comes in. Like her other sister, Gisela too has fallen from where she once was, as Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. Emrakul’s influence is much more visible on the leader of the Goldnight flight than on Bruna, and it is sickening to see how much the angels have twisted into parodies of what they once were. Look past the flavour aspects however, and you see how much of a beast the new Gisela really is. She is pretty pushed for even a mythic rare, and has beast stats. Where the new Bruna might be limited to being a singleton in a deck, the new Gisela is going to make some big waves in aggro and midrange decks. She can take on Archangel Avacyn in a straight fight and come out the better and can really put you ahead on the board. As a curve-topper she is excellent, and that is probably why she is pre-ordering for a ridiculous $30 right now.BriselaOf course, the really big thing about both these Eldrazi-fied angels is what they “meld” into. If on end-step you control both these creatures, then you turn them sideways and meld them into a single titanic creature, Brisela, Voice of Nightmares, which is an absolute beast. Getting the “combo” off is going to be difficult in the format, but I’m sure that we’ll see Brisela wrecking a few players in the next 12 months. Her secondary rules text potentially hoses out a lot of decks, really limiting them in what they can play, especially the White Weenie decks and Collected Company decks. I wouldn’t mind doing it myself!

GisaGeralfThe twins are back, and as per this card, finally working together rather than at being completely at odds with each other! Of all the Innistrad characters I’ve read about, none delight more than Gisa and Geralf, for the precise reason that they are both batshit-crazy, completely off their rockers, and the writers do their dialogue really well. They are exactly the kind of comic-relief that a horror-inspired plane like Innistrad needs and deserves. Specifically Gisa and Geralf, they might just be the thing that zombie decks have been looking for since the release of Shadows Over Innistrad. The archetype favours a mill strategy combined with reanimation of sorts, and Gisa and Geralf certainly helps out with that. It turns your graveyard into your hand, and goes well with cards such as Diregraf Colossus and Prized Amalgam, not to mention the poster-zombie of the last set, Relentless Dead. Now we just need a proper lord and we’re set.

BloodhallPriestThis is one of the cards in the set that I’m really excited about. In the new format, vampires deck favor the BR colour with Madness as one of the key mechanics of the archetype. As such, the playstyle is all about dumping your hand at the earliest because of cards such as as Heir of Falkenrath and Olivia, Mobilized for War and Lightning Axe that reward you for doing so. As such, Bloodhall Priest adds a certain punch to the archetype, giving it the reach it desperately needs since there is a lack of good burn in the format right now. Having the trigger be on ETB and attack both is just gold.

GeierReachSanitariumThis looks very interesting, and as a Madness enabler, it might have some legs, but I am not entirely sold on it. We haven’t yet seen any crazy playable cards that have Madness on them, outside of Fiery Temper and some vampire cards with the same, so Geier Reach Sanitarium‘s future is up in the air, but this is something I want to keep an eye out on. Drownyard Temple proved to be crazy good early on, so I wouldn’t count this out as yet.

HanweirComboRed decks in the current format have been fairly outclassed. With the rotation of several key cards such as Monastery Swiftspear, Become Immense and others, red-based aggro decks have fallen behind the competition, and Abbot of the Keral Keep and its ilk have been relegated to obscurity. However, it looks like they might get put back on the map, thanks to these two cards. Hanweir Battlements is so-so early on, but if you have a low enough curve, then it starts to pay dividends pretty early enough. In the late-game ofc, it gets even better since it can be activated every turn. Hanweir Garrison is just wonderful on its own. Getting to untap with it is pretty huge, and it guarantees a lot of punch for every attack phase. You essentially get 4 power for three mana, and since the tokens stick around, if your opponent doesn’t have any sweepers, then you just overwhelm him or her with your army of tokens. I am excited to see how this two-card combo does in red aggro decks, but more than that, I’m also excited to see how it changes the nature of the Wr Humans decks, and whether it can make Jund CoCo decks competitive for the format.

HanweirWrithing

As with the angelic duo earlier however, the real payoff of running both these cards together is when you get to Meld them on turn 5, turning them into Hanweir, Writhing Township, which is a pretty beast of a card itself and improves upon Hanweir Garrison immensely, churning out massive 3/2 creature tokens that all attack together, doing potentially 13 damage a turn instead of a measly 4. This card is going to be a tournament staple, I’m sure of it.

CoaxThis card was revealed right alongside the Titan herself and is basically a tutor for Eldrazi. This is… fine, I suppose. Not sure how this can be evaluated. If you’ve had any Eldrazi creatures exiled, you can get those back to your hand. Or you can pick one out of your sideboard as well. Intriguing card, but seems problematic too.

MurderHero’s Downfall is back, again! When the Theros block rotated last year with the release of Battle For Zendikar, it was a sad moment, as the replacement for it was a sorcery that had upside in some corner cases. Essentially what that meant for the format over the next 6 months was that we lacked any real, solid instant-speed answers to creatures and planeswalkers that didn’t have a downside of one sort or another. Murder doesn’t actually replace Hero’s Downfall by any means, but it is still a far better answer than we have. This will give some boost to Grixis and WB control decks, which often have to rely on Ruinous Path or Anguished Unmaking. Not the reprint we deserve, but the one we absolutely need right now. Ultimate Price is good in many cases, but it is not the catch-all response that is sorely needed right now. I’m happy to see this.

EscalateTrioEscalate is one of the new mechanics from the set, and it looks pretty sweet actually. For those familiar with it, it is similar to the Strive mechanic from the Theros block, but with the modal layout of the card text, it feels different enough, and it allows you do to multiple different things for more mana rather than repeating the same effect for more mana. The first two here are clearly combat tricks, and I believe that Borrowed Malevolence will see more play than the other two, given that we are in a very creature-heavy meta right now that can easily dissolve into stalled board-states and this card helps trump creature combat. However, Blessed Alliance feels like a nice enough sideboard card that control decks wouldn’t mind running every now and then. Collective Brutality however is the most interesting of the bunch. For 2 mana and 2 cards, you get to do all three modes on the card, which sounds like a really cheap investment for the result, but there aren’t that many cards you’d actively want to discard for this, barring like Fiery Temper or Drownyard Temple or something. No other cards with Madness or good with discard spells have seen any real play. So that one is up in the air, but again, has potential. And additionally, let’s not ignore the interaction that these spells with the Goblin Dark-Dwellers from Oath of the Gatewatch. Since these are additional costs rather than alternative cost, you can target a card with Escalate in your graveyard, cast it for free, and then pay the additional costs to choose extra modes.

LoneRider3Another really cool card from the set that I am looking forward to spellslinging in two weeks. The front-side has a lot of relevant abilities, even though the body is very small, and it is a fine uncommon on its own. However, slot it into the Wx Human decks, and this thing can turn into a brawler really quick with cards such as Gryff’s Boon, Thalia’s Lieutenant and Always Watching everywhere. And once you flip the Lone Rider into an It That Rides As One, then you’ve got a solid creature on your side. It won’t get any benefits from cards such as Thalia’s Lieutenant once it flips, but that isn’t a big deal. This will likely be the biggest creature from the deck on the board, and it has solid evasion while also being able to punch through when needed.

DelverFinalDelver of Secrets/Insectile Aberration out of Innistrad turned out to be one of the most busted commons ever printed. That card spawned powerful decks in Standard, Modern and Legacy, being able to compete at the highest levels of play. In Shadows Over Innistrad we saw a more… refined version of it that continued the story of that mad scientist, in the form of Aberrant Researcher/Perfected Form. And now we have the Docent of Perfection/Final Iteration duo, which closes out that chapter. The mad scientist has succeeded, and now he creates others like him. Docent is absolutely a limited bomb, and it could even see some play in control decks as a finisher/win-condition. It has a lot of upside to it, not the least of which is that it is a 5/4 flier for 5-mana, which are stats that control players are already familiar with thanks to Dragonlord Ojutai. I feel that the cards have a similar power-level, and I fully expect to see people working to break this card down.

HomunculusAnother very meh card. If it added a blue mana, instead of colorless mana, then it might have been good, but as it is, it is just mediocre on the front-side. The flip-side however is beastly, and makes for a good finisher for a blue deck, whether for limited or constructed. And it has a different sort of transform trigger than these cards usually get, only slightly more difficult than the Spell Mastery mechanic from Magic Origins, so that’s something as well.

GrizzlerFishyGiven that UR Eldrazi is a legit archetype in Standard, this card can be really good for the deck. The card doesn’t require much investment when you have colorless creatures such as Eldrazi Mimic, Matter Reshaper, Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher everywhere, and all of that just turns into a big upside. And the flip-side, while not very potent in and of itself, is pretty decent. 3-mana for a 4/5 creature doesn’t seem like a bad deal at all.

VoldarenVampyI like this card. A 3/3 flier for 5 mana is decent, but since it can be trotted out for just 3 mana with the Madness cost, that makes it a decent playable. And the flipside is pretty amazing too. It helps break board-stalls and rewards you for a giant flying beater. But the transform cost is kind of horrendous. The BRx vampire deck doesn’t churn out tokens and is focused on mid-sized creatures attacking en-masse with a few heavy-hitters here and there. Unless you get a huge advantage with the transform cost, it just isn’t worth it really, even if you get it on the field for the Madness cost. It is a decent limited bomb though, so I suppose that is something. And the art is just totally mind-screwy. Very creepy.

SmolderingWolfyThis is limited fodder and I do not see how this can see any constructed play at all. It has some nice abilities on it, and the flip-side is especially good, but it is just limited fodder. The important thing to note here is that these Eldrazified werewolves don’t flip back, which makes them a better investment than the Shadows werewolves in some ways, who can flip back-and-forth.

VildinWolfy

This one isn’t bad at all. Being a common, it is all about filling out the final slots in your RG wolves limited deck, but it does some power in those slots. It is a good-sized beater that has trample, can buff itself, and then transform at instant speed in the late-game and get better buffs. What’s not to like?

KessigWolfyIt has been ages since green got a 1-drop 2/1 creature. Like, a seriously long time. Other colours have gotten plenty over the last few years, but not green. Kessig Prowler wants to change that dramatically. For one, it is a werewolf and that in itself gives it space in a RG wolves deck for Standard. And second, it has some big upside in the late-game where it can be a power-house and has some evasion as well. I’ll definitely run it myself, and it is also a big bomb for limited, enabling some aggressive Gx strategies. Solid card all around. The art is pretty meh, but the rest of it makes up for that.

ThaliaIn return blocks as such as Battle For Zendikar and Shadows Over Innistrad and others of their ilk, fans almost always want to see their favourite characters return as well. For this current block, everyone wanted a new Thalia since Thalia, Guardian of Thraben proved to be one of the best legendaries in the game, so much so that it even sees play in Legacy as part of the Death & Taxes deck. Given the story articles we saw from Shadows Over Innistrad, everyone expected a UW-colored Thalia from this set, but that proved to be wrong. I couldn’t be happier to be wrong though. Thalia, Heretic Cather is as good as Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, even more so in some ways. Where previously the character dominated against non-creature decks, this time she dominates against creature decks and can really mana-screw opponents, especially in the older formats which see a ton of nonbasic land play. A 3/2 first strike for 3 mana is pretty good, and this one has the benefit of slotting in neatly into the various Humans decks, giving them a different angle of attack and making combat kind of a nightmare. Very, very happy to see this.

LongRoadHomeThis is basically a cheaper Eerie Interlude that we saw in Shadows Over Innistrad. However, where that is a mass-safety spell, Long Road Home protects only a single creature, and then it buffs that creature as well. That has relevance, once again, for the Wx Humans decks who are in the market for cheap spells like this that can give them more value of creatures like Thalia’s Lieutenant. In the new format, this card can also abuse Hanweir Garrison to a degree, making it bigger. There’s lots of ways you can use this. Fun card for sure.

SanctifierofSoulsAt first glance, this seems like a very middling rare, better as a limited bomb rather than something that can see constructed play. However, and this might be very janky indeed, I can see this being used in the Humans deck, in perhaps a midrange shell or something similar. It triggers off any creature entering, so it doesn’t have the same restrictions as something like Bygone Bishop, which only works off non-token creatures. And it has some relevance in the late-game since it gives you flying weenie tokens that end up temporarily buffing the Sanctifier itself, which is neat. If Mastery of the Unseen can see play, I don’t see why this can’t.

ThaliaLancersA tutor for legendary cards, and not restricted to just creatures! Well that has some big possibilities. This can fetch anything from the Oath enchantments from Oath of the Gatewatch, any legendary creatures, or legendary lands like Mirrorpool and the like. Interesting applications, potentially to be busted, and pushing more and more towards some sort of a Wx Humans midrange deck coming out of Eldritch Moon.

ChillingGraspMore limited fodder. Unless absolutely necessary, you never want to Madness this out. It is fine as a tempo spell, but does little to advantage you on the board in competitive play since there are far better options for decks that would be looking to run Chilling Grasp.

IngeniousSkaabThis looks very pushed for a common. Both of its abilities are really good, and guarantee that it will trade at parity or above most of the time. Any single Prowess trigger means it can easily trade up with 4-drops and 5-drops. A single pump means it can trade with a Sylvan Advocate, negating the advantage of the 3 toughness on the 2-drop format staple. Quiet possibly one of the best commons in the set, something that would definitely make the cut for limited decks.

TakeInventorySpending two mana to draw a card is fine I suppose. Spending two mana to draw 2 cards is fairly good. Spending two mana to draw 3, or even 4, cards is just mind-boggling. Each copy you cast gets better as the game goes on, and that makes this card really good. Not as efficient as other card draw spells we’ve had recently, especially when compared to powerhouses like Dig Through Time or Treasure Cruise. Even Anticipate offers some card selection. But I’ll be happy to take this nonetheless.

UnsubThis seems like it could be really good, like really good. But it has extremely narrow applications actually. It can bounce an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn while it is on the stack. It can bounce an Abrupt Decay while it is on the stack. And so on. In limited this isn’t bad, but for constructed, far more versatile options exist.

WharfInfiltratorPersonally I like this card. It is an early creature that has some nice evasion and gets a further bonus off that evasion. And then, that bonus can turn into something even better with very little investment. And it is a human, something that could go in a WU Humans deck. Pumped up with Always Watching and Thalia’s Lieutenant this can provide some serious card advantage and board presence.

cemeteryrecruitmentMore reanimation for zombies, this is turning out be quite a serious thing, isn’t it. Just the simple reanimation would have been fine, but this one gives you a bonus if the reanimated creature is a bonus, putting you at parity for card advantage. Decent mid-draft pick for a UB zombie deck.

DistendedMindbenderWant to mind-screw your opponent, then play Distended Mindbender and enjoy your rotten life. As an 8-mana 5/5, this isn’t impressive, even with the on-cast ability. Start to consider paying the Emerge cost however, and you start to find a way to essentially cheat this into play. Imagine a curve of Eldrazi Mimic turn 2, Matter Reshaper turn 3, Distended Mindbender turn 4. Absolutely brutal. And then follow up with Thought-Knot Seer just for the kicks. I wouldn’t mind running this as a 1-of or possibly even a 2-of in my WB Control deck. It can shred an opponent’s hand, and with all the other discard effects such as Transgress The Mind and Thought-Knot Seer, not to mention boarding into some Duress, you can pretty much ensure victory. And it is pretty good against opposing Reality Smashers even since it can come out a full turn early and doesn’t give the opponent any profitable attacks. Beast.

EternalScourgeSomething tells me that this card is going to be a format staple in the next three months. Collected Company decks are going to love this 3/3 for three mana that can be cast extremely easily and has an amazing evasion ability. Plus it can be rebought at any time. Being an Eldrazi Horror is correct for this one since it is pretty much going to give nightmares to control decks. And even for decks running planeswalkers such as Sorin, Grim Nemesis or Ob Nixilis Reignited, this card is going to be tough to answer. The best way to get rid of the Eternal Scourge is to destroy it with wrath effects such as Languish, Planar Outburst or Radiant Flames, or just straight up take it out in combat.

NoosegrafMobThis looks like it can be good, but it actually isn’t. You do end up getting some value out of it but I don’t think that it is worth the investment, to be honest. A bit too flashy, in my opinion.

stromkirkcondemnedOne of the main elements that tribal decks lack in the current format are lords, i.e., creatures that pump up the power and/or toughness and/or provide some kind of ability such as Islandwalk, deathtouch, lifelink or what have you. Stromkirk Condemned, in that way then, is a pseudo-lord, as the buff effect is only temporary and requires constant management. It provides a decent Madness outlet for cards in the BR vampires archetype that need it, such as Asylum Visitor or Bloodhall Priest or Fiery Temper, but it does little beyond that. It is just a 2/2 for 2-mana, which makes it rather mediocre. I wouldn’t have minded having this at 3-mana, but then having the buff be a permanent, as it was with Chief of the Edge and Chief of the Scale during Khans of Tarkir standard.

TreeofPerditionAll I can say is, ugh. This card is meant to combo with Triskaidekaphobia, to enable to win-con for that enchantment-based combo deck, but it is so meh. The mono-black mythics in Shadows Over Innistrad block have been very mediocre, with first Behold the Beyond and now this.

WhispersofEmrakulThis is another very exciting card for control decks in the current format. Spending two mana to have the opponent discard a random card from their hand isn’t the best of things, and so the real value of this comes from having Delirium active, which is when you force your opponent to discard two cards instead, and that makes up for the random nature. This is being compared to the Legacy staple Hymn To Tourach, and with good reason. I played with that card during the Eternal Masters Release-day drafts and it is a powerhouse of a card. High hopes for this one!

GalvanicBombardmentThis card is Fiery Impulse (from Magic Origins) on steroids. The first one is at parity. The second one is a Fiery Impulse with Spell Mastery active. Third and fourth just basically go to town on taking down big creatures for very little cost. I believe that Fiery Impulse is slightly worse than Galvanic Bombardment, especially in the late game, but given the nature of the effects, I think that the older card is likely to see more play until the rotation this fall with Kaladesh, which is when Galvanic Bombardment should take centerstage, a reprint for Lightning Strike or something similar notwithstanding.

StromkirkOccultistStromkirk Occultist  2R

Creature – Vampire Horror

Trample
When Stormkirk Mystic deals combat damage to a player, exile the top card of your library. Until end of turn, you may cast that card.
Madness 1R

3/2

As I said earlier, the vampires archetype lacks good two drops and three drops outside of a couple niche cards in each slot such as Heir of Falkenrath and Olivia’s Bloodsworn as two-drops and Olivia, Mobilized for War and Drana, Liberator of Malakir for three-drops. Stromkirk Occultist adds a different dimension, and the fact that it has trample bodes well since it can push through damage and works well with pump effects such as those provided by Olivia and Drana. The second ability is just totally gravy, and it too (alongwith Hanweir Garrison and Hanweir Battlements) should help put red aggro decks back on the map.

EldritchEvolutionIt isn’t often that a preview card gets broken for constructed formats outside of Standard before people even have a chance to play with it. Eldritch Evolution definitely falls in that category. On the face of it, it seems like a pretty decent creature tutor that puts the card directly on the battlefield, thus abusing any ETB effects that card might have. But when you combine it with cards such as Allosaurus Rider and Iona, Shield of Emeria, you can do absolutely bonkers thing. In Standard, imagine playing Eldrazi Mimic on turn 2, then on turn 3 you sacrifice the Mimic to this spell, and then search-up+put down a Thought-Knot Seer. That’s broken, right out of the gate. And this is just one simple example. Substitute the Mimic for a Matter Reshaper to search up a Reality Smasher. There are tons of possibilities and I expect that as with many a green tutor before it, Eldritch Evolution is going to be busted. Lots of pro players are already talking about how utterly broken this is and should not have been printed. Time will tell!

emrakulsevangelThis seems like a very corner-case card. Yeah, you look at it and instantly think tokens deck, but the fact is that it doesn’t actually seem all that good. It is nowhere near as big a threat as others in the GW Tokens deck, for example. But I can also see situations where it could be really good. It is basically an instant-speed wrath-protection that can turn weenie tokens into big, beefy creatures. That’s pretty significant. Cautiously optimistic for this.

GnarlwoodDryadWith Gnarlwood Dryad, aggressive green decks gain another 1-drop and this one is good early, and good late. A 1-mana 3/3 with deathtouch is a beast of a creature since it can trade with anything on the field, and will usually be trading above parity anyway, which makes it pretty valuable. I can see a very aggressive RG deck coming out of Eldritch Moon, one with plenty of cheap, efficient creatures that can all attack for a bunch of damage with support spells such as Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and Atarka’s Command and others.

SoulSeparatorCards with oodles of text used to be a thing of the past, the very early days of the game. Over the years, the design and development teams have done much to simplify the text, and cards such as Soul Separator are very few and far in between. But they do come around on occasion, and prove to be a headache to analyze properly. This is hardly a card I’d first-pick in booster draft. I wouldn’t even really consider it a part of my sealed deck, even. But it does offer some possibilities. From a flavor point of view, this card is a home-run. As a workable competitive card though, I don’t think this can make it. I just don’t see the applications, but am willing to be convinced on that point.

LupinePrototypeThis is just ridiculous. Warhammer fans will instantly recognize this as a wulfen of the Space Wolves. Essentially this is a a wolf in a mecha-suit. Absolutely ridiculous as a card, but kind of a flavor win too, I guess, since we are talking about Sticher Geralf here and he isn’t exactly a poster-child for sanity. Nor is Ludevic for that matter, since Geralf is such a fanboy of his. This can be good in certain situations, especially in the late game when you are in topdeck mode. Should make for some fun, hilarious games.

StitchersGraftNow this is an artifact that I can get behind. It is cheap, and adds a lot of power to the board. The downside is a bit troublesome, but then again, you can just slap it on a creature with vigilance such as, oh I don’t know, Sylvan Advocate, which is pretty much a format staple by this point. Such creatures are the natural friends for Stitcher’s Graft, and should be fun to see whether or not this has what it takes to be competitive.

*****

That’s all I got for now. I didn’t cover all the cards that have been spoiled so far, but I did aim to cover most of them. Serious playables seem to be in short supply so far, but I’m not losing hope. The flavor is all over the set, and I love that. Plus it is a second set so I don’t have too many hopes for this, outside of hoping for some tribal goodness so that werewolves and vampires can be competitive in the format.

See you again in a few days when I do by preview-wrap for the second week of cards.

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Posted on July 4, 2016, in Gaming, Gaming News, Magic the Gathering, News, TCG News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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