Onslaught Set Review, Feeding Frenzy – Z

Grinning Demon is not strictly superior to Juzam. If you morph him into play, he might attack one turn sooner – but you wasted your third and fourth turns waking him up, serving him coffee, trying to get him motivated. In that way, he reminds me of me.

Feeding Frenzy

Could be good removal for limited. As long as you have one Zombie in play, it’s a good card. The more, the merrier – and that’s something not often said about shambling, partially-dismembered corpses.

Festering Goblin

Leftovers from Dralnu’s Crusade.

We will never see Mogg Fanatic again. If this could sacrifice itself, it would certainly be very playable, but this version is weaker… But it’s still pretty good as 1/1s for B go. Just watch out it doesn’t get smoked at the wrong time and take one of your 2/1 or 3/1 creatures with it into the great beyond. I had that problem all the time with Shambling Swarm, a creature that couldn’t help but spread the love when it was time to hit the yard.

Frightshroud Courier

I love these Couriers – did you know that this Frightshroud guy used to work for Purolater? It’s true – he was the dude driving up the side of all those buildings. Not the safest job, but why fear the reaper when you’re already dead?

*knock knock*

“Purolater, ma’am!”


“I’m here with a delivery, ma’am. And please, try to ignore the stench of rot and general decay in the area! This is a good job – and if you complain, I might have to go back to my previous position as a cadaver in Hollywood movies. The pay was good, but Anna Nicole Smith kept hitting on me.”

Gangrenous Goliath

Great recursion for limited, and efficiently costed in any case. Useless in Constructed, making Gangrenous Goliath yet another “Rare For Limited”. They are just all over the place. Speaking of all over the place, why does everything in black have to be either”Festering” or”Gangrenous” or”Putrid”? This is the most disease-ridden group of black creatures yet.

When they go to Taco Bell, they just form a ring and dip nachos in each other?

Gluttonous Zombie

Gluttony is one of the”Seven Deadly Sins,” along with Pride, Envy, and leaving the toilet seat up. Nothing fancy to this fat-ass… Duskwalker was good, so Gluttonous Zombie will be good, too.

Gravespawn Sovereign

Rare for limited; if you get five Zombies on the table in Constructed, you’d best be swinging. Have fun with this guy, I’d rather roll him and smoke him than play him.

Grinning Demon

First and foremost, I’m glad to see the return of the creature type”Demon”. It is probably the coolest creature type out there. That being said, this is not strictly superior to Juzam. If you morph him into play, he might attack one turn sooner – but you wasted your third and fourth turns waking him up, serving him coffee, trying to get him motivated. In that way, he reminds me of me.

Juzam just comes out and he asks for one point of damage per turn, and that’s it. He doesn’t ask, “What’s my motivation?” His motivation is the desire to drag the righteous down into the sorrowful, venereal, disease-infested pits of Hades.

Haunted Cadaver

I just want to know one thing…will we see the return of Mindstab Necro!?

Blah. They’re draining the life out of me with these cards. I have no idea what to do with this card, even in limited. I’ll read a few articles, check out a few reports, and then maybe I’ll figure it out.

Head Games

Jester’s Mask returns?

Head Games/Blood Oath is a good combo…

Scared you, didn’t I?

I’m just kidding. It really isn’t. In fact, it’s terrible. It does remain to be seen, however, whether or not Wizards will ever print a 5CC disruption card that anyone gives a crap about. Probe was playable, Thunderscape Battlemage was playable, but I don’t remember Fugue and Extortion turning any heads.


Notable because it is the cheapest”Spectre” ever printed. In return for this distinction, it gives up any and all power, evasion, and toughness. Will speed be enough? Control decks have never been afraid to run walls, after all.


Great card – this is befitting a black Pyroclasm. Kills tons of creatures that are important. Also a first pick in Limited.

What else is there to say? Sometimes a set review isn’t rocket science. This card can give you two-for-one card advantage or more, without much trouble. It’s a great way to sweep out low-toughness utility creatures, and fits right into a Monoblack control deck.

Infest deserves at least another paragraph, but I don’t have any more to give… The last few cards just took too much out of me. Imagine a glowing review, with all the trimmings, and mentally paste it here. Be sure to give me credit.

Misery Charm

This will be an important card for Onslaught limited. The strongest of the charms, Misery Charm is direct damage, recursion, and creature removal. There are many black Clerics, meaning you can feel good about maindecking this and wrecking opposing Clerics when the opportunity presents itself.

I’m also betting we’ll see our share of people getting”burned out” by Misery Charms, especially with three Onslaught packs going around the table. They can sneak in that last two to four damage pretty easily.

Nantuko Husk

Blechh. Give me something interesting to work with. Phyrexian Ghoul reprint, will be good in the same situations as the Ghoul. Will suck in the same situations as the Ghoul. Might play tonsil-hockey with the Ghoul, for all I know. Those Nantuko are freaky.

Oversold Cemetery

“Excuse me, I’m John Smith.”

“John Smith 1882?”

“My mistake.”

I, for one, hate it when dead people start getting crowded.

One of the strongest cards in the set. Once you have four creatures in the graveyard, you can get one back every turn, for free. I’d go so far as to say that this card is better than Genesis, in that it’s faster, cheaper, and less mana-intensive. Sure, it can be countered… But if you get it out on turn 2, they’d best have a way to deal.

Some things to do with Oversold Cemetery:

As you can see, Oversold Cemetery is an engine card – the type of thing you might build a deck around. An uncounterable card draw and thaw every turn is something that control decks will love, if they can stand to play green and black to get it.

You can also use Oversold Cemetery in aggro, to create an infinite stream of aggressive creatures that continuously come back from the dead. Against Oversold Cemetery, things like Wrath of God and the like are only stopgap measures. Once you have four dead, every creature in your graveyard is like Squee, Goblin Nabob. That is just a beating.

Patriarch’s Bidding

A watered-down Living Death that hits fewer creatures and doesn’t wipe out those already in play, this could still be a backbreaker. If you Buried Alive on turn 2 and fire three burly, ex-convict creatures into play soon after, your opponent is about to learn why people at Riker’s shower in pairs.

I just don’t know. Might be good, might not. Seems powerful. Shrug along with me.

Profane Prayers

Profane Prayers, huh? I’ve gotten kneebound and said a few of these in my day.

“You didn’t get me that new PS2 I asked for last week, bee-yotch!”

I’m not allowed to visit the church anymore, but so far, I don’t have any real fear of hell. How bad could it be? Some molten iron, a few grinning imps, the occasional river of bile, maybe a Ben Bleiweiss article now and then.

Don’t worry, I’m not worried about reprisals from Ben. For one thing, there’d be no one to pay him.

Prowling Pangolin

The Carrion Wurm of the Onslaught Limited arena; not as good, but still very playable. Fat creatures like this, especially in the early turns, can dominate a game.

MtgOntario’s Mike Clark isn’t exactly the best set reviewer in the world, but he did make me chuckle with his review of Prowling Pangolin, which was:

“Is this what happens to a Pangosaur when it evolves? Because it’s just as sh—y.”

Rotlung Reanimator


Rotlung Reanimator is Penumbra Bobcat, but better! What a beating! Just get yourself a Starlit Sanctum and some Clerics and an Oversold Cemetery, and have yourself a grand ol’ time. Add moonshine and underage women and you’re barely playing Magic anymore at all.

THIS PARTY, much like my phone when I’m slap-boxing the one-eyed champ, is OFF THE HOOK!


Screeching Buzzard

Kingfisher, but in reverse. About as good, too – though Kingfisher is a bit better because this ability doesn’t do much when an opponent has no cards in hand.

Severed Legion

That flavor text reminds me of the Clockwork Orange: You have to watch out for those home invasions.

This card couldn’t be more boring, by the way. Someone shoot me.

Shade’s Breath

Somebody get these guys some Listerine!

Shepherd of Rot

Good finisher in limited. He also has some other projects on the side, like clogging the urinal at the Detroit prerelease.

Silent Specter

This will is the pre-release card – which leads me to believe that much like other pre-release cards, it won’t be any good. Glory is pretty much the only exception to this, as cards like Fungal Shambler, Monstrous Hound, and False Prophet didn’t exactly set the world afire.

Morphed on turn 5, this might see a bunch of play if the more narrow environments will it. Standard and Onslaught Block might be able to make use of a creature like this, though like Grinning Demon and Exalted Angel, he seems slow. Watch out for those bounce spells!


I wrote a whole article on this card.

Soulless One

Soulless One? When did Chedy win the Invitational? Why weren’t we notified?

Spined Basher

Nice flavor text. My last girlfriend asked me the same thing. Doesn’t do much though – after going through the trouble to morph it, I’d see my 3/1 and be inclined to wonder: “That was it?”

My ex-girlfriend asked me that one, too.

Strongarm Tactics

Strongarm Tactics? Sounds like what Donais used when people started to complain about the loss of the three-judge system.

Is it Flame Rift? Ostracize? Who knows?

Actually, who cares? Let me give you the long and the short of it. It may be good against creature-light control decks, if any exist. Testing will tell. This is another possible card for the tiresome B/G disruption/madness deck that might also feature Chain of Smog (also a question mark… I don’t think it is very good) and Undead Gladiator.


Great choice for a reprint, what with Morph and cycling making a return. Pick it high, and hope to open it. And don’t cycle it unless you really, really need land. Who cycles removal?

Syphon Mind

Nice multiplayer card – it won’t piss off too many people (and with madness and flashback, might even help a few) and you get to draw yourself a nice pile of cards. Timmy is happy.

Syphon Soul

Another nice reprint… But didn’t they just put it in 7th Edition? Why bother with it now? You know what they should do instead? Reprint Invoke Prejudice, that card with all the Klan members on it. That’ll stir up some controversy, get people talking about the game. We could have a one-on-one debate at Worlds between the Wizards CEO and the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Thrashing Mudspawn

More good flavor text, which pretty much sums up every job I’ve ever had – with the exception of my stint at Shopper’s Drug-Mart, where I worked for John Labute, my friend and teammate.

Oh, and this card is garbage.

Undead Gladiator

Here’s the thing… I said Genesis was going to be good, and it really hasn’t been played. It’s too slow – you need eight mana to return it and cast it, and three mana to get the recursion alone. It’s only used in a combo deck, which is pretty sad. This card is faster, at a cost of five mana to get it back into play.

Any card like this always bears a second look. Pyre Zombie saw a bunch of Block play – and while this isn’t as good, it will probably see Block play as well. In Standard, the power curve might already be too high.

One last note – you can, in fact, use this card to cycle any card in your hand. It’s very slow, but possible. Could be good with madness, though I’m not holding my breath.

Visara the Dreadful

My thoughts on Visara are best expressed in this article about the true home of the Legend.

Walking Desecration

A religion-related entity that makes you want to punch it in the face. Did Jerry Falwell design this card? Whether the answer is yes or no, if the card turns out to suck, he’ll probably blame the homosexuals.

Withering Hex

You’d have to be pretty hard-up for removal to run this thing. Best case scenario you trade one-for-one, and that might require you to cycle cards when you might not want to.

I’ll tell you what’s Withering… My desire to continue reviewing these cards. Right now it’s a toss-up between continuing the review, and removing my forehead with a rusty potato peeler.

Words of Waste

Almost all discard effects are made Sorcery-speed, but they didn’t do that in this case, allowing you to lock an opponent into having no cards in hand during his main phase, every turn, using nothing but Words of Waste and Merfolk Looter (or other card drawing mechanism – anything from Archivist to Jayemdae Tome). That means he or she will never again play any land, sorcery, enchantment, creature, or artifact. Only instants.

In the meantime, you get to use each card you draw on your turn. Try it and see – we could be on to something!

Wretched Anurid

Great creature, and the best black two-drop since Skittering Skirge. This guy is a beating, with a drawback that you’re unlikely to care much about until your opponent starts casting Grizzly Fate a bunch of times, at which point you’re going to lose anyhow.

Think about how efficient this is – Wretched Anurid is at least as good as Mogg Flunkies, maybe moreso. He just comes into play and starts swinging, and really… Who needs life anyhow? It’s overrated. Better to trade it for efficient creatures, more cards in hand, and maybe some damage. Only the last point counts.

Okay, I’m finished – and I applaud you for staying with me this long. I’m glad to have some people to keep me company through this whole set!

Now I’m off to listen to that new Nirvana song. The first time I heard it, it was like it was 1993 again and I was in the 8th grade. Nirvana was the first band I ever really liked, and they pretty much introduced me to music as a whole. I learned to play the guitar because of Kurt Cobain.

Until I heard”You Know You’re Right,” I didn’t know that just hearing one note, one stanza of a song could take you back into the past. I’d heard people talk about it, but I didn’t believe it. Well, now I do believe it. People will tell you that the song sounds unfinished, or that it isn’t as polished as anything on In Utero, but I won’t hear any of that.

For me, I turn it on and I’m in just starting high school again, back before the weight of the world crushed my spirits. It feels good.

Best wishes,

Geordie Tait

[email protected]