So Many Insane Plays – M11 Is Amazing in Vintage: A Core Set Review

Grand Prix GP Columbus July 30-August 1, 2010
Monday, July 12th – While M10 sold in record Core Set numbers, it added very little to Vintage. M11, however, is a different story. Today, Stephen Menendian scours the set for the cards that’ll have an impact on Magic’s most powerful format. He also brings us his latest Complete Vintage Checklist![Editor’s Note: Patrick Chapin will be here later in the week!]

M11 has arrived, and it’s going to have a big impact on Vintage. You will see exclusive M11 cards in the Vintage Championship Top 8 next month at Gencon. Before we delve into the new core set, let’s briefly recap the impact of Rise of Eldrazi.

In my Rise of Eldrazi Vintage set review, I suggested you acquire:

1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Oust
4 See Beyond
4 Ancient Stirrings
2 Surrakar Spellblade

As predicted, See Beyond has seen play, and has appeared in multiple Vintage Top 8s. However, I predicted that it would see more than a marginal amount of play, and, so far, it’s only seen a marginal amount of play. It’s only shown up in Oath lists, and generally as a singleton or two-of.

Emrakul, perhaps surprisingly, has seen just about as much play as See Beyond.

Surrakar Spellblade hasn’t appeared in any Vintage Top 8s. Ancient Stirrings has almost seen no play either. And Oust has seen no play. Whoops.

Rise of Eldrazi has proven to be the weakest set for Vintage in almost two years (since Eventide), not counting M10, which added virtually nothing to Vintage. That’s because every other set in the last few years has seen quite a bit of play in Vintage, with Zendikar and Worldwake being standouts. M11 is in line with the general trend of printing good Vintage playables that will shake things up.

Let’s begin with a card that, according to Tom LaPille, was considered for restriction before it was even released!


Tom LaPille said:

In June of 2008, Ponder and Brainstorm were added to the Vintage restricted list. The short version of the reasoning is that the differences between the various Blue Vintage decks had become very tiny; once they put four Force of Wills, four Ponders, four Brainstorms, all the best restricted cards, and some mana in their decks, there just wasn’t a lot of room for anything else. I laid this out in more detail in this article). By that same logic, Preordain should be restricted as well, but we didn’t do that. What gives?

When we announced that Ponder and Brainstorm were to be restricted, there was a significant outcry from Vintage players who didn’t agree with the reasoning behind the change. We had seen enough data at that point to be confident in making the decision, but it’s been a while since four of a strong one-mana cantrip has been legal, so things might be different now. Rather than shoot first and ask questions later, we’re going to see what Preordain does in Vintage before we do anything. I won’t promise that nothing will ever happen to it, but for now we’ll all get to find out together what Preordain does in Vintage.

What’s notable (and explicit) in this analysis is this:

• The DCI considers Preordain to be similar to both Brainstorm and Ponder
• This is a strong one-mana Blue cantrip
• They expect that there is a good chance that most, if not many, Blue decks will run four Preordain

If that happens, Preordain may be restricted

What do these cards have in common?

Ancestral Recall
Mystical Tutor
Mystic Remora
Spell Pierce
Chain of Vapor

These are the top 7 one-mana Blue spells in the format. The top four are restricted. Each of these cards sees a good deal of play. There are a few other one-mana Blue spells that see play from time to time:

Careful Study
Breakthrough (functionally one mana)
Blue Elemental Blast/Hydroblast
Sleight of Hand
Serum Visions
Spell Snare

These are the rest of the one-mana spells that can see play in Vintage.

When you think about almost 18 years of printings, and that there are only about 20 one-mana Blue spells that see play in Vintage, a new arrival to this list, let alone one that will break the top tier, is a major development. But just how good is Preordain? What decks will play it? What decks should play it?

The cards that are specifically similar to Preordain are: Brainstorm, Ponder, Opt, Sleight of Hand, and Serum Visions.

Each of these cards is a Blue cantrip. And each of these cards sees at least two cards for one mana. Only Brainstorm, Ponder, and now Preordain, either see or have the potential to see at least three cards for one mana. That makes them almost automatically superior to Sleight of Hand, Opt, and Serum Visions.

As between Ponder and Brainstorm, neither is strictly superior. Both see three cards immediately for one mana. Ponder is sometimes superior because it allows you to shuffle your library and see a fourth card. However, Brainstorm has the advantage of being an instant, and alone has the unique ability of being able to return cards from your hand into your library. This is particularly important with decks like Oath, that naturally draw cards your want to put into your library, and in a format with Tinker, where you want to put Tinker targets back into your library. While Ponder may actually see more cards, if you choose to shuffle, Brainstorm remains the most synergistic and useful in the format, and therefore the most played of the four.

Serum Visions sees no play in Vintage, and is generally regarded as inferior to Sleight of Hand, although there remains some disagreement about that. Although Opt is an instant, I prefer Sleight of Hand because I have more information. Preordain is strictly superior to Sleight of Hand. Both cards allow you to see two cards immediately, but only Preordain can see a third card. Preordain, it would seem, falls somewhere between Ponder and Sleight of Hand.

The first question, then, is: What decks currently play Ponder in Vintage? These are the likely candidates for Preordain. After a review of the Vintage database, here are the decks that run Ponder:

Tezzeret Control (most)
Oath (most)
TPS (all)
Ad Nauseam Tendrils (all)

Those are the four major archetypes that run Ponder.

Drain Tendrils (almost all)
Bob Tendrils (all)
Steel City Vault (all)
The Deck (almost all)
Grow (all)

What’s notable is that Fish decks rarely seem to run Ponder, even though they sometimes run Brainstorm. Thus, the difference between Ponder and Brainstorm is that Brainstorm is included in almost every deck that runs Blue, and Ponder is only sometimes included. What’s also notable is that the faster the blue deck, the more likely it is run to Ponder. Thus, Ponder appears in every single Tendrils list, but only a majority of the Mana Drain/Spell Pierce lists.

What that means is that the most likely place that Preordain to appear is in a Tendrils deck. I think one of the decks that could get the biggest boost with Preordain is Ad Nauseam Tendrils.

ANT can really use the additional Blue cantripping, especially to support and abuse Chrome Mox. Turn 1 Chrome Mox, Preordain, land, Duress, setting up a turn 2 kill is an excellent sequence. Also Preordain is great since ANT is relentlessly digging for key combo parts, mana or disruption, which it will find.

But TPS could also use Preordain, although I’m not sure we want the full complement. Preordain is also weaker in this era of Lodestone Golem, where TPS struggles, but Preordain is a boost in almost every other matchup.

Preordain is probably superior to Fact or Fiction, which means that Fact can finally be released. If the metagame shifts away from MUD and Lodestone Golem, then we’ll almost certainly want a full complement of Preordain in TPS. Preordain fits naturally and automatically into TPS and Ad Nauseam. The more interesting question is whether it fits into Oath (probably, at least some), and Tezzeret (possibly).

Here’s how Oath might abuse Preordain:

This list is streamlined to abuse Preordain, and to resolve Oath. Preordain will help you find Oath of Druids at maximum efficiency, or Forbidden Orchard, if you’ve already resolved it.

But the deck that I’m possibly most excited about Preordain is Grow:

Preordain is a strict upgrade over previous lists, and allows you to avoid running junk like Sleight of Hand. This deck is a great option for the Vintage player, but is currently poorly positioned on account of the strength of Lodestone Golem. If Workshop decks weren’t so good, I’d probably play this at Vintage Worlds. I would also love playing this against Oath. You have Spell Pierce and 6 Duress effects. Post-board, you can bring in Nature’s Claim. Seems pretty good.

Preordain will see plenty of play in Vintage. Unlike Brainstorm, and to a lesser extent Ponder, it won’t be an automatic inclusion into any deck that runs Blue. It will be strongest in the Dark Ritual decks and the Grow deck, but it will be decent in Tezzeret and Oath as well. I think the biggest question is whether Tezzeret will run it, and in what quantities. Time will tell, but one thing is certain: this card will see play. Acquire four now.

Leyline of Sanctity

When the first Leyline was spoiled, I was thrilled and excited. Periodically, I thought about when they might print new Leylines, but I never would have expected them to appear in the Core Set. That seemed to me like something that would be reserved for a major block.

This Leyline is the Leyline with the most obvious and immediately Vintage applications.

First, consider the list of major Vintage cards which it addresses:

Oath of Druids
Hurkyl’s Recall
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Gifts Ungiven
Tendrils of Agony
Tormod’s Crypt
Bojuka Bog
Cabal Therapy
Helm of Obedience
Jester’s Cap
Sadistic Sacrament
Ravenous Trap

And lesser cards:

Diabolic Edict
Hymn to Tourach
Mind Twist
Orim’s Chant/Abeyance

What’s interesting is how strategically useful this card is in Vintage. Consider the major strategic applications:

• Stopping Oath of Druids activations
• Stopping Jace’s ultimate activation
• Stopping Tendrils of Agony
• Stopping Tormod’s Crypt
• Stopping Grindstone

In short, this card stops many of the major strategic spells in the format. However, it’s also not shabby at a tactical level, in stopping Gifts Ungiven, Duress effects, and, perhaps most importantly, Hurkyl’s Recall. In fact, stopping Hurkyl’s Recall could actually be considered a strategic interaction, since Hurkyl’s Recall actually functions as a strategy on some level against many Workshop decks.

In short, this card has major applications in the Vintage format. With that in mind, let’s turn to see how various archetypes may incorporate this card in their arsenal.

Tezzeret Control

Tezzeret sometimes struggles against Oath, and one of the best tools that has emerged for combating Oath is Greater Gargadon. Leyline of Sanctity is probably in that same category, in terms of its efficacy in addressing Oath. And, just like Gargadon, it can stop any number of Oath activations.

The primary problem, and the reason that I don’t think Tezzeret will be using this card, is that it would likely push Tezzeret pilots into White. Every Tezzeret list uses Blue, and virtually all use Black. Most Tezzeret lists dip into a tertiary color to for sideboard cards. In this metagame, where Lodestone Golem decks are proving so strong and Oath is the other major player, Green or Red is needed, either for Nature’s Claim or Shattering Spree, the two primary one-mana answers to artifacts and enchantments. For that reason, Tezzeret can’t afford to splash White, since it needs Red or Green. Consequently, I don’t see this being used very much in Tezzeret sideboards for Oath. And while its applications are broader than Oath, the primary use for Tezzeret’s purposes would be the Oath matchup. There are stronger cards for addressing other matchups, such as Tendrils, such as Mindbreak Trap, which can be played on your opponent’s first turn.


Leyline of Sanctity also seems unnecessary in this archetype, since Oath is symmetrical, and your opponent need not be able to resolve their own Oath if they can activate yours. The primary battle in the Oath mirror is the war over Oath’s activation, a.k.a. the Orchard war.


Unbelievably potent. Arguably the worst matchup in the Vintage metagame for MUD is Oath. This card singlehandedly stops Oath from activating, at no mana cost. This is stronger than Eon Hub, which serves the same purpose, but also turns off your Tangle Wires and Smokestacks. It’s also stronger than just using many Duplicants and hoping that they pop up at the right time.

If stopping Oath weren’t compelling enough, this card also deals with the other major tactical/strategic issue facing MUD: Hurkyl’s Recall. In short, this card singlehandedly deals with the two major annoyances for MUD lists. Leyline of Sanctity is, if not an auto-inclusion in MUD sideboards, a serious contender.

By turning off Hurkyl’s, that leaves opponent with far fewer options to address your Spheres: Rebuild, which is too costly to play in most circumstances, and Nature’s Claim/Shattering Spree, which, while quite effective, forces your opponent into a third color, and a weaker mana base. For example, this could be quite potent against TPS, not because it stops Tendrils, which is nice, but because it stops Hurkyl’s Recall!

MUD lists should begin shifting to utilizing Serum Powder, either in the maindeck or sideboard, and 8 Leyline of the Void and Leyline of Sanctity in the sideboard. The question is whether MUD lists will run the Powder maindeck, sideboard, or some split thereof. The problem with maindeck Powder is that it can weaken your manabase to Wasteland, which is a serious issue. I could even see a 3/1 or 2/2 split in the maindeck/sideboard, to support these puppies.


In some ways, Leyline of Sanctity is even more attractive in Stax variants, particularly 5c Stax lists, since you don’t need Serum Power to effectively support it, as just playing it remains a possibility with the five color manabase. Its uses here are the same: stop Oath and stop Hurkyl’s Recall. However, it also has the side benefit of stopping Tormod’s Crypt, which is sometimes used to combat Welder recursion.


The major anti-Dredge cards in Vintage are: Leyline of the Void, Tormod’s Crypt, Relic of Progenitus, Ravenous Trap, Pithing Needle (for Bazaar), Yixlid Jailer, and Bojuka Bog. This card addresses Tormod’s Crypt, Ravenous Trap, and Bojuka Bog. Dredge will have to decide whether it wants to devote sideboard space to answering those three cards. The problem is that the Dredge pilot often doesn’t know exactly which hate is coming in, and so Leyline could be hit or miss. On the other hand, Bojuka Bog, while not as effective as other forms of hate, is harder to answer This gives Dredge an honest answer to Bojuka Bog. Ravenous Trap is also difficult to answer, aside from Cabal Therapy. Expect to see this as a contender for the Dredge sideboard.

Leyline of Sanctity will see play in Workshop sideboards, and there is a good chance it will see play in Dredge sideboards.

Leyline of Anticipation

This is not the best card in M11 for Vintage, but it is probably the most interesting, which is saying something, given how intriguing the two cards I just reviewed seem to be.

This card has two clear uses, and I will evaluate each in turn, and see if we can find a place for it in this Eternal format.

This card does something that very few cards in Magic can do: it allows you to play spells before your first turn, if you are on the draw! The number of cards that can do that is quite limited, and the number of cards that can do that without an alternative casting cost (a la Vine Dryad, Force of Will, or Mindbreak Trap), is tiny. Cards like Simian Spirit Guide, Elvish Spirit Guide, and Gemstone Caverns are about it. And it’s the only card in Magic that will allow you to play non-instants before your first turn (except a spell following Quicken, which can be played off a Gemstone Caverns, or a Manamorphose after either Simian or Elvish Spirit Guide). This card is the new solution to all of those fun Magic puzzles: win before your first turn.

Practically speaking, however, does being able to play spells before your first turn matter? The answer is: yes.

The ability to play Moxen before your Workshop opponent can power out Spheres of play a Chalice matters. Conversely, the ability to play a Chalice of the Void at 0 before your opponent can play Moxen matters, and this is something any deck with Chalice can do, from MUD to mono-blue control. The prison strategy is both helped and hindered by this spell. It’s helped by helping reduce the drawback of being on the draw, since your goal is to lock your opponent out of the game. It’s hindered by the fact that your opponent’s Leyline can undermine the strength of being on the play.

While those tactical uses may actually be the most likely use of this card, in terms of the application of playing spells before your turn first, there is another possibility in that regard, that may be more potent, but less likely to see play. The card loss of playing a Leyline can be potentially offset by the tempo advantage gained from getting more untaps. How do you get more untaps? Run more acceleration, and ways to use that acceleration.

Consider this:

With 4 Mox Diamonds and 4 Chrome Mox, in addition to almost a full suite of restricted accelerants, you can maximize your chances of being able to play spells on your opponent’s first turn, and getting more untaps. The more you can use this mana on your opponent’s turn, the more you can trade off the disadvantage of having to use Leyline will be (in terms of diminishing your hand size). For example, if you are able to play a Draw7 spell like Windfall on your opponents first turn, before their main phase, you will have a tremendous advantage in that game. But even if you can just play a Mox Diamond and a Ponder or tutor on your opponent’s first turn, that’s also good.

As for the additional/superfluous Leylines? Pitch them to Force/Misdirection.

Notice the interaction between Gemstone Caverns and Mox Diamond. Gemstone Caverns won’t always be dead, since you can use it to pitch to Mox Diamond. Also, you may want to consider a couple of Crop Rotations to find Tolarian Academy, which is really broken in here. Imagine chaining Time Spirals together before you’ve even taken a turn! This deck could be a really fun deck to play in a somewhat casual Vintage environment.

While being able to play spells before your first turn matters, that doesn’t mean that this card will see play. The cost of including this card, the loss of a card in your hand (not to mention weaker topdecks and the opportunity cost of the slot), is non-trivial. Perhaps most significant is the limitation of largely being useful either on the draw, in this particular application. That’s a major reason why Gemstone Caverns sees no play in Vintage. That condition is simply too limiting to justify including, when the ledger tallying all of the benefits and all of the costs is finally tallied.

However, there is another possibility: what is the benefit of being able to play sorceries, artifacts, creatures, and even planeswalkers at instant speed? Is there one? What deck would really want to take advantage of the fact that they would never have to play spells on their turn? What about in something like this?

I think this is a good start, in terms of thinking about how to build a deck that
The idea here is that you never, ever, ever have to play spells in your mainphase. Now, you can do everything in your opponent’s endstep, as long as you have Leyline in play. The problem is that I don’t think that that effect is worth the card slot or the reduction in hand sizes. Still, I think this deck gives us a good way of thinking about the Leyline effect here. The trick is finding a deck that can maximize the advantage of turning all spells into instants such to offset the inherent card disadvantage of playing with quad-laser Leyline.

Until that can be accomplished, I don’t see a place for this in Vintage today. But I still advise you to acquire this card, since there is a chance that this card could see play someday, somewhere.

Scroll Thief

This card is strictly superior to Ophidian, which surprises me that they’d print it. Ophidian has, from time to time, seen Vintage play. Selkie currently sees play in Vintage. Aside from in Fish, Scroll Thief is better, since it can be played off two Moxen, Sol Ring, or Mana Drain, and doesn’t require a double Blue investment. I just posted a possible Scroll Thief list above for you to think about.

Sun Titan

It has some niche applications in both Oath and Dredge, since it can find Time Vault or Bazaar of Baghdad, and put it directly into play, to dredge the rest of your library, sacrifice it to Cabal Therapy or Dread Return, and do it all again, if need be. It’s Vintage playable, and will likely see some play.

Stormtide Leviathan

Like Sun Titan, it has niche applications in both Vintage Dredge and Oath, and is superior to Blazing Archon, which sometimes sees play in both archetypes. Vintage playable.

Pyretic Ritual

This is Vintage playable, as is just slightly worse than Desperate Ritual, which already sees play in Vintage Belcher.

Autumn’s Veil

I think highly of Xantid Swarm in Vintage, so I’m not really keen on this card. Still, it exists in case there is a need for that effect.

Time Reversal

It’s too expensive for Vintage, and probably inferior to Diminishing Returns (which was a key part of Japanese Extended Twiddle-Desire), and that sees no play in modern Vintage. Magus of the Jar sees no play either. This would be slightly better if it didn’t exile itself, for recursive effect, but even then not Vintage playable.

Crystal Ball

Competes with Sensei’s Divining Top in Vintage, and seems worse than other options in Workshop lists where it would be strongest. Not to mention disynergy with Null Rod.

Phylactery Lich

The drawback here is actually negligible. Consider:

Phylactery Lich can be properly supported, and it’s a pretty fast clock. It could see play in marginal Suicide Black lists like this, which show up from time to time.
Your M11 Vintage Checklist:

4 Preordain
4 Leyline of Sanctity
3 Sun Titan
1 Stormtide Leviathan
4 Scroll Thief
4 Pyretic Ritual

Each of these cards is Vintage playable, and safely so.

And, if you haven’t spent your budget, acquire 4 Leyline of Anticipation and 4 Phylactery Lich, which may see marginal play at some point in the future.

The Complete Vintage Checklist, July 2010, Updated with Rise of Eldrazi

Key: ** Commonly Played/Format Staples * Niche/ Less Commonly Played

Vintage Checklist by Type:


4 Ancient Tomb *
4 Arid Mesa *
4 Bazaar of Baghdad **
4 Badlands *
4 Barbarian Ring *
4 Bayou *
4 Blinkmoth Nexus *
4 Bloodstained Mire **
4 Bojuka Bog **
3 Boseiju, Who Shelters All *
3 Cabal Pit *
4 Cephalid Coliseum *
4 City of Brass **
4 City of Traitors *
3 Crystal Vein *
4 Dark Depths *
2 Darksteel Citadel *
4 Dryad Arbor *
4 Flooded Strand **
4 Forest *
4 Forbidden Orchard *
4 Gemstone Mine **
2 High Market*
2 Horizon Canopy *
10 Island **
2 Karakas *
1 Library of Alexandria **
4 Marsh Flats *
4 Maze of Ith *
4 Mishra’s Factory *
4 Mishra’s Workshop **
4 Misty Rainforest **
4 Mountain *
4 Petrified Field *
4 Plains *
4 Plateau *
4 Polluted Delta **
4 Rishadan Port*
4 Savannah *
4 Scalding Tarn **
4 Scrubland[/author]“][author name="Scrubland"]Scrubland[/author] *
4 Seat of the Synod *
2 Snow-Covered Island **
2 Snow-Covered Forest *
2 Snow-Covered Mountain *
2 Snow-Covered Plains *
2 Snow-Covered Swamp *
1 Strip Mine **
4 Swamp *
1 Tendo Ice Bridge *
4 Taiga *
1 Tolarian Academy **
2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale *
4 Tropical Island **
4 Tundra **
4 Underground Sea **
4 Undiscovered Paradise *
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth *
4 Verdant Catacombs *
4 Volcanic Island **
4 Wasteland **
4 Windswept Heath **
4 Wooded Foothills *

1 Aether Spellbomb *
4 Aether Vial *
1 Altar of Dementia *
4 Arcbound Crusher *
4 Arcbound Ravager *
1 Black Lotus **
1 Candelabra of Tawnos *
4 Chalice of the Void **
4 Chromatic Sphere *
4 Chromatic Star *
4 Chrome Mox *
4 Cranial Plating *
4 Crucible of Worlds **
1 Coalition Relic *
2 Culling Scales *
2 Cursed Totem *
3 Damping Matrix *
1 Darksteel Colossus **
4 Defense Grid *
4 Duplicant *
3 Engineered Explosives *
4 Ensnaring Bridge *
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn*
4 Eon Hub*
4 Frogmite *
4 Goblin Charbelcher *
4 Grindstone *
4 Grim Monolith *
1 Helm of Obedience *
1 Inkwell Leviathan **
4 Jester’s Cap *
4 Juggernaut *
3 Karn, Silver Golem **
1 Lion’s Eye Diamond *
4 Lodestone Golem **
1 Lotus Petal **
1 Mana Crypt **
1 Mana Vault **
4 Master of Etherium *
3 Masticore *
1 Memory Jar **
4 Metalworker *
4 Mindlock Orb *
2 Mindslaver *
4 Mox Diamond *
1 Mox Emerald **
1 Mox Jet **
1 Mox Pearl **
1 Mox Ruby **
1 Mox Sapphire **
4 Null Rod **
4 Orb of Dreams *
4 Painter’s Servant *
4 Phyrexian Dreadnought *
4 Pithing Needle **
2 Platinum Angel *
1 Possessed Portal *
4 Powder Keg *
1 Pyrite Spellbomb *
3 Razormane Masticore *
4 Relic of Progenitus **
4 Sculpting Steel *
4 Serum Powder *
3 Sensei’s Divining Top **
4 Skullclamp *
4 Solemn Simulacrum *
4 Smokestack *
1 Sol Ring **
4 Sphere of Resistance **
4 Staff of Domination *
4 Su-Chi *
1 Sundering Titan **
4 Sword of Fire and Ice *
4 Tangle Wire **
1 Time Vault **
4 Thorn of Amethyst **
4 Tormod’s Crypt **
1 Trinisphere **
4 Triskelion *
4 Uba Mask *
3 Umezawa’s Jitte *
4 Voltaic Key **

4 Accumulated Knowledge *
1 Ancestral Recall **
4 Annul **
3 Arcane Laboratory **
4 Back to Basics *
4 Blue Elemental Blast *
1 Brainstorm **
3 Brain Freeze
4 Breakthrough *
4 Careful Study *
2 Cephalid Sage *
4 Chain of Vapor **
4 Commandeer *
4 Compulsive Research *
4 Control Magic *
4 Counterbalance *
4 Courier’s Capsule *
4 Cunning Wish *
4 Cursecatcher *
4 Daze *
4 Deep Analysis *
1 Diminishing Returns*
4 Dispel *
3 Echoing Truth **
4 Energy Flux *
4 Erayo, Soratami Ascendant *
1 Eye of Nowhere *
1 Fact or Fiction **
4 Fatestitcher *
1 Flash *
1 Flash of Insight *
4 Force of Will **
1 Frantic Search *
1 Gifts Ungiven **
1 Gush *
4 Glen Elendra Archmage *
4 Hurkyl’s Recall **
4 Hydroblast *
3 In The Eye of Chaos *
4 Impulse **
4 Intuition *
1 Inkwell Leviathan **
2 Jace Beleren
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor *
2 Magus of the Unseen *
4 Mana Drain **
4 Mana Leak *
4 Master of Etherium *
4 Master Transmuter *
4 Meditate *
1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror *
1 Merchant Scroll **
4 Mindlock Orb *
4 Mindbreak Trap *
1 Mind’s Desire **
4 Misdirection **
1 Mystical Tutor **
4 Mystic Remora **
4 Narcomoeba *
4 Ninja of the Deep Hours *
4 Negate *
4 Old Man of the Sea *
4 Ophidian *
4 Pact of Negation *
1 Ponder **
4 Propaganda *
4 Rebuild **
4 Read the Runes *
4 Remand *
4 Repeal **
4 Sage of Epityr *
4 Sea Drake *
2 See Beyond*
4 Sower of Temptation **
4 Spell Pierce **
4 Spell Snare *
4 Spellstutter Sprite *
2 Sphinx of Lost Truths *
4 Standstill *
4 Stifle **
4 Strategic Planning *
3 Teferi’s Realm *
4 Tezzeret the Seeker **
2 Thada Adel, Acquisitor**
1 Thirst For Knowledge **
4 Thoughtcast *
2 Tidespout Tyrant *
1 Time Walk **
4 Time Spiral *
1 Timetwister **
1 Tinker **
4 Transmute Artifact *
4 Trickbind *
4 Trinket Mage *
3 Vendilion Clique *
4 Waterfront Bouncer *
1 Windfall **
2 Wipe Away *

4 Ad Nauseam *
4 Animate Dead *
4 Bloodghast *
4 Bridge From Below *
4 Cabal Ritual **
4 Cabal Therapy **
4 Contagion *
4 Dance of the Dead *
3 Darkblast **
4 Dark Confidant **
4 Dark Ritual **
1 Demonic Consultation *
1 Demonic Tutor **
4 Diabolic Edict **
4 Disciple of the Vault *
4 Doomsday *
4 Dread Return *
4 Duress **
4 Earwig Squad *
4 Entomb *
4 Extirpate **
4 Faerie Macabre *
4 Golgari Thug *
4 Grim Tutor *
4 Ichorid *
1 Imperial Seal **
1 Infernal Contract *
4 Leyline of the Void **
3 Massacre *
4 Mind Twist *
1 Necropotence **
4 Necromancy *
4 Night’s Whisper **
4 Phyrexian Negator *
4 Planar Void *
2 Perish *
4 Putrid Imp *
4 Ravenous Trap *
4 Sadistic Sacrament **
3 Sadistic Hypnotist *
4 Skeletal Scrying *
3 Smother *
4 Stinkweed Imp *
4 Street Wraith *
4 Tendrils of Agony **
1 The Abyss *
4 Thoughtseize **
4 Unmask *
4 Vampire Hexmage *
1 Vampiric Tutor **
4 Warren Weirding *
1 Yawgmoth’s Bargain **
1 Yawgmoth’s Will **
4 Yixlid Jailer **

4 Ancient Grudge **
1 Beacon of Destruction *
1 Burning Wish *
4 Desperate Ritual *
4 Empty the Warrens **
3 Flametongue Kavu *
1 Firestorm *
4 Goblin Lackey *
4 Goblin Matron *
4 Goblin Piledriver *
4 Goblin Recruiter *
4 Goblin Ringleader *
1 Goblin Sharpshooter *
4 Goblin Vandal *
4 Goblin Welder **
4 Goblin Warchief *
4 Gorilla Shaman **
1 Grapeshot *
4 Grim Lavamancer *
4 Ingot Chewer **
4 Magus of the Moon *
2 Lava Dart *
1 Primitive Justice *
4 Pyroblast **
4 Pyroclasm **
4 Pyrokinesis *
4 Pyrostatic Pillar *
4 Rack and Ruin **
1 Recoup *
4 Red Elemental Blast **
4 Rite of Flame *
1 Rolling Earthquake *
4 Seething Song *
4 Shattering Spree *
3 Siege-Gang Commander *
4 Simian Spirit Guide **
4 Stingscourger *
4 Tin-Street Hooligan *
4 Viashino Heretic *
1 Wheel of Fortune **
4 Worldgorger Dragon *

4 Birchlore Ranger *
1 Channel *
4 Choke *
4 Crop Rotation *
2 Drop of Honey *
4 Elvish Spirit Guide **
4 Emerald Charm *
1 Eternal Witness *
1 Fastbond *
4 Fyndhorn Elf *
1 Gaea’s Blessing *
4 Glimpse of Nature *
4 Golgari Grave-Troll *
4 Heritage Druid *
4 Krosan Grip *
2 Krosan Reclamation *
4 Land Grant *
4 Llanowar Elves *
4 Life From the Loam *
2 Living Wish *
4 Mold Adder *
4 Naturalize *
4 Nature’s Claim **
4 Nettle Sentinel *
4 Noble Hierarch *
4 Oath of Druids **
4 Oxidize *
1 Regal Force *
1 Regrowth **
4 Reverent Silence *
4 Root Maze *
4 Seeds of Innocence *
4 Seal of Primordium *
4 Summoner’s Pact *
4 Tarmogoyf **
2 Terastodon **
4 Tinder Wall *
2 Uktabi Orangutan *
1 Viridian Shaman *
4 Wirewood Symbiote *
4 Xantid Swarm **

4 Academy Rector *
1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath *
1 Aura Fracture *
4 Auriok Salvagers *
4 Aven Mindcensor **
1 Balance **
4 Children of Korlis *
4 Enlightened Tutor *
4 Ethersworn Canonist *
4 Ghostly Prison *
4 Jotun Grunt *
4 Kataki, War’s Wage *
2 Iona, Shield of Emeria **
4 Orim’s Chant *
4 Ray of Revelation *
3 Rule of Law *
4 Seal of Cleansing *
4 Serenity *
4 Swords to Plowshares *
4 Tariff *
4 Wispmare *

1 Angel of Despair *
4 Cold-Eye Selkie *
4 Dimir Cutpurse *
2 Empyrial Archangel *
3 Fire/Ice **
2 Flame-Kin Zealot *
4 Firespout *
4 Gaddock Teeg *
4 Guttural Response *
2 Hellkite Overlord *
4 Hide/Seek *
1 Hull Breach *
4 Lorescale Coatl *
4 Manamorphose *
4 Meddling Mage *
1 Oona, Queen of the Fae *
3 Pernicious Deed *
4 Psychatog *
4 Qasali Pridemage **
4 Sharuum the Hegemon *
1 Sphinx of the Steel Wind **
4 Tidehollow Sculler *
3 Trygon Predator *
4 Vexing Shusher *


See Beyond and Emrakul have been added, having proven that they are at least playable.

The rise of MUD has seen the use of both Rishadan Port and High Market, so they have been added. Eon Hub has been added for the same reason.

Glimmervoid hasn’t seen a Top 8 appearances in over a year, so I cut it. I just don’t think it’s a competitive card, given its drawback. It’s gone — unless you can make a case for it. Ophidian may not be long for this list, with the printing of Scroll Thief. It’s gotten a reprieve, for now.

As always, I look forward to your feedback on this checklist, and will consider any suggestions or edits you may have in future iterations.

Until next time…

Stephen Menendian