The Aid is based solely on functioning within a deck that has birds or creatures that can change into birds when the time comes. However, like Thunder of Hooves, this card will be passed up by people who don’t have the right cards, but it can have a very powerful effect if it works and your deck likes to work with it. This is one of those weird cards that combos with Standardize.”3UUU, draw a card for each creature in play.” That’s actually not that bad. Freaky.
This card is based solely on your deck. Don’t ever draft one early – ‘cuz like Saturn, it’s coming back around.
None of the lands in Onslaught are really worth stealing. You can’t steal fetch lands in all but the most obscene of circumstances, and most of the lands require playing the proper colour and tribe for them to work. I mean, you could steal a Wirewood Lodge and make your Wellwisher twice as good – but you could also just serve this card as bacon bits in Caesar salad. That’s apples to oranges; just sayin’, is all. Unless you’re using the Caesar salad to poison your opponent.
Not only does the Alchemist untap creatures, he untaps them after morphing and then sneaks in a crushing block. That makes the Alchemist – under the right circumstances – a bit of a blue kill card, assuming you’re in blue-green or have big creatures in your deck.
Beyond that, untapping a prime creature to have it do double duty is never a bad thing. Double-Duty Arcanis, Whipcorder, Catapult Squad, Bloodline Shaman, or even a Goblin Sharpshooter finding himself mysteriously untapping in the absence of a dead creature, it’s not a bad card. Great with Lavamancer’s Skill on another wizard, too.
Opposition is great because it’s an enchantment, it’s hard to remove, and it’s usually fairly efficient once you have two or three creatures in the board to activate it. Tradewind Rider is great because it’s a 1/4 flier, it’s hard to remove and puts permanents right out of your face.
Aphetto Grifter is bad because it’s small, weak, an easy target for every piece of removal in the set, over-priced in both mana cost and activation. And because the quote sucks.
Arcanis the Omnipotent
He taps to draw three cards. Untapping him is good, I hear. So is keeping him alive. Sound good? O-kay!
The Evolution will likely end up in your sideboard… But it does have the capacity to do a number of interesting things. For one, you can change any of the Onslaught tribal lands into more useful or interesting creations. How about a Riptide Laboratory that can bounce your opponent’s beasts? Starlight Sanctum will now be sacrificing zombies – please drive through?
The card can break any”~ One” card or make a Riptide Biologist a blocker against your opponent’s best weapon. It can force a creature of yours into a tribe and pull an opponent’s out. That Gustcloak Harrier relying on the Aven Brigadier’s bonus? Switch it up! And so on. The card isn’t going to go maindeck most of the time, unless you have a lot of internal combos, but there situations where it’s good to sideboard it in. I mean, if he shows you a Contested Cliffs in game one and it wrecks you, you could sideboard it in and make it work only with”jellyfish” if you wanted…
I don’t have a lot of problem with 3/2s for 4 mana. It’s just generally a good deal. If you’re light on blue mana, as well, you can use it’s morph ability to”fix” its mana cost, or to block non-flying creatures by morphing after blocking is declared.
Note that the Ascending one is a Bird Soldier, so he can be targeted with Piety Charm and the like. Nice synergy with white there.
Like Crowd Favorites, Aven Fateshaper is relatively diminutive creature for it’s cost, sitting calmly in the uncommons slow, with an expensive but possibly powerful mana activated ability. Unlike Crowd Favourites, Aven Fateshaper is definitely an offensive card, set up mostly to just attack the other player. Crowd Favourites will keep a Silvos or Rorix pinned down; the Fateshaper will just swing for four. Essentially, the ‘shaper depends on your deck, and your opponent’s deck. It’s hard to kill, and likely to win games, but also painfully expensive for a 4/5 creature.
The Fateshaper is an ally of Erratic Explosion – and if you have the eight mana to do so, you can set up Goblin Machinist to not only hit harder, but also chase off useless lands. If nothing else, you can at least go”Look at me, I’m shaping fate!” when you play this card. Just don’t whine when your opponent points out it doesn’t seem to be winning you the game.
In an ideal world, this is a combat trick that allows you to morph that big mean fatty on the other side of the table down to size, turning Towering Baloth or Fallen Cleric over on the other side of the table back into a 2/2 that your Wretched Anurid or Nameless One happily stomps into the ground.
Okay; let’s look at that situation for a second.
First, you’re playing blue. Second, you need something bigger than a 2/2, in combat with a morph creature, to make this a one-for-one trade. That’s not exactly a terminal velocity kill card. Of the”big fat bombs” in the set, you can kill Grinning”each blocker is now a Shock!” Demon and like, that’s it. Towering Baloth is fat, but it isn’t good.
In an ideal world, you sideboard this in against a deck which shows off piles and piles of Morph creatures. You don’t maindeck it – as yes, I’ve played decks that go either way; seven morphing beasts or one Daru Lancer.
You really need to see a really important bomb on the other side of the table for this to justify itself. I know you can steal a pit fighter legend the turn after it comes into play, and I know control effect are automatic two-for-ones; he loses a card, you gain a card. However, it’s seven mana and three of those are blue. So if you’re playing Wirewood Elves and Birchlore Rangers in Green/Blue, it might work… But so might casting beasts and attacking with them.
It is highly unlikely that an opposing deck in limited will be formed of a single creature type; many of the high-end bombs are of creatures types which are exclusive to themselves. There aren’t a lot of dragons, for example – but an opposing deck might have a lot of goblins or soldiers. If he picks Goblins, you can’t steal his goblins, but you can get his dragons.
It would be nice if this was a”Cephalid Wizard” – but regardless, I personally find it pretty decent. I wouldn’t recommend playing it third turn, but instead dropping it later on after they’ve Shocked a few morph creatures and the like.
Remember that morph creatures have no type, and the Oppressor can always target them.
Chain of Vapor
Here’s an interesting point about this chain; let’s say you have two blockers, and both will trade with your opponent’s creatures. If you target one, you choose the next target as the chain’s”Victim” and could save the second one by sacrificing a land. That’s kind of interesting.
Anyways, Vapour is dirt-cheap – but I don’t know if it’s worth playing. You could protect a lot of your creatures in the event of a Wrath, or bounce his early drops when you have nothing else out… But sometimes the card is just bad.
Anyways, the Tethers is probably the nastiest common blue trick. Tap down all his blockers, all his attackers – four is a lot of tapping – or slow something down for a turn and get a card out of it. There’s not a lot of combos involved in tapping down four attackers and getting some free shots in. (Skirk Commando – The Ferrett) Bear in mind the Tethers is both defensive and offensive, and actually has rough parity with the Wave. It’s a good card, but it’s in the wrong colours for the job. What are you going to do, alpha strike with Wizards?
This is like cheering for Banana.
Clone is a copy of the best card on the table. No fuss, no muss… Unless it’s a legend. Four mana for the best creature on the table? Sometimes this will be junk – but often your opponent will be winning with something creature-based. It will also share type with the copied creature, meaning it does all sorts of janky things like getting Shared Triumph bonuses or counting as an extra elf. Some bad, some good there.
By the way, you can Imagecraft an opposing legend, then play the clone, and copy the legend. Your opponent’s legend will die at the end of turn, and your clone will survive as a copy of the legend. That’s a pretty mean trick, although it’s not likely to be pulled off often.
Straight up – three-mana counterspells aren’t usually good in Limited. You want to be laying threats and dealing with the board, not holding a large amount of mana open to counter stuff. However, Complicate cycles and still Force Spikes, which leaves you with an interesting consideration to make: Is the complication worth it? I would say no, but in some decks you might not mind stopping your opponent’s turn 3 or 4 play and drawing a card. Say if you went first, drop a Gustcloak Runner and a Glory Seeker, then he tries to play a morpher? That’s not bad.
While paying three mana for a 1/1 creature is a surefire way to get yourself beaten up and dragged through the streets of Morphville, the Pathmage is pretty much made to order for clearing those streets of blockers. Simple trick; take a morphed creature, make it unblocked, morph during combat for extra fun.
Crown of Ascension
Enchant creature spells which grant flying are a surefire way to make a flying beastie, that much is true. This crown is good for making one final alpha strike or to gaining flying fat where there was none before. Remember that if your opponent makes a move to remove the Crown, you can sacrifice it and the flying effect won’t end until end of turn. This means they can’t use naturalize as some sort of combat trick. I like putting this card on Hystrodons or other”effect for hitting” creatures, like Cabal Executioner. Often enough, flying will let them get through and do their thing.
Hurray for cards who’s names I can’t spell in Apprentice!
Anyways, it’s a four-mana counter spell. It could be useful, but it’s more likely too expensive for”counter target spell,” plus an effect a large number of blue cards do; I’d rather just have an Aven Fateshaper or an Information Dealer.
This card is probably simply too expensive to be used effectively. I remember when we called it Barrin, Master Wizard. I hear he was playable with returning enchantments… But nothing like that exists here. I guess you could pay seven mana a shot and use it with Mobilization. There’s your combo; move on, li’l doggy.
Is it worth playing a 1/1 dork for the morphing surprise factor? Essentially, you drop a morph creature and then turn it into a useless 1/1 for U and let it do it’s thing. Is it worth putting a risky (and maybe dead) card into your deck just to mess with your opponent’s head?
Actually, it might very well be. While the Pitmage is easy to remove, it’s quite possible that you will slow your opponent down or restrict his ability to be tricky during combat. This is one where you’ll have to use your own discretion; I’ve seen it used well and I’ve seen it do nothing more than be a 2/2 creature.
Undo with cycling for two more mana. The Fracture is good if it’s targeting two creatures of equal or greater mana cost than itself, and all right if it’s clearing out a pair of blockers to let you strike. I don’t like this card, but I know it can definitely be useful. Use it if you’ve got the cards to push that kind of rough tempo advantage, or side it in against decks where your opponent has a lot of high end stuff.
Speaking of which, if you are running Wirewood Savage and your opponent is playing beasts, popping them back to his hand can make for a very stiff situation.
This is a really weird card. It doesn’t feel blue at all, although I guess it’s sort of like Timid Drake. You get a 2/2 for three mana with the ability to blink out of play; however, your opponent can also blink it if he has the cycling cards to do so.
It’s an interesting concept – but frankly, it’s playable simply as a 2/2 flier with a drawback for three. If you utilize the ability, which you won’t often, you’re just getting more out of an average card.
This is generally a very expensive way to play land from your library. It has the potential to get you a lot of extra cards – but there are no secrets anymore. Your opponent knows all your morph cards and knows everything you’ve got planned. Assuming your deck can play those extra cards fast enough to make up for the lost information, you’re in good shape. If it can’t, you’re not going to like having Future Sight on the table.
The main use for this card is really protecting Wizards from violent or painful deaths via spells or abilities; the power/toughness bonus is only really a big deal when you have a larger wizard to utilize in combat, like a Nameless One with other wizards on the board, or Fleeting Aven, or perhaps even Aven Fateshaper. There, evasion helps simply because the Courier is fragile and the bonus ends if he dies. At least this way you might not lose two cards to your opponent removing the courier, seeing as normal wizards are so fragile just about anything can block to kill them.
Keep on cheering for banana.
There was this card in Judgement called Wormfang Crab, I really liked it, because it had this terrible tendency to just end games by itself. The Graxiplon probably isn’t going to outright end games – especially at six mana for a 3/4 – but it can punish opposing players who don’t have enough of one tribe to keep it from being unblocked. Blue has the means as well to change those tribes and keep it unblockable.
Not a great card, by any meaning, but it is a beast and might work out in a green/blue deck, assuming there was more of a pull into that match.
This is probably blue’s best common – or at least,”most likely to annoy the hell out of your opponent” blue common. It’s a dork, and a small one at that, but there’s no annoying price tag for such an influential ability.
What can the crafter do? He let’s your clone copy legends, he lets your Cruel Revival target legends, he breaks up Tribal Unity, enhances Unified Strike, makes your nameless a little bigger and their heedless one a little smaller. He lets Ghosthelm Courier pass his gift to your Silvos, lets your Visara take up the pearl spear, let’s your Callous Oppressor target anything, saves one more (or one less) from Harsh Mercy
…Frankly, if I spent all the time writing out all the tricks the crafter screws up, enhances or just outright stops, I’d add another twenty pages to this review.
You will see those tricks. You will have them in your deck. And this card gives you control over the flow over all of them. If you’re playing blue, Imagecrafter is your friend. Go banana!
All right – the banana dealer. What does he do? Well, he lets you manipulate your library. He works nicely with shuffling effects, of course, like Weathered Wayfarer or Fetch lands. Alongside other wizards, he can make your Goblin Machinist into a ridiculous library manipulation tool (with a goblin; who’da thought?) or just tell you what you next card is. I wouldn’t really play him in draft unless I had three Erratic Explosions – but in sealed with other wizards, if blue was your main colour, it would let you dig into your deck for splash land, or keep spells you can’t cast from being drawn.
Ixidor, Reality Sculptor
I’d really love this guy if he only gave your face-down creatures a bonus. I know it’s the lordly way to make all creatures of their patronage bigger – but yeesh, that’s the difference between Ixidor being good and being great right there.
He’s big for a Wizard, though, and not all that horribly priced. There’s a fair number of morphing blue dorks, and he does let you play your morph creatures cheaper. Kinda neat with Aven Soulgazer, and interesting with Backslide – take your morphing wizard and save him by flipping him over into a 3/3. If you need big wizards or just more wizards, Ixidor is your man.
Ugh, no. Three mana, weak and reliant on a bunch of pansy dorks not getting themselves killed? This is the only counterspell cycling Slice and Dice will ever counter. Blargh. Don’t peel this banana.
Good news: It will protect a creature of your choice from both spells and abilities – and there are some nasty abilities out there.
Bad news: it’s not card advantage or even close, so it’s really not very good. It can, however, counter your opponent’s playing of Mythic Proportions on their dude, which Shelter couldn’t do. Oh boy. Well, at least the artwork is good. Glad to see Magic artists getting into the”comic boobs” style. Yeah, really.
That’s, like, blue’s only way of killing Sparksmith. Yeesh.
There’s no real combos with this. Keep in mind it doesn’t work on the reverse kicker cantrips (like Death Pulse) and Cruel Revival has more than one target, so it doesn’t work there, either.
The Mistforms generally get the benefits of any tribe they feel like, while avoiding any of the draw backs. They can slip under steely resolve, get bonuses from Shared Triumph, pump up your Nameless One, or even add an Elf to your Wellwisher count. This makes them, in a format full of tribal creatures, a creature type which you’d want. The Dreamer is pretty average. three mana, good ability, 2/1 flier. I like them, myself. Remember, they work nicely with Endemic Plague.
Yes, it can turn creatures into walls in a pitch, preventing them from attacking. It’s really not a good time – but if you have no Pacifisms and absolutely no way to stop an opposing Silvos, you might end up siding it in.
Rather expensive, the Mutant imagecrafts whatever it feels like, but it does so at a mana cost one higher than I’d like. It can aggressively manipulate the field of battle – but six mana for a 3/4 just isn’t good enough to make it into a lot of decks. When you need a fatty, though, well… At least he’s not 2/2, right?
A 3/3 for five mana is par for the course in blue land – and it’s not a bad card for that. The Mistform ability applies nicely here, as it does with the Dreamer. The morph cost is absurd and almost utterly pointless. Unless you really need a 2/2 on the board and feel like risking one of your better cards…
I guess it’s a bomb, at seven mana for a 6/6 flier. It’s a bit too pricey for me to actually like, though. There are better commons and uncommons, simply via the fact you could draw this yet not be able to cast it in time for it to matter.
It’s weird, this is an actual blue pumpable creature. Granted, you’re unlikely to pump it more than once… But still. It would have been fairly decent a 1/1 for U, or 1/2 for 1U, but it’s not. I can see myself playing it, though, if I felt my deck needs to have a lot of one creature type badly, since it provides a body – and can, in the late game, attack as a 3/3 flier.
The wall is pretty tough and can, when necessary, attack or become a creature type you need. This makes it basically a better Horned Turtle – if such a thing is necessary in your deck. The ability to block morph creatures, which also cost three mana, makes it worthwhile in the early game.
It’s really hard to like this guy. I mean, Avatar of Bananas, blah. Well, you can imagecraft, Mistform and so on to make more”wizards” and then attack with the One – which is good, as unlike the other avatars, the Nameless One can force other creatures to cooperate with its interests through his allies.
This card is a lot better than it initially looks, actually. Imagecraft the Sparksmith to be a Wizard. You have two Wizards; now, steal his Sparksmith. Okay, that worked. With a lot of Mistforms or an angry Mistform Mutant, you could hustle your opponent out of a few of his creatures. If pressure steals two or more, you’re really pulling nasty card advantage.
It’s not a good card without the specific deck. The good news is that a deck like that doesn’t get drafted often – so hey, you’ll get this laaaaaaaate in draft.
This is like a bad version of Ixidor’s Will or a screwed-up version of Orim’s Chant or just dear Goddess don’t play this damn card. I opened two in boxes and all I can think to myself is”If it said spells or abilities, this card would be playable!”
Yeah, definitely play this card. It’s amazing how one point of mana and a better ability can make this a better card than Aven Skyreaver, eh? Oh yeah, keep in mind that Cruel Revival can still rough this guy up pretty fierce.
Read the Runes
This will fix your hand very nicely in the late game, and all you to get rid of unnecessary or poor cards. In the early game, you could ditch high cost cards and ready your hand for the coming turns. I don’t see it, however, as a good card most of the time. It could be good, but raw card disadvantage being all that it is.
It’s a good combo with Oversold Cemetery, though. Who cares about discarding stuff you’ll just get back anyways? You could use this with Patriarch’s Bidding to slam out some angry fatties, but it seems unlikely you’d have a lot of angry fatties in blue/black.
If you’re even looking at this card, you’re stuck in the last block and angrily looking for a way home.
This card is pretty decent. The morph cost is a bit absurd, but it can block a whole manner of large beasts and survive to tell the tale – which can be really important when you’re trying to win a ground war against opposing green decks. It’s not like it’s great or anything, but at worst it’s a 1/2 wizard – which isn’t horrible.
It’s interesting how the creature with the absolute worst ability costs, in a sense, the most mana of the Riptide dudes. I mean, it costs”more” as it’s smaller than the Shapeshifter…. And the Shapeshifter’s ability is only better by a power of ten. Anyways, this card is unforgivable crap.
Say your opponent has a big bomb on the other side of the table. He’s feeling pretty sure of himself, sure he’ll win pretty soon or at very least, the bomb is gonna smack you around for sure. You attack with a wee little morph creature, nail for two… Flip it over, and steal his bomb.
It works. I’ve done it.
This is probably best in a situation where your opponent thinks it’s something it’s not. Or when you can pump up the Entrancer to pass damage over (Vitality Charm) or get through unblocked (Choking Tethers, Crafty Pathmage). It’s probably my favourite blue rare. I love stealing stuff.
At first, you look at this card. Your eyes study the artwork, where it seems a cool-looking ninja is turning into a Homarid, none of which exist in this set. You look at the mana costs and you might dismiss it offhand. You ignore it. It’s not a good card, right?
Mana cost issues aside, you are looking at one of the most – if not the most – dangerous instant-speed abilities outside of morph in this set.
You can trade this creature during combat and then small out something else. Straight up, that’s a two-for-one. Got a legendary bomb in your deck? This is a tutor for it. A tutor that attacks, deals three, and dies when you need the bomb, casting it in the process. You can throw down an instant-speed blocker, or just replace it with something bigger when you need it. It’s true that it’s unpredictable… But if you tutor for”beasts,” what are you going to get? Trust me, there’s not a 1/1 beast in your deck. If you know your deck, or can manipulate your library (look at me, I’m shaping fate!) and this card will do you right… Well, assuming you haven’t been killed by soldiers and goblins yet, but I can’t help you there.
Well, if a 1/1 banana costs three mana, then a 2/2 banana isn’t going to be three mana. All right; it’s a Wizard. Check. It has a mana-intensive, but okay ability. Okay. Probably a 16th creature in sealed with a Wizard theme. Not a good card, though.
I like the Sage Aven, as it’s a Wizard who’s mana cost isn’t so horrible for what it does that I feel like puking on the card. True, it’s one power for four mana – but it’s got a large ass and blocks fliers. It’s also a flier, meaning it actually works with Ghosthelm Courier, becoming a 3/5 untargetable flier – which isn’t what I call”bad”. Most Wizards turn into 3/3 dorks who run screaming if the Courier dies. Beyond that, the Aven can set up an Erratic Explosion without being a horrible card in and of itself. Certainly it’s not a great card, but it’s not so awful I might never run it.
I’m not paying five mana for a 2/2 flier unless it taps to destroy a creature, draws me three cards, or just does cartwheels. I don’t care. I’m not wasting further draft picks on a card I don’t want to draw in the first place. You see this in your first hand and you know, the experiment was a failure. (Go banana!)
You could, in theory, Sea’s Claim a Goblin Burrows. Then your opponent gets … well, his land still produces essentially colourless mana, and you’ve used up a card! Congratulations! You’ve just discovered the concept of card disadvantage!
Could they be any more obvious? Like, they put the two cards together alphabetically – wow, nifty! Here’s the math for you: If you take one low pick, and one 15th pick, and you put them together, you get one 15th pick. Seriously. If you’re comboing Eel with Sea’s Claim, you’re attempting to make a fatty in a colour you’re probably only playing because the guy passed you Quicksilver Dragon in pack 2 and it’s pretty obvious no one likes blue. If you’re using cards this bad, you were forced into blue by a roving band of hoodlums with truncheons chanting”draft blue or lose all your teeth!” Seriously. It’s just so wrong.
It doesn’t say draw a card. The effect is only really good if it lets you fix a low-land hand by moving lands up to the top of your library to prevent you from missing land drops, and even then, the effect may not be worthwhile. Knowing what Morph creatures they have will become less and less valuable as you learn the playable morph creatures in Onslaught, and the other ability was worthwhile on Peek because it said DRAW A CARD.
Also, the artwork is awful. Look, I’m not really sure what definition of Spy we’re going for here, but I don’t think Evil Eye of Orms-by-Gore is a spy. Alright? So whoever is responsible, seriously, you suck. I was almost as disappointed with this artwork as I was by Shepherd of Rot.
The card is not entirely without worth. For example, take a situation where your Heedless One is blocked by a 4/4. It’s 3/3 at the time. You Standardize, all creatures are now Elves, and the Heedless One smashes over the 4/4. The problem is, the mana cost is too high, and they removed the”fog” effect by preventing you from making them all walls. Had it of been able to”wall” the opponent, then you would be happy to play this. As it stands, this interacts well with a couple of cards, like the Ones and the five-tap lords or Titania creatures, but it isn’t really good enough to play maindeck.
You have just managed to stabilize the board, with four wizards on the table. You have also managed to have the four wizards survive the Supreme Inquisitor coming into play. Congratulations! You have just put the Lord of Bananas into play.
Can I stress how unlikely it is against any half-decent deck to win by having five wizards in play?
Can I stress how the effect has no effect on board position and therefore, no matter how powerful it looks, isn’t a good win condition?
You know, there’s a strip of cards in Odyssey, in red. Mudhole is one of them, they’re all rare. And they’re all bad. I feel sort of like I’m looking at that strip – but then again, none of these cards are as bad as Mudhole.
Trade Secrets really isn’t that great. Unless your deck is higher quality than your opponent’s, at which point you should probably win anyways, drawing one more card than him isn’t really that great a move. Should he repeat the process, he is either:
A) A moron
B) Attempting to draw into a bomb
C) You have very little mana remaining to cast further spells so he’s going to fill your hand while he fills his up as well, and then he gets to cast those fresh cards first while you get to discard.
I can get all these abilities on other cards. Imagecrafter will repeat the process for me; Crown of Ascension stays on board and let’s me do a Wonder-style alpha strike and lastly there’s about fifteen cards that let me sort the top of my library. The only thing the Trickery Charm is special for is being able to make a creature a wall for a turn – which is not a good ability. Rorix can’t attack for a turn? Fine, dude, just use Mistform Mask. You’ll pick enough of those up late in the draft, ok?
The art is horrible. It looks like a cross between Kai Budde, a sumo wrestler, and a skate boarder.”Voidmage” is one of the coolest names in the set, and Kai is one of the best players Magic will ever see. They should have rejected it. I swear, I can’t paint, but I could do a cooler rough sketch.
The Prodigy lets you take the worst tribe (Sorry, Ferrett – birds are better) and throw them at oncoming spells like old people are trains… Which is very goblinesque of them. It’s a good card, assuming you have Wizards around to spare, and the blue mana free. Beyond that, it’s a solid two-drop. It works nicely with Oversold Cemetery, or even the dreaded Sigil of the New Dawn, as long as you have a cheap wizard to recur. Imagecrafter works. Imagecrafter will also let you sacrifice insect tokens! (And the Symbiotic Elf, too: Three counterspells from one card is some good, I hear.)
Wheel and Deal
Just say no to drugs, kids.