Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re taking a look at Worldwake Standard, the breakout stars from Pro Tour: San Diego to the upcoming release of Rise of the Eldrazi and some wicked spoilers. Let’s go!
So these past few weeks we’ve been reliving the Magic Cruise and Pro Tour: San Diego and of course it’s been a blast. But what I most enjoyed over the past few weeks is watching Worldwake really ‘come into its own,’ as it were. A few realizations as the tournament finishes rack up:
First, Stoneforge Mystic is awesome right now. If you don’t have a set, you better get a set. They are incredible in Standard and Extended, are fun in casual decks of all shapes and sizes and give white actual card advantage! A few weeks ago I said she would be worth some cash someday…but little did I know how soon that day would come. Turns out that just fetching Basilisk Collar, Sigil of Distinction and even Trusty Machete is good enough.
Second, speaking of awesome, the Build Your Own Visara(tm) combo is seeing heavy play, and by that I mean Cunning Sparkmage wearing a Basilisk Collar. Basilisk Collar is one scary mamma jamma, and this combo, by itself, can do serious damage to any green or G/W Aggro deck. That sure is a nice Baneslayer you got there…guess I’ll kill it and gain a life.
Another exciting innovation has been Gerry Thompson “Koros” which runs the Cunning Sparkmage / Stoneforge Mystic / Basilisk Collar combo and will happily blow your mind by playing a singleton Kitesail Apprentice, a pair of Kor Duelists, and yes, that IS a pair of Adventuring Gear along with fifteen(!) sacklands. Wow! Easily the breakout deck of the Midwest Masters tournament in which it made Top 8, Gerry T, the same guy who married Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek into Dark Depths to win a Magic Online PTQ, shows us what Boros Bushwhacker 2.0 looks like. Fellow premium writer Adrian Sullivan recanted a tale where he had seven mana and a Sigil of Distinction with four counters on it. He rips Ranger of Eos to fetch Goblin Bushwhacker and Kor Duelist, playing both and kicking the Goblin, then attaching the Sigil of Distinction dropping a back-breaking sixteen damage from out of nowhere. Ridiculous!
Going back to the PT for a second, the unfortunate part of that event was the Jund-on-Jund final. Good lord, how boring. That stupid deck has been completely crushing for months, and here comes the Pro Tour where it crushes once again. I know it’s cool and different to have green/black/red be the card advantage colors for awhile, but I’ll be glad when Shards of Alara rotates its way into the wild blue Extended yonder. I’ve had enough of these Bloodbraid Elf into Blightning shenanigans.
The dual manlands showed up at the Pro Tour, and by that I mean all of them but Creeping Tar Pit. Poor Creeping Tar Pit. He’s just a little too small or too slow to matter right now, and there’s no deck that needs him. But I’m betting that one day, he’ll show what he can do. The Worldwake manlands are all arguably as good or better than Treetop Village, and with four seeing play so far, the fifth probably isn’t far behind. As for the sixth manland, I gotta take a moment and congratulate my buddy Craig Wescoe on his awesome performance, making Top 4 with my favorite archetype of all time: White Weenie. Have you actually played with Dread Statuary? I mean, have you? It’s a beating! I love this deck, whether it’s the awesome creature base, the realization that there are -six- manlands in Worldwake, that are all awesome, is a great realization.
And yes, Trusty Machete got there. In the Top 8 of a Pro Tour! That’s just fantastic.
So far it looks like Worldwake is having more and more impact, as players are finding new and exciting ways to get those cards to work just the way you want. Sejiri Steppe is making Knight of the Reliquary into Mother of Runes, Tectonic Edge is slowly gaining respect, Jace, the Mind Sculptor is quickly emptying wallets, and Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs is finding his way into more and more decklists.
And say, is that Kalastria Highborn in the 3rd place StarCityGames Standard Open from Richmond a few weeks ago? Trips, yessir! Turns out she was pretty good after all. At least, in the right deck.
But enough about Standard… how’s about them Rise of the Eldrazi spoilers? Let’s check em out.
Rise of the Eldrazi Spoilers Begin!
All right, in what is destined to be the best Magic Arcana article ever, the Eye of Ugin opened up just as you clicked on it and then…
…then… oh my God! What the hell is that! AAAHHHHH! Kozilek, the Butcher of Friggin Truth, is here and he’s ready to rock and roll. He’s big, nuts huge, and takin over your browser! Yes, that is a ten mana creature. Yes, that is a 12/12 ten mana creature, arguably more aggressively costed than Darksteel Colossus. And look at those abilities! When you -cast- Kozilek, Butcher of Truth you draw four cards. Not when it enters the battlefield, but whenever you pay its mana cost – which, thanks to the Eye of Ugin being in play, is only eight mana. For a 12/12. That draws you four cards just for playing it. And – AND, we’re not even done yet, and your opponent sacrifices four permanents when he attacks them. Now that is one scary dude. Your opponents are soon losing stuff just at the threat of him dealing them damage. But we’re still not done! Even after all this, he’s a Gaea’s Blessing that can keep you from getting milled to death, along with simply shuffling him back in your deck when he dies.
But another interesting quirk – note that the shuffle ability is a ‘When’ triggered ability. Compare this to Progenitus – Progenitus, by contrast, is a replacement effect. If he would go, you shuffle instead. Kozilek, however, is a when – meaning he hits the graveyard and THEN it goes on the stack, and you can respond accordingly. What am I getting at? That he can be Makeshift Mannequin’d or Reclaimed or what have you. Now if you reanimate him you don’t get to draw four cards – that’s only if you cast him from your hand.
That said, the Eye of Ugin has exploded in price after the spoiling of this monster. What was once a $3-$5 Mythic is now a $15 Mythic. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth is now being pre-sold on StarCityGames for a mere $19.99, and I for one think that could be quite a deal as more is spoiled from Rise of the Eldrazi. Remember how early and how underrated Jace, the Mind Sculptor was? Why would they preview a bad card so early? Because it’s not bad at all, and could in fact be an aggressively costed Eldrazi! We’ll see about that, but I would suggest you get yours early before the rest of the set starts leaking outwards.
But we’re just getting started! I’ve got a whopping six new spoilers to show you! So let’s get…
Hello? Is this thing on?
–and you wouldn’t believe this guy, what a powerhou–
Okay, okay. So there’s a bit of an embargo on the new Rise of the Eldrazi spoilers. Join me next week when I’ll be making a special episode to air on Sunday night at midnight – technically Monday morning – where I’ll go over the new spoilers and we’ll discover some more of the set together.
Until then, we’ll take a look at some of the incredible new art from the set. So until Monday Magic players, this is Evan Erwin. Tapping the cards…so you don’t have to!
Evan “misterorange” Erwin