The Magic Show #180 – PT & ROE Part 2 – Spoilers!

Monday, March 5th – Hello again everybody, it’s just past midnight, we’re up late and waiting for some goodness so let’s get to those spoilers. No need for bumpers, there’s Rise of the Eldrazi and we need to see something new and sexy. Let’s go!

Hello again everybody, it’s just past midnight, we’re up late and waiting for some goodness so let’s get to those spoilers. No need for bumpers, there’s Rise of the Eldrazi and we need to see something new and sexy. Let’s go!

Here’s what I got: Five cards, some better than others. I’ll try to sculpt an ‘awesome sandwich’, where I put the best at the beginning and end of the show. Cool? Let’s hit it:

First up is a new mechanic called Rebound as featured on Prey’s Vengeance.

Prey’s Vengeance
Target creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
Rebound (If you cast this spell from your hand, exile it as it resolves. At the beginning of your next upkeep, you may cast this card from exile without paying its mana cost.)

Now this mechanic is awesome in the same way that Flashback and Buyback are: They let you get more than one use out of your spells! This is both a trick and a swing in tempo all in one. I don’t see a lot of constructed applications, which is to say none, but regardless this should be quite the trick in Rise of the Eldrazi limited.

But that’s not what’s really exciting about this card. This card is sweet because of it’s possibilities — Remember, this is your basic green pump spell, so I can only imagine what the others do, and not just other commons, but other rarities!

To throw a few ideas out, my guess is the white common Rebound spell provides protection or a +1/+1 counter, the blue one of course draws cards or gives flying, red deals damage or doesn’t let a creature block, while the black one gives –X/-X or makes a player discard a card. This is a way for design and development to get creative in their mana costs, showing you what drawing two cards over the course or two turns or making a player discard a card over several turns may look like. Again, I don’t know what abilities may or may not be on Rebound cards, but the possibilities are awesome. My hope is a Rebound rare makes dragons or beasts or angels, deals some absurd amount of damage, or what about a Rebound Zombify! The possibilities are endless and I trust that R&D explored many of them before their final selections.

Up next is Valakut Fireboar.

Valakut Fireboar
Creature — Elemental Boar
Whenever Valakut Fireboar attacks,
switch its power and toughness
until end of turn.

I told you not every preview would be glowing with awesomeness, but this is one scary mamma jamma when it wants to be. It’s sort of like red’s version of Hungry Spriggan or Timbermaw Larva, except this version is always freakishly scary with no blockers on the opposing side.

How about a kill spell? Check out Corpsehatch.

Destroy target nonblack creature.
Put two 0/1 colorless Eldrazi Spawn
creature tokens onto the battlefield.
They have “Sacrifice this creature:
Add 1 to your mana pool.”

Now as you may remember from Zendikar, we were previewed Hideous End from the Planechase decks, as it represented the ‘base’ black removal spell for the block. My guess is this is the ‘base’ black removal spell for Rise of the Eldrazi. We’ve heard that Rise will be significantly slower than Zendikar, and it shows if this really is the ‘base’ removal spell for the set. There’s also been rumors of spells that create 0/1’s that can be sacrificed for mana, again confirmed with this spell.

Why 0/1’s that sacrifice themselves for mana? Why those wacky Eldrazi of course. We’ll see a brand new one at the end of the show. Let’s continue.

Mnemonic Wall is up next and it’s a doozy.

Mnemonic Wall
Creature – Wall
When Mnemonic Wall enters the
battlefield, you may return target instant
or sorcery card from your graveyard to
your hand.

Again, a card advantage card for blue isn’t shocking, but compare this to Izzet Chronarch. Chronarch didn’t see a lot of constructed play, but it also required you to play red mana. With Mnemonic Wall, you can play Day of Judgment, drop the Wall, and simply Regrowth the Day of Judgment or Martial Coup or Mind Spring and move on from there. It’s also big enough to block Sprouting Thrinax, Bloodbraid Elf, and every creature in white weenie. This is a card that is probably a lot better than it looks, and I think could be a lot better than a ‘mere’ five mana blue common.

Moving forward we see a new mechanic on Mammoth Umbra.

Mammoth Umbra
Enchantment – Aura
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +3/+3 and
has vigilance.
Totem armor (If enchanted creature
would be destroyed, instead remove all
damage from it and destroy this Aura.)

Yes, Totem armor is coming and it is sweet. This card immediately makes me think of Elephant Guide and Griffin Guide as well. Totem armor, to me, is another way to make auras not totally suck. For too long in Magic, auras were often jokes, punchlines that always ended with your creature dying to a removal spell and you getting 2-for-1’d or worse. Successful Auras have all had some sort of card advantage or replacement involved, from the original breakthrough Rancor, to Elephant Guide, to Moldervine Cloak, that saw its way to the Pro Tour championship in Honolulu a few years ago. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, such as Armadillo Cloak, but on the whole Auras don’t get a whole lot of respect. There’s a reason that Gigantiform isn’t seeing competitive play, you know what I’m sayin?

Mammoth Umbra, of course, is here to buck that trend. It’s the Elephant Guide that merely dissipates when your opponent finally uses their Doom Blade or Day of Judgment or what have you. Now, even with Totem armor you must be careful when casting this Aura — essentially, you need to wait until your opponent is tapped out or ‘shields down’ as they say, then drop this bad boy and get to bashing. I also like how you can use Totem armor with cards like Earthquake or Day of Judgment to keep your own monsters around and lose nothing but an enchantment.

I’m also very curious as to what other Totem armors could look like. This is one of those mechanics that can easily be overpowered if one enchantment or another is too cheap or its boost too powerful. My guess is we’ll see very few of these and based on their reception we may get more Totem armor Auras in the future. I’m dying to see what a rare Totem armor Aura looks like.

Okay, we’ve hit our last spoiler. Remember earlier, when Corpsehatch gave you dudes to sacrifice for mana? Yeah, you’re going to need it. You wouldn’t believe this guy. Check out the awe-inspiring Pathrazer of Ulamog.

Pathrazer of Ulamog
Creature – Eldrazi
Annihilator 3 (Whenever this creature
attacks, defending player sacrifices three
Pathrazer of Ulamog can’t be blocked
except by three or more creatures.

Yes, look at that freaky monster! A 9/9 for eleven mana that has both Annihilator 3 AND can’t be blocked except by three or more creatures? Good lord, what a powerhouse!

But you know what the most mind-blowing part of this card is? The rarity. Yes, that is NOT a mythic symbol, and instead this hulking goliath is only uncommon! Does that mean we could be seeing common Eldrazi as well? And do they all cost ten or more mana? Compare Pathrazer of Ulamog to Kozilek, Butcher of Truth. Note that the Mythic is bigger in power and toughness, has a higher Annihilator, draws four freakin cards when cast and Gaea’s Blessing’s when it dies AND it’s one mana cheaper.

I don’t know if you’ve got your set of Kozilek’s yet, but if you don’t you better get them soon. I’m going to throw it out right now: Kozilek is aggressively costed, and if Pathrazer of Ulamog doesn’t set a standard to compare him against, just wait until you see more Eldrazi.

Remember, there is a highly-rumored yet still completely unconfirmed land that taps for a colorless or two colorless mana that can be used only to play Eldrazi spells. With Eye of Ugin this essentially means that Kozilek is a mere six mana with these two lands. Now of course it’s not six mana per se, but work with me here. That’s freaky strong for something that large, that draws that many cards, and requires an answer pretty much immediately.

All I know is, the start of the spoiler season for Rise of the Eldrazi is still in its infancy, and I’m really diggin what I’ve seen so far. Also note that the ‘fact sheet’ on Rise of the Eldrazi mentions there will be colorless Instants and Sorceries for the first time in Magic. And I’m not just talking about Ghostfire, at least, I hope I’m not. I’m imagining cards like 4 mana colorless sorcery, draw two cards. Or five mana colorless instant to destroy target creature.

You could say they’ve done similar things before in Magic, when you look at cards like Seal of Fire and its colorless counterpart Moonglove Extract. My guess is we’ll see many ‘standard’ spells, from Shock to Doom Blade to Divination getting the ‘colorless treatment,’ and that sounds awesome to me. This gives deckbuilders more options, allows colors that don’t ‘supposed’ to have certain effects or abilities get them, albeit at a higher cost. I know that Moonglove Extract was a powerful weapon in Lorwyn block White Weenie, as having an answer to Stillmoon Cavalier was paramount. My guess is many of these spells will fill similar roles.

So those are your five new spoilers, rocketing us forward in both Rise of the Eldrazi information, speculation, and possibility. Remember to share your thoughts in the forum, and I’ll be back this Friday with more Magic goodness.

Until then Magic players, this is Evan Erwin. Tapping the cards… so you don’t have to!

Evan “misterorange” Erwin
Community Manager