The Magic Show #79 – The Morningtide After

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Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we have a whole bunch of great content, from interviews with Mark Rosewater and Erik Lauer on the direction of Magic and design of Morningtide, to a review of the hottest cards to pick up this weekend at the prerelease, to a kick ass Magic puzzle by Jeff Till. Let’s go!

Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we have a whole bunch of great content, from interviews with Mark Rosewater and Erik Lauer on the direction of Magic and design of Morningtide, to a review of the hottest cards to pick up this weekend at the prerelease, to a kick ass Magic puzzle by Jeff Till. Let’s go!

First up this week are the interviews I conducted with both Mark Rosewater and Erik Lauer while at the World Championships. In this video we talk about design choices, the direction of Magic, how to fix White, the Green renaissance, and more.

First up…

A Chat With Mark Roswater and Erik Lauer

We speak about:

* How Did Morningtide Become Class Based?

* Are You Planning On “Planting” Any Race/Class-Based Interactions In Shadowmoor?

* Messing With Convention

* The Rise of Green

* Fixing White

We speak to Erik Lauer about:

* Lorwyn cards that changed in development (including the Dragonstorm-weilding Spinerock Knoll!)

* Designing Morningtide

The Morningtide After

Okay, so Morningtide is 100% spoiled, much to the chagrin of Wizards of course, and the rumor mills are bursting with deck and card ideas. Basically, we don’t want to get caught with our Tarmogoyf pants down again, and this sort of rumor discussion tries to prevent that.

So with that said, what are the hits from Morningtide? Let’s take a look:

Mutavault was featured on the show a few weeks ago, but let me reiterate: This is the single most important card in the set. It is the best card in the set, and will have the most long-lasting impact. Tribal comes and goes, but a Mishra’s Factory is always good. Don’t you dare trade one of these until you get a playset. It will go into almost any mono or two-colored deck automatically, and probably fit in tri-color just fine too.

Murmuring Bosk
Absolutely unbelievably good. Yes, the hyperbole meter is damn near shattered on this land. While Mutavault is the best card in the set, this is right behind it. The fact is, it’s just better than any other painland… ever. The reason is a single word: Forest. This card is a Forest in addition to being a Caves of Koilos. So in Extended you need only one fetchland for three colors. Now that is some hot sexiness. This has been going nuts on eBay, and expect it to command a twenty dollar bill for many, many months.

Earwig Squad
Ridiculous! I mentioned it as well a few weeks ago, but it didn’t take long for everyone to get really excited about it. Turns out that Turn Three Take Three Wraths From Your Deck is pretty good for both Goblins and Rogues. Who knew? This card being the release foil is another thing to be excited about. After having missed out on my sweet Shriekmaw from last time, I’ll be damned if I miss out on Earwig. Jester’s Cap on a stick is here to stay!

The most impacting card of the set beyond the lands. This is an incredible, incredible card. Its uses may not jump out at you, but the most important thing to note is this: You do not have to search for basic lands. This is also why it probably says they come into play tapped. Otherwise you just get Tron and win. Or you just get Tron anyway and win. Or Cloudposts. Or in Standard go get your Treetop Villages and Mutavaults. Or whatever. This card is nuts and will be a chase rare for some time. Tooth and Nail just got a new best friend.

Cream of the Crop
I’m just gonna go ahead and declare this card as bonkers. This basically gives you no reason not to run U/G Faeries, and with such incredible library manipulation it won’t take long to begin abusing Leaf-Crowned Elder either. Let’s see, we have Teferi, Mystic Snake, the infinite number of Flash Faeries, and something as simple as an Evoked Briarhorn will let you look at the top six and choose the best to put on top. Now that’s what I call playing with power. This is a huge sleeper card in my opinion.

Feudkiller’s Verdict
Hah! A Ferrett preview makes the Best of Morningtide list. I think this is another sleeper, and it gives Blue/White control a fantastic card to stabilize with. Your Red Deck Wins opponent cares the least about their life total, and this card punishes them for trying to take out your own. Let’s see, go up to 17 and I have a 5/5 monster to kill your dudes? Sounds good to me. Again, this is a “sleeper” card, which means that many are dismissing it and may be rightfully so. We shall see.

Vendilion Clique
Does this card look obviously nerfed or is it just me? From its incredible ability to make your opponent cycle their Wrath of God while also getting to look at their entire freaking hand, there is little that’s wrong with this clique. Simply put, this thing in multiples is like the ultimate kick in the junk, and part of me wonders if it isn’t a good idea to simply run a second one out there when need be to make them cycle their best card and get another look at their hand. This is a chase rare because Faeries are already an established deck and this goes in there with little or no effort.

Countryside Crusher
Helllloooo Aggro Loam! Yes, Aggro Loam just got its best friend ever right here. The key to this card is that it gets a +1/+1 counter whenever a land goes to the graveyard from anywhere. That means that when you cycle a land, it gets a counter. When you cycle a land to dredge back Life from the Loam and put three lands in the bin, he just got four +1/+1 counters at instant speed for one mana. Now that’s an ass-whoopin’. Expect this to be hot hot stuff for quite some time. Then of course you just play a companion Terravore, throw down Devastating Dreams, and kill your opponent handily.

Chameleon Colossus
Wow, $15 a pop for this guy? Get out! I know he’s good, don’t get me wrong. He has protection from Shriekmaw and Doran the Explorer. But give me a break, is this the second coming of Goyf, or even Doran? I think not. He’s a fantastic creature, yes. Pushing $8-$10, sure. But double that price? We gotta look beyond the hype, people. I’m a fan, and I think he’ll definitely make his way into plenty of decks, but not at those prices.

A card not getting near enough attention. With a weird name and casting cost, sure it could fly under the radar. But you gotta be kidding me. This is Project X v2.0 on a stick and just asking to be abused. Saffi + this guy + Essence Warden + free sac outlet = infinite life. Now you may say that requires too many pieces to be in place, but that’s the same thing they said about Project X to begin with, and Murmuring Bosk can give you all the colors you need, quickly found with Treefolk Harbinger.

Mind Shatter
I can’t tell you if this is a good card or not. I really can’t. I played with Mind Twist back in the day, yes, really, and let me tell you it was a beating unlike any other. Ritual, Ritual, Mind Twist for four was creating a eunuch out of your opponent, particularly when you pulled their starting lands from them. Nowadays you’ll have to venture into Legacy and beyond to get that sort of opener, and even then it will be one less card. I think this card is sideboard only in Standard and Extended. It matters only in the godawful Doran mirrors, and we might see an Elf deck packing it main. The problem is that Profane Command is just a better topdeck than this will ever be. It’s better in the opener but the last thing you want to draw late. Get rid of these before people realize how bad it is in the most played environments.

Wolf-Skull Shaman
Nuuuuts. A chase uncommon that I expect to go for Remand prices pretty quickly. He fires off on everything, from the huge amount of good elves to cards like Troll Ascetic who, yes, is indeed a Shaman. I don’t know how much I can express how powerful it is to get free dudes in Magic, but let’s break it down to basics: I’d say 95% of every Magic game played on Earth is won by dudes swinging in the red zone. This creature makes free ones. FOREVER. And if you have two out and any sort of library manipulation, such as, oh I don’t know, Cream of the Crop, this guy will be so unfair it will end games soon after.

Get your playset and hold onto them like a fat kid with his Twinkie. You can thank me later.

So that’s my rundown of Morningtide. Of course there are more cards I could talk about, but that’s all we have time for today. What do I think of the set? I think it’s fantastic. I was worried when writing this week’s script that I wouldn’t have enough cards to talk about, but it turns out I have more than enough. I believe the power level of the game is only going up at this point, and as the Cube has taught us, when the power level goes up so does the fun.

I hope you guys make your way out to the prerelease, always the most fun events of the year, and try your hand at a few sealed flights. It looks like I’m headed to Nashville this year, where I’ll be bringing you the sights and sounds for next week. If you’re out that way, say hello; it’s always nice to meet viewers of the Show.

Also look for the companion puzzle piece from Jeff Till that accompanies this article. I think you’ll dig it.

So until next time Magic players, when we hear what you think of Morningtide, this is Evan Erwin, tapping the cards so you don’t have to.

Jeff Till Magic Puzzle

Here’s a fun little romp thanks to the puzzle master Jeff Till. This was far more work than I anticipated.

Here is the Puzzle:

And here is the Solution! Don’t peek first!

Thanks for watching, everybody.

Evan “misterorange” Erwin
dubya dubya dubya dot misterorange dot com
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Written at the very last second. Craig is going to kill me!

Music Credits:
Title: “Foundations” by Kate Nash
Chat: “I Get It” by Chevelle
Messing With Convention: “Well Enough Alone” by Chevelle
Fixing White: “Merry Happy” by Kate Nash
Morningtide After: “Humble Peasants” by The Most Serene Republic