In this episode we dive headfirst into new Shadowmoor spoilers, take a look back at Morningtide and what new additions it brought to the Cube, and more. Let’s go!
Morningtide Cube Additions
With each new set beginning with Shadowmoor, we’ll take a look at the previous set and see what cards are ripe for cubing. This amount of time delay allows us to see the “real” powerful cards in the set, and how they’ve proved themselves in Limited and Constructed in terms of power and efficiency. We’ll take these additions by color, in WUBRG order:
White additions: Reveillark, Feudkiller’s Verdict
For these two you could argue that Feudkiller’s Verdict isn’t quite the powerhouse it could’ve been in Constructed, but in Limited it is a sure-fire beating. This is a card that will fit perfectly in U/W control archetypes, and should be picked appropriately.
Reveillark, as we know, has reached all the way into Vintage, and that’s almost always a sure sign that it will find love in the Cube. This fits into almost anything playing White, and for those who love to spash this is a definite splash-worthy card.
Blue additions: Vendilion Clique
Remember, it’s not the number of cards added it’s the quality, and Vendilion Clique has certainly proven its quality after appearing in Patrick Chapin Chase Rare Control version 2.0 Hyper Fighting Edition at Grand Prix: Philly, and was an all-star for me last week when I played Kyle Sanchez Wizards deck at the StarCityGames $1K Open.
Black additions: Bitterblossom
Oh, Bitterblossom. How awesome are you again? So very, very awesome. This card has been seen in winning lists all over the place, and I fully expect it to hit Extended quite hard after Invasion block and Odyssey block go the way of the dodo. This card’s fantastic for a simple reason: It turns life into dudes. Dudes with evasion. That never stop. Ever. Rawr.
Red additions: Countryside Crusher, Taurean Mauler, Shard Volley
Finally, more than one card gets added to the cube! These guys are all kinds of awesome, and while Taurean Mauler has found no Constructed love, I think most will agree he’s a Limited powerhouse. Shard Volley adds Yet Another Burn Spell to the cube, and Countryside Crusher? Well, he’s a Prius, remember. He never runs out of gas. And in the aggressive archetypes you’ll be drafting him in, that’s just exactly what you’re looking for.
Green additions: Chameleon Colossus
Ah, we’re back to one addition again, but this one is a monster. From the first moment I saw him I loved him, and Colossus has been rocking decklists the world over. His ability to dodge about 75% of the spot removal found in the cube is definitely a plus, and he’s a worthy early pick in a variety of aggressive archetypes. Fun, fun stuff.
Artifacts and Lands: Mutavault
Yes, you could see this one coming, but Mutavault is definitely going into the cube. As the second best man-land ever printed, he’s been seen in winning decklists for months and months, and will remain incredibly potent for years to come.
So those are your cube additions, folks. I know that nine cards doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider how high the barrier of entry is for any card into the coveted cube, replacing 2% of those cards can be a challenge.
If you want more information about the cube, including what’s in it and what was removed for the cards added above, be sure to visit my personal cube drafting site, cubedrafting.com.
Now, onto the spoilers!
Give Me Some Shadowmoor
In this week’s rundown we have quite a spicy selection to choose from, so let’s get started.
First I want to highlight the mechanic that was not spoiled by press time last week. Yes, Shadowmoor has a total of four new mechanics, not three, and the last new mechanic is Conspire. Conspire’s rules text reads “As you play this spell, you may tap two untapped creatures you control that share a color with it. When you do, copy it.” Here’s an example:
Burn Trail deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
Conspire (As you play this spell, you may tap two untapped creatures you control that share a color with it. When you do, copy it and you may choose a new target for the copy.)
Remember that you can only do this once, so if you have six creatures you can’t copy it three times; you may only copy it once. However, this is certainly a new Limited bomb as Steve Sadin correctly pointed out, one that is sure to bring a smile to your face if you open it during the Prerelease.
Moving on, the first card I want to highlight is the release promo that you can pick up in your local store during release events. Hold onto your hats, because this one is just incredible.
Creature – Goblin Shaman
Vexing Shusher can’t be countered by spells or abilities.
R/G: Target spell can’t be countered by spells or abilities.
Ooookay. Now that is some pure, unadulterated Blue hate right there. This guy, all by himself, can completely blank Counterbalance and could very well push it out of the Extended metagame entirely. It’s hard to explain how good this guy against anyone playing Islands, but I think having the rules text of “No spell you play for the rest of the game is getting countered” seems pretty solid to me. In Extended, this means that Red Deck Wins will probably be winning a lot more so, as its Blistering Firecats will always resolve with just a single extra mana, and if Tarmogoyf suddenly costs three mana instead of just two, I think you can deal with that as well.
In that same vein, take a look at this other new Red/Green hoser:
Counter target blue instant spell
Huzzah! Another wonderful spell that allows you to quickly “Negate” your opponents counterspell. To me this says “Counter target Cryptic Command,” but maybe it’s just me. Between the two it seems as though Shusher is the definitive choice, but at least there’s a budget option for those less fortunate.
Next up is the Mike Flores spoiled Fulminator Mage:
1 B/R B/R
Creature – Elemental Shaman
Sacrifice Fulminator Mage: Destroy target nonbasic land.
Yeah, so, he’s incredible and will be a tournament staple for years to come. I know there are some doubters out there, but I think you have to think about two things: First, take a look at any recent Top 8 list from any format and notice how every deck has nonbasic lands in it. And I mean every one. Even the Kithkin decks run Mutavault, as they should.
Second, Flores’ column is for the Spikes out there, and rarely do they give him a card that doesn’t end up spectacular. Well, okay, maybe every once in awhile. Let’s take a look:
His Morningtide Previews featured Countryside Crusher and Mind Shatter. Not too shabby, as both of those cards were chase for awhile, and Countryside Crusher has been seen in many a mono-Red Beatdown deck.
In Lorwyn, there is no question he hit it out of the park each time: Cryptic Command is the best Blue card printed in years, Silvergill Adept powers the Merfolk deck that just took two places in the Top 8 of the StarCityGames $1K, and Shriekmaw is also one of the best creatures printed in quite awhile.
For Future Sight things weren’t quite so cheery, as Glittering Wish has fizzled through time but Pact of Negation still sees a lot of play.
Planar Chaos had a hit in Harmonize, but a huge miss in Mirri the Cursed, as the latter has been seen making more tournament tables level than on the tables themselves.
We have to go back all the way to Time Spiral to find some real clunkers. For whatever reason, Wizards of the Coast R&D were absolutely convinced that Serra Avenger was going to be a great creature, going so far as to make it the textless foil promo given away at States that year. He also previewed Magus of the Disk, who unfortunately died to Char and was generally too slow to ever matter… ever. Last, he gave us the heart-stoppingly bad Tivadar of Thorn, a rare so ghastly I’m curious if R&D wanted to punk Mike instead of giving him something impacting and scary.
So I’m going to go out on a limb here and call Fulminator Mage one of the best creatures to be printed in recent memory. He’s going to be in all kinds of decks and will be destroying Mutavaults and dual lands for years to come. While he probably won’t reach $20 bill status, he’ll be damn close.
Speaking of official spoilers, I’d like to highlight what can only be called the best idea Wizards of the Coast marketing has come up with in years: The booster pack sent to several card shops around the country. Check out this cover sheet (image). This was a marketing idea designed around embracing spoilers, even “filler” spoilers such as random commons and uncommons, and I will call this brilliant. Finally, finally somebody at Wizards of the Coast gets it. I’m astonished that this not only happened, but they included the phrase “Please post your thoughts and photos on your favorite Magic forum.” This is as close we’ll probably ever come to seeing the Rumor Mill legitimized, and to me it’s a good day to be a Magic Rumor Mill Junkie. This was fantastic.
Unfortunately the cards spoiled for it were not. But let’s go find one more to close out the show with.
Lastly I’m going to detail the best finisher to come along for control decks in quite awhile: Oona, Queen of the Fae. I think we’ll just call her Big Perm. (cue Friday movie clip)
This girl has it all. Not only can she go in mono blue decks, she can go in mono black decks alongside Korlash, and she could very well bring back Mystical Teachings decks all by herself.
To those who doubt, let’s take a look at the last incredibly powerful blue finisher, Meloku. For an additional mana you get a 5/5 instead of a 2/4. Yes, Meloku required less colored mana. However, untapping with Oona is almost certainly game over for your opponent, much as it was with Meloku. Thirdly, with Teferi you can Mystical Teachings for Oona, have a 5/5 dragon any time you wish, along with a milling effect that will be absolutely crushing in limited. If there was ever a rare you wanted to open in sealed or draft, this is it. It’s huge, it flies, it makes tokens, it mills your opponent’s library.
I think it’s hard to really appreciate how powerful Oona is, but when she begins showing up in control decks around the world you’ll soon figure out why she’s so incredible. I repeat: Untap = win (in limited, at least…). Even Kokusho couldn’t claim that.
So that’s the hotness for this week everybody. Next week we’ll go over the last bastion of Shadowmoor Spoilers, see where I’ll end up for the Shadowmoor prerelease, and highlight any other oddities happening around the Magic populace.
Until next time Magic players, this is Evan Erwin, tapping the cards so you don’t have to.
Evan “misterorange” Erwin
dubya dubya dubya dot misterorange dot com
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Title — “Graves” by Tokyo Police Club
Bumpers — “Tessellate” by Tokyo Police Club