Now that Mirrodin has been fully released, the cat is out of the bag and we all now know what a powerhouse Mirrodin is. For the most part, the most powerful cards in the set are not rares, but uncommons – however, there will always be goodies to trade for in any new set.
The last time I did a trading article, the results were very positive, so I have been asked to do another for this set. In Onslaught I was also asked to do this, but the cards were not nearly as spectacular so did not make quite the read this will be. In essence, I will review the top 10 rares to trade for in Mirrodin, talking about why it is good to trade for them and what uses the cards might have in general. This is not a full review of the set. The cards are also ranked in no particular order.
#1: Chrome Mox
Okay, no surprises here. This card says”Mox.” Trade for it.
It says”Mox.” Did I mention it says”Mox”? Oh yeah – it does!
The same goes for Gilded Lotus, except this card is actually good. This Mox should be in almost every deck, since it can straight-up replace land. Wizards obviously wanted to spice up the power and attractiveness of the set when they let this one through testing.
#2: Promise of Power
This card reminds me of Necrologia – except it has the ability to make decent sized guy. Now, I know Necrologia wasn’t played much, but I feel this card will get a little more love… And at any rate, it will be good trade bait because it makes a big black flying demon. If you actually can muster enough mana to pay the entwine, you have a rather favorable situation on your hands. Remember – you can’t go wrong when trading for Angels and Demons! Also, the picture looks really cool.
#3: Lumengrid Augur
This card represents the new way that colored cards will encourage the play of artifacts – there are also artifacts with colored activation costs that promote the same theme. This card is an oversized Merfolk Looter at first glance – but take a closer look and you will find that he has the ability to cycle through a deck that is filled with artifacts, pretty much getting you whatever you desire while filling up your graveyard. This could be useful in many ways – come on now, you are players – be creative!
#4: Shared Fate
Okay – this card is a little over the top. Most people will think this was made for casual play, but in all reality it looks like a top-notch Constructed card. My last Mirrodin article talked about it a little and I was slightly confused when reading it; nevertheless, I have re-read the card several times and understand it fully – and it is still a really, really good. Better than I thought it was before. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a deck with four of these and no ways to win could easily take a deck by storm. There is a lot of elegance to building a deck like that – because you cannot make it too controllish, otherwise you might have trouble winning with your opponent’s deck!
#5: Vedalken Archmage
I suspect this card will be the staple of many decks to come. There will be a lot of mono-blue/artifact decks running around with the Augur and this fellow. I am not sure on what a good way to protect him would be, but I am sure it won’t take much to come up with a solution to those pesky Shocks. Overall, this might be a riskier card to trade for, but then again you could be trading for the next big card. I personally believe this guy is not near-broken, but that will not stop him from appearing in many decks and trades.
#6: Extraplanar Lens
Mana Flare has returned! It is very strange – I don’t ever remember Mana flare being a playable card outside of combo decks with Palinchron, but for some reason I suspect this card will be very popular and playable. It might be because the card is less symmetrical than Mana Flare, but then again it is also less powerful and requires an investment. This card will be hot at the prerelease, but I’m not sure if it will stand the test of time.
#7: Solemn Simulacrum
The new Invitational card got a very nice facelift. Now that it is an artifact it is actually playable in Constructed, I would try to trade for as many of these as you can – I suspect them to be on a similar quality level as Meddling Mage. He may be solemn, but you will be happy when he dies!
Wait – maybe that’s why he’s solemn…
#8: Empyrial Plate
Empyrial Armor on a stick! I have the distinct feeling that White Weenie is making a comeback in this set in a big way. This makes me and Elliot Fung very happy (an obscure reference – sue me)!
This card will be especially good with Auriok Steelshaper. I envision a white weenie deck with about ten equipment cards, twenty-four guys, and maybe two Wrath of Gods. If this card doesn’t get used in a white weenie deck for some reason, it will probably get used in suicide black or goblins. I have no fear that this card will find a very good home. Trade for four; you’ll probably want to play with them.
So how would you like infinite time walks? Does that appeal to you? Okay, so they might not be infinite, but they are pretty close as long as you have a way to stack the top of your deck. These are far and few between in standard and block – but in Extended, I see a combo deck centered around this already. Another way to run this card would be in a high-converted mana cost blue deck with the affinity for artifact cards like Broodstar and Thoughtcast. Low mana counts and lots of artifact mana help this card out. Perhaps Sage Owl will actually see some play with this card around.
#10: Platinum Angel
I was reluctant to put this on my list because it is so obvious. This is one of the chase rares of Mirrodin – however unplayable it may be. This card is very similar to Worship, and it is actually worse, since most decks don’t have enchantment removal, but they always have ways to kill creatures. This is doubly true now, where many deck will be packing artifact removal maindeck. Still, this card is an Angel, and it says stuff about the game – winning, losing, and such. For some reason, this makes people all crazy about it. I don’t understand it, I just know it is a fact. If you are looking for cash trade value, go platinum.
These cards were really good and I think they are fine to trade for – but alas, they didn’t make the top 10.
She’s a Legend that is an important storyline character – and she’s got a good ability to boot. Might see play in Constructed.
An interesting card with gobs of potential. People will want it because it’s so much fun and the possibilities are endless.
This card was just made for certain players; Andrew Cuneo will certainly have more fun playing Magic with this card. I think this is what Cursed Scroll should have been originally. With a low mana cost and a powerful ability, I think this will see play in certain decks.
This card says "double the damage." ‘Nuff said. I want to play it already! Belch!
Concordant Crossroads gets to live again! It was good back then; it will be good now, even if it found a new color. This is certainly a Constructed-playable card.
Another Constructed-playable rare – this guy reminds me of Woodripper, except he sticks around. The mana cost and size is just right to make it so this will be in sideboards (and main decks!) of most green beatdown decks.
Speaking of Green beatdown – the Troll Ascetic is just what it was looking for. This guy is a tough cookie to handle, and may need to be Wrathed away. At three mana for a 3/2, it also maintains the momentum a good beatdown deck needs. The really funny thing is that I think this guy might have a better chance of being played in control decks than beatdown decks!
I’m not really sure about this one, and I am sure most people feel the same way. It looks like it can be good. But is it? The world will know soon enough! You might want to hold out trading for this one unless you have a good feeling for it.
I would like to end this article off by reminding everyone to have a lot of fun at the prereleases! Remember that a lot of new players and casual players attend these things, so if they are doing something wrong, please don’t get them disqualified – instead, politely explain the situation and call a judge over and make it a learning experience. Fun is the goal here!
Have a good time!