Greetings and welcome to… a non-Tribal Bible article! Today’s offering is going to plumb the depths of flavor concealed within the Legendary creatures of the Time Spiral set, all the while attempting to do something which most flavor reviews are either uninterested or incapable of providing – words directed to people who like to actually win a game once in awhile!
What I mean is, where most flavor reviews will stick solely to the out of game uses of the cards involved, my particular niche of the writer pie has thus far been driven by the Tribal Standard format, and part of flavor is creature type. I’m allowed to "cheat" the standard flavor review format because in my case, the flavor is actually a part of the strategy for my usual writing format, and thus the strategy is an applicable part of the flavor discussion. Neat how that works out, isn’t it?
In a nutshell, Time Spiral flavor-wise is like that movie American Pie… except this time, Wizards is shagging the pie. In this case, the color pie. This is mostly evidenced in cards I won’t be reviewing today, but trust me, it’s there. It may be fuel for a forums discussion or a future article.
Since I couldn’t really hide my bias towards the more strategy-oriented parts of flavor, I decided to embrace them. If you want to just read a full flavor review, skip all the parts labeled Tribal Slant. If you’re a purveyor of the Tribal Standard format and want my advice for a given Legend’s usefulness in that format, then these are exactly the parts you want to read. Something for everyone, I can only hope. Anyhow, enough of my prattle, I daresay you’ve enough of it ahead of you.
Mangara of Corondor – 1WW
Legendary Creature – Human Wizard
T: Remove Mangara of Corondor and target permanent from the game.
I have been brought to this place and I cannot leave. I may be free of the amber, but I am still in prison.
I like the art on this piece, where Mangara is kneeling in the dirt and dust, letting it slip through his fingers, looking in the other direction in a nostalgic-feeling fashion. In the background, we see a bolt of lightning from the darkened, ruined sky, which makes the piece feel as though Mangara is mired in the gloom of the present and thinking of the past. The verdant green of his cloak is in stark contrast to the barren wasteland around him, and helps us picture the lands as they once must have been, surely as Mangara himself must be picturing them.
Speaking of the past, the flavor text is a reference to Amber Prison, in which Mangara was once a prisoner, courtesy of Kaervek and his jealousy, according to the flavor text of Blanket of Night.
Tribal Slant: Mangara is a Human Wizard, and given his color, he’s a good deal more likely to be used in the former than the latter, excepting obviously use as an off-tribal (which goes for anyone, so I’m not mentioning it again without good reason). His usefulness is high for the format, allowing that you can protect him until he can tap. Interestingly, he can function as mono-White targeted LD, if you want your first example of the pie-shagging I was discussing earlier.
Tivadar of Thorn – 1WW
Legendary Creature – Human Lord
First strike, protection from red
When Tivadar of Thorn comes into play, destroy target Goblin.
His blade came down upon the neck of a goblin–but not the one he had charged. When Tivadar looked up, the world he had known was gone.
I… don’t think I’m impressed. He looks pretty much like every other Knight of Thorn, except he’s standing in some smoky background. Perhaps the flavor is there, hidden in the mists of whatever’s being burnt. Or maybe it’s what’s for dinner, I’m not sure. I will give him credit down in the rules box, though. All his abilities match his history and character well (see Tivadar’s Crusade) so I can’t complain there.
The flavor text is… simple. It explains why he’s in the storyline, but with a little noun-and-verb swapping, you could apply that text to just about anyone. Why doesn’t it tell us, say, how he felt after he looked up and noticed that he wasn’t in Kansas anymore? Or perhaps what he’s doing now that he’s lost his way? Is getting back his primary concern, or does he simply carry on giving Goblins random autopsies? Tell us about the man, man!
Tribal Slant: Curse, curse, curse. Human Lord – as a Human Knight, he would have had synergy with Haakon; as a Human Soldier, Field Marshal would have liked him; as a Human Lord, he has synergy with… no one. Oh frabjous joy! Still, he’s not without his uses – a slightly overpriced Silver Knight who may occasionally also pop an actual Goblin is still good times for aggressive White decks.
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir – 2UUU
Legendary Creature – Human Wizard
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.)
Creature cards you own that aren’t in play have flash.
Each opponent can play spells only any time he or she could play a sorcery.
To save this plane, he must forsake all others.
Someone did their research; Teferi looks just like we’d hope, including his trademark staff, and boy, he looks pissed. It looks like he just walked in and found someone had torched his home to the ground and made off with his money. Actually, chances are, that’s pretty close to what actually happened, so the art is of course fantastic. I like the angle of the picture, looking up at Teferi, as if from the perspective of a child, or a fallen foe, making him feel like both a symbol of hope and a frightening foe. Well played, well played.
As for his abilities… Teferi was always touted as being one of the most powerful manipulators of time, and boy does he show it. Himself and any posse you like can show up any time they want, and as long as he’s around, your opponent is going to be playing very honestly. All-in-all, Teferi is at the very least interesting and engaging, flavor wise.
Tribal Slant: Human Wizard is to be expected here, and it delivers predictably, putting him in two large tribes, and having a pretty beefy body for either. The casting cost is somewhat prohibitive, but the investment feels as though it will be worth it. Tribal by nature may have less instants to make into sorceries, but on the other hand, it has plenty of critters to grant Flash to.
Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder – 4B
Legendary Creature – Human Wizard
Whenever you play a creature spell, put X 1/1 black Thrull creature tokens into play, where X is that spell’s converted mana cost.
When you control seven or more Thrulls, sacrifice Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder.
Endrek is a pale, rather unsettling fellow, surrounded by his misshapen creations in some dreary place. Bland, bold, and perfect. For a sick and twisted individual, that’s just the kind of mood I like. His stare is engaging, and yet hints at madness and yet deathly calm. His creations shuffle about him in a manner that suggests looking for mischief, particularly the one furthest in the foreground, underneath his cloak.
His ability ties well in with his flavor, supplementing each critter spell you cast with a small army of his minions, and yet you must be cautious, lest Endrek be overwhelmed by his own creations and cast aside. Sadly, he lacks in flavor text, but overall the card is very satisfying.
Tribal Slant: Interestingly, he’s best in a deck without other Thrulls so you can get more out of his ability. This is just fine, because really there’s not many Thrulls worth playing with anyhow. His tiny body is more fit for a dancing girl than a Legend, but still, he’s worth his weight in Thrull tokens, which as a Human Wizard is pretty useful. Interesting food for thought: Endrek Sahr + Conspiracy (Wizards) + Voidmage Prodigy. This also works well for other creature types that would enjoy an excessive number of tokens. I’m sure Nantuko Husk loves him.
Lim-Dul the Necromancer – 5BB
Legendary Creature – Human Wizard
Whenever a creature an opponent controls is put into a graveyard from play, you may pay 1B. If you do, return that card to play under your control. If it’s a creature, it’s a Zombie in addition to its other creature types.
1B: Regenerate target Zombie.
And boy, he looks friendly. If you haven’t seen the art, do so now. The man looks a tad bit unhappy, I must say. I’m not sure I can even frown my lips that far down, that’s fairly impressive. Given how much ol’ Limmy’s been vilified in many a storyline, he looks just about as evil as you’d hope. Lim looks cloaked in shadow and Hell, and he’s not the least bit terrified of you or your little objections to his plans. He’s going to crush you and move on as though you were a total non-event.
His ability is appropriately dominating too, so long as you can keep the removal coming. The tools of your enemies shall become the tools of your victory, and the tide is turning ever towards the victory of Lim-Dul and his army of the fallen.
Tribal Slant: Lim is of the popular Human Wizard school of Legends, although I suspect he’s more likely to end up in any deck with heavy removal as an off-tribal. He’s another man who likes a good Conspiracy, this time for Zombies, giving your own critters (including the man himself) the regeneration ability your opponent’s creatures will have once they’ve joined the proper team. Interestingly, he appears to be capable of stealing opposing man-lands, although we hardly get those these days. All we get are token producing lands. Not that those are horrible either. More relevantly, he can steal Totems from their owners (even Weatherseed, but only on your opponent’s turn) if they die as creatures.
Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician – 3R
Legendary Creature – Goblin Advisor
Whenever another Goblin you control becomes blocked, sacrifice it. If you do, it deals 4 damage to each creature blocking it.
Sacrifice two Mountains: Put two 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens into play.
Everybody but me–CHARGE!
Ib looks silly; he has an oversized helmet, his tongue lolls out, and his standard is torn and shredded. He holds a makeshift spyglass at a useless angle and his armor, as it were, is very piecemeal and random-looking. Also, his nose flat out puts Bill Cosby’s to shame. There’s a pair of bandages over the goggle-like protrusions from his helmet, and one of his long, anime elf style ears is pierced, suggesting a desire to be taken more seriously than he likely is.
Given his tactical… uh… prowess… described on cards of yore, (see particularly Wall of Shields and Blinking Spirit) his ability is very apropos. Watch as he recklessly sends Goblin after Goblin screaming bloody murder at the foe, eager to remove any and all defenses inhibiting his own progress, while safely staying out of the fight himself.
Tribal Slant: I highly appreciate him not being a Goblin Solder or Goblin Warrior, given his rather famous cowardice, although from a practical standpoint, an Advisor in Red is only slightly more useful than tits on a bull. Luckily, he still has his Goblin type, although his ability may be somewhat superfluous so long as Goblin King + Blood Moon remains the popular way to play Goblins in Standard. On the bright side, he is yet another Goblin that discourages blocking, and that’s all to the good. Also, I suppose if you’re desperate, you could de-Alpha strike the Goblin mirror by saccing all your mountains to prevent mountainwalk, so long as you’ve got an even number.
Jaya Ballard, Task Mage – 1RR
Legendary Creature – Human Spellshaper
R, T, Discard a card: Destroy target blue permanent.
1R, T, Discard a card: Jaya Ballard, Task Mage deals 3 damage to target creature or player. A creature dealt damage this way can’t be regenerated this turn.
5RR, T, Discard a card: Jaya Ballard deals 6 damage to each creature and each player.
Oh sweet mother of sorrow, yes! You have no idea whatsoever about the gushing you are about to witness. Oh, no you don’t. Where to start, where to start? Ah, yes. The art of course, picturing a very shapely and smirking Jaya standing in a fairly open space, flaming calligraphy all about and behind her, highlighting her mischievous eyes, crowning her hair in flame, and a wispy, somehow arrogant smoke drifts around her, a sign of her talent and temper. She embodies every hope people had for her, she who was already a legend amongst flavor text enthusiasts, her spunky, sharp, witty attitude conveyed by that winning, “just so” smirk of hers. Despite her well-proportioned body, she doesn’t immediately appear to be a victim of being overtly sexual either. While her pose is provocative, it is confident and brash. There’s no question that this is no mere damsel in distress, waiting to be rescued.
For the last two of you who haven’t been made aware, her abilities are all replicated effects from cards on which she’s previously given her opinion on in the form of flavor text, giving her a curiously invisible flavor text of her own, a rather clever trick on Wizards’s part. And my, do those abilities reflect upon her well. I can just imagine her, pitching streams and bolts and orbs of lava and fire at the enemy, burning everything in her path and capable of ending it all in a fiery explosion, sacrificing herself heroically to defeat your irritating foe. For what it’s worth, I still would have liked to see flavor text for "I’m Jaya Ballard, bitch!" in the spirit of Dave Chapelle’s famous jape. Sure, Wizards will probably never print at least one of those words (luckily, Craig will, if perhaps with some misgivings)… but hey, it’s fun to dream.
Simply spoken, this card is sure to give anyone with even half a Vorthos side (which is about the maximum size of mine on a good day) quite the massive chubby. And if you’re not quite sure what a chubby is… well, allow me to quote Talen Lee:
Talen Lee: I’m glad I never get genesis-elder openings
Talen Lee: I couldn’t play with an erection that hard
At the time, Talen was discussing an ongoing Prismatic game he was a part of, if you’re wondering what Genesis is. Elder is, by the way, of the Sakura-Tribe sort. All that explained, perhaps you can see where this would be a fairly good opening in a slow, primarily control-based format. Thank you for that educational tidbit, Mr. Lee. Fear Talen, for he writes like Tait and plays like Flores! Now if he could only do it the other way around, he’d be famous! (Like Tait, mind you. Not quite as well, as he’ll tell you himself.) [See you in the forums, GT – Craig.]
Tribal Slant: I have a hard time believing that any deck that wants her will bother trying to include her on-tribally. She’s a removal engine, a madness outlet, and she has a mad hatred for Blue permanents. I have a hard time envisioning a deck capable of producing RR that would struggle to find a use for her. Bluntly, if she stays in play, you probably have the game well in hand unless you were so far behind that only a straight-up Wrath effect would save you anyhow. She’s friendly with Magus of the Scroll too, on multiple (non-sexual) levels.
Norin the Wary – R
Legendary Creature – Human Warrior
When a player plays a spell or a creature attacks, remove Norin the Wary from the game. Return it to play under its owner’s control at end of turn.
I have a bad feeling about this.
I like the yellow theme in this picture, as it gives the sensation of Norin peeing himself at the even slightest mention of danger. No doubt that’s exactly what he does too, as Norin is a difficult man to get to stick around. The picture has him looking lost and cautious, which is likely a large component of his chosen lifestyle, and hence why he earned the name he did. Doesn’t look as though he gets much sleep either, but being that he’s timid as a rabbit and about half as dangerous, this all fits in.
So far as the rules text… yeah, we get it. He’s a coward. He’s pretty much the ultimate coward, as even your opponent wiggling his fingers will send him scurrying, as will the mighty onslaught of a lone unpumped token from Kher Keep. No matter is too trivial for Norin to flee from! For all his supposed uselessness as a piece of cardboard, he does make for a chief amongst flavor.
Tribal Slant: There’s something insulting about this guy having the creature type Warrior, since there’s no worthwhile way to get him into a fight. About his only interesting use I can picture offhand is as a repeat trigger for Pandemonium or other comes-into-play effects. While not terribly impressive, I’ve seen mono-Red decks perfectly content to run Honden of Infinite Rage by its lonesome, so I imagine those same people will be just as happy using Pandemonium for the same purpose.
Thelon of Havenwood – GG
Legendary Creature – Elf Druid
Each Fungus gets +1/+1 for each spore counter on it.
BG, Remove a Fungus card in a graveyard from the game: Put a spore counter on each Fungus in play.
The sight of my thallids still thriving is a bittersweet welcome to this cold waste.
Thelon is a wisp of a man, looking rather like a sapling (not saproling) himself amidst the ruins of a forest we can safely assume used to be Havenwood. The lighting in this piece is what makes it work – even though the scene itself is desolate, there’s a tinge of green to the art to remind us what once was, and can once more yearn to have. Thelon’s solitude in the piece lends it a sadness which compounds with the gloomy surroundings, putting on the sensation of bittersweet triumph that Thelon feels at the sight of his surviving children.
And as for rules text, he cares only about his children, as one might expect, serving to nurture the living with both life and death, giving a sense of inevitability to his triumph, much like Lim-Dul’s card gives us. He makes for an interesting heroic character.
Tribal Slant: Of course, neither of his creature types are concurrent with what he’s intended to be used in – a Thallid deck. All the same, that probably won’t stop any Thallid (Fungus, technically) deck from wanting him, especially since in conjunction with Sporesower Thallid, he’s pretty ridiculous. Throw in Conspiracy (Fungus) to give the bonus to non-Fungus creatures in your deck (such as Thelon) as well. Rest assured, I intend to cover this tribe, oh yes I do.
Dralnu, Lich Lord – 3UB
Legendary Creature – Zombie Lord
If damage would be dealt to Dralnu, sacrifice that many permanents instead.
T: Target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard has flashback until end of turn. Its flashback cost becomes equal to its mana cost as you play it. (You may play that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
Dralnu gives us just the barest glimpse over his shoulder as though we were unworthy of his acknowledgement of our existence, a perfect attitude for a Wizard of his talents. Well, he’s not a Wizard, he’s a Zombie Lord (I’d think a Lich would be a Skeleton Wizard…) but all the same. The fading sun in the distance is good lighting to show the Lich Lord by, just as he’s on the verge of nighttime, where his power thrives and swells. The dramatic silken shroud and quality clothing help lend to the atmosphere of arrogance in the piece, and solidify his desire to be known as lordly, even after life itself has expired.
Thanks to his rules text, he’s a bit more difficult to kill that the average walking corpse, since he turns damage into lost trinkets of his summoner instead. Foes looking to remove him must seek ways other than what spells death for mortal critters, a nice touch to the character. He stands with no army to back him, for he reanimates not dead bodies, but dead spells, giving them a second chance to wreak havoc before vanishing off into the aether.
Tribal Slant: Zombie decks are not especially wanting for Blue, and Lord decks don’t exist and hopefully never will. Given the high enforced creature count of the Tribal Standard format, it’s unlikely that Dralnu will be very impressive. Sure, he’s capable of re-using spells, but you’ll only be able to include around sixteen of them, tops. That said, given that some of those spells can be named Sudden Death, Wipe Away, Cancel, or Sudden Spoiling, considering only Time Spiral spells, that may be enough.
Ith, High Arcanist – 5WU
Legendary Creature – Human Wizard
T: Untap target attacking creature. Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt to and dealt by that creature this turn.
Well, he certainly looks high. No, seriously. Look at that silly little grin on his face, his dramatic gesturing, and his bong-like staff head, as he comes in from a trippy, not-quite-yet-almost psychedelic field. I think he’s been playing in the bean bracket, if you follow. I especially like the outstretched hand. It looks as though he just came into a party and is saying "Sorry I’m late, but look, I’ve brought the good stuff!"
And I think they’re rolling with that theme here (pun intended, screw you) since his ability gets other creatures high too. You don’t believe me? I’m pretty sure that’s what it does. They get up, leave the field of combat in pursuit of munchies, abandoning all thoughts of violence as they do so. What would you call it? Reefer madness, I say, reefer madness! I’m filing this card under "big stoner joke" and leaving it there, so nyah.
Tribal Slant: Human Wizard. You’re surprised too, right? Like Teferi, he has a large body for either tribe, which is all to the good, and his ability is of course incredible in a format based largely on creature combat. He can stop your opponent’s creatures from hurting you, void out combat tricks, rescue your own critters from surprise blockers – he’s a real go-to guy, if you can get him off his joints long enough to come help you out.
Kaervek the Merciless – 5BR
Legendary Creature – Human Shaman
Whenever an opponent plays a spell, Kaervek the Merciless deals damage to target creature or player equal to that spell’s converted mana cost.
"Rats and jackals feast in his swath, but even they will not walk with him." – Mangara
I have a hard time taking this guy seriously. I think it’s those ridiculous feather-like things on the back of his armor. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be a representation of feathers or what. The level-headed hat looks goofy too, and I think he would have looked a good deal better without it, or rather anything that didn’t make him look more like a bird with a squished skull. Maybe that’s the feathers talking again. I’d love to be able to play with this picture and remove those feathers and see if the hat didn’t look less dopey that way. The fire effect he’s playing with is neat, however, as is the background. I just wish he didn’t look like half a jester himself. The lightning rods on his shoulder pads don’t help the effect any either.
And his rules text makes me cringe. I’d hate to be on the other side of him, already a manly man in the lower right corner (if not in his art) whilst being punished every time I dare call upon my own magic to defend against him. Merciless is a fitting moniker for a critter like him. Now if I could just convince myself that he’s more interested in killing me than critiquing my wallpaper, we’d be all set.
Tribal Slant: He’s like the Burn Spell That Keeps On Giving, in the fashion of a large, if somewhat overpriced 5/4 body. But the price is very understandable, given his ability. In most games, he will probably be the last large spell cast. Also, I’d hate to try and have to remove him via the legend rule by playing my own. Ick. Where’s Terminate when we need it?
Mishra, Artificer Prodigy – 1UBR
Legendary Creature – Human Artificer
Whenever you play an artifact spell, you may search your graveyard, hand, and/or library for a card with the same name as that spell and put it into play. If you search your library this way, shuffle it.
A sojourn through time gave dark inspiration to one gifted young mind.
Somehow, I didn’t picture Mishra as a purple-haired, cross-dressing nancy boy in any time stream. While the background is very dramatic and impressive, as is the effect of the magical energy coiling from Mishra’s fingers, apparently mid-artifice, the image of him and his angular face leaning there in Michael Jackson’s jacket from the Thriller music video just spoils the image for me. A less angular face, a more serious hair color, and a less Michael Jackson-y jacket could have saved this piece, but as it stands, it just doesn’t work for me. It’s very cool, yes, but it doesn’t seem very Mishra at all.
Text wise… he clones things. Okay, that’s fair. I’ve read The Brothers’ War and I know mass production was something he was well capable of. The ability is interesting in light of what it can do, but it just sounds bland. He clones things. Whoopee. I’ve read too many comic books to be impressed by cloning. Like I said though, at least what it can do is actually interesting.
Tribal Slant: Which means I’ll probably end up using him in a deck. Just for starters, combining him with his own Mishra’s Bauble and Booby Trap seems like good times to me. Artificer is not much of a tribe, but Human is, and there’s some interesting ones in his colors, including Shadowmage Infiltrator. He worries and yet excites me in that special way when it comes to the ideas of what can be done with him.
Saffi Eriksdotter – GW
Legendary Creature – Human Scout
Sacrifice Saffi Eriksdotter: When target creature is put into your graveyard from play this turn, return that card to play.
In the blink of an eye, she strode from deep snow to dusty waste. From the crease of light behind her, a voice rang hollow: "Saffi, wait for me…"
Talen and I disagree on the picture here. No, he’s not actually a part of this review officially, but he is the only other person I actually discuss flavor with. I don’t know anyone else who gives a damn, but hey. I find the angle… artistically unnecessary. Bluntly, it’s like the entire piece is focused on Saffi’s T&A, if it was for some reason not obvious to anyone else. I mean, it’s right there, it’s the entire middle of the piece. Now, I approve that she’s shown running, given her claim to fame being her Lhurgoyf encounter. But her left arm could have been three inches lower or so just to cover the T a bit. Talen’s argument was along the lines of "what difference does three inches make?" until I curtly replied that if it weren’t for three inches, he wouldn’t have a wang.
I like the flavor text, too. It seems like a direct continuation from the flavor text of Lhurgoyf, and the background of the art seems to mesh with the text. Her rules text also seems to carry on with this theme, allowing her to sacrifice her own kind-hearted self for the good of another.
Tribal Slant: While the Scout tribe is not the most robust, the Human tribe probably is. That aside, she’s a Flagbearer – she’s going to prevent a piece of targeted removal from hitting, either by saving the target or by your opponent targeting her with it instead. Also, there’s some cute combos to be played with her, if you mull it over a bit. Hint: "Infinite" life turn 3.
Scion of the Ur-Dragon – WUBRG
Legendary Creature – Dragon Avatar
2: Search your library for a Dragon card and put it into your graveyard. If you do, Scion of the Ur-Dragon becomes a copy of that card until end of turn. Then shuffle your library.
I am the blood of the ur-dragon, coursing through all dragonkind.
Hmm. He looks like he needs to put on some weight. I mean, here’s this important, legendary functional essence of a God-like Dragon, and he looks like he’s mostly wings and bones. Where’s all his muscle? He’s not supposed to be undead, is he? And why does he look like he’s sort of coming out of a Suspend field? The, uh… laser breath? Huh? Why does he have laser breath? Why is this not reflected on the card? Damnit, I want my lasers!
His flavor text is… introductory? Great. If you want to introduce yourself, why not start with your name? Screw it, I’m calling you Sammy. Sammy’s ability doesn’t translate well to storyline (library manipulation rarely does), so I’m going to call it a wash here to spare Sammy’s ego any other beatings I might have given it.
Tribal Slant: While Dragons are fun, I’m not entirely sure Sammy’s going to make the cut. Most of them have enough issues generating mana for their monsters as well. Plus, his casting cost kind of works against his ability. His ability is useful for getting Dragons out of your deck so you don’t actually draw them, letting him pretend to be them, and then later reanimating them. My question is, if you’re going to cast this guy, then by definition aren’t you able or about to be able to hard-cast whatever dragon is in your deck anyhow? And if you’re reanimating him… why? There are far better targets around. I’d waste some space here trying to "officially" nickname him Sammy, like Talen did with Skeletal Vampire/Murray, but unlike Murray, I doubt people will have much cause to discuss this card often enough to warrant a nickname.
Stonebrow, Krosan Hero – 3RG
Legendary Creature – Centaur Warrior
Whenever a creature you control with trample attacks, it gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
Moments after a fickle rift dropped Stonebrow in the waste of his beloved Krosa, he took up his axe in rage-blind vengeance.
I like to think the art pictures him just after he took up his axe, but before he charges off swearing vengeance upon everyone responsible for Krosa’s current state, as well as any pets/relatives/children, born or otherwise, that they might have. The desolate art sets the mood, and Stonebrow’s noble, strong visage graces the card with its brute relevance. The axe looks wicked too, a large blade with a wicked spike on his back end, looking huge, but Stonebrow hefts it as a lesser man might a slender willow branch.
Now this is the kind of flavor text Tivadar should have had. It gives the same feel of arrival as Tivadar’s text, but this tells how he feels about it and what he does about it. Suddenly, the character is important to us – he’s charging off and swearing oaths and ready to take some heads and kick some ass. He has goals, and he’s already on a mission – moments after! This guy is a doer, not a moper. Good on him!
Tribal Slant: Well, he’s in the right colors for either Centaur or Warrior Tribal, and with the Gruul War Plow, he can give his bonus to every creature you control. Yeah, I’m thinking there’s a deck in that somewhere. It’s almost a shame Sosuke is going to be gone by the time he’s around, but… well, no it’s not. Good riddance to snakes. Sod the lot of them.
As for the Time Shifted Legends, not much to say. I approve of all the creature types on the reprinted Legends, although I might quibble that Vhati Il-Dal should have been a Rogue or Mercenary rather than a Warrior, but that’s small fries. My only other real comment is… why Jasmine Boreal? Who gives a damn? Why not someone interesting or relevant, like Gwendlyn Di Corci, or Tetsuo Umezawa… or if you really needed W/G, Kei Takahashi, Lady Caleria, or Lord Magnus (no Graceful Antelope for you! Well, okay, maybe Yavimaya Dryad)?
Depending on the forum feedback, next week may be a review of what I consider interesting non-Legendary cards from Time Spiral, or it may be something else entirely.
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