Yawgmoth’s Whimsy #32: Judgment Judgments

The Wishes bring back something casual Magic really needs: The home field advantage. Play at my house, play against my whole collection!

This article has two distinct parts – some thoughts on Rizzo and a set review. In tribute to Rizzo, I should probably intertwine the two threads… But I’m not Rizzo.

Rizzo is gone. He quit. He burned out. I doubt we will see anyone like him anytime soon. I don’t know that anyone else can write like Rizzo. Sometimes I couldn’t believe Rizzo could write like Rizzo.

A lot of people have written tributes to Rizzo. That’s nice, but if you really want to make a tribute to Rizzo, make the game a bit better. Here’s a list of ideas:

  • Play Millikin in T1.

  • Find that local cheater and convince him to donate his organs. Schedule the appointment for next week. Make sure he carries through on the promise.

  • Trade fairly, for a change. Make that newbie feel welcome, not cheated.

  • Become a judge.

  • Do the TO or store owner a favor – clean the trash off some tables between rounds.

  • When you write stuff, run the spellchecker.

  • Play every round of every tourney. Even when your are 0-x.

  • In drafts, take a pen and correct the spelling of every Crypt KEEPER you pass.

  • Teach a new player the game – and play decks that he or she can understand, and maybe let them win a few games.

  • Donate your spare cards to new players.

  • Help players get better. Give them suggestions and talk about plays after the match. Learn to do that tactfully.

  • Proofread your articles.

  • If you are on of those”trash talkers” who like to play”mind games” with your opponents, shut the f***k up!

  • Write a tourney report. Tell people how you built the deck, what card choices worked, and how you sideboarded. People care more about strategy than who you drove with or whether you had the Denny’s Really Huge Bucket of Fried Breakfast Stuff.

  • Give people credit – whether that’s a short mention of how your friends finished or acknowledging who you got the decklist from.

  • If you ID (sorry Rizzo), play the games out anyway, just for fun.

  • If you work for R&D, consider giving some good tricks to colors other than blue. After all, the best tricks are card drawing and ability to counter – which blue already has. It does not need ability to remove parts of the opponent’s library, to bounce all permanents, etc.

  • Write something funny. (Hint: A string of insults is not humor.)

  • Play a fun deck, even if it doesn’t go 70-30 versus the field.

  • And most of all, in tribute to Rizzo – whatever you do, do it with a passion, and enjoy it.

Things change. People stop writing and move on with their life. Wakefield, Bush, Flores, Martin, edt, Sullivan – hey, the list of people who aren’t writing enough anymore is long. But that is simply a fact of life – people eventually run out of topics or lose the drive to write. As people burn out, they need to be replaced. We will always need new writers.

Seriously, burnout is going to happen. I looked back over my archives, and realized that I have had some sixty articles published on at least four websites, plus a ton of posts on various forums, listserves, etc. It is getting harder and harder to find new topics, and to find things to say that I haven’t already said. There just aren’t that many different broad topics in Magic.

So we will always need new people to say those things in new ways. We need someone to write the basic article on how to get the mana right, or why the Rats deck doesn’t work*, every three to six months. Why that often? Because new players start looking for that information every day, and they only get better if they find it. At the same time, we need people to write innovative and interesting articles. We need people to write for casual players, and every strange format. We need people to write humor** as well.

So, if you can write, write. If you are not sure you can write – try it. Write some articles. Have your friends check them for typos, spellos, and thinkos. Then reread them a couple times, and tighten them up. Editing is important – it’s too late to correct stupid mistakes once it’s posted. When you are happy with them, submit your articles to StarCity.

Okay, on to part two – judging Judgement.

Yes, it’s that time again: A new spoiler*** is out and everyone is writing set reviews. I’m concentrating on casual and multiplayer – others will write reviews of the set for T2 and limited play. Since I’m ignoring those areas, I’m going to cut the less interesting cards – especially all those that are limited standards (yes, there is a new version of Flight, thanks for asking). I’ll just look at the cards that can give you infinite turns – yes, there is one – and so forth.

If you want the whole spoiler, look here:

If you want to comment on the set, try the Judgment forum:

There is yet another graveyard effect – incarnations. An incarnation is a creature that creates an effect when it is in the graveyard, and you have the appropriate land. For example, if the green incarnation is in the graveyard and you control a forest, then all your creatures have trample. These are just made for Survival decks, and are just one more reason to add Tormoud’s Crypt to your multiplayer decks… If you aren’t playing them already.

Another interesting cycle of cards is the Wishes. Wizards has reprinted Ring of Maruf, but as a set of rares in each color. Each Wish allows you to get some card that is not in the game. In tournament play, Ring of Maruf only allows you to get cards that were in your sideboard, or that had been removed from the game. The current thinking is that the same rules will apply to the new Wishes, but the wording is different enough that you may not be able to get cards that have been removed from the game – just sideboard cards.**** We don’t have an official ruling yet – the spoiler itself isn’t official.

In casual play, Ring of Maruf has generally done just what it says – it lets you get any card you own from your collection. The Wishes will probably let you do the same thing – within reason. I don’t see myself casting the Green Wish and saying”I choose you, Pikachu!” or fetching the Jack of Clubs, but I could see myself digging through the old binders for some really funny cards. The Wishes bring back something casual Magic really needs: home field advantage. Play at my house, play against my whole collection!

Wizards has been pretty good at being true to the flavor of each color, although blue is getting some pretty fat creatures. (I’m still pissed that blue has more fat than green in 7th edition.) White is the color of lifegain, as the following list demonstrates:


Ancestor’s Chosen


Creature- Cleric


First Strike. When Ancestor’s Chosen comes into play, you gain 1 life for each card in your graveyard.

Wizards is giving us a prepackaged Clerics deck – and has stuck Ancestral Tribute on legs. A 4/4 first striker is okay – and when it comes with some life gain, it might be playable. It’s not broken, but it is pretty good, considering what comes later.

Battle Screech



Put two 1/1 white Bird creature tokens with flying into play. Flashback – Tap three untapped white creatures you control.

I have tried Bird theme decks in the past, and they only sort of worked. This will help, since you can tap the two tokens, plus one other creature, to get four birds in one turn. Combine this with Crusade or the like and you get a set of pretty nice fliers. Who knows – maybe this is enough to make Kangee playable. Well, maybe not.



Enchant Creature

Enchanted Creature gets +2/+2 and can’t attack.

This has a lot of potential – just because of the mixed signals it sends. It is not as annoying as Pacifism, since the creature can still block and it’s even harder to kill. Other than the political aspects, though, it’s a bad card.



Creature- Incarnation


Flying. 2W: Creatures you control gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. Play this ability only if Glory is in your graveyard.

Here is the first of the Incarnations. If this wording is correct, you could activate the ability several times, giving all your creatures protection from several colors. It’s the next best thing to giving them”opponent walk.”

Golden Wish



Choose an artifact or enchantment card you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Golden Wish from the game.

It’s expensive, but the Wishes will all be playable in multiplayer. You can go get Caltrops against the Saprolings deck, Crown of Ages against the Rabid Elephant deck, Angel’s Trumpet and Null Rod against the Tim deck, and so forth. In tournament play, this will just fetch the appropriate Circle – or Aegis of Honor – from the sideboard, which shows why casual is much more interesting than Type 2.

Nomad Mythmaker


Creature- Cleric


W,T: Put target enchant creature card from a graveyard into play enchanting a creature you control.

This will be useful. First, it can get cards from any graveyard. Second, it does not target the creature to be enchanted, so this will allow you to put a Zephid’s Embrace on a Blastoderm.

Phantom Flock


Creature- Bird Soldier Spirit


Flying. Phantom Flock comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it. If damage would be dealt to Phantom Flock, prevent that damage. Remove a +1/+1 counter from Phantom Flock.

How many creature types can a card have, anyway? Are we going to see a Bird Beast Dwarf Goblin Soldier Townsfolk Illusion Crowd soon? More relevant – this is the first of a bunch (and there are a bunch) of Phantom creatures in the set, all of which have counters and remove a counter to prevent all damage. I have two comments on the Phantom set: First, these are semi-reasonably costed creatures, and can stall very well since they don’t die to big blockers (although they don’t like being pinged). Second – if people play these, play Spike Cannibal.

Selfless Exorcist


Creature- Cleric


T: Remove target creature card in a graveyard from the game. That creature deals damage equal to its power to Selfless Exorcist.

It’s an interesting mechanic, but I like Nightsoil better. Even Honor the Fallen is better… But if you must have a way to eliminate cards in an opponent’s graveyard, and you don’t want to eliminate yours, and you are playing mono-white, and Tormod’s Crypt is not enough, then this works. Sort of.

Solitary Confinement



At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Solitary Confinement unless you discard a card. Skip your draw step. You can not be the target of spells or abilities. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you.

Any card that says”skip your draw step” has a big drawback, but it has some potential in setting up a combination, or when used with other effects. It might work in an enchantress deck, or with other methods of card drawing. It certainly does a decent job of protecting you from most threats, but this is really only going to be very useful at the very end of G/W on G/W Limited games, where the board is stalled and the game will depend on who gets decked first.

Soulcatcher’s Aerie



Whenever a Bird you control is put into a graveyard from play, put a feather counter on Soulcatcher’s Aerie. All Birds get +1/+1 for each Feather counter on Soulcatcher’s Aerie.

A cute trick for a bird deck, but not amazing. For one thing, you don’t want your birds to be going to the graveyard. I would generally prefer Crusade or Glorious Anthem to this. On the other hand, if this worked with Pegasi, Sacred Mesa would be amazing.

Test of Endurance



At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 50 or more life, you win the game.

It had to happen, I guess. Here’s a deck that will make white mages even more hated than before: Congregate, Life Burst, Teroh’s Faithful, Radiant’s Dragoons, Staunch Defenders, Bottle Gnomes, Peacekeeper, Ancestor’s Chosen, Exile, Spirit Link, Lifeline, Test of Endurance, Auramancer. Sorry, Anthony.


Cephalid Constable


Creature – Cephalid Wizard


Whenever Cephalid Constable deals combat damage to a player, return up to”X” target permanents that player controls to their owners hands, where”X” is the damage it dealt to that player.

How many ways can you think of to make this unblockable? How many ways can you find to make it bigger? Here’s just one idea – add black for Fear and Endless Scream.

Cunning Wish



Choose an instant card you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Cunning Wish from the game.

If you cannot find a use for this, you aren’t even trying.

Grip of Amnesia



Counter target spell unless its controller removes his or her graveyard from the game. Draw a card.

A splashable, cantrip counterspell is always useful, but one that gives your opponent an out is more questionable. This will either be okay or awful, and that will depend on your opponents. I think this will only be really strong in Block Constructed, but time will tell.

Mirror Wall


Creature – Wall


W: Mirror Wall may attack this turn as though it weren’t a wall

Another creature with an interesting ability using a different color activation. This isn’t a world-beater, but on the off chance that someone at Wizards reads this – I approve. I liked Living Airship; I like this.

Mist of Stagnation



Permanents don’t untap during their controller’s untap steps. At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player untaps a permanent for each card in his or her graveyard.

No, please – this is a mistake, right? In a one-on-one game, Tormod’s Crypt means that this is a one-sided Stasis with no upkeep. Its casting cost is a little high, but this and Kismet, plus a couple Phyrexian Furnaces to stop people from discarding cards at end of turn to get an untap, would be brutal.

Quiet Speculation



Search Target player’s Library for up to three cards with flashback and put them into that player’s graveyard. Then that player shuffles his or her Library.

Beyond searching for Roar of the Wurms, I’m not sure how much this will do. Of course, with Roar of the Wurm on turns 3, 4, and 5, how much more do you need? If your group is small enough, or you are playing emperor or something where quick beats can be successful, it’s a thought.



Creature – Beast


Flying. Whenever Scaplelexis deals combat damage to a player, that player removes the top four cards of his or her library from the game. If two or more of those cards have the same name, repeat the process.

I used to hate playing against Grindstone, especially when playing mono-colored decks. This won’t be quite as bad… But it is pretty nasty. It may be too expensive for tournament play, but it surely can annoy casual players, and get in a few blows in multiplayer games. If nothing else, it is a splashable flying 1/5 wall. This is also yet another example of why I think Wizards gives blue all the best creatures.




Counter target spell. If the spell is countered in this way, remove it from the game instead of putting it into its owner’s graveyard. As long as it remains removed from the game, you may play it as though it were in your hand without paying its mana cost. If it has X in its mana cost, X is 0.

The wording is probably wrong – I’m assuming it will work like Madness, and you can play it until you next pass priority. If not -if you can simply wait and play it at any time, it is amazing. For multiplayer – imagine a huge stack as all your opponents fight over a Verdant, perhaps, or a Congregate in response to Wrath. Then, after everyone else looks to be through, play Spelljack and Radiate. If that works, you get the Congregate, the Wrath, and a bunch of counterspells, all ready to play for free. Wow.

Telekinetic Bonds



Whenever a player discards a card from his or her hand, you may pay 1U. If you do, tap or untap permanent.

As if Mind over Matter wasn’t broken enough – tap Academy, discard card to MoM to untap Academy, put Telekinetic Bond’s trigger on the stack, tap Academy again, use Bonds to untap it, etc. Beyond that, I’m not sure how much use this has – it is very expensive, and very few creatures or effects can untap for a net gain of mana. It does generate some mana with a Krosan Restorer at threshold, and could make Jalum Tome playable, but that’s not all that much.

On the other hand, this, Jayemdae Tome and Solitary Confinement – that enchantment that makes you invulnerable but makes you skip your draw phase – may combo.

Web of Inertia



At the beginning of each opponent’s combat phase, that player may remove a card in his or her graveyard from the game. If the player doesn’t, creatures he or she controls can’t attack you this turn.

With Phyrexian Furnace and Tormod’s Crypt, or after Timetwister, this keeps practically everything away.

Wormfang Behemoth


Creature – Nightmare Beast


When Wormfang Behemoth comes into play, remove all cards in your hand from the game. When Wormfang Behemoth leaves play, return the removed cards to their owner’s hand.

Why does blue need fat creatures? Blue already gets all the best card tricks, the counters and everything else – why does it need better creatures than green anyway? That aside, the Nightmares are an interesting twist. The Behemoth is big, but it is not the best trick. Here’s the best trick:

Wormfang Manta


Creature – Nightmare Beast


Flying. When Wormfang Manta comes into play, you skip your next turn. When Wormfang Manta leaves play, you take an extra turn after this one.

Is a 6/1 flier any good? How about if you get infinite turns? If you enchant this with Vanishing, you can phase it out at will. Since Phasing does trigger leaves play effects, but does not trigger comes into play effects, you can simply phase the creature out at the end of your turn, and you will get another turn.


Grave Consequences



Each player may remove any number of cards in his or her graveyard from the game. Then each player loses 1 life for each card in his or her graveyard. Draw a card.

Strange. I keep thinking I see something there, but I can’t make it come together. It hoses Reanimator decks, but that is about it for multiplayer. This is a method of damaging everyone, but it affects you, too. It would be great if it combined with the new Stasis-style enchantment, but not if you are going to keep cards in your graveyard – and it is loss of life, so CoP won’t help. It does make Hermit Druid more of a gamble.



Creature – Horror


Guiltfeeder can’t be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures. Whenever Guiltfeeder attacks and isn’t blocked, defending player loses 1 life for each card in his or her graveyard.

Shades of Lim-Dul’s Paladin! This card makes Traumatize almost playable. It could also be pretty interesting in decks with Whetstone. It could use Runic Arch – which makes creatures with power of 2 or less unblockable.

Masked Gorgon


Creature – Gorgon 5/5

Green creatures and white creatures have protection from Gorgons. Threshold – Masked Gorgon has protection from Green and White.

Protection from Gorgons is amusing – and if you play with Birds, Utopia Tree, Unnatural Selection and so forth, all your creatures can have protection from their attacking Gorgons. I think having a Bird of Paradise blocking a Verdant Force turn after turn is hilarious.

Morality Shift



Exchange your graveyard and library. Then shuffle your library.

It’s too expensive for most combo decks, but it would fit into a combination Battle of Wits/Mortal Combat deck. Sort of.

Treacherous Vampire


Creature – Vampire


Flying, Whenever Treacherous Vampire attacks or blocks, sacrifice it unless you remove a card in a graveyard from the game. Threshold – Treacherous Vampire gets +2/+2 and has”When Treacherous Vampire is put into the graveyard from play, you lose 6 life.”

This type of card illustrates the differences between Limited, Constructed, and Casual. In limited, a 4/4 black flier is the type of bomb that wins games. In Constructed, it is probably too expensive and a bit fragile, so it won’t see play. In casual play, it might appear in a vampires theme deck.


Barbarian Bully


Creature – Barbarian


Discard a card at random from your hand: Barbarian Bully gets +2/+2 until end of turn unless a player has Barbarian Bully deal 4 damage to him or her. Play this ability only once each turn.

There are a lot more of these”punisher” cards – cards that let you do something unless an opponent takes some damage. You could build a deck around them – Longhorn Firebeast, Blazing Salvo, Emberwilde Djinn, etc. Maybe a Furnace of Rath to increase the pain. It might not be a sure-fire winner, but it could be interesting watching your opponents bicker over who is going to take the pain this time.

Book Burning



Unless a player has Book Burning deal 6 damage to him or her, put the top six cards of target player’s library into his or her graveyard.

In this set, it reads”Pay six life or I get threshold.” In other formats, it is more marginal. In Emperor and so forth, it could be interesting with enhancements like Megrim, Mirari, Radiate, and Haunting Echoes.

Breaking Point



Destroy all creatures unless a player has Breaking Point deal 6 damage to him or her. Creatures destroyed this way can’t be regenerated.

A red Wrath of God is interesting. You could add this to a burn deck using Furnace of Rath and Aether Flash for creature control, plus direct damage for the win…. Or just add it to the punisher deck I mentioned above.




Unless a player has Browbeat deal 5 damage to him or her, target player draws three cards.

This adds card drawing to the mix. This is a very nice card: Target yourself, and both choices are bad for an opponent. This might be the best red card drawer since Wheel of Fortune.

Firecat Blitz



Put X 1/1 red Cat creature tokens with haste into play. Remove them from the game at the end of the turn. Flashback – RR, Sacrifice X Mountains.

If you couple this with an infinite mana engine, you can make references to herding cats while sending a couple hundred at each player. It also gets around CoP: Red, assuming the opponent doesn’t have enough mana to activate it once per cat… But that’s about it. Fireball or Kaervek’s Torch are still better.

Flaring Pain



Damage can’t be prevented this turn. Flashback – R

The white mage got Test of Endurance, but everyone else got this. It shuts off Circles of Protection, lets Earthquake kill Crimson Acolytes, and means Beloved Chaplain dies when it blocks. This is a very scary for anyone that relies on protection in multiplayer, since it is an instant and anyone can play it – not just those involved in the attack.

Fledgling Dragon


Creature – Dragon


Flying. Threshold – Fledgling Dragon gets +3/+3 and has R: Fledgling Dragon gets +1/+0 until end of turn.

Shivan Dragon, in yet another incarnation. It’s another addition to your dragons deck, but otherwise nothing all that exceptional.

Infectious Rage


Enchant Creature

Enchanted creature gets +2/-1. When enchanted creature is put into a graveyard, choose a creature at random Infectious Rage can enchant. Return Infectious Rage to play enchanting that creature.

If you like random events – or recurring enchantments like Steam Vines or Kudzu – go for it. If you like a more definite knowledge of what will happen, play this with Humility in play. Then you will know that all creatures will die, and it will finish in your graveyard.

Planar Chaos



At the beginning of your upkeep, flip a coin. If you lose the flip, sacrifice Planar Chaos. Whenever a player plays a spell, that player flips a coin. If he or she loses the flip, counter that spell.

I don’t know who convinced Wizards that people like playing with coin flips… But in all my years of playing, I have never seen anyone actually play a flip deck. Nonetheless, here we have another in the series.

Shaman’s Trance



Until end of turn, other players can’t play cards from their graveyards and you may play cards in other player’s graveyards as if they were in your own.

It may have been designed to steal flashback cards, but I think it is most thoroughly broken with Yawgmoth’s Will. With that combination, you can probably play any card in any graveyard. (Judges are still not agreed on that. – ILJ, Peter’s Wife) I would recommend adding Fastbond – so you can play the Strip Mine in that graveyard, and the Library of Alexandria in that one and the Gemstone Mine, and so forth.

Soulgorger Orgg


Creature – Nightmare Orgg


Trample. When Soulgorger Orgg comes into play, you lose all but 1 life. When Soulgorger Orgg leaves play, you gain life equal to the life lose when Soulgouger Orgg comes into play.

Worldgorger Dragon


Creature – Nightmare Dragon


Flying,Trample. When Worldgorger Dragon comes into play, remove all other permanents you control from the game. When Worldgorger Dragon leaves play, return all removed cards to play under their owner’s control.

Compare this with the blue creatures – these are just so much worse. Someone at Wizards likes blue a bit too much. Can you imagine removing all your permanents from the game, only to have your 7/7 monstrosity get enchanted with Kirtar’s Desire or Pacifism? Or – better yet – Control Magic?




Creature – Incarnation


Trample. As long as Brawn is in your graveyard and you control a forest, creatures you control have trample.

Hey, this is a way to give Multani and Blastoderm trample! You can cast it and attack – and no one will want to block it, or you can discard it to Wild Mongrels or the like. It’s good even if it gets countered – which is the whole point, of course.

Centaur Rootcaster


Creature – Centaur Druid


Whenever Centaur Rootcaster deals combat damage to a player, you may search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. If you do, shuffle your library.

This will have a place in 5 color, if nowhere else. If only it had evasion…

Crush of Wurms



Put three 6/6 green Wurm tokens into play, Flashback – 9GGG

Now, if you have Dream Halls in play, I guess you could cast this. Otherwise, it is so expensive that it will not be that useful in the later game. Nonetheless, three real fatties for one card is probably worth playing, maybe in an elf deck or something.

Epic Struggle



At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control 20 or more creatures, you win the game.

In a Squirrels or Saprolings deck, this might have some promise. You can get insane numbers of Saprolings very quickly (I described getting 60 on turn three in a previous article), so it is doable. If you like alternate win conditions, go for it. Large game, Sterling Grove, Verdant Force – cast this and see how long you can hang on.

Erhnam Djinn


Creature – Djinn


At the beginning of your upkeep, target non-Wall creature an opponent controls gains forestwalk until your next upkeep.

Ernie, welcome back. Your new facelift looks fine. Of course, in casual play and 5 Color, he’s already seeing some play.

Exoskeleton Armor


Enchant Creature

Enchanted creature gets +X/+X where X is the number of creature cards in all graveyards.

It could be funny to see someone winning a game by casting this on a Bird of Paradise very late in the game. In multiplayer, this has the potential to get very big, but it has the same drawbacks as any enchant creature spell. I can’t see playing this over Rancor, unless I was playing something weird involving Traumatize and Radiate – and probably not even then.

Folk Medicine



You gain 1 life for each creature you control. Flashback– 1W.

I was completely stunned by this card. Playable green lifegain is such a strange concept. Finally, I noticed the white flashback, which explained it. That, and it is a rare. It could fit in a squirrels or Saprolings deck, as a method of staying alive long enough to win with Epic Struggle.



Creature – Incarnation


At the beginning of your upkeep, if Genesis is in your graveyard, you may pay 2G. If you do, return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

A green Volrath’s Stronghold that doesn’t cost you your draw is pretty good. What makes this insane is that it is a creature, meaning it does combo with Survival of the Fittest. Adding this to Full English Breakfast – with Volrath’s Shapeshifter – will be pretty good, although it isn’t better than Tortured Existence, provided your deck can sustain the mana colors.

Grizzly Fate



Put two 2/2 green Bear tokens into play. Threshold – Instead, put four 2/2 green Bear tokens into play. Flashback 5GG.

In casual play, with Elves, Priests of Titania and Gaea’s Cradle, this is entirely practical. You can even reasonably expect to play the spell, and flash it back, on the same turn.

Krosan Reclamation



Target player shuffles up to two target cards from his or her graveyard into his or her library. Flashback – 1G.

It isn’t Gaea’s Blessing, but it is pretty close… And it’s an instant to boot. I could see this being played in some control decks – if for nothing else, for the shuffle effect. If only it had Gaea’s Blessing’s ability to put your graveyard back into your library…

Living Wish



Choose a creature or land card you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Living Wish from the game.

Man, will this make sideboards interesting. In a creature-based combo deck, you can put one copy of each in the sideboard, and maindeck this. You can use this to replace the Spellbane Centaurs, Uktabi Orangutans and so forth, and just get them when you need them. Very nice. In casual play, the sky is the limit.




Play Seedtime only on your turn. If an opponent played a blue spell this turn, take an extra turn after this one.

This is the vaunted Fact or Fiction hoser. I don’t see it. The card is good, but very situational. I think it will have the same fate as Teferi’s Response – the Rishadan Port hoser that rarely sees any play. The only way to play this card with any likelihood of success, as I see it, is to play it in a deck with Blind Seer or similar effects to turn opponent’s spells blue, then hope they play something – anything – on your turn. On the plus side, you can Fork or Mirari it…

Serene Sunset



Prevent all combat damage X target creatures would deal this turn.

A one-sided Fog effect is pretty nice, and although it will mainly impact limited, this could see group play. If you like interfering in other people’s attack phases, you can save chump blockers or attackers, negate Overrun, and otherwise make friends and enemies at instant speed.

Thriss, Nantuko Prime


Creature – Insect Druid Legend


G, T: Target creature gets +5/+5 until end of turn.

Put this puppy in a deck with unblockable creature and various evasion creatures, and maybe a Puppeteer or two, and he could be pretty good. You could combine him with Concordant Crossroads or Serra’s Blessing, so he can attack and pump himself. But best of all, try mixing him with Cephalid Constable and Runic Arch, so the unblockable constable bounces six permanents and deals six damage.

Tunneler Wurm


Creature – Wurm


Discard a card in your hand; Regenerate Tunneler Wurm.

It’s more expensive than Ancient Silverback, the regeneration costs a card instead of a green… And for that price, you could have Verdant Force. So move along, nothing to see here.

Anurid Brushhopper


Creature – Beast


Discard two cards from your hand: Remove Anurid Brushhopper from the game. Return it to play under its owner’s control at end of turn.

A nice little creature, with a reasonable ability. If you are playing these colors, this might be an alternative to Fleetfoot Panther. And you will want to play these colors, because of…

Hunting Grounds



Threshold – Whenever an opponent plays a spell, you may put a creature card from your hand into play.

In multiplayer, after starting with some stuff like Wall of Blossoms, Compulsion, and Jalum Tome to fill your graveyard with chaff and your hand with fatties, play this. It’s better than Standstill in multiplayer – some of your opponents will have to play spells or creatures sooner or later. They drop Verdant, you play Morphling for free. Or Amugaba, with mana left to bounce it. Or whatever you like. Hey – it even triggers if they try to Disenchant it, so you will get at least one creature in play no matter what.

Mirari’s Wake



Creatures you control get +1/+1. Whenever you tap a land for mana, add one mana to your mana pool of any type that land produced.

Interesting combination – Glorious Anthem and mana acceleration in one neat package. It is clearly an advantage, and could combine well with cards like Verdeloth the Ancient. It also combines well with the various painlands, giving you colored mana for free. It is probably a solid ramp-up spell in multiplayer, one that will give you a solid advantage without scaring everyone else into action.

Phantom Nishoba


Creature – Beast Spirit


Trample. Phantom Nishoba comes into play with seven +1/+1 counters on it. Whenever Phantom Nishoba deals damage, you get that much life. If damage would be dealt to Phantom Nishoba, prevent that damage. Remove a +1/+1 counter from Phantom Nishoba.

It’s a large, undercosted, spirit-linked trampler that is difficult to kill with damage (although Terror, Swords, and Terminate do just fine.) The fact that this loses counters means you want some method of recasting him as necessary – Fleetfoot Panther or Liberate might do the trick. So would graveyard recursion, like Genesis.


Krosan Verge


Krosan Verge comes into play tapped. T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. 2,T:Sacrifice Krosan Verge: Search your library for a forest card and a plains card and put them into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.

If this wording is correct, then it will find dual lands – at least those with a forest or plains as one of the land types. I find this both comforting and depressing, because I think this is a setup for an Extended rotation. I have long said that the dual lands are not enough to keep Extended an interesting, multicolored format – you also need methods of finding the dual lands. Land Grant and Wood Elves (a reprint) are the only spells to appear since Mirage that can get dual lands. Right now, multicolored decks in Extended use the Mirage fetch lands, as well as other options from the older sets, like Tithe. I have often written about my concerns that Wizards would rotate Ice Ages and Mirage without adding new land fetchers, and this may be partly an answer. This one land duplicates Tithe and the spells that fetch forests. Personally, I think this really increases the chance that we will see an Extended rotation this fall, but only time will tell.

Nantuko Monastery


T: add one colorless mana to your mana pool. Threshold – GW: Nantuko Monastery becomes a 4/4 green and white creature with first strike until end of turn. It’s still a land.

Hey – the format has a man-land! Steel Leaf Paladin was bad… But as a land, and at a much cheaper cost, he’s okay. While this is more limited in terms of color, this is a very large creature. I could see this filling the same gaps as Treetop Village in many decks – including the Enforcer-Oath decks played in Extended last winter.

I also want to congratulate Wizards on making the lands uncommons. I don’t like opening a lot of lands in draft – especially in the smaller sets – so making the lands commons caused some problems. It was annoying to have them be rares – mainly because I was spending good money on lands. Lands shouldn’t be chase cards – uncommons is about perfect. Thanks Wizards.

A few weeks back I wrote about a semi-bad G/W deck I was looking at for post-Judgment T2. Needless to say, it is looking a little better now; Judgment is very G/W friendly.

If you have questions or comments, email me, or start a thread on the StarCity forum discussing recent articles.

One last comment – if you haven’t tried it yet, go to the prerelease. It’s a large tourney, but the atmosphere is pretty relaxed. You get to play a lot of different people, and there will be some at your same skill level (well, if your name is Kai, maybe not). Not only do you get to get your hands on cards that no one else will have for a few weeks, but you will also get to keep them. All that and side drafts, too.


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* – Will Rieffer is taking his turn now, and doing a good job.

** – Even if we can get Blisterguy to write daily, we still need more.

*** – It is an unofficial spoiler. The story of how it appeared is in the MTGNews rumors forum – it’s interesting. Let’s just say that some of the Magic Online programmers are probably not happy right now.

**** – Quick explanation for the rules lawyers: Ring of Maruf has the following wording right now: {5},{Tap},Remove ~this~ from the game: The next time you would draw a card this turn, instead put into your hand a Magic card you own removed from the game or not in the game. The Wishes have this type of wording, assuming the spoiler is correct: Choose an artifact or enchantment card you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. I think – actually, that’s less relevant than the fact that some very good local judges also think – that the difference in wording means that the Wishes will only fetch sideboard cards and not cards which are in the”removed from game zone.” The removed from game zone is, technically, not outside the game.

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