Yawgmoth’s Whimsy #46: Onslaught in Multiplayer, Part II – And The Rest

For multiplayer, I see a lot of interesting cards, although I am depressed about Insurrection. Altar of Dementia and Reins of Power was a powerful, but reasonable, deck. Altar of Dementia and Insurrection is pretty awful – it just wins in way too big a style. A few other cards have similar impacts – and I hate to see any simple combo that just wins too easily.

Black (there are 61 black cards)

Cabal Slaver 2B, Creature – Cleric Uncommon, 2/1

Whenever a Goblin deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card from his or her hand.

“In its natural habitat, the goblin is stupid, yet devious. Now it’s stupid, devious, and powerful.”

Black and red got a lot of strange and conditional cards. I think you have to play either green or blue in this set. Even if you played Dralnu’s Crusade, from Invasion block, I’m not sure how good a R/B goblins/zombies decks could be.

Death Match 3B, Enchantment, rare

Whenever a creature comes into play, that creature’s controller may have target creature of his or her choice get -3/-3 until end of turn.

The Cabal breeds many things for the pit fights, but it never breeds compassion.

I found few bad blue rares, but black has a fair number (and wait until we hit red!) I could see this in some weird Cavern Harpy/Aluren control deck, but that’s about it.

Death Pulse 2BB, Instant, uncommon

Target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn. Cycling 1BB, When you cycle Death Pulse, you may have target creature get -1/-1 until end of turn.

It is a bit expensive, but this is an instant speed card that kills black creatures. It also kills Masticore. This is serious removal, and should see play in a lot of black decks.

Ebonblade Reaper 2B, Creature – Cleric, rare, 1/1

Whenever Ebonblade Reaper attacks, you lose half your life, rounded up. Whenever Ebonblade Reaper deals combat damage to a player, that player loses half his or her life, rounded up. Morph 3BB

I think that Wizards has gotten the idea of Suicide Black a bit mixed up. Black creatures had real power, but serious defects, got very low casting costs. In this case, you lose a lot of life for attacking… But the creature has no evasion, a toughness of one and cannot kill the opponent unless they are at one life before you attack – but it costs a ton and has a serious drawback. I’m guessing that the costs are messed up – although the high Morph cost is probably to prevent people attacking with it Morphed, then revealing it before damage if it is unblocked. That would be a nasty surprise.

Endemic Plague 3B, Sorcery, rare

As an additional cost to play Endemic Plague, sacrifice a creature. Destroy all creatures that share a creature type with the sacrificed creature. They can’t be regenerated.

With Standardize, this could be a Wrath of God. In nearly every other circumstance, this will be kill more of your creatures that your opponents, unless you are lucky enough to have one copy of their most common creature type in play on your side.

Entrails Feaster B, Creature – Zombie Cat, rare, 1/1

At the beginning of your upkeep, you may remove a creature card in a graveyard from the game. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on Entrails Feaster. If you don’t, tap Entrails Feaster.

This could be pretty good. It is not Khabal Ghoul – you can cast Wrath of God, then Khabal Ghoul, and get the counters – but it will slowly get big in a creature battle.

Fade from Memory B, Instant, uncommon

Remove target card in a graveyard from the game. Cycling B

Proper burial is a luxury Otarians can no longer afford.

Enough with that threshold / flashback stuff already!

False Cure BB, Instant, rare

Until end of turn, whenever a player gains life, that player loses 2 life for each 1 life he or she gained.

“I do unto others as others have done unto me.” –Phage the Untouchable

This is a pretty sweet answer to someone attacking with a Phantom Nishoba, eh? Or as a counter to Congregate

Gangrenous Goliath 3BB, Creature – Zombie Giant, rare, 4/4

Tap three untapped Clerics you control: Return Gangrenous Goliath from your graveyard to your hand.

Cabal clerics don’t heal the sick-they heal the dead.

I’d rather have Necrosavant

Gravespawn Sovereign 4BB, Creature – Zombie Lord, rare, 3/3

Tap five untapped Zombies you control: Put target creature card from a graveyard into play under your control.

The Cabal never expected its creations to create servants of their own.

The new zombie lord – and even if your opponents have Swords to Plowshares and the like, you can still activate it at least once before it dies.

Grinning Demon 2BB, Creature – Demon, rare, 6/6

At he beginning of your upkeep, you lose 2 life. Morph 2BB

It’s drawn to the scent of screaming.

Juzam Djinn was amazing when you could Ritual it out on turn 1. Now with Dark Ritual gone from everywhere except T1, it is not as amazing. The Demon does not have trample – meaning that it loses to Squirrel’s Nest or Beloved Chaplain. I can understand losing to Beloved Chaplain – a deeply religious man holds off a major demon, I can see that – but losing because the monster demon horror thing kept tripping over squirrels? What the hell?

Haunted Cadaver 3B, Creature – Zombie, common, 2/2

Whenever Haunted Cadaver deals combat damage to a player, you may sacrifice it. If you do, that player discards three cards from his or her hand.

Morph 1B

So I have to spend four mana for a 2/2 with no evasion, then get it through unblocked and then sacrifice it, all to pull three cards of my opponent’s choice. Black has some really bad cards…

Head Games 3BB, Sorcery, rare

Target opponent puts the cards from his or her hand on top of his or her library. Search that player’s library for that many cards. The player puts those cards into his or her hand, then shuffles his or her library.

In large multiplayer games, you can Radiate this. The first time, just spend a lot of time going through their decks to figure out what they are playing, before you give them a handful of lands. You can probably spend at least five minutes per deck – and with several players, that’s a long time. Then, in subsequent games, your opponents will concede rather than sitting around for an eternity while you mess up their hands. Just hope they don’t have anything else to do on the side – like eating pizza or playing Management Material – or they may just wait you out and then smash your head in.

Plug of the day – if you have ever worked in or around an office, or even if you haven’t, you have to try Management Material. It’s a great beer and pretzels game: Each turn, a player draws two resource cards (which can be either excuses or recognition), then turns over a project card, which is worth some number of points (e.g. Translate the Employee Handbook into Latin is 5 points, Redesign the Space Shuttle is 10 points.) That player then plays excuses (e.g. caught in traffic – 2 points, I’m out of red pens – 3 points, up to Called in Dead – worth 11 points.) If the excuses point total equals the value of the project, it gets passed one person to the left – who then can play his own excuses to move it further around the table. Recognitions (But you’re the local guru on this! – 3 points) get played to counter excuses, and if someone cannot play enough excuses, they get stuck with the project. Once you get 30 points of projects, you get promoted to management and are out of the game. Last one unpromoted wins.

It’s really, really good. Check out the website here.

Okay, back to Magic. Sorry about the digression, but at least it isn’t six pages on football.

Misery Charm B, Instant, common

Choose one – Destroy target Cleric; or return target Cleric card from your graveyard to your hand; or target player loses 2 life.

Compare this to Ebony Charm, where every effect was pretty useful. This does not live up to its ancestors.

Oversold Cemetery 1B, Enchantment, rare

At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have four or more creature cards in your graveyard, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

The new and improved Oath of Ghouls. This will be a beating against blue – you just keep trying to resolve the same creatures over and over again. Sweet.

Patriarch’s Bidding 3BB, Sorcery, rare

Each player chooses a creature type. Each player returns all creature cards of a type chosen this way from his or her graveyard to play.

“Family plots are so convenient.” –Cabal Patriarch

This is another card that I need to see in the FAQ: From the wording, it looks as if, when Player A says Zombies, Player B says Clerics, and Player C says snakes, all three players return all three types of creatures to play. In that case, it could be interesting in Emperor, but seems less useful that Living Death in most other cases.

Prowling Pangolin 3BB, Creature – Beast, uncommon, 6/5

When Prowling Pangolin comes into play, any player may sacrifice two creatures. If a player does, sacrifice Prowling Pangolin.

It’s always hungry, yet easily sated.

I don’t understand how Wizards costs creatures: Blue gets a 4/5 for seven mana, with evasion, a second major ability (looking at the top 4 cards of the library) and no disadvantages; Black gets a 6/5 for five, but with a major disadvantage. Both are uncommon. However, if black Mutiliates on turn 4, then drops this on turn 5, that could be pretty strong.

Strongarm Tactics 1B, Sorcery, rare

Each player discards a card from his or her hand. Then each player who didn’t discard a creature card this way loses 4 life.

“If you can’t pay your gambling debts, you just might be tomorrow’s main attraction at the Grand Coliseum.”

This is an interesting multiplayer mechanic – especially if you are playing a deck that can reanimate creatures in opponent’s graveyards. It could be interesting in a control black deck with Mirari, too.

Syphon Mind 3B, Sorcery, common

Each other player discards a card from his or her hand. You draw a card for each card discarded this way.

“When tempers run high, it’s easy to lose your head.”

Now this is a brutal multiplayer card. I want to Mirari it already. It looks reasonably balanced, but it is still very good. And the bigger the game, the better it gets.

Syphon Soul 2B, Sorcery, common

Syphon Soul deals 2 damage to each other player. You gain life equal to the damage dealt this way.

As Phage drank their energy, a vague memory of Jeska stirred. Then she lost herself again in the joy of her victims’ suffering.

A reprint and a common… So any of you black mages that play in large multiplayer games and don’t have these, you have no excuses left. A very powerful chaos card.

Thrashing Mudspawn 3BB, Creature – Beast, uncommon, 4/4

Whenever Thrashing Mudspawn is dealt damage, you lose that much life. Morph 1BB

It just obeys you. It doesn’t like you.

The concept behind the earlier version of this card – Flesh Reaver (4/4 for 1B, similar damage mechanic) was that, although it could hurt you, you could drop it very quickly and beat down before an opponent could get a defense up. So why in the world does this cost five mana? Even the Morph cost is more than the total cost of Flesh Reaver. If it had fear, maybe it would be playable.

Visara the Dreadful 3BBB, Creature – Gorgon Legend, rare, 5/5

Flying. T: Destroy target creature. It can’t be regenerated.

“My eyes are my strongest feature.”

It’s Avatar of Woe, in a new package. If you can get to six mana and keep it alive, this should win the game – that’s two very big ifs, however. It looks interesting for Rock in the new extended, but triple black in the mana cost is a lot.

Walking Desecration 2B, Creature – Zombie, uncommon, 1/1

B, T: Creatures of the type of your choice attack this turn if able.

Such sacrilege turns blinding grief into blinding rage.

The return of the Nettling Imp mechanic. That’s pretty good – especially in a format where Sengir Vampire is legal.

Words of Waste 2B, Enchantment, rare

1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, each opponent discards a card from his or her hand instead.

“Terror corrupts order and paralyzes instinct.” -Volume III, The Book of Decay

It’s possible to play this with Megrim in a big multiplayer game, I guess, but I’m not completely sure how: The best options would probably be Prosperity for ten cards, Mirari that, let the first one resolve, then pay ten mana to force the discards. That should win the game – and if you can produce 25+ mana and get a three-card combo to come off without anyone countering or interfering with it, you deserve to win.

Red (there are 61 red cards)

Aether Charge 4R, Enchantment, uncommon

Whenever a Beast comes into play under your control, you may have it deal 4 damage to target opponent.

“Is it just me, or does that meteor have teeth?”

On the plus side, this reprint of Pandemonium is not the two-edged sword the old one was. On the down side, you are playing with beasts – not the most flexible of creatures. But if you prefer powerful beatdown to 187 creatures and flexible answers, here’s a good red splash. The new artifact – Riptide Replicator – that can produce beasts each turn could also fit in here.

Aggravated Assault 2R, Enchantment, rare

3RR: Untap all creatures you control. After this phase, there is an additional combat phase followed by an additional main phase. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.

Once again, I need to see the actual card and the FAQ. This looks like you could get infinite mana and combat phases, if you had creatures that could tap for 3RR. Llanowar Elves, Fyndhorn Elves, Skyshroud Elves to wash the colors, and maybe Priest of Titania for additional mana. If you can generate two additional mana per phase, you could win the game with Whetstone or Rocket Launcher. Otherwise, you could do the same thing with a pingers, like Embermage Goblin or Prodigal Sorcerer. Or you could actually use the attack phases and win with an unblockable creature.

Battering Craghorn 2RR, Creature – Beast, common, 3/1

First strike. Morph 1RR

Their skeletons can be found all over Skirk Ridge, tangled in each other’s horns.

Having a Morphed blocker turn into a three-power first striker could be an unpleasant surprise. Blocking in this set could be interesting.

Blistering Firecat 1RRR, Creature – Cat, rare, 7/1

Trample, haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Blistering Firecat. Morph RR

Kind of expensive, but this will probably be a chase card for the new extended. The ability to keep a Ball Lightning on the table while waiting for an opening is also pretty good.

Brightstone Ritual R, Instant, common,

Add R to your mana pool for each Goblin in play.

Wizards fought over the stone to exploit its power. Goblins fight over it because it’s shiny.

So just what will a goblins deck do with the mana? It probably makes Firebreathing scarier… But how many decent X spells does red have? Ghitu Fire is leaving the environment.

Chain of Plasma 1R, Instant, uncommon

Chain of Plasma deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Then that player or that creature’s controller may discard a card from his or her hand. If the player does, he or she may copy this spell and may choose a new target for that copy.

This is the closest thing red has to Lightning Bolt or Incinerate. Pretty sad, isn’t it?

Charging Slateback 4R, Creature – Beast, common, 4/3

Charging Slateback can’t block. Morph 4R

Goblins prize its hide for building rock sled runners.

I thought that the reason that a card got a drawback like”can’t block” was so it could have a reduced mana cost. A 4/3 for 4R doesn’t seem that reduced.

Custody Battle 1R, Enchant Creature, uncommon

Enchanted creature has”At the beginning of your upkeep, target opponent gains control of this creature unless you sacrifice a land.”

Goblins resolve disputes by splitting everything straight down the middle.

Another really bad red card. True, you might get the creature… But you don’t keep it unless you sacrifice lands, too. And, since every turn it changes control it gets summoning sickness again, it is little more than a blocker – or possibly little more than an attack preventer. In Multiplayer… Well, if you liked Kudzu, you should like this.

Dragon Roost 4RR, Enchantment, rare

5RR: Put a 5/5 red Dragon creature token with flying into play.

A powerful mage created the roost to guard a portal between the planes. The mage is long gone, but dragons still keep watch at the gate.

It is very expensive – but if you can afford the time and mana, and if it does not get disenchanted, this could win the game.

Embermage Goblin 3R, Creature – Goblin Wizard, uncommon, 1/1

When Embermage Goblin comes into play, you may search your library for a card named Embermage Goblin, reveal it, and put it into your hand. If you do, shuffle your library. T: Embermage Goblin deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

Red now has Prodigal Sorcerer, but it costs more. I sort of like the”go fetch more” idea, but I’m not sure how well that will work. In limited, it seems doubtful you will get several such uncommons, while constructed seems to have better options. Still, it could be worth a try, especially in the infinite pings deck I described last time – that deck wants two Tims in play. It would also be pretty good in an Awakenings deck.

Erratic Explosion 2R, Sorcery, common

Choose target creature or player. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Erratic Explosion deals damage equal to that card’s converted mana cost to that creature or player. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.

If you have some way of stacking your library (Scroll Rack, for example), and some big creatures (like Draco), you can put a real hurt on people. However, it is unlikely that you could put enough hurt on using this to make all that effort worthwhile, and the randomness of this is a real drawback. Casting a 3cc sorcery that might deal one damage is a bit weak.

Goblin Pyromancer 3R, Creature – Goblin Wizard, rare, 2/2

When Goblin Pyromancer comes into play, all Goblins get +3/+0 until end of turn. At end of turn, destroy all Goblins.

“The good news is, we figured out how the wand works. The bad news is, we figured out how the wand works.”

Yet another bad rare. The corrected text is”Sorcery: all Goblins get +3/+0 until end of turn, then destroy all Goblins. If you have Anger in your graveyard, you can attack with an additional 5/2 creature.” It is sort of like a limited red Overrun, but without the trample and with a serious downside.

Goblin Sharpshooter 2R, Creature – Goblin, rare, 1/1

Goblin Sharpshooter doesn’t untap during your untap step. Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play, untap Goblin Sharpshooter. T: Goblin Sharpshooter deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

He’s a really bad Prodigal Sorcerer. Sure, he is death on 1/1s, provided they don’t regenerate, but so is Tremor. I have not seen an exciting red rare yet – so guess what I expect to receive all red rares the prerelease. Note: Sharpshooter and Kamahl become land destruction, but I’m thinking you can do better with Kamahl.

Gratuitous Violence 2RRR, Enchantment, rare

If a creature you control would deal damage to a creature or player, it deals double that damage to that creature or player instead.

Only the Cabal could make a fight to the death more deadly.

Now this rare has some promise, especially with the Aether Charge and Riptide Replicator. With that combo, you could deal 8 damage to target creature or player for 4 mana, and do it again with Voltaic Key. That should win a lot of multiplayer games. It’s probably too expensive and involved for duels – especially against U/G madness decks.

Insurrection 5RRR, Sorcery, rare

Untap all creatures and gain control of them until end of turn. They gain haste until end of turn.

“Maybe they wanted to be on the winning side for once.”-Matoc, lavamancer

I absolutely hate this kind of card for multiplayer. In a reasonably large game, things will stall out, then someone will play this, together with Altar of Dementia, Ashnod’s Altar or Greater Good. The result will be that they get every creature on the board and can use them – whether you tapped them in response or not – and will kill a few people with them. Then they will sacrifice all the good creatures owned by other players to draw cards, get mana, gain life or mill people out of the game. This card says”if I resolve, half of you just lose, and the other half will have just suffered through your own, personal Wrath of God.” In short, it is cards like this that say”You don’t play counterspells? You lose.” That is not what multiplayer should be like.

Kaboom! 4R, Sorcery, rare

Choose any number of target players. For each of those players, reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonland card. Kaboom! deals damage equal to that card’s converted mana cost to that player, then you put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.

What I said for Erratic Explosion goes double here. If you have some way of stacking your library (Scroll Rack, for example), and some big creatures (like Draco), you hurt a bunch of people. However, it is unlikely that you could put enough hurt on using this to make all that effort worthwhile.

Lay Waste 3R, Sorcery, common

Destroy target land. Cycling 2 (2, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

Skirk Ridge had survived earthquakes, mudslides, and meteor showers. Then the goblins moved in.

I think this is the only land destruction spell in the set: LD looks dead, even with Stone Rain and Pillage in the main set… And Wildfire, of course, so some beast / LD decks are a slight possibility.

Menacing Ogre 3RR, Creature – Ogre, rare, 3/3

Trample, haste, When Menacing Ogre comes into play, each player secretly chooses a number. Then those numbers are revealed. Each player with the highest number loses that much life. If you are one of those players, put two +1/+1 counters on Menacing Ogre.

How much would you pay for a 3/3 that might be a 5/5 if you paid a lot of life? If you said 3RR, I want to sell you a bridge – and some repacks that may contain the entire power 9.

Risky Move 3RRR, Enchantment, rare

At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player gains control of Risky Move. When you gain control of Risky Move from another player, choose a creature you control and an opponent. Flip a coin. If you lose the flip, that opponent gains control of that creature.

Why? Why does red have to get such bad cards? Six mana for something that is hurts you every bit as much as the opponent? Why?

Rorix Bladewing 3RRR, Creature – Dragon Legend, rare, 6/5

Flying, haste

In the smoldering ashes of Shiv, a few dragons strive to rebuild their native land. The rest seek any opportunity to restore the broken pride of their race.

So, for 3RRR, I could have either Risky Move or a 6/5 hasted flier. That’s a hard choice – I’ll have to think about it.

Shaleskin Bruiser 6R, Creature – Beast, uncommon, 4/4

Trample. Whenever Shaleskin Bruiser attacks, it gets +3/+0 until end of turn for each other attacking Beast.

Its only predators are the elements.

For seven mana, blue gets a 4/5 with flying and deck stacking. Red gets a 4/4 trampler that could get larger if you have the right other creatures in play. I’ll take the blue creature, please.

On the other hand, this is splashable in a green, beasts deck.

Shock R, Instant, common

Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

“I love lightning! It’s my best invention since the rock.”-Toggo, goblin weaponsmith

Nice reprint, since it kills Morphs dead. However, I don’t want some supposedly brain-dead goblin that uses complete sentences – including articles and abbreviations, in my flavor text. At worst, Toggo should be saying “YayLightning! It best invention by me since Rock.” At best, he should shut up and let Jaya Ballard, Task Mage say something. Remember “Once great literature – now great litter”? (Browse) , or “Some have said there is no subtlety to destruction. You know what? They’re dead”? (Inferno) or even “Anybody want some. . . toast?” (Pyrokinesis.)

Skirk Fire Marshal 3RR, Creature – Goblin Lord, rare, 2/2

Protection from red. Tap five untapped Goblins you control: Skirk Fire Marshal deals 10 damage to each creature and each player.

He’s boss because he’s smart enough to get out of the way.

He gets protection from red – all the other goblins die. Earthquake for ten is only slightly five mana more, it is a bit more flexible, and it does not require four other untapped goblins. If only you could attack with the goblins first…

Skittish Valesk 6R, Creature – Beast, uncommon, 5/5

At the beginning of your upkeep, flip a coin. If you lose the flip, turn Skittish Valesk face down. Morph 5R

Alan Pollack 231/350

Once again, red gets a moderately big creature, but one with a horrible drawback. Remember Scoria Wurm? It was two points bigger and cost two less, and it still wasn’t played.

Solar Blast 3R, Instant, common,

Solar Blast deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Cycling 1RR. When you cycle Solar Blast, you may have it deal 1 damage to target creature or player.

It’s either a very high cost Lightning Bolt or Zap – but neither are very good.

Spurred Wolverine 4R, Creature – Beast, uncommon, 2/3

Tap two untapped Beasts you control: Target creature gains first strike until end of turn.

After a few painful experiences, goblins learned not to pick their noses around the beasts.

“JAYA! JAYA! Where are you? There’s a flavor text writer here that needs his temperature adjusted.” I guess Wizards is aiming the flavor text at the Pokemon crowd these days.

Tephraderm 4R, Creature – Beast, rare, 4/5

Whenever a creature deals damage to Tephraderm, Tephraderm deals that much damage to that creature. Whenever a spell deals damage to Tephraderm, Tephraderm deals that much damage to that spell’s controller.

Okay, I have to admit that red got a few decent rares. Nothing awesome, but okay.

Words of War 2R, Enchantment, rare

1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, Words of War deals 2 damage to target creature or player instead.

“Passions can’t be shackled by laws or mastered with logic. The choice is freedom or death.” – Volume IV, The Book of Fire

I wonder who will build the first deck based around Howling Mines and this card… And maybe Plagiarize to seal the win.

Green (there are 61 green cards)

Barkhide Mauler 4G, Creature – Beast, common, 4/4

Cycling 2 (2, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

Anywhere else they would be hunted for their skins, but in Wirewood, they are safe.

A 4/4 for 5 mana, with no disadvantage and a reasonable advantage. Green is finally getting reasonably costed fatties.

Biorhythm 6GG, Sorcery, rare

Each player’s life total becomes the number of creatures he or she controls.

“I have seen life’s purpose, and now it is my own. – Kamahl, druid acolyte

People have been raving about this card on the message boards – saying that it is the end of mono-blue decks and so forth. It is an eight-mana sorcery, for gawd’s sake! It will never resolve against a control deck. In multiplayer, it is just barely possible that someone can cast Wrath of God, then this, and then activate Chimeric Idol in response. If that works – a twelve-mana, three-card combo – then that person probably deserves to win. It’s a little more likely that some player will win because of a big counterspell war was fought of Wrath the turn before, leaving everyone tapped out and creatureless, and that player will drop a creature and Biorythm on her turn – but that’s just luck.

Centaur Glade 3GG, Enchantment, uncommon,

2GG: Put a 3/3 green Centaur creature token into play.

The Mirari called to the centaurs, and all who heard it were forever changed.

It’s not Mobilization – but it’s not a rare, either. This could be okay.

Enchantress’s Presence 2G, Enchantment, rare

Whenever you play an enchantment spell, draw a card.

“The wise learn from successes as well as mistakes.”

Hey, now it’s possible to play a nearly creatureless enchantress deck. This has some possibilities. If only it was 1G…

Explosive Vegetation 3G, Sorcery, uncommon

Search your library for up to two basic land cards and put them into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.

Torching Krosa would be pointless. It grows faster than it burns.

Nice deck thinning – and a step above Skyshroud Claim (unless you are playing with duals.) It’s not Land Grant, though.

Hystrodon 4G, Creature – Beast , rare, 3/4

Trample. Whenever Hystrodon deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card. Morph 1GG

Ophidian is now big and green. Green gets card drawing. All of this is very good.

Kamahl, Fist of Krosa 4GG, Creature – Druid Legend, rare, 4/3

G: Target land becomes a 1/1 creature until end of turn. It’s still a land. 2GGG: Creatures you control get +3/+3 and gain trample until end of turn.

“My mind has changed. My strength has not.”

I wanna Kamahl! I wanna Kamahl! Please, Mom, can I have a Kamahl in the prerelease? Please!!

Do the math. Kamahl + Arcane Teachings = land destruction. Kamahl + creatures + 2 * Overrun = win. What’s not to like?

Kamahl’s Summons 3G, Sorcery, uncommon

Each player may reveal any number of creature cards from his or her hand. Then each player puts a 2/2 green Bear creature token into play for each card he or she revealed this way.

As Krosa unleashed the peace in Kamahl, he unleashed the fury in Krosa.

The spoiler has the wrong flavor text. Here’s the correct version: “After Hibernation, the bears come out – and they come out hungry.”

Krosan Colossus 6GGG, Creature – Beast, rare, 9/9

Morph 6GG

When it walked, it altered geography. When it bellowed, it changed the weather.

“It’s a myth, I tell you. It will never happen. There’s no way anyone can resolve something that big. Ever! I’ll have counterspells to burn long before he can even think about it. Muwhahaha! – What? What do you mean, Hunting Grounds?” – blue acolyte

“Never fear – these creatures are highly susceptible to a little Persuasion.” – blue Archmage.

Mythic Proportions 4GGG, Enchant Creature, rare

Enchanted creature gets +8/+8 and has trample.

The blood of Krosa turns rational beings into primal forces.

“Hee Hee Hee. Escape Artist! HoHoHo! Who plays thaaa-Whoa!”

It’ll never happen, of course, but it’s the thought that counts.

Naturalize 1G, Instant, common

Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

“From here, let the world be reborn.”

Disenchant. A green Disenchant! All I can say is that it is about time. Green needs more ways to stop hosers, like Moat and Ensnaring Bridge. Black has discard. Blue has bounce. White has the original disenchant. Red has direct damage. Green had nothing but swearing, expensive stuff like Creeping Mold and Desert Twister, or sacrificial creatures like Elvish Lyrist and Scavenger Folk (and Emerald Charm and Crumble in Type One, of course.)

Overwhelming Instinct 2G, Enchantment, uncommon

Whenever you attack with three or more creatures, draw a card.

The biggest difference between a victory and a massacre is which side you’re on.

More green card drawing, in flavor for green. Very nice. I think green finally has the help it needs. I’m a little worried about red, however.

Ravenous Baloth 2GG, Creature – Beast, rare, 4/4

Sacrifice a Beast: You gain 4 life.

“All we know about the Krosan Forest we have learned from those few who made it out alive.” – Elvish refugee

A 4/4 for four mana that gives you at least four life in the end. If you have a bunch of beasts, and have to keep sending them into blockers, this gets even better. Not an amazing creature, but not at all bad.

Silklash Spider 3GG, Creature – Spider, rare, 2/7

Silklash Spider may block as though it had flying. XGG: Silklash Spider deals X damage to each creature with flying.

The only thing that flies over the Krosan Forest is the wind.

This is an even better answer to fliers than Spitting Spider, from Masques block… But it is a rare. In limited play, fliers could give green a problem. Spitting Gourna is a common 3/4 that can block fliers, and there is an uncommon that shoots fliers, but is that enough? It’s a big set.

Silvos, Rogue Elemental 3GGG, Creature – Elemental Legend, rare, 8/5

Trample . G: Regenerate Silvos, Rogue Elemental.

He was born of the Mirari, thrust out of his homeland before he was even aware. Left without purpose or meaning, he found both in the pits.

Ancient Silverback on steroids. At 3GGG, he is almost playable in Constructed – at least with enough elves. Mono-green beatdown looks almost as good as it did in Saga Block. Elves, Birds, Werebear, Mongrel, Arrogant Wurm, Phanton Centaur, Centaur Glade, Kamahl, Silvos, etc. Green has a lot of options. Silvos will do fine in casual, as well.

Stag Beetle 3GG, Creature – Insect, rare, 0/0

Stag Beetle comes into play with X +1/+1 counters on it, where X is the number of other creatures in play.

Its voice crackles with the hum of a thousand wings beating at once.

In large, multiplayer games, this will do fine… Right up until an opponent plays Wrath of God or Spike Cannibal, that is.

Steely Resolve 1G, Enchantment, rare

As Steely Resolve comes into play, choose a creature type. Creatures of the chosen type can’t be the targets of spells or abilities.

No one in Wirewood understands what is happening. They just know it’s unnatural – and coming from Krosa.

Here’s another potential green staple, if green decks can be competitive with creature-specific decks. This can stop most spot removal –Terror, Fiery Temper, even Cephalid Constable. I could see this in an elves deck, but maybe not in a beasts deck. In a beasts deck, the spot removal can still kill off the elves or birds that will be needed for mana acceleration. It’s a shame Werebear isn’t a beast. (It’s a druid bear.)

Symbiotic Beast 4GG, Creature – Beast, uncommon, 4/4

When Symbiotic Beast is put into a graveyard from play, put four 1/1 green Insect creature tokens into play.

The insects found a meal in the carrion of the beast’s prey. The beast found a spiffy new hairstyle.

It’s not Deranged Hermit, but the various symbiotic creatures are certainly interesting. They are also an answer to Wrath of God.

Tempting Wurm 1G, Creature – Wurm, rare, 5/5

When Tempting Wurm comes into play, each opponent may put any number of artifact, creature, enchantment, and/or land cards from his or her hand into play.

Okay, so green gets a bad rare, too. You could drop this turn 2 – but your opponents are going to drop their hands. He is probably only playable late game, if the opponents have empty hands. On the other hand, this could be a sideboard card against blue control decks, since the blue mage might have nothing but lands and Counterspells – and if the green mage goes first, only Force Spike could stop the 5/5 from hitting the table turn 2. It would be quite a gamble, but it might work. On the other other hand, it would be depressing to see it come into play, then get hit with Aether Burst.

Vitality Charm G, Instant, common

Choose one – Put a 1/1 green Insect creature token into play; or target creature gets +1/+1 and gains trample until end of turn; or regenerate target Beast.

Good enough. It isn’t Emerald Charm, but green has Disenchant now, so that helps. This charm has three relatively useful abilities. I will play it in Limited, but I question whether this will see Constructed play.

Voice of the Woods 3GG, Creature – Elf Lord, rare, 2/2

Tap five untapped Elves you control: Put a 7/7 green Elemental creature token with trample into play.

The ritual of making draws upon the elves’ memories and pasts. And elves have long memories and ancient pasts.

This will certainly give elf decks another option for victory: With Skyshroud Poacher, you could run one of these and produce a few fatties, if necessary. It’s not Verdant Force, but it is sort of Verdant Force done backwards.

Weird Harvest XGG, Sorcery, rare

Each player may search his or her library for up to X creature cards, reveal those cards, and put them into his or her hand. Then each player who searched his or her library this way shuffles it.

Krosa’s distorted groves bear strange fruit.

If you are feeling really altruistic, I guess you could cast this and let everyone find their best creatures. If you get an explosive start with an elves deck, it might be playable – but your opponents are going to get their best creatures, so be prepared for Masticores and even Rank and File (when it comes into play, all green creatures get -1/-1). This is a very risky play. Of course, if you are playing emperor or partners, and your partners are mana flooded and threat light, it might work. It would still be quite a risk, however.

Words of Wilding 2G, Enchantment, rare

1: The next time you would draw a card this turn, put a 2/2 green Bear creature token into play instead.

“Instinct is undaunted by terror, unchained by logic. It is the path from which all other paths diverge.” – Volume V, The Book of Life

Once again, it beats getting decked – but that aside, I’m not sure when I would want a 2/2 instead of a card. Although if you combine it with some instant-speed card drawing, you could produce bears as surprise blockers. This could also be a nice, late game combination with Keep Watch or the new Overwhelming Instinct (when you attack with 3 or more creatures, put a bear into play.)

Land: (there are 19 nonbasic, plus the typical 10 basic lands)

Barren Moor, Land (common)

Barren Moor comes into play tapped. T: Add B to your mana pool.

Cycling B

The cost to cycle the new lands is a bit less. That’s good.

Bloodstained Mire, Land (rare)

T, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Bloodstained Mire: Search your library for a swamp or mountain card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.

There is a whole cycle of these. They are even better than the Mirage fetch lands – they get the land you need turn 1, thin the deck, and put it into play untapped. They even fetch duals! I think these may replace Land Grant in my T1 Tubbies and Tools (G/R/U Survival) deck.

Contested Cliffs, Land (rare)

T: Add 1 to your mana pool. G, T: Choose target Beast you control and target creature an opponent controls. Each creature deals damage equal to its power to the other.

Green gets direct removal? This is amazing! Green has needed this for a long time. True, it requires you to have a beast in play, but it doesn’t even tap the beast. You could use this to clear away blockers, tappers, and stuff like Heavy Ballistae before combat, or kill off fliers. This is even better than Arena (the old promo land), and Arena could be broken at times. A green deck keeps looking better and better.

Daru Encampment, Land (uncommon)

T: Add 1 to your mana pool. W, T: Target Soldier gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

There is also a cycle of lands that help theme decks. None of them are as good as Contested Cliffs, however.

Grand Coliseum, Land (rare)

Grand Coliseum comes into play tapped. T: Add 1 to your mana pool.

T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Grand Coliseum deals 1 damage to you.

It’s a new and improved City of Brass – although”comes into play tapped” is not so good. However, the block looks slow, given all the high casting costs (the Wizards deck aside).

Riptide Laboratory, Land (rare)

T: Add 1 to your mana pool. U, T: Return target Wizard you control to its owner’s hand.

The Wizards deck might use these as an answer to the Contested Cliffs – marginal, but it is a possibility. In T2, however, a Wizards deck might just use counters and Hibernation, which will be the bane of all mono-green decks – even if the green decks ramp up with Rampant Growth instead of elves.

Artifacts (There are 6 artifacts)

Cryptic Gateway – 5, Artifact (rare)

Tap two untapped creatures you control: You may put a creature card from your hand into play that shares a creature type with each creature tapped this way.

Its lock changes to fit each key.

David Martin 306/350

It is expensive, and it requires you to have two of a creature type already in play. If you are playing elves or soldiers, would it ever be worth 5 mana to get another one in play? And if you were playing beasts, and had 2 out already, why not just beat with them?

Doom Cannon – 6, Artifact (rare)

As Doom Cannon comes into play, choose a creature type. 3, T, Sacrifice a creature of the chosen type: Doom Cannon deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

Matthew Mitchell 307/350

I could see this being a possible finisher for a soldiers or clerics deck, where you could produce tokens with Mobilization or something, and were locked in a hopeless creature stall, but I’m not sure it’s enough. It costs six mana up front, and three mana plus tapping on the back end. Skull Catapult is better – although Doom Cannon should be pretty good in limited.

Dream Chisel – 2, Artifact (rare)

Face-down creature spells you play cost 1 less to play.

Itself a product of Ixidor’s tortured psyche, the chisel brings his darkest dreams to life.

Who knows? Popular opinion didn’t think Catalyst Stone was that good early on, either.

Riptide Replicator – X4, Artifact (rare)

As Riptide Replicator comes into play, choose a color and a creature type. Riptide Replicator comes into play with X charge counters on it. 4, T: Put an X/X creature token of the chosen color and type into play, where X is the number of charge counters on Riptide Replicator.

This could be a very good way of creating off-color tokens, or creating creatures that benefit from a Coat of Arms or an opponent’s Shared Triumph (all creatures of chosen type get +1/+1). It could also create black creatures to stop Shadowmage Infiltrator and fear dudes. I think it will see a lot of sideboard use, but one or two maindeck could be possible, depending on how the format shakes out.

Here’s a though experiment: Lots of little goblins, the new ritual that gives one red mana for every goblin, drop a big Goblin Replicator? The goblin decks look different if you could include some 10/10 goblins for four mana in the mix. It makes Dive Bomber (2/2 flier that can Fling a goblin) look a bit more interesting.

Slate of Ancestry – 4, Artifact (rare)

4, T, Discard your hand: Draw a card for each creature you control.

The pattern of life can be studied like a book, if you know how to read it.

This will be good in block and T2 based purely on how the format shakes out: If creature stalls are likely, play it. In multiplayer, if your group likes to Wrath early and often, it’s no good. If, on the other hand, your group builds armies slowly and sets up, this could draw you a lot of cards. In my mana heavy Maze/Launcher deck, this might replace Urza’s Blueprints.

Tribal Golem – 6, Artifact Creature – Golem (rare) 4/4

Tribal Golem has trample as long as you control a Beast, haste as long as you control a Goblin, first strike as long as you control a Soldier, flying as long as you control a Wizard, and”B: Regenerate Tribal Golem” as long as you control a Zombie.

So, outside of Limited, how often did you see Draco or Tek played? Tribal Golem will see even less play, although he could be a hoot with in a deck packing Unnatural Selection.

Overall Impressions:

I think Wizards has given us an interesting set, and I’m looking forward to the prerelease. I think I see why Randy Buehler and the Future, Future League at Wizards’ R&D have been seeing green for a while – it looks pretty solid, but blue has Hibernation and wizards, mono black control is still strong, and I see at least two potential combo decks. It’s time to start working for states.

For multiplayer, I see a lot of interesting cards, although I am depressed about Insurrection. Altar of Dementia and Reins of Power was a powerful, but reasonable, deck. Altar of Dementia and Insurrection is pretty awful – it just wins in way too big a style. A few other cards have similar impacts – and I hate to see any simple combo that just wins too easily, whether that be Buried Alive/Worldgorger Dragon or something else. Of course, Insurrection is a ton of mana, but nothing a deck with a bit of artifact mana or elves could not handle. Insurrection aside, I see a lot of interesting possibilities in the set, and theme decks will do very well.

See you at the prerelease.


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