You Lika the Juice? – My Future Sight Review, Part XL

Future Sight is here and I see that I’ve been Timeshifted to Wednesdays. Apparently Craig wanted to get the MTGO jump on MagictheGathering.com’s column, so I’ve been moved and now get to go up against the fellow who bumped me from my weekly gig over there. So revenge is mine – I get to challenge Mr. Karsten head on!

Future Sight is here and I see that I’ve been Timeshifted to Wednesdays. Apparently Craig wanted to get the MTGO jump on MagictheGathering.com’s column, so I’ve been moved and now get to go up against the fellow who bumped me from my weekly gig over there. So revenge is mine – I get to challenge Mr. Karsten head on! ROOOOOAAAAAAAARR!!!

Oh wait… hmm, maybe that’s not such an enviable place to be… I’m not sure I win that gunfight!

At any rate, this week we finally come to the end of the most exhaustively complete set analysis ever put to virtual paper. While a long and sometimes controversial ride, I think it’s been quite enlightening overall. Several of you have certainly made your opinions well known in the forums, and I don’t anyone will forget Rizzo taking me to task and working around the forum profanity filters so skillfully! By now we’ve covered draft picks, synergies to look for in Sealed, and which cards will be worth investing in early on. We’ve debunked Ben Bleiweiss at nearly every turn, and that was certainly fun! If you’ve missed the previous parts and have quite a few hours to kill, you can go back and read them here.

So after all that, what’s to be gained from covering Future Sight once again this week? Well, I figured this part will be an overview, a quick hits version of the previous reviews, touching just on the cards that stand out to me one way or the other. I’ll also present some new deck ideas that I want to test for Regionals in the hopes that some of you with similar ideas might cross-pollinate and kick the tires, poke holes and challenge assumptions.

Augur il-Vec
Creature – Human Cleric
Shadow (This Creature can block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.)
Sacrifice Augur il-Vec: You gain 4 life. Play this ability only during your upkeep.

In an environment choked full of Sulfur Elementals, this fellow strikes me as a little metagame ju-jitsu. Does your opponent play his Elemental and turn your guy into a Soltari Priest-level damage dealer? Sure, the Elemental hits harder but he doesn’t have evasion. Not having protection from Red isn’t nearly so bad now that Red has a direct damage spell they will gladly be packing to finally deal with Paladin en-Vec.

Intervention Pact
Intervention Pact is white.
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way. At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay 1WW. If you don’t, you lose the game.

Some have been pooh-poohing this as a bad card (“the weakest of the pacts” — Ben Bleiweiss), but how often do aggressive decks lie in wait for control decks to tap out before launching a barrage of direct damage spells to the noggin? Or how often does a control deck have to choose between tapping down in order to cast a card drawing sorcery, or keeping mana up for a counterspell (or worse yet, bluffing a counterspell)? While the Blue Pact is light years better in combo decks when you don’t plan on ever needing to pay the cost next turn, this might be better in control decks that can feel better about casting Tidings to refill their hand. If you need to use this to survive, the mana tax is much less severe than the Blue Pact. If you relied on Pact of Negation to protect you when you tapped out for Tidings, you wouldn’t be able to cast any of the spells you drew next turn due to Negation’s hefty mana tax.

Lost Auramancers
Creature – Human Wizard
Vanishing 3
When Lost Auramancers is put into a graveyard from play, if it had no time counters on it, you may search your library for an enchantment card and put it into play. If you do, shuffle your library.

Vesuvan Shapeshifter has yet another combolicious creature to add to its copying arsenal. What’s interesting to notice, the predecessor card to this, Academy Rector, had a relatively small size for its casting cost, but that was actually good for the card since you wanted the guy to die! Lost Auramancers is not only fixed by tying on an awkward time-counter condition, but its size means that it’s actually a bit harder to kill off too.

Magus of the Moat
Creature – Human Wizard
Creatures without flying can’t attack.

I think Wizards missed an opportunity at irony here by not giving this critter at least a point of power, and in fact could have made this intensely humorous by giving it a sizeable power since it’s own ability prevents it from getting into creature combat, barring some help.

Scout’s Warning
The next creature card you play this turn can be played as though it had flash.
Draw a card.

Sigh. Where’s Winding Canyons when you need it?

Spirit en-Dal
Creature – Spirit
Shadow (This creature can block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.)
Forecast – 1W, Reveal Spirit en-Dal from your hand: Target creature gains shadow until end of turn. (Play this ability only during your upkeep and only once each turn.)

Sulfur Elemental makes this fellow risky to run out there himself, but the prospects of giving your large man shadow without costing a card certainly makes this interesting!

Aven Mindcensor
Creature – Bird Wizard
If an opponent would search a library, that player searches the top four cards of that library instead.

I’m a bit confused. When I saw this card, I thought that it must be the Magic Invitational winner’s card, just fixed so that it wasn’t a “flip” card and mechanically a bit different. But, looking at the card, it’s pretty obviously not. It strikes me as not a bad answer to Dragonstorm, if you want to roll the dice that the first one or two storm copies of Dragonstorm don’t hit a Hellkite that will ping this right out of the way for full-on dragon searching.

Lumithread Field
Creatures you control get +0/+1.
Morph 1W

Enchantments that help boost creatures tend to be awful to rip from the top of your deck when you’re exhausted your army against a multitude of creature removal. Lumithread Field fixes that problem by doing a fantastic Gray Ogre impression, and can even dodge dying by morphing in response. This will definitely be a Limited all-star and it might even make a splash in Constructed.

Mistmeadow Skulk
Creature – Kithkin Rogue
Protection from converted mana cost 3 or greater
Lifelink (Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life.)

If a plague of Sulfur Elementals weren’t raining down on our houses, this little fellow would certainly be interesting. Mistmeadow Skulk plus Worship would certainly be a nice lock against Dragonstorm.

Oriss, Samite Guardian
Legendary Creature – Human Cleric
T: Prevent all damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn.
Grandeur – Discard another card named Oriss, Samite Guardian: Target player can’t play spells this turn, and creatures that player controls can’t attack this turn.

Just think how much fun we’d have had with Grandeur in general, and Oriss in particular, if they had made Magus of Survival instead of Magus of the Vineyard, especially with Gaea’s Blessing in the mix? Perhaps we should put “fun” in quotes…

Seht’s Tiger
Creature — Cat
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.)
When Seht’s Tiger comes into play, you gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. (You can’t be targeted, dealt damage, or enchanted by anything of the chosen color.)

I really like this guy because he’s tricky, reusable with Momentary Blink, and useful in multiples. It can be a Fog, it can be a counterspell for hand destruction, and if you don’t need that sort of protection he’s a sizeable body.

Cryptic Annelid
Creature — Beast
When Cryptic Annelid comes into play, scry 1, then scry 2, then scry 3.

This fellow lets you dig up to six cards deep to set up your next 1-3 draws. Incredibly good for Limited, but he might have some constructed applications for control and combo decks, especially since he’s a decent enough blocker.

Counter target spell. If the spell is countered this way, remove it from the game with three time counters on it instead of putting it into its owner’s graveyard. If it doesn’t have suspend, it gains suspend.

You know, maybe with this card we’ll finally see a return to people playing counterspells again. It’s been so long since I’ve seen anyone play anything that says “counter target spell” it’s just a crying shame. Remember the good ol’ days of “counter every spell you try to play?”

Oh wait a minute. I must be losing my mind. Counterspell decks are all over the goddamn place, and now they get yet another cheap good counterspell. Thanks, Wizards, you guys are swell!

Scry 4, (Look at the top four cards of your library. Put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.), then draw two cards.

You know, this strikes me as much better than it looks at first blush. How many times do you play a card drawing spell and when it resolves you’re not drawing into anything immediately useful. “Well, at least I’m not wasting my next few draw steps drawing that garbage.” Foresee allows you more chances of drawing stuff that’s more useful.

Magus of the Future
Creature – Human Wizard
Play with the top card of your library revealed.
You may play the top card of your library.

This kid makes all the new scrying stuff much better, and Ben thinks it’s going to be a standout from what he considers a very lame supercycle of Magus cards. I can’t help but feel that the Magi cycle has gotten a bum rap, but I’ve been happy to pick them up cheap! Perhaps it’s my bias for creatures with cool and interesting abilities…

Mystic Speculation
Buyback 2 (You may pay an additional 2 as you play this spell. If you do, put this card into your hand as it resolves.)
Scry 3 (Look at the top three cards of your library. Put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)

This is a reasonably cheap spell for a rather handy effect. Adrian Sullivan been doing some interesting work with Locket of Yesterdays and buyback spells since Time Spiral came out, and I could see casting and buying this back for two or even one blue mana could be a really potent addition to a control or combo deck. It’s probably no accident this card comes right after Magus of the Future

Pact of Negation
Pact of Negation is blue.
Counter target spell.
At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay 3UU. If you don’t, you lose the game.

We all know how ridiculous this is, and since Pact of Negation seems particularly well suited to help combo decks, I can’t help but be a bit sour about Wizards printing this card. If you’re a fan of combo, make sure to snag four copies of this ASAP!

Reality Strobe
Return target permanent to its owner’s hand. Remove Reality Strobe from the game with three time counters on it.
Suspend 3 – 2U

I find the Strobe sorceries intriguing; while only playing four of them in your deck their recurrence isn’t going to impact the game too much, but if you play eight or even twelve on them… now we have something going, especially if you want to go ahead and speed things up with Paradox Haze. I could see such a deck being a force in Block, maybe even Standard, if it wasn’t for a ridiculously overpowered Blue wizard that’s found in every deck sporting Blue, a wizard who also happens to completely hose one of the main mechanics in Time Spiral as an afterthought.

Venser, Shaper Savant
Legendary Creature – Human Wizard
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant)
When Venser, Shaper Savant comes into play, return target spell or permanent to its owner’s hand.
His marvels of artifice pale in comparison to the developing machinery of his mind.

I talked about how good this fellow is here, no need to retread that ground…

Linessa, Zephyr Mage
Legendary Creature – Human Wizard
XUU, T: Return target creature with converted mana cost X to its owner’s hand.
Grandeur – Discard another card named Linessa, Zephyr Mage: Target player returns a creature he or she controls to its owner’s hand, then repeats this process for an artifact, land, and enchantment.

“The weakest of the Grandeur cycle.”Ben Bleiweiss

Oh really? Let’s see – decent power / toughness for the casting cost? Check. Decent abilities? The first is good if a bit mana intensive but this is the world of Urzatron, so mana is no problem; the second ability is just downright ridiculous, almost always guaranteed to hit at least two permanents. Check and check. Abilities synergistic with Blue’s flavor and themes? Does a Blue mage sh** in the woods while casting bounce spells and drawing extra cards like a madman? Check-a-roonie.

Vedalken Aethermage
Creature – Vedalken Wizard
When Vedalken Aethermage comes into play, return target Sliver permanent to its owner’s hand.
Wizardcycling 3

Okay, speaking of Linessa, check out this spicy little number here! Is Teferi ridiculous? Yes. Is Venser really good? Yes. Could we use an extra copy of Linessa? Sure. They’re all Wizards! Why waste one use of Mystical Teachings tutoring for Teferi when you can go fetch it in an uncounterable fashion, and for less mana too? I’ve got a deck featuring Vedalken Aethermage I’ll talk about below, when we get to Jhoira.

Grave Peril
When a nonblack creature comes into play, sacrifice Grave Peril. If you do, destroy that creature.

While this isn’t an amazing card, it does seem to be a nice complement to Seals of Fire and Doom in a hellbent deck. It also creates a nice hard place to complement the rocks Black can throw at your opponent’s hand with discard.

Putrid Cyclops
Creature – Zombie Cyclops
When Putrid Cyclops comes into play, scry 1, then reveal the top card of your library. Putrid Cyclops gets –X/-X until end of turn where X is that card’s converted mana cost.

I think the correct way to view this fellow is a scry 1 spell that better than half the time will leave behind a 3/3 body. Is that worth 3 mana? Probably not, but the fact that it’s a Zombie makes it interesting with Lord of the Undead and Undead Warchief in the format.

Shimian Specter
Creature — Specter
Whenever Shimian Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player reveals his or her hand. Choose a nonland card from it. Search that player’s graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with the same name as that card and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

BB: “($10-$15): Compare to Cranial Extraction and Extirpate. This guy is Lobotomy tacked onto a Hypnotic Specter. It will be the most desired card in the set. Is it the best card in the set? Probably not — but given the previous values of cards that are similar in stature (Hypnotic Specter, Blizzard Specter, and the aforementioned Rares), I am confident in saying that this will be the most-demanded Future Sight card coming out of the gates.

I was talking with Ben over the weekend about this card. I initially was pretty down on it – four mana for a 2/2 creature that has to attack and connect with your opponent to be useful at all seemed pretty iffy, even if the ability is good. But when Ben Bleiweiss predicts a card potentially hitting $15 it makes me look twice (especially since I cracked two of them in the product I got for working the prerelease). He’s banking on the casual market driving the crowd (to which I say, what the hell kind of casual players find it fun to play Lobotomy-style cards?!), but as an exercise in deckbuilding I decide to see whether you can make this guy good in Constructed:

Turn 2 Hypnotic Specter has always been scary potential that’s never really gone anywhere in the Standard metagame, but I wonder pairing him with a similarly scary turn 3 threat might change things. Stronghold Rats gives you yet another turn 2 “Specter” of sorts with evasion. Turn 1 mana critter powers the Specters out early, Ravenous Rats adds to the discard pressure, which should give Extirpate some nice juicy targets (and so, perhaps, will Ghost Quarter). Talismans seem to be in flavor again with the Urzatron decks, so Putrefy gains some ground as a decent removal spell to pair up with Sudden Death to clear blockers for your Specters getting in. I’m not quite sure about Street Wraith, but it strikes me that if the point of your deck is to get a turn 1 mana man, turns 2 and 3 Specter, it would help to virtually shrink your stack.

I remain unconvinced at its viability, but something along these lines might be threatening in a combo and control-heavy metagame.

Bitter Ordeal
Search target player’s library for a card and remove that card from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
Gravestorm (When you play this spell, copy it for each permanent put into a graveyard this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)

Could this be the kill card of choice for that wacky Second Sunrise extended deck?

Bridge from Below
Whenever a non-token creature is put into your graveyard from play, if Bridge from Below is in your graveyard, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play.
Whenever a creature is put into an opponent’s graveyard from play, if Bridge from Below is in your graveyard, remove Bridge from Below from the game.

I have to admit finding this card fascinating, and I traded for two copies at the prerelease and popped two more in my comp packs. Obviously it has a lot of potential in a Dredge deck, but I’m also exploring some other options. More on this card at a later time, I promise…

Deepcavern Imp
Creature – Imp Rebel
Flying, haste
Echo – Discard a card

Am I crazy, or is a Red/Black hellbent / madness-style deck reaching a critical mass of playable cards?

Korlash, Heir to Blackblade
Legendary Creature – Zombie Warrior
Korlash, Heir to Blackblade’s power and toughness are each equal to the number of swamps you control.
1B: Regenerate Korlash.
Grandeur – Discard another card named Korlash, Heir to Blackblade: Search your library for up to two Swamp cards, put them into play tapped, then shuffle your library.

Wow, what an awesome prerelease card we had this time! Korlash’s Grandeur ability is incredibly good, for no mana you get to accelerate your mana by two, and the beauty of Grandeur is that it takes no mana to activate, so you can utilize Black’s numerous tutoring options like Diabolic Tutor or transmuting Dimir House Guard to get an extra copy of Korlash and use it right away. The fact that he’s a zombie makes him combolicious with Lord of the Undead. What about something like this?

Street Wraith
Creature — Wraith
Cycling – Pay 2 life.

Put me down as “eyebrow raised” on this card. Seems a natural card to throw into any combo deck, and could have a role in mid-range decks. For Dredge decks it’s an instant speed way to draw / Dredge a card.

Creature — Demon
Delve (You may remove any number of cards in your graveyard from the game as you play this spell. It costs 1 less to play for each card removed this way.)

BB: “Look, if the Delve cards in this set don’t get Dredge, as a mechanic, played in Standard, nothing will. If someone (paging Bennie Smith!) makes a dredge deck that works, this guy is golden — easily a turn 3 play as a 5/5 flyer. I’d pick up a playset while people are figuring out what to do with him.”

Is Ben suggesting that Dredge as a mechanic isn’t played in Standard? *cough* Reanimator *cough*

Apparently though even Brian David-Marshall is drinking Ben’s Kool-Aid here; according to the coverage for PT Yokohama, BDM and some others where giddy over the idea of turn 1 Lightning Axe, discarding Golgari Grave-Troll, turn 2 dredge the Troll back and then casting Tombstalker for two black mana (assuming a turn 1 Blood Crypt). As a Dredge purist, Delve is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me anyway, but I don’t see this fellow as awesome enough to warrant the deckbuilding gymnastics to pull it off. Wouldn’t it be more reliable and frankly more powerful to just Dread Return Akroma into play on turn 3?

Yixlid Jailer
Creature – Zombie Wizard
Cards in Graveyards lose all abilities.

Yet another card gets printed that completely hoses Dredge. You’d think Dredge decks were warping the environment or something! What the hell?

Gathan Raiders
Creature – Human Warrior
Hellbent – Gathan Raiders gets +2/+2 if you have no cards in hand.
Morph – Discard a card (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

Speaking of Red/Black hellbent / madness cards…

Magus of the Moon
Creature – Human Wizard
Nonbasic lands are Mountains.

I expect this card to fall on the metagame like a ton of bricks… but not necessarily in a good way. Gruul decks have been making waves lately with sideboard Blood Moons preying nicely on the plethora of really good non-basics out there, not least of which includes the Urzatron. So why not have a maindeck Blood Moon that can swing for two? The problem I see though is that the top control deck right now — Izzetron — is hardly slowed down by this guy, since turning his Urzatron into Mountains is hardly a tragedy, and if they need to they have plenty of options to remove / burn this little fellow. He does do a number on any decks leaning heavily on non-basics that happen to not play Red, which constricts options considerably. We all love our non-basics, but if you’re not playing Red you’re going to have to take a long hard look at playing them now.

Pact of the Titan
Pact of the Titan is red.
Put a 4/4 red Giant token into play.
At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay 4R. If you don’t, you lose the game.

Terrible overall… except in conjunction with Djinn Illuminatus. Everyone’s got a Illuminatus Pact combo deck, wanna see mine?

My build incorporates both outs for the problem of infinite Pacts, with Pandemonium offering the instant kill, and Angel’s Grace providing a get-out-of-jail card so your Titans can attack, hopefully for the win. The problem with this and any other viable combo deck is a glaring one – is this faster or more consistent than Dragonstorm? I suspect the answer is no, so if you’re playing combo why not play the better one?

Ghostfire is colorless.
Ghostfire deals 3 damage to target creature or player.

Does any Red deck not run four copies of this card right off the bat, and gleefully mow down Paladins en-Vec until the cows come home?

Thunderblade Charge
Thunderblade Charge deals 3 damage to target creature or player.
Whenever one or more creatures you control deals combat damage to a player, if Thunderblade Charge is in your graveyard, you may pay 2RRR, If you do, play it without paying its mana cost.

Red/Black hellbent / madness…

Heartwood Storyteller
Creature — Treefolk
Whenever a player plays a noncreature spell, each of that player’s opponents may draw a card.
His roots reach deep, nurtured not by soil and rain, but by millennia of experience.

Ah, here we come to my favorite card in the set. I love creatures that do cool stuff, and I tend to get grumpy when playing against those who prefer to play creature-light decks (which are also typically chock full of counterspells and card-drawing… you know, the “clever” stuff). Here’s a creature that punishes those sorts of decks and say “look, you gotta deal with me first or I will bury you in cards.” As a deckbuilding exercise to break the symmetry of his ability, I cooked up this little number:

All creatures — I love it! And yet you still have counterspells, bounce, artifact and enchantment kill, and graveyard control, all of it reusable with Stonecloaker.

Llanowar Mentor
Creature – Elf Spellshaper
G, T, Discard a card: Put a 1/1 green Elf Druid creature token named Llanowar Elves into play with “T: Add G to your mana pool.”

If you still haven’t replaced your Greenseekers with this kid in your Dredge Reanimator decks, what are you waiting for?!

Ravaging Riftwurm
Creature — Wurm
Kicker 4
Vanishing 2
If the kicker cost was paid, Ravaging Riftwurm comes into play with three additional time counters on it.

This guy is like a two-turn Fog against a lot of creature decks. I might also mention he sacrifices nicely to Greater Good

Creature – Elf Shaman
When Riftsweeper comes into play choose target face-up card that’s removed from the game. Its owner shuffles it into his or her library.

Riftsweeper strikes me as a potential metagame hand grenade; not only is a great turn 2 follow-up to a suspended Lotus Bloom against Dragonstorm to buy you another turn or two, but I suspect Aeon Chronicler to make the transition from Block to Standard in short order and Riftsweeper handles that problem rather nicely too. All while beating down for two. In the right metagame, this fellow could be an all-star.

Summoner’s Pact
Summoner’s Pact is green.
Search your library for a green creature card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay 2GG. If you don’t, you lose the game.

Bleiweiss seems to love this card, and I have to admit it seems like a decent way to get a Mystic Snake or Loxodon Hierarch when you need it. It’s just that the “green creature card” restriction doesn’t seem to balance too well with the hefty four-mana tax on your next upkeep, which just seems excessive.

Baru, Fist of Krosa
Legendary Creature – Human Druid
Whenever a Forest comes into play, Green creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain trample until end of turn.
Grandeur – Discard another card named Baru, Fist of Krosa from your hand: Put an X/X green Wurm creature token into play, where X is the number of lands you control.

BB: “The best of the Grandeur cycle. It’s essentially five for a 5/5 trampler that gives your other creatures Stampede. In addition, the Grandeur ability is great — discard a card to put a 4/4 to 7/7 creature into play, free of charge! A solid card for Green decks.”

I think Ben’s missing something glaringly obvious here, so let’s walk through it: What block is Baru in? Time Spiral, right? And if you’re going to play a large Green trampling man for five mana from Time Spiral block, are you going to play Baru? No, you’re not. You’re gonna play the card that starts with “S” and ends in “Pectral Force.” And you’re going to want to play four copies because you want to draw that cat as soon as you can accelerate him out there. Baru also wants you to play four copies. Are you going to want to run eight five-mana fatties in your deck? Talk about blowing your mana curve all to hell.

I can’t help but think Development dropped the ball on this one. If this cost six mana for a 5/5 I’d probably be all over it. Green gives him a lot of support for Grandeur abuse, from Summoner’s Pact and Deadwood Treefolk in Standard, to Genesis and Time of Need in Extended. I just can’t see running 4 Barus and 2 Spectral Forces at the five-mana fatty slots in green/x decks…

Muraganda Petroglyphs
Creatures with no abilities get +2/+2.

BB: “As we all learned from Kamigawa Block, if you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably bad.”

I initially thought the same thing… but then I remembered that token creatures often don’t have any abilities. If you’re into Saproling madness, this could help you go nuts! Mostly a casual consideration, but still it’s not that bad a card.

Nacatl War-Pride
Creature – Cat Warrior
Nacatl War-Pride must be blocked by exactly one creature if able.
Whenever Nacatl War-Pride attacks, put X tokens into play, tapped and attacking, that are copies of Nacatl War-Pride, where X is equal to the numbers of creatures controlled by the defending player. Remove those tokens from the game at end of turn.

A 3/3 for six is hardly something to get excited about… and yet it has the potential to unleash a lot of damage if the metagame includes a lot of creature decks. If you can figure out ways to neutralize creatures so they can’t block — I’m thinking Glare of Subdual, Faith’s Fetters, and such. And imagine combining with Relentless Assault! If your opponent had three creatures out and tapped down, and you attacked with War-Pride for a total of four, and then cast Relentless Assault and attacked and made 12 more, yeowch!

Creature — Beast
Split Second (As long as this spell is on the stack, players can’t play spells or activated abilities that aren’t mana abilities.)
Shroud (This permanent can’t be the target of spells or abilities.)
When a spell or ability an opponent controls causes you to discard Quagnoth, return it to your hand.

Laughs at your opponent’s hand destruction. Laughs at your opponent’s counterspells. Laughs at your opponent’s targeted removal. Doesn’t laugh at Wrath or Damnation, but what outside of Stuffy Doll does? Anyway, I’m seriously digging this guy and dusting off 3-4 sideboard slots just for him!

Spellwild Ouphe
Creature — Ouphe
Spells that target Spellwild Ouphe cost 2 less to play.

I thought I’d point out that your Moldervine Cloak only costs one mana when you put it on this Ouphe. Okay, yeah I know… moving on… why do Ouphes suck so bad?

Creature – Lhurgoyf
Tarmogoyf’s power is equal to the number of card types among cards in all graveyards and its toughness is equal to that number plus 1. (The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, planeswalker, sorcery, and tribal)

Yeah, yeah, yeah – he can be a beast in a Dredge deck. Know something else? So can Avatar of Woe. Which would you rather cast for two mana?

Jhoira of the Ghitu
Legendary Creature – Human Wizard
2, Remove a nonland card in your hand from the game: Put four time counters on the removed card. If it doesn’t have suspend, it gains suspend. (At the beginning of your upkeep, remove a time counter from the card. When the last is removed, play it without paying its mana cost. If it’s a creature, it has haste.)

BB: “Will appeal to casual players, who will be able to suspend Darksteel Colossus, Denying Wind, or any other funky spell and circumvent the mana cost on ridiculously expensive things. Trade these off, because I think that Suspend 4 on everything is a little too long to set up a storm-based combo turn.

And there aren’t any (Detritivore) Suspend cards (Aeon Chronicler) that you’d rather pay 2 for instead of it’s normal suspend cost? I think Jhoira has a lot more potential than Ben gives her credit for. Let me show you a little gem I’m working on for Regionals:

This came together as I started thinking about making a Wizardcycling deck with all the ridiculous Wizards that Wizards has made in this Time Spiral block. Yes, that’s Magus of the Jar there, a card we all know has the potential to be absolutely ridiculously broken, and yet because it’s attached to a creature with summoning sickness, it’s bad. Why not give it haste? Why not pair it up with Teferi so your opponent can’t do anything with their new hand? Why not pair it up with Linessa on the board so you can discard any extra copies to Grandeur some permanents back to their Jar hand to be discarded at the end of the turn? I even got greedy and wanted to squeeze a Niv-Mizzet into the deck, but I wasn’t sure what to cut.

As Aeon Chronicler (and possibly Detritivore) migrates to Standard, I see Jhoira playing a critical role of both discounting these potent suspend monsters and as a way of suspending sorceries during your opponent’s end-of-turn so you don’t have to tap out during your main phase. Tidings anyone?

Artifact Creature — Construct
Epochrasite comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it if you didn’t play it from your hand.
When Epochrasite is put into a graveyard from play, remove it from the game and put three time counters on it and it gains suspend.

I predict this to be a sleeper hit. First time around he’s a chump blocker. A few turns later he comes back as a free 4/4 haste creature. I could see him being a key player in a Damnation / Wrath control deck if you have a way to keep Teferi from being a nuisance.

Sword of the Meek
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +1/+2
Equip: 2
Whenever a 1/1 creature comes into play under your control, you may return Sword of the Meek from your graveyard to play, then attach it to that creature.

How many 1/1s do you run in your Greater Gargadon deck?

We all know all the lands range from pretty good to freakin’ amazing, so I won’t spend another few pages going over each one. I will mention that Dryad Arbor is B.F.F. with Scryb Ranger and / or Life from the Loam

Okay, so that’s it for today – catch you next week!