This is the third week of official Gatecrash previews over at magicthegathering.com, and by now we know what to expect. So leave it to Wizards to give us a little something unexpected to kick the week off. In Mark Rosewater's Making Magic, he talks in part about how the extort keyword was designed and then shows off the first noncreature extort permanent we've yet seen. And in Mike Cannon's From the Lab, the author speaks from his current location within the gelatinous form of The Mimeoplasm to give us another trick the Ooze tribe has up its sleeve. Have a look at Blind Obedience and Ooze Flux, then let me run through my first impressions.
Blind Obedience - This is exactly what the Orzhov need to cement their status as the "control guild" of Gatecrash and possibly the most control-oriented guild of the entire block. I grant that it's not quite Kismet, since the land-slowdown portion of the ability was the big attraction of that particular control card, but Blind Obedience has at least niche anti-aggro functions in stopping haste, and, more importantly, blocks opponents' access to mana fixing by tapping down Keyrunes and other mana artifacts. It has value merely for being a noncreature permanent with extort - enchantments are easily the least vulnerable permanent type next to lands simply because no one thinks to maindeck enchantment removal when creatures and artifacts are the biggest-priority threats. All in all, Blind Obedience has applications against aggro, combo, and control decks alike, and if extort.dec becomes a thing in competitive Constructed, expect to see this thing a lot.
Ooze Flux - If you are a Johnny and you play green, the mere sight of that ability probably gets you tingling with excitement. There are a million and one ways to play with and combo off that token-production ability. Abusing evolve triggers for fun and profit is merely the first thing that comes to mind; Parallel Lives works as well with this as it does with, say, Kessig Cagebreakers. My favorite use for Ooze Flux so far, though, might be Sigil Captain. Here's how it works: Remove only one +1/+1 counter with the activated ability of your Ooze Flux with a Sigil Captain out. You get a 1/1 Ooze token, which Sigil Captain graciously places two +1/+1 counters on. See where this is going? All in all, this card is pretty much pure fun, and is going to be a casual table favorite if not a competitive one (although if evolve decks are strong)...
What do you think of these two spiffy low-cost global enchantments? Let me know in the comments.