One of the big changes of Magic 2015 is the fact that R&D is letting outside people - mostly "celebrity" game designers as well as the Magic community as a whole, by consensus - make cards in the set, and get credited for the designs. Well, according to GameInformer, Rob Pardo, the World of Warcraft honcho, has designed a stealthy flavor-first Assassin for the set, and it's not even a splashy rare, but a Limited workhorse uncommon!
Xathrid Slyblade 2B
Creature - Human Assassin (Uncommon)
3B: Until end of turn, Xathrid Slyblade loses hexproof and gains first strike and deathtouch.
Designed by Rob Pardo
Color pie purists are crying foul about hexproof in black here. I am one of those purists, and I don't like how R&D thinks it made a mistake by letting there be too much color bleed in core sets (which, in theory, should have the most well-defined color pie about them) and then let outside designers continue that mistake.
And yet... the top-down stuff here is so compelling, and so's the gameplay, that I have to let it go. The killer popping out of the shadows for a quick and lethal strike, then slinking back unseen? Awesome. It works a little like Tromokratis, of course, but there's sufficient difference (the Kraken "goes underwater" because it's really too big for stealth) to make it feel original. And it's definitely good that after you use the combat-kill-suite ability your Slyblade becomes vulnerable to removal. Because otherwise, this'd be even crazier in Limited than it already is - and it's really, really hard to attack into or even to block, sometimes, in the first place.
What do you think of this silent killer? Let me know in the comments.