Well it's that time of year again. Theros becomes legal for all formats on September 20th as it pushes out the Innistrad block out of Standard. This means that Magic is completely refreshing once again. Seeing as we are all going to be drafting the set for the next five months, and the fact that it's Sealed PTQ season means that we are going to have to take a cold hard look at the set. Join me now as I go card by card in my reviews.
Annul – U – Instant – C – Counter target artifact or enchantment spell. The power to counter a god for only one mana is very good. Annul is a cross format all-star and will see some standard love to keep the enchantments at bay.
Aqueous Form – U – Enchantment – Aura – C – Enchant creature. Enchant creature can't be blocked. Whenever enchanted creature attacks, scry 1. Really? That's a good card. Like, put me on a Ninja of the Deep Hours level good. Scry is just such a powerful mechanic to have in Standard along with making a creature able to sneak past blockers is even better.
Artisan of Forms – 1U – Creature – Human Wizard – R – Heroic – Whenever you cast a spell that targets Artisan of Forms, you may have Artisan of Forms become a copy of target creature and gains this ability. 1/1. Yeah, I'm just going to go out on a limb and call this junk. A clone that you need another card to make it do it's cloning is not good.
Benthic Giant – 5U – Creature – Giant – C – Hexproof. 4/5. Limited beater over here.
Bident of Thassa – 2UU- Legendary Enchantment Artifact – R – Whenever a creature you control deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card. 1U, tap: Creatures your opponents control attack this turn if able. This plus Aqueous Form and some white double strike creatures might just be a deck. Yeah, I've got the brewing bug.
Breaching Hippocamp – 3U – Creature – Horse Fish – C – Flash. When Breaching Hippocamp enters the battlefield, untap another target creature you control. 3/2. Nice combat trick dude for Limited.
Coastline Chimera – 3U – Creature – Chimera – C – Flying. 1W: Coastline Chimera can block an additional creature this turn. 1/5. Awesome blocking dork for Limited.
Crackling Triton – 2U – Creature – Merfolk Wizard – C – 2R, sacrifice Crackling Triton: Crackling Triton deals 2 damage to target creature or player. 2/3. Part of me wishes this gets to be part of some odd combo deck. But I think it's just some filler for Limited when we get the Izzet scry land next set.
Curse of the Swine – XUU – Sorcery – R – Exile X target creatures. For each creature exiled this way, its controller puts a 2/2 green Boar creature token onto the battlefield. I love how this set has so many odd flavor rares in it. I mean yes, this is awesome in Limited when you are facing down a hoard of fatties that you can turn into bacon for your troops.
Dissolve – 1UU – Instant – U – Counter target spell. Scry 1. Damn you Wizards! We get 18 months of nerf control and as soon as Cavern of Souls rotates we get this card. Just so you can counter my spell and then top deck into awesome. I hate playing control all the time.
Fate Foretold – 1U – Enchantment – Aura – C – Enchant creature. When fate Foretold enters the battlefield, draw a card. When enchanted creature dies, its controller draw a card. If only Blood Artist wasn't rotating I would so be playing this in Standard Eggs.
Gainsay – 1U – Instant – U – Counter target blue spell. Yeah, blue hate counter... that's totally going to be the mirror breaking tech.
Griptide – 3U – Instant – C – Put target creature on top of its owner's library. I love using this in Limited for the tempo edge. Still just a bit to slow for constructed decks.
Horizon Scholar – 5U – Creature – Sphinx – U – Flying. When Horizon Scholar enters the battlefield, scry 2. 4/4. Not a bad beater in Limited.
Lost in a Labyrinth – U – Instant – C – Target creature gets -3/-0 until end of turn. Scry 1. Nice combat trick for Limited. Adding scry onto anything don't make it constructed level, sorry.
Master of Waves – 3U – Creature – Merfolk Wizard – M - Protection from red. Elemental creature you control get +1/+1. When master of Waves enters the battlefield, put a number of 1/0 blue Elemental creature tokens onto the battlefield equal to your devotion to blue. 2/1. I like the flavor of this card and that if you lose it you also loose that army it gives you. Translation this just sucks in constructed.
Meletis Charlatan – 2U – Creature – Human Wizard – R – 2U, tap: The controller of target instant or sorcery spell copies it. That player may choose new targets for the copy. 2/3. You mean I can play Mill now and use this to copy my sweet mill spells? Honestly I don't have a clue what this is really going to work in. Maybe with some cool Izzet spells.
Mnemonic Wall – 4U – Creature – Wall – C – Defender. When Mnemonic Wall enters the battlefield, you may return target instant or sorcery card from your graveyard to your hand. 0/4. With Auramancer and this in Standard I want to play turbo fog just for fun. Still this in the Limited format is nice for control drafters.
Nimbus Naiad – 2U – Enchantment Creature – Nymph – C – Bestow 4U. Flying. Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has flying. 2/2. I would like this better as just a 2/2 flier for 2U. Still, if you are playing the bestow game in Limited this is nice as one dude dies and part of it transforms into a flier. That visual was cool. Oh my god! Standard is full of Voltrons... Now I want the next block to be Return to Zendikar... Think of it Voltron vs ro-beast standard.
Omenspeaker – 1U – Creature – Human Wizard – C – When Omenspeaker enters the battlefield scry 2. 1/3. Sure it's not the same as Augur of Bolas but I personally think it's better. In Modern this sets up miracles for turn three, it's makes your Delvers flip, and in Standard it allows you to prefect you top-decks. Even in the Immortal Servitude decks this is better than Augur most times as it allows you to keep a needed sac creature or Blood Artist on top. Yeah, I really believe in the power of Creature Eggs to replace Artifact Eggs in Modern. As for this in Standard and Limited, a 1/3 body is a nice blocker and scry 2 is very powerful in control builds. If you are drafting blue you take these all day.
Ordeal of Thassa – 1U – Enchantment – Aura – U – Enchant creature. Whenever enchanted creature attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on it. Then if it has three or more +1/+1 counter on it, sacrifice Ordeal of Thassa. When you sacrifice Ordeal of Thassa, draw two cards. Okay so it's no Standstill, but I'm seeing this as a good draw card for aggro-control decks. I'm planning on testing this in Modern Ninja. I'll be happy to use it in Limited.
Prescient Chimera – 3UU – Creature – Chimera – C – Flying. Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, scry 1. ¾. So awesome for Limited, but I don't think it's going to make it out of the forty card formats.
Prognostic Sphinx – 3UU – Creature – Sphinx – R – Flying. Discard a card: Prognostic Sphinx gains hexproof until end of turn. Tap it. Whenever Prognostic Sphinx attacks, scry 3. 3/5. Now this is going to see play in Standard as well as in Commander. Totally awesome-sauce card over here. I mean even in Limited this is crazy good.
Sea God's Revenge – 5U – Sorcery – U – Return up to three target creatures to their owner's hands. Scry 1.
Sealock Monster – 3UU – Creature – Octopus – u – Sealock Monster cant's attack unless defending player controls an island. 5UU: Monstrosity 3. When Sealock Monster becomes monstrous, target land becomes an island in addition to its other types. 5/5. How come we never get monsters in other colors that have the same kind of attacking restriction. Where's the monster that can't attack unless your opponent controls a swamp. I want a swamp monster. Sure that restriction would such just as much as this, but it would be flavorful. Also the fact that you would have to hit seven mana to make this guy good also sucks... moving on.
Shipbreaker Kracken – 4UU – Creature – Kracken – R – 6UU: Monstrosity 4. When Shipbreaker Kracken becomes monstrous, tap up to four target creatures. Those creatures don't untap during their controllers' untap steps for as long as you control Shipbreaker Kracken. 6/6. Who's a nice bulk rare, your are, you are a nice bulk rare. Honestly it's junk and in the few Limited games where you get to make it a monster it will win the game, but those are the only times this is work anything more than a quarter.
Stymied Hopes – 1U – Instant – C – Counter target spell unless it controller pays 1. Scry 1. Mana Leak this is not, but then again Mana Leak doesn't let you fix your top deck as it forces your opponent to over pay for things. Going to be cool in Limited and Standard.
Swan Song – U – Instant – R – Counter target enchantment, instant or sorecery spell. Its controller puts a 2/2 blue Bird token with flying onto the battlefield. I'm likeing this if we had more standard playable Nyx creatures. Still it's a good all round non-creature counter. Might see some sideboard slots but I don't see it being main decked unless bestow proves to be all powerful.
Thassa, God of the Sea – 2U – Legendary Enchantment Creature – God – M – Indestructible. As long as your devotion to blue is less than five, Thassa isn't a creature. At the beginning of your upkeep, scry 1. 1U: Target creature you control can't be blocked this turn. 5/5. Not bad at all. The Gods all have some really cool effects that are going to make them Standard all-stars and also brewing favorites for Commander. With the Cyper ability from RtR Block Thassa is going to see a lot of UB love.
Thassa's Bounty – 5U – Sorcery – C – Draw three cards. Target player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. I understand that this needed to be expensive on the mana because it draws three cards but that mill effect tacked on just seems silly. This far deep and there is not a mill deck in this Limited format.
Thassa's Emissary – 3U – Enchantment Creature – Crab – U – Bestow 5U. Whenever Thassa's Emissary or enchanted creature deals combat damage to a player, draw a card. Enchanted creature gets +3/+3. 3/3. “Vegetta, I be your spirit animal. I'm gonna teach you how to beat that bomb-bad jerk Freeza.” Out of all the Bestow creatures this one has to be my favorite and not just because it reminds me of DBZ Abridged. A 3/3 that draws when it connects with your opponent is very nice in Limited.
Triton Fortune Hunter – 2U – Creature – Merfolk Soldier – U – Heroic – Whenever you cast a spell that targets Triton Fortune Hunter, draw a card. 2/2. That is so nuts in Limited. Combat tricks and digging all in one.. yeah, I want to draft Blue with this set.
Triton Shorethief – U – Creature – Merfolk Rogue – C – ½. Because you need one-drops in Limited.
Triton Tactics – U – Instant – U – Up to two target creatures each get +0/+3 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. At this turn's next end of combat, tap each creature that was blocked by one of those creatures this turn and it doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step. This has to be one of the best combat tricks in this set. Yeah, so drafting blue. Not only does this trigger the heroic abilities but it also means your opponent is going to have less blockers next turn.
Vaporkin – 1U – Creature – Elemental – C – Flying. Vaporkin can block only creatures with flying. 2/1. So what if it can't block ground troops this is flying aggro in Limited. Take them all in draft.
Voyage's End – 1U – Instant – C – Return target creature to its owner's hand. Scry 1. Well crap there goes everyone to playing control. Honestly, with all the scry in this set it's going to be a very blue year.
Wavecrash Triton – 2U – Creature – Merfolk Wizard – C – Heroic – Whenever you cast a spell that targets Wavecrash Triton, tap target creature an opponent controls. That creature doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step. ¼. Totally want to draft with blue when this set gets on MTGO. Being able to turn combat tricks into lock-down effects is really great.
All in all, Blue is the best color in this set for Limited. Even without a mind control effect in the set all the tap-down and scry effects are going to make Blue a heavy hitter in Draft and Sealed for the next five months. There are a few cards that will make the leap into Standard but I'm not seeing the next big deck yet in Blue's cards.
Well, I hope you've enjoyed my thoughts on the blue cards, but it's time to get moving on to the black cards. This has been...
Jeffrey Carmichael II
KDPfenthing on MTGO
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