I feel really bad about leaving everyone hanging and not getting the set reviews done before the paper release events. I feel like I've let everyone down and I want to applogize. I mean these set reviews are really important because every three months our game gets a complete over-haul with the the new cards, and as the local Examiner it's my job to share my ideas with everyone. Don't worry, I've got some plans in place to help me be able to bounce back into the swing of being able to travel and make more events in the near future. Also I have some ideas about how I can do more for the Magic community.
With that said, I'm still running behind on these reviews. I promise I plan to have the last two articles done before I have to go make coffee at work tonight. Yeah, getting a job has really put me off my stride lately. Not am I covering the shifts during all the prime Magic events I'm also going to be giving up a lot of my time to grind the MTGO release events for Gatecrash.
Okay, we just have 24 cards left to review seeing as we covered all the multicolored cards with the other colors. So let's get this show on the road.
Armored Transport – 3 – Artifact Creature – Construct – Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt to Armored Transport by creatures blocking it. 2/1 So going to alter a set of these to look like AT-STs, you know the “Chicken Walkers” from Star Wars. Granted this is just going to be for my enjoyment as these are only going to be good in Limited to pair with the Bloodrush mechanic.
Boros Keyrune – 3 – Artifact – Tap: Add R or W to your mana pool. RW: Boros Keyrune becomes a 1/1 red and white Soldier artifact creature with double strike until end of turn. I just see this as mana fixing for Limited and a back up blocker for when you really need one.
Dimir Keyrune – 3 – artifact – Tap: Add U or B to your mana pool. UB: Dimir Keyrune becomes a 2/2 blue and black Horror artifact creature until end of turn and is unblockable this turn. Before I looked up Cypher in the FAQ I thought this was the worst of the Keyrunes for Limited. Sure like the rest it's just mana fixing, but this is the two in this set that works best with the guild mechanic. That's right, Cypher keeps this encoded even when it isn't a creature. Granted, You'll need to have this man-upped and beable to resolve a Cyper spell worth casting which means you also need lots of mana and you opponent to have no removal. Yeah, it would have been better if Cypher was better.
Glaring Spotlight – 1 – Artifact – Creatures your opponents control with hexproof can be the targets of spells and abilities you control as though they didn't have hexproof. 3, sacrifice Glaring Spotlight: Creatures you control gain hexproof until end of turn and are unblockable this turn. That is awesome, but a little late to the game. Hex-blade has come and gone as a deck as the aggro decks have gotten better and pushed even the Spirit tribal decks with Drogskol Captain completely out of the meta-game. Also with Cypher being so over priced this means that even Invisible Stalker isn't going to be on the radar of competitive play. Still if Hex-blade does rise to power in Modern after the fall of Jund and Storm this will give us the sideboard tech to fight it.
Gruul Keyrune – 3 – Artifact – Tap: Add R or G to your mana pool. RG: Gruul Keyrune becomes a 3/2 red and green Beast artifact creature with trample until end of turn. Not only if this Going to be mana ramp in an already mana ramp hungry deck in Limited but it's the best of the Keyrunes when you hold them up to the guild mechanics. Just pay two to man-up and then tag some more to pump as you swing with it and trample over blockers.
Illusionist's Bracers – 2 – Artifact – Equipment – Whenever an ability of equipped creature is activated, if it isn't a man ability, copy that ability. You may choose new targets for the copy. Equip 3. Kind of wishing I could use this in my Pack Rat deck but it will slow me down for a turn. Still, it would give me two rats a turn and would make me even more lethal. I'm dreaming, still this is going to be nuts in Limited as there are a number of good activated abilities that you are going to want to copy. I just don't see this as fast enough for constructed play.
Millennial Gargoyle – 4- Artifact Creature – Gargoyle – Flying. 2/2 Sometimes you just need a colorless flier for your Limited pool, and this is what you get in this set.
Orzhov Keyrune – 3 – Artifact – Tap: Add W or B to your mana pool. WB: Orzhov Keyrune becomes a ¼ white and black Thrull artifact creature with lifelink until end of turn. Mana ramp and a last resort blocker that gives you a little life. I'm not impressed with this even for Limited.
Prophetic Prism – 2 – Artifact – When Prophetic Prism enters the battlefield, draw a card. 1, tap: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Not only if this a good mana fixer in Limited because it allows you to both filter mana but it also digs you a card deeper when you cast it.
Razortip Whip- 2 – Artifact – 1, tap: Razortip Whip deals 1 damage to target opponent. Just a pinger that is hard to remove in Limited.
Riot Gear – 2 – Artifact – Equipment – Equipped creature gets +1/+2. Equip 2. Just some flavorful armor that you can use on your dudes in Limited.
Simic Keyrune – 3 – Artifact – Tap: Add G or U to your mana pool. GU: Simic Keyrune becomes a 2/3 green and blue Crab artifact creature with hexproof until end of turn. I'm going to put this down as the third best of the keyrunes and the second best to use with Bloodrush in Limited.
Skyblinder Staff – 1 – Artifact – Equipment – Equipped creature gets +1/+0 and can't be blcoked by creatures with flying. Equip 3. So if you put this on a creature with flying then it can only be blocked by creatures with reach making effectively unblockable for the most part unless you are playing against the green player in Limited. I got a feeling that this is going to be nuts in Limited as you get with you best flier becoming unblockable.
Boros Guildgate, Dimir Guildgate, Gruul Guildgate, Orzhov Guildgate, and Simic Guildgate -Land – Gate - Enters the battlefield tapped. Tap: add one mana of the matching colors to your mana pool. I really don't want to say this five times so here it is. These are a necessary evil in Limited and Block so that we have enough dual lands. Personally, I hate them and think that the “Gate matters”cards in the block were a little lite. We could have had more and made the gates cool, but instead we got a handful that didn't impress anyone enough to want to over come the downside of these lands.
Breeding Pool, Godless Shrine, Sacred Foundry, Stomping Ground, and Watery Grave – Land – Basic type, basic type – Tap: Add one mana of the matching colors to your mana pool. As it enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped. Unless you missed it, the whole point that players are happy we are back on Ravinca is so they can develop their hoard of these land for Modern, Commander, Cube, and Standard. They are also not that bad in Limited. Let's face it in order to crack a better dual land out of a pack you need $500 and a lot of luck or a time machine set to summer1993 to early 1994. While you are back there pick up some power nine and a few cases on Beta at GenCon '93 and mail them to me.
Thespian's Stage – Land – Tap: Add 1 to you mana pool. 2, tap: Thespian's Stage becomes a copy of target land and gains this ability. They have really been giving us some janky non-basics in this block. Seeing as we got the gates to be our mana fixers I see this as more a land for Legacy. Thing about it in Mud this becomes Wasteland 5-8 and in Show and Tell Decks it is a budget answer to Karakas or other legendary lands. Still I think the most that i'm going to see it used for it in Limited to copy a gate and slow my opponent down even more.
It's sad that I'm not impressed with much from this set. Yeah, it's going to be fun to draft but for the most part I just want to pick up some stuff for RDW, Goblins, and my human reanimator deck. In the end I'm thinking about just buying the key cards I want, the rare duals, and save my money. Basically, that's my advice with this set. Don't buy packs unless you are planning on drafting or you really want to play the dual lotto. This has been...
Jeffrey Carmichael II
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