Wait, it's the end of January already? Wow, yeah so I guess it's time to start the set reviews. After all we now have 249 new cards to shake up the constructed formats and all the limited formats are now rotating to be just the new cards. So I'm bad from the shadows to share my thoughts.
I know I've been kind of a hermit lately, but I started a new job so I'm skipping a lot of tournaments right now. Still, I'm hanging out on MTGO more to keep up my skills. So let's dive into the new cards and look at how much all the formats are going to change once Friday comes. As normal with my reviews I'll only be talking about the formats in which I think that the cards are good in.
Aerial Maneuver – 1W – Instant – target Creature gets +1/+1 and gains flying and first strike until end of turn. Wow, no time wasted in getting to the combat tricks for Limited. Still, as Limited combat tricks go this is good because it gives so much.
Angelic Edict – 4W – Sorcery – Exile target creature or enchantment. And here's the white removal spell for Limited. Come on, where's the good stuff?
Angelic Skirmisher – 4WW – Creature – Flying. At the beginning of each combat, choose first strike, vigilance, or lifelink. Creatures you control gain that ability until end of turn. 4/4. That is so hot! Yes, I know it's a six-drop but I think it's going to find a home in a constructed deck. Personally, I want want for my Cube as well as some token based Commander deck. I mean during my turn giving them vigilance to swing, then give them first strike when my opponent attacks back. Also pairing this with Odric, Master Tactician is going to be epic in Standard.
Assault Griffin – 3W – Creature – Griffin – Flying. 3/2. Limited air-fodder!
Basilica Guards – 2W – Creature – Human Soldier – Defender. Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay W/B. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.) ¼. Yeah, it's the three-drop extort dude. Don't get me wrong, Extort, is cool because it's a mana sink when you have it, but out side of a Commander or Archenemy deck this ability is just a waste of resources.
Blind Obedience – 1W – Enchantment – Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay W/B. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.) Artifacts and creature your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped. Thinking, thinking, thinking... I got nothing. All this really does is stop haste creatures and flashed in blockers.
Boros Elite – W – Creature – Human Soldier – Battalion – Whenever Boros Elite and at least two others creatures attack, Boros Elite gets +2/+2 until end of turn. 1/1. You know, I was thinking that with the battalion ability he would give the bonus to the rest of the strike team, but I still like him. He's a one-drop that fits right into the mono-white aggro/battalion shell.
Court Street Denizen – 2W – Creature – Human Soldier – Whenever another white creature enters the battlefield under your control, tap target creature an opponent controls. 2/2. Well, hello. Looks like white tokens might just be a deck after all. Yes, he does need to survive so that you can cast another white dude or make some tokens, but then again you have to work for everything in Magic these days.
Daring Skyjek – 1W – Creature – Human Knight – Battalion – Whenever Daring Skyjet and at least two other creatures attack, Daring Skyjek gains flying until end of turn. 3/1. Well this is not all that awesome for Constructed it is awesome sauce in Limited if you have other fliers or good evasion dudes.
Debtor's Pulpit – 4W – Enchantment – Aura – Enchant land – Enchanted lands has “Tap: Tap target creature.” Nice we got this deep before I get to bash on a card as being worthless in all formats.
Dutiful Thrull – W – Creature – Thrull – B: Regenerate Dutiful Thrull. 1/1. Well, here's the one-drop dork for Limited.
Frontline Medic – 2W – Creature – Human Cleric – Battalion – Whenever Frontline Medic and at least two other creatures attack, creature you control are indestructible this turn. Sacrifice Frontline Medic: Counter target spell with X in its mana cost unless its controller pays 3. Medic! If you are building the Battalion deck, then you need to have as many of these as you can fit into the deck. This guy just makes it so once you have the ability online you are always going to have it online. That is unless your opponent has board-sweep.
Gideon, Champion of Justice – 2WW – Planeswalker – Gideon - +1: Put a loyalty counter on Gideon, Champion of Justice for each creature target opponent controls. 0: Until end of turn Gideon, Champion of Justice becomes an indestructible Human Soldier creature with power and toughness each equal to the number of loyalty counters on him. He's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn. -15: Exile all other permanents. Really, really Wizards, really? Unless we get some crazy extra turn decks this is never ever, ever going to make it in constructed. I mean really, this just reads “kill me now” to every good player. Maybe that is enough to make it good in constructed, but I don't think so. As soon as you cast this and +1 he is going to get mass swarmed. If Gideon does get good it is going to be in some kind of control shell, maybe a new U/W walker build with the new Jace, but I'm going to hold back and say this is the limited only walker.
Guardian of the Gateless – 4W – Creature – Angel – Flying. Guardian of the Gateless can block any number of creatures. Whenever Guardian of the Gateless blocks, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each creature it's blocking. 3/3. Is that reverse rampage? Nice! That's going to be fun in Limited. But I think that in the other formats it's going to be too much work to try and get the unlimited blocks with this dude. Your going to need to be able to cast it, make it indestructible, and give it hexproof all in one turn to make it work in the Constrcuted formats. I don't know about you but I can't think of how to do that faster that a tier deck will kill me.
Guildscorn Ward – W – Enchantment – Aura – Enchant creature. Enchanted creature has protection from mulitcolored. Hmm, you know there are some good multicolored removal spells but all the best creatures are mono-colored in the Constructed formats. Yeah, this is going to see action in Block only unless the third set is nothing but multicolored.
Hold the Gates - 2W – Enchantment – Creatures you control get +0/+1 for each Gate you control and have vigilance. Lols, yeah Limited only. After all you are only going to want to run Gates in two color decks, but with the Rav duals, why do we have to run just two colors?
Holy Mantle – 2WW – Enchantment – Aura – Enchant creature. Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from creatures. Wow, white is really deep with Limited good enchantments. I mean +2/+2 and will never die in combat. Slap that on Guardian of the Gateless and you can ride to victory in Limited. With both being uncommon and in the same color it shouldn't be to hard to draft them both.
Knight of Obligation – 3W – Creature – Human Knight – Vigilance. Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay W/B. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.) 2/4 Still not impressed with this mechanic yet. I mean this is just a fat ground blocker that could attack for some damage each turn. Well, that isn't going to win Limited games on it's own, every point counts.
Knight Watch – 4W – Sorcery – Put two 2/2 white Knight tokes with vigilance onto the battlefield. I get it, this is so you can play the Battalion cards in Limited. But has been priced out of Constructed because it would be broken at four or three mana.
Luminate Primordial – 5WW – Creature – Avatar – Vigilance. When Luminate Primordial enters the battlefield, for each opponent, exile up to one target creature that player controls and that players gains life equal to its power. 4/7 That's going right into my white Commander and Archenemy decks. It's like Swords to Plowshares if it was cast by Oprah. I'll even take this in Limited and go heavy white.
Murder Investigation – 1W – Enchantment – Aura – Enchant creature you control. When enchanted creature dies, put X 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens onto the battlefield, where X is its power. Some one make me so NCIS Soldier tokens right now, I want to Gibbs Slap the heck out of my opponents in Limited. I mean the card is cool, but it's an aura and auras suck in Constructed.
Nav Squad Commandos – 4W – Creature – Human Soldier – Battalion - Whenver Nav Squad Commandos and at least two other creatures attack, Nav Squad Commandos gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Untap it. 3/5 Yawn. Limited mechanic fodder.
Righteous Charge – 1WW – Sorcery – Creatures you control get +2/+2 until end of turn. Another card for Limited pools.
Shielded Passage – W – Instant – Prevent all damage that would be dealt to target creature this turn. You know that's not bad in Limited with Guardian of the Gateless. Hmm, part of me really wants to try and force the deck in draft.
Smite – W – Instant – Destroy target blocked creature. Oh yeah, that's going to see some Standard play as well as a lot of action in Limited. It's white removal and cheap, can you say Snapcaster UW comeback?
Syndic of Tithes – 1W -Creature – Human Cleric – Extort (When ever you cast a spell, you may pay W/B. If you do, each opponent loses 1 Life and you gain that much life.) 2/2 Yeah, Limited dude.
Urbis Protector – 4WW – Creature – Human Cleric – When Urbis Protector enters the battlefield, pu a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying onto the battlefield. 1/1 It look like Daddy got some new toys to play with in my Human reanimator deck. I lover the loop chain of being able to sac this then sacrificing Fiend Hunter to bring back Angel of Glory's Rise so that I have a never ending army of 4/4 Angel tokens. In Limited this might be a little over priced, but it's two dudes and one flies so yeah, I'll play it if I'm in white and need to top off my mana curve.
Zarichi Tiger – 3W – Creature – Cat – 1W, tap: You gain 2 life. I thought you had to first gain a life then you could tap the... whoops, almost finished that joke. This is just some Limited filler.
Alright, so white looks to be about 50/50 on the good and the bad. As it stands out of the two white guilds in this set I would have to say Boros gets the love. In the white cards Battalion is just better than Extort. Seeing as last time I had to divide my multicolored/artifact/land review in half, I've decided that I will do a mono-color and a guild together at the same time to. So let's dive into the multicolored cards of Boros.
Assemble the Legion – 3RW – Enchantment – At the beginning of you upkeep, put a muster counter on Assemble the Legion. Then put a 1/1 red and white Soldier creature token with haste onto the battlefield for each muster counter on Assemble the Legion. This card is awesome. Pyreheart Wolf and Hellrider are just two of the cards that make this awesome. Some one is going to make Boros Deck Wins and that decks is going to have at least two copies of this in it. In limited this is a bomb that just wins games when you opponent can't answer it.
Aurelia, the Warleader 2RRWW – Legendary Creature – Angel – Flying, vigilance, haste. Whenever Aurelia, the Warleader attacks for the first time each turn, untapp all creatures you control. After this phase, there is an additional combat phase. 3/4 Yup, another Boros bomb for Limited. Also I think she is going to be a staple in Commander.
Aurelia's Fury XRW – Instant – Aurelia's Fury deals X damage divided as you choose amoung any number of target creatures and/or players. Tap each creature dealt damage this way. Players dealt damage this way can't cast noncreature spells this turn. Now that is a really cool fireball. I'll pay five during your upkeep to tap down you two biggest threats and lock you out of noncreature spells. It's going to see play all over the place.
Boros Charm – RW – Instant – Choose one – Boros Charm deals 4 damage to target player, pr permanents you control and indestructible this turn, or target creature gains double strike until end of turn. I'm not saying that this sucks out side of Limited, but it has to be used in the right deck. In Limited, yeah, Boros Charm all the way baby.
Firemane Avenger -2RW – Creature – Angel – Flying. Battalion – Whenever Firemane Avenger and at least two other creatures attack, Firemane Avenger deals 3 damage to target creature or player and you gain three life. 3/3 I can see this being the other four-drop in the Battalion Standard deck. I mean it's removal on a dude as long as you are sending two more dudes and this makes it so that you are either saving on of the three or forcing a trade with something up to a 6/6.
Fortress Cyclops – 3RW – Creature – Cyclops Soldier – Whenever Fortress Cyclops attacks it gets +3/+0 until end of turn. Whenever Fortress Cyclops blocks, it gets +0/+3 until end of turn. 3/3. That's just the five-drop you want in Limited. Big during you offense and also big when it blocks.
Foundry Champion – 4RW – Creature – Elemental Soldier – When Foundry Champion enters the battlefield, it deals damage to target creature or player equal to the number of creature you control. R: Foundry Champion gets +1/+0 until end of turn. W: Foundry Champion gets +0/+1 until end of turn. 4/4 Yeah, big dumb six-drop for when you have drafted all the token cards.
Martial Glory – RW – Instant – Target creature gets +3/+0 until end of turn. Target creature gets +0/+3 until end of turn. I love how there are so many nice combat tricks in Boros for this set. They are like the Swiss Army of Magic in Limited.
Skyknight Legionnaire – 1RW – Creature – Human Kinght – Flying, haste. 2/2 Well, I know what I want to draft for three-drops in Boros. And if I was drafting heavy Battalion I think it would be online at this point as well.
Spark Trooper – Creature – Elemental Soldier – Trample, lifelink, haste. At the beginning of the end step, sacrifice Spark Trooper. 6/1 Wait, that's Ball Lightning with life gain? Um, I think we are going to see a Boros Decks Wins budget deck in Modern as well as Standard and Block.
Sunhome Guildmage – RW – Creature – Human Wizard – 1RW: Creature you control gets +1/+0 until end of turn. 2RW: Put a 1/1 red and white Soldier creature token with haste onto the Battlefield. 2/2 I love how the guildmages all end up being such good mana sinks in Limited when you get land flooded.
Truefire Paladin – RW – Creature – Human Knight – Vigilance. RW: Truefire Paladin gets +2/+0 until end of turn. RW: Truefire Paladin gains first strike until end of turn. 2/2. Look it's another dude come to help you when you are land flooded in Limited.
Wojek Halberdiers – RW – Creature – Human Soldier – Battalion – Whenever Wojek Halberdiers and at least two other creature attack, Wojek Halberdiers gains first strike until end of turn. 3/2 I think we just found the Battalion constructed decks two-drop. That isn't too bad.
Arrows of Justice -2R/w – Instant – Arrows of Justice deals 4 damage to target attacking or blocking creature. We just found the go to removal in red and white for Limited.
Boros Reckoner – Boros Reckoner – R/wR/wR/w – Creature – Minotaur Wizard – Whenever Boros Reckoner is delat damage, it deals that much damage to target creature of player. R/w: Boros Reckoner gains first strike until end of turn. Oh, this is so going in the Odric, Master Tactician deck along side Frontline Medic. Everyone blocks Boros Reckoner and you take all that damage as well as the damage for my other dudes. GG?
Shattering Blow -1R/w – Instant – Exile target artifact. Limited needed the artifact removal.
Okay, that all for the Boros Legion. I have to say that Boros has really got my brewing cap on for some fun causal decks as well as some budget competitive decks. I really can't wait to see how this part of the set causes some changes to the meta-game. I think we are going to see the return of white weenie tokens as well as Boros aggro decks.
Alreight, need to keep this rolling. I'll see you next time with Blue and House Dimir. This has been...
Jeffrey Carmichael II
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