M15 Set Review - Blue Cards
Has it really been a year already? Wow, how time flies. I guess we had better dive into the new set then. I mean after all this is going to be the current draft format set between August and October so we better get an idea of what decks we should be drafting. Also this is going to be one of the five sets that make up the first five months of Standard post rotation. So now that my editor knows that these articles are going to be relevant to us players for the next year let's get started.
Aeronaut Tinkerer (3) Creature — Human Artificer (2/3) Aeronaut Tinkerer has flying as long as you control an artifact. (It can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.) So with the artifact matters theme in Izzet colors this is a cool creature to drop on the table. I'm sure in Limited you will have no problem getting this guy to fly.
Ætherspouts (5) Instant - For each attacking creature, its owner puts it on the top or bottom of his or her library. Just a cool one-sided wrath effect. Depending on the poluarity of aggro desk this may or may not see Standard play. Still a bomb in Limited.
Amphin Pathmage (4) Creature — Salamander Wizard (3/2) : Target creature can't be blocked this turn. It's a dude with a built in combat trick for Limited.
Chasm Skulker (3) Creature — Squid Horror (1/1) Whenever you draw a card, put a +1/+1 counter on Chasm Skulker. When Chasm Skulker dies, put X 1/1 blue Squid creature tokens with islandwalk onto the battlefield, where X is the number of +1/+1 counters on Chasm Skulker. (They can't be blocked as long as defending player controls an Island.)Okay, i'm thinking this is going to be awesome in Limited and Commander. I'm planning on adding a copy to my mass card draw commander deck. The upside of netting you dudes when it dies is good but in a removal heavy format this will die without counters.
Chief Engineer (2) Creature — Vedalken Artificer (1/3) Artifact spells you cast have convoke. (Your creatures can help cast those spells. Each creature you tap while casting an artifact spell pays for or one mana of that creature's color.) Total bomb in Limited that will cause a ump over to modern. I'm so sure this will shake up artifact decks in all formats.
Chronostutter (6) Instant - Put target creature into its owner's library second from the top. Good tempo base removal spell for Limited.
Coral Barrier (3) Creature — Wall (1/3) Defender (This creature can't attack.) When Coral Barrier enters the battlefield, put a 1/1 blue Squid creature token with islandwalk onto the battlefield. (It can't be blocked as long as defending player controls an Island.) Two creature for three man and one gets island walk; yeah, this is awesome in Limited.
Diffusion Sliver (2) Creature — Sliver (1/1) Whenever a Sliver creature you control becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter that spell or ability unless its controller pays . This is totally going to be the card that makes slivers into a competitive deck. Just having a kind of counter spell on deck fro all spot removal and burn is going to be awesome. Still I don't think we have enough of a critical mass in the set for Limited.
Dissipate (3) Instant - Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, exile it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard. It's a great counter spell that has proven itself in two past Standard formats that will see play once more. Also the best counter spell in the set for Limited.
Divination (3) Sorcery - Draw two cards. Yup another card which has proven itself over the years in both Limited and Standard.
Encrust (3) Enchantment — Aura - Enchant artifact or creature. Enchanted permanent doesn't untap during its controller's untap step and its activated abilities can't be activated. I'm still a big fan of this in Limited. Also with some of the awesome artifacts in the set I feel this will be a big player in Limited.
Ensoul Artifact (2) Enchantment — Aura - Enchant artifact. Enchanted artifact is a creature with base power and toughness 5/5 in addition to its other types. This plus Ornithopter is so going to be awesome in Limited. I'm sure this is going to make a huge impact on this Limited format. If we are heading into an artifact matters block this will see lots of Standard play.
Frost Lynx (3) Creature — Elemental Cat (2/2) When Frost Lynx enters the battlefield, tap target creature an opponent controls. That creature doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step. Just a great creature for Limited. Just tap down their best dork and bash face all day.
Fugitive Wizard (1) Creature — Human Wizard (1/1) With the auras matters theme in the set we need these vanilla one-drops to build the aura deck around in Limited.
Glacial Crasher (6) Creature — Elemental (5/5) Trample (If this creature would assign enough damage to its blockers to destroy them, you may have it assign the rest of its damage to defending player or planeswalker.) Glacial Crasher can't attack unless there is a Mountain on the battlefield. So this means we are getting a push to draft Izzet. Still I think as far as narrow fatties for Blue in Limited goes this will be much better than the Island matters ones we've got in the past.
Hydrosurge (1) Instant - Target creature gets -5/-0 until end of turn. Just a staple combat trick in Limited for blue.
Illusory Angel (3) Creature — Angel Illusion (4/4) Flying. Cast Illusory Angel only if you've cast another spell this turn. A great creature for Limited. Also combos with Chord of Calling and Yisan, the Wandering Bard as you can get around the draw back easily.
Into the Void (4) Sorcery - Return up to two target creatures to their owners' hands. Another good removal spell for Limited.
Invisibility (2) Enchantment — Aura - Enchant creature. Enchanted creature can't be blocked except by Walls. Okay, so Aquarious Form is so much better than this in every other format. Still a great evasion card for Limited.
Jace, the Living Guildpact (4) Planeswalker — Jace (5) +1: Look at the top two cards of your library. Put one of them into your graveyard. −3: Return another target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. −8: Each player shuffles his or her hand and graveyard into his or her library. You draw seven cards. I'm thinking this is going to be the first non-tournament caliber Jace. Unless we get some graveyard matters decks outside of GB this will be a bulk mythic. Still with the BUG based Dredge deck in Limited.
Jace's Ingenuity (5) Instant - Draw three cards. Just a good draw spell in Limited.
Jalira, Master Polymorphist (4) Legendary Creature — Human Wizard (2/2) , , Sacrifice another creature: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a nonlegendary creature card. Put that card onto the battlefield and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order. I want to play this in a Commander deck. In Limited this will be good as you sac other dudes when you chump block to get fresh troops. I'll say this is going to be a fun rare to draft around.
Jorubai Murk Lurker (3) Creature — Leech (1/3) Jorubai Murk Lurker gets +1/+1 as long as you control a Swamp. : Target creature gains lifelink until end of turn. (Damage dealt by the creature also causes its controller to gain that much life.) Just a good uncommon to fill out your curve in Limited when you are drafting UB.
Kapsho Kitefins (6) Creature — Fish (3/3) Flying. Whenever Kapsho Kitefins or another creature enters the battlefield under your control, tap target creature an opponent controls. Ust a good beater with a tap down effect in Limited.
Master of Predicaments (5) Creature — Sphinx (4/4) Flying. Whenever Master of Predicaments deals combat damage to a player, choose a card in your hand. That player guesses whether the card's converted mana cost is greater than 4. If the player guessed wrong, you may cast the card without paying its mana cost. Limited bomb, maybe. Still it's a flying 4/4 for 5 mana so it's good for combat, but you can't count on the ability working more than 50% of the time. Still a free extra spell every other turn will be good in Limited. Yeah, I might put this in my cube for the fun.
Mercurial Pretender (5) Creature — Shapeshifter (0/0) You may have Mercurial Pretender enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature you control except it gains ": Return this creature to its owner's hand." A good clone effect that allows you to dodge removal or become a better creature later on. I'll play this in Limited.
Military Intelligence (2) Enchantment - Whenever you attack with two or more creatures, draw a card. I'm taking this if I'm drafting UW tokens and I really want to draft that deck now. A perfect draw card that might jump into mono-blue Devotion in Standard.
Mind Sculpt (2) Sorcery - Target opponent puts the top seven cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. I love seeing this in the set as Drafting Mill is always fun in Coresets. M15 draft is the only time this cards will be played to win games, and it is a total table card unless you have a die hard mill player in your pod.
Negate (2) Instant - Counter target noncreature spell. Just a counter spell for Limited and Standard sideboards.
Nimbus of the Isles (5) Creature — Elemental (3/3) Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.) Just a flying beater for Limited.
Paragon of Gathering Mists (4) Creature — Human Wizard (2/2) Other blue creatures you control get +1/+1. , : Another target blue creature you control gains flying until end of turn. Seems we are getting a cycle of uncommon color lords. I can see this finding a home in an aggro version of mono-blue post-rotation.
Peel from Reality (2) Instant - Return target creature you control and target creature you don't control to their owners' hands. With the mass of Enters the Battlefield effect on creatures in the set this is a great limited card. Just assign blockers then cast this to bounce and reuse the EtB effect on your turn.
Polymorphist's Jest (3) Instant - Until end of turn, each creature target player controls loses all abilities and becomes a blue Frog with base power and toughness 1/1. A perfect combat trick for Limited that might just make the jump into Standard. Yup, this is going to be a fun card to cast when your opponent wants to block all your creatures.
Quickling (2) Creature — Faerie Rogue (2/2) Flash (You may cast this spell any time you could cast an instant.) Flying. When Quickling enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you return another creature you control to its owner's hand. This allows you to abuse EtB creatures but I like this more because it allows you to basically counter removal spells. This is going to be fun in Limited. Might even find a home in my Modern Ninja/Faerie deck.
Research Assistant (2) Creature — Human Wizard (1/3) , : Draw a card, then discard a card. Just a looter for Limited and looting is good.
Soul of Ravnica (6) Creature — Avatar (6/6) Flying. : Draw a card for each color among permanents you control., Exile Soul of Ravnica from your graveyard: Draw a card for each color among permanents you control. This is so a Commander card. Any five color commander deck is going to want a copy of this in it. Seven mana is just too much to pay for drawing two or three cards in Limited.
Statute of Denial (4) Instant - Counter target spell. If you control a blue creature, draw a card, then discard a card. So just a four-drop counter spell for Limited.
Stormtide Leviathan (8) Creature — Leviathan (8/8) Islandwalk (This creature can't be blocked as long as defending player controls an Island.) All lands are Islands in addition to their other types. Creatures without flying or islandwalk can't attack. Totally a bomb in Limited. Just drop this and watch your opponents ground forces get washed back on defense.
Turn to Frog (2) Instant - Until end of turn, target creature loses all abilities and becomes a blue Frog with base power and toughness 1/1. While this isn't as lasting or effective as Rapid Hybridization this might end up replacing it after rotation. Still a great combat trick in Limited.
Void Snare (1) Sorcery - Return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. Just a good bounce spell for Limited. Might work as tempo based removal in Standard as well.
Wall of Frost (3) Creature — Wall (0/7) Defender (This creature can't attack.) Whenever Wall of Frost blocks a creature, that creature doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step. Just an over printed staple of core set Limited.
Welkin Tern (2) Creature — Bird (2/1) Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.) Welkin Tern can block only creatures with flying. Just a good flying beater in Limited.
Now for the two demo deck reprints; Cancel and Mahamoti Djinn. Cancel is just so over printed that I have countless copies of this bulk card. As for Mahamoti Djinn I think this should have been left in the set for Limited. This would have been awesome in Limited.
Okay so over all I have to say this part of the set is going to be awesome for Limited. I'm also very positive that Mono-blue is getting some cool toys to brew around after rotation. While the color isn't as knock-out powerful as white it's still worth at least four-stars. Alright time to get working on the black cards.
This has been...
Jeffrey Carmichael II
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