M15 Set Review - The Rest
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.
Garruk, Apex Predator (7) Planeswalker — Garruk (5) +1: Destroy another target planeswalker. +1: Put a 3/3 black Beast creature token with deathtouch onto the battlefield. −3: Destroy target creature. You gain life equal to its toughness. −8: Target opponent gets an emblem with "Whenever a creature attacks you, it gets +5/+5 and gains trample until end of turn." With the converted mana cost of seven this will only see play ing heavy ramp decks; I'm looking at you Nessa. Still, I'm sure that this at least will be play in Commander and be a Limited bomb.
Sliver Hivelord (5)
Legendary Creature — Sliver (5/5) Sliver creatures you control have indestructible. (Damage and effects that say "destroy" don't destroy them.) Yup, this is so going to be a great general for Commander. Heck, I'm sure that at least three Sliver commander decks will be born from this getting cracked in pack within my local play group. What can I say, the Houlton boys love Slivers.
Avarice Amulet (4) Artifact — Equipment - Equipped creature gets +2/+0 and has vigilance and "At the beginning of your upkeep, draw a card." When equipped creature dies, target opponent gains control of Avarice Amulet. Equip (: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.) This is nuts in Limited but I don't think it's going to see any constructed love. Losing the amulet when yor dude dies is just too big of a tempo swing.
Brawler's Plate (3) Artifact — Equipment - Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has trample. (If it 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.) Equip (: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.) Just the trample granting card mono-green needs in Draft. Also a good card for sealed as well.
Bronze Sable (2) Artifact Creature — Sable (2/1) Just the two-drop artifact creature for Limited.
The Chain Veil (4) Legendary Artifact - At the beginning of your end step, if you didn't activate a loyalty ability of a planeswalker this turn, you lose 2 life. , : For each planeswalker you control, you may activate one of its loyalty abilities once this turn as though none of its loyalty abilities have been activated this turn. Either this will get broken is Standard or it will become a high demand Commander staple. Either way, this is going to be a fun card to play when you have multiple walkers in play. I'm also going to call this a good trade bait card to pick up after the price crashes in after the draft season dies down.
Gargoyle Sentinel (3) Artifact Creature — Gargoyle (3/3) Defender (This creature can't attack.) : Until end of turn, Gargoyle Sentinel loses defender and gains flying. Just a 3/3 for three mana artifact dork with a good balancing ability for Limited.
Grindclock (2) Artifact - : Put a charge counter on Grindclock. : Target player puts the top X cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard, where X is the number of charge counters on Grindclock. Some will look at this as a mill card, other will look at it and see a Dredge card. Either way it just depends on what you've been drafting around it. IF I see this in my sealed pool I'm praying for either at least three Mind Sculpts or a lot of Dredge cards.
Haunted Plate Mail (4) Artifact — Equipment - Equipped creature gets +4/+4. : Until end of turn, Haunted Plate Mail becomes a 4/4 Spirit artifact creature that's no longer an Equipment. Activate this ability only if you control no creatures. Equip (: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.) Another Innistrad block reprint that is a great card for Limited. I'm thinking about dropping a copy of this into my cube.
Hot Soup (1) Artifact — Equipment - Equipped creature can't be blocked. Whenever equipped creature is dealt damage, destroy it. Equip (: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.) Hot, hot, hot! Out of the Way! Funniest card I have seen outside of an Un-set . This will be awesome in Limited.
Juggernaut (4) Artifact Creature — Juggernaut (5/3) Juggernaut attacks each turn if able. Juggernaut can't be blocked by Walls. Every good Limited set neeeds a Juggernaut in it.
Meteorite (5) Artifact - When Meteorite enters the battlefield, it deals 2 damage to target creature or player. : Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This has to be the coolest mona rock ever. It's basically four man fro 2 colorless points of damage, then one mana of any color. Yu[p, so going to want this in my draft pools.
Obelisk of Urd (6) Artifact - Convoke (Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for or one mana of that creature's color.) As Obelisk of Urd enters the battlefield, choose a creature type. Creatures you control of the chosen type get +2/+2. With this and the mass of tribal creatures in each color means this will be good in draft. When you crossover into Standard and add Hall of Heros you can build a fun tribal deck. I'm sure this will find a home in Slivers as well.
Ornithopter (0) Artifact Creature — Thopter (0/2) Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.) With the bounce creatures in the set it's nice that the 0/2 flier is back. With the bestow dork in Standard this makes a nice base for building Voltrons.
Perilous Vault (4) Artifact - , , Exile Perilous Vault: Exile all nonland permanents. I like that we are getting a Zendikar hedron as a sudo-Nevinyrral's Disk. The upside of this needing you to hit a land drop after it means if can also answer planeswalkers. I think this might just become a part of the Standard format post rotation. Still, just like Disk this will be a Limited and Commander removal staple.
Phyrexian Revoker (2) Artifact Creature — Horror (2/1) As Phyrexian Revoker enters the battlefield, name a nonland card. Activated abilities of sources with the chosen name can't be activated. This being back in Standard along with the green creature tutors is going to be fum. I'm sure it wills ee Standard action and continue to be a sideboard cards in Modern Pod and Affinity decks.
Profane Memento (1) Artifact - Whenever a creature card is put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, you gain 1 life. I was wondering if we were ever going to get an updated version of Soul Net. I think that this might be a sideboard card for Modern decks verses Melira Pod type decks. That is Modern decks which don't run Scavenging Ooze. Wait, wait! This says “from anywhere” that means hands and libraries as well as the battlefield. Holy crap, this totally makes mill work in Limited and is an auto-sideboard card verse Dredge in Standard. You, this card is awesome.
Rogue's Gloves (2) Artifact — Equipment - Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card. Equip (: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.) Just a good equipment for Limited. I plan to put this on many fliers and trample beast in Limited.
Sacred Armory (2) Artifact - : Target creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn. A good artifact that allows extra mana to become card free combat pumps.
Scuttling Doom Engine (6) Artifact Creature — Construct (6/6) Scuttling Doom Engine can't be blocked by creatures with power 2 or less. When Scuttling Doom Engine dies, it deals 6 damage to target opponent. Good creature for Limited as it can't be chump blocked unless by a worthy creature. That means this can charge past tokens. Then even when it dies you'll get to blast your opponent for 6 damage to the face.
Shield of the Avatar (1) Artifact — Equipment - If a source would deal damage to equipped creature, prevent X of that damage, where X is the number of creatures you control. Equip (: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)I”m loving this for Limited just slap this on a spirit token when you have an army in play and watch it soak up all the damage.
Shield of the Avatar (1) Artifact — Equipment - If a source would deal damage to equipped creature, prevent X of that damage, where X is the number of creatures you control. Equip (: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.) This is the best of the cycle and the one I see getting played outside of Limited. I mean just being able to pay five and make everything indestructible is awesome.
Staff Cycle (Staff of the Death Magus, Staff of the Death Magus, Staff of the Mind Magus, Staff of the Sun Magus, Staff of the Wild Magus) While only one of the these made the cut into Standard so far: I'm sure once mono-colored decks start to take off after rotation that these will start getting popular. That said in Limited these are only good if you are drafting a mono-colored deck.
Tormod's Crypt (0) Artifact - , Sacrifice Tormod's Crypt: Exile all cards from target player's graveyard. With all the graveyard hate in the set I'm thinking that Dredge is a force in Limited as well as in the Standard season to come. GB Dredge doesn't loose much of it's power after rotation and might even pick up new toys in the next block. Plus a convoke reanimate will be a card Dredge brewers will want to test out.
Tyrant's Machine (2) Artifact - , : Tap target creature. Just a tap down effect for Limited.
Will-Forged Golem (6) Artifact Creature — Golem (4/4) Convoke (Your creatures can help cast this spell. Each creature you tap while casting this spell pays for or one mana of that creature's color.) A good convoke creature if you have a number of vigilance creatures in play. Still it's a big colorless creature for sealed decks.
Enemy Pain Lands (Battlefield Forge, Caves of Koilos, Llanowar Wastes, Shivan Reef, and Yavimaya Coast) With these back in Standard we are going to see a season of aggro decks. For decks to be fast and two or three colors after rotation this are a must. With players trading life for mana every time this allows Red Deck Wins to get even better.
Darksteel Citadel (0) Artifact Land - Indestructible (Effects that say "destroy" don't destroy this land.) : Add to your mana pool. I'm thinking that this is in the set so that the Izzet artifact matters cards arent' hated out by removal. Also this works well with Nessa's first +1 ability so you can make this into an indestructible 4/4 artifact elemental creature land.
Evolving Wilds (0) Land - , Sacrifice Evolving Wilds: Search your library for a basic land card and put it onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library. I missed this in Standard. For me every Limited format needs at least this or Terramorphic Expanse. As for it in Standard I feel that the deck thinning it does for mono-colored decks is a great tactical edge.
Radiant Fountain (0) Land - When Radiant Fountain enters the battlefield, you gain 2 life. : Add to your mana pool. Just a life gain land for Limited; moving on.
Sliver Hive (0) Land - : Add to your mana pool. : Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast a Sliver spell. , : Put a 1/1 colorless Sliver creature token onto the battlefield. Activate this ability only if you control a Sliver. Okay, if you are going to run Slivers in Standard of Modern you'll be running four copies of this. Personally I think Modern will be the competitive format for Slivers. With this, Cavern of Souls, Mana Confluence, Gem Stone Mine, Reflecting Pool, and Mutavault the mana fixing is so fluid and awesome.
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth (0) Legendary Land - Each land is a Swamp in addition to its other land types. A staple of Legacy, Commander, and Vintage is back in Standard. I'm so dropping two of these into mono-black so I can run Evolving Wilds and Mutavault as Swamps. Be much easier to drop Nightvale Specter on turn three is all my lands tap for B.
Woo! It's done, every card has been reviewed and we have reached my closing comments. I'm a huge fan of the artifacts for Limited and the different constructed deck brews that the few are going to spawn. The rare lands are all going to be awesome in Standard and Modern. Garruk and Hivelord are the kind of big flavor mythic cards that will inspire decks and players. I have to say that this set was a pure knock-out in both flavor and for Limited play by Wizards R&D. Good job guys, and keep up the good work. Okay, I'm going to go play some Magic Online for the rest of the weekend to bankrool some tickets for the M15 online release drafts.
This has been...
Jeffrey Carmichael II
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