Gatecrash Set Review (Simic)

Welcome back for part eight of my Gatecrash Review for Simic.

* * * * * * *

Constructed Rating

5 – Not only does this card go in every deck that plays those colors but you should warp your deck so that this card is part of it.
4 – If you play these colors this card will appear in your maindeck.
3 – This card will appear in a large portion of the decks across formats that can support it or a guaranteed sideboard staple for years to come.
2 – This card will see moderate play in Standard or Modern or will be a decent sideboard card in all formats.
1 – A moderate sideboard card at best and may see some main deck play.
0 – This should never see any serious constructed play.

Limited Rating

5 – Pack 2, Pick 1. Yeah it’s that good you should warp your deck for after opening this.
4 – This will always see play in if your deck can support it or it will be hate drafted for sure.
3 – A limited deck staple that will push your deck over the top and win games.
2 – The bread and butter of most limited decks.
1 – Cards that will be added to your deck to fill those last slots.
0 – NEVER play this card.

* * * * * * *

Blue

[card]Clinging Anemones[/card]

Constructed – 0

On the plus side, Jellyfish!

Limited – 1

Jellyfish! Otherwise it’s a decent addition for a deck in need of a little defence.

[card]Cloudfin Raptor[/card]

Constructed – 0

It’s not Delver though it does provide a glimpse at Wizards’ wish list for Jurassic Park 4: Flying Velociraptors!

Limited – 2

Evolve may be slow as it requires other creatures but this guy will soon outclass anything your opponent is playing in the same slot.

[card]Frilled Oculus[/card]

Constructed – 0

It has [Card]Basking Rootwalla[/Card]’s bad ability.

Limited – 2

If you can activate its ability this card is a solid two however if you can’t I would probably avoid this card all together.

[card]Simic Fluxmage[/card]

Constructed – 0

I was a huge fan of [Card]Giant Fan[/Card] back in the day but those days are long gone.

Limited – 1

Evolve should be really good in Limited and the ability to move counters and grow other creatures can pose problems for your opponents.

[card]Simic Manipulator[/card]

Constructed – 1

The fact that you can permanently steal creatures leads me to believe this will at least see fringe play.

Limited – 3

[Card]Mind Control[/Card] effects are outstanding in Limited and this is a repeatable [card]Mind Control[/card] making this a fantastic card. How quickly you can trigger Evolve will be the critical part of how good this acts.

* * * * * * *

Green

[card]Adaptive Snapjaw[/card]

Constructed – 0

While you may want to play this card, you should try adapting to a better strategy.

Limited – 3

Since Evolve works for Power and Toughness, this guy can grow pretty large and even without Evolving he is still a beating, though watch out as Gruul will be taking this as well.

[card]Crocanura[/card]

Constructed – 5

This rating is based solely on the fact this creature is a Frog Crocodile which is awesome.

Limited – 2

Another creature makes this a [Card]Giant Spider[/Card] for one less mana, which is always a good deal.

[card]Experiment One[/card]

Constructed – 1

As we’ll see later it took a couple experiments for the Simic to get it right.

Limited – 2

This will easily be a [Card]Wild Nacatl[/Card] at worst most games and it has the potential to grow even bigger, though time it will certainly take.

[card]Gyre Sage[/card]

Construced – 2

This is the mana dork with a through the roof ability. Admittedly you need a little work for this guy but after that mana will be flowing.

Limited – 2

Additional creatures in Limited is never a problem and this card will be a major player to power out the fatties of this set much sooner than your opponent would like.

* * * * * * *

Gold

[card]Biovisionary[/card]

Constructed – 2

R&D has recently gotten much more creative with their alternate win conditions cards and this guy is a prime example. Numerous examples exist of how to win the game with this card whether it be [Card]Infinite Reflection[/Card] or [Card]Rite of Replication[/Card] and while I don’t expect to see a ton of this guy he will certainly be fringe playable in Standard and Modern.

Limited – 1

Outside of drafting exactly the right rares the alternate win condition will never come into play and he comes in just under the vanilla test.

[card]Drakewing Krasis[/card]

Constructed – 0

Meh.

Limited – 2

There doesn’t appear to be many fliers in this set, so having the 3 power represents a lethal clock against many a deck.

[card]Elusive Krasis[/card]

Constructed – 0

Hello [Card]Invisible Stalker[/Card], oh you’re still here, I didn’t see you for a second.

Limited – 3

At worst he is doorkeeper, at best he wins you the game. I’d say that’s a pretty good bargain.

[card]Fathom Mage[/card]

Constructed – 1

It certainly seems constructed playable but it is too slow for the current environment.

Limited – 3

I think the fairest comparison to this card would be [Card]Garruk’s Pack Leader[/Card] though with the upside of not needing beefy creatures to get it going, along with the potential to grow large and any Simic interactions.

[card]Hydroform[/card]

Constructed – 0

Form of the … not playing this card.

Limited – 1

Yeah this is really really fun as a card.

[card]Master Biomancer[/card]

Constructed – 2

We are part way to getting a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle as a creature type. Also I see this guy being played in Standard and Modern as he offers a lot of versatility.

Limited – 4

So all my creatures get two +1/+1 counters on them at least? Yes please!

[card]Mystic Genesis[/card]

Constructed – 1

The time of [Card]Mystic Snake[/Card] has passed unfortunately.

Limited – 1

Counters are decent in Limited though very situational and if you want to get better value from the creature token you’ll unfortunately be unable to wait for more desirable targets to counter.

[card]Nimbus Swimmer[/card]

Constructed – 0

This is the Simic portion of the X cycle from Return to Ravnica. Just kidding. Don’t play this.

Limited – 2

Night Swimming is a decent song by R.E.M.

[card]Prime Speaker Zegana[/card]

Constructed – 3

Prime Speaker Xel’naga is the nuts. Oops wrong game but all kidding aside this is like the creature version of [Card]Sphinx’s Revelation[/Card]. It’s not exactly the same but this card is a house with even a minimal creature.

Limited – 3

Draw a bunch of cards and get a fatty is awesome in Limited.

[card]Shambleshark[/card]

Constructed – 0

This card is like [Card]Snapcaster Mage[/Card]. Okay so it’s not as good but there is certainly some end of turn trickery that makes this worthwhile.

Limited – 2

I really like Flash on this and it can provide shenanigans in colors that love shenanigans.

[card]Simic Charm[/card]

Constructed – 1

I get that this card is [Card]Giant Growth[/Card], [Card]Unsummon[/Card] and whatever card gives all your permanents Hexproof but I don’t ever play those effects in my deck normally so I don’t see this being played separately. Although it does have the potential to be nuts in Modern Poison.

Limited – 3

Unlike my constructed pessimism, these are effects I want in Limited.

[card]Unexpected Results[/card]

Constructed – 2

To be honest, this is my favourite card in the set by a wide margin and the only one when spoiled that actually got me excited for Gatecrash. Yes the ability is a one time [Card]Temporal Aperture[/Card], though with a much better clause for land cards and a deck can be build around it to be hitting fatties or Planeswalkers making your opponents life miserable. The downside is this is the one card where I see [Card]Duskmantle Seer[/Card] shining against.

Limited – 2

If I have it, I will always play this card but it is certainly a very mixed bag. I understand why people wouldn’t play and maybe my love of this card in constructed is blinding me but it thins your deck and pumps out cards at a faster rate than your opponent, uncertainty aside.

[card]Urban Evolution[/card]

Constructed – 2

It’s like three [Card]Explores[/Card] but you get to play two less lands. Kidding aside this is the second card from Gatecrash that inspires me. The effect is really good and in any deck with [Card]Omniscience[/Card] is a must play.

Limited – 2

Draw three cards in Limited is pretty awesome and the extra land is gravy. I think this card certainly loses value when you are behind but on an even board state this should push you ahead.

[card]Zameck Guildmage[/card]

Constructed – 0

While I get that this could replace [Card]Melira, Sylvok Outcast[/Card] it should not.

Limited – 3

Yeah this card is pretty nutty. The additional counters for creatures is pretty decent but it even a moderate Simic deck the card advantage it generates is really good.

* * * * * * *

Hybrid

[card]Biomass Mutation[/card]

Constructed – 0

Again Simic gets another awesome card while the other guilds wallow in the dust.

Limited – 3

This ends ALL board stales. Getting giant creatures is amazing and no more needs to be said.

[card]Bioshift[/card]

Constructed – 0

Cute but unplayable

Limited – 1

This card really should have cantripped.

[card]Merfolk of the Depths[/card]

Constructed – 0

This card should stay deep down in the dark depths never to remerge.

Limited – 0

On the plus side the flash works with Evolve. On the other hand, everything else.

* * * * * * *

Artifact

[card]Simic Keyrune[/card]

Constructed – 1

With the amount of shenanigans in Simic and their relatively expensive casting cost, I can see this card showing up in Constructed as a necessary evil.

Limited – 2

Depends how bad you want crabs? Kidding aside it represents a decent body in colors that take a while to get going.

* * * * * * *

According to the Planeswalker Points poll I am a Simic Mage which I was a little unsure of until I saw this set. Turns out the quiz was right. Most of the cards that got me excited about the set and brewing potentials are in Simic. I expect to see [Card]Unexpected Results[/Card] and [Card]Urban Evolution[/Card] to see a lot of play in Constructed as everybody loves shenanigans. On top of that, Simic’s new guild leader, [Card]Prime Speaker Zegana[/Card] is the best of the guild leaders and has a mechanic that is not only unseen but downright insane with very little work. While Gruul may be known for the fatties, I expect to see a lot of Simic beats going on with [Card]Master Biomancer[/Card] and [Card]Biovisionary[/Card] is among the top 3 best win conditions of all time. FYI, [Card]The Cheese Stands Alone[/Card] is number 1.

As for limited, Simic faces the biggest problem of being cherry picked by other guilds. [Card]Experiment One[/Card] and [Card]Adaptive Snapjaw[/Card] are prime examples of cards that Gruul can pick up and easily use and even Dimir will be looking to pick up a card like [Card]Cloudfin Raptor[/Card]. This represents how powerful Evolve is as a mechanic. The biggest problem I see as the Simic mage is making sure your deck has enough cohesion in it with others taking cards you could use and while it may not be able to match the Boros’ speed it is only a notch behind and given a little time, it can outclass Gruul’s creatures as well.

Top 5 Constructed Cards

5. [card]Gyre Sage[/card]
4. [card]Urban Evolution[/card]
3. [card]Unexpected Results[/card]
2. [card]Master Biomancer[/card]
1. [card]Prime Speaker Zegana[/card]

Top 5 Limited Commons/Uncommons

5. [card]Zameck Guildmage[/card]
4. [card]Adaptive Snapjaw[/card]
3. [card]Cloudfin Raptor[/card]
2. [card]Drakewing Krasis[/card]
1. [card]Simic Charm[/card]

* * * * * * *

That wraps up part eight of my set review. Once again, thanks for reading. You should also check out the Horde of Notions Podcast, sponsored by Face to Face Games, on MTGCast.

William

Gatecrash Set Review (Orzhov)

Welcome back for part seven of my Gatecrash Review for Orzhov.

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Constructed Rating

5 – Not only does this card go in every deck that plays those colors but you should warp your deck so that this card is part of it.
4 – If you play these colors this card will appear in your maindeck.
3 – This card will appear in a large portion of the decks across formats that can support it or a guaranteed sideboard staple for years to come.
2 – This card will see moderate play in Standard or Modern or will be a decent sideboard card in all formats.
1 – A moderate sideboard card at best and may see some main deck play.
0 – This should never see any serious constructed play.

Limited Rating

5 – Pack 2, Pick 1. Yeah it’s that good you should warp your deck for after opening this.
4 – This will always see play in if your deck can support it or it will be hate drafted for sure.
3 – A limited deck staple that will push your deck over the top and win games.
2 – The bread and butter of most limited decks.
1 – Cards that will be added to your deck to fill those last slots.
0 – NEVER play this card.

* * * * * * *

White

[card]Basilica Guards[/card]

Constructed – 0

Unless you play in a Basilica, this card should be nowhere near the constructed tables.

Limited – 1

This is the white wall you need for that wall deck. Only problem is Dragon’s Maze isn’t out yet for RtR-GC-DM draft.

[card]Blind Obedience[/card]

Constructed – 3

In line with cards like [Card]Thalia, Guardian of Thraben[/Card] and [Card]Stony Silence[/Card], this is the two mana white hate card that will be a key player from the board against the aggro decks. Sorry [Card]Hellrider[/Card], you’ll have to wait a turn. Extort is just a nice bonus.

Limited – 2

Extort increases the mana cost of your spells by one to be effective and having your opponents creatures tapped can be pretty back breaking. This won’t form the basis of your deck but it will be a key support card.

[card]Dutiful Thrull[/card]

Constructed – 0

For all the thrull enthusiast out there, they’re baaack! What no one is a fan?

Limited – 0

This card would be pretty decent in Fallen Empires Limited but we’ve come a long way from those dark times.

[card]Knight of Obligation[/card]

Constructed – 0

Speaking of [card]Vigilance[/card] this guy has it but don’t feel obliged to play him.

Limited – 2

A 2/4 for four passes the [Card]Giant Spider[/Card] test and while Reach is probably more relevant than [card]Vigilance[/card] it does have Extort as an add on.

[card]Syndic of Tithes[/card]

Constructed – 0

A syndic is a representative or delegate of a government or university. The More You Know!

Limited – 2

It’s [Card]Grizzly Bear[/Card] with an upside!

* * * * * * * </p

Black

[card]Basilica Screecher[/card]

Constructed – 0

[Card]Squadron Hawk[/Card] this is not.

Limited – 1

We’ve been spoiled of late with a bunch of better flyers and while Extort may seem enticing, this guy should be quickly outclassed.

[card]Crypt Ghast[/card]

Constructed – 2

I’m still not 100% sure on how to best take advantage of this but I’m pretty sure you don’t want to let anyone untap with this in play because at worst, they can just hard cast [Card]Griselbrand[/Card] next turn.

Limited – 2

Tons of mana. At worst this is a very good mana ramp.

[card]Syndicate Enforcer[/card]

Constructed – 0

If this is Orzhov’s enforcer I don’t have any idea why people would fear them.

Limited – 1

He provides a solid body that I would be okay playing.

[card]Thrull Parasite[/card]

Constructed – 0

I’m a huge fan of bringing back themes from older sets with a few notable exceptions. Fallen Empires is one of those exceptions.

Limited – 1

I’m not sure what counters you really want to remove, also [Card]Hex Parasite[/Card] was a bad card and this is the worse version of that.

* * * * * * * </p

Gold

[card]Alms Beast[/card]

Constructed – 1

It’s a 6/6 for four mana, there’s never been such a good deal since [Card]Abyssal Persecutor[/Card] and the lifelink will probably be irrelevant. That being said it will probably see very little if any play as even Persecutor was only fringe playable.

Limited – 4

This will be bigger than anything your opponent is casting on the same turns.

[card]Cartel Aristocrat[/card]

Constructed – 0

[card]Sacrifice[/card] your own creatures for minimal cost is very bad value.

Limited – 2

This card is a bear while also being a sac outlet.

[card]Deathpact Angel[/card]

Constructed – 1

Meet Bruna, Gisela and Sigarda’s sister. At least now the Avacyn Restored Angel cycle is complete.

Limited – 4

A 5/5 flyer for 6 makes this an easy 3 and the ability of the Cleric token is just extra added awesome.

[card]Executioner’s Swing[/card]

Constructer – 0

Swing and a miss.

Limited – 2

Admittedly it would be nice without the drawback but decent removal is decent.

[card]High Priest of Penance[/card]

Constructed – 2

This is board stale at its finest. Find a way to pump this guy’s toughness and shenanigans ensue. This is easily one of the top three underrated cards in the set as it swaps one of your permanents for an opponent’s permanent of your choice and requires caution on your opponent’s part instead of reckless abandon.

Limited – 2

The limited effectiveness of this is slightly decreased from Constructed as there are less prime targets but it will always get their best attacker.

[card]Kingpin’s Pet[/card]

Constructed – 0

I never knew thrulls could fly and yet what scares me the most of this card is the set of brass knuckles this guy has.

Limited – 2

If I was kingpin, I would certainly want a better pet. See Polar Bear.

[card]Merciless Eviction[/card]

Constructed – 2

The casting cost is one too many to put this over the top as a wrath thus losing out to [Card]Supreme Verdict[/Card] and [Card]Terminus[/Card] but what many people are failing to truly see is the versatility presented, as Artifact and Enchantment removal is alright, the ability to get rid of multiple Planeswalkers has never been seen before and a huge positive.

Limited – 2

It resets the board of creatures primarily. The other three modes are very situational and will probably only be used 1% of the time where as it will act as a wrath the other 99%.

[card]Obzedat, Ghost Council[/card]

Constructed – 3

This is the finisher the control decks need.

Limited – 4

For a group of fat and lazy ghosts they have pretty insane abilities.

[card]One Thousand Lashes[/card]

Constructed – 0

Anyone who plays this, deserves at least one thousand lashes. Also fun fact, Thousand is the first number with an a in it.

Limited – 2

[Card]Arrest[/Card] with a half leech ability is certainly playable.

[card]Orzhov Charm[/card]

Constructed – 2

The worst charm due to not having any flavour text. All kidding aside the charm is alright though I wish the reanimate would have been for a 2 mana cost.

Limited – 2

This rating is a little high but I always overate unconditional removal.

[card]Purge the Profane[/card]

Constructed – 0

Purge this card from your deck.

Limited – 0

You shouldn’t play [Card]Mind Rot[/Card] and you shouldn’t play this.

[card]Treasury Thrull[/card]

Constructed – 2

I expect to see this guy a decent amount at the table. His ability is borderline insane especially in a deck that supports his colors and at worst you can just constantly loop a card like [Card]Glaring Spotlight[/Card]

Limited – 3

If you can provide him with a little protection, your graveyard will empty itself out quickly enough and your board will be overly cluttered.

[card]Vizkopa Confessor[/card]

Constructed – 0

I confess, I wouldn’t play this card.

Limited – 0

Don’t get me wrong the ability is pretty sweet but it cost five mana. No one played [Card]Monomania[/Card] and regardless of how much you try and Extort me I would never play this.

[card]Vizkopa Guildmage[/card]

Constructed – 1

This rating is solely based on the fact that if I gave it a 0 Travis Hall would murder me. I used to be the guy that played awful combo like this but Justin Richardson beat that nonsensical notion out of me.

Limited – 2

Late game, the second ability will start to shine through but early and mid game the first ability will be obnoxious against your opponent.

* * * * * * * </p

Hybrid

Beckon Appartion

Constructed – 0

I beckon you away from playing this card

Limited – 0

An apparition told me there were no good apparition puns.

[card]Gift of Orzhova[/card]

Constructed – 0

At one less mana I think this card would certainly see play along with [Card]Geist of Saint Traft[/Card] but at three is too much.

Limited – 3

This card is downright awesome and will single handily win you games even turning around unfavourable board positions.

[card]Immortal Servitude[/card]

Constructed – 2

Following in the footsteps of [Card]Debtors Knell[/Card], Orzhov gets another awesome hybrid card. I think the magic number on this card where it will truly shine is 1 in Modern but I’m excited to see what can be worked out in Standard.

Limited – 2

Most of the times it will be a one target [Card]Reanimate[/Card] without the life loss which is playable to me.

* * * * * * * </p

Artifact

[card]Orzhov Keyrune[/card]

Constructed – 0

Outside of Dimir, the Gatecrash keyrunes leave a lot to be desired.

Limited – 1

It serves as mana fixing/ramp but I’m not sure you are excited about playing this.

* * * * * * *

I’m going to be honest and admit, I really have a blank when it comes to Orzhov. Most of the guild mechanics can be looked at from afar but Extort requires a closer examination. In limited, it favors the long game and chipping away at your opponent’s life but between Gruul and Boros, I have very weary of getting to late game as the creatures are outclasses in size and power pretty quickly. There is most likely a power I am missing in the guild but personally I would stay away from having to play these colors.

As for constructed, no deck will be built around Extort but there will certainly be cards played that will occasionally profit from it. [Card]Blind Obedience[Card] is the most likely target of profit as it provides Esper decks with an awesome control mechanic and the ability to profit off of their spells later on. Looking at Modern the deck that profits the most from Orzhov is Martyr as Orzhov charm can give a [Card]Martyr of Sands[/Card] or [Card]Serra Ascendant[/Card] second life, while even more powerful will be [Card]Immortal Servitude[/Card] which will be bringing back almost every creature in your deck. Overall I’m a little disappointed in the way Orzhov was taken. Extort does make sense flavorfully and the Hybrid Cards are awesome but it seems to be lacking a little kick.

Top 5 Constructed Cards

5. [card]Crypt Ghast[/card]
4. [card]High Priest of Penance[/card]
3. [card]Obzedat, Ghost Council[/card]
2. [card]Immortal Servitude[/card]
1. [card]Blind Obedience[/card]

Top 5 Limited Commons/Uncommons

5. [card]Executioner’s Swing[/card]
4. [card]Vizkopa Guildmage[/card]
3. [card]Kingpin’s Pet[/card]
2. [card]Syndic of Tithes[/card]
1. [card]Gift of Orzhova[/card]

* * * * * * *

That wraps up part seven of my set review. Once again, thanks for reading. You should also check out the Horde of Notions Podcast, sponsored by Face to Face Games, on MTGCast.

William

Gatecrash Set Review (Gruul)

Welcome back for part six of my Gatecrash Review for Gruul.

* * * * * * *

Constructed Rating

5 – Not only does this card go in every deck that plays those colors but you should warp your deck so that this card is part of it.
4 – If you play these colors this card will appear in your maindeck.
3 – This card will appear in a large portion of the decks across formats that can support it or a guaranteed sideboard staple for years to come.
2 – This card will see moderate play in Standard or Modern or will be a decent sideboard card in all formats.
1 – A moderate sideboard card at best and may see some main deck play.
0 – This should never see any serious constructed play.

Limited Rating

5 – Pack 2, Pick 1. Yeah it’s that good you should warp your deck for after opening this.
4 – This will always see play in if your deck can support it or it will be hate drafted for sure.
3 – A limited deck staple that will push your deck over the top and win games.
2 – The bread and butter of most limited decks.
1 – Cards that will be added to your deck to fill those last slots.
0 – NEVER play this card.

* * * * * * *

Red

[card]Scorchwalker[/card]

Constructed – 0

This thing needs Haste. It still wouldn’t see play but Haste would be nice.

Limited – 2

The power that this cards represents is huge and can be backbreaking if undealt with.

[card]Skinbrand Goblin[/card]

Constructed – 0

Well costed though will not see Standard play.

Limited – 2

This is a very solid card and will be a staple of many a deck.

[card]Viashino Shanktail[/card]

Constructed – 0

There are very few Bloodrush cards that will see constructed play and this is certainly not one of them.

Limited – 2

A first striker is always worthwhile in limited and Bloodrush is an added bonus.

[card]Wrecking Ogre[/card]

Constructed – 1

While this won’t be wrecking the constructed tables, I can certainly see this being played a little as Double Strike is always relevant.

Limited – 4

I can’t see passing this card up under any circumstances. The Bloodrush can win you the game and at worst you get a 3/3 Double Striker.

* * * * * * *

Green

[card]Disciple of the Old Ways[/card]

Constructed – 0

While this card might be a house in the olden days, today it is no longer relevant.

Limited – 2

Hello [Card]Grizzly Bears[/Card] with First Strike.

[card]Scab-Clan Charger[/card]

Constructed – 0

If you see this charging, just walk away. Walk away.

Limited – 2

The Bloodrush replaces Reach on [Card]Giant Spider[/Card] making this card decent, however Reach was huge for decks that weren’t able to go all out from the get go.

[card]Skarrg Goliath[/card]

Constructed – 0

At least Bloodrush gives Trample.

Limited – 1

See Casting Cost, section Uncastable. Also falls under subsection of Untapping with this wins games.

[card]Slaughterhorn[/card]

Constructed – 0

Until decks with [Card]Stonebar Crocodile[/Card] and [Card]Giant Growth[/Card] are played in standard, this will never be played.

Limited – 2

This is the bread and butter creature you want to be picking. The body passes the vanilla test and the Bloodrush is a nice added bonus.

[card]Wasteland Viper[/card]

Constructed – 0

Unfortunately since Bloodrush is only attacking creatures, this won’t see any play.

Limited – 2

Deathtouch is powerful on a creature in Limited and drawing this late can even be beneficial as you can slow roll the Bloodrush.

* * * * * * *

Gold

[card]Borborygmos Enraged[/card]

Constructed – 1

The flavour on this card seems very weird and there is certainly potential for this though outside of EDH I don’t expect to see him pop up very much.

Limited – 2

Outside of the prohibitive casting cost he is a fattie that will impact the game and once you cast him you shouldn’t have any greater casting costs so all your land draws are basically [Card]Lightning Bolts[/Card]

[card]Clan Defiance[/card]

Constructed – 2

There are a lot of fireball like effects running around standard now but one of the things that makes this spell stand out is a lot of the Standard decks are based on a few creatures, turning this spell into a potential to sweep away your opponents only relevant creature with the added bonus of doming them as well. If you get to hit two creatures, that’s just gravy.

Limited – 4

Getting rid of a threat and doming your opponent is very good, especially in limited where mana can pile up.

[card]Domri Rade[/card]

Constructed – 3

Yes I rated him higher than Gideon, calm down and let me explain. He produces card advantage in colors that do not get card advantage at a rate that is slightly below that of [Card]Jace Beleren[/Card].

Quick Math Aside: Jace’s -1 ability nets 1 card and +2 nets 0 cards meaning in three turns going to -1, -1 and +2 gets you 2 cards or 0.67 cards per turn.
Domri’s +1 in a deck with 28 to 30 creatures gets you 0.49 cards per turn.

Being able to come down on turn 2 gets around most counter magic and will be a burden for most decks to deal with. His -2 ability allows for semi protection and his ult produces an emblem that is insane.

Limited – 4

Card advantage in the aggro limited decks, semi-protection/removal and most gruul creatures will be bigger than your opponents’ and the emblem is game over. Only problem is he can’t win you the game himself but he can find you ways to do just that.

[card]Frenzied Tilling[/card]

Constructed – 0

Well they brought back a card from Invasion block. Crossing my fingers the next one is [Card]Vindicate[/Card]

Limited – 1

It ramps yourself while stalling your opponent. I don’t expect this to be a limited staple but I wouldn’t fault anyone for playing a copy.

[card]Ghor-Clan Rampager[/card]

Constructed – 0

Normally LSV would be on a rampage with his puns, guess I’m just not up to snuff.

Limited – 2

Not only does it pass the Vanilla test but Bloodrush gives you a little extra kick.

[card]Ground Assault[/card]

Constructed – 0

There exists far better removal than this.

Limited – 1

[Card]Harvest Pyre[/Card] was certainly playable in Limited and I think this will see a little play as well though not being an Instant certainly hurts.

[card]Gruul Charm[/card]

Constructed – 1

The only mode that had ever seen real tournament play is the 3 damage to flyers but the reason it sees play is because it is one half of [Card]Firespout[/Card] and that is not enough incentive to have this see play.

Limited – 1

The first and last modes can actually be relevant as on the Gruul plan you’re going to want to smash, smash, smash and those two modes will help with combat. The second mode will only see play if you’re opponent has the [Card]Simic Manipulator[/Card].

[card]Gruul Ragebeast[/card]

Constructed – 0

I would be filled with rage if I lose a game to this. Luckily since this is unplayable I do not foresee that happening.

Limited – 2

The ability is actually quite freaking awesome and the body provides a huge impact. Just make sure you can reasonably get to seven mana.

[card]Primal Visitation[/card]

Constructed – 0

You may need to visit the insane asylum if you think this is playable.

Limited – 0

At five mana I don’t know what creature truly wants Haste. Even the 3/3 boost is not worth the five mana.

[card]Rubblehulk[/card]

Constructed – 0

While he may seem decent in a massive ramp deck the real problem with this he doesn’t have trample so he’s really just a vanilla fatty.

Limited – 4

So this is a super fatty with a Bloodrush ability done very VERY right.

[card]Ruination Wurm[/card]

Constructed – 0

[card]Ruination[/card] will befall you should you play this card.

Limited – 2

Sometimes you just need dinosaurs.

[card]Signal the Clans[/card]

Constructed – 1

Normally tutors are the nuts but this one seem very odd to me. You do get one of three random creatures but in a pinch most times you will be disappointed.

Limited – 1

Same thing. It gets you a random creature and thins your deck.

[card]Skarrg Guildmage[/card]

Constructed – 0

Unlike the other unplayable Guildmages, this one doesn’t even have ridiculous infinite combos.

Limited – 3

Yeah making 4/4 lands with a bunch of leftover mana is awesome.

[card]Zhur-Taa Swine[/card]

Constructed – 0

Are you getting boared of these puns yet?

Limited – 2

A well costed fatty with a less expensive Bloodrush activation. Yes please!

* * * * * * *

Hybrid

[card]Burning-Tree Emissary[/card]

Constructed – 1

Modern Shamans got a new card.

Limited – 2

Not only does it pass the bear test but it has the potential to get you another bear. Seriously turn 2, land play two dudes is a good thing.

[card]Pit Fight[/card]

Constructed – 1

I’m guessing they got tired of printing [Card]Prey Upon[/Card]. That being said the Instant speed can be relevant and the fact that it doesn’t have to be an opponent’s creature has some potential.

Limited – 1

This is situational removal and occasionally you lose a guy but in these colors your creatures should be bigger.

[card]Rubblebelt Raiders[/card]

Constructed – 2

[Card]Hellrider[/Card] is the better card right now but this guy can certainly pack a wallop in the right deck.

Limited – 3

This is [Card]Raging Ravine[/Card] in Creature form with a better ability. It also presents a must answer threat otherwise the game will be over very quickly.

* * * * * * *

Artifact

[card]Gruul Keyrune[/card]

Constructed – 0

There exists much better mana ramping for these colors.

Limited – 2

With all the fatties in Gruul I certainly want this for ramp and while I realize a 3/2 for two mana is good, I would of preferred seeing some like a 4/1 beater.

* * * * * * *

Everyone knew coming in what to expect from Gruul: fatties. It’s goal from the get go was always smash, smash and smash some more just in case. The constructed possibilities from Gruul are certainly interesting as they have cards that do exactly what you would expect in smashing but there are also a few cards that buck the trend of fatties smashing and offer a different perspective. [Card]Burning Tree Shaman[/Card] comes to mind as a possibility and [Card]Domri Rade[/Card] represents the only clan affiliated Planeswalker in this set so people will definitely be looking in that direction.

As for limited, Bloodrush gives Gruul an extra added quick as it turns their spells into split cards, allowing for holding back cards while your creatures on board do all the work, avoiding any major kind of wrath and catastrophe. Finally it’s guild leader, [card]Borborygmos[/card], is probably the most underrated card in the set, and I expect him to smash his way to a few top tables.

Top 5 Constructed Cards

5. [card]Borborygmos Enraged[/card]
4. [card]Signal the Clans[/card]
3. [card]Rubblebelt Raiders[/card]
2. [card]Domri Rade[/card]
1. [card]Burning-Tree Emissary[/card]

Top 5 Limited Commons/Uncommons

5. [card]Zhur-Taa Swine[/card]
4. [card]Gruul Keyrune[/card]
3. [card]Ghor-Clan Rampager[/card]
2. [card]Slaughterhorn[/card]
1. [card]Skarrg Guildmage[/card]

* * * * * * *

That wraps up part six of my set review. Once again, thanks for reading and check back later for part seven: Orzhov. You should also check out the Horde of Notions Podcast, sponsored by Face to Face Games, on MTGCast.

William

Gatecrash Set Review (Dimir)

Welcome back for part five of my Gatecrash Review for Dimir.

* * * * * * *

Constructed Rating

5 – Not only does this card go in every deck that plays those colors but you should warp your deck so that this card is part of it.
4 – If you play these colors this card will appear in your maindeck.
3 – This card will appear in a large portion of the decks across formats that can support it or a guaranteed sideboard staple for years to come.
2 – This card will see moderate play in Standard or Modern or will be a decent sideboard card in all formats.
1 – A moderate sideboard card at best and may see some main deck play.
0 – This should never see any serious constructed play.

Limited Rating

5 – Pack 2, Pick 1. Yeah it’s that good you should warp your deck for after opening this.
4 – This will always see play in if your deck can support it or it will be hate drafted for sure.
3 – A limited deck staple that will push your deck over the top and win games.
2 – The bread and butter of most limited decks.
1 – Cards that will be added to your deck to fill those last slots.
0 – NEVER play this card.

* * * * * * *

Blue

[card]Hands of Binding[/card]

Constructed – 0

If you play enough Standard you will run into the [Card]Invisible Stalker[/Card]/Hands deck, then again I expect a lot of Invisible Stalker/Cipher shenanigans. Unfortunately Cipher is trying to give shenanigans a bad name.

Limited – 2

Being able to continually tap down a threat is awesome.

[card]Last Thoughts[/card]

Constructed – 0

What is the correct mana cost for Draw a card/Cipher? Personally I believe it to be 2, making it one more than [Card]Curiosity[/Card] makes sense to me.

Limited – 1

I don’t see myself ever cutting this from a deck but I will not necessarily be please that I am playing it.

[card]Stolen Identity[/card]

Constructed – 2

It’s a recastable clone effect which has always proven its worth. While the cost may be a little high it is there to compensate for the Cipher mechanic.

Limited – 4

This is a straight up bomb. Not only do you get to clone the biggest threat but you can subsequently grow your army with more of that threat or a better one that appears later.

[card]Voidwalk[/card]

Constructed – 0

While blink effects have certainly proved their worth over the past two years, this one will not be making the cut.

Limited – 0

Barring really needing a blink effect this should not see play.

* * * * * * *

Black

[card]Horror of the Dim[/card]

Constructed – 0

The horror of someone playing this card is unimaginable.

Limited – 1

He’s a decent sized creature with an unimpressive ability.

[card]Mental Vapors[/card]

Constructed – 0

This is WAY too expensive, just like the draw a card Cipher card.

Limited – 0

The mental anguish of playing this card may be too much for some people to bear.

[card]Midnight Recovery[/card]

Constructed – 0

I get that they don’t want to make Cipher spells too good but making them a little good wouldn’t of hurt that bad would it?

Limited – 2

Returning a creature even every other turn is still really good.

[card]Shadow Slice[/card]

Constructed – 0

Part of the art reminds me of [Card]Mindslicer[/Card].

Limited – 0

I would rather hide in the shadows then play this card.

[card]Undercity Plague[/card]

Constructed – 0

This card would easily be a 2 if it had the one-sided Pox effect, especially if repeatable. As it stands though, 6 mana is WAY too much.

Limited – 1

Once again the cost is a factor but this is also limited where by the time you reach 6 mana there will be plenty of permanents to sacrifice again yielding minimum effect.

* * * * * * *

Gold

[card]Bane Alley Broker[/card]

Constructed – 0

It’s been a while since [Card]Wild Mongrel[/Card] has been around, which is about the last time looters were played.

Limited – 2

A looter is always playable and this one has a second ability that allows you to get back the cards meaning there is no downside to looting.

[card]Call of the Nightwing[/card]

Constructed – 0

While 1/1 flyers have certainly proved their worth over the years, the current format is very hostile towards them. See [Card]Illness in the Ranks[/Card]

Limited – 2

This rating should probably be closer to a 1 than a 2 but the upside of Cipher means you could be generating a small army of flyers which at worst serve as cannon fodder.

[card]Consuming Aberration[/card]

Constructed – 2

Maybe it’s just me but I get the feeling there is something I’m missing that makes everyone think this is a bad card. Sure mill isn’t sexy but being able to grow a creature certainly is, especially in these colors.

Limited – 4

Again it might seem high but hear me out. At worse when this come in it’s a small creature but the ability to make itself bigger is very good and this being limited, milling out your opponent seems really easy with this guy, while simultaneously crashing with a fatty. I realize trying to win on two fronts is generally bad but this card does both quick well.

[card]Dimir Charm[/card]

Constructed – 2

I don’t think this charm is particularly good in Standard. That being said my opinion makes a complete 180 in Modern. The sorcery counter hits [Card]Scapeshift[/Card] and the creature removal hits [Card]Dark Confidant[/Card], [Card]Deathrite Shaman[/Card] & [Card]Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker[/Card] to name a few. As for the last mode it’s not fantastic but being able to buy yourself a turn in a top deck war has it’s value.

Limited – 2

Many limited games are controlled by [Card]Grizzly Bears[/Card] making the removal quite relevant and the other two modes are alright in a pinch.

[card]Dinrova Horror[/card]

Constructed – 0

I love me some [Card]Recoil[/Card] but not at this cost.

Limited – 2

I love me some Recoil. Oh Déjà Vu, the HORROR!

[card]Duskmantle Guildmage[/card]

Constructed – 0

There are certainly some cool interactions to be had with this card but the number of pieces required to work makes it seem unfeasible.

Limited – 3

He presents a very slow mill option at worst and at best a 2/2 for 2 which passes the vanilla test. The first ability will certainly play a role in many a games as you are able to nickel and dime your opponent.

[card]Duskmantle Seer[/card]

Constructed – 3

Unlike my Podcasting partner in crime, I’m not sold on this card. It certainly has the potential to be very punishing and I think there exists a deck that will be downright nutty with it, so this is an into the future 3.

Limited – 3

This is halfway between a 2 and a 3 so I rounded up. A 4/4 flyer is a huge beating in Limited and drawing an extra card can certainly workout, however the downside is that decks that are well built along a curve will punish you for also giving them an extra card.

[card]Lazav, Dimir Mastermind[/card]

Constructed – 1

Unlike Szadek this guy is not a house. He does produce a unique clone effect but in an environment that already features eighteen clone effects, the only real positive he produces is being a creature on an empty board.

Limited – 2

Pass the vanilla test, check. Copy one of their best dudes when it dies, check. Requiring a creature to hit your opponent’s graveyard, certainly less good but at the very worst he is a Hexproof [Card]Hill Giant[/Card]

[card]Mind Grind[/card]

Constructed – 1

Dimir certainly has some interesting mill interactions, though if your goal is to win by mill, [Card]Nephalia Drownyard[/Card] and [Card]Increasing Confusion[/Card] are your best bet.

Limited – 4

This is a notch under [Card]Increasing Confusion[/Card] but with a little bit of simple mathematics it will be quite easy to figure out what X should be to win the game.

[card]Mortus Strider[/card]

Constructed – 0

This guy has an effect that historically has been able to abuse but I don’t see a way of that happening now.

Limited – 2

Infinite turn blocker. YEAH!!!

[card]Paranoid Delusions[/card]

Constructed – 0

[Card]Glimpse the Unthinkable[/Card] was a very polarizing card from the original Ravnica and I guess this is R&D meeting us halfway.

Limited – 1

If you are on the mill plan, this is going to be one of the better bread and butter cards you want.

[card]Psychic Strike[/card]

Constructed – 0

As long as [Card]Dissipate[/Card] is in the format and you can play the Richard Kane Ferguson Mirage version, this will see no play.

Limited – 1

The mill is rather lacklustre but a three mana counter spell can always be reliable.

[card]Soul Ransom[/card]

Constructed – 1

[Card]Mind Control[/Card] is awesome. The ability for your opponent to get back their creature for a four card swing is interesting but may turn out to be detrimental for you.

Limited – 1

Same argument as constructed but Limited has a bunch of junk cards you don’t mind throwing away.

[card]Whispering Madness[/card]

Constructed – 0

Somehow Noah Long made his way onto a card. What I really don’t understand is how [Card]Windfall[/Card] Cipher is the same cost as draw a card and discard a card Cipher. That being said, I’ve never really been a huge fan of Windfall effects outside of combo and in colors where you are nickel and diming your opponent it just doesn’t seem to work for me.

Limited – 0

If you are playing mill, this helps you out mill them quicker though it’s not an ideal strategy.

* * * * * * *

Hybrid

[card]Coerced Confession[/card]

Constructed – 0

No need for coercion, I confess this is a bad card.

Limited – 1

If you are playing mill you kind of want this, if you are not, run away.

[card]Deathcult Rogue[/card]

Constructed – 0

On the bright side Sarah Palin can block him.

Limited – 2

He’s pseudo unblockable so that seems alright.

[card]Nightveil Specter[/card]

Constructed – 2

This always hits a card and even if you aren’t in the same colors as your opponent you can skill cast their stuff should you hit enough lands. Obviously this is working in Magical Christmas land a little but I view this as a threat your opponent has to answer.

Limited – 3

Same argument as above but he is much harder to answer in limited.

* * * * * * *

Artifact

[card]Dimir Keyrune[/card]

Constructed – 2

I don’t know who though it would be a good idea to reprint a pseudo [Card]Creeping Tar Pit[/Card] but Dimir mages are rejoicing.

Limited – 2

Forget about the ability to ramp for a second, I plan on playing this for the creature part first and the mana part second.

* * * * * * *

There were players desperate to get Dimir into standard to be able to play a “good” control deck and the way Wizards decided to take Dimir gives the impression that those people will be a little disappointed. While Esper may seem viable, Dimir on it’s own is lacking in the punch department. It does not have the mass sweeper than the U/B control deck traditionally possesses and the idea of mill, while working in the past, doesn’t get the stall cards most needed that it had in the past. On the plus side though, [Card]Dimir Keyrune[/Card] will be one of the most played keyrunes from Ravnica if not the most played.

As for Limited, the mill plan seems to be the way to go as it is present across multiple cards, instead of just a few key cards, like in the past and the spells available are slower which fits the limited environment. I also believe Dimir profits from the fact that very few of it’s cards will be significantly cut as they don’t coalesce well with the other guilds.

Top 5 Constructed Cards

5. [card]Stolen Identity[/card]
4. [card]Consuming Aberration[/card]
3. [card]Lazav, Dimir Mastermind[/card]
2. [card]Dimir Charm[/card]
1. [card]Duskmantle Seer[/card]

Top 5 Limited Commons/Uncommons

5. [card]Call of the Nightwing[/card]
4. [card]Deathcult Rogue[/card]
3. [card]Dimir Keyrune[/card]
2. [card]Hands of Binding[/card]
1. [card]Duskmantle Guildmage[/card]

* * * * * * *

That wraps up part five of my set review. Once again, thanks for reading. You should also check out the Horde of Notions Podcast, sponsored by Face to Face Games, on MTGCast.

William

Gatecrash Set Review (Boros)

Welcome back for part four of my Gatecrash Review for Boros.

* * * * * * *

Constructed Rating

5 – Not only does this card go in every deck that plays those colors but you should warp your deck so that this card is part of it.
4 – If you play these colors this card will appear in your maindeck.
3 – This card will appear in a large portion of the decks across formats that can support it or a guaranteed sideboard staple for years to come.
2 – This card will see moderate play in Standard or Modern or will be a decent sideboard card in all formats.
1 – A moderate sideboard card at best and may see some main deck play.
0 – This should never see any serious constructed play.

Limited Rating

5 – Pack 2, Pick 1. Yeah it’s that good you should warp your deck for after opening this.
4 – This will always see play in if your deck can support it or it will be hate drafted for sure.
3 – A limited deck staple that will push your deck over the top and win games.
2 – The bread and butter of most limited decks.
1 – Cards that will be added to your deck to fill those last slots.
0 – NEVER play this card.

* * * * * * *

White

[card]Boros Elite[/card]

Constructed – 1

This won’t be making the cut of any of the current aggro decks, but it will probably see some play in a Human aggro deck that this would be the 1-drop to replace [Card]Doomed Traveler[/Card].

Limited – 2

It’s a 1/1 for 1 with an upside that needs a few turns to become effective. Best left back until Battalion is achieved.

[card]Daring Skyjek[/card]

Constructed – 0

Even on a dare I wouldn’t play this.

Limited – 2

The front end can be imposing at two mana allowing for an early beater and the Battalion is just a bonus.

[card]Frontline Medic[/card]

Constructed – 1

This card will be in a bunch of decks to start off with as a hate card and in some for its Battalion clause but I expect to see this card fall off greatly as it is not efficient in its role.

Limited – 3

The sacrifice clause will be almost entirely irrelevant, the Battalion clause however will be fantastic, attacking without fear of losing a creature will always be good.

[card]Nav Squad Commandos[/card]

Constructed – 0

The most perplexing thing about this card is whether Nav was originally Navigation but they ran out of room in the title or Nav is actually a place in Ravnica.

Limited – 1

[Card]Thraben Purebloods[/Card] was perfectly acceptable as a card and this one has pseudo [card]Vigilance[/card].

* * * * * * *

Red

[card]Bomber Corps[/card]

Constructed – 0

This is not better than any of the other two drops in red.

Limited – 1

The Battalion ability on this one is actually relevant being able to ping.

[card]Firefist Striker[/card]

Constructed – 0

Strike this from your deck lists.

Limited – 2

As [Card]Crossway Vampire[/Card] showed this can be a decent effect and having it be repeatable is even better.

[card]Legion Loyalist[/card]

Constructed – 0

This doesn’t replace any of the current one drops in Standard and tokens are not a huge issue. May potentially be a sideboard card, if there is a shift in the metagame.

Limited – 2

The key part of that ability is First Strike. Yes there is certainly a possibility of death for this little guy but giving your team all First Strike, especially since you can hold this guy back for the right moment is a big deal.

[card]Towering Thunderfist[/card]

Constructed – 0

While he may be more splashable than [Card]Thundermaw Hellkite[/Card] the dragon is infinite times better.

Limited – 2

This is a mack truck beating and with [card]Vigilance[/card] for an additional White.

[card]Warmind Infantry[/card]

Constructed – 0

Battalion continues to fail.

Limited – 2

While it may not pass the Vanilla test, the Battalion pushes it above the bar.

* * * * * * *

Gold

[card]Assemble the Legion[/card]

Constructed – 1

My rating on this card might be off but where I see this really shining is in the control decks that splash Red in the sideboard. Being able to wipe the board and then produce a steady stream of tokens can be backbreaking for many control mirrors.

Limited – 4

This should never be passed. EVER. Five mana shouldn’t be that hard and the more turns you get the more the board state greatly shifts in your favour.

[card]Aurelia, the Warleader[/card]

Constructed – 2

I might have liked a bigger body on her, but this is the over the top card that will be winning games out of nowhere.

Limited – 5

Opening her in pack two, is worth switching colors for. She beats out of nowhere and provides your team with a second opportunity to beat.

[card]Aurelia’s Fury[/card]

Constructed – 2

Call me crazy but I’m not sold on this. The effect has never been seen before which as we learned with [Card]Angel of Serenity[/Card] usually means it’s awesome but its exact fit in a format with card like [Card]Bonfire of the Damned[/Card] being thrown by the wayside does not inspire much confidence.

Limited – 5

The Limited Oracle text of this card is: “You win the game!”

[card]Boros Charm[/card]

Constructed – 3

This card is insane and going to be a big player in Modern and Standard aggro decks. Unlike the other charms, each of the modes will always be able to be used.

Limited – 3

If we award one point for each mode that will be relevant than this card automatically gets a three. The first mode is your finisher and the other two drastically favour your board over your opponent’s.

[card]Firemane Avenger[/card]

Constructed – 1

Battalion Helix would be very playable if it had haste and would certainly replace [Card]Hellrider[/Card] upon the latter’s rotation. Since it doesn’t however it is very lacklustre.

Limited – 3

A flying [Card]Hill Giant[/Card] is already playable and the [Card]Lightning Helix[/Card] ability just pushes it over the top.

[card]Fortress Cyclops[/card]

Constructed – 0

I sure hope the fortress isn’t under attack or it will be a short siege.

Limited – 2

Beater or Blocker? Yes please.

[card]Foundry Champion[/card]

Constructed – 0

If he’s guarding the foundry I’ll feel safe… as long as no one attacks it.

Limited – 3

Use up all the mana to bully my opponent in combat? Yes Please!

[card]Martial Glory[/card]

Constructed – 0

This card will not lead you to glory.

Limited – 2

I would play a [Card]Giant Growth[/Card] for two mana and since this one is even better it can pack a wallop.

[card]Ordruun Veteran[/card]

Constructed – 0

Not enough of a back end to justify playing this.

Limited – 1

The Battalion clause is very good however without Battalion he is just bad.

Skynight Legionnaire

Constructed – 0

I may be wrong but I believe this is the only card from this set reprinted from original Ravnica block. Unfortunately the card they reprinted is no good.

Limited – 2

2/2 Flyer for three are good and hasty ones are better.

[card]Spark Trooper[/card]

Constructed – 1

[Card]Ball Lightning[/Card] Helix for the win. I certainly see this being played it both Standard and Modern.

Limited – 3

This is the equivalent of throwing the house at your opponent. It won’t necessarily win you games but it will sure represent a nice life swing.

[card]Sunhome Guildmage[/card]

Constructed – 0

Neither of these abilities apply much combo potential and there are better options for the same abilities.

Limited – 3

The closest comparison most people will make is to [Card]Vitu Ghazi Guildmage[/Card] but that comparison is far off. The two less mana for making tokens is actually a big deal, as it triggers Battalion sooner, and after a while the +1/+0 ability can become a huge mana sink later giving you an edge in combat.

[card]Truefire Paladin[/card]

Constructed – 0

Past iterations of this card have always had protection clauses associated with them and they saw a little play as they were able to help counteract a specific strategy. Unfortunately I don’t see this guy getting that chance and two mana for his abilities is too much for this type of card.

Limited – 3

I’m sold on this guy being the nuts. [card]Vigilance[/card] allows him to always be a threat and the First Strike should allow him to win almost any combat he’s engaged in.

[card]Wojek [card]Halberdier[/card]s[/card]

Constructed – 1

While not being overly splashy I wouldn’t fault anyone for playing this. It is undercosted for a 3/2 and in is in colors where it will generally always have First Strike.

Limited – 2

Same argument, 3/2s with a potential upside should not cost 2 and snagging these early will get you a bunch of free wins as they surprise your opponent.

* * * * * * *

Hybrid

[card]Arrows of Justice[/card]

Constructed – 0

As someone who loves hybrid cards, Wizards always seems to find a way to crush my joy when I see them.

Limited – 2

4 damage should be enough to kill most things and since it’s hybrid I suspect it will be gone very early.

[card]Boros Reckoner[/card]

Constructed – 1

I reckon this is alright as a card.

Limited – 2

Unlike Ravnica, Gatecrash doesn’t seem to have the magic number of 3, meaning this guy, while still a good card, can take a beating going into late game, without a fatty though this guy should allow you to control the board state.

[card]Shattering Blow[/card]

Constructed – 1

It is an improvement on [Card]Shatter[/Card] but I don’t see it replacing either [Card]Disenchant[/Card] in Modern or [Card]Ancient Grudge[/Card] in Standard unless you have a really bad [Card]Wurmcoil Engine[/Card] matchup in Modern.

Limited – 1

If they have a very pesky Keyrune, I would board this in but I would never play it maindeck.

* * * * * * *

Artifact

[card]Boros Keyrune[/card]

Constructed – 0

These are colors that don’t want or need mana ramp and even if they did [Card]Chromatic Lantern[/Card] is the better bet.

Limited – 1

There are a decent number of pump abilities in Boros however having revert back to an Artifact certainly limites it’s potential.

* * * * * * *

Coming into Gatecrash, most people were excited/feared Boros because of the precise lethality those colors are known for and Gatecrash didn’t disappoint. While Battalion may not be a great Constructed mechanic across the board, in Limited it is exactly the mechanic that Boros needed from a practical and flavourful standpoint. In limited, they can get some early hits in, till they assemble the legion at which point that Battalion strike is knocking people down to a critical state. From the get go, with people playing rinky-dink stuff and trying to figure out where exactly they want to be, forcing Boros will be the way to go for winning drafts.

As for constructed, I think Boros offers some of the more powerful cards to come out of Gatecrash. The downside though is that while there are individual cards that pack a punch, as a whole, they don’t seem to format a very game breaking deck. That being said you will be seeing the Legion show up at key times to steal games away.

Top 5 Constructed Cards

5. [card]Frontline Medic[/card]
4. [card]Assemble the Legion[/card]
3. [card]Spark Trooper[/card]
2. [card]Aurelia’s Fury[/card]
1. [card]Boros Charm[/card]

Top 5 Limited Commons/Uncommons

5. [card]Martial Glory[/card]
4. [card]Arrows of Justice[/card]
3. [card]Sunhome Guildmage[/card]
2. [card]Boros Charm[/card]
1. [card]Wojek [card]Halberdier[/card]s[/card]

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That wraps up part four of my set review. Once again, thanks for reading and check back later for part five: Dimir. You should also check out the Horde of Notions Podcast, sponsored by Face to Face Games, on MTGCast.

William

Gatecrash Set Review (Green/Artifact/Lands)

Welcome back for part three of my Gatecrash Review for Green, Artifact & Lands.

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Constructed Rating

5 – Not only does this card go in every deck that plays those colors but you should warp your deck so that this card is part of it.
4 – If you play these colors this card will appear in your maindeck.
3 – This card will appear in a large portion of the decks across formats that can support it or a guaranteed sideboard staple for years to come.
2 – This card will see moderate play in Standard or Modern or will be a decent sideboard card in all formats.
1 – A moderate sideboard card at best and may see some main deck play.
0 – This should never see any serious constructed play.

Limited Rating

5 – Pack 2, Pick 1. Yeah it’s that good you should warp your deck for after opening this.
4 – This will always see play in if your deck can support it or it will be hate drafted for sure.
3 – A limited deck staple that will push your deck over the top and win games.
2 – The bread and butter of most limited decks.
1 – Cards that will be added to your deck to fill those last slots.
0 – NEVER play this card.

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Green

[card]Alpha Authority[/card]

Constructed – 1

I could see this as some techy sideboard stuff in the Bant Auras deck.

Limited – 1

If you can attach this to one of your fatties, this can help cause some serious damage.

[card]Burst of Strength[/card]

Constructed – 0

Burst of Yawn!!!

Limited – 1

This can be a nice combat trick with the Untap mechanic.

[card]Crowned Ceratok[/card]

Constructed – 0

Normally Wizards is pretty good at teaching Biology by giving new words for other animals, unfortunately Ceratok is not a thing.

Limited – 2

Ignoring the counter ability, a 4/3 trampler is certainly a good value.

[card]Forced Adaptation[/card]

Constructed – 0

At first glance, this seems like it has Bant Auras potential but having to wait turns is not a good idea.

Limited – 1

Letting your creature grow turn after turn can lead to potentially positive results.

[card]Giant Adephage[/card]

Constructed – 0

Wizards listened to my request to add Trample.

Limited – 3

If you untap with this you win the game, however similar to other cards in this set, seven mana may be a lot.

[card]Greenside Watcher[/card]

Constructed – 0

Mana dorks need to cost one to see any play unless their ability is through the roof.

Limited – 2

Even without a gate I would play this 100% of the time.

[card]Hindervines[/card]

Constructed – 0

While this is certainly a unique take on [Card]Fog[/Card] it’s not a good one.

Limited – 0

The condition on the card can be as detrimental as it can be positive.

[card]Ivy Lane Denizen[/card]

Constructed – 0

On the plus side it’s finally over, on the down side, this one is finally respectable.

Limited – 2

Unlike the other Denizens I will always play this card as long as Green is not a splash.

[card]Miming Slime[/card]

Constructed – 1

Even in a deck with [card]Thragtusk[/card] this could at worst turn out to be a 5/5. There are certainly some interesting combinations that this card offers and wouldn’t be surprised if I see this played against me.

Limited – 2

While this might be dependant on the creatures you have in play, at worst you’ll be getting a creature that passes the Vanilla Test.

[card]Naturalize[/card]

Constructed – 1

[card]Naturalize[/card] occasionally sees some play out of the sideboard.

Limited – 1

I’m not in favour of playing this in my main deck like some people are but it is certainly a stone cold answer to many different cards.

[card]Ooze Flux[/card]

Constructed – 0

It certainly seems like a cute trick but don’t expect it to ooze its way into Standard.

Limited – 2

It’s a given this card will require a small army but once you get three guys with Evolve this will be pumping out 3/3s for two mana, continuously.

[card]Predator’s Rapport[/card]

Constructed – 0

This is not the life gain you’re looking for.

Limited – 0

I don’t believe spells whose sole purpose is gaining life should be played.

[card]Rust Scarab[/card]

Constructed – 0

There are better ways to get rid of Artifacts and Enchanments.

Limited – 2

Occasionally you will get lucky with the artifact and enchantment clause. Otherwise this is a creature that can attack with no signs of rust.

[card]Serene Remembrance[/card]

Constructed – 0

If reanimation becomes a thing, decks without access to White mana or Black mana or [Card]Deathrite Shaman[/Card] could consider playing this.

Limited – 0

This card should Cantrip.

[card]Spire Tracer[/card]

Constructed – 0

If this had Hexproof, Bogles would be going wild. As it is, there should be no trace of this in Constructed.

Limited – 0

1/1s for ones are quickly outclassed by everything so avoid playing this.

[card]Sylvan Primordial[/card]

Constructed – 0

The last of the cycle. These will all be Commander staples and foils can probably be traded for a decent amount but they will never pop up in sanctioned constructed.

Limited – 2

I wouldn’t be disappointed with having this guy. Obviously the cost is the most restrictive part of this guy but getting to cast him can be a game changer as at worst it destroys a land.

[card]Tower Defense[/card]

Constructed – 0

If this was an Enchantment it would be seeing constructed play. Since it’s not let me recommend playing [card]Tower Defense[/card] games and avoiding this.

Limited – 2

An additional 5 toughness is actually really big as it allows your creatures to block their alpha strike and all survive.

[card]Verdant Haven[/card]

Constructed – 0

The cycle of Enchant Lands comes to an end with a slightly worse [Card]Fertile Ground[/Card].

Limited – 1

Like the Green Denizen I can see this seeing a little play for mana fixing.

[card]Wildwood Rebirth[/card]

Constructed – 0

I misread this card originally thinking that [Card]Regrowth[/Card] had been spiritually reborn until I read the creature part.

Limited – 2

Creatures are the bread and butter of Limited decks and being able to bring one back at a reasonable cost is awesome. What’s interesting is that this card is an Instant, so you can also produce some Bloodrush shenanigans.

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Artifacts

[card]Armored Transport[/card]

Constructed – 0

This is just awful as a card in every way.

Limited – 0

Still awful.

[card]Glaring Spotlight[/card]

Constructed – 1

You’ve heard everything about this card about how it is very flavourfully built, how people are reading the card upside down, blah, blah, blah. That aside that card is marginally good at best.

Limited – 1

I can’t see myself cutting this card from my deck but I will also be playing it as a 4 mana all your creatures are unblockable spell.

[card]Illusionist’s Bracers[/card]

Constructed – 0

Cool effect, ineffective in constructed.

Limited – 1

There is certainly the possibility to draft a bunch of Guildmages or things that interact with this but most of the time this should stay on the sidelines.

[card]Millennial Gargoyle[/card]

Constructed – 0

There was never a millennium where this was playable.

Limited – 1

Stay away, these gargoyles only carry ill omens.

[card]Prophetic Prism[/card]

Constructed – 1

Last time around, this card saw some play so I wouldn’t discount it this time around, though mana fixing might be unnecessary.

Limited – 1

It cantrips and fixes mana. Aggressive decks won’t want this but I suspect every other deck will be playing as many as they can.

[card]Razortip Whip[/card]

Constructed – 0

[Card]Curse of Pierced Heart[/Card] doesn’t see play and neither will this.

Limited – 1

Cards that ping your opponent are never exciting but often see play for the sense of inevitability, Mr. Anderson.

[card]Riot Gear[/card]

Constructed – 0

Unless a riot breaks out and destroys all your other magic cards, you should not be playing this.

Limited – 0

If you play this, you should gear yourself up for disappointment.

[card]Skyblinder Staff[/card]

Constructed – 0

The thought of playing this card is giving me a blinding pain.

Limited – 0

On the bright side, the artwork has bats!

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Lands

Guildgates (Boros, Dimir, Gruul, Orzhov & Simic)

Constructed – 0

Having tested these out when Return to Ravnica was printed, there is no reason you need 12 lands that produce the same colors and these should stay on the draft tables.

Limited – 3

My love of cubing has given me insight into highly valuing mana fixing and these are generally picked really high for me, especially since most Limited decks run more than two colors and mana requirements are tight.

Shocklands ([Card]Breeding Pool[/Card], [Card]Godless Shrine[/Card], [Card]Sacred Foundry[/Card], [Card]Stomping Ground[/Card] & [Card]Watery Grave[/Card])

Constructed – 4

There is only one set of better lands in all of Magic and those are dual lands, which do not have the damage clause. So if those are the Gold Standard, than these are the Silver Standard and being a Modern staple, make sure you have your playset of these.

Limited – 4

If the guildgates are a 3 than these are even better, and since you can draft these for value and mana fixing it’s rare you’re seeing any unless you opened them.

[card]Thespian’s Stage[/card]

Constructed – 1

Don’t get me wrong, I love this card and it will be a Commander staple forever. It is very comparable to [Card]Vesuva[/Card] as the two do similar things each with their own pros and cons but Vesuva doesn’t see Modern play and without any Legendary Lands in Standard, I don’t see this getting any reps. Also [Card]Vesuva[/Card] is a better card than this based solely on the fact that it has the greatest Flavour Text of all time.

Limited – 2

I am always playing this card in my deck. At worst it copies a basic land, but its true value will shine through when you can duplicate a dual land, whether it’s yours or your opponent’s is left to be seen.

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That wraps up part three of my set review. Once again, thanks for reading and check back later for part four: Boros. You should also check out the Horde of Notions Podcast, sponsored by Face to Face Games, on MTGCast.

William