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Friday, March 19, 2010

6 Rise of the Eldrazi Spoilers: New Mechanics, New UNCOMMON Eldrazi Creature!

The Magic blogs got to reveal their pooled spoilers (same spoilers released at the same time to all in a list of blogs) for Rise of the Eldrazi yesterday. Six new cards, 2 new mechanics, and a new Eldrazi spell to whet your appetite...at Uncommon!

(All images except for Valakut Fireboar come from MTGSalvation.com; the Fireboar comes from mulldrifting.blogspot.com)

See the awesomeness...after the jump.

The first card isn't interesting, but the mechanic on it could prove interesting with more powerful effects.

So we have a mini-Giant Growth. YAWN!
Wait. What's that? Did you read Rebound?

Rebound (If you cast this spell from your hand, exile it as it resolves. At the beginning of your next upkeep, you may cast this card from exile without paying its mana cost.)

What was that!? Wizards of the Coast is giving us free spells again? I think Cascade's made them re-think how they do free casting of spells.

This isn't really exiciting. "Oh! +2/+2 now, +2/+2 later when it may not matter. ... Eh..." But imagine this going up through the rarities. Uncommon for White: "Put a 4/4 Angel creature token with Flying and Vigilance onto the battlefield. Rebound." (courtesy Evan Erwin's wild speculation. lol.)  Rare for Blue: "Return up to 3 target permanents to their owner's hand." Mythic Rare for White: "Put a 5/5 Angel creature token with Flying, First Strike, Lifelink, and Protection from Demons and Dragons onto the battlefield. Rebound."  Okay, so that last one was a huge stretch, but you get the idea of how awesome Rebound can be.

Or it could really suck. Red's Common could be "R, Instant: [This] deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Rebound." And it could be all Commons. We don't know.

But the potential...O...M...G!

 Next up in Mnemonic Wall. Not much here. A 0/4 Wall for 5 that doesn't fly (unlike some of the better Defenders out right now, like Wall of Reverence and Wall of Denial).


What was that?

When it enters the battlefield, I get a sorcery or instant I used up back!?

Hmm...maybe 5 mana isn't SO bad after all.

U/W control would love something like this, especially if it's capable of making mana easily. Get back a counterspell you need and hold off a bad hit next turn. Or Cascade decks could splash some blue, get back Bituminous Blast, and next turn cast it and win with what they Cascade into. Burn? Hello Lightning Bolt to the dome!

Granted, it's a high cost, so you'd only use 1 or 2. But if you get yourself in the right position, it's worth it. :)

Next up...a rather bland card, IMO.

Okay, so it's rare to see a 7-toughness creature at 5 mana in red. Props on that!
But the effect...just makes him horrible.
So on attacking, he switches from a 1/7, safe from burn, to a 7/1 and susceptible to a non-Landfall'd Searing Blaze. Ugh!
Without some way to Shroud it easily, PASS!!!

We're halfway there, and I promise the last 3 are more exciting than these first 3 (if you don't count Prey's Vengeance. It's not exciting itself, but Rebound is OMG! Did I mention that earlier?)

Next, an Aura that doesn't make you lose a ton of ground?

This is another "Eh...not great effect" card.

Until you read Totem Armor.

"Totem Armor (If enchanted creature would be destroyed, instead remove all damage from it and destroy this Aura.)"

AHEM! Did Regenerate just get a makeover?

I mean, it's practically the same idea. Replace destruction with removing damage and keeping it on the battlefield. OH! And it doesn't force the creature to tap!

Finally! YOu're not screwed if your creature dies while it's got an enchantment as long as the enchantment has Totem Armor. :)

On the down side, though...Path to Exile, sacrifice effects, and the like can still screw you over. But you're safe from combat and destruction so take what you can get.

For 5 mana, +3/+3 and Vigilance may not be enough to make this worth it. But if you need a destruction shield, the Totem Armor will more than pay you back. I look forward to seeing Totem Armor on cheaper Auras and essentially use them as one-time Indestructibilities.

Now, the reason I've waited until the final two cards to get these previewed is because they actually go together.

First, black gets back some of its token generating capability...

So for 5 mana, you get a net swing of 3 creatures: One of your opponent's dies ("+1 creature" effectively for you), then you get 2 tokens (+2 creatures literally).

"But these creatures are 0/1's!"

Read what effect that get, then go back to my Kozilek preview.

Yes, they are mana accelerators, so essentially this only costs you 1BB to destroy target nonblack creature. That's a premium price compared to Doom Blade. But what if you don't need the mana the same turn you resolve it?

What if you want to get a big creature?

Something like, oh I don't know, our final preview card?

Yes...you're seeing that right. An Eldrazi creature, non-Legendary, at Uncommon.

And like Kozilek, it's a high casting cost to overcome at a whopping 11 mana.

And also like Kozilek, it has Annihilator, so letting him attack is not a good thing.

But add in something Kozilek doesn't have, some form of evasion, and we see some nice synergy with Annhilator. If you can attack into a battlefield where your opponent needs their lands more than their creatures, you're effectively getting to attack with a 9/9 direct attacker. And if not, what are the chances they'll have 9 power worth of creatures to block?

So where does Corpsehatch fit in?

Some spells in Rise of the Eldrazi will be able to make these Eldrazi Spawn tokens. They'll be 0/1 and sacrifice for an additional 1 colorless mana to your mana pool.

"But Corpsehatch, if it's like the other Spawn generators, is high casting cost anyway! It won't be worth it."

Who said they'd all be high casting cost? Usually, initial spoilers will simply show off the potential of the set, not the norm. There may be cheaper Spawn generators, just as likely as there could be more powerful Rebound or better Totem Armor cards.

But the point is, if you're able to wait a few turns after generating the Spawn tokens, this is effectively another 2 colorless reduction in an Eldrazi's casting cost (remember, Worldwake gave us the preview in Eye of Ugin and it was 2 colorless less for an Eldrazi).

I hope you enjoyed these previews! I have 2 boxes of Rise of the Eldrazi on pre-order for $2.50 per pack, so if you want to go ahead and get your own pre-orders in with me be sure to do so!

We hope you'll join us soon!

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