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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Some M11 Previews, One of Each Rarity, Part TWO!

Here we go again! This weekend brought a ton of previews, so we're going again with one card of each rarity!

But first, the hints...

COMMON: Burn in Green? Impossible!...Or not...

UNCOMMON: Elixir of Immortality, all right, in more ways than one.

RARE: Serra Avatar would be so proud of her child!  :_-) *sniff*

MYTHIC RARE: Green's nigh-unstoppable fattie? Right here!

Check out the new cards...AFTER THE JUMP!

(All images come from the StarCityGames.com Facebook page except for Gaea's Revenge; it comes from the official Visual Spoiler)

First up! We have the Common, an ability rarely seen in Green:

Yes, you read that right. It's not restricted to what it can hit, and it doesn't deal damage to all players. Similar cards have been done before, but at Sorcery speed and for 2 damage after paying 4 mana. This is easily the most efficient targeted burn in Green as far as damage-to-mana is concerned.

I doubt it'll see a huge amount of play unless 1-toughness creatures start to become the norm (*cough* Lotus Cobra *cough*), but even then with Lightning Bolt and Rootbound Crag also in M11 I doubt Green will want Hornet Sting.

It's a cute little mono-Green burn spell, but in the end probably not worth it except at the most casual of games.

For our Uncommon, I said Elixir of Immortality was "immortal" in more ways than one. How did you think I meant it? See if you were right:

If you guessed "saves my life" and "saves my deck", you were right! This improved version of Feldon's Cane removes the "exile me" text in favor of "shuffle me back in!" and adds 2 mana to its activation cost to give you 5 life.

And let's be clear about this: Sure, you could combo this with Sanguine Bond, but I'm betting that's not how you'll use it the most. I'm betting this is your anti-Mill card, and the 5 life is just a bonus. A nifty little bonus to go along with our next preview!

The Rare's hint was that Serra Avatar would be proud of her child. Serra Avatar sets its Power and Toughness to your life total. Well, without further ado, here's "her child", Serra Ascendant!

HOLY...COW! In any game where you or your team starts with 30 or more life, this is a first turn 6/6 Lifelink FLYING monstrosity! I wish whoever's against you very, very, very good luck if they don't have some quick removal. Chances are this'll be hitting for 6 and gaining 6 by Turn 2 easy in those formats. Think of this: If you're the Archenemy and you draw this, your second turn will most likely be "Untap, Upkeep, Draw, Scheme, Main Phase, Battle Phase attack with Serra Ascendant so an opponent is at 14 and I'm at 46, Main Phase 2 land...."

In 1-on-1 normal Magic, this'll be a bit trickier. Chances are, you can't see this as a first-turn play. Like Figure of Destiny, this is probably a third or fourth turn card (easily done in White, thanks to Sunspring Expedition, Kabira Crossroads, some Lifelink creatures, and the new Elixir from above. :)  ) that can only get better with time.

For Constructed, I don't see this being a big draw unless life gain is easy to come by after Jund rotates all its heavy-hitters with Shards of Alara block leaving Standard when Scars of Mirrodin releases. Honestly, aside from that, I see Serra Ascendant to be a very casual card...that'll get marked for destruction quite easily. Good thing Blue goes so well with White. ;)

And for our final preview, let's get our unstopable stompy shown off!

Take that Blue! I get an 8-power hasty that you can't stop before it starts!
Take that Red! You can't target it!
Same goes for you White, with your fancy Oblivion Rings, or Black with your Doom Blade!

(Day of Judgment)


That's about how a game will go if you cast Gaea's Revenge. You can't pre-emptively stop it without forcing it to be discarded or milled (and even that might not be enough with recursion cards), and once it hits you better have a global answer or a big-enough creature to take it down or it will show its claws quickly.

What more could you want out of a green creature?

Constructed-wise, I could see this being a 1- or 2-of in a Green Ramp deck, but outside of that I'd say it's too expensive to cast. It can get around a lot of Jund's answers, but all Jund needs to do to stop it is leave combat-able creatures up to block. Sure, they'll lose creatures, but it just means they can go back to doing what they did best before the Revenge.

That's all I have for tonight! I'll be back Sunday with a reprint roundup, including a little hint left by one of the Wizards of the Coast staff on Twitter for his reprint preview:

"This card is a reprint, but not from a core set. It's an artifact, but not a creature...The M11 preview card for tomorrow costs 1, not 2. But the name has 2 words, not 1. It is good with Temple Bell, but not Howling Mine."

(FYI, Temple Bell is a 3-mana artifact that TAPS to let each player draw a card.) 

I hope to see you later, but if not then take care until Sunday!

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