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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret Spoiled!

Here's the moment some of us have been waiting for.

We've seen that we'll get the lovely Elspeth, Knight-Errant (with new Emblem wording) and the superficial artificial Tezzereet the Seeker. Both will be the highlighted foil, new-art Mythic Rares of this Duel Decks set, already making it worth more than the $20 MSRP.

(pics from the WotC message boards)

(EDIT 8/26: See the VERY bottom of this post for the other new art cards, courtesy of the Magic Arcana posted today on dailymtg.com . I also added the Scars of Mirrodin preview cards in the deck lists)

But we all know 2 cards cannot a good deck set make. Even with Planeswalkers that themselves could sell quite easily as a package for $20 total, the deck they're in need to be decent with some good cards to really make these a joy for casual players.

And deliver did Wizards of the Coast!

See what all you can get starting September 3rd and if it's a good value...after the jump!

In general, we got quite a bit with this set:

1) Nice Planeswalkers.
2) 6 Rares per deck (counting the Planeswalkers).
3) Each deck has a Scars of Mirrodin preview card.
4) Some great old Uncommons...with new art!

May I present (with scattered pictures)...the complete deck lists for Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret!

(Decklists provided by forum member CaptainBlack on the MTGSalvation message boards: Elspeth's and Tezzeret's; the actual copy-and-paste comes from the first post of this topic)

Darksteel Citadel
Seat of the Synod
Mishra's Factory (New Art)
Stalking Stones
Island (x20)

Argivian Restoration
Thirst for Knowledge (x2) (New Art)
Moonglove Extract
Echoing Truth
Trip Noose
Energy Chamber
Contamination Clasp (Scars of Mirrodin Preview Card #1, picture from MTGSalvation.com)

Elixir of Immortality
AEther Spellbomb
Everflowing Chalice (x2)

Razormane Masticore
Clockwork Hydra
Faerie Mechanist
Synod Centurion
Clockwork Condor
Trinket Mage
Master of Etherium
Serrated Biskelion
Steel Overseer
Silver Myr
Runed Servitor (x2)
Steel Wall
Arcbound Worker

Tezzeret the Seeker

Daru Encampment
Kabira Crossroads
Rustic Clachan
Plains (x22)

Blinding Beam
Swell of Courage

Crusade (New Art)
Razor Barrier
Raise the Alarm (x2)
Mighty Leap
Journey to Nowhere
Swords to Plowshares (x2, New Art)

Angel of Salvation
Conclave Equenaut
Catapult Master
Stormfront Riders
Conclave Phalanx
Seasoned Marshal
Celestial Crusader
Kemba's Skyguard (Scars of Mirrodin Preview Card #2; picture from MTGSalvation.com)

Kor Hookmaster
Burrenton Bombardier
Kor Aeronaut
Temple Acolyte
Kor Skyfisher (x2)
Glory Seeker
Mosquito Guard
Loyal Sentry
Infantry Veteran
Goldmeadow Harrier
Elite Vanguard (x2)

Elspeth, Knight Errant

Anyone notice a few nice standouts in these decks?

1) Swords to Plowshares...new art...and there's TWO of 'em in each Elspeth deck!
A German website owner got a chance to see these Duel Decks in action for a bit at German Nationals this weekend and got a few pictures. Here's the new Swords to Plowshares (from WotC's coverage of German Nationals):

2) Yes, it's that Mishra's Factory, one of the original man lands before man lands were cool. :)
 (image courtesy MagicCards.info)

True, Tezzeret's deck "only" has one, but it's new art and they put in Assembly-Worker to help it out a bit. I guess with new art some cards just couldn't get the "multiples" treatment. :(

3) Okay, so here's what you really want to know...what 6 Rares are in each deck?! Calm your horses! Here they are already. Yeesh!  :)

Rustic Clachan
Crusade (New Art)
Angel of Salvation
Catapult Master
Loyal Sentry
and of course... Elspeth, Knight Errant

And the new Crusade artwork before we get to Tezzeret (courtesy WotC's coverage of German Nationals):

And finally...

Razormane Masticore
Master of Etherium
Steel Overseer
and last but certainly not least...Tezzeret the Seeker

Hate to say...although Crusade is a nice throwback (and shows why Honor of the Pure is strictly superior), aside from that none of the Rares really catches my fancy except Steel Overseer (since it's new from M11 and actually useful in this kind of deck) and the Planeswalkers. Though I've got to admit, having Razormane Masticore re-releasing close to the reprinting of the original it's based on in From the Vault: Relics is kinda freaky.

5) Interesting Uncommon/Common Reprints: Yeah, I'm actually more excited for the non-Rares in this deck! I mean, look at what we get!

* Swords to Plowshares...x2!
* Mishra's Factory, seeing its first public physical reprint since 1995.
* The poor man's Force of Will, Foil!
* Temple Acolyte, seeing print for the first time since Portal.
* Convoke creatures in Elspeth's deck.
* Energy Chamber! WOOT!  :)

So I'll shorten this up...is this Duel Decks set really worth the $20 MSRP? 

My answer: Hell yes! Even if you get them for no other reason than the Planeswalkers, you're coming out ahead already.

But to break it down based on the current prices of some of the better cards:

Elspeth: $30-$40 by herself
Tezzeret: $8-$10
Steel Overseer: $3.50-$5
Swords to Plowshares: $3-$5 each
Mishra's Factory: $4.50-$5
Energy Chamber: $1-$1.50 

TOTAL: $50-66.50 if you bought just these few cards at retailer prices.

Even if the numbers look over-inflated and you cut each card's cost by half, that's still $25-$30 worth of cards for only ~$22 after tax.

I know I'll be getting at least two of these: 1 to play, 1 to keep sealed and see if the price rises. :)

EDIT 8/26: Wizards of the Coast posted the decklists in their entirety (and I've included that information in above. We got one extra Everflowing Chalice and the other blue new art card). And in that list of stuff, we also got the English new art scans!

So here's all the new arts! (Elspeth and Tezzeret not included, of course)  Enjoy!

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