First off, though, a few teasers...
1) Combined Grave Titan with a form of Exalted, and what do you get?
2) B/G gets some artifact retrieval, the opposite of what this Legendary Elf did in Mirrodin.
See the cards...after the jump!
(Both card images taken from StarCityGames.com)
Our first one combines the token generating capabilities of Grave Titan with the attack boosting capabilities of the old Exalted mechanic (man, who would have thought of Exalted as "old"?).
I give you the Mirran Pre-Release Card: HERO OF BLADEHOLD
|The White Version of Grave Titan...or Better?|
So what makes this card Mythic Rare worthy?
Look at Grave Titan. He's a 6/6 for 6 that spawns 2 2/2 tokens. Those tokens usually are key, because if you can outrace your opponent's creature count you can start aiming for troublesome Planeswalkers and eventually their life total.
Instead of waiting a turn, though, Hero of Bladehold gives you 2 2/1 attackers (minimum) ready to strike those pesky Planeswalkers.
"Wait...how did you get 2 2/1's? The card text says 2 1/1's."
AH! That's where learning how to stack triggered abilities comes in handy.
If you control multiple Triggered abilities that go off at the same time, you can choose in which order you can stack them. Notice both Battle Cry and Hero of Bladehold's token-generating effect use "Whenever this creature attacks..."
If you want the tokens on the battlefield tapped and attacking before the +1/+0 resolves, then you can put it on the stack that way. If, for some odd reason, you want the tokens after the +1/+0, then feel free to do it that way too.
What does this mean for Standard? Remember Honor of the Pure stuck around for M11, which also gave us Knight Exemplar. True, the Exemplar only helps the Hero of Bladehold, but considering she's the one you're more concerned about the Exemplar will help. We've also still got Brave the Elements from Zendikar to give some cheap protection to Hero of Bladehold. However, she doesn't do anything immediately as she enters the battlefield and has no obvious Tier 1 applications. But let's keep in mind, not every card will be the next Titan or Jace, the Mind Sculptor, either.
The second card is a hero from Mirrodin who got poisoned by the Phyrexians. She was a green Elf who destroyed artifacts. Now she's a Black and Green Elf Zombie that helps save artifacts...and still destroys things.
Glissa's stats are impressive. 3 total mana for a 3/3 with First Strike and Deathtouch. We've seen how important Deathtouch can be, especially on a quick creature (under 4-5 mana) thanks to Vampire Nighthawk. First Strike gives it the ability to do a lot more than just chump blocking, which is always nice.
The last part is interesting. When a creature an opponent controls dies, you can get an artifact back from your graveyard to your hand. If you can lure your opponent into an attack, you can keep getting back those used-up Ratchet Bombs or the destroyed/sacrificed Contagion Clasps, or Spellbombs, or anything you need to get your hands back on.
Unfortunately, Glissa doesn't return the artifacts to the battlefield. If Glissa could do that, I could strongly see this as Constructed playable. For now, though, I'd expect a 1-of or at most 2-of in an artifact kill-based deck as both a strong ground blocker/destroyer (or possibly as semi-regular flier blocker).
Here's another view to consider: EDH/Commander. Look at Glissa, the Traitor again. She's a 3-mana Legendary Creature. She's a legal Commander, and since you could have artifacts in your deck (as long as your cards fit Glissa's color identiy of Black and/or Green), she could make for a decent "reanimator" for any artifacts you need to finish off your opponents.
I hope you enjoyed those previews! Use them to get people excited for our potential pre-release. I still don't have full official word on what Morgan Hardy (the guy who runs Organized Play and who might come down here to do a tournament) will do officially, so use this to start gaining more interest and we'll see what we can do.
Until later, take care! :)