Good morning, Magic nuts! Today I'll be looking at some surprises that came from the posting of the M12 Card Gallery spoiling some already-known cards and, apparently, some Duels of the Planeswalkers new cards meant for dual use in Duels of the Planeswalkers and M12.
(NOTE: All scans/pics come from the DailyMTG website's Card Gallery for M12)
First off, how would you like for a Blue creature to be untargetable instead of "When this is targeted, destroy it"? We have our answer now in a brand-new card, Aven Fleetwing!!
I don't know about you, but I'm kinda happy to finally have a Blue creature in M12 that doesn't die just because it's targeted. ha ha! Instead, this little birdy does quite the opposite: your opponents can't target him! I can see this being a casual favorite and possibly even a Commander near-staple if Hexproof has enough love, but in competitive Magic it may be a toss-up. Hexproof flying is good, but 4 mana for a 2/2? It may be too slow, and there may be better stuff to do at 3 mana (Jace, maybe? ;) )
Next up is a surprising reprint at Uncommon. I don't know if anyone ever thought about it coming back since it was released in Ravnica, but I guess blue Mill is the flavor of the decade for WotC. Re-introducing Belltower Sphinx!!
I was so unfamiliar with this card, I thought it was new when I first looked at it. For 5 mana you get a 2/5 flier that mills whenever an opponent's source deals damage to it (similar to how Phyrexian Obliterator does for permanents in general). I'd guess mill decks wouldn't mind this for a blocker so when your opponent DOES alpha strike you he can mill a good chunk of cards on the block. Hopefully by then you'll be able to survive and mill out the rest of their deck with no problem. Again, casual ground maybe but I don't see much more than that except as a Limited format good flier.
And finally in the Rare slot we have a true surprise. He's a 1-casting-cost Red creature and iconic in a number of Legacy decks. He's making his Standard return in about little over a month. Please welcome back with open arms GRIM LAVAMANCER!!!