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Sunday, July 3, 2011

More M12 Previews: White's Answer to Blue, New "Ancestral Recall", New Chandra!

Hello all, and we're back with a few more Magic Core Set 2012 previews! Today we have a White "bear" that keeps Blue off your back, a new Blue Instant that could act like an Ancestral Recall, and a new Chandra that might see some play in Standard. Ready to get going?

We have the first preview card, Grand Abolisher!

Image from StarCityGames.com
Wow...if you ever feared removal on your turn, you don't have to any more. White Weenie could easily use this to fend of some Lightning Bolts, Volt Charges, and Vapor Snags that would prevent you from winning. But this also means you can't be counterspelled on your turn! WHOAH! That could be a HUGE deal! And for only WW? I think I'd take it, especially if I'm running some kind of combo deck that can't afford to be countered or disrupted in any way on your turn. I have a feeling he'll be a casual favorite if Blue or Red are heavy colors at your casual tables, otherwise I could see it in tournament decks while Red is popular and possibly when/if Blue steps in its place one Zendikar block rotates out.

Next up we have Wizards of the Coast's newest take on Ancestral Recall. Remember back in Time Spiral we got Ancestral Vision, a Suspend-enabled version and a direct descendent of Ancestral Recall. In Magic 2012, with milling being a popular theme, we get a situationally similar card in Visions of Beyond.

Image courtesy DailyMTG.com Visual Spoiler

The speculation is heating up that Innistrad, the next block to come out, will be a Graveyard-themed block thanks to some leaked cards found in the code of Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012. With the previously spoiled Jace, Memory Adept allowing you to mill 10 cards for just 5 mana on the first hit, it's hard to NOT get a graveyard to have 20 or more cards in it. And if Innistrad block is a graveyard-themed block, I'd say this will act more like Ancestral Recall than a 1-mana draw-a-card Instant.

Of course, early game you could use it as a deck thinner, in essence making your deck 56 cards instead of 60. But I think milling a player would be a bit better. ;)

Finally, we have another new Planeswalker version. We've had as many as 2 different versions of any Planeswalker character up until Magic 2012 which sees Jace's 3rd version. Now, we have another 3rd-version Planeswalker. Let me introduce you to Chandra, the Firebrand!

Image courtesy of DailyMTG.com Visual Spoiler

Yes, you read the mana cost correctly. 3R is the mana cost. This marks the first Planeswalker to not use at least 2 colored mana symbols in its mana cost. This should allow some decks to splash Red to run her. Hmm...I kinda like that idea. Let me think how I can abuse her...

Her +1 is an improvement on the original Chandra. Instead of just hitting a player, you can use it to hit a creature. Not bad. 4 mana and we already have her +1 ability being better than Chandra Nalaar's.

Her -2 ability is very intriguing. She sets up a Twincast on your next instant or sorcery. Now surely, at -2 you can't do that for long, right? He he he...WRONG!! Remember we have some nice Proliferate spells that work nicely with that -2. Volt Charge is an instant that deals 3 damage and Proliferates, so copying it lets you get back both counters you used to copy Volt Charge. How about refilling your hand? Tezzeret's Gambit literally goes into any deck, and when copied you're spending 3 mana and 2 life to draw 4 and make Chandra's -2 mean nothing. NOW...combine it with other Planeswalkers. Use her -2, Volt Charge a Titan to kill it, and Proliferate 2 counters onto the new Jace. Now he's within a turn of "going ultimate", drawing everyone 20 cards and potentially killing them at that.

Chandra's "ultimate" is a nice bonus if you stick with building her up. At -6 (so most likely 4 turns after you cast her), you get to do 6 damage to EACH of UP TO SIX target creatures and/or players. SIX!!!!! And it's not "split evenly", it's TO EACH OF. Whoah! I like the original Chandra's ultimate better, but for Multiplayer, this will rock just like Jace 3.0's ultimate could if it hits at the right time. And in single player, it might just clear the board for an alpha strike for the win.

What do you think about these previews? Anything that's too strong? Not strong enough? Overly hyped? Not hyped enough? Feel free to give me your thoughts! :)

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