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Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Few More Dark Ascension Previews for the Internet Infrequent!

Hey guys!
  A few more days have passed and we have even more preview cards to go through. Oh, the joys of preview season! lol.

Here are a few hints before we get started:

1) This block's Giant Growth effect can be permanent...or you can get a smaller but still permanent boost off it.

2) A new Werewolf "Lord"...that can help keep your transformed Werewolves out a little longer.

3) A new ability word helps super-anthem your creatures...if you're about to die.

4) Sorin gets a new version, and his intentions, though dark, have a little more purity to them. That doesn't mean he won't steal your stuff, though.

Alright, that's one of every rarity, in order (Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Mythic Rare). Wanna see the cards? Then here we go! (NOTE: All images are used from MTGSalvation.com)

1) Here's our Giant Growth of the Innistrad block. Announcing...Hunger of the Howlpack!

How's that for a boost? Get your First Striker to kill something, then get a permanent +3/+3 boost on a regular attacker! Probably more of a Limited bomb and casual Constructed card, I doubt we'll see it in tournament play. Modern possibly? Maybe. That would be the only venue I'd see it in, and only if it's in either a Persist deck (to get rid of the -1/-1 counter) or a Doubling Season deck to get upwards of +6/+6 on a creature dying. But even then, I feel the kitchen table is where this will stay. (Still...the potential is nice. ;)  )

2) Alright, bear with me as this is a foreign-language preview. But I'll post the translation below the picture. This is the 2nd Werewolf "lord" for Innistrad block. But this one doesn't require a Transform. In fact, the name is indicative of how much help he can be to your Double-Faced Werewolves.

Presenting...Everwolf! (NOTE: Name may change once the English version is known.)

The translation (also from MTGSalvation):

Creature - Wolf
Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)
Other Wolf and Werewolf creatures you control get +1/+1.
Werewolf creatures you control that aren't Humans can't transform.

Nice! This gives Werewolves "lords" (creatures that give +1/+1 to others of their type) a bit of a mana curve at 2 mana (Mayor of Avabruck//Howlpack Alpha) and 3 mana (Everwolf). And it helps your transformed Werewolves stay transformed too! So if you combine this with Howlpack Alpha, you've got a 3/3 Intimidator and you're making 4/4 Wolf tokens every end of your turn.

Not...too...shabby. :)

Will this allow Werewolves to gain some strength? I think so. Two "lord" effects at some low mana costs and the ability to keep Werewolves like Holwpack Alpha, Wildblood Pack, and Terror of Kruin Pass in their transformed states can really help you out. Not to mention the pseudo-Fog Moonmist provides your Werewolves so they can deal combat damage but not take it and...yeah, I'd be surprised if Werewolves are never attempted at an SCG.

3) Who doesn't love getting +2/+2 on all your creatures, eh? Well...if you want it, a new ability word will give it to you.

Introducing...Thraben Doomsayer and the Fateful Hour ability word!

This will be nice in a token deck. A recurable 1/1 creature is nice, and it works well with the Pre-Release card in helping to ensure you have a steady stream of Humans to sacrifice.

What's especially interesting about Thraben Doomasyer, though, is the new Fateful Hour ability word.

Fateful Hour creates or replaces abilities and effects on cards. Fateful Hour always happens when your life total is 5 or less. Then, you either get additional benefits or replacement effects.

Thraben Doomsayer is an example of getting additional effects at 5 or less life. When you're that low, all your other creatures get +2/+2. So while the Sentry won't be 4/4, your Human tokens you created will be 3/3s late in the game. Or the pre-release promo will be an 11/11 Flying Trampler. If that doesn't win the game, I dont' know what will.

Will Thraben Sentry see play? Oh heck yes! He'll be a kitchen table favorite, and at best he'll see play in G/W Tokens as a constant token creator. Not being Legendary will help you become a token factory with 2 of these and a Parallel Lives. And thanks to Isolated Chapel, I'll bet that Demon pre-release card could see some serious play as a 1- or 2-of. (At least, I hope. I want that card to be sooooo good because it has the potential to be soooo powerful!)

There are other Fateful Hour preview cards out. I'll preview a few of those before the set releases.

And finally!!!...
4) It was obvious by the ads for Dark Ascension that at some point we'd get a new Sorin. You don't advertise a Planeswalker character without having a Planeswalker card to go with it.

We got our answer yesterday...in the form of Sorin, Lord of Innistrad!

 WHEW!!!! Let's break this bad boy down!

+1: 1/1 Vampire with Lifelink!? Sweet! I can make chump blockers that gain me life. That can only HELP Sorin. :)

-2: Permanent +1/+0? Heck yes! Nothing you can do to that emblem once it's made. And if you can hold out long enough, guess what? Emblems (as best as I remember) aren't Legendary. So if you can afford at least one turn to make a 1/1 token, you can use up Sorin to get a permanent +2/+0. With some good fliers or even mediocre attackers, that's a huge permanent bonus!

-6: Alright, let me get this straight...all your base are belong to us!? Oh heck yes! "Only" getting 3 permanents may be horrible, but if you can get your opponent's best stuff it can be downright brutal.

I'll bet we'll see him being used. Maybe not as heavily as, say, Elspeth Tirel or any of the Garruks, but with the ability to give a permanent Battle Cry and make Lifelinking tokens, it's kind of hard to ignore. Plus, with all the "dual" lands in Scars of Mirrodin and Innistrad combined, I wouldn't doubt seeing a Parallel Lives deck splashing some Isolated Chapels to run him.

Of course, also remember this comes from a non-competitive player so take this advice for what you will. lol.

That's all I have time for today. We'll be continuing our Innistrad League Saturday! Come down and join us, play some non-League games if you're not in it or (unfortunately) can't get in it. We welcome all kinds of players! :)

Also feel free to leave comments on any of these preview recaps and start a discussion on what cards will and won't see major play. :)

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