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Conflux brings us the epitome of unplayable: Progenitus

January 17, 2009

Coming in at a casting cost of (W)(W)(U)(U)(B)(B)(R)(R)(G)(G) we have Progenitus. He is a Legendary, 10/10, Hydra. This is the part that makes him an interesting creature: “Protection from Everything” as well as Darksteel’s whole ‘shuffle me back into your library if I go into the graveyard for any reason’ deal.

Everyone realizes Dramatic Entrance is a viable way to cheat this Mythic rare into play, but other than that. 10 casting cost? I really am losing faith in this nearly childish approach to Mythic rares. It is like they are using the Mythic rarity to just print those creatures and spells that they have always wanted to make. Protection from Everything is a bit of a Timmy ability, and I don’t understand why they didn’t add “This spell can’t be countered by spells or abilities”. So if you plan on casting this puppy the old fashioned way, I would suggest inviting, Vexing Shusher or a simple counterspell will send this creature back into your library.

So, “Protection from Everything”, sounds pretty crazy. What does it mean for us? It can’t be blocked by any creature, targeted by any spell or ability what-so-ever, enchanted by anything or damaged by any source that can be prevented. You can deal with it with some kind of wrath effect of course. Unfortunately he doesn’t have protection from world effects. “No, no. See it says ‘Protection from Everything'”! Sorry, Timmy, that Martial Coup will destroy your silly Hydra and send it crying back into your 85 card deck, and no I will not help you shuffle it.

Also, it feels like Keeper of Progenitus should have been doubling the mana for all land types in order to cast this sleeping monster. Or at least see the ten casting cost in just Naya color like (W)(W)(W)(G)(G)(G)(G)(R)(R)(R). 

EDIT: I have thought of a great way for a turn 4, Progenitus. Turn one Birds of Paradise/Llanowar Elves or the new Noble Heirarch. Turn two Prismatic Omen and another Bird/Elves drop. Turn three Keeper of Progenitus. With your lands producing double of any color due to the synergy between the Keeper and the Omen, each land is a Forest, Plains and Mountain at the same time, as well as an Island and a Swamp, therefore you can tap them for double of any color. Turn 4 you tap out and cast Progenitus. Another option is also Hellkite Overlord.

confluxteaserartWe all remember this guy. His name is Apocalypse Hydra. He is a bit more playable than his big brother. A casting cost of (X)(R)(G), a 0/0, and he comes into play with X +1/+1 counters on him. If X was 5 or greater, he comes into play with double the amount +1/+1 counters on him instead. Also, 1(R): remove a +1/+1 counter from Apocalypse Hydra to deal 1 damage to target creature or player. So for 7 mana, 5 of it can be any color, a 10/10 that can deal some cool ping damage. I kind of like it. Kind of wish it had devour incorporated to get even more counters, but this is a Naya based Hydra, not Jund. Shame. Either way, Apocalypse Hydra is only good if you pay 7 for him. Imagine if you could only pay 6 mana to cast him. You get a 4/4 hydra that can’t afford to remove any +1/+1 counters. Gilder Bairn is that you?

Last little spoiler I want to share with you today is Thornling. My friends and I are enjoying the thought of this guy. A green Morphling, no way! His abilities are pretty damn cool. Although he doesn’t have an untap ability like the other Morphling-esque creatures, he is sweet in his own respect at a casting cost of 3(G)(G).

(G): Gains haste until end of turn.

(G): Gains trample until end of turn.

(G): Is indestructible until end of turn.

(1): +1/-1

(1):-1/+1

At a power and toughness of 4/4, he can last longer than the others in combat. 7/1 Indestructible Trampler. Neat. Excited to see the art on this guy because they are consistently putting out phenomenal artwork for this set. 

I was glad to see the great discussion that, Norm over at Casual Magic, set up after reading my article on the spoiling of the title track for the set and the disappointment surrounding the Mythic rarity. It pretty much got a response that there are many magic players just reading Mythic rares and then sitting there with their heads shaking back and forth in disappointment. Was Rafiq the only non-Planeswalker, Mythic, that is actually cool and playable? It seems like this just might be the case. I am also hoping this all changes when they eventually spoil Mirror-Sigil Sergeant. I love those Rhinos.

I know you have thoughts on all of this, so let others hear it and drop a comment.

Bon Voyage,

Dillon

Conflux Minisite + Full Nicol Bolas Info

January 14, 2009

I am really impressed by the sheer beauty of everything that is Conflux. Every card looks great, every banner on the minisite looks very promising. I can see many great playmats coming out of this latest installment in the Magic universe. 

dragonsoulknighthellkite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be checking the spoiler site twice a day as well as checking the official articles as they start off the spoiler season on Monday. 

Also, all of Nicol Bolas’ abilities have been spoiled.

4(R)(B)(B)(U), with 5 loyalty counters.

+3: destroy target non-creature permanent

-2: gain control of target creature (does not end at end of turn)

-9: Nicol Bolas, planeswalker deals 7 damage to target player, they discard seven cards and sacrifice seven permanents.

Pretty intense final ability. How unfortunate the R&D department had to make up for his power in his casting cost. 8? Wow. Maybe there will be a herald for him. 

Bon Voyage,

Dillon

Continuous Conflux

January 10, 2009

We have pictures here of some french Conflux cards. I must say, the art is getting better with time. 

grixiszombiecounterThis is Sedraxis Alchemist and Countersquall. Sedraxis Alchemist bounces a non-land permanent to it’s owner’s hand when he comes into play, but only if you control a blue permanent.

Countersquall is definitely something I will be looking forward to. It counters a non-creature spell, and it’s controller loses 2 life. An overwhelming Negate. Counter that Bitterblossom, Ajani Vengeant, or Cryptic Command that has dreams of ruining your day.

thronefusionHere we have Sigil of the Empty Throne and Fusion Elemental. Sigil of the Empty Throne is an enchantment that puts out a 4/4 flying Angel token whenever you play an enchantment spell. The orb of insight has 12 hits for the keyword “enchantment” and 6 hits for the keyword “aura”. I am just so glad that this isn’t somehow triggered by artifacts. The R&D department always makes artifacts so synergistic, I am happy this is for enchantments. Also I am excited to see the Angel tokens made for this card. Unfortunately there was a hit of zero for “Guay” on the orb of insight. Looks like we won’t be seeing anything by phenomenal artist Rebecca Guay in this latest installation of the Shards of Alara block either.

Fusion Elemental is an expected creature. Nothing too ground breaking here. No abilities to say of is kind of annoying as I could see a little bit of trample and vigilance there, but that is asking too much for bringing 5 different colors together I guess. Tsk, Tsk Conflux. Reward the player a little more for breaking their butt to get all of these colors. 

The orb of insight has a hit of 1 for “WWUUBBRRGG” which is more than likely “Child of Alara”. Something that is confusing me is the hit of 3 after typing in “Planeswalker”. I understand Nicol Bolas, but what else? We shall see. Perhaps something that adds or subtracts 3 loyalty counters from target Planeswalker? It will be interesting to see where they go.

malfegorprereleaseNow look at this beautiful prerelease card you all will be obtaining on the 31st of January. It is the legendary dragon demon,  Malfegor. This is also the alternate art version, like prerelease cards usually are.

When he comes into play, discard your hand. Each opponent sacrifices a creature for each card discarded this way. A solid 6/6 flier for 6 mana. Nice work with unearth. Fill your graveyard up with creatures and make your opponents sacrifice all of theirs. Also that big chin of his makes him look like Jay Leno.

picture-11What card are you the most excited for out of all the Conflux cards you have seen so far?

Bon voyage,

Dillon

More Conflux Previews

January 8, 2009

A wizard is well rewarded for being able to bring together all 5 colors of mana for a spell. Rewards such as a Legacy Weapon. Also a Coalition Victory is usually in sight for this special breed of mage, to signify the sheer power that have congregated in front of them. But something has happened to this legendary task in Conflux, it lost its razors edge. The title track for the set goes something like this: ‘3(W)(U)(B)(R)(G): search your library for a white card, a blue card, a black card, a red card and a green card and put them into your hand.’

Do you feel like you just won the game? Do you feel like you just removed any single permanent from the game? No. You just got five cards out of your deck. Each a different color. You didn’t play them for free, you just put them into your hand. For 8 mana. To top it off, that is a Mythic Rare. Imagine pulling that at the pre-release. I can assure you my eyes would tear up a little bit.

How about this: Worldheart Pheonix. 3(R) 2/2 Flying. You can play Worldheart Pheonix from your graveyard for (W)(U)(B)(R)(G) without paying its mana cost, if you do, it comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it.

Want to pay one of each color for a 4/4 Flying, Pheonix. All I have to say is, the picture better be pretty damn amazing so I will have some incentive to even look at it without getting upset as it sits in the rare position of my booster pack.

I hope Conflux isn’t to Shards of Alara like Eventide was to Shadowmoor. Horrible by comparison.

Conflux preview + fresh look at Doran

January 6, 2009

I have been following the Conflux spoiler pretty closely and with much disappointment. There are only two cards thus far that have actually made me excited: Path to Exile and Noble Hierarch.

Firstly, Swords to Plowshares is probably one of, if not the greatest creature removal card ever printed and it will always have a special place in my heart. In Conflux comes a card that is a Jedi apprentice to Swords to Plowshares: Path to Exile. its converted casting cost is just (W) and it reads “Remove target creature from the game. It’s controller may search his or her library for a basic land card, put it into play tapped, then shuffle their library.” The strength of this card is on par with Swords, but like most cards that come from the shadow of another, it is never quite as good. There is something that Path to Exile has that Swords only wishes it had and that is it will be sitting comfortably in the Standard scene. 

Here is my prediction of how much this card will shake the Standard metagame. Cards like Stillmoon Cavalier, Voice of All and things with protection from white or that can have protection from white will be sideboarded more often or perhaps even main decked. It is a great way to deal with Kitchen Finks or anything that Reveillark would plan on bringing back. Also the strength of them searching for a ‘basic land’ sometimes is pretty useless for decks like Five-Color Control where nearly all the lands are non-basic and in-turn they will have a couple more basic lands in their mana base. You will see white splashed into more decks. White control could see a comeback because white is also getting a counter spell that places the spell on top of the owner’s library for ‘2(W)’.

Onto the second card that I am excited for. Noble Hierarch is Bant’s personal Birds of Paradise. The Hierarch has a converted casting cost of (G) and  has “tap: add W, U or G to your mana pool” with a power and toughness of 0/1. That by itself is pretty damn respectable. Honestly what makes it 10 times better; It has ‘Exhalted’. Astounding support card in more than just one way. A 2nd turn Rhox War Monk is nothing to take lightly. Perhaps even a 3rd turn Rafiq of the Many that would call for a 5/6 Lifelink, Doublestrike Rhino. Path to Exile anyone? 

Onto my new look at Doran

I have been looking at Stoic Angel for a while without trying to do the whole Angelic Benediction, Cryptic Command or Naya Charm route through tapping their creatures, but just having it’s ability as a world effect without me in jeopardy. So I have been looking at vigilance as a way to get around it. Creatures like Stoic Angel and Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers. Also having Rhox War Monk in there just so I can gain life after the pain lands get me into a good mana situation. But something I have noticed about all of these creatures is that their toughness is a point higher than their power. So I decided that I would like to put Doran into the mix to get some more damage going on. Also, after throwing Doran into the race, I noticed that the drivers are all green and white. Hello, Wilt-Leaf Liege. Counters discard spells just perfectly and gives my creatures +2/+2 a pop.

The mana base now includes white, blue, black and green. That gives us my two favorite charms. Bant Charm and Esper Charm. Gives me access to cool creatures like Shriekmaw, Sower of Temptation and Mulldrifter as well as some nice spells like Negate.

Bon Voyage,

Dillon

Final Shards of Alara Block: ‘Alara Reborn’

October 20, 2008

The final set of Shards of Alara has a name: Alara Reborn. What does that mean for us? Something along the lines of a Fifth Dawn approach I am assuming. First you have Alara split, then you have Conflux where the now shards start to come back together slowly, and now you have all of Alara ‘reborn’ again, into the flourishing plane it once was. 

It will be released on thursday April 30th, and the previews will start on the 13th, with 145 cards in the set.

 

Serious playtime with Shards of Alara

October 15, 2008

Soul’s Fire gave me some serious burns during the prerelease and will probably be giving me some charring relapses this friday when I hold my own booster draft with my friends. What is interesting about Soul’s Fire is the wording. The spell doesn’t actually do the damage, the creature does. So what does that pair well with? Deathtouch. Another part of Soul’s Fire that gives it some great play time is that it can do damage directly to a player. And player it can also mean planeswalker. I have been playing with a deck idea that revolves around a few cool tricks including the one I discovered here through the colors of Grixis. 

With Death Baron giving my Skeletons and Zombies a power boost and deathtouch, I can instantly destroy any creature with Soul’s Fire and beat down my opponent. I also use Fleshbag Marauder in my second mainphase to sacrifice away my easily unearthed Dregscape Zombies and Viscera Draggers (who can also be cycled for great card advantage and unearthable creatures at your command in your graveyard). Bone Splinters can also be devastating when played like a Fleshbag. Kederekt Creeper and Tidehollow Strix can both be used successfully with Soul’s Fire. Also even Quietus Spike could be involved seeing as how it will stay on the field even after the equipped creature vanishes.

After playing game after game with my skeletal invention, two cards were absolutely destroying me; Magma Spray and Jund Charm. Magma Spray would destroy most creatures (mainly my Death Baron) I would play but worst of all it would remove them from the game if it destroyed it. Then Jund Charm could remove my creature filled graveyard from the game. Oh the terror!

I have been playing magic so non-stop I have had nearly no time at all to blog. Through all of the playing though I have been able to make near perfect for their time Bant and Esper decks through some serious trading and lucky snags in booster packs. 

Bon Voyage,

Dillon