Earlier today another large batch of M13 spoilers popped up. While the majority are common and uncommon reprints there are still a handful of exciting cards in the bunch. Two commons in particular that I am excited to see returning to the Standard card pool are Duress and Sign in Blood. While both are core-set staples, neither showed up in M12 and with black archetypes such as zombies and soon vampires both of these cards will be quite relevant and we will surely see them both on the tournament scene.
Speaking of vampires, in my last article I mentioned being unsure about the return of vampires but another vampire was recently announced for reprint, one that almost assuredly means that they are going to be a threat: Vampire Nighthawk. For those of you who were playing Type 2 when this bad boy was in rotation knows exactly how powerful he is. Heck I remember seeing several Mono-Black Legacy decks running a play set. This card is incredibly powerful by itself but when you have lords like Nocturnus and the Stromkirk Captain pumping him and giving him first strike he becomes almost unstoppable. I have recently made a UB Delver-Pike Modern build on MTGO running four Nighthawks as finishers and it works pretty dang well. Nighthawk holds a pike incredibly well because of his deathtouch, essentially completely shutting down all non- first striking or double striking threats. The fact that he nets you ridiculous amounts of life isn’t too shabby either. I definitely see this guys showing up in non-vamp builds such as any Mono-Black non-tribal build and most definitely in some UB Delver lists. I honestly thought this mini Wurmcoil with wings was too powerful to reprint but I am pretty stoked to see I was wrong.
The last black card I wanted to mention is one with an incredibly clever name.
|Destroy target creature.|
Murder, while costing a bit more than somebody wants to pay for creature removal lets you kill near anything on the board which might make up for the spendy casting cost. This might be too expensive for those black aggro decks which spend the majority of their mana each turn but it might be pretty powerful in UB Control or Solar Flare decks.
Green is also seeing some fun reprints such as Elvish Visionary, Farseek, as well as Acidic Slime who is back once again but on top of these classics are some zesty new ones. The one that has really caught my attention doesn’t actually have a title yet but MTG Salvation has dubbed Epic Ramp Spell.
|Search your library for X basic land cards, where X is the number of lands you control, and put them onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.|
With the strong likelihood of not seeing the titans reprinted green is going to need a strong ramp spell to replace Primeval Titan. While it might not be able to grab non-basic lands it grabs pretty much every last basic land you have. MTG Salvation says it will cost 6G which is incredible but the picture to me looks a bit more like 8G. The source that reported the card says the CMC is 7 so I am crossing my fingers it is because at seven this card is awesome but at 9 it would cost a little too much.
Red hasn’t had anything too exciting announced for it recently and white neither with the exception of the one mythic that has been revealed so far.
Serra Avatar, now this is a fun card. In all honesty it is simply a big creature but it is one with style and the fact that it is a throwback to Urza makes up for it. With all the life gain that is available in the format there could be some fun life gain builds that show up. Also with Fling available in Standard I would die a happy man if I got to see some fling this Johnny card in someone’s face for the win.
The one card I am the most excited about that has been spoiled so far is hands down Talrand, Sky Summoner.
|Legendary Creature – Merfolk Wizard|
|Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, put a 2/2 blue Drake creature token with flying onto the battlefield.|
Wow. This card is one I can get 100% behind. If you thought Delver made for ridiculous blue aggro decks this guy just tops it off. Delver builds just got an incredible finisher. In Standard this card is going to be a beast, especially in the following few months when Phyrexian mana free spells and Ponders are still in rotation. If we see Ponder or Preordain or some other cantrip this will for sure be seeing competitive play. While he might not be powerful enough to make it into Eternal formats he very well might be in Modern with Lightning Bolts, Path to Exiles and other powerful one drops available. The place where Talrand is really going to shine though is in Commander. I can see the decks now; Mono blue builds with ridiculous amounts of cantrips, cheap bounce spells, and counters for days. Talrand is so amazing because he lets blue do everything it does best while rewarding you a flying army of 2/2s. He will transform your slow blue control builds into fast acting aggro builds without ever sacrificing the control aspects of the deck. Your counterspells are now accompanied by a flying army that rivals most aggro builds. On top of being the perfect blue General he is also both a wizard and a merfolk, arguably the most powerful tribes in the color. This means that you can run all of your favorite tribal shenanigans in your Talrand EDH deck or he will find a perfect place in your wizard or merfolk commander decks instead. This one of the cards I have been the most excited about in some time and I am incredibly excited to see what happens with him.
That pretty much wraps up the rest of the notable spoilers for now. Still no word from the black or white planeswalkers yet but the presence of Serra Avatar bodes poorly for Ajani since his ultimate essentially makes an Avatar once again supporting the reappearance of Gideon. For the whole spoiler check out MTGsalvation.com!
So what do you guys think about the core-set so far? What are some of your favorites? Do you guys love Talrand as much as I do? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or email us at askpowercords @gmail.com! Also for any of you interested this is my budget UB Delver list here, and you all should definitely hit me up on Magic Online. My username is SpacemanMars