M13 Spoilers: Graveyards Beware

Since my last review of the M13 spoiler a few spicy cards have shown up. Out of these exciting additions to the spoiler there are a few exciting reprints but the majority are brand new cards such as Rhox Faithmender.

To be completely honest this card is definitely not going to be an all star on the competitive scene. Perhaps if the format had some of the cards that makes Soul Sisters such a strong archetype in Modern this guy might shine some, but in Type 2 there just isn’t enough life gain to make this guy worth playing. That being said, Rhox Faithmender is going to be an incredibly fun card. While it might not be very effective, you could definitely make a really fun mono white life gain control deck with Serra Avatars as the finisher. Faithmender is really going to be fantastic in all casual formats, Commander in particular. The double life gain is just too fantastic to exclude him from that EDH mono white life gain build.

While Rhox Faithmender might not be powerful to make it into competive play Jace’s Phantasm very well might make the cut.

Jace’s Phantasm 

u
Creature – Illusion Uncommon
Flying
Jace’s Phantasm gets +4/+4 as long as an opponent has ten or more cards in his or her graveyard.
1/1

This card is just waiting to be abused. Illusions is a powerful archetype because it is a fast paced aggro deck with lords that give your dudes Hexproof, arguably the most powerful keyword ability. Illusions one weakness was that it wasn’t particularly powerful in the long game or if you didn’t have a Lord of the Unreal of the field your guys were toast. Jace’s Phantasm is a one drop illusion that leaves you mana up for counter spells, it doesn’t die once it is targeted and if it is played late game it’s a flying 5/5. So far we haven’t seen any of the other powerful illusions being reprinted yet so at the moment it looks like it will only get a couple months to really shine before rotation but it is definitely powerful enough to make illusions become something to fear in Modern especially with Thought Scour available to draw you a card and speed up the process. One of the most exciting cards released in Planechase 2012 was Illusory Angel who is unfortunately only legal in eternal formats but with the addition of Jace’s Phantasm we might even be seeing some Illusion action in Legacy.

Everyone knows flash is pretty awesome so seeing a faux Teferi for mono green is pretty exciting. While she might not be nearly as powerful as Teferi she is a tad bit stronger and a little cheaper which still might not necessarily make up for the more restrictive ability. But now that Thrun is rotating out Yeva might be the perfect replacement as far as green 4 drops goes. It definitely isn’t as powerful as Thrun but in a format where Mono Green is a viable deck Yeva might be worth including. Another exciting thing that Yeva means for M13 is that we are probably going to be seeing a cycle of legendary four drops. As Mark Rosewater has mentioned on several occasions players want cycles to be completed and it creates dissonance when they aren’t and Yeva is now the second four drop legendary creature after Talrand so there is a pretty solid chance we will see one for the other colors. I hope that Nefarox doesn’t count as the black one though. Both Talrand and Yeva are pretty powerful and exciting and I don’t feel like Nefarox is on the same power level.

The last two cards I wanted to mention are actually both artifacts. One’s a new one and the other is a reprint. First off, the reprint.

Tormod’s Crypt. In a Standard format where graveyard hate is as important as ever it is only fitting we get one of the best answers to graveyards printed to date. In Eternal formats where Dredge and Reanimater are both common and powerful archetypes players turn to one of three cards: Leyline of the Void, Relic of Progenitus, and Tormod’s Crypt. If it’s powerful enough to stop Dredge it is definitely strong enough to stop a few zombies. While it might not be nearly as powerful as Relic, being able to completely shut down decks such as Solar Flare, French Rites, and Pike builds, for zero mana means this very well might be replacing Grafdigger’s Cage in all Standard sideboards.

The last card I wanted to talk about might not be nearly as exciting as the others but it is decent in control builds and the name is something I smile at every time: Rod of Nin.

~Rod of Nin 

6
Artifact Rare
At the beginning of your upkeep, draw a card.
{T}: ~Rod of Nin deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

While it might very well be a translation error I still got quite a few chuckles out a this new artifact that WOTC felt appropriate to dub Nin Rod. While it might cost a couple more than someone would want to spend on a card such as this it really could be pretty amazing in the right match up. The only place this card is really going to see any action is in control decks and this could definitely be some powerful sideboard tech against white weenie decks or really anything with lots of tiny dudes. In addition to being able snipe your opponents creatures the fact that it draws you an extra card makes this Nin Rod a card worth noting.

So that’s it as far as exciting cards spoiled goes. At this point we are really only looking at less than half the entire set so far so we can be sure expect quite a few awesome cards to show up. Be sure to check out the whole spoiler over at MTGsalvation.com.

So what do you guys think about the core-set so far? What cards are you most excited about? Are you looking forward to using Tormod’s Crypt on someone or are you more worried about someone Crypting you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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