M13: The Fun Core-set

A handful of new spoilers have show up for the upcoming core-set, M13. Lately we have been seeing a lot of awesome reprints. Wizards finally reconfirmed that the classic M10 dual lands are showing up in M13 meaning we are going to going into Ravnica with a dual land for every color combination. Having a land for every color is also going to be pretty important when playing this bad boy.

Door to Nothingness, the classic Timmy artifact is making a return with some brand new art. While definitely a fun card I am not exactly sure on how much tournament play it will see. With the loss of Primeval Titan ramp decks have lost a lot of their power and finesse. I am not saying titanless ramp decks aren’t a possibility it just means they will be less effective. But then again based on all of the other ramp spells we have seen in M13 alone is enough to make a ramp into Door strategy plausible. Door to Nothingness is a fun card but we are looking at a Standard environment where there is a possibility that it will works wonders. Only time will tell.

Speaking of awesome artifacts…

God I love this card. This is a card like Door to Nothingness, meaning that they are both incredibly fun but unlike Door it is powerful enough to show up in the competitive scene. I have recently designed a Modern Reanimator Aggro deck running three Akroma, Angel of Wrath as a finisher and let me tell you she is one hell of a finsher. A 6/6 body is pretty good but paired with flying, trample, vigilance, haste, first strike, pro red and pro black is pretty close to perfect. Now imagine all of your tiny humans and tokens with flying, trample, vigilance, haste, first strike, pro red and pro black. Akroma’s Memorial is definitely not the right finisher for every deck but in aggro decks or faster creature based decks the Memorial is right at home. I have messed around with making an Edric Aggro EDH deck and I found that every time the Memorial resolves you win the game. It was a sure enough guarantee that I started running a Treasure Mage simply to another way to fetch it. While it is arguably no Elesh Norn it does do a handful of things that the Praetor cannot. Keep an eye out for this card. It might be just one more reason to keep that Ancient Grudge in the main board after rotation.

Sweet, Delver decks are still a big problem. While most commonly paired with an Aether Vial, Serra Avenger is definitely still a threat without one. I mean I don’t think I really need to try to sell anyone on the power of this card. Two mana for a vigilant 3/3 with wings? This really is perfect for those Delver Tempo lists. Turn one Delver, Turn two and three punch your opponent in the face, turn four play Serra Avenger with Mana Leak counterspell or answer mana up. Serra Avenger is entering a Lightning Boltless Type 2 environment which is the go to answer and the biggest threat to card. Without that classic burn spell to keep it in check, Delver with Avenger is going to reign.

While technically not a reprint, this next one really is a reprint.

Same casting cost, same power and toughness, same type and same exact ability? It’s the same card. Except for it’s not and now we are going to be playing against merfolk decks running eight Lords of Atlantis. I don’t really understand why this card is being printed. Have you ever looked at merfolk and thought, “gee, this tribe could sure use some more lords,”? No one has. We have seen with the Lord of Atlantis that this is a good card. Perhaps WOTC wants merfolk to replace the role that illusions played in the last core-set? It’s not unfeasible with cards like Talrand and Augur of Bolas that we are going to playing less creature oriented merfolk decks and more instant and sorcery ones. That would actually be really cool. Perhaps Wizards has re-made an old and stale card in the urge to push people towards a new take on the archetype? Well played, WOTC.


Enchantment Mythic Rare
You may cast nonland cards from your hand without paying their mana costs.

Now this is a card I have wanted to see for quite some time. ‘Your spells are free” is just way too powerful for my inner Johnny to ignore. While this card might not be great in Standard it is just looking to be abused in Eternal formats and even Modern potentially. While the casting cost is pretty high it is really the ultimate enchantment and can be cheated out with Hypergenesis, Show and Tell, Academy Rectors and Lost Auramancers. This card feels like the new Hive Mind because you don’t win once it played but the second after you play your next spell. Imagine getting this out there and then casting Emrakul and a couple other things. Your opponent goes to counter something and you cast Force of Will for free without paying life or discarding another card. And then your next turn you play Progenitus. This is a card that is potentially powerful enough to squeeze in between Emrakul and Progenitus in Sneak and Show decks. Imagine how much fun it would running Teferi or Jin Gitaxias or really any powerful card with flash with this. At the end of your turn I am going to flash in Teferi and than I am going to flash in my Emrakul. I can’t wait to abuse this card.

I can’t help but think of Smaug when looking at this card

So you know how no one really cared about the green Miracles? That’s about to change. While at a quick glance it appears to be pretty cool piece of side board tech against aggro decks my inner Johnny sees a crazy one drop ready to be broken. So picture this hypothetical for me real fast. Turn one Slumbering Dragon. Turn two or three reveal Revenge of the Fallen and bash your opponent for nine in the air. It’s not just Miracles that do work for Slumbering Dragon either. The Innistrad block gave us several green spells with lots of counter distribution such as Increasing Savagery and Hunger of the Howlpack meaning that there are a handful of spells that rather effectively awaken your dragon. I am thinking about pairing this red green combo with a little blue for Delver and trying out a Standard take on the always fun RUG variant. Slumbering Dragon is definitely going to be a fun card with great flavor as well as one that is powerful enough to see some play. Also did I mention it’s a 3/3 flyer for one?!

Thundermaw Hellkite 

Creature – Dragon Mythic Rare
When Thundermaw Hellkite enters the battlefield, it deals 1 damage to each creature with flying your opponents control. Tap those creatures.

This is another red dragon that is going to be pretty fantastic against anything spirits or tokens. So right off the bat I want to point out that he is a hasty flying 5/5 dragon for five. While the body is standard size for dragons haste is usually only seen on spendier dragons or more vanilla ones making this powerful dragon fast and cheap on top of effective. This is going to be a ridiculous finisher not only for RDW but also for RG Aggro and definitely even some Naya builds. Not only does it shut down your opponent’s field for a turn but it is going to be swinging in for five damage the turn it hits play. Not only that but it also opens the field up for all of your other attackers. While it might not do a whole lot after that first turn it is still going to be a flying 5/5 whom your opponent is not going to want to Vapor Snag. Definitely a sweet card and a powerful finisher which might even see some play in Modern.

Earlier this week a 0/1 goat token got spoiled and there was a lot of rumors of Springjack Pasture getting reprinted but it looks like we got something even more fun.

Trading Post 

Artifact Rare
1{T}, Discard a card: You gain 4 life.
1{T}, Pay 1 life: Put a 0/1 white Goat creature token onto the battlefield.
1{T}, Sacrifice a creature: Return target artifact card from your graveyard to your hand.
1{T}, Sacrifice an artifact: Draw a card.
Illus. Adam Paquette #220/249

While definitely not a blaringly good card it is one that when used correctly could provide some good results for players. The only deck I can see really being able to abuse this card are Control decks that run a decent balance of artifacts and creatures to get maximum value out of this card. It will definitely be powerful in these few months before rotation while Wurmcoil Engine is still the go to finisher due to him being able to fill either role of the last two abilities. Imagine having this on the field and simply recycling your Wurmcoil tokens to re-buy the same Wurmcoil and cast it again and again. I know I keep saying this but this card is going to be really fun to play with but also could potentially an awesome toolbox.

The last card I wanted to mention is one which is alright but might imply something more exciting.

Hellion Crucible 

Land Rare
{T}: Add 1 to your mana pool.
1{R}{T}: Put a pressure counter on Hellion Crucible.
1{R}{T}, Remove two pressure counters from Hellion Crucible and sacrifice it: Put a 4/4 red Hellion creature token with haste onto the battlefield.
Illus. Trevor Claxton #226/249

Hellion Crucible is an alright card which might give RDW a little bit more steam. I am always a sucker for mechanical lands like these but thing about this card that I like the most is that it probably means we are going to see a mechanical land for the other colors as well.

M13 looks is doing a great job building a core-set with a lot of flavor, power, and fun. They are giving players cards that have been awesome in past as well as making new cards which are going to be just as fun. This is definitely the most excited I have been for a core-set ever.

So with only fifty or so more cards to reveal how are you guys feeling about M13? Do you love it or hate it? Do you think we are going to be seeing a mechanical land cycle? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!



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