The entire M13 core-set has been officially spoiled. Not only is the set full of some incredibly fun and powerful reprints but a ton of new exciting cards as well. In lieu of discussing that last batch of spoilers for the set I wanted to instead talk about some the new cards that I am most excited about and that I believe to be the best of the set.
Perhaps the very best out of the set (or at least the most expensive) is the new 3 drop planeswalker. While blue might have gotten a little gipped this time around due to it to being overly powerful, cards like Ajani, Caller of the Pride might just be powerful enough to give Delver quite a bit more momentum. Ajani is not only going to be a hit in Standard and Modern but could very well make its way into some competitive Legacy builds. Ajani maintains the paradigm that all 3 drop planeswalkers are awesome.
Thragtusk is ridiculous. This is a card that provides you with so much value that you have to run it. For five mana you are provided eight power distributed across two bodies in addition to five life. If you blink him with a Restoration Angel or Cloudshift, or even simply play a second one that you will be so far ahead it will be difficult for you to lose. While you aren’t provided as much power as you would be with a Wolfir Silverheart you are given a comparatively large amount of life on top of being semi removal resistant due to the 3/3 beast it leaves behind after death. Definitely one most powerful cards of the set that will be showing up in any and every deck running green.
M13 debuts the first cycle of legendary creatures in a core-set since Tenth Edition and boy are those four drops spicy! Talrand is one of my favorites in quite some time and I so badly want to make an EDH deck with him as the commander. Talrand is fantastic because he is just so synergistic with everything blue does best. You could run 7 creatures (4 Delver and 3 Talrand) and still have a blue aggro deck simply because of all of your other spells. He turns all of your draw spells, cantrips, counters and bounce spells into flying threats. Perhaps he is less powerful than I originally thought he would be but he is still nonetheless still very powerful. Keep your eye out for this Merfolk.
Out of the legendary cycle green got a pretty feisty creature as well. Yeva, Nature’s Herald is essentially a green Teferi. While it might not have all of the pros that make Teferi fantastic Yeva is at the very least is a 4/4 with flash for four and at her best she is one of the best green lords out there. While at first glance her ability might seem somewhat restrictive it really isn’t. In a format where green is one of the most predominant colors, Yeva really gives green an extra edge on top of being a decent sized body on top of it all.
While white’s entry in the cycle, Odric, might be lacking it more than makes up for it with this mythic four drop. Imagine playing even one creature a turn until turn four where you drop this angel. Now even one of those creatures is going to swinging for four more than usual. Unles ofcourse you drop a Silverblade Paladin or Mirran Crusader at which point you are swinging in for a ridiculous amount. I don’t think this is a card I need to sell. This one is just an all around all star. Also on a last note, if you attack with just a Geist of Saint Traft he still gets the exalted bonus in addition to the angel. Just fyi.
The next on the list is really by all technical purposes a reprint but officially it isn’t. Master of the Pearl Trident might not have a giant impact on Standard but every other format just got Lord of Atlantis 5-8. The Lord is one of the best cards in merfolk decks so giving them four more copies of it is ridiculous. You can bet that he is going to be showing up in absolutely every merfolk deck out there.
Omniscience like the last one is a card which might not do a ton in Type 2 but in a larger format is going to blow things up. This card paired with Show and Tell, Eldrazi and other big reanimation targets allow players to cheat these cards into play and still get the triggered “When you cast this card” affect. ‘Your spells are free’ is too magnificent of an ability to get ignored regardless of how expensive it is. You can actually check out a Legacy deck list already abusing this card and winning tournaments here!
A 1/1 for one is whatever. A 1/1 for one with a keyword ability is cool. A 1/1 for one with a keyword ability that becomes a dragon late game is awesome. For these next few months when M12 is still in Standard are going to lead to some ridiculously powerful illusion decks running Thought Scours and Jace’s Phantasms. Jace’s Phantasms gives these decks even more early pressure that flies, gets pumped by a Lord of the Unreal and becomes even more powerful late game. This very well could be the card that pushes illusions down into Legacy to be paired with Illusory Angel. Illusions are powerful and Jace’s Phantasm only continues to demonstrate that.
I don’t care what the ability is, a 3/3 with flying for one is going to be a good card. Slumbering Dragon is not only a fantastic piece of sideboard tech against creature based decks but is good enough to start its own archetype. I so badly want to build a RG mix with this bad boy and some of Innistrads distribute counter spells to quickly get this dragon into the red zone. This is a good card and I can’t wait to see it broken. Be sure to watch out for this bugger.
The last card on this list is another dragon, Thundermaw Hellkite. Wow this card is sweet. Whenever you play this creature there is going to be a very solid chance that you are going to be looking at a ton of dead spirits and a couple dead BOPs right before bashing your opponent for five. OR your opponent isn’t going to have any flyers and they are simply just going to take five. See the beauty of this card is that he is cheap, powerful, and fast and top of all of that he has a great offensive and destructive ability. In core-sets and most sets in general we are used to seeing a very Timmy-esque mythic dragon that never sees any competitive play. That pattern end with Thundermaw Hellkite.
So out of all of the new cards printed in M13 these are the ones I believe are the most powerful and are the most likely to be abused and played. There are several exciting reprints returning to the set, some more recent than others but all are going to have a heavy impact on the Standard environment. Here are the five best reprints in M13 according to Marshal.
Garruk, Primal Hunter
All in all M13 is a great set. It adjusts and expands the competitive scene while introducing and reintroducing some of the most fun cards in Magic history back to the game. I am very excited to be playing this set and I am pretty sure this is going to be a blast to draft.
So what cards are all of you most excited about from this set? What’s your favorite new legendary creature? Who is better the new Ajani or the new Liliana? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!