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Back with Conflux!

February 5, 2009

Hello everybody, it’s has been a while, hasn’t it? School has been taking a lot of my time lately, so I haven’t got to focus as much as I like on Magic. However, now I’m back with some thoughts about the new set Conflux!

I was planning to attend to the prerelease, but I got sick just before the weekend and had to stay home in bed. That sucked, but I have reviewed the set a bit for myself and here are some thoughts about some of the cards in the set for constructed.

The card that has gotten the most buzz around the web (with good reason) is Path to Exile. This new variation on the beloved Swords to Plowshare seems to be the front runner of the set. The card is obviously very good and many people around the web has been raising it to the skies. Some people has gone so far that they say Path to Exile is even better than Sword to Plowshare. My take on the card is that is clearly very good, but it has it’s flaws. In the bigger formats, the free Rampant Growth is almost always negligible. However in Standard (and sooner in block season) it is not. If the control deck is using PtE on a turn 1 Figure (for example), that is just going to mean that turn 3 Ranger of Eos or turn 4 Cloudgoat Ranger is going to happen. In that case Condemn is much better in my opinion. But the card is on the other hand often better on the aggro side. Take for example Kithkin. On turn 1-3 the deck is intended to deploy some creature. It’s not usually until turn 4 you might want to get rid of a blocker or so. And ramping your opponent from 3/4 to 4/5 is not that big of a deal compared with 1/2 to 2/3. Once they have Wrath mana, you don’t care (usually) if you give your opponent a Rampant Growth.

To summarize this, Path to Exile is a great card that will see a lot of play. However, in Standard, were cards such as Dark Confidant, Meloku (i.e. creatures that it’s mere presence on the table is threatening) doesn’t exists, Condemn might be a better card for the control decks.

The other gem from Conflux that I want to talk about is Banefire.

When I saw this card for the first time, I was like “Whoa, and I thought Demonfire was good!”. Demonfire was top-level card last time it was legal in Standard, and this card just strikes me as better. Reaching 6 mana is normally easier (and better) than achieving hellbent. In a vacuum, this card is amazing (which I know I’m certainly not the only one to think), however how (or if) will it be implemented in say, Standard? The red decks (a no-brainer) will certainly embrace this card as a finisher and it could be a nice sideboard card for the Boat Brew decks. I don’t think it is an obvious card you just put into your existing deck today (i.e. putting it under Windbrisk Heights for example is not that nice) right now, I think the current decks need to modify a bit to really embrace the power of this card. Can’t be countered or be prevented by Burrenton Forge-Tender. Amazing.

That was the 2 cards I had some further input on, but the cards that get me excited in Conflux doesn’t stop there. Noble Hierarch, Celestial Purge, Mark of Asylum, Lapse of Certainty, Maelstorm Archangel, the pro color-bear-cycle and more seems really interesting and I think those cards will have an impact on Standard (and the other formats). Another thing I like is the power level of white seems (relatively) high for this set, which is nice. It’s about time that white gets some real input into constructed.

So far Conflux gets the thumbs up from me, and with that this session is unfortunately over. Until next time…

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