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Explore this!

January 22, 2010

The spoilers for Worldwake are continuing and one of the recently spoiled cards that I find very interesting is this card, spoiled by Mike Turian himself:


Pretty nice common, huh? Simple, straightforward and very fitting for the block flavour. I think this card is so beautifully designed considering how Zendikar and Worldwake plays out. But the question is how good is this card for real play?

In limited you will most likely always play this card. Considering that it ramps you, allows you to trigger landfall multiple times during your turn and in worst case scenario it’s 1G, Draw a card. Seems solid. But green as a color is kinda iffy in Zendikar and Explore is not going to turn that color around. Maybe green in Worldwake as some other gems that can help green as a color in limited…

Then we have constructed where things gets interesting. You could compare it with Rampant Growth (Coiling Oracle is probably better but we don’t have anything like that in Standard). Comparing Explore and Rampant Growth shows some similarity but also some key differences:

What they have in common:

  • They both ramp you mana. (Or at least they both have the potential to do it.)
  • They both uses up 1 card from your hand for the extra land you get into play. While you have to lay a land from your hand into play with Explore, you get to draw a card aswell.

What they don’t have in common:

  • Rampant Growth is much more consistent. You always get a land in play when you play it. This fact makes Rampant Growth a better early game card. Consider this. In an abstract, which hand would you rather keep: 2 lands and a Rampant Growth or 2 lands and an Explore?
  • Explore work very nicely with special lands, like the new manlands, the tri-lands from Shard of Alara or the Ravnica karoos.
  • Rampant Growth have the downside of being very redundant when you have the lands you want in play. If you are playing for example the ramp version of Jund, once you hit 6 lands Rampant Growth is not a card you either want to draw or cascade into. Explore is the very least a cantrip in the late game, which is much more appreciated, right?

Explore is a very neat card, the kind of card I would love to play. But how much influence it will have in constructed is yet to decide. Explore is certainly not a “flagship-card” that will start of a new archetype or anything, if you know what I mean. It might get some love in Scapeshift decks in Extended but I doubt it. The 1/1 body of Coiling Oracle is just too good. I got my fingers crossed for Standard however :).

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 23, 2010 21:03

    Totally agree with you – the design is beautiful and I too think it could see play in constructed. I will at least try building decks with it 🙂

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