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In the awe of Magic 2011

July 9, 2010

Today I will be scouring the spoilers for Magic 2011 a bit and giving my this and that’s on some of the new cards. If you don’t want to be anywhere near spoiler, you should stop reading this entry right about now.

(If you haven’t got ahold of the spoilers yet and want to, just google it. It’s not that hard to find.)

Before I start with the individual cards I just want to say wow, what a core set! I have been watching the spoilers as more and more of the set as been leaked the last few weeks like everyone else. And I got to say Wizards sure know how to keep us excited. Without further ado, let’s go!

Spreading like a Wildfire, baby!

Magic 2011 introduces a new cycle of exciting Mythic Rares, the Titans. This cycle seems like will be a insta-hit. People all around have been pretty excited about these. Sun Titan is the one that probably hs the highest potential in my book, but the Grave Titan and Primeval Titan looks more solidly good. Thought, even if the red and blue one are a little worse than the others I wouldn’t be surprised to see all of them see play in constructed at some point. Particular the blue one are people underrating. The Icy Manipulator-effect is better than it look on paper (which I had to learn the hard way through Ajani Vengeant) and the semi-shroud ability to. Off the top of my head Frost Titan seems to be a perfect fit into a deck with Destructive Force.

Speaking off Destructive Force, we have a new Wildfire in Standard! That is pretty exciting and fresh since we haven’t had this kind of effect since the summer of 2007. Destructive Force might not be good enough in the end but it’s certainly cool to have this kind of game changing effect again in Standard. At least it’s mere presence will keep players honest with deck building and what nod.

Magic2011 also reintroduced the Leylines that we saw from Ravnica. Only the black one got reprinted (which to be honest was the only good one) so that means we have 4 new ones. And they seems all at least remotely playable (except the green one that I don’t understand the thought process behind) but they will for the most part be sideboard material. Time to time very good sideboard material but in the end just sideboard material.

Two cards that I’m quite excited about are two colorless cards, Brittle Effigy and Mystifing Maze. For starters they are total ballers in limited and you can first pick either one of them in a heartbeat in drafts. But these are also gems for constructed. Neither are particularly cost-effective so to say but they are incredibly versatile. Brittle Effigy gives decks like Eldrazi Green a good answer to Cunning Sparkmage and other similar situations. And I mean in the older formats you can fetch up this with a Trinket Mage or Enlighted Tutor with ease. That is very powerful. I’m speaking from experience. Heck, I played Moonglove Extract in Extended not that long ago. It was a perfect way my UG Tron deck could deal with primarily Magus of the Moon but also stuff like Gaddock Teeg.

Mystifing Maze is a fixed Maze of Ith, which is also a very powerful. It is a little more costly to use but on the other hand Mystifing Maze taps for mana. I imagine control players in the future will at least sneak a couple of these in their decks. Right now it seems like a very good way to handle Sovereigns of Lost Alara, just for starters. Suddenly attacking with just the one creature doesn’t look so appealing…

Vengevine's best buddy!

Then there is the “new” Survival of the Fitness, in form of Fauna Shaman. Yeah, being a creature makes the “survival”-part of the card much worse. But being a creatures does have advantages to. In Standard the most obvious implication of this card is getting Vengevines. And those card goes in hand in hand more than that. Top-decking a Fauna Shaman later on will always at least works as fodder to get back those crooked vines from the graveyard. And I mean, the option of beating for 2 should never, ever, be dismissed.

Magic 2011 is packed with goodness and I could ramble around forever it feels like but I have to end somewhere. So I will end this post with two sweet reprints. First we have Nantuko Shade. A powerhouse from the past is back to torment again (see what I did there?). Off course the overall powerlevel of creatures in Magic has risen considerably since Nantuko Shade was legal in Standard and Extended, this guy (or thing?) is still pretty powerful. If the deck that we knew as Vampires (which I reckon will be a more midrange-y black deck since Vampire Nocturnus won’t be around anymore) prove to be good enough this card will have a place there. And the last but certainly not the least, Wizards have “blessed” us by reprinting Mana Leak. This lean little card is the one that will impact Standard the most during the nearest couple of weeks. I haven’t much to say really, except It’s been sometime since I had to on a regular basis thinking about playing into countermagic on turn 2 in Standard. Be aware! 

The prerelease is tomorrow and I hope those of you who will be attending will have a great time. I plan to. Until next time…

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