~Is it just me ? I have noted, perhaps as you have too, the very interesting and controlled release of Zendikar spoilers and previews. More specifically, it of interest that clumps of cards were coordinated for simultaneous relase by Wizards to cater to showcase a specific group of cards, whether it was mono-black suck-heads last or goblins / red burn last week or all the mono-green love this week . . . dunno - just a half formed thought here.
Right - Off to a Zendikar preview by WoTC minion Tom LaPille in his article today on Daily MTG.
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood enters the battlefield tapped.
: Add to your mana pool.
: Put a +1/+1 counter on each green creature that entered the battlefield this turn.
Really. This is pretty decent. To those that say 'meh', let us remind you that this is a land with two purposes - one to provide mana and the other to provide a decent ability. It is not simply a knife but a mulit-tool. Having a card that does more than one thing can never be a bad thing. The price to play is that this comes into play tapped but on your next turn, we bet you will be thinking about tokens getting pumped from your Mycloth or Ant Queen. The persistent Kitchen Finks would also benefit greatly from this (too bad about the rotation). One very good option is being able to have tokens come out, tap to pump with Vastwood and then using Garruk's ability to untap to allow you to throw on more +1/+1 counters . . . dang - that's rather sexy. There may be only one kink to this - and only if you are playing extended - Kulrath Knight which will shut down anything with a counter on it.
Now from Russia, we have yet another unofficial Zendikar spoiler (no image) . . .
Kicker 7 (You may pay an additional 7 as you cast this spell.)
Search target player's library for up to three cards, exile them, then that player shuffles his or her library. If Sadistic Sacrament was kicked, instead search that player's library for up to fifteen cards, exile them, then that player shuffles his of her library.
Paying 3 to steal three cards out of your opponents library is rather sweet. We are fairly certain that only once every other century when the planets align that some player will actually be able to pay the hefty kicker cost to exile 15 cards. This will see play in mono-black decks wishing to exert a measure of control on the game.
Yesterday afternoon, I read a tweet from our buddy Trick over at ManaNataion that recent rumours from distributors indicate that there will be a limited production run on a select five Zendikar playmats featuring those beautiful full-art lands we've seen previously.
~There was also an interesting 'Un-Ban' announcement at Wizards today (not very often do we see cards getting removed from the banned list for a particular format). Effective October 1, 2009, Dream Halls, Entomb, and Metalworker will be allowed in Legacy again.
As I am strictly a casual player in Standard, I have no formed opinions on this move - I'm sure I'll hear more about this from my (Legacy-fanatic) buddies over at Magic Evolution in Madrid.
Don't forget to stay tuned to our continually updated Zendikar spoiler list HERE.