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4.27.2009

ARB Pre-Release

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I could not get out to the Saturday Alara Reborn Pre-Release but did manage to make it out to the Sunday one. I was happy to find that we did have more than enough players (to make it a DCI sanctioned event) and several players who were playing in the tourney the previous day but simply could not get enough of the new card goodness.


Here is the Match summary ( 2 - 2 ) . . .

Match One (Stewart) : Game 1 - Win, Game 2 - Win.

Match Two (Brian) : Game 1 - Win, Game 2 - Loss, Game 3 - Win.

Match Three (Mike) : Game 1 - Win, Game 2 - Loss, Game 3 - Loss.

Match Four (Pat) : Game 1 - Loss, Game 2 - Win, Game 3 - Loss.

Winning decks in this tournament were typically a Jund build - unfortunately, I had put together and Bant deck. I am totally ineffective in the sealed environment but must admit that I may have played only less than a dozen times or so. Having said that, I must also admit that I am seeing some marginal improvement. I thoroughly enjoy building decks and play-testing these in the constructed standard environment but realise that variety is good.

You can check out this video summary of the Alara Reborn Pre-Release and see the notes below.



This is the build I went with . . .

BANT BUILD (G/W/U) - 40 Cards
17 LANDS : 5 x Forrest, 6 x Plains, 5 x Island, Seaside Citadel

1 Drops : Valiant Guard, Court Homonculus, Might of Alara

2 Drops : Knotvine Palladin, Steward of Valeron, Esper Stormblade, Cylian Elf, Call to Heel, Aven Squire

3 Drops : 2 x Rhox Warmonk, Lorescale Coatle, Winged Coatl, Guardian of Akarasa, Parasitic Strix, Obelisk of Bant

4 Drops : 2 x Bant Sojourners

5 Drops : Waveskimmer Aven

6 Drops : Sigiled Behemoth

7 Drops : Rockcaster Platoon, Yoked Ploughbeast

8 Drops : Kederekt Leviathan


Hindsight is a beeotch - After the event, I went home, grabbed a beverage and looked at the card pool again. This is what I should have played . . .

ALTERNATE JUND BUILD (B/R/G) - 40 Cards
17 Lands : 6 x Swamps, 6 x Mountains, 5 x Forests

1 Drops : Hissing Iguanar, Shadowfeed

2 Drops : Jund Hackblade, 2 x Goblin Outlander, Maniacal Rage, Dragon fodder

3 Drops : Nyxathid, Knotvine Mystic, Matca Rioters, Savage Hunger, Branching Bolt, Wandering Goblins, Dark Temper, Llightning Talons, Resounding Thunder, Pestilent Kathari

4 Drops : Scavenger Drake, Sewn Eye Drake, Singe-Mind Ogre

5 Drops : Voracious Dragon

6 Drops : Morbid Bloom, Valley Rannet


Hey - I might even make it out to the proper Alara Reborn Release event (because I am salivating for that Knight of New Alara) and be much wiser for the above silliness. I did bring home a pack I won which provided me a Filigree Angel so I guess the day was not a complete loss.

. . . by-the-way - Does anyone else think that the art on both pre-release cards is worse than the regular cards ?

4.24.2009

All Magic Cards

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Another plug for AllMagicCards (AMC), a very useful site I had been using to evaluate some of my recent Alara Reborn card trades. I should think that I'll be coming here much more often when I start to purchase my singles for Alara Reborn, Zendikar and Magic 2010.


Anywho, AMC is a solid website for Magic players to find great deals on MTG Cards. You can also check out and compare the Prices, Selection and Service from several well known MTG store websites on the same page.


One the screen, you can view inventory from a stable of stores and check out their entire inventory for that special card you are after.


AMC not only allows you to compare MTG card prices to get the best deal but also delivers much, much more . . .

AMC Advanced Search
Multiple variables is the shizzle when looking for MTG cards . . . You can search by colour, rarity, card text (if you forgot the damn name), and a host of other details.

AMC List Search ROCKS !
Did you just catch a killer build over at Top8 ? Copy that card list and simply drop it into the pail here. This very kewl applet will chew up your list and beat a track to the best store.

Some other neat things . . .

> Throw multiple cards from multiple vendors in your shopping card.

> Buy or Sell an entire decklist of cards!

> Do an advanced search for Buy Prices or Sell Prices.

> Browse by set from the map at the bottom of every page.

> Sort / search cards by alphabetical / colour and rarity filters.

> Shows the Hottest 100 Cards.

> Shows the highest buy prices for the Top 100.

> And shows the most expensive cards on AMC!

Grab some popKorn, Here is a quick vid on AMC . . .



4.23.2009

Alara Reborn FAQs

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The Alara Reborn FAQs have now been posted on the WoTC product section. The direct link to the document is HERE. Please be kind to your Tournament Organiser / Judge before you head out to the Alara Reborn Pre-Release / Release Tourney and have a glance at this handy rules and reference guide.


Quick summary of contents . .

GENERAL NOTES
***Theme: All Multicolored***
***Keyword Ability: Cascade***
***Returning Keyword Ability: Cycling***
***Returning Keyword Ability: Landcycling***
***Cycle: Sojourners***
***Returning Mechanic: Hybrid***
***Cycle: Borderposts***

There is also a huge section on CARD-SPECIFIC NOTES - see the end of the post for which cards are addressed.


Right off the top, let's look at the new keyword ability 'Cascade'. Each time you play a spell with cascade, you'll get a free bonus spell from your deck . . . but you don't know what it'll be!

502.85. Cascade
502.85a Cascade is a triggered ability that functions only while the spell with cascade is on the stack. "Cascade" means "When you play this spell, remove cards from the top of your library from the game until you remove a nonland card whose converted mana cost is less than this spell's converted mana cost. You may play that card without paying its mana cost. Then put all cards removed from the game this way that weren't played on the bottom of your library in a random order." 502.85b If a spell has multiple instances of cascade, each triggers separately.

Here's the timing for cascade:
1) You play a spell with cascade.
2) The cascade ability triggers and goes on the stack on top of the original spell.
3) The cascade ability resolves. If you find an applicable card that you'd like to play, you do so.
4) The spell you played as a result of the cascade ability resolves.
5) The original spell resolves.

* For the most part, cascade is mandatory. You must remove cards from the top of your library from the game, even if you know that you won't remove anything you want to play. Whether or not to play the last card you remove is the only optional part.

* The spell you play as a result of the cascade ability resolves before the original spell. If you play a creature spell with cascade and then play an Aura as the result of the cascade ability, you can't enchant that creature with it because the creature spell hasn't resolved yet.

* Cascade won't trigger if you put a copy of a spell with cascade on the stack (due to Cloven Casting or Twincast, for example). That's because you didn't play the copy.

* Countering the original spell doesn't counter the cascade ability.

* Since cascade is a triggered ability, anything that interacts with a triggered ability (such as Stifle) will interact with cascade.

* All players can see the cards you remove from the game as the cascade ability resolves.

* If you remove a split card from the game this way, check if at least one half of that split card has a converted mana cost that's less than the converted mana cost of the spell with cascade. If so, you can play either half of that split card.

* If you play a card this way, you play it as part of the resolution of the cascade ability. Timing restrictions based on the card's type (such as creature or sorcery) are ignored. Other play restrictions are not (such as "Play [this card] only before attackers are declared").

* A spell played as part of the resolution of cascade is played from the removed-from-the-game zone, not from your library.

* If you play a card "without paying its mana cost," you can't pay any alternative costs, such as evoke or the alternative cost provided by the morph ability. If it has X in its mana cost, X must be 0. However, you can pay optional additional costs, such as conspire, and you must still pay mandatory additional costs, such as the one on Goldmeadow Stalwart.

* If you play a card this way, you're playing it as a spell. It can be countered. If you play another card with cascade this way, the new spell's cascade ability will trigger, and you'll repeat the process for the new spell.

* After you play an applicable card, you randomly rearrange the other cards removed from the game this way and put them on the bottom of your library. Neither you nor any other player sees the order of those cards.

* If you don't want to play the applicable card you remove from the game with the cascade ability, you don't have to. Include it with the other cards removed from the game this way when you randomly rearrange them and put them on the bottom of your library. The same is true for an applicable card that you can't play (because there are no legal targets, for example).

* If you play a spell with cascade and there are no nonland cards in your library with a converted mana cost that's less that that spell's converted mana cost, you'll remove your entire library from the game. Then you'll randomly rearrange those cards and put them back as your library. Although you're essentially shuffling those cards, you're not technically doing so; abilities that trigger whenever you shuffle your library won't trigger.


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There are numerous notes and explanations in the FAQ document for the following Alara Reborn cards :
Arsenal Thresher, Aven Mimeomancer, Behemoth Sledge, Blitz Hellion, Brainbite, Cloven Casting, Crystallization, Dauntless Escort, Deadshot Minotaur, Deathbringer Thoctar, Demonspine Whip, Double Negative, Dragon Appeasement, Dragon Broodmother, Drastic Revelation, Enigma Sphinx, Ethersworn Shieldmage, Etherwrought Page, Fight to the Death, Filigree Angel, Finest Hour, Flurry of Wings, Giant Ambush Beetle, Glory of Warfare, Grixis Sojourners, Illusory Demon, Intimidation Bolt, Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund, Kathari Bomber, Knight of New Alara, Knotvine Paladin, Lavalanche, Leonin Armorguard, Lich Lord of Unx, Lorescale Coatl, Madrush Cyclops, Maelstrom Nexus, Maelstrom Pulse, Mage Slayer, Mask of Riddles, Mayael's Aria, Meddling Mage, Mind Funeral, Morbid Bloom, Mycoid Shepherd, Necromancer's Covenant, Nemesis of Reason, Nulltread Gargantuan, Offering to Asha, Predatory Advantage, Retaliator Griffin, Sages of the Anima, Sen Triplets, Shield of the Righteous, Sigil Captain, Sigil of the Nayan Gods, Skyclaw Thrash, Slave of Bolas, Soul Manipulation, Sovereigns of Lost Alara, Spellbound Dragon, Spellbreaker Behemoth, Tainted Sigil, Thopter Foundry, Thought Hemorrhage, Thraximundar, Time Sieve, Unscythe, Killer of Kings, Vedalken Heretic, Vengeful Rebirth, Vithian Renegades, Wargate.

CardDrifter Trading Site

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I'm taking some time out from the Alara Reborn spoiler analysis to give a plug for the CardDrifter card-trading website. The folks here have been online since 2005 and have over 40,000 cards listed and available for trade. You can send a private message to another trader to negotiate a deal or post an offer for their cards. Your mailing address is kept confidential until the trade is finalised.


Entering your collection is a breeze with an auto-complete function which will mean more time playing Magic the Gathering and less time maintaining your inventory. CardDrifter also stores a complete price guide of all cards, updated weekly using data acquired from completed eBay listings. This heads-up price information is extremely useful in negotiating fair trades and ensuring both traders are getting a good deal.



CardDrifter provides easy access to useful information / tools such as: 'Most popular haves and wants', 'Most viewed cards', and 'Recent listings'. Another feature of CardDrifter is its ability to match users up with other users based on each others haves and wants list. Basically, it does all the work for you!


CARDDRIFTER CONTEST ! ! CLICK HERE !

Also - VERY COOL CONTEST now running . . . Refer all your magic-playing friends to CardDrifter.com using the referral link provided when you log in. For every friend you refer, you will win an entry into the drawing for the ALARA REBORN Booster Box! Additionally, if you are registering for the first time on CardDrifter, you will automatically win an entry!

Contest will end after 100 people are referred in total, or on May 25th, whichever comes first.

4.22.2009

Alara Reborn Top 10

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As the last of the Alara Reborn spoilers have now gone up, the Magic The Gathering community collectively sits down, chugs a power-drink and evaluates how good (or bad) a particular set is. One inevitability of this process is the proliferation of those ubiquitous 'Top 10' Lists . . . This is me jumping on the band-wagon.

Please think of this list as a 'Good', 'Better', 'Best' sort of thing, starting off with the 'Best' cards at or near the top of the list.

Bloodbraid Elf
Terminate
Maelstrom Pulse
Thought Hemorrhage
Meddling Mage
Qasali Pridemage
Wall of Denial
Dauntless Escort
Behemoth Sledge
Jund Hackblade


Bloodbraid Elf, 2RG
Creature - Elf Berserker, Uncommon
Haste, Cascade
3/2

Terminate, BR
Instant, Common
Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated.

Maelstrom Pulse, 1BG
Sorcery Rare

Destroy target nonland permanent and all permanents with the same name as that permanent.

Thought Hemorrhage, 2BR
Sorcery, Rare
Name a nonland card. Target player reveals his or her hand. Thought Hemorrhage deals 3 damage to that player for each card with that name revealed this way. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with that name and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

Meddling Mage, WU
Creature - Human Wizard, Rare
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card.
The named card can't be played.
2/2

Qasali Pridemage, GW
Creature - Cat Wizard, Common
Exalted
1, Sacrifice Qasali Pridemage: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
2/2

Wall of Denial, 1WU
Creature - Illusion Wall, Uncommon
Defender, flying, shroud
0/8

Dauntless Escort, 1GW
Creature - Rhox Soldier, Rare
Sacrifice Dauntless Escort: Creatures you control are indestructible this turn.
3/3

Behemoth Sledge, 1GW
Artifact - Equipment, Uncommon
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has lifelink and trample.
Equip 3

Jund Hackblade, {B/G}R
Creature - Goblin Berserker, Common
As long as you control another multicolored permanent, Jund Hackblade gets +1/+1 and has haste.

Anywho - apologies - no in depth analysis or discussions from me at this time - I'm certain I will have a follow-up post and rant as to why these are the kewlest Kards in the set.
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4.21.2009

ARB Spoiler 14

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Grandioso trabajo de El Peña ! Peña que en su blog ( RoMPeCaRTaS ) ha ido recopilando datos de la colección . . . Alara Renacida al desnudo. El spoiler de Alara Renacida now sits at a very close 143 / 145.

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Other news now - Apparently, some cards 'fell out of a booster pack' during shipping to store - thanks to Mr. spyrious who was able to provide these 3 Alara Reborn spoilers to us.

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Sigil of the Nayan Gods, 1GW
Enchantment - Aura, Common
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each creature you control.
Cycling {G/W}

This card really does not float my boat. Having said that, I half expect someone at a not-too-distant FNM to kick my butt with this aura. I'm thinking that casual MTG fans of token generating decks may want to have this for inclusion. Uril, the Miststalker (aka 'Phil') likes this card.

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Shield of the Righteous, WU
Artifact - Equipment, Uncommon
Equipped creature gets +0/+2 and has vigilance.
Whenever equipped creature blocks a creature, that creature doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
Equip 2

I already hate this card - I have not even played against this card and I already think this annoying as all hell. This card promises to lock down the board and stall would-be attackers.

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Tainted Sigil, 1WB
Artifact, Uncommon
Tap : Sacrifice Tainted Sigil: You gain life equal to the total life lost by all players this turn.

A solid suggestion by urzassedatives - Use Ad Nauseam with the Tainted Sigil(Reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. You lose life equal to its converted mana cost. You may repeat this process any number of times.) As I have no original imagination, I simply must wait to see what your devious minds have in store for this card.

Stay tuned - I think tomorrow (Wednesday) may be interesting . . .

Alara Reborn Poll #1

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We now have all 10 Mythic Rares spoiled in the new Alara Reborn set. With this information, we would like to know your opinion . . . What is the best Mythic Rare in Alara Reborn?

POLL TIME ! ! . . . Here are our contestants :

Defiler of Souls
Dragoon Broodmother
Jenara, Asure of War
Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund
Lord of Extinction
Maelstrom Nexus
Sen Triplets
Sphinx of the Steel Wind
Thraximundar
Uril, the miststalker

The card text is just below the poll for your handy reference . . .



Defiler of Souls, 3bbr
Creature - Demon, Mythic Rare
Flying, At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices a monocolored creature. 5/5

Dragon Broodmother, 2RRRG
Creature - Dragon, Mythic Rare
Flying, At the beginning of each upkeep, put a 1/1 red and green Dragon creature token with flying and devour 2 into play. 4/4

Jenara, Asura of War, GWU
Legendary Creature - Angel, Mythic Rare
Flying, 1{W}: Put a +1/+1 counter on Jenara, Asura of War. 3/3

Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund, 4BRG
Legendary Creature - Dragon, Mythic Rare
Flying, haste, When Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund comes into play, gain control of all Dragon creatures in play and untap them. Dragon creatures you control have haste. 7/7

Lord of Extinction, 3BG
Creature - Elemental, Mythic Rare
Lord of Extinction's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in all graveyards. */*

Maelstrom Nexus, WUBRG
Enchantment, Mythic Rare
The first spell you play each turn has Cascade.

Sen Triplets, 2WUB
Legendary Artifact Creature - Human Wizard, Mythic Rare
At the beginning of your upkeep, choose target opponent. This turn, that player can't play spells or activated abilities and plays with his or her hand revealed. You can play cards from that player's hand this turn. They are the masters of your mind. 3/3

Sphinx of the Steel Wind, 5WUB
Artifact Creature - Sphinx, Mythic Rare
Flying, first strike, vigilance, lifelink, protection from Red and from Green. 6/6

Thraximundar, 4UBR
Legendary Creature - Zombie Assassin, Mythic Rare
Haste, Whenever Thraximundar attacks, defending player sacrifices a creature. Whenever a player sacrifices a creature, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Thraximundar. 6/6

Uril, the Miststalker, 2RGW
Legendary Creature - Beast, Mythic Rare
Uril, the Miststalker can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control. Uril gets +2/+2 for each Aura attached to it. 5/5

ARB Spoiler 13

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Happy Tuesday readers,

We have three more Alara Reborn spoilers for you today and perhaps another few latter on this evening. The Parial Alara Reborn Spoiler now sits at 99 of 145. This season I have been trying to post spoilers for which we have either the associated card art or the card itself - hope this is fine with you.

First off, we have a this legendary critter. Sorry no card yet but we do know the art so Seth Dracovitch was kind enough to mock this up for everyone . . .

Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund, 4BRG
Legendary Creature - Dragon, Mythic Rare
Flying, haste
When Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund comes into play, gain control of all Dragon creatures in play and untap them.
Dragon creatures you control have haste.
7/7

I am currently looking for good synergies with shapeshifters to see if anything works particualarly well with Karrthus. A very nice card but you really are somewhat limited in standard, perhaps EDH.


Deathbringer Thoctar, 4BR
Creature - Zombie Beast, Rare
Whenever another creature is put into a graveyard from play, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Deathbringer Thoctar.
Remove a +1/+1 counter from Deathbringer Thoctar: Deathbringer Thoctar deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
3/3

I rather enjoyed Kelly Digges' article, 'A Field Guide to Thoctars' over at WoTC today where this card came from. If you are running this particular thoctar, look for sac bonuses and perhaps recursion to max your deck's theme. Here are a few hasty suggestions which I'm certain were not thought out very well . . . anywho -

Bant Sojourners, 1GWU
Creature - Human Soldier, Common
When you cycle Bant Sojourners or it's put into a graveyard from play, you may put a 1/1 white Soldier creature token into play.
Cycling 2{W}
2/4

Sojourners = a temporary resident. Real estate markets are really messed up in Alara so we can fully expect the full cycle of Sojourners - we already have Bant and Naya Sojourners on board and the Alara Reborn Orb of Insight promises a full shard spread.

4.20.2009

Alara Reborn Videos

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It's movie time and WoTC has some orientation / primer videos for the upcomming Alara Reborn expansion set which goes on sale April 30, 2009.

CASCADE
A look at Cascade, one of the key mechanics in the new Magic expansion Alara Reborn. Présentation de Cascade, une nouvelle mécanique introduite dans cette extension.

Vous jouez une carte avec la cascade l'effet de la carte et de la cascade vont sur la pile et deux cas se présentent : with two cases possible on the stack . . . ou alors pas de contre et là vous avez le champs libre avec votre "préparation du terrain"

Once the cascade effect resolves, vous prenez la first card from your library inférieur à celui de la carte qui a activé l'effet de cascade : cette carte, vous la jouez gratuitement . . . FREE spells ! !

Some CASCADE cards : Ardent Plea, Bituminous Blast, Bloodbraid Elf, Enlisted Wurm, Enigma Sphinx, Maelstrom Nexus,


Hybrid
Take an in-depth look at Hybrid, one of the key mechanics in the new Magic expansion Alara Reborn. Présentation de la mécanique Hybride & multicolore reprise dans cette extension.

Elles possèdent deux couleurs à la fois et leur coût peut-être payé soit avec un type de mana, soit avec un autre type de mana. Cards have mana costs which may be paid by either of the two colors listed.

Cartes Hybride : Bant Sureblade, Glassdust Hulk, Esper Stormblade, Naya Hushblade, Grixis Grimblade, Slave of Bolas, Giant Ambush Beetle, Jund Hackblade, Marisi's Twinclaws, Passed Prosperity, Crystallization ,


Cycling
Take an in-depth look at Cycling and Landcycling, two of the key mechanics in the new Magic expansion Alara Reborn. Présentation des mécaniques recyclage et recyclage de terrain reprises dans cette extension.

Cycling and Landcycling : Glassdust Hulk, Sanctum Plowbeast, Jhessian Zombies, Igneous Pouncer, Monstrous Carabid, Valley Rannet, Pale Recluse, Naya Sojourners.

ARB Spoiler 12

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There now stand at 82 spoiled Alara Reborn cards from the set's 145 total. Most of the new spoilers are text. Today, I will address 5 completed spoilers (full card) and perhaps latter this week, I hope to get to Alara Reborn set FAQ's including videos, and review token generators.

Let's go . . .


Naya Sojourners, 2RGW
Creature - Elf Shaman, Common
When you cycle Naya Sojourners or it is put into a graveyard from play, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature
Cycling 2{G}
5/3

For 2G one can rapidly slip a +1/+1 counter onto a critter is OK. This will see play in as a limited pick but otherwise smells like jank.


Sanctum Plowbeast, 4WU
Artifact Creature - Beast, Common
Defender
Plainscycling 2, islandcycling 2
3/6

This thing was the first to get voted off the island . . . thanks for coming out. There is an advantage to have a cycler as it presents strategic options but otherwise this is meh. I rather liked PhyreMynd's idea to have waterslides installed on the Plowbeast for some some recreational shard fun.


Glassdust Hulk, 3WU
Artifact Creature - Golem, Common
Whenever another artifact comes into play under your control, Glassdust Hulk gets +1/+1 until end of turn and is unblockable this turn.
Cycling {W/U}
3/4

Perhaps a nice card for the 5 drop spot in your artifact deck and you always have the choice to cycle it. Other than that, I think this one does not get asked to dance.


Necromancer's Covenant, 3WBB
Enchantment, Rare
When Necromancer's Covenant comes into play, remove all creature cards in target player's graveyard from the game, then put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play for each card removed this way.
Zombies you control have lifelink.

Dang ! There may finally be a Zombie deck available in this block. I'm glad I didn't flush my Death Baron's away. Just imagine . . . a hoard of brain-hungry Zombies - they are all 3/3, have deathtouch AND lifelink - this is sooo messed up and so very kewl !


Behemoth Sledge, 1GW
Artifact - Equipment, Uncommon
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has lifelink and trample.
Equip 3

This card rocks my Shards and is an improvement over Loxodon Warhammer. Hello new tech hammer.

4.18.2009

ARB Spoiler 11

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Wow - Two more Alara Reborn spoilers for you . . . Happy Saturday morning all !

Psychatrog got a surprise yesterday at his Friday Night Magic event over at Superstars San Jose, California. He received a package from Wizards labeled "Do not open until FNM." What he found inside were six Alara Reborn cards, some chocolate gold coins (get it ? - 'gold') and a note from Wizards saying, basically, "Your FNM location rules, here's this, enjoy." Five of the six cards had already been spoiled but one had not . . .

Ardent Plea, 1WU
Enchantment, Uncommon
Exalted, Cascade ((When you play this spell, remove cards from the top of your library until you remove a nonland card that costs less. You may play it without paying its mana cost. Put the removed cards on the bottom in a random order.)

Simple and elegant - when was fetching and playing a free card not cool ?
If you are lucky to draw Noble Hierarch on Turn 1, Ardent Plea can come down on Turn 2 and you can fetch cards such as Sigiled Paladin, Ethercase Knight, Qasali Pridemage, etc. My hope is that you can drag out a Meddling Mage to put up a roadblock for your opponent.



Finest Hour was spoiled over at the most excellent GeekDad website . . .

Finest Hour, 2GWU
Enchantment, Rare
Exalted
Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, if its the first combat phase of the turn, untap that creature. After this phase, there is an additional combat phase.

Again - if you can push this forward a turn with mana acceleration via Noble Hierach, this can cause no measure of grief for your opponent. The wise and learned hamtastic on the forums suggest you may take this course of action . . .

"Turn 1 Hierarch
Turn 2 War Monk
Turn 3 Rafiq (attack for 10 life link)
turn 4 Finest Hour attack with War Monk for 10, then 10 more... in case they have a blocker."

So very kewl . . . and a possible turn 4 win. Exalted decks just got nasty . . . like junk-yard dog nasty.

4.17.2009

ARB Spoiler 10

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Crikey ! Boy do we have a post for you today. The Spoiler gods squatted last night and pinched off a huge dumpling of Alara Reborn spoilers - a total of 15 cards exactly from various sources. Typically when I preview these new cards, I like to make homourus or sarcastic comments about the card's abilities, or art but that will have to wait until latter.

Let's go . . .

Bloodbraid Elf, 2RB
Creature - Elf Beserker, Uncommon
Haste
Cascade (When you play this spell, remove cards from the top of your library from the game until you reveal a nonland card that costs less. You may play it without paying its mana cost. Put the removed cards on the bottom in a random order.
3/2
meh . . . not too bad.

Enigma Sphinx, 4WUB
Artifact Creature - Sphinx, Rare
Flying
When Enigma Sphinx is put into your graveyard from play, put it into your library third from the top.
Cascade (When you play this spell, remove cards from the top of your library from the game until your reveal a nonland card that costs less. You may play it without paying its mana cost. Put the removed cards on the bottom in a random order.)
5/4
Whoa dude ! I'm gonna work on this one tonight.

Filigree Angel, 5WWU
Artifact Creature - Angel, Rare
Flying

When Filigree Angel comes into play, you gain 3 life for each artifact you control.
4/4
Esper loves this new Angel - make sure you have a cloud of Thopters or even a Cradle of Vitality for a biggy.

Giant Ambush Beetle, 3{B/G}R
Creature - Insect, Uncommon
Haste
When Giant Ambush Beetle comes into play, you may have target creature block it this turn if able.
4/3

meh - This Beetle has no juice.


Glory of Warfare, 2RW
Enchantment, Rare
As long as it's your turn, creatures you control get +2/+0.
As long as it's not your turn, creatures you control get +0/+2.
Dang ! This is one sweet card and I can see this getting good play.


Igneous Pouncer, 4BR
Creature - Elemental, Common
Haste
Swampcycling 2, mountaincycling 2
5/1
Nope - you guys can have all of mine.


Lich Lord of Unx, 1UB
Creature - Zombie Wizard, Rare
{U}{B}, {T}: Put a 1/1 blue and black Zombie Wizard creature token into play.
{U}{U}{B}{B}: Target player loses X life and puts the top X cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard where X is the number of Zombies you control.
2/2
Interesting, - I may have to dust off my Death Baron and work on something here.


Lightning Reaver, 3BR
Creature - Zombie Beast, Rare
Fear, haste
Whenever Lightning Reaver deals combat damage to a player, put a charge counter on it.
At the end of your turn, Lightning Reaver deals damage equal to the number of charge counters on it to each opponent.
3/3
Very nice - I'm thinking of this card with something like Power of Fire to double-timmy.


Lord of Extinction, 3BG

Creature - Elemental, Mythic Rare
Lord of Extinction's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in all graveyards.
*/*
This one is a very nice improvement over Tarmo.


Meddling Mage, WU
Creature - Human Wizard, Rare
As Meddling Mage comes into play, name a nonland card.
The named card can't be played.
2/2
This is a solid card and a welcome reprint.


Mycoid Shepherd, 1GGW
Creature - Fungus, Rare
Whenever Mycoid Shepherd or another creature you control with power 5 or greater is put into a graveyard from play, you may gain 5 life.
5/4
whatever . . .


Qasali Pridemage, GW
Creature - Cat Wizard, Common
Exalted
1, Sacrifice Qasali Pridemage: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
2/2
This looks like a decent enough 2 drop.


Retaliator Griffin, 1RGW

Creature - Griffin, Rare
Flying
Whenever a source an opponent controls deals damage to you, put that many +1/+1 counters on Retaliator Griffin.
2/2
Not bad at all - this may see play.


Sen Triplets, 2WUB
Artifact Creature - Human Wizard, Rare
At the beginning of your upkeep, choose target opponent. This turn, that player can't play spells or activated abilities and plays with his or her hand revealed. You can play cards from that player's hand this turn.

3/3
Solid disruption and this may be a very decent strategic card to have in you sideboard.


Uril, the Miststalker, 2RGW
Legendary Creature - Beast, Mythic Rare
Uril, the Miststalker can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.
Uril gets +2/+2 for each Aura attached to it.
5/5
This guy reminds me of Phil who works in my office (he does a lot of cube 'lurking') - I shall henceforth simply call this card Phil.

4.16.2009

ARB Name & Number Crunch

~
Caranthir and other learned forum members present a popular perennial activity called 'Name and Number Crunch' for each set. As we receive more Alara Reborn spoilers and previews, the raw data becomes more distilled and the list more accurate.

Let's have a look at the list to date.

Bold = confirmed, italics = speculated.


#1 wu Ardent Plea (Enchantment) - (U)
#2 wu Aven Mimeomancer (Creature-Bird Wizard) (R)
#3 wu Ethercaste Knight (Artifact Creature-Human Knight) (C)
#4 wu
#5 wu Fieldmist Borderpost (Artifact) (C)
#6 wu
#7 wu Filigree Angel (Creature-Angel) (R)
#8 wu Glassdust Hulk (Artifact Creature - Golem?) C?
#9 wu
#10 wu
#11 wu Meddling Mage?
#12 wu
#13 wu
#14 wu Sanctum Plowbeast (Creature - Beast?) C?
#15 wu Stormcaller's Boon (Sorcery?)
#16 wu Wall of Denial (Creature - Wall?)

#17 ub Architects of Will (Artifact Creature - Human Wizard?) C?
#18 ub Brainbite (Sorcery?)
#19 ub Deny Reality (Instant?)
#20 ub Jhessian Zombies (Creature - Zombie?) C?
#21 ub
#22 ub
#23 ub
#24 ub
#25 ub
#26 ub Lich Lord of Unx (Creature-Zombie Wizard) (R)
#27 ub Mistvein Borderpost (Artifact) (C)
#28 ub Nemesis of Reason (Creature-Horror Leviathan) (R)
#29 ub Soul Manipulation (sorcery? instant?)
#30 ub Soulquake (Sorcery) (R)
#31 ub Time Sieve (Artifact) (R)
#32 ub

#33 br
#34 br Bituminous Blast (Instant) (U)
#35 br Breath of Malfegor (Instant? Sorcery?)
#36 br Deathbringer Thoctar (Creature-Beast) (R)
#37 br Defiler of Souls (Creature-Demon) (MR)
#38 br
#39 br
#40 br Igneous Pouncer (Creature - ???) C?
#41 br
#42 br Lightning Reaver (Creature - Beast?)
#43 br Monstrous Carabid (Creature - Beast?)
#44 br Sanity Gnawers (Creature - Zombie?) C?
#45 br Singe-Mind Ogre (Creature - Ogre Mutant?)
#46 br Terminate (Instant) (C)
#47 br Thought Hemorrhage (Sorcery) (R)
#48 br Veinfire Borderpost (Artifact)

#49 rg Blitz Hellion (Creature-Beast) (R)
#50 rg Bloodbraid Elf?
#51 rg Colossal Might?
#52 rg
#53 rg Dragon Broodmother (Creature-Dragon) (MR)
#54 rg
#55 rg Firewild Borderpost (Artifact) (C)
#56 rg Godtracker of Jund (Creature-Elf Shaman)
#57 rg Gorger Wurm (Creature-Wurm)
#58 rg
#59 rg Rhox Brute (Creature-Rhino Warrior)
#60 rg Spellbreaker Behemoth (Creature-Beast] (R)
#61 rg
#62 rg
#63 rg Valley Rannet (Creature - Beast?) C?
#64 rg Vengeful Rebirth (Sorcery?)

#65 gw
#66 gw Captured Sunlight (Artifact/Enchantment?)
#67gw Dauntless Escort (Creature - Rhino Soldier?) R
#68 gw Enlisted Wurm (Creature - Wurm?)
#69 gw Grizzled Leotau (Creature - Cat?) C?
#70 gw Knight of New Alara (Creature-Human Knight) (R)
#71 gw
#72 gw
#73 gw
#74 gw Pale Recluse (Creature-Spider) (C)
#75 gw Qasali Pridemage (Creature-Cat Wizard)
#76 gw Reborn Hope (Enchantment)
#77 gw Sigil of the Nayan Gods (Artifact)
#78 gw Sigiled Behemoth (Creature-Beast)
#79 gw
#80 gw Wildfield Borderpost (Artifact) (C)

#81 wb?
#82 wb?
#83 wb?
#84 wb?
#85 wb?

#86 ur?
#87 ur?
#88 ur?
#89 ur?
#90 ur Spellbound Dragon (Creature-Dragon) (R)

#91 bg?
#92 bg Maelstrom Pulse (Sorcery) (R)
#93 bg?
#94 bg?
#95 bg?

#96 rw?
#97 rw?
#98 rw?
#99 rw?
#100 rw?

#101 ug?
#102 ug?
#103 ug Sages of the Anima (Creature - Elf Wizard) (R)
#104 ug?
#105 ug?

#106 wub?
#107 wub?
#108 wub?
#109 wub?
#110 wub Sphinx of the Steel Wind (Artifact Creature-Sphinx) (MR)

#111 ubr?
#112 ubr?
#113 ubr Thraximundar(Legendary Creature - Zombie Assassin) (MR)
#114 ubr Unscythe, Killer of Kings (Legendary Artifact-Equipment) (R)

#115 brg?
#116 brg?
#117 brg? Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund? (Legendary Creature-Dragon) (MR?)
#118 brg Lavalanche (Sorcery) (R)
#119 brg?

#120 rgw?
#121 rgw?
#122 rgw?
#123 rgw?
#124 rgw?

#125 gwu?
#126 gwu Jenara, Asura of War (Legendary Creature-Angel) (MR)
#127 gwu?
#128 gwu?
#129 gwu?

#130 wubrg?
#131 {w/b}u Arsenal Thresher?
#132
{w/b}u Esper Stormblade (Artifact Creature - Human/Vedalken Warrior)? (C)
#133
{w/b}u ?

#134 {u/r}b Grixis Grimblade (Creature - Zombie Warrior?) (C)
#135
{u/r}b?
#136
{u/r}b?

#137 {b/g}r ?
#138
{b/g}r Jund Hackblade(Creature-Goblin Berserker) (C)
#139
{b/g}r ?

#140 {r/w}g Marisi's Twinclaws (Creature-Cat Warrior) (U)
#141
{r/w}g Naya Hushblade (Creature - Elf Warrior?) (C)
#142
{r/w}g ?

#143 {g/u}w Bant Sureblade (Creature - Human Warrior?) (C)
#144
{g/u}w ?
#145
{g/u}w ?

4.15.2009

ARB Spoiler 9

~
Well - this has been an interesting day - I already posted two brief articles earlier and now am posting a third (!). Unfortunately, this really cannot wait as we now have SIX additional Alara Reborn spoilers for you.

Let's check 'em out . . .
~
Fieldmist Borderpost, 1WU
Artifact - Common
You may pay 1 and return a basic land you control to its owner's hand rather than pay Fieldmist Borderpost's mana cost.
Fieldmist Borderpost comes into play tapped.
Tap: Add W or U to your mana pool.


Mistvein Borderpost, 1WU
Artifact - Common
You may pay 1 and return a basic land you control to its owner's hand rather than pay Mistvein Borderpost's mana cost.
Mistvein Borderpost comes into play tapped.
Tap: Add U or B to your mana pool.


Veinfire Borderpost, 1WU
Artifact - Common
You may pay 1 and return a basic land you control to its owner's hand rather than pay Veinfire Borderpost's mana cost.
Veinfire Borderpost comes into play tapped.
Tap: Add B or R to your mana pool.


Firewild Borderpost, 1WU
Artifact - Common
You may pay 1 and return a basic land you control to its owner's hand rather than pay Firewild Borderpost's mana cost.
Firewild Borderpost comes into play tapped.
Tap: Add R or G to your mana pool.


Wildfield Borderpost, 1WU
Artifact - Common
You may pay 1 and return a basic land you control to its owner's hand rather than pay Wildfield Borderpost's mana cost.
Wildfield Borderpost comes into play tapped.
Tap: Add G or W to your mana pool.


Maelstrom Pulse, 1BG
Sorcery, Rare
Destroy target nonland permanent and all other permanents with the same name as that permanent.


The borderposts are a solid utility to have sideboarded but I don't think players are going to go nuts over these.

As for Maelstrom Pulse - this card rocks - just an excellent kick in the tenders for your opponent - this will make kids cry whenever this gets played.