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SoM in Standard

This Friday, the Shards of Alara (Shards, Conflux, Alara Reborn) will be rotating out of standard, to be replaced by the first set of Scars of Mirrodin. As a result, your entire meta-game will be up in the air for several weeks until players complete an evaluation of what will and will not work in their mix of sixty cards.

You will of course still see play of all the popular builds developed during the Zendikar block (Zendikar, Worldwake, Rise of the Eldrazi) supported by M11 core set cards but we've not seen Vampires, Allies, and level up decks at the local FNM for a while. Perhaps with the new proliferate tech, we may expect Allies to make a splash again (?).

Anywhoos - today we hope to provide you a look not at popular casual builds for standard type play but rather the cards that we could expect to enable some of these builds . . .


First up - a lot of folks are yattering about Argentum Armor (Equipped creature gets +6/+6 / Whenever equipped creature attacks, destroy target permanent) which has a hefty casting cost of 6 and another 6 to equip. To this end, players are developing decks with Quest for the Holy Relic to 'cheat' the armour into play by collecting counters on the Relic every time you cast a creature spell. Once you get five counters, sac the relic and search / cast 'n' equip for free. This certainly has advantages over Stoneforge Mystic as one would still need to pay the hefty equip cost. The way for you to work it best involves dropping as many zero cost critters (Memnite, Ornithopter) and perhaps using Glint Hawk (Venser works just as good or better) to bounce and play for free again to collect more quest counters.

Speaking of bounce - this may be a good technique to wash off those nasty wither (-1/-1) counters we can expect with the new infect tech. Creatures returned to your hand to be replayed reenter the battlefield with none of those counters on it. Some cards to consider are Glint Hawk, Kor Skyfisher, Narrow Escape, Aether Tradewinds, Venser, and Glimmerpoint Stag of which Venser would be the best again.

Next up is the incredibly redonkulous combo of the new Myr Galvanizer and the red enchantment from Rise of the Eldrazi, Splinter Twin. This combination uses Myr Galvanizer and Splinter Twin along with any mana-producing Myr which you then use as follows . .
(1) Enchant Myr Galvanizer with Splinter Twin while a mana Myr is already out.
(2) Tap the enchanted Myr Galvanizer to make a copy of itself and then use the mana Myr to untap both other Myr.
(3) Repeat the process and attack for infinite damage with your Myr hoarde (all pumped up with that many Galvanizers) as early as turn four.
Of course we have to talke about what may go wrong. You may not be able to draw any of your need cards, you get a Day of Judgement in the face before your shizzle goes off, your tech gets countered or you set up your combo while there is just one open mountain on the other side of the table which your opponent can bolt your key dude.

Next post we hope to yatter about some artifact-centric builds, proliferate and Myr ball but will most likely get a Scars of Mirrodin Fat Pack dissection in before that.

To wrap up today's post, we will have a quick look at the Top Ten sellers for September as reported by MTG Mint Card - Perhaps this may serve as an indication which direction your local meta-game is heading.

1. Memnite

2. Myr Reservoir

3. Hand of the Praetors

4. Ratchet Bomb

5. Myr Galvanizer

6. Mimic Vat

7. Palladium Myr

8. Putrefax

9. Memoricide

10. Molten-Tail Masticore



MTG PreRelease Promos

Good Day folks and Happy Tuesday,

We had a blast during the Scars of Mirrodin pre-release last weekend (see our last post for the video and details) and are looking forward to the official launch this weekend. In the meantime however, we are drooling over the lovely foil prerelease promo, Wurmcoil Engine.

This does give us pause to think about recent release and prerelease promos . . . we think that these have generally been improving - getting better cards over the last few sets. To this end let's have a quick look.

First off - if you have never been to a prerelease or release event, promotional cards are provided to players participating at sanctioned prerelease tournaments. These were first introduced way back for theTempest prerelease in October, 1997. Prerelase cards are typically marked with the prerelease date to identify them as the prerelease card. Starting with Onslaught the prerelease cards bear their expansion symbol as a watermark.

Lorwyn Wren's Run Packmaster 29-Sep-07
Morningtide Door of Destinies 19-Jan-08
Shadowmoor Demigod of Revenge 19-Apr-08
Eventide Overbeing of Myth 12-Jul-08
Shards of Alara Ajani Vengeant 03-Oct-08
Conflux Malfegor 31-Jan-09
Alara Reborn Dragon Broodmother 25-Apr-09
Magic 2010 Vampire Nocturnus 11-Jul-09
Zendikar Rampaging Baloths
Worldwake Comet Storm 30-Jan-10
Rise of the Eldrazi Emrakul, the Aeons Torn 17-Apr-10
Magic 2011 Sun Titan 10-Jul-10

A quick comparison of prices - courtesy of MTG Mint Card which we will consider a very decent benchmark.
Wurmcoil Engine / Sun Titan / Comet Storm

As you can see, if we use the metric of singles prices, the promo cards obtained at the prerelease are pretty decent.

On top of this, we are also impressed with the tip-top alternate art we are seeing with the newer promo cards - just fantastic / beautiful. A good example - check out the upcoming Scars of Mirrodin release promo, Steel Hellkite (Japanese source - we've been unable to get an image of an English card yet).

Finally, here's an image we took at last week's prerelease - the back of a tips-and-trick card featuring art from the next upcoming set, Mirrodin Besieged, due in early February, 2011.



SoM PreRelease

We hope that you had a blast at the Scars of Mirrodin PreRelease this weekend if you had a chance to attend. The event we attended at the local games store (OMG Games & Collectibles here in Barrie, Ontario, Canada) had a full forty players and four rounds of fun cracking open new cards.

From what we saw, there was a lot of players collecting poison counters, which was also a theme in the sealed 40-card deck we built as well. We went 2 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss - drop a comment and tell us how you did or what cool plays you saw.

Right now, let's have a look at the brief vid we took . . .

- Pulls -
Rares : Sunblast Angel, Hoard Smetler Dragon, Purtifax, Chimeric Mass, Myr Propagator, Blackcleave Cliffs

Uncommons : Dispense Justice, Razor Hippogriff, Riddlesmith, Flesh Allergy, Ichor Rats, Exsanguinate, Painsmith, Acid WEb Spider, Slice in Twain, Viridian Revel, Barbed Battlegear, 2 x Contagion Clasp, Culling Dais, Golem Artisan, Golem's Heart (foil), Infiltration Lens, Myr Galvanizer, Rusted Relic

What worked very well in the sealed build -

2 x Ichorclaw Myr
2 x Contagion Clasp
1 x Corpse Cur
1 x Putrefax

Anywhos -
Hollar out and drop us a comment about your prerelease - what awesome pulls did you see, what great combos / synergies did you witness, etc.


Scars Mirrodin IntroPacks

We do not yet have a printed list for you just yet but do have these Scars Mirrodin Intro Pack images courtesy of raccon82 from the forums. We are rather impressed after a quick look at the lists and are starting to think that these may very well be some of the better intro-packs out in some time.

Let's have a look . . .

"Myr of Mirrodin"
Rares: Sunblast Angel, Myr Battlesphere

/ "Metalcraft"
Rares: Etched Champion, Argent Sphinx

/ "Deadspread"
Rares: Carnifex Demon, Contagion Engine

/ "Relic Breaker"
Rares: Hoard-smelter Dragon, Asceticism

/ "Phyrexian Posion"
Rares: Hand of Praetors, Putrefax
The intro pack is really the best way for existing players to find out about the new set's mechanics and setting. It will also be the best tool for introducing new players into the game by allowing them to learn with the most current cards.

Intro pack contents include:

* 60-card preconstructed deck, which includes 1 premium foil rare.

* A booster pack of the current set

* A set-specific insert explaining the new mechanics in the set and info on the preconstructed decks included in the intro packs

* A learn-to-play insert for new players that includes game rules, deck building tips, and storyline information

Scars of Mirrodin FAQ

We recommend you have a look through the Scars of Mirrodin Frequently Asked Questions document before you head out to a pre-release or release / launch party event in order to appear like the smartest player there - it may even make your games more effective.

Release Information
The Scars of Mirrodin set contains 249 cards (101 common, 60 uncommon, 53 rare, 15 mythic rare, and 20 basic land).
Prerelease events: September 25-26, 2010
Launch Parties: October 1-3, 2010
The Scars of Mirrodin set becomes legal for sanctioned Constructed play on its official release date: Friday, October 1, 2010.

Scars of Mirrodin FAQ

Returning Theme: -1/-1 Counters
Many cards in the Scars of Mirrodin set put -1/-1 counters on creatures or care about -1/-1 counters in other ways. Infect appears only on cards from the Phyrexian faction.

Returning Theme: Poison Counters
A player who has ten or more poison counters loses the game. This is a state-based action. No Scars of Mirrodin cards enable a player to lose poison counters. (Only one card in the entire game -- the Homelands_(TM) card Leeches -- allows this to happen.) Unless you're playing a format in which Leeches is legal, once a player gets a poison counter, he or she will have it for the rest of the game.

New Keyword Ability: Infect
Infect is an ability that changes the nature of damage dealt to players and creatures. Only cards from the Phyrexian faction have infect. Infect (This creature deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters and to players in the form of poison counters.)

Returning Ability Word: Imprint
Though originally printed in the Mirrodin block as a keyword, imprint is now an ability word. It appears in italics at the beginning of abilities, calling attention to permanents that exile other cards and then use the exiled cards' characteristics to define their other abilities. (An ability word has no rules meaning.) Imprint appears only on cards from the Mirran faction.

New Ability Word: Metalcraft
Metalcraft is an ability word. It appears in italics at the beginning of abilities that improve if you control three or more artifacts. (An ability word has no rules meaning.) Metalcraft appears only on cards from the Mirran faction.

New Keyword Action: Proliferate
Proliferate is a keyword action that appears on Phyrexian cards. It allows you to add another counter to each player and/or permanent that already has one.

Emblems and the Command Zone
An emblem is a new type of object that exists in the command zone. The command zone is a game area reserved for certain specialized objects, such as nontraditional _Magic_ cards (vanguard, plane, and scheme cards). Like all objects in the command zone, emblems aren't permanents and can't be destroyed.

Cycle: Spellbombs
The Scars of Mirrodin set includes a cycle of five Spellbombs, a variation of a cycle originally seen in the _Mirrodin(R)_ set. The second ability triggers when the Spellbomb is put into a graveyard from the battlefield for any reason, not just as a result of sacrificing it to activate its first ability.

Cycle: Smiths
The Scars of Mirrodin set includes a cycle of five Smiths, each of which is a creature with an ability that triggers whenever you cast an artifact spell. Whenever you cast an artifact spell, the ability of each Smith you control triggers. You can put the abilities on the stack in any order, keeping in mind that the one you put on the stack last will resolve first. All of the abilities will resolve before the artifact spell does.

Cycle: Scars of Mirrodin Tap Lands
The Scars of Mirrodin set includes a cycle of five lands that produce two colors of mana and enter the battlefield tapped unless you control two or fewer other lands.


SoM Primer Videos

Just when you thought you have just returned to school and were hitting the books, you get hit with this - a new set with new cards to familiarize yourself with and new mechanics and keywords to learn - dammit. But this kind of learning is fun AND there's videos.

Following are the Scars of Mirrodin Planeswalker Primer videos for your review to get up to speed before you head out to a pre-release this weekend or release / launch party next weekend.

Set Overview
Scars of Mirrodin will return to the plane of Mirrodin, previously the setting of the block and the set of the same name. As Mirrodin is an artificial plane, the number of artifacts and cards relating to that permanent type is larger than in other sets and mechanically reflects the themes already explored in the previous sets. The set describes the conflict between two major factions - one being Mirrodin, and the other being the invading forces of Phyrexia.

Metalcraft is a new ability word introduced in this Scars of Mirrodin set and gives a bonus to a permanent if its controller also controls three or more artifacts.

Imprint is a keyword ability that is featured on a number of artifact cards within the original Mirrodin block and now making a reappearence in the new Scars of Mirrodin set. Some imprint abilities are triggered, commonly by entering play, and some are activated abilities, but both remove cards from some zone to the removed from the game zone, where they are referred to as "imprinted" on the artifact.

Infect is a new keyword introduced in this Scars of Mirrodin set. It is centered in black and green with some artifacts having the keyword. The damage is still dealt as damage, and as such it can be prevented or redirected as normal. If not prevented or redirected, it turns into -1/-1 counters. However, damage to a player is dealt in poison counters.

Proliferate is a new keyword introduced in this Scars of Mirrodin set. It is only seen in the colour blue. When a player proliferates, he or she chooses any number of players and/or permanents with a counter on them, then puts another of those counters on these players or permanents. For example, a player proliferates and chooses an opponent with a Poison counter, a Planeswalker card with a loyalty counter, a creature with a -1/-1 counter and an artifact with a charge counter on it. Then that player gets another poison counter, the planeswalker gets another loyalty counter, the creature now has two -1/-1 counters and the artifact two charge counters on it. Thematically, the Proliferate mechanic is tied in with the Phyrexia faction in Scars of Mirrodin and its related Infect mechanic.


As the entire set has now been spoiled / previewed, be sure to check out our Scars of Mirrodin Spoiler list which is constantly updated - linky is HERE. Also - from MTG Mint Card you can now pre-order card lots for Scars of Mirrodin.


Scars Mirrodin Checklist

Good Evening folks,
The Scars of Mirrodin card checklist just went up which means two things for Magic the Gathering fans . . .

We now know all the cards names (and the numbers in each colour) and we now have a handy printable Card Checklist to use in latter constructed tournaments.

Let's have a look . . .

Scars of Mirrodin Check List

And here for your reference is the complete list in text . . .

WHITE (27): Abuna Acolyte, Arrest, Auriok Edgewright, Auriok Sunchaser, Dispense Justice, Elspeth Tirel, Fulgent Distraction, Ghalma’s Warden, Glimmerpoint Stag, Glint Hawk, Indomitable Archangel, Kemba, Kha Regent, Kemba’s Skyguard, Leonin Arbiter, Loxodon Wayfarer, Myrsmith, Razor Hippogriff, Revoke Existence, Salvage Scout, Seize the Initiative, Soul Parry, Sunblast Angel, Sunspear Shikari, Tempered Steel, True Conviction, Vigil for the Lost, Whitesun’s Passage

BLUE (26): Argent Sphinx, Bonds of Quicksilver, Darkslick Drake, Disperse, Dissipation Field, Grand Architect, Halt Order, Inexorable Tide, Lumengrid Drake, Neurok Invisimancer, Plated Seastrider, Quicksilver Gargantuan, Riddlesmith, Scrapdiver Serpent, Screeching Silcaw, Shape Anew, Sky-Eel School, Steady Progress, Stoic Rebuttal, Thrummingbird, Trinket Mage, Turn Aside, Twisted Image, Vault Skyward, Vedalken Certarch, Volition Reins

BLACK (27): Blackcleave Goblin, Bleak Coven Vampires, Blistergrub, Carnifex Demon, Contagious Nim, Corrupted Harvester, Dross Hopper, Exsanguinate, Flesh Allergy, Fume Spitter, Geth, Lord of the Vault, Grasp of Darkness, Hand of the Praetors, Ichor Rats, Instill Infection, Memoricide, Moriok Reaver, Necrogen Scudder, Necrotic Ooze, Painful Quandary, Painsmith, Plague Stinger ,Psychic Miasma, Relic Putrescence, Skinrender, Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon, Tainted Strike

RED (27): Arc Trail, Assault Strobe, Barrage Ogre, Blade-Tribe Berserkers, Bloodshot Trainee, Cerebral Eruption, Embersmith, Ferrovore, Flameborn Hellion, Furnace Celebration, Galvanic Blast, Goblin Gaveleer, Hoard-Smelter Dragon, Koth of the Hammer,Kuldotha Phoenix, Kuldotha Rebirth, Melt Terrain, Molten Psyche,Ogre Geargrabber, Oxidda Daredevil, Oxidda Scrapmelter, Scoria Elemental, Shatter, Spikeshot Elder, Tunnel Ignus, Turn to Slag, Vulshok Heartstoker

GREEN (27): Acid Web Spider, Alpha Tyrranax, Asceticism, Bellowing Tanglewurm, Blight Mamba, Blunt the Assault, Carapace Forger, Carrion Call, Copperhorn Scout, Cystbearer, Engulfing Slagwurm, Ezuri, Renegade Leader, Ezuri’s Archers, Ezuri’s Brigade, Genesis Wave, Liege of the Tangle, Lifesmith, Molder Beast, putrefax, Slice in Twain, Tangle Angler, Tel-Jilad Defiance, Tel-Jilad Fallen,
Untamed Might, Viridian Revel, Wing Puncture, Withstand Death

GOLD / Multi-colour (1): Venser, the Sojourner

ARTIFACT / Colourless (88): Accorder’s Shield, Argentum Armor, Auriok Replica, Barbed Battlegear, Bladed Pinions, Chimeric Mass, Chrome Steed, Clone Shell, Contagion Clasp, Contagion Engine, Copper Myr, Corpse Cur, Culling Dais, Darksteel Axe, Darksteel Juggernaut, Darksteel Myr, Darksteel Sentinel, Echo Circlet, Etched Champion, Flight Spellbomb, Glint Hawk Idol, Gold Myr, Golden Urn, Golem Artisan, Golem Foundry, Golem’s Heart, Grafted Exoskeleton, Grindclock, Heavy Arbalest, Horizon Spellbomb, Ichorclaw Myr, Infiltration Lens, Iron Myr, Kuldotha Forgemaster, Leaden Myr, Liquimetal Coating, Livewire Lash, Lux Cannon, Memnite, Mimic Vat, Mindslaver, Molten-Tail Masticore, Moriok Replica, Mox Opal ,Myr Battlesphere ,Myr Galvanizer, Myr Propagator, Myr Reservoir, Necrogen Censer, Necropede, Neurok Replica Nihil Spellbomb, Nim Deathmantle, Origin Spellbomb, Palladium Myr, Panic Spellbomb, Perilous Myr, Platinum Emperion, Precursor Golem, Prototype Portal, Ratchet Bomb, Razorfield Thresher, Rust Tick, Rusted Relic, Saberclaw Golem, Semblance Anvil, Silver Myr, Snapsail Glider, Soliton, Steel Hellkite, Strata Scythe, Strider Harness, Sword of Body and Mind, Sylvok Lifestaff, Sylvok Replica, Throne of Geth, Tower of Calamities, Trigon of Corruption, Trigon of Infestation, Trigon of Mending, Trigon of Rage Trigon of Thought, Tumble Magnet, Vector Asp Venser’s Journal, Vulshok Replica, Wall of Tanglecord

Non-Basic LANDS (6): Blackcleave Cliffs, Copperline Gorge, Darkslick Shores, Glimmerpost, Razorverge Thicket, Seachrome Coast


SoM Spoiler 9-21b

Hey there MTG peeps,

If you've not glanced at a calendar recently, you may be in for a bit of a shock. Today is Wednesday 21st and Scars of Mirrodin PreRelease events are going down this weekend. Check out the blog for updates on how we did in our sealed event and what sort of awesome we pulled.

Anywhoos - as promised in today's earlier post, here are today's previews from Wizards . . .

Genesis Wave - X
Sorcery (Rare)
Reveal the top X cards of your library. You may put any number of permanent cards with converted mana cost X or less from among them onto the battlefield . Then put all cards revealed this way that weren't put onto the battlefield into your graveyard.

So the trick here is ramp a stupid amount of mana and then drop this card in order for you to make 'X' as large as possible (try not to let X equal or less than three or four - that would hurt). The other trick is to control your urge to include heavy costing cards in your deck in order to ensure you drop most of what you reveal straight onto the battlefield. This card could be insanely bombtastic (kind of like Nissa Revane's ultimate) and will be considered by both EDH players and casual constructed players running elves.

Molten Psyche - 1
Sorcery (Rare)
Each player shuffles the cards from his or her hand into his or her library, then draws that many cards.
Metalcraft - If you control three or more artifacts, Molten Psyche deals damage to each opponent equal to the number of cards that player has drawn this turn.

Two words - 'Runeflare Trap'. This will cause your opponent extra double grief while you not as much, and that can't really be a bad thing. Players loving those draw / scry decks should be extra warry for this card. Other buddies for this card may Reverberate, be Howling Mine, and Temple Bell. We have a feeling that this will not be very popular with most folks as it also deals damage to the controller as well (edit - no it doesn't - reading is tech) - there are a lot better ways to deal up to 7 points of pain.

Trigon of Rage - 2
Artifact (Uncommon)
Trigon of Rage enters the battlefield with three charge counters on it.
: Put a charge counter on Trigon of Rage.
, Remove a charge counter from Trigon of Rage: Target creature gets +3/+0 until end of turn.

Not too shabby. We're already thinking about using Voltaic Key with this to double-dip but we are unsure whether this is a bit to costly for out tastes - remember Bull Rush from Worldwake - yeah - that was just one to provide a pump of +2/0 but we guess there was no repeat.