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Garruk Relentless

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

It's Friday, so get on out to a Friday Night Magic event at your local gamery store. We have not had the opportunity to get in an FNM for several weeks now and are rather grumpy about it. It looks like we will also miss the very first Magic the Gathering 'Modern' tournament at OMG! Games in Barrie, Ontario this Saturday as well (Saturday, September 3 at 12:00pm). Modern is a constructed format that allows blocks and core sets from Eighth Edition forward, with the exception of the Modern ban list.

Alrighty - let's get down to business as the Innistrad spoilers and previews are piling up. The big news today is the preview of Garruk Relentless -

Garruk Relentless, 3
Planeswalker - Garruk, Mythic Rare
When Garruk Relentless has two or fewer loyalty counters on him, transform him.
0: Garruk Relentless deals 3 damage to target creature. That creature deals damage equal to its power to him
0: Put a 2/2 green Wolf creature token onto the battlefield.
Garruk, the Veil-Cursed
+1 : Put a 1/1 black Wolf creature token with deathtouch onto the battlefield.
-1 : Sacrifice a creature. If you do, search your library for a creature card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.
-3 : Creatures you control gain trample and get +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the number of creature cards in your graveyard.

We finally have that much aniticipated five ability, two-sided Planeswalker everyone was yattering about for some time. First off, a 'Walker with a starting loyalty of 3 for four mana ain't that bad, so let's move along to the abilities. There are TWO zero abilities, with the first is the new 'fight' tech and second drops a 2/2 wolf token. The beauty really starts to happen when Garruk transforms after hitting two or fewer loyalty counters. We suggest a safe fight sequence with your opponent's 1/1 chump or if none exist, you could always use that wolf token you just created to transform Mr. Relentless into Mr. Veil-Cursed. We can't see anything that would not benefit a player in a game here - from making deathtouch wolves, critter tutour or a graveyard-powered overrun ability - it's all excellent.

Mindshrieker, 1u
Creature - Spirit Bird, Rare
2: Target player puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard. Mindshrieker gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is that card's converted mana cost.
Illus. Dave Kendall #67/264 1/1

Do you like milling your opponent? Do you like having the potential of a monsterous fatty in the skies? We think that you may like this. If you happen to be playing a limited format game, we strongly suggest you do not pass up an opportunity to play this. This card will win games on its own and will likely see play in just about every format. Expect the price on the singles market to reflect how hugely popular this will become.

Angel of Flight Alabaster, 4
Creature - Angel, Rare
At the beginning of your upkeep, return target Spirit card from your graveyard to your hand.

The name on this is awkward. The name also suggests the possibility of a cycle here - remember Alabaster Mage, Azure Mage, Onyx Mage, Crimson Mage, and Emerald Mage? We love the flavour here and also think that this card, awkward name aside, will be popular with any Commander deck running Kamigawa style spiritcraft builds. Recursion is never a bad thing and rarely found in white so we approve.

Divine Reckoning, 2
Sorcery, Rare
Each player chooses a creature he or she controls. Destroy the rest.
Flashback 5{W}{W}

If you were wondering what a Wrath of God with flashback would look like, look no further. We rather like this card - choose your fav critter and toss the rest - a nice little board clean-up. The drawback here of course is that your opponent will want to keep their best card as well - so choose wisely when you want to cast this grasshopper. The way around this is to be able to have in your hand a Doom Blade or similar spot removal card.

Endless Ranks of the Dead, 2
Enchantment, Rare
At the beginning of your upkeep, put X 2/2 black zombie creature tokens onto the battlefield, where X is half the number of the zombies you control, rounded down.

This is one of those 'auto-include' cards anyone running a zombie deck will want to have. If this enchantment is not responded to, we imagine that things could get out of hand quickly. We have already seen several new Innistrad cards designed to keep the zombie apocalypse in check such as Elite Inquisitor and Blazing Torch (with more expected) but we think that it is just a matter of 'when' and not 'if' the army of the undead overrun the game table.

Curse of Death's Hold, 3
Enchantment - Aura Curse, Rare
Enchant Player
Creatures enchanted player controls gets -1/-1.

This player aura provides a nice global -1/-1 effect on your opponent's side of the fence. The mana cost seems a bit too high for our liking however. We think this will see some play in Commander and Limited but won't expect any constructed applications. This could be a solid sideboard card against white weenie builds.

And now a word about jumping on this upcoming set - we're suggesting getting in your pre-orders ahead of the official release on September 30th next month. Check out the excellent prices at MTG Mint Card here.

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