Dawn to Dusk – Not terrible, but it’s never going to make the cut ahead of Return to Dust.
Daybreak Reclaimer – I really don’t like giving my opponents stuff. Even if I’m the one that gave it to them, I’m the person they’ll most likely use it against. It’s hard to be the political player when you are the one everyone else gangs up on. I also don’t like this as much since it is coming out right after we got the AMAZING Emeria Shepherd a few weeks ago.
Grasp of Fate – O-Ring upgraded for Multiplayer? Nice. I don’t see it getting much use outside of decks with a heavy Enchantment theme, though, as White has too many better answers that more permanently deal with problems.
Kalemne’s Captain – Will be a big hit with some, but it costs ALL of the mana, and has a high risk of friendly fire/collateral damage.
Oreskos Explorer – Would run in Mono-White and R/W but otherwise seems “meh”.
Shielded By Faith – I like making stuff indestructible, but the prevalence of Exile effects means I prefer to do it at instant speed or just as a blanket effect. I don’t think this is good, but it is cute with Sun Titan.
Gigantoplasm – WotC has a weird fetish lately for “strictly better Clones”. This one isn’t my favorite, and there are getting to be too many to pick from.
Illusory Ambusher – Fine, but not amazing… yet I cannot stop fantasizing about flashing this into play in response to an opponent’s Blasphemous Act. I will live this dream.
Mirror Match – I don’t like this as much as Aetherize, Aetherspouts or Illusionist’s Gambit, but I love this type of “gotcha” spell in general, so I’ll play it. That said, it’s going to be amazing when someone attacks you with a bunch of ETBF creatures.
Synthetic Destiny – Yet another six-mana Instant. Ouch. That said, the effect is pretty sweet. Do Mass Polymorph shenanigans, or just make someone casting a Decree of Pain cry. Seems fun, but putting a bunch of your own guys into the Exile zone is painful.
Daxos’s Torment – Black’s take on Sigil of the Empty Throne, I guess. Not as good, but costs less. Fair.
Deadly Tempest – Definitely one of my favorite cards in this set. Sometimes it’ll be an overcosted Damnation with a small but inadequate upside. Other times it’ll just murder the token deck. Usually, though I think it’ll be in between – a solid budget alternative to Damnation with a good deal of upside.
Dread Summons – Cool card. Not bad, but there’s not much more to say about it. Some decks will obviously want it, others won’t.
Scourge of Nel Toth – Believe me, I totally get why this card exists, but even in its native habitat I find it woefully unexciting. It’s hard to believe I’m calling a ZOMBIE DRAGON with a built-in self-reanimation ability unexciting, yet here I am…
Thief of Blood – Boo-urns.
Dream Pillager – Well, crap. Red is getting seriously shafted here. This could have been a bit larger than 4/4 for seven mana, right? It’s like this thing is doing the worst impression of Narset ever seen.
Magus of the Wheel – I’m all about giving Red more ways to draw cards, and I don’t hate Wheel effects like some people do. I’m pretty happy to see this guy.
Metor Blast – This, I don’t like much. Mizzium Mortars has been pretty lackluster in my experience. 4 damage is fine for spot removal – FTK has been a reliable card for years, but for a board wipe, 4 damage rarely gets the job done. And this costs a billion mana against token decks.
Mizzix’s Mastery – Pretty much “win the game” for the R/U spells deck. Very powerful.
Rite of the Raging Storm – Seems like a pretty ineffective way to spend 5 mana. Don’t see this working as intended in most groups.
Bloodspore Thrinax – Cool to see a new Devour card, and I like that it’s a Thrinax. This is probably worse than Master Biomancer in general, but in the right deck it will get out of hand far faster than the Biomancer. Will definitely get played in decks that can both support the devour cost and make use of the +1/+1 counters.
Centaur Vinecrasher – An oddball design, but cool. Very niche, but will probably be solid in the right decks.
Ezuri’s Predation – Another one of the few cards that really makes me giddy with excitement. Can’t wait to cast this with Elemental Bond on the battlefield.
Great Oak Guardian – I don’t like this one nearly as much as the other “gotcha!” anti-attack cards we’ve seen lately. This one is both expensive and highly circumstantial, unlike say Angel of the Dire Hour or the new Spider Fog.
Pathbreaker Ibex – Wild Beastmaster on crack. Craterhoof’s baby brother. Win goat. Win.
Skullwinder – Not going to happen, same reason I don’t like the Angel; don’t want to play the “sure, lemme just get back the answer to whatever it is you are getting back” game.
Scytheclaw – Compare this to Quietus Spike and ask yourself if getting that 0/0 Germ token and +1/+1 is really worth the loss of Deathtouch and an extra 2 mana? No way. Spike is clearly better, by a wide margin, and it’s not exactly tearing up the format.
Seal of the Guildpact – Yeah, the threshold at which this is better than just playing Guilded Lotus or Thran Dynamo or Hedron Archive or just a couple of Medallions is quite high. Not many decks will be able to meet that threshold often enough to justify it. But, some will so it’s fine.
Thought Vessel – Welcome to Stapleville, new guy! Seriously, though, a lot of decks will be fine playing this, but it’s never going to be quite as ubiquitous as Reliquary Tower.
Command Beacon – Broken in Titania decks. Helps out difficult commanders like Phage, Hakkon, and the Myojins. Cute, but not that great.