Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mirrodin Besieged: EDH Set Review, Part 1

Alright folks, it's that time. The Mirrodin Besieged visual spoiler is up; all the cards are now publicly available to peruse and discuss, which is precisely what I mean to do. I will be discussing the cards' relevance and playability in EDH specifically, but don't blame me if I give passing mention to other formats. Yet the focus will remain solely on EDH viability.

I will discuss every rare/mythic in the set, and many of the uncommons. I will skip most of the commons, as 90% will be simply horrid in the EDH format, so to save time and eliminate redundancy I will usually only discuss a common (or even an uncommon) if I think it's playable or possibly so.

I will kick things off by discussing the Legenday creatures in the set, and looking at their potential as Generals as well as just cards in your deck.

And now... The Legends!

  Thrun, the Last Troll. This guy is pretty neat, I have to say. He's extremely difficult to get rid of once on the board, but you can't be proactive and counter him either. Basically old school Wrath and other "cannot be regenerated" sweepers will do the trick, as will Hallowed Burial, Final Judgement and a few other niche spells. Pinpoint removal is worthless, and any "wrath" without a regen clause will likely fail as well.
   A 4/4 for four mana, he's efficient and sturdy, no slouch in combat... in most formats. In EDH, he'll be a bit on the small side, but probably not totally irrelevant.
   As a general, he could certainly work out okay - the last Legend we had with "super shroud" was a pretty big hit, so Thrun could do alright. I'm not a fan of mono-color decks, but I do know this guy has some stiff competition in mono-G, so I expect him to be fairly obscure as a general, no where near as popular as Uril.
   The more common use for this guy will be just as a good mid-range guy in a counterspell-laden format. You'll often want bigger threats, but he can come down fast enough to get into the red zone before it's too clogged up. Overall, he's playable, but not a star.

   As a General, she is going to have to work extra hard to get me interested. She makes deck building an interesting puzzle, but I don’t really like generals with such a strong “build-around-me” concept, and her ability in particular I think would make a very boring deck.
   As just a card in your deck, she’s going to be worth running simply as a 3/3 with First Strike and Deathtouch. I’ve been waiting a long time for those two abilities to appear on a creature together, and in that department she certainly delivers. I don't think every B/G deck will want to run her, but she'll make the cut in some of those.

So, neither of the new Legends make much of a splash with me, but neither are they strictly horrible. Glissa might be ideal for an extremely clever "Johnny" and Thrun would make a great General in a newer, low-powered play group. 

With the next  post, we'll get into the meat of the set, and starting with the White cards.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weak Sauce

So… it’s been a while, no?

Yeah, I’ve been busy - busy not playing Magic, unfortunately. I’ve barely even thought about Magic in the last few weeks, what with the holiday rush and whatnot. Oh, and I got Call of Duty: Black Ops for Christmas, so I’ve been rather distracted…

But even despite those other endless excuses, it just hasn’t worked out that I’ve been able to get the regular group together for Magic in a while. So as a result my interest, and inspiration for content has dried up.

The good news – Mirrodin Besieged spoiler season is finally in full swing. It has been trickling in slowly – agonizingly slowly – for weeks now, but suddenly the floodgates have opened and the rumor mill is deluged with new info and new cards.

In order not to be redundant later on, I will attempt to refrain from discussing individual cards for now. I plan to do an EDH set review as I did for Scars, so I’ll save that content for later. However, one new card has me just itching to write something up, so I’ll just post it with the comment that I am already pretty sure this will be an EDH staple, possibly one of the most EDH-worthy cards in the set.

Based on the name, I was really hoping this would be a Wrath + Resurrection, and perhaps it WAS that at some point but was maybe altered for power-level reasons… I don’t know. But even though it doesn’t have a straight reanimation ability, being able to wipe the board and drop a dude afterwards all on one card is a terrific ability. It’s going to compete with Martial Coup in some decks, probably, but it will certainly be played.

Oh, and then there’s this little gem:

 Already, I dread hearing people intentionally mispronounce this as “Constipated Sphinx”. And before you accuse me of putting the idea into people’s heads in the first place… well, firstly, I think you give me too much credit – like maybe 10 people in the universe read this blog. And secondly, you give the human race too much credit – someone else will think of it, and it will happen, even if I keep my trap shut.

That said, I suspect Ken Nagle had a hand in the design of this card. It seems utterly tailor-made to EDH, and I suspect it will go in every deck ever, although I’m not sure it’s THAT amazing. Still, the potential for card advantage is so damn high it will be very hard to make a convincing argument NOT to play this guy.

There. That’s enough banter for now. I’ll save the in-depth analysis for my inevitable EDH set review, but I just had to share my excitement over these two cards right away. I’m already looking forward to this set, though some of the other spoilers make me think it’s not going to be the surprise home-run Scars turned out to be. Still, I am certainly confident there will be a few more playable cards revealed…

In the mean time, I’ll try to tear myself away from Black Ops to post at least once a week, but no promises. I’m about to hit Prestige 2…