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Amonkhet Spoilers: Limited Review for April 3


Welcome to the first day of spoiler discussions for Amonkhet! We've got trials. We've got Gods. We've got it all on this sweet Egyptian plane! And in this article, we've got reviews for how good and how sweet we think the new cards will be in Draft/Sealed.

I'll be reviewing these cards from the standpoint of how well I expect them to perform in Limited. We can't rate the cards completely accurately without knowing the entire set, but we can evaluate the cards in an "average" limited format. You can find all the latest spoilers on the Amonkhet page. Please note that if I haven't yet reviewed a card, it's probably because the official spoiler for it has not been released yet.

Grading scale

A: This card will often be the best card in one's deck. I'd consider splashing it where possible. (Verdurous Gearhulk, Aethersphere Harvester)
B: This card is rarely cut from a deck that can cast it. In draft, it signals that a color or archetype is open. (Aerial Responder, Fatal Push)
C: Cards like this make up the majority of limited decks. You're neither excited nor embarrassed to have them in your deck. (Lawless Broker, Hinterland Drake)
D: I'm not putting this in my main deck unless I have a specific reason or I'm low on playables. (Curio Vendor, Aegis Automaton)
F: This card will have little or no impact on the game if I draw it or is strictly sideboard-material. If I cast this card, please stage an intervention for me. (Madcap Experiment, Secret Salvage)

White

Anointer Priest

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

A 1/3 isn't great for embalming, and I doubt there's enough tokens in the set to make the life gain absurd, but Anointer Priest's base card is fine without taking its other synergies into consideration. 

Aven Mindcensor

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

This Bird's main utility is an evasive damage source and secondarily as a surprise blocker. When you very occasionally make Aven Mindcensor's search restriction text relevant, you'll feel very clever but don't count on it being relevant very often in a Limited.

Cartouche of Solidarity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

A 1/1 with vigilance is negligible in value, but this Aura's primary effect plus its ability to trigger Trial of Knowledge (and presumably the other four Trials in the theoretical cycle) is still worth a mana. As a side note, I can't wait to figure out the correct way to pronounce Cartouche, then constantly say it some other way to tilt people. 

Djeru's Resolve

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Like other situational cards, combat tricks work well with cycling. You can have Djeru's Resolve ready on your opponent's turn in case it's useful during combat or in response to removal, then if it isn't needed, you can just cycle it away and dig for something more impactful. 

In Oketra's Name

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C-

One power worth of pump isn't really late enough for a team pump spell, but if you have enough embalm creatures and natural Zombies, In Oketra's Name might get there.  

Renewed Faith

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

Be careful about putting multiple do-nothing cycle cards like Renewed Faith into your deck unless your cycle payoff cards are powerful. You don't want to end up with a deck that can churn through its cards quickly without getting anywhere. Obviously if you have a Archfiend of Ifnir in your deck, you'll want plenty of Renewed Faith, but let's wait to see the Common and Uncommon cycling matters cards before hyping up this card too much. 

Trueheart Duelist

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Your typical two drop creature can block just once while Trueheart Duelist can block four total creatures before being gone forever. That's incredible for defense and not too shabby as an attacker either. 

Unwavering Initiate

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

I really like Vigilance on a creature with embalm. If your opponent doesn't want to block it and let you embalm, guess what, Unwavering Initiate is still there and ready to block. Five mana for a 3/2 when you embalm isn't great, but as we know from playing with flashback, it's great to have a mana sink that affects the board when the options in your hand are limited.

Blue

Trial of Knowledge

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Given that there's a cycle of common Cartouches, Trial or Knowledge is Sift with huge upside. Efficient card draw is welcome in blue decks in Limited. 

Black

Archfiend of Ifnir

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A

Archfiend of Ifnir is an unbeatable flyer that occasionally messes up your opponent's board in the late game, and it even has cycling for those games when you just have to find a cheaper creature to throw down and block. 10 points to the first person who gets hit with a Mind Rot while controlling this dragon. Try not to cackle at your opponent; they'll feel bad enough already. 

Nest of Scarabs

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D+

Nest of Scarabs joins Goblinslide in the somewhat small club of "three mana enchantments that make 1/1 tokens with a triggered ability when you do something." Nest of Scarabs is a bit difficult to trigger (there's no wither or infect in the set), but it has the potential to generate multiple tokens at once. I'm pretty down on this card as you really want it to generate 4+ tokens and not take too long to do it, and that sounds like a lot of work. If you're successfully powering down your opponent's creatures with -1/-1 counters, wouldn't you rather capitalize on that by playing normal creatures and attacking?

Red

Ahn-Crop Crasher

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

The exert option on Ahn-Crop Crasher is deceptively good, and even if you never use it, a 3/2 haste for 3 is a fine deal. It's kind of like a Goblin Heelcutter except instead of returning to hand, it stays on board and is usable again two turns after exerting.

Flameblade Adept

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

One drop creatures aren't very important in Limited and Flameblade Adept doesn't really stand out. Your opponent will rarely bother to double block a 1/2 especially since it can grow at instant speed, but getting in for 2-3 damage isn't amazing and drawing this late is miserable. 

Glorybringer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A

The strength of Glorybringer is hard to overstate. In a game that's ending soon, four damage to a creature and the opponent is a good deal for five mana. In a game that's going long, getting to repeat that every other turn is close to unbeatable. 

Hazoret the Fervent

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

Even with the "cycle or discard" synergies in the set that synergies with the Dog God's activated abilities, Hazoret the Fervent will likely not be worth casting until your hand is empty enough for Hazoret to be allowed to attack with the speed granted by the haste keyword. An indestructible blocker is pretty interesting as well, as it could be the force needed to keep you alive a few extra turns.  Overall, I find it underwhelming for a God card and hope the others are a little more powerful.

Limits of Solidarity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C-

Cycling on situational cards is certainly nice, but it's not enough for me to want to run an overcosted Act of Treason in my deck. I'd want to have both cycling matters and be moderately aggressive before I'm happy to include Limits of Solidarity

Green

Crocodile of the Crossing

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

By the time you cast this, you hopefully have a small creature that's already been outclassed and isn't made much worse with the addition of a -1/-1 counter. For instance, having a 1/2 that's eventually going to chump block something isn't that different from having a 0/1 that's eventually going to chump block something. Even if Crocodile of the Crossing has to put its counter on itself, it's still not too bad so you know it's going to be an efficient creature. 

Prowling Sepropard

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Prowling Serpopard's counterspell protection is trinket text in Limited (and maybe Standard too), but this Cat Snake is still an above-the-curve creature in any deck running enough green mana sources. 

Multicolor

Destined // Lead

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

The power of this card is mainly in the Destined // Lead portion, optionally combined with casting Destined // Lead first, so definitely don't include it in your deck unless you can cast both halves of the spell. Once you are in the requisite Black-Green deck, you also want to look out for deathtouch creatures with 2+ power to combo with Destined // Lead.

Colorless

Cycle Lands

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

From what we've seen so far, Amonkhet will likely have a two color Limited environment so dual lands aren't inherently valuable, but these lands' late game utility could prove as strong as Theros's scry lands and be played even in Limited decks that use only one of their two colors of mana. 

Oracle's Vault

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

 

C-

Oracle's Vault is very expensive and very conditional card draw in its first stage, and it's not until three or four turns minimum after your cast it that it turns into a free spell granting machine. Sometimes the game will go long, and your opponent won't have artifact removal, and Oracle's Vault will win you the game. Usually though, it will be too slow, and you'd be better off with any efficient immediate card draw spell (such as Trial of Knowledge) over it.

Conclusion

I'm excited for Amonkhet, and I certainly like what I've seen so far. Please join me for more spoiler reviews as the official spoiler weeks continue. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.


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