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Battle for Zendikar Spoilers - Limited Review for September 11

The spoilers keep pouring in and as long as they do, we'll keep talking about them. I'll be reviewing the new 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 Battle for Zendikar page. Please note that if I haven't yet reviewed a card, it's probably because the official English 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. (Dragonlord Atarka, Tragic Arrogance)
B: This card is rarely cut from a deck that can cast it. In draft, it signals that a color or archetype is open. (Death Wind, Blessed Spirits)
C: Cards like this make up the majority of limited decks. You're neither excited nor embarrassed to have them in your deck. (Screamreach Brawler, Aspiring Aeronaut)
D: I'm not putting this in my main deck unless I have a specific reason or I'm low on playables. (Blessed Reincarnation, Gather the Pack)
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. (Keeper of the Lens, Jace's Sanctum)


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Even something as hellishly expensive as Nightsnare proved worthy of sideboard status against opponents with Sentinel of the Eternal Watch or other expensive threats. Transgress the Mind costs only two mana, meaning that even on the draw you can snag a 3-drop or larger before your opponent has a chance to cast it. This is also fine to cast later in the game since the scariest of the Eldrazi creatures cost upwards of 7-mana, remaining in your opponent's hand for a long while and giving you plenty of time to cast this spell.

Exiling the card also fuels Eldrazi Processors in the same way that Ingest does. I want to live the dream of turn two Transgress the Mind, turn three Transgress the Mind, turn four Ulamog's Nullifier countering a spell, but I probably won't be willing to play multiple copies of this spell main deck to make this dream a reality.


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Akoum Firebird is a very efficient attacker and can quickly wreck your opponent's life total if they don't have a way to deal with it. Being forced to chump attack the bird into a big Flying or Reach blocker is a definite possibility, so I'd recommend taking combat tricks higher when you have this creature in your deck. 

When you're playing defense, be sure to cast this in your second main phase so that you can block for a turn. 


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Upon seeing Eldrazi Scions, one of the things I wished for was an Awakening Zone for them. My wish has been granted. 

From Beyond is efficient and incredibly versatile. Want to ramp? You can do that. Want to build up an army then attack? Sure thing. Want to chump block? Yup. Want to draw your game-ending bomb? No problem. 

You obviously don't get to do all these things at once, but the amount of freedom it offers means that it's sure to have an effect on the game if given a turn or two to get going.

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It's really easy to tell if you want this effect in your deck: If you have a two-color deck full of nothing but basics, don't play it. If you are playing 3+ colors to get Converge cards working, or if you have a sweet utility land like Lumbering Falls to grab, then this becomes a good pickup.


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"To the battlefield" is the important part of the text of this card. At first I thought this was another bad version of March of the Returned, but it's actually much better than that. Being able to resurrect one expensive Ally or two cheaper ones should make it easy to get more than 5-mana worth of value out of this spell. If you can manage to bring back two Allies, you get to trigger Rally twice for each of them and twice for each of your Allies already on the battlefield. The sweet combo potential of this goes up even higher if you bring back three Allies at once.

When you're stocking your opponent's graveyard with a Blight Herder, I highly recommend leaving the Allies in exile to avoid getting blown out by March from the Tomb.

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Bouncing a creature is a great tempo play but often puts you behind on card advantage. Getting to Magma Spray a creature at the same time makes this a true control card and not usable solely for tempo. This card is sweet and I would never cut it from a Blue-Red deck, but it doesn't seem like sufficient reason to commit to two colors super early in a draft.


One week of spoilers is over and we've got only one left! Please join me for more spoilers and more Limited review when the official spoilers resume next Monday. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.

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