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Battle for Zendikar Spoilers - Limited Review for September 9

Week One of Battle for Zendikar spoilers is well underway and we have a collection of five Uncommons to look at today. 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 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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While many Allies previewed so far will fit into any deck, Tajuru Warcaller really wants to be in a deck with her own kind. Alone she is an overcosted pump spell. With many other Allies, it's like a Great Teacher's Decree that just won't stop rebounding. Repeatedly pumping your team should end the game in very short order. 

Tajuru Warcaller makes me a lot more excited about Retreat to Emeria. With these two cards out, cracking a fetch land or playing a land plus an Ally gives your team a massive +4/+4 in a single turn. With both of these cards being Uncommon, this combo may be easier to pull off than you think.


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While bouncing a creature is nice, it is usually not a permanent solution — your opponent can simply recast the spell.

Our most recent Time Ebb variant, Anchor to the Aether, had Scry 1 to help dig for an answer to the creature being reset. This multicolored version goes a step further. By allowing you to overpay to Awaken a land, this spell also doubles as an oversized Vedalken Dismisser which can deal with the creature when it gets recast. Whether aggressive or controlling, any White-Blue Limited deck will play as many of these as they can get.

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Nothing to see here, just more proof that Blue-Black is awesome. While most players, myself included, have grown tired of Blue-Black mediocre mill strategies, I don't think anyone is opposed to putting cards into graveyards from exile

The biggest question with this card is going to be whether you should initiate a surprise block on an attacking 2/2 or hold out for that sweet Counterspell value in your opponent's second main phase. I'll tend toward the latter option, but if you need to take less damage, the blocking option is also great. 

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Blocking as a 3/3 isn't great for a 4-drop, but this fits well into decks that want to be aggressive. Cards with Landfall and Rally combat triggers favor attacking since they're much easier to trigger on your own turn. The faster decks these cards enable should provide an interesting contrast to the slower Eldrazi-ramp decks sure to be found in the format. 

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Augmenting your team with 1/1s is pretty good since cards with teamwide benefits from Rally are abundant. The rate this offers isn't particularly cheap, but it does give you something to do with extra mana you probably weren't using anyway. If Goblinslide was ever a real archetype in Khans of Tarkir, then I have to believe Grovetender Druids has a good chance to do something sweet in this format.


The cards today were great, but I can't wait to see some more Commons so that we can get a better handle on the format's speed. Please join me for more spoilers and more Limited review throughout this week and next as I keep crossing my fingers and hoping for an Ondu Giant reprint.

Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.

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