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Dragons of Tarkir Spoiler Limited Review for March 12


Welcome back to my final installment of Dragons of Tarkir spoilers! If you've missed any of the previous ones, you can click my name at the top of this article to see them. Look over the grading scale I'm using first, and then we can dive into the cards.

Grading Scale

A: This card will often be the best card in one's deck. I'd consider splashing it where possible. (Duneblast, Citadel Siege)
B: This card is rarely cut from a deck that can cast it. In draft, it signals that a color or archetype is open. (Icefeather Aven, Abzan Beastmaster)
C: Cards like this make up the majority of limited decks. You're neither excited nor embarrassed to have them in your deck. (Sagu Archer, Soul Summons)
D: I'm not putting this in my main deck unless I have a specific reason or I'm low on playables. (Firehoof Cavalry, Abzan Advantage)
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. (Lens of Clarity, Crucible of the Spirit Dragon)

Commons and Uncommons

Orator of Ojutai [DTK]

C

It looks as if Wall of Omens has taken to the air. This fits the pattern established by Dragonlord's PrerogativeDraconic Roar, and Scaleguard Sentinels in that these new Dragon-oriented spells are generally better than their counterparts — OpportunitySearing Blaze, and Kalonian Tusker — if you control a Dragon, but worse if you do not. I personally think that this is an interesting way to push the power level of cards in a Dragon-themed block. [Orater of Ojutai is a very good spell if you get the bonus, but is a worse Qarsi Deceiver or Monastery Flock if you don't. This puts the rating somewhere between a D and B- depending on the density of Dragon's in your deck, so I met somewhere in the middle with the rating.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

While Suspension Field was a coveted removal spell in Khans of Tarkir, this new version locks up only creatures that you care a lot less about. This version can target morphs which can lead to some good tempo plays early in the game, but be careful: If your opponent gets rid of Silkwrap, the exiled creature will come back to the battlefield face up. Defensive decks that can simply play large creatures won't always want to spend a whole card getting rid of an opponent's cheap creature, but this can get rid of utility creatures that don't always get into combat such as Abzan Beastmaster.

Wandering Tombshell [DTK]

D+

Oh, how the mighty have fallen: Meandering Towershell has lost four power, three toughness, and its rules text since we last saw it in the Khans of Tarkir timeline. While his stats are now quite bad, Sibsig Host and Rotting Mastodon aren't completely unplayable in Fate Reforged/Khans of Tarkir. This Zombie Turtle (yes, this is Magic's first Zombie Turtle) can at least be run in defensive decks. If it isn't the super star of your deck (hint: it won't be), it will at least make you nostalgic for the days of the biggest backside in the Khans of Tarkir block.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

They're aren't many non-rare scary artifacts or enchantments in Fate Reforged or revealed yet so this will mainly be used as a low cost creature that can occasionally generate value when it turns face up. People play Smoke Tellers when they need to in Khans of Tarkir, and this has a lot of potention compared to that including the potential to have three power.

Vial of Dragonfire [DTK]

C-

While I'm glad Renowned Weaponsmith isn't making Heart-Piercer Bows anymore, this Vial isn't all that great either. It's bad compared to Douse in Gloom and Wild Slash, and worse than Bring Low. A control deck might be able to use this in place of a cheap creature for early game defense, but in general a random two-drop creature should do better at that job. I look forward to my opponents trying to get value out of tutoring this up with the Renowned Weaponsmith. Even if they successfully tutor this up and use it, they'll have spent three mana and part of three turns for a 1/3 and two damage.

Rares and Mythics

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

While I spoke last article of Tapestry of the Ages potentially being the next Goblinslide, I find that I have been quickly corrected. Myth Realized is a cheap threat that can grow into a huge problem for your opponent over the course of the game. You will want to watch out for Return to the Earth though. I get the feeling that with all the Dragons of Dragons of Tarkir, a lot more people are going to be maindecking that spell.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

Nine mana is quite expensive, but that's the price you pay for a spell that can often end the game when cast. I've seen drafters be content and even excited when putting Villainous Wealth in a slow deck, and that spell doesn't do a lot consistently unless you're paying nine or more mana for it. This effect is just as hard to evaluate, but consider this: No matter what you're opponent's board state looks like, you can match it. And since most creatures can block themselves, you should be safe from dying after you cast this. Alternatively, if your board state is the more impressive one, this will seal the deal on that. I would prefer my deck have cheaper more reliable win conditions, but when I don't have those, I'd be ok topping out my curve with a Clone Legion.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A-

Tacking what is effectively creature removal onto an evasive threat is an extremely good deal. Like a super-duper Dungeon Geists, this thing can save you from dying as well as beat down itself. Yes, your opponent is able to kill your creature to start untapping their own again, but they're going to have to do so at a costly rate. Some spells like Reach of Shadows may even become too expensive to be cast at all in a timely manner.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D-

Like Sanguimancy from Theros block, this is an overcosted Sign in Blood effect. By the time you stabilize the board with your control deck, you're often not going to have enough life to fire this off for very much. Comparing this to Dragonlord's Prerogative, you'll see that Damnable Pact has versatility, but the card advantage you get is offset by the tempo you lose and effectively Lava Axe'ing yourself. The upside to this spell is that it can target an opponent. It can, in this way, act as a very bad Crater's Claws and kill your opponent if they're at a low enough life total. I don't recommend putting it in your deck just for this reason.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

This card is, as you probably noticed, very similar to our last card. For the price of probably not being able to use all of the cards, you get two benefits: not losing life and being able to cast this at instant speed. This makes it a lot closer to Dragonlord's Prerogative in my mind. Keep in mind that you often will want to cast this on your turn, despite the instant speed, since you can play two lands exiled with it instead of one. I really want to see a deck pull off using this with Torrent Elemental, casting your other cards, and using the Elemental's ability to bring it back out of exile.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

Even if you lock yourself into the last two modes, this is Hunt the Weak at instant speed and for just two mana. If this was all that Dromoka's Command did, it would be enough as a cheaper version of a spell that's already good in Limited. However, there are going to be the blowouts and corner cases where you get to stop Pyrotechnics and get rid of Palace Sieges which is going to make this spell that much better. Even if Dromoka's brood turns out to be the weakest of the five, it'd be difficult to not take this pack-one pick-one in a draft.

Conclusion

At this point, all 15 mythics, 42 of 53 rares, 40 of 80 uncommons, and 30 of 116 commons including basic lands have been revealed. The rest of the cards, including two-thirds of the commons and uncommons, are being revealed tomorrow. That will be too many to do another article in this format. Instead I have some other exciting material planned for next week to get us ready for the Dragons of Tarkir pre-release!

You can contact me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comment section below if you want to talk about the spoilers further. Reading my articles is great and I appreciate it, but leaving feedback is the only real way for me to know what you're thinking. I've enjoyed the feedback including praise and constructive criticism that I've received thus far, and I really hope it continues. Take care and enjoy the spoilers tomorrow!


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