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Dragons of Tarkir Spoiler Limited Review for March 9


Welcome back to week two of Limited reviews for Dragons of Tarkir spoilers! Browse through the grading scale below if you haven't gotten a chance to read it in the previous articles and then we'll delve into the discussion.

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

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

While the black version of this cycle, Acid-Spewer Dragon, is the only one that can tustle with the larger Dragons in the sky, and the red version, Stormwing Dragon, guards against small creatures on the ground, this white member of the cycle can help turn the game around if you've started to lose the damage race. If you took some time getting to six mana (or seven if you played this face down and flipped it), you're likely to be behind and recovering from an opponent's aggressive start. If Shieldhide Dragon can start connecting in the air, it can get back you back in the game and make it very difficult for your opponent to race. Abzan Guide is solid in Khans of Tarkir and while this does cost more to unmorph, it's mono-color and has evasion.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

F+

This is sideboard material so my rating system gives this an F, but don't let that dissuade you from bringing it in against black or red decks. Filling the role of a cheaper more effective Sandblast, this is a very effective card against the right opponents.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

F+

Encase in Ice is an instant speed version of Singing Bell Strike against the right opponent so don't leave it in your sideboard against someone in these colors. It has the upside of not allowing your opponent to pay mana to untap the creature, but the downside of not being able to be used to grant your own creature pseudo-vigilance when you have plenty of mana to spare.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D

With four or more Dragons in your deck, this starts being a hard counter a respectable portion of the time, but then again, you're playing a deck that's playing this card and four (presumably expensive) Dragons. This is not what you want to be doing. Your opponent is likely to tap out at least once during the course of a game so you can use the Stymied Hopes version of this spell if you're Dragon-less, but leaving the mana up waiting for that moment won't usually work out well. If your opponent has some high cost bombs you can't otherwise deal with, this card gets better since opponents often won't play around this card.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

F+

Self-Inflicted Wound is reminiscient of Deathmark and a cheaper Merciless Executioner effect against green or white opponents. This will be a great sideboard card. 

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

F

The most narrow of all the sideboard enemy-hate cards revealed today, the first mode has almost no non-rare targets worth putting this card in your deck for, and the second mode is usually an overcosted Ranger's Guile (although this does protect non-creature permanents however that's mostly irrelevant for Limited). Still, if you need to save your creatures from an assortment of kill spells or bounce spells, this may sneak into your main deck during sideboarding.

Rares and Mythics 

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

If not removed immediately, the amount of value that Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit will generate is incredible; playing this on turn two and following up with any ragtag assortment of creatures will give you a half dozen +1/+1 counters over the course of the game. This will almost guarantee that your creatures outclass your opponent's in combat. Obviously Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit isn't that difficult to remove and isn't more than a 2/2 when you top deck it, but I expect this to be even more incredible than Herald of Anafenza if cast early in the game.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Opportunity was a bomb in the grindy format of Magic 2014, and this is roughly the same spell though it can't target your buddy in Two Headed Giant. I expect Dragons of Tarkir to be dominated by dragons cast on turns four through eight, so taking a turn off to play this may be difficult. It will make your hand a lot better, but the tempo of spending a whole turn on it is certainly not free. Since countermagic is rarely used in Limited, I wouldn't add a mediocre Dragon to my deck for the sole reason of improving this card.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

The main use of Mirror Mockery will be as a Guard Duty effect to prevent an opponent's creature from attacking. Like a sorcery speed version of Reality Shift, this is blue creature removal that leaves something behind for your opponent. In this case, it's a creature which blocks, and in Reality Shift's case, it's a face down 2/2. The best common and uncommon Fate Reforged combos with Mirror Mockery on your own creature are probably Aven Surveyor and Merciless Executioner.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

This card's design is really, really weird. I like it. Viewable as either a red Guardians of Meletis or slow Bathe in Dragonfire, Crater Elemental does get some points for flexibility. The 0/6 blocker portion of this card is not something that most red decks even want but in a red-green deck that just wants to survive until they build up a board state, it could be awesome. It's hard to judge the last ability until we know how easy it is to build up to Formidable in Limited, but it seems like it could be the real deal.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

Similar to Rakshasa Deathdealer from Khans of Tarkir, this is a powerful two-drop that remains relevant late in the game. With only five mana you can get in for four flying damage a turn. When the combined power of your creatures totals eight or greater, the activated ability becomes available and it will be very hard to lose the game from there.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Although the Shatter portion will rarely be useful, Kolaghan's Command delivers a lot for three mana. Being able to kill a morph for under four mana is not something many spells in this block can boast, and the ones that can are generally quite good. Stealing the last spell your opponent is sandbagging or Disentombing your bomb that got killed or milled are other great plausible options for this card.

Conclusion

Thanks for joining me as I start this new week of spoilers and be sure to check out last week's articles if you missed them. Please comment below or tweet to me @JakeStilesMTG with your thoughts on this review.


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