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Duel Decks: Zendikar vs Eldrazi Preview


Duel Decks: Zendikar vs Eldrazi was fully spoiled today. Along with the complete decklists, we got a glimpse into Battle for Zendikar with 6 brand new cards. As a reminder, Duel Decks: Zendikar vs Eldrazi releases August 28 for an MSRP of $19.99. The product contains 2 60-card preconstructed decks designed to be played against eachother. The cards contained within are reprints and are not Standard-legal unless they already happen to be in Standard or reprinted in Battle for Zendikar.

With that out of the way, onto the new cards:

The New Cards

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These cards are brand new, so by the process of elimination, they must be in Battle for Zendikar releasing on Oct 2! The cards give us a sneak peak at some of the mechanics in Battle for Zendikar:

Devoid: This card has no color.

Ingest: Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles the top card of his or her library.

Awaken X: If you cast this spell for +X, also put X +1/+1 counters on target land you control and it becomes a 0/0 Elemental creature with haste. It's still a land.

Landfall: Whenever a land enters the battlefield under you control ....

Devoid is a simple yet flavorful mechanic. We are spoiled two aggressive Devoid creatures in Dominator Drone and Forerunner of Slaughter. Is Devoid Aggro going to be a deck this fall? Hangbarback Walker could become even more prevalent.

Ingest is also super flavorful and it looks like Wizards is moving towards more interactions with the Exile zone. Misthollow Griffin was a big deal design-wise back in Avacyn Restored, and it looks like we're pushing the envelope further. The obvious combo here is Dominator Drone + Oblivion Sower, but we'll have to wait until Battle for Zendikar to see what other combos or synergies emerge.

Zendikar is the plane where lands come alive, so Awaken fits right in. Awaken appears to be a mana-flood protection mechanism, allowing you to sink your excess mana for some additional value. What's interesting is it puts +1/+1 counters on a 0/0, so maybe we'll have more counter synergies in the fall. Hardened Scales tier one in Battle for Zendikar?

Unsurprisingly, Landfall makes a comeback. Now that the mechanic is confirmed, what's the over-under on Goblin Guide making a heralded return? Goblin Piledriver is waiting patiently.

Veteran Warleader suggests the return of Allies tribe! For a rundown of the Allies from Zendikar, I refer you to The Tribes of Zendikar: Allies. Notice that Veteran Warleader is GW? Collected Company might have some new friends from fall ...

The Reprints

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It looks like Wizards isn't afraid to pack value into these supplemental products anymore. The trend continues on from the Magic Origins Clash Pack which featured Collected Company and Windswept Heath; here we have $14 It That Betrays, $4 Avenger of Zendikar, $7 Primal Command, and $4 Stirring Wildwood. That's $29 of value without accounting for the new cards (yet to be priced) and the bulk, all for an MSRP of $19.99. Expect these values to come down a bit, but if you're looking for It That Betrays, this is certainly a good deal. Remember that these are reprints and they may or may not appear in Battle for Zendikar — so don't hold your breath for a Cryptic Command to complete the cycle.

The Decklists

And here are the decklists:

Conclusion

Duel Decks: Zendikar vs Eldrazi has given us a little taste of Battle for Zendikar with the spoiling of 6 new cards and 3 new mechanics. Value-wise the Duel Deck looks solid with $29 worth of cards worth $4+, headlined by It That Betrays. The Duel Deck releases August 28 for an MSRP $19.99. This is an unlimited print run product, so you should be able to pick them up at your local big-box store on release.


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