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Magic Origins Spoilers - Limited Review for June 25


Week 1 of spoilers is almost over, but we still have fifteen cards to review today including five Mythics and a reprinted land cycle. I'll be reviewing these new spoilers from the standpoint of how well I expect them to perform in Limited. Of course we can't rate the cards 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 Magic Origins 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. (Citadel Siege, Dragonlord Atarka)
B: This card is rarely cut from a deck that can cast it. In draft, it signals that a color or archetype is open. (Abzan Beastmaster, Death Wind)
C: Cards like this make up the majority of limited decks. You're neither excited nor embarrassed to have them in your deck. (Soul Summons, Screamreach Brawler)
D: I'm not putting this in my main deck unless I have a specific reason or I'm low on playables. (Abzan Advantage, Blessed Reincarnation)
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. (Crucible of the Spirit Dragon, Keeper of the Lens)

White

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

This is a sizable upgrade over Herald of Dromoka from Dragons of Tarkir. A 2/2 with Vigilance can be blocked and killed easily, but Topan Freeblade can become a 3/3 if left unchecked. This is a much more relevant creature on most board states. This creature stands well on its own and will also interact nicely with the Renown payoffs in the set such as Patron of the Valiant and Valeron Wardens.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A

This creature has incredible stats for its cost and the effect is extremely potent. Your opponent may be able to pay to enter combat with one creature or maybe even two without pain, but if they want to get in with their entire team, it will often disable them from casting spells during that turn. I'm really glad this is a Mythic and has heavy color requirements because it will be very difficult to beat in Limited if not removed.

Black

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

This card is a load of fun to evaluate and truly feels like a deal with the Devil. Casting this enchantment gives you three more attack phases before death (not including your attacks for that turn). That raises the question: Can you win the game within three more attacks? If not, can you get rid of the Demonic Pact in the same time frame? An aggressive Limited deck could be fine playing this as a 6 or 7-drop and casting it as the last spell in their hand. Once you can get your opponent down to a low life total, the Divination helps find creatures with which to attack, the Mind Rot hurts your opponent's chances of stabilizing, and the Covenant of Blood can kill a problematic blocker or simply target your opponent's face.

In an aggressive deck I would play Demonic Pact with no way to get rid of it. I'd also consider it in a slower deck if I had a few Disperse or Conclave Naturalists effects to help me turn off the Pact after using up the three non-deadly effects. I might not play Demonic Pact in a slow deck with no way to remove the enchantment, and for that it gets a lower grade.

$ 0.00$ 0.00

B-

We've found the overcosted Common removal spell for the set and it's about the same as its recent predecessors Flesh to Dust and Reach of Shadows. What's overcosted for Constructed is still a high pick for Limited though. I'd hope to have one or more copies of Unholy Hunger or Cruel Revival in every Black deck I draft in this set. I plan on ignoring this card's Spell Mastery bonus when I'm making my draft decisions. It's not a big enough effect to incentivize playing a mediocre sorcery over a good creature.

Red

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

Chandra is our last Planeswalker to be confirmed by Wizards (unless they're going to sneak an extra into the set). Her two main options for transformation are 1) Cast two red spells (note that this counts any spell, not just instants and sorceries) or 2) Attack for two damage (without dying) then cast one red spell. Titan's Strength, Fiery Impulse, and Subterranean Scout all make for good Commons that are also cheap enough to help transform this red mage. Once transformed, it's best to keep using her plus ability. Dealing 4-6 damage with her while absorbing 5-7 damage from attackers makes for a huge life swing that should put the game solidly within your grasp. If you can keep her protected for three turns, her ultimate hits the opponent for a huge 9 damage! Add that to the 6 damage you dealt while ticking up her loyalty and your opponent is virtually guaranteed to be dead.

Now that we've seen all the Planeswalkers, we can rank them for Limited. My ranking is Gideon > Liliana > Chandra > Nissa > Jace. Share your rankings in the comments below.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

We're not supposed to get removal this efficient in Limited; it just doesn't happen. This card can pick off a lot of creatures or kill your opponent for the low, low price of three mana. The double Red in the mana cost and the Sorcery speed keeps it out of the A-range, but just barely. Also, that art is gorgeous. I wish I played paper Magic so I could pick up a foil copy.

Green

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

At first I thought Wizards had given Green a better Scroll Thief than Blue's Jhessian Thief, but it has an important difference. Valeron Wardens by itself can only draw a card once, whereas Jhessian Thief threatens to do it every turn it can attack unblocked. While this Green creature doesn't have Prowess, it still highly incentivizes combat tricks to help trigger Renown. I hypothesize that Mighty Leap may be better than Titanic Growth in this set since evasion goes so well with these Renown creatures.

$ 0.00$ 0.00

B+

Even when paired with just a humble Elvish Visionary, this Beast is imposing and I'm sure there will be other even juicer targets available from which to choose. While this isn't the splashiest Mythic around, it is still an extremely strong creature that gives you value even if it gets removed.

Multicolored

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Citadel Castellan's payoff for Renown is huge but it's actually just an okay creature by itself. I don't predict this being first pick quality since it's multi-colored, but it should always be drafted relatively soon. Every time I see a creature with Renown, I find myself missing Tread Upon. I'll definitely be on the lookout for any Trample-giving combat tricks in the set.

Colorless

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

F

What can I say? It's five mana, doesn't affect the board, and doubles one of the least important effects in the game: gaining life. If you can draw one extra card while this is in play, it has replaced itself. Draw two extra cards and this is a five mana Divination with Suspend. It would need to be able to reliably draw 3-5 extra cards to be playable. If my deck had 7+ good ways to draw extra cards so that this was plausible, I probably wouldn't be able to afford playing another card that wouldn't affect the board. Until Wizards announces that they're reprinting Renewed Faith, I won't plan on casting this in Limited.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

Mana fixing isn't the highest priority on a drafter's mind for a two color set. Additionally, pain lands are some of the worse dual lands in Limited where you can't afford to take extra excessive damage. 

Conclusion

Thanks for reading along and exploring the set with me! I'll be here both tomorrow and next week with more spoilers and more Limited review. I love to hear what my readers think about the new cards so reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts.


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