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Magic Origins Spoilers - Limited Review for June 29


Welcome to the last week of spoilers for Magic Origins! I'll be reviewing the new spoilers from the standpoint of how well I expect them to perform in Limited. The cards can't be rated completely accurately without knowing the entire set, but we can evaluate the cards in an "average" Limited format. From Mark Rosewater's article today, we do at least know the ten two-color archetypes of Magic Origins:

  • Theros: Red-White — "Go wide"
  • Bant: Green-White — Renown mechanic with pump spells
  • Vryn: White-Blue — Control with flyers (and spell mastery)
  • Ravnica: Green-Blue — Tempo
  • Dominaria: White-Black — Auras
  • Innistrad: Blue-Black — Graveyard
  • Kaladesh: Blue-Red — Tempo aggro/Artifacts
  • Regatha: Black-Red — Sacrifice
  • Zendikar: Red-Green — Midrange beatdown/creature ramp
  • Lorwyn: Black-Green — Midrange attrition/Elves

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-

Fans of Commander may remember Containment Priest, but this new card is a bit different. It comes with a cantrip instead of a creature, and it leaves off an important phrase "non-token". It can stop Liliana, Defiant Necromancer from reanimating something or even prevent Undead Servant or Woodland Bellower from bringing a friend with them. This is also hilarious to use in response to your Hixus, Prison Warden being killed to keep the jailed creatures permanently exiled.

Because this card replaces itself for just two mana and triggers Prowess, it will never be horrible. I'll probably keep it relegated to the sideboard against most decks however, at least until I see a few more token creators at Common.

Blue

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C-

Getting two creatures out of one card is generally good, but this effect is just too inefficient. These creatures get fairly easily shut down by an opposing Charging Griffin or even a Hitchclaw Recluse. Unless the Blue/Red Artifacts archetype very strongly rewards having extra artifacts, I feel that this creature will just be outclassed by Scrapskin Drake and Ringwarden Owl.

$ 0.00$ 0.00

B-

First we had Man-o'-war, then we had Separatist Voidmage as May-o'-war, and now we have Harbinger of the Tides as Merman-o'-War.

This card is incredibly efficient early in the game and gets better later when you have the extra mana to Flash it in. If your opponent doesn't give you a tapped creature to use this on, at least it means you're not being attacked.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

A friend of mine termed this card "Bitterbident" after Bitterblossom and Bident of Thassa. While this is obviously based on a bit of exaggeration, I wonder how far from the truth it is. This card gives you a chump blocker or new source of card advantage each turn and does it without the pesky life loss on Bitterblossom. The only big problem is the artifact you need to control to get the process started. 

Black

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

F-

This is not a good effect in Limited. If you don't believe me, check out Limited Resource's episode on Top 10 Traps for Limited. Playing cards like this is the first trap they mention.

There are very extreme corner cases where it might be right: when you don't have a decent removal spell to play instead of it and your opponent has cast seven Timberpack Wolf or three Kytheon's Irregulars. The corner cases are rare enough that you're generally safe assuming they don't exist.

Red

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

D

Even though there will be a "go wide" strategy and a Renown strategy utilizing combat tricks, I still don't want to see Goblin Glory Chaser in my deck. I'd rather use my combat tricks to get bigger and better creatures into the red zone and really hate the worst case scenario of playing a vanilla 1/1.

$ 0.00$ 0.00

B+

Outside of dedicated combo decks (which don't exist in Limited), this is just loads better than Seismic Assault. It does the same function for less mana until the third time that you're activating the ability. By that time, you can afford the mana activation. 

Turning all the lands in your hand and deck into copies of Shock is a great way to burn your opponent out or clear away their creatures to attack for the win.

Green

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

F

Do not put this card in your deck, do not draw it, and do not cast it. This card effectively lets you decide the game by way of coin flip if you can meet the insane requirement of getting to nine mana and throwing away a card. Getting to be the first player to recast your spells gives some advantage, but it won't usually be enough to make up for the fact that whichever player draws the better mix of lands and spells will be the one to regain board control and win.

This card narrowly avoids being an F- because if there is some crazy way to increase your permanent count and ramp at the same time, this card just might (but probably still won't) be a decent finisher.

Colorless

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C-

With one enchantment in play, this beats Veteran's Sidearm. With more, this starts getting as scary as its artifact-counting counterpart Cranial Plating. The trick is the find the right enchantments — preferably non-Auras — to put in your deck.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Act of Treason, Chandra's FuryLightning Javelin, Fiery Conclusion, Ravaging Blaze, Chandra's IgnitionExquisite Firecraft. So many red spells get absolutely ridiculous when you copy them!

When it comes to burn spells, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you have one Exquisite Firecraft, you will probably use it to kill one 4-toughness creature. If you have two Exquisite Firecraft, you can kill two 4-toughness creatures, or you can just target them both at your opponent and win the game!

Conclusion

We're in the home stretch and almost half way through the set. Join me throughout the rest of this week for more spoilers and more Limited review. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.


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