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Oath of the Gatewatch Spoilers: Limited Review for December 31


Welcome back to our spoiler discussions and limited review for the newest Oath of the Gatewatch cards!

I'll be reviewing these cards from the standpoint of how well I expect them to perform in Limited. We can't rate the cards completely 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 Oath of the Gatewatch page. Please note that if I haven't yet reviewed a card, it's probably because the official 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. (Tragic Arrogance, Dragonmaster Outcast)
B: This card is rarely cut from a deck that can cast it. In draft, it signals that a color or archetype is open. (Blessed Spirits, Clutch of Currents)
C: Cards like this make up the majority of limited decks. You're neither excited nor embarrassed to have them in your deck. (Aspiring Aeronaut, Culling Drone)
D: I'm not putting this in my main deck unless I have a specific reason or I'm low on playables. (Gather the Pack, Geyserfield Stalker)
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. (Jace's Sanctum, Prism Array)

White

General Tazri

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

This B rating for General Tazri ignores the 5-color activated ability as I recommend you do while playing with it. What could act as a serviceable Ally could also prove a stumbling block if you try to splash for the activated ability every time you pick this card in draft. The mana fixing that we get may change how easy it is to splash three extra colors, but unless the mana is great, I'd just accept this as a good card, and not try to make it an exceptional one. 

Blue

Oath of Jace

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C-

In Limited, Oath of Jace filters and that's all it does unless Oath of the Gatewatch introduces cards that care about enchantments or you happen to have a Planeswalker in your deck. The question then becomes, how good is drawing three and discarding two for three mana? Compulsive Research is great, but you often want to discard a single land to it. Oath of Jace looks pretty inefficient even when compared to the Common Comparative Analysis, so I don't think this will be a Rare I'm excited to open or play.

Prophet of Distortion

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Repeatable card advantage is nice, but coming on a 1/2 body is a major liability. While Prophet of Distortion blocks 1/1s such as Eldrazi Scions and will occasionally trade with a 2/1, that's about the extent of its meaning in combat. Any colorless mana deck will still want this for the draw effect, but its fail case is definitely worse than a card like Azure Mage that passes the vanilla test.

Black

Flaying Tendrils

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

Translation: 

Devoid

All creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn. If a creature would die this turn exile it instead. 

Flaying Tendrils is hard to cast, hard to get value from, and is found in Black, which has plenty of 1-2 toughness creatures of their own that could die to this. I'd view this as more of a sideboard card in draft, bringing it in against aggressive decks where it's more likely to kill two or three creatures at a time.

Red

Embodiment of Fury

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

Translation: 

Trample 

Land creatures you control have trample. 

Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may have target land you control becomes a 3/3 Elemental creature with haste until end of turn. It's still a land.

Wow, what a creature! Embodiment of Fury smashes the vanilla test by itself and can bring along extra damage as early as the turn you play it. The fact that the triggered ability has no cost is especially exciting and makes Embodiment of Fury much more versatile and powerful than Battle for Zendikar's Akoum Stonewaker.

Colorless

Deceiver of Form

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B+

With Eldrazi Mimic already revealed, it would appear that Kozilek's brood is all about illusion and shapeshifting magic. Deceiver of Form is a big creature for seven mana, and can create a pseudo-Overrun effect that is devastating to your opponent. If you're playing a deck with lots of Eldrazi Scions (which you probably are if you're able to cast Deceiver of Form), even revealing a lowly 3-4 drop could be enough to overcome your opponent, and if you reveal something sweet like Angelic Captain or Ruination Guide the value will be huge. Award for best combo with this likely goes to Bane of Bala Ged, and I look forward to trying to exile my opponent's entire board state in Limited.

Stoneforge Masterwork

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B-

Getting just a +1/+1 pump from Stoneforge Masterwork is clearly below average, so it asks that you be able to have 3+ creatures sharing creature types on the board at all times. That's a lot to ask, but the payoff is certainly there and scales as you get even more creatures. The ability of this card to be used in either an Ally or Eldrazi heavy deck makes it an interesting first pick, and it's also colorless so it leaves you wide open to draft either tribal variety of deck.

Lands

Hissing Quagmire

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Deathtouch is more valuable in Limited more than any other creature-land keyword we've had so far this block. Trading with any creature during attacks or blocks can keep your opponent's toughest creature out of combat, and two power is enough that your opponent can't just ignore it when you attack. Fixing your mana is a great additional benefit, but I like this primarily for the creature it brings along.

Conclusion

We're nearing the end of week one of spoiler discussions for Oath of the Gatewatch. Please join me for more spoilers and more Limited review tomorrow and next week. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.


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