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Oath of the Gatewatch Spoilers: Limited Review for January 6


Wednesday is here and gone and has left us with more sweet spoilers to talk about. Eldrazis and Allies are duking it out to see who can get the most broken cards in Limited.

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

Relief Captain

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Relief Captain is a great tool for almost any White deck in Limited. Its creature type makes it more obvious of an inclusion into Ally decks, but even a deck like White-Blue flyers wants Relief Captain. This creature is capable of providing up to 6 power for only 4 mana and 3 of that power effectively has Haste due to being put on creatures that can attack that same turn. While I wouldn't quite dub it a "Mythic Uncommon", Relief Captain is sweet and is sure to be a high pick in draft.

Blue

Dimensional Infiltrator

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Translation: 

Devoid, flash, flying
1<>: Exile the top card of target opponent's library. If it's a land card, you may return ~ to its owner's hand.

Dimensional Infiltrator is a very efficient flyer and deserves a good grade for that alone.  It also is a cheap enabler for Processors. The bounce to hand ability can sometimes help Dimensional Infiltrator dodge a removal spell or let you recast it for Surge enabling.

Gift of Tusks

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

Dance of the Skywise didn't really get there in Dragons of Tarkir, but Gift of Tusks has a few advantages.

First, it's a lot easier to defeat a 3/3 in combat than a 4/4 so targeting your opponent's creatures is more reasonable of a play with this spell. Second, Gift of Tusks costs only one mana. This makes it easier to find time to cast and also enables Surge spells. Combine this with Boulder Salvo, for example, and you can kill any creature for only 3 mana (though it does cost two cards).

Jwar Isle Avenger

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C+

Jwar Isle Avenger is kind of bad when you have to pay full price, but kind of awesome when you get to Surge. Players were willing to work for Illusory Angel and Jwar Isle Avenger is a lot easier to get on the battlefield than that was.

Void Shatter

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

Translation:

Devoid 
Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, exile it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.

Despite being devoid itself, Void Shatter's mana cost discourages trying to splash colorless cards, but in normal two-color decks, this could be a role player. I think I'd almost always prefer Spell Shrivel given its easier mana cost and the fact that it acts like a hard counter such a high percentage of the time.

Black

Bearer of Silence

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Vampire Interloper is a fine Limited specimen, and Bearer of Silence is at least as good as that. A lot of factors combine to make the sacrifice effect a bit less good than it looks: You're probably sacrificing 4-6 damage by not casting your 2/1 flyer on Turn 2, and Eldrazi Scions are running around in the format and don't cost your opponent much if they have to sacrifice one. Know whether your deck is aggressive or controlling and whether Bearer of Silence should typically just be a Turn 2 play in your deck.

Red

Goblin Freerunner

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C-

Boggart Brute plus or minus one mana is an interesting card, but not particularly strong as Surge cards go. Aggressive creatures are best when you can cast them early and if you don't Surge this out until Turn 4 or 5 it may not get through for much damage. Having Menace makes it an especially exciting play Turn 2 after dropping a Bone Saw. You might drop your opponent to 8 before they've even had time to cast a second creature.

Multicolored

Mina and Denn, Wildborn

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

B

Mina and Denn, Wildborn are a lot less useful than they look at first sight. Playing multiple lands in a turn is less useful when it's Turn 4+ and you don't have multiple lands in hand, and the Trample granting ability is somewhat expensive and colored-mana intensive. 

These elves' real utility is in conjunction with Landfall abilities, since it allows you to trigger them twice a turn, every turn. Valakut Predator is Mina and Denn, Wildborn's best friend and is capable of being thrown into the fray as a 6/6 trampler every turn until it dies.

Colorless

Hedron Crawler

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C-

While Hedron Crawler can ramp and get you the colorless mana you need, it dies to anything and is useless otherwise. I'd prefer to pick up one of the land options for fixing my colorless mana and not have this taking up one of my spell slots.

Seer's Lantern

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

C

Seer's Lantern is not incredible like Hedron Archive is, and it will probably never be first pickable. I still think any Limited deck with colorless spells would want to run one copy, and some decks without colorless spells may occasionally want it too.

Conclusion

We're reviewed about a hundred cards so far, and we're in the final stretch. Please join me for more spoilers and more Limited review for the final day tomorrow. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards.


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