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Oath of the Gatewatch Spoilers: Limited Review for January 7

It's the final day of spoiler reviews, and I'm still excited. I'm hoping colorless mana and Surge can combine to shake up the Battle for Zendikar draft format into something novel and unique.

I'll be reviewing the new 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)


Reaver Drone

$ 0.00 $ 0.00


Reaver Drone asks you to meet an easy requirement, but the payoff for achieving it isn't high, just a vanilla 2/1. There are certainly Eldrazi decks aggressive enough to want this, but not all of them will. This set's creatures don't even have Ingest so Sludge Crawler will almost certainly be preferred to Reaver Drone.



$ 0.00 $ 0.00


Expedite falls in a weird place in this set. The fact that it gives a creature haste means you want to cast it after a creature, but Surge incentivizes you to cast Expedite first. I'd rather draft the types of decks that want it for the Surge synergy, but it works well enough in either.


Zendikar Resurgent

$ 0.00 $ 0.00


The extra mana Zendikar Resurgent generates is only useful for a fraction of spells, and it already costs a ton to cast. On the other hand, once you start getting extra cards, you're more likely to find more creatures, which makes this an engine that just keeps on running. I'd prefer a good seven mana creature, such as Bane of Bala Ged or Ruin Processor, over this, but Zendikar Resurgent could potentially be a lot more explosive.


Matter Reshaper

$ 0.00 $ 0.00


Matter Reshaper isn't some unbeatable Limited bomb, but it does generate value. It stinks that Commons Complete Disregard and Touch of the Void ruin Matter Reshaper's day, but with only one pack of Battle for Zendikar, perhaps exile effects won't be around as much.

Warping Wail

$ 0.00 $ 0.00


Say hello to the weirdest spell in recent memory. Warping Wail has a lot of options. In Battle for Zendikar, even among the Common creatures, the exile effect will hit only about a third of relevant creatures. Useful sorceries exist, but it's hard to predict when your opponent is going to cast one that you care enough to counter. An Eldrazi Scion can help you ramp, but a single Scion isn't worth a card.

Overall, I don't think this charm's options add up to enough power to make it good, but it makes a good sideboard card when your opponent has good creatures that die to the first option.


That wraps up the reviews for this set's spoilers, and I hope you enjoyed my initial thoughts. Reach out to me on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG or in the comments below with your thoughts on the new cards, and don't forget to keep your eye out on Friday for the full set reveal.

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