Tribal Thriftiness #73 - Magic 2010 Reprints
As we get closer and closer to Magic 2010 Pre-Releases more and more information becomes available through the legitimate (and not-so-legitimate) channels that we all come to rely on for Magic spoilers. And there’s a lot to talk about in terms of commons and uncommons from this set …
But first a word to the crybabies out there.
To those of you who are going to quit Magic because of the contents of Magic 2010 I say good for you. Stand up for what you believe in. Leave the game to the rest of us who are willing to settle for whatever Wizards gives us.
Because honestly if the qualifier for you remaining in the game is for them to reprint Stasis or Smokestack or Tangle Wire or Fact or Fiction or Counterspell then this obviously means more to you than to those of us who are willing to settle on Bogardan Hellkite or Warp World. If you look at the recent sets and bemoan the dearth of good land destruction spells or other cards that make your opponent stop having fun you definitely need to make sure Wizards is hearing your anguish and leaving the game is the best way to do it.
The rest of us will try and soldier on without you. It will be hard no doubt to just play the game and have this “fun” that they keep telling us about. But we will be brave in the face of you leaving this game. We’ll stay strong for the kids.
Okay I feel better now.
Reprints Reprints Getcha Reprints
Most of the reprinted cards got spoiled somewhere during the last week apparently due to some Gatherer glitch that allowed people to use the card ID number to find the cards. And while I could talk about the cards that I’m excited to personally play (Warp World! Haunting Echoes!) this week will instead be focused on the commons and uncommons that I think are going to have the most impact. We’ll talk about format staples next week.
And so without further ado I give you:
Top Ten Commons / Uncommons You Should Be Searching Your Collection For
(From the home office in Sioux City Iowa.)
There are two possible uses that I see for this guy. One would be in an Esper-heavy deck with Master Transmuters and Darksteel Colossus where you are simply using the sheer power of Fabricate to go find something huge to smash your opponent’s face with. On the flip side you could opt for more of a toolbox approach fetching out useful utility artifacts like Courier’s Capsule or Mindlock Orb or one of the Scepters. In any event straight-up tutoring with no downside that goes to your hand rather than the top of your library gives a lot of potential to get answers right then right when you need them. And who knows what kind of funky artifacts might show up in Zendikar?
#9. Tempest of Light
I’ve always liked mass enchantment removal. For a long time I played with Tranquil Domain which was a great enchantment remover that left me with my Rancors. Tempest of Light fills that void and the instant-speed is great. Now I hear you saying Dave this card was reprinted in Ninth and Tenth Editions and I probably have plenty of them. While this may be true I think that it may be time to dust them off and put them into the “possible sideboard choices” box that you have in your closet.
Oh you don’t have that box? Well you need one. Because someone is going to figure out how to break that new Replenish card. You mark my words.
#8. Llanowar Elves
Another one with multiple printings and a very high likelihood of existing in your collection. Llanowar Elves (and all the Elves) now deserve a second look since they are printing a new combo-enabling Lord that combines Elvish Champion and Priest of Titania into one tidy package. The Elf Combo deck is at the fringe of current Standard and it’s very possible that the new Lord will push it away from a creature-based kill and straight into Banefire-ing your face. If that is the case all the mana-producing Elves will become important.
Llanowar Elves is a good solid staple card for aggro too and since it appears we are headed for a golden era of creature-based decks Green is going to enjoy having their iconic mana rampers available to them.
Having played some Mono-Black Control in my time even I had forgotten how helpful it was to have a four-casting-cost removal spell that helped me stay alive in more ways than one. Tendrils is instant-speed removal and life gain in one tidy package with the only request being that you play a fair amount of Swamps. It may seem that in this day and age Tendrils may not be the best choice of removal spell - they are reprinting Consume Spirit and I can pay any kind of Black mana I want on that. But once Lorwyn and Shadowmoor rotate a good portion of the manabase that enables three-color decks will rotate along with it forcing people to make hard choices about what they want in their deck - and what they’re able to support. I expect that Black will run best as either a solo color or with a possible splash of Red -- who wouldn’t love Cascading into Tendrils off a Bituminous Blast?
#6. Raging Goblin
Could be the replacement one-drop in Mono-Red aggro since it’s losing Mogg Fanatic and Figure of Destiny will be rotating in a few months as well. It plays up the haste theme of the deck (continuing on to Hellspark Elemental and Ball Lightning) and Red sometimes needs to get in that early damage in order to finish the opponent off with burn.
And the creature type may be relevant - the new Goblin Lord looks very playable and while the haste might be redundant I still think Raging Goblin could find a home in a Goblin tribal deck.
As I was saying earlier Standard looks to be extremely creature-based especially once Lorwyn and Shadowmoor and those dang Faeries rotate with it. Countermagic is going to be very specialized and so you are going to be able to get a lot more bang out of bombshells like Overrun. It’s also more likely that creature stalemates will occur which means that getting in that extra trample damage becomes more important.
Overrun was sort of a specialized contender in Standard and only really in the last three or four months. I think Overrun is gearing up to play a major part in the new Standard and you’d be well advised to figure out where yours are.
Now the rest of these you’re really going to have to dig for. We’re not talking about cards that were available in Xth here - these last four are bona fide legends that are deep somewhere in the bowels of your Magic collection.
The last time we saw Black Knight he was anchoring the creature base of the old Necro deck:
Dennis Bentley's U.S. Nationals championship deck 1996
Now sure we don’t have the insane mana production of Dark Ritual or the card drawing of Necropotence but we do have a fairly decent Black creature base (we still have Hyppie according to the spoiler) and we do have an unfair life-for-resources enchantment (Bitterblossom) - for the next few months at least. Black Knight is resistant to relevant removal - Path to Exile Oblivion Ring the new Doom Blade - and first strike has new relevance in a creature-combat-based world.
I’ll be exploring Black control decks in more detail as we get through this preview season because it’s highly likely that I will try and play a Black control deck at my next PTQ coming in August. For now let’s leave it at this: he’s good value for his casting cost fits into aggressive colors resists removal and works well in both current Black-inclusive aggro decks (GB Elves and RB Aggro). Find these guys in the back of your 5th Edition stuff now before it’s too late.
#3. White Knight
Even more relevant is White Knight’s avoidance of even more common removal like Terminate and Vitamin Blast but White Knight is getting a whole new supporting cast come Magic 2010. Want Savannah Lions with a relevant creature type at uncommon? We can provide that. Want Crusade but one sided AND easier (ostensibly) to cast? You got it. Despite Kithkin’s rotation en masse in three months White Weenie will still be an amenable deck choice thanks to the tools that are coming in Magic 2010.
#2. Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt set the original standard for the damage-to-mana-cost ratio back in Alpha and Wizards has been trying to remedy it ever since. Incinerate was fine it gave you a little on the top for that additional mana - but Shock? And don’t even get me started on Scorching Spear. (Go ahead click the link. You know you wanna.) R&D has said on numerous occasions that they playtested the bejeezus out of this addition and I think they’re probably right: Lightning Bolt will be good real good but not so ridiculously overpowered that they need to leave it out. It’s got great flavor and will see play in tons of decks. Dust off those old ones this afternoon.
Duress has always been choice numero uno for Vintage and Extended players when putting together a discard suite. In recent years Thoughtseize has made some inroads but the pain-free nature of this discard is relevant despite not being able to make your opponent discard those troublesome Chameleon Colossi. While Duress is keeping its status as a common you can bet people will not be parting with these and this here Star City here is already selling the older ones for about two bucks a pop. Black decks will start and end with Duress for the next year so find your old Urza’s Saga ones - that picture is much cooler than that lame 7th Edition one.
Now back very quickly to that Necro deck. Duress Black Knight and Tendrils of Corruption all make a very promising start to a deck that could look like this:
Budget BG Necro M10 Style
3 Raven’s Crime
4 Tendrils of Corruption
4 Doom Blade
2 Nature’s Spiral
4 Sign in Blood
I actually quite like that.
Join me next week when we start going through the new cards in Magic 2010!
Until next week…
dave dot massive at gmail and davemassive at facebook and twitter