It seems like just yesterday that I was starting a new season of SPDC which included the Magic 2010 cards, and Zendikar is just around the corner. Paper players will get to see the whole thing at previews in a less than a month, which means that online players will probably get it in October if the trend set by the previous sets holds true. Today we are proud to present a preview of a number of commons from the new set.
Zendikar is a set based around lands, and there are some sweet new full-frame ones. Take a gander:
Those who are astute and/or read the daily articles at dailymtg.com probably recognize these, they were previewed there earlier this month. There are four of each of these and we’ve only seen two. Honestly I am thrilled for these new lands, because I wasn’t around for the times when the full-art lands were given out on Magic Online, and am slightly envious of all of them. It also really establishes the flavor of the set, which is apparently.. floaty things? Look at that island – it’s upside down! You could eat your fruity pebbles out of that bowl. And I don’t care how long those things have been floating over the Plains, I wouldn’t stand under them.
But there’s more of course, and the Pauper crowd can get excited now, because there is apparently at least one common cycle of lands, as evidenced by this beauty:
Now, it’s not been the case that they print only one of these in the last, oh, as long as I can remember, so you can bet they’re will be a variety for the other four colors as well. However, think about this for a second. You get to play a land for free each turn – more than a third of your deck is lands. This is essentially a free spell for you, for the low low price of a land entering the field tapped. Of course the rules lawyers among us will note that it is not optional – you must give a creature +2/+0 if it is possible, so there is the downside of not wanting to play this in some situations – but those situations are few and far between. Does anyone care to take a guess at what the other four colors will be? Maybe gaining some life for white? Draining a life for black? What would be a fair trade for having a land enter the field tapped?
Of course, you can’t have a set with all lands, you have to have some other cards in it. Let’s stay with the red theme for a bit. Take a look at this deck, which will get some good use out of Teetering Peaks:
This is very similar to a red-green all-out deck which was popular a couple weeks ago in standard, but with a couple key differences. This is future-standard legal, that is, future with Zen and no Lorwyn/Shadowmoor Block. It includes the already-shown Teetering Peaks, but mostly it is meant to abuse Plated Geopede:
New mechanic! Holy cow, more free things when lands come into play. Now, normally you would only be able to trigger this once a turn, and even with only once a turn triggered, you can see that a 3/3 first striker has potential. However the deck is built to abuse this guy. It’s any land, not just a specific type, so the Naya Panorama will trigger it, and so will the land that the panorama fetches. You can use it defensively, fetching the lands on the opponent’s turn so that they won’t attack into your 3/3. As a sweet bonus, when you lay down a Teetering Peaks, you can give Plated Geopede +4/+2! Free Colossal Might anyone? Personally I think that this guy is going to see it’s way into many a deck.
The last card that I’d like to show you today is easily the most exciting of the bunch. Black gets a first turn leg-up with this one:
No, you didn’t go crazy. This is a 2/2 for one black mana. Joining the ranks of Nettle Sentinel and Jackal Familiar in a pretty exclusive set of creatures at this level of efficiency. Of course, that kind of power doesn’t come with something. This vampire warrior will be hacking away at your opponent’s life, but until it smells the blood of your enemies as they weaken, it’s not going to be too indiscriminate about it. Carnophage is the last time we had something simlar in black. It’s only the third 2/2 to be printed in the one black mana club. I can see this in a deck belongside some quick hitters like Jund Hackblade and putting a big dent in the opponent’s life fairly quick. Pair it with the ability for some lifegain because we now have Tendrils of Corruption available again, and you can live with the downside.
Well, what do we think of the new set so far? I am personally thrilled and can’t wait to see the shakeup that comes with the next set! I’d like to thank Worth Wollpert for helping me get these cool previews and Wizards marketing as well!