Another day of spoilers and we have... jank? Not much to see for constructed here, but boy are some commander players going to be happy, and we have some gems for limited. Let’s start with the tree that was spoiled yesterday evening:
Tree of Redemption has really taken a turn for the worse under Emrakul’s influence. Except it has actually gotten a lot better. Not for Standard (though it is pretty funny with Triskaidekaphobia), but for EDH. This card can pull a ton of weight in a format where players start at 40 life. It is essentially a Sorin Markov -3, or Magister Sphinx etb effect. As soon as turn 5 (or earlier with acceleration), you can put an opponent in a precarious position, while making a 0/~35 defender to block whatever you need to. You then have a way to put a player who is under the gun right back in the game as a favor, while restoring the Tree’s ability to put another player down to a treacherous life total.
This will do hilarious things to games of Commander, being both a powerful card and potent political tool. Expect a pretty extreme foil multiplier.
Speaking of Commander, we have a sweet new U/B pair to put in the command zone. This is likely to be the new go-to Zombie general, especially considering that Gisa and Geralf are fan favorite characters. There is a lot of value to be gained from a Zombie player’s graveyard.
Don’t expect this to see any play in Standard, however. This does not come close to enabling a Zombie tribal deck, though it is a fine card and would likely be played in one if we got something else to push that deck over the top.
This is such a neat card, and I hope that the U/R Spells archetype carries over into Eldritch Moon well enough that I get to play with this Homunculus in limited. The front side is pretty good for the deck, while Voracious Reader is an absolute house.
And that flavor text is golden: a common phrase given entirely new meaning by the flavor of the card and set. Great job on this card, R&D!
Graft Stapler 1
- Artifact - Equipment
- Equipped creature gets +3/+3
- When equipped creature attacks, it doesn't untap during its controller’s next untap step.
- When Graft Stapler becomes unequipped from a creature, sacrifice it.
- Equip 2
Stone unplayable in every format. This is just so bad: while the card is efficient in terms of mana, it immobilizes and then kills your creature after you attack. Trash card, whatever flavorful design is here is completely overshadowed by the card’s feel-bad nature. Not remotely comparable to Grafted Wargear.
While this clearly slots into the vampire madness deck, it will not, on its own, elevate that deck to playable status in Standard. If the deck is working right, this is probably slightly worse than Incorrigible Youths, and while it adds redundancy, that was not the problem with the deck. The problem with the deck is that its 1 and 2 drops are extremely mediocre by today’s standards for creatures. Don’t pre-order this card expecting the deck to take off until you see one or more powerful cheap creatures that let it keep pace with the rest of Standard.
Ingenious Skaab 2U
- Creature - Zombie Horror
- U: Ingenious Skaab gets +1/-1 until end of turn
Remember Watercourser? That was a perfectly respectable card in Magic Origins Limited. This is literally Watercourser with Prowess. Prowess is a fantastic ability, and it really elevates this card. This can pull so much weight in Limited, trading for cards far above its mana cost and crushing other 3 drops, as well as some 4s. This is pushed, pick it highly.
Haunted Dead 3B
- Creature - Zombie
- When Haunted Dead enters the battlefield, put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying into play
- 1B, discard two cards: Return Haunted Dead from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped.
This is a solid Limited card, though I would rate it as being somewhat weaker than its counterparts, Stitchwing Skaab and Ghoulsteed, though this does have the potential to generate lasting value, as it has an etb effect.
I don’t know if I have the flavor right, but if it is something to the effect of a soulless ghoul rambles around generally being black and evil, while being haunted by its soul in the form of a white, good spirit. That is very interesting, and really elevates the design.
See ya’ll tomorrow, hopefully for some sweet ones!