MTG Arena’s Innistrad: Crimson Vow Spoilers (Up-to-Date)
Innistrad: Crimson Vow is the next expansion for MTG Arena, so it’s time to talk spoilers! It’s the 90th expansion and is the sequel to the previous expansion, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. The release date is November 19 and is a full set themed around Vampires. Daybound and Nightbound will also be back of course, but there’s a wealth of new content to see in this expansion. We’ll be here daily to keep you up-to-date on the MTG Arena Innistrad: Crimson Vow spoilers. Before we talk cards though, what about new mechanics?
So far, we’ve seen a few interesting mechanics and keywords coming to MTG Arena in the Crimson Vow spoilers. One of these new mechanics is Training. When you have this creature attack with another creature with greater power, the creature with Training gets a +1/+1 counter. Savior of Ollenbock was the first example I saw. It also has another feature that we’ll get into soon when they train. Exploit is another new mechanic we’ve spotted. When a creature with Exploit comes into play, you can sacrifice a creature if you wish.
When these creatures come into play and you exploited another creature (the sacrifice trigger), other abilities come into play. For example, the Rot-Tide Gargantua has Exploit. When this creature exploits, each opponent sacrifices a creature. There is also Cleave as a new mechanic revealed in the MTG Crimson Vow spoilers. Cleave is an optional mana cost, instead of the original. If you do, remove the words that are in [brackets]. For example, normally, Dig Up lets you look for a [basic land] card from your deck, [reveal it], and put it into your hand. So instead you’d just look for a card, and put it into your hand for 4 mana instead of 1 (2 black, 1 green).
We’ve also seen a new token in the MTG Crimson Vow spoilers, the Blood Token. This is an artifact token, and you can pay 1 colorless and discard a card, and sacrifice this to draw a card. Other cards also interact with these tokens for enjoyable benefits.
Dual Lands in Crimson Vow
We’ve seen Enemy Dual Lands in the MTG Crimson Vow spoilers. These lands come into play tapped unless we control two or more lands, so they’re ideal to drop around turn 3, or turn 1 if you have no options. As of right now, there are five of these dual lands:
- Shattered Sanctum – White/Black
- Dreamroof Cascade – Green/Blue
- Deathcap Glade – Black/Green
- Sundown Pass – Red/White
- Stormcarved Coast – Blue/Red
All of these are also Rare. There will likely be other lands revealed as time goes on, like the colorless land Voldaren Estate. We’ll cover that below in the spoilers proper. However, it’s time to look at these spoilers!
Innistrad: Crimson Vow Commander Set Boosters:
A set of cards have been revealed that will be in the Commander Set Booster for Innistrad: Crimson Vow. So this will probably appear in MTG Arena as well, so we’ll have to see. I’ll cover these in one group and will give the details. We have an ability returning as well. Avacyn Restored brought an ability called Soulbond. When a creature comes into play, you can partner it with another creature. This will grant both creatures a new power, and it’s usually incredibly powerful. Each color received one Soulbond, and we also see a fun Legendary, and a potentially very busted Wolf. As of right now, I’m unsure if these will be allowed in Standard. They may only be in Commander (or Brawl), but they’re worth mentioning.
Umbris, Fear Manifest – Blue/Black (Mythic Rare 5-Cost Legendary Creature – Nightmare Horror): A 1/1, it gains +1/+1 for each card your opponents own in exile. Whenever Umbris or another Nightmare or Horror enters play for you, an opponent exiles cards from the top of their library until they exile a land. Wow. It doesn’t matter why those cards are exiled either. We could use Kaya, Geist Hunter to just exile their entire graveyard, for example.
Hollowhenge Overlord – Green (Rare 6-Cost Creature – Wolf): A 4/4 Wolf with Flash? That feels eerily familiar. For each creature you control that’s a Wolf or Werewolf, create a 2/2 green Wolf creature token during the beginning of your upkeep. That sounds like it could get out of control fast. Hopefully, this gets errated to mean “nontoken creatures”.
Thundering Mightmare – Green (Rare 5-Cost Creature – Horse Spirit): Now we’re seeing an ability called “Soulbond”. You can pair this with another unpaired creature when either enters play. They stay paired as long as you control both. This is a 3/3 at its base. As long as it’s paired with a creature, each has “Whenever an opponent casts a spell, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.” “Mightmare” indeed! I would run this in my sideboard for any deck that has green in it at all. Why? Izzet Spells! Suddenly having a 15/15 Mightmare sounds like an absolute mess, especially considering I can partner it with something that might have Trample. It will also be gigantic.
Mirage Phalanx – Red (Rare 6-Cost Creature – Human Soldier): A 4/4 with Soulbond, as long as it’s paired with another creature, each gains “At the beginning of combat on your turn, create a token that’s a copy of this creature, except it has Haste and loses Soulbond. Exile it at the end of combat.” At least it’s kind of balanced, I suppose.
Doomweaver – Black (Rare 6-Cost Creature – Spider Horror): A ⅛ with Reach?! It also has Soulbond. As long as it’s paired, each of the creatures has “When this creature dies, draw cards equal to its power.” So I can see why it’s a ⅛ at least, but a 6-drop? Feels kind of bleak to me. It could be incredible in theory though.
Imperious Mindbreaker – Blue (Rare 3-Cost Creature – Human Wizard): A ¼ Soulbond creature, as long as it’s bonded, each creature also gains a useful power. Now it’s “Whenever this creature attacks, each opponent mills cards equal to its toughness,” so now, I want to pair it with Doom Weaver. Let’s get 12 cards milled simplify or declaring an attack!
Breathkeeper Seraph – White (Rare 6-Cost Creature – Angel): I bet you can’t guess what this creature has – Flying and Soulbond! A 4/4 as well, typical of Angels. As long as it’s partnered, each has “When this creature dies, you may return it to the battlefield under its owner’s control at the beginning of your next upkeep. Good lord. Pair this with Platinum Angel in Historic, for hilarity and frustration.
Sorin the Mirthless (4-Cost Legendary Planeswalker – Sorin): Oh boy, a new Sorin Markov! He was the first planeswalker I ever used, so I’m excited to see this one. A 4 Loyalty planeswalker for 4, he’s got a trio of very interesting abilities:
- +1: Look at the top card of your deck. You may reveal it and put it into your hand. If you do, you lose life equal to its mana value.
- -2: Create a ⅔ black Vampire creature token with flying and lifelink.
- -7: Sorin the Mirthless deals 13 damage to any target. You gain 13 life.
That -2 basically creates a Vampire Nighthawk, sans Deathtouch. The +1 is great, but it can have a dire cost on your health. With enough life gain, this isn’t an issue. If you pull a land though, that’s 0 damage and a free land! The big deal is the 13 damage to any target – that includes players. So for 4 mana, I will play this Sorin, without a doubt.
Toxrill, the Corrosive (7-Cost Legendary Creature – Slug Horror): Black is getting some seriously powerful, seriously expensive creatures, and this is one. Each creature you don’t control gets a Slime Counter during each of your end steps. Creatures you don’t control also get -1/-1 for each Slime Counter on them. On top of that, whenever a creature you don’t control with at least one of these on it dies, create a 1/1 Black Slug Creature Token. You can also sacrifice those Slugs (for 2 mana – 1 blue, 1 black) to draw a card. If we can manage to cheat this out faster, it’s going to be horrifying.
Henrika Domnathi/Henrika, Infernal Seer (4-Cost Legendary Creature – Vampire): A Vampire that transforms into a bigger, meaner Vampire! She’s a ⅓ Flyer that becomes a ¾ Flying/Deathtouch/Lifelink. Before each combat, you can choose one of three things – only once per:
- Each player sacrifices a creature
- You draw a card and you lose 1 life
- Transform Henrika Domnathi
You can tap 3 mana (2 black) when Henrika, Infernal Seer is in play to give each creature you control with Flying, Deathtouch, and/or Lifelink +1/+0 for the turn. This includes her, but it’s a bit of a high cost. I don’t hate this card, but it’s interesting. I can see this being pretty solid in Vampire Tribal.
Cemetary Desecrator (6-Cost Creature – Zombie): Now, this is wildly expensive, but it’s a solid way to completely decimate a planeswalker, or a creature with lots of tokens. When this card enters play or dies, you exile another card from any graveyard. Then you pick one of two things:
Remove X counters from a permanent, where X is the Mana Value of the exiled card.
Target creature an opponent controls gets -X/-X until the end of turn, where X is the Mana Value of the exiled card.
It’s a good removal spell, but wow, that 6-mana cost is prohibitive. If we can cheat this into play somehow, it would be pretty valuable.
Voldaren Bloodcaster/Bloodbat Summoner (2-Cost Creature – Vampire Wizard): A useful 2/1, this. It has flying, and anytime a nontoken creature of yours dies, create a Blood Token. Whenever you create a Blood Token, and if you have 5 or more of them, transform this into Bloodbat Summoner. Now it’s a 3/3 Flyer, and its new trait is wild. Each combat of yours, you can make a Blood Token become a 2/2 Black Bat token with FLying/Haste in addition to its other types.
Demonic Bargain (3-Cost Spell – Sorcery): Unless this is in a self-mill/self-exile deck, I don’t know that I would want to use this. For 3 mana, you exile the top 13 of your deck and then search your library for a card, and then put it in your hand. If you need something for your wincon, you’ll be fine – as long as it’s not exiled, that is. Then you’re in trouble. It’s risky, but it could absolutely win you games. This is another card I might like in Historic self-Mill.
Path of Peril (3-Cost Spell – Sorcery): I’m torn about how I feel about this spell. It reads: Destroy all creatures [with mana value 2 or less]. So that means it’s a Cleave spell! It costs 6 mana (1 white, 1 black), which is an outrageous cost for a boardwipe. However, 3 mana to destroy all creatures with 2 or less mana cost is very good. It’s a great way to eliminate all the tokens we’re going to see. You don’t have to use the Cleave cost, either. You might have zero intention of doing so, and that’s fine.
Dreadfeast Demon (7-Cost Creature – Demon): Speaking of powerful cards that cost a bit much, the Dreadfeast Demon is one! It’s a 6/6 Flyer, and at the beginning of your end step, you need to sacrifice a non-Demon creature. If you do, create a token that’s a copy of Dreadfeast Demon! You just need a steady supply of things you can sacrifice – better if you can just reanimate or make more tokens. Just create a horde of 6/6 flyers! Big fan of that, to be honest.
Concealing Curtains/Revealing Eye (1-Cost Creature – Wall/Creature – Eye Horror): Some have said this is a pointless rare, but I don’t really agree. It’s a 0/4 wall for 1 black mana, which is amazing. As a Sorcery, you can pay 3 mana (1 black) to transform it into the ¾ Menace Revealing Eye. When it transforms, an opponent reveals their hand, and you make them discard a nonland. Since you can’t really keep spamming it, it’s all about timing. It’s pretty balanced – maybe that’s what Magic fans aren’t used to.
Dying to Serve (3-Cost Enchantment): Gonna be honest, not really a fan of this card. I don’t especially mind that its ability can only trigger once per turn. If it’s going to do that though, 3 mana feels a bit high. Whenever you discard one or more cards, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token. Sure, we don’t want to see someone get 300 zombie tokens in a turn or something. That would be unbalanced. But 3 mana feels a bit high for this. I’m not saying “remove once per turn”, but maybe a 2 drop would make this more reasonable?
Bloodvial Purveyor (4-Cost Creature – Vampire): A ⅚ Flying/Trample for 4? Sign me the heck up. Whenever one of your opponents casts a spell, they receive a Blood token. That sounds bad, but when this attacks, it gains +1/+0 for each Blood token that the player controls. Now they want to slow down so they don’t get overwhelmed! Big fan of this.
Headless Rider (3-Cost Creature – Zombie): Headless Rider might win my “best card art of the expansion” award. It’s so great. This is a 3/1 Zombie, and whenever this, or another nontoken zombie you control dies, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token. We can just flood the board simply by being aggressive. Lots of zombie shenanigans going right now. Will Dimir Zombies be the move in the coming months? We’ll be keeping an eye out.
Graf Reaver (2-Cost Creature – Zombie Warrior): What a wild card. A 3/3 for 2, you can Exploit with this. If you sacrifice a creature when this enters play, destroy a target planeswalker. An excellent control creature, and simply as a way to deal with superfriends in mono-black.
Fell Stinger (3-Cost Creature – Zombie Scorpion) An exploit 3/2 with Deathtouch if you exploit with this creature, a player draws 2 cards and loses 2 life. A great way for you to get some easy card draw! Not too shabby, and as a 3/2, it’s a threat since it has Deathtouch. A solid turn-3 creature.
Dread Fugue (1-Cost Spell – Sorcery): We’ve got another Cleave card, this version costs 3 mana (1 black). Here’s how it reads normally: Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it [with mana value 2 or less]. That player discards that card. So if you pay the Cleave cost, now you can make them discard any card. For 3 mana, you can lessen your opponent’s amount of land drops? Oh yeah, that’s worth it. I wonder if Cleave is an attempt to balance some classic MTG staples.
Skulking Killer (4-Cost Creature – Vampire Assassin): A 4/2 for 2 is not too shabby. When it enters play, a creature your opponent controls gains -2/-2 until the end of turn, if they control no other creatures. So that’s interesting in a control deck, but I don’t know that I’m thrilled about it. It’s okay, I suppose. I don’t hate it, but I’m not dying to throw it into a deck, except as filler.
Undead Butler (2-Cost Creature – Zombie): An interesting card for retrieval, but sadly not reanimation. When this ½ drops into play, you mill three cards. Then when it dies, we can exile it. If you do, return a creature from your grave to your hand. So you can sacrifice something, get it back, and do it again!
Groom’s Finery (2-Cost Artifact – Equipment): This gives a creature +2/+0, and an additional +0/+2 and Deathtouch as long as the Equipment Bride’s Gown is attached to a creature you control. So that’s a neat combo, but I’m not sold on using it myself.
Bloodsworn Squire/Bloodsworn Knight (4-Cost Creature – Vampire Soldier): A Vampire Soldier that can become indestructible? Sign me up! Sadly it taps, so you want to do this after declaring attack. You pay 2 mana and discard a card for it. Then if there are four or more creature cards in your grave, this transforms into the */* Bloodsworn Knight. The power and toughness are equal to the number of creature cards in your graveyard. It retains the discard -> Indestructible power too.
Hero’s Downfall (3-Cost Spell – Instant): Hero’s Downfall went from Rare to Uncommon! Absolutely love to see that. Seeing Rare removal spells is dreadful if I can be honest. This still destroys a target creature or planeswalker at Instant speed. I also appreciate that it tells us that Odric has been bit. He’s going to eventually be seen as a Vampire. Perhaps we’ll see another awesome version of Odric in Crimson Vow! Crossing my fingers.
Parasitic Grasp (2-Cost Spell – Instant): Not a bad Cleave card at all, this goes up by 1 mana. Here’s how it reads: “Parasitic Grasp deals 3 damage to target [Human] creature. You gain 3 life.” Paying the cost lets you use it on anyone, and 3 mana is not bad for 3 damage dealt to a creature, and 3 life gained.
Necroduality (4-Cost Enchantment): Oh my. Now, this I’m a big-time fan of. Whenever a nontoken Zombie comes into play, make a token that’s a copy of it. So much power! Thank God it says “nontoken”, so we don’t get some even worse combos to come out of this. I very much like it.
Overcharged Amalgam (4-Cost Creature – Zombie Horror): Blue Flash creatures are back! A 3/3 Flying/Flash for 4, it also has Exploit. If you pay the exploit toll (sacrifice a creature), you can use this to counter a spell, activated ability, or triggered ability. So yeah, okay. Love this card, definitely going to see play, even if it’s four mana. It’s a counterspell at the cost of sacrificing one of your creatures.
Geralf, Visionary Stitcher (3-Cost Legendary Creature – Human Wizard): Okay, this card is amazing with some planning. Even without! It gives your Zombies flying, and is a ¼ for 3. You can pay 1 blue, tap this, and sacrifice a nontoken creature to create an X/X blue Zombie creature token. X is the creature’s toughness. Take a bunch of walls/defensive creatures, sacrifice them, and turn them into terrors. Aegis Turtle becomes a 5/5 Flying Zombie! Good lord. In a control deck, this might be infuriating.
Inspired Idea (3-Cost Spell – Sorcery): Unless you’re running a card (like Triskaidekaphile) that gives you no maximum hand size, this card is awful. Drawing three cards is incredible, but for a Cleave cost of 5 mana? Not sure I feel so great about this card. For 3 mana, you get “Draw three cards. [Your maximum hand size is reduced by three for the rest of the game.] So if you don’t pay the Cleave, you lose permanent hand size. You have to build for this I think.
Patchwork Crawler (2-Cost Creature – Zombie Horror): Voltron is back, baby! A ½ for 2, this has all activated abilities of all creature cards that are exiled with its power. So for 3 mana, you can exile a creature card from your graveyard, and give this a +1/+1 counter. So you can stack some crazy abilities and powers onto this card. He doesn’t get to keep their abilities like deathtouch, etc. Just the abilities that have to be activated. Love this.
Thirst for Discovery (3-Cost Spell – Instant): Love Thirst for Discovery, to be honest. This has you draw 3 cards, then discard 2 cards unless you discard a basic land. Good stuff, this. Discard engines are always fun.
Mirrorhall Mimc/Ghastly Mimicry (4-Cost Creature – Spirit/Enchantment – Aura): This card has the potential to be devastating. Moreso in its Disturb form though. The base card is a 0/0 Spirit, and it can enter play as a copy of any creature in play, except it’s also a Spirit. However, if you cast it from the grave for its Disturb cost, it’s an Aura Enchantment. You chant a creature, and at the beginning of your upkeep, create a token that’s a copy of the enchanted creature, except it’s also a Spirit. So slap that on anything that generates extra value/is a board threat. There are so many ways that can get out of hand in the mid-game.
Dream-Chain Spirit (3-Cost Creature – Spirit): For 3 mana, I think this is decent. A 3/1 Flyer, at the beginning of your combat phase, you pick one:
Tap target creature
Target creature doesn’t untap during its next unstep step
So you can do a lot to punish someone, or simply to make something stay tapped longer. Might be fun with Ghastly Mimicry to create an endless loop of tapped creatures in the mid-game.
Geistlight Snare (3-Cost Spell – Instant): This counters a spell unless its controller pays 3, but we can make this cheaper to cast. It costs 1 colorless less if you control a Spirit, and another 1 less if you control an enchantment. So you can make this a 1-drop counter, and that’s solid. It’s a little restrictive. I still find that I would probably use it.
Soul Code Tablet/Codebound Geist (2-Cost Artifact/Creature – Spirit): This is an okay card, I suppose. It comes into play with three Omen counters. When a creature of yours is put into the graveyard, remove one of these. If there are no Omen counters, transform it. Now you have the Codebound Geist, a 3/2 Flying spirit, and it can only block creatures with Flying. For 4 mana, you can draw 2 cards, and discard one. I like this for potential reanimator/flashback shenanigans, that’s for sure.
Witness the Future (3-Cost Spell – Sorcery): If only this was an Instant. Choose a player and up to four cards from their graveyard. That player shuffles them into their library. Look at the top four cards of your own library next. Put one into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in random order. It’s not a bad card, that’s for sure. It feels like it’s built for Commander, but I like it to get four of your own cards back and get a card draw.
Lunar Rejection (2-Cost Spell – Instant): This Cleave Spell (4 mana) returns target [Wolf or Werewolf] creature to its owner’s hand and you draw a card. So against the Werewolf decks, this is far more powerful (less expensive). A great sideboard card, to be honest.
Sewer Stalker/Gutter Shortcut (4-Cost Creature – Spirit/Enchantment – Aura): More and more White/Blue Enchantment support! This creature can’t be blocked while attacking alone and is a 3/3. So it’s nice and powerful. However, it also has a Disturb cost, so you can cast its second form from the grave. That’s Gutter Shortcut, an Aura Enchant. It makes this creature unblockable if it attacks alone, so now you can really hand a beating to someone.
Biolume Egg/Biolume Serpent (3-Cost Creature – Serpent Egg/Serpent): Now Blue has a transforming egg! Is it going to be as offensive as the Red counterpart? It’s a 0/4 Defender for 3, and when it drops into play, Scry 2. When you sacrifice this card, it comes back transformed under its owner’s control during the next end step. So this is an ideal card for Geralf. You gain a 4/4 Flying Zombie, and then you also get the 4/4 Biolume Serpent. It’s a Serpent that can sacrifice two islands, to make it unblockable for the turn. Blue’s getting back to its roots, I see. I remember fondly the days of Blue Unblockable.
Screaming Swarm (6-Cost Creature – Bird Horror): Thank God this is so expensive. It could get really out of hand if only we could have a bunch of them out. Oh wait, we can in control decks, thanks to Mirrorhall Mimic/Ghastly Mimicry. What we have here is a 4/4 Flyer, and whenever you attack with one or more creatures, target player mills that many cards. You can also pay 3 mana to bring this from the grave to the second from the top of your library. Now, we can also run this in Zombie Swarm decks to mill people down or use it in self-mill.
Cemetery Prowler (3-Cost Creature – Wolf): When this enters play or attacks, exile a card from a graveyard. Spells you cast cost 1 less for each card type they share exiled this way. So with a good aggressive deck, you can make your creatures much easier to cast, and that’s not it. This could be a lot of fun.
Cultivator Colossus (7-Cost Creature – Plant Beast): Another massive cost creature. This one makes sense though. It’s power and toughness is equal to the number of lands you control, and it has Trample. When it comes into play, you can put a land from your hand into play tapped as well. If you do, you can draw a card and repeat this process. What a fantastic way to get as many lands as you please out!
Ulvenwald Oddity/Ulvenwald Behemoth (4-Cost Creature – Beast): A 4/4 Trample/Haste is already amazing for 4 mana, but when you pay 7 mana, it becomes an Ulvenwald Behemoth, an 8/8 Trample Haste! It also gives your other creatures +1/+1, Trample, and Haste. So, good God this is a worthwhile card. With some mana ramp, you should be able to do this very quickly.
Howlpack’s Piper/WIldtune Howler (4-Cost Creature – Human Werewolf/Werewolf): A Daybound/Nightbound card, this spell can’t be countered either. You can pay 1G and tap this to put a creature card from your hand into play. Untap this if it’s a Wolf or Werewolf, but only do this as a Sorcery. Whenever this transforms into Wildtune HOwler or when it enters play as this, look at the top six of your deck. You can reveal a creature and put it into your hand. The rest go on the bottom of your deck. Definitely, a solid way to ramp some threat onto the board.
Hamlet Vanguard (3-Cost Creature – Human Warrior): Ward 2 is neat, sure. This comes into play with two +1/+1 counters for each other nontoken Human you control. So you want to keep this in play. Thank God this doesn’t account for token creatures, or it could get out of hand.
Ascendant Packleader (1-Cost Creature – Wolf): THIS IS THE CARD WEREWOLVES NEEDED. One thing it was desperately missing was a quality 1-drop, as we already discussed recently. This card is a 2/1 for 1 and comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it if you control a permanent with Mana Value 4 or greater. Whenever we cast a spell with Mana Value 4 or greater, this card gets another +1/+1 counter. Good lord, if you can keep this in play, it’s gonna be a beater.
Glorious Sunrise (5-Cost Enchantment): Even at 5 mana, this is an excellent way to wrap a game up. At the beginning of combat, you can pick one of a few choices. Each one is useful, but my favorite is the first selection:
- Creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain Trample until end of turn
- Target land gains “Tap: Add 3 Green Mana until end of turn”
- Draw a card if you control a creature with power 3 or greater
- You gain 3 life
That “Trample” seals the deal for me, but also the +1/+1. I often complain about a lack of trample right now in MTG, but granting it all your creatures? Oh yeah, let’s get that win.
Hive-Heart Shaman (4-Cost Creature – Human Shaman): Ehhhh. In a five-colored deck this could be a lot of fun. Whenever this ⅗ attacks, you can search your library for a basic land that doesn’t share a type with any land you control and put it into play tapped. You can also pay 6 (1 green) to create a 1/1 green Insect. Then you give it X +1/+1 counters, where X is the number of unique basic land types you control. I honestly don’t think much of this, but I’ll have to eat crow if 5-color fun comes back.
Howling Moon (3-Cost Enchantment): This, if nothing else, is an interesting card. It grants a Wolf or Werewolf of yours +2/+2 for the turn at the beginning of combat. Then, whenever an opponent casts their second spell each turn, you create a 2/2 green Wolf token. If nothing else, it’s a moderately cheap enchantment to generate slow value. It’s okay.
Laid to Rest (4-Cost Enchantment): This is going to go in pretty much every WG Humans/tokens deck I imagine. Whenever a human of yours dies, draw a card, and whenever a creature of yours with a +1/+1 counter on it dies, gain 2 life.
Retrieve (3-Cost Spell – Sorcery): Honestly, green keeps getting good stuff. This lets you take a creature card and a noncreature permanent from your grave, and put them into your hand. However, you must also exile this. A solid, useful retrieval spell.
Dormant Grove/Gnarled Grovestrider (Enchantment/Creature – Treefolk): Another solid card that has Enchantment support. It comes into play as an Enchantment, and at the beginning of combat for you, put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control. Then, if it has a Toughness of 6 or greater, Transform this. Now you have a Gnarled Grovestrider, a 3/6 that grants other creatures of yours Vigilance. So honestly I really like this card as a way to make your cards better, and allows you to be far more aggressive.
Bramble Wurm (7-Cost Creature – Wurm): If we can cheat this out early, it’s going to be deadly. A 7/6 for7, it has Reach/Trample. It grants 5 life when it comes into play, and you can pay 3 and exile it from your graveyard to gain another 5 life. So it’s got some decent value. I’m curious to see if this gets played, despite that incredibly steep casting cost.
Spiked Ripsaw (3-Cost Artifact- Equipment): If nothing else, this is a great flavor card. A 3-cost equipment that costs 3 colorless to equip it. It gives a creature +3/+3, which is great. When this creature attacks, you can also sacrifice a Forest to give this creature Trample for the turn. So if nothing else, I like this as a bit of flavor, but it could also be a hilarious way to win a match.
Reclusive Taxidermist (2-Cost Creature – Human Druid): This creature gets =3/+2 as long as there are four or more creature cards in your grave (making it a base 4/4). It can also be tapped for 1 mana of any color, which is decent for a 2 mana.
Apprentice Sharpshooter (3-Cost Creature – Human Ranger): Another Training card, it’s a ¼ Reach/Training card. Again, this card costs 3 mana. That’s where I really have a problem with Training creatures, that cost feels a bit high. Time will tell though, but the Reach makes this appealing to me.
Moldgraf Millipede (5-Cost Creature – Insect Horror): An Insect Horror? Common or not, color me interested. This mills three of your cards when it enters play, then you give it a +1/+1 counter for each creature card in your graveyard! This could be an incredible bomb in Black/Green mill if you have access to trample. Just suddenly having a 15/15 or something would be ferocious at 5 mana. I like this card, that’s for sure.
Volatile Arsonist/Dire-Strain Anarchist (5-Cost Creature – Human Werewolf): This creature is no joke. It’s giving me serious Inferno Titan vibes. It’s not the same, that’s for sure. But this is a 4/4 Menace/Haste for 5 mana, and that’s a major value. Whenever this attacks, it deals 1 damage to each of – up to one target creature, one target player, and one target planeswalker. Then, when it becomes night, it becomes the Dire-Strain Anarchist, which is a 5/5 Menace/Haste! Now the extra damage is 2 on each of those targets. Absolutely think this card is a house, and it will see use in Red Aggro decks. I think this is going to see use for sure. Some people disagree, saying it’s not gonna be used for several sets down the line, but I think it’s got a lot of possibility as a useful, even powerful card.
Chandra, Dressed to Kill (3-Cost Legendary Planeswalker – Chandra): A new Chandra! But is she good? I’ve had a number of discussions about Chandra over the years. I like her character, but not all of her cards, in my estimation, are very good. Frankly, I love this one though. She can allow for some major damage if you combine her with the Cleave version of Alchemist’s Gambit. Here’s the 3 Loyalty, 3-drop Chandra ability list:
+1: Add 1 Red Mana. Chandra, Dressed to Kill deals 1 damage to up to one target player or planeswalker.
-3: Exile the top card of your library. If it’s red, you may cast it this turn.
-7: Exile the top five cards of your library. You may cast red spells from among them this turn. You get an emblem with “Whenever you cast a red spell, this emblem deals X damage to any target, where X is the amount of mana spent to cast this spell.”
So it’s better in Mono-Red, but if you mix some dual-lands (Red/Blue) into the deck, you can drop Alchemist’s Gambit to hit someone for 7 damage to your opponent, while also getting an extra turn. The new Chandra is going to be a whole lot of fun, especially when you consider how quickly she can get onto the board with that 3 mana cost. I know I’ve dumped on Chandra a bunch in the past but look. I’m sorry, okay? I was very clearly wrong, and just working through some things. Chandra’s rad.
Manaform Hellkite (4-Cost Creature – Dragon): Red/Blue and Mono-Red Dragons decks get an incredibly powerful new tool. A 4/4 for 4 with Flying, it rewards you for casting non-creature spells. How? Whenever you do, create an X/X red Dragon Illusion creature token with Flying and Haste, and X is the mana spent on the spell. Exile that token at the beginning of the next End Step. So you get an aggressive attacker, and it can synergize with other cards on top. This is definitely going into Izzet Dragon decks to partner with Smoldering Egg I think.
Dominating Vampire (3-Cost Creature – Vampire): A 3/3 Vampire, when it comes into play, you gain control of a creature with a Mana Value of less than or equal to the number of Vampires you control, until the end of turn. It also gets untapped and gains haste. What a great card! If we can flicker this in and out again, this could become hilarious.
Change of Fortune (4-Cost Spell – Sorcery): Previous “Discard your hand” cards/abilities were pretty busted. You could discard an empty hand, and get several cards back. However, this is a trifle more balanced. Change of Fortune has you discard your hand, then draw a card for each one you discarded. Some might say that’s awful, but for cheap Flashback/Reanimation? This could be huge. It’s not a bad mana price, either. You could also simply have a garbage hand and want a shot at fixing it. I mean, it should go without saying, but this is a potentially busted discard engine. Just cast all the spells you want to keep, and then dump everything else!
Alchemist’s Gamble (3-Cost Spell – Sorcery): If you were wondering if Wizards were going to keep printing “Extra Turn” cards, the answer is an unequivocal yes. This spell for 3 mana grants you an extra turn, and during it, damage can’t be prevented. However, it has [At the beginning of that turn’s end step, you lose the game.] and then the card is exiled. So it has a Cleave cost of 7 mana (2 Blue, 1 Red). Using it is going to require that Cleave cost if you want to stay in the game unless it’s Historic, and you have Platinum Angel I guess. In Historic this could become incredibly frustrating.
Curse of Hospitality (3-Cost Enchantment – Aura Curse): We’re bringing back “Enchant Player”! This makes creatures attacking the enchanted player have Trample – so when you attack that opponent you have Trample. Whenever a creature deals combat damage to that player, that player exiles the top card of your library. Until the end of the turn, that creature’s controller may play that card and they may spend any mana to cast it. So you could cast this on yourself, and make your opponent have to play a serious guessing game. Is it worth attacking you?
Stensia Uprising (4-Cost Enchantment): Need a way to get a sneaky bit of bomb damage out? Stensia Uprising is here to help you. During your end step, create a 1/1 red Human creature token. At this point, if you control exactly thirteen permanents, you can sacrifice Stensia Uprising. When you do, it deals 7 damage to any target. I’m a pretty big fan of this card to drop sudden, frustrating damage.
Vampires’ Vengeance (3-Cost Spell – Instant): A solid Instant for Red, it deals damage and creates a Blood Token. Thankfully it’s not a Blood Token per damaged character. Vampires’ Vengeance deals 2 damage to each non-Vampire creature and then creates a single Blood Token. For 3 damage, that’s amazing – as long as you’re not playing other Vampires. So it might be better served in the sideboard.
Magma Pummeler (2+X Cost Creature – Elemental): This gains X +1/+1 counters, depending on the X in the cost. If this would take damage, you remove that many +1/+1 counters from it, and when 1 or more counters is removed this way, Magma Pummeler deals that much damage to any target. So we can put this in danger as much as we want, to get damage.
Honeymoon Hearse (3-Cost Artifact – Vehicle): This has Crew, without having Crew. You can tap two untapped creatures you control to turn this into an artifact creature (5/5 Trample) for the turn. So you can use two 1/1 tokens, or a pair of 0/1s, etc. It doesn’t require specific combinations. Plus a 5/5 for 3? With Trample?! Oh yes.
Runebound Wolf (2-Cost Creaure – Wolf): An interesting bomb for Wolf Tribal/Werewolf Tribal, you can tap this wolf (alongside 4 mana – 1 red) to deal damage equal to the number of Wolves and Werewolves you control, to target opponent. That’s pretty awesome if you have some low-cost Wolves/Werewolves. With a couple of these in play, you can seriously dole out some damage.
Voltaic Visionary/Voltaic Berserker (2-Cost Creature – Human Wizard/Human Berserker): Sounds like someone found Tenzer’s Transformation from D&D. You can tap this card to deal 2 damage to you and exile a card off the top of your deck. You can only do this as a Sorcery. If you choose to play this card, transform this into a 3/4, Cannot Block Voltaic Berserker. It’s kind of neat to cheat out cards faster, but not overpowered – yet.
Alluring Suitor/Deadly Dancer (3-Cost Creature – Vampire): A ⅔ Vampire, when you attack with exactly two creatures, you transform the Alluring Suitor into Deadly Dancer. Now it’s a 3/3 Trample Vampire! When this transforms, add 2 red mana, and until the end of the turn, you don’t lose mana as steps and phases end. You can pay 2 red to give Deadly Dancer and another target creature +1/+0 until the end of the turn. You could sneak out some solid damage this way.
Into the Night (4-Cost Spell – Sorcery): A very simple, straightforward card. It becomes Night. You can also discard any number of cards,t hen draw that many plus one. Honestly, great as a discard engine, or a way to make your end-game play with Werewolves.
Blood Hypnotist (3-Cost Creature – Vampire): This is an okay Vampire. A 3/3 that can’t block for 3, it lets you pick a creature and make it unable to block. This triggers once each turn, and only when you sacrifice one or more Blood Tokens. If you need to disable a flyer to guarantee damage, it could be very useful. This feels like a sideboard card to me.
Lambholt Reconteur/Lambholt Ravager (4-Cost Creature – Human Werewolf/Werewolf): Were you asking yourself “How can I make my OP Izzet deck even stronger somehow, but I don’t know how?” Well, wonder no longer! This 2/4 for 4 deals 1 damage to each opponent anytime you cast a noncreature spell. Then when it becomes night, he becomes a 4/4 that now deals 2 damage to each opponent! It’s 4 mana, but I think it could see play.
Weary Prisoner/Wrathful Jailbreaker (4-Cost Creature – Human Werewolf/Werewolf): For 4 mana, I rather like this card. It’s a 2/6 Defender in its Daytime form. That’s not too shabby. When it becomes night, it attacks each combat if able, and is now a 6/6! So, pretty rad.
Abrade (2-Cost Spell – Instant): Abrade got a reprint! It’s a 2-cost Instant with a pair of choices to pick from. It either deals 3 damage to a target creature or destroys an artifact. A solid staple for Red, and I can see this for sure getting used.
Kessig Flamebreather (2-Cost Creature – Human Shaman): The Lambholt Reconteur is neat, but the Kessig Flamebreather is cheaper and does the same thing. It doesn’t transform, but it’s a ⅓. Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, Kessig Flamebreather deals 1 damage to each opponent. So I think this might see more use since it’s a 2-cost instead of a 4. Just based on that merit.
Savior of Ollenbock (3-Cost Creature – Human Soldier): The first Training creature we’ve seen! It’s a ½, so it’s going to be easy to pop its Training ability. Whenever Savior of Ollenbock trains, exile up to one other target creature from play, or a creature card from the battlefield. When the Savior of Ollenbock leaves play, those exiled cards return under their owner’s control. If you can keep this card in play for a long time, you can devastate an aggressive deck.
Hallowed Haunting (4-Cost Enchantment): I was saying earlier that I wasn’t sure how the enchantment cards were going to shake up, but I suppose now I understand. This gives your creatures Flying and Vigilance, provided you control 7+ enchantments. On top of that, whenever you cast an enchantment, create a white Spirit Cleric creature token with “This creature’s power and toughness is equal to the number of Spirits you control.” So I really feel like White/Blue or Mono-White Enchantments, or even White/Green could be the play going forward into Crimson Vow.
Cemetery Protector (4-Cost Creature – Human Soldier): What an amazing card! This has the potential to be infuriating to other players. This ¾ with Flash exiles a card from a graveyard. Then, whenever you play a land or cast a spell, if it shares a card type with that exiled card, you get a 1/1 white Human creature token. It’s incredibly easy to make this a bomb card to constantly get tokens. The hard part will be to get a land in your opponent’s graveyard unless there are sacrificial lands going on in people’s decks now. But I love this card.
Faithbound Judge/Sinner’s Judgment (3-Cost Creature – Spirit Judgment/Enchantment – Aura Curse): Talk about a card more powerful when it’s in the grave! It’s a 4/4 Defender/Flying/Vigilance for 3, which is amazing. But it can’t attack! However, each of your upkeeps, this gains Judgment Counter, as long as it has 2 or fewer. Then if it has 3 or more, it can attack as if it didn’t have Defender. You can pay 7 in the grave, to cast its Disturb form, Sinner’s Judgment. It’s expensive, but in three turns, your opponent loses the game. During your upkeep, put a Judgment Counter on Sinner’s Judgment. Then, if there are three or more Judgment Counters, the enchanted player loses the game. If this would enter the graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead. This makes me hopeful for a Azorius Control deck! Love this card. 10/10.
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (2-Cost Legendary Creature – Human Soldier): Thalia’s back – in Pog Form. This is a reprint of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, and she’s still a First Strike 2/1. Noncreature spells cost 1 more to cast with her, so she’s still 100% worth using.
Sigarda’s Summons (6-Cost Enchantment): Okay, this Enchantment is incredible. Creatures you control with a +1/+1 counter on them have a base power/toughness of 4/4, have flying, and are also Angels in addition to other types. Good. God. There are so many ways this can make your opponent’s day become very unpleasant. It’s expensive (6 mana), but I’m such a huge fan of how you can take a White Weenie deck and suddenly make all those tokens and human soldiers into Angels of Destruction.
Wedding Announcement/Wedding Festivity (3-Cost Enchantment): What a wild card. The first form, Wedding Announcement puts an invitation counter on this on your end steps. If you attacked with two or more creatures this turn, draw a card. Otherwise, create a 1/1 white Human creature token. If this has 3 or more invitation counters on it, transform it. Then you have Wedding Festivities, which grants your creatures +1/+1. It’s not a counter though, so it won’t trigger Sigarda’s Summons. Still though, a pretty rad little card.
By Invitation Only (5-Cost Spell – Sorcery): A very simple, but the powerful spell. Choose a number between 0-13. Each player sacrifices that many creatures. In control decks, this could be an incredible tool to remove threats.
Voice of the Blessed (2-Cost Creature – Spirit Cleric): Oh man, this card is ridiculous for 2 mana. A 2/2 Cleric, every time you gain one or more life, give this a +1/+1 counter. As long as it has 4 or more +1/+1 counters, it has Flying and Vigilance. Then, when it gets to 10+ counters, Voice of the Blessed has Indestructible. Now, it is dampened by “One or more life”. This does mean that separate instances of life gain will trigger and it should gather up more and more counters for Voice of the Blessed. It’s definitely an interesting card and could be a blast in Mono-White Lifegain, or WG Tokens.
Lantern Flare (2-Cost Spell – Instant): A Flare with an X cost! Now that’s interesting. It reads, “Lantern Flare Deals X damage to target creature or planeswalker and you gain X life. [X is the number of creatures you control.] If you’re running this as a control spell without many creatures, you’ll want to pay the 1 Red, 1 White+X, to control what kind of damage/life you deal/gain here. It’s honestly a really good card and a far more reasonable Cleave than what I’ve seen so far.
Optimistic Initiate (1-Cost Creature – Human Warlock): A ½ with Training, that’s already amazing for 1 mana. You can also tap 3 mana (1 white), and remove two +1/+1 counters from the various creatures you control to destroy an artifact or enchantment. We’re seeing some truly powerful enchantments going around in this expansion, as well as artifacts. That in and of itself makes this useful.
Welcoming Vampire (3-Cost Creature – Vampire): Here we have another “once each turn” card. A ⅔ with Flying, whenever one or more creatures with Power 2 or less enters play for you, you draw a card. For 3 mana, it’s not too bad, and if you can generate a weak token during your opponent’s turn, extra cards is nice.
Dawnhart Geist (2-Cost Creature – Spirit Warlock): This is okay, but it would be better about a year ago. Anytime you cast an enchantment spell, you gain 2 life. It’s a ⅓, so it’s okay. It’s got solid stats for its cost, but how often are we going to be dropping Enchantments? This could be another fun Historic card.
Angelic Quartermaster (5-Cost Creature – Angel Soldier): Ehh, this is okay for a 5-drop. Not great. A 3/3 Flyer, puts a +1/+1 counter on up to two other target creatures. So it’s okay! Not amazing, but buffing is key for White right now, so I can see it potentially being a 1 or 2 of.
Twinblade Geist/Twinblade Invocation (2-Cost Creature – Spirit Warrior/Enchantment – Aura): Want some Double Strike? Here we go! This is a 1/1 with Double Strike and a Disturb cost. So the real winner is to get this killed off, so you can cast it as an Enchantment. That way you can enchant someone with Double Strike, someone stronger.
Radiant Grace/Radiant Restrictions (1-Cost Enchantment – Aura/Enchantment – Curse): This enchantment gives a creature of yours +1/+0 and Vigilance, which is neat. Then, when that creature dies, return this to the battlefield, transformed, under your control, and attached to an opponent. Now, that creature’s creatures come into play tapped! Good God. Put this on an aggressive, expendable creature, and watch that anger boil up.
Arm the Cathars (3-Cost Spell – Sorcery): Thank God this isn’t an Instant. It gives a creature +3/+3, another creature +2/+2, and another +1/+1 – all gain Vigilance for the turn. A solid pre-combat trick.
Panicked Spectator (White)/Giggling Culprit (Black) (2-Cost Creature – Human Peasant/Human Rogue): This transforming card goes from being White to Black, which is pretty awesome. If White/Black is remotely good in this expansion, this card is going to be a beast. Whenever the Panicked Spectator or another creature you control dies, gain 1 life. At the beginning of your end step, if you gained 3 or more life, transform it. The Giggling Culprit goes from being a 2/2 to a ⅗ and retains the first ability. You can now also give it Deathtouch for 2 mana (1 black)! What a great uncommon.
Drogskol Infantry/Drogskol Armaments (2-Cost Creature Spirit Soldier/Enchantment – Aura): Another Disturb card that becomes an enchantment in White! A 2/2 with Disturb (4 mana), it’s more powerful in death. You cast this from the grave for the Disturb cost, and it becomes Drogskol Armaments. This gives a creature +2/+2, which is never a bad thing. It feels a bit costly though, so we’ll see if it gets any real use.
Gryff Rider (3-Cost Creature – Human Knight): A simple enough card, this is a 2/1 Flyer/Training, so it can become pretty useful when played at the right time. I like Training, but I’m not sure how broken or powerful it’s going to be. I’m going to be positive about it right now though.
Kindly Ancestor/Ancestor’s Embrace (3-Cost Creature – Spirit/Enchantment – Aura): A decent common, it’s a ⅔ Lifelink with Disturb. That’s what we want to see. When you cast this from the grave, it’s an Enchantment that grants the controller Lifelink. Now we have sustainability! Like all Disturb cards, if the Disturb form would leave play, it exiles itself.
Unholy Officiant (1-Cost Creature – Vampire Cleric): This is an amazing 1-drop common for white, I think. It has ½ and Vigilance, and with 5 mana, you can give this a +1/+1 counter. So it’s a pure generator of value for the White or White/Red +1/+1 counter decks.
Olivia, Crimson Bride (6-Cost Legendary Black/Red Creature – Vampire Noble): Of course she’d be a day one reveal, she’s a key figure in this lore! A ¾ Flying Haste for 6 sounds very expensive. However, when she attacks, you return a creature from your graveyard, tapped and attacking with her. This creature has “When you don’t control a legendary Vampire, exile this creature.” So now we just need a way to make Olivia indestructible, and we can just keep cranking out more jerks from beyond the grave. I like the concept of this card a great deal, but I want to see if we can cheat her into play faster than turn 6.
Kaya, Geist Hunter (3-Cost Legendary White/Black Planeswalker – Kaya): A very divisive card, apparently, I’m a fan of Kaya, Geist Hunter. She could be fun in a three-color deck that includes Fynn, the Fangbearer as a way to overwhelm people with Poison Counters. However, she’s a White/Black planeswalker and comes in with 3 loyalty. What can she do?
- +1: Creatures you control gain deathtouch until the end of turn. Put a +1/+1 counter on up to one target creature token you control.
- -2: Until the end of turn, if one or more tokens would be created under your control, twice that many of those tokens are created instead.
- -6: Exile all cards from all graveyards, then create a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying for each card exiled this way.
Dealing with mill/self mill and you need a solution? Exile the graveyards, make a host of Spirits and then attack with them next turn. If you can give her 7 loyalty, you can give them all deathtouch the next turn! I definitely don’t hate her. I know I say it a lot, but “If only we could give them Haste. . .”
Dorothea, Vengeful Victim/Dorothea’s Retribution (2-Cost Legendary Blue/White Creature – Spirit/Aura): Now here’s an interesting card! When it comes into play, it’s a 4/4 Flying Spirit! When it attacks or blocks, it is sacrificed at the end of combat and has a Disturb cost. That can only be played if it’s in the grave. If we pay the 3 mana (1 blue, 1 white), it comes back as a Creature Enchantment. Now we have Dorothea’s Retribution. The target creature has “Whenever this creature attacks, create a 4/4 white Spirit token with flying that’s tapped and attacking. Sacrifice this token at the end of combat. If this enchantment would go to the grave, exile it instead. On the right creature, this could be very frustrating to deal with.
Grolnok, the Omnivore (4-Cost Legendary Green/Blue Creature – Frog): Grolnok, the Omnivore! What a great name and art. Whenever a frog you control attacks, you mill three cards. This 3/3 also exiles any permanent that enters your graveyard from the library, with a croak counter on it. You can play lands and cast spells from among these cards with Croak Counters on them. Okay, this card is awesome. You could also use this in decks with alternate self-mill wincons in Historic.
Anje, Maid of Dishonor (4-Cost Legendary Black/Red Creature – Vampire): With enough mana and Blood Tokens, she can be a wincon all on her own. This ⅘ creatures a Blood Token for you once a turn, whenever she or another one or more Vampires enters play for you. It stresses that it can only be done once a turn. So if you can play creatures on your opponent’s turn, that would count for you too. You can pay 2 colorless, sacrifice another creature or a Blood Token to make each opponent lose 2 life and grant you 2 life. So with enough resources, you can win the game.
Runo Stromkirk/Krothuss, Lord of the Deep (3-Cost Legendary Blue/Black Creature – Vampire Cleric/Kraken Horror): Wow, what a lengthy title for this creature. It’s a transforming creature, but not for Day/Night. The first part is the 3-cost ¼ Flying Vampire Cleric. Runo Stromkirk puts a creature from your graveyard onto the top of your library. So it’s not a reanimator. At the beginning of your upkeep, you can look at the top card of your deck, and you can reveal that card. If it’s a creature with a Mana Value of 6 or greater, transform Runo Stromkirk. Krothuss, Lord of the Deep, a ⅗ is now what you have. Whenever this ⅗ Flyer attacks, create a tapped and attacking token that’s a copy of another attacking creature. If it’s a Kraken, Leviathan, Octopus, or Serpent, create two instead. Good God. Blue/Black Sea Creatures is going to be fierce and horrifying. I’d like to see where this takes Blue/Black in the coming months.
Torens, Fist of the Angels (3-Cost Legendary Green/White Creature – Human Cleric): We talked about on day one, a White Enchantment, Sigarda’s Summons. It makes creatures you control with +1/+1
counters on them to create Angels that are baseline 4/4s. Torens, Fist of the Angels has Training and is a 2/2. So whenever it attacks with another creature with Greater Power, the Training creature gets a +1/+1 counter. Then whenever you cast a creature spell, create a 1/1 green and white Human Soldier creature token with Training. These pair together perfectly to create an army of Angels that are essentially free. Love GW tokens for Angels coming into Crimson Vow.
Halana and Alena, Partners (4-Cost Legendary Red/Green Creature – Human Ranger): What an interesting card for Gruul (Red/Green), but I wonder if this was designed for Commander. It’s a ⅔ First Strike/Reach for 4 mana. At the start of your combat, you put X +1/+1 counters on another target creature you control. X is the power of this card. That creature also gains Haste for the turn. So you drop a huge creature, buff this, and swing for huge numbers. All this needs is access to Trample and it’s going to be filthy.
Old Rutstein (3-Cost Legendary Creature – Human Peasant): If nothing else, Old Rutstein just looks creepy. A ¼ creature, when it enters the battlefield or at the beginning of your upkeep, mill a card. If it was a land, create a Treasure Token, if it was a creature, create a 1/1 green Insect token. If a noncreature, nonland was milled, create a Blood Token. It’s just generating value no matter what, and then you bring those back somehow or cast them from the grave if you have the capacity.
Ruth, Tormented Prophet (3-Cost Legendary Creature – Human Wizard): I can see this being used in Izzet decks for sure. Drawing cards is overrated. If you would draw a card, exile the top two instead. You can play those cards this turn. It’s pretty solid, to be honest.
Odric, Blood-Cursed (3-Cost Legendary Red/White Creature – Vampire Soldier): I was incredibly excited for this card! Odric’s one of my favorite lore characters, and previous iterations were fun. Now we have a 3/3 Red/White Vampire Soldier Legendary. But what does he do this time? It’s still based around the various abilities creatures can have, only now, he creates X Blood Tokens, where X is the number of abilities from among the following exist on your creatures: Flying, First Strike, Double Strike, Deathtouch, Haste, Hexproof, Indestructible, Lifelink, Menace, Reach, Trample and Vigilance. You only count these once. So, sure, it generates more Blood Tokens, but it feels like a far reach from what he could have been. I hope something awesome comes of him, but I just don’t see it.
Sigardian Paladin (4-Cost White/Green Creature – Human Knight): As long as you put one or more +1/+1 counters on a creature this turn, this creature has Trample and Lifelink (baseline 4/4). You can also give a creature of yours Trample/Lifelink for the turn, for 3 mana (1 green/1 white). For our WG creatures, I can see this being incredibly valuable.
Brine Comber/Brinebound Gift (3-Cost White/Blue Creature – Spirit/Enchantment – Aura): So now we have an Azorius Disturb card! When the creature form comes into play, it’s a 1/1, and whenever it enters play/becomes a target of an aura, create a 1/1white Spirit creature token with flying. That’s the same effect Brinebound Gift has, so you can get it back to flood people with annoying spirit tokens, the more Aura spells you have to cast.
Vilespawn Spider (2-Cost Green/Blue Creature – Spider): The more creatures you have in your grave, the more useful this is/ A ⅔ with reach, you mill a card each turn. Then, you can pay 4 mana (1 green, 1 blue) and sacrifice this. It creates a 1/1 green Insect token for each creature in your graveyard – only as a Sorcery. It’s okay, but I dunno how creature-heavy Simic is going to be in the coming months.
Ancient Spruce (4-Cost Black/Green Creature – Treefolk): Oh yeah, Treefolk are back! This is one of my favorite Treefolk gimmicks. It makes your creatures that have Toughness greater than their Power deal combat damage equal to its Toughness instead. Shame it’s a 4-drop multi-color, but it’s still fantastic.
Wandering Mind (3-Cost Blue/Red Creature – Horror): An amazing card for your Simic decks and a value at 3 mana A 2/1 flyer, you look at your top six, and you can reveal a noncreature, nonland and put it in your hand. The rest go on the bottom. For your spell decks, this can help you find your next obnoxious “Take another turn card”.
Markov Purifier (3-Cost Creature – Vampire Cleric): It sounds like Orzhov Vampires isn’t far away either. A ⅔ Lifelink, if you gained life this turn, you can tap 2 mana and draw a card. So not too bad, stat-wise, or its passive. It’s pretty quality if you ask me.
House of Haunted Dolls (5-Cost Artifact): This has the potential to be incredible. You tap 1 mana, tap this, and exile a creature card from your graveyard. This creates a 0/0 artifact construct token in addition to its other types. It has +1/+1 for each artifact you control, and it has haste for the turn. So if you are putting lots of creatures in the grave (self-mill perhaps), you could in theory make some humongous creature tokens. I want to see this used, honestly.
Investigator’s Journal (2-Cost Artifact – Clue): This card enters play with a number of Suspect counters equal to the greatest number of creatures a player controls. You can pay 2 and tap this, and remove a Suspect Counter to draw a card. You can also sacrifice this (for 2 mana) to draw a card. So the more creatures in play, the more value you get out of this. Not too shabby, to be honest.
Boarded Windows (3-Cost Artifact): A nice, simple artifact. Creatures attacking you get -1/-0. Then if you took four or more damage this turn, exile this card. It’s okay, I suppose. A solid card for 1/1 token decks, so it could be in the sideboard of many decks.
oreboding Statue/Forsaken Thresher (3-Cost Artifact Creature – Construct): A ½ Mana Dork for 3? Seems a bit high. But it can tap for 1 mana of any color, and it also gains an Omen Counter. Then, if you have 3 or more Omen Counters on this, untap it, and transform it. Now it’s the 5/5 Forsaken Thresher! It generates one mana of any color during your pre-combat phase, which isn’t too bad. Plus, a 5/5!
Lantern of the Lost (1-Cost Artifact): It’s a new version of Soul-Guide Lantern, essentially. When this comes into play, you exile a card from any graveyard. You can pay 1, tap and sac this to exile all cards from all graveyards – then draw a card. It’s not a bad card at all, and a solid drop for 1 mana. This feels like a very graveyard heavy set, so I like having this in my sideboard.
Wedding Invitation (2-Cost Artifact): Big fan of anything that draws a card when it comes into play, but this also can make a creature unblockable for a turn. Tap and sacrifice this to make a creature unblockable until the end of turn. If it’s a Vampire, it also gains lifelink! So huge value out of this two-drop.
Voldaren Estate (Land): This is a land you tap for 1 colorless mana, and it has a pair of other effects. You can tap it, and pay 1 life to add 1 mana of any color – only on Vampire spells. You can also pay 5 mana and tap this, to create a Blood Token. This costs 1 less for each Vampire you already control. So in the mid-game, this could be an amazing way to just crank out Blood Tokens. After all, Gluttonous Guest gives you 1 life anytime you use a Blood Token. Just some food for thought.