Preview of MTG Arena D&D Cards Arriving in New Expansion


by in Magic: The Gathering Arena | Jun, 29th 2021

It’s time to look at the cards for the MTG Arena D&D expansion! Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is on the way to MTG Arena, and it’s chock-full of D&D lore in it’s cards, which is exactly what we’re hoping for. Now, personally, there some things I’d change as a long-time D&D player, but that’s not a surprise. Everyone looks at the game differently and that’s fine! We’ve got a ton of legendaries on the way, Creature Lands are back, and there are just some bonkers powers and cards. Do I wonder if this MTG Arena D&D set of cards is going to be broken? Of course, I do! That’s one of the most interesting parts of looking at the cards!

Figuring out which cards are going to be maddening, and which are just in niche combos is half the fun for me. Some of these cards are going to be more useful in other metas too (Historic, Legacy, Pauper, et al). A good example of that is the White/Green Legendary Elf, Trelasarra, Moon Dancer. We’ll get to her, and why she’s an amazing pick for Soul Sisters decks very soon, don’t you worry about that. Each day, more cards will be coming out, so that means we’ll be updating this blog post as often as humanly possible, so don’t miss out! Make sure to check back daily to see how the expansion is fleshing out. Once the spoilers are done, we’ll be writing a blog about possible decks to try out. Then, as is tradition, we’ll look at the actual strongest decks! Oh, it’s a good time for MTG Arena fans, with the upcoming D&D set cards.

It’s going to be absolutely bonkers. So far we haven’t seen any new keywords, but there are quite a few Abilities, which are different. Abilities are styles of powers that can be seen across a variety of cards. They’re bundled together under a banner name (Pack Tactics for example) for convenience and clarity’s sake. Pack Tactics, for example, has Minion of the Mighty play a card from your hand, tapped and attacking. The card type will probably vary across the set.  As always, we’ll be sorting by color and rarity!

We previously covered some of the early spoilers, and you can check them out here!

Class Enchantments


A new type of Enchantment was revealed in this expansion, the Enchantment – Class card. These look similar to a Saga, but they don’t appear to go away. I’ll cover them in brief here, and we’re going to look at these in-depth in the future perhaps. These have three levels, and as you pay the cost, you can increase them to the next level. This can only be done at Sorcery speed.

Fighter Class (2-Cost Rare Enchantment): When this enters play, you search your library for an Equipment card, reveal it, and put it into your hand.

  • Level 2 (3 Mana, 1 Red, 1 White): Equip abilities you activate cost 2 colorless less to activate.
  • Level 3 (5 Mana, 1 Red, 1 White): Whenever a creature you control attacks, up to one target creature blocks it this combat if able.
Ranger Class Enchantment

Ranger Class (2-Cost Rare Enchantment): When Ranger Class enters play, create a 2/2 green Wolf creature token.

  • Level 2 (2 Mana, 1 Green): Whenever you attack, put a +1/+1 counter on target attacking creature.
  • Level 3 (4 Mana, 1 Green): You may look at the top card of your library any time. You may cast creature spells from the top of your library.

Wizard Class (1 Blue Uncommon Enchantment): You have no maximum hand size.

  • Level 2 (3 Mana, 1 Blue): When this Class becomes level 2, draw two cards.
  • Level 3 (5 Mana, 1 Blue): Whenever you draw a card, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.

Bard Class (2-Cost Red/Green Rare Enchantment): Legendary creatures you control enter the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter on them.

  • Level 2 (2 Mana, 1 Red, 1 Green): Legendary spells you cast cost 1 red 1 green less to cast. This only reduces the amount of colored mana you pay.
  • Level 3 (5 Mana, 1 Red, 1 Green): Whenever you cast a legendary spell, exile the top two cards of your library. You may play them this turn.
Cleric Class Enchantment

Cleric (1-Cost White Uncommon Enchantment): If you would gain life, you gain that much life plus 1 instead.

  • Level 2 (4 Mana, 1 White): Whenever you gain life, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.
  • Level 3 (5 Mana, 1 White): When this class becomes level 3, return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. You gain life equal to its toughness.

Warlock Class (1-Cost Black Uncommon Enchantment): At the beginning of your end step, if a creature died this turn, each opponent loses 1 life.

  • Level 2 (2 Mana, 1 Black): When this Class becomes level 2, look at the top three of your deck. Put one in your hand and the rest in your graveyard.
  • Level 3 (7 Mana, 1 Black): At the beginning of your end step, each opponent loses life equal to the life they lost this turn.

Barbarian Class (1-Cost Red Uncommon Enchantment): If you would roll one or more dice, instead roll that many dice plus one and ignore the lowest roll.

  • Level 2 (2 Mana, 1 Red): Whenever you roll one or more dice, target creature you control gets +2/+0 and gains menace until the end of turn.
  • Level 3 (3 Mana, 1 Red): Creatures you control have haste.

Monk (2-Cost Rare Enchantment): The second spell you cast each turn costs 1 less to cast. 

  • Level 2 (2 Mana, 1 White, 1 Blue: When this Class becomes level 2, return up to one target nonland permanent to its owner’s hand.
  • Level 3 (3 Mana, 1 White, 1 Blue): At the beginning of your upkeep, exile the top card of your library. For as long as it remains exiled, it has “You may cast this card from exile as long as you’ve cast another spell this turn.”

Paladin (1-Cost Rare Enchantment): Spells your opponent’s cast during your turn cost 1 more to cast.

  • Level 2 (3 Mana, 1 White): Creatures you control get +1/+1.
  • Level 3 (5 Mana, 1 White): Whenever you attack, until the end of turn, target attacking creature gets +1/=1 for each other attacking creature and gains Double Strike.

Druid (2-Cost Uncommon Enchantment): Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you gain 1 life.

  • Level 2 (3 Mana, 1 Green): You may play an additional land on each of your turns.
  • Level 3 (5 Mana, 1 Green): When this Class becomes Level 3, target land you control becomes a creature with haste and “This creature’s power and toughness are equal to the number of lands you control,” and is still a land. 

Black Cards


Common:


Zombie Ogre (5-Cost Creature – Zombie Ogre): At the beginning of your end step, if a creature died this turn, venture into the dungeon. That’s amazing, it’s just a shame this costs 5 mana. A ⅗ for 5 isn’t bad, and it feels weird in Black. I’m used to High Power/Low Toughness, but this is an Ogre. As a way to keep consistently Venturing though? I’m here for it.

Shambling Ghast (1-Cost Creature – Zombie): A good old-fashioned classic D&D Zombie. A 1/1 for 1, you choose one of two triggers for it. Brave the Stench has an opponent’s creature get -1/-1 until the end of turn, and Search the Body creates a Treasure Token. This is an incredible 1-drop I think. It either produces temporary mana (treasure token), or you can use it on the draw, turn 1, to eliminate your opponent’s 1-drop 1/1 (or 2/1, whatever it is). So I really like this card as a potential deck filler.

Uncommon:


Black Dragon (7-Cost Creature – Dragon): Whew, this is expensive for a 4/4! At least it has flying. This cost is perhaps because of Acid Breath, which gives an opponent’s creature -3/-3 for the turn, when it enters the battlefield. Not bad, but a bit costly for my taste.

Grim Wanderer (2-Cost Creature – Goblin Warlock): This is a pretty cool idea for a creature. It’s a 5/3 Flash for 2 but has Tragic Backstory. This creature can only be cast if a creature died this turn. Since it has Flash, you can quickly eliminate a creature of your opponent’s, then cast this in response. A 5/3 Goblin is pretty big, though the art doesn’t look like a Goblin at all. That’s one thing that’s perplexing. Unless it’s a Goblin inhabiting a human body? Curiouser and curiouser.

Check for Traps (2-Cost Sorcery): We have a new Thoughtseize-style card in the form of Check for Traps. Some think it is a better Thoughtseize, some think it won’t see play at all. The pro camp likes it because your opponent can lose life instead of you. The cons dislike it because it costs 2 mana instead of 1, like Thoughtseize. You make an opponent reveal their hand, and you exile a non-land card. If it was an Instant or a card with Flash, they lose 1 life. Otherwise, you lose 1 life. I like the card, but I don’t think it will replace Thoughtseize at all. Used in conjunction with? Sure, absolutely. It’s a solid early-game removal card.

Forsworn Paladin (1-Cost Creature – Human Knight): I can easily see this getting play in Standard. A 1/1 with Menace, you can tap 2 and it, and pay 1 life to create a Treasure Token. For 3 mana (1 black), a creature gets +2/+0 for the turn, and if you used a Treasure in the mana cost, it also gains Deathtouch for the turn. As early as turn 2 you can start stacking Treasure Tokens to ramp something big in the later part of the game. I’m a really big fan of this card, and I like what it can do in limited and in traditional Standard.

Rare


Sphere of Annihilation

Sphere of Annihilation (1+X Artifact): In D&D, the Sphere of Annihilation does exactly what its name implies. It’s a sphere that is utterly black and is a void in the fabric of the multiverse. Anything that touches the sphere is completely obliterated. It can be controlled to an extent. This D&D card’s cost in MTG Arena is 1 black mana +X. For X, you give it that many Void Counters. At the beginning of your upkeep, exile this card and all creatures and planeswalkers with Mana Value less than or equal to the number of void counters on it and all creature and planeswalker cards in graveyards with a mana value less than or equal to the number of void counters on it. Dealing with an aggro deck that suddenly floods the board with 2-or-cheaper creatures? Just use this on turn 2 or 3, and wipe the field! I’m in love with this card as an answer to so many problems. Sure, you can lose cards with it too, but we exile all threats, depending on the mana invested. The only major downside is you have to wait a turn. That means your aggro opponent get a chance to deal major damage before it triggers. But you won’t have to wait too long.

Gelatinous Cube (4-Cost Creature – Ooze): A 4/3 for 4 with awesome art, and an amazing ability! Gelatinous Cube definitely lives up to the D&D iteration of the creature. When this card enters the battlefield, you exile a non-Ooze an opponent controls, until Gelatinous Cube leaves the battlefield. You can also tap 1 black+X, and put a target creature card with a Mana Value X, exiled this way into its owner’s graveyard. You exile something, and when you’re ready, safely chew it up and throw it in the grave. Absolutely love this. I just wish it could absorb something else after the fact. Perhaps you can flicker it out and back in after you Dissolve the current target.

Mythic Rare:


The Book of Vile Darkness (3-Cost Legendary Artifact): Oh boy, The Book of Vile Darkness! A powerful book of dark magic (and an actual D&D supplemental text), it requires two other artifacts to make something special. However, first, if at the beginning of your end step, if you lost 2 or more life this turn, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token. If you have this, the Eye of Vecna, and Hand of Vecna in play, you can tap this to exile all three. If you do, create Vecna, a legendary 8/8 black Zombie God with Indestructible. It also gains all triggered abilities of the previous exiled cards. There are quite a few ways to fetch artifacts in D&D: Adventures in Forgotten Realms, so I can see this being a fun way to end the game.

Ebondeath, Dracolich (4-Cost Legendary Creature – Zombie Dragon): Mmm. Zombie Dragon. A 5/2 for 4, it has Flash and Flying, so you can play it on an opponent’s turn. You can also do something far more important to keep this around as often as possible. You can cast this from your graveyard, if a creature not named Ebondeath, Dracolich died this turn. It doesn’t matter who controls the creature that died, either! You can use a creature removal spell on your opponent’s turn, and just re-cast Ebondeath, Dracolich. Oh I really like this card. It can keep coming back as long as creatures of any flavor die.

Acererak, Lord of Undeath (3-Cost Legendary Creature – Zombie Wizard): A creature that requires you to Venture into a specific dungeon? You bet! When Acererak enters the Battlefield, if you didn’t complete Tomb of Annihilation, return it to it’s owner’s hand and venture into the dungeon. So you can also use it to complete a dungeon or venture into them while you wait on finishing that specific dungeon. Whenever Acererak attacks, for each opponent, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token, unless the defending player sacrifices a creature. So it’s got uses for sure, as a 5/5. In Modern, this could be an amazing way to venture over and over for 1 mana, through Heartless Summoning.

Asmodeus the Archfiend (6-Cost Legendary Creature – Devil God): Asmodeus the Archfiend is, in my estimation, a better version of Griselbrand or Necropotence. Though Griselbrand does have Flying and Lifelink. They serve a similar purpose though. Asmodeus the Archfiend is a 6/6 for 6, and this would have got MTG banned when I was in High School. It has Binding Contract: If you would draw a card, exile the top card of your library face down instead. For 3 black, you can draw seven cards. For 1 mana, you can return all cards exiled with Asmodeus to its owner’s hand and you lose that much life. Or, there is a better way. You can pay the 3 black mana to trigger “Draw 7 cards”. In response, sacrifice or kill Asmodeus the Archfiend, and draw those cards instead of exiling them, no life loss is required. Of course, any cards you drew before this are still exiled, unless you bring him back. If you do this all in one turn, there’s no problem though.

Blue Cards


Common


Charmed Sleep (3-Cost Enchantment – Aura): We’re bringing back Blue Sleep enchants! This targets a creature, and it taps the creature afflicted by it. It also doesn’t untap during a normal untap phase, but that creature can still use abilities and powers (that don’t require tapping). I’ve always thought these cards felt pricey, but the ability to take a creature out of fights in general is underrated. There isn’t a ton of enchantment removal right now, so it’s probably stuck on that player’s card for good.

You See a Guard Approach (1-Cost Instant): We’re seeing this new style of cards show up. They are still Instants/sorceries as per normal but are named after events you’d see in a D&D game. You See A Guard Approach and others like it have you make a decision. This one has Distract the Guard or Hide. The names of the decisions aren’t abilities, skills, or keywords. It’s just flavor that leads into the actual abilities. Distract the Guard taps a target creature, and Hide gives a creature of yours Hexproof for the turn. It’s a very useful card for both of these.

You Come to a River (2-Cost Instant): Two decisions await. Both are useful, but Find a Crossing is better, imo. Fight the Current returns a non-land permanent to its owner’s hand, and Find a Crossing gives a creature +1/+0 and can’t be blocked for the turn. A great way to secure an easy Vorpal Sword win! There are a few ways to make something unblockable right now in blue, so I’m seeing Blue Control Vorpal Sword may be in people’s near future. Well, Black/Blue Vorpal Sword.

Uncommon:


Guild Thief (2-Cost Creature – Orc Rogue): Yet another card for Vorpal Sword shenanigans. Guild Thief gets a +1/+1 counter anytime he deals combat damage. It could get bigger and bigger! Cunning Action is its special ability and costs 4 mana (1 blue). If you activate it, Guild Thief can’t be blocked this turn. You can make it unblockable and just make it inflate every turn. With the right control spells, this could be a lot of fun. 

Displacer Beast (3-Cost Creature – Cat Beast): If nothing else, this could be quite interesting. A 3/2 for 3, when it comes into play, you Venture into the dungeon. But you can also return it to its owner’s hand for 3 mana (1 blue), via Displacement. So with enough mana in the mid-game, you could keep redoing this again and again, to make sure your dungeons get completed. Might be fun with a Blue/White deck that runs Hama Pashar. That way, we get double procs each time.

Aberrant Mind Sorcerer (5-Cost Creature – Human Elf Shaman): Another fun, useful D20 card! This one will be incredible with a Flicker option. When this enters play, it triggers Psionic Spells, and you choose an Instant or Sorcery in your graveyard. Then you roll a d20:

  • 1-9: You may put that card on top of your library.
  • 10-20:  Return that card to your hand.

Rare:


The Blackstaff of Waterdeep (1-Cost Legendary Artifact): This could be a wildly useful card with 0-cost artifacts. The Blackstaff of Waterdeep does not have to be untapped during the untap phase. It also features Animate Walking Statue, for 2 mana and tapping the Staff. Another target nontoken artifact you control becomes a 4/4 artifact creature for as long as The Blackstaff of Waterdeep remains tapped. You can only do this as sorcery, though. So you play a 0-cost or 1-cost artifact, use this (which only costs 1 mana to cast) and start hitting people for 4 damage over and over. I imagine you could use this on an artifact creature that has flying, and just make it a 4/4, and get free, easy damage. 

Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar

Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar (3-Cost Legendary Creature – Horror): A new Legendary Horror, something we haven’t seen in a while. Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar was once a member of the Society of Brilliance, and in a surprising turn, aided Drizzt Do’Urden against Demogorgon. What does he do in-game though? A 3/2 for 3, whenever a creature you control becomes blocked, you may choose to return it to your hand. Then, whenever one or more creatures you control deal combat damage to a player, draw a card. I wonder if that return triggers before damage is dealt. This is great if you have cards that feature useful ETB triggers too. Not a bad card, and not all that expensive either. 

Dragon Turtle (3-Cost Creature – Dragon Turtle): A ⅗ with Flash? Fun stuff. I like this as a Flicker creature more than anything. This features Drag Below, which has the Dragon Turtle, and a target opponent’s creature tap. They both don’t untap during their controller’s next Untap steps. So it’s not bad. Not overpowering, but it’s a neat card, and for 3 mana, you can stop someone from attacking on your opponent’s turn.

Yuan-Ti Malison (2-Cost Creature – Snake Rogue): It sounds like Yuan-Ti are built for venturing into the dungeon, which is pretty great. This blue Snake Rogue is a 2/1 for 2, and can’t be blocked, provided it’s attacking alone. Might be fun in a more casual Exalted deck as an unblockable. In addition, whenever Yuan-Ti Malison deals combat damage to a player, Venture into the dungeon. I feel like it’s a trend because of the black Yuan-Ti Fang-Blade Ventures when it deals combat damage to a player. So it very well could become a trend across the Serpent people.

Wizard’s Spellbook (7-Cost Artifact): Now, if you can cheat this into play, it will be overpowering. Otherwise, I’m not so sure this is going to see play (but I want it to). For 7 mana, you get this useful artifact though. You tap it and exile an instant or sorcery card from your graveyard, and then roll a d20. You can only activate this as a Sorcery though, bear that in mind. Here are the results:

  • 1-9: Copy that card. You may cast the copy.
  • 10-19: Copy that card. You may cast the copy by paying 1 colorless rather than paying its mana cost.
  • 20: Copy each exiled card with Wizard’s Spellbook. You may cast any number of copies without paying their mana costs.

Remember, there are also cards that reward you for copying spells and not necessarily casting them. But if you can cheat this into play early, you can bombard people with some obnoxious spell combos, and roll that awesome Nat 20 in the late game (hopefully)? Oh man, that would be hilarious.

True Polymorph (6-Cost Instant): You might be complaining about the cost of this card, and I wouldn’t blame you. However, True Polymorph is an Instant, so that also attributes to the absurdly high cost. It also has a very useful permanent effect. Target artifact or creature becomes a copy of another target artifact or creature. You can do so much with this. You can take a Treasure Token or something similar, and turn it into something colossal and powerful! You can use it to make a copy of your foe’s game-winning creature.

Mythic Rare


Demilich (4-Cost Creature – Skeleton Wizard): Whoever designed this card either deserves punishment or an award. Demilich is going to be foolish levels of broken, I can feel it in my bones. A 4/3 for 4 blue, it costs 1 blue less for each instant and sorcery you’ve cast this turn. That’s already amazing in say, a Mono-Blue or Izzet deck. Whenever Demilich attacks, exile up to one target instant or sorcery from your graveyard, copy it, and you can cast the copy. You can also cast Demilich from your graveyard by exiling four instant and/or sorcery cards from your graveyard – in addition to paying its other costs. So this card’s never really going to go away. I’d love to see this in a mill deck as a way to constantly bring back those mill cards, doing them again and again. You could make this pop off very quickly and could be incredible in Storm decks. Demilich so far is the most interesting card of the expansion.

Mordenkainen (6-Cost Legendary Planeswalker: Mordenkainen): So, I’m confused. Mordenkainen is a legendary wizard for sure. He was a PC of Gary Gygax himself and said to be the D&D creator’s favorite character. However, Mordenkainen’s roots aren’t on Faerun, but from the Greyhawk setting. He is an incredibly powerful wizard though. Why not Elminster? He’s from Faerun. He is a planeswalker here though so he can travel between realms. That being said, he’s got a lot of potential to be a fun card. He has base 5 Loyalty and costs 6 mana. Here are his powers:

  • +2: Draw two cards, then put a card from your hand on the bottom of your library.
  • -2: Create a blue Dog Illusion creature token with “This creature’s power and toughness are equal to twice the number of cards in your hand. 
  • -10: Exchange your hand and library, then shuffle. You get an emblem with “You have no maximum hand size.”

With Omnipotence, this is hilarious. It’s also a great way to win the game with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries (in Historic). I like that his -2 is Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound. You could, in theory, have a 100/100 illusion dog. All it needs is Trample. Maybe a Blue/Green deck? Would be interesting.  You can easily have a very powerful creature thanks to that -2, but the big money is suddenly having access to your entire library.

Green Cards


Common


Owlbear (5-Cost Creature – Bird Bear): I’m glad this is a “Bird Bear” instead of an “Owlbear”. Owlbear as a type makes it too hard to synergize into other decks. A 4/4 Trample, it also has Keen Sense as an ability. When this card enters the battlefield, draw a card. So it’s not too bad for a common. I haven’t seen a lot of fun trample creatures in a while, and while it is a 5-cost creature, it’s not too bad. A decent card. Not special, but could be fun as a mid-game pick in limited. I don’t hate it, but I don’t see myself using it.

Find the Path (3-Cost Enchantment – Aura): An Enchantment that has you Venture when it comes into play? Excellent. It’s also a fun Mana Ramp card, as it makes the enchanted land tap for 2 green. Not too shabby for 3 mana, as it gives a fairly safe extra bit of mana.

You Happen Upon a Glade (3-Cost Instant): A Green choice card, and an uncommon at that. Both of these abilities are incredible, especially at three mana. Journey On has you pick up to two basic land cards from your library, reveal them, and put them into your hand. You can also Make Camp, and return a permanent from your graveyard to your hand. This means you can either mana ramp, or use it as a Bala Ged Recovery, whichever strikes your fancy.

Uncommon


Purple Worm (7-Cost Creature – Worm): An 8/7 for 7 is pretty rad, but what if you could play it for less? This spell costs 2 colorless less if a creature died this turn. Doesn’t matter which player lost something, as long as something died! We could set up a Sphere of Annihilation, wipe the weak minions off the board, and have this as a follow-up play. It also has Ward 2, which counters a spell or ability an opponent controls if it targets this unless they pay 2 colorless. I’m seeing a fair amount of Ward in green right now, especially with the Tarrasque. All this card needs is Trample. Hopefully, we get a Trample spell in this expansion.

Green Dragon (6-Cost Creature – Dragon): We have a set of “generic” Dragons in this expansion too. The Green Dragon is a 4/4 Flyer for 6 and has Poison Breath in line with its ability to exhale poison onto its targets. When this card enters the battlefield, until the end of turn, whenever a creature an opponent controls is dealt damage, destroy it. With the right cards, we can use this as a board wipe card, and I love it. We just need a solid, cheap way to deal 1 damage to all of our opponent’s cards.

Wandering Bard (4-Cost Creature – Dragon Bard): A nice, simple 4/2 for 2. This has you Venture into the dungeon if a land entered play under your control this turn. This ability triggers at the beginning of your end step, so plenty of time to not miss a land drop. Not too shabby for a quick ability trigger at the end of the turn. A 4/2’s not bad statwise, either.

Rare:


Circle of Dreams Druid (3-Cost Creature – Elf Druid): Did you miss the super-powerful Elves that mana ramp tons of green in one turn? Circle of Dreams Druid could be what strikes your fancy. A 2/1 for 3 green, you tap it for 1 green for each creature you control. You could easily tap it for 10 or 11 mana to play something big and ridiculous. Big fan of it, and I can see it being used in Mono-Green Stompy or Mono-Green Elves. 

Werewolf Pack Leader (2-Cost Creature – Human Werewolf): A 3/3 for 2, whenever this creature attacks, if you attacked with total power 6 or greater this combat, you draw a card. This comes from the Pack Tactics ability. You can make this easier, through its activated ability. For 4 mana, until the end of turn, Werewolf Pack Leader has a base power/toughness of 5/3, gains Trample, and isn’t a Human. Now if only we could give it First Strike, to make it even safer. . .

Ochre Jelly (1+X Creature – Ooze): With a way to create more tokens (Doubling Season, Hardened Scales) this could be terrifying. It enters play with X +1/+1 counters on it, and if it dies, if it has at least two or more +1/+1 counters on it, trigger Divide. On the beginning of your end step, create a copy of this, with half the +1/+1 tokens on it, rounded down. We could easily use this to make some filthy infinite/near infinite combos in some other metas.

Varis, Silverymoon Ranger (3-Cost Legendary Creature – Human Elf Ranger): We’ve got another Half-Elf! A 3/3 for 3 with Reach and Ward 1. It has a Venture ability, but it only triggers once a turn to avoid it being overpowered. Whenever you cast a creature or planeswalker spell, venture. Then, whenever you complete a dungeon, create a 2/2 green Wolf creature token. I’m glad it specifies “create”, so it won’t trigger Venture. It’s going to be easy to Venture, don’t you worry. There are so many ways to Venture, and there are cards that reward you for doing so, like Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker.

Froghemoth

Froghemoth (5-Cost Creature – Frog Horror): Oh boy! Exiling cards from graveyards and getting buffed! It’s like Scavenging Ooze, only better! Potentially better, anyway. A 4/4 for 5, it also has Trample/Haste. Whenever this creature deals combat damage to a player, exile up to that many cards from that person’s graveyard. For each creature exiled that way, give Froghemoth a +1/+1 counter, and you gain 1 life for each noncreature card exiled. Run this in a Blue/Green mill deck perhaps? Is that a thing we can do in the meta? Or maybe Black/Green mill? If nothing else, you can really keep an opponent with a graveyard strategy out of the game, using the mighty Froghemoth.

Instrument of the Bards (1-Cost Legendary Artifact): At the beginning of your turn, you can choose to put a harmony counter on this. With enough mana ramp, this could get ridiculous. Not overpowering, but certainly very interesting. You can pay 4 and tap this, to search your library for a creature card with a mana value equal to the number of harmony counters this has. That creature gets revealed and put into your hand. If it’s a legendary, creature a Treasure Token also. You do get to fetch whatever creature you want, so it’s like Birthing Pod in its own special way. I like what this can potentially do with the big mana ramp creatures we have coming in AFR.

Long Rest (3+X-Cost Sorcery): If nothing else, this is an excellent Flavor/Lore card. A Long Rest restores an adventurer to full health and gets them ready to resume the quest they’re on. So for 3+X, you can return X target cards with different mana values from your graveyard to your hand. If eight or more cards were returned to your hand this way, your life total resets to its starting total (20). Exile Long Rest. So you need 11 mana and 8 different cards with varied mana values to rest your health to your starting total. It feels really difficult to pull off for maximum effect, but it’s not a bad card at all.

Mythic Rare


Tarrasque (9-Cost Legendary Creature – Dinosaur): Why doesn’t Tarrasque have a name? Because its name is Tarrasque. It is a one-of-a-kind, unique creature in Dungeons & Dragons. Legend has it that the Tarrasque was created by Gary Gygax during a Dragoncon. The story I heard goes, that a group of players were trying to tell Gygax how to run his game, so he created the Tarrasque on the spot and devastated them. Either way, it’s a nearly unkillable figure. It’s only awake for brief moments in time. This creature is a 10/10 for 9, and if you cast it (as opposed to playing it), it comes into play with Haste and Ward 10. That’s right, to hit it with abilities or spells, you have to pay an extra 10 mana. Whenever this creature attacks, it fights a target creature defending player controls as well. So we can stomp something out, then swing, and force our opponent to block it (or if they just have one blocker, it disappears). I’m disappointed that the Tarrasque doesn’t have Indestructible or doesn’t cycle back into your deck when it dies, but it’s still very useful. Also sad it lacks Trample. This could have been a great card to bring back Rampage with too. While I like this card, I’m not so sure it’s going to be used in any major decks. I’m curious to see though.

Red Cards


Common


Valorous Bard (3-Cost Creature – Tiefling Bard): A ⅔ for 3 is pretty good on it sown. But it also has Inspire. At the beginning of combat on your turn, target creature you control gets +1/+0 for the turn. It’s a decent little common. It’s not gonna get used in my Izzet Dragon decks anytime soon, but I like the idea at the very least as a common card.

Earth-Cult Elemental (6-Cost Creature – Elemental): Classic huge Red Earth Elemental here. But we have a new ability of sorts! Earth-Cult Elemental has Siege Monster trait. When this creature enters the battlefield, roll a d20, and do what it says:

  • 1-9: Each player sacrifices a permanent
  • 10-19: Each opponent sacrifices a permanent
  • 20: Each opponent sacrifices two permanents

It’s also a 6/6 for 6, and when you roll the 20, it’s going to be super satisfying. Even the 1-9 is useful if you have cards that need a creature to die (even if it’s yours). Not too shabby, either. It’s not the only “roll a d20” card, that’s for sure.

You Come to the Gnoll Camp (2-Cost Instant): Another of the new “Choose one” cards, each with a differing trait. Intimidate Them makes up to two creatures unable to block for the turn, which can be very handy at two mana. You can also choose to Fend Them Off, making a creature gain +3/+1 for the turn. I’m waiting for a Hearthstone-like card, that lets you choose both abilities on these cards. I haven’t seen one yet, but I’m hoping for one. 

Unexpected Windfall (4-Cost Instant): A card that doubles as a Discard Engine, draw, and mana generation all in one card! 4 mana for this is not at all a bad price to pay. As an additional cost to play this, discard a card. Then you draw two cards and create two Treasure Tokens. Lots of treasure token generation in this expansion, which is great. Why? Because so many of these cards are expensive!

Uncommon:


Chaos Channeler (4-Cost Creature – Human Shaman): Speaking of which, time for more D20 cards! This is a 4/3 for 4, and has Wild Magic Surge: Whenever Chaos Channeler attacks, roll a d20. Here are your options:

  • 1-9: Exile the top card of your library. You may play it this turn.
  • 10-19: Exile the top two cards of your library. You may play them this turn.
  • 20: Exile the top three cards of your library. You may play them this turn.

Not too shabby for an attacker! Just make sure you have the mana to play these cards! That’s the only thing I would be worried about, but I like the card, that’s for sure.

You Find Some Prisoners (2-Cost Instant): Another “Choice” card, also a low-cost Instant. These being instants seems to be the trait going forward. I don’t recall seeing any Sorcery choice cards. The first decision you have is Break Their Chains, which destroys a target artifact. Conversely, you can pick Interrogate Them, which exiles the top three cards of your opponent’s library. Pick one. Until the end of your next turn, you can play that card and spend mana of any type to cast it. It’s interesting that it says “opponent” for the target. It might be overpowered if you could exile one of your cards, and use any mana (if it’s a multicolor deck).

Rare


Minion of the Mighty (1-Cost Creature – Kobold): This. Card. Is. Amazing. Seriously, this is going to get so much use, I don’t even have time to go into it. But I’ll try. A 0/1 for 1 with Menace, which requires two or more creatures to block it. This creature has Pack Tactics, and I love it. Whenever Minion of the Mighty, if you attacked with creatures with a total of power of 6 or greater, you can put a Dragon creature from your hand into play, tapped and attacking. In Izzet Dragons or Mono-Red Dragons, this is going to be a 4-of. You swing with this when it’s time to play free, gigantic dragons. There are so many dragons you could use this with. Sadly, I wouldn’t use Tiamat though. Though it is a 7/7, you have to cast Tiamat to get its ridiculous power. Don’t worry, there is no shortage of dragons you can throw into this deck for Minion of the Mighty. The best red card so far, hands down. Now, what I want to see, is someone play Tiamat, then swing with Minion. Then we play one of those huge, expensive cards we put in our hand with Tiamat.

Minion of the Mighty

Orb of Dragonkind (2-Cost Artifact): Orb of Dragonkind will make playing Dragons or using their powers quite a bit easier. For 1 colorless, you can tap it to create 2 mana of any combo. Use this only on Dragon spells or activate Dragon abilities. So that’s incredibly useful. You can also tap it, sac it and pay 1 red, to look at the top seven cards of your deck. You can then reveal a Dragon from among them, and put it into your hand. The rest go on the bottom of your deck in any order. That part is neat, but I like the 2 mana ability more, personally. It can help fix your mana problems to play Dragons early.

Wish (3-Cost Sorcery): This is apparently a card people are torn on whether it’s bad or not. Personally, I think it’s an incredible card. Sure it costs 3 mana, which is a lot. But this lets you play a card you own from outside the game this turn (Sideboard). This lets you cast a spell from outside the game, that your opponent can’t interact with. They can’t make you discard it, because it never goes to your hand. The other thing you have to consider with Wish is that it doesn’t exile itself. You can cast again from the graveyard via other means, or simply return it to your hand. I don’t know that it’s overpowered, but I think it’s a solid Wish card.

Meteor Swarm (3+X Sorcery): Meteor Swarm is a powerful 9th level spell in D&D, and it does exactly what its namesake suggests. It drops a swarm of meteors onto your foes. In MTG Arena’s D&D expansion, Meteor Swarm deals 8 damage, divided as you choose among creatures and/or planeswalkers. That’s what the X is for. So you could just hit a few things if you want, but you could drop 8 damage on just one target to prevent a planeswalker ultimate from kicking off. It’s certainly nice, and 8 damage on one target for 4 mana’s not too shabby. Otherwise, you can spend 5 mana to deal 4 damage to two targets. That’s a solid deal if you ask me. 

Zalto, Fire Giant Duke (5-Cost Legendary Creature – Giant Barbarian): It was only a matter of time before we got an awesome Giant, and here’s Zalto! It’s a 5-cost, but it does have Trample and is a 7/3. I hate its Toughness, but whenever it is dealt damage, you venture into the dungeon. That explains why it’s a 7/3 though. We just need to buff his toughness with an Enchantment or instant and make sure he can attack, take damage, maybe take some additional damage, and Venture multiple times in one turn.

Delina, Wild Mage (4-Cost Legendary Creature – Elf Shaman): On face value, this card is amazing. There’s a major, steep downside. It’s a 4/2 for 4 and doesn’t even have haste. Now, if you can play this, and attack with it, there’s a theory that you can make some absolutely disgusting floods of tokens. What does she do? When you attack with her, choose a creature you control, and then roll a d20.

  • 1-14: Create a tapped and attacking token that’s a copy of that creature, except it’s not  legendary and it has “Exile this creature at end of combat.”
  • 15-20: Create one of those tokens. Roll again.

It’s important to note that Delina received Day 0 Errata (rule/law changes). According to Matt Tabak, her 15-20 will read “You may roll again” to prevent infinite loops. If you’ve got the luck, you can make an infinite swarm of tokens that are also tapped and attacking. With this and Pixie Guide, we could have the new Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker combo. There were combos to make infinite loops with Kiki-Jiki. Pixie Guide has you roll an extra die anytime you do, and drop the lowest roll. So it makes the odds of a near-infinite loop of attackers very high. A possibly successful one-attack-win.

Hobgoblin Bandit Leader (3-Cost Creature – Goblin Rogue): It’s time for a new Goblin Lord! A lot of people tend to avoid playing Goblin Lords unless they have an upside other than “+1/+1 to other Goblins”. This ⅔ gets that, and really powerful ability. For 1 mana, you can tap this and deal damage to any target based on how many Goblins entered play this turn. So for Krenko? You can ramp out some pretty sick damage. I can see this dropping into Goblin Historic decks too. With how many Goblins it can pump out in one turn if it could also land haste, he’s a game-winning bomb. 

Mythic Rare


Flameskull (3-Cost Creature – Skeleton): A 3/1 for 3? Classic Red. It also has Flying, and can’t block. That in and of itself isn’t too bad, but it also has the skill Rejuvenation. When this dies, you exile it. Then, if you do exile it, you exile the top card of your library too. Until the end of your next turn, you can cast one of these two cards. If you cast Flameskull this way, you can’t cast that other card. So keep that in mind. It’s a very aggressive card, and the art is lovely. I have a fairly good feeling about it as an option in Mono-Red Aggro.

Zariel, Archduke of Avernus (4-Cost Legendary Planeswalker – Zariel): Avernus is the first of the Nine Hells of Baator, so it’s not a pleasant place. I’m a big fan of what you can possibly do with Zariel, Archduke of Avernus as an aggro/midrange card. With 4 base loyalty, it has the  following abilities:

  • +1: Creatures you control get +1/+0 and gain Haste until end of turn.
  • +0: Create a 1/1 red Devil creature token with “When this creature dies, it deals 1 damage to any target”.
  • -6: You get an emblem with “At the end of the first combat phase on your turn, untap target creature you control. After this phase, there is an additional combat phase.

She’s very powerful. Sure, she only untapped one creature for the additional combat phase, but I have a feeling this is going to be used with decks that only need one creature to attack. Especially if we made Red/Black Vecna. Just swing with him every single turn, twice, for a total of 16 damage (potentially). 

Inferno of the Star Mounts (6-Cost Legendary Creature – Dragon): A Flying, Haste 6/6 that can’t be countered? Lots to like about Inferno of Star Mounts. It can also be used as a game-ender. You can tap 1 red to give it +1/+0 until the end of the turn. When its power becomes 20 this way, Inferno of the Star Mounts deals 20 damage to any target. So sure, you could tap 20 red to do this. Or you could buff it through other means. All that’s required is that the creature’s power hits 20 through the ability. Irencrag Feat (7 mana), 3x Fire Breath, Unleash Fury, and two more mana can trigger this as well! I’m sad the legendary dragon for red wasn’t Klauth, but here we are. A fun card with some terrifying possibilities, especially when we can hold Red mana in our mana pool for turns at a time. 

White Cards


Common


Minimus Containment (3-Cost Enchantment Aura): Truly a unique “Pacifism” style spell. Minimums Containment enchants a non-land permanent. This Enchanted Permanent is now a Treasure artifact that can be tapped and sacrificed for one mana of any color. This permanent loses all prior abilities. If it’s a creature, it stops being a creature. Now, this is a double-edged sword. If you do this to an opponent’s creature/other useful permanent, they lose whatever use they previously had. However, you also give them one free mana to put you in a bad position. You can also use this on your own creatures/permanents that otherwise have no use, due to whatever reasons.

Uncommon:


Dragon’s Disciple (2-Cost Creature – Human Monk): A white creature that benefits dragons? Oh yes. As this enters play, you can choose to reveal a Dragon from your hand. If you do (or if you control a Dragon), Dragon’s Disciple enters play with a +1/+1 counter. So even if you don’t have a dragon to reveal (or don’t want to), you can still buff this if you have a Dragon already in play. In addition, Dragons you control have Ward 1. This means whenever a spell or ability would target them, counter unless its controller pays 1. That’s not too shabby. If nothing else, it forces the other player to expend more mana to remove threats.

Monk of the Open Hand (1-Cost Creature – Elf Monk): Not the most broken card in the game, but I like how possibly useful it is. A 1/1 for 1, whenever we cast our second spell each turn, Monk of the Open Hand receives a +1/+1 counter. This also counts for the opponent’s turns, so we can stack it pretty high. Might be fun in control decks as a win condition. It is weird that the art’s palm isn’t open though. Monk of the Open Hand doesn’t always have to use open-palm strikes, but it would be nice to see on the card!

Rare:


Guardian of Faith

Oswald Fiddlebender (2-Cost Legendary Creature – Gnome Artificer): A potentially interesting card for Vecna decks, if you ran enough artifacts, that is. Oswald Fiddlebender can tap 1 white and tap itself, and then sacrifice an artifact. Then you search your library for an artifact card whose Mana Value is equal to the Mana Value of the sacrificed artifact plus 1, and put it into play. You can only do this as a sorcery, but you can potentially do some devastating things with it. I love the idea behind this, as a way to Pod artifacts you want out of your deck.

Guardian of Faith (3-Cost Creature – Spirit Knight): This creature makes any number of other target creatures you control Phase Out when it enters the battlefield. Until the next their controllers next turn, these creatures don’t even exist. When you combine this with Flash and Vigilance, it’s amazing. A 3/2 as well, but that’s not as relevant. Sadly, you can’t make your opponent’s board phase out though. This card is great to save your creatures from board wipes, kill spells, bad blocks, or other situations where you’d lose the game. An excellent all-around card, especially for just 3 mana (2 white). You can then flicker this out and back in some formats, to do it again. Do note that Phase In/Out do not trigger ETB (Enters the Battlefield) or Exit the Battlefield triggers.

Teleportation Circle (4-Cost Enchantment): Yorion players might love this card. The Teleportation Circle has you exile up to one target artifact or creature you control, then return that card to the battlefield under its owner’s control. It’s an excellent (if not expensive) way to flicker cards each turn. If you’re looking to bounce a creature or artifact each of your turns, this is the card for you! 

Loyal Warhound (2-Cost Creature – Dog): A mana ramp dog in white? Now that’s interesting. A 3/1 with Vigilance for 2, when it enters play, if an opponent has more lands than you, search your deck for a Basic Plains, put it into play tapped, and shuffle. It’s essentially a weaker (but Standard viable) Knight of the White Orchid. This card specifies Basic Plains, so you can’t grab a dual land or anything, like the White Orchid can. But it’s a really good card to see in White. White as a color has been struggling, and the mana ramp could help.

Mythic Rare


Icingdeath, Frost Tyrant (4-Cost Legendary Creature – Dragon): One of the legendary Faerun dragons, Icingdeath the Frost Tyrant has been unveiled. A 4/3 with Flying/Vigilance for 4 is serious value. Then, when it dies, it creates a legendary white piece of equipment for you to use as well. It’s already going to be worth playing given its stats and keywords, but I like its weapon as well. When it dies, it creates the Icingdeath, Frost Tongue. This legendary artifact token grants the creature +2/+0, and “Whenever equipped creature attacks, tap target creature defending player controls,” which is good. It also equips for 2 colorless, which isn’t too shabby either. For sure, an excellent dragon.

Grand Master of Flowers (4-Cost Legendary Planeswalker – Bahamut): The “Grand Master of Flowers” is a title given to the Senior Monk at the Monastery of the Yellow Rose. As long as this card has 7+ loyalty counters, it’s a 7/7 Dragon God with Flying and Indestructible also (Bahamut). What does that mean though? It means once he has 7+ loyalty, he can no longer lose loyalty, can no longer be attacked, but still has access to his Loyalty powers. 

  • +1: Target creature without First Strike, Double Strike, or Vigilance can’t attack or block until your next turn.
  • +1: Search your library and/or graveyard for a card named “Monk of the Open Hand”, reveal it, and put it into your hand.

Not too bad of a card, and a great source of damage potential. I like that it can restrict certain creatures from attacking/blocking and that it has no downtick. People are going to target it anyway to try and prevent it from becoming a God. If you can remove the loyalty counters somehow, he loses the God status though, so just food for thought.

The Book of Exalted Deeds (3-Cost Legendary Artifact): At the beginning of your end step, if you gained 3 or more life this turn (super easy to do), create a 3/3 white Angel creature token with flying. I feel like this is a must for mono-white lifegain decks. Why? Because of its second ability as well as the passive. You can tap 3 white, tap this, and exile it to put an Enlightened counter on an Angel. It gains “You can’t lose the game and your opponents can’t win the game”, and can only be activated as a Sorcery. You can make your own Platinum Angel! This will for sure be in any meta white lifegain deck. I can feel it in my blood.

Multi-Colored Cards


Uncommon


Trelasarra, Moon Dancer (2-Cost White/Green Legendary Creature – Elf Cleric): GW Soul Sisters is back in a big way! Especially in Historic. A 2/2 for 2 (1 white, 1 green), Trelasarra, Moon Dancer gains a +1/+1 counter whenever you gain life, and it also Scrys for 1.  It’s a better Ajani’s Pridemate if you ask me. Sure, it’s two colors, but in addition to the +1/+1, you also Scry, and that’s fantastic. While I’m not sure if it’s going to get played in a wide variety of decks in the MTG Arena D&D expansion, it’s one of my favorite cards spoiled so far. It’s a card that will be really fun in non-Standard, and that’s important to me as a Historic player. Plus the art is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a very useful, low-cost, high-reward card.

Krydle of Baldur’s Gate (2-Cost Blue/Black Legendary Creature – Human Elf Rogue): Human Elf? Whyfor? It’s to make sure it doesn’t dodge tribal synergy. There aren’t many (if any) Half-Elf creatures in MTG, after all. When this card deals combat damage to a player, that player loses 1 life, and mills a card. Then you gain 1 life and Scry 1. You can also pay 2 whenever you attack. If you do, target creature cannot be blocked from this turn. Yet more Vorpal Sword possibilities! Big fan of that, if nothing else. You can nickel and dime someone down too, or make them mill if you know an opponent has a powerful card waiting.

Targ Nar, Demon Fanged (2-Cost Red/Green Legendary Creature – Gnoll): Another useful Pack Tactics card. It rewards you if you attack with a total of 6 or greater power across your creatures. In this case, it grants your attackers +1/+0 for the turn. For 4 mana (1 red, 1 green), you can double Targ Nar’s Power and Toughness for the turn, which is a base of 2/2. We just need to buff him a little, and make him humongous.

Shessra, Death’s Whisper  (4-Cost Black/Green Legendary Creature – Human Elf Warlock): I’m really torn on Shessra if I can be honest. I don’t think she’s bad but very situational. Her Bewitching Whispers ability makes a creature block this turn if able. Then this synergizes potentially with Whispers of the Grave. At the beginning of your end step, if a creature died this turn, you can pay 2 life to draw a card. It’s okay? It would be a fun addition to Green/Black Deathtouch, but I’m not too keen on it myself. I will say the art is gorgeous. 

Shessra, Death’s Whisper

Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker (3-Cost Blue/White Legendary Creature – Human Wizard): Do you like using Venture? Do you wish you got more bang for your buck? Hama Pashar, Ruin Seeker will give you what you’re after. Room abilities of dungeons you own trigger an additional time. Even as a ⅔, it’s useful. I absolutely love this concept, and it makes me wish Helm of the Host was in Standard, just for laughs. Historic however, it might be seen in some janky nonsense. 

Barrowin of Clan Undurr (4-Cost White/Black Legendary Creature – Dwarf Cleric): Speaking of “Rewarding a dungeon” Venture, here’s Barrowin! When they enter play, this 3/3 for 4 Ventures. However, when it attacks, you can return up to one creature card with a mana value 3 or less from the grave and back into play – if you’ve completed a dungeon. It’s Sun Titan, but with a bit of a restriction on it! You could probably make this work out pretty well in a Venture deck if you ask me. I like what it has the potential to do. 

Faridah, Devil’s Chosen (4-Cost Blue/Red Legendary Creature – Tiefling Warlock): It feels like a lot of these multi-colored uncommons reward you for doing something. I like that in a legendary. This 3/3 for 4 rewards you for moments when you roll a die. Whenever you roll a die, she gets menace and flying until the end of turn. If any of those results in a 10 or higher, draw a card. Izzet D20 decks are inbound, I can feel it! We’ve already talked about a few red D20 rolling cards, at the time of writing.

Kalain, Reclusive Painter (2-Cost Black/Red Legendary Creature – Human Elf Bard): Enter another useful, incredibly fun 2-cost Legendary. When this creature comes into play, you create a Treasure Token. Other creatures you control enter the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter on them for each mana from a Treasure spent on them while casting. So if you’re running a deck with lots of Treasure Tokens, you could make some very annoying buffed creatures. You could in theory make a Hulking Bugbear (3/3 Haste) into a 6/6 Haste, for example. Or your Red Dragon (4/4 Flying) into at least an 8/8 when it enters play. So there are lots of options. Kalain’s only amazing if you can produce lots of Treasure Tokens though.

Gretchen Tichwillow (2-Cost Blue/Green Legendary Creature- Halfling Druid): I imagine some people are really upset about this card, but it’s not wildly overpowered. Gretchen Tichwillow is a 0/4 for 2, and for 4 mana (1 blue, 1 green), you draw a card. Then you can choose to put a land from your hand and put it into play. This costs 4 mana though, making the cost a bit prohibitive. Will it be useful/used? Probably! It’s even a decent blocker as a 0/4 for 2. Not every Blue/Green Legendary does this though, so people can calm down about it. It’s not Uro.

Rare:


Adult Gold Dragon (5-Cost Red/White Creature – Dragon): A simple, 4/3 for 5 dragon, this Gold Dragon has Flying, Lifelink, and Haste. Already pretty solid as a card, we’ve got a ton of synergy in this expansion for Dragons. 

Triumphant Adventurer (2-Cost White/Black Creature – Human Knight): This is certainly an interesting 2-drop rare. A 1/1 with Deathtouch, it also has First Strike when it’s your turn. Whenever it attacks, you also Venture into the dungeon. It’s basically a play on the traditional D&D player “Murder Hobo”. Murder Hobos run around killing pretty much every monster they find without restraint. I love this card though, the more I think about it. A First Strike/Deathtouch? Think I won’t run buffs with it too? Oh yes. That’s got a lot of possibilities.

Orcus, Prince of Undeath (4+X Black/Red Legendary Creature – Demon): There were some issues with this card, typical of a powerful Demon. The Portuguese version of the card that was revealed had a typo in it. This is a 4-drop+X, and when it enters the battlefield, you pick one of two abilities. The first is “Each other creature gets -X/-X until end of turn. You lose X life.”  The other is “Return up to X target creature cards with total mana value X or less from your graveyard to the battlefield. They gain haste until the end of turn. This is on the back of a 5/3 Flying/Trample, no less. It’s clunky in that you need a lot of mana to get a big bang out of it. If you’re playing against a Weenie deck though, you could in theory just wipe the whole enemy board for a total of 5 or 6 mana. It’s an interesting card, but I don’t know how popular it’s going to be.

Volo, Guide to Monsters (4-Cost Green/Blue Legendary Creature – Human Wizard): I adore this card. Whenever you cast a creature spell that doesn’t share a creature type with a creature you control, or that you own in your graveyard, copy that spell. It’s anti-tribal, but it rewards you for not going for a tribal design. Plus you then duplicate all of your ETB triggers! This creates… non-tribal tribal! I absolutely love the silliness of this.

Skeletal Swarming (4-Cost Black/Green Enchantment): Yay, swarms of Skeletons! I’m a big fan of this card. Each Skeleton you control has Trample, attacks each combat if able, and gets +X/+0, where X is the number of other Skeletons you control. It has the potential to be amazing. At the beginning of your end step, you create a tapped 1/1 black Skeleton creature token. If a creature died this turn, create two of those tokens instead! Oh yes, we can kill an enemy creature and make two Skeletons. Love it. 

Mythic Rare


Xanathar, Guild Kingpin

Xanathar, Guild Kingpin (6-Cost Black/Blue Legendary Creature – Beholder): What a fun Dimir card! It reminds me a lot of Sen Triplets back in Alara Block. At the beginning of your upkeep, this ⅚ has you choose an opponent. Until the end of your turn, that player can’t cast spells, and you can look at the top card of their library at any time. You can also play the top card of their library, and spend any mana you want to cast spells this way. You could hit a land drop here, but this is Dimir! It’s incredibly easy to mill someone a few cards in this color pairing. But the biggest part for me, is now my opponent can’t cast counterspells. It’s not like Rule of Law, where it limits everyone’s casting. I can still do whatever I want! This could be a fun card to revive out of your graveyard because it is a 6-cost. Really big fan, and I love Beholders just in general. In particular, Xanathar is one of the more infamous and powerful Beholders. Not only is he a legendarily powerful Beholder among Beholders, he’s also a crime lord, and runs the Skullport Thieves’ Guild. Can you guess what deck he goes in?

Colorless Cards


Common


Mimic (2-Cost Artifact – Treasure): You can tap and sacrifice this card to gain 1 mana of any color, which is good. But you can also tap 2 mana for it to become a Shapeshifter artifact creature token, with a base power/toughness of 3/3. So that’s also very useful. I think it has its uses, and a temporary source of mana is welcome in quite a few cases. Yeah, I like the Mimic I think.

Uncommon:


Fifty Feet of Rope (1-Cost Artifact): A card with three choices! You can use Climb Over and tap it, to make a Wall unable to block for the turn, which is neat. How many Walls are in this expansion, anyway? You can use Tie Up for 3 mana, which makes a creature unable to untap during its next untap step. But the best part for me is Rappel Down, which requires 4 mana and a tap, like the others. You can then Venture into the Dungeon, though only activated as a Sorcery. I’m a big fan of the Dungeon mechanic, and hope it winds up being used in Tier 1 decks all over.

Bag of Holding (1-Cost Artifact): Whenever you discard a card, you exile it from your graveyard. Then, you can tap 2, draw a card, then discard a card. Or conversely, you can tap 4, tap this and sacrifice it to return all cards exiled with Bag of Holding back to its owner’s hand. If you have an unlimited hand size, this is terrifying in the mid/late game. Pair it with Omnipotence so suddenly you have a hand full of cards and don’t need mana to tap them.

Rare:


Hand of Vecna (3-Cost Legendary Artifact – Equipment): Now we know what the Hand and Eye of Vecna do! The Hand of Vecna costs 3 to play and 2 to equip in addition to another equip cost: 1 life for each card in your hand. At the beginning of combat on your turn, equipped creature or a creature you control named Vecna gets +X/+X until the end of turn, where X is the number of cards in your hand. This could also be silly with Mordenkainen! Through the Hand, you can make a very suddenly strong attacker/defender. But what about the eye?

Eye of Vecna (2-Cost Legendary Artifact): When you play Eye of Vecna, you draw a card and you lose 2 life. At the beginning of your upkeep, you can pay 2 colorless mana. If you do, you draw a card and you lose 2 life. It’s a steady source of extra card draw, at a cost. Just run it in decks where your life isn’t an issue, or you have lifegain. You can run this with Book of Vile Darkness to make sure you make a zombie every turn, which is also nice. You can also run it in lifegain white decks to make sure you have constant card draw at virtually no cost.

Mythic Rare:


The Deck of Many Things (5-Cost Legendary Artifact): The Deck of Many Things is a powerful artifact that cannot possibly be controlled. All you can do is hope that fate is kind to you when you trigger it. Instead of drawing a card, you roll a d20. This costs 2 mana and you tap it. You roll a d20 and subtract the number of cards in your hand. If the result is 0 or less, you discard your hand. You definitely don’t want that (unless you’re running a discard/revival deck, I suppose). Here are your possible rewards:

  • 1-9: Return a card at random from your graveyard to your hand.
  • 10-19: Draw 2 cards.
  • 20: Put a creature card from any graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. When that creature dies, its owner loses the game. 

I read that 20 wrong at first though. In order to roll a 20, you need an empty hand, and a lot of luck. But the idea that you can pull an opponent’s creature from the grave and use it as bait is incredible. You pick the biggest creature you can, or one that has a dangerous ability, and use it to make the opponent choose between killing it or losing. Or you can simply sacrifice it yourself to win. It’s hard to get this particular condition, sure. But it’s exciting nonetheless! 

Lands


Uncommon:


Temple of the Dragon Queen (Colorless Land): An interesting color-fixer, this card is. It’s going to be a great pick for Limited, that’s for sure. As Temple of the Dragon Queen comes into play, you can choose to reveal a Dragon from your hand. This card enters play tapped unless you reveal a Dragon card, or you control a Dragon. So if you’re running a multi-colored Dragon (or Shapeshifter) deck, this is an excellent pick. When this comes into play you also choose a color. This land can be tapped for one mana of that chosen color. This makes having a few of them in play viable too, so you can tap them for a variety of lands. It’s not a game-breaker, but it’s a very useful, very convenient card for Dragon decks.

Rare


Hive of the Eye Tyrant (Black Land): Man-Lands/Creature Lands is back! These are different though. If you control two or more other lands, Hive of the Eye Tyrant (and other Man-Lands in this expansion) come into play tapped. This means you can’t just play it in the late game, tap the appropriate mana, and make it into a creature. This card taps for 1 black mana, and you can tap 4 mana to turn this into a creature. Now it’s a 3/3 black Beholder creature with Menace. It also has “Whenever this creature attacks, exile target card from defending player’s graveyard.” This is also still a land. It’s not super powerful, but exiling cards from an opponent’s grave can be seriously effective.

Hive of the Eye Tyrant

Hall of the Storm Giants (Blue Land): Like Hive of the Eye Tyrant, this comes into play tapped if you control two or more other lands. Tapping for blue mana, this is a solid control finisher if you ask me. Until the end of turn, you can pay 6 mana (1 blue), and this card becomes a 7/7 blue Giant creature with Ward 3. It’s still land, but unlike the Hive of the Eye Tyrant, it’s a huge creature. In a control deck, we can control the board, slow the other player down, and hit them for 7 damage whenever it’s most convenient. I really like this return of the Man-Lands, and they fit the flavor of the setting, that’s for sure.

Den of the Bugbear (Red Land): Like its kin, it comes in tapped if you control two or more lands. Tapping for 1 red mana, it can also become a 3/2 Red Goblin creature for 4 mana. This creature has “Whenever this creature attacks, create a 1/1 red Goblin creature token that’s tapped and attacking”. Okay, I love this card, and it should be used in Historic Mono-Red aggro as a way to generate sacrificial goblins for mana generation. This could be a pretty solid land, and 4 mana’s not unreasonable.

Cave of the Frost Dragon (White Land): A white land Man-Land, for 5 mana, you can transform Cave of the Frost Dragon into a ¾ white Dragon creature with Flying for the turn. Again, absolutely stunning art, and a reasonable cost for a white Dragon with Flying. 

Dungeon Descent (Colorless Land): This land enters play tapped, and can be tapped for colorless mana. However, it has a pretty useful ability for Dungeon Ventures, at least, sort of. You can tap 4 mana, tap this, and an untapped legendary creature you control. This will let you Venture into the dungeon. I sort of wish you didn’t have to tap the land for it, and it’s also specifically requiring a legendary creature. At least there’s no shortage of legendaries in this set. It requires a Sorcery speed, so no using it in combat. I feel like they’re being safe with Venture, so it doesn’t wind up being fearfully overpowered. That’s not the worst situation to be in, but hopefully it doesn’t make Venture bad.

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