Tuesday, July 9, 2013

More Thoughts on Magic 2014

By now you should be aware that the full spoiler is out for Magic 2014. Last time, I wrote about how the removal was shaping up in this set and how I thought that might impact Standard Pauper in the future. While a full review of this set will have to wait for a few days while I compose a feature length article over at PureMTGO, I wanted to post a few more thoughts about this new set:

1. Several 'goodies' are returning. There are quite a few good cards that rotated out of Standard that are now back thanks to their inclusion in this set. These include, in no particular order, Auramancer, Solemn Offering, Shrivel, Gladecover Scout, and Tome Scour.

2. Commons upgraded to Uncommons. Several other older cards have returned, but have been shifted from Common to Uncommon. These include Doom Blade, Spell Blast, Congregate, Darksteel Ingot, Accorder's Shield, and Shimmering Grotto. In an Expert set this might be cause for alarm. As is, I suspect this is simply WotC's renewed commitment to keeping the Core Sets as simple as possible.

3. Slivers playable at Common? There are six Common Slivers, plus Hive Stirrings, scattered between White, Green, Red, and Colorless. Between them they grant Vigilance, Haste, First Strike, Trample, and +1/+1. While I will withhold judgment for now, my quick guess is that they will be similar, but ultimately worse, than the Allies deck was in Standard Pauper back during Zendikar block.

4. Strongest Card? Probably Dawnstrike Paladin.

5. Best Build-Around Card? Without a doubt Advocate of the Beast.

6. Most Interesting Effect that Probably Won't See Play? That would be Zephyr Charge.

Anyway, as I said, more to come. Hope you enjoyed this quick peek at the new set. Anything of significance that I missed? Tell me about it, and I'll be sure it makes it into my article this week!

See you next time.


  1. Can not wait for the full article!

  2. Allies was really a Kor Skyfisher deck in disguise. The ETB effects of the Allies could be abused as well as the card-drawing of the mana-fixer Prophetic Prism.

    We do still have Prism, but there's no incentive to bounce Slivers for added value because they use static effects instead of ETB triggered effects. This will make the decks play out very differently.

    Also, the most successful Allies decks used blue for the evasive Umara Raptor and access to the card-advantage powerhouse of the day, Foresee. There are no blue Slivers; one would have to splash a non-synergistic color to gain access to comparable card advantage.

    That's why I think your conclusion that Slivers will be worse than Allies is correct, but your assessment that they will play similarly is wrong. Slivers are going to want to swarm full speed ahead; Allies wanted to "stack counters on a single beater while building advantage a bit more slowly.

    It was a big mistake of Wizards to not make Slivers in all five colors as they traditionally have been. The hominid, bipdeal artwork was an aesthetic change I was willing to accept, and the mechanical change of only affecting only Slivers on one's own side of the battlefield was long overdue.

    But leaving out blue and black is a big mistake. A Sliver for flying in blue or a Sliver in black for intimidate (especially!) would have made options for Standard Pauper players much more interesting and powerful.