Saturday, March 21, 2015

More Exploits in Dragons of Tarkir

As I continue the process of working through the entire collection of Dragons of Tarkir Commons, I have been writing all week about what impact these new cards will have on the format. As I mentioned last time, by far my favorite new mechanic in this set is Exploit. While I don't think all five of these Commons will see widespread play in the format, I don't think it's premature to state that this mechanic will probably make the biggest impact as a whole.

Let's take a look at two more of them:

Gurmog Drowner harkens back to one of my favorite cards, Forbidden Alchemy. While it costs an extra mana, and is Sorcery speed as well, this is still a powerful effect, especially given the extra synergy you get from placing the other cards in your Graveyard with Delve. A 2/4 for 3U is decent, but not that exciting; such cards typically only see play with a relevant ability. In a dedicated Delve deck, this probably slots right in, giving you the spell ability most of the time, but also a 2/4 when you need it. Or, if you have tokens or other abilities that trigger on death, this is also well worth considering.

At 4, Silumgar Butcher is both a 3/3 creature and dealing -3/-3 is overcosted by one mana, so you're definitely paying extra for the flexibility here. Lash of the Whip has not seen much play in Standard Pauper, since if you're paying that much for removal you want less conditional removal like Flesh to Dust, even if it is a bit more expensive. However, if Black can find enough creatures with relevant 'enters the graveyard' abilities, it shouldn't be too difficult to get both sides of this card. And in that scenario, this card is quite strong. As such, this should see play in decks with these type of effects.

Given how strong the Dimir Control deck already was, these Exploit cards may be enough to push that deck to dominate the metagame going forward. We shall see.

In other news, the Standard Pauper Sealed League came to an end this week, with  _ShipIt_ taking home the trophy with his Boros build. Congrats to him, and thanks to everyone who participated! I've had several people ask if I plan on running it again, and I would love to do it again in the future.

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