Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Eldrazi Are Back, Part Two

Last time, I started a two part look at the new Eldrazi at Common in the forthcoming Battle for Zendikar. The signature mechanic Annihilator is no longer part of these creatures, and the 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn have been replaced with 1/1 Scions while still keeping the ability to sacrifice them for mana. These new Eldrazi also come in different variations, some of which utilize the new Devoid and Ingest mechanics while others, like those we will look at today, are simple colorless creatures. Let's take a look:

1. Kozilek's Channeler is a 4/4 colorless creature for 5 mana with a secondary ability, which is pretty good value for a Common, particularly when compared to other colorless creatures, since it can be played in almost any deck. And in this case, it also features one of the strongest ramp cards we've had at Common in some time, allowing Kozilek's Channeler to tap to add 2 colorless mana to your pool. Granted, most of the time you won't be playing cards that cost more than 6 mana, making the availability of this ability much less relevant. But the fact that you can either ramp this out earlier or utilize it to cast multiple spells in a turn is pretty good. And it has pretty relevant stats too. Looks promising for sure.
2. Eldrazi Devastator looks like the second cousin of Ulamog's Crusher, gaining you a single point of Toughness and Trample but giving up the excellent Annihilator 2 (as well as the so-called "drawback" of having to attack every turn). This does have the advantage of sidestepping your opponent's ability to chump-block, and the fact that it's colorless makes this a threat that any Control deck can include. At eight mana, it's still quite expensive, but as long as we get several sources of Eldrazi Scions and/or other ramp spells, that shouldn't be that big of an issue. So while not quite as good as the Crusher, this is still one of the better finishers we've seen in some time, and should make the cut once Standard rotates.

Any other thoughts about these two cards? I'd enjoy hearing them in the comments below. Thanks!

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