PureMTGO, and it should be up as early as tomorrow. But for now, I want to post a quick preview of the Black Eldrazi from the set. As I've mentioned in previous posts, there are 20 of these at Common, and so far I've covered all of the colored ones except Black as well as most of the true colorless ones.
is our first Ingest creature in Black, and it gives us an otherwise
decent vanilla creature as a 2/2 for 1B. If you need creatures to setup
cards, this at least won't force you to play a completely mediocre
creature to do so. Of course, your deck has to be pretty aggressive even
in Standard Pauper to want to play a 2/2 for 2 without any abilities
that affect the board, which typically won't be of much use in a more
Control oriented deck that is probably required to make use of the
processor cards. As such, I certainly am not optimistic that this will
see much play.
Grave Birthing immediately harkens back to Brood Birthing
from Rise of the Eldrazi, in that it gives us three small effects
rolled into one. It only generates a single token instead of three, but
instead acts as graveyard-hate, sets up processor
cards, and even replaces itself upon casting. It also costs one more
mana than Brood Birthing, but happens at Instant speed, which means it
also can be used as a virtual combat trick, albeit a meager one. So
while most of the time you're still probably not getting a card worth of
value, in the right circumstances I could see this being useful.
is the first processor card we've looked at this time, meaning that it
requires you to have exiled one of your opponent's cards in order to
activate its ability. Apart from that, you're getting a 3/3 for 3B
vanilla creature, which once more is borderline playable but not
generally good enough to make the cut. In this case, you place one
exiled card back into your opponent's Graveyard, and then that opponent
has to discard a card. Getting a creature and forcing a discard is
almost a two-for-one most of the time. However, you have to jump through
some significant hoops to get there.
is an odd one. As an 0/4 you would expect this to have Defender, and as
such you wouldn't ever want to pay 3B for such a defensive creature,
even if it could block other flyers. In this case though, it's a virtual
2/4 unblockable that dies if your opponent could have dealt lethal
damage to it in combat, with the additional downside of never being able
to kill another creature defensively. It's probably easier if you just
think of it as a 2/4 for 3B with Flying, which is fine but not
particularly exciting. So, I would let this one pass you by.
Sludge Crawler is an interesting variant of a Black Shade
creature that starts small but can be pumped up by investing mana in it
each turn. Generally have to pay 2 mana for each point of Power and
Toughness is pretty bad, but at least in this case you can pay it with
any color of mana. Additionally, it's very cheap for a Shade, allowing
you to drop it into play early and make it difficult for your opponent
to block it, since you always have the option of pumping it up to
survive combat. So while this card has some serious drawbacks, the fact
that it's so cheap saves it from being unplayable dross.
Next time, I'll finish off my evaluation of the last few Eldrazi, then offer some thoughts on how these creatures will shape the upcoming metagame. Thanks for reading!