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As usual, this page is for official Wizards spoilers only.


Yosei, the Morning Star [1]


(PeterTaylor) Cool. I want to see the red and black Dragon Spirits. Also, they changed the Legend rule?! And appear to have eliminated the old MTG: Unnatural Selection trick. Addendum: NOOOOOOOO! The new Legend rule will destroy the Kaldratron combo.
How does the new rule eliminates the MTG: Unnatural Selection trick? ColinLeung
It appears that Legend will no longer be a creature type. Okay, technically that's not the new Legend rule but a change to Legends they're bringing in with it.
Well... technically all we know is that Legend will no longer be treated any differently from any other creature type. (420.5e used to say "...the subtype Legend or the supertype legendary", and now doesn't mention the creature type at all). The type Legend may be left around. It's not yet clear what will be done about older Legends or things that made Legends; I suspect this may be clarified on Friday. --AlexChurchill
(PeterTaylor) [Arcana confirms it]: Legend is dead.

One assumes MaRo doesn't mean quite what he says - "When a legend comes into play, it destroys all copies of that legend in play, including itself." If he really meant that, you'd never be able to usefully play any legends whatsoever - except the dragons, which would at least get the graveyard trigger. Oooh, that's a point! If you did have two of any one dragon, you can set off the graveyard ability twice just by playing the second one. That's possibly evil. --ChrisHowlett
(ColinLeung) Bringing them into play using MTG: Tooth and Nail!
(PeterTaylor) Randy Buehler has confirmed that it only destroys all copies if there's one already in play.
The artwork is amazing! Could well be a two card Stasis-style lock with MTG: Recurring Nightmare, by sacrificing the dragon, then returning the dragon itself to play. ColinLeung
(PeterTaylor) That doesn't work: you'd need two dragons. Targets are chosen before costs are paid, and at that point the creature you're going to sacrifice is still on the table.
Good point. But I don't really need two dragons. All I need is the dragon, a MTG: Recurring Nightmare, and one other creature for this to work. More expensive mana-wise, and still not quite a two card lock. I'm sure there're better combos in this new card. ColinLeung
Tapping six mana to keep five permanants tapped does not, in my mind, classify as a lock.  Or at least, not an amazingly good one. --Angoel
Tapping five permanants is quite good, but better still, the opponent gets to miss his untap phase! ^__^ ColinLeung
Ah, yes.  I missed that bit.  In that case, fair enough - carry on ;) --Angoel
PeterTaylor prefers MTG: Animate Dead and MTG: Vedalken Mastermind.
Nice! (By which I mean, Evil!) Still 3 cards though: if your deck has enough utility creatures then Recurring Nightmare makes an effectively 2-card combo, in the same way as we usually don't count land. (And utility creature options like MTG: Abyssal Gatekeeper keep things evil.) --AC
(PeterTaylor) One of my decks now does a less mana-intensive version of this using MTG: Blood Clock instead of the Mastermind. It already had the MTG: Animate Dead and the Yosei, and there were other good reasons for putting in the Blood Clock.

Dragon legends are cool and splashy. So what else is new? --SF

Konda, Lord of Eiganjo [2]


(PeterTaylor) They keyworded Vigilance! They made an indestructible non-artifact! And it appears that WG might be a good archetype in block - provided there's a way of giving white creatures trample.
Indescrutible's back. Not sure that's a good thing. Although at least with Indestructible Legendarys (how on earth do you spell that? Can't we just keep calling them Legends?), there is a way to send them to graveyard. Not exactly efficient, though. But poing on the keywording of Vigilance - I've been wanting them to make MTG: Vigilant Sentry confusing for ages ;) --CH
Yes, we still can call them Legends, and everyone will. I think Kamigawa will in general bring more consistency to the subtype/supertype issue. Vigilance is great to see keyworded - I wonder if they'll have done untargetability, too? Indestructible is faintly surprising to see back, but makes sense; it's a pity that Bushido has been given a name which sounds silly outside of Kamigawa block, though. It looks like Rei's hinting that this guy may turn out to be EVIL in the story. And just listing the keyword mechanics this guy possesses makes me wonder if we're looking at the prerelease card. It seems to fit the other usual criteria of being big, splashy, showing off the set's mechanics, and being too highly costed for tournament play. --AlexChurchill
No, bringing Indestructible back does not make sense. It was bad enough the first time. Unless White, Red and Black are about to get a ton of RFG removal spells. Which, actually, considering the flavour, they might. (How else is one going to destroy a kami?) --SF
From a flavour stand point, it does make sense to have Indestructibles in this set. In fact, it would be strange indeed for kami (is there a plural for kami?) to be destroyed, them being practically gods. (ColinLeung)
Hmm, I'm not sure. They're not immortal or invincible. We saw that in SpiritedAway (which, incidentally, I suspect will attract a lot of comparisons with Kamigawa). A few indestructible kami make sense, but most of them are just spirits which can be beaten, though they're powerful and they may not have the same restrictions on their physical body, but be able to shift their souls around or something. --AlexChurchill
You have just neatly described planeswalkers. Hence. --SF
The thing with the spirits is soulshift: even if you do kill them, some of them can bring other creatures into play (or to your hand, sorry, I've forgotten which).  It says in the vague plot hints given that MTG: Kumano is the character who knows how to defeat Kami, and his 'remove from game rather than bury' mechanic would seem to support this, as it renders soulshift useless.  --FR

As for the setting: it could be rather cool, and I think I'll like having lots of legendary characters with stories behind them whose stories we don't know, but can make up ourselves. But the locations sound mostly very run-of-the-mill. Oh, it's a swampy place with lots of foul and evil things living there. It's a mountain with goblins and ogres. Whoop-de-doo. The one bit I really do like is the Soratami, the "moonfolk" who live in the cloud city above the wizards' academy; but people know I love cities in the sky (see Laputa, ChronoTrigger, IllusionOfGaia?... :). The School of Witching and Wizardry could prove quite a cool setting itself too: I did like the "high-school pranks in the Tolarian Academy" side to Urza's Saga. Except now we have a Japanese take on high-school comedy... hmm, [where] have I seen that before? --AlexChurchill
Many nails are now recovering from AlexChurchill-inspired concussions. When, with Odyssey, Wizards decided to switch their flavour from being plot-based to being setting-based, I (and many other flavour/storyline fans) did wonder if they could keep the storyline interesting. To some extent they've actually managed that - but they've fallen into the reverse trap. The generic flavour has become bland. It was, to some extent, OK when they did this in Otaria; the settings made sense, and the plot flowed. Now they've done it three times running it's become bland and samey. I do wonder if this might have been an unintended consequence of the Onsblock/8E creature type rationalisation. For comparision, let's take Rath block's creatures, and their locations, by colour:
White - en-Kor, en-Vec, en-Dal, Soltari. The shifting flowstone plains of Rath's interior and the Shadow realm created because the Phyrexians didn't quite get their portal attuned correctly when they created Rath; the Soltari (White) fought the Dauthi (Black) on Dominaria; the war continues here. The Soltari look to overcome their isolation, and some have learned to contact the inhabitants of Rath. The three human tribes' rebel factions still fight the evincar's forces, and try to survive the malicious flowstone shifts.
Blue - Merfolk, Thalakos. Skyshroud forest/Rootwater?; initially a small archipelago where mer and elves lived in harmony; when it was pulled through the portal into Rath, the alliance broke up as there were too few resources to create (support? --PT) both populations; the elves created Skyshroud through use of nature magic, to give them the edge. The mer live beneath the forest. The Thalakos are caught in the Shadow war.
Black - Monstrosities, Dauthi, il-Vec, il-Kor, il-Dal. Rath is a Phyrexian world; its rulers are Phyrexian, and the successes and failures of Phyrexian biomechanical experiments normally end up in the Death Pits. Driven insane by their isolation, the Dauthi prosecute their war with the Soltari with unremitting fierceness. The three human tribes' collaborationist factions grow in strength under the shadow of the Stronghold.
Red - Moggs, Flowstone creatures. Forces of the evincars; the cowardly moggs are held in thrall to the evincar's power, whilst the shifting and treacherous flowstone sands mould themselves into the shape the evincar desires to crush his opposition.
Green - Skyshroud Elves. See under merfolk for the creation of Skyshroud. Under the leadership of Eldamri, the Skyshroud forest has become nigh-independent of the evincar's control.
There's still colour-ties to each race, without falling into the basic plains/island/mountain/forest/swamp nature...because it made more sense to the Weatherlight's journey through Rath for it to happen that way. Having the land subordinate to the plot, I think, actually makes the land look less like it's been made by a template. --SF
Hmm, you make a good point. We have only had one article from Rei to go on so far, so we perhaps ought to give it a bit more of a chance - he may have made it sound excessively formulaic by the style he set it out in (even in canonical colour order). The Rath analogues do sound more interesting from your description there. But as we've seen by their new approach to this block (not being based around something obviously game-mechanical the way that Invasion onwards have been), if something starts getting repetitive Wizards are prepared to do a radical departure; and there's no reason that conceiving a race and location/s for each of the colours can't produce some really innovative and fascinating places. By the way, was your comment under Hold the Line about loving the flavour of the block sarcastic or not? --AlexChurchill
Interesting question. I like the flavour; the idea of a plane at war with its own gods is superb, and a Japanese-style Arabian Nights could be an excellent set. I think the setting is sterile and dull. --SF

Hold the Line [3]



More white. Righteousness on steroids.
Let's see. Mogg Maniac and / or foo En-Kor, and you have a very nice looking burn spell. I like this card. ^_^ --Requiem
Not sure the En-Kor work unless you want to burn your own creatures, and MTG: Righteousness (or MTG: Might of Oaks) would probably be better with the MTG: Mogg Maniac. I've always loved MTG: Righteousness though, so I do like this card, although I suspect there are many other rares I'd much rather open in a booster. I do like spider-style combat tricks, though. --AlexChurchill
Okay, fine. To get it to work properly, you have to have at least two Kor creatures, something like Melee to choose how blockers are assigned, Mogg Maniac and Hold the Line. --Requiem goes hunting for the rest of the cards to do a RW deck based around burning your own creatures
If you have the Maniacs, possibly something like MTG: Slagwurm Armor could go quite nicely with them. (And how about MTG: Grand Melee? *giggle* Game over, man!) If you don't, would you like me to keep an eye out for you? --AC
That would be nice. I've only got the one Maniac (I think... sorting my cards is sitting waiting for my next RoundTuit). I've got some supporting things - say 5 or so Kor creatures, two Kor Chant, two Melee, a couple of Deftblade Elite and other provokers, three Slagwurm Armors. And then various burn spells and two or three Righteousness. But yes, acquiring more Maniacs would be nice. --Requiem
Update - built some kind of early version of the deck. No way of tutoring for my only Mogg Maniac is its only real downside - Squee's Embrace, Slagwurm Armour and Shield of Kaldra are in there to make the thing reusable, and they also have nice synergy with the deck's 7 Kor creatures. The killer combo is Maniac, MTG: Bloodfire Colossus and MTG: Martyrdom (but I only have one of each), assuming there's one other creature on the board apart from those two. At the moment, to make the deck playable, I've increased the number of burn spells in there to make it WR control with a side order of silly combo.

StuartFraser already loves the flavour of this block. "We have to Hold the Line!"

Time Stop [4]


Wow. Counterspell and instant MTG: Time Warp. (ColinLeung)

A totally irrelevant point: When using the word counterspell in past tense, is it "counterspelt" or "counterspelled"? (ColinLeung)
Counterspelled, 518 to nothing, according to Google.  --Vitenka
o_o I want one. --Requiem
Yikes - continuing in MTG: Mindslaver's fine tradition of having explanation text that is longer than the rules text, and actually effects how the card works... A thoroughly silly effect. Funky nonetheless... -GO

Interesting. StuartFraser generally agrees with most of MikeFlores?' points; six mana is a lot for a permission spell, but then again, it is MTG: Counterspell + MTG: Stifle + MTG: Time Warp, which is UU + U + 3UU = 3UUUUU (or, more likely, 6UU), somewhat more than 4UU. I can't see it having much impact in the current blisteringly fast Standard and Extended environments, though, and removing Onslaught block from standard isn't going to improve U-W control. Or slow down the format, for that matter. The card is clearly the one weird and splashy counter that we get per block (MTG: Last Word in Mirblock, MTG: Stifle in Onsblock, MTG: Spelljack in Odyblock...)
Once again, splashy not coinciding with tournament-playable. As today's other article says, 6 mana is a lot for a card that's not going to win you the game. But it's good nevertheless. --Requiem
I think it's usable in a control deck though - it does deal with the situations where an opponent is trying to play two spells to force you to misplay, and a control deck has more of a chance of getting to six mana.  Also definately of use in (my)  local environment.  Then again, it's yet another poor substitute for counterspell.  --Vitenka
PeterTaylor has also seen it pointed out that it can counter spells which say "This cannot be countered" - e.g. MTG: Obliterate.

One fun piece of confusion with this card: note that although it points out "until end of turn" effects end, I think "at end of turn" effects won't trigger. That's because the "end of turn" in "at end of turn" refers to a specific step, and so won't have any more chance to trigger than "at end of combat" effects do. This is based on CompRules 312 and 313: "...313.1. As the end of turn step begins, all abilities that trigger "at end of turn" go on the stack. " --AlexChurchill
This is confirmed. From Saturday School - "rule 509.3. Even though the turn ends, "at end of turn" triggered abilities don't trigger because the end of turn step is skipped"

Marrow-Gnawer [5]



A rat lord, and lots and lots of rats... (ColinLeung)
The lack of any particular new mechanic in today's and yesterday's cards seems to emphasise that Kamigawa block is more flavour-driven than mechanic. Well, except Time Stop has pretty much no flavour either. But I *love* MaGo's (readers') decks exploiting the more-than-four ability of MTG: Relentless Rats. The combo with MTG: Verdant Succession and MTG: Blasting Station is inspired. It's the most sensible 22-card combo I've ever seen. --AlexChurchill
On the otherhand, they can't show us all the good stuff in the first few days... (ColinLeung)

Horobi, Death's Wail [6]



Again, flavour dominates. Nice card. MTG: Endless Whispers ? And MTG: Confusion in the Ranks? And hasty creatures and a random buyback spell to keep the creatures on your side of the table. ^_^ --Requiem

A*** C********** [7]


Spot the secret Champions preview hidden in this week's Saturday School! I'm almost certain it's deliberate... A vaguely nifty card, pity it only works on attackers. I'd rather use that kind of ability defensively, but I guess it's more flavourful this way. --AlexChurchill
Aha! Found it! Goes well with the above, if you want a defensive use. --Requiem
PeterTaylor observes that it's hardly a preview, since all we're given is the name and the fact that it has an activated ability.
Take another look :) Everything except the art and flavour text are there. It does seem a bit of an odd card to choose: feels like basically not much use outside of Limited (although obviously Limited-playable). --AlexChurchill
(PeterTaylor) Ah, I see. The autocard text wasn't there when I read the article on Saturday.

Thief of Hope [8]


Good card to show off how Arcane is useful. Hmm... I can't be the only one thinking MTG: Artificial Evolution - s/Spirit?/Insect?/ or perhaps (with Friday's card) s/Spirit?/Rat?/.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work. The creature type is part of the rules, not the card: note that the creature type "Spirit" in the text box is in the reminder text. Just like you can no longer use MTG: Sleight of Mind to modify cards with Fear because the word "black" has moved from the card into the rulebook, and you can't hack the reminder text on Walls to make it such that "Soldiers can't attack", I'm 99% sure you can't hack the keyword ability to function on a different creature type. (The Evolution will still affect the "Whenever you play" effect if that's what you were after, but note that putting creatures straight into play, including Insect tokens, won't trigger it.) --AlexChurchill, sorry to be the bearer of bad news
PeterTaylor doesn't see any bad news. I was after evolving the first ability ("When you play a Spirit or Arcane spell, ..."), not the Soulshift. Ah, I see, spell. Have to go with something like the Symbiote/Imagecrafter? combo, then.

Since the card has to be a Spirit when you play it, you'll need Artificial Evolution or MTG: Conspiracy to get the bonus off creatures. MTG: Cowardice, some en-Kor creatures, and the cheapest Spirits we can find might be the way to go. Strong card in block though, since I get the impression there will be a massive amount of both Spirits and Arcane spells: feels a bit like MTG: Disciple of the Vault. --AlexChurchill
It does a bit, although unlikely to be as strong as the Disciple.

Reverse The Sands [9]


Uh... murfle? This looks... silly. More so than usual. A miss, rather than a hit, in my opinion. --Requiem
Is this basically a Drain Life that can't kill, but targets everyone in multiplayer? (ColinLeung)
Sort of. The totals are redistributed, not the individual life points - so you can't automatically drain all opponents to 1 life. But if you're down 1 - 20, it amounts to the same thing. --Requiem
Then this card is rather weak for its casting cost... (ColinLeung)
The way the card works is this: suppose I'm on 5 life, you're my teammate and on 12, and our opponents are on 9 and 18 life. Then I could choose to have me end up with 18 life, you 12, and our opponents 9 and 5. Or any other rearrangement of those four numbers, as long as someone ends up on 18, someone on 12, etc. Compare with MTG: Mirror Universe. --AlexChurchill
It's weak period - only of use in the kind of combos being suggested (the angel, or one of the liche cards) - it's a lesser mirror universe... EXCEPT in a team-multiplayer game, wherupon it becomes awesomeness incarnated.  And in multiplayer, a casting cost of 8 is nothing much.  --Vitenka
I just know I'll end up opening one in Limited. It seems a little annoying that they're printing a card that's only ever anything approaching useful in one single uncommon format. --Requiem
As opposed to all the combo-overepowered but normally just plain duff cards?  --Vitenka (Wish the group round here played team rather than just random chaos though)
I agree with 'tenka... it's not like this is the first card like this. People complain frequently about things like MTG: Goblin Game, etc. But there are casual groups across the world getting use from things like that, and who'll get use from cards like this. And it's not *purely* for multiplayer - think of all the things Mark Gottlieb could do with it in casual Jonny decks. Is it time to refer to MaRo's article on [why some cards have to be bad] again yet? Now the interesting thing is that as of that [survey that MaRo did] (section 4, see also section 11, Wizards have found out that the public dislikes bad rares more than bad commons. This effect does seem like it has to be rare, but why MTG: Crazed Goblin, MTG: Break Open or MTG: Chimney Imp? It would have been too late to get changes into Champions, but it'll be interesting to see if it has any effect longer term. --AlexChurchill
*reads article* Fair enough. I just hope I don't open one in Sealed. --Requiem
See also his follow-up on [why some bad cards have to be rare]. He sums it up quite well by concluding " In short, “bad” rares exist because spreading “good” cards across all the rarities requires us to spread “bad” cards across the rarities as well. In addition, certain types of cards (whether “good” or “bad”) have certain qualities that force them to be rare." I will be intrigued to see if the balance shifts. I can see both sides: I feel that rares should be special and either something I have a chance of playing or trading to someone who will, and I don't like opening bad rares in boosters; but I also wouldn't want all the good cards at rare because I don't generally buy large amounts of each expansion, and I want a shot at *some* good cards. I was very happy to see that the Planeshift Familiars were common, for example. --AlexChurchill

Ohh! An idea springs to mind! Drawbacks that cause your opponent to gain life, Test of Endurance and Thief of Hope. Problem is that insane amounts of mana, tutors and Vedalken Orrery are required to do it reliably. --Requiem has a deck idea that he has hardly any of the cards for ^_^
Proxy it up! :) --AlexChurchill (Cards like MTG: Armistice may be handy... the white MTG: Treasure Trove, in the same way that MTG: Diversionary Tactics is the white MTG: Opposition - except that now Armistice's drawback is exploitable! :D )

Nezumi Shortfang / Stabwhisker the Odious [10]


(PeterTaylor) Instant-speed discard, and it stops working when you empty your hand. Still, I wouldn't mind having this guy in my discard deck. The placing of the rarity symbol really isn't great.
I thought they'd promised to stop making funny cards that had two cards on them?  Especially, as has been pointed out, there isn't an orientation rule.  I much prefer the little talk about that at the bottom - though it's been years since I played enough card games to have the concentration required to play with a randomised field.  (Interspersing creatures and mana seemed to be the really valuable bit, though it started as a foil to a git who played with chaos orb.)  --Vitenka
Second question - I assume (from the rest of the text) that it does, but does flipping a card actually count as the new card coming into play?  --Vitenka

I do the playing cards upside-down as well, as a combination of allowing my opponent to read them and as a way of indicating summoning sickness. I'll miss it. But not as much as Peter will miss his Kaldratron combo, I suspect. Did you ever get that to go off and get a 4/4 for each 1 mana you spent, Peter? To answer Vitenka: no, the new card isn't "coming into play" for things that care about that, same as flipping a morphed creature doesn't trigger any come-into-play effects. It's just the creature changing name and acquiring Legendary status. It is an intriguing tension between his two halves - the way they stop him being a discard-every-draw-step lock is precisely that he becomes big and legendary! :) --AlexChurchill (And no, everyone loved the [split cards] and has been asking to see more, or something similar. This is a weird idea though.)
(PeterTaylor) No. The one time I had all three items of equipment on the table, Alan conceded immediately. As to getting round the tension - MTG: Vedalken Mastermind (hmm - I suggested that elsewhere... UWK's not such a bad set of colours to play together) and MTG: Lightning Greaves.

Ok, Google has lost me.  Will someone please explain kaldratron?  --Vitenka (who has all three bits of kaldra equipment)
(PeterTaylor) Similar to Urzatron - the three items of Kaldra equipment as a unit. Kaldratron decks tend to use the Kaldratron + MTG: Artificial Evolution / MTG: Conspiracy.
...using MTG: Helm of Kaldra's ability to make lots of tokens: as printed you can only have one Kaldra Legend token, but if you use MTG: Conspiracy or MTG: Artificial Evolution to replace Legend with Badger, you can make as many 4/4 tokens as you like. The name "Kaldratron" / "Urzatron" I believe is a reference to TransFormers toys who, if you get all five of them, you can combine into EvenGianterFightingRobots whose names end in -tron. --AC
I'm confused - it's good, yes - a 9/9 critter with every ability except flight.  But it doesn't seem concession worthy.  Ah, I see, you make it a non-legend and then can create as many as you like.  Yes, that probably shouldn't be allowed to work - though it's hard enough to do that it hardly matters.  --Vitenka  (You're thinking of 'voltron')
[Indeed] [I was]. Thank you. --AC


I guess my reaction to this is kind of predictable. BounceBounceBounce! Not only is it a fun / silly concept - it's tournament playable. Discard stuck to a Rack stuck to a couple of Rats. Which are black (mmm... black). ButButBut?... there's even a place on one of the creature-type bars for the rarity symbol; why not put it there?! Silly designers. I want to see more of these cards. And find the 'bad one' and make a deck out of it. --Requiem
*giggle* It's rare to see such a blatant and unabashed Extreme Jonny statement as that. Reminiscent of MaGo's [sterling attempts] to break MTG: Chimney Imp. I agree, by the way, although I hope and suspect there'll be 15+ of the flip creatures and thus plenty of "bad one"s to go round :o) --AC
I would suggest you try MTG: Kitsune Mystic and Autumn Tail, due to your oft repeated ( to me at any rate) dislike of creature enchantments *grins*  --FR, who REALLY wants one of these

Gifts Ungiven [11]


(PeterTaylor) Interesting. Looks like you have to build your deck around it for optimal performance.
Which I suppose answers the question I was asking when I first saw the card, "Why did they give this to MaGo??" And is also liable to be treated as a positive thing by half the Magic players here :) --AC
Yeah, I don't know what you mean. It looks great as it is! :-) (--AL the highlander)
Also, what's that he says at the end about colours?!?!
(PeterTaylor) There hasn't been a single green card previewed yet, and some people have been complaining about it in every single discuss-this-article forum thread since the second or third day of previews. He's just having a dig at them.
Oh ye gods - rat decka a go-go, that's the second 'make x rats' card - there's an explosion of the damn things.  I don't see the "Have as many as you want" rats having room in decks any more, with all the other rats there are going to be.  Still, this isn't that great in two player - the cost is too high for the overwhelming effect to happen without first setting out something to slow your opponent down (something rats aint too hot at, though those discard rats... shiver) - but in multiplayer this is definately a game ender.  --Vitenka
(Reads rest of article)  Ooops.  Point still stands about the damn rats :)  This one obviously works wonderuflly in a madness or other discard deck, and there's nothing to stop you just choosing four awesome cards and laughing at your opponent.  Or choosing four different counterspells.  --Vitenka

I wasn't that keen on this card: it reminded me too much of the junk Invasion divvy cards where your opponent made the choice. Then I read posts like this on the MTGNews forums, and started warming to it... --AlexChurchill
I think MaGo is on to something when he mentions Eternal Witness here. What he didn't mention is the other "they'll put it in the graveyard card" which is another copy of Gifts.
So you cast this.. search for Witness, Gifts and two really good cards (Rude Awakening, some ridiculous Kamigawa card, whatever). That's such a hard choice. The Witness is obviously gone. So then you're left with letting them do it all again with the other gifts (netting more cards) or giving two amazing cards. This is the best skilltesting card since FoF?.
Kamigawa gets my nomination for best set since Tempest.
(from [12])

Uh... powerful in spades, redoubled and vulnerable. 4 mana and two cards in the graveyard to tutor for two cards? Not to mention all the points above. Mmm... pretty cards. --Requiem

Isamaru, Hound of Konda [13]



(PeterTaylor) Vanilla 2/2 Legend in the rare slot. If it weren't a 2/2 for 1 I think a lot of people would be upset about it.
Heh. This would be what the rumour claiming there was a card that would make MTG: Savannah Lions look like a little kitty was about. I approve. There have been some great white weenies recently. Everyone keeps pointing out, though, that what the White Weenie archetype is missing isn't good creatures: it's good removal (RIP MTG: Swords to Plowshares; even the stonking MTG: Vanquish can't hit utility creatures without help from a MTG: Deftblade Elite) and ways to stop your opponent killing your creatures (RIP MTG: Armageddon. (Although I guess this is also a sorcery saying Destroy target creature named Isamaru, Hound of Konda...) --AlexChurchill
That would seem to potentially break too many things - I would expect them to introduce it to a later set after they see how legends settle down.  I guess weenie versus weenie will have a few turns of each casting the same creature as perfect removal - but it doesn't help non-weenie decks...  --Vitenka
(PeterTaylor) Destroy target Legendary creature named Isamaru, Hound of Konda...)
Well, I suppose so. I've not evern heard any rumours yet of anything that'll remove legendary status from a creature, though of course people are speculating about such a card. --AlexChurchill
(PeterTaylor) And interesting to see that they're changing the Wall rule as well as the Legend rule.
And the wall rule going: gibber. That's quite jarring, as he predicted. I suspect I'll come to like it soon. But I don't like it yet. For one thing, it means I can't use my Unnatural Selections in a Wall deck I've been vaguely gathering cards for :) --AlexChurchill
Argh.  This is a kinda painful kitty.  I see a resurgence of splash red being an absolute requirement.  Whilst it is good that you can't be facing three of these turn two, it's a small but significant power hike.  I'm surprised that they didn't make the wall subtype do something - but since you were never allowed to turn your opponents creatures into walls anyway, it didn't matter much.  --Vitenka
(PeterTaylor) Yes you were. MTG: Artificial Evolution an MTG: Unnatural Selection or MTG: Imagecrafter.
Oh?  I thought all of those said 'except legend and wall' - which was what he was complaining about at the top.  Incidentally, I'm being hit by two things.  I already got not allowed to use the new legends rule because they didn't believe me, and I'm hit by their attempts to remove the good spells (MTG: Counterspell MTG: Swords to Plowshares etc.) - but it kinda sucks in casual.  --Vitenka
You use the MTG: Artificial Evolution to change the other's exception clause ("except Legend or Wall") into something else ("except Legend or Homarid").Or just use MTG: Mistform Mask. But since when did casual players care which cards are current and which are old? I play Swords to Plowshares in my casual decks.  And as for people not believing you... I guess you now have two webpages you can point them at to prove it, right? --AC

S****** D******** T** [14]


It appears that they are basically finding fairly mundane cards from Champions to preview in the Saturday School column. --Requiem
They've templated "when this creature gets into combat it gains +x/+x".  Seems excessive.  Also seems evil, unless they're bringing back a heck of a lot of direct damage.  --Vitenka
(PeterTaylor) It's just another variant of rampage. Except in twisted combos like giving Konda trample, attacking with him, and then using your own MTG: Trap Runner on him.
Oh, it's not too bad - it's just a hint that we're going to see a large number of creatures undefeatable in combat except against similar creatures.  Which, as is often the case, bodes ill for those who don't purchase boxes of the new set.  --Vitenka
MTG: Melee. ^_^ --Requiem
It doesn't get +x per attacker (as per rampgae) - just +x if it blocks or is blocked.  It does stack if you can engineer multiple combat phases, though.  I have no idea what happens if you use something to have it no longer block, and then have it block again, though.  --Vitenka

A wonderful take on Bushido from someone's sig:
Chub Toad  (MTG: Chub Toad)
2G
Creature - Toad
Bushido 2
"Even thought most martial arts masters refuse to believe it, recent finding have lead historians to suspect that their whole Warrior Code is based on the fighting style of a certain creature that lived during the Ice Age."
1/1
:) --AlexChurchill

Glacial Ray [15]


Wow, that's odd. Very cool though. Combining multiple spells together into one. If you had three of this in hand, then you get up to six activations of the ability! A first-pick-worthy card in draft: burn is always good, and this is buyback burn! (With buyback cost "Play an Arcane spell", but still...) --AlexChurchill
Just one question: Why is glacial red?  Well, one more:  Owie!  +1r to casting cost of all spells and they get an additional effect of 2burn?  (Let alone what other splices there may be) - add this to the legendary weenie deck and you have at least one of the precons, I suspect.  --Vitenka
Hmm, maybe less likely, since this only works off Arcane spells which are kami magic; and I've got the impression that most of the legends are mortals, not kami (Spirit). Not all of them, but most. The issue of "glacial" in red has attracted lots of discussion on the rumour mill; I don't mind that much personally. Red is about chaos, impulse, damage and destruction: so certain types of ice spell could happily be red. Not ones which freeze an opponent in place, or slow its movements or whatever, but those which use cold magic to inflict direct pain and damage? Sounds red to me. --AlexChurchill
Yes, it's yet another mechanic that is going to be hideously broken out of block - since it only works if you are set up purely for it, but it seems very powerful.  Not so bad on expensive things - but it'll probably be cheap things that trigger off of other cheap things.  At least we won't have an arcane-storm to worry about.  --Vitenka
This reminds me of buyback and Madness. Especially Madness, for the above reason. I also reckon this'll be a precon, with Thief of Hope and a bunch of the more controlling Arcane spells. --Requiem

Tide of War [16]


(PeterTaylor) Suitably silly, although since I have no intention of building a coin-flip deck I'd be annoyed to open one.
Well... as he points out, your whole deck doesn't have to be built around it. A MTG: Chance Encounter deck was only about fifth on his list of ideas. It could be a fun card even at the vagaries of chance, with nary a MTG: Krark's Thumb to be seen. That said, I agree, I'd be disappointed to open one too. Also, is it me, or did Anthony get so caught up in being allowed to use other Champions cards that he forgot to include Tide of War itself in his final couple of decks? --AlexChurchill
Oops, so he did... -- Senji
Hmm. Against less aware players, gives all your creatures evasion. Call their bluff! --Requiem

Hang on. Meloku, the Clouded Mirror? *blinkblink* --Requiem
Yep, she'd work quite well. Fits the theme of the deck fairly well. Great name and flavour she's got, too :D --AlexChurchill

Heartbeat of Spring [17]


(PeterTaylor) Fixed MTG: Mana Flare! Wrong colour for counter/burn, but I'm sure I could get use out of this in some deck.
Yay, cool! As he said, we've known Mana Flare is a green effect since Invasion, being the "green half" of the effect of both MTG: Overabundance and MTG: Mirari's Wake. To a certain extent it feels less special, as green has lots of ways to accelerate and amplify mana while red has very few. But I still have such fond memories of MTG: Mana Flare in big group games that I'll be very happy to get one or more of these. The name is such that it can be reprinted later if desired (conceivably even in a base set), and the art is gorgeous - Rob Alexander does do lovely lands and landscapes. Cool stuff! --AlexChurchill
Gah!  They could have worded this a lot better.  The word 'additional' could seem to be of crucial importance.  Yes, I know what the rules say - but we're still gonna see the same arguments again.  Grrrrrrr.  --Vitenka 
You know, for once your complaint about Magic card wording is actually right. It's not worded as well as MTG: Mirari's Wake or MTG: Overabundance. It causes problems (well, non-obviousnesses) when lands tap for multiple colours of mana, like MTG: Sungrass Prairie, MTG: Crystal Quarry or MTG: Tinder Farm's second ability. --AlexChurchill
(PeterTaylor) If it's legitimate complaints about wording you want, yesterday's card is grammatically incorrect.

As for the effect - what moots it, now that there are no more fireballs to throw?  --Vitenka  (Side comment - I predict a 'raise dead' arcane spell)
(PeterTaylor) Fireball is in Mirrodin-block, so will still be standard-legal. MTG: Tooth and Nail decks might also use it - I'm not knowledgeable enough about the tournament scene to know whether they would help affinity players by so doing, but I would expect that the affinity players have emptied their hands by about turn 3.
Please to remember that I am stuck in an EvilCasual? environment.  --Vitenka (Mind you, I get much amusement from royally thrashing a deck that contains moxes using a deck that contains non-rare cards from the last couple of months only)
(PeterTaylor) So what did you mean by "no more fireballs to throw"?
(Some of) My opponents have them, I don't.  --Vitenka

Night Dealings [18]


(PeterTaylor) Slooooow. I'd rather have a MTG: Bringer of the Black Dawn.
Doesn't hurt you to use it, though.  And the bringer can't do instant speed search - if you have enough mana, this thing guarantees a counterspell as long as it's charged up.  Of course, it's disadvantage is that it is slow and only works when you're already winning.  I'd probably use it, but only until something better comes up.  It really looks like they overcosted it because they are terrified of combos.  --Vitenka
Yes, the principal drawback is that you do need to be damaging your opponent to get much use out of it other than for 0-cost artifacts. It may be much better in multiplayer - as there's more damage to deal, and longer to use it. Multiple tutoring is always expensive though - from MTG: Planar Portal through MTG: Insidious Dreams or back to MTG: Doomsday. Overall I'm still not that keen on this card, though. --AlexChurchill
Once again, a very comboable card with limited other use. Something to build a deck around. I doubt I'd play it in Limited. --Requiem
I'd say it's a lot more useful in limited.  The mana requirement is less of a problem, and you're more likely to be doing occasional niggling bits of damage - as well as quite a lot more likely to have been stuck with limited use situational cards, which you can then use it for.  --Vitenka
OTOH, I wouldn't be able to draw or use it repeatably and reliably, and it's taking up one of the 23-odd slots that I need for cards that can win me the game. Whereas in constructed, I can stack my deck with limited-use situational cards whose only use is powering or being fetched by Night Dealings, and cards to get rid of its tempo disadvantage. I agree with you on the tempo point though - I just reckon that even in Sealed I would have more widely useful cards to take its place. (Then again, I am the one known for drafting a functional Shifting Sky combo deck and then not playing well enough to win any matches with it.) --Requiem

Myojin of Cleansing Fire [19]


(PeterTaylor) Cool. I see they've worded it so you can't Slide it to get the counter back, but imagine this in a MTG: Giant Fan deck!

Butbutbut. MTG: Fist Of The Suns beckons me (an amusing image). Anyone know where I can get 4? --Requiem

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