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Do I deduce that this page is restricted to only discussions of the Darksteel cards which www.magicthegathering.com is revealing?  There are plenty of other cool cards revealed in unofficial spoiler lists on the net.  But I can see why people would choose to restrict themselves to the MTGcom ones, so I'll happily do the same if that's the plan for this page.  --AlexChurchill

Why is it that most of the changes to this page are commented as "Spoiler Warning"?  Is the title of the page not enough of a clue that spoilers might be found here? --M-A
(PeterTaylor) I know full well that people click on RecentChanges links without actually reading them. I'm trying to give people as much chance as possible to notice that they might want to skip this one.

There's a general opinion on the Wizards-run Magic boards that the whole Indestuctible mechanic is a grand conspiracy to make MTG: Altar's Light playable. --SF
Giggle.  The other way round is rather more likely I suspect: knowing Indestructability was coming up, they pre-emptively printed a card designed to combat it.  --AC

Brady Dommermuth, creative director, posted this in response to an Ask Wizards question:
"The Weatherlight was a flying ship! Its crew sought the artifacts of the Legacy to combat the evils of Phyrexia! Boy, that's ancient history, huh?"
Do I detect a slight hint of ill-disguised "Ancient history? That's what you think. Mwuhahaha!"? --CH
Hmm... not sure.  I did notice the "wait and see" in the answer about "the ancient furnace dragon, Chiss-Goria", however. --AC

Incidentally, for those who want to brush up before the prerelease and really don't care about spoiling themselves 100%, mtgnews.com now has the full Darksteel spoiler.

[Myr Matrix]


(PeterTaylor) Well, I already have a tribal Myr deck, which uses MTG: Mana Echoes to generate a bit of mana, so this fits in quite nicely. Especially since, with enough Myr on the table, MTG: Mana Echoes and MTG: Myr Matrix makes an infinite combo.
Giggle... bwahaha, I like.  There's silly possibilities with things like MTG: Myr Incubator.  But overall, I suspect this will be a rather narrow, 'fun', 'bad rare' card.  Not that this bothers me, says he with a deck containing multiple MTG: Blinkmoth Urns and MTG: Vermiculos.  --AlexChurchill

How about this for a (Standard-legal) deck-list:
  4 x MTG: Mana Echoes
  4 x MTG: Fabricate
  2 x MTG: Planar Portal
  3 x MTG: Myr Matrix
  3 x MTG: Myr Incubator
  4 x MTG: Myr Enforcer
  4 x MTG: Myr Retriever
  4 x MTG: Iron Myr
  4 x MTG: Silver Myr
  4 x MTG: Omega Myr

  4 x MTG: Cloudpost
  2 x MTG: Urza's Mine
  2 x MTG: Urza's Tower
  2 x MTG: Urza's Power Plant
10 x MTG: Mountain
  6 x MTG: Island

I don't like only running two copies of the Urzatron, but MTG: Mana Echoes needs double-red. Perhaps with the MTG: Iron Myr three Mountains could become an Urzatron - have to try it out. The Portal is there to tutor for the enchantment.
The other thing I toyed with was including MTG: Pentavus (infinite mana with the Echoes) and MTG: Blaze. It takes away the focus, though. I suppose the Blaze could still fit.
Why the Omega Myrs? If the worse comes to the worse I'm sure Alpha Myr is the better choice. -Colin
Stall. The mana should build up moderately fast, but fast weenie decks normally contain 1/1s, so a 1/2 is a better defender than a 2/1. I've been thinking about the deck a bit, and reckon the Cloudposts probably want to be replaced with Urzatron pieces, and 4 mountains with MTG: Great Furnace for the MTG: Myr Enforcers. I think it's probably safest to leave the islands as islands though, to make it harder for the opponent to play to colour-screw the deck.
I don't build many weenie decks, but I have a passably effective one, and I've seen more, and thinking seems to be that 1 power simply isn't enough. Given Wizards' reluctance to print 2/1s priced aggressively (i.e. Savannah Lions, Jackal Pup, Goblin Cadets, MTG: Goblin Patrol --AC and not a right lot else) there's a tendancy to use the quality 2/2s available, instead. 2/2s for 2 and 3 mana - with useful, and downright good, abilities, respectively would make up most of the early pressure (as opposed to utility) that I'd expect to see. Given which, a 2/1 which you are prepared to trade (obviously, if you rely on Mana Echoes so much that you obviously can't afford to lose a Myr, you have problems) is a better deterrant than a 1/2, which will delay only one turn, dying in the process. In short, while 1/1s are played, they aren't attacked with much, so a 1/2 isn't much help against weenie hordes. IMO -- TI

Think of all the cool things you can do with indestuctable creatures he promised! But I would expect their mana costs will be very high. -ColinLeung
At least one in double digits... --AC
If it has power and toughness matches it's casting cost with at least two really good abilities, it's fine by me. -Colin

[Chimeric Egg]


(PeterTaylor) Should be pretty good in Limited, and plenty of fun in constructed...

[Darksteel Reactor]


BwaHaHaHa.  I like.  Another hard-to-use alternate win condition, but finally one that doesn't need countermagic to protect it from MTG: Disenchant (MTG: Coalition Victory --SF).  I wonder if there are any more ways (other than MTG: Power Conduit) to move charge counters around coming this block, or whether it's really meant purely as a "stall 20 turns" card?  --AlexChurchill
(PeterTaylor) I doubt there'll be any more ways to move them, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a MTG: Battlegrowth equivalent.
It's a really cool card, but I suppose in limited an unblockable attacker with power higher than one could be more efficient... but that's not really the point though. I wonder what other artifacts can be made out of Darksteel.-Colin
Unknown. So far as I'm aware nobody actually knows what the material Darksteel is yet; the novel The Darksteel Eye is somewhat silent on the matter.

With regard to the card; I think stall-for-20-turns is utterly reasonable, and Power Conduit ought to be all the speed-up you'd get. Alternative win conditions are supposed to be hard, and this block's broken "mistake" mechanic has already been printed. --SF
I guess you're right.  Are you referring to Imprint (staring down MTG: Counterspell or MTG: Orim's Chant on a MTG: Isochron Scepter feels pretty unfair), or to MTG: Mindslaver?  Either are good candidates --AlexChurchill
MTG: Isochron Scepter might be a mistake, but that doesn't make imprint one. I was referring to affinity; at least the way it was presented in Mirrodin. Blue does not get good agressive creatures; blue does not get large creatures except at prohibitive expense; artifact creatures should not be comparable to white ones. A mono-blue creature rush deck should not be an accepted standard archetype.
The mistake that you're thinking of is directed to Broodstar in general then. -Colin
The 'self-building' Affinity deck archetype seems to fulfil the somewhat broken (in the sense that R&D claim to deprecate it) conditions of being both obvious, and Tier 1 without major cleverness and environment knowledge. Not quite at the Masques Rebel level, true, but... -- TI

[Skullclamp]


(PeterTaylor) That looks to me like a big big target for MTG: Shatter. I want two in my sealed deck...

[Eater of Days]


I thought it was much better than it is due to the title of the article. Blimey this thing only cost 4. It is definately better than the Leveler, and I might even play in in drafts or causal games where having two less turns doesn't outright kill you. Imagine this with MTG: Lightning Greaves... -Colin

Goes straight into Masknaught; also fun if you have an MTG: Stifle. Otherwise the drawback is probably a bit prohibitive for something which is vulnerable to four colours of removal and that can be bounced by the fifth. --SF 
Hmm... could be.  I'm reminded of when people reconsidered their early criticism of MTG: Worldgorger Dragon... "I spent too much time thinking about the risks, and not enough time thinking 7/7 flying trample = dead in 3 turns".  If your opponent's taken any painland/fetchland damage, 9/8 flying trample with Greaves = dead in 3 turns too (one swing now, then you take 3 turns, then one swing for the kill).  I'm not 100% sure, we'll have to see, but I know I'd play it if I got one. --AC
Unfortunately your opponent will have three turns to counter-attack with. -Colin
True.  It is an intruging card, and one that will be a skill and judgment test for a large amount of people who open it.  I'm still not sure what the right answer will be.  --AC
Skill or no skill, there's little chance of me not playing it if I openned it in a prerelease. -Colin
Oh, definitely. Limited bomb, since finishers are a wonderful thing to have in that format, and tempo is much less important than in constructed. But in standard, especially Onslaught-Mirrodin-8th standard with attendant affinity and Goblin decks, and MTG: Wing Shards, MTG: Naturalize, MTG: Shatter, MTG: Cruel Revival and MTG: Boomerang all being maindecked (in some builds, anyway)?

[Arcbound Slith]


I love the whole Modular mechanic.  Particularly the idea of cards which do fun things with the +1/+1 counters other than just move them around, although being able to keep your total P/T constant when any Arcbound creature dies is pretty neat anyway.  When people on MTGnews found out about this card a few days ago, a debate erupted about whether it was undercosted or not.  2 mana for a Slith with an ability is standard for red, green and black.  And at least this one is useful late game (as a MTG: Battlegrowth). --AC
Ditto. Want one. Would complement MTG: Battlegrowth and the various Spikes nicely. This seems to be a recurring theme from Mirrodin - benefits which survive the death of the creature they are attached to. --Requiem
Good point.  They've been trying to overcome the "creature enchantment drawback" for a while... Equipment is the latest and most successful attempt.  --AC

[Heartseeker]


(PeterTaylor) Surely undercosted? Setup cost of 4, followed by repeated costs of 5 to kill any creature. Constrast with MTG: Skinthinner, which has a setup cost of 3 and can be used once for KK3 to kill a non-black creature.
But Skinthinner is common.  And was heralded as a ridiculously expensive version of MTG: Dark BanishingMTG: Visara or MTG: Avatar of Woe have setup of 6 or 8, followed by repeated costs of nothing but a tap.  And they don't require you to keep a creature around to equip.  I suppose this is the any-colour version... MTG: Predator, Flagship was 7+T to destroy target creature, but I still wouldn't say Heartseeker's undercosted.  --AC
And equipping Akroma with the Heartseeker (as AA suggests) is, um, entertaining, but rather a "win more" situation.  I suspect MTG: Yotian Soldier (or MTG: Leonin Den-Guard) would be more practical targets for a casual constructed deck. --AC

[Memnarch]


(PeterTaylor) The artifact version of MTG: Sliver Overlord, sort-of. Definitely one to build a deck around. (Oh, and is there a hint that the Darksteel prerelease card will be the Shield of Kaldra?)
While I don't see such a hint in the article (about it being the prerelease card), and although it hasn't been confirmed on any of the rumours sites I've seen, this is widely suspected.  The Shield of Kaldra itself is a really cool card, and also one that suggests that it might well be a prerelease card, and (if that's the case) even makes a strong suggestion at what Fifth Dawn's prerelease card might be.  But we shall have to see in 10 days' time. --AC
(PeterTaylor) It was the combination of the mention of three weapons with the expansion symbol being a stylised shield which I think forms a hint.
One of the more entertaining uses of Memnarch himself may be making your own creatures into artifact creatures, just as a Modular creature is about to die, so that you can bolt the +1/+1 counters onto (for example) your MTG: Spikeshot Goblin.  Repeatably stealing any permanent for 4UUU is quite scary... before that needed tortuous tricks like repeatedly Astral Sliding an MTG: Anarchist fetching back your MTG: Blatant Thievery. --AC
Mirari, Burning Wish, etc? -- TI
Finally another way to make Artifacial Enchantments. -Colin
I'm still intrigued as to wtf the Helm of Kaldra will actually do. I'm also amused that in the storyline, the creature created from the Sword, Shield and Helm of Kaldra gets, umm...destroyed. As well as stolen by Memnarch; for once, here we have an ability directly reflecting what the character does in the story. Storyline gurus were...shocked. Nice card, too. Especially in limited. --SF
(PeterTaylor) Isn't this page for official spoilers rather than info obtained from e.g. mtgnews?
I regard the novel The Darksteel Eye as an official spoiler. It came out a week or so ago. --SF
Well, I asked in the very top paragraph of this page, and nobody's answered.  How about this: Does anyone object to discussing Darksteel cards other than official Wizards ones here?  If nobody says "yes" within, say, 2 days, then let's not worry about it? --AC
Yes. --SF
I'm only following the Wizards site. I guess I don't mind hugely if you mention other cards here, but I'd prefer not to know details. --CH
(PeterTaylor) I didn't notice you asking that question. I personally don't mind - I checked out the mtgnews spoiler this morning, in fact - but it was policy for the Mirrodin one.
Hmmm... Could that potentially be the 'kill-card' in a U-based (Pemmin's Aura + tap-for-mana) infinite mana deck? CMC 7 is a bit steep otherwise (although perfectly achievable, I suppose). -- TI
I think Pemmin's Aura-based infinite-mana means Wirewood Channeler at the moment.  The only things which tap for multiple mana at least one of which is blue are the Channeler and a couple of lands which would need permanently animating.  There's other U-based infinite-mana engines though, Intruder Alarm being one of the most obvious (with U-mana creature options involving MTG: Sea Scryer, MTG: Aphetto Alchemist, MTG: Silver Myr).  But regardless, I suspect MTG: Stroke of Genius type cards or MTG: Fireball type cards will continue being preferred as the kill in inf-mana decks, because they're useful and castable before you hit 7 mana.  --AC

[Whispersilk Cloak]


(PeterTaylor) I must admit to being surprised at the claim in the article that people initially thought the hoversail was bad. I thought it was moderately good (and am probably wanting to acquire a couple more for my Scavenger Hunt deck). Aaanyway, I agree that the cloak is useful in Limited, and I can certainly see one or two copies making it into my stronger Beast deck.

(AlexChurchill) I've always thought of the hoversail as marginal for limited purposes - one of the final 6-8 cards from which you pick 2-3 to go in the deck.  But as for the Cloak... I think that's a very strong card in limited. In limited, you'll have a few creatures that you either want to protect once they get out, or which do cool things on hitting a player (Sliths particularly, but also Ogres etc). This will be useful for any of those... and between unblockability and untargetability, this equipment will never be useless unless you're really winning already.
How about turn 6 dropping an Eater of Days and then equipping it with this? :D
I'd call that an overkill, it's flying and trample already. It's still really cool, but Lighting Greaves are better in this case. -Colin

Oooo. Want one. Well, want 4. This would fit nicely into my Equipment deck. --Requiem
You may well be right.  Your deck likes to either play big fat creatures, or put lots and lots of enchantments/equipment on a small one, right?  The Cloak seems tailor-made for that kind of deck.  It's not so useful for weenie/Equipment? (which is what I tend to think of "Equipment decks" as being) - protecting any one critter, and making it unblockable, is much less of a deal when all the creatures are small.  Something like the Skullclamp previewed above would be more useful... the problem with weenie decks traditionally is that if they don't kill early then they run out of steam.  A MTG: Skullclamp on the table lets you convert an X/1 into two cards to go digging for answers to the current situation or to create a sheer swarm.  --AC
The idea is - little creature. Equipment on little creature. Big creature. Move equipment onto big creature and zot the opponent. --Requiem

[Karstoderm]


(PeterTaylor) Interesting. Potentially quite decent in, say, 18 months. Doubt I'd play it at the pre-release.
Astral Slide, Power conduit? Would seem to fit into either of those, should it happen to be in colour.
Power Conduit would almost certainly rather have a MTG: Clockwork Vorrac - it will typically provide more counters than the Karstoderm, because it gains them not loses them.  But I suppose if you /really/ need a 4-drop.  There's almost no way I'm playing this card for the next year... just about conceivable it could go in my Unspeakable Beasts deck, I guess, but everyone's playing so many artifacts these days... --AC

[Oxidize]


(PeterTaylor) Nice card, shame about the art description. Verdigris is oxidised copper, and rust is oxidised iron, so why should either of them be found on platinum?
StuartFraser wonders why people who know nothing about Magic continuity feel free to assume that Magic follows the same rules that Earth does. It doesn't. The ancient Thran discovered that each colour of magic has an affinity to a single metal; and thus I wouldn't be that suprised that the oxide created by a green spell called "oxidize" is actually the oxide of green's metal - copper - rather than that of whatever the metal was originally. Also, speaking as a MatSci, I strongly dispute "rust is oxidised iron".
Gosh, that's us told. We mere mortals should know better than to argue with the ancient Thran. --ChiarkPerson
Requiem thinks the answer is obvious. A wizard did it.
(AC) I think you kind of have to suppose that when MtG (or any fantasy environment) uses a word or concept which exists in English and applies in our world, in a way seemingly similar to the way the word is used in our world, that the word is being used with the same meaning, following the same rules.  Otherwise the whole concept of language or laws-of-physics would kinda break down.  And so it's not unreasonable to suppose that metals "rust"ing should rust to the same thing they do on Earth.  Equally, of course, it's fair for those who know more of the specifics of the background to inform us where the words or rules do differ... but you have to assume *some* things are the same ("follow the same rules Earth does").  --AC
Yeah, true. I was just quoting the Simpsons ^_^ --Requiem
:):) I was more responding to SF's "why do people assume Magic follows the rules that Earth does".  --AC
(AlexChurchill) Hehe :P  If the Platinum Angel is such a powerful artifact (and capable of moving and stuff), it's fair to suppose that she contains other metals than platinum, maybe?  Internally for example?  ...Well... Wizards have made worse art screw-ups than that before, anyway ^^;;
The card is very strong for a 1-mana Instant.  Interesting comments in his article about how white will still get some artifact destruction, just more expensively than green or red do; also how remove-from-the-game is a far more white ability than red or green.  Hence why MTG: Altar's Light exists, why it costs so much; and also another reason why we won't be expecting a Disenchant reprint.  I think my hopes that I'm still holding out for a reprint of MTG: Erase might be justified based on this RaBu? article, though.  --AC

[Dross Golem]


(PeterTaylor) I'd guess this would be the worst of the cycle, because fear's not much good in Mirrodin. But a 3/2 for 2 is still pretty decent. Unlikely to come out for that little in Limited (unless you manage to draft mono-colour), but some of the cycle could be nice cards to build a Constructed deck around.
(Requiem) Depends if there are Laces in the cycle. This could fit into my 'control your opponent's colour' deck idea.
If there are Laces in the cycle, you probably want to take them off before setting off, or your spokes will get all tangled up... *GDR* --AC
Entirely non-relevantly, I pulled up at the turn into Garret Hostel Lane last term, put my left foot down, and fell off my bicycle. It transpired I'd managed to wind my right shoe-lace around the pedal crank. About 3 more turns, and I'd have run out of lace. --CH

[Sword of Light and Shadow]


(PeterTaylor) Since the image is currently broken, text from mtgnews: rare equipment for 3 with equip cost 2 and "Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has protection from white and from black. Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, you gain 3 life and you may return up to one target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.That is truly scary.
I want 20. And at least 1 in my Boosters on Saturday. --CH
It's pretty nice, yep.  You'd definitely play it in Limited and it'd come close to making a creature a "must-block"... if they even can!  I really like the combination of evasion abilities with player-damage-triggers.  But what made me go BwaHaHaHa the most was Anthony's final paragraph.  You may wish to amend 10 of your wished-for Swords, though... because he's right :) --AlexChurchill

[Death Cloud]


(PeterTaylor) That's two days in a row they've messed up the link to the card image. According to mtgnews, Death Cloud is a black rare sorcery for XBBB with "Each player loses X life, then discards X cards from his or her hand, then sacrifices X creatures, then sacrifices X lands."

Is it just me, or does that sample deck have no reliable way to win? It runs a grand total of 2 creatures, and the Pyrite Spellbombs and the Promise of Power seem not to be included primarily for the damage possibilities. --CH
(PeterTaylor) I presume the idea is that each Cloud goes off for at least 5, and you gain enough life to survive. Doesn't look too reliable, though.

[Spawning Pit]


(PeterTaylor) Gotta love it when a preview article uses limit sequences.
That's what AlexChurchill thought too.  You also gotta hand it to him for his puns.  Those fit perfectly, and his aside just after the second one really had me giggling.  And the card's kinda cool too... it's an interesting alternate take on Nuisance Engine.  It's not ideal for either of my Disciple-of-the-Vault decks (one with MTG: Tetravus, MTG: Pentavus etc, the other with MTG: Atog, MTG: Shrapnel Blast etc) because the Pit needs you to actually sacrifice the creatures to it, not something else.  His idea of MTG: Lightning Coils works rather better.  (And I just realised how much MTG: Lightning Coils likes MTG: Myr Retriever, particularly two of them... not to mention MTG: Skeleton Shard, MTG: Dross Scorpion, hmm, new deck idea if I get some Spawning Pits methinks...)  --AC
But while Mark points out that this hoses MTG: Wrath of God quite effectively, it also works rather well with the Wrath in the /same/ deck.  As do indestructable creatures, naturally.  Scary stuff.  I also note the Pit works wonderfully well with Modular creatures.  --AC

[Flamebreak]



Boring :p
Boring, yep; but a useful board-sweeper.  I tend to prefer MTG: Earthquake in my casual decks for versatility, but I certainly play MTG: Breath of Darigaaz.  On the other hand, the triple-red requires fewer colours than most of my decks can handle.  --AC

[Ageless Entity]



Interesting.  May make life-gaining decks more useful.  But probably not good enough.
I think there have only been 3 cards trying to provide other benefits to lifegain before: MTG: Test of Endurance and the two MTG: Lichs.  This and one other DS card are the 4th and 5th.  While you could certainly play this in limited (as a 4/4 for 5), this one isn't very exciting.  The other is mildly terrifying, however, and may do a better job of encouraging people to play lifegain.  --AC
PeterTaylor wants about 3 of each, to go with MTG: Treva, MTG: Words of Worship and MTG: Test of Endurance, plus probably a bit of mana fixing, countermagic, etc.

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