Hello, everyone! I hope you all had pleasant weekends. It seems there was a bit of a controversial spoiling of some potential EDH Gatecrash goodies that managed to hit on Saturday, and I just can’t help myself…we’re going to take a look. (If any of you are still purists that steer clear of spoilers and want every Prerelease to be just like Christmas, this probably isn’t a good day to be reading here.)
Let’s do some housekeeping first, however.
-GDC IS TAKING THANKSGIVING OFF
I just wanted to give you all a heads-up. As of Wednesday afternoon, I’ll be piling my wife, son, and all of our stuff into the car to head over to
for Thanksgiving with the in-laws. I’ll be extremely busy on Thanksgiving day Syracuse enjoying adult beverages, Thanksgiving dinner, and watching the Patriots annihilate the Jets handling some very important personal business, so the regular Thursday update is going to be pushed off until next Monday at normal time. Just an FYI.
On the other hand, if there are any EDH players in the
area, hit me up. I’ll come prepared… Syracuse
-THE COMMANDER’S ARSENAL POLL RESULTS
It’s been a while since we’ve had some poll results that weren’t designed to help us make GDC a better site, so I wanted to share where this ended up:
Hey! You Managed To Get Your Hands On A Copy Of Commander’s Arsenal! What Are You Going To Do With It?
-58%: I’m opening it and playing the cards. That’s what it’s for, right?
-27%: I’m opening it to break apart and sell off the singles.
-12%: I’m selling it sealed to the highest bidder.
-3%: I’m lighting it on fire and mailing the ashes to Wizards of the Coast in protest.
It seems like quite a few of you are excited to get your hands on these cards. That’s good; I think this is the sort of return that the designers of the set (NOT the marketing team, mind you…) had in mind. I’ll fully concede that this release was pretty poorly-handled from start to finish, but at the end of the day, it’s a really nice Commander product. You have to at least give WotC some credit for throwing our format a bone.
I’ll be honest; I ended up somewhere in-between category one and two. I immediately opened my copy and kept the singles I knew I wanted to apply to the “Foil Out Riku” Project – Sylvan Library, Duplicant, Desertion, Rhystic Study,
, and Scroll Rack. I also held onto Mirari’s Wake (love the art) and Decree of Pain (needed an extra one); from there, the rest were traded off to deserving local parties. Command Tower
The exception to this rule, and still the biggest head-scratcher include of the set, was the Loyal Retainers copy. No one local wanted it. Off it went to a dealer (along with the oversized crap cards) for some decent store credit.
I initially kept the life counter because it seemed cool. I used it once, and it was actually massively annoying in practice. I’m debating keeping it for nostalgia/pack rat’s sake, or shipping it off to someone else. Still on the fence.
Here’s to next summer, with (hopefully) a better, far more available and affordable product.
Yeah…these hit a little sooner than expected.
First off, here’s the link for those of you who haven’t seen the stuff already and have short attention spans. (Come on back when you’re done if you feel like it.)
The details are still a bit hazy, but it seems like some person in Sioux Falls, South Dakota managed to get ahold of a handful of cards from the official printer for Wizards of the Coast, who has a facility in that area. No clue how this person managed it; rumors are all over the place, from an employee pocketing a test printing to straight-up dumpster diving and hitting the jackpot. In any case, regular reader Dave clued me in to the thread on MTGSalvation on Saturday that when up after this person posted the cards for sale on Craigslist.
Hope you’ve already lawyered up, whoever you are….
Anyway, reports of people actually meeting with the person and handling the cards seem pretty legit, as do the pictures themselves, so it’s quite likely that these actually are the real deal.
A few thoughts-
So the guy from the front of the Borderlands video game is apparently a red/green planeswalker. Right on.
We’re looking at an aggressively-costed ‘walker in Domri, which might mean some play in the EDH. The “+1” ability is card advantage in the right deck, even if it’s not very compelling in the face of existing options. The “-2” ability is the favorite new removal technique of green, and I’ll go on record as stating that the “fight” mechanic is very flavorful and very good in formats that aren’t constructed from the entire Vintage-legal cardpool. (Domri is probably going to be great in draft; the caveat is that I’m terrible at drafting, so I’m probably wrong here. Or right. I have absolutely no earthly idea.)
The last ability is Doubling Season-proof, which is good, because the R/G threshold for creature improvement effects was reached several years back, and we’re kind of overloaded at this point. This one is potent, as it’s a pseudo-Akroma’s Memorial that can’t ever be removed once it hits.
On second thought, get your Doubling Seasons and you Contagion Clasp/Engines ready to go.
All in all, I’m not impressed, but I rarely am by planeswalkers in this format. The threat of the ultimate ability is going to be enough to keep this guy off the board either way, so take it for what it’s worth.
Awesome. Because Kaalia wasn’t over the top enough as it is.
In other news, my Slobad deck is suddenly completely invalidated by a single card.
This one gets the finger. Moving on.
AURELIA, THE WARLEADER
This is kind of exciting. She’s like a no-frills Godo, Bandit Warlord, except that she affects all of your creatures regardless of type and is a hasty vigilant flyer with a little more toughness, in exchange for not being able to find any equipment.
Effectively making your entire team double-striking and vigilant is pretty good any way you look at it. R/W is the color mixture the farthest outside of my personal comfort zone, but I think she’ll see a ton of play. My only fear is that she gets lost in a color combination that is already heavy on aggressive team-enabling generals. (see Gisela, Agrus Kos)
Again, we’ll see how things play out once we have a better feel for the rest of the set, but I think Aurelia is probably the star of this bunch.
Another familiar face returning to the fold. Following in the footsteps of Rakdos and Niv-Mizzet, Borby 2.0 hits a little harder than last time, and comes with a new angle of his own as well. This time, it’s a “lands matter” theme that can pack on a decent extra chunk of damage to the dome or in the removal venue, with bonus points for being an ‘instant-on’ ability as soon as he hits the table. He’s a little more dynamic than last time to be sure, although an eight-cost general is tough to swallow.
Due to the ‘mill’ side-effect, I expect that he’ll play nicer as a backup in Jund colors that can leverage some reanimation.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give Dave some page-time in reward for keying me in to this spoiler. From the man himself:
“…Please include a comment (from me) about trying to break this combo-centric Borborygmos in half using Elder Pine of Jukai, all the land-to-hand tutors, Groundskeeper, maybe Storm Cauldron + ramp, and Creeping Renaissance/Praetor’s Council.”
If you ever manage to pull this off, Dave, I want a picture and a report.
ENTER THE INFINITE
The card of the bunch that has everyone talking. Yeah, it plays nicely with Omniscience. We all get that, and no-one is particularly impressed. I’m sure the “For twelve mana, you should just win the game!” crowd is already going strong on this card, but I’m completely unimpressed.
Honestly, I’m not sure where this card places in EDH. Other than enabling a game-ending combo, I don’t see it doing much of anything at all, other than making Cerebral Vortex about a thousand-times better. What am I missing here?
(By the way, someone is already planning a Bruce Lee alteration. Guaranteed.)
WRAPPING IT UP
A little spoiler excitement never hurt anyone. What do you all think? Anything here catch your eye? Are any of you already brewing decks around these new options? Am I completely off-base about Enter the Infinite? Is there any hope for my Slobad deck?
Hit up the comments and let us know where you’re headed with this stuff.
And if I don’t get a chance to sneak back in on Thursday, we’d like to wish everyone out there a Happy Thanksgiving.
See you all next week-