To the total exclusion of any non-Magic the Gathering readers I have (virtually all of you), I’m gonna show my excitement for the freshly spoiled Magic Origins set by running through some errant thoughts. It’s a brilliant replacement for a core set and offers a great retrospective on some of the past years’ recent blocks while flashing forward to Battle for Zendikar. My views don’t accurately reflect those of whom you’d actually want to listen to. I’m a casual tabletop Timmy/Spike. I like big splashy effects and brutal efficiency. I mainly play EDH with variant casual 60 card formats thrown in for good measure. With so much stuff crammed in here, I doubt I’ll even get past the mythics:
With good reason too, they’ve knocked the mythics out of the park. The flip walkers all seem pretty ok (with Jace probably being the weakest, but easiest to flip) this time around. Chandra is getting shat on pretty heavily, but she augments your plan to do damage. I guess the question is if you can reliably get her to do 4+ damage. She’s a slow burner (no pun intended) but if you flip her she’s basically ticking down a clock for your opponent. Seems good times. Nissa looks quite flippable in EDH, especially now that Sword of the Animist has been spoiled. Speaking of which, isn’t that card just the tits? It’s a colourless source of mana ramp that’s potentially abusable. On creatures that muster multiple attacks per turn? Yeesh, the card’s a beating and brings out your big guns all too soon.
Erebos’s Titan punishes control something fierce. If you’re rocking a devotion shell you’re hardly gonna go wrong with a 4cc 5/5 (potentially indestructible if you’re packing enough removal (it dodges Languish too, as if it didn’t do enough already. You’re mono black, if you’re lacking removal you’re doing it wrong). The fact that he comes back is gravy on an already tasty piece of meat.
Demonic Pact is… pact with flavour? No way that one wasn’t intentional. Fun design. Once again it bites that you have to wait a turn, but if you manage to get the 3 positive effects off then you’ll be mega happy to have paid 2GG for 4 damage, 4 life, 2 cards and your opponent discarding 2. Pack a bounce spell, kill your enchantment, good ol’ sacrifice a permanent. Are there ways to flicker enchantments? Also obviously you can find a way to gift it to your opponent. It’s like handing them a stick of ACME dynamite. Good friends share, right?
Archangel of Tithes is seriously well costed. At 5 toughness it also dodges Languish while making it difficult for your opponents to stem the inevitable white weenie assault coming their way (how many Savannah Lions are there in standard right now alone? Not to mention all the renown dorks in this set). It’s a good time.
White’s other mythic, Starfield of Nyx brings the beat back. Aside from the fact that it takes a turn to really kick in (unless you have 5 enchantments on the board), it’s got the chance to send constellation decks up to the stratosphere. Bringing back Doomwake Giants or Eidolon of Blossoms is genuinely mean and translates to some mouth watering card advantage. Did I mention that when it’s active, said Doomwake Giants and Eidolon of Blossoms will be 5/5 and 4/4 respectively? Courser of Kruphix as a 4/4 for 1GG? Starfield of Nyx can function as a decent anthem effect. More expensive than Opalescence, but with so much upside. Love this card.
I feel like enough has been said about Avaricious Dragon, it’s huge/huge and gives you lots of gas, but Thunderbreak Regent is probably still better at the cost and unless Goblin Piledriver isn’t the messiah RDW players have been praying for, I think it costs way too much. Your opponents should be basically dead by the end of turn 4 already.
Pyromancer’s Goggles (red’s other mythic, in case you missed it like I did) costs a bunch at 5, but could potentially be one of the best casual sources of repeatable spell copying. It’s going straight into my Wort the Raidmother EDH, that’s for certainly. FOR CERTAINLY. Big burn keeps burning, dumb splashy effects get dumber. It’s strictly casual, but we knew that, right?
Woodland Bellower makes me super happy as a lifelong green mage. It silver bullets like a champ. Graveyard recursion? Eternal Witness. Killing troublesome permanents? Reclamation Sage. Finding other big dudes? Wirewood Herald. Want to soulbond up your red pingers? Soulbond Peddler is there. Need specific Elf lords? Any number of great 187 effects? Antler bear does it all. Also he can stick around to hit hard (unless god forbid you find some way to bounce/flicker him in (Conjurer’s Closet? Cloudstone Curio? Temur Sabertooth?). I want all of these, so no player can enjoy Magic the Gathering as much as I am. I also want one of these as a pet/best friend in real life. It’s equally fluffy and terrifying, like all the best pets.
The Great Aurora is a green sweeper. It feels like it has so much potential to be broken beyond just spamming tokens à la Warp World shenanigans, but I’ve yet to find out how. I wanted to try putting it in a shell with Oblivion Stone style effects, but the timing doesn’t quite work out. Banisher Priest seems like the right idea, but it can only hit your opponents’ stuff. Less fun. I want to find some way to flash out a bunch of landfall stuff that also gets pumped by the lands coming into play. There has to be a way. More on this at a later date, when someone else inevitably cracks it with Living Lore or something.
Disciple of the Ring is kind of junk. Those effects seem cool, until you realise that it takes too long to get going and you’re fighting with delve for design space. If you can get it online I’m sure it can do wonderful things, but it’s gonna be hard to keep enough gas in the tank to control the board. Bulk mythic/EDH fodder. If you’re packing mono blue Azami you’re probably chuffed.
Day’s Undoing is beyond my reckoning. I don’t think anyone is sure what to make of it right now. It’d be nifty to see someone find a way around its limitations, or skirt negative end of turn effects, but I don’t know how to break it. It’s tough that your opponent gets their cards before you and I don’t know if the card is enough to justify playing Quicken or Leyline of Anticipation. Should be fun to see.
Alhammarret’s Archive will keep silly EDH decks doing what they do already, just more. It’s a big dumb card that’ll be big dumb fun. Also Oloro just got even more unfun. There was much rejoicing.
That’s just the mythics. It only gets dumber from there on out. It’s been a while since a standalone set really shook up the game so much, but I feel like the effects of Magic Origins are gonna be felt throughout a heap of formats. Good job, Wizards, this is the kind of magic we want.