I can appreciate a set in which 90% of cards could be names of metal bands. Dibs on Cryptolith Rite.

Disclaimer: Magic the Gathering themed post here. If that’s not your kind of thing, well I can’t see much sense in you reading unless you want to see unbridled enthusiasm for something you know nothing about.

So the full set spoiler for Shadows over Innistrad is out and I figure why not chat about it? I’ve got time to kill and thoughts to spout, let’s get a stew goin’. I’m not a competitive player, so this will probably just be errant observations on things that’ll work in Elder Dragon Highlander/Commander. Anyway, let’s get started:

  • Vessel of Nascency: It’s pretty neat card selection for green to be getting. As the colour pie expands, green is starting to delve into different ways of filtering. Restricting it to permanents is a nice little work around with maybe a tiny bit of colour pie bleeding. Of course, I’m a predominantly green mage, of course I’m gonna say that. A neat option for enchantress-ish EDH decks, enables delirium and all that mess. Thumbs up.
  • Ever After: Double Zombify for 6 mana? I’ll take it. It’s not game-breaking, but it does have the potential to be pretty damn strong in casual formats. Obligatory EDH mention, because people will be using this to Tooth and Nail from the graveyard. Auto-include in Karador for sure.
  • Geistblast: An over-costed shock means tucking a Fork/Twincast into your graveyard for later. I’ve flashbacked Moment’s Peace enough to know how easily people forget instant speed flashback shenanigans. Do keep in mind you can only copy your own stuff, but this once again has EDH written all over it.
  • Hermit of the Natterknolls: Dare I say this dude could have constructed potential? He’s not insane, but at worst he has the chance to replace himself or do a fair bit of damage as the game wears on. His flavour text is a pun, so I’m on his side.
  • Skin Invasion: The flavour in parasite is outta sight. In limited I can’t wait to either throw it on a fragile saboteur or one of my opponent’s wimpy critters and run them straight into my awaiting defences. Is a beefy 3/4 for R enough to justify the fact that you’re probably not gonna play this until turn 3 or 4 at the earliest? Is it worth it to slam this on an opponent’s creature then use your removal on it? It’s not technically a two for one. Is that card neutrality? Why do I even play this game if I don’t know how to math?
  • Graf Mole: Mistform Ultimus’ heart just grew one size. Welcome to the creature type family, Mole.
  • Open the Armory: By narrowing down supertype search to subtypes, there’s a new budget tutor for Voltron decks. That might be kind of neat, but nothing on this card reeks awesome as much as the pure unwieldiness of the dude’s fuckoff-sized crossbow. Is that guy carrying a ballista on his back like a duffel bag? Is this what Ryu would look like in the MtG universe?
  • Grotesque Mutation: Please tell me this art was an intentional reference to Nevinyrral’s Disk. That’s all I want for Christmas.
  • Moldgraf Scavenger: If delirium is easy enough to activate in limited, this guy is gonna be a format all-star. If you opened his gym locker you’d see Vessel of Nascency with a comically sized heart drawn around it. Fwiends for life.
  • The Gitrog Monster: MOTHERFUCKING HYPNOTOAD IS A LEGIT EDH GENERAL YOU GUISE! This guy’s pretty fucking rad though. Chances are he’s at least gonna mean drawing an extra card each turn (if he survives). In EDH he’ll encourage a whole host of nasty stax tendencies. Dakmor Salvage just became legit broken with anything that discards for free. God forbid you throw a Skirge Familiar into the mix. Blah blah blah Crucible of Worlds, Life from the Loam (or anything with dredge), Titania, Strip Mine. Too easy. He’s gonna make people cry, but can you really stay angry at a giant frog? Can you? Really?
  • Altered Ego: I’m in love with the design of this card. An uncounterable clone for 4 mana is pretty sweet and having it be scaleable is gravy. I feel like it’s an auto-include in most simic EDH decks. I’ll windmill slam it into Ezuri, for sure. It’s janky, but if you pay 9 mana and target Sage of Hours you’ve got an uncounterable Time Walk. More like uncoun-terrible, amirite?
  • Geier Reach Bandit: I so badly want this to be playable. To be honest, I’m pretty doubtful. I love the werewolf mechanic. I think it’s massively flavourful, but ultimately ineffective. Maybe if you’re playing against a field of midrange, but control decks have enough cheap cantrips to quash your hopes. Aggro decks come out faster and hit harder. I’m on your side, but I just haven’t seen any sign that it’s worth committing. At least we have Arlinn Kord. We’ll always have Huntmaster of the Fells. Perhaps that’ll have to be enough.
  • Cryptolith Rite: Is this a fixed Earthcraft or fixed Citanul Heirophants? Succumbing to summoning sickness is a major step down from Earthcraft, but Earthcraft is busted. This seems fair. How strong it’ll be is another matter entirely. I would like several playsets immediately. I have that many green decks.

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