All them pirates must’a stolen my heart.

You know how I said to come back tomorrow if you didn’t want to hear about more Magic the Gathering stuff? Too bad. The whole set was spoiled, so I’m gonna chat about some things that stuck out or looked sparkly to me. Good? It is for me.

  • Charging Tuskodon – Not a format defining card by any stretch, but it’s kind of surprising that this effect has never been printed. Throw double strike on this dude for some kind of savage beating.
  • Pitiless Plunderer – I pity the foo who underestimates this card’s combo potential. I could see some Marionette Master shenanigans afoot, or unfair things being done with all sorts of commanders. Ghave, Guru of Spores, Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest or even subsidising Chainer, Dementia Master (I know Abhorrent Overlord is gonna get a kick out of him).
  • Mastermind’s Acquisition – Okay, who wished for a strictly better Diabolic Tutor? Could this have implications for Standard (grab that Solemnity out of your sideboard)? It’s gonna run rampant on kitchen tables, that’s for sure. Nice flexibility that seems well costed.
  • Blood Sun – I like that it hoses a ton of utility lands in EDH and shits on fetches all day in Modern. It cantrips, so it’s hard to feel totally bad about it. There’s obvious combo potential with Scorched Ruins, Lotus Vale or any of the Ravnica Karoos. The name’s a little bit clunky, but the card is cute enough that I’ll give it a pass.
  • Azor’s Gateway – Anyone who gets this working deserves the mana. Sure, you could use it as straight up looting and it won’t be awful. I guess it gets Misthollow Griffin or Eternal Scourge into exile so you can dig for Food Chain. I dunno. Smarter people than me will assemble this deck, then probably use it to go off with Baron Von Count. Seems like a gateway drug for any aspiring Johnnies.
  • Dire Fleet Daredevil – “Snatchcaster Mage”? As per the norm, red’s version of card advantage isn’t up to snuff with blue’s but this thing is gonna be a star. Rampunap Red gets access to opposing card draw or kill spells. Things start getting dire if you’ve left a modular spell in the yard. I think this gal has it in her to be a multi-format all star.
  • Rekindling Phoenix – Ashcloud Phoenix was alright, this one’s better. A one time cost that makes your opponent have answers for two creatures. 2RR for a 4/3 flyer isn’t terrible in the first place. I’d love to see it get play. Phoenixes have traditionally had a hard time getting to the pro tables, maybe this one can rekindle that flame.
  • Dusk Legion Zealot – Sometimes you just know when a new staple has been created. I reckon this vamp has it in him to be a visionary common. Shaving one mana and p/t from Phyrexian Rager and you have a very reasonable card. Colour-shifted Elvish Visionary is still a solid creature.
  • Warkite Marauder – Two mana for a 2/1 flyer with the ability to Ovinize a defending creature. You herd me right! Seriously though, this gets beats in quickly and, aside from vehicles, screws up combat something fierce. This is pretty fucking solid.
  • Baffling End – I don’t think it’s good removal by any stretch. Silkwrap wasn’t exactly overpowered during its time in standard. The one thing I wanted to point out about this card that could confuse you at first glance, is that “target opponent” gets the 3/3 dino. Not only is this a weird little piece of removal, but it plays the political game too. Now that’s something I can stomach.
  • Ravenous Chupacabra – Remember what I was saying about obvious new staples? It doesn’t have the cute old school idiosyncrasies of Nekrataal (First Strike, hitting non-black creatures), but it’s solid, if boring. I’ll still keep running Shriekmaw (cause the Evoke cost is cheap and a 3/2 Fear helps close games more often than you’d think).
  • Tendershoot Dryad – Five mana for a 2/2 seems expensive, I know, but in a four player game if nothing happens to your tokens you’ll most likely have 14 power worth of creatures by the time it gets back to your upkeep. How? Well if you have five lands when you cast it, triggering Ascend is pretty damn easy with a card that sprouts tokens. This verdant fellow could easily take over games if you keep it protected. Or, I mean, just play a Saproling deck. He’ll be an overrun that grows. A Growverrun?

It’s nice to be excited about a new set, and you know what? I was pretty stoked when Ixalan was spoiled, but I think this one Rivals it well.

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