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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Jul 15 2014 12:00pm
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I love this game. I love writing about it. Compiling lists about it. Evaluating it. Sometimes, I even play it. I'm an Accidental Player.

> summary <

 Garruk's psychopathic grimace up there is the not so very reassuring face of Magic 2015. But it's just flavor, because if one thing is clear, it's that M15 might be the most enticing core set we've got since a few years. It certainly has me more excited to play with several of these new cards (not to mention, to finally re-buy Chord of Calling at a decent price!) than I ever was during the whole Theros block. M15 feels fresher and more imaginative, which is really unusual for a core set that by its very nature is subjected to certain limitations, needing to be a simpler, more generic and newbie-friendly environment, not allowed to feature new mechanics or too high complexity.

 Yet, M15 manages to make of the absence of a specific setting an asset (especially after Theros's top-down approach resulted in boredom), making poignant references to the multiverse at large, through the renewed mentions of familiar places (and at least one possible hint at a plane we're going to visit at some point in the future), tribes and characters; as a returning mechanic, it unexpectedly brought back convoke from the original Ravnica block, a keyword that felt underused and open to a plethora of new possibilities.

Thank you, Wizards!

 This feeling of fresh air is reinforced by the new frame (which is good, if a bit unfair to the name of the artists, that now has become very inconspicuous – but hey, at least their actual work has more room to breathe now), and may be partly due to the presence of the "Designer Cards", 15 spells specially created by famous game designers from outside Wizards of the Coast (you can look at the full list here), with one of them designed by the "Magic community" itself, through a fascinating process that you can read about here.

And it's a very sweet card! Good job, Magic community!

 But credit where the greater credit is due: the design team lead by Aaron Forsythe and composed by Max McCall (lead designer on Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014), Shawn Main (lead designer on Conspiracy), design newcomer Mike Gills, and creative writer Jenna Helland has made a hell of a work for sure, and all of them but Forsythe are people who have been hired not before the late 2000s. Here's a few of the noncreature, nonplaneswalker cards they came up with that feel particularly noteworthy, including an Oblivion Stone contender, and the very artifact Liliana used on Garruk, and that might be the herald of a whole new superfriends archetype:




 Anyway, let's have a look at the new creatures and their tribes. As always, the focus is on all the Constructed applications, the tribes are listed alphabetically, but you'll find a list by number of new additions at the end.


  • Cards: 284 (15 included only in sample decks)
  • New cards: 141
  • New creatures: 81
  • New legendary creatures: 6
  • New artifact creatures: 3
  • Reprinted cards: 143
  • Creature types affected: 52

Angel: +3


> summary <

 Angel, just like their counterpart Demon, saw the return of a legendary creature from a past set in a new shape. In this case, it's Avacyn, the namesake creature of Avacyn Restored from more than 2 years ago (time flies, uh?). Last time we met the (sort of) daughter of Sorin, she was a splashy bomb for 8 mana. This version is more humble, but moderation doesn't become her, because she's just a slightly better Serra Angel (one more power, but for triple-colored mana), with a serviceable defensive ability that, flavorfully yet disappointingly, can't use on herself, plus a very mana-intensive ability that, granted, could entirely shut down monocolored strategies, but good luck with successfully reaching 7 mana against burn or storm. The old Avacyn is still a great reanimation target; the new one, eh, not very impressed. Pretty sure everybody would rather play Baneslayer Angel or Archangel of Thune in that slot.

 The other two M15 Angels are high-end. Resolute Archangel is interesting. It's a mediocre body for that cost, but she potentially gives you back up to 19 life (or 39 in Commander). The fact that you have to spend 7 mana for it is almost okay, because she's a late-game player. Once she's online, though, the temptation of recurring her via blinking or other tricks is very high. And Seraph of the Masses is a due application of convoke to an evasive, variable body linked directly to the number of creatures you control, so as a design, it's a flawless: the more creatures you have, the more powerful she'll be, and the more likely you'll be to cast her for free. It feels a bit casual, of course, but considering it's an evasive creature, I wouldn't be too surprised to see her actually played in extreme token builds.

Ape: +1

> summary <

 There's an entire cycle of Kird Ape-like creatures in M15 (or better, Sedge Troll-like, since they have an off-color ability). This actual plus-sized Kird Ape loses the main appeal of the original, i.e. being a 1-drop. It's a 4/4 for 4, though, which is kind of decent, and can attack as a 6/6 trampler the following turn. Nothing really memorable, but the Ape tribe has seen worse.

Artificer: +2


> summary <

 While Aeronaut Tinkerer is an unremarkable common, Chief Engineer is a precious addiction to the Artificer tribe (as well as the Vedalken tribe), and to artifact decks in general. For 2 mana, it immediately gives one back (which means, if you also had a 1-drop, that's your turn-2 Myr Superion right there). Combined with Etherium Sculptor and Grand Architect it's bound to push robot ramp to the next level, allowing for super-early Wurmcoil Engines and Steel Hellkites. And it has a nicely defensive body, to boot.

Assassin: +2


> summary <

 Both the new Assassins are the fruit of external work, and their design is sleek indeed, although the resulting cards aren't particularly good in Constructed. Cruel Sadist (are there any "compassionate sadists"?) is too slow at what she does, considering it would bind the resources of your first three turns almost entirely just to kill a 1-tougness dude. She might be decent long-term, but I doubt it. And Xathrid Slyblade is just thought for Limited, its intended purpose (to remain on the field protected by hexproof, then pop up and kill something thanks to deathtouch) is way too clunky with that 4-mana activation. It might have been something if it was placed at a higher rarity.

Avatar: +6



> summary <

 I really like the idea of this Avatar cycle, giving a shout out to 6 different planes we already know (albeit one not directly as the setting of a block), which are also the places where many of the cards in the set come from. This said, the cards themselves, for being mythic, are a bit lacking. The concept of getting a last round of their abilities from the graveyard is interesting, especially for self-milling strategies, but the abilities themselves aren't exactly game-changing, and on average are all overcosted. All in all, these guys can't really compare to the M11 Titans, and you know they just wanted to, being 6/6 mythic finishers for 6 mana. I think more or less all the colored ones might see some play in Commander, and the colorless one is probably the most useful, and not just because it's easier to cast (remember when a colorless creature would automatically cost more mana than its colored equivalent just on account of not requiring colored mana?).

 It's a good occasion to ponder on the colors they matched the various planes with. So, Theros, with its pantheon of law-enforcing gods, is inherently white; Ravnica is blue, because of all the intrigue (plus, it's currently ruled by Jace, and Niv-Mizzet is a major player there); the horror-themed Innistrad is black, of course; Shandalar, a plane we only know indirectly (it was the setting of the old MTG videogame, and it's where Kalonia, Thune and Valkas are, plus it's the place where Liliana went to retrieve the notorious Chain Veil, the relic which she used to kill Griselbrand and curse Garruk), is a chaotic plane filled with magic that wanders across the multiverse, so red feels like the right choice, albeit one might argue that they could have exploited this occasion to insert a sneak preview of Tarkir, which appears to be very red-based; finally, Zendikar, with its living lands, is clearly green, while the mechanical New Phyrexia (as much as its predecessor, Mirrodin) can't be anything else but colorless.

Berserker: +1

> summary <

 Not so easy to attack with this as a 4/1 hasty first striker by turn 2, but it might be something that happens often enough in later turns. And it's a non-self-defeating 2/1 for 2 otherwise. The ability works in a way that reminds of the bloodthirst mechanic. The Berserker tribe might look into it.

Cleric: +1

> summary <

 This Heliod-affiliated Cleric (a leftover from Theros?) is so unassuming at first glance, just a common for 3 with a forgettable body. But whoa, is that direct tutoring? In this day and age? Granted, auras aren't the most alluring of permanents (in fact, they're probably the least alluring), but still this dude puts stuff like Rancor or Steel of the Godhead or Eldrazi Conscription right there in your hand, and there's shenanigans to be done with all of them. And what about Pacifism and such? And whoa, what about Pattern of Rebirth? Oh yeah, you can tutor all of this stuff up with a 1-mana Enlightened Tutor (although at card disadvantage) or with Idyllic Tutor at the same cost, but we all know how stronger any given effect becomes when it's grafted on a creature, that can be easily recurred or tutored up itself, and gives you board presence in the meantime.

Construct: +1

> summary <

 This Construct is a weirdly intriguing one. It's in Titan-range for mana and body. It can't be easily chump-blocked. And it's sure to inflict at least a round of its damage, unless exiled. You know what, this guy isn't bad. Maybe not Wurmcoil Engine good, but certainly not Tribal Golem bad.

Demon: +2


> summary <

 Here's two new Demons to further populate the ranks of Magic hell. Indulgent Tormentor is basically a strictly worse Bloodgift Demon: same cost, one point of toughness less that makes him maddeningly boltable, and the opponent may choose to sacrifice their Academy Rector or Perilous Myr to prevent you from drawing a card. Good job, Tormentor. And then there's the new incarnation of Ob Nixilis. I'm a big fan of Ob, his landfall ability is really unique, creating a Demon that doesn't even need to attack to win you a game. Now that he's "unshackled", they turned him (well, Brad Muir from Double Fine did) into a slightly better yet more expensive Sengir Vampire... except for that search-hosing ability, which is, wow, brutal. Even if, all things considered, Aven Mindcensor stops searching almost entirely, while Ob gives you a choice, albeit a steep one. Plus, Aven Mindcensor costs 3 mana and has flash, you know. Which also means it's more frail, sure. Ob 2.0 will surely see play in Commander, and might be useful elsewhere too. As a side note, I really dislike the art that makes him look like the most banal of demons, all red with horns and wings. C'mon, Karl Kopinski, you can do better. 

Dragon: +1

> summary <

 The set's Obligatory Dragon has a very flavorful way to say, "it casts a one-sided Pyroclasm when attacks". For 7 mana you could do better: Balefire Dragon casts THREE Pyroclasm, for instance; granted, it needs to connect first, but Siege Dragon doesn't prevent to be chump-blocked either, since its triggered ability doesn't kill flying tokens. And Balefire Dragon's ability isn't stopped if followed up by Wall of Roots. Siege Dragon is something you would play in Limited, and maybe in a particular Standard build. Or in Tribal Wars against a Wall deck, if you had access to a sideboard.

Druid: +1

> summary <

 The lonely Druid in the set is one of the five Paragons, the "Color Lords", a cycle of creatures that help their equally colored allies. On top of the requisite +1/+1 pumping (nothing says "lord" more than that), all of them require tapping and paying some mana in order to give the defining keyword ability of that color to another creature. Green provides trample, of course, which is always useful to push your big green monsters through. A 2/2 for 4 is definitely not the best trample enabler, though.

Elemental: +8



> summary <

 We get a treasure trove of Elementals in M15, three of which are most notably Plants. The blue and red ones are all negligible (including that weird ice Cat that thinks he's a Frost Titan). Correction: all except for one, and that's enough to say that the Elemental tribe scored the jackpot in M15, because Generator Servant is one of those creatures that can impact all the Eternal formats at once. It's a 2/1 for 2 that gives red a crucial ramp factor, by providing not just 2 mana more on turn 3 (that allows for some pretty serious play already), but also haste on up to two different creatures. Myr Superion is already doing a happy dance, but the applications are countless. I'd be surprised if this guy won't show up pretty much everywhere, Pauper included. Because, believe it or not, it's just a common.

Elf: +3



> summary <

 One of the three Elves from M15, Sunblade Elf, is part of the Sedge cycle, and as a 1-drop 2/2 with an ability that might become relevant later on, it's actually not bad. Another one, Shaman of Spring, is an Elvish Visionary for double the cost and with double the body, but, unfortunately, not double the card-drawing, which means she's not going to do much in the tribe or elsewhere, and it's a shame because that art by Johannes Voss is great. And finally, there's Reclamation Sage, that might just be the most powerful green card in the set, only on account of green players waiting since 11 years to get a Viridian Shaman that could kill enchantments as well. No more clumsy splashing for Harmonic Sliver now! Green just took back what it belonged to green all along. And I'll be sorely annoyed if that sweet promo art by the very talented Clint Cearley doesn't come online sooner rather than later.

Faerie: +1

> summary <

 We know Faeries like flash. In this case, they get to do a Whitemane Lion impression with it. Might be useful.

Fish: +1

> summary <

 Someone at WotC has decided that Fish needs to become a major tribe, because they're receiving a new member in almost every set these days (there's 22 of them now, would you believe it?). This one has a nice ability, but a 3/3 flying body for 6 mana is seriously overcosted.

Frog: +1

> summary <

 It feels right that a witch might choose a Frog as a familiar. Next time, they might want to choose something that's not just vanilla, though.

Fungus: +1

> summary <

 Okay, this is not exactly Lord of Extinction (although it's more Doubling Season-friendly), but for a throwaway common it's not actually that terrible.

Giant: +2


> summary <

 With the mighty Titans replaced by Avatars, the Giant tribe remains with just a pretty decent member of the Sedge cycle (they're all kinda decent, even if none of them feels entirely like Constructed material), plus the aura shenanigans of Boonweaver Giant. And that's really something, because while 7 mana are certainly a lot, you might well read it as a 14/14 with trample and annihilator 2. The fact that he searches the hand and graveyard as well is what really makes it playable, because you don't ever run the risk of remaining stuck with your expensive aura in hand, all while new iterations of the Giant (or some sudden Restoration Angel magic on the first one) are just as effective, not requiring for more slots in your deck to be devoted to the combo. With this and Heliod's Pilgrim, is there an aura deck on the horizon? Will this Giant boldly go where no Sovereign of Lost Alara has gone before?

Goblin: +3


> summary <

 Only three new Goblins in M15 (the same goes for the Elves, with both tribes getting less new members than Plant!), but at least two of them are intriguing. Goblin Kaboomist might be more flavor than substance, but he certainly has a lot of flavor. Without the "a mine might explode in his face" clause, he could be seriously powerful. And as a combination of Goblin Assault and Goblin Piledriver, Goblin Rabblemaster might be just it. Even as a 3-drop, the interactions appear to be too many not to be noticed and tried out by Goblin players. The competition for slots is certainly huge in those decks, so we'll see, but we should begin by considering that the Rabblemaster creates a 1/1 right away, then attacks for 6 the next turn (his own 4 plus two Goblin tokens if the first one survived). I'll let you do the math for dropping this with a Goblin Chieftain and a Goblin Wardriver on the board.

Golem: +1

> summary <

 All right, convoke is nice and all, but it's not affinity. Barring a situation where you control a lot of tokens and Intangible Virtue, you always lose tempo when you tap creatures for convoke. So doing it just for a 4/4 vanilla doesn't look ideal, but nice try nevertheless.

Hippogriff: +1

> summary <

 Behold the second Hippogriff ever! And whoa, that's Torpor Orb on a flashing stick! Huge deal for sure. Drinking buddy of Aven Mindcensor, with which Hushwing Gryff shares the entire basic setup (same cost, body, keyword abilities). The only question is: why is it even a Hippogriff? Why couldn't this and Razor Hippogriff (not bad itself, by the way) be just Griffin? Tribal economy isn't something the Wizards designers care about, I guess. But I don't see how the hippogriff flavor was really that different or necessary.

Horror: +2


> summary <

 Oftentimes, they just give Horror as a secondary type to creatures that look scarier and darker than their basic type, in this case a Squid and a Fungus. It makes sense, I guess.

Hound: +1

> summary <

 Okay, so if you control an artifact (that you might even in Limited, Darksteel Citadel being in the set for several reasons), this Hound becomes a 5/3 trampler for 4. Does that make it good enough? I don't think so, honestly, but it's nice at common, to teach newbies that cards don't exist on their own, and you include them in your deck primarily due to their interactions.

Human: +16

> summary <

 Human tally for M15: one Artificer, two Assassins, one Berserker, one Cleric, one Druid, one Rogue, one Shaman, two Soldiers, two Warriors, four Wizards. Human is not a supertype for nothing. Wait... isn't it a supertype yet?

Hydra: +1

> summary <

 Designed by the brilliant Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan, Genesis Hydra is a strong addiction to the tribe, even if it doesn't interact well with the other Hydras. The Genesis Wave-like effect plays more like cascade (you get to put only one permanent on the battlefield), but it's a cascade whose outcome you get to control to some degree. It obviously needs a ramp strategy to be really effective, but overall it's a nice new spin on the Hydra concept (and it's also a Plant, of course! Couldn't be otherwise).

Insect: +3


> summary <

 Hornet Nest, that comes paired with the reprint of Hornet Queen (for the first time in Standard, given that it was originally a card from the Commander decks), might be my favorite card of the set. I love Insect (as you might have noticed), and this is just what they needed, something that does so much more than previous cards on the same vein like Broodhatch Nantuko. The Hornets are quite possibly the most powerful 1/1 tokens in existence, able to both exploit their evasiveness to sneak damage through to opponents and/or their planeswalkers, or create a formidable defense that would scare almost anything out of attacking. In an Insect deck, Hornet Nest in combination with Swarmyard slows down opponent attacks long enough to allow you to set up your shenanigans (which might well be Recurring Nightmare on Hornet Queen. Hornets for the win!). And that toughness 2 also allows for the occasional self-pinging-produced Hornet.

 The other two new Insects aren't as noteworthy, but the Nest alone is enough for me to renew my excitement for all things Insect.

Leech: +1

> summary <

 The 11th Leech in existence is one of the best Sedge creatures in the set. Which probably makes it one of the best Leeches, too.

Ogre: +1

> summary <

 Ogre is not a tribe with a lot of great members, but here it comes M15 giving them (and Spirit, but in a color that's not usual for them) a guy who can duplicate Birthing Pod's activations for 1 mana. Or Mimic Vat's. Or [put here your favorite, broken application of this Ogre]'s. I can't foretell if this will give birth to a build-around-me type of deck in some format. Maybe being a not-so-fast, not-so-resilient creature will hinder its use. But it's worth noting that Kurkesh doesn't need to tap to exploit his ability, which might be important.

Pegasus: +1

> summary <

 Simple, nice, and mostly irrelevant outside of Limited. Just like most of the other nine Pegasi are.

Plant: +4


> summary <

 We got three more Plants in M15 on top of Genesis Hydra, and are all Elementals too (one is also a Beast, possibly just because it had the word "beast" in its name, making it the only M15 creature with 3 types). The tribe shouldn't celebrate just yet. Carnivorous Moss-Beast might have the single most expensive counter-making ability ever. Living Totem is another bulk common whose only purpose is to showcase convoke. And the rare Phytotitan is less effective than it thinks. Oh, sure, it keeps coming back (if not exiled), but tapped and not before the next upkeep, so it actually gets to attack only once every three turns. Unless it's not killed, of course, but as a vanilla creature with toughness 2, what are the odds? Still, it does come back on its own, which might be good for sacrifice shenanigans. And in late game, on an empty board, you might get a 7-powered beatstick back, after all (provided it was actually on the battlefield at some point). So I won't write it off just yet.

Rogue: +2

> summary <

 One of the two new Rogues is a Faerie. The other one is this Human, and that ability immediately gives you pause. Will this guy be the next Birthing Pod? Probably not, because it's too fragile, and slower. He needs to wait for his damn summoning sickness to wear off, and then he starts working through the CMCs one at a time, more like Hibernation's End. However, you can still do, say, Melira combo in a couple turns, especially with the help of Chord of Calling. And unlike with the Pod, you don't have to sacrifice anything to Yisan, and can more easily untap him than you do the Phyrexian artifact, or even manipulate his counters. All in all, it feels like this Bard is to the Pod as Fauna Shaman is to Survival of the Fittest. But hey, Fauna Shaman isn't half bad, and this guy might be the surprise hit of the set, especially if there'll come up some worthy combo for him to assemble during his time in Standard. A mad card advantage effect like that doesn't go unnoticed.

Salamander: +1

> summary <

 Is this guy really a Salamander? If they say so. It's the 8th of them, and just not very remarkable otherwise.

Shaman: +3

> summary <

 Other than the two Elves (one of which is the very notable Reclamation Sage, though), Shamans get this lady that creates Furnace Whelps when you attach an aura to her. Which might be good, even if dealing with auras is never ideal.

Shapeshifter: +1

> summary <

 So, this Mercurial Pretender is blatantly attempting to steal Sakashima the Impostor's thunder? Let's see, Sakashima costs 1 mana less, which is good. But he requires a less splashable double blue, which is bad. And he doesn't return to hand right away, which is also bad. But he copies ANY creature on the battlefield, which is decisive. Sorry, Pretender, you still have much to learn.

Skeleton: +1

> summary <

 The "black lord" of the Paragon cycle is a Skeleton that gives deathtouch for 3, which is the only case where the activated ability doesn't cost just 1 mana of the respective color, possibly because deathouch given at instant speed can really messes up the combat phase. All these lords are really nice for casual, let's leave it at that.

Sliver: +6



> summary <

 The new set of Slivers provide the tribe with new useful abilities they were missing, all coming from classic creatures of their respective color. They keep being humanoids, like in M13, which keeps being annoying, but oh well. Strangely enough, the Sliver depicted in the tribal land (which feels like something that should have existed since years, doesn't it?), has the old, familiar design. I explain it with that being their true form, which they still have in their natural habitat, while they evolve into other, more complex things when fighting elsewhere. The new legendary lord seems also more of a missing link between the old design and the new design. And it's a good lord AND a good penta-colored creature, by the way.

Soldier: +2


> summary <

 M15 Soldiers: one from the Sedge cycle, one from the Paragon cycle. Both not particularly relevant, to say the least.

Sphinx: +1

> summary <

 I love Sphinges that actually pose riddles, albeit it's hard to make them really playable. Might Master of Predicaments be the exception? The body/cost ratio is decent enough, but the web of second-guessing the triggered abilities involve is mindboggling, which I suppose is the whole point. Let's say I have a big flashy spell (probably another Sphinx) and a targeted removal in hand. I might be fine with casting either for free, and the other with my mana. So, what should I choose? Will the opponent choose "greater than 4" by default, to prevent me from casting over-the-top stuff for free? Or will they choose "lesser than 4", thinking I wouldn't choose "greater than 4" because I already know they would choose it? And what if I choose it for this very reason? As I said, mindboggling. The result is that it's not a very predictable outcome, but you should get something out of it in average.

Spider: +1

> summary <

 Very basic Spider is very basic.

Spirit: +2

> summary <

 Other than our favorite legendary dead Ogre, the Spirit tribe gets this thing. You can tell it's from Innistrad because it's called a "geist". You can't tell many other things about it.

Squid: +1

> summary <

 Ladies and gentlemen, we got a Squid! The fourth ever printed, and the first in 14 years (the last one being Gulf Squid from Prophecy). And it's not even half bad, as it steadily grows over time, or even in sudden bursts if you have something like Brainstorm, just like Lorescale Coatl does (and that's a good one). And on top of it, it's sort of removal-proof, the same way something like Symbiotic Wurm is, by breaking down into a number of tiny Squids, which sometimes might be even a better deal for an alpha strike. And they've got islandwalk, too! Also, check the Wall that creates the very same tokens. It's the beginning of a new Squid era!

Treefolk: +1

> summary <

 Kalonian Twingrove is essentially the Treefolk version of Broodmate Dragon and Armada Wurm. For 6 mana, you get twice the beaters. These Treefolks are just vanilla and not necessarily that big, though.

Vampire: +2


> summary <

 These Vampires are both of the Innistrad variety, not the Zendikar variety (consult the Vampedia to know more). They're also both kind of terrible, by the way.

Vedalken: +1

> summary <

 This is also an Artificer, unsurprisingly, but it's worth repeating here how cool he (she? You can never tell with these guys) is, as yet another Vedalken professional after Grand Architect, Etherium Sculptor and his/her colleague Vedalken Engineer. They only miss a painter now, and then they can start building the Etherium Duomo or something (which would probably turn into a walking cathedral that shoots stained glass missiles).

Wall: +2


> summary <

 Two very fun and flavorful Walls, if not exactly relevant. Although, Coral Barrier gives you two creatures for 3, which is a nice enough deal. And in the right deck, Wall of Limbs can possibly result in a game-ending Drain Life later, although that activation cost is not very friendly.

Warrior: +8


> summary <

 The M15 Warriors feature: one Elf, three Goblins, one Skeleton, one Treefolk, and these two Humans: a mediocre early beater, and the haste-giving red Paragon, which is as potentially useful yet as casual-looking as the others.

Wizard: +5


> summary <

 Of the four blue Wizards, one was the unremarkable Salamander. Then there's the blue member of the Paragon cycle (that gives flying, of course, and that might even make it automatically the best of the lot), and a very bad looter. And then there's our dirty blonde Jalira, and Jalira is Polymorph on a stick. Is she better than just Polymorph? Well, she's slower, but repeatable. She can't sacrifice herself, which is bad, but won't find the other copies of her in the library, which is good. It's a balanced card that might see play.

 The white Wizard is a strange one, because it's actually a beater, a 4/4 vigilant for 3 if you played some kind of exile effect beforehand, which you very likely might. We've come to this: a card that pushes white players to put MORE exilers in their decks.

Zombie: +4


> summary <

 Other than the Giant and the Wall, Zombie brings to M15 one Limited filler Bird, and yet another self-miller. Not their best showcase.


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 Check the Complete Creature Types Reference Table here. The new quantities will be added only after the set will be released online.




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 Magic 2015 features 6 planeswalkers, of which 4 are new (this is a first, because it makes 6 the total of new walkers between M14 and M15, while there were only 5 between M12 and M13). Ajani 5.0 (who comes only a few months after his previous incarnation) and Jace 5.0 are typical iterations of those characters; they will see play, but won't be groundbreaking. And Garruk 5.0 is certainly over the top, has great flavor and a high power level, but 7-mana planeswalkers have Karn Liberated as a paragon, and Garruk is just not at the same level, albeit he does things that Karn doesn't, like building up the board, so will most definitely also see some play (I know I'll play him!).

 The one M15 planeswalker who really shines, though, is the one who is just at her second incarnation, and until now was mostly forgotten or written off as a failed experiment: the proud Zendikar Elf, Nissa. And while Zendikar's Nissa Revane (back when there were only other 10 planeswalkers in existence), tried to do something that other planeswalkers have never done before or after, namely linking herself both to a tribal theme and a specific other card she couldn't function without (Nissa's Chosen), which didn't end up being the right call, Nissa, Worldwaker is just green walking at its most accomplished. She's essentially a super-powered version of Garruk Wildspeaker, which is still one of the best green walkers ever printed to this day, so she's already taking the right path. For one mana more, Nissa generates 4/4 tramplers rather than 3/3 vanillas, and untap 4 lands rather than 2, all through plus abilities, and very likely giving her manlands haste as well. All while building up to an ultimate that's less "I win" than with some of her colleagues, but it's still pretty damn powerful, particularly in that it might end up thinning your deck to an extreme degree. For a devoted green player like yours truly, playing with Nissa in a monogreen deck (or a Golgari deck that exploits Nissa's ramp to cast Garruk, Apex Predator!) is something I really look forward to.



2 comments: Every time I see by Rerepete at Tue, 07/15/2014 - 16:12
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Every time I see that picture of Garruk, I can't help but think of wrestling's Randy Savage.

Reading your discussion of Master of Predicaments reminds me of the poison scene in the Princess Bride.

"Patryk Kujawski · by Paul Leicht at Tue, 07/15/2014 - 17:21
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"Patryk Kujawski · Politechnika Warszawska
Shandalar is not the setting of an old videogame - the place was called shalandar ;)"


By the way, in the list of by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 07/16/2014 - 06:20
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By the way, in the list of the most notable noncreature nonplaneswalker cards, the second Polymorph's Jest was supposed to be Aetherspouts.