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By: SteveJeltz, Rev. David Wright
Nov 20 2017 12:00pm
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 Buried Treasures


With this week’s Iconic Masters Announcement, Lee Sharpe has also announced the addition of an “Exclusive Sheet”, cards that are obtained on MTGO only by opening Treasure chests. Most of these cards will be inclusion from the new Commander 2017 set, but a few of them are leftovers from older sets that had yet to be programmed for MTGO. Notably, you'll see a lot of Portals Three Kingdoms on his Exclusive Sheet list as well as a couple of cards from Conspiracy and Conspiracy 2 that failed to make the cut the first time.

Among these Exclusives are 14 new commons that are available for the first time on MTGO and will be legal in the Pauper format as of 11/17/2017. 

And if you look closely at the list, you'll notice that Santa came early, and that some of the cards I had been been requesting two weeks ago in my “Santa Baby” Christmas wishlist for Pauper made it onto MTGO via the Exclusive Sheet.



Originally appearing in "The Dark", this white aura is a cheaper version of Pacifism except that it costs W and only hinders attacking.

Functional to the Pauper format, this card is irrelevant since we already have the strictly better Oppressive Rays, which hinders attacking, blocking and activated abilities all for the same single W cost.

Playability: 0/5



Originally printed in "Ice Age", this card is a functional upgrade to the original Alpha uncommon, Sacrifice since it allows the controller to add any combination of red or black mana to their mana pool for the cost of sacrificing the creature. 

As a Mana Source (once an Interrupt, now an Instant), a cheap card like this always has Pauper potential as a combo piece, especially since we play two kinds of creatures already that cheat on their actual mana cost: Affinity creatures like Frogmite and Myr Enforcer and Emerge creatures like Wretched Gryff. Like Rush of Knowledge, I could see this in a deck that exploits these abnormally high CMC creatures.

Playability: 2.5/5



Originally from the "Homelands" expansion, this is a pretty simple card with one relevant ability: Protection from Black. I used to run a very janky deck back in the day that used this card and Death Speakers to combine with Pestilence to keep the Pestilence on the board indefinitely as a repeatable sweeper.

There's actually a deck today, Orzhov Monarch, that runs under a similar premise of using Pestilence both as a repeatable board sweeper and dual win condition, but I think its choice of cards like Wall of Hope and Guardian of the Guildpact are probably superior choices to Cemetery Gate.

Playability: 1/5



This is one of the good ones! Originally appearing in "Conspiracy", I have been asking for this card all year. The ability is a bit deceptive since what "Will of the Council" means in a two-player dual is essentially that you can choose whatever enchantment, artifact or creature you want to return to your hand on its ETB trigger. Unless, of course, your opponent wants to give you a second one of their choice too. I dunno... it could happen!

At five mana, 4W, this is a bit pricey, but I think their is definitely room for a 3/3 flying Gravedigger that also be an Auramancer or a psuedo-Trinket Mage. Imagine looping two of these in Boros Monarch. That's pretty strong!

Playability: 3.5/5



This as a pretty obscure one. Originally a common in the "Antiquities" expansion, Drafna's Restoration lets you stockpile the top of your deck with any number of artifacts that are already in the graveyard. I guess in that way its kind of like a Reinforcements for artifacts). It also has the odd option that the sorcery designates "Target player" meaning you can stack dead artifacts on top of your opponent's library too.

Where the heck could this be useful? Do I really want to redraw a string of Chromatic Stars and Chromatic Spheres at the cost of minus one card advantage? Maybe if I have a Fangren Marauder in play? Do I want to do this to my opponent. I highly doubt it. But it is a unique effect, and it only costs 1 blue mana, so I'm not saying it will never see play anywhere.

Playability: 1/5




Originally printed in "Legends" and then reprinted in then reprinted in the Core Set 4th Edition, this is another obscure card that has the ability to "cheat" on mana. Its a Sorcery, not an Instant (or "Mana Source"), so its a little less versatile, but it allows you to recoup the casting cost of a creature by tapping it for a turn and playing this card. 

What are we doing with this? Tap our Mnemonic Wall, make 5 colorless mana, Ghostly Flicker, repeat? Maybe? Sounds pretty convoluted to me.

Playability: 1/5




Another one we had been asking for! The green common Monarch card! Yes, it costs 4G instead of 4 CMC like Palace Sentinels and Thorn of the Black Rose, but its 4/4 body is huge, and it has the relevant creature type "Elf". 

Oh, boy! This one has loads of potential. Now a third whole color can play the Monarch game. Will we see Monarch Elves? Will this be a (Tron) piece? Having only one colored mana symbol and the ability to block two creatures makes it pretty relevant there? Will it open a brand new archetype? I can't remember the last time we got so excited about a five-drop. Okay, I can... Peregrine Drake.... But I'm trying to forget that chapter...

Playability: 4/5



Interesting. I had no idea this card had yet to be programmed to MTGO. Wow. So Flood is another common from "The Dark". And it has an ability we see a lot in blue, the ability to tap down creatures, something we see on cards like Downpour. Except its a repeatable effect. It only works on ground creatures. And it is very, very color intensive on blue mana.

Playable? Maybe. How much blue mana do you have lying around? Make enough and this little enchantment is a perpetual fog. Or clears the way for your attackers. I'm skeptical, but I see the potential.

Playability: 2/5 



Another Mana Source! What happened? We had Burnt Offering, Energy Tap, and now... this? Once again, this orginal "Arabian Nights" common lives in the realm of sorceries, but like our other two spells, you have the potential to not only cheat on mana, but also fix mana at the same time! The only catch? It has to be used to cast a "Summon" spell, aka a creature. 

I think the best use of these mana generators is to power out a combo win or an X spell like Rolling Thunder. How are we cheating using Metamorphosis? Is there a death trigger we want? Are we in Golgari? I don't know. I think without the Summon spell clause, this card would be the most playable of the three. With it, its a niche card. But at one green mana? Anything could happen.

Playability: 1/5



New Commander card from "Commander 2017". Has a powerful, commander specific ability. Utterly worthless in Pauper.

The problem with cards like this and Command Tower is that without any designated cards in the Command Zone, these lands may as well read, "Tap, Add Zero mana to your mana pool." Yippy Skippy.

Playability: 0/5



Another "Legends" card receiving its first printing. This is the worst Glistener Elf ever. Or the worst Virulent Sliver ever. Or if you like the color black, the worst Contagious Nim ever. Your choice.

Once upon a time, Poison was a cute, albeit useless, alternate win condition. Pit Scorpion, Marsh Viper, and Serpent Generator meant you could like the dream. Then "Scars of Mirrodin" block came around and Infect made poison a viable turn 2 combo kill strategy. This card is just a relic to a time gone by.

Playability: 0/5




A "Portal Second Age" card, Salvage is a functionally inferior version of the identically costed green instant Reclaim.

Okay... functionally inferior in every way except the art. This art is gorgeous.

Playability: 0/5 




More good stuff! From "Conspiracy: Take The Crown", we now get two common that are relevantly costed and with substantial Monstrous upgrades. Santa made my wish come true!

Without Monstrosity, Sinuous Vermin is a Walking Corpse. With it, it has the potential to be a late game monster! (Pun intended). Is it Fleecemane Lion good? I doubt it. But I am very glad to see it make print.

Playability: 2/5


This is awesome! A second common monstrosity card I had totally forgotten about! Also from "Conspiracy 2", our crabby friend starts as a Blind Phantasm and ends up as a super-sized Striped Riverwinder

Between the two, Hexproof is a more playable ability, but I am really hard pressed to play any 3 drops in Pauper that are not value creatures since inevitably they trade down with every single removal spell in the format. So while I'm happy this card exists, my hopes aren't high.

Playability: 1/5. 

That's it! Two awesome additions, a lot of useless cards and a couple enigmas. What did I miss? Did any of the 14 I listed above get your creative juices flowing? 

Keep having fun out there.

- SteveJeltz