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By: romellos, A. Atasoy
Sep 17 2014 12:00pm
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   Hello everyone. Last week, I reviewed the first week spoilers of Khans of Tarkir.  Today, I will continue with the  spoilers to finalize my Khans evaluations with some bonus Theros and M15 buy recommendations. And as different from the first week, I will also widely evaluate some uncommon and common cards that have the potential to make an impact in Standard or in any other formats.  

My impression for the first week spoilers were mixed. The Onslaught fetchlands are obviously so strong to be the best cards of Khans of Tarkir, but they are reprints in the end. Actually, what I was looking, is the originality or a new breath among the rare and mythic cards. There were indeed some very exciting cards that I'm looking forward to play with.

               

To be honest, I never thought I would see more exciting cards after Wizards revealed the majority of rare and mythic cards during the first week run. Some of these new cards have wider applications and may see play in Legacy, Vintage and Modern formats.

All of my card evaluations will be buying suggestions as before, mostly for the budget players or for the ones who started to play Mtgo recently with a small collection. My main aim with these reviews is to find and invest in the right cards that will matter and multiply their investment values during the next Standard season. And, all of my price information will directly come from MtgoTraders.

Ladies and gentlemen, let's start to our second week reviews without losing any more seconds...

  Dictate of Heliod

Master of Pearls seems to be a very good limited card that will boost our creatures for an alpha attack. What about a possibility to see some constructed play in Standard? My first impression is that WR colored Tokens deck can easily utilize it. But in reality, there is nearly no chance for Master of Pearls to compete against Obelisk of UrdDictate of HeliodSpear of Heliod or Hall of Triumph in Standard format.

Obelisk of Urd 

Currently, the price of Obelisk of Urd (0.25 tix) is quite low for such a tribal anthem card with a Convoke bonus that any color can use. I can easily image that some cheap aggressive decks with a tribal synergy casting this during turn three and attack for lethal during turn four. Or, we can go further by including Jeskai Ascendancy to this equation and cast any card with Convoke for free with our creatures. Then, untap them and attack with a huge boost. This is even better with the Jeskai creatures with Prowess mechanic. My recommendation for you is to buy Obelisk of Urd.

High Sentinels of Arashin  Abzan Falconer  Tuskguard Captain

Abzan creatures with Outlast mechanic are sharing a unique bond like the hive mind of Slivers that every creature with a +1/+1 counter on them gets an ability from each other clansman.

In that regard, High Sentinels of Arashin is supporting this Outlast bond with its ability to put a +1/+1 counter on target creature. This will be an interesting theme to build around in limited environments. Otherwise, High Sentinels of Arashin seems to be a bulk card.

Treasure Cruise  Ancestral Recall

What can I say, Wizards continues to surprise me. Last week, I had doubts about the general power level of this set and its impact to the Eternal and Modern formats. And then, I saw Treasure Cruise and my point of view changed for good. A card that can be Ancestral Recall with its Delve mechanic. Who wouldn't want that.

Treasure Cruise is indeed a very strong card that will find a place in Modern, Legacy and Vintage as one or maximum two copies. The Delve mechanic is a hungry beast that will devour our graveyard resources very quickly and it's not working well with Snapcaster Mage or Tarmogoyf. But, it will totally be  worth it as a  few copies. In Eternal or Modern formats, we are playing with lots of Fetchlands, Wasteland or Tectonic Edge and other redundant utility cards. Their numbers will only grow with each turn in our graveyards, without any benefits. And, that's when Delve will matter to reduce the CMC of Treasure Cruise to a single Blue mana. 

Treasure Cruise is more suitable for tempo type decks, rather than the Control variants. And I can easily imagine some Izzet Burn decks in Modern with Delver of Secrets and Young Pyromancer that heavily rely on Burn spells with Remand and Spell Pierce backup. Here is a quick version to show its potential.

Izzet Treasure Hunters
a draft Modern deck by romellos
Creatures
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Young Pyromancer
4 Goblin Guide
12 cards

Other Spells
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rift Bolt
4 Lava Spike
4 Shard Volley
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Remand
3 Treasure Cruise
1 Spell Pierce
28 cards
 
Lands
7 Mountain
4 Arid Mesa
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Steam Vents
2 Island
20 cards

 
Young Pyromancer

 

Treasure Cruise is one of the best cards of this set without any question. And it is a common card, like Delver of Secrets was in Innistrad.

  Ancestral Memories  Sphinx’s Revelation

I thought, there won't be any other card with Delve mechanic that enables cheap drawing cards after Treasure Cruise. But, then Dig Through Time was spoiled. And that fueled the competition between them.

At first glance, Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise may look alike so much. But, actually they are quite different from each other. Dig Through Time is an Instant card with six colorless and double Blue mana in its CMC, where Treasure Cruise is a Sorcery card with seven colorless and single Blue CMC. And these distinctive specifications in their CMC and casting speed define their archetype, as; Treasure Cruise a tempo card and Dig Through Time as a Control type card.

As its playability in formats, Dig Through Time will mostly shine in Standard and Modern Control or Combo decks, as the double blue mana in CMC is a quite restriction for Legacy and Vintage. Yet, most of the Modern Control will prefer Sphinx's Revelation instead of it. But, there is a chance for Dig Through Time, to see play in Splinter Twin type decks.

In Standard, we are heading to Terra Incognita, where some new decks to be discovered. We may see some unorthodox combinations that we didn't see for a while. Personally, I'm looking forward to test Dig Through Time in Temur (RUG) Beatdown Midrange deck with Temur Charm and Stubborn Denial. 

Overall, Dig Through Time is a powerful card that may shape the course of the Standard just by itself. This statement may be a little exaggerated. But, it's better to be prepared, than not.

  Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

Pearl Lake Ancient has been spoiled as a finisher card for Control decks in its review article at the mothership. I don't know what you think, but I don't see any Control decks that may want to play with Pearl Lake Ancient instead of Elspeth, Sun's Champion. Pearl Lake Ancient doesn't have any kind of evasion and Elspeth's 1/1 Soldier tokens will ruin its day and night. Until then, my verdict is a bulk mythic.

  Boon Satyr 

Stubborn Denial is a Negate variant card that is more suitable to see main deck play in Midrange RUG or BUG Beatdown decks, rather than Control type decks. On its own, Stubborn Denial is weak as Force Spike was, but when we achieve its Ferocious, it will be fantastic. And in that regard, we are so lucky to have some cheap, yet quite powerful creatures like; Boon Satyr and Savage Knuckleblade with four power.

Boon Satyr (0.40 tix) is another card that I expect to see lots of play in Green. The Ferocious mechanic adds a plus point to Boon Satyr's side, besides Flash and Bestow.

  Gravecrawler  

The Mono Black Devotion deck should be extinct after the rotation, but the Mono Black Aggro will survive.  It will become even stronger than before, with the new recruits from Tarkir.

Bloodsoaked Champion is a tailor made card for Mono Black Aggro deck as a One CMC creature. Give or take, Bloodsoaked Champion is like Gravecrawler, but more reckless, as long as you have a creature to attack with.

Currently as it seems, Bloodsoaked Champion is already guaranteed its place in new Mono Black and also negotiating with Butcher of the Horde for Mardu deck. A great card for many, many decks. I expect, Bloodsoaked Champion to be one of the top rares.

    Master of the Feast

Grim Haruspex is the second card that will find a home at Mono Black aggro deck with its advanced Dark Prophecy ability. That deck is all about attacking with cheap creatures and in that regard, Grim Haruspex will reward us with an extra card drawing. And its three CMC for a 3/2 is also amazing.

Ruthless Ripper is another card that will compete to have a place in Mono Black aggro deck. Her 2 life lose with Morph and Deathtouch merits are strong. But, they won't be enough to surpass Master of the FeastHerald of Torment or Grim Haruspex at three CMC range.

Despise  Thoughtseize

Despise is back! This is a quite interesting development to be able to play with two very powerful hand disruption cards in the same deck.

Currently, we are heading to a heavily dominated Standard format by Planeswalkers and Creatures. And in that future, Despise and Thoughtseize will have an important role to bridle them.  

  Dismember

Murderous Cut is our Black Delve card that may potentially Murder a creature for a single Black mana. I know, I'm so much hyped for Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise. But, that's not the same case here. As, I think Murderous Cut is a trap card. Maybe one or two copies will be fine in Standard. Personally, I would rather play with Hero's Downfall, Silence the Believers or even Ulcerate.

And for Modern, there is just no way that I will play with Murderous Cut, when a card like Dismember exists.

Retribution of the Ancients

I looked at you and I all saw was bulkness.

  Firewing Phoenix  Deathpact Angel

Ashcloud Phoenix seems like a cross between Firewing Phoenix and Deathpact Angel. The four CMC for a 4/1 body with Flying is good and with six mana, Ashcloud Phoenix will become virtually immortal.

There is no question about whether is it a good card or not. The best question is why should I play with Ashcloud Phoenix, instead of Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker or Stormbreath Dragon.

I know, it's too early to give the final verdict. But signs indicate that, it will mostly end up as a 1-1.5 tix bulk mythic card.

  Monastery Swiftspear  Valley Dasher

Mono Red decks will nearly lose all their key members with the rotation, except Goblin Rabblemaster and Stoke the Flames. And in that regard, War-Name Aspirant, Monastery Swiftspear and Valley Dasher gave me hope as a possible candidates for the next generation Mono Red decks.

Monastery Swiftspear is something that you can easily run in the Modern Burn decks, instead of Goblin Guide as a budget option. And in some cases, she will even exceed Goblin Guide with her Prowess and cheap Burn spells.

  Symbiotic Wurm

Hooded Hydra is basically a mythic Symbiotic Wurm. We can either cast this Snake hydra normally with its X cost or morph it for a 5/5 body. Not very impressive as a creature at that CMC range with these merits. I guess, Hooded Hydra will mostly wander around as a bulk mythic card. Maybe its fate will change once Theros rotated.  

 

Trail of Mystery seems as an interesting card for the Face-down and a Morph theme. But the results won't be worth your commitment. As you will lose lots of tempo during this process and it will only wider the power gap between you and your opponent.

  Sandbar Crocodile

A giant turtle with Phasing. Nobody saw that coming.

I guess there was a long way from Mirage to Tarkir. And this turtle seems really slooooow...

  Falkenrath Aristocrat

Butcher of the Horde is really a quite pushed creature, like Falkenrath Aristocrat that can change the course of the game just by itself. Butcher of the Horde's temporary Haste, Lifelink and Vigilance abilities are all relevant for a variety of situations and its 5/4 body with flying makes it public enemy number one. Currently, there is not many creatures around that can block it efficiently. So, either we have to destroy it with a spot removal spell or with the help of Elspeth, Sun's Champion or Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker.  

Overall, Butcher of the Horde is one of the top candidates that can shape the Standard meta by itself. Watch out for it.

  Reflect Damage

Deflecting Palm seems to be a good Sideboard card that we can use against some big finishers, like; Polukranos, World Eater or Butcher of the Horde. It's always good to have some Reflect Damage type cards around, just in case.

  Putrid Leech  Nantuko Shade

Rakshasa Deathdealer seems like a good creature at two CMC range that you can technically grow it as 4/4 or 6/6 easily.  You may lose lots of tempo during this process, if you managed it wrong.  

First of all, Rakshasa Deathdealer is not a Putrid Leech, but more a Nantuko Shade type creature. And it will still be fine to consider and play with it as a Grizzly Bears.

 

Kheru Lich Lord seems like a casual Standard or Commander card. And that's about it.

 

Jeskai Ascendancy seems to be a quite powerful enchantment that supports the  Prowess mechanic with an extra +1/+1 for each noncreature spell and untap bonus. Just imagine Jeskai Ascendancy with its Convoke spell synergy that we can technically cast any Convoke spells with enough creatures as free and then untap those creatures. And attack with a serious of boost.

Its second filtering ability is also smoothly working in general flow that will help us to draw more spells and discard unwanted land cards. And we can also abuse this process with some Delve spells too.  

I expect, Jeskai Ascendancy to see some rogue play in Standard.

 

Siege Rhino is very powerful creature for Abzan colored decks. And, it will definitely see constructed play in Block and Standard environment. There is not much to say about Siege Rhino, after Luis Scott-Vargas' review.

  Thrun, the Last Troll  Nylea, God of the Hunt

Here, he is. Surrak Dragonclaw, the strongest Human of the Modern Era with his 6/6 body. During the last four years, we have seen several Green creatures with Flash, can't be countered or that grants Trample to our creatures. But, none of them were so elegant like this one. 

Surrak Dragonclaw is a very strong creature on his own and he will definitely see Standard constructed play in Temur (RUG) colored decks. But, I can't really say the same for other formats.

  Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

Villainous Wealth is basically a reverse Genesis Wave with a nonland permanent restriction for BUG colored decks. Genesis Wave really never become a thing during its Standard days. But this time, we have Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and that can produce enormous amounts of mana from devotions. Yet, I don't believe that Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx will be enough to make Villainous Wealth a Standard staple card. I guess, it will mostly end up as a rogue card.

Trap Essence 

Trap Essence is basically Essence Scatter under RUG mana cost. This is indeed a trap card, I would prefer to play with Temur Charm instead at the same CMC range for more versatility.

   

                                   Abzan Charm 

These Five Charms really reminds me the Planeshift Dragon Charms cycle in the matter of power and playability. I'm expecting to see all of them a lot in their respective color combinations. And the best part is that, they are uncommon.

Altar of the Brood  Mesmeric Orb 

Altar of the Brood seems like another casual card. Yet, I won't disregard potential for the Modern Mill decks as a budget alternative over Mesmeric Orb. After two-three months of drafts, Altar of the Brood will end up as a bulk card. So, cheap copies are always welcome.

Tomb of the Spirit Dragon

The second set of Tarkir Block; Fate Reforged gives me impression that there will be a heavy "Colorless" theme there. And maybe Ugin too, as a Colorless Planeswalker. Currently, we still don't know how much Tomb of the Spirit Dragon will be relevant for the Standard. But, it definitely has a potential for Modern, Legacy and Vintage in Artifact based decks against the aggressive or Burn decks as one or two copies.

 

WRAP UP:

And with this, our Financial Khans of Tarkir review is completed. There is still one more side to review and re-evaluate at Post-Khans of Tarkir environment; its direct impact to the Theros and M15 Cards, before we start with a new Standard. My next financial article will be just all about Theros and M15 Core set cards. As always, please feel free to let me know your comments.

See you next time in the "Days of Standard" series...