JXClaytor's picture
By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Sep 30 2011 12:15am
Login or register to post comments

Innistrad had its prerelease last weekend, and it's making its debut in constructed tournaments tonight at Friday Night Magics across the globe.  Release events will be kicking off this weekend, and Starcity Indianapolis will be the event to watch for all the hot new standard decks.  Players give up their old decks tonight, as Valakut and Black Red Vampires pretty much rotate (in the case of Black Red Vampires though, the deck may evolve into a new form, who knows, but it sure will miss all of the Zendikar block vampires).  Caw Blade becomes Hero Blade.  UB Control stays the same or becomes Solar Flare.  Preordains are desleeved and Forbidden Alchemy take their place (I guess Ponder could too.).  Primeval Titan becomes the worst titan, Sun Titan becomes the best titan and Birthing Pod seems poised to take over standard.  Well at least it does in my neck of the woods.  Today I am going to have a few lists for you to browse.  Not decklists though (well maybe one, but I'm pretty much the worst deckbuilder ever).  Let's start off! 

Top Ten Cards I am going to miss from Zendikar Block and Magic 2011. 

10.  Viscera Seer I loved this guy.  He went well with Bloodghast to stack your deck, and dealt with a lot of problem creatures in concert with Mark of Mutiny.  You could steal a Wurmcoil Engine with Mark, and sacrifice it to the Seer to set your next draw and end up with two 3/3 men.  Seer would end games in a hurry with Highborn in play trading creatures for extra life, direct damage to the player and making your deck fight past land issues. 

9.  Vampire Lacerator It's a 2/2 for one mana.  It has a draw back.  Whenever a two powered creature gets printed for one mana you can be safe to assume that it will be a good card to play. Jackal Pup saw huge amounts of play, as did Isamaru, Hound of Konda and Savannah Lions.  I can not think of many guys that did not see play at this power to mana cost.  I know they existed, but I chose to ignore them. 

8.  Lightning Bolt  The second best boon (behind Ancestral Recall of course) saw a ton of play in multiple decks over the past two years.  When it was first reprinted I thought the card was a mistake, but as it leaves the format I think it was a wonderful card to have in the format.  As creatures get better removal spells have to get better as well.  I was hoping that it would come back again, but Incinerate and it's unable to regenerate clause may prove to be just as good.  Of course regenerators have to start seeing some play, and off the top of my head (Thrun the Last Troll) is the only one that could right now. 

7.  Mark of Mutiny A lot of people changed this to Act of Aggression so they could fight off Splinter Twin.  I never did.  For a while I stopped playing magic, and when I started to come back into the game (I started to play again about two weeks ago, I took from the prerelease of M12 to now off)  I kept this in here.  Splinter Twin was never a huge threat at our FNMs here in Elizabethtown.  It saw play, but Dismember was good enough to beat the players that played it, and there were a ton of Titans and Engines being played at the shop.  Mark just seemed better, because of the added one damage.  I'm more than likely wrong, but I enjoyed casting the card greatly!  

6.  Pulse Tracker One of the better creatures against control decks.  He was a pseudo 2/1 on offense.  I honestly never thought about sleeving this guy up for any kind of deck, but he became a welcome addition to the deck after Worldwake was released. 

5.  Lavaclaw Reaches Manlands are awesome!  This gave the Vampire decks reach in the long game whenever Day would be cast and allowed for easier kills of Jace. 

4.  Gatekeeper of Malakir A three mana edict that came stapled onto a 2/2 body.  He more than likely was a two for one against most decks as he would kill their worst dude (against aggro, or I guess a hawk against Caw Blade) and he would either trade with another creature or eat a removal spell.  Also I personally think this guy had the best art ever for an FNM promo as I to this day call him Kratos whenever I cast him.  (Obvious God of War reference is obvious.)

3.  Vampire Nighthawk This guy saw more play in the sideboard of Blue Black control then he did in actual vampire decks.  However he was still a heck of a guy to have on your side.  He was a moat against most aggro decks (Because who wants to lose their best guy and let you gain two life) and pretty much made bad players play worse (because who wants to lose their best guy and let you gain two life.)  That's how I feel about that. 

2.  Kalastria Highborn  I know a lot of people who thought that this card was overpowered.  I know a lot of people who are pretty much the living incarnation of the You Mad Bro? Meme.  This guy was perfectly fine when compared to other heavily played creatures in the format. I mean for a mana and a dead guy you got to drain them for two life.  For six mana you got to end a game with a titan.  For two mana you got to refill your hand.  

1.  Bloodghast Great against control.  Not so much against aggro, but he was a recurring threat.  He will continue to see play in other formats and has already made an impact on Legacy in some Dredge lists.  I guess this pretty much makes him the greatest vampire ever printed. 

Yup my top ten list was pretty much the only deck I played since Scars of Mirrodin was released last year.  Black Red Vampires was the only deck I kept together whenever I made the decision to sell my collection to fund a car purchase.  In a format full of Jace, the Mindsculptor and Stoneforge Mystic, Vampires in my mind was the little engine that could.  An excellent beat down deck that could play like a combo deck with Kalastria Highborn and Viscera Seer, I will miss it, mainly because I now have no cards that are useful in the new Standard format!

Top Five cards that I think did not see enough play from Zendikar Block and Magic 2011. 

5.  Captivating Vampire  This guy was not Vampire Nocturnus but he was never meant to be him.  The deck that he was supposed to lead to victory kinda of sprung up around the time that Black Red Vampires did, in the mono black vampires list.  However, it was decided that if you were tapping your vampires for his ability you were not doing the right kind of tapping of your vampires.  Sure he showed up from time to time as a random two of, but he never had the impact that most thought he would. 

4.  Leyline of the Void  This card was just in the wrong core set.  It would be very good in this core set, but with Innistrad being a graveyard based set I think it would have been too good.  Of course this card did not see a lot of play because there was no real reason for it to be played in anything. 

3.  Destructive Force  In a format full of Titans this card just did not deal enough damage.  When it became clear that the Titans were the real deal this card started to gather dust in bulk rare binders and dollar boxes all over the place.  I love a good Wildfire but this card sadly had too much going against it to see play. 

2.  Gaea's Revenge  Again another neat creature, but one that did not trample over titans.  It came out on the same turn as many of them (Decks that played this were ramps decks) but the extra benefit that the titans gave were just too much for this guy to overcome.  Super fun creature! 

1. Stoneforge Mystic  I remember this gal seeing some play in quest decks to get Argentum Armor and then I remember something about it getting swords and then around June I never saw her again. Whatever happened to you miss Mystic? 

Last list of the week here.  It's a decklist! 

Solar Flare 2k11
1 Grave Titan
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Massacre Wurm
1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
2 Sun Titan
2 Phantasmal Image
3 Snapcaster Mage
9 cards

Other Spells
2 Zombie Infestation
1 Oblivion Ring
4 Forbidden Alchemy
4 Mana Leak
2 Day of Judgment
2 Dismember
1 Doom Blade
1 Go for the Throat
3 Unburial Rites
3 Liliana of the Veil
13 cards
3 Island
2 Seachrome Coast
2 Darkslick Shores
4 Swamp
3 Plains
3 Glacial Fortress
4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Isolated Chapel
21 cards
Massacre Wurm

I think that Zombie Infestation serves a heck of a purpose here.  It let's you get reanimation targets into the yard.  It makes blockers against Tempered Steel and it can let you live the dream of a turn four fatty with a flashbacked Unburial Rites.  I'm not sure this list is the best but to me it seems like a solid start. 

What to watch for. 

Starcitygames open series comes to Indianapolis. New Standard and a (Mental Mistep) free legacy are on the menu. 
Capefeargames is having their release event this weekend, if you're in the Wilmington, NC area and the surf is terrible you should stop by!  
I do like mentioning the WOW tcg every so often here so if you are interested in that type of thing Darkmoon Faire Philadelphia is block constructed.  

And with that I am out.  Next week is fall break for me at school but I have a ton of tests so I'll be busy with them and hanging out with a fully back to 100 percent Cassius!  Can't Wait!  


Leyline of the Void! by KaraZorEl at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 00:23
KaraZorEl's picture

Leyline of the Void is my favorite M12 rare...perhaps with a bias. But even so. I've found uses for it in a lot of decks I ran, and have too many copies of it in paper and online to keep track of. People who play Pyromancer's just don't expect you to win on turn 0.

heh by JXClaytor at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 00:42
JXClaytor's picture

Leyline just saw no play. I know wotc likes to give hints and stuff about upcoming sets, but I think the leyline cycle was just misplaced.

Good point, Leyline is by LOurs at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 03:18
LOurs's picture

Good point, Leyline is awesome but just not in a caw/valakut/steel meta. Same happend with even more powerful cards before : meddling mage is really a great creature, but also saw no play during alara era although is would probably have been better to deal with caw than with jund...

Leyline made sense in Ravnica by char49d at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 04:07
char49d's picture

Leyline made sense in Ravnica due to dredge, and would have made sense in M10 considering Alara block's unearth mechanic. It made no sense in M11 considering Vengevine was the only creature that used the graveyard, and Leyline is horrible against it.

RE: Stoneforge Mystic by ItsZach at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 10:53
ItsZach's picture

She was banned... O.o

LOL by JXClaytor at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 12:18
JXClaytor's picture

I know she was banned, I was being a bit of a nerd with that entry :D

Nice Solar Flare list by apaulogy at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 11:19
apaulogy's picture

I think Massacre Wurm could actually see more play soon enough.

Nice article.

Oh and by the way by JXClaytor at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 12:28
JXClaytor's picture

Do not under any circumstances play rune scarred demon in anything ever in standard. there are a ton of Phantasmal Images and Phyrexian four drop guys that copy something when it comes into play that actually playing rune scarred hurts you a ton. :(

I tried, i wanted to see the Desmond Howard (Look at the art and his pose) to be good and he just is not :(

Rune-Scarred Oath FTW by Clan Magic Eternal at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 12:48
Clan Magic Eternal's picture

In all honesty I agree - kinda weak !!


Clones have made many great by Paul Leicht at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 14:16
Paul Leicht's picture

Clones have made many great cards weak.

New Lightning Bolt by Alternate at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 15:33
Alternate's picture

Do you have any idea what will take over for Lightning Bolt in standard?

The only things I see are Shock (Which isn't as good), Volt Charge, etc.. Nothing nearly as good as Bolt.

Any ideas of what will take it's place?

And regardless of everything, Gravetitan will remain the top Titan.

And I don't know about paper, but how is the new Garruk? I love the M12 Garruk and think it's great, but I don't know how the new one works.

***GO RAYS!!!***

Lightning Bolt is pretty much by gamemaster32 at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 16:46
gamemaster32's picture

Lightning Bolt is pretty much irreplaceable. Incinerate has and probably will see play, but it is amazing what a difference 1 mana makes.

I have a gut feeling that the new garruk will eventually become a powerful card. There is always some dude in his mom's basement brewing and building decks 24/7, and I think that he will eventually find some crazy way to exploit him, but that is based purely on feeling.

I feel like i am forgetting something......oh yeah..


I'm sorry, can you tell me by Alternate at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 19:48
Alternate's picture

I'm sorry, can you tell me the score of the game? I forgot who won 8-0 with a pitcher making his 2nd ever major league start.

Epic by apaulogy at Fri, 09/30/2011 - 20:06
apaulogy's picture

"There is always some dude in his mom's basement brewing and building decks 24/7, and I think that he will eventually find some crazy way to exploit him, but that is based purely on feeling."


J/K..that is one hilarious comment

I played R/B Bloodthirst to a by ShardFenix at Sat, 10/01/2011 - 09:33
ShardFenix's picture

I played R/B Bloodthirst to a 3-3 record at FNM last night...its surprising fast. And complete crap, mean it was a penny bin deck. Though volt charge was pretty amazing with bloodthirst and I think it will be pretty good with all the new red vampires as well.