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By: Lord Erman, Nafiz Erman
Apr 20 2010 12:17am
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My Rise of the Eldrazi
Part I

by Nafiz Erman

Hello dear readers. Last week I couldn't be with you and I hope that you missed me (you did, didn't you?). Normally I had my next installment for the Seven Deadly Sins series on my schedule for this week, but then I realized that this is a special week. This past weekend we finally got to see all cards of the next and the last set of the Zendikar block. We finally had the chance to meet the Eldrazi and they are terrifying. They are big. They are scary. And they have only one thing in mind; to annihilate.


"Why does it destroy? It does, and to talk of reasons wastes time and breath."
- Nirthu, lone missionary

-Flavor text of Consume the Meek

And so this week and next week, I will be doing my Rise of the Eldrazi set review articles.

I started doing this "My ENTERSETNAME" articles with Zendikar actually. I just re-read my "My Zendikar" and "My Worldwake" articles, and realized two things:

1- I was dead wrong on some cards: Well, I think I owe these cards an official apology. For example in my "My Zendikar" set review I said "... actually for me, Nissa Revane is the biggest disappointment of Zendikar". Well yes, unfortunately I did say that. I also overvalued World Queller and said many great things about Bloodchief Ascension and tried to convince you why your Aggro deck needs it. And in my "My Worldwake" article I didn't even bother to mention Stoneforge Mystic but wasted five long paragraphs talking about Selective Memory.

2- I was very accurate on some other cards: On the other hand there were some cards I managed to evaluate correctly. I told you how awesome the Sorin MarkovChandra Nalaar combo is going to be and we saw powerful Grixis Control decks build around that combo. I told you about Summoning Trap and it really became what I predicted. I told you that Admonition Angel is never going to be that "wow!" when everybody was very "wow!" about her; the same is also true for Omnath, Locus of Mana. Oh and I told to buy your Thada Adel, Acquisitors soon and I'm still telling you the same now by the way. The next big set is called Scars of Mirrodin and no, I don't think it will be a tribal set.

So as you see I told you things that you'd expect from an amateur writer. Some correct and some incorrect opinions. Of course if I could evaluate all the cards correctly I wouldn't be an amateur and if all my predictions would be wrong, then... well, you wouldn't be reading this!

And I guarantee you the same accuracy(!) for my "My Rise of the Eldrazi" articles too. I will once again tell you things you'd expect from an amateur writer. But all I hope is that you'll have fun when reading.

Now that the boring part is over, we can finally start talking about the new set. Welcome ladies and gentlemen once again to Zendikar, as big and as chaotic as it never was. All is Dust on this new Zendikar and "all" also includes the color pie. Here on this new Zendikar one should forget all he knows. Here a red mage can cast Zombify. A Blue mage can cast Planar Cleansing and a Black mage can cast Rebuff the Wicked. Here on this new Zendikar, a White mage can cast Concentrate and a Green mage can cast Time Warp. As you see, this new Zendikar is a very dangerous place but at the same time it is a more alluring one. 

Welcome once again dear readers to this new Zendikar and to my Rise of the Eldrazi!


Ersatz Gnomes

Normally I have a tradition when I do these set reviews. I always start with White, Blue and Black, and that's the first part of my set review. Then in the second part I talk about Red, Green and Colorless, and conclude my set review. But this time I will do a reverse set review. This time I will start with the Ersatz Gnomes, then talk about Wurm's Tooth and Dragon's Claw, and finish part one. And in the second part I will start with Demon's Horn, continue with Kraken's Eye and finish with Angel's Feather. And of course we owe this change to the mighty Eldrazi. They deserve the first spot on my "to-talk" list.

Unless you started playing Magic just this morning, you know all there is to know about the Eldrazi. You know that there are three very powerful "bosses"; Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth. And you know that those three legendary bosses have many "underlings" or "henchmen" helping them and doing their dirty work for them.

Oh and a side note by the way: If you started playing Magic just this morning, maybe you shouldn't be reading this. Try this; it will be more helpful to you.

And what we also do know is that all those Eldrazi cards, whether the henchmen or the bosses or the other Eldrazi specific spells, have a huge casting cost. But there are cards to help lowering those costs. The previous set already gave us Everflowing Chalice and Eye of Ugin. And now we have Eldrazi Temple and tons of Eldrazi Spawn token generators.

Speaking of those token generators, we can easily say that even though the Eldrazi don't have a color, they dislike White and Blue but prefer Black, Green and Red. We will talk about those colored Eldrazi cards when we talk about those colors but some of them, such as Green's Awakening Zone and Kozilek's Predator, Red's Emrakul's Hatcher, and Black's Corpsehatch and Pawn of Ulamog are worthy of some special mentioning.

So here's my first prediction of the article: The future of Standard is  Eldrazi vs.  Anti-Eldrazi Control. And no, I don't think that I will be dead wrong on this one.

Now we can start examining the Eldrazi cards more closer and I cannot think of a better start then Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Now imagine that you hardcast it. With all those Eldrazi Spawn tokens, Eldrazi lands and some Green mana ramping, that won't be a problem. And what happens after you hardcast it? First of all your opponent can't counter it; so when Emrakul is ready to hit the table, he WILL hit the table.

Then after you cast him, you get another turn. So no Day of Judgment or similar clownery; at least not for another turn. And finally our nice little(!) Eldrazi dude has also protection from colored spells. Path to ExileTerminate? A  Comet Storm maybe? Forget all of them, they won't do any good. And I'm not even talking about his "Annihilator 6" keyword.

So as you see Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is no joke. And in the right deck, you can play him (or it rather) incredibly fast and early. As a matter of fact, with the right deck (and with that dream hand of course), you can even cast it as early as turn five! And even if everything don't go always that smooth (and things never go that smooth), I think that we will be able to cast the most fearsome of these ancient gods by the time we cast Cruel Ultimatum these days.

Of course the other two bosses are very scary too. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre is an indestructible monster that casts Vindicate when you cast it and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth is Tidings on legs... or tentacles rather!

But the other lesser Eldrazi have their uses too. My favorites are Hand of Emrakul which has a nice alternative casting cost, Artisan of Kozilek which is a very nice addition to any reanimator deck and Ulamog's Crusher which is a Common above everything. I'm sure Pauper players are already gathering ideas how to build a nice reanimator deck using this one.

And then there are the other Eldrazi spells which actually bother me a little bit. Mass Removal for all colors? Is that a good thing? If yes, then why don't we have Nevinyrral's Disk in every core set? Those abilities on the Eldrazi bosses are enough trouble already and now we also have All is Dust.

So now I can play a mono Blue deck with four All is Dust. All I need is some Eldrazi Temples and Eye of Ugin and maybe Expedition Map too. I will counter everything and what gets through will be destroyed with All is Dust. Creatures, enchantments, even planeswalkers. Is Blue supposed to do that? Is Green supposed to do that for that matter?

I have my doubts.

Oh and I'm fully aware of that nice little green fella called Tajuru Preserver. But come on now, let's be realistic. Do you really believe that a tiny 2/1 Elf Shaman can stop the mighty Eldrazi titans?

I have my doubts once again.

The final Eldrazi card I want to talk about is It That Betrays. Other than its super-nice Kamigawa-ish name, it has its own uses. Surely it is weaker when compared to the bosses, but please allow me to remind you that those scary bosses cannot be reanimated while this one can. Just a small thing you should have in mind. Maybe you'd like to send it to the graveyard with Sphinx of Lost Truths and then reanimate it with Marshal's Anthem? I don't know about you but it sure does sound like a plan to me.

Okay let's conclude the Eldrazi right here. We will be playing them for the next one and a half years, and we will have more than enough time to talk about them in the future. But this set is called "Rise of the Eldrazi" and naturally a big portion of the colorless cards in the set belong to them; not all however. There are some great other colorless cards and unsurprisingly some are in direct relationship with the Eldrazi. Such as this one:

As you might have guessed, playing the Eldrazi will require some intense mana ramping. Those angry ancient gods cannot be played by just playing one land per turn. The Eldrazi are big and when we think of decks that can play them, we should be thinking big. Six mana might look steep but trust me dear readers; for the right Eldrazi deck that means only turn four. And the ability to cast Concentrate off of this artifact is a huge plus.

Then there is Keening Stone and right at this point I will once again make a bold statement. I seriously have no idea why this card is in this set. I mean, with all those Eldrazi creatures shuffling the graveyard, I see absolutely no chance for a mill deck to survive. So what's the point? By just adding only one copy of any of those legendary Eldrazi to my sideboard (regardless of the type of deck I play), I think I will cover all my anti-milling strategy. Am I missing something here?! So for me, Keening Stone is one of the biggest -and perhaps even the biggest- disappointment of Rise of the Eldrazi. Such a nice card in such a dead wrong set.

The final artifact I want to talk about is Angelheart Vial. Such an awesome art wasted on an awful card. Angelheart Vial's art is one of the best ones I've seen recently. But the card itself? Meh! If I ever want to add artifact based card drawing to my decks, I think I would prefer Scepter of Insight.

So, we talked about the Eldrazi and we talked about the artifacts. In the final part of the Ersatz Gnomes, we should be talking about the lands of this new set.

The basic land arts are amazing. When put next to each other, all the four pieces of a certain basic land form one nice big art. As far as I know, WotC first did this in CHK block so this is the second time we have this.

And then there is Evolving Wilds. Isn't this Terramorphic Expanse? As a matter of fact it is. Okay cool. Now we can play with eight Terramorphic Expanses. Once upon a time we had eight Wrath of Gods in our Standard decks, so I'm sure eight Terramorphic Expanses won't hurt. I'm definately sure that WotC has a very good reason to add this reprint with a different name to this set. But what is it I wonder.

And so, let's take a look at the first podium.



Wurm's Tooth

From the dull world of the colorless, we dive into the new rich colored world of this new Zendikar and our first stop is the so called Wurm's Tooth. And it is also fitting that we stop here after the Eldrazi cards because Green is one of the biggest allies of those ancient gods.

There are two cards in particular that caught my attention for an Eldrazi deck and they are Mul Daya Chanellers and Kozilek's Predator. The latter is an obvious one but maybe you wonder why I think the chanellers is a great card for an Eldrazi deck. After all, if we are talking about Green's relationship with the Eldrazi, then Awakening Zone seems like a much "proper" card.

However that is not true. Awakening Zone is slow. It may be more secure considering Mul Daya Chanellers is a creature card and can be removed easily, but I will take the risk dear readers. As a matter of fact, I already have an Eldrazi deck in mind which I will share with you in a moment.

Let's think for a second dear readers. After Rise of the Eldrazi, every color will be able to cast Planar Cleansing. Every color will have access to Vindicate. Time Warp is no more a Blue-only card. We can cast spells like Concentrate or Zombify by playing the color we want to play. No more "Color Pie" rubbish!

If all those things are true... if we can do whatever we want with every color... but if those privileges come only with a hefty casting cost... then which color would be your best friend?

Yes! Green is the answer! I don't have to be in White to be able to wrath the table anymore. I don't have to be in Blue to draw cards like crazy anymore. I can do all those things by playing the Eldrazi. And to be able to mana ramp, there is only one color I would need and that is obviously Green!

So bye bye all those nice colors. It was nice knowing you. I had great fun with you and with your nice little Color Pie. But from now on, Green is all the color I will know. And this below will be the only deck I will play:

ALL IS GREEN A Future Standard deck by Nafiz Erman

24 Lands

4 Khalni Garden
4 Eye of Ugin
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 Misty Rainforest
8 Forest

12 Creatures

4 Mul Daya Chanellers
4 Kozilek's Predator
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
1 Artizan of Kozilek

24 Other Spells

4 All is Dust
4 Harrow
4 Khalni Heart Expedition
4 Expedition Map
4 Everflowing Chalice
4 Skittering Invasion
4 Dreamstone Hedron

15 Cards Sideboard

Yet to be decided.

So as you see, who needs other colors? What purpose do they serve? All I need is my Harrows, my Khalni Heart Expeditions and my Mul Daya Chanellers'. The rest... is unimportant and meaningless.

Of course as you see, this is still a rough deck sketch. For example I have to test and decide between Dreamstone Hedron and Skittering Invasion. The latter cost less and it is most importantly an Eldrazi spell but it spawns five Eldrazi Spawns (what a sentence!) and they are unfortunately very vulnerable to cards like Maelstrom Pulse, Volcanic Fallout, Pyroclasm or Earthquake. Dreamstone Hedron doesn't have most of those problems, definately not those Red ones, but it isn't an Eldrazi spell so it costs more than Skittering Invasion. But testing will tell.

So what will I do with this deck? First I will mana ramp like crazy with my green spells. My Expedition Map will give me my Eldrazi lands and my Eye of Ugin will tutor me my Eldrazi titans; whichever I need at that moment. Then with the aid of my Mul Daya Chanellers, my Everflowing Chalice and with either my Skittering Invasion or my Dreamstone Hedron, I will bring in one of those mighty Eldrazi titans.

That's the plan. And it sounds like a good plan. Whatcha think? Oh, are you by the way aware that my list above is fully and totally and completely and entirely legal for ZEN Block? Just sayin'.

Okay, we talked enough about the Eldrazi. Let's talk about something else. Something nice. The ancient titans are breaking the planet into pieces but there are still a few nice things here and there we can talk about from this new Zendikar.

Rise of the Eldrazi is mostly about the Eldrazi of course but there are some other nice things that can be found in the set. Such as the Level Up mechanic. Such as the "Defenders Matter" theme. Or such as the Aura sub theme called Umbras. Lets start with Level Up.

Level Up was actually first seen on Figure of Destiny. The idea has been accepted by the community and now with this new set, WotC finally gave a name to the ability and designed some more such cards.

The best Level Up cards aren't in Green but this color also offers a few nice little gems. Such as the beautiful lady you see on the left. So you basically play Joraga Treespeaker on turn one and level her up the next turn after you play your second land. And now she's two Llanowar Elves build into one card! How lovely. To be honest I never played Fyndhorn Elder but this new lady, who at first reminded me of Fyndhorn Elder, is much better than that one. And also please do note that she can level herself up too!

Then there is another fine Level Up lady called Kazandu Tuskcaller who can summon elephants to your aid. At first she looks like a solid Constructed material but unfortunately all the fascination and charm falls apart after you realize that she starts making tokens only at Level 2. So you spend  to play her and then spend another to level her up to Level 2 to get your first token. So basically your first token costs you . Hmm... I think I will continue playing that old Green planeswalker for 3/3 tokens who costs less and has other uses too.

And of course you know whom I'm referring to.

Green of course has many other gems in this new set. But if we are speaking of themes, then we should first mention Overgrown Battlement I think. A nice 0/4 Wall for is already decent. It doesn't die to Lightning Bolt and it can block Bloodbraid Elf and survive that encounter. But what makes this creature interesting is its ability to generate mana. Normally the Defender.dec I have in mind is two colors and is , but just because of Overgrown Battlement I might add some Green to that deck too.

Then there is all that "Auras matter" theme with all those Totem Armors and stuff, but to be honest I never liked Auras. For me there is Rancor and there is Armadillo Cloak. Okay maybe there is also Faith's Fetters too but that's definately all. The last time I built an Aura deck was back when Zur the Enchanter was in Standard, and I don't think these new Umbras will make me build another one now.

Green in Rise of the Eldrazi also offers a few nice sideboard options. Puremtgo's preview card Pelakka Wurm is for me one of those. Establishing the board position for the Eldrazi.dec could take a few turns and I'm sure there will be some very aggressive decks out there which will take advantage of this. The mana cost of Pelakka Wurm is definately not a problem for the Eldrazi Mana Ramp deck, so I can imagine myself siding it in against a few specific decks. Seven life gain off of a 7/7 trampler body is nice.

The same is also true for Living Destiny. It's an instant which matters a lot, and it has the potential to make me gain fifteen life! I say all the next generation of Eldrazi decks should consider this new card for their sideboard. And of course there is also Tajuru Preserver too. It's a very nice sideboard card against the Eldrazi even though I don't think it will be that effective as it seems at first. But something is always better than nothing.

And now it's finally time to talk about the best cards of Green. I'm talking about these three:

Let's start with the hydra.

Okay at least in theory you can cast this monster for . But let's be realistic for a moment; if you already have eight Green creatures on table you should already be winning. I mean, if you cast this hydra for and you're still not winning the game, then you're doing something horribly wrong! But even for five or four mana, this creature is a very "interesting" investment. How about this imaginary scenario:

T1: Forest, Joraga Treespeaker.
T2: Forest, level up Joraga Treespeaker, tap her and play one Llanowar Elves and one Arbor Elf.
T3: Play Khalni Garden and get a 0/1 Green plant token. You have four Green creatures already. Now Khalni Hydra costs . Tap your two Forests and tap your Joraga Treespeaker to get your mana and voila; you have a 8/8 trampler on your turn three!
End of your T3: I cast Terminate targeting your hydra! Mwahaha!!!

And then there is this "mad salad" called Vengevine. After I saw its art, the way I look at my salad in my plate has changed. Would it attack me if this is the second time I put my fork in it this dinner?! Joking aside, this new... salad(!) is a very nice creature. I may even go a little bit far and try this together with Bloodghast in an aggressive  Rock deck that also has Putrid Leech. I think I will call that deck "the_undead_the_jelly_and_the_mad_salad.dec"!

And finally we have the beautiful Lands Ungiven Realms Uncharted. What a fantastic card this is! The art is fantastic and it's done by one of my favorite artists; Volkan Baga. The reference to Gifts Ungiven is done very nicely. And just like Gifts Ungiven, Realms Uncharted will also be a heavily played card... unfortunately not in Standard.

I can think of many uses for Realms Uncharted in other formats but in Standard I can't think of a deck that will need it. Eldrazi deck perhaps? I will select Eye of Ugin and Eldrazi Temple and then what? And how will I retrieve my discarded lands? Grim Discovery seems to be the only option. We don't have Life from the Loam in Standard. We don't have Crucible of Worlds. And no, we don't have Eternal Witness either.

But of course there is no rule saying that all the cards in a new set must be playable in Standard. Some, such as this beautiful Realms Uncharted, are for some other formats. Luckily for me I play some of those "other formats" and I will fully enjoy my Lands Ungivens.

Okay after that many words, it's finally time to show you my Green podium.



Dragon's Claw

Red normally is the mighty Dragon's Claw but in this set it is unfortunately the cute little Kitty's Paw. Sad I know, but true.

This is actually another color which has direct relationship with the Eldrazi. And there are some such cards in the set but I find none of them appealing. Emrakul's Hatcher? No thanks. Rapacious One? Absolutely no. Brood Birthing? I can live without it. Spawning Breath? Meh. If I ever decide to play Eldrazi Spawns -and I don't think I will do that by the way-, I don't think Red will be one of my colors. I might splash for it because of some other burn spells but not for the Eldrazi ones. Never.

Red also has its share of Level Up creatures. And once again there is nothing interesting. Kargan Dragonlord is a Mythic and Mythics supposed to be at least interesting. But I see nothing special about it. Why is it a Mythic? Seriously, why? I spend six Red mana and all I get is a 4/4 flyer with no special abilities. After I spend nine mana it is still a 4/4 textless flyer.

After seeing this Kargan Dragonlord dude, which is a Mythic Rare thank you very much, Air Elemental started looking like Baneslayer Angel to me!

Of course I'm aware that in Limited this guy can be nuts. This actually can also be the reason why it's a Mythic Rare. If the Limited environment of Rise of the Eldrazi is as slow as people keep saying, then a potential 4/4 flyer that can be played on turn two is a real bomb. But please remember that my comments on cards are mainly -and sometimes only- based on Constructed formats and not Limited. That's absolutely not my area of expertise.

Then there is this Brimstone Mage. So correct me if I'm wrong: I will pay a whoopin' and all I get in return will be a 2/3 pinger, right? Am I right? I don't want to be right, someone please tell me that I'm not right!!! Geez... And I don't want to talk about Lord of Shatterskull Pass at all.

Okay, Eldrazi Red is failure. Level Up Red is failure. What about those creatures with defender in Red? As a matter of fact there are some interesting pieces. Not many but some. Such as that 3/3 Ogre Sentry that costs . Or that defender flyer called Rage Nimbus. Even Vent Sentinel isn't too bad. But are they the cards of a Tier-1 tournament level deck? Of course not. Remember that Red in this set is Kitty's Paw. These are all nice casual defenders and nothing more. I know I will build a defender deck and I know it will be a good one. But I will also make a casual version of it and in that version I may try these.

So what do we have left? Actually we don't have much left. For casual players cards like Conquering Manticore, Hellion Eruption, Magmaw and Tuktuk the Explorer might be interesting. There are also some useful cards for Limited play such as Flame Slash, Forked Bolt or Heat Ray. From those only Forked Bolt can be useful for constructed tournament level Magic but the rest don't mean much. I mean, why would I play Heat Ray when I have Banefire?

Then there is Surreal Memoir which is at least a bit interesting and I can see it played in some  Counterburn decks and Staggershock may also see some tournament play. But what do we have else? Actually we have only two cards. One is this one:

This is such a fun card. There are many nice creatures I would like to put this one on, and in the very near future I will fully explore the possibilities of it. Allies maybe? Or how about putting this onto Mnemonic Wall with a Time Warp in graveyard? Or how about this plus Intruder Alarm for some silly never-ending loop? With Murderous Redcap maybe?

The final card of Red worthy of mentioning is actually a very interesting one. And it forms a nice deck with a card I mentioned in my "My Worldwake" set review. I'm talking about this duo:

Is this a deck? It could be actually.

So with Selective Memory we will remove all unwanted cards from our library first. And the next turn we will cast our Explosive Revelation and it will skip all the lands in our library and will stop at the first nonland card and that nonland card will be most probably Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. If not, it will be It That Betrays. At worst, it will be another Explosive Revelation and just because the card says "put that nonland card into your hand", we will be able to do our trick the next turn again.

So yes, this is actually a deck. And a very interesting one. Actually we already have Erratic Explosion from the Onslaught set which is actually the original Explosive Revelation, and I built a deck with it and Selective Memory. And instead of the Eldrazi I added cards like Autochthon Wurm and Darksteel Colossus and tested a bit. It is indeed working.

And finally it's time for the Red podium. 


Definately not the best podium, I know. But that's sadly all we got.



And right at this point, where Red ends and Black begins, I would like to talk about the one and only multicolor card of the set.

Looking at the comments I read so far on various forums and the articles I read from different writers, this new planeswalker wasn't successful in impressing the masses. And I can understand why.

Normally if my opponent brings in a planeswalker I begin to worry. I start hearing the sound of the clock ticking. I know that I have to deal with that planeswalker immediately. I know that if I can't, it will be the end of me and the end of the game.

But this new "madman" called Sarkhan the Mad isn't such a planeswalker. What happens if my opponent plays him? Nothing. It doesn't do anything actually. Oh yes sure dragons but come on, we're living in the "age of removal". I never played a Standard this rich in removal. And not just any removal. No, I'm not talking about cards like Dark Banishing or Pacifism. The quality of removal we have right now is incredible. And therefore those dragon abilities of this new Sarkhan aren't that impressive.

You turn your Birds of Paradise into a 5/5 dragon and I kill it with Terminate. You do that again and I do that again. And guess who will run out of gas first? Yep, it won't be me. Which leaves us his first ability; the Dark Confidant one. And most people don't think that its enough.

But I don't think like that. I think that this new Sarkhan can be very useful in a few decks. The first one I have in mind is actually the known Jund deck. Just think for a second that you have this planeswalker in your Jund deck. You play him and depending on the board position, say that you first use his second ability and turn your 1/1 Saproling token into a 5/5 Dragon. Those Saproling tokens of Sprouting Thrinax are surely very nice but I think that 5/5 Dragons are much nicer.

Then imagine that the next turn you use his first ability. At best it can be a land. But a Putrid Leech or even a Blightning or a Sprouting Thrinax is okay. Those cards will mean that your Sarkhan the Mad will be on table for another turn. And at worst you get your Broodmate Dragon which will kill the planeswalker. But isn't it worth the risk?

Of course you can also try him in a Grixis deck too. You can build an early nice and thick wall of defenders, counter a few spells, build your mana base, cast one or two Cruel Ultimatum in the meantime and then you can first play your Jace, the Mind Sculptor and then Sarkhan the Mad. With Jace on table, your Sarkhan will almost always give you a land (or a Ponder at worst) with his first ability and thus will not harm himself. And when you have everything under control, you will start turning your walls into 5/5 flyers and attack for the win!

So as you see I can think of a few uses for this madman. He may be insane but he's not useless.



The new Eldrazi are really scary. All is Dust is a very dangerous spell and I hope that the next big set called Scars of Mirrodin will find a solution to it. If everybody starts playing colorless decks after Scars of Mirrodin, maybe then All is Dust will become a less useful card. Otherwise I find the idea of Black destroying enchantments and Blue casting mass removal spells, a bit irritating.

Green looks like the best color to use with the Eldrazi. With the mana ramping that color provides, it will be a child's play to summon an Eldrazi titan between turn five and seven.

Red looks hopeless but as I said above, watch out for that Selective MemoryExplosive Revelation deck. That might be a blast to play.


My Rise of the Eldrazi, Part II

Next week I will conclude my set review. Demon's Horn has a lot of interesting cards such as Hellcarver DemonConsume the Meek, Inquisiton of Kozilek and Consuming Vapors. And it is also a color that is serving the Eldrazi. Then we will talk about the two colors that will fight back the Eldrazi; Kraken's Eye and Angel's Feather. Will their combined effort be enough to stop those ancient annihilators? That we will see next week dear readers.

Thanks for reading.

See you online
Nafiz Erman, aka Lord Erman


Great article there Erman. by ShardFenix at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 03:53
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Great article there Erman. Ive been tinkering with the ideas of building a G/R eldrazi ramp deck for a few days now though without prices yet its hard to guess what exactly to add. On a sidenote, I dont think the CHK block lands did that, but i do know that the Uzras lands did...at least the plains do anyways

Splinter Twin by Katastrophe at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 06:28
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Splinter Twin + Mnemonic Wall is an especially good one. I like it! And I agree that red is missing anything splashy. I'm also afraid to sink 6-9 mana into a card that dies to a single removal spell. That's a lot of tempo loss, even in casual. With the Dragonlord you could lose both turns 2 and 3 or turns 3+4 to a single Lightning Bolt.

All Is Dust - yeah, I don't get it. When Avoid Fate (a pet card of mine) becomes available for 7 mana, who cares. Time Warp for 15 mana is no big deal either. The colorless hybrids from Eventide were all fine because their pure colorless cost was overcosted. But Nevinyrral's Disk for just 7 made me sit up straight in my chair. Blue, black, and modern white still can't destroy artifacts, but Grixis can now destroy enchantments. And green and blue getting pretty good creature sweepers is shocking. Sacrifice effects get around both regeneration (WoG -> DoJ) and indestructibility. I know I'm just repeating you. That's how surprised I am.

Nice article! I'm surprised by StealthBadger at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 07:03
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Nice article!

I'm surprised you didn't mention Devastating Summons though. I definitely see it as a sleeper, and expect it to show up in red aggro and boros. Remember, you can float mana from from the lands you're about to sacrifice, then use them to play something (*cough* goblin bushwhacker *cough*) after getting your two tokens.

On the subject of making fat tokens, I reckon Gelatinous Genesis is often going to be better than casting an eldrazi in most of the green ramp-style decks that are showing up. I saw it make 13 13/13s at the prerelease (due to an awakening zone - another card which I could see in the deck!).

The first instance of by kalandine at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 09:47
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The first instance of connected lands to form a single picture is the Christopher Rush Plains from Ice Age. All four connect to form a single picture, but I think Chris did this by his choice rather than a request from WotC.

Back when WotC had the caravan tours, Chris showed a print of the original art.

Hmmm I remember it being by Paul Leicht at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 16:02
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Hmmm I remember it being alliances that had the connected art works. I don't recall iceage having that and I was somewhat more Vorthos about my cards back then. Perhaps a link will serve to jog our memories?

Ok missed Shard's links...now that I see it I remember those lands more clearly. For some reason I had them as Mirage in my mind.

i know alliances had all the by ShardFenix at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 16:02
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i know alliances had all the cards with multiple artwork..i dont know about the connected ones. though the earliest i remember was some angel maybe and paralyze...no idea what sets though

Alt arts started with by Paul Leicht at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 16:04
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Alt arts started with Homelands. The links you provided show the alliances connected art.

Thanks for the comments by Lord Erman at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 11:05
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Thanks for the comments guys.

@Shard: I'm checking frequently the paper prices and the Eldrazi ones seems acceptable so far. That white planeswalker Gideon is a bit hyped right now, so he's very expensive. The Eldrazi are still high but less than I imagined; especially All is Dust and Emrakul (they both are around $15 each). Surely these are not prices for budget players but I wasen't expecting them to be.
I just checked the CHK basic lands and they indeed are one big picture. Check this one out: http://images.boardgamegeek.com/images/pic430401_lg.jpg.

@Katastrophe: Agree with everything.

@StealthBadger: Devastating Summons... hmmm... I don't know, I need to test it. The additional casting cost might fire back in some situations. Especially if you get too greedy. It definately needs testing.

@Kalandine: If you say so :).

Thanks again for the comments.


That is actually quite nice, by ShardFenix at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 11:45
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That is actually quite nice, I kept thinking of the green lands from kamigawa which i knew didnt match but john avon mountains....very nice.

I found this very interesting given the topic



great article as always, by JustSin at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 11:34
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great article as always, right or wrong I still love reading the insights and seeing others points of view

now in std Eldrazi may come out as early as turn 5, but you bump that up to Legacy/Classic/Vintage and these guys will be out turn 4 at the latest... 4x Cloudpost alone is enough mana and Cloudpost + Amulet of Vigor makes it even easier.. I'm going to be one of those cranky people I always hated who complained when a new set came out because I'm not a fan of the Eldrazi, since the beginning of Magic we've had draw backs to counter power on a card, but the "draw back" here is high casting cost, which isn't really a draw back at all... reanimator decks will still get these out on turn 1 or 2 in Legacy, prism decks will have them out fast, between Cloudpost, Vesuva, and the Uzra's lands not to mention the new lands and mana ramp spells these guys will be out fast and I'm guessing a lot of the time that Annihilator ability is going to be blowing up lands left and right, if you don't have a kill you'll be hit at least once by it and unless u have more then 4 permanents for some of these guys you're going to lose lands.. all of a sudden every game will be facing LD and while I'm still deciding over "allies as bad as slivers?" I know that Eldrazi tribal is not going to be something I want to play against

Eternal Eldrazi by Katastrophe at Wed, 04/21/2010 - 03:04
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At least in the casual room, Animate Dead, Exhume, and Reanimate all fail to cheat the Eldrazi into play. Hypergenesis, Eureka, Show and Tell, Elvish Piper, Polymorph, and alternate reality Braids all work though.

As for what is viable in eternal formats, I think it's just Oath of Druids, Show and Tell, and Hypergenesis. But I could be proven wrong. Oath is banned in Legacy anyway, and Oath players already have Iona + Progenitus, so yeah. Oath players do love to shuffle their graveyards into their libraries though, and the Eldrazi give them a way to do exactly that.

Legacy players already have the option of laying down Iona or Platinum Angel with Hypergenesis or Show and Tell, and apparently they do, but it's not top tier. In the casual room though that's gonna be a pain. Forget the 3 titans. The mere 8-10 mana commons and uncommons are going to do it. None of them have haste, though. So it's somewhat fair.

Haste can be provided free of by Paul Leicht at Wed, 04/21/2010 - 03:25
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Haste can be provided free of charge with careful preparation.

Great article, I agree with by ArchGenius at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 12:26
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Great article, I agree with your analysis of green and colorless, however I believe Momentous Fall at least deserves a mention. I think it will see some play with Vengvine and possibly Adventuring Gear.

As for red, I think Kiln Fiend and Conqueroring Manticore will see some play. Kiln Fiend will often hit for more damage than Plated Geopede, especially in pauper, and Conqueroring Manticore seems like an ideal anti-eldrazi strategy. (okay, maybe not for Emrakul) I can see a steal and sacrifice deck with the Manticore combined with Pawn of Ulamog, Bloodghast, and Bloodthrowne Vampire. I think the Manticore is probably a bit too slow right now for standard, but after Alara rotates out and the format becomes all about the Eldrazi, then we might see it.

Also, I'm thinking that since the next set is Scars of Mirrodin, with Mirrodin being the artifact plane, it will most likely have a reasonable number of playable colorless artifacts which will make All is Dust and Emrakul slightly less devastating, at least in the future standard.

Fun article. Am I the only by Leviathan at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 12:53
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Fun article.

Am I the only one that doesn't like the art on Realms Uncharted? I get the reference to Gifts Ungiven, but the elf lady depicted in RU looks like an awkwardly positioned dude. I think the main difference between the two is that RU has a little too much detail making the deficiencies stick out more in my mind, while GU is just a little bit impressionistic and smoother. But I'm not an art major or anything, so what do I know.

Thanks for the by Lord Erman at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 14:17
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Thanks for the comments.

@Shard: Great find! I always enjoyed Magic art and these links are very valuable to me. Thanks man.

@JustSin: Thankfully the Eldrazi bosses cannot be reanimated but you are right about the rest. I'm sure WotC is also aware of it. Not only reanimation but Oath decks also might find a use for some of those Eldrazi titans. And how will they effect those formats? I have no idea but I hope that the masters of those formats would write a few articles here and talk about their impact for Classic and Legacy.
A sidenote: Iona, Shiled of Emeria sees a lot play in Oath decks and I still think that she's more devastating than the Eldrazi. Shutting down a whole color? That's crazy if you think about it.

@ArchGenius: So your opponent will get into all that trouble and will summon an Eldrazi titan and you will steal it, attack with it and make him sacrifice everything he got with his own Eldrazi?! Man you're cruel :)).
Oh and you're definately right about Momentous Fall of course.

@Leviathan: I'm a big admirer of Volkan Baga's art and now that you say you don't like his work, you automatically found yourself on top of my blocked list:). Just kidding of course. Check this link:
That's an interview I did with Mr. Baga last summer. Maybe that will change your mind.

Thanks again for the comments.


I like Baga's art in general. by Leviathan at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 14:23
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I like Baga's art in general. Stoic Angel is amazing. And anything with hands is always cool. But that's probably mostly why I have such a hard time with RU. It just looks funny to me.

I love stealing Other's goodies by Rerepete at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 20:24
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You might want this with that manticore deck....

Bazaar Trader, Mark of Mutiny, or Roil Elemental.

As far as All is Dust goes, I by Parabola01 at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 17:01
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As far as All is Dust goes, I think you might be forgetting Oblivion Stone, and that card was arguably better than All is Dust.

I wish we had Oblivion Stone by Lord Erman at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 17:14
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I wish we had Oblivion Stone instead of this one. All is Dust is incredibly easy to cast on turn four or five and it blows everything instantly whereas O-Stone was a bit clumsy if you know what I mean (play, tap, add a fate counter, untap, do that again, untap, sac...). All is Dust isn't.


It posted twice. by Parabola01 at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 17:01
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It posted twice.

Realms Uncharted by andreFM at Tue, 04/20/2010 - 18:46
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Do I just have a dirty mind or is there something naughty in the Realms Uncharted picture? I think the lady's pose and her look are very suggestive, especially comparing with the more pensive mood of Gifts Ungiven. Also "Realms Uncharted", come on, THAT's innuendo...

About an oblivion stone by ciulineihmenjo at Thu, 04/22/2010 - 10:36
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@ Lord_Erman Oblivion stone is significantly weaker than All is Dust solely because it destroys permanents rather than forcing the sacrifice. But, I'm not sure what you're getting at with the "tap, add fate counter" business. I just remember hard casting it, waiting for an opponent silly enough to (attempt to) blow it up and tapping it in response to kill everything that could possibly be threatening me. It's no disk and certainly not 7 mana sorcery, but it did the job.

Further, I'm wondering what the implications will be for the future? I'm, for one, very excited about RoE in limited play, but it feels like Mirrodin/Alara-standard all over again. "Let's play deck archetype vs everything trying to beat that archetype." It just feels like magic, all over again, is saying "you had fun, but your three years are up.


Tajuru Preserver by apprenticeofthe... at Wed, 08/04/2010 - 20:55
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ok so i have an idea for my deck its a mono green deck. i have some of the lesser eldrazi, the spawn token generators, some elves and my favorite card eldrazi monument. its sort of based off of a deck i've seen on some websites and forums. there's one problem i play against a mono blue control deck with tons of spells and he gets me almost every time with his spells and abilities. now i have ordered four eldrazi monuments but again he can destroy them with his spells, it definitely gets me angry that all of my work that i put into my deck is wasted by is silly little spells. but alas this sight has given me a wonderful idea. Tajuru Preserver this is that nice little green fella that you had mentioned it has "Spells and abilities your opponents control can't cause you to sacrifice permanents." this is definitely the card i was looking for now when i ramp up my lands to bring out my eldrazi and i play my eldrazi monument he can't destroy my eldrazi monument with his dumb little spells. I hope i am correct in this assumption. anyway i thank the writer of this page very much for introducing me to this card i am fairly new at magic but i know my way around the game. i will continue to read your work it has solved a major issue with my deck.