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By: Westane, Jeff Torres
Dec 22 2011 2:12am
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Bored Now...

The image was originally going to be of Evil Willow from the Buffy series... I didn't think enough people would have caught the reference though... What a great show... Anyway, yes, I'm bored now. Block Constructed has lost its innovation, the meta is pretty much set, and all I have to look forward to are DKA spoilers, which will be at least another two weeks away.

I know, there are a good few decks I haven't written about so far, but do we really need a whole article on GW Humans or Burning Vengeance? As expected, the format has temporarily lost its magic for me, and I haven't been playing in it a whole lot as a result. What I have done is gone out and bought into Pauper. Like, all of it. For those interested, it costs about 150 tix to buy every single Pauper staple and otherwise for every deck you could ever want to play in Pauper... ever. I got that crazy hair up my ass and actually, have been having a blast! I was planning on ending 2011 with a live-narrated Commander game, but I might do a Pauper SE instead, just for kicks.

Make no mistake, I have no place writing about Pauper. I'll be sticking to my block reports, thank you very much, but for now I need to find other things to capture my interest.

Luckily, this down time means I can finally start paying attention to my other games. I've beaten the Diablo 3 beta six times, and yes that means twice on one character. I've mined enough diamonds in Minecraft to craft a full set of diamond armor, a sword, shovel, pickaxe, axe and, yes, a hoe. Finally, Skyrim.

But enough talk! On to baseless speculation!


Knowing the Future May Help Predict the Future

crystal ball

 It's been made known by WotC that the third set in the Innistrad block will not have any double faced cards in it, for lore reasons. The fact that this change is due to the block's storyline is relevant, as we can now start to draw some conclusions as to what may or may not happen in DKA. Before this information was brought to our attention, I was completely ready to predict that DKA will contain both a GW Legendary Human as well as a double faced RG Legendary Werewolf. I think it's obvious we'll be getting them, completing the set of tribal legends ISD put into place, but I'm no longer set on the timing.

It feels natural to get the legendary human in the next set. Olivia, Grimgrin and Saint Traft have all drawn to the strength and flavor of their respective tribes, so we can expect the next two to do the same. Olivia sucks blood to become stronger, and can charm or control her own kind. Saint Traft is a ghost who cannot be affected by physical or manufactured abilities, and who (probably due to his past life) can call upon heavenly forces for aid. Finally, Grimgrin, well, eats people.

 If we look at the humans of Innistrad, we can start to draw some commonalities. Specifically, there's strength in numbers (Elder of Laurels, Champion of the Parish, Geist-Honored Monk) and displays of their faith (Fiend Hunter, Slayer of the Wicked, Elite Inquisitor). When I think of a champion of the humans of Innistrad, I think that in its most literal sense. Some huge dude, armed to the teeth and afraid of nothing. An inspiration to those weaker than he is, which, frankly, is just about everyone.

Brock Samson - 3GW
Legendary Creature - Human
Vigilence, Protection from Black
Human spells you cast cost GW less to cast.
Humans can not be transformed.
4/4

There's my money for our legendary human. Oh, right, I forgot to mention. I'm going to be making wild speculations throughout this entire article. For each concept I end up being right about... I'll brag about it endlessly at a later date. Every time I get something wrong... I'll put in a request to have this article deleted in 4-6 weeks...

In regards to my theory on the legendary werewolf, I'm currently sitting on two lines of thought. We know Avacyn reappears in the third set. We don't know how, or why, or in what state. It's entirely possible and perhaps even likely she returns as a great malevolent being. It's also very likely she'll return and act much the same way Korona did... Karona? Do I need to go back to writing lore articles? I'm losing focus. I foresee one of two things happenning in AVR:

  1. Avacyn's appearance lifts the curse from the werewolves, turning them all to humans. There are no werewolves in AVR
  2. Avacyn's appearance "locks" the werewolves in whatever form they're currently in. Werewolves are werewolves forever

Both options lend themselves to the elimination of double faced cards, and the second maintains the werewolf tribe and allows for a single-faced, red and green legendary werewolf. However, we're not speculating on AVR just yet...


Two Faces are Better than One

erayo, soratami ascendant

It has been stated that WotC has some cool things lined up for double faced cards, and speculation is incredibly fun. There are several applications of double faced cards. So many, in fact, that I almost wish it was a standard mechanic. Of course, I say this a pure online player, I don't have to desleeve my cards every time I need to flip them.

Rather than spend a lot of time talking about mechanics, why don't I just drop some hardcore guesswork on you!

Bubbling Swamp
Land - Swamp
T: Add B to your mana pool
If there are three of more creatures in play, transform Bubbling Swamp
===================
Swamp Thing
Creature - Swamp Thing
When Swamp Thing dies, search your library for a basic swamp and put it into play tapped
2/2

Crying Statue - 4
Artifact
When Crying Statue becomes the target of a spell or ability, transform it.
===================
Stone Angel
Artifact Creature - Angel
Flying, Hexproof

5/5

Witch of the Wastes - BBB
Creature - Human Witch
When Witch of the Wastes dies, return it to the battlefield transformed.
===================
Curse of Time Lost
Enchantment - Aura Curse
Enchant player
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a -1/-1 counter on each creature enchanted player controls.

How do you like that? Again, I love this mechanic. Nowhere near as confusing as flip cards, and about a thousand times more flavorful. Creatures coming back as curses is exactly what the Haunt mechanic should have been I think, and having access to the entire face of a card lets you do some amazing things. If I had to put money on one of these appearing in DKA, it would be the witch/curse mechanic. It just fits too perfectly, and Magic needs more witches!


Let's Talk About Sorin

sorin markov

We know Sorin's coming home. What we don't know, is why or in what condition. There is more speculation around Sorin's colors than there are around his abilities or backstory. Is that white mana coming out of his finger tip? He's going to be BW! Vampires on Innistrad are BR, so he's going to be BR... Maybe BRW? He can't be solid black, we just got Liliana!

Frankly, yeah, I think he's going to remain solid black. First, the Markov family on Innistrad, traditionally, has always kept itself more secluded than the other vampire families. They've always preferred to keep more to themselves, in the darker reaches of Stensia. The only examples of the Markovs in card form on Innistrad are Bloodline Keeper and Markov Patrician, both solid black. That's obviously not enough to draw any conclusions from, but this is just speculation after all.

My bet? Sorin will cost 1BBB, and will be aggro oriented. I think he'll be the ideal planeswalker for black tribal decks, like zombies and vampires, and his abilities will involve some form lifelink granting, +1/+1 counters, and creature control.


Reprints!

tarmogoyf

If you've been to Magic sites on the internet you've seen the reprint speculation threads. Some are pretty well thought out, some, not so much. The two biggest names thrown around for DKA are of course Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant. Both cards are incredibly good, and both cards are expensive Modern staples. Okay, Dark Confidant isn't quite a Modern staple yet, but after the recent bannings of Punishing Fire and Wild Nacatl, he very well could/should/will be. At first pass, a reprint of Dark Confidant sounds a little absurd, but when you think about it, the current meta really hates Bob. Standard is rocking Gut Shot and Dismember all over the place, and just about every Block deck is running Devil's Play, Brimstone Volley, Geistflame, Sever the Bloodline or Dead Weight. Hell, Garruk Relentless kills it and survives! Even so, I can see where he'd fit flavor wise, I could easily see him walking straight out of Stensia (or into it) but I don't think it's enough to warrant a reprint. Maybe next block.

Next up is Tarmogoyf. Please reprint Tarmogoyf. Without fetchlands you're almost always going to be dropping a turn two 2/3 at best, usually stopping at a 3/4 for a good few turns. Standard is chock full of targeted removal, all of which hits the goyf, and Block not only lacks the means to abuse him, but centralizes around the Flashback mechanic, which is directly counter intuitive to Tarmogoyf. He would be good, that's not even an argument, but he'd be far from broken. If there was ever a time to bring the goyf back, this would be it.

I've heard a lot of Deep Analysis and Quiet Speculation... speculation. Both cards would be fantastic to have, but both are just a little too high on the power scale I think. Quiet Speculation would send Burning Vengeance decks over the top, and make Block Dredge completely unfun to play against... or maybe it would just make it tier one, I don't know. Deep Analysis wouldn't be too bad, it's still a sorcery after all, and could very well make it into the block, even if not in DKA.

 Moving on to targeted removal, I've seen Terror, Celestial Purge and Firebolt. I'll go ahead and say, on record, that Firebolt is not coming back. I wish it were, like, a lot, but it's not. I think Geistflame was their way of outright telling us, "No, you're not getting Firebolt, but, here's this!" Celestial Purge fits flavor-wise, and may find its way into the block, even if not in DKA. I'm not set on it happening, only if for the fact that it can take out both of their flagship planeswalkers, but, who knows. Terror is also very flavorful, but in a set that already has Victim of Night, I'm not sure it would quite fit. As it stands, I'm giving a "no" to all three of these spells.

As for random name throwing... Moment's Peace is flavor straight out of Stensia (Look it up) and Ray of Revelation would fit nicely as well, and is probably somewhat needed. I'd kill for a Nether Spirit reprint, and think this is the set to do it in... um... Spiritmonger, Pernicious Deed and Vindicate? Eh? Eh?

Maybe not...


The "I Told You So" List

Also known as the "Well That Sure Came Back to Bite me in the Ass" list... Here's the TL;DR version of my predictions!

  1. Sorin will be mono-black and aggro/midrange oriented
  2. There will not be a RG Legendary Werewolf in the set
  3. The GW Human will be "Rem Karolus, Blade of the Inquisitors"
  4. We will have double faced enchantments
  5. Tarmogoyf will be in the set
  6. We'll see at least one Odyssey block reprint.. Maybe Incarnations?
  7. We'll get some ally-color mana fixing... but it will come in the form of talisman-like artifacts
  8. Spirits will become playable

Until next time!

-Jeff Torres

8 Comments

I think that Tarmogoyf is by Lord Erman at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 03:28
Lord Erman's picture

I think that Tarmogoyf is nothing but a mistake for Wizards. Therefore I don't think that they will EVER print it in a normal set no matter how balanced it may look like for the set. Maybe we can have Tarmogoyf in the far future in a "From the Vaults: Mistakes" special set.

My predictions for the reprints are as follows:

1- Soul Snare & Scavenging Ooze: I wouldn't be surprised if they print these two. Especially Scavenging Ooze.
2- Decompose or Rats' Feast: Both are good cards to fight graveyard based strategies that cannot play Purify the Grave. And they're sorceries.
3- Tombfire: A perfect way to fight those Burning Vengeance decks.
4- Identity Crisis: Just put a new art on it showing a human turning into a werewolf with a "what the heck is happening to me?!" look in his eyes, and the card will be fine.
5- Syncopate: Fits well into the set with Dissipate. And it would also be good to have it in Modern.
6- Selfless Exorcist: Fits perfectly to the set both flavorwise and mechanics-wise.
7- Chainer's Edict: A man can dream, right?
8- Angel of Despair: This is "A man can dream, right?" Part II.
9- Spellweaver Volute: It's from Future Sight so it might be in the set.
10- Topple: It's a good card and helps fighting those Splinterfrights in Block and Wurmcoil Engines in Standard.
11- Bash to Bits: Why not?
12- Careful Consideration: Fits perfectly into that UG dredge deck. Fits perfectly into Burning Vengeance decks. Fits perfectly into Solar Flare. So yeah, it's a good candidate.

I also believe that we will get a Mind Control variant, a Black mass removal spell, some small to mid-sized Green creatures with Hexproof and one big vanilla Blue creature with hexproof (so that Solar Flare gets another target), a Black tutor, a Green removal spell for flyers, a Black Drain Life variant and a White Brave the Elements variant.

And my prediction for Sorin is that he will cost 3BB and he will be played in Standard and in Block as a 2-of in mainly Grixis decks. This is just a prediction of course which is based on nothing but just wild guessing.

But NO TARMO!!!

LE

I'd like to see you be right by Westane at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 10:16
Westane's picture

I'd like to see you be right about Sorin, Grixis has always been one of my favorite decks to play. I'd also kill to see a functional reprint of Chainer's Edict, and when you compare it to other current cards... it really isn't that OP at uncommon, not even close really.

We "Know" Sorin is being by Paul Leicht at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 04:38
Paul Leicht's picture

We "Know" Sorin is being printed a 3rd time time? If so I'm betting green black.

Also on Tarmo: I doubt it. It was a mistake (I concur with LE on this) the first time around and it was fine in its own set (because who played with Future sight back then anyway?). I suspect if anything there might be a slightly similar reprint with some fixes (cost vs power mainly with maybe a boost in terms of ability instead.)

Dark Confidant is more likely. Meddling Mage was reprinted so why not Bob? I still doubt it though. High power (maybe even broken with some card interactions?) deck manipulation card seems unlikely.

I'd also say nay to Deep Analysis. As much as I <3 that card it is not one you want to see in a standard meta. Talk about giving blue ridiculous draw power.

Quiet speculation could show up, though I suspect only within a set also with cards designed to neuter Burning Vengeance which is pretty hard to handle if you aren't prepared for it.

Also three nos to Deed, Vindicate and Spiritmonger all ridiculous cards that do not ever need to see the light of a reprint again imho.

Vindicate, Deed and by Westane at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 10:11
Westane's picture

Vindicate, Deed and Spiritmonger were all jokes of course, but fine, I'll give up on Tarmogoyf... "for now"

Human Legend by Marcelo Tiellet at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 05:51
Marcelo Tiellet's picture
4

Well, we already have a human legend, don´t we? Mikaeus is there for it. And if u look close, the green humans (non werewolves) don´t get along very weel with the white ones, they are almost another tribe.
I think the RG legendary werewolf will be on the third set, fixed on the werewolf side.
Sorin will be on his starting days, so i will place him on black too, but with more destroy powers, things like dark blade and alike.
And i think we are going to see another win the game card.

I'm just convinced they're by Westane at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 10:14
Westane's picture

I'm just convinced they're going to complete the set of allied colored legends, and Mikaeus doesn't fit the cycle.

Also I don't think Sorin's in his starting days here, as the events on Innistrad occur AFTER the the whole Liliana vs Garruk and the Cursed Veil fiasco. Of course, I've been wrong before...

Brock Samson!?! I like it! by Leviathan at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 13:34
Leviathan's picture
5

Brock Samson!?! I like it! My guess would be first strike instead of the reducing ability. He is sort of a mini-Akroma, after all. Add a bodyguard ability and he's perfect! Of course, that's more Venture Brothers flavor than Innistrad. Now I want to see some VB themed cards and decks.

Great stuff. I've always loved wild speculation.

Werewolf Legend by Bugsy at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 15:11
Bugsy's picture
5

I'd say there is a very good chance that there is a legendary werewolf in DKA. Seeing as the mythic werewolf was pushed out of Innistrad so Garruk could get added to the set. And of the three named werewolves from the Planswalker's Guide to Innistrad: Kessig article there are two of them that are likely for DKA. Ulrich of the Krallenhorde, and Skaharra of Leeraug pack.

The third one might be a better fit in Avacyn Restored as there are no double faced cards and he is described as: "Their alpha Tovalos is a mute, silver-furred werewolf who leads his pack on revels of carnage and howling songs, and who never seems to revert to human form."