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By: hamtastic, Erik Friborg
Jan 22 2010 2:09am
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Editorial Section aka The green trick with Multikick!:
I have history of losing to combat tricks, which is just another reason I'm a noob, but I digress...  One of the more poignant memories involves me playing against my mentor Heath Kennel.  It involved me alpha striking into a board of weenies only to get blow out be a Symbiosis.  Awkward.  I learned a lot from Heath, having the benefit of being taught by an ex-pro gave me a great leg up on the learning curve of Magic.  Sadly I've never been close to his level of skill and my defeats aren't strictly limited to old cards, I've lost to all sorts of tricks in my history of this game.  Berserk, Fog, Balduvian Rage, etc.  Generally though, these tricks consist of "one and done" type of effect, meaning that once those tricks resolve everything goes back to normal the next turn.

Until now, that is!  I hereby show you Strength of the Tajuuuuuruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!  (and yes, the yelling is mandatory, ala "HUNDROOOOOOOOOOOOG!!")

Well now, that's a trick of a different color!  Well, um, not really a different color, but a different impact to be sure!  Not only can it cause a horribly bad position for your opponent's alpha strike, it also sticks on your creatures for your rather formidable counter attack. 

Constructed Thoughts:
Green has a long heritage of pump spells, but not too many that follow the same genealogical line as this bad boy.  Mass counters for mass creatures isn't something that happens all that often, and for good reason, it's a huge game changing effect.  Even if it's happening at sorcery timing instead of as an instant, it's still a gigantic effect in any creature centric format... kind of like Zendikar, I guess.

The first two cards of this nature that I recall from my time as a player are Stand Together and Thrive; let's see how they stack up:
Stand Together requires two creatures to be of any use, otherwise you're targeting your opponent's creatures... which is none good).  It's a sorcery, so it lacks a lot of the trickiness this card will have.  This card, for the same mana (five), can give two creatures +2/+2, but at instant speed OR if you only have one creature can instead give that creature +3/+3 instead!  More flexible and more tricky, this is head-and-shoulders above Stand Together.  Before that we had Elven Rite which is far more efficient, distributing two counters for two mana.  However, that was a sorcery in a land of Capsize, which kind of made its power a bit underwhelming in the long game.  Certainly not a bad card by any rights, but not a powerhouse.  To give two creatures the same effect with this card you'll need four mana.  Less impressive on turn two, I guess, but how often were you casting Elven Rite on turn two anyway?  Probably not often, if at all.

But what about yonder Thrive?  Thrive, for six mana, gives five creatures +1/+1.  To give five creatures +1/+1 with this, you'll need to pay seven (GG1 + 4).  A little worse for your token armies.  But what about +2/+2, assuming you had two thrives?  Twelve mana for +2/+2, or eight mana for Strength of the Tajuru (GG2 + 4).  Thrive, is slightly better for a minor token boost, but if you're going for an all out mana ramp token aggro deck, SotT will be a much bigger beating than thrive could hope to be.  Take the previous example of having twelve mana for 2x thrives.  For that much, you could give those creatures +6/+6!!!  (GG6 + 4).  I can even see how Elves might just run a couple of these as a mid-game win condition or late game blowout.

As I started writing this next part I realized I sounded like an AA member, so I just sort of went with it.

"Hi, my name is Erik.  It's been six months since I built my last casual deck.  I started playing competitive Magic and have been "Casual-Clean" ever since.

But I recently had a relapse.  I was sent a card that no one else has seen and is amazing in the mid-late game.  It screamed to be broken.  It screamed for casual fun.  It screamed.... for Doubling Season.  Before I knew what was happening I was building a casual deck.  I feel like I've disappointed my competition sponsor, sorry Sebastian."

There were a few casual paths I started down.  One was Persist mixed with Strength of the Tajuru.  Another was tokens with Doubling Season which, as you can imagine, is insanely crazy to think about.  Essentially any place that Overrun could be used this can also be useful and anything that benefits from +1/+1 counters... cards like Phantom Centaur and friends... and Green/x ramp decks.  The amount of possibilities for using this as a blow out win condition are numerous.  And while the card isn't a "build around me" type of card, I can see many players replacing their pump spell of choice with this one.  It's powerful in so many ways, combat trick, alpha strike, defensively, swarming, and so on. 

Limited thoughts:
Most of that is regarding constructed uses, and to be fair, there are plenty of uses.  However, I think this card will really shine in Zendikar limited.  Many of the format's creatures are only big when attacking.  Plated Geopede, Steppe Lynx, etc.  Having a trick that not only allows you to block profitably and extra-increase your next attack will be the difference between winning and losing those races that are all too frequent in Zendikar limited games.  Keep this card in mind when you're attacking into a board with some weenies and some untapped Green mana... it might just be a surprise Tajuru'ing waiting for you!

Discussion Items:
MTGO Hardware issue
MTGO Ran into a nasty hardware issue that brought the servers back down shortly after the routine downtime.  Lots of crashed events and imploded games with lots of refunds.  Ouch.

Thoughts about PTQ's on MTGO -
This is a good thread with lots of potential for some interesting thoughts about the impacts of card bugs in a constructed PTQ and the impacts that might have on the metagame and credibility of the platform itself.  I look forward to seeing where this thread can go in the future.

50 Minute Ravnica Rounds? -
The round times for Ravnica events is shorter than before, for no announced reason.  Just a small warning to those who might join these.

Card Price Discussion:

Worldwake spoilers are hitting their stride, and of course, that means that cards that already exist get usurped and strengthened as new cards appear.  Cards like Nocturnus and Markov appear to be getting some cold, glittery vampire love in the new set and have risen appropriately.  Other movers are Extended breakouts: Summoner's Pact, Pact of the Titan which are in one of the craziest decks I've seen taken seriously named Hive Mind after its namesake card: Hive Mind.  Other Extended movers are Living End and Avalanche Riders which are now in a crazy new Cascade deck that seeks to cycle cards into the graveyard and cascade into a Living End, bringing back the Cascade player's graveyard while simultaneously clearing the opponent's board.  Solid plan and a great evolution to the previous cascade combo decks.  And mass speculation on Counterbalance seems to be impacting the price already with retail versions jumping up to 2.50 already.

Moving lower this week we have cards that have cooled off from their previous highs in the game.  Mostly the Extended lands have dropped a bit lower as the demand is beginning to wane and the supply is quickly balancing out.  I actually expect Chalice of the Void to regain a bit on the back of the Cascade decks going up this week as it once again is a great first turn shutdown of that decks and really good sideboard material in general.

Card Price Graphs:
vampire nocturnus chart
sorin markov chart
dark depths chart
godless shrine chart
glimpse of nature chart
summoner's pact chart
pact of the titan chart
tropical island chart
pact of negation chart
counterbalance chart
living end chart
counterbalance chart
ancestral vision chart
phyrexian arena chart
glimpse of nature chart
runed halo chart
pact of the titan chart
fulminator mage chart
primal command chart
avalanche riders chart
stomping ground chart
steam vents chart
engineered explosives chart
maelstrom pulse chart
hallowed fountain chart
garruk wildspeaker chart
chrome mox chart
blinkmoth nexus chart
breeding pool chart
oath of druids chart
doubling cube chart
steam vents chart
blinkmoth nexus chart
gifts ungiven chart
garruk wildspeaker chart
stomping ground chart
scapeshift chart
xathrid demon chart
maelstrom pulse chart
arcbound ravager chart

Card Price Tables:

Card This Week Last Week Value Change Percentage Change
Vampire Nocturnus 17 11 6 54.55%
Sorin Markov 11 7.75 3.25 41.94%
Dark Depths 20 17 3 17.65%
Godless Shrine 14 11.5 2.5 21.74%
Glimpse of Nature 5 2.6 2.4 92.31%
Summoner's Pact 5.5 3.5 2 57.14%
Pact of the Titan 4.75 2.75 2 72.73%
Tropical Island 18 16 2 12.50%
Pact of Negation 8.5 7 1.5 21.43%
Counterbalance 2.5 1 1.5 150.00%
Card This Week Last Week Value Change Percentage Change
Living End 2 0.6 1.4 233.33%
Counterbalance 2.5 1 1.5 150.00%
Ancestral Vision 2.5 1.25 1.25 100.00%
Phyrexian Arena 2 1 1 100.00%
Glimpse of Nature 5 2.6 2.4 92.31%
Runed Halo 1.75 1 0.75 75.00%
Pact of the Titan 4.75 2.75 2 72.73%
Fulminator Mage 3 1.75 1.25 71.43%
Primal Command 1 0.6 0.4 66.67%
Avalanche Riders 1.15 0.7 0.45 64.29%
Card This Week Last Week Value Change Percentage Change
Stomping Ground 20.5 26 -5.5 -21.15%
Steam Vents 17 22 -5 -22.73%
Engineered Explosives 31 35 -4 -11.43%
Maelstrom Pulse 18.5 22 -3.5 -15.91%
Hallowed Fountain 25 28 -3 -10.71%
Garruk Wildspeaker 9.75 12.5 -2.75 -22.00%
Chrome Mox 17 19.5 -2.5 -12.82%
Blinkmoth Nexus 7.75 10 -2.25 -22.50%
Breeding Pool 18 20 -2 -10.00%
Oath of Druids 52 54 -2 -3.70%
Card This Week Last Week Value Change Percentage Change
Doubling Cube 0.75 1 -0.25 -25.00%
Steam Vents 17 22 -5 -22.73%
Blinkmoth Nexus 7.75 10 -2.25 -22.50%
Gifts Ungiven 3.5 4.5 -1 -22.22%
Garruk Wildspeaker 9.75 12.5 -2.75 -22.00%
Stomping Ground 20.5 26 -5.5 -21.15%
Scapeshift 6.5 8 -1.5 -18.75%
Xathrid Demon 0.5 0.6 -0.1 -16.67%
Maelstrom Pulse 18.5 22 -3.5 -15.91%
Arcbound Ravager 11 13 -2 -15.38%

Tournament Section:


I know I thanked people last week for my preview cards but I'm going to do it here again, because no matter how many I get the opportunity to do it's still a tremendous privilege to be chosen to preview a new card.  I can't help but think back to the great writers I've looked up to and realize that I have been chosen to share an experience like this.  So thank you again Heath, Jessica from the PR firm, Joshua Claytor, The fine folks at WotC, and all the rest involved in letting me do this again.


Can someone please explain to by rayjinn away from home (not verified) at Sat, 01/23/2010 - 03:04
rayjinn away from home's picture

Can someone please explain to my brain why i bought 135 kazandu blademasters @ 0.12 a piece ?


Hyperbole by Longshot356 at Sat, 01/23/2010 - 03:45
Longshot356's picture

I quote...

"And yes I'm serious and no I won't feel bad if this actually happens, so don't waste time posting about it."

Sounds like your "hyperbole" was more like post hoc justification. (Latin this time. A tip from a fellow scribbler - don't patronise your readership please.)


Wow... by moerutora (not verified) at Sat, 01/23/2010 - 04:11
moerutora's picture

^ShardPhoenix^ Stop please. Your making yourself and future History grads look bad. You shouldve majored in English. Stop posting ridiculousnessessess. Its horrible for you and think how people think of you. I dont care, however, as a future History grad I am taking pity on you. Did you major in American History? It seems all of your justifications are coming from studying on America too much.

This is the pinnacle of by Grak (not verified) at Sat, 01/23/2010 - 10:26
Grak's picture

This is the pinnacle of pointless nerd rage right here. Reminds me of Yugioh TAS. "RAAAR. I hope you die for minorly inconveniencing people in an attempt to make a small amount of money in a completely legitimate way. That's how strongly I feel about this children's card game."

Hoarding by Alex (not verified) at Sat, 01/23/2010 - 13:38
Alex's picture

I don't mind speculators, but my feeling on hoarding is simple. I think that karma will eventually catch up to every hoarder who prevents a player, especially a new player, from obtaining a particular card, whether financially or due to lack of stock.

Plejades's picture

Hello everyone,

I think you guys are vastly underestimating the number of Zendikar rares that are floating around in the system. It is pretty much impossible for a single person to influence the price of a Zendikar rare card. You could do that with some mythics or harder to find cards from Classic sets but I can guarantee you that 80 rares is not even making a dent into the supply. The problem is that most people assume that bot or dealer prices represent the "true" value of a card. A dealer will of course raise the price of a particular card when he is out of stock and restocks but that is not a good representation of the supply in the general market. It's just a shortage in the supply of that particular dealer or bot. So they are, intentional or not, responsible for price spikes - people consult those price lists. Stay patient and post the cards you need on classified. I am sure you will get them for a reasonable price from drafters.

though somehow mtgotraders by ShardFenix at Sat, 01/23/2010 - 14:46
ShardFenix's picture

though somehow mtgotraders are completely out of evangels and price has gone from .10 -. 50 already

Because they were guaranteed by Anonymous at Sat, 01/23/2010 - 15:10
Anonymous's picture

Because they were guaranteed to rise in price because wizards printed more good allies, particularly in white. Buying cheap things before they increase in value because they become more useful is not the same thing as buying all of something that is already used and artificially driving price. Anyone can see that Kabira Evangel will be more useful with worldwake, and so all those so inclined bought them up, but right now no one besides speculators even wants them, so it doesn't matter, and most of them will sell once they are useful. If they don't become useful, it won't even matter and they will have hurt themselves and no one else.

but buying 80 is like by ShardFenix at Sat, 01/23/2010 - 15:44
ShardFenix's picture

but buying 80 is like expecting allies to be the next big thing...which i doubt. so not only do i think hoarding is dumb hoarding cards they might not even crack tier 1 level play...lmao, casual players may or may not be willing to pay to play. So unless it becomes big in constructed....they lost

? by Anonymous (not verified) at Sun, 01/24/2010 - 00:02
Anonymous's picture

So why are you mad?

woo-hoo Living End is finally by Judah (not verified) at Sun, 01/24/2010 - 12:57
Judah's picture

woo-hoo Living End is finally taking off! I spent 5 tix to get about 50 of them back when people were valuing them as a junk TSP rare at like 0.1 each. I've always thought it's as good as Hypergenesis, if not better.

another shard quote: in my by Anonymous (not verified) at Sun, 01/24/2010 - 13:23
Anonymous's picture

another shard quote: in my opinion violence tends to be an acceptable response to any problem...its worked for so far in life. And I'm in my 20's

doesn't sound like ur original comment about car death wasn't a hyperbole, rather you meant it quite literally. it was only afterwards that you decided it should be a hyperbole given the response that you received. man up.

lol you obviously dont get by ShardFenix at Sun, 01/24/2010 - 20:05
ShardFenix's picture

lol you obviously dont get the idea of sarcasm either...though to be quite honest, i've also given up being nice to people just because its the "appropriate" thing to do. If i like you then we're col, if not i have no reason to care whether or not I offend, annoy, anger, make you want to cry, etc...If you doont like what i have to say and my opinions, you can just not read them. Im here for me, and thats all im really concerned about. I play magic for my fun, no one elses.

useless to talk whit such a by Anonymous (not verified) at Sun, 01/24/2010 - 22:44
Anonymous's picture

useless to talk whit such a character. you don´t get, if you don´t, no reason, no, no, no... pathetic.