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By: Klemzo, Z K
Sep 25 2009 1:13am
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1. Introduction

2. Zendikar Strategy, Card Types and New Abilities

2.1 - Traps

2.2 - LandFall & Lands

2.3 - Quest Counters

2.4 - Allies

2.5 - White Strategy

2.6 - Black Strategy

2.7 - Red Strategy

2.8 - Green Strategy

2.9 - Blue Strategy

3. Card Spoilers And Discussion

3.1 - White

3.2 - Black

3.3 - Red

3.4 - Green


3.5 - Blue

3.6 - Artifacts

4. Final Words & Thanks

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Hello, everyone!
This is my 1st article here on PureMTGO, so hope you like it and please note that my English is very poor since it's not my home language and I apologize for any mistakes!

So let's start:

When Shards of Alara block was 1st spoiled I was going mad. I imagine everyone else was. But I was really excited, I was keep saying how great this set is and even my friends thought I'm going crazy. Sure there were few disappointments about Conflux and Alara Reborn, but everyone was just "up in the air".

But now that Zendikar was spoiled... I don't know what to say. I feel a feeling that's nothing compared to before. No. This feeling is much, much better! When I go through the spoilers every day I just get literally over excited. When I talk with friends about Zendikar I just can't breathe. When I wake up in the morning I just hastily rush on my computer to see if there are any new spoilers! 

Ok, I might be little overreacting, but you get the point! Zendikar just seams overpowered! By just looking at cards you get the feeling that Wizard made a mistake. They all seem overpowered and when I read the text of one card you just go "Wow!", you can't believe it’s possible for an official MTG card, that was made by Wizards, to be so powerful. Every single Mythic there gives me that feeling. Every rare makes my hair go up. Just every card is weirdly amazing.

So to me every card is overpowered. It just seems to be unfair. But if every card is overpowered that means that the odds are even. So in Zendikar we got major, overpowered, almost demigod cards battling each other... but what are we missing? The commons? The first few turn plays? Exactly. And that is the point; There are none! Zendikar just feels like a totally "demigod" set, ancient set, set of elders and mythic beings; a set that will from now on be my favorites!

So I decided to make an article about Zendikar. Or rather, let’s say "articles". I plan on having "articles" named Zendikar Treasures that will come out every week or so where I will discuss abut Zendikar, since as I already sad; this will be my favorite set and I plan to play its Block and nothing else.

This is the 1st number (#1) and here I will talk about all recently spoiled Zendikar cards and at the end I will try making a "half-decks" from them and hopefully be able to discuss with you guys on your opinions and ideas.

And just last thing before we start, are some important things you should know:

► Note that when I will, for example, say: " And since there isn't any good removal..." I will only be talking for Zendikar block. All my articles will strictly be about Zendikar block and nothing else!

Remember no STD, EXT and anything else. Just Zendikar! 

► Do understand that this are just my thoughts and I'm not saying this will be so. This information are mostly discussions and fun thoughts that people discuss around the internet. I'm claiming nothing and this is just FUN discussions, guessing and ideas! =)

► Another thing you should keep in mind, is that this Article was made in about 1 week and it was submitted on 23.9.09.

This means that there are only spoilers, information and guessing (discussion, theories) about Zendikar spoiled till that date.

By the time this article was published there is a chance some stuff changed and was newly spoiled.

And last and final warning: SPOILERS ARE INCLUDED from here on!
 

That being sad, hope you enjoy reading this and let the fun begin! xD 


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As any set Zendikar decks (colors) also has their own strategies and new effects and types, at which they beat their opponent. And as Zendikar is so perfect, even its strategies are amazing! Don't believe me? Ok, let’s check it out.

Another thing you should also know is that I will first go through the new stuff and decks/colors strategies, before I will closely discuss any cards alone.

Now, before we start with each color separately, let's check out some new Zendikar card types and card abilities:

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2.1 - TRAPS

Traps are a new Archetype in Zendikar of Instant spells and they work in really clever and cool way.

Traps are traps. That means by triggering it you get a desired effect. Well here on MTG it works the same. Traps are instants that cost a lot to play for pretty great effect. So when opponent does something ("triggers the trap") you can play the trap for greatly reduced or even no cost.  So for example a trap would cost 6 mana, but when opponent would... let’s say attack, you could play it for only 1 mana.

Well anyways, here are some spoiled traps:

 


 

Now you probably get the point on how they function. As you can see the cost is either reduced a lot or simply brought to 0 when an opponent does something. You might also notice how nuts some of them are, but we will discuss them more later.

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2.2 - LANDFALL & LANDS

Landfall is absolutely great ability that functions when you play lands; and lands, especially in Zendikar, are something you play almost every single turn!  So basically whenever you play a land one of your cards will get a great effect. I guess to put it even easier; "Play lands to win!."

If you don't believe me how great this is, check out some of the awesome Landfall cards:

 


 

Still having doubts? I think not!  Hope you can now understand the "overpowerness" I was talking you about at the beginning; this is just supreme! ;)

Ok, yes, you may say "But what if I don't have any lands in my hand or I just can't get one?!", no, my friend, you are terrible wrong, as Wizards gave us enemy fetches.   They gave as land fetchers, lands that are nothing great, but lands that are again just supreme, they gave us new lands that "bribe" us to play them and if that wasn't enough they also gave us lands with their own special pay abilities.

But again, I talk too much, so here you have them:




And here are lands that reward you when you play them:
 


 

Not enough? Well, here are even more lands:
 


 

Woot or What!? I think, WOOT! 

I'm pretty sure most of you were looking at Crypt of Agadeem, which is very similar to
Cabal Coffers,
a card that was very popular and good (and still is) back in the old days. More about that later, lets continue.

So lands are just so awesome and I think we got ourselves more "5$ each" lands and I'm sure that some will raise the price to even more then just 5$! 
So if you can, grab them up before you won't be able to!

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2.3 - QUEST COUNTERS!


Another kinda new, but important mechanic in Zendikar is (or are) Quest Counters!  I think this represents the quests that Planeswalkers and others go to; to explore and find priceless Zendikar Artifacts and Treasures.

This Quest Counters apply to Enchantments that are usually very cheap to play, but take some time to get to their full effect. Basically what it does is, when a certain condition is met; you can put a quest counter on. Then this card has an effect that makes you remove certain amounts of Quest Counters to activate their powerful effects.

These cards can be very powerful and annoying and so, here are some examples of them:



Of all their greatness you might want to take a special look (again) at Luminarch Ascension. 4/4 Angel so cheap? No, it's not a fake and we will discuss it more later, but now let’s take a look at a new type of Creature!

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2.4 - ALLIES

Allies are creature types, that by themselves basically do nothing but, they only make each additional one you play you better!

Basically any creature with Ally type means to you that more allies you play the better you and they will be. They all have all sorts of effect that makes them or you better if you play or have more allies.

So if you are a fan of MTG story and lore you could imagine this guys (allies) to be an expedition team. Zendikar is place where adventurers go seek the priceless treasures and by explorers and adventures Wizards gave us "allies. So more of them, more brain, toughness and power to find the treasures and be able to face against all those nasty Zendikar creatures. And at the same time that means more power for us; MTG players!

Ok, back to MTG; the only thing more there is to say here is, if you noticed, there isn't really "a lot" of ally creatures yet. Each color has only 1-2 allies spoiled so far and if you really want to make an ally deck it would of course be 2 colored or in this case even 3-4 colored which seams a bad choice for Zendikar.

No matter, we will find and more about it soon; but for now check some of them out:



Now, enough about that. Let's look at Deck and Colors strategies: 

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2.5 - WHITE STRATEGY:

If you haven't noticed yet, white has a lot of lifegain. No, I don't mean every single card has Lifelink but some cards have it and some cards have other life gaining effects, Also there are few cards so far that seam really overpowered and a card that if you cast it, you win if you have certain amount of life!

In my opinion White's strategy would be to  gain as much life as fast as possible while playing all the protective spells they have; until you have a possibility to cast Felidar Sovereign to win the game. It seems easy specially cause all of the White monsters and extreme beaters (Felidar, Iona, Luminarch, etc.). have very defensive qualities. 

But as nothing is perfect there will of course be enemies that will try to beat your life. And as you might notice there is a lot cards that function against this strategy. For example Enchantments killers and then cards like Sorin Markov with his ability to put opponent to 10 life instantly, and so on.

So I think White will be once again a very powerful color that people will sure choose of. If not for the life gain/win strategy, but just because of all overpowered angels and creatures they got.

Here are few examples I had in mind:

 



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2.6 - BLACK STRATEGY


The color that sickness me the most is Black. They are sick in a good way, that is. They use all of their discarding and nerfing and all of typical black stuff to really drive you mad. But since they aren't powerful enough with all of their Faeries and Corrupt and just sick cards, Wizard still decided to make Mono Black powerful once more!

Then they thought what they are missing? I mean they got it all... Well they decided it’s time to make them even more powerful than they already are.  I mean, in simple way; If you opponent has 10 life, you can "huuuraay!".

Yes that's what I'm talking about. The "10 life matters" thing going on with almost all Black Zendikar cards.   If you didn't noticed already there is bunch of cards that get extremely better once your opponent has 10 or less life.  And then you of course got cards like Morin Sarkov to beat the crap out of your opponent!

Now this is one hell of a great opponent for a White deck and of all the cards it has I'm pretty sure it will be popular deck to play!

Yeah, it’s possible here on Zendikar. It's awesome ;)

So let's see these bad boys I was thinking off:


Yeah, I know they aren't "10 Life Matters" things, but I just showed you how powerful these guys are.

<ore about them later let's take a look at my favorite color; Red!

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2.3 - RED STRATEGY

Red... ahhh... Goblins, Trolls, Giants, Minotaurs, Elementals, burn spells... ahh that is a lovely color indeed!  Another lovely thing about Red in Zendikar is the amount of Aggro and Burn spells we got!  

So without saying anything you can pretty much imagine the so called "strategy" these guys have.

Yes, you guessed, bunch of goblins, hasters, elementals guys and heavy burn spells and all the goodies you can have... did I mention Goblins? Oh, I love those guys, and Zendikar, hah, Zendikar has a lot of them! ^^

Check some of them out:

 

And so on
I know right?!  The power of the Zendikar, I was talking to you about before.  I mean just Goblin Guide, Elemental Appeal or Warren Instigator. You know there was once a card very similar to him and was banned!?

And don't get me started about Chandra Ablaze.... *uugh*, I'll have my fun later on... but now, sadly, let's continue to Green beasts!

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2.4 - GREEN STRATEGY

Stomping? There is plenty of it going on in green
!
Once again a very simple, yet effective strategy these guys have. I'm not exactly sure how they will work as there weren't a lot Green spoilers yet, but you can see Nissa Revane and her elf abilities and you can see elves and other small creatures, but at the same time you can also see those "badass" giant beaters that pummel their feet with their power.

Another thing to say here is that green also has all the "best" cards in Zendikar. For starters green has Lotus Cobra! One of the best cards so far in Zendikar (more about it later). Then it has Harrow, also a must card for any multi-colored Zendikar deck and then it has all the stompers like Baloth and Scute Mob which makes it even better. So despite all the others cool colors like, Red, White and Black we will probably see Multi decks with 2 colorss, to be half green and no questions asked!

So for the green I would say, total beating with small creatures and later on giant, giants... oh yes and Harrow! /cheers :

 Here they are:



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2.5 - BLUE STRATEGY

Well, to tell you the truth I actually don't see any interesting strategy here at blue.
They have pretty awesome and dangerous counters, few amazing beaters and cards that are just really useful!

But rest assured that there will be more spoiled soon and there are already talks around forums and blogs about few not yet spoiled blue counter spells!

Anyway, check some of them out and note how powerful they are! :)




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The part I love has come. Here I will pick pretty much all the great cards from Zendikar and will explain and discuss their powers and see how that fits in the decks and deck strategies.

Let's begin, with each color at the time:

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Angels and Lifelink? Yes indeed!
Lets take a look at some of the best "highlight" cards, that will surely be very popular along the way:
 

 First card we must say a word about is Day of Judgment.
Yes, very same as Wrath of God but with one small difference; there is no "Creatures Can't Regenerate"!

A lot of people say that's bad since they liked that "no regen." thing.
I mean Wrath of God was really awesome (and annoying spell), but still
I think its great that you can still regenerate, which gives you a little more survivability.

Now people had thoughts why its so. 1st thought was that Zendikar block (no matter what part/set of it) will include a lot or some Regeneration creatures and that's the reason. Spoilers yet have not shown that. But one of the reasons also could be that they just "reprinted" Wrath of God and they simply made it "easier" with possible regen.

Enough about this spell. All I can say its that its very powerful card that will definitely be used and will easily rich high prices.
"It killz meh creatures!!1" after all!

 

 First of all its 2 mana.

Second much better then Hoofprints of the Stag.
And third of, who doesn't want to have a 4/4 Flying Angel in play!?

Ok, maybe it does not you to not lose life to get this quest counters but, imagine if you put it in play at turn 2 and if your opponent isn't a haster deck that's even better. And since White is color of life and protection that gives you even better advantage.

Wouldn't it be great if you somehow got by and on turn 5 you can already pump out 4/4 Flying Angels? And it's not even tap ability. You just simply need 2 mana for 1 angel. What a deal!

Definitely a great card, again worth spending money for it.

 

 

 The perfect card for Zendikar White decks.

It's true that it's very expensive, but the incredibly double life boost the card gives is almost a must for this kind of deck. Now match this up with Felidar Sovereign and you got a winning combination!

Again an awesome card and nothing much really to say about.
For example its good to be used with any small creature as it still applies the effect. If the creature would had Double Strike that would mean... let say 20 life. Hit once, 40 life, hit again, 80 life. Next turn, bam, 160 life and again 320 and so on.

Just read it over and over again and you'll understand how cool it is

 

 6 mana 4/6 beast. Okay pretty good common. But now they give Vigilance and Lifelink. Ok, very good rare. But now they give us an ability to win when we have 40 life... Okay, an amazing Mythic card!

Imagine how good this guy is. With all the life gaining spells we talked about before, Celestial Mantle and more to come this is a really great card and a really great strategy.

Another Mythic card serving its purpose and now all he is missing is a Shroud to make it perfect! ;)

 

 

 Another wonderful card. It's pretty expensive, but 9 mana is a lot less in Zendikar then in any other set, cause of all those fetchers and lands.

So you get a 7/7 Flying angel that is even by itself really great.
But you also get such a great protection ability that could literally destroy a  Mono Colored deck.

Still if you battle against 2 color deck (again I'm talking for Zendikar Block) and the colors are, lets say, Black and Green, you play Iona, choose black as protection and as Green doesn't have any good removal against Iona, you basically already won if opponent doesn't already have bunch of beaters in play.


9 mana is a lot and in late game where opponent has his field packed it doesn't bring its full potential.

But, again its very decent card and will probably be used a lot!

 

Now featuring last, but definitely and not even closely least Creature card;
World Queller!

"Why fight the world when you know who will win"
--NIssa Revane


This is the card that you dream about. Are you thinking I'm weird? Read the text again and come back to me.

This creature is only 5 mana for 4/4. But despite that, he has a killer ability! You can simply kill anything that opponent throws at you! Is that an Enchantment?, maybe a Planeswalker?, an annoying Equipment?, or just a killer Creature? No matter what it is, your opponent will always sacrifice it! This card pwns everything in its path and is useful in any decks! From control decks to aggro decks this guy just owns them all!

No question asked, this card will definitely be a "top on" and I advise you grab it asap, else I don't think your budget will be able to handle it!

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Color of demise and pain, surely your favorite, after Zendikar!
Check out these few cards that simply can't get better,in official kind of way

 First lets take a look at a Planeswalker. Sorin Markov, a lovely name... but is he a lovely person? I think not.

He is a bad planeswalker that is feared by any deck cause of his last ability, that he can get in couple of turns with his awesome +2.
But even better ability he has is his -3. "Target opponent's life total becomes 10". Great. That is great, maybe not against all decks, but definitely against Zendikar's White deck!

This totally destroys White's deck tactic of winning by having 40 life!
Its a great counter and is worth his cost.

And I repeat once again, 6 mana is nothing in Zendikar specially if you can use Crypt of Agadeem and it's that much better!

 

 Read it slowly. You think it's great?! You are wrong, read it again.
Done? Now you know its awesome!

This card has:
1 - Creature kill
2 - Creature advantage
3 - Card advantage

Read it again.
He can target himself!
What that means? It means that for example if an opponent tries to destroy him and casts a removal on him you can simply pay the mana cost ( of course you have to tap him ) and opponent will have to deal with another 5/5 creature!

How great is that!?
I guarantee you this is a "must" card that you should get in your hands as soon as possible!

 

Again, pretty much nothing to say!

This card will definitely own the field in no time cause of his amazing ability!

Imagine if you play Harrow or a fetch land... or both in 1 turn! You could get a 15/15 creature and your opponent would lose 12 life in just 1 turn! Or if you play even more fetch lands and spells imagine the power this guy would get or simply just the burn effect that could instantly kill an opponent!

Do you still by any chance don't understand what I meant by Zendikar being overpowered, being a demigod set!?

Hope you do understand, else you are missing a big point here! ;)

 As I sad before I just wanted to say something about Crypt of Agadeem, just to bring the lovely land out.

So yes, Wizards did decide it's time to boost Black and they gave us the brother of Cabal Coffers, which was (and still is) a very great and popular card.

Sure it's not as awesome as
Cabal Coffers, but its very close to it. With this card you have even more chance to bring out all those awesome Black cards Zendikar has to offer, and when I say "awesome Black cards" I definitely mean, Sorin, Ob Nixilis and Kalitas.

Get it, before it gets as or more expensive then Cabal Coffers!


 

  Here we have another 3 cards that are again just fantastic!

  ► Bloodghast. Another card that works a lot better when you opponents has 10 or less life. This guy is a great beater, cause if you didn't noticed he can simply come into the battlefield from graveyard whenever you play a land and then he can also attack in the same turn if your opponent is at ten or less!

  ► Vampire Nighthawk. He is a 2/3 Flyer for just 3 mana... he has LifeLink and DeathTouch? Are you kidding me!? Yes, indeed he has both. It's a very good card that would go into black decks with no questions asked!

  ► Vampire Lacerator. A 1 mana, 2/2 creature. Again he works better when your opponent has 10 or less life. Where did we see similar creature to him?... Yes, you're right, Carnophage. Very similar and very popular cards back in the days. So, yeah, Vampire Lacerator will definitely be a great addition to a Black deck!

 

  ► Blood Tribute. A simple and good sorcery card I just wanted to show you to confirm "life matters" thing. So as you can see this spell halves the opponents life and for a really small kicker cost it also gives you that much. Now, halving a white Zendikar decks life is something really great and since those deck would have tons of life that makes even better for you if you kicked it!

  ► Halo hunter. Hmmm.... a great beater, yes, specially with Intimidate. But his ability is indeed, very interesting. Destroy target angel. Nice, angels are one of the most powerful creatures in MTG and we indeed need this right now against all those angels like Baneslayer Angel.... but you know what!? Bloody Wizards decided to make Halo Hunter a demon! Why?! Well cause they still don't want to hurt Baneslayer and they just want her to still beat the crap out of us! They could make Halo Hunter a ghost or spirit or zombie or vampire or anything, but no, they made a demon. Lovevly, ain't it!?

  ► Gatekeeper of Malakir. It's a pretty nice card. A 2 mana 2/2 beater, but if you have a nasty creature like Iona to be dealtwith you can simply kick him to make your opponent sac him. Nice card that will most likely see play in most of the Black decks.

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The color of destruction, fire, dragons, goblins, lovely stuff, more destruction,... did I mention goblins!?
This is my favorite color and here in Zendikar it definitely serves its meaning, so let's see:
 

Wooah, wooah!
This is definitely one of the cards I'm mostly excited about in Zendikar. Why? Well, first of all because it's red and secondly because its pure awesome!
Let's go through all the abilities she has.

 [ +1 ] - What's not to like here!? You discard a card and deal 4 damage to opponent. This is just perfect for a burn and aggro deck. You can either discard a small 2-3 damage burn spell to get 4 damage or you can discard a card like Hellspark Elemental, Sedraxis Specter or others creatures with unearth or maybe some with madness, so you can also get them back in play again pretty easily.

 [ -2 ] - Lovely. Its great against any control deck that has its hand built up with cards and its even greater when you have almost no cards in your hand (which happens a lot in burn decks) and you simply need to redraw and even better, it just goes incredibly well with Chandra's -7 ability!

 [ -7 ] - Okay. Isn't it great!? You can totally destroy your opponent with this ability. Before you get the chance to even play Chandra you would probably bust your opponent with all the other great burn spells. If that is not enough you can simply use this to burn him once again!

And what is even greater is that you can casts a spell like Cruel Ultimatum without paying the mana cost! You can also play it without having a Blue, Black and Red deck since you can throw it in to your graveyard with Chandra's other two abilities or just other cards!

Now, if this card isn't great, I dunno what is. It's a really lovely and amazing card that will most likely be a part of all those Ext and Std burn decks!

 

 This guy is banned!
Well,  at least his twin brother is!

Yes, if you might noticed, this guy is a brother of Goblin Lackey, a card that was banned in Extended for being so awesome!  But now Wizards made a card that is twice as good (because of it's Double Strike ability) and costs just 1 more mana!  No wonder its a Mythic, cause by any chance this card will soon be "rebaned"!

His brother was banned for a reason, it allowed you to freely play out your goblins at incredible speed that could easily flood your opponent in no time. No matter the cost or color of goblin, (for example Siege-Gang Commander) you could just play it. If that was banned, what will happen with this guy that can play out 2 goblins?!

Anyway, I suggest you keep this guy to yourself, once you get it, since I'm very sure it will be seen in Zendikar Block, Ext and Std tournaments
a lot! 

 

 That's what I'm talking about!

1 mana, 2/2 creature with haste!

No matter the drawback; this guy can easily deal 6-8 damage before your opponent even pops out lands and casts something good!, and that's counting without other cards like, Warren Instigator, Hellspark Elemental, Ball Lightning, Hell's Thunder, Elemental Appeal, Flame Javelin, ... (and I can count thousand more!) hitting the way!

This guy can be very sick in the right aggro burn deck and I'm sure its from now on, 1st card you think about when making any red burn deck!

 

 A very interesting and powerful card. It may be little wacky for it to require six mana to do anything at first and then each time again 3 mana, but if used in the right way with the right creatures, this Enchantment can be very effective!

For example, every creature that gets unearthed deals the damage, as the text reads "Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, ..."! With that a card like Ball Lightning can be more deadly then ever; dealing 12 damage for just 6 mana!
And card like our lovely Bloodghast can be as twice as deadly and Elemental Appeal can be a round 1 kill!

Talk about investment, this card will see the tournament tables at least for some time as it can be very deadly in right hands and in right time!

 

 As Red can not get any better we got ourselves another great burner! I present you with Elemental Appeal, a card that is worth playing, especially with cards like Electropotence!

For 4 mana you get a 7/1 trample haster and for additional 5 you can get a 14/1 trample haster that would finish any late game play!

 

 

 

 


Talk about double, check out this next card....

 

 ... Pyromancer Ascension!
Burn deck dream!? Absolutely!

Do you know what a double damage means?!
2x Lightning Bolts. Opponent at 14. Play Flame Javelin, opponent at 6, play another one, you win; or at that matter any burning spell and you win.

Talk about fire destruction! I love it!

We will see how this works out, since you do need same spells to be cast twice, but I doubt that would be the problem in pure burn deck or in Ext with all "card naming" cards! ;)

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Color of beasts,  meh, I talked about this stuff before! Let's just go see this big, fat, stomping guys, or small puny elves for that matter ...

 

First I want to show you this lovely and surely the most important card in any Green Zendikar's deck, Harrow!

Yes, the Harrow got reprinted and it could not fit in better with Zendikar's Landfall mechanic any better!

Imagine what power this guy gives to cards like Ob Nixilis, the Fallen and Rampaging Baloths. Epic, that's what!
And here is represent you The Best Card of Zendikar!

Lotus Cobra!

This card will be the hit of tournament tables for years and it's not wonder its already so popular now that Zendikar hasn't been even released yet!
This card is good in so many ways! First he is cheap. You can get it in play in turn 2 and even better if its assisted by other cards like Noble Hierarch. Secondly, he can also beat, if it's needed. Third of his ability stacks, which means if you have 3 of this guys in play, you'll get 3 free mana. And lastly, IT GIVES FREE MANA!

If that isn't great I dunno what it is! Get this card while you can cause it has chances of getting the price to and even over Baneslayer Angel and it will with no doubt be used till Zendikar set rolls out!
 

 

 Cute? I think not!

This is another card people are talking about a lot recently and there is no reason why not!

This guy is is so awesome!

It can be an early 1 mana play and it can also be a late 1 mana play. What I mean is no matter what, this guy is good! As long as you have 5 or more lands (which is easy in Zendikar), this guy gets four +1/+1 counters on him at the beginning of your every upkeep.

Another example of why Green is great in Zendikar
and if this guy isn't great enough, I dunno what is! /howl

 

 Another planeswalker. Another Mythic and another great card.

Nissa Revan is certainly a very interesting Planeswalker.  Her abilities are very similar to Elpseth's in the way they build up. She has two [+1] abilities and they are both interesting.

Her first one searches the library for this guy: Nissa's Chosen, which is an 2/3 elf with a pretty decent ability.

Her second [+1] ability gives you +2 life for each Elf you control.
Now, this ability is a killer ability if your deck consists of Elves. It seams as Wizards just made a Planeswalker for those nasty Ext Elf decks everyone hates.

Her last ability, which puts all elves from library into play, even back ups this point. Why would there be a planeswalker that focuses on Elves completely if there isn't that much elves in Zendikar at all!? Or why if there isn't that much elves in MTG at all?... where there are and apparently they decided to make Ext "Elf ball" decks even better.

Despite that, this ability is rather stupid. It takes you 5 turns to get to it (without counting opponents bashing you with monsters) and then when you finally get all of your elves out, your opponent cats Day of Judgment!

Anyway, a very interesting Planeswalker and hopefully we will see some great plays with her in the future.

 

  ► Beastmaster Ascension.  Talk about a dream card! This guy seams as yet another card Wizards made just for elves; as if you can see it goes very great with them. It's also not bad if you play it on turn 2 or 3 and then start hitting the way with your creatures. And since Zendikar is "half big creatures" and "half small creatures" in green, this is that much better.

  ► Rampaging Baloths.  If this isn't the card every deck should have, I dunno what it is. No wonder it's mythic, as you get a 6/6 Trample creatures that can easily pump 4/4 tokens in no time. Again, imagine if you would have Rampaging Baloths on the battlefield and 6 lands in play. You cast a fetch land and then play Harrow. "BAM!"; you already got four 4/4 creatures in play + this guy! 

  ► Terra Stomper. Another example of green stompers, this guy is a 6 mana, 8/8 Trampler that can't be countered! Seen any similar cards?! Yes. Force of Nature. It's an almost replicate of it, but with no drawback and counter protection, which makes Terra Stomper even better!

 [Back to Top of the Article]
 

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The color of control?  Well, here in Zendikar its certainly not known about how this color will function.  There still isn't a lot spoilers out there but no matter, cause the ones that are seam just absolutely crazy!

 

  Woah!

Yeah, I know, this card is awesome!

It's a 5 mana cast, but no worries you can play it for free anyways, as Zendikar stands of fetch lands and fetch spells, playing this card is no problem at all!

And what's even better?!

This card puts top 13 cards of target opponent's library to the graveyard.
And what is 13 x 4?

It's 52!

And what is the amount of cards player draw at the beginning? 
It's 7. And then, player plays a fetch land and he gets himself to 52.
So, if you have 4x Archive Traps in your hand, you win the game on 1st turn!

HOW FREAKING AWESOME IS THAT!?


And don't even start talking about playing with other cards that discard player library to graveyard! It seams a new type of deck will rule Ext and Std in no time, that will be effective with no doubts!

 

 Another great and totally mythic card is Mindbreak Trap!

It's of course a mythic, as it's is powerful!

For a 4 mana or no mana at all you get to exile 3 target spells!
What does that mean?! That you can exile pretty much everything entering the game or being in game!

You can't counter Banefire, but you can exile it.
You can't counter Great Sable Stag, but you can exile it.

How cool is that!?
It's basically a 4 mana spell that can counter 3 spells!

This will sure be a highly popular and expensive cards and will definitely be seen on tournaments. It's just perfect, 3 counters for 4 mana, or 3 counters for 0 mana. Awesome? Yes!

 

  ► Roil Elemental. Extremely dangerous card as it can control half of the battlefield. It might be little stupid as its a late game card (6 mana to play) and as then lands aren't so "common" to play and since you simply destroy this guy and all the control goes back to opponent, it might just be little off. But we will see.

  ► Sphinx of Lost Truths. A 5 mana, 3/5 flying, creature is a good defense, specially if it gives you 3 cards.
And if you pay Kicker cost for 2 more mana, you get to draw 3 cards. I don't see any use of that ability here on Zendikar, but Ext and Std Madness decks could see some action from this guy. Still, 7 mana is little to much and because of that I don't think this guy will see tournament tables much, but instead just some nice casual plays.

  ► Lorthos, the Tidemaker. 8 mana? Woah, that's a lot. Well, maybe not that much in Zendikar, but for its awesome 8/8 strength and its amazing ability, even that is worth giving. Tap 8 permanents that don't untap next turn? Wow, that's some beating. Imagine, you play this guy, then giving that your opponent doesn't destroy it you attack next turn. You tap 8 permanents that can not untap next upkeep and deal 8 damage. What this means is that you theoretically won. Your opponent can not hurt you if he can't tap lands for mana to play something, or neither can he attack or block cause you would tap his creatures. This guy is absolutely great and paying 8 mana for that ability is not a problem. But hopefully I will still think that, when I'll get to play it ;)

 

  ► Rite of Replication - 4 mana to make a copy of target creature!? That's freaking great! You know what happens if you play this on Rampaging Baloths, or  World Queller!? You get unstoppable!  You would win with no questions asked! But what if you play Kicker cost? Oh, then your opponent will instantly surrender! 5 Ionas? WTF!!? This card is just overpowered and will most likely be the 2nd color with White decks. Pure genius!!!

  ► Lullmage Mentor - First of I must say what a lovely name. "Lullmage", as lul - lol, get it? LuL - LoL?!ehh, never mind, it's just a typing mistake.  Anyways, this guy is another reason why would you play Blue color in Zendikar! Lullmage Mentor is a 2/2 creature for 3 mana with an awesome ability that has a lot of potential. As its told around the forums and official blogs, Zendikar has some very good yet unspoiled counter spells, and the ones already spoiled. In addition to that you can tap any seven Merfolks you have, that means you can use that ability even easier. Anywayz its a nice card that will surely be used, at least for a while.

 
[Back to Top of the Article]


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Artifacts, color of... gray?
Yes, gray! So let's see those "ancient" and "powerful" artifacts Zendikar has to offer and ask ourselves if this set is fake or not:


 

 

 

 

 Say, what!!? What.

This artifact is a dream card for any deck and specially for Zendikar's Life Matters decks and Control decks!

As long as you can cast it in first 3-6 turns you are good to go. It works great with Life Matters deck as it can simply store it up when you have over 40 life and then just wait for Feligar Sovereign to come to your hands and then play a land!

It's also a control deck's dream as it can keep you alive before you cast the big spells to finish the game.

This card also goes absolutely amazing with (Sanguine Blood)!
A not so popular card, but I think it will be, when Zendikar comes out! Why? Well getting life total ("your life total becomes") is the same as gaining life, which means with Sanguine blood you would literally instantly kill your opponent!

Talk about a Mythic, check out these cards:

 

  ► Eldrazi Monument. Another Mythic an a great one! Probably just another Wizards attempt to ,ake the Elves deck better, but this card can be good in almost any deck! Imagine if you have 2 big creatures on play or just 5 small ones, this guy makes them indestructible and flyers, which can end the game in one turn, without even considering about sacrificing a creature next upkeep! An amazing card that will most likely be seen in a lot of decks as its a great finisher that can win you a game when your opponent least expects it!

  ► Blade of the Bloodchief. Nothing special, except very special for only 1 mana cost and equip and even more special if you play a Vampire deck (which is something, that with M10 and Zendikar is no problem!)!
This artifact is a blast and will again be probably seen in lots of deck. Hopefuly so, since its a fun "1st turn play" card!

  ► Carnage Altar. No, here is something rather stupid. First of you need 2 mana to play it. Then you need 3 mana and sacrifice a creature just to draw 1 card! To me that seams stupid. I can't find a reason why this card would be useful, except maybe in really late play where you have tons of mana and creatures and you really need to draw more cards. This seams like a junk artifact to me. Right?


[Back to Top of the Article]


___________________________________________




We have come to the end of the article and I really hope you had fun reading it, as I really had fun writing it, meh, everyone says that! lol

No, I really did have fun and it took me more days then intended, just to make it even better, since its my 1st article.

Now please rate it, tell me what you liked and hated, what I can approve and please do tell me your opinions about this spoiled cards here, in the comments.
Hopefully, I will make more articles in near future. I plan this to be a "weekly" article and probably will be as soon as Zendikar is released!
Next article will probably be a report about Zendikar's prerelease event, and that means more info about cards, decks and a video report!


Till then, have fun playing MTG and beating the hell out of players, with this overpowered demigod set, called Zendikar.


~Klemzo,
i.e. Zan Klement,
i.e. Klemzy from MTGO!

30 Comments

"It's of course a mythic, as by Wyrath (not verified) at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 02:07
Wyrath's picture

"It's of course a mythic, as it's is powerful!" /facepalm

is it me or is there a weird by Anonymous (not verified) at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 03:15
Anonymous's picture

is it me or is there a weird new boarder?

lol, sorry by Klemzo at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 03:19
Klemzo's picture

but it's my 1st article ever and my main language ain't English. So sorry for any weird and wrong sentence forming or spelling mistakes. *sigh*

My only argument is with by Thatic at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 03:56
Thatic's picture

My only argument is with White winning through lifegain. That's one of the most non-sensical things I've ever hears, especially with Sorin around and Vampires a shoo in for ridiculous tribe of Zendikar. THat's not to say I'm discouting white though, as a matter of fact I'm developing a quite potent mono white control list that seems to have game with everything in the current meta and things that I've managed to extrapolate for the coming one. THis deck uses many of the card you mentioned, such as Felidar sovereign, Iona as a lonely one of, and the exceptional offering of World Queller, but it's strategy is not to win by lifegain, just survive till the ridiculous beaters or luminarch ascension make defeating the enemy easy.

Oh, I didn't mention the basis did I? Emeria, the Sky ruin. It's my choice for the most freaking rediculous card in the set. With the power of modern white removal paired with Day of judgment and World queller, the deck laughs at aggro as it slowly gets itself up to playing a world shattering beater then proecting it or resurrecting friend for it using the degenerate Emeria. Captain of the watch is absurd here, and though I know you're talking about block, the only three cards in the deck not from block are path to exile, oblivion ring, and captain of the watch, all of which are easily changable.

Just my two cents for a better direction with white. Not to say the kor can't play aggro, because it looks like they can do that fantastically well.

Thank you for this thought by Klemzo at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 04:28
Klemzo's picture

Thank you for this thought and no, I didn't meant it to win by life gain. I just sad its one of the ways to win, as you can see by all the cards and Felidar Sovereign.

And I just realized I forgot to discuss lands separately at all. I know about Emeria, the Sky Ruin, as it's absolutely fantastic card. And this even proofs the point how Zendikar's cards are each so great.

And now I just saw the newest spoilers here:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/article.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/zendikar/spoiler
and I just wished I would submit the article 1 day later. :)
If you see Blazing Torch and Grapling hook you can imagine how this goes well with white decks, or any other at that matter.

I myself can't wait to play the pre-release tomorrow and I'm pretty sure my colors will be white/green or something that uses white.

Thx~
Klemzo

Good Job! by moerutora (not verified) at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 06:15
moerutora's picture

Good Job on this post.

I was hyped when the rares were coming out but when the uncommon and commons came out it got semi boring. only certain cards were good IMO. This set isnt overpowered. Sets which focus on too much tribalness tend to be overpowered compared to other sets. But I think the best set still is Saga/Urza's. It will be considered the best and strongest set to date for me.

Well, you have to say that by Klemzo at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 06:25
Klemzo's picture

Well, you have to say that all the new sets are stronger then old sets. I mean there use to be creatures that cost 2 mana and have 2/1 with no effect. Or you had to pay 4 mana just for 2/1 flyer.
Each new sets is better then older. For example M10 had some reprints like Goblin Piker which costs 2 mana for 2/1 and no effect. Then you have Child of Night for 2 mana and 2/1 with lifelink and then again you have Elite Vanguard for 2/2 and no effect and only for 1 mana.

What I also meant is that compared to ALA block, Zendikar seams overpowered. I mean all the lands we got, all the creatures we got and everything seams better then in ALA block or almost any other set. Even commons and uncommons.

Every man with his opinion, but that's just mine :)

Thx~
Klemzo

Zendikar is not that great by Not Excited (not verified) at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 11:12
Not Excited's picture

In my opinion Zendikar is way to overpowered. The landfall ability is just ridiculous and some of the creatures abilities are ridiculous as well. The only thing I like about this set is kicker is making a comeback.

Lol, I don't understand you. by Klemzo at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 11:16
Klemzo's picture

Lol, I don't understand you. "Zendikar is not that great", but in your opinion its overpowered and landfall ridiculously amazing. And you also love kicker. But why is it then "not that great"?!
That's the whole point! In Zendikar everything is great! We got ourselves tons of lands we always wanted! Pay 1 life lands, gain 1 life lands, those lands, that lands and all the other powerful creatures! WE got ability that is better with lands which we always wanted and loved. We got Kicker again as you sad, it's simply great and why is it "not that great", then!? :P

Thx~
Klemzo

I believe I know what he by Paul Leicht at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 13:35
Paul Leicht's picture

I believe I know what he means. He means it is going to be a set that rolls over him because it will be hard to obtain the good cards and as a result it will suck to be him. I can see this being a general problem with those who do not have the $ or means to join draft queues/Sealed Decks or just buy and crack packs for cards. I expect the initial market on Zen will be ridiculous. Hopefully the popularity will keep speculation low and card prices in a sane range.

That is indeed true. by Klemzo at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 15:11
Klemzo's picture

That is indeed true. There is already a lot of people disgusting this, as there is so many Mythics in Zendikar, and Mythics are known to be atleast 5$+ each. Now as Zendikar has tons of really great Mythics, like Goblin, Iona, Lotus Cobra, Mindbreak Trap and others, it seams reasonable that they all are expensive, which means more money for Wizards and more money for all people dealing with this kind of stuff.
It is true that for casual players and those on low budget this would be a problem and hopefully, Lotus Cobra and such won't reach prices anywhere near Baneslayer Angel. I really, really hope so.

Thx~
Klemzo

Text by Madmaph (not verified) at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 17:33
Madmaph's picture

Great article, I enjoyed. I would add I guarantee some of those texts are incomplete or incorrect or WOTC is going to have a quite a time with errata explaining the functions of some of those cards.
Keep up the good work.

Thank you :) by Klemzo at Sat, 09/26/2009 - 04:39
Klemzo's picture

Thank you :)

klemzo eats poo XD by poomaster (not verified) at Fri, 09/25/2009 - 19:57
poomaster's picture

klemzo eats poo XD

So I eat you? by Klemzo at Sat, 09/26/2009 - 04:39
Klemzo's picture

So I eat you?

..5x Iona? by ClockCat (not verified) at Sat, 09/26/2009 - 09:09
ClockCat's picture

Why do you think 5x Iona would be good in any way?

Read the card again. Notice the part that says "Legendary"....

I know lol, but that was just by Klemzo at Sat, 09/26/2009 - 09:49
Klemzo's picture

I know lol, but that was just so you can imagine how powerful this card is. To give the more "woah" part into it lol :)

if for nothing else. by whiffy at Sat, 09/26/2009 - 13:22
whiffy's picture
5

GJ! although i dont agree with a lot of what you say in the article I appreciate the amount of work you put into this endeavor.

Your english is fine for me and I just really want to give you a clap clap at the detail and work in this thing.

dont stop doing what your doing.

I second that. Good job and by Lord Erman at Sat, 09/26/2009 - 14:08
Lord Erman's picture

I second that. Good job and looking for more.

LE

Great article, the formatting by RagMan17 at Sat, 09/26/2009 - 18:41
RagMan17's picture
5

Great article, the formatting moving around was a bit screwy but writing anything and then fixing it with the editor is truly a pain.

Felidar is just broken and it is going to truly ruin my favorite game atm of 2 headed giant. I forsee just about everyone putting together a cheap white/green lifegain/elf/trace deck and try to hit Felidar by turn 4 for a cheap win.

On the other hand I can't wait to build a Rampaging Baloth, Scapeshift, Harrow, Lotus Cobra deck. That is if I can pickup Cobras before they hit $30 each.

RagMan

Nice Job by Connor (not verified) at Sat, 09/26/2009 - 19:49
Connor's picture

I usually don't comment on articles, but I just wanted to say good job, it was an entertaining read. I particularly enjoyed the layout you chose, as it was well organized and easy to follow.

thanks for writing it

-Connor

Nice job, I like your by Andy (not verified) at Sat, 09/26/2009 - 21:01
Andy's picture

Nice job, I like your enthusiasm and agree that the set will be nuts, in a good way.

Thanks everyone! by Klemzo at Sun, 09/27/2009 - 06:28
Klemzo's picture

Thanks whiffy and Lord Erman, that means a lot to me :)
And thanks everyone else for your support. :)

Lots of good stuff in there... by Reelapsse (not verified) at Sun, 09/27/2009 - 13:55
Reelapsse's picture

Great article - it looks like you put alot of effort into this. I understand your excited for the new set.

Some cards I disagree on: Eternity Vessel (anywhere this is useful the 6 mana cost makes it useless), Celestial Mantle (suffers the same problem all 6cc auras - over-extending), Electropotence (because I can't think of any deck this actually works well in)... In general you identify some great limited bombs and then state they will be making top tournament tables. Maybe I'm just being over the top critical but by the end of the article I was thinking of this as a obvious limited primer on bomb rares with very little relevence to any other format. If this was a review with limited in mind common/uncommon bombs would be more useful.

Also in a block environment is there any real expectation of being able to play a 9cc spell (including kicked rites of replication). In block there are enough solid beaters and highly powered mid range cards I have a strong suspicion paying 9 for anything will never actually work. Lotus cobra may help you accelerate to 9 but one on the opposite side of the table will kill you long before 9 mana is available for you to make your huge splashy play. Any card with a 9cc is looking for a way to be cheated into play... which will limit the demand and usefulness. I supose that the format might be slow enough... nevermind, lotus cobra, goblins and vampires make me think 9cc is going to be uncastable.

I guess the feedback is to try and look for weaknesses or downsides as well. So that every card you review isn't "omg buy 4 now it will win games". I've been wrong before - it's likely to happen again...

But back on the positive: I liked the layout. I liked your excitement (for the most part). I look forward to seeing more articles.

Thanks

Thank you! by Klemzo at Sun, 09/27/2009 - 16:08
Klemzo's picture

Thank you, as it means a lot to me.
I know I overreacted at some cards, but that was only cause I was over excited and cause if you skip the mana cost they all look so good. And even with mana cost, you say "eh Zendikar has all those fetchers and stuff"...

But yes, apparently I was wrong, but to understand I'm just excited :)

Also note that as I already set in article I only mostly meant for Zendikar Block and not STD or EXT or anything else.
I also know that cards like Electropotence wary, but they could be useful at some points and may see tournament tables.

Anyways, thanks for your feedback :)

Thanks~
Klemzo

Personally, I'm quite by StealthBadger at Tue, 09/29/2009 - 05:23
StealthBadger's picture

Personally, I'm quite interested in pyromancers ascension alongside gifts ungiven and a load of cantrips. Maybe is U/R tron, with banefire as a finisher?

As I sad, red in Zendikar has by Klemzo at Sat, 10/03/2009 - 08:30
Klemzo's picture

As I sad, red in Zendikar has definitely got some great new cards. You could probably build tons of decks just around Pyromancers Ascension and Warren Instigator.

So go and mark 17 oct. in your calendar and silently wait in corner for Zendikar pre-release on MTGO! :D

i think you missed a card off your list that looks great to me by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 09/30/2009 - 15:20
Anonymous's picture

http://www.wizards.com/mtg/images/tcg/products/zendikar/h1bs2y5wfz/EN/01...

common oran-rief recluse 2g kicker 2g 1/3 reach with kicker paid when orr enters the battlefield if it was kicked destroy target creature with flying

turn 5 baneslayer angel turn 6 bye bye nasty flier maybe even turn three turn 4 with the mana excel in zen im going to be splashing them in any dual green deck even if its only in my side board but i think they will be hitting my main deck black blue white fliers beware the puaper

Yes, it may be a good card in by Klemzo at Sat, 10/03/2009 - 08:32
Klemzo's picture

Yes, it may be a good card in STD and EXT against Baneslayer angel and such. It also has a good chance of making to ZEN block games, like you sad.

But, thx, I must I admit I didn't even saw this guy as its a mere "common". But you thought me a lesson I must look at any single card as any has its meaning :)

you did an awsome job!!! by big ern (not verified) at Mon, 12/07/2009 - 22:55
big ern's picture

you did an awsome job!!! landfall is very powerfull in this set. I'm running black/green/blue landfall and having all my opponents head spinning. 3 ob nixilis 3 rampaging baloths 4 lotus cobras 4 harrow 4 kaloni heart exp. 4 misty rainforest 4 verdant catacombs 4 terramorphic expanse 2 sorin markov 4 hedron crabs and a couple roil elementals that make this a very nasty deck. p.s. the hedron crabs in a landfall deck have a lot of power and i find ppl waste thier creature removal on them and takes the heat off lotus cobra...