cRUMMYdUMMY's picture
May 21 2008 11:08pm
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NOTE:  While this review specifically covers Standard PDC, you can still glean a bit of knowledge from the review as a Future Extended, Classic, or Block player.

Now that the likely release date for Shadow on MTGO has been announced as June 2nd, it is best to get a feel for the upcoming cards that will shakeup the Standard metagame!  Will Storm Control be even hotter with Manamorphose?  Will Ballyknock Cohort make White Weenie even more unstoppable?  Will Burn Trail made it onto Red Deck Win's List?  Maybe the new green cards will finally give MGA the push it needs to be a playable deck!

Rating System
1/5 = This is a bad card and will never see play in an experienced player's deck.
2/5 = This is a fringe card and might have potential in one or two very specific decks.
3/5 = This may be a good or bad card, but requires a deck built around it to become powerful.
4/5 = This is a solid card and will see play in decks of it's main colors.
5/5 = This is a powerful card due to it's inherent less conditional usage.


Aphotic Wisps
While this card does cantrip, it does not affect board position at all.  There are limited times when this card would be useful.

Ashenmoor Cohort
This card is far overcosted for it's power/toughness and has no relevant abilities to boot.

While this card does stall your opponent's board, he is vulnerable to Incinerate and Festercreep.  Ask yourself if his Wither ability is even worth the extra mana to cast him.

Cinderhaze Wretch
He does provide incredible card advantage given that she survives.  Will control or combo decks not be able to counter or kill a 5 mana cost creature if they have cards in their hand?  Will aggro decks even have cards in their hand by the time you reach 5 mana?

Disturbing Plot
This card is Grim Harvest at Sorcery speed, but without the unlimited uses.  That's already two strikes against it.  You also have to tap your creatures for one turn leaving you without both offense or defense for an entire turn.  Strike Three.

Faerie Macabre
A very good sideboard card against decks running Grim Harvest and Momentary Blink, allowing you to remove creatures or even Harvest and Blink themselves.  She even counts as Wind Drake if there are no relevant graveyard targets.

This card has the same problem as Weed Strangle.  It is far overcosted.

Loch Korrigan
This is strictly worse than Chilling Shade as a finisher.  It also lacks evasion.

Rite of Consumption
While this card is no Fling, it may see some sort of play as a finisher in someone's deck.

Sickle Ripper
A solid two drop that stays relevant until the late game.  Black has surprisingly few cards that satisfy both of those needs.

Smolder Initiate
I don't see the extra mana worth the cost, but it may see play in mirror matches.

Splitting Headache
Mind Rot and Distress built into one card...for an incredibly high casting cost.  Now if it said choose two...well, that would be another matter.

This card is strictly worse than the alternatives of Terror and Nameless Inversion.  Maybe there is some sort of deck that can use this card as a combo.



Briarberry Cohort
A Wind Drake for 2 mana is a very solid play.  Even though the ability is conditional, it is not hard to satisfy.

Cerulean Wisps
A cantrip with a combat trick.  Blue is not really in need of that.

Consign to Dream
This card is more splashable than Boomerang and more versatile than Disperse.  But really, when do ever have to boomerang a land back?  However, against the relevant colors, it gives a significant tempo advantage.

Drowner Initiate
You will never deck someone in PDC, ever.

Ghastly Discovery
Better than Mulldrifter?  I think not.

Kinscaer Harpoonist
This is a Wind Drake with a non-relevant ability and higher mana cost.

Merrow Wavebreakers
For 5 mana, this creature better be out of Incinerate and Lash Out range.  Unfortunately, he is not.

Parapet Watchers
This guy is Kjeldoran Outrider, but he costs more mana to cast.  Kjeldoran Outrider sees zero play.

Prismwake Merrow
This guy is a Pestermite with a combat trick in place of evasion.  He can turn on a Cohort's ability or shut it off.  He can dodge Terror and Sunlance.  However, it is rare that you will have the opportunity to do either.

Put Away
Cancel for one extra mana and a non-relevant ability.  Terribly bad.

Sinking Feeling
Same as Torture.  Someone may be able to do something interesting with it's tap ability or the -1/-1 counters.

Spell Syphon
This card will probably never see play.  This is strictly worse than Rune Snag.  If blue already has a favorable board position (as in multiple blue creatures on the board), then they have probably already won the game.

Doubtful, but this may see play as a sideboard card against Blue based aggro decks.


Crabapple Cohort
Under green, this creature will probably be a 5/5 for 5 mana.  With a huge body and a fair casting cost, I would not be surprised at all if this guy saw play.

Devoted Druid
He will be able to tap for 2 mana on turn 3.  This essentially gives you 5 mana on turn 3 assuming you don't miss a land drop.  Not bad for mana acceleration, but is he better than Leaf Gilder, who can serve as a beater as well?

Farhaven Elf
She is a Rampant Growth on a body for an extra mana.  Is this extra mana worth the 1/1 body?  Is she better than Civic Wayfinder?  Probably not.

Foxfire Oak
For 6 mana, this guy should at least give some sort of card advantage.

Gleeful Sabotage
There are zero enchantments or artifacts that see play so far.  Even so, is it better than Naturalize or Elvish Hexhunter?

Gloomwidow's Feast
This may be a good sideboard card for green against Errant Ephemeron.  Otherwise Penumbra Spider is probably a better card.

Hungry Spriggan
Effectively a 4/4 in offensive combat for 3 mana.  The downside is that precombat, he can be killed with anything and can only chump block.

Juvenile Gloomwidow
This guy is definitely pretty good.  Is he better than Elvish Warrior though?

Nurturer Initiate
I don't see this guy as being very powerful since green decks usually already have the largest creatures to begin with.

Presence of Gond
The ability to generate tokens at a pace of one a turn is probably not very relevant without an untap ability on the creature.  Even then, there is always the possibility of card disadvantage.

Toil to Renown
Lifegain will generally always be terrible unless attached to an affordable creature.

Viridescent Wisps
Green does need card draw, but this is not the solution.


Wildslayer Elves
A fair body with a good late game ability.  I would not be surprised at all if this card saw play.


Blistering Dieflyn
A terrible terrible Vampire Bats.  Just terrible.

Bloodshed Fever
This is probably supposed to be some form of removal.  Why not just Skred or Shock the creature?

Boggart Arsonists
Will probably see play in Red Deck Wins against White Weenie as a sideboard card.  An unblockable 2 damage every turn is nice.

Burn Trail
A Volcanic Hammer with Conspire.  I don't think this card will see play unless it is in Red Deck Wins, but the ability to burn for 6 damage must entice someone to build around this card.

Crimson Wisps
There are very few decks that benefit from granting a creature haste.

Ember Gale
I Imagine that this might see play against Faeries and White Weenie decks, but the extra casting cost over Hurly-Burly is probably not worth the conditional damage or not hitting your own creatures.

Inescapable Brute
This card is Wildslayer Elves for an extra two mana.  Seriously?  Not to mention the superior Nath's Elite.

Intimidator Initiate
Can't block is a hardly relevant ability.

Mudbrawler Cohort
This may see play in Red Deck Wins. 2/2 Haste for 2 is not terrible.

Power of Fire
Prodigal Pyromancer doesn't see play.  It may be better on creatures with the Untap ability, but is still vulnerable to inherent card disadvantage.

Puncture Bolt
This will rarely be better than Incinerate or Lash Out.

Rustrazor Butcher
Another creature that may see play in Red Deck Wins.  Serves as a decent blocker.

Smash to Smithereens
I don't think Scarecrows are going to be scary enough to warrant a dedicated sideboard card.


Apothecary Initiate
Again, lifegain on a terrible creature still equals terrible creature.

Ballynock Cohort
This will see play in White Weenie decks.  A 3/3 First Strike for 3 mana is awfully good.

Barrenton Medic
In general, damage prevention is not very good.  At 5 mana, this creature better be damn good.  He does prevent up to 4 damage in one turn.  Not too shabby.  I don't believe he will see play.  Maybe someone will make use of him.

Goldenglow Moth
Again with the life gain?

Inquisitor's Snare
This card may see play as a sideboard card.  Otherwise it is worse than Oblivion Ring.

Kithkin Shielddare
No one needs a 3/3 defender for 2 mana.

Last Breath
Finally, white gets instant speed removal.  I think this card will see play since it removes 80% of creatures at instant speed and takes them out of the graveyard for Grim Harvest.

Mine Excavation
Is there even a relevant artifact or enchantment to return?

Niveous Wisps
Essentially a semi-time walk.  This may buy you a turn, but is it worth the slot in your deck?

Rune-Cervin Rider
If this were green, it might see play.  Being white, this card is already inferior to Aven Riftwatcher and Knight of Sursi.

Safehold Sentry
Even a 2/4 Vigilance creature is not good enough for White Weenie.

Strip Bare
So much enchantment and artifact destruction, yet so few things to destroy.

Again with the lifegain on overcosted creatures.

I found this set to be pretty weak as there are not many playables.  Most of the mono-colored cards require specific conditions to be efficient.  This might be expected as this is a hybrid specialized set.


by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 05/23/2008 - 23:25
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"Strictly worse" actually has a rather specific meaning, which you didn't hit once here :) 

Other than that, not much to add.

by LulThyme (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 05/24/2008 - 06:38
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Analysis starts off EXTREMELY weakly.

"In general, if you play Future Extended, just dock 1 point from the card's rating.  If you play Block, you may want to add 1 point to the card's rating."

Some cards get weaker in larger card pools, some get stronger.  It's fine if you want to only consider the standard perspective but in that, don't comment so generally (and wrongly) on other formats. As an opening statement, it gives the impression that your analysis is not serious at all and maybe not worth the read.





by cRUMMYdUMMY at Sat, 05/24/2008 - 19:01
cRUMMYdUMMY's picture

LulThyme, I do not play either Future Extended or Block.  I will change the opening note to better reflect this.

Anonymous, I guess I should be using the phrase "almost always" instead.

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