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By: walkerdog, Tyler Walker
Sep 18 2008 10:12am
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Football season has started (the REAL football), 3-2-1 queues seem to be firing at an increased rate, at least for Classic, and MED2 will be released in less than two weeks. I don’t think there has been a more exciting time to be a Classic player. So, what should you be on the lookout for with MED2’s release?

The first thing is a load of chase rares, which tends to make each a little less valuable, but the set as a whole more valuable. This is up to a point, of course. The first cards you’ll want is the five duals. In MED2, we get all of the original Allied Duals. These will be great for all Classic formats obviously. They are adding a grip of extra mana-fixing to Prismatic and Singleton, and let some slightly slower decks function in Classic since they won’t have to pay two life to keep up with untapped lands. I’m very excited to see the potential growth in combo and control decks, and maybe even some Domain Aggro decks.

Right after duals (maybe even before the duals) is Necropotence. This is the Big Daddy, the driving force behind Black Summer, Necro-Donate, and plethora of Black decks, and possibly the most broken card on MTGO, and almost certainly the most broken unrestricted card available.


Likely decks to spawn from the printing of this card are Black aggro decks in the theme of the weenie decks ran by stars of the past like Lauer and Buehler, storm combo fueled using Necro to try to draw a perfect hand between turns one and three, and then virtually guarantee a fourth turn kill, with viable 2nd and 3rd turn kills too in the traditional manner of casting three to four rituals and a Mind’s Desire to go nuts. An alternative combo would be to run it in a Flash deck with the goal of using it with Dark Ritual to find everything you’ll need to combo by turn two with protection for the combo. Necro-based control may be viable, although I’m not certain of that, but it seems fine as at least a singleton in a deck like Whiffy Penguin’s TrinketStalker control build.


Imperial Seal gives us a border-line reprint of Vampiric Tutor, one of two restricted cards in Classic. This will fractionally strengthen Flash, giving them another way to get Flash, but more importantly, another tutor to go get a bounce card for the hoser than the opponent is stopping you with. Seal could also find its way into Friggorid (old-school name ftw) again as a second way to dig for counters to hosers. It will also fit in with pretty much any deck that Necropotence gets played in.

My favorite “important” card from the set is Imperial Recruiter. It is my favorite because it is a fairly unique effect, it is in a color that doesn’t typically get cards that are this interesting and even more rarely gets a great tutor, and I do love to beat down with one and two-power creatures. It will probably be a key part of Painter’s Servant / Grindstone combo decks, seeking to use the power of the Painter to turn everything Red or Blue, then utilize Grindstone to deck the opponent in one activation, backed up by Hydroblast or Pyroblast, along with counters like Force of Will (ohh, ALL my cards are blue? Cool) or Guttural Response. Depending on the build, Jaya Ballard can dominate the board, blowing up permanents left and right.

Mana Crypt will go in a lot of decks. I don’t know what to say about it beyond that. It is really good.

On the PDC front, there isn’t a lot of changes that MED2 will bring in terms of new cards, but it will have an economic effect on the format. Snow lands, Counterspell, and a bunch of random cards that were already printed in pre-cons will drop in price with increased availability. Since some of the best decks in PDC across various formats run Snow-Covered lands to fuel Skred, this will allow more people access to those decks at a lesser cost. I think snow lands will remain around .25, but this is 1/2 -1/4 of the current cost of a given land. Counterspell will drop a little too since it will soon rotate out of Extended and it will also be printed as an Uncommon in MED2.

Of the cards we haven’t had before, Roterothopter and Icatian Javelineers are the two most exciting. Javes will be fine in aggro or control, and ‘Thopter will be a decent Ornithopter substitute for Affinity in Classic. Of the cards I haven’t seen much talk about, Elvish Ranger was probably my favorite until I realized it is a mostly worse version of Hungry Spriggin.

In MED, limited was a source of complaint. It sucked pretty hard. There were a lot of enchantments that mattered, but very little in the way of enchantment removal. Much like core draft, a 3/3 for three was as close to a bomb as it got, and the removal tended to suck too. So, a more miserable core set-style drafting experience was a bad taste in the mouth of many limited players. This is more of a truly nostalgic experience that still is somewhat fun. There is more synergy between cards also. Mini-combos like Wall of Kelp and Skull Catapult abound.

Before I go, I wanted to review the effect of Eventide on PDC. In the interview I had with Erik Lauer, he mentioned a good White creature that would be hopefully shoring up White in constructed, a problem in Magic for years. Figure of Destiny did have a huge impact on Standard and Block, but humorously, it did so as a Red card.  (Editor's Note:  Did you see how many Kithkin Decks won or Top eighted PTQ's and Nationals over the past months?  Figure of Destiny had a very huge impact on the WW deck as well!)

Aside from Figure, there hasn’t been a ton of Eventide cards making a big impact on Constructed, which is understandable for a small set. In PDC however, it has made a very large impact. The biggest gainer has been a little deck called RDW… except due to the huge changes it has undergone, it has even changed its name to DDW, short for Dominus Deck Wins. Pre-Eventide, RDW was one of the best decks, but towards the end of the season, Faeries had overtaken it as the best deck. In Eventide, Fae got almost no cards. DDW got almost 1/3 of a deck. The deck builds on old RDW hits in Standard, Block, and Future Extended, cards like Keldon Marauders, Gathan Raiders, Inner-Flame Acolyte, Incinerate, and Rift Bolt, with a new one-drop, two-drop and three-drop, and a backbreaking Enchantment (That happens to be an Aura for all you kids). An optimal hand involves a Stream Hopper on turn one, followed by Clout of the Dominus on turn two, and riding it to victory.

It is REALLY hard for a lot of decks to beat this opener, although they are slowly adapting to become competitive. How hard is it to beat this deck? Zouily ran an unoptimized build to a win the first Standard tournament it was legal in. He wasn’t running Riverfall Mimics, which are the two-drop of choice for the deck. This was understandable, as he hadn’t had a lot of time to tweak the deck. The three-drop is Noggle Bandit, which wrecks decks that plan to stabilize with blockers. They try to remove your men, set up a roadblock… and you drop a speedboat that goes flying by in the river.

The deck has won two standard events, several block events, and taken second in a Future Extended event. It is pretty amazing, and an aggro option in two format (Standard and Extended) that weren’t very aggro-centric before it came along.


PDC by SpikeBoyM at Thu, 09/18/2008 - 12:07
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I think the biggest impact card for PDC out of MED2 will be Thermokarst.  The ability to go turn one Mana Elf into turn two Karst will allow Trinity/Ponza style Green decks to emerge.  Following up that assualt with a turn 3 Acid-Moss into Crabapple Cohort or Scuzzback Marauders could spell bad times for the mana hungry and counter light control decks running around Classic currently.