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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Apr 14 2008 9:12am
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Shadowmoor Preview Card:  Prismatic Omen
 
Some Shadowmoor previews like to start off by talking at length about the metagame, about the development of the card, and about the history. Personally, I want to see the cards. I usually just scroll down to card – or the link, and click on it.
 
I’ll save you the scrolling and clicking. Here it is.
 
 
In some ways, this is akin to Fertile Ground or Joiner Adept – a two drop that can fix your mana. It allows you to play a four or five color good stuff deck for a minimal investment. Ah, but you might say, neither of those sees play in any serious format. True, but Prismatic Omen is better than either Fertile Ground or the Adept.
 
The Adept is a 2/1 creature. It dies. Frankly, it dies to every removal spell out there (okay, not Eyeblight’s Ending, but all the rest.) Most importantly, it dies to Wrath of God and Damnation. Prismatic Omen does not. More importantly, Prismatic Omen lets you play Wrath and/or Damnation in a bad green deck and not get mana screwed.
 
As for Fertile Ground, an enchant land is not too exciting in a format with Venser, Shaper Savant seeing a lot of play. Venser will bounce the enchanted land, setting you back a land drop and killing the enchantment to boot. That’s a harsh two-for-one. Now Venser can bounce Prismatic Omen, but if it does, your opponent just spent four mana and a card to bounce something that will cost you two mana to replay next turn. That’s not a good investment.
 
Of course, mana fixing is only half the deal with Prismatic Omen. The card actually makes all your lands into each type of basic land. We have seen an effect like this in the past –

This card has been a staple of various base blue decks for a long time, starting with the Dralnu decks that relied on Mystical Teachings. If you have ever been trying to play a creature beats deck against a Mystical Teachings deck that had a bunch of lands, including Urborg, in play, and started tossing Tendrils of Corruption around, you know how tough that can be. I played a match, shortly before v2.5 went black, where Tendrils was killing 4/4s, and that was a 16 point life swing every time.
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
 

With Prismatic Omen in play, Tendrils of Corruption will be just as much of a beating, but it will be available without having to run Legendary lands. Of course, if you do want to run Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, you can – and it will be a Swamp, and a Plains, an Island, a Mountain and a Forest. 
 
That’s just sort of a cute effect. Here’s a more important one: Mutavault will tap for colored mana. So will Desert, or Academy Ruins, or any of the other utility lands. Getting mana screwed will be less likely, even when you are running a number of otherwise “colorless” lands. 
 
This makes Gemstone Mine whole lot better, since you won’t need to remove counters, unless you want to. The downside to the mine will be the Mine’s pulldown menu online– it is going to be a bit long. Still, options are not a bad thing.
 
In Shadowmoor limited, this should be a bomb. Shadowmoor is crammed full of gold cards and cards with split mana symbols. If this is like previous multicolored blocks – Invasion and Ravnica – then three to five colored decks will be common, and mana fixing will be drafted highly. We won’t know until the whole block is released, but the spoilers make 4 color or 5 color good stuff look pretty solid if you open Prismatic Omen. 
 
In Constructed, this will see play in two basic archetypes. The first will be five color good stuff decks. These have a long history – Bob Maher won Pro Tour Chicago on 1999 with a five color good stuff deck that was built around a 1G enchantment.   A ton of other decks have followed this formula – from the original 5 Color Green through Operation Dumbo Drop and beyond.
 
The other option will be in decks like RG Big Mana and even beatdown decks like Elves!
 
Chris Woltrecht won the StarCityGames $5k with a RGb Big Mana deck that splashed for Void and Extirpate - a difficult splash accomplished through Tresserhorn Sinks and a single Swamp. Including Prismatic Omen would make the splashes a lot easier – and allow more potency in the splashes. Chris used Void to fight UB Faeries – being able to “splash” Damnation would have been even more effective.
 
In beatdown decks, the primary use of this card would be for recovery after a board sweeper like Wrath. Elves!, or Goblins, or Kithkin, or whatever swarm deck you prefer, needs to commit a lot of creatures to the attack, but that heavy commitment hurts when Damnation becomes a 4-for-1. However, the Orb of Insight says that Flow of Ideas is being reprinted.
 
Flow of Ideas says “draw a card for each Island you control.” Prismatic Omen says all your lands are Islands. Harmonize is a really, really good green card, because it draws three cards for four mana. With Prismatic Omen, Flow of Ideas is going to draw six or more cards for six mana. 
 
The Orb of Insight also indicates that Corrupt will be reprinted. Corrupt – Drain Life equal to the number of Swamps you control – has been both creature control and a kill card in a lot of old decks. It could be again – and would be a nice sideboard against creature beat decks. It can fill a similar – albeit not identical – role to Aven Riftwatcher.   
 
I mentioned that this could be a bomb in limited. The mana fixing is just part.  The other reason is that Wizards has, apparently, printed an entire cycle of cards that do something based on the number of lands (of a certain type) you control.   Flow of Ideas draws you a card for each Island. Corrupt deals one damage and gains one life. Wizards has also spoiled the red card: Jaws of Stone. Jaws of Stone deals damage, divided as you choose between any number of creatures and players, based on the number of Mountains you control. If you have enough Mountains, that is a limited bomb. With Prismatic Omen, you will have plenty of Mountains when you need to cast this.
 
I don’t know what the white and green members of the cycle do, but the point is that, if you opened Prismatic Omen, you can splash those cards and know they will, eventually, win the game. 
 
I’ve mentioned limited and Standard. I should also mention, since I have been writing about it recently, that this will go nicely in Rainbow Stairwell.  
 
Moving on.
 
In Extended, the Omen could be a solid addition to the various Tron builds. It fixes mana better than Signets, and can eliminate the need to mana burn when you need to tap an Urza’s land for just one mana. That can be significant, believe me. I won at least one match last PTQ season because my opponent had the choice of casting Remand and burning or dying to my spell. 
 
I mentioned 5 Color good stuff archetypes, and that will be true in Extended. Beyond that, Prismatic Omen may see play in the five color aggro decks, like Gaea’s Might Get there. The Omen does power Gaea’s Might and Tribal Flames quite nicely, but so does the combination of the Onslaught fetchlands and Ravnica duals. Of course, in eighteen months, when Onslaught rotates out, then Prismatic Omen might be the replacement. It might also be a replacement now, if non-basic land hate increases. Destructive Flow won a few PTQs this season, and Prismatic Omen could combine nicely with that archetype. 
 
Let’s have another look at the card.   
 
 
Enjoy Shadowmoor.
 
PRJ
 
“One Million Words” on MTGO

19 Comments

shadowmoor by tiko (Unregistered) 88.101.134.205 (not verified) at Wed, 04/16/2008 - 17:17
tiko (Unregistered) 88.101.134.205's picture

this edition is realy a sheat see the card nothing special its no sence......no combo or some card to combine....magic its only a money expend all your money in sheat cards.............also you can make a big colection whit this edition whit your cards in your home ::::the sheat card box.......think that:::beater befor you  buy it.

whaa? by mtgotraders at Wed, 04/16/2008 - 22:07
mtgotraders's picture

Go bother another website please

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 88.25.223.86 (not verified) at Tue, 04/15/2008 - 14:09
Anonymous (Unregistered) 88.25.223.86's picture

Thanks for the explanation. I like your article.

So you improve against flow but it is worse against Tron and tooth. Also you need a slot for this card, when before you were only using lands to get the domain. In early game you lose a turn of agression to put this enchantment in play. In late game when you are looking for a finisher you get a not answer card. I will give it a try but I am not very optimistic.

by OKCoyote at Tue, 04/15/2008 - 02:02
OKCoyote's picture

Awesome card.  Screams "build around me."

 

Also awesome of Wizards to send PureMTGO a preview card!  Thanks to all involved!

 

Destructive Flow by one million words at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 22:53
one million words's picture

Flow decks work by crippling mana bases.  If you have ever played Gaea's Might Get There against a Flow deck, and the Flow deck resolved Flow, you know how bad that can be.  If, on the other hand, you are relying on Prismatic Omen and basics to get domain, you are immune to Flow, Ghost Quarter, Molten Rain, Dwarvven Miner, the new non-basic land killing 2/2, etc.

by iceage4life at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 13:47
iceage4life's picture

Prismatic Omen + Last Stand FTW!!!

I'm excited, this is exactly the kind of bad card I love (green and 5c focused.)

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 79.147.166.92 (not verified) at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 14:43
Anonymous (Unregistered) 79.147.166.92's picture

I do not see the flow working with this as it says non basic land. It has to be non basic to be destroyed.

What I see is sundering titan. That could be an one sided armagedom 

by 420gabriel (Unregistered) 98.207.74.178 (not verified) at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 16:47
420gabriel (Unregistered) 98.207.74.178's picture

A very big effect but this card will see  0 play in any serious decks, wont get played in limited at all.

 

Great card for casual decks and odd formats like edh, prismatic, etc 

by Tarmotog at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 20:58
Tarmotog's picture

you can now make the last stand really really very powerful...

More! by djdark01 at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 21:43
djdark01's picture

Cool preview!

Will PureMTGO request a preview card for Eventide also?  I'd like to see more of these here in the future. 

Nice Preview by Culex at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 22:02
Culex's picture

Really appeals to my Timmy side. This is a very combo-tastic card and works really well with many of the mTGO exclusie formats.

by JXClaytor at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 22:02
JXClaytor's picture

I would love to continue to have these for all future sets and as long as WOTC will let us contribute to the community at large, I am sure we will.  I want to thank Worth for helping us out, as I understand, he was awesome in pulling some strings for us! 

Awesome by MirrorMage at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 09:36
MirrorMage's picture

This is by far, the best preview card printed ANYWHERE.

This is just plain bombastic, telefantastic, and Awesome-O. 

by hamtastic at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 09:42
hamtastic's picture

A super-dee-dooper card for prismatic, for sure.  5Color probably as well. 

Also, I imagine many 5 color casual decks will start with 4x this guy and a bunch of lands that can somehow produce green.  

Very very interesting. 

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 24.58.199.5 (not verified) at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 12:29
Anonymous (Unregistered) 24.58.199.5's picture

The second Shadowmoor rare card I feel the need to get some of.  I don't think I'd want 4 in deck though, as once one is in play, the rest are dead cards.

That's an enabler. by Hollow0n3 at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 10:08
Hollow0n3's picture

Last Stand, the corrupt-cycle and even Tromp the Domain suddenly look better with this arround.

Joiner Adept, Not on a Stick by Pyrosin at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 11:03
Pyrosin's picture

I'm really happy to see this ability turned into an enchantment

by Alamoth (Unregistered) 205.228.12.194 (not verified) at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 11:07
Alamoth (Unregistered) 205.228.12.194's picture

Helloooooooo Coalition victory (except in 5-color)

the green corrupt by Shardfenix (Unregistered) 24.224.103.12 (not verified) at Mon, 04/14/2008 - 11:27
Shardfenix (Unregistered) 24.224.103.12's picture

the green corrupt puts a 2/2 wolf into play for each forest you control.  just to let people know.  at least thats whats been spoiled anyways.