Monday, July 2, 2012

Magic 2013: White

So all of Magic 2013 was officially spoiled yesterday and for some reason I really wanted to review it.

It took a long time to do but it was pretty fun because I didn't really think about it much.

I'm gonna dole these out like one a day style I think, so today is white:

ajaini caller of the pride
this is pretty cool. ult is really exciting. seems almost playable too, uw delver'd like that second ability even just straight for 3 at times, and pumping stuff is always good. S-

ajani's sunstriker
boring, okay, sure, i'd play it in limited. y'know it'd be flavorful if ajani's cat tokens on the ult had lifelink given this card, cause then it's like he's casting those cards himself. but that'd be pretty damn good too. maybe they'd give that to him at -10, but that wouldn't be useful. -9? anyways this thing is french vanilla defined. C+

angel's mercy
really really bad. i know core sets need stuff like this so new players can learn how much fun it is to rip cards or something but ugh. D-

angelic benediction
exalted on a non-creature is always exciting, plus it pushes the "exalted + some other loner attack ability" idea. kinda weak though, i think, but i may be wrong. B+

attended knight
ooh i like this, very simple but very flavorful, good power level for mainboard play in limited, maaaaaybe even considerable in constructed. A

aven squire
french vanilla limited edition, ha ha. i wonder how many puns i could predict of LSV's review? granted that one was more reference humour than the sort of name/theme based pun he does. anyways "this one's for the birds" in constructed but yeah i'd run it in limited. cool art. B+

battlefield eagle
really nice and flavorful. i like this white allies theme, where they like boost you army-wise without losing an exalted feasibility. flavor question: after that one turn, the guy gets booted off the eagle and then the eagle doesn't let anyone else on? what a dick dick dick! A-

captain of the watch
CRITICAL SIX-SLOT! This is pretty cost effective though, 9 power on four vigilant bodies is one hell of a one-term army gain. pretty exciting limited bomb, worth fooling with in constructed, neat and intuitive flavor, good synergy... A

captain's call
YO, YOU SEE THAT CROSS-CARD FLAVOR? I love that shit. this seems overcosted, though, especially for a sorcery. i guess wotc doesn't want another lingering souls or uh the other one like that. still this sort of thing is fun in limited. B

crusader of odric
another cross-card flavorful thing, yas. i like this mechanic too, and it's cool to see it at this cost-point. you could very easily find this your most aggressive option turn three and it stays relevant. A-

divine flavor
bleh, okay, fine. do they really want to run this over holy strength? is holy strength too "religious?" (eg wrath of god -> day of judgment) anyways D+

divine verdict
this is what i want to see in white destruction, absolutely. i.e., good in limited for general support, but not something white "wants" to do in constructed. crazy art too yo. B+

huh did not expect this reprint. wasn't this originally made as a punishment for replenish? fat load that did. my cousin had a replenish deck way back in the day, shit is cash. seems weird cause innistrad, despite all the graveyard stuff, had very little artifact/enchantment in graveyard stuff. granted there's never much of that ever. so why this over... well, i guess if they had W: destroy target enchantment it would be strictly worse than erase and never see play, which is more of a deterrent to printing than making a base set card seem more "cyclic" and "right" compared with murder etc. okay so yeah. still kinda boring though, necessary, but boring... B

faith's reward
this is cool! is this a reprint? i don't remember it. one of those things that is very simple intuitively but a headache in the fringe cases, lol. like the art and flavor and everything. doesn't this end up being another 4 second sunrises in eggs? would eggs run 8 sunrises if they could? i hope this helps eggs because eggs is a BALLER deck. A

glorious charge
eh okay. it isn't glorious to take this as a 10th pick, but at least they don't charge much for it (#predictingLSV) B-

griffin protector
okay in limited, griffin, flavorful, beyond french vanilla but simple... yup, this is what i want in modern core sets. i hope they "protect" this style of design!!! (#predictingashittierversionofLSV) B

guardian lions
this is like, oldschool core set design, i.e., before creatures were all that good. i dunno, i guess i would play this pretty often in limited actually, but that's because i suck. C+

guardians of akrasa
and the boring creature parade continues through white's commons! it seems white is about "armies", you have crusading heros and the guys that attend them or defend land back home. so these fill a niche flavorwise and cram themselves into an overfull playability "niche" of defensive creatures. i can see why they'd want to slow white weenies down, though, given uw delver not really needing any new shots in the arm. also i do like how this card and the previous both provide a way of dealing 1 damage per turn while being able to defend next turn in different ways, that's good design. B-

healer of the pride
easy, flavorful, good in limited, shoutouts to what i must expect must be the sizable mtg furry subcommunity, good synergy, good all around. B+

intrepid hero
very intuitively flavorful, almost comedically so. this seems to be overcosting white removal a bit, though, but tap to destroy is always tricky to balance. B+

knight of glory
art looks like WoW, doesn't it? maybe not. i like this though, feels "classic". B+

oblivion ring
still the gold standard in white removal for this era. i don't know where we'd be without it. but i am getting a bit tired of it. do i have core set ADD? B

odirc, master tactician
this is a pretty hype cycle in general. seems the theme is: well costed body with intuitive yet original and only slightly complex ability. odric breaks new ground, his ability is "easy to learn, tricky to master", i can't wait to see the crazy amounts of combo plays of tricks and blocking switches and stuff. A+

classic art and flavor text as always. good white control. classic card all around. i prefer stuff like this to o-ring, where you get to keep the thing around but crippled, just seems more interesting for other shenanigans. B+

pillarfield ox
let me ox you a question: how many vanilla creatures does each colour need in a core set? the answer is at least one. C

planar cleansing
hahaha wow this is hype, okay, i'm okay with this. i'm more just happy it wasn't printed at mythic, sheesh, i could see them doing that, honestly. art is bananas. seems pretty playable. i'm happy. A+

prized elephant
this cycle is sorta boring for uncommon but pretty interesting for core set i guess. i like this one especially, because i like gw, and i like elephants. A-

rain of blades
i was like eh and then i saw the mana cost and i was like hmmm. seems like this could be good in delver mirrors? flavor question: is what's being depicted here a natural phenomenon? the flavor text suggests this by being speculative, if it was an army tactic or whatever they'd know. is it like, people are going out and wandering around and then OH NO IT'S RAINING BLADES, i should have brought my steel umbrella... i want a block on a plane like that! A-

rhox faithmender
cool, cool, this is exciting without like any chance of being broken. rhox are always hype too. you think they started with rhinos cause they were worried about the elephant tribe being overpowered? or because they know rhinos were cool too? should we #unitepacyderm? #pacydermforcreaturetype? A

safe passage
fog effect, okay, woo turbofog, probably overcosted? but there might even be weird combo potentials via engines that ping you? is that a thing? B+

serra angel
there's my girl! i'm like a nostalgic fanboy about this card, plus i like angels in general. A

serra avatar
and i also liked serra mythos and i liked life-related stuff and lifegain (hey i was/am a scrub, fine) so of course i LOVED this card. maybe solar flare will play this? maybe... A+

serra avenger
awww yeah, and i like this too. this is really exciting to see in core set, they're doing such a good job of pushing intuitive simple instead of rules simple, this is both though really. great card to play too. A+

show of valor
this seems way better costed than previous white instant boost stuff. am i wrong? but still worse enough than titanic growth, let alone giant growth, that it won't see play. C

silvercoat lion
i won't silvercoat it - white bears aren't much better than green ones. #LSVwillsaythis. C

sublime archangel
so of course this exists, because this unites the theme of white's "one hero from an army" theme for exalted, to contrast black's "loner" theme. could maybe see play, if not, limited bomb for sure, if somehow not even that (how?) it'll still be a first pick in my heart. A+

touch of the eternal
crazy! seems WAY overcosted, too, but they have every right to be scared of combo craziness with something like this. something like this is basically guaranteed to be broken or useless in constructed, so they might as well do the latter and make it at least hype but bad in random jank fun decks and limited. A-

war falcon
weird sudden narrow tribal thing but okay. tribal restrictions are always sort of worse than they are, if it was "if you control a soldier or knight ~ gets +1/+1" and make it a 1/1 i'd think it was better than this even though that's way worse? although i wouldn't, i guess, because i just realized that. cool card though. B+

war priest of thune
weird that they print a strictly better card. "you may destroy" is sorta new, hmm rules question: should this be interpreted as "you may" "destroy target artifact" or "you may destroy" "target artifact", i.e. in the latter the thing is still targeted? i think it's the former but i'm not positive. B

warclamp mastiff
it's bark is worse than it'sheuigdyr ewdhewuluydrkwdgwhrldwudu B-

Okay so look forward to more of that, I guess. What else is new:

I went to CANADA'S BIGGEST SMASH TOURNAMENT and CHOKED PRETTY HARD. And then I started feeling pretty miserable both in terms of health and also that I was just butthurt about choking, so I went home early. Oh well. I still had a lot fun, lots of memories, whatever. Cool to even just see the top-tier pros, they were everything I'd hoped they'd be in terms of personality etc.

Summer Anime
Starts like, now! Hooray! I'm watching YuruYuri s2 and Rinne s2 and Hyouka, I dunno what else yet. Maybe just do some backlog stuff from last season too. Should be fun.

I guess that's about it for now.

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