Advantageous Proclamation- Ok, so here is where my expertise with this sort of draft set disappears and I am in full on guess mode. This is the first example of a Conspiracy card that starts in your command zone. This is all new to me, but I like the fact that this has no mana cost and can be used right from the beginning of the game without having to draw it. Advantageous Proclamation says that you may play with a deck reduced in size by 5 cards. This means your draft deck is now only 35 cards and allows you to access your more powerful more quickly and increases the statistics that you will rip what you want when you go to top deck mode. My concern is that you are going to deck yourself because a in a multiplayer game games go longer and tend to use up more resources meaning you could run out of gas. This will need to be something you watch closely and opt to play only if you have the right deck. What is the right deck…I have no idea, but I’d love to find out.
Cogwork Spy- A 3 mana artifact creature bird construct that is 2/1 and has flying. The stats on this ok…but the really interesting piece is the text on this card that says as you draft, reveal this card and you may look at the next card drafted from this booster pack. So, unless I miss my guess you get to see what your neighbour is picking. This could be very important information so that you aren’t having to read the signs around the table as to what colours are open, who’s playing what etc. Now, the dilemma is that your opponent could throw you off with a weird pick just take you down the rabbit hole a little further, but that is a whole psychological game we aren’t going to play now…we’ll save that for the actual game itself. So, in a draft, this is an interesting card, but I doubt it will be a high pick because the stats just aren’t good enough.
Council Guardian- A 6 mana (1 white and 5 colourless) for a 5/5 giant soldier with Will of the Council that basically makes your opponents vote which of the other 4 colours it will gain protection from. OK, the casting cost for a 5/5 is ok…but I really don’t like the Will of the Council piece on this. If all the other players aren’t playing a particular colour, you’re likely sunk. You might get lucky and the table decides you get to have free smashes on one opponent, but it will invariably be no more use against the other players. So, you are in reality just drafting a 5/5 for 6 mana. This is decent…but hardly anything crazy. You’ll take this as filler near the top of your curve but don’t waste a high pick on it.
Double stroke- Another Conspiracy card but this time it showcases Hidden Agenda, a mechanic that has you select something secretly and when you play the card you secretly name something beneficial happens. In this instance, you get to copy the instant or sorcery card you named. This seems very powerful provided you have the right instant or sorcery…and the fact that it is free is wild. So, it doesn’t cost you a card in your deck, can lead you to copy an instant (or perhaps MORE if you draft around it a bit) and just makes for some very wild options. I’m in on this one…I think it could be very good.
Extract from Darkness- This is a 5 mana (3 colourless, a blue and a black) sorcery that mills each player and then allows you to put a creature from any graveyard on to the battlefield under your control. The Mill feature on this simply there to try and ensure that a creature is in a graveyard, so don’t worry…it isn’t trying to ACTUALLY be a mill win condition. The ability to take ANY creature in a graveyard is…fascinating. It could be a huge reward, or it could be a bust. I love it! I don’t think the 5 mana is too much for this, considering it looks like the format will be a little slower than we are used to. So, if you can pick one up, go for it, and run a singleton copy just to see what mischief you can cause with it.
Heartless Hidetsugu- This is a 5 mana (3 colourless and 2 red) 4/3 Legendary creature Ogre Shaman that when it taps deals damage to each player equal to half their life total rounded down. First off, this is a super flavourful red card and red mages around the world will drool with this. This is exactly the sort of card red LOVES to play. So long as they hurt you, the damage done to themselves is incidental. Personally, this card is not something I’m down with and if I see it I will be killing it on sight. If that speaks to how much this card frightens me, then use that as a benchmark for your own selection. It is extremely powerful, but it’s not for me as I feel it sucks the fun out of the game to have massive symmetrical life loss…but then again, I usually avoid Red like the plague.
Lore Seeker- WHAT!? A 2/2 artifact for 2 colourless mana that allows you ADD a booster pack? WOW! I love it! Never have I seen something create such a mess of drafting as randomly introducing another pack. Who knows what you’ll find? Who cares? If I see this card I’m taking it every single time.
Lurking Automaton– I don’t even know what to think of this as I can’t decipher how many +1/+1 counters it should be getting. I guess that’s an issue isn’t it.
Plea for Power- A 4 mana (3 colourless and 1 blue) sorcery with Will of the Council that makes the table vote as to whether or not you take an extra turn after this one, or if you draw 3 cards. Again, this card puts the decision ultimately in to the hands of your opponents to determine which effect you are going to ge. However, with this particular one both effects are quite powerful and well worth the modest investment of 4 mana at sorcery speed. I like this one but still figure this is a mid round pick that has disgusting potential to be abused in EDH.
Sentinel Dispatch- a Conspiracy card that says during your first upkeep of the game, put a 1/1 colourless artifact construct on the battlefield under your control. This is pretty sweet because you get a free creature out of it to start your game. I like this Conspiracy and feel like it is useful, but not so overly broken that you are going to see the guy who grabs this win every time. It’s a nice card with a sweet ability. If it is available in the mid-late rounds grab it.
Split Decision- A 2 mana (1 blue, 1 colourless) instant with Will of the Council that allows the table to vote on whether the spell is countered or duplicated. Don’t rely on this for either half…just pass this one along and leave it until the end because it will likely still be there.
Terastodon- a 8 mana (2 green and 6 colourless ) for a 9/9 green elephant. Ok, here’s a big dumb green creature…so let’s hope it gets a good upside. As it enters the battlefield destroy 3 non land permanents and the controller of each permanent gets a 3/3 elephant token. So, this is a steep casting cost but you might actually be able to get there because the multiplayer format may be slow enough to open up that option just a crack…so this isn’t an unplayable card. The effect is devastating as you just wiped out the three biggest creatures on the board. OR you could use this to destroy some of your 1/1 dorks that you have been using to plug up the battlefield and replace them with 3/3 elephants. Putting 18 points of power on the board is nothing to sniff at. The reason this is just a tough sell though is really the lack of trample. If this had trample I would grab this guy early, but as he is he’ll be a mid to later round pick for sure.
Volcanic Fallout- a 3 mana (1 colourless and 2 red) instant that can’t be countered and deals 2 damage to each creature and player. Ok…this is Pyroclasm…but improved because it can’t be countered and hits players. You need to watch you own life total once you get down near the Mendoza line…but early one to wipe out a bunch of creatures this is good value. This is likely an early pick and will do good work for decks in Red.
Whispergear Sneak- A 1/1 artifact construct for 1 that also allows you to look at unopened booster packs during the draft. I think this guy will have his place, but he won’t be an early pick unless he’s in pack 3. However, the information you grab could help you to shape your draft and give you insight into what players have selected. I think this is kind of neat…and a 1/1 for 1 is always playable.
Reign of the Pit- A 6 mana (2 black, 4 colourless) sorcery that forces all players to sacrifice a creature and then you get to put and X/X demon on the battlefield where X is equal to the total power of creatures sacrificed this way. This is a very situational card and so it shouldn’t be a high pick, but I can see somebody dreaming that this will be able to cause some SERIOUS mayhem for everyone and windmill slam it 1st. To me, this is a mid round pick once I’ve decided I’m into Black, but to someone else this will be an awesome bomb.