I’ve fallen behind a little, but I love the new cards and can’t wait to see how the whole format plays out.
Basandra, Battle Seraph- Wow! A 5 mana (3 colourless, a white and a red) for a 4/4 flying Legendary Angel. Now THIS…THIS is a first pick bomb. 4/4 for 5 mana is fine, but her abilities are what are truly awesome. The fact that players can’t cast spells during combat just shuts off combat tricks. This is pretty amazing and stifles a large number of decks who want to make combat awkward. The second one, which I think people are going to overlook, is the ability to tap a red mana and force another creature to attack if it is able. The ability to impact combat and force a creature to attack is huge because it now means you can control the engagement. Lots of times players will hold back certain creatures because they don’t want to risk losing them in combat…well this ploy is now finished when she hits the table. I can see this being super powerful in Draft, but I also wonder about the implications she will have for EDH because she could do some scary work as a Commander. I don’t usually play EDH, but with her, I might just need to make an exception.
Brago’s Favour- Another Conspiracy card with Hidden agenda. This one reduces the casting cost of the card named by 1 colourless. This could be a conspiracy you draft around a bit in order to get some value, but I suspect that the ability will be a little limited. I like it, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not taking this too highly unless I see a trend where I’ve got a couple of the same card sitting in my pile already.
Dimir Doppleganger- A 3 mana (1 blue, 1 black, 1 colourless) 0/2 shapeshifter that is pretty cool. Her activated ability is tap a blue, a black, and a colourless and you exile target card from a graveyard and Dimir Doppleganger becomes a copy of the exiled creature. This one is risky business because there might be nothing in the graveyard to exploit, but that isn’t why this card is cool. It is cool for EDH because it gives you some graveyard hate to slow down graveyard strategies…and can then be a ridiculous good time to copy, oh I don’t know, ANYTHING you want. This one is sweet. I might grab this one early in a draft, just to see what she can do for me.
Immediate Action- A conspiracy with Hidden Agenda that gives cards of the chosen name Haste. THIS is a conspiracy to draft around because giving you stuff haste, for free, is a big deal. It always leaves your opponents on their back foot wondering just what is going to come pouring out on to the battlefield and punch them in the face. If they play around this, they will be more reserved in their attacks. If they don’t play around it, you can deliver extra damage. This isn’t first pickable, but if get a chance to grab this relatively early do it and then see what you can do to shape your deck to exploit this. Remember, at worst it is naming one card in your deck, so go for it…but it is even better if you can make use of it more than once.
Muzzio’s Preparation- Another Conspiracy card with Hidden agenda this time granting the named creature a +1/+1 counter when it enters the battlefield. This will be nice added value but I hardly think that this will break the game wide open for you. Run it by all means, but don’t take this too highly…particularly if there is another card in your colour you could take. A nice addition, but not something I’m going to lose sleep over.
Reito Lantern- An artifact for 2 colourless that says tap 3 colourless mana and return target card from a graveyard to the bottom of that owner’s deck. This is a great way to keep yourself from getting milled out, but it also robs your opponent of graveyard shenanigans by eliminating the target and putting it back in their library. You are hoping that by having back in the library that they won’t re-draw it…but you never know, but at the very least you have delayed seeing that particular card again. I like this, but I feel like this will have more impact in an EDH deck then it will in a draft game. That said, it is still a sweet ability and could be used for all sorts of fun tricks.
Rousing Souls- A 3 mana sorcery with Parley that says each player reveals the top card of their library. For each non-land card revealed you get a 1/1 white flying spirit token and then everyone draws the card that was revealed. For 3 mana this could be a real bargain. You could see yourself land 4 spirits for 3 mana…or conceivably 0. However, stats say that you are likely to get SOMETHING out of this and then a card. I like this card. It isn’t an early pick, but if I’m in white then I’ll take my chances with this Parley ability.
Secrets of paradise- Another Conspiracy card with Hidden agenda that gives the named creature the ability to tap to add 1 mana of any colour to your mana pool. Hold on. That makes any creature of mine a Birds of Paradise…for free. Yes please. Free mana ramp is golden! In any colour! Sold! I might just take this first pick…certainly among my first 3 picks if I can grab it …because that’s pretty amazing. I like this one and am on board.