Seeing the Future: Extended

Seeing the Future: Extended


It’s been a while since we were together for one of these. In fact, it was the last third set of a block since I’ve written a set review for Extended. A set themed around possible futures is an interesting one for Extended, since the future of this format includes a major set rotation in October 2008. There are a lot of important cards currently on the chopping block, and it’s about time to look at what might be replacing them. Some of the cards I mention today will be with an eye toward that future, while other cards will be perfectly solid in the confines of the present.

Instead of breaking things down by categories of playability, I’m going to list the notable cards by color. Some are notable because they’re great cards, while a few are notable because they’re overrated. While every card here isn't in the "OMG, you must play four!!!" category, I think every card listed here is worth talking about, even if to say that it's not as good as people think, or that it might not find a home until the format rotates.



Star White, Star Bright

Aven Mindcensor
2W
Creature - Bird Wizard (U)
2/1
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.)
Flying
If an opponent would search a library, that player searches the top four cards of that library instead.

How good is this, in a format where many decks play eight fetchlands? “Crack my Polluted Delta” suddenly means, “Um, I’d better hope there’s an eligible land within my top four cards.” It’s even better as a response to Gifts Ungiven, which changes from “search your library for its four best cards, then snicker at the paddling you’re giving target opponent” to “worst Fact or Fiction ever.” The mana-cost-to-power ratio is a concern here – we have many two-mana creatures with two power in Extended – but the secondary benefit is potentially amazing.

Aside: I really want the fetchlands to be in 10th Edition. It’s my opinion that Extended should have good mana. Not as good as Legacy or Vintage, but definitely better than Standard. The fetchlands make sure this happens. If the fetches are in 10th, and the Ravnica block dual lands come back in 11th (I don’t want to see them in 10th, since I want Standard players to think about their mana again, rather than going, “Well, I have 12 duals, mise well a make a deck!”), then Extended will have very good mana in perpetuity. And that will make me a happy panda. End aside.

Barren Glory
4WW
Enchantment (R)
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control no permanents other than Barren Glory and have no cards in hand, you win the game.

“That’s it,” you’re probably thinking, “he’s done flipped his lid and is talking about a pseudo-reprint of The Cheese Stands Alone!” Well, yes and no. I’m not talking about it in the OMG-rush-out-and-buy-four sense, nor even in the “this card might be good in the right deck sense.” I’m mentioning it because it says, “you win the game” right there in its text, and it’s always good to know which cards in the format say that. Besides, it’s not like those conditions are impossible to meet if your deck also includes Balancing Act. Like I said, I’m not listing this card because it’s good, or even playable, but it is out there, so be aware of it.

Intervention Pact
0
Instant (R)
Intervention Pact is white.
The next time a source of your choice would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way. At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay 1WW. If you don't, you lose the game.

Free spells are almost always worth mentioning. For some reason, players like them. I mean, who thought a couple of free 4/4s on the third turn would see any play? Sarcasm aside, this isn’t the greatest effect, but it does pull your fat out of the fire for free, and the upkeep payment next turn is reasonable. The limiting factors are two: first, Honorable Passage is already there, and second, Extended games rarely end with one big spell dealing a lot of damage. Demonfire kills a lot more people in Standard than in Extended. Extended games tend to be won by creature beatdown, a big Tendrils of Agony, or more efficient burn spells. Intervention Pact is great when it turns a 10-point burn spell around. It’s not so great when it reverses a Lightning Helix.

Seht's Tiger
2WW
Creature – Cat (R)
3/3
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.)
When Seht's Tiger comes into play, you gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. (You can't be targeted, dealt damage, or enchanted by anything of the chosen color.)

Maindeck material? Probably not. The Hill Giant body isn’t exciting at all, and unless you keep bouncing it and replaying it, the ability is only useful once. But it can be very useful in the right matchups. Uh-oh, TEPS is going off and trying to play a lethal Tendrils? Suddenly, you have protection from black. Boros is pushing a bunch of guys into the red zone? You have a blocker and a savior, at least for now (or until it eats a burn spell and you lose anyway). Tron is about to wreck you with Mindslaver? You have a . . . um, a 3/3. Sorry, “artifact” isn’t a color, so this cross is still yours to bear. This tiger definitely has some uses, though, and should see sideboard play.



Am I Blue?


Not named after the Congressman,
but what Congress likes to do.
Delay
1U
Instant (U)
Counter target spell. If the spell is countered this way, remove it from the game with three time counters on it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard. If it doesn't have suspend, it gains suspend.

Skullclamp. Eternal Witness. Remand. And now, Delay. This is a saucy uncommon, friends, and it should join the others listed as fetching a nice price if you’re trying to acquire it on the singles market. While this will see tons of Standard play, especially when you consider that Remand is a short-timer, its Extended outlook isn’t as rosy. It has good competition in the 1U soft counter spot, both from Remand and the underrated Memory Lapse. Of course, Counterspell is still there at UU, so the two-mana counter slot is crowded. This is definitely a good card, and it will see play, but it might not happen straightaway.

Nix
U
Instant (R)
Counter target spell if no mana was spent to play it.

So it’s not great against a Mind’s Desire played off of another Desire. It’s very good at getting rid of that Lotus Bloom that often starts the TEPS sequence, though, making this the best Artifact Blast ever. It also counters all of the Pacts, any spell played via Mind’s Desire or Isochron Scepter, or any spell played with an alternate casting cost. Between those categories, there are enough cards in Extended for this to see sideboard action.

Pact of Negation
0
Instant (R)
Pact of Negation is blue. Counter target spell. At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay 3UU. If you don't, you lose the game.

Who pays upkeep costs? Certainly not decks that will be sporting this card. You get to protect your combo, countering a problem spell and ensuring you go off, all for the bargain price of 0. The storm mechanic is resilient against traditional counterspells, but why fear Stifle when you can have Pact of Negation at the ready? (Interestingly, this may cause players to rethink Stifle and come back with Trickbind, against which the Pact doesn’t do anything.) TEPS already made room for Duress, a card that has served the deck well. Can it also make room for Pact of Negation? I don’t know if it can run full sets of both, but I know it would like to run a full set of this. Other combo decks (Heartbeat is still out there, somewhere) can employ it just as well.

I think this card highlights the problem with free spells: there’s supposed to be some kind of drawback built in, but crafty players either get around it or ignore it outright. The Urza Block “free” creatures weren’t designed to untap Tolarian Academy and Gaea’s Cradle. Myr Enforcer costs 7 by itself (heehee). The Pacts have an upkeep cost. The easiest way to get around that, of course, is simply to win this turn and not have to worry about the next turn at all. If combo becomes strong because of this one card, I think WotC will regret printing it.

Venser, Shaper Savant
2UU
Legendary Creature - Human Wizard (R)
2/2
Flash (You may play this spell any time you could play an instant.)
When Venser, Shaper Savant comes into play, return target spell or permanent to its owner's hand.

It’s not very exciting as a Boomerang, but it’s very interesting as a sort-of counterspell. The good thing is, it counters a spell on the stack without actually using the word “counter.” While that’s not important against many cards, the fact remains that this is plenty better than Mystic Snake, and is worthy of consideration.



Paint it Black

Augur of Skulls
1B
Creature - Skeleton Wizard (C)
1/1
1B: Regenerate Augur of Skulls.
Sacrifice Augur of Skulls: Target player discards two cards. Play this ability only during your upkeep.

Remember, we’re losing Duress and Cabal Therapy in the 2008 rotation. It’s time to start considering possible replacements. Being able to play the ability only during your upkeep is a hindrance, but paying 1B for Mind Rot isn’t bad. You can use this ability on the third turn, then follow it up with another discard spell (Stupor, maybe, which could be worth a look after rotation, or Rise // Fall). Getting four cards in one turn is pretty good.

Bridge from Below
BBB
Enchantment (R)
Whenever a nontoken creature is put into your graveyard from play, if Bridge from Below is in your graveyard, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play.
When a creature is put into an opponent's graveyard from play, if Bridge from Below is in your graveyard, remove Bridge from Below from the game.

This looks really good in Ichorid. Dredging it into the graveyard, or discarding it to your Putrid Imp or Zombie Infestation, is simple. Then, every time your Ichorids die at end of turn, you get free Zombie tokens to replace them. When you’ve put multiples of this in your graveyard, it gets even sillier. The speed of Ichorid makes it worth considering for your Extended tournament, even with the hate that’s out there. Adding Bridge from Below to the mix just makes it even better.

Death Rattle
5B
Instant (C)
Delve (You may remove any number of cards in your graveyard from the game as you play this spell. It costs 1 less to play for each card removed this way.)
Destroy target nongreen creature. It can't be regenerated.

So much for getting rid of Terravore. This does, however, get rid of things like Psychatog, Exalted Angel, and other meddlesome nongreen men. The good thing is, you should be able to play this for B most of the time. The bad thing is, Smother does similar work and doesn’t require you to savage your own graveyard. Smother is a short-timer in this format, though, so it’s worth looking at Death Rattle as a card that could replace it someday.


"My name is Korlash Montoya! You
killed my father. Prepare to die!"
Korlash, Heir to Blackblade
2BB
Legendary Creature - Zombie Warrior (R)
*/*
Korlash, Heir to Blackblade's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Swamps you control.
1B: Regenerate Korlash.
Grandeur - Discard another card named Korlash, Heir to Blackblade: Search your library for up to two Swamp cards, put them into play tapped, then shuffle your library.

I like this card a lot, and I really want it to be good. It’s a Nightmare that doesn’t fly, but does regenerate, for 2 less. And it can give itself a permanent +2/+2 boost when you discard another card that looks just like it. The problem is that it doesn’t evade at all, so no matter how big it is, a 1/1 is a roadblock. The other problem is that you don’t want to play it without being able to regenerate it, so you’re looking at turn 5 or 6 at the earliest. MBC can play Visara on turn 5 or 6, and Visara is better than Korlash. When Visara rotates, however, Korlash might step up and be the flagship creature for MBC. It could also see play in B/G, with Urborg making everything swampy enough for Korlash’s liking.

Lost Hours
1B
Sorcery (C)
Target player reveals his or her hand. Choose a nonland card from it. That player puts that card into his or her library third from the top.

While it doesn’t look stellar at first blush, remember that Duress and Cabal Therapy are in the twilight of their Extended careers. When they leave, we’ll have cards like Distress, Lost Hours, Augur of Skulls, Hit // Run, and Blackmail left, with a few more cards looking in from the fringes. The best use of this is to let your opponent shuffle that card away with a fetchland, but we can’t count on the fetchlands being in after the rotation. This is a bench-warmer for now, but it’ll be worth considering later.

Slaughter Pact
0
Instant (R)
Slaughter Pact is black.
Destroy target nonblack creature. At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay 2B. If you don't, you lose the game.

As before, this is worth listing because it’s free, and because the upkeep cost is reasonable. This runs into problems similar to Death Rattle’s, though: first, it can’t kill Psychatog; second, the creature can regenerate, and third, Smother is still doing better work. This does allow you to tap out and still kill a creature, though, which is definitely a benefit (Snuff Out saw play for that same reason). Is it beneficial enough to see play? At first, no, but this will be considered down the line.

Street Wraith
3BB
Creature – Wraith (U)
3/4
Swampwalk
Cycling-Pay 2 life. (Pay 2 life, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

I’ll say it now: I don’t like this card. I think it’s overrated. It’s generating buzz, though, so it’s worth talking about. Yes, being able to cycle it for no mana payment is nice. Yes, having a “56-card deck” is nice, too. The question is, since many decks already begin the game at 17 life, can you afford to begin the game at 15 just to see another card? I don’t think you can. Not when Boros can have 12-16 burn spells (and don’t forget that Incinerate will be legal again the next time paper Extended is played significantly). Not when other decks need one less combat phase to win. Not when TEPS can afford to play fewer spells and still beat you. Maybe I’m wrong and this will turn out to be the mutt’s nuts in combo, but I’m not seeing it.

Tombstalker
6BB
Creature – Demon (R)
5/5
Flying
Delve (You may remove any number of cards in your graveyard from the game as you play this spell. It costs 1 less to play for each card removed this way.)

In the right deck, you make this a 5/5 flier on turn 3 pretty easily. I’ve debated this in Ichorid with some folks. You’ll have enough cards in the graveyard to remove, but finding room in the maindeck could be hard. It makes a nice alternate finisher for Tog, a deck which usually features a healthy graveyard. Any deck that’s at least partially Black that can put a good number of cards into the graveyard early can benefit from this. Who doesn’t want a 5/5 flier on turn 3 or 4?

Yixlid Jailer
1B
Creature - Zombie Wizard (U)
2/1
Cards in graveyards lose all abilities.

Meet the best card in the set for Extended. In a format which features the graveyard so heavily, this little guy hoses it all.

Dredge? Sorry, those Stinkweed Imps are just going to sit there stinking.
Return your Ichorid to play? I think not.
Flashback? What flashback?
Genesis in your graveyard? That’s nice.

The 2/1 body is fragile, but most decks that can deal with that easily also don’t care about the ability. Get a set of these as soon as you can. It’s just an uncommon, so picking up a set should be easy.



Red is the Loneliest Color

Magus of the Moon
2R
Creature - Human Wizard (R)
2/2
Nonbasic lands are Mountains.

Here’s the thing: does making Blood Moon a creature make it better or worse? And the answer is... it depends on the matchup. Obviously, this is vulnerable against any deck playing Red. However, those decks aren’t going to be significantly hindered by the Blood Moon effect in the first place. Against Tron decks, it gives them a pile of colorless mana and swings for 2. Against TEPS, it makes their special lands infinitely worse. With the number of nonbasics commonly played in Extended, the Blood Moon effect is only bad against a few decks. It’s a metagame call, but I like this card. And with some of the cards Red is getting in 10th, we could see the return of RDW.

DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
4 Grim Lavamancer
4 Mogg Fanatic (maybe Magus of the Scroll?)
4 Blood Knight
4 Magus of the Moon
4 Giant Solifuge

4 Seal of Fire
4 Sudden Shock
4 Incinerate
4 Volcanic Hammer

4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Ghost Quarter
2 Barbarian Ring
2 Keldon Megaliths
8 Mountains



It’s a little rough right now, but it has time to get better. Ghost Quarter sort of replaces Wasteland – and exactly replaces it in certain matchups – but it’s a shame there’s no replacement for Rishadan Port. Magus of the Moon should provide some disruption, though, in addition to swinging for 2.

Storm Entity
1R
Creature - Elemental (U)
1/1
Haste
Storm Entity comes into play with a +1/+1 counter on it for each other spell played this turn.

Flavor-wise, this is a good way of capturing the storm mechanic on a creature. I don’t think this will ever see widespread play, but it could go into the right deck. Think about how good this is after a counter battle.

You: Play .
Opponent: Counter it.
You: Counter that.
Opponent: Counter THAT! Muahahahaha!
You: OK, you got me. Play this guy and bash you for 5.
Opponent: . . .

Possible? In the right deck and the right environment, sure. This is certainly not a creature which should be ignored. Of course, you don’t need to get in a counter war to play this. A few cheap and free spells first, and you can have a 4/4 or 5/5 hasty man on turn 4. This feels like a Slith Firewalker to me, just without the delayed gratification aspect. Many decks do worse.



It’s Not Easy Being Green

Dryad Arbor
Land Creature - Forest Dryad (U)
1/1
(Dryad Arbor isn't a spell, it's affected by summoning sickness, and it has "T Add G to your mana pool.")
Dryad Arbor is green.

First we had artifact lands, and now we have land creatures. Just so you know, you can only play this as a land, it counts as your land drop for the turn, and its “summoning sickness” means you can’t tap it for its mana ability the turn you play it. What this does is make some of the land slots in your deck not feel like lands. You can play 23 lands, with 4 being Drayd Arbor, and while you still have 23 lands, it doesn’t feel like it. You can attack and block with these lands, and if they die, then you only lost a land. The other perk is that you can search for these with any fetchland that allows you to get a Forest.

Heartwood Storyteller
1GG
Creature - Treefolk (R)
2/3
Whenever a player plays a noncreature spell, each of that player's opponents may draw a card.

On the whole, this isn’t a very exciting card. You can certainly get more than 2 power for your 3 mana in Green. If you’re playing the right deck, and playing against the right deck, then this can be good. It’s best if you’re playing against combo, and you need to be playing combo-stopping cards to draw into; in that matchup, this card can give you a very nice boost. It’s a niche card, so it’s not good outside of that niche, but what it does, it does well.


"Just wait 'til I see Iwamori..."
Imperiosaur
2GG
Creature - Lizard (U)
5/5
Spend only mana produced by basic lands to play Imperiosaur.

“Most decks in Extended don’t play more than a handful of basic lands!” you might be saying. And this is true. However, do you remember a card named Heartbeat of Spring? It powered what can still be a good combo deck. TEPS is the combo deck du jour, but Heartbeat could come back anytime, and I certainly think it will when the format rotates, if not before. Heartbeat decks often employed “the man plan” after sideboarding, bringing in creatures to mess up their opponents’ anti-combo sideboarding plans. With the help of Sakura-Tribe Elder or Search for Tomorrow, the Heartbeat deck could drop this imposing animal into play on the third turn. That’s a good implementation of the man plan, in this humble scribe’s opinion.

Of course, Heartbeat could also play Iwamori of the Open Fist, and his trample ability would be relevant in many matchups. Other decks, such as Crunk Juice, which could opt for Imperiosaur may go with Iwamori also. Post-rotation, though, you could see more Kamigawa cards being played, including some of the legendary dragons being used as finishers. In that environment, Imperiosaur is a safer drop than Iwamori.

Magus of the Vineyard
G
Creature - Human Wizard (R)
1/1
At the beginning of each player's precombat main phase, add GG to that player's mana pool.

The danger here, of course, is that your opponent gets the first usage of the mana boost. The decks that will put this Magus to best use, however, won’t care about that. This is another card in the set that’s good for combo decks. I’m not really a combo player, so I’m not the best guy to tell you how to make use of this fellow. I’m sure those of you out there who are combo players can see the potential, and which decks can use it best.

Summoner's Pact
0
Instant (R)
Summoner's Pact is green.
Search your library for a green creature card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay 2GG. If you don't, you lose the game.

Creatures have become increasingly important to combo decks over the years. Want to find a Protean Hulk and do all kinds of weird things with it? OK, just pay 0. Here’s another card that’s very good for combo decks, giving them a completely free way to find a creature (somewhat limited by the fact that it needs to be a Green creature) that’s important to their combo. This is along with the free counterspell they have to stop you from stopping them. I really hope combo decks don’t come to dominate the format (thankfully, Flash is not in Extended, so we don’t have to worry about that deck blitzing through everything), but there are enough good tools for them to make that a possibility.

Tarmogoyf
1G
Creature - Lhurgoyf (R)
*/1+*
Tarmogoyf's power is equal to the number of card types among cards in all graveyards and its toughness is equal to that number plus 1. (The card types are artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, land, planeswalker, sorcery, and tribal.)

Realistically, this will be at least a 4/5 for 2 mana in the right deck. Aggro Loam could be a home for Tarmogoyf. Devastating Dreams will leave land, sorcery, and creature as the types in the graveyard; it’s reasonable to presume an instant is already there. And if any artifacts got scrapped, that’s just an added bonus. You might get a 5/6 out of this, but 4/5 is more likely. Werebear fills that role now; only testing will determine if Tarmogoyf is better or not.



Artifacts That Glitter Aren’t Gold

Glittering Wish
GW
Sorcery (R)
You may choose a multicolored card you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Glittering Wish from the game.

Get used to this wish, because it’ll be the only one we have in about 17 months. There are a lot of good multicolored cards this can fetch for you. The limiting factor is that this Wish is a sorcery, so while it can get instants, it’s no Cunning Wish in that respect. But it can get you saucy creatures like Loxodon Hierarch, any Invasion or Planar Chaos legendary dragon (even a dragon that costs 4), spells like Castigate, Dark Heart of the Wood, and Lightning Helix. And anything else you can think of, as long as it has more than one colored mana symbol. “Wishboards” used to be packed with a certain card type, based on the Wish being played. With Glittering Wish, they’ll just be really shiny.

Cloud Key
3
Artifact (R)
As Cloud Key comes into play, choose artifact, creature, enchantment, instant, or sorcery. Spells you play of the chosen type cost 1 less to play.

What, no tribal? No planeswalker? WORST CARD EVER!

Seriously, though, here’s another card that enables combo decks. How many combo decks have been built around paying a discounted price for a bunch of spells, untapping a lot of lands, and then doing something really broken? Well, replace your Sapphire Medallions with Cloud Keys. Now, whatever card type you need most to go off costs 1 less, and gets cheaper with every additional Cloud Key you play. The potential is right there.



People Are No Damn Good, but They Will Always Need Land

Dakmor Salvage
Land (U)
Dakmor Salvage comes into play tapped.
:symtap:: Add B to your mana pool.
Dredge 2 (If you would draw a card, instead you may put exactly two cards from the top of your library into your graveyard. If you do, return this card from your graveyard to your hand. Otherwise, draw a card.)

A bit part in Ichorid and other dredge-based decks is what this card can look forward to. Also, should a Death Cloud deck emerge post-rotation, look for this to be played in it (Death Cloud is a powerful enough card that it shouldn't be ignored). Dakmor Salvage isn't stellar, since most decks would rather dredge more than 2, but it’ll do in a pinch. Besides, some players actually play cards designed to hose the graveyard, so dredging more might not be an option. The simple dredge 2 that Dakmor Salvage gives you could start your graveyard on the road to recovery. Or guarantee you a land drop after a Death Cloud.


"I know I'm better than Shadowblood
Ridge. What, I don't look happy?"
Graven Cairns
Land (R)
:symtap:: Add 1 to your mana pool.
B/, :symtap:: Add BB, BR, or RR to your mana pool.

Grove of the Burnwillows
Land (R)
:symtap:: Add 1 to your mana pool.
:symtap:: Add R or G to your mana pool. Each opponent gains 1 life.

Horizon Canopy
Land (R)
:symtap:, Pay 1 life: Add G or W to your mana pool.
1, :symtap:, Sacrifice Horizon Canopy: Draw a card.

Nimbus Maze
Land (R)
:symtap:: Add 1 to your mana pool.
:symtap:: Add W to your mana pool. Play this ability only if you control an Island.
:symtap:: Add U to your mana pool. Play this ability only if you control a Plains.

River of Tears
Land (R)
:symtap:: Add U to your mana pool. If you played a land this turn, add B to your mana pool instead.

This is the cycle of new dual lands, themselves all parts of possible future cycles. I don’t expect these to see play right away, but remember that we may not have the fetchlands forever. If you want more consistency with your mana in a world without fetchlands, you’ll be turning to these. Some are definitely better than others (Graven Cairns and Nimbus Maze are the best at first blush), and some aren’t as good as things we have already (Karplusan Forest > Grove of the Burnwillows), but Magic players will do a lot to get more consistency from their lands. Tarnished Citadel was in money-winning decks, for Cthulhu’s sake. Is it really such a stretch to think people will play with Horizon Canopy?

Keldon Megaliths
Land (U)
Keldon Megaliths comes into play tapped.
:symtap:: Add R to your mana pool.
Hellbent - 1R, :symtap:: Keldon Megaliths deals 1 damage to target creature or player. Play this ability only if you have no cards in hand.

It’s pretty good right now. It’s even better in an environment without Barbarian Ring. The advantage this has over the Ring is that it gets to stick around to keep dealing damage. It doesn’t deal as much as quickly, but as long as you can keep your hand empty, you have a guaranteed source of damage. That’s certainly good enough to play.

Tolaria West
Land (U)
Tolaria West comes into play tapped.
:symtap:: Add U to your mana pool.
Transmute 1UU (1UU, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with converted mana cost 0, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play only as a sorcery.)

Hmmm, another card that helps combo. I’m beginning to sense a pattern here. Think of the things you can find by transmuting this land: any Pact, Lotus Bloom, Chalice of the Void, Engineered Explosives, any other land, etc. Need a Pact of Negation to make sure you can go off next turn? Here you go. Want a Chalice of the Void to hose your opponent? Here you go. Want the last Urzatron piece you need, or an Academy Ruins to complete your Slaver lock? Here you go. It helps combo a lot, and helps Tron decks use their Slaver-Ruins combo to lock you out of the game. You'll excuse me if the uses of this card don't comfort me.

Wrapping Up

The number of cards in this set that are a boon to combo decks is more than a little disconcerting. I guess we’ll have to watch how Extended premier events on Magic Online shape up once Future Sight gets added to the mix. The next Extended PTQ season and Pro Tour Valencia should certainly be very interesting. Remember that we’re losing a lot of good cards in less than a year and a half, and some cards in this set that look suboptimal at first might turn out to be really good on 20 October 2008.

As always, have fun playing Extended.

-Tom Fowler

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