Melting the Ice - Looking at Coldsnap Precons



Coldsnap is coming up.

Personally, I hate the idea. I don’t want to shell any more money on cards then I have to. I don’t want another set out in Standard. I’m already trying to get play sets of dual lands, and what happens if there’s a chase rare that any deck can use (Jitte)? But, luckily for Wizards, I’m addicted to opening packs, so they’re going to get my money anyway. But, I'm tired of the 4 sets per year (though I do understand the Base Set, I'm not going to argue with that because I don't have to buy cards from it.

I’m assuming that you know about Coldsnap. If you don’t, here's some information, but I’m sure you can find out what you want/need if you snoop around the site (except spoilers; because spoilers are bad, kids).

But the coolest things about Coldsnap are the Precons.

Wait, what?

Yes. Wizards is continuing the tradition of printing commons (and sometimes uncommons) from previous sets in the block. But the key here is that they will be in the new frames. So all of the commons and uncommons that you’ve grown to love in the Ice Age Block will get a chance to have the new card face!

Look:
Sunstone!
Fanatical Fever!
Lapis Lazuli Talisman (I bet you had to click on that, didn’t you?)!

Oh, those aren’t your favorite cards? I understand. But, for the first (and quite possibly only) time, “power” commons and uncommons from Vintage and Legacy will be printed in the new border frames (with new art) without being a promo. This is the perfect time for making good old cards with the new frames (as well as the idea of trying to get newer players into the Eternal formats (I’m not using the word Noobs, I don’t like that word)). Getting a new-bordered Swords to Plowshares? Inside, I’m squealing like a little girl.

Full of joy, not terror.

So, what will be reprinted in the precons? That’s what I hopefully will be able to answer today. I will have to make a couple of assumptions:

1. Looking at the new updated precon decks, we get the following colors: Blue/Black, Red/Green, Blue/White and Red/Green/Black.

2. The cards in the precons that are not from Coldsnap will NOT be Standard-legal. Let me repeat that since some people don't seem to get it. The cards from the precons that are not in Coldsnap are NOT TYPE II LEGAL. So, abilities that Wizards believe that are too powerful or not in the right color CAN appear in the precons because they won’t mess up Standard.

3. By "reprinting" I am saying they are going through the printing process again, not being put into Coldsnap. They won't put the same card in two different sets of the same block. You're going to have to look at it that way, because that's how Wizards looks at it.

4. It is the rarity that was printed in Ice Age or Alliances, NOT what it would be today. So, there could be 4 of a certain common even though it might be considered uncommon/rare today.

5. I’m going to be predicting cards that have not been printed in the new frames (besides promo cards). I believe that it’s those that have not be reprinted that will most likely appear in the precons.

6. Snow-Covered lands will be in the boosters, so I'll go ahead and say they'll be in the precons. I assume I don't need to tell you why.

But, you know what they say about assumptions.

Now, the cards. I’m going to put them in alphabetical order and with the help of my Magic 8-ball, predict if they’re going to be in the precons. I did call Vegas for the odds, but it’s still too early to throw those numbers in here.

I understand that there will be new art of all of these cards, but (to much surprise) I cannot find them anywhere. So, for all of the artwork in this article, I'm going to be using the old art (especially in the new frames). I can't draw/paint/doodle, and you would take me less seriously if I ran stick figures countering a spell as "art."

Sure, you may laugh now, but I can't draw.

Arcane Denial
Complete nostalgia factor. There are some that say this card is good, others say that this is complete card DISadvantage (a fact!). This is one of several counterspells that may see print, and for many casual fans, the best one. I am going to have to shoot this down only because I believe that more people would like to see two more popular counters printed in the new frames. With two Blue precon decks though, it is a possibility.
Magic 8-Ball: Cannot predict now

Aurochs
This power common from Wizards has been dominating Vintage for years.

Oh, right.

Considering there is art of "New" Aurochs on the Red/Green precon, I'm going to have to call this a lock. Personally, I think the space could be used for better cards, but I’m not the one creating the set.
Magic 8-ball: Yes

Brainstorm
I was pushing for Brainstorm to be in Champions of Kawigama. Then for 9th. Then for… Well, yeah. They did have a cool FNM promo, but I’m sure that people don’t want to shell out $40 for a playset of those. This is one that I’m pretty much guaranteeing it is going to be in a precon (that guarantee can work because I don’t work for Wizards, but if I did, I’d put it in there. Of course, it would be in 9th too). There's simply no other Ice Age card that has such strong support from both Wizards and players.
Magic 8-ball: It is decidedly so

Counterspell
While I’m glad this one won’t be in Standard, it should get a new face lift (It was also a FNM card, but this will at least keep those Blue mages happy for a while by printing a 2CC counterspell in the new frames.) All the stuff I said about Brainstorm applies to this too (except for wanting it in Standard).
Magic 8-ball: You may rely on it


At least it wasn't
printed :symu::symu::symu: for blue mana
Dark Ritual
This is the other card that I’m saying WILL go into a precon; everything else is just guessing. After axing this card from Extended, no one was ever thought to see this card reprinted again.

Of course, it won’t be legal, but it is getting printed.

With Hippie being in new frames along with new art, why can’t its enabler be in new frames also? Soon, you’ll be able to put together an old school Vintage discard deck in new frames when they finally decide to put together that Fallen Empires block with Homelands… (Side note: I like Fallen Empires, heckling can start in the comments section)
Magic 8-ball: Yes - definitely

Death Spark
Cool concept card, might see play in something that required you to sacrifice creatures and bring this back. It has cool art, but there is new art. Most likely this won’t see print.
Magic 8-ball: Don’t count on it

Demonic Consultation
Spoils of the Vault was inspired by this card. It (Consultation) has seen serious tourney play and that could be a nod to put it in. But, given the card's negative relations to Black Winter and accidental losses, if I look at my magic 8-ball it says:
Magic 8-ball: My reply is no

Diabolic Vision
Solid card (better than Index). I think that it might see as a reprint sometime, but nobody's exactly clamoring for it and I doubt that it would see print here. Additionally, if Demonic Consultation is in the precons, this certainly won't.
Magic 8-ball: My sources say no

Disenchant
Wizards painted it green and called it a different name. But, it would be cool to get a new-framed Disenchant. I see it happening because it’s a staple card. I doubt it will see Standard again, but with five years since it was printed, there have been a ton of new players who haven’t seen Naturalize White. Let’s see what the 8-ball has to say:
Magic 8-ball: Yes


Required Female Elf.
Ladies, you'll get your turn next article
Elvish Ranger (the Female art)
Alliances came out when I was 13 and this was in one of the first packs of Alliances. Anyone who played Magic around my age when this came out remembers this card. I mean, if this doesn’t get reprinted I'm going to quit Magic because there's nothing playing for if I can't get…

Wait… new art.

Nevermind.
Magic 8-ball: My reply is no

Elvish Spirit Guide
Ah, quick mana. Not only does this help with Charbelcher decks, it's a great way to play stompy too. It would help with getting newer Johnnies into the format by saying "Here, here's a free mana you can play from your hand." Also, it's a Spirit, so with Wizards' new bright idea to intermingle blocks, it goes with the block before this…

Wait a minute…

Although not quite a pitch spell, it might be the only one to be reprinted. Might (Insert ominous music here).
Magic 8-ball: You may rely on it

False Demise
It was reprinted in Mercadian Masques, but you never know. With all of those Legendary Dragons running around, it might pique up a little interest. Then, when kids realize that it's not Type II, it won't be much fun.
Magic 8-ball: Cannot predict now


Could this really happen? Maybe
Force of Will
Ah, the one card that's on everyone mind. There was an interesting article written on Starcitygames.com where that was the sole topic. He (Robert Dahlen) came up with the conclusion that no, Wizards isn't going to put this is a precon only because they show up on Magic Online. Then the debate happened on the forum over there and one guy said: "I don't think they will reprint FoW in a precon. I sure hope they don't, I have over 40. I would be pissed!"
This one card allows people to play in Legacy and most people don't want to trade them; thus making demand really high. But, would Wizards be happy with one of the precons selling for $20 like the Rat's Nest precon? Of course, they don't care about the secondary market (Or so they say) and nuked the playability of Time Vault in Legacy. With this being the most highly debated card about this topic, I can't come up with an answer. I wouldn't surprise me if they did print it, but I think they could lose a lot of people who have been playing for a while because it would be something like the Chronicles debacle. Public opinion is real high on Wizards' priority. I guess it's time to ask the Magic 8-ball.
Magic 8-ball: Concentrate and ask again - Ok (shakes it again)
Magic 8-ball: Reply hazy, try again – Grrr (Shakes it again)
Magic 8-ball: Better not tell you now – (Throws it against the wall, breaks it).

Well… That wasn't the smartest idea I had, and I thought of Chimney Imp. Let me get Vegas on the phone to get the rest of the percentage odds.

Fyndhorn Elves
They reprinted Llanowar Elves and those with elf decks most likely have these anyway. I really doubt they will get printed, but there's always a chance of it happening.
Vegas: 3%

Gorilla Shaman
Fun card, and a big help to budget players. If this card would get printed, it would be for Vintage, not for Legacy. Plus, who doesn't like the Mox Monkey anyway?
Vegas: 72%

Hydroblast
Ying to Pyroblast's Yang. If this gets printed, so does the other. But, which I think would be the most interesting and the coolest around, to print only Pyroblast.

Say what?

Blue IS the major color played in Vintage and Legacy (though white is catching up for Legacy). I'm looking at this from a new player's point of view. Wouldn't it be great to counter that Force of Will, or Gifts Ungiven? Sure, Red can't counter spells, but again, the reprints are not fitting into the current color pie. Blue already has enough counters and playing Blue in Vintage is not for the budget minded.

Regardless of what would be cool, chances are either Pyroblast tags along or they both stay home.
Vegas: 43%

Incinerate
There's a reason why they don't print cards like this anymore: 3 instant damage for :1mana::symr: + Can't regenerate = Crazy Delicious. Yes, I made an SNL reference. What are you going to do? Still, it's a card people will remember, and would be a very popular call for the precons.
Vegas: 85%

Mystic Compass
With all of Ravinca Block done with, this might make some casual players squeal with joy of affecting their opponent's mana base or help their own when they're screwed. Either way, could be a maybe.
Vegas: 15%


Too bad we don't get
great art like this anymore
Pillage
Good card. Won't ever see it reprinted again (like it was in 6th and 7th) for a playable set in Standard. Wizards somehow thinks that there should be a maximum of two 3cc land destruction spells.

Eh, what do they know?

All I know is that I would LOVE too see the new border with the Richard Kane-Ferguson art on it. Wait, thanks to modern technology I can…

It's still a popular and powerful card that has good chances for the precon
Vegas: 85%

Power Sink
If they don't print Force of Will, I believe they will print this. Annoying, so Blue mages will love it. Classic card from classic times. But, if Force (or Arcane Denial) does get printed, don't expect to see this.
Vegas: 25%

Primitive Justice
Shattering Spree before Shattering Spree. Again, people like monkeys smashing things but we aren't guaranteed a monkey for art. The only reason why this may get reprinted is because of the :1mana::symg: ability to gain life.

That, or it's more monkey art.
Vegas: 32%

Pyroblast
See Hydroblast. Why didn't I put these two cards together? The list is in alphabetical order, duh.
Vegas: 43%

Reprisal
Radiant’s Judgment costs 1 mana more and cycles. Neither of these cards see serious play when Swords to Plowshares is in the format. Wizards may want to get back on Reprisal's good side, that is if they don't reprint Condemn in 10th, but that's another article.
Vegas: 15%

Swords to Plowshares
Speaking of this, it's a Legacy staple, what with Goblins and Angels going around. One of, if not the best targeted removal card ever. No kidding. Who really cares about the gaining life when you can remove a good creature from the game. If this doesn't see precon, Wizards is missing a prime opportunity to move cardboard.
Vegas: 99.999999%

Urza's Bauble
Fun card for Timmies and Johnnies. Sure you can play with a "56" card deck, or it's a crazy storm enabler, or both! If there was only some way to play from the top card of your library… hmmm. Then again, Wizards may not want to confuse new players by including the older version of cantrips.
Vegas: 45%


Life gain is for new players
Zuran Orb
Banned in Ice Age Block, but could be a dark horse. If people want to play Ice Age block with one of the precons, then this will have to be left out (or you don't play with that precon). Again for the new players, I think that with Life from the Loam in Legacy, there could be an interesting casual combo deck there (Hint: you gain life and can get the land(s) back).
Vegas: 75%

So, that's what I believe. To recap, there are the cards that I believe will be reprinted:
Aurochs
Brainstorm
Counterspell
Dark Ritual
Disenchant
Elvish Spirit Guide
Gorilla Shaman
Hydroblast
Incenerate
Pillage
Pyroblast
Swords to Plowshares
Zuran Orb


Pimp.
If I had it my way instead of what I believe, We'd see outposts and lakes and foxes galore.
Oh, sorry, my girlfriend wanted more cute cuddly animals. I had to say it, or, well, you know how girlfriends are.
The other really cool idea that Wizards could do is take a page from their play rewards cards. Most of you know that they are doing textless versions of well-known cards. Well, do the same thing for the reprints of the Ice Age Block. You want to sell tons of precons, do that. I know I'd buy some, and if I'd buy into a gimmick, then I'm sure most everyone else would too.
Because, isn't this all just a gimmick in the first place?

Thanks Twan for the Magic Set Editor. Without this, I would have to learn Photoshop.

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