View Full Version : First Return to Ravnica spoilers (two of them)
08-13-2012, 07:25 PM
Well, first of all I'm going to say I'm incredibly excited. Ravnica was my favourite block by far, so this is amazing. Now, onto the first two spoilers.
This looks fun, a lurghoyf that helps itself get bigger. Kind of like KotR. Plus, it has a way to recur itself, even if can get expensive. It seems great for a UGb build though with Splinterfright, unless we can get some cards in black that make the blue in that deck obsolete?
I'm sorry it's so big, I just figured the keyword might make it easier to read on the card picture wise. (I know sometimes I can understand it better when I see it on a card for some reason). Anyway, this seems...meh unless we can get some good tokens.
08-16-2012, 07:14 PM
There is now a third spoiled card.
I know it's bad quality, but I couldn't find a better picture. The card reads as
Creature - Goliath Rare
Scavenge :4::g::g: (exile this card from your graveyard to put X +1/+1 counters on target creature where X is this creature's power. Use this ability only as a sorcery.
It's a 5/5 for 4 with an alright ability and no downside. Talk about power creep.
I just submitted a request for a new subforum for Return to Ravnica, I believe we will be moving this thread (and other RtR related threads) there when it is up.
Just a few thoughts on the new cards and the set's mechanics (in Standard's context).
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord:
Most probably a roleplayer card, due to his restrictive mana cost and abilities.
Yeah he may find a home in the tier 2-3 strategy, the Splinterfright Dredge deck, but I am looking further beyond that - He could actually be a nice addition to the tier 1-1.5 Zombie decks we are seeing today. Yes, he actually has 2 relevant creature types (Zombie Elf) and that probably will be a crucial factor to consider during deckbuilding.
At first glance, his casting cost is rather demanding for him to work in a zombies deck. However given the possibility of having 12 dual-lands post RtR (4 Cavern of Souls, 4 Woodland Cemetery and the 4 possible shocklands from RtR), playing him in a Zombies deck is actually not a far-fetched idea after all.
Now imagine all his possible applications in a Zombies deck.
1) Sacrificing a Geralf's Messenger or Gravecrawler to his ability, only for them to recur for more damage? This is probably going to be very relevant in some late games, where you may find yourself unable to attack through your opponent's defences and some form of reach is really appreciated. In some way or another, he works like a Mortarpod (which is rotating by the way) for the traditional Zombies deck - Being a Fireball variant with Gravecrawler and Geralf's Messenger to seal a late game, only more potent at a higher activation cost.
Did I mention that it is also unpreventable life loss which can't be redirected? That may come up important in some games if your opponent is playing something like Divine Deflection.
2) Sacrificing another creature to trigger Morbid spells and or other possible effects (like Blood Artist etc).
I think this is pretty self-explanatory.
3) It fits and complements the Zombies deck's curve.
While the current Zombie decks may opt for Falkenrath Aristocrat as their 4 drop, Jarad may give her a run for her money by having a more relevant creature type. Granted Falkenrath Aristocrat is more explosive (evasion) and her being in red would mean the possibility of having burn spells, however Jarad may have more Staying Power by being a resilient recursive threat.
Moreover for those who do not like to go mainstream with the BR Zombies deck, Jarad could promote diversity by allowing these people to go BGx Zombies with him. And who knows what BG spells will RtR provide us? Hence it is not a race Falkenrath Aristocrat is winning yet, at least not until RtR is fully spoiled and released.
4) It is yet another possible recursive threat for Zombies. Now you can play 4 Gravecrawler, 4 Geralf's Messenger and a couple of Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord?
However do note that I am not suggesting that playing Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord in a Zombies deck is going to be game-breaking or even a tier-1 strategy... what I am actually suggesting is his playability and possible applications for competitive Standard play. Given that we only have that many RtR previews, we can't actually assess how powerful Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord can be. Yet he doesn't seem too bad at this point of time.
Not too fascinating, frankly speaking.
Such effects rarely do matter for constructed play and are designed for limited purposes, since they are usually situational and often depend on your board presence to be powerful and effective.
Granted that Rootborn Defenses might eventually prove its worth by protecting your creatures against board sweepers or providing you with some lucrative combat trades, but I am unsure if it is worth it at 3 mana.
Probably a little too early to say it isn't going to see some constructed play, but it still isn't going to be one of the major contributing factors if tokens were to be a successful strategy in future.
And the card is printed in such a weird way, with the sentence structure being wrongly arranged. Shouldn't it be printed like...
"Populate (To populate, put a token onto the battlefield that's a copy of a creature token you control.)
Creatures you control are indestructible this turn. (Damage and effects that say "destroy" don't destroy indestructible creatures.)"
...instead of the way it is printed right now?
Yes, power creep.
However I worry that it still isn't going to be constructed playable despite such power creep issues. 5/5 creatures for 4 mana (that aren't exactly vanilla creatures) have been printed in recent years... only to not see any competitive constructed play at all.
Now this is a vanilla 5/5 for 4 mana when it is in play.
And despite having Scavenge (not exactly an interesting and powerful ability in Deadbridge Goliath's case) and the loss of Doom Blade/Go for the Throat/Dismember/Mana Leak due to the rotation, I am still not confident that this will see considerable amounts of constructed play. At least not when Unsummon, Snapcaster Mage and other efficient creatures (Restoration Angel and Thragtusk etc) is still in the format. And who knows if Remand will return to create chaos with Snapcaster Mage...
The bar for creatures to be good, really seems to get higher and higher. This still doesn't rank particularly high in my books - The lack of evasion (despite Rancor in the format) just makes it unattractive for me.
Populate: I don't exactly love token strategies, but doesn't this seems a little underwhelming and boring for a mechanic? I can't say how effective/powerful Populate can be since it is probably unfair to evaluate based solely on Rootborn Defenses.
Scavenge: This literally spells "Card advantage". Pure and simple.
In some ways, this is pseudo Flashback for creatures. And if you understand all the reasons why Flashback is powerful, you probably can understand why Scavenge can be great as a mechanic as well.
However I do have to mention the fact that unlike Flashback, Scavenge is actually uncounterable by most countermagic due to it being an ability and not a spell.
Now it is only time for them to print and spoil us with a decent creature that actually has a powerful Scavenge ability, even though I am a little skeptical that they will.
08-17-2012, 04:09 PM
Thank you Vger. I also just want to say, I love reading your replies. I might not always agree with them, but I still love reading them and looking at the thought that you put into your replies. I wish that I could be able to pick apart cards as neatly and nicely as you.
Now, for the cards. To be honest, I haven't payed attention to decks in a while; not since a bit before I graduated college back in early May/late March. As such, I didn't even know there was other zombie decks. The last ones I remember were the u/B ones that splashed for the lord, and maybe the Unsummon from NPh or Mana Leak. So, if there are some good G/B zombie decks coming up, then I can definitely see Jarad there, as long as there's enough colour fixing to support him (Which this is Ravnica, so hopefully there will be).
The fact that he can recur is one of the reasons I like him so much. Yes, I like him for his ability to burn the opponent by sacrificing creatures, which in turn makes him bigger, but the recursion ability is what cinches the deal for me with him. It allows him to have more lasting power, especially in the mirror if you're ahead on land drops.
With the Rootborn Defenses, I agree. I don't really see this being that great of a card if it's a correct spoiler. It's a common though, and it might be alright as a combat trick for limited. The card seems real considering there was another picture of it next to a M13 pack, even if the wording is off. (although that could have been doctored I guess). There have been a number of cards WotC has printed that I'm like "Why would they word it that way" Vault Skyward for example.
As for the Goliath, yeah I realise that he probably won't be played much. MAYBE if Green stompy comes around, but considering how rare that usually happens, probably not. At least not in the upper tiers. He does work well with Scavenging Ooze, Dungrove Elder, and Rancor though.
Haha you are actually too Humble. I am glad that you enjoy reading my replies, I really appreciate that. :)
As for the current state of Standard, it can only be described in one word - "Diverse". There can be so many variants for any deck archetype, with so many possibilities that can be, has been and currently are being explored. And the best part is that most of these archetypes are actually viable and have decent chances of winning. Personally I felt this is probably one of the healthiest Standard environments in recent years.
For example, Delver decks can now be divided into several variants - Either they play Blade Splicer or Geist of Saint Traft, whether if they play Runechanter's Pike and/or Swords, either they play Hero of Bladehold or Restoration Angel, whether if they are UW/UR/UWB/URG etc etc.
The same could be said for Zombie decks as well. They can now be separated into your traditional Monoblack Zombies, BU Zombies that rely on a bunch of Clone effects, BR Zombies that are a lot more explosive and has more reach with burn spells, BW Zombies that play the Geralf's Messenger + Restoration Angel interaction, BG Zombies that play Birthing Pod to gain incremental advantage or play Glissa, the Traitor for some wacky interactions.
Yeah I also like Jarad for all of the reasons we have mentioned. It isn't that I am choosing to ignore his recursive ability, it is just that I thought this isn't the strongest reason to why I see that he could be playable. The activation cost might be a little too steep and restrictive for my liking, and if only his casting cost were to be a little cheaper and less mana-intensive to make it worthwhile to recast him. Regardless, it is still a great ability that could come in handy from time to time. Currently I am only concerned if he might be too slow for Standard, or if Standard is going to show any signs of slowing down post RtR for him to be good.
Well this is probably one of the moments where I enjoy playing and reading Magic - Spoiler season! It is always fun and exciting to have new cards being spoiled, with these forums providing a platform to share our views and gain new insights regarding the mechanics/cards.
08-20-2012, 09:35 AM
Vger root will be good in esper tokens people playing bonfire a lot will have a way to save their board if they top deck it then you get another token either Spirit, angel or Drake. I see it come in handy to save the board best way to save a mans soul is rootborn defense.
GB Zombie are big in my area now they are going to get even more retard with those two cards play artist sack messenger deal 4 + 1 so 5 that will be huge if you pump your zombie then sack more retarded stuff to come. Increasing Zombies could be awesome after rotation.
08-20-2012, 04:58 PM
Jarad is my new edh general, flat out love him already. little dredge, little morbid, a lot of sacrifice effects and a lot of damage. hes gona be fun.
populate: proliferate for tokens.. just wish it was more than one token. like if you had a human and a Spirit you could get 2 tokens from it. otherwise it needs to be much cheaper than this or no one will care about populate. seriously 3 mana for 1 token and Indestructibility? decent.. but not great yet..
that said i want to cast this with that blue m13 legend in play.
and i have wanted this since proliferate came out though.
oh and look! green has another fat beat-stick that makes other creatures into fat beat-sticks once you manage to kill it. actually.. im putting that on my jarad list
seriously excited now.
08-21-2012, 11:49 PM
These are excellent early spoilers! They show us new game mechanics. They give us some of the flavor of the set. Black's still playing with graveyards and sacrificing cards to move other cards around.
It's hard to know how good these cards are without knowing their context. Will there be good tokens to copy? Will there be a universal destroy spell? Can't evaluate rootborn defenses without knowing. The mana seems like a lot. And instant speed combat tricks tend to only be good in limited. But a universal combat trick could prove useful in the right metagame, especially if you can add good value with the token.
I could see this being Geist's best friend. If I'm not mistaken, the copy of the angel would stay around. That's a 4/4 flyer for 3 mana. And the geist will survive the combat and maybe kill a blocker for a 2-for-1. This is definately a card we'll have to keep in mind for technical usage for the next two years.
So we've got a new zombie elf legend to replace Glissa. And this guy's even harder to cast! So many abilities on him, it's hard to get a solid idea of what his power level is without playtesting him a bit. He's got some very powerful abilities. But the best one is costed pretty high, as is he, and it's all color specific mana. So the question really is, is there a plausible BlG suicide zombie deck? If so, this guy could end up being the top end of the mana curve. He is similar to Hero of Bladehold. If they have an answer, he's disappointing because he has no ETB effect. But if you untap with him, you're probably gonna win. It seems hard to picture him and Geralf's Messenger in the same mana curve running smoothly though, even with a hopeful three dual lands.
Big Green Nastie is another resilient green stomper. I'm sensing a theme that can only end up being a deck of some sort . Big green stompies, cast with Cavern of Souls when needed, all of which are game ending threats and all of which are resilient to removal. And acceleration of course. Not sure if this guy will make the cut or not. It's an expensive ability. But I'd say it's very powerful. Especially considering all of the ways to dredge him, this is a game-ending clock and card advantage in the same card.
With the mana fixing of green's acceleration, you could fit at least one other color in and still have a highly consistent mana base. Red would be an obvious choice. Bonfire of the Damned clears out creature hordes, while burn provides early creature kill and the occasional final kill.
But another option is black, which has another suite of very good resilient creatures of its own. This deck concept is being pointed to by these spoilers. Green acceleration can turn into recursions of Jarad when you're flooded in the late game. The combination of Geralf's Messenger, Deadbridge goliath, and Jarad provides incredible reach, especially with Rancor tossed in there. Strangleroot Geistand Gravecrawler can do early damage to bring the target kill damage lower for later, or the geist can be a resilient blocker vs agro. The rest is creature kill and hand destruction. You want to clear out their hand of creature kill before casting Jarad, to make sure you get a chance to use him.
4 Woodland Cemetery
4 Cavern of Souls (usually zombie, but occasionaly Spirit)
4 Ravnica dual lands
4 Strangleroot Geist
4 Geralph's Messenger
4 tragic slip
08-28-2012, 01:16 AM
Not to dismiss anyone's claims about power creep, but I've taken a look at Deadbridge Goliath on google images and I am 98% sure it reads :3::g::g:. The way I see it, the part of the number that points to the left is at a position too high to be a 2. In the picture, the number seems to point to the left at the middle of the number, whereas the number 2 points to the left at the bottom of the number. That and I really don't think wizards could bring themselves to make a 5/5 for 4, even without the added ability.
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