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I haven’t had much time lately, and I haven’t really been getting to play any Magic in person in about a month and a half. But M13 seemed really exciting, so I went to my LGS for some Sealed M13 fun.
You should all know that I have never done better than .500 in Sealed events. I’m not really sure why. When I draft, I tend to average going around 3-1, but Sealed events seem to run me into the ground. Luckily, tonight was different.
M13 is a bit of a bomb-oriented format, so opening good rares was important. I was very happy to see Cathedral of War and Staff of Nin, as they would be great additions to just about any deck. My other 4 rares were absolute bombs too: Disciple of Bolas; Jace, Memory Adept; Vampire Nocturnus; and SUBLIME ARCHANGEL!!!
My deck turned out to be a ridiculously silly BW Exalted deck. I had a ton of permanents with exalted, as well as Tormented Soul and 2 Dark Favor to compliment the buffs. My removal was Pacifism, Essence Drain, and Public Execution, which was enough to clear blockers. I didn’t end up playing Jace, which might just be the best card to open, or Nocturnus, because of his 1BBB casting cost, but the deck ran extremely smoothly despite leaving these absolute bombs in my sideboard.
I won rounds 1, 3, and 4 in two games each, with no real problems. My second round saw me with a turn 5 win with a superbuffed Tormented Soul, but in the second and third games of the match I couldn’t find any consistency in cards and Thragtusk became too much to handle. I know that my deck was better, it just underperformed in that match.
My favorite play of the night was stopping an opposing Tormented Soul enchanted with Dark Favor. On turn 2 he began beating in for 4. When I was at 8 life, I landed Healer of the Pride. At 4 life, I played Sublime Archangel (the only time all night) and gained 2 life. On the following turn, I attacked with Attended Knight (which got chumped), then played Disciple of Bolas to sacrifice the knight for 6 life and 6 cards. After that, I spammed my creatures to gain life, and my angel brought home the win!
A 3-1 record got me 4 packs. My lucky pulls continued, showing me foil Cathedral of War; foil Augur of Bolas; Planar Cleansing; Odric, Master Tactician; Chandra, the Firebrand; and another Sublime Archangel. So in a total of 10 packs, I pulled 5 mythics, which were all very nice cards. I might end up selling the to my LGS to pay for another flight tomorrow or Sunday, as the price on most new cards drop within a few weeks anyway.
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Some new blue cards in M13! We’ve got some really cool ones here.
First up is Encrust. It’s a fine Limited removal spell, but nothing more.
Faerie Invaders seems really powerful. I would be OK with playing a 3/3 flier for 5 mana in many decks, but having flash basically makes it a removal spell with a wincon attached. Amazing Limited common. And crossing fingers that we get some cool Lorwyn-esque art.
Hydrosurge might actually be a reasonable combat trick in drafts. Normally this type of effect is pretty bad, but -5 power might just be enough to be playable.
Jace’s Phantasm is exciting. Many are writing it off as crap, but most people thought the same thing about Delver of Secrets too. I feel like this could see play in ever format from Standard to Legacy, given the right cards to back him up.
Mind Sculpt is boring, but I suppose mill spells are necessary. Great flavor though.
Tarland, the Sky Summoner is cool. For 4 mana, you’re getting a 2/2 which can spawn ton and tons of 2/2 fliers. It seems like a lot of fun. It’s most comprable to Emeria Angel, but in the right deck it could be so much more. Backed up by a counterspell, this guy could pull out so many tokens for just 4 mana
Tarland’s Invocation is a sick Limited card. We’ve come a long way since Air Elemental.
Tricks of the Trade seems reasonable. Getting 2-for-1ed after playing a 4 cmc aura on a midsized creature sucks, but if it sticks in can win games quickly.
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Blue reprints in M13.
Divination is back. It’s a great card for Limited and for many control and midrange matchups in Standard.
Essence Scatter is fine. It’s pretty good in Limited, as most cards played are creatures. In Standard, it can be good in the right meta.
This Jace is really boring. It’s no surprise that he’s back, but it’s nothing exciting either. It’s fine in control mirrors and dedicated mill decks, but nothing more after that.
Negate is back; no surprises there. Excellent card in the right meta.
Scroll Thief is an OK Limited card. If he gets in once, he has done his job. If he gets in more than that, he can put you pretty far ahead.
Welkin Tern is reasonable. It’s close enough to Stormfront Pegasus (one my favorite Limited cards) that I’ll be happy to draft it.
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Here’s some new white cards that are going to be in M13!
Everyone’s excited for Rhox Faithmender… but I don’t get why. It just seems bad. I guess it’s cool if you want to build a Chalice of Life deck, but even there it seems a bit weak.
Sublime Archangel seems cool. A 4/3 flier for 4 is promising, and the exalted ability could be pretty powerful in the right deck.
Crusader of Odric is just a white Scion of the Wild. I guess it could be fun in Limited.
Ajani’s Sunstriker seems like a really good Limited card. I call 2 cmc creatures with an ability tacked on a “Bear+”, and they’re always underrated in draft. His mana cost might be a bit tough, but it shouldn’t be too big of a problem.
Attended Knight is a bad Blade Splicer. But still, a 2/2 first striker for 3 is a great Limited card by itself, and the 1/1 token makes it even better. I’ll love drafting this.
Griffin Protector seems OK. A 2/3 flier for 4 is reasonable, and his ability to get bigger seems pretty good with exalted.
Knight of Glory is a cool update on White Knight. First Strike is probably a better ability than exalted most of the time, but his easier casting cost should make him a crowd favorite. I’m sure we’ll be seing some Standard play with this guy, especially after Mirrodin Crusader rotates.
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Here’s a few white reprints that are going to be in M13!
First is Angelic Benediction. It’s a decent Limited card. It’s almost as good as removal for an aggressive deck.
Aven Squire is awesome! I know that he didn’t see a whole lot of Standard play, but I always thought that in the right scenario he could. Still, this card is probably replacing Stormfront Pegasus for M13, and it fills the role quite nicely.
Glorious Charge sucks. It’s usually one of those cards that you don’t want to have to play in Limited, but sometimes you have no other choice.
Guardians of Akrasa is sometimes really good in Limited. Against certain decks, it can block everything and provide exalted.
Pacifism is great. 2 cmc removal for white, and it can sometimes see Standard play.
Oblivion Ring is good to have back. It’s fair and very useful.
I always liked Safe Passage. It’s a great Fog for Limited, and it can even be used as a miser in Standard.
Serra Avatar sucks for competitive play. For 7 mana, I want a creature that does something. Even a 20/20 for 7 wouldn’t be playable, and this is much worse in most scenarios.
Well, that’s it for tonight. I’ll get to the other colors some time soon!
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With 14 cards officially spoiled, we’ve got some interesting choices so far.
Starting from the top, we’ve got one white card, Captain of the Watch. It’s a Limited bomb, but I’m having a hard time seeing this played in Constructed. It seems a lot worse than Geist-Honored Monk, which costs one less and will rotate out with Captain.
The first blue card is Archaeomancer. It seems ok for Limited, and could possibly be used in some combo or Fog decks. It shouldn’t see play over Mnemonic Wall in Pauper and Peasant Cubes and decks though. The other blue card is Clone. If Clone is the best card of this variety that we’ve got, Geist of Saint Traft could get much better in October.
Black has 3 cards spoiled so far. Servant of Nefarox could be a great common for Limited. Vampire Nocturnus returns, but I don’t know if he alone is good enough to make Vampires playable. Xathrid Gorgon is extremely powerful in Limited, but I wouldn’t expect much p[lay elsewhere.
Red has a bunch of cool things. Cube owners will be looking to pick up two commons spoiled so far: Searing Spear and Flames of the Firebrand. Both should be nice in Standard too. Firewing Phoenix is nowhere near as good as Chandra’s Phoenix. It just seems really slow. Dragon Hatchling is a Limited card, and seems OK. Chandra’s Fury seems pretty awesome for Limtied, and might actually see some sideboard play in Standard. It trades evenly with Sorin and Elsepth, and it can wipe up a bunch of Spirit Tokens while dealing a sizable amount of damage.
Primordial Hydra is back for green. It’s a really cool card, but isn’t much besides a Limited bomb. I like my mythics to do a little more than that. I’m not sure how much I like Predatory Rampage. In some ways, it seems worse than Overrun, but in others it seems better. I could see it getting played in Standard.
And last up is Bolas himself. Whether or not his mana cost is reasonable, there WILL be someone at your FNM playing Grixis Control to run this guy. He’s just too much fun.
M13 is looking great so far!
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Here’s a bad cell phone picture taken of some sort of vendor brochure at Target. It’s a bit too blurry to read, but here’s what it says:
Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis 4BB
Legendary Creature - Demon
Whenever ~ attacks alone, defending player sacrifices a creature.
Let’s start from the top. It’s a black card, from Grixis. That’s just weird. First off, Grixis doesn’t really have exalted, and planes are generally not refered to in Core Sets. Moving on, we have a legendary creature. Only one Core Set ever had a legendary creature, but it looks like they’re back. That could open up some interesting card for Commander or some reprints that haven’t been around for a while. Fingers crossed for Akroma! Moving on, we see exalted. It seems like it’s going to be heavily in black for this set.
Now next to the demon, we have a booster pack. Apparently, into packs are now going to come with two boosters. And on the cover of one of those boosters is Liliana, in her new art. We’ve seen it before and it’s almost a sure thing to be Liliana 3.0.
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Here’s part of a screenshot from Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013. Let’s see, it costs 2B for a 3/1 with… exalted? Yup, exalted is back in M13. It looks like it’s on a black card, which makes some sense when you consider that black likes to work alone. Sounds like M13 is going to be fun!