So I was poking around EBay this morning and got a search suggestion for Second Sunrise, a rare from Mirrodin. It’s a good card. At instant speed for 1WW, each player returns to play any permanents (minus planeswalkers) that were put into the graveyard from play during that turn. This is obviously a great rebound card for white weenie decks especially. It’s also great in EDH if you can float the mana as Armageddon or another mass land destruction spell is cast, and you can make a lot of friends in doing so. Great card that as of today is going for about $8-$10 a copy on various websites.
The thing is, isn’t Faith’s Reward from Magic 2013 actually better? It goes for about $1, if that, and it’s still an Instant and only YOU get your permanents back (and in this case you can get planeswalkers!) The difference? Faith’s Reward costs 3W, 1 more mana than Second Sunrise. But guess what? You play them TOGETHER in Modern, as you can see from this Top 8 deck Sunrise Combo Deck. Having both of these cards is what makes the combo more consistent. It wins games.
So why is Second Sunrise more expensive? It’s a rare from Mirrodin. Faith’s Reward is in a heavily printed Core Set, and it costs one more mana. Both are great cards, though. If you have any Second Sunrise laying around your binder and never knew what they were worth, now you know!
First printed in Magic 2011, Phylactery Lich is an interesting mono-black zombie. It’s a 5/5 for only 3 mana, and it’s indestructible. Of course, there’s a downside, but it’s an interesting one at that. When the Lich enters the battlefield, you put a phylactery counter on an artifact you control. The counter itself doesn’t do anything, but if you control no permanents with phylactery counters on them, you sacrifice Phylactery Lich.
There are, of course, cases in which you could easily have four of these on the board at a time and spread out the counters among four artifacts. You only have to have one of those counters no matter how many of the Lich you have on the board. The question is, what artifacts are going to be played in mono-black? Right now, as it currently stands in Standard with Scars block still available, there are several good options. You have Mortarpod and Lashwrithe, both often played in mono-black control decks. There are other artifacts that could be playable, as well, but it will be interesting to see what artifacts will be played in such decks in the near future.
Potentially, this is an extremely good card. It’s especially good in mono-black Zombies (for obvious reasons). I’d like to see some competitive decks playing it, though I’m not sure we will. In any case, you’ll want to have one if you ever play Zombies in EDH. It’s a good card that may go overlooked, and can work in a deck made for it.
Exalted has gotten quite a boost in Magic 2013, and now even Black has some guys to make their own Exalted deck almost plausible. So how good is Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis? He has a nice ability when he attacks alone, making that opponent sacrifice a creature. A 5/5 flyer on a 6-drop is pretty good, and is easily one of the better Limited bombs in this Core Set. I don’t know what Standard play he’ll see, if any, but he’s going to be in quite a few EDH decks for sure. It will be interesting to see if anyone tries making decks with this guy as the general, but there are far better mono-black options. We’ll wait and see how many Exalted cards are printed in the next few upcoming sets to see how good this guy actually gets. Maybe he won’t be just a core set anomaly, but we’ve certainly had plenty of those over the years, so keep your fingers crossed if you’re a Nefarox fan.
Mono-black players rejoice at the return of Mutilate, an old mass removal card from Torment. It’s already seeing a good amount of Standard play, with mono-black getting a major boost with Magic 2013. It’s very self-destructive, but then again so is Black Sun’s Zenith. In mono-black, it complements Zenith quite nicely. It’s a good card, especially if you’re playing mono-black. Mono-black EDH decks definitely can use it. It’s also very good in Modern and Legacy with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, which makes all lands Swamps in addition to their other types. Good card, but somewhat niche. It’s well worth the price of a pack, and does have plenty of utility, so I give it an A.
Oh, wow, it’s Earthquake that hits planeswalkers! I’m not sure there’s anything more to say about this card. It’s nice against Super Friends (decks that are based around playing a lot of planeswalkers). It also gives Red in EDH another possible boardwipe card in addition to Earthquake, Blasphemous Act, Chain Reaction, and Comet Storm, among others. Besides that, it’s pretty non-descript. It may see a little Standard play in mono-red, and be a removal option in EDH for red players, but otherwise it’s what you see is what you get.
We already had Merrow Reejerey and Lord of Atlantis, so why did Wizards have to print ANOTHER lord for Merfolk? Don’t get me wrong; I love the guys. It’s just I don’t know why we need another Lord of Atlantis, because that is all this guy is, just a functional reprint that allows Merfolk to become even more ridiculous than it already is. So, now you have eight copies of Lord of Atlantis in a deck. The islandwalk is incredibly relevant in Legacy where most decks run either Islands or cards that serve as Islands (Underground Sea, Tundra, Volcanic Island, Hallowed Fountain, etc). There’s a reason that Merfolk wins so much, and now, it can only get better. Merfolk has already topped an Open because of this card. Wizards must really want Merfolk to win, because the only reason that this card exists is to make Merfolk bigger and bigger.
Weatherlight sure had a lot of enchantments, and this is one that’s been reprinted a couple of times since then. So is Fervor going to see play in Standard? It’s possible, but I somehow doubt it. It’s a pretty darn good EDH card. Giving all of your creatures haste is pretty useful, especially with a guy like Krenko, Mob Boss now running around. It’s good in Limited for making your bombs be able to swing as soon as they hit the board. For Goblins, losing Goblin Chieftain will not be made up for by Fervor. The new flavor text by Krenko is a nice touch, but it’s really only going to see much play in Limited and EDH.
I think that Faith’s Reward is one of the more underrated cards in this set. The idea that you can survive a boardwipe is pretty awesome at instant speed. Not only that, if you’re playing against one of those stupid land destruction decks in EDH, suddenly you play this card and you get ALL your land back, while no one else does. This card can potentially be very, very powerful in any format in which you need to keep your stuff on the board. This card can make for a ridiculous swing in card advantage. I can’t say how many pluses you can make just by playing this card on the end of a turn where you lost a whole ton of stuff. It’s not good for saving just a handful of cards, but if you’re pushing for game late and suddenly you watch your whole board disappear, this is a great way to make it all come back.
I’m amazed that this card exists, really. It brings back ANY permanent you may have lost, lands, artifacts, enchantments , and planeswalkers included. You can re-abuse enter the battlefield abilities and reset planes walker loyalty counters. The combo possibilities with this card are pretty ridiculous. It’s priced like a jank rare, but it’s actually one of the best instants printed in quite some time. It’s probably going to become, at the very least, a white EDH staple. I know I’ll be playing one.
Oh, Lorwyn, how we love you! you gave us some of the greatest pieces of cardboard in Magic: the Gathering history! You also gave us this…
Yes, Hamletback Goliath is a reprint from the all-hallowed set that is Lorwyn. I have to admit that it’s not a terrible card. I can see it being especially useful in an EDH deck with Animar as the general. Getting a 6/6 that can get a lot bigger for potentially a single red mana is really, really good. It’s especially good that he gets as many +1/+1 counters for each and ANY creature that enters the battlefield, not just your own. This can obviously lead to him being bigger than anyone can stop and is a massive Limited bomb as well as giving you something really big that you can Fling at somebody in any format. Got to love Red fatties!
Now is he a good card? Well, on the very basis that your opponent will HAVE to get rid of him, yes, he is. If you can give him haste (or hell, even Trample!) after pumping him up a little, then by Joe you’ll have the beatdown going. In EDH, if you can make infinite creatures, you can make him infinitely big. Anything that can abuse +1/+1 counters will also have fun with this card.
To be honest, this card is actually pretty darn good in Limited and EDH. It’s one of those cards you might scoff at when you see that your rare isn’t a Thragtusk or one of the other dozen or so rares that are instant money-makers. But in a draft or sealed event, he’s worth taking simply because you only need that one red source to cast him. He is one little removal card away from going bye-bye, but if he lives a turn, your opponent will have a serious problem to deal with.