Lost in the Woods is yet another gimmicky Dark Ascension rare, but unlike Jar of Eyeballs, this is a much more useful rare. In a mono-green deck, Lost in the Woods can be very helpful, turning what may be dead Forest draws into negating opponent’s attacks. Considering the powerful beasts that mono-Green has, this card can essentially lock-down your opponent if it’s played right. Trouble is, mono-green doesn’t really need the board control, and it only stops one creature at a time. It’s not the greatest of enchantments, but it’s a better card than Jar of Eyeballs, and it’s okay in casual play.
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Moonveil Dragon is one of the first mythic rares to be revealed from Dark Ascension, and it’s an interesting one. It’s a 5/5 flyer for 3RRR, which in and of itself isn’t all that special. Its main ability, though, is to give ALL of your creatures firebreathing until the end of turn. Basically it’s Shivan Dragon, but it gives all of your creatures that boost, and there’s no limit to the number of times you can use it in a given turn. I don’t know just how competitive this card will prove to be, but it’s a pretty nice looking card and it will certainly see some play in casual formats, and certainly in red-based EDH/Commander decks that utilize a lot of creatures.
This is a fun, fun card. Is it a money card? Not really at all. But it deserves it’s mythic status for its ability to end a game in one turn, as its ability is usable to pump your creatures as soon as it hits the board. So yes, it is a win condition. It’s a one or two of at most in a deck, but wow, classic beatdown decks are getting a lot of support in this set. Looking forward to this one.
Zombies are getting a lot of love in the Innistrad block. Diregraf Ghoul was a nice addition to the Zombie arsenal, and now Zombie players can enjoy a monster that will keep coming back to say hello from the graveyard. Meet Gravecrawler, no doubt going to be a chase rare in this set. His only downside really is that he can’t block. His upside is that he’s a 2/1 for a single black that can be cast from the graveyard as long as you control a Zombie. This obviously can get a little silly. You can discard one of these guys, play any Zombie, then for a single black play him from the graveyard as if he were in your hand. He may actually be that card that makes a good milling Zombie deck not only possible but competitively playable.
At the very least, he’ll be an absolute force with Cemetery Reaper on the board. A 3/2 for a single black mana is just ridiculous, even before considering that he can come RIGHT BACK. Send in your Gravecrawler, trade with your opponent’s creature, and then in the second main phase, pay a single black to bring him right back, and he’ll be really to strike on your next turn! Just a brilliant little card. He’s going to see play for a long, long time.
Dark Ascension spoiler season is now in full swing, and the next card I’ve decided to look at is Thalia Guardian of Thraben. Quite an interesting card, really, especially if your deck revolves more around creature spells. Thalia can slow down your opponent quite a bit, but can slow you down as well. As a legendary creature, she’s still not bad, as stacking her ability could bog you down more than help you anyhow. First strike on a 2/1 body is also quite welcome for a creature with a converted mana cost of 2. Not a bad card, and it’ll be interesting to see how she interacts with other soldiers in this set and others.
I’ve always been fond of cards that allow you to wreak havoc by placing tons of +1/+1 counters on your creatures, making it very difficult for your opponent to find blockers for all of your minions that are about to strike. Mikaeus the Lunarch, spoiled early with his release in the From the Vault: Legends collection, is a very fun card to build around. He may not be the most solid Standard play, especially with all of the creature destruction abound in this format. He’s also a bit of a slow card, as well, considering that he has to tap to use his ability, which more often than not is greatly hampered by summoning sickness. It is very fair to say though that even having to wait a turn to pump up your army in the manner that the Lunarch can is still certainly deserving of a mythic status.
Some might see him as a lord of pseudo-lord for Tempered Steel. It’s not a terrible plan, especially considering that X and one white means he’s certainly going to fit in the extremely low mana curve of such a deck. In fact, running one copy has proven to actually work, as Conley Woods proved with his Top 8 deck at Worlds 2011. He’s a fun supporting cast member of any aggro deck that involves white at its base, and he can give white weenie decks that little extra boost to push through that crucial few points of extra damage.
Happy holidays, everyone! And for the first review in awhile, why not take a look at this little Liliana card that people seem to like.
OK, that’s a bit of an understatement. Liliana of the Veil is perhaps the very best card in the set, and she’s everywhere right now. With cards like Unburial Rites, Think Twice, and other fine cards with the Flashback mechanic in the format, discarding a card is not that bad for a +1 effect. Not to mention that with aforementioned Unburial Rites you can bring back a massive creature from the graveyard that you just ditched with her ability.
Her -2 ability is actually very useful, as well. Considering how inexpensive Liliana is, she’s very likely out on Turn three, and if your opponent is having some trouble setting up a board presence it’s possible you’ll force your opponent to sacrifice their only creature, or one of only two or three. Technically, it’s actually “target player sacrifices a creature” which can make her fun in multi-player formats early game.
Of course, what makes Liliana the game changing card that she is revolves around her -6 ability. Forcing your opponent to put all the cards that he or she controls into two separate piles and decide which permanent will live or die is one of the most difficult strategic decisions to make. If you make the piles correctly, you can pretty much say, minus 6, win target game. Since it’s all permanents, including lands, you can murder an opponent’s mana base, too, regardless of which pile they choose, if done correctly.
The most amazing part of Liliana, though, beyond her ultimate ability, is that she’s only a 1BB planeswalker, with the same converted mana cost and starting loyalty (three) as good old friend Jace Beleren. She’s going to be a part of the Standard format for a long time.