Conflux Set Review and Card Evaluations

Hey, I already own a card named Nicol Bolas! Protection from EVERYTHING?!?
I have done set reviews since Morningtide at this point, and it's something I enjoy doing. When you read this remember: I wrote this before the prerelease. If it is now months after Conflux is out and you're reading this, these were all predictions without anyone having played with these cards yet. That being set, I hope you enjoy the review and find it informative, and I hope you all have fun at your prerelease and release events. If you want to discuss this set review, there's a link at the bottom of the page to the thread on the mtgsalvation forums related to this. Oh yeah, and since this is really long, I've been nice and added a table of contents so you can easily navigate the page. Enjoy!

Table of contents:
1. White
2. Blue
3. Black
4. Red
5. Green
6. Multicolour
7. Artifact
8. Land
9. An Overview of Conflux
10. Dr. Jeebus's Top 10 Money Cards of Conflux
11. Dr. Jeebus's Top 10 Playable Cards of Conflux
12. Dr. Jeebus's Top 10 Underrated Cards of Conflux
13. Dr. Jeebus's Top 10 Removal Spells for Limited of Conflux

White (20/20)

Aerie Mystics	4w
Creature - Bird Cleric	Uncommon
1GU: Creatures you control gain shroud until end of turn.

This card was originally spoiled incorrectly with the ability requiring the creature to tap. I was overly critical 
of the card at that point because I thought it was absurdly poor design for it to require to tap and I unfairly 
labeled it a 23rd card in limited. While this card will still only see play in limited, 
it's now a much higher pick and much more playable card. 

Asha's Favor	2w
Enchantment - Aura	Common
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature has flying, first strike, and vigilance. This is an extraordinarily powerful common for limited. It doesn't provide any power/toughness boost like Serra's Embrace, but the first strike makes up for it. If it did provide a power/toughness boost, it would have a chance at constructed play.

Aven Squire 1w Creature - Bird Soldier Common Flying Exalted (Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.) 1/1 Very solid limited common, and probably a high pick. There's a shortage of flying in Shards, and the only flying exalted creature available right now costs 5 mana in 3 colours, making a creature like this very desirable. Aven Trailblazer 2w Creature - Bird Soldier Common Flying Domain - Aven Trailblazer's toughness is equal to the number of basic land types among lands you control. 2/* Nice common for limited. This will normally be a 2/3 in limited, which is above the curve for 3 mana. Celestial Purge 1w Instant Uncommon Remove target red or black permanent from the game. Not main deck for limited like Inquisitor's Snare often was in Shadowmoor, but very powerful sideboard card that will come in frequently. Could easily see play on constructed sideboards, especially if Nicol Bolas becomes popular. Court Homunculus w Artifact Creature - Homunculus Common Court Homunculus gets +1/+1 as long as you control another artifact. 1/1 Alright for limited if you're in esper, although that seems to be the weakest limited shard. Would be a solid card for constructed if there were any viable artifact decks, but there's no place for this in standard right now and far too slow for affinity. Darklit Gargoyle 1w Artifact Creature - Gargoyle Common Flying {B}: Darklit Gargoyle gets +2/-1 until end of turn. 1/2 Decent limited common. Nice to see some cheap, playable white flyers. Gleam of Resistance 4w Instant Common Creatures you control get +1/+2 until end of turn. Untap those creatures. Basic landcycling 1{W} Extremely overcosted for the effect. Unless you're playing domain or expect to be constantly land screwed, probably not worth it. Sigil's Blessing is a MUCH better combat trick, so go for those instead. Lapse of Certainty 2w Instant Uncommon Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it on top of its owner's library instead of into that player's graveyard. This is probably going to go into a lot of kithkin decks. It may be relegated to sideboards, but this should definitely see play. My initial thought was that if it cost 1W like Memory Lapse that it would be a lock, but white weenie decks aren't going to play this on turn 2 anyway, so the extra mana is not likely to be relevant for aggro decks. Unfortunately, costing 2W instead of 1W, along with the existence of Banefire, makes the idea of this going into a U/W control deck unlikely. Mark of Asylum 1w Enchantment Rare Prevent all noncombat damage that would be dealt to creatures you control. Possible sideboard card for kithkin, but unlikely as red is already an easy match. However, I would be surprised, and somewhat expect to see faerie decks splashing for this on sideboard as it helps them against red, their worst match, and prevents a surprise Cloudthresher from being so devastating. First pick for limited as well, as most of the removal in this block is damaged based so this can devastate an opponent. Martial Coup xww Sorcery Rare Put X 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens into play. If X is 5 or more, destroy all other creatures. Assuming you never play this when X is less than 5, this is a ridiculous bomb in limited. This would be a good 1 or 2 of for a control deck (Played alongside Wrath, of course) if any control decks existed. Maybe after rotation the archetype will be more viable. Probably the best Wrath variant in a long, long time for casual players, however. Mirror-Sigil Sergeant 5w Creature - Rhino Soldier Mythic Rare Trample At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control a blue permanent, you may put a token into play that's a copy of Mirror-Sigil Sergeant. 4/4 This is a great example of what a mythic rare should be. Unfortunately, it's gonna be a pain in the ass to get because it's mythic, and i'm going to need like 20 of them to use as tokens. In limited this guy is lights out. Your opponent has 1 turn only to kill him or that's it. Would be a great finisher in a control deck (Jace makes for a good blue permanent), but as I said the archetype doesn't seem viable. This is, however, the best soldier so far to use with Preeminent Captain, and I would expect people to try this guy out. This is right on the line of constructed playable right now, and if the meta shifts to allow for more control, this guy will be a lock. Nacatl Hunt-Pride 5w Creature - Cat Warrior Uncommon Vigilance {R}, {T}: Target creature can't block this turn. {G}, {T}: Target creature must block this turn if able. 5/4 This guy is playable in limited because it's a 5 power vigilance for 6, like the Bull Ceredon (Though that is superior thanks to both haste and a bigger butt). When you're already investing this much mana in a creature, there's no reason to have those abilities require him to tap. It practically negates the vigilance, and could easily have been written as a triggered ability instead. I'm both reminded of Boldwyr Intimidator by this card, and also wish this was as good as the intimidator. Paragon of the Amesha 2w Creature - Human Knight Uncommon First strike {W}{U}{B}{R}{G}: Until end of turn, Paragon of the Amesha becomes an Angel, gets +3/+3, and gains flying and lifelink. 2/2 This cycle of uncommons is nuts in limited, and unplayable in constructed. Path to Exile w Instant Uncommon Remove target creature from the game. Its controller may search his or her library for a basic land card, put it into play tapped, then shuffle his or her library. Arguable the best white spot removal since Sword to Plowshares, and this could easily replace StP in vintage where many decks don't even run basic lands. Great removal for vintage, legacy, extended, limited, and standard in that order. I think this is least playable in standard of all formats, but it will still see play. Rhox Meditant 3w Creature - Rhino Monk Common When Rhox Meditant comes into play, if you control a green permanent, you may draw a card. 2/4 This guy is decent in limited. For 4 mana I would prefer a 3/4, but Drum Hunter is only 2/2 and is perfectly playable in limited. Scepter of Dominance 1ww Artifact Rare {W}, {T}: Tap target permanent. Every time I open this as my rare I'm going to punch someone. It's good in limited, but if Icy Manipulator doesn't see standard play then neither will this. Costing only 3 mana doesn't make up for how much white this requires. Sigil of the Empty Throne 3ww Enchantment Rare Whenever you play an enchantment spell, put a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying into play. Johnny will love this card, but we all know how much constructed play enchantments see. This also is a spell that costs 5 mana, has no immediate effect on the game state, and can't do anything without you playing more spells. Valiant Guard w Creature - Human Soldier Common 0/3 Well, there are worse limited commons than Wall of Wood. Workable as a 23rd card. Wall of Reverence 3w Creature - Spirit Wall Rare Defender, flying At the end of your turn, you may gain life equal to the power of target creature you control. 1/6 This is a great card for limited, though not necessarily a bomb. It's too powerful in limited to be uncommon, but that sucks because that means it has to be rare.

Blue (19/19)
Brackwater Elemental 2u Creature - Elemental Common When Brackwater Elemental attacks or blocks, sacrifice it at end of turn. Unearth 2{U} 4/4 This is great for both limited and constructed. Fog Elemental was decent in limited, and while this guy loses flying, unearth is huge. For blue, the unearth is almost like a burn spell. This guy makes blue aggro seem rather appealing, especially since against other aggro decks he can block to trade and still get in for 4. Constricting Tendrils u Instant Common Target creature gets -3/-0 until end of turn. Cycling 2 I really thought a card with tendrils in the name would be exciting, but this one is not. 14th pick in limited (Fuck you, basic land. Calling something a 14th pick isn't as cool as calling it a 15th pick). At least Dizzy Spell in Ravnica was a tutor if you had decent 1 drops. Controlled Instincts u Enchantment - Aura Uncommon Enchant red or green creature Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step. At 1 mana this is certainly a playable sideboard card in limited, but it certainly doesn't beat Flashfreeze for constructed sideboard slots. Cumber Stone 3u Artifact Uncommon Creatures your opponents control get -1/-0. For some reason I feel like this card is a pun on the word cumbersome, but I know it's not. Anyway, it's far too expensive in constructed for that effect to be worthwhile, and in limited it's marginal, maybe as a 23rd pick, but it's really only good in multiples which is why it's uncommon. Esperzoa 2u Artifact Creature - Jellyfish Uncommon Flying At the beginning of your upkeep, return an artifact you control to its owner's hand. 4/3 I thought wizards learned their lesson about 4/3 flying guys for 3, but I guess not. This guy is great in limited if you have enough artifacts to support him, he will be great in standard when someone builds either an aggro deck or a deck that exploits the bouncing, and it will be great in vintage. In vintage, much like how Sea Drake's drawback is negated if you have no land, this guy's drawback is negated if you have a mox. It also works great to keep your Tangle Wires nice and tangly. Ethersworn Adjudicator 4u Artifact Creature - Vedalken Knight Mythic Rare Flying 1{B}{W}, {T}: Destroy target creature or enchantment. 2{U}: Untap Ethersworn Adjudicator. 4/4 This is another nice example of what a mythic rare should be. This is a ridiculous bomb in limited. It can lock down your opponent's board forever and is still a 5 turn clock as well. Far to expensive for competitive decks, but casual players should love this one. Faerie Mechanist 3u Artifact Creature - Faerie Artificer Common Flying When Faerie Mechanist comes into play, look at the top three cards of your library. You may reveal an artifact card from among them and put it in your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order. 2/2 Alright in an esper deck in limited, but otherwise worthless. Too expensive and the ability is too restricted. Frontline Sage 2u Creature - Human Wizard Common Exalted {U}, {T}: Draw a card, then discard a card. 0/1 Maybe a 23rd card in limited. Exalted and card selection are nice, but this guy is just no Bonded Fetch. Needing mana to activate his ability is just a kick in the balls. Grixis Illusionist u Creature - Human Wizard Common {T}: Target land becomes the basic land type of your choice until end of turn. 1/1 Unexciting for constructed formats as this isn't a terribly new thing, but great for limited both as fixing and slowing down your opponent, since unlike the Tideshaper Mystic his ability works at instant speed. Inkwell Leviathan 7uu Artifact Creature - Leviathan Rare Islandwalk, trample, shroud 7/11 If you think you'll hit 9 mana in limited, this thing is a bomb. Too expensive for constructed, but it'll be a beast in casual play. Master Transmuter 3u Artifact Creature - Human Artificer Rare {U}, {T}: Return an artifact you control to its owner's hand: You may put an artifact card from your hand into play. 1/2 This guy isn't any good in limited unless you also happen to get some of the giant rare or mythic artifact creatures like the Sphinxes. For constructed, he comes out too late and is too fragile to do any real damage, but I wouldn't be surprised to see people try him out when the set is first released. This is another big casual card for people who want to cheat ridiculous things into play like Darksteel Colossus, Darksteel Forge, or a surprise Scourglass at your opponents end of turn. Parasitic Strix 2u Artifact Creature - Bird Common Flying When Parasitic Strix comes into play, if you control a black permanent, target player loses 2 life and you gain 2 life. 2/2 Solid limited guy. It's a more efficient and better Highway Robbers, and they were playable in limited. This guy is conditional, but the payoff of being cheaper and flying makes it worth it. Scepter of Insight 1uu Artifact Rare 3{U}, {T}: Draw a card. Fuck you, Wizards. I can't believe you made 3 of these scepters at rare. Icy was better than the white scepter, and Jayemdae Tome is better than this one. Scornful Aether-Lich 3u Artifact Creature - Vedalken Wizard Uncommon {W}{B}: Scornful Aether-Lich gains fear and vigilance until end of turn. 2/4 Three mana is the standard for 2 unblockable damage, so I don't like this guy. Sure he also has vigilance, but it's not always unblockable and it's mana intensive. 23rd card in limited. Telemin Performance 3uu Sorcery Rare Target opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until a creature card has been revealed. Put all noncreature cards revealed this way into that player's graveyard, then put the creature card into play under your control. This card is no Bribery. It's no Helm of Obedience either, cause at least that was an artifact so other colours could use it. This may see some casual play, but the other 2 cards I mentioned are just so much superior. This is only good if you either know your opponent has no creatures or can remove all their creatures from the deck somehow. Otherwise, it's just too random and disappointing. Fortunately, it's random so it can go in my U/R coin flip deck. Traumatic Visions 3uu Instant Common Counter target spell. Basic landcycling 1{U} UGH. These basic landcycling spells are absurdly overcosted. Unsummon u Instant Common Return target creature to its owner's hand. Reprint. This is a known quantity in every format. View from Above 1u Instant Uncommon Target creature gains flying until end of turn. If you control a white permanent, return View from Above into your hand. Jump has never really been a popular card, but the return to your hand clause on this is extremely interesting. It's a shame this wasn't a cycle as I'd love to see what other cards they'd be willing to give this ability to. Also, the return to hand clause makes this playable in limited, though probably as a 23rd card. Worldly Counsel 1u Instant Common Domain - Look at the top X cards of your library, where X is the number of basic land types among lands you control. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library. If domain decks become popular then this will be fantastic as a replacement for Impulse. Since none of the mana fixing in standard currently involves basic land types, however, this is merely mediocre card selection for limited.
Black (18/18)
Absorb Vis 6b Sorcery Common Target player loses 4 life and you gain 4 life. Basic landcycling 1{B} Well we know that this ability can cost 3BB thanks to Soul Feast, so this is just really, really overcosted. It may be a 23rd card in limited, especially because it's splashable, but the fact that it can't even hit creatures makes this card really unappealing. Corrupted Roots b Enchantment - Aura Uncommon Enchant Forest or Plains Whenever enchanted land becomes tapped, its controller loses 2 life. It was cute to see black get a Psychic Venom variant in Future Sight, but another one? Something like this is really only good if you have 4x in your opening hand, and it's not worth sideboard slots for that, even in limited. Drag Down 2b Instant Common Domain - Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn for each basic land type among lands you control. Will never see constructed play, but -3/-3 in limited should be a very high pick. Dreadwing b Creature - Zombie Uncommon 1{U}{R}: Dreadwing gets +3/+0 and gains flying until end of turn. 1/1 This actually isn't bad for limited, but no other applications. Extractor Demon 4bb Creature - Demon Rare Flying Whenever another creature leaves play, you may have target player put the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. Unearth 2{B} 5/5 This is good for limited since it's a big flyer with unearth and has a very small chance of milling them, but I dunno about constructed. Milling your opponent with this is terrible an inefficient, but there are probably Johnny applications involving using it to mill yourself that I can't think of. If I have a 5/5 flyer though, I can't figure out why I would want to be milling them so slowly. At least Oona both milled quickly and created an army to either defend you or kill them, but I'm just not seeing this having any real constructed applications. Fleshformer 2b Creature - Human Wizard Uncommon {W}{U}{B}{R}{G}: Fleshformer gets +2/+2 and has fear until end of turn. Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn. 2/2 The fact that this guy works as removal as well makes him the coolest of this cycle, though not the strongest. Grixis Slavedriver 5b Creature - Zombie Giant Uncommon When Grixis Slavedriver leaves play, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play. Unearth 3{B} 4/4 When I first read this I was really hoping for a new Rotlung Reanimator, but it's uncommon so I should have known better. This guy is great for limited since it's a decent size, unearths, and creates tokens, but the fact that you can only get tokens for it and not other creatures and the fact that it costs 6 mana means there's no constructed way to use this. Infectious Horror 3b Creature - Horror Common Whenever Infectious Horror attacks, each opponent loses 2 life. 2/2 This would be alright in limited except for the fact that it's unlikely to ever attack more than once. Not only that, but at a meager 2/2 for 4, not only will it only attack once, it's unlikely to even trade with a creature, so it's basically an Unyaro Bee Sting targeting your opponent. Oh yeah, and it's a horror so it doesn't even have a relevant creature type. Kederekt Parasite b Creature - Horror Rare Whenever an opponent draws a card, if you control a red permanent, you may have Kederekt Parasite deal 1 damage to that player. 1/1 Alright for limited if you can drop it early but a terrible topdeck. A 1 mana Underworld Dreams could easily have constructed applications in a R/B aggro deck (Figure of Destiny makes for a nice red permanent), but the fact that this is so conditional and fragile makes it seem less likely to see play. If the meta shifts towards control this would be great, but that seems unlikely for now. Nyxathid 1bb Creature - Elemental Rare As Nyxathid comes into play, choose an opponent. Nyxathid gets -1/-1 for each card in the chosen player's hand. 7/7 I really like the tension this card creates for your opponent. This guy is good in limited if you're in a tight game or in topdeck mode, and it really has a lot of constructed potential. I could easily see this fitting nicely into a deck with a decent discard suite (Thoughtseize and Blightning) as the card will already be good against aggro and discard will help it out against control. Pestilent Kathari 2b Creature - Bird Warrior Common Flying Deathtouch 2{R}: Pestilent Kathari gains first strike until end of turn. 1/1 I like this guy for limited. He's like a must answer threat, although he's really only good on defense. Even so, he negates your opponent's largest creature, and unless it has first strike he lives to keep doing it. This little guy has the potential to completely change a game. Rotting Rats 1b Creature - Rat Common When Rotting Rats comes into play, each player discards a card. Unearth 1{B} 1/1 Not a bad friend for Nyxathid if you can come up with a reason that you would want to discard your own cards. Unfortunately, I can't. The unearth could make him a great trick for limited, however. Salvage Slasher 1b Artifact Creature - Human Rogue Common Salvage Slasher gets +1/+0 for each artifact card in your graveyard. 1/1 I can't even see this being good in an esper limited deck. It's toughness never increases so the best it can do is trade, and it's only good if you've been losing. Scepter of Fugue bb Artifact Rare 1{B}, {T}: Target player discards a card. Play this ability only during your turn. This is the best of the scepters, but still not good. This one is actually better than Disrupting Scepter, but sorcery speed makes it terrible. Nezumi Shortfang may have been more fragile, but it was instant speed and also flipped into a 3/3 The Rack. This card would excite me if it was instant speed, but instead I'm severely disappointed. Oh yeah, and the Shortfang didn't see that much play, either. Sedraxis Alchemist 2b Creature - Zombie Wizard Common When Sedraxis Alchemist comes into play, if you control a blue permanent, return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand. 2/2 Black Man-o-War! Great guy for limited, probably too slow for constructed. Voices from the Void 4b Sorcery Uncommon Domain - Target player discards a card for each basic land type among lands you control. Worse than Mind Sludge, Mind Shatter...pretty much every discard except Mind Warp. The effort required to make them discard 5 cards for 5 mana is absurd, and there's no reason to even try with this card. Wretched Banquet b Sorcery Common Destroy target creature with the least power or tied for least power. I like this card because of how much I love Drop of Honey, but it's admittedly not that good. It's nice early removal, something in the vein of Innocent Blood for stopping reanimate targets and stuff, but this isn't anywhere near as good. It also checks all creatures, not just opponents, so it can easily be a dead card in your hand. Possibly playable in limited if you intend to play it very early, but I'd probably just steer clear and try to pick up Yoke of the Damned and Drag Down. Yoke of the Damned 1b Enchantment - Aura Common Enchant creature Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play, enchanted creature's controller sacrifices it. This is excellent limited removal, especially since most of the removal in this block so far has been red and damaged base. This also gets around the indestructible creatures, of which there are a few. Very unlikely to be good enough for constructed, but in a deck based on sacrificing things like torrent/tokens, it could see play over other removal. Still unlikely, however.
Red (20/20)
Banefire xr Sorcery Rare Banefire deals X damage to target creature or player. If X is 5 or more, Banefire can't be countered by spells or abilities and the damage can't be prevented. Blaze is a first pick in limited, but this is a great card and is definitely going to see constructed play as a finisher. Ironically, Banefire is better than Demonfire, however I don't expect Banefire to see as much play or carry nearly the same price tag as Demonfire because of how drastically different the metagame is. Bloodhall Ooze r Creature - Ooze Rare At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control a black permanent, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Bloodhall Ooze. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control a green permanent, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Bloodhall Ooze. 1/1 This card is a great 1 drop in limited and it SEEMS like it would be good for constructed at first, but it's really not. It can't get bigger until turn 3, and making it bigger is very conditional. This can't compete with red's other 1 drops, especially Figure of Destiny. Canyon Minotaur 3r Creature - Minotaur Warrior Common 3/3 Hill giant is hill giant. Someone's minotaur deck is happy to see this I'm sure though. Dark Temper 2r Instant Common Dark Temper deals 2 damage to target creature. If you control a black permanent, destroy that creature instead. Excellent limited removal, and has potential for standard play. If you have a black permanent, it's unconditional hard removal for 3 at instant speed. Currently, however, there's no deck that this fits in, and it's unlikely that it will find a home until after rotation. Dragonsoul Knight 2r Creature - Human Knight Uncommon First strike {W}{B}{U}{R}{G}: Until end of turn, Dragonsoul Knight becomes a Dragon, gets +5/+3, and gains flying and trample. 2/2 The most impressive of this limited cycle. Fiery Fall 5r Instant Common Fiery Fall deals 5 damage to target creature. Basic landcycling 1{R} (1{R}, Discard this card: Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.) This is slightly less overcosted than the other basic landcycling spells, and is definitely worth playing in limited. Goblin Razerunners 2rr Creature - Goblin Warrior Rare 1{R}, Sacrifice a land: Put a +1/+1 counter on Goblin Razerunners. At the end of your turn, you may have Goblin Razerunners deal damage equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on it to target player. 3/4 This is a limited bomb and a great card for casual goblin decks. It's a very well designed card and I wish it could see play, but it can't compete with cards like Demigod of Revenge for red finishers. Hellspark Elemental 1r Creature - Elemental Uncommon Trample, haste At end of turn, sacrifice Hellspark Elemental. Unearth 1{R} 3/1 Spark Elemental was already good and played in some aggro decks, and this card is even better. It may cost 1 more, but the ability to unearth makes a huge difference, especially in making this more playable in limited as well. Ignite Disorder 1r Instant Uncommon Ignite Disorder deals 3 damage divided as you choose among any number of target white and/or blue creatures. Not a very good sideboard card for constructed, but alright in limited. It's certainly not a high pick, but because they'll be floating around late it's worth grabbing these as some potential sideboard removal. Kranioceros 4r Creature - Beast Common 1{W}: Kranioceros gets +0/+3 until end of turn. 5/2 23rd card for limited. It's nice that it can take out big creatures without dying, but it's very mana intensive, and if you don't invest the mana it's really fragile. Maniacal Rage 1r Enchantment - Aura Common Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and can't block. Reprint = known commodity. It hasn't been printed in a while, however, so I should point out that, while it's not a trick like Uncontrollable Anger, red enchantments like this are good for fast decks. Molten Frame 1r Instant Common Destroy target artifact creature. Cycling 2 I originally reviewed this thinking it said target artifact, not artifact creature. Since it's just creature, it's meh. Quenchable Fire 3r Sorcery Common Quenchable Fire deals 3 damage to target player. It deals an additional 3 damage to that player at the beginning of his or her next upkeep unless that player pays {U} before that step. This is a hard one to gauge. It's definitely not good enough for constructed, but it may be for limited, at least on sideboard. It's tricky to gauge though because it's better in limited, but in limited your opponent is more likely to have blue because of the theme of shards. I'd leave it on your board for game 1, and bring it in if your opponent isn't playing blue. It is worth noting, however, that your opponent needs to play the U BEFORE their upkeep, so if they tap out you can even get the extra damage against a player with blue. Rakka Mar 2rr Legendary Creature - Human Shaman Rare Haste {R}, {T}: Put a 3/1 red Elemental creature token with haste into play. 2/2 Nice for limited as either a renewable source of creatures they need to block or as chump blockers, but too slow for constructed. Not even very appealing for casual multiplayer games. Toxic Iguanar r Creature - Lizard Common Toxic Iguanar has deathtouch as long as you control a green permanent. 1/1 As long as you have green, this is practically red's version of Loyal Sentry. Red doesn't like to stay defensive so this won't see any constructed play, but it's certainly playable in limited. Viashino Slaughtermaster 1r Creature - Viashino Warrior Uncommon Double strike {B}{G}: Viashino Slaughtermaster gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Play this ability only once each turn. 1/1 This guy is alright, but the once a turn stipulation really pisses me off. Wizards seem terrified of printing double strike creatures with power greater than 2, with the exception of 10 mana dragons and cards that only have double strike conditionally. Still playable in limited, however. #edit: I didn't think of potential block applications involving Might of Alara, but if domain becomes popular this guy is better than Boros Swiftblade. Volcanic Fallout 1rr Instant Uncommon Volcanic Fallout can't be countered. Volcanic Fallout deals 2 damage to each creature and each player. Red didn't really need help against faeries, but here it is. The damage can be prevented so it doesn't help them against kithkin, but this should definitely be popular, especially since it's an instant. Voracious Dragon 3rr Creature - Dragon Rare Flying Devour 1 When Voracious Dragon comes into play, it deals damage equal to twice the number of Goblins it devoured to target creature or player. 4/4 This guy is a bomb in limited and I really like the design, but not likely to see constructed play. Definitely should be popular in casual decks, however. Wandering Goblins 2r Creature - Goblin Warrior Common Domain - 3: Wandering Goblins get +1/+0 until end of turn for each basic land type among lands you control. 0/3 So on turn 4 if you pay 3 mana (twice) you can have a 3/3 creature until end of turn. In constructed, I'd much rather use Wild Nacatl. Still very playable in limited since you can pump multiple times, however. Assuming you have at least 3 basic land types, which is pretty much always the case in Shards limited, this guy is a must answer threat. Worldheart Phoenix 3r Creature - Phoenix Rare Flying You may play Worldheart Phoenix from your graveyard by paying {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} rather than paying its mana cost. If you do, it comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it. 2/2 Recursive flying threat? If your mana base can support it in limited, this thing is a bomb. No constructed use, but should be very popular for casual players and their phoenix decks (Although it will also require them to track down some Crystal Quarry's since all the phoenixes are mono red, but those aren't terribly hard to come by).
Green (20/20)
Beacon Behemoth 3gg Creature - Beast Common 1: Target creature with power 5 or greater gains vigilance until end of turn. 5/3 It's another Mosstodon! I don't like this as much as Mosstodon, but it's still certainly playable in limited. Cliffrunner Behemoth 3g Creature - Rhino Beast Rare Cliffrunner Behemoth has haste as long as you control a red permanent. Cliffrunner Behemoth has lifelink as long as you control a white permanent. 5/3 As long as you control Figure of Destiny, Cliffrunner Behemoth is a 5/3 haste lifelink for 3G. Seems pretty damned good to me, and it's just as useful in limited. Cylian Sunsinger 1g Creature - Elf Shaman Rare {R}{G}{W}: Cylian Sunsinger and each other creature with the same name as it get +3/+3 until end of turn. 2/2 This is a neat ability, but I think this guy should have been uncommon. It's decent for limited, but best in multiples which will rarely happen. This shouldn't see any competitive play, but may make its way into some casual elf decks, although even that's unlikely because it requires red and white as well, and because there are far better rare elves for casual players to spend their money on. Ember Weaver 2g Creature - Spider Common Reach As long as you control a red permanent, Ember Weaver gets +1/+0 and has first strike 2/3 A 3/3 reach, first strike creature for 3 is ahead of the curve, especially at common. Not quite efficient enough for limited, but large first strike creatures are always good in limited. Filigree Fracture 2g Instant Uncommon Destroy target enchantment or artifact. If that artifact or enchantment's controller controls a black or blue permanent, you may draw a card. Very nice anti-esper card in limited, although esper isn't exactly the strongest shard in limited anyway. Whether or not this has any chance on constructed sideboards really depends on the meta, but right now there's no real place for it. Gluttonous Slime 2g Creature - Ooze Uncommon Flash Devour 1 2/2 Glad to see a devour creature with flash. This can be both a surprise blocker, and more importantly a great trick after stacking combat damage. No place in any constructed format for this yet, but we're just a few cards away from someone being able to make a fun ooze deck for casual. Matca Rioters 2g Creature - Human Warrior Common Domain - Matca Rioter's power and toughness are each equal to the number of basic land types among lands you control. */* Decent limited card, probably a generic 3/3 for 3. Not bad, but it pales in comparison to Ember Weaver. Might of Alara g Instant Common Domain - Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each basic land type among lands you control. Functional reprint, so it's a known quantity. In limited it's just a giant growth, which is still good, but it should see play in extended since Gaea's Might rotated out. Nacatl Savage 1g Creature - Cat Warrior Common Protection from artifacts 2/1 Pretty unplayable, even in limited. It's a sideboard card against esper, but green has much better esper hoses, like Naturalize and Filigree Fracture. Noble Hierarch g Creature - Human Druid Rare Exalted {T}: Add {G}, {W} or {U} to your mana pool. 0/1 I love this creature. It's both mana accel and damage accel, if such a term existed. In any deck that's not running black or red, this should replace Birds of Paradise. If it was an elf instead of a human, it would replace Llanowar Elves in every deck they're in, and would be worth quite a bit more. Regardless, this is probably the best creature for mana accel we've seen since Priest of Titania. Paleoloth 4gg Creature - Beast Rare Whenever another creature with power 5 or greater comes into play under your control, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. 5/5 Great card for casual beast decks (Beast not necessarily meaning the tribe) and for limited. I don't see any use for it in constructed, but should definitely be popular among casual players and a potential first pick in limited. Sacellum Archers 2g Creature - Elf Archer Uncommon {R}{W}, {T}: Sacellum Archers deals 2 damage to target attacking or blocking creature. 2/3 This guy's ability is a little overcosted; it really feels like he should at least have reach. That said, it's still fine for limited since the damage isn't restricted to flying creatures. Scattershot Archer g Creature - Elf Archer Common {T}: Scattershot Archer deals 1 damage to each creature with flying. 1/2 Green already had plenty of hate against faeries, but here's some more. A 1/2 for 1 isn't unprecedented, but this guy is really ahead of the curve, and shuts down faeries as long as he stays in play (And since faeries now favours Agony Warp over most other removal, Gutteral Response helps keep him alive). There's no guarantee this guy will see play because of Cloudthresher just being the balls, but that doesn't take away from how awesome this guy is. Shard Convergence 3g Sorcery Uncommon Search your library for a Plains card, an Island card, a Swamp card, and a Mountain card. Reveal those cards and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library. More expensive mana fixing that doesn't put anything into play. I guess getting domain and hitting your next 4 land drops is nice, but I really dislike the idea of spending all this mana on land and not accelerating at all. Soul's Majesty 4g Sorcery Rare Draw cards equal to the power of target creature you control. I really don't like this as a rare, but it's too powerful in limited to be uncommon. It's a nice twist on Collective Unconscious, and most importantly it's one mana cheaper. Spore Burst 3g Sorcery Uncommon Domain - Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play for each basic land type among lands you control. This card pisses me off, especially at uncommon. Four mana for 3, maybe 4 tokens at sorcery speed? This is no Beacon of Creation. It's not even Scatter the Seeds, which was both an instant and had convoke. Sylvan Bounty 5g Instant Common Target player gains 8 life. Basic landcycling 1{G} Six mana for 8 life? Fuck that. And 1G to basic landcycle? Just play Rampant Growth. Thornling 3gg Creature - Elemental Shapeshifter Mythic Rare {G}: Thornling gains haste until end of turn. {G}: Thornling gains trample until end of turn. {G}: Thornling is indestructible until end of turn. 1: Thornling gets +1/-1 until end of turn. 1: Thornling gets -1/+1 until end of turn. 4/4 Another mythic rare I'm a big fan of. I wish it could untap instead of gaining haste, but that would be overpowered with indestructibility. This undoubtedly won't see constructed play, but both the name and its abilities are going to make it hugely popular for casual players. Tukatongue Thallid g Creature - Fungus Common When Tukatongue Thallid is put into a graveyard from play, put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play. 1/1 Cute little 1 drop for limited. Not great, but playable as a 23rd pick. A nice addition to casual thallid decks as well. Wild Leotau 2gg Creature - Cat Common At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Wild Leotau unless you pay {G}. 5/4 This guy is a beast in limited. I always thought Uktabi Efreet was powerful in limited, but Wild Leotau makes the efreet it's bitch. If I was building a cheap stompy deck for a beginning player, it would definitely run 4 of these.
Multicolour (36/36)
Apocalypse Hydra xrg Creature - Hydra Mythic Rare Apocalypse Hydra comes into play with X +1/+1 counters on it. If X is 5 or more, it comes into play with an additional X +1/+1 counters on it. 1{R}, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Apocalypse Hydra: Apocalypse Hydra deals 1 damage to target creature or player. 0/0 The mythic rares all seem to be crazy bombs for limited. This one also has the potential to be constructed playable in some sort of ramp deck, though recent ramp decks haven't been successful. Regardless, this is another creature that casual players are going to go nuts over. Blood Tyrant 4ubr Creature - Vampire Rare Flying. Trample At the beginning of your upkeep, each player loses 1 life. Whenever a player loses life this way, put that many +1/+1 counters on Blood Tyrant. Whenever a player loses the game, put five +1/+1 counters on Blood Tyrant. 5/5 It's not often, but I love when they actually make cards that are clearly designed for multiplayer games like this one. Of course, it puts a HUGE bullseye on your head in multiplayer, but it should still be really popular anyway. It's also good in limited, as giant, flying creatures tend to be. #edit: This was originally spoiled without trample, but adding trample doesn't change my opinion of the card, except to make it even better in limited, and it will be even more popular among the casual multiplayer crowd. Charnelhoard Wurm 4brg Creature - Wurm Rare Trample Whenever Charnelhoard Wurm deals damage to an opponent, you may return target card from your graveyard to your hand. 6/6 Wow, ANOTHER giant rare creature that's nuts in limited! The number of ridiculous bomb rares is going to make ALA-ALA-CON an extremely exciting format. This is also another rare I expect to be popular among casual players. Child of Alara wubrg Legendary Creature - Avatar Mythic Rare Trample When Child of Alara is put into a graveyard from play, destroy all nonland permanents. They can't be regenerated. 6/6 This is a bomb in limited if you have the mana base for it, but it's better in constructed when you can build around it's leaves play trigger. This is one of those cards that's right on the fence of being constructed playable, and it's going to be impossible to tell without playing with it. Going to definitely be another casual favourite though. Conflux 3wubrg Sorcery Mythic Rare Search your library for a white card, a blue card, a black card, a red card, and a green card. Reveal those cards and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library. This card is amazing in any format where Dream Halls is legal. With Dream Halls out, you just keep fetching Conflux and 4 other things, then tear through spells until you can Tendrils of Agony FTW. There are undoubtedly going to be other uses, but this is only good as some crazy Johnny card. Countersquall ub Instant Uncommon Counter target noncreature spell. Its controller loses 2 life. I really like this card. I'm not a huge fan of conditional counters, but just about any deck that currently runs Negate will want this instead. Elder Mastery 3ubr Enchantment - Aura Uncommon Enchant creature Enchanted creature gets +3/+3, has flying, and has "Whenever this creature deals damage to a player, that player discards two cards." This is alright for limited, but if I'm paying 6 mana for an enchant creature, I expect a whole lot more bang than this. Pretty disappointing compared to the deity auras from Shadowmoor block. Esper Cormorants 2wu Artifact Creature - Bird Common Flying 3/3 It's like a worse Assault Zeppelid! Still playable and a high pick in limited, however. Exploding Borders 2rg Sorcery Common Domain - Search your library for a basic land card, put that card into play tapped, then shuffle your library. Exploding Borders deals X damage to target player, where X is the number of basic land types among lands you control. If this could damage a creature as well then it would be good, but only targeting a player makes this pretty terrible, and not even worth it in limited. Fusion Elemental wubrg Creature - Elemental Uncommon 8/8 If you have the mana base for this in limited it's devastating, especially since there's a shortage of removal that isn't damage based. In constructed it's impressive and can come down fast with Smokebraider, but I see people favouring Child of Alara to this. However, this and Child of Alara may be enough to try to encourage elemental decks to come back. Giltspire Avenger gwu Creature - Human Soldier Rare Exalted (Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.) {T}: Destroy target creature that dealt damage to you this turn. 2/2 Great for limited, but it's an odd fit with exalted. Exalted on this card makes it both offensive and defensive, but in an exalted deck, you'd probably have enough creatures back to block where there was no reason to take the damage at all. Goblin Outlander br Creature - Goblin Scout Common Protection from white 2/2 This whole cycle is solid limited fodder. Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer 1wu Legendary Creature - Human Rogue Rare {W}{U}, {T}: Put a bribery counter on target creature you don't control. Its controller draws a card. Creatures with bribery counters on them can't attack or block. 2/2 This card is pretty terrible. Unless your opponent taps out, you drop a counter on one of his blockers, untap for the turn, drop a counter on another blocker, and swing for the win, you're just asking to get fucked. Bribery counters have no rules text associated with them, so all this does is let your opponent draw extra cards and then kill this guy. You can't even use it on your own creatures as a drawing engine. Awful, awful rare. Hellkite Hatchling 2rg Creature - Dragon Uncommon Devour 1 Hellkite Hatchling has flying and trample if it devoured a creature. 2/2 This is also worse than Assault Zeppelid, as it requires you to devour a creature. However, this is also still playable in limited. Jhessian Balmgiver 1wu Creature - Human Cleric Uncommon {T}: Prevent the next 1 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn. {T}: Target creature is unblockable this turn. 1/1 Decent enough limited card, especially as making creatures unblockable has no power/toughness limitations. Probably not a terribly high pick. Knight of the Reliquary 1gw Creature - Human Knight Rare Knight of the Reliquary gets +1/+1 for each land card in your graveyard. {T}, Sacrifice a Forest or Plains: Search your library for a land card, put it into play, then shuffle your library. 2/2 This is another great design. It's mana fixing, deck thinning, and it's a threat. Good for limited and is definitely constructed worthy, especially since there's no restrictions on what land you can get, but it probably won't have a home in constructed until after rotation. Great casual card, however, as it will let me sac basic lands to get my Maze of Iths in play! Knotvine Mystic rgw Creature - Elf Druid? Uncommon 1, {T}: Add {R}{G}{W} to your mana pool. 2/2 This is pretty powerful acceleration in limited, but not sure if it has any place in constructed. It can help pump out things like Godsire, but the mana cost is pretty restrictive in terms of what you can try to accel into. Maelstrom Archangel wubrg Creature - Angel Mythic Rare Flying Whenever Maelstrom Archangel deals combat damage to a player, you may play a nonland card from your hand without paying its mana cost. 5/5 Again, great in limited if you can hit all 5 colours as a 5/5 creature. I'm not sure if I like this in constructed, however, as playing spells for free when you're already hitting with a 5/5 flyer is really more of a win more ability. More mythic rares for the casual player! Magister Sphinx 4wub Artifact Creature - Sphinx Rare Flying When Magister Sphinx comes into play, target player's life total becomes 10. 5/5 How many fucking giant flying rares do we need for limited? I guess you can never have enough, and at least they're all different and interesting. Limited bomb and casual card with a slight chance of backfiring (if you're life is above 10 and your opponent's is below), but otherwise it's just a big, expensive flyer. Malfegor 2bbrr Legendary Creature - Demon Dragon Mythic Rare Flying When Malfegor comes into play, discard your hand. Each opponent sacrifices a creature for each card discarded this way. 6/6 This thing is game over in limited, and against the right decks is great in constructed as well. It's an all in sort of card though, so it had better win the game by itself. While dropping this guy in a multiplayer game is asking for trouble since it hurts all your opponents, it's both a demon and a dragon which means casual players will go nuts over it. Meglonoth 3rgw Creature - Beast Rare Vigilance, trample Whenever Meglonoth blocks a creature, Meglonoth deals damage to that creature's controller equal to Meglonoth's power. 6/6 This is not only a limited bomb, but has potential for constructed play as well. They say the best offense is a good defense, and this card is both. It's also offense while defense, making it two parts offense, one part defense, and all parts awesome. Even if it doesn't see constructed play, this is just one more rare that the casual players are going to enjoy. Nacatl Outlander rg Creature - Cat Scout Common Protection from blue 2/2 This whole cycle is solid limited fodder. Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker 4ubbr Planeswalker - Bolas Mythic Rare +3: Destroy target noncreature permanent. -2: Gain control of target creature. -9: Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker deals 7 damage to target player. That player discards seven cards, then sacrifices seven permanents. 5 In limited this guy is ridiculous because of his second ability. In constructed, however, I'm VERY torn. I don't think he's going to be good enough to see constructed play, but because it's a planeswalker it's still hard to gauge them, as there's little precedent. It's going to require some testing to see if Nicol Bolas is worth playing, but my guess would be it will not make the tier 1 decks. The second ability is by far the best one, and the last ability isn't even game over. It most likely just makes them discard their hand and sac their land, so if they had a superior board advantage before the ability resolves, they still have the potential to kill you. Only time will tell, however. Regardless, both the name, the splashy abilities, and the fact that it's a planeswalker mean that Nicol Bolas is going to be extremely popular. Progenitus wwuubbrrgg Legendary Creature - Hydra Avatar Mythic Rare Protection from everything If Progenitus would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, reveal Progenitus and shuffle it into its owner's library instead. 10/10 Talk about a splashy rare! This is unlikely to be hardcast in any format, but it's just begging to be cheated into play. This is going to be HUGE in casual and it's possible it will see play in standard, but I'm not sure that it's worth cheating this into play over Hellkite Overlord. Rhox Bodyguard 3gw Creature - Rhino Monk Soldier Common Exalted When Rhox Bodyguard comes into play, you gain 3 life. 2/3 As a huge fan of Staunch Defenders from back in the day,this disappoints me. It's harder to cast and you gain less life. Sure it has exalted, but that also means it's a smaller base power/toughness. It's not bad in limited, especially at common, but that's it for this guy. Scarland Thrinax brg Creature - Lizard Uncommon Sacrifice a creature: Put a +1/+1 counter on Scarland Thrinax. 2/2 In token/torrent decks, this will probably replace Nantuko Husk as the sac engine. It can't be explosive in one turn, but the counters make it harder to remove than the husk, as well as being a more permanent threat. I also like the flavour of the two thrinax's together. Shambling Remains 1br Creature - Zombie Horror Uncommon Shambling Remains can't block. Unearth {B}{R} 4/3 I'm on the fence about this one. It's a great beater for limited, but I'm not sure if it's constructed worthy. It can replace Ashenmoor Gouger in aggro decks because of the unearth, but it's more fragile. This will need to be tested, but it definitely has potential. Skyward Eye Prophets 3gwu Creature - Human Wizard Uncommon Vigilance {T}: Reveal the top card of your library. If it's a land card, put it into play. Otherwise, put it into your hand. 3/3 I like the activated ability and that it has vigilance, but for 6 mana I think it should be 4/4 or at least 3/4. Alright for limited, but that's it. Sludge Strider 1wub Artifact Creature - Insect Uncommon Whenever another artifact comes into play under your control or another artifact you control leaves play, you may pay 1. If you do, target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life. 3/3 Great way to bleed your opponent in limited. I'd even like it in constructed if esper aggro existed, but it doesn't and won't. Sphinx Summoner 3ub Artifact Creature - Sphinx Rare Flying When Sphinx Summoner comes into play, you may search your library for an artifact card, reveal it and put it into your hand, then shuffle your library. 3/3 Another nice flyer for limited, but less of a bomb than most of the multicolour rares. Luckily, if you have a bomb you can tutor it up with this. Suicidal Charge 3br Enchantment Common Sacrifice Suicidal Charge: Creatures your opponents control get -1/-1 until end of turn. Those creatures attack this turn if able. Seriously? At least this is common, not rare, but this card is pretty awful. Five mana for a combat trick that your opponent can see and play around? Unless you can draft like 3 of these and get them into play at the same time to wipe your opponent's board, this is pretty useless. Vagrant Plowbeasts 5gw Creature - Beast Uncommon 1: Regenerate target creature with power 5 or greater. 6/6 Simple, nice, limited fodder. Valeron Outlander gw Creature - Human Scout Common Protection from black 2/2 This whole cycle is solid limited fodder. Vectis Agents 3ub Artifact Creature - Human Rogue Common {U}{B}: Vectis Agents gets -2/-0 and is unblockable until end of turn. 4/3 I have to pay how much to get 2 unblockable damage a turn? The standard cost, ala Phantom Warrior, for 2 unblockable damage per turn is 3, not 5 with further mana required. Awful card is awful. Vedalken Outlander wu Artifact Creature - Vedalken Scout Common Protection from red 2/2 This whole cycle is solid limited fodder. Zombie Outlander ub Creature - Zombie Scout Common Protection from green 2/2 This whole cycle is solid limited fodder.
Artifact (7/7)
Armillary Sphere 2 Artifact Common 2, {T}, Sacrifice Armillary Sphere: Search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal those cards, and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library. They both go into your hand, not into play? Not even one of them into play? It's still fine for limited as fixing and deck thinning, but it will never be the colourless version of Kodama's Reach in constructed. Bone Saw 0 Artifact - Equipment Common Equipped creature gets +1/+0. Equip 1 Shuko was better, but cheap equipment is always good in limited. Font of Mythos 4 Artifact Rare At the beginning of each player's draw step, that player draws an additional two cards. Double Howling Mine? This is a great casual card and the perfect way to make friends in multiplayer, but there's no way to spin this as good in constructed. People hate Howling Mine because your opponent draws an extra card before you do. Well now they draw two extra cards before you do. All the Underworld Dreams in the world aren't going to make this appealing to the competitive player. Kaleidostone 2 Artifact Common When Kaleidostone comes into play, draw a card. 5, {T}, Sacrifice Kaleidostone: Add {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} to your mana pool. At least it's a cantrip, but I'm not sure there's really any use for this card. People won't need WUBRG enough in limited to make this useful (And as great as the cycle of Grey Ogres with activated abilities for that cost are, I don't think it's worth running this to use one of those abilities once), and in anything else I'd rather have Composite Golem. Sure the golem may not cantrip, but it's a (bad) win condition, and it's mana accel. Mana Cylix 1 Artifact Common 1, {T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Reprint, but decent enough fixing for limited if you failed to get any good lands or obelisks. Manaforce Mace 4 Artifact - Equipment Uncommon Domain - Equipped creature gets +1/+1 for each basic land type among lands you control. Equip 3 This costs way too much mana to ever be useful in constructed, but a +3/+3 equipment in limited is nothing to sneeze at. Obelisk of Alara 6 Artifact Rare 1{W}, {T}: You gain 5 life. 1{U}, {T}: Draw a card, then discard a card. 1{B}, {T}: Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn. 1{R}, {T}: Obelisk of Alara deals 3 damage to target player. 1{G}, {T}: Target creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn. I'm really happy this is the release card, cause I needed a bunch of foil copies of this. This is a bomb in limited and an amazing card for casual players. These are all huge effects, except the blue one. The blue ability should really just be "draw a card", but I'll let it slide because the other abilities are all extremely relevant and amazing to have all on one card.
Land (5/5)
Ancient Ziggurat Land Uncommon {T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to play a creature spell. This is certainly playable in limited as most of your spells are creatures anyway. Competitive decks needing access to all 5 colours normally aren't that creature heavy, however, and can't afford a card like this. The best use of this card will be casual sliver decks where you need all 5 colours and most of your spells are creatures. Exotic Orchard Land Rare {T}: Add to your mana pool one mana of any color that a land an opponent controls could produce. I love this card and think it's one of those cards that, just like Reflecting Pool, every casual player will want to own 4 of. I don't think it has any applications in limited or constructed, but perfect for multiplayer. Reliquary Tower Land Uncommon You have no maximum hand size. {T}: Add 1 to your mana pool. Another card that's worthless in limited and nearly worthless in competitive constructed (save for some crazy Johnny stuff I can't predict), but it's another must have for casual players. If you disagree with me, then send me your foil ones because I'll be putting one in each of my casual decks. Rupture Spire Land Common Rupture Spire comes into play tapped. When Rupture Spire comes into play, sacrifice it unless you pay 1. {T}: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. This is a bit slow, but I could actually see this being used in constructed decks. Shards limited is slow enough where this is a great card, and some constructed decks, most notably QnT, are slow enough where this could replace some vivid lands. The fact that it essentially comes into play "double tapped" probably makes it too slow for constructed, however. Unstable Frontier Land Uncommon {T}: Add 1 to your mana pool. {T}: Target land you control becomes the basic land type of your choice until end of turn. If you're trying to get domain then I guess this is alright. If you're trying to fix mana, Rupture Spire is better. This is playable in limited, and that's about it.

Overview of Conflux

Overall, I have to say I like Conflux. There aren't dozens of cards that are going to break any format, but there are some solid cards for constructed, a lot of great stuff for limited, and a ton of stuff for casual players. I think the set was really designed with the casual player in mind, and it's a nice to see them take this approach. I play limited, competitive, and casual, but I haven't lost sight of the fact that this is a game and it's meant ot be fun, and this set shows that neither has the design team. Most importantly, however, they've really managed to give something to every type of player. I expect there'll be some bitching from the hardcore Spikes of the world who think that there isn't enough in this set for them, but there really are enough cards to keep them sated. Or at the very least, there should be enough. People are going to bitch because there's no pleasing them, but this set does about the best job of trying to please everyone without pushing the power level in some extremely unhealthy fashion. I'd say that an A- would be an appropriate grade for this set. It's really well designed, but they could've given us one more goodie or pushed the power on some of the weaker rares just a little bit, but there's very little I'd want to change.

Dr. Jeebus's Top 10 Money Cards of Conflux

As a reminder, none of these lists are in any particular order
1. Noble Hierarch - This one pretty much speaks for itself. It's like a Birds of Paradise, but does damage as well!
2. Banefire - It won't be worth what Demonfire was, or at least it won't stabilize there, but this is guaranteed to see standard play
3. Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker - The name and the fact that it's a planeswalker are enough, but this has potential to see constructed play as well
4. Progenitus - This is one of those cards that is going to be driven up in price almost exclusively by the casual market, like Sliver Queen
5. Knight of the Reliquary - This guy is the balls. It might not be right away, but it will definitely end up as one of the top money cards from the set
6. Child of Alara - It's mythic, splashy, and has a lot of hype. I don't expect it to stabilize high, but it will definitely start out strong
7. Apocalypse Hydra - This is going to mostly be driven up by the casual market and because it's mythic, but I expect this to see some limited constructed play in mana ramp decks
8. Cliffrunner Behemoth - This is going to be one of the big ones, especially since it works so well with a lone Figure of Destiny.
9. Nyxathid - It's a potential 7/7 for 3 mana. That's practically Tarmogoyf ridiculous, though it's not splashable and is easier to work around. Even so, the potential damage this you can get from a 3 mana critter in only a single colour is too much to ignore
10. Exotic Orchard - Much like Reflecting Pool, I don't expect this to ever drop below $6 or 8 thanks to the casual market

Dr. Jeebus's Top 10 Playable Cards of Conflux

As a reminder, none of these lists are in any particular order. These are the cards that are most likely to see constructed play

1. Path to Exile - Swords to Plowshares variant. Pretty obvious.
2. Countersquall - Better than Negate in every deck that plays Negate.
3. Banefire - This is practically a reprint of Demonfire, so it's a pretty known quantity.
4. Cliffrunner Behemoth - Ball Lightning + Lifelink = gross.
5. Noble Hierarch - Birds of Paradise variant. Pretty obvious.
6. Knight of the Reliquary - The design of this card is just so elegant, I can't stand it. As I said, the meta may need to shift for this guy to be relevant, but it has too much potential to ignore.
7. Volcanic Eruption - It may not have the potential to do 3 damage like Sulfurous Blast, but we learned in Time Spiral just how good instant speed Pyroclasm can be.
8. Lapse of Certainty - It's a Time Walk for white weenie decks!
9. Esperzoa - It's Sea Drake all over again for eternal players.
10. Hellspark Elemental - Spark Elemental sees a little play, so it stands to reason that 2 SPark Elementals on one card for a reasonable price would see play.

Dr. Jeebus's Top 10 Underrated Cards of Conflux

As a reminder, none of these lists are in any particular order

1. Mirror-Sigil Sergeant - This guy has an awful lot of "I win" potential for a control deck
2. Meglonoth - It's right on the border of being playable, but a lot of people don't even seem to be considering it. A 6 mana creature that has the potential to do 12 damage per turn is worth looking at.
3. Soul's Majesty - I don't know that it's constructed playable, but this is definitely a card that I don't think is getting enough attention. People loved the card draw of Harmonize in green, and this is massive card draw in green.
4. Knight of the Reliquary - I know it's odd for this card to make all 3 of my lists, but what can I say, there seems to be no chatter about this card, but I promise you it will make a splash at some point.
5. Shambling Remains - People don't seem to be looking at this is an Ashenmoor Gouger replacement, and they really should be. The difference between 3 and 4 toughness is huge, but the unearth is as well, and it may be worth a more fragile creature.
6. Brackwater Elemental - Odd for me to list commons as underrated, but this is a card that I don't think anyone is looking at that definitely has constructed potential. I know you don't like to think of blue as an aggro colour, but get out of your box and try to design something. This has a serious change of seeing constructed play
7. Lapse of Certainty - This is getting some buzz, but not enough. I think it's another case of people seeing something that they feel is out of colour and not knowing how to handle it. If you remember the days when white weenie decks could pack Armageddon, then you realize how powerful something like this is.
8. Nyxathid - Your opponent has some control over how big this guy gets, so it seems to be getting written off by a lot of people. Being in black, however, you also have a lot of control over how big this gets, and that's something worth considering.
9. Thornling - Hard to think that anything ending in "ling" would be underrated, but I think this guy is. He's being compared against Cloudthresher and Chameleon Colossus right now, but I think what's Lorywn rotates out this guy is going to shine as green's fatty of choice.
10. Reliquary Tower - I couldn't come up with a 10th card that I thought was being severely overlooked, so I tossed this on here in case ArcanePie reads this, because I'm sure he will literally shit a brick upon reading it, and that's worth a slot on the list to me.

Dr. Jeebus's Top 10 Removal Spells for Limited of Conflux

1. Dark Temper - Because it's so likely you'll have a black permanent, this is unrestricted hard removal at instant speed for a low cost. That's what we like.
2. Path to Exile - Also unrestricted hard removal at instant speed for a low cost and it does work around unearth, but it also has a drawback which is pretty big considering limited
3. Celestial Purge - Conditional hard removal at instant speed and for a low cost, but most decks will have a target for this. After all, if you're in white, your opponents must be in another shard.
4. Yoke of the Damned - It's delayed, but it's still unconditional hard removal, and it doesn't specify that an opponent's creature must die so you can just chump block and have your opponent's biggest creature die. I'd expect to be able to get these late too as I'm sure people are underrating it.
5. Drag Down - It's usually a Last Gasp for 1 more mana, but it has to potential to take out bigger creatures as well. If you're planning on running domain, this goes slightly higher on the list.
6. Fiery Fall - Red's removal is all damaged based, except for Dark Temper, and this is the only one that can take out all those giant rare bombs in Conflux. Plus, you can cycle it if you need to.
7. Volcanic Fallout - We already have Infest and Jund Charm, so this isn't terribly exciting. This is also a slow format so it's really only good against a weenie deck, which usually means Bant
8. Ignite Disorder - It's a sideboard card, but against a Bant exalted deck, you can wind up doing a lot of damage
9. Wretched Banquet - Too much can go wrong with this one
10. Molten Frame - It's technically removal. When I first reviewed it I didn't realize it was restricted to artifact creatures, so I like this a lot less now.

Well I hope you all enjoyed my review. Have fun at the prerelease and release events, and feel free to discuss this set review on the mtgsalvation forums in this thread!.

I hope I never have an entry this long again

© 2009 by Dr. Jeebus