After seeing Nicol Bolas transform into a God yesterday, today we get to see the planeswalkers storming the citadel and Kaya taking up the oath of the Gatewatch. Before we get to that we have a new cycle to look at:
Last week we saw Finale of Promise but it turns out that was the first of what is presumably going to be a 5 card cycle. Each one costs plus two mana of a single colour and contains some ability based on X which gets far better if X is 10 or more. Today we got:
Finale of Revelation: to draw X cards. If X is 10 or more, then you get to shuffle your graveyard into your library first, then untap five lands and you have no maximum hand size for the rest of the game. That last clause is particularly good as most “no max hand size” conditions are attached to things that can be destroyed; not so here which could be useful with Commence the Endgame although to be honest you’ve probably already won the game by this stage1.
Finale of Eternity: to destroy three creatures with toughness X or less. If X is 10 or more, return all creature cards from your graveyard to the battlefield. That is pretty nasty, especially if you’ve been playing a Golgari undergrowth deck where you’ve purposefully been putting creatures in the graveyard to boost cards like Rhizome Lurcher or Mausoleum Secrets. This can be upset very easily by Remorseful Cleric or Sentinel Totem though which is a shame as you likely won’t get any other benefit from pumping 12 mana into this2.
I always like to see land cards that have some kind of weird ability on them. Blast Zone is a perfect example in that it uses “charge counters” to destroy nonland permanents; specifically you have to pay , , and sacrifice it but then you deal damage equal to the number of counters you have. You get a charge counter for free when it enters the battlefield and you can then pay and to add X number of counters. Remember that you can also increase the counters using the proliferate mechanic. I really want to like this card but it has a few issues: the obvious first point is that it hurts everything, including your own permanents, which isn’t ideal; secondly, to add counters you have to do them in bulk and the card which means you then can’t perform the sacrifice (unless you have a way of untapping it). This isn’t terrible but it makes it a lot harder to use as a mana sink and puts a big target on it. That it can destroy everything but land is really good but I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle involved to pull it off.
Casualties of War is far simpler and is your all-in-one destruction spell. You can choose to destroy an artifact, creature, enchantment, land, or planeswalker and you can perform each option once. If you’re lucky, you could perform all of them but more often than not I suspect this will be used to kill a creature, land, and planeswalker. The cost is high and depending on your mana pool it may not be the easiest to cast but it is a super flexible piece of removal and I like it for that reason. Obviously it would be nicer if it was at instant speed or if it was something along the lines of “pick 4 and you can choose each one more than once” but I still think it is good if you’re running Golgari colours.
Storm the Citadel is the sort of card my milling deck hates; all your creatures get +2/+2 until end of turn and if they hit a player or planeswalker then you get to destroy an enchantment or artifact. The +2/+2 is always nice but being able to effectively destroy enchantments for free is really good when running up against a deck that uses a lot of them. Again, I’d love this so much more if it was an instant but I think there is still value in this one.
As if the Simic Guild didn’t have enough scary creatures with +1/+1 interactions, here comes Bioessence Hydra. 4/4 with trample but when it enters the battlefield it gets a +1/+1 for each loyalty counter on your planeswalkers and whenever a loyalty counter is placed on a planeswalker you get that many +1/+1 counters. Oh, and it has trample. This is going to be a top notch card in a lot of decks; I’m already thinking of the horrible ways this can be mixed with Simic Ascendancy, especially with low-cost high-loyalty planeswalkers like Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner. I have a feeling that the rules will be such that bringing a planeswalker into the battlefield doesn’t trigger this as you aren’t technically placing a loyalty counter; however, this will still be a cool trick if you have a lot of loyalty on the field already. I’m excited for this one!
The final card on a much quieter day of spoilers is Oath of Kaya, a enchantment that performs a lightning strike when entering the battlefield as well as giving you 3 life. Thereafter, it will deal 2 lifelink damage to a player if they declare at least one attacker against one of your planeswalkers. The card is probably going to get the most value in a superfriends deck with a ton of planeswalkers but there are likely better 3 mana cards you could be playing. I really like that there is an “Oath of [name]” card every time a new planeswalker joins the Gatewatch and this card deserves a mention if only for the story implications.
That’s all for now but you can keep up with all the latest spoilers by joining my Discord community and you can check out all the spoiled cards so far on my cards page. You can also join me on Twitch where I play MTG Arena every Monday.
It’d be a decent way to use those 5 untapped lands although you will need one more mana from somewhere to pay for it. ↩︎
i.e. if X is 5 or X is 10 you are likely still killing the same three creatures; the only benefit to paying the full 10 is to get all your creatures from the graveyard which can be scuppered fairly easily. ↩︎