After 32 cards yesterday I was pretty sure we’d have a slow trickle for the rest of the week; instead WotC have opened the floodgates with a further 40 cards1 including 10 planeswalkers.
We didn’t get any mythic rare planeswalkers today but there are a number of interesting cards to look at. First of all, there are new planeswalkers to the story in the forms of Teyo, the Shieldmage, The Wanderer, and Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage2. I’m really liking the look of The Wanderer and can’t wait to hear more about that character.
In terms of power and abilities, Vivien, Champion of the Wilds stands out as being pretty powerful with the passive ability that all your creatures have flash whilst Teferi, Time Raveler locks your opponent down so that all spells can only be cast at sorcery speed. I quite like that Angrath, Captain of Chaos gives all your creatures menace and The Wanderer negating all noncombat damage will be useful against Izzet spells decks. There are a few disappointing cards amongst them though; Samut, Tyrant Smasher is far less impressive than she was as a legendary creature in Amonkhet3 and Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter letting you tap a creature to give you mana would be good if it didn’t apply only to creatures with +1/+1 counters on it.
The great difficulty with spoiler season is that it is hard to judge how good a card will be in isolation; you generally need to see the whole set to come to a reasonable judgement. That is especially true this time around as it is really hard to tell just how good some of these planeswalker cards are actually going to be in standard play.
In terms of creatures, there was quite a wide range on display today from the very basic Naga Eternal to Kiora’s Dambreaker that proliferates upon entering the battlefield. To my mind, Rising Populace and Cruel Celebrant were the most interesting, both causing buffs whenever a creature or planeswalker you control dies. The reason I pick those two out in particular is that I was pleased to see them cover all creatures rather than nontoken creatures which tends to be the norm; that could make all the difference in a token heavy build.
So far, every creature announced has been common or uncommon and they are all monocoloured. I’m hoping that in the next couple of days we’re going to see a few more impressive creatures; I really want to see some dinosaurs make it to Ravnica!
Instants & Sorceries
These cards definitely win the “best flavour text of the day” awards4. There are also some pretty interesting spells in here even though they are all common and uncommon:
- Honor the God-Pharaoh is probably a bit expensive but getting to amass on top of a Quench isn’t to be sniffed at
- Liliana’s Triumph is like a reversed Chart a Course also with an amass tacked on
- Dovin’s Veto is a great noncreature counter that can’t be countered
- Teferi’s Time Twist is a beautiful looking card (look at those colours!) and I can definitely think of some good uses for an elongated blink that also gives you a +1/+1 if used on a creature
The rest aren’t bad by any stretch and it is to be expected that mana costs are going to be on the high side at this rarity level5. We saw a few rare spells yesterday but, again, I’m expecting bigger and better things as we start to look at the rarer cards.
One more thing
As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not planning on covering every single card during spoiler season – especially when there are 40 in one day – but there was one more thing I wanted to highlight from today’s spoilers. During the reveal panel yesterday it was said that Ravnica had it’s own defences to repel Bolas. The land cards unveiled today seem to be revealing those defences…
Apparently Ravnica has missile obelisks6. Who knew?
That doesn’t include a number of planeswalkers that were leaked on Reddit which I won’t be covering. It doesn’t feel fair to the people who have those cards to reveal if I’ve already pored over them. ↩︎
Who has been written about extensively in Brandon Sanderson’s Children of the Nameless novella released last year. It was a nice touch that WotC got Sanderson to reveal both Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage and Davriel’s Shadowfugue. ↩︎
I also really dislike that her companion card, Samut’s Sprint, is her -1 ability as an instant. I want the companion cards to be flavourful and show off more of a planeswalkers personality, not just be the same as their planeswalker card! ↩︎
“The safest place for you is not now” is already a favourite of mine! ↩︎
There’s a booster joke here somewhere. ↩︎