We’re on day 6 of the War of the Spark spoilers with 28 cards (mostly commons) announced. I’m going to cover the rare cards but before I get to those there has been an interesting theme to the day:
Can you see it? The story has pivoted to start showing the resistance on Ravnica that is fighting back; old enemies are fighting side-by-side as shown by the flavour text on Aid the Fallen and Band Together. It even looks like a spirit in Grateful Apparition has come to help Kaya, the planeswalker that is usually killing them by the bucket-load! I really love this kind of flavour but I would have liked to have seen the concept solidified with mixed hybrid mana to highlight the guilds helping one another1.
The cards themselves are interesting enough:
- Rescuer Sphinx: A useful way to re-trigger a really good enter the battlefield ability and make this flyer a 4/3 at the same time.
- Grateful Apparition: Proliferate is going to be a big thing in WAR and so the option to trigger it, potentially, once a turn for just attacking is nice.
- Band Together: I’m always a fan of these “deal combat damage equal to your power” cards so to get two shots at once is very good. If it was “fight” rather than “deal damage” I’d definitely be using this to trigger enrage in my dino deck.
- Goblin Assault Team: This seems a very expensive way to get a +1/+1 counter. I just can’t imagine this is going to survive an attack on turn 4 when it is cast.
- Aid the Fallen: Again we’re seeing this creatureisation of planeswalkers as I discussed yesterday. That you can pull either a creature and / or a planeswalker is especially good at such a low mana cost; it could only be better if it was an instant.
Continuing the theme of cooperation is Mobilized District, a colourless land that can pay to become a 3/3 creature with vigilance until end of turn. That cost decreases by for each legendary creature or planeswalker you control. I’m not really a fan of lands that can turn into creatures temporarily; it seems too risky to me to offer up a land – something that can rarely be destroyed – into combat, especially when it’s only a 3/3 creature. Admittedly there are places you could use this; if your opponent has an empty board and they are tapped out of mana then it is probably worth swinging in for 3 damage especially if you’re only paying or to do it but I can’t ever see myself using this card, even in limited.
Mizzium Tank is something we’ve not seen since Dominaria (and Ixalan before that); a vehicle! It’s a 3/2 artifact with trample that can be crewed for . It also looks like this can be turned into an artifact creature with a +1/+1 until end of turn if you cast a noncreature spell. I’m not 100% on that as this is still a translated card but if that’s true it makes it incredibly flexible. Do you want to tap a 1 CMC creature to crew it as a 3/2 or do you want to cast a sorcery and have it be a 4/3 until end of turn? You probably want the latter half. As I say, this is still a translated card so that text may be slightly wrong and you may need to have it crewed to get the +1/+1 but either way it’s nice to see a vehicle that will survive the rotation later this year.
The final two cards I’m going to look at today are both legendary creatures in the rare slot. Tomik, Distinguished Advokist was spoiled in a Daily MTG article explaining how they are balancing the number of planeswalkers by adding things like cheap aggressive evasive creatures. This particular card is a 2/3 flier costing only but they felt it needed a little something extra. That extra is some text that effectively stops something like Crucible of Worlds from functioning along with preventing land destructions cards like Rubble Reading. They specifically say in the article that the extra text likely isn’t needed but they’d rather have a counter to something that isn’t an issue than not have it and see it become an issue later on. To me, the most interesting thing is that this is yet another advisor card that can be used by Persistent Petitioners. Unfortunately, just like Teysa Karlov, this card is legendary so it isn’t going to help a huge amount but at least it is slightly easier colours to cast.
The card I’m most excited about today, and the one that I would predict as the most likely to end up on the ban list at some point, is Massacre Girl. Let me start by saying I love everything about this card; the name, the type, the artwork, even that the first word on the card is “menace” which seems incredibly appropriate. If it is lacking anything it is that there is no flavour text2. A 4/4 with menace for isn’t bad but that enter the battlefield trigger is utterly insane; if your opponent has played on curve and has a range of creatures with toughness from 1 up to 5, this basically acts as a board sweeper. If I’m reading it correctly, it can give a 1 toughness creature -1/-1 thus killing it; that then gives everything else another -1/-1 removing all of the 2 toughness creatures; this can keep spiralling until everything is dead. It also doesn’t need to be sequential; kill three creatures with 1 toughness and then you can wipe out a 4 toughness creature followed by a 5 toughness creature. Against the right opponent this is going to be very deadly. A massacre in fact. This is the most excited I’ve been about a legendary creature since Etrata, the Silencer and I can’t wait to build a deck around it. The only minor fly in the ointment is that she kills everything, not just your opponent’s creatures. It is also a shame it is done on a -1/-1 basis rather than doing 1 damage like Dagger Caster as it won’t help me get a ton of benefit from my enrage dinos.
That’s all I’m going to cover for today as the remainder of the cards are commons that don’t merit a huge amount of discussion. As always, you can check out all of the cards spoiled so far (even ones I haven’t written specifically about) on my cards page and you can always comment here or hit me up on Twitter if you think I’ve missed something important. I’m hoping we’re going to have a weekend without any spoilers as in the past; if so, I’ll be back on Monday otherwise I guess I’ll be here tomorrow!
For example, Aid the Fallen could have been to show the Selesnya helping the Rakdos. I guess then you could be casting it in your Orzhov deck and it doesn’t then make sense. All right, it’s a bad idea. ↩︎
Again I say that all cards should have flavour text even if they are only viewable on Gatherer or on something like Magic Arena. Love me some flavour text! ↩︎