The M13 Speculation Continues . . .
The meta game reporting is going to be a little light this week (due to my friend coming into town and hanging out until Sunday night), but in it’s place I’d like to continue talking about the newly spoiled M13 cards and how they’ll fit in to standard, along with what cards we’ll probably see cycle out because of said cards.
Before that, I’d like to invite all my readers to check out my most recent post on Star City Games’ website. It’s an article not only about the meta game in Nagoya (as of Game Day Avacyn Restored), but it also has quite a few deck lists you might find useful when building your own decks. Please read it here:
I continue to stand by my UR Titan control deck and I think it will soon become a consistent winner. I’m now running 4 Devastation tides (2 main, 2 side), and my results have been very promising. I’m still trying to get used to the deck and how to play it against the other popular decks in the standard environment, but I’ve been really happy with the results. I’ve dominated Pod decks, Human, and Zombie decks with my Pillar of Flame and Red Sun’s Zenith, and the Devastation Tides have worked really well against Frites and Token based decks. With a little more play testing, I definitely think it will be a force to be reckoned with.
More M13 Speculation
Moving on to the main point of today’s article, I’d like to continue talking about the newly spoiled M13 cards and how it will affect the way people build their decks. You can see the current spoiler list at MTG Salvation’s website found here: http://mtgsalvation.com/magic-2013-m13-spoiler.html#6189 . As of 6/7/2012, there are 92 cards spoiled so far. With about 40% of the cards spoiled at this point, we can definitely see some patterns emerging. For starters, the more traditional tribes will be back. This means we’ll see Vampires, Merfolk, Elves, Soldiers, Goblins, and maybe even some Dragon’s to a certain extent (well, Nicol Bolas IS back after all, and he’s the baddest dragon of them all).
Last time I talked about Vampire Nocturnus, and how it possibly meant that we were going to see more vampires in the set. Vampire Nighthawk and Duskmantle Prowler have now been announced, and you can be sure that there will be a few more vampires when the full set is fully spoiled. I did say that I thought Doomblade would be back, but with the addition of a new cards called Murder that does the same thing, I think WoTC is trying to make it purely a black deck card instead of letting people splash it into various decks. Who knows, maybe more people will use Victim of Night from Innistrad since it will do almost the same thing for 1 less mana. It is nice that the new card will kill ANYTHING though. It’s a Go for the Throat + Doomblade for 3.
As I thought, Oblivion Ring is back, and that’s good news for people running control decks that have white in them. It’s definitely needed in this current environment. There are also quite a few Soldiers (Bird and Human) so far, with Captain of the Watch being the biggest of them all. I could definitely see Human/Soldier decks popping up after M13 is released. With the focus seeming to be on Soldiers, I wonder if this means that cards like Elite Vanguard, Benalish Veteran (which would be nice with the Exalted mechanic), Stonehorn Dignitary (even after Venser is gone, Cloudshift will still let you abuse that ability a little), and of course Timely Reinforcements will be back.
At the moment, I’m making the call that we will see more soldiers in white.
Last time I said that Mana Leak will probably be gone, and I think the card Essence Scatter (and the reprinting of Negate) pretty much spell it’s doom. You’ll be able to counter a creature spell, or a non creature spell. Those will be your only choices. I also said that Merfolk will be back, and I think that the new legend Talrand, Sky Summoner and Scroll Thief are just the start. I believe that Merfolk Looter and Merfolk Mesmerist (which fits in well with Jace, Memory Adept returning) will be back too.
With the addition of Encrust, you can be sure that Ice Cage won’t be returning. Encrust is so much stronger, being able to tap ANY permanent, and it won’t be destroyed if you target that permanent. Well worth the extra mana. What about the fate of Ponder? I think there is a good chance it might be on the short list of cards to be banned on June 20th (since it detracts from the luck/fun of miracles and flipping over your Delver), but what would take it’s place? Preordain might be back to take it’s place, since it only lets you set up the next turn instead of 2 turns ahead.
What about Unsummon? It was a big part of the UW Delver deck until somebody realized that Vapor Snag was better, but taking either of those out of standard will give people playing against Delver a fighting chance. In their place, Wizards could bring back creatures that return permanents to owner’s hands, or maybe even Boomerang for the cost of two blue mana.
Acidic Slime is back . . . yay . . . (at least Pod will be gone! But Slime + flicker spells suck). The new Mwovuli Beast Tracker seems to be a nice combo with it. If you have a mana dork like Llanowar Elves in play it would definitely be playable. And speaking of Elves, they will definitely be gaining some new (and old) tricks with the return of Elvish Visionary and Arbor Elf. There is a good chance that Llanowar Elves will be back in M13, however I’m now starting to think that Birds of Paradise will be back due to all of the speculation of multicolor cards in this set. It would definitely help out your color problems.
I talked about the new Phoenix and Searing Spear last time and how those cards will most likely be taking over for Chandra’s Phoenix and Incinerate (which won’t be reprinted), and I stand by that guess. I’m also going to add Fling, Act of Treason, and Lava Axe to that list of cards that won’t be back, because there are cards in the Innistrad Block that do almost the same thing (or THE same thing, Fling was reprinted in DKA).
If Magic is following the pattern of the other colors, I think Goblins will be back in force in M13, and that we’ll either get Goblin Chieftain or Goblin King back (if it’s going to be a multicolor set, then having Mountainwalk wouldn’t be so bad). We might see one or two of the M12 goblins come back, but I think they’ll shake it up and make a new one or bring back an older one.
Volcanic Geyser is back, so maybe Fireball won’t be. I like Smelt a lot, good for sideboards, destroys any artifact (not just non-creature like Crush did) . . . with Shatter cycling out, you need something like this. Speaking of artifact destruction, I think Manic Vandal will be back due to his human typing and color. People running UR Humans would probably like him in their sideboard. Red is still largely a mystery at this point.
Other cards of note:
- Farseek – letting you search for any land other than a forest is really nice, but by printing this I think it means that Rampant Growth won’t be back, and also that they are pushing for more multicolor decks.
- Archaeomancer – Hey look! It’s a crappier Snapcaster Mage! Okay, this isn’t so bad, though his cost is a little high. The fact that it brings a card back to your hand and lets you cast it again could be a godsend for control players. You could in theory keep using Devastation Tide and keep the board clean while casting him at the end of the turn to return it to your hand. Good stalling technique, but it won’t win you any games.
That does it for this week’s M13 article. By next week Wizards of the Coast should be starting their spoilers on the main website so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for updates on their website. I’m looking forward to seeing what cards will be back and what won’t be coming back. Thanks for reading!