The War Report: Double Masters

Today some big news came down from the mothership. The majority of releases and plans for Magic: The Gathering for the rest of 2020 was already pretty much laid out: We knew about Core Set 2021 coming in the summer, Zendikar Rising in the fall, and the Commander-focused booster set coming towards the end of the year. Other supplementals like Spellbook: Chandra and some similar product focusing on green cards along with the Jump-Start product have already been announced as well. I honestly didn’t think anything else could be crammed into the year, but that changed this morning.

So at the end of 2018, the last masters set “for a while” was released. Called Ultimate Masters, it was one of the best masters sets to release in a while. The original Modern Masters sets along with Eternal Masters were all well received and packed a bunch of value, while Iconic Masters and Masters 25 were perceived as flops. I had good luck with all of the masters set packs I purchased over the years (starting with Modern Masters 2017) but I do see where there were less “good” cards in those sets. So WotC decided to go out with a bang, releasing Ultimate Masters and saying that the product line would go on hiatus. A year and a half later, here we are getting an announcement for a new masters set, called Double Masters. It’s a pretty uninspiring set name, and honestly could have been spruced up a bit, but when you read on you’ll see the reasoning.

Double Masters

Release Date: August 7, 2020

  • 332 cards
  • 24 packs per booster box
  • 15-card booster packs, with two rares and two foil cards per pack! (And, yes, those foils can be up to two additional rares.)
  • Two non-foil showcase box topper cards included in each booster box
  • Available in English, French, German, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese

Double Masters will be available on Magic Online starting August 6 (ONE day early!) for $6.99 per booster. It will not be redeemable.

This bullet list gives us a ton of information without saying much at all. It’s a pretty standard set size, along with having the standard lower pack count than a main set release, which should lead us to believe they will retail for $250 or so a box given the typical $10 a pack price point. Since WotC has done away with MSRP, it’s anyone’s guess how much actual pack/box prices will end up, especially if we’re still dealing with COVID-19 complications for production and shipping which leads to shortages and artificial inflation. This happened with Ikoria/C20 products despite WotC delaying physical release by a month. I’ve had conversations with people who don’t have an LGS and got scalped buying product online, and those who couldn’t find the product they were looking for a box stores. I was fortunate to get C20 at my local Wal-Mart for normal price ($40 each), and pre-ordered a fat pack of Ikoria for a normal price off of Amazon, but it did affect some nonetheless. Where we start to see the pattern change, is in the pack contents: Two rares and two foils per pack, so the potential for up to four rares in any given pack. That’s not gonna drive the price up at all, will it?

While the Mystery Booster product did give us many important reprints that brought the price down on some more expensive cards, many of those cards have already leveled off, and some cards that I bought within the last few years have recently spiked by 100% or more, so the need for reprints is ever present. Masters sets have always been a good device for providing reprints and bringing down some of the ridiculous prices that cards can garner, but because of the reserve list, some cards will simply never be reprinted and will never be affordable. Thankfully the PlayEDH Discord community is proxy-friendly, but WotC is not building financial sustainability when cards become prohibitively priced and Timmy on the Internet is just going to print out copies from his home computer. This, like Mystery Booster and other masters sets before it, has the ability to provide needed reprints in a more affordable manner, along with building security for the company from pack sales. I’ll still buy this product even if it doesn’t have my most wanted reprint, but we want more quality sets like Ultimate Masters and less of whatever Masters 25 was.

Two reprints were officially spoiled, though the set doesn’t release until August, and we’ll get the proper spoiler season in July. As is becoming a standard thing, box toppers (full art alternates) are included and we’ve seen two of them, though I’m not sure if there will be more added to the pool. Blightsteel Colossus definitely deserves a reprint as it’s been creeping up in price for a while, but Doubling Season was reprinted not long ago in Battlebond, so I think there were better options (I still want another reprinting of Mana Crypt dammit!). Either way the art looks nice and they’re good cards to have. I hope the rest of the set has a good amount of cards on this level, and it should have a large pool or rares since we’ll be getting two a pack. Thankfully there should be less chaff to dig through.

WotC made sure to get in the fact that there wouldn’t be fetch land reprints in this set, but they said they are coming this year. I imagine they won’t come with Zendikar Rising because it’s a standard set and I don’t see them putting those lands in the standard environment, so my money is on the commander booster set, where they can immediately say the reprints of those lands are not standard legal. More on this set when we get to spoiler season in a couple of months.

The War Report: Ikoria Spoilers

Spoiler season has been upon us for a while, and with Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths in particular we’ve been spoiled with new cards, mainly because the main set was spoiled alongside the Commander 2020 precons. I’ve already gone over the precons and my thoughts on some of the cards contained therein because those spoilers wrapped up a few days ago. Ikoria was fully spoiled this week, so I have combed through the set and pulled out my highlight cards as I tend to do around here. First up, the new promo card:

Buy-A-Box Promo:

Yeah, when I first saw this card I thought it was an April fools joke. Apparently WotC made some deal with the company that owns the old school Japanese monster properties, and made cards inspired by them. If you look closely, just underneath his name (Godzilla), you see the MTG name underneath. So they aren’t actually Godzillas, but the premium art version promos are. I guess it’s kinda cool but also pretty hokey. He’s also pretty gimmicky in the type of deck build you’d want him in. Not really interested. Let’s now take a look at the spoilers from the set, in WUBRG order:

White:

I’m surprised that I’m not very excited by many of the cards in this set. I think a big factor is that the commander sets just have more cards in them I’m excited about, but there are still some good cards here, and a lot of chaff that I’m obviously not even highlighting. There are plenty of places to see all of the cards so I’ll leave that part up to you. Anyway, these three cards I highlighted are a couple really powerful cards and then a third that is part of a cycle that I’m not overly thrilled with but they will find places in some decks. Luminous Broodmoth is a pretty interesting card because it recurs creatures without flying from your graveyard when they die, then also puts a flying counter on them. People have already figured out that combined with solemnity, you have an infinite loop if you have a sac outlet. I’m tempted to build some mono-white shenanigans. The Magistrate on the other hand is a more subtle powerhouse. He’s a 1/3 for 2 CMC but packs a powerful line of text: opponents can’t play cards from anywhere besides their hands. This hoses so many value engines it’s amazing. I’ll need a few copies of this one.

Blue:

Still not a lot of cards here in blue, but I like Shark Typhoon a lot as it is a new version of Metallurgic Summoning, but can be cycled away into one big creature alternatively. It’s expensive, but fun. Escape Protocol is more cycling goodness, as it allows you to blink your artifacts and creatures each time you cycle. The last card is part of the Mythos cycle, and it’s alright.

Black:

Not much to like in black either this time around. This is probably because much of the set is multicolored. I do like this fairly cheap exile board wipe effect with Extinction Event, and I really like the new enchantment. Bastion of Remembrance is a Zulaport Cutthroat on an enchantment, so it will be slightly harder to remove than most creatures with this effect. Definitely slotting that one into my aristocrats deck. I actually like the black Mythos, as it’s modular and not too expensive to cast.

Red:

Red actually has the most cards I’m interested in of the mono colors. A new Planeswalker Lukka enters the fold, but he’s not all that interesting. Unpredictable Cyclone is a new version of Possibility Storm and it’s not bad. The Mythos is pretty bad. Flame Spill pushes design boundaries a bit in that it is the first damage spell I’ve seen that effectively has trample stapled onto it. I also really like Footfall Crater, as it’s a cheap land enchantment that can give trample and haste to a creature each turn, along with having cycling. Finally, the Rooting Moloch is interesting in the fact that it can give one of your cycling cards flashback, and that can be powerful if used correctly.

Green:

A good showing for green this time as well, with a new version of Viven, our King Kong inspired creature (that’s actually pretty good for most green beater decks) and the Mythos is one of the better ones. Colossification is just insane in the right deck, as it gives a creature +20/+20, but it taps the creature as a downside. With plenty of ways to untap said creature in Magic, I assume this will be responsible for many commander damage deaths. I know a few I have that could use it. Finally, Barrier Breach is a fantastic value for 3 mana, letting you exile up to three enchantments.

Multicolor:

When it comes to multi-colored cards, there are far too many here I wanted to highlight so I won’t go over them individually. There are a few cycles of cards present here: A cycle of creatures that are three colored and all have mutate, the ones I’ve included are those I feel are most playable in my format. There’s the cycle of Ultimatums, that follow the design of an older card Cruel Ultimatum. I really like the mardu one the best, but many of them are pretty good. There’s a cycle of 2 color legendaries, but most of them are pretty specific and not doing things I’m doing with my decks at the moment. There’s also a cycle of 3 color enchantments and I highlighted the ones I liked best. Also, Narset makes a new appearance as a Planeswalker, and she got some extra colors back. Some good stuff is here, check out the cards above.

Colorless/Lands:

When it came to lands the biggest surprise was a new set of tri-lands, each being 3 separate land types (aka fetchable). They also have cycling and I think they’ll see play in decks that aren’t as competitive. There’s a matching set of artifacts that also tap for one of 3 colors along with having cycling. We only saw one other new land that allows card draw in decks that are running big creatures. There were only a couple of other artifacts that I liked, and one colorless creature that is essentially a ramp card and worth using in decks that need an extra one.

Overall I’m not super hyped for this set but there are some supporting cards that I’ll want to get copies of. We still have a month or so to wait so I guess I’ll get to brewing in the meantime.

The War Report: Commander 2020 Deck Lists

As I mentioned recently, spoilers for the next MTG set is coming very soon. We’re also getting Commander 2020 sets a bit earlier in the year than usual. At this point we know that Ikoria’s release was pushed back to May rather than this month, so we can also assume we won’t see these decks on shelves until then either as they are set to release simultaneously. Whatever the case, we have seen the full deck lists released, plenty of new YouTube videos covering new builds and ideas, and now it’s my turn to throw down my two cents.

My first observation is that there are finally five decks again, rather than the four deck sets of the past couple of years. It’s also nice to see consistency between the precons, in that each is a three color shard, which I think is probably the sweet spot for most decks.  We also know due to others’ diligent work, that there are a total of 71 brand new cards included in these precons, which is the most new cards ever introduced with a Commander product, though that record might again be broken with the draft set later this year. Whatever the case, The Command Zone guys also broke this down further, letting us know that each of these decks have a good chunk of value in them just off of the reprints. One more important note, there’s plenty of good mana rocks included in each deck including the newish Arcane Signet that is in high demand and was limited to being printed into last year’s Brawl decks. Lastly, the deck I am the most drawn to and interested in buying first is Timeless Wisdom, aka the Cycling deck.

Face Commanders:

Because the cycling deck is my favorite of these doesn’t mean I’m not interested in others. I’m kind of over Mardu and another deck with boring humans in it doesn’t really appeal to me. I’m also sort of turned off by the Mutate themed deck, as the mechanic seems sort of pointless. The Keyword Soup Abzan deck is also sort of meh. I find the Temur deck the next most interesting, Instants matter is definitely a thing but I’m more interested in the Snake sub-general so I’ll likely buy both of these immediately. There are plenty of new cards in each though, so I assume buying them all would be the smartest bet just to get a lot of gas. Whatever the case, I love this time of year because when we get all of these new commanders out in the wild the meta changes for a while and brings new and interesting ideas to the table. I’m not going to go over any reprints besides the ones I’ve already mentioned because there are simply too many new cards that deserve to be highlighted, good or not. I should notate that because there is an identical number of new cards per color, I’ve split them up that way but these are all spread about the decks as all of the colors are represented equally between the five decks. I also arranged them so that the cycles of cards are highlighted in the middle of each gallery. Those new cycles are: 1. A free to play spell as long as you control your commander and 2. A mono colored Partners With Legendary creature. Their partners will be highlighted with the other Multicolor cards. There is a cycle of “impetus” that are auras that goad the enchanted creature while buffing it as well, but really these won’t see much play so I don’t have further comment. Let’s dive in.

New Cards:

White:

The free spell for white is Flawless Maneuver, and it is a 3 CMC spell that you can cast for free if you control your commander. This one gives your creatures indestructible until end of turn, which can help you to save blockers/blocked creatures or protect from a boardwipe (including one you might do to yourself). I think it’s a strong card for white. The Partner here isn’t as good, basically giving you tokens for attacking, but not until end of turn. Honestly the best card here is Dismantling Wave, which blows up multiple artifacts/enchantments on the cheap, but then can be cycled and is a boardwipe. I love modular cards, and in a deck that can cheat cycling costs, this is basically a free or cheap wipe. I like Cartographer’s Hawk as well because it’s ramp, but it is a bit situational. I think bird tribal people run it automatically. Otherwise, it’s sort of situational. I think mono white decks will use it.

Blue:

Wait, a FREE counterspell? Yeah, Fierce Guardianship will allow you to counter any noncreature spell (which are usually the best targets for counters) as long as you control your commander. That’s powerful, especially for higher tier decks that partially rely on their general to win. It’s going to see play for sure. The partner here is also pretty interesting as he pairs with a card that exiles opponent’s cards and then he lets you play those for any color of mana. I think they could be a powerful deck by themselves, but also fit into a number of other strategies. Probably my favorite card here otherwise is the Crystalline Resonance, because it’s an enchantment with a payoff for cycling, where you can copy other goodies on the board and use it in different ways.

Black:

Being able to exile for free is pretty damn good, especially because white is the only color that usually exiles on the cheap (with downsides). The only real downside to this card is having to pay four mana for it if you don’t control your commander. The partner is kind of boring, but card draw in black is always paid in blood, so I guess it’s on theme. With its partner it can do things but I don’t really care for it. I do really like the Netherborn Altar, especially for commanders that can get really expensive to recast (say, Vilis after he’s died a few times?). It’s functional jank. Species Specialist could be good black card draw as well, but it’s limited to one type. Ghave might like it.

Red:

The red free spell is pretty powerful as well. Control your commander, and you can cast Deflecting Seal for free, and with that you can choose new targets for a spell or ability. This is instant speed disruption that could potentially stop game winning combos. The partner here is probably one half of the two I like the best, this one is actually good in any deck that cares about discarding cards, and it will likely find a spot in a wheeling deck I’m playing on building after these cards find their way into my hands. I’m not really into the other cards, but you can see what they do above.

Green:

Green’s free spell is equivalent to a fog, which is probably less desirable than the other color’s spells, but still will find its place in certain decks. The partner here is fine for +1/+1 counter synergy, but is less appealing by himself than with his partner who would push him out of a mono green deck. He could still be functional in a mono green counters matter deck. I really like Curious Herd, as it is the next Dockside Extortionist, except for the fact that he only counts one player’s stuff in order to give you 3/3 tokens. I think populate decks will like this card. Glademuse also looks strong in draw go decks, mainly because you’re already planning on casting spells on other players turns, so you might as well draw a card. This is symmetrical though, so I guess it’s a bit of a group hug card.

Multicolored/Colorless:

Next up is the rest. The multicolored cards here are the alternate commanders for the decks, along with the dual colored Partner With creatures that pair with the mono colored ones we already covered. Of the pairings, I like the mono red that is paired with Shabraz the Skyshark. Not only is this un-set level ridiculous, it’s also a very effective pair. I don’t think it’s something I’m going to use only because its colors are off for what I want to use the mono red guy for, but it’s still cool. My secondary favorite is Ukkima, Stalking Shadow, but I ultimately don’t want to use its partner either, instead wanting to put Ukkima into my Yuriko deck because it is unblockable and can be used with ninjitsu to get more value of it’s leaves the battlefield trigger. Of the subgenerals, I’m most interested in Xyris, the Writing Storm, because it’s essentially The Locust God with the addition of green. I love my Locust God deck, but being a 6 CMC commander is sometimes hard to ramp into without green, and green would push that deck over the top. The Locust God is actually included in that precon, so apparently WotC sees the same thing I do. You’ll see that build soon, because I think my original game plan for that deck will work even better even without The Locust God in the command zone. The new artifacts are mostly blah except for the Twinning Staff, but I’ll leave that card for someone else to break. The only new land is Nesting Grounds which is actually pretty good for all of the new keyword tokens as it allows you to move those around. Overall these sets look really good and though it’s unlikely I’ll buy them all, I’m definitely grabbing at least a couple.

Up next, Spoilers for the booster set.

TWR: Theros: Beyond Death Spoilers

Wow, it’s really been over a month since I made any mention of Magic: The Gathering on this blog. I did take a bit of a hiatus over the course of December so that’s a big part of it, but there was a lot of news to come out of the last quarter of 2019. Some things that we knew back then was the schedule of new sets coming in 2020. Theros: Beyond Death is the first of those, and releases before the end of the month. A familiar plane to those who have been playing for years, but another return to a plane we’ve already been too, ala Ravnica. I wasn’t playing during the first Theros block, but I have collected a majority of the Gods introduced in those sets, along with plenty of other cards. You could say I’m familiar with the plane despite my absence from the game the first time around. 

Like previous sets of the past year or so, there is once again a buy-a-box promo card, only available at your LGS. I’ve gotten one of these so far, because where I live currently LGS’s aren’t exactly local. The last box I purchased was War of the Spark a little under a year ago, and I did so through Amazon. The price was actually a bit lower taking this option, so I’m not too worried about the promo card. I do rather like this one though.

Buy-A-Box Promo:

The Gods are returning. We had a newer cycle of Gods during the Amonkhet block, and most of those we reimagined in War of the Spark, having been corrupted by Nicol Bolas. This time around it seems we’re seeing most of the same Gods (albeit not all of the ones from Theros) in differing forms, some good and some bad. The new Athreos is still reanimation based, but instead of bringing the dead back to the battleground immediately (unless an opponent pays 3 life) he puts counters on creatures. Creatures who die with the counters on them return to the battlefield under your control. This means you can target opponent’s big nasties and then wipe to board to bring them all back to your side. He’s a bit pricey CMC wise and I don’t know that I’d want to run him as my commander but he is definitely a key recursion/theft piece.

New God Cycle:

Speaking of the returning Gods, we have 5, one from each color. Erebos, Heliod, Nylea, Purphoros and Thassa are back, and each does something different than they did before. One new God was introduced as well, an RG creature that does similar things to Xenegos. Of these, Erebos is still one of the best, but not as good as his prior form. Heliod has already been pointed out as being broken in combination with Walking Ballista from Kaladesh, as it’s a two card infinite combo. I wouldn’t mind a copy of all of these, but they aren’t the chase cards for me.

Demi God Cycle:

Instead of finishing off the cycle of Gods, instead we are being given Demi-Gods as well. Another cycle with one for each of the five colors, each is a recognizable legendary character from past sets, and to my knowledge all of their prior incarnations were multicolored. Ascending to Demi-God status did one thing across the board — each of these creatures has either power or toughness affected by devotion, which has proven to be a powerful strategy in the past. Daxos is the only character here that I really have an attachment to, and this version of him is pretty weak compared to his Orzhov and Azorius cards. They are uncommon so should be easy to get ahold of.

White:

Moving into the individual colors, I found that there was less that I was excited about than I thought. There are plenty of interesting cards, sure, but there isn’t a lot that I’m dying to acquire. We have another cycle reflecting the wave of Gods, each of them have a spell with their name + “intervention” and they’re modal cards. Most have a good option and then a less good option, but options are goo, and I can see the one above being useful for clearing the board of artifacts and enchantments that you don’t like, or just one at instant speed. Idyllic Tutor needed a reprint, and I’m hoping that means the price comes down. The Archon is a Pegasus lord, and though I don’t think that’s really needed, perhaps another tribe will become viable eventually with more cards like it.

Blue:

Sagas are back too, and Kiora Bests the Sea God was one of my favorites from the set. These enchantments do different things for a few turns before hitting the yard, where in some cases you can bring them back to do it again. Another intervention card here, which is either an expensive counter spell or a way to dig for combo pieces. The other cards are viable in certain strategies, but I’m not dying for any of these.

Black:

A new demon that’s not terrible but is quite expensive. More enchantment creatures that can be great in the right deck. Oh, and Gary (Gray Merchant of Asphodel) got a reprint with new art. Sweet!

Red:

Red got some neat tricks, including a Dragon that gives your creatures double strike, an Ox that is a wheel on a stick that you can cast again from the graveyard, and a decent sort of board wipe for only 4 cmc. Not too bad.

Green:

Green seems to have gotten a lot of love again, and that’s puzzling because it doesn’t really need more ramp. Nyxbloom Ancient gives you crazy mana ramp. Yes, it’s an expensive card and it dies to all sorts of removal, but it can be crazy if it lives. The Dryad gives you more ramp and fixing, Nylea’s Intervention can ramp you for a ton, and landfall decks are drooling. It’s good stuff but I don’t think green really needed the help.

Multi-Color:

In multi-color we have more options that I’m actually kind of into. The Allure of the Unknown is a risky spell but I like the payoff. It’s very political too so a plus. The new Planeswalkers aren’t very exciting, but I do like Ashiok as a character. I really like the Izzet merfolk and think he deserves a spot in both my Tawnos artifact deck and my Shu-Yun voltron deck. Lastly, I really like the Orzhov hound, being a nice 3/3 vigilance, menace lifelink for only 3 CMC, but also being graveyard hate on a stick. It’s not bad. I think a death and taxes kind of deck is in order, with other assholes like Kambal.

Colorless and Land:

Only a couple of artifacts that caught my eye this time around. Nyx Lotus is a pretty good rock that taps for your devotion to a color. It does cost 4 CMC and comes into play tapped though, so perhaps you’ll want a way to untap it on the turn it comes down. The Shadowspear is some nice protection removal and I think it could slot into my equipment deck. As far as lands go, there are some really pretty full art lands that feature just the mana symbols instead of a landscape and not only is that unique but they’re really cool looking. Supposedly there is one per pack, so I did actually consider buying a box just for that reason. If nothing else I get a few packs just to get some of these for a deck.

So that’s that. It looks like a pretty decent set overall, but I’m not as excited for it as I thought I was going to be when it was first announced. Perhaps getting my hands on some new cards will change things.

TWR: Throne of Eldraine Complete Spoiler

Spoiler season for the upcoming Throne of Eldraine expansion has come to a close, and that means I can discuss some of the better cards I’ve seen come with the set. When I originally talked about the set I noted that I wasn’t too excited with much that I had seen to that point, but eventually some decent cards popped up and I knew that I would want at least a few. On that note, I found a nearby LGS that does the prerelease events, so it’s looking like I’ll be going to that next weekend, and I’m looking forward to that mainly because I haven’t been to one in about a year or maybe more. I like the prerelease kits, they come with new dice, a promo card with the date on it, and a few packs to get you started with the set. New cards before the set even releases is great. I still am not very hyped for this particular set, but as I noted in my last post about the subject, I am looking forward to some of the sets coming out next year, and that will be here before you know it.

The somewhat standard product release is changing up a little bit this time around. It appears that there will still be normal booster packs, the themed boosters, and planeswalker decks. However, the new Brawl decks release along side this product, and another new type of pack is being sold as well. Collectors packs are supposed to contain the full art cards that previously were only part of the mythic editions. It doesn’t appear that there will be one of those this time around, but you can buy these (no doubt more expensive) packs to get some of that nice art. The trouble is, well there are some shitty cards getting the treatment. This does however mean that you’ll likely be able to buy singles of these versions of the cards so if you want the nicer copy of particular card that should be doable.

Buy-A-Box Promo:

The buy-a-box promo is actually rather good for this set. A new 5-color general for us commander players, and one that really only needs infinite mana to win the game. He might actually be one of the faster cEDH decks if built properly. I’m sort of interested, but also sort of don’t care. Still, a better card than we’ve seen for a while, but not enough to get me to buy a box. I might grab a single if it’s not outrageous. Next, I’ll go into some of the better cards in the individual colors. Again, with my hype levels being so low, there aren’t too many to talk about.

White:

One of the best cards in the set, Hushbringer is great for hatebear/stax strategies and I can’t wait to get a couple of these for existing decks. Deafening Silence is another stax piece, Happily Ever After is a convoluted win-con but still seems doable. The Archon could work well in some decks as would the Charming Prince, I mainly highlighted them as they are interesting cards.

Blue:

Emry is one of the other best cards from the set. It’s mainly good for artifact decks, but can get you into some loops pretty easily. Gadwick is an interesting card that wants to be a commander but also wants to be in a wizard deck. The mirror enchantment is a great way to get interesting effects from other people’s decks into your own. The mirror artifact is pricey but can be cheapened, and can snowball into some nice card draw. The folio is more group hug oriented, but can be used to mill as well, so a very political card.

Black:

People who like building rat decks rejoice, as the Piper and Witch both support the tribe/strategy. Murderous Rider is a Hero’s Downfall on legs, but also recurs itself. Our twisted elf noble is another strong aristocrat style card, while Syr Konrad benefits from the strategy as well. Rankle looks janky but fun. The Cauldron could be something amazing but it’s pretty convoluted. I like some of these cards more than others.

Red:

Another one of my favorite cards from the set comes with Torbran. He instantly adds 2 damage to any damage source you control. This means if you’re hitting with 5 1/1 goblins, they’re now doing 3 damage each. Combine that with effects from cards like Impact Tremors, and you’re speeding up your damage quite rapidly and red already wants to do damage fast. I see him going into my Krenko deck, while I also really enjoy the new legendary equipment and see that slotting into my voltron deck. Other cards here have some value in particular decks but are less exciting.

Green:

People were losing their shit over The Great Henge. I think it’s okay but not spectacular. The aura is another nice way to eliminate a commander by turning it into a do-nothing 3/3. Not as good as Song of the Dryads but it’s still not bad. I also like Return to Nature, which is flexible removal for a cheap CMC.

Multi/Colorless/Land:

The new land cycle of the castles are pretty bad. There’s another mono colored land cycle that I didn’t bother to highlight, but they are essentially tap lands unless certain conditions are met. I do think Fabled Passage is pretty good, it’s another Evolving Wilds type card, but can have the upside of the land not being tapped. Not as good as the one recently printed in Modern Horizons, but still on a similar level. There are a couple of decent artifacts and one new vehicle (it’s not great) in the set. Most of the multi-colored cards are pretty bad too, but I do like the new mana dork treefolk and the gruul colored spell that lets you play cards through until your next turn. The Boros enchantment is good in conjunction with say Assemble the Legion, with both you can create a bunch of tokens pretty fast.

Overall there aren’t too many cards here I really want. I think outside of the prerelease I’ll probably buy a handful of singles and call it done. Here’s hoping I get something good at the event.