Yes, these are official M11 spoilers seen for the first time in English on the interweb (and maybe other MTG blog brethren as well). Unlike last time where it was just misunderstood as truth when it was speculation, these are real cards you’re going to see in real booster packs. Awesome, right?
Now I know I don’t want to keep you waiting (as you see, the first one is on the right (That’s right, multiple!)), and I know that most of you will skip this text and get to the card images themselves. Don’t worry, I do that to. If you’re so inclined to actually read the text when you’re done ogling, I’m going to explain how these cards got in M11. Well, not like development, but how this cards were most likely inspired by cards that came before them and how they fit into their colors (Hey, that’s kinda my spiel). You’re not here for draft analysis or how they’ll fit in certain decks (though I’ll talk about that in the abstract).
I’ve got 3 cards to spoil, all of them new. No functional reprints of any kind.
War Priest of Thune
A very simple card, War Priest is the only uncommon we’re going to look at today (But don’t worry, it’s not all about rarity). Known as a Bear, this 2/2 for 1W is efficient and something that @Grizzly_Bears would love to see. Obviously what makes this an uncommon (and better than our furry friend (Sorry)) is its enter the battlefield ability. It’s common for White to get effects like this, but this might be one of the more efficient ever. Way better than its predecessor:
One of the first White 187 creatures (enters the battlefield, destroy something), people were going gaga over this card in a block all about enchantments (Yes, Urza’s Block was supposed to be about enchantments and not artifacts). Destroy an enchantment AND get a dude? That was unheard of back then. Looking at the stats, and how far Magic has progressed, 15 years later it’s clearly ok to double the power/toughness and keep the same casting cost. It’s “strictly better” in 99.9% of the time unless you’ve built a Sigil Captain deck. Obviously, this won’t be as back breaking as it was in Urza’s Block unless something happens in the metagame that requires more enchantment hate. Is this a hint for Scars of Mirrodin?
While this isn’t the first time this concept has been done, it does add another possibility for deck building. The other options were more expensive (Such as Aven Cloudchaser and Kor Sanctifers) but added something for the cost or required a sacrifice (Kami of Ancient Law and Shinewend) and left you with nothing. There is always good tactical sense in having it sitting on the field so it’s immune to counterspells, but you eventually lose the guy. It’s up to you and your playstyle about if you want to use it.
Plus, it’s a priest swinging a club. It looks awesome.
Let’s just get this out of the way:
No, this isn’t going to be the card that brings Blue back to dominance (though some people believe that it’s already there). What it is a clear Blue creature that may win you drafts. Everyone always likes drawing cards, especially Blue mages (which is why they caused such an uproar over Wall of Omens) so this card shouldn’t come as a surprise to people who’ve played Magic for a really long time. And while this isn’t Thieving Magpie (Sorry @norbert88), it does cause huge flashbacks to a card older players remember:
Wow, that’s some really bad templating right there. If you can’t decipher what it does, basically you traded dealing your damage, if it was unblocked, to draw a card. People played it. Don’t believe me? Here’s what Mike Flores said about Ophidian:
There has never, ever, been a card that inspired a feeling of such utter un-fun futility as Ophidian. If you were hit once… It was like the game was already over. In those days gone by, the blue Counterspells were cheap, plentiful, and many times renewable.
So why in the world would Wizards print a “strictly better” card? Oh, yeah, since counterspells are much worse than before. Now, drawing a card isn’t a game locking down experience but card advantage. Knowledge (and how it gets it), is the very essence of Blue’s identity. But this new card gets even better; did you see the creature type line:
If you can make your Merfolk unblockable or have Islandwalk, guy’s golden. Plus, if you still have your Rogue deck put together, instant inclusion. While by himself he won’t win you games, but he’ll most likely be one of those all-stars that helped you get there. This won’t be as dangerous as the snake back then, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it here and there every so often.
With a name like that, you know you’re going to expect something pretty cool. Ready? Yeah, I’m sure you are:
Hmmm, well. Yeah, most likely not your first pick in draft. While I’m not getting paid by Wizards to write these (they were kind enough to give these for me to preview), I don’t have to abide by playing nice and saying “Wow, you’ll really like this card.” Chances are, most of you won’t. A 2/2 for R that can’t attack unless an opponent has been damaged this turn doesn’t sound like a good deal. This guy sucks compared to Goblin Guide, so why even print him at all?
We’ll get to that in a minute (and why this might be a subtle shift in Red), but first, let’s see where this guy came from. As of this revealing, there have been seven 2/2’s for R in Magic. If I had to pick where this guy came from, it’d be here:
Yeah, kinda the same, but not really. First, you have to do something in order from them to attack, and while Mogg Conscripts makes that concept easier (you want to be playing creatures anyway in those types of decks), it’s still a hurdle to jump over to make it do something. Much like using a carrot to lead a rabbit, you have to do these things to Red creatures from time to time.
Red will forgo the the future to win the present.
Yes, Red’s shortsightedness is what makes the color interesting. By wanting to go all in and win now (if you deal damage first, I’ll taste blood and attack), Red will constantly put pressure on. Screw the long game, let’s win this tonight (I imagine the Red creatures have this video on loop in their barracks). So goes along with Bloodcrazed Goblin, and that’s not the only card in M11 that wants you to deal damage before you attack:
The “Planeswalker” common and uncommon cycle of cards have great synergy with the main (assumed) M10 planeswalker that they’re named after. Spitfire does a great job with this as well tying into Chandra’s first ability:
Guess what, Bloodcrazed can now attack when you’ve done this. Of course, that begs the question of why it would seem important that a 5 casting cost Mythic to make a 2 powered one-drop common work. It doesn’t, I’m just saying this might be the way Red will shift in the future. Maybe there will be a focus of doing stuff before you attack (such as doing damage) to force the issue. Red is an aggressive color and it doesn’t get more aggressive than this.
You don’t get this kind of insight from German blogs.
That’s it. I hope you learned something tonight with these spoilers. This was the first time I’d ever gotten actual spoilers (instead of finding them on other people’s blogs) and I enjoyed the experience. I hope you did to. Throw your comments down below. The spoiled cards are click-able, so if you want to see them in larger size, go ahead and do that.
Join me next time when I go a little off-topic. It hasn’t really stopped me before.