Sets [MCD] M14 previews

Dom Harvey

Warden of Evos Isle

Creature - Bird Wizard

Creature spells with flying you cast cost
less to cast.
On Evos Isle, the swift and formidable aven enforce the will of the ruling sphinxes.
Illus. Nils Hamm 2/2

It's a narrow and marginal cost reduction card, so naturally I'm in love with it! Just think:

- T3 Warden gives you T4 Emeria Angel before you make your land drop
- T3 Warden into T4 Thundermaw Hellkite/Baneslayer Angel/Meloku/Djinn of Wishes/Reveillark/Karmic Guide/Glen Elendra Archmage (with U up)
- making mana off Cloud of Faeries/Palinchron
- cheap Kor Skyfisher lets you turn W into +1 storm count at a 1:1 rate (not going too deep, I promise!)
- Squadron Hawks for W!
- with 5 mana, evoke Mulldrifter for 1U and play Restoration Angel for 2U, netting you four cards and two guys on board

Jason Waddell

Staff member
This guy lowers the evoke cost on Mulldrifter? Also, Restoration Angel for 2{U} would be quite impressive. :)


I thought that card was already Blue

It's funny since Tarmogoyf used to be a Blue creature. Now in Modern it's much more Black and a little Red too in addition to Blue. Ditto Legacy.

Chris Taylor

I thought that card was already Blue

It's funny since Tarmogoyf used to be a Blue creature. Now in Modern it's much more Black and a little Red too in addition to Blue. Ditto Legacy.
Clearly you haven't flickered a derranged hermit with echo on the stack have you? :p
After looking at the spoiler I consider the same three cards as Dom. I'll try to run Liliana's Reaver over Abyssal Persecutor (But I love the art on that card so much!:(), Ogre Battledriver over Hero of Oxid Ridge and Young Pyromancer over some red two-drop. I love Guttersnipe, so more cards like these are great. I only wish the 1/1 elemental tokens had haste though. :oops:

Wanted to say I liked the art of Grim Return (Less polished than nowadays), untill I saw it was a mockup. :rolleyes:

There will also be a new Chandra and a new Garruk. Uptill now all Garruks have been solid mainstays in my cube, but I certainly won't be adding a fourth one so I wouldn't mind it if this one isn't good enough for cube. A new Chandra is very much wanted though. I would be happy to cut both Chandra Nalaar and Liliana Vess actually.

I don't like the Shadowborn Demon to be honest. He reminds be a bit of Skaab Ruinator. Three creature cards in the GY is already a lot, let alone 6. If you run 15 creatures, you've got one in hand (the Demon), so about 43% of your other creatures should be in your graveyard to play this card without minding it's drawback, and I don't consider that very likely. So to keep him on the battlefield you'll need to be able to sac creatures (that you can recurse or won't mind saccing?). That means you probably won't play this card on a empty board, except when you're in dire need of a 5-mana sorcery speed removal spell. I would rather just play a Shriekmaw without building a deck around it. :)

Dom Harvey

I wasn't seriously considering Reaver, I just wanted to post a M14 thread and thought talking about just one card would be a bit pointless :p
I wasn't seriously considering Reaver, I just wanted to post a M14 thread and thought talking about just one card would be a bit pointless :p

Since you run a spell-centric cube? :) Well, I will consider the Reaver, and I always like to make some changes after a new set, but it probably won't become a mainstay. But since my cube is rather large (610) I don't have to be that picky.

Jason Waddell

Staff member
Wait wait wait, Mutavault is coming back? I might have to take those Gravecrawlers out of my cube and slot them into a Standard deck.

Jason Waddell

Staff member
Oh, and I decided to go check in on MTGS previews forum, only to see that there's a 6-page thread on Llanowar Elves.

Surprised no one has posted about this yet, so I'm taking a crack at "reviewing" him.

4GG - Garruk, Caller of Beasts
Planeswalker - Garruk
Starting Loyalty: 4
+1: Reveal top five cards of Library, all creatures to hand, rest to bottom.
-3: You may put a GREEN creature card from your hand onto the battlefield.
-7: Emblem: Whenever you cast a creature spell, search your library for another and put it onto the battlefield.

Flavor-wise, this is certainly a card worthy of the title "Caller of Beasts." The art isn't anything special, serviceable for what Garruk represents, but also doesn't evoke any meaningful emotion either. The alternate art is apparently one of a series of foil promos that will be available at this year's comic-con. It's got that black-on-black style because Frank Miller does that and some guy in WotC marketing just got around to watching Sin City on DVD.

But I digress. The card. What does it do? Cost wise, we are looking at 4GG. Six mana is a lot of mana, and at that threshold we expect a lot of bang for our buck. Previous 6 mana walkers included Sorin, who could only meaningfully interact with small creatures, and Chandra Ablaze, who revolved around card disadvantage. But green's natural fondness for ramp means 4GG isn't an unreasonable cost for an average "green deck" to reach in a game.

Now, what about those abilities? Time has frequently shown that spells at this cost often need be making a significant impact on the game right away; if they don't, you could be dead before your next untap step. A little more leniency is granted to green in this metric; again, the available ramp means 6 mana isn't always the top of green's curve.

His +1 is quite splashy, even if it can't impact the board. It sticks out to me as being the first plus ability that provides easy access to refilling your hand. The only deckbuilding consideration is you have to prioritize creatures, but even 40% creatures, for an average of 2 creatures per activation, is quite potent for a plus ability. Activating his +1 after he lands results in 5 loyalty: not very fragile, but at that stage in the game, certainly beatable.

Next, his -3. Playing guys for free seems powerful, and Garruk can show up, use this ability, and still live to tell the tale, even it if is at a precarious 1 loyalty. But such a scenario poses some questions: How big of a discount are you receiving on the "free" creature, and is Garruk the best option for enabling this play?

Because the ability is limited to green creatures, the discount is likely low. There aren't too many windmill slam green creatures above six mana, and to me only Progenitusand Craterhoof Behemoth stick out as targets "worthy" of just running out there ASAP.

Of course, activating the -3 on turns after Garruk shows up is certainly possible as well. If you've filled your hand with his plus one, there's a strong chance you have more dudes than you cast in a single turn. At that time, being able to use the -3 will be quite powerful.

The emblem ability seems very underwhelming. If you've activated his +1 3 times already, you've already picked the creatures from 15 cards, plus had 3 draw steps. In limited formats this means you've likely seen 3/4 of your deck, once you factor in all the cards you've drawn over the course of the game. If you can't just win at this point, how is the emblem going to help? You've probably got less than 5 creatures that are in the deck, you've probably drawn your best creature(s) at this point and don't need to tutor them up. Garruk's -3 will do a fine just of spitting out the cards you've drew.

Constructed wise, I can't imagine a case where Garruk does something powerful enough at six mana to justify his presence in competitive legacy or modern decks. Natural Order seems like a more reliable way to get Progenitus out.

Standard, I believe Garruk has some potential. Prime Speaker Zegana is a somewhat similarly costed card with a similarly powerful effect. Zegana is a powerful threat with potential for a huge card draw bonus. Garruk will, over the course of the game, likely draw a similar number of cards, but is not a threat. Zegana requires another beefy creature in play to be effective, where Garruk can go to work the turn after a Supreme Verdict. However, against aggressive decks, there is a real risk of tapping out for him and then losing the game before your untap step. This may limit Garruk to sideboards, and/or 1-ofs in maindecks.

For cube, I look forward to testing this version of Garruk. He's definitely pulls a drafter in the direction of green ramp, and I can imagine him being a good addition to a cube that is supporting that archetype. Sometimes ramp decks can just run out of gas if their first couple threats are answered, but Garruk can keep the threats flowing. While he can't directly "defend himself," hopefully those creatures you are drawing can hit the board quick enough to block for their planeswalker buddy.

So inclusion, we have ourselves a very green Planeswalker: He enables you to just keep running dudes out there. There's not a lot of nuance to it either, also appropriately green. He's going to create some great stories (this time I drew 5, or 0, or the exact 3 I needed, etc), and do so at a generally fair cost.
Six mana buys you: I have a million creatures forever.

I'm not sure how great that is. Maybe a new highlight for green ramp decks? They were looking for a new high mana cost target and ways out of topdeck mode. Feels like you should be able to do that without paying six mana but there are all sorts of cubes out there.

I like the idea of playing an eternal witness or tutor then being able to immediately poop it out. Sounds like you've got a lot of moving parts though.