Wizards of the Coast has released a pool of first look Rise of Eldrazi cards and Top8Magic.com is among the lucky recipients — this should mean an exclusive preview in the coming weeks as well.
The deadly perils of Zendikar, we learn with this set, “have served as a prison for the Eldrazi, astral monstrosities native to the Blind Eternities. Now, the perils facing adventurers on the plane of Zendikar have taken an even deadlier turn. The Eldrazi have been released.”
Let’s take a look at the just what Zendikar has been keeping at bay:
…and this guy is just an uncommon. Needless to say if one of these colorless monstrosities with Annihilator ever gets a chance to attack bad things are going to happen to you. We have already seen Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, which goes through great pains to not allow itself to be cheated into play (except via the Eye of Ugin) but that is not true of this guy. He seems like a fine monster to reanimate if you can discard him to the bin. (Take note that while these monsters are colorless they are distinctly not artifacts so you cannot get maximum card advantage out of your Thirst for Knowledge — I am afraid you will have to dump two cards).
While Kozilek, Butcher of Truth cannot hit the bin he can come into play Through the Breach although you will not get to draw extra cards. You can wipe your opponent’s board clear of permanents by “sneak attacking” an Eldrazi into play on turn two or three with a Seething Song. We have only seen two of these monstrosities so far but we have to imagine that bad things are in store for anyone facing off against them.
Eye of Ugin is part of the equation for playing “fair” with the Eldrazi but it appears their are other keys that will unlock these Lovecraftian horrors. Perhaps you want to Corpsehatch your pet monster?
Between this card, Everflowing Chalice (aka Motherlovin’ Cup), and Eye of Ugin you can kill something on turn four and have up to ten mana on turn six for summoning monsters that could turn your hair white.
A card I already love is Mnemonic Wall. I have always loved me an Izzet Chronarch in Limited but would have liked them to be a little more involved when it came to fighting. Mnemonic Wall is more than capable of keeping one whole ground pounder at bay in Limited while returning a key removal spell to deal with another. Its kind of a shame that Rise of Eldrazi is going to be a stand alone Limited set because I would happily draft Mnemonic Wall/Into the Aether decks all day long. Maaaaaybe something to think about for Block?
Annihilate is one new mechanic in the set and Rebound is another — think of it as a hybrid between Suspend and Flashback. Rebound cards that are played from your hand are Exiled and they get played again — for no cost — from exile at the beginning of your next upkeep. Obviously they are going to be solid Limited cards — such as the one pictured below — but depending on the mix of spells they could easily be Constructed quality. Here is a fine combat trick for Limited that gives you a little bonus on your next turn.
Here is a card with a little something for everyone in Limited. On one hand it is a nigh insurmountable wall but when it gets angry and attacks… Well you wouldn’t like it when it is angry — and have nothing around to block.
Finally we have Mammoth Umbra — easily my favorite piece of art of the handful of pooled preview cards — which seems like a fine “embrace” with a cool mechanic that is going to be very strong in Limited. There is certainly precedent for similar cards making the leap to Constructed if there is anything at a more reasonable casting cost. I definitely want this card on my Valakut Fireboar — if I can’t stick it on a Pathrazer that is.
Stay tuned for some additional artwork, a podcast with me an Mike, and (fingers crossed) our exclusive preview between now and the Rise of Eldrazi release event.