Battle for Zendikar, the first spoilers

nde bannerNear Death Experience banner. I know the card is from Rise of the Eldrazi, but the art is just so baller! Besides, Gideon is in the new set as well!

The lists for Duel Decks: Zendikar vs. Eldrazi were revealed recently, along with a few new preview cards that are quite exciting. I don’t want to discuss all of them, but here’s a link to the article: Link to the mothership. In bullet points:

  • Allies are back
  • Landfall is back
  • There are three new keywords so far, Devoid, Ingest and Awaken.

Devoid and Ingest are both Eldrazi keywords, and both are represented on a pretty sweet common:

dominatordroneIn Limited, I’d say a 3/2 for 3 with no drawback is playable as is, at least in most formats. It depends on how fast the format will be and how important it will be to curve out. Zendikar was one of the fastest Limited environments of all time, where Rise of the Eldrazi was one of the slowest – with the latter featuring the infamously bad Glory Seeker, completely unplayable in the format but at least playable in every othoblivionsowerer Limited environment. Zendikar, on the other hand of the spectrum, was so fast that drafting a 2/1 vanillia for 2 over bomby 6-drops was almost always the right call. Only time will tell where Battle for Zendikar will fit in, but if it leans to the faster format, I’d say Dominator Drone is pretty good. If you can curve into it from a colourless 2-drop, the upside will make a difference, and it also means drafting multiple Dominator Drone will be nice.

Devoid is interesting since it will allow stuff like Dominator Drone to be good without having a Mirrodin-esque Limited environment with a bunch of colourless decks running around. Ingest doesn’t do much in this case, but it does have some synergy with at least one other spoiled Eldrazi card, the first spoiler in fact. Oblivion Sower makes use of not only cards it exiles itself but any exiled cards, and it’s very likely we’ll see more of these effects in higher rarities. Perhaps a build-around uncommon?

sheerdropAwaken, along with Landfall, are the revealed Zendikarian mechanics, and both reward playing lots of lands in your Limited decks. This leads me to believe this will be a slower format than usual. As far as Sheer Drop goes, it at least seems like a playable on first glance, playing it as a 1-for-1 for 3 is fine, even if it is Sorcery speed, and if you get to Awaken it, it’s an effective easy 2-for-1. If only it was an Instant it could’ve lead to some pretty crazy blow outs on the Limited tables coming this fall.

All in all, I rather like what I see from Battle for Zendikar so far, and I really enjoyed the old Zendikar block, so I’m pretty excited for this year’s fall set.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

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  1. Grim Lavamancer

     /  August 19, 2015

    It’s obviously a bit too early to pass absolute judgement on the new mechanics. But here’s what I think of them so far:

    Devoid – I’m really not sure about this one, it feels rather gimicky to me. My guess is that there’ll be quite a few cards like Forerunner of Slaughter that can boost colourless creatures, but they might as well have cards that give the same boost to target Eldrazi and it would work in an almost identical way.

    Ingest – At first I thought this card was rather weak, but as you point out, it works rather well with Oblivion Sower and probably a lot of other cards in the set.

    Awaken – At heart I am very much a Timmy, so this one really speaks to me. Doing something cool (like dropping Cthullu’s down a cliff) AND getting a guy out of it? Sign me up! All jokes aside though, cards that can do multiple things have always worked out well, and note that Sheer Drop is a common, which means that there are probably a lot more powerful Awaken cards out there.

    So far I am very much excited about Battle of Zendikar. I had a blast with the original set, and considering the quality of the last block I am expecting great things out of this one.



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