Magic 2012 M12 Review

03Aug11

The M12 has just released about a week ago, here it comes with some card reviews for this latest set.

Adaptive Automaton 3
Artifact Creature – Construct
As Adaptive Automaton enters the battlefield, choose a creature type.
Adaptive Automaton is the chosen type in addition to its other types.
Other creatures you control of the chosen type get +1/+1.
2/2

Flexible Lords are good. Its problem is finding a home, as the major tribal decks either have better options (Goblins and Merfolk are notable examples) or don’t have enough decent low-cc creatures to make a deck. Basically, this is a card to watch.

Buried Ruin
Land
T: Add 1 to your mana pool.
2, T, Sacrifice Buried Ruin: Return target artifact card from your graveyard to your hand.

Some Legacy decks will want this over Academy Ruins, as it interacts better with cards like Life from the Loam. Don’t know about Standard, given that many of the artifacts that do see play are not that suicidal.

Chandra, the Firebrand 3R
Planeswalker – Chandra
[+1]: Chandra, the Firebrand deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
[-2]: When you cast your next instant or sorcery spell this turn, copy that spell. You may then choose new targets for the copy.
[-6]: Chandra, the Firebrand deals 6 damage to each of up to 6 target creatures and/or players.

[3]

I am going to say it right now, this is probably the worst planeswalker printed, and it’s for one simple reason – it really has only one ability you will ever want to use (well, maybe 2 in the right deck), and the other abilities are just not good enough. (Then again, Ajani Goldmane had only one good ability, but it tended to be far better than a Reverberate.) It’s basically limited to combo decks if it somehow does end up being playable, and every time a combo deck is playable in Standard, it’s apparently a “mistake.”

Garruk, Primal Hunter 2GGG
Planeswalker – Garruk
[+1]: Put a 3/3 green Beast creature token onto the battlefield.
[-3]: Draw cards equal to the greatest power among creatures you control.
[-6]: Put a 6/6 green Wurm creature token onto the battlefield for each land you control.

[3]

The best of the new planeswalkers, it has one major flaw for now, and that is not costing 4 mana. Having to pay triple-green is also very prohibitive (although we will likely get an allied-color land cycle in Innistrad) and limits his options. He’ll see play, it’s just a question of whether or not the decks that want him will be good enough when the other decks are ramping past the 5-slot.

Goblin Grenade R
Sorcery
As an additional cost to cast Goblin Grenade, sacrifice a Goblin.
Goblin Grenade deals 5 damage to target creature or player.

How many burn spells do we really need? Sadly, this will actually be playable in Standard (due to red’s small creatures being mostly Goblins).

Grand Abolisher WW
Creature – Human Cleric
During your turn, your opponents can’t cast spells or activate abilities of artifacts, creatures, or enchantments.
2/2

Is it just me, or does this seem like a card that’s really multicolor? I really can’t think of any reason to make spells uncounterable right now, and many of the annoying activated abilities aren’t used during your turn anyways (with Tumble Magnet and others notable exceptions), so I am not so sure this will get too far.

Grim Lavamancer R
Creature – Human Wizard
R, T, Exile two cards from your graveyard: Grim Lavamancer deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
1/1

This is basically the key to any type of RDW that is successful in Standard. It also makes it legal in Modern, if that becomes a format.

Jace, Memory Adept 3UU
Planeswalker – Jace
[+1] Draw a card. Target player puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
[-0] Target player puts the top ten cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
[-7] Any number of target players each draw twenty cards.

[4]

If this is any good in Standard, it will solely be for the first ability, because that’s its best function. (Look, Ajani Goldmane syndrome strikes again!) Sadly, it is very likely outclassed by Consecrated Sphinx and believe it or not Azure Mage, so I do not expect it to do too much.

Jace’s Archivist 1UU
Creature – Human Wizard
U, T: Each player discards his or her hand, then draws cards equal to the greatest number of cards a player discarded in this way.
2/2

It’s the second member of the “banned card” spellshaper not-cycle (although Fauna Shaman is sort of cheating). Sadly, this one is far worse, because blue wants more cards in its hand than the opponents and already has other means to do so. Moving along…

Lord of the Unreal UU
Creature – Human Wizard
Illusion creatures you control get +1/+1 and have hexproof.
2/2

Poor Illusions, they don’t even get an actual Illusion lord. Hexproof is good for them to have, given that manyIllusion creatures hate being targeted.

Oblivion Ring 2W
Enchantment
When Oblivion Ring enters the battlefield, exile another target nonland permanent.
When Oblivion Ring leaves the battlefield, return the exiled card to the battlefield under its owner’s control.

We could have used this in Zendikar block. Probably would have preferred Faith’s Fetters over it right now (although Oblivion Ring does see Legacy play), but solid removal is solid removal.

Smallpox BB
Sorcery
Each player loses 1 life, discards a card, sacrifices a creature, then sacrifices a land.

Oh no land destruction at 2 mana! Whatever will we do? Sarcasm aside, this card’s playability really depends on what’s in Innistrad block, as Smallpox wants creature cards thatwant to be in a graveyard.

Solemn Simulacrum 4
Artifact Creature – Golem
When Solemn Simulacrum enters the battlefield, you may search your library for a basic land card and put that card onto the battlefield tapped. If you do, shuffle your library.
When Solemn Simulacrum dies, you may draw a card.
2/2

Unlike its original home in Mirrodin block, where it was overshadowed by Affinity, among other decks, this time it will actually make the cut for Standard. As for other formats, its time has passed (although it actually saw Vintage play at some point, which says something).

Zombie Infestation 1B
Enchantment
Discard two cards: Put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield.

Don’t see it doing too much, but being able to create a body for no mana investment is nothing to laugh at in a world where every color gets a 1-mana removal spell. Black will do anything to win, especially when it is actually every color. (I finally got to use my mandatory joke on a playable card!)

And that’s that. I was bored with this set, but it is a core set, and I don’t really expect much from them. If you think I missed anything, you know what to do.

(ref gatheringmagic)

 

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