[Magic Mondays] PreRelease Impressions
Spent nearly twenty four hours at the store over the weekend for the Gatecrash Prerelease. Really, there isn’t much to say in terms of meta, but I do have a better impression of the set as a whole and what it’s going to bring to standard.
As is typical, it’s on a card by card basis that anything will cross over into standard. On a few choice cards Bloodrush is going to be one heck of a tool. In xRG decks that focus on aggro, one opening is all a good deck will need to half your life total with one swing. Granted, it’s not much of a boost for Jund, but Naya and RUG both look like they’re in good places to start making waves in the format with the addition of Zhur-taa Swine and Ghor-Clan Rampager.
As for the other mechanics, I’m not too sure. Extort will see play on Blind Obedience because the enchantment is great at shutting down aggression early. Dimir’s secondary mechanic “Grind” or “mill until you hit a land” is already being speculated about in Legacy and I think it’s got a place as part of a mill win-con, but the Cipher spells are all either over costed or highly situational. That isn’t to say I don’t want to build decks around them, but I feel like the probable combinations already have excellent options that aren’t as clunky. Though who knows? BUG and Esper could find a use for them. It’s very likely that Zameck Guildmage will see play in decks that have abusable +1/+1 counter interactions, either resets for Undying or as part of a token control scheme. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fathom Mage didn’t find herself a place in some xUG control list.
But we all know the Standard Bearer for GTC is Boros Charm. This 2CMC spell is likely to see play for the forseeable future in any deck that can spare the room for it.
As far as limited goes though, the set is much more balanced feeling than RTR was. The control route feels like it’s a valid path to victory and isn’t totally outclassed by aggro and midrange plans. Having reliable removal back in the set makes landing bombs less of a instant win and more of a classic threat moment. I can’t wait to get in a couple of drafts before returning to Standard.
All in all, Gatecrash is looking like one heck of a good time and I can’t wait to see what happens this weekend.