Seventh Edition is here and it does not disappoint! While not many of the cards are new, some old goodies have come back to make another run at Magic. Many of the goofy rares that the basic sets have come to know are out, while a couple fun ones have slipped back in. Just try to avoid opening too many Blessed Reversals and Iron Stars. When will those things be retired permanently? If you are looking for a quick fix of fun, bust a pack of Seventh and take a gander at the wonderful artwork. You never know when you will bust that foil Birds of Paradise.
Speaking of foils, might I mention that all of the foils in Seventh are black bordered? How great is finding a black-bordered card with amazing new artwork sitting quietly in the back of your pack? The foil market is likely to be booming for a long time about foil Birds, Wraths, Serras, and Dragons.
The last criterion that I usually rate a new set by is the flavor text. When I was checking out the flavor text in Seventh, I knew the set was a success. Flavor text is perhaps the most under appreciated part of Magic. Flavor text ranges from storyline related stuff to poetry to some lines that you cannot help but laugh after you read them. I quote:
"Twang. You're dead."
"He raged at the world, at his family, at his life. But mostly he just raged."
"Like a meteor, it strikes from above without warning. Unlike a meteor, it then carries you off and eats you."
"I'll climb down soon. Don't worry, it's just a thundersto--"
-Former elvish scout
"No thrull has ever been burdened with a long life"
Goblin Digging Team:
"Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig. Die!"
"Booga booga booga!"
-Honorable mentions to Unholy Strength and Granite Grip, both of which have to be read in context with the artwork.
While I am listing cards, here are some especially cool pictures to check out:
Pyrotechnics (maybe I just like illustrations of fire?)
Wrath of God
Howl from Beyond
All the circles of protection
Redwood Treefolk (I've never seen a tree that angry before!)
The little blue monkey in the picture of Inspiration
I will now take a look at seven of the newcomers to the basic set. I have done a small write up of one card from each color (two from Blue because Blue is the most benefited from Seventh) detailing various tidbits about the card. These are all cards that will have a direct impact on Standard when they rotate in the environment.
Pain! Suffering! This card may be the #2 cause of draws in Magic tournaments, with #1 be Shahrazad. You never know when this will hit the table. It unexpectedly pops out of decks that splash a little white just for Worship and some gold cards. Traditionally Worship has been used in combination with hard to kill creatures like Cho-Manno and Morphling, which protect themselves until you are able to finish off your opponent. We may see a resurgence of that type of deck as well as new decks that abuse this card in ways that were not possible with its original printing.
Opposition is one of my favorites. I used it when I built Squirrel Prison in UBC, Standard, and Extended. It was always great for a lockdown and my guess is that it will see play in decks of the future. There are a lot of ways to generate a horde of creatures right now with Rebels and Mercs just being the beginning of things. Imagine this card with Spontaneous Generation or Squirrel Wrangler. Nemata, Grove Guardian can give it a boost as well.
3) Thieving MagpiePie to the head! We all heard the Blue players cry when Destiny was in full swing. This card makes control work really well. With backup from Finkel's soon to be released Magic Invitational card in Odyssey, 8 unblockable Ophidians seem like a strong team to have pummeling your opponent. My guess is that there will be a new U-B archetype that uses spot removal instead of the traditional mass removal utilized so often by U-W control. It is a good thing that Nightscape Familiar is around to accept the Blastoderm beats!
One of the most powerful cards in Extended is back in Standard. Black is back. Don't you think it is so much easier to Addle your opponent on the second turn after you Duressed them on the first turn? This is known to be the answer to many problem decks. It is my feeling that after 7th rotates in, many of the decks we know to be powerhouses may crumble before this card. Duressing away Fires of Yavimaya seems like a wonderful plan.
I feel like I am having flashbacks while writing about these cards. Wildfire is one of those 'world killers' that is so badly needed to balance an environment. Speedy decks can over commit and control decks can't let their guard down. Wildfire has always been a deck of its own and now with the rising number of 5 toughness creatures in the Standard environment, my guess is that people will start playing Wildfire in their Fires decks, Watching Jade Leech and Shivan Wurm come across while the rest of the cards are sitting tight in the graveyard.
6) Might of Oaks
Seventh Edition, Seven cards... seven damage? It certainly fits within the theme of this article. For a long time, Might of Oaks was a card to be feared. Every so often, you would see a frazzled fellow mumbling at his opponent about doing 'Might of Oaks math,' trying to play around the huge growth spell and finding out there is no real way to do it. Sometimes you simply knew that a big tree was going to be slapped on the cute little critter strolling your way. "Guess where I'm gonna plant this!" the new flavor text states. Well said. Might of Oaks will likely cause a resurgence of Green beat down, since the reason for its absence is a lack of finisher cards. Now it finds two cards to fit the bill, Might of Oaks and...
7) Coat of Arms
Ok, every time a pro player sees this card, they roll their eyes and give a chuckle. "That one is for the kiddies," they say. I beg to differ. The future decks of Magic will be unified in their creature types. This card fits great into any Rebel, Elf, Merfolk, Mercenary, Saproling, or Goblin deck. Coat of Arms is one of the very few cards in Standard that enables a turn 5 kill. The last card that enabled such a feat was Fires of Yavimaya, and look where it is now. The next time your Fires deck finds four 5/5 Elves staring down Blastoderm, you will think twice before laughing at the Coat again.
Pariah, Opportunity, Equilibrium, Corrupt, Shivan Dragon, and Static Orb.
Seventh Edition is a fun set to collect and it adds a substantial amount to the Standard environment. I suggest picking up a couple of packs and checking it out for yourself.
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