Thursday, 18 September 2014

Can You Draft Wingmate Roc?

Look at it!


Wow!

At a quick glance I thought this was the number one windmill slam first pick from the set. You open this and do you a dance.

So what's with this post? Anyone who has ever played Magic knows that card is amazing and you should play with it all the time. A more apt title for a post might be something like, "How often would you switch colours in the third pack for Wingmate Roc?"

Wizards made a big announcement a couple of weeks ago. Blocks will no longer be three sets, they will only be two. Standard will be the last three blocks, so it will cover 15 to 18 months of cards. This seems like such a great change. Third sets have always been kind of awkward and the Core set was getting less and less "core" all the time.

But the Core set did have a feature that was of particular interest to me. The Core set was where they printed the weird stuff. I really like to write "Can you draft..." posts, but they are about core sets. That's where they put the rares that are hard to evaluate - that might be powerful if things come together but that might not be workable in the environment.

Khans of Tarkir, spoiled in full last week, just doesn't have cards like that. The two closest rares are:

This one isn't all that tough to figure out. With five commons and numerous uncommons with Outlast in the set, I think you should probably at least give this a try. There are a variety of other ways to get +1/+1 counters onto your creatures as well. I suppose this warrants a proper count in the same way I did counts for Obelisk of Urd and Door of Destinies. But to me this is transparently powerful enough that it's worth giving a shot.
This spell is really terrible if you have four mana or five mana, extremely sketchy at six, maybe okay at seven and definitely good at eight or more. Again, some analysis could be done here, but the real question for this card is, "Is an eight or nine mana sorcery that doesn't win me the game something I can play in this format." That's really a question about the format that I can't answer through analysis. Players who are a lot better than me are going to have to play it to see how that shakes out.




So yeah, these two cards merit a little bit of looking into, but even if it isn't terribly obvious whether you can play them successfully or not, they aren't as zany as the cards we've seen in the Core sets for the last two years. Neither of these is near the zaniness of a Strionic Resonator or a Dismiss Into Dream. Cards in expansions tell a story. Cards in the Core Set just fill roles, and one of those role is being wacky. I hope that as the new formats are rolled out there is plenty of room for wacky cards in them.

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