Possible Mirrodin Cards in M11 and Zendikar Block
M10 will be rolling out soon enough and M11 rolling in. By including Fetchlands in Zendikar, WotC seems to be signalling they want a consistent cardpool in Extended. However, a large chunk of highly playable cards in Extended will disappear as Mirrodin block rotates out of extended.
As such here’s an analysis of played cards and what we may be likely to see in M11 or Worldwake/Rise of the Eldrazi.
- Banned/Restricted Cards (Skullclamp, Disciple of the Vault, Cranial Plating, Aether Vial): Three of these cards are already banned in Extended, and Cranial Plating has been banned in other formats. These are all far too overpowered to be allowed in the current Standard environment.
- Affinity Cards (primarly Thoughtcast, Myr Enforcer, Frogmite, Spire Golem): WotC made the mistake of affinity once, and aren’t likely to do so again. Affinity, we will miss you.
- Pulse Cycle (Pulse of the Fields, Pulse of the Grid, Pulse of the Dross, Pulse of the Forge, Pulse of the Tangle): These cheap, repeatable cards are so incredibly broken with the Cascade mechanic that I can’t see them getting into the Standard environment at the moment.
- Beacon Cycle (Beaon of Immortality, Beacon of Tomorrows, Beacon of Unrest, Beacon of Destruction, Beacon of Creation): The only card in the set that sees regular play is Beacon of Immortality. Beacon of Tomorrows has been somewhat overtaken by Time Warp being reprinted in M10, and the rest are merely mediocre cards. Unlikely to see reprinting any time soon.
- Scry Cards (Serum Visions, Magma Jet, Condescend): Although Scry is an interesting mechanic, I’m not sure WotC believe it should be in the core set. It’s a difficult mechanic to explain to a layperson, so I think it’s unlikely that these cards will be reprinted.
- Imprint Cards (primarily Chrome Mox, Duplicant, Isochron Scepter): I can’t see these getting up at the moment, largely due to the keyword. But in regards to Chrome Mox, here’s quick test – can you think of a single mana accelerant artifact costing 2 mana or less in Standard at the moment? That should say everything you need to know about Chrome Mox.
- Sword of Fire and Ice/Sword of Light and Shadow: Great cards, probably too powerful to see play in Standard. WotC seem to have been nerfing equipment of late (see Grappling Hook and Bone Saw for some real do-nothing cards), and I see no reason why that trend won’t continue.
- Tooth and Nail: If it weren’t for the Entwine mechanic, I think it might stand a chance. But it’s unlikely that WotC will reprint Entwine, and therefore Tooth and Nail is likely to be out of Extended for a while.
- Rude Awakening: Again, if it weren’t for the Entwine keyword, I would think Rude Awakening would be perfrect for Zendikar block. However I believe it’s probably more likely out than in.
- Engineered Explosives: Although it’s a great card, and not overpowered, it has one little feature that will see it not reprinted – the keyword Sunburst. Again, another complicated mechanic that’s unlikely to be reprinted.
- Thirst for Knowledge: Currently restricted in some formats, WotC have really beaten down on the card drawing of late. I doubt this one will see another reprint.
- Seething Song: Reprinting this in M11 wouldn’t cause any problems, but wouldn’t it be just the perfect flavour for Worldwake? Fire! Lava! Eruptions! However, as it was just reprinted in 9ED, it’s unlikely to reprinted again, as it’s safely in the Exteded pool regardless.
- Darksteel Colossus & Platinum Angel: They’ve just been reprinted, so I think they’ll fall out of M11.
- Troll Ascetic: I think that Cudgel Troll being printed for the first time in M10 put the nail in Troll Ascetic’s coffin for a while. Turns out that Troll Ascetic doesn’t have shroud for other trolls.
- Serum Powder: A janky kinda card that sees play in particular combo decks, I simply see no reason to bring it back.
- Vedalken Shackles: Although I’d love to see it back, it’s all wrong in the flavour of the moment. I don’t think we’ll see it again for a while.
- Lightning Greaves: Although it’s not overpowered, and could happily see play, I just don’t think it will be reprinted this soon. Matches the ‘adventuring’ flavour of Zendikar block though, so if it does appear, it will be in block, rather than core.
- Memnarch: Memnarch loses for one reason – he was integral to the flavour of Mirrodin at the time. As such I don’t think we’ll see him making a return.
- Trinisphere: WotC have publically state they want players to ‘have fun’, and that ‘having fun’ is not equal to ‘sitting around not doing anything because of cards like Trinisphere’. Apparently, dying in the first six turns of the game to a bums rush of geopedes is fun. As such, no Trinisphere for you.
- March of the Machines: In Core set it would be a janky card like Hive Mind. In Block it would probably be amazingly overpowered. With no balance, no reprinting.
- Crucible of Worlds: A land set with land recursion would be awesome. But it would be massively overpowered in block with Fetchlands, and as it saw reprinting in 10E, it’s unlikely to find it’s way into Standard any time soon.
- Echoing Cycle (Echoing Calm, Echoing Truth, Echoing Decay, Echoing Ruin, Echoing Courage): The cycle isn’t overpowered, and introducing the concept of cylces into the Core set would be great of newcomers. It also means Extended keeps some answers for some really obvious problems around.
- Death Cloud: Death Cloud would be a great Mythic for M11. It’s a huge effect that keeps an entire archtype alive in Extended. I think we’ll see it stick around.
- Icy Manipulator: It’s been a staple of the core set for years, and the current rampant run of creatures and Jund means control options like this a desperately needed. I think we’ll see it again in M11.
- Eternal Witness: It’s a great card. I’m not sure how broken it would be with Cascade in Standard, but I think it could happily be reprinted in M11 to give Green a way to race against Gravedigger.
- Chalice of the Void: I think this would be great to see reprinted as a Mythic Rare in M11. It’s the type of tool control badly needs to retain in Extended, and could also provide a thorn in the side of Jund. There’s really no reason not to reprint it either, so here’s hoping WotC get it into M11.
- Loxodon Warhammer: With Behemoth Sledge in Standard, and Warhammer reprinted in 10E already, I can’t see a reason to reprint this anytime soon.
- Staff of Domination: Another Mythic Rare candidate for M11, the printing of Obelix of Alara shows WotC aren’t afraid to stick multiple effects on a splashy artifact like this one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it reprinted in M11.
- Mindslaver: Probably the most controvertial pick of this list, but I think Mindslaver would also make a fantastic Mythic Rare in M11. My fingers are crossed, but I’m not holding my breath.
- Viridian Shaman: It’s a good card for Limited, and really deserves to see play again. The only thing holding it back is probably Kor Sanctifiers.
Possible Zendikar Block
- The Artifact Lands: I think the current “land cycle” would be a great time to bring these cards back, although I do think it’s rather unlikely. If the Eldrazi prove to be artifact creatures, perhaps we’ll see them in Rise.
- Modular Cards (Arcbound Ravager. Arcbound Worker): Again, if Eldrazi is a artifact themed set (and that’s a BIG ‘if’), I don’t think these cards are too broken to see play again. +1/+1 counters are pretty popular at the moment, and without damage on the stack, Ravager’s effects aren’t too overpowered to see play in Standard. After all, no-one plays Scarland Thrinax, and he’s very similar in the current environment.
- Molten Rain: I think this is a very hot card for reprinting. Zendikar is a land-themed set, and one thing a set like that needs is specific, on-theme removal. That would be Molten Rain. I’d be very surprised not to see it reprinted, and if it isn’t, WotC will have clearly signalled their intention to not make land descruction viable again in Standard for a very long time to come.
- Blinkmoth Nexus: It’s a great little card, hardly overpowered, and the only thing that will keep it out of Zendikar is flavour.
- Stalking Stones: Another excellent card, especially for Worldwake. It may have been overtaken by the new dual-colour man-lands, however, and will likely not see reprinting for that reason.
- Goblin Charblecher: There are two things about this card that make me think it would be great to see in Zendikar block – the Goblin theme, and the land theme. This card is perfect for reprinting in the set, and I think will add an archtype back into standard that’s sorely missing – Combo.
- Shrapnel Blast + Atog: These two go hand in hand, really, again proving viable only if Rise is an artifact based set. However, at the moment there are few artifacts worth saccing for effect, so I’d think currently more likely to be out than in.
- Trinket Mage: I’d love to see it reprinted, especially if Rise proves to be an artifact-based set. However, there is so little worth fetching with the mage in Standard at the moment that there would have to be a number of decent cards printed before he’d become playable in Standard.
- Sundering Titan: What does a ‘land matters’ block need but a land descruction finisher? Sundering Titan fits this bill perfectly. I think an almost shoe-in if Rise proves to be an artifact based set, because it’s the perfect overlap of ‘Land Matters’ and ‘Artifacts Matter’.
- Grinding Station: WotC have been pushing the mill deck heavily lately, so I think there’s a fair chance that Grinding Station may see play. Would be very interesting in a Time-Sieve/Turbo Fog variation.
- Solemn Simulacrum: Although I actually doubt it’ll see play in Standard again, it’s the perfect landfall enabler. Perhaps a surprise inclusion?
So there you have it. Mirrodin block rotating certainly puts a lot of archtypes in danger – Deathcloud, Affinity, Mindslaver Tron, Charbelcher Combo. It’ll be interesting to see if they go the way of the dodo, or if WotC makes an effort to protect some of them through M11 and Zendikar block.