Fri, 7 April 2017
New Perspectives, from Amhonkhet
MichaelJ and Patrick return for a special bonus episode! Top Level Podcast has an exclusive preview from Amonkhet.
When New Perspectives enters the battlefield, draw three cards.
New Perspectives starts more-or-less the best way a card can: By helping you draw three cards! In.
(Or, at least, we are interested in further exploration.)
Six mana is a bit steep for the ability to draw three cards, but Patrick claims that this card is actually a "draw four" ... One of the cards is just a zero mana Fluctuator.
Because New Perspectives is a permanent rather than a sorcery (compare to Tidings), you can pick it up or blink it (perhaps with Felidar Guardian) to draw more and more.
As long as you have seven or more cards in hand, you may pay 0 rather than pay cycling costs.
This second line is what puts the "new" in the name. We aren't just talking about a Fluctuator... This card is expensive but far more powerful.
For one, New Perspectives will handle colored mana in a cycling cost, not just discount a 2 to 0. It opens the door to some big opportunities. For instance, why not start with Archfiend of Ifnir on five, untap with the Demon still in play, and then run out New Perspectives? Having (or drawing into) just one or two cycling cards -- TAPPED OUT -- can totally swing the board.
This card represents -- we think -- a whole new way to play.
Check it out!
Thu, 6 April 2017
Gideon of the Trials from Amonkhet
Gideon of the Trials is a splashy new Planeswalker from Amonkhet. There are lots of things going on with this card that are interesting.
First of all, it is only three mana. Like Jace Beleren and Liliana of the Last Hope before it, Gideon is likely going to find a way into appropriately-colored decks, just because it is so cheap. Conveniently, all three of Gideon's abilities are meaningful and worthy of discussion.
[+1]: Until your next turn, prevent all damage target permanent would deal.
This is Mike's favorite ability on the card.
Gideon of the Trials can completely shut off threat-poor decks; it is in fact outstanding against one threat at a time.
In addition, the [+1] is, in a roundabout way, a source of card advantage. You can force the opponent to play multiple threats by neutralizing the first one. He can be stuck losing an extra card to Fumigate, only to be stuck again a threat-and-a-half later.
This ability is also great against Heart of Kiran. Not only can you shut it off damage-wise (no matter what mode it is in), the fact that Heart of Kiran is Legendary means that you effectively shut off all the copies that are stuck in the opponent's hand.
: Until end of turn, Gideon of the Trials becomes a 4/4 Human Soldier creature with indestructible that's still a planeswalker. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.
If Gideon of the Trials only featured the middle ability, it would be comparable to True-Name Nemesis... a 4/4 "basically unstoppable" 4/4 for only three mana (but doesn't play defense)? Pretty solid!
This is the most straightforward of Gideon's three abilities. It's basically always good any time you don't want to be using the [+1].
: You get an emblem with "As long as you control a Gideon planeswalker, you can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game."
Gideon's emblem is a little tricky. It basically is an emblem that makes present or future Gideons into Platinum Angels. This can be powerful -- For example you can lock out (or at least buy a turn from) certain combo decks. But most conventional decks that attack to beat you can attack Gideon instead. Not awful by any means, but not decisive generally, at least not in Standard.
All-in-all, Gideon of the Trials looks like the most powerful white card we've seen so far from Amonkhet.
There are lots of other cards discussed, as well, in this week's episode! Give it a listen:
Oh... And bonus episode tomorrow!
Fri, 31 March 2017
Glorybringer is one of the flashy cards from the Amonkhet. The is a dragon perfectly poised answer to Gideon, Ally of Zendikar but has other applications.
Tue, 28 March 2017
Check out the Aven Mindcensor Masterpiece! Team Top Level's Craig Wescoe joins Mike and Patrick to show off the latest Amonkhet Masterpiece spoiler.
Fri, 20 January 2017
Saheeli Rai (with Felidar Guardian) threatens to become the dominating strategy in Standard. Learn about some different ways to play Saheeli Rai.
Fri, 13 January 2017
Aether Revolt is more than just broken combos and mana engines! Learn about the "fair" side, headlined by Gifted Aetherborn, here.
Tue, 10 January 2017
Half on the surprising new bans to Modern and Standard; half on the crazy combos and engines from Aether Revolt (especially Felidar Guardian &co.)
Fri, 6 January 2017
Winding Constrictor is just one of several cards that Pro Tour Champion Patrick Chapin and Resident Genius Michael J Flores discuss in this week's podcast:
Mon, 2 January 2017
Rishkar, Peema Renegade is our exclusive preview from Aether Revolt! Check out what Patrick and Michael have to say about this powerful new Legendary Elf.
Thu, 22 December 2016
Oath of Ajani is a strategy-specific mana accelerator that might just change everything. It's great early in some decks, great late in others; just great.