September 16, 2015

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Daily Dose of Battle for Zendikar – Can we have Circle of Protection: Colorless please?

Hello all and welcome to another edition of the Daily Dose of Battle for Zendikar! Previews are coming fast and furious in anticipation for the October 2nd release of Battle for Zendikar. Everyone is looking forward to prerelease weekend and today I’m going to be talking about some new colorless cards that could see some play. Most of the Devoid and colorless cards we have seen so far have been creatures, so today we are going to focus on some non-creature Devoid love.

Thoughtseize is a card that has seen a lot of play over the past 2 years in Standard, and will continue to see play in Modern and beyond. There are some players (Abzan players), who will be sad that it’s rotating out of Standard, and some players (everyone else including myself) who will be cheering all the way to FNM. Low and behold, Battle for Zendikar has come to the table with a replacement card for Standard that could be a compromise for the two player bases. Let’s have a look at Transgress the Mind.

Transgress the Mind

The first glaring difference is that it cost 1 colorless and 1 black mana. I don’t think this will be too much of a sticking point, but not being able to play it on turn 1 when you are on the draw could be an issue in some games. Thoughtseize give you the drawback that you lose 2 life when it resolves whereas Transgress the Mind allows you to only exile cards with converted mana cost of 3 or greater. The good news is that it is exiled and not discarded. Also, most of the threats in Battle for Zendikar and most of the threats in Standard are not costed at 1 or 2 mana, so I don’t see this as a large drawback for this card.

As seen by some of the previews, there are a lot of high casting cost colorless Eldrazi just waiting to be cast so that they can dominate the board. The grown up Eldrazi Scions are a great way to ramp you into the mana needed to cast those fat Eldrazi. From what we have seen so far, there have been creatures that will provide you one Eldrazi Scion (Incubator Drone) or up to three Eldrazi Scion (Blight Herder). They provide a good one-time ramp in most cases, but wouldn’t be nice to have a more consistent source of Eldrazi Scion fun. Back in Rise of the Eldrazi, they were nice enough to provide us with Awakening Zone, which gave us tons of 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn just waiting to be sacrificed for their Eldrazi masters. Battle for Zendikar has done one better and gave us the card From Beyond.

From Beyond

There have been many card made over time that have made 1/1 creatures every turn that have been quite popular.

From Beyond continues on that trend, but thanks to a few additions could be the best yet. During your upkeep, do you not only get a 1/1 token, but one that you are able to sacrifice to add mana to your mana pool. So even if you are not able to get through with your army of 1/1 Eldrazi Scion, you can use it as an enchantment that give you 1 extra mana every turn, or save them up for Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and his friends.

Where From Beyond goes from normal to the beyond is that if you don’t have the large Eldrazi in hand, you can sacrifice at any point to go search your library for that game ending Eldrazi card that you need. Thanks to all of the 1/1 Eldrazi Scion you now have, it shouldn’t a problem to cast it the next turn!

In the coming months look for both of these cards to be played across the table from you, but will you be playing them as well? Only time will tell. Thanks again for reading another edition of the Daily Dose of Battle for Zendikar and I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!