September 10, 2020

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Daily Dose of Zendikar Rising #9 – Last Look at Some Sweet Rares!

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Zendikar Rising. Today I’ll be talking about some of the last sweet rares to be revealed from the new set. The three rares I chose to talk about today are ones I believe we'll see in some Standard decks. Today we will have the full set reveal, so you will be able to peruse the list and start to dream of which card you want to open from your first booster pack. I myself hope to see the next three cards in one of my packs, so let’s not waste any more time and start talking about them.

First up is a two-mana creature that you really don’t want to cast until you have six mana. Here is Nullpriest of Oblivion.

Nullpriest of Oblivion

When you see a card that has such a powerful kicker ability like this one here, its very hard to play it early in the game. With evasion in the form of Menace, you can get in some attacks and gain some life, making it worthwhile to have it on the battlefield before you can cast it with kicker. If you can cast it with kicker for six mana though, the value of having two creatures on the battlefield for the price of one could overwhelm your opponent. Adding a reanimation spell for four mana is strong, you now just need to find a way to get a big threat in your graveyard. Sometimes it’ll come naturally, but if needed hopefully you can find a way to discard a big creature so you can bring it back with Nullpriest of Oblivion.

Next up is an amazing creature with 0 power. Here is Charix, the Raging Isle.

Charix, the Raging Isle

What the heck is this 0/17 Legendary Crab doing in Zendikar? It’s ready to deal some major damage. In Standard, there currently aren’t many ways for you to take advantage of the seventeen toughness, but there are some. Bushmeat Poacher can allow you to sacrifice Charix, the Raging Isle to gain 17 life and draw a card. Meanwhile, Solid Footing is your best bet for value as it allows you attack for 18 damage. You can also play it in an all Island deck and end up attacking with an 8/8 of something similar. The older formats that you go to, the more tools you will have to exploit its high toughness and finish off your opponent with one or two solid attacks.

Finally, we have a Serpent that acts like a Hydra, here is Verazol, the Split Current.

Verazol, the Split Current

This is one of those cards that you have to read a couple of times. One of the key things I missed my first time is that its power and toughness aren’t equal to X, but X+two. This allows you to play it on turn two and beyond and still have a creature on the battlefield no matter when you cast it. This leads to an increasingly better creature the later in the game you get. But most importantly it can start to gain those crucial +1/+1 counters it needs to start copying kicked spells. Getting two of the same kicked creature would be nice. All I know is that the Copy Token is going to see a lot of use in this set.

Now that we’ve all seen the complete list of cards from Zendikar Rising, it’s time to turn our attention to everything we can build with it and see how it plays out. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Zendikar Rising. Join me again tomorrow as I look at how the new Standard mana base is going to look post rotation.