Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rise of the Eldrazi Prerelease and Rerelease Promos

MTG Salvation gives us the latest spoilers for Rise of the Eldrazi. 


Emrakul, the Aeons Torn


Lord of Shatterskull Pass 3R
Creature - Minotaur Shaman (R)
Level Up 1R (Play only as sorcery)
Level 1-5: 6/6
Level 6+: 6/6 Whenever ~ attacks, it deals 6 damage to each creature defending player controls.

Let me explain what this is all about and where the information is coming from.

Wizards mails out Player Rewards to people every few months and around the time of the new set, they send giant, oversized versions of the Prerelease Promo. That is the picture you are seeing above.

On the back of the card, it explains when the Prerelease/Release parties are, etc. In addition, there are images of both the Prerelease and Release cards.

These images are highly likely to not be faked. This was clearly received from Wizards itself. And soon, many of us with Player Rewards will be getting the same thing.

In the image above, the lefthand card is the Prerelase Promo (the version you will receive at the Prerelease). Whereas the version at the top (the big one) is the regular version. On the right, that is the Release foil. The formatting of this card is very different. And that is apparently an inherent property of all "Level Up" cards. On the righthand column of the card, there are 3 "power/toughness" boxes.

Going down, they say:

On the lefthand column, it is hard to read, but I suspect it indicates the Level ranges (1-5) (6+).

So you can see, the card has Three Tiers on its body. The first Tier is what contains the information about Level Up and the cost of Leveling Up. The middle Tier is when the creature becomes a 6/6. The final Tier is when it gains its special ability, and thus the final Tier has a lot of text in the box. Levels will probably be indicated with counters or dice.

Now, let's talk about the cards more in depth.

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn -- why do all these card names have to be so hard to remember? I love the art on this card. Then again, I like tentacley things. Anyway.

This Eldrazi reminds me a lot of our friend Kozilek. It does something nutty when cast, it has a graveyard shuffle trigger, and it has annihilator.

In addition however, it flies and it has protection from colored spells. This last ability is very intriguing, and I love it. It is a very telling sign of the colorless spells we are about to see in ROE. But in addition, it is still very powerful since most spells are colored.

To clear up any confusion on the ability, it has protection from things like Path to Exile and Doom Blade. But it doesn't have protection from cards like Shriekmaw. Creatures are only Spells when they are on the stack.

List of things this creature might die to:
Angel of Despair
Vampire Nighthawk
Gatekeeper of Malakir
Oran-Rief Recluse
Marit Lage token

Or you can take control of it with Sower of Temptation. It's still a short list, though.

On top of everything, Emrakul can't be countered! Whaaat? It seems as though 15 mana in Magic gets you a whole lot of stuff. This card is the motherload of abilities. And it's huge as a 15/15.

Let's see what happens when you Reanimate this card using instant-speed effects like Makeshift Mannequin. Two of the abilities become irrelevant. You don't get another turn, and Makeshift Mannequin can certainly be countered. And you get a big, dumb, flying, really hard-to-kill guy. That makes your opponent sacrifice six things when it attacks. Fair. Fair enough.

I have no doubt people will be dropping this guy after casting Hypergenesis, too. It's better than Progenitus, simply. One swing should spell game over.

However, outside of cheating it into play, where will this see action? 15 mana is absurd. Right? Hmmm. I don't think they would have printed this card if it weren't realistically castable - at least in Limited. I have no idea what kind of mana acceleration effects there are in the set, however, so I can't really say anything.

What about Lord of Shatterskull Pass?

It starts as a normal Hill Giant. But it gets better quickly. And by better, I mean it becomes a 6/6. Probably on turn 5 or so. But to me, that's all it really is. It's a little too slow to Level Up to its final stage. And the fact that it only Levels Up at sorcery speed is bleh. Perhaps there is more to the card or ability that we are not aware of. I am just assuming it works the way it seems like it should -- you pay to Level Up, and you get one Level per payment. So 12 additional mana to get to Level 6.

[Edit -- now that I think of it, it is possible that the thing automatically levels up once at the beginning of your upkeep or something. Maybe not. I'll look into it.]

Figure of Destiny this is not. But I'm sure we'll be seeing more exciting uses of this mechanic. At least I hope.