Posts Tagged ‘BFZ’

This week in Magic: Top 5 Battle for Zendikar spoilers

battle for zendikar gideon full

It’s that time again. Time for another edition of “This week in Magic.” If you hadn’t seen it already, the mother ship has spoiled the rest of the Battle for Zendikar set, and let’s just say that the future looks rather underwhelming. However, let’s not dwell on that. Instead, let’s try to make the best of things with another top 5 list. This week, we’re going to cover five cards with the most potential in Standard.


5. Spell Shrivel


If you follow us on Facebook then you may have noticed that I shared an image of this card. Spells like Dissipate, Dissolve, and Cancel have showed us that three is the magic number for Standard counters. Now Spell Shrivel can join that club. However, there is something that I really like about this card. I think the fact that the cost for this spell is 2 colorless mana and one blue rather than the two blue mana and one colorless mana required for the others. While it may not be a hard counter, it’s a decent compromise for the easier casting cost.


One of the best parts of the spell is that fact that it exiles the spell rather than having it end up in the graveyard. Thanks to other spells like Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and Deathmist Raptor, even the graveyard isn’t a safe place. Still, thanks to the new mechanics of BFZ, the exile area might not be a safe zone either.


4. The Man-Lands


The return of man-lands is finally upon us. The last time we saw them was in original Zendikar block. That’s when we had lands like Stirring Wildwood and Celestial Colonnade. Now we have Lumbering Falls and Shambling Vent. Out of the two, I think Shambling Vent may be the better. Although, it may still be too early to tell. Shambling Vent enters as the favorite mostly due to it’s color scheme.


Thanks to Shambling Vent, something like Esper Control can go completely creatureless and just rely on the vent to do the dirty work. Of course, that may have to wait until post rotation because how can you ignore the fact that you still have powerful dragons like Ojutai roaming the format.


3. Omnath, Locus of Rage


This version of Omnath was one of the first cards spoiled in Battle for Zendikar. I was sitting in the Twitch chatroom when the announcement and I remember a lot of “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” scrolling on the screen. One of the first things that came to mind was that the big Red/Green machine isn’t dead yet. Thanks to this Omnath it will still be something to reckon with.


Sitting at 5/5 for six mana doesn’t look impressive, but the fact that this thing makes babies due to it’s landfall ability in a format where bringing land into play is easy as pie scares me a lot. Imagine this very real scenario, with an Omnath in play, you opponent plays one fetch lands and triggers Omnath’s landfall ability. Then they sac the land and bring another land into play. That triggers the landfall ability again. That’s two 5/5’s with one land. Eesh.


2. Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger


What list would be complete without an Ulamog? At some point or another, there will definitely be a debate or which version of Ulamog is better. For now, I like this one. You can probably call me a little bit biased, but this is another one of those cards that I can see fitting well in a control deck like Blue/Black. Remember how I said something like Esper Control can go creatureless? Well, maybe we can make an exception for this one creature.


Ulamog’s new ability to mill your opponent makes this creature a serious threat. There have even been talks about it being one of the best creatures in Limited. Keep in mind, though, we’re here to talk about Standard. One of the biggest strengths of this new Ulamog has to be that it only needs to attack to mill your opponent. That means they can chump block it all day long; the attack will still trigger Ulamog’s ability.


1. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar


Coming in at number one is the newest version of Gideon. When Gideon first made his way into Magic, he was quite the planeswalker. This version may be his best face to date. In this game, one can usually expect some of these cards to have some kind of downside to them. However, with Gideon, there doesn’t seem to be one. As soon as he hits the battlefield, he has the ability to make a sudden impact by being able to make an emblem that will make all your creature stronger and tougher.


If need be, he can even create a defense by making a 2/2 ally. Even more so, because the the token is an ally, it can trigger the ability of all other allies you control on the battlefield. Finally, his final form as a 5/5 indestructible creature makes him, possibly, the best card in Battle for Zendikar.


Well, that’s it for this week. I know I’m not perfect, and this list isn’t perfect. If you think I’ve left something off of the list or have something in the wrong spot, let me know. I’d love to hear what you have to say. Sound off in the comment section below!


See you all next week.


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!



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