This week in Magic: Battle for Zendikar

Welcome back for another edition of This “This week in Magic.” For this week’s topic, we’re going to cover some of the cards that have already been spoiled for the upcoming Battle for Zendikar expansion which is set for release this September. In fact, this is a big weekend for Magic because PAX Prime is currently underway. At the convention, there will be a Magic panel where we’ll learn more about the set and many cards are poised to be spoiled. For now, let’s talk about what we already know about.


Guardian of Tazeem

This is a really solid card at first glance. Five mana is a little hefty, but it’s made up in the card’s other abilities. As a flying 4/5 I can almost completely forgive the card for costing so much. Ideally, the only place for this card is in a control deck. Playing it in a UB Control list would make the most sense. However, with the dragons still being in play, this probably won’t happen until post rotation.



“Old school” players wlill be happy to see the return of Landfall to Standard. This is particularly exciting because we’ll still have the fetchlands in the format making Landfall that much more powerful. In a control deck, the ability to tap down creatures is a great advantage. The added ability to keep the tapped if you played an island (in an already heavy island deck) seems like icing on the cake.


At this point, it seems like Battle for Zendikar is already shaping up. Remember, though, we’re only on our first card!


Oblivion Sower

Our first look into what the Eldrazi have been up to and it’s a doozy. In typical Eldrazi form, it’s an awkward 5/8 for six mana. Still, standing tall at 5/8 means it hits hard and is hard to kill. Even better, it’s it takes six colorless mana to cast. Due to this, Modern players perked up and asked, “can this go into Tron decks?” However, the real question is, “can this replace Wurmcoil Engine?” In my opinion, I don’t think so. I would definitely consider it as a sideboard option, but it would depend on whether or not Battle for Zendikar will change the shape of Modern.



In Standard, Oblivion Sower may see play. Thanks to it being colorless means it could fit in almost any deck. In the past, the Eldrazi were found in, typically, Mono Green and Mono White. I know I keep going back to it, but I could even see Eldrazi making an appearance in UB Control. The reason I keep going back to that deck is because the deck usually aims for the late game, is mana hungry, and tends to play larger spells because of it’s heavy control aspect.


One way or another, when Oblivion Sower ever hits the board, whoever is facing is going to have a rough time if it ever makes contact with them. Why? Have you seen what it does. First of all, it exiles the top four cards of your opponent’s deck. To add insult to injury, if any of those cards are lands, you get to put them into play under your control. Combined with the Landfall mechanic, this is positioned to be a major player in the game.


Casual player or not, you may want to consider pre-ordering a playset of these guys just in case.


Dominator Drone

Keeping in line with the colorless theme, Dominator Drone introduces a new mechanic to the game. One that is not entirely surprising. Devoid is the new mechanic that causes a card to have no color even if there is a colored mana symbol in its casting cost. So, why does this matter? For instance, this will make card like Surge of Righteousness less effective since it requires, specifically, a red or black creature.



Dominator Drone also introduces the Ingest mechanic. Ingest says that “whenever [the] creature deals combat damage to a player, that player exiles the top card of his or her library.” This looks like a really annoying mechanic to face. By annoying, I mean if you’re the one facing it. Otherwise, this looks like a lot of fun. Given enough creatures with Ingest, I wonder if it will be possible to create an Ingest themed deck.


My prediction is that there will be a spell that gives all your creatures Ingest until the end of the turn. Can you imagine a fleet of tokens attacking you and each one has Ingest. Ugh…


Sheer Drop

The last card we’re going to look at today is Sheer Drop. Off the bat, this card looks like a glorified draft card. So there is little chance it will ever seen constructed play. It doesn’t do anything special, but it does introduce another new mechanic known as Awaken. The mechanic allows you, for an alternate casting cost, to cast a spell and place a certain number of counter on a land turning it into a creature that is still a land with a power and toughness equal to the number of counters placed on it.



Essentially, if you case the a spell for it’s Awaken cost, you’re getting a two-for-one. Depending on the cost, Awaken could be a very interesting mechanic in Standard. In Limited, though, it may prove to be a serious mechanic since spells do not come at a premium.


Well that’s it for this week. What are you looking forward to in Battle for Zendikar? Is there anything you hope makes an appearance in the set? Let me know in the comments below! Until 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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