War of the Spark Spoilers: Part 2

I’m back again and we’re talking more War of the Spark spoilers. We’ve gotten barely a quarter of the set and it already looks like a sweet one. We’ve been getting a bunch of the uncommon walkers and a thing I forgot to mention in the last article is that all the Planeswalkers are getting at least one card that references them like Ajani’s Pridemate for example. Let’s get straight into reveals now:

Angrath is back; last time we saw him he was hightailing it back to his daughters after being stranded on Ixalan. Interesting that we see him fighting with the Bolas aligned keyword on his card. Like most of the amass cards this all depends on the ability of your army token to hang around. At worst you have to block with a 2/2 and make another one; at best you make a 2/2 then put two +1/+1 counters on it the turn after if you don’t already control an army token when you play Angrath. His static ability makes combat a bit more difficult for you opponent as they will have to put up two blockers for each attacker which lets you use combat tricks to edge combat out in your favor.

Angrath’s Rampage is an interesting card and could even be quite playable due to the utility of the card. Being a sorcery and reading as “target player” makes it a bit difficult to hit what you want if your opponent controls multiple copies of the permanent type you’re trying to get rid of.

I will preface this by saying I love this card even before it being in the set. The card comes down, clogs up with blocks and replaces itself with a spell. This will be standard playable and seems super sweet playing it in a UWx control deck with Time Wipe, bouncing this and destroying all creatures, then being able to find more things to do when you replay it. The card is already seeing pauper play too. The art is absolutely gorgeous too. I will definitely be going to FNM’s to pick up my playset over the lifespan of War of the Spark.

We have Zulaport Cutthroat back in standard, but this time it has a best friend in the form of Hero of Precinct One which is one of my favourite cards to play in standard at the moment. This could potentially push an aristocrat style deck to the forefront in standard in conjunction with Hero and I will definitely be brewing and playing the two. This synergy could potentially be good with Bolas’ Citadel; we get to 10 creatures with Hero, sacrifice them with Citadel and between the 10 points of life loss from Citadel and the triggers from Cruel Celebrant we get to dome them for 20. I’m already interesting in brewing this idea.

We have a new walker in their maiden voyage and he was the main character in the Brandon Sanderson novel. Although he is mono black he is UB aligned but seems to be restricted due to being uncommon and number of walkers in the set. The card itself is interesting and I think it might actually be a standard card as opposed to a limited card, although could be fine in limited. For standard it will most likely see play along side Duress, Thought Erasure and Disinformation Campaign in a 8 rack style deck where we want to keep our opponent’s hand empty and let Davriel kill them with his triggered ability. He could potentially see play in modern by turning 8 rack into 12 rack.

Davriel’s Shadowfugue looks like the Mind Rot of the set and will most likely be only playable in limited and even then the only time I’ve played a Mind Rot effect in limited was the one in Amonkhet and that was because it had cycle on it. The two points of life lost might potentially squeeze it in to being playable though.

While the card might look innocuous this will be extremely playable in standard and although negate is a fringe card in modern, will potentially replace that. With UW being the premier shell for control for both standard and modern this won’t even struggle seeing play. Being in a spot where you need to have your negate resolve has always been a pain and this will solve that. I’m looking forward to playing this as UW and control are among my favourite types of deck. I’m only hoping that we get a spell or effect to be able to respond to this as this can potentially make the stack and counter wars a pain.

Now this is a beast of an uncommon. For three mana we are getting 2/5 worth of power and toughness across two bodies as a 1/4 and a 1/1, or again with amass you can pump any existing army tokens you have. This is a fantastic card to slow down your opponent getting into the red zone and hitting at your life total with two roadblocks. We’re yet to see any normal zombie tokens that aren’t army as well but in an amass deck being able to give your token hexproof AND menace is just gross.

This card looks great and will most likely be a high pick if the strongest decks in the limited format hinge around Planeswalkers in those colors. The ability in limited to repeatedly activate your walkers is insane and only gets better with the more walkers you get of higher rarities. The first card this reminded me of was contagion clasp but you don’t have to waste a slot in your deck on a nonland. The fact that this is on a land is fantastic of itself as there isn’t much land hate in standard and what there is doesn’t see a lot of play currently. Almost want to see a superfriends deck come to the front with this and Chromatic Lantern now.

So while expensive I do quite like Kaya, for much the same reasons that I like Ob Nixilis. Being able to repeatedly remove your opponent’s biggest creature or bomb is fantastic and will help unclog the board. Kaya could potentially see standard play too but would more likely than not be out of the sideboard if she does. Able to answer Carnage Tyrant, Chromium, Dive Down, Nullhide Ferox and allow you to snipe other creatures while your opponent has a Shalai, Voice of Plenty out.

Ghostform is an interesting little aura. Just remember that it has the same risks that you normally have when playing auras, having your creature killed or bounced in response to you casting this. The upside if it does resolve is potentially high as you only have to worry about having your creature bounced or the aura removed as having your creature exiled also triggers the ability on Ghostform.

Kiora has come full circle and become her own follower. She has a fairly high potential in both limited and standard. Her static is great and lets you both ramp faster with her loyalty ability and then refill your hand when you play your ramp payoffs. The ability to untap a permanent has so many uses from ramping to untapping a creature in your second main phase to block is just nuts and is so far probably my pick for most playable uncommon walker and 7 loyalty with a -1 ability is nothing to scoff at. The synergy with Prime Speaker Vannifar is not lost on me either and I will definitely be trying this on Arena when the set comes out.

Kiora’s Dambreaker rewards you with proliferate if you end up with walkers out and at six mana you have a high chance of potentially having one or two out by that point. I do tend to like my six mana creatures to have a bit of evasion but I’m pretty sure that the proliferate on it took that evasion from it, as it would easily be an uncommon if it had trample and the ETB proliferate.

Another innocuous card, we have Diabolic Edict in standard and will more likely than not see play. Being able to take down Gruul Spellbreakers, Carnage Tyrants and the like, this will be taking down many hard to deal with permanents that the existing options won’t do as well. The card could potentially also see play in modern, I doubt it will be a four of though, as a way of being able to remove creatures in decks with small creature counts or that hinge on riding one or two creatures to victory like bogles and death’s shadow. You will also most likely be playing Liliana of the Veil and/or Liliana, the Last Hope in the same deck and you then get to two for one your opponent when you control a Lili. This also doesn’t target and gets around Shalai in standard and Leyline of Sanctity in modern.

Like the last version of Samut in Hour of Devastation she is a walker that needs creatures to be able to do anything. The haste will allow you to threaten other player’s walkers with combat damage. The inclusion of haste in the loyalty ability is a bit strange but makes sense. If you remove all of her loyalty counters your freshly played creature won’t have haste.

Not much to say about Samut’s Sprint as it is just her loyalty ability on a instant. If anything the most interesting piece of text on the card at this point is the flavor text on it. The word gods being plural makes me think that Bolas has managed to eternalise the Amonkhet gods that died in the block, and there is art that has been revealed that shows silhouettes of just that. I’ll put that piece at the bottom of the article.

My goodness that is a Planeswalker and then some. Like Kiora, Teferi has come full circle using the static ability from his Time Spiral card as his static. This Teferi will definitely see play, probably alongside his five mana counterpart. All three of the abilities on Teferi are fantastic and three mana isn’t terrible either. The static ability is somewhat of a mirror breaker and there has been talk of using this as a Defense Grid in combo decks to protect themselves and let them go off unimpeded. +1 lets us use our sorcery speed removal spells, being able to use a Kaya’s Wrath or other board wipes at instant speed has me extremely excited for the card alone. Using the -3 as more removal to clear problematic artifacts, creatures or enchantments will come up and getting to draw a card from it isn’t too shabby either. This will definitely be playable in limited and standard and potentially in eternal formats.

Teferi’s Time Twist is an interesting take on your blink spell you see in most sets but shifts into blue to let us blink permanents instead of creatures. Being able to reset planeswalkers is the immediate thought, getting to reset loyalty on a Kaya or Arlinn so far looks pretty good.

Now this is an anti-aggro card if I ever saw one. This will easily soak up at least six points of damage and could potentially be playable as an anti-aggro card against mono white and mono red, though red will have an easier time against this than white will. Between the ability to make blockers and the static ability giving you hexproof this will be a fantastic card against mono red.
Lightshield is going to be an interesting card in limited, you either get to make a 0/3 and put the +1/+1 counter on another of your creatures or you get a 1/4 for 3 mana.

Although this walker looks weak at first glance this could be surprise us all by showing up in standard. Both abilities on it seem decent. Against something that will kill you with noncombat damage this can roadblock them if you can protect her so she might have a home in a control shell but we already seem to be getting a couple of toys for control so we’ll have to see how format shapes up. In limited people already play this effect as a one off so being on a permanent that hands around, lets you do it again and then can hang around on one loyalty and help you out with the static ability could be potentially first pickable.

Wanderer’s Strike is the same five mana exile sorcery we’ve seen in sets past; premier removal and has usually been a high pick. This time it has the upside of proliferate on it, in a set where counters matter which is going to make it just as attractive as before if not more simply for the synergy with planeswalkers.

Vivien is a sweet addition to creature heavy decks, letting you play more reactive lines and sneak through creatures at the end of your opponents turns. Her +1 is fantastic as it will let you attack into your opponent and still be able to block in their turn with vigilance. Her -2 is great especially against discard heavy decks in particular as they can’t take the card after you’ve exiled one, keeping a bomb safe from their discard spells.

Vivien’s Grizzly has decent stats for the mana cost although there seems to be a fair amount of 3/2’s in the format at first glance. The real power of this card comes in the form of the activated ability. Looking at only the top card doesn’t seem like much but when your board gets stalled up you will have the upper hand.

I absolutely love everything about this card. I will start by saying that this art is absolutely gorgeous and I will definitely be on the lookout for a foil copy. Two mana is great as well, it lets you get it down early and isn’t too restrictive to play and activate in one turn later in the game. This card is going to be absolutely fantastic with Wilderness Reclamation. Being able to use this at instant speed is great and between that and the Arkbow putting it straight onto the battlefield will let you skirt counter-magic and recover from board wipes. This also lets you trade in your mana dorks later in the game for your bigger creatures you still have in the deck.

Again that is all for the moment although I’m eagerly awaiting and checking for new cards to get revealed from the various sources. I’m not sure how I like the new style that they’re approaching spoiler season with. We’re receiving cards through out the time frame with a flow the whole way through but we don’t have the bulk upload like we have in the past on the friday the week before pre-release weekend. Like usual let me know below if any cards I’ve talked about here or elsewhere have caught your eye.
Till next time.

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