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Jeff Zandi is a five time pro tour veteran who has been playing Magic since 1994. Jeff is a level two DCI judge and has been judging everything from small local tournaments to pro tour events. Jeff is from Coppell, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, where his upstairs game room has been the "Guildhall", the home of the Texas Guildmages, since the team formed in 1996. One of the original founders of the team, Jeff Zandi is the team's administrator, and is proud to continue the team's tradition of having players in every pro tour from the first event in 1996 to the present.

 

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This Space For Rent

The Southwestern Paladin

Saviors of Kamigawa Cards Revealed!
Eight Cards From the New Set You CAN’T BELIEVE
by Jeff Zandi  - 4.1.05

With nearly two months still to go before the pre-release tournaments for Saviors of Kamigawa, information about the new set and the new cards it holds has been at a premium, to say the very least. I have never really been privy to new cards or new sets ahead of time, a fact that I am not particularly proud of. Everyone would love to be “in-the-know”, anyone would love to be the ultimate insider with all the information at their disposal while the unwashed masses assemble all across the Magic world chomping at the bit for even the smallest morsel of “secret” knowledge. Let’s say your wrist was the pulse of the Magic world. Normally, my finger would be FAR from the pulse, located straight up my…well, anyway, suffice to say that I don’t seem to ever be on the inside track where new cards are concerned.

UNTIL TODAY!

I had a sealed deck article all ready for my long-suffering editors at Pojo.
At the last minute last night, and I mean the VERY LAST MINUTE, just before I submitted my perfectly reasonable story about building better Champions/Betrayers sealed decks for the new London PTQ season, I got pulled from my work by a VERY WELL-PLACED INSIDER. While you and I are busy each day with our college studies or our various Square Day Jobs, this insider, whom I am certainly not at liberty to actually name, looks at cards. ALL OF THE CARDS, all day long. While I’m struggling with my low-carbohydrate diet and trying to figure out where the cheapest place is to buy gasoline, this INSIDER is thinking only of cards, cards for the future of Magic. Strangely, if I even told you how he came to be in my house earlier tonight, I’d be giving away too much.

The insider told me he wanted to talk about the new set, Saviors of Kamigawa. I told him that I wanted to watch The Apprentice with my wife, Willa. He insisted. I put him off until the first commercial break. That was when he dropped nine cards I had never seen before into my lap. He now had my undivided attention. Here are the cards that he showed me.

NINE CARDS FROM SAVIORS OF KAMIGAWA

Attempting to help my friend maintain some level of plausible deniability, I didn’t ask any particularly detailed questions about how these cards were developed or how exactly they fit into the Champions block mindset. There will be time enough for those conversations when these cards are no longer SECRET INFORMATION. In the meantime, we have to be content with the cards themselves.

Eye of the Pumpkin is a common instant for 2GG that gives a target creature
+7/+7 until end of turn.

Uru, His Personal Darkness is an uncommon 3/3 Legendary Creature – Ogre for 3B. Ubu has the ability to tap to give a target black creature +1/+0 and fear until end of turn.

Shining Edger is an uncommon 2/5 artifact creature for six colorless mana.
Edger has first strike and is Indestructible.

Duskpyc the Mad Duck is a rare 2/2 Legendary Human Wizard for UU. When Duskpyc comes into play, name a card type. Opponents playing cards of the named type must pay two additional colorless mana when they play a card of the named type.

Dark Hypnotist is a rare 2/2 Human Mage for 4B that comes into play with three ki counters on him. Dark Hypnotist has the ability to remove a charge counter whenever you sacrifice a creature. At end of turn, if there are no counters on Dark Hypnotist, you may flip it. When flipped, this card becomes Mazakala the Insensed, a 1/4 Legendary Creature – Spirit. Mazakala has one
ability: all other black Spirits you control gain +3/+3 and fear.

Binds of Nature is an uncommon sorcery for 4GG that says “remove three target creatures you control from the game. If you do, put a Spirit token into play with power and toughness equal to the accumulated powers and toughnesses of the creatures removed from the game by Binds of Nature. If any of the creatures removed by Binds of Nature had either flying, first strike, trample, fear or haste, the Spirit token created by Binds of Nature also has those abilities.

Claww the Spirit Wind is a 5/5 flying rare Spirit Dragon for 4UU. You can sacrifice Claww the Spirit Wind to destroy all creatures in play with flying.

Angel of Wings is a rare 5/5 flying Angel Spirit for 5WW that allows you to sacrifice a Spirit creature you control to gain three life points.

Guilty Tax Magician is a rare enchantment for 1BB that, at the beginning of your end step, allows you to lose three life in order to draw three cards.

THE RAMIFICATIONS

First of all, it looks like Necropotence is back at long last, even though Guilty Tax Magician is much less powerful than the original sick black card drawing enchantment.

Claww the Spirit Wind seems almost underpriced for a 5/5 flyer with the ability to give you massive card advantage whenever your opponent has more flying creatures than you have.

Binds of Nature is the most confusing card of the bunch. I quickly turned my nose up at the idea of tapping all my mana (six is a lot!) to then remove three of my creatures from the game in order to have one REALLY BIG creature that my opponent could then bounce from the board or simply destroy. My inside contact to the future of Magic assured me that this card was not only his personal favorite but very possibly the most powerful card EVER. This is where you have to understand that research and development guys, while quite talented when playing Magic, are more like casual players than they are pro players. He went on and on about using Binds of Nature to unite three Claww the Spirit Wind into one GIGANTIC 15/15 flying creature. What would be the point, seriously? Wouldn’t you think that you would have the game in hand if you had Claww the Spirit Wind in play, much less THREE Claww in play? Some Magic cards are created by geeks with only the most geeky player in mind.

Overall, the cards I was shown seemed to be very powerful, and, admittedly, very different from the kinds of things that I have seen in Magic recently.

These nine cards seem almost drawn from some game other than Magic. Not to be insulting to my inside source, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought these nine cards were less the product of a well-paid research and development team and MORE like the fantasy cards created by a six year old with limited reading and writing capabilities. That’s when I remembered that this “insider” was not actually a WOTC employee after all, but, in fact, my six year old son Lawson Jeffery Zandi. When I picked him up from Kindergarten on Thursday afternoon, he told me, “Daddy, your hair is on fire!” When I asked him what he was talking about, he cheerfully announced that I was an “April Fool”. When I told him that April first was Friday, he said “I know”. Since Lawson was able to get in HIS April Fool joke, I thought that I should get one in on you guys. Lawson REALLY DID horn in on my attempting viewing of The Apprentice Thursday night (how did Chris NOT get fired?). Lawson really was telling me about his NINE MOST POWERFUL CARDS EVER. Lawson loves Magic, not that he can really play it yet, but his collection is eclectic, composed of as many Yugioh and Pokemon cards as Magic cards. This leads me to the explanation of Lawson’s amazingly inventive new cards. Eye of the Pumpkin is actually Pumpking the King of Ghosts. Uru, His Personal Darkness is actually Sabrina’s Gengar. Shining Edger is really the Pokemon known as Porygon. Duskpyc, the Mad Duck is, of course, Psyduck. Dark Hypnotist is really the spoon-bender known as Alakazam. Binds of Nature is really Yuhioh’s famous Polymerization spell, which CERTAINLY IS Lawson’s favorite card OF ALL TIME. Claww the Spirit Wind is another big Yugioh hit, none other than Blue Eyes White Dragon. Angel of Wings is actually Harpy Lady from Yugioh, and Guilty Tax Magician (MY personal favorite) is really Card of Safe Return from Yugioh.

Lawson came up with almost all of the abilities, names and other card information for these nine new Magic cards. I only had to help a little.
It’s good to know that the future of Magic is in such good hands!

Of course, I’m always interested in hearing what YOU think.

Jeff Zandi
Guilty Tax Mages
Level VII DCI Judge
zanman@thoughtcastle.com
Zanman on Magic Online



 

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