All About Delve

I made myself lie again! It’s for a good reason too, but I see that every time I set myself up for a certain article the week after, something always come up and interrupts me! Not too worry though, there are plenty weeks in a year.
This time I figured that I wanted to add some cards to each Khan of Tarkir, and I would rather do it sooner than later, seeing that we are already well into Fate Reforged. I will do a full cycle of 5 Khans, with or without intermission. In reality what tends to happen is when I’m a big cycle like this I can’t help but think about all the cards.
We are starting with Sultai and we have three cards this week, so let’s get started!

Slith Sultai Regent We begin with our Planeswalker, Slith, Sultai Regent, lounging in her serpentine palace. She starts with a plus ability very similarly to that of Liliana of the Veil, so it should be fine.

Her “minus” is very experimental. I know giving Delve to cards is potentially wild, but since it costs a Planeswalker’s second ability activation I can’t imagine it getting too out of hand.

Her ultimate is somewhat underwhelming but it should still be pretty powerful. In that respect it looks more like ultimates from Sorin, Solemn Visitor and Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker.

Sultai SmiterSultai Smiter is more straight forward and less flashy. Making a 4/4 for potentially 3 different colors and a Delve doesn’t seem overpowered at all.
As a reward for playing an only ok rare, you will get a nice scry-like effect every time you brawl with the cold-blooded brute. Look at your top card, keep it or “delve” it. Seems pretty good, especially when it happens even when blocking or blocked. All in all I would say the Smiter is not quite constructed playable, under Savage Knuckleblade in terms of power and also reminiscent but weaker than Reaper of the Wilds.

Rakshasan RitualRakshasan Ritual is our bonus card of the week, and is very much me playing with fire. Storm has had this terrible impact on magic cards that it has made it even more difficult to play with “free” spells and mana.

Same as I mentioned with Slith, I don’t foresee spending a whole card to make other one even way cheaper would be degenerate, even when you throw in the mill effect. I equal it to more or less removing all colorless cost from your next few spells which should be ok, again, if it wasn’t for Storm. I would have to call for specialists’ opinion to know if Storm even breaks it in the end.

Isn’t it nice to see more cards from the Naga brood? Remember, next set most likely won’t feature any new Khan cards. I hope you enjoyed them, you can look forward to more next week. What clan do you think or wish it will be?

Only one way to figure it out, it’s to see you next week! Have a good one.

Feeling Blue

Welcome to our second installment in this new series of lame title puns. To be honest I almost postponed this article for I was feeling out of it and behind things of life, but I powered through though, so here we are for blue cards! I picked blue because I was feeling complacent with my previous green choice, and I think blue is harder for me to design. Red is probably up there as well.

I have recently started listening to Constructed Resources from our friend Marshall Sutcliffe, and he was lamenting that blue wasn’t doing so great in standard since the release of Khans of Tarkir. I thought I would try to make some nice cards for Jeskai and possibly Sultai. I don’t feel Temur needs much of a push – to be honest Jeskai probably doesn’t either – and mostly I was thinking very blue, lean and efficient cards. Let’s see them!

Way MasterWay Master is my attempt at giving blue a good 1 drop creature.
Seeing the impact of Monastery Swiftspear helped me a bunch there. I certainly didn’t want to create another Delver of Secrets though, and this is where the challenge often lies: create something that isn’t too crazy, but you don’t want to hear people complain all the time that it isn’t as good as something else they knew.

I think Way Master does a just ok job at that, and I’m having a hard time figuring out what I could add or upgrade on him without helping blue more than it needs with delver-type spell decks.

Trick the MindTrick the Mind was made in exact same spirit of doing what blue really likes to do, as a price even modern and legacy deck could be interested in, but yet trying to not provide them with another completely busted card. Call it having more choice.

Like Thought Scour, I figured most straight forward blue decks would want to play a better 1 cantrip instead, but depending on what the deck wants to do Trick the Mind might be perfect. Thinking more about it thought, I’m not sure drawing two cards for 1 mana is ok for power, even if you allow your opponent to draw at the same time… Think Storm would love it too much?

What do you say? I’m sure I can still fine tune and make my blue spells better, but I’m fairly happy with the results on those ones. Let’s see what I come up with for the next colors. Until then, have a great week!