Idea Log #9 – It Begins… Dragon’s Maze!

It is that time again. Dragon’s Maze is on the horizon and spoilers are starting to roll out. So far two of the spoiled cards have caught my attention.

First, one of my most recent decks is Experiment Kraj, and the newest Legend spoiled from Dragon’s Maze can only improve the deck!

True, it doesn’t work on Planeswalkers, but most of my Kraj deck is focused around creatures and +1/+1 tokens anyways. Kraj also gets to double counters! Combine him with Gilder Bairn and I can tap Kraj to double counters on a target, then untap him to double those counters again!!!

The second card is kind of a “well duh” card, but I feel it should be mentioned. One of my favorite things in this game is taking extra turns. My favorite card of all time is Time Walk. It should come as no surprise that Ral Zarek makes my list of cards I want to play with when Dragon’s Maze is released.

Here we have another four mana planeswalker, and it has three great abilities! First, the +1 can tap one of your opponent’s creatures, then untap one of yours to attack with, say after tapping it for an activated ability. But it isn’t limited to creatures, it is usable on any permanent! You can also protect Ral if untapping an additional blocker during the second main phase.

The -2 ability is not game-breaking by any means, but it can certainly help to protect Ral if necessary, or provide a bit of reach if you need to finish off an opponent.

It isn’t often that a planeswalker can protect itself with two of it’s abilities.

The final ability is just insane. It is true that occasionally you will flip five “tails” in a row and it would have been useless, but most of the time that will not happen. I just did five test “activation’s” and I got 4, 2, 1, 3, and 1 extra turns. I think at even one extra turn it would be worth it, but the chance for five extra turns makes the fact that sometimes you will get zero worth the risk. I know many people will probably hate this card just because of it’s random nature, but you can bet when someone gets of even one extra turn with it, they will surely be sorry they underestimated it.

I also just wanted to point out that with six mana, a Doubling Season, and a Rings of Brighthearth on the board, you get to cast him, activate the ultimate, and then copy it… a potential for ten extra turns on turn six in Commander!

Finally, one other card caught my eye… but not for personal play, just for how insane it is with respect to the Commander format. As my friend Eric said, “Mark my words, it will be banned in Commander just like Worldfire was.”

It is true that Master of Cruelties can not actually kill the opponent himself, but he can certainly make it easier. First there are a ton of ways to make him unblockable, particularly in these colors. If you slap a Whispersilk Cloak on him then not only is he unblockable, he also can’t be targeted! Then all you need is a single point of damage to finish off the opponent. Perhaps a Cunning Sparkmage on board? Or any number of other “pingers” or burn spells will do it. I think it is an interesting card, and I will be waiting to see if anyone can do anything with it in standard, but I think in Commander it will just be too easy to abuse, and therefore Eric is right, it will probably be banned relatively soon.

Just a quick note before I sign off. I apologize for the long delay in posts. I have been otherwise occupied and just haven’t had the time to write lately. I do hope to get back into a some kind of pattern again, and keep this place going with new content.

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