Cardsmith Blog

CCC: Guilds of Ravnica Set Review - Black

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.

I will be going over most cards in this set excluding most commons and uncommons. Each card will be given a ranking between 1 and 10 based on how playable I believe it to be in Standard, Modern, Commander, and Draft respectively.

  1. - Unplayable
  2. - Bad card tribal
  3. - Uninteresting
  4. - Could see play but doubtful
  5. - Playable
  6. - Seems deece
  7. - If you have the room run it
  8. - Make the room to run it
  9. - Spicy
  10. - Why aren't you playing this?

Black


Blood Operative
Standard - 5
Modern - 2
Commander - 4
Draft - 5

I don't understand this card, honestly I don't. Repeatable lifelink creature that can remove a card from a grave on cast but deals you three when returned to hand. I mean I feel like I'm missing something with this here but I honestly don't see this as playable in most formats. In Draft it's okay, it's playable since lifelink even though it's a low bar it certainly meets it.

Doom Whisperer
Standard - 6
Modern - 4
Commander - 10
Draft - 7

Doom Whisperer is just a good card all around. A flying threat with decent stats that tramples and provides reasonably costed topdeck control. In Standard and Draft this is just an amazing choice for top end. In Modern it's a little slow but I honestly can see this being playable in certain control shells. Commander is Doom Whisperer's new territory. Essentially every black deck will want to run this, 40 starting life means Doom Whisperer filters your deck insanely efficiently while filling the graveyard. Hooooo boy this is gonna cost a lot in the near future.

Gruesome Menagerie
Standard - 5
Modern - 4
Commander - 7
Draft - 5

I think Gruesome Menagerie can put up numbers I just don't know if it will. In all formats there are plenty of solid targets this can hit, the issue seems to be it's restrictions. With other spells like Unburial Rites they can hit massive creatures allowing you to sort of circumvent their mana costs. With Gruesome Menagerie you're pretty restricted but reanimating multiple creatures sort of makes up for this drawback. I'm interested to see what this card can do and I'll definitely be keeping my eye on it.

Mausoleum Secrets
Standard - 5
Modern - 6
Commander - 9
Draft - 4

Weird Demonic Tutor that can only hit black cards. Not sure what deck really wants this in Standard or Draft but it's playable in really any black based creature deck. In Modern I can see this as a piece in Dredge allowing you to tutor up cards with startling efficiency. As for Commander this should basically just be an auto include into any graveyard deck featuring black, honestly.

Midnight Reaper
Standard - 4
Modern - 2
Commander - 7
Draft - 6

Card draw engine in black, nothing that new or innovative but it can be good. In Modern there are just better options while in Standard I'm just not sure what deck wants to run this. In Commander this is a good choice for black creature based decks given high life total and the massive amount of board wipes present in the format. In Draft this is a valuable ability on a solid body, while certainly not first pickable if I'm in black and this comes around I'd take it.

Ritual of Soot
Standard - 7
Modern - 7
Commander - 6
Draft - 5

Okay Ritual of Soot is kind of really good. In Standard and Modern this hits almost everything. This card can shut down so many top tier decks it's almost a second Damnation. Orzhov Board wipes is an archetype I think can happen and this is a step in that direction. In Commander it's another board wipe so why not, fill your deck with higher cost creatures or low cost guys that have an upside on death and boom, value. In draft this can either kick ass or suck hard. The Draft format for Guilds of Ravnica has some aggro possibilities but from my experience it's a grindier format so late game Ritual of Soot can set you back more than your opponent. Be careful with it in draft.

Coming up next: Red
Go back to the beginning of the series: White

East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Oct 24, 2018 by East2West
Comments

CCC: Guilds of Ravnica Set Review - Blue

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.

I will be going over most cards in this set excluding most commons and uncommons. Each card will be given a ranking between 1 and 10 based on how playable I believe it to be in Standard, Modern, Commander, and Draft respectively.

  1. - Unplayable
  2. - Bad card tribal
  3. - Uninteresting
  4. - Could see play but doubtful
  5. - Playable
  6. - Seems deece
  7. - If you have the room run it
  8. - Make the room to run it
  9. - Spicy
  10. - Why aren't you playing this?

Blue


Citywatch Sphinx
Standard - 3
Modern - 1
Commander - 4
Draft - 6

Not a whole lot to go over here, it's too slow for most formats but is first pickable in draft. In Commander Sphinx tribal is becoming kind of a thing so one more solid Sphinx is a pretty cool thing for those players.

Dream Eater
Standard - 6
Modern - 3
Commander - 6
Draft - 8

Same CMC as Citywatch Sphinx but so so so so sooooo much better. It's power and toughness are lower but it can be flashed in, it's a flying threat, it surveils, then it bounces a creature! Dream Eater is a gosh darn express train to value town and I love love love it!. Too slow for Modern but I think this will see play in Standard as a finisher, in Commander since it's just solid, and this is 100% first pick in draft.

Drowned Secrets
Standard - 4
Modern - 4
Commander - 2
Draft - 6

Drowned Secrets is fun for me but all in all it's not great. Mill in Modern might want this but I think the two drop slot is better filled by Glimpse the Unthinkable. In Standard Mill doesn't seem to be a thing rn, the Standard meta is leaning heavily aggressive from what I've seen so I doubt this will be played. Commander is Commander, that means 100 cards and since this is a target player affect it's basically unplayable. Now in Draft this a total build around and I highly recommend it, it can work and you'll have fun playing it.

Mission Briefing
Standard - 7
Modern - 6
Commander - 9
Draft - 8

Coming this October, Snapcaster Mage: Tokyo Drift. Everyone's making the obvious comparison to Snapcaster but there are some significant differences here. Snapcaster is a creature (obviously) so it's body can be super useful as a chump for some decks. On the flip side Mission Briefing allows you to surveil, making it a little more flexible. Plus Mission Briefing allows you to pay alternate casting costs which Snapcaster Doesn't meaning that I could see this being played in Eternal formats as extra Force of Wills. All in all Mission briefing is playable in all four of these formats and I expect to see it killing me in the near future.

Murmuring Mystic
Standard - 4
Modern - 1
Commander - 5
Draft - 9

Murmuring Mystic is actually my favorite card in this set. It's weird Young Pyromancer and it's a total bomb in draft. Easily my first pick in any pack it's in this card can just take over board states in an instant (or sorcery). The Jump Start ability gives Murmuring Mystic extra value, plus the tokens are flying making this a great finisher. In Standard and Modern it's too slow and there are better choices at a CMC of four but in Commander I can def see it in most spellslinger decks as a generator for blockers or as an alternate win condition. Murmuring Mystic is an insane card that I am so excited to force everytime it shows up in my packs.

Omnispell Adept
Standard - 5
Modern - 4
Commander - 9
Draft - 4

Spellslinger players are probably drooling over this. Omnispell Adept is super powerful but the issue here remains a high mana cost and having to wait one turn due to summoning sickness. That wait allows your opponent a whole turn to respond to this. For that reason in both Modern and Draft I can see this being played but I don't expect to see it put up crazy numbers. In Standard I have hopes, there are plenty of great targets but with the amount of good removal in the meta we shall see how this goes. In Commander Omnispell Adept shines like a diamond, most decks will want a copy due to the sheer power of that activated ability. Compliments to the chef.

Quasiduplicate
Standard - 5
Modern - 3
Commander - 6
Draft - 5

This card instantly reminds me of Cackling Counterpart. The fact that it hits only creatures you control are what kind of turns me off of it. Clone effects are often good because they can copy your opponent's best creature at a lower casting cost. I can see it being playable in Standard and Draft but since Cackling Counterpart never had a place in Modern I think this will be soon forgotten to those players.

Selective Snare
Standard - 6
Modern - 4
Commander - 7
Draft - 5

Selective Snare is a very powerful tool in control decks. With enough mana on board this can shut down most tribal decks making it really good in a Standard environment with any tribal themes. In Modern there are better bounce spells but I can see it being sideboarded in against tribals. In Commander tribal strategies are extremely popular and even when they're not you can bounce multiple creatures under multiple players control if they share a creature type (nudge, nudge. Name Human). As for draft it's fine, not first pickable but it's certainly something I like to have at least one of in any blue deck.

Check back soon - up next: Black
Go back to the beginning of the series: White

East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Oct 18, 2018 by East2West
Comments

CCC: Guilds of Ravnica Set Review - White

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.

I will be going over most cards in this set excluding most commons and uncommons. Each card will be given a ranking between 1 and 10 based on how playable I believe it to be in Standard, Modern, Commander, and Draft respectively, I'm not familiar enough with the eternals to give that score. We'll be going in classic WUBRG order. Let's get started.

  1. - Unplayable
  2. - Bad card tribal
  3. - Uninteresting
  4. - Could see play but doubtful
  5. - Playable
  6. - Seems deece
  7. - If you have the room run it
  8. - Make the room to run it
  9. - Spicy
  10. - Why aren't you playing this?

White


Bounty Agent
Standard - 6
Modern - 4
Commander - 10
Draft - 4

Off the bat this card is a home run when it comes to Commander and Brawl. Your opponents decks are most likely tailored around a legend which makes this an amazing removal piece. In Standard it gets a good score due to the fact that Dominaria as a set has a legendary focus with Mox Amber being the target I expect to see Bounty Agen used on most often. As for Modern it doesn't look great given that most Modern decks don't rely on legends, I can however see it as a sideboard piece so it isn't totally hopeless.

Citywide Bust
Standard - 4 (6)
Modern - 2
Commander - 6
Draft - 5

This is another card that I think is going to have the most definite impact in commander but even then it doesn't seem great. This card is great for weenie decks, it gets rid of your opponents big bads while leaving your tiny dudes standing. It's the toughness focus that is both interesting and a huge drag on it's score. In Modern most of the top end decks don't run creatures with toughness high enough for this to hit. I was excited about it until I remembered that Eldrazi titans have indestructible. Standard however interests me the most. Arcades the Strategist seams like it could become an actual thing depending on future sets and this seems like good hate. In the current meta I give it only a four since it mostly will be a dead draw due to that the number hittable creatures run right now is very low. Still hold onto these just in case, that's why I give it a possible future score. Sidenote: Collar the Culprit gets a similar review to the above.

Conclave Tribunal
Standard - 8
Modern - 4
Commander - 5
Draft - 7

Conclave Tribunal is a card I think can be really powerful in Standard. Casting this at full cost in Standard isn't great but it ain't that shabby. Casting this with even just a single convoker makes it an Oblivion Ring and casting it for a single white (or less) is a god tier feeling that's not hard to achieve. In modern it's still not that bad but there are just better options. I wouldn't be surprised to see it in a couple lists but I'm not expecting it either. As for commander it will see play but in most decks it will be a slightly more flexible Oblivion Ring or Banishing Light but it's generally higher cost is what keeps it at just simple playable.

Crush Contraband
Standard - 8
Modern - 4
Commander - 7
Draft - 4

Now this is what I call a sideboard staple. In Standard this gets rid of History of Benalia, Search for Azcanta, Legions Landing, Mox Amber, Seal Away, Ixilan's Binding, and even Conclave Tribunal. If it's not clear this is going to take names in Standard. In Modern it's playable but I think there are better options and more established removal of this sort so although it can be played I'm not holding out hope. In commander this is one in a long line of lists of just good removal. It is nigh impossible for this to be a dead draw in a multiplayer format and since this exiles the target(s) instead of just destroying it gets around the recursion that remains ever present in the format.

Dawn of Hope
Standard - 3
Modern - 1
Commander - 6
Draft - 5

Dawn of Hope is interesting but not all that exciting to me. In both Standard and Modern it's too slow to have any real playability since it doesn't effect the board the turn it comes down and it requires additional payment to have any impact. In Commander however this can be a sort of worse version of Well of Lost Dreams and I can certainly see multiple decks wanting to run this. In Draft this is strictly okay, this is a slowish draft environmental and in the right decks this can be a majorly effective engine. In the end it's good but it's nothing to really write home about.

Demotion
Standard - 6
Modern - 3
Commander - 5
Draft - 8

Demotion is actually a much better removal spell than it might seem. Yes, whatever creature you hit with it can still attack but Demotion shuts off activated abilities. That's incredibly playable! In Standard there are a solid amount of high CMC creatures whose payoff are their powerful abilities and this just shuts that down. I think it may be more of a sideboard piece though. In Modern this just won't see play, I think there are times where it could make a fine addition to a deck but I can't imagine anyone actually opting to run it. In Commander it's not that playable but a lot of popular commanders have good activated abilities so I'm actually going to start running this in my control deck. As for Draft this is a really good choice for any aggressive or midrange deck running white. It shuts off your opponents big blocking bodies so you can get in as much damage as possible. Highly recommend.

Divine Visitation
Standard - 6
Modern - 5
Commander - 8
Draft - 6

This one is one that I'm honestly unsure on. In Standard and Modern I think this might be too hard to get out in time for it to be effective but in a token deck this can be a devastating finisher. Divine Visitation truly shines in Commander where so many decks want to run this. As for Draft this can go either way. If you pick this just make sure token is an open archetype since otherwise this is just an unplayable card.

Light of the Legion
Standard - 6
Modern - 3
Commander - 6
Draft - 7

Light of the Legion is just a super solid creature. With a large body and the mentor ability this is super playable in Draft and Standard and I expect to see this on the top end of some white decks as a finisher. In Modern it's a little too slow and at six mana there are just better options. In Commander this is a definite card to just fill an empty slot. It's not format warping but it fits in most any deck so I'd say give it a shot.

Venerated Loxodon
Standard - 4
Modern - 2
Commander - 6
Draft - 7

This guy confuses me. His ability is alright but I honestly feel like this doesn't fit as rare. He certainly shouldn't be uncommon but he seems to fit in this nebulous space between rarities. In Standard and Modern I can't see him seeing much play. In Commander I have hope but even still it seems unlikely. In Draft his body is big enough to be viable and when he comes down he can buff some dudes. Draft is where Venerated Loxodon will shine most but I think he might still be only a second pick.

Check back soon - up next: Blue!

East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Oct 16, 2018 by East2West
Comments

Trick Or Treat

October is synonymous with Halloween and Trick or Treating, and it's no exception here at MTGCardsmith! This month we'll be looking for, and featuring, cards that force your opponents to make some agonizing decisions!
Check out these examples!
Fatal Lore
Fact or Fiction
Shrike Harpy

Think you can make your opponent squirm in their shoes? Can your design make the battle hardened sweat at the table? Show us your best Trick or Treat cards and you might just see it on the Featured Card spot on the front page!

Featured Cardsmiths

KrampisZman
KrampisZman began his Cardsmith run making Bidoof cards! We could not have guessed at the time that he would not only go on to make amazing cards not related to the oft maligned Bidoof, but he would also use his skills to make his favorite Pokémon a part of our MTGCardsmith world by fashioning a Bidoof Set Symbol! His sense of humor, combined with his creative cardsmithing have made him one of our Featured Cardsmiths of the Month! Check out the cards we've highlighted, as well as the rest of KrampisZman's amazing collection!



fellwynd
One of our long time Cardsmiths, fellwynd has a penchant for working on card sets. He was one of the main collaborators who helped complete the AtheraCollaborationSet, and he is quietly working on another set, Revia. Take some time to flip through the 700+ cards he's made so far and show this Featured Cardsmith some love!


Each month we're excited to highlight just a couple of Cardsmiths that have helped make MTGCardsmith the best interactive online Card Creator. We hope you'll take some time to check out their creations!
Oct 02, 2018 by Corwinnn & Tomigon
Comments

CCC: Fringer

I hate Modern! Okay I don't really hate Modern but it's really hard to have fun playing unless you run the meta and I hate running the meta. Modern is full of cards that are really absurd in their power level, this means that any new deck has a high bar to beat. This has lead to Modern sort of boring me, brewing is nigh impossible unless it's just tinkering with sideboards and slight variations on the main board. Thus comes an idea similar to the difference between Legacy and Vintage. Ladies, gentlemen, wizards of all ages meet Fringer (pronounced Frin-jer). Fringer is like Modern but with a much, much, muuuuuch larger ban list (see below). So let's get into this.


The ban list for Fringer consists of the basic list of Modern staples as well as the Modern ban list. This totally wipes out the top decks of Modern. Each deck has had most of its pieces nuked from legality making Fringer a super open environment. If there was ever a deck you wanted to try but despite how good it was it just couldn't compete at the top tables Fringer is here for you! On top of this completely open meta Fringer also could seemingly be very budget friendly. A lot of the banned cards are super high value with the price of owning a single copy of every card on the ban list totalling around 3,900 dollars. So if you've got a card box full of jank rares and sorta playable chaff now is the time to crack that box and make a deck. Fringer is a love letter to the mad scientists out there, you have your parameters now break this system. Modern isn't my format but I wanted to throw in a deck idea that I like as a sort of starting point, no idea if it'll actually be viable as Fringer evolves but it's where my mind went.



So Fringer is weird. A 223 card ban list is really really massive and honestly it could get larger. As of this writing Fringer has no players and I need your help to change that. This is a new world being birthed, it's all yours to take control of! Make a deck and post it below, introduce your friends to Fringer and try and spread the word.


-East2West

East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Sep 17, 2018 by East2West
Comments
Want to join the largest online custom MTG community?
Sign up!