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Shards of Alara Colorless January 9, 2009

Posted by Norm in Shards of Alara.
Tags: , , , ,

Part of my Shards of Alara exploration, here is my review of selected colorless cards, found on the full visual spoiler.

Since I’m in super write mode I was all geared up to finish my Shards of Alara reviews and now I’m on colorless and looking at the selection it is a few artifacts and a few lands. OK not a few but you get the idea. This one will be a little different on purpose. 

Lich’s Mirror & Minion Reflector
If you look at the articles on Magic the Gathering.com’s Daily MTG Section there are a lot of really cool deck ideas with these cards. I haven’t really seen them in major use competitively or even in draft but I think these cards are great for casual decks. If you are using it please let me know. 

Shards Obelisk Cycle
At first I think that everyone, including myself, thought that obelisks were going to be a must in basically all Shards block constructed. In draft they are still a huge deal but I think that they are really unnecessary. I hate a turn three obelisk play. I feel it slows you down and turn four I’m hoping to play something better and all later turns I’m going to be wanting to drop a bomb or a dragon. Maybe they will have there place in Shards block constructed events but I really doubt it. Especially once we get access to the new mana in conflux.  

Shards Come-Into-Play Tapped Lands
These lands are really awesome. They make playing almost any color very accessible. You have the potential for access to all five colors on turn three. Draft these lands, play them. you already should know this. 

Relic of Progenitus
I think this is one of the cards that can be a great sideboard cards. Especially in the unearth realm but also against decks that use the graveyard specifically for a lot of tricks. A good card but in the right environment an brilliant card.



1. Deadly Kithkin - January 9, 2009

Hey guys. I’ve been following this blog for quite some time, good job. I’m wondering if you guys have ever considered writing for one of the many Magic websites out there? I know some sites say they don’t need any writers at the time but I know a pretty good site that’s in need of some writers, if you’re interested.

2. Nick Davis - January 9, 2009

I couldn’t agree more about the Obelisks. I’ve got a ton of them, yet I can’t seem to ever find a justifiable reason to play them. The closest I have come yet has been in an Esper deck where I could get them out for 1 mana due to Etherium Sculptor, and then later sac due to various Esper cards. Otherwise, no thanks. 🙂 I’ll take a Scuttlemutt
over an Obelisk anyday.

3. Michael Rawdon - January 9, 2009

Yeah, the relics seem slightly worse than the Ravnica block signets – that extra mana makes a big difference. They’re not as good for acceleration, and the tap-lands are better for fixing. Kind of disappointing. They seem to be really valuable in sealed-deck, and sometimes useful in draft, but not so good in constructed.

Minion Reflector is a really neat card in slow environments. Anything with a comes-into-play or leaves-play effect will benefit from the Reflector (Mogg War Marshal, Siege-Gang Commander, Mulldrifter, Broodmate Dragon, Sprouting Thrinax). Also anything that lets you sacrifice the token for a benefit (Ooze Garden, Rite of Consumption) But its high initial investment means you won’t be using it until turn 5 or 6 (barring trickery).

I’m not sure what I think of Lich’s Mirror. On the one hand it keeps you from losing the game. On the other hand, it resets your whole game while not resetting your opponent’s game, which means they have a big edge on you in lands and permanents. If you would have lost because they hit you with a big Predator Dragon, is resetting your game really going to help? They’ll kill you all over again in 2-3 turns. It’d be a great card if it just reset your life, graveyard and hand; as it is it seems like a marginal card which will only help in a few environments.

4. cadenadebronce3 - January 11, 2009

I do like Relic of Progenitus, it’a a common with a great interaction to stop strategies that use graveyard, in fact, players who play with their graveyards (threshold, flashbakc, unearth…) are really in trouble if you put one into play in your first turn. I think it should be uncommon or even rare. About Obelisks, I also prefer Ravnica signets rather than Obelisks. And I missed Sigil of Distinction in your review, I think it’s a quite good equipment that may allow some kind of combination, perhaps with the aid of Power Conduit or Energy Chamber. About three-color lands, ok they’re good but I expect another drawback, something more shocking, for example, as we see in Ravnica lands or something really new-brand.

5. rk - January 14, 2009

I’ve been tempted to add Lich’s mirror to my Metalworker Artifact deck that I play casually (usually multiplayer). My thinking is that it would be nice to have a chunky artifact in my hand that I could keep revealing for mana, and yet still have it useful if I get desperate.

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