Are you ready for adventure? Our third trek into Zendikar is just around the corner, and with it comes a whole new draft set to master! In my Limited series I will be reviewing the newly spoiled cards before we get a chance to play with them, and giving each card a rating on a scale of 1-5 based on how playable I predict them to be in Limited, with a 1 being unplayable, 2 being not often desired, 3 being well-rounded filler, 4 being high picks/game winners, and a 5 being a top pick no matter what. Each piece of the color pie will get its own article, so keep an eye out! Keep in mind that all opinions and card ratings in this article are my own, and I am looking forward to reflecting on my early predictions in future installments. In this article we will be starting with the White cards from Zendikar Rising.
Not off to an exciting start here. 3 mana and a lot of setup to get +4/+4 for two creatures at best. Party focused and only pumping up two creatures means decks that don't center around the new Party mechanic won't have much of a reason to play this card.
Rating: 2.0, just a party trick
Angel of Destiny
Evasion on a big body is appealing but without protection this card may just gain some life. Remember the opponent won't lose life from combat damage while this card is in play. Early lifegain creatures will likely make all the difference.
Rating: 3.5, early lifegain or bust
Pretty average stats and a pre-combat boost is alright for a common and I expect it to be decent filler when more creatures are needed.
Archon of Emeria
I expect this card to get lots of value when it hits the battlefield, and it could slow the opponent enough for an easy win if they can't answer it quickly. Instants for protection during the opponent's turn will be this card's best friends.
Archpriest of Iona
Vanilla 1/2 on its own, scaling up to a potential 5/3 flier with a full party. Decent 1-drop and early pick for Party focused decks.
Rating: 3.5, start the party early
Not as efficient as other recent standalone 4-drop Limited token generators, but potentially very good with other cards that gain life.
This little mouse showed up expecting fetch lands and found none. Most often an anthem on a body, best combo'd with Vastwood Surge.
Decent early attacker and cheap warrior for the party.
Decent combat trick for go-wide strategies. Likely to win several games out of nowhere.
Back again with another reprint, likely aimed more towards the standard crowd. In a set with few enchantments this is likely just a trick for removing equipment from play.
It counts itself as a warrior and is therefore a 2/2 minimum, but likely an uncommon payoff for Party decks. Looking forward to finding out how often it will enter play as a 4/4.
Undoubtedly a great early creature for the Black/White Cleric deck in Limited. Lifelink will be relevant with Clerics and other strategies.
Rating: 3.0, better than the average bear
An extra card for each player isn't ideal, but the extra gas might be what White go-wide decks might need.
One of the most standout White uncommon creatures to me, getting it into play early will gradually result in a more serious threat with each passing turn. Likely loses value the later it enters play.
Strictly better version of Retreat to Emeria which saw play during Battle for Zendikar block, this card is a bomb. Building an army off of land drops while playing all the other spells will get out of hand quickly. With minimal enchantment removal in the set this card will be hard to answer.
Journey to Oblivion
At face value it is a very mediocre removal spell, and with a full Party it becomes very strong. The difficulty of assembling a full party in limited will be the deciding factor.
Seems like a win-more card that doesn't do much on an empty board but can speed up the game if supported by a full Party.
White Weenie decks love cheap and evasive creatures. Can help secure the win if kicked, but will likely be played early as a persistent attacker.
Probably the most attractive creature for Equipment focused decks. With most equipment attaching to creatures for free, granting double strike to the team sounds like great value.
Decent stats for a blocker and consistent value in Clerics/Life-gain-matters decks. Likely filler in most other decks.
Likely an irrelevant effect, but still decent stats. If lucky enough to draft multiples it is almost certainly better to play all copies main deck and not worry about bringing one in from outside the game.
Which will the opponent care about more, the giant creature that keeps getting bigger, or the cleric that keeps adding to the power and toughness of one creature each turn? I suspect that will be a common conundrum in Limited, and I can't wait. Even without any other creatures in play, this card gradually becomes a more serious threat.
Reasonable power and toughness with a free tapping ability almost every turn seems decent. Not the finisher I would hope for, but I wouldn't underestimate it.
Maul of the Skyclaves
An equipment that equips for free when it enters play is no joke as shown by Embercleave, and this equipment will make a real threat out of any creature it equips to.
It may have better stats as a blocker than it does as an attacker, but either way, it's very vanilla.
One of the set's best removal spells in White, and it's common! Slightly more expensive than Pacifism because it does more.
Easier to power up than Makeshift Battalion which saw regular play in Limited. With the same cost and stats, it will surely be a welcome addition in Warrior heavy decks.