August 2015 Release
Power. If asked to describe Magic the Gathering’s 2015 Core Set, I’d say power. M15 marks the first time one of Wizards of the Coast’s Core MtG sets is canon with the stories taking place in the block sets released. The Planeswalker Garruk has been corrupted by The Chain Veil, and now scours the multiverse hunting other Planeswalkers. But the story continued in M15 isn’t contained to just Garruk’s insanity. The Core Set’s different cycles expand the multiverse even further. Paragons for each of the 5 colors have been introduced, and give creatures of their chosen color an additional +1/+1 bonus, as well as an additional ability to another target creature if you pay the mana cost.
The Soul cycle has also been introduced. One Soul for each of the most popular worlds in the multiverse; Ravnica, Innistrad, Zendikar, Theros, Shandalar and New Phyrexia. The Souls each have their own ability, and can boost your creatures while on the battlefield for an additional 7CC. The Souls’ abilities can also be activated once while they’re in the graveyard for the same cost and by exiling them.
Seven casting cost cards run rampant in M15. I’m not sure if they’ll see much play in the Modern Format, but I’ve come across numerous high casting cost cards from M15 during Friday Night Magic’s Standard Tournaments. I think this is WotC’s way of trying to prolong the game.
WotC also brought back several fan favorite cards that have become rather difficult to find. Shrapnel Blast, printed in the original Mirrodin set, pairs perfectly with Scuttling Doom Engine and deals massive amounts of damage for a relatively low casting cost. DarkSteel Citadel, first printed in the Darksteel set, was made for Ensoul Artifact. It’s rough dealing with a 5/5 indestructable artifact creature on turn 2.
The first card made by the MtG Community, Waste Not, is triggered every time your opponent discards, and makes for an unholy trinity combined with the Lorwyn reprint of Liliana Vess, Mind Rot and the Black Cat reprint from Dark Ascension.
I was a bit bummed that WoTC reprinted Chandra, Pyromancer instead of updating the classic Planeswalker. They made up for it though by giving us Nissa, Worldwaker. Currently the “It” card of M15, Nissa’s original Zendikar Block printing wasn’t too much to brag about. Her M15 version could see players dominating the Standard Format.
Players have once again proven the “Magic Market” is fickle and unstable to collectors and players. A regular version of Ensoul Artifact will cost you about 60 cents, while the foil version is set to peak around $20. It all comes down to playability. The 1U enchantment, this being it’s first printing, is seeing play in every format currently.
Goblins seem to dominate the creature type once again in Red. The Goblin Rabblemaster leads the way into battle, giving you Goblin tokens each turn and getting an additional +1/+0 for each other attacking Goblin that you control. Goblin Rabblemaster is turning out to be the sleeper creature card for red, especially when paired with the Soul of Shandalar and Paragon of Fierce Defiance. Expect Goblins to see a lot of tournament play.
M15 also gives us a hint of what’s to come in the next block, Khans of Tarkir. Speculations abound that the block will be full of dragon creatures. M15 cards like Brood Keeper, which generates 2/2 red dragon tokens, and the Crucible of Fire enchantment seem to be made for the Khans block since there were only a few dragons in the Theros Block.