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Alara Reborn Review Part 5: Constructed May 3, 2009

Posted by James in : all , trackback

If you are going to make a deck for tournament play, you will probably want to know if Alara Reborn will have an impact. Unlike Shards of Alara and Conflux, a good deal of Alara Reborn cards are very powerful, and not just the rares. Many commons are certainly going to be played in constructed tournaments. Here is my top 10 list for constructed tournaments. At least some of these cards will be seen in standard tournaments:

Tenth Place: Bloodbraid Elf

bloodbraid elf

This card would have been good if it was a cantrip, and cascade makes it twice as good. The only problem is that there’s not a lot of great decks that want to use this card. Certainly some people will try it in a green-red deck.

Nineth Place: Bant Sureblade

bant sureblade

Bant decks can also make use of Esper Stormblade and Naya Hushblade. I’m not sure if they will be played or not. A fast bant deck is a strong possibility with the help of Dauntless Escort.

Eighth Place: Dauntless Escort

dauntless escort

A weenie deck hates mass removal. This answers that problem.

Seventh Place: Qasali Pathmage

qasali pathmage

A potential 3/3 with a great sacrifice ability.

Sixth Place: Wall of Denial

wall of denial

If people are going to play this card, it almost makes me not want to play Magic. It is that annoying. This might be a good card for Reveillark decks and possibly 5 color control.

Fifth Place: Meddling Mage

meddling mage

This is good with thoughtseize and it’s good with Reveillark. Could go in Esper Lark.

Fourth Place: Maelstrom Pulse

maelstrom pulse

Yes, this is the coolest card in the set, but there’s not a lot of decks that want to use it. This will probably help 5 color decks the most, but Doran decks will also use it.

Third Place: Jund Hackblade

jund hackblade

I know this will see play in red-black decks.

Seond Place: Terminate


I have a very small suscpician that this will see play in red-black decks.

First Place: Anathemancer


This is going to make red-black decks a teenie weenie bit better. And by that I mean that it will become quite powerful indeed.


Red-black got a lot of great stuff and will become a much better deck, and will be one of the best possible decks. A green-white weenie deck or a bant weenie deck will become quite a bit better. Doran, Reveillark, and 5 color control has a larger selection of cards to choose from, but it isn’t clear if they have been improved much.


1. Erez - May 4, 2009

the name for anthemancer is currently terminate in the article

otherwise interesting read

2. James - May 4, 2009


3. Jonathan - May 4, 2009

I know this article is speculative, and though my knowledge of competitive constructed play is through tournament recaps because I have been out of the game for a while, I have to strongly disagree with your evaluation of Anthemancer. If you cast it on on turn three, it will do at most 3 damage to the opponent. Then, if you unearth it after 7 land drops (the slowest way to cast it), it will do another 7 damage at most. That’s 10 damage for 10 mana. I’d rather have a Fireball.
I know I’m discounting its ability to do damage as a creature and that the card does not have to be cast on turn three, but even so, this card is hardly a bomb.

As always, love to read your stuff, especially your take on cards from design and game evolution perspective.
Keep on blogging.

4. Mike - May 4, 2009

Let’s see. Turn 3-4 you can get a 2/2 piece of board presence while doing 3-4 pts of damage to the dome (which can often kill a planeswalker). Then once he’s in the graveyard he becomes a late game Banefire (uncounterable 5+ pts to the dome).

Sounds pretty darn good to me.

5. Erez - May 4, 2009

if wall of denial sees serious play will doran decks fold?

6. James - May 4, 2009

I don’t know that Wall of Denial by itself beats Doran or not. Doran would probably sideboard Doran out. Doran isn’t that popular of a deck where I am anyway.

7. michael - May 5, 2009

Anathemancer is just going to be nuts with people playing 3-4 basic lands total in their decks. Some people are even thinking of splashing it and running it main.

8. James - May 5, 2009

I hate to say it. I really like my mono red deck, but I think I will have to add a lot of nonbasic lands just so I can play this black-red nonbasic land hate and a couple other black cards.

9. michael - May 5, 2009

That is the problem. If everyone is planning on splashing for this card with non-basics to play it main, then by putting it in your deck with non-basics to play it makes you vulnerable to their Anathemancers. So it is a double edged sword.

10. Erez - May 6, 2009

R&K is going to be having its’ tourneys again soon (don’t know when).

Ps. didn’t know where else to post