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Magic 2010: First Impressions July 1, 2009

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews , trackback

The Magic 2010 Spoiler was completed today, just four months after 2010 was announced. I am not a big fan of Core Sets, and I see little reason for them to exist. The reason that block constructed can be played without the core set should be proof that it is unnecessary to have them. The main idea seems to be to have an easy set for beginners. 10th Edition was a step in the right direction:

Still, 10th Edition had a fairly low power level overall, the number of worthless cards was still pretty high, and it didn’t have enough fun combos you could get in draft.

11th Edition (Magic 2010) is moving in a similar direction:

What Matters the Most

What matters the most is that drafting Magic 2010 will be pretty fun. It is a lot like Timespiral in that it has reprints along with new cards, but it will be much more simple. It might have less combos to draft, but it has a lot more than 10th Edition.

Gone in a Year?

Magic 2010 will only be standard-legal for a year. A big problem with Magic: the Gathering for semi-professional and casual Magic players is that too many sets come out. The game changes too fast. The fact that Magic 2010 will only be legal for around a year is an outrage. Luckily I think Wizards of the Coast will decide to keep all of the most important cards in Magic 2010 by reprinting them in Magic 2011.

Some Important Cards

magic 2010 lightning boltThe most notable change is that Lightning Bolt is back. I was surprised about this. (I expected that we might have to wait another 5 years before it came back.) However, there are still several other great cards not in this set that I wanted to see: Swords to Plowshares, Spellsnare, Berserk, Wrath of God, and Counterspell. Overall, red is given a huge boost with lightning bolt and ball lightning. No other color appears to have a comparable boost. White’s loss of Wrath of God is a great way to emasculate white.

White did get a new uncommon Savannah Lion, which I will use for a legacy deck, but this is merely a replacement.

elete vanguard

One positive note: I like that they made new “lords” for goblins, zombies, soldiers, elves, and merfolk. These will be a lot of fun for the few more months that Lorwyn is legal in type 2 (standard) touranments. You can see many of the new cards at the official Magic 2010 Visual Spoiler.

goblin chieftain

nature's spiralOne more positive note: They found a way to involve permanents that aren’t in play. Call them “permanent cards.” They made a new regrowth that can only bring back permanent cards.

To conclude, red and white aggro is more powerful, and white control is less powerful. Other colors are relatively unchanged.



1. Recoculous.com: Magic the Gathering Articles » Magic 2010: First Impressions Part 2 - July 2, 2009

[…] Almost all of my main concerns were discussed in part 1, but I would like to nitpick about some smaller details involving M10 (Magic 2010). In particular, about the flavor; about the power level; about the colors red, white, and green; and about the lack of synergy. […]

2. Alex Cuevas - July 6, 2009

I disagree about white becoming less powerful… keep in mind Baneslayer Angel and Honor of the Pure are both totally ridiculous, and Ball Lightning already had similar effects like Hell’s Thunder and Hellspark Elemental which have proven to be good but not amazing. Lightning bolt certainly is good, but is always a 1-for-1 effect, unlike stuff like Volcanic Fallout, which I personally feel is a stronger card (and less “fair”). Sure, red got some nice tools in M10, but I don’t think it’s completely overpowered or anything, especially not in comparison to the now quite powerful white.

3. James - July 6, 2009

Alex, Note sure why I didn’t mention Baneslayer Angel here, but I mentioned it in the next post at least.

I don’t know why I said that white is weaker when I should have said white control is weaker. I was merely referring to the fact that White control just lost its “best card.” If you take a close look, you will see that white control has almost nothing left.

Yes, white got Honor the pure. This reinforces my belief that white is becoming aggro and losing its control element.