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Magic 2010: First Impressions Part 2 July 2, 2009

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

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.


First off, Protean Hydra and Djinn of Wishes are two of the most flavorful cards made in a long time.

protean hydra

Lernaean Hydra might have been more appropriate because this is the creature that is based on the actual Greek myth. The original hydra would grow back all the heads it lost two fold. However, there was a way to stop this by burning the heads after cutting them off.

djinn of wishes

Everyone who has heard of Aladdin knows that some Genies give you three wishes. (Of course, you choose what you wish for…) I would have preferred that the Djinn give you cards from “outside the game,” but oh well.

Not all of Magic 2010 is as flavorful as it should be. Remove soul has been replaced by Essence Scatter, which is exactly the same, but “Removing souls” is awesome. Not a good change.

Remember Raise Dead? That was such a classic favorful card… But not anymore–now it is Disentomb.

Rise from the Grave should be called “Rise from Your grave!” Which grave is the grave? This makes no sense and the card’s name is avoiding being an Altered Beast reference for no reason.

Power Level is Too Weak

I have already mentioned that the power level of M10 is still too weak along with some of the cards we should have had. Magic 2010 not only has two functional reprints of Grizzly Bears and one functional reprint of Hill Giant, but it also has too many terrible creature enchantments. Holy Strength has never been playable! I have fond memories of playing Holy Strength back when all my friends and I had terrible decks, but it’s just insulting to make such a terrible creature enchantment. Good creature enchantments have been made in the past, but Magic 2010 has around two creature enchantments worth playing.

I would love to see a Holy Strength worth playing, but it hasn’t happened yet. Hint: Give it flash. (No, the Kamigawa version doesn’t count.)

One example of the lower power level that bothers me most is “Rise from the Grave.” The card is a terrible reanimation spell. The whole point of reanimation is to spend less to get the creature into play than you would otherwise. Five mana is too much. The spell should cost 2BB. I personally didn’t even like zombify, so the whole “reanimation theme” has been ruined and they might as well not make anything that reminds us of the theme in the first place.

Wizards Love Red

ball lightningWizards of the Coast loves red and there is some good news for red in Magic 2010. Unfortunately Incincerate was one of the only 2 casting cost red spells worth playing and it is going away now. If you play Shard Volley, then your standard-legal red deck will have about 12 one casting cost spells and 28 three casting cost spells. Most of the best red spells are three casting cost, but a few are one casting cost. Sorry but this is not a good mana curve!

White is the New Green!

Kithkin, a white deck, has been doing better in touranments than green Elf decks. Kithkin simply have great creatures and great creature removal.

The result: We are losing any reason to play green!

Magic 2010 is continuing this trend. White tends to have better creatures than Green, such as a new Baneslayer Angel. White is also getting pretty terrible creature removal, and it lost Wrath of God. White and green both have artifact and enchantment removal. What’s the difference? White and green are becoming the same thing! Actually, it’s worse than that. White is the same thing as green but better. They might as well stop printing green cards.

Green needs something new. Right now Green can only do what white can do. It used to have land destruction, but that is one of the only things red can do.

baneslayer angel

Mythic Rares are now quasi-Staples!

We were promised that mythic rares would be so epic that we wouldn’t want more than a couple of them in a deck. Sorry, but I want four Baneslayer Angels in almost all my decks with white in them! This card is rediculous and can ruin many games. Too bad it doesn’t have vigilance because that would help you automatically win the game. The fact that lifelink no longer uses the stack makes this card one of the best walls ever printed. (It can attack, too!)

In fact, just about all the best new cards in Magic 2010 are all mythic rares. Take a look at Master of the Wild Hunt:

master of the wild hunt

I would have never guessed that Green would get one of the best “Tims” (pingers) ever made.

We Need More Synergy!

I already talked about the fact that Magic 2010 needs more combos and synergy. One major source of synergy in the set is the tribal theme. White is not only better than green in genral, but Soldiers has become a huge tribal theme in 2010. Guess how many Elves there are? Three. That’s half the number of soldiers. Not a theme at all.


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

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2. Alex Cuevas - July 6, 2009

Baneslayer Angel is strong but not as “I win the game” as you point it out to be… just like any creature, it can be countered or killed … if it sticks, it surely is powerful, but I’d wager to say that it isn’t even as good as cloudgoat ranger, as that at least creates tokens that stick around if it dies. The Angel is a great defensive card, to be sure, but what happens to your defense when they oblivion ring your angel and attack for lethal? It’s good but not automatically game-winning.

3. James - July 6, 2009

Alex, obviously it’s not automatically game winning, which is why I said it would be so if it had vigilance. That is also a use of hyperbole, but you get the picture. Elves will tend to lose to it. An entire army of creatures vs that one card won’t be good enough. I had a similar experience trying to play green against Exalted Angel. This thing can be even more annoying.

And yes, there are answers in green, but they aren’t that great. Why play bad cards against a single card in the opponent’s deck? Oh yeah, because it will automatically beat me otherwise!