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Magic 2011 First Impressions July 7, 2010

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

The Magic 2011 spoiler has been finished and we now see a set much like Magic 2010 with some slight changes. The last several core sets have had pretty major changes for the better, so I had my hopes up, but the changes were actually very minor. Here are my current observations:

1. There is more synergy to be found in Magic 2011 (perhaps only for limited).

Each color has at least one synergy. For example, white has a life gain strategy as seen on Ajani’s Pridemate:

ajana's pridemate

2. Scry is back.


Scry is a fun ability and it’s really simple enough. I can understand why it would be in the core set.

3. Leylines are back.

leyline of punishment

Leylines have a weird “starts in the game” ability that I am pretty surprised to see in the core set. It would be interesting to see if this sort of ability could be expanded in the future.

4. Timetwister has finally been fixed.

time reversal

I speculated recently that the power 9 would eventually be fixed and put back into the core sets. Time Reversal is step one of that process.

5. Day of Judgment is back.

day of judgment

6. Mana Leak is back.

mana leak

7. Fork is back, but it’s now called Reverberate.


8. Some of the new cards are good.

No surprise here. I don’t see anything new as overpowered as Baneslayer Angel, but there are some good cards in here:

ember hauler

steel overseer


I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ember Hauler in decks soon. Steel Overseer could be quite powerful in an artifact deck and it might be quite good in Esper. Redirect is the most powerful Deflection ever made. It’s even better than Swerve, the two colored version. (For some reason mono colored cards are better than multicolored cards. I guess being multicolor is just too darn powerful.)

9. Still no enemy colored dual lands.

Why hasn’t Yavimaya Bog been made yet? We need dual lands of all color combinations or the decks I want to be made will face a severe obstacle. We need mana fixing for every deck color combination!

yavimaya bog

10.  Vampire Nocturnus is gone.

I’m a bit disappointed to see it gone already because Vampires have never been the best deck and now it might never have a chance. It was replaced with Captivatig Vampire:

captivataing vampire


Magic 2011 continues to be an improvement over past core sets, but it is improvement at a snails pace. The cards on average are horrible and continue to be worse than they should be, and we still don’t have enemy colored dual lands for some strange reason.


1. 神の一手 - July 7, 2010

Remember the Titans! The green titan is nuts. 6 mana 6/6 trample that gets two lands when it EtB or attacks…not basic…any lands! Need to fix your urzatron? Need M10 duals? Need crazy lands for EDH?

The life gain strategy you are seeing is totally based on the Planeswalker for that color. Each PW gets two cards to help interact with it.

The White Leyline is one of the best ever printed. It shuts down all the Red decks that have been running rampant. There are also some other things it blocks as well. Makes an MBC deck hard to build.

2. 神の一手 - July 7, 2010

I am also pleased to see Nantuko Shade and Jinked Idol reprinted.

3. James - July 7, 2010

The red and white leylines are both pretty cool, but the white leyline does beat the red one.

I think I had a dream that Urzatron was back in M11, but it’s not back. It would have been a perfect time to exist considering Eldrazi! I don’t know if Eldrazi will ever be viable the way that it is intended to work. Mass Polymorph might help though.

4. 神の一手 - July 7, 2010

Mass polymorph costs too much. Polymorph decks have already been winning by turning plant/spawn into Iona/Emrakul. Sure the new version doesn’t target, but it is harder to have mana up for counters.

5. Buymorecards - April 10, 2012

Yavimaya Bog is Tainted Forest. isn’t it?

6. James - April 10, 2012


Yes, they finally made it.