Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Worldwake: Pauper Perspective

Now that the latest set, Worldwake is 100% known, it's time to give the cards a once over. Today, I'm going to be looking at the commons of the set, to see if here is anything worthy of note.

Halimar Excavator will be a powerhouse in limited, and will make Allies the most sought after deck at the draft table. Limited is really the only place that mill is viable, so players won't want to miss the opportunity to live the dream of the first alternate win condition.

Skitter Lizard has exactly what every one drop creatures want; the option to be relevant in the late game. This little tongue flicker can get big, and it's hasty, so it will be beating face almost as soon as it hits the table. This looks to be a cycle, with a creature in every color. So far the red one looks to be the only one relevant, but others may still prove themselves.

Dispel will have an impact in Pauper, but I don't expect it to make any waves any where else. It's simply to narrow for most formats, but the abilility to hard counter an instant is just the thing a blue mage needs in pauper.

The Zendikons give a good, enchantment option that yields a creature. Don't forget to factor in the land that tied up, when you evaluate the cost. You won't get two for oned with these, but you are down your choice of a land or a creature each turn. This decision makes the blue one the best in my opinion, even though it may be the most over costed.

Join the Ranks may be the best common in the set, and will make allies a force on the pauper front. It is card advantage in it's own right, and just gets better depending on what allies you have in play. I thought this was good as an uncommon, but as a common is nearly broken.

Explore will get you there. It's as close to strictly better as I am willing to acknowledge. Assuming you have a 3rd land in your hand, it allows you to ramp up, and thins your deck with a draw, that could be a non-land card. Seems good, especially in Pauper.

Treasure Hunt may be the best blue draw spell printed int eh last year at the common level, and will shake up the format.

Seering Blaze is the real deal, and may well be the second incarnation of Lightning Bolt. As long as your opponent has a valid creature target, and you are able to drop a land, this is like casting two Lightning Bolts off the same card. It's a lot like card advantage, and I've heard that is a good thing.

Walking Atlas could become important in Pauper, as one of the few ways to get a Landfall trigger at instant speed.

The new common land cycle is pretty decent. The black one allows you to Crypt a yard, and the blue allows you to peek and arrange the top three cards. Both will see play in Pauper, and possibly beyond. The green one, which 187's a 0/1 plant token creature, could be relevant in other formats running token/overrun strategies. I don't think there is much in the pauper that would make this a top choice. I think the tempo loss is larger then the card advantage from the token.

Battle Hurda is overcosted, but you have to give a 3/3 first strike at least a second look.

Brink of Disaster shows a lot of potential, and a return to old school thinking in the black color pie. I'm not sure it will see much play, it's mana cost is at a tough spot in the curve, but it really fills a void in pauper black.

Dead reckoning is way cool, but doesn't black have better ways to kill a creature?

Jagwasp swarm is the best black common creature in the set.

Ruthless Cullblade may be the best beat stick in limited, but it's very conditional, so only time will tell.

Rolling Terrain could bring land destruction back to pauper, but I'm just not sure it's enough.

All in all the power level of this set is a bit lack luster, but at least in the commons, there is some thing to be seen. Several cards here have the potential to change pauper, but most will not have impact in the broader formats.

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