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I have given some thought to what Zendikar Rising provides!

Personally, I do not feel enamored with Turntimber Symbiosis at the moment. That feeling may change, but this card seems like it will hurt big-time if it whiffs. Of course, the odds are against that happening, but this is Magic the Gathering and those kinds of shenanigans happen. In comparison, Summoning Trap, at instant-speed, can absorb a potential whiff more easily when cast at the end of an opponent's turn than watching helplessly as went up in smoke during our main phase. On the other side of the card, we have a Forest that enters the battlefield tapped unless we pay three life. Paying three life is not inordinately burdensome in our format, but for just ? Spidey senses are tingling all over the place, and I sense this card may be more harmful than beneficial in the deck. Let me know how Turntimber Symbiosis functions for you.

Bala Ged Recovery: I don't feel excited about this card. If the land entered the battlefield untapped it would receive more praise, naturally. This is a slightly over-costed Regrowth with the option of putting a land into play tapped. Honestly, I feel "meh" about this card. I don't plan on play-testing it or adding it at the moment. I prefer lands that don't enter the battlefield tapped, and printing a more expensive Regrowth on the other side of this card is not alluring enough for me to consider including it in the deck.

Of the cards you mentioned, I believe Moraug, Fury of Akoum provides the greatest power and synergy with our deck. This minotaur's inclusion seems inevitable for a Xenagos, God of Revels deck and motivates me to include Fabled Passage, Prismatic Vista and Wooded Foothills in order to increase the potential number of accrued combat phases in a turn. I envision having a biggun or two under our control, casting Moraug, Fury of Akoum and then playing a land. Perhaps it is one of the aforementioned lands, granting us with TWO additional combat phases. In this scenario and with Xenagos, God of Revels under our control, our creatures can REALLY get out of hand if we can drop a land or two. Although it currently is not in the deck, I am tempted to imagine how a Genesis Waved Moraug, Fury of Akoum develops. At worst, Moraug, Fury of Akoum is a monster that can whittle away opponents' creatures through combat. I definitely want to test this card!

Here are some cards I am either interested in testing or their inclusion is inevitable:

INEVITABLE: Cragcrown Pathway. Once a copy of this land becomes available, it will find its way into this deck and most likely replace a basic land.

INTERESTED: Inscription of Abundance is intriguing. At just , the options of gaining life equal to the power of one of our creatures OR having one of our creatures enter Fight Club are really versatile. Additionally, kicking this spell for just seems very reasonably costed, and we can choose both of the previously discussed options and put two +1 +1 counters on a creature. The entirety of those modes seem more valuable than . I also enjoy the potential political motivation of this card, as the +1 +1 counters and the life gain, respectively, denote "target creature" and "target player," not "target creature you control" and "you." I'll be taking a long look at Inscription of Abundance. It seems too good not to.

D'OH! If only Cragplate Baloth had trample!!

INTERESTED: I think Shatterskull Charger may be worth a look. Not kicking this creature brings it back to our hand at the beginning of our end step. With Xenagos, God of Revels under our control, paying and attacking with an 8/7 hasty trampler that is safe from sorcery removal seems strong. This reminds me of the dash mechanic. I think it is worth play-testing.

INEVITABLE: Lithoform Engine is an absolute powerhouse. I'm still in awe that this card was created. Seriously. I think consideration should be given to including this card in every EDH/Commander deck, right after Sol Ring. I do not exaggerate. Not only is Lithoform Engine the most powerful card in Zendikar Rising, it will be the next most-desired staple of the format. This is over-powered. This is beyond over-powered:

, Tap Lithoform Engine: Copy target activated or triggered ability you control. You may choose new targets for the copy. This is BETTER THAN Strionic Resonator, which currently resides in the deck.

, Tap Lithoform Engine: Copy target instant or sorcery spell you control. You may choose new targets for the copy. This is a personalized version of Reverberate or Twincast, and only costs . Think: Selvala's Stampede, Chandra's Ignition, Return of the Wildspeaker, Savage Beating, Summoning Trap, Skyshroud Claim.

, Tap Lithoform Engine: Copy target permanent spell you control. SERIOIUSLY!??

At the time of this reply, Lithoform Engine is, justifiably, the most expensive card in Zendikar Rising (aside from Box Toppers) and I predict it will be THE CHASE CARD of Zendikar Rising. I also believe that this set will be printed/opened into absolute oblivion due to the presence of the aforementioned Box Toppers and its tenure in Standard for the next two years. As a result, I plan to watch for potential price variations in Lithoform Engine and then accumulate as many as possible. This card is too good.

INTERESTED: There may be some mid- to late-game benefits to including Crawling Barrens in the land base. It seems like a decent mana-sink at instant-speed. Actually, I am surprised that this card did not include the dreaded "only at any time you can cast a sorcery" text. As an added value, we choose when to make Crawling Barrens a creature. As another benefit, it's only a creature until the end of the turn. This versatility is valuable to us and maddening to our opponents. All of these benefits reside ON A LAND. If Raging Ravine occupies a slot in the land base, I think there may be a place for Crawling Barrens as well.

At the moment, those are the cards that promote the greatest amount of fancy-tickling for me. I'm looking forward to Zendikar Rising and can't wait to crack them packs and feast on the goodies inside!

September 18, 2020 10:25 a.m.

Exactly. I wanted to include Pemmin's Aura for one potential infinite mana-producing combo and selected it over Freed from the Real because it's more versatile. I did not include both because I did not want the deck to devolve into an infinite combo deck.

September 10, 2020 7:36 a.m.

Said on Can You Smell …...

#3

Thank you for the feedback! Agent of Treachery's salt-meter is through the roof! That's a great card to add for LGS and/or League play, but the meta-game may not be so appreciative (smile). I thought a good compromise was adding Roil Elemental. We "borrow" creatures, but our opponents can get them back by offing Roil Elemental. Seems fair, right?

September 8, 2020 7:39 a.m.

Said on Can You Smell …...

#4

Haha! Thank you very much!

September 7, 2020 1:20 p.m.

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