Core sets in Magic have been interesting for a few years now, thanks to the fact that Wizards is printing new cards in them. But at the end of the day, core sets are about introducing people to Magic to the sheer insanity level of cards like in Return to Ravnica block, but that doesn’t mean every card in Magic 2014 isn’t worth looking at.
As a reminder, this review only covers cards that are new in M14, so all reprints are ignored.
What a beautiful way to start! My initial annoyance is that this is a whale, so it doesn’t work in my Quest for Ula’s Temple deck! I want to love this card, the flavor is perfect with it being a giant whale that can devour ships (and it has the wonderful new exiling language like Banisher Priest to make it very interesting in multiplayer), but how is this creature only a 5/5?
Dismiss into Dream
I wish this worked with Overload, but sadly it doesn’t. Dismiss into Dream is a clunky, almost unbearable enchantment that is probably perfect for a Nin, the Pain Artist deck. In multiplayer, it can get really fun when all of your opponents’ spells become removal against everyone who isn’t you.
Isochron Scepter with legs? I’m okay with this! For commander, it’s a terrifying addition to combo decks looking for a little more consistency, while in casual 60, it is just a weird card that can be a lot of fun. Oh, and it gets really weird with Strionic Resonator. Really weird.
Winged Sliver has some serious competition (and Sliver decks have needed some new 1-drops for a while). Galerider Sliver is the lone blue sliver in this set, but is an impressive one. I see this getting played for years to come.
Glimpse the Future
Hey – Strategic Planning has been reprinted… only it now costs 2U. At three mana, this doesn’t do quite enough for me. The combo player will find it too slow and the control player will be less likely to risk the discard (unless you’ve got Snapcaster Mage). It just does too little for too much.
This is a bad aura. I mean, Disenchant can disenchant it! But at 5 mana, it’s too expensive and the dragon is just better.
Yep, it’s a fish illusion. This game is weird. In Commander though, getting a 4/4 flier with the milling and the casting of a spell for free is a nice package at 6 mana. It’s just a shame you can only cast a card that is milled – not any card in the graveyard.
I was so excited until I realized this was “dies” and not “leaves the battlefield.”
It isn’t even the best drake costing 1U!
The blue rare color hoser in the set, Tidebinder Mage is a good card – but probably not for multiplayer. In an aggressive merfolk tribe deck, it can do fine but part of me thinks playing this card would result in my opponents never playing red or green every time. But this card isn’t bad, and if you build a sweet merfolk-themed Commander deck, it can be a nice toolbox piece of removal. And in Legacy or Modern Merfolk… amazing.
A smaller version of Chasm Drake, Trained Condor is the kind of card I love in limited… but at the kitchen table, you’ll need something stronger.
Warden of Evos Isle
This card is unexpected but I really like it. Reducing the cost of flying creatures is a fascinating way to give blue a kind of mana acceleration and the card is just a fine bird. It isn’t flashy, but it is a great support card.
I like this. It’s whenever a creature with flying attacks – not a creature you control, any creature. It’s like an Edric just for you.
Top 5 Blue Magic 2014 Cards for Casual & Commander
5. Galerider Sliver
4. Warden of Evos Isle
3. Colossus Whale
2. Windreader Sphinx
1. Elite Arcanist
As a whole, blue feels pretty weak in M14 when it comes to casual formats. The merfolk don’t do quite enough, but there is some nice support for a flying-centric deck. Add in only one new sliver, and I’m left feeling underwhelmed.