With the major reboot of M10 in 2009, core sets are far better than they used to be. That said, these summer releases have been getting stale the past couple of years, and Wizards of the Coast needed to add some more spice to the pot. M13 and M14 were complete snoozefests, really.
Well, by asking famous names in the gaming community (Video games, board games, etc) to design some cards, tweaking the card frame, and getting away from some of the stale reprints, M15 is looking to be the best core set since M10.
After reviewing the set, and playing in this past weekend's prerelease, I've got a list of 11 cards that I will be looking forward to building and playing with in the future.
In alphabetical order, because Stone Cold said so!
1. Avacyn, Guardian Angel
My Angel EDH/Commander deck is currently lead by Avacyn, Angel of Hope. While the original is far more powerful, the 8 mana cost makes her an expensive date.
This version doesn't need a fancy steak dinner every night, and she can still protect your army. I'm not sure if I'll replace the original, or just take another card out. A flying 5/4 vigilance angel is good in any white deck.
2. Brood Keeper
I had two Brood Keepers in my prerelease pool, but not enough auras to make it worthwhile to play them :(
Slapping auras on a non-hexproof creature always make me nervous, but Brood Keeper will definitely reward the risk. A 2/2 dragon whelp for every Aura attached to her? This is a pretty good build-around-me card. I will certainly brood over the possibilities.
3. Chasm Stalker
This might be my favourite new card from the set. Who doesn't love SQUID tokens? *Squish*
Blue decks always draw plenty of cards, so, when this fellow dies, you ought to be left with quite a calamari army.
Brainstorm or Ancestral Vision will get you 3 additional 1/1s for cheap, and those are cards I use in many blue decks. Better get some tzatziki ready.
4. Ensoul Artifact
Your mother told you not to run with scissors, but you should probably run FROM them!
In terms of raw power, this card ranks highly. Turning a Darksteel Ingot or Darksteel Citadel (the artifact land) into indestructible 5/5s, for just two frickin' mana, ought to make the cut.
The artwork alone, is full of win.
5. Generator Servant
This little bugger was surprisingly powerful at the prerelease, allowing players to cast out huge hasty creatures a lot earlier than they should be able to. It's not often we get served with any type of Sol Ring effects.
Red often gets some form of temporary mana generation, but giving one or two creatures haste? That is what pushes this card over the edge.
Don't forget that the mana generated can be used for anything, even instants.
6. Hushwing Gryff
More and more creatures are being printed with 'enter the battlefield' triggers. Killing those creatures doesn't stop their controller from getting the benefit, dammit!
With that in mind, Hushwing Gryff is another 'hate bear' created to help in competitive formats. Decks that rely upon Birthing Pod will definitely not be happy to see this flashed on to the table.
For us casuals? This is a very flexible answer, and can save you from the devastating effects of an Inferno Titan or Acidic Slime.
7. Necromancer's Stockpile
Cheap discard outlets are always useful, especially if you get some real return on your investment.
I already have a middling Zombie deck, so this ought to slide right in their perfectly. If you have recursion creatures like Gravecrawler or Bloodghast, discarding that card isn't a real cost at all.
As the zombie Billy Mays would say: "NOT ONLY DO YOU GET TO DRAW A CARD, BUT WE'LL THROW IN A 2/2 ZOMBIE TOKEN, FOR FREE!"
8. Nightfire Giant
Talk about a bomb in sealed and draft! A 5/4 that can machine gun opposing creatures and players? Ick. My poor wife was on the wrong side of the table from this creature at the prerelease, and her army of little dudes didn't last too long.
Yes, the activation cost isn't cheap, but you get a fairly costed creature that makes a great mana sink. I could see myself finding a home for him in one of my numerous red/black decks.
9. Ob Nixilis, Unshackled
Those who have played against my Demons deck know how ObNoxious the original Ob Nixilis can be.
Creatures die often in multiplayer Magic, so Obby here will get bigger with little effort. Being able to punish somebody for shuffling their library will be almost orgasmic, I'm sure. It's too bad he doesn't have flash, so you could really "GOTCHA!" some unsuspecting shmuck.
10. Scuttling Doom Engine
I'm torn ... (but not Rip Torn) is this a really good card name, or a terrible one?
This card hasn't been getting as much hype of some of the others, but I love being able to punish somebody else for killing my creatures. Six damage is significant, and will definitely scare people into poking it with a stick.
"Scuttles" also makes it so that opponents can't easily chump-block it with some dumb token. One way or another, you are DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!!!!
I finish with the card designed by 'the Magic community', including another name that strikes me as both clever and/or lame.
For sure, this is a powerful 'build around' card that will put further pain on those opponents who have to discard precious resources.
Seeing as I already have such an annoying discard deck, I look forward to the scowls of my playgroup when I whip this out for the first time.
I know karma will come back to bite me, but I don't want your cards to go to ... waste ...
So, what cards from M15 interest you?