First Magic 2011 Preview Cards

With the unveiling of Archenemy at Pro Tour San Juan came a few first looks at some of the cards in Magic 2011. M11 will be coming out shortly, but as Wizards of the Coast has been much better lately about keeping a lid on leaks we know little about it. These few cards are the first thing I’ve heard revealed so far, aside from what the boosters, fat pack and intro packs look like. The four cards revealed only a little earlier over on The Starkington Post are: Plummet, Reassembling Skeleton, Skullcage, and Sorcerer’s Strongbox.

Plummet costs 1G, is an Instant, and reads “Destroy target creature with flying”. Meet the new Baneslayer slayer. The only two fliers coming to mind that are immune to Plummet are Sphinx of Jwar Isle and Sphinx of the Steel Wind. I really like this card and I think it will see play in at least sideboards of standard decks.

Reassembling Skeleton is a Skeleton Warrior, costing 1B. He’s a 1/1 with the rules text, “1B: Return Reassembling Skeleton from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped.” This card reeks of flavor. After reading the card name and the activated ability, I can see the skeleton reassembling on the battlefield in my head. He would play nicely in decks relying on recurring creature sacrifice. Imagine him with Vampire Aristocrat or Bloodthrone Vampire. Makes me think of Squee, Goblin Nabob. Maybe this is Squee’s skeleton. One advantage over Squee is that his ability can be activated at instant speed, and it costs less than Squee does. I think this guy may inspire some of the creative deck designers out there and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Skullcage was an uncommon from Fifth Dawn. That it is showing up right before Scars of Mirrodin kicks off another potential artifact-centric block doesn’t seem accidental. I don’t recall this card seeing much constructed play back in Mirrodin block or in the standard brews of that time period. It seems to belong in a more controlling deck that possibly uses discard to help move the opponent’s hand into the desired range, which immediately puts it into black decks. Not an amazingly exciting card, but solid.

The last new card is Sorcerer’s Strongbox. This is an artifact that costs 4 and has the activated ability, “2, {t}: Flip a coin. If you win the flip, sacrifice Sorcerer’s Strongbox and draw three cards.” I think this is a neat twist on Ancestral Recall. They’ve been experimenting with the “draw three cards” theme a bit in the last few years, what with Ancestral Vision and Harmonize, but now every color can potentially access a powerful boost in card advantage. The only drawback is that you have to win coin flips. ¬†First card that pops into my head was another card from Mirrodin, Krark’s Thumb. In the best case scenario, if you win the first flip you’ve spent 6 mana for 3 cards. This makes it just slightly worse than Harmonize, but any deck can play it.

Overall I think the cards revealed today were pretty cool. Of the new cards we had one very powerful instant, a very flavorful and potentially useful creature and a new variation on the “draw three cards” theme with no color restriction. Not bad at all. I’m looking forward to seeing what else pops up from the Archenemy decks with regard to M11 as Pro Tour San Juan continues.

Father, husband, programmer, gamer. Magic: The Gathering enthusiast who enjoys playing and discussing the game with anyone who is willing.

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