Crucible of Words – Extended Besieged
With the newest set of cards, Mirrodin Besieged, about to become legal in extended with PTQ’s just weeks away, there will of course be a clamour for new cards as they impact the format.
First up, the elephant in the room, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. This card’s power level is through the roof, whilst it may not be quite as versatile as Jace, The Mind sculptor, in the decks that will be running him, he’ll be just as powerful. Which brings us to Esper Steel. A deck designed around powering out artifacts and pumping them with Master of Etherium, Steel Overseer and Tempered Steel. Tezzeret gives this deck a new angle of attack, aside from being able to field him as early as turn two and begin swinging with 5/5 guys, his ultimate allows you to just end the game without the combat step, by draining their life clean away. His plus ability is also remarkably strong, allowing the Steel player to dig for that extra Master of Etherium or whatever is required at the time. Tezzeret will be a force to be reckoned with, making the Tempered Steel-less draws much better and giving the deck the consistency it needs. However Creeping Corrosion will begin finding it’s way into sideboards, but in a deck of Tidehollow Sculler, and Thoughtseize, Creeping Corrosion will not be as useful as first expected.
Next up, Thrun, The Last Troll. A clear upgrade to the old favourite Troll Ascetic. Any deck playing green will be packing these somewhere in their seventy five cards, their uncounterability and shroud make them essentially unstoppable against a lot of control decks, especially with it’s regeneration to dodge Day of Judgment. I imagine Great Sable Stag will make way and let this man take over from him. Of course, there are answers, faeries already has Consuming Vapors in it’s sideboard, and the new Black Sun’s Zenith can get round any amount of regeneration too. The cards lack of trample does make it’s effect less damaging to a faerie player as long as they can field their Bitterblossom. But Nevertheless, he’ll be doing the rounds in extended for sure.
Another green card with great promise is Green Sun’s Zenith. Much in the fashion of previous cards like Chord of Calling and Summoner’s Pact, this card will assuredly fit into Elves as did the other cards. Being able to find that Regal Force to draw more cards, or grabbing that Nettle Sentinel or Heritage Druid to allow massive mana shenanigans will make a huge difference to the deck, not to mention the Ezuri, Renegade Leader when you need him. The ability to tutor for things, even Acidic Slime makes it a definite player and should push Elves back towards the top of the pile.
Hero of Bladehold is a card I’d like to talk about briefly. BW tokens was a popular and successful deck in standard a couple of seasons ago, and it has been making a few appearances on the extended scene, but nothing major yet. Hero of Bladehold gives the deck a massive boost, acting almost like a white Grave Titan for four mana, it fields you guys and pumps them all at once. I think it could be the missing link that send BW tokens into a real deck for extended, as well as the potential use of Contested War Zone which whilst rather risky, has some incredibly potential.
Talking of old standard decks, Time Sieve seem to be gaining a lot from Mirrodin Besieged. Ichor Wellspring providing a card drawing engine and Thopter Assembly which nets you infinite turns with the Time Sieve, and of course, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. Not only is he a great dig spell for them, but an alternative win condition as well as a defensive piece. Whether the deck is resilient enough and fast enough remains to be seen, but I at least suspect it will be attempted by quite a few people.
Of course, with every set, comes removal spells, this set is no different. Go for the Throat and Slagstorm provide not only an excellent spot removal spell, but a sweeper that has many applications. Slagstorm can be played by aggro decks for the mirror, to bring you back if you fall behind or quicken the clock if you’re ahead, also it’s perfect for cascading into with Bloodbraid Elf, I imagine it will largely replace Firespout in the decks that run it as well.
There we have it, an interesting injection of cards to the metagame, although I can’t help myself but post an interesting new decklist I came up with recently:
As you can see, the deck makes a somewhat insane amount of advantage through Black Sun’s Zenith. Your Bloodghast and Viridian Emissary both don’t mind dieing, and if they die together your Bloodghast comes right back again. Dusk Urchins turns your sweeper into a card draw spell, and Necroskitter allows you to steal their entire board which usually wins you the game. Lastly, the Deity of Scars keeps removing his counters and regenerating himself whilst having trample, the most important form of evasion in the world of Bitterblossom. The deck is pretty simple and feels like the Death Cloud decks of old, I think it’s perfectly plausible to splash white using Murmuring Bosk and Marsh Flats, which could give the deck some more tools.
So there we have it, thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing.