MTG Promo Card Guide for 2011 – 2012 with Mark Pinder

£20 PTQs & Dinosaurs by Magic by Mark Pinder

MTG Promo Card Guide for 2011 – 2012 with Mark Pinder


As regular readers of my columns are aware I am not adverse to the pimping of decks by using foil and foreign cards, I am a great fan of FNM foils and enjoy adding them to my deck. I thought it would be different to actually review the freebies Wizards have done this year.


FNM Promos

September FNM – Teetering Peaks

This card feels like an own goal, you could win one late September and never get to play it in a Standard event. The card was a good one but should really have been released a few months earlier to get the benefit from it.

October FNM – Contagion Clasp

This card is okay but not really one that is played that much, for me an FNM card should be something that sees regular play as that way it can be utilised or traded away easily.

November FNM – Go for the Throat

This was an awesome choice, the card is entirely playable and foil versions were quite costly. I now have my play set and so do several of my friends, well done on this choice Wizards.

December FNM – Savage Lands

This appeared to be a curious choice, two years ago when Jund was ravaging Standard this would have been a magnificent choice. It all seems a little late now and not a prized acquisition.

January FNM – Glistener Elf

This is a nice playable card and one that has seen plenty of play, especially of late with Wild Defiance Infect such a popular deck.  Ideally this could have been printed during Scars of Mirrodin block when it may have been a more popular choice.

February FNM – Despise

This was a solid card that sees play in many sideboards or even main deck with control decks.

March FNM – Tectonic Edge

It has to be said that this card didn’t go down very well in Grimsby where the majority of players only do Standard, this was probably replicated in several other communities but with Modern being pushed as a new format this is an interesting choice going forward.

April FNM – Dismember

Awesome ! A card that everyone can utilise and valuable to boot. Well done on this one.

May FNM – Ancient Grudge

Really enjoyed that this card was printed, the card is useful is so many decks and utilises flashback which is one of the block mechanics so it is flavourful.

June FNM – Acidic Slime

This was a thought provoker, many wondered was this a clue it was coming back in M13 or would it be a dead card, fortunately we have over a year to play with our pimped cards.

July FNM – Forbidden Alchemy

A really solid playable card with really cool artwork as well.

August FNM – Avacyn’s Pilgrim

This card has seen some play this last year and is a valid choice, with Ravnica on its way I think it’s an excellent choice for fulfilling dual mana base requirements.


FNM Promo Wish List

What would I like to see as an FNM card in the next twelve months remembering the cards have to be common or uncommon. My first choice would be a flip card, I feel this would be really flavourful within magic, I’ll go one further and suggest it is one that is played consistently so Delver of Secrets would hit the spot.

My second choice would be to print a useful card that shows off Morbid, this for me would be either Tragic Slip or Brimstone Volley.

The undying mechanic I feel was covered with the Gameday Strangelroot Geist and whilst a foil version would be nice, I don’t think we will see one. Not sure how many other undying cards are played that much from the common and uncommon card pool.

The Soulbond mechanic has a few choices to use but Nearheath Pilgrim and Lightning Mauler look like excellent choices. Soulbond was though covered with Silverblade Paladin it is still a useful mechanic.

Miracles have now made their mark, you have plenty of choices and whilst it has been the rare miracles that made the most impact the uncommon ones have seen play in tier two fun decks which is what FNM is about.

With Restoration Angel being the Launch Party promo distributed at FNM flickering card and being an awesome card that is played in many decks we could leave this mechanic alone for FNM.

Core Set has provided new for four years now, whilst personally I feel Knight of Glory and Knight of Infamy would make good choices the Exalted mechanic was handled in promo form with cathedral of War. With is in mind I feel we could see a Artic Aven, Flinthoof Boar or one of the other land matters creatures.

So what other cards would make a good card for FNM?

Auger of Bolas
Blood Artist
Borderland Ranger
Crushing Vines
Elixir of Immortality
Fiend Hunter
Ghost Quarter
Invisible Stalker
Natural End
Pillar of Flame
Thought Scour
Wolfir Avenger

All the above cards are solid cards that have appeared in main decks and sideboards over the past twelve months. My final choice really depends on Return to Ravnica but with rumours of Shockland’s coming back land will matter so Farseek or Arbor Elf would make good choices at that point.


Innistrad Promos

Pre Release – Mayor of Avabruck

This was a really neat choice, choosing a flip card for the pre release was a really good marketing trick and inspired some cunning deck building.

Launch Party – Ludovics Test Subject

Gee, whilst it was a card with flavour as it flips it certainly wasn’t the best choice, for me with Vampires being a popular tribe with casual players too Bloodline Keeper would have been a much better choice.

Buy a Box – Devil’s Play

A flash back card for the buy a box promo was a really good choice, the card has seen play and we always have a fireball esque card in most sets.

WPN – Curse of the Bloody Tome

A nice card for casual players where milling is pretty popular.

WPN – Nearheath Stalker

This was an opportunity lost as whilst it was a vampire there were plenty of other choices that are more playable with either Vampire Interloper and Rakish Heir making better choices.

WPN – Boneyard Wurm

As flavour goes using the Graveyard makes this a reasonable choice, I wonder though if anyone had considered Unburial Rites as re-animation has always been popular at all levels.

Gameday – Diregraf Ghoul

Zombies has become a tier one deck and Diregraf ghoul was popular from the start, this was a cool choice for the first set in the block.

Gameday Top 8 – Elite Inquisitor

I must admit this is not one of my favourite cards and I’ve never really played with it, though others I know have done so. On balance choosing a human was a sensible choice and as he has protection from the dark races even more so.


Dark Ascension Promos

Pre Release – Ravenous Demon

A demon that flips is okay for favour as the humans were suffering in the set but the card has hardly seen Tournament play and is a bulk rare.

Launch Party – Mondragon Shaman

Although it is a flip card it is also another flipcard, my personal choice would have been Helvault as at least this would flavour wise lead into the next set.

Launch Party – Human / Wolf Token

Definitely a nice touch and something that went down really well.

Buy a Box – Gravecrawler

A cracking card which is playable in the zombies deck and has the set flavour with it being on the darker side.

WPN – Bloodcrazed Neonate

Well we had a vampire in Innistrad and this one was just as poor.

WPN – Gather the Townsfolk

An excellent choice and very playable, just a shame that WPN foils are no longer printed.

Gameday – Strangleroot Geist

Really impressed by this card choice, uses the undying mechanic and also sees a lot of play. The cards trade well and people like to use them to pimp out their deck.

Gameday Top 8 – Zombie Apocalypse

Well as the set is Dark Ascension, this was definitely an well thought out excellent choice.


Avacyn Restored Promos

Pre Release – Moonsliver Spear

Well it is an equipment so anyone could look at using it, the problem is equipment is so much better these days. Wolfir Silverheart may have been a good choice or Revenge of the Haunted showing off miracle.

Helvault – Angel / Demon Token

These were really good to find though I wish we’d had the foil tokens too. When all is said and done we all got something.

Launch Party – Restoration Angel

Whoa ! It isn’t very often we see a card that drops into the best deck in the format as a promo and this was certainly a fantastic choice, playable and fits in with the plotline.

Buy a Box – Silverblade Paladin

This card was bang on the money, Ayacyn is winning and uses a set mechanic in soulbond so satisfies the set mechanic and plot line.

Gameday – Latchseeker

Does anyone really use this card ? I would have liked to have seen an uncommon miracle or Soulbond card. This would have shown off the strength of the set.

Gameday Top 8 – Killing Wave

Unfortunately the set is called Avacyn Restored, surely an Angel would have been a better choice so that would leave us with options from the other white cards. One card stands out ‘Terminus’. 


Magic 2013 (M13) Promos

Pre Release – Xathrid Demon

Well this card hasn’t seen play really and flavour wise isn’t that special. I can’t help but feel a trick was missed with this one. The whole set has revolved around Nicol Bolas, so my first thought was to have used Disciple of Bolas as h is rare and on theme, then I thought what about Nicol Bolas himself with him being the first multi-coloured card in a core set. I believe an alternate art Mythic Planeswalker for Pre Release would have rocked and maybe even drove up attendances.

Launch Party – Staff of Nim

Another miss for me, whilst everyone could potentially find a deck for it, it didn’t feel right as a promo, with Cathedral of War being the buy a box promo I suppose a second land wasn’t really an option otherwise I’d have like to have seen Trading Post used.

Buy a Box – Cathedral of War

This was a good choice as we have a card with Exalted but usable by anyone, it’s even found a home for a short time in the mono green poison deck.

Gameday – Mwonwuli Beast Tracker

This is a new card and something quite interesting. This was a nice card to give out. Maybe though one of the land matters uncommon creatures would have led well into Return to Ravnica.

Gameday Top 8 – Magmaquake

I cannot help feeling underwhelmed by this card, why couldn’t we have something with panache, Thragtusk  would have been an excellent choice.

Magic Celebration Bring a Friend Promo – Merfolk Mesmerist


Final Thoughts

Mark Rosewater and friends at Wizard’s blotted their copy book by discontinuing WPN foils, sorry but a store back with a few wall clings and posters is not what the players want, give players something they can use or help them to play Magic.

The bags stores have recently given out are much better, tokens and life counters are good. The Garruk deck boxes were a good idea but being made of flimsy card board they broke easily, a better quality deck box would be much more appreciated. The cards given out this year have on the whole been good and in individual cases excellent. This year we have seen Game Day Playmat’s which was also progress.

Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing.




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Mark Pinder
I have competed twice at GB nationals in 2010/2008, was Runner Up at Senior Nationals 2010, Won a Grand Prix Trial which took me to Paris 2009. My love of the game was such that I did previously win a writing competition on MTG Twincast which led to me being a Feature Writer for around a year until the Sponsor sold up but still did the occasional article. There is also a verb "To Pinder"colloquially used in northern magic communities which means "to gain life", I was a solid fan of Martyr of Sands/Proclamation of Rebirth combo and many players have heard those fateful words, Sacrifice Martyr of Sands, gain 21 life against me to see the game go out of their reach with lethal damage available to them next turn.