Dragon’s Maze Set Review – Part 2: Blue by Grant Hislop

Dragon’s Maze – MTG Return to Ravnica set 3/3

Dragon’s Maze Set Review – Part 2: Blue by Grant Hislop


Hello again. Welcome back. I missed you. Put the kettle on.

Last time, we looked at White cards from Dragons Maze. With that unpleasantness out of the way, let’s move on to the best colour in Magic – Blue, and a couple of other colours that can sometimes be paired with it to good effect.


AetherlingLook ma, another pseudo-Morphling. I don’t understand why Morphling couldn’t have been reprinted, just for nostalgia’s sake. It wouldn’t have been that good, as the rules changes back with M10 have severely hampered its ability, and it’s even getting cut from cubes now. How the mighty have fallen…

In any case, this is a reasonable modern update to the card, and while it’s obviously not going to be good enough to see much play, it’s interesting to see that Wizard’s are still working with the ‘ling’ cycle, across multiple blocks.

Limited bomb, obviously, as dragons are dragons, even when you have to pay to connect with them.

Hidden Strings

This is a reasonable Cipher card, and is the most aggressively costed one that I’ve seen. It’s almost worth two mana just to tap the creatures the first time, and getting to do it for free if you can connect with a creature, while not really ideal, due to being too late to affect combat, might be irritating for some decks, isn’t completely irrelevant.

Not the most exciting, and obviously not Constructed playable, but it’s at least decent as a pseudo Feeling of Dread, for those who’re in the market for that sort of thing.

Maze Glider

Maze GliderSooooo expensive. It’s nothing more than a limited curve topper, and very few decks would actually want it at that. It’s just too expensive for too small a body, even if it does have quite the backside on it.


Quick, when was the last time a four mana Counterspell was playable in Standard?


If you said anything more recent than 2008, you’re wrong, and that card was Cryptic Command. This is to Cryptic Command as Roadkill is to Kobe Beef. Moving on.

Murmuring Phantasm

This is pretty bad. Blue’s not really doing too well so far, is it? We’ve got plenty of flying dudes with big backsides, but not nearly enough Snapping Drakes and Cloud Spirits. Sort it out WOTC, I want to attack!

Opal Lake Gatekeepers

A marginal reward for jumping through hoops. A deck that can support this is more likely to want this than the white one, say, but it’s still pretty poor. At least the body isn’t unreasonable on any of the cycle, which is a boon, however mediocre the card is.

Runner’s Bane

Runner's BaneThis is on the cusp of being constructed playable. What’s unfortunate is that the mana in this block is so good, it’s almost free to splash additional colours for removal in your base-Blue decks, making this seem quite poor in comparison. Why would you play this over a Pacifism, when you can play up to 12 lands (in Standard) that could make White? Just to be different?

Outside of the most hardcore lovers of Islands, there’s likely to be better options available.

Trait Doctoring

Magical Hack, let me count the ways I missed you. I’m done counting.

This one time, I was at a GP. I forget where. Maybe Madrid? It doesn’t matter. I was looking through a box of bulk rares at one of the dealers tables, as I’m often want to do. There’s often some hidden gems in there – Last month, I pulled an Angus Mackenzie out of one for 50p, which is worth a cool £40 on ebay at last checks, and I picked up a French Magical Hack. I mistook the art on it for that of Personal Tutor, and I bought it for a single Euro. I hate Magical Hack, and the idea of getting reminded of how much I hate Magical Hack every single combat fade makes me feel like a rubbish.

No thanks.

Uncovered Clues

Undiscovered CluesIf we had any way to control the top of our decks, there would be more powerful things we could be doing than casting a pseudo-Divination. Unexpected Results springs to mind.

Wind Drake

This is obviously a known quantity, having been in pretty much every core set in recent memory. Flying Gray Ogres are still Gray Ogres, and those are usually good enough. I’m a big fan of this card in limited, and my enjoyment of a limited environment is frequently linked to how good a card Wind Drake would be in it if it’s not. Hopefully full Ravnica block will be one in which Wind Drake is a solid 3-5th pick.

Breaking // Entering

Braking EnteringGlimpse the Unthinkable is a £15 card. This is almost Glimpse the Unthinkable. Of course, the entirety of that cost is made up by the Reddit users who’re looking for help with their Modern Turbofog decks, but it’s still a very real price.

Entering is also a real spell. Either half is good, but the way the fuse mechanic is set up, you do the left side of the card first, filling up a graveyard for you to reap the benefits from. Of course, by turn 8, you’ll want to be doing something more than milling and reanimating a fatty, though as a super expensive Mulch + Unburial Rites, perhaps Grixis Reanimator may be a thing post rotation, or even before, if we’re interested in moving to Forbidden Alchemy as our Graveyard enabler of choice.

This card is really exciting, and is my favourite of the new split cards by quite a large margin.

Far // Away

Far AwayThis isn’t far away from being constructed playable. Both halves are solid, and the option to do both is very appealing. Again, with the left half of the card happening first, with two creatures on the table, you can bounce the weaker one, and force them to sacrifice the stronger, which is pretty sensual. Both halves are individually fine, if one mana too expensive, and together, they’re very solid.

With current standard being so fast though, it’s unclear if we can afford to actually pay this much mana for removal. My inclination would be that it’s just a little too slow. Four mana would be reasonable for both halves, but I think that would be a little too good for an uncommon. Shame.

Hammer of Nightveil

Haunter of NightveilIf I were forced to find something nice to say about this, I would mention that it’s really good at slowing down Lingering Souls. Other than that, there’s not really too much going on. In Standard, we have access to Curse of Death’s Hold, which is criminally underplayed, and is a lot better than this.

It seems pretty solid in limited, however, where a reasonably sized body and a permanent shrinking effect isn’t the worst thing in the world. Really wish it flew, but c’est la vie.

Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker

Mind Funeral is a £4 uncommon. This is a repeatable Mind Funeral. Just saying (and repeating what I said two cards back re: Glimpse the Unthinkable). By the time this comes down, it’s really quite unlikely than an opponent can take more than three or four hits from Mirko, but really, if you’re connecting with creatures that often, you should really be winning anyway. Again, this fails the Mizzium Mortars test, which is relevant, and the cost to effectiveness ratios are just too off for this to see play.

Limited bomb, obviously, and supports one of the Dimir guild’s better themes.

Notion Thief

Notion ThiefThis is obviously a hate card for Sphinx’s Revelation and the like, but I have to admit, I’m not overly impressed. I’m not in the habit of tapping out for Revelation into the face of open mana if there’s something I need to play around, and this will be no exception. RWU could just leave a single R open, and Electrickery him away, to say nothing of the plethora of other options. This just doesn’t tickle me as being good enough, despite the fact that it’s so obvious what its applications are.

Pilfered Plans

Well, this is actually interesting. I’ve experimented with Divination a bunch in my Esper decks, and this is basically better than that, due to my preference for a Nephalia Drownyard based ending to most of my games. This isn’t a spectacular card, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s solid, and does the job that you need it to.

Again, this supports the Dimir guild’s incidental milling plan, which is the best way to build that deck in limited, so will be a solid card in that deck, and not worth splashing for in others. Very interesting, indeed.

Reap Intellect

Reap IntellectThis is the sort of card that people sometimes really love. I haven’t seen too much about it, but to me, this seems really bad. I don’t like that you have to catch them with the card in hand to Cranial Extraction them, and I hate that at five mana, it’s basically a Duress. This just seems too expensive for this type of effect. Something like Identity Crisis in Orzhov would have been better for this type of effect, and we could have gotten a real Dimir mythic. As is, this is pretty toilet seats, and as the Guild that I’m representing, I wish we could have done better.

Warped Physique

This is pretty poor. I’d far rather have had Agony Warp, as at least that’s always the same. This is an awful top deck, and so many limited games come down to that. Not impressed. Not impressed at all.

Woodlot Crawler

Are we really that desperate to block Strangleroot Geist and co? I guess it does what it was designed to do pretty well, but this just smacks of set filler. I’d be very, very surprised if this made it anywhere near a constructed deck.

In Limited, it’s an occasionally evasive creature with a reasonable body for the cost. Cipher him up, go to town, and hope they don’t have an Electrickery. Standard.

Dimir Cluestone

Dimir CluestoneCopying and pasting:-

Half Signet, Half Mind Stone, this cycle is interesting. Obviously, the Blue ones are likely to be better than the non-Blues, due to the types of deck that would want artifact mana acceleration and card drawing typically being Blue, but it’s possible that these could see play in Rakdos and Golgari combinations, thinking entirely about decks that are already seeing play – RWB Faithless Looting, and Golgari Predator Ooze / Ulvenwald Tracker, specifically.

Not overly exciting, as they cost just a little too much. Keyrune’s didn’t really see much play, and they strike me as being better anyway.

Dimir Guildgate

We’ve seen this before, and as it’s not a new addition to the format, I won’t insult you by repeating the obvious.

Blast of Genius

Blast of GeniusThis card is very interesting. The best thing I can think of to pitch to this would be something like Blasphemous Act, which is a card that a deck that would be running Blast of Genius would likely want, and it doesn’t really ever cost the nine mana printed on the card. It’s important that we don’t warp our deck around Blast of Genius, as it’d be pretty poor when we didn’t draw it, and there aren’t exactly a plethora of solid tutors to find it if we wanted.

I’m very interested to experiment with this in either a Grixis or a Raka shell, and see what happens.

Catch // Release

This would be pretty sweet in a Blast of Genius deck too. When considering a split card, the mana cost is both sides together. I’ve revealed enough Hit//Run’s with my Dark Confidants to have that seared into my mind permanently.

In any case, this card is exciting, though as with all the split cards, it’s just a little too expensive for what it does.


DragonshiftI honestly have no idea how to evaluate this card. It looks like it’s terrible, but it might be brilliant. I’m like ninety percent sure it’s bulk, but there’s sure to be some sort of stupid token strategy that could use this as a finisher. I don’t think it’s better than Collective Blessing, if that’s what you’re in the market for though, and Izzet isn’t traditionally a deck that’s overloading on small creatures that would want to make use of this.

Limited bomb, clearly, in the same fashion of Teleportal in RTR draft.


I was a big fan of Calcite Snapper, but I liked that card best for the Shroud. This plays offence a lot better, due to its evasion, but really, it just costs far too much, and makes you jump through too many hoops to be playable.

Holds the fort pretty well in limited though, and can, theoretically go on offence pretty well, when the time is right. Will probably be limited to forty card decks only, which is a shame.

Goblin Test Pilot

Goblin test pilotI am unsure of why this card exists. It seems like it’s purely to irritate people turn after turn. Attempting to resolve this ability on a clogged board seems barely worth the effort, as you’ll almost never hit what you want to. I’d hope that every single time this gets activated, it hits the controller, just to punish them for playing such a ridiculous card. I’m glad Wizards didn’t make it good, or we’d have to deal with excessive randomisation in Constructed too.

Melek, Izzet Paragon

The best part of Future Sight was the ability to play lands. This doesn’t let you do that. This costs about three mana too much for its stats, and the abilities aren’t enough to make up the difference. Copying instants and sorceries is nice, and it’d be lovely to play this and reveal a Bonfire of the Damned, but this just offers too small a reward and body for six mana. My kingdom for a Titan level finisher…

Nivix Cyclops

This is clearly limited only, but it’ll be fine there. Holding the ground, and attacking every other turn isn’t the worst, and assuming you’re loaded up on instants and sorceries, that’s about the best you can expect.

Theoretically, this might see play in Constructed, but the types of deck that would want this don’t really exist, and it’d be competing with spicier things like Izzet Staticaster, against which the Cyclops doesn’t compare favourably. Lovely art, and that’s about the nicest thing I can say about it.

Ral Zarek

Ral ZarekPlaneswalkers are always tough to evaluate, being so contextually dependent. I like Ral, but the comparison to other walkers already in the environment isn’t particularly great. I like Jace, Architect of Thought a lot better than this, and Jace doesn’t see much play, for example. I’ve seen comparisons to Ajani Vengeant, and outside of Standard legality, Ral really doesn’t win on any fronts there either.

Planeswalkers always start off with stupidly high pre-order prices, due to people being upset at missing their chances to order Jace, the Mind Sculptor for £15 upon release (which I did), and forces the prices to stupid levels. The new Gideon and Vraska, the Unseen are examples of this from recent memory, and Koth and Tibalt should be pretty fresh in people’s memories as well. I like Ral better than any of those, but he’s certainly not the second coming of Jace.

I fancy he’ll be somewhere around £15 at the most, come the introduction of M14, unless he’s a four of in a premier, tier one strategy, which I’d bet my house he won’t be. For those involved in trading, I’d move as many of these as possible at the pre-release, and pick them up after the hype dies down, if at all.

Turn // Burn

This isn’t a Constructed card, again, it costs too much. Really solid in limited, as both halves are playable on their own. Izzet decks will want as many of these as they can get their grubby little hands on, and any base-red deck will want to do the same. Shock’s almost always good, and I wouldn’t mind paying two for it, in most cases.

Izzet Cluestone

Izzet CluestoneCopying and pasting:-

Half Signet, Half Mind Stone, this cycle is interesting. Obviously, the Blue ones are likely to be better than the non-Blues, due to the types of deck that would want artifact mana acceleration and card drawing typically being Blue, but it’s possible that these could see play in Rakdos and Golgari combinations, thinking entirely about decks that are already seeing play – RWB Faithless Looting, and Golgari Predator Ooze / Ulvenwald Tracker, specifically.

Not overly exciting, as they cost just a little too much. Keyrune’s didn’t really see much play, and they strike me as being better anyway.

Izzet Guildgate

We’ve seen this before, and as it’s not a new addition to the format, I won’t insult you by repeating the obvious.

Top 5 Constructed cards I’m interested in:-

1. Ral Zarek
2. Blast of Genius
3. Pilfered Plans
4. Far // Away
small thumbs up5. Aetherling

Stay classy mtgUK,





Please let us know what you think below...

Visit our Manaleak online store for the latest Magic: the Gathering singles, spoilers, exclusive reader offers, sales, freebies and more!

Magic The Gatherig Freebies Giveaways