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Battle for Zendikar Limited Set Redo – Colorless, Gold, Artifact, & Lands

Previous Reviews

Limited

White | Blue | Black  | Red | Green | Gold, Artifacts & Lands

Limited Redo

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green

Constructed

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Gold

Ratings Scale

5.0: The best of the best. (Citadel Siege. Wingmate Roc. Dragonlord Atarka.)
4.5: Incredible bomb, but not unbeatable. (Tragic Arrogance. Whirler Rogue. Icefall Regent.Hangarback Walker.)
4.0: Good rare or top-tier uncommon. (Abbot of Keral Keep. Jhessian Thief. Ultimate Price.)
3.5: Top-tier common or solid uncommon. (Separatist Voidmage. Fiery Impulse. Epic Confrontation.)
3.0: Good playable that basically always makes the cut. (Deadbridge Shaman. Skyraker Giant.Watercourser.)
2.5: Solid playable that rarely gets cut. (Read the Bones. Silumgar Butcher. Dragon-Scarred Bear.)
2.0: Good filler, but sometimes gets cut. (Throwing Knife. Chandra’s Fury. Artful Maneuver.)
1.5: Filler. Gets cut about half the time. (Vastwood Gorger. Aeronaut Tinkerer. Cobblebrute.)
1.0: Bad filler. Gets cut most of the time. (Thornbow Archer. Deep-Sea Terror. Akroan Jailer.)
0.5: Very low-end playables and sideboard material. (Vandalize. Vine Snare. Congregate.)
0.0: Completely unplayable. (Fascination. Infinite Obliteration.)

Colorless

Bane of Bala Ged

Original Rating: 2.5

The rating here reflects how good this is as a finisher, even if not every deck can afford to play it. Annihilator is back, and does not cost that much to get going. This will trade for plenty of cards if you get to attack with it, and is the kind of card worth ramping for.

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Updated Rating: 3.0

Bane gets a slight bump because of how good 7-drops are (see, I told everyone—I guess I was just ahead of my time). A 7 that prevents your opponent from playing their big spell is nice, and that devoid cards are the place to be doesn’t hurt.

Blight Herder

Original Rating 3.0

Looking at the set, 4/5 for 5 mana is better stats than normal. There just aren’t that many 5-drops, especially with this high of toughness, and a lot of the more expensive creatures are 4/4 or 3/3 from awaken. That means that playing Blight Herder and having it not trigger isn’t the end of the world, with it being incredible if you do manage to trigger it. I would try and make this work, with a fallback plan of a decent vanilla creature if it doesn’t.

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Updated Rating: 3.5

Nothing too groundbreaking here, but the combination of devoid being good and cards like Mist Intruder and Benthic Infiltrator being high picks makes me want to take Blight Herder early.

Breaker of Armies

Original Rating 2.0

Breaker of Armies is another solid finisher for the ramp deck. Costing 8 and being a little worse than Bane makes it a little narrower, but it’s still the kind of card that you want to close out games.

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Updated Rating: 3.0

I was definitely a bit conservative when it came to the expensive cards, and Breaker of Armies is a fine card to take early. It’s not broken, but it’s a good finisher in a set where finishers are good.

Desolation Twin

Original Rating 1.0

Now we are getting to the monsters. Desolation Twin(s) is (are?) powerful, but 10 mana requires quite the commitment. Unless your deck is capable of serious ramp, with tons of Eldrazi Scions and cards like Hedron Archive, this is just straight-up uncastable, so you won’t get to play it all that often. When you are in the market for something truly gigantic, this does fill the role, so be thankful that it’s so expensive that others are unlikely to take it.

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Updated Rating: 1.5

10 is a whole different ballgame than 8, so Twin is still a card you really need to be ramping to want. This is slightly more playable than I thought, even if I’m still not excited to take it.

Ruin Processor

Original Rating 1.5

This is another example of the finisher for the Eldrazi decks that don’t have a ton of options. Ruin Processor has reasonable if unexciting stats and an ability that won’t always be on, though it becomes much more interesting if you can reliably trigger it. Once you are in the full-on ingest deck, Ruin Processor’s rating goes up significantly, but I’m evaluating it assuming you aren’t hitting multiple themes (ramp + ingest) every time.

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Updated Rating: 3.0

While I don’t think I ruined the set for anyone, I definitely didn’t process how good this combination of stats and abilities were. Ruin Processor is great, and I’ve played it in plenty of decks with minimal ways to exile. If you can gain the 5 life, it’s the perfect ability to go with a gigantic finisher, and 7 mana for a 7/8 is just a good deal in this format. This borders on a 3.5, and it’s the common finisher I want above all others.

Scour from Existence

Original Rating 0.5

I just can’t stomach paying 7 mana for a removal spell. I don’t mind siding this in, but unless this format is a lot slower than I think, I suspect the next couple weeks of play will vindicate my first impression of Scour.

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Updated Rating: 1.5

While my original rating didn’t exactly get vindicated, it’s not the utter end of things if you never put this in your deck. I tend to only maindeck it if I really need more high end, though I do like sideboarding it.

Titan’s Presence

Original Rating 1.5

You need a fair amount of colorless creatures before this is castable, and they have to be big for it to be any good. Granted, when you do get there this is just a great piece of removal, so it’s another card which ranges from unplayable to great depending on the support.

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Updated Rating: 3.0

It turns out that there are enough colorless creatures you want in your deck and removal is lacking overall, so Titan’s Presence is a good card that you should be happy to draft. It is a bit of a gamble early, and sometimes you know you can’t take it when you see it in later packs, but it’s premium removal enough of the time that I like it.

Ulamog’s Despoiler

Original Rating 2.0

This is another card with a very mild fail case, which makes it a solid addition to any deck that needs a 6-drop and has a couple of ways to enable it. These are the perfect cards for the casual ingest deck, the deck that could be a lot better at ingesting if it really tried.

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Updated Rating: 1.5

This is one of the few expensive cards that didn’t live up to expectations, as a 6-mana 5/5 isn’t impressive and needing to process two cards is more trouble than it’s worth. This is playable in dedicated processing decks, but not a high pick regardless.

Hedron Archive

Original Rating 2.5

Some decks will have no use for the extra mana this provides, which is why it isn’t an auto-include. The decks that do want to hit 6+ mana like this card a lot, as you can cash it in for more business if you get flooded. That’s a very nice ability to have on your powerful ramp card, and this is one of the better ways to make a big deck more consistent.

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Updated Rating: 3.5

Unsurprisingly, as big cards go up in value, cards that help you cast them also go up. Archive ramps you while protecting you from flood, so this has become a very high pick.

Slab Hammer

Original Rating 1.0

It may look like I’m just hammering all these equipments, but it’s not for no reason. They are just too expensive and not powerful enough, and Slab Hammer is no exception. Unless you are an aggressive landfall deck, this just doesn’t cut it. Or smash it, or whatever.

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Updated Rating: 2.5

The update here has little to do with the format and more to do with the fact that this textbox is just better than it looks. In a beatdown deck, this card does exactly what you want, and it exceeded my original expectations.

Gold Cards

I’m happy with all my original ratings except for Veteran Warleader. Bear in mind that the green cards, and more specifically, the black/green cards (Brood Butcher and Catacomb Sifter) should be taken less highly due to being green, but they are as good as they look once you actually play them.

Veteran Warleader

Original Rating 2.5

If this is reliably a 3/3, it’s going to be one of the better cards in your deck. If it’s lower than that, it’s marginally playable. I’d want at least 9 Allies before I was happy with this, and 12+ before I start getting very excited.

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Limited: 3.0

I just misread the card, and thought it was only as big as the number of Allies you control. As is, it’s a fine card and one that pushes me slightly towards Allies, though that still isn’t a deck I actively want to go after.

Blighted Lands

Original Ratings: U, R, & B - 3.5, G & W - 2.5

All of these are powerful additions to any deck that can afford some colorless sources. I love being able to play 18 lands and have flood protection, so even minor effects are something I’m interested in. As it turns out, the red, black, and blue lands have very powerful effects, and I’m quite happy with any of them. White is the least impactful, though it’s still good, and green is the unique effect that doesn’t actually help with mana flood.

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Updated Rating: U, R, & G – 2.5, B & W – 1.5

My preference for these has shifted, as the green one overperformed and the black one underperformed, though I’m less high on all of them than before. It turns out that there are ample mana sinks in this format, and while you do end up playing these more often than not, they aren’t super early picks. You just don’t need these as much as you would in other formats.

That’ll wrap up the Limited Redo. Thanks for making it through another round of reviews, and rest assured I’ll be doing this for future sets. It’s very interesting seeing what changed and why, and hopefully that helps me (and you) get better at evaluating sets in the future. I doubt most sets will change as much as this one did, due to all the complicated synergy decks present, but it’s still going to be good to check my work partway through each format.

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