With New Phyrexia coming out in two weeks and me still not sure if I'm going to preorder it, I thought I'd take this opportunity to review some of the cards coming out for it, to work out my problems via discussion. The cards below are rated on a simple system:
I don't like the big, over cost Blue dudes. I know, I know, it's Blue's weak point. I don't contest it, but I've never really liked it. At least Chained Throatseeker is a wall. Albeit a wall for six mana, but isn't a wall and it does have infect. I don't know how many really big infect creatures there are, but my impression is that there aren't a lot in common. So if you need an infecting fattie to finish your beat down, for one blue mana there's Chained Throatseeker. Not bad. No Flensermite, but not bad.
Dispatch is the second card to get me excited about Metalcraft (the first being Concussive Bolt, which I can list other complaints for, but...). I like it because it's a "Do something, or do something better" type of card. The art doesn't hurt and I won't oppose exiling or the shenannagans that go with Metalcraft, so I Like it. I don't think I'll mind playing against it too much either; what are you going to do, exile my Flensermite? We both lose in that scenario.
Vigilance seems excessive. Granted, it seems like the Phrexian praetors run about seven mana. And they're legends, so they're probably meant to be giant splashy generals in Elder Dragon Highlander. Mythics made for EDH instead of standard play sound like a good idea. Not a good enough idea to make me regret taking apart my EDH decks, but still, I'm sure someone else will enjoy them. Not bad.
Like it. 3 mana is perhaps a little cheap for two -1/-1 counters, plus proliferating, but it's at the top for what I'm willing to work with. A few copies will end up in my poison decks, of course, but then, I like Flensermite, so take that as you will. Like.
Apparently part of a cycle of creatures that make golems and buff golems. As golems are used plentifully, but rarely ever treated as a 'tribe,' it's welcome to see, even if she is made out of tiny, breakable pieces. I'd like to see the same done for gremlins at some time. Not Bad.
I was afraid this would be the standard variant of Giant Growth, but I'm glad they toned it down a notch to +2/+2. It's a very good use of Phyrexian Mana and with Infect decks running as they sometimes do, there's a lot of synergy there (with, for example, Flensermite's lifelink). Like.
This is a pretty cool twist on an old favorite. It copies a creature and remains an artifact, with all the rights and responsibilities thereof. It's a very simple card and one that's very good. The inclusion of Phyrexian Mana...uh, is included here. Like, for the design approach.
An Aside About Phyrexian Mana
It's about damned time. I kind of figured that colored artifacts should be in the revisitation of Mirrodin, and I like what they've done with the Phyrexian mana that lets you play a deck with colored artifacts as if it's an artifact deck. Nicely done.
Not so great in a set with infect, but in any other context, this guy is Good. For one more mana than you might pay for the kicker on a Everflowing Chalice you get the same mana and one life per use. For one more mana than a Kraken's Eye it can give you life whenever you cast any spell(Limit one spell per turn). No, it doesn't proliferate like Everflowing Chalice or work for you when your enemies do stuff like Kraken's Eye, but it really is the best of both worlds...at common.
"For Sheoldred, information is power." She eats enemies and shits friendlies, because that's how information works! Bonus points for having a name that makes a redneck sound like he's describing his wife in her twilight years, but Do Not Like.
A Bear for 3 mana that basically bears-up someone else, post-mortem for (an admittedly steep) four mana. Combos with Flensermite. Good.
Everything I said about Phyrexian mana applies here. However, this little guy does bring up a problem with Phyrexian Mana: it's clearly a better deal for Black, White, and Green, who've got some life gain at their disposal. In that scenario, you're paying on credit. That makes sense. Red is a holdout and Blue's been kind of swingy. White's relationship with Phyrexia is reminiscent of the devout Christian girl in junior high who became a whore in high school; bitch could resist any temptation but the fun kind.
Oh, Slash Panther. Does it's thing. Not bad.
*Sigh* Like.I mean, it's a non-Split-Second Extirpate and since Extirpate is...just stupidly expensive, I can't argue with that, but I just don't like it for some reason. On the other hand, it stops graveyard bullshit cold in any deck. Like.
The Hedron Crab of New Phyrexia. Love. It won't draw as much hate as Hedron Crabs. It will never do all of the stupid fun amazing things that Hedron Crab does, but very few cards ever will. Suture Priest does two things I like. Yes, it punishes players for playing creatures, but it also punishes a player for playing too many creatures, it never forbids playing them, and it rewards you for playing them. Love. In my Phyrexia fanfic, Suture Priest and Flensermite are married forever. Two 1/1s for 1C just tryin' to make it in a world full of Mythics and removal.
Like for art. Like for an activated Unblockability. I don't like unblockable, but since the game is going to have it, I'd much rather that it cost something every turn. Like for Phyrexian Mana.
Last Minute Add
Seriously? You guys know that there is a card called Stormcrow, which is kind of a thing. I try not to complain too much about making new cards better than old cards, but really? I know, you can run some sixteen 1/2 fliers in a W/U deck now but...c'mon!