Latest Update
20 April, 2007


Seeing the Future… a Pre-Release Primer

Be warned, this article contains spoilers

By David Whitelaw

Wow. So before, when you had to trawl through my latest diatribe, at least you had the satisfaction of knowing that it took me a lot longer to fire out those few thousand word than it took you to read. Now I have the pleasure of knowing that not only do you have to read this - I’m getting paid for it! If you had given me the Future Sight 12 months ago to tell me that I’d be getting paid to write for one of the most exciting UK MTG websites and enjoyable communities I have ever experienced on the ol’ Interweb I would have suggested you give me some of whatever you were on. And yet here I am.

So, for my first featured article, what to write about? Well I have some ideas for a few different things. I spoke to Mark, Tony and Nick from Cardsuneed who were all very supportive. Myself and Mark need to ensure that we don’t tread on one another’s toes so I was given the task of imparting everything you need to know about FS before the pre-release and writing up a tournament report after the event. With no further ado, here’s everything you need to be looking out for this weekend.

I know I’m preaching to the converted in the main here but before you even start think about the big day, set your alarm early. There’s nothing tournament organisers hate worse than people trying to squeeze in ten minutes late. Be there in plenty of time. For the PC pre-re, me and my mate Brett set off for the hour-long journey to Fraserburgh two hours early. We stopped off in Tesco on the way and had an ace cooked breakfast and were there in plenty of time to get the crack and get settled. And don’t forget paper, pen and sleeves.  You really don’t want to be playing your new shiny Grove of the Burnwillows on some scummy table without sleeves on it.

So, you’ve met up with all the guys, shared pleasantries and crossed your local TO’s palms with silver earning you a seat at a table and a pile of new shiny sealed product.  What card should you be looking out for both in terms of playability and in terms of actual worth?

The Pacts

For those of you not in the know these are a cycle of cards which allow you some effect for free. However, you need to pay for this effect during your next upkeep or you lose the game. For example…

Slaughter Pact 0
Instant (R)
Slaughter Pact is black.
Destroy target non-black creature.
At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay 2B. If you don’t, you lose the game.

Now these are some good. The black one is good but isn’t going to be worth too much methinks. The white one reads ‘The next time a source of your choice would deal damage this turn, prevent that damage. You gain life equal to the amount of damage prevented that way.’ This is probably going to be less useful on the day but I’m reckoning will be worth more. The green one tutors for a green creature – this will almost certainly find a hole somewhere but at the moment all I feel is a bit ‘meh’ towards this one. Ok, you can tutor for a creature for free but by the time you pay for the spell on your next upkeep, you don’t have the mana left open to actually pay for the creature. Strikes me as a touch counter-intuative.

Now the red one is rumoured to be ‘4 damage to target creature or player’. If this is the case this card is going to be stupid good and stupid valuable. Beaten only the blue Pact if it is printed as follows…

Disrupting Pact 0
Instant (R)
Disrupting Pact is blue.
Counter target spell.
At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay2U. If you don't, you lose the game.

I don’t need to tell you how good this card is going to be. If this gets printed like this it will be better than Force of Will. This card is going to be worth lots. And then some. It’s probably not going to be all that useful for you on the pre-re (although if I had Teferi in my deck I’d be finding a hole) but if some kid offers you his for Oros or whatever, bite his hand off. For my money, this is the Damnation of Future Sight if it sees print in this form.
(EDIT - we now know that the cost is 3UU - so not as broken as first thought, this is still an excellent spell for combo decks planning a one turn victory - TONY)

Venser, Shaper Savant

Venser, Shaper Savant 2UU
Creature (R)
When Venser, Shaper Savant comes into play, return target spell or permanent to its owner’s hand.

Seriously, what is going on in R&D at the moment? Once again, the colour is getting some serious love in the form of another ridiculously good creature. Please note that this targets spells on the stack but does not counter them, making the previously uncounterable Demonfire, counterable. At least for a turn. And don’t even get me started on how good this is with Momentary Blink. This is one of those bombs that’s going to make you want to play blue if you open it this weekend.  It’s also going to be worth plenty – every tricksy blue mage is going to want these in his deck next to his Teferis.

Scourge of Kher Ridges

Scourge of Kher Ridges 6RR
Creature (R)
1R: Scourge of Kher Ridges deals 2 damage to each creature without flying.
6R: Scourge of Kher Ridges deals 6 damage to each other creature with flying.

If any card screams limited bomb more, I’m looking forward to seeing it. Just to clarify, that second ability does not target itself. This is Rough/Tumble on a 6/6 flying stick. I’m not sure how much this is going to be worth – I think a lot of it comes down to whether or not this finds a slot in Dragonstorm. I tend to think it won’t shoe-horn a slot in that deck keeping the value of this down. Either way, if you have this in your pool this weekend, you will be playing red.


Delay 1U
Instant (U)
Counter Target spell. If the spell is countered in this way remove it from the game with three time counters on it instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard. If it doesn't have suspend, it gains suspend.

I’m pointing out this one, not so much because you’re going to be seeing it played everywhere this weekend but because this will be the Remand of TS block. If anything this is better than Remand and this will safely hit the £2-3 mark in the coming months. I’m expecting big things from this.


Tombstalker 6BB
Creature (R)
Delve (You may remove any number of cards in your graveyard from the game as you play this spell. It costs 1 less to play for each card removed this way.)

We’re going to be playing with a Time Spiral tournament pack so everyone should be playing lots of madness cards. This is Tombstalker’s dream environment. This guy isn’t going to find a slot in T2 imo. My gut instinct was to say Dredge until I realised that Delve wasn’t actually Threshold – this removes the cards in your graveyard from the game. Nevertheless, with Madness abounding, you could have this guy hit play very early indeed especially if you combine it with the likes of Urborg Syphon-Mage / Greenseeker / Lightning Axe. Expect this to be swinging at you for 5 good and early come the weekend.

Rare Lands

I’m not going to go into the details of all of these – they are nearly always variations on a theme. Needless to say, grab any that come available. With the Ravnica shocklands about to cycle out and who-knows-what coming in 10th the dual variants  will only go up.

I will specifically mention one land however…

Western Tolaria
Land (R)
Western Tolaria comes into play tapped.
Tap: add U to your mana pool
Transmute UU1 (UU1, Discard this card: Search your library for a card with a converted mana cost of 0, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library. Play only as a sorcery.)

Remember what I was saying earlier about blue? Just in case Tron wasn’t strong enough already… You now have an uncounterable way to find the last piece of the Tron.

Legendary Offspring

This is a cycle of cards which are all legendary and all descendants of previous Magic fatties. The black one is actually the pre-release card and showcases Future Sight’s marquee keyword…


I personally think Grandeur is a very eloquent solution to the time old problem of how many copies of any specific Legend to include in a deck. We’re not sure as of the time of writing this as to all the cards in this cycle (there is one for each colour) but Korlash looks ace. I personally prefer Tarox however…

Tarox Bladewing 2RRR
Creature (R)
Flying, Haste
Grandeur - Discard another card named Torix Bladewing: Torix Bladewing gets +x/+x until end of turn where x is its power.

I think this card is border-line constructed playable. Would you put it in a Dragonstorm deck knowing you could only ever search up one of them along with your Hellkites but discarding that one you’ve had in hand since the start of the game? I don’t think so – which probably means it will happen. Overall a cool cycle which are all likely to be limited bombs but probably aren’t going to set the world of Constructed Magic alight any time soon keeping any potential worth down. I would be trading these for Western Tolarias and Vensers if I had the opportunity.


In Time Spiral, the Magi cycle was based on differing artifacts. During the alternative realities of Planar Chaos, the Magi took on the form of some of the legendary lands of the game’s past. In Future Sight, it is the turn of enchantments to have the Magus treatment.

Magus of the Future 2UUU
Creature (R)
Play with the top card of your library revealed.
You may play the top card of your library.

Hmmmmm… Not sure about this one. I quite like it but it is obviously a lot more vulnerable than Future Sight the enchantment was. In Limited, I see ‘2/3 for 5’. In Constructed, I see ‘card with the same cost as Teferi’. It’s not that the card itself is bad, I’m just not sure that it is good enough to carve out it’s own niche in a very strong colour at the moment. I’m probably miles off here.

Interestingly, the only other Magus to have been spoiled at the time of writing is Magus of the Moon. This is a 2/2 Blood Moon on a stick for 2R. Again, really, really not sure about this. I don’t think the payoff of having a 2/2 is worth the vulnerability and the extra 1 in the casting cost.

Tribal / Planeswalker

Two new supertypes! This one definitely caught me a bit off guard when it was announced. Honestly, I’m not that excited about the Tribal supertype. Don’t know why. I think it’s because there’s a lot of other cooler stuff going on in FS such as Grandeur and the Pacts. Oh, and the Planeswalker supertype…

I think what is particularly exciting about this is the fact that we know nowt about it so far. Absolutely nothing has been spoiled. There are lots of educated guesses but no-one really knows. For example, how does a Planeswalker (which you are when you sit down to play any game of Magic) cast a Planeswalker? How do you represent it as a card? My suspicion and that of many people is that they’ll play similarly to the Vanguard cards that we now have on MTGO and seen print many years ago in paper form. In addition, it has been suggested by some that inn order to cast these, you will almost have to make some sort of contribution to casting cost in terms of life points. Beyond that, the possible permutations could be staggering. I mean, how on earth with these cards affect tournament play? How will Standard be affected by having essentially legal Vanguard cards in existence? These cards are going to be sought after by everyone and despite knowing very little about them, I reckon they’re going to be worth a few pennies.

So that’s that. I’ve not covered everything that is kicking around in forums and rumour sites about the new set but the above is a fairly good list of what to keep an eye out for. I fully expect to hear what all you guys experienced at the pre-release. Join me next time where you get to hear how I did up in Fraserburgh.

-Flame on-



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