This entry is part 14 of 15 in the series Journey to Nowhere

by Judson AKA GUDoug

GUDoug

As 2012 comes to a close it is hard as a writer in search of content to not look back at what the year had to offer.  It seems like there has already been lots of talk on the flagship podcast about all the goodies that “Twenty-Doz” did or didn’t bestow on us.  Regardless of what you thought of the sets Return to Ravnica, M13, Planechase 2012, Avacyn Restored, and Dark Ascension had to offer they definitely had their fair share of hits, role players, and maligned cards.  I found plenty of cards to play in this years sets; some of which rank among my favorite cards printed, and some of which I hate just as much as any card ever printed

For me while Dark Ascension offered little in the form of cards for me to play it had two of my most favorite new cards in form of Requiem Angel and Jar of Eyeballs.  They both fit perfectly into my favorite strategy of sacrificing creatures for profit by adding even more profit.  Like most people I found a wealth of cards to play from Avacyn Restored, and was quick to spit piles of hate on everyone’s favorite easy button Deadeye Navigator.  Planechase surprisingly had many fun new cards to offer, many of which I have obtained but have yet to build a deck for.  I didn’t find a whole lot to work with in M13 but Trading Post is sure to become King of anyone’s durdlefest.  Lastly in Return to Ravnica I wish I had found more cards to play but still found plenty.

There is a mass of ok to good cards that I have yet to play or already cut from decks from this years crop of cards.  This year saw me take apart many decks that could have used a lot of the new cards if room could have been made.  That being said I have, for the most part, built just as many decks as I have taken apart.  I decided to list all the cards that I am currently playing from 2012.  In the five releases from 2012 I am playing 68 unique cards that were new to those particular sets and not reprints.  Here they are:

Return to Ravnica (18)
Sphere of Safety, Cyclonic Rift, Grave Betrayal , Slum ReaperMizzium Mortars, Utvara Hellkite, Vandalblast, Worldspine Wurm, Armada Wurm, Collective Blessing, Isperia, Supreme Judge, Korozda Guildmage, Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice, Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage, Azorius Guildgate, Golgari Guildgate, Rogue’s Passage, Selesnya Guildgate

 

M13 (8)
Krenko, Mob Boss, Mindclaw Shaman, Elderscale Wurm, Ranger’s Path, Roaring Primadox, Yeva, Nature’s Herald, Staff of Nin, Trading Post

Planechase 2012 (8)
Sakashima’s Student, Beetleback Chief, Mass Mutiny, Dragonlair Spider, Etherium-Horn Sorcerer, Maelstrom Wanderer, Silent-Blade Oni, Vela the Night-Clad

 

Avacyn Restored (25)
Angel of Jubilation, Call to Serve, Cathars’ Crusade, Restoration Angel, Deadeye Navigator, Devastation Tide, Tamiyo, the Moon Sage, Tandem Lookout, Blood Artist, Harvester of Souls, Reforge the Soul, Zealous Conscripts, Champion of Lambholt, Craterhoof Behemoth, Druids’ Repository, Somberwald Sage, Soul of the Harvest, Terrifying Presence, Wolfir Silverheart, Conjurer’s Closet, Scroll of Avacyn, Scroll of Griselbrand, Vessel of Endless Rest, Alchemist’s Refuge, Slayers’ Stronghold

Dark Ascension (9)
Requiem Angel, Black Cat, Fiend of the Shadows, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, Dawntreader Elk, Feed the Pack, Jar of Eyeballs, Haunted Fengraf, Vault of the Archangel

 

So I thought I would go back through the releases of 2011, Mirrodin Besieged, New Phyrexia, M12, MTG Commander product, and Innistrad and see how they compared to 2012.  Again I only counted cards new to these sets.  This was the first year of five sets being released that included new product.  The one thing that I did notice while going through the sets were the huge number of cards that I had played but no longer have a deck for or cut from the decks I still have.  I wasn’t expecting to still be playing 79 unique cards from those five sets after seeing how many that no longer have deck to call home.  So having just over 10 more cards than this year is kind of foreboding for 2012’s prospects of maintaining that 68 unique cards after seeing how much turn over and cutting I had seen in just the cards of 2011.  Giving equal service to these sets here are the cards from 2011 that I am still play.

 

Innistrad (22)
Divine Reckoning, Geist-Honored Monk, Mausoleum Guard, Mentor of the Meek, Cackling Counterpart, Bloodgift Demon, Reaper from the Abyss, Skirsdag High Priest, Unburial Rites, Balefire Dragon, Blasphemous Act, Charmbreaker Devils, Scourge of Geier Reach, Creeping Renaissance, Gutter Grime, Parallel Lives, Clifftop Retreat, Gavony Township, Hinterland Harbor, Kessig Wolf Run, Moorland Haunt, Sulfur Falls

M12 (11)
Jace’s Archivist, Master Thief, Mind Unbound, Vengeful Pharaoh, Warstorm Surge, Carnage Wurm, Garruk, Primal Hunter, Jade Mage, Trollhide, Adaptive Automaton, Buried Ruin

MTG Commander (11)
Martyr’s Bond, Dread Cacodemon, Scythe Specter, Syphon Flesh, Chaos Warp, Stranglehold, Hornet Queen, Hydra Omnivore, Edric, Spymaster of Trest, Tariel, Reckoner of Souls, Command Tower

 

 

New Phyrexia (25)
Karn Liberated, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Puresteel Paladin, Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, Phyrexian Ingester, Phyrexian Metamorph, Psychic Surgery, Entomber Exarch, Life’s Finale, Act of Aggression, Chancellor of the Forge, Moltensteel Dragon, Urabrask the Hidden, Beast Within, Birthing Pod, Brutalizer Exarch, Triumph of the Hordes, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, Batterskull, Omen Machine, Pristine Talisman, Soul Conduit, Sword of War and Peace, Unwinding Clock, Phyrexia’s Core

 

Mirrodin Besieged (23)
Phyrexian Rebirth, White Sun’s Zenith, Blue Sun’s Zenith, Mirran Spy, Treasure Mage, Black Sun’s Zenith, Flesh-Eater Imp, Massacre Wurm, Into the Core, Red Sun’s Zenith, Green Sun’s Zenith, Bonehoard, Darksteel Plate, Knowledge Pool, Mirrorworks, Mortarpod, Myr Sire, Myr Turbine, Plague Myr, Psychosis Crawler, Spine of Ish Sah, Sword of Feast and Famine, Inkmoth Nexus

 

But why stop at 2011?  What about 2010?  That year brought only four releases with new cards include.  Those releases being Scars of Mirrodin, M11, Rise of the Eldrazi, and Worldwake.  How would 2012 compare to a year that only had 4 sets and plenty of time to soak in and really test its cards to see what would stick and what was chaff.  Again going through these sets there were so many cards I had played but no longer had in a deck.  In some instances, like with the two still playable Eldrazi Legends, I have no excuse for not playing in any deck.  So how did 2010 fare?  79 unique cards.  That is just over 10 more cards than 2012 and 2010 had one less release that had new cards.  2011 had that same number of 79 cards with 5 releases as well.  It really is remarkable    Like the previous years here is what I still play:

 

Scars of Mirrodin (25)
Leonin Arbiter, Razor Hippogriff, Sunblast Angel, Dissipation Field, Volition Reins, Exsanguinate, Geth, Lord of the Vault, Hoard-Smelter Dragon, Kuldotha Phoenix, Blunt the Assault, Ezuri, Renegade Leader, Genesis Wave, Venser, the Sojourner, Contagion Engine, Grafted Exoskeleton, Kuldotha Forgemaster, Mimic Vat, Myr Battlesphere, Nim Deathmantle, Origin Spellbomb, Precursor Golem, Steel Hellkite, Strata Scythe, Sylvok Lifestaff, Wurmcoil Engine

 

M11 (14)
Angelic Arbiter, Sun Titan, Frost Titan, Liliana’s Specter, Reassembling Skeleton, Viscera Seer, Hoarding Dragon, Inferno Titan, Manic Vandal, Cultivate, Mitotic Slime, Sylvan Ranger, Temple Bell, Mystifying Maze

Rise of the Eldrazi (19)
Artisan of Kozilek, Eldrazi Conscription, Lightmine Field, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Totem-Guide Hartebeest, Lighthouse Chronologist, Recurring Insight, Cadaver Imp, Pawn of Ulamog, Conquering Manticore, Emrakul’s Hatcher, World at War, Awakening Zone, Kozilek’s Predator, Momentous Fall, Ondu Giant, Pelakka Wurm, Dreamstone Hedron, Evolving Wilds

Worldwake (21)
Marshal’s Anthem, Stoneforge Mystic, Thada Adel, Acquisitor, Butcher of Malakir, Chain Reaction, Comet Storm, Avenger of Zendikar, Joraga Warcaller, Wolfbriar Elemental, Novablast Wurm, Wrexial, the Risen Deep, Basilisk Collar, Everflowing Chalice, Pilgrim’s Eye, Seer’s Sundial, Walking Atlas, Bojuka Bog, Dread Statuary, Khalni Garden, Stirring Wildwood, Tectonic Edge

 

Keeping the train moving let us go through the wild and carefree sets of 2009.  2009 brought us four sets again with the releases being Zendikar, M10, Alara Reborn, and Conflux.  like the previous years I have looked at during my walk down memory lane, I saw a lot of cards I once played that are now deckless.  So many played and discarded cards.  2009 still has 65 unique cards that I am playing, just three less than 2012 that had 5 releases.  You know the drill here they are:

 

Zendikar (28)
Day of Judgment, Emeria Angel, Kor Cartographer, Luminarch Ascension, Rite of Replication, Guul Draz Specter, Lavaball Trap, Beastmaster Ascension, Nissa Revane, Nissa’s Chosen, Oracle of Mul Daya, Rampaging Baloths, Relic Crush, Blade of the Bloodchief, Eldrazi Monument, Expedition Map, Trailblazer’s Boots, Akoum Refuge, Arid Mesa, Crypt of Agadeem, Emeria, the Sky Ruin, Graypelt Refuge, Kazandu Refuge, Marsh Flats, Misty Rainforest, Oran-Rief, the Vastwood, Scalding Tarn, Sejiri Refuge

M10 (17)
Captain of the Watch, Open the Vaults, Planar Cleansing, Hive Mind, Sphinx Ambassador, Cemetery Reaper, Magma Phoenix, Acidic Slime, Ant Queen, Borderland Ranger, Elvish Archdruid, Gorgon Flail, Dragonskull Summit, Drowned Catacomb, Glacial Fortress, Rootbound Crag, Sunpetal Grove

 

Alara Reborn (10)
Filigree Angel, Lich Lord of Unx, Nemesis of Reason, Soulquake, Bloodbraid Elf, Dragon Broodmother, Spellbreaker Behemoth, Enlisted Wurm, Mayael’s Aria, Uril, the Miststalker

 

 

Conflux (10)
Martial Coup, Path to Exile, Telemin Performance, Rotting Rats, Rakka Mar, Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer, Knight of the Reliquary, Armillary Sphere, Exotic Orchard, Reliquary Tower

 

Ok this is the last one I promise.  I started playing EDH with the release of Shadowmoor, and just prior to that, right before the release of Morningtide, I had restarted playing magic having left the game some time around Mirage.  2008’s first release was Morningtide so for how this investigation is going that set seems like a perfect starting spot/finish line.  Along with Morningtide there was also Shadowmoor, Eventide, and Shards of Alara released in 2008.  I didn’t hold out much hope for this year but it came in the highest number despite the fact that there were so many cards from this year that I played but no longer play (what a broken record statement).  The four sets of 2008 have 86 unique cards still in my EDH decks.  I was shocked.  Here they are:

 

Shards of Alara (25)
Cradle of Vitality, Dispeller’s Capsule, Knight-Captain of Eos, Sanctum Gargoyle, Sunseed Nurturer, Gather Specimens, Mindlock Orb, Sharding Sphinx, Tezzeret the Seeker, Fleshbag Marauder, Vicious Shadows, Elvish Visionary, Ooze Garden, Skullmulcher, Mayael the Anima, Naya Charm, Necrogenesis, Minion Reflector, Quietus Spike, Bant Panorama, Esper Panorama, Jund Panorama, Jungle Shrine, Naya Panorama, Seaside Citadel

Eventide (19)
Dream Fracture, Glen Elendra Archmage, Inundate, Ashling, the Extinguisher, Needle Specter, Regal Force, Deathbringer Liege, Desecrator Hag, Hag Hedge-Mage, Duergar Hedge-Mage, Murkfiend Liege, Spitting Image, Scarecrone, Ward of Bones, Cascade Bluffs, Fetid Heath, Flooded Grove, Rugged Prairie, Springjack Pasture

Shadowmoor (28)
Order of Whiteclay, Prison Term, Twilight Shepherd, Midnight Banshee, Furystoke Giant, Knollspine Dragon, Farhaven Elf, Mana Reflection, Spawnwrithe, Witherscale Wurm, Mirrorweave, Mistmeadow Witch, Ghastlord of Fugue, Glen Elendra Liege, Memory Plunder, Oona, Queen of the Fae, Torrent of Souls, Boartusk Liege, Rhys the Redeemed, Cauldron of Souls, Umbral Mantle, Fire-Lit Thicket, Graven Cairns, Leechridden Swamp, Mistveil Plains, Mystic Gate, Sunken Ruins, Wooded Bastion

Morningtide (14)
Idyllic Tutor, Reveillark, Knowledge Exploitation, Spitebellows, Taurean Mauler, Bramblewood Paragon, Chameleon Colossus, Cream of the Crop, Heritage Druid, Rhys the Exiled, Wolf-Skull Shaman, Diviner’s Wand, Door of Destinies, Thornbite Staff

 

Aside from now revealing all of the cards from the last five years that I currently play, what does this all mean?  Having gone through all these sets and seeing all the cards I no longer play, things don’t look good for the class of 2012 unless it starts pumping more cards into my decks without losing many classmates.  There are plenty of cards from 2012 that are good enough to play that I am currently not playing, but I am not planning on going out of my way to include them unless they look fun to play and good for the deck.  There are also a few cards I have yet to play due to cost restrictions from this years crop.

What did 2012 have going for it?  It had plenty of powerful and annoying cards, and has already had two cards banned in EDH already.  We also saw plenty of cards printed that seem to shortcut the part of the game that I find most enjoyable, trying to find a way to make things work.  Who wants to work at making things happen when any number of new cards from 2012 like Craterhoof Behemoth, Deadeye Navigator, or Omniscience, to name a few, can fast track you into game over.  I don’t want to get to much into card design with regards to EDH in this article but I certainly hope that 2013 brings a return to more cards that I like to play that don’t just end the game immediately on entering the battlefield.  If you want to read a little bit about EDH card design Cassidy over at General Damage Control had a good article about it a while back on his blog (CHECK IT OUT).

So 2012 might not be the best year ever for EDH in terms of quantity but definitely added a several quality cards that could meet almost everyone’s definition of the word, whether you are tryhard, casual scrub, or noob.  Good quality role playing cards like Creeping Renaissance have made many of my decks that can play it and there were several other cards like it that easily slot into every decks that can play whatever color they are.  I hope 2013 brings me more cards that enable me to get more VALUE off my cards that I am sacrificing for value, and more fun cards like they released in the Planechase 2012 set.  I hope 2013 brings you everything you want as well…as long as it isn’t too broken.

Email me at: judsonjg(at)yahoo(dot)com
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/GUDoug

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