Magic: The Gathering 2013 Core Set

The new 2013 Core Set of Magic: The Gathering is out now.  There are classic cards, modern favorites, and some brand new cards to the world of Magic.
Here are some interesting M13 cards that I would love to pull from a pack:


Odric, Master Tactician (Converted mana cost of 4 total, 2 are Plains)
3/4 Human Soldier Legendary Creature

When Odric attacks you choose which creatures block and how.

 Odric’s ability to grant you the choice of defenders can be extremely useful.  You can slip creatures with infect through to land Poison Counters on your opponent, you can kill off enemy creatures using match ups that are in your favor, you can kill off your own creatures to potentially trigger passive abilities of other cards, etc…



Serra Avatar (Converted mana cost of 7 total, 3 are Plains)

*/* Avatar Creature

Serra Avatar’s Power and Toughness are equal to your life total.  When heading for your graveyard, shuffle it into your library.

 I already have 4 of this card in a life giving deck.  Sure it has a high summoning cost, but assuming you have plenty of friendly/lower cost creatures like Soul Warden, Knight of Meadowgrain, and Oracle of Nectars (See below) it can make for a fun playing deck.




Warclamp Mastiff (Mana cost of 1 Plain)

1/1 Hound Creature

First strike. 

 Simple, yet effective.  I like it.







Ajani, Caller of the Pride (Converted mana cost of 3 total, 2 are Plains)

Planeswalker starting with 4 Loyalty Counters

 I want 4 of these more than any other card in M13.  It costs only 3 Mana to bring him out and increasing his loyalty (life) puts a +1/+1 counter on target creature.  In a pinch you can grant Flying and Double strike by taking off 3 counters, but the real gem is being able to take off 8 after a handful of turns.  Put as many 2/2 Cat creatures into play as your life total?!  Awesome!  If he survives long enough and your life is high it’d be devastating.




Liliana of the Dark Realms (Converted mana cost of 4 total, 2 are Swamps)

Planeswalker starting with 3 Loyalty Counters

 Taking a swamp out of your library and putting it into your hand increases her loyalty (life) total.  She’s extremely helpful in decks that need a lot of basic swamps.  I could sure use her in my Nightmare (See below) deck.  Take 6 Loyalty Counters off her and you get an emblem with “Swamps you control have ‘Tap: Add 4 black mana to your mana pool.’ ” but I wouldn’t even use that personally.  After I get some swamps out, I might take 3 Counters off to make one of my creatures gain +X/+X or make an opponents creature suffer -X/-X where X is the number of swamps I control.  Liliana … she’s got skills.



Vampire Nocturnus (Converted mana cost of 4 total, 3 are Swamps)

3/3 Vampire Creature

A black vampire deck is where Nocturnus excels.  Depending on the deck you play against, having the top card of your library revealed can be risky, but +2/+1 and flying for all your vampires is a nice reward when a black card is sitting on your library.







Primordial Hydra (X and 2 Forests to summon)

0/0 Hydra Creature

This guy starts with as many +1/+1 counters on him as you can spare mana when casting him.  Early in the game you can use just 3 mana to summon a 1/1 Hydra, it’s OK, he grows.  I have 4 of these guys in my green Hydra deck right now.  I love that you double the number of +1/+1 counters on him, period.  No clause about only doubling the natural “heads” on him.  I add counters to him using spells or Graft and what not.  He can get big quick and when he has 10 or more +1/+1 counters on him, he gains Trample…  He’s a Beast!




Elvish Archdruid (Converted mana cost of 3 total, 2 are Forests)

2/2 Elf Druid Creature

Other Elf creatures you control get +1/+1…

PLUS you can tap him to add 1 green mana for each elf you control.  He’s in my Nissa Revane Elf deck 4 times.







Thragtusk (Converted mana cost of 5 total, 1 is a Forest)

5/3 Beast Creature

Bring him out so you get 5 life and the 5/3 Beast, but if he dies (or gets exiled) you get a 3/3 Beast Token.  Well isn’t that special.  I’ll take 4 please, just in case.








Yeva, Nature’s Herald (Converted mana cost of 4 total, 2 are Forests)

4/4 Elf Shaman Legendary Creature

It would be nice to have flash on all future green creatures after you summon her.  But on the other hand there are too many great Elves available with too few spots for Elf creatures in my Elf deck…




Thundermaw Hellkite (Converted mana cost of 5 total, 2 are Mountains)

5/5 Dragon Creature

 I love this creature, he has Flying, Haste, when he enters the battlefield he deals 1 damage to flying creatures opponents control, and you tap those creatures, all for a mana cost of 5.  He makes me want to build another Dragon deck: Thundermaw Hellkite, Dragon Whelp, Slumbering Dragon (See below)…  He’s a Mythic Rare, and expensive as a single, but I’ll hope to pull 4 of him out of packs in the next month or so, we’ll see if that happens…





Krenko, Mob Boss (Converted mana cost of 4 total, 2 are Mountains)

Tap: Put X 1/1 Goblins in play where X is the number of Goblins you have.

 I would love to run out of 1/1 Goblin Tokens.  I haven’t wanted to play a Goblin deck in a while and this guy inspires me…








Talrand, Sky Summoner (Converted mana cost of 4 total, 2 are Islands)

Cast an instant or sorcery spell put a 2/2 blue Drake creature token with flying onto the battlefield.

 Maybe I’m in a creature token mood, but I like the idea of using a deck that’s spell heavy (Counter target spell!) and racking up 2/2 Flying Drakes…







Master of the Pearl Trident (mana cost of 2 Islands)
2/2 Merfolk Creature

In a Merfolk deck he’s a beast.  Other Merfolk you control get +1/+1 and islandwalk from a 2/2 that only costs 2 mana.  I like his versatility.  There are cards that turn an opponents land into an island but even with out using islandwalk Master of the Pearl Trident is useful, if you like Merfolk.







Sands of Delirium (3 mana of any color)


Your opponent puts as many cards into his/her graveyard as you have available mana. I think I would put 4 of these with 4 of Traumatize (See below) and have the beginning of a fun and effective deck.  When a player has to draw a card but doesn’t have any cards in their library, they lose. 






Gilded Lotus (5 mana of any color)


“Black Lotus” was immediately  my first thought when I saw the art on this card.  Adding 3 mana of any one color is great.  Doing it more than once and not having to sacrifice it like using the Black Lotus is neat, but 5 mana is a little pricey for me.  In multicolor decks it could be a lifesaver, it all depends on the context of the use.  I don’t know if I would use it in one of MY decks yet, but if I found a stack of these I would consider using some.  I really like the homage though.





Cathedral of War


It’s an interesting land card that is rare, I’d love if it was uncommon or common, but I’m sure glad it’s not a mythic rare.  I wasn’t sure about the whole “Exalted” thing, creatures and lands that allow lone attackers to gain +1/+1 completely changes the flow of gameplay.  After seeing it in action I must say it’s incredibly effective.  It isn’t just +1/+1 to the lone attacking creature, it’s a +1/+1 boost for the lone attacker from each card in play that has “Exalted” printed on it, including this land.  There are a number of creatures with Exalted in this Magic 2013 Core set, and it will change the way we play the game.  Especially Sublime Archangel.  I need more time to practice before I can decide if these Exalted cards are awesome, or if I can’t stand them.  At the very least, Wizards of the Coast and their team of developers are putting themselves out there on yet another feature that is worthy of our attention.  After 20 years of constant updating and care (even reimagining the way the game can be played) Magic is now as versitile as ever.  For all my friends that moved on to other things and haven’t played Magic in years: Let’s play a game or two and you might find yourself wanting to play more!


There are lots of other cards in M13, and thousands over the last 20 years!!  I’m always willing to Brainstorm on deck building so comment or email us and you’ll have some NERD TREK staff opinions if you want them!

Jerry Loveless




From above…

Slumbering Dragon:                              Traumatize:












Oracle of Nectars:                                Nightmare:











Sublime Archangel



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