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Selesnya Conclave

I got one Dryad from the Selesnya Conclave and wanted to find a deck that would let it fit in:

At first I thought it was awesome! I really loved Savannah Lions and a 1cc 2/1 creature with no drawback is really aggressive. I though about playing it this in a deck full of Quirion Dryad, Loxodon Smiter, Centaur Healer and Thragtusk until I stopped and thought that this card is really a hoser for anything that wants to use the graveyard as a resource. Yes, that includes Snapcaster Mage. But thinking more about it, Snapcaster Mage is really awesome because of all the cheap spells way back when Phyrexian Mana is available. Now that it’s not, then Snappy wouldn’t be that awesome anymore. Of courseI can be proven wrong. But until my theory is proven otherwise, I think having a 2/1 hoser that just dies to Tragic Slip is really mediocre.

Furthermore, everyone predicted that any variant of a Zombie deck would be the tier 1 deck this coming standard and this card will not be helping us battle that deck at all. It only hoses instants and sorcery and Zombies’ strength is the ability to recur creature spells. I think printing it with a text that says “If a card would be put into the graveyard from anywhere, exile it instead” would be way too much awesome. However, printing it that way it would somehow take it to the broken side.

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This card is surely one of the best cards in the old Ravnica block. A 4CC 4/4 body that gives you 4 lives and regenerates your creatures surely is a creature card you can’t ignore. I also used it as a tie breaker for the Zoo mirror during the standard season when the old Ravnica is still legal. If you are fighting with a Zoo deck way back then, you will certainly almost all of the time voluntarily lose 4 lives because of the Shock lands and in mirror matches, where a match could only last 10-15 minutes, keeping your life at 20 would definitely give you a big advantage. Unfortunately, Loxodon Heirach is not reprinted when we returned to the plane of Ravnica this year but there were some cards that to some extent came close enough.

Centaur Healer


A 3CC, 3/3 body that gains you 3 life. It’s proportional to the Heirach although placing it at common might’ve lessen the body and the life gain a bit. But still is a good card overall. I’ve had one or two of this in one of the decks I had last pre-release and I’m quite impressed. This card helped me maintain my life far from the burn range of Izzet and Rakdos. An excellent blocker at 3/3 and an even more impressive attacker. In the standard format, I would guess this would be an excellent addition to a GW deck battling against Zombie decks. The only creature big enough in “Brains” deck is Geralf’s Messenger (and Falkenrath Aristocrat) and the Centaur can deal with them in battle. You can even partner this with Restoration Angel, just for the abusive gain life shenanigans. Overall, I think this might not single handedly replace Loxodon Heirarch, but it is a card that can live to his legacy.

Loxodon Smiter

It doesn’t gain you life, it doesn’t regenerate your creature, but a 3cc 4/4 that can’t be countered is a card you can’t really get over with. Plus, it is resilient to discard effects your opponent might have. I am not sure how that ability is green or white though. The only card that reminded me of the same ability is Dodecapod which is a 4cc 3/3 creature that becomes a 5/5 when discarded. And Dodecapod is not green or white, it’s a colorless artifact! Anyways, I am not sure how that ability got in here but I think it’s because green and white are both black’s mortal enemies and discard is undoubtedly black in nature. To be honest, this card doesn’t really impress me aside from the fact that it is a 3cc 4/4 creature.  Yes, it looks like Loxodon Heirach literally because they are both Elephants but aside from the power and toughness, it doesn’t really inherit anything from the Heirarch which is a little bit sad to think. Plus it can be easily killed by Abrupt Decay. On the up side, this card could be nerve-wracking to control decks, especially the blue variant decks. So yeah, let’s just wait and see how it will play in the new Standard metagame.

Conclusion

I think Wizards did not intend for a reprint of Loxodon Heirach neither did they intended to replace it with another card. I think they are trying to shy away from reprinting anything aside from the Shock Lands. But until we get to the third set, we can’t really tell what they are up to. Wizards has been pulling various stunts lately, the latest of which is the Return to Ravnica prerelease and they pulled it successfully I think. It’s the first time I’ve played in two prerelease flights since I started playing Magic. And the players in our local stores are enjoying it as well. And I also saw some new players in the store too. And I’ve been playing against them in the prerelease not bashing them but in fact teaching them how to play Magic. It was really nice. Anyways, I hope something comes along the lines of Loxodon Heirarch in “Sinker”, otherwise, I am still ok getting all the new cards in the set. And I am starting to like Selesnya as a guild.