Gideon, Ally of Zendikar (is our headliner)

    Shout out to us!

    MichaelJ points out that we have been doing this for “either forty-three or forty-four consecutive weeks” … and points out that Siege Rhino has pretty much been the best card in Standard the entire time.

    Shout out to the World Championships!

    Siege Rhino was facing off against Siege Rhino in the hands of World Champion Seth Manfield and former Player of the Year Owen Turtenwald.

    “Siege Rhino is kind of a messed up Magic card.”
    -Patrick Chapin

    Well… Enough for Siege Rhino for now. How about some sick Battle for Zendikar previews?

    Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
    Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

    Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is not just a powerful four mana Planeswalker… It will be a likely four-of in Battle for Zendikar Standard.

    Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is a self-contained card advantage engine. Creating a 2/2 creature each turn being kinda, sorta, drawing a card each turn (and kinda, sorta, netting 1G while you’re at it). Besides which, the 2/2 in question is an Ally… Which can give you some untold number of free Ally triggers!

    The flashy ability on Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is yet another look at his Planeswalker animation ability. This time Gideon is a 5/5 Human Soldier Ally (so might topdeck some of those Ally triggers himself) that both avoids taking damage and is actually indestructible. Who is going to stop Gideon?

    Now of course there is the [-4] emblem ability. This, we think, is the ability that can push Gideon from mere Staple to four-of. Why? You can always just sacrifice a Gideon, Ally of Zendikar (that starts with four loyalty) to cash in the emblem… There is much less down side to playing multiple copies here; especially given the long-term synergies with making 3/3, rather than 2/2 creatures.

    Mike also speculates on a Gideon, Ally of Zendikar-driven “sit there” strategy that makes 2/2 creature to block or chump while hitting land drops, milking the opponent into playing multiple creatures into an End Hostilities, and then wins quite a bit later with Secure the Wastes or an emblem activation. This strategy is made available largely due to Gideon’s built in card advantage abilities.

    Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
    Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

    Which Ulamog is better, the original Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre or Battle for Zendikar addition Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger?

    What are the key differences between the two takes on the 10/10?

    We round out our discussion in “Gideon, Ally of Zendikar (is our headliner)” with some thoughts on Battle for Zendikar mana sequencing, plus a discussion of key cards that are rotating out of Standard, including:

    • Banishing Light
    • Master of Waves
    • Bile Blight
    • Stormbreath Dragon
    • Elvish Mystic
    • Fleecemane Lion
    • … And more!

    Listen to “Gideon, Ally of Zendikar (is our headliner)” now:

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