Makindi Sliderunner is one of three exclusive preview cards Top Level Podcast got for Battle for Zendikar.
Quick verdict on Makindi Sliderunner… We like it!
“I’m a fan.”
Makindi Sliderunner will probably see play, and might be legitimately good. It is a probable inclusion not only for R/G Landfall beatdown decks, but just a pretty good card for a Mono-Red beatdown deck to play at the two.
Makindi Sliderunner is usually going to hit for three or more damage per turn. It starts off as a 2/1 creature so “[i]t just can’t get that bad” (per Mike)… and will hit for three or four damage on many turns, depending on if you have a regular land or a fetchland to play pre-combat.
Speaking of fetchlands, unless you have one, Makindi Sliderunner will hit just as hard as a Plated Geopede with one landfall trigger (and hits harder than Plated Geopede when you don’t!)
Compare to our second preview card, Snapping Gnarlid:
For one thing, Snapping Gnarlid is a great answer to Twin Bolt… Kinda?
If you start on Scythe Leopard and follow up with Makindi Sliderunner, your R/G Landfall deck is going to be quite vulnerable to a Twin Bolt two-for-one on turn two. Playing Snapping Gnarlid on turn two instead is going to (at least) avoid the two-for-one right there.
Our two-person consensus is that — at least based on what we’ve seen so far — R/G Landfall is going to be a real deck!
Patrick and Michael, however, are a bit divided on which of the two preview cards is superior. Their points:
Mike likes the second point of toughness, in general, more than trample. This is particularly relevant on turns where you don’t have and landfall trigger, and when the opponent is trying to defend himself with Goblin tokens or Eldrazi Scions.
Mike recognizes that because red doesn’t generally have as strong of creatures (on the fundamentals) red might appreciate Makindi Sliderunner more than green does Snapping Gnarlid.
For his part, Patrick gives the slight edge to the red version; among other things, it will probably be the more widely played of the two.
Our final exclusive preview: Pilgrim’s Eye!
We guess this third preview card is largely just WotC trolling Mike (but that’s okay!)
Mike claims he doesn’t want to play Pilgrim’s Eye.
Unsurprisingly, it takes Patrick about 15 seconds to pull Mike back to the Church of Pilgrim’s Eye.
Thopter Spy Network!
U/W Thopter Spy Network decks have a hard time finding playable artifacts to turn the Thopter Spy Network on to begin with; between Pilgrim’s Eye and Hangarback Walker, U/W has a great start in getting the [artifact] ball rolling.
In addition to our three exclusive preview cards — Makindi Sliderunner, Snapping Gnarlid, and Pilgrim’s Eye — the Top Level Podcast duo discuss more Battle for Zendikar mana bases, the Retreat cycle, and how to procedurally play your Undergrowth Champion.
Check out “Makindi Sliderunner! Snapping Gnarlid! Pilgrim’s Eye!” now: