It’s report card time. when Battle of Zendikar was announced, we mentioned what the Paper Champion was looking for in the set. Today we grade Wizards on how well they met our criteria for what has the potential to be the best set ever.
Bring Us A Real War: Grade A
The illustrations in this set are superb and really show the vastness of Zendikar. They illustrate the massive battle that lie ahead with massive creatures. It’s difficult to show something of this scale in a small card from and Wizards artists did a great job doing so. They get and A.
Flesh Out the Characters: Grade C
Unfortunately, the superfriends of Magic are here and they are forming their group as we speak. I really was wanting Wizards to avoid this but it looks like we will get the B list Marvel superhero team. We pray that Wizards will flesh out their characters further in the next set, allowing character building and not stuffing the planeswalkers into a cookie cutter comic book group.
Bring Back Landfall: Grade A+
Not only did they bring Landfall back, they did it in style adding even more benefits to the ability. in the near future, I’ll be looking into making some casual decks building off this easy to trigger ability.
Bring Back Traps and Make Them Better: Grade F
No traps were printed in this set and I feel like Wizards missed a great opportunity to bring them back. I’m aware that the adventurous treasure island of plans is no longer that and more of a war some but what if some of those old traps that haven’t been found lay dormant, awaiting some hapless hero to trigger.
Full Art Basics: Grade A+
Great job on Wizards for bringing these lands back to awaiting players. They really answered the call. Not only do we get the basic lands, each pack has the opportunity to offer uber-rare chase lands, reprinted from some of the best dual lands in the game. Players everywhere will be scouring their packs for these treasures and that’s fun, which is what opening packs of Magic cards should be.
Useful Dual Lands: Grade B
This set offers two different types of dual lands, both at a rare slot. The first set will be useful for standard and other casual decks, the second, enemy man lands will be enjoyable to play at any level. We grade this category a B+ only because they do not cater to casuals or budget players because of rarity.
Great Equipment: Grade D-
It seems to me, Wizards has no concern about giving creatures something to wield nowadays. The set contains only three equipment cards, all of which are lackluster and unneeded on any gaming level. It’s almost as if Wizards made the set and forgot to print equipment, then tossed these three cards in as an afterthought. Lame.
Final Grade: C
Battle of Zendikar is a lovely set but is really inconsistent when it comes to what we were hoping for. We are really wanting some great things out of what is capable of being an amazing thrill ride on so many levels. Maybe in the final set of the block? Time will tell…
Next week, the Paper Champion will review the commons of the set. Stick around.
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