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Vorthos Loves Graveborn


(This week, Mike examines the Graveborn premium boxed set through his art-focused lens.)

I like premium decks for the sole fact that they give we Vorthoses more options. I’m all for more alternate art, foiled-out cards and up-to-date card frames and borders. As the staples in Graveborn are a bit more, ahem, valuable than those in a few other recent premium decks, I think it’ll sell well. I would’ve pushed for a Cabal Coffers instead of Ebon Stronghold since Coffers only has one art, but that’s me and might push it over the top for pricing. It also was reprinted fairly recently with Planechase.

Despite that, I’m sure I’ll be able to find a box at Target for a mere $35.

The full deck list is here.

It’s a short one, but let’s dive in.

Animate Dead

This is a $3 preorder that is well worth it. (CSI is cheaper than SCG by a whole dollar before discounts. Hint, hint.) The next-closest black-bordered Animate Dead is well over $30. This is what these premium decks should always have: white-bordered playable cards turned into black-bordered with some killer art.

I’m still on the fence about the art using a Sun Titan, as I haven’t seen it up close, but what I’m happy about is the pose our senior art director Jeremy Jarvis gave the character. It’s easy to reproduce. Alterers, you have your chase card for the box set. This is the one you want to get in mass amounts and start altering for Cubes and Eternal-format players. $3?! You should have twelve to sixteen of these already. Get to it.

Also, for Debbie, our editor, it has (as noted) cleaner rules texts. I know you Melvins love that.

Buried Alive

Is there a card added to keep the price of a common deck archetype stable? Check.

Funny that this was in the Commander precons—but no matter, it’s still a staple.

Cabal Therapy

Another great example of a card that needed to be reprinted but is a notch overpowered in 2011 Magic.

Both artworks are striking, which is good for the artwork because personal favorites will win out. The “Well, this one looks better” in Cubes probably won’t come into play.

Crosis, the Purger

I already Tweeted about Chris Rahn’s blog post on the new alternate-art version. The best quote from his post is,

I wound up looking at a lot of reference of beetles and scorpions for wing and carapace ideas.

Yes . . . yes, you did.

I like it. It feels more ominous than the original, and Grixis is finally getting some reprint love. I’m all for reprinting of Commanders.

Crystal Vein

I like Crystal Vein. It’s just an unassuming card that will whap you in the face to power out a quick Uril or net you 4 mana with a Crucible of Worlds.

It’s a great addition for any Commander deck list, as it is a black-bordered card, unlike the Sixth Edition version. Yes, the Mirage version is also black-bordered, but it has the weird green text box. I’ll be happy to see the new card aesthetic on this staple for Commander.


Is there a card that singlehandedly pushes you to buy the set for EV value? Yup, check.

Foil Entombs for $20 seem good. Yes, it can be banned at any time, but for those of you who didn’t stock up when it’s banned, here’s a great budget version. Also, it’s the same art . . . in foil.

As for the rest of the cards, they’re reprints and useful, yes, but for aesthetics, they’re just gravy. Speaking of gravy . . . If you’re curious why I’m short this week, it’s because I’m brewing something saucy. The only promise I can make is that it will drop before Trick leaves us.

Have a flavor-filled day!

A quick poll:

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