Mirrodin Trading Guide

Feature Article from Jay Schneider
Jay Schneider
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Greetings All,

Going back to Alliances, I’ve been publishing set overviews based on expected long term trade valuations.  Mirrodin is by far the most difficult set I’ve ever tried to evaluate.  Hopefully that will make this Trading Guide the most useful to date!  The down side is that this could also make this the most inaccurate Trading Guide I’ve done.  As always, only time will tell.

At the start of each set evaluation I look back and see how I did on my last few guides.  There are always a few that make me wince but in general I’m satisfied with my picks.  About the only way to judge a reviewer’s accuracy is past performance so I recommend you take a look and judge my previous reviews.  Please visit my prior set reviews at the Brainburst Archives:

The rares are grouped into 4 categories:  Chase, Good, Average, Poor.  Chase rares are those which will see play in Tier 1 decks (usually in qty. 4) and have that special uniqueness that distinguishes them from other rares in the set.  Good rares will be seen in one or more Tier 1 decks and probably in quantity 4 but they don’t have the je ne sais quoi of a chase rare.  Some of the Good rares are special/unique but only to certain audience (ex. huge creatures that have Timmy value) or they’re special but sideboard only.  Average rares will see some tournament play, however they’re mostly block cards and there are usually good substitutes.  Some Average value rares are just very narrow in use; either sideboard cards or they require a very special deck, that’s really only Tier 2, to use of them.  Poor rares have very occasional uses and are rarely, if ever, desired.

I’d like to thank all those people who have gone over the set with me and discussed it in painful details. In magic as in most things, no one develops in a vacuum. I'm lucky enough to have steady feedback and suggestion from friends across the US:

In Seattle: Andrew Weiss and Gerald Linn, along with the Microsoft Cafeteria Magic Players. Thanks to Coyote Games in Redmond and Guildhouse Games in Tacoma for providing the Seattle area players places to play.

In Oregon: Dave Meddish, Mons Johnson.

In CA & Elsewhere: Chris Cade, Sean Frackowiak, Rick Saunooke

In Atlanta: Andy Wolf, David Leader, and the ever reclusive Paul Sligh.





Promise of Power

Auriok Steelshaper

Loxodon Punisher

Loxodon Peacekeeper

Troll Ascetic

Leonin Abunas

March of the Machines


Chrome Mox

Luminous Angel

Quicksilver Elemental

Lumengrid Augur

Empyrial Plate

Rule of Law

Shared Fate

Copperhoof Vorrac

Extraplanar Lens

Second Sunrise

Temporal Cascade

Hum of the Radix

Oblivion Stone

Solar Tide

Vedalken Archmage

Gate to the Aether


Dross Harvester

Grim Reminder

Necrogen Mists

Reiver Demon

Nim Devourer

Spoils of the Vault

Confusion in the Ranks


Mass Hysteria

Fiery Gambit

Vulshok Battlemaster


Glissa Sunseeker

Trash for Treasure

Plated Slagwurm

War Elemental

Tooth and Nail

Living Hive

Altar of Shadows

Bosh, Iron Golem

Blinkmoth Urn

Chalice of the Void

Clockwork Dragon

Damping Matrix

Culling Scales


Jinxed Choker

Gilded Lotus


Goblin Charbelcher

Liar's Pendulum

Grid Monitor

Lightning Coils

Krark's Thumb

Lodestone Myr

Leonin Sun Standard

Mesmeric Orb


Mind's Eye

Platinum Angel

Myr Incubator

Proteus Staff

Nightmare Lash

Sculpting Steel


Solemn Simulacrum

Psychogenic Probe

Soul Foundry

Quicksilver Fountain

Spellweaver Helix

Scythe of the Wretched


Sword of Kaldra




Tower of Champions

Tower of Eons

Tower of Fortunes

Tower of Murmurs



Promise of Power 2BBB
Choose one — You draw five cards and you lose 5 life; or put a black Demon creature token with flying into play with power and toughness each equal to the number  of cards in your hand as the token comes into play. Entwine 4

Overpowered doesn’t even begin to describe this card.  Promise of Power is the Necro effect of choice for Mono Black decks (either control or Suicide.)  Adding to this it keeps the MBC builds from having to waste a control slot on a kill mechanism.  Expect to see this card in quantity 4 in Extended, Type II and Block.  I wouldn’t be shocked if it wound up in Vintage as well.

Troll Ascetic 1GG
Creature — Troll Shaman
Troll Ascetic can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.
1G: Regenerate Troll Ascetic.   3/2

Remember Jorael’s Centaur?  This guy is way better!  He’s the best 3 drop Green has and is on par with Wild Mongrel.  Every tournament or casual player needs or will want 4. Troll Ascetic is the dark horse of the set, trade for them immediately before they get too pricey.

Chrome Mox 0
Imprint — When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game.
T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.

Chrome Mox is the single highest valued card in the set.  No others need apply.  Does it deserve this status?  Hard to say.  I will say Chrome Mox is a better (easier to use in deck design) than Mox Diamond.  The reason is Chrome Mox can as a mana source and mana acceleration (in the deck design), instead of as color fixer and mana acceleration (as the Mox Diamond had to be.) 

Empyrial Plate 2
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +1/+1 for each card in your hand.
Equip 2

The best equipment, period. Empyrial Plate is an improved Empyrial Armor that any agro deck can (and probably should) use.  Get ready for Goblin Armor, Suicide Armor, and Elf Armor.  Heck, I bet we’ll even see Extended Merfolk Curiosity Armor.  Every player, tournament or casual will want 4.

Oblivion Stone 3
4, T: Put a fate counter on target permanent.
5, T, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove  all fate counters from all permanents.

This one isn’t hard to judge either.  Oblivion Stone is a Disk with a slightly higher total cost but without the turn delay.  As an insane bonus you can even protect permanents.  You need 4 of these for tournament play in every format.


Auriok Steelshaper 1W
Creature — Human Soldier
Equip costs you pay cost 1 less. As long as Auriok Steelshaper is equipped, Soldiers and Knights you control get +1/+1.

Auriok Steelshaper is a borderline card between Good and Average.  It’ll see play in almost every White Weenie deck for the next couple of years.  The only valuation question is how good will White Weenie be?

Leonin Abunas 3W
Creature — Cat Cleric
Artifacts you control can't be the targets of spells or abilities your opponents control.  2/5

Guardian Beast always traded for an inexplicably high value, especially considering its questionable uses in tournament decks.  Leonin Abunas will see some tournament play but mostly in block.  Normally this would only equate to Average value rare but expect Leonin Abunas to gain luster from its Guardian Beast likeness.  Expect that luster to fade eventually and the Leonin to become an Average value rare.

Luminous Angel 4WWW
Creature — Angel
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying into play.  4/4

Almost every Angel since Serra has held Timmy value and most of them are playable in some format or another.  The Luminous Angel is no exception.  Don’t expect to play it often and likely only in Block.  But do expect to be able to trade it for solid value.

Rule of Law 2W
Each player can't play more than one spell each turn.

Arcane Laboratory at various times has been a key sideboard card and in quantity 4.  There’s no reason to believe this won’t be true in the future and Rule of Law is simply Arcane Laboratory in White.  When you compound this with people who insist on trying to force a lock deck to work with Rule of Law, you are left with a card that has a Good valuation.

Second Sunrise 1WW
Each player returns to play all artifact, creature, enchantment, and land cards that were put into his or her graveyard from play this turn.

This card will initially trade at a lower level than it should.  While it does snatch them up!  The obvious use for Second Sunrise is defensive, against Wrath effects, Obliterate or similar and this will set Second Sunrise’s initially valuation.  If this were Second Sunrise’s only benefit then it would simple be an average valued.  The spike in value to Good will occur when players start building decks using this as an Early Harvest in combination with self land/permanent destroying effects.  Consider Reprocess if you’d like a starting point for these decks.

Solar Tide 4WW
Choose one — Destroy all creatures with power 2 or less; or destroy all creatures with power 3 or greater. Entwine—Sacrifice two lands. (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

This card is entirely unexciting outside of Mirrodin Block.  However, I’ve yet to see a Wrath effect in any block that didn’t get used in quantity 4 and they’ve all held at least a Good valuation.  I’m not excited about trading for Solar Tides but I know that I, and every tournament player, will need 4.

Broodstar 8UU
Creature — Beast
Affinity for artifacts (This spell costs 1 less to  play for each artifact you control.) Broodstar's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.

The right deck will play 4 of these and they’ll be amazing.  I don’t expect this to be a deck we see very often in tournament and normally I’d only value Broodstar as an Average rare.  However, Broodstar has high casual player appeal and this will keep his valuation at Good.

Grim Reminder 2B
Search your library for a nonland card and reveal it.  Each opponent who played a card this turn with the same name as that card loses 6 life. Then shuffle the revealed card back into your library.  BB: Return Grim Reminder from your graveyard to your hand. Play this ability only during your upkeep.

This is a superbly designed card and one that I expect to approach Chase card valuation.  Grim Reminder is unique, fun and powerful.  Everything I want to see in a card design.  Great job R&D!

Reiver Demon 4BBBB
Creature — Demon
When Reiver Demon comes into play, if you played it from your hand, destroy all nonartifact, nonblack creatures. They can't be regenerated.  6/6.

Reiver Demon is one of those cards that I feel is over hyped and people just like too much.  Its tournament power level is really only Average, however people will push this card enough that it will show up in MBC builds where it really shouldn’t.  However, my feelings don’t really count in valuation, the card has player appeal, Timmy appeal and is marginally tournament caliber.  So it will trade at a Good valuation.
Spoils of the Vault B
Name a card. Reveal cards from the top of your library  until you reveal the named card, then put that card into your hand. Remove all other cards revealed this  way from the game, and you lose 1 life for each of the removed cards.

Spoils of the Vault are one of those cards I have to stick my neck out for (and possibly get it chopped off) and present its future valuation as opposed to its current valuation.  Right now Spoils of the Vault is only average valued.  However, contrary to current theory it will increase in value dramatically and become a card that all serious tournament players will have to own 4 of.  So get your copies while they’re cheap.

Here’s why.  Spoils of the Vault is a combo card and a very powerful one.  In a combo deck that uses Black this is an incredibly efficient way to complete your combo.  And when you’re hunting for the final part of your combo anything that doesn’t kill you is just fine.  Unlike Demonic Consultation you don’t plow the first 6 cards of your library, you just start digging.  This means that with any look ahead ability this is just a tutor.  Without look ahead after you’ve run out of defensive spells a “Hail Mary” tutor like Spoils of the Vault isn’t just a desperation move, it’s a good bet.

Consider the following example.  You’re playing a 2 card combo deck with 4 copies of each of the pieces.  You play defensive spells and one of the combo pieces over the first 5 turns.  It’s time now to do or die from the angry agro hordes.  You top deck one of your 4 Spoils and are 13 cards deep into your library.  47 cards left in your deck, average of 12 point of damage from the Spoils.  12% chance of the Spoils doing 20 damage to you before providing the key card.  Most combo player will take that chance.  Don’t forget the numbers rapidly improve the longer you can wait to cast the Hail Mary tutor.

Similarly, Spoils is excellent at resolving mana issues with marginal tempo loss.  And don’t forget that it works as superb tutor for sideboard cards in game 2 (ex. Rule of Law.) When you’re shutting down the opposing combo decks it’s a bargain.  The price is steep but if you’ve built your deck to support Spoils the rewards are worth it.

Arc-Slogger 3RR
Creature — Beast
R, Remove the top ten cards of your library from the game: Arc-Slogger deals 2 damage to target creature or player.  4/5

Arc-Slogger has gain considerable attention and increased value due to rules confusion (the correct ruling is you must have 10 cards in your library to use the ability.)  I expect Arc-Slogger to devalue to average in the short run, however he’s likely to return to Good with the onset of Mirrodin Block constructed.  Arc-Slogger is a top notch  creature if you have sufficient cards to “slog”.  This will likely mean 50 available (10 points.)  This indicates a potential build for an aggressive Arc-Slogger Sligh deck which has slightly more than 60 cards (65 for example) to allow for a 10 point “slog” and a direct damage turn 6 kill.

Fiery Gambit 2R
Flip a coin until you lose a flip or choose to stop  flipping. If you lose a flip, Fiery Gambit has no effect.  If you win one or more flips, Fiery Gambit deals 3 damage to target creature. If you win two or more flips, Fiery Gambit deals 6 damage to each opponent. If you win three or more flips, draw nine cards and untap all lands you control.

So there you are playing in an 8 man Friday Night Magic against Kai, Finkel, Zvi etc.  You look at your 1650 rating and realize 2 things.  The first is you’re dreaming.  The second is that you have 4 Fiery Gambits in your Sligh deck and you’ve got a chance at beating any of them.

Fiery Gambit is the most interesting coin-flip cards ever printed (runner ups are Frenetic Effreet and Orcish Captain) and it’s even potentially even tournament caliber (also like the other two.)  However, it has two strikes against it and thus it might never see tournament play (that’s O.K. the casual players will love it.)  The first strike is that Fiery Gambit is a coin flip card and as with the entire breed, coin flip cards reduce player skills with randomness in a duel.  As most players believe they’re a player than their opponent, they’re unlikely to use this card.  The second strike is playing with Fiery Gambit is like playing a hot tip with the rent money.  You can’t afford to lose even if the bet is in your favor.

The question then is when should you play Fiery Gambit?  The answer is when only a lottery ticket will save you.  Fiery Gambit is a correct sideboard choice for a horribly disadvantaged match where nothing else will do.  It’s important to realize that although a lottery ticket Fiery Gambit does have an expected return of over 1 card (specifically 1.25 cards + bonuses when flipped 3 times).  The option to flip once or twice and stopping should be considered as minor benefits.

So considering that this is only a weird Sideboard card normally Fiery Gambit would only be an average rare.  However, considering they printed the Thumb and the casual player appeal of Fiery Gambit it will hold Good valuation.

Megatog 4RR
Creature — Atog
Sacrifice an artifact: Megatog gets +3/+3 and gains trample until end of turn.   3/4

Megatog is borderline between Good and Average.  He’ll see tournament play in block but only 1 or 2 in a deck.  He’ll be passed over in Mirrodin Sligh block designs for the much faster Atog.  However, he does gain trample and has Timmy appeal so his valuation will likely stay just above Average.

Trash for Treasure 2R
As an additional cost to play Trash for Treasure, sacrifice an artifact. Return target artifact card from your graveyard to play.

Tournament players are going to need 4 of these for the combo decks that get built with it.  Don’t think along the lines of Tinker designs but rather Reanimator decks.

War Elemental RRR
Creature — Elemental
When War Elemental comes into play, sacrifice it unless an opponent was dealt damage this turn.  Whenever damage is dealt to an opponent, put that many  +1/+1 counters on War Elemental.  1/1

The War Elemental was one of those cards that made this set really hard to evaluate.  He’s either a bomb or entirely Average.  He has some amazing tricks. For example he comes  into play, then put the sacrifice effect on the stack, top the stack with a Shock for your opponent. You get the damage and a live 3/3 War Elemental.  Then attack with your team for even more counters.

On the other hand he might just be forcing the Red deck to overextend its resources and then he’s just a creature you don’t want to top deck late in the game.  Only time will tell where he belongs so I’m taking the safe route and valuing the War Elemental as Good.

Living Hive 6GG
Creature — Elemental
Whenever Living Hive deals combat damage to a player, put that many 1/1 green Insect creature tokens into play.   6/6

Borderline between Good and Average valuation, this is a pretty good Fatty, reasonably fun and it has Trample.  Not a card that any tournament deck will play 4 of but it has  Timmy value and this will keep it just above Average valuation.

Bosh, Iron Golem 8
Artifact Creature — Golem Legend
3R, Sacrifice an artifact: Bosh, Iron Golem deals damage equal to the sacrificed artifact's converted mana cost to target creature or player.   6/7

Bosh isn’t really good enough to be valued at a Good Rare.  It’s not that he won’t see any tournament play, he almost certainly will, especially in Mirrodin Block Constructed.  However, it will only be in quantities of 1 or 2.  But he’s generally popular with the casual players and appeals to the Timmy crowd so he’ll hold Good valuation.

Chalice of the Void XX
Chalice of the Void comes into play with X charge counters on it. Whenever a player plays a spell with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Chalice of the Void, counter that spell.

Chalice of the Void is a strong tournament card.  Strangely it is closest in effect to Powder Keg, although Chalice is a preventive instead of a responsive card.  The tradeoff in the case is loss of the ability to respond to a threat balanced by the ability to lock out future versions of that  threat in perpetuity.  It’s a good deal, especially in colorless.  This card might make the Chase card valuation.

Damping Matrix 3
Activated abilities of artifacts and creatures can't be played unless they're mana abilities.

A new version of Null Rod, this card will fill that role for decks that just don’t want to (or have no other way) to deal with artifacts.  Perhaps most importantly it gives everyone an answer to Oblivion Stone.

Duplicant 6
Artifact Creature — Shapeshifter
Imprint — When Duplicant comes into play, you may remove target nontoken creature from the game.
As long as a creature card is imprinted on Duplicant, Duplicant has that card's power, toughness, and creature types. It's still a Shapeshifter.  2/4

A colorless Nekrataal with a built in Clone, which can be played as a 2/4 if there’s nothing to Clone.  What could be better?  Well actually it could cost something less than 6 mana.  At 5 mana Duplicant would see a lot of play, at 6 mana it’s relegated to Block, specialized removal roles and  casual play.  Still it will see some play and it’s a fun card so people will actively trade for it.

Extraplanar Lens 3
Imprint — When Extraplanar Lens comes into play, you  may remove target land you control from the game. Whenever a land with the same name as the imprinted card is tapped for mana, its controller adds one mana to his or her mana pool of any type that land produced.

Extraplanar Lens is a solid card that will see play in combo decks and Mono control decks that can abuse massive amounts of mana.  Not a card for most decks but there will be the occasional Tier 1 deck that uses the Lens.

Gilded Lotus 5
T: Add three mana of any one color to your mana pool.

Gilded Lotus is only of occasional tournament use, although it will see some play especially in Mirrodin Block.  Combined with having the word Lotus in the name, and the artwork Gilded Lotus will hold a Good valuation.

Goblin Charbelcher 4
3, T: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Goblin Charbelcher deals damage  equal to the number of nonland cards revealed this  way to target creature or player. If the revealed land  card was a Mountain, Goblin Charbelcher deals double that damage instead. Put the revealed cards on the  bottom of your library in any order.

This is one of the top Artifacts in this set, it’s simply an improved Cursed Scroll with a higher casting cost.  The comparison with scroll is worth reflection.  Both cards don’t guarantee dealing damage.  However, used properly they’re both likely to.  If they deal damage it’s likely to be a similar amount (although more with the Charbelcher in a Red deck.)  Most importantly if you build your deck to support it both cards are devastatingly effective.

So what decks can optimally use Goblin Charbelcher?  The first ones that come to mind are Combo decks.  A land thawing combo deck can use this as an incredibly versatile kill mechanism as well as a backup defensive card.  Agro decks can use this to provide burn, even in traditionally non-burn colors.  In Red it’s even better.  Don’t forget there’s also the Charbelcher Combo deck that sorts your entire deck using Proteus Staff (no creature cards, activate it off of a token) then kill with a single Charbelcher activation.  Still the Charbelcher isn’t quite going to be a Chase card but it is Very Good.

Grid Monitor 4
Artifact Creature
You can't play creature spells.  4/6

Another reprint, expect this card to be as good as its predecessor, Steel GolemSteel Golem was often the only creature in several control designs (for example the Pox decks or the early Burning Bridges) and filled that role admirably.  Make sure to have at least 3 of these in your collection.

Krark's Thumb 2
Legendary Artifact
If you would flip a coin, instead flip two coins and ignore one.

Not tournament playable.  Don’t even try. However Krark’s Thumb is eminently casual.  Do try.  This is a fun enough card that casual players will trade for them heavily.  My only complaint with this card is that it should be “semi-legendary, after all you should be able to play with two of them.

Leonin Sun Standard 2
1W: Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn.

This is an improved version of Gerard’s Battle Cry.  The Battle Cry was solid although not spectacular.  With an activation cost that is reduced by 1 I suspect the Sun Standard will be on a par with Glorious Anthem and see play in White Weenie decks in Block and Type II.

Mindslaver 6
Legendary Artifact
4, T, Sacrifice Mindslaver: You control target player's  next turn. (You see all cards that player could see and make all decisions for the player. He or she doesn't  lose life because of mana burn.)

Tournament Caliber?  Maybe, maybe not.  Doesn’t matter.  This is the king of casual play cool cards.  That alone will keep this card popular and its trade value high.

Platinum Angel 7
Artifact Creature — Angel
You can't lose the game and your opponents can't win  the game.  4/4
A 4/4 flying artifact colorless Worshiplike creature.  Is it worth playing?  Based on Worship’s power level probably not.  However, Platinum Angel is unique and has Timmy value so that will keep its trade value up.

Proteus Staff 3
2U, T: Put target creature on the bottom of its owner's library. That creature's controller reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a creature card. The player puts that card into play and the rest on the bottom of his or her library in any order. Play this ability only any time you could play a sorcery.

A combo player’s card with minimal defensive possibilities.  The keys to making the Staff work are using it as an Oath of Druids effect.  Staff a token and put Akroma into play.  Alternately use it to sort your deck (by playing with no creatures.)  I’d bet on Proteus Staff leading to several Tier 1 tournament combo decks.

Sculpting Steel 3
As Sculpting Steel comes into play, you may choose an artifact in play. If you do, Sculpting Steel comes into play as a copy of that artifact.

Copy Artifact with the rules fixed would always have been a reasonable card.  In a set that features artifacts it’s strong and valuable.

Solemn Simulacrum 4
Artifact Creature
When Solemn Simulacrum comes into play, you may search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. If you do, shuffle your library.  When Solemn Simulacrum is put into a graveyard from play, you may draw a card.  2/2

It’s an invitational card, so you know it will be popular.  It’s not that strong or fun but it will trade well.

Soul Foundry 4
Imprint — When Soul Foundry comes into play, you may remove a creature card in your hand from the game. X, T: Put a creature token into play that's a copy of the imprinted creature card. X is the converted mana cost of that card.

This card might wind up as a Chase card.  Every tournament player will need 4 of these, just for the Ravenous Rat soft lock (make a Rat in your opponents draw phase, they can only play instants.) 

Spellweaver Helix 3
Imprint — When Spellweaver Helix comes into play, you may remove two target sorcery cards in a single graveyard from the game.  Whenever a card is played, if it has the same name as one of the imprinted sorcery cards, you may copy the other and play the copy without paying its mana cost.

Spellweaver Helix is a dangerous card and can lead to serious abuse from sorceries with graveyard recursion, including mechanics as simple as Flashback.  As a starting point consider bundling a Roar of the Wurm with an Upheaval.  One Quiet Speculation and the game is locked up.

Timesifter 5
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, each player removes the top card of his or her library from the game. The player who removed the card with the highest converted mana cost takes an extra turn after this one. If two or more players' cards are tied for highest cost, the tied players repeat this process until the tie is broken.

The last word in the card text is a hint to the quality of Timesifter. Broken.  I can’t think of a stronger statement than to say Timesifter is so good it makes Goblin Spy playable. Don’t be surprised if this card breaks one or more formats.  If it does expect it to quickly become a Chase rare.

Triskelion 6
Artifact Creature
Triskelion comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it.  Remove a +1/+1 counter from Triskelion: Triskelion deals 1 damage to target creature or player.   1/1

Triskelion is a classic. They look really good in Black border, they’re fun and a reasonable option in several decks.  It’s never an overwhelming card but the Trike is a workhorse creature.

At end of turn, if you control no artifacts, sacrifice Glimmervoid.
T: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

This 5 color lands is strong and in a format without Shatterstorm. Glimervoid is a reasonable albeit risky card for several deck designs.


Loxodon Punisher 3W
Creature — Elephant Soldier
Loxodon Punisher gets +2/+2 for each Equipment attached  to it.  2/2

This card has one thing going for it in valuation, specifically people haven’t learned how to evaluate creatures that are enhanced by Equipment.  If the world were a perfect place everyone would look at this card, realize that a card must be able to stand alone (without equipment), especially at the top of a decks mana curve.  However, the world isn’t perfect and it will take a while for people to learn the above lesson by trial and error.  While that’s true there will be people who want your Loxodon Punisher.  Trade it to them.

March of the Machines 3U
Each noncreature artifact is an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its converted mana cost.

Titania’s Song saw occasional play as a kill spell.  March of the Machines likely will fill this role as well.  Don’t expect much else from the Machine March.
Quicksilver Elemental 3UU
Creature — Elemental
U: Quicksilver Elemental gains all activated abilities of target creature until end of turn. (If any of the abilities use that creature's name, use this creature's name instead.) You may spend blue mana as though it were mana of any color to pay the activation costs of Quicksilver.  3/4

Not a Tier 1 tournament card unless something incredibly weird happens in the Mirrodin block metagame.  However, the Quicksilver Elementals ability is fun and so casual players will trade something for him.

Shared Fate 4U
If a player would draw a card, that player removes the top card of an opponent's library from the game face down instead. Each player may look at and play cards he or she removed from the game with Shared Fate as though they were in his or her hand.

Shared Fate has drawn a fair amount of attention, as the card is unusual and has a unique effect.  However, upon serious analysis it becomes apparent that this card will let you win if you were already winning and lose if you were already losing.  Shared Fate’s effect while, implemented in different manner, has a similar game state change as Zur’s Weirding.  It will also hold a similar valuation.

Temporal Cascade 5UU
Choose one — Each player shuffles his or her hand and graveyard into his or her library; or each player draws seven cards.
Entwine 2

Wizards has finally made a balanced Timetwister.  However, balanced isn’t really any fun especially when there are much more powerful draw effects available for a lower cost. 

Vedalken Archmage 2UU
Creature — Vedalken Wizard
Whenever you play an artifact spell, draw a card.  0/2

A nice idea but overcosted by 1.  There will be people who try and make decks around this.  It will also make for mediocre rogue sideboard in Silver vs. Silver fights.  But, neither are really Tier 1 strategies.

Dross Harvester 1BB
Creature — Horror
Protection from white
At the end of your turn, you lose 4 life.  Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play, you gain 2 life.  4/4

Dross Harvester is a creature I really like and I have to fight my personal tendencies to put him into the Good valuation category.  The problem is he’s a narrow role card, filling the role initiated by Phrexian Negator, as a part of a Suicide Black deck or an Agro board.  While this is a strategy and a role that I personally appreciate most cards in this role are valued somewhere between Good and Average.  Do note that the Dross Harvester’s life gaining graveyard trigger will allow for deck designs where the Dross Harvester is a net life gainer (consider Nim Devourer.)

Necrogen Mists 2B
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player discards a card from his or her hand.

This card was almost playable and at occasionally boarded when it was Bottomless Pit and the discard was random.  This card is even more difficult to use effectively and will be of marginal value.   Necrogen Mists almost made a poor valuation.

Nim Devourer 3BB
Creature — Zombie
Nim Devourer gets +1/+0 for each artifact you control.
BB: Return Nim Devourer from your graveyard to play, then sacrifice a creature. Play this ability only during  your upkeep.  4/1

Nim Devourer was a serious candidate for Good Valuation.  However, it’s a difficult card to design around and this will keep its value down initially (you can probably grab these for next to nothing – do it) and because of the design difficulties it might never shine (and be valued) the way it should.

To help the Devourer to be all that he can be, a short discussion of his merits is in order.  First of all, he’s a solid creature.  At least a 4/1 for 5 and likely a 5/1 or 6/1.  Not exciting but strong vs. control.  This leads to his second aspect, he has a great ability against control decks.  He turns every creature (or token) including temporary ones into a solid threat.  Finally, he’s an immediate combo with the Dross Harvester. In combination with the Dross Harvester the Devourer’s ability effectively says: “BB: Gain 2 life use only in your upkeep.”  This is done by virtue of his bringing himself into play and then sacrificing himself.  Although a stream of life isn’t worth a card it’s a nice option to have available.

Vermiculos 4B
Creature — Horror
Whenever an artifact comes into play, Vermiculos gets +4/+4 until end of turn.  1/1

Vermiculos only stays out of the Poor Valuation category as there will be people who try to make a combo deck with it.  They shouldn’t, you shouldn’t, but you should trade them your Vermiculos so they can try.

Confusion in the Ranks 3RR
Whenever an artifact, creature, or enchantment comes into play, its controller chooses target permanent another player controls that shares a type with it. Exchange control of those permanents.

Confusion in the Ranks is a borderline card that threatens Good valuation just for its casual play value.  In constructed it is solid sideboard for Sligh decks as a quick answer to a Circle of Protection (don’t forget it trades itself for that Circle immediately after it comes into play).   Additionally, it has a strange synchronicity with Agro Red as it equalizes the quality of all permanents.  This is especially handy with cards like Siege Gang which bring in 4 permanent for 1 card.

Mass Hysteria R
All creatures have haste.
Concordant Crossroads was a great card.  This is a great card for R/G agro decks as Green creatures become insane when they have Haste.  As such this card would normally have a Good valuation.  However, this card will miss its day in the sun, as it was printed in the same set as Lightning Greaves.  In many if not most cases players will choose Lightning Greaves over Mass Hysteria and this will drastically reduce the demand (and thus the valuation) of Mass Hysteria.

Vulshok Battlemaster 4R
Creature — Human Warrior
When Vulshok Battlemaster comes into play, attach all Equipment in play to it. (Control of the Equipment doesn't change.) 2/2

The Battlemaster will only see tournament play as a rogue board option from Sligh decks against White Weenie equipment decks.  Still when it does it will be funny, otherwise the Battlemaster will see occasional casual play.

Glissa Sunseeker 2GG
Creature — Elf Legend
First strike
T: Destroy target artifact if its converted mana cost  is equal to the amount of mana in your mana pool.   3/2

Being a featured preview card Glissa has received some popularity that almost puts her into the Good valuation.  The problem is she’s not tournament viable considering her low toughness and the delay she requires to destroy an artifact.  Trade her while she’s still overvalued.

Plated Slagwurm 4GGG
Creature — Wurm
Plated Slagwurm can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.  8/8

This card is just under the Good valuation.  The interesting question is why is Plated Slagwurm just under Good valuation and the Living Hive just over it?  1 word:  Trample.  Trample is a tournament quality ability worth paying the extra 1 mana for in large Green men. Trample dramatically improves Green creatures tournament playability and their fun value.

Tooth and Nail 5GG
Choose one — Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle  your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2

I wouldn’t be overly surprised if one or two of these show up in some Mirrodin Block decks.  Still it’s a 7cc spell that doesn’t immediately change the state of the board or a 9cc spell that does change the board position but not as much as you’d probably hope for a 9 mana spell.

Altar of Shadows 7
At the beginning of your precombat main phase, add B to your mana pool for each charge counter on Altar of Shadows.
7, T: Destroy target creature. Then put a charge counter on Altar of Shadows.

Unlikely to see very much tournament play other than in quantity 1 or 2 as a lock card for a control deck, however Altar of Shadows will see some casual play.

Blinkmoth Urn 5
At the beginning of each player's precombat main phase, if Blinkmoth Urn is untapped, that player adds 1 to  his or her mana pool for each artifact he or she controls.

The one turn delay is fatal if you wanted to use this in a combo deck and it’s not as good as Gilded Lotus for any serious tournament play. Almost Poor in valuation but there will be a few diehards who want to work with the Urn.

Clockwork Dragon 7
Artifact Creature — Dragon
Clockwork Dragon comes into play with six +1/+1 counters on it. Whenever Clockwork Dragon attacks or blocks, remove a +1/+1 counter from it at end of combat.
3: Put a +1/+1 counter on Clockwork Dragon.   0/0

Certainly not tournament caliber, the entire value for this card needs to come from its casual or Timmy value.  There will be some but not a lot.

Culling Scales 3
At the beginning of your upkeep, destroy target nonland  permanent with the lowest converted mana cost among nonland permanents in play. (If two or more permanents are tied for lowest cost, target any one of them.)

Initially an appealing card but further reflection shows Culling Scales to be wanting.  The turn delay before its first use makes it slow and the fact that it will destroy itself prevents Culling Scales from dealing with any permanents that have a casting cost of 4 or greater.

Jinxed Choker 3
At the end of your turn, target opponent gains control of Jinxed Choker and puts a charge counter on it. At the beginning of your upkeep, Jinxed Choker deals damage to you equal to the number of charge counters  on it.
3: Put a charge counter on Jinxed Choker or remove one from it.

Jinxed Choker is the latest in a line of cards that deal damage to both players somewhat equally.  In this case either player can pay mana to increase or decrease the amount.  These cards have never been worth a card in tournament play and have only seen a minor amount of casual play.  Jinxed Choker won’t break with tradition.

Leveler 5
Artifact Creature
When Leveler comes into play, remove your library from the game.   10/10

Only a combo card and not really a powerful enough card to build a combo deck around.  I’d suggest trading these to people who want to use them in casual combo decks.

Liar's Pendulum 1
2, T: Name a card. Target opponent guesses whether a card with that name is in your hand. You may reveal  your hand. If you do and your opponent guessed wrong, draw a card.

The optimal strategy for using this card is to name whatever land is most common in your deck every time.  This will provide your opponent with minimal information (don’t forget that you don’t have to reveal) and net you a card about every other turn.  Considering you’re spending about 4 mana on average to draw a card (2 activations), and that Liar’s Pendulum is erratic, and that Liar’s Pendulum only gains you a card every other turn this is clearly not a tournament caliber card.  Being unusual will give it some small amount of casual attraction but that’s all. 

Lightning Coils 3
Whenever a nontoken creature you control is put into a graveyard from play, put a charge counter on Lightning  Coils.  At the beginning of your upkeep, if Lightning Coils  has five or more charge counters on it, remove all of them from it and put that many 3/1 red Elemental  creature tokens with haste into play. Remove them from the game at end of turn.

Lightning Coils is one of those cards that might wind up biting me on the backside as it potentially will have a Good valuation.  On the face of things this card is merely average, providing a solid backup plan after five creatures are killed.  Due to the casting cost this won’t be creatures from the first wave in any sort of agro deck and thus Lightning Coils isn’t very strong.

Where Lightning Coils shows potential is in combination with cards such as Nim Devourer (BB: add a counter to Lightning Coils) or other recursion creatures.  I don’t have enough evidence to determine if there will be a breakthrough strategy using the Coils so I’ve valued it as Average.  But if I’m wrong and it becomes more highly sought,  I wouldn’t be surprised.

Lodestone Myr 4
Artifact Creature — Myr
Tap an untapped artifact you control: Lodestone Myr gets +1/+1 until end of turn.  2/2

For 4 mana the standard of creatures has gotten really high.  Sadly a vanilla 4/4 won’t do it.  This card is unlikely to be more than that without the dedication of otherwise needed permanent for each additional +1/+1.  So all in all an O.K., but not exciting card.

Mesmeric Orb 2
Whenever a permanent becomes untapped, that permanent's controller puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

Mesmeric Orb is a Millstone of a slightly different flavor.  As such it is valued smack in the middle between Good and Average valuation.  I picked the lower side as there are too many superior kill methods available in this block (like Goblin Charbelcher) to make this a likely Mirrodin Block Constructed control deck kill mechanism.

Mind's Eye 5
Whenever an opponent draws a card, you may pay 1. If you do, draw a card.

In another time and another format Mind’s Eye would rate a higher valuation.  However, in Mirrodin card draw is easy and the time delay in drawing the first card from Mind’s Eye make this card a sideboard choice at best.

Myr Incubator 6
6, T, Sacrifice Myr Incubator: Search your library for any number of artifact cards, remove them from the game, then put that many 1/1 Myr artifact creature  tokens into play. Then shuffle your library.

Remember Snake Basket?  This is no Snake Basket.  It’s not terrible considering that you can fetch probably 8-10 artifact lands and Moxen (not to mention any other Incubators) to make the effect thin your deck as well as providing a credible threat.  On the other hand it’s a threat that is answered by a Slice and Dice or Rain of Blades type effect, both of which have relatives in Mirrodin Block.

Nightmare Lash 4
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +1/+1 for each Swamp you control.  Equip—Pay 3 life.

4 mana and 3 life for 4/5 points of damage/turn probably with Haste.  The cost/effect is similar to Lightning Hounds but with less flexibility.  Still some Suicide Black decks will probably play a couple.

Pentavus 7
Artifact Creature
Pentavus comes into play with five +1/+1 counters on it.
1, Remove a +1/+1 counter from Pentavus: Put a 1/1 Pentavite artifact creature token with flying into play.
1, Sacrifice a Pentavite: Put a +1/+1 counter on Pentavus.   0/0

This card had some potential to work interesting tricks based on graveyard triggers and come into play effects.  The 7 mana casting cost killed all that in serious tournament play.

Psychogenic Probe 2
Whenever a spell or ability causes a player to shuffle his or her library, Psychogenic Probe deals 2 damage to him or her.

Forcing your opponent to shuffle is a very restricted mechanism.  As such this card isn’t tournament caliber.  As most people don’t find waiting while their opponent shuffles a fun activity, this card will have marginal trade value.

Quicksilver Fountain 3
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player puts a flood counter on target non-Island land he or she controls. That land is an Island as long as it has a flood counter on it. At end of turn, if all lands in play are Islands, remove  all flood counters from them.

The only cute trick is that if you sacrifice the Fountain, the lands are permanently Islands.  However, this trick doesn’t make up for the card not being Tier 1 in strength nor especially fun.

Scythe of the Wretched 2
Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +2/+2. Whenever a creature dealt damage by equipped creature this turn is put into a graveyard, return that card to play under your control. Attach Scythe of the Wretched to that creature. Equip 4

This card is close to having a good valuation due to its strength as a combo card (think Atog, Triskellion and Scythe of the Wretched).  However, there are better combos available in this set and so I expect Scythe will never be part of a Tier 1 combo deck.  If there is one this card will have a Good valuation.

Sword of Kaldra 4
Legendary Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature gets +5/+5.  Whenever equipped creature deals damage to a creature, remove that creature from the game. Equip 4

A solid card and Sword would be Good in valuation if there weren’t so many better pieces of equipment.  But there are several better pieces and so Sword of Kaldra is merely an Average rare.  Treat the pre-release version as a Good valued rare.

Tangleroot 3
Whenever a player plays a creature spell, that player adds G to his or her mana pool.

Tangleroot is a combo card looking for a combo.  You can make a combination deck out of this card, but the question becomes why?  There are so many more promising cards to work with.

Tower of Champions 4
8, T: Target creature gets +6/+6 until end of turn.

All of the Towers are too expensive and do too little to be serious tournament cards.  However, they at least have some fun value and thus will hold some value.

Tower of Eons 4
8, T: You gain 10 life.

See Tower of Champions

Tower of Fortunes 4
8, T: Draw four cards.
See Tower of Champions

Tower of Murmurs 4
8, T: Target player puts the top eight cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
See Tower of Champions

Worldslayer 5
Artifact — Equipment
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, destroy all permanents other than Worldslayer. Equip 5

Worldslayer is a colorless way to reset that board.  That alone gives it some trade and play value.  It’s a good thing as Worldslayer has precious little going for it otherwise.


Loxodon Peacekeeper 1W
Creature — Elephant Soldier
At the beginning of your upkeep, the player with the lowest life total gains control of Loxodon Peacekeeper. If two or more players are tied for lowest life total, you choose one of them, and that player gains control of Loxodon Peacekeeper.   4/4

Yuck.  No one is going to play with this in a tournament deck or a fun deck.  Rares that are never played get thrown  in binders, lugged around for years and have led to a generation of Magic players with back problems.  Just thinking about this card makes my back hurt.

Fatespinner 1UU
Creature — Human Wizard
At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, that player chooses draw step, main phase, or combat phase. The player skips each instance of the chosen step or phase this turn.  1/2

A nice effort but one that failed.  For a while casual players will try and build a deck with Fatespinner. Donate yours to their cause.

Lumengrid Augur 3U
Creature — Vedalken Wizard
1, T: Target player draws a card, then discards a card from his or her hand. If that player discards an artifact card this way, untap Lumengrid Augur.  2/2

An overcosted Cephalid Looter with a mana cost.  Sadly, Cephalid Looter wasn’t quite constructed caliber and that was in a block where the ability was especially meaningful.  The Lumengrid Auger is just a binder weight.

Copperhoof Vorrac 3GG
Creature — Beast
Copperhoof Vorrac gets +1/+1 for each untapped permanent your opponents control.   2/2

5cc.  2/2.  No Trample.  Doesn’t do anything but turn sideways.  Binder weight.

Hum of the Radix 2GG
Each artifact spell costs 1 more to play for each artifact its controller controls. 

4 casting cost!  They’ve got to be kidding.  At 1 casting cost the card isn’t all that good, it won’t permanently stop what you want stopped and it isn’t a fun card. 

Gate to the Aether 6
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player reveals the top card of his or her library. If it's an artifact, creature, enchantment, or land card, the  player may put it into play.

Slow card draw with a disadvantage has never been especially interesting or valuable.  This one even gives the opponent the first free card.  Bleh.

All card texts are from the official Wizards Mirrodin Spoiler

Thank you for your time, 
- Jay Schneider

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