Another day, another really close call, but fortunately, spoiler season seems to be very early this fall, so we’ve got plenty of new cards to speak about.
First of all, to give my own thoughts to the idea that Rolling Thunder isn’t going to be super busted, “because it doesn’t kill giant Eldrazi” in the most public way available to me:
a) against a ramp deck it might kill either your initial ramp creatures/framework, or, rather more pressingly, you
and, much more importantly b) that absolutely isn’t the point.
Yeah, Rolling Thunder probably isn’t at its best AGAINST the ramp strategy. It is, however, very good IN that strategy, and the deck it hoses (any kind of aggro) it hoses so completely that winning against a single resolved Rolling Thunder is very close to impossible for those decks. Making a format with hard to kill titanic creatures, and then giving the deck that wants to play them the tool to completely destroy the one deck that is traditionally really good against them seems like a supremely terrible idea. I get that they want these big Eldrazi to actually get played, but the price seems way too high. Real aggro decks are such an essential part of any limited environment, that you cannot just remove them and hope the format will sort itself. Sure, it’s still just an uncommon – and aggro decks will be played – but it is going to be absolutely miserable to play against, and neatly removes a ramp decks biggest weakness in a way that is simply much too powerful. And it’s not like Rolling Thunder is bad against any deck – in its absolute worst matchup it is still one of the best cards in your deck.
Anyway, we’ve got 15 minutes and should at least get through a couple of cards 🙂
This card is very slow, but it’s the sort of grindy card I could get behind playing in a deck with a lot of land and drawspells, though I suspect you should have at least some synergy with allies before you expect Retreat to Emeria to pull its weight. In an aggressive Ally deck again it seems like it would be a bit too slow. I cannot imagine you want to build a deck that takes advantage of the second ability, because that does seem a little too expensive for what it does, though occasionally there will of course be situations where it comes in handy, which makes it a neat little upside.
I like it, and I think it will be good in some deck or another. It might even be just good period, depending on the speed of the format.
4 mana divinations usually don’t cut it, though this does have a cool kicker ability. I think I’d rather just pay one less mana, which doesn’t mean that I’m declining to run Coastal Discovery. Depending on the speed of the format, I expect this to range between “fringiest of fringe” to “very good”, and it’s a card that I could easily see getting undervalued in the beginning. Playing Divinations helps you hit land drops, and as schizophrenic as it is to print a mana sink ability on a card draw spell (as they are pure mana sinks in themselves), making a 4/4 is relevant enough that I still respect this upside.
I really like this guy. I’m not a player who enjoys ramping very much, but this card is very elegant, and I actually wouldn’t mind playing it in a control deck either. I enjoy running 4/4s for 5 just fine, and making 2 mana is pretty huge for both of those archetypes. Whether you plan to play an 8drop, or chain a bunch of divinations, it is important to do something constructive (as in: actually affecting the board) in the midgame, and Kozilek’s Channeler does that nicely while offering just the kind of upside we’re looking for. I would never be embarrassed to run it, and would actively try to get one or two if it becomes apparent that I might be interested in playing a few 6+ drops or multiple other mana sinks.