The new Core Set for Magic: the Gathering, Magic 2014, came out about a week and a half ago now. Unlike the Expert Expansions, I have yet to be able to find the time and manage to go to a Core Set Prerelease. However, thanks to some nice folks over at Wizards of the Coast, I have had a few chances to go through the set and play with it a bit, so after the jump lies a Major Spoilers review of the Magic 2014 Core Set.
Solid and high variety Limited
Great Constructed value
Slivers overpower the rest of the Casual cards
Elvish Mystic should have happened 4 sets ago
Magic 2014 Core Set
Design: Mark Globus (lead), Tom LaPille, Adam Lee, Shawn Main, and Ken Troop
Development: Dave Guskin (lead), Kelly Digges, Aaron Forsythe, James Hata, Zac Hill, and Max McCall, with contributions from Matt Tabak
Slivers are back, two new Planeswalkers, a new set of “lucky charms,” and a whole slew of other nifty treats have been given to us. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the main mechanical areas a set needs to work in and then finish out with the overall look.
I’ve said it before and I’m likely to say it again, limited is the most important function of a set. It is the most common way a set gets to be experienced as a whole and on its own. This is even more pertinent with the Core Set as it only has a few months to shine and never gets another set to bolster its performance.
That said, so far M14 holds up. The set is very capable of creating good plays and appears to have enough proper archetypes that it won’t get stale before it rotates. Slivers are fun as a dedicated strategy or a portion of another deck and have good combos in multiple colors. I’ve seen 1, 2, and 3 color decks perform admirably. Even the new “lucky charm” cycle is worth running in most decks of the appropriate colors. M14 has even differentiated itself from the last few Core Sets by slowing down the format a bit, which is very much a good thing.
Slivers are back. As a casual staple since their initial introduction in Tempest block, the returning mechanic is easily the best part of M14 for the casual crowd. With the new template making them an all upside group, the new Slivers are even better for you casual players than before. Unfortunately this overshadows many of the other nifty cards set to play in your casual formats. Of course, that doesn’t mean cards like Garruk, Caller of Beasts won’t see their fair share of play.
Chandra has three words for you, Red Deck Wins. So much of the feedback I’ve seen about Chandra, Pyromaster has been “meh.” Well, I’ve got news for you; she’s going to be big. Card advantage is something red only marginally gets, and just recently too, Chandra changes that. She’s not the only mythic that’s rather solid either, most of the new cards will see play in one format or another. Elvish Mystic is another card that people should watch. Elves may become a true modern staple with yet another 1-drop mana guy. From a constructed stand point, M14 is super solid.
BOTTOM LINE: Solid Core
Overall at this point I’m giving M14 3.5 out of 5 stars. Limited is good and constructed playability is amongst the best in a while, but not much fully stands out as truly impressive. I did love the clever trick of the three reprint Planeswalkers being the ones to get new signature creatures. Overall, the set is fun, but only just so.