I got some New Phyrexia cards in the post today, impressed that I got an hour window for it to be delivered and it came right at the start of the window. As I had a bit of time before leaving for work, I opened two packs to have a look at the new cards properly for the first time. I have to say I was very impressed.
A few months ago, Mark Rosewalker was talking about a 'spread' that should show what a set is about by just looking through one booster pack (it was in the Great Designer Search). At first, I didn't really understand it, but I think I do now; looking through the two packs I opened I was very impressed and excited (get to go to a proper release event tomorrow, whoop :D Will play some games with my girlfriend tonight too).
When I picked up the first pack, it split slightly at the top before I even tried to open it properly myself (I take that as a sign it really wanted to be opened). As I usually do, I went through each card one by one.
First card was Vault Skirge, which I was happy about as I wanted to get a few as they seem useful. The next card was Gitaxian Probe, which I was very happy about as I wanted a few for a fun casual deck I have. Two cards in and I was already very pleased.
The next card was Hovermyr, which is kinda cute, followed by Glistner Elf, which looks very powerful. Three of the four cards were ones that I really wanted to get my hands on, so I was very pleased at this point.
After that, was Flameborn Viron, then Geth's Verdict, which raised my interest highly again, before seeing War Report, Pristine Talisman and Spire Monitor, which seem fun, but not as awesome as some of the other cards I had opened so far. Razor Swine came next, and I love me some fun red cards which this is. Priest of Urabrask, Exclusion Ritual and Geosurge seem interesting, but I was already content with the high quality of what I had opened so far. The rare was Spellskite, which could be quite handy.
The top four cards I would consider picking from these in a draft would be Spellskite, Razor Swine, Geth's Verdict and Glistner Elf. Spellskite seems like it would be very handy against a lot of decks (playing around with removal etc.), Razor Swine is very powerful with first strike and infect, and I really like playing with Phyrexian Crusader, and this is the not-as-awesome version. Geth's Verdict looks like great removal, and Glistener Elf is very powerful. I'm still not sure which if these I would pick, but I think it would come down to one of the two infect creatures, partially because they are awesome, but also because I like playing infect. I think I would pick the Swine because, even though it is slower than the elf, it is a lot more powerful. It can go into a non-infect deck as a powerful blocker, and I have really been wanting to make a red infect deck as there are some good red cards that seem to go well with infect.
I still had some time before going to work, so I opened one last pack before I left. It would have to be pretty impressive to beat the one I had just opened.
It started with Chained Throatseeker, which looked interesting, then Viridian Harvest which didn't. Insatiable Souleater was next, which was a step up, but not first pick quality. Apostle's Blessing came next, which looks like a good trick that I would consider taking. Following that was Mycosynth Wellspring; I think it's a fun card that I'll definatly put in a few decks. After that was Mortis Dogs, which looks like it could have some applications.
The next card I came across was Gremlin Mine, which seems fun, something I would play in limited, it has some interesting implications. Porcelain Legionnaire was next, which is amazing, aggressive, cheap, can be played in any deck. Great. Thundering Tanadon was next, not as awesome as the previous card, but still great. The next card was Cathedral Membrane, which looks fun but it's going to be hard to top the Legionnaire. Vulshok Refugee came next, which has some nice art, and I think its a fairly decent card. Entomber Exarch is a good card, but I was still prefering the Legionnaire at this point, so I moved it aside to see Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer, something to contend with the Legionnaire as first pickable. It has colour requirements which is a downside, but it is incredibly powerful on its own, and insane if you have metalcraft, so I think I would leave the Legionnaire in the pack over it.
Well, if that was the whole pack, but moving aside a Golem Token and a Plains there was a foil Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite. Doesn't need colour mana, and is awesome all the time. Were this pack my first pick in a draft, it would be this.
That's my first look into New Phyrexia, I will hopefully have some fun stories from the release event I'm going to tomorrow :D