Posted August 6, 2012 by Jon Burrows in Games

Magic The Gathering 2013 Core Set Review


Review: Magic The Gathering 2013 Core Set

Every summer since the release of the M10, Wizards of the Coast releases a core set that will help flush out their new expansions for the next year. These core sets are usually light on new mechanics and focused on being used as a tool to help new players get into the game, as well as change the general toolbox the tournament players are allowed to use in their tournament play.

At its core (bad joke, but it fits) M13 is a traditional summer set offering a variety of viable means to win a game on your terms. Unlike M12 where the fastest deck always won, M13 encourages a slower style of play that can survive beyond the turn 5 death. I will say though, that yes, it is more than possible to get stomped by some exalted birds such as Aven Squire or over ran by a Goblin Arsonist and his Mog Flunkies long before you pick up steam.  Cards such as Guardians of Akrasa provide cheap bodies and ways to drag out games making those cheap creatures not as strong.

Another thing about the usual core set is the reprints. Every core set offers a reprinting of some cards that are staples in the standard tournament scene such as Birds of Paradise and usually a card such as Ponder or Day of Judgment (I still want my Wrath of God back). What we have been given though is a core set that features first time reprints with cards like Rancor (which has me super excited for a white green return of awesome) as well as Serra Avenger. The list of first time reprints is quite large and right now what, if any impact they will have on the tournament scenes of Standard and Modern waits to be seen, then again its really cool to play(or scary as all hell to have played against you) Serra Avatar again.

My biggest complaint about the set however, is based solely from the pre-release and draft I have done with the set, is balance. Since the switch to the yearly corset system, for the most part there has at least been balance in the cards presented. There is no focus given on which way to build a deck, which as a result forces players to reach further for a concept or at least an arch type to play into.

Over all the set is fun to play. While it is far from the perfect experience, a core set is never perfect. Its existence is to carter to those who play Commander as well as to help round out the tournament scene. It of course fills the summer lull and prevents us from having to play 6 months straight of one set.  At the very least, it should have you more than excited for the fall release of the next block, our “Return to Ravnica”.

Jon Burrows

An exclusive writer for Geek Smash, Jon hails from Mississippi and has a passion for music, comic-books, and writing. He collects antique cars and enjoys shooting handguns. Jon sings in his church choir, volunteers his time helping the Salvation Army at local events and doubles as Santa during Christmas season.