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Exclusive M11 Spoiler

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About the Authors

Lino Burgold

Lino Burgold

Lino is the 2009 Rookie of the Year from Germany and his accomplishments include:

  • Level 6 Pro Players Club member
  • Winner Grand Prix Hanover
  • Top 8 Grand Prix Paris 2009
  • 32 Lifetime Pro Points

Matteo Orsini Jones

Matteo Orsini Jones

Matteo is a Magic player from the UK who has a number of high-profile finishes under his belt:

  • Level 5 Pro Players Club member
  • Top 8 Pro Tour Kyoto 2009
  • Top 4 Grand Prix Bangkok 2009
  • 42 Lifetime Pro Points
  • Top 8 Great Britain Nationals 2008

Nico Bohny

Nico Bohny

Nico is a level 4 member of the Pro Players Club, he has 79 lifetime Pro Points and is one of the best Limited players worldwide! Some of Nico’s MTG accomplishments include:

  • Winner Grand Prix Torino
  • Top 8 Pro Tour Hollywood
  • Team World Champion

Steel Overseer

Hello and welcome to Blackborder’s exclusive Magic 2011 preview! We proudly present a sneak peek into the upcoming Magic 2011 set!

Please welcome Steel Overseer!

Steel Overseer

Let’s find out what the pros have to say about Steel Overseer and what crazy decks they’ve come up with.

Lino Burgold on Steel Overseer

Hey guys!

It is spoiler time once again!

What is there to say about Steel Overseer? Well, the first thing is quite obvious, he is not as terrible as Renegade Doppelganger (Yay!), but also, his abilities are a lot more obvious.

So, finally, artifacts get their own lord (okay, in a Core Set - artifacts already had Master of Etherium...). And it is a pretty cool one!

Limited

It is definitely a high pick in Limited, but not a bomb by any means. The format seems to be – contrary to previous Core Sets – full of good cards, which means the board will probably stall a lot less, but it is still a potent force that can start early with making himself bigger…  until he gets to a size your opponent can’t handle. So this is definitely a first pickable card, especially because it fits in every deck just fine, but it is not a “bomb”, as it also gets considerably worse if you draw it in the later stages of the game. Of course, if there are some common artifact creatures, or you even manage to draft an uncommon like Gargoyle Sentry or Juggernaut, this card goes from good to awesome!

Constructed

This card is hard to rate in Constructed. In the first place, an ever growing creature isn’t actually bad. But Constructed has no use for +1/+1 counters expect for, well, having a bigger creature. Also, this is a card that requires a lot to work and then it’s still slow, and especially vulnerable to mass removal. What the Overseer is excellent with are artifact manlands, like Mishra's Factory, Blinkmoth Nexus, and Dread Statuary. The latter is Standard legal, but sadly, it is quite expensive… being able to level up your Nexus by just tapping it (or swinging for 2+X by tapping 2 Lands) seems pretty decent on its own, and if there is more support, this can actually be good. Without a cheap land though, it is going to be pretty tough, especially considering the time the Overseer takes to get out of Lightning Bolt range… Of course, there is also Thopter Foundry in Standard, but it is not as if this is going to be… well, “good”. If there are some really awesome artifact creatures in Scars of Mirrodin, it might work out!

Casual

This is where this guy really shines. +1/+1 Counters have a LOT of use here.

Big Machine

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Okay, I’m not going to say much about this deck, but some things: First, I am totally against going infinite with as few cards as possible in Casual. It just sucks. Therefore, no Staff of Domination or anything like that. Also, the “smallest” infinite combo in this deck is Pentavus + Dross Scorpion + Everflowing Chalice with 3 counters, which only generates infininite mana, which this deck has no use for anyway, so you’re going to need another card to complete the combo – like a Steel Overseer or Blinkmoth Nexus. There are tons of other combos in there, and one is more complicated than the other, but that is what Casual combo is about: In Constructed, you have cards that do nothing until you have the combo assembled, and then you win. In Casual, you have cards that do something, but gradually get better as you collect the cards, and then, eventually, relying on some wacky 3/1 creature, you can actually go infinite and kill all your opponents.

Also, this deck has a pretty strong beatdown element as well, with the lords – Master of Etherium and Steel Overseer – even Myr Retriever can bring the beats. However, the most aggressive creatures in the deck are the lands! Yeah, as said before, cheap artifact manlands are awesome with Steel Overseer!

Matteo Orsini Jones on Steel Overseer in Standard

The applications of this card are a little more obvious than my previous task (Renegade Doppelganger), and thankfully I convinced Lino to let me take the Standard deck this time. Looking at the card, there are 2 things that immediately jump out as making it better.

  • Ways of making multiple artifact creatures quite quickly (this way you get more efficiency out of his ability)
  • Ways of allowing you to use his ability more than once

The first thing that springs to mind for the first criterion is Thopter Foundry – a card so powerful that it forced a banning in Extended. It might not have quite the potential in Standard, but it’s still a nice, cheap way of providing a stream of artifact creatures, which is exactly what we want. It also happens to be good with other artifacts, which is great when we’re trying to build a deck around a guy that wants artifacts.

The second criterion is a little more subtle, but then there’s a planeswalker that never saw the amount of play he deserved – Tezzeret the Seeker. As well as being comobolicious with artifacts, he also has a plus ability that allows you to stack up multiple counters a turn – seemingly a perfect fit for the deck.

So what can we do with this?

Esper Steel

Tags: 
Colors
Artifact8
Black6
Blue14
Gold6
Hybrid4
Land18
Converted Mana Cost
12
216
313
44
53
Type
Artifact16
Artifact Creature19
Basic Land14
Land4
Planeswalker3

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Exclusive M11 Spoiler

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This kind of deck has always been on the brink of being a competitive deck, but never quite had that little bit extra to push it over into an actual deck. Will Steel Overseer be what the deck needed? Unlikely, but still, it’s worth a try...

Bonus: Nico Bohny on Steel Overseer

Limited

I like growing guys a lot. Phantom Nantuko was one of my favorite critters back then.

But nowadays, creatures need to have an impact as soon as they hit the battlefield. Most of the time, this will be your only artifact creature on the board. Sure, when you drop this little construct on turn two, which is the best case scenario, you would be able to attack with a 3/3 on turn 5 or a 4/4 on turn 6. In addition this guy is pretty strong on defense at this point of the game. But then, you could as well just summon a regular 4/4 for 5 mana on turn 5, and attack on turn 6. And imagine drawing this guy on turn 6. Such a terrible topdeck. It's like Suspend on a card you cannot hardcast.

This will be a 4th to 8th pick in my opinion, that doesn't always make the cut, but still most of the time. In Sealed, you'll probably have to play this guy, just because he can stall the ground and outclass all of your opponent’s creatures on defense.

Constructed

Now that Mirrodin rotates out of Extended, I don't even have the opportunity to test the card in Extended Affinity. Still, I guess it would have been way too slow and weak for an explosive deck like Affinity - it's just no match for Master of Etherium.

That's also the way I feel about the card in Standard right now - there'll be a short time, when Shards of Alara Block and M11 will be in the same Standard format. There was this Esper artifact deck around, but as I said before, Master of Etherium is just better than this guy. Maybe, if they print enough artifact creatures in the next block, Steel Overseer will replace the Master, but I'm not too convinced yet.

So what do you think? Share your thoughts on the new card in the comments!

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