Note: I will preface this by saying any of the cards here MAY BE FAKE. Official spoilers for Oath of the Gatewatch has not started yet. I will analyze cards for the possibility that they may be real.
Well, I’ll let you take that all in. In my personal opinion, these cards are probably real. Kozilek has long been an expected card in Oath of the Gatewatch. It was implied by the flavor text in Ugin’s Insight that the other Eldrazi are on Zendikar.
Checks for Kozilek being real:
- It has a cast trigger just like all other Eldrazi Titans.
- It draws cards similar to the old Kozilek.
- It is not indestructible. Ulamog was the most durable Eldrazi the last time.
- He has the same power and toughness as the old Kozilek (12/12).
- His activated ability “distorts reality,” as has been implied by various story articles.
- Aleksi Briclot is an artist frequently used for face characters (look at how many planeswalkers he has done)
- Template is very good (menace doesn’t have reminder text, terminology is clean, abilities appear in the correct order)
Marks against Kozilek:
- There is a lot of homage to the old Kozilek. A convincing parody is a lot easier than a convincing new card.
- We don’t know what that star mana means, this card’s credibility is almost entirely predicated on Wastes being real.
- This is an incredibly good quality scan of the card. It is extremely difficult to get this quality of card so early.
- Most spoilers this early are text-only (from people who have seen the cards but do not have a picture of it)
My final thoughts are that you can think whatever you want about this Kozilek, but even if it is real, there are not a lot of financial implications here. It doesn’t solve any problems decks had previously, but it looks like it would be a great, flashy mythic to sell a small, winter set.
Wastes is an interesting one. As I type this up, the jury is out on what this land actually even does.
Checks for Wastes being real:
- Avoids the Barry’s Land dilemma. This is a basic land with no basic land type. This is likely to keep cards like Tribal Flames from scaling more.
- This is a common, not a “basic land” rarity. It lends it to a similar scheme to “Snow lands” in Ice Age.
- Raymond Swanland is known to do important face cards. Most recently, he did Haven of the Spirit Dragon and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.
- The rocky formations are similar to the rock formations on cards from other Kozilek cards. It will be interesting to see if we get 2 more pictures with the dusty landscape (Ulamog) and the web landscape (Emrakul)
- If this makes colorless mana, then it is the much-desired basic land that people wanted for colorless EDH decks.
- Colorless mana as a “sixth color” was part of a design for the Great Designer search at one point in time. We have seen a lot of mechanics from the search be used in later sets (evolve and battalion among them)
Strikes against Wastes:
- Wizards has never done another basic land other than the five originally in Alpha.
- Maro has stated there is a lot of rules baggage that comes with another basic land and color
- This basic land would be incredibly parasitic and unlikely to ever be seen outside of Oath of the Gatewatch.
- It’s a common and not a basic land rarity. It’s likely an oversight of someone making the fake.
- It’s the last card in the set but it’s unlikely there is only one picture. If there is one for each brood, Kozilek’s should be 183 instead of 184 because Ulamog comes after Kozilek alphabetically.
Financial relevance is a lot higher for Wastes than Kozilek. If this card is a common and not a basic land rarity, it will be extremely coveted. A new basic land would be extremely desirable for many. I would be unlikely to trade or sell any foil Wastes that I open, because there is no precedent to where its price tag may end up.
While this very early for spoilers, it has a lot of people talking, and if these cards are real, then there could be a lot of interesting interactions in Oath of the Gatewatch. If this is another set with very parasitic mechanics, we could see some very expensive cards long-term from this block.