As I have been watching the spoilers over the past week and a half, I've had feelings from amazed to appalled. I was expecting a lot more love for artifacts, like how Memnite, Etched Champion, Mox Opal, and Tempered Steel provided artifacts with a mighty army. They provided me with the ability to build an affinity imitating deck in Legacy, Extended and even Standard.
What I found though, was a different story. I found Creeping Corrosion, the ultimate artifact hate, a wrath effect for artifacts. I found Into the Core, Exile two target artifacts, and worst of all I found the monstrosity of hate that is Steel Sabotage, Counter target artifact spell, or return target artifact to it's owner's hand. These cards had me shivering in my boots; my Standard and Extended Artifacts were screwed, unless a hero came along. I waited and waited for a hero, but all I found was Signal Pest. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Signal Pest, but it just won't stand up to the massive hate that will be in every deck's sideboard, and I don't just mean control, mono-green and Valakut will have the worst hate of all.
Though, Boros and Mono-green are looking good right now. We'll start off with mono-green. When I saw Green Sun's Zenith, I got giddy as an aggro player. It reminded me of the Ravnica card, Chord of Calling. This card could make for an interesting shift in the aggro game, it can be used in several ways. Elves can use it to summon up Ezuri, or some other bomb, efficiently without having to discard a card. Or some sort of Fauna Shaman deck could summon up their Survival efficiently. In the current format I forsee green Sun's Zenith to be a powerful card.
On top of that tutoring power, green received what it didn't have, Card Advantage. Lead the Stampede allows for a 3 mana draw card ability in green, with no additional costs. It not only draws cards, but guarantees they wont's just be lands. It can pull up to five creatures off the top of your deck, refilling your hand so you have the gas you need to stomp your opponent's face in. It's got the word "Stampede" for a reason!
The last green card made me scream like a little girl when I read it, Thrun, the Last Troll. I knew he would be a badass, but I didn't realize he'd actually be good. He is the last troll not only because he hid in the forest, but because he is virtually unkillable. The only way to kill him right now is with infect. With the current wrath mechanic being Day of Judgement, regeneration is just so powerful. On top of surviving a wrath, he can't be doom bladed, he can't take a lightning bolt to the face, he has so called "troll shroud", and on top of that, he cannot be countered! He's a survivor.
Now onto white. White weenie seems like it could come back. In this set there is a new mechanic called Battle Cry. Does this mechanic remind you of something from Shard of Alara? Maybe Exalted? Yes, I admit that it is basically the opposite of exalted, but nonetheless it's interesting. Accorder's Paladin seems to be one of the cards that makes the mechanic. It's a 3/1 for 2, which alone is decent, on top of that it's got battle cry, so third turn, you can be swinging with battle cry, for example, a Memnite, a Goblin guide, and an Accorder's paladin, that's swinging 8, third turn that's pretty good for a decently average hand. With a god hand, you could be swinging with 3 Memnites, 3 Goblin Guides, and an Accorder's paladin for 18 (with a plains and 2 mountains). Everyone knows I'm a fan of the little decks that just have good synergy (I rocked allies back in Worldwake until M11). And Battle Cry might be my new toy to play with.
Next, I'd just like to make a comment on Phyrexian Revoker. He is fantastic, yes, but I believe he is a bit overhyped - in standard. Pithing needle on a creature is fantastic yes, but with that incredible advantage comes easy removal. Now he doesn't just die to naturalize, he dies to bolt too. Also, pithing needle in this format could stop a manland from becoming a man, turning it into simply a land. Now this isn't too big of a deal, but it comes with a positive, it no longer has the mana abilities exclusion, allowing you to stop a Birds of Paradise, though honestly, I'd rather stop a Celestial Colonnade, but I'm not too upset about that.
Now we can talk about the elephant in the room, Tezzeret. My feelings on him are very mixed. I think his +1 ability is pretty fantastic, but might not be that useful. His -1 is a powerful ability that allows you to jab an opponent for five when they've left themselves defenseless, and his final ability is finisher, or an "I won't die now" mechanic, making it versatile. I think that he is definitely playable in a deck that is centered around artifacts, like the deck list that I will post later, but I think that he has the same problem as the original Tezzeret, he is just to centralized. Making him powerful, but not widely playable like the monster we call Jace.