Magic Reborn: Hidden gems in Chronicles – Part I

Another blog about Magic Reborn. Since we are starting in about 6 weeks it’s time to check out what we can expect. While Anne is looking for great undiscovered Fallen Empires cards in his blog I’m going to explore Chronicles for a bit. I think most of you know that Chronicles is a compilation/reprint set and not an official expansion set. It contained no new cards and was considered as an extension of 4th Edition. This is also the reason why during the sealed kick-off event, next to the 4th Edition Starter we will open 2 boosters of Chronicles (and 2 boosters of Fallen Empires). Each booster contains 8 commons, 3 uncommons and 1 rare.

In my memory the set came out before Ice Age but it actually was launched right after it. I can’t remember that I’ve ever opened a pack of Chronicles back in the day, I was too busy opening Ice Age packs. I do remember most cards in the set but the only cards I often played were City of Brass and Erhnam Djinn. Sure there are more cards that see (some) play but I wasn’t really interested in those. Since the set contains not 2 but 116 cards there is plenty of reason to check out which cards could be useful in Reborn.

P.S. If you can’t read certain cards, flipping your screen horizontally is probably enough.

Artifact

Back in 1995 I remember almost every deck played 1 Feldon’s Cane(C). Actually pretty weird if you think about it nowadays but at least in my play area that was the case. I don’t think it will see any play in Reborn. Tormod’s Crypt(C) was the “counter” against Feldon’s cane and while it has its use in Reborn i.e. Dance of the Dead & Animate Dead, there aren’t enough of those cards to really need a Crypt in your deck. But well, there might be somebody who’s going to try and build a reanimator deck so you’ll never know for sure. I remember putting Fountain of Youth(C) in 1 of my first decks and while the format is pretty slow, I don’t think 1 life a turn for 2 mana is going to make the cut.

Ashnod’s Altar(C) sees some play in Old School and there might be an okay purpose for this card but I’m not sure if you can really build a deck around it. It can help as a finisher in combination with a Fireball or any other XR burn spell but I’m not sure if there is a lot more use for this one. A card that might not be that bad, especially at the start of Reborn could be Ashnod’s Transmogrant(C). You can boost any creature and 1 mana for 1/1 is a typically a fair trade in such a slow format with the main downside that you already need to have a creature in play. You might think it’s really bad but you need some fillers to start with and this could be one of those until we’ve opened more boosters. I think there’s just 1 Artifact that everybody can always use and that is Jalum Tome(R) aka “Little Book”. Jalum lets you cycle through your deck, getting rid of anything mediocre (at that moment) and try to replace it for something you need. It’s a rare so we would already be lucky if we get to see 1 in the complete Reborn cardpool but he, a man can dream!

Black

Black has some interesting options for Reborn. The common slot will definitely provide some good choices or at least okay ones. Bog Rats(C) is a 1/1 for B, that’s always pretty good in a slow format and these rats even have an upside! I do expect to see some walls around for real so that upside isn’t complete rubbish. Giant Slug(C) is not going to be the MVP of any deck but he’s spicy and for only 5 mana unblockable. Maybe you can combo it with some other spells late game? Cuombajj Witches has okay stats (1/3) for a BB creature and has the ability to ping your opponent and/or creatures which for sure is a great ability. Its downside will hurt you as well, just remember not to put to many Rats or Slugs in your Deck 😉

Hasran Ogress(C) really has some serious stats (3/2) for a BB creature. This card can be used as an aggressor and while you do get as much damage as your opponent(unless you pay 2), I’m sure he doesn’t feel comfortable losing 3 life every turn. In case you are behind or there are other reasons to play carefully, it’s a great blocker for just BB. Hell’s Caretaker(R) was a seriously annoying card back in the day. Since each deck only played a couple of really great creatures the best moment was always when you got rid of 1. With Hell’s Caretaker you trade your rats back for that Sengir Vampire and you need to start all over again. While there are other reanimation options (again Animate Dead, Dance of the Dead), I wouldn’t rule out the Caretaker. Fallen Angel(U) is by far the most promising card. Flying is always good, being able to pump it even better. If you feed her she can kill any other flyer out there and in most cases even survive it. Fallen Angel is in the Uncommon slot so I definitely expect to see her around in our cardpool and I think this will be a card which a lot of people would want to trade for.

Blue

Blue doesn’t look bad but it isn’t really my favorite color in the 1st place so I might be a little biased. I just had to mention Dandan(C) here which isn’t that great due to its UU casting cost. In Old School most people are playing/splashing blue and we won’t see that in Reborn so there isn’t much reason to play him. Luckily in the worst case scenario it’s a 4/1 defender which sometimes is just better than the average wall. Boomerang(C) is really versatile and therefor will definitely see some play. You can safe your own MVP or stall your opponent by sending back anything you want back to his hand. Remove Soul(C) is another very useful common, especially due to its casting cost. There are plenty of “summon spells” to counter in this format and since you won’t have a lot of mana fixers I think this card will see a lot of play.

Dance of Many(R) is a cheap clone with an upkeep. Unfortunately again it has a UU casting cost which makes it a little bit harder to play but I do think this is a useless rare, it wouldn’t be somebodies first pick either. Azure Drake(U) is going to be a very popular card. It only cost 1 blue, flies and is Uncommon so I’m hoping to see a couple. Recall(U) is the most played blue Chronicles card in Old School and while it for sure isn’t bad in a slow format, there aren’t that many power cards to bring back. Again it’s Uncommon so these are definitely something to consider if you want them or not.

Green

I used to love green and actually still do, however in Old School it is the weakest color. Looking at Chronicles it contains by far the best creature and it’s not the only good creature green has. Ghazban Ogre(C) might be a very tricky play but a 2/2 for G is probably the best you can get. I would be very careful running it but I would definitely not rule it out. Scavenger Folk(C) is a card everybody wants. 1/1 for G is great already and you can destroy any artifact in play. There are plenty of good artifacts in this format so this creature will be great trade material for those not playing green. Argothian Pixies(C) are not that strong as they are in Old School since you won’t see as much Mishra’s but that doesn’t mean they are unplayable.

Emerald Dragonfly(C) might not look great and never sees a lot of play but I do expect him in this format. Flying creatures are great and due to the threat of having first strike they are a lot stronger than the average 1/1/ flyer. 1G is a very reasonable casting cost and since it’s common people can get their hands on them. Storm Seeker(U) can hurt a player a lot and the chances it deals 4+ damage in this format are pretty high. I wouldn’t trade the world for these but I wouldn’t pass on them either. Erhnam Djinn(U) is the best creature of the set and for sure Top 5 in this format. The crazy part is that it’s an uncommon so it’s definitely not unlikely that we are going to see more then 1. I wonder what people are going to do if they open an Erhnam during the sealed tournament? I doubt you want to pass on the opportunity to construct a deck around it, however in the 2nd tournament we are drafting Fallen Empires only, meaning you’ll be drafting Thalids to extend your green choices for constructed play.

Next time we’ll look at all the other cards available in Chronicles. So far I actually think there is plenty to look for in these boosters, we might even want to add some more chronicles boosters to open so there are more of these beauties available in our Reborn cardpool!

Author: TaGMoM

Started playing in 1995 when Ice Age was launched and quit playing in 1999 since I didn't like the fast rotation of cards. When I heard about Old School Magic in 2017 I returned to the scene and now I'm spending way to much time on Magic, loving it all the way!

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