The new card border with the extra black space
on the bottom was ugly enough, but now we're
listing who designed the cards in the flavor
text? Whose idea was that? Didn't Rosewater
himself once say that crediting designers on
cards was impossible because separate designers
frequently come up with near-identical ideas
independent of each other, and that everybody on
the team often contributes to a card before it
sees print? What makes "Markus Persson" so
special? I've never heard of him. I'm just going
to assume that Persson won some sort of contest,
like the old Magic Invitational used to work,
and got to design a card. It helps me to be less
disdainful of this development.
Anyway, Aggressive Mining is an interesting card
draw engine in a color that isn't supposed to
get them. Instead of playing one land a turn,
you now lose one land a turn in exchange for an
extra two cards per turn. Drawing three cards
each turn is pretty strong, but you can't just
throw this in your deck and expect to win
through card advantage alone. You need to
account for your dwindling mana base, because
you'll need that mana to cast the spells you're
drawing. Aggressive Mining could be quite
fearsome in a red aggro deck, which never
expects to need more than three or four lands in
a turn and plays out its hand rather quickly.
But those decks shouldn't be letting the game
last long enough to amass enough lands in play
to take advantage of this. A red/green deck
might be better suited for it. The land
restriction doesn't apply to lands put into play
via Rampant Growth effects, and green can
actually destroy enchantments if you really need
to get out from under this thing.
It's funny that Notch (the creator of Minecraft)
designed an explicitly Minecraft-ish card for
Magic. Either his mind just works that way all
the time, or they thought people wouldn't
realize it was him unless his card referenced
Minecraft in some way. In any event, I like the
design and I like that it gives red a dimension
that you don't usually see. There's an argument
about Magic's design that drawing cards is too
fundamental an effect to be exclusive, and/or
that if it is it has to be significantly less
powerful than it ever has been. Personally, I
kind of prefer the former option.
In smaller formats like Standard, this card is
going to be, at best, very difficult to use.
Unless you use it in a part-green or white deck,
you're going to run out of both draw power and
the ability to use anything you drew. Even so,
you never know what's going to be in upcoming
sets, and casual settings have so much artifact
mana and other ways to get around the drawback
that I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a
staple in slower red decks.
Today's card of the day is Aggressive Mining
which is a four mana Red enchantment that
prevents you from playing lands and once per
turn you can sacrifice a land to draw two cards.
This is not a worthwhile card as it takes up a
slot, costs four mana, and the first usage only
breaks even on card value while reducing your
resources. A very low cost aggressive Red
build could manage to function with few lands
and a Red/Green can use mana producing
creatures, but there are better ways to draw
cards. Possibly the best usage is with
something like Puca's Mischief to give your
opponent control of Mining and prevent them from
playing lands, which should be a major
hindrance. Overall this is too much of a
drawback to see competitive play, but it could
be a threat in Casual and Multiplayer settings.
In a Limited setting this might get picked after
the basic land in a pack, but late game it can
actually have some value in trading excess lands
for fresh cards. It is situational at best
and barring a deck with a mana curve below the
four for this it is an absolutely terrible card
to have in your opening hand. It is
playable as a topdeck, though it isn't flexible
enough to be worth more than a late on color
pick in Booster or main slot in Sealed.
"I've got enough mana to cast anything in my
deck...if I could just draw something other than
How many times have you thought something like
this? Mana flood is almost as annoying as being
short on mana, and it usually goes with the side
effect of having an empty or almost empty hand.
Aggressive Mining takes a very red approach to
the problem. It's a high risk, high reward card.
You've played aggressively through your first
several turns and gotten the opponent down to 3
or 4 life, but they pulled out a timely board
wipe and you're left with nothing but an empty
hand an a lot of mountains on the battlefield.
But if you have Aggressive Mining on the
battlefield, it takes those extra lands and
hopefully turns most of them into useful cards.
Of course, the drawback on the first line is
real, "You can't play lands." This means you
need to either have more than enough land in
play already when you play this, have other ways
to produce mana, ways to cheat lands into play
(Rampant Growth, etc.), or a way to destroy
Aggressive Mining when you need to play lands
Of all the cards in M15, this is one of the ones
that has me most intrigued. I see a great
potential to draw a lot of cards. Remember that
you can activate it on EACH turn - not just your
own. So, in a game when you have too much land,
you draw 8 extra cards over the course of 2 of
your turns and 2 of your opponent's turns. Tell
me that doesn't make a difference.
Not every deck wants this card. Sometimes it's
going to be useless. When you're stuck on 3
lands, this is the last thing you want to see.
There's great power here, but be careful how you
I'm keeping an eye on this card. It might end up
finding a home with a combination of cards that
makes it annoyingly powerful like Skullclamp.
Or, it might go to the junk rare pile to be
forgotten among the history of failed ideas.