Magic 2013 Core Set Review

Magic 2013 marks the beginning of a new Standard format.

Set Name: Magic 2013

Block: Core Set

Game: Magic the Gathering

Release Date: July 13, 2010


What is this set about?

Magic 2013 is the latest core set Wizards have to offer. The standard effect mechanics returns for this set. ‘Exalted’ makes a comeback to this set (which boosts a creature by +1/+1 for each instance of ‘Exalted’ if it attacks alone). There is a little more focus on players controlling certain basic land type. This set is overall very balanced except for the few impossible rares. The new planeswalkers from Magic 2012 return for 2013 while Ajani and Liliana received updates. Nicol Bolas happens to be the first multi-colored card to be released in a core set.



The 5 color cycle of Legendary Creatures released are all great:

Odric, Master Tactician: This card is amazing when attacking in a group and quickly decides the duel. At worse, he’s a 3/4 first striker.

Talrand, Sky Summoner: A Merfolk capable of starting a Drake token swarm. Blue players will be happy with this card.

Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis: A solitary demon that benefits from attacking alone. Its ability is like a mild form of Annihilator.

Krenko, Mob Boss: A goblin that can double your goblin army in number each turn passing.

Yeva, Nature’s Herald: If you think Wolfir Avenger was great, this card is even better! Yeva lets you cast all your green creatures as if they had flash. Your opponent will think twice before swinging at you.


Other cards that interests me in this set:

Thundermaw Hellkite: This card will easily become the staple red dragon card of the future. It’s fast, kills fliers, and hits hard.

Rancor: The reprint of what I feel is the strongest aura card in the game made me happy. Rancor grants good bonuses for cheap and it is reusable.

Vampire Nighthawk: The presence of this creature gives your opponent a headache. Deathtouch and Lifelink in one affordable package is every player’s dream.

Vile Rebirth: An overlooked common that exiles a creature from a graveyard and gives you a 2/2 Zombie- for 1 mana! And it’s an Instant!

Gilded Lotus: Powerful in any deck needing a late game filler. The lotus gives 3 mana of any color every turn fixing color and ramping mana at the same time. This is very appropriate in a core set and is a must have in commander format.


Is this set worth my time?

For Core Set regulars, a lot of the cards are the same. More of the new cards are printed as rares. Some newer reprints are valuable. Commander players would see value in this set as a lot of the rares and reprints seem to be catered to them.


Strengths: The rares in this set are outstanding. There are only a few “bad” rares. I also like the fact that Wizards actually played fair to all colors. All five colors received equal treatment thus all are competitive in their own rights.


Weaknesses: A lot of the common cards are poor but that is expected. The titans from the past two core sets finally rotate out so we’ll see less overpowered creatures. Finally, I feel the inclusion of certain cards seems out of place for a core set either because casting it is impossible or the effect is impossible to use.



Rating: Overall, the latest core set interests me. My financial approach to this set is to acquire singles that you like. You could even try out an intro pack just to get one of the legendary creatures mentioned above and the 2 boosters included with it. This set is huge as with any other core sets so you will have a hard time finding the cards you want, so buying boosters will leave you with duplicate cards of previous core sets.


Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment if you agree or disagree with something in my review.


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  1. Good article, sounds like another great set. Glided Lotus is just unreal, even at 5 mana (of any color) to cast. Not to mention quite a few of the other cards mentioned and an apparent balance to this set.

  2. Yup, casting Gilded Lotus actually sets you back “2 mana” because after paying 5, you’ll tap it straight away to get 3 mana back; afterwards the Lotus will generate 3 extra mana for you every turn. The artifacts in this core set are MUCH better than the ones in 2012. The rares in this set are relatively stable. I’d say this is a fair set.

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