Origins is incoming! I love the look of this set so much! I've done Spoiler overview's in the past, but I wanted a bit of a challenge (and didn't want to speak about every card) so I've limited myself. In every color, I have the same five categories in which to highlight a single card (some of them double-faced). Here we go!
Limited: Consul's Lieutenant
I have a confession to make. I LOVE me a two-Power two drop. The First Strike makes the single Toughness inconsequential and is a baked-in combo with Renown. Add "Lords all attackers" and you have a Limited powerhouse. This card is a great example of a "build around me" Uncommon.
Standard: Sigil of the Empty Throne
My brewing gears are already turning trying to combine this card with Eidolon of Blossoms. Can you say value town? Look for a list in an upcoming article.
Eternal: Kytheon, Hero of Akros
Kid Gideon occupies an awkward space. He needs to be aggro and attack with other Creatures in order to transform, but his Planeswalker form is more controlling. I think he finds a home in midrange decks playing Lingering Souls.
Commander: Tragic Arrogance
A callback to Cataclysm, Tragic Arrogance is a classic tradeoff, trading the ability to hit Lands for control over what is kept around. Kaalia of the Vast approves.
Art: Starfield of Nyx by Tyler Jacobson
This art really speaks to me. It first grabbed me because it breaks away from the mold in that it is a White card with very little white in the art. The use of a variety of color appeals to my ADD and I love the contrast between the smoky whimsy of Nyx above and the drab darkness of the regular world below.
Limited: Ringwarden Owl
Winner winner, owl dinner. A 3/3 flier for five is already imminently playable. Add Prowess and you have a common finisher to be reckoned with. I expect I will be drafting this card very early in packs and will greatly pull me into playing blue.
Standard: Clash of Wills
I expect there will be many a blue mage looking to clash wills in protection of their Dragonlord Ojutai's. Syncopate was a staple during it's time and, while this does not have the exile clause, it's still functionally the same counterspell.
Eternal: Harbinger of the Tides
Corbin Hosler of Brainstorm Brewery is a notorious Modern Merfolk player and is very high on this card. I believe he called it an instant four-of in the deck. I'm inclined to agree whole-heartedly. The tempo gained by Flashing or Aether Vialing it in is tremendous. It also combos well with Merrow Reejery, allowing you to tap a dude, then bounce him.
There are all sorts of ways to break this gal in Magic's most broken format. Whether it's pingers, Enchantments, or pump spells I think this card is very appropriately named for what it can do to an opponent. It's a shame a card as cool as this one for Commander isn't Legendary, though.
Art: Disperse by Ryan Yee
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I think Disperse is the one, absolutely perfect, word for this piece. Ryan Yee is one of my more favorite artists in Magic for his spot on capture of what the card is or does. Not only is the person in the picture well constructed, he's also well DE-constructed. We have here a unity of form and function.
Limited: Malakir Cullblade
A creature who just wants to sit back and watch the fighting as it starts, learn a thing or two, then join fray. He's great to throw down and then use Black's bevvy of removal spells to make him into a true threat. But remember, creatures die all the time in Limited combat, so this two drop isn't necessarily even too terrible of a late game draw. He's a very good candidate for my Cube as I think he feels at home in both an aggressive and controlling deck. Wizards hit a home run on this guy.
Appropriately named for the effect it will have on opponents when their stuff dies and you are left with Tasigurs, Siege Rhinos, and Gurmag Anglers, Languish has received a lot of fanfare already in the community. On the flip side, though, this doesn't do anything - almost at all - in the mirror match, so Abzan Control decks will need to figure out the right number of these and the right number of sideboarded replacements.
Eternal: Liliana, Heretical Healer
The easiest of the cycle to flip, needing only another creature to die, and a Planeswalker side worth fighting toward, Liliana has a chance to do great things. Everything about her is a decent, if not great, rate. Three mana is a little much for a 2/3 Lifelink, but leaving behind a 2/2 token when she ignites is a great way to protect herself, and her +2 activation does as well. She pseudo protects your other creatures as well by making an opponent think twice about trading with one of your other creatures in fear of flipping her.
Commander: Dark Petition
Diabolic Tutor for one more that lets you cast the card too if it's a Black card under three mana? Where do I sign up?
Art: Infinite Obliteration by Yeong-Hao Han
The name is a bit over-dramatic, but the art is superb. It depicts the man being split in twain as well as the man-within-a-man and the man-within-him, paying existential service not only to the idea that a man is different below the surface, but to the actual effect of the card as well. To that notion, I would have preferred a fourth layer and perhaps a better background to the piece, but that's just me being nit picky.
Limited: Fiery Impulse
I am officially naming this card Shock Bolt. It may only hit creatures, but at common and for only a single mana, this is premium Limited removal.
Standard: Goblin Piledriver
I fully expect this guy and Hordelings Outbursts of Dragon Fodder (see what I did there?) to body slam Standard. Maybe Modern too, for that matter. This reprint made me literally shout when I saw it, both in excitement and horror. Piledriver is THAT good.
Eternal: Magmatic Insight
As a Modern Storm player, this card immediately piqued my interest. Thinking more about it, I think this card could be an easy two-of or three-of in the deck replacing Desperate Ravings. It's also entirely possible for this card to morph the deck into a mono Red deck. I have a rough list in my head and could see it as an article in the near future.
Commander: Avaricious Dragon
Smaug seems like the perfect embodiment of greed. He fits perfectly into Kaalia decks like mine, and I suspect his card draw will be welcome in most red-but-not-blue-or-black decks.
Art: Enthralling Victor by Winona Nelson
Finally some fan service for the ladies! If you can tear your eyes away from Khal Drogo's abs for a second and notice the goblins in the lower foreground, you'll see what your face was like a few seconds ago. The "God rays" are a nice, if not subtle, touch as well.
Limited: Undercity Troll
This two drop is incredibly hard to deal with in Limited. The Regenerate is a little expensive, but it's the gravy on top of a mashed potato 2/2 that becomes a 3/3. An aggressive early drop with late game survivability, this is an uncommon I would be very happy to have in any pool.
Standard: Herald of the Pantheon
Cost reduction abilities are usually very good, and this one is no exception. This is what was missing in Theros Block. It passes the vanilla test and curves very well in to Eidolon of Blossoms. I would be very surprised if this card did not make waves in Standard.
Eternal: Dwynen's Elite
I think this card could be good in Modern Elves. It's an extra body for both Elvish Archdruid mana production and for attacking. It's incredible value off Collected Company.
Commander: Nissa, Vastwood Seer / Nissa, Sage Animist
This card is 100% value. It's a slightly underpowered Civic Wayfinder that eventually flips into a powerhouse Planeswalker. Seven Lands might be a high enough threshold to deter some folks, but in the right deck she gets there quickly enough - even in Standard. She plays exceedingly well in any deck looking to run long in Standard or ANY Commander deck able to run Basic Forests. A 2/2 for three isn't that great of a rate, but the threat of flipping into a card draw engine will have her attracting removal and screening your larger threats. You're not even too sad to see your opponent use a card on her as you still get the Land out of the deal.
Art: The Great Aurora by Sam Burley
Lorwyn is a very iconic setting for me, and this is a very iconic moment in Lorwyn history. This piece completely captures the transformation of the Plane from Day to Night (a moment that only happens after hundreds of years due the meddling of Oona). I think the artist does a very good job at showing the stark contrast between Lorwyn and Shadowmoor.
Limited: Thunderclap Wyvern
I'd pay four mana for a 2/3 Flash Flying Creature in just about any Limited format. The "Lord" effect for all other fliers is insanely powerful if you can draft enough of them. Keep a look out for all of the cards that make the Thopter tokens littered throughout the set. He's fine on his own and terrifying in the right deck.
Standard: Chief of the Foundry
I'm not sure if there's going to be an Artifact deck in Standard. But, if there is, this guy is a sure-fire four of. He's too slow for Modern, but he's perfectly fine in Standard.
Eternal: Shaman of the Pack
Now here's a card good enough for Modern. He may even be just good enough for Legacy where you can bounce him back to your hand with Wirewood Symbiote and do it all over again. Giving Elf decks a way to finish of an opponent without relying on the combat step is a huge step forward for a deck already vying for Tier One status. I have no doubt this card will have an effect on Eternal formats.
Commander: Alhammarret's Archive
This one was easy. Double life gain and double card drawing effects on a single card just screams Commander. I can easily see this going in a wide variety of decks including my own Oloro, Ageless Ascetic deck.
Art: Alchemist's Vial by Lindsey Look
They say hands are the most difficult thing to draw, and these hands look quite nice. I'm also a big fan of how well the multicolored glow effect is pulled off.