Eventide Previews: Rock on

You see, the title is a pun.
The first official Eventide previews are coming up, and two of the cards are potentials for inclusion in Rock builds. Here you go:
As the article points out, this is a 4/4 for 4 mana, which is already pretty good in black, and solidly in Rock critter territory. However, I really, really like the added bonus of being able to knock of creatures if Ashling comes through unblocked. This can really halt an opponent’s offense, as they suddenly find themselves unable to play the tempo game with you, because they’ll lose their creatures on the crack back from you.
…and, of course, in Extended you can use Shizo to get Ashling through, free and clear.
On the other hand, we have this critter:
Classic Rock builds relied on Spiritmonger, a 6/6 for 5 mana, Regeneration, and a vampire-like tendency to get bigger. Eventide brings us in its place a 5/5 for 5 mana, with Trample, and the ability to regenerate twice, each time growing in the process. Not bad — but is it better than the Pro-black, 4/4, growing goodness that is Chameleon Colossus?

Turning lands into stuff

The MTG Salvation Eventide Spoiler just picked up ten new cards from Mana Rouge, including this one:
My first-glance response was “One-mana discard!”
Then I, you know, read it. One-mana untargeted discard means that you’re just trading a card from your hand to peel the worst card from their hand. That’s not intrinsically exciting, although similar cards have see use in discard-heavy decks such as the recent TarmoRack.
The keyword ability adds something interesting, though. Retrace lets you toss a card in hand, pay the spell’s normal cost, and replay it. At first, I thought to myself, “Oh, it’s Flashback with a card cost.” Then a realized that you can do this over and over again. Suddenly, Raven’s Crime might not suck. It’s still untargeted, which is not the most exciting thing ever, but if you’re playing a deck that doesn’t need to stretch its mana base out to get things done in the last game, it lets you just convert all those dead late-game land draws into something actually useful.
I’ll be on the lookout for other Retrace cards in the coming previews. So far, we have this one and Call the Skybreaker, a blue-red hybrid spell that generates 5/5 flyers. I must admit I’m still more excited about Raven’s Crime, and the possibility of a late-game machine-gunning of your opponent’s hand once you’ve drawn all the lands you need.