Conflux as a PTQ player

With the MTGSalvation Conflux spoiler just thirteen cards shy of complete (assuming it’s mostly correct), it’s time to check in again and see if this mid-Alara set is going to cause any significant changes in the current PTQ season.
I have some full notes in the extended entry, but my true standout cards are Path to Exile, Hellspark Elemental, Volcanic Fallout, Worldheart Phoenix, and Might of Alara. I discuss a few others, but these are the ones that I foresee having some real impact. Of these, Path slots into certain control and aggro/control decks. Hellspark Elemental goes into mono-red burn. Volcanic Fallout may go into certain aggro builds. Worldheart Phoenix might be a Gifts finisher. Last, but not at all least, Might of Alara goes into Domain Zoo.
So does this shift the metagame? It might make Domain Zoo a stronger contender, and it might make All-In Red decks much riskier. Perhaps we’ll also see some more U/w control again, with Path going in as the super removal card in those decks.
The financial upshot here is that you probably aren’t looking to pick up any rares to retain your competitive edge as Conflux spills into the Extended format.
(And, as noted, more commentary in the extended entry.)

Path to Exile
Instant, W – Remove target creature from the game. Its controller may search his or her library for a basic land card, put it into play tapped, then shuffle his or her library.
I think Path may make its way into Gifts decks that splash for white, although I keep debating that point. Handing out a land in Extended is kind of a pain, true, but that alone would still make this nearly a Swords to Plowshares, which is still excellent. What I really wonder about, though, is the value of Path over other removal that is more multifunctioanl, such as Putrefy and Engineered Explosives.
That said, Path is a first-turn answer to a Deus or Demigod, which is really, really solid, and may inspire me to play some W/other Gifts monstrosity.
Master Transmuter
Artifact Creature – Human Artificer, 3U – U, {T}: Return an artifact you control to its owner’s hand: You may put an artifact card from your hand into play.
I enjoy the art on this one.
Aesthetics aside, I include this one on the list because it might – might – be included as a way to cheat out something godawful, like a Darksteel Colossus or, perhaps, a Mindslaver with activation mana up. Still, as a turn four or five play at best, it’s awfully slow, so I’m not really excited. Still, the ability to pick up a Chrome Mox and put down a DST is potentially something. Maybe.
Telemin Performance
Sorcery – 3UU – Target opponent reveals cards from the top of his or her library until a creature card is revealed. Put all noncreature cards revealed this way into that player’s graveyard, then put the creature card into play under your control.
I want to play this against a Mind’s Desire deck. That is all.
Rotting Rats
Creature – Rat – 1B – When Rotting Rats comes into play, each player discards a card.
Unearth 1B
Dredge enabler, perhaps? It’s nice in that there’s no waiting period, and it can come back and do its trick over once.
Hellspark Elemental
Creature – Elemental – 1R
Trample, haste
At end of turn, sacrifice Hellspark Elemental.
Unearth 1R
Sure, it’s a little pricier than Spark Elemental, but you get to use it twice! I see this as a completely viable option in the mono-red burn deck.
Volcanic Fallout
Instant – 1RR – Volcanic Fallout can’t be countered.
Volcanic Fallout deals 2 damage to each creature and each player.
This may go into every single sideboard that can run it, as a counter against the dominant mono-blue builds. Unfortnately, sweeping everything for two damage actually does a great deal of damage to Zoo builds, killing off Fanatics, Guildmags, Teegs, Scullers, and so forth. That’s just ugly. It also doesn’t deal iwth the recursive nature of the Riptide Lab, which is the core power engine of the mono-blue deck.
So, this may push harder on mono-blue dominance, but it’s not actually a trump card.
Worldheart Phoenix
Creature – Phoenix – 3R
You may play Worldheart Phoenix from your graveyard by paying {W}{U}{B}{R}{G} rather than paying its mana cost. If you do, it comes into play with two +1/+1 counters on it.
If anyone’s playing five-color Gifts, this isn’t a bad finisher, starting as a 2/2 flyer and coming back, again and again, as a 4/4. However, as long as we’re just winning incrementally in Gifts, this isn’t necessarily better than Etched Oracle, since the Oracle trades in for cards in addition to recurring.
Might of Alara
Instant – G – Domain – Target creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn for each basic land type among lands you control.
Slots directly into Domain Zoo. Some folks may take the risk of trying to remake the Gaea’s Might Get There design of years past, but I think that won’t work out nearly as well as just keeping the optimized creatures of the current Zoo builds and being happy with a random bonus 5 damage from time to time.
Alara has been pretty good for Zoo decks.
Child of Alara
Legendary Creature – Avatar – WUBRG
When Child of Alara is put into a graveyard from play, destroy all nonland permanents. They can’t be regenerated.
This would be fun to Mannequin out, then watch an aggro player attempt to deal with it. It’s not as crippling as Sundering Titan is in that same circumstance, though, and easier to simply toss burn over, under, and around.