Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘infect’

I did not do well at the Scars of Mirrodin pre-release. After two losses and a tie, I decided to throw in the towel. I had a load of fun, though my card pool kind of sucked. I can’t entirely blame luck. I got a bit too overexcited about the amount of removal I had and decided to try and cram it all in withought thinking about how many monsters I had. After going the first game with very few creatures, I counted and found I had a whole 9 of them in the deck.

Stupid.

I did learn a lot. Scars of Mirrodin is very different from Alara and Zendikar block. It isn’t about smashing big monsters into each other. It is about smashing little monsters into each other after giving them swords.

Sure, there are a few big gay bombs, but the average creature is going to be a bit smaller than what we are used to. Instead of having all sorts of cool abilities, they’re going to have cool abilities you only get to use if you have a buttload of artifacts in play. Who knew Mirrodin would revolve around grey cards?

All in all, it is interesting to see how different the game is with Scars. The abundance of artifacts and artifact creatures almost make what color you play irrelevant, so the colors you do play had better be good. Equipment is crucial. Have lots of artifacts. Turn to Slag and Shatter are some of the best removal spells in the set. Play more artifacts. Colored creatures suck unless they have metalcraft triggers or are equipped with something.

Well, not all of them.

I also got the chance to talk to people about specific cards in the set and what their plans were for the upcoming rotation. Everybody seemed to like Elspeth and Koth, but didn’t like Venser (more on this later). Everybody was talking about playing white weenie or tokens with Elspeth and turn 5 Destructive Force plays with Koth (more on this later). Everybody loved Wurmcoil Engine and Grand architect.

I think I’ll go back and try the release party this upcoming Saturday now that I have more of a feel for Scars. In the meantime, I’ll be watching to see how the metagame looks to be shaping up.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The pre-release is fast approaching and the entire Scars of Mirrodin set has been spoiled. Here are a few things I’ve thought of as I prepare for the upcoming battle.  

Metalcraft
Metalcraft artifacts count themselves.

Imprint
Cards used to pay the imprint cost are exiled, not put into the graveyard.

Infect
Creatures with infect do not deal damage in the traditional sense, but they must be able to deal damage in order to confer a poison or -1-1 counter. A creature with infect cannot lower an opponent’s life total.

-1-1 Counters/effects
Creatures reduced to 0 toughness die even if they have indestructible or regenerate.

Yes please.

Proliferate
Only permanent or players with a counter of some kind already on them have a counter added by  the proliferate mechanic. The counter added is of the same kind already on them. You choose the permanents receiving counters.

Things to Remember

There is currently no way to remove poison counters from a player.
-1-1 counters can be removed by removing a creature from the game.
Artifact destroying spells and effects can double as creature removal in Mirrodin.
Much of the set is artifacts and artifact creatures; you may be able to choose colors based more on strong removal
Liquidmetal Coating can turn your opponents non-artifacts into artifacts too, opening them up for artifact removal
Furnace Celebration only works if you sacrifice a permanent for another effect; you cannot simply sacrifice a permanent to deal damage.
Volition Reigns can target any permanent.  
Venser is an auto-win.

Read Full Post »

I’m really excited about Scars of Mirrodin but not for the same reasons a lot of other people are. Sure, I love to see new cards. I also love a block rotation, It clears the accumulated film from the Standard pool. What I’m mostly excited about, though, is the return to something familiar

Mirrodin? F*** it. Phyrexia is back.

When I first started playing Magic, the game had a story. It wasn’t just a quick glimpse though a single block such as what we’ve seen since the end of the Invasion block. It was a story spanning many blocks. In this story, there was a strange artificial plane called Phyrexia. Players mostly caught glimpses of Phyrexia through a smattering of artifacts in various sets, often offering great power but demanding an equally great sacrifice.

However, Phyrexia and it’s inhabitants would soon force their way onto the plane of Dominaria, the plane where the Magic storyline took place. The  final set of the Mirage block, Weatherlight, featured the creation of the Weatherlight’s crew and their search for the pieces of the Legacy in preparation for the Pyrexian invasion.  The Rath cycle continued the story of the Weatherlight and the assembled heroes as they assault the plane which would be the platform for the attack. The Urza’s block focused on the planeswalker Urza, mortal enemy to Phyrexia’s master,  Yawgmoth, and his search for allies and artifacts capable of holding off the impending Phyrexian invasion. The Masques block continued the story of the Weatherlight’s crew (kind of). Finally, the Invasion block saw the actual, massive attack on Dominaria and  Yawgmoth’s eventual defeat at the hands of Urza and his allies.

Hints of the who the Phyrexians were hidden in cards since the Ice Age block.  Three blocks focused on the coming invasion. The invasion took an entire block for itself.

I drifted out of magic by Apocalypse anyway, so I didn’t notice the story of the Dominaria I knew come to a close with the victory of the Coalition over Yawgmoth. Apparently, with the Odyssey and Onslaught blocks, players traveled to a harsh, future Dominaria. Wizards then dropped the storyline entirely, opting to stell short stories as each block visited an entirely new plane.

Since then, not much of the old plane has been seen. Karn, the Silver Golem, creator of Mirrodin was a key player in Phyrexia’s defeat. In Time Spiral block, players got a glimpse of a shattered Dominaria; a victim of centuries of struggle.

It was during Time Spiral I started playing again. I was a little depressed by the story. Not that I was a huge Melvin. I didn’t read the books. It was just neat to have this evolving storyline and characters to follow. It had to end sometime. I’m sure Wizards and the players were getting tired of Dominaria. After all, 4 blocks and the Weatherlight set is a long time.

It just never felt the same though. I felt like those people who came home to find a strip mall built on their old neighborhood. Sure, the new stuff is cool, and the game is about the cards, after all. I just felt as if something was missing. It is hard to invest yourself in a plane if you’re only there for a year. The stories were neat, the villians were cool, but they just weren’t as cool.

Call it the “Darth Maul Effect”. It is just hard for something to have an impact when you know it isn’t going to be around much longer.

Darth Vader Yawgmoth, now there’s a villain. Pyrexia knows how to start an epic struggle. Nice and slowly. I’m glad to see it creeping back. A familiar villain can be a lot of fun.  

Mirrodin is a natural fit for Phyrexia. It is an artificial plane, like Phyrexia was. It is constructed of metal, much like Phyrexia was. Karn, was instrumental in Yawgmoth’s defeat, and it is through him the new Phyrexia will born. 

Of course it won’t be like the old Phrexia, obviously. Yawgmoth is dead. His followers and the plane destroyed. Only the plane’s foul, oily taint survived. It is, in nature, like old Phyrexia, and has begun to change Mirrodin.

I may be looking at things through ichor-tinted glasses, but even the new mechanics are Phyrexian in nature. Sure, they’re Mirrian too, but how different are the too planes, really?

Metalcraft: If you control 3 artifacts, do X. So far, we’ve seen metalcraft give bonuses and activate abilities on creatures an artifacts. The cumulitive power of artifacts is obvious on Mirrodin, but the Phyrexians were partly machine too, and their sheer numbers gave them power as well.

Imprint: Discard X to give X some quality of the discarded X. We haven’t seen a lot of imprint abilities yet, but usually they involve creatures mimicking or becoming another and artifacts gaining the ability to cast discarded spells. As I recall, mimicry was one of Phyrexias favorite tricks.

Infect: Creatures (and possibly spells) with the infect mechanic do damage as either -1-1 counters (to other creatures) or poison counters (to players). I believe 10 poison counters equals a game loss, and as of yet there is no way to remove them. This one is purely Phyrexian. Infectious plagues and terrible poisons were Phyrexia’s most terrible weapons, and their deployment killed thousands of Dominaria’s defenders in an instant. Hundreds of thousands died slowly from the after effects. Yawgmoth himself, once a healer and a medicine man, manifested himself as  a colossal cloud of toxic gasses during the final battle with Urza and his champions.

 

Proliferate: The Proliferate mechanic adds counters to anything that already has counters. The player controlling the permanent or spell with proliferate gets to choose which permanents this effects. Did I mention Phyrexians relied on great numbers and the spreading of plagues?   

While I’m gushing about Phyrexia, a few other familiar things come with Scars of Mirrodin. The return to the plane Mirrodin, for one. I believe it is the first time we’ve returned to a plane since the Onslaught block. Charge counters return, as do the Myr. The set, of course, will be mostly artifacts, but colored spells do exist. Spell bombs are back again, as is the indestructible Darksteel. All of Mirrodin’s races are still there.

Mirrodin is exciting too, I guess. I didn’t get to play Mirrodin 1, so I’m looking forward to the artifact centric Mirrodin 2.0.  I just wouldn’t be as excited if Phyrexians weren’t involved.

The cards are looking pretty cool, too.

Check out the official Wizards site for information on Scars of Mirrodin, and keep an eye on MTG salvation if you like set spoilers. Rich? Check out Starcity Games and start buying spoiled cards at horribly over-hyped prices.

Top: Geth of the Vault, with Phyrexian enhancements. Bottom: Tsabo Tavoc, commander of the Phyrexian invasion force. Interesting, no?

Read Full Post »