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Posts Tagged ‘Landfall’

I mentioned in my last article, some sort of weenie deck is bound to make an appearance as soon as Scars of Mirrodin is legal. artifact weenie decks and mono-white decks using metalcraft triggers and equipment to bolster critters are all popular ideas. However, nobody yet knows what shape the weenie deck will take. Perhaps (and very likely) it will take several forms before convelescing into an archetypal deck.

when i think of a scars weenie deck, I can’t help but think of adding red. White has plenty of good weenie creatures, but I feel too many of them are artifact dependent. Red, on the other hand, has lots of options which are already good, but could be better when equipped. A good mix of both white and red could make for a formidable deck, in my opinion.

Red has some great weenie creatures which have already proven themselves. Goblin Guide, Plated Geopede, Cunning Sparkwhatever and Goblin Bushwhacker are great creatures. Each one seems like it could benefit from a nice set of Adventuring Gear or Sword of Vengeance. Each one could also put down a good beating on their own if a white cohort like Kor Duelist needs a machete badly. Newcomers like Goblin Gaveleer and Spikeshot Elder are great additions as well.

The Gaveleer already has trample, and he gets a +2 +0 bonus just for having gear on him! Strap him with some adventuring gear and you’ve got a 3/1 trample, not to mention if you hit landfall. The elder is incredible too. I realized how much of a bad-ass he was during the pre-release. Paying RR1 or 1 damage seems like a lot, but he can do it without tapping, and his damage t scales directly with his power. Put a machete or a Basilisk Collar on that.

Red also has more proactive spells. With Path to Exile and Oblivion Ring gone, white is stuck with mostly situational removal. Lighting Bolt doesn’t care what your opponents creature is doing. Attacking or at home with the family, it does 3 damage. We still have Burst Lightning, Punishing Fire and Forked Bolt. Newcomers like Galvanic Blast and Arc Trail are nice too.  Red also keeps a little stash of utility spells which can steal troublesome creatures or create dudes from unused equipement.

While red provides some good options for the weenie deck, it will really come down to what works out the best. Maybe playing a zillion artifacts to hit metalcraft triggers on bladewright or sunchaser is the way to go.  Maybe Glint Hawk is better than Goblin Guide. Or maybe there will be a combination of both. Maybe it won’t matter because Koth powered Titan Ramp decks will be blowing everythign up. We’ll find out soon enough.

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At the end of Preview Week one, we’ve gotten a pretty good look into the world of Zendikar. We’ve learned alot about the wild, untamed plane and the people living there. We’ve also seen a good deal the new cards, and with them new and returning game mechanics.

When a new set brings with it new keywords or card types, there is always a lot of speculation on how they are going to change the various formats. Sometimes it turns out ot be a great deal, such as cascade (especially in Alara block). Sometimes it doesn’t make much of a difference, such as Time Spiral’s vanishing.

Sphinx

The truth? Your hair looks stupid.

Kicker
Kicker is not new, but a returning mechanic from the Invasion block. Kicker allows you to pay an extra cost for an added or boosted effect when playing a spell. Kavu Titan and the battlemage cycle are good examples of a popular cards with the kicker mechanic. While most cards with kicker are sub-par or simply “meh” for the cost, it is their flexibility to be several things which makes them exciting. Some, like the titan, could fill a roll as either an early or late drop. Desolation Angel could simply be a nice flyer or a land-destroying finisher. 
For more on kicker, see the Mike Flores article (along with a Zen preview) here.  

Landfall
Landfall is entirely new. Cards with landfall have an effect which is triggered whenever you put a land onto the battlefield under your control. Sometimes it needs be a specific type of land. So far, some of the landfall effects seen include creating tokens, adding counters to creatures, dealing damage and giving bonuses until the beginning of the end of turn step. On the right cards with the right triggered abilities, this could be quite the powerhouse since it requires very little of the player other than doing something they would normally do in the first place; play a land.

Intimidation 
Intimidation is a new color-based evasion ability. Creatures with intimidate can only be blocked by creatures sharing a color with it or artifact creatures. Not that anybody was playing black so they wouldn’t get hit by fear, but at least swamp  mages have to worry about it too now.

Creature type: Ally
Ally is a new creature type. So far, it looks as though most ally cards either trigger an effect on other ally cards when they come onto the battlefield or have an effect triggered when other ally cards come onto the battlefield. Some effects count the number of allies in play. These effects include adding counters or looking at a players hand and drawing cards equal to the number of allies in play.

Instant type: Trap
Trap is a new card type given to instants which can be cast at no or reduced cost if a certain condition is met. Some of these conditions include opponents playing a specific number of spells, searching libraries or attacking with a single creature.

There also seem to be a good number of enchantments which operate by accumulating “quest” counters. The enchantment is played and the counters are given each time a specified action takes place, such as a creature going to the graveyard or an opponents turn passing where you take no damage. Once a certain number of “quest” counters accumulate, the enchantment can be sac’d and an effect happens such as creating a creature token or returning creatures from the graveyard to your hand. One spoiled so far has a cost required to activate the enchantment, but does not require sacrificing it.

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Psst, kid! Play a fetchland!

Everything interesting so far. The new card types are kind of funny, especially when you consider the fact the mechanics have been done before; they just didn’t have a name. All sorts of blocks had creatures that benifited from each other, and others had cards which could be played at an alternate cost if certian conditions were met. As for intimidate; it’s just fear.  

The return of kicker seems like alot of fun. I’m personally looking forward to playing with this, since I missed it in Invasion. Landfall looks interesting too, especially with the new fetch land cycle.

Landfall also looks like it has the most potential to be a little bit broken, like cascade. Neither mechanic actually requires any skill, only that a player does something they would normally do. Both of them also have the potential to be incredibly powerful. To get great value from cascade, all you have to do is a cascade card worth playing andgood cards which can be flipped. With landfall, all you have to do is have a card with a good landfall mechanic and some lands in your deck. Already I see a few cards and card combinations with landfall which look pretty scary.

However, with all of the new card types and mechanics, it will be impossible to see how powerful they will be or what impact they will have on the metagame until all of the cards have bene spoiled. It doesn’t matter how crazy the keyword or mechanic is if the card isn’t worth playing. Even then, we may have to wait for the next few sets to see their true potential.

Either way, here’s hoping for some fun with the coming of Zendikar and new game mechanics.

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