Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Magic Touch

I went to an MTG prerelease last Saturday, which was somewhat of a historical event, considering that the last Magic prerelease around here was Onslaught (I think), and the last I attended was Oddysey. It's been just as much fun as they used to be. The new (small) set, Morningtide, together with the previous (large) set, Lorwyn, are a blast to play in Limited - we played Sealed Deck. TBH I was somewhat worried about the overall power level of the set(s), which I perceived to be quite a notch above "high", but it turns out that it's actually a good thing (well, unless you mix it with something like Masques block, I suppose). Almost all of the commons are useful and playable, and many are quite good, which nicely offsets the "luck factor" commonly associated with Sealed. And since the uncommon and rare slots are packed with bombs, it means every player will have a fighting chance, by using his or her bombs to counter the opponent's (unless your rares are something like 2 lands and a quirky Johnny card, and even then you'll probably still get some good stuff alongside them). The bad side seems to be that a few uncommons are quite ridiculous in Limited, especially (some) of the new Tribal Equipment, since the sets are light on artifact removal. And, at the high end, you get rares so bomb-tastic that they'll easily win games unless immediately answered (yes, planeswalkers, I mean YOU). Oh, and the clash mechanic is way too swingy on some cards.

But let's not dwell on their shortcomings, because these sets are FUN! They are based on the tribal theme, which has always been popular, and their mechanics further support it and create a lot of interesting interactions, which makes Limited play in particular to be very dynamic and less dominated by archetypes than in other blocks. Indeed, if you've never played with the cards before, as you play your deck, you're likely to discover some new interactions that didn't occur to you when you put it together. Needless to say, it's great fun. Also, since we're talking about fun, it's just not right to play a certain Morningtide card without announcing its name, preferably in a booming voice. You really should try it if you get the chance... it's an unique feeling.

There are also some good things to say about the art style, and the overall "Vorthosian" feel of this block. So consider I've said them. Because I really, really like the world of Lorwyn.

Oh, and I won 5 boosters, too :)

-Chiller, Timmy/Spike


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