Schlagwort-Archiv: Magic Origins

Magic Origins entrants into my Limited Card Pool

Before it becomes a running gag: Here is finally the list of Magic Origins cards which made it into my Limited Card Pool. It’s really a long list, even for a core set: 61 out of 181 new cards made it – that is over a third! There are really a lot of good designs here, although I am so far not too happy about the overall composition of that set. Note that the ratio of cards reprinted in Magic Origins which I use in my pool is even higher (close to 50%), and that many other cards didn’t make it for minor reasons only. Ah, as a Next Level Cube designer I am going to miss core sets…

I’ll try to include an explanation at least for each group of cards, but I won’t write a paragraph for each and every one. If you have any questions why a specific card did or did not make it, just ask in the comments – I actually have all the answers!

Renown:

Consul’s Lieutenant
Topan Freeblade
Knight of the Pilgrim’s Road
Stalwart Aven
War Oracle
Goblin Glory Chaser
Acolyte of the Inferno
Akroan Sergeant
Firefiend Elemental
Undercity Troll
Pharika’s Disciple
Rhox Maulers
Citadel Castellan

I really like this mechanic, and most of the designs for it are elegant and balanced. However, I will make sure that all of my cubes which use it contain enough efficient removal that getting a creature renowned doesn’t create a tempo swing which equals game over.

Thopters:

Foundry of the Consuls
Ghirapur Gearcrafter
Thopter Engineer
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Aspiring Aeronaut
Whirler Rogue
Thopter Spy Network

This mechanic does so much: It gives Red badly needed evasion, supports artifact and token synergies, and provides another good utility land. The rares are admittedly on the stronger side for Next Level Cubes, but I think they’re not out of line.

Spell Mastery:

Swift Reckoning
Kytheon’s Tactics
Gideon’s Phalanx
Necromantic Summons
Ravaging Blaze

I wasn’t thrilled by this mechanic at first, and I still think the designs using it are mostly very underwhelming, but I found that I really wanted a couple more instery („instant“ + „sorcery“) synergy cards for my pool. So I scrounged for a few specimen I was okay with. Note that I actually chose Gideon’s Phalanx for another reason: I needed a white non-creature 7-mana spell to round of my Mythics, and I was unhappy with my former choice of Mass Calcify.

Enchantment synergies:

Helm of the Gods
Blessed Spirits
Herald of the Pantheon
Blood-Cursed Knight

Theros block was a big disappointment in that area, and I’m still looking for usable cards supporting an enchantment theme. Helm of the Gods might possible prove a little too powerful if put into an environment with enchantment creatures (which is the whole point of recruiting it for my pool), so I’ll have to watch out for that.

Multicolor cards:

Bounding Krasis
Blazing Hellhound
Zendikar Incarnate
Iroas’s Champion

I have a contingent of multicolored cards for each pair. Many of my cubes feature consciously asymmetric color distributions, and to make those work, I need multicolor cards which do not mention too specific synergies (like Blood-Cursed Knight, or Shaman of the Pack). There is still room to improve my choices here, and Magic Origins offers a few good candidates.

Auras:

Grasp of the Hieromancer
Infernal Scarring

Playable auras which are not too swingy are a somehow rare commodity in Magic. I believe weakening removal as much as WotC has done lately to make auras more attractive does more harm than good, but that means usable auras have to zoom in on the exactly right power level to be candidates for my pool. These two qualify in my opinion.

Some existing mechanics and synergies:

Patron of the Valiant
Abbot of Keral Keep
Boggart Brute
Dwynen’s Elite
Zendikar’s Roil
Deep-Sea Terror
Hydrolash

Counters, prowess, menace, elf tribal, landfall, threshold, cantrips: Magic Origins presented me with one good candidate for each of these themes. (And yes, Goblin Glory Chaser can get menace, but renown is far more important on that creature.)

More artifacts:

Bonded Construct
Alchemist’s Vial
War Horn

Bonded Construct replaces Jackal Familiar – Red still has Mogg Flunkies. The other two artifacts are just elegant, universally usable designs.

More white cards:

Anointer of Champions
Ampryn Tactician
Hixus, Prison Warden

Anointer of Champions replaces Infantry Veteran, because clerics need that effect much more than soldiers. Ampryn Tactician replaces Leonin Armorguard, since Selesnya was a bit crammed on 4-drops. Hixus, Prison Warden is a strong, but not too strong rare.

More black cards:

Reave Soul
Deadbridge Shaman
Eyeblight Assassin
Languish

These are all well-executed, elegant designs which many Next Level Cube can put to good use.

More red cards:

Enthralling Victor
Skyraker Giant
Prickleboar
Seismic Elemental

WotC has put more effort into designing interesting red creatures lately, and these cards show it.

More green cards:

Somberwald Alpha
Skysnare Spider
Elemental Bond
Joraga Invocation

I do not like expensive defensive creatures, but vigilance prevents Skysnare Spider from staying back on defense. Elemental Bond is well-designed green card draw, and Joraga Invocation is hopefully an Overrun that’s toned down enough that my cubes can handle it.

And finally, another blue card:

Mizzium Meddler

Just a cool, elegant and quite original (although not completely new) design. These are the bread-and-butter cards for my Limited Card Pool!

Note that the printed rarities of the cards which made it break down as follows: 6 Rares, 31 Uncommons and 21 Commons. That is rather typical: Uncommons usually hold the most good new designs, while Commons tend to contain a large percentage of reprints and too weak cards. Rares – and especially Mythics – however tend to be terrible designs for limited play. It’s really annoying that limited players have to put up with all that casual and constructed trash: Those player groups can easily avoid cards designed for limited, but that isn’t possible the other way around!

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