his past weekend was when the world at large received its first chance at handling Scars of Mirrodin. I had the privilege to play at two different Prerelease Events since I'm getting more and more excited to head to any Magic event, big or small.
I hope you had a chance to visit one of your local
Phyrexian corruption points Prerelease Events or, at the very least, took a look at making plans for this weekend's Launch Parties. It doesn't matter if it's ten or two hundred players: these shindigs are always bursting with awesomeness (like the promotional Wurmcoil Engine you could have received for participation).
With my admonishing of those who haven't considered these events before out of the way, I'd like to turn my focus back to last week: the exciting new cards from Scars of Mirrodin! You still have some time to coalesce your thoughts into words and send them off to me. This is what I'm looking for:
- What your favorite new card is
- Why you think it's so great
- How you plan to put it into use
It's that simple! Whether it's through the "Respond via email" link below or more opening through something like Twitter—I'm @the_stybs—let me know what has you pumped no later than tomorrow!
Mirrodin Is Shiny Business
I loved Mirrodin when we visited it the first time around. Myr, imprint, artifact lands, and even affinity were features I truly enjoyed. While for many of you Scars of Mirrodin will be your first trip to the metallic plane, for me it's a jaunt down memory lane filled with fresh looks at things I haven't thought about for awhile.
One of the cards I loved the first go around was Soul Foundry. It's one of the few ways that any deck can squeeze out multiple copies of its favorite creature, which can be pretty awesome in one of my favorite ways to play: EDH. My Kamahl, Fist of Krosa deck is rather fond of planting either Sakura-Tribe Elder or Sylvan Ranger turn after turn. I haven't been so bold as to try Eternal Witness but I've heard that's a pretty snazzy thing to do.
While creatures are fun to make cutouts of I almost did a back flip when I saw Prototype Portal. My mind was filled with visions of making copies of everything from Expedition Map and Sol Ring (which is surely the Eternal Witness equivalent in this case) to the freshest members of the artifact clan like Throne of Geth and Etched Champion.
If you've wanted to experience the awesome fury of artifacts aligned this would be a way to get started. Trinket Mage can be used to find any number of pieces of your diabolical machine, including the mana-empowering Sol Ring and creature destroying Executioner's Capsule. Fabricate serves the same job for any artifact but the one I'm looking forward to finding most is Prototype Portal so I can stick Voltaic Key into it.
With just a few Voltaic Keys, Worn Powerstones and Sol Rings become even more fantastic sources of mana. Whether it's the thundering power of Darksteel Colossus or slightly more subtle empowerment of Chimeric Mass, generating a lot of mana for all these artifacts makes sense. And in a pinch, Glaze Fiend works as another imprint option where making additional copies propagates the pump to those which came before.
Whether it's something more innocent or insidious—I'm sure there's a fearsome Archenemy artifact deck in there somewhere!—making more of something I want is always a good call for me. Sometimes, however, I want to convert one thing into another. Spawning Pit was one of the first "A-ha! I'll trade my dying guys in for something else!" cards I latched onto.
Almost a year ago (Has it really been that long already?) I shared my first, and still well-loved, EDH deck: Kresh the Bloodbraided. One of the few cards I would call "critical" in my deck is Altar of Dementia as it serves as the dual purpose of stocking graveyards, mainly others, with cards and dumping away my creatures to make Kresh grow. Culling Dais is precisely the kind of artifact I've been hoping to add to my deck.
Sometimes creatures just die. I've played my fair share of Day of Judgment and Doom Blade and something I've always liked is when I can get an effect for it. Culling Dais doesn't make more creatures like Spawning Pit, or put a bunch of cards into the graveyard like Altar of Dementia. Drawing cards is, however, something cool in its own way.
While I'm sure my scatterbrain building and Gatherer-fu could coax some finer changes, piling up lots of things that care about creatures being sent to the graveyard—and more than a few that actively seek it—is something I love to do. Before, Altar of Dementia would just give me a dumping point. Now, Culling Dais lets me throw away whatever I want then refill my hand later on.
But that's not the entire point: Between Abyssal Gatekeeper and Mudbutton Torchrunner helping keep other creatures away for awhile, and Hissing Iguanar and Endless Cockroaches providing you a beautiful cycle of drop-n-pop action, you'll never run out of reasons to pitch away your own guys. Nether Traitor can join in for a low-cost graveyard buyback and Blade of the Bloodchief can stack more than enough counters on something small, making it look much scarier.
Another Mirrodin throwback is Solemn Simulacrum, which not only grabs a basic land when it shows up but also gives up a card immediately when put away. Mindslicer isn't from Mirrodin but feels right at home here anyway, especially when I get to draw a few cards afterward thanks to Culling Dais.
But artifact cards aren't just restricted to "you get to do this"-permanants or -creatures to cast, but you also get neat-o new Equipment. Equipment premiered in Mirrodin and immediately became a mainstay. While Vulshock Morningstar and Leonin Scimitar are the ones that I loved to see most when drafting, it was the Sword of Kaldra, Sword of Light and Shadow, and Sword of Fire and Ice that were most coveted.
Like any good sequel, slight changes and updates to things makes it feel right and comfortable. And sometimes more of exactly the same is just was the producer ordered. Both Sword of Body and Mind and Argentum Armor are crazy Equipment cards right out of the Mirrodin block playbook.
This is a modern take on the "Equipment and creatures" type decks I used to whip up. While some classic faces appear, like Vulshok Battlemaster and Auriok Windwaker, it's the new-school versions of epic Equipment that steal the show. Between Stoneforge Mystic and Steelshaper's Gift access to protection from any, or potentially even all, colors of mana is available thanks to the diversity of "Sword of" cards.
Since we can go find specifically what we want, Equipment like Argentum Armor and Grafted Exoskeleton provide unique ways to handle anything an opponent may have. And while some players, especially those getting used to seeing more of these creature-friendly artifacts, will be carrying ways to destroy Equipment, Mistveil Plains gives us a way to put ruined gear back into the library to go find again. Huzzah!
Unwrapping the Future
Find a Launch Party Near You!
Find a Launch Party Near You!
Scars of Mirrodin releases this Friday which means you can head to your local shop and pick up a few packs for yourself. Of course, doing just that at a Launch Party this weekend is exactly what I plan to do. Here is the laundry list of things I plan to do at my local one:
- Draft or otherwise open a few packs among friends new and old.
- Swap some cards for the newest ones I'm after.
- Talk about the multitude of amazing things that can be done.
- Swap stories about our experiences with the set.
It's been a whirlwind few weeks for me playing Magic and taking the time to settle down and relax (with cards still in hand, of course!) is something I'm really looking forward to. But if trying your hand at an event is up your alley you can always do that too. There's a little bit of everything at these gatherings and my bet is that you'll find something you wanted!
Join us next week when I show you what you've shown me: why Scars of Mirrodin is beyond the simple description of "Awesome." See you then!