Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Things I'm Going to Miss About Drafting M13 - Number Four

This is part of a continuing series highlighting what I'll miss most about drafting M13. Check out recent blog posts to view the rest of the list.

#4 - The Ring Cycle

http://draft.bestiaire.org/images/m13/Ring_of_Kalonia.jpg http://draft.bestiaire.org/images/m13/Ring_of_Xathrid.jpg http://draft.bestiaire.org/images/m13/Ring_of_Thune.jpg
http://draft.bestiaire.org/images/m13/Ring_of_Evos_Isle.jpg http://draft.bestiaire.org/images/m13/Ring_of_Valkas.jpg

One of the aspects that really highlighted the balance of the colors was the cycle of rings they brought in. Each ring offered a very on-color effect to any equipped creature, as well as the bonus of +1/+1 counters to creatures that were in the prescribed color. The flavor made sense, the effects were balanced and had value, and the costs seemed appropriate. Any card that satisfies those criteria is a good card, and when you can say it about an entire cycle, well, someone at Wizards of the Coast deserves a hearty pat on the back.

On another note, I want to mention that I will NOT have the cycle of creatures with off-color bonuses in my list of things I'm going to miss (Harbor Bandit, Arctic Aven, Prized Elephant, Flinthoof Boar, and Crimson Muckwader). It's not that they weren't powerful cards; they were...but they sometimes struck me as an odd combination of both too powerful and too situational.

The activated effects were reasonable and well costed, but getting +1/+1 on top of that made each of the cards extremely powerful if you were playing the right colors. But in drafts, it seemed like most of the time you had to just get lucky in order to take advantage of them. As long as you just happened to be playing blue and white, Arctic Aven was a veritable bomb. In green/red decks, Flinthoof Boar was a house. I'm not saying I wasn't happy to take advantage of a giant Harbor Bandit to smash an opponent. Those cards just didn't make the set for me.

You're welcome to disagree; that's what the comments section is for.

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