Friday, February 21, 2014

Mega Man Magic - Spoiler 6

This set of spoilers is going to feature "staples" of Magic sets. By that I mean, these cards are cards that fall into little niches that each Magic set always, always, always features (mostly). We'll do two per color.

Bubble Bat fits into the "shade" category. It feels like its power level is a little bit lower than some other shades, but in a draft or particularly a sealed contest, the mana flexibility of its pump helps a lot, I think. Retooling is the classic "resurrect" card that each black set offers. It's a bit weaker than Rise from the Grave, but hopefully the reduced mana cost makes for some more profitable situations as well.

Infusion of Vigor is my set's Giant Growth. Although the price is way higher, the addition of deathtouch gives the card another layer that had to be accounted for. Green always has a few ways to ramp, and Atomic Chicken is one of my ways in this set. I had to tinker with it a bit to get the price and effect right, but I think it's good where it is now.

I got into some debates with James about Bombardment and whether or not you could have that cost reduction phrased that way, but I think it's okay. It should be pretty straightforward, even if it's not how Wizards might have phrased the card. And it fills the standard Fireball role in red for the set. And oh by the way, it introduces my second new mechanic: Prototype. The flavor of Prototype is, "This is the only one of its kind." Mostly it shows up on creatures, but as you can see, it'll be sprinkled onto other cards as well. The flavor is a stretch, but it's basically, it would take less work to avoid hitting your own creatures if you only have to avoid hitting one of them. Like I said, a stretch, but the card itself functions the way I want it to.

Meanwhile, Hacked is the standard Threaten/Act of Treason card, customized for the set, since it's artifact-heavy (you haven't really seen that yet, but trust me, it is).

Probably the most interesting duo of cards in this spoiler is these two white cards, and probably one of the more interesting cards in the set is Memories of a Friendship. It's Pacifism, but with the set's extra mechanic on it. When I spoke to James about this card, it was initially 1WW, and he said it was the best card in the set. The value of having ability to yank the card back, get mana for doing that, and then re-cast it on a different (presumably better) creature was considerable. So I added another colorless mana. I didn't want it to get too far away, and I think it's at a strong but fair level right now.

Mass Shutdown is a strong board sweeper along the lines of Planar Cleansing, but a little more focused on artifacts. Mass Shutdown also technically combos exceptionally well with a forthcoming artifact creature, but you'll have to wait and see on that.

We wrap up this set of spoilers with two blue cards. Big Fish is the Faerie Invaders of my set, but with a twist. If you've played Mega Man 2, you know Big Fish shows up out of nowhere, leaping up from a pit to bite at you. I think the flavor is captured well here. The cost of 2UU is high, but I think for a surprise 4 power flying blocker, it's fair. Plus, in the event he survives, he's a 4 power creature, which doesn't show up often in blue.

Ethereal Swipe is Unsummon, but I wanted to try something new. I don't really like Disperse, so I went with a more niche bonus. If we're talking about usefulness, I'd imagine that Disperse is better, and Unsummon is almost certainly better. But in certain limited circumstances, Ethereal Swipe is a nice bonus, and in a constructed situation, Ethereal Swipe can be planned for to get maximum value. I'm happy with it.

Next set of spoilers will be after the weekend. Get your popcorn ready, it's gonna be a doozy.

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