All aboard the hype train! Next stop. Tarkir!
Magic players really have it good when you think about it. I don't many other games that get such an infusion of new toys as frequently as us noble spellslingers. I'm not really sure at what clip video game publishers release DLC, but I can't imagine it matches the rate that Wizards of the Coast gives us new goodies and definitely not for the same game...for twenty years straight! No, Magic has something special going on when it comes to keeping things fresh. A few weeks ago, I was getting all set to begin writing an article about the upcoming rotation. I also wanted to start taking a look at what kind of expectations we have for the first-ever "wedge" set.
A quick aside: Mark Rosewater, Magic's Head Designer, has tried on many occasions to stress to the player base that Khans of Tarkir is a wedge set and not the beginning of a wedge block. The foundation of the block is based on a unique draft structure that they wanted to experiment with and it is all wrapped up in the trappings of a time travel story. So, the Khans block will not have as many parallels to the Shards of Alara block as one might guess without considering that information. End aside.
I was all set on examining how rotation works and ready to take a stroll down memory lane with the Return to Ravnica block, but I couldn't keep pace with the changes and spoilers that WotC was unleashing. The first, dubbed, again by Mark Rosewater, as a game changer was quite literally that. In his article, Metamorphosis, he goes into great detail about the new two-set block paradigm and how Standard will rotate in the future. He also breaks down all of the factors and consideration that led them to make the change. It's very well-written and has some visuals that very clearly illustrate the shift. The community's response to the changes was overwhelmingly positive and I'm looking forward to watching the next few years of Magic unfold.
Next, the spoilers begin leaking out via social media as the WotC crowd travels to various cons. Before we know it we get THE announcement. The one we've been speculating on for so long: Fetches. Allied Fetches. This is pretty huge. It will impact multiple formats and should, at least, begin to break down some of the barriers to getting into Modern and, to a lesser degree, Legacy. But they will be terrific in Standard, too. It's now known that the Sultai's mechanic will be Delve which will play exceptionally well with the fetch lands. And then there's Courser of Kruphix. Already a Standard stand out, Courser's value gets shifted into overdrive with fetches in the format. As you can see, its monetary value gets shifted into overdrive as well:
Image courtesy of www.mtggoldfish.com
Now, it's Christmas in September and the spoiler season is in full swing and new cards are dropping daily. The wedge theme is bringing blow after blow of mid-range goodness delivering some very stout creatures. The majority of the creatures we've seen to date are all up side in the rules text, leaving you only to figure out how to cast them on time given their demanding mana costs. Even the recently spoiled Butcher of the Horde is sporting mostly upside, regardless of being a Demon, a race that typically asks for a mandatory payment in exchange for some benefit. Exciting stuff built into the game's very first white Demon. There's so much to talk about...so many presents to open. Every new card has to be analyzed, every one warrants a discussion. Spoiler season is awesome. New formats are awesome. And Khans is shaping up to be awesome.
There's way too many spoilers to cover here, but I would like to open it up for discussion. With so many audiences being targeted with each new set, let's toss out a few fire starters. Check out the questions below, jump into the comments and chime in. See you at the Prerelease!
1. Of the Charms spoiled so far, which do personally like best? Which do you feel will see the most play in Standard?
2. Of the legendary Khans spoiled so far, which are you most looking forward to building around in Commander? Which do you think will cause the biggest splash?
3. How would you go about attacking Courser of Kruphix after the upcoming rotation?