So I’ve got a pretty cool idea for a series of prints to take to GenCon this year… Say hello to Stevvonnie dressed as Elspeth from Magic: the Gathering! I’m not sure if you can see the red pencil next to them but that is going to be Lion dressed as Ajani! I’m pretty freaking excited. It’s a great way to mix my favorite obsession with what the booth is all about lol. Now to figure out Lion. =^.^=

arcaneinterrobang asked:

Can you say if the flipwalkers are the only planeswalkers in ORI?

The double-faced planeswalkers are both the only double-faced cards *and* the only planeswalkers in Magic Origins.

It Gets Better: The Mechanics of Magic Origins

As we launch ourselves into the second week of official previews for Magic Origins, it’s a good time to actually reflect on what this set is about. Obviously, the biggest selling point is that this set looks at the origin stories for five of Magic’s planeswalkers: Gideon, Jace, Liliana, Chandra, and Nissa. But it’s not just about where they got started, but also about how they grew up into the movers-and-shakers we know them to be.

Chandra started out barely able to control her pyromancy. She would later unleash a blast of ghostfire so powerful it helped unleash the Eldrazi. Jace accidentally crushed a classmate’s mind, but now he sits as the Living Guildpact. Magic Origins is just as much about growth as it is about beginnings.

Unlike past core sets, Magic Origins introduces two brand-new mechanics that play into this idea of personal growth. Today I’ll be taking a look at each of them and talking about how and why they’re great for this set.

Look What I Did, Mom!

Relic Seeker

Renown is the first of these new mechanics and the one that appears on creatures. Renown appears as Renown N. Whenever a creature with renown deals combat damage to an opponent, it gets N +1/+1 counters and becomes renowned.

Becoming renowned is like becoming monstrous in that the quality doesn’t change if the creature later loses its +1/+1 counters. Also, getting other +1/+1 counters doesn’t make a creature renowned. Finally, a creature card that leaves the battlefield but returns later will lose its renowned status; the game sees it as a brand-new creature.

So what’s going on here with renown’s flavor? Remember that Magic Origins is about discovering your true power and growing in your ability as a warrior. Creatures with renown are going through this experience too. Your Rhox Maulers are mighty warriors, but once they’ve proven themselves in battle they become true heroes. They are no longer just any run-of-the-mill Rhox Maulers. They have been tempered in the heat of battle and emerged greater than ever.

Some creatures even have abilities that trigger when they become renowned or gain new abilities so long as they are renowned. There are even spells that will give extra benefits to creatures that are renowned. Maturation isn’t without rewards. Prove yourself in service of your summoner and it will open the doors of future opportunity.

Valeron Wardens

So what does renown do for the game mechanically (with Magic Origins limited in mind)? Abilities that trigger off of attacking or dealing damage are great for the tempo of the game. These kinds of abilities incentivize turning your guys sideways, keeping the game moving to its conclusion. It also (sneakily) helps balance the early- and late-game power of decks. While your renowned creature is generally small in the early turns, it’s not a totally dead draw later in the game either. Get a late-game renowned creature to connect with your opponent and they’re suddenly faced with a much larger threat to deal with.

I, for one, am very excited about the potential of renown. It combos great with evasion abilities like flying, trample, and menace. This opens up deck building strategies that presents new players with a little minigame: how do I get my renowned creature to connect with my opponent’s face? The veteran players who already know the ins-and-outs of combat will be able to delve into the synergy and mind games that this mechanic can support. A win for everyone!

Master of Your Domain

Ravaging Blaze

Well, a win for the people who like creatures. More of an instant-and-sorcery fan? Magic Origins has a mechanic for you too! Spell mastery is an ability word that appears on instants and sorceries across all five colors. Like all ability words, there isn’t a concrete mechanical effect on the spell it resides on. Some spells get additional effects. Some spells get augmented effects. What ties them all together is that they get better when you already have two or more instant and/or sorcery cards in your graveyard.

Flavorfully, the theme here is “practice makes perfect.” You’re a planeswalker mage, and learning to cast spells with your newfound powers is difficult. But the more you try, the better you get. A young fire mage might only be able to get 2 damage out of a Fiery Impulse, but an experienced pyromancer can push it up to 3 damage. Cast enough spells and soon your enemies will have no choice but to recognize you as a master.

Dark Petition

Like renown, spell mastery plays an important role in limited. They pull in opposite directions; renown wants you to play lots of creatures, but spell mastery wants you to play lots of instants and sorceries. This tension provides some basic foundations for archetypes like aggro, control, and tempo. If you’re drafting an aggro deck, you may pass on a spell mastery card. That card can end up wheeling to the person drafting the control deck.

Like renown encouraging you to attack, spell mastery encourages you to cast the cards in your hand and play proactively. It’s a mechanic that rewards you for playing exciting, interactive games of Magic. More specifically, spell mastery works similarly to renown in that it provides two power level states for the cards. They’re good cards when you play them alone, but drawing them later in the game adds to their value instead of rendering them “dead” draws (really more like weaker draws here).

My feelings on spell mastery are pretty similar to my feelings on renown, sans learning experience. I think newer players will tend to hold onto their spell mastery cards until they can reap the benefit (a common trend with threshold effects). More experienced players will better know when to get the value out of your spell. This isn’t so much a learning experience for newer players so much as it’s a vault of secret knowledge that veterans have access to.

They Grow Up So Fast

I’m a big fan of both renown and spell mastery. I’m sure that I’ll be an even bigger fan when I get to play with them. Both mechanics tie into Magic Origins’s theme of growth and maturation. They also each incentivize playing your spells and attacking with your creatures in order to finish the game.

Until we get to play with these cards ourselves, planeswalkers, may each step you take today lead you down the path of a greater tomorrow.

Rejected Flavor Text:

“So, in Episode VII, Emperor Palpatine’s clone ignites his planeswalker spark and rebuilds the galactic empire on Ravnica… Hey, is, is anybody reading these? I feel like I haven’t heard anything back in months.” –Leaked email from George Lucas to Disney executives

Custom Card of the Day #180

Name: Veneci, Hand of Despair
Color: Black, Red
Cmc: 4
Rarity: Mythic Rare
Set: Heroes of Immaria
Set Note: Bad Guy planeswalker
Role: Main antagonist
Personal Notes: Heroes of Immaria do have a storyline, although not as refined as other sets. As a one-man project in the free time I simply haven’t had enough time. Either way, Veneci is the main antagonist, a typical bad guy. With no means too cruel, I like how he wants you to destroy the smaller creatures first, then forcing your opponent’s to sacrifice their large beaters.
Art: Tom Edwards - Dark Priest

toyybs asked:

For Magic Origins, are the DFC planeswalkers in the rare slot or do they replace a common like in Innistrad?

There is no double-faced slot in a Magic Origins booster like there was in Innistrad and Dark Ascension. The planeswalkers show up at the same frequency as any mythic rare.

Elspeth’s infected home plane: a Phyrexian scrapbook

I really hope to see another block built around a new configuration of Phyrexia’s all-consuming civilization (one that evolved and adapted differently than both Yawgmoth’s Phyrexia and New Phyrexia). 

When this happens, if this happens, Elspeth’s home plane will probably be presented as this alternative compleated world. I assume, however, it will take a long time for us to visit it, so in the meantime I thought about gathering what we may find about it in the Quest for Karn novel and the Planeswalkers comics. Enjoy!

Illustrations by Igor Kieryluk and their animated version from the Journey into Nyx trailer.

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