October 17, 2007

Magic: The Gathering Lorwyn

Wizards of the Coast has released the next cycle to the Magic The Gathering Collectible Card Game to stores. MTG: Lorwyn attempts to return to the roots of the franchise with a classic fantasy-centric card game, tossing off some of the other directions the game has taking over the last few years. Most notable is the fact that there’s not one Human creature card in the deck.

It’s not 100% classic though. First off all of the creatures are straight out of a fantasy story, including Goblins, Elves, Giants, etc – but there’s not one Human Creature card in the set. Secondly there’s a new card type called a Planeswalker which straddles the line of enchantment and creature, and could provided some interesting game dynamics.

While in play they can trade-off counters for performing some pretty slick abilities, like giving players card advantage, resurrecting creatures from the graveyard, etc. Each Planeswalker has three abilities, one of which has a relatively weak effect but adds counters to the ‘walker in return. These counters build over time and can be spent on some of the more game changing effects. Counters are also removed when the Planeswalker takes damage – and yep, the hazy bastage dies when the last counter is removed from the card.

Each land type gets a different Planeswalker in the Lorwyn base set, but each are rare so we probably won’t see too many in any series of games. However, they seem to be the flagship dynamic Lorwyn.

There’s a new keyword action “Clash” as well, which pits each player in a war-draw. Both players overturn the top card of their deck, the winner of the Clash is the player who drew the card with the highest converted mana cost. If the player who played the Clash card wins, then he/she is rewarded with a little extra oomph of something special.

The complete card list can be found here on Gatherer. Read on for details on all 5 of the Lorwyn theme decks.

Boggart Feast [Amazon, Funagain]

" When playing the “Boggart Feast” deck, you’re running a raucous warren of expendable, accident-prone Goblins. Enjoy the sadistic delight of offing your own creatures for fun and profit, since that’s what Facevaulter, Tar Pitcher, and Fodder Launch do. But have no fear—there are always more Goblins! Boggart Birth Rite and Warren Pilferers yank your critters back from the grave, and Marsh Flitter and Boggart Mob put Goblin tokens into play.

If that’s not twisted enough, some of these insane little freaks like to die! When Mudbutton Torchrunner or Hornet Harasser keels over, it can take an enemy creature out with it. And Boggart Shenanigans damages your opponent whenever any of your Goblins gets whacked. With this deck, that can add up in a hurry!"

Elvish Predation [Amazon, Funagain]

"The Elves are coming out of the woodwork! When you pilot the “Elvish Predation” deck, you’re in control of a massive Elf-producing force. Not only are all twenty-eight creatures in the deck Elves, but many of them, such as Lys Alana Huntmaster and Nath of the Gilt-Leaf, put Elf creature tokens into play. Some of your spells make tokens as well—in fact, Elvish Promenade doubles your number of Elves!
What to do with so many Elves? The easy answer is to pump them up with Imperious Perfect and attack! Alternately, you can use Lys Alana Scarblade to make opposing creatures smaller based on how many Elves you’ve got, or use Immaculate Magistrate to make your own creatures bigger based on how many Elves you’ve got. Then attack!"

Kithkin Militia.jpgKithkin Militia [Amazon, Funagain]
” Protect the meadow! The key to the “Kithkin Militia” deck is that Kithkin are quick, furious fighters. Play out as many as you can as early as you can and put your opponent on the defensive. Goldmeadow Harrier and Oblivion Ring can remove any tricky obstacles from your path so your Kithkin can keep attacking. And if the ground gets too congested with blockers, Cloudgoat Ranger and Kinsbaile Balloonist will take the fight to the skies.

One of the deck’s best attackers is Kithkin Greatheart, which is a 3/2 creature with first strike as long as you control a Giant. Remember that each changeling creature is a Giant, as is any creature equipped with Runed Stalactite—even Kithkin Greatheart itself!"

Merrow Riverways [Amazon, Funagain]
" Merfolk are slippery creatures, and you’ll use that to your advantage in the “Merrow Riverways” deck. Plenty of Merfolk, like Streambed Aquitects and Silvergill Douser, have abilities that cause them to tap. Others, like Drowner of Secrets, let you tap any of your Merfolk. Combine them with cards that untap your Merfolk, such as Merrow Commerce and Stonybrook Angler, and you’ll start swimming circles around your opponent.

What can you accomplish? Attack and block with the same creatures. Use the same ability multiple times a turn. Return Summon the School to your hand over and over. Keep tapping and untapping Fallowsage to draw cards—and gain more life with Judge of Currents. With so many tricks up your sleeve, how can you go wrong?"

Elementals' Path [Amazon, Funagain]

" With the “Elementals’ Path” deck, you can embrace your inner fire! This five-color deck is mostly red cards, but it has enough cards of the other colors that your opponents will never know what’s coming! The deck’s lands and artifacts give you access to any color of mana you need.

Many of the Elementals in this deck have evoke. Early in the game, you can play them with evoke just to get their ability. Later in the game, you can play them for their full cost to get the ability and add them to your fighting force. The crushing blow is Horde of Notions, a five-color monstrosity that lets you bring all your burned-out Elementals back to life!"

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at October 17, 2007 3:18 PM

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