It’s our last foray in Visions as we prepare to move on to the next set, and so far it’s been a bit of a mixed bag. Will Savage Stompdown emulate the excellence of Unnatural Forces, or will be staring at another misfit deck along the lines of Wild-Eyed Frenzy? To find out, Jimi grabbed Unnatural Forces and we set about to battle.
It’s our final visit to Visions, which means that we’ll soon be taking our leave of the world of Menagerie. As we’ve covered before, both Mirage and Visions were initially concepted as a single set of cards from a faction of Magic’s original playtesting groups. As it was refined with an eye towards development and release, it then was broken down into two sets. It was at this time that Wizards established the “block structure” of one large set followed by two smaller ones, and we would soon find Weatherlight grafted on to complete the Mirage block.
Before we diverted to cover the most recent Duel Decks release, Venser vs Koth, we were looking at the Theme Decks of Mirage block. Unlike Mirage’s decks, Visions were entirely created in-house at Wizards, and we’ve enjoyed seeing how the expanded card pool has helped deliver higher grade of deck. The mono-Red Wild-Eyed Frenzy is an aggressive Red deck featuring a gaggle of Goblins, some fat beaters, and some burn. To see how well it delivers, I challenged Sam to a match. For her part, she’s piloting the Red/Green beats deck, Savage Stompdown.
One of the more intriguing aspects of Magic’s many sets- yet one of the more overlooked- are the creative talents that go into crafting them. If you play the game for any length of time, certain personalities tend to become prevalent, as thgey take on the role of the face of the game. Who reading this deosn’t have at least some passing familiarity with Mark Rosewater or Aaron Forsythe? Most should recognize the name Richard Garfield, at the very least as creator of the game itself. Perhaps if you’re a regular reader of the mothership, you can rattle off a number of the game’s other contributors, but as the game nears its second full decade of existence, the contributions of those that have come before risk being fading into obscurity.
Today we have a go with the Blue/Black Unnatural Forces. Serving as opposition is the mono-White Legion of Glory, fresh off of its own full review and playtest. CanUnnatural Forces recycle its “187 creatures” to keep the red zone clear and take control of the board, or will it fall to White’s phalanx of shock troops?
In our opening review for Visions, the White Weenie deck Legion of Glory, we charted the development of the first two sets of Mirage block as being direct offshoots of Alpha, along with Ice Age and Invasion. Known then as Menagerie, the set developed by some of Magic’s original playtesters would contain enough content to fill out the bulk of two sets. Read more
It’s our opening round of playtests with Visions, having just wrapped up with the four decks of Mirage. We’ve already begun noting improvements in the decks themselves thanks to the expanded card pool and greater thematic support, but how will that play out in an actual game? To find out we pitted Legion of Glory against another mono-coloured Visions deck, Wild-Eyed Frenzy. With Jimi as the pilot, will the Legion get the job done, or can she burn out my hopes of victory?
As you might have read previously, we’re calling 2012 as our “Year of Firsts.” We’ve covered a number of sets that have had the distinction of being the first at something significant. Whether it be the game’s first five-colour deck (Invasion), the first-ever Theme Decks (Tempest), or our most recent set which had the distinction of being the first-ever Magic: the Gathering Online-only Theme Decks (Mirage), nearly every romp through Magic’s history this year has paused to reflect upon something new that set brought to preconstructed Magic.