Chandra’s ready for action as her deck is up first for the playtest. Serving as opposition is Sam, who’s piloting the artifact-heavy Machinations. Can Tezzeret’s latest deck be the Firebrands undoing, or will his artifice burn alongside his ambitions?
Just as last year was the “Year of Firsts,” we’ve selected a theme to weave throughout our preconstructed coverage this year as well. This time around, we’ve made the leap to digital, as this is the year of “Duels of the Planeswalkers.” Thus far we’ve looked at the decks of the entire original 2009 release, from the base set to all three expansions. Today we pick up where we left off, a tale of a two-year pause.
And here it is, the final playtest of the original Duels of the Planeswalkers from 2009. All seventeen decks have now been featured, and when we circle back to the digital realm we’ll begin looking at the next series. For now, though, I’ve got Sam to pass through as she gives Root of the Firemind a whirl!
Those who have spent any amount of time reading about Magic from Mark Rosewater are likely to be familiar with the concept of the ‘golden trifecta.’ This is a term he uses to refer to the “three genius ideas that Richard [Garfield] rolled up into one amazing product.” In short, the ‘trifecta’ comprises the collectible trading card structure of the game, the colour pie which gives it definition, and the resource management system of mana, which maintains a level of variance. A great deal of ink can be used up writing about what Garfield got right. Today, we’ll instead be looking at something he got wrong.
Before Sorin was the creator of Avacyn and preserver of Innistrad’s humanity, he was a mono-Black planeswalker who showed up in Zendikar as the plane’s volatility was coming to a head. Today we take his Vampire-themed Duels of the Planeswalkers deck into battle to run it through its paces. Acting as foil is Sam, who’s running the White-weenies-n’-gear brew Weapons of the Warrior.
Although Magic is a game filled with larger-than-life characters, it tends to occupy a bit of a fixed position for many of them. Part of this is due to the ever-changing nature of the game, where we seldom get to stay in one place for more than one block at a time. As a result, there’s a tendency towards the two-dimensional, as there just isn’t enough time to show development and personal growth.
It’s our first match for the final expansion pack of the original Duels of the Planeswalkers, and Sam stands ready to put Niv-Mizzet to the ultimate test. Joining her at the table is Sorin Markov, as she’ll be piloting the mono-Black tribal Vampires deck Master of Shadows.
When you consider the flavour text of cards in Magic, some tend to stick in the mind more than others. Sometimes they’re profound, such as with Double Negative:
They feared each other for their differences but were absolutely terrified at their similarities.
…or Intruder Alarm:
One footstep among many is silent. One footstep alone is deafening.
The Hour of Bolas is here at last, and Rhys the Redeemed is in grave trouble. To survive he’ll have to rely on the power of the earth and landfall, but only if Bolas’s exhumed minions don’t destroy him first! To reenact this clash and test Eons of Evil, I’m joined by Jimi.
In our last review, we looked at the much-overlooked Chandra, who was given her second deck in Expasnion Pack 2. Although Chandra’s story could be summed up as “always the bridesmaid, but never the bride,” we ended by noting that big things lay in store for her with Magic 2014. In both the Core Set release as well as the Duels of the Planeswalker tie-in, she’s been given center stage, a starring role beneath the limelight. The character of today’s focus might simply wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, didn’t the series hit its highest note last year?