If you’ve enjoyed fantasy and science fiction, you’ve probably come across Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” (also known as the “monomyth“). In studying a number of world mythologies and legends, Campbell found that there was a template that came up in a large number of them. A simple summary might go as follows: a hero goes on a journey or adventure, overcomes adversity, and emerges transformed by the experience. (This is a superb illustration of the principle). This was in fact the template quite deliberately used for The Weatherlight Saga, Magic’s multi-block story arc that kicked off with Tempst (after having the table set with Weatherlight itself).
Today’s deck, Swarming Instinct, is in some ways a symbol of failure. It’s not the deck itself- we’d hardly make that kind of a judgment without looking through the deck first- but rather, it’s a failure that wasn’t at first apparent when Wizards released Battle for Zendikar. Indeed, only with the perspective granted by the passage of time (and good data collection) can we see just where things went wrong.
Back in 2010, while reviewing The Adventurers from Zendikar, I wrote, “[Allies are] a solid and delightfully fun mechanic, one that I hope is revisited in future sets down the road.” Although it somehow feels like less time has elapsed somehow, it was just a six-year wait.
As initially designed, however, the Allies were a bit different than what we know to be their final form.
Although we are going to be pivoting into the Oath of the Gatewatch decks, we did get in some playtesting in the lead up to that set and some reviews to pass a final judgment on. Call of Blood didn’t cover itself in glory when Phil last piloted it. Will it have better luck today?
For today’s match, Phil selected the Blue/Green Swarming Instinct.
Welcome back to Ertai’s Lament’s coverage of Battle for Zendikar’s Intro Packs.
Before my two-year hiatus, we had a pretty regular routine here at the Lament. Part 1 was a deck review, followed by Part 2’s playtest and final score. Although we’re keeping the same structure, the schedule this time around won’t be quite so regular.
Back in Magic 2010, the first of the revamped line of Core Sets, a rare black enchantment was printed that over time would turn quite a few heads.
At five mana, Sanguine Bond was a card that screamed ‘Johnny,’ the Magic player profile that delighted in clever play through combos and card interactions. It did nothing on its own when played, but rather relied on other circumstances for effect.
Happy New Year and welcome back to Ertai’s Lament!
That latter greeting probably applies as much to me as to anyone else, since the last time I reviewed a deck here was on 17 July, 2013- over two years ago.