The Magic Show #62 — Lorwyn Summer

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Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re going to dive headfirst into Lorwyn’s wonderful rumor season and then tackle the Top 10 Cap’n Tickles ideas chosen by yours truly. Now all that’s left is for you to pick a winner!

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re going to dive headfirst into Lorwyn’s wonderful rumor season and then tackle the Top 10 Cap’n Tickles ideas chosen by yours truly. Now all that’s left is for you to pick a winner!

[The following is a transcript of the show. If you don’t watch, you miss all the jokes!]

Lorwyn Summer

This week’s title segment comes on the heels of the dam breaking in regards to Lorwyn. The secrets are spilling out each and every day, so by the time you read this there will be at least a half dozen other amazing cards to gush about. But hey, let’s tackle what we can.

The first thing I want to talk about today are the new mechanics in the set. There are many, but the most interesting ones have been Changeling, which means the creature or spell is all creature types, and Clash, a new keyword that triggers off a topdeck duel.

What does this mean to you? Firstly, it means you’re going to have to think about Tribal differently. Take a look at Tarfire, for instance. This is an important spell in many ways. Firstly, it’s just plain better than Shock. I know R&D says they don’t like to obsolete cards, but they sure do it often enough. Anyway, you must now think of this card not only as an Instant, but as a Goblin.

Why is this so important? Firstly because it can trigger cards that say “Whenever you play a Goblin”. But more importantly, it shows just how damn insane the next spoiler is, Boggart Shenanigans:

Boggart Shenanigans
Tribal Enchantment – Goblin
Whenever a Goblin card is put into your graveyard, Boggart Shenanigans deals 1 damage to target player.

This card means that Tarfire is now a Lightning Bolt. Mogg Fanatic is suddenly a Shock on legs. This is a card just begging to be broken. And if it’s not “broken” in the sense that you and I imagine an insane combo deck, I can assure it will be a powerful tool to any Goblin wielder in the near future.

Why? Because it has no activation cost. R&D said they tacked on the mana cost on Lightning Rift for fear of shenanigans. Then they printed a card that could be potentially ridiculous and actually called it shenanigans! How ironic is that? This is the card, above all others, that has me “worried.” I know it’s going to be a staple somewhere, but the where escapes us until we see the rest of the set.

The second most worrying card is this guy:

Soulbright Flamekin
Creature – Elemental Shaman
2: Target creature gains trample until end of turn. If this is the third time this ability has resolved this turn, add RRRRRRRR to your mana pool.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, he really does swap 6 mana of any ole color into 8 delicious Red mana. Which just so happens to be the exact mana cost of one Bogardan Hellkite. Interesting, isn’t it? But also note how carefully worded this card is. “If this is the third time this ability has resolved” is an interesting phrase. Particularly the word “resolved.” That means if the target was dead or removed from the game before it could resolve, then you don’t get the mana. It doesn’t count towards the number of times it has successfully resolved, and then you’ve effectively sunk your mana into a sort of bad Magic pyramid scheme. Or time shares. Or some other horrible waste of money.

Moving on, Changeling is a very interesting concept. This allows the heavy reliance on creature types on all of these cards to be eased in many ways. They’ll also be very valuable in draft. The Changeling Grizzly Bear, by himself, powers a lot more than you think.

Let’s take for instance the new undercosted creatures, such as Jackal Pup 2.0:

Flamekin Bladewhirl
Creature – Elemental Warrior
As an additional cost to play Flamekin Bladewhirl, reveal an Elemental card from your hand or pay 3.

Now this guy will either be a new Constructed staple or Limited fodder, but let’s face it, a 2/1 for a single Red mana is going to get the attention of Paskins wannabes everywhere.

But for guys like myself who always have a soft spot for White Weenie, this next one’s for you:

Goldmeadow Stalwart
Creature – Kithkin Soldier
As an additional cost to play Goldmeadow Stalwart, reveal a Kithkin card from your hand or pay 3.

Yes! Isamaru returns to Standard! I knew they left it out of Tenth for a good reason. This guy is an absolutely exemplary use of how to kick ass with Tribal in the modern era. And, again, Changelings power these guys and will be crucial to your Limited – if not future Constructed – survival.

Turning an eye back to the official previews, the Elf multicolor legend, Nath of the Gilt-Leaf, looks like Just Another Creature To Make Tarmogoyf Look Better. And I know we were really looking for more of those.

I mean, let’s look at Doran, Doran, Doran the Explorer here. He’s certainly an incredible creature. Just nuts. Fantastic ability, groundbreaking even. But here’s when you know the Tarmogoyf hype is too much: When everyone has to mention Goyf gets +1/+0 with this guy while noting, almost as an afterthought, “Oh yeah, and a 5/5 for three mana is pretty solid too.”

I mean, seriously. Tarmogoyfs are quickly heading to $30 a pop, are positively ridiculous in virtually every format, and again I wonder if Wizards knew what genie was inside that two mana bottle.

Next let’s take a look at a new Incarnation. We’ve seen Dread from The Ferrett, but here comes Guile. Guile is what will soon be known as the Preferred Blue Finisher. Why? Take a look:

Creature – Elemental Incarnation
Guile can’t be blocked except by three or more creatures.
If a spell or ability you control would counter a spell, instead remove that spell from the game and you may play that card without paying its mana cost.
When Guile is put into a graveyard from anywhere, shuffle it into its owner’s library.

So… it’s damn near unblockable and it makes Remand absolutely insane. Of course, we don’t have Remand with us in Standard any longer, and that’s a good thing. However, the ability to simply steal the spells you’re trying to counter is fantastic and in a counter war you’ll always win. Removing the card from the game is a triggered ability, so unless they throw out a Trickbind that spell is yours.

Next up is the Red incarnation, and it’s a doozy:

Creature — Elemental Incarnation
If a spell you control would deal damage to an opponent, prevent that damage. Put a 3/1 red elemental shaman creature token with haste into play for each 1 damage prevented this way.
When hostility is put into a graveyard from anywhere, shuffle it into its owner’s library

Hostility definitely seems like a fitting name, and while the words “prevent that damage” on a Red card are a little odd, the bonus makes up for it. The problem with this guy, and all of the incarnations, are their extremely expensive mana cost. Six mana and triple color is almost guaranteed to never see competitive play, so this or Guile could be 12/12s for that matter and still never see a tournament table.

Speaking of unfair Blue cards, let’s take a look at the best Planeswalker, Jace Berelen:

Jace Beleren
Planeswalker – Jace
+2: Each player draws a card.
-1: Target player draws a card.
-10: Put the top 20 cards of target player’s library into his or her graveyard.

Of course the best Planeswalker had to be Blue. And the White one is so awful I’m not going to bother listing it, which is also par for the course. Maybe that +1/+1 counter ability is going to get you there, but I doubt it.

Jace, however, is in the right colors to win tournaments and if you haven’t figured out why he’s awesome, take a look at Phyrexian Arena. Same converted mana cost, except Jace doesn’t make you lose any life and you can use it the turn it comes into play.

Phyrexian Arena, ‘course, could never be Incinerated or attacked, but you get the point. This guy takes what is essentially a combination of Phyrexian Arena and Mikokoro, Center of the Sea in a single, kick ass Blue card. Don’t pay attention to that last ability, it’s irrelevant. I mean, they had to give the Timmies something…

Meanwhile Deathrender is just friggin cool:

Artifact – Equipment
Equipped creature gets +2/+2
When equipped creature is put into a graveyard from play, you may put a creature card from your hand into play with Deathrender attached to it.
Equip: 2

Look at how awesome this equipment is and see the new face of Reanimator. I can’t imagine not starting out every Reanimator deck with 4 Deathrender and 4 Merfolk Looter. The bonus is just icing on the cake. “I guess I’ll put my 7/7 Bogardan Hellkite into play and wipe your team. Thanks for killing my Tarmogoyf.”

Because Tarmogoyf goes in everything, don’tcha know. Even Reanimator.

Sygg, River Guide is up next, and he’s kind of like an Eight-and-a-Half Fins:

Sygg, River Guide
Legendary Creature – Merfolk Wizard
1W: Target Merfolk gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn.

He doesn’t mess with spells, but he does protect your creatures. And since a lot of post-Lorwyn Standard will be ripe with creature battles, I’m sure it’s solid. But I miss the ability to turn spells different colors and protect my artifacts and enchantments. I guess since those abilities were used once, they won’t be back again. But maybe… someday.

On Tuesday Ferrett got the most awesome Timmy card ever, Hamletback Goliath. How freaking cool is this card. I absolutely love it. I think it’s the best multiplayer card I’ve seen in a long time, and I think it’s the purest Timmy card I’ve seen in a hell of a long time. Just look at that art! It’s straight out of a fairy tale, and with a great name to boot.

Up next is without a doubt the most exciting Common I’ve seen yet:

Oblivion Ring
When Oblivion Ring comes into play, remove target nonland permanent from the game.
When Oblivion Ring leaves play, return the removed permanent to play under its owner’s control.

Wow, wow, wow. Can I get three cheers for the Enchanti-Vindicate? This one is really fantastic and can be used and abused in all sorts of ways. It can save your creature from mass removal or it can remove an annoying permanent. Well, nonland anyway. I can imagine that made it through about one day of testing before it was changed. Regardless, Devin Low remarked that this was his ” Most Favorite Card,” and it’s easy to see why. It has a world of possibility and is truly powerful. A great White card, just when White needed it the most.

Lastly I want to cover the lands in this set. Firstly there are some really interesting Charge Counter lands that are debuting which look like a full cycle. Here’s an example:

Vivid Creek
Vivid Creek comes into play tapped with two charge counters on it.
T: Add U to your mana pool.
T, Remove a charge counter from Vivid Creek: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

Only the Blue, Black, and White ones are spoiled so far, but I’m sure this will be a full cycle. Looks neat, and I love mana fixing.

Finally, there is another cycle that features the keyword Hideaway. This allows you to set aside a card in the removed from game zone and, if conditions are right, play that card for free. Here’s an example:

Mosswort Bridge
Hideaway (This land comes into play tapped. When it does, look at the top 4 cards of your library, remove one from the game face down, then put the rest on the bottom of your library.)
T: Add G to your mana pool.
T, G: You may play the removed card without paying its mana cost if creatures you control have total power 10 or greater.

The White one is rumored to be “if you control four or more creatures” while the Blue one is rumored as “if you have twenty or fewer cards in your library.” In other words, they didn’t want Blue to play a damn thing for free. Like the color doesn’t get enough breaks.

Next week we should have a damn near completed spoiler on our hands with plenty to gush about. What can I say, I’m loving Lorwyn. While Future Sight seemed to underwhelm a bit, this new take on Tribal is absolutely thrilling. I congratulate Wizards and specifically our favorite curmudgeon Aaron Forsythe for designing and developing some kick ass stuff. We know about half of the set so far, and I’m terribly excited to see the rest of it and, of course, play with it next weekend!

You Make The Invitational Card — Part 5

Okay peeps, it’s down to ten. Here are the eight ideas I chose from the forums. If they didn’t specifically specify, I made them Legendary Human Pirates, and sometimes even when they did. Deal with it.

The first entry comes from user CricketHunter. He has a very interesting creation that seems like a great U/R creature, the ability to take whichever creature is targeted until end of turn. Sounds like fun to me! Greater Gargadon, anyone?

Entry #1
Cap’n Tickles
Legendary Creature — Human Pirate
Whenever a creature becomes the target of a spell or ability gain control of that creature until the end of turn.

Up next is PhonelessChord with a sneaky Pirate. He’s sort of like the Dimir Cutpurse we all really wanted to see. Of course, that could mean this is horribly broken, but since when has that stopped Invitational submissions before?

Entry #2
Cap’n Tickles B(U/B)
Legendary Creature – Human Pirate
Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player you may pay 2 life. If you do, that player discards a card and you draw a card.

Next up, FallenTitan reminds us that good Invitational cards are usually card advantage machines. This one is all sorts of unfair:

Entry #3
Cap’n Tickles
Legendary Creature — Human Pirate
Shroud, Fear
Whenever Cap’n Tickles deals combat damage to a player, you may choose a card you own from outside the game, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Lose life equal to that cards converted mana cost.

This next one comes from oyzar. Funnily enough, he changed his submission to be a bit weaker, but I really liked the first one. Here it is:

Entry #4
Cap’n Tickles
Creature – Human Pirate
At the beginning of your upkeep put a copy of Cap’n Tickles into play.

I think there’s just something really cool about this creature, and I think it flavorfully works in both colors. As for being as Piratey as possible, I’m not sure.

This next one comes from DarthQueeg:

Entry #5
Cap’n Tickles
Legendary Creature — Human Pirate
When Cap’n Tickles comes into play, Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose an instant or sorcery card from it and remove it from the game. Play that card without paying its mana cost.

I actually had the chance to speak to Darth about his original entry, and he subsequently removed the may clause and limited it to instants and sorceries. At that point you have to ask yourself: What could they possibly be holding that would make this card broken? What draw spell or mass removal? What burn? This one seems really fun and interesting in all sorts of situations, from multiplayer to Type 4 stacks.

To prove I do indeed listen to the masses, we have this submission from SamLL:

Entry #6
Captain Tickles
Legendary Creature – Pirate Rigger
T: Assemble a Contraption artifact token with “Sacrifice this Contraption: This Contraption deals 1 damage to target creature or player.”

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, contraptions are here. Get me while they’re hot. And if you vote for this one, it may just send the right signals to Wizards of the Coast that contraptions have a real future in Magic. Or something.

Hcane_Andrew delivered us a true Pirate Lord:

Entry #7
Captain Tickles
Legendary Creature – Pirate Lord
Pirates have islandwalk
If you used R to play ~, pirates in play gain haste until end of turn.
If you used B to play ~, remove target creature card in a graveyard from play and put a 2/2 black zombie pirate token into play.

This is like the Burning-Tree Shaman you always wanted in U/B or a triad of U/B/R. All of them aligned to deal pain, and this one even more so. He’s bring Zombie Pirates into play, he’s giving them righteous abilities, sounds like a good time to me.

Our last user entry is from username AlexM. He gives us the following card:

Entry #8
Cap’n Tickles
Legendary Creature — Human Soldier
When ~name~ comes into play, put two 1/1 Citizen tokens into play.
All Citizens have Haste and +1/+0

Now while it doesn’t reference pirates, it could easily become a Human Pirate and create 1/1 Deckhands or Shipmates or what have you. It was also his reasoning that was really affecting. He writes, “There’s a lot of thought behind this card. Evan Erwin by himself is just one of us, except with a slightly bigger mouth (hence the 1 extra power on him). By himself he is a mediocre card that won’t have much effect on the game. But when you have two 2/1 haste tokens attacking along side him the first turn he comes into play, he becomes a powerhouse.

“This is a good representation of the real thing. Evan is just a mediocre player like many of us who watch and enjoy his show. It’s thanks to us that he has a place in the Invitational tournament and it’s thanks to him that we have a way to express ourselves (through the Magic Show). Without each other the whole bond collapses. Evan is just an overcosted 2/1 haste without any support, and when he is killed, we are just two 1/1 vanilla tokens who are doomed to chump-blocking.”

Well said, man.

I’d like to thank everyone for submitting their ideas. I’ve written and rewritten this section a few times now, going over and over until I got to my final eight. I felt that they had their strengths and showed an aspect that people can vote for. We have a pirate lord, some solid Spike cards, some fun multiplayer possibilities, and so on. But now I get my chance at sharing my own creations. Here they are:

Entry #9
Cap’n Tickles
Legendary Creature — Human Pirate
Haste, Trample
~ gets +1/+0 for each land and artifact in your graveyard.

This guy is a little bit of Tarmogoyf and a lot of combo. With dredge reanimation strategies he’s pretty nuts, and otherwise he takes work to really get going. While Tarmogoyf gives you the goods almost immediately, lands and artifacts aren’t too plentiful in the early game. This is my “aggressive” entry, for those who like to smash face.

Here’s my last entry:

Entry #10
Cap’n Tickles
Legendary Creature — Human Pirate
Cursed permanents cannot untap.
Whenever ~ deals combat damage to a player, choose a card type. Card types that player controls are cursed.

Now you’ve got a choice of token generators from the user submissions, so I decided to go a bit further along the design route. This Cap’n is shady and contemplative and not frisky by any means. This provides a new keyword in Cursed, but it’s also completely self-contained. Cursed means nothing without this card, and doesn’t have to.

So there you have it folks, a whole host of ideas. Now it’s time for you to get yourself to the forums, register if you must, and VOTE! This is your chance to impact the game forever. Forever in the history books will your choice be shown to the world, and I’m happy to be the one to bring it to you.

Community Connection

I want to unveil a mailing list for all of your viewers out there, a way to sort of tap into the show’s audience, the Magic community, and share your enthusiasm for the game. This email list is for general Magic discussion, anywhere from Cube additions to PTQ decklists to spoiler speak. I know I check email far more often than forums, and email lists are a lot of fun.

If you’re interested, go to misterorange dot com slash list. Signup and say hello. Myself, and hopefully plenty of you, will be listening.

So that’s another week, folks. Thanks for watching. Until next time Magic players, this is Evan Erwin, tapping the cards so you don’t have to.

Evan “misterorange” Erwin
dubya dubya dubya dot misterorange dot com
myspace dot com slash evanerwin
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Written late at night, warmed by the soft blue glow of electronics.

Music Credits:
Title — “Mr. Self Destruct” by Nine Inch Nails
Lorwyn Summer — “Fired” by Ben Folds
You Make The Invi Card — “What A Wonderful Man” by My Morning Jacket
Community Connection — “Looking for Astronauts” by The National