The Magic Show #63 — The Secret of Lorwyn

Watch Evan Erwin every Friday... on StarCityGames.com!
Hello everybody, and welcome to the Magic Show. This week we’re going to talk about the upcoming Lorwyn prerelease and its follow-up block, Jelly and Doughnut. Wizards of the Coast has been saying over and over how they will be linked but not in a very obvious way. I think I, and many others, may have found this missing link.

Hello everybody, and welcome to the Magic Show. This week we’re going to talk about the upcoming Lorwyn prerelease and its follow-up block, Jelly and Doughnut. Wizards of the Coast has been saying over and over how they will be linked but not in a very obvious way. I think I, and many others, may have found this missing link.

The Secret of Lorwyn

Lorwyn is about the creature types. Oh, the Elves. The super cool Kithkin, the machine-like Merrow, the lumbering Giants. I love the Changeling ability and how it is incorporated in spells. The decks are already building themselves, and we salivate for the return of tribal as much as we bid goodbye to Ravnica.

But there’s something underneath the surface of all of these cool preview cards and spoilers we’ve been taking in that causes one to wonder…

Take a long look at these cards:

Militia’s Pride
Tribal Enchantment – Kithkin
Whenever a nontoken creature you control attacks, you may pay W. If you do, put a 1/1 white Kithkin Soldier creature token into play tapped and attacking.

Elvish Promenade
Tribal Sorcery – Elf
Put a 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature token into play for each Elf you control.

Nath of the Gilt-Leaf
Legendary Creature – Elf Warrior
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may have target opponent discard a card at random.
Whenever an opponent discards a card, you may put a 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature token into play.

Notice anything similar? Look at the tokens they generate. Notice how all of them have classes now? What are classes, anyway?

Classes were once treated the same as creature types. They got the Rodney Dangerfield line and as such in Onslaught, the previous tribal block, they treated Clerics and Wizards just like they did Goblins and Elves.

But times have changed. And Classes are due to get the respect they deserve. How? By making Lorwyn block about creature type and class. Lorwyn and Morningtide will duke it out with the creature types, while Jelly and Doughnut show us just how insane Wizards, Warriors, Soldiers and Shamans can be.

Suddenly you will look at your old creatures differently, from those in Lorwyn to those in Time Spiral block. Just how many playable Warriors are there in Future Sight? What about Shamans in Planar Chaos?

Now as for evidence, it’s hard to come by. Wizards of the Coast are naturally not going to share with you or I their ideas on upcoming sets. But here’s what forum user E. Appelgren found:

1. As I had pointed out, most token generators are also providing class. Why bother if it never becomes an issue?

2. Time Spiral is packed to the gills with Wizards, Warriors, Clerics, Rogues, and the like. The environment has subtly changed to allow class-based strategies to work. For his example he cites the August 20th, 2007 edition of Making Magic. Mark Rosewater says the following: “The problem was Voidmage Prodigy is only good if the environment had a bunch of good Wizards to play and the Odyssey/Onslaught Standard was not such an environment. Sorry, Kai.”

Now that Lorwyn is 100% creature type matters, how else would Voidmage Prodigy, who is of course conveniently reprinted in Time Spiral, take advantage of not his Human status, but his Wizard one?

3. Boldwyr Intimidator. This Future Sight monster is “futureshifted”, so it tells us what may happen in the future, and take a look at how precise it is regarding both type and class.

4. In the August 24th, 2007 edition of Latest Developments, Aaron Forsythe said the following: “With the race-class model firmly in place now, we aren’t treating the two as interchangeable from a flavor standpoint (as Onslaught did – the races Goblin, Elf, and Beast meant the same thing as the classes Wizard, Soldier, and Cleric). Lorwyn deals with race only.”

5. Also in his August 20th edition of Making Magic, Rosewater said, speaking of Aven Brigadier, “Another example of us not working out things at quite the right time is the change to the race/class model. Notice it started in Mirrodin, the first set after the tribal block. (On the plus side, it did give Lorwyn block yet another tool to differentiate itself from Onslaught.)”

6. On August 13th, in Rosewater’s State of Design 2007 he says, “Lorwyn and ‘Jelly’ blocks were designed to be the most interconnected blocks we’ve ever done. Each one has a unique theme and unique mechanics, yet they’ve been designed in such a way that each block complements the other in a subtle, not ‘in your face’ kind of way.”

And when I think of how he might pull that off, I think he would make us suddenly realize that Class Matters. And that all of these Shamans and Warriors and Clerics are suddenly going to get a lot more interesting.

Jelly and Doughnut are technically within Lorwyn block. These blocks were split up as to form two mini-blocks that allows Wizards to print a fourth set per year and make money.

The last bit of evidence is this: There are five dual lands in Lorwyn. They are:

Black/Green Elves dual
Black/Blue Faerie dual
Blue/White Merfolk dual
Black/Red Goblin dual
Red/White Giant dual

For the Ravnica enthusiasts following along, that leaves behind five: Temple Garden, Stomping Ground, Godless Shrine, Steam Vents, and Breeding Pool. Some of the strongest duals in Ravnica block. So where do these come in? I personally believe they’ll save those five duals for the Class-based interaction in Jelly and Doughnut.

So that’s the theory folks. Classes are now something to pay attention to, and I’m sure we’ll hear more about this later.

Lorwyn Reactions

In this segment we have some video from my recent Birthday Cube bash, where the cube was drafted and much Lorwyn was discussed. Let’s hear some reactions:

[We discuss in this order:
Austere Command
Crib Swap + Haakon
Fathom Trawl
Forced Fruition
Sower of Temptation
Profane Command
Eyes of the Wisent]

(Big thanks to my friends for participating)

And now… a special Lorwyn list…

The Lorwyn Top 5

That’s right, it’s time for another list you can later make fun of me for. Don’t you just love em? This is my current Top 5 cards of the set, having not played with a single one just yet.

We’ll count ‘em up, starting with #5: Cryptic Command

It’s Blue, so that part is taken care of, and it does everything but make breakfast for you in the morning, a job once taken by Meloku and now Teferi. Regardless, a kick ass card.

#4: Oblivion Ring

A good White card? Get. Out! I thought after Damnation and the piss-poor White cards in Future Sight that they’d given up on it. Turns out one Enchanti-Vindicate later, and we’re good to go.

#3: Eyes of the Wisent

Good lord, why isn’t this card just called, oh, I don’t know, Kiss My Ass Blue? Because that’s pretty much what it does. Every deck with permission or Momentary Blink or so much as a combat trick is going to be cursing this thing. There is no upkeep, it pumps Tarmogoyf +2/+2, and remains solid particularly in multiples. Wow!

#2: Profane Command

Just nuts. As said in the video footage, it’s good early and it’s good late. That’s the sign of an amazing card. This is the best Command by leaps and bounds, and I love how it will take Black decks to the top of the standings again.

#1: Thoughtseize

Let’s just call it Cashseize, shall we? Because your decks just got a whole lot more expensive. This guy is guaranteed to be a $20 bill at the prerelease and could only get more expensive. With Cabal Therapy and Duress leaving Extended next year, we really needed a spell like this for the environment. But all I can keep thinking is, we get an Extended PTQ season where a lot of decks will be packing eight Duresses! Did they have to make this rare? I mean, really?

You Pick the Invitational Card — Part 6

Wow, so we have our card. After an intense weekend of voting, I present you with the Cap’n…

Yes, the thoughtful entry from AlexM made its way through the voting and is officially the card idea I’m submitting for the Magic Invitational. I do plan on changing his card type to Legendary Creature — Human Pirate and for him to make Deckhands instead of Citizens. But we’ll get to that later. Now all that’s left is our flavor text. You got a great quote for the Cap’n and his shipmates? Please leave your best work in the forums and we’ll vote on the best next week.

So that’s another show everybody, I thank you for watching. I’ve not quite made up my mind where I’m heading this weekend, but rest assured I’ll have camera in hand and will be asking you what you think of the set for next week’s live prerelease show.

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
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Join the mailing list. It’s fun.

Music Credits:
Title — “Stronger” by Kanye West
Lorwyn Reactions — “Circles” by Soul Coughing
Lorwyn Reactions background — “23” by Blonde Redhead
Lorwyn Reactions (cont) — “Our Life Is Not A Movie or Maybe” by Okkervil River
Top 5 — “From Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service
You Make The Invitational Card Part 6 — “What A Wonderful Man” by My Morning Jacket