Magic: the Gathering |OT| War of the Spark - Enter the Bo-Las (36 Planeswalkers)

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SigmasonicX

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Oct 25, 2017
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Mechanics: Proliferate, amass
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(title reference)

Welcome to the Multiverse!

Magic: the Gathering is a Trading Card Game, the first of its kind, developed by Richard Garfield and his playtesters for the gaming company Wizards of the Coast in 1993. You and your opponents play the role of dueling planeswalkers, wizards able to travel between dimensions known as planes to gather unique magic. Using customized decks made up of your spells, the creatures you can summon, your mana bonds with lands, and even other planeswalkers you can call in to help out, you try to defeat your foes.

Previously, the Gatewatch learned that Nicol Bolas has his sights set on the plane of Ravnica and we witnessed how the guilds of Ravnica were being manipulated by him. Now the dragon himself has arrived with his zombie Dreadhorde army, commanded by Gatewatch member Liliana, who is under duress to work for him. Planeswalkers flood into Ravnica, and the city-world is at war.

War of the Spark has more planeswalkers than any set before, with 36 total in booster packs: 20 at uncommon, 13 at rare, and 3 at mythic rare, with an additional mythic rare planeswalker as a Buy a Box promo (for a total of 37). A planeswalker card is guaranteed in every booster pack.

Note that the majority of discussion happens on Discord now, but we'll be available for any questions here.

GETTING STARTED
Official guide to starting Magic

To see what a game is like, check out Geek and Sundry's Spellslinger series, where Day[9] battles various geek celebrities, often losing, using simple and easy to follow decks.

For the digital card game, you can play Magic Arena potentially for free. It has its own thread. Though it's now discontinued in light of Magic Arena, Magic Duels is still available to download for a single player Magic experience, and it can help a lot for figuring out the rules.

For the physical card game, there are many ways to get on board. If you go to a local game store (LGS), the owner will give you a simple Welcome Deck for free, after demonstrating how to play the game. The Spellslinger Starter Kit has two simple decks that you do not shuffle so you and a friend can get a guided tour through how a game of Magic can work. Planeswalker Decks are pre-constructed decks with four brand new cards, including unique planeswalker cards and one additional booster pack. While not particularly strong, they will allow you to actually play casual games. Challenger Decks will allow you to compete in Standard tournaments using real decks for, before release, much cheaper than buying the cards individually.

If you want to build your own deck, a Deckbuilder's Toolkit will give you a decent starting collection of cards, including 125 semi-random cards, basic lands, four booster packs, and perhaps most importantly, a good box for your cards.

Game stores will hold Magic Open House events specifically meant for new players, with people there to give you Welcome Decks and play teaching games. Experienced players are also encouraged to participate and help beginners, and everyone will get a promotional card for attending.

The big thing to look forward to, however, is the Prerelease event held for every set. You play using the Sealed format, where every player is given a box with six booster packs and a random additional rare card. From this pool of cards, all of which you keep, each player builds a deck of 40 cards and participates in a Swiss-system tournament. This is a fun and casual event, where everyone is still trying to figure out the set, so don't worry about messing up. In addition to normal duels, there are also Two-Headed Giant events, where you pair up with another player and face off against another team.

Prerelease events will be held on April 27–28, 2019. Magic Open House events will be on May 4–5, 2019. Call your local game store a few days ahead of time to register for the Prerelease, or they might just run out of room. Find local game stores here.


Number of Cards: 265 (+ 8 Planeswalker Deck cards and 1 Buy a Box promo)
Arena Release: April 25, 2019
Prerelease Weekend: April 27–28, 2019
Magic Open House: May 4–5, 2019
Draft Weekend: May 4–5, 2019
Card image gallery
Mechanics

Everyone Is Here (except Garruk)
You get a planeswalker, and you get a planeswalker! Everyone gets a planeswalker! There's a planeswalker in every pack: 20 at uncommon, 13 at rare, and 3 at mythic rare, with an additional mythic rare planeswalker as a Buy a Box promo (for a total of 37)



Every planeswalker has a static or triggered ability. The number of abilities increases with rarity, with only the mythic rare planeswalkers having ultimate abilities. Uncommon planeswalkers can't increase in loyalty on their own; you have to use the below keyword to do that.

There's an extra planeswalker only available as a Buy a Box promo.



Note that this is the only card with affinity for artifacts in the set, which is considered fine since it isn't in booster packs. Spells with affinity for artifacts cost (1) less for each artifact you control.

Proliferate


Returning from Scars of Mirrodin block, proliferate allows you to increase the number of counters for everything you want by one. If something has two counters, then it has three counters after you proliferate. +1/+1 counters, planeswalker loyalty counters, even energy. As a rule change from before, if a permanent or player has multiple types of counters, then you must add one of each of those counters or none at all.

Amass


Bolas has assembled an army of zombies. When you amass N, if you control an Army creature, then put N +1/+1 counters on one you control. If you don't control one, then you create a 0/0 Zombie Army and then put N +1/+1 counters on it.

SCHEDULE
Premier events schedule

War of the Spark
Start of reveals: April 1, 2019
Arena Release: April 25, 2019
Prerelease Weekend: April 27–28, 2019
Release Date: May 3, 2019
Magic Open House: May 4–5, 2019
Draft Weekend: May 4–5, 2019

RESOURCES
Official articles - Nicknamed the Mothership, these articles are the primary source of news. Recommended columns are Making Magic, written by the head designer, Mark Rosewater (aka MaRo); Magic Story, which tells the story, written by various authors; and Play Design, written by various Magic developers. The other articles generally discuss deck building.
Card image gallery - Best way to see all of the spoiled cards together, but only updates once a day.
Blogatog - Tumblr ran by Mark Rosewater where he answers questions, updates very frequently.
Drive to Work - Mark Rosewater's weekly podcast about Magic that he literally records as he drives to work. Two episodes are released every Friday.
MTG Reddit - The best place to get new card information. The community sucks, though.
Mythic Spoiler - A good way to see what cards have been spoiled, updates throughout the day.
Gatherer - The official method of searching through released cards. Has autocomplete.
Scryfall - The better search method, with bigger cards, but it doesn't have autocomplete.
Game store locator

 
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Cipher Peon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,127
Can’t wait for preview season. It’ll be my first time for Arena!!!!!

Also can’t wait to try out Tibalt 😎😎😎
 

Metallix87

Member
Nov 1, 2017
9,524
I have an Uncommon Cube, so I can't wait to jam in 20 Planeswalkers come the end of the month.
 

Blizzard

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
3,685
I'm disappointed by the title since a lot of us didn't get it. For anyone like me who didn't know, it's apparently a 70's Wu-tang Clan album reference or similar.

I'm looking forward to the set and gameplay changes.
 

InkyVulture

Member
Oct 26, 2017
542
Era threads have been solidly my most preferred way to follow spoilers. Hope this Discord channel does not gut the thread.
 

Yeef

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Oct 25, 2017
860
New York
Era threads have been solidly my most preferred way to follow spoilers. Hope this Discord channel does not gut the thread.
The Discord has been around since before ERA, so if you followed the other threads for spoilers this time shouldn't be any different. People are mostly good about posting here when spoilers pop up and Sigma's super-good about using the Threadmarks.
 
OP
OP
SigmasonicX

SigmasonicX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,898
Era threads have been solidly my most preferred way to follow spoilers. Hope this Discord channel does not gut the thread.
The Discord has been around since the big GAF escape, so it's been around for all the previous Era threads. If you were fine with that level of activity, then you should be good.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,690
It is true though that the Discord channel takes away a lot of conversation from this thread. Not that I think we should get rid of it or anything, but it's a legitimate concern for someone who can't/won't use it.
 

Yeef

Member
Oct 25, 2017
860
New York
That's an issue with forums in general as Discord has gotten bigger and bigger. Not really much you can do about it.
 

InkyVulture

Member
Oct 26, 2017
542
The Discord has been around since before ERA, so if you followed the other threads for spoilers this time shouldn't be any different. People are mostly good about posting here when spoilers pop up and Sigma's super-good about using the Threadmarks.
The Discord has been around since the big GAF escape, so it's been around for all the previous Era threads. If you were fine with that level of activity, then you should be good.
Then I cross my fingers that it will still be good. Suddenly noticing that there is a Discord gave me a scare.
 
OP
OP
SigmasonicX

SigmasonicX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,898
Then I cross my fingers that it will still be good. Suddenly noticing that there is a Discord gave me a scare.
There's always been an invite in the OP, but there was a change to how the HIDE tags work so that you can see them if you just post in the thread, rather than having to quote the post. It's likely you only noticed it in my draft posts because of that.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,032
716
I'm disappointed by the title since a lot of us didn't get it. For anyone like me who didn't know, it's apparently a 70's Wu-tang Clan album reference or similar.

I'm looking forward to the set and gameplay changes.
Wu-tang is 90s and is pretty well known/loved hip hop. The album is a landmark album. This community often chooses hip hop and/or music based references for its titles. Not everyone is going to get every thread title. Ultimately it’s not that big a deal — let’s get pumped about a set with 37 planeswalkers!
 

loveshuffle

Alt account
Banned
Mar 25, 2019
32
I need NB to be playable.. I need Grixis to be best control shell..

Also, that -5/-5 exile B common..yum
 

ZealousD

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,029
That Nicol-Bolas is crazy good if you can cast him. That +1 is straight fire, and is at least as powerful as Teferi's +1. Each section of the card is basically the powerful Ob-Nixilis Reignited template that they just keep doing over and over again that guarantees that a planeswalker sees play but with even more spice. It's the casting cost that keeps me from just outright calling it one of the best cards in the set in advance. It does require you to build your mana base and therefore your deck in a very specific way and maybe that deck suffers from too many obstacles elsewhere. My thinking is that the heavy black cost probably pushes it more into Grixis Midrange territory than Grixis Control. We do have another Nicol-Bolas card in standard that says "put me in Grixis Midrange" so maybe it will be great.
 

Imperfected

Member
Nov 9, 2017
6,643
I guess Grixis technically gets Widespread Brutality as a board wipe (it's Rakdos but seems to be intended for a Grixis Amass build), so you probably ought not to expect too much else as far as that goes.

Though, from a story perspective, "Bolas's Big Dumb Plan" seems like an obvious card to print as a board wipe that hits Planeswalkers or maybe some bizarre thing that globally steals counters or something.
 

dadjumper

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,526
Japan
New thread smell!
That Tezzeret is pretty crazy. Kinda makes me want to change commanders in my Saheeli EDH deck so I can include him.
P.S. EDHrec's april fools joke totally got me for a hot second
P.P.S. I hope they include at least one new commander planeswalker in the set... doubt it tho

Edit: I don't like the new basic lands at all. They don't look anything like what they're supposed to be
 

timedesk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,172
The theme of this set seems really cool. I always liked the long running stories MTG used to tell back during the Urza and Weatherlight sagas. I stopped really paying attention after enjoying the first Ravnica block. The story really seems to have gone places. Seems like there are a lot of characters I'll have to learn about now. I just hope there are a lot of GB combo characters as that was always my favorite combo when I played.
 

Oligarchenemy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,997
I hate that they turned Dack in to a jobber that gets killed in the trailer, but for some reason Tibalt gets to stay.
 

Emerson

Member
Oct 25, 2017
513
USA
Here's my probably insane unlikely prediction for this set: Not only does each character have an Act 1 planeswalker card, many of them will also have a non PW legendary creature card after they lose their spark.
 

janoGX

Banned
Nov 29, 2017
1,742
Chile
This set has the potential of becoming the best set or a big clusterfuck. No in-between.

Also, that Ajani will get a lot of price when it comes out. The fact you win 3 life every turn + vigilance to creatures + you can put +1/+1 counters to any of your creatures will make the token decks stronger.

Edit: Okay what?



EDIT 2: MORE PLANESWALKERS!

 
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Clay

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,592
The planeswalkers actually seem pretty cool, I'm not a fan in general and worried I wouldn't like this set but the passive effects and most of them only having minus abilities is clever design. I can't wait to see the new god cards, that image of them in front of Bolas was a great tease.

The art in general is sweet, that Bolas card looks awesome. Too bad it took them until his story is apparently coming to an end to nail his look.

I know it's been said to death already but Amass seems pretty lame, not wise to put too many eggs in a basket that can be bounced away. It seems like a huge miss as far as flavor.

It would have been cool if they essentially brought back the Phantom mechanic from Odyssey bock. I'm sure there's a much better way of wording this but I'm imagine it working something like "Whenever an Army token is dealt damage or become the target of a spell, prevent that damage or counter that spell and remove a counter from the Army." The idea being you can't decimate an entire army with a single Bounce, spells and damage instead slowly pick off members of the unit one by one. Obviously there'd be Army hate, like there could be some kind of anti-infantry cannon that just says "Destroy target Army" or whatever.
 
Feb 16, 2018
958
haven't seen a counterspell that bad in quite some time

edit;
it actually has decent upside if you can get it to work. mystic snake without color requirements that only works some of the time is still a beating in limited
 
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Firemind

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,975
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh
Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

Naming guy wizard is on a roll give him a raise
 

Xequalsy

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
266
Excited to see the rest of the spoilers.

Still want there to be an amazing Ugin card (even at rare).
 

Shugga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,139
Ugin at rare would be extremely weird tbh, I kind of expect a twist on him but idk
They said he's powerful, so a powerful PW that is also colorless seems like risky business for standard ? But he could alos just not be powerful and they're hyping him up lmao
 

Xequalsy

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
266
Ugin at rare would be extremely weird tbh, I kind of expect a twist on him but idk
They said he's powerful, so a powerful PW that is also colorless seems like risky business for standard ? But he could alos just not be powerful and they're hyping him up lmao
To be fair, if those leaked cards are real, then Karn and Teferi are already better than all of the mythic walkers we've seen so far. Maybe if Ugin is "bad" he'll be cheaper at least.
 

Firemind

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,975
Karn is baaaaaaad.

Can't even use it in Death & Taxes because of the artifact restriction. Unless you want to animate Aether Vial lol

Chandra is quite good I think. Deals 5 damage at the very least and can get value in the meantime.
 
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