(Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for a more in depth look at the set in next month’s episode of the podcast. For now, I just wanted to catch up after a busy holiday season and give a first impression of Fate Reforged.)
I have been keeping an eye on spoilers as they’ve been revealed and Chris and I have kept alive our unofficial tradition of sending cards to one another. Chris is excited that dragons are back (not in a big way, the last set is called Dragons of Tarkir or something like that, so they’ll hopefully blow the doors off with that one) and, as usual, I’m intrigued by some of the mechanics that are being used in the set. One of the first spoilers to be leaked was Ugin and, as happens in this day and age, many thought it was a fake. Some saw a dragon and leaped to the conclusion that, if it was real, it would be from the third set and others just dismissed it outright. It is real and pretty amazing. However, I know that I won’t play that card. If I do pull one, it will most likely be one that I sell similar to the foil fetches and Planeswalkers from the previous set of cards. I’m also pretty sure that I won’t ever play against it, either, so that’s all that I’ll say about it. Better to focus on the cards that will see play in our eternal struggle of two.
In keeping with the multicolored theme, hybrid mana is back. I only see it in casting cost of abilities instead of as a way to cast spells and creatures. Maybe in the next set they will have hybrid mana creatures and spells like they did in the earlier multicolored sets. The Return to Ravnica block had a huge number of multicolored cards and especially more hybrid mana cards than I could imagine. I suppose that it keeps with the theme of that block. While Khans is three colored clans, the focus seems to be more on making those colors interact with one another in unique ways instead of attempting to fuse them together into a whole new strategy. Therefore, I can understand the decision to not have hybrid mana casting costs for creatures and spells. Thanks for joining me as I talked myself through that one.
As I mentioned above, Chris is excited that some dragons are in this set. He’s infamous for his dragon deck that once got me to utter, “That is bullshit” in response to him playing it once. This is noteworthy because our games are generally friendly and there isn’t much in the way of grumble unless one of us is having particularly bad luck with the mana screw or something. I made the observation that it looks like they seem to be trying to make dragons similar to slivers. There are a new class of legendary multicolored dragons that all have an ability that affects the board in some way. Instead of triggering on play, though, the new dragon abilities all trigger when a dragon attacks. That adds an interesting wrinkle to EDH. The other dragons also have similar abilities, but they are more localized to one creature in most cases. Again, this seems like a bit of a teaser for the last set where they will most likely unleash the dragons in a big way. Maybe it will even inspire me to make a dragon deck.
Being the type of player that I am, the mechanic that has me most excited is manifest. I am enamored with Morph and even though I haven’t quite figured it out, I am determined to make a morph deck that works consistently enough to frustrate the opponent as my decks often are designed to do. I mentioned in the missing Episode 2 of the podcast that I hoped that they would either have more morph creatures or at least more mechanics that work with morph. While manifest isn’t that, it does share some DNA with morph and makes me even more excited that a face down deck will work in some shape. I’m going to get to trying to build my Temur morph/manifest deck as soon as possible.
Overall, this set seems like the calm before the storm. The last set in the block is a big one like Khans and it is named for the other big players on the plane, the dragons, so I think we’ll see some really huge things out of that set. Fate Reforged isn’t a great set but there are definitely some cool cards and I can’t wait to pick up my box in a few weeks.