For those people out there like me who are “Magic the Gathering” nerds, welcome to the 2013 Core set. For anyone who plays “Magic the Gathering,” the expansions are a blast. They offer lots of cool, weird stuff with fun themes and quirky mechanics. But the life and soul of the game are the core sets, those cards that come out every year and keep the game moving.
And there’s plenty to love in the new core set. The set brings a heavier focus on exalted, a mechanic that gives a boost to any creature that attacks alone.
Since exalted stacks, it’s entirely possible to bring out a whole bunch of cheap little creatures that have exalted, and suddenly attack with a little 1/1 that turns into a face-eating monster.
Another addition that excites me is the return of Nicol Bolas as a Planeswalker. While he costs the Earth and requires a tri-color deck (blue, black, red), the cards that support him, the abilities he has and the advantages offered by those three colors more than make up for his high-casting cost.
I could go on for hours covering this set, but I’ll close up with one more shout out. The non-basic lands for this set are almost all freaking awesome. There’s six bi-colored lands that give you your choice of which color you want to tap it for, with options for black/red, blue/black, blue/white, white/green, and green/red.
There’s a colorless land that gives you “you have no maximum hand size,” which makes me cry tears of joy. Another colorless land lets you tap and put counters on for one colorless and one red, then tap, sacrifice it, take off two counters and get a 4/4 creature with haste.
The last awesome land is a colorless that gives your creatures exalted. No, seriously, they want you to have those suddenly monstrous 1/1’s.
Unfortunately, the designers decided to take the ol’ tap and sacrifice this land, go find a basic land mechanic and stick it on another card. Not a bad card but it would have been nice to have something fresh on that front.
Overall, the new set rocks. Go forth fellow nerds and nerds to be, and make savage pasteboard war upon your enemies.
To contact Jeremy Cloud, email firstname.lastname@example.org.