Rob Rogers's picture
By: Rob Rogers, Rob Rogers
Nov 11 2007 1:28pm
4.2
Login or register to post comments
2798 views


Lorwyn has hit Magic: the Gathering Online. Some existing cards have been getting additional buzz because of their interaction with Lorwyn. You probably already know that that powerhouse Tarmogoyf from Future Sight is going to be even more flexible and powerful because there will be lots of Tribal cards to power it up (as opposed to just Bound in Silence, which was previously available), as well as the Planeswalker cards. And Haakon, Stromgald Scourge from Coldsnap is getting a huge boost because he will let you play Knight Tribal cards (which include all Shapeshifter Tribal cards, particularly Nameless Inversion) from the graveyard. In the case of Instants, that means you can cast them again and again until you run out of mana. I want to build a Haakon deck myself!

On a similar note, cards from the featured tribes are going to see more play. Lots of casual players will be snapping up extra copies of Goblin King, Elvish Champion, Lord of Atlantis, etc. Ditto Coat of Arms. Those are pretty easy targets.

But what about some of those cards that aren't getting as much buzz right now, or aren't quite as obvious? Are there some sleeper cards out there that might be effective (or, even better, fun) to play in coordination with Lorwyn? What cards are getting better? I'm going to take a look at a baker's dozen that I think might be fun or at least give you a chance to surprise your opponent. The best part is that most of them are cheap!

 

Tivadar of Thorn

Tivadar of Thorn

I loved old Tivadar at first sight, in part because of the very cool art in his picture and in part because Knights of Thorn was an old favorite of mine back in the day--again, largely because of the art, but also because I had a red/white deck that revolved around using lots of global burn effects that hurt my opponents' creatures, but not my own because most of my creatures had protection from red.

Tivadar hasn't seen a lot of play lately, which is a shame because he has a low casting cost, protection from red, and first strike, and that makes him very solid. But I think he might be worth taking another look at now for two reasons. The first is that, as part of the latest Oracle update, he's now a Knight. That means that he plays well with Haakon (see above). But the other reason is his secondary ability: When Tivadar of Thorn comes into play, destroy target Goblin. Now in Time Spiral block, that last ability almost never came into play. You might see him take out a Mogg War Marshal now and then, but if it happened, it almost caught you by surprise. Now, though, there are going to be a lot more Goblins out there. Keep in mind, too, that it doesn't read "destroy target Goblin creature." He can take out Boggart Shenanigans, too. And all those new Changeling creatures and Tribal spells? They're Goblins. And if Tivadar sees them, they're dead Goblins.

If nothing else, he might be fun to play with Crib Swap. You can replace one of your opponent's creatures with a Shapeshifter token, then use Tivadar to kill the token. Hey, it's not a powerful combo. But it could be fun!

 Doubling Season

Doubling Season

Most of the cards I'll mention here are Standard-legal, but I can't resist the opportunity to plug my favorite enchantment in the game. The biggest news here is that Doubling Season will double the loyalty counters that accompany any of the planeswalkers when they come into play. That means that, with Doubling Season in play all of them, with the exception of Jace Beleren, can play their "ultimate" ability as soon as you cast them.

That's pretty sweet.

Doubling Season also interacts well with a bunch of the token critters in Lorwyn. Here's hoping that it makes the cut for 11th Edition.

 Vedalken AEthermage

 Vedalken Aethermage

I've never been too jazzed about this creature myself. But I noticed two things about this: Its Wizardcycling power now means that it can cycle for any of your Wizards and can cycle for any of your Changeling cards, including the various Tribal instants. It might be handy being able to cycle for a Crib Swap or a Nameless Inversion whenever you want it. As a bonus, its "return target Sliver to its owner's hand" ability could also bounce your opponent's Changelings or your own. Fun times.

 Homing Sliver

Homing Sliver

See Vedalken AEthermage, above. This could be just as useful in a Shapeshifter deck as in a Sliver deck.

Keep in mind, too, that any of your Slivers will benefit any of your creatures with Changeling. There could be some fun strategies here.

 Plague Sliver

Plague Sliver

In addition to being a heck of a beater, this is could be a fun card to use if you think your opponent might be playing with some of the creatures with Changeling from Lorwyn. And if they don't have any, maybe it would be fun to use Crib Swap to give them some!

 Conspiracy

Conspiracy

Another favorite enchantment of mine, this one monkeys around with all your  creature types in play, in your hand, in your deck, and in your graveyard. Keep in mind that it won't affect tribals, but it will certainly affect creatures, and with so many fun creature types to play around with in Lorwyn, particularly the featured tribes, this will be a fun card to use for your decks.

Yeah, this one might be kind of obvious, but it will be fun to try out.

 Lovisa Coldeyes

Lovisa Coldeyes

Yes, the tribes getting the focus in Lorwyn are based on their "races"--Goblins, Elementals, Kithkin, etc. But keep in mind that a lot of creatures also have "jobs." Lovisa boosts Barbarians, Berserkers, and Warriors. There are no new Barbarians or Berserkers in Lorwyn, but I count 36 new Warriors in Lorwyn, plus three Tribal spells that create Warrior tokens. I'm thinking that some combination of Lovisa Coldeyes, Primal Forcemage, and Elvish Promenade could be dead nasty. What do you think?

And yeah, she'll boost any creatures with Changeling, too.

 Pendelhaven

 Pendelhaven

I count about three dozen 1/1 creatures in Lorwyn, not to mention all the tokens out there. Plus, the art for Pendelhaven just seems to jibe nicely with the art for Lorwyn.

 Gaea

 Gaea's Anthem

Or Glorious Anthem, for that matter. Anything that boosts all of your creatures without helping your opponent is a good thing. Again, not the most original observation on this list, but in a creature-heavy block like this, anything that either boosts a lot of your creatures or hinders a lot of your opponent's has value.

 Fleshwrither

 Fleshwrither

Lorwyn adds 37 new creatures with a casting cost of 4. That's 37 new targets for Fleshwrither's Transfigure ability, including some of those cool new Champion cards. That seems to make Fleshwrither worth considering for a spot in a black-heavy deck. He works nicely with Grave Pact, too!

 Field Marshal

Field Marshal

Not counting the creatures with Changeling, Lorwyn adds 13 new Soldiers to Standard, plus three cards that put Kithkin Soldier tokens into play.

 Sunken Hope

Sunken Hope

Lots of the Lorwyn creatures have come into play effects. Capitalize on them while slowing your opponent's tempo by dropping a Sunken Hope on the table. This card helped me completely dominate a recent game against a tough aggro opponent--the Sunken Hope effect kept bouncing his creatures back to his hand while I got to replay Venser, Shaper Savant and Ravenous Rats to my hear's content while my Hypnotic Specter kept swooping in unblocked. Nasty.

Evacuation

Evacuation

Along the lines of Sunken Hope, Evacuation works well with your creatures' come into play effects while slowing your opponent's tempo. In this case, it works at instant speed, which can sometimes let you get some critical damage in before it goes off. The other reason that I think Evacuation will see more play is because of all the token creatures in Lorwyn. Evacuation acts like a Wrath of God for tokens, holding the line against the onslaught of tokens from Elvish Promenade and similar token generators in Lorwyn.

Am I missing some of your favorites? What do you think are hidden gems out there? Are you going to try to play around with any of these? Let me know!

0 Comments

by Gumby at Thu, 11/15/2007 - 08:44
Gumby's picture

not really that immaginative, but I've been tinkering around with cards and so far the  best all around card for changelings has to be Alpha Status. 

Gives +2/+2 for all your creatures and all of your opponent's creatures.  Drop it on cairn wanderer after you've got something spiffy in the GY to give it an evasion or trample.

by Rob Rogers at Wed, 11/14/2007 - 12:07
Rob Rogers's picture

Ooo, good one. Yes, that seems like a fun way to go. Now if we could only figure out a way to make Contraptions work!

by Rob Rogers at Wed, 11/14/2007 - 12:06
Rob Rogers's picture

Thanks. You've got a good point and I'll try to make my next article longer.

Response: by hk3family at Tue, 11/13/2007 - 08:29
hk3family's picture

This is due to the key word there: BURN.

 

Burn indicates damage/damaging effects, not -x/-x, and not Destroy all...  

Protection from a color indicates that it cannot be TARGETED or DAMAGED (among other things, such as blocked by, etc.) by sources of that color.  So If you have a Tivadar of Thorn, or Knights of Thorn, etc, you can pyroclasm to your heart's content and the DAMAGE from that (and other) global burn spell(s) is prevented.

 

Great article, little short for my liking; and other than a couple sentence blurb Id''ve liked to see a little more in-depth reasoning for several of the cards, and possibly more cards                     

by hk3family at Tue, 11/13/2007 - 08:31
hk3family's picture

The easy way is to remember, you're in DEBT to the protection creatures:

 Protection stops:

 

Damage

Enchantments

Blocked by

Targeted spells 

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 195.241.104.64 (not verified) at Tue, 11/13/2007 - 08:27
Anonymous (Unregistered) 195.241.104.64's picture

because protection prevents damage from sources of the right colour,

So if you use eartquake for 4, it wouldnt deal damage to pro red guys.

 Damnation doesnt damage or target so pro black won't help there. 

 

Protection does 4 things:

Prevent Damage

Prevents Targeting

Prevents being Blocked by

and Prevent being Enchanted by. 

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 69.149.43.174 (not verified) at Mon, 11/12/2007 - 17:14
Anonymous (Unregistered) 69.149.43.174's picture

No love for Steamflogger Boss?  Your changelings appreciate being riggers.

by Rob Rogers at Mon, 11/12/2007 - 12:10
Rob Rogers's picture

Yes, that does seem like a fun card to play with. I started MtGO just before the Kamigawa block was on its way out, so I didn't have a lot of experience with some of the cards there. I was bashed by a few snake decks, but not many rats. Marrow Gnawer sounds like fun.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 220.237.86.176 (not verified) at Mon, 11/12/2007 - 20:12
Anonymous (Unregistered) 220.237.86.176's picture

RE: Tivadar of Thorn spiel; how can global burn kill your opponents creatures and not your protection red creatures? Damnation still kills a protection black creature...

Spiffy by Gumby at Sun, 11/11/2007 - 21:14
Gumby's picture

Another that would be really spiffy with all the changelings, one of my favorites, [card]Marrow Gnawer[/card].  Gives all your critters an evasion and lets you pump tokens.  Been tinkering around with a U/B changeling deck in paper based on 'gnawer, works with a reasonable degree of efficency.