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Monday, December 29, 2014

Fate Reforged Spoilers: Mechanics Introduction

Today was the official start to Spoiler Season for Fate Reforged! Woo hoo!

As with the official start of every "spoiler season", we got an article detailing the mechanics of the new set.

I won't post every spoiled card; you can read those in the article yourself. Plus, there are too many new ones today. I will, though, post the more interesting ones.

The article: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/mechanics-fate-reforged-2014-12-29

First, background...Sarkhan Vol has traveled form the time of a Dragon-less Tarkir to the time when Dragons ruled about 1300 years prior (...okay, I think it's 1,280. So sue me!). The mechanics of this set either copy Khans of Tarkir OR set up precursors to those mechanics.

Let's get started!

1) Prowess
2) Delve
3) Ferocious

Sorry, Abzan (Outlast) and Mardu (Raid). You're not getting these fun mechanics this time. Also, Morph seems to be out for Fate Reforged.

4) Hybrid Mana Symbols: These hybrid mana symbols are back, but they won't be in casting costs. They'll usually be in abilities. Because of this, the Commander "Color Identity" rule kicks in; for example, Yasova Dragonclaw only has Green in its mana cost but shows hybrid U/R symbols in its card text. Using it as a Commander for a mono-green deck isn't a problem; no one says you have to use the U/R abilities or pack in U/R mana producers. If it's not used as a Commander, though, it can only be used in Temur-colored (RUG) Commander decks. (Remember, Extort is an exception to the rule since Reminder Text isn't considered rules text; it's just there as a quick reminder for what the ability does.)

5) Modal Spells: Since they put bullet points on modal spells (for examples, Cryptic Command or practically any Charm in the game), WotC has been taking full advantage of the simpler templating. Since Fate Reforged deals with how choices will affect the outcome of the future, "modal" spells (where you get to choose between 1 of 2 or 3 alternatives) are a theme.

HOWEVER...however...we get new precursor mechanics to make up for it. (These mechanics are supposed to be "prequels" to mechanics we saw in Khans of Tarkir and didn't get reused for Fate Reforged.)

1) Bolster --> This is the new Abzan ability word. "Bolster X" means "Choose a creature you control with the lowest toughness and put X +1/+1 counters on it." (more or less). Bolster will always have a number beside it (Bolster 2 or Bolster 5, for example). For example...

2) Dash --> The new Mardu keyword is Dash. "Dash [cost]" means you can cast it for that cost, the creature gains haste, and returns to your hand at the end of the turn. (This is being nicknamed the "Viashino" effect, named after various Viashino in the game that are cast, have haste, and return to hand at end of turn.) Some Dash costs are right in line with the normal mana cost, while others are cheaper. I wouldn't doubt we'd see one that's more expensive with Dash BUT comes with something else (for example, a creature costing 3W can be Dashed for 5W BUT it gets your choice of Flying, Lifelink, or Double Strike if Dashed, perhaps?)

There is a 2-color Dragon for each Allied color pair, each with Dash and granting a Bonus for each Dragon you control when it attacks.

And it's not just the Dragons...

3) Manifest --> This seems to belong to all clans, or at least can go outside the G/U ones. Manifest takes the place of Morph in Fate Reforged, but it can be used with Morph from Khans of Tarkir. "Manifest the top X cards of your library" means to put the top X cards of your library onto the battlefield face-down as 2/2 creatures; if the face-down card is a creature [whether or not it has Morph], you can turn it face-up at any time for its mana cost."

Simple "Manifest" card...

...and more complex "Manifest" card to show off what it  can do.

Now I don't know about you, but depending on the card...this could blur the lines between token armies and self-milling to get benefit. If you can Manifest, say, 3 cards at a time, that's 6 power's worth of creatures ready to block. And if they already are creatures? Morph creatures or not, those may come in as a nasty surprise for your opponent. ;)

Since Manifest works somewhat differently from Morph, there are new Overlay cards for Manifested cards that have rules text pertaining to what a Manifested card can do.

4) Modal Spells: Wait...didn't I talk about these just above? Yes...and no!  A bit different this time around is that permanents will now have modal choices. Examples include:

"Modal" creature....

...and "Modal" enchantment!

I particularly love Outpost Seige. It's like saying, "Now, planeswalker....CHOOSE YOUR SIDE!!!" There will be a cycle of these "Seige"-type enchantments: 1 for each color. Seems they'll also have 1 cycle of Instants at Uncommon, 1 cycle of Instants/Sorceries at Rare, and 1 cycle at Common.

So far, what do you think? That's not every spoiler, but DailyMTG.com will be keeping an updated Card Image Gallery going, updating with the previous weekday's spoilers each weekday around 11 AM Eastern.