Friday, February 11, 2011

It's the Magic: The End of TL;DR Week

I’ve been at work all week, so I haven’t gotten around to drafting Mirrodin Besieged yet, much less making decks with it. I should have a chance this week to do some of that and next Friday should have an “It’s the Magic” that gives my first response to it. I won’t bother telling you to stay tuned; if you were going to leave, you would have by now.

Better Know a Tier
This week’s tier is Delta Tier. It’s the very end of Tiers that are sorted by my approximation of their quality, and it has a number of old and new decks in it (I know I’ve skipped Charlie. Don’t worry, by the time I get around to it, it will have changed enough that it will probably contain some cards from the tiers I’ve already gone over; it’s like you already know it.

Warp-Bizarre distortions of reality like the one that nearly destroyed Dominaria aren’t as rare as most would like. Careless planeswalkers from earlier eons would uncommonly create such problems and with little difficulty largely solve them once they came to their attention. In recent times, they are rarer, but don’t escape notice as quickly and pose a serious threat to their progenitors. The Warped One is the planewalker from which most of this knowledge is gleaned. A shameless manipulator of time and moments, he has no problem erasing most of his problems from the landscape in front of him. His best guess is that in his reckless youth, he opened such a rift against magics too powerful for them to affect. The result was a tear that sundered both his body and his mind. Still imbued with a spark, he seeks to find his other half. Still wise and experienced, he is prone to fits of cold, amoral rage and often suffers fugues where he may find himself miles (or planes) away from where he started.

Platoon-The collapse of the shards of Alara was traumatic for many. For Kidine and his loyal soldiers, it was never more traumatic than when their corner of Bant was sucked into The Maelstrom. Kidine’s spark ignited and he found himself and his companions between planes. Half-mad and half-dead from dwelling where only few should, they suffered greatly until Kidine absorbed them into himself, saving them, in every detail, in his memory. Kidine has learned much about the vagaries of planes, about when and how to walk between them. He finds regular life forms which have slipped off of the accidental edges of their worlds and into the Blind Eternities. Those he can save, he does. Others, he merely remembers. He knows on some level that his friends no longer exist; only their forms and pieces of their minds are there when he summons them. Still, he seeks a way to restore them, and perhaps Bant, to their rightful places.

Land-Gren was always taught about the power of the earth. While he never excelled at hunting or scouting like his fellow elves, he did know about magic and became an accomplished shaman. Though he was always too eager to draw on the massive mana reserves of his environment, a constructive use for it eluded him. Convinced of what he could do and frustrated by their inability to focus his potential, his community encouraged him to travel these ‘planes’ to search for a worthy outlet for his energies. Energetic, but naïve, Gren has traveled far and wide, somehow just barely missing some of the most notable and destructive events of the Multiverse.

Kor Avalanche-The tinkerer for a large tribe of Kor on Zendikar, Karkeljek is still unaware of his planeswalker’s spark. While he knows a few things about machinery, his skill as an artificer is still unexplored. Just prior to the full release of The Eldrazi from their imprisonment, Karkeljek’s tribe was descending into a long-untouched crevasse in search of a refuge from the chaos slowly consuming the planet. What they found instead were unmarked caves of pure metal unmentioned on their ancient maps. As they explored, they emerged in what seemed to be an underworld, one made entirely of metal. Unbeknownst to any of them, Karkeljek had walked the entire tribe to another plane, Mirrodin. Their scouting of the terrain discovered many violent natives, only vaguely resembling the races they were accustomed to. When they retreated into the mountains, they emerged several days later on a different world. While they find rest and refuge on a few worlds, none have yet been what they call home. Indeed, many are unsure if they want to return; if maybe one or more of these worlds are the very refuge they were looking for. Kor are nomadic by nature, and no tribe has ever lived up to the description so well.

Arti-Choke-Konjour’s plane is one dominated by a handful of power-mad artificers. Once, in ancient times, their intellect was used to keep the peace and oversee a peaceful, orderly society. Now, their world is a ruin caused by ‘defensive’ super-weapons run amok, barely controlled by the petulant, ambitious offspring of those once-great forbearers. In her struggle to stop the artificers, avenge the destruction of her own ancestors’ pre-artifice culture, and secure the future for her people, Konjour fought into the very heart of the machine society. There, she discovered a secret so terrible that she (discarded her hand, drew seven cards, then discarded three of them at random) planeswalked on the spot. Though she’d long been an accomplished magic-user with an active spark, she’d never particularly wanted to leave her home before. Now, she travels urgently through planes, looking for a way to destroy her true enemy, but she knows every day she is gone is another day her followers are without her strength and another day she bears the mark of a coward. How then, can she return home until she finds an answer that will save her world, and in so doing, clear her name?

Swing In-Singwin is a cursed ape. Once, long ago, he and his allies overran evil and saved their homes from the mad ambitions of a wretched king. Singwin’s passion and power had been pivotal in their victory, but for his crimes, he was cursed. Now imbued with an intellect subsumed in primal rage, he travels planes at random, directing his forces to raze, maim, and shatter everything in his path. The Stampede arrives without warning and decimates an area proportional to the length of their stay. Between the days or weeks that he ravages innocent populations, in the moments between universes Singwin’s curse recedes just enough for him to comprehend what he’s done. After the wave of horror, but just before the first action to correct it, he’s plunged again into terra firma and the assault begins anew.

Metalstorm-In The Great Wars of Sport that support the nobility of her home plane, Duchess Metastra’s garden, and her husband were killed by a shot from a fouled catapult. Buried as heroes, the Duchess was ceremonially invited to take her husband’s place in The Great Sport. A passable magic user, she was expected to decline, but instead accepted. Her first battle ignited her spark, and she thereafter became an impressive artificer and leader, almost winning the war on several occasions. Called to heel several times for the unthinkable breach of protocol, she eventually usurped power and began ruling the games—all of them—from her Garden Court. While a few intrepid adventurers have tried to destroy her under the mistaken impression it would stop The Great Sport, she has proven more than formidable, but never cruel or even particularly deadly. Her greatest adversaries now serve as eager participants and Generals on the front lines of a war that’s long on engagements, but short on casualties. For reasons unknown, she continues to play this game against herself.

Double Down-Once, while eating a KFC double down, ordinary Larry Long’s planeswalker spark ignited. Powered by a bun made of two pieces of fried chicken patty, Larry was transported to a magical world beyond comprehension. There, he met Frog-suited brownies, book snakes, and even had a sweet training montage. He met new friends with abilities like his own and fashioned amazing devices to help him overcome the challenges ahead. Though paramedics are racing against time to save him, Larry’s condition is steadily worsening in the real world, but his adventures in the kingdom of imagination are just beginning!

This Week's Best Thing Ever
Turn 3: Harrow
Enemy Response: Mana Leak
Turn 4: "Fuck it. Scythe Tiger. Sacrificing my Mountain."
Enemy plays Fade Away.
"Fuck it. Sacrificing my Forest. I'll kill you with a shrouded 3/2 Cat and nothing else."
Turn 5: Attacks for 3
Enemy plays Evacuate.

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