Magic Weekly Update

Friday_Night_Magic_3Ultimate power is within your grasp. The crown and title of King or Queen of Paliano. You and your followers (or minions or pawns depending on what type of ruler you choose to be) have an entire city to win the support of. Will you pull the strings from the shadows, manipulating, bribing, and forcing others to do your dirty work before you sneak in for the victory? Will you win the people’s hearts through honor and justice, punishing the wicked and corrupt and taking their place to build a better city? Will you charm the High Council, using your influence and allies to rise above the weak-willed? Or will you rely on good old fashioned brute force and cleave a bloody path to the throne? These are the questions you’ll have to ask yourself for Conspiracy: Take the Crown, the new multiplayer, free-for-all Magic set dropping August 26. This week I’ll take you through all things Conspiracy  to prepare you for the draft including story, card previews and some of the unique mechanics introduced for this specific style of play.

Your fate is in the hands of others, Planeswalkers. What type of ruler will you be?

Previously On Conspiracy:

First off, let’s do a quick summary of the story behind Conspiracy. Last time we visited the plane of Fiora, we were introduced to the capital city of Paliano, a place reminiscent of Renaissance-era Europe:

Bustling with inventors, philosophers, merchants, artists, etc. Paliano is controlled by the High Council, a legislative body that votes on the laws that govern the city. At their head was King Brago, a political figure so highly esteemed and powerful, that even after his death they bound his soul to his armor so he could keep reigning eternally in the afterlife.

That is, until the events of the new set-

Kaya assassinating Brago

Our newly revealed assassin Planeswalker, Kaya, makes short work of Brago and plunges Paliano into chaos. With the throne now empty, the high lords and ladies of the city vie for supremacy and the crown.

That’s where you come in, Planeswalker. As one of these influential politicians, you must use the creatures, spells, and artifacts at your disposal to seize the city for yourself. If the story and setting sound vaguely similar to King’s Landing from Game of Thrones (or settings for several other political fantasy novels), you’re not mistaken. You could think of the set as a playable version of that scenario, but with more magic and fantastical creatures involved.

If you’d like to read up on all the story, characters and political intrigues of Paliano, take a look at the Magic story archive.

Meet the Players:

Now that we’ve got the story all settled, let’s take a look at the card reveals. If you’d like to glance through all the cards revealed so far in one neat place, head over to the card image gallery on the official site. As we get closer, Wizards will be showing previews on the Magic Facebook page as well, so keep an eye out. After that, you can check out some of the new previews below as well as articles detailing how the card came about, why the team chose it for the set, and a detailed analysis of how it plays.

Skyline Despot

Leovold, Emissary of Trest

Grenzo, Havoc Raiser

Selvala, Heart of the Wilds

As you’ll notice, several of the cards have new abilities and mechanics never seen before in the history of Magic, specifically those based around multiplayer. You have cards that have players vote for effects, force other players to attack each other, affect all opponents, etc. That’s on top of the new Monarch token which gives one player an advantage when owned:

While all the new bells and whistles may seem overwhelming, remember that most other players, even veterans, are in the same boat. There has only ever been one other Conspiracy  set and even then most of the abilities and mechanics from this set weren’t in the last one. No worries, here’s an article explaining all the new mechanics with card examples. If you’re planning on heading to a Conspiracy  draft, being familiar with all the new rules and how to use the new abilities effectively will give you a heads up on the competition. After all, you can’t put your master plan into effect if you don’t know about the other players.

And now, I’ve saved the best card preview for last. Last week, I went over the card reveals for the first new Planeswalker, Kaya. This week, we’ve got a returning Planeswalker with a new card:

Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast

Now, Daretti is a unique Planeswalker in many ways. First, his only other appearance has been for Commander Decks and never in a mainline story set. Second, he is the only Goblin Planeswalker in the game, and in true Goblin fashion, his card is based around artifacts and crazy constructs. Third, with only a casting cost of 3, he is incredibly cheap and easy to cast, but also hampered by a low loyalty of 3. No matter though, because Daretti’s first and second loyalty abilities offer some excellent defense, particularly in multiplayer. You can either build up a continuous wall of artificial defenders, or kamikazi one of your constructs to take out potential threats. Either way, opponents are going to have think twice and hit hard if they get on your bad side. Now, Daretti’s ultimate -6 ability has the potential to be amazing. Imagine putting three copies of a powerful creature or artifact onto the field, particularly one that has an ability trigger when it enters play. However, you could equally be stuck with only mediocre creatures in play or in the graveyard (especially early game) making his final ability temporarily not worth it. Even then, though, it’s only a matter of time before you get that wonderful draw you need and Daretti’s first two abilities more than make up for the wait with their ability to put up solid protection and control the ebb and flow of the game. Overall, I’d say Daretti is a pretty good Planeswalker card on his own, but a fantastic one for multiplayer, especially if you snag some excellent artifact cards.

That’s all for now Planeswalkers. If you’d like a detailed description of how Conspiracy: Take the Crown  came to be and why the developers included specific cards and mechanics, read about it here. Otherwise, I hope to scheme, ally, and betray with you at next week’s release.

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