Tuesday, December 13, 2011

M13 A New Black Planeswalker

The team has largely agreed that the three planeswalkers introduced in Magic 2012 ought to be reprinted in 2013. Jace, Memory Adept, Chandra, the Firebrand and Garruk, Primal Hunter are all tied with a couple other cards for least printed planeswalkers of all time. Reprinting them in 2013 follows the tradition of printing a desirable core set card twice in a row to give players more time to collect and/or play with it. Elspeth is the only mono-white planeswalker not to be reprinted so far and my recent twitter poll showed a pretty dramatic preference for bringing back Elspeth, Knight-Errant rather than Elspeth Tirel. We do want to feature at least one new planeswalker and it so happens that black is in need. Liliana Vess has been overprinted and Sorin got his reprint this year. We're not going to reprint Liliana of the Veil if it doesn't extend her legality, so it's time for someone new.

Since planeswalkers are character-driven, the most important question is what fun black character archetypes remain? Liliana covers both the sell-souling trope and the evil queen trope (the vain, apple-poisoning kind). Sorin covers the powerful vampire aristocrat trope. We could use an anti-hero like Toshiro Umezawa, a traitor like Balthor the Defiled (not sure about that—really pushing my inner Vorthos here), a genuine low-life cut-throat, like, uh, Braids, Cabal Minion (?) or... a pirate! There are probably other options and I want to hear them, but having not thought of them so far, let me tell you why I'm excited about a pirate planeswalker.

Everyone loves pirates. Well, everyone more than two degrees away from one in real life does. They're dangerous and self-serving, but not truly evil. They're more about freedom than robbery and violence, even if they're not terribly shy about stealing or particularly averse to blood. "Take what you can" and "the weak feed the strong" are basic pirate tenants that line up with the black philosophy perfectly. My proposal for the new black planeswalker is Wyeth Blackboot.

I'm sure the card I'm showing you now is far from what we'll end with, because I've only tried a couple iterations, designing planeswalkers is Hard™, and I know from experience that I'm no expert at it. What I was going for here is a planeswalker that isn't willing to hurt himself for you and that will double-cross you when he can. Even if you don't think the card is too weird or too limited, it's certainly a bit texty.

It'd be great to have a pirate 'walker that's more winsome swashbuckler, but any abilities that communicate that flavor would probably be red (the other great pirate color). I guess the black pirate should be more the ruthless Blackbeard type.

How can you contribute? You can offer more ideas for solid black character archetypes that we could give the spark to. You can propose tweaks to or new versions of Wyeth. You can also propose your own black planeswalker card. Just bear in mind (as I have) that it will get ripped apart, dissected and/or grafted onto other ideas as the group sifts through the good and the bad.

So you don't get stuck on one idea, here's another interesting start from Jules. The fact that Liliana just recently turned Garruk black (Garruk, the Veil-Cursed) probably means Nissa's no longer the best choice, but the corrupted hero trope is another compelling angle to consider.

I'm pretty curious to see what kind of planewalker this group comes up with together.


  1. My take on the black planeswalker (using the same name, because hell, it's a decent name)

    Wyeth Blackboot 2BB (4)

    +1 Creatures you control get deathtouch and "When this creature deals damage to a player, that player discards a card" until end of turn.
    -2 Search target player’s library for up to three cards, exile them, then that player shuffles his or her library.
    -5 Target player loses 4 life for each creature he or she controls.

    I wasn't imagining him as a pirate so much as a contract killer, like a mob boss who often does his own (magical) hits. Three solidly black abilities; two of which we've seen before but never in quite the right package to be really playable. One of the nice things, besides being relatively straightforward (no mention of loyalty counters, emblems or fighting creatures) is that Wyeth2 represents choices, both for you and your opponents. Do they block? Do they put more creatures on the board? He also is playable without creatures, but much better with them, which is a trait I do admire in a PW.

  2. Wyeth there has some really interesting planeswalker ideas, but is way far off from anything I'd like to see in a Core Set. I'm still fairly miffed about the presence of Gideon in M12; I think he's just too far off-the-mark from "basic" planeswalker designs to be appropriate outside an expert set. I seem to be more conservative than most on that subject, though. And Wyeth's lack of a proper "ultimate" irks me too. I suppose that's what the triggered ability is, but it just isn't really "ultimate" enough. I'd like it a lot more if it was something that was purely beneficial for you, the controller, and the "anyone can activate" second ability is more of a dangerous temptation; they can get free card advantage, but will they risk edging you closer towards a big payoff if they can't deal with him? You, though, are free to rake it in every turn without a care.

    I take issue with this Nissa first on the basis of color; she's dabbled in black mana but is still a green mage through and through. Secondly because she's totally disconnected from her beloved Elf tribe. All of these abilities are perfect for Liliana, not Nissa. Mechanically, I love the first ability, though the second is bonkers, and the third feels like a hybrid of Liliana 1.0 and Tezzeret 2.0; not bad, but not all that exciting either.

    I'll look through old MSE files and see if I happen to have any black Planeswalker designs of my own to share.

  3. Meanwhile, I'm not sure quite how/whether Wyeth's second ability can be played by opponents. The reverse-Sarkhan draw is clever, but I'm not sure how much I love the whole idea of loyalty counters acting as a secondary resource like they do with his static ability. Then again, if you look at it enough, it's really just a minus 3 ultimate that you're forced to play, right?

    I like Nissa's focus. Buried Alive is neat as a PW ability, and having it synergize with her ultimate is good. However, and I may not be the target audience for her, she doesn't seem all that... fun? Very black, though, which is probably essential.

  4. Good points. My Wyeth is way too wierd for a core set PW. Pasteur's has a lot of good things going for it. I'm not sure I like that the first ability makes the second ability worse. Maybe it should count creature cards in your opponent's graveyard. I also kind of want it to deal damage equal to their power or CMC rather than just 4.

    I'm glad Alex classified my second ability as a temptation. Maybe we can run with that.
    +1: Draw a card. Any player may play this ability.
    -2: Name a card. Look at target player's hand. He or she discards a nonland card of your choice. If it's the named card, draw a card.
    -7: Each opponent discards his or her hand. You draw that many cards.

  5. I really like a pirate concept and want to share a different version than what Jay’s already cooked up, to get creative juices flowing. A black aligned Pirate is tricky, because so many of the topdown ideas fall under the blue part of the color pie. Blue pressgangs creatures, plays around with artifacts, collects plunder in the form of card draw, etc. What I’ve decided to focus on is the combat aspect of Pirates, with just a splash of pressganging, (in this case raising an undead crew.)

    Wyeth Blackboot
    Planeswalker – Wyeth
    +1: Non-Pirate creatures get -1/-0 until end of turn. Pirate creatures get +1/+0 until end of turn.
    -2: Put a creature card in target opponent’s graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.
    -6: You get an emblem with “Creatures you control have deathtouch and are Pirates in addition to their other types.”

    The first ability could also be (-2/-0, +2/+0) or (-1/-1, +1/+1) or something else. I like just a power drain, but it’s not a big deal.) This could even make a decent middle ability for another card if it was X for (-X/-0, +X/+0). Anyway, what I like about this design is that’s tribal without requiring any other Pirates in the set. He makes his own Pirates!

    My biggest problem with Nissa isn’t that she’s another black corrupted green planeswalker, but that her two cards sort of fight against one another. For example, Nissa’s Chosen (which her first card can search for) will never be able to sit in the ‘yard and work toward the ultimate of her second card. I like that parts of her second card could build off all the Elves the first one put on the battlefield and would like to see more tangential support.

  6. Considering that we've seen core sets not have to strictly adhere to continuity:

    Ob Nixilis, Swampborn 2BB
    Planeswalker- Ob Nixilis
    0: Put X loyalty counters on Ob Nixilis, where X is equal to the number of Swamps you control.
    -2: Sacrifice a Swamp. If you do, return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.
    -7: Search your library for any number for Swamps and put them onto the battlefield tapped. Shuffle your library.

    I don't know the story behind him entirely, but these seems true to the spirit of the original card. It also benefits from being "new" while still relying on existing characters. After all, core sets don't have the opportunity to tell the story of these characters as well as most sets, so they have to be fairly iconic on their own.

  7. Raguel, the Fallen
    Planeswalker - Raguel
    +2: Creatures you control gain +1/+0 and deathtouch until end of turn.
    -X: Put target creature card with converted mana cost X from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.
    -9: Target player sacrifices all creatures he or she controls. You put a 2/2 black zombie creature token onto the battlefield for each creature sacrificed this way.

  8. Instead of a black planeswalker, can we have a way for black to kill planeswalkers?

    Vampire Hexmage and Hex Parasite are pretty soft; I'm ready for a blunter weapon.

    Grim Banishing
    Destroy target nonblack creature or planeswalker.

  9. Thiefy Guy 2BB
    PW-Guy 3
    +2: Target opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
    -1: Target opponent discards a card and you draw a card.
    -2: Search target opponent's library and cast a spell from it with CMC <= Guy's loyalty.

  10. We definitely need the PW, but I liked Grim Banishing enough to try to find a place for it in the card file. Probably at uncommon just because new players won't know what a planeswalker is.

  11. Liliana, Cruel Temptress 2BB
    Planeswalker - Liliana
    +1: You draw a card and lose 1 life. Any player may activate this ability but only during his or her turn.
    -X: Put target creature card with converted mana cost X or less from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.
    -7: Target player discards his or her hand. That player skips his or her next two draw steps.

    I don't like straying away from the "classic" core set 'walker characters for very long, so I'd rather see Liliana back than another Sorin or a completely new character. Lili's a very good introduction to the color black, she does good work.

    Ability one is aped from the original pirate dude. Tempting and seducing your opponent into charging her loyalty with promises of card advantage seems very true to Lili's character. Very Vorthos, and it ought to give Spike something to mull over.

    Ability two is the same as HavelockV above me, though I've had it saved away as a possible black 'walker ability for a while now. The girl's a necromancer, and what's a necromancer without undead minions? (Never mind that Veiled variety, she's just going through a phase.)

    The ultimate is a mean, nasty one. Maybe too much of a griefer effect. But I love the idea of your opponent being unable to resist using her +1 to fill their hand, confident they can dispose of her before she becomes a problem, only to lose their gamble and have their full grip stripped away. And to add insult to injury, they don't get any new cards for the next two turns... unless they turn to Mistress Lili for assistance. Bwahahaha!

  12. Hmm, pirates are cool and all, but seems pretty weak for a planeswalker. What I'd like to see in black is something more along the lines of the Necromancer from Diablo 2:

    Ihsan the Betrayer
    Planeswalker - Ihsan
    Protection from White
    +1: Put a 1/1 black Skeleton token into play with "{B}: Regenerate."
    -2: Search your library for a non-Legendary Skeleton, Zombie, Shade, Horror, or Nightmare and put it onto the battlefield.
    -X: Sac X creatures, get black mana = twice total power.

    A small new wrinkle, a PW with a static ability, but Ihsan should be pro white so it seems like interesting unexplored space. This guy has some similarity with a flipped Garruk or with Nissa. Oh and why Ihsan? His picture seemed cool and a fallen paladin seemed right for a necromancer.

  13. Planeswalkers with abilities that your opponent can activate are definitely not an innovation for a Core Set.

  14. HavelockV, planeswalkers ARE at mythic level, and it doesn't seem that 'crazy' of an ability. Although, it might give a bad indication of what normal PWs are like...

    A black-pirate-walker, to me, feels very much about theft, and coming out on top in the end. I really liked the more 'thiefy' version Treat posted. Card advantage, at a price.

  15. Yeah, I feel kind of bad about that, like I said I do favor the more conservative stance regarding core set 'walkers... but the ability fits too well flavorfully and is interesting enough mechanically that I still like it. And if R&D thinks Gideon is okay for Core then goshdarnit, so is this.

  16. Here's my take:

    Narcus the Infected
    Planeswalker - Narcus

    +1:Each opponent puts a -1/-1 counter on a creature he or she controls.

    -2:Each opponent loses 3 life. Gain life equal to the amount of life lost in this way.

    -6:You get an emblem with “You may cast spells from your graveyard.”

  17. I think a planeswalker who sometimes helps your opponents is much weirder than Gideon, and a bad way to introduce planeswalkers to new players.

  18. http://goblinartisans.blogspot.com/2011/12/m13-new-black-planeswalker.html?showComment=1323790396866#c1762161075063072672

    No, just no. Do you have any idea how retardedly powerful that would be? If that card was ever printed, wizards would have another thing coming. Cards need to be BALANCED.

  19. @Anonymous

    Enlighten me, please? From what I can see, my Wyeth (let's call it Wyeth'' for clarity) is a midrange ingenue; attractive, but usually not actually the best card for the job.

    (Otherwise, I agree with Havelock.)

  20. Well, its +1 is a turbo-charged version of Larceny. And the -2 is a repeatable Jester's Cap. And it takes only a single turn to build up to the ultimate, which more often than not just says "I win" against aggro. All that for just four mana. Yeah, it's a bit too good.

  21. Cool cool cool. I assumed that in most cases where the ultimate would be devastating, the opponent would have enough board presence to just kill Wyeth by attacking, and that Sadistic Sacrament never is quite as effective as it is tempting.

    It's funny, I've never actually played with Larceny itself. Thanks for the feedback, Alex.
    If the starting loyalty was 3 and the ultimate 7, a la Ajani Vengeant, would that solve things? Planeswalkers are such bizarre confluences of numbers.

  22. We're still in the Design phase, so don't worry about cards/effects that are broken if they wouldn't be broken with lower numbers or higher cost. If we can print Pasteur's version of Wyeth at 8BB or with 1 loyalty, those are trivial changes to make. The more important question is whether all the abilities are fun, exciting and tie together into a cohesive whole.

  23. "HavelockV said...
    I think a planeswalker who sometimes helps your opponents is much weirder than Gideon, and a bad way to introduce planeswalkers to new players."

    Jace Beleran?

    I mean:

    "+2: Each player draws a card and loses 1 life."

    Is pretty similar in function and way easier in execution.

    I'm not a fan of Grim Banishing, if only because it makes Planeswalkers feel less like players and more like creatures.

    I still don't think that introducing a new character in a core set is the best idea, the classic's can be revisited early and often.

    It also looks like we could be getting a new Ajani and Liliana in M13, fwiw:

    In that spirit:

    Liliana 3.0 2BB
    +1: Name a nonland card. Target player reveals his or her hand and discards all cards with that name.
    -2: Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. You lose life equal to that creatures converted mana cost.
    -7: Search target opponent's library for any number of non-creature cards and exile them. That player shuffles their library.

    I mean, surely there's enough design space with just "normal" walkers to come up with one without bending the rules horribly.

    FWIW, because no one has discussed Ob Nixilis: Is

    -2: All creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn for each Swamp you control.

    a bad idea? Is that guy just way too focused on Swamps?

  24. While I think using Ob Nixilis as a character is a decent idea, and black does often have a "Swamps matter" setup, I would be wary of hitting the note of Black-Koth. (And also, for Ob in particular, before he became tied to Zendikar, was he very land-y?)

    Mutilate as a secondary ability does seem very strong. I don't know what sort of + he could have to balance – the ability to directly deal with multiple creatures seems like something to be very careful about on PWs.

    I don't think it's particularly a bad thing to introduce new planeswalker characters in the core set product. They'll have spells to help round out their character, and, I mean, look at Lorwyn.

    I abhor Grim Banishing.

  25. I'm against Grim Banishing too. Planeswalkers shouldn't run rampant in Standard, but they should feel like powerful allies that you call to aid you, being equated to creatures doesn't do that.

    As for the walker itself, I could definitely see going for either Liliana or a fresh face, so I'll try to come up with something for each:

    Liliana, Debtor of Demons 3BB
    +2: Each opponent loses 1 life. You gain life equal to the life lost this way.
    -X: Put X 0/1 black Thrull creature tokens onto the battlefield.
    -8: Exchange your life total with Liliana’s loyalty. You can’t lose the game as long as you control Liliana.

    The middle ability isn't a perfect fit here, but I like a -X here. Any ideas other than Thrulls and Zombify? (Starting loyalty and ultimate cost can be adjusted to balance a stronger or weaker -X)

    Wyeth Blackboot 3B
    +1: Each player discards a card. Whenever and artifact card is discarded this way, exile it.
    0: Sacrifice a creature. If you do, exile that creature card and draw two cards.
    -3: Put all cards exiled by Wyeth onto the battlefield under your control.

    This reads pretty clunky to me, but my goal was for him to steal artifacts, take on stow-aways, and then you find his stash.

  26. I'm going to start a new post for Grim Banishing, since it's off topic here.

    I'd like to see an actual NEW new walker, and I really like the concept for Wyeth. Anti-hero/Han Solo style scoundrels don't show up all that often in Magic. I'd rather stay away from recycling an existing character, and every block gets demons and undead, so the idea of a Demon/Necromancer walker isn't really appealing. (although Raguel is probably the best single card so far, so props to HV).

    With that in mind, I'd like to see Wyeth stay away from life drain/reanimate effects, and get stuff like card manipulation, killing creatures, providing creature pumps. I feel like those fit more with what pirates are good at: doing cheaty things with cards, fighting duels, and leading comrades. So these are some abilities along those lines that I like...

    Possible + abilities:
    - Blackmail (more fun than repeated Cabal Therapy, and it's a great flavor connection)
    - Raguel's + effect from above
    - A small Breach-style effect (creatures you control get +1/+0 and intimidate)

    Possible - abilities:
    - Doom Blade
    - Mind Rot
    - Brain Pry (I feel like this is what you were trying for in your comment Jay)
    - Moderate color hate (like a Slay-effect)
    - A bigger Breach effect/creature pump

    Possible ultimates:
    - Head Games
    - Enslave
    - Persecute (major discard/color hate)
    - A scaled-up Moonlight Bargain.
    - A board wipe, like Plague Wind or Decree of Pain

  27. Okay, here's a stab at Daniel's plan:

    Wyeth Blackboot
    Planeswalker - Wyeth
    +1: Target player discards a card, and you gain 1 life.
    -2: Creatures you control gain +2/+0 and intimidate until end of turn.
    -6: Target player loses 6 life, and you draw 6 cards.

  28. I like the latest Wyeth but I don't think triple-6 fits the flavour of a pirate, who can actually be a hero, just a criminal one, and not necessarily evil or demonic in any way, with the triple-6 can't help but evoke.

    How about this pirate ultimate instead:

    -5: You may cast any number of cards from target player's graveyard without paying their mana costs.

    The flavour, in case it isn't obvious, is the pirate raiding an opponent's (or their own) buried treasure (buried in the graveyard).

  29. Pasteur pointed out my version of Wyeth is much less attractive in a non-Pirate deck, since you need to nerf your own creatures at least once with the first ability before you get to the ultimate. I was also concerned that the ultimate wasn't impressive enough, compared to other Planeswalkers. So here are my thoughts.

    You can always play the +1 ability after combat, just to get the loyalty counter. But that is hardly a thing we want people to have to do. We want them to feel like these 'walkers are all upside. So I suggest the simple tweak of making the -1/-0 effect hit only opponents's creatures and the +1/+0 ability only boost your Pirates. True, in a pirate free deck, you still don't get the +1/+0 ability until after the emblem comes down, but I just like the idea that once he makes a crew, they fight better with him on the board acting as captain.

    Next, I like Wyeth making an emblem. But the tricky thing is that I don't want to give a player any reason to try and get more than one emblem, so static effects are the way to go. Luckily the pirate flavor allows for an easy fix of the ultimate that seems piraty and ratchets up the "I win" feeling we're shooting for: First strike! First strike has bled a lot into black recently for flavor, (see Glissa the Traitor and Abattoir Ghoul). I feel good about using it here. Coupled with deathtouch, it transforms the +1 and -2 abilites in an exciting way. So altogether, here's my second pass at Wyeth:

    Wyeth Soulcursed
    Planeswalker – Wyeth
    +1: Creatures opponents control get -1/-0 until end of turn. Pirate creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.
    -2: Put a creature card in target opponent’s graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.
    -6: You get an emblem with “Creatures you control have first strike, deathtouch and are Pirates in addition to their other types.”

  30. Let me try an execution that feels like a pirate attack. Broadside, board and plunder!
    Wyeth, Blackboot 2BB
    +1: Creatures target player controls get -1/-1 until EOT.
    -1: Creatures you control gain deathtouch and "Whenever this creature deals damage to a player, he or she discards a card" until EOT.
    -5: Draw a card for each creature card in target opponent's graveyard.

  31. I think that's the most solid package so far, Jay, though I'm not totally sold on the ultimate and part of me would like to see some representation of "surprise attack!" in the first ability.

    Also, I'd try to find a way to make sure the plus-ability is untargeted.

  32. Jay's use of the word "plunder" and my dissatisfaction with most of the ultimates thought up so far got me thinking about more unique or flashy concepts for an ultimate. Word association leads to the obvious Memory Plunder, but general pirate terminology and themes lead me to things like Ill-Gotten Gains and excruciatingly broken Yawgmoth's Will.

    -6: Your opponents reveal their hands. Until end of turn, you may spend black mana as though it were any color and play cards from your opponents' hands and graveyards.

    Fusing Celestial Dawn, Sen Triplets, and Yawgmoth's Will brought me to an exciting, albeit wordy, representation of a Pirate who truly knows how to plunder. Some elements of an ultimate tend to depend on the other functions to provide that gratifying sense of aelf-functioning synergy, but something of this nature is nice in that it doesn't force you to dedicate elements of the design to a discard or creature-kill function, while still working with either if that's the direction you choose.

  33. Wyeth, Blackboot 2BB
    +1: Creatures you control gain deathtouch and "Whenever this creature deals damage to a player, he or she discards a card" until EOT.
    -1: Reveal the top card of your library. Creatures opponents control get -X/-X until EOT where X is that card's CMC.
    -6: Draw a card for each creature card in target opponent's graveyard. He or she loses that much life.

    I like metaghost's ultimate, but it has to feel like what the previous abilities were leading up to. Perhaps:

    Wyeth, Blackboot 3BB
    +2: Each player loses 2 life and draws two cards.
    -X: Search your library for up to X Swamp cards and put them OTB tapped. Shuffle your library.
    -5: Your opponents reveal their hands. Until end of turn, you may spend black mana as though it were any color and play cards from your opponents' hands and graveyards.

  34. Davey Jones, Courier of the Dead 2BB
    +1: Return a creature card from a graveyard to the battlefield under your control with haste. Exile it at EOT or if it would die.
    0: Target player sacrifices a creature. You lose life equal to its toughness.
    -4: Creatures you control get +1/+0 and gain intimidate until EOT. Whenever a creature you control deals damage to a player this turn, he or she discards a card.

  35. Jay, I don't think you'd need to force anything and put a Swamp-search on Wyeth just because of the black mana clause. The idea is that it suggests a monocolor-ideal, much like Koth.

    That said:

    3 Loyalty
    +2: Each player loses 2 life and draws two cards.
    -2: Creatures you control gain intimidate and "Whenever this creature deals damage to a player, he or she discards a card" until EOT.
    -6: Your opponents reveal their hands. Until end of turn, you may spend black mana as though it were any color and play cards from your opponents' hands and graveyards.

    I think only a Pirate-PW would afford a designer the opportunity to concoct such an amusing seesaw of "draw some cards, now discard them" and have it make sense.

  36. I agree the swamp thing made no sense.

    I do wish the last ability was only one of opponent's hands or graveyards, so there's a more clear plan/goal/requirement. If it's hand, the first ability is good and the second is bad. If it's graveyard, the first ability is still okay thanks to the second ability.

    While intimidate makes sense, I prefer the doomed-if-you-do/doomed-if-you-don't aspect of the deathtouch + specter combination.

  37. +2: Each player loses 2 life and draws two cards.
    -2: Creatures you control gain /deathtouch/ and "Whenever this creature deals damage to a player, he or she discards a card" until EOT.
    -6: Until end of turn, you may play cards from your opponents' /graveyards/ and spend black mana as though it were mana of any color.


    +2: Each player loses 2 life and draws two cards.
    -3: Creatures you control gain /intimidate/ until EOT. At EOT, for each player dealt combat damage this turn, gain control of an artifact or land he or she controls.
    -5: Your opponents reveal their hands. Until end of turn, you may play cards from your opponents' /hands/.

  38. I like the gameplay of "Each player loses 2 life and draws two cards." But I don't see what it has to do with piracy.

  39. Havelock, I was interpreting it as an expression similar to "empty your wallets". The pirate can't touch what's in the library, as the library is something like a locked chest. So he forces you to open the chest (draw two), then finds a way to take what you've drawn.

    And Jay, there's actually a reason that I had it access both hand and graveyard, and that's so that the opponent can't find a way to avoid being taken advantage of, whether by preemptively casting dangerous spells (if it accesses the hand) or by simply holding onto those spells (if it accesses the graveyard). While that level of interaction may seem interesting, especially since PWs don't often have a level of interaction like that, it ultimately seems less fun to me than just letting Wyeth get his way.

  40. It's a shame we havn't seen the other planeswalkers from the M12 Duels of the Planeswalkers in card form. I would like to see a merfoke planeswalker *hint* *hint*

    Of course... we can't discredit the fact that we NEED simple mono-colored planeswalkers in our core sets for newbies to get introduced to. If we are seeking a new black planeswalker, why not something that's really mean and brutal like some sort of uber black knight?

    Here's a idea:

    Balastor, aspect of hate - 2BB

    4 loyalty

    +1 - Target Creature gets -2/-2. If that creature dies during this turn, put another loyalty counter on this card.
    -2 - Target Creature gets +5/-1 until end of turn.
    -12 - Destory all creatures target player controls. They can not regenerate.

    Also... wouldn't that pirate have some red in him? Pirates are rather chaotic people with little morals or quims. The Card 'Browbeat" comes to mind with a theme of pirates :p

  41. I quit playing at the end of Urza block, and only came back with Zendikar. Consequently, planeswalkers were completely new to me. Although I enjoy them on their power level, they just don't grab me the way they seem to attract much of the community.

    That said, I have to give a ringing endorsement to Wyeth 1.0 as shown in the article above, which hit the Johnny switch so hard I'd consider breaking down and preordering them if it was real, then sorting through madness and flashback cards to break him in half. Superb, I look forward to the day when these sort of mechanical interactions start making their way onto the *real* MtG planeswalkers!