Magic Matt’s Menagerie – Week 10

Well met my fellow Planeswalkers. The time has come for another edition of Magic Matt’s Menagerie. I hope everyone had a great Masters 25 weekend. I hope you all took some great memories with you from the weekend and remembered some old ones. Let me know how you all enjoyed Masters 25 this past weekend in the comments below.  Without further ado lets get into this weeks Menagerie.

A loud crack, sparks and sizzle. Your feet come to rest on a soft bed of what seems to be brown and green moss. As a traveler of the Multiverse you are used to the hard “landings”. At least this time you didn’t planeswalk into a  swamp. Instantly you recognize the wall of greens and browns all around you. Mottled shadows dance on your face and the ground as the leaves and branches sway in the gentle breeze. A forest, no matter what plane you visit forests are always somehow there. You take a few steps forward, crunching the semi dried moss as you walk forward.  You lower yourself to the ground and lay your palm on the moss. The surge of green mana is overwhelming, clawing at you as you delve for something else. It is powerful and untamed. Pushing it aside you keep searching. It takes a bit but you find that familiar feeling. The pulse of blue mana deep underground feeding the life above. Giving life and wisdom to this forest. Usually the library is where you feel comfortable but now that you have your bearings, this forest isn’t so unfamiliar. You stand up after re energizing from the blue mana. You close your eyes and breath in deeply. The air has a chill to it. You can now feel the moisture in the air. As you get more comfortable with this place you realize how amazing the peace and quiet is. Peace and quiet like the Esper Libraries on New Alara.  Quiet….You don’t spend a lot of time in the forest but you remember usually forests have an abundance of life. Shouldn’t there be creatures chirping and chattering in the trees?  You don’t have enough time to feel panicked as you are swiftly knocked to the ground.  You slide on the ground, dirt and foliage bunching up behind you until your knock back is halted by a crunch. You smashed into a trunk of a tree. Your eyes dart around rapidly but there is nothing there. You brace yourself against the tree as you stand up but your arm is not moving the way you want it to. A metallic smell wafts up from your arm and a ribbon of crimson drips off your fingers. Your chainmail saved your arm from being severed but you are now the proud owner of a large deep red gash.

Suddenly you view something that looks liked a “few patches of distorted light”….where have you heard that before? The light shifts and a massive paw moves slowly revealing two yellow feline like eyes. The head emerges and you notice two massive tusks protruding from a drooling maw full of long, glistening teeth. The creature fully emerges from the shrubbery. It looks like a much vicious version of a Leotau like you’ve seen on New Alara. You know how to handle Leotau. You draw in the blue mana from the air and the ground around you. It takes a little more effort but you manage to get enough for a cheap costed spell. “Unsummon should do the trick here” you think to yourself. The creature senses your up to something and lowers its body to the ground. It leaps with amazing agility and power. Your spell surges to the tip of your fingers.  You outstretch your hand and with a flash of blue light you release the spell. “Bye bye kitty” you smirk. The spell shoots forward and hits its target. Except it DIDN’T hit its target. For some reason the blue energy of Unsummon deflects around this beast like the creature has some sort of invisible force field around it. Time now slows. For some reason you can think of a million spells to handle this creature but you can’t seem to muster the energy to cast one. The creature keeps moving forward in the air. Its jaws opening wider and wider. You can’t understand why the Unsummon didn’t work.  Why? Why didn’t this creature get sent to the far corners of the plane? The final moments are quick for you fortunately. You found yourself at the mercy of a Primal Huntbeast. As your world turns to black you remember a mage mentioning something about spell resistant green creatures when they came back from a research expedition. Too late to do some research now.

Creatures, one of the most solid ways to damage your opponent in magic. Creatures are in every color, finding the vast majority of creatures in green and white. Creatures are a fundamental strategy in the game and almost every strategy in the game uses creatures for something.  A creature card is recognized by the type line “creature” in the middle of the card and the Power/Toughness numbers in the bottom right corner. It’s power number is how much damage it can do in combat and its toughness number is how much damage it can take before it dies.  Like in real life, creatures come in all shapes and sizes, species and power levels. In magic’s early days, spells were generically better than creatures. The best creatures were highly costed and would usually never make it to a board due to a well timed counterspell. As the game grew and changed, so did the creatures of magic. In a flavor win magic began designing creatures with the ability “Hexproof” and “Uncounterable” in order to bring some balance among card types in the game. Like in real life, creatures evolved and adapted to combat their weakness. Creature cards have never been more powerful. Most creature types are associated with particular colors. For example, Dragons and Goblins are usually red. Elves and Spiders are usually green, Drakes and Merfolk are usually blue, Angels and Dwarves are usually white and Zombies and Demons are usually black.  There are however a staggering amount of creature types in the game. As of Ixalan block the total amount of creature types comes to 238. The creature type “Dinosaur” being a notable addition with Ixalan.  In helping the game’s story R&D adopted a race/class model.  Adopting this from Dungeons and Dragons to help keep creature types less confusing and easier to handle when looking at flavor, abilities and power level. It also adds another creature type to the type line for awesome new strategies with existing decks.

Many players like to use creature based decks over spell oriented ones. Creature based decks tend to be very interactive as they keep playing threats your opponents have to answer. Creatures keep a steady amount of pressure on your opponent while control and combo based decks usually try to stall the game until their win conditions are found. There have been a variety of creature decks with immense power over the years. In modern, Elves, Humans, Goblins and Spirits have been extremely fun and powerful decks. Even certain land cards (like Cavern of Souls for instance) have given powerful tools to creature based decks. Decks like Bogles and infect both revolve around one small creature with an evasion ability ( hexproof, Unblockable etc.) getting powered up to create some massive one shot attacks. Magic sets are designed more and more around individual creature types. Called “Tribes” by magic players, tribal decks sport all sorts of synergy with each other where mixed creature decks may not. More and more creature types are getting new cards with every set. This gives magic another layer of depth and fun. With all the creature types in magic what are your favorites? Do you have a favorite creature? Anyone want to take a guess at my favorite creature type? Let me know in the comments below!

I love seeing new creature cards with every new magic set. The power of creatures will surely lead you to victories! Choose your favorites, choose the most powerful ones, whatever it may be, creatures will always be a fundamental part of Magic the Gathering. Creatures will always be fun to play, so always remember to have fun.

Thanks for reading this week everyone, here is this weeks MTG schedule:

Monday- Monday Modern. $8 entry fee with fantastic prizing. 6 pm

Tuesday- Standard Showdown. $8 entry fee with fantastic prizing. 6 pm

Thursday -Casual Commander, 6 pm FREE. Come test those decks in preparation for commander league on saturday!

Friday – Proxy Legacy, ten cents a proxy is the entry fee. commander and draft are also on the menu. Draft will most likely be Masters 25. All FNM events will kick off at 6 pm.

 

Until next time, remember you can’t counter Thrun, the Last Troll. You also can’t target him with spells or abilities.You can be his friend though. He makes one heck of a latte. Come on, the guy is the last troll. Give him a break.

 

-Matt

 

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