Innistrad Preview Week, Day 3

Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 by Fake Mark Rosewater
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Posted in Innistrad, mtg

by Fake Mark Rosewater

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Welcome back once more to Innistrad preview week! As promised, today we have the full versions of both of the cards that were previewed on Monday. I would like to first introduce you all to Tombstone Curse.

What would you like on your Tombstone Curse?

One of the most common card variants we see here at R&D have what are known as “Pepperoni or Sausage” mechanics. These are, quite plainly, mechanics where you get to choose between one of two bonuses when you cast a spell. Some people simply enjoy one of the bonuses more than the other, so they don’t get much out of making the decision, but many people are easily swayed into picking Sausage over Pepperoni if the situation calls for it.

The part of Tombstone Curse that we are most proud of is how the Slowtrip mechanic plays into the “Pepperoni or Sausage” decision. Before we had come up with the mechanic, this card was a normal cantrip – but like its namesake, people were tripping over the second option in the ability! During playtesting it was fairly common for someone to raise dead, and then be forced to discard a card at the end of their turn due to the unexpected “bonus” of increasing the number of cards in your hand.

Slowtrip elegantly works around this by giving you extra the card at the start of your next turn, after your mana is refreshed and you can actually do something with what you have in your hand.

Weathering the Spellstorm

It’s a longstanding fact that people hate playing against control decks, but it’s much lesser known that people also hate playing as the control deck. The primary reason for this is because to play it well, you have to bide your time, keeping your mana and spells open to deal with anything your opponent might try. This is made doubly hard by cheap, aggressive creatures that red and white mages like to cast to put pressure on – any stumbling over your draws or mana, and you’ll find yourself locked down outside of the house during the proverbial storm of cats and goblins.

What better way is there to prepare for the bad weather than to put up an umbrella? Spellstorm does just this, and it does it right when you want it: At the end of your opponent’s turn. This opens up your strategy to allow 6-drops again. That’s right, this card is actually an enabler for Sea Serpents, the premier fair-weather friends of blue wizards everywhere.

The Perfect Grave Storm

That wraps it up for today, and I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the thought process of R&D here at Wizards of the Coast.

Join us again tomorrow to see what else is lurking inside this amazing new plane!