Magic Origins Preview: Playtest Cards Unearthed

Posted on Monday, June 22nd, 2015 LSK
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Posted in mtg, preview

Hey! It’s the gang from Good Gamery. We didn’t get a week of preview cards to run this time around, so we used our time off to take a road trip from the Good Gamery offices to Wizards of the Coast headquarters and see if we could persuade Mark Rosewater to give us some Magic Origins cards to show off.

Unfortunately, we ran out of gas right behind the building, so we had to dig through the dumpster instead. At first, we thought there wasn’t anything worthwhile – our search revealed a pile of carwash punch cards, a bag of razor blades, and a box simply labeled “Fuel”. We started a fire and threw the junk in so we didn’t have to put it all back. Underneath everything else, we found a binder. Lo and behold! Playtest cards! The holy grail! We didn’t actually find the holy grail, it’s a metaphor.

Here’s what we found:


Wow! That’s an effect that’s probably playable in Limited! It’s the powerful “Incite” effect stapled to a very solid 3/2 body for a measly 4 mana. Just imagine this scenario: You have a really big creature, like maybe a 6/6 or even bigger. You’re ready to start crushing your opponent’s face, you push the creature forward and start to tap it, but then you read your card again. It’s got defender! Your opponent rolls her eyes, as if to say, “Didn’t you read that when you put it in your deck?”, and then your opponent says the same thing using words. It feels a bit more condescending when your opponent says it with words.

So you sit back and figure, maybe she’ll attack into it or something. But your opponent is smarter than you expected, and just builds a board presence while you grind your teeth. Several turns later, as you’re running out of teeth, you draw a Goblin Provocateur! One by one, you target your opponent’s creatures, and they’re forced to attack into your big defender. Gradually, you clear your opponent’s side of the board, and prepare to start attacking with your goblin. Then, your opponent plays a big creature with flying and haste and you’re dead, but it’s the thought that counts.

That’s just half of the effect, though! Let’s say you have a Possessed Barbarian. Of course, that card’s absolutely useless unless your opponent has red creatures. And the odds of that are slim. Enter Goblin Provocateur! First off, it’s a red creature, so that’s one target already. But it can make any creature red, and that lets you kill any creature!

I mentioned Incite above, and you’ll be glad to hear that it’s back:


The effect is the perfect marriage of mechanics and flavor – forcing an opposing creature to attack is an interesting tactical decision that can completely shift the flow of a game, and turning the creature red tells a story about how angry the creature becomes!

Of course, the “red attacks each turn if able” theme isn’t restricted to just your opponent’s creatures – if you’re building a deck, you can put in some cards from older sets to join in on the fun. If you just want to force your opponent’s creatures to attack, you can put Alluring Siren or Rage Mage into your deck. If you want to turn your opponent’s creatures red, Crimson Wisps is perfect for the role. But what if you want your creatures to be red and attack each turn if able?

We all remember when Liliana planeswalked to Innistrad for the first time. What did she see there? Vampires! Magic’s vampires are red – the color of blood – and they attack each turn if able, just like the vampires of legend. Bloodcrazed Neonate is a great card to add to your deck, just as one example. It’s not in Magic Origins, but it fits the theme perfectly – it’s a neonate, which means it’s new!

And just in case you get a Goblin Provocateur but your opponent doesn’t have any creatures, check this card out. It’s a great example of how a simple mechanic can be turned into a cohesive archetype:


I hope you enjoyed this look inside the Good Gamery dumpster. Until next time, may your trash be treasure!