Zendikar Rising: First Impressions

Magic: The Gathering's new set: Zendikar Rising, has recently hit Magic: The Gathering Arena. Plagued with server instabilities and even suspected bugs, players have voiced their disappointment with it. But what about another's thoughts on it? Here are some first impressions about Zendikar Rising.

Zendikar Rising First Impressions

Zendikar Rising recently hit the servers of MTG Arena in the most unspectacular way. The moment the patch came in, a lot of people experienced disconnection when the developers said that it’s going to be a seamless transition. Well, of course, that didn’t happen. But let’s talk about the new mechanic I’m interested in, the party mechanic.

Grab your friends, it’s time to party

The party mechanic talks about… well, a party. But not the ones with loud music and destruction of properties. It talks about a band of adventurers. Of course, you already know that a party of adventurers can get a little rowdy and play loud music or destroy properties. Wait, I guess the definition didn’t change much at all.

Nine Lives

Nine Lives

Anyways, a party in Magic consists of four people. The Warrior, The Wizard, The Rogue, and of course, The Cleric. Textbook definition of a party, if you ask me. I won’t get into details of each card that contain this mechanic but it’s a mechanic that needs you to have creatures on the battlefield for each type to flourish. Here’s a short explanation of what the party mechanic is:

Your party consists of up to one each of four classes: Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizard. You control a full party if you control four creatures with all of these types among them. – MTG Wiki

If you want a much more in-depth explanation of the mechanic, check Party Mechanic from MTG Wiki.

Now, as a long time control player, I’m not a big fan of this mechanic. Sure, this will probably work as a midrange or aggro deck, but most of the cards in it just isn’t worth it. You’d need to have a great start for a deck that centers around this mechanic to really take off. Sure, I’d take this as a secondary effect but I will not make a deck that only revolves around this mechanic.

But who knows? Maybe I just haven’t figured it out yet. Lots of people are still figuring the set out as it has just hit the servers and they’re having trouble with this certain mechanic. Not a lot of players talk about it as well. You can say I’m not that impressed.

Buckle up, Rogue’s going dark

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Ah, yes. This one’s probably my favorite deck this set. The Dimir Rogues. These rogues are tricky; they combine mill and damage to wreak havoc into the opponent’s hearts. It’s very satisfying to see your opponent run out of options and just lose the game without being able to do anything. This deck takes advantage of Flash mechanics and the aforementioned mill mechanic to slowly but surely kill your opponent.

Of course, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies in this deck. First of all, it’s pretty slow. It can’t compete to Boros aggro as it’s the current epitome of aggressive deck type of the last standard rotation. Its creatures are also not that powerful, so don’t expect to trade. This makes the player think hard about their combat phase if they want to swing or not. Fun fact, I faced a rogue deck and beat them with the knight starter deck. That’s how bad it loses to it, or maybe their deck just sucks.

I’d say this deck is a tempo deck where it needs a great ramp for it to function. Huh, I guess it’s kind of the same as the Party mechanic decks.

Final Thoughts

Sword of Fire and Ice

Sword of Fire and Ice

There’s a lot of other things here that I didn’t discuss. Because if I did, this will turn into a thesis. So I’d quickly run them over here. The new Modal cards are great, they’re always welcome and really helpful because they’re literally two cards in one. Having more options is always better than none.

Moving on to Landfall, this has always been a great mechanic. Almost every round, you should have a land coming into play and the landfall mechanic takes advantage of that. It’s win-win; you put a land down, and an effect happens. A certain card that’s taking over the meta with a landfall mechanic has been Scute Swarm.

Effect of card: Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, create a 1/1 green Insect creature token. If you control six or more lands, create a token that’s a copy of Scute Swarm instead.

This has been a great addition to token decks for its potential to literally swarm (heh) the whole board to the point where there’s a lot of triggers and it can end in a draw. People may argue that this deck loses to board wipes but if they have a Simic variation of the deck, they might have counterspells around. Makes me want to build a control Scute Swarm deck…

The meta, well, no surprises as it’s only been a few days since its release, has been unchanged. There are a lot of people trying stuff out and I’m seeing quite a bit of Boros Equipment decks. I wasn’t actually expecting to have a lot of equipment come around this set but I forgot that this set has always been about treasure, so it’s no surprise to have some great equipment come around.

Zendikar Rising Official Trailer – Magic: The Gathering

If you want to stay on top of the meta, MTGA Zone has articles for you with decklists that you can study.

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