We're taking a two-week holiday break and will be back with new stuff on Monday, January 3, 2011. Until then, please enjoy our favorite Arcanas of 2010. This article originally ran June 15, 2010.
When you're actually playing, you probably just grab whatever tokens are handy—and for most people, that's fine. If you're a flavor goob, though, some part of you longs to root around for the right Eldrazi Spawn tokens for the lineage in question. In some cases it's obvious which lineage that is; in others, it's less obvious. Fortunately, between the card names, the art descriptions, and the Rise of the Eldrazi style guide, Magic Arcana can help!
The mighty Emrakul, the Aeons Torn gets the short end of the stick by a long shot, with only two cards that create tokens of its lineage: the obvious Emrakul's Hatcher, plus Nest Invader, which clearly shows the baleen-like fleshy lattice of the Emrakul, the Aeons Torn-lineage spawn. (As a consolation prize to the lineage, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn itself appears in art Gravitational Shift Time of Heroes Eldrazi Conscription Consume the Meek.)
The Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre lineage, with their fleshy tentacles and featureless, skull-like heads, appear not only on the eponymous Pawn of Ulamog and Spawnsire of Ulamog, but also on Brood Birthing and Growth Spasm. The spawn in the art of Awakening Zone also look a lot like Ulamog-lineage spawn—note the tentacles and featureless heads—although the art description doesn't specify.
The winner of the bunch is the Kozilek, Butcher of Truth lineage, whose spawn appear in the art of Kozilek's Predator, Dread Drone, Corpsehatch, Rapacious One, and Spawning Breath. Although the Kozilek-lineage Eldrazi Spawn token shows off the characteristic branching limbs and strangely placed eyes of its lineage, the spawn in the art of Essence Feed have the winglike obsidian structures that are also an identifying mark of the Kozilek lineage.
That leaves one more card that makes Eldrazi Spawn, which at first we weren't sure how to classify: Skittering Invasion. The art description doesn't specify the lineage, and the spawn in the art don't look like they belong to particular lineages at first glance. But then we took a closer look:
It's actually a mix of lineages, pouring out of the sea in a horrifying tide of multihued flesh. We count three Ulamog-lineage spawn (the one in the foreground on the left, plus the two on the shoreline), one Emrakul-lineage spawn (out in the water), and one Kozilek-lineage spawn (in the foreground on the right).
Here's a handy table:
|Card||Lineage and Number of Spawn|
|Brood Birthing||1 or 3|
|Pawn of Ulamog||1*|
|Spawnsire of Ulamog||2*|
* per trigger or activation
** per damage dealt
Now, the next time you reach for your Spawn tokens, you'll know which ones to grab!