Living the Dream

Posted in Arcana on December 24, 2009

By Wizards of the Coast

This article originally ran on October 13, 2009.

Hi there! This is Monty Ashley typing to you. Actually, since I write Magic Arcana, it's almost always me typing to you. But today's Arcana is in first person, because it involves something I did. When you see "I", therefore, remember that it's me. Monty.

Okay, on with the anecdote!

Living the Dream

Back in March,there was an enormous Zendikar playtest that took up the entire Pit. I Twittered about it here, because it turns out that when a bunch of people are playing magic two feet from you, it can be hard to get work done. The other thing that made it hard was that I was playing in the playtest myself.

In Game 2, I lived the dream. Turn one: Plains, Kor Duelist. Turn two: Forest, Adventuring Gear, Equip, Attack. My opponent chump-blocked and then didn't do anything on his turn. This turned out to be a crucial error, because my third turn went like this:

Kor Duelist
Adventuring Gear

Play Plains. Adventuring Gear triggers, turning my Kor Duelist into a 3/3 double-striker. Attack. When no blockers are declared, play Harrow, sacrificing a Plains and putting a Plains and a Forest into play. That triggers my Adventuring Gear twice, making the Duelist a 7/7. My opponent takes 14 damage. Go!

On the turn after that, I played Kor Cartographer to fetch a Plains. And then I played Harrow again. I won that game.

Now for the fun part, where I got to talk to the people that made the cards!

Kor Duelist

Kor Duelist art by Izzy

It happens sometimes and it feels pretty sweet when it does.
—Tom LaPille

Tom LaPille was on the team that made the Kor creatures, and I asked him if the was something they hoped would happen. "It was supposed to be a dream," he explains, "and you got to live it. We submitted it at 1W, and it got pushed to W so that could happen in Constructed." I can certainly report that a lot had to go right for me. My opponent probably shouldn't have chump-blocked on turn two. He was hoping to draw a third land that would allow him to do something, but instead he had to sit there while I exploded into action.

Tom's description of the impact in constructed sounds about right to me: "It happens sometimes and it feels pretty sweet when it does."

The playtest name for Kor Duelist was "Kor Dual-Wielder", which fit the double strike theme. Unfortunately, as Ken Nagle noted in the Multiverse comments, "A [Kor Dual-Wielder] would need to be equipped with at least two equipments to actually start dual-wielding. /technical."

Adventuring Gear

Adventuring Gear art by Howard Lyon

"Adventuring Gear was our first equipment," says Mark Rosewater.

They had already started with Landfall as a set mechanic when Brady Dommermuth came to them with the concept for the world. The creative team had dubbed it "Adventure World," and Brady wanted some equipment in the set to help reinforce the theme. So the design team happily obliged.

As Aaron Forsythe noted in the Multiverse comments, as far as "artifacts that give +2/+2" go, Adventuring Gear makes a lot more sense than Elven Lyre.

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