Deploy the Gatewatch

Posted in Card Preview on July 4, 2016

By Kenji Egashira

Better known as NumotTheNummy, Kenji is a lover of all things Magic. A "legendary streamer," you can almost always find him playing Magic Online over at his Twitch channel. When he's not playing Magic, Kenji enjoys long walks on the beach, romantic comedies, and devouring the hopes and dreams of the innocent.

Emrakul has wrought havoc upon the plane of Innistrad. Coaxed from the Blind Eternities by Nahiri, Emrakul seeks to consume and enslave everything in her path. What hope can there be against such malignant power?

Hello friends! Kenji Egashira, back again for another exciting preview card, this time for Eldritch Moon. Before you delve any further into my article, you might want to first check out the latest episode of Access Magic, found here, as there is a bit of overlap in our content. Now for the part you've been waiting for.

I present Deploy the Gatewatch.

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

The flavor text and art of this card are what stand out to me the most upon initial inspection. Liliana, a character who has never exactly been on the side of "good" since her days as a heretical healer, is now portrayed fighting alongside Gideon. The madness of Emrakul has brought together a most unusual Gatewatch, one that has put aside their selfish or individualistic tendencies to fight a power far greater than any one of them could handle alone. With Liliana "joining" the team, we have a Planeswalker of every color represented in the Gatewatch. That is awesome. As someone who did not expect any more characters to join the team, I am thrilled to see the story developing. As the chronicle continues to unfold, I hope you all follow it by staying up to date with the Magic Story to learn where that narrative is heading. Let's move along from the extreme flavor win of this card and take a look at it from a utility angle.

Deploy the Gatewatch is a tremendously powerful sorcery that I can easily imagine shaking up the 60-card world. The last card we saw with comparable applications was Collected Company, and it similarly feels like a weird Summoning Trap of sorts. Both of those cards saw Constructed play, and Collected Company is still one of the premier instants in today's Standard—and even Modern—formats. While Deploy the Gatewatch is not an instant like the other two cards I mentioned, it has the unique distinction of putting onto the battlefield what is arguably the most powerful type of card in Magic: planeswalkers. Fortunately for us, we have a bevy of planeswalkers at our disposal. When Eldritch Moon finally releases, you can expect a number of cards to find their way into tournament play—and probably a kitchen table or two around the world as well. I've brewed up a deck using Deploy the Gatewatch, one that is flavorful from a story standpoint while also riffing on a competitive strategy seen in Standard at the moment. Let's take a look at the list:

Kenji's Deploy the Gatewatch

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This deck has a bit of everything for everyone. I've opted to include the majority of the Gatewatch plus Nahiri, the Harbinger, as well as throwing in Emrakul, the Promised End for good measure. Nahiri lets you discard any extra cards you draw multiples of, and that in turn feeds Emrakul, who you're able to cast for a discounted rate or sneak out with Nahiri, should you be able to ultimate her. This deck also has a token subtheme, which will abuse Gideon and Nissa's abilities to pump your team in order to overwhelm the opponent. I have opted to only run two Deploy the Gatewatches, however. While the aforementioned Collected Company is a card you most certainly want four of in your decks, I imagine Deploy the Gatewatch being used in lesser quantities in competitive decks. Oftentimes you'll not want to cast it because you've already assembled the correct number of "superfriends" (planeswalkers), and you don't want to be stuck with a bunch of six-mana sorceries in hand. It will most likely serve as a tool to help deploy some of your more back-breaking threats.

Naturally, as we continue to get more and more previews from Eldritch Moon, we will get a better grasp of what other cards might make their way into Constructed homes. This is simply my take on what we could potentially see as a solid archetype in the Standard environment when the new set arrives.

The real question is, what will you do with this card when you are able to play with it? Are there enough fun and competitive planeswalkers to make you want to play Deploy the Gatewatch? Is this type of effect powerful enough to see play in other formats? All I know is that these types of effects have often been some of the cards to completely define and warp formats. Six mana is a lot, but with the potential that this card has and with the number of planeswalkers that currently exist in Standard, don't be surprised if this card starts doing work.

That's all for me today, folks! I hope you've enjoyed this preview of Deploy the Gatewatch, and I hope my deck has given you an idea as to what you might do with this card. New cards and sets are always extremely exciting, and being able to build a bit of the storyline into some of your decks can be rewarding and fun. If you have any ideas or thoughts about Deploy the Gatewatch, I'd love to hear them. You can find me streaming over at twitch.tv/numotthenummy, or message me on twitter @numotthenummy. Until next time, may you draw the best ratio of lands to spells.

—Kenji

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