Players Get a Taste of Urza's Destiny

Posted in Feature on June 8, 1999

By Alex Shvartsman

The three day-long Junior Super Series event in Florida wasn't just for the kids - older players had plenty to do at the Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex where the championship took place.

Artists were present on site to sign cards and chat with the fans - among them are popular D.Alexander Gregory (Cursed Scroll, Persecute) and Ron Spencer (Hammer of Bogardan, Yawgmoth's Will). Richard Garfield was present to talk with the fans and play a few games of "giant magic" with decks built out of promotional oversized cards. Demos for various WOTC games and a well-stocked retail booth were available.

The main attraction of the weekend for those not competing in JSS was certainly an Urza's Destiny pre-release ran by New Wave Conventions. Each player competing in the main event got a starter of Urza's Saga and three Urza's Destiny boosters. In addition, each person got a promotional copy of a False Prophet, a foil rare card from the new set.

For those who just could not get enough Destiny many side events were available. Most popular format was 8-man booster drafts ranging from the pro style Saga-Legacy-Destiny format to an extravagant all-Destiny seven pack draft. All winners received Destiny packs in prizes.

Most players strongly approve of the set and cannot wait to get their hands on more cards once it is released. The pre-release card itself did cause too much enthusiasm, but a wide range of other Destiny novelties appealed to competitors.

For players who enjoy combo decks, a Yawgmoth's Bargain is an enchantment that is even better than Necropotence if you do not mind a higher casting cost. Bargain has been hailed by many as the best card in the set. "This card is on top of R&D's watch list," comments Tournament Play manager Jeff Donais. "We want to give players a chance to use it," adds R&D member and the lead Destiny designer Mark Rosewater. "If this card proves too powerful we will do something about it."

Another very powerful card to come out of this set, and a personal favorite, is Theiving Magpie. Many players remember just how powerful Ophidian was in tournament decks. For only one additional mana this new version of Ophidian flies and even gets to deal damage to an opponent while gaining you card economy.

Keldon Champion is welcomed by some of the players who prefer beat-down decks as the replacement for Ball Lightning. At one additional mana it gets to deal at least three damage when it comes into play, and possibly three more if it isn't blocked or destroyed. Plus, you have an option of paying echo and keeping Keldon Champion in play.

These are just some of 143 new cards introduced in Urza's Destiny.This set's storyline continues the story of an epic struggle between planeswalker Urza and the invading Phyrexians. Collectors can look forward to more foil cards randomly inserted into the packs - an additional incentive that proved successful with Urza's Legacy.

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