(Editor's Note: Blood Artist has been added to this list for a minor quality-of-life change.)
Coming Thursday, April 7, we're adjusting several cards to better support decks focused around Warrior and Elf creatures, as well as other card changes to support deck diversity. Here are the card changes you can look forward to with the MTG Arena update next week.
Decks built around the Warrior and Equipment theme introduced in Zendikar Rising are especially susceptible to removal, and the equip costs are often too expensive to recover from the Warriors being removed. Most of the changes for the Warrior-Equipment deck aim to make the cards less taxing on mana and more inherently resilient to removal.
Gains "Equip abilities you activate cost 1 less to activate."
Arms Scavenger suffered from its spellbook being too difficult to cast in the early game. Having it reduce equip costs will make the spellbook cards more appealing to cast and give the card utility in the early game when mana is too constrained to cast the spellbook cards.
Gains ward – Pay 2 life
Gains ward 1
We added ward abilities to these two cards to give Warrior-Equipment decks more options to mitigate the inherent risk of building around Equipment.
5/4 (from 5/3), second ability now works with reconfigure:
- 0: Attach target Equipment you control to target creature you control. Activate only as a sorcery and only once each turn.
We reworded Bruenor Battlehammer's ability to work with reconfigure, as Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Equipment creatures are a strong addition to the Warrior-Equipment deck. We also felt the card could use extra resiliency as a four-mana build-around.
Now triggers off Humans and Warriors
Since most Warriors in Alchemy are not Humans, we added Warrior as a type that can trigger Expedition Supplier's ability to give the Warrior-Equipment deck more tools to generate Equipment.
Goma Fada Vanguard
Now counts Warriors and Equipment
We are looking to have Goma Fada Vanguard scale better into the later stages of the game since later turns are often spent casting Equipment rather than more Warriors.
Combined +1/+1 and trample abilities:
1: Choose one that hasn't been chosen this turn:
- Target Warrior gets +1/+1 and gains trample until end of turn.
- Target creature becomes a Coward until end of turn
To improve the general mana efficiency of the Warrior-Equipment deck, we combined two of Kargan Intimidator's abilities to have it compete less with equip abilities.
Gains ward 1, gives other Warriors ward 1
Since Warriors have a focus on Equipment and are less about playing as many Warriors as possible, we added a ward ability to this card to have it work better with the Equipment portion of a Warrior-Equipment deck.
Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients
-2 now grabs a Warrior and Equipment, -3 now counts Warriors and Equipment:
- +1: Create a 1/1 white Kor Warrior creature token. You may attach an Equipment you control to it.
- −2: Look at the top six cards of your library. You may reveal a Warrior and Equipment card from among them and put them into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
- −3: Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients deals damage to target creature or planeswalker equal to twice the number of Warriors and Equipment you control.
Since the deck-building cost of playing Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients is high, we felt the card advantage should be stronger than a generic four-mana planeswalker and the removal ability should scale better and be more consistent.
Costs 1W (from 2W)
We are aiming to give more Equipment options to decks building around them. Reducing this card's mana value will give it a better chance of having immediate impact by enabling it to be cast and equipped in the same turn more consistently.
Decks built around Kaldheim's Elf archetype lack options to experiment with different configurations, and most of the strength is concentrated in a few cards. The changes for the Elf deck are aimed at giving the deck more options and flexibility and make the payoff more competitive in Constructed.
Starting loyalty is now 4 (up from 3), +1 puts two +1/+1 counters on up to one Elf (up from one +1/+1 counter), -6 becomes -7:
Elves you control have "Tap: Add black mana."
- +1: Put two +1/+1 counters on up to one target Elf. Untap it. It gains deathtouch until end of turn.
- 0: Create a 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature token.
- −7: You get an emblem with "Whenever you cast an Elf spell, it gains haste until end of turn and you draw two cards."
Most of Tyvar's strength is in repeatedly using the second ability. We buffed the first ability to be more competitive with the second ability. Since the Elf tokens are easy to attack through, we also made Tyvar more naturally resilient.
Harald Unites the Elves
Chapter 1 now mills five cards (up from three)
Since Harald Unites the Elves requires a large board and a filled graveyard to use each chapter effectively, we raised the floor of the card by creating a more consistent first chapter that is less reliant on having a filled graveyard beforehand.
Costs 1B (from 2B), can now return Tyvar Kell from graveyard to hand, must exile itself to return a card:
- When Elderfang Ritualist dies, you may exile it. If you do, return another target Elf or Tyvar card from your graveyard to your hand.
We cut a mana from this card to make it a consideration for Constructed, and we allowed it to return Tyvar Kell from the graveyard to line up with Harald Unites the Elves and Harald, King of Skemfar. Since this card is now at a more competitive rate, we made it exile itself to prevent two copies from repetitively returning each other to hand.
- Whenever another Elf or Berserker you control dies, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
Many of the Elf-tribal cards, particularly rebalanced ones, create tokens, so we removed the nontoken restriction to have this card work with the full suite of options available to the Elf deck.
Is 3/4 (from 3/3)
We gave this card a 4 toughness to give it a role as a more resilient option since most Elves have lower power/toughness and are susceptible to small sweepers and toughness-based removal spells.
Harald, King of Skemfar
Now looks at seven cards (from five):
- When Harald, King of Skemfar enters the battlefield, look at the top seven cards of your library. You may reveal an Elf, Warrior, or Tyvar card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
Since the deck-building cost of Harald and other Elf cards is so high, we increased the number of cards Harald looks at to better reward that deck-building challenge and give more consistency to decks that opt to support their Elf creatures with more enchantments, artifacts, instants, and sorceries.
Return Upon the Tide
Now creates three 1/1 Elves (up from two):
- Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. If it's an Elf, create three 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature tokens.
Elves are often not worth reanimating, and the Elf deck has trouble finding room for non-Elf cards, so we increased the reward for reanimating Elves to make this a more appealing option for the deck.
Costs 3B (from 4B)
We cut a mana from this card to make it more competitive with cards like Gelatinous Cube and other interactive creatures. We also felt this card should have a higher ceiling than similar options to account for the deck-building cost.
Costs 2G (from 3G), now 2/2 (from 3/2)
We cut a mana from this card to make it a competitive consideration for Constructed and introduce a consistent way to make two Elves with a single card for the Elf deck.
You may pay 1 (from 2):
- When Elven Bow enters the battlefield, you may pay 1. If you do, create a 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature token, then attach Elven Bow to it.
We effectively created a two-mana Elf by cutting a mana from the token-creation ability. This gives the Elf deck a consistent 3-toughness defensive option that it was lacking before.
Ability costs 1BBG (from 2BBG)
- 1BBG: Sacrifice Skemfar Elderhall: Up to one target creature you don't control gets -2/-2 until end of turn. Create two 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature tokens. Activate only as a sorcery.
There are a lot of utility land options in Alchemy right now, so we cut a mana from the activation to make this more competitive with the other options and encourage more interaction in the Elf deck.
Shessra, Death's Whisper
Costs 1BG (from 2BG), now 1/4 (from 1/3)
Cutting a mana from Shessra, Death's Whisper will make it a Constructed consideration for both Elf and sacrifice decks, and adding a toughness will provide another resilient creature for the Elf deck.
Is 0/3 (from 0/2), now gives a creature base power 3 (from 2)
We made Symmetry Sage more threatening and resilient to give blue aggressive decks more options in Constructed.
Second ability costs 2 to activate (from 3) and requires removing two counters (from three):
- Pay 2, tap: Remove two counters from Spell Satchel: Draw a card.
We're making Spell Satchel's second ability easier to use to have it scale better into the late game and give control decks more options.
Removed "Enters the battlefield tapped"
Since building around the party mechanic is open ended, we want to see what buffing Base Camp does to the deck before looking into rebalancing more cards around the mechanic.
Changed "target player" to "target opponent"
This is a quality-of-life improvement, making it so players don't have to select a target each time Blood Artist triggers.