As we showed off yesterday, Tempest Remastered is a whole new twist on an old, old set. It looks and feels more like a modern draft environment than what Tempest, Stronghold, and Exodus, could have hoped to be at the time. By remixing and reshuffling the set, R&D has crafted a really fun experience.
Before you start drafting the Tempest that could have been, I thought we'd take a peek back and show you what Tempest could have been back then, and that means we need to take a trip to Multiverse! Comments were a bit scant back in the day, but some of them are definitely worth noting with the benefit of hindsight.
Many of the more broken cards have been covered by Latest Development's awesome Skeletons in R&D's Closet series, so we'll stick to some less broken, but just as entertaining alternatives.
All of the names have been changed to protect the guilty, if there were names at all.
LOTUS VALE PROBLEM
Get used to this comment. You see, Lotus Vale went through several templates back in the day. The first iteration triggered the sacrifice off entering play because, at the time, you couldn't use abilities of cards that had enters the battlefield triggers until those triggers resolved. When that rule went away, Lotus Vale effectively would have become a Black Lotus that costs you your land drop. Since that was never the intention, Lotus Vale went through about 50 different wordings, leading to problems with cards that put lands directly into play. This included Burgeoning and, as you'll see, several others.
Changed from 4/4 to 4/5.
And thus, the summer of the Jackalope Herd was spawned.
To be fair, Erhnam Djinn was the pinnacle of green creatures at the time, so a 4/5 for 3G sort of looked like a big deal, even if it never did, you know, anything.
LOTUS VALE PROBLEM
Changed from 1BB, Sorcery, and:
Pay X life: Draw X cards during your next discard phase.
Black speed deck with this card seemed better than Necrodeck. SOMEONE disagreed at first but then agreed the next day.
Cost changed from 2BB to 3BB.
Just so you don't think we're making fun of R&D from back in the day, notice that they caught what would have been a horribly broken card and turned it into a card that saw some minor amount of tournament play. That's the bread and butter of what they do, and while we remember their mistakes, there are far more cards like Necrologia that were saved from being the next Necropotence.
Can you imagine what things would have been like with a one-shot Necropotence in the world?
Oath of Ghouls
This should have been costed at 2B, but over my dead body, it has been left at 1B. We will get sick of seeing this card.
This did indeed see some Constructed play, but no one really got tired of it. The reason was that its brother, Oath of Druids, outshone it at every turn.
Too similar to Strands of Night?
Well, sure, too similar if you consider that one is a casual card at best and the other won the World Championships, is one of the best Cube cards, and is banned in Commander. Can you guess which is which?
LOTUS VALE PROBLEM
Unseen next comment: "Um, guys? Maybe it's time we changed Lotus Vale. At this point, I'm just copying and pasting this into every card that says 'Land' somewhere on it."
Changed from 1R to 2R.
Power card (Tier 2).
Changed from 2R and discard a Mountain to RRR and discard a land
This was kind of a cool change. A world where Seismic Assault cost 1R or 2R and only discarded Mountains would be an interesting one, and the card would be playable, but it would be very different.
Is this more in the flavor of blue than white?
Maybe. Is there a costing issue here? Compare Thirst (which is over-costed, but are we overcompensating?). Also, Serra Bestiary.
After playing this a while, I think it is too good, at least in Sealed.
Cost increased from 1W to 2W.
R&D has mostly moved to, yes, blue being the color of keeping things tapped down by Auras.
Also, for those who never played with it, Shackles is definitely very good in Limited.
Sphere of Resistance
I think this should cost 1 or 2.
Issue at next meeting.
Cost reduced to 2. Test list.
Workshop players everywhere, rejoice! This could have cost 3! Of course, it also could have cost 1.
Changed from 1W, 1/1 to 1WW, 2/2.
Tested a deck with a four of these guys, along with eight 1/1 flyers for 1W (good and evil varieties, like I did with Llanowar Sentinel) and eight 1/1 walkers for W. The deck was pretty good, losing only once in 6-7 games against the RW touchstone.
I think the best comparison for the power level of this effect is the Blinking Spirit ability. This one is better in some situations (blocking, sacrificing) but only usable three times (and only if you have four of it in your deck), unlike Blinky, which is usable indefinitely.
Reduced back to 1/1 for 1W.
Finally, we have the precursor to Squadron Hawk. They didn't quite get all the nobs and buttons right, but, as Squadron Hawk would show years later, they really were on to something. But it just goes to show how slight changes can move a card from virtually unplayable to tournament powerhouse. In this case, quite some time later, Squadron Hawk let you get all of its friends immediately rather than one at a time upon death, and a powerhouse was born.