General Alchemy

Wizards announced a new format today. It is digital only (Arena only) and it is called Alchemy.

Alchemy is a format that will evolve a bit faster than Standard but start out almost like Standard. It will use Standard legal cards + a few extra. The extra cards are tweaked versions of regular cards and some new ones.

Link 1
https://magic.wizards.com/en/articl...ing-alchemy-new-way-play-mtg-arena-2021-12-02

Link 2
https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-digital/mtg-arena-state-game-alchemy-2021-12-02
 
In before people start complaining about the influx of digital-only cards.

This one looks fun for paper though:
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These could also be cool (although they might be a little awkward for paper Cube play)
captaineberhart.jpg
sigardianevangel1.jpg
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patientzero.jpg
toralfsdisciple.jpg
 
Thumbs up for using the name ‘Patient Zero’ on this card. Good choice!

I think I want to proxy Toralf’s Disciple
 

Chris Taylor

Contributor
There's also rebalances of standard top dogs:
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This is legitimately interesting. One cat but crew two makes removing the car a lot more palatable.

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Same idea here, goldspan losing the psudo ward means you won't just get mana leaked off killing it before it gets an attack off

If I'm putting any of these updated versions in, I think at that point I go with new name/art to make sure people know it's different.
 
Damn, Suntail Squadron is awesome. Wow.
Also, why is this rainbow land digital only?
It's digital only because it was designed specifically to help reduce the variance between being on the play and being on the draw in Best of 1 games. There's nothing stopping this from being printed in paper in the future.
 
On the one hand, this feels pretty unnecessary.

On the other hand, some of the designs are neat. Sure, they're stealing a lot of stuff directly from Hearthstone (Sigardian Evangel has Hearthstone's Echo keyword, and the new Ishkanah effectively has Hearthstone's Discover ability), but it looks like they aren't going stupidly random with them. I rather like Toralf's Disciple and the rebalanced versions of Druid Class and Wizard Class.
 
Would be interesting if they experimented with adding life points to the person going second until WR was close to 50% for play first and draw first.

I think Alchemy might turn out to be a great thing for Arena, but I think I'll just pretend it doesn't exist for the purposes of paper cube.
 
In before people start complaining about the influx of digital-only cards.

I mean I do hate them, and they're super sloppy looking already, but there's some interesting ideas here.

FFts5eTXEAQ3jgC.jpg

I mean, you could make this into a paper-legal card pretty easily. You write it like this:

When ~ enters the battlefield, look at the top 6 cards of your library. If there are two or more creatures with mana value 3 or less among them, put one of them onto the battlefield. Put the remaining cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.

Basically, if two of the top six cards of your library are MV 3 or less creatures, you meet the requirements of the card (if there are twenty or more creature cards...), and it'll do fundamentally the same thing.

This would be a neat card. I think it plays and reads much cleaner, too. They work so hard to make these "feel" digital that they make already sloppy designs even worse. I'd honestly play with this if it read as I wrote it!

slayersbounty.jpg

Again, sloppy execution, but a super neat card. White's divination is so much more than that, lets you pay the price across two turns, and gives cool Clue synergy. The ETB effect is fine I guess, but again, feels like it's included just to justify it being digital-only.

There's a way to run this where you pick three of the middle power band cards from the spell book and template it like Garth One-Eye, or just make it "draw a card" and it's be fine and fun and I'd cube it for sure, but ah well.
 
You would need an insane amount of Lightning Bolts for that, considering that he shuffles in 4 (!) Bolts on every (!) attack! :') Really cool design tho
I think you could get away with using proxies for that, even if you aren't using them otherwise. Would anyone really blame you if you bought 40 or so Open Fires and just said that they were Lightning Bolts?

But yeah — Toralf's Disciple would be a fun card in a cube that otherwise was on the Lightning Strike plan.
 
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Again, sloppy execution, but a super neat card. White's divination is so much more than that, lets you pay the price across two turns, and gives cool Clue synergy. The ETB effect is fine I guess, but again, feels like it's included just to justify it being digital-only.

There's a way to run this where you pick three of the middle power band cards from the spell book and template it like Garth One-Eye, or just make it "draw a card" and it's be fine and fun and I'd cube it for sure, but ah well.
The only sloppy part of this is the draft mechanic, other than that it is pretty clean imho. I think the etb really fits the flavor (a wanted poster). I also don't think they added that effect to "justify" it being digital-only". These designs were all meant to be digital-only designs, what's there to justify? If anything this card is going overboard, because the spellbook is also impractical in an offline world. All in all this is a pretty solid white card advantage tool!

Edit: I think the main takeaway is that in my opinion we should stop viewing these as designs that the paper-only world got robbed off because they could have tweaked the designs to make them non digital-only. The whole point of these is that they are digital-only, which is just as valid an audience as the paper community. Also, nothing stops them from printing similar designs for paper play later on. Who knows, many Unglued designs also found their way into 'real' designs down the road as well!
 
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Chris Taylor

Contributor
I mean we view these as paper only players would because we want to cube with them. We're here to cube, and (AFAIK) there's what, one person here with an arena cube?

Even talking about them in terms of pure game design is helpful, in its own way.
 
Sure, they're stealing a lot of stuff directly from Hearthstone (Sigardian Evangel has Hearthstone's Echo keyword, and the new Ishkanah effectively has Hearthstone's Discover ability

I mean..sure..

When I played Hearthstone, I saw at least 50 cards that were also directly stolen from Magic. Or flavor texts or just mechanics.

I personally don’t mind it going both ways. As long as they only steal the good stuff.
 
My thought is more along the line of "wow, picking three cards randomly chosen from a specific curated list... that sure is a specific number!" more than any real value judgment.
 
My thought is more along the line of "wow, picking three cards randomly chosen from a specific curated list... that sure is a specific number!" more than any real value judgment.

Do we know the card pool of the ‘spellbook’ cards? I think those sound very, very interesting!
 
I don't share your opinion of the mechanic, sadly. I never felt like it was satisfying to use or play against.
 
If I wanted to include a card with the spellbook mechanic, I'd probably just pick three of the cards that cover the broadest range of effects and let folks pick one. I almost certainly won't do it, but that's how I'd mechanically handle it.

Today though, I saw TWO new cards I love, the first of which I absolutely want to find a way to include.

Meet OGLOR:
oglordevotedassistant.jpg

He's my favorite homunculus to date, what a cute little guy! And he does a much better flip!Jace impression than Jacob Hauken, Inspector, a type of 2-drop I'd really like more variations on. Even without the second effect here, I'd be keen to play him, and you could nearly use it as-printed because the memory issues will be just uncommon enough, but just powerful enough to build around and feel clever for.

clonecrafter.jpg

I love this effect for cube. It's basically a Hostage Taker for the next creature in their deck, which, yeah, a lot less powerful, but it's half the cost and half the colors. It's almost a 2 MV 1/2 with "ebt draw a creature" except since it's coming from your opponent's deck, it's less likely to jive with your game plan but that's ok. If I wanted to keep the function the same and make it cubeable in paper, I'd use the Hostage Taker exile text and determine the random creature by revealing cards from the top of your opponent's library until it hit a dude.
 
Today though, I saw TWO new cards I love, the first of which I absolutely want to find a way to include.
I might be missing something, but Oglor doesn't draw, so it's a really mediocre flip-Jace impression in my mind. It's borderline broken with Tortured Existence though. If you keep swapping the same two creatures, each {B} you spend will create progress more Zombie tokens! Clone Crafter isn't like Hostage Taker (or Telemin Performance) at all, because your opponent gets to keep the creature you conjure a copy of.
 
Discover is my favorite card game mechanic of all time.

Same

That or the ‘This Hearthstone card checks a hidden zone for you and gives you a bonus if a certain criteria is met and you don’t even have to look through your library or shuffle it afterwards.”

Like we see on these three examples:

4692DEDF-8B09-4B71-A102-DD654C2BB86B.jpeg AF3BAA7D-F8E3-4844-9574-6BEE574D694B.jpegC603F948-00CE-4C65-903C-93136EC5DABE.jpeg9EEBE650-58A3-4D16-8F50-088A257FCB59.jpeg
 
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