August 23, 2016

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Musings of the Madman: Conspiracy 2 Mechanics and All-Stars

Welcome back all! Conspiracy: Take the Crown drafts are within our reach, and I’m looking forward to diving into this weird and deep format within a week or so. That said, our column is Commander-focused so let’s take a look at the set’s mechanics and how they might impact us. We’ll also be looking at some of the better reprints and new cards offered, while next week will examine legendary contributions.

Council’s Dilemma

capital punishment

Those of you used to voting and having an “either or” result will be disappointed this time around. Will of the Council has been replaced by the Council’s Dilemma, which gives the card’s player all the options. For example, the aptly named Expropriate acts as a combination of (multiple?) Time Warps and Blatant Thievery options. Remember though that the caster will always get what they want, so this might just end up reading 7UU, Sorcery, “Start a new game.”

Melee

deputized protester

Melee gives affected cards a +1/+1 bonus until end of turn for each other player you attacked during your combat step. Sadly, this might not translate that well to Commander as one player gets focused depending on how far ahead he gets, and the rewards on melee cards aren’t that great to begin with. It should be more than fine in Conspiracy: Take the Crown drafts though.

Goad

jeering Homunculus

Goad is likely my favourite new keyword in this set. Simply put, a creature goads another into attacking…someone other than you. Picture it as the small elderly gentlemen in that Simpsons episode that’s heckling Montgomery Burns, but no one ever clues in. The benefits here are obvious as there’s always that one creature at your table that just sits there, accumulating advantage for its owner while frustrating the rest of the table. Goading that creature forces it into the combat step where it can die or have numerous other unpleasantries bestowed upon it.

The Monarch

the monarch

Previously, Dethrone enabled combat toward the highest life total, granting +1/+1 counters to the affected creature. Gone is that mechanic, replaced by the simply and aptly named Monarch. A player becomes the Monarch by playing certain creatures, or by dealing combat damage to the current monarch. Monarchy’s benefits are nice, giving you an extra card draw before the end of your turn. If a monarch player leaves the game, the monarchy bestows itself on the current non-monarch player, or to the next one in turn order. There’s a lot of card draw in Commander, but hiding behind a bunch of Fog effects while you slowly grind cards may just be up some players’ alleys. You know what they say…knowledge is power so seize that knowledge and make yourself great!

Hey now, you’re an (usurper) all-star!

These two cards have been making Legacy and Commander players drool, the former for its resemblance to Imperial Recruiter, and the latter for its ability to lock down huge swaths of the game.

recruiter of the guard

They search off toughness (two or less) instead of power, which eliminates her from fetching Painter’s Servant in Legacy. The plus side? They’ll get virtually anything you’ll need in a Death or Taxes deck, and eliminates the need to run Plateaus and recruiters to fuel tutors. Expect this one to be a chase rare.

sanctum prelate

Another in a long list of “hate bears”, this one doesn’t feel you should cast your one-mana burn spells, or your six-mana Terminus, or anything the defensive player might dislike. Remember though that creatures still get through, leaving your opponents an out.

That’s it for now. Take the Crown drafts start quite soon, so don’t go…

berserk

…if you can’t get into the first one. They’ll be launching to demand, I imagine, for some time. Until next week, may you win your four-person pods.