September 12, 2016

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Daily Dose of Kaladesh – Chandra and Nissa together again!

Welcome to the second week of awesome previews and analysis of Kaladesh. We have seen a full week of new and exciting cards and Wizards did not disappoint. In Kaladesh, we are transported to Chandra’s home plane as first seen in Magic Origins, but don’t worry the rest of the gatewatch is not far behind. In Magic Origins, the continuing story of the five main Planeswalkers of Gideon, Jace, Liliana, Chandra, and Nissa began. We have seen them Battle in Zendikar as part of the gatewatch and now they are together again on the plane of Kaladesh. They are so prominent, I’m pretty sure I’m seeing double! That’s right folks, thanks to the brand new Planeswalker decks we get two new versions of both Chandra and Nissa as Planeswalkers. Let’s first look at the two Planeswalkers that you can exclusively get in the new Planeswalker decks for Kaladesh.

nissa-natures-artisan-kaladesh-spoiler Chandra Pyrogenius

That’s right, these and six other unique Standard legal cards will be available in two separate planeswalker decks that you can first pick up at your local prerelease event on September 24th and 25th.

Let’s start with Chandra, Pyrogenius. This version of Chandra is close to ones we’ve seen before like Chandra, the Firebrand and Chandra Nalaar, but still it is one that is going to be hard to kill if it hits the battlefield. If there isn’t a creature you need to kill off to protect it, you can have it start with seven loyalty and two damage to your opponent’s face. It does have a nice ultimate and protect itself, but ultimately might cost too much mana to see much play.

Nissa, Nature’s Artisan is also expensive at six mana, but it’s got some interesting abilities. If you are playing against an aggressive deck, casting Nissa, Nature’s Artisan and using her plus ability to gain 3 life each turn will be hard for your opponent to deal with. Nissa, Nature’s Artisan will be at eight loyalty after just one turn and aggressive decks will have a tough choice of taking down an eight loyalty planeswalker or trying to outrace three life gain per turn.

If one Nissa isn’t enough for you in Kaladesh, don’t worry, there is another one. Here is the card that is also the art on the Kaladesh Gameday Champion Playmat, here is Nissa, Vital Force.

Nissa, Vital Force

Nissa, Vital Force is going to be a Standard staple for months to come, let’s break down all of her abilities.

+1: “Untap target land you control. Until your next turn, it becomes a 5/5 Elemental creature with haste. It’s still a land.”

This ability works on a lot of different levels. First, it basically makes the cost of this planeswalker four mana if you want it to be later in the game. In future turns, it can be used as ramp to get an extra mana to cast a larger spell. If you need to be aggressive it can get you a 5/5 haste creature to get in some major damage. If you need to play defense, you can keep the 5/5 creature back to protect Nissa, Vital Force.

-3: “Return target permanent card from your graveyard to your hand.”

This is a great ability that will allow you to get a planeswalker, enchantment, artifact, land or creature back from the graveyard to your hand. By the time you play Nissa, Vital Force on turn five or later, there is a good chance you will have plenty of options to choose from. The current state of the battlefield will help you choose whether you can afford to use this ability or if you will need to make a land into a creature to protect herself.

-6: “You get an emblem with ‘Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may draw a card.’”

The first thing I noticed about this ability is that unlike most ultimate Planeswalker abilities, there is a possibility of using this on the turn after she comes into play. Now talk about some sweet value, as this ability is similar to Tireless Tracker, except you just get sweet card draw instead of having to pay two mana to get it. Cards like Evolving Wilds will grant you two cards and because of the constant card draw, you should be getting a land almost every turn. Two cards or more per turn, yes please!

At this time, I’d like to warn you that the Planeswalker you are about to see might cause large jumps for joy and high pitch shrieking. Don’t worry that is a normal first reaction. It’s time folks, for Chandra #2, here is Chandra, Torch of Defiance!

Chandra Torch of Defiance

Already called Chandra, the Mind Sculptor, this four ability Planeswalker is already starting to turn some heads and pre-orders for this card are selling out across the board. It is rarified air to receive four abilities on a Planeswalker, so let’s take a look at all that Chandra, Torch of Defiance has to offer.

+1: “Exile the top card of your library. You may cast that spell. If you don’t, Chandra, Torch of Defiance deals 2 damage to each opponent.”

This card advantage engine might not work exactly like you think when you first read it. Your first thought goes to cards such as Abbot of Keral Keep, but this works slightly differently than that ability. When you exile the card, if it is land, you aren’t able to play the land and you will be dealing 2 damage to each opponent. This isn’t the end of the world, since you don’t often want to be drawing lands late in the game. If it is a spell, you will have to cast it right away and can’t wait to use it during combat or during a different phase in your turn. Once again, if you don’t cast it, you will deal 2 damage to each opponent. That being said, this is still a great ability that will give you card advantage when you need it, and deal damage to the face when you need that as well.

+1: “Add RR to your mana pool”

This ability is similar to the first ability of Nissa, Vital Force in that you are able to reduce the cost of casting Chandra, Torch of Defiance if you need to cast other spells in the same turn. Playing this card and then using this ability to cast Harnessed Lightning to kill off a creature allows you to increase loyalty while protecting Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Another great use for this ability is on the following turn, you have the opportunity to go quite large and have seven mana that you can use to cast something quite menacing.

-3: “Chandra, Torch of Defiance deals 4 damage to target creature.”

Every great Planeswalker is able to protect themselves, and this ability does the trick. Four damage should kill most creatures on the battlefield, and still leave one loyalty to play around with the following turn.

-7: “You get an emblem with ‘Whenever you cast a spell, this emblem deals 5 damage to target creature or player.’”

This emblem will need four turns or more to be able to activate, so chances are it won’t see much use, but if it does it will end games quickly. Having a five damage fireball to throw any direction you want whenever you cast a spell will spell the end for your opponent.

Wow, we just saw four new Planeswalker cards in one crazy edition of the ‘Daily Dose of Kaladesh‘. I can’t wait for you to see what is in store for tomorrow’s Daily Dose, as the big guns are coming out to play.

Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of ‘Kaladesh’ as we see more and more of the vibrant setting of Kaladesh come to life.