Magic 2010, or M10 premiered last weekend. I had the chance to go to a couple release events and finally got a chance to play this highly anticipated and somewhat controversial new set.
So, Does it play differently from previous sets? To me it does, but only because some of the power scales have shifted. For example, by now most people were used to Shock, which deals 2 damage for 1 red mana, and used it as the standard when gauging the efficiency of other burn spells. With the reprinting of Lightning Bolt, however the standard has changed (returned, really). No longer is a creature with 3 toughness “relatively safe,” it can now be destroyed for one mana. In general the game feels “powered up,” cards that have been out of print for a while because they were too powerful have found their way back, either in their original incarnations or as cloned cards.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand speaking of clones (by which I mean cards with new names that are otherwise identical to previous cards). There are a lot in the set. The reason for this is reportedly that they wanted to make cards that made sense to people who were not familiar with Magic’s ample (and convoluted) fictional history. So a bug zombie that eats other critters became a supercool vampire and a guy who used to get you lands by navigating a planet-sized city is now a ranger who does the same by, um… Rangering? Ranging? Whatever it is that rangers do. This, of course, excludes the card Clone, which is itself a reprint and not a clone.
Of course by now you’re obviously dying to know how I did in these tournaments. Well, curb your enthusiasm, because I performed horribly in both. Like really horribly. Picture this: Here’s my face, and here’s a fist. Except it’s not just a fist, it’s a robot fist and before it connects with my face it explodes into a thousand tiny nanofists, each of which mercilessly beats up my face before coalescing back into the original robofist which flies in for the rabbit punch. And then it’s all like “ha ha, you suck at magic”. That’s how bad I did. I played a draft in which I ended up, literally, in last place. Then I piloted a blue-red burntroll deck into a couple of minor victories at a sealed event. I’m really not blaming the new set for this, I saw some awesome combos and plays while I was getting my tuchus handed to me.
All in all M10 is Magic: The Gathering. During these events I never heard anyone complain about the new rules. Nobody seemed upset over the kinds of decks being put together, and although I lost like the loseriest of losers I still had a pretty good time. Although here’s a quick PSA for a lot of you guys going to these events: Bathe!