Good news, Magic fans: You won’t have to contain your hype for War of the Spark much longer. Starting this week, you can finally play War of the Spark – starting Thursday on MTG Arena and at Prerelease over the weekend.
We were fortunate enough to play War of the Spark a little early as part of the Early Access Streamer Event on MTG Arena (thanks for the free preview account, Wizards!). While we still have plenty to learn about the new Limited format, we wanted to offer some tips that we hope will serve you well on Prerelease weekend.
Have a plan to deal with planeswalkers
When you open your War of the Spark Prerelease kit, you’ll receive SEVEN planeswalkers: one in each pack, plus a promo card. SEVEN PLANESWALKERS. That’s more than you’ll see in most Magic sets!
Each of your opponents will be playing as many planeswalkers as they can, especially the uncommon planeswalkers with hybrid mana symbols in their casting costs. What’s more, each of these planeswalkers has a static ability that may make combat and spell-casting tricky for you.
As you build your Prerelease deck, think about how you’ll deal with your opponents’ planeswalkers. That could mean prioritizing removal that can target planeswalkers or playing evasive creatures. Creatures with flying, menace, and unblockable will all keep planeswalkers from taking over games.
Bypass board stalls
Of course, evasive creatures aren’t just effective planeswalker-attackers: they can help you take down your opponents, too. And, in War of the Spark Limited, they’ll be more vital than ever.
War of the Spark is shaping up to be a relatively slow Limited format. There are many creatures with high toughness in the format, gumming up the ground and preventing attacks. This is likely a deliberate choice by the set’s design team: without good defensive creatures to protect them, planeswalkers would be much less threatening.
Those defensive creatures will also protect your opponent’s life total, so think about how you’ll get past them as you build your decks and play your games.
Be wary of combat tricks
Evasive creatures and removal are both effective answers to stalled board states. But you’ll also have to be wary of combat tricks, especially if you’re the one on defense.
Here are just a few to keep in mind during your games:
Commence the Endgame, Crush Dissent, and Lazotep Plating all Amass at instant speed. Be careful – your opponent might have a surprise blocker, or a larger creature than you expect!
Ajani’s Pridemate and Lifegain
Ajani’s Pridemate is an uncommon in this format, and many combat spells incidentally gain life. Watch out for Battlefield Promotion, Sorin’s Thirst, Pledge of Unity, and Heartwarming Redemption.
Best of luck at your War of the Spark Prerelease! If you open any awesome cards this weekend, be sure to share them with us on Twitter at @Card_Kingdom!