MTG Mechanic Spotlight: Daybound & Nightbound

Tom Anderson Design

We’ve reached the sunset of another spoiler season, so it’s time to introduce the mechanic which defines Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, if not the plane of Innistrad as a whole!  With a struggle breaking out in the lore over the threat of eternal night, what has previously been of concern to Werewolves alone is now heavily intertwined through all colors and …

MTG Mechanic Spotlight: Coven

Tom Anderson Design, Strategy

“The strong will hunt the weak” seems to be the dominant philosophy of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. But not all denizens of the haunted plane follow such twisted laws of nature! And we can see proof of this resistance in one of the set’s many innovative mechanics: coven. Coven is a green-white mechanic, seen on the witches of Harvesttide, their human …

Treasure Should Be In Every Magic Set

Why Treasure Should Be In Every Magic Set

Tom Anderson Design

After several weeks giving Adventures in the Forgotten Realms a good thrashing, I’ve come to a monumental and unexpected realization: Treasure is the most important mechanic in Magic: The Gathering. And that’s only partially because of all the Immersturm Predators it helps me cast turn three on the play! Not every mechanic needs to herald a huge evolution in how …

Magics Love Hate Relationship Stax Cards

Magic’s Love/Hate Relationship with Stax

Tom Anderson Community, Design

Just a few weeks ago, the Magic community was excited by the spoilers from Modern Horizons 2, one of the deepest and most powerful sets of all time. We were getting huge blasts of fresh and exciting design space every few hours. There was a planeswalker you can target with Green Sun’s Zenith or Unearth, new pitch spells that you …

The Elder Dragons of Strixhaven

Tom Anderson Design

After covering the complex utility of the Strixhaven Commands at the start of spoiler season and then the ultra-wordy, double-faced Deans cycle in my last column, I wanted to follow up with something a little more classic and straightforward. Luckily enough, there’s a third cycle of college-defining cards which fit the bill for us battlecruiser Magic enthusiasts: the Elder Dragons …

Strixhaven’s Secret Sauce is Red Mana

Kristen Gregory Commander, Design

Strixhaven looks to have a smorgasbord of powerful and exciting Magic cards. It seems to Kristen, though, that red is currently Magic’s Golden Child.  Looking through the previews for Strixhaven, it’s occurred to me that all of the most exciting designs involve red mana. It’s no secret that red has been the second-most maligned color from the players’ perspective in …

Meet the Deans of Strixhaven

Tom Anderson Design

Since as far back in Magic design as Ravnica: City of Guilds, WotC has embraced using powerful legendary creatures to anchor the identity of a set’s signature archetypes or factions. This habit has only been reinforced by the mechanical need to support these factions in the Commander format. So as soon as it became clear that Strixhaven: School of Mages …

Why Games of Magic Are Getting Faster

Tom Anderson Design

Do you think games of Magic might be getting too fast these days? It’s an odd thing to worry about in regard to a turn-based strategy game, even if chess clocks and Arena ropes force us into hasty decisions from time to time. But in its own best measure of speed — how many turns it takes to crush opponents …

Kaldheim’s Utility Lands

Tom Anderson Design

The long voyage to Kaldheim, having taken most of December and January, is nearly over. Today, myself and many other streamers will be trying out the set for the first time on Magic Arena. Shortly thereafter, the whole Magic Arena population will be logging in to test the cards and combinations they’ve been hyping themselves up for. And boy, has …