A new core set, a new batch of changes. Nothing here that really shakes anything up too much besides just two new terms for things we already talk about. One of them looks really, really weird.
Hexproof (This creature can’t be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.)
This isn’t the one that looks really, really weird. What was lovingly referred to as “Trollshroud” has now been templated to read Hexproof. Hex, which means “to put a spell on” makes sense for the keyword.
But why not Trollshroud?
Two simple reasons. One, it’s like using Wall instead of Defender as a that keyword; it looks really awkward when a non-wall creature has “Wall.” So Trolls could have Trollshroud, but it would look really awful for non-troll creatures to have Trollshroud. You can also apply that same logic to Reach and spiders.
Two, if you use the term Shroud on something, people will identify with the around aspect and subconsciously think that you can’t target it. Even though it’s partly true, there’s still the dilemma of new players trying to understand why the troll part is on it. Maybe the creature has protection from Trolls, but why wouldn’t they say that on the card in the first place? Some of you may laugh, but I bet there are plenty of players who would think just that.
The keyword clearly adds more flavor into the game, and that’s something you might have noticed since M10 came about. WotC is still feeling out how much flavor is too much but with Core Sets coming out once a year the changes are coming fast and heavy. I’m sure there will be a point where the function comes in and stops all the changes. But this isn’t a lecture on over usage of keywords.
At least, not yet.
It’s a term all players use. Actually, that’s what drove “Fearless Leader” to champion it’s usage. But with all of this keywording and stuff going on, are we making the game too complex? I don’t know (again, an argument for another day), but let’s take a look at a card from it’s original printing to it’s M12 printing with the new language over the past years.
I hate to say it, but the new way does look more elegant.
Here’s what dies does: it replaces the text “is put into a graveyard from play” and only on creatures. Players talk about creatures dying all the time so it does make sense for the transition. I do believe that newer plays can understand it better plus it makes it easier for people who still think discard a card from their hand counts it as going to the graveyard from play (newer players, really casual players, people like that).
The concept is much more grokkable and the card doesn’t look so intimidating when you look at it. A creature “dying” goes to the graveyard. It’s flavorful but makes perfect sense too from a gameplay standpoint; you can “Zombify” a “dead” creature. I’m sure all the Vorthos fans are loving this. It’s just going to be odd to see this for a while, but as you can see it is cleaner. From what text they’ve added with the whole “enters the battlefield” text, they’ve taken away some of it with “dies.”
Bloodthirst N (If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature enters the battlefield with N +1/+1 counters on it.)
This is a returning mechanic so it seems like Scry is out and this returns. Not much to say, it fits Red (and I would expect it to see a splash in Green like Black got a splash of Scry even though it’s in Blue) and we’re going to get +1/+1 counters back. This is a perfect foil for Infect. Remember: when +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters are on the same creature at the same time, they cancel each other out.
Be on the lookout this week when I talk about something about that R&D is going to introduce after something after discussion in the GDS2. I’ve also now registered the domain mtgcolourpie.com for you non-American English spelling readers out there. Of course mtgcolorpie still works but I was getting a ton of search terms for the “non-proper” way to spell color.