By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Not every set of Magic the Gathering is worth playing. My interest lays less on being devoted to this hobby of CCGs and more on where the narrative is headed. The story-based focus has been at the forefront for years now, and I can thankfully ditch the expensive side of the hobby and simply enjoy the tale.
After War of the Spark, the story concerning the desert gods from Amonkhet came full circle (died) and lest Hazoret returns, I’m biding my time to see what the next expansions offer.
When I heard about a partnership with TOHO Studios, my interest peaked at what’s going to happen. Planeswalkers Vivien Reid, Lukka and Narset will no doubt be important. Plus, you can never go wrong with giant monsters! Ikoria fulfills my fondest desires with the trample mechanic. The two recent additions–mutate and companion–might break standard play, but I’ll rely on reports than experiment to find out myself. For now, I can also go full on Kaiju with alternate art cards in my play deck on those kitchen table games with my buddies.
As my unboxing video shows, I got extremely lucky with pulling not one but two of the few most talked about cards.
When Wizards of the Coast announced changes after the initial print run, I have to guess at how many of the Space Godzilla: Death Corona cards are truly out there. The foil (shiny) version will be scarcer. Aside from simply renaming certain Ikoria cards to match Toho’s most famous monsters, I feel this marketing scheme is certainly one of the better publicity stunts to date. It’s convinced me to try playing the game one more time.
Also, some of the artwork takes inspiration from ancient man–namely when those dinosaurs–giant monsters–were feared. We see them in cave paintings and some aboriginal art. The subset of cards, Mythos of… indicates this influence. Also, since Ixalan featured dinosaurs, perhaps WotC wanted to avoid overlap.
Normally, I’d just wait and pick up one of the Art of Magic the Gathering: (fill in this blank) series so I can simply admire the art than buy singles. I’ve noticed there has been no further releases since War of the Spark. Either the company does not want to dole out the residual checks to artists for every unit sold or they were not huge sellers.
While most of the cards will simply sit in my binder of neat Gojira collectables, it’s hard not to resist using King Ghidorah in actual play. Only time will tell in what the new normal will be in game shops so face-to-face competitions can resume.