Welcome back, friends, and so long 2014! Spoiler season has begun with a bang. What are we waiting for?

Soul Summons

Morph is back like never before – without morph! (Well, sorry, Illusionary Mask.)  This ability looks amazing! It’ll make for even crazier guessing games—before, an opponent’s face-down creature had morph, so you knew there was a relatively small number of creatures it could be (and furthermore, you knew by your opponent’s untapped lands what they could unmorph). Now, a face down creature can be anything! Manifest will likely lead to even bigger blowouts than morph, since it’ll be very, very difficult to guess what is under that manifest overlay. This will also make games have even higher variance, since there’s no controlling what gets manifested (unless Fate Reforged has a scry/clash-like ability that allows one to control the top of the library… which it doesn’t have as an ability word or keyword).

I’m very eager to play with manifest creatures, since they’re likely to require a different strategy than morph creatures do. Morph in Khans has a very clear rhythm—play a creature face down on turn 3, threaten to turn it face up on turn 5. Manifest can happen as early as turn 2 and it’s entirely random (depending on what’s on top of your library) when (or if!) you can turn it face up. And imagine manifest in Modern and Legacy! Manifest a Leveller or Phyrexian Dreadnaught face down and you don’t have to stifle the ETB trigger!

Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury

Dash allows your creatures to impersonate Viashino Sandstalker whenever you want! I love this ability! It creates a tactical choice: do you want a permanent threat, or a hasty one that avoids sorcery-speed removal? Do you want to commit to the board or get in damage fast? It’s probably similar to Return to Ravnica’s Unleash in that one choice is generally better than the other (generally, permanent threats are better than temporary threats or threats that require regular mana investments), but the ability to choose to dash should still be a potent one.

Did you notice Kolaghan’s watermark? It’s got the wings of the Dragon (Mardu)… but also something else. Perhaps that double claw watermark is a reference to the Sultai or perhaps it’s a new icon, one that references the future to come in Dragons of Tarkir. Also, did you notice that Kolaghan is a rare, not a mythic rare (which Yasova Dragonclaw also is)? We can expect the Khan and Dragon cycles not to take up the mythic slots, freeing them up to do whatever they need to.


As excited as I am to talk about Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, the return of Prowess, Ferocious, and Delve, the preponderance of modal spells, and the new Abazan mechanic, Bolster, I really want to talk about Rageform (I’ll save the rest for our Hipsters spoiler article).

I love the art! It’s an angry manifest creature with rage-wings!

I love the templating! It’s an Animate Dead-esque card that only requires a mountain of text because of manifest’s reminder text. It gives us hope for another reanimation aura.

I love the base effect! It’s a 2/2 double strike for four! At uncommon! It eats morphs and manifests for breakfast!

I love the promise this card has! You could manifest anything better than a 2/2 and threaten to create a beast!

I love the trickery of this card! Your opponent has to kill it, because it’s both dangerous on its own and potentially game-winning if you manifested a good creature! But then they could just be killing a basic land!

I love the low-risk of this card! You’re always drawing a card when you manifest, so even if they kill your creature, you’re not down a card. If they only kill the aura, you’re up a card.

…ahem. So, yes. Much excite.

Lens of Clarity

Do you remember Lens of Clarity? It was unplayably bad in Khans draft. It’s still pretty lousy, but its utility goes up when it allows you to know what you’re going to manifest in advance. I don’t expect much from the lens, but I wouldn’t be as surprised to see it seeing some more fringe play in Limited (much like how Witches’ Eye got a bit better when Born of the Gods introduced the inspired mechanic).

I’m delighted to see what Fate Reforged has in store for us. We Hipsters will be here, poring over the spoilers, until we’ve seen and commented on ’em all. Looking forward to sharing the journey with you. And, as always, thanks for reading.

—Zachary Barash

Zachary Barash has been playing Magic on and off since 1994. He loves Limited and drafts every available format (including several that aren’t entirely meant to be drafted). He’s a proud Cube owner and improviser, creating entire musicals from scratch every week. Zach has an obsession with Indian food that borders on being unhealthy.

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