Friday, June 18, 2010

Let My Elephant Grow Wings And Fly

Wizards dropped a pretty big bombshell on the Extended format today. I don't have any thoughts…although it is certainly a sad thing when you suddenly can't play with your cards in the manner your are accustomed. In that vein they also banned another card from legacy, but reinstated two others. Illusionary Mask is awesome…this is what it looks like when you try to design morph the first time and fail.

In other news, Sol Ring is still restricted in Isaac's Dining Room Table Format, but the banning has been lifted on Champ Edition Bloodstained Mire (thanks, Peer Kroger!)

Looking forward to the coming core set, there are plenty of spoilers coming to the fore. For today, I pick the unlikely candidate of Mighty Leap.

We've always had Leap (aka Jump) but now we finally have Mighty Leap. So mighty, in fact, that it changed colors. Making your creature stronger has always been a White thing…Daring Leap started the trend. Now its reached the inevitable conclusion.

One constant has remained. In the history of Wizards making "Jump" style temporary buffs, the card players on the receiving end have always been disappointed.

Well, I'm not going to be disappointed by Mighty Leap. It's only 2 mana, there has to be some interesting interactions in there somewhere.

The part most haters get hung up on is the flying. When gifting your creatures with the ability of flight people have historically preferred either a permanent modification or a temporary destructive "chucking" depending on your flavor. What gets the goat for cards like Leap is how combat works. You declare attackers, your opponent declares blockers, then you pull out your Giant Growth-style instant and laugh. When Mightly Leap is used in this way you don't really get the flying because blockers have already been declared…they still block. So the caster feels cheated then. If you cast Mighty Leap before your opponent declares blockers, they see your increased power/toughness and don't have to block…and they might not even be able to block since your creature now flies!

I've been encountering temporary flying buffs in Duels of the Planeswalkers quite a bit, butting heads with the Elspeth deck. In this case the card is Angelic Blessing. Wizards made the card a Sorcery to combat the "cheated" mentality but then you also lose any possible "tricksiness" you might have still had. Doesn't matter, computer Elspeth loves playing Angelic Blessing, sometimes 2 at a time.

In M11, Wizards gives the mature white user the power to be tricky all over again. And to illustrate the trickiness best, I'm going to look at a similar card from Magic's past:

Oh wait, Righteousness was just printed in M10…why didn't I get any of these?

Despite the flavor text, the best time to cast Mighty Leap is going to be on the defense. Your opponent declares attackers (preferably something like an Air Elemental) you do the Mighty Leap and knock that Elemental right out of the sky.

But unlike Righteousness, you don't HAVE to use it on blockers. Mighty Leap on offense either pumps your knight or lets in a little more damage. And if your opponent only has a few life left, Mighty Leap might even win you the game.

It could have been 1 white mana. But 2 isn't bad. And MUCH better than Angelic Blessing. Depending on what I get in my sealed pool…right now Mighty Leap still has a positive place in my planning processes. Can't wait to make my Elephants fly.

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