Daily Dose of AFR #1 – Welcome to the Dungeon
Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Here on the Daily Dose I'll be talking about previewed cards and giving my take on them for upcoming Standard and Limited play. Today is an exciting day as there's a new card type in Magic called Dungeons. That’s right, it wouldn’t be a Dungeons & Dragons set without some Dungeons to explore. Dungeons are a new card type that doesn’t go in your deck, and they don’t go in your sideboard either. They're in your deck box, available for you to use when needed. For Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, there are three Dungeons. Let’s have a look at them!
To use these Dungeons you'll need to “venture into the dungeon”. When you venture into a Dungeon, you can either enter the first room of a Dungeon or advance to the next room. Once you’ve started a Dungeon, you must complete it before moving onto a new one. Once you complete it, you can always re-visit it the next time you venture into a Dungeon and don’t need to choose a different Dungeon. You can use whatever you want to mark your travels through the Dungeon including items like a token, die, or sweet painted miniature. When venturing through the Dungeon there'll be times where you need to make a decision. Take the Dungeon Lost Mine of Phandelver for example. You'll have to choose whether you want to create a 1/1 Goblin token or create a Treasure token. After that, if you venture again into this Dungeon, you'll be able to choose between three options. Finally, after that, if you venture again, you get to draw a card and the Dungeon is completed and removed from the battlefield. It’s ready to be ventured in again or you can choose another Dungeon like Tomb of Annihilation.
To make these Dungeons powerful though, you'll need plenty of cards that allow you to venture into a Dungeon. These aren't like Sagas where you automatically proceed down the card each turn. You'll need to find some way to trigger venturing into the Dungeon if you want to advance to the next room towards completing the Dungeon. To start off we have a Dragon Knight that can help you in your Dungeon adventures. Here's Nadaar, Selfless Paladin.
Nadaar, Selfless Paladin
This new Dragon encompasses everything you want in a creature that ventures. It starts off with solid stats as a 3/3 creature with Vigilance for only three mana. It then adds the ability to venture every turn. One of the things you worry about with Dungeons is not having enough ways to trigger venturing into a Dungeon. The further you advance in any Dungeon, the better the rewards, with Dungeon of the Mad Mage allowing you to draw three cards and casting one of them for free. Nadaar, Selfless Paladin allows you to venture when it both enters the battlefield and every time it attacks. This'll help you advance in the Dungeon quickly as you'll want to complete a Dungeon because of its second ability. If you have completed a Dungeon, Nadaar, Selfless Paladin gives all your other creatures +1/+1. This is a strong payoff card for wanting to use Dungeons as part of your deck and gives players abilities they might not often see in their colour. For White that could include having your opponent lose life or allowing you to draw cards.
As I’ve talked about, the more you can venture into a Dungeon, the greater value you will get from the card. Now, we've got a Planeswalker that can help you venture into the Dungeon each turn. Here's Ellywick Tumblestrum.
To start off you get a four loyalty Planeswalker for four mana, which is solid. Let’s have a look at this Planeswalkers abilities.
+1: Venture into the dungeon. – This ability speaks for itself. The reward you'll get will vary depending on where you are in a particular Dungeon, and can range from Scry 1 to create 4/4 creature token with Deathtouch. Being able to consistently advance through Dungeons plus adding loyalty to Ellywick Tumblestrum will have you wanting to play this card.
-2: Look at the top six cards of your library. You may reveal a creature card from among them and put it into your hand. If it’s legendary, you gain 3 life. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order. – This ability can allow you to search for creatures on two consecutive turns and potentially gain you six life. This'll be used if venturing into a Dungeon just won’t be enough to help you in a game. I see this Planeswalker ability being used if you're behind and need a stronger threat than the value you'll gain from a Dungeon trigger.
-7: You get an emblem with “Creatures you control have trample and haste and get +2/+2 for each differently named Dungeon you’ve completed. – Like any ultimate, this can be a huge payoff. Chances are you'll have at least completed one Dungeon, building up to the seven loyalty needed to activate this. Completing more than one is unlikely, but we'll see how many cards allow you to venture into a Dungeon in this set.
How exciting it is to have a new mechanic, a new card type, and a new set. I can’t wait to see how many more cards allow you to venture into the Dungeon! Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. Join me again tomorrow and in the coming weeks as I discuss everything Magic about the new set.