March 13, 2018

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Daily Dose of Dominaria – Sagas – Chapter II

Welcome back everyone to the Daily Dose of Dominaria. Today, I’ll be continuing my talk on the new card type from Dominaria- Sagas.

In Chapter II of my talk, I’ll bring you four more Saga cards from Dominaria and delve a little deeper into the design of these new cards. After looking over all the new Saga cards, they can be broken down into a few different types: The first is one that basically casts three different spells, with one being cast immediately, one with Suspend 1, and one with Suspend 2. These can be seen in the Sagas I talked about yesterday. The second is acts more like a spell with part Rebound and part Suspend. The first and second ability are the same, but the third ability is different.

Today I’ll be talking about the latter. All of these Sagas have the same first and second ability, with a pseudo “ultimate” ability for their third and final chapter.

First off, I want to take us back to the early days of Magic with The Antiquities War:


But really, this Saga should be called “The Saga of Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas”.

Its first ability helps you gain card advantage by allowing you to search the top of your library and put some key artifacts in your hand. You will need to have a deck constructed with lots of artifacts for this Saga to make sense in your deck. If you do make that deck though, being able to search for your best artifacts in Chapter I and II can be quite valuable.

In Chapter III, you have an opportunity to win the game in one turn. If, up to the point of this ability, you've gotten a lot of artifacts to the battlefield, turning them all into 5/5 creatures for one turn could give you the big attack you need to win the game. This could see some Standard play with Tezzeret the Schemer in a blue/black artifact deck.

The next Saga I want to talk about brings us back to Torment, with an appropriately named card. Here is Chainer’s Torment:


A lot of the focus on today's Sagas is on the payoff in Chapter III, but we can’t ignore what its first ability is.

In Chapter I and II of this Saga, you get to drain your opponent for two life. That means that you'll be doing four damage and gaining four life total. That’s an eight-point life swing, which can give you some breathing room if you are running low on life. Another use for Chainer's Torment is in an aggressive deck as a non-creature way of dealing some damage to finish off your opponent.

Chapter III can give quite a large creature onto the battlefield, but at the cost of half of your life total. The first ability will help bump your life total sure, but losing half your life to get, for example,  an 8/8 creature seems like a large cost. Then again, this could be a good way to get a large creature on the battlefield that your opponent can’t deal with if you're playing against a deck that doesn’t have any straight creature removal.

Next up is a Saga card that revolves around a character first brought to our attention on a Magic card during Ice Age. Here's Song of Freyalise:


This card is like The Antiquities War in that if you build your deck around it, it can be a powerful card.

With its first ability, Song of Freyalise gives you the opportunity to use all of your creatures on the battlefield to ramp into even more, bigger creatures. However, this Chapter I and II ability loses quite a lot of its value if you happen to have an empty battlefield so choosing when to play this Saga is key, especially due to its Chapter III ability.

In Chapter III, you are safe to make an alpha attack with all your creatures without fear of your opponent attacking back or losing any of your creatures. I could see this potentially being played in a Black/Green Constrictor deck to use your early creatures to get out larger creatures like Verdurous Gearhulk and a big Walking Ballista. Once Chapter III hits, you can add +1/+1 counters to all of those creatures, and hit your opponent with one powerful attack.

Lastly, I want to talk about Gerard. Well, a little story about Gerard at least. This can be found in the new card, Triumph of Gerard:


Like Song of Freyalise, you want to make sure you have at least one creature on the battlefield before playing this Saga.

In Chapter I and II, you can pump up your largest creature by +2/+2. This means if you play a one-drop like Skymarcher Aspirant, you can be attacking for three on turn two and four on turn three. However, you will have to weigh getting this bonus for two turns with not playing another creature on the turn you play Triumph of Gerard. Then in Chapter III, once your opponent has gotten some creatures on the battlefield to block, you can give your largest creature evasion to get in some serious damage.

And there you have it folks, four strong new Saga cards that give you a repeated ability along with a strong Chapter III pay off. Which Saga design do you prefer? Do you want three different abilities, or do you want a little more consistency in what you're getting from these new Enchantments? Each one has a different design with a different use. The design and play space for these new cards will be something that will be discussed for the next few months.

Thanks for reading the Daily Dose of Dominaria today, and join me tomorrow as I present the final Chapter on the story of Sagas in Dominaria.