June 28, 2016

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Daily Dose of Eldritch Moon – Well, that Escalated Quickly!

Welcome back to the wonderful world of Eldritch Moon, as I explore more of this wonderful plane. Yesterday, I looked into the wonderment that is the new Meld mechanic and today I’ll be looking into another new mechanic from the set: Escalate. Throughout Magic, there have been many different variations of modal cards. As recently as Khans of Tarkir, we saw Charm spells like Mardu Charm. In Dragons of Tarkir we saw the return of pick two modal spells like Atarka’s Command. Now, thanks to the new Escalate mechanic, we are able to put a new spin on modal spells. Escalate allows you to choose one or more of the modes of the cards by allowing you to pay its Escalate cost for each mode you want to choose over and above one.

Let’s check out first example of the new mechanic with Borrowed Malevolence.

borrowed malevolence

This card allows you to choose whether you want to pump your creature or punish your opponent’s. In most cases you will be using this spell to either save your creature or kill your opponents rather than get in one or prevent one damage. Where it becomes even greater is when there are multiple attackers and blockers and you are able to Escalate the spell to use both modes. This could lead to a blowout and the ability to kill two creatures with one spell.

Next we are going to look at an uncommon version of an Escalate spell in which you are able to choose between three modes. Here is Blessed Alliance.

blessed alliance

Blessed Alliance works as a great spell on many levels for me. Each of its modes can be valuable in both pre and post sideboard situations against most decks. If you are playing against an aggressive deck that you will be able to either gain life or force them to sacrifice an early threat. On turn four you’ll be able to do both to really gain some major value.

Let’s say you are playing in the mirror matchup where there a lot of creatures cluttering the battlefield. You don’t have to worry about attacking to get some damage in with the fear of the crack back by your opponent. If they do you’ll be able to make them sacrifice an attacker, and untap two of your own creatures to be able to block. Hey, if its even later in the game you’ll be able to gain four life as well.

Another use of Blessed Alliance would be to untap Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy or mana ramp creatures to get even more value out of them. Do it during your opponents turn to make them sacrifice a creature as well or to gain four life.

Needless to say the possibilities are endless! Well, not endless, but hey, having seven different ways to cast the spell is pretty good. The great part about Escalate spells is that it allows you to get value for them in the early, mid, and late game.

It will be interesting to see what a Rare or Mythic Escalate modal spell will look like. Will they change what the Escalate cost will be from two mana? Will there be four modes to choose from instead of two or three? Let us know what you think the next Escalate card is going to look like!

Thanks again for reading along as we both enjoy the new previews from Eldritch Moon. I look forward to seeing what cards come out next and how they’re going to be fitting into my summer Magic decks. See you tomorrow!