April 17, 2019

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Daily Dose of War of the Spark – A Dragon, A Dragon-Maker, and a Dragon-God

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of War of the Spark, where today it's all about the Dragons! I have a five-colour Dragon, and a couple of Planeswalkers to show you today.

So many storylines and characters from sets we've seen over the past four or more years are converging that it's amazing to see them all on Ravnica for this epic fight. As I’ve mentioned my wife, who probably plays this game once a year, still gets excited to see if there are any new Dragons in every set that comes out. She is going to be so happy with what’s coming out in War of the Spark.

Before I get into talking about some more Planeswalkers, I want to talk about the return of Niv-Mizzet. Let's take a look at Niv-Mizzet Reborn:

When I look at this card, I see a lot of value. But like a lot of powerful cards, you need to build your deck around it to get the most value out of it.

For one, you need all five colours. This can be done by playing it in a deck like the Gates Matter. You could also play it in a Jund Dragons deck, which plays the amazing Sarkhan, Fireblood. That would allow you to cast Niv-Mizzet Reborn on turn four. And now that you’ve cast it, you get a 6/6 flying creature, which will outclass most other creatures on the battlefield.

Let’s say you are playing a Jund deck, that means you could get a Gruul, Rakdos, and Golgari card out of the 10 you see. Gaining three cards isn’t bad value at all. Do you dare stretch yourself into playing 4-colours? That would allow you to get up to six cards from your reveal. Most times you will happy to get two or three cards, but who knows what inventive deck can be created to maximize the value of this card.

Next up is a Planeswalker that has always been a friend to Dragons. Here is Sarkhan the Masterless.


Sarkhan the Masterless

I’ve always been a fan of the many iterations of Sarkhan over the years and this one brings some new abilities and life to the Planeswalker. Let’s talk about these abilities:

Whenever a creature attacks you or a planeswalker you control, each dragon you control does 1 point of damage to that creature. – This could be a back breaking ability for your opponent, if you're able to get a few Dragons onto the battlefield. Let’s say you have two Dragons out. That means that the only creatures that can attack you are ones that have three toughness or higher. This could eliminate a lot of attackers and allow you to start to take over a game in which you might have been behind.

[+1]: Until end of turn, each planeswalker you control becomes a 4/4 red dragon and gains flying. – Say what now?

That’s right, a plus loyalty ability that gives you at minimum a 4/4 flying Dragon, but could possibly give you an army of flyers. Does this open them up to creature removal? Of course it does. With a lot of uncommon Planeswalkers in the set, they often outlive their usefulness and are unable to even activate their loyalty ability any more. This is a great way to give them added value by turning them into 4/4 Flying Dragons. Since it says "until the end of turn", it won’t trigger the static ability for Sarkhan the Masterless, but that’s okay as sometimes a little offensive attack is all you need to win the game.

[-3]: Create a 4/4 Dragon creature token with flying. – This is a great way to get a 4/4 Dragon on the battlefield to protect Sarkhan the Masterless. It’s not only a blocker, but will trigger damage on against any attackers that head your way. If you both survive a turn, you can +1 to attack for 8 in the air the following turn.

Finally, I want to talk about the big bad guy himself, Nicol Bolas. He's been at the centre of War of the Spark's story, and the Dragon-God's new card does not disappoint. So at long last, I present Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God:

Nicol Bolas has been the face of Magic for a couple of years now and Magic’s most popular villain. After being a creature that transformed into a Planeswalker in Magic 2019, he’s back with a good old Planeswalker version of himself to terrorize us all. Let’s dive into his abilities:

Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God has all loyalty abilities of all other planeswalkers on the battlefield. – This about sums up the power of Nicol Bolas. There are times where there will no other Planeswalkers on the battlefield. However, if you are drafting or playing sealed of War of the Spark, I’m sure there will be a few abilities to choose from.

[+1]: You draw a card. Each opponent exiles a card from their hand or a permanent they control. – Having card draw on a plus loyalty ability is huge. The bonus ability of slowly draining your opponents’ resources will eventually cause them to panic over time.

[-3]: Destroy target creature or planeswalker. - Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God can protect itself using this ability, but be careful. If you use this ability the turn you cast it, Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God will be left with only 1 loyalty counter left. Sometimes though, that’s all you need to turn the corner in a game.

[-8]: Each opponent who doesn't control a legendary creature or planeswalker loses the game. – It’s always nice to have an ultimate Planeswalker ability that will most likely just win you the game. It would be nice to build a deck with proliferate to try and build up to this ultimate sooner than it should be activated.

Dragon lovers rejoice, you have three new cards to build your decks around! I don’t care if Niv-Mizzet Reborn is five colours, you better find a way to put that in your deck! Thanks again for joining me on the Daily Dose of War of the Spark. Join me again tomorrow as I talk about some of the final previewed cards from the new set.