Magic: the Gathering
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Pauper Review
Analysing the new cards from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms and its possibilities for Pauper.
Rolling the dice
In this article, I won't be mentioning any cards with a die rolling mechanic. The reason for this is that, for me, this mechanic is one of the worst that has existed in Magic: The Gathering to date. Magic is already a game of great variance. From the moment you draw your seven cards, you are already in a game of variance, a game of constants
Ifyour mulligan will be better than your starting hand.
Ifyour opponent has answers to your threats, or if your answers are good enough to deal with his threats.
Whetheryou are going to draw more lands or not.
Ifyour cantrip brings you what you need.
Ifboth players make all of their land drops. And it goes on like this until one of the players wins the game. One of the formulas to succeed with building a deck is to mitigate variance, either with cantrips that allow the deck to plan ahead and dig for responses/threats like Pauper's Blue-Based decks do or by adding redundancy to your spells by making most of them have essentially the same effect and objective as is done with Burn, for example. Therefore, the dice rolling mechanic is not exciting for competitive Magic and I can't see it being a healthy experience for draft or sealed either because conditioning games further on the luck factor is creating a frustrating gaming experience on most occasions. Wizards have been careful to prevent the effects of rolling a 20 from being overly good compared to the effects of rolling an 11, for example. But still, when your game is lost because your opponent rolled 20, or because you rolled 1, the experience is frustrating and negative. Cascade was used as an example to say that this category of “randomized” mechanics is fun and interesting for players. But Cascade decks, in both Pauper and other formats, are built precisely with the intent that the vast majority of spells you pull from a Cascade card will be relevant. You don't use Counterspell and Boarding Party in the same list for this very reason. And as a pessimist when it comes to luck and RNG, I will always look at these cards with the worst-case scenario in mind and, to be quite honest, they are all worthless in that case.
Choose your fate
Venturing into Dungeons
White?! I really liked the idea of an inverted Phyrexian Rager and this is a card that can be quite interesting for interactions with Ghostly Flicker as it adds life besides drawing a card and its cost is relatively well acceptable. It may not be the best addition to the format, but it is certainly by far the most interesting.