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Lorwyn Tribes

In the last post, we provided a broad introduction of the Lorwyn block. Today, we will follow-up with a more detailed look at what defines and separates the Lorwyn block from the other Magic the Gathering blocks.

From the marketing material . . .
"In Lorwyn, creature type matters more than ever before. Mischievous Boggarts, ruthless Elves, and valiant Kithkin…which tribe will you choose?"

As hinted in the statement above, the defining characteristic of Lorwyn is its eight races; Boggarts (Goblins), Elves, Kithkin, Elementals, Treefolk, Merrow (merfolk), Faeries, and Giants. The Lorwyn block is considered to be a tribal block in that the card set may be organised into tribes by race (
read: creature type). The Lorwyn set is a race-based tribal set, whereas the Morningtide set will build upon this and class-based tribal set.

What all this means is that creatures with the same race and / or class are typically complimentary to each other are when played together produces a positive mechanical effect or synergy. By way of example, lets have a look at these six cards.

Elvish Branchbender
Cost: 2G
Type: Creature - Elf Druid
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: T Until end of turn, target Forest becomes an X/X Treefolk creature in addition to its other types, where X is the number of Elves you control.

Harpoon Sniper
Cost: 2W
Type: Creature - Merfolk Archer
Pow/Tgh: 2/2
Rules Text: W, T Harpoon Sniper deals X damage to target attacking or blocking creature, where X is the number of Merfolk you control.

Lys Alana Scarblade
Cost: 2B
Type: Creature - Elf Assassin
Pow/Tgh: 1/1
Rules Text: T, Discard an Elf card: Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of Elves you control.

Silvergill Douser
Cost: 1U
Type: Creature - Merfolk Wizard
Pow/Tgh: 1/1
Rules Text: T Target creature gets -X/-0 until end of turn, where X is the number of Merfolk and/or Faeries you control.

Spellstutter Sprite
Cost: 1U
Type: Creature - Faerie Wizard
Pow/Tgh: 1/1
Rules Text: Flash Flying When Spellstutter Sprite comes into play, counter target spell with converted mana cost X or less, where X is the number of Faeries you control.

Thieving Sprite
Cost: 2B
Type: Creature - Faerie Rogue
Pow/Tgh: 1/1
Rules Text: Flying When Thieving Sprite comes into play, target player reveals X cards from his or her hand, where X is the number of Faeries you control. You choose one of those cards. That player discards that card.

By these examples, we can see that a solid advantage may be realised by building your Lorwyn deck around a tribe.

Finally, a note about Changelings. Technically, these oddities are not a "Tribe". The Changeling keyword ability text reads "This card is every creature type at all times". A player with a Changeling card will now have the opportunity to give his tribe access to a variety of things the tribe may be missing, such as inexpensive creatures, creatures with flying ability, or powerful attackers. Changelings may be used to help an otherwise weak hand. As a changeling is every creature type, it will be affected by any spell or ability that affects a given creature type, regardless of what that creature type is. This may or may not be a good thing depending upon what the spell is.

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