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Conflux Mechanics

I think that it's time to do a brief summary of the Shards of Alara Conflux mechanics identified to date. Basically, there is a return of four mechanics and an introduction of a new one. Let's go . . .

Cycling : Pay a cost, discard that card to be able to draw a card (hopefully a more suitable one for the play at hand). There were 13 cards with the cycling mechanic in Shards of Alara and six so far in Conflux ; Gleam of Resistance, Constricting Tendrils, Traumatic Visions, Absorb Vis, Fiery Fall, Sylvan Bounty.

Exalted : Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, that creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn. There were 12 of these cards in Shards of Alara. To date we have three cards with exalted in Conflux ; Frontline Sage, Noble Hierarch, and Giltspire Avenger.

Unearth : Pay a cost, return the card from your graveyard to play. It gains haste. Remove it from the game at end of turn or if it would leave play. Unearth only as a sorcery. There were 13 cards with the unearth mechanic in Shards of Alara and five to date in Conflux ; Brackwater Elemental, Extractor Demon, Rotting Rats, Hellspark Elemental, and Shambling Remains.

Devour : Followed by a number 'X' - typically 1 to 3. As this comes into play, you may sacrifice any number of creatures. This creature comes into play with that many +1/+1 counters on it. Shards of Alara gave us seven such cards and so far we have only two such cards in Conflux ; Voracious Dragon and Hellkite Hatchling.

Domain : effect - equal to the number of basic land types among lands you control. To date we have four such cards with this mechanic listed; Worldly Counsel, Matca Rioters, Might of Alara, and Exploding Borders. If domain had a sibling, it would be 'Rainbow' which I will interrupt this thought process and yatter about right now.

From our prodding with the Conflux Orb of Insight, we now all eight instances of WUBRG (aka MTG Rainbow) which fully accounted for.

Cost: Child of Alara, Maelstrom Angel, and Fusion Elemental. Conflux and Progenitus also counts even though this is either 3 + 'Rainbow', or double 'Rainbow'.
Activations / Other : Dragonsoul Knight, Fleshformer, Paragon of the Amesha, Kaleidostone and Worldheart Phoenix.

Anywho - - back to Domain. This is interesting, intriguing but not really new which I will get onto in a moment. I read with some interest a late December post at the Filipino MTG blog DeathMarked, run by fellow blogger Mark. Mark identified the original 'Domain' way back in Planeshift which was released in February, 2001.

For posterity's sake is a quick run-down of the WoTC marketing blurb that came with the 'Domain' theme deck (remember those?).


A five-color deck without any one land that can produce multiple colors? A deck that's over half lands and land-fetching effects? Can a deck like that work? It can, and the Domain deck is a blast to play!

Because all the "domain" cards depend on how many basic land types you have in play, this deck focuses on getting at least one of each basic land into play. The best color for solving mana problems is green, so the deck contains more forests than any other basic land. Quirion Trailblazer, Primal Growth, and Harrow are all important for getting basic lands into play. You'll find that playing Harrow can often mean the difference between winning and losing.

Once you have all five basic land types in play, the fun begins. You'll probably take some damage early in the game, but the Domain deck contains some cards to help you recover. Wandering Stream will often gain you eight or ten life, and Exotic Disease can close the gap between your life total and your opponent's. At just 1R, Tribal Flames could deal 5 damage to an annoying creature (or your opponent). The star of the domain show is Allied Strategies. For just 4U, you could draw five cards! Your creatures certainly aren't slouches, either. Once all five basic lands are in order, Wayfaring Giant hits the table at 6/8, and Stratadon is a menacing 5/5 for five mana.

Domain includes a few cards that aren't true domain cards, but they work well in the deck. The "dragon charms" are great utility spells. Between Rith's Charm and Treva's Charm, you can solve almost any problem you'll face. Magnigoth Treefolk is a big, unblockable creature that begs to be enchanted with Strength of Unity. Quirion Dryad can grow to huge proportions over the course of the game.

To improve the deck, you could take out some creatures and add more Tribal Flames and other creature-control spells. If you're fond of playing creatures, take out some of the catch-up spells and replace them with the best creatures in any color.


Death Mark said...

Hey buddy, thanks for mentioning and referring to my post.

It's actually Filipino and not Phillipino. Just a correction.

Thanks again... :)

CopySix said...

Thanks for reading Mark !
This has been corrected - please excuse this unknowing Canadian. :-)