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April 8, 2012

PAX East: Wizards of the Coast – Magic the Gathering Panel

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Written by: Patrick Wainwright
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Besides playing video games, I also enjoy playing games of Magic. When I got the chance to go to PAX, one of the most exciting opportunities for me was seeing Wizards’ panel and their preview of the upcoming set, Avacyn Restored. April 28th can not come soon enough. I hope you will enjoy this slight deviation from our normal coverage of video games.

The panel opened by talking about the set as a whole. Avacyn Restored is going to have a strong tribal theme. There will be four legendary angels in the set. The flights of angels have been restored with Avacyn’s release from the Helavault. Now darkness is on the defensive. Several formally evil forces have been converted. Some malevolent spirits have been changed into revenants. Werewolves can not have their curse undone. However, Avacyn’s magic can bind their human mind to the wolf body and put them into service as guardians of humans.

Their were three main design goals for the set. The first was to build a sense of drama and excitement with the culmination of the block. The second was to have more continuity that Rise of the Eldrazi had with Zendikar block. The final goal was to keep only some of the mechanics from Innistrad and Dark Ascension.

The development team also had their own list of goals. They wanted to create dramatic, exciting game play moments. Heroism and cooperation were going to be emphasized, but there would be awesomeness in each color. Finally they wanted to have an angel theme but not create a white mana centric set.

Flashback has been removed for this set. Undying will still remain and will thematically represent only the strongest of the monsters being able to survive the holy onslaught. One of the new mechanics for the set is soul bong. When a creature with soul band or another creature enters the battlefield, these two creatures can be paired together if unpaired and they will gain some type of benefit such as double strike. The other new mechanic is miracles. Miracle cards have a newly designed card frame with lines appearing on the top of the card above its name.  Miracle cards can be cast for a special cost if they are the first card you draw for a turn and you play them immediately. There will also be no miracles in black.

Several new cards were previewed at the event. Sigarda, Host of Herons is a green-white legendary angel that prevents your permanents from being sacrificed by an opponent. Restoration angel has flash and flickers one of your creatures when they come into play. Silverblade paladin is a human knight with soul bind that gives him and his partner first strike. This set is going to be very exciting and I am chomping at the bit to see all of the spoiled cards in the upcoming weeks. The panel ended with a huge reveal that the next block would be a return to Ravnica in the fall. Ravnica is one of the most popular sets in magic and this return is sure to cause a lot of excitement.

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About the Author

Patrick Wainwright
Patrick Wainwright has been a writer and contributor to SideQuesting.com since 2011. When not playing video games and publishing pieces, he tutors students in math and plays games of Magic the gathering.