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Zendikar: The New Mechanic & The Returning Mechanic September 1, 2009

Posted by James in : all, random, reviews, previews, design , trackback

We now know what mechanic has returned in Zendikar and we know what makes Zendikar such a dangerous place.

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

The mechanic that has returned is Kicker. So far that sounds quite underwhelming, but they might do something fairly exciting with it this time around. I have no idea what that could be at this moment.

kor sanctifiers

The New Mechanic

What makes Zendikar such a dangerous place are traps. Take a look:

wiplash trap

pit trapThe main idea of Traps is something like an instant with a triggered ability, or some kind of threshold. We’ve already seen threshold on instants, so this isn’t a huge innovation.

There has been some speculation about trap cards being in Zendikar for some time, but no one had a good idea what they might be like. My suspicion would be that they would be something like trap cards in Yu-Gi-Oh. The whole point of a trap should be that it’s a surprise, quite unlike Pit Trap, the first trap we had in Magic. Yu-Gi-Oh Trap cards are played face down and are turned face up by being “triggered.” If Magic got traps exactly like Yu-Gi-Oh’s, they would be like the card shown below:

snake pit

However, Magic could also just borrow the idea of playing the card face-down until resolution. This would make it a double surprise. You could play them as an instant, and the opponent wouldn’t know what exactly you are playing until it’s too late. They would have to counter it before knowing what they are countering.

snake pit 2

Of course, trap cards wouldn’t have to be very innovative. Now that we can play some artifacts as an instant, we can fix the problem with Pit Trap and make sure that artifact traps can be a surprise:

snake pit 3

The image used for the Snake Pit cards was by St. John and it is in the public domain.


1. michael - September 15, 2009

So with the first trap, you want to make Tarmogoyf stronger? lol.

The traps just let you play the spell for less. I like the one that hoses storm. 0 mana to counter all the storm copies. Everyone will want 4 for the sideboard to fight storm since the trap cost is 0, even though it is a blue spell.