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Rise of the Eldrazi: Leveling Up Inspired by a Fan? March 26, 2010

Posted by James in : all, fake cards, reviews, previews, speculation , trackback

In November 2007 a member of the Magic Set Editor community, moxydotorg, developed a Magic template for what he called the “hero’s format,” which is loosely based on Elder Dragon Highlander. (Pichoro improved upon the template.) The main idea was to have a main character that could “level up” similar to RPG games.

hero's template heroes template level up magic the gathering

Heroes are basically creatures that get experience when they reach a condition met on the bottom of the card. Sir Martis the Valiant will get experience when he blocks or becomes blocked. Once enough experience is attained, he gains a level. One experience point brings him to level 2, three brings him to level 3, six brings him to level 4, and 10 brings him to level 5. The text box describes what happens at each level.

Hero cards were originally intended to only be used in a special format (the hero’s format), but it didn’t take people long to suggest that regular creatures could gain levels as a new mechanic. At the end of 2007, Darksir suggested we could use the template for

…just a special type of creature that has an experience track, with special abilities that become available as certain circumstances occur. A blue hero that gains an experience tick at the end of any turn you’ve drawn more than 1 card, for example.

A half year later in July 2008, we saw the following:

figure of destiny

Figure of Destiny has something a lot like “levels” and players tend to refer to the changes in its size as being different “levels.”

And now cards like the following have been spoiled for Rise of the Eldrazi:

guul draz assassin level up

I am somewhat annoyed that “level” basically denotes “experience points.” I would rather that each level do something different, just like Figure of Destiny and the original hero cards.

However, I am pleased to see these cards overall. I enjoy seeing innovative new ideas that revolutionize Magic, such as multicolor cards, split cards, hybrid mana, and flip cards. “Level cards” remind me of flip cards because they are so strange looking.


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