Games Gazette Logo

       

Fate Reforged   Set of 185 Black-Bordered Cards from the Khans of Tarkir Block   Fate Reforged  The Khans of Tarkir is a Magic:The Gathering block consisting of three parts - the Khans of Tarkir, Fate Reforged, and Dragons of Tarkir. The block is based on the cultures of Asia. It is also the last MtG block to have three expansion sets. The Fate Reforged set of MAGIC the GATHERING cards is available in the usual formats, Intro Packs (prebuilt decks + 2 new booster packs), Decks, Boosters, Fat Packs, Duel Decks, Two-Player "Clash" etc etc.  The cards from this Block have a wide variety of the special abilities that have grown up with Magic the Gathering since it's inception in the 1990's when it was just a simple complicated complex world-changing card game.

These are some of the newer important abilities you will encounter if you join Fate Reforged at the level I have: 2 x Intro Packs and a 2-player Clash pack. Regular MtG players will know the majority, if not all, of these from previous sets.

Reach: -  is the ability of a deck to beat you outside of conventional creature combat.
Dash:-      is a keyword that lets you cast creature spells for an alternative cost. 
Manifest:-  basically gives you an unblockable creature if you don't control any other creatures.                                                                                            
Ferocious:-  is used to show abilities when you are controlling a creature of 4 or greater power
Delve:-   spells are usually powerful but costly - there are alternative payments though.                                                                                  
Bolster:-  is a keyword action and is always followed by a number.  
Vigilance:-  allows creatures to attack without becoming tapped.
Deathtouch:-  makes all damage (except zero damage) lethal.
Morph:-  allows you to cast spells unseen until you flip the cards over.                                                                                       

  

                

The INTRO Packs I have are:
Unflinching Assault: (Black & White)  
Creature (22)   2 Aven Skirmisher 2 Mardu Hateblade  1 Cruel Sadist   3 Oreskos Swiftclaw 1 Battle BrawlerChief of the Edge 1 Chief of the Scale  2 Sandsteppe OutcastHooded AssassinMerciless Executioner  2 Abzan Skycaptain 1 Dragonscale General 1 Razorfoot Griffin 1 Gravedigger 1 Unyielding Krumar 1 Elite Scaleguard 
Sorcery (2)  1 
Diplomacy of the Wastes 1 Rush of Battle  
Instant
(7)  2 
Honor's Reward 1 Sandblast  2 Harsh Sustenance  1 Take Up Arms  1 Throttle  
Enchantment (4)  2 
Debilitating Injury  2 Raiders' Spoils 
Land (25) 3 
Scoured Barrens 13 Plains 9 Swamp

Stampeding Hordes: (Red & White)   
Creature (24)   2  
Firehoof Cavalry  2 Leaping Master  2 Valley Dasher  2 Wandering Champion  2 Mardu Scout  2 Goblin Roughrider  2 Sandsteppe Outcast 1 Geist of the Moors  2 Goblin Heelcutter  2 Vaultbreaker 1 Razorfoot Griffin  2 Highspire Mantis 1 Flamerush Rider 1 Thundering Giant 
Sorcery (3)  1 
Act of Treason 1 Bathe in Dragonfire 1 Pyrotechnics   
Instant (8)  1 
Collateral Damage 1 Deflecting Palm 1 Ride Down 1 Dragonrage 2 War Flare  2  Heat Ray   
Land (25)  3 
Wind-Scarred-Crag 13 Mountain  9 Plains

Other Intro Decks: 
Cunning Plan (Blue & Red).    Grave Advantage (Black & Green).    Surprise Attack (Green & Blue).

    

The two decks I have for review, Unflinching Assault and Stampeding Hordes make for highly enjoyable, interacting and interesting games against each other without addition of cards from the boosters as you pit Red & White against Black & White. When playing MAGIC the GATHERING, in my personal opinion, White is a strong power on its own, but I believe it is probably the best ally you can have whatever colour you attach it to, with Blue a close second. Over the years I have found for fun play that any of the colours make for great single colour decks and this is how I have always played MtG, for fun. I haven't the brain power to construct a world-beating deck myself and when I have read the cards included in the decks that have taken the world championships I can see why. For me they are mostly boring decks, set for a specific purpose like a machine. I fully understand that in these championships it is as much Mind vs Mind as Deck vs Deck, very much in the mould of Chess, and that is another reason why I play MtG for fun only. The two decks mentioned above are fairly well balanced but Red has come out on top just a few more times, often through the luck of the draw or an error made by one of the players (usually me). I haven't got round to tweaking the decks with the cards from the boosters yet, though I have put all 4 booster packs together (card list below). From what I can see, carrying on with my chat about Championship decks, players now seem to take only one, maybe two cards from each new set (or four of each card type) depending on their strategy to include in their deck or sidebar. I am not a championship competitive player but if I were to participate in a championship it would be only in the Sealed Deck game where each player gets a sealed deck and some boosters (and perhaps a pool of booster cards for all to delve into to make the numbers up).

This Is The Card Breakdown From My Four Fate Reforged Booster Packs:

Green: Abzan Beastmaster. Ainok Guide. Ambush Krotiq. Destructor Dragon. Frontier Mastodon. Map of the Wastes. Sandsteppe Mastodon x 2. Temur Runemark x 2.  Temur Sabertooth. Whisperer of the Wilds x 3. Warden of the First Tree (Gold).
Blue:  Enhanced Awareness.Frost Walker. Monastery Siege (Gold Foil). Neutralizing Blast. Rakshasa's Disdain x 2. Refocus. Sultai Skullkeeper. Whisk Away. Will of the Naga.
Black:  Alesha's Vanguard. Diplomacy of the Wastes x 2. Douse in Gloom. Hooded Assassin. Mardu Shadowspear. Qarsi High Priest. Sultai Emissary.Taisgur's Cruelty. Typhoid Rats.
White: Abzan Skycaptain. Arashin Cleric. Aven Skirmisher. Dragon Bell Monk. Hero's Blade. Sandsteppe Outcast. 
Red:  Bathe in Dragonfire. Dragonrage. Friendly Fire. Lightning Shrieker. Mardu Runemark. Mardu Scout. Smoldering Efreet. Temur Battle Rage x 2.
Twin Colour: Bloodfell Caves ( Red, Black Land). Ethereal Ambush (Blue, Green Instant) x 2. Harsh Sustenance (Black, White Instant) x 2. Ojutai, Soul of Winter (White, Blue Legendary Creature, Dragon). Rugged Highlands (Red, Green Land) x 2. Swiftwater Cliffs Red, Blue Land). War Flare (Red, White Instant)
Token Creature: Manifest. Spirit. Warrior x 2.

   

Two-Player Clash Pack: POWER & PROFIT   Two 60-card Decks ready to play. From persuing the internet this appears to be currently (or perhaps permanently) the only CLASH pack available for FATE REFORGED.
Power:
Blue & Black: 
 Key Cards: Reaper of the Wilds (Gorgon) Gold Foil. Courser of Kruphix (Centaur) Gold Foil. Whip of Erebus (Enchantment Artifact) Gold Foil. Doomwake Giant (Gold). Nighthowler (Gold). Eidolon of Blossoms (Gold). Nyx Weaver (Black & Green)
Profit:
Black & Green & Blue:
Key Cards:  Gold Foil Cards are: Necropolis Fiend, Hero's Downfall, Sultai Ascendancy (Green & Blue). Gold cards are: Monastery Siege. Scuttling Doom Engine.  Oppulent Palace x 4 (Green, Blue or Black Land) Sultai Charm (3 colour Instant) and Sultai Soothsayer  (3 colour Creature - Naga Shaman)

The Power deck is just that, hit your opponent, hit them hard and continue to hit them until you have bludgeoned their deck into oblivion. The Profit deck requires a little more thought, strategy, planning and connivance, none of which (well maybe one) I am particularly good at which is why I generally plump for the Power deck and hope I can hit hard and fast enough before my more clever opponent gets her deck on a roll and then I'm toast. 
The creators of these decks have been very clever in putting Blue cards with each deck along with enough multi-coloured Lands to allow all cards a fair chance of being brought into play. Usually if you add a third colour to your hand you run the risk of not getting enough of the correct colour Mana out but this deck is very well conceived on that front. 

     

Planeswalker Abilities:  Planeswalkers are powerful allies you can call on to fight by your side. But how do they work?  Planeswalker cards are shuffled into your deck at the start of the game, just like any other cards. You can play a planeswalker only at the time you could play a sorcery. A planeswalker is a permanent, so when a planeswalker spell you control resolves, it enters the battlefield under your control. (Note that planeswalkers are not creatures.)   Each planeswalker has a subtype. For example, Sarkhan Vol says "Planeswalker — Sarkhan" on his type line. If a player controls two or more planeswalkers that share a subtype, that player chooses one to keep and puts the rest into their owners’ graveyards. The number in the lower right corner of a planeswalker card is its "loyalty." It enters the battlefield with that many loyalty counters on it. If it's ever on the battlefield with with no loyalty counters on it, it's put into its owner's graveyard.

Each planeswalker has a number of activated abilities on it. You can play one of these abilities only at the time you could play a sorcery, and only if none of that planeswalker's abilities have been played yet that turn. The cost to play a planeswalker's ability is to add or remove a certain number of Loyalty counters from it. For example, the symbol  means "Put 1 loyalty counter on this planeswalker," and the symbol  means "Remove 3 loyalty counters from this planeswalker." You can't play an ability with a negative loyalty cost unless the planeswalker has at least that many loyalty counters on it.   

Fighting a Planeswalker:  Planeswalkers can be attacked. When you declare attacking creatures, you choose whether each one is attacking your opponent or a planeswalker that opponent controls. Your opponent can block as normal, regardless of what each creature is attacking. If a creature deals combat damage to a planeswalker, that many loyalty counters are removed from it.   Other sources can deal damage to planeswalkers. If a spell or ability you control would deal damage to an opponent, you may have it deal that damage to a planeswalker that opponent controls instead. So while you can't target a planeswalker with a Shock, you can have a Shock that targets your opponent deal 2 damage to one of his or her planeswalkers instead of to the player. You can't split the damage from one source between a player and a planeswalker. Damage dealt to a planeswalker results in that many loyalty counters being removed from it.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015