Amonkhet set information
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Welcome to the Multiverse! Multiple worlds exist side by side in different dimensions, known as planes, and they are as different as night and day. All of them, however, have a form of magical energy known as mana. Most residents of these planes are unaware of other worlds, but there are some special beings with the ability to safely travel between them, known as Planeswalkers.
Magic: the Gathering is a Trading Card Game, the first of its kind, developed by Richard Garfield and his playtesters for the gaming company Wizards of the Coast in 1993. The game quickly became a hit, and it is currently bigger than it has ever been. You and your opponent play the role of dueling Planeswalkers, using customized decks made up of your spells, the creatures you can summon, your mana bonds with lands, and even other Planeswalkers you can call in to help out. Whoever can get every opponent down to 0 life wins.
This time, we visit the Egyptian mythology world of Amonkhet, featuring mummies, gods, and a graveyard theme. Now, let's dive into Ancient Egypt!
Banned and Restricted List Update - For the first time in years, cards have been banned in Standard:
* Emrakul, the Promised End
* Smuggler's Copter
* Reflector Mage
But many still consider Standard to be a mess right now, and people expect more cards to be banned at the next update. Felidar Guardian is very likely to be banned, and many say Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is possible too.
EDIT: Felidar Guardian has been banned. And here's an explanation of the Copycat deck and why it needed a ban.
If you're a beginner, feel free to come in. Us regulars can get a bit technical with card evaluations and use a lot of jargon, and many of us will loudly proclaim that a cool-looking card is junk, or say that a lame-looking card is really powerful, so ask us if you want an explanation.
To see what a game is like, check out Geek and Sundry's Spellslinger series (now discontinued), where Day battled various geek celebrities, often losing, using simple and easy to follow decks.
To get started, check out the official page. Basically:
* It's recommended that new players play Magic Duels (thread). It's a great way to learn the game on your own, and it's free!
* After that point, the act of deck building can be intimidating, so it's recommended that you try out a preconstructed deck and customize it with other cards you get, before you start making your own from scratch. Planeswalker Decks are preconstructed decks that come with four unique new cards, including a new Planeswalker card. If you have a friend to play with, there are also Duel Decks that provide two decks for a game right out of the box, but are a bit more complicated.
* To get your physical collection started, buy a Deck Builder's Toolkit, which includes not just a starting collection of cards (including a lot of lands), but also some booster packs and a good box to store cards in. The Holiday Gift Box provides an even larger starting collection and better storage.
* The different play formats can be found here. The most popular formats where you start out with no deck and have to make them from scratch (Limited) are Draft and Sealed. The most popular formats where you bring a 60-card deck ahead of time (Constructed) are Standard, Modern, and Legacy. Casual play has no restrictions other than what your friends decide. Once your skill advances, another popular way to play Magic casually is Commander.
* While game stores will often hold Magic events at other times, every store that has Magic events will have Friday Night Magic. There, you will be able to find other players in your area to both have matches with and trade with. Find game stores here. And to get started participating in your local game store (LGS) scene, attend an open house or prerelease event!
OPEN HOUSE AND PRERELEASE
While the set won't officially be sold until the release date, that isn't the first time you can get your hands on the new cards. Game stores will hold Magic Open House events specifically meant for new players, with people there to give you simple Welcome Decks and teach you how to play.
The big thing to look forward to, however, is the prerelease event held for every set. You play in the Sealed format, where every player is given a box with six booster packs and a random additional rare card. From this pool of cards, all of which you keep, each player builds a deck of 40 cards and participates in a Swiss-system tournament. This is a fun and casual event, where everyone is still trying to figure out the set, so don't worry about messing up. In addition to normal duels, there are also Two-Headed Giant events, where you pair up with another player and face off against another team.
The Magic Open House will be on April 15, 2017. Prerelease events will be held on April 22-23, 2017. Call your local game store a few days ahead of time to register for the prerelease, or they might just run out of room. Find local game stores here.
Amonkhet is a harsh desert world where everything that dies is cursed to rise again. People gather in oases, magically protected from the sand and horrors, raising warriors to go through the Trials of the Five Gods and thus gain their favor.
After halting the plans of the evil dragon Planeswalker Nicol Bolas on Kaladesh, the heroic Gatewatch have decided to confront him on Amonkhet, where he is worshiped as God-Pharaoh. The Gatewatch hope to catch Bolas off guard, but can they stand a chance when everyone in the world is against them?
Card image gallery
Only whores can save us
On Amonkhet, the gods walk among the people as a constant presence. There are five god cards, each a single color.
Unlike on Theros, the gods are always creatures, but they won't bother to help you unless you meet their conditions. Still, they will lend a bit of their power no matter what, through activated abilities.
What is an Egyptian world without mummies? In fact, the people of Amonkhet often welcome death.
Creatures with embalm are willing to be mummified after they die, thus unusually becoming white-aligned zombies. Exile them from your graveyard to create a token copy, except it is monowhite and a zombie in addition to its other types, and it has no mana cost. Surprisingly, every single embalm creature has its own token, which you can get in booster packs. If you don't get the right one, then some booster packs feature punch cards with "embalmed" markers that you can overlay onto the mana cost of your original creature card, thus representing the token.
When certain creatures attack, you may exert them. If you do, they put a bit more effort into their attack and trigger a special ability, but they then have to rest and thus don't untap for your next turn. Of course, if you give the creatures vigilance or untap them with a spell or ability, then there's no cost at all! Some booster packs will feature punch cards with "exerted" markers that you can put on your creatures as reminders not to untap them.
Here we go again
One of Magic's most frequently used non-evergreen mechanics is back! There are times when a card in your hand just isn't useful at the moment, and almost anything could be better. Cards with cycling may be discarded to draw a new card, sometimes with a bonus effect.
The hell is this?
It's a split card? But what's going on with the layout? The top half of the card can be cast from your hand, but for the bottom half with aftermath, you can cast it from and only from your graveyard, whereupon you exile it. The key to the layout is that when it's in your hand, your eyes are drawn to the text on the top half, and while its in your graveyard, you can stick the bottom half out of your discard pile and thus always know it's there.
Don't give a damn about my bad Invocation
Battle for Zendikar, Kaladesh, and every block after all have a special set of reprints known as masterpiece cards. They are printed at a rarity higher than mythic rare, but have no unique cards and don't affect what's in Standard. Each set's masterpiece collection is foiled with a special themed frame, and the past two have been very well received. Amonkhet masterpiece collection is known Amonkhet Invocations. Let's see how amazing they are!
Oh no.... oh no no no...
Official articles - Nicknamed the Mothership, these articles are the primary source of news. Recommended columns are Making Magic, written by the head designer, Mark Rosewater (aka MaRo); Magic Story, which tells the story, written by various authors; and Latest Developments, written by various Magic developers. The other articles generally discuss deck building. For older articles before the site changed, go here.
Card image gallery - Best way to see all of the spoiled cards together, but only updates once a day.
Blogatog - Tumblr ran by Mark Rosewater where he answers questions, updates very frequently.
Drive to Work - Mark Rosewater's weekly podcast about Magic that he literally records as he drives to work. Two episodes are released every Friday.
MTG Salvation's Rumor Mill - The best place to get new card information. The community sucks, though.
Mythic Spoiler - A good way to see what cards have been spoiled, updates throughout the day.
Gatherer - The official method of searching through released cards. Has autocomplete.
Scryfall - The better search method, with bigger cards, but it doesn't have autocomplete.
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