Sunday, January 25, 2009

Big Game Huniting: Conflux and 5Color

Folks, the name says it all. A Conflux is coming; a mighty convergence and change which will redefine the game. We are just one week away from the prerelease of Conflux, and nearly all of the set has been spoiled to date. While many cards are expected to make a splash in various formats, one card above all others may change the way the 5color format is played.

This card is pretty nuts for 5Color, and is almost sure to be on the restricted list for some time. It's almost unhindered ability to search up other restricted lands will make this a force to be reckoned with. It has recently been described by The Sproutfather as Crop Rotation on a stick. Not only is this just as powerful as this already restricted spell, but it is reusable, and makes the creature stronger with each use. Crop rotation is at least balanced in it's give and take, here you get two upsides for every calculated downside.

Public Service Announcent:

Please be on the lookout for the following powerful, nearly uncounterable permanents at a 5Color table near you, which may be in the company of Knight of the Reliquary. While these are not new factors, they are expected to be seen much more frequently.

This shift will also impact already established 5Color tricks like Dredge, and Retrace as a way to put more lands into the graveyard. Lands which can be sac'ed for effects are now much easier to get into play. Life from the Loam's ability to reuse these sac land nearly infinite times, give an already powerful card an unneeded power and versatility boost, which may finally rocket it from Restricted to Banned. Many would argue that this is well overdue, but I for one would mourn it's passing.

Eventides's Spitting Image has found niche in many 5Color decks for it's reusable copy ability making use of Retrace. It may soon be overshadowed by its BG cousin Worm Harvest, as it's retrace ability gets stronger with more lands in the graveyard. I for one will be experimenting with the Harvest, as well as it's BG Liege buddy. Potentially dropping multiple multiple 3/3 tokens is pretty hard for an opponent to come back from. Not to worry, if they do manage to contain your wiggle army, just do it again with another land.

Land has always been a factor in this game nearly regardless of the format. I have only ever piloted one deck which did not make use of it, and it was marginal at it's best. Until recently though land has always played a secondary role to flashier spells, mechanics and creatures. Let's face it, land didn't kill your opponent. Now we can begin to see land as a much larger resource, bringing about game breaking effects very nearly in their own right.

I expect the Intro Pack contents will be officially spoiled on Monday, so tune in next week a more budget minded introduction to Conflux. The early reports containing powerful rares and truly mythic Mythic Rares may make Conflux on unfriendly environment for the budget challenged. The promo card for the event had me thinking about skipping the prerelease for the first time in years. Hopefully the Intro Pack contents will lend a little hope to the budget players. I for one will be attending one of the few remaining big prerelease events in Richmond.