Magic: The Gathering Arena: Getting Started with Magic: The Gathering with the Release of Zendikar Rise

 The slogan for the new Magic: The Gathering - "Zendikar Blossom" reassuringly reads: "Death lurks behind every stone." Which, however, is not surprising: Zendikar is a rather dangerous world for adventure seekers. He has finally healed from wounds received many centuries ago, and is ready to let in all lovers of picturesque landscapes and powerful artifacts that can influence the fate of the universe.

Each new release of MTG adds not just a new set of cards to the game, but several mechanics at once, and Rise of Zendikar continues that tradition with the introduction of the new Squad mechanic and the return of Landfall and Booster. All this opens up new combinations with cards from previous sets for fans of "Magic" and various options for updating their decks.



Brave old world

Players return to Zendikar for the third time. If the first issue and its sequel told about the world, which was attacked by incomprehensible creatures from the Blind Eternity, now we will see Zendikar no longer on the brink of death, but in all its glory, after invasions and wars. The Eldrazi (by the way, one of the strongest creatures in the entire history of the game), who sought to completely and completely absorb Zendikar, remained in the past.

Even before the "Rise of Zendikar" we knew that this world is famous not only for its unearthly beauty, but also for its deadly dangers. Zendikar's landscape has periodically transformed, causing unpredictable destruction and abrupt weather changes. Called the Great Val, this powerful natural phenomenon continues to make life on Zendikar full of risk and adventure.

Details of the plot of "The Rise of Zendikar" can be found not only from the descriptions of the maps, but also on the official website - there are again stories about the adventures of the main characters. However, Magic: The Gathering is all about collecting, deckbuilding, and fun battles using a variety of mechanics, so let's move on to those.

Adventure Time

Usually, all the mechanics of MTG releases are related to the plot and the universe in which the game takes place. And since Rise of Zendikar is dedicated to the adventures of artifact hunters, it is not surprising that this is where the completely new Squad mechanic appears. Its essence lies in the fact that having cards of suitable types on the table (Tramp, Warrior, Priest and Sorcerer), you can receive various bonuses.

This mechanic was inspired by the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, which also had a motley group of adventurers. In the original Zendikar, team spirit was embodied with the help of Allied Cards, which embodied the idea of ​​mutual assistance and also gave various bonuses. In "The Rise of Zendikar," Wizards of the Coast decided to focus specifically on different adventurers.

The new mechanic will work even if you have an incomplete squad. Let's say you lack a Sorcerer, but there are three other cards on the battlefield - you will still get your benefit from the Unit. In the "Rise of Zendikar", of course, there are plenty of Rogues, Warriors, Priests and Wizards ready to go in search of adventures. All adventurers are quite diverse, and some are more versatile than others.

Not without the return of old mechanics in the new issue. In issues about Zendikar, lands have always occupied a significant place, and "Rise" was no exception. It has returned to Landfall, which is triggered every time a land under your control appears on the table. This ability can empower creatures and grant them additional abilities almost every turn, because lands in Magic: The Gathering regularly enter the battlefield and are a key source of mana for playing cards.

Present in the "Rise of Zendikar" and double-sided cards. They have two front sides, and when laying them on the table, you only need to choose one: sometimes you need lands, and sometimes you need spells. To ensure that such double-faced cards do not stand out in the deck, players can use opaque protectors or special auxiliary cards with empty windows for recording.

Map place

Where do you get all these cards? There are several options. The first of them is a ready-made "Commander" deck: you can simply open it and immediately go to play. But if you're looking to build your deck or hunt for beautiful rarities, then your choice is one of four types of boosters: set boosters, draft boosters, collectible boosters, and themed boosters.

Set boosters contain up to four Rare or Myth cards, at least one foil card, and a beautiful art card for the collection. And in every fourth booster one can find one of the three hundred rarest and most valuable cards in the entire history of Magic.

Draft boosters traditionally include ten common cards, three uncommon, and one rare or mythical value. Also, with a certain probability, you may get foil cards (6-9 per display, in which there are 36 boosters in total). Typically, draft boosters are used in tournaments where players build a deck right before the start of the competition.

Collectible boosters are designed for fans of the unusual, as they contain alternative and special versions of cards. These boosters are usually chosen by players who like to collect certain cards or their versions. In the Blossom of Zendikar, the collectible booster display is guaranteed to receive two bonus Expedition cards and a Buy-a-Box promo card (while stocks last).

Themed boosters are sets of cards related to a specific theme, mechanic, or color. They are suitable for players who do not like to reveal boosters with a random set of cards: for example, if you decide to build an aggressive red deck and you only need cards of that color. Each themed booster contains 33-34 common and uncommon and 1-2 rare or rare cards.

Magic: The Gathering Arena: Getting Started with Magic: The Gathering with the Release of Zendikar Rise

After opening any of the above boosters, your collection of cards will be replenished with powerful spells, useful and legendary creatures, and gorgeous art. Don't forget, you can always check out all the cards from Zendikar's Rise on the official Magic: The Gathering website.

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