I beseech you for aid. Strange and horrifying creatures are emerging all across Innistrad, and I know not what sense to make of them. But if anyone could tell us what laws may govern these new abominations, it is you. Can you join me at the Star City, and speak to the masses?
-- A humble traveler
There is none better equipped to prepare the masses for the fight against the horrors emerging on Innistrad than I. I would be honored to assist in disseminating my knowledge to better defend my home.
New Mechanic: Emerge
I sacrifice a Warrior token for Wretched Gryff's emerge ability. What discount do I get?
Summoning such a vile creature while sacrificing a noble Warrior in the process? If you must do this, the Gryff's alternate cost would be used. You would then look for the discount to that alternate cost. This would normally be the converted mana cost. However, your Warrior token has a converted mana cost of zero. The final cost will be the full alternate cost of 5U.
What if I sacrifice a Hangbarback Walker with three +1/+1 counters for Wretched Gryff's emerge ability?
There really is no escaping the destruction the Eldrazi are spreading across Innistrad. Once you decide to summon Wretched Gryff using the alternate cost, we then look to the creature that is being sacrificed. While Hangarback Walker is on the field of battle, it does not matter to what size it has grown, it will always have a converted mana cost of zero. Therefore you will receive no further discount toward the alternate cost.
New Mechanic: Meld
Yes. While these monstrosities appear to behave in a similar fashion to Werewolves and other “transforming” creatures, in fact they meld together by exiling themselves and re-entering the field of battle as a new creature.
Your once peaceful township has now melded into one writhing Eldrazi abomination. We examine the converted mana costs of their pre-melded selves and meld those together. You mortals may know this operation as “adding.” Therefore your Writhing Township now has a converted mana cost of 3 (three plus zero).
Your two creatures will indeed begin their journey to exile. Once there, your Rats will see that the Scavengers were merely an imposter. Because of this the final transformation will not be able to occur, and both the Rats and the Clone will remain in exile.
Ah yes, Nahiri. She temporarily summons a creature from beyond. Yet here when the end would come, we are faced with two options.
You may arrange these choices in such a way that the summoned Angel will return to your hand, and leave her sister unchanged on the field.
Or, if you are inclined to witness the devastation that is Brisela, you will need to choose in such a way that the Angels begin their melding process first. (This means placing the meld trigger on the stack second, thus allowing it to resolve first.) When Nahiri tries to return the original Angel, she no longer exists in the form in which Nahiri summoned her, and nothing further happens.
First, congratulations on your ability to recruit the Angel Gisela as your commander. Now, if she happens to meld into the creature known as Brisela, this new “Angel” will also deal damage as your commander. This is because the wretched abomination Brisela also contains what was once your glorious leader, Gisela.
I own and control Hanweir Garrison and Hanweir Battlements. When I move to combat, my opponent casts Throttle on Hanweir Garrison. In response, I activate Hanweir Battlements' bottom ability. What happens?
Both the Garrison and the Battlements will enter exile and then return to the field melded into the single permanent, Hanweir, the Writhing Township. Throttle will then be countered because the Garrison became a new object after its journey through exile. Since this monstrosity has haste, and we have yet to enter the declaration of attackers, this Eldrazi abomination may also enter combat.
If your opponent successfully purges the monstrosity from the field of battle with a spell of unsummoning, the melded creature will be torn asunder. The two halves will revert to their original forms as they return to your hand.
If you are able to intercept this creature before it has been fully summoned to the battlefield, you may return it to your foe's hand. However, if Gaea's Revenge has successfully entered the battlefield, you will no longer be able to target it with Unsubstantiate.
I cast Galvanic Bombardment while my graveyard is empty. Do I deal two damage or three?
While this geist-powered device may have a limitless supply of fuel, its devastating power must start somewhere. At the time it's dealing its damage, it has not yet entered the graveyard. Therefore, if there is nothing yet in the graveyard, this first one will only deal two damage.
What can I get using Coax from the Blind Eternities?
If one were a certain lithomancer with a taste for vengeance, it would be possible to reach into the void that is the exile zone or even as far as the sideboard to obtain the tool needed for destruction...provided that tool has Eldrazi in its type line. This also includes noncreature Eldrazi tribal cards, such as All is Dust.
As it turns out, I don't actually know a millennia-old vampire, but I do know someone who looks a lot like him. If you attended GP Charlotte last month, you surely noticed the cosplayers dressed as iconic Magic characters. The Sorin cosplay was worn by none other than Justin Rix, who is also a judge! I'm very happy he was willing to join me as this week's special guest.
Questions for Justin
Where are you from?
I have lived in Florida most of my life, and moved to Gainesville for college. I really liked it here, so I stayed.
What's your profession?
I'm a pharmacist for Walgreens.
When did you become a judge?
I tested for Level 1 during Gatecrash. Ben McDole tested me for Level 2 in September 2013.
Why did you become a judge?
I started to really focus on learning the rules of the game to help answer questions at my LGS. There was a lack of competitive events in the Gainesville area, because the closest judge was almost two hours away. I mostly wanted to make sure there were well-run tournaments my son could play in.
What are your proudest achievements in Magic?
About a year after my son and I started playing, we attended our first GP. We were very intimidated, and just drafted a few times (we didn't play the main event). On Sunday, we played in the Premier Sealed event of about 200 players. We both did very well (I lost my win-and-in) and both of us finished in the top 30. This was the turning point for me. I try to go out of my way to help and encourage newer players and make tournaments a safe place for them.
You're often seen with your son at Magic events. What's being a Magic parent like? Do you have any advice for other parents?
My son and I have enjoyed doing things as a family for most of his life. We started learning a martial art together, we scuba dive, we learned archery as a family. When we decided to try Magic, it was naturally something we decided to play together. Spending quality time with my son is also a great excuse to go traveling to a Grand Prix and being away from the rest of the family for days at a time. The hardest part of being a Magic parent is finding the right balance between Magic time and focusing on the rest of my family (I have a wife and two daughters as well).
When asked for tips about parenting in general, my first answer is always to spend time with them. Be involved in their lives. It's tough after a long day at work, when you get home and are ready to watch Game of Thrones or play some Battlefront. Before you know it, they are teenagers, and it will get even harder to stay involved.
What inspired you to cosplay as Sorin?
I really enjoy trying new things. I had seen some cool stuff done with foam crafting, so I wanted to try that. I hadn't seen Sorin done yet, and I unveiled the results at GP Charlotte.
Any plans for future cosplay?
I'm currently reworking the sword for Sorin, and I'm looking at Dack Fayden. But I promised my daughter I'd make her a Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye costume.
Awesome! Thanks for joining me, Justin. Looking forward to seeing more fantastic cosplays from you!
Eldritch Moon is shaping up to be an awesome set, and I can't wait to see the rest of it! If you have any questions about the Eldrazi abominations rampaging across Innistrad, leave a comment here, or send me a message at email@example.com. I'll take the best questions and put them in a future column!
Until next time...