09/02/2011 LD: "Garruk Flips Out"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.

amazing!!

The biggest Vorthos Ever I'd rather have an awesome mechanic than the most flavor any day. Constantly coming up with cards all the time. So if you see a card you like tell me. Constantly trying to get into card of the week if you see a card you like please nominate.

Could have been cool if it wasn't printed on a garbage Double faced card.  Good luck in future design...
The butt-hurt over Double Faced Cards strikes again!
personally i don't know with him, the sheer fact he can smack himself silly AND needs to dump lower to switch into his far bettermode kind of saddens me a bit.

still amused at the ultimate going suprisingly hand in hand with liliana 2.0's +1 effect of dumping like nobodies business into the graveyard.
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Are these rankings all anonymus? Can I go rank everybody I think is mafia with 1 star?
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slayer of fluffy, and single handedly annoyed half of the flavor/storyline group in one fell swoop[/sblock]
WTF!!!???
A set based on Lilian Vess and she comes out with a set of mediocre abilities.
THen comes out the biggest hipster dofus planeswalker of all time (all in my opinion) with abilities even i, a green hater, would like to play with.
Whats wrong with that picture? Why dont they just quit with the planes walkers and go back to Legendary Creatures with no Mythic rarity
(Sorry guys, but i have to rant)

Garruk 4.0 should be on a 4 faced oversized card that glows in the dark.  Now that would be some elegant creativity....Let's make it happen Mark!
Fails the color blind test and is pointless on every level. I am so glad the planeswalkers from this set are trash. I hate having to hunt the good ones down.
Green burn? k

I guess the little dot on the left of the type-line is supposed to do the color identifying. I am not color blind myself, so I don't know how it is supposed to serve that function if it doesn't have a symbol in it. Maybe because there are two levels of the color?


I don't see how he is pointless though. His creatures are smaller, but he can not only create board position, but can tutor stuff up when you need it. I think this will work out.

YES. I for one love this card. I loved previous Garruk, breeding my all time fave beasties, and this one just further supports another fave tribe, the wolves! He's going straight into my EDH stat. Green burn, two interesting token generating options, creature tutor, and an interesting overrun. Yes please!

Even if I didn't have a deck open for him, I'd get him because he's my favorite walker and he just brings a smile to my face. 
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strange the article didnt expain keeping track of loyalty on the flip/dark side, so say he uses the fight ability and take 3 off, then flips..so at that point he has zero?, why doesnt he die then?. or can someone shock for 2 and kill him before you get to activate one of his + abilities?

seems kinda hard to keep him alive to me.
I like him conceptually, but he's pretty vulnerable in a format containing Beast Within and Oblivion Ring.

You have to

1) Cast him successfully
2) Have a creature of 2 or less power out on the field (or hope your opponent has one)
3) Have him deal 3 damage to a creature, possibly meaning you sacrifice your own/Make a wolf token to use for step 2 on the next turn
4) Transform him
5) Wait another turn to use his +1 to get him back up on counters
6) Finally use the ultimate, assuming you only had one damage dealt to him back on step 2

That's a heck of a lot to go through.

He's definitely interesting, but I don't see him getting as popular as Liliana will be.

Oddly, I think he'd work best in a Green/Blue deck with proliferation effects. 
My poll vote, since I can't actually cast it properly (still!) is Black. Though in Innistrad it's looking like Green may step up to the plate!

About Garruk 3.0, I have a lot to say. All of it positive. However the most important thing to get off my chest is only marginally related to Garruk...

Green gets Fight! I was worried, from the preview card requiring a red activation, that it wouldn't be a Green ability. But this article confirmed it, first with Garruk having a similar ability, and second with Mr. Lapille's comment:
While green removing creatures is a little weird, we've gotten comfortable with allowing green creatures to fight opposing creatures, and this is very close to that.

. I could not be more excited. Green is finally getting perfectly in flavor creature removal. This will take the color from worst of the five to... not worst of the five. Which is amazing!

I like the flip condition, it's wonderfully flavorful. I like that the back side isn't just mono-Black, as that would feel weird, since his abilities would have to be mono-Black abilities that you could use in a mono-Green deck. I like that he makes wolves (a much cooler creature token than beasts, in my opinion, even if they are smaller). I like that his abilities all have extreme synergy: The first 0 on the front has synergy with the flip condition. The first back ability has synergy with the second, and the second with the third. I like that he gets not one but TWO forms of Green removal: deathtouch tokens, and fight. I could not ask for a better planeswalker design.

Thank you!
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I love his design. It's awesome how he subtly incorporates the "fight" mechanic. I thought he was going to have a minus ability that transforms him--when I saw a triggered ability and two "0" abilities, I nearly jumped out of my chair.
personally i don't know with him, the sheer fact he can smack himself silly AND needs to dump lower to switch into his far bettermode kind of saddens me a bit.



Agreed.  "I zero Garruk at your 1/1."  "Titanic Growth?"  "FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUU-"

still amused at the ultimate going suprisingly hand in hand with liliana 2.0's +1 effect of dumping like nobodies business into the graveyard.



Fails the color blind test and is pointless on every level. I am so glad the planeswalkers from this set are trash. I hate having to hunt the good ones down.




It's not like Shock isn't around.  but be aware, the flip is state-based.  Which leads into my question...

Say I drop Garruk.  You control a 1/1.  I zero him targeting your guy.  Let's say you don't have the pump spell to blow me out.  I transform Garruk.  Here's the thing:  Now that he has a different name, is he a different planeswalker?  -  and if so, then can I now activate him again, since I haven't yet activated "Garruk, the Veil-Cursed" this turn?  Or does the game just say "it's the same planeswalker, so no"?

I like that there is no printed Loyalty on the back.  This helps to further cement the fact that when cards transform, counters and tokens are unaffected.  Good teachable moment!

 Of course, I'm a bit disappointed he isn't a creature on the flip.  And there is no transform back...  poor Garruk.    His transformed art is cool but basically just looks like "really really mad", not "cursed" or "lycanthropized" or whatever.  Just a good ol spittle-emitting barbarian roid rage, nothing really special.  Would some red eyes have killed you, Deschamps?  :P

At least one thing is clear:  two of him will legend rule no matter who is transformed or not, as both have card subtype "Garruk".  But WotC...  I think that's enough Garruks for now, ok?...
A very strange card.  I was going to complain about some things, but they were elegantly explained away in the article in a way that satisfies me.  While I hope he won't be the only two-face planeswalker ever (the more obvious-seeming functionalities of transforming with loyalty abilities should see use, but Tom was right that they would have felt off for Garruk in this case), I'm pretty satisfied with how he turned out.  The only things I don't like are that he had to remain green when transformed (having him flip from mono-green to mono-black would have been satisfactory and avoided the weirdness of a multicolor color indicator, which should probably have been put off until set 2 - actually if I'd been involved, Garruk might just have been saved for set 2, since presumably it takes him time to track Liliana to Innistrad), and that I think his tokens should maybe have been different creature types since it's a bit odd to have two different kinds of Wolf tokens in the set.  But overall, I'm reasonably happy with how things turned out, and hope that the DFC-Planeswalker concept proves itself so that we can see more of these very interesting cards.
I will however heartily agree with "enough Garruks" (just like with Jaces - let's have an Ajani 3.0!).  The original five planeswalkers are sort of intentionally boring, since they serve as color archetypes and thus can't be too far from the pale; I'll be far more excited when we see some new planeswalker characters getting the love.
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I don't particularly like how he spits out two different types of Wolf counters.  Beyond being kind of uninteresting (how many times are you going to flip him over to get the deathtouch wolves anyway? You're flipping him for the creature tutor) it seems unnecessarily confusing.  Especially since both abilities are likely to be activated in many games.

"So I see you've got three wolf tokens there.  How much do they swing for again?  And can I attack with my fatty or not?"

Just seems like one of his abilities could have been changed.

I guess I also don't like how it's pretty much completely impossible for someone who has trouble with colors to tell that he is in fact Black/Green when flipped.  Since the colored part of his frame is so small, it's possible to miss it even if you don't have trouble with colors (and I'm guessing the problem will be a lot worse at card size.  Will the split "color indicator" even be discernable at that size?"
Well, he's certainly "cooler" than Vess of the Veil...too bad, as many others have already pointed out, there are a very large number of issues here.  While I too like the difference between 2/2s and 1/1s with deathtouch...having a single card make two different tokens is not fun for Game State.  The color-blind test is important, and I had to doubletake to realize it was actually Black/Green (though the mechanics are very nice...except that it can be done in a mono-green deck...).

So far, DFCs are great flavor-wise...but absolutely terrible in all other ways.
Yeah, with all the ornamental black in the Walker card frame, it is hard to tell.  I would have been complaining too, but there isn't really that many cases where his transformed side's color will matter... the only thing I can think off is Intimidate, and cards like Terror & Doomblade.

I think this card is much more balanced than Lili... and even though he's also a 3 loyalty Walker, he can make a chump blocker turn 1.  all his abilities are actually very useful, so I'd be happy to have him by my side, even if he never goes off with his (very nice) ultimate ability.
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I don't particularly like how he spits out two different types of Wolf counters.  Beyond being kind of uninteresting (how many times are you going to flip him over to get the deathtouch wolves anyway? You're flipping him for the creature tutor) it seems unnecessarily confusing.  Especially since both abilities are likely to be activated in many games.

"So I see you've got three wolf tokens there.  How much do they swing for again?  And can I attack with my fatty or not?"



This is whay wizards makes tokens.  So you ca use them and easily differentiate between the two.

Just seems like one of his abilities could have been changed.

I guess I also don't like how it's pretty much completely impossible for someone who has trouble with colors to tell that he is in fact Black/Green when flipped.  Since the colored part of his frame is so small, it's possible to miss it even if you don't have trouble with colors (and I'm guessing the problem will be a lot worse at card size.  Will the split "color indicator" even be discernable at that size?"


hmmm i guess asking 'what color is he again?' is beyond the communication of some players.

I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.

I transform Garruk.  Here's the thing:  Now that he has a different name, is he a different planeswalker?  -  and if so, then can I now activate him again, since I haven't yet activated "Garruk, the Veil-Cursed" this turn?  Or does the game just say "it's the same planeswalker, so no"?


The rule is that the same planeswalker permanent can't use more than one loyalty ability per turn.  A characteristic change, including name, doesn't make it it a different permanent.


Removal and Tokens is a very good pair of abilities. I almost think the second side is wasted.  Give me a 3cc Garruk who +1s beasts and has this zero ability, and I wouldn't even need an ultimate.



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I like him a lot. He and Liliana could easily make a very strong combo.

Also, a Hex Parasite easily allows for Garruk Transformation.
Not excited... And I'm a green lover that has supported everything Wizards has spoiled up to this point.  I guess, if you're a green player that REALLY has to deal with 3 or less toughness creatures for 4 mana it's ok.  But I'd rather just run Beast Within like I already am and get more versatility out of it, or big beasties that cost 4 mana.

This card doesn't even make sense to me... unless they just wanted to make a planeswalker that meshed flavor-wise with their little web comic.  But I'd rather just play a planeswalker with good abilities for the game, not for the flavor. The abilities don't seem to really go together at all.

This is what I call a top-down dumpster fire.  I'm just glad they printed a good Garruk in M12, which will probably go up in price now that everyone knows that this one stinks.

Sorry Wizards... but when it comes to the marquee planeswalkers cards, you really have to be on top of your game 'cause they get the spotlight.  And this time, you were not  :-(

I'm not really sure in what situations you would want to play this.  I hope I'm wrong, but this card just seems bad, bad, bad.
From a design perspective, the most interesting thing about this card is not that it's a transforming planeswalker, but that it's a planeswalker with an ability that isn't a loyalty ability.  There's probably a lot of usable design space in that vein.

Say I drop Garruk.  You control a 1/1.  I zero him targeting your guy.  Let's say you don't have the pump spell to blow me out.  I transform Garruk.  Here's the thing:  Now that he has a different name, is he a different planeswalker?  -  and if so, then can I now activate him again, since I haven't yet activated "Garruk, the Veil-Cursed" this turn?  Or does the game just say "it's the same planeswalker, so no"?


It's still the same permanent.  You can't activate another loyalty ability in the same turn.

After a double-faced card transforms, it's still the same card, so any Auras, counters, or other effects stay right where they are (unless the double-faced card's characteristics have changed such that an Aura can no longer legally enchant it).



This is whay wizards makes tokens.  So you ca use them and easily differentiate between the two.




How many people use official tokens?  You certainly aren't required to use them.


hmmm i guess asking 'what color is he again?' is beyond the communication of some players.




I don't think it will be a problem in tournaments.  There the players should know the cards.

In casual evironments however the player who owns the card might not notice the difference.  And his opponents are not going to ask unless they suspect that Garruk changed color upon flipping, which isn't something you would expect unless you are familiar with the webcomics (which hardly anyone is.)

Both of these aren't really fatal flaws of the card, but it just seems like the could have been ironed out somehow.  Would the card really have suffered so much by simply only having one token creating ability (or repeating the original token creating ability)?  And would it really have suffered by making the card completely black, or making the frame a bit more noticable, or having a better "color indicator" to clear up the color issues?

I mean some of the stuff with transform can be legitimately defended with "well this is the only way to do this."  But I don't see why this card couldn't have been tweaked a bit.

Confused.


1) 2 or fewer to transform? does that conflict with the 'at 0 a planes walker dies' rule?


   Guess he passes the lightning bolt test


2) With no counters on the back to subtract from, no amount of damage can remove him?


3) With no total couldn't you just keep doing -3 every turn?


   I would think not, but if any of these are possible - Awesome

Well, it is the only way to do "this". According to the article, the goal was specifically to create a transforming planeswalker... which would be difficult to do on anything other than a transforming planeswalker. The only question was should it be Garruk, Hipster Doofus or a new character.

*whoever called Garruk a hipster doofus earlier in this thread... well played!  I'll never look at my 2nd favourite walker the same way again. :D
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Confused.


1) 2 or fewer to transform? does that conflict with the 'at 0 a planes walker dies' rule?


   Guess he passes the lightning bolt test


No.  State based would trigger his transform ability.  But it would never have a chance to be put on the stack, because state-based would also see he has zero loyalty and put him straight into the graveyard.  Nothing overrides that rule, and no triggered ability is fast enough to stop it. 

2) With no counters on the back to subtract from, no amount of damage can remove him?

This was covered in the rules FAQ for transform.  Permanents that transform retain all counters, auras, and equipments as well as other ongoing effects (like buffs / debuffs).  Garruk would keep whatever loyalty he was at on "Relentless" when he transforms to "Cursed". 

3) With no total couldn't you just keep doing -3 every turn?

Also from the transform mechanic FAQ:  dual faced cards can ONLY ever enter the battlefield on their "day" side.  Garruk's day side clearly lists 3 Loyalty so if bounced / Vensered he will always enter the battlefield with three loyalty.  Since he can never enter the battlefield as "Garruk, the Veil-Cursed", there is no reason to have starting loyalty listed on that side (in fact, it would be confusing) - so WotC sensibly didn't include it there.

Also, a Hex Parasite easily allows for Garruk Transformation.

<-- This. I was about to say the exact same thing.  Though since his transform is a trigger Garruk is always going to be shock-bait vs. red.  Really hoping white or green gets a fog effect that can prevent "any amount of damage dealt to you or a planeswalker you control this turn".  Wait for them to burn him and then prevent all but two of the damage...  heh.  ^_^ 
The good news:


  • Garruk's not that good.  The chances of DFCs completely disappearing into the same abyss as banding and the tombstone icon in 2013 are still pretty good.

  • Wizards has finally realized they can put non-loyalty abilities on planeswalkers.


Confused.


1) 2 or fewer to transform? does that conflict with the 'at 0 a planes walker dies' rule?


   Guess he passes the lightning bolt test




No.  State based would trigger his transform ability.  But it would never have a chance to be put on the stack, because state-based would also see he has zero loyalty and put him straight into the graveyard.  Nothing overrides that rule, and no triggered ability is fast enough to stop it. 

2) With no counters on the back to subtract from, no amount of damage can remove him?



This was covered in the rules FAQ for transform.  Permanents that transform retain all counters, auras, and equipments as well as other ongoing effects (like buffs / debuffs).  Garruk would keep whatever loyalty he was at on "Relentless" when he transforms to "Cursed". 

3) With no total couldn't you just keep doing -3 every turn?


Also from the transform mechanic FAQ:  dual faced cards can ONLY ever enter the battlefield on their "day" side.  Garruk's day side clearly lists 3 Loyalty so if bounced / Vensered he will always enter the battlefield with three loyalty.  Since he can never enter the battlefield as "Garruk, the Veil-Cursed", there is no reason to have starting loyalty listed on that side (in fact, it would be confusing) - so WotC sensibly didn't include it there.

ProfN: Thanks for the reply and reminding me to not skim over new mechanics rules. Gonna add that to my Fearless Magic Inventory.
The good news:


  • Garruk's not that good.  The chances of DFCs completely disappearing into the same abyss as banding and the tombstone icon in 2013 are still pretty good.

  • Wizards has finally realized they can put non-loyalty abilities on planeswalkers.




I lol'd.  ^_^

I've also wanted, for a LONG time, walkers with non-loyalty abilities.  One of my early designs pre-Gideon was a white walker whose flavor was as the gaoler of a interplanar prison.  "The Warden".  Basically she keeps these evil planeswalkers under lock and key so they can't hurt more innocents.  She got involved in the story of the block I was working on when one of the evil walkers escaped and she pursued him to my world.

Her static ability was "Permanents with Binding counters on them cannot be untapped."  (Quite a few white permanents in my set had this static ability - and not, it didn't say "do not untap during their controllers' untap steps - they straight-up are impossible to untap.)  And one of her loyalty abilities doled them out, but only to creatures.  (I was planning to have other spells that could give them to artifacts or lands.)  But since it was a two-part ability, like Gwafa Hazid's, then the Binding counters would "turn off" and cease to have any effect if all the permanents that explained what Binding counters do were removed from the battlefield.  Basically, if you can kill all the "jailers", the "prisoners" stage a mass exodus.  Hexmage-esque effects were also going to be included in order to do one-permanent "breakouts".  

ProfN: Thanks for the reply and reminding me to not skim over new mechanics rules. Gonna add that to my Fearless Magic Inventory.

Thank you!  That's the best compliment I've had all week.  
Like my momma always said, "How do you know you don't like it if you havent' tried it?"  My guess is that this card tastes like chicken, but with a hint of tabasco.    

Good article, great reveal, and I am loving the idea of a new way to play with DFCs.  Wolf tokens of two types will be fun to play, as I like variety and a bit of token chaos in my games.  
double faced cards are going to ruin magic, this one especially.  not only are you going to have to unsleeve them and flip them over every time your opponent wants to see them and flip them back now we are going to have a permanent that repeatedly makes two different sizes of tokens with different relevant combat abilities.  it's going to be a pita to keep track of which are 1/1s with deathtouch, and which are 2/2s.  I hope this is the first and last set with double faced cards.  It just sucks that we'll have to deal with them till next summer at least.

I guess the little dot on the left of the type-line is supposed to do the color identifying. I am not color blind myself, so I don't know how it is supposed to serve that function if it doesn't have a symbol in it. Maybe because there are two levels of the color?


 



The dot isn't there for color blind people.  It's there so that the card has a color at all.  Double Faced cards have the characteristics completely determined by the face-up face.  Since the night side of double faced cards has no mana cost, they have no inherent color.  This is the type of situation where Wizards would normally put a "CARDNAME is COLOR" clause (like Evermind or Living End) but I guess they thought that would look dumb if it was on every transforming card.  They couldn't say that the color was shared with the front, because they wanted to change colors.  So they put the dot there as a way to track color (since the card frame does not technically indicate anything about the color).
For those bring up titanic growth and lightning bolt: er, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought those rotate out of standard the moment garruk comes in. I mean, you could want it for commander, modern or casual, but still.

Plus, shock still kills him when he tries to transform.

My first thought: shock still kills it as it transforms, or pull a mutagenic growth on the creature he attacks. Green pherexian mana makes it playable in any deck, semi-useful in any creature based deck anyways, plus another upside of pherexian mana is that if your opponent thinks he's safe because you've tapped all your  mana, think again.

It doesn't seem like a bad card, but in my eyes it's just too weak. Well, especially since he's probably going down to one to transform. Maybe if they started him at 4 or 5 and made it that he transforms at 3 or 4. That's my humbe opinion.
Well not only that but we still have incinerate so even if he woofs it up you can still boom him dead. But honestly despite my gut reaction of meh, I'll hold judgement until he sees play as we have nowhere near the full picture of the landscape he'll be in. Either way I do love that WotC has shown how much is untapped in the realms of 'walker design space ^_^
Hmmm...

Multicolor Planeswalker. Interesting.

Werewolf support? Half Check. Garruk will play nicely with HP Alpha.
Zap something for 3, to transform? I dunno. 1/1 death touch over 2/2 critter... 2/2 deathtouch, 3/3 with HP Alpha... I kinda like the Non-Transformed side better.

So... you get yourself down to 2 or 1 loyalty, and what do you get to play immediatly? Worldly Tutor. Could be worse, I suppose. Ultimate is ... Well, maybe it'll be worth playing? I don't know.

Overall, I like M12's Garruk better. I think that this one is kinda a "Drop and Burn" planeswalker, like Chandra. That's okay, but I really like my planeswalkers to be more than just momentary figures on the board.
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For those bring up titanic growth and lightning bolt: er, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought those rotate out of standard the moment garruk comes in. I mean, you could want it for commander, modern or casual, but still.



Bolt is out, but Titanic Growth is brand new.  You could use Incinerate though.

For those that are complaining about two different tokens, what have you been doing when your Wurmcoil Engine dies or you play Bestial Menace?  Both of those cards put in two or more different tokens, so why is the new Garruk such an issue?  I have seen many times when players have had to deal with more than one type of token.

I am fine with this Garruk.  He puts wolves out so he works pretty well with Howlpack Alpha.

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I was opposed to the flip cards at first because I think that playing with proxies is an extremely dangerous thing to do. I also think that it is bad for draft which is a big reason why people open packs.

However, some of the recent flip cards have been interesting to me. I hope that they make some that are worth playing that do not solely rely on the playing of or not playing of cards.

We'll see.

I think that this Garruk is an extremely cool card. I think it's very well balanced. It doesn't look OP to me but it looks very solid. Well done.

Terror of whatever pass should have been 2R  
I was wondering why the text frame was all black, then I relized it's a planeshifted version of a hybrid text frame.  Hybrid text frames are normally light gray.  This one is dark gray.
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