Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Two Planeswalkers

The second planeswalker was revealed today on Wizards. It's been confirmed that there will only be two planeswalkers in Rise of the Eldrazi. Meet Gideon Jura. 

And Sarkhan the Mad.

Juxtaposed, they are like Light and Darkness; Angel and Devil. The two planeswalkers together are very similar and very different. Both cost 5 mana and start with pretty high loyalties. Both have "ultimates" that can be immediately used. Although activating them immediately seems pretty pointless at first. (Gideon cannot attack the turn you cast him.) Both stretch the design space of previous planeswalkers, which compared to these are pretty bland.

How do you even judge planeswalkers like these? Are they broken? Are they merely okay? Are they subpar? What's their cost:benefit ratio? How do you even know which ability to use at what time? Sometimes it'll be obvious, but many times it will be un-obvious. Or maybe you choose one, but it's the wrong choice in the end. Planeswalkers like these will surely test the skill of the user and her knowledge of her own deck. Whether these planeswalkers even belong in the deck in the first place will test the deckbuilder's abilities, too.

I've never met a more un-obvious pair of planeswalkers in my life. Time and testing will tell.