GAME REVIEW: COMMANDER 2014: FORGED IN STONE / DESIGNER: WIZARDS OF THE COAST / PUBLISHER: HASBRO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Part of the appeal of Magic the Gathering is its highly social element. You have to find other people in order to play it and, because of the multiple play-styles that the game enables, you ideally need a circle of friends to play cards with. Commander is a specific format of game that allows for multiple players, making it the most social. It revolves around a central ‘captain’ style card and allows lots of people to pile on, rather than the more common one-on-one format that most of these duels are played. Pre-built decks for Commander are quite useful because they gather a large number of singularly-themed cards in one place and provide a simple entry point for all different types of players.
Forged in Stone is one of the newly released pre-built decks and is based around the colour white. The deck doesn’t have its own unique theme; like most white decks it’s all about defences and hordes of angry angels. The commander card that comes with the set, Nahiri the Lithomancer, is an interesting choice. She’s flexible enough to be boosted with equipment, packs a reasonable punch, and can be adapted to various strategies. She also works well with the ‘hordes of tiny creatures’ approach that this deck also encourages. Like all good pre-constructed decks, it’s flexible enough to permit modification without using its unique style and should generate minimal frustration for new players.
There are a number of interesting cards throughout the deck, and of interest to eternal tinkerers is the Containment Priest. Its ability to manipulate tokens opens up all sorts of interesting options for controlling the game. The whole set is decent value for money, and it’d be difficult to get a deck quite this interesting by simply buying booster packs.Forged in Stone is a handy way of getting someone into this world famous card game without having to worry too much about the fine details. It’s of interest to both new players and old hands, as it forms a good backbone for a collection of white cards. If you’re going to get into Magic the Gathering, this is a good entry point, though it is one of many out there.
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