I may have mentioned it before — but I don’t remember an entry written specifically about it which means probably not — but I find something interesting about the creature themes of the current block of Magic, Innistrad and Dark Ascension (and M12, if you’re counting that too), Gothic Horror and all.
Now, I played in a couple of this block’s pre-release tournaments, so I’m actually somewhat familiar with the cards and such, so I was thinking about its vampires and werewolves and zombies. And when I started thinking about it, I realized that apart from those three, there wasn’t a consistent theme among the other colors.
Unless you’re counting humans, clerics, and/or soldiers. *I* don’t count them.
Right, so I was thinking, … Black and Red share vampires, and Green and Red share werewolves, and then Blue and Black share zombies, … what other creature types are shared in this block? And the answer is mostly “None. None more are shared.” Looking back at the colors and the creature types being shared, I said, “Aha!”
With its Gothic Horror theme, the block seems to be mostly about Red/Black Versus White, with Blue and Green kind of on the sidelines. There’s something great for players who want a Red/Green deck … you have your werewolves sorted out. Blue/Black gets zombies, … pretty cool. Red/Black gets vampires. Also cool.
Now, if you’re in any of those three combinations (or a monochromatic deck of any of those three), then you fall within a pretty specific range of deck types. And, it should be noted, the colors all still conform to their standard personality types. Green has big creatures, as it tends to, and Blue does what it does best (wins the game).
This does something pretty cool and awesome, which enables everyone to play what they already like and are familiar with, and also polarizes the metagame somewhat between all of the most terrifying Creatures Of The Night and then …Everyone Else.
I wonder if they’ll continue this kind of design with future sets — choosing one color and pitting it against its rivals in combination. Say, for example, Blue were pitted against Green/Red, or Black against White/Green, with the other two colors silent, relegated to their traditional roles, and remaining on the periphery. “Unaligned.”