Posted on April 17, 2009 by Monica Valentinelli
To celebrate the arrival of Alara Reborn for Magic: the Gathering, Wizards of the Coast provided Flames Rising with an exclusive look at a brand new card for this series. According to the official page for Alara Reborn, it “is the third and final set in the Shards of Alara block. It is a 145 card expansion with randomly inserted premium cards. It will be available in booster packs, intro packs, and fat packs.”
The deck is artistically unique to the Magic: the Gathering series, because the entire Alara Reborn set is printed in full color with gold accents. Based on the plane of existence Alara setting, the cards were constructed around a story, the machinations of a single signature character, the evil planeswalker Nicol Bolas. Nicol is a iconic character, an ancient dragon with an epic thirst for power in all shapes and form who has been featured in fiction as well.
During Alara Reborn, Nicol Bolas appears during an auspicious occasion known as the “time of the Conflux, when the five shards converge once again into a single world.”
Soon fans of Magic: the Gathering will be able to play the role of the dragon planeswalker, and learn what power will be unleashed on Alara. Necromancer’s Covenant will bring a few undead into play.
Mechanically, the Necromancer’s Covenant‘s power is dependent on how creature cards are in the target player’s graceyard at the time. With a little strategy, players will find that they might just be able to help Nicol reach his intellectually-driven goals for acquiring power.
You can see some of the other previews Wizards of the Coast has provided below, but before we share those with you I’d like to point out how amazing the artwork is for this deck. Clean and accented with gold, the artwork is very intentionally drawn to give you the impression that yes, this really is Nicol’s deck. In this way, I think the art direction alone really adds to the character elements that are so prevalent in the dragon planeswalker: he’s an intelligent, ancient being, so the artwork and the images are very clean, well-contrasted and crisp. Nicol desires power, and I can’t think of a better way of expressing that “mood” than to provide full color, gilded cards. For some players, those sorts of touches might be taken for granted but as I learn more about Magic: the Gathering and start to play it, I’m beginning to understand how important the art is to add a little mood to the game.
Without further delay, here are some of the other previews that Wizards of the Coast was kind enough to offer. For more about Magic: the Gathering events and other related questions, be sure to visit the official Magic: the Gathering website for news, previews and support to enhance your card game.
Be sure to follow @flamesrising on Twitter for your chance to win some Magic: the Gathering gift packs.