Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Puzzleknot Cycle

We are once again well into the midst of another spoiler season, with the online release of Kaladesh only about a month away. And Wizards has already previewed not one but two new Common cycles in this set. So today we're going to take a look at the Puzzleknot cycle of artifacts and next week move on to the Thriving cycle of creatures.

The Puzzleknots are two mana artifacts that have a minor effect when they enter the battlefield, and can subsequently be sacrificed to repeat that effect at an additional colored mana cost. Let's take a closer look at the cycle:

Three of these are fairly straightforward to evaluate. First, Cogworker produces two 1/1 artifact creature tokens for 3W, but the second one can be made at Instant speed, which is a nice bonus. Second, Fireforger is similar in that you're getting 2 points of damage for a total of 4R. While you do get to pick two different targets, you're paying quite the premium, especially compared to cards like Twin Bolt. Third, Metalspinner immediately cycles (at the cost of one life), and draws a second card for 2B and another point of life, effectively giving you a Sign in Blood like effect, but again at a significant cost. Overall, while these are decent effects, you are paying extra for them, even if you do get to split up the costs over two turns. Unless you've got a good reason to be playing Artifacts, I'm not sure these get there.

We won't really get a sense for how good Glassblower and Woodweaver are until we have a clearer picture of what you can do with energy counters at Common. Getting to Scry 2 for 2 with the Glassblower is probably the best deal in the cycle, and if energy counters prove useful, then this will probably be the best of the five. And while generally Lifegain cards aren't great, it's surprising how effective an additional six points of Life can be in a close game, even if you are paying 4G for it.

I've always loved the design of the Spellbombs from Mirrodin and Scars of Mirrodin, but it remains to be seen whether these will end up good enough to live up to that comparison.

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