If you're a huge Magic the Gathering fan like me, the you know that there was the release of the new set, Avacyn Restored, this weekend. It got a lot of hype, due to the story line, and potentially good cards, and two new mechanics: Soul-bound and Miracle. This weekend, I had the chance to go to a pre-release tournament, where I got to play with the new set. With all the new stuff introduced in the block, was it a good decision? Personally, I am mixed like a lot of people I know are.
First is the mechanic of Soul-Bound. They are creature that can attach them selves to other creatures to give them new attributes, such as double strike, hexproof, and trample for example. They are not equipment, for the creature has attack and toughness, but they just give the creature they latch on to special qualities. You can choose to soul-bound two creatures, or you can not, and each creature, both the one with soul-bound, and the one without, can stand on their own. Now, with the introduction of soul-bound, they decided to make a few creatures that would die instantly if they are not soul-bound to anything, which to me is a dumb move, but I guess anything to introduce the mechanic.
Miracle is where I think Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of the cards, have really broken the game. Miracle allow you to cast a card for considerably less than the original cost if it's the first card you draw for the turn.My main problem with this is the fact that you can essentially cast Day of Judgement(In this case Terminus) for one white. And to make matters worse, it adds all creatures in the bottom of the deck, and there is almost no chance of getting the creatures unless you have shuffle cards and search cards. In a way, I guess it makes it easier to board wipe, but at the same time, it's being rather unfair. Also, the other miracle cards are rather ridiculous as well, due to power effects being cast for very little if its the first card you draw in a turn. The flip side of this is the fact if its in your opening hand, then you can't use it for its miracle cost, which could potentially balance out the mechanic.
The Avacyn story that goes along with the set is also pretty good. Grislebrand, a demon who is rebelling against the angels, traps Avacyn, the protector of Innistrad,in her own Hevault along with him self. Lilliana Hess went to the plain of Innistrad and tricked Thalia into opening Helvault, freeing not only Avacyn, but Gislebrand and all the other demons. She fails to kill Grislbrand, but Avacyn restores power to the humans of Innistrad, and she drives away the demons and zombies away from Innistrad.
The story is actually pretty good, and it adds for an interesting background for the set. I personally like it, due to the good vs. evil , but also somehow evil vs. evil. Avacyn is the supreme angel, and she is well designed, and Grislbrand is also well designed. The story has all of the characters from Innistrad and Dark Ascension, which connects the Avacyn to the rest of the set
Overall, I am pleased with the new set, though some of the mechanics seem a bit broken. If they can work out the kinks in the mechanics, then this set would be perfect and add more diversity to the set. All I must say is that I hope they don't add to many new, and possible broken mechanics.