Magic: The Gathering’s next set, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, features a new “venture” mechanic that allows players to move around dungeons.
Magic: The Gatheringthe next set is Adventures in Forgotten Realms, which dives into Dungeons & Dragonsworld of Faerûn. While the set won’t be released until July 23, the spoiler season is off to a good start. Many cards have been revealed, as well as new mechanics introduced in this set. There are few keyword mechanics, but the most important of them is “Venture into the Dungeon”, which aims to capture the world and characters of Faerûn in a way that mixes the mechanics of both. popular table games from Wizards of the Coast.
When a card asks a player to “venture into the dungeon,” he chooses one of the three dungeon cards. Each of them is based on a different dungeon from a Fifth Edition mod: Tomb of Annihilation, Mad Mage Dungeon, and Lost Phandelver Mine. The players place a token or a pawn in the first “room” of the dungeon of their choice, and obtain a different effect depending on the one they have chosen. This engages them in the dungeon of their choice, which remains out of the game until it is needed again.
Whenever another card asks the player to “venture into the dungeon”, they advance to the next room and trigger the indicated effect. Sometimes you will have a choice of several rooms, representing divergent paths in the dungeon. These keep the games varied, as players can make different choices in subsequent games, even if they select the same dungeon each time. Reaching the end of the dungeon means that a player has “completed” it, which is important for some maps. Any adventure effects triggered in the same game thereafter will allow the player to choose a new dungeon, which will restart the process.
Each dungeon has its pros and cons, depending on the objective of the player’s deck. More aggressive decks could use Tomb of Annihilation, as it reduces player health totals and resources with the rewards of a 4/4 with deathtouch at the end. Mid-range and control decks can choose between Mad Mage Dungeon and Phandelver Lost Mine. Lost Mine is the most comprehensive of the three, with fairly straightforward perks and the drawing of a card as the final step. Full control decks will likely be more interested in Mad Mage Dungeon, as it offers a whole range of perks across its seven levels and a cornerstone that offers huge amounts of card and tempo swing perks.
However, the dungeons alone are only the basis of Adventures in Forgotten Realms‘ mechanical. What’s more important are the cards that trigger business effects and reward players for completing dungeons. First of all is Ellywick Tumblestrum, the Planeswalker Marquis of the set. Ellywick is a bard with a friendly frog familiar, and can +1 to venture into the dungeon. Its -2 filters through the player’s deck for cards, such as creatures that have their own adventure effects. Once she has enough loyalty, Ellywick can also create an emblem that grants an overflow effect, with trample, haste, and + 2 / + 2 for each dungeon the player completes.
There are many other cards that allow the player to venture out, including Nadaar, Selfless Paladin. Nadaar can be a useful base for an aggro adventure deck, allowing the player to advance through Tomb of Annihilation as fast as possible to create their 4/4 cornerstone while also being a relevant organ on the board. Once they do, Nadaar grants a hymn to the rest of the player’s board. He can also attack vigilantly, and then still be exploited by Dungeon Descent, which means he can venture into dungeons even faster. Overall, Venture isn’t the most powerful mechanic, but it’s a cool way to incorporate a core element of D&D in Magic. It is sure to provide a lot of choice and strategy for Adventures in Forgotten Realms‘Limited format.
KEEP READING: Magic: The Gathering – Understanding Modern Horizons 2 Draft Archetypes
America: Movie Teaser Gives Us What We Need – Plus RoboCop Centaur
About the Author