This is Grell's most dangerous experiment yet, so he's relying on the wisdom of the ancient Byzantine engineers.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Card of the Day - Remember Agony, Incite Fury, Whitetower's Call
Quicken, if not my absolute favorite among keywords I've designed, is certainly in the upper echelons (I think fervor probably takes home the gold). Like cycling, it's fairly simple and it doesn't really have that much impact on the rest of the card (for most cards). However, also like cycling, it causes you to think about, and possibly play, the card differently.
Here's how it works, basically. You play a spell with quicken just like you would any other spell. You pay all necessary costs of the spell and it goes on the stack. From that point on until the spell with quicken resolves, it's as if all spells have flash. Since any spells played during this time go on the stack on top of quicken, they resolve first. Note that players may only play spells as though they have flash during this time. Quicken has no effect on abilities, so it doesn't let you sacrifice your Bloodpyre Elemental.
One of my favorite things about quicken is that it's a different ability depending on which type of card it's on. On sorceries, it's a minor drawback, allowing your opponent to respond to the card with spells they wouldn't normally be able to play during your turn. In Remember Agony's case, this might mean that they get rid of a card that they absolutely don't want to lose. Of course, your opponent is unlikely to hold on to their spells just on the off chance that you play a quicken card. That's why quicken would have been a good thing to have in Prophecy or better yet a full rhystic block, but with rhystic done right (yes, that is possible). With players leaving lands untapped to pay for rhystic spells and to power up reverse Scoria Cats, quicken would be much more of a drawback on sorceries, and could allow for both more interesting and more powerful cards.
On instants, quicken is an advantage. Cheap instants with quicken act like more versatile variants of the namesake spell but with different side-effects.
The most fascinating things you can do with quicken aren't actually on the quickening cards themselves. Given an abundance of quickening cards at common, you can create sorceries that have different effects when it's not your turn. You can do seemingly nonsensical things like giving a creature the ability "When CARDNAME comes into play, counter target spell." In a quicken-free format this is useless, barring some Elvish Piper action. Ideally, you could use that creature to counter your opponent's Incite Fury or have it ride on the back of a Whitetower's Call to do some instant-speed countering. Of course, when you're messing around with quicken, everything's instant speed.
P.S. Remember Temporal Adept? He's all about quicken. P.P.S. I really dislike Incite Fury's name. Not a huge fan of the art, either. P.P.P.S. Whitetower's Call used to be called Idle, but it seemed a shame to waste such an elegant name.