Today’s preview doesn’t have a new mechanic, but there’s something in that casting cost that we’ve never seen before. Marisi’s Twinclaws shows how thoroughly multicolor Alara Reborn is, taking the three colors of the Naya shard and mixing them in a new way.
For a total casting cost of four, you get a couple of Thundercats that are the equivalent of a 4/4 in a fight against a larger foe. The Twinclaws are ideally suited for culling your opponent’s herd of 2/2 or smaller creatures, easily taking them out even if they have First Strike. Will this card see much use in tournament decks? I’m not sure. It’s not a bad card by any means, but I suspect the hardcore deck tuners will find better uses for a four mana slot.
In limited format, though, these cats are rad. They’ll deliver some big hits for a reasonable casting cost, and Double Strike can be a big advantage in the creature battles that limited matches always revolve around.
It’s sure to make deck building a challenge. One green mana is required, but then you’ve got a hybrid red/white mana. When you sort your cards after opening your packs or drafting, which pile do you put Marisi’s Twinclaws in? I’ll confess that hybrid mana symbols totally confounded me when I started playing again last year – I built a terrible deck at a sealed tournament, and a friendly guy pointed out that I had a bunch of good cards that I could use in my deck because of their hybrid casting costs. Cue one forehead slap.
So Cheetara and Lion-O here give you options and a little extra to think about when you’re trying to calculate your mana curve in the 20 minutes to have to assemble your deck. Sounds like fun to me.
If you’d like a more in-depth look at the backstory behind the Claws of Marisi and the Naya shard, check out this blog post from Magic: the Gathering world builder Jenna Helland. Helland Yeah! (She probably gets that all the time).