Here’s your first look at the Jwari Shapeshifter, a rare blue creature in Magic: the Gathering’s upcoming Worldwake expansion. What does she do? Let’s just say a certain deck type is about to get a versatile new ally.
We mentioned last week that it looked like Wizards was trying to make Allies a viable tribe. Some of the Allies that have already been spoiled for Worldwake certainly seem to be upping the power level over what we saw in Zendikar. Jwari Shapeshifter gives the Allied deck builder a lot more flexibility.
If you want to build a strong Ally deck, you’re obviously going to start with two or three Allies that are powerful enough to get you the win. Problem is, you can only pack four of each. This card effectively doubles your chances of drawing a particular Ally. A dedicated mill deck now has eight Halimar Excavators. Or if you’re looking to power up a huge Omnath, now you have all the Harabaz Druids you need to make it happen. Plus, if you’ve got a few different Allies in play, the Shapeshifter becomes whatever Ally you need most at that moment.
If we get into Extended format, Changelings make Jwari Shapeshifter pretty interesting. She can copy any Changeling you have in play, and if you’ve got a Mirror Entity out, she can copy any creature you control. That’s a very cheap Clone (it’s also a fairly useless combo, but still, kinda neat). Speaking of Extended and Changelings, you could really take advantage of massive Ally numbers. Imagine a deck with good Allies and good Changelings, giving you tons of Allies on the field. Sea Gate Loremaster keeps the Allies flowing (I can easily see it drawing four of five cards per turn), and Chameleon Colossus is your finisher.
Jwari Shapeshifter is not without drawbacks. You’ll almost never play it on turn 2, since there are really no Allies that would already be in play (and certainly none worth copying). If you try to play it when you only have one other Ally in play, your opponent will very likely destroy the other Ally in response. With nothing to copy, the Shapeshifter comes out as a 0/0 and promptly dies (the Ally your Shapeshifter copies is chosen as Shapeshifter resolves, not as part of a cost or anything, so if you have two Allies out and your opponent kills one in response to casting Jwari Shapeshifter, you can still copy the other one, though it might not be the one you really wanted).
Worldwake prerelease tournaments will be held on January 30th and 31st. There’s lots of info at the Wizards site (you get a free foil Comet Storm just for showing up). Don’t forget to stop by Robot Viking sponsor TrollandToad.com to pre-order Worldwake boxes, boosters, fat packs and more.