The Implication Of Emblems
In case you haven’t heard – and if you read this blog, likelihood is you have, MtG fanboy – WotC have implemented an new type of game object, the ‘Emblem’. An Emblem sits in the Command Zone and is:
The only card we have right now that creates an Emblem is the ret-conned Elspeth, Knight Errant:
[+1]: Put a 1/1 white Soldier creature token onto the battlefield.
[+1]: Target creature gets +3/+3 and gains flying until end of turn.
[-8]: You get an emblem with “Artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands you control are indestructible.”
But, reading between the lines of Aaron’s post, more Emblems are on the way. However, Aaron implied that Stigma Lasher…
So we can assume that Emblems only affect the status of permanents on the battlefield, not other external rules changes (eg. a player can/cannot win the game, gain life, etc).
What might this include? He’s a few ideas:
- Creatures you control gain [keyword]
- Creatures you control get [+x/+x]
- Creatures your opponents control get [-x/-x]>
- Creatures [with/without flying] your opponents control cannot [attack/block]
- [Permanent type] you control cannot be the target of spells or abilities
- [Permanent types] [you/opponents] control cannot be sacrificed
Here are some other options that may or may not be possible under the current Emblem system:
- Whenever you sacrifice a [permanent type], draw a card
- [Permanent type] you control cannot be countered
- If a [permanent type] you control would be put in the graveyard, put it in your hand instead
- If a [permanent type] would have counters put on it, put double the amount of counters on instead
- Whenever a [permanent type] comes into play under your control, draw a card
- [Spell type] you control cost [x coloured mana] less to cast
- Activated abilities of [permanent type] you control cost [x] less
- At the beginning of your upkeep, do [X]
- At the beginning of your upkeep, set your life total to [x]
UPDATE: These types of actions, however, create event triggers. As WotC appear to want Emblems to be nothing more than Command Zone ‘reminder text’, I doubt that any Emblems will have event triggers anything in the near future.
Other design space that may be opened up by emblems in the future by expanding them beyond permanents to other game rules include:
- You cannot be the target of spells or abilities
- Players cannot gain life
- Damage cannot be prevented
- Opponents may only play spells during their main phase
- You may play spells at instant speed
Clearly, making the command zone a space where new activities take space is an exciting game design move, one that mirrors opening up the Removed-From-Game zone and turning it into “Exile”. While I’m hoping for more Pull From Eternity type effects to be printed, now there’s a bunch of effects we can start to discuss that may be appropriate for the Command Zone as well.