Hi Everyone –
Battle for Zendikar is almost here (officially launches next week!) and we are very excited to start lifting up the hood and show you what is to come in Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest. We reveal the first details today with a Developer Q&A and we plan to follow that up with a brief intro each day this week (with the next bit of info available later today) to reveal different aspects coming to the game, including new game mechanics, Planeswalkers, Mythic cards, and more. We recommend coming back to our forums each day to learn something new.
To help share this information, Hibernum’s Senior Game Designer, Jean-Charles Frenette (JC) takes a few minutes to answer some questions on what is to come in the update next week!
Can you give us an overview of how Battle For Zendikar (BFZ) will evolve the play mechanics of the game?
Battle for Zendikar introduces several play mechanics into the set. Our goal was to translate the abilities from the physical card game to MTGPQ so that they would be engaging and most of all fun to play with.
The biggest new mechanic that we added is the synergy between Ingest, Process and Devoid, with at their center a new gem type: Void. Ingest converts gems from your opponent’s color to Void gems, Process converts those Void gems back to your opponent’s color and fires off an extra ability. Void gems only grant mana to cards with Devoid in your hand, but otherwise does not grant any mana whatsoever.
We also added the Rally, Landfall, Awaken and Converge keywords to the game, which all interact with cards in many different ways. We can’t wait to see what players will come up with!
When you’re playing these new cards, what is a new strategy that should be considered?
Battle for Zendikar, thematically, represents a large war, with one side having Planeswalkers and the inhabitants of the Zendikar plane, and on the other the large and almighty Eldrazi. Eldrazi specialize in the new Ingest/Process/Devoid mechanics, so you can build decks around these to steal away their resources: building decks with Devoid and Process abilities will let you counter an opponent which is going all-in with Ingest to deny you mana, for example.
Another incredibly powerful ability is Rally - any card with the Ally subtype (which is easily visible now!) triggers Rally abilities whenever they enter the battlefield. This can make for extremely explosive decks.
Are there BFZ cards designed to work well with specific cards from the Origin set? Can you give us any tips?
BFZ introduces a new mechanic, called Landfall. Landfall triggers whenever you match 4 or more gems, and will fire off the ability that it is tied to. All the cards in Origins that convert gems are incredibly useful in BFZ as they will let you use Landfall much more often!
Any strategy or tips that I should be doing today in the game and with my current cards as I prep for the release of BFZ?
Just keep playing! Try to amass as many runes as possible, because all your current Planeswalkers will get a level cap raise to 60, with new rank 4 abilities, so you’ll want to be able to level them up quickly.
What should I do with my duplicate cards?
Duplicate cards can now be converted into Runes, which will greatly help you finish leveling your Planeswalkers. In addition, all Planeswalkers can now be leveled to level 60, with abilities now going up to Rank 4 - all these Runes certainly will come in handy.
Does anything change in Quick Battle with the introduction of BFZ?
We’re adding new thematic events and rewards - the order for the colors has changed (so weekend colors aren’t the same!) and we’ve updated their reward tables.
Will there be an extension of the story mode in MTGPQ with the intro of BFZ?
Yes. BFZ adds an additional 30 encounters in story mode, separated into 3 chapters. Chapter 3 is especially difficult, with bosses getting up to level 125!
Before we go, please give us a quick overview of the first Planewalkers and their abilities coming to MTGPQ?
The first Planeswalkers coming to BFZ will be:
Ob Nixilis Reignited
Ob Nixilis’s main color is Black, and his focus is on destruction. His loadout is very balanced and you can play him however you wish. As for his powers, at the cost of his life, he gains very strong abilities. For 3 Loyalty, he can sacrifice some of his life to draw a card - at max rank, he only loses 1 life to draw 2 cards! He can also sacrifice his life to outright destroy creatures on the board, a very potent ability, especially with the large Eldrazi coming to the game. Finally, his third ability puts a Support on the board (a first!) that deals damage to the opponent whenever any player draws a card. This ability is incredibly powerful, and combined with his first ability can make quick work of his opponents.
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
This 2nd iteration of Gideon is focused very differently than his Origins incarnation. For one, his focus is mainly spell-based, but his abilities more than make up for this. His first ability summons an Echo of Gideon with haste that dies at the end of your turn, making it good for burst damage or taking down a Defender. His second ability summons Ally tokens which are perfect for triggering Rally off other cards. His third ability is a straight buff to every Ally creature you control, having very good synergy with his 2nd ability.
When will the update (v1.4) with Battle for Zendikar go live?
The update will go live next week. We do not have a set date as we are in submissions as we speak but players may see the update as early as April 18th. We will be sure to let everyone know when the update is live.