Conspiracy: Take the Crown- A Set Review


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Conspiracy: Take the Crown is the follow-up set to Conspiracy. Set on the plane of Fiora, the popular, draft-altering set was released back in 2014. I thoroughly enjoyed playing and drafting Conspiracy the first time around and after looking at the new set, it seems like I’m going to enjoy this one just as much, if not more.

Conspiracy: Take the Crown continues on the themes of alliances, plotting and back-stabbing that could be found in the original which are enhanced by the multiplayer games that you’ll play after you draft. It also brings back the idea that the draft itself can be part of the game, allowing you to draft in different ways with information that you can gather, such as cards that directly impact the draft like Illusionary Informant.

 

Mechanics

The flashiest new mechanic in the set, (possibly literally, depending on the props you use), is Monarch. Being the Monarch is a high value position, allowing you to draw an extra card at the end of each of your turns. You will need to be aware that your opponents will want to take your crown, (and maybe your head too). A multitude of creatures make you the monarch when they enter the battlefield, and it can be taken by dealing combat damage to whoever is current monarch.

I feel this mechanic will help force the action in games as it provides players with short-term goals which can have a big payoff, (drawing extra cards being one of the best feelings one can have in Magic).

Another mechanic that’ll be sure to force the action is Goad. Goad makes creatures have to attack someone other than yourself, which can help take the pressure off of you and onto your opponents. If there are only two players left in the game then the creature will still be forced to attack, which can allow you to set things up in advance so that you can make some profitable blocks.

 

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To carry on the theme of creatures attacking, another new mechanic is Melee, which makes your creatures temporarily bigger for every opponent you choose to attack in a turn. Whilst this can reward you for spreading your attacks out, be aware that you’ll likely be making many enemies when you do this. Do be aware that this won’t trigger if you choose to attack a lucky opponent’s planeswalker instead of the player.

Council’s Dilemma harkens back to the original Conspiracy’s Will of the Council. Cards with Council’s Dilemma will call the game to a (not so brief) halt as all of the players have an argument and plead their cases to gain the favour of others before a vote is called. Each vote made will have an impact on what happens, which interestingly rewards for not eliminating your foes. I’m looking forward to calling lots of votes and controlling my opponents through politics, (or at least giving them the Illusion of Choice).

Conspiracies are brought back with a couple of new twists. Hidden Agendas still allow you to gain an advantage that your opponents weren’t expecting. There is a new use of this idea by linking two creatures together through a Double Agenda, which is only found on one card, Summoner’s Bond. Some conspiracies have an effect on the game, but some have an effect even on how you build your deck for battle.

 

New Cards

The first card that we all saw from the set is probably my favourite. Kaya, Ghost Assassin has a great story to her and some great abilities too. I’m looking forward to playing her in Commander, Canadian Highlander and Cube as she has a lot of utility. Also, be on the look out for the fancy alternate art foils of her, as they look fantastic.

Recruiter of the Guard is a card that I can see having a big impact on Eternal formats, being a much cheaper near-copy of Imperial Recruiter. I feel that it’ll slot very nicely into Death & Taxes and Hatebears list, allowing you to tutor for any creature that you want, working especially well with Aether Vial. It might also allow Aluren to finally be a real player in Legacy as it makes that deck a whole lot more accessible.

Archdemon of Paliano will have a very fun effect on drafts, forcing you to draft randomly for a short while. I’ve seen jokes on Twitter about some players feeling that it’ll make them take better cards than they would have otherwise. I, on the other hand, assume that I will continue to be as lucky as I always have been and take the best card every time.

 

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Leovold, Emissary of Trest is the Sultai 3-drop that Tiny Leaders players have been waiting for. He has some fun abilities, making your opponents think twice about using their removal on your stuff as well as stopping the monarch from drawing their extra cards.

Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast has a lot of power packed into his three mana body. He allows you to eke out a lot of value over a long game by making creatures that can protect himself or be used to destroy your opponents’ creatures on the next turn. His ultimate allowing you to get copies of the best artifact that has seen play can be very powerful, especially as Platinum Angel is also in the set.

Queen Marchesa decided to change her colours after taking the crown and is more than happy to punish those who have decided to take it from her. Her assassins having haste puts an interesting choice on your opponents, ‘do they lose a creature or their crown?’

 

Reprints

There are some very high value cards that Wizards have decided to reprint for this set. The first one that caught my eye was Berserk. A lynchpin for Eternal Infect decks, this card has had a high cost for a long time, only having been printed in a From the Vault set since Unlimited back in 1993.

Show and Tell has got an entire Legacy deck built around it, combining with high converted mana cost permanents such as Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Omniscience. It also has an interesting application in a multiplayer game, as each player will get to bring something to show and tell sometimes the risk will outweigh the reward.
Inquisition of Kozilek is one of the best discard spells in all of Magic, being part of multiple decks across both Modern and Legacy its low mana cost and versatility make it second only to Thoughtseize. This version comes with some new gorgeous new artwork from Volkan Baga and so I’m sure will be in high demand.

 

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Serum Visions is one of the best 1-mana cantrips that exist in Modern, often being a four of in any blue decks. Being printed at uncommon will make it much more easily accessible for those that need it (which is a lot of people), whilst also allowing Blue players in the draft to smooth out their awkward draws.

Conspiracy: Take the Crown is going to be a lot of fun to play and I’m sure to be seen at FNM drafting up some sweet decks. I’ll be looking wear as many of those fantastic crowns that Wizards have sent out to stores for the release as often as possible, and I would highly recommend that you do too.

Let me know on the Atlantic Games FacebookTwitter or Instagram pages which cards you’re looking forward to opening and playing with.

 

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