Today we’re meeting the main character in Skies of Arcadia, young pirate captain Vyze! Sorry ladies, while Aika could qualify as the main character since she’s Vyze childhood friend, she is only a very important secondary character, as the captain makes the calls and generally speaking the game revolves around him a little more. We won’t complain too much though, as Aika is still a very cool gal.
So… Version 1 was crazy. Even back then I figured quickly that a 3/3 first strike for 4 with an activated ability and can transform into a 6/4 flying first strike, would be pushing it. The second version was a 4/3 first strike for 5 that turns into a 5/3 flying first strike, but every time it did it it would cost its controller 3 life. One thing that gets my attention right away is that I was trying to push first strike in blue. I knew what I was doing back then, but I guess I really wanted our hero to be a fast swords-master.
But first strike is VERY rare in blue. In fact there is only two blue creatures that are exclusively blue, aren’t (illusionary) walls, and still have first strike. They are both old, and one is red hate, and the other is a wacky blue hate creature. I don’t count Sejiri Merfolk and Cetavolver, because they are related to red and white and that’s where they got their first strike.
I do like Vyze ability to block two creatures, since he’s got first strike. Version 1 forcing blocking player to throw 2 creatures against a first striker that can get +2/+1 was just silly, and I picked up on this as well back then.
Version 2 might have been a little more reasonable as far as fighting skills are concerned (barely, actually), but it had yet anotherability! Vyze 2.0 can go fetch The Delphinus, his boat, the same way captains Gilder and Drachma from last week do. We have 4 upsides to Vyze, not even pieces of a design but really pretty much 4 separate powerful abilities. We need to do something about it. Am I going to push it and try and keep all of them, as I confess I have been so far? Let’s see.
So! It’s been difficult, again. The original designs are too busy and a power balance in Magic is a delicate thing. I was very tempted to keep first strike, but it combined with the +1/-1 too efficiently. I toyed with the idea of making Vyze 3/3 or even 3/2 hinder it, and also making Vyze lose first strike when he gains flying, which was fun but definitely too far fetched.
Vyze now is a 3/4 that can turn into a 4/3 flyer and block two creatures, while also picking cards. I think he is way beefy for a blue creature with a very competitive cost. Actually he’s as good as the two 4 mana sphinxes, which is good to know.
At the end of the day, I think the biggest question for the captains, is how powerful will it be to be able to fetch their ship. If you factor in that those cards are legendary, and keep in mind I’m thinking more in terms of limited play (which is not a good excuse as the cards should be well balanced in all formats), I think we can have some good fun with those.
Next week, I’ll start looking at non legendary cards for a change, and maybe even non-creatures 🙂 Thanks for reading!