We are less than a month away from Magic: The Gatherings next set release and the spoilers are coming in one after the other, with both players and collectors alike analyzing and scouring over each card that gets released.
Core sets are typically a great starting point for new players to jump into this amazing game and Core Set 2020 will be no exception to this rule, however, what cannot be denied is the fact that this set, unlike many core sets of the past, is set to reshape and redefine the format due to its unusually high power level.
Over the coming months, we will be talking about many of the cards that have players the most excited, such as the highly anticipated reprint of Goblin Ringleader, which is going to bring the fan favorite goblin tribe back to the forefront in both the standard and modern formats.
However, today we are here to talk about three cards that are unique to Core Set 2020, cards that are sure to lead to some exciting and wildly interesting brews. These of course are the three Chandra Planeswalkers included exclusively within Core Set 2020.
Let's start at the beginning, and by beginning, we mean the lowest rarity level of the three Chandra Planeswalkers to be released in Core Set 2020.
First off, we have Chandra, Novice Pyromancer, who will be pulled and drafted at the uncommon slot within booster packs.
This means that when drafting with your friends, or at your local game store, you are going to see her quite often and that is great, as although she is not game breaking, she certainly packs a fiery punch nonetheless.
Her +1 ability gives elements that you control +2/+0, which at first glance doesn’t do much, unless you have either built a deck around elements, or as we will later see, have one of the other Chandras on the battlefield from this set.
Chandra, Novice Pyromancers second ability which is a -1 loyalty ability allows you to add two red mana sources to your pool. This is very similar to a Chandra Planeswalker of the past, that was a powerhouse in its format, Chandra, Torch of Defiance from the Kaladesh block.
This is going to allow you to ramp into some crazy board states, or simply cast a Chandra, Novice Pyromancer and either cast a creature to protect itself, yourself, or throw a burn spell at your opponent..
Lastly, Chandra, Novice Pyromancers last ability, which is a -2, is essentially like casting a shock spell, allowing you to do two damage to any target.
This is especially good, considering the fact that most Chandras of recent printing have only allowed you to deal one damage to any target. A drastic and much welcomed improvement.
The next card to fire up, is Chandra, Acolyte of Flame, who is going to appear in the Rare slot of Core Set 2020 and who is receiving an exceptional amount of hype.
This is for good reason, given the fact that three cost Planeswalkers from War of the Spark are currently taking not only the standard format by storm, but are also heavily impacting both the Modern and Vintage formats as well!
Teferi, Time Raveler and Narset, Parter of Veils are just two examples of just how powerful three cost Planeswalkers can be and we expect Chandra, Acolyte of Flame to perform very highly as well.
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame’s first ability is really nothing special, as it is typically going to be a +1 to herself and nothing more. However, with more than one Planeswalker on the battlefield, this can quickly get out of control.
Her second ability, which is a 0 cost ability, allows you to create two 1/1 red elemental creature tokens that have haste, however, they are sacrificed at your next end step.
This ability can lead to some explosive rounds that can result in some amazing damage, especially if Chandra, Novice Pyromancer is on the battlefield and has activated her +1 ability that gives your elementals +2 damage.
We can already see the control players shaking their heads in frustration over this ability.
Lastly, we have the ability that makes Chandra, Acolyte of Flame truly great, which is her -2 loyalty counter ability.
This ability allows you to cast any instant or sorcery spell from your graveyard for 2 loyalty counters. Yes, you read that correctly, ANY instant or sorcery, NOT any “red” instant or sorcery.
With four starting loyalty counters, Chandra, Acolyte of Flame can activate this ability two turns in a row, if your opponent does not quickly deal with her. This means that you essentially have TWO Snapcaster Mages hitting the battlefield!
Snapcaster Mage is one of the most popular cards in the Modern format and is a powerhouse!
Not surprisingly, because of how powerful he is, he commands a roughly $87.00 CAD price tag at the time of writing and is often a four of in decks.
Rest assured, Chandra, Acolyte of Flame is going to find a home in multiple formats, most especially standard and will be included in all sorts of decks, with the Grixis color combination being the most popular of these (Blue, Red, Black).
Lastly, we have Chandra, Awakened Inferno, who is slotted in as the Mythic face of Chandra and who has also received an exceptional amount of excitement.
First off, the fact that Chandra, Awakened Inferno is a six cost Planeswalker, that CAN’T be countered is huge!
This card is often going to hit the battlefield in a long, dragged out game and there is nothing that your control opponent can do about it, as it is the first ever Planeswalker that can’t simply be countered in the history of Magic: The Gathering.
Getting to her abilities, first off we have her +2 loyalty counter ability, which gives each opponent an emblem that reads “At the beginning of your upkeep, this emblem deals 1 damage to you”.
This is going to be a massive pain to control players and is going to allow red deck players to win a more drawn out game of attrition.
Chandra, Awakened Inferno’s -3 ability is a potential board wiper that once again synergizes with both the uncommon and rare slot Chandras from Core Set 2020, dealing 3 damage to all non elemental creatures on the board.
Finally, Chandra, Awakened Inferno has a -X ability as her finisher, which allows you to choose how may loyalty counters you wish to spend, targeting and dealing that much damage to any creature or Planeswalker, exiling it if it dies that turn.
Chandra, Awakened Inferno is an amazing Planeswalker that deserves the hype she is receiving. She is going to be a powerful Planeswalker that allows you to turn the tide of battle and quickly shift it towards your favor.
Core Set 2020 is truly shaping up to be a spectacular set that is going to be surprisingly powerful when compared to Core Sets of the past, while still remaining as a great entry point for players new to the Magic: The Gathering scene.
Unique Planeswalkers such as the three Chandras highlighted throughout the course of this article showcase how the developers of Magic: The Gathering continue to push this great game to the next level and keep players constantly on their toes.
Pre-orders for Core Set 2020 are currently being taken on Zephyr Epic.
We can’t wait to begin drafting and playing with the new cards cards that are to be introduced with Core Set 2020 and we hope that you can’t either!
As always, thanks for reading.