Ral, Crackling Wit
24, Jun, 24

MTG Bloomburrow Leaks Showcases New Storm Card Entering Standard!

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Over the past couple months, it feels like we’ve been absolutely bombarded with spoilers. MH3 garnered a lot of hype during spoiler season, and players have just recently started innovating and incorporating new cards into different strategies. Yet, no sooner does MH3 release than MTG Assassin’s Creed spoilers start coming out of the woodworks.

Now, despite the fact that MTG Assassin’s Creed has yet to be released, some more leaks from Bloomburrow have been revealed. Bloomburrow is the next MTG premier set, and releases in just over a month. Today, we’re going to focus on these leaks and discuss what makes them so intriguing. It’s certainly early, but Bloomburrow does look like a blast so far.

Of note, the cards we will be talking about have only been leaked. As such, there is a chance these cards turn out to be fake. For the sake of this article, we will be covering them under the assumption that they are indeed real. If you’d like to wait for official reveals, consider this your spoiler warning. With that out of the way, let’s kick things off with a sweet new Izzet Planeswalker.

Ral, Crackling Wit

Ral, Crackling Wit

First up, we have Ral, Crackling Wit. Ral, Crackling Wit is an interesting card for decks that are focused on slinging lots of spells. Thanks to the card’s static effect, building up Ral’s Loyalty Counters isn’t difficult at all. In doing so, you can threaten the ultimate rather quickly.

Funnily enough, Ral’s ultimate does make use of the Storm mechanic which, based on the Storm Scale, is one of the least likely mechanics to ever show up in a Standard-legal set! Given that reaching the ultimate in Standard will likely be extremely difficult, though, this doesn’t seem like much of a concern.

Assuming you’re chasing after the ultimate, you’d ideally want to pair Ral with a bunch of cheap cantrips. This way, not only are you casting a bunch of spells to increase Ral’s loyalty in short order, but you’re keeping your hand stocked with cards. Otherwise, you run the risk of running out of gas by the time you reach Ral’s -10 ability. Giving all your Instants and Sorceries Storm is powerful, but only if you can abuse it.

Unfortunately, while Ral’s final ability is nice, the other two abilities are pretty weak. There’s a possibility that an assertive Izzet deck in Standard can make use of spamming Ral’s +1, but paying four mana upfront for a Planeswalker that does a poor job protecting itself the turn it comes down is tough. Chances are, you won’t have much mana to spare to increase Ral’s loyalty on the same turn you play it, and the 1/1 token you create doesn’t make for a strong blocker. Meanwhile, the -3 ability is fairly mediocre and doesn’t impact the board at all.

Ral would be significantly stronger if it could remove opposing threats from the table in any way. Without that, Ral will likely be reserved for dedicated spell-based Commander decks. Even then, there are more reliable tools for these strategies, such as Thousand-Year Storm.

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Parting Gust

Parting Gust

The other leak we get to take a look at is Parting Gust. Parting Gust is a weird one, potentially introducing us to a neat Bloomburrow mechanic: Gift. When you cast Parting Gust, you get to choose whether you promise the opponent a gift or not. Depending on whether you do or don’t, the card’s effect changes.

In this case, the gift the opponent receives is a tapped 1/1 blue Fish token. Assuming you give an opponent the token, Parting Gust functions as a two-mana removal spell for nearly any threat the opponent might have played. This mode of the card makes Parting Gust feel quite similar to Fateful Absence or Get Lost in a Constructed setting. You get access to a very efficient removal spell, but you give the opponent some sort of resource in exchange.

Given that Get Lost can hit Planeswalkers and Enchantments and only requires a single white mana to cast, most Standard archetypes will probably continue to run Get Lost over Parting Gust. However, in decks with lots of creatures, Parting Gust offers some unique versatility.

See, you have the option of choosing not to give the opponent a Fish token. If you don’t, the creature you target comes back into play with a +1/+1 counter on it at the beginning of the next end step. This means that you can use Parting Gust as a flicker effect on your own threats, letting you get additional value out of triggered abilities from cards like Resolute Reinforcements or blank an opposing removal spell. This flexibility gives Parting Gust a shot to show up in white creature decks in Standard.

In a Commander setting, the new Gift mechanic as a whole looks quite fun. You get to decide which opponents benefit from your promises in a group-hug style. One of the Commander Precons has a group-hug theme, so this new mechanic seems like a perfect inclusion for Bloomburrow. With Kambal, Profiteering Mayor as your Commander, you may be able to use the Gift mechanic to your advantage. It’ll be interesting to see if other cards featuring the Gift mechanic give different tokens or other unique resources.

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Player Reaction

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At the end of the day, neither of these cards are individually all that exciting. However, most players seem generally pleased with what their designs bring to the table. For Parting Gust, the unique Gift mechanic seems very well-received. Commander players love a good group-hug theme, and promising gifts to your opponents plays into it quite naturally.

For Ral, beyond its basic Storm potential in Commander, the fact that it makes Otter tokens has players hyped. One of the most appealing aspects of Bloomburrow is the emphasis the set places on cute and underrepresented creature types, and otters are no exception.

It’s still early, and we have a lot more Bloomburrow spoilers awaiting us in the near future. From what we’ve seen so far, though, Bloomburrow looks fantastic. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any other sweet card reveals in the coming weeks.

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