The full spoiler for Fate Reforged is up and the new album by Sleater-Kinney is available to listen to. I'm in a better position to talk about the new Magic set though, since I've just started listening to S-K's record. (But, strong opening track!) Magic sets? Well, I've been doing that for awhile.
First, let's overview.
I like Bolster as a mechanic. It seems like a neat way to help balance out board states by providing interesting questions: killing an unblockable creature that results in their smallest dude becoming a legitimate thread creates tension and that's good! Sure, it'll be more of a limited mechanic but I can see value coming in the right constructed decks.
Manifest isn't as interesting to me, though. You have to go in blind and the odds are against you. In Constructed, there are decks-mostly blue ones-that can take advantage of the mechanic by stacking their library but for the most part, it's going to suck. Which is one reason Reality Shift is good.
Dash has some fun potential too; there are plenty of fun things that trigger when creatures enter the battlefield, and the choice between taking those repeated triggers or investing in a longer lasting creature is a good one. I've already got a R/B deck in mind to monkey with once Fate Reforged hits the shelves and I'm looking forward to it.
The returning mechanics are just that; the returning mechanics. We know Prowess and Delve are bonkers and Ferocious is...like a bike with square tires.
However, my overall perspective on this set is positive. Cards with interesting synergies like Wandering Champion or Bloodfire Enforcers, neat activated abilities like that on Brutal Hordechief or Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, a Black Wrath of God effect, the optional ETB cycle (Defiant Ogre, Hooded Assassin, Aven Surveyor, Sandsteppe Outcast, Ainok Guide) as well as the Siege enchantment cycle (although Blue again got the best of those) and even a decent dragon in Green!
Sure, Blue looks like the clear winner here, with Green looking like a solid second but White, Black and Red all seem to have something going on. So far, I'm a fan.
The Sleater-Kinney album needs a few more plays. It isn't bad but I'm not hooked on it, either. Hmm. Maybe I was too distracted while listening to it?