Wizards of the Coast is introducing a number of new mechanics to Magic: The Gathering with the card game’s next major expansion, chief of which is Mutate. As the name suggests, this uncanny new keyword essentially allows players to play God and create their own weird, wonderful and outright terrifying minions by combining two or more existing cards together to create a more powerful end result.
Maintaining some semblance of balance is important, of course, so you won’t be able to forcibly evolve any creature you see fit – limitations do exist. In the simplest sense, Mutate works by paying the associated ability cost (this is separate to the usual casting cost) on any creature with the power to combine with another. This can only be performed on an existing minion you have in play and, what’s more, must be non-human.
Check out a few examples, revealed earlier today, down below:
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Once attached to a host, so to speak, only the power and toughness rating of the top-most card is retained, though any abilities, counters, enchantments or equipment previously attached to a mutate target will be retained. It’s your decision to make which card takes priority in the pile, though generally speaking, that with the highest stat values should be placed on top.
Certainly a game-winning condition, then, though it’s worth noting that your opponent won’t be powerless to stop your build-a-monster strategy. As with any creature spell not blessed with Hexproof, Instant sorceries are able to destroy minions targeted to mutate. In such instances, the creature being played from hand will enter the battlefield in their base form as if you’d paid the usual mana cost.
Fans can expect more Mutate cards to be revealed in the run-up to Magic: The Gathering – Ikoria‘s launch next week for Magic Online and MTG Arena, but in the meantime, let us know what you think of the new feature in the comments below!