Morph Is Back Guys and Gals!
If you haven’t already heard, morph is coming back to standard with the new set Khans of Tarkir and it’s cause for celebration! Morph alters gameplay in a lot of ways and it isn’t something to be taken lightly, and if anything causes me to get excited it’s things that warp formats!
How to Play With Morph
All cards with a morph cost you may play by paying the alternate cost of 3 colorless to play face down. The face down card is a 2/2 creature with no text, no name, no subtypes, and no mana cost. As you play it face down it can still be countered. The morph cost is what you must pay to flip the card face up from the face down position, some cards even have an ability that happens when you morph them face up. You may use morph abilities at instant speed any time you have priority. Morphing a card is a special action and does not use the stack and players cannot respond to it.
What’s So Great About Morph?
You can play spells that have morph without paying colored mana, so while you may not have your mana totally set up yet, you can still play cards. It also lets you play high mana cost cards very early and give them a use until you get enough mana to morph them, like Akroma.
Morph adds a new layer of hidden information to the game. If you play multiple different morph cards in your deck your opponent won’t know which is more important than the other, or what the correct way to handle them is.
It’s never just a 2/2. Just because a 2/2 creature is attacking that doesn’t mean they can block with their 3/3 creature and not have it die. If you leave up mana you can morph the creature into one bigger than theirs or even trigger an ability that changes the board, like Icefeather Aven.
Some of their morph abilities are very relevant, especially when you don’t know what ability it is. Be careful using conditional removal such as doom blade, it could always be an Abzan Guide. But spoiler, it’s always Willbender, even when it isn’t, it is.
There are also cards with morph that aren’t creatures when they morph, so using a removal spell on them might not always work.
What This Means For Standard
While I don’t play standard I can deduce a few things. The first is that Drown in Sorrow is going to be much stronger because all morphed creatures are 2/2. The second people are already talking about is Rattleclaw Mystic and how you can go from 3 mana to 6 mana on turn 4, but this one will be pretty obvious so I’m not 100% on whether hiding it actually matters.
What This Means For Draft
Drafting with morph changes things. While one standalone morph card is good, in some cases it’s easy to deduce what the card is, especially if that’s the only one you play. So a good strategy is once you have one you should value other ones a bit more highly, even if they aren’t the best, to keep your opponent guessing. This works especially well if you are like me and love to bluff. Understanding certain patterns of attacks and leaving certain mana open to make it look like you have a really good morph when in truth you have a bad one is just like playing with pump spells. As long as you show it to your opponent once, or play in such a way that they think you have it, they will play around it which often gives you an advantage.
That’s it for me this time folks. Expect more from me as we morph our way through Khans of Tarkir. Nathan out.