Spoiler season is here, and with new cards comes new questions. Such as: What is Meld, and how does it work?
After a quick social media reconnaissance mission this is what I came up with. Meld can either be a triggered ability or an activated ability that uses the stack. (The clarity of the rules were a little vague so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t like morphs or other state based actions you cannot respond to.) The creatures exile themselves, then re-enter the battlefield. This felt a little off to me because the only comparison I had to these cards were the flip cards, which do not leave or enter the battlefield.
Once successfully Melded, the two pieces combine to make a super being which grants either some advantage or some busted 9/10 flier that hinders your opponent from casting spells. All of these things will allow for some pretty interesting board states, and will allow for situations that no one in Magic has had before. Which is what WOTC is trying to accomplish, so good on them for coming up with such a sweet mechanic.
I’m going to start with the most exciting celestial duo so far: Bruna, the Fading Light and Gisela, the Broken Blade. I think the first thing that we have to figure out when it comes to assembling Brisela, Voice of Nightmares is, is the juice worth the squeeze? Are these cards going to be good enough on their own if their counterpart doesn’t show up, and is the pay off good enough to take the risk.
The answer for these two is kind of. Gisela is a very good creature on her own; nice stats, can block well, and only costs four mana. Bruna, on the other hand, seems like she may only see play if were trying to assemble Voltron. Seven mana is a lot, and I understand that her ability seems powerful enough, but how many Brunas will get caught in your hand when you’re getting beaten down before you think maybe she isn’t a four of? Once assembled, though Brisela, is a force to be reckoned with. Ormendal can’t even bust through this thing, and with essentially all removal spells for Brisela shut off besides a slim few, she may bring some bad dreams to some opponents.
How can we get these two to tango? There are a few routes to this treasure and we have to find the right one. Blue can bring some card selection in Anticipate, Epiphany at the Drownyard, and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy. Red has similar cards with Tormenting Voice and Magmatic Insight, but this route seems perilous and too dangerous for my blood. Black has Dark Petition, but the flavor doesn’t sit right with me. Having a contract with a demon to go find an angel seems to break a lot of my morals.
I think the ticket for this Meld and most Melds — as long they are creatures and lands — would be to Traverse the Ulvenwald. This is going to take more delirium enablers, but it is the most promising route to assemble the two sisters. I mean would it really be too much to ask to get a Satyr Wayfinder reprint?
Once assembled, Brisela is going to be busting skulls. All the typical removal spells you see in Standard today don’t touch her. So what is the best way to interact with these new monstrosities? I think the answer is shining in the Hallowed Moonlight. Having your opponent jump through all the hoops to get the meld and all you have to do is play this obnoxious 1W instant to bust them up seems like it could drive someone to madness, and you haven’t even drawn your card yet. If you expect Meld to be an up and coming star in Standard you may want to pick those bad boys up.
All in all, I think this mechanic is great. It combines the best parts of imagination and practicality, and WOTC should be proud to have a team that can deliver something this imaginative after 24 years. I’m excited to see what is going to be coming down the pipeline in the upcoming weeks, and all I can hope for is more crazy awesome cards and mechanics like this.
Devin Koepke is a Midwest grinder who will jump in a car and travel off to a far off land at any opportunity. Specializing in whatever the tournament is that weekend, he has a wide range of knowledge and skills that he is excited to share with you. So sit back, crack open an ice cold beverage and get your Hot Pocket out of the microwave, because this is going to be fun.