Battle for Zendikar Preview – Ally Encampment

I’m lucky enough to get to land yet another Battle for Zendikar card, and it’s a sweet one. I have always been of the opinion that Magic plays better when your lands do cool things, as you get to play more lands as a result. That means you get mana screwed less often, while the effects of the lands you play also help prevent mana flood, and the payoff is more good games. That also may lead you to think that I’m talking about another addition to the cycle of lands that turn into creatures, but that isn’t exactly the case.

The card I get to show you today does interact with creatures, and even leads you to casting more of them (for multiple reasons), but it’s a whole new thing, one that works in a very specific deck.

Take a look at this:

Ally Encampment



Previews have already shown us that Allies are coming back, so it only makes sense that they’d have a camp to hang out in.

Ally Encampment does some very cool things, all of which a dedicated Ally deck is interested in:

  1. It’s a 5-color Ally land. That power should not be underestimated, as having good mana is key. Ally decks tend to be at least three colors, and often would like to play more, which Ally Encampment could make possible. Between this land, fetchlands from Khans, and the cycle of battle lands, Allies could assemble from every corner of the color pie (I guess pies don’t technically have corners, but you get the idea). Allies is the kind of deck that needs to hit a critical mass, and having access to Allies of every color is going to help a ton with that.
  2. It lets you save your Allies from removal. When your opponent goes to kill an Ally, you can trade in your land instead, which lets you straight-up turn lands into more spells. When your 5-color land also makes your long game better, you are getting a very good deal.
  3. It lets you return and re-trigger your Ally abilities. Tons of Allies trigger when you play an Ally, and you can use Ally Encampment even if your opponent isn’t trying to kill your Allies. Paying a couple mana to let all your Allies go off again makes for more late-game power, and can help a deck that tends to need help when its hand is empty (more so than other decks, because it’s so reliant on synergy).

There were Ally decks last time we visited Zendikar, but a truly strong alliance was never formed. Ally Encampment may change that this time around, and I like how much it supports a very cool theme.


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