Magic’s New Dragon Turtle Is A Straight Up Bomb

Magic’s New Dragon Turtle Is A Straight Up Bomb
Image: Wizards of the Coast / Dan Scott

It’s Magic season all over again, but this time Wizards’ collectible card game is adding a distinct Dungeons & Dragons flair. Titled Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, the upcoming set will be the first main, Standard-legal collaboration between the tabletop and card adventures. And as we’ve done with previous sets, today we’ve got a new card from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms to preview.

Drawn by Dan Scott (who’s worked on World of Warcraft, Star Wars, many Magic cards, Marvel and DC properties), we’ve got a brutal blue rare.

Costing a mere 1UU, Dragon Turtle is an absolute beast in standard or limited formats. Not only is it a 3/5 creature — exceptionally good value for a three drop — but it can be played as an instant blocker courtesy of its Flash ability.

adventures in the forgotten realms
Image: Wizards of the Coast / Dan Scott

That’s handy to have enough as is. But the real “rare” part is the “Drag Below” card qualifier. As you’d expect for a dragon that lives under the sea, the Dragon Turtle immediately nullifies an opposing creature, and prevents it from untapping:

Drag Below — When Dragon Turtle enters the battlefield, tap it and up to one target creature an opponent controls. They don’t untap during their controllers’ next untap steps. 

The kicker here, obviously, is that your (literally) flashy 3/5 Dragon Turtle gets tapped as well. But that’s actually not the most unsolvable problem in Magic. There is a veritable host of cards like Umbral Mantle, which can work around the problem.

Also, in context, it’s not even a problem to begin with. Blue control decks aren’t designed to beat their opponents to death. Dragon Turtle might technically be a creature, but it’s better thought of as a 3-cost temporary Pacifism.

Pacifism was a great white nullifier for 1W, but it was limited as an enchantment. Dragon Turtle doesn’t have that problem. The flash means you can play it on your opponent’s turn to cancel out a plan before attackers are declared. (It’s been a while since I’ve played competitive Magic, but from memory creatures that are tapped can’t be declared as blockers.) You can also play it to clear the way for other creatures, casting Dragon Turtle just before your opponent’s turn ends, tapping their key defender and then immediately getting your mana back once your turn begins.

Something else worth calling out too is the awesome, retro D&D inspired alternative art that’s been created for Dragon Turtle. It’s meant to hark back to the original D&D rulebook, and there’ll be more cards in the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set to get the same treatment.

adventures in the forgotten realms
Image: Wizards of the Coast / Justine Mara Andersen

There’s plenty more to the D&D Magic set, however. As you’d expect from its tabletop influences, dungeons are a new card type and mechanic that’s been introduced into the game.

Here’s what they look like:

magic the gathering
Image: Wizards of the Coast

As explained in the video below, dungeons aren’t a card that you play from your regular deck. They live almost outside the game — they don’t take up spots in your sideboard either — and they only come into effect when a card includes the keywords “venture into the dungeon”.

If you’re not already in a dungeon, cards that say “venture into the dungeon” will then cause you to draw a dungeon card. That dungeon card has a series of “levels”, functioning in a similar manner to how Saga cards currently work. You put a marker on the first room, and as more cards cause you to venture further, you trigger the ability of each room you pass through.

Each player gets their own dungeon, and you have to complete a dungeon before starting a new one. You can complete the same dungeon more than once, and some cards will also trigger abilities based on whether you’ve completed a dungeon or not.

Different dungeons offer different bonuses: Tomb of Annihilation gives you a 4/4 black horror token with death touch when reaching the final room, for instance, but earlier rooms will force you to sacrifice some permanents.

The Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set launches first on July 9 on MTG Arena. Prerelease events wiull begin from July 16, with the set’s full worldwide release kicking off from July 23.

Comments

  • I think the details in the article are a bit muddled. This card can’t be used as a surprise blocker because it has to tap the second it enters the battlefield, before it can be declared as a blocker. Umbra Mantle also isn’t a good answer because:
    1) Equipment cannot be equipped to creatures at instant speed, only attached. So it’s impossible to put the mantle on the turtle if it is played in an opponent’s turn.
    2) It’s not in standard.
    3) It’s a shockingly bad card.

    This turtle isn’t really like pacifism either. The turtle only keeps the opposing creature locked down for a single untap step. Pacifism disables the creature until it is destroyed.

    This is still a good card, and will probably see play in standard due to it’s good stats, but only providing there is a strong mono blue or primary blue deck in standard. But this isn’t good enough to see play in any other competitive constructed format.

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