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Exclusive – Magic: The Gathering Gets a Demonic Space Marine with Big Dreams – Reso

From a Warhammer 40,000 crossover, Aspiring Champion wants to become a bit more monstrous.

We’re back with another exclusive Magic: The Gathering reveal, this time a card from one of the upcoming Warhammer 40,000 Commander precons: Aspiring Champion.

Aspiring Champion is a 4-mana 3/3 Astartes Warrior with Menace, which isn’t the most impressive creature in the world, but its ability (flavorfully titled “Ruinous Ascension”) helps you find one that is. When it hits an opponent, you sacrifice Aspiring Champion and flip cards from the top of your deck until you find another creature, then you put that creature directly onto the battlefield in its place.

Magic: The Gathering x Warhammer 40,000 – Aspiring Champion

What’s more, if that creature is a demon, it deals damage equal to its power to all of your opponents. Aspiring Champion is part of The Ruinous Powers precon, a blue-black-red deck that Wizards of the Coast tells me is built around the concept of chaos. It’s also full of Space Marines and has plenty of beefy demons to make full use of Aspiring Champion’s ability.

It’s a pretty flavorful card, if not necesarilly the most wildly powerful one we’ve seen revealed this week. Transmogrify is already a card with a similar ability in red, and “Polymorph” decks that turn weaker creatures into unexpectedly powerful ones is a fun strategy that could take advantage of this. Of course, while having the creature and the polymorph on a single card is nice, you do actually have to deal damage to a player with it to trigger the ability, which slows it down considerably. It may also be harder to justify running Aspiring Champion in full polymorph decks as it’s not exactly a creature you’re excited to randomly hit with other effects like it, but decks with lots of big demons could be very happy to play it.

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Regardless, the Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks have been making quite a splash, with lots of other powerful cards already shown off. All four decks will be available starting on October 7, with both regular versions of them and special “Deluxe Editions” that feature unique foil treatments.

This is also the latest in Magic’s evergrowing Universes Beyond product line, which features characters from games and pop culture outside of Magic. That has already included things like Stranger Things and Fortnite, and it will even extend to Doctor Who next year. I spoke to Wizards of the Coast about Universes Beyond last year and was told it’s part of them “taking more shots on goal.”

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