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Doug's Dungeon - Less Stable


New week, new spoilers for the upcoming Unstable set! Among other things like more contraptions, squirrel support, an Urza planeswalker (more info on that when its dedicated website is active), and a surprising focus on high-five mechanics, one of the big things we will be seeing is the augment-host system. Before we continue, I would like to touch on the current state of the high-five meta. Should you get your hands on these cards, make sure to focus on your high-five partner’s elbow when executing. This will offer far greater accuracy, with only a minor increase in pain potential.  It is still unacceptable to curl your fingers between theirs and grip their hand post-slap.


But back to the augment host system. What is it? One of the flavour points of the set is what the 5 factions bring to the table. The white-green one (crossbreed labs) has a very ‘genetic engineering’ approach to science. Due to this, we have a bunch of creatures with the ‘host’ type running around, like these ones:


These poor test subjects all feature an ability that triggers when they enter, but their true potential lies in their other halves- the augment creatures. They are unplayable on their own, lacking a mana cost. But each has the augment keyword, that allows them to attach to any host you have like an aura, modifying the stats of the host AND changing when said host’s ability will trigger. Take a look at theeeeeese:



(Siege Rhino lives!) Once again I am blown away by the effort gone into this set. Augment-hosts present very intriguing draft and deckbuilding considerations. One does not stuff their deck with augments without a host of hosts to host them. So too in draft, an early augment pick will definitely prove risky. The payoff, however, appears to be well worth it. The sheer number of cards made with this mechanic make for a lot of fun exploration. Which combo is best? My favourite so far is half-kitten kitten, giving you d6 life back whenever you get hit. Because anyone smart enough to make a double kitten deserves to live. There’s even fun support cards like Dr Julius Jumblemorph running around, too!


Now for some other cards we’ve got on the spoilerometer… oh yes: Hot fix.

This card seems straightforward to resolve, but let’s list some facts.

  • 10 seconds is not long enough to search up all your bombs.

  • As long as you aren’t touching the deck afterwards, you don’t shuffle.

  • If you pick this card, you need to learn what the best half of your non-land cards are.

  • Resolving this card means you -should- have 6 mana to play with, and won’t need more than one more land.


With these facts in mind, here’s my patent-pending hot-fix strategy: Pick up your deck and start grabbing the top cards of your deck. If a card is not an above average non-land card, just scry it to the bottom. Doesn’t matter what order they are in on the bottom, because you’re playing hot fix in order to win BEFORE THAT MY FRIEND. I recommend picking up a stack of cards and practicing now. If you perform this right and put your cards down when the count goes 9, you’ll be in gas-town-U.S.A.


This thing right here is gunna need some prep work. You want to play this card because some very very very silly things have been printed on magic cards in the past. My recommendation is to note down all the best keywords available (if you google this card, reddit has already done the job for you) and separate them by aggressive and defensive. Now, outside notes are illegal (even in this format), so you should make the effort to remember them, and begin noting them down once your game starts. Make sure you start with things like ANNIHILATOR 6, PROTECTION FROM EVERYTHING, TRIPLE STRIKE, AND BUSHIDO 5 (because bushido was boss and still is boss).

Remember you can’t use a keyword that you’ve used that day, so make sure to space out your power words wisely. And whatever you do,





And that’ll about do it for this piece. Again, there are just too many fun designs for me to cover and too little time, but I’ll make sure to highlight the real gems. See ya next week!




Want to pick up some Unstable? You can preorder it here on our website



Doug Moore

I'm an avid lover of all things table top. I also have a growing collection of board games which inspire me to create my own. I put my loud and expressive personality to good use as a dungeon master for my friends, having run many campaigns through 4th and 5th edition D&D. 

Follow him on Twitter 



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