Magic: The Gathering Teases Avacyn Restored Set, Announces iPad App [Exclusive Card Preview]

The archangel Avacyn has returned! A bright, fiery dawn banishes Innistrad’s shadows. Humanity takes up arms and drives back the creatures of the night. With flights of angels overhead, the righteous band together and wield holy light and miraculous magic to restore the balance of their world.

Magic: The Gathering fans, prepare for the third an final set of the Innistrad block: Avacyn Restored. In advance of the May 4th release date, Wizards of the Coast has begun providing sneak peeks at some of the new cards included in this set. Read on to take a look at "Harvester of Souls," a fearsome black creature you'll surely want to have stocked in your deck.

As for the mechanics you'll spot in Avacyn Restored, cards will feature the keywords Miracle, Spellbound, and Undying. Miracle allows players to cast instants and sorcery for a much-reduced cost if the card is played at the moment it is drawn. Spellbound allows players to unlock additional creature powers by declaring the creatures to be paired up with each other according to the card's text. Undying also makes its return, allowing creatures to immediately return to the battlefield stronger than ever (with +1/+1 counters) after being defeated.

Avacyn Restored also introduces creatures tagged as "loners," which means they'll grow stronger if they are the only creature under your control. Lastly, the new set introduces the concept of "flickering" where cards can be exiled and then immediately brought back into play. This serves to clear undying counters, auras, equipment, and also opens up the potential to counter targeted spells.

Looking past Avacyn Restored, the Magic 2013 base set will be released this summer. As has become tradition, the Duels of the Planeswalkers video game series will get a new iteration to match, but Wizards of the Coast has a twist planned this time around. Not only will Duels of the Planeswalkers continue to appear on Xbox Live, PSN, and Steam, but it will also be coming to the iPad.

This represents a massive expansion of the potential player base. With well over 50 million iPads sold, you can bet that many of those tablet owners were once hooked on Magic. Will they be able to resist the convenience of playing on the iPad for just a few bucks? I don't know about you, but I'll be playing.

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