Magic Umezawas [Set File Posted]

Mon, 2018-01-01 00:48
CyberChronometer



MTG logo © Wizards of the Coast
“Long ago, in the days of the Kami War, there was a samurai named Toshiro Umezawa. His tale began in the swamps of Takenuma...”



Art by yanyi

Set Name: Magic Umezawas
Codename: Echo
Three-Letter Abbreviation: MUZ
Number of Cards: 254
Planes: Dominaria and Kamigawa
Design & Development: CyberChronometer
Announced: 31 Dec 2017
Release: 15 Jan 2018

Set Name: Masterpiece Series: Magic Umezawas Histories
Three-Letter Abbreviation: MPS
Number of Cards: 25
Planes: Dominaria and Kamigawa
Design & Development: CyberChronometer
Announced: 15 Jan 2018
Release: 15 Jan 2018

Things to Expect

  • Two reserved list cards.
  • Umezawa's Jitte.
  • "I'll double the power for the next test." Spellscatter Adept
  • Another card in the Gifts Ungiven/Realms Uncharted megacycle. Legends Untaught
  • A 1 mana symbolBlue mana symbol sorcery with the text "take an extra turn" on it. Seize the Moment
  • A new card for one of the greatest blue mages in the multiverse. Teferi of Tolaria West

Long ago, there were two great heroes of Clan Umezawa. One was a kanji-mage, the other an archer. One helped stop a great war; another defeated an immortal god-emperor. Both walked the planes despite not having a spark.
This is the story of two Umezawas... but not those two.

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Mon, 2018-01-01 00:50
shiftyhomunculus
Moderator
shiftyhomunculus's picture

Interest: piqued. I'm especially curious as to what the next X UnYed is going to be!

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formerly thehuw
they/them, please

Mon, 2018-01-01 01:02
fluffyDeathbringer

I'll be looking forward to this return to Kamigawa.

Mon, 2018-01-01 11:21
CyberChronometer

The study of magic is best begun in childhood.

This flavortext appears on a reprint of a common blue card with one of Magic Umezawas' returning mechanics. (The original printing doesn't have that flavortext.) The first person to guess what card (and thus what mechanic) it is will win the first of several MUZ Spoilers prizes — a single question of their choice about the set answered with a card spoiler.

Mon, 2018-01-01 14:15
Daij_Djan
Moderator Best Set of 2016
Daij_Djan's picture

Looks interesting! Concerning the given task, I tried to fit the given flavor text to cards depicting young mages (aka wizards) of some sort - and ended up with two potential candidates: Voidmage Apprentice (Morph) or Sphinx's Disciple (Inspired)

Tue, 2018-01-02 12:47
CyberChronometer

Clever reasoning indeed, Daij_Djan, but unfortunately you have guessed neither the card nor the mechanic. Keep trying, folks — you've still got time.

Eight Centuries
Almost eight hundred years have passed since Toshiro Umezawa's day. Let's take a look at what Kamigawa looks like, as it's one of the three planes where Clan Umezawa has been seen before.

Thanks to short mortal memories, the Kami War's legacy is not as significant as one might expect. It's certainly had at least some impact, however:

Before I continue, allow me to pause for a quick shout-out to Cajun—Ghastly Castle is one of ten lands from OphoriOirohpO reprinted here.
In any case, we'll allow our view to pass over the Kami War and its histories and on to Kamigawa's monks, where we'll see a new label for a classic Kamigawa mechanic.

The Wisdom mechanic from Saviors of Kamigawa returns, now with its own ability word. To help eliminate the un-fun gameplay resulting from the mechanic, wisdom cards only care about the number of cards in your hand, not whether or not it's greater than the opponent's. Wisdom is associated with the budoka monks of Kamigawa, as well as the spirits they work with.
Why do we care enough about monks to give them their own mechanic, you might ask? The answer—and the first of our two Umezawas—can be found in Soratami Phasewalker's flavortext. Allow me to introduce


Tue, 2018-01-02 14:26
BurningCreator
BurningCreator's picture

Let me guess: It's Think Twice (flashback)? Also have another idea, but I don't think it's the true answer - Train of Thought (replicate)

About the cards, I really like Wisdom ability and Tomoko, however I think that Cage of Seven Riddles's ability should have some time to trigger - At the beginning of your upkeep, maybe? And isn't Tomoko's trnasform condition too hard to fulfill? I think it could be four or five lands. Similary as Cage of Seven Riddles, the emblem should trigger at the beginning of your upkeep, for example. Definitely should be changed, because this way, it will trigger all the time until six cards in your hand. If there aren't anymore basic lands, it won't ever stop triggering. Maybe this wording: "At the beginning of your upkeep, if there are six or less cards in your hand, you may search your library for a basic land card, reveal it and put it into your hand. If you do and there are still six or less cards in your hand, you may repeat this process. Then shuffle your library."

The profile picture is an art by Mathias Kollros.

Thu, 2018-01-04 04:37
CyberChronometer

One of BurningCreator's guesses is very, very close, but still not quite there. Tomoko's transform condition is indeed quite difficult to fulfill, and deliberately so; in my opinion, the Origins flipwalkers are rather too easy to flip. (Also, it's the same as Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant's.)
... that said, I might make Tomoko enable it slightly more. Also, both Cage of Seven Riddles and Tomoko are being changed to upkeep triggers—good catch.

Every hero needs enemies...
Tomoko is a wandering monk, currently residing at the monastery of Jodan, at the edge of the Araba.

Alas, Jodan is no longer as peaceful as it once was. Several bandit groups—including ogres, nezumi, humans, and akki—have grown bolder and united, raiding towns and temples across Kamigawa.

Wherever they strike, rumors of a mighty ogre follow, a notorious raider responsible for their newfound unity.

These bandits also use another of Magic Umezawas' returning mechanics:

That's right, domain is back (and exploring a bit of new design space, with a few cards treating it as a threshold mechanic). And that, I think, ought to tell you where on Dominaria we'll be visiting...

Thu, 2018-01-04 04:39
ThisisSakon
ThisisSakon's picture

NEZUMI!!!

The Nezumi Gravedigger does actual gravedigging. I like it.

Thu, 2018-01-04 11:23
shiftyhomunculus
Moderator
shiftyhomunculus's picture

Hm... overload? Maybe Downsize is the reprint? (I'd have said retrace because it's so close to flashback, but the only blue retrace common has a name that's probably not reprintable here.)

I am very happy to see domain back; it's one of my favorite older mechanics.

Red mana symbolWhite mana symbolBlack mana symbol
formerly thehuw
they/them, please

Fri, 2018-01-05 08:08
CyberChronometer

BurningCreator's guess is still the closest, I'm afraid. You've got one more update to figure it out...

The Jewel of Dominia
So, as I hope surprises nobody given the return of domain, we're going to... the Domains! (And also a bit of the Spice Isles, but that's a different matter.)

We'll visit all your favorite locations in the Domains, like Muronia and Kb'Briann.

... hang on, I just got a call from Marketing informing me that Muronia and Kb'Briann are not in fact most players' favorite locations in the Domains. Well, if you're some kind of conformist who likes places like Llanowar and Keld, we've got some of that for you too.

You perhaps noticed the mention of Tolaria on Keldon Pyromancer? Well, to be more precise, we're talking about Tolaria West, the one that wasn't obliterated centuries ago. And the people of Aerona seem none too pleased with Tolarians...

Let's take a glimpse at Tolaria West and see what's happening there.

Well, it certainly appears that they're following the classic Tolarian tradition of making questionable time-related decisions...

Fri, 2018-01-05 10:35
shiftyhomunculus
Moderator
shiftyhomunculus's picture

Alright, last guess: the returning mechanic is flashback, but the card is Artful Dodge.

(I would be very happy with this outcome. Gotta love Artful Dodge.

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formerly thehuw
they/them, please

Fri, 2018-01-05 12:06
Neottolemo
Neottolemo's picture

Evoke the Domains looks a little dangerous.
I like the Piper and I'm ok with the Pilgrim but I think their ability should be a different pseudo rather than domain, tbh.
Not a fan of wisdom as it encourages people not to cast spells.

Fri, 2018-01-05 17:14
voltaic-qui
Featured Set Editor - Best Set of 2015 - Community Award
voltaic-qui's picture

I'll note that Memory Hauler makes much more sense as an ETB ability than an additional cost.

formerly jacquipup

"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game."

Fri, 2018-01-05 21:05
CyberChronometer

jacqui-pup: ... I genuinely have no idea why it isn't. Fixed.

Neottolemo: Domain cards are typically costed as if you had domain 3, which makes this a Seething Song. Also, I feel like most of the decks that want mana rituals (storm) are 2-3 colors, so I think it's safe? On the other hand, Seething Song got banned from Modern, so maybe that is too good. Hm.
With regard to the Piper and Pilgrim, I think it's fine to put a new twist on a mechanic when you bring it back, like Ferocious going from checking whether you had a creature with power 4 or greater to counting the number of creatures with power 4 or greater, or landfall adding the "if a land entered the battlefield under your control this turn" version in Worldwake. This feels thematically and mechanically connected enough to domain to work.
I'm aware wisdom's an unpopular mechanic but it supports gameplay I enjoy; and none of the wisdom cards in this set encourage players other than their controller not to cast spells (as none of them compare to the opponent's hand size), so it's strictly opt-in encouragement.

thehuw: Still very close. Still not quite there. (I too love Artful Dodge.)

Fri, 2018-01-05 21:06
shiftyhomunculus
Moderator
shiftyhomunculus's picture

There's no way it's Mystical Teachings, right?

... wait. I mean, it works with the flavor text...

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formerly thehuw
they/them, please

Sat, 2018-01-06 01:29
CyberChronometer

The Study of Magic
Before we continue exploring Dominaria, some congratulations are in order:

Thehuw has correctly (albeit with a bit of help from BurningCreator) guessed the reprint. Accordingly, they will be awarded the following prize: one question of their choice, answered as best I can by spoiling a single card from this set.

In the meantime, the flavortext of Memory Hauler has pointed the way to our other Umezawa, so let's take a closer look at him.

Well, he appears to be a student of magic. His front side enables a spellslinging or storm deck. His transform ability, his +1, and his ultimate all interact with the graveyard. And his -1 looks vaguely familiar.

A couple more cards with flashback, Magic Umezawas' last returning mechanic, might give us a bit of an idea of what he's up to.

Familiar indeed! It seems our old friend Teferi has found his way to the Academy at Tolaria West. Let's pay him a visit...

... ah, that's unfortunate. Well, I was able to catch a glimpse of him through his office window.

I've made an appointment to meet with him tomorrow, but figuring out the remaining contents of his text-box before then will earn you another MUZ Spoilers Prize.

(Teferi's art by Vasylina, stock photo of a window by 231205-stock.)

Sat, 2018-01-06 01:36
shiftyhomunculus
Moderator
shiftyhomunculus's picture

Going for Teferi's text box.

Teferi of Tolaria ?????
Legendary Creature - Human Wizard Mythic Rare
Flash
When you cast Teferi of Tolaria, exile any number of target nonland permanents. Return them to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step.
2 mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlue mana symbol: Return Teferi of Tolaria to its owner's hand.
?/?

And I'm cashing in that question now: Is flashback something you can build around in this set?

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formerly thehuw
they/them, please

Sat, 2018-01-06 01:37
HerziQuerzi
HerziQuerzi's picture

Flash
When you cast Teferi of Tolaria, you may exile any number of target nonland permanents. Return them to the battlefield at the beginning of the of the next end step.
2UU: Return Teferi of Tolaria to it's owner's hand.

EDIT: Curses, Huw

Phasing
(This phases in or out before you untap during each of your untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.)

Sat, 2018-01-06 01:39
fluffyDeathbringer

You Can't Hide From Me You Bald Bastard wrote:
Flash
When you cast Teferi of Tolaria West, exile any number of target nonland permanents, then return them(actually "those cards", but you wrote "them", so) to the battlefield (needs a "under their owner's control"?) at the beginning of the next end step.
2 mana symbolBlue mana symbolBlue mana symbol: Return Teferi of Tolaria West to its owner's hand.

Edit: PISS

Sat, 2018-01-06 01:44
CyberChronometer

Fluffy's actually got this one, thanks to being the only one to correctly guess his title. More information to follow shortly.

Sat, 2018-01-06 01:45
HerziQuerzi
HerziQuerzi's picture

I can't believe fluffy got it via the invisible bracket reminder text.

Phasing
(This phases in or out before you untap during each of your untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.)

Sat, 2018-01-06 01:54
fluffyDeathbringer

My question is: who, or what, is the most powerful thing in this set? (In terms of flavour.)

Sat, 2018-01-06 03:01
CyberChronometer

Congratulations fluffyDeathbringer for correctly solving this (apparently easier than I thought) puzzle and winning the second MUZ Spoilers prize! You, too, can ask a question and get it answered with a single card spoiler. Also, I've implemented your corrections.

Sorry, thehuw and HerziQuerzi; you were both quicker on the draw, but his full name is Teferi of Tolaria West, and the ability does not in fact have a "may" clause.

To answer thehuw's question...

EDIT: fluffy, I'll answer yours later tonight.

EDIT 2: Please thank fluffyDeathbringer for letting you see this card now, instead of at the very end of the spoilers.

Sat, 2018-01-06 19:09
fluffyDeathbringer

Yep, that'll do it.

Oh, and the text should actually be "When you cast Teferi of Tolaria West, exile any number of target nonland permanents. Return those cards to the battlefield under their owner's control at the beginning of the next end step.", I messed that up.

Sun, 2018-01-07 08:24
CyberChronometer

Strange Happenings at the Academy
I managed to meet with the old scoundrel. It seems he's got a rather nice 'retirement' here, what with managing the Academy. Some of the archmagi here have been making trouble for him, of course, but nothing he can't deal with.

Things to Expect wrote:
A new card for one of the greatest blue mages in the multiverse.

We're not the only exciting guest he has. The Academy's also hosting a planeswalker seeking aid—against Phyrexia of all things. Apparently, their failed invasion of Dominaria was not actually the end of them. Indeed, they'd all but conquered another plane, known as Mirrodin.

The visitor claims to be one of the last surviving members of a Mirran resistance movement. He journeyed to Dominaria, seeking aid from one of the planes most used to Phyrexian schemes, and indeed Tolaria West was quite excited to supply him with a massive and highly experimental arsenal. After all, fighting Phyrexia was part of the legacy they inherited by claiming the name of old Tolaria.


Tue, 2018-01-09 01:08
CyberChronometer

In Which The Actual Plot Starts Happening

Intrigue is afoot at the Academy. Some enigmatic figure is acting through a web of schemes, hired mages and assassins, and arsons that consume evidence and leave only ash. Their target, it seems, is our Dominarian protagonist Kenji Umezawa.

On Kamigawa, too, a mysterious figure hunts our protagonist. An enigmatic mage who keeps to the shadows, vanishing without a trace when —

LILIANA! Liliana, I told you to act subtly so I could make them guess who you were, but that doesn't work when you just tell people your name!

[UNPRINTABLE REPLY]

Right, well, apparently Liliana doesn't care at all what I think or what my plans are. But I'm hoping you care what her plans are, and in fact I'm incentivizing you to do so with the third and probably final Magic Umezawas Spoilers Prize. I will award this one to whoever figures out why Liliana's on Kamigawa, searching for Tomoko Umezawa and sending zombies to kill everyone who gets in her way. You have about two days.

Tue, 2018-01-09 01:13
voltaic-qui
Featured Set Editor - Best Set of 2015 - Community Award
voltaic-qui's picture

She's after Tomoko's goulash recipe

formerly jacquipup

"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game."

Tue, 2018-01-09 02:50
shiftyhomunculus
Moderator
shiftyhomunculus's picture

Ignite History is tasty. It's like you're hitting every nerve in my flashback-loving brain at the same time.

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formerly thehuw
they/them, please

Tue, 2018-01-09 04:14
voltaic-qui
Featured Set Editor - Best Set of 2015 - Community Award
voltaic-qui's picture

POWER PLAY: Use your Ignite History to target Ignite History to cast a spell from your graveyard for Red mana symbolRed mana symbolRed mana symbolRed mana symbol

formerly jacquipup

"It's exciting to create something that demonstrates how clever you are, that you pushed in a direction that players didn't anticipate. The problem is that the point of game design isn't to be clever, it's to create a great game."

Tue, 2018-01-09 04:43
HerziQuerzi
HerziQuerzi's picture

Cast Ignite Histories from your hand targeting an Ignite Histories in your graveyard. Flashback that Ignite Histories, but using it's built in flashback cost, targeting the first Ignite Histories, then flashback the first Ignite Histories, also using it's built in flashback cost, to cast something. 8 mana symbolRed mana symbolRed mana symbolRed mana symbolRed mana symbolRed mana symbolRed mana symbol and a ton of cards to cast a spell for free. With style.

EDIT: Flashback a Gut Shot as the final card to finish off your 1hp opponent.

Phasing
(This phases in or out before you untap during each of your untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.)

Tue, 2018-01-09 05:06
CyberChronometer

Ignite Histories started with me trying to design a fixed Past in Flames. I'm happy with how it turned out, and I'm glad you also like it, but it's not a fixed Past in Flames.

Thu, 2018-01-11 08:07
CyberChronometer

Unfortunately for both jacqui and Liliana, goulash is a traditional Ravnican dish and thus well outside Tomoko's pre-spark repertoire. Keep guessing — you've got one update left before this contest closes.

Arcuns
Setting aside the plot for a moment, let's take a whirlwind tour of the limited archetypes of Magic Umezawas.

White/blue mana symbol Wise Control:
Blue provides plenty of card advantage to keep wisdom up, supplemented by white's efficient answers.

Blue/black mana symbol Teachings:
Blue and black both have a wide selection of good flashback spells and graveyard enablers, many of which are instants and thus easily tutorable.

Black/red mana symbol Oni Beatdown:
Black and red are home to several Ogres that benefit from controlling Demons and Demons that benefit from controlling Ogres. Turn them sideways.

Red/green mana symbol Midrange Domain:
Green's color-fixing helps reliably enable domain, supplemented by efficient threats in both green and red.

Green/wite mana symbol Ramp:
Green's ability to search for lands enables domain, fills the hand to help wisdom cards, and accelerates out potent curve-toppers in both green and white.

White/black mana symbol Flashback Control:
Reusable answers in both black and white generate card advantage, supported by black's graveyard-based value engines.

Black/green mana symbol Deadstuff Midrange:
Surprising nobody, both green and black have ways to fill their graveyard and benefit from doing so.

Green/blue mana symbol Wisdom:
Green's ramp enables expensive blue draw spells, enabling powerful wisdom-based threats.

Blue/red mana symbol Flashback Tempo:
Bounce and burn clear the way for efficient threats, and any spell you can cast twice is a second prowess trigger.

Red/white mana symbol Aggro:
Red and white have cheap creatures and ways to boost their power en masse, as well as a bit of domain synergy.

Oh, and archetypes aside, here's one more card that might excite a few of the spellslingers and chaos-lovers in the audience:

Quote:
"I'll double the power for the next test."

In constructed formats, when combined with Manamorphose (or MSE Modern's similar Life-Giving Waters), Spellscatter Adept lets you flip your library into your graveyard as early as turn 4, leaving you with a random selection of cards in your hand. One could probably build a deck around that, were one of Johnny or Jenny inclinations.

Thu, 2018-01-11 21:19
WindyDelcarlo
Administrator - MSE Add-On Award
WindyDelcarlo's picture

Note that Ignite History needs to target an "instant or sorcery card". As is, it tries and fails to locate an instant or sorcery permanent.

Sat, 2018-01-13 03:04
CyberChronometer

Thanks, Wind. I've fixed the wording.

Quote:
Another card in the Gifts Ungiven/Realms Uncharted megacycle.

This is the story of two young heroes of Clan Umezawa. One was a budoka monk, the other a student of chronomancy...

Story Spotlights
So, Magic Umezawas has two Umezawas, two stories, and thus two sets of five story spotlights: Kenji's story is on the odd numbers and Tomoko's story is on the even numbers.

Nicol Bolas discovers that there are two surviving Umezawas, and decides to complete his long-ago vengeance. He sends Liliana (now one of his minions again, post-Amonkhet) to Kamigawa to kill one and heads to Dominaria to coordinate the other's removal personally.

Meanwhile, Ajani has received an anonymous tip that Bolas is up to something on Kamigawa. He goes to investigate, but finds a distinct lack of Nicol Bolas.

Bolas sends an assortment of hired assassins, spies, and task mages to locate Kenji Umezawa. To the minimal extent that the Academy notices, they mostly just ignore it.

Meanwhile, a growing group of raiders under the banner of the ogre Souta are pillaging monasteries and temples across Kamigawa. Jodan, under siege by the bandits, calls for help from Lord Takeida, a powerful daimiyo.

Zasha, an archmage and instructor at Tolaria West, is disturbed by the sinister goings-on at the Academy. She manages to piece together Bolas' scheme, but is assassinated by the bounty hunter Rahess before she can inform Teferi.

Meanwhile, Ajani has run into Liliana, who's searching for Tomoko. After he realizes she's the one carrying out Bolas' schemes on Kamigawa, they briefly fight. Ajani manages to defeat Liliana's zombies, and she decides Umezawa hunting is more trouble than it's worth, planeswalking away. Ajani leaves as well, satisfied that he's set Bolas back a few steps.

Nicol Bolas heads to Tolaria, intending to dispose of Kenji personally. Kenji, recalling his history, proceeds to cast his family's signature Bolas-killing spell — the Meteor Hammer. Unfortunately for him, not only is he not nearly as good a mage as Tetsuo was, he also lacks the precise ambush that made Bolas vulnerable the first time.

Meanwhile, the reinforcements Jodan desperately needs fail to arrive, but some kami reward the monks' devotion by joining in the defense. Still, the bandits outnumber them and defeat seems certain.

Quote:
A 1 mana symbolBlue mana symbol sorcery with the text "take an extra turn" on it.

Nicol Bolas and Kenji talk briefly as the hammer descends, Bolas intending to kill him and planeswalk away before the hammer hits. Just as Bolas ends the conversation and attacks, Kenji suddenly understands the proper function of a seemingly useless spell he'd found in the archives. He stops time as Bolas' spell hits him, and his spark ignites, hurling him through the Blind Eternities. Bolas curses his poor timing and departs as well, leaving the Meteor Hammer to make a large crater next to Tolaria West.

As the defenders of Jodan are overrun and the walls come down, Tomoko manages to unlock the final form of the phasewalking technique she learned from a moonfolk master. She stands at every point around Jodan simultaneously, fighting all of the bandits at once and routing the besieging forces. Exulting in her victory, her spark ignites. She emerges from the Blind Eternities before an elaborate gilded gate, the spires behind it rising high into the sky. She looks down, and lying dazed on the cobbled street beside her is an oddly familiar-looking young man. Although she's sure she's never seen him before, he looks somewhat like her — perhaps like family.

This weekend, I'll reveal the two remaining Things to Expect and release the set file, so tune back in then!

EDIT: Nice catch, Herzi. Fixed.

Sat, 2018-01-13 02:52
HerziQuerzi
HerziQuerzi's picture

Quote:
Kenji's story is on the odd numbers and Tomoko's story is on the odd numbers.

what an odd way of handling things

Phasing
(This phases in or out before you untap during each of your untap steps. While it's phased out, it's treated as though it doesn't exist.)

Tue, 2018-01-16 06:21
CyberChronometer


Set Name: Masterpiece Series: Magic Umezawas Histories
Three-Letter Abbreviation: MPS
Number of Cards: 25
Planes: Dominaria and Kamigawa
Design & Development: CyberChronometer
Announced: 15 Jan 2018
Release: 15 Jan 2018




I may have been slightly misleading in my Things to Expect spoiler...

I'm having some minor technical difficulties with the set file. It should be up as soon as I can unscramble my planeswalkers.

EDIT: Planeswalkers unscrambled and set file posted! Many thanks to Cajun for his excellent Mainframe Planeswalkers template.