~Having been playing only since early 2008, this will be the first time I will witness a block rotating out of Standard play. Specifically, we will see Coldsnap, Time Spiral, Planar Chaos, and Future Sight are set to rotate out of Standard on October 3, 2008. For more information, read this POST at Wizards.
Friday Night Magic will never be quite the same. No longer will I see my matches go down the tube when one of the 'usual suspects' hits the table (Damnation, Greater Gargadon, Momentary Blink, and Tarmogoyf to name a few). I should very well expect to see myself winning more games than usual as the more experienced players leave their (older) killer decks at home to only come out for Extended play. As these players were winning prizes, I have been quietly creating lightening-fast deadly decks and combos with Shadowmoor and Eventide
Anywho, lets get to some news . . .
WoTC now has Gatherer (the MTG card database) updated with all the Shards of Alara cards. I often use this useful tool to rapidly evaluate cards for deck inclusion and would suggest (if you have not already) give it a try.
For this weekend's release event, make sure you review the Shards of Alara FAQ HERE. If you are still somewhat unsure about Devour, Exalted, Unearth, Coloured Artifacts, 5 Power Matters, Panoramas, Cycling, Heralds, or Shard Charms, do yourself and your tournament Judge a favour by reviewing the FAQs.
Alara Release : Theme Tournament
For details on when and where Release Events will take place this weekend, check the Wizards list HERE. For details on tournament format and structure check out THIS WoTC page.
The Shards of Alara Launch Parties on October 3–6, 2008 are Wizards Play Network events that feature a new format: the Theme Tournament. Designed to highlight the fun and flavorful aspects of the Shards of Alara set, the Theme Tournaments have the same structure as the Prerelease tournaments (Sealed Deck format in which each player receives one tournament pack and three boosters), with a few additional rules.
As players build their decks, they must choose one of the five shards (Bant, Esper, Grixis, Jund, or Naya). The mana cost of each card in a player's deck may contain only mana symbols that match the chosen shard's three colors. (Mana symbols in a card's text box are ignored.) Colorless cards may be played in any deck. In addition, a deck may not generate mana outside its shard's colors. Any card which would generate mana of a color that doesn't match the chosen shard generates colorless mana instead.
~Finally, Let's have another look at the absolutely brilliant work that artist Jason Chan did for the upcomming Conflux release promotion.
It looks like a very nasty Apocalypse Hydra got loose on the Shard realm of Bant. This critter is packed with big-time bad-a$$ery. We all knew that these five shard planes would leak together. Anywho, Mr. Hydra looks hungry. After it finishes eating the Leotau mount, it looks like it eat some Angel food cake. The rest of Bant's finest sigiled do their best not to be next course.
Good Luck this weekend and Stay tuned for more MTG goodness . . .