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9.30.2008

Bant Exalted

~
This is the last in a series of five posts, where I will give you the skinny on each Shards of Alara 41-card Intro Packs (previously theme decks). These packs come with a foil card, a learn-to-play insert, a strategy insert, and an additional booster pack (w00t!). These are a great way to get into the game. As these decks are all similarly built (mana cost and strength), several players I know enjoy picking these up for casual play . . . so get thee hence to a gaming store !
~

Bant Exalted

The plane of Bant is a regimented hierarchy of knights, aven, and tough-minded rhoxes who uphold the ideals of the angels. Summon Bant's most worthy heroes, then rally them around a mighty champion who will smite your planeswalker foes.



Main Deck - 41 cards 17 lands

2 Bant Panorama
3 Forest
3 Island

7 Plains
2 Seaside Citadel
Land Uncommon
Seaside Citadel comes into play tapped.
{T}: Add {G}, {W}, or {U} mana to your mana pool.




18 creatures

2 Akrasian Squire, w
Creature - Human Soldier, Common
Exalted (Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, that creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
1/1

1 Battlegrace Angel, 3ww
Creature - Angel, Rare
Flying
Exalted (Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, that creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, it gains lifelink until end of turn.
4/4

2 Guardians of Akrasa, 2w
Creature - Human Soldier, Common
Defender
Exalted (Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
0/4

2 Knight of the Skyward Eye, 1w
Creature - Human Knight, Common
3{G}: Knight of the Skyward Eye gets +3/+3 until end of turn. Play this ability only once each turn.
2/2

1 Knight-Captain of Eos, 4w
Creature - Human Knight, Rare
When Knight-Captain of Eos comes into play, put two 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens into play.
{W}, Sacrifice a Soldier: Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.
2/2

2 Rhox War Monk, gwu
Creature - Rhino Monk, Uncommon
Lifelink
3/4

1 Sigiled Paladin, ww
Creature - Human Knight, Uncommon
First strike
Exalted (Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, that creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
2/2

2 Steward of Valeron, gw
Creature - Human Druid Knight, Common
Vigilance
{T}: Add {G} to your mana pool.
2/2

2 Suntail Hawk
1 Waveskimmer Aven, 2gwu
Creature - Bird Soldier, Common
Flying
Exalted (Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
2/4

2 Wild Griffin

6 other spells
1 Angelic Benediction, 3w
Enchantment, Uncommon
Exalted (Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
Whenever a creature you control attacks alone, you may tap target creature.

2 Excommunicate
1 Kiss of the Amesha, 4wu
Sorcery, Uncommon
Target player gains 7 life and draws two cards.

2 Pacifism

Stay tuned for more MTG goodness . . .

9.29.2008

Conflux Spoiler 1

~ With the full Shards of Alara spoiler now completely off the plate and in our tummies for digestion, we turn our attention to Conflux, the second set in the Alara block.

Before we get underway, here are two handy links from Wizards which you should keep close before you venture into the official release event scheduled next weekend . . .
1. Sortable Shards of Alara card list, and
2. Shards of Alara Visual Spoiler.

The second set features a total of 145 Cards, including 10 Mystic Rares, 35 Rares, 40 Uncommons, and 60 Commons. The official release date is February 6, 2009 with launch parties scheduled that same weekend. Official previews are scheduled to start on January 19.


We have a full list of 145 Conflux card names which was accidentally posted (and quickly removed) from MJMJ.info, a Japanese website which provides MTG Rules and errata.

Let's Draw !
  1. Absorb Vis
  2. Aerie Mystics
  3. Ancient Ziggurat
  4. Apocalypse Hydra
  5. Armillary Sphere
  6. Asha's Favor
  7. Aven Squire
  8. Aven Trailblazer
  9. Banefire
  10. Beacon Behemoth
  11. Blood Tyrant
  12. Bloodhall Ooze
  13. Bone Saw
  14. Brackwater Elemental
  15. Canyon Minotaur
  16. Celestial Purge
  17. Charnelhoard Wurm
  18. Child of Alara
  19. Cliffrunner Behemoth
  20. Conflux
  21. Constricting Tendrils
  22. Controlled Instincts
  23. Corrupted Roots
  24. Countersquall
  25. Court Homunculus
  26. Cylian Sunsinger
  27. Dark Temper
  28. Darklit Gargoyle
  29. Drag Down
  30. Dragonsoul Knight
  31. Dreadwing
  32. Elder Mastery
  33. Ember Weaver
  34. Encumbering Stone
  35. Esper Cormorants
  36. Esperzoa
  37. Ethersworn Adjudicator
  38. Exotic Orchard
  39. Exploding Borders
  40. Extractor Demon
  41. Faerie Mechanist
  42. Fiery Fall
  43. Filigree Fracture
  44. Fleshformer
  45. Font of Mythos
  46. Frontline Sage
  47. Fusion Elemental
  48. Giltspire Avenger
  49. Gleam of Resistance
  50. Gluttonous Slime
  51. Goblin Outlander
  52. Goblin Razerunners
  53. Grixis Slavedriver
  54. Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer
  55. Hellkite Hatchling
  56. Hellspark Elemental
  57. Hermitage Illusionist
  58. Ignite Disorder
  59. Infectious Horror
  60. Inkwell Leviathan
  61. Jhessian Balmgiver
  62. Kaleidostone
  63. Kederekt Parasite
  64. Knight of the Reliquary
  65. Knotvine Mystic
  66. Kranioceros
  67. Lapse of Certainty
  68. Maelstrom Archangel
  69. Magister Sphinx
  70. Malfegor
  71. Mana Cylix (reprint)
  72. Manaforce Mace
  73. Maniacal Rage (reprint)
  74. Mark of Asylum
  75. Martial Coup
  76. Master Transmuter
  77. Matca Rioters
  78. Mayael's Retaliator
  79. Might of Alara
  80. Mirror-Sigil Sergeant
  81. Molten Frame
  82. Nacatl Hunt-Pride
  83. Nacatl Outlander
  84. Nacatl Savage
  85. Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker (!)
  86. Noble Hierarch
  87. Nyxathid
  88. Obelisk of Alara
  89. Paleoloth
  90. Paragon of the Amesha
  91. Parasitic Strix
  92. Path to Exile
  93. Pestilent Kathari
  94. Progenitus
  95. Quenchable Fire
  96. Rakka Mar
  97. Reliquary Tower
  98. Rhox Bodyguard
  99. Rhox Meditant
  100. Rotting Rats
  101. Rupture Spire
  102. Sacellum Archers
  103. Salvage Slasher
  104. Scarland Thrinax
  105. Scattershot Archer
  106. Scepter of Dominance
  107. Scepter of Fugue
  108. Scepter of Insight
  109. Scornful Ather-Lich
  110. Sedraxis Alchemist
  111. Shambling Remains
  112. Shard Convergence
  113. Sigil of the Empty Throne
  114. Skyward Eye Prophets
  115. Sludge Strider
  116. Soul's Majesty
  117. Sphinx Summoner
  118. Spore Burst
  119. Suicidal Charge
  120. Sylvan Bounty
  121. Telemin Performance
  122. Thornling
  123. Toxic Iguanar
  124. Traumatic Visions
  125. Tukatongue Thallid
  126. Unstable Frontier
  127. Unsummon (reprint)
  128. Vagrant Plowbeasts
  129. Valeron Outlander
  130. Valiant Guard
  131. Vectis Agents
  132. Vedalken Outlander
  133. Viashino Slaughtermaster
  134. View from Above
  135. Voices from the Void
  136. Volcanic Fallout
  137. Voracious Dragon
  138. Wall of Reverence
  139. Wandering Goblins
  140. Wild Leotau
  141. Worldheart Phoenix
  142. Worldly Counsel (reprint)
  143. Wretched Banquet
  144. Yoke of the Damned
  145. Zombie Outlander
Stay tuned for more . . .

9.28.2008

Alara Planeswalker Videos

As I was totally booked, I did not get a chance to head out to the Pre-release this weekend. I hope that those who did go had a great time. For those of you who are planning to get yourself down to the release event, why not brush up on the new flavour, key word abilities / mechanics with these great videos put out by Wizards.

Evil WoTC minion Ken Nagle walk us through the first set in the Shards of Alara block with these videos -

A Planeswalker's Primer for Cycling


A Planeswalker's Primer for Bant


A Planeswalker's Primer for Esper


A Planeswalker's Primer for Grixis


A Planeswalker's Primer for Jund


A Planeswalker's Primer for Naya



Stay tuned for more Alara coverage . . .

9.26.2008

Esper Artifice

~
For the next few posts, I will give you the skinny on each Shards of Alara 41-card Intro Packs (previously theme decks). These packs come with a foil card, a learn-to-play insert, a strategy insert, and an additional booster pack (w00t!). These are a great way to get into the game. As these decks are all similarly built (mana cost and strength), several players I know enjoy picking these up for casual play . . . so get thee hence to a gaming store !
~

Esper Artifice

The plane of Esper is dominated by brilliant wizards, artificers, and sphinxes who seek to control the very forces of nature through a magical alloy called etherium. Construct an army of unstoppable artifacts using the power of etherium, and dominate all who would stand in your way.


Main Deck 41 cards

2 Arcane Sanctum
Land, Uncommon
Arcane Sanctum comes into play tapped.
{T}: Add {W}, {U}, or {B} mana to your mana pool.

2 Esper Panorama
Land, Common
{T}: Add 1 to your mana pool.
1, {T}, Sacrifice Esper Panorama: Search your library for a basic Plains, Island, or Swamp card and put it into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.

7 Island 3 Plains 3 Swamp
17 lands

2 Cloudheath Drake, 4u
Artifact Creature - Drake. Common
Flying
1{W}: Cloudheath Drake gains vigilance until end of turn.
3/3

1 Esper Battlemage, 2u
Artifact Creature - Human Wizard, Uncommon
{W}, {T}: Prevent the next 2 damage that would be dealt to you this turn.
{B}, {T}: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
2/2

2 Etherium Sculptor, 1u
Artifact Creature - Vedalken Artificer Common
Artifact spells you play cost 1 less to play.
1/2

1 Filigree Sages, 3u
Artifact Creature - Vedalken Wizard Uncommon
2{U}: Untap target artifact.
2/3

1 Master of Etherium, 2u
Artifact Creature - Vedalken Wizard, Rare
Master of Etherium's power and toughness are each equal to the number of artifacts you control.
Other artifact creatures you control get +1/+1.
*/*

1 Sanctum Gargoyle, 3w
Artifact Creature - Gargoyle, Common
Flying
When Sanctum Gargoyle comes into play, return target artifact card from your graveyard to your hand.
2/3

1 Sharding Sphinx, 4uu
Artifact Creature - Sphinx, Rare
Flying
Whenever an artifact creature you control deals combat damage to a player, you may put a 1/1 blue Thopter artifact creature token with flying into play.
4/4

2 Tidehollow Strix, ub
Artifact Creature - Bird, Common
Flying, deathtouch
2/1

2 Tower Gargoyle, 1wub
Artifact Creature - Gargoyle, Uncommon
Flying
4/4

2 Windwright Mage, wub
Artifact Creature - Human Wizard, Common
Lifelink
Windwright Mage has flying as long as an artifact card is in your graveyard.
2/2

15 creatures

1 Courier's Capsule, 1u
Artifact, Common
1{U}, {T}, Sacrifice Courier's Capsule: Draw two cards.

2 Executioner's Capsule, b
Artifact, Common
1{B}, {T}, Sacrifice Executioner's Capsule: Destroy target nonblack creature.

1 Marble Chalice, 2w
Artifact, Common
{T}: You gain 1 life.

1 Obelisk of Esper, 3
Artifact, Common
{T}: Add {W},{U}, or {B} to your mana pool.

2 Oblivion Ring, 2w
Enchantment, Common
Oblivion Ring
When Oblivion Ring comes into play, remove another target nonland permanent from the game.
When Oblivion Ring leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.

1 Onyx Goblet, 2b
Artifact, Common
{T}: Target player loses 1 life.
1 Tidings

9 other spells

Stay tuned for more Alara goodness

Grixis Undead

~
For the next few posts, I will give you the skinny on each Shards of Alara 41-card Intro Packs (previously theme decks). These packs come with a foil card, a learn-to-play insert, a strategy insert, and an additional booster pack (w00t!). These are a great way to get into the game. As these decks are all similarly built (mana cost and strength), several players I know enjoy picking these up for casual play . . . so get thee hence to a gaming store !
~


Grixis Undead

The plane of Grixis is a decaying hellscape overrun with demons and the undead. Summon an army of shambling minions from Grixis, mastering their power of life beyond death to overpower any planeswalkers who would dare oppose you.



Main Deck
41 cards

2 Crumbling Necropolis
Land, Uncommon
Crumbling Necropolis comes into play tapped.
{T}: Add {U}, {B} or {R} to your mana pool.

2 Grixis Panorama
Land, Common
{T}: Add 1 to your mana pool.
1, {T}, Sacrifice Grixis Panorama: Search your library for a basic Island, Swamp, or Mountain card and put it into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.

3 Island
3 Mountain
7 Swamp
17 lands


1 Blood Cultist, 1br
Creature - Human Wizard Uncommon
{T}: Blood Cultist deals 1 damage to target creature.
Whenever a creature dealt damage by Blood Cultist this turn is put into a graveyard, put a +1/+1 counter on Blood Cultist.
1/1

1 Dreg Reaver, 4b
Creature - Zombie Beast Common
4/3

1 Dregscape Zombie, 1b
Creature - Zombie, Common
Unearth {B}
2/1

2 Fire-Field Ogre, 1ubr
Creature - Ogre Mutant, Uncommon
First strike
Unearth {U}{B}{R}
4/2

1 Fleshbag Marauder, 2b
Creature - Zombie Warrior, Uncommon
When Fleshbag Marauder comes into play, each player sacrifices a creature.
3/1

1 Gravedigger
1 Hidden Horror
2 Incurable Ogre, 3r
Creature - Ogre Mutant, Common
5/1

2 Kederekt Creeper, ubr
Creature - Horror, Common
Deathtouch
Kederekt Creeper can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.
2/3

1 Vein Drinker, 4bb
Creature - Vampire, Rare
Flying
{R}, {T}: Vein Drinker deals damage equal to its power to target creature. That creature deals damage equal to its power to Vein Drinker.
Whenever a creature dealt damage by Vein Drinker this turn is put into a graveyard, put a +1/+1 counter on Vein Drinker.
4/4

1 Vithian Stinger, 2r
Creature - Human Shaman Common
{T}: Vithian Stinger deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
Unearth 1{R}
0/1

14 creatures

2 Agony Warp, ub
Instant Common
Target creature gets -3/-0 until end of turn.
Target creature gets -0/-3 until end of turn.

2 Blightning, 1br
Sorcery Common
Blightning deals 3 damage to target player. That player discards two cards.

1 Bone Splinters, b
Sorcery Common
As an aditional cost to play Bone Splinters, sacrifice a creature.
Destroy target creature.

1 Cruel Ultimatum, uubbbrr
Sorcery Rare
Target opponent sacrifices a creature, discards three cards, then loses 5 life. You return a creature card from your graveyard to your hand, draw three cards, then gain 5 life.

1 Essence Drain
1 Obelisk of Grixis, 3
Artifact, Common
{T}: Add {U},{B}, or {R} to your mana pool.

2 Terror
10 other spells

Stay tuned for more Alara goodness.

9.25.2008

Alara Tokens

~
Several players I know construct token decks - these are decks with the main purpose of generating tokens for either defense or perhaps pumping them up for a massive offense.

To this end, lets have a look at the tokens of the new Shards of Alara set which features some of the best token art I've seen -

4/4 red Dragon creature token

Broodmate Dragon (When Broodmate Dragon comes into play, put a 4/4 red Dragon creature token with flying into play.)

Sarkhan Vol - Jund Planeswalker (-6: Put five 4/4 red Dragon creature tokens with flying into play.)


1/1 red Goblin creature token

Dragon Fodder (Put two 1/1 red Goblin creature tokens into play.)

Goblin Assault (At the beginning of your upkeep, put a 1/1 red Goblin creature token with haste into play. / Goblin creatures attack each turn if able.)


0/1 blue Homunculus artifact creature token

Puppet Conjurer ( {U}, {T}: Put a 0/1 blue Homunculus artifact creature token into play. / At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice a Homunculus.)

I have several offensive Homunculus jokes but perhaps I will save them for latter.
(So a Goblin, a Knight and a Homunculus walk into a bar . . . )

X/X green Ooze creature token

Ooze Garden ({1}{G}, Sacrifice a non-Ooze creature: Put an X/X green Ooze creature token into play, where X is the sacrificed creature's power.)



1/1 green Saproling creature token
Jund Battlemage ({G}, {T}: Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play.)

Mycoloth (At the beginning of your upkeep, put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play for each +1/+1 counter on Mycoloth.)

Necrogenesis ({2}: Remove target creature card in a graveyard from the game. Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play.)

Sprouting Thrinax (When Sprouting Thrinax is put into a graveyard to play, put three 1/1 green Saproling creature tokens into play.)

1/1 black Skeleton creature token

Skeletonize (Skeletonize deals 3 damage to target creature. When a creature dealt damage this way is put into a graveyard this turn, put a 1/1 black Skeleton creature token into play with "{B}: Regenerate this creature.")


1/1 white Soldier creature token

Elspeth, Knight Errant - Bant Planeswalker (+1: Put a 1/1 white Soldier creature token into play.)
Knight-Captain of Eos (comes into play with two 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens / sacrifice a soldier to prevent combat damage this turn)


1/1 blue Thopter artifact creature token

Sharding Sphinx (Whenever an artifact creature you control deals combat damage to an opponent, you may put a 1/1 blue Thopter artifact creature token with flying into play.)




2/2 black Zombie creature token

Archdemon of Unx (At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice a non-Zombie creature, then put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play.)



8/8 red, green, and white Beast creature token
> > Unfortunately Mr. Beast had to step out to use the washroom so this post will have to go on without him . . . I hope he doesn't get angry . .

Godsire ( {T}: Put an 8/8 Beast creature token into play that's red, green, and white.)

Keep tuned for more MTG goodness . .

9.23.2008

HUGE Alara Spoiler

~
We now have 211 of 249 Shards of Alara cards spoiled, courtesy of the now famous MTG Salvation forum member 'parkmania'. Rest assured, the Wizards of the Coast spoiler police are presently breaking down his front door and hauling him off to a Renton dungeon. Mr. parkmania even sorted the cards in numerical order for us.

Anywho, without further ado, I now present the scanned fruits of parkmania's labours. Just click to enlarge . . .










































































































































































This pretty much wraps up spoiler season, so I'm gonna hit the couch and start practicing for the Olympic couch luge.

Stay tuned for individual card analysis, combos, tips and tricks.