Pages

Recent MTG REALM Posts

2.27.2009

Divine Wallpaper

~
As promised on Wednesday, Wizards delivered a special Divine vs Demonic surprise on Magic Arcana today - Desktop Wallpaper ! I did have a feeling that the 'surprise' was to be either a) booster packaging or b) wallpaper. (I have lived through several Magic the Gathering set releases.)

Anywho, we now have TWO very cool desktop wallpapers is two Divine vs Demonic wallpapers both from the Angelic side. Check out Akroma, Angel of Wrath (by Chippy) and Luminous Angel (by Jason Chan). The art is very nice and a whole lot better than the original art work (sorry Ron Spears and Matt Wilson - I know it was not your fault).
Akroma is just about an awesome an angel as one could expect - flying, vigilance, trample, haste (?), and of course protection from R 'n' B. Luminous Angel on the other hand is overpriced jank. Let's have a look . . .

Akroma, Angel of Wrath, 5WWW
Creature - Angel Legend, Rare
Flying, first strike, trample, haste, protection from black, protection from red. Attacking doesn't cause Akroma, Angel of Wrath to tap.
6/6

Luminous Angel, 4WWW
Creature - Angel, Rare
Flying, At the beginning of your upkeep, you may put a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying into play.
4 / 4

With the whole good / evil thing happening, Wizards will have to strike a balance. As Lord of the Pit is pretty much unplayable, we should (hopefully!) expect another demon more at par with Akroma. To this end, we may expect the likes of the very decent Reiver Demon perhaps.

We speculate a further balance and matched cards along the lines of . . .
Black Knight : White Knight, etc.
Perhaps - Damnation : Wrath of God (doubtful though)

Next week, we will be hit with some Demonic wallpapers from Wizards. I guess its the whole ying-yang thing.
~
Also . . . I do not often follow Pro-Tour play (as I am a total Casual player), but I pop in from time to time to see what directions the metagame is taking. While checking out the 2009 Pro Tour–Kyoto Coverage happening right now, I came across this very cool image taken by Craig Gibson / Josh Bennett in their photo-essay from Kyoto.
Let's see . . . a Rafiq of the Many, a Progenitus, and a Dramatic Entrance (!). This should NOT be the face you would wear.

2.26.2009

Faerie Evolution

~
Faeries have been the deck to beat since Lorwyn block. Wizards of the Coast, realising that just perhaps they may have developed Faeries just a smidge on the 'incredibly unbeatable' side, decided that enough was enough. This faerie course correction was most apparent in the recently released set of Conflux.

Faerie players got scared. Some of them moved on to a different deck archetype while others sat down at the drawing board to develop answers to all the new faerie hate. The final answer was deck evolution. Essentially, faeries did not die as everyone may have expected, they just got a bit slower with the inclusion of the necessary answers needed for survival.
Let's have a quick look at some of the threats that faeries are looking at. Most all of these threats were in the form of direct damage, and mostly from red. Scattershot Archer, Volcanic Fallout, Banefire, Infest, Raking Canopy, Magma Spray, Firespout, Pyroclasm, Cloudthresher and Jund Charm are among the greatest threats to faeries. Other problems such as Cumber Stone neutralised faerie threat. Filigree Fracture was mis-named and should have correctly been called 'Kill Bitterblossom'.
With all the hate now sitting at the table, faeries were desperately looking for answers. Cards such as Thoughseize and Esper Charm only provided partial solutions. Runed Halo, although quite effective, provided only partial coverage as well as one could only name one threat to nullify. Burrenton Forge-Tender had quickly become a staple in many Fae decks. This 1/1 Kithkin Wizards took care of almost everything and could fearlessly chump-block till the cows came home.
The new Conflux card,Mark of Asylum, also does an efficient job of handling all the hate that people could be packing in their decks against faeries. No longer would they fear the red burn. This very decent card keeps all those faerie tokens up in the skies to harass the opponent into submission. The faerie player only needs to worry about combat damage and trying to maintain their tempo with the addition of the new cards needed to answer red burn. The typical Blue / Black Faerie deck is now considering carrying that extra colour White to get them across the finish line.

With the fall rotation coming October 2009, faeries will now be retired to extended. I think there will always be some token threat (whether there is a sky of Thopter artifact creature tokens or a horde of stampeding Saprolings). I am also very certain that Mark of Asylum will be an inclusion in these decks as well. Whatever form this may take, expect that this would just not as powerful as the Fae as Wizards may have learned a lesson . . . maybe.

2.25.2009

Divine vs Demonic Packaging

~
We have now been provided packaging images of Duel Decks: Divine vs Demonic on Magic Arcana today. To add to the spoiler today, Wizards asks us to "stop by again on Friday for a special Divine vs. Demonic surprise!" . . . very interesting.

You may recall my predictions from December 10th, 2008 (although it was fairly easy) . . .
~~~~~
I will take a stab at two possible inclusions in the Duel Decks from the banner provided with the announcement :

Akroma, Angel of Wrath - and - Lord of the Pit ? ? What is your guess ?











~~~~~
Well that was a fairly easy prognostication and not much work went into the speculation. Here is the confirmatory product image . .
The foils one will get . .

Akroma, Angel of Wrath
, 5WWW
Legendary Creature — Angel, Rare
Flying, first strike, vigilance, trample, haste, protection from black and from red
6 / 6

Lord of the Pit, 4BBB
Creature - Demon, Rare
Flying, trample
At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice a creature other than Lord of the Pit. If you can't, Lord of the Pit deals 7 damage to you.
7 / 7
~~~~~

Someone on the boards mentioned this which made me LoL !

To summarise a discussion between Richard Garfield and Skaff Elias back when they were doing playtesting for the first set.

Richard Garfield had just explained how he had won a game with Lord of the Pit.

"So, the only way for you to win with this thing is to play it and hope your opponent is stupid enough to steal it?"

~~~~~
Mark your calendar for April 10th, 2009 and get thee hence to a Gamery store.
~~~~~
In other sad news, uber-spoiler Master Zesty had been nailed by Wizards of the Coast and subsequently banned from sanctioned play for a period of two years. This was the result of running afoul with Copyright laws.

I would venture to say that Mr. Zesty was directly responsible in hyping the last two set releases to such a pitch that I made the largest individual MTG purchase ever. All (WoTC excepted) will miss his puzzles and cryptic clues in the next spoiler season.

2.24.2009

Sit and Rotate

~
Wizards of the Coast is a business. Their goal is to sell cards. Our part as players are to buy said cards and if said cards fit well with our games then everyone is happy. Yesterday's news from WoTC has me in for a rant so you might as well buckle up and I will take you to a place of bitter resentment.

Ever feel that you have no mouth, no voice in which to express your opinion ? The new Magic 2010 card, Silence, sums up my feelings at the moment.
As I am certain any eMail with a hint of dissention directed to Wizards will go unanswered, I turn to my blog. Here is a few opinions right off the top :

* Standard Players are going to get hit hard unless they have the opportunity to be able to play two Core Edition sets.

* The young kid who just got a Magic 2010 set in the summer of 2010 (birthday, graduation, whatever), is sure to cry when he / she is told that half their cards cannot be played at Friday Night Magic after the fall rotation.

* As one forum member summed up "MoneyGrubbing scheme sure is MoneyGrubbing".

I have a love / hate releationship with new set releases . . . I really do get very excited about all the new card goodness and cannot wait to get the grey matter working on combos and synergies for a new deck. At the same time, I realise that an older very loved deck is just another step closer to the grave. To this end, I may simply move to extended if all the players there had not left already in disgust.

Well . . . I was going to drop my cash on a Magic 2010 core set in July but now I am having second thoughts. As I am not a tournament or extended player and only head out to Friday Night Magic, the thought of annual core set rotations is most un-inviting. The plan this year (as it stood last week) was to purchase a booster box of the core set along with a fat-pack from "Live". After this, I would then dip into the singles market and through trades, would hope to reach the finish line in October, 2010 with a Standard Constructed deck which did not totally suck.

I now think that perhaps I will stick to Intro Packs (or less) with each new Core Edition Set as well as each new Expansion Set. I fully expect mushrooming prices on the singles market as players are forced to keep up with four new sets each year which translates directly into fewer packs being ripped open. I guess that one can argue that there is only 3.5 new sets each year as one can expect approximately 50 % reprints from the new Core Edition but this argument is null / void as players still need to purchase it.

Please do not get me wrong . . . Core Edition Sets were on the whole pretty bad. These cards did not have much appeal to either the advanced or the new player and needed to be fixed. New cards not limited by the flavour of a storyline is a definite improvement and jank reprints of vinilla cr@p like Grizzly Bears (or the obvious plant of Cylian Elf) were not welcome visitors in any booster pack. I am OK with Mythic Rares and Planeswalkers in the new Core Set Edition as well although I as sure some more vetran players are not estatic about this.

In summary . . .

> A Standard player who goes out once a week to FNM just got hit hard below the belt.

>The Core Set Edition problems are fixed . . . sort of and with the increased rotation tempo are not.

>Message to Wizards : Sit and Rotate ! ! I want a two-year rotation back !

>By-the-way - Silence is awesome and I want to forgive you.

Release Dates
(Please correct me if I err)

Shards of Alara : October 3, 2008
Conflux : February 6, 2009
Alara Reborn : April 30, 2009
Magic 2010 : July 17, 2009

"Live" : October 2009 (Lorwyn, Morningtide, Shadowmoor, & Eventide rotate out of Standard)
"Long" : February 2010
"Prosper" : May 2010

Magic 2011 : October 2010
"Lights" : October 2010 (Shards of Alara & Magic 2010 rotate out of Standard)
"Camera" : February 2011
"Action" : May 2011

Magic 2012 : October 2012
"Shake" : October 2011 ("Live", "Long", "Prosper" & Magic 2011 rotate out of Standard)
"Rattle" : February 2012
"Roll" : May 2012

2.23.2009

Magic 2010

~
So if have not heard, Eleventh Core Edition, is to be named Magic 2010. With this new Core Set to be released 17th July, 2009 comes several new changes to core set releases for Magic the Gathering. Beginning with the Magic 2010 core set, each core set will be legal in Standard until October of the following year. This means the now annual release of each Magic core set will be legal in the Standard format for approximately 15 months with an overlap with the previous core set (with the exception of this new set) and will be named after the year they come out (kind of / sort of).

Here are the details
Magic: The Gathering 2010 Core Set
Prerelease date: July 11-12, 2009
Release date: July 17, 2009
Set size: 249 cards (Thhis includes 101 Commons, 60 Uncommons, 53 Rares, 15 Mythic Rares, and 20 Lands)

The Design Team for Magic 2010 was Aaron Forsythe, Bill Rose, Mark Rosewater, Devin Low, Brady Dommermuth, and Brian Tinsman
The Development Team included Erik Lauer, Mike Turian, Tom LaPille, and Greg Marques.

These will now have pre-releases and release parties just like expansions whereas previously core sets were limited to just release parties. The new Core Sets no longer bump the previous core set out of Standard. Now there is only one “rotation” day for the format, and that is with the release of the first set of a new block. So when ‘Lights’ comes out (the first set of the block) knocks out Live Long Prosper and Magic 2010 leaving only Magic 2011 legal. (Magic 2010 will bump 10th Edition immediately though.)

A great piece of news we did get was that the Lorwyn planeswalkers will be rotated into Magic 2010 but as Mythic rares. There will also be Dual Lands provided. Of the fifteen mythic rares in the set, nine are reprints and six are brand new. The new the core sets will consist of half reprints and half NEW cards of the 229 cards in the set that are not basic lands. No painlands or fetchlands apparently are expected.

Of the 16 cards which have appeared in every set, only 8 cards will remain due to the "influx of new designs". You might as well leave a comment here as to which ones you speculate will be in or out:

Air Elemental, Bog Wraith, Drudge Skeletons, Fear, Giant Growth, Giant Spider, Goblin King, Grizzly Bears, Howling Mine, Nightmare, Orcish Artillery, Regeneration, Rod of Ruin, Samite Healer, Scathe Zombies, and Wrath of God.

The only concern I have at the moment is the more rapid turnover rate for standard format as it stands now. This is an expensive hobby and now promises to just a bit more expensive.

Some of the visual spoilers have already been provided in Aaron Forsythe's (bless his soul) article today at Wizards. These included

Silence (W)
Instant, Rare
Your opponents can’t cast spells this turn. Your opponents can't cast spells this turn.

Wall of Frost (1)(U)(U)
Creature - Wall, Uncommon
Defender
Whenever Wall of Frost blocks a creature, that creature doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step.
0 / 7

Capricious Efreet (4)(R)(R)
Creature - Efreet, Rare
At the beginning of your upkeep, choose target nonland permanent you control and up two target nonland premanents you don’t control. Destroy one of them at random.
6 / 4

Returning are the following . . .
Black Knight, Uncommon
Serra Angel, Uncommon
Birds of Paradise, Rare
Jace Beleren, Mythic Rare

2.20.2009

Dragon's Egg Review

~
Happy Friday everyone.
It's also MOVIE TIME !

Typically yours truly would be hard at work at the moment but I am currently at my secret MTG lair at home. This is due to a very unfortunate loss of power at work. This coupled with a HUGE dumping of snow with one heck of a blizzard has afforded me some time to blog while the city digs out.


This post is to pump the Dragon's Egg MTG deck storage solution by Power9Pro who I am very grateful to have as a sponsor here at MTG Realm (you've probably seen the banner at the top of the page). Anywho, that being said, I did tell Power9Pro that I would not pull any punches in my product review and would deliver a truthful summary of my evaluation.

The truth is, I cannot find any criticism at all with the Dragon's Egg and I would not be able to suggest any improvements to the product . . . it is just about as perfect as it can get to safely transport your MTG decks to the tournament or to Friday Night Magic. Speaking of FNM, I took the Dragon's Egg to the gammery club on Friday and the product did get some very good attention there from other players. The event organizer / store owner indicated that he intends to carry it as well.

Anywho, I put together 3 short videos for your entertainment today. Said videos are our review of the very cool Dragon's Egg product put into a somewhat humourous light . . . Enjoy !
(Please comment as to which one you may think was better)

Dragon's Egg Handy


Dragon's Egg Packed


Dragon's Egg Real Tough

2.19.2009

My Conflux Booster Box

~
So I opened up a Conflux Booster Box the other day and decided to record said dissection for your enjoyment. I do this as I have noticed that anyone at the local gammery club with a booster pack in their hand invariably seems to gather attention to see 'what they got'. Furthermore I must admit that this sort of thing gets my attention as well. I suppose there is a complex mix of emotions at play with a handful of cardboard crack - something akin to those scratch 'n' win lottery tickets.

I would like to thank sponsor DogStar Games who without their generousity, this post would not be possible. Please check them out at www.DogStarGames.com for Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Miniatures, and tons of other strategy and role-playing games.

Also - At the time of this post, I have 580 cards for trade over at CCG Tradepost, so if you see something I cracked opened, make tracks over there and sign up before I traded it all away.

Anywho - following is a 5 minute video of 36 Conflux packs being cracked opened . . . enjoy !




Here is what we got . . .
6 Foils
Paragon of the Amesha
Aerie Mystics
Traumatic Visions
Scattershot Archer
Shambling Remains
Infectious Horror
Quenchable Fire

38 Rares
Nicol Bolas
Martial Coup (Foil!)
Banefire
Noble Hierarch
Thornling
Bloodhall Ooze
Master Transmuter
2 x Cliffrunner Behemoth (1 Foil!)
Malfegor
Knight of the Reliquary
Maelstrom Archangel
Progentius
Obelisk of Alara
Raka Mar
Charnelhoard Wurm
Magister Sphinx
Giltspire Avenger
Exotic Orchard
Inkwell Laviathan
Worldheart Phoenix
Telemin Performance
Blood Tyrant
Sigil of the Empty Throne
Kederket Parasite
Voracious Dragon
Font of Mythos
Scepter of Fugue
2 x Scepter of Dominance
Scepter of Insight
Soul's Majesty
Mark of Asylum
2 x Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer
Paleoloth
Cylian Sunsinger
Extractor Demon

2.18.2009

What I'm Playing 5

~
Here is yet another post of something I am working on but have not yet playtested so perhaps the title is somewhat misleading. Anywho, I was rather fascinated about Sigil of the Empty Throne and it's ability to generate 4/4 flying white Angel tokens.
To take full advantage of this card's ability, I would need to maximize on the number of enchantments in the deck which of course would reduce the number of creatures one would be able to find a spot for. To this end, I needed to ensure that the creatures I did field were able to give the most 'bang for the mana' and decided that if I were effect any sort of damage to my opponent with the limited number of creatures, I would need to carefully evaluate my options.
I looked to one of my favourite mechanics, 'unblockable'. Steel of the Godhead was a good fit and also provided an enchantment to feed into Sigil of the Empty Throne. Jhessian Balmgiver also provided a good fit for this. Of course, anytime I am looking at an unblockable creature, I cannot stop myself from throwing a Quitus Spike into the mix . . . this is just fun (or nasty - depending upon which side of the table you are on).

The greatest threat to this deck (especially at my FNM) is burn and to a lesser degree control. To ensure that there was some protection from all the red burn out there, Mark of Asylum presented a good fit. Likewise, if I went up against a control deck with removal or bounce, I needed something else. Greater Auramancy provided the best answer for this. Not only did this also provide another potential 4/4 Angel token, but more importantly, it provided the shroud I needed to move my evil agenda forward.
Let's have a look at what I have to date. I'll remind you again, it has not playtested and I should fully expect a number of changes to it.

12 Creatures
4 x Zealous Guardian
4 x Vedalken Outlander
4 x Jhessian Balmgiver

24 Other Spells
4 x Path to Exile
4 x Greater Auramancy
4 x Oblivion Ring
4 x Steel of the Godhead
4 x Quietus Spike
4 x Sigil of the Empty Throne

24 Land
16 Plains
8 Islands

Sideboard
4 x Asha's Favor
4 x Mark of Asylum
+ ? ? ? ?

If you have any suggestions that could help me out, please leave a comment - it would be greatly appreciated.

2.14.2009

MTG Nightmare

~
I am one of those who really cannot remember dreams. With the few rare exceptions which occurs perhaps once or twice a year, these ephemeral fabrications of REM sleep evaporate as I wake.

The other night was one of those very rare exceptions. Whether it was a product of odd greasy food at an inappropriate time of night (aka beer munchies) or perhaps a nibble of cheese which may have been past due, the nocturnal rememberances the other day was very vivid as if the Sandman used every colour imaginable from a palette of realism.

Anywho - it's story time and I would like to share with you this highly unusal dream.

The setting was the local gammery store and Friday Night Magic was just about to get underway and I am running a bit late. To my shock, I realise that in my haste to get my buttocks over to the store, I had forgotten to bring my usual accoutrements; dice, tokens, life counters, lucky shrunken-head, and of course my deck. A quick check with the other players I know produce a deep feeling of unease bordering on distraught knowing that I will have to ask the store owner / organiser if he has a spare deck I can borrow for the evening.

The organiser does keep a playable deck or two behind the counter for just type of occassion but as I know he hates my guts, I also know that he may have something rather horrible prepared for me. With trepidation, I ask . . .

He indicates that he does have something I can play and then starts quipping about how 'protective' he is about the deck and how I should ensure I keep the 'protective' sleeves on, blah, blah, protection. I have a look . . .

I guess you can call this MTG build the 'Proection Deck'. Increduously, I scan through the cards. Other players around me start to snicker - apparently they may have been in on the joke as well. The joke is on me and more specifically in my hand. Here is what I was holding.


Protection Deck - 61 Cards

25 Creatures
1 x Progenitus
4 x Valeron Outlander
4 x Vedalken Outlander
4 x Zombie Outlander
4 x Goblin Outlander
4 x Nacatl Outlander
4 x Nacatl Savage

12 Other Spells
4 x Agony Warp
4 x Hindering Light
4 x Mana Cylix

24 Lands
4 Plains
4 Islands
4 Swamps
4 Mountains
4 Forests
4 Ancient Ziggurat

I realise then why the organiser was trying to squeeze the word 'protection' in every sentence he was using when he handed me this 'deck of dreck'.

Progenitus - Protection from Everything
Valeron Outlander - Protection from Black
Vedalken Outlander - Protection from Red
Zombie Outlander - Protection from Green
Goblin Outlander - Protection from White
Nacatl Outlander - Protection from Blue
Nacatl Savage - Protection from Artifacts


Now as this was a dream, I played the above 61 card nastiness and did fairly well, bringing me not only to top 8 but to the final game where the deck was done in by a cloud of faerie tokens churned out with a pair of Bitterblossoms. Those who were mocking the deck and taking spiteful shots were the ones who were getting a solid beating at the game table. The joke which was intended for me was caught, sharpened to a point and then hurled back at those who had mocked the qualities of good protection.

After I woke up from this nightmare, I re-created the deck on the table and have photographed it for you. Please provide a comment on this MTG dream or perhaps share with us one you have had.

2.12.2009

Prophetic Posts

~
You may recall the previous post on Tuesday title 'Nay Fatties' in which I had discussed a future desire to effect a Naya build. The deck in mind would be include the supporters of Knotvine Mystic and Druid of the Anima. These would hopefully bring early arrivals of the likes of Woolly Thoctar and Realm Razer.

I am always keen to see what others are playing to see where the metagame is going and to assist me in evolving and developing my casual game. To this end, I was very interested in seeing the results of recent decks of the week posted today over at Wizards.
More specifically, the recent Shards of Alara Block events on Magic Online gave me pause to think. From the 40 Top Eight decks in the five events held, almost 30 of these decks ( 75 % ! !) had builds with Druid of the Anima, Wooly Thoctar and Realm Razer.
Check it out . . .

Shards of Alara Block on Magic Online

2/2/2009 (Event #176867)
2/3/2009 (Event #176869)
2/3/2009 (Event #176870)
2/5/2009 (Event #184467)
2/5/2009 (Event #184468)

Here is a typical build on the winning decks.

4 x Battlegrace Angel
4 x Druid of the Anima
3 x Realm Razer
4 x Steward of Valeron
3 x Woolly Thoctar

4 x Ajani Vengeant
3 x Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Also included in the sideboards were a fair variation of removal or counter like Oblivion Ring and Naya Charm.

I am not one for 'net-decking' simply because it feels like I've borrowed someone else's deck at FNM. In this case however, I feel that I had arrived independently to a similar build. As I have most these cards already, I expect to be playing it soon at the local gammery store or the kitchen table.

2.10.2009

Naya Fatties

~
When I first started playing Magic and did not know very much about the game at all, I tended to just love the fatties. The bigger the critter, the better the chance for inclusion within my deck. I did not know very much about removal, acceleration, and tempo. Suffice to say, my casual games were a brutal slaughter.

Since those early days, I really stayed very much away from big stupid aggro but just recently have renewed my interest again. For the first time in a long time, I have actually read the fattie cards. What changed ? It was the new Conflux card Knotvine Mystic.
The first thing I took note of was just what a great card this was - pay 1 colourless to receive one Red, Green, AND White. That kind of sounds like a 3-for-1 sale. The next thing I noticed was the drawback of this 3-drop tri-coloured card . . . I had to be able to get this out on the board by turn 3 to take full advantage of acceleration I would need for the fatties to come latter.

To this end, I took a close look at the Lush Growth enchantment which will allow the enchanted land to produce one of the required Red-Green-White needed. A tri-land . . not bad. Of course, we would need to include Jungle Shrine and Ancient Ziggurat. In addition, Druid of the Anima also provided the necessary tri-colours in the two-drop column.

With the supporting mana now in place, I revisted Shards of Alara and Conflux to short-list the Naya Fatties with preference to tri-coloured Red-Green-White critters. Woolly Thoctar was screaming for inclusion. This 3-drop 5/4 monster was a perfect fit and had a decent chance of hitting the table on Turn 4. Realm Razer provided solid mana lockdown and could deny your opponent any opportunity to mount a defence. Meglonoth, probably the best blocker I have seen for some time would also need to be on Team Fatty.
Still on the theme on big beaters, I looked to the adjacent Shard of Jund. One of better block combinations has to be the 6/6 critter Charnelhoard Wurm and the instant Soul's Fire which would allow you to ding your opponent for 6 pain and then immediately return the instant to your hand to do it all over again. ouchee. The only issue here is being able to provide the 1 black mana for the Wurm in an otherwise Naya-centric deck. This should not prove too difficult however.
To ramp the critters appropriately, I considered the 1-drop Wild Nacatl which promises to grow to a decent 3/3 as well as Qasali Ambusher which could get dropped into play free. Short-listed to support these big-guns would be Godtoucher and Vagrant Plowbeasts for damage control. A set of versatile Naya Charms and perhaps even a Mighty Emergence to make the beaters even more beat-tastic. I will certainly be looking forward to identify any supporting cards in Alara Reborn come April.
I do not think I will be building such a deck but the seeds are already planted. Perhaps there will be a chance that Fatty McFatster will make a debut at the kitchen table or FNM.

2.09.2009

Alara Reborn Speculation

~
Ken Nagle yattered a bit about Conflux design in today's article and provided some hints as to what we could expect with Alara Reborn from his Colour Pie / Mechanical Tree which he had provided for his Naya design team.

The birth of one world. The death of five.
Specifically, he mentioned the following 'mechanics' which were "off limits" until Alara Reborn.
Blue - Protection from blue, Islandwalk, uncounterable
Black - Protection from black, Swampwalk, Undiscardable

From this, we may extrapolate to the other colours

White -
Protection from white, Plainswalk, 'un-lifegain-able'

Blue
-
Protection from blue, Islandwalk, 'un-counter-able'

Black
-
Protection from black, Swampwalk, 'un-discard-able'

Red
-
Protection from red, Mountainwalk, 'un-haste-able'

Green
-
Protection from green, Forestwalk, 'un-trample-able'

We also have the following quote from Design Team lead, Aaron Forsythe :

"After Conflux comes Alara Reborn—set three in the block—at the end of April. Alara Reborn, lead designed by yours truly and lead developed by Matt Place, has a real jaw-dropping hook that we've never done before that is sure to make the set one of the all-time memorable ones."

Really . . . I have no idea as to the 'jaw-dropping hook'. Anywho - just wondering if we can expect gold-coloured hybrids and the general mixing of abilities from the shards.

One thing which we should be expecting - Legendary Creature or Mythic Rare cards with following notables to be printed :

Lisha of the Azure, Crucius the Mad, Kemuel the Hidden One, Eliza of the Keep, Thraximundar, and Timus the Orange.

Also - I half expect the Angel Asha to return and bring with her a bag full of kick-a$$ery to remove Nicol Bolas from the plane.

2.07.2009

My Conflux Fat Pack

~
During my lunch-break on Friday, I picked up a Conflux Fat-Pack and a few singles form the local gaming store. Before Friday Night Magic, I was able to scrap together a new 'Bant-ish' type deck but was missing to many important slots so I went with an Blue-White unblockable featuring Quietus Spike, Jhessian Balmgiver (aka the tummy-rubber), and Sigil of the Empty Throne. The deck did not fair all that well but I would say it was truly FUN. At one point I had four 4/4 Angel tokens out . . very nice.

Anywho - Here is a quick video of the Conflux Fat Pack dissection.

~
And here is what I got . .

RARES
Thornling (FOIL !)

Banefire
Blood Tyrant
Sigil of the Empty Throne
Wall of Reverence
Extractor Demon
2 x Goblin Razerunners
Paleoloth

Uncommon
Ancient Ziggurat

Unstable Frontier
Paragon of the Amesha
2 x Cumberstone
Scornful Aetherlich
Constricting Tendrils
2 x Dreadwing
Dragonsoul Kingt
Ignite Disorder
Viashino Slaughtermaster
Filagree Fracture
Shard Convergence
Fusion Elemental
2 x Knotvine Mystic
Vragrant Plowbeasts
2 x Shambling Remains
Sludge Strider
3 x Skyward Eye Prophets


Conflux Fat Pack
In the Conflux Fat Pack, you get 8 booster packs per fatpack, a Conflux player's guide / card expansion encyclopedia, a sample chapter from the MTG novel "Agents of Artifice", a life-counter (D20), and a land booster pack . . . very kewl - Thanks Wizards of the Coast.

2.06.2009

Conflux Captions

~
Welcome to yet another attempt at MTG humour. With this post, we hope to tickle your funny-bone with some witty and waggish Conflux captions.

Please feel free to share and post a comment with alternate captions !

~
Unsummon
Instant (common)

Aerie Mystics

Creature – Bird Wizard (uncommon)
Ethersworn Adjudicator
Artifact Creature – Vedalken Knight (Mythic Rare)
Skyward Eye Prophets
Creature – Human Wizard (uncommon)
Knotvine Mystic
Creature – Elf Druid (uncommon)
Goblin Outlander
Creature – Goblin Scout (common)
If I do not receive any rotten fruit in my eMail, perhaps I will run another set of Conflux captions.

2.05.2009

Six Card Booster Pack

~
Very interesting news today over at WoTC. We now have a new Magic : The Gathering product format . . . A six-card booster pack. You may be wondering if April Fool's Day came early and say "CopySix - go pull the other one", but I am not joshing you - just check the article out on Daily Arcana.
So, if you find yourself in a large mass-market store like Target or WalMart in the near future, you might see one of these. Well, here in my part of Canada, one is unable to purchase any WoTC product at a SprawlMart and must make a trek to the local gaming store, which is rather fine with me as I would rather provide patronage to the retailer that plays host to me (almost) every Friday evening.

That said . . . if I did find myself out and about after regular business hours and happen to be in a 24-hour WalMart with an MTG itch I had to get a hit of cardboard crack, then perhaps I might pick up a few cards. Before this, let us have a look at what we are getting . . .

This new product format offering starting with Conflux we will call 'The Six Card Booster'. Thankfully, it will not replace regular booster packs, and it will only appear in mass market stores. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for this pack is $1.99 or approximately 900 Canadian pesos.

WoTC provides no guarantee as to the rarities of cards within packs, but one may expect a tips/token card, 1 land, 3 commons, 1 uncommon, and 1 'Wild-Card' slot that has an equal chance of being rare/mythic, uncommon, or common. We are informed that there may "even have a chance of opening a foil card".

In comparison, a regular MTG Booster pack contains 16-Cards : 1 Rare/Mythic Rare (Mythic rares are approx. 1 in every 8 rares), 3 Uncommons, 10 Commons, 1 basic land, 1 Token/Tips & Tricks card.

For those gamers out there who continually contemplate the odds of the long-shot, here are the approximate numbers for the Wild-Card slot :
A Common ~ 33.5 %
An Uncommon ~ 33.5 %
A Rare ~ 29 %
A Mythic-Rare ~ 4 %

In Canada, a typical (15 card ) booster pack goes for $5.00 and I would expect the 6-card booster (if they become available here) to retail for about $2.50 to $2.75. As I am not very much of a betting gentleman, I would most likely not bother to pick one up unless it is intended as a Christmas stocking stuffer for the spouse / kids. The community appears highly divided as to this new product offering just as they were upon hearing the announcement that Tournament Packs were to be discontinued.

So, as WoTC states, you will always get a rare or mythic rare in a regular booster pack, but if you find yourself in a mass market store and only have a couple of bucks to spend on scratching your Magic itch, you now have this as an option.