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10.30.2009

MTG Newsletter

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Late last evening, we had received several emails all within a minute or so from some folks we know. More specifically, I received congratulatory emails from colleagues, who, like me run Magic the Gathering fan websites or blogs (like our very good friends over at Casual Magic and Gathering Magic).

We really had no idea as to why congratulations were in order until I had clicked on one of the links provided (we thank-you now for not Rick-Rolling us!). To our astonishment and amazement, MTG Realm was provided space and a link on the Wizards of the Coast Magic the Gathering Newsletter.

The newsletter, produced at various frequencies is not so much a newsletter than a series of hyperlinks off to various websites discussing the news-de-jour, as well as other links to previous MTG articles / news summaries on the Wizards site.

The link provided for MTG Realm in the newsletter was a post we put up a week ago about the Garruk vs. Liliana Duel Deck released today and available at your local gaming store.

Of course we are very flattered to have officially acknowledged content. After reviewing our post however, we realise that we were indeed in rather a hurry that day and the post was more of a Garruk / Liliana decklist instead of a full review of this new mtg duel deck. Not the best post to showcase in a newsletter, but we will take it anyway.

For reference, here is the MTG newsletter. As our HTML kind of sucks, this is quite a hack job. We suggest you head over to Wizards to see the document properly.

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For previous WoTC MTG newsletters, click away here at these links;
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10.29.2009

Jund Aggro

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A quick review of Wizards Decks of the Week is a very decent place to start when looking for either Magic the Gathering deck ideas or to start thinking about developing an answer for these popular decks. If one were to assess the new hotness, look to the summaries of Standard on Magic Online top deck tournment returns, it becomes rapidly apparent that the deck to beat at the moment is Jund Aggro. Today, we will have a look at the common build for this deck.

For a deck list link from MTG Url, click HERE, for the analytical break-down, click HERE.

Main Deck : 60 cards

25 lands
4 Dragonskull Summit
4 Forest
2 Mountain
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Savage Lands
4 Swamp
3 Terramorphic Expanse

15 creatures
4 Bloodbraid Elf
3 Broodmate Dragon
4 Putrid Leech
4 Sprouting Thrinax

20 other spells
3 Bituminous Blast
4 Blightning
2 Garruk Wildspeaker
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Resounding Thunder
4 Terminate

15 sideboard cards
4 Duress
4 Great Sable Stag
4 Jund Charm
3 Pyroclasm

Most variants include the hasty Bloodbraid Elf which cascades nicely into Putrid Leech, Sprouting Thrinax, Blightning, Ligthning Bolt, Terminate or even a Malestrom Pulse. This is very decent by any metric you may want to use. The idea here is to obtain the best deck effeciency by tunning your deck to include a good number of two and three drop spells. Bituminous Blast also acts in the same way to cascade into pretty much everything else with the exception of Broodmate Dragon which is typically reserved as the game finisher.

The other card that really stands out in most of these builds is the Jund Charm to wipe the board of tokens and smaller critters. This card is most often used to pump up Putrid Leech which one could even pump yet again to handle a Baneslayer Angel if necessary.

Of note also is the inclusion within the sideboard of Great Sable Stag. This is typically reserved should you go up against a similar Jund build. This card will offer a definite advantage in a mirror match due his protection against black. One can now feel safe with the typical Jund removal and be able to effectively block Putrid Leech and the ilk.

All in all, this is a very decent deck. The drawback (for very many of us) is that this is no budget deck which comprises the meat 'n' potatoes of the casual kitchen / FNM Magic that this blog is dedicated to. Expect to pay in excess of $300 were you to buy all of these cards as singles.

10.28.2009

What I'm Playing 8

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Hello and welcome to yet another post of 'What I'm Playing'. This is where we, the abecedarian begrudging your greater experience in this our admired game of Magic the Gathering propose to you a standard constructed deck and you, advanced by years of experience, sagely provide us betterments.

So, without further ado, admit me, the constructor of this deck, who prologue-like your humble patience pray, gently to read, kindly to judge our Deck List.

Sneaky Kor . . .

Spells - 39
4 x kor duelist
4 x trusty machete
4 x harm's way
4 x brave the elements
4 x armament master
4 x kor aeronaut
3 x kor skyfisher
4 x kor hookmaster
4 x whispersilk cloak
4 x captain of the watch
Mana -21
17 x Plains
4 x Kabira Crossroads

Our thanks to Trick at ManaNation for developing MTG Url from which we had obtained the following graphics. Here are the Links to the LIST and ANALYSIS.

Creature - 23 / Artifact - 8 / Instant - 8 / Basic Land - 21

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We were for a time rather unsure of the Kor at this time. Certainly there are some very worthy cards but perhaps we had held too much stock in Armament Master who lacked a particular vigor in order to stay long enough on the board in order to provide benefits to his fellow Kor.

That was, until a colleague at Friday Night Magic suggested the use of Whispersilk Cloak which not only provided the much needed shroud required to maintain the Armament Master but also provided a very nice ublockable ability.

The construction so far proved to fair not that badly with the few casual kitchen table games we had played with a limited variety of other builds. We were very impressed with the Duelist, who we had placed a Trusty Machete on and then followed up with a Whispersilk Cloak. This piece of nastiness was at one time (with an Armament Master on board) swinging for 10 points of sweet unblockable pain. As the build happened to turn out all soldiers, we just auto-included Captain of the Watch.

We very much understand that this build is still far from complete and would like you to suggest improvements before we unleash this at our next FNM. Please remember that we, of limited income, may not be able to acquire the hotness which you may suggest so please also think in terms of budget.
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We are also thinking about a build with Emeria Angel and the very popular Hedron Crab. If you have any ideas with this deck that won't break the bank, please drop us a comment.

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10.27.2009

3D MTG

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I had just recently read an interesting article over at Curiosidades de Magic, a spanish blog personal una gran variedad de interesantes de la Magic Gathering historias, erratas, modificaciones y curiosidades. Specifically, I found the article on artist Seishiro Ookubo very interesting.

Seishiro Ookubo has never executed any pieces commissioned by Wizards of the Coast yet this Nagoya-born Japanese artist is very well known in the MTG art community. WoTC had invited Ookubo to past tournaments to showcase his amazing art. The art in question is certainly all Magic the Gathering but what sets Ookubo apart from other artists is that he creates 3D art from actual cards.











Ookubo, as many other MTG artists, is a fan of the game and had started playing during 4th Edition, and like many avid players started to acculumate a vast collection of cards. Apparently, one evening while taking stock of his collection of cards, Ookubo had several extra copies of
Pradesh Gypsies in his hand when he struck upon the idea that the card would looking rather interesting portrayed in the third dimension. After many attempts and many cards, Ookubo had refined his technique. He now typically takes two to three hours and six copies of a card, and then intricately cuts each card to create his layered masterpieces.

Ookubo typically works on commons and uncommons and amazingly often trades his works of art for the MTG cards he wants to play with. He also often provides his art as gifts, tournament prizes and charity auctions. His works often commands high prices from $400 to $500 (US dollars) which according to him, very much surprises him.


Perhaps the most impressive piece thus far though has been Mark Rosewater's Maro. If you look at the picture on the Mirage version of Maro, you will notice a great deal of leaves and vines in the background, all of which have been cut and detailed by Ookubo -- an insane amount of work by any standard.

If anyone out there has a personal page for Ookubo we can link to, we would really love to show our appreciation to him for his work. Also, if we every have a bag of money fall from the sky on us, we hope to commission a 3D Black Lotus.

Anywhoos - let's have some images of Seishiro Ookubo's art work . . .



























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Also - Here is a very cool video of a MTG life counter created with Ookubo's 3D Maniacal Rage.


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10.26.2009

Halloween MTG

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Planetary alignment, mysterious omens, pagan calendars, and Wizards / DCI scheduling have all resulted in Zendikar Game Day landing on October 31st . . . yes - Halloween. Of course you are going to get out to the game store, have a blast and pick up the Game Day promos (Nissa's Chosen and possibly Emeria Angel) - but 'How' are going to do it ? In style of course.

We suggest you get a jump on Halloween and head out to the gamery store in your costume ready for that Halloween party you are going to latter that evening. This year, we will highly recommend that you forget about your traditional costumes and jump into a Snuggie - not only are they very scary / creepy but also a dump-truck load of fun.


We've been seeing a helluva lot of pub-crawls with sloshed college students comfortably attired in Snuggies - We think that should you get your paws on one now, you would be able to dye it your fav Magic the Gathering colour in time for the Zendikar Game Day / Halloween party.

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Still on our Halloween theme, here is a quick summary of most excellent Magic the Gathering decktop wallpapers you may consider for freshing up you stale workstation . . .




Linkys from Wizards for these : here, here, and here.
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10.22.2009

Playing Magic

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The truly brilliant aspect about playing Magic the Gathering is the portability of this game. In the past, I have taken my decks on the road and have found myself playing a match with my kids or wife in the most unusual places. Casual Magic is a game not bound to the physical confines of a gaming store or a tournament event.

To date, I believe that I have had played MTG matches in the kitchen (of course), a park, in a garage, and on camping trips. There is no limit as to where one could play . . . you just need a deck and a buddy. No tournament official or judge is necessary. If all you are looking for is to boost your DCI points / ranking (to get a pro-tour invite) then perhaps a particular facet / value / aspect of the game is less clear to you than some of the players I know.

I had a quick look around 'teh internetz' and have found a vast collection of images of players doing what they love the most - playing . . . And just about everywhere / anywhere. Apparently Magic isn't just for people either - I've seen pets play as well. o_0

They are playing on trains, planes, automobiles. In hotel rooms, dorm rooms, military barracks, resorts, camping trips, coffee shops, school class rooms, malls, and libraries. Just about everywhere and of course kitchen tables across the globe.

The important point here is get out there with some friends and play a few games.
Please feel free to leave a comment as to the weirdest / strangest / most unusual place you have had a game.
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10.21.2009

Promos Catch-Up

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It has been since July 2009 that we did a round-up POST of various Wizards of the Coast / Magic the Gathering promotional cards. We now make amends by wrapping these up today. In short - Get Thee to a Gamery Store !

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Friday Night Promos
We last left off with the FNM promo for June HERE.
If you are like me and so happen to live near an urban center which say perhaps has a store that hosts Friday Night Magic events, then you must get fairly enthusiastic about the potential of winning a DCI Friday Night Magic promotional card.

Click to enlarge any image

July FNM : Murderous Redcap










August FNM : Lightning Greaves










September FNM : Watchwolf








November FNM : Oblivion Ring








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Here are some very lovely WPN Promo cards. Some details of the Wizards Play Network (WPN) / aka 'Gateway', formerly 'League' set up are HERE.

The Wizards Play Network offers stores, schools, libraries and organizers all the tools they need to run events for Wizards of the Coast games. If you want to offer Magic: The Gathering or Dungeons & Dragons events for your players, the WPN gives you everything you need to get your game going!


Sorry about the mark-ups - stupid store logos removed.
Kor Duelist WPN Promo









Vampire Nighthawk WPN Promo










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Zendikar Game Day !

Zendikar Game Day is coming on October 31st my Boils and Ghouls. For a location near you check out the link HERE. For those fanatical MTG players who could not quite get enough game on a set's pre-release or release event day, Wizards has brilliantly arranged a 'Game Day' which occurs approximately one month after the set's official release.

On Saturday, 31st October (yes - it's Halloween - ensure you are appropriately attired in your best spooky costume), converge on your local organiser's facility and you may be able to collect one of these Zendikar mtg promos . . .

Zendikar Game Day Promo :
Nissa's Chosen and Emeria Angel !











Thanks for reading, stay tuned for more MTG goodness . . . Happy and Safe Playing until next post.