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11.30.2009

MTG Zendikar Wallpaper

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Hello to all. I am safely returned from my vacation with the fam. As I have experienced a significant change in temperature (from a warm and humid 28 °C / 82 °F to a frigid and brisk -4 °C / 25 °F), I will need a few days to acclimate lest I implode . . . or worst. For this reason, I have my first post to MTG Realm light and cheery with little or no thought required on my behalf to post (think twinky).

To this end, I wish to summarise ten very decent Magic the Gathering Wallpapers Zendikar Wallpapers which may be found at Wizards of the Coast. Just click on the image to nav to their download page ->

Jason Chan's Khalni Heart Expedition

Karl Kopinski's Kor Aeronaut

Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai's Whiplash Trap

Kev Walker's Oran-Rief Survivalist

Kekai Kotaki's Lorthos, the Tidemaker

Todd Lockwood's Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet

Jason Felix's Archive Trap

Jason Chan's Iona, Shield of Emeria

Raymond Swanland's Roil Elemental

Michael Komarck's Luminarch Ascension

Get busy and pimp your desktop now . . . catch you latter - Happy and Safe gaming until then.

11.20.2009

MTG Vacation

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I am rather sorry to inform you that you guys on on your own next week as I am taking the kids on vacation. This, not only, will afford you an opportunity to determine exactly how addicted you may be to this blog, but will also provide me with a chance to get beach sand in my card sleeves - hopefully this will not have a physical adverse effect on my expensive Magic the Gathering cards. This will give me a chance to put on hold the impending arrival of winter (yep - already threatening snow where I live), but will also allow me to study real-live Americans up close.


I do not anticipate any crazy Worldwake or Rise of the Eldrazi spoilers coming my way next week so perhaps this may very well be a safe time to log off for a week - I just hope I don't go into internet withdrawls - I found out that the Condo does NOT have internet (!arghblah!). :-(


Anywhoos - I hope to get in a bunch of games with the spouse, the kids as well as kick butt and take names at the local hobby store which runs FNM. So - here is an invitation ! - If you happen to find yourself in John's Pass (near Madeira Beach, Florida), please try to catch me at Fun Express Games, right in John's Pass.


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11.19.2009

World's Rome - Day 1

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Some great action happening in the world of professional Magic the Gathering in Rome Italy today. For complete coverage, pop over to Wizards to see the latest, including blogs from event coverage staff, Podcasts, and videos from everything to feature matches, deck-tech analysis, and player profiles.

We were very much hoping not to see a bunch of Jund mirror-matches and are not disappointed. It is estimated that the current meta-game king (Jund aggro decks) made up approximately 35 to 40 % of the field. One deck that had stood out for us is that which was brought along by Pro-Player and MTG writer Manuel Bucher who is piloting a Bant deck featuring Emeria Angel, Knight of the Reliquary, and Baneslayer Angel.

Unfortunately, for most of us (as we like to eat), Baneslayer commands a price anywhere from $40 to $60 . . . DANG ! - Should be calling it Wallet-Slayer Angel. But hey - Budget players are an ingenous bunch and can be relied upon to find a solid replacement - perhaps something not as prone to Aven Mimeomancer.

Anywhoos - Let's have a look at Manuel Bucher's DECK.



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Also of great interest . . .

At approximately 11:30 EST from Evan Erwin’s twitter account that US Team member, Charles Gindy had been disqualified from Worlds for ‘Fraud.’ Many people were shocked and upset and a lot of speculation had been made since Evan's first tweet until just a few moments ago when, we had word finally from Wizards as to what officially happened.

Gindy controlled a Master of the Wild Hunt, along with a pair of Wolf tokens, one a 2/2, and the other a 3/3 thanks to a counter from Oran-Rief the Vastwood.

Gindy activated his Master of the Wild Hunt, targeting one of his opponent’s creatures, in order to kill it. His Wolves were tapped, and his opponent’s creature was killed by the 5 damage from Master of the Wild Hunt’s ability, but the opponent did not assign damage back to either Wolf.

At the end of the match, Gindy asked why his opponent had not assigned damage to kill one of Gindy’s Wolf tokens when Master of the Wild Hunt’s ability resolved. This made it clear that Gindy knew that one of his Wolf tokens should have been assigned damage, but had chosen not to say anything at the appropriate time.

It is mandatory that the ability of Master of the Wild Hunt be completed in full, and by intentionally allowing the card to be misplayed, Gindy committed fraud as defined in the Infraction Procedure Guide. With Master of the Wild Hunt, a clear assignment of damage must be made for the ability to have fully resolved. It is not an option to see an opponent making a play outside the rules and allow it to happen.


. . . DANG ! We should think that his team-mates have a few things to say in private latter on . . .
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11.18.2009

World's 2009 - Rome

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Although this is a casual Magic the Gathering blog and we are casual magic players, we still feel it important that casual players know there is a thing called the Pro-Tour circuit . . . . yep - there are guys and gals who travel the world to play our favourite game. At these organised tournaments, winner's receive money (always a good thing), including other prizes such as the latest kewlest gadgets (like a 120 gB iPod !).

Anywhoos - this weekend (19 - 22 November), a great gathering of mtg players will converge in the beatiful city of Rome, Italy (aka World's Rome) to battle to determine who has what it takes to be a world champion.

Following - a handy LINK to the World's 2009 Schedule for Rome . .



Remember - You don't have to be a Pro to take in and enjoy World's 2009 in Rome, you could be casual schmucks like us and participate in some of the excellent public events being offered.

The event is open to the public, and Wizards of the Coast invites gaming fans of all types and skill levels to step into the arena, experience the World Championship’s festivities and help commemorate Magic’s best of the best. Onsite attractions include VIP Richard Garfield (the famed creator of Magic), public events, Magic learn-to-play sessions, Magic Online and Duels of the Planeswalkers on Xbox LIVE Arcade demos.

Many events open to the public features prizes such as paid airfare and hotels to all 2010 Pro Tours, pieces of Power 9, foil versions of every card legal in Standard, iPods, digital camcorders, uncut foil card sheets, and much more. The biggest Magic weekend of the year kicks off in style Wednesday afternoon with 8-person single-elimination events from 14:00 to 20:00, with all drafts just € 5 and free Constructed events! Make sure you check out the above schedule to see when events go down.


Some events of interest for casual (non-competitive) players . . .
* Super Friday Night Magic – All players receive a FNM foil card. More FNM foil cards for top players.
* Standard-format Open Dueling – Bring your Standard deck and play against other players. Every 5 games played wins you a booster.
* "Wacky Drafts" – booster drafts using a random assortment of boosters from Magic sets present and past.
* EDH – Bring your EDH deck and battle against other generals!
* Planechase – walk the planes of the Multiverse in this new Magic product.
* Game Shows – Thursday and Saturday night will feature Magic Trivia for great prizes.
* Urza Saga, Onslaught, and Invasion Block Sealed Deck Tournaments!

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Players playing in the World Championships must have a signed waiver and consent form in order to compete at the World Championships. Link HERE, and consent / release form HERE.

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Make sure you also find an internet connection to watch the 2009 World Championships Top 8 Webcast which is scheduled for Nov. 22 at 3:45 a.m. ET - link HERE.

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Finally, we want to wish everyone to is heading to Rome, a safe trip there and back and of course - have a blast.

Please provide any updates you have via Twitter to this hashtag : #MTGRoad2Rome
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11.17.2009

Top Zendikar Draft Picks

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Good Day my Peeps !

Yet another day that I am glad to be above ground and blogging about Magic the Gathering. Today, we wish to discuss some interesting news about top picks for Zendikar draft. As you may know, through the magic of the computer, administrators / system operators over at Magic On-Line are able to record, tabulate and summarize vast volumes of data generated during the thousands of games which take place every day. With this sea of data, the system monkeys then analyze and scrutinize to identify trends and player preferences. Why? We hope that they would use this for good and not evil (inserting evil Vincent Price cackle here).

Anywhoos - the latest information shared is of interest. It is the top 10 first picks made by 8-4 winners for Triple

Zendikar drafts. Boils and Ghouls - here is the list:

1. Hideous End

2. Burst Lightning
3. Vampire Nighthawk
4. Journey to Nowhere
5. Marsh Casualties
6. Disfigure
7. Plated Geopede
8. Trusty Machete
9. Malakir Bloodwitch
10. Kor Skyfisher




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Now onto some lively discussion regarding this list . . .

You may have noticed . . . why no Green or Blue cards ? Perhaps just that these two colours are better in the constructed environment and lacks what is needed in a drafting environment. Green is certainly robust but may be considered lacking power and presence in the early game where most of the critical plays are being made in draft. Blue is difficult to draft as this is where this colour shines in card combos and synergy - something that is never guaranteed in draft.

A quick glance at the list confirms what makes good draft choices - a lot of instants or sorcery aimed at removal or delivering pain to your opponent. It is of interest that Vampire Nighthawk edged out Journey to Nowhere. Having said that, Nighthawk does not only have lifelink but can be used as a removal with legs with his deathtouch.

Trusty Machete is a given - it is good in any colour and is not really that expensive. Picking up a Machete does not limit any of your choices latter on.

Plated Geopede is also a very decent choice - good mana economics and the single red in the cost will still allow many to splash this colour and still have this first striker on the team.

I am scratching my head with the choice of Malakir Bloodwitch. Don't get me wrong - this is a most excellent card - 5 mana for a 4/4 flier with pro-white is not bad at all. The last ability may or may not make too much of a difference in the draft but at the very least, it will separate your life totals by two (you gain one, opponent looses one).

As I have drafted only once and am dedicated to the casual game, I would very much like to hear about this choices from the more experienced draft player to get their opinion on this list - so drop us a line.

11.16.2009

Spreading Seas

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Good Day to all.
I hope that you will forgive my recent absence but I have been offlined to spend some quality time with H1N1. Hope that none of you decide to take this virus home with you.

Anywho, just getting back into it again and have noticed that Wizards has finally provided the official announcement to Rise of the Eldrazi today on Magic Arcana, the name of the third and final set in the Zendikar block. Altough we brought you this news more than a week ago (post HERE), there is a new image to look at . . .


Boy does that creature (presumably an 'Eldrazi') look not very pleased.

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Now - as the title of the post suggested (Spreading Seas), I wanted to yatter about this card and the potential answer it has to many of those Jund decks you may be running up against at FNM.

Spreading Seas, just like Convincing Mirage, may assist the player to disrupt an opponent's mana base very early in the game, and if properly followed-thorugh may just mess up their play enough to squeak out a win. In fact, the use of cards such as these against most multi-colour decks will just simply mess things up rather royally.

I've seen a few decks developed with Spreading Seas (the better of the two cards here). So far, the deck which has intrigued me most are the ones in which Sigil of the Empty Throne are prominent. I have even taken a liking to some of the decks I have seen with Kor Skyfisher which can bounce one of your permanents (read: enchantment) in order to play it again and pump out yet another 4/4 Angel token with Empty Throne.

As you will need some breathing room (read: live long enough), to set up your tech, look for Wall of Denial which most Jund decks I've seen does not have an answer for. This should buy just enough time to get things on the roll for you.

Some cards I am considering . .

Ardent Plea

Convincing Mirage
Ice Cage
Journey to Nowhere
Kor Skyfisher
Mesa Enchantress
Oblivion Ring
Sigil of the Empty Throne
Spreading Seas
Wall of Denial


Please drop my a line and suggest a final build for this with Spreading Seas and Sigil of the Empty Throne figuring prominently. I would do this, but as swine flu ate my brain, I am out of commission for at least another few days.
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11.10.2009

MTG Cake

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In this MTG Realm blog post, we take an unexpected turn into the kitchen and explore the dark and sinister undercarriage of the world of baked goods.

If one was able to wring out and distill the pure evil from a Martha Stewart cupcake, we would have the perversity of the patisserie world - yep - sugar.

In this post, we will explore the weird and unnatural conflux of Magic the Gathering and Cake. Following are images of this horrid marriage of flour, eggs, frosting and an MTG fan's endeavour to eat a piece of cake / morceau de g√Ęteau. Your dentist will appreciate these . . .



















































And if you do not really like cake, try on one of these cookies . . .

We will catch you after your sugar hang-over.
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11.09.2009

MTG XBox Expansion

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Hey all and Happy Monday. Man do we feel like cr@p today (no swine flu - perhaps just a touch of boozebonic plague). Anywhoos - we want to give you peeps just a quick update as to what's happening in the world of Magic the Gathering.

First Off,
We received a bulk email from our fav little corporate PR gal (from Porter Novelli) regarding the release of expansion packs for the popular electronic MTG game, Duels of the Planeswalkers. Here is the skinny . . .

Are you ready to take your Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers experience to a higher level? You'll be able to do just that in 2010 as Wizards of the Coast will launch two more expansion packs plus extend the game to PC and PlayStation 3.

Duels of the Planeswalkers continues to be one of the most downloaded games on Xbox LIVE Arcade. On the heels of the first expansion released in October, the 2010 expansions are scheduled for spring and summer of next year. Similar to the first expansion, the two releases will feature new cards, planeswalkers, and challenges, and will be offered in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German.

Also planned for the summer of 2010 is the release of the PC version of Duels of the Planeswalkers. The PC version will offer the same style of gameplay as the XBLA title, along with an extra bonus we can't tell you about quite yet.

The 2010 plan continues into the fall with the release of Duels of the Planeswalkers on PlayStation 3. The PS3 version will be available in Japanese in 2011.


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Also up on the news radar if you have not heard - the formal announcement as to the Magic the Gatherinf 2010 Grand Prix Schedule.

The 2010 Grand Prix season features 18 stops across 12 different countries, highlighted by stops in Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Toronto, and Florence. Along with playing Magic next to hundreds of other players in your region, Grand Prix offer Pro Tour invitations to the top 16 finishers and a $30,000 prize purse. This season's schedule features Grand Prix located in the same region as each Pro Tour a week prior to the big event to make it easier for traveling players to combine both tournaments into one trip.

Dates City Country Format Feeds PT
Feb. 13-14 Oakland USA Extended San Juan
Feb. 27-28 Madrid Spain Legacy San Juan
March 13-14 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Standard San Juan
March 20-21 Yokohama Japan Extended San Juan
March 27-28 Brussels Belgium Standard San Juan
April 3-4 Houston USA Extended San Juan
May 8-9 Lyon France “Prosper” Limited Amsterdam
May 22-23 Baltimore USA Standard Amsterdam
June 5-6 Sendai Japan Standard Amsterdam
June 12-13 Manila Philippines Standard Amsterdam
July 31-Aug. 1 Columbus USA Legacy Amsterdam
Aug. 28-29 Gothenburg Sweden M11 Limited PT 2011 #1
Sept. 11-12 Portland USA M11 Limited PT 2011 #1
Oct. 9-10 Sydney Australia “Lights” Limited PT 2011 #1
Oct. 23-24 Toronto Canada “Lights” Limited PT 2011 #1
Oct. 30-31 Bochum Germany “Lights” Limited PT 2011 #1
Nov. 13-14 Nashville USA “Lights” Limited PT 2011 #1
Nov. 27-28 Florence Italy “Lights” Limited PT 2011 #1

Stay tuned for latter developments on the DoTP or tournament info.