Popular Posts


Monday MTG Miscellany

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

This past weekend, major tournaments included Grand Prix Warsaw and Grand Prix Santiago with the Top 8 decklists listed here and here respectively.  The long and short of it essentially is that Black-Green Delirium decklists performed rather well with White-Blue Flash strategies edging in.  We've been working on a rogue list we hope to unleash upon an unprepared metagame at our local store, OMG! Games here in Barrie, more on that after next weekend though.  

For now, since the MTG Realm playgroup loves Commander, we want to yatter more about the upcoming (and now fully revealed) Commander 2016 set.  We had been talking EDH with some friends who had not been following the Commander 2016 previews who had some questions about the new mechanics / key word abilities.  To this end, we'll draw your attention to the Release Notes posted here.  Essentially, basic landcycling is returning,  'Undaunted' is the new spell reduction tech, and 'Partner' allows TWO Generals / Commander, which some have told us would not be encouraged at their local playgroups, while others indicate they now have a mighty need.

In other news, in today's Daily MTG update, Blake has provided the full list of tokens to be part of the Commander 2016 set.  Each individual pre-con should have 10 double-sided tokens.  There are a total of 19 creature tokens and 1 planeswalker emblem for the full C16 set.  From what we see, there is only one of these with new token art - but only because the it basically is a completely new token - a 1/1 red Goblin creature with a static ability.

Speaking of new card art, it may be of interest to you to know that, from the reprints within Commander 2016, there are five cards which will have new card art - Beacon of Unrest, Chain of Vapor, Reins of Power, Wave of Reckoning and Windfall.  Here are the new lovelies compared with the previous and much loved illustrations.



Commander 2016 Full Spoiler

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

The full Commander 2016 set and individual decklists have now been posted over on the mothersite (linked here).  Nous allons dire à nouveau - a galerie des cartes Commander 2016 officiellement révélées est actualisée par ici.

We will need the full weekend to go through the list but at a quick glance, all lists appear to be of somewhat of equal value with no silly Commander 2013 mistakes ('True-Name Nemesis - in the Mind Seize pre-con).  There also appears to be a really good choice of reprints as well.  They all look to have around $100 'value' (broken down as singles) with perhaps the group hug list perhaps an extra 20 clams or so more.  For today's post, here is a quick 'n' dirty summary of each Commander 2016 pack (along with the legendary creatures) and a list of all 56 new cards.  

Entropic Uprising (UBRG - 'Random Effects'): 
• Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder
Legendary creatures - 4 new and 1 reprint

Open Hostility (WBRG - 'Aggro'): 
• Saskia the Unyielding
Legendary creatures - 4 new and 2 reprints

Stalwart Unity (WURG - 'Group Hug'): 
• Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis
Legendary creatures - 4 new and 5 reprints

Breed Lethality (WUBG - 'Growth'): 
• Atraxa, Praetor's Voice
Legendary creatures - 4 new and 2 reprints

Invent Superiority (WUBR - 'Artifacts matter'): 
• Breya, Etherium Shaper
Legendary creatures - 4 new and 6 reprints

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder Saskia the Unyielding
Divergent Transformations Primeval Protector
Grip of Phyresis Vial Smasher the Fierce
Armory Automation Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix
Goblin Spymaster Prismatic Geoscope
Thrasios, Triton Hero Kraum, Ludevic's Opus
Boompile Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa
Manifold Insights Sylvan Reclamation
Faerie Artisans Grave Upheaval
Ravos, Soultender Atraxa, Praetors' Voice
Runehorn Hellkite Sublime Exhalation
Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder
Parting Thoughts Silas Renn, Seeker Adept


Commander 2016 Previews 10-27

Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

Tomorrow (Friday, October 28), as we should be getting the full Commander 2016 decklists.  With a total of 56 new cards being introduced in this set, Magic: the Gathering fans should be a rather happy lot.  Whether it is with new cards, new mechanics or perhaps new card art, players will be glade to game with the new pre-constructed decks, or cherry-picking singles to incorporate into existing decklists.  
We are almost finished with all the new Commander 2016 cards as of this early afternoon.  Here is the full list of all new cards previewed so far -

3 Orzhov Advokist
4 Selfless Squire
5 Sublime Exhalation

6 Coastal Breach
7 Deepglow Skate
8 Faerie Artisans
9 Grip of Phyresis
10 Manifold Insight

11 Cruel Entertainment
12 Curse of Vengence
14 Magus of the Will
15 Parting Thoughts

16 Charging Cinderhorn
17 Divergent Transformations
19 Goblin Spymaster
20 Runehorn Hellkite

23 Primeval Protector
24 Seeds of Renewal
25 Stonehoof Chieftain

MultiColour - WUBRG
26 Akiri, Line-Slinger RW
28 Atraxa, Praetors' Voice GWUB
29 Breya, Etherium Shaper WUBR
30 Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder RW
31 Grave Upheaval
32 Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper BG
33 Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker WU
34 Kraum, Ludevic's Opus UR
35 Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix GU
36 Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis RGWU
37 Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist UR
39 Ravos, Soultender WB
40 Reyhan, Last of the Abzan BG
41 Saskia the Unyielding BRGW
42 Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa GW
43 Silas Renn, Seeker Adept UB
44 Sylvan Reclamation
45 Tana, the Bloodsower RG
46 Thrasios, Triton Hero GU
48 Tymna the Weaver BW
49 Vial Smasher the Fierce BR
50 Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder UBRG

51 Armory Automation
52 Boompile
53 Conqueror's Flail
54 Crystalline Crawler
55 Prismatic Geoscope


For those gamers wanting some eye-candy, Here is some of the new cards previewed today -



Commander 2016 Previews 10-25

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

If you are after Commander 2016 spoilers and previews, you have come to the right place.  Releasing in just 17 days from today (on November 11, 2016), gamers will have access to, for the very first time ever, four-coloured preconstructed theme decks.  For the first time, Commander 2016 introduces 5 new four-colored preconstructed theme decks that take casual Magic to the next level. There are 56 new cards legal in Vintage and Legacy.

Wizards of the Coast has put up the official Commander 2016 Card image gallery (linked here), and updates the day after the official preview on the main site or preview partner.  Not wanting to wait until tomorrow for today's previews?  No worries, here is the list of new cards for you now which MTG Realm will update throughout the day.

Beacon of Unrest
Breya, Etherium Shaper
Charging Cinderhorn
Chromatic Lantern (Reprint)
Coastal Breach
Cruel Entertainment
Crystalline Crawler
Deepglow Skate
Hanna, Ship’s Navigator
Iroas, God of Victory
Oath of Druids (Reprint)
Reyhan, Last of the Abzan
Selfless Squire
Tana, the Bloodsower
Tymna the Weaver
Zedruu the Greathearted (Reprint)

Unofficial Translation -

Crystalline Crawler, 4
Artifact Creature, Rare
Converge; Crystalline Crawler enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each color of mana spent to cast it.
Remove a +1/+1 counter from Crystalline Crawler:Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
Tap: Put a +1/+1 counter on Crystalline Crawler.


We suggest you do drop on over to the mothersite to take a gander of the lovely basic land arts previewed (over here).  The Kev Walker illustrations are particularly lovely.


Commander 2016 Previews 10-24

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

The day that we, and most other Magic: the Gathering Commander fans have been waiting for has finally arrived ! The start of previews for this year's Commander set.  Please pop on over to the mothersite (linky here) for four different articles today on Commander 2016.

Releasing in just 18 days from today (on November 11, 2016), gamers will have access to, for the very first time ever, four-coloured preconstructed theme decks.  For the first time, Commander 2016 introduces 5 new four-colored preconstructed theme decks that take casual Magic to the next level. There are 56 new cards legal in Vintage and Legacy. Each of the five preconstructed decks will include the following -
• A 100-card Commander deck
• 4 Foil Legendary Commander cards
• One oversized Foil Commander card for each deck
• 10 double-sided tokens
• Deck storage box
• Strategy insert and rules reference card
• 15 new Magic cards (56 for the set in total)


• Two creatures with partner can serve as a deck's commander only if both have partner. 
• The two commanders are treated individually for all other Commander rules. 
• Combat damage dealt by each commander 'partner' is tracked individually.
• Any card refering to your commander (or commanders), it means either one of the two partners.

• Spell reduction cost of 1 (colourless only) less to cast for each opponent.


• Allows a player to pay a cost that includes discarding the card. 

• When the activated ability resolves, that player draws a card.

• Each domain ability has a different effect.
• Ability counts the number of basic land types among lands you control.
• Appearing as an instant, sorcery, or activated ability which checks the number of basic land types you control.

The following themes are presented with each of the four coloured preconstructed decklists - 

• Invent Superiority (WUBR) - Artifice
This deck utilizes a variety of "artifacts matter" cards from all four of its colors, along with a selection of colored and colorless artifacts. This is for players who want to build an intricate machine and use it to gain advantage over time.

• Entropic Uprising (UBRG) - Chaos
This deck embraces variance, playing cards sight-unseen from the top of the deck, flipping coins, and otherwise injecting additional randomness into the game. This deck is for players who prefer to "just see what happens" than to carefully plan each move.

• Open Hostility (BRGW) - Aggression
The aggro deck is unconcerned with politics; it simply wants to kill everyone at the table as quickly as possible. This deck is ideal for players who hate to durdle and prefer a play style more akin to Limited than the usual Commander fare.

• Stalwart Unity (RGWU) - Altruism
The pilot of this deck wants everyone at the table to have a good time and is eager to see what everyone's deck can do. That's why it's going to help everyone out with mana, cards, and some tokens here and there. Of course, some people are suspicious of gifts, so this deck must contain a few things to make attacking its pilot difficult.

• Breed Lethality (GWUB) - Growth
This deck features a heavy counters (especially +1/+1 counters) theme. Any of its creatures has the potential to grow into a huge threat, given enough time. This deck is for every player who is thrilled at the idea of a 64/64 Hydra.

Here is the list of new (and returning) cards previewed today -

• Atraxa, Praetors' Voice
• Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder
• Grave Upheaval
• Kraum, Ludevic's Opus
• Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix
• Primeval Protector
• Prismatic Geoscope
• Sidar Kondo of Jamurra
• Silas Renn, Seeker Adept
• Sublime Exhalation
• Sylvan Reclamation
• Vial Smasher the Fierce

Confirmed reprints
• Command Tower
• Commander's Sphere



Magic - Ctrl Z

Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

MTG Realm did not have a post yesterday - we had to sit down, lay down, breath deeply and calm ourselves down.  It actually took a full day to recover from the huge bombshell of an announcement yesterday from Wizards of the Coast (linked right over here).

Before we yatter any further about that, here are some nuggets of Magic: the Gathering related newsworthy items -

• Yesterday's Magic Story ('A Grateful Consulate') from James Wyatt was awesome !  Tezzert is still a dick but we've almost warmed up to Dovin Baan (whom we suspect has a stick in his posterior).

• WotC Staffer Blake previewed the Friday Night Magic Promo Card for January, 2017 - hint - do you like snakes ?

Kaladesh Game Day is THIS WEEKEND.  Tune up your vechicles (erm, decklists we meant to say) and get on in with some standard format action at your local gaming store for a chance to win kewl prizes.  If you find yourself in Central Ontario, do drop in to OMG! Games in Barrie.

Righto - 
Speaking of Kaladesh and Standard format . . . 


When MaRo posted the 'Meamorphosis' article on August 25, 2014 announcing several very important changes to Magic: the Gathering, it was received with mixed reviews.  That is to say, some of the changes were quite welcome, and others not so much.  Essentially, the changes were :

• Magic Blocks were moving from three sets to two.

• Magic will have two blocks per year.

• Core Sets would no longer see print.

• The first set of each block would cause a standard format rotation (Spring and Fall)

That was then, this is now.

In yesterday's article from Aaron Forsythe ('Revisiting Standard Rotation'), Wizards of the Coast admits that "the twice-yearly rotation has resulted in a barrier to new or casual players" and that there would be an immediate return to an annual (once per year) rotation.

Click Image to Embiggen!

WOW - We are rather pleased with this.

Your Eldrazi just got another six month lease on life and if you fancy Kaladesh, then you'll be pleased to see that this block won't rotate until Fall 2018.  Which means you will have more time, and a somewhat larger card pool to develop a decklist than under the previous arrangement.

The Tl/DR -

Fall 2017: Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch, Shadows Over Innistrad, and Eldritch Moon rotate.
Fall 2018: Kaladesh, Aether Revolt, Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation rotate.

If you are looking for a more in-depth evaluation of the big announcement, we suggest you read Corbin Hosler's article 'A Changing Standard - Everything Old is New Again' over at TCG Player.


A Tale of Three Cards

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

Today on MTG Realm, we want to yatter about the rapid phylogenesis of the new standard constructed format.  Specifically, how three popular (or not so popular) Kaladesh cards were received by Magic: the Gathering fans, when previewed and how perception of players evolved over the course of a few short weeks.

We'll focus on the following :

• Aetherworks Marvel
A legendary artifact costing four allowing you to score an energy counter whenever a permanent you control is put into a graveyard with the second ability of paying 6 energy to look at the top 6 of your library and casting one of those spells for free.

• Smuggler's Copter
A 3/3 rare artifact vehicle costing two colourless with a crew requirement of one.  The ability to loot (draw one / discard one) provided whenever it attacks or blocks.

• Torrential Gearhulk
'Blue' Gearhulk of the mythic rare cycle costing 4UU and delivering a 5/6 flashing construct.  The ETB effect here is casting a instant in your yard on the free.

When Aetherworks Marvel was previewed, along with a mountain slide of other cards during PAX, not very much attention was paid.  Most players were simply overwhelmed with the number of other cards out at the same time.  When the dust cleared pre-order prices were set around 10 to 12 clams or so.  A rather guarded assessment, given that this was mythic rare and it was not immediately clear how well the energy mechanic given the limited number of cards previewed so far.  Fast forward to Pro Tour Kaladesh just last weekend - players have now tuned in how best to use this.  Essentially putting a lot of weight into generating as much energy early in the game to land a monster (Eldrazi are the 'go-to' creature spell) on turn four to win the game.

As for Smuggler's Copter, pretty much every MTG player knew it was either good or simply awesome.  The start of each new standard constructed season favours decklists with an aggressive profile, and this was the perfect vehicle.  When the SCG Indy tournament was in the books on the very weekend release, you were either playing Smuggler's Copter or you were wrong.  Those who pre-ordered around $10 or so saw the value pretty much triple in the course of a week.  Moving along to Pro Tour Kaladesh, new lists emerged to find a new path and although the Copter fell a bit from grace, it still appears to be a contender.

Lastly, the blue Torrential Gearhulk.  This gearhulk was certainly not received as well as the others in the cycle when it was first previewed.  At the this time, this was the odd mutant offspring if Snapcaster Mage mated with Goblin Dark-Dwellers and the pre-order pricing mirrored the general sentiment as well.   The Pro players evaluated this again and were quite satisfied to to dish out more mana for the ability to flash this in and hit more expensive (read - more powerful) spells.  Even Goblin Dark-Dwellers couldn't hit a Glimmer of Genius.

Anywhoos, in summary, the take-away message here really is that an individual card is often very difficult to evaluate in a vacuum, and even 'stand alone' cards which are powerful on their own will eventually loose some of its charm as players pack strategies for it in the sideboard.  This is an organic and ever-changing game, and we love it.


Kaladesh Game Day Decision

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Here in Canada-Land, many Magic: the Gathering players living in the heart of the vast and empty hinterland have now, after four weeks of hunting down cards from the new Kaladesh set have finally, after much effort, a 60-card standard format deck.  

The challenge for most is not just finding the safest way past predatory polar bears to the nearest card shop (sometimes a few days' ride away on a moose), but the scarcity of those cards you may be looking for if and when you do finally limp into the village card shop.  Add in the rapidly changing metagame as the first few weeks of the standard evolves, then you may be looking at a strategy, which may have been slick a moon ago, but now is glum and sucking a thumb in the rear saddle.

So what to play on Kaladesh Game Day ?

You could look at what the Pro players were battling with this last weekend 'Pro Tour Kaladesh' - You can have a looky-loo at the top 24 decklists over here and below is the winning list played by Shota Yaskooka.  One thingy to note - the early red & white ('Canadian') vehicle lists featuring Smuggler's Copter are still there, but have made a lot of room for a variety of control lists pushing into the top slots.

'Safron Olive' over at MTG Goldfish (one of our fav sites) had done an exceptional job updating the world with the tournament last weekend.

For Kaladesh Game Day, you could also consider using a list similar to those which did well at the seven or so StarCity Game Regional Tournaments.  This may be somewhat more realistic as to what to expect at your local gaming store.
We think the most important thing you consider when bringing your 60-card stack of awesomeness to Kaladesh Game Day this weekend is something that you made, no matter how awkward it may be, as long as it delivers a healthy wallop of fun.

Before we sign off, be sure to visit Channel Fireball's 'This Week in Magic' series of interesting MTG content collected and indexed by the very awesome Andrew Cooperfauss.


Vraska unSEEN

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Some more Magic: the Gathering musings and miscellany for you today.  

First up, we should point you in the direction of Todd Stevens article today over at StarCityGames, where he makes some Bold Predictions for Pro Tour Kaladesh.  The TL/DR essentially is that although Smuggler's Copter has been one helluva card which dominated the first few weeks of the new standard format, the likelihood that the early success of this may not carry through as players bring on more sideboard hate or adjust strategies.  The adjusted strategy may take the form of a Humans-based decklist.  Good read and here at MTG Realm, we've already tuned a list with Thalia's Lieutenant and friends to (hopefully) unseat the Copter as the most successful list.

Righto - on to the title of today's post - Vraska Unseen.

If you are not quite getting why we are writing about this, then we strongly suggest popping on over to WotC staffer's Magic Story post today on the Wizards article page here.

Again, another great read.  The big twist for us today was the brief sideline from the Kaldesh storyline into Ravnica where Jace meets Ral Zarek.  Ral has a rather interesting and perhaps important report for Jace regarding Project Lightning Bug, a device that Ral (and the Izzet build team) designed that would deliver a small energetic pulse whenever it experienced a discontinuity, such as a planeswalk.  Here is the interaction -
"The detectors still trigger when someone planeswalks. I glance over the results from time to time, but mostly I keep them hidden from Niv-Mizzet and most of my guild. I reached out when I saw Vraska's planeswalk."

Jace was deeply un-thrilled to hear the gorgon's name.

"She left Ravnica," Ral thought, "with no destination."

"No destination?"

"She didn't planeswalk to a plane. Only from one."

"That doesn't make sense."


"A flaw in the detectors?"

Ral gave an impatient flick of his hand. "The experiment performed perfectly. The pattern of the departure was authentic, but the endpoint recorded as anomalous. Vraska hasn't been seen since. It's like she planeswalked into a void."

Dang.  Just where did the Gorgon go ?

She could be lost in the Blind Eternities, or perhaps landed on Amonkhet (the next very kewl set) where perhaps Nicol Bolas has cast some dark spell to obfuscate the destination.  Anywhoos, rather ironic that she is known as the 'unseen'.

Please feel free to speculate away with us or comment below.


Friday MTG Miscellany

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

Here in Canada-Land we are entering the Thanksgiving long weekend.  While we are gorging ourselves at family meals, please give some thought of sending aid to those affected by Hurricane Matthew.  Our thoughts are also with MTG players in South Florida - may you and your collection be safe.  Before the full brunt of the weekend is upon us, we will be attending the Friday Night Magic event at our local gaming store, OMG! Games in Barrie, Ontario.  Before we head out the door to game, we will make certain that our sideboards contain the correct amount of artifact hate, given the popularity of R/W Vehicles and their new Scooter-Looter Lord.

Anywhoos, before we catch up with today's round-up of weird 'n' interesting things we post to our MTG Realm blog on Tumblr, we need your help in identifying this rather odd Magic: the Gathering card back.  Misprint or other oddity?

Righto - let's go -

Photoset October 07, 2016 48 notes

Magic: the Gathering - Kaladesh SNAILS !

Andrew over at Sarpadian Empires Vol. VIII (@_SEV8) has a very valid question here.  
Photoset October 06, 2016 545 notes

Magic: the Gathering - Polyptych
Polyptych is the technical name for a multi-panel picture, while diptych is the technical name for such a picture consisting of just two parts.  Great example here from Kamigawa block, where the lands form a single panoramic image is a kick-arse polyptych.
Photoset October 06, 2016 171 notes

Magic: the Gathering - MTG IRL

Congratulations !!  A new baby MTG sub-reddit was born just recently - called Real-Life MTG, where (as you may have cleverly deduced) fans post ‘in real life’ images reminiscent or highly suggestive of an MTG Card Art as shown above showing good comparision between DiTerlizzi’s Mecadian Masques illustration and that of (I think) an American politician or presidential hopeful - I’ve heard they are have elections soon.
Photoset October 04, 2016 172 notes

Magic: the Gathering - FNM Promo Card
Call the Bloodline promotion card -
• December, 2016 Friday Night Magic Promo, Art by Magali Villeneuve
• Shadows over Innistrad, Art by Lake Hurwitz

At Sorin’s appeal, Olivia Voldaren summoned the full might of her bloodline to gather at Lurenbraum Fortress.

Several miles from the end of Ziel Pass, within the mountains of Stensia, lies the huge Estate of Voldaren. This is the traditional homeland of the Voldaren vampire bloodline and is home to a number of minor castles and mansions. The main fortress protecting the estate is the Lurenbraum Fortress.  In Eldritch Moon, Sorin Markov gathered the remnants of his house and together with the vampires of the Voldaren bloodline marched into battle against the cultists and Eldrazi that the Planeswalker Nahiri had unleashed upon Innistrad.