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Dominaria Art Preview

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

It is Friday and why not make it magic.  Get thee to a Friday Night Magic event at a local gaming store.  MTG Realm is attending OMG! Games, here in Barrie, Ontario and taking along one or more rogue decklists which, although designed to find vulnerabilities with the current meta-game, may simply fail to launch.  

Anywhoos, some Magic: the Gathering news out today from PAX Unplugged taking place 17th to 19th November in Philadelphia.  Here Wizards of the Coast was reported to preview four (4!) pieces of art from the upcoming set Dominaria, to be released in April, 2018.  

Understandably, there is a lot of player excitement and nostalgia for this, so it will not go unnoticed that any previews will be met with a level of raucousness.  It is unclear at this time what each of these arts may be, but we have lent our our prognostications below.

The fan community did indeed go wild over this one.  Thought to be Jaya (Ballard) by Yongjae Choi, who may have founded the fire mage academy on Regatha, where Chandra studied.

Linessa by Magali Villeneuve, possibly with the Academy on Tolaria West in the background.  Some claim this may be Narset travelling to Dominaria.

Absolutely gorgeous art here, and rather reminiscent of the Orzhov style on Ravnica.  Thought to be a Benalish Knight, illustrated by Chris Rallis, possibly shown within the Angelfire Churche of Serra and Gabriel.

Elf by Chris Rahn.  We think a dark Elf (green / black), possibly an Elf of the Thelonite Order from Havenwood who had manipulated fungus and dark magic to create sentient Thallids.



Rivals of Ixalan Art Spoiler

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Viz Media had posted a video earlier today featuring ‘The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ixalan’ chat with James Wyatt, Senior Creative Designed, Magic: the Gathering and Tyler Jacobson, a Magic: the Gathering Artist.  Viz Media and Magic: the Gathering is publishing ‘The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ixalan’ Hardcover art book on January 2, 2018.  In the video, posted here, there are a few tantalizing sneak peaks of some art pieces we have not yet seen yet and may likely see printing in the next set, Rivals of Ixalan.

The book may be purchased through Amazon at this link.  For more information, pop on over to this link at Viz Media.

Here is the blurb for the book
Deep in the heart of Ixalan’s verdant jungle lies a treasure beyond imagining. Join the peoples of this plane in their search for an ancient golden city as you explore these pages, lavishly illustrated with the award-winning art of Magic: The Gathering®!
Here you can sail with daring pirates and call on the might of earth-shaking dinosaurs. The marooned Planeswalker Jace Beleren will be your guide in his search for the true power of the golden city. 
A whole world waits to be discovered. Come and join the struggle to claim the greatest treasure of Ixalan!


Standard U/R Flyers

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

There was an interesting standard format decklist recently on MTGO which had done rather nicely and had captured our attention.  In truth, we were looking at making some improvements on a Blue / White list chocked full of flyers with that lovely 2-drop blue enchantment Favorable Winds (Creatures you control with flying get +1/+1) at its core.  Instead, we found this nice list from gamer 'slapjackson' who went with a Blue / Red build and our initial thoughts are 'favorable'.  Here is the list now -

MTGO Competitive Standard League
Standard U/R Flyers by slapjackson

Creature 20
4 Glorybringer
2 Hope of Ghirapur
4 Maverick Thopterist
2 Pia Nalaar
4 Siren Stormtamer
4 Whirler Virtuoso

Spell 16
4 Aethersphere Harvester
4 Favorable Winds
2 Heart of Kiran
4 Lightning Strike
2 Shock

Land 24
2 Ipnu Rivulet
8 Island
4 Mountain
4 Ramunap Ruins
2 Spire of Industry
4 Spirebluff Canal

4 Abrade
4 Negate
3 Scavenger Grounds
2 Shock

This list does pack some of the better flying creatures available in standard right now such as Glorybringer, or provides flyers as is the case with Whirler Virtuoso.  We had very early on dismissed Maverick Thopterist as not being a rather good choice for standard play but may now be re-evaluating our hasty judgement.  A 2/2 Artificer for five mana better have some good text.  He does bring along two 1/1 Thopters and does more importantly have the 'Improvise' key word to assist in reducing that steep mana cost.  Given the artifact sub-theme to this list, we should think that one would be able to play this on the cheap in most games.

Supporting this are two important Vehicles - two Heart of Kiran and a full deck-set of four Aethersphere Harvester which provides the option to pay an energy to give it lifelink until end of turn.  The blue one-drop Siren Stormtamer provides a level of assurance that protects more valuable assets and is a welcome card even late-game.  Two Pia Nalaar packs some utility to pump an artifact creature as well as some control to prevent an opponent's creature from blocking, which sounds like a good addition in this list.  We had been fond of Hope of Ghirapur since it was previewed but have literally never seen anyone play this.  

Lightning Strike and Shock round out the list with some nice burn and in the sideboard two very decent inclusions are deck sets of Abrade and Negate, all of which seems to lend itself appropriately to a robust list.  Looking forward to using this to build upon and modify slightly to personal taste and local metagame.



The Longest Cycle

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

Funny / witty / waggish Magic: the Gathering previews continue today for Unstable, but we want to catch our breath and talk about a very long cycle -

No - not that kind of cycle.

A cycle in Magic: the Gathering is a collection of cards that have one or more relationships with one another, or share a common theme.  There are a number of types of cycles - vertical, horizontal, tight, loose, and more.  Often the cycles are within the same set or block, but sometimes may stetch over and not necessarily through some blocks.  A three-card cycle first started in 1998, leaping to 2004, and finally completing this year may be the longest stretch of time for Wizards of the Coast to complete a card cycle.

Click on over to Gathering Magic for today's Unstable preview of the third and final Magic: the Gathering player psychograph.


In an article by Mark Rosewater in 2013, he had indicated that there are three basic types of Magic players. The fancy term for these categories is "psychographic profiles." A psychographic profile separates players into categories based on their psychological make-up.  The player types of Timmy, Johnny, and Spike.

Timmy, Power Gamer (Unglued), illustrated by Edward Beard, Jr., August, 1998

Johnny, Combo Player (Unhinged), illustrated by Kensuke Okabayashi, November, 2004.

Spike, Tournament Grinder (Unstable), illustrated by Zoltan Boros, December, 2017

Here is what Mark Rosewater had provided in a brief summary of what characteristics of a player suggests inclusion into the three taxon -

Timmy wants to experience something. Timmy plays Magic because he enjoys the feeling he gets when he plays. What that feeling is will vary from Timmy to Timmy, but what all Timmies have in common is that they enjoy the visceral experience of playing.

Johnny is the creative gamer to whom Magic is a form of self-expression. Johnny likes to win, but he wants to win with style. It’s very important to Johnny that he win on his own terms. As such, it's important to Johnny that he's using his own deck. Playing Magic is an opportunity for Johnny to show off his creativity.

Spike is the competitive player. Spike plays to win. Spike enjoys winning. To accomplish this, Spike will play whatever the best deck is. Spike will copy decks off the Internet. Spike will borrow other players' decks. To Spike, the thrill of Magic is the adrenaline rush of competition. Spike enjoys the stimulation of outplaying the opponent and the glory of victory.


MTG Unstable Previews

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Very long awaited but the day has finally arrived.  The first day of previews of of the upcoming silver-bordered 'Un-Set' has finally arrived.  Click on over to the Wizards of the Coast Magic: the Gathering site today to drink in all the nutty goodness.  This set is preceded by 'Unglued' (August, 1998), and 'Unhinged' (November, 2004).  These were fan favourites and a sense of nostalgia had only grown over the years since.  

Unstable is a booster-based card set for Magic: The Gathering that can not be used in legal Magic tournaments. It will be released on December 8, 2017 as a wacky standalone fun-set.  This is the third of the silver bordered Un-sets and is designed to be drafted.  Unstable is set on a steampunk 'mad scientist world' with 5 factions:

• Order of the Widget
• Agents of S.N.E.A.K.
• League of Dastardly Doom
• Goblin Explosioneers

• Crossbreed Labs

Returning to this set is a much discussed and highly popular mechanic ‘Contraption’.  Specifically, this is an artifact subtype and associated with the assemble keyword action.   Steamflogger Boss from Future Sight (May, 2007) was the only card for years to have this until Unstable.  Unstable looks to take this to quite another level and we suggest you read MTG Rules Miser Matt Takak’s article linked here about just how one may assemble a contraption.  

We will leave off for now, but here is a poster for the Crossbreed Labs showing a number of contraptions associated with that faction.  It appears that we have three of the possible nine contraptions accounted for within the awesome poster art now.



Wednesday MTG Miscellany

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

We have a mish-mash of Magic: the Gathering related items of interest to pass along for today.  You may find one or more of these even interesting, so let us get to it.  Since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, let us wear briefs -

First up - Unstable Packaging Preview -
We were not playing Magic: the Gathering when the 'Un' sets (Unhinged / Unglued) and really did not develop a semblance of humour until just last week, so we are certainly looking very much forward to the release of the upcoming silver-bordered 'Unstable' set and all of its nutty goodness.  The news here is that Ed Nguyen (store owner?) snapped a pic of an Unstable booster display box at the recent Southern Hobby toy expo in Nashville.  

Revel in these pixels !

Next - Explorers of Ixalan
This MTG card and tile-based game promises to provide a out-of-the-box multiplayer Magic experience and is (quite obviously) closely related to the current Ixalan / Rivals of Ixalan card sets.  In fact, the decklists, linked in this section looks delicious and fun to play for our play-group.  Of interest is a handful of cards printed in this set which received new card art.  Highlighting that is one of our old favourites, 'Zealous Persecution', with cool new art from Sara Winters. 

Speaking of Ixalan, be certain to drop by the mothersite today for Planeswalker's Guide to Ixalan, Part 2, linked right over here.  In today's offering from the R&D Narrative Team, we are treated to more back story to how the Vampires of the Legion of Dusk came to be, and the flight of the ancestors of the Bazen Coalition fled seeking freedom.

Lastly, some rather great humour developed over at Good Gamery lampooning the massive card leak a while back for Ixalan.  One should start much the same way as we did - hearing about a Rivals of Ixalan leak with this post on Imgurfollowed by the accompanying story at the Good Gamery site at this link.

A whole lot of really great creative work went into this and we will be enjoying these witty creations for days to come.  Here is the full visual spoiler in their Rivals of Ixalan gallery - linked right here. Our personal favourite - the rather naughty Mating Matriarch along with the great flavour text from our boy in green Garruk.



2017 Gift Pack Review

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

MTG Realm has been picking up the Holiday Gift Boxes since they had been released, and still use all the storage boxes (which can accommodate up to 2,000 cards each) for our Magic: the Gathering collection.  We even had picked up the Holiday Gift Box when Wizards of the Coast had some issues with the strength of the packaging.  We are a somewhat thrifty bunch and had found the contents to be rather decent value.  Here is the list of what we had purchased over the years - 

Return to Ravnica, November 2012
Theros, November 2013
Khans of Tarkir, November 2014
• Battle for Zendikar, November 2015
• Shadows over Innistrad, May 2016
• Kaladesh, November 2016

We DID NOT purchase this year's product offering, the 2017 Gift Pack, which appears to replace the Holiday Gift Box.  Instead, we had won the Gift Pack in a random draw at our local gaming store, OMG! Games, here in Barrie, Ontario.  Let's get to what one can expect to get for an MRSP of $20 USD ($25 here in Canada) - 

• 5 premium basic lands by artist Mark Poole (known as the "Shooting Star Lands")

• 2 premium creature cards (Metalwork Colossus and Kari Zev, Skyship Raider

• 3 booster packs (Ixalan, Hour of Devastation, Amonkhet)

• Spindown life counter (Planeswalker symbol)

• Exclusive mini-poster (Featuring art from Hour of Devastation)

Most recently with the Kaladesh Holdiay Gift Box which had an MSRP of $25 provided the following :
• one Card storage box 
• 5 Kaladesh booster packs
• 20-card Kaladesh basic land pack
• 1 premium, foil promo card (Chief of the Foundry)
• 6 illustrated plastic dividers
• one sticker sheet for customizing dividers

Although the previous product was five clams more expensive, we felt this was great value.  In comparision, we feel that we are just breaking even with no added incentive to pull out our wallet for this year's Gift Pack.  A small modification such as alternate art for the foil Metalwork Colossus and Kari Zev, Skyship Raider - paired with her foil Ragavan monkey token, would have swayed our opinion.

This product appears to have been designed specifically to be placed on a shelf in a big box store such as Walmart or Target alongside Yu-Gi-Oh product.  There may exist a small chance that this Gift Pack may actually be mistaken for a Yu-Gi-Oh product by a parent, relative or friend resulting in a measure of disappointment during Christmas.  This is not to say that there are not Magic: the Gathering players out there who are indeed pleased with this - we have personally spoken with several who have or who intend to purchase this.

Our final concern addresses the over-packaging, and carbon footprint of this product.  We realist that there is a new president south of our border and that the protection of the environment is clearly not a priority.  The fact that the Environmental Protection Agency has been seriously de-funded indicates that environmental protection is not even a consideration.  A company such as Wizards of the Coast, using the resources of its parent company Hasbro is encouraged to stand out with environmental consideration being incorporated into the life cycle of their product and packaging, which they have to an extent, but certainly not with this product.

Should Wizards of the Coast realise some commercial success with this product, we would be delighted as we want to enjoy playing Magic: the Gathering for years to come.  

Lastly, we want to remind folks that Nighthawk Counters has a Kickstarter project.  These premium hand-finished life counters and gaming accessories are quite functional and aesthetically pleasing.  MTG Realm had provided several of these counters a prizes at a recent Friday Night Magic event at our local gaming store, OMG! Games and were very well received by the players.  Please consider supporting this over here -



Wednesday Miscellany

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Today we are all over the place (hence the article) and quite akin to a dog chasing a car (Joker quote there).  Let's get to it now - 

First up - Here at MTG Realm, we love a great Magic: the Gathering Story.  We also were very fond of the 'Planeswalker's Guide'  which used to get posted to the mothersite preceding a set's previews.  Better late than never we guess.  Today you should click on over to the Wizards of the Coast Magic site (linked right over here) to read 'Planeswalker's Guide to Ixalan, Part 1'.  posted by R&D Narrative Team.  We do very much appreciate this as there is physically only so much one may squeeze into the Magic Story series.

Next - we are most definitely excited about this
The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ixalan releases 2 January, 2018.  We release that there was a lot of restrictions in play as to when to release this.  Obviously not to early as to conflict with previews, but why two or so weeks before Christmas.  Do you know what makes a great Christmas prezzie?  This book.  I guess we will be dropping hints for Gift Certificates instead.

Anywhoos, here is the full blurb -

The Art of Magic: The Gathering – Ixalan. is the fifth release in VIZ Media’s ongoing series of impressive hardcover art books presents the incredible illustrations of Magic: The Gathering.

The substantial 240-page tome will feature dozens of full-color works by an impressive array of talented artists, including Christine Choi, Daarken and Titus Lunter, and will be complemented with additional in-depth lore by bestselling author and Magic: The Gathering Senior Game Designer James Wyatt.

The Art of Magic: The Gathering – Ixalan invites fans to set sail for the uncharted jungles of Ixalan, where dangerous beasts, magnificent ruins, and lost treasures lie waiting to be discovered. Saddle up your dinosaur mount and brave the unknown as you search the plane for a prize forgotten by history… until now!


We want to yatter a little bit about a standard-legal card which is not seeing a lot of popular play - Solemnity.

Currently this very lovely card is seeing some sideboard action in some fringe decklists like Red / White (Boros) Approach or Red / White / Green (Naya) Dinosaurs.  We have seen a few White / Black / Green (Abzan) Token lists also have one or two in the sideboard as well.  

The question here is why is this not seeing more play considering all the top decks such as Temur Energy, Jund Energy - and even Ramunap Red uses Soul-Scar Mage - having the lion's share at the top tables.  Given the heavy reliance on Energy Counters (Bristling Hydra, Aether Hub, etc.) and even +1/+1 counters (Walking Balista, B/G 'Snek'), this should be a shoe-in as a weapon to turn their deck into a "mishmash of Limited-level vanilla creatures".  The answer we guess is that there is not a very decent existing shell for this to be inserted into. Solemnity has a lot of competition for slots and there does exist a level of control or enchantment hate to dissuade one from making this a serious consideration.

We are going to wrap up with some excerpts from a great 'Card of the Month' article written by Marina Casta├▒o Garrido on the Magic Judge Blog on this card - 
While Solemnity is on the battlefield, no spells or effects will be able to put new counters on the aforementioned permanents (artifacts, creatures, enchantments, and lands). Furthermore, already existing counters on those permanents will not be affected so they will get to stick around.
What are counters?The Comprehensive Rules tell us that a counter is a marker put on an object or player that modifies its characteristics and/or interacts with a rule, ability, or effect.


Rivals of Ixalan Spoiler 10-30

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Tomorrow is Halloween and we have thoroughly been enjoying the Magic: the Gathering themed offerings from Wizards of the Coast and the fan community whether it is in the form of carved pumpkins, modified card art or fan created arts.  We had posted / reposted some of these on our MTG Realm Tumblr page for you to enjoy.

Righto - on to today's post.
We have TWO Rivals of Ixalan spoilers / previews out today which we must look at.

The first card was previewed on the Wizards of the Coast MTG site which was a promo card associated wtih the Store Championship events taking place on the weekend of December 30th / 31st.  We had picked up chatter of an 'Elder Dinosaur' on the forums before we actually read the article on the Championship 'goodies' - this of course lead us to immediately think of Old Fogey from Unhinged.

When we did finally get to see Blake Rasmussen's post, this is what was previewed.

Ghalta, Primal Hunger, 10GG
Legendary Creature - Elder Dinosaur, Rare
Ghalta, Primal Hunger costs X less to cast, where X is the total power of creatures you control.

Besides the general awesoness of the card, one item of interest was the card set number of 130/196.  We may be misreading this, but think that this is an indication that we can expect a 'more than average' number of multi-colour cards.  There had been some rather good arguments being made on the fan forums which had speculated that within the Ixalan / Rivals of Ixalan storyline, the tribes may work together to attain their common goal of acquiring the Immortal Sun relic.  Suffice to say, we do not expect to se Elvish Piper get a reprint for Rivals of Ixalan.  :)

Next up - 

Another Rivals of Ixalan Spoiler rrom the Professor on Toalrian Community College linked here.  This card was part of a preview for the Magic Open House event to be scheduled for January 6th and 7th, 2018.  We've been a fan of Merfolk Tribal since we first began playing in Lorwyn block and although we are unable to build a competitive decklist with Ixalan, this card certainly goes a long way in providing hope of getting Mefolk off the kitchen table and into a Friday Night Magic event at our local gaming store.  Here it is -

Rivals of Ixalan regular illustrated by Magali Villeneuve
Magic Open House full alternate art promo illustrated by Slawomir Maniak

Silvergill Adept, 1U
Creature - Merfolk Wizard, Uncommon
As an addtional cost to cast Silvergill Adept, reveal a Merfolk card from your hand or pay 3.
When Silvergill Adept enters the battlefield, draw a card.
“If you keep to the shallows, you’ll never learn the secrets of the depths.”

Of course one would never want to pay the additional three mana, so a mit full of fish is certainly the most appropriate method to play with this card.


Nighthawk Counters

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Today we want to talk about a new friend we've made at Nighthawk Counters but before we get into that, you should check out this article on the mothersite.  Writer Chas Andres provides some new items of information of shines a light on some glossed-over points from the Ixalan story.  There have been seven great stories delivered by the Wizards of the Coast Narrative team so far, and we are most definetely pumped when the story picks up again before the next set Rival of Ixalan is released.  Until that time, we can only generate conjecture about the politics of the nations of Ixalan and the potential budding romance between Jace / Vraksa or the unrequited fondness Angrath has for Hautli.

Back on track now -

Our new friend, Owner / Operator / Chief Imagineer at Nighthawk Counters who just happens to live not to far away from my home town (yeah, it’s a small world) is not only pretty damn handy but also a very fine designer.  The MTG Realm playgroup picked up a few pieces of his handicraft recently and have to say we love using these.  

Some of the counters we had picked up include pieces featuring a lovely precision-cut metal tree, skull, sun-burst, iconic blue-mana symbol, and fire.  These not only look great but are handy / functional as they will easily fit within our deckbox to take to the local gaming store.  We are certainly looking forward to more unique and beautiful designs from Nighthawk Counters in the future and wish him all the very best in a KickStarter Project he has now launched to build the company brand.  Please do pop on over -



Ixalan Commander Overview

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

When we are not getting crushed by standard constructed, we enjoy Commander at the Kitchen Table.  As always, there are three or four of the MTG Realm playgroup slinging that carboard from the tall stacks so we have decided to deliver our thoughts on some of the new potential Commanders from Ixalan which the group is excited about.  

Here is a quick re-cap of the available legendary creatures which are available as your Commander - in order of our personal favourite to least -

Gishath, Sun's Avatar 
Naya Tribal Dinosaur for the win!  Not a very complex build as one is using pretty much all the dinosaurs offered in Ixalan, and there are just enough to fill the ranks.  Beyond that set, use available in-colour Shapeshifters such as Chameleon Colossus, Mirror Entity, Adaptive Automoton and Metallic Mimic.

Admiral Beckett Brass
Grixis Tribal Pirate build.  Similar to Gishath, the lion's share of the creatures are coming from Ixalan, so not that much critical thought is required to get a working prototype off the ground.  Don't overlook to add some flavour with Pirate Ship (Time Spiral).

Tishana, Voice of Thunder
Simic Tribal Merfolk may be a bit of a stretch here but players who are using Thrasios, Triton Hero (from Commander 2016) may disagree.  The more popular choice here may be a simple blue / green shell for ramping into monsters while introducing an element of classic control

Kopala, Warden of Waves
There are around a dozen rather good legendary merfolk creatures already of which are really only two which are suitable should you want to task your list to merfolk tribal. There is already Sygg, River Guide in blue / white so we feel that Kopala is best placed in riding shotgun with Sygg.

Vona, Butcher of Magan
Pretty neato as Commander in the right lifegain theme build as one would expect to have an ample volume of life to spend on Vona's ability to nerf non-land permanents.  Certainly not suited for a vampire tribal Commander in our opinion so we suggest sliding this in to an existing vampire-centric list such as Edgar Markov (Commander 2017).

Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
Not suitable as a Commander.  There are simply not enough white suck-heads printed to support this.  Again, look for a spot to support vampire-centric list.

Captain Lannery Storm - See Admiral Beckett Brass, as we do not think that is likely a good Commander.

Supporting cards for Ixalan Tribal
Vanquisher's Banner, Unclaimed Territory, and Pillar of Origins are all solid choices to either assist in fixing your colours or providing an anthem effect to pump your team.  Do try out similar card to support your tribe such as Door of Destinies.

Another note -

Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun is the cat's meow.  Any creature-heavy list looking for ramp will love to have this gem.



Magic Story - Jacefall

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Before you go further, if you have not read today's Magic Story, 'The Race, Part 2' posted over on the Wizards of the Coast Magic: the Gathering Page, please pop on over now at this link, because we will be talking about that amazing story by the R&D Narrative Team.

Firs up however, we should tell you that Magic: The Gathering - Unstable Land Playmats featuring artwork by the incredibly talented John Avon are to be available from Ultra PRO Gaming in the new year.  To see those aesthetically pleasing playmats, pop on over to our sister site, MTG Realm on Tumblr linked right over here.

Righto - back to the ongoing Magic: the Gathering Ixalan story !

Today's five-dollar words are "abscond" and "peregrination".  We are very impressed with the language skills from the Merfolk character Tishana.  We started hearing Spock's voice (or any other Star Trek Vulcan's voice) in our head as we read every line for Tishana.

We have to tell Wizards of the Coast that we are deeply disappointed with today's story.  We have to endure Vraksa's song and lyrics about the Golgari's Kingdom of Rot rising - BUT - we are toyed and teased about a song from the goblin Breeches.  We do understand that Breeches is s rude goblin with a rude song about figs and although it may not be appropriate for all readers, we need Wizards to send the lyrics to us.  Failing that, we will endeavour to 'fill in the blank' and produce the missing lyrics and post a song to the tune of Chris Tomlin's - 'Waterfall' (you know - the one with '. . . your love is like a waterfall".

Anywhoos, the long and short of the story is that everyone wants the compass in order to find Orazca and the Immortal Sun.  Although the reason is acquire this powerful relic is different for each individual, they are all united in that none of the parties know exactly what it does or how to use it.  There is an unwavering belief that the Immortal Sun is still in its original packaging and has the user manual intact.

Lastly, this is a story of Vraska falling in love with Jace, and Jace falling over a waterfall.  We will have to wait until the next Ixalan story to find out whether Angrath the Minotaur is able to make a friend or form a legendary league of planeswalkers.  

For now, here is a lovely piece of artwork from Wesley Burt showing Jace falling over a waterfall with Vraska looking on in helpless horror and no Lifesaver close at hand.



DD Merfolk vs. Goblins

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Happy indeed as we are pleased to report another milestone - that MTG Realm has now exceed over 6.6 Million page-loads and more than 15,600 followers across our social media platforms.  

Enough of us though - Today we are to yatter about the latest Magic: the Gathering product coming your way, but first, it is time again for a another Gaming Store highlight.  This time we are going to Central New York - quite specifically 'Play the Game / Read the Story' located in the Salmon Run Mall in Watertown, New York.  

Play the Game / Read the Story has a total of three locations - one in Watertown, which we had visited and two others in Syracuse.  MTG Realm had provided a Google Review over at this link as well.  The staff member we interrogated / interviewed was great.  She plays Magic: the Gathering and was knowledgeable in the product offerings from WotC.  The Watertown location had a solid selection of sealed product and good games area.  There was a fairly large selection of common / uncommon singles but not very much in rares / mythic rares winning the location a very respectable 4 out of 5 stars from us.  Here are some pics we snapped for you -

Righto - on to today's news !

The full decklist for Duel Decks: Merfolk vs. Goblins, releasing November 10, 2017, was posted to the French language Magic: the Gathering site, but as the same information was not posted on the English language site, we suspect that a staffer may have jumped the gun.  Let's talk - 

Duel Decks let players dive right into battle with ready-to-play, sixty-card decks that contain powerful cards united by a theme.  In the case of Merfolk vs. Goblins pits two of the most recognizable tribes in the history of Magic against one another.  Duel Decks are designed to allow players dive right into battle with everything you need to start gaming.  Here is the teaser blurb for this pre-constructed product - 
Prepare to become the Master of the Waves or to launch a Goblin Grenade: the proud  defenders of the sea and the destructive mountain dwellers finally settle their accounts. Call a friend to play with these ready-to-play decks!

Each decklist appears to have a solid and supporting theme and contains one mythic rare and nine other rares to support your deck's tribal strategy.  Here is the list for each - 


Creature (22) : , 1 Master of Waves, 1 Harbinger of the Tides, 1 Master of the Pearl Trident, 1 Tidebinder Mage, 1 Wake Thrasher, 1 Merfolk Sovereign, 1 Cold-Eyed Selkie, 2 Tidal Warrior, 2 Scroll Thief, 3 Streambed Aquitects, 1 Inkfathom Divers, 1 Merfolk Looter, 1 Merfolk Wayfinder, 1 Merrow Reejerey, 2 Rootwater Hunter, 2 Tidal Courier

Sorcery (6) : 4 Aquitect’s Will, 1 Mind Spring, 1 Concentrate

Instant (6) : 1 Engulf the Shore, 1 Misdirection, 2 Essence Scatter, 1 Tidal Wave, 1 Triton Tactics

Enchantment (2) : 2 Claustrophobia

Land (24) : 21 Island, 2 Lonely Sandbar, 1 Blighted Cataract


Creature (20): 1 Warren Instigator, 1 Goblin Diplomats, 1 Goblin Rabblemaster, 1 Goblin Chieftain, 1 Goblin Goon, 1 Goblin Razerunners, 1 Krenko, Mob Boss, 2 Foundry Street Denizen, 1 Goblin Tunneler, 2 Boggart Brute, 1 Goblin Glory Chaser, 1 Ember Hauler, 2 Goblin Wardriver, 1 Gempalm Incinerator, 2 Goblin Ringleader, 1 Battle Squadron

Sorcery (7) : 3 Krenko’s Command, 1 Relentless Assault, 1 Goblin Grenade, 1 Hordeling Outburst, 1 Cleaver Riot

Instant (7) : 2 Brute Strength, 3 Ghostfire, 2 Tarfire

Artifact (2) : 1 Brittle Effigy, 1 Goblin Charbelcher

Land (24) : 20 Mountain, 2 Forgotten Cave, 2 Blighted Gorge

As with all sealed preconstructed product, one should understand the intended audience / consumer first and foremost before passing any sort of judgement upon the product design.  Collectors and Modern players may prematurely pass judgement that because the lists have no Cursecatcher, Lord or Atlantis or Goblin Guide, that criticism is warranted.  

We think differently - this would appeal to casual or new players looking through their local gaming store.  This is also correctly priced in our opinion as well at an MRSP of $19.99 USD (from the WPN site although the main site indicates $24.99 USD).  To buy all the singles separately would almost certainly put you over that value.  We are liking what we see and do look forward going head to head with this in our playgroup.