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Rivals of Ixalan Promos

Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

It is not immediately clear where these Rivals of Ixalan spoilers originate from, but whether it was Reddit / Imgur or Instagram, we do now have a fairly complete list of the promotional cards.  Here is that summary now.

Magic Open House: January 6–7, 2018
PROMO - Silvergill Adept

Prerelease: January 13–14, 2018
PROMO - random within each pre-release pack

Buy-A-Box Promo - Captain's Hook

Draft Weekend: January 20–21, 2018
PROMO- Brass's Bounty

Store Championship: April 7–8, 2018
PROMO - Ghalta, Primal Hunger

Friday Night Magic (FNM Promo token) February, 2018 - City's Blessing
Flavour text here 'Once you have ascended to the highest temple of Orazca, the power of the Immortal sun is yours to wield forever.'

Evolving Wilds - Unknown

Here are the two new cards from today's spoiler -

Captain's Hook, (??)
Artifact - Equipment, Rare
Equipped creature gets +2/+0, has menace, and is a Pirate in addition to its other creature types.
Whenever Captain's Hook becomes unattached from a permanent, destroy that permanent.
Equip 1

Brass's Bounty, 6R
Sorcery, Rare
For each land you control, create a colorless Treasure artifact token with "Tap, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool."
"Why squabble for trinkets when we could be living large of all this gold?" —Admiral Beckett Brass

Evolving Wilds
Land, Common

T, Sacrifice Evolving Wilds: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.



Rivals of Ixalan Spoiler

Happy Tuesday (again) MTG peeps,

Some late day news to share with you.  Charlie Hall of Polygon (Vox Media) had posted some exclusive previews for the upcoming Rivals of Ixalan set (linked here).  Specifically, some nine cards along with glorious artwork from the Rivals of Ixalan Planeswalker Deck products were posted.  

 Vampire Champion, illus. Craig J. Spearing

Before we get to that, we should speak about what Planeswalker decks are to those new to Magic: the Gathering.

Rivals of Ixalan Planeswalker Decks releases January 19, 2018 for an MSRP of $15.  These decks acquaint players who are interested in Magic with basic strategy, the game's settings, and characters, and include a premium foil Planeswalker card.

• 1 Ready-to-play 60-card deck, featuring a foil premium Planeswalker card
• 2 Rivals of Ixalan booster packs
• 1 Strategy insert
• 1 Magic learn-to-play guide 

Vraksa, Scheming Gorgon, illus. Grzegorz Rutkowski
Angrath, Minotaur Pirate, illus. Chris Rahn


Unstable Variants

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

The newest (kookiest?) 'un' set, 'Unstable' is ready to be unleashed this very weekend.  The full set has already been previewed, and gamers are looking forward to draft this whacky and  farcical set.

Most collectors wanting specific cards from Unstable have already pre-ordered those cards and the well-heeled player may have already likely ordered deck protectors / card boxes and playmats from Ultra PRO (like the table matt above).

This is all very well - BUT - in a jocular jab, Wizards of the Coast did not reveal one rather important thing.  They did 'hint' at it though - blah, bleh, expect 216-ish cards.  We should have paid more attention.  As retailers started breaking down boxes and cracking packs for single sales, it began to emerge that there was something fishy, which may be explained in one word . . . 'VARIANTS'.  A number of cards in Unstable are printed with multiple variants.  These variants can differ on rules text, flavour text, art and watermark.

MTG Realm has had a quick look around the interwebs and have found the following known variants so far.  Images from Kush Singhal (@brute_steamer) -

• Amateur Auteur - 4 Versions (art and flavor text) Innistrad, Ravnica, Theros, and Zenkikar

• Beast in Show (art and flavor text)

• Everythingamajig - 5 Versions (rules text)

• Extremely Slow Zombie - 4 Versions (art and flavor text) Same zombo, 4 different seasons

• Garbage Elemental - 6 Versions (rules, Power/toughness)

• Ineffable Blessing - 6 Versions (rules text and flavor text)

• Killbot (name and flavour text) Curious, Delighted, Despondent, and Enraged Killbot.

• Knight of the Kitchen Sink - 6 Versions (rules text and flavor text)

• Novellamental - 4 Versions (flavor text)

• Secret Base - 5 Versions (art and watermark) one for each of the five factions

• Sly Spy (rules text, art and flavor text)

• Target Minotaur - 4 Versions (art)

• Very Cryptic Command - 6 Versions (art and rules text)

In some sad news, iconic artist Wayne England had been commissioned to create a version of Very Cryptic Command but had unfortunately passed away before completing it.  Ultra PRO is offering this uncompleted work on a line of deck protectors, deck boxes and playmats and donating the net proceeds from the sage to the family's chosen charity, the British Heart Foundation.

In summary, a very happy and welcome surprise for gamers cracking packs in this weekend's draft events around the world.  There may be additions / corrections to the above list over the next few days, so stay tuned.

Collectors and online retailers however may not be as happy however given that preorders have already been preordered and whatnot.  Here is what StarCityGames had pushed out earlier today to communicate with their customers.



Some rather exciting news out today for those Magic: the Gathering fans who aspire to work with Wizards of the Coast to help continue to create entertaining and engaging cards to be played in countless future games.

First, let's have a brief history of 'The Great Designer Search' contest by Wizards of the Coast -

2006 - Great Designer Search 1

The three finalists, Alexis Janson, Ken Nagle and Graeme Hopkins were among the cohort of fifteen cadidates or finalists who had undergone six challenges with eliminations each round.  Alhough Alexis Janson won the contest, all three finalistswere eventually hired by Wizards of the Coast.

2010 - Great Designer Search 2

The final candidates were Ethan Fleischer, Jonathon Loucks, Shawn Main, Devon Rule, Jay Treat, Scott Van Essen, Daniel Williams, and Jonathan Woodward.  Both the winner Ethan Fleischer and runner-up Shawn Main were hired by Wizards of the Coast.  Ethan developed the keyword 'Evovle', and the ability 'Assault' while Shawn would develop the 'Battalion' ability.


This is kicking off January 16, 2018.  The goal of the contest is to find new talent for Magic design and the grand prize was a design internship and thus is in general a job interview.  Like its former iterations, The Great Designer Search 3 begins with the candidates answering ten questions in essay form, with a 350 word cap per question.

For more information, check out the announcement (linked here) and the terms and conditions (linked here).

If you are contemplating of competing in this contest, be sure to prime yourself with some of the tenets which have kept Magic: the Gathering a great game.  Here are the Principles of Magic Research and Design.