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Ravnica Allegiance - Kaya

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

We should like to yatter a bit about the very real possibility of the Planeswalker character Kaya appearing as a card in the next Magic: the Gathering set 'Ravnica Allegiance'.  This set features five of the bi-colored Ravnican guilds: Azorius (white / blue), Rakdos (black / red), Gruul (red / green), Simic (green / blue), and Orzhov (white / black) and is to release on January 25, 2019.

One of the first hints we saw was the cover of the 2019 Ravnica novel (to be published in April 2019), the first major paper novel in about eight years from author Greg Weisman.  The blurb describes the story of Chandra Nalaar, Jace Beleren, and Gideon Jura pitted against Bolas and his relentless army of Eternals.  The cover does show Gids and Chandra alongside an unkown (new) Planeswalker and what appears to be Kaya.

Our next hint was rather obvious.  This was from the recent Pro Tour in the form of a very lovely looking 'Top 16' playmat from Ultra PRO.  This shows quite undeniably Kaya, framed with the powerful upper echelon of the Orzhov Syndicate.  What is noticeably absent here are any of the members of the 'Ghost Council'.  From the Fiora storyline, we know her to be an Assassin of Ghosts - so not much stretch of the imagination as to what may have happened.

But how did we get here ?  This is pure speculation.

We know that a big showdown between the malevolent Bolas and the Gatewatch is to take place on Ravnica.  Bolas wants the Guilds to fall in line behind him, and those which do not, he needs to destroy or at least destabilize.  Ghosts, such as Brago (the King Eternal) are difficult to deal with or destroy, and the Orzhov do have a good number of these spirits. 

To this end, it does sound reasonable that Bolas employs Kaya to remove these bothersome spirits.  We assume that Kaya does this effectively and then perhaps realizes the evil despot that Bolas is and joins the Gatewatch crew as suggested by the novel cover.

As for the card itself, it is anyone's guess, but Kaya's
incorporeal powers suggest that one ability is to be able to exile the card (phased out from the game) and then return.  As for the other abilities, please do suggest with a comment below.


Magic: the Gathering - Norse Mythology

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

Two ravens had perched upon our shoulder and whispered in our ear that Wizards of the Coast may be giving thought of creating a set, in the not too distant future, on a new Plane of Existence with a Norse mythology theme.  There is little argument that Norse Mythology has been witnessing something of a surge in interest with production of movies, television shows and books illuminating characters from the Viking pantheon.  We will admit that the History Channel series 'The Vikings' and the movies 'The 13th Warrior' (Antonio Banderas) and Marvel's 'Thor' (Chris Hemsworth) had stoked our interest enough to learn more about the myths.  

Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology with the Theros gods

Although our distant Icelandic and Germanic relatives may have had great distaste for sitting through dull school lessons on this subject, we are most decidedly looking forward to a Norse mythology themed Magic: the Gathering set from Wizards.  We are cognizant that there will be detractors in the MTG fan community that story characters may not hold true to the old Norse stories - we have two responses :

• 'based upon' themes must be offered a wide license to develop, and create their environment, without being bound by the details of the originator.  Exampli gratis - Wōtan's eye sacrificed at the Mímisbrunnr well may be lost another way or not lost at all.

• Snorri Sturluson (1179 - 1241), when not drunk and soaking in his hot-tub at Reykholt, recorded the bulk of what we know about the myths in the Gylfaginning and we would not consider his sagas and poems to be a realistic / accurate witness.  In a similar vein, the story of Beowulf was passed down through oral tradition prior to being finally recorded in manuscript, so an argument for a preciseness to detail is a non-starter.

Now - to the creation of a Norse Mythology themed Magic: the Gathering set -

It may be a very well traveled road as Wizards has already created some 23 'God' cards for Theros (Greek Mythology) and Amonkhet (Ancient Egyptian Mythology).  The challenge is to select which figures, whether gods, heroes or beasts to employ and then which of Magic's five colours to have these painted.

Wotan-Denkmal, Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum, Hannover
Odin with pals Huginn, Muninn, Freki, and Geri

We will have a go using Odin, who may be associated with battle, death, knowledge / wisdom , and sorcery (among numerous other attributes) may be considered as having demonstrating almost all of the five colours of Magic: the Gathering.  For this we would need to limit to perhaps one or two (White or Blue perhaps?).  The two ravens which serve Odin  Huginn (Mind) and Muninn (Memory) fly over Jörmungrund every day gathering information for Odin which they relay each evening, so having an 'Enter the Battlefield' effect of this 'god' creature two bird creature tokens seems natural.  The two Wolves Freki (Greedy) and Geri (Ravenous) which are also associated with Odin may be presented in an associated sorcery which generates two 2/2 Wolf tokens, again, not too unreasonable.  To apply static abilities and other details such as mana cost is quite beyond our skill, so we will just simply wait for Magic game developers to bring it all together.

The Norse mythology is deep, rich and able to supply numerous stories to adapt to a Magic: the Gathering set.



Guilds of Ravnica Story

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

The Guilds of Ravnica Story arc, penned by author Nicky Drayden concluded with the fifth and final installment, covering all five Guilds featured in this latest Magic: the Gathering set.  Here are the handy links to each of these great episodes along with the subjective first-person character in brackets and the excellent sketches of that character from artist Wesley Burt.  Wizards of the Coast indicates that Magic Story will continue in early December.

Episode 1 : Under the Cover of Fog (Merret)
Merret, a covert agent of House Dimir, works a lowly position on the docks until he stumbles upon life-changing magic.

Episode 2 : Testing the Dark Waters (Leighbet)
An Izzet chemister makes an incredible discovery about the world . . . and herself.

Episode 3 : Clans and Legions (Weslyn)
A newly promoted Wojek stumbles upon a massive conspiracy.

Episode 4 : Death's Precious Moments (Bozak)
A hopeful kraul competes for training as a necromancer and brushes closer with death than expected.

Episode 5 : Bound and Bonded (Terrik)

A Selesnyan wurmcaller confronts the mistakes of his past with a little help from his friends.



Friday MTG Miscellany

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

Today we have a mish-mash variety of Magic: the Gathering related items for your scrolling here at MTG Realm.  Kicking off today is the Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica in Atlanta, Georgia with a prize pool of $250,000 and the winner walking away with $50,000.  The format starts with booster draft and standard constructed following.  You may check out the coverage at this link.  

If you are heading out to your friendly local gaming store here in Central Ontario (and obviously other parts of Canada), do mind the weather / traffic - as it is heavily snowing right now.  If you find yourself in Barrie, Ontario, do drop over to OMG! Games tonight for Friday Night Magic for a chance to score an FNM promo card.

Now for some of the MTG Misc. via MTG Realm on Tumblr -

Dungeons & Dragons: Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica Dice (Fifth Edition) are releasing soon on November 20, 2018.  The container / tin  looks rather attractive and contains the following dice:

• 1 x D20
• 1 x D12
• 2 x D10s
• 1 x D8
• 4 x D6s
• 1 x D4
• 1 x Special Ravnica Guild die

Here is a closer look at the attractive, semi-translucent dice :

MTG GORE ! :: Be Warned - A time long ago when card sleeves were not in use.

Magic: The Gathering commentator Marshall Sutcliffe had Pro Tour Historian Brian David-Marshall on his MTG Breakdown show back in the summer to show off an amazing piece of game history: video of a Magic tournament from Saturday, November 12, 1994 in the Ball Room at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.  Video linked right here.  One can see mullets, acid-wash jeans, and of course a large number of what is now rather rare and expensive cards.  The video was not only very entertaining but informative as well.

The ‘Gore’ starts around 16:45 with some riffle / bridge shuffles - THE GOLD - Marshall Sutcliffe‘s reaction … . considering that a Black Lotus may have fetched around $20 or $30 bucks back then (if that), now command a price of up to $8,000 (prices obviously very rough).

Finally, for us, the amazing Magic: the Gathering card art that Wizards of the Coast commissions is almost as enjoyable as playing the game itself.  We were very happy to hear that Gallery 1988 in L.A. had a MTG group art exhibit, which feature numerous works.



MTG Ultimate Masters

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Also, a Happy Guy Fawkes Day to those who celebrate that event - please ensure appropriate fire safety cautions are taken.  In the follow-up to yesterday's post on the 'Ultimate Box Topper', this is a related post.

Announced on Twitch and the Mothersite today, here are the details.

Releasing on December 7, 2018, Ultimate Masters (UMA) brings a host of powerful, sought-after cards - including some of the greatest cards from throughout Magic’s history.

Special Box Toppers
There’s forty different box topper cards, and we did our best to make them count. Box toppers include every mythic rare in the set, many of the rares, and two uncommons (Kitchen Finks and Eternal Witness).

• Set size: 254 cards

• 24 packs per box

• 15-card booster packs, one foil per pack

• Languages: English and Japanese, with global distribution

• One Ultimate Box Topper per box

• MSRP*: $335.76 per box per box (*MSRP applies to United States only)

• Supplies are limited

We understand that this is a 'Masters' set, and apparently from the Twitch video posted by WotC (Blake and Steve), this may be the last.  We anticipate some push back from the Magic: the Gathering fan community, mostly regarding the price, and do share the concern.  Anecdotal discussion indicates that in some areas where similar product has been distributed to the so-called Big Box stores, that these similar items are now priced on clearance to move.  Thankfully, Wizards indicates that Ultimate Masters are to be released to proper WPN stores which face a highly competitive environment against the large retailers.  As we have stated before, without the bricks-and-mortar stores, the roots of the MTG gaming community is at risk.  As for the price, we think the market will hopefully self-regulate - (1) much-needed reprints versus (2) the appetite to absorb the cost to acquire those.



MTG : Ultimate Box Topper

Happy Saturday MTG peeps,

Something very to report to Magic: the Gathering fans who had purchased the Guilds of Ravnica Mythic Edition product through the Hasbro Toy Shop, a short while ago.  This one-off product was a booster box of 24 packs, ideal for drafting and contained a guarantee of eight sough-after special mythic foil masterpiece cards.  There was considerable issues with the online point of sale website which was widely reported which generated a deal of criticism.  

The first reports of letters with an mysterious booster pack started being posted on Friday by individuals who had purchased the above-detailed Mythic Edition product.

Here is the text of the letter enclosed within :

To a Magic Superfan, 

Not too long ago, you went on Hasbro ToyShop to purchase Guilds of Ravnica Mythic Edition. However that ended up for you, we recognize it wasn’t a positive experience and we’re sorry about that. Now, we know you like special Magic products, so to try to make it up to you, we’ve enclosed a special something. It’s a bit of a preview from something we’ve got coming that we think you might like. Feel free to take pictures of it, share it online, or just immediately stick it in your favorite deck or binder

Hopefully, that puts a smile on your face. 

Sincerely, Everyone at Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast 

PS Wondering what the weird cool (hopefully fun) card is enclosed with this letter? Check out

Reference link :

Here is one of the amazing / beautiful cards posted :

There appears to a total of 40 different promos -
* New alternate art for this release.

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre   
Snapcaster Mage   
Temporal Manipulation
Demonic Tutor*
Goryo's Vengeance*
Liliana of the Veil
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Balefire Dragon
Through the Breach
Eternal Witness*
Life from the Loam*
Noble Hierarch
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Lord of Extinction
Maelstrom Pulse
Sigarda, Host of Herons
Fulminator Mage*
Kitchen Finks
Engineered Explosives
Platinum Emperion*
Ancient Tomb*
Cavern of Souls
Celestial Colonnade
Creeping Tar Pit
Dark Depths*
Lavaclaw Reaches
Raging Ravine
Stirring Wildwood
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth*



Dungeons and Dragons - Ravnica

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Although it has been years since we have played Dungeons & Dragons, we do credit our love of Magic: the Gathering as coming from such seeds in our youth.  Wizards of the Coast teams for both Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons literally work in the same hallowed building so it comes as a welcomed result that there has been a good degree of brand cross-over.  The latest such project is this very next DnD Guide to be released next month - details and blurb here -

Dungeons & Dragons Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica / D&D/Magic: The Gathering Adventure Book and Campaign Setting Hardcover – November 20, 2018
by Wizards RPG Team 

In Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica, the world's most popular roleplaying game meets the world's most popular trading card game. Released to coincide with the Magic set Guilds of Ravnica, it's the perfect blend of story from the creators of Magic: The Gathering, wrapped around the rules, monsters, and magic of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons.

Details from the Amazon listing linked here.

In Chapter one, races detailed in the Guide include Centaur, Elf, Goblin, Human, Loxodon, Minotaur, Simic Hybrid and Vedalken with sub-classes of Cleric and Druid.  Chapter two provides backgrounds on the Guilds of Ravnica along with what it takes to be a member of a Guild.  Dungeon Masters are provided assistance in creating adventures in Chapter 4.

Some common complaints we have read from fans of the game is that there is a preference for more details, whether it may be a character stats (Charisma, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Strength and Wisdom), stats on a Monster (everyone loves thumbing through a Fiend Folio), or more information to move a party through a campaign.

Obviously this is a simple supplementary product to be used as a guide, but our limited and unexperienced opinion is that Wizards of the Coast would be well served in developing a Magic: the Gathering themed publication more heavily invested in the world of Dungeons and Dragons while addressing the fan community's wish list.



MTG - Chandra Comics

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Some news we had previously posted about in August earlier this year - another reboot to the Magic: the Gathering comics by IDW Publishing.  This new short series is to deliver all-new stories focused on the red-aligned pyrmancer, the Planeswalker Chandra Nalaar.  The first issue is to be released next month (November 28, 2018).  For more details on the series, read this article at IDW Publishing.

Magic: The Gathering: Chandra #1
(W) Vita Ayala (A) Harvey Tolibao (CA) Ken Lashley
In the wake of tragedy, Planeswalker and pyromancer Chandra Nalaar strikes out on her own. On her journey, she'll have to fight against threats both old and new, as well as her own sense of guilt. Can she overcome all of that alone? And who is that familiar face lurking in the shadows?

Magic: The Gathering: Chandra #2
(W) Vita Ayala (A/CA) Harvey Tolibao
After her latest defeat, Chandra feels broken as events of the past continue to haunt her, and a familiar foe seizes the opportunity to strike! Will Ajani's heroic intervention be enough to help her overcome the threat and stop her from traveling farther down a self-destructive path?

Magic: The Gathering: Chandra #3
Vita Ayala (w) • Harvey Tolibao (a) • Siya Oum (c)

Tibalt’s attacks on Chandra get more personal—and closer to home—as he thrives on her anguish. Meanwhile, Ajani tries to help her make peace with the events of her past, but will Chandra’s outrage be enough to overcome the devilish Planeswalker’s empathic onslaught?



Tuesday's Totally Tocatli

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

We want to yatter briefly about Tocatli Honor Guard today, but should go over some Magic: the Gathering slang for those players who are just now getting into this awesome game.  Let's go -

Hate card 
This is a card that attempts to neutralise the power of another card or strategy.  Wizards of the Coast prints these sorts of cards as a sort of a safety valve in order to bring balance (to the force) to a metagame which may gravitate toward card or strategy and goes on to become too powerful or dominant.  By way of example, a commond hate card may be printed for use against powerful decklists which makes use of the graveyard as s resource - in this scenario, there may a a 'graveyard hate' card like Grafdigger's Cage.

This can be used to describe any 2 mana 2/2 creature with no other abilities and in all likelihood obtains its name from the beloved and very bland vanilla Grizzly Bear, and is not restricted to just green, but every colour.

We now put those two together to get 'Hate Bear'.
This is a hate card, but more specifically also a creature, almost always referring to a two-powered creature for two mana.  Such examples such as Containment Priest, Leonin Arbiter, Kor Firewalker, Gaddock Teeg, Ash Zealot, etc., but will have that lovely rules text which is where all the value is.

Ixalan card Tocatli Honor Guard, illustrated by Sara Winters

Here is a prime example of a 'hate bear' currently in standard - 'Tocatli Honor Guard'.  This human soldier casts for one colourless and one white (2 CMC) and has a body of one power and three toughness which is kinda, sorta close to bear stats.  The rules text here is "Creatures entering the battlefield don't cause abilities to trigger".  We did not count, but reckon that there may be approximately 150 cards or so which may be affected by such a particular card as Tocatli Honor Guard.  Cards such as the enchantment Ajani's Welcome, which would allow its controller to gain one life whenever a creature enters the battlefield under their control is now nerf'd.  Similarily, popular cards such as Kraul Harpooner and Ravenous Chupacabra loose all value.

A number of cards with Mechanics such as Undergrowth, Mentor and Explore may also be adversely impacted by Tocatli Honor Guard.  More importantly, lets look at some of the most popular decklists now in standard (and their key cards) - such as -

Mono-Red Aggro - Goblin Chainwhirler, Viashino Pyromancer

Golgari Midrange - Jadelight Ranger, Merfolk Branchwalker, Ravenous Chupacabra

The TLDR here is that if you are running a decklist with white in it, consider at the very least leaving space for perhaps three Honor Guards.  Currently priced at a very reasonable 50 cents, we are somewhat surprised that we have not seen more of these cards hose the competition at the game tables.



Guilds of Ravnica Standard

Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

Tomorrow evening, Magic: the Gathering players will experience a brand new standard format as the newest set, Guilds of Ravnica is released.  Four sets - Amonkhet / Hour of Devastation and Kaladesh / Aether Revolt will be rotating out.  Typically, we would now tell you something along the lines of 'Thank goodness, X is finally rotating' given that 'X' was such pain to deal with at Friday Night Magic.  Not so much this time - really no complaints, although some players will be sad to see Walking Ballista walk off the stage.  There will be of course some nostalgia for the Kaladesh / Aether Revolt Energy Decks, but Wizards of the Coast did kill those off fairly early in January, 2018 with the Anning of Attune with Aether and Rogue Refiner.

Anywhoos, let us not dwell on the past but rather this Friday.  Should you still have some hesitation as to what new / improved Guilds of Ravnica standard decklist should be, do not look any further.  It is that time again with the very popular HareruyaWayfinder, Guilds of Ravnica edition where Kenji Tsumura and other Magic: the Gathering Pros provide a number of suggestions as to what to build, or rather build upon, seasoned with your own personal preferences and the particular local metagame.  There are 18 standard format decklists and something for everyone, whether your game is Aggro, Midrange, Tokens or Control.  There are also 5 Modern Decks to look over as well.

The complete list is posted over at the Hareruya MTG website linked right here.

Aggro Decks
Deck 1 Golgari Ghalta
Deck 2 Boros Aggro
Deck 3 Izzet Aggro
Deck 4 Abzan Knight

Midrange Decks
Deck 5 Dimir Midrange
Deck 6 Golgari Midrange
Deck 7 Golgari with Izoni
Deck 8 Golgari Explore

Control Decks
Deck 9 Izzet Control
Deck 10 Azorius Control
Deck 11 Jeskai Control
Deck 12 Esper Control

Token Decks
Deck 13 Boros Tokens
Deck 14 Selesnya Tokens

Other Strategies (Ramp / Mono Colored)Deck 15 Simic Ramp
Deck 16 Mono White Weenie
Deck 17 Mono Red Goblins
Deck 18 Keld Red

Happy Brewing folks !



Guilds of Ravnica Mythic

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Today may be a rather special day as the Guilds of Ravnica Mythic Edition had been released for sale on the online Hasbro Toy Shop.  This is the new foil Masterpiece series vehicle for Guilds of Ravnica.  Prior distribution was originally within randomly inserted boosters.  The package specifically is a handsome looking draft-sized booster box containing a total of 24 booster packs of Guilds of Ravnica.  Out of the 24 packs, 8 will be the special Mythic Edition packs, which will be clearly marked as to which of the special Planeswalker cards is contained for that pack.

This experimental product, produced in a limited quantity, was posted online today (October 3, 2018) for $249.99, or, should you live in Canada like us, approximately $380 which addresses the current tariff, provincial sales tax and of course, the exchange rate ( $1 USD = $0.78 CD ).  At the time of posting, there was a short delay and some reports of issues processing orders through the Hasbro Toy Shop page.

There was at the time of announcement which provided the details and pricing some negative feedback from the Magic: the Gathering community, which generally centered upon the limiting exclusivity of the product along the lines of geographic availability and pricing.  There were a few posts from Mark Rosewater in addition to a more formal communication posted to the Daily MTG website (linked here).

Each of the boxes is to have one of all 8 Masterpiece Planeswalker cards (along with a corresponding token or emblem if applicable ) :
• Elspeth, Knight-Errant
• Liliana, the Last Hope
• Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast
• Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
• Ral, Izzet Viceroy
• Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
• Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
• Vraska, Golgari Queen

Although we feel that some of the more serious Magic: the Gathering fans may draft the box, the lion's share of the product is likely to be picked up by collectors.  All of this is fine as MTG is both an amazing card game, but also must be noted that this is indeed a collectible card game.  Wizards of the Coast has never had a packaged product in this price range before, but we will certainly not fault them in producing such should customers be willing to pay.



Guilds of Ravnica PreRelease

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

On the weekend, we, like many other Magic: the Gathering players dropped over to the local gaming store to participate in the Guilds of Ravnica PreRelease.  Specifically, we went on Sunday to our fav store here in Barrie, Ontario - OMG! Games, because, like Fblthp, we don't care very much for crowds.  The Friday midnight prerelease event had 50+ players, which is pretty much close to capacity for our local gaming store.  

The Sunday morning session had under 30 and was likely much less rowdy and rambunctious.  For Sunday, if you had not yet reserved a Prerelease Kit of the Guild of your choice, the selections were limited to Boros and Izzet.  We picked Boros and whined about the chances now somewhat diminished of scoring an Assasin's Trophy in a Golgari Prelease Kit.  Although the date=stamped foil Assassin's Trophy cards are currently fetching values at just under a $100, we were more than happy to be able to pull a regular one out of our kit.  Quite obviously the chances were slim on forcing colours from our red / white Boros kit to accomodate our singular Golgari card.

Here are the six cards collected from our Kit :
• Tajic, Legion's Edge (Prerelease Promo) : $10
• Assassin's Trophy : $27
• Steam Vents : $9
• Legion Warboss : $4
• Bounty of Might
• Response // Resurgence

At the end of the day, we did win enough games to split a prize and swoop in three additional Guilds of Ravnica Booster Packs :
• Knight of Autumn : $5
• Assure // Assemble
• Quasiduplicate

There were no clear winners in our sealed pool of cards but the seeded pack.  The comments we do have is that we love seeded packs, perhaps because our limited game is not our strong suite.  The other comment is that we did pull two Skyknight Legionnaire cards and we think this did a lot of the heavy lifting during most of our early games.

Most definitely looking forward to the new standard format next week.  When we first saw Pelt Collector previewed, our thoughts immediately reviewed how well Experiment One performed when it was introduced in Gatecrash.  We picked up a full deckset for just $3 and now see that the card is going for about $13 locally now, which makes us feel good about the first few weeks of standard, perhaps in a mostly green Steel Leaf stompy aggressive build.

Happy Brewing !


Guilds of Ravnica Double Double

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

The full Guilds of Ravnica set has now been dropped and uploaded by Wizards of the Coast's Card Image Gallery, linked right here for your perusal. Instead of penning a review of our opinions here at MTG Realm as to the merits of some choice cards in various play formats, we want to write to you today about one singular cycle of cards.  We want to call this the Canadian Cycle or better yet, the 'Double Double'.  Here's why -

“Peace, order and good government” are the words used in section 91 of the British North America Act of 1867 (now Constitution Act, 1867) to define the Canadian Parliament's lawmaking authority in relation to provincial authority.  If there is anything else on God's good green earth that Canadians love more than the above over-arching expression may be "Double - Double".  

This is a truly unique Canadian term, most often associated with Tim Horton's (once a National pride and joy).  Simply put, should you order this, the server will allocate to you a beverage with two portions of sugars and two portions of cream.  Canadians so love the double-double, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce even offers the CIBC Tim Hortons Double Double Visa credit card, which when used, will generate bonus points which may be used to purchase further coffee 'n' doughnuts from Tims.

As Canadian Magic: the Gathering players, our interpretation of double-double is somewhat tinted by the game we love.  To many at a local gaming store table, a double double is meant to indicate a spell with a mana cost of two of one colour and two of another - like two white mana and two blue mana, for a total of four.  Some perculiar geographic locutions may have this expressed as a 2-by-4 in lumber country, or a 2-4 in beer town.

In the newest Magic: the Gathering set, Guilds of Ravnica, to be released on October 4, there is a very Canadian Cycle of cards featuring the beloved double-double.  Specifically, these are Five powerful uncommon multicolored creatures, for a total converted mana cost of 4 which has two of each of the respective Guilds colour.  Here they are now -

• Selesnya - Conclave Cavalier (G/W) - you get a 4/4 vigilant creature for 4 - AND - it produces two 2/2's when it hits the yard.  We reckon that 8-power for 4 mana is a good deal, no mater which way you slice it.

• Boros -Truefire Captain (R/W) - another mentor critter, but the rub here is that this may well become the new Boros Reckoner in standard.

• Golgari - Golgari Findbroker (B/G) - 4/3 for four but that inescapable 'enter the battlefield' recursion ability is one sweet graveyard shenanigan enabler.

• Izzet - Crackling Drake (U/R) - not quite the the crisp, fatty skin of roast drake we had first thought of.  Apologies, we're quite hungry at the time of writing this.  Anywhoos, we suspect that this is the best thing since 'prowess' was a mechanic, and quite perfectly aligned in Izzet.

• Dimir - Nightveil Predator (U/B) - Flying, deathtouch and hexproof - no further comment is even warranted at how lovely this is.


Guilds of Ravnica Previews 9-14

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

Do get out to a Friday Magic Gathering event at your local gaming store this evening, for tomorrow is the Store Championship event.  Your chance of fame and fortune, where fortune is promo cards and a nice playmat.  MTG Realm will be at OMG! Games here in Barrie to game with some of our older decks we have a spot of nostalgia for before they rotate out of standard.

Also this weekend is Grand Prix Hong Kong, which may be adversely effected by Typhoon Mangkhut, which is expected to make landfall neat Hong Kong between Saturday and Sunday.  This Category 5 has been measured to have sustain wind speed of approximately 240 km/hour, which may very well make Hurrican Florence, now battering our East Coast look like a ( wet 'n' rainy ) walk in a park.  Please do exercise caution.

Anywhoos, we are now wrapping up Week 1 of 2 of Magic: the Gathering official previews for the upcoming set of Guilds of Ravnica.  There may have not been much in the way of content posts here on the blog, but we have been rabid and raving about the Return to Return to Ravnica on our MTG Realm Tumblr blog, so do drop in.  We now have all five mythic rare Guild Leaders, 3 of the Guild Champions, and all 5 of the Guildmage cycle.  For now, here are the Tokens and Emblems previews last evening on the WotC Weekly MTG Twitch show :

• {W} 4/4 Angel creature with flying and vigilance, for (unknown card)
• {W} 1/1 Soldier creature with lifelink, for Emmara, Soul of the Accord, March of the Multitudes, and Ledev Patrol.
• {U} 1/1 Bird Illusion creature with flying, for Murmuring Mystic.
• {R} 1/1 Goblin creature, for Legion Warboss.
• {B/G} 1/1 Insect creature, for Izoni, Thousand-Eyed.
• {G/W} 2/2 Elf Knight creature with vigilance, for Conclave Guildmage and Conclave Cavalry.

• Emblem for Ral, Izzet Viceroy.


Guilds of Ravnica Spoilers Monday

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Official Magic: the Gathering previews for Guilds of Ravnica are under way today with contributions from Wizards of the Coast as well as a host of other exclusive previews from content creators around the world.  If your local gaming store is like ours, OMG! Games here in Barrie, Ontario, then you would well know the excited anticipation from fans for another return to the Plane of Ravnica.  One item of note is the return of 'split cards', which your neck may or may not be a fan of . . .

We will summarise and rattle off all of today's new cards here collected from Wizards and around the web.  Just click to embiggen the below images.

The legendary Izzet guild leader is returned as Niv-Mizzet, Parun which looks great for card draw and fun pings.  That casting cost though may be better suited to the 'Devotion' mechanic.  Assassin's Trophy is simply off-the-hook crazy good - we want a full deck-set.

Dream Eater has no particular interest for us but moving to Izzet, Goblin Electromancer should be a welcome reprint.  We love the name Hypothesizzle and suspect WotC had design input from Snoop Dogg.  Split cards previewed included one for Boros 'Response // Resurgence' and one for Golgari 'Find // Finality'.  Each are great with solid spell effects on split number one and a decent effect on split number two when mana should be more plentiful later game.