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4.23.2018

Dominaria PreRelease Report

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Happy Monday MTG peeps,

We are returned from this weekend's Dominaria PreRelease event at OMG! Games, here in Barrie, Ontario.  It was great connecting with the regulars and meeting some new people.  It was also great ripping open packs of Magic: the Gathering cards and hearing some vocalisations of some excited players getting a great card.  

Our pool was rather unfortunate, or perhaps better to say, a bit challenging.  Off the top, from the prerelease packs, we scored perhaps about 9 bucks in rares, and the rest of the pool was pretty shallow, with the exception of white, and, for the first time we are able to recall, we made an entirely mono-coloured decklist for PreRelease.  Here are the ROUGH numbers in each colour -

WHITE - 22 cards
BLUE - 12
BLACK - 13
GREEN - 12
MULTICOLOUR -1
ARTIFACTS - 8
NON-BASIC LANDS - 5

Here is a brief video of the start of the event -



Here are the rares I pulled . . .


And here is the rest of the mess we pushed together to game with - entirely in WHITE -

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4.20.2018

Dominaria Standard

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Happy Friday MTG peeps,

It is Friday (finally), and beginning at midnight tonight and running ALL weekend long at our local gaming store, OMG! Games, here in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, is the much-anticipated Dominaria PreRelease weekend. RawR! / w00t!  Magic: the Gathering players will be cracking packs of the newest set, and getting down to serious fun.  

Although we are looking very much forward, our format of choice is not really sealed but standard.  Going forward for at least a few more weeks of Friday Night Magic (yeah! FNM promos are returning on April 27th), we will still be armed with our existing Standard decklists while we collect the cards we new for the new season.  

One build which was early on our radar was a Red / White (Boros) 'Voltron' list.  The name 'voltron' essentially means using a select number of creatures which may provide some benefit when you equip them with artifacts, or enchant them with auras.  The creature card which captured our imagination in the new Dominaria set, to put us on this path generated a 3/1 elemental token with trample and haste every time you equipped or enchanted it.  Here is the back-bone of this list :


Champion of the Flame - pumped about it
Sram, Senior Edificer - keep the peddle down
Danitha Capashen, Paragon - discounts
Valduk, Keeper of the Flame - those lovely tokens

We will need to think more about what auras and equipment we like best with this mix, but for now, we were very happy to see the HareruyaWayfinder "Dominaria" posts which went up today.  Here, the Hareruya Magic: the Gathering Pros provide suggestions to you, the deck-builder, as to how one may go forward.  Here is the article link, and here are the lists :

STANDARD
• Deck 1 : Mono Green Ghalta, Grzegorz Kowalski

• Deck 2 : Yawgmoth's Vile Offering, Yoshihiko Ikawa
• Deck 3 : Djinn of the Vehicles, Luis Salvatto
• Deck 4 : Powerstone Shard, Javier Dominguez
• Deck 5 : Song of Freyalise, Marc Tobiasch
• Deck 6 : The Antiquities War, Kenta Harane
• Deck 7 : Blue Sky, Thiago Saporito
• Deck 8 : RB Midrange, Petr Sochurek

• Deck 9 : Historic Vehicles, Christian Calcano
• Deck 10 : UW Control, Oliver Polak-Rottmann

• Deck 11 : GW Legends, Pierre Dagen
• Deck 12 : Goblin's Gift, Kenji Tsumura

MODERN
• Deck 13 :  Fecundity Goblins, Yuuta Takahashi

LEGACY

• Deck 14 : Precognition Tide, Yuuta Takahashi

Good Luck and have fun this weekend !
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4.18.2018

MTG Miscellany

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Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

It is time to do some house-cleaning and get to you a number of Magic: the Gathering news items.  Here is the drop now -

The latest set 'Dominaria is now up on the official Wizards of the Coast Magic: the Gathering card database, linked right here.  A quick sort reveals sixty-four (64!) cards which have the Legendary sub-type - umm WOW.


On Tuesday, Tim O'Hara, Wizards of the senior vice president of finance and operations, posted a brief article to the WotC website titled 'A Commitment to Excellence', which is a pleasant introduction to some who may not know Tim.  Of interest is this particular line, "some players with highly tuned fingers may notice a different feel to your Dominaria cards at Prereleases this weekend".   This is a very important point to some in the fan community which have submitted grievances regarding card quality.  Looking very much forward to the PreRelease to get my (somewhat calloused fingers) on the improved cards.

Speaking of the Dominaria PreRelease this weekend, if you have not attended one of these very fun / cool events, you may wish to catch Gavin's recent article / primer linked here on what to expect as well as very helpful tips to make your time as enjoyable as possible.


Other news this week include no changes to the 'Banned and Restricted' List, as well as the Dominaria Update Bulletin from Eli Shiffrin which does not contain any surprises for the official Magic: the Gathering comprehensive rules.

Lastly, we thoroughly loved today's Return to Dominaria story - Episode 6 from Martha Wells.  Here is the blurb -

"Jhoira takes Liliana and Gideon for a timely re-connection with a very old - and very powerful—friend."

We are big fans of the whole lost treasure / Indiana Jones trope, so when the story turns to Teferi (and friends) in the ancient monument temple, with traps around every corner, we were as immersed and engaged as we have ever been.  The moral take-away here is that anything is possible with the very amiable Weatherlight crew.  We won't mention the big news at the end of the story, but we are now considering making a ledger for all those powerstones that were created by the Thran Mana Rig.  
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4.14.2018

Dominaria Tokens

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Happy Saturday MTG peeps,

As the full Dominaria preview has now been loaded (linked over here), Magic: the Gathering fans are contemplating new and amended builds.  Of note, Wizards of the Coast has also posted all the lovely Dominaria Tokens (ya know we luv tokens right?), right over here.  As you may be aware, Hidden Stockpile and Anointed Procession are still in standard format, so we should, at the very least have a looky-loo at what may be made from the new critter generators.  Here's the summary -


Dominaria features fourteen tokens and two emblems.

There may be a chance for some casual fun Knight tribal

WHITE
•  2/2 Knight with vigilance, for Aryel, Knight of Windgrace, Call the Cavalry and History of Benalia.
•  2/2 Knight with vigilance (alternate art)
•  1/1 Soldier, for Sergeant-at-Arms and Memorial to Glory



BLACK
•  0/1 Cleric, for Rite of Belzenlok
•  2/2 Zombie Knight with menace, for Josu Vess, Lich Knight
•  */* Nightmare Horror, for Chainer's Torment.
•  6/6 Demon with flying, trample, and "At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice another creature, if you don't, this creature deals 6 damage to you." for Rite of Belzenlok

RED
•  3/1 Elemental with trample and haste, for Valduk, Keeper of the Flame.
•  1/1 Goblin, for Siege-Gang Commander.
•  4/4 Legendary Dragon with flying named Karox Bladewing, for Verix Bladewing.


Fungus version #2 looks to be one of the fellas Slimefoot, the Stoway may have popped aboard the Weatherlight.

GREEN
•  1/1 Saproling, for Deathbloom Thallid, Fungal Infection, Fungal Plots, Saproling Migration, Spore Swarm, Verdant Force, Slimefoot, the Stowaway and Yavimaya Sapherd.
•  1/1 Saproling (alternate art)
•  1/1 Saproling (alternate art)

COLOURLESS
•  0/0 Construct with "This creature gets +1/+1 for each artifact you control," for Karn, Scion of Urza.

EMBLEMS
•  Emblem for Jaya Ballard.
•  Emblem for Teferi, Hero of Dominaria.
 
Karn, Scion of Urza promises to bring some very cool artifact fun.

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4.11.2018

Dominaria Cycles

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Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Wizards of the Coast has done an absolutely solid job of delivering Dominaria card previews given that this upcoming Magic: the Gathering set’s Release Notes were let loose prematurely.  Another experience that we are completely loving is the series of stories that Wizards had commissioned author Martha Wells to produce.  Please do check out the very latest post here -

Return to Dominaria Story, Episode 5
Gideon, Liliana, and Jhoira muster their forces for the showdown with Belzenlok, but first must solve a mystery at Tolaria West.

Before we get on to today’s post (‘cycles’), we need to matter about the very awesome wall scrolls we’ve been seeing.  The first one we saw was the 25th Anniversary Magic: the Gathering wall scroll, which showed all the expansion symbols - big time nostalgia.  It looks though that this may only be available through Japanese retailers.  The other wall scrolls, which are avdailable here in North America from Ultra PRO are the Dominaria Saga Wall Scrolls - History of Benalia, Rite of Belzenlok and Antiquities War.  Very awesome and full of nostalgia as well for many players.




Anywhoos, we really want to talk about cycles.  Why? Uncertain. Perhaps it provides us with a sense of purpose and completion when looking at a set, perhaps we did way too many connect the dot puzzles as a kid.  Here are a few cycles in the upcoming Dominaria set.

Mono-Colour Devotion : This is a full colour cycle of rare creature spells with three of the same colour - Benalish Marshal, Tempest Djinn, Dread Shade, Goblin Chainwhirler and Steel Leaf Champion




Legendary Sorceries : self-explanatory - Urza's Ruinous Blast, Karn's Temporal Sundering, Yawgmoth's Vile Offering, Jaya's Immolating Inferno and Kamahl's Druidic Vow.

Allied Colour Legendary Dudes : Cycle of allied colour legendary uncommon creatures - Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage, Rona, Disciple of Gix, Garna, the Bloodflame, Hallar, the Firefletcher, and Shanna, Sisay's Legacy




Enemy Colour Legendary Dudes : Cycle of enemy colour legendary uncommon creatures - Arvad the Cursed, Adeliz, the Cinder Wind, Slimefoot, the Stowaway, Tiana, Ship's Caretaker and Tatyova, Benthic Druid.



Memorials - cycle of uncommon utility taplands which may be sacrificed for an effect - Memorial to Glory, Memorial to Genius, Memorial to Folly, Memorial to War and Memorial to Unity

Enemy check lands - cycle of rare (Innistrad) taplands tapping for one of two colours. These enter the battlefield tapped unless you control one of those two types already.

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4.05.2018

New Planeswalker

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Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

The other week, Wizards of the Coast had posted a rather interesting survey.  WotC does a rather good job in soliciting fan feedback and to that has a number of such surveys.  This particular survey was interesting in that participants were shown an image and brief story of what was purported to be an unknown Planeswalker.


The exciting part of this is that this has happened before - the previous case was the packaging survey back in December of 2016 in which we were shown yet to be released artwork for Amonkhet, Hour of Devastation, as well as 'Atlazan' and 'Conquest of Power', which, as it happens turned out to be Ixalan, and Rivals of Ixalan. 

As previews had rolled out, one survey item did indeed turn out to be a real card in the upcoming set 'Dominaria'.

TEFERI
The most powerful time mage in the multiverse, Teferi is aging incredibly slowly. Having lived several lifetimes, and father to a daughter who is now older than him, Teferi was forced to save his entire homeland from an invasion by phasing it out of time. Unable to restore it, he is haunted by this act to the present day but deals with his pain through humor. Able to slow down time and manipulate its passage, he is formidable addition to any group.

Here is the very cool mysterious 'Elf' Planeswalker which there has been already quite a lot of conjecture.

VIVIEN
Vivien hails from a tribe of forest dwellers whose homeland was already threatened by encroaching civilization. When her plane itself was destroyed, Vivien managed to escape with the Arkbow, a piece of advanced magical technology capable of "storing" the essence of any creatures Vivien encounters. After seeing the impact of civilization on her home, Vivien now travels the planes, seeking out the essences of new creatures on her mission to ultimately restore balance to the Multiverse.

There is little doubt to us that we will see Vivien as a card very soon, but likely not a Llanowar Planeswalker in Dominaria.  Here are the other Planeswalkers, all of them known to us to some degree which was part of the survey -

ASHIOK
Ashiok's origins - and gender - are unknown. It is even possible there are multiple, identical Ashioks. The one consistent fact is that Ashiok can use powerful nightmare magic to invade people's minds and bring their darkest fears to life. What Ashiok's goals or plans are, anyone can guess, but those who become a part of them quickly learn kindness is never an aspect. 

TAMIYO
A member of the elusive and mysterious moonfolk exclusively found on her home plane, Tamiyo is a scholar and explorer. With a voracious appetite to discover and understand the unknown, Tamiyo travels and documents everything she sees and fines. A master of "story magic," once Tamiyo has recorded an event in her journals, she is capable of rewriting them such that they change the past itself, and, thus the present.

DARETTI
After losing his legs in an experiment of his own making, the goblin Daretti's magical abilities manifested as both a genius engineer and remarkable manipulator of people. Capable of inventing machines more sophisticated than anything otherwise known, he uses his abilities in an ongoing attempt to wrest control of his own plane from humans and install himself, and his kind, in their place.

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4.04.2018

Dominaria Story 4

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Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

There is literally a TON of new Dominaria previews out again today and it certainly appears that there is something that every Magic: the Gathering would enjoy gaming with.  For this post however, we do want to touch upon the very great work that Martha Wells has been doing in returning the story to Dominaria.

In today's posted story, Episode 4 does address a number of questions we had since first learning about the angel Tiana, and then seeing the character spotlight on Arvad.  First and foremost, the one question we had is how on earth (or quite specifically Dominaria), does and Angel and a Vampire exist together within the same space without attempting to put an end to each other ?  

Another question we did have brewing since the last story is more along the explanation as to how an angel like Tiana fall into the Weatherlight crew, instead of being called into being to serve some more higher cause.  Martha does an excellent job at explaining all of these questions - the link is right here.

Here is today's story blurb -
As the Weatherlight comes under attack, its newest crew members bond over their unique, yet not dissimilar, origins.

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4.02.2018

Dominaria Vehicle

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Happy Monday MTG peeps,

We hope that all have had a pleasant Easter long weekend with friends or family, and have had an opportunity to unwind and relax.  Wizards of the Coast staffer Mark Rosewater had indeed 'got us' on April Fools' Day with a message about leaving WotC to return to comedy writing. 

Some big Magic: the Gathering news for the upcoming set Dominaria.  Do pop on over to Wizards MTG post today for this news.  The Vehicles subtype is returning.  Vehicle cards have a special bronze and grey blocked card frame and a power / toughness printed in a bronze colored box. However, vehicles don't have a power or a toughness unless they become creatures.  Artifacts with this subtype have the crew keyword, which allows them to temporarily become artifact creatures. Creatures with the Pilot type have an ability that somehow cares about crewing Vehicles.


Weatherlight is a flying 4/5 legendary artifact vehicle for 4 colourless mana and with ‘Crew 3’.  When the Weatherlight deals damage, one looks at the top five cards in their library and may reveal a ‘historic’ card, and places the rest on the bottom of the library.  Historic is a new game term that refers to a card that has the legendary supertype, the artifact card type, or the Saga enchantment type. Some abilities trigger "whenever you cast a historic spell."   A sorcery ‘Board the Weatherlight’ works similar to the above card in that this sorcery floats a historic card from the top five of your library.



It was revealed in the above mentioned post, the characters to 'crew' the re-commissioned Weatherlight skyship.


Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
As she tok the wheel of the Weatherlight for the first time in a millennium, Jhoira knew she’d been right to restore the ship. Anything was possible now.

Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy
“I am heir to many treasures. None is as precious as knowing how my ancestor lived her life.”

Raff Capashen, Ship’s Mage
Apparently, not much to say

Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker
“Nothing is too broken to mend.”

Arvad, the Cursed
“I won’t abandon the Weatherlight. My destiny is to serve at Jhoira’s side. This ‘illness’ means I must trust my faith more and myself less/“

Slimefoot, the Stowaway
As Jhoira restored the Weatherlight, a mushroom growing in its hold unexpectedly became her first crew member.
 

We just LOVE that the story and game has a stowaway on board the ship.  The card art from Alex Konstad looks amazing and the card itself is not that bad either, with a handy mana sink for late game play to pop a saproling out.
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