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Conflux Playmats

I realise that the last few posts were full of spoiler goodness facts but somewhat lacking in imagery. To make amends I now present some lovely Conflux land-art featured on these playmats.

Caranthir from the Czech Republic hangs out at as well as MTG-Sally has provided these great images for us today.

Ancient Ziggurat by John Avon
Certainly a lovely hotel for travelling Naya to Bant.

Reliquary Tower by Jesper Ejsing
A stereotypical Bant spire checking out things on Esper.

Rupture Spire by Jaime Jones
The Grixis have new neighbours from Esper.

Unstable Frontiers by John Avon
If you saw this from your front window, I would suggest dropping any ideas of a career in real estate.

Exotic Orchard, by Stephen Belledin
The trees here have an almost changeling sort of feel to them . . . I'm sure the fruit is still good - especially in tri-coloured decks.

Stay tuned for more Conflux spoiler goodness.

Conflux Spoiler 11


Looks like three more Conflux spoilers, this time from an upcoming publication of the popular Game Japan magazine.

This spoiler courtesy of Tsuruda over at the MTG Japan Blog.

Esperzoa 2U
Artifact Creature - Jellyfish (Uncommon)
At the beginning of your upkeep, return an artifact you control to its owner's hand.

OK - So this is a 4/3 for only 3 mana - and no funky shard colours to contend with. Not bad at all and a great way to pull your other artifacts from the graveyard by returning Sanctum Gargoyle from play to your hand (rinse and repeat). There are another half-dozen Alara cards which can benefit from this card.

Extractor Demon 4BB
Creature - Demon (Rare)
Whenever another creature is put into a graveyard from play, you may have target player put the top two cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
Unearth 2B

This card does not immediately scream for inclusion in any of my decks . . . meh.

Giltspire Avenger WUG
Creature - Human Soldier (Rare)
Tap : Destroy target creature that dealt damage to you this turn.

I'm already working on nasty little synergies with this guy here and am sure to pick this up.


ConFlux Spoiler 10

Little Birdy from the forums just laid another Conflux spoiler egg.

He informs us that "DOMAIN" is one of the keywords for this soon to be released set. Domain essentially means that "this card gets X for each basic land type you control.

Might of Alara, G
Domain - Target creature gets +x/+x until end of turn for each basic land type you control.

Little Birdy also provided the following outlandish details on the 5 Outlander cards . . .

Goblin Outlander RG
Creature - Goblin Scout?
Protection from blue

Nactyl Outlander GW
Creature - Cat Scout?
Protection from black

Valeron Outlander UW
Creature - Human Scout?
Protection from red

Vedalken Outlander UB
Creature - Vedalken Scout
Protection from green

Zombie Outlander BR
Creature - Zombie Scout
Protection from white


Conflux Spoiler 9

We have 5 additional Conflux spoilers with a partial one for Nicol Bolas . . . sorry - no card art in this fresh batch.

Mr. zesty from the boards is now becoming a legend for the spoilers he feeds us. Now mind you, the spoilers are not quite free . . . this individual with an inside line to WoTC provides answers in the forms of (sometimes complex) riddles which the community enjoys immensely.

Here is a mock-up of Nicol Bolas as provided by 'anna.mossity' based on the crumbs zesty has provided. The third ability is a whopping -9 and we are currently still uncertain of the comes-into-play loyalty of this beast.

Little Birdy with dark affiliations to zesty also privided riddles for the Conflux scepters. These are summarised below.

Scepter of Insight 1UU
3U, {Tap} : Draw a card

Scepter of Dominance 1WW
W, {Tap} : Tap target permanent

Scepter of Fugue BB
1B, {Tap} : Target player discards a card.

Legendary Creature - Dragon (M)
When Malfegor comes into play, discard your hand. Target opponent sacrifices a creature for each card discarded this way.

Wall of Reverence 3w
Creature - Wall (R)
Defender, flying
At the end of your turn, gain life equal to the power of a creature you control.

Enjoy any time off you may have during this week to let the Johnny in you start identifying synergies and developing crazy-a$$ combinations on these.
Also - just a side-note . . .

We are rather anxious to get the details on the spoiled Card Art for 'Paragon of the Amesha' . . . we have great hopes for inclusion in our exalted / Bant ramp decky.


12 Spoilers of Conflux

Well, not exactly the 12 Shards of Alara CONFLUX spoilers of Christmas but fairly close.

This is just a summary of what we have to date . . . so enjoy your candy-cane shooter, sugar-plum dreams over the Christams holidays and think onto the quickly approaching release date and all the potent deck builds that new card goodness brings.

Wall of Reverence, 3W
Creature - Wall, Rare
Defender, flying
At the end of your turn, gain life equal to the power of a creature you

Unsummon, U (Reprint)
Instant, Common
Return target creature to its owner's hand.

Worldly Counsel, 1U (Reprint)
Instant, Common
Look at the top X cards of your library, where X is the
number of basic land types among lands you control. Put one of those cards into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library.

Sedraxis Alchemist, 2B
Creature - Zombie Wizard, Uncommon
When Sedraxis Alchemist comes into play, if you control a blue permanent, you may return target nonland permanent to its owner's hand.

Fiery Fall, 5R
Instant, Common
Fiery Fall deals 5 damage to target creature.
Basic landcycling 1{R} (1{R}, Discard this card: Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.)

Maniacal Rage, 1R (Reprint)
Enchantment - Aura, Common
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and can't block.

Noble Hierarch, G
Creature - Rhino Monk (unconfirmed)
{T}: Add {W}, {U}, or {G} to your mana pool.

Exploding Borders, 2RG
Sorcery, Common
Search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.
Exploding Borders deals X damage to target player, where X is the number of basic land types among lands you control.

Fusion Elemental, WUBRG
Creature - Elemental, Uncommon
Fusion Elemental is like riding a pony, which probably doesn't sound dangerous, except that in this case the pony is 300 feet tall and covered in chainsaws, and to get on the pony you have to take an elevator with sixteen live cougars.

Mana Cylix, 1 (Reprint)
Artifact, Common
1, {Tap} : Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.

Obelisk of Alara, 6
Artifact, Rare
1{W}, {T}: You gain 5 life.
1{U}, {T}: Draw a card, then discard a card.
1{B}, {T}: Target creature gets -2/-2 until end of turn.
1{R}, {T}: Obelisk of Alara deals 3 damage to target player.
1{G}, {T}: Target creature gets +4/+4 until end of turn.

Exotic Orchard
Land, Rare
{T}: Add to your mana pool one mana of any color that a land an opponent controls could produce.


Conflux Spoiler 8

The January 2009 edition of the German gaming magazine, KARTEFAKT is now hitting the doorsteps of subcribers throughout Germany. Page 38 of this magazine is of particular interest to Magic the Gathering Players - especially those players who love spoilers. Whether you are a Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, World of Warcraft or Magic player, and happen to reside in Germany, pick up a copy of this mag - I'll give it two thumbs up.

For those Blog readers who do not wish to see any Conflux spoilers, you are certainly at the wrong site. I would ask anyone who can properly translate the article to send me an eMail.

Anywho - Here is the unofficial summary of information gleaned from page 38 (sorry - no card images) . .

Exploding Borders 2RG
Search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.
Exploding Borders deals damage to target player equal to the number of basic land types among lands you control.

Fiery Fall 5R
Instant/Sorcery (?)
Fiery Fall deals 5 damage to target creature.
Basic landcycling

Fusion Elemental WUBRG
Creature - Elemental ?

Sedraxis Alchemist 2B
Creature - Zombie Wizard
When Sedraxis Alchemist comes into play, if you control a blue permanent, you may return target nonland permanent to its owners hand.

Stay tuned for more spoiler goodness.


Conflux UltraPro Products

UltraPro is pretty much the MTG standard for Albums & Portfolios, Card Storage, Card Sleeves and the like. If you walk into an FNM and do not see oodles of UltraPro products on the tables, chances are that you walked into the hair salon next door by mistake.

We always look forward to the new UltraPro products during spoiler season as this provides an opportunity to see brand new artwork not yet previewed elsewhere. Let's have a look what's in the spoiler bag !
Check out this Esper assasin. Certainly from the darker side of Vectis. This may very well be the best piece of artwork seen so far. We have already seen a terrible lo-res image of her, identified as Vectis Agents in this POST.

Remember this Esper woman ? She was the one who did not catch the Shards of Alara bus on time for the first set. Apparently this very cool / beautiful artwork is slated for final dilivery in Conflux. My guess is on Master Transmuter.

This kick-butt folio features Apocalypse Hydra eating Bant, Maelstrom Archangel and an unknown four-armed demon beast. This piece of Grixis hardware is rumoured to be Malfegor, possibly a Legendary Critter . . . Let's hear your speculations !

Here we have a folio and a deckbox featuring Nicol Bolas himself. For witty banter regarding Mr. Bolas, please look to previous posts.


December 19 2008 DCI Banned and Restricted List Announcement posted today.

Looks like no changes to Standard, Extended, Legacy, Vintage, Block, and Two-Headed Giant Constructed.

For the announcement read THIS. For further details, check out THIS 'Latest Developments. article by WoTC dev Tom Lapille.


Conflux Intro Packs

Conflux Intro Packs were revealed today on Magic Arcana. If you have been living secluded under a rock for a few months, Intro Packs have replaced 'Theme Decks'. These are a 41-card preconstructed deck which includes one foil rare.

Typically, the best spoilers are the ones which show Intro Packs for the new set. One may learn (or infer) quite a bit about the flavour and possible dynamics of the set by carefully reviewing the names of the Intro Pack, the name / artwork of the foil rare card.

Bant on the March
foil rare : Giltspire Avenger GWU

Obviously the nations of Bant are mobilizing to counter an invasion as the Intro Pack name suggests. Mr. Avenger is pictured here cleaning off hs blade in what appears to be the ruins of an Akrasan town. His handiwork is lying is a pool of blood around the corner with a hooded figure (possibly the next of kin?) kneeling beside the recently deceased. Does not seem like the sun-dappled Akrasa we know from the first set. The mana colours of green-WHITE-blue is typical for the shard of Bant.

Jund Apppetite for War
foil rare : Charnelhoard Wurm 4BRG

Again, as mentioned in a previous post when we spoiled the Fat Packs - this is a very unimaginative name for an Intro Pack. Charnelhoard Wurm is a six-drop which includes a black and red. This spikey piece of nastiness is not similar to what we have come to expect from the realm of Jund. I would expect the unexpected with this card.

Naya Domain
foil rare : Paleoloth 4GG

Weighing in at at a green-centric six drop, this monster is spot-on for Naya.

This critter appears to be the grudge articulation of a hippo and a dinosaur. We suggest you carefully consider the marinade for this one.

Esper Air Assault
foil rare : Magister Sphinx 4WUB

From the Intro Pack name, I will cautiously suggest that there may be a number of flyers in this deck. The Magister Sphinx also supports this well thought-out theory. This Esper-coloured critter appears to be flying into an environment which does not resemble Esper at all. Perhaps the mages responsible for carefully controlling the meteorological conditions on Esper have either run to the hills or were laid off.

Grixis Shambling Army
foil rare : Blood Tyrant 4UBR

This six-drop vampire appears to be travelling through a Jund landscape rather than the bleak desolation of Grixis. Perhaps he is on his way to make a withdrawl at a blood-bank.

I would suggest from the Intro Pack name that this suck-head is not alone and that the deck may be producing a healthy number of token critters.

Stay tuned for more Conflux spoiler goodness.


What I'm Playing 3

You may recall this POST back in October when I gave you a look at the unimaginatively-named 'GhastLord' deck. AS I had indicated in the post at that time - these casual decks are always evolving. To this end, we have another update to provide on this deck.

During the Shards of Alara spoiler season, I had become rather interested in the big FUN factor promised with Quietus Spike . . .

Quietus Spike, Artifact - Equipment
ALA Rare / Cost : 3 Mana
Equipped creature has deathtouch.
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage to a player, that player loses half his or her life, rounded up.
Equip 3 Mana

I contemplated just how nasty this card could get if equipped to an unblockable creature. After installing this evil component into the GhastLord deck which runs several unblockable creatures, I felt satisfied that it may provide a good showing at FNM. Well, I was just a bit off base, the new inclusions provided a GREAT showing at FNM with four straight match wins to bring us to top 8 at which point in time I got my butt kicked - - I give my evening with Quietus an 'A+' based on the fun-factor.

10 x Swamp
10 x Island

Creatures (in order of casting cost)
4 x Oona's Gatewarden
4 x Tidehollow Strix
4 x Inkfathom Infiltrator
3 x Sygg, River Cutthroat
4 x Wasp Lancer
2 x Oona, Queen fo the Fae
3 x Ghastlord of the Fugue

Other Spells
4 x Spell Syphon
4 x Helm of the Ghastlord
4 x Quietus Spike

Again - I am embarrassed to mention as it is currently a mess. I will admit that there is some damage control with Silvergill Douser.

I will be posting another 'What I'm Playing' soon - this time my take on a 'Bant Crasher' deck.


Conflux Spoiler 7

Just another notice of an update on Magic Arcana today . . . We now have early images of additional Conflux packaging. There are three booster pack images as well as a booster display case image.

Booster Pack #1 (left)
Appears that Kresh may be taking on more than he can chop off as he does battle with an Elemental-like creature on this foil package. Kresh should just tell the annoyed critter he missed the turn to Jersey and send him on his way.

Booster Pack #2 (middle)
We all know who this handsome Elder Dragon is. Yep - none other than Nicol Bolas - being all awesome with his Christmas scarf and a pricesless Fabergé jeweled egg between his horns.

Booster Pack #3 (right)
Maelstrom Archangel is featured here looking quite peeved in her retro-80's winged booties. We are not certain what the helm and the staff are for but we'll guess that it may have something to do with an activated ability on the card itself.

Booster Display Case
Again another familiar image of Apocalypse Hydra not looking happy with the Bant architecture. I realise that this monster is not the sharpest spoon in the drawer however . . . why would he buffet on an Angel - too sweet and all feathers. I guess there is no explaining some monster's tastes - he just should have settled on eating the Leotau and moved on to Esper.

Stay tuned for more MTG Conflux spoiler goodness.


Conflux Spoiler 6

We have for some some more spoiler goodness, this time from the 2008 Magic: The Gathering World Championships held this past weekend in Memphis, Tennessee.

The ubiquitous Brian David-Marshall from WoTC in a post from Friday provided a sneak peak in the form of a 'match the art to the name' quiz. The revealed answers are as follows . . .

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
1) Apocalypse Hydra
2) Kederekt parasite
3) Paragon of Ameshia
3) Blood Tyrant
5) Vectis Agents

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

6) Banefire
7) Mirror-sigil Sergent
8) Suicidal Charge
9) Magister sphinx
10) Beacon Behemoth

It was noted that
Mirror-sigil Sergent also has a new mechanic.

Paladin21 from the boards attended the recent World Championships and had this to share with us with regards to what Aaron Forsythe and Matt Place had discussed with attendees about the future set and edition releases.
  • Eleventh Edition Core Set will be black bordered, as will all core sets going forward.
  • Unfortunately, Eleventh Edition Core Set selection / voting will not be open to players.
  • Matt Place indicated to Paladin21 after the official show that Conflux had some cards in it to "fix" faeries and allow the metagame to grow. No additional details.
  • Eleventh Edition Core Set is confirmed to have Mythic Rares with the possibility of incuding Planeswalkers.
  • An alternate art foil Garruk Wildspeak may be made available to players who purchase the new XBox Live Arcade Duels of the Planeswalkers game. It is beleived that Wizards mail this puppy out to you after registration / proof of purchase.


Conflux Wallpaper

Today, Wizards had provided us with a very cool Conflux desktop wallpaper. This art is to be used on the Conflux Fat-Packs which will be hitting the shelves in your local gaming store early in February.

The wallpaper shows us the legendary Nicol Bolas doing battle with the four Alara Planeswalkers - Tezzeret, Ajani Vengeant, Sarkhan Vol and Elspeth. These neo-Planeswalkers are joined together in a common cause of defating Nicol Bolas.

What is interesting about this is that one would have expected the dragon-loving Sarkhan to side with Nicol or at the very least, to be sitting on the sidelines in this conflict. Perhaps Sarkhan likes Jund just the way it is and has no great desire to have the Shards come together. Not sure if his Jund dragon buddies feel the same way about this however - I'm certain that Nicol would have made a solid argument about the vast abundance of prey on the other Shards to these Jund denizens. Just imagine - skinny Goblin or exotic Leotau for dinner ?

The only disapointment I have is that we just caught the Nicol Bolas artwork just yesterday.


Conflux Spoiler 5

Ron Vitale aka the familiar podcast voice over The Magic Sock has a special hi-res picture of Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker received from Wizards of the Coast as a teaser / trailer for the new Conflux set to be released in January 2009.

- Nicol Bolas -

Wizards of the Coast Public Relations arranged with Mr. Sock to have this hosted on his site for Thursday. I am very glad this all worked out - MTG fans are goo-goo about this absolutely awesome piece of artwork.

If someone from WoTC Public Relations is reading this, please send me a spoiler invitation . . . This blog gets close to 30,000 visitors per month - - I promise to be a good Blogger and follow your directions (!).

Anywho - Let's digest this beautiful piece of art -

Nicol Bolas is being all awesome here - regal even. And Yes - those are a flock of Dragons in the sky behind him. I will figure that the enigmatic egg-like disk between his horns are similar to what we have seen with Battlegrace Angel and Rhox War-Monk (aka pancake-flipper) . . . these are thought to be pieces of mana-energy. I should think that Mr. Doug Beyer would know for certain.

Again - thanks Wizards and Ron (Hope your daughter gets better soon).


Divine vs Demonic

If you have not yet heard yet . . . The Magic Arcana announcement today brings us a new product to speculate on . . . Duel Decks : Divine vs Demons.

WOTC deck designers Nate Heiss and Erik Lauer have quite a few Angels and Demons
to choose from to include this this new Duel Deck. The expansion symbol also happens to one of the coolest I have seen yet !

Here is the skinny . . .

Duel Decks: Divine vs Demonic contains two ready-to-play 60-card decks that showcase some of the best spells the forces of light and darkness have to offer. The set includes 7 cards that feature new artwork, including two alternate art foil mythic rare cards. ( ! )

And some flavour . . .

An endless war rages in the heavens. The skies blacken and crackle with dark magic. Bellows of grim laughter drown out the beating of black, leathery wings. The demons have come. Then, a ray of golden light pierces the darkness. A flight of angels arrives, swords gleaming. The champions of law have arrived to cleanse the sky.

I will take a stab at two possible inclusions in the Duel Decks from the banner provided with the announcement :

Akroma, Angel of Wrath - and - Lord of the Pit ? ?
What is your guess ?

Mark your caldendar for April 10th, 2009 and get thee hence to a gamery store.


Possible Conflux Images

Here possibly are two new (spoiler) images from Conflux, the second set in MTG's Shards of Alara block.

These are scooped from the 'Colors' section of the 'Multiverse' Wizards page.

First up . . .

Mr. Nasty filagree cloud guy. A blue-centric Esper critter. Could it be possible to have an artifact avatar ? Perhaps an Elemental ? Not exactly certain how an Sage-Artificer would have an avatar creature sit still long enough to get their etherium infusion at the Esper spa.

Second . . .

It's a Drake. Armoured with a spiked tail. Another blue-based critter. This image suggest that a Bant armourer went to town to outfit this lesser dragon.

Although these may be either alternate art pieces or from less-circulated cards, I really do not recognise them so I will assume Conflux unless otherwise informed.

Please drop me a line if you know what these may be.


CanTrip Contest


I enjoy trolling through a variety of MTG-related websites to see what is new. Although my limited understanding of French, German and Spanish is horrible, I still do regularly visit foreign-language sites to get the latest scoop on the world of Magic: The Gathering.

I even occasionally get my hands on dated publications such as Cantrip Magazine, a favourite Spanish publication . . . Imagine my delight at hearing about a contest they are running.

Huge CanTrip Magazine Contest

NINE uncut sheets of FOIL ( ! ) Shards of Alara and Eventide AND a Box of Booster Packs - (IMPORTANT) You will need to be fluent in Spanish and complete an on-line survey of 15 questions as well as a regular reader of Cantrip.


Mega Sorteo de la Revista CanTrip

La revista Cantrip tiene en marcha un mega sorteo con unos premios impresionantes: Nueve planchas sin cortar de Fragmentos de Alara y Crepúsculo en foil y una caja de sobres.

Good luck to the survey participants and my Spanish MTG buddies !



Conflux Marketing

Just a brief post with some marketing propaganda from WoTC regarding the release of Conflux, the second set in the Shards of Alara block.

If you were hoping for the full Agents of Artifice novel, sorry - you are getting just a sample chapter. Still, get thee to a gaming store in February, as there are 'even more powerful gold cards' . It just took one name to sell me on this set . . . 'Nicol Bolas'.

As the shards collide, an ancient evil is revealed! A sinister force is conspiring to reunite Alara, as planes of reality begin to overlap, creating chaos on all five Shards of Alara!

The second set in the Shards of Alara block for Magic: The Gathering, Conflux expands on the mechanics introduced in Shards of Alara, and injects even more powerful gold cards into the block.

This 145-card, black-bordered expansion is introduced in Intro Packs containing one ready-to-play, 41-card deck, one booster pack, a learn-to-play insert, and a strategy insert, offered in 5-count displays, and supplemental 15-card boosters packed in 36-count displays.

Also available are Fat Packs containing eight boosters, a card box, a player's guide, a learn-to-play insert, and a sample chapter from the Planeswalker novel Agents of Artifice.


o 145 black-bordered cards (10 Mythic Rare, 35 rare, 40 uncommon, 60 common).

o Conflux will be sold in Booster Packs, Intro Packs, & Fat Packs (Fat Packs contain 8 booster packs).

o Intro packs are a new SKU introduced with Shards of Alara. Each Intro Pack contains a ready-to-play 41 card deck, 1 Booster pack, a strategy insert, and a Magic the Gathering rules insert for new players. Each deck comes with two rare cards, one of which is a premium foil rare card that is visible through the front of the box. There are 5 different Intro Packs in Conflux, packed 5 per box.

Release Date : February 6, 2009.
Prerelease Events : January 31-February 1, 2009.
Launch Parties : February 6,7,8 2009.
Previews start on : January 19, 2009


Conflux Spoiler 4

We have yet another installment of your favourite subject - the early spoilers of Conflux, of the second set in Shards of Alara. This brought to you by the very kind Coffee4am (thnx!) from the boards.

Conflux Fat Pack
From this, we can assume 8 booster packs per fatpack, a Conflux player's guide / card expansion encyclopedia, the MTG novel "Agents of Artifice", a life-counter (D20), and a land booster pack . . . very kewl - Thanks Wizards of the Coast.

Conflux Intro Pack
We also have our very first spoiled Intro Pack. This one comes from the black-RED-Green shard of Jund and is called 'Jund Appetite for War' . . . probably not the best intro-deck name I have heard. I suggest WoTC contact me for assistance on all future nomenclature. The foil rare here appears to be Charnelhoard Wurm, who by the way looks hungry.

Conflux Booster Pack
Here we have an image of a Conflux Booster Pack containing 15-cards of hope, wonder and awe. The image on this foily goodness appears to be Maelstrom Archangel who I will guess is green-WHITE-blue.

And finally, since the sealed tournament decks have been rolled into a shallow grave, WoTC now appears to provide land boosters in their Fat-Packs, which in my humble opinion is a very good idea.

These particular lands are the much awaited EuroLands and most likely will not be making it's way into a FatPack up here in Canada where I live . . . this does not detract from my urge to collect all of 'em.

Stay tuned for more spoiler goodness.