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Promos RoundUp

It has been some time since I last reviewed the latest Magic: The Gathering Promotional cards. To correct this slight to you our reader, we now present the latest Friday Night Magic promos, alternate art promos, special event promos and the like.

First off however, just a recap of what alternate art promo you may have received at the recently held Magic 2010 pre-release or release.

M10 PreRelease Card
Vampire Nocturnus : The original card art here by Raymond Swanland is beautiful. Deep, dark, and elegant.

M10 Release Card
Ant Queen : Same thing here - I think if presented with the choice, I would keep the original art by Trevor Claxton.

M10 Booster Box Promo
Honor of the Pure. Some very limited number of players may have received this card if they purchased a booster display box at a selected retailer. The original Greg Staples art is exquisite. I really, really dislike the alternate art (sorry Ralph Horsley).

Extended Art Special
Mycoid Shepherd. These puppies, along with an extended art Naya Sojourners will be available to participants on the Magic 2010 'Game Day' - event details HERE. James Wimberley does a fantastic job and a slightly new take on the orginal by Trevor Claxton.

Wizards Play Network Promo
This WPN promo card is from the recent Magic 2010 Mind Control. I do not really care for either the original or alternate art versions but do find the alternate one funnier . . . is that person (on the left) yakking up a crabby patty ?

Wizards Play Network Promo
This WPN promo card is from the recent Magic 2010 Rise from the Grave. The original one from Vance Kovacs is truly wonderful. The alternate art version shows reanimation as one would expect in a comic book.

Friday Night Magic Promo
The Friday Night Magic Promo for August (2009) is Lightning Greaves as illustrated by artist Michael Komarck. The original art by Jeremy Jarvis, altough good, just does not demonstrate the energy in action as the new alternate art by Komarck provides.

That's it for now but stick around for some new Zendikar spoiler action next time around.

MTG Card Collection

Remember just the other day when I opened up that M10 Booster display box ? Yeah - that was fun, but now I have an enviable MTG mess on my hands. After I included the selected rares in my trade binder, I have pile of commons and uncommons.

As luck would have it, the good folks over at Power9Pro sent me a sample of N-Dexer. What the heck is an N-Dexer ? - It's a tabbed divider so one can easily and efficiently organise your card cr@p into a highly choreographed orchestra of cardboard.

Previously, I would drop my cards in a box. On a good day, said card collection would be fairly organised. I would typically organise into colour but invariably, the colour would 'bleed' into the other colours. At one time, I sacrificed a common and tore it slightly above the 3/4 mark in order to obtain a rough tab. Unfortunately, it didn't work out so well. I was also the kid who never really enjoyed himself at arts and crafts which if one were to follow the timeline left my card collection in a bit of a mess.

Anywhoo - back to the N-Dexer. This tabbed divider can be used in corrugated boxes as well as Fat Packs. Not bad at all. I cards I want to include in my latest maniacal MTG build can now be easily found and extracted.

Thanks Power9Pro for helping me getting my sh!t organised.


M10 Booster Box

You may recall a few short weeks ago (this POST), I promised you a dissection of a Magic 2010 Booster Box . . . Well, my buddy came through and got one from and sent it way up north to me. I have to admit that tearing into MTG blister packs and sharing the sweet cardboard with friends and family is pretty much the best fun one can have (legally of course).

Anywhoos - sit back and watch this brief video and then we'll go through what we pulled.


Magic: The Gathering - Magic 2010

Here is what I pulled ! !


Open the Vaults
Guardian Seraph
Lightwielder Paladin
Captain of the Watch

Mind Spring

Jace Beleren
Sphinx Ambassador
Djinn of Wishes
Hive Mind


Magma Phoenix
Goblin chieftain
Chandra Nalaar
Shivan Dragon
Warp World
Capricious Efreet


2 X Royal Assassin
Haunting Echoes
Sanguine Bond

Might of Oaks

Great Sable Stag
Garruk Wildspeaker
Elvish Piper
Kalonian Behemoth
Birds of Paradise

Mirror of Fate

Howling Mine
2 x Pithing Needle

Gargoyle Castle

Dragonskull Summit
Glacial Fortress
Sunpetal Grove

Also - At the time of this post, I have over 700 cards for trade over at CCG Tradepost, so if you see something I cracked opened, make tracks over there and sign up before I trade it all away.



Post M10 Merfolk

Three months. There is approximately three months from now for all those Merfolk fans to execute their builds and play with this interesting Magic the Gathering tribe in the standard environment before they loose most of their beloved merrows before the fall rotation. There are only three Merfolk present in Magic 2010, and unless Zendikar provides additional fish, the merrows may very have run dry with this tribe. If you play extended, you do not have to sweat just yet.

The glory days of fish in Lorwyn and Shadowmoor blocks are nearly spent, there was a total absence in Shards of Alara and only three fish mustered for us in M10. Let's have a look at currently what Merfolk can do for us before we have to walk the fish over to the ceramic bowl . . .

Merfolk Lords
Lord of Atlantis had been the first Lord I recall playing and most likely the best liked of the Lords to many out there in MTG land. He pumped your fish and gave them all islandwalk. Unfortunately, he is now retired and we have to look elsewhere. Lowrwyn gave us the quasi-lord, Streambed Aquitects as well as Merrow Reejery. The new M10 hotness for this tribe is Merfolk Sovereign. Unfortunately Magic 2010 has given no other support for Merfolk other than 3 cards (Sovereign, Looter, and Coral).

Favourite Fish Builds

Mill / Discard
I used to run a (not-so-successful) milling deck back in the day which was rather fun. The best card for this build was Drowner of Secrets, which milled one card for one tapped merfolk. We accelerated the mill by adding in Stonybrook Schoolmaster to create more 1/1 Merfolk tokens to tap as well as Judge of Currents, which provided life gain for each tapping Merfolk. Hollowsage, when tapped releives your opponent's hand of cards. When the turn was ended, we used Merrow Commerce to untap everything at the end of turn to be able to do the same damn thing during our opponent's turn.

Island Walkers
Perhaps one of my first and favourite Merfolk builds. There are quite a few decent Merrow Islandwalkers out there and all one had to do is ensure that if your opponent did not have an island, you made one for them. Aquitect's Will, Streambed Aquitects, Tideshaper Mystic or the new M10 Convincing Mirage can be used to either flood an opponent's land or landscape it appropriately to make way for your islandwalkers to swim right through their defences. Once this has been accomplished, a variety of merfolk such as Stonybrook Banneret, Deeptread Merrow, Sygg (River Guide), Cold-Eyed Selkie, Merrow Harbinger or Inkfathom Divers can deliver islandwalk pain.

Angry Fish
Merfolk Aggro was a little more tough to crack as there are not very many fish fatties to play. By using some of the many card tap effects which Merfolk provided, one could use Wake Thrasher which became rather huge and menancing. With all the tapping going on, Veteran of the Depths could also grow to a respectible size as well. Harpoon sniper could also remove board threats from a distance. I personally found Silvergill Douser also provided some level of protection in this build by reducing the power level of a threat on the board. Cards such as the unblockable Inkfathom Infiltrator could be pumped by Infathom Witch to essentially double Infiltrator's pain.

Explore your pond
Look for card advantage in merfolk or other blue cards by using such critters as Sygg, River Cutthroat which will give you a free card draw if your opponent lost three or more life that turn - this being rather simpe with all those unblockable or islandwalking fish in your mitt. Whatever the theme or build, one has quite a few other cards to evaluate for inclusion - anything from defense to offense or control - use your best judgement for the metagame local to you and get the fish out in play before the fall rotation.


Local Game Shop

The Local Game Shop

There is something wonderful that stirs deep down inside every time I walk into a game shop. This feeling is something akin to finding your favourite Häagen-Dazs ice cream bar. If you are lactose intolerant, substitute Häagen-Dazs for another suitable confectionery to get my drift.

Anywhoo - when I first started playing Magic The Gathering just over a year ago, I came across a gamery store close to where I live called 'Gamer's Lair'. When I walked in, I got that wonderful feeling described above. Perhaps it was all the cool and curious items filling the shelves or perhaps it was the promise of unplugging and just playing - something which, as an adult, I had not really done for about three decades (yes, I know I'm old).

As I walked through the store, I could hear the lively action of players engaging in their particular games around the corned and knew that stores like these were a focus point for those in the community who knew the value of leisure time and sociable persuits. Soon enough, I had met Doug, the owner. Doug's physical appearence suggested similarities to Gimli, son of Glóin of LoTR fame, but his character was more along a Uncle Fester meets Santa Claus line.

Doug is really quite a decent fellow and always seems genuinely very happy to meet customers who wander into the shop - especially younger players which I suspect Doug's attributes as a grandfather somewhat shines through. Anyway, this is weird as it is sounding rather like a o-bit eulogy which this certainly is not. Altough Doug's main business is not Magic The Gathering, he covers just about everything else under the sun and please forgive me for giving a good guy a plug here on MTG Realm . . .

Gamer's Lair : Unit 2 - 490 Mapleview Drive West
Barrie, Ontario, Canada L4N 6C3, Phone: (705) 728-8100

Hours of Operation
Monday -Thursday - 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday - 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturday - 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Gaming Schedule -
Times may be subject to change, visit Gamer's Lair online or call them at 705.728.8100

Collectible Card Games
Yu-Gi-Oh - Friday evenings 6:30 p.m - 8:30 p.m. $8/entry
Pokemon - Saturdays 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. $7/entry
Eve - Saturday afternoons 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. intro play
A Game of Thrones - Only reg’d Sunday tournaments. $8/entry
Chaotic - Wednesday evenings 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. $8/entry

War Gaming
40K (intro) - Saturdays, 3:00 - 7:00 PM
40K - Wednesday evenings, 6:00 - 9:30 PM
Necromunda - Wednesday evenings 6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.
Blood Bowl League - Wednesday evenings 6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.
Hero Clix - Thursday evenings 6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.
Flames of War - Tuesday evenings 6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.
Mech Warrior - Thursday evenings 6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.
Battle Tech - Wednesday evenings 6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.
Warhammer - Monday evenings 6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.


Post M10 Soldiers

If one were to simply peruse new Magic 2010 white cards, it would become rather apparent that Wizards is pushing tribal soldier builds with this core set. The soldier creature subtype is anything but new. Just as recently as Lorwyn block, solidiers had been given design attention. In upcomming tournaments, we should expect to see a return to popularity of white weenie builds featuring new M10 cards. To this end, this post is my postulations regarding a standard format soldier build.

There are cards too numerous to include in this post as to what may or should be considered for inclusion in a soldier build so we will try to stick to what we think may constitute safe or wise choices. To follow up on this post, we also hope to (in the very near future) report back to you playtesting notes and evaluations of the soldier build.

Personally, one of the easiest ways for me to start designing a deck is to start with a theme - we have it already with soldiers. As most of these good cards are typically white, we already know that the build will be mostly white potentially splashing one or two other colours.

The second step I typically take is building from the top down - the late or end game 'bomb' and then track a path chronologically backwards to determine how best to get to the punchline. The card I will consider for the bomb is 'Martial Coup'. Why ? No solid reason other than that I already have a deckset ready to include and this board sweeper incorporates our theme of soldiers. Getting 5 or more 1/1 soldier tokens WHILE destroying all other creatures currently on board is just plain good.

An issue we see immediately by using Martial Coup is that perhaps we may want to keep some of the creatures we already have in play. To this end, we can consider using Dauntless Escort to provide indestructibility when the hammer comes down. We may also contemplate other cards which are able to deliver similar safety from the sweeper such as Elspeth's third ability, Shield of the Oversoul, or even the new M10 card Indestructibility. Both auras may not be the best fit (Indestructibility being almost unplayable), so we will use Elspeth, Knight Errant. I am biased to this choice as well because I have a few already available to be inserted into the build. Elspeth also supports our theme by churning out soldier tokens.

While we are yattering about soldier tokens, let's have a look at possible generators for our theme's cause. I have very fond memories of Lorwyn's Militia's Pride - specifically dumping extra white mana to fill the battlefield with a swarm of hasty 1/1s. Also up for consideration is Knight-Captain of Eos which brings along 3 soldier tokens. Knight-Captain may also deliver a 'fog' effect for damage prevention should your games go south of cheese.

Having a supply of ready and available soldier tokens steers us now to consider using this resource to pick up and sharpen into a respectable board threat. This may be accomplished by using Sigil Captain which dumps two additional +1/+1 counters on each soldier token growing them immediately into 3/3s. The new M10 hotness, Captain of the Watch also gives your soldiers (and soldier tokens) +1/+1 and vigilance. (Edit: Phillip has a valid point regarding when the tokens 'comes into play' - Sigil Captain can only pump if they are coming in as simple 1/1s, so this works against you if Captain of the Watch is already on board.)

Some other cards for consideration;

Preeminent Captain - to cheat other soldiers out into play.
Cloudgoat Ranger - brings along 3 tokens and provides some defense against flyers.
Ballyrush Banneret - accelerating tempo by giving you cheaper soldiers (and Kithkin).
Cenn's Tactician - nice one-drop with two solid abilities.
Rhox Pikemaster - giving all your soldiers first strike ability.
Veteran Armorsmith - nice two-drop and giving one additional toughness to soldiers.
Veteran Swordsmith - giving soldiers one additional power.
Veteran's Armaments - standard issue soldier equipment.

There are also exists numerous cards which we can consider for inclusion to our sideboard. I really must leave this up to you to decide as only you know what your local metagames like. Personally, I will consider protection from burn (Mark of Asylum), defense against flyers (Wall of Reverence), and spot removals such as Path to Exile or Oblivion Ring.

Hope this sheds some light on the potential soldier builds.
Please drop a comment and tell us what you think might include.


M10 Review - Colourless

This is MTG Realm's review of Magic 2010. As I really hope to employ brevity in this exercise, please do not expect lengthy and scholarly

evaluations but rather rapid points as to the card's merit for deck inclusion in the standard environment.

For our review of White cards, click HERE.
For our review of Blue cards, click HERE.
For our review of Black cards, click HERE.
For our review of Red cards, click HERE.
For our review of Green cards, click HERE.
For our review of Colourless / Lands cards, click HERE.


Angel's Feather - Almost as annoying as those commercials wanting to sell you insurance. Insurance is nice and repeatable and lifegain on the board is OK. I'm sure there are better ways to get lifegain.

Coat of Arms - I rather like this card for what it can do for your tribal-based decks. Consider the potential benefits of this card carefully before you include. I think I rather prefer Morningtide's Door of Destinies over this.

Darksteel Colossus - This is a huge threat on the board that can win you games. The issue - the price tag. You either have to have huge mana accelerants to hit 11 or be able to cheat it into play via Master Transmuter.

Demon's Horn - Similar comments to Angel's Feather. Black is more limited with respect to lifegain so one may consider this for their mono-black decks.

Dragon's Claw - You may want a set sideboard against those pesky burn decks.

Gorgon Flail - Unless you equip this to a pinger such as Prodigal Pyromancer to fling a point of deathtouch at your opponent's critters, this really is rather useless.

Howling Mine - This really will not see popular play except in mill decks such featuring Sanity Grinding and the ilk.

Kraken's Eye - Situationally acceptable in a limited number of mono-blue builds perhaps.

Magebane Armor - Making one of your dudes bigger and harder to kill is decent. Try to get this on an unblockable creature to maximize the pain you deliver. Cost to cast and equip OK for effect. May be very good against red burn decks.

Mirror of Fate - Combo phreaks have painted a huge target on this and will be going to work shortly - most likely after anything useful in the next set (Zendikar) is released.

Ornithopter - Having a zero-drop artifact is great especially with use in a deck with Master Transmuter (bounce out, play stupid-huge fatty, replay Ornithopter. Might even see use pumping up a Glaze Fiend.

Pithing Needle - Acceptable against black regenerators or perhaps someone running Planeswalkers. Most likely to be limited to sideboard play.

Platinum Angel - Good to keep your opponent's attention elsewhere while you try to recover but will probably not see much popular play. There are more than a dozen artifact killing cards out there so be warned.

Rod of Ruin - Just terrible - paying 7 mana to ping one pain (albeit repeatable) is waaaay too expensive.

Spellbook - At least you can get this effect AND mana from Reliquary Tower. Play the Tower instead.

Whispersilk Cloak - We like it and would love to be able to play it - just hopefully a turn (or two earlier).

Wurm's Tooth - meh. Much better ways for green to gain life.

Magic: The Gathering - Magic 2010

Dragonskull Summit / Drowned Catacomb / Glacial Fortress / Rootbound Crag / Sunpetal Grove - Solid dual land choice to include for your two colour decks. Not the best choice for those Shards of Alara multicolour (3+) decks. Just wish that Wizards could have designed these to be dropped and used on turn one instead.

Gargoyle Castle - Any land which can morph into a threat is decent in our opinion. Another wish - this would have been much better if you did not have to sac the castle to get your critter.

Terramorphic Expanse - A very decent mana-fixer which will see some play.


Garruk vs. Liliana

Taking a quick break from our review of the Magic 2010 core set to bring you (almost) something new on the radar.

Last month Wizards had announced a new Magic the Gathering product - Duel Decks : Garruk vs. Liliana. What we had not realised was that we here at MTG Realm failed to report this to you our loyal blog readers. We will make amends now.

Today (7/21/2009) on Magic Arcana, Wizards posted some additional arts to whet your Magic playing appetite.

Not quite the classic good / evil struggle we see in the Duel Decks - Divine vs. Demonic as Black and Green are considered [edit : 'enemy'] colour pairs but this should still provide countless hours of fun.

Here are the new alternate art Planeswalkers provided for this set.

Garruk Wildspeaker, 2GG
Planeswalker - Garruk, Mythic Rare
+1: Untap two target lands.
-1: Put a 3/3 green Beast creature token onto the battlefield.
-4: Creatures you control get +3/+3 and gain trample until end of turn.

Liliana Vess, 3BB
Planeswalker - Liliana, Mythic Rare
+1: Target player discards a card.
-2: Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it.
-8: Put all creature cards in all graveyards onto the battlefield under your control.

These ready-to-play 60-card decks showcase some of the best spells that green and black Planeswalkers have in their arsenal. Duel Decks: Garruk vs Liliana has eight rare cards, and six cards with new artwork, including foil alternate-art versions of Garruk Wildspeaker and Liliana Vess. Each of the cards in the 60-card decks will be black-bordered and tournament legal. This means that these cards are legal for use in any tournaments where the original printings are still legal.

Deck Design and Development:
Erik Lauer and Gregory Marques
Release Date: October 30, 2009
MSRP: $19.99

When we are able to get a hold of a deck list for Garruk vs Liliana, we will be sure to post it here.

Some gravy to savour the flavour.

Garruk Wildspeaker is a planeswalker aligned with green mana, with warrior-druid abilities. His philosophy is to live naturally, being one with nature, aspiring to become a predator. He is gruff and impatient, uncomfortable in conversation or "civilized settings", and prefers the wilds. Garruk perceives those who don't understand him as considering him a monster. After defeating particularly difficult prey, Garruk sometimes "connects" them to himself, gaining their strength.

Liliana Vess is a human planeswalker who is adept at using spells of black mana, especially necromancy. She's charismatic, witty, and attractive, but she makes certain to always look out for herself first. Though she appears to be in her 20s, she actually much older. Long ago she made a deal with four demons to secure her youth and power. Recently the consciousness of the demonic pact has slowly started to trouble her, and as she tries to figure out ways how to avoid the consequences of dealing with demons, her inner turmoil rises.


M10 Review - Green

This is MTG Realm's review of Magic 2010. As I really hope to employ brevity in this exercise, please do not expect lengthy and scholarly evaluations but rather rapid points as to the card's merit for deck inclusion in the standard environment.

For our review of White cards, click HERE.
For our review of Blue cards, click HERE.
For our review of Black cards, click HERE.
For our review of Red cards, click HERE.
For our review of Green cards, click HERE.
For our review of Colourless / Lands cards, click HERE.


Acidic Slime - Fairly good green removal. You destroy an artifact, enchantment, or land with the CIP ability AND then you get a 2/2 deathtouch. This is priced reasonably.

Ant Queen - A 5/5 for five is good but having the ability to dump extra mana into token generation (without the creature having to tap is great). Make sure your deck has mana generators to maximize the ants here.

Awakener Druid - Having the ability to turn a forest into a 4/5 treefolk with haste for three is decent and a 1/1 to boot adds up to 5 power for three - what are you waiting for.

Birds of Paradise - If you haven't heard, bird is the word. This really is the best mana producer like evar. You need this for mana acceleration to pump out your fatties sooner in the race with your opponent.

Borderland Ranger - This could have been a good card were it an elf.

Bountiful Harvest - There are much better cards out there if you need to include a life card card. This card is really quite terrible.

Bramble Creeper - Deals no damage when blocking and is killed fairly easily with its anemic toughness. Not good at all.

Centaur Courser - This is not too bad. The recent power creep may have marginalised this creature.

Craw Wurm - Green fatties in this set are very few. Some players may consider this but for the most part, Craw Wurm is not what it used to be - thanks again power creep.

Cudgel Troll - A green regenerative critter like this is likely to see some play because it is decent - just wished it had a bit more cowbell.

Deadly Recluse - This is a solid choice for inclusion for green if you are up against any flyers. Deathtouch here is the cowbell and we like it.

Elvish Archdruid - While Lorwyn and Shadowmoor is still standard legal, this card will rock your casual game - especially now that manaburn is gone. This card is awesome and yes, I am thinking about an Elf build thanks to the Archdruid.

Elvish Piper - Dust off your big stupid-fat multicolour beaters like Progenitus and use this card to cheat them onto the battlefield. This card can be very good.

Elvish Visionary - Elf type is good and card advantage is good. You should give this card some serious thoughts for inclusion.

Emerald Oryx - meh. Put this in your sideboard against other green builds.

Enormous Baloth - With mana acceleration, this is the green fatty that will see popular play. Hilarility soaks it's flavour text and I would play it just because of that.

Entangling Vines - Green is limited in this core for neutralising threats so this may find it's way on the board. Still honks though.

Fog - Casual players may consider this but many advanced players have no use for it. Perhaps a sideboard card for me.

Garruk Wildspeaker - This Planewalker is the most suitable for green and Garruk was built for green decks like the one you are thinking about. Mana, token beaters, and trample for your swarm are solid qualities.

Giant Growth - Using this strategically will heap the pain on your opponent. Until I play a lot more games, not sure how dampened this is by new combat rules.

Giant Spider - If there are flyers across the table, you are going to need this. I have preference to its little evil brother Deadly Recluse.

Great Sable Stag - Very good card. Excellent against blue / black of course. I wish this either had flying or a drop in rarity. There are less than a handfull of counterspells in this set so the additional ability (can't be countered), may be as useless as chocolate fireman.

Magic: The Gathering - Magic 2010

Howl of the Night Pack - If one ever wanted an excuse to play mono green, here it is. A potential for 14 power for just seven is nuts. If your opponent has a Pyroclasm waiting in the wings, this play will be the most epic fail you ever felt. Use with caution against red burn.

Kalonian Behemoth - Great card. [edit] - I wish that I could couple this with trample (like Behemoth Sledge) to make this card totally epic but shroud here makes it impossible. Thanks for the correction guys - I should really do a better job at reading the card fully.

Llanowar Elves - Decent. This is budget Birds or Noble Hierarch and will see inclusion for green's requirement for mana acceleration. Consider this is Elf builds while LOR / SHA is still standard legal.

Lurking Predators - Could be good in mostly creature decks with mana acceleration.

Master of the Wild Hunt - This card is just as awesome as the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt. Make sure you wear the 'T when playing this. Best token generator and critter removal in green.

Might of Oaks - This is potentially 7 pain for just four which is good. Really need to fit this onto a dude with trample to make your opponent cry.

Mist Leopard - meh. The toughness on this is skinny and will not really see any real play.

Mold Adder - Very solid card to sideboard against blue / black. Not sure it will win any games but perhaps your opponent will be distracted enough by this threat it could be beneficial.

Naturalize - Yet another card for side board consideration. Nothing special here.

Nature's Spiral - I love this as it can get spells and Planeswalkers back. Great recursion for green which really needs something like this.

Oakenform - I wish Wizards would have tossed this card and choose Blanchwood Armor instead. Oakenform is really not that good.

Overrun - Good finisher for green. If you can afford it, just use Garruk instead.

Prized Unicorn - Possibly a good combat trick or great if you can get extra power and deathtouch on it, otherwise just don't use it.

Protean Hydra - A really good card. Dump as much mana into this as possible to avoid premature removal. This is the chia-pet version of Feral Hydra and you may even want to ping it yourself to watch it grow. Terrible art.

Rampant Growth - Good in a mana bind or to get out a colour minor but this does not promise to see much play in standard.

Regenerate - Not very good and will not see popular play.

Runeclaw Bears - The new Grizzly Bears. Total green vanilla and good for insomniacs.

Stampeding Rhino - Not great. Just good. Very good if you can get that Might of Oaks on this.

Windstorm - A great sideboard card which could save your game.


M10 Review - Red

This is MTG Realm's review of Magic 2010. As I really hope to employ brevity in this exercise, please do not expect lengthy and scholarly evaluations but rather rapid points as to the card's merit for deck inclusion in the standard environment.

For our review of White cards, click HERE.
For our review of Blue cards, click HERE.
For our review of Black cards, click HERE.
For our review of Red cards, click HERE.
For our review of Green cards, click HERE.
For our review of Colourless / Lands cards, click HERE.


Act of Treason - Nice solid uncommon which should see play. Stealing your opponent's threat and beating them with it is just plain fun. Being able to sacrifice said creature at the end of your turn (via Bone Splinters) is just plain evil (and fun too).

Ball Lightning - 6 points of pain for only three mana is good. Just make sure there are no first-strike creatures on the other side of the table. Would be nice to be able to return this from your graveyard (via Charnelhoard or other) to rinse 'n' repeat.

Berserkers of Blood Ridge - meh. You could really limit your option with this card.

Bogardan Hellkite - again - potentially 10 points of damage for eight is good. Make sure your opponent has no Baneslayer Angels waiting in the wings.

Burning Inquiry - Might be good with pre-M10 unearth tech, other wise, this card disadvantage is doing you no favours.

Burst of Speed - Some player (other than me) will see a decent use for this in a deck somewhere.

Canyon Minotaur - Red has vanillia too. Play something else.

Capricious Efreet - Way too random for my taste. If you have habitual bad luck, stay away from this - this Red Emo will certainly cut you.

Chandra Nalaar - I have yet to hear someone who claims to have resolved Chandra's third ability - she typically takes a dirt nap long before that happens.

Dragon Whelp - not many fliers for red so this uncommon is OK. (just OK).

Earthquake - I'm sure some will disagree, but this thing is as dangerous as an Elmer Fudd shotgun. We think only poor board position warrants use of this red mass removal.

Fiery Hellhound - Only a Hellhound's hair width separates this from being bad. Most likely will not see much play.

Fireball - A decent uncommon. This can win in late game provided you have enough mana. Perhaps use as a token sweeper (?).

Firebreathing - This is a terrible aura. Stop eating raw jalapenos.

Goblin Artillery - Not that bad for red removal - use with caution.

Goblin Chieftain - I like this card a lot but unfortunately, goblins are not very well supported in Shards or this core set. Should have been printed in Lorwyn / Shadowmoor.

Goblin Piker - Love the flavour text ! - Goblins really are as smart as a bag of rocks. Anywho - this card should be passed along to your younger sibling.

Ignite Disorder - Decent enough sideboard against blue and white. This card is hungry for use against core White's soldiers.

Inferno Elemental - OK card which has the potential to throw a wrench onto the battlefield and make your opponent think twice.

Jackal Familiar - This could be good - just make sure it has a chaperone while it is out.

Kindled Fury - Better card art than Morningtide. An OK combat surprise.

Lava Axe - No great advantage using this card - a straight conversion of mana into pain.

Lightning Bolt - This is good burn - 3 pain for one mana is a heck of a lot better than Lava Axe.

Lightning Elemental - One toughness on this will severely limit popular play.

Magma Phoenix - A bit expensive. Not really a fan - there are better ways to get the hits across the table without hurting yourself in the process.

Manabarbs - This is a really bad rare - should have been a common.

Panic Attack - We think this is an OK card. Being able to bypass blockers at the right time has strategic advantage.

Prodigal Pyromancer - There are about 27 cards in M10 who are scared of this card. You should consider this for inclusion.

Magic: The Gathering - Magic 2010

Pyroclasm - This card kind of sucks when compared to Volcanic Fallout - play Volcanic instead for mass removal.

Raging Goblin - I'm sure you can think of better one-drops out there. Perhaps someone may consider with Goblin Chieftain for casual.

Seismic Strike - Not too bad - would have been better if it could also target your opponent but perhaps I'm too greedy.

Shatter - As I can only see this being sideboarded against Coat of Arms or Platinum Angel in M10, I do not expect this to see play. Perhaps red can be use it against an Esper Deck.

Shivan Dragon - Solid rare - again, watch out for Baneslayer.

Siege-Gang Commander - A perennial favourite for inclusion in token decks. Not much support in Shards / M10 for Goblins - use it before LOR / SHA rotate out.

Sparkmage Apprentice - Nice art. OK common.

Stone Giant - Not a bad idea to sideboard against fliers.

Trumpet Blast - Good be good if you need a flash mob in late game.

Viashino Spearhunter - Either a bit overcosted or a bit underpowered but still viable if you are thinking about having a first-striker on your side.

Wall of Fire - This wall is just OK in my books - would have liked to see it stop fliers to make this really good.

Warp World - Could be really bad. Situationally good.

Yawning Fissure - Bad card. Should have been allowing to target your opponent's land instead for the mana you are paying for the spell.


M10 Review - Black

This is MTG Realm's review of Magic 2010. As I really hope to employ brevity in this exercise, please do not expect lengthy and scholarly evaluations but rather rapid points as to the card's merit for deck inclusion in the standard environment.

For our review of White cards, click HERE.
For our review of Blue cards, click HERE.
For our review of Black cards, click HERE.
For our review of Red cards, click HERE.
For our review of Green cards, click HERE.
For our review of Colourless / Lands cards, click HERE.


Acolyte of Xathrid - I guess a 0/1 critter for only 1 is good provided there is a good effect. Unfortunately, paying two AND tapping for one point of pain across the table is just plain bad.

Assassinate - Destroying a threatening critter for 3 is OK but only being able to do that to tapped critters means you just took one to the face. Unless you can tap 'em down first, this one kinda sucks.

Black Knight - Protection from White (especially in this set) is very good. This is a keeper.

Bog Wraith - Consideration for sideboard. Pull this out when your opponent is playing black.

Cemetery Reaper - A very decent card as long as you are not limited to M10 zombies only. Try this with Death Baron and then you're cooking. Creating Zombie tokens is a solid ability.

Child of Night - A lifelinking 2/1 for two is good. Suckheads are really not supported in standard currently but you could always try with Nocturnus.

Consume Spirit - Might be decent is you can construct a good mono-black build.

Deathmark - Great sideboard card against Green and White. Epic Win art makes this card look awesome.

Diabolic Tutor - Solid card to get your strategic nastiness into your hand. Slightly overcosted however.

Disentomb - Recursion is an important aspect of playing black. This card may help you out dependent upon what your build is like.

Doom Blade - Great common, name, and art. We like it.

Dread Warlock - Art looks like Jace's evil twin. This is an OK card - would have been better if it could also be unblockable by artifact creatures as well.

Drudge Skeletons - Kinda like a wall on legs. The Regenerating ability on this will annoy your opponent.

Duress - Solid control card for black. Will see play

Gravedigger - Having the potential to return a fatty or another card from a dirt nap is always decent and provides card advantage.

Haunting Echoes - Another nice black control card which promises to see play as it can really hurt your opponent.

Howling Banshee - A 3/3 flier for four is OK in my books. The ability to give your opponent 3 pain (yourself included) may prove rather strategic given board position.

Hypnotic Specter - Good early game distruption. Nice if you could get this out a turn earlier and if the rarity dropped on this.

Kelinore Bat - Almost fodder but some may consider this for inclusion.

Liliana Vess - This promises to see more play than it did in Lorwyn. Can really be a bomb and turn the late game in your favour - hopefully you are alive long enough to resolve the third ability.

Magic: The Gathering - Magic 2010

Looming Shade - meh. We cannot really imagine this seeing much popular constructed play.

Megrim - Perhaps if you are already running Mind Rot / Mind Shatter / Scepter of Fugue / Cunning Lethemancer, this may be good icing. Just seems like this will not see popular play.

Mind Rot - Perhaps OK if you can drop it early, otherwise kind of meh.

Mind Shatter - An improvement upon the previous Mind Rot. This introduces random chaos in disrupting your opponents game.

Nightmare - Absolutely great, that is if you are running mono-black - otherwise situational or unplayable.

Relentless Rats - Since mana acceleration or cheap black / rat (ala bannert) is not available, don't expect to see a Rat build.

Rise from the Grave - A solid card that works to recur fatties from your and your opponent's graveyard but it really is overcosted.

Royal Assassin - We really like this card. It essentially shuts down your opponent from attacking. Good against green and white in this set. Wish is had better toughness to guard against burn.

Sanguine Bond - I'd love to see this couple up with Deathgreeter, Consume Spirit, Absorb Vis to become a casual bomb.

Sign in Blood - Perhaps you need those cards really, really badly enough to pay two and pain two. This is the improved Night's Wisper.

Soul Bleed - Not very good at all. Throw these away.

Tendrils of Corruption - Solid choice for inclusion for mono-black. Too bad Sanguine Bond doesn't come out a turn earlier.

Underworld Dreams - Mono-black card that will not see much play. Would rather play Smolder Initiate.

Unholy Strength - I like auras and it works decently enough in my local metagame. This will see play.

Vampire Aristocrat - Middle of the road card which is hindered by new combat rules. Wish Vamps all had flying in this set.

Vampire Nocturnus - This is a really good card which is not supported well. Use only with a mono-black build to maximize effectiveness of your vamp deck.

Wall of Bone - We love this wall for what Death Baron can do to it (a 2/5 renerating wall with deathtouch is very nice!).

Warpath Ghoul - An acceptable card for inclusion in your zombie decks. Scathe Zombies was just shown the door.

Weakness - A poor black removal card not expected to see much play.

Xathrid Demon - This thing is loaded and you better know the business end of this stick and have a ready supply of tokens or else this can blow up in your face.

Zombie Goliath - It's black vanilla and will not go into constructed.