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Alliances Booster Box

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Last evening, we dropped over to see our friends Richard and Josh Bates, the new owners of OMG! Games here in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Apparently, we were in for a bit of a treat - they had recently created a time travelling apparatus, went about 5,287 days into the past, purchased a booster box of Alliances and then returned to the present for a show 'n' tell with us. The resulting singles disgorged from the box promise to take your casual game to a new level.

Alliances was the eighth Magic the Gathering expansion and was released in June, 1996 as the second set in the Ice Age block. Alliances, continued several themes introduced in its predecessor, Ice Age. With "cantrips," cumulative upkeep, and "pitch" cards, this popular 199-card expansion is widely considered the measuring stick for new releases. This set really gave good game.

Here's a brief video of the dissection - we left a bit early as we had a soufflé burning in the oven at home, but will have Richard or Josh provide a final tally. (Almost) all the cards will be available for purchase as singles in the store.

Some cards of note . . .
(thanks to the very excellent MTG Salvation Wiki for this as we were not playing back then)

Balduvian Horde
was initially heralded as the "new Juzam Djinn," then considered the best creature in Magic, as a 5/5 for Mana2.gifManar.gifManar.gif. It later proved to be only mediocre and has seen print in 6th Edition.

Diminishing Returns is the first attempt at creating a "fixed" version of Timetwister. Despite its decrease in power compared to Timetwister, Diminishing Returns sometimes still sees play in Vintage alongside Timetwister.

Force of Will
continues to be an important and potent card in every format it is legal in because it can counter any spell without the use of mana.
Force of Will, 3uu
Instant, Uncommon - Alliances
You may pay 1 life and exile a blue card from your hand rather than pay Force of Will's mana cost.
Counter target spell.

Ivory Gargoyle
was powerful because it was difficult to get rid of it permanently and was used in some control decks as a win condition.

Kjeldoran Outpost
was used as a win condition in Counterpost-style control decks.

Lake of the Dead
was used to speed up already-powerful Necropotence decks.

Thawing Glaciers
was used in many different decks, especially after the Sixth Edition Rules
came into effect, allowing players to use cards like this one with delayed triggered abilities twice thanks to the reconstruction of the new End of turn step.

Elvish Spirit Guide
had a new unique feature: remove from the game from your hand to get mana. Elvish Spirit Guide sees play in the popular Legacy Belcher deck.

In order for our dauntless store owners to make a profit to feed their family, they will have to pull and sell enough singles to offset the cost of the booster box (around $250 to $300 Canadian). Fortunately, they would be able to sell the highly sought Force of Will they pulled for around $45 to $50 and any remaining booster packs for around $8 to $10 locally. This really should not pose much of an issue to the very rabid local players here.

Speaking of classic cards, MTG Mint Card has just restocked their collection for Morningtide, Eventide, Ravnica, Guildpact, and Dissension - so make tracks over there. Notice is here.

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