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M12 Spoilers 2

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

Altough we were on the road last Friday and missed slinging cards at a Friday Night Magic, we did get to briefly drop in to Little Shop of Heroes in Listowell as well as World's Away in London. We're still surprised owner Brad at World's away still doesn't have a website or Interac at his shop - perhaps he was biten by tech as a kid. Anywhoos - everyone have a great weekend, hopefully filled with some card slinging.

For today's post, we have some very interesting Magic 2012 core set spoilers coming from a previously unknown source which we will deem ligit for the moment. The source we speak of is Jacob Faturechi, a Level 2 Certified DCI Judge and an Advanced Tournament Organizer for the Wizards Play Network who also writes ocassionally for in Los Angeles.

Jacob had an opportunity to hook up with a member of Wizards of the Coast's publicity team and review the new electronic game Duels of the Planeswalkers which is thought to closely approximate the paper card release of the next core set, Magic 2012. Here are some of the points from Jacob's write-up (some are already known while others are new) . . .

Sengir Vampire is being reprinted (along with Serra Angel) in M12 as an uncommon but not with the original art.

Sengir Vampire - 3
Creature - Vampire, Uncommon
Flying (This creature can't be blocked except by creatures with flying or reach.)
Whenever a creature dealt damage by Sengir Vampire dies this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on Sengir Vampire.
Empires rise and fall, but evil is eternal.

Bloodthirst is returning to Magic with M12.

Troll shroud is finally getting a keyword with the new evergreen mechanic 'hexproof'.

Wizards is making an effort integrate the physical card release with the online game community.

Jacob indicates that the new Duels is "infinitely better than the old one, in that I had no instant desire to ragequit playing it". The decks can now have cards removed, although you still cannot decide the number of lands.

Wizards acknowledged issues with the AI and indicates improvements have been made.

The Gideon online deck includes Stoneforge Mystic

Kiora Atua is going to be "exclusive" to the video game. Kiora Atua is a "female merfolk who commands the powers of the tides and depths" so one could possibly expect to be summoning Krakens, Octopi, and other large blue fatties.

A Frost Titan promo card will be available for Steam, a Grave Titan for XBox and Inferno Titan for PS3.

Latter, Jacob followed up with some participants in an exchange on Facebook. Apparently, there may be a chance Magic players can see the very first blue Bear in history . . .

Illusory Bear,

Creature - Illusion
When Illusory Bear becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice it.

Happy 'n' Safe gaming to everyone - check in again latter for more MTG Realm news 'n' rumours.


Commander Spoilers 1

Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

It apears that Wizards is now ramping up previews for the latest Magic the Gathering offering - Commander (formerly EDH or Elder Dragon Highlander). We are now sitting at 8/51 cards and there is now a page over at the mothership to hold a gallery - make sure you check for updates here. If you have no clue what we are talking about - don't fret - The Commander product from Wizards consists of five decks, each 100 cards strong, that are ready-to-play right out of the box, with the option of choosing one of the three legendary enemy-tri-colored creatures each deck includes as the commander. For previous posts check out here, here, and here.

Anywhoos - onto the spoilers 'n' prviews from forum member raccon82 (who scored three promos) and the WoTC site . . .

Basandra, Battle Seraph, 3
Legendary Creature - Angel, Rare
Players can't cast spells during combat.
: Target creature attacks this turn if able.

This legendary angel is sure to deliver some excellent games. We are already dreaming of coupling this with Æthertow or something similar - perhaps even a chump blocker with deathtouch.

Edric, Spymaster of Trest, 1
Legendary Creature - Elf Rogue, Rare
Whenever a creature deals combat damage to one of your opponents, that creature's controller may draw a card.

We're thinking that Distortion Strike may be friendly in a build with Edric. If you could perhaps get Psychosis Crawler into the mix here, you can turn your card draws into pain for your opponent.

Skullbriar, the Walking Grave,
Legendary Creature - Zombie Elemental, Rare
Whenever Skullbriar, the Walking grave deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
Counters remain on Skullbriar as it moves to any zone other than a player's hand or library.

The part about the counters sticking on it sounds great - being able to Disentomb it from the graveyard with counters intact is very cool. You may want to consider trying to get Sewers of Estark into your singleton build on the off-chance these two may have a random encounter.

Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter, 4
Legendary Creature - Vampire, Rare
Flying, lifelink
Sacrifice a creature: put X +1/+1 counters on Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter, where X is the sacrificed creature's power.
Remove all +1/+1 counters from Vish Kal: target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn for each counter removed this way.

Not sure if we like this one as much as the previous cards previewed - we have a soft spot for black / white builds and cards that share these colours. You may want to consider using Angelic Renewal to get that sac'd critter back on board and perhaps sac again to double up Kal's counters.

Finally - did ya know that MTG Mint Card has an ever-increasing selection of card sleeves, deck boxes, portfolios and playmats ? Well they do - and they're a good price too - check 'em out here.


M12 UltraPro Products

Hello again MTG peeps,

This is a second Magic the Gathering blog post for today. Earlier we yattered about upgrading the old 'Soul Sisters' build to 'Suture Sisters' but felt we should bring you the reader this news. It appears that images of the upcoming Magic 2012 UltraPro products have leaked out . . . nothing too earth shattering but still worth a look.

UPR 82810
MTG 2012 9-pocket Portfolio

Here we see Sorin Markov, Jace Beleren, Gideon Jura, Chandra Nalar and Garruk Wildspeaker. Excellent arts all the way around and a nice way to show off your trade-bait at the local store.

UPR 82811
MTG 2012 Horizontal Deck Protector

Same art (
Sorin Markov, Jace Beleren, Gideon Jura, Chandra Nalar and Garruk Wildspeaker) shown portrait on your card sleeve.

UPR 82813
MTG 2012 Side-Load Deck Box

Same art (Sorin Markov, Jace Beleren, Gideon Jura, Chandra Nalar and Garruk Wildspeaker) perfectly matched to house to lovely cards sleeves above - perfect for that OCD player we all know.

UPR 82815
MTG 2012 Playmat

Here we have the same art yet again but on a very nifty playmat. This mat features a handy spot in which to keep your life total. We suggest that if you purchased the above three items, you might as well go whole hog and get this too.

UPR 82837
MTG 2012 Top-Load Deck Box

Finally! - Some new art. Here's a deck box featuring a really, really beefy Garruk - looks like he may have popped a fair share of plant steroids. We love the little divider tab to keep your 60-card build separated from your 15-card sideboard.

UPR 82836
MTG 2012 Vertical Deck Protector

And of course you will be wanting this excellent deck sleeve perhaps to compliment the above deck box. We wonder if that is all coming from UltraPro or maybe we can expect the rest of the Planeswalkers to adorn their own sleeves 'n' deck boxes.

One thingy of note is that this is certainly not the first time we've seen this particular art for Garruk. Remember Free Comic Book Day and the Path of the Planeswalker II publication that Wizards had provided? Yep - same art.


Finally - did ya know that MTG Mint Card has an ever-increasing selection of card sleeves, deck boxes, portfolios and playmats ? Well they do - and they're a good price too - check 'em out here.


Suture Sisters

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

WoTC minion Jacob Van Lunen had an interesting article up today on the mothership in his regularily appear column, 'Building on a Budget'. We are regular readers as we are forever somewhere in the aether between budget and more competitive decks - we score a budget build and continually upgrade, and changing out cards when we can trade buy that choicer rare. Fortunately for us, we had come to a place were we were rather happy with our Soul Sisters life-gain deck - and then only had a limited opportunity to play until the one key card, Soul Warden, rotated out of standard.

Anyhwoos, do drop by Jacob's article on Soul Sisters 2011 and give it a read. Our previous deck used Soul Warden and Soul's Attendant with friends such Serra Ascendant and Ajani's Pridemate. Another card still in standard we had employed was Transcendent Master but found that it simply was too slow. Another noticeable difference is that we have a deckset of Solemn Offering in the sideboard instead of the 2 and 2 split Jacob has with Divine Offering. We feel the Solemn one provides more utility in our local meta-games over the Divine one.

The non-budget build that Jacob speaks onto is the redonkulous combo of Leonin Relic-Warder and Phyrexian Metamorph while a Suture Priest of Soul's Attendent is out in play to gain infinite life. A build featuring this combo from pro-player Conley Woods is present near the page bottom. We feel that with this huge arbitrary number, having a Felidar Sovereign hit and stick to the game table until your next upkeep wins you the game. Our future plans for this deck will likely include playtesting Batterskull to determine just how well a 4/4 lifelink / vigilence living weapon component ineracts with the rest of the cards in this soup. Perhaps we even go with a Stoneforge Mystic equipment package with swords and Batterskull.

Anywhoos, here's the build for now . . . please pipe in with your comments and help us out to make this deck a bit more viable.

1 x Exilir of Immortality
4 x Brave the Elements
3 x Serra's Ascendant
4 x Soul's Attendant
4 x Suture Priest
4 x Ajani's Pridemate
4 x Luminarch Ascension
3 x Survival Cache
2 x Ajani Goldmane
2 x Baneslayer Angel

2 x Elspeth Tirel
2 x Sun Titan
3 x Felidar Sovereign

2 x Kabira Crossroads
1 x Tectonic Edge
19 x Plains

We have played this current build extensively against Elf builds and mon-black control builds. For now, the current build performs good, winning about half the matches but does not quite go over the top to the next level. We also have solid feelings about Felidar Sovereign as an alternate win condition. We do like the token capacity with the Ascension as well as the potential board wiper with new Elspeth leaving on the field only tokens. We have had a faily tough time having Serra's Ascendant actually stick around long enough with games to date as it has a big target on it, which perhaps does serve a purpose by buying some time to work on other angles.



M12 Spoilers 1

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

While we were away over the course of our long weekend, a whole bunch 'o' news happened - again. It seems that whenever we step away from the interwebs, something significant happens - we don't mean that someone posted a really funny cat video to the tube, we mean Magic the Gathering spoilers previewed on the mothership so its catch-up time for us. Let's see what the stork devilvered . .

In yesterday's feature article on the mothership, we were provided the 'Mechanics of Magic 2012'. The new evergreen keyword is 'Hexproof'. A creature with hexproof can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control, but you can target it with spells and abilities normally.
The slang a lot of players had been using up to now had been 'one-way' shroud but we rather appreciate the new name. The card previewed by way of an example for this was Dungrove Elder.

Dungrove Elder, 2
Creature - Treefolk, Rare
Dungrove Elder's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Forests you contorl.

Another new word in that article was 'dies'. By replacing 'is put into a graveyard from the battlefield' with die, we save a lot of extra ink and
possibly provide more space for flavour text which we love. The preview for this new word is the reprint from Eventide, Archon of Justice.

Archon of Justice, 3
Creature- Archon, Rare
When Archon of Justice dies, exile target permanent.

A returning keyword is 'Bloodthirst', originally from Future Sight / Guildpack. Bloodthirst N" means "If an opponent was dealt
damage this turn, this creature enters the battlefield with N +1/+1 counters on it. The example card previewed was Gorehorn Minotaurs.

Gorehorn Minotaurs, 2

Creature - Minotaur Warrior, Common
Bloodthirst 2 (If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.)

Also - as we have already guessed, Sorin Markov was also confirmed as the black Planeswalker in M12.

Sorin Markov, 3
Planeswalker - Sorin, Mythic Rare
+2: Sorin Markov deals 2 damage to target creature or player and you gain 2 life.
-3: Target opponent's life total becomes 10.
-7: You control target player during that player's next turn.

In yesterdays Magic Arcana post, WoTC Monty also gave us the 'buy-a-box' promo. This is a free alternate-art premium card that's given to the first twenty people to buy a Booster Box at participating locations. The promo for this core set is Chandra's Phoenix and makes us seriously think that another Planeswalker cycle similar to M11 has been developed.

Chandra's Phoenix, 1
Creature - Phoenix, Rare
Whenever an opponent is dealt damage by a red instant or sorcery spell you control or by a red planeswalker you control, return Chandra's Phoenix from your graveyard to your hand.

On Twitter, we also had another preview provided
from WoTc Aaron. It's a reprint from Shards of Alara - say hello to Flameblast Dragon.

Flameblast Dragon, 4
Creature - Dragon, Rare
Whenever Flameblast Dragon attacks, you may pay {X}{R}. If you do, Flameblast Dragon deals X damage to target creature or player.


Another Magic 2012 card previewed by Aaron is Furyborn Hellkite. This news of course pretty much ligitimizes the odd M12 spoiler cards leaked at the end of April. We called 'em fake in this previous post but now will eat
our hats. We will most likely see the other card, Gideon's Avenger previewed in short time.

Furyborn Hellkite, 4
Creature - Dragon, Mythic Rare
Bloodthirst 6 (If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature enters the battlefield with six +1/+1 counters on it.)

We always intersted to see what other players are brewing. There are quite literally thousands of different decks one may see across the table from you at Friday Night Magic. One place where you may get some feedback is at a very nice page MTG Mint Card had created. Post your decks or ideas here at 'Deck Central'.