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Deathfed Event Deck

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Altough we were not able to get out to the Innistrad Game Day this weekend, we did swing by OMG! Games, our local Game Store, here in Barrie on Friday, and picked up the Deathfed Innistrad Event Deck. We even had a few excellent games in the Friday Night Magic event. We found out that red seems to be a popular colour of choice (with almost every turn one witnessing players dropping a Stromkirk Noble). The Gavony Township token build we had performed not too badly but we'll yatter about the metagame next post perhaps.

Anywhoos - onto the subject of today's post - that Green / Blue / black Innistrad Event deck. Before we speak onto the merits and vulnerabilities of this product, let's watch the video first . . .

First off, Event Decks differ greatly from Intro Packs. While the latter provides a first look into the flavour and world of the new set and are great for new players getting into Magic the Gathering, the former provides a fairly decent deck which, straight outta the box should allow the player to immediately participate in competitive games.

The Deathfed deck may seem a little less powerful than other Event Decks we've seen before but with some minor tweaking, it should perform rather well at any FNM event. We ran this event deck against a few popular current archetypes and we can say that we may have underestimated this deck. This geen / blue and black deck is slow to start but when you get your graveyard tech online, its downright dangerous.

Cards such as Armored Scab, Forbidden Alchemy, and Mulch start the self-milling process to fill up your graveyard. We must admit that we got a bit nervous with this process in addition to to not providing much for defence. Gnaw to the Bone did provide some solid life-gain which soothed our nerves. After the engine was started with the likes of Sppider Spawning, Bonehoard, Splinterfright and Boneyard Wurm, this deck was nearly unstoppable. We also think that the Sideboard offers quite a few very decent cards for whatever your local metagame dictates.

The one and only very dangerous flaw in this build, and which really cannot be easily avoided giving the focus and purpose of the deck is Nihil Spellbomb. The source of this deck's strength lies not on the battlefield but the graveyard. To exile all the cards from the graveyard with Nihil Spellbomb would be nothing short of devastating. Of course there are ways to deal with this threat but not without detracting from the focused strategy that this build provides.

Pipe in below - Did you pick up an Event Deck ? What did you think ?
Just one month after the release day of Innistrad, MTG Mint Card has sorted out the best selling Innistrad cards for the month of October, 2011 :

1. Grimoire of the Dead
2. Parallel Lives
3. Bloodline Keeper / Lord of Lineage
4. Daybreak Ranger / Nightfall Predator
5. Champion of the Parish
6. Past in Flames
7. Mayor of Avabruck / Howlpack Alpha
8. Curse of Stalked Prey
9. Clifftop Retreat
10. Ancient Grudge


Sifa Grent

Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

From reading the title of today's MTG Realm post, you are likely wondering who or what is 'Sifa Grent'. Apparently Sifa is another Planeswalker to be featured in the upcoming Magic the Gathering comics from IDW publishing. The other Planeswalker, Dack Fayden, which we yattered about in a previous post is central in the story line and will be featured on an MTG card.

Dack is the protagonist in this story and is reportedly the greatest thief in the multiverse. PW Fayden is currently on the hunt for the responsible party who destroyed his village. This search brings him to the Plane of Innistrad which has some gamers speculating that these two Planeswalkers may be future cards in the next set, Dark Ascension or perhaps the third set, codenamed 'Roll'.

Enough for now.
We suggest you catch up with the latest news on the mothership (linky here), or over at IDW publishing who had posted this interview with Matt Forbeck on the new Magic: The Gathering Comics.
What’s the Magic: The Gathering comic about?

It follows the adventures of a new Planeswalker by the name Dack Fayden. Dack’s not just a powerful mage but also one of the greatest thieves of his age. Unlike other thieves, though, he steals — he’d prefer to say “borrows” — not for money but knowledge.

Dack has a special power called psychometry. This allows him to pry into an artifact, figure out how it works, and teach himself the spells it uses. It also gives him visions of the most intense times the object has been used, which can be both horrifying and enlightening.

Where is it set?

Well, Planeswalkers move between worlds at will, and the comic reflects that. Dack often needs to stay a step or three ahead of the law or whoever else he’s annoyed, so he moves around a lot. He stays until he’s worn out his welcome — sometimes past that.

Dack’s current home base is an urban plane called Ravnica. However, the action in the story leaps over to Innistrad fairly fast.

Innistrad? That sounds familiar.

Innistrad is the new plane that was introduced with the current block of cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game, on which the comic is based. It’s a place of gothic horror filled with vampires, werewolves, and loads of other monsters.

It’s also the place where someone Dack’s been hunting for a long time has been holed up for a while. She’s another new Planeswalker by the name of Sifa Grent, and as we find out in issue #1, she’s responsible for the destruction of Dack’s entire hometown.

When does the first issue come out?

It should be on shelves and e-readers this December. There are four issues in the first story arc, and these come out monthly. The first issue comes bagged with a previously published Magic: The Gathering card that features the stunning artwork you can see on the covers of the comic.

Of course, the interior art is just as amazing. Martín Cóccolo has a fantastic sense of fun and adventure that’s only matched by his skills as an artist. It just shines through on every page.

How does the comic book fit with the card game?

I'm working closely with the team at Wizards of the Coast who come up with the ongoing storyline for Magic: The Gathering, particularly Brady Dommermuth. No one knows the Magic multiverse better than he, and it's been a blast bouncing ideas off him and seeing what works and what doesn't. I've followed Magic for a long time, but there's just so much great lore to know.

Besides that, the team there has drawn back the curtain for me and shown me what's coming down the pike for the game, and I'm working that into the comic storyline too. You can see that by the way it'll weave elements of the new Innistrad block straight into the plot in which Dack becomes embroiled. This means that the material you read in the comic has been vetted, approved, and sanctioned to be part of the Magic: The Gathering canon.
If you are excited about the upcoming Premium Deck Series, Graveborn, check out MTG Mint card who will have singles available for this product so keep an eye (or three) on their site when it goes up for pre-order.



Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

If your local gaming store where you sling your Magic the Gathering cards every week is part of the Wizards Play Network (WPN), they will likely be getting a very cool Friday Night Magic WPN kit this week. Just in time for Halloween, the kit has a theme appropos to the season and relative to the newest MTG classic-horror themed set, Innistrad. We suggest that all Giests, Vampires and Werewolves hit up their local store for FNM this Friday 28th October for a chance to score some treats, that is unless you have an aversion to milk, chocolate, sugar, corn starch, corn syrup, guma acacia, colour, dextrin and carnauba wax.

Your participating store owner will likely see the following in their special Innistrad 'Trick or Treat' WPN kit :
  • One “3D” poster
  • One door-sized cling
  • Twenty packs of custom Magic-themed M&Ms® chocolate candies
  • Twenty constructible deck boxes
  • Seventy-five Friday Night Magic shopping bags
Kudos to Associate Brand Manager Adam Colby and the rest of the WoTC staffers who hatched this great idea.

What's unfortunate however, is that we now have images of the Innistrad M&Ms which we could have used in our parody video . . .

Ask your Cleric if Avacyn is right for you.

Speaking of funny videos, and as Halloween is around the corner, check out the latest video from the New York based comedy troupe, POYKPAC. The video, “The Walken Dead”, the story of a zombie virus that makes causes people to quote Christopher Walken is a great parody of the AMC TV series 'The Walking Dead'.

The Walking Dead is still not as acarry as portly spiderman . . .



Graveborn Spoiler 1

Happy Tuesday evening MTG peeps,

Yes, we know . . . another daily post today on MTG Realm but we could not wait until tomorrow to provide you with this update. You may recall our post waaay back in July regarding the upcoming Magic the Gathering Premier Deck Series, Graveborn - well we have a spoiler for you now.

Although the upcoming "Premium Deck Series Graveborn" is not due to be released until November 18th, 2011, a French distributor (Cartes MTG France) has seen fit to not only post the regular pre-order details but also the product image which is sure to have MTG spoiler nutters speculating on the decklist. Let's have a look -

Rather clear to see are the following cards . . .
We have to say that we totally called on all of these cards (with the exception of Crosis) way back in July - see our predictions near the bottom.

Avatar of Woe, Entomb, Animate Dead (new art?), Buried Alive, and Crosis, the Purger. If your flavour of Magic is legacy, you will certainly want to pick one up fast before they are all gone.

Like the previous Premium Deck Series: Fire and Lightning, the new 'Premium Deck Series: Graveborn' will be an entirely foil deck with eight rares and an MSRP of $34.99. It will include an exclusive spindown life counter, foil deck box, strategy insert, and "learn to play" guide. Premium Deck Series: Graveborn will go on sale November 18, 2011 for an MSRP of $34.99.

As always, MTG Mint card will have singles available for this product so keep an eye (or three) on their site when it goes up for pre-order.

FNM Vampires

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

As we indicated in our Friday post here on MTG Realm, we took our Township Tokens deck for a spin at our local store. It provided some decent results and surprised us by doing not too shabby against an explosive red deck. As for the other games, let's just say we need to tweak our sideboard against the local metagame.

Anywhoos - back on track and the subject of this post's title, FNM Vampires. This loose tribe in the new Innistrad set provides some very decent cards and has some support in the M12 core set. Almost all new Innistrad vampire builds we've seen are constructed in black and red, which is for the best as one could now really take advantage certain new red Innistrad cards with the 'bloodthirst' mechanic from M12 (Bloodthirst 'N' means "If an opponent was dealt damage this turn, this creature enters the battlefield with N +1/+1 counters on it).

Most new vampire builds attempt to build up vampires which grow larger upon dealing combat damage to opponent. Some examples - Bloodcrazed Neonate, Stromkirk Noble, Bloodcrazed Neonate, and Falkenrath Marauders all collect additional +1/+1 counters upon dealing combat damage to a player. Rakish Heir goes a step beyond and provides a +1/+1 counter to any and all vampires who deal this damage. The aura, Curse of Stalked Prey, which enchants your opponent provides this similar effect more braodly. M12 vampires such as Vampire Outcasts and Bloodlord of Vaasgoth provide big bonuses bia +1/+1 counters with their bloodthirst tech.

Given the huge potential with all these counters, we suggest players consider the New Phyrexia common burn 'n' proliferate spell, Volt Charge not only for spot removal but also assisting Bloodthirst and piling additional counters on critters. Other spells to consider are Dismember and Incinerate, which are some very economical emoval spells in Standard.

We were able to get one of the fellas from the game store to give us a show 'n' tell tour of a similar build. To protect his privacy, we'll simply call him 'That Guy with the black and red vampire deck'. Anywhoos, Guy was in the process of constructing and take it for a spin against other players at Friday Night Magic. Guy was on the right track and had most the cards he needed . . .

Stromkirk Noble, Furor of the Bitten, Gruesome Deformity, Bloodcrazed Neonate, Curse of Stalked Prey, Go for the Throat, Doom Blade, Rakish Heir, Traitorous Blood, Vampire Outcasts, Bloodlord of Vaasgoth, Falkenrath Mauraders, Fireball. Mana base included the requisite Dragonskull Summit, along with the appropriate swamps, and mountains.

Looks good - all we can suggest is that players consider the amazing Bloodline Keeper / Lord of Lineage to generate 2/2 vampire tokens. We've seen some players drop Curse of Stalked Prey, calling it just a bit too slow with the tempo of their particular build. We also have not seen much love for Bump in the Night which is surprising as it provides a decent inexpensive enabler for the bloodthirst tech. (Edit - Korwinga caught my typo - use M12 Shock or another). Anywhoos - pipe in below with your comments - where is your vampire build at or what have you seen which impresses you.

speaking of looking good - here's a random assortment of images taken at last Friday's game night at OMG! Games. Clockwise from top left - an English bloke making a bad trade, Batman, J-Osh, and M-Atty.



Innistrad Arts

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

There is no doubt in our minds that Wizards of the Coast excels at providing the best card art. To us, Each Magic the Gathering set, including the lastest set, Innistrad, is like taking a trip to a fine art gallery. We suggest, if you have not yet, check out some previous articles on the mothership like 'Creating the Art of Innistrad', and 'Innistrad Art Gallery'. We've provided some images here of outstanding Innistrad card art - look up the artist on the Gatherer website and check out some of their other pieces of art.

Click to embiggen . . .

Feeling of Dread ~
Angelic Overseer ~
Angel of Flight Alabaster ~
Chapel Geist ~
Voiceless Spirit ~
Stitcher's Apprentice ~
Silent Departure ~
Ludevic's Abomination ~
Forbidden Alchemy ~
Derranged Assitant ~
Olivia Voldaren ~
Curse of Oblivion ~
Diregraf Ghoul ~
Moan of the Unhallowe ~
Unburial Rites ~
Bloodline Keeper ~
Vampire Interloper~
Vampiric Fury ~
Terror of Kruin Pass ~
Bloodcrazed Neonate ~
Balefire Dragon ~
Skirsdag Cultist ~
Moonmist ~
Howlpack Alpha ~
Hamlet Captain ~
Creeping Renaissance ~
Nephalia Drownyard ~
Geist of Saint Traft ~
Creepy Doll ~
Tree of Redemption ~
Our friends over at MTG Mint Card wants you to know that the latest Premium Deck Series: Graveborn is set to releases on November 18, 2011 (not very far away) and they should have singles available for pre-order from these up on the site just before the release.