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Ixalan - People, Places and Things

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Today on the Mothersite, Blake Rasmussen sate down with creative Magic: the Gathering Narrative Designer Alison Luhrs for a Magic Story Podcast (conveniently linked right here) focused on the new upcoming set Ixalan.  For a trascription of today's Podcast, do pop on over to Vronos right here who had graciously done the heavy lifting.  

Official Ixalan Previews begin on Monday with a few scattered previews each day, including the weekend.  Wednesday next week the first official Ixalan story is to be posted to DailyMTG - DANG - we are as excited as a Maple Leafs fan, were they ever to get to the playoffs.  Ixalan is a Mesoamerican-inspired plane full of uncharted jungles, dangerous beasts, magnificent ruins, and lost treasures waiting to be discovered, and certainly a broad tapestry to create a rich and vibrant storyline.  Anywhoos, today we present a very brief summary of People, Places and Things as lifted from the Ixalan Magic Story Podcast, so let's go !


Vraska -  a Gorgon Assassin and Jace’s old nemesis from Ravnica.  On a mysterious mission from her home Plane of Ravnica.  She may have stepped into a "leadership role" on this Plane and we suspect from the artwork has become a Pirate Captain.

Jace - his hard-drive was almost wiped completely clean during the final conflict with Nicol Bolas on Amonkhet (Hour of Devastation).  He had planeswalked away by chance (not design) to Ixalan, his mind fractured.  Going by the previewed art, he just might be a Pirate's Cabin Boy now.

Merfolk - These are the 'River Heralds', who had once been the dominant inhabitants of Ixalan but whose empire now appears to be in declension.  The semi-nomadic Merfolk are not only found in the sea but also inland rivers that run through the dense jungles.These powerful shamans had created a secret city to house a stolen powerful relic.  All but few do not know of the city's location.

Sun Empire - this empire has "a capital and a central power structure" is in ascension.  They are harried by raiding Pirates and the Legion of Dusk.  Cities prosper "fueled by the magic of their sun priests and the dinosaurs that they command".  

Dinosaurs - Ixalan has a variety of dinosaurs both domesticated as beast of burden and mounts for the Sun Empire warriors while others are wild.  Wizards of the Coast has adopted current real-world scientific findings and subsequently provided most of the dinosaurs shown so far with feathers.

Vampires - vampire conquistadors of the Legion of Dusk sail aboard cahtedral-like ships from the eastern continent of Torrezon.  These vampires "are viewed as holy figures, dark paladins" seek a powerful relic which was stolen from them by the Merfolk some time ago.  These blood-suckers do consume blood, but feed on the blood of the guilty - "enemies of war, rebels of the state, or heretics who defy the church".

Pirates - These are the descendants of refugees who had escaped the continent of Torrezon when the Legion of Dusk had conquered that continent through hundreds of years of war.  The pirates belong to a society called the Brazen Coalition and they too seek that powerful relic.


Orazca - 'The City of Gold' or Golden City, which houses the powerful relic.  Created and protected by the Merfolk who above all keep the secret of its location.


Immortal Sun - A powerful relic, once in possession of the Legion of Dusk and the Church, it now lies secured within the Golden City.  Its power may provide "eternal life be available to all without the need to subsist on the blood of the wicked".  



Ixalan Previews 8-28

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Magic: the Gathering fans should direct their attention to the Wizards of the Coast Magic: the Gathering daily articles posted today.  Of particular note is this article linked here from Scott Kelly and Blake Rasmussen, which addresses the very unfortunate leak of an entire sheet of Ixalan which was spoiled very early.  

MTG Realm does love an MTG spoiler - in very minute doses - perhaps just one or two cards per set.  This gives us fodder to multiple posts to discuss the flavour, possible themes and loads of our typically incorrect but very fun speculation.  The volume of cards which was released prematurely just kinda ruined it for us.  We really wanted several Magic Stories and wondrous card arts before seeing the first previewed card.

Scott Kelly does promise fans a special 'preview season' none the less and we love what we are hearing.  For now, do check out all the great cards - about 45 officially previewed today - as well as the Ixalan Mechanics / Themes from Matt Tabak with the very handy accompanying videos.

As always, expect a good volume of posts to MTG Realm on Tumblr where we have collected a number of beautiful Ixalan card arts. Here is our rather poor summary of the new tech to expect with this set - 

ENRAGE (video)
Ability word that encompasses abilities that trigger whenever the Dinosaurs with this ability are dealt damage. 

EXPLORE (video)
Reveal the top card of your library. Put that card into your hand if it's a land. Otherwise, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature, then put the card back on top or into your graveyard.


RAID (video)
Ability that provides a stated advantageous effect if you had attacked with a creature the same turn.

VEHICLE / CREW (video)
Ability that enables vehicles (artifact subtype) to become an artifact creature until end of turn.  To activate the crew ability on these cards, tap any number of creatures you control with total power equal to or greater than the crew number. Because the crew ability doesn't use the tap symbol, you can tap any untapped creature you control, even one that just entered the battlefield. 


Double-sided cards enter the battlefield with their front 'day' or sunny side up, and in the case of Ixalan, represented by a compass. To switch between the two card faces, the keyword action transform is used. When the permanent transforms, all counters, Auras, and Equipment stay on the card, as the card neither enters nor leaves the battlefield.

Rowdy Crew


MTG Saturday Miscellaney

Happy Saturday MTG peeps,

We have random pile of MTG stuff to drop here at the moment as we catch up with MTG Realm on Tumblr.  Here, we go, and don't spill your beverage.

Sparkly Vampires, Wizards on Broomsticks, secret Cat meetings and Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her ... the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.  What doe these have in common?  Commander 2017 memes of course.  This set is now out, so if you happen to find yourself in Central Ontario, do drop over to OMG Games in Barrie, and pick yourself up a deck.





Some awesome, witty / intelligent T-Shirts for almost every MTG gamer.  Just under a 100 to choose from designed by  jbui555 and for sale over at the Epic Ugrades page on TeeSpring. 


Beautiful Baga 

Appreciation post for the recent Commander 2017 card illustrations for Blood Tribute and Edgar Markov, by German artist Volkan Baga.  Wizards of the Coast chose the right artist for these lovely Vampire themed pieces.

And if you had missed it, there are some rather lovely Ixalan standees and other marketing material whichk we had posted to Tumblr as well.



Ixalan Spoilers 8-22

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

The next Magic: the Gathering set, Ixalan releases in just over a month on September 29, 2017.  This set cautions you to "Brave the Unknown" as you explore dense jungles and encounter powerful mages, pirates and of course DINOSAURS.  The official link to the Wizards of the Coast product page is at this link here.

Speaking of information posted by Wizards of the Coast, something rather odd was posed to the Wizards Play Network page (WPN) allowing participating gaming stores to preview the upcoming support kits available to them.  Such articles posted typically break down what each store to expect in terms of support kit contents such as the number of DCI membership cards, standees, posters, and of course promotional cards.  It appears that just such a post which was to be posted on September 1st, was promoted late yesterday / early today.  The link appears dead now, but not before the page was viewed (thousands of times?).

Here is the summary - 

Magic Open House: Ixalan: September 16–17, 2017
PROMO - Walk the Plank

Walk the Plank, BB
Sorcery, Uncommon
Destroy target non-Merfolk creature.

Draft Weekend: Ixalan: September 30–October 1, 2017
PROMO - Bishop of Rebirth

Bishop of Rebirth, 3WW
Creature - Vampire Cleric, Rare
Whenever Bishop of Rebirth attacks, you may return target creature card with converted mana cost 3 or less from your graveyard to the battlefield.

Magic League: Ixalan: October 2–October 29, 2017
PROMO - Unclaimed Territory

Unclaimed Sanctuary
Land, Uncommon
As Unclaimed Sanctuary enters the battlefield, choose a creature type.
T: Add {1} to your mana pool.
T: Add on mana of any colour to your mana pool. Spend this mana only to cast a creature spell of the chosen type.

Ixalan Buy-a-Box: September 29, 2017–January 18, 2018
PROMO - Burning Sun's Avatar

Burning Sun's Avatar, 3RRR
Creature - Dinosaur Avatar, Rare
When Burning Sun's Avatar enters the battlefield, it deals 3 damage to target opponent and 3 damage to up to one target creature.

Friday Night Magic: Ixalan : October 6, 2017–January 12, 2018
PROMOS - Tokens - Dinosaur // Treasure, Pirate // Treasure, Vampire // Treasure

Standard Showdown: Ixalan : October 7–December 24, 2017

Ixalan Store Championship: December 30–31, 2017



We Are Back

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

We are back in the saddle after a 2 week hiatus and as a result, completely missed all the Magic: the Gathering previews during that time - specifically, Commander 2017.  We are happy to say that we, or any other member of our happy little band met the dangerous end of any wolf, bear, or rattlesnake up in the Canadian wilderness during our vacation.

Speaking of Commander, we want to send some link love off to our friend Jon, who we have known for a number of years now.   We catch up with each other every week at OMG! Games here in Barrie, Ontario.  Jon has been blogging about Commander for quite some time now and has recently given his webpage a face lift.  Pop on over to Command Tower (Canada) here -

Since we have mentioned our local gaming store, OMG! Games, we are very proud to have been a part of the Ten Millionth  sanctioned DCI Event.  You can read all about the event over here on Wizards of the Coast post from Blake Rasmussen.  Very happy to have met Gavin Verhey and the other WotC staffers as well.  Here is a pic of the crew and one of yours truly -

 Speaking of which - we've known Rob Johnson for a number of years, and not only is he a great fan of Magic: the Gathering, he is also a wonderful photographer.  Please pop on over to his website linked above.

Righto - that's it for now.  We need to catch up a lot more, but before we leave, be sure (if you had not already) catch the official decklists of Commander 2017, linked over here.  The Commander 2017 hit shelves at your local gaming store this very weekend !  Here is the brief flavour summary of the four decks now.

Draconic Domination    
Commander - The Ur-Dragon
When time began, the Ur-Dragon began with it. As the primordial ancestor and lifeblood of all dragons, the Ur-Dragon imbues strength into dragons from every corner of the Multiverse so that they may rain endless fire and destruction upon the enemies of dragonkind.


Feline Ferocity
Arahbo, Roar of the World
Arahbo, Roar of the World is a majestic leader and father to cats across all planes of the Multiverse. His deafening voice empowers his ferocious feline allies to claw through enemy forces and crush those who dare challenge his ancient might.

Vampiric Bloodlust
Commander - Edgar Markov
As the sole origin of their bloodline, Edgar Markov commands the Markov vampires of Innistrad. With his tremendous influence, Edgar continually expands his vampire army, overwhelming foes with his ageless legion.


Arcane Wizardry
Commander - Inalla, Archmage Ritualist
Inalla, Archmage Ritualist delves into arcane mysteries in pursuit of forbidden dark magic. Gathering an inner circle of loyal acolytes to her cause, Inalla harnesses their collective power to extract the life force from her enemies.



MTG Miscellany

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

MTG Realm will be going off line for about two weeks for a vacation (the first time we've ever had a vacation this long).  We will pop back up on the Magic: the Gathering radar again briefly next weekend for a post on the Ten-Millionth DIC / WPN events at OMG! Games, here in Barrie, Ontario Charity event with special guests from Wizards of the Coast, before going dark again for another week.

For now, here is a brief round-up of all MTG things which caught our attention -

Hasbro - Investor Presentation
Some interesting Magic: the Gathering images from the slide presentation to Hasbro Investors, as presented by Christian Cocks, SVP & GM, Wizards of the Coast.  Of interest, they had pulled some media bites from hyped MTG fans.  A more detailed post is here on MTG Realm on Tumblr.  Lets have a looky-loo at some highlights - 

Of interest is that the image used for Dominaria looks suspiciously like that of Serra's Realm, another Plane of Existence altogether . . .

Another item of interest are those really cool HASCON Magic: the Gathering Promo Cards (linkage here).  It appears that Ultra PRO is producing 4 exclusive and limited playmats featuring those arts.  Pick them up at the Ultra PRO booth at HASCON 2017.

That's a wrap for now, be happy and see you soon.


C17 Edgar Markov

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

The next Magic: the Gathering set, Commander 2017, based on four tribes, releases at the end of this month - August 25.  Official Wizards of the Coast previews will start next week.  

Today, Alison Luhrs, the narrative designer for WotC sat down with fellow staffer Blake Rasmussen in the first of four podcasts which are replacing written stories are all about the Vampires.   Please pop on over to this link to have a listen.  

Commander 2017 Ultra PRO products available soon

The big news out is that Edgar Markov (the first Vampire of Innistrad, and Sorin’s father) has been confirmed.  A week or so ago, Wizards updated the Commander 2017 product page with some lovely arts and many had suspected the below image to be that of Edgar or that of Runo Stromkirk, progenitor of the Stromkirk vampires of Innistrad.


Edgar Markov is the founder of the Markov bloodline, and the very first vampire of Innistrad. Thousands of years ago he was an aging human alchemist, experimenting with ways to achieve agelessness for himself and his only grandson, Sorin. When famine was sweeping the land, the demon Shilgengar convinced Edgar to start experiments with blood. Markov and his sons trapped the angel Marycz in his laboratory and exsanguinated her, preparing a decoction from her blood and created a ritual which caused his subjects to feed on the blood of other beings.