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Guilds of Ravnica Spoiler 7-30

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Some important news on the upcoming Magic: the Gathering set, Guilds of Ravnica for you today.  Wizards of the Coast had let the kitten out of the clutch with an update to the Wizards Play Network (WPN) (linked here) resource site for gaming stores.  Of particular interest is that we can expect the pre-release events to to be Guild-based.

Specifically, the Prerelease Packs are to be Guild-based which includes a seeded booster, composed entirely of cards relevant to that player’s guild as well as five regular Guilds of Ravnica booster packs.  This set as well as the pre-release packs are to feature the following five of the bi-colored Ravnican guilds : 

• Selesnya (G/W)
• Boros (R/W)
• Golgari (B/G)
• Izzet (U/R)
• Dimir (U/B)

With Guilds of Ravnica set releasing on October 5, 2018, it is quite reasonable to imagine that the next set, Ravnica Allegiance, releasing in January, 2019 will feature the other five Guilds :  Azorius (W/U), Rakdos (B/R), Gruul (R/G), Simic (G/U), and Orzhov (W/B).

Also of interest, the same WPN page featured what is guessed to be the Guilds of Ravnica key art.  This particular piece features Vraska, the Planeswalker Gorgon.  We had last left Vraska at the tail end of the Ixalan story where she (voluntarily) had her memories wiped clean by new friend Jace.  Upon returning as an agent of Bolas, she was granted leadership of the Golgari Guild for services rendered.  This new art appears to be the Golgari underworld, with Vraska looking to be quite at ease, perhaps in new new position.  

Our only question about the art at this time - Could there be a Ravnica / Thor crossover ?  The little beastly pet that Vraska has in her arms looks very suspiciously like Miek, Korg's BFF in Thor Ragnarok.



Commander 2018 Spoilers

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Perhaps not so happy as we were doing so well and then, approximately six hours ago, approximately noon (Monday, July 23,  2018), Moscow time, all four Commander 2018 decks were spoiled on the Russian online social media and social networking service 'VK' (or 'CKontakte').  

Commander 2018 is scheduled to be available for sale on August 10, 2018, and although official Magic: the Gathering previews from Wizards of the Coast are currently taking place, the kitten is out of the clutch now.  As hundreds (thousands?) of MTG fans already seen these, we are posting as well.  Before we get further, if you are new to this awesome Magic: the Gathering format, here is an informative blurb -

Commander is a unique and exciting way to play multiplayer Magic, featuring lots of legendary creatures and big, game-changing spells. Your deck is built around a single legendary creature (the "commander," which can be cast multiple times), and can use only cards within that creature's color identity. A Commander deck must be exactly 100 cards, and can't contain more than one copy of any card other than basic lands, making it a fun challenge for a creative deck builder. Play in a multiplayer free-for-all and maximize your commander's strengths to make sure you're the last one standing!

Commander (2018 Edition) brings back a very special category of commanders: planeswalkers! Yep, instead of a creature, each deck is led by a powerful planeswalker and built to take full advantage of their unique abilities. Most planeswalkers can't be used as commanders, but these four have been designed specifically to fill that role, so you can battle with a true legend of the Multiverse by your side.


Here are the four Commander 2018 decklist names and the new Commanders ::

Exquisite Invention - Artifacts theme
• Saheeli, the Gifted ( Blue / Red ), illustrated by Ryan Pancoast

Nature's Vengeance - Lands matter theme
• Lord Windgrace ( Black / Red / Green ), illustrated by Bram Sels 

Adaptive Enchantment - Enchantments theme
• Estrid, the Masked ( Green / White / Blue ), illustrated by Johaness Voss

Subjective Reality - Top Deck theme
• Aminatou, the Fateshifter ( White / Blue / Black ), illustrated by Seb McKinnon



Art of Ravnica

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

As it Friday, we suggest you would be well served by getting out of the scorching heat and head to your local gaming store.  We are going to OMG! Games here in Barrie, Ontario this evening to see what exciting new decklists have been created with the release of the Magic: the Gathering Core Set 2019 the other week.  We also will bring along some very cool Ultra PRO random draw giveaways.

The big news yesterday evening was this announcement from publisher VIZ Media.

The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica, scheduled for publication in January, 2019.  This is an art book that will explore the vast and vastly powerful, the City of Ravnica.  

James Wyatt, Magic creative writer at Wizards of the Coast partnered with VIZ Media have produced a number of lovely hardcover art books featuring the incredible images and lore of Magic: The Gathering.  Here is the list of previous 'The Art of Magic: The Gathering' publications -

• The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Zendikar (2016)

• The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Innistrad (2016)

• The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Kaladesh (2017)

• The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Amonkhet (2017)

• The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ixalan (2018)

• The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Dominaria (2018)



Hold My Beer

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

We had just been browsing the Hold My Beer subreddit, when some related Magic: the Gathering news had popped up on our radar.  The news comes from yesterday's Updates to Alcohol and Age Restriction Policies, posted by the Wizards Play Network (WPN).  

Specifically, as of July 23, 2018, the WPN Terms and Conditions had been updated to removed any prohibition of serving or consumption of alcohol at sanctioned events (including in play spaces).  The policy had also been amended to allow organisers (excluding Premier Play events), to run events with age restrictions which supports the above Alcohol policy, but also promote Magic: the Gathering events to younger players who may not otherwise be engaged given an older, more competitive crowd.  WPN would still ensure that members do "maintain a family friendly environment or retail hobby focus."

This is great news, as this would provide a degree of flexibility to organisers to better cater to their local demographics.  Whether encouraging younger players to attend a less competitive environment or to other gamers (like us) who have been migrating away from gaming stores to the kitchen table and within reach of our favourite beverage.



Commander 2018 Spoilers

Happy Saturday MTG peeps,

Some news for Commander fans we need to update you on.  Similar to previous products, Commander 2018 is to have four pre-constructed theme decks, which features twelve premium foil commanders.   Each of the four decks will have 100-cards each which will have a blend of new cards as well as reprints to support each theme.  Each will have 10 token cards, a strategy insert and a rules reference guide.

There is no specific pattern of colours presented with this year’s Commander decks. The themes were revealed by Wizards of the Coast on the weekly Twitch channel on Friday :

Deck 1 :: Izzet (Blue / Red) :: Exquisite Inventions - Artifacts theme

Deck 2 :: Jund ( Black / Red / Green) :: Nature's Vengeance - Lands matter

Deck 3 :: Bant (White / Blue / Green) :: Adaptive Enchantment - Enchantments

Deck 4 :: Esper (White / Blue / Black) :: Subjective Reality - Top Card of your deck matters

Commander 2018 releases August 10, 2018 with previews officially starting on July 23, 2018. The following artwork has also been released:



M19 PreRelease Weekend

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

Magic: the Gathering players around the world will be congregating at their local gaming store this weekend at the newest core set, Magic 2019 prerelease events take place.  Should you find yourself in Central Ontario (just a titch North of Toronto), do drop by OMG! Games in Barrie, just off Highway 400 in the North end of the city near Georgian College.  OMG! Games kick off the prerelease weekend tonight at midnight soon after the regular Friday Night Magic event and will tear through all weekend long, wrapping up with a 2-Headed Giant event Sunday afternoon.  If you looking for a PreRelease event near you, pop on over to this linky at the Wizards of the Coast MTG site.

After the dust had settled from the PreRelease weekend, many gamers will be looking to a new standard format with Core 2019 being officially release July 13, 2018.  There will be a massive card pool to develop your strategies with (from Kaladesh straight through to Dominaria and the new Core Set).  Some players will choose to 'cherry pick' new M19 cards to supplement existing decklists while others may see a clear path forward to victory with a completely blueprint.  Whichever way you may go, it is always inspiring to see what the professional players associated with the Japanese gaming store Hareruya want to try.  Not missing the opportunity to innovate, the popular 'HareruyaWayfinder' standard format suggestions by the Hareruya Pros have been posted here.  Here are the very creative and spicy lists :: 

Deck 1 - Izzet Paradox
Deck 2 - Naya Dragons
Deck 3 - Orzhov Life
Deck 4 - Mono White Monument
Deck 5 - Grixis Midrange
Deck 6 - Mono Black Zombies

Deck 7 - Selesnya Midrange
Deck 8 - Izzet Artificer
Deck 9 - Gruul's Unsealing
Deck 10 - Tezzerator
Deck 11 - Esper Control
Deck 12 - Orzhov Knights
Deck 13 - Selesnya Life



MTG SDCC Exclusive Promos

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

Magic: the Gathering fans were treated to a preview of this year's SDCC promos via IGN (linked here).  Since 2013, Wizards of the Coast have been providing limited quantity promo cards typically only available at the Convention, however some small numbers had been offered through the parent company Hasbro site.  an Diego Comic-Con or SDCC is a multigenre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego (USA).  This year, it is running from Thursday 19th until Sunday 22nd July.

Comic-Con 2018 again featured the five most recent planeswalker cards from the five first members of the Gatewatch, each in front of a stained-glass window depicting a planeswalker from the pre-mending era.   According to Alison Luhrs at WotC, these pieces aren't set in any one particular time and place. They're intended as a contrast between the past and the present, and how one affects the view of the other. The art director for this series was Mark Winters, and the artist Terese Nielsen.  This boxed set of 5 Planeswalkers with exclusive artwork will be available for purchase for $99 USD.

• Gideon of the Trials (SDCC) — Gideon is paired with Serra. He strives to live his life according to the ideals of justice as she did. He will always be a fighter, though, and his face shows his doubts; did Serra do enough to directly face evil?

• Jace, Cunning Castaway (SDCC) — Jace doesn't know much about Urza, but he know that he saved the world by manipulating thousands and sacrificing millions. To Jace, Urza is a cautionary tale. His back is facing Urza in this piece; an active rejection of all that Urza stood for.

• Liliana, Untouched by Death (SDCC) — Liliana stands in front of Nicol Bolas. She is a ruthless heroine, and though his influence looms large, her hands are alight with her own power. Liliana desires the control his overlapping figure refuses to secede.

• Chandra, Torch of Defiance (SDCC) — Chandra stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the stained glass image of her mentor, Jaya Ballard. Theirs is easily the friendliest relationship, as they know each other personally. There's nothing but loving companionship in Chandra's stance in this piece.

• Nissa, Vital Force (SDCC) — Nissa is next to Freyalise. Freyalise was ruthless in her defense of elvenkind and the natural world. Nissa used to feel the same way, but has come to realize interconnections are more valuable than ferocity, and that nurturing connections will preserve harmony.



MTG Canada Tarriff

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

EDIT 7.16.2018 : You may wish to read the CBC article on this subject written by Darren Major who had interviewed Dave Teller over at Wizard's Tower in Ottawa.  Article linked right here.

Should you, like us reside and play in Canada, then this may be of interest to you.  The bottom line is, that you should expect to pay a bit more to buy Magic: the Gathering cards.

On May 31, 2018, the United States had announced tariffs on imports of certain steel and aluminum products from Canada at the rates of 25% and 10%, respectively.   Taking into consideration feedback received from Canadians through over 1,000 submissions during public consultations, on July 1, 2018, Canada had imposed countermeasures (surtaxes) against (Canadian) $16.6 billion in imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the U.S., representing the value of 2017 Canadian exports affected by the U.S. tariffs. 

Listed within Table 3 (‘Other Products’) on the countermeasures response from the Canadian Department of Finance Page, and subject to a 10 per cent surtax, one is able to find this line item -

• 9504.40.00 - Playing cards

There had been some early speculation that Magic: the Gathering cards could be construed as a type of collectible card, such as hockey or baseball cards.  This however is not the case, as the Magic: the Gathering card is integral to play the game, and thus is quite solidly considered a playing card.  This has reportedly been confirmed to a Canadian gaming store owner by Wizards of the Coast as well as that store’s supply distributor.

It had been suggested that Wizards of the Coast had worked closely with Canadian distributors to get Core 2019 Prerelease and Release product shipped across the Canadian border before the tariffs go into effect on July 1st, the day the new tariffs had taken place.  Just how much product may have landed in Canada before this date is unclear at this time.

Looking into the future, we hope that this new tariffs will be dismissed soon and relations with our American cousins will normalize.  What may be hindering this is that at one point in the not too distant past, the American Constitution gave Congressional power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”, whereas the current trend is to shift this to the executive branch.  The current American regime also has a number of loop-holes to employ such as the clause in the 1974 Trade Act, to impose restrictive tariffs where there is “an adverse impact on national security from imports”.


MTG B&R Update July 2

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

First of all - a very happy Canada Day to all of our fellow Canadians.  There is a massive heat wave in Southern Ontario, so be sure you hydrate.  

A quick word about the updated Magic: the Gathering Banned and Restricted list announced today by Wizards of the Coast.  Essentially, just an adjustment to Legacy with the banning of Deathrite Shaman and Gixtaxian Probe.

Here's the full article link including observations of the metagame :

For standard, no changes - here is the existing list -

Revised: January 19, 2018
• Aetherworks Marvel
• Smuggler's Copter
• Felidar Guardian
• Attune with Aether
• Rogue Refiner
• Rampaging Ferocidon
• Ramunap Ruins