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Magic: the Gathering - Norse Mythology

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

Two ravens had perched upon our shoulder and whispered in our ear that Wizards of the Coast may be giving thought of creating a set, in the not too distant future, on a new Plane of Existence with a Norse mythology theme.  There is little argument that Norse Mythology has been witnessing something of a surge in interest with production of movies, television shows and books illuminating characters from the Viking pantheon.  We will admit that the History Channel series 'The Vikings' and the movies 'The 13th Warrior' (Antonio Banderas) and Marvel's 'Thor' (Chris Hemsworth) had stoked our interest enough to learn more about the myths.  

Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology with the Theros gods

Although our distant Icelandic and Germanic relatives may have had great distaste for sitting through dull school lessons on this subject, we are most decidedly looking forward to a Norse mythology themed Magic: the Gathering set from Wizards.  We are cognizant that there will be detractors in the MTG fan community that story characters may not hold true to the old Norse stories - we have two responses :

• 'based upon' themes must be offered a wide license to develop, and create their environment, without being bound by the details of the originator.  Exampli gratis - Wōtan's eye sacrificed at the Mímisbrunnr well may be lost another way or not lost at all.

• Snorri Sturluson (1179 - 1241), when not drunk and soaking in his hot-tub at Reykholt, recorded the bulk of what we know about the myths in the Gylfaginning and we would not consider his sagas and poems to be a realistic / accurate witness.  In a similar vein, the story of Beowulf was passed down through oral tradition prior to being finally recorded in manuscript, so an argument for a preciseness to detail is a non-starter.

Now - to the creation of a Norse Mythology themed Magic: the Gathering set -

It may be a very well traveled road as Wizards has already created some 23 'God' cards for Theros (Greek Mythology) and Amonkhet (Ancient Egyptian Mythology).  The challenge is to select which figures, whether gods, heroes or beasts to employ and then which of Magic's five colours to have these painted.

Wotan-Denkmal, Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum, Hannover
Odin with pals Huginn, Muninn, Freki, and Geri

We will have a go using Odin, who may be associated with battle, death, knowledge / wisdom , and sorcery (among numerous other attributes) may be considered as having demonstrating almost all of the five colours of Magic: the Gathering.  For this we would need to limit to perhaps one or two (White or Blue perhaps?).  The two ravens which serve Odin  Huginn (Mind) and Muninn (Memory) fly over Jörmungrund every day gathering information for Odin which they relay each evening, so having an 'Enter the Battlefield' effect of this 'god' creature two bird creature tokens seems natural.  The two Wolves Freki (Greedy) and Geri (Ravenous) which are also associated with Odin may be presented in an associated sorcery which generates two 2/2 Wolf tokens, again, not too unreasonable.  To apply static abilities and other details such as mana cost is quite beyond our skill, so we will just simply wait for Magic game developers to bring it all together.

The Norse mythology is deep, rich and able to supply numerous stories to adapt to a Magic: the Gathering set.



Guilds of Ravnica Story

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

The Guilds of Ravnica Story arc, penned by author Nicky Drayden concluded with the fifth and final installment, covering all five Guilds featured in this latest Magic: the Gathering set.  Here are the handy links to each of these great episodes along with the subjective first-person character in brackets and the excellent sketches of that character from artist Wesley Burt.  Wizards of the Coast indicates that Magic Story will continue in early December.

Episode 1 : Under the Cover of Fog (Merret)
Merret, a covert agent of House Dimir, works a lowly position on the docks until he stumbles upon life-changing magic.

Episode 2 : Testing the Dark Waters (Leighbet)
An Izzet chemister makes an incredible discovery about the world . . . and herself.

Episode 3 : Clans and Legions (Weslyn)
A newly promoted Wojek stumbles upon a massive conspiracy.

Episode 4 : Death's Precious Moments (Bozak)
A hopeful kraul competes for training as a necromancer and brushes closer with death than expected.

Episode 5 : Bound and Bonded (Terrik)

A Selesnyan wurmcaller confronts the mistakes of his past with a little help from his friends.



Friday MTG Miscellany

Happy Friday MTG peeps,

Today we have a mish-mash variety of Magic: the Gathering related items for your scrolling here at MTG Realm.  Kicking off today is the Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica in Atlanta, Georgia with a prize pool of $250,000 and the winner walking away with $50,000.  The format starts with booster draft and standard constructed following.  You may check out the coverage at this link.  

If you are heading out to your friendly local gaming store here in Central Ontario (and obviously other parts of Canada), do mind the weather / traffic - as it is heavily snowing right now.  If you find yourself in Barrie, Ontario, do drop over to OMG! Games tonight for Friday Night Magic for a chance to score an FNM promo card.

Now for some of the MTG Misc. via MTG Realm on Tumblr -

Dungeons & Dragons: Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica Dice (Fifth Edition) are releasing soon on November 20, 2018.  The container / tin  looks rather attractive and contains the following dice:

• 1 x D20
• 1 x D12
• 2 x D10s
• 1 x D8
• 4 x D6s
• 1 x D4
• 1 x Special Ravnica Guild die

Here is a closer look at the attractive, semi-translucent dice :

MTG GORE ! :: Be Warned - A time long ago when card sleeves were not in use.

Magic: The Gathering commentator Marshall Sutcliffe had Pro Tour Historian Brian David-Marshall on his MTG Breakdown show back in the summer to show off an amazing piece of game history: video of a Magic tournament from Saturday, November 12, 1994 in the Ball Room at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.  Video linked right here.  One can see mullets, acid-wash jeans, and of course a large number of what is now rather rare and expensive cards.  The video was not only very entertaining but informative as well.

The ‘Gore’ starts around 16:45 with some riffle / bridge shuffles - THE GOLD - Marshall Sutcliffe‘s reaction … . considering that a Black Lotus may have fetched around $20 or $30 bucks back then (if that), now command a price of up to $8,000 (prices obviously very rough).

Finally, for us, the amazing Magic: the Gathering card art that Wizards of the Coast commissions is almost as enjoyable as playing the game itself.  We were very happy to hear that Gallery 1988 in L.A. had a MTG group art exhibit, which feature numerous works.



MTG Ultimate Masters

Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Also, a Happy Guy Fawkes Day to those who celebrate that event - please ensure appropriate fire safety cautions are taken.  In the follow-up to yesterday's post on the 'Ultimate Box Topper', this is a related post.

Announced on Twitch and the Mothersite today, here are the details.

Releasing on December 7, 2018, Ultimate Masters (UMA) brings a host of powerful, sought-after cards - including some of the greatest cards from throughout Magic’s history.

Special Box Toppers
There’s forty different box topper cards, and we did our best to make them count. Box toppers include every mythic rare in the set, many of the rares, and two uncommons (Kitchen Finks and Eternal Witness).

• Set size: 254 cards

• 24 packs per box

• 15-card booster packs, one foil per pack

• Languages: English and Japanese, with global distribution

• One Ultimate Box Topper per box

• MSRP*: $335.76 per box per box (*MSRP applies to United States only)

• Supplies are limited

We understand that this is a 'Masters' set, and apparently from the Twitch video posted by WotC (Blake and Steve), this may be the last.  We anticipate some push back from the Magic: the Gathering fan community, mostly regarding the price, and do share the concern.  Anecdotal discussion indicates that in some areas where similar product has been distributed to the so-called Big Box stores, that these similar items are now priced on clearance to move.  Thankfully, Wizards indicates that Ultimate Masters are to be released to proper WPN stores which face a highly competitive environment against the large retailers.  As we have stated before, without the bricks-and-mortar stores, the roots of the MTG gaming community is at risk.  As for the price, we think the market will hopefully self-regulate - (1) much-needed reprints versus (2) the appetite to absorb the cost to acquire those.



MTG : Ultimate Box Topper

Happy Saturday MTG peeps,

Something very to report to Magic: the Gathering fans who had purchased the Guilds of Ravnica Mythic Edition product through the Hasbro Toy Shop, a short while ago.  This one-off product was a booster box of 24 packs, ideal for drafting and contained a guarantee of eight sough-after special mythic foil masterpiece cards.  There was considerable issues with the online point of sale website which was widely reported which generated a deal of criticism.  

The first reports of letters with an mysterious booster pack started being posted on Friday by individuals who had purchased the above-detailed Mythic Edition product.

Here is the text of the letter enclosed within :

To a Magic Superfan, 

Not too long ago, you went on Hasbro ToyShop to purchase Guilds of Ravnica Mythic Edition. However that ended up for you, we recognize it wasn’t a positive experience and we’re sorry about that. Now, we know you like special Magic products, so to try to make it up to you, we’ve enclosed a special something. It’s a bit of a preview from something we’ve got coming that we think you might like. Feel free to take pictures of it, share it online, or just immediately stick it in your favorite deck or binder

Hopefully, that puts a smile on your face. 

Sincerely, Everyone at Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast 

PS Wondering what the weird cool (hopefully fun) card is enclosed with this letter? Check out

Reference link :

Here is one of the amazing / beautiful cards posted :

There appears to a total of 40 different promos -
* New alternate art for this release.

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre   
Snapcaster Mage   
Temporal Manipulation
Demonic Tutor*
Goryo's Vengeance*
Liliana of the Veil
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Balefire Dragon
Through the Breach
Eternal Witness*
Life from the Loam*
Noble Hierarch
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Lord of Extinction
Maelstrom Pulse
Sigarda, Host of Herons
Fulminator Mage*
Kitchen Finks
Engineered Explosives
Platinum Emperion*
Ancient Tomb*
Cavern of Souls
Celestial Colonnade
Creeping Tar Pit
Dark Depths*
Lavaclaw Reaches
Raging Ravine
Stirring Wildwood
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth*