Thoughts on Khans, Jace and other Magic topics on a drive

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This is a link to a audio file. Me discussing Khans Jace the Mind Sculptor, and other random Magic: the Gathering topics. Since the prerelease is around the corner I wanted to share this with you all.

I am facinated on how each set changed the Meta-game that is standard, and how the cards end up in other sets. I still have a lot of question, that might be simple and I’m just not looking hard enough. Who know.

Enjoy the Next set of Magic: the Gathering Khans of Tarkir

Khans of Tarkir Prerelease

The Khans of Tarkir prerelease is just around the corner and I could not be more…well let’s just say I’m still stuck on Allaura and need to see the cards for myself. I’ thought I’d post this in hope that it will help you all in your participation in the prerelease.

If you have been to a prerelease you understand that it all comes down to really what you pull. In essence a prerelease is like a sealed tournament. There are multiple ways to prepare:

Memorizer all the cards so you know just what interacts with what, build what you think will work, build something crazy and fun just because.

I want to first tell you all to have fun, next is adapt. During the Teros block I had the worst luck with prereleases. If I won any it was only a match or two.

So to help you, here are a few things I learned to adapt to whatever you pull.

Players have frequently told me that for the prerelease you want to have more creatures than spells. Having a field presence or just having a blocker / attacker can make all the difference. And the nice part is even if your creature has no abilities its power and toughness can lend more than enough help.

Cure your mana, this part is like a tempo standard build. I’ve heard that if you can plan each turn out it might give you more comfortable play-style and allow you to have more control or presence in the matches.

Don’t be set on what you pick. This one is mainly for me. At the Theros prerelease I picked black but ended up with no good black. It daunted me up to Nyx when I just got stomped (bad memories). If you find that you have a solid line up in one color, even if it’s not what you thought, work with it. It might surprise you.
[Quick side note: for Khans I am assuming you will get the tri colored lands in the into-pack to help you. You think that would make since otherwise what is the point of picking a Khan-Clan?]

Have a second deck as your side-board. This one struck me a novel. Because it is a prerelease and technically you can have more cards in your sideboard (I’m assuming it was like that for Feral Events if not like that in your area ignore this one). This also give you a good change up second round to keep your opponent off their game. Remember the lands too (though I know you will).

Apart from that I hope you enjoy the new set of Khans of Tarkir and I can’t wait to see how it changes the meta-game as the game of Magic: the Gathering.

Back in the Gathering

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It has been far too long since I last posted on this site. With a bit more control over the content I have decided to better my understanding of Wizards of the Coast’s Magic: the Gathering. With the Latest set: Khans of Tarkir this upcoming weekend there is a lot to discuss about this ever growing game. I wish to understand how the game evolves with each set introduced, and to understand Wizards implementation of the cards.

Reemerging Board Games and Lively Card Games

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Board games makes comeback in café’s. One owner of a coffee shop in Montgomery, Calgary  said, games like “the game of Life,” or Monopoly have been seen more frequently, being played by more people. According to the Calgary Herald, more coffee shops offer table top games to their frequent patrons.

Board game goes Mobil. Wizards of the Coast’s game called “Lords of Waterdeep,” now can be played on the cell phones for the masses. With a Steampunk flare the game provided by Playdeck allows player to have local matches, or gather with members online to play this once board game.

79-year-old solves military card game mystery. A World War I card game who’s secrets were lost to time are opened. Brian Elsegood, found a card game that his grandfather played on the frontlines of the war. The game is called, “Militaire” is a gin rummy like game where players match rank rather than suit.

Owen Turtenwald won back to back Grand Prix’s for Magic: the Gathering moving him up dramatically in the rankings globally. Winning in Albuquerque on the week of November 24th moves Turtenwald up to rank 12 by four points, more than any listed player in the rankings.

Innovations in Hobbies

A Magic: the Gathering card sells for over $27 thousand. The legendary “Black Lotus” only printed in three sets sold for $27,302 on eBay last week. While according to Pastemagazine there are less than 1,100 copies of this card, players of the game have long sought after this rare wonder.

In Detroit, shots were fired into house where men were playing cards. According to police report, two were “fatally wounded” and a third is receiving treatment. Details of this incident are still being gathered by law enforcement.

Modular phones predicted to enter market. Motorola plans to continue with their modular phone project. The project called, “Project Ara” that allows a smart phone to be customized through small blocks that attach to the back of the phone. This according to Moto will help advance the novelty of customization.

Fantasy Football pointless? Now in the 12th week of football season many die-hard fans are closely watching their fantasy team stats. However, according to Benjamin Scott, says that too many people are obsesses with their fantasy teams. While there is heavy strategy that is involved with picking the prophetic team does that team say anything about that person? Scott is quoted saying, “To me it just becomes another thing to follow.”

“Fates Forever” makes $8.2 million says Gamasutra. Battle based game “Fates Forever” for the iPad. Jason Citron, a prominent developer and creator, designed a tablet based battle game that he said was what, “seems like a no-brainer.”

Doors opening and Hobbies

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Village Hobbies & Games in Douglas, Mich. has becomes a place for families to gather for game night. What started in the back of a grocery store has now expanded into a full size store to accommodate players of all genres.  Guest of the store can sit down to at an eight six-chair table and enjoy a night of games.

Player’s help keep comic store open though massive online gaming. A comic store in Fall River, Mass. raised over $5,000 from a, “crowd-sourcing campaign, raising enough to stay in business.” Before the fundraiser the store’s future was uncertain. However, with the latest generosity by local patrons the store is looking to hold special events on a weekly basis.

Sales tools put to card format for competitive edge. EMC (a storage device) has given its employees card based information called, “anti-Pure Storage battle cards,” to give them a competitive edge over the competition. This makes it easier for employees to have the information on hand more readily.

In Washington D.C held its legacy grand prix. The top deck that has the Magic: the Gathering players bussing is called “sneak and show” using two powerful creatures that are “created” into play. This means that these cards are played earlier than what they are originally intended.

New and Emerging

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Teenager debuts as Manga Artist. 14-year-old Sato Ito in Niigata, Japan is now a Manga artist not even out of Junior-high school.  Her work was discovered by a Nakayoshi editor in a contest. Her manga is scheduled to be published weekly by Kodansa Ltd. Sato Ito says that she will continue to study illustration.

Opposition is a card that seems unlikely for a player to run in a Non-standard Magic deck. However, according to Luis Scott-Vargas when combined properly it locks down your opponents options rather quickly. This lock-down idea arrives when tokens have become even more prevalent in Magic.

Mead’s popularity has reemerged in Canada. As one of, “the world’s oldest alcoholic beverages,” and with many varieties breweries have taken to recreating the drink of the gods. This drink allows for brewers to experiment with new ingredients. Mead’s popularity can be due in-part to feudal shows like Game of Thrones.

Magic: the Gathering will be releasing a holiday gift box for players to buy with a special promotional card from Theros. This holiday Magic box contains storage for over 2,000 cards, and four booster packs of 15 cards to start filling the box out. A good gift for anyone who plays Magic.

Vintage Masters to NaNoWriMo

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Vintage Masters for Magic: the Gathering to be released on June 13th. Reports state that Wizards will be reprinting the Power 9. This would cause an uproar due to the Reserve List. However, the set is only for Magic online and player who are not familiar to Vintage.

A new spin off to Magic: the Gathering looks to get a start in 2014 called The 4th Horse. This card game based with the, “tension of poker meets the strategy of chess in a cage fight.” Creator Jim O’Connor has massive global for the game hoping for online format in the future.

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For those who enjoy writing as a hobby or those looking to make a career out of it, NaNoWriMo is a time for writers to just write. Around Lawrence there will be different events that are made to help Spur creativity and get people writing.

When one ends, another Starts.

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The online tactic based game Magic: the Gathering—Tactics is going offline. This spin off game from Sony entertainment and Wizards of the Coast will no longer be available to players. This 3-D game that looks like World of Warcraft had a three year run. While it had a short run, it was still part of the Wizards franchise.

What goes well with McDonald fries? Now what happens when the fast-food-chain stops selling Heinz ketchup?  According to the Independent, when Heinz hired a former, “head of Burger King as its new executive,” McDonald will no longer be carrying the Ketchup.

There are game tournaments for cash, then there are tournaments for charity. Extra Life is hosting a 24 hour marathon of gaming to raise money for local children’s hospitals, The Mass Media of Boston said. This event is open to any form of game. This includes board, card, and interactive as well. For the first time all gamers can help the less fortunate.

Magic: the Gathering is releasing new duel decks (Jace vs. Veraska) and new Commander Decks.  This is the first time that Wizards has given one of its main characters a second appearance in duel decks.  While the new commander decks take an original twist to the Elder-Dragon-Highlander (EDH) format.

History Chanel has presented many unique shows (Such as The Bible) to viewing audiences. Now in cooperation with Lifetime and A&E have begun filming “Bonne and Clyde.” With what History.com is calling, “Its stellar cast,” that includes William Hurt and Holly Hunter this series bring the events of Bonne and Clyde to the new age.

Considering the Combo

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Teysa: unconventional combos for an unconventional deck.

I have always enjoyed Teysa, Orzhov Scion as a character in the world of Magic: the Gathering. Yet where I have seen her played the most is in Elder-Dragon-Highlander or EDH (a format that uses 100 single cards of which there are no multiples and one cards is used as the commander). However, as someone how does not know enough people, that or those that I know just don’t have the time, I wanted to find a 60 card deck that I could give Teysa the most bang for her abilities. I had the original idea to make a Cleric deck that would utilize the Rotlung Reanimator’s abilities of producing a 2/2 zombie creature every time a cleric died while at the same time utilizing Teysa’s first ability where: “Sacrifice three white creatures: Remove target creature from the game.” I however, overlooked the fact that Teysa herself was not a Cleric—yes I do play Magic, and I still over looked this one major detail.

After searching through the Gatherer’s database for cards before Zendekar, I was introduced to a unique Enchantment called Darkest Hour that makes all creatures black. So now, Teysa’s second ability—“Whenever another black creature you control is put into the graveyard from play, put a 1/1 white spirit token with flying into the game”—all you need now is a sacrifice outlet. Ashnod’s Altar was my first choice, then a good friend and Magic player suggested to me Plagued Rusalka. Now I only need a finishing move to end the game…this is where if anyone wants to make this deck I encourage you to find your own unique end-game combo piece.

One suggestion I can give you is a nice Exsanguinate, this only coast two Black mana then X which goes nice with Ashnod’s Alter. Keep sacrificing creature to the altar, which in turn get you another white flyer that becomes black. Sacrifice the newly gotten flyer to the Alter, wash rinse repeat until you have enough to wipe all your opponents off the map.

Option two: You could utilize the Cathars’ Crusade allowing you to give every creature a +1/+1 counter for each creature entering the battlefield. My only concern is you will need protection. Luckily white comes well equipped with nice protection spells—from damage.

Option three: Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. If Ashnod’s Altar, Darkest Hour and Teysa, Orzhov Scion all enter the battlefield without being countered and you have one creature so sacrifice, why not? A 15/15 for 15 that you get practically for free off Ashnod’s Altar.

Option four: You could remove their entire deck by using Bitter Ordeal. This 2B (three converted mana cost) reads, “Search target player’s library for a card and exile it. Then that player shuffles his or her library,” then it has the nasty effect of Gravestorm, copying the spell for each creature put into the graveyard this turn. The question that might come up is, “Wait, tokens do not go to the graveyard, how can this be infinite?” While tokens do “fizzle” (leave play all together) it still goes to the graveyard then is removed. So even the tokens are being sacrificed, Gravestorm does trigger for each sacrificed token.

Option 5: Your own unique idea. I encourage all players to find a combo that, maybe, no one would have thought of (if you do find a combo that not even the top players could think of you are golden, but don’t feel like you have to) and make it work for you.

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