Monday, August 27, 2012

Deck Tech #6, Plus: 17 August 2012's FNM

First of all, I'd like to take a moment to thank this great guy I know, Kevin, who plays at FNM in my home town. He gave me a bit of advice for this blog, so I figured I'd take the advice he gave me. Here is a rough paraphrase of what he said:

  • My videos are good because of how I present them (I think I remember hearing this)
  • When people want to read about Magic, they want it presented, not a bland repetition of news.
So it is kind of/sort of clear as to what needs to happen: I need to write this blog similar to how I present the videos (SIDE NOTE: Despite messing about for two hours with some video programs, a good intro still isn't working out for my Youtube videos, so for another month or two, I'm without a "proper" intro. Maybe I'll do some ridiculous contest for a set of full art Zendikar land, or RTR boosters or something to the person who can create the best intro)

Let me begin by letting you know something somewhat cool... I have finally collected one of every card for the Avacyn Restored set. It took almost 3.5 months, but I did it, without buying a set. It was through packs, trades, and a few individual card purchases that I hadn't pulled after a lot of packs.

Second: I bought 5 booster packs. There were 8 left in the M13 box, and I carefully weighed the packs in my hands, examined the packs, and chose them. Based on the weight (which I can somewhat detect a slight variation between packs with a foil and packs without), I determined 3 of them had foils, and 2 of them didn't. It was actually the other way around. 2 with, 3 without. So I was 67% accurate with determining foils then. In one of these packs, I had a foil Revive (uncommon green) with a Worldfire (mythic rare red) in one pack, and my other pack with a foil? A foil Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker. So far, this is the third foil mythic I have opened from M13. First was Sublime Archangel at the M13 pre-release I went to, second was a Thundermaw Hellkite  from a booster in my Path to Victory intro pack, and then this. I'm happy with this. Those three foil mythics combined, according to Star City Games, equal $105. Of course, as a collector, I wouldn't sell (Thundermaw Hellkite was an exception. Sold it for $40, got a replacement on eBay for $31.11 + free shipping. Earned a very nice $8.89 on MTG cards so far... Of course, this is before foil dropped from about $60 to $35.) Just felt like sharing...

Third: I came in 8 out of 25 for the deck I'm going to put details on here. First match, won 2-1, second match lost 0-2 (but got some great advice on the deck from my opponent, whom I had met at FNM but during all the past 6+ months I have never ever played. Kind of fitting for my last time), third match was a 1-2 loss, fourth match was a 2-1 win, and the last match was a 2-1 win. It was one of my better decks (and ironically was for my girlfriend to use tonight. She decided she didn't want to play, so I used the deck I built for her).

Deck Tech #6: White/Red "Boros" Angels

First, before I start hearing cries of "Restoration Angel!", I should have you know they are all in another deck. A good, other deck. Hopefully this good other deck will fare well for my friend who will be using it. Also, this deck obviously doesn't fit with the "still legal in Return to Ravnica" thing I'm doing. I used what I had to make a deck and in some cases, I was just like "what the hell, this might be my last chance to do something like this unless I find myself playing in Extended."

So, here goes:

2x Cathedral Sanctifier
4x Angelic Wall
2x Emancipation Angel
2x Attended Knight
2x Seraph of Dawn
2x Serra Angel
1x Thundermaw Hellkite (I used the foil one...)
1x Aegis Angel (this will most likely be removed...)
2x Goldknight Redeemer
1x Requiem Angel
1x Gisela, Blade of Goldknight

Basic Land
10x Plains
8x Mountains

1x Cavern of Souls (obviously used for "Angels", but I did have to use it for "Humans" once, but planned to negate that by returning it to my hand with Emancipation Angel)
1x Clifftop Retreat (not buying any more dual lands. I'm good for now... I'll just wait for RTR and Gatecrash)
2x Evolving Wilds
1x Slayer's Stronghold

1x Chandra, the Firebrand (might take her out)
1x Gideon Jura (will take him out)

1x Sword of Body and Mind (helped me win a few games...)
2x Moonsilver Spear (high casting cost & equipping cost is high. Candidate for removal.)

Other Spells
4x Searing Spear
4x Oblivion Ring
1x Angelic Destiny (This + Thundermaw Hellkite = AWESOMENESS)
2x Angelic Benediction ("Angel" in card name =/= good for an angel deck)
1x Bonfire of the Damned (Bonfire for 1? Why would I do that? Kill those 1/1 mana dorks, that's why! And I couldn't miracle it that one time)

4x Moment of Heroism (never used these...)
4x Pacifism (never used these, but might have been good)
2x Seraph of Dawn (main deck was good with just the two in it)
1x Planar Cleansing (reset switch almost used it one game)
3x Thunderous Wrath (worked very nicely in my favor often, definitely goes in main deck...)

So, long story short, as you can tell by my notes, some things are not needed. Planeswalkers were good diversions, but not necessary. Sword of Body and Mind worked perfectly. Deck needs more Cavern of Souls, Thunderous Wrath belongs in the main deck, I need to put another Thundermaw Hellkite in here, and then another Slayer's Stronghold would do me some good.

I'll go ahead and update this deck in the future in another post, so keep watching for it. I'd like to hear your suggestions as well. Also, enjoy the Deck Tech video for this deck below:

Deck Tech #5: Blue Mill Deck

This is the deck list for my blue mill deck that I built around the time that M13 came out. This deck has some components that will go out of the Standard format on October 5th, but for the most part, everything is in the Innistrad Block and M13.

So without further ado, here is the deck (and the video is below it):

3x Jace's Phantasm
2x Fog Bank

2x Jace, Memory Adept

Basic Land
24 x Island

1x Sands of Delirium

Other Spells
4x Dream Twist
4x Thought Scour
4x Vapor Snag
4x Jace's Erasure
4x Mana Leak
4x Mind Sculpt
4x Dreadwaters

2x Chronomaton
2x Cellar Door
4x Essence Scatter
2x Encrust
3x Curse of the Bloody Tome
2x Rotcrown Ghoul

Deck Tech #4: Affordable Vampire Deck

This deck may not be the best Vampire Deck out there, but I was asked to make an economical Black/Red Vampire deck. So Here is one deck that should cost under $15 if you buy the singles, but you probably have several cards from opening booster packs. If you want any rares or mythic rares, you'll have to add them yourself (and I recommend using Dragonskull Summit in place of a few lands too).

Here is the deck (and below is the video):

4x Bloodthrone Vampire
2x Vampire Nighthawk
2x Wall of Fire
1x Bloodflow Connoisseur
4x Markov Patrician
1x Heirs of Stromkirk
4x Duskmantle Prowler
1x Havengul Vampire
1x Nearheath Stalker

Basic Land
13x Swamp
11x Mountain

Other Spells
4x Crippling Blight
2x Searing Spear
4x Volcanic Strength
2x Tribute to Hunger
4x mark of the Vampire

Deck Tech #3: Red Army (of Goblins)

So I recently did a Goblin deck tech video on Youtube since I was asked about a Goblin deck. This is pretty much a deck that borrows off the Mob Rule deck but adds in many of cards as well.

I did not build a sideboard for this one as at the time I could not really think of anything to put in the sideboard and because I pretty much cobbled a deck together in about 30 minutes based on the intro pack. So here is the deck list (video can be found at the bottom of this post):

Legendary Creatures
1x Krenko, Mob Boss

4x Goblin Arsonist
4x Mogg Flunkies
2x Wall of Fire
4x Arms Dealer
4x Rummaging Goblin
4x Goblin Battle Jester

1x Chandra, the Firebrand

Basic Land
20x Mountain

2x Ring of Valkas

Other Spells
3x Banners Raised
4x Krenko's Command
1x Fervor
2x Flames of the Firebrand
1x Cleaver Riot
1x Chandra's Fury
2x Volcanic Geyser

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wizards of the Coast Products through December 2012 (NOT Return to Ravnica)

So I'm going to give you guys an update on the products from Wizards of the Coast that we know more about all in one blog post. So here we go:

Izzet vs. Golgari Duel Decks

First of all, the two cards shown there have been officially revealed. Niv-Mizzet is a reprint not legal in Return to Ravnica, while Jarad is a new card that will also be printed in Return to Ravnica. If you buy this, you have two cards that would be awesome in Commander/EDH decks (we'll get to EDH in a bit...), but you also have a foil mythic rare you can use on October 5th at FNM (I'm not sure if this is the actual art for Jarad in RTR, or if this is an alternate art like most duel decks have).


Commander's Arsenal

There you have it folks. That is the symbol for Commander's Arsenal. But wait, there's more!

So that is what the inside of the box looks like pretty much...

This is some close ups of what you're looking at:

So here is what you are looking at: Sylvan Library with a new art, and I believe it's in foil... There are also new oversized foil cards like Azusa, Lost but Seeking. And then we have a life counter that goes up to 99. I assume it will work something like a Rubik's Cube... Wait... look at that life counter here, and now go look at the box's contents. Different colors? So we have a silver/gray/metallic color and a gold color life counter at least...

This box contains:
  • 18 premium foil cards
  • 10 oversized premium foil cards
  • 120 UltraPRO foil card sleeves
  • 20 double-sided Battle Marks (+ and –)
  • A life counter that goes up to 99
Want to know the price? $74.99 for MSRP. Now, you can obviously see the "Battle Marks", life counter, three packs of 40 sleeves, and then the oversized cards. What gets me is the 18 premium foil cards. Sure there is that one pack, but there are three flipped over. One or two are going to be the premium foil cards, but not all four, right? I'm calling it... There HAS to be more. I'm guessing there is more here than the "strategically placed" packs inside. I'm expecting a Sol Ring and a Commander's Tower, at least...

Oh, and also the Mimeoplasm from Devour for Power returns. I'm thinking as a premium foil card, regular size. It was pretty popular, so that's probably one more of the cards. There was an image of it, but it was too small.

Also, here is some art from this:

New Commander's Tower art?

From the Vault: Realms

If you are expecting an unboxing video for this, I can tell you now, of the three products in this post, this is the one I probably won't get... MSRP is $34.99, and for 15 cards, a life counter, and a fancy box, that's a bit much. Yes, these are all in foil, but I'm not quite sure I would get this... Who knows, I may wind up getting it... Or I might just bu a few singles. Now I don't have much of an explanation for you for the pictures. Only 6 cards have been revealed, as well as the box and the expansion symbol. So here we are:

FtV - Realms Symbol

FtV Realms Box

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - FTV Realms Spoiler     Forbidden Orchard - FtV Realms Spoiler 
Dryad Arbor - FTV Realms Spoiler      Grove of the Burnwillows - FTV Realms Spoiler
Glacial Chasm - FTV Realms Spoiler     Murmuring Bosk - FTV Realms Spoiler

Return to Ravnica (But it isn't October Yet!) Part 3

Rumors are flying all over the place about the set coming out in October. Some things are fake, but other things are without a doubt true. So what do we know so far?

Planeswalkers in Return to Ravnica & Gatecrash Rumors

FACT: Jace is one of the two planeswalkers in Return to Ravnica, and this will be a brand new card. 
RUMOR: Of course, there is a rumor out there that he costs UR (1 Blue and 1 Red), has 1 loyalty, +2, 0, and -7 abilities where -7 gives an emblem that deals damage. We don't know anything for certain, but if Jace is actually multi-colored, then he would be Blue/Red given his association with Niv-Mizzet, leader of the Izzet guild.

FACT: Gideon is one of two planeswalkers in Gatecrash. He is most likely getting a new card. It appears that he is affiliated with Boros, the White/Red guild, so he may very well be multicolored.

FACT: There will be 5 planeswalkers in this block (as is typical of each block these days), and we know that they are as such in the block: 2-2-1. This means that since Jace is in RTR, then there is one more planeswalker, same with Gideon in Gatecrash. So we know two of the five planeswalkers.

MondayMorningMTG Speculation: Given that there is a Blue/Green planeswalker, Kiora Atua, a merfolk who debuted in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013, and since Simic is in Gatecrash, and is also controlled by a merfolk, then we may have our first Blue/Green planeswalker come February.

Guild Leaders Rumors

Despite what some websites say, each guild leader is a legendary creature and will be a NEW version. I've been looking around, and some poor souls think that Niv-Mizzet (pictured below) is being reprinted as Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind based off the Duel Deck. Niv-Mizzet gets a brand new card. Jarad never had a card in the original Ravnica block, so of course that card in the Izzet vs. Golgari Duel Deck is going to appear in Return to Ravnica.

Niv-Mizzet is not being reprinted in RTR
This guy is new. Not having a card in the original Ravnica Block means he is in RTR.

Rootborn Defenses Rumor

So someone supposedly pulled a card called "Rootborn Defenses" out of an M13 pack from a sealed box that he bought. I obviously haven't opened enough packs because I never got one of these. Jokes aside, this looks cool.

Rootborn Defenses has a Selesnya watermark.

So essentially, this card copies a creature token under your control, and then all your creatures are indestructible. You get one guy and protect the rest. Of course, some people pointed out a few problems with this card, which for all we know, it was not finalized.
Problems: 1) "LLC" is missing from beside "Wizards of the Coast" at the bottom. 2) The "Populate" keyword doesn't have the description right after it like most cards that explain keywords. 3) The set symbol looks different [Which I will explain as that the RTR set symbol was released showing the rare variety. Anything Uncommon and above enlarges the colored areas and the space between points. Think New Phyrexia and Innistrad. Set symbols look different in size based on rarity].

So far, it looks like we have some pretty awesome cards...

Deck Tech #2: Blue/Red Theft

I thought up this deck based on the cards in standard that gain control of creatures, so I went ahead and made it. There are some cards I wished I had duplicates of, and more of my own creatures in the deck, but I wanted to keep it at 60 cards and keep it's original purpose: stealing your opponent's creatures.

Here is the deck (with the video after):

2x Fog Bank
3x Beguiler of Wills
4x Soul Siezer
4x Zealous Conscripts

1x Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded

Basic Land
12x Island
8x Mountain

2x Sulfur Falls
1x Cavern of Souls

Other Spells
4x Unsummon
4x Essence Scatter
4x Negate
4x Krenko's Command
4x Traitorous Blood
2x Switcheroo
1x Spirit Away

4x Downpour
4x Encrust
4x Tricks of the Trade
1x Beguiler of Wills
2x Switcheroo

Deck Tech #1: Black/Red Burn

This particular deck is a modification of one that I used at one point. I updated it to still work after Return to Ravnica without having to replace any cards.

This entire deck is creatureless and is all burn spells and kill spells. Hope you enjoy it.

Deck list is below (and the video is below that):

Basic Land
10x Swamp
10x Mountain

2x Dragonskull Summit

Other Spells
4x Bump in the Night
4x Tragic Slip
4x Pillar of Flame
4x Searing Spear
4x Thunderbolt
4x Murder
4x Brimstone Volley
2x Exquisite Blood
3x Thunderous Wrath
4x Killing Wave
1x Bonfire of the Damned

4x Dangerous Wager
4x Flames of the Firebrand
3x Essence Drain
4x Demolish

Monday, August 6, 2012

M13 Event Deck Videos!

M13 Repeat Performance (White/Green) Event Deck

M13 Sweet Revenge (Blue/Red) Event Deck

As per a question posed in the first Event Deck video about getting ad revenue from Youtube, should I do the same here? I probably will, but I'd like your input in the comments below.