Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Math & Statistics of the Dragon's Maze Prerelease

So I've spent a couple of days working on the math of the prerelease, and I even had a statistics guy (El Tigre from the Sorn vs. Tibalt deck test video) look over my work. And he says that it I did my math right. I'm not bad at math, but I had to have a second opinion. So here are my findings:

Most stores have 80 prerelease boxes. It used to be 16 for each guild split by 5. Now we split by 10, so there are going to be 8 boxes per store. Of course, I'm pretty sure the number is 80, but I could be wildly off. Who knows...

We also know that there are secret guilds with the guild we choose. It is one of the four guilds from the opposite set that shares one of the colors of your guild's color pair (ex. Izzet can be paired with Dimir, Boros, Gruul, or Simic).

So... I've worked out what probability each guild will have at a particular shared color. Let me explain a bit...

Given the Izzet example, I did this for all the guilds. And I came up with this:

GuildColor 1Color 2Color 3
Azorius (White/Blue)50% - Black25% - Green25% - Red
Orzhov (White/Black)50% - Green25% - Blue25% - Red
Dimir (Blue/Black)50% - Red25% - White25% - Green
Izzet (Blue/Red)50% - Green25% - Black25% - White
Rakdos (Black/Red)50% - White25% - Green25% - Blue
Golgari (Black/Green)50% - Blue25% - Red25% - White
Gruul (Red/ Green)50% - Black25% - White25% - Blue
Boros (Red/White)50% - Blue25% - Black25% - Green
Selesnya (Green/White)50% - Red25% - Blue25% - Black
Simic (Green/Blue)50% - White25% - Red25% - Black

So, essentially, this tell you what guild to choose for a tri-color pair. Or at least the best chance of getting the pair you want (which is 50%).

So, if you want the Esper Shard you should choose Azorius, Dimir for Grixis, Gruul for Jund, Selesnya for Naya, and Simic for Bant.

Don't know the shards? Quick explanation:

  • Esper = W/U/B
  • Grixis = U/B/R
  • Jund = B/R/G
  • Naya = R/G/W
  • Bant = G/W/U
If you want enemy wedges, choose the following: Orzhov for Necra, Izzet for Ceta, Rakdos for Dega, Golgari for Ana, and Boros for Raka.

Don't know what those are? Tristamicus commented about them on this post. But here is a quick breakdown:
  • Ana = U/B/G or BUG
  • Ceta = U/R/G or RUG
  • Dega = W/B/R or Kaalia of the Vast's colors
  • Necra = W/B/G or "Junk"
  • Raka = W/U/R or "America"
But there's more! Just like with the extra colors, of course you could get different shards or wedges. We're just talking high probability here...

GuildColor 1Color 2Color 3
Azorius (White/Blue)50% - Esper25% - Raka25% - Bant
Orzhov (White/Black)50% - Necra25% - Esper25% - Dega
Dimir (Blue/Black)50% - Gixis25% - Ana25% - Esper
Izzet (Blue/Red)50% - Ceta25% - Grixis25% - Raka
Rakdos (Black/Red)50% - Dega25% - Jund25% - Grixis
Golgari (Black/Green)50% - Ana25% - Necra25% - Jund
Gruul (Red/ Green)50% - Jund25% - Naya25% - Ceta
Boros (Red/White)50% - Raka25% - Dega25% - Naya
Selesnya (Green/White)50% - Naya25% - Bant25% - Necra
Simic (Green/Blue)50% - Bant25% - Ceta25% - Ana

I took the math just a little further... I decided to see which guilds had more allied and more enemy color pairs.

Guild% Allied% Enemy
Of course, it shouldn't be a surprise that the allied color guilds have more of the shards and the enemy color guilds have more of the wedges, but... Wait, Rakdos and Simic? What is their problem?

I went back and did this twice, and I also had someone look over my work... Rakdos and Simic both have an equal chance of being an allied pair or an enemy pair with your secret guild.

Anyway, long story short, if you want to know which guild to choose for the higher chance you'll get the color pairing you want, take the math from the first table. But remember this:

If a store has 80 boxes, and each guild has 8 boxes in all, in a statistically perfect situation, 4 will have the color pairing you want, and 4 won't, but hopefully of the 4 that won't, 2 of them will have a pair you're okay with. So for instance, if you want Grixis, go with Dimir, but if you know you want an allied shard if you can't have Grixis, Dimir is probably your best bet (since 50% will be Grixis and 25% will be Esper).

I'd like to use Boros and Simic, but Selesnya might be better in place of Boros since I'd like Naya, and for Simic, since I want RUG/Ceta, I'd be better off with Izzet since I have a better chance.

Anyway, I hope you like my assessment. Good luck in you're prerelease, and enjoy playing with Dragon's Maze!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dragon's Maze Spoilers & Monday Morning MTG Updates

So all the cards for Dragon's Maze have now been revealed. Want to check them all out? Click here.

As a college student has exams starting Saturday, I don't have time to run through them all and talk about them, what they'll be good for, or how useful they will be. Just know that I am definitely looking forward to Dragon's Maze being released and that I will definitely be using some of these cards in a few of my decks.

Speaking of this weekend, April 27 and 28, the Dragon's Maze prereleases will be taking place. Be sure to check with your local game store to find out when they will be holding the event, how much entry is, and if they let you, reserve your guild. All you have to do then is show up, pay, and get free promos and the cards in the boosters you purchased for the event.

I will definitely be attending at least two events this weekend. My store has them at 11, 1, and 4 on Saturday, but due to an exam I have, I may wind up missing the one at 11.

Depending on how many I attend, be sure to expect videos of them from me. I'll be opening the boxes, but won't be doing the decks, so you'll just have to wait until Monday, April 29 for the deck lists. Videos should hopefully be done and uploaded to YouTube on Sunday.

Also speaking of Dragon's Maze, be sure to look for my unboxing videos on May 4 or May 5. I'll be opening everything May 4, but may not be able to get videos uploaded by the end of the day.

One last thing to say: I now have a page to replace the blog posts for the most expensive cards from Avacyn Restored and Return to Ravnica. In fact, it includes all sets currently in Standard and I plan to update once every two weeks at least. Check out that page here.

As always, this is being completely run by me on my own money, as are the unboxing videos on YouTube. I get no funding from anyone, so if you like the blog and the videos, please donate! Thank you.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dragon's Maze Spoilers Part 10


3 mana to turn one of your creatures into a 4/4 blue and red dragon with flying and no other abilities. Not bad, I suppose. Of course, for just four more mana, you can make all your creatures 4/4 blue and red dragons with flying. Not bad I suppose. Probably difficult to play though given the high mana cost.

Korozda Gorgon

5 mana for a 2/5 with deathtouch, and then if you pay two mana, you can remove a +1/+1 counter from one of your creatures in order to give another creature -1/-1 until end of turn... Token removal I suppose...

Unflinching Courage

3 mana to enchant a creature with +2/+2 trample and lifelink? Better than Rancor, but higher cost. I think I'd rather drop this on a Thragtusk than using a Rancor on a Thragtusk...

Orzhov Guildgate

Art in the frame...

For six mana, you choose a creature or player, and then draw three cards. Once that's done, you discard a card and it deals damage to that discarded card's mana cost to the creature or player chosen. Interesting. Bit costly though. Maybe more for Commander/EDH or something that involves high costing spells...

Six mana for a 4/5. Not too bad so far. One of its abilities is to pay one blue mana to exile it and bring it back at the beginning of the next end step. Interesting... You can also pay a blue mana to make it unblockable. Then you can pay a colorless mana to either give it +1/-1 or -1/+1. Interesting, interesting...

I think that's it for right now... I'll see what I can do about getting these cards up on the spoilers page...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dragon's Maze Spoilers Part 9

Let's start off with today's revealed cards and then move onto ones from yesterday I missed, shall we?

(Also, I'll try and update the spoilers tab soon. Haven't had much time to add all the cards to it.)

She makes tokens so much better! But... she costs 7 to cast... Maybe good in Commander/EDH though. I'd throw her in as a commander with Trostani as the back-up commander, and then just have a lock of token generating going on.

Okay, so if memory serves me right, this is the first Bloodrush card revealed, I think... Bloodrush is nice, but doesn't have a modifier like some of the other ones had (trample is one, I think haste or doublestrike was another). However, as long as a player takes combat damage from a creature you control and Pyrewild Shaman is in your graveyard, you can return it to your hand at the cost of 3 mana. Not bad I guess...

For four mana, you can deal four damage to a creature or player and then you can gain 4 life isn't bad at all. Boros charm dealing four damage to a player for 2 mana is just a bit better though, despite getting life out of this. I mean, if by turn 4 you had four land and had drawn all four Boros Charms in your deck, you could have already done 16 damage to your opponent (Charm turn 2, Charm turn 3, two charms turn 4), but this takes a little while to get to...

Moving on to the cards yesterday that were released by non Wizards sources...

Wake the Reflections

Plain and simple. One mana to copy a token.

Catch & Release

Catch lets you gain control of a creature until the end of your turn, and it gets haste. Typical stealing card... Cheaper than Zealous Conscripts, but then again, you don't get your own creature with this...

Release causes each player to sacrifice an artifact, a creature, an enchantment, a land, and a planeswalker for 6 mana. This is very powerful, especially paired with Catch. Just costs a lot to cast.

Selesnya Guildgate

Art in the card frame.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dragon's Maze Spoilers Part 8

Nivix Cyclops

A 1/4 for 3 mana, and it has defender, but when an instant or sorcery spell is cast, you can attack as though it didn't have defender and it gets +3/+0. Pretty good...

Notion Thief

So for four mana, you can flash in a 3/1 that lets you draw a card instead of an opponent if an opponent were to draw a card outside of their draw phase. I like this...

Viashino Firstblade

3 mana for a 2/2 with haste that gets +2/+2  until end of turn when it first hits the battlefield. This definitely has a place in my Battalion deck.

Warped Physique

2 mana to give a creature +X/-X until end of turn when X is the number of cards in your hand. So you can either pump larger creatures, or kill creatures you opponent has. Not bad, not bad...

Boros Guildgate

Art in a frame.

3 Mana to look ath te top four cards of your library, reveal up to two cards that are instants or sorceries, and put them in your hand, putting the rest on the bottom of your library in any order. Pretty good if you have a lot of sorceries and instants you are trying to use. Hm... Maybe a white tokens, red burn, and blue control deck?

Maze Elemental Cycle

6 mana for a 3/6 with vigilance and all of the multicolored creatures you control sharing that vigilance. 6 mana? Probably not really worth it...

6 mana for a 3/5 with flying that gives all your multicolored creatures flying as well. Still not as worth it, but definitely getting there...

6 mana for a 4/5 with deathtouch that gives your multicolored creatures deathtouch. Better. More power, a bit less toughness, and something I'd want on more of my creatures...

6 mana for a 6/3 with haste that gives your multicolored creatures haste. Haste could be worth it, but the 6 mana is what weighs on me... Maybe this cycle is more for Commander...

6 mana for a 5/4 that has trample and gives all your multicolored creatures trample. Eh... I guess it's okay... I'm thinking the high cost of these cards indicates longer games (Commander/EDH) or casual games, not tournaments. Although, it'd be interesting to see someone play these... Ramp could help...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dragon's Maze Previews Part 7

Possibility Storm

Um... so you cast a spell, it gets exiled, then you begin exiling cards from your library until you reach a card with the same type as the one you first cast, you cast that for free, and then everything exiled goes in a random order on the bottom of your library. Uh... Does the first one resolve too? I'm assuming it does...

Alive & Well

Very Selesnya. I like Well, and Alive is pretty good, especially when you cast them together.

Initiative der Legion

Okay, so for two mana, your red creatures get +1/+0 and your white creatures get +0/+1 (and then red/white creatures get +1/+1, but that's obvious since they're both colors). That's nice. Exiling all creatures you control and exiling this card after paying two mana? Uh, I guess you block their stuff with small creatures, before damage is dealt, you exile all of your creatures, and drop them back on the battlefield under your control? Pity since many Boros creatures revolve around human and soldier tokens... Then again, whatever lets you hold on that much longer...

Savageborn Hydra

Yes! Well, sort of. It starts out as a Primordial Hydra (except one green is replaced with a red) and it comes in with X +1/+1 counters. This one, however, has double strike and doesn't double counters at the beginning of your upkeep. But for two mana, you can always add another +1/+1 counter, except only when you could cast a sorcery... Pretty good card, I think...

Tajic, Blade of the Legion

YES! Oh, the perfect card to add to my Boros deck... Shoot, forget Firemane Avenger... I'm putting Tajic in! He'll become a 7/7 that can't be destroyed! Already love this card.

Izzet Guildgate

Art in the frame...

Interesting... You can start taking cards out of your library at random with this. Definitely modifies that Junk Reanimator deck... They can get their stuff faster and may be able to randomly put their Angel of Glory's Rise on the battlefield...

Whoa! 5 mana for a 4/4 that has lifelink and protection from its own colors (hit it with a Mizzium Mortars ASAP!). And then when you have over 30 life and an opponent has 10 or less life, it becomes a 10/10 with flying? WHAT? Well, I could see this being pretty damn useful in Commander/EDH. Kaalia deck anyone?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dragon's Maze Spoilers Part 6

Golgari Guildgate

Art in the card frame. Moving on.

Renegade Krasis

Interesting... Shouldn't be too hard to evolve this creature at least once...

Far & Away

Make a player return a creature and sacrifice a creature with one card. Not bad...

Flesh & Blood

Flesh is costly but powerful and could be pretty useful. And Blood combined with it? Completely awesome. I'd probably just use this for Blood and forget about Flesh (except in a Jund deck, probably Commander/EDH).

Goblin Test Pilot

Interesting card... 3 mana for an 0/2 that flies and can be tapped to deal two damage randomly to a creature or player... I assume this includes all creatures and players... So maybe Stuffy Doll and Boros Recokoner should be paired with this so your opponent and their creatures will be almost always guaranteed damage, even if it doesn't initially hit them.

Azorius Cluestone   Boros Cluestone
Dimir Cluestone   Golgari Cluestone
Gruul Cluestone   Izzet Cluestone
Orzhov Cluestone   Rakdos Cluestone
Selesnya Cluestone   Simic Cluestone

Ah, the Cluestone cycle. Definitely far worse than the signets. With that, you could pay 2 mana, and then pay one mana to make two colored mana. Here, you pay 3 mana and can only create one. Let's consider advantage:

If they can be tapped for mana the turn they are played, let's look at this:
  • Signet: -2 to play, -1 for filtering, +2 output = -1 mana
  • Cluestone: -3 to play, +1 output = -2 mana.
Next turn:
  • Signet -1 for filtering, +2 output = 1 mana (with deficit from previous turn) = 0 mana
  • Cluestone: +1 output = 1 mana (with deficit from previous turn) = -1 mana
So overall. signets are worth it, Cluestones not in the long run. Plus, instead of a cluestone, I'd much rather have a Keyrune. Drawing a card may be useful, but Keyrunes and Signets are far better.

So... you copy a creature, and at the beginning of your upkeep, if Progenitor Mimic isn't a copy of a token, you put a token on the battlefield that is a copy of this. They had to do this so the tokens don't start multiplying and so we don't have an exponential explosion of creatures.

Give is pretty sweet. a +1/+1 per mana and it all goes onto one creature... Take isn't too bad either, especially if you've used a Zameck Guildmage to pull all counters from Strangle Root Geists multiple times... Simic needs to play with Tamiyo so you can have unlimited hand sizes, I think...

Event Deck

No spoilers set as to what is in it, but for the same $25 MSRP, they will have just one event deck, but 10 rares inside. And if you can't tell, we'll be seeing a Selesnya Event Deck

Junk Deck

Slitherhead x4
Strangleroot Geist x4
Loxodon Smiter x2
Silverblade Paladin x2
Vampire Nighthawk x4
Desecration Demon x2
Wolfir Silverheart x2
Thragtusk x2

Sorin, Lord of Innistrad x2

Chromatic Lantern x2

Other Spells
Rancor x4
Farseek x4
Lingering Souls x4
Revenge of the Hunted x2

Gavony Township x2
Godless Shrine x1
Isolated Chapel x2
Overgrown Tomb x2
Sunpetal Grove x4
Temple Garden x4
Woodland Cemetery x2
Plains x1
Swamp x1
Forest x1

Fog x2
Naturalize x2
Oblivion Ring x4
Loxodon Smiter x2
Murder x2
Killing Wave x1
Slime Molding x2

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dragon's Maze Spoilers Part 5

Breaking & Entering

Non-foil, non-promo version.

Bred for the Hunt

Interesting... Good for card draw. Play two and you start getting a lot of cards when evolved creatures attack and deal combat damage.

Council of the Absolute

Wow! A global control card. You could name Bonfire, any burn spell, Sphinx's Revelation, etc. And then you can cast whatever card you name for two less mana? And this is only 4 mana and you get these abilities plus a 2/4 creature? Awesome!

Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker

5 mana for a 2/4 that when he deals combat damage to a player, they mill until they reveal four lands. Pretty good. It will be interesting to see how much he is played...

Obzedat’s Aid

For five mana, you can return any permanent in your graveyard to the battlefield. Well, this just sort of helps Junk Reanimator...

Rot Farm Skeleton

4 mana for a 4/1 that can't block, but if you pay four mana and mill four cards, you can return Rot Farm Skeleton to the battlefield from your graveyard... Interesting...


Three mana to make it so when each creature you control dies, it deals 2 damage to target creature an opponent controls... Not bad...

Gruul Guildgate

Guildgate art in the card frame now...

Putrefy from the original Ravnica Block is back... 3 mana to destroy target artifact or creature without the possibility of them regenerating.

Ah, the card that makes */* Elemental tokens. 2 mana for a 2/2 that creates a token with power and toughness equal to the number of creatures you control each time an opponent casts a spell during your turn or if Voice of Resurgence dies... I like it.

Intro Decks


So we have Simic, Rakdos, Gruul, Azorious, and Orzhov as the guilds.