Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What WOTC did wrong with the sale of the SDCC Planeswalkers

This post was supposed to be done on Monday, but I forgot over the weekend to write this. So here we go:

I think everyone who is involved in Magic, whether collecting, playing, or just completely admiring the game is what the foil black-on-black planeswalkers from SDCC were made for. They were made for you.

The SDCC Planeswalkers were NOT made for people who showed up at the Hasbro Toy Shop booth to buy something else and figured they could cheat MTG players, collectors, and enthusiasts out of a few hundred dollars.

So they were only available at San Diego Comic Con. I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay is the fact that you could buy 2 and that anyone could buy them. It should have been limited to 1, and limited as to who could buy it.

I would assume that if they sold it for a few days, then you could also come back the next day and buy two more. So as long as you had the money, and the time to stand in line and then another line all day for a couple of days, then you would have four boxes of the planeswalkers to sell for about $400+ online.

This could have done much better. But this was at a Comic Con, and people should be allowed to buy anything there, it could have been done by DCI number to restrict who could buy it to Magic players (and when these were announced online, it could have been noted that you would be required to have a DCI number. WOTC already cracks down on limiting one DCI number per person and allow people to combine their DCI numbers in the event someone has multiples). So yes, I believe this should have been available to Magic players or collectors.

Now, online, it was worse. At some point on Thursday, about 3:22 Eastern Standard Time this past week, they sold out in under five minutes. They told me that they only sold 1 per buyer. But could people who went to SDCC camp out online (since they had time to stand in line to buy these at Comic Con, maybe they had time to camp out online, hit F5 every second, and then buy them online too). If they had done this by DCI number, there could be no repeat purchases.

Now, further online, anyone wanting to buy the collectible/exclusives on HasbroToyShop.com. Now, some of us with full time jobs don't have time to watch online every second, so people who legitimately want/wanted the items couldn't buy them. Now this is a first for Wizards doing something quite like this, so what should have been done was an online lottery/raffle to have the chance to buy the item. They could have announced a place to sign up with your DCI number for a chance to win the opportunity to buy the SDCC Planeswalkers instead of them going to just about anyone.

Consider the I Heart Radio party, or whatever it is that tickets sold out in under a minute. But, then all the stations that are affiliated with I Heart Radio have tickets to give away by contests such as texting the station or being the nth called to the radio station.

So that's about it. It should have gone differently. Only Magic people should have been allowed to buy. I'd feel better knowing only people who have played or collected Magic would be selling it online for more money, than the chance anyone could have purchased it. And then, on top of that, online sales should have been done by lottery where you have the chance to buy the box, but don't actually win it. That is a better way it could have been done.

But that's just my opinion.

Monday, July 22, 2013

You have 3 months, so make them count!

As many of you know, once Theros comes out, M13 and the Innistrad block will be rotating out of Standard. So that means we are losing about half of all the cards currently in Standard. So what can you do with all 8 sets now? Here are some fun decks to play with (which I made without the cards in hand. I'm pretty sure I have all the cards to make these decks, and I think these decks may work decently well):

Junk/Necra (White/Black/Green) Lifegain


x4 Soulmender
x3 Child of Night
x3 Vampire Nighthawk
x4 Voracious Wurm
x2 Archangel of Thune
x1 Obzedat, Ghost Council


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

Other Spells

x2 Fog
x4 Rancor
x4 Divine Favor
x2 Doom Blade
x2 Mark of the Vampire
x2 Angelic Accord
x2 Alive//Well
x2 Ready//Willing


x2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad


x2 Doomblade
x4 Heroes' Reunion
x4 Moment of Heroism
x2 Thragtusk
x3 Profit//Loss

Okay, so the main point of this deck is to get Archangel of Thune (AoT) out onto the battlefield to pump all your creatures with the life gain through other creatures and spells. Soulmender, of course, is used to trigger AoT's ability. Each one tapped individually triggers the ability. Then you have Child of Night and Vampire Nighthawk for lifelink, and Voracious Wurm is used as a large creature from the lifegain. Obzedat is used to drain life and then gain life, as well as potentially end the game in your favor.

All the spells are useful for pumping creatures, lifegain, avoid damage, or kill a creature. Sorin, Lord of Innistrad is used to permanently pump creatures through the emblem, or make a 1/1 lifelink vampire.

The sideboard is mainly here to provide all the things the mainboard couldn't hold within 60 cards, such as more Doomblades, lifegain with Heroes' Reunion, lifelink and pumping of creatures with Moment of Heroism, Profit // Loss for pumping your creatures and bring down opponent's creatures, and then Thragtusk for life and an additional creature once Thragtusk dies. These don't specifically help against other specific decks you may run into, just different strategies for this deck, between pump spells and extra lifegain.

Junk/Necra (White/Black/Green) Human Reanimator


x4 Champion of the Parish
x4 Doomed Traveler
x4 Blood Artist
x4 Xathrid Necromancer
x3 Bloodthrown Vampire
x2 Angel of Glory's Rise
x1 Archangel of Thune


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

Other Spells

x4 Fog
x4 Rancor
x4 Doomblade
x4 Gather the Townsfolk


x2 Chalice of Life/Chalice of Death


x4 Quag Sickness
x3 Cartel Aristocrat
x2 Fiendslayer Paladin
x2 Silverblade Paladin
x4 Giant Growth

So the main point of this deck is to pump Champion of the Parish, and create zombies when the humans die with Xathrid Necromancer. Once humans have died and you have zombie tokens, you then bring in Angel of Glory's Rise, sacrifice the zombies to Bloodthrone Vampire, as a result triggering Blood Artist's ability. As long as Archangel of Thune is on the field, for each create sacrificed, you can pump Bloodthrone Vampire with Archangel of Thune's ability plus Bloodthrone Vampire's ability. After sacrificing the zombies and returning the humans, you can sacrifice the humans and sacrifice the zombies again. Then you can attack with the vampires and angels. Rancor is used on Bloodthrone Vampire and Archangel of Thune in order to trample through opponent's creatures.

The sideboard is used for pumping creatures (Giant Growth, doublestrike with Silverblade Paladin), extra sacrifice outlets (Cartel Aristocrat), have more humans (Fiendslayer Paladin, Silverblade Paladin), and also have Quag Sickness to also kill large creatures used by opponents.

Izzet (Blue/Red) Spells


x4 Delver of Secrets
x3 Augur of Bolas
x4 Blistercoil Weird
x3 Goblin Electromancer
x2 Guttersnipe


x4 Steam Vents
x4 Sulfur Falls
x4 Izzet Guildgate
x4 Island
x4 Mountain

Other Spells

x2 Turn//Burn
x4 Dynacharge
x4 Izzet Charm
x4 Talrand's Invocation
x4 Teleportal
x4 Skullcrack


x2 Ral Zarek


x4 Ash Zealot
x4 Frostburn Weird
x4 Fog Bank
x2 Chandra, the Firebrand
x1 Turn//Burn

Yes, we're using Delver of Secrets... No Snapcaster Mage. All the creatures either assist with the casting of instants and sorceries or else revolve around revealing an instant or sorcery card. All the other spells are for creating creatures, pumping creatures, or dealing damage to your opponent(s). Ral Zarek is for tapping creatures or deals damage to your opponent.

The sideboard is for either extra defense or for dealing damage/copying instants and sorceries.

Naya (White/Red/Green) Combat Shenanigans


x4 Doomed Traveler
x2 Trained Caracal
x2 Vexing Devil
x4 Rubblebelt Maaka
x4 Gladecover Scout
x4 Young Wolf
x4 Ghor-Clan Rampager


x4 Temple Garden
x4 Stomping Ground
x4 Sacred Foundry
x4 Sunpetal Grove

Other Spells

x4 Giant Growth
x4 Titanic Growth
x4 Phytoburst
x4 Rancor
x4 Moment of Heroism


x4 Shock
x4 Fog
x2 Armed//Dangerous
x2 Vexing Devil
x3 Spire Tracer

This deck's purpose is for having simple one drop creatures that you pump with the pump spells as well as discarding the Bloodrush creatures. Sideboard includes burn spells, fog, more pump spells, and more creatures for discard. Vexing Devil is perfect for this given that you can play it turn one and deal four damage to an opponent (or leave it on the battlefield if they don't want to take the damage). This deck only includes 16 land, but most everything costs one mana. Well, except Titanic Growth, Phytoburst, and Moment of Heroism (and discarding Ghor-Clan Rampager). But nothing costs more than two mana, so not much land is needed.

Dimir (Blue/Black) Mill


x4 Jace's Phantasm
x1 Jace's Mindseeker
x3 Fog Bank


x4 Drowned Catacomb
x4 Watery Grave
x2 Swamp
x10 Island

Other Spells

x4 Dream Twist
x4 Thought Scour
x4 Tome Scour
x4 Mindsculpt
x4 Paranoid Delusions
x4 Pilfered Plans
x2 Mind Grind


x2 Jace, Memory Adept


x3 Trepanation Blade
x1 Sands of Delirium


x1 Trepanation Blade
x4 Inquisitor's Flail
x1 Fog Bank
x1 Jace, Memory Adept
x2 Mind Grind
x3 Dimir Keyrune
x3 Laboratory Maniac 

This should be somewhat self explanatory. Blue and black cards used to take out your opponent's library so that when they draw a card, they lose the game. Alternatively,, there are three Laboratory Maniac cards in the sideboard for you to switch them in, mill yourself and win the game by having Laboratory Maniac on the field. The sideboard is for extra creatures, using Inquisitor's Flail for double strike on Jace's Phantasm or mixing it with Trepanation Blade.

BUG/Ana (Blue/Black/Green) Unblockables


x4 Tormented Soul
x4 Invisible Stalker
x4 Latch Seeker
x4 Phantom Warrior
x4 Keymaster Rogue
x4 Elusive Krasis


x4 Drowned Catacomb
x4 Watery Grave
x1 Woodland Cemetery
x2 Overgrown Tomb
x1 Hinterland Harbor
x2 Breeding Pool
x3 Island
x1 Forest

Other Spells

x4 Giant Growth
x4 Titanic Growth


x4 Trepanation Blade
x4 Inquisitor's Flail
x2 Elbrus the Binding Blade


x4 Negate
x4 Essence Scatter
x3 Cancel
x2 Dimir Keyrune
x2 Aetherling

This deck is also self explanatory. All the creatures are unblockable, there are eight pump spells, and then artifacts to increase the damage dealt by the unblockable creatures. The sideboard is for counter spells and Dimir Keyrune and Aetherling to act as more unblockable creatures.

San Diego Comic Con + PAX Australia

So with everything Magic related over the weekend, let's take a moment to recap and remember everything that happened. Let's start off with the rare, black-on-black foil planeswalkers. Yes, WotC made special art planeswalkers just for San Diego Comic Con. Check eBay. I'm sure you can pick one up for, oh, between $300 and $500. They were being sold at SDCC for $65, by the way...

I can't find any closeups of each card. This is the best I could find.

From the Vault: Twenty

From the Vault: Twenty

Yes, we have gotten spoilers from From the Vault: Twenty. SPOILER ALERT! They're printing Jace, the Mind Sculptor in this. All cards included in FTV are foil. So how much is a foil Jace, the Mind Sculptor? Oh, somewhere around $800! eBay has these boxes on preorder for about $500 already. And we only know 7 of the 20 cards.

To check out the spoilers as well as their foil and non-foil prices from the set they were originally printed in, be sure to check out our FTV 20 spoiler page.

Printing Jace in this? Well, this reminds me of a quote by Douglas Adams found in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the second book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It goes a little something like this:

"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."


Yeah, I made those just for this article. To prove a point. Sort of. Actually, come to think of it, they don't really add anything to this post/article.

There are two reasons why this is bad: 1) People that have JTMS already will be upset that there are more out there, and that theirs could possibly go down in price because more of the foil cards show up on the market (probably won't decrease in price though), and 2) People like me who don't have one and would like one will have to pay an absurd amount of money for this box. Anyway, you'd probably like some spoilers now...



Hymn to Tourach = 1995 (Fallen Empires)
Impulse = 1997 (Visions)
Akroma's Vengeance = 2003 (Onslaught)
Gilded Lotus = 2004 (Mirrodin)
Venser, Shaper Savant = 2007 (Future Sight)
Cruel Ultimatum = 2009 (Shards of Alara)
Jace the Mind Sculptor = 2010 (Worldwake)

Commander 2013

So we have new commander products coming out in November. So we have two spoiled cards so far, and they represent the shard colors, given that we have representatives of Grixis and Jund. Also, Wizards has revealed that we will see five decks, one for each shard since the wedges are what we saw back in the summer of 2011. Each deck is expected to cost about $30.


Duel Decks: Heroes vs. Monsters

Duel Decks: Heroes vs. Monsters
Duel Decks: Heroes vs. Monsters


So we have new Sun Titan art. On WotC's Facebook, they said they made the Sun Titan art in style with Theros. So maybe it will be printed there as well? Are all titans back? Titans fit with the Greco-Roman theme. For example, There are twelve titans from Greek Mythology, and Chronus, one of the titans, was the most famous (I'm pretty sure if you think "Greek God" Zeus would 99% of the time be the first name you'd think of) Greek god, Zeus. In Roman mythology, Zeus is named Jupiter, and the titan who is Jupiter's father is Saturn. Which if you recognize the Roman names, you can see where we get the names of the planets in our solar system from. Except Uranus. Uranus is the father of Chronus, and is therefore a Greek name. Sorry, I was at one time going to minor in astronomy in college. Hobby, but not minoring in it anymore. Instead I'm minoring in geology. You get some incredible names that are synonyms for the five land types in Magic when studying some geology. Anyway, I digress. Back to Magic and less about what I'm studying and why. Anyway, the titans seem like they would fit perfectly with the Theros block, so maybe we'll see them.

Oh, and Polukranos, World Eater has to be from Theros as we haven't seen it before and everything but the type, mana cost, and name are all available, but everything else is redacted.

So, let's move on to Theros...


Theros Logo


Setessa (maybe a U/G land?)

Akros (maybe a W/R land?)

Meletis (maybe a U/R land?)



Elspeth fighting... something...

Nylea, God of the Hunt


So apparently, they have new special card frames. This art is above.

So, these are for the prerelease of Theros... Not sure what will be done with them. Just that they will be used in the Theros prerelease.


Well, I want to see how these will be used... Not sure how, especially if they are for the prerelease, but this could be interesting.

Oh, and Elspeth is one of the three planeswalkers in Theros. I assume that means one each in Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx, unless they do 6 for the block...

I hope you have enjoyed the previews from the weekend!