Monday, July 28, 2014

The Big News from the San Diego Comic Con

It's that time of year again. We did this last year, and hopefully we can do it for several years more.

This year, we have a ton of new details from From the Vault, Duel Decks: Speed vs. Cunning, Khans of Tarkir, and even the newly announced Commander 2014 products.

First and foremost, let's look at what promotional Magic product could be purchased from SDCC:

Commander Mondays: Zur the Enchanter

For some reason I like building and playing enchantment decks. Maybe it's because they are easy to play. Maybe it's because I'm used to playing them.

A couple years ago when Commander's Arsenal came out, I had the opportunity to buy one and open it. It had an oversized version of Zur the Enchanter so I had wanted to build a deck for some time, but I wanted the small sized version.

Around the same time, I was buying various older booster packs for openings on YouTube. I bought a single booster pack from Coldsnap because I wanted to and well...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Artist of the Week: Kev Walker

I had been running out of Magic artists to feature each week, but then I read John Avon's AMA on Reddit. He mentioned the four artists that are his favorites.

As a result, I decided that Kev Walker would be the next Artist of the Week.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fun Fact Fridays: Symbol Changes

Throughout the twenty-one years of Magic, there have been a few different symbol changes. For instance, the current mana symbols look like this:

When Magic first started, those weren't the mana symbols.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wacky Wednesdays: Five Color Slivers

Today, I'm going to attempt something I've never done before: Build a five-color deck in Standard. It's insane, it's crazy, and it just so happens to be extremely possible. Except for some of the new slivers, I have all of these cards, which is why some cards are reduced to a single copy (because that is all I have). But let's consider how this can be done:

With access to Shocklands, we have dual lands available from the start. With Scrylands, we have mana and the ability to see what is coming next. We have all five colors available through the three cycles of dual lands. So we're ready to build this deck. Let's go!

Godless Shrine  Temple of Epiphany  Llanowar Wastes

Monday, July 21, 2014

Standard: White/Blue Strive

Around the time that Journey into Nyx was released, I developed a new deck that I could use for Game Day, and it is a fairly decent deck. It isn't overly amazing, but it works, and I haven't every heard of a White/Blue Aggro deck. Normally those colors are reserved for control, but let's take a look...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Artist of the Week: Aleksi Briclot

This week, we are featuring a popular Magic artist who has been creating art for the game since October of 2004 when Champions of Kamigawa came out. What card was his art on first? A few hints:

1. Uncommon
2. Enchantment Aura, which at the time was called "Enchant Creature" at one time
3. Costs 3 mana
4. It was also in the Divine vs. Demonic duel deck

Know what it is? Well, let's look...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fun Fact Fridays: Ancestral Recall Cycle

Ancestral Recall

A lot of people will know Ancestral Recall as being a member of the "Power Nine," a group of cards that have been deemed the most powerful cards in Magic. They're only legal in Vintage decks and even then, each of the Power Nine is restricted to one per deck.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Modern Mondays: Naya Aggro

Ever since Wild Nacatl was unbanned in Modern, I've been considering building a Naya Aggro deck. Wild Nacatl and Kird Ape are big parts of this idea.

Wild Nacatl  Kird Ape

With all the cards available for this deck and the introduction of a couple more useful cards in M15, this deck should be very strong.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Artist of the Week: Dan Frazier

Looking back at some of the older Magic artists like Christopher Rush, I wanted to find some we don't get to see anymore, like Dan Frazier. You will probably recognize his art because it's really quite popular just like the Black Lotus done by Christopher Rush. Let's take a look...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fun Fact Fridays: Secret on Frazzled Editor

Can you see the inappropriate almost word in the flavor text 

Magic 2015 Set Review: Multicolored, Artifacts, and Land

Garruk, Apex Predator
Eric's Review - The second four ability planeswalker printed, Garruk is very powerful. Already starting at 5 loyalty, you can either destroy a creature to gain life, put out a 3/3 with deathtouch, or destroy a planeswalker. Garruk will definitely be a target with all the abilities he has, and the -8 is deadly if it gives anyone who attacks an opponent of your choice has all their creatures get +5/+5 and trample. Definitely a strong Planeswalker, but there is a ton of planeswalker hate in Standard now.
Sliver Hivelord
Eric's Review - The fourth Sliver legend, we've got a 5/5 creature instead of the normal 7/7, but all Slivers are indestructible. That's great and incredible, definitely a great new Sliver Legend. Definitely will be found in my Sliver EDH deck.
Avarice Amulet
Eric's Review - This seems good, especially the boost to a creature and card draw available to any color through an artifact. The only thing I'm not a fan of is an opponent gaining control of it.
Brawler’s Plate
Eric's Review - Seems decent enough, although definitely more of a Limited card.
Bronze Sable
Eric's Review - The return of Bronze Sable is purely for limited purposes.
The Chain Veil
Eric's Review - The name begins with a "T," but the collector number lines up with the name just being "Chain Veil." This bothers me. However, having an artifact that checks loyalty ability use is powerful. You could give it to an opponent in Commander using Zedruu. You can also use it in a "Super Friends" deck which will allow you to duplicate Planeswalker effects. I'd use this when I can boost planeswalkers once, use Ajani Steadfast twice to add loyalty counters to other Planeswalkers, then execute several ultimate abilities. So this could be quite useful. 
Gargoyle Sentinel
Eric's Review - Doesn't seem bad, especially in limited. Also good for budget decks, I think.
Eric's Review - Seems like a decent mill card, there just needs to be a way to duplicate counters on it for mill to work well.
Haunted Plate Mail
Eric's Review - A reprint from M14, you can either boost a creature by +4/+4 or else make it an artifact creature, which is a great ability, however it is a bit high in cost. Good for Limited.
Hot Soup
Eric's Review - Making a creature unblockable in any color is great, however a single burn spell could kill the creature this is attached to, so it could be bad. Maybe in a hexproof deck though...
Eric's Review - The wall subtheme runs rampant through this set. Still, a 5/3 is a 5/3.
Eric's Review - A damage dealer when it enters and the ability to tap for any color. A bit high costing at 5 mana, but likely still okay given that this is colorless burn that can go in any deck. Doesn't belong in Standard, but maybe with Chief Engineer...
Obelisk of Urd
Eric's Review - A very strong artifact because every creature of a chosen type you have gets a permanent boost. This could be Humans, Slivers, Minotaurs, all kinds of creatures. Definitely powerful. And Convoke makes it even more impressive.
Eric's Review - A flying 0/2 creature that costs nothing is impressive, but a pity there is no power on this creature.
Perilous Vault
Eric's Review - The colorless destruction spell is an amazing creature. Four mana to cast, five mana to exile everything that is not a land is really powerful. This can be paired with Nissa making all your lands creatures and then taking out everything that isn't a land.
Phyrexian Revoker
Eric's Review - The new Pithing Needle I suppose. A 2/1 that blocks activated abilities like planeswalker abilities.
Profane Memento
Eric's Review - Lifegain from milling seems like a decent ability on an artifact.
Rogue’s Gloves
Eric's Review - Card draw when dealing damage to an opponent. Seems good.
Sacred Armory
Eric's Review - A bit costly to boost individual creatures by +1/+0, but there is an artifact subtheme, so I suppose this isn't bad.
Scuttling Doom Engine
Eric's Review - A really powerful new artifact creature, a 6/6 for six is already good. Unblockable by creatures of power two of less is better, and then six direct damage to an opponent when it dies is powerful. Definitely a powerful spell.
Shield of the Avatar
Eric's Review - Being able to prevent a large amount of damage to a creature by having a ton of creatures on the field is powerful. Definitely a good card.
Soul of New Phyrexia
Eric's Review - The sixth and last Soul in the cycle, A 6/6 with trample and then being able to give everything indestructible on your side for a turn is definitely powerful.
Staff of the Death Magus
Eric's Review - A reprint that gains like for casting black spells or playing Swamps
Staff of the Flame Magus
Eric's Review - A reprint that gains like for casting red spells or playing Mountains
Staff of the Mind Magus
Eric's Review - A reprint that gains like for casting blue spells or playing Islands
Staff of the Sun Magus
Eric's Review - A reprint that gains like for casting white spells or playing Plains
Staff of the Wild Magus
Eric's Review - A reprint that gains like for casting green spells or playing Forests
Tormod’s Crypt
Eric's Review - The artifact that stops dredge decks is here again! Actually, I'm not excited about that. This is bad news.
Tyrant’s Machine
Eric's Review - Tapping a creature for four mana is a bit costly.
Will-Forged Golem
Eric's Review - It's not great, but with Convoke, it can come out that much faster.
Battlefield Forge
Eric's Review - Ah, the painlands... taking damage for colored mana is not great, but could be necessary for untapped access to colored mana on turn one.
Caves of Koilos
Eric's Review - Ah, the painlands... taking damage for colored mana is not great, but could be necessary for untapped access to colored mana on turn one.
Darksteel Citadel
Eric's Review - An indestructible artifact which can be used with Ensoul Artifact or with this artifact subtheme that we may see in Khans.
Evolving Wilds
Eric's Review - One of the cheapest fetchlands available, it does put the basic land in tapped, but useful in limited and can be useful in Standard.
Llanowar Wastes
Eric's Review - Ah, the painlands... taking damage for colored mana is not great, but could be necessary for untapped access to colored mana on turn one.
Radiant Fountain
Eric's Review - Colorless mana that comes with two life. Not too bad, I suppose. Wouldn't mind a foil of it based on the faint colors.
Shivan Reef
Eric's Review - Ah, the painlands... taking damage for colored mana is not great, but could be necessary for untapped access to colored mana on turn one.
Sliver Hive
Eric's Review - Ah, a Sliver tribal land... Colorless mana, any color to cast Slivers, and then the ability to add 1/1 Sliver tokens to the field.
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Eric's Review - A very powerful land that makes everything a Swamp. This works in the way of utilizing Swampwalk or making colorless lands tap for black. Definitely a good land.
Yavimaya Coast
Eric's Review - Ah, the painlands... taking damage for colored mana is not great, but could be necessary for untapped access to colored mana on turn one.