Currently Playing…

legomarvel

 

Lego Marvel Superheroes (360): Yup. A Lego game.A� After our last podcast, we decided to do a comic book theme for our next show which will be recorded on April 11th. To stick to the theme Shawn thought it would be a good idea to do a segment on the Lego superhero titles.A� I told him that it was a great idea BUT I have never played a Lego Batman or Marvel game.A� Long story..uh..shorter…I picked up a copy of Marvel Superheroes at Best Buy because it was on sale (I’m cheap, what can I say?).A� I popped the disc in with a sigh, not really expecting all that much. I mean it’s a damn Lego game,A� these things are meant for kids…right? Wrong.A� The game is insanely fun..I expected a mindless PG rated beat’em up, but instead I found myself playing a really good puzzle game with some beat’em up segments sprinkled in.A� Honestly, this is the kind of game that you would want your kids to play.A� It tests your critical thinking skills, it’s entertaining as hell, and it’s not over-the-top violent.A� Despite the lack of violence and the fact that these are little Lego characters running around solving puzzles, this game can be enjoyed by gamers of all ages.A� I highly recommend this one.

<I refuse to insert a picture of the next game>

Afro Samurai (360): Okay, we go from a great, well-designed game, to a steaming pile of dog sh*t cooking in the hot summer sun.A� I really liked the Afro Samurai anime series, so I thought the game must be, at the very least, playable. Can’t win them all I guess. If I had to choose one word to best describe this game it would be repetitious. You run around hacking the crap out of a bunch of Japanese guys. That’s it.A� The voice acting is decent, (hot damn! A compliment!), but wears thin after awhile..(aaaaand compliment retracted).A� Between the wacky camera angles, the boring combat system, and fighting what looks like the same enemies over and over, this game isn’t worth the 5 bucks I paid for it.

Life-Gain Beatdown (Legacy)

 

dopI know what you are saying right now: “C’mon, a cheesy life-gain deck?!” Well don’t pass judgement..I haven’t steered you wrong yet have I?A� This isn’t just any life-gain deck my friends. No, this deck isn’t about building up a mountain of life points that you sit on and giggle as your opponent struggles to even put a scratch in it.A� The life points we get go towards a great cause:A� pumping up our Divinity of the Pride, Serra Avatar and we can also sacrifice that stockpile to feed some Moltensteel Dragons.A�A� In order to get life fast this deck contains one key card: Rhox Faithmender (well two copies actually). His ability to double the amount of life you gain allows you to pump up the creatures mentioned above at an insanely fast rate.A� Who doesn’t want to play an 8/8 flying Divinity of the Pride on Turn 5?A� Of course to keep that life total nice and high, you need to shut down your opponent’s offense. To do so, the deck contains Angel of Serenity, Pacifism, and a playset of Banisher Priest.A� This deck is pretty fun to play but your opponent probably won’t agree.A� Now on to the list:

The Deck(60 cards)

A�Creatures (25):A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Enchantments(7):

4x Banisher Priest A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 2x Ordeal of Heliod

2x Divinity of the Pride A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 2x Pacifism

4x Kemba’s Skyguard A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 2x Brave the Elements

1x Archon of Redemption A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 1x Divine Favor

2x Rhox Faithmender A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Artifacts(1):

1x Serra Avatar A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 1x Hall of Triumph

1x Augury Adept A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Instants(7):

1x Angelic Skirmisher A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 4x Rest for the Weary

1x Angel of Serenity A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 2x Riot Control

1x Watcher of the Roost A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 1x Phalanx Formation

2x Doomed Traveler A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Lands(18):

1x Seraph of the SwordA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 17x Plains

1x Seraph of DawnA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 1x Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

1x Suture Priest

2x Ajani’s Sunstriker

Artifact Creatures(2):

2x Moltensteel Dragon

 

Note: If you want to be a real dweeb and add in another possible win condition..grab a copy or two of Felidar Sovereign, which allows you to win the game if you have 40 or more life at your upkeep.A� I’m not into it, but hey whatever floats your boat.

 

Attempting Abzan on the Cheap

(Editor’s Note:

Chris came up with the idea a couple of weeks ago to delve (pun fully intended) into Standard with a couple of our decks to explore the strategy of having to update decks periodically as new sets are released and old sets rotate out. A�This doesn’t mean that we are going away from our traditional Legacy decks, but it is good to be able to experience all of the different aspects of the game. I knew immediately that one of my decks was going to be a RDW deck. That’s one of the first decks that almost everyone creates in any format because it is usually cheap and can be very effective even against more expensive decks.

I still don’t know what my other deck will be. I’m pretty sure that I want to go with some sort of blue/white or blue/black control, but I don’t want to limit myself without trying out as many of the deck archetypes as I can. I should also remind you that I’m not a singles buyer, I’m a bulk collector. I generally buy a box and a fat pack of each set and whatever cards I pull are the cards that I have to build my decks. Therefore, to test some decks, I built pretty cheap decks from pauper shells that I found online. One of those decks was a Temur morph deck because I really keep trying to make Temur work, but I just can’t figure out how. The other was Abzan and that one actually has the makings of a good deck. I don’t know if it will be part of my final list, but it is making me consider it as an option.

Abzan Outlast “Pauper”

Spells/Artifacts – 11

Abzan Banner – 2 (The banners are pretty slow, but any time you can get mana or card draw, go for it.)
Dragonscale Boon – 3 (+1 counters are good in the deck because they can grant reach, plus untapping for a surprise blocker is good)
Feat of Resistance – 4 (More +1 counters plus protection lets you block while avoiding damage.)
Grim Contest – 2 (To be honest, I’m not even sure if this card is good. I just picked it because it has the nickname of “Butt Fight”.)

Creatures – 25

Abzan Guide – 3 (This is expensive, but it is a morph, so can hit the board earlier than if hard cast. Once it is turned up, it has lifelink and is a pretty significant body at 4/4.)
Abzan Skycaptain – 2 (This is a bit overcosted, but it is flying and Chris likes his dragons. Also, bolster is okay for the +1s).
Ainok Bond-Kin – 4 (Not a great 2 drop with Outlast. Mainly because I needed some low cost bodies.)
Disowned Ancestor – 2 (0/4 is a good blocker with Outlast for only one black. Good for “Butt Fight”.)
Longshot Squad – 2 (Outlast, gives all other creatures with +1s reach. Did I mention how much Chris likes dragons?)
Midnight Guard – 4 (Okay, not standard, but a pretty good low cost minion. Will definitely have to replace this if I go Abzan as my other standard deck.)
Unyielding Krumar – 2 (Another okay, but not great minion. The first strike ability is nice and will trade favorably with many other minions.)
Voyaging Satyr – 4 (Having mana is always nice, but I think I might already have enough for this deck. These guys might be moved into my Temur deck if I decide to proceed with that one.)
Wardscale Dragon – 2 (I jokingly said, “History is made this day.” when I played this guy and then Chris promptly removed him. I knew there was a reason that I didn’t play these stupid dragons.)

Lands – 24

Blossoming Sands – 2
Forest – 6
Jungle Hollow – 2
Plains – 7
Scoured Barrens – 2
Swamp – 5

This was a fun deck to play and it is definitely something to consider expanding into an actual standard deck, but I’m still on the blue/white or blue/black, so I don’t think that I will use it as one of my standard spots. Still, it is the start of an interesting deck and something that I might continue to build into a regular deck during our games.

Days of Future Past

(Editor’s Note: A�Look for the companion video coming soon!)

Few game series have captured my imagination in the way that the Fallout games did. A�Similar to the Diablo series, I had never played the first two games because of my lack of PC gaming experience. A�I simply heard good things about the third one. A�When I saw it for twenty dollars in the bargain bin, I did what I always do as a cheap gamer. A�I bought it.

I know what you’re thinking. A�Okay, I don’t know exactly what you’re thinking. A�Though I’ve tried, I have yet to perfect the talent of reading minds. A�Plus, I don’t know even how many of you are out there, so I couldn’t even hazard a guess. A�Except for you guys who are thinking, “I really want pizza and wings.” A�You guys are my people.

Let’s get back to the subject. A�If you have been paying attention to the website or podcast, you will be thinking that I often buy games, especially discounted games, and then they sit in the closet and suffer the fate of never being played. A�You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that did not happen in this case. A�Not initially, at least. A�I played through the game, hooked from the opening credits until–well, let’s wait on that. A�I have an article planned for next week specifically for Fallout . A�I will tell the rest of this story in that article. A�How’s that for a tease?

I’m not sure what about the story and world captivated me so much. A�I’m not usually one for post apocalyptic stories, unless it is zombies and even those are losing some of their appeal, but this one fascinated me. A�My obsession started as research for a novella that I am writing that takes place in a similar post nuclear America setting. A�What got me was the thought and creativity that went into creating a well constructed history for the games. A�The scope of that history added a new dimension to the game world and I developed an appreciation and admiration for the creators of that world.

Eventually, I moved on to other games, most notably Lego games, Just Dance, and other games that we could play as a family. A�Still, I never forgot about the games and especially the story. A�I kept going back to website after website to read timelines, alternate histories, fan fictions, and more. A�When I discovered that Steam offered both Fallout 1 and 2 plus Tactics, I went into full “shut up and take my money” mode. A�Given a chance to explore that world and history for myself, I bought all three. A�If you guessed that these games suffered the fate of countless (or 30, but rising, so essentially countless) other games in my Steam library and went unplayed, then give yourself a cookie. A�I still haven’t played Fallout 1 or 2. A�However, that is about to change. A�I want to do a video on whether or not the games are still fun as an entry point or if I should just stick with the third game and my quest to follow a walkthrough to fame and a fortune of bottle caps. A�This article will serve as a companion piece to that video. A�However, the video will focus more on whether Fallout 1 and 2 are still “good” games when compared with current games. A�I can use this article to focus more on the why or why not.

We all know what makes a good game for us. A�For instance if graphics and special effects are one of your main reasons to enjoy a game, then these games most likely not for you. A�Luckily for me, graphics are never a consideration when playing a game. A�Sure, we all like pretty pictures and impressive effects, but there’s a reason that I still play the original Tetris after all these years and it has nothing to do with bits or polygons. A�So, what makes a good game? A�As I’ve gotten older, story has become one of my primary reasons for playing a game. A�We have already established that the larger story of Fallout interests me, but is that story reflected in the earlier games?

Before focusing on that, though, let’sA�discussA�the rest of the game. A�My main factor of whether to play a game is, not surprisingly, gameplay. A�How are the controls? A�This is especially important for PC games that use a keyboard and mouse for literally hundreds of button combinations. A�Fallout controls aren’t necessarily intuitive, but they are easy to figure out and learn. A�I imagine that when the game was released that it came with instructions. A�Games don’t really do that anymore because nobody ever reads them. A�Instead, then have a tutorial. A�Without instructions or a tutorial, I had to learn how to move and attack by myself. A�I used Google for some of the more troublesome of the PipBoy commands.

Closely related to gameplay, the lack of a linear quest line hurts the game by increasing the challenge unnecessarily. A�Not only did I spend the better part of my time in Vault 13 at the beginning of the game punching rats (not even with brass knuckles) instead of stabbing or shooting them because I didn’t know any of that was in my inventory. A�Now I have to search around and find a rope without any hints or clues? A�Ugh, post apocalyptic first world problems, amirite, Twitter?

I understand that discovery and adventure used to be the MO of these adventure type games, but I’m a spoiled old man gamer without much time to spend playing these games. A�I like that more recent games lead you by the nose with carrot quests and then you can choose to explore via side quests or just because you don’t want to blow up that person’s car right now.

While these traits might detract from the gameplay, they actually perversely add to the story. A�Undeniably the strength of the series, it is not as strong in Fallout 1 as the other two games, but it is still impressive for its time. A�Cinematics and voice acting both bring the world to life and kept me playing even though the rest of the game felt a bit lame.

Unfortunately, most of the rest of the game is not as strong as the story. A�As far as that game itself, it is a bit slow in the beginning. A�All you do is kill the rats that I talked about earlier and then maybe kill some bigger rats without much indication that you should be doing anything else. A�I may have just been in WoW quest ignore mode, but once I got to Vault 15, I felt like the game just sort of abandoned me to die in the wasteland and have my corpse eaten by the descendants of the rats that I killed. A�”Hello, my name is Inigo Ratoya. A�You killed my father, starved to death while on a quest to save the people in your vault, and rotted to my preferred level of carrion. A�Prepare to be gnawed slowly over the next few months.” A�Not nearly as catchy, but still scary.

Maybe that is how the game is supposed to end. A�I haven’t looked at a walkthrough to confirm, but maybe you are just supposed to end up rat chow. A�If so, then this is the fastest that I have ever completed a game to 100%. A�Yay, me! A�On to the second game. A�Maybe I can beat that one even faster. A�Okay, okay, seriously, though, the game is quite confusing at first. A�Then again, I might just be an idiot. A�That isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

I want to play a game that will be challenging, but not too challenging. A�I like being able to pick “Easy” or “New Player” instead of “Insane”, “Inferno”, or “Nightmare” mode because then I don’t have to dedicate too much of my time to the game and the bosses can still present a challenge. A�Hey, I’m the Noob of All Trades! A�This game went a bit too far in the figure it out on your own for my tastes.

We come, at last, to graphics. A�It’s an older game, so I don’t expect great things from the graphics. A�As mentioned, the cinematics are cool. A�The actual game, though, is monochrome like Diablo, making it difficult to find any inspiration in pretty pictures while playing. A�Seriously, though, what is it with game designers and their aversion to using the whole rainbow? A�Hell, Gauntlet needed only 16 colors or whatever to make a bright and colorful play world and that world was dark, Man. A�Do you remember “Wizard needs food badly?” A�Just thinking about it now sends shivers down my spine.

Given everything about Fallout 1 (and to an extent Fallout 2) that I’ve experienced, I would not pick them up as a stand alone game. A�They look and feel impressive for their times, but times change and sometimes culture does not translate over that time change. A�While Fallout 2 looks to pick up immensely as far as story goes, I’m not sure how much it improves upon the formula in the first game. A�Independent of my enjoyment of the story and third game, I probably wouldn’t even bother with the first two games. A�However, I will stick with them and hope that the story can carry me through the warts. A�If not, well, we’ll always have Megaton.

Currently Playing…Vol.10

dark2

Darksiders 2 (360): I was a fan of the first Darksiders, mostly because I’m a huge fan of Joe Mad’s artwork, and also because I liked the Devil May Cry/God of War/Zelda hybrid-feel to it.A� Was it the most original game?A� God no. Anytime you can call a game the hybrid of <insert game titles here>A� then it’s not all that original. Strangely though, despite the less than the original concepts, it was a really fun game with some mind-blowing bosses.A� Last week, during my nightly eBay perusing, I saw a copy of Darksiders 2 about to sell for $4.75 with free shipping, so I swooped in withA� 8 seconds to go and got it for an even $5.00, ruining someone’s night and making mine a bit better. Double bonus.A� After playing it for a fewA� days, I can say that this game is much different from the original Darksiders.A� The biggest difference being the addition of loot. You now get coins and more importantly, equipment that you can either use, sell, or sacrifice to level up the equipment you have.A� Just this one aspect makes this game more enjoyable to me.A� Also, I like the fact that the battles are not one after another after another after another..etc..so you actually get some time to explore the enviroments. It gives the game an RPG kinda feel to it. The puzzles are a lot more interesting, a couple reminded me of Portal, (you have to fire portals to get from point A to point B),and generally they didn’t piss me off like some of the puzzles in the original.A� Not that the original’s were incredibly difficult, just incredibly frickin’ long.A� I actually really enjoy playing as Death more than I did playing as War in D1 (tired of typing Darksi…damn..<sigh>…Darksiders).A� Death’s abilities are more interesting and just plain cooler. He can create doppelgangers of himself, wall-walk, summon monsters, and opens doors and chests with ghostly hands.A� His scythes are pretty damn neat too.A�A� The bosses from what I’ve seen so far are huge but not as challenging as the bosses in D1. We’ll see if that holds true as I get deeper into the game.A� Speaking of which, I read earlier that this game is larger than the D1, so that’s another bonus.A� Overall I’m really happy with this game, definitely worth 5 bucks.A� And ruining someone’s night.

Getting the Gang Together

(Editor’s Note: A�Be on the lookout for a “Help Wanted” sign on a tavern door near you. A�It could be these guys and if you want to keep living, you’ll just walk on by. A�That’s not a threat. A�It’s a warning.)

I wrote an article recently about Dungeons and Dragons. A�In the article, I mentioned that a current friend and I were reaching out to other friends in an attempt to get a group together to play on the Roll 20 website. A�Making this happen has proven to be more difficult than anticipated. A�Who knew that coordinating the schedules of 6 adults scattered across the country would not be easy? A�Certainly not this foolishly eternal optimist.

This is an adventure that can only be told in the epic rhymed couplet style of Homer. A�No, that doesn’t sound right. A�It’s Tolkien. A�Who can forget the classic line,

“If you touch my precious,
then I will stick my knife into your fleshes.”

Hey, I said it was epic, not good. A�Now to listen to our own bard’s tale.

Six heroes assemble, brave and true.
But why? or what? or who?
Be they miners in the employ of a dwarf?
Perhaps there are dragons attacking a wharf
The reasons, they matter not
Whether treasures found or dragons fought
All agree, that for a fee,
they will be, heroes of destiny.

Our hero the first
He is, by no means, the worst
Hails from a land with the strange name of Mini Soda
Both physically fit and wise like Yoda
A master of bow and blade
He prefers murky swamps over the glade
So far our party is in good hands
And I am optimistic about our merry band

Our second party member
Burns inside like an ember
With a love for math, chess, and martial arts
Try though he may, he can’t change his students’ hearts
(He’s only the DM, so he doesn’t get a full verse
This may seem unfair but such is the leader’s curse.)

This brings us to number three
He is a mystery to me
I am but a humble poet
If he has a face, I don’t know it
His profile pic shows only Cthulhu
This frightens me more than ghosts that say boo
If this picture stunt offends
Then our world just may end.

So we come to the fourth
Is he from the south or the north?
Another enigma wrapped in a puzzle covered in riddle sauce
He may be only a minion or he may be the boss
His only clues are the Batman
With him and the dark god, they may go splat man
Luck must be on our heroes’ side
Just in case, after this tale, I will hide

Before I do, we have two to go
At least these two we know
They are old friends
and will be to the end
As we have discussed,
It may not be long until they are dust
We now have an unknown, a mage, ranger, and barbarian
But nothing to prevent them from becoming carrion

And so I sing the praises (?) of our last
Who is most responsible for this motley cast
He suggested the game (er, adventure, but that is hard to rhyme)
And took responsibility for a role most lame
Stand in the back and toss heal spells
Perhaps be the only one alive with a tale to tell
Rewarded for his “sacrifice”, really cowardice
I hope the dragon eats him first as he will not be missed

Well it appears that our intrepid bard has his own ideas of how this tale will end. A�Keep tuning in to 2 Guys Gaming for periodic updates to see if his prognostication skills are as terrible as his rhyming skills.

Blond’s Top 5 Dragons of Tarkir Cards

dragons

It’s that time again folks, a new expansion is yet again on the radar.A� Which means another Top 5 list! I’ll be honest, Dragons of Tarkir has me more excited than any other set since I’ve started playing (that’s saying a lot because I absolutely loved Theros). It actually took me quite a longA� time to narrow down my favorite cards to only 5.A� Remember, this list is exactly that: MY top 5. I’m in no way saying these are the best cards in the set. These are simply the top 5 cards that I’m looking forward to playing and that I predict will see some action in Standard.

5. Savage Ventmaw

sventmaw

A 4/4 G/R flyer for 6 mana doesn’t sound like a good deal at all does it?A� What makes this fellow interesting is its ability to generate 6 mana (3 red, 3 green) every time it attacks. Look for this guy to make an appearance in Atarka ramp decks.A� Speaking of Atarka…

 

4.A� Dragonlord Atarka

dlord atarka

7 mana (5GR) for an 8/8 dragon with flying and trample is already pretty decent.A� But when you add in it’s ability to deal 5 damage divided anyway you choose between your opponent’s creatures and planeswalkers when it enters the battlefield makes this card a must have in my book.

 

3.A� Gleam of Authority

gauth

An Enchantment that gives the enchanted creature +1/+1 for each +1/+1 counter on your other creatures. It also grants the enchanted creature the ability of Bolster, which pumps your other creatures up, which then in turn pumps your enchanted creature up even more.A� I have a feeling that this card will see some action in Heroic decks.

 

2.A� Thunderbreak Regent

tbreak

Only 4 mana for a 4/4 flyer and when you opponent gets cheeky and decides to take it out, Thunderbreak does 3 damage to that player.A� I’m really pumped for this guy. I’m planning on running a playset in the new dragon deck that I’m currently brewing. (I’ll make sure I post the deck when I finish tweaking it).

 

Which brings us to ……………………………………………………….

…………………………………………….

………………………………

……………………….

……………

1. Zurgo Bellstriker

zurgo

What the hell!?A� Zurgo Bellstriker?! Not Narset Transcendent?! Not Deathmist Raptor?! Yes, Zurgo ****ing Bellstriker.A� I’m expecting that this guy will be a staple in all RDW and/or aggro decks and not only that, will be popular in all formats, not just standard.A� A one drop 2/2 with a weak drawback is pretty rare, and his dash ability can make your opponent’s life miserable.A� Is he unstoppable? No.A� Realistically he only shines in an aggro deck as his weak drawback (he can’t block creatures with power 2 or greater ) can actually become a liability later in the game.A� If you draw him in your opening hand though…look out.

 

Honorable mentions:

Ire Shaman, Commune with Lava, Narset Transcendent, Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit, Atarka’s Command,A� Avatar of the Resolute, Inspiring Call, Shaman of the Forgotten Ways, Dragonlord Silumgar, Sarkhan Unbroken,A� Hidden Dragonslayer, Sunscorch Regent, Blood-Chin Rager

So about last night…(a.k.a Our First Journey into the World of Standard)

Last night was our monthly gaming night as well as our scheduled podcast-recording session (it was a great show, definitely check it out once it’s up). It was also the first time that I have ever played Standard.A� Note: Shawn has attended a prerelease event in the past but I’m not counting it as it was sealed.A� So exactly how did two legacy guys end playing Standard?

It started about a week and a half ago,A� we were chatting about how excited we were for Dragons and for some reason I started thinking of the ways it will shake up Standard. Would there suddenly be an influx of ramp decks? Warrior decks that utilize the powerful Dragon Hunter? At that point it hit me: it didn’t matter.A� We only played Legacy and Modern. Why was I so interested in what was going on with Standard? It certainly wasn’t going to affect us any..or would it?A� I sent Shawn a message suggesting that we jump onto the Standard boat for a trial run.A� He immediately liked the idea and suddenly the fire was lit.

I thought of brewing a Red Deck Wins and an Abzan Aggro.A� I already hadA� both of those deck types built so I figured that besides replacing a few cards and doing some tweaking, they were all set for Standard action. Wrong.A� I essentially had to break both of those decks down to the point of scrapping them and completely rebuilding.A� After removing all of the non-Standard cards, I was left with approximately 27 cards in my Abzan and even less in my Red Deck Wins.A� I decided that the Red Deck Wins was a lost cause so that went straight into the Legacy part of the my collection (also Shawn was building one and sometimes aggro vs aggro can feel…less than mentally stimulating). Since this was a time of change and getting out of our comfort zone, I decided to look into a mechanic from the Theros block that originally didn’t impress me in the least bit; Constellation.A� I’m glad I changed my mind about it because I love the combo aspect of the game and this deck is all about combos. After playtesting the deck a few times I felt very foolish for ignoring the mechanic for over a year. The Abzan deck was slightly easier to tweak..throw a couple of Siege Rhinos in, sprinkle in some Fleecemane Lions and you have an aggro deck. OK, Ok, it was more complicated than that but I won’t bore you with the exact details of how I crafted that deck.

So how did it turn out?A� Well to be perfectly honest we played 3 games last night, 2 Standard and 1 Legacy..and the Standard games were far more intriguing and close. The first game was my Constellation deck vs his Temur. I roared out to an early lead, dropping a few 2 drop Enchantment creatures and kept gaining life while chipping away at his. But Shawn is a resilient player and didn’t go down easily. He battled back, removing creatures and sending my Master of the Feast back to my hand repeatedly. In the end I prevailed but that was only due to a Banishing Light that I was holding in my hand.A� The 2nd game was even better in my opinion..it was Abzan vs Abzan. In the end despite the fact that I kept fighting back by gaining life and pumping up my creatures, I was straight up outplayed and lost.A� I made some misplays that screwed me over..but even if I didn’t he had me dead to rights. The 3rd game we played was a LegacyA� and it wasn’t close. I walked away with the “W” but it wasn’t satisfactory. I rather win by a narrow margin then by a landslide any day.A� There is no excitement in a game like that.A� After that game, I kind of kicked myself for not building a 3rd Standard deck.A� It’s hard to go from 2 interesting games to a 3rd not-so-interesting game.A� So are we Standard guys now? To a certain extent I think we are. The deck building is more challenging but the back and forth nature of the games makes up for the limited pool of cards you can choose from. Now am I saying that we are done playing Legacy/done posting Legacy deck list/ done talking about Legacy? No, no way.A� Legacy is the format that our 2 man group started with.A� I can’t speak for my buddy but Legacy was feeling slightly stale to me over the last few months so it’s nice to flex that mental muscle and keep things fresh by going Standard.

Keep checking this site as there will be more Standard deck lists, and even videos of our games to check out.A� Also, I posted the Constellation deck mentioned above in our deck lists section.

B/W Constellation (Standard)

*Sigh* I know, I know…it’s been since October since we’ve posted a deck list. Well, I’m here to rectify that problem right now with my very first Standard deck: Black and White Constellation.A� Pause. Yes, I said my very first Standard deck.A� In the past, we have been exclusively Modern/Legacy players but have just discovered that Standard can be a far more intriguing form of the game.A� Now back to the deck. Just like any good Constellation deck it contains mostly Enchantments and Enchantment Creatures that interact with each other and trigger multiple effects when they hit the battlefield. I actually just played this one for the first time tonight against Shawn’s Temur. It more than held its own and was a blast to play.

The Deck (60 cards)

Enchantment Creatures:A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Enchantments:

4x Master of the FeastA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 2x Armament of Nyx

2x Doomwake GiantA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 2x Aspect of Gorgon

2x Underworld CoinsmithA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 4x Banishing Light

4x Grim GuardianA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 2x Oppressive Rays

2x Sightless BrawlerA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 2x Ordeal of Heliod

1x Brain MaggotA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Artifacts:

1x Erebos, God of the DeadA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 1x Spear of Heliod

2x Herald of TormentA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Lands:

4x Spiteful ReturnedA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 6x Plains

3x Baleful EidolonA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 8x Swamps

2x Nyx-Fleece RamA�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 4x Scoured Barrens

1x Gnarled Scarhide

Creatures:

1x Soldier of the Pantheon

 

Note:A� Once Theros rotates out, this deck can be a killer Legacy deck..throw some copies of Underworld Dreams into this deck and watch it combo with Master of the Feast. Death by drawing.

How to Play Your Dragons (of Tarkir)?

(Editor’s Note: A�Ultimately, I had to decide not to bring the boys to a prerelease because Liam isn’t feeling well, but I’m interested in in what everyone thinks about this.)

With the last set in the Tarkir block imminent and big changes on the horizon for the game, I wanted to do a preview article of some sort. A�Since so many others have already written articles that list the best cards for this format or that format, I don’t want to (nor do I feel comfortable) add to that. A�If you’re looking for those articles, I recommend LSV’s take on limitedA�(The link takes you to his thoughts on gold, colorless, and lands. A�There are links to the other colors in the article) or Channel Fireball’s Magic TVA�video that discusses constructed Standard. A�The video is long but worth the watch. A�I still haven’t finished the whole thing. A�If Chris and I are going to seriously pursue constructed decks, though, I will have to watch the rest of it.

The 2 Guys Gaming pride ourselves in bringing a fresh voice in the gaming community. A�We may not have the most current or cutting edge content, but we try to make it fun, entertaining, and maybe even a little informative. A�I initially drew a blank on how to approach this article. A�I know that I want to focus on the prerelease. A�I’m positive that I want to include my sons in some way. A�I am struggling with the angle. A�Chris and I are going to talk about the set this weekend. A�That narrows the possibilities even more.

I want to write an article about this weekend’s prerelease and children. A�Okay, I got it! A�As usual, inspiration hit last night while in that weird place that your brain resides as you are on the verge of sleep. A�I will write an article about the prerelease and children. A�So obvious and simple, right? A�Why did it take me so long? A�Sometimes my muse takes time off. A�Maybe she extended her St. Paddy’s Day celebrations. A�She finally showed up just in time as she likes to do and I’m ready to write this article.

I’m a member in a Magic group on Facebook. A�It is an eclectic group and mostly friendly, so I fit right in. A�An offshoot group formed last year called MtG Secret Santa that encourages members to send cards other anonymous members. A�I am not a huge fan of Facebook, but every now and then, the stars align and it leads to something great. A�The reason that I bring up the group is that it contributed to inspiration for this article.

One of the most common questions in the group is some variation of “What age is good to start my kids on Magic?” A�More often than not, one of the first answers is an attempt at humor, “As soon as possible because then they won’t have money for drugs.” A� A�I must admit that one always makes me chuckle. A�As generally happens online, after the trolls get it out of their system, people give genuine responses. A�Most give the advice that they would start as soon as possible because the came can teach math reading, critical thinking, and other valuable skills. A�While that might be true, that is not the reason that I taught my kids the game. A�Truth be told, they weren’t even considerations. A�I taught them the game for the same reason that I wanted to learn it myself and still play. A�It is a fun game. A�Plus, they had the added advantage of already having played Pokemon. A�Teaching them has the added benefit of being able to share with them something that I enjoy.

The reason that I bring all of this up is that there are always two sides to every one of these discussions. A�I always try to consider both sides before making a decision. A�The predicament, as you can no doubt guess, revolves around whether or not to take my sons to the prerelease. A�i took Liam to the Theros prerelease and he had fun. A�I took both of them to the Khans of Tarkir one and even though there was a monumental mix up, we ended up having an okay time. A�Before recently, I never even considered that either one of them at the events was a problem. A�I can honestly say that I don’t have a problem with them going. A�There have been other children at the other two prereleases. A�Admittedly, not many and they may have been older than my kids, but they were there.

So, what’s the problem? A�Well, I might not see a problem and you might not either. A�However, I recently learned that there might be a problem because others don’t like the idea. A�I can’t definitively say that their attitudes extend to the prerelease. A�The conversations always start with Friday Night Magic and end with several people gleefully telling stories of how they demoralized some kid who shouldn’t have even been there.

Forget, if you can, that they are most likely grown men who are bragging about beating a child. A�That might be difficult since I just made a point to remind you. A�Let’s put that to the side and stick to the main point. A�Clearly, there are those in the community that don’t want children at these events. A�I know that not everyone likes children. A�Hell, I don’t like some of the people that I meet at a Magic event. A�In the spirit of competition, we are encouraged to respect our opponents.

I agree and sympathize with the sentiment that young kids shouldn’t be at competitive events, even as spectators. A�I’m going to Star City Games in Providence and Worcester in April and May and I’m not taking either of the boys. A�They get bored easily, so there’s no way they would last all day at one of those. A�Friday Night Magic might be borderline. A�I have never been to one of those, so I don’t know how seriously or casual people take those games. A�I have been to two prereleases, as I said, and those are more suited for kids. A�I even saw that they have a new dice rolling game for Dragons of Tarkir, so Wizards seems to be skewing the demographic younger by themselves.

At 7, Aiden might be on the border of acceptable. A�He got bored and a little whiny towards the end of Khans of Tarkir and we had to leave early as a result. A�I will try again at the next one (not Dragons, more on that later) and if he can’t handle it, I will wait a couple of years until he is at least 10. A�That’s how old Liam is and both times he was well behaved and independent enough to build his own decks. A�He even won a match during Theros.

As it stands, this who decision is no longer relevant. A�I might be going but I won’t be taking the boys to the prerelease because Liam isn’t feeling well. A�Hey, kids are unpredictable! A�It’s why we love them. A�It’s why they drive us nuts. A�Still, the larger point remains valid. A�Magic is a game that appeals to a wide variety of people. A�You probably won’t get along with every person you meet at an event. A�You should still respect your opponents both during and after the game. A�Especially new players, since without them, the games that we love so much might cease to exist before long.

I don’t feel bad taking my kids to the prerelease. A�Should I? A�What do you think? A�I’d like to know if this is honestly a big problem for the community at large. A�It might be that the only people that I hear saying this are Twitch chat. A�We know how they can be about pretty much everything. A�Let me know in the comments or via email how you feel about this.