Tag Archives: Magic the Gathering

Introducing Spooktober 2022

Introduction

Our better half got married last night. I served as the best man and had to give my second speech of the year. I also spoke at the graduation for my school at the beginning of summer. As someone who doesn’t like public speaking (yeah, weird for a teacher to say), that’s a new record. During the speech, I used the introduction of the page. And, now, I’m back with our Introducing Spooktober 2022 post.

Introducing Spooktober 2022?

Ever since I started the page, I wanted to do theme months. Spooktober goes all the way back to the start of the page. I might have even done a post like this all the way back then and never followed up on it. I’m took lazy to check right now. Okay, my curiosity is stronger than my laziness. I found no evidence of Spooktober 8 years ago during the month of October, but I found my old Zombie Mill Deck post.

So, now, kids older, working less than I ever have (even if I have taken on a ridiculous amount of stipends this year), I feel ready to unleash the magic of Spooktober onto the page. It will start with a redesign, including new graphics and a new color scheme at some point over the next week. It will continue throughout the month with themed posts, including my first foray into DMing my middle school D&D group through the Curse of Strahd module.

He awaits…

Quinn and I still have to play the ghost pirates adventure that I wrote over the summer. I have one horror novella that I wrote and I can pepper in some teasers from that and also planned on writing some Dungeons and Dragons or Magic the Gathering fan fiction.

The Verdict.

I have plenty of content planned for the month. Who knows, maybe I will come up with more and try to expand into YouTube or TikTok videos to help expand our reach. As I also said in my speech last night, things happen in their own time. Stay tuned.

Top 5 January 2022: A Look Ahead

Introduction

This Top 5 January 2022 article comes about a week late. We here at 2 Guys Gaming consider that a victory after disappearing for two whole months at the end of last year. Also, unless I come up with something else while writing the article, this top 5 January 2022 might be only a top 4.

Will I make it to 5? Stay tuned to find out.

Top 5 January 2022

Well, that wasn’t at all suspenseful, was it? I learned over the last few years from people that I love who suffer from anxiety that suspense is overrated.

5. Geocaching – I will talk about this more on my other page. However, it became such a part of my life over the last 3rd of last year, I’d be doing a disservice by not mentioning it here, too. I currently have two goals for the year. Finish out my 365/366 consecutive days of caching and finding 1000 caches in the calendar year. Check out the other page to keep tabs.

4. Homebrew Games – I recently hooked up my Atari 2600 emulator to the downstairs TV again. I only played a few minutes of Frostbite and Circus Convoy. The latter reminded me how much I enjoyed the other homebrew games I purchased at the beginning of last year. So, I found myself on the Atari homebrew page again thinking about what new games I want for a 50 year old video game system.

3. New Games – I actually put together a Christmas list for the first time in years. On the list, I asked for a few new games. I saw Chess Ultra at Walmart for 13 bucks and Chris recommended Hades. I also asked for the new Metroid game before realizing it cost 60 bucks. But, I got Hades and Chess. I played through a few minutes of Hades, texting Chris the whole time and can’t wait to play more. Plus, Chess is always a winner.

2. Dungeons and Dragons Duels – I talked about this in my previous article wrapping up my favorites of last year. Quinn and I never got a chance to sit down and have a session. But I remain committed to making it happen. We have the same February vacation this year. Expect an update after that.

1. MtG Commander – I also wrote about this in my year end wrap among other articles. Unlike Duels, though, Chris and I actually got to play some Commander while watching Alabama eviscerate Georgia in the SEC Championship. As it turns out, Georgia gave Bama the rope a dope in that game and turned the tide (ha ha) earlier this week. I’d have lost my house if I didn’t think the line was super fishy. But, alas, back to the point. More Commander not this weekend, but next.

The Verdict

Our top 5 January 2022 seems less intriguing than our preview last year. However, it is far more sustainable over the long run since I’m not promising to play 75 games that I’ll never even speak of again as long as we live. Also, honestly, I’m not sure what else to write this week, so it might be a bit of a dry stretch until we play Commander again next week. Plus, there will be at least three of us there! See you then.

Top 10 of 2021: Our Favorites of the Year

Introduction

We unintentionally took 2 months off this year. We played the least amount of games by far this year than any of the other years since starting the page. I can’t explain either of those. It also defies explanation how, in spite of them, we had one of our best years as 2 Guy Gaming. I heard someone say that they just blame everything on Covid. So, let’s go with that and continue with our Top 10 of 2021.

Top 10 of 2021 (Honorable Mention)

  1. Atari 2600 – If I remembered earlier to hook it up, this might have actually made the list. Instead, I just hooked it up the other day and played through a few games of Circus Convoy. The games are so simplistic, but o much fun. Look for this to be on the list next year.
  2. Jackbox Party Pack 8 – I talked about this one in the last article. We played it a couple of times as a family and had an absolute blast. I would have liked to have gotten it working on Christmas to play with a larger group, though.

Top 10 of 2021 (#10-6)

10. Comic Books – Like most of my hobbies, I lost the time I used to devote to comics. I dedicated more time to my job (which, if you’ve been reading the other page, you know didn’t ultimately pay off) and family (worth the investment always). Comics were the first to go. Still, I collect them and enjoyed the storylines when I stopped. I will pick them up again at some point.

9. Football – I swore of the NFL about a decade ago. I simply found less and less enjoyment from watching. Perhaps, as a result, I leaned more heavily into college. It helped that my friend Craig liked college football. More recently, Chris texts me about the NFL. As a result, I watched more the last couple of years and enjoyed it.

8. Hades – This might be higher on the list if I played it before today. As it is, I think being number 8 solely on the recommendation of Chris is pretty good.

7. Geocaching – I found a cache on a whim during our trip to the museum with Quinn in late summer. That triggered something because I started hiking/caching after school and on the weekends. Then, I got the silly idea to try for a full year (366 days) streak of finding geocaches. I’m currently at 118 days. You can follow those adventures here.

6. Dungeons and Dragons Duet – When we tried playing D&D as a family a few years ago, it met with limited success. I wasn’t prepared to be an entertaining and engaging DM and, frankly, maybe the family just didn’t enjoy the game that much. Quinn did, though, and on a whim I bought him some D&D dice. I have also been reading a page on how to play 2 player D&D, called Duets.

Top 10 of 2021 (#5-1)

5. Battlegrounds – I have a love/hate relationship with Hearthstone. Every now and then, it evolves to hate/hate. However, I admit they did something right when they designed Battlegrounds. It takes little time or brain commitment and is a good way to kill 10-15 minutes.

4. Magic the Gathering Arena – In spite of the fact that I played less games this year, I still logged in to MTGA on a daily basis to complete quests and get my “free” loots from the reward track.

3. Disney + – From the best show to come out in recent memory, WandaVision, to the Covid shortened and potentialy ruined Falcon and the Winter Solider. From the Mandalorian to the new Book of Boba Fett. From What if to Hawkeye. I even splurged for their premier access to be able to watch Cruella after prom earlier this year. As with most things, Disney took the streaming service and improved it by leaps and bounds.

2. Marvel Movies are Back – We saw Black Widow in the theaters. Christine, high on girl power, enjoyed that one more than the rest of us. I liked it, but it wasn’t necessary and a huge let down after the last two Avengers masterpieces. Then, we just saw the new Spider-Man movie. Those who say it is the best Marvel movie ever are engaging in hyperbole (both Infinity War and Endgame are better stories and movies), but it is the best live action Spider-Man.

  1. Commander – I wrote several times in the last few months about my adventures in Commander. Chris and I finally played face to face while eating pizza and watching Alabama destroy Georgia in the SEC Championship. He Alabama’d me in the games, but it inspired me to improve my decks for the rematch next month.

The Verrdict

As you see, even though we weren’t active on the page as much this year, we still found time to do the things we enjoy. Maybe this will inspire us to do more of them and write more and, who knows, podcast (inside joke, haha) more. Or, maybe this is one last hurrah and we fade into obscurity. Only one way to find out. Stay tuned.

2021 Tabletop Game of the Year

Introduction

Previously, we picked Magic the Gathering Arena as our PC/Mobile Game of the Year. As promised, this time we pick our 2021 Tabletop Game of the Year. If you paid attention to the previous article, this choice will come as no surprise. As with our PC/Mobile game, we really only played this game, so the choice is more or less by default. Nevertheless, the choice is genuine. We very much enjoy this game, especially lately.

Drum roll, please. Pause for effect.

This year, we the esteemed creators and chairmen of this very web site, 2 Guys Gaming, of sound body and mind, do so delcare with enthusism and without question (is this run on sentence with a parenthetical ridiculous enough yet? Because I’m running out of steam.) that we choose Magic the Gathering as our Tabletop game of the year. Other than the fact that we consistently (well, as consistent s we get) publish content about Magic the Gathering, we have other reasons for choosing the game.

The Cons (Always Start with the Bad News)

Cons? How can the 2021 Tabletop Game of the Year have cons? Well, there are always two sides to the story. Besides, the cons aren’t game breaking and easily remedied.

  1. Expensive – As with the digital formats, Magic the Gathering cards can be expensive. Unlike the digital (except MTGO), the actual cards have a secondary market that drives the cost up on many cards. Thankfully, I’m not one to keep up with the Joneses and refuse to give in to the temptation to spend stupid amounts of money on cards. That doesn’t mean that I don’t take advantage, as evidenced by the Griseldaddy and Chandra I sold for almost 100 each.
  2. Hard to Get Together – This mostly applies just to us and our playgroup. Chris and I texted several times before we were finally able to get together for some Commander on the night of the SEC Championship. Inspired by that, he tried to get us together with some of his buddies that we’ve played before, but that fell apart, too. But, we planned to get together after the new year.
Hmm, draw 7 cards or two tanks of gas? I could also feed my family for a week. Tough choice, but I’m not signing on that dotted line in blood any time soon, Griseldaddy.

Pros (Preciesely Chosed to Counter the Cons)

  1. Proxies – I checked before I ordered. Okay, I checked soon after I ordered. But, I couched the question with an assumed affirmative. “We allow proxies, right?” I knew Chris would say yes. I wasn’t sure about the other guys. But, I got a yes and ordered the cards I needed to upgrade my Naya landfall Commander deck. Too bad I read the small print too late and just recently saw they’re coming from Spain. That’s gonna sit in customs for a while.
  2. Face to Face Always Better – Even when I’m losing to some stupid Paradise Mantle combo or Chris is beating my brains out in Commander, I still have more fun against actual people. My paranoid side always sees my opponent’s draw in Magic the Gathering Arena as tailored specifically to beat my deck or draw. Harder to make that claim against a non computer opponent
  3. Commander – I already went over this several times so I won’t rehash it again here. Just know that it remains my favorite format.

The Verdict

I think we made a clear case why, in spite of the fact that it was basically by default, that Magic the Gathering is our 2021 Tabletop Game of the Year. Join us again in a couple of days as we choose the console game of the year. If you thought this one was ridiculous, wait until you see the justification for that. But, don’t let that scare you off. Be sure to come back. It’ll be fun.

2021 PC/Mobile Game of the Year

Introduction

Last year, when we wrote this article, we gave a list of games we played through the year and picked one as the mobile game of the year. That will not happen this year when we announce the 2021 PC/Mobile Game of the Year. Instead, we will use this introduction to announce the game and then use the rest of the article to give the pros and cons of the of the game.

That’s because there’s only one real game that we played consistently on both PC and mobile. Okay, that’s not entirely true. We also loaded up Hearthstone daily for quests. But, honestly, if we ever name that game of the year, it is an indication that we’ve been kidnapped and need to be rescued.

What is the game, then? It will come as no surprise that our 2021 PC/Mobile game of the year is Magic the Gathering: Arena. Ever since it released, we played it on a daily basis. A few sets ago, I started buying both bundles to build a card and cosmetics collection for the game. I may swear (excessively) when I play the game, but it forever (or until I die or they shut down the servers, it holds a place in my heart.

And, that heart gives me haste!

Cons: Always lead with the bad news

  1. Downtime – I can’t count the number of times Chris and I texted one another in the face of another round of days long downtime after an update. I understand that technology gitches, but it’s ridiculous that this happens every single time. I will say that they are good about reimursements after the downtime, though.
  2. Expensive – At some point, I chose to be a whale in the game and, as I said, I purchase both bundles for each new set. That, plus the physical product that I buy for every set, adds up to a lot of money. Admittedly, I don’t have to spend the money, but I enjoy the game, so why not support.
  3. All these formats – As you will see, I include this as both a pro and con. I promise that is not simply a cheap way to increase word count. I like that the game offers a variety of formats. However, I think they’re starting to go overboard with formats like Alchemy in particular.

Pros: They Must Outweight the Cons, Right?

  1. It’s MTG on the Computer – Arena is the most noob friendly entry level point into Magic the Gathering. Granted, it only goes back to the the sets when it released, but they have done a good job at letting players play with some of the most powerful cards through phantom cube and special release sets.
  2. Free to Play Awards are Good…not Great – I understand that they are a business and want to make money. So, they can’t go overboard with their rewards. What they offer, though, is good. Every day, they run a daily deal with cosmetics, packs, and sometimes additional gold or gems. You can pay a bit extra to get an additional rewards track. Finally, daily and weekly quests give rewards.
  3. Variety of Formats/Events: I generally only play Standard or Historic. Sometimes I venture into Historic Brawl. I always try every event they post because, again, it gives you cosmetic rewards and sometimes even packs. As mentioned, I draw the line at silly nonsense like Alchemy.

2021 PC/Mobile Game of the Year

I included mobile in this article because I started playing the game on my phone recently after my laptop (yet again) is on the fritz. This time, it’s only a piece of the charging port, so hopefully an easy and quick fix. Funny enough, my phone plays the game, but not my tablet. I can’t figure it out. In any case, join us in a couple of days for the tabletop game of the year. Spoiler alert: it won’t be a surprise.

Commander: Top 5 Reasons It’s My New Favorite Format

Introduction

I often said that I’m a Commander player who never played Commander. Well, I can’t say that anymore. I played Commander. In person. Against a real live boy. Insomuch as you belive that Chris is an actual human and not some figment of my imagination. After watching “A Beautiful Mind”, I neither confirm nor deny the existence of anyone. However, I’m 95% sure that Chris is a real person because my wife and children have all seen him. So, either they are all fake or he’s real. While still not confirmation, it’s more likely that he’s real than I’ve constructed this elaborate lie to keep myself as sane as possible given that I probably died about a decade ago and this is Hell.

Just how far down does this Matrix go? Is it too late to pick blue?

Whether Chris actually exists or not, I played a few games against him. We watched Alabama absolutely eviscerate Georgia, we ate pizza, and we played Magic the Gathering. Okay, even I admit, this is sounding less and less plausible as an evening in the life of a 46 year old father of three. Nevertheless, let’s pretend it’s all real. I present to you the top 5 reasons that it’s my new favorite format. Granted, I had no favorite format before, except maybe Legacy or Vintage. But, I never in a milliion years, made enough money to even put together a proxy deck in either of those formats, so EDH it is.

Number 5 – Low Money Threshold

Precon decks are cheap. They are also terrible. However, I discovered that many players wrote extensive upgrade articles to take them from terrible to slightly less terrible for less than 100 dollars (as long as you and your playgroup are willing to tolerate proxies). Take this page for example. Or, this one. For about 150 bucks, I got 2 playable decks and a stupid combo deck. Not bad all things considered.

Number 4 – Popularity

Partially because of the low barrier economically, many many people play this format. I know becaue (a) of the plethora of articles mentioned in the last section and (b) anytime I mention to another human being there seems to be a (completely made up statistic) 72.5% chance that they tell me they at least have a precon deck redy to play

Get yours today!

Number 3 – Variety of Strategies

One of the things that keeps us coming back to Magic the Gathering is the ever evolving strategy of the game. Within that changing metagame, certain things remain universal. Life gain. Tribal. Ramp. Prison. Mill. Plus, many more. Find your playstyle today. Unless you play mill. In that case, I invite you to go straight to hell.

And, of course, I open MTGA and the first game is opened with this play, FFS.

Number 2 – We got a playgroup together (Sort of)

You may remember from the early days of 2 Guys Gaming that Chris and I went to a guy’s house to play some sealed for one of the sets. After the sealed game, we played something or another. I don’t remember the exact format. I simply remember watching another game and making a snarky comment similar to the one I just made about not actually playing Magic the Gathering as my opponent combo’d off on turn 3.

The point of this story is that those same players contacted Chris a couple of weeks ago about getting together to play Magic again. We were supposed to get together last weekend, but it fell apart due to scheduling conflicts of adults. However, we made a commitment to try again next month. So, progress!

Number 1 – Singleton Decks

Chris and I texted back and forth several times about our get together and the quirky nature of singleton decks. I said something along the lines of, “It’s funny how you can play the deck so many times and still be surprised when you learn that a card is in the deck because you’ve never seen it once.” He replied with, “Yeah, the one copy of each card makes for an interesting strategy.” I got a glimpse of it with Tiny Leaders, but doubling the card count provides a whole new level of strategy for sure.

Commander: A Great Format or the Greatest?

In addition to everything already said, playing against Chris inspired me to order counters, tokens, and a satchel to carry my decks. I know we get inspired to do things around here (like update the web page regularly) only to see that motivation wane to the point that nothing is done for months at a time. However, this interest in Commander seems to have a staying power. Stay tuned in January to see if that’s true.

How to Stink at Alchemy Without Really Trying

Introduction

Magic the Gathering Arena just released a new format called Alchemy. As usual, the community greeted this change with grace and dignity. They discussed the pros and the cons intelligently and respected each other and WotC and Hasbro. Just kidding, of course. As I wrote in response to a Facebook post, “Magic the Gathering players are becoming more and more like the old man that yells at clouds” in their interactions.

And, yes, you damn kids better stay off my lawn!

Eventually, I found some comments that restored my faith slightly in the player base. Apparently, even though Alchemy is supposed to be a new digital only format that exists in tandem with Standard, some of the changes have also affected Historic. If intended, which some rudimentary searching just confirmed, this seems like a short sighted solution to a problem that doesn’t even exist.

Alchemy: Do We Really Need Another Format?

In spite of all that, I signed up for the free event introducing the format. With little reason, I started to take notes of my games. Perhaps I knew I would be inspired to write on this page. I wanted to have receipts for when people call me out when I say that I feel persecuted by the game of Magic the Gathering. Now, bear in mind that this is just unfounded paranoia. The only one who will read this any time soon is Chris and he, too, often feels like the game punishes him for the transgression of simply wanting to have fun.

Granted, both Chris and I will occasionally fall into the role of fun police against one another, but those times are few and far between.

As I often do, I searched for some decks. On my Smurf account, I played one of the premade decks. For the actual account, I wanted to try an actual deck. I picked Gruul ramp because who doesn’t like mana and unbridled aggression? Well, after actually playing the deck and the event, I can tell you someone who has two thumbs and doesn’t. This guy.

Click for a larger picture of the deck. You know what? Trust me. Don’t. Play werewolves instead.

Saturday: My Introduction to Alchemy

Let’s forget for a minute that I just had to do a find and replace because I called the format Artisan for the first four paragraphs of this article. So, I suppose that answers the question about needing a new format. Kudos to WotC for trying new things to stay relevant and distinguish MTGA from the paper game. Honestly, that’s probably one of the things that’s kept Hearthstone afloat for so long. Bored of the main game? Play some Battlegrounds. Bored of that? Here’s Mercenaries? Don’t want to play Mercenaries? Well, there’s always Arena, Duels, and Tavern Brawl.

The difference there is that all of those modes are completely different from one another. Alchemy simply offers Magic the Gathering with a different card pool. I’d rather they put their resources into coming up with fun events instead of designing cards for a format that will most likely be dead in less than a month. And, no, it’s not just because I got beaten like a drum as you will see in my synopsis. Oh well, it’s not like I invested anything in the cards that will get converted into wild cards when the format dies.

For whatever reason, I kept a log of my last few games from Saturday. I guess I thought I might actually update this page. Certainly, I never anticipated doing so before writing the log. I will spare you the many curse words and much of the self pity and just give the run down. Out of 7 games, 1 went first once and my opponent 6. The chances of that happening are 5 percent. In keeping with that motif, I called my opponent’s removal in hand 3 times the first game, drew 2 lands in my opening hand in two out of the four games, and accidentally took a mulligan in one of them due to excessive salt.

Sunday: 30 Games to Finish Out the Event?

I saved two wins for Sunday because I finished my weekly 15 win quest with the first 3 wins from the event. I anticipated things going as poorly as Saturday when the first two games ended after two targeted removal on my Scute Swarm and then the second game lagged to a draw. After that, my luck changed and I ran over an opponent with Scute Swarm and then absolutely destroyed a red/white deck before finishing out a quest with a BW deck and another win. Satisfied with the results, I quit for the day.

Noob’s Impression of Alchemy

I made no secret that I don’t understand the need nor the purpose of Alchemy. After playing the format, that remains true. I’m glad to have gotten 2000 experience and cards that will give me wild cards when they kill the format in a couple of months. Otherwise, I will stick to my new found love of Commander. Yes, I finally have decks. Come back Thursday for that article.

Cards I Love: Forgotten Realms Miscellany

Introduction

First Esper, then Gruul, now the Forgotten Realms Miscellany article. I am on a damn roll this week with content. Fear not, though, I have nothing planned for next week and the following week is the annual Cape Cod trip. So, the page will be languishing again in no time. Look forward to that!

Rest In Peace – 2 Guys Gaming (2014-2021)?

But, for now, revel in the fact that we are here and providing you with at least second tier content. Chris texted me yesterday, “There’s a lot of good cards in the set.” I replied, “Yeah, it’s a fun set.” Of course, that reply came before I reviewed green, so I was grading on a bit of a curve. Nevertheless, I like the set and I agree with myself that they’ll probably make another D&D set once they see how popular this one is. Let’s see what fun cards are in Forgotten Realms miscellany.

Forgotten Realms Miscellany: Dungeons and Artifacts

I already touched on dungeons in one of the other articles, but I only showed one of them at that time. These three cards represent some of the most recognizable dungeons in the game Dungeons and Dragons. I can’t wait to put together my dungeon themed Tiny Leaders deck.

Speaking of dungeons, here’s a map! Plus, 50 feet of rope! But, watch out for that Mimic! Ah, mimic, the reason that generations of Dungeons and Dragons players have trust issues.

Forgotten Realms Miscellany: Multicolored

This section became a showcase for some of the most iconic names in Dungeons and Dragons history. Tiamat fills two purposes, one as a major geek-gasm and the other as a flavor win by being 5 colors. The alt art isn’t for Xanathar, but I wish it was. Maybe I will commission an alter to make it so. Finally, I never read nor played any of the Forgotten Realms setting, but even I know Drizzt.

Forgotten Realms Miscellany Gives Us Some Fun Cards

I love the dungeon concept. I wish they gave us more of them, but three gives enough variety now. Who knows? Perhaps they will make more or the MTG/D&D community will make more for us to use. Every single one of those artifact cards is going in my dungeon themed tiny leaders deck. I told Chris that I’m going to have fun opening my box of this set and I will. I just hope they make another D&D set and selfishly, I hope they base it on Dragonlance next time.

Cards I Love: Forgotten Realms Gruul Edition

Introduction

Yesterday, I rolled up into your life after 2 months like nothing ever happened with the first of my MTG Forgotten Realms articles. Today, I bring you Forgotten Realms Gruul Edition. These colors are always the most difficult for me to pick cards. I am in no way shape or form a red or green mage. Chris is, which is what makes our one-on-one duels so much fun. We end up on opposite ends of the color wheel almost every single time.

Unless we’re doing sealed. Then, I always go 5-color good stuff. Picture courtesy of TCG Player.

Though Chris has rubbed off on me a bit through our games and conversations, keep this in mind as you read the article. I pick red and green cards through they eyes of a blue (and sometimes black and white) mage. Don’t expect any one turn kills or massive mana spikes. No, for this Forgotten Realms Gruul edition, you may have to suffer through card draw and counter spells. It could happen! Red got Tibalt’s Trickery after all.

Red: Give me a quest, a baby Embercleave, and a possible 2 turn kill

Honorable Mention (You Find Some Prisoners/Dueling Rapier): I sent both of these cards to Chris. I like You Find Some Prisoners because it again illustrates a facet of Dungeons and Dragons. Since it is basically a cooperative storytelling game, as I explained to Chris, you often find yourself faced with decisions like this that are introduced in such a manner as “The party…”

When I texted Chris, I captioned “Dueling Rapier” with “Baby Embercleave”. Now that I look at it again, it is more like fetus Embercleave. Still, a fun card, just not the tiny broken weapon I initially rated it as. Now that I say that, someone will break it, most likely against me.

Minion of the Mighty: Yep, you guessed it again. I texted this one to Chris. My exact quote: “This is going to be a problem.” Sure enough, the next day, some web pages wrote articles about how it enabled turn 2 kill in some formats. Granted, it requires a specific set of cards, but most combos do. I just like to pat myself on the back when I get a card right.

Green: Give me a cursed idol, a neat trick, and a tiny leader

Honorable Mention (You Find a Cursed Idol/Wild Shape): Green cards in this set are pretty lame. I consider none of them good or even fun. These three represent the most fun and they are pretty damn awful. Cursed Idol, at least, has some versatility. Wild Shape, too, and it can be a fun trick to play at the end of the game to give you another turn to find an answer. I wish one of the options gave you deathtouch, but that’s neither here nor there.

Varis, Silverymoon Ranger: I have a tiny leaders deck with Yisan, the Wanderer Bard. It’s a fun deck that isn’t terribly tuned, but it was able to beat Chris’s even less tuned deck. As soon as I saw this card, I wanted to build a tiny leaders deck around a dungeon theme. Again, not a great card, but I guess if pressed I could call this one fun.

The Verdict (Forgotten Realms Gruul Edition weighs heavily in favor of red)

Red gets some of the most fun and powerful cards in the set. Green is all but forgotten in both cases. I suppose not all colors can be winners in every set, but they’ve actually been pretty good about printing powerful cards and balancing all colors in that regard. Maybe I’m missing something. It wouldn’t be the first time. However, thinking back on it, Chris and I didn’t share many green cards during our spoiler texts, so maybe green is just bad this time around. Thanks for reading my Forgotten Realms Gruul Edition and come back tomorrow for the miscellaneous cards.

Cards I Love: Forgotten Realms Esper Edition

Introduction

Welcome back (after an unintended and extended layoff) to my Forgotten Realms Esper Edition article. Those of you who frequent the page on a semi-regular (as I make it difficult to visit on a regular basis due to not having a proper posting schedule the last couple of years) basis know that these articles are ways for me to highlight the “notable cards” of a set. If you want competitive cards, search for them. There are plenty of those articles.

No shortage of wanna be Spikes out there.

Okay, now for a quick explanation of where I’ve been. Again, those who are regular readers of the page know that I get busy at the end of school, so that is often a time that the page is lacking content. Usually, though, I make up for it by starting my summer blitz that lasts until about February, where updates become sparse again. This year, my wife and I went to the Florida Keys almost as soon as school ended. So, the dark period lasted a bit longer this year.

Know that we still thought and cared about you. And, yes, I meant to say “we” there. Twice, Chris and I planned to talk about the new Modern Horizons set. The first time, I flaked on the recording and the second, we planned it for Father’s Day, which interfered with my plans. And, so, unofficially, 2 Guys Gaming is dead. But, I put a few hundred dollars into this page, so why not continue to throw bad money after bad and keep seeing if something ever happens here. Besides, I like writing and I like writing about games. On to Forgotten Realms Esper Edition.

White: I want removal, a planeswalker that turns into a dragon, and a pet gargoyle that enters the dungeon

Honorable Mention: (Cloister Gargoyle and Minimus Containment): I start with containment, even though it is right most in the preview. I sent this card to Chris and he replied about not liking giving the other person mana. I can respect that, but it hits literally everything. Having played against far too many Ugins in MTGA, I replied, “Eff your Ugin.” “Ooooh, he said, that can be powerful.”

I chose Cloister Gargoyle because I don’t think I’ve ever previewed/reviewed a gargoyle card, but I often think the cards are neat. This one also showcases a new mechanic in Forgotten Realms, the dungeon. After all, the set is named after the iconic RPG, Dungeons and Dragons. How are you not going to incorporate both into the set? Well, they have, as you’ll see in future installments of this series.

Grand Master of Flowers: I doubt this card has very much utility. However, I became enamored with the fact that it turns into a big old indestructible dragon god. I also thought, what if we combined this with the new Kasmina in a Bant deck. Oh, what the heck, my Timmy mind went crazy. Why not put together a five color EDH Superfriends deck and have all the Planeswalkers. Look for that deck in the coming weeks.

Blue: Give me another planeswalker, an almost lich, and some card draw

Honorable Mention (Mordenkainen/Contact Other Plane): I also sent Mordenkainen to Chris, this time with the comment, “Overcosted as hell, but a fun card.” This one is definitely going in my Superfriends deck. I mentioned in a previous article (and never finished the cycle) that I like drawing cards. Contact Other Plane lets me draw cards. It also brings another iconic D&D action to MTG. Roll a d20. Not a spindown counter. An actual, factual d20.

Demilich: You guessed it. This one went to Chris. I actually sent it to him while we were walking through Laguardia airport to catch our connection to Key West. That’s how much I liked this card. I said something along the lines of, “It’s not Legendary, either, so you can chain them.” I don’t think it will be as powerful as Narcomeba or anything, but it is going to be a fun, fun card to play in many formats.

Black: Give me a warlock, an indestructible zombie god, and some card draw.

Honorable Mention (Warlock Class and Deadly Dispute): Another mechanic integral to D&D is the class system. After picking your character’s race, you inevitably pick their class. This card showcases one of those classes and also a leveling curve to improve the quality of the card. Very cool design.

This episode of “this card is black?” features Deadly Dispute. Look, I understand that they’ve adjusted the color wheel recently to include different strategies for each of the colors. I’m just having some difficulty adjusting, I suppose. This card is really just Village Rites with upside. Even so, I still think it should be blue. Of course, I do.

The Book of Vile Darkness: I might have shared this card first with Chris. I definitely shared it early in the spoiler cycle. They took until the end of the cycle to share the Hand and Eye of Vecna, so I had no idea even what abilities that zombie might have. As you see, they’re pretty damn good abilities. Fun stuff!

The Verdict (Forgotten Realms Esper Edition is good, but not great)

A few of the cards previewed here are fun. I definitely want to build that Superfriends deck now and go off with some Planeswalkers. Also, I love the idea of building a stupid Vecna deck and trolling MTGA players with that one. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones to see me in casual with it. Until then (and until next time for the Gruul cards), have fun out there, fellow MTG nerds!