Tag Archives: Magic the Gathering

M21 Notable Cards Miscellany

What are M21 notable cards miscellany? Colorless, multicolored, lands among others. I’ve already talked about the rest of the color wheel in two other articles I wrote this week. The link is for WUB. If you click below on either that or this article, you can find my picks for RG.

Looking at the spoilers, there aren’t many multicolored cards in this set. Plus, the ones that are in the set just aren’t that great. There aren’t very many colorless cards, either. Plus, being a core set, the lands are fine, but nothing worth mentioning. So, why am I going through with this review?

Well, I started the set reviews. I might as well finish them. Besides, it’s not like the cards are complete garbage. There are some hidden gems in there. Let’s find them.

Multicolor

Sanctum of All: As soon as I saw the promotion for the sanctum cards, I texted Chris about them. He, knowing me and my personality, responded with this card. I replied, “Yep, the one in a million payoff.” I got a few of the shrines in my MTGA packs and I also have shrines from the Historical Anthology cards. I think I’m going to try to build a janky shrine deck for giggles.

Honorable Mention (Experimental Overload): I’m a sucker for a dumb Izzet card every time. This one qualifies.

Colorless

Idol of Endurance: You thought I was going to say Ugin. Or, Sad Robot at least, right? Well, I’ve said numerous times in the past that this isn’t a list of the best cards. Hell, I don’t even pick good cards half the time. I pick cards that I find fun or interesting. This card is sort of like a strictly worse Lurrus. Maybe a post nerf Lurrus? I don’t know. It just looks like it could be a fun card.

Honorable Mention (Solemn Simulacrum): Okay, you were right. I did pick Sad Robot. However, the only reason I picked it is because of the new art. It doesn’t look like a sad robot anymore. It looks like a right fierce and pissed off robot.

Lands

There aren’t any cool lands in this set. No shocks, no cycles, no biomes or triomes, or fetches, either. But there are these sweet art lands. I’m hoping these are the ones that are included in the bundle. If not, I might have to order a playset of them. They are just too pretty.

The Verdict

Those are the M21 notable cards miscellany. Multicolored are a bit lackluster, but there are some decent colorless reprints. No exciting lands, but the art on the ones that I shared is amazing in my opinion. My excitement of the set has abated some, but I’m sure that will all change if I open an Ugin or Teferi when my product arrives next week. Until then, fellow MTGers!

M21 Notable Cards Gruul Edition

Introduction

Time for M21 notable cards Gruul edition. Of course, in the last article, I wrote about the white, blue, and black cards in the set. If you missed that one and you don’t want to go back to read it, I will give you the highlights here. There are a ton of cool reprints in this set. Teferi is blue and he does things at instant speed. I think that about covers it.

Actually, I do have a couple of other things to say. I like the set so much that I ordered both bundles on MTGA. I know that Chris is going to give me crap about that, but I like the game. It lets me play MTG, especially since I’ve had time over the last few months with the stay at home due to Covid. And, as I mentioned last month, there haven’t been any comics.

My other mention is that I went out of order this time. I like this set so much more than Ikoria that I skipped right over Ikoria to purchase my traditional box and bundle of M21. I will go back to buy Ikoria eventually. My completionist brain won’t let me not have that binder. However, for now, let’s see why I made this decision in the first place.

Red (Oh, you like your face? I like your face, too. However, let me rearrange it a bit for you.)

Fiery Emancipation: This card is stupid expensive and mono red will never see the payoff in traditional formats. However, in the right Commander deck, it could do some damage and potentially be tons of fun. I don’t know enough about Commander to know which decks, but I’m sure you nerds will find them

Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner: I have a terrible Alesha, Who Smiles at Death tiny leaders deck. I was inspired by Chris’s friends Darren and Jason. They’re the only “real” people I’ve played against besides Chris and randos at various prerelease events over the last few years. Plus, I really like the tiny leaders format. It’s fun. maybe I can do something similar with this card.

Honorable Mention (Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge): Speaking of tiny leaders. This guy qualifies. I have a feeling it would be quite easy to put together an artifact deck to make this guy work. I’m not the dragon guy, though. Chris is.

Green (You Want Lands? Well, here, play all the lands!)

Asuza, Lost but Seeking: I learned about this card during the Amulet Titan crisis of a couple of years ago. They sort of reprinted this in Theros Beyond Death with the Dryad of the Ilysian Grove and now it’s back in full glory. I just texted Chris that with both of those cards, you could play 4 lands per turn. I’m not entirely sure how to exploit that, but it will be fun to try.

Garruk, Unleashed: I am not a green guy. I’m a blue mage to my core. However, when playing cube, I often gravitate to Gx as my default strategy. Usually it is GB and there was a Garruk card that was always open. So, I’ve sort of adopted Garruk as my favorite green planeswalker. I’m glad there’s a Garruk in standard again.

Honorable Mention (Quirion Dryad): Hearthstone had a deck that was called Miracle Rogue. The same strategy has been tried in druid and maybe other decks. Druid and rogue were the two most popular, though. In digging, I found that the decks had roots in MTG with this card.

The Verdict

Thanks for reading my M21 notable cards Gruul edition. As with the Esper edition, there are some fun cards in this set. I think I get to open my product on MTGA tomorrow and then my paper product should be in the mail in the next week or so. Oh, and I can’t wait to see what this set does to the Cube in Arena. The power level is definitely going to go up!

M21 Notable Cards: Esper Edition

Introduction

Time for my M21 Notable Cards Esper edition article. Another core set? Didn’t they do away with core sets a few years ago? Well, yes, they did. Then, along with several other decisions of the time, they reversed course. Core sets are back, Baby! I realize that not all of you are as excited about that as me. However, you may reverse course yourself after you see what this set has to offer.

Chris and I have been texting periodically over the last few weeks every time we see a card that either surprises or excites us. Trust me when I say there have been a lot of texts. This set is insane. Before I get to the part where I talk about the insanity, a few caveats. First, this is not a list of the best cards. There are plenty of those lists. It’s simply a list of cards that I find interesting. Secondly, starting with Theros Beyond Death, I started breaking the card reviews into parts. Hence, the Esper designation. Now, let’s look at some cards.

White (Unleash the Weenies?)

Glorious Anthem – Traditionally, white is either troublesome flying creatures or weenies pumped up with tricks. This card leans heavily in the direction of white weenies. I, for one, welcome our new 1/1 overlords.

Basri Ket – It used to be rare to get new planeswalkers. Well, it felt rare to get new planeswalkers. Now, it feels like the “spark” is being handed out like a clearance sale at the local Wal*Mart. Mind you, I’m not complaining. I like that they shake things up. And this guy looks like he’d get along quite nicely with Elspeth.

Honorable Mention (Nine Lives): This card has crazy Johnny Combo potential. Plus, that art is just fantastic.

Blue (Good Luck casting anything, Buddy)

Discontinuity: OMFG. This card is the bluest blue card that I’ve ever seen in my life. It…ends…everything. Plus it only costs 1U on your turn. I’m trying to think of a time that you’d use it on your turn. Maybe against one of those annoying flash decks that tries to cast everything on your turn. Man, I hate those decks.

Teferi, Master of Time: Who asked for more Teferi? Oh, I’m sorry. It was probably me. When I first started playing Magic again, my most asked question was, “Planeswalker abilities are only sorcery speed, right?” Well, I didn’t talk like a Magic dude, so it wasn’t exactly that. But, you get the point. Now, Teferi throws a monkey wrench into that, too.

Honorable Mention (Sublime Epiphany): This card is expensive. But, look at how many things it can do. That’s a lot of things. Shut up and take my mana!

Black (Countering is great, but removal is fun, too)

Massacre Wurm: This card has a place in my heart since I played a cube game. My opponent was on tokens and I slow played this until he had enough tokens on the board that I could play this and kill him. It’s those kinds of games that keep me coming back for more even as I play against the 13th mono red deck in a row.

Necromentia: Chris once called me a sadist because I said that I really liked Surgical Extraction. I mean, he’s not entirely wrong. And, this card isn’t that. However, combined with Thought Erasure, Agonizing Remorse, or Duress, you could really do some damage to a deck and avoid the drawback of creating zombies.

Honorable Mention (Pestilent Haze): If you are going to create more planeswalkers, you better create some hate. This card isn’t massive hate, but it does slow them down and might even remove one or two in a turn.

The Verdict

Those are my M21 Notable Cards Esper Edition. I very much like this set. In fact, I like it so much that I went out of order in my collection and bought this product instead of Ikoria. Like I said to Chris, Ikoria is nice, but the only real good cards there were companions and they got nerfed into the ground. This set, if I choose to try, could potentially make me some money. I won’t, of course, but it was a consideration.

MTGA Cube First Impressions

Introduction

My MTGA cube first impressions are that it is decent. There’s your TLDR right at the beginning of the article. See you in a couple of days for hopefully some Mortal Kombat content. I’ve been meaning to talk about the new expansion for a few weeks now, but it keeps getting put on the back burner for other material. Who knows? This week might end up being MTG and Pokemon again because I’ve been playing a ton of Pokemon Go. Plus, the expansion for that is coming out. Mortal Kombat coming soon(ish).

When I texted Chris about this after he told me that he was facing peer pressure to play MTGA, he said that his other MTG friends had just texted him the announcement. Guess we’re all excited.

I’ve only done one draft so far on my smurf account, so these are truly my first impressions of the cube experience on MTGA. I’ve played cubes before, mostly on xMage. However, I have done one or two on MTGO and I’ve watched numerous cubes on streams. Mostly, those are Legacy or Vintage cubes, so my sense of power level might be a bit warped. Bear that in mind as you read.

The Great

Trigger warning: I’m about to be cliche. It’s cube! On MTGA! Okay, so what does that all mean? Well, limited formats are my favorite, for sure. I don’t mind constructed, but there’s something about cracking 24 packs and trying to make a cohesive deck from the nonsense contained in those packs. I’m not the best drafter, by any stretch. Hell, I might not even be a good drafter. But, I love drafting.

And, now I can on MTGA. MTGA is my go to for Magic the Gathering right now. When it first got released, I called it MTG: Hearthstone Edition, but I’m eating my words now. I guess I just saw too many digital MTG products come and go with little to no support. This one got support and I’m glad. Especially with Covid-19, I can still play Magic on a regular basis.

The Good

And you draft against real players! Drafting against real players is awesome. The bots will usually just take the perceived best card without regard for what’s open, what you can hate draft, etc. Most people are like me, in the middle when it comes to drafting, but our decisions are based more in our priorities and perceptions of what others are doing.

The Decent

I mentioned that I’m used to Legacy and Vintage drafts. So, I’ve seen cards like Massacre Wurm (back in standard!), Elesh Norn, and Jace the Mind Sculptor. So, it’s a bit of let down when I look at the card pool for the MTGA Cube. Thanks to more powerful recent sets and some strategic reprints, there are some powerful cards like Mirari’s Wake, Thalia, and the pictured Liliana. Overall, though, the power level is what you’d expect for a Historic/Pioneer card pool.

Note: This might change with M21 because as I eluded with my Massacre Wurm parenthetical, there are some insane reprints coming with that set.

The Verdict

Like I said earlier, my MTGA cube first impressions are that it is decent. I enjoy the cube experience and I’m glad that it is in MTGA. With the power level being a bit lower and drafts still costing money if you want to draft more than about once a week, I don’t see it becoming my go to Magic the Gathering experience any time soon. I will still mostly just play Standard/Historic on MTGA and do my cubes on xMage where they are free.

DunGeons and Dragons: Destination Ravnica?

Introduction

Dungeons and Dragons: Destination Ravnica? The title says it all. I remember back when Wizards of the Coast purchased the Dungeons and Dragons property from TSR, Inc. Being one of those grumpy old man gamers (more so even than I am now as an actual grumpy old man) who railed against the conglomeration happening at the time. I mean, generally speaking, it is a bad thing.

And this is under unfettered and unregulated capitalism. Technically, it’s not a monopoly, right?

Then things more or less went as they had been. It was like the Activision acquisition of Blizzard. People were concerned about that, as well. I mean, sure, you can make an argument that it hasn’t worked out well. And, trust me, people have made that argument. However, I still play Hearthstone daily and the new trailer for Shadowlands has me thinking about picking up World of Warcraft again.

My main point is that the WotC acquisition of Dungeons and Dragons and then the acquisition of WotC by Hasbro has more or less gone off without much of a hitch. Sure, there have been some growing pains, but mostly unless you knew, you’d probably not even know the difference.

Does this qualify as a growing pain? I mean, I enjoy playing it and so does Quinn, but I’m sure there are people who stopped playing MtG because of this.

Okay, that’s not exactly true. In addition to putting the MTG license on board games, they have also released Dungeons and Dragons products with Magic the Gathering lore. The first I heard of this was a campaign based in Ravnica. This makes sense because Ravnica is quite possibly the most popular plane in Magic the Gathering. Well, I finally got around to picking up the sourcebook for the campaign. How is it? I’m glad you asked.

The Great

Well Integrated – You got Dungeons and Dragons in my Magic the Gathering! You got Magic the Gathering in my Dungeons and Dragons! Two great tastes that taste great together? Well, actually, yes. I spend some time in the Dungeons and Dragons Beyond character creation and simply from that I can see that they’ve been able to blend the two games almost flawlessly.

As Chris and I discussed, the art alone is nearly worth the price.

In Depth – Not that I expect any less from Dungeons and Dragons, but you never know. They could have easily just mailed it in. They didn’t. There is an absurd amount of information in this book about the plane of Ravnica and the denizens that reside there. I felt like I was being transported to the plane of Ravnica as I read through the book. Honestly, they’re probably just happy that they get to finally share all of this information with us.

The Good

Sample Adventure – Speaking of mailing it in, the sample adventure that they’ve included in the book feels like just a bit of generic Dungeons and Dragons with the Ravnica characters tossed in for some flavor. I get it. It’s just a sample adventure and D&D has a certain feel to is, so maybe all adventures/games feel like this. I know I had a similar reaction to Pool of Radiance.

I mean, it is cool to see Krenko in this context.

Character Creation – As mentioned earlier, I spent a good two hours in the Dungeons and Dragons Beyond character creation tool. So, why isn’t this in the great section? Well, I now have these two characters that I’ve invested time and emotion into and now I don’t have a campaign to play them. Poor guys.

The Decent

Tables to create adventures – I know that not everyone is creative. However, I was a bit taken aback by the tables that they put in the book to create an adventure. Basically, nearly all of the decision making and creativity is taken out of the task of being a Dungeon Master. Ultimately, it doesn’t affect me and I can ignore it.

And, truth be told, I’ll probably use it once or twice for giggles.

I want more! – Yes, this is a cop out. No, I don’t care. Honestly, the only “bad” thing I can find about this is, in spite of how in depth it is, I still want more. More lore, more characters, more story. The whole thing is just a testament to how much I love both of these games. I can’t wait for Theros to be released.

The Verdict

You never know how these crossovers are going to go. Especially in comic books lately, their super summer crossover events have been lackluster. However, Dungeons and Dragons: Destination Ravnica is an overwhelming success. I already have the adventure that I wrote for the family and I will be sure to expand on that, but there’s nothing that says we can’t have multiple campaigns. See you on Ravnica!

Children of the Nameless Review

Introduction

Children of the Nameless? I remember when I first heard that Brandon Sanderson was writing a story for Magic the Gathering. It was during the height of my Brandon Sanderson hysteria. I was working as a custodian for two elementary schools nightly and looking for audio book entertainment that was lengthy to help kill time. Chris might have even mentioned Sanderson as one of his favorite fantasy authors.

I remember reading the beginning of the first Stormlight book. It didn’t grab my attention at the time. However, it went on sale on Audible. I had just listened to The Stand for the second time (after having read it multiple times as a teenager and young adult), so I was looking for something else to read. I listened to it. And, I loved it. I devoured the other book at the time. Desperate for more, I also listened to The Reckoners trilogy. It wasn’t as sharp because it was YA fiction, but I still loved the books.

Then, came book 3 in Stormlight. I liked that one so much, I bought Chris a hard copy for his birthday. And, finally, the Magic the Gathering story. I didn’t read it when it released for the first time, free if I remember correctly. Apparently WotC got wind that Sanderson could have sold the book, so they pulled the free version. I won’t say how I got a free copy, because it might be one of those questionably legal activities I get caught up in, but it rhymes with forgettit.

The Decent

Too Short – This is going to feel like a cop out. And, honestly, it is. But, it’s also true. I thought that 220 pages was going to be too long. Probably just my attention span affected by weeks of not being mentally stimulated. However, once I started reading, it went quickly and I wished for more by the end.

Cursed Twins – This is an old trope. However, Sanderson, because he is a great writer, breathes a bit of new life into the old trope. The twins are afflicted with an “opposite blind” curse, meaning that one is blind during the day and one is blind during the night. (Spoiler Alert: Relax, the book is like 2 years old and this is revealed quite early in the book.) There are other new touches, but I won’t reveal them because they might actually be spoilers.

I mean, when you think twins, you probably think these guys, but the story has been around since at least ancient Greek myths.

The Good

Davriel – One of the selling points of the story was that a new Planeswalker was going to be introduced. I didn’t know much (read: anything) about Davriel going into the story, but this was a nice introduction. It doesn’t make me want to play his terrible card, but the story was fun to read.

I think I played it in a draft deck once and went 0-2. I’m not saying those things are directly related, but I’m not taking the chance.

Good Horror – Brandon Sanderson is a hell of a writer. He’s shown, to me at least, that he can write fantasy, super hero fiction, and now horror. This isn’t the best horror that I’ve ever read, but it is certainly passable and has a good creep factor.

The Great

Innistrad – I’m not a huge fan of vampire fiction. I did enjoy Interview and Dracula as a teenager. There was also a time (probably the same time) that I played Ravenloft exclusively as my D&D setting. So, I’m not averse to the blood suckers. I’m just not one of these people who defines myself based on vampire fandom. I did like Innistrad, though.

I think that had more to do with double sided cards. Chris once said that he didn’t care for them, but I think they have a certain kitsch that makes them fun.

Brandon Sanderson – At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the reason this is any good is because of him. I’m not saying that there aren’t other good writers out there right now. I’m sure there are. I’ve just been inundated with crap like “50 Shades of Grey” for the last few years, that I cling to whatever good writing I can find. As mentioned earlier, he has shown range in what he can write, too.

Man, I just can’t wait for that next Stormlight book.

The Verdict (Children of the Nameless is a great story)

Even though I’ve been reviewing comics for a few months (maybe a couple of years), this is my first book review. It isn’t for lack of books on gaming topics. Especially recently, there seems to have been an explosion of those books. Once again, I missed the boat. Nevertheless, Children of the Nameless was a good read. I highly recommend it to MtG, Brandon Sanderson, or general fantasy/horror fans.

Magic the Gathering Arena April 2020

Introduction

What’s new in Magic the Gathering Arena April 2020? I remember when I first reviewed the game, I think I denigrated it as MtG: Hearthstone edition. The game introduced animations and emotes into the sometimes overly serious MtG game space. It took me a while to warm up to the game. I played here and there, but never on a consistent basis.

They have been good at updating the game on a regular basis. All new sets have been available on the first day for as long as I can remember. I know in the beginning, they were still giving priority to MTGO, but that changed pretty quickly when they realized the audience of MTGA. There are daily quests and a “Mastery” system that allows you to rank up to get rewards. Those two things are what keeps me coming back every day to play.

The red orbs are used for the mastery tree to get “card styles”. Basically, those are like shiny versions of the cards, but because its digital, they are animated.

But, that’s not all. The most recent update brings with it the requisite set of Ikoria. That’s a month early due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The cards are also available on MTGO, but I never play that. It’s a real money system that doesn’t work for casual guys like me. MTGA is much more forgiving in that way. But, there’s more! Let’s explore all the new stuff.

The Decent

Standard Only – Sure, there’s “Historic”, too, but honestly I’m not sure anyone even knows that exists or what’s legal in “Historic”. I kind of wish they would start pushing out older sets, maybe as draft sets initially, to allow for “Pioneer” to eventually be legal, but I’m sure that’s not a priority right now. I just take solace in the fact that I only have to worry about the most recent sets. Unless they’re running an event, I don’t have to worry about any Lotuses (Loti?) except for the slightly underpowered ones they release every now and then.

I mean, this egg is legal in Historic. Doesn’t that make you want to play?

Daily Deals – Another relatively recent update is that they’ve been offering daily deals in the shop. I check every morning before playing to finish my quests. There are the aforementioned card styles, card sleeves, and sometimes even packs for a discounted price. They’re almost always available for gold, so you can build a collection pretty quickly.

A selection of the deals from the day I was tying this, Monday April 20.

The Good

Friday Night Magic at Home: I’ve mentioned Covid-19 in the last two articles because they’ve affected so much of life, MtG included. Obviously, the most recent set was delayed in paper. However, Channel Fireball was one of the first places I knew that shut down their warehouse due to the outbreak. And, finally, stores in the state have closed, so no Friday Night Magic. Now, I never took part in any FNM previously, but it was still good that WotC has allowed MtGA to host FNM events and you can even get prizes from your local store if they’re participating. Anything to retain that sense of normalcy in crazy times.

Mastery: I already said a bit about Mastery earlier. Here’s the rest. By completing quests and winning matches daily and weekly, you gain XP. That XP allows you to level up (1000 XP per level) which allows you to gain certain prizes. It could be packs. It could be cards. Every now and then, it is pets. I know, I know. That sounds dumb. And it is. But, it hasn’t stopped me from trying to collect more pets.

You can even level up your pets!

The Great

Early Access to Ikoria: This isn’t technically early access. As discussed, this is when Ikoria should have released to begin with. However, due to the current global pandemic, I’ve gotten to play with the new set and Chris hasn’t. I won’t make any sort of boasting comment about that because it’s potentially bad karma and I have enough of that to clean up after the last few years of my life.

Also, I’m just damn sick and tired of seeing this card already.

Player Drafts: This is probably what I’m most excited about in the new update. Previously, you would draft with bots, which wasn’t nearly as interesting as drafting with players. Sure, I could have played MTGO or gone to FNM. However, I’m a noob (as I already explained) and MTGO isn’t cost efficient for me. And, up until this year, I haven’t had the time to go to FNM. Now, I have all the time in the world.

Maybe? I have noticed that this virus (as much as viruses can) does have a wicked sense of irony sometimes.

The Verdict

Magic the Gathering Arena April 2020 is in a good spot right now. Initially, I thought this might be like many of WotC’s recent ventures into digital and founder under lack of support. However, the game quickly gathered a following due to them actually supporting it. They’ve used it in streams for tournaments and even have sponsored streamers who play it. If viewing numbers are any indication, it’s still not as popular as Hearthstone. However, it is popular enough that I rarely ever have difficulty finding an opponent. That’s a good thing because I find myself playing this much more than Hearthstone lately. Come join me!

Ikoria Notable Cards

Introduction

Thanks for reading my list of Ikoria notable cards. Just to get it out of the way, for those who haven’t been here before, this is not a list of the biggest and best cards in the set. Like I said to Chris the other day, nobody’s ever accused me of being a Spike. I’m more of a Johnny, but when it comes to these articles, I’m definitely a Timmy.

When looking at a set or opening packs, I always gravitate to the shiny cards. I mean that figuratively and literally. So, whenever a new set comes out, I pick the cards that I find interesting and I write an article about them. I did this again for the first time in a while for Hearthstone last week. It’s pretty exciting that both Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering had a new set release in back to back weeks. I mean, due to Covid-19, the MtG release is only online, but that means I get to play with the cards.

Actually, Sorry, Chris. Hopefully, it’s only a month.

White

Honorable Mention (Cubwarden): This is one of the few cards that I’ve gotten to play so far in the set. I put together a terrible GW vigilance deck to complete a quest, which was a mistake. Because, I found a Jeskai deck that I’d rather build and I don’t have the proper wild cards. Oh well, Mutate is a fun keyword that I haven’t completely figured out yet.

Mythos of Snapdex: When Chris and I were first looking at the spoilers, we both said something about pushing 3 colors again. While that might not have been entirely accurate, this Mythos cycle is certainly that. I like the stipulation of using different colored mana to augment the card. Very cool design.

Blue

Honorable Mention (Thieving Otter with Phase Dolphin): Hey, look, it’s a Johnny combo after all! Activate unblockable on that otter, draw your entire deck, play Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, and win the game! If anyone actually gets that combo to work, please tell me. Actually, someone will probably get it to work against me in MTGA because that’s just how things go.

Escape Protocol: There’s not really any new or unique counters in this set like there was in the last set. So, I was looking for a different kind of card. I played against an interesting cycle deck a few days ago and thought that building a cycle deck could be fun.

Black

Honorable Mention (Corpse Churn): For some reason, I was quite intrigued by this card in the one full player draft that I did on MtGA. I locked into Junk at the beginning of the draft and couldn’t get off of it, but it was wide open. I haven’t actually played the deck, but it has some human and graveyard synergies. Hoping that it’s not as terrible as it felt while I was drafting it.

Blood Curdle: More terribly costed removal for black in this set. I mostly picked this one because I noticed that the cards now say “lifelink counter” or “menace counter”. I assume that they are going to put these various counters in card packs now or have them otherwise available. They’re taking a page from their sister game of Pokemon in this regard.

Red

Honorable Mention (Reptilian Reflection): I could put this in my cycle deck that I mentioned earlier and make it an Izzet deck. I could further expand it by putting some of the “draw your second card of the turn” cards and I might actually have something. Probably not. My Johnny side is coming through in this article.

Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast: I think that Chris mentioned something about this being a bomb when he first saw it spoiled. I mean, he’s not wrong. It’s sort of a worse Fires of Invention and sort of a Garruk all at once. It’s not broken, but definitely one that could be fun to play.

Green

Honorable Mention (Colossification): Here’s that big, dumb card that you’ve been waiting to see. Plus, I just like the art. It makes me chuckle every single time I see it.

Vivien, Monster’s Advocate: Speaking of Garruk, it looks like our friend Vivien is picking up the slack that he left off when he went and died. Did he ever come back and is he dead again? Who knows? I liked the Vivien planeswalker from a couple of sets ago and this one is pretty neat, too.

Multicolor

I chose four for multicolored, since I didn’t find any (other than the triomes) coloreless cards that I wanted to include.

Honorable Mention (Inspired Ultimatum): Here’s another cycle for the set. Stupidly costed 3 color “Ultimatums” that look more like Hearthstone cards than Magic the Gathering cards. This one is almost exactly like Ultimate Infestation for those of you who play Heartstone.

Honorable Mention (Lutri, the Spellchaser): I have no idea what the hell companion even is, to be perfectly honest. But, some Vintage guys were discussing it on Twitch and they seem to think that the mechanic can break the game in fundamental ways. I just chose this one because look at that cute (but deadly!) otter.

Song of Creation: I was talking to Chris about this the other day because I’m thinking of making a deck for us to play Skype (or Zoom or Google Meets now?) games. I said that when you add another color to a deck, it dilutes that deck quite a bit. However, this card seems like it could be completely busted in a storm deck. Maybe Legacy or commander?

Narset of the Ancient Way: My girl Narset is back to Jeskai colors. This one isn’t as dumb or unfun to play against as her most recent mono blue card. However, it has some potential as spot removal or slight ramp. I’m just happy that she’s back to her roots.

Colorless

Triomes: There weren’t really any colorless cards that jumped out at me. But, these lands are pretty neat. What’s better than a biome? A triome! And they’re typed with basic lands, so they are fetchable. Chris and I were trying to figure out if that made them too broken for Modern. Initially I thought they might be, but I haven’t heard any rumblings about it, so maybe the fact that they enter tapped is enough to slow them.

The Verdict (My choices for Ikoria notable cards are fun at least)

Those are my choices for Ikoria notable cards. When the set was first spoiled, it looked like it was going to be broken beyond belief. Others agreed that some of the companions were going to be troublesome in eternal formats. I think we set a new record by having a card banned in a format (Commander) before it was even released. I’ve played a few games on MTGA with the set and the cards are fun, but the games have been sort of imbalanced. In any case, if you can’t get online, I hope the next month goes by quickly and you get to play these cards!

Note: All images for cards taken from Scryfall without permission. It’s a great searchable MtG database. Check them out!

THB Notable Multi and Colorless cards

Introduction

Welcome, finally, to my THB notable multi and colorless cards. Before we get started, I have an admission. I’m a bad webmaster. You already know that. But, I’m nothing if not honest and willing to admit when I’m not very good at something. It’s been a couple of weeks since I started the Theros articles and I’m just now getting around to the multicolored and colorless cards. I have no excuse. Last week was vacation and the only day that I had anything planned was when my wife and I went to Boston on Wednesday. So, now that we have that all out of the way, let’s get to talking about some cards.

Multicolored (The Only Colors are Blue and Black, right?)

In what might be a first for one of these articles, I’ve played both of the cards that I’m discussing in this section. I had a fun UB control deck that I played in MTGA. I searched for some updates for the deck when Theros released and this was one of the cards in that deck. The body, as they say, dies to removal, but the Fact or Fiction effect is pretty cool and fun to play.

This card was also added to my deck. Once again, it’s not a game breaking card by itself. However, it does cause an opponent to obsess a bit over removal, opening the game up for the other UB shenanigans. Plus, that alternate art is nice.

Colorless (Wait, there’s only one notable colorless card. Let’s talk more about multicolored)

This card is dumb. I get that it’s a Titan, but still. I’ve played against it a few times. It’s not as broken as it first appeared. It is just one of those cards that when it’s played, I roll my eyes. I just know I’m going to be in for stupid shenanigans. Well, don’t you usually play stupid shenanigans, you might say? Of course, but I am all about do as I say not as I do. And I say, sir, no shenanigans for you!

When I first saw this card, I thought it might be the broken card of the set. Then, I saw the casting cost. Then I saw the creature type. And it all started to make sense. Wizards likes their 3/5 Sphinxes with ridiculous casting cost and stupid abilities. This one is UW. Which means it has a gold border. That ensures that I will pick the card in cube way too early.

The Verdict

The original Theros wasn’t know for its multicolored cards. Death changes a plane apparently. The multicolored cards in this set are fun. They might not be good, but I don’t care about all that. I just want to have fun. And make my opponent’s life miserable for the half an hour we play. Before you ask, yes that includes Chris. At least I’m not a complete sociopath. I do feel bad when I make his life miserable. Plus, we always get a good laugh from it, too. So, if you’re like me and you just like being the fun police, there’s plenty here to make that happen. Thanks for reading my THB multi and colorless notable cards article. Stay tuned over the next couple of days for an article about Battlegrounds.

Theros Beyond Death Notable Gruul Cards

Introduction

Welcome to my Theros Beyond Death notable Gruul cards article. Last time, I went over the Esper colors. Those are my favorite colors and my favorite two and three color combinations. As a died in the wool blue mage, I absolutely hate red. I do like forcing Gx in cube drafts but, other than that, I don’t have much use for green, either. With all of that being said, there have been some green and red cards that have caught my eye in the set.

I’m not terribly proud of this next admission, but it is relevant to the topic of discussion. I spent the last hour or so swearing at Magic the Gathering Arena opponents who seem to always be able to draw and play exactly the card they need when they need it. Mind you, I’m not opening that discussion. I just wanted to say that I was playing on MTGA.

They are allowing players to play with the World Championship decks from this weekend. It’s a cool event for cheap gamers like me who would never get a chance to play a competitive deck. I chose the Jeskai Fires deck. So, I am capable of playing red. I just don’t like to. With all that being said, lets look at some Theros Beyond Death notable Gruul cards.

Red (Bolt you for lethal? I think we can do a bit better than that.)

This card is sneaky fun, in my opinion. You get a two turn Act of Treason. Then, depending on the board state, you get a turn of removal. Finally, you get almost guaranteed board sweep unless your opponent is playing low attack and high health creatures. In any case, I would play this card for the giggles alone.

I’m a big fan of Through the Breach effects. This gives you that, plus a potential big body itself if you should ever end up getting devotion. I’m pretty sure this is one of the first cards that I texted Chris about and it was all about that Through the Breach text. That card is just so much fun to play in cube. I’d like to test if it is just as much fun in a deck built around it.

Green (You Want Infinite Mana? Because This Might Be How You Get Infinite Mana)

Magic the Gathering has been kind to shirtless green dudes the last few years. First, Oko threw the entirety of the multiverse into chaos. He become the first card in a while to get the ban hammer in almost every format, both competitive and casual. Now, this guy shows up. I’m obviously not saying that he is as powerful as Oko, but he could cause a bit of a ruckus with the right friends.

Speaking of friends, there’s this guy. Chris texted me a picture of him when he was spoiled. I don’t remember my exact response, but it definitely contained some curse words. Again, I can’t promise that this card is any good. In fact, in most formats, it probably isn’t. However, in Commander, this guy plus that dryad up there has got to be some kind of game winning combo. I’m too lazy to find it. Maybe one of you can.

The Verdict

Thanks for reading my part two, Theros Beyond Death Notable Gruul Cards. As promised, I’m not as excited about these cards as I was about the Esper cards. Still, there are some fun red and green cards. I just will never play them unless they come to one of the MTGO cubes and get picked up by xMage. Uh, I mean, unless I invest some case into MTGO and play the cube there. Now that I’m somewhat back in the habit, join us in a couple of days for the colorless and multicolored cards.