Out of the Shadows

(Editor’s Note: Haven’t we done this dance before?)

In addition to my absence from the web page ( for which I have no excuse), I have also been absent from Magic. Chris and I have not gotten together for a couple of months because it is hard being a grown up with kid hobbies. He has other magic contacts that have more or less kept him in the game, but I haven’t made those contacts. Again, it’s rough out there for a grown up kid. Especially one that is a bit antisocial. However, even with his involvement with the game, he still felt the same way about going back to the Eldrazi as I do. We were both completely underwhelmed by both sets in the block. I skipped the second set completely and didn’t even buy a token fat pack.

Signs that things might be different with the latest set showed up early in the spoiler season. We both expressed that, even though it seemed strange to have another repeat visit to a plane, we were both excited to go to Innistrad. I’ve always loved vampire and werewolf lore (except for the more recent strain of Twilight garbage), really enjoy the concept of flip cards, and couldn’t wait to see what new cards and mechanics would be introduced with the set.

I shared a few of the early spoilers with Chris. We discussed others, including the planeswalkers. We joked that everyone whines that the new Jace is crap until some blue mage figures out a way to abuse it. Honestly, though, I’d be hard pressed to tell you anything about this set other than there’s a new Avacyn, a new Jace, and a potentially neat flipwalker. As I said to Chris last night when he joked that I wouldn’t even open the product that I ordered, “I’m just so out of the game right now.”

It scries, it draws, it bounces creatures.  It does what Jace does.  Is it a bit expensive?  Sure, but that's exactly what they said about JTMS when it released.
It scries, it draws, it bounces creatures. It does what Jace does. Is it a bit expensive? Sure, but that’s exactly what they said about JTMS when it released.

Those of you who are regulars to the page (shout out to the two of you who stick through our random disappearances!) know that this is not a new sentiment. I obviously go through phases in the game where I love it and others when I’m moderately disinterested. This time is different, though. Usually when I take one of my breaks from the game, I’m still engaged through conversation or watching Twitch streams. The conversation has been only the minimal ones mentioned earlier and I haven’t watched any Magic streams except for Vintage over the last few months. As I said, completely out of the game.

Cue the (probable mis)quote from a famous movie, “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.” Later today, I’m going to hang out with Chris and another friend that we played against a few times a couple of years ago. Armed with nothing but a couple of Tiny Leaders decks and a proxied Vintage deck with no purpose other than to fulfill my fantasies of being a Vintage guy, I’m going to wade into Chris’ new Magic frontier with tournaments and actual meta strategy. Wish me luck.

Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Africa anymore.  I know I nailed that one.
Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Africa anymore. I know I nailed that one.

I may revisit this adventure in a later article. For now, I’m boarding a plane (train? time machine? How do you get there?) to Innistrad to see what the set offers filthy casuals like me. I’ve been thinking about buying into the game again. Should I? Let’s explore together, shall we?

Angels and werewolves and vampires (Oh my!) Do you love tribal decks? I know that I do. If you have read, or search for, my deck lists, you will see that my decks are almost always constructed around a theme. More often than not, I also try to choose a tribe. I’ve done goblins and elves (who hasn’t?), zombies, merfolk (not the good kind), minotaur, and the aforementioned angles, werewolves, and vampires (Oh my!) Hell, I think I even got the crazy idea once to build a Homonculus deck. It didn’t go anywhere.

Heck, what can possibly go wrong?
Heck, what can possibly go wrong?

Flip Cards (that aren’t Delver). Chris has expressed disinterest (and even outright disdain) for the idea of flip cards. Nevertheless, the cards persevere in spite of his irrational hatred and prejudice against them. One has even risen above it all to become a Modern and Legacy staple. But anyone can win with Delver. Can anyone build a deck around Arlinn Kord? Yea, probably, but it won’t be one of my signature terrible decks.

I mean, just look at her, won't you?  She's beautiful.
I mean, just look at her, won’t you? She’s beautiful.

Graveyard shenanigans. Both the delirium and madness mechanics allow you to interact with the graveyard–as far as I know–in new and different ways. One of my first decks was an annoying zombie mill deck. Additionally, I have been eyeing a dredge deck online to dip my toes into Vintage without having to take out a second mortgage. So, graveyard shenanigans are right in my wheelhouse. Can’t wait to build my delirium or madness (why not both) deck.

Well, the trip to visit Chris last night was successful. I won both games that I played. When combined with my newly discovered excitement about the new set, I’m right back in. really, though, did you expect any other outcome? Once Magic sticks its hooks into you, you can never truly be free.

I love you, too, Magic the Gathering.
I love you, too, Magic the Gathering.

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