Tag Archives: Back to Gaming 2023

DC Comics September 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Catching up has proven more difficult that anticipated. I mean, I know from being a teacher that it’s often easier to just go into work sick and fake it as best you can instead of having to write sub plans and get back into the groove after being out. Also, I probably took this page lighter than normal. After all, I only maintain it as a labor of love. So, I put off the YouTube and updated it in chunks. I still haven’t finished writing my notes for the next episode of Noob’s Book Club. And, I meant to release this DC Comics September 2023 article yesterday or Thursday.

I skipped DC for a couple of months. That’s because I ordered all of the first issues of Knight Terrors. I forgot to update my DCBS order the next month and only ordered my main titles. I meant to go to That’s Entertainment to fill in the books I missed. At this point, I might need to go the Midtown route. They would have made a great Spooktober article. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Decent

Power Girl 1

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For some reason, even though I don’t remember ordering them, they sent 3 number 1 issues for the Dawn of DC non-reboot of a reboot. Why they couldn’t anticipate last month and send my Knight Terrors, I’ll never know. In any case, they sent Blue Beetle, Green Lantern, and Power Girl. Of the three, I liked Blue Beetle the best and I might keep collecting that one for a bit longer to see if it continues. I’ve never cared anything about Green Lantern and I just said to Christine, “Good to see horny dudes are still drawing comics.” Power Girl’s costume makes no sense.

Good

Wonder Woman 1

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Writer: Tom King, Artist: Daniel Sampere

Long time readers of the page know that I have little use for Superman. I always thought his character was simplistic and I prefer my heroes to have flaws. The Brian Michael Bendis experiment started off great and then, as he often does, he wore out his welcome. They sucked me back in by putting Williamson on the main title. I also like Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s take on Action so far. I enjoyed Williamson on Flash and that’s what got me to read Supes. The Si Spurrier era starts off decent and I’m willing to give him a chance. The same thing can be said for King’s Wonder Woman. Everything he writes ends up great, but he needs some time to figure out WW’s character.

Great

Batman and Robin 1

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Writer: Joshua Williamson, Artist: Simone Di Meo

I rolled my eyes so hard they may have stuck there (Mom was right after all) when I read “Gotham War”. We had Joker War. Now we have Gotham War. Well, I should have known that they’d not let us down with this one. What is surprising is that all of the supporting titles I read in the series supports the story in a logical and strong manner. Hell, it even convinced me to buy the Batman/Catwoman title that ties in.

The Verdict

DC Comics September 2023 takes a page from Marvel’s book. They go back to basics on a lot of their titles. Okay, it makes sense now. They kept saying this wasn’t a reboot. With every new announcement, Chris and I rolled our eyes via text and said, “Yeah, right. looks like a reboot to us.” But, by the gods, they actually pulled it off. Can’t wait to see next month.

Trucking Through Europe

Introduction

As promised in the outro to the latest episode of Noob’s Book Club, I’m covering a couple of simulation games that I’ve been playing over the last few months. I think I picked them both up as a Humble Bundle deal. But, I don’t remember exactly. I just looked it up. I received Euro Truck Simulator 2 through some Humble Bundle or another. And, so, I started trucking through Europe.

Point of fact. We took Liam to Germany for his graduation present. Actually, we ended up traveling to Prague in the Czech Republic and a couple of places just over the Austrian border, too. But, we spent most of our time in Germany. I enjoyed the trip so much that I seriously considered moving to Europe in 6 years or so. Christine eloquently said, “You want to live anywhere but here.” To which I responded, “Yep.”

Top is my in game shot of Allianz. Bottom is my trip to the stadium over the summer.

Wait, that’s it?

I know what you’re thinking. Because, honestly, I thought the same thing. You just drive trucks? Through European countries. And, to answer the question, at the heart of the game, that’s it. You pick a base of operations to start. Since we went to Germany and I liked Munich, I picked there. You take different jobs to make money. Eventually, you buy a garage, a truck, then another truck, then hire some drivers, and buy another truck. I’m currently at the point where I want to buy a new garage to expand my operation some.

Because of the basic premise, I skipped this game for a long time. I played much more of the train simulation game because I thought it might take more skill. In fact, it does. So much so, sometimes, that I get frustrated why my train isn’t acting the way that I want. In the truck game, I get in, drive to a job, take the job, and off I go across the European countryside.

The Verdict

Don’t be fooled by the basic premise like I was. This game takes skill. Sometimes you even have to think a little bit. Do you rest now or try to make it to the next spot to rest? If you do that, will you get tired and find it harder to control your truck? What happens when they land a helicopter on the highway, blocking every single lane? Yes, that happens. Quite often, actually. Those are just some of the scenarios that you’ll face when you come trucking through Europe with me.

Note: I meant to release this yesterday. But, I’ve felt crummy for the last 24 hours or so. Expect delays on all content this week while I get caught up. Sorry!

Dreams and Machines Tutorial

Introduction

A game came across my Facebook feed. I don’t know what made me click the link this time around, but I did. I also don’t know what the click through to purchase percentage is. But, they got me this time. The game came in the mail a few weeks ago. With Quinn and I unable to sit down for the next installment of our duets adventure, I played through the Dreams and Machines tutorial this evening.

After Christine yelled at Liam at the dinner table for being on his phone, he pointed out, “You’re the only one eating. Dad’s playing a game.” Quinn asked, “Is that a role playing game?” Then, Liam again, “Is that a new game?” I replied, “Yes” to both questions. So, perhaps, I will have an updated article in a couple of months after we play the game as a family.

The Story

They write an introduction with illustrations in the first four splash pages of the book. From what I can gather, the society’s technology advanced too rapidly. They became murder machines. The society eventually triumphed over them. And, now, some of them rely more on nature to fill that void. Others hope to be able to salvage the technology. I may be completely off with that analysis. But, that’s my interpretation so far.

Character Creation

They streamline the process quite a bit. Your background, class, temperament, and talents all come on different cards. They suggest each player picks from the cards in that order. I like this approach because it makes things easier. At the same time, I prefer being able to roll dice, assign my stats, and figure out who my character is during creation. Granted, the only part missing from this game is the dice rolling and assignment of stats. However, being an old school RPG guy, that’s the best part for me. It doesn’t ruin the experience. It just detracts some from my enjoyment. So, for this character, I just picked things at random.

Quick Adventure

Once I put together the character, I decided to run through the first part of the introductory adventure. I like the style. It relies on narrative. Those who are fans of the page know that I love my gaming stories. In between, everything is settled with some skill checks. You roll a number of d20s and any that come underneath the requisite ability or skill counts as a success. If you exceed the number of successes, then you pass the skill. Otherwise, you fail. I passed one of my checks and failed the other. I ended the session right before I got to combat because I knew it would work better with more than one player. But, it works the exact same way.

The Verdict

Overall, I enjoyed the experience of playing through the Dreams and Machines tutorial. I think this might be a game to try with Quinn and Liam since they both showed interest during dinner. Christine also mentioned that the time for family game night is upon us. We usually play during the fall and winter. It helps to pass the time during those dark nights. Come back in a couple of months for an update.

Giants in Phandalin

Introduction

My history with Dungeons and Dragons is checkered. I wonder if it is the same with many other players. I started playing in high school. We put together a regular play group that contracted to just two of us after we graduated. However, some of the best stories and campaigns for me came out of those duo sessions. It takes a little bit of time, but this all leads directly to Giants in Phandalin.

When i had kids, I tried as much as possible to pass my nerd passions on to them. Some of them became life long passions like Liam and Quinn with Pokemon. Others, like Dungeons and Dragons, maybe still have potential. Because, to be fair, we only tried playing once as a family. The boys were all young and, on that particular day, I just wasn’t feeling particularly patient. So, I think I poisoned the well a little bit. In spite of that, I hold out hope that maybe one of these days we can try again.

Bigby Presents Glory of the Giants

I planned to cover this one last month in a Dungeons and Dragons week. However, Quinn and I never sat down to play the next episode in our Duo campaign. So, I moved Dungeons and Dragons to this month and decided to cover the two latest source books in this article. I never know how to properly cover something like this. But, that’s never stopped me before.

For this one, I read through the character creation parts of the book. I always try to build different characters for the game just to see how their peculiarities might show up in an actual game. This book goes one step further and talks about how to run an actual campaign built around giants. You might think, cynically, So, D&D but with big people? Yes, I suppose that’s one way to look at it. But, I feel like there’s so much more potential there.

Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk

Well, things come full circle now. The adventure we tried to play as a family was the Lost Mine of Phandelver. And, now, Wizards of the Coast release a new source book building on that. I’d be lying if the release of this book didn’t make me feel nostalgic for that time and the desire for a do over. Just have to figure out a time to do it. Everyone’s older and busier. Cats in the Cradle, indeed.

The Verdict

Giants in Phandalin brings two fun new books to the Dungeons and Dragons pantheon. One gives me an idea for how to build a new world and campaign. The other makes me want to recapture some of that fun of being young again for all involved. I’m sure we can find some time during Thanksgiving or Christmas break. Be on the lookout for a Lucas-Mullen D&D adventure in a few months.

Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 First Impressions

Introduction

In anticipation of the release of Baldur’s Gate three, I got the idea to talk about various Dungeons and Dragons properties. I chose the new source book about Giants, my duets adventure that I wrote for me and Quinn, and Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2. When I missed my deadline last month, I moved it to this month and added the new Phandelver source book as well.

Even with the extra time, I only played through about 15 minutes of both games. Hey, what can I say? I’m still a busy gamer dad who can’t always drop everything to play these games. But, I always make an effort. Besides, if I only play through enough for first impressions, that gives me a chance to revisit sometime in the future. It’s all about content, y’all!

Baldur’s Gate 1

The first thing I noticed after starting the game was the full featured character creation system. It felt just like rolling a new character in paper and pencil Dungeons and Dragons. You pick a race, class, roll your stats, set your profile picture, and pick your proficiencies. If you are a magic user (I usually pick mage/cleric), then you get to pick your spells.

After character creation, you start the game. It starts with an involved narrative to set the stage and prepare you for the adventure to come. This one starts off a bit slow. You go through the opening area, picking up basic quests and fighting off minor enemies.

Baldur’s Gate 2

I much prefer the beginning to the second game. Less initial narrative means the action starts much more quickly. And, boy, is there some action to start! You wake up in a dungeon after being tortured by some sadistic jailer. When I first played through, I sped out of that cell and to my death.

The second time, I explored the prison more and found two additional companions. Surely this barbarian can only help me survive longer during this game. I did survive longer, but that’s only because I explored longer to find the key to release one of my companions. Once I got to the same spot as earlier, I died again. Admittedly, I died slower, but still dead. So, I have some figuring out to do on this one.

The Verdict

Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 reminded me just how unforgiving early level Dungeons and Dragons can be. You roll some dice and if you roll badly, you end up in the dust bin of history. Roll well, though, and eventually all the power of the universe at your fingertips. I’m willing to go back and risk it all again for that.

NFL Week 1 Wild Overreaction

Introduction

In the past, I’ve done a “completely ignorant” preview of the NFL. Sometimes I branch off into college football, too, during the bowl and championship season. This year, the beginning of the season came and went and I never wrote my preview. Well, inspired by my text chain with Chris and Jason, I bring you my NFL Week 1 Wild Overreaction.

And, yes, I realize that one game of week 2 already played last night. Several people asked me if I watched the game. Apparently, I look like a football guy again. Either that, or people just start their conversations with questions about the NFL now for some reason. In any case, no I didn’t watch the game. I saw the score was something like 27-14 and checked again this morning to make a smart assed comment about the Vikings still sucking, but laid off because they came back and lost only 34-28 with Kirk Cousins throwing 4 TDs. Oh well.

This man had one hell of an NFL week 1 wild overreaction.

AFC East

Even without Aaron Rodgers (or maybe they rally around his injury because he was that great of a leader in his short time), the Jets run the table and enter the playoffs 17-0 and the #1 seed in the AFC. Rodgers comes back to lead them into the Super Bowl as only the third team in history to enter that game undefeated. They play against the Green Bay Packers. You see where I’m going with this. Needless to say, Miami still pops their champagne. Tua stays on the field and challenges Peyton’s single season touchdown record. He has to settle for 50 and the Dolphins record. Bill Belichick placed a voodoo curse on Foxboro during Brady’s celebration that transferred his mojo into Mac Jones and the Patriots will start another dynasty next year. Josh Allen, after a career low year, signs with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. This causes a merger of them and the Bills and eventual merger of the NFL and CFL. America is forced to adopt the metric system and 110 yard football field.

AFC West

The Raiders hold on to their division lead for the entire year. Raiders fans get excited about being the first team to have a home Super Bowl and purchase all the tickets. They scalp them for record amounts when the Raiders get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Kansas City misses out on the playoffs for the first time in 8 years. Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes make 17 State Farm commercials during the playoffs. I finally remember that the Chargers moved to Los Angeles from San Diego. This is the most unlikely scenario in this whole article. When they fail to turn around the Broncos, Sean Payton and Russell Wilson found a women’s soccer team in Denver.

AFC North

Deshaun Watson keeps his hands to himself and the Browns win the division. This is probably equally as unlikely as me remembering the LA Chargers. The Bengals celebrate not having to face the Chiefs again in the playoffs a little bit too much and flame out in their first game in the playoffs. The Ravens surprise and confuse everyone by wearing Browns throwbacks in their game against the team they used to be and take on the old losing ways of that team. The Pittsburgh Steelers hold a funeral for Kenny Pickett in week 3 after the Browns and Raiders follow up the 49ers and sack him a total of 20 times in the first three games. Even Tru believers need to admit at the end of the season that Mitchell needs to just retire.

AFC South/NFC South

Both divisions move to Europe to start the NFL expansion to that continent. Brady buys the Buccanneers, who become one of the German teams. The move proves surprisingly popular among American fans and several fan bases lobby for their teams to move, as well.

NFC East

The Cowboys don’t allow a single point all season. However, they tie 3 games 0-0, two against Philly and one shocker against a quarterbackless Washington Football Team. In spite of the sale of the Commanders by Dan Snyder, the fans are so disgusted with the play of their “quarterbacks” and eventual demotion of all of them in favor of running a T-formation/wildcat hybrid offense that they are the first to petition to send the team to Europe. The Eagles, elated by their two ties against the undefeated Cowboys, try that strategy in the playoffs. After 5 overtimes, their patented 4th down play fails them and the Cowboys take the game. The Giants play 17 games. While you might not think that’s much of a stretch, after that first game, I fully expect them to announce they’re folding the franchise any minute now.

NFC West

The Rams only win two games, both against the Seahawk by a score of 30-13. When asked about the anomoly in a post season interview, coach Sean McVay disappears. Nearly a hundred years later, they tell the tale of a football coach that came from the past to dominate the game for a decade with a strategy he calls a “running back”. The 49ers, in deference to fallen Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett, record exactly 5 sacks in each game. They say, “We feel bad for the kid. After week 1, we knew he had no offensive line and could have petitioned the league. Instead. Rest in power, number 8.” In spite of the petition by Washington fans, Seattle announces a move to Europe shortly after the South divisons. “We are mostly European anyway, so it won’t be much of an adjustment for us or our fans.” Climate change ravages Arizona and when the Cardinals realize that nobody cares that they won 5 in a row, they shift their focus to combatting the destruction of our environment. The billions put into the fight helps to slow and eventually reverse the damage.

NFC North

The world mourns a second gentle football soul, Justin Fields. He’s not dead, just not very good at football and Chicago continues to search for answers. Turns out the kids just misses Matt Nagy and follows his old coach to Kansas City. Mentored by Mahomes, he turns his career around and leads the Barcelona football (real football, not soccer) to a European championship. After realizing that the Madden curse leaked some of its bad juju to the Netflix documentary, only Kirk Cousins returns for the second season. As a result, during filming in week 5, a sink hole opens and swallows the entire Minnesota team. Nothing of value is lost and they are later found wandering the Amazon. Detroit raises a banner after defeating the defending champs and declares, “The king is dead. Long live the king.” They are eventually devoured by a pack of hyenas.

The Verdict

In all honestly, this NFL week 1 wild overreaction started with good intentions. I quickly lost the thread and became more and more unhinged. Even so, I enjoyed writing the article and made myself laugh a couple of times. I hope you feel the same. See you next week for Dungeons and Dragons.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

Street Fighter 6 Demo Impressions

Introduction

Chris and I recorded the reboot of the reboot of 2 Guys Gaming a couple of weeks ago. In anticipation of having to write about the game again, I saw that Steam had the Street Fighter 6 demo available. You may remember that I texted him after he suggested we record again, “Let’s do SF6 and MK1. Seems like the perfect soft landing spot for us.” He agreed and then we promptly recorded the episode three months later.

Hey, we’re old guys. We have lives that don’t often coordinate. The important part is that we recorded. I plan to edit and release it on Wednesday with my MK1 article, but it might end up being Friday instead because I can’t think of another proper way to end the week. Just trust that it will come at some point this week.

Play This Game for Eternity

After loading up the game, I clicked the button to start “Battle Hub”. It informs me that the game mode isn’t available but I can watch the trailer video. Sure thing. Why not. Naturally, after showing some game play via an arcade scene, a woman comes on to the screen to tell us about the mode. But, wait.

While the character sounds feminine and wears make up and booty shorts, some might argue (not me, mind you) “That’s no woman!” and angrily throw their controller at the screen. Instead, I watched the video and actually forgot about the whole thing until later while waiting for dinner with my wife. Then, I decided to look up what the community reaction to the character was. Naturally, I found a headline about some douche bag named “Johnny Chainsaw” or some other ridiculously overtly masculine username complaining about the game as woke. Just par for the course in our national conversation surrounding LGBTQIA+ people and their mere existence.

I, for one, liked the character. They brought energy and fun to the video. They may or may not be trans. But, that’s the thing. Capcom never confirms nor denies anything. Just this individual on the screen and leaves it up to you to do with them what you may. Like Gwen in Spiderverse, it makes the point that they are here and, well, you just have to deal with it. I, for one, am here for all of it and Eternity is one of the reasons I might buy the game.

“You bastard. You flipped.”

That’s a paraphrase of Chris when he responded to my text that I wanted to buy the game. I assured him, probably not at full price but after a drop or two, for sure. When we talked, we both said that neither of us wanted to buy the game because it felt like it just offered more of the same as Street Fighter 5. We both agreed that one was a dumpster fire.

Not so this time around. When he first said to me that I flipped, I texted back, “I know. But the graphics are awesome and the game play is solid. Yes, I made that determination after only about 15 minutes of actual game play. Honesly, though, what more do you need than the 2 minute video I recorded earlier. It’s Street Fighter. You fight…on the street.

The Verdict

I mean, it might be dangerous to judge a game so quickly because, as the Street Fighter 6 demo warns, “This game is still in development…followed by some other word that basically say the finished product probably won’t look or play the exact same way that it does here.” Some of that is true. Most of it, though, is just legalese to cover their butts in case someone takes better notes than I did and wants to sue them over the omission of a game mode or character. For me, though, I’m sold. Hell, if my check is big enough this week, I might just splurge and buy it then.

Wilds of Eldraine Miscellaneous Cards I Love

Introduction

Time to finish out Wilds of Eldraine with the cards that are left article. After picking my favorite white, blue, and black and then my favorite red and green cards, that leaves multi-colored, colorless, and possibly lands. Full disclosure. Once upon a time (clever, huh?), I got a bit too excited by the gold border. I know every Magic the Gathering player feels the same. But, as a novice, the gold makes you think that a card is better than it really is. All that glitters is gold, as a wise man once sang. On with Wilds of Eldraine miscellaneous.

Wilds of Eldraine Multicolored Cards I Love

I tried to set this one up like the other articles, where I pick 3 honorable mention and one card as the clear favorite. But, then I looked at the cards. And, believe me, I looked. Several times I looked at those cards. And, I found exactly two that I wanted to include in this article. One, I played. The deck that I found included Beluna Grandsquall. Fun card that gave me some advantage in all of the games I played. The Goose Monther caught my eye, as you might figure, because Bird Hydra. How can I ignore that?

Wilds of Eldraine Colorless Cards I Love

They mailed it in on the colorless cards this time, too. While Soul-Guide Lantern probably won’t see play very often in my decks, even I know it’s a good card in the right deck. I picked the other one because it combines the two card types that I play the least. I wonder what it means that clues are in the set. That’s an Innistrad mechanic.

The Verdict

Wilds of Eldraine miscellaneous cards underwhelm. I realize that not all cards in a set an be great, but I usually expect to be wowed by one or two from each section. I can’t remember the last time I needed to work so hard to simply list 4 mediocre cards and convince myself that I love those cards. So, let’s move on to next week.

Images grabbed from Mythic Spoiler

Wilds of Eldraine Gruul Edition Cards I Love

Introduction

I went through my picks for Esper edition Wilds of Eldraine cards on Monday. As I’ve done since coming up with this format a few years ago, Wednesday brings Wilds of Eldraine Gruul cards. It also brings an admission that I feel the least comfortable playing green and red.

I mitigated that some by building a Naya landfall deck as one of my Commander decks. Until I update my Lord of the Rings elf deck, it is my favorite deck currently to play. Both playing an elf deck on Arena and getting a chance to play with that elf deck gives me some hope when playing those green cards, at least.

There’s hope for me yet to figure out that missing piece of the color pie.

Wilds of Eldraine Red Honorable Mention (Almost Goldspan, Almost Lightning Bolt, and Almost Playable)

Decadent Dragon

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Of these three cards, I’ve actually played one of them. I wanted to record a first day video where I played a deck that I found online. I ended up recording two of them! However, I messed up the sound on both, so who knows if they lead to my big break as a content creator. Long story short, I clicked a link that took me to a Temur adventures deck. In that deck? Scalding Viper. It worked very well against the aggro decks I faced.

I just find the other two cards funny. Wizards of the Coast constantly pushes the envelope with new cards. When they go overboard, they try to find a more balanced version, like the new dragon vs. Goldspan Dragon. Other times, they try to balance unbalanced cards from the past. Then, you get the word salad of something like Torch the Tower.

Red Card I Love (Your Cards Are My Cards, Comrade)

I despise thief decks in Hearthstone. I don’t play a ton of thief cards in Magic the Gathering, but I remember one time Chris and I played and I stole his giant dummy and used it to kill him with. This one doesn’t let you use any mana as some cards do, but it does give you treasure tokens. Combo this with another treasure generator and you can be sitting pretty with a couple of your opponent’s cards.

Wilds of Eldraine Green Honorable Mention (Adventure Shenanigans, Some Ramp, and Card Draw)

Up the Beanstalk

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Honestly, I considered my Naya ramp deck when picking these cards. I think the only one I would really play is the enchantment. But the idea of playing the ramp, bouncing it, and playing it again fills my heart with such joy. Keep your eyes open for just that play. If it happens, you’ll be the first ones to hear about it.

Wilds of Eldraine Green Card I Love (Forest Tortoise)

Forget for a moment, if you can, the almost rhyme. Either Chris or Jason texted this card to the group chat. Then, Chris said, “There ya go, Shawn.” So, even if it hasn’t proven to be much of a threat, my Naya landfall deck is on their minds enough to text me cards that might be fun. This one, indeed, qualifies. The only thing that gives me pause is the mill condition. But, I can always make room for Gaea’s Blessing

The Verdict

I think that forcing myself outside of my comfort zone worked. I found the Wilds of Eldraine Gruul article much easier to write than any in the past. I actually played one of the cards in the article. Several others will most likely get play in my Naya landfall deck. Improvement, indeed.

Images taken from Mythic Spoiler.

Wilds of Eldraine Esper Edition: Cards I Love

Introduction

I ignored the previous set release on the page, other than to talk crap about Lord of the Rings (again) and expose their dirty, stinking capitalist hearts through my analysis of the “One Ring“. Outside of the page, I actually played one of the commander decks from the set because Chris and Jason splurged for them. I picked the Galadriel, Elven-Queen deck and elf things happened. Unfortunately, they happened a bit too slowly and succumbed to removal. Now, you know all about my MTG adventures between March of the Machine and this Wilds of Eldraine Esper article.

Speaking of adventures (how about that segue?), the return to Eldraine brings the mechanic back into Standard. Other mechanics in the game are “role tokens”, bargain, and celebration. You can read about these keywords and mechanics. here. However, I’m sure I will discuss them at some point in this article, too.

Wilds of Eldraine White Honorable Mention (Fun Police Reporting for Duty)

Cooped Up

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All three of these cards feed right into my play style. Those of you who follow the page know that I’m only happy in Magic the Gathering when my opponent is absolutely miserable. So, exiling and locking their board sounds like fun to me! I loved playing Glass Casket the last time around. Glad they brought it back. Cooped up just looks like a more powerful Pacifism (my favorite card of all time) and Break the Spell gives enchantment hate in a world full of enchantment. Yes, please!

Wilds of Eldraine White Card I Love (Bring Back My Weenie!)

I always wanted to make a white weenie deck. Okay, here’s the actual truth. Once upon a time, I wanted to make a deck for each of the colors and color combinations in Magic the Gathering. I put together a spreadsheet and everything. For white, I envision a tiny leaders deck. Well, that dream died like so many of my other gaming dreams. “Hey,” you might say, “dreams aren’t dead until you are!” Thanks for the inspiration, random internet denizen. I appreciate it. I don’t see any legendary white weenies in this deck, so I need to do more research. But, be on the lookout for my (possibly insane) “Deck in every single color and combination in Magic the Gathering” series of articles. Coming soon-ish.

Wilds of Eldraine Blue Honorable Mention (Playing into Open Blue Mana? You Fool)

Spell Stutter

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Regular readers of the page will not be surprised by the selections here. I already talked about my fondness of fun police decks. Countering spells is my favorite part of that strategy. Why remove something when you can simply prevent them from casting it? Same for drawing cards, searching their library, gaining life, really anything. I know I sound like a hypocrite because I often speak out against solo Magic the Gathering, but countering spells is just good, clean, interactive game play. The way Richard Garfield intended.

Wilds of Eldraine Blue Card I Love (You Get a Trigger, and You Get a Trigger, Everyone Gets a Trigger!)

I don’t often play ETB trigger decks, but I can be persuaded to change. Especially playing this deck on Arena or xMage sounds fun. I too often miss triggers when actually playing the cards. I just don’t play my decks enough to remember what all of the cards do. If I build this deck for actual play, I will need to goldfish it or come up with a way to remember all of the triggers. Because zero times two is still zero. *sad trombone*

Wilds of Eldraine Black Cards Honorable Mention (Removal, Limited Thoughtseize, and A Terrible Pun)

Scream Puff

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First, let me clear the air. I don’t know that “Scream Puff” is strictly a pun. I belong to a pun group on Facebook and people often argue that things like rebus and something along the lines of “Scream Puff” aren’t actually puns. The thing is, I can’t find another category for it. So, if it’s not a pun, don’t scream at me about it. Let me know what it actually is, so I can learn. As far as the other cards, The End feels like a fun trick to play on your opponent late game and I think that Thoughtseize with exile instead of life loss might be slightly better. I’m sure Spikes out there will tell me why I’m wrong.

Wilds of Eldraine Black Card I Love (Guess Who’s Back?)

This is one of the first cards I saw from the set. While it doesn’t explicitly do things that I often do in Magic the Gathering, I still found myself drawn to the card. I like Ashiok’s lore in the game and I welcome them coming back to grace us with their presence. Hey, I always tell you. It isn’t the best cards in the deck. It’s Wilds of Eldraine Esper Cards I Love.

The Verdict

Wilds of Eldraine Esper cards aren’t terribly powerful. But, they are interesting and fun. That’s all I ask out of my Magic the Gathering cards. People often ask, why put bad cards in your deck? I say, why not? When I top deck that terrible card in just the right situation one out of a thousand times, you can bet I’m going to take a picture of that moment and post it on our Instagram.

Notes: Card images taken from Mythic Spoiler