Tag Archives: CCG Corner

Marvel SNAP June 2024: The Celestials’ Finest

Introduction

A week of comic reviews usually means a new Marvel SNAP season. And this week is no different. After last month, a month that saw me briefly try to get to level 40 for a title reward, I again fell into my habit of simply finishing daily and weekly quests for the season pass rewards. I don’t see anything changing for Marvel SNAP June 2024.

New Locations

Both of these locations look annoying. I absolutely hate random locations because they always seem to work against me. I build up a lead and then it turns into the bullshit one that destroys all the cards if you have more than one card or the one that ends the game after turn 4 when I have only 5+ drops in my hand. The Ark seems more easily played around because the effect is consistent. Just build up a lead in the other two locations and win. However, I think we might see an increase in Trib decks as a result. Ugh.

New Characters

Arishem

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At the start of the game, +1 Max Energy. Shuffle 12 random cards into your deck.

On first glance, I thought, “I don’t think I want to play any of these cards unless I need to finish a quest.” Then, as I put together the gallery, I softened my stance some. I still don’t see a point in Makkari other than a free card if you draw it. Arishem looks fun just for the chaos factor. Phastos might see play in my Evolutionary deck because I like the possibility of less cost in that deck. Thena works in my ones deck, and Gilgamesh and Sersi might just be good. Both of them could see play in a few of my decks.

The Verdict

I never grew up as a fan of The Eternals. I never watched the movie and not because I heard it was bad. I’ve watched nearly everything Marvel, bad or not. I just don’t have the same connection to them as some of the other heroes. But, Marvel SNAP June 2024 at least gives me some fun cards to associate if I ever watch the move.

Images SNAPped from Marvel SNAP Zone.

Marvel SNAP May 2024: A Blink in Time

Introduction

I meant to post the Mario Honorable Mention article yesterday. I wanted the video to accompany the article. Then I thought I might post it today. However, with no time to narrate the video, I needed to make a decision, so I posted the article without the video. I plan to release the videos next month once school lets out and I have the time. The other plan this week was the comic articles. Smack dab in the middle of it I’m putting the Marvel SNAP May 2024 article.

New Locations

Other than Scarlet Witch, Magik or other characters who change the location, I don’t see the point of Cancun. On the other hand, Panoptichron works very well with quite a few strats in the game. I can see people having a lot of fun with that one.

New Characters

Blink

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On Reveal: Swap the last card you played with a higher-Cost card from your deck.

I played Blink to finish the weekend quest. I like the targeted abiilty and thin she’ll slot nicely into my On Reveal or Wong/Odin deck. When I watched a streamer unlock Nocturne, I said, “I don’t know if she’s good, but she looks like fun.” That more or less paid off as expected. Sage can give one hell of a payoff, Namora is another decent On Reveal and Sasquatch is going right in both my “Ones” deck and my Skaar deck. He’ll get played easily in both decks.

The Verdict

After two months of less than stellar updates, last month and Marvel SNAP May 2024 bring some fun back to the game. I gave up trying to collect the conquest variants and this one doesn’t excite me none, either. But, I like the rest of it and with Deadpool most likely coming in July, I don’t see myself giving up the game again any time soon.

Hearthstone Update April 2024

Introduction

In yesterday’s update, I gave all the things I liked (and a few I dislike) about Magic the Gathering Arena. I planned to do Hearthstone today. From previous articles, you may expect the list of dislikes to be much longer than the list of likes. However, as I mentioned a few times before, age made me both more understanding and less patient. I can’t explain it, kids. As a result, I came to a place of understanding and even joy with the game as of this Hearthstone Update April 2024.

Events

Hearthstone events happen much more infrequently than Arena. Certainly, unless you count the Tavern Brawl, we don’t get them every week. However, when run, I enjoy them. Blizzard also makes them easy to complete and they give good rewards. Similar to Arena, you receive packs and hero portraits mostly and sometimes card backs.

The most recent event for the release of Whizbang’s Workshop set.

If the rewards this time look paltry, I agree. I think they went lighter this time around because they recently ran an event for Hearthstone’s 10 year anniversary. That one gave many more and much better rewards. Still, how can you complain about free packs and a hero portrait?

Really? 10 Years?

Man, I am getting good at these transitions between sections. And, it only took 10 years. No, that title isn’t meant to remind you that 2 Generations gaming debuted almost 10 years ago. Instead, I refer to the Hearthstone 10 year anniversary mentioned above. If you asked me 10 years ago, I never imagined still talking about this game on this page 10 years later. Sure, the game might last that long. However, when it first released, Chris and I shared a mutual hatred of the game.

Because he sticks to his guns much better than I, he eventually left the game and never came back. I quit and uninstalled more times than I can count. Yet, here I am. 10 years later and still talking about the game I once loved to hate. Hell, I wrote an article a few weeks ago possibly eulogizing the game. Then, they promptly came out with the plan for the new Hearthstone year and here we are. Congratulations, Hearthstone, I guess we’re stuck together until the bitter end.

Other Modes

Instead of talking about the other freebies, which are similar to Arena, I want to mention the other modes that Hearthstone offers. Some of them died after being left on the vine to rot. Obviously, I’m looking at Duels and Mercenaries, of course. I just started playing Mercenaries regularly when they finally decided to pull the plug. Yes, poor timing on my part, but it still stings.

Mercenaries, we hardly knew ye.

Then, only the old stalwarts remain. Tavern Brawl, which gets a bump every time they run the whale backed event, the Brawliseum. Arena used to be the cash cow and everyone streamed it, but then they released Battlegrounds. I wrote an article about it and the time and said that I’d probably only play that mode. For a while, that was true. Then, I completed the rewards track for the mode and now I just play to finish quests.

Rewards Tracks

If I’m being honest (and why wouldn’t I?), I only play for the rewards at this point. As I just mentioned, they give rewards for Battlegrounds. They also offer a rewards track for the main game mode every time they release a new set. No video this time because I played on my Smurf account this morning. But, the screenshots give a general idea.

Overall

Overall, as of the Hearthstone Update April 2024, I found peace with the game. I play to finish quests and to get free (and slightly more than free) rewards on the rewards tracks. I celebrate lasting longer than the ill fated attempt at eSports and look forward to see what the next ten years brings. Raise a glass in the tavern, fellow gamers, and toast with me.

MTGA Update April 2024

Introduction

I wrote Chris a couple of months ago to tell him that I might be done collecting Magic: the Gathering cards. He, Jason, and I played a few times as a three person play group. However, the last coupel of times we tried to get together, we found out just how busy adult life still is, even when you have grown up kids. I imagine that blew up the group because the group chat went eerily silent after the most recent attempt. I feel bad because I enjoyed the times playing with them. it even inspired me to think about trying to find another group to join. Instead, as usual, I played digital Magic against faceless opponents. Can I tell you how much fun that is? Let me with this MTGA Update April 2024

Events

One of the things I give Wizards credit for is the number of events that they run. Every week, we get a Midweek Magic event that costs nothing and gives you 3 free cosmetics if you win three matches. Aside from that, they also put on a special event (again for free) when each set is released. Usually, it comes with already constructed decks, so you just pick your favorite combination of colors and get to the games. These events also give cosmetics. Often it’s five and they are card styles of the new cards.

For the competitive player, there are Open events that allow you to try to win a spot in one of the Pro Tour events. I’ve never entered into one of them, but found myself thinking about it more than once. I have a pretty fun Timeless deck that I might give a shot if they ever use that format.

Other Freebies

Again, upon the release of each new set, they mail you 3 packs from that set. They used to use codes for them, but now they just automatically show up in your inbox to be retrieved. Speaking of codes, they used them in a more creative manner for the Murders at Markov Manor set. There are six clues that you have to solve to receive experience on the rewards track and a card style for the card that the clue describes.

Rewards Track

Speaking of the rewards track (how about these seques in this article, amirite?), I still paid the money for all of the rewards. For 15 bucks, you get access to all of the rewards in the video below. There’s card packs, card styles, little gems for more card styles and sleeves, gold, and sometimes gems. I know they’re all digital, but I feel like it is well worth my money for what they give.

Ranked Ladder

I rarely take any type of ladder seriously in these games. However, Arena makes the prospect slightly more appealing. They give away packs for reaching certain levels. Even so, I usually just play my elf deck when I have a quest for green cards or creatures, so I never make it beyond gold rank. It just gets tiring playing agianst the same stupid lifesteal cards every game.

Overall

In general, I enjoy my time in the game. I still wish I played against real people more often because playing against some nameless avatar who seems like he always draws the best cards against my mana flood or screw leaves me swearing and wishing even harder that I could flip the table on them. Other than that, though, I recommend the game as of this MTGA Update April 2024.

Marvel Snap April 2024: Zeroes to Heroes

Introduction

True to my word, I played almost no Marvel Snap during the Avengers season. I cared nothing about the cards or characters. I couldn’t even muster the ability to care enough about the Conquest variant to play for that. Instead, I saved my money. I’m glad I did because Marvel Snap April 2024 season revolves around one of my favorite groups, The Thunderbolts. Sure, the lineup is from the MCU and I prefer the Green Goblin led team, but I’ll take what I can get from all this cross promotion.

New Locations

Thunderbolts Tower looks liked a placeholder from datamining. Yeah, upon further research, it is -2 power after turn 5. If you’re playing some kind of junk, this could be a fun location to play. Otherwise, I will mostly just play around the debuff. Castle Zemo also favors junk, so maybe they’re trying to push that archetype this time around.

New Characters

Screenshot-2024-04-01-173525

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All of these cards look like tons of fun. I think my favorites are Valentina and USAgent. Many of the 6 drops are fairly high power with some upside, so getting one of them in play 2 turns early with some draw back looks good to me. And, USAgent punishes big decks, though I admit that I haven’t seen a ton of them. Maybe the meta got big again with the latest season. Who knows? Zemo gives you card advantage and the possibility of a combo breaker. Red Hulk can be a surprise drop against a Sunspot type deck. White Widow forces the opponent (if they care) to one zone for a couple of turns, so that’s nice. And, I haven’t quite figured out how to use Red Guardian just yet, but he can zap a Nightcrawler and freeze him in a location.

The Verdict

I already know that I plan to get the Battle Pass for Marvel Snap April 2024. The cards are fun. The locations are fine. And, I admit to actually missing “war with added features” from my daily rotation. I’ll see you out there, fellow SNAPers!

Cards taken from Marvel Snap Zone.

Marvel Snap March 2024: Avengers vs. X-Men

Introduction

For some reason, my comics have been coming later the last couple of months. I still receive them, just a week later than before. Therefore, my usual schedule of comics reviews on the first week of the month no longer works. Thankfully, Marvel SNAP updates their new season during the first week of the month. So, I have at least one article for this week. I forgot what Marvel SNAP March 2024 was, but then I looked it up and we get Avengers vs. X-Men this month.

We started Mario in March last year. I plan to continue this year. I need to make the banner for Mario in March and plan out the rest of the month. A switch to Marvel in March was considered, but I think that might work better in May (closer to Deadpool release), so Maro in March, it remains. Keep coming back this month for quality Mario content!

New Locations

Utopia looks like a misprint from the data mine. Sure enough, I looked it up. It should say that 3 and 4 cards cost 1 less. Average cost savings that really helps certain decks. Certainly, every time I encounter the location, my opponent will be running nothing but 3 and 4 cost cards in their deck. I love Krakoa. Anything that adds power is a good thing in my mind. yes, I’ve become a Marvel SNAP size queen ever since Skaar released.

New Characters

Mockingbird

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Costs 1 less for each card you have in play that didn’t start in your deck.

I love my energy generation. Those of you around when the Djinn released know I thought they might end up having to nerf the location. Never happened, but I know that I giggle every time it shows up in game. So, Hope will make it into several of my decks. Cannonball can be very powerful against an aggro deck. Also, I think that his ability is just about the most flavorful lore wise that I’ve seen. Pixie just feels like chaos to me. I don’t see myself playing her very much. Likewise, I don’t play many decks that add cards, so Mockingbird will most likely only get played if I need to for a quest. War Machine, on the other hand, costs 4, so he gets the Utopia bump. Plus, it always annoys me when I can’t play a card and I paint myself into a corner late game. He gives my dumb ass an out.

The Verdict

After a great January and a so-so February, Marvel SNAP March 2024 continues the slight downward trend of the seasons. Heck I don’t even care all that much about the special Conquest variant this month. However, without giving too much away, next month looks fun. I mean, you can Google it yourself if you want. Until then, see you in game, fellow SNAPers.

Images SNAPped from Marvel SNAP Zone.

MTGMKM Miscellany

Introduction

I dedicated this week to the new Magic the Gathering set. In spite of the fact that I told Chris that I no longer wanted to collect cards and went so far as to not order any bundles in Arena, I still like the game and found some cards to enjoy in this set. Yesterday was busy, though, with play practice and swim, so MTGMKM miscellany comes a day late.

Usually in this article, I cover multi colored, colorless, and any lands that capture my imagination. Often, I don’t care much about things like fetches and the sort, so the lands section doesn’t exist. This set, however, brings us an old standard in lands with a new twist.

Surveil Lands

We have tap lands that grant life. We have ones that allow you to scry. They even created lands that come in tapped depending on how many lands you already have on the battle field. Well, this iteration of tap lands allows you to surveil. You can read the card above for an explanation of surveil. While I don’t know how much it will affect competitive decks, graveyard strategies absolutely get a boost from these and I’d probably run them over the scry lands. Plus, they’re basics, so you can fetch.

MTGMKM Mult Colored Honorable Mention (Another Wrath and Two Funny Names)

Private Eye

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I saw an article recently where someone wrote about the sheer number of wrath spells in standard Magic. One of the prominent and well known players put together a deck with only wrath spells and ended up performing pretty well overall in the meta. I just like the flexibility of this one. How can you not love an “X” cost spell that both targets “X” and creates “X”? Finally, people got big mad when WotC announced the change to typal, but it allows for broader definitions like “detective”. Maybe, even though resources are limited, I will try to build a “detective” typal deck.

MTGMKM Card I Love (A New Leyline)

Leylines came out in Guildpact and then fleshed out more over the years. I rarely play any of them, but my latest elf deck has abundance in for the extra mana provided. Initially, I thought nothing of this card, but then I read an article that talked about how much fun it made mono green devotion. That gave me a reason to either craft or try to pull it in Arena. Besides, the dual mana cost provides such amazing utility, too. Just a super fun card overall.

MTGMKM Artifact Honorable Mention (A Puzzle, A Land, and Policing Fun, of course)

Cryptex

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I think I wrote up above about colorless being part of MTGMKM miscellany. However, there aren’t many colorless cards in the deck, so I called and audible and went with artifact instead. I just like the idea of the Cryptex. It provides mana and potential card draw. The Wall lets me frustrate big giant creatures, one of my favorite past times in game. And, the land just gives you another potential card draw source along with flexible mana.

MTGMKM Artifact Card I Love

I actually got to play this card during their introductory event on Arena. It is a super annoying card that with the right build can just annihilate people fairly quickly. Now that I’ve said that, the universe will see fit to pair me with every other person who had the same idea in Arena. They will draw the nuts and show me just how right I am.

The Verdict

MTGMKM miscellany is hella fun. I can see myself playing every card that I picked and several others look interesting as well. I especially want to build the mono green deck in Arena and see how that performs. See you all in Pioneer!

Images taken from Mythic Spoiler.

The Death of Hearthstone?

Introduction

Nothing lasts forever. Father Time is undefeated. Your preferred cliche here to explain the passing of time and impermanence of everything. I mean, I’m even going through another one of my “do I really want to spend all of this money on cards (real or virtual) anymore?” phases. This one feels different, though. Nevertheless, I come to praise and not bury on this the possible Even of the death of Hearthstone.

At times in the past, I’d bury Hearthstone and happily so. Either I grew up, or it became less annoying, or both, because I actually feel melancholy about the possible demise of the old lady. Between rewards tracks and actual enjoyment of Battlegrounds, if the game dies, that puts quite the hole in my daily rotation of games. Whatever will I do? Perhaps update the YouTube page more consistently?

Why the Funeral?

I originally planned this article as an update to the game. The last time I visited Hearthstone, I wrote a quick article comparing the new expansion to the new MTG expansion. Not even a full set of articles for the game and that expansion. And, to be honest, not much has changed. They released a mini set, but there are no other expansions planned right now and their “Year of” update normally gaining steam right now is nowhere to be found.

The company just experienced massive layoffs at the hands of their new owners, Microsoft. Wizards, too, but for some reason Magic the Gathering still looks strong right now. Hearthstone, not so much. Hell, I even typed “Is Hearthstone Dead” into Google to try to confirm my suspicions. No confirmation, but the drums are beating louder if Reddit is any indication.

Esports, on the other hand…

In this case, I will take a victory lap. Call it dancing on the corpses of the content creators and influencers, if you must. If so, please make sure that you call it the sour grapes that it definitely is. Chris and I never believed in the whole esports scene and we are repeatedly being proved right on that front. It’s different to watch Lebron James or Patrick Mahomes do great things and know that you never could. It’s entirely different to watch some rando sling cards and know that, with a little bit of practice, you could pretty much do the same. Apparently, Blizzard stuck a knife in the side of their Hearthstone esports scene and nearly everyone agrees that’s over.

The Verdict

I may be premature in naming the death of Hearthstone. I mean, people still play Doom on a semi regular basis 30 years ago. Even if the game does stop getting support completely from Blizzard, people will still play and they might even pick up the mantle to keep the game going. That’s what seems to happen to the games that I play. They get sold to another company who keeps it afloat for a few years. I guess we’ll truly see in a couple of months when it’s time for the new “year” in Hearthstone.

MTGMKM Gruul Edition

Introduction

I wrote in my previous article that I think I may have stopped collecting Magic the Gathering. I still like to play, but I’m at the point where I can’t justify paying the prices they want for boxes and bundles, especially when they keep reducing the value. Ah, capitalism. Well, this is the first set in a few years that I only bought the Mastery Pass on MTG Arena, too. No packs. Well, everything comes to an end. Not my review articles, though. Join me for MTGMKM Gruul edition.

Those who visit often know that I identify heavily as a blue mage. But, I branched out recently into black mana and a few decks add white for Esper colors. Red and Green often baffle me. Not recently, though. Over the last few sets, I found it easier and more enjoyable to pick the cards for this article.

MTGMKM Red Honorable Mention (Professor Plum in the Study, a fish, and a Dargon!)

Knife

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Not so this time! Not for red anyway. I looked at these cards and looked at these cards and looked again. Then, I picked some old trash for this section simply to have something to write about. They leaned heavily into the “Clue” theme with artifacts that have the same name as the weapons in the game. Also, they went pretty hard with the pun cards in red at least. There’s “Red Herring”, but there’s also “Frantic Scapegoat” and the art is a literal goat. I picked the dragon in honor of Chris.

MTGMKM Red Card I Love (Doing Red Things)

I genuinely love this card, though. Empty your hand of spells, cast this in disguise, turn it, and refill your hand. While only a common, this card does what red does and it does it amazingly well. Granted, it ends up being a little bit expensive, even at the lowest disguise cost. Still, I see this thing getting quite a bit of play.

MTGMKM Green Honorable Mention (Surprise Tree Attack, Flashy Enchantment, and Fantastic Mr. Ferox)

Hide in Plain Sight

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The green cards came a little easier to me. I immediately picked my favorite card and then focused on some other cards that changed the narrative on some of the mechanics in the set. The trees come out “cloaked” instead of disguised. The Ferox requires your opponent to collect evidence (a mechanic I haven’t discussed yet, but the card explains the card) to target it and the enchantment is just a fun little surprise to pull on your opponent.

MTGMKM Green Card I Love

Hey, look, another card that lets you play lands recursively from the graveyard. This one will find a home in my Landfall commander deck. I feel like I’m saying that a lot lately. But, what do I cut in order to fit all these new cards in? Come back later and maybe I’ll write an article about it in the next month or so.

The Verdict

Some things are back to normal with MTGMKM Gruul edition. I found no synergy with the red cards this time other than the goblin. Then, I picked a card for my Landfall deck and it gave me an idea to take a look at that deck again. Come back in a couple of days for the rest of the cards.

Images taken from Mythic Spoiler.

Marvel SNAP February 2024: Black Order

Introduction

Let me get this out of the way and diminish my nerd cred further. I have no idea who or what the Black Order is. Even after a quick look at the Wikipedia page, I have no idea. Oh well, it won’t stop me from bringing you my thoughts on the latest update in the game Chris once called “War with additional features.”

New Locations

Neither of these locations wow me as much as some others in the past. I do like the idea of getting a random 6-cost card from my “Ones” deck, so that will be nice when I play that one. Independently, the Infinity Stones can either be game changing or a complete whiff. Like the actual stones, their real power comes from playing all of them and getting the buff on Thanos as a result. So, I will most likely curse that location when it shows.

New Characters

Proxima Midnight

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When this is discarded, jumps to your lowest-Power location. (that isn’t full)

Nope. Not even seeing the cards brings any recognition. I have no idea who any of these people are. Luckily, I don’t need to know who they are in order to play the cards. And, I will play Black Swan and Cull Obsidian without a doubt in my “Ones” deck. I don’t play discard very much, as I mentioned in the previous article about Marvel SNAP. So, I doubt that I will prioritize Corvus Glaive or Proxima Midnight unless I get a quest for discards. I like the idea of Supergiant in an reveal deck and it also sets up a pretty cool Hela in the right discard deck.

The Verdict

I’m not as excited about the Black Order update as I was Planet Hulk. Granted, not knowing the characters or story diminishes my enjoyment some. But, also, the cards and locations aren’t as much fun, either. Plus, next month is X-Men vs. Avengers and I’ll be looking forward to that. I still plan on playing enough to get all of the goodies. See you in game, SNAPers.

Note: Images taken from Marvel SNAP Zone.