Tag Archives: CCG Corner

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.

MTGMKM Esper Edition

Introduction

I texted Chris the other day and said, “As much as it pains me, I think I’m done buying cards for collection alone. The boxes are just becoming too expensive and there’s other things I would rather spend my money on.” I still enjoy the game. I included the caveat that some of the money would go to singles for my decks. And, also, in service to all of you, I continue my set reviews. Welcome, then to MTGMKM Esper edition.

With all of that said, I paid no attention to the spoilers for this set. Chris and Jason both agreed. Jason said that the names are getting more and more ridiculous. Maybe, he just mentioned the setting. Chris said something about not liking the mechanics. I think he called them “goofy”. But, I looked at the cards and made my choices. Tell me what you think.

White Cards Honorable Mention (Removal, removal, recursion)

Call a Surprise Witness

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You all know how much I love a wrath. And this one comes with upside if you control the most creatures in the game. Not tough to do if you’re playing mono white tokens. You may not know, but I’ve become enamored with instant speed targeted removal, too. Something about it just makes me giggle. The last card, while sorcery speed, allows you to cheat the system some if playing Tiny Leaders or White Weenies in EDH. You can bring your commander back once without paying the penalty.

MTGMKM White Card I Love (Speaking of White Weenies)

This card takes a traditionally green mechanic and slaps it onto a white card. It further warps that mechanic by allowing you to pull a small creature from the top of your deck instead of a land. This card is just waiting to be abused in commander with the right deck.

MTGMKM Blue Honorable Mention (A New Mechanic, Stun, and What Library?)

Bubble Smuggler

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Disguise looks like morph or manifest. But, it gives the token ward, which is a nice touch. That makes it slightly more persistent and able to be flipped on a later turn. The stun card both bypasses any counter ability, including the aforementioned ward. It also gives you two turns to find an answer instead of one. Lastly, the Living Condundrum is just a silly card.

MTGMKM Blue Card I Love (Your Card is My Card Now)

That triple blue is steep and this probably won’t see play outside of commander, but I’ve been surprised before. I just like the idea of combining this with some targeted removal on their huge threat and using it against them. Sure, there are more efficient ways of accomplishing that, but certainly not as fun.

MTGMKM Black Honorable Mention (Another New Mechanic, Flash Enchantment, and “Oops, Pow, Surprise!”)

Case of the Stashed Skeleton

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The case cards looks similar to the Saga cards and I mistakenly thought they were the same, but the trigger is different. Not sure how I feel about them. The other enchantment brings some interesting possibilities in my wildest dreams. The last card just brings instant speed removal in a different form. Plus, the added lifelink and investigate feels like overkill on a one mana card.

MTGMKM Black Card I Love (It’s a Killer)

Massacre Girl came out after a similar card hit Hearthstone. I remember when I saw it and immediately thought of that card. It takes on a slightly different flavor in this one and brings back wither. Plus, that flavor text is simply amazing.

The Verdict

The cards in the MTGMKM Esper edition, overall, are underwhelming. Some cards are fun and I can see myself playing them. But, I think my decision to stop purchasing for collection came at the right time. Come back in a couple of days to see how red and green compare.

Note: pictures taken from Mythic Spoiler.

Marvel SNAP January 2024: Planet Hulk

Introduction

I saw last month that they planned to bring Planet Hulk to Marvel SNAP January 2024. This made me incredibly excited. Planet Hulk is my favorite story in comics, maybe ever. I loved the entire Greg Pak run of Hulk and Planet Hulk especially.

Yes, Immortal Hulk brought the Green Goliath back to his former heights after some lean years. But, I still think I prefer Pak’s take on Hulk and it bore the “Incredible” modifier instead of the new “Immortal” tagline. I mean, honestly, I’m just splitting hairs at this point. So, let’s take a look at the update.

New Locations

The Great Portal plays right into the Skaar deck. By giving you another 10 cost card to play, you reduce his cost even more. But, we’ll discuss that in the next section. Crown City, too, favors a powerful deck, as +4 to adjacent locations is pretty damn good in a game that sometimes comes down to every point of power. That thing is gonna set off some intense battles in the middle.

New Cards

Caiera

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Ongoing: Your 1 and 6-Cost cards can’t be destroyed.

Wow. I say. Wow. I already played Skaar to finish up the weekend quest and that card is powerful in the right shell. Who doesn’t want a zero cost 11 power card? Throw in Shuri and Taskmaster and the numbers get big quick in that deck. If I ever pull Caiera, I’m putting her in my “Ones” deck because screw your Killmonger, Bud. Herc is fun, but expensive, so unless you put him with Zabu, you only get a couple of moves to take advantage of. As previously mentioned, I don’t play much disco except to finish quests, so Miek isn’t a priority. Beta Ray Bill, as in the comics, is just another version of Thor. But, the Grandmaster opens up a whole new realm of possibilities that I hope I get a chance to discover. Overall, a strong batch of cards that I’ll have a ton of fun with, I think.

The Verdict

I think that I’m going to enjoy Marvel SNAP January 2024 more than I did last month. And, honestly, that’s saying something. I branched out to play some Conquest last month and got the Thor Hellfire Gala variant. I pushed at the end of the month up to Gold in the main play mode. That’s probably my ceiling, but I already played a ton this weekend to finish the Skaar quest and I’m planning my Conquest, uh, conquest to get that Ghost Rider variant.

Tabletop Game of the Year 2023

Introduction

We finish our year here at 2 Generations Gaming with a renewed sense of purpose. I started a new podcast. We rebooted the original one. I updated our YouTube on a more regular basis. And the page got a fresh new look and content every month. Next year marks 10 years of the page and I want to bring even more. But, for today, we finish with the tabletop game of the year 2023.

For once, I actually played more tabletop than console or PC games. I wanted to say electronic games there, but I played plenty on my phone. Mostly just Hearthstone, Marvel SNAP, and MTG Arena, but daily. So, when I wrote the contender’s article the other day, I mentioned five or six games.

The Contenders

Before I reveal the big winner, let’s take a TLDR look at the contenders.

  1. 3 Honorable Mentions: Shadowrun, Pathfinder, and Dreams and Machines all received only a tutorial play through or read through. So, while I enjoyed all of them, I can’t really give them proper consideration this year. Maybe next year.
  2. Dungeons and Dragons: One of my favorite tabletop games from when I was a kid. I tried sharing it with my family a couple of years ago, but that failed miserably. Then, Quinn and I played through a duets adventure and he got hooked. I will try again on Sunday when Aiden’s girlfriend is over for New Year’s Eve.
  3. Magic the Gathering: MTG, it’s not just for phones anymore! Chris, Jason and I, as mentioned more than once here, put together a playgroup for Commander that met twice or three times. Chris is coming over tomorrow to record the podcast and I suggested getting the boys together to play some Commander, too.
  4. Warhammer 40k: Like the honorable mention, I only played this once for a tutorial lesson. But, it kick started my newfound obsession with miniatures. I even painted a few and entered a painting contest. I signed up for another one, but a time commitment prevented me from going.

Tabletop Game of the Year 2023

Magic the Gathering has been part of my life since the beginning of the game. I played during my brief first college career. I tried to show Christine how to play with the Portal decks. When Chris and I started hanging out and we both realized what nerds we were, we played every couple of months. Now, with another friend to play on a semi-regular basis and the possibility of getting my kids involved, Magic the Gathering is my obvious choice for tabletop game of the year.

The Verdict

Next year, I want to try again to play Dungeons and Dragons with the family. I just found a New Year’s Eve adventure for Sunday. I’m hoping that leads to more adventures next year. Perhaps it even becomes a monthly thing and next year I get to tell you all about it. One step at a time, young grasshopper…

2023 Mobile Game of the Year

Introduction

We wrote some words a few days ago about the contenders for the title this year. While familiar, none of them are any less deserving of the title of 2023 Mobile Game of the Year.Actually, let me tell you a possibly funny story about why all of the games are familiar.

In my Financial Algebra class, while they worked (and some didn’t work), I reflected on the mobile games I played. I offhandedly asked the class, “Does anyone know of any good mobile games?” One student answered quickly, “No. All of them are garbage.” I replied, “I just play the games that aren’t really mobile, but have been ported like Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone.” Another made a face and we talked for the last 15 minutes of class about games. Okay, maybe not hilarious, but I laughed when he, without hesitation, declared every mobile game as trash.

My Criteria in Picking the Winner

Before I reveal the worst kept secret until next week when I write another set of these articles for PC Games, let me write a little to pump up the legitimacy of this page a little bit. You need to know the criteria that I used to pick the game.

Genuinely, the only criteria that I use is the personal and hard to define “fun”. Obviously what’s fun to one person is not fun to another. But, honestly, I can’t use things like graphics because all card games use the same basic graphics template. I could use sound because they take different tact in their use of sound. But, most of the time I play without sound, so I have little to no data for that criteria.

Variety of game modes just came to me as I wrote. In that area, the winner wins without question. Both Magic the Gathering Arena and Marvel SNAP offer differing game modes. But, ultimately, they both boil down to different versions of the same game. Slightly different rules or standards, but just playing cards. Hearthstone gives you Battlegrounds at the top of the list and a variety of other dead or nearly dead modes that they tried.

Silly and Stupid Hearthstone

I started to post with more regularity to the YouTube channel for the page. With that new commitment, I uploaded a couple of Hearthstone videos that I thought were fun.

Speaking of dead game modes, the first video comes in the recently deceased Mercenaries mode. I started playing the mode earlier in the year and enjoyed it. Then, of course, came the announcement that Blizzard killed the mode. Oh well. Enjoy the video. Note: This came before I shortened the introduction, so the video starts about 20 seconds in. You live, you learn.

My favorite game mode, by far, is the Battlegrounds. I’ve been playing it since it first released. I can’t remember if I got early access or not. I also can’t 100% explain the appeal. It’s just fun.

The Verdict

Yes, my 2023 mobile game of the year is Hearthstone. It’s not always fun. In fact, I hate the game more than I love it. But, when it’s fun, it’s really fun. And, they know just how to keep me coming back for more with rewards tracks, special events, and Twitch giveaways. Congratulations, Blizzard, the award is well deserved.

Marvel SNAP December 2023: Hellfire Gala

Introduction

The first week of the month generally means time for comic reviews. I promise that they’re coming. The comics arrived in the mail. I sorted them. I need to read them and review them. Before the end of the week. Besides, when I logged in earlier, the game reminded me of the Marvel SNAP December 2023 update.

They went with the Hellfire Gala this time. Without a major TV or movie release, I suppose they decided to take a cue from the comics this time. Though, I think the Hellfire Gala was a couple of months ago because right now they’re doing the “Fall of X” story line in the books. I forgot to order my comics for December, so maybe next month I finally get caught up on X-Men then.

New Locations

Neither of these locations wows me a ton. I like the idea of extra energy but rarely feel like I get to use it regularly. Perhaps by exploiting that imbalance each turn, I can play cards a turn earlier. Feels like a “win more” strategy. The white palace gives you a copy of an expensive card. Big deal.

New Cards

Selene

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On Reveal: Afflict the lowest-Power card in each player’s hand with -3 Power.

None of these cards speaks to me like the ones from the previous month. I generally don’t play buff decks, so Shaw and Havok won’t see much play from me. I like the idea of Blob as a troll card at the end of the game. I see no utility in Selene at all. She just feels really underpowered. Maybe late game if you haven’t played either of your Gobbys and you hit one of their bigger cards with it. So, some utility, I suppose.

The Verdict

The previous month interested me more than Marvel SNAP December 2023. I will still spend cash on the rewards track because I always finish it and it feels like good value. But, I doubt that I’ll play any of the cards other that to complete the special quests that they give you monthly to entice you to play the cards. Hey, I don’t mind the treadmill.

Pictures SNAPed from Marvel SNAP Zone.

Episode 1.03 – Ixalan and Thankful

Similar to the previous episode. I released this on the first of the month, technically missing our deadline. We respect tradition here at 2 Guys Gaming. This time, we recorded at my house. 3 cats, a dog, and 3 kids plus a pellet stove means there’s a lot more ambient noise. But, it’s all brought to you with love.’ The third episode: Ixalan and Thankful.

We start by talking about the cards that we like from Ixalan. Chris talks about cards he likes. A black card that doubles damage. white removal, a god that triples tokens, and a dragon and a dragon dinosaur. I bring the Millenium Calendar, a land that uses the graveyard, and a straight busted 2 mana 8/8. Obviously, those aren’t the only cards, but they’re the highlights.

Then, we discuss some about Old School 93/94, Jason’s preferred play style. Chris, having played before, teaches me about the meta and that it is as limiting as I thought. But, it still makes me want to try some decks on xMage.

We end the discussion with things we are thankful for. Amazon sales and friends made through Magic the Gathering top the list. Read my articles on the page for more. Thanks for listening to our Ixalan and Thankful episode and join us next month for more.

2 Guys Gaming
2 Guys Gaming
Episode 1.03 - Ixalan and Thankful
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