Tag Archives: MTG

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.

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.

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.

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…

Tabletop Gaming is a Gift 2023

Introduction

Surprisingly, we played more tabletop games this year than anything else. With the soldering mishap on the XBox, we saw a definite lack of opportunities to play console games. And, my mobile games are mostly just the same games I play on the tabletop. So, truly, tabletop gaming is a gift in 2023.

in addition to the literal gift that I bought my family for Christmas, Catan, I made alist of six different games that I played or tried through the year. So, the contenders article tomorrow is going to be busy. So, for today, let’s just kick our feet up and celebrate the relaxation that comes with Boxing Day.

What Are Those Six Games?

Well, I will go into more depth tomorrow with the games and their case for tabletop game of the year for 2023 here at 2 Generations Gaming. Today, I will just give a quick list and leave it at that. I have a ton of other things that I want to get done today. Wait, didn’t I just say that I wanted to relax? Well, thankfully, none of the tasks are terrily taxing, so I can get everything done and still relax.

I started the year with the Voidspark Chronicles, a daily RPG calendar from Sundial Games. That becamse a YouTube series that I intend to finish up this week and start on the next one on the first. Chris, Jason, and I got together to play Commander (including the brand new Lord of the Rings decks!) a couple of times and hope to do so again as soon as possible.

I wrote reviews of each of the new Dungeons and Dragons books as they released. Quinn and I played some D&D, but not as much as hoped. I tried out Pathfinder, Shadowrun, and Dreams and Machines to add to the new games that I played this year. Finally, I spent quite a bit of time painting minatures (even entering a contest) and played through one of the tutorial missions of Warhammer 40k

The Verdict

I told you. So much tabletop gaming this year. I think you all might be able to figure out which one is the actual game of the year just based on the articles this year. However, I will continue to keep you in suspense over this one. One more time I can say that tabletop gaming is a gift 2023. See you tomorrow with the contender’s article.

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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Thankful for Tabletop Gaming 2023

Introduction

Black Friday. I tell stories of working retail during Black Friday and people gasp. The truth of the matter is that I worked it almost 30 years ago before it became a thing. Back then, retail workers spoke of the term in hushed tones. But, there was no small business Saturday or Cyber Monday. There were no sales where people murdered one another for a blender. Just long lines and endless Garth Brooks on the PA. This year, I just call it the day after Thanksgiving. And a day off from work so I can write why I’m thankful for tabletop gaming 2023.

After talking about PC (mostly) and mobile earlier in the week, I fear that this, too, may be a bit of an anticlimax. I usually save the best for last with these articles. But, looking back on it now, the only real reason I can think of to be thankful for tabletop gaming this year is that Chris, Jason, and I were able to get together to play Magic the Gathering a couple of times.

Commander! Live and in Person!

Granted, that’s not that bad of a reason. But, I feel bad because I kept meaning to sit down with Quinn and play more Dungeons and Dragons. We compromised a couple of weeks ago with a session of Roll Player Adventures. Heck, even this weekend, I wanted to play some D&D with him to set up articles for next week. Maybe I can convince him and Chris to sit down for a quick session tomorrow before we record the next episode of 2 Guys Gaming.

But I, as I often do, digress.

Thankfully some things never change

The first time we played, we brought our own decks that we either built or, in my case, used an upgrade guide to make it better. I played my Naya landfall deck to some success. I think Chris knocked out Jason and then I stalled the game like I do for a few turns before misplaying and scooping. Hey, like I say, some things never change.

Then, Chris and Jason went halves on Lord of the Rings Commander decks. We played them fresh out of the boxes. I played an elves deck. Again, I found some early success in the game. I set up my board, made dudes, planned out a winning strategy. This time, instead of misplaying, Chris simply drew a board clear that killed all my dudes and left me exposed. And, so, back to the drawing board. Playing the deck gave me some ideas to improve it, but I haven’t actually implemented any of them yet. Once we nail down a time for the next meeting I’ll take care of it.

The Verdict

Again, perhaps underwhelming. But, I can’t say how much having a regular playgroup has improved my attitude and enjoyment of Magic the Gathering again. If only I could find one for D&D. Maybe that’s one of my resolutions for next year. Also, it inspired Chris and I to resurrect the podcast again. So, MtG is truly why I’m thankful for tabletop gaming 2023.

MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 2: Story/Art

Introduction

It’s that time of year when things get pushed to the background, especially here on the page. But, I remain committed to updating as often as possible. And, so, MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 2 and Part 3 becomes Part 2 only. Who knows? I actually think this works better.

Again, similar to my previous article in this series, a direct comparison between the two feels ridiculous. Wizards of the Coast takes their art and story very seriously. They also worked tirelessly recently to clean up some loose ends and make the story more consistent and coherent. Blizzard went the route of making their stories sillier and their art less realistic. Being someone who likes that style less, I side with Magic the gathering on both.

Showdown in the Badlands Art

As if proof of concept, I found no art in the new Hearthstone set that impressed me other than the new Reno. And, honestly, I think that’s just because I like the card style of the hero cards. The art itself leaves much to be desired. It’s simply a portrait of the hero. Some of the new Druid dragons look cool, too. Other than that, though, the set art is very plain.

Showdown in the Badlands Story

From the Blizzard Hearthstone site:

“The Bloodrock Mining Company found powerful Azerite in the Badlands. They’re digging deep and bleeding the land dry, disrupting the Badlands and awakening slumbering elementals! Now mysterious outlaws are riding into town to set things right. Tumbleweeds roll by and high noon looms. Grab your horse and your hat, it’s nearly time for a Showdown in the Badlands!”

I mean, that’s not a terrible set up for a decent story. But, after that, the pay off lacks some punch. Some of the cards and the mechanics mention the Azurite and other parts of the storyline. However, Blizzard doesn’t weave their story into the game as much as Wizards. So, while I like the story, I wish they gave fans like me a little more to work with.

Lost Caverns of Ixalan Art

I picked these three cards for a reason. The only one I genuinely like as art is Hurl into History. The art matches the card description perfectly. It also gives a great sense of motion. I picked the dragon to give a comparison in art styles between the two games. The Fabrication Foundry does the same. Even when they come up with some ridiculous idea of a being, they still make it seem like it exists in a real and living world. That adds to my enjoyment and appreciation of the art.

Lost Caverns of Ixalan Story

I can’t hope to include the entire story here like I did with the Hearthstone excerpt. The story on the official Wizards page scrolls for thousands of words and follows several different characters. But, what I remember from Ixalan before, it features dinosaurs and pirates. What more can you ask for?

As far as I’m concerned, nothing. But, as Billy Mays always said, “There’s more!” WotC also gives us gods in this set. Unlike some other planes, these gods aren’t explicitly immortal. Rather, when they die, they transform into temple lands with a mana ability that allows the god to reascend later in the game. I like that twist because you can remove the god from the board for a time without having to use an exile spell.

The Verdict

Again, without directly comparing the two, I need to wrap up this MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 2 article. The art for Showdown in the Badlands doesn’t impress me at all. The story, on the other hand, works well enough. I always love looking at old Magic the Gathering sets to revisit the art. I keep track of the story when it’s interesting. Other than the pirates and dinosaurs, I don’t find Ixalan particularly compelling.

MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 1: Mechanics and Keywords

Introduction

I realized a few weeks ago that both Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone released expansions this week. Instead of reviewing both sets individually (who has time for that?), I decided to write a series comparing the two sets. I, then, further refined the series by splitting it into three parts, mechanics/keywords, story, and art. MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 1 brings mechanics and keywords.

Having never written this type of article before, I have no idea how to approach it. Do I write it as if it was a true battle of the card battlers and come up with a victor at the end? Or, simply give a summary of the two sets and allow the reader to make up their mind. Now that I see that written, that makes the most sense. So, be prepared to make a decision by the end of the week.

Showdown in the Badlands Mechanics and Keywords

According to the Blizzard expansion page, Showdown in the Badlands only introduces two new keywords, Quickdraw and Excavate. For those of you who play Eternal, Quickdraw sounds familiar. However, in Hearthstone it has a completely different effect. Cards with the keyword get a bonus if you play them the turn that they are drawn. The card below gives you an example. If you play this on the turn it enters your hand (so it can be discovered, not drawn is how I interpret that), you get a coin. If you combo it with another card, you get a coin. According to my rudimentary research, you can only generate one coin with this. So, small miracles. Yes, that pun was intended.

Excavate, on the other hand, only applies to certain classes. By my understanding, other classes can excavate cards through Discover, but you don’t get a pay off of the legendary treasure. You simply cycle through the Common-Rare-Epic treasures. If you want to see the various treasures and their rarity level, check out this guide at Hearthstone Top Decks.

Aside from the keywords, the only notable mechanic that I see returning in the set is “Highlander” decks. So called because they only contain one copy (get it?!) of each card, some cards in the game pay off for just such a deck. The most prominent is the original Reno, which healed your character back to full health in the case of only one card left in your deck. Others came along like Kazakus and Zephrys that were fun, but the only ones that really caught on long term were priest cards. Well, Reno is back and he wants your Highlander deck again.

Lost Caverns of Ixalan Keywords and Mechanics

The other reason I didn’t want to directly compare the two sets is that Magic the Gathering is a much more complex game than Hearthstone. Therefore, with each set release, they have more keywords and mechanics. They also have cycles in each set that share a commonality. If you’ve never played the game, you care nothing about those. On the other hand, if you have, then you probably already know all of this. If you somehow exist in another subset of those possibilities, you can read more here.

The two brand new keywords in the set are Craft and Descend. Craft allows you to transform an artifact into a more powerful artifact with a mana and additional cost. Descend refers to your graveyard. You can descend by putting a card into the graveyard. You can check your descend score with an “X” value.

The Verdict

No, I didn’t lie. You won’t find any actual verdict here at the end of MTG vs. Hearthstone Part 1. Instead, I leave you with a question. Which of the keywords has you most excited, interested, or wondering. Are there any that you can see yourself building a deck around? I, for one, love the idea of Reno and I’m putting that in my decks.

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