FNM Promo for October 2013

ghorclan fnm

Playable FNM Promos YAY!

ghor-clan

Meh, both of the drawings are uninspired

Yes! Another playable FNM Promo that will fit right into the Gruul Aggro archetype. The art’s not as cool as the FNM Experiment One, but I doubt anyone will really care. A lot of people will get to ‘pimp’ their GR decks and the rest of us can just trade them to those people.

Remember that one of the only ways to get it is to go play at your local game store’s Friday Night Magic Event!

FNM_logo

At a Magic: the Gathering store near you!

4 FNM cards are distributed – 2 to the first 2 players in the standings and 2 at random. So remember to stick around until the very end to get a chance to grab a promo even if you didn’t perform that well. You never know…

Magic 2014: Event Deck

m14 event deck

 

So the Magic 2014 Event decklist has been spoiled and here’s waht we get for 19.99$ MSRP

 

Rush of the Wild

12 Forest
4 Gruul Guildgate
6 Mountain
1 Rogue’s Passage
1 Stomping Ground

24 lands

2 Burning-Tree Emissary
1 Deadbridge Goliath
2 Dryad Militant
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
2 Kalonian Tusker
1 Ogre Battledriver
1 Pyrewild Shaman
2 Rakdos Cackler
1 Rubblebelt Raiders
2 Skarrg Guildmage
3 Slaughterhorn
1 Wild Beastmaster
1 Wrecking Ogre

27 creatures

1 Armed // Dangerous
1 Clan Defiance
2 Flames of the Firebrand
1 Gruul Charm
1 Mizzium Mortars
3 Shock

9 other spells

Sideboard

2 Act of Treason
3 Annihilating Fire
2 Enlarge
2 Gruul Charm
2 Naturalize
1 Savage Summoning
3 Skullcrack
15 sideboard cards

 

It’s a standard-looking Red/Green ‘Bloodrush’ deck with a few tricks here and there. I think it’s somewhat ok to FNM with, provided you don’t mind ‘just attacking’ most of the time.

 

As we did with the Dragon’s Maze Event Deck, let’s do a Rare card analysis:

 

Stomping Ground

stomping ground

 

As with the previous iteration of the one Event Deck/10 Rares version, we get a Ravnica Dual Land. This is just awesome as it doesn’t really lower the secondary market price much and allows the newer player to either decide to gather up more duals or just go ahead and trade this one for some other cards he might need. Either way, it stimulates the MTG economy.

Of course, Wizards of the Coast knows what they’re doing here. We know this is the ‘best’ card in the deck so it’s all downhill from here…

 

Deadbridge Goliath

 

deadbridge goliath

 

 

I remember that when return to Ravnica came out I thought this card would have soem kind of impact. Well I was half right. it had found its way into a Black/Green ‘fight’ deck in Standard. Since then it has been endlessly printed in various decks on top of being the Release promo. Reduced to pretty much bulk rare value, it’s still decent. New players won’t be disappointed to see this and veterans know that there is much much worse.

 

Wild Beastmaster

wild beastmaster

 

Speaking of worse … Yeah, they had to print this huh? Bad Wizards! bad!

I get the reasoning behind this: you swing with this and a bunch of dudes,then Wham! Bloodrush ! Still, this is very disenchanting if anything. A wasted rare slot that could almost have been anything else.

garruk's horde

 

*Sigh* Yes, even you !

Ogre Battledriver

ogre battledriver

 

 

 

Ah! a card most people actually want from M14. I’m down with that. I managed to trade a lot of them in the past week and with good reason. He’s a decent ‘build around me’ card and he’s your standard medium-sized attacker. It’s fairly decent in the deck as well. Good job on this one Wizards of the Coast!

 

Pyrewild Shaman

pyrewild

 

Another ‘Bloodrush’ creature. While not terribly unplayable, he’s somewhat not at home in this deck. You need your creatures to connect (ie: flying, trample,unblockable,intimidate). While this deck has some tramplers, I don’t think it’s the right one to include Pyrewild Shaman in.

Oh well! On the bright side, it could have been another one of these:

 

wild beastmaster

 

Thank goodness they usually only have one copy of each rare!

Rubblebelt Raiders

rubblebelt raiders

 

 

 

Despite their namesake, they are not related to the Hamburglar (Rubble-rubble!).

 

hamburglar

This so makes me want to go grab some cheeseburgers

The name is the most exciting part of this card. It’s another ‘big attacker’. Oh joy! I guess you need these kinds of cards to make non-utility creatures looks epic. An OK inclusion overall, but they could have tried harder here.

Wrecking Ogre

wreckign ogre

 

 

 

Big Daddy Bloodrush in the house! He’s pretty insane almost always, although you almost never want to cast him as an actual creature. Once again, the ‘value’ on it is low, but the fun/playability factor is rather good.

 

Clan Defiance

clan defiance

 

A very respectable spell that quite a few people predicted would go up in value. It just never really took off and now it’s just rounding out 10 rare card event decks. Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

Allright, it was never that mighty and it’s actually a really good addition to this deck. Not every card can be a creature (although playing in the current Standard format sure seems that way). It’s great to show the newer players that 3 for 1’s are still possible.

 

Mizzium Mortars

mizzium mortars

 

 

 

Woah! a spell that’s not a creature and has seen competitive play? That’s still worth something? Can they really do that?

Apparently.

This is very nice on both fronts (deck playability and value). It may even make older players grab some if they don’t have this card and Stomping Ground. Well, the 10th rare in the deck might do that as well:

 

Savage Summoning

savage summoning

 

 

 

It was very talked about before M14 was released and it has yet to see play (just kidding, it’s only been 1 week). The card does nothing on its own, so the decision to have it in the sideboard is a good one. I know that most of the new players are just going to jam it into the maindeck anyhow because it is a rather impressive-looking card.

When you consider the overall value of this deck, you can’t ignore the uncommons. A lot of the uncommons in here are worth more than most rares in the deck, which is saying a lot. In the grand scheme of things, they add a lot more ‘value’ to the M14 event deck and actually make purchase-worthy.

 

For the last part, I’ll just quote what was previously said of the last event deck:

 

Final Verdict

While we are far from getting an insane value out of it, it exemlifies what Wizards sought out to do:

1) purchase deck

2) open it and sleeve it (optional)

3) play it at a local FNM

4) have fun!

 

Here’s hoping they jam a Scavenging Ooze or Mutavault in the next Event decks.

 

 

M14: Tips and Tricks

m14 tips and tricks

by Steve ‘DDT’ Giannopoulos

Well, Magic: 2014 is now upon us and you have undoubtedly had your fair share of limited play. The set looks simple enough that one would expect some pretty straightforward play, but that is not always the case. Let’s get our feet wet and start off with a fairly nice combo involving two of the more interesting uncommons of this set.

Here are 20 little card interactions you should keep an eye out if you’re drafting/sealing the Magic 2014 expansion.

1. Bubbling Cauldron + Angelic Accord

bubbling cauldron angelic accord

I’ll give you a few second to let it sink in…. Yeah, I know right? Seems so simple when it’s staring you right in the face, no?

I was playing a sealed (one of many) last week at a local game store and my deck was so bad that I started looking for combos. Needless to say that I was just thrilled when I noticed this. Of course technically there is a third piece to this combo called ‘Any Creature you control’.

Before you go off trying to find this mystery card simply run a Gatherer search for ‘Creature’ under f’Filter Card Type’. Yes, I’m just trolling you. It’s basically any creature you happen to have in play. Sacrifice it, preferably after blocking an attacker and you will have satisifed Angelic Accord’s ‘end of turn’ trigger.

What’s even cooler is that it triggers at ANY end of turn step, meaning that if you find a way to gain 4 life each turn (yours and your opponent’s) you will be rewarded with a 4/4 flying angel token:

m14 angel tokenThis time we only get the Angel side of the token as opposed to the reversible Angel/Demon ones

Barring that, we also get to mimic some pseudo- Serra Angel/ Baneslayer Angel action. Of course we need to work a tiny bit to get this super creature going. We get to attack with the 4/4 Angel token then sacrifice it before our end of turn to gain 4 life. This will have gained us 4 life  as though the Angel token had lifelink. It will also create a new Angel Token as though our Angel Token had ‘vigilance’.

Keep in mind that this is the ‘bare minimum’ here. You can easily sacrifice a ‘lesser’ creature to make a 4/4 Angel Token and just grow your own Angel army, just like you had cast a really really slow Entreat the Angels. You have to also keep in mind that this involves two uncommons, but if we want to ‘spice it up’ a little we can add this to the mix:

trading post

Like this card really needed to be part of a combo

2. Strionic Resonator + cards that trigger it

strionic resonator

Yeah, I ran that Standard card search for you!

3. Bubbling Cauldron +  Act of Treason

bubbling cauldron act of treason

You get all the value on this!

This one is basically the usual steal and sac maneuver we often see with Red/Black combinations. Can also be accomplished with Blood Bairn, Altar’s Reap and Gnawing Zombie in this Set.

4. Air Servant + Zephyr Charge

air servant zephyr charge

Yes, I’ll admit it’s rather costly just to tap down a non-flying creature. Air Servant is good on its own though and Zephyr Charge can be pretty nice if you’re short on actual fliers. Another neat trick is to pair off Zephyr Charge with cards like Windstorm and Plummet.

5. Archaeomancer + Disperse

archaeomancer disperse

Much like in M13 with Unsummon, this 2 card combo can keep you alive long enough to draw some answers. Plus when you do, you’ll probably have something better to recur than Disperse.

6. Auramancer + Quag Sickness

auramancer quag sick

Usually Auramancer is kinda blah, but in Magic 2014 enchantments matter with other cards like Blightcaster. White/Black Auras is not a terrible deck if you have the synergies going. Think of Quag Sickness as a Doom Blade and Auramancer as an Archaeomancer and everything will be ok, I promise.

7. Blightcaster + Quag Sickness

blightcaster quag sick

Pretty similar to the above interaction only it’s usually a 2 for 1. You cast Quag Sickness, Blightcaster triggers and usually takes down a 2 toughness creature then you place Quag Sickness on something bigger and either end up killing it or severely crippling its offensive capabilities.

8. Dragon Egg + Barrage of Expendables

dragon egg barrage of exp

You can’t just sit around and wait for the egg to hatch on its own can you now? Without the usual sacrifice outlets in Black (as we saw before) and the aforementioned artifacts, we can look to this little gem of an enchantment to help us out.  Ideally you don’t want to just sacrifice the Dragon Egg to ping your opponent in the face for 1, you want to get some value out of it (like finishing off a bigger creature or chump blocking with it and forcing a trade somewhere else).

I know you’re thinking that you can also sacrifice the dragon token and deal an additional 1 damage, but no! You don’t want to be doing that just to get the damage output of a Shock (unless you absolutely have to), The fire-breathing dragon token will be valuable to you in the long run (much like they were to Daenerys in Game of Thrones).

9. Elite Arcanist + Doom Blade

elite arcanist doom blade

I specified Doom Blade here because it is the most efficient one, but of course if your opponent is playing black you can go with Chandra’s Outrage. You can keep dealing 2 while taking down one of their dudes each turn. You don’t even need to attack, how cool is that? Ok, not extremely but it’s pretty respectable in the realm of M14 limited.

10. Fireshrieker + Creatures with Deathtouch

fireshrieker deathgaze buzzards

First strike and deathtouch work very well together as do trample and deathtouch (since you only need to assign 1 damage to a blocker and can deal the rest to the defending player). Nothing ‘magical’ here but you can take down multiple blockers or as is otherwise known, your creature becomes ‘unblockable’.

11. Goblin Diplomats + Guardian of the Ages

goblin diplomats guardian of the ages

It’s often rather tasking to get the Guardian to attack, unless you’re ‘diplomatic‘ about it. Yes, that was rather cheesy. The combo also involves 2 Rare cards so it will be less likely to have in an M14 draft. The Goblins themselves are pretty much removal since they will often force your opponent to attack with smaller creatures they normally would not.

12. Advocate of the Beast + Marauding Maulhorn

advocate of the beast marauding ma

While this is probably the easiest combo to find since Advocate of the Beast is mentioned in the Marauding Maulhorn rules text, it’s rather effective and more importantly common.  You can also try fitting in a Mutavault (if you were lucky enough to open one) since you can activate it before your end of turn and give it a +1/+1 counter with Advocate of the Beast.

13. Ogre Battledriver + Young Pyromancer

ogre battledriver young pyromancer

Of course it also requires you to cast instants/sorceries but now your tokens get to attack for 3 the turn they come into play (or be 3 power blockers if you cast something during an opponent’s turn. Our monored team-up here is very effective. Who would have guessed that a whip-carrying ogre would work well with a goggle-wearing Chandra fanboy?

The combo itself may even become somewhat potent in Standard (probably paired off with some blue card-drawing spells). Even something sub-optimal such as casting a turn 4 Ogre Battledriver followed by turn 5 Young Pyromancer X 2 can be threatening. Another spell that can be pretty potent is Dynacharge or Dragonshift, if we dare to dream a little bit.

dragonshift

Maybe, just maybe

14. Chandra’s Phoenix + Chandra, Pyromaster

chandra pyromaster chandra's phoenix

What is a Pyromaster without her pet? Not much actually. With it? Slightly less bad.

Yes, I continue my Chandra, Pyromaster hate here since even recurring a Chandra’s Phoenix (probably from all the chump-blocking required to protect her) does not even make her more playable. Wait what if we attack and stuff? Woah!

I’m willing to give her a chance, but the decklist would have to be something more alluring than the usual ‘Red Deck Wins’ kind.

Maybe even add this combo-riffic piece:

pyromancer's gauntlets

Just think of how ‘insane’ it can get with multiple Gauntlets. Trading Post control anyone?

15. Primeval Bounty + Into the Wilds

primeval bounty into the wilds

Wait, what? No creatures in this? It almost seems like a weird enchantress deck and that’s the reason I’m mentioning it. While both cards are OK on their own merits (Bounty being better by far), they might get much better in Theros. You see, enchantments matter in the next block so you’ll need to ‘stock up’ on them now. Just sayin’!

Basically, look at your top card. Land? slam it down and gain 3 life to then draw what is hopefully a nonland and cast that. Creature? Great! gain another creature. Noncreature? cast it and boost one of your existing creatures or if it’s it has flash/is an instant  – use it as a combat trick.

theros

Sooner than you think

16. Ratchet Bomb + Trading Post

ratchet bomb trading post

Yes, it’s 2 rares. Yes, it’s also slow. Keep in mind that this limited format is also rather slow, so you have time to set it up and keep it going. Nothing fancy really, just pump out those goat tokens and recur the Ratchet Bomb when needed. You can also ‘slow cycle’ by sacrificing a making a Goat Token every other turn and getting the Ratchet Bomb back to sacrifice it with Trading Post to draw a card then repeat. Yeah, not fast at all.

Speaking of goats – remember that they were and are still used as bargaining chips in Greece. Theros is based on Greek Mythology. Will we see some more cards that give us value for our Goat Tokens? It only seems fitting, right?

goat token m14

*Goat Noise* 

17. Archangel of Thune + Soulmender

archangel of thune soulmender

We had to include one of the most sough-after mythics in the set here, right? Soulmender grows our angel and keeps us alive long enough in the meantime. For those of you who have played versus similar cards such as Soul Warden in the past, you know exactly how much of a nuisance Soulmender can be.

Simply getting to attack with the Archangel of Thune and deal damage also grows it, so it’s not like it ‘needs’ Soulmender, but it is a welcome addition. It’s also an infinite life combo in Modern with Spike Feeder (I think how that works is rather obvious).

18. Time Ebb + Tome Scour

time ebb tome scour

If you’re going for the mill plan (aka. you opened a Jace, Memory Adept in one of your M14 boosters), try Time Ebb. It has some pretty good synergy with the mill cards. Put a guy on top and then mill him. Simple as that!

Of course you should make it worthwhile and not just target any dork, unless of course you’re milling with Jace and are short on blockers. In such a case you probably just want to activate the +1 ability on Jace and not go for the full 10 mill since you want to recoup the cost of wasting a card on their creature and end up accomplishing pretty much the same thing.

19. Voracious Wurm + Verdant Haven

voracious wurm verdant haven

Pretty much any lifegain is also good (Trading Post, Brindle Boar,etc). Preferably, you are sacrificing the boar to gain 4 life in order to drop back a 6/6 blocker. If you have 4 mana, it’s perfectly acceptable to verdant haven one of your lands in order to get a 4/4 creature afterwards.

In the case of Trading Post, it really depends what you’re pitching to it. You don’t want to discard a removal just to get a big creature most of the time. The prime fodder is probably excess lands.

20. Trained Condor + Scroll Thief

trained condor scroll thief

It can be done with any creature really, but gaining a card is very key here. Plus it’s somewhat ‘on curve’. You drop Scroll Thief turn 3 if you think you can sneak in a card (it’s maybe OK to waste a removal on their only blocker here). Otherwise, you play Trained Condor first going for the extra damage output.

m14 logo

That’ll have to be all for today. I tried to keep the card interactions low on Rares/Mythics to simulate more of what you would see in a draft.If you have any other card interactions I missed (I really only tried to cap at 20), please let us know.

From the Vault: Twenty Spoilers (continued)

ftv 20 logo

And we’re back!

Venser, Shaper Savant

venser ftvA shame he had to die in Magic continuity

Good to see this particular legend back in print. It was beginning to become ridiculous at 20$ (not that the FTV release is going to change much in that respect). Still, I’m sure most players can appreciate this ‘Boomerang’/’Counterspell’ on a stick.

Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

ink-eyesI just can’t get enough?

Seriously Wizards, how many times are you going to reprint this guy? Not that I think it’s a bad card, but did this realyl warrant another printing? There’s the regular release, the pre-release, the Planechase one and now From the Vaut: Twenty. Art is the same as the original (at least they got that right, because the Pre-Release one is hideous).

I remember this thing being a statue a bunch of years ago at one of the local cardshops here in Montreal. It was actually quite cool-looking and I know they made a bunch of them for Kamigawa (maybe they should do the same for Theros?)

ink-eyes statue

And you thought splinter was the only Ninja Rat …

We’re almost halfway through the set and it’s looking pretty darn good. This thing is probably pre-ordered out everywhere at 200-400$+. Still, for those of you that only want specific cards – it might just be worth waiting to purchase them as singles (unless of course you’re just eyeing Jace, the Mind Sculptor).

From the Vault: Twenty Spoilers

ftv 20 logo

More cards have been revealed at the San Diego Comicon panel. First off, I believe everyone was wrong about this one:

 

ftv image

So, it was NOT Mother of Runes, NOR was it Enlightened Tutor OR Force of Will

It ended up being an alternate art version of this

I know right? Rather underwhelming.

impulse art

The common link? Old people. How could we have missed that?

It really doesn’t matter much though since the ‘spoiler’ picture is never really a major card. Take From the Vault: Realms as an example. The spoiled card ended up being Glacial Chasm (as opposed to Thawing Glaciers).

Moving along….

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

jace tmsSure Wizards! just take our money already!

This one was probably the most popular of the revelations at the San Diego Comicon. Commander players rejoice while collectors were somewaht dissapointed. In the end, the brick and mortar stores are the big winners as this From the Vault will be selling for really really high prices. *sigh* Those complaining that Legacy costs too much are still somewhat disappointed as this doesn’t make Jace much more affordable in the end.

 

Gilded Lotus

gilded ftv

Commander players rejoice! (Again!)

We saw it be reprinted in Magic 2013 and now this. It’s not a bad thing I suppose. What tournament winning deck ran these again? I’m actually not sure…

Impulse

impulse ftv

Even with the blue frame, it does not seem very blue

Hymn to Tourach

hymn to tourach

 

Yay! the best card from Fallen Empires is back!

Akroma’s Vengeance

akroma vengeance

 

Well they redid the art. The card is ok, but it’s not exactly hard to get these days

Cruel Ultimatum

cruel ultimatum ftv

The last great powerful noncreature spell?

I have such fond memories of this card. One of which involves me almost making Day 2 at Grand Prix: Washington

gp washington 2010

Yeah, I couldn’t manage to win one of my last two matches to get to Day 2. I started that day at 0-1 by the way. 

I also recall that i had to make a tough decision between Grave Titan or Siege-Gang Commander in the maindeck. Ultimately I went with the ‘Super Goblin’. There were quite a few planeswalkers in the format (Jace was beginning to ascend in the Standard format), so getting the chance to ‘shock’ some down a peg was a nice bonus over just watching my Zombie horde did to a Day of Judgment. I was packing Jace in my Grixis deck as well, so sometimes you’d even bounce Siege-Gang to hand and recast him to generate more dudes (although I probably never actually had to do that).

Cruel Ultimatum was something you actually had to build up to and it wasn’t an auto-win card either (although it often seemed that way). The new art pretty much reveals what the Shards of Alara is slightly more subtle about : the Grixis leader, Nicol Bolas. The deck never actually ran the planeswalker since Cruel Ultimatum was much much better.

I’m short on time and laptop power (no outlet) so I’ll end this here and come back later or tomorrow with some more spoilers.

ftv 20 logo

Commander 2013

mtg commander logo

 

Wizards anounced the release of five new commander decks (which are of course 100 card decks). If the last batch is any indication, you should pick these up right away. They aren’t limited per se, although most stores will try to make you believe that. There are also 15 new cards per Commander deck. As with the previous Commander release all the cards here will be legal in the eternal Magic: the Gathering formats.

here is what the expansion symbol looks like:

 

mtg commander exp symbol

 

Looks Alara-ish. Maybe it’s a message, like this represent a ‘Wedge’. What the game needs is more Commanders right? I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s actually fun to see if they get to a point where almost no two people will us the same General in the format. I like the new ‘mechanic’ of the spoiled commanders. They simply become better the more they ‘die’. It’s kind of funny and makes for a potentially cool comeback factor.

 

Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge

Jeleva

Grixis Mill General with bonus? Interesting …

Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

Prossh

Kobolds of Kher Keep? Woah! so glad I recently got a Rohgar of Kher Keep

Release date:  November 1, 2013

MSRP :               29,99$ per deck

 

San Diego Comicon Planeswalkers!

chandra alt

 

Looks so-so. Kinda looks like a dude though…

jace atl

Jace looks a little sick, perhaps he spent too much time with Liliana?

liliana alt

Now this Liliana definitely looks black, no? It’s not just me is it?

garruk alt

We already saw this one, but it also comes with some words of ‘wisdom’ from the big guy himself

ajani alt

Well, Ajani, I’m convinced this is the best art you’ve had since original Ajani Vengeant

Not too shabby Wizards! Now if only most of us that didn’t go to the San Diego Comicon could get our hands on these…