A Colorized Memory

Game time, the final set of games. Both of us finalists were playing really good decks that beat out our competition. It was time for one of us undefeated to be defeated.

Let me back up. It was my birthday in the year 2014, September 25th. For my party, a couple of my friends and I went to our local gaming store to participate in this prerelease event in hopes of winning and experience the new set about to release. All signed up, we grab a table and begin the wait for our kits to be handed out. I remember clearly that I signed up to receive a Mardu pack, but no one else was. I thought though that it would help me win while the others were messing with me because of it.

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Our packs came in, and we all opened ours in the same area. I opened my pack to reveal my promo Bloodsoaked Champion. This card fits my fast paced playstyle well, and I was ecstatic to open multiples of him. With many other Red and Black cards, I was ready to build a deck. It took a great deal of time for me to decide which individual cards I wanted to include, but I feel like I chose some of the best, when I realized one thing I completely forgot before, one more booster pack. Confused, I began to count my Rares only to realize that yes, I screwed up. Quickly, I opened it up to see none other than a Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker lying there for me. Making a few modifications to deck to play him, I was ready for game one. Below are some cards that I played in my prerelease deck.

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Game One: I sat down across the table from my opponent to see none other than my friend Soren Conley as my opponent. After greeting each other, we agreed to play fair and square and that neither one of us was to have an advantage. Well, I drew my opening hand only to find that I had no Mana. I desperately needed to take a mulligan, so I went down to six cards in hand. All lands this time. Frustrated with my deck, I gave it one extra shuffle, and when I went down to five cards in hand, it seemed just perfect. I even won that game against an opponent who had a seven card hand, and I even won the second game too. After a nice handshake, we reported our score, and played some more games of Magic with our own Magic decks.

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After winning by a variety of either using burn spells, human warriors, or a Planeswalker who turns into a dragon, I made it to the final game. My opponent was the only other person in a store of 30 competitors who voluntarily chose the Mardu box like I did. Shuffling each other’s decks, we stared into each other’s eyes. This was my first time even coming this close to winning an event before, so naturally I was nervous. The store worker called out that the winner would receive a whopping sixteen booster packs and second place gets eight. Determined to win, I brought my A game to the table. We each won a game of our final match. He beat me with an army the first time, and I killed him with fire the second. We were about ready to play. People who’s games were over watched as we were said to be ready for a great game of Magic. Shuffle, cut, draw an opening hand. “I keep” I told my opponent as he kept as well. I went first, expecting one more Mana to pop up in due time. However, I was stuck at three for a while. Despite this, we managed to get each other down to two life points left. With a significantly larger sized army than my opponent, I passed him the turn. I had a card that could deal two extra damage to him if I could survive until the next turn. My heart pounded, time slowed, eyes excited, the crowd watched as my opponent drew a card. “What could this be?” I questioned myself. “He has had no direct damage this entire game, and an army half my size. Without playing that last card in his hand, he attacked me with the three 1/1 goblin tokens. I blocked accordingly to take no damage. He passed me the turn. I drew another land, completely useless to me at the moment. I attacked with only my Bloodsoaked Champion promo card in case he had a way to block me and win the next turn. I should have attacked with more though, as he used a Deflecting Palm to redirect the damage to me. Game over, I lost.

Screenshot from Bad Day [Live In Vienna]

We ended the game with a nice firm handshake. Neither of us were necessarily better than the other, just the cards were not in my favor. I enjoyed every second of it though, as I still won a majority of my games. In my booster packs, I opened nothing of value at the time, but Siege Rhino was one card that I opened which gained some value as the next few months went on. This experience is meaningful to me, as now I know what I am capable of and how I can do better at future prereleases. My goal now is to win the sixteen packs. However, what are some of your stories about games that you lost out of nowhere like that? What about some games that you didn’t deserve to win but won anyway? Please leave stories like that in the comment section down below.

My Thoughts on Each of Wizards of the Coast’s Sealed Decks

Wizards of the Coast has made many products over the years. Some of them are good and fun to play with, but others have fallen subpar, so I will help guide you through each of the products one by one. Quick disclaimer though, some of the products are discontinued, and others have been renamed and slightly changed.

Intro Deck/Planeswalker Deck:

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In my opinion, these are the worst products Wizards of the Coast makes. Why? These products cost $15 for junk, junk, and two booster packs. First, lets look at the deck itself. The deck is generally poorly made by using cards that people generally wouldn’t use, claims to contain not one but two Rare Cards, (neither of which will ever have a price above a dollar) and in the newest version it has a Planeswalker Card and easy ways to get them out. However, the planeswalkers are generally bad cards, and not even in the most casual of games, would they ever be used. However, I know what you may be thinking right now; “What about the new player who needs a deck easy to use and will get the excitement of opening up some booster packs?” Well, to answer that, there is  another product that I will talk about later, that addresses those issues.

Welcome Decks

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By far the least known about MTG product, these five decks serve as a starting point for entering the world of Magic the Gathering. These 40 card decks are generally balanced against each other, and are extremely easy to play. There is only one bulk rare in each deck, and the best part about these decks is that they’re free at most big local gaming stores. All you need to do is just ask for two, one for you and one for a friend, and enjoy learning the game of Magic. If they don’t have those decks in the store, the deck lists are online, and are easy to assemble. Keep in mind that these are not for people who actually play the game, as none of the cards can be resold for anything more than pennies.

Duel Decks/Clash Packs:

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Yes, I know that these are two completely different products, but hear me out why I think that they are extremely similar. Although the Clash Packs were priced at $25 and the Duel Decks cost $20, they’re extremely similar. For one, both products contain two decks that are fun to play against each other, and are generally really balanced. Plus, in each set of decks there are fun cards like planeswalkers and Siege Rhinos. However, the clash packs contained two similar decks that could be combined together to make one powerful deck that can put up a good fight against most decks at events such as FNMs or Game Days. However, sadly the Clash Packs have been discontinued, and now there are only three sets left in existence.

Event Decks:

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Up until recently, there used to be a series of event decks that cost around $25 that were generally good decks that were pseudo-top tier decks. The only thing that was different about them was that they tried to incorporate some new abilities into already good decks. In addition, they were one of the best ways to enter into the standard format, or a way to play even if you forgot your deck. However, they too have been discontinued.

Commander Decks:

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Although I have talked about these in a previous blog post Commander Products, Good or Bad? I will reiterate some of my favorite and least favorite parts about them. First off, for $40, you will receive a great arsenal of cards that are sure to crush even some of the most competitive decks without much effort. They are great and some of the best products Wizards of the Coast makes hands down. However, the one thing that I don’t like about them is the fact that they can make new cards with abilities that completely change the game and how its played. For example, making planeswalkers able to be commanders was a bad idea by Wizards of the Coast. Overall though I think that these decks are fun and easy ways to get into the commander format.

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom. If I missed any sealed decks please be sure to let me know in the comments section down below, and please like and follow for more posts.

Happy Holidays Cards and Why I Like Them

Ever since 2006, Wizards of the Coast has made a series of foil silver bordered cards which are illegal in every format, but instead can be played just for fun and are given out to the people who work at Wizards of the Coast as well as their business partners. These cards generally are a pun of another card’s name, and will have a holiday (but generally Christmas) theme. I love the idea and find them to be really fun, and love the idea that Wizards has behind this set of cards, but I would personally like to play with them myself. Even though people are selling these cards, they aren’t all that cheap with the cheapest being a $15 card, and it ranges to around $130 for the most expensive one. Seriously, I know they’re cool and all, but I don’t want to pay $15 for a card that I can’t even use in any form of tournament gameplay. Here, I will show all 11 cards at the time of this post and will explain what I like about each of them.

2006-Fruitcake Elemental

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As the first in the series, this card is a completely awesome piece of hilarity. Personally, I know how fruitcake is a ridiculed desert as it tries to be healthy and delicious while accomplishing neither. By making it a card that you would like to receive yet give away at the same time is completely flavorful because if you still have it after the holidays, you’re basically stuck with it for the entire year. Also, I find it quite hilarious that it’s a 7/7 Elemental. Must be the compilation of every Fruitcake in the United States.

2007-Gifts Given

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While Gifts Given is the Holiday promo card, I also included Gifts Ungiven (the real card) as well just to show the similarities in the artwork and in how it functions. The card Gifts Given is the most expensive, as very few of them were ever resold to other people, and its price directly reflects it. Sitting at around $130, it would cost a fortune to play with. Besides that though, I find that this card directly reflects the true holiday spirit of asking for many different things, yet only receiving around half of them, and not even your favorites. Oh well, there’s always next Christmas and your birthday too.

2008-Evil Presents

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Sometimes, you get someone a gift that they hate. This is exactly what is represented on the card Evil Presents. The name itself is a pun on the card Evil Presence, yet it doesn’t reflect the card at all. Sitting at around $50, it must be a hard one to come by. I personally find this card to be quite realistic, as you never know whether that puppy you got your aunt will be an angel or a monster. Either way, this is just a fun card that I’m sure the people at Wizards of the Coast (and whoever else has them) love.

2009-Season’s Beatings

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While extended families are sometimes separated for a good majority of the year, most of them will generally congregate for the holiday season. However, after being separated for this long, some differences may arise. Although violence on this scale isn’t normal, it is worth pointing out that the holidays should be about fun and cheer, and not beating each other up for some disputes, although minor arguments are fine by me (Disclaimer: I do not take responsibility for any disputes you may have at a holiday party).

2010-Snow Mercy

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Clearly a snow globe interpretation of the picture shown of the card No Mercy, it definitely embodies the idea of shaking, snow globes with extra shakable parts, and an aspect of the story line on Dominaria, the original plane that Magic the Gathering was centered on. I find it a great inclusion to use the untap symbol to show a shaken the snow globe. Overall, I believe that this is a fun card that will bring a lot of laughs with it.

2011-Yule Ooze

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Oh the holidays. With Christmas Cookies, Chocolate Cream Pie and Peppermint Bark, we all might put on an extra five pounds around the holidays. However, this thing exemplifies the spirit of eating by eating whatever is in sight. This could range in anything from a human snack, to that pesky enchantment which is bothering you during the game. Nothing is safe. Keep this away from everything you love to prevent it from getting eaten.

2012-Naughty/Nice

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Being one of the more well known of these holiday promos, you can choose to be naughty or nice. By being naughty, you steal another player’s card, but by being nice you can give them one of your cards. Santa will sure be happy with you for choosing to be nice, but let’s be honest here; you can have so much fun with being naughty (Another Disclaimer: I try to promote being nice over being naughty in general. You should all be good and nice people in the real world).

2013-Stocking Tiger

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Everyone who celebrates Christmas knows the fun of dumping out a stocking full of goodies. Some stockings of Magic the Gathering players are filled with cards rather than candy, and this one is too, giving you a booster pack into your hand when it deals damage to an opponent. Its name is a homophone of Stalking Tiger, yet functions almost nothing like it. I find this a great way to spread Christmas cheer, as nothing says use your gifts given quite like a tiger that gives you a gift when he dies.

2014-Mishra’s Toy Shop

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Paying homage to the card Mishra’s Workshop, Mishra’s toy workshop looks to bring joy to your game by making toys as tokens. Who doesn’t love a card that represents Santa’s workshop? I would personally love to use this card, as it works amazingly in a token build. However, with its $30 price tag, I’ll just replace it with another land.

2015-Goblin Sleigh Ride

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Who doesn’t love a classic sleigh ride. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? You wipe out your entire army? That’s exactly what you try to do with this card, as it allows you to send one of your biggest creatures right into your opponents lineup of cards. This is one of the more fun cards, and I feel as though I could actually get my hands on some of these as they are the cheapest right now at around $15.

2016-Thopter Pie Network

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As the most recent one in the series, Thopter Pie Network is based on a recent card in Magic the Gathering that became a fan favorite. Thopter Spy Network was a card printed in Magic Origins that truly defined Standard at the time. Wizards of the Coast realized that, and despite it having rotated out of Standard, it will always be a fun card that I’m sure sees a lot of casual play. This card hasn’t been given out yet, so there is no price on it yet. I surely can’t wait to see how this card works, and how much fun it would be to play with a fun card such as this.

Overall I have found this cards to be quite fun, despite not being able to play them at all. However, I would like to hear your opinions in the comment section down bellow. Happy Holidays everyone!