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Magic Proxies on Ebay March 26, 2014

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A lot of people were posting fake cards on ebay and they would say that they are altered art or proxy cards. The images used were clearly a copyright violation (as are many altered art cards). You aren’t supposed to make copies of the art and card images made by other people and sell them for a profit. (more…)

Magic 1833: Spellslinger (Updated 4/20/14) March 24, 2014

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The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality. (See Magic 1393 for more information.)

The first mass produced collectible card game was developed in 1833 called Spellslinger. It was the first collectible card game to have colored costs, to have multiple types of spells, and to have lands. It has five different card types in all: (more…)

Recoculous Tokens March 21, 2014

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I created my own token cards and various other cards called Recoculous Tokens. The website can be found at http://recoculous.wordpress.com/ and I had some professionally printed.

I listed some on ebay in various auctions. (more…)

Baby Steps Part III (A Fan Set) November 4, 2013

Posted by James in : all, random, fake cards, design , 2comments

You should first take a look at Baby Steps Part 1: Teaching Kids Magic Using Baby Steps. This is part 3.

Baby Steps consists of cards used for various difficulty levels. I have already discussed the beginner and intermediate difficulty level. I have now created the advanced difficulty level. The first two difficulty levels have enchantments, auras, creatures, basic lands, nonbasic lands, sorceries, and six different keywords. The advanced level introduces the following more complex elements: (more…)

Better Mulligan Rules October 22, 2013

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Magic: the Gathering currently uses the Paris mulligan rules. I have never been a fan of the Paris mulligan. The odds of winning after a single mulligan is around 40% (and perhaps worse). There’s about a 20% swing just by missing a card. The odds of winning with only 5 cards is a bit lower (perhaps around 20%), and with 4 cards or less it’s pretty much impossible. The idea of the Paris mulligan was interesting for the first five years or so, but it’s kind of a joke. Going down to 4 or 3 cards is just stupid. And going down to 1 or 2 cards is a joke. (more…)

Baby Steps Part II (A Fan Set) October 17, 2013

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You should first take a look at Baby Steps Part 1: Teaching Kids Magic Using Baby Steps. This is part 2.

Baby Steps Part 1 (the beginner difficulty level) basically has the commons, and Baby Steps Part 2 (the intermediate difficulty level) basically has the uncommons. The beginner level requires only the bare bones (creatures, sorceries, and basic lands), only one creature ability (flying), and only colored mana. It was a challenge to come up with cards that could keep the game interesting, but I think I was successful. (more…)

Teach Magic to Kids Using Baby Steps (A Fan Set) October 10, 2013

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I made the beginner level of Baby Steps, a fan-made Magic set created to help us teach our friends and kids. All the art used on the cards should be in the public domain. There are 50 cards so far, but I might add an intermediate and advanced level of the game at some point.

Baby Steps has the following simplifications:

  1. It only uses creatures, sorceries, and basic lands.
  2. The only creature ability is flying.
  3. There is only colored mana.

(more…)

How to Make Your Own Magic: The Gathering Set Part 7: Design Skeleton September 27, 2013

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Making a Magic set doesn’t require you to think of one card at a time. A lot of the cards are going to be predictable reprints (staples), nearly identical to some predictable reprint, or it will be some fairly generic yet vitally important card (such as card similar to Grizzly Bears). The skeleton of a Magic set is a general list of what’s needed (so many creatures, so many nonflying creatures, various other creatures, and certain spell effects). This list can not only tell you what reprints your Magic set can include, but it also gives you a very good idea about what the majority of the cards should be like. However, it is important to keep in mind that the set skeleton is mainly about the commons and uncommons because it is mostly useful as a guide to know what each set needs. The skeleton of every large Magic set is very similar, but it can be important to deviate in various ways. (more…)

Theros First Impressions (Review) September 5, 2013

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The Theros Prerelease is in a little over two weeks (and it’s officially released in a little over three). Even so, we already have a lot of spoilers. I think we pretty much know about all the new mechanics already. (The visual spoiler can be found here.) I will discuss the mechanics, flavor, and some key cards. (more…)

How to Make Your Own Magic: The Gathering Set Part 6: Planeswalkers September 1, 2013

Posted by James in : all, random, fake cards, theory, design , 1 comment so far

There’s three general considerations for making planeswalkers. One, deciding how powerful the abilities should be, and perhaps the most important thing is that all three abilities shouldn’t be too powerful together. Two, making sure the abilities have some synergy. Three, making sure it has a way to protect itself. (more…)

The Nostalgic Old Stuff Cube August 23, 2013

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I have been working on a nostalgic cube of cards that came out around the time when I started playing Magic: the Gathering (a year after it started back in 1994). I started the game shortly before the Dark came out, and the cube includes anything I want from the Dark or before with a few exceptions. (more…)

Magic 1533: Spell Battle August 17, 2013

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The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality. (See Magic 1393 for more information.)

The original customizable fantasy card game was developed in 1533 called Spell Battle. This was the first card game made that required players to make their decks from a pool of cards before playing. Spell Battle is based on Tarot Combat II, but it has a much larger pool of unique cards, players make unique decks using the card pool, and each suit has a unique flavor.

Hearts are the “good guys” including knights, angels, and divine-oriented magic. (Hearts are similar to white cards in Magic.) (more…)

Magic 2014 Core Set First Impressions (Review) July 9, 2013

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Magic: the Gathering has reached it’s 20th anniversary. Ten years ago was the 10th anniversary, and we got the new modern frames for Mirrodin and Eighth Edition, which paved the way to the new Modern tournament format. Five years ago was the 15th anniversary, and we got Tenth Edition, which was the first black-bordered core set since Beta. I thought they might celebrate the 20th anniversary with something new, but this core set seems ordinary for the most part. I am not a big fan of core sets, but they do offer new cards and sometimes they offer reprints of cards that are worth way too much money. Last time Grim Lavamancer was reprinted it went from a $20 card to a worthless card. Something similar might happen to Mutavault, but that card is so good that I expect it to continue to hold some value. (more…)

Modern Masters Review June 11, 2013

Posted by James in : all, reviews, strategy, tips, limited, draft , 2comments

Modern Masters is currently my favorite Magic set and I’m disappointed that so few packs of cards were printed. The packs are currently selling for $10-12 rather than the $7 retail price, which is already quite high. This is also preventing regular draft events. I have drafted the set four times and might never get another chance to draft it. (more…)

Dragon’s Maze First Impressions April 26, 2013

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I am not completely thrilled with Dragon’s Maze, but there is a lot to like about the set. Dragon’s Maze is a multi-color themed set with lots of two color spells. It’s the first pack that we will open during the Return to Ravnica drafts, which will be used to help us decide which three colors to play in our deck. (more…)

Magic 1523: Tarot Combat II Character Cards April 2, 2013

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The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality.

Tarot Combat II was the first combat-oriented card game featuring various monsters and effects. Even so, the deck of cards is actually based on a tarot deck — the cards are based on the 56 playing cards, and 22 trump cards. Character cards is the first expansion for a combat-oriented card game. It includes 22 more soldier cards, each featuring a monster or animal. Each character card has a unique set of statistics, and some of them have the flying ability. (more…)

Magic 1513: Tarot Combat II March 27, 2013

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The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality.

Tarot Combat is a tarot card game similar to Magic: the Gathering invented in 1503. The problem is that the game requires players to memorize what all the cards do. The 22-unique trump cards can be difficult to remember in particular. Tarot Combat II was invented in 1513, and it is training-wheels for Tarot Combat. It’s basically a tarot deck, but all the cards say what they do on them. This makes it much easier to play. (more…)

Magic 1503: Tarot Combat March 20, 2013

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The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality.

In 1493 a card game was invented called “Combat.” That game uses regular playing cards, which can be played as soldiers that attack or block, or as farms (lands). Players start with 20 life, and unblocked attacking soldiers deal damage to the defending player.

“Tarot Combat” is invented ten years later, which is almost the same thing, except it uses a tarot deck. Tarot cards are now famous for being used to tell fortunes, but they were originally used for card games. A tarot deck is pretty much the same thing as a regular card deck, except 22 trump cards are thrown in — cards with colorful images, such as the Magician, Death, and the Devil. (more…)

Magic 1493: Combat Using Playing Cards March 17, 2013

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The history discussed here is made up by me and there is no evidence that it is based on reality.

The first major combat-oriented card game was “Battle.” It used playing cards and it was invented in 1393.

The second major combat-oriented card game was “Combat.” It also used playing cards, but it was invented in 1493. (more…)

Magic 1393: Battle Using Playing Cards March 12, 2013

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I am inventing the history about how Magic: The Gathering evolved from various card games starting back in 1393, around the time that Europe got playing cards, which was pretty much exactly what the standard international deck of playing cards is now. This is my first entry into that history. Keep in mind that there are no historical records to prove that I’m right about the history of Magic. I am making it up out of nowhere. (more…)