jump to navigation

Theros First Impressions (Review) September 5, 2013

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews , add a comment

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…)

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

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews , add a comment

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…)

Dragon’s Maze First Impressions April 26, 2013

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews , 2comments

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…)

Gatecrash First Impressions (Review) January 21, 2013

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews , 2comments

I am mainly happy with Return to Ravnica and it is one of the better sets from recent history. Innistrad was also quite good. I expect Gatecrash to continue this trend. It really is part of Return to Ravnica and it could be considered to be the other half of the set insofar as it’s just the other five guilds we haven’t seen yet. (Although I don’t see any rares as good as Angel of Revelation.) What I want to focus on here is what I think of the new guilds and their main mechanics. (more…)

Top 10 First Picks for Return To Ravnica Draft (Review, Strategy, & Tips) [Updated 10/5/2012] September 26, 2012

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, strategy, limited, draft , 10comments

When Drafting Ravnica Restored you will want to look into choosing one of the five guilds — Rakdos (RB), Azorius (WU), Selesnya (WG), Izzet (UR), and Golgari (GB). What does that mean? It mostly just means you will be in that corresponding color combination. How will you decide on a color combination? Take whatever cards you think are best early on that can be played in one of the five guilds and keep taking them. (more…)

Return To Ravnica Is Not Ravnica (My First Impressions/Review) September 21, 2012

Posted by James in : all, random, reviews, previews, design , 5comments

I think we would have liked Return to Ravnica to be as much like the original Ravnica as possible but with new cards. Return To Ravnica is a lot like the original Ravnica. There’s hybrid cards, mana fixing, and several two-mana themes called “guilds.” However, I do have a major complaint and I think this is a good reason to think Return To Ravnica is inferior to the original — the mana fixing is significantly worse. First, I liked to have great mana fixing. Second, this might not be a problem when we draft a two color deck, but it could be a problem by the time we draft all three sets of the Return To Ravnica series together. Why? Because that will require us to generally play at least three colors. (more…)

Top 10 First Picks for Magic 2013 Draft (Review, Strategy, & Tips) July 6, 2012

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, strategy, tips, limited, draft , 3comments

When drafting we should keep an eye out for the best cards. You should generally take the best cards in your color, you should generally pick your colors based on the best cards being passed to you, and you should keep in mind that the person you are drafting to will probably choose their cards in this way as well. You can often know what colors the person you are passing cards to is in based on the best cards you’re passing.

I will discuss my top 10 common and uncommon cards for Magic 2013 (M13) draft here because these are the cards you should expect to see: (more…)

Top 10 First Picks for Avacyn Restored Draft (Review, Strategy, & Tips) April 26, 2012

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, strategy, tips, limited, draft , 4comments

When drafting it’s important to know what cards are best in order to start taking colors other players aren’t taking, send the right signals to other people that a color is not wide-open, and just because you should be taking some good cards anyway. If you are passed a very good card in a certain color, then the odds are that more good cards will be passed in that color.

It is obvious that many rares are very powerful, but what is more important is to know what commons and uncommons are best because you’ll be seeing them a lot more than the rares. (more…)

First Impressions for Avacyn Restored (Review/Preview) April 8, 2012

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews , 2comments

Preview Week has started for Avacyn Restored and you can see many of the spoiled cards here. The two new abilities are Miracle and Soulbond. I will introduce these abilities and discuss some of my thoughts about them. (Other than the fact that I can never remember the name of this set. “Avacyn” is not a memorable word for me.) (more…)

Top 10 First Picks for Dark Ascension Draft (Tips & Strategy) January 24, 2012

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, strategy, tips, limited, draft , 7comments

(Updated 2/27/2011)

Dark Ascension can be drafted alone or with two booster packs of Innistrad. Keep in mind that Dark Ascension will be the first pack you draft, so it’s a good idea to know what you want to “shoot for” when you start drafting Dark Ascension with Innistrad. The cards in this list are the cards that I think are (a) powerful, (b) worth drafting early, and are (c) common or uncommon. Rares are often the first pick, but you should be more familiar with the commons and uncommons since you will see a lot of them. (more…)

Magic 2012 Core Set First Impressions July 7, 2011

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews , 2comments

Magic 2012 Core Set logo

The spoiler for Magic 2012 is complete, and I will now discuss some of my observations. First, bloodthirst is back. Second, hexproof is a new “evergreen” keyword. Third, Lightning Bolt has been replaced with Incinerate. Fourth, there’s three new Planeswalkers. (more…)

Preview of Magician, The Magic Deck Building Game June 6, 2011

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, speculation , add a comment

magician logo

Magician is a new deck building game being made based on Magic: the Gathering and inspired by the success of Dominion and Ascension. Instead of paying mana costs to play cards, you buy cards for your deck using money. Here are some sneak previews: (more…)

Top 10 New Phyrexia First Picks for Draft (Tips & Strategy) May 2, 2011

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, strategy, tips, limited, draft , add a comment

The following are the my favorite common and uncommon cards from New Phyrexia that I will take a look out for while drafting New Phyrexia: (more…)

Top 10 Cards for Standard from New Phyrexia April 28, 2011

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, strategy, tips, constructed, standard , 6comments

Here are my current favorite cards for Standard from New Phyrexia. (more…)

First Impressions of New Phyrexia April 24, 2011

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews , 3comments

The New Phyrexia spoiler is finished, so I will start previewing it now. In this installment I will review the themes found in New Phrexia: Phyrexian Mana, Golems, Infect, and Metalcraft. (more…)

Why Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, is a Game Design Failure February 1, 2011

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, constructed , 8comments

Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas is quite powerful, and I agree that it’s not broken. So what’s the problem? The problem is that we can’t ignore it because it’s good. And the problem is that it’s the wrong colors. The problem is Tezzeret is wrong for the constructed metalcraft decks we should be able to make using cards from Scars of Mirrodin block. (more…)

Top 10 Cards for Standard in Mirrodin Besieged January 27, 2011

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, strategy, constructed , 2comments

I mentioned my 3 personal favorite cards from Mirrodin Besieged, but they aren’t necessarily going to be the most important cards in Standard. Here are the top 10 cards I think will be powerful (or highly useful) for Standard: (more…)

Mirrodin Besieged First Impressions January 26, 2011

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews , 4comments

The Mirrodin Besieged spoiler is finished, and I will discuss my favorite new cards, implications Mirrodin Besieged will have on draft, and the theme. (more…)

Predicting the Future Part 7: Magic 2080 (Part 1) November 22, 2010

Posted by James in : all, fake cards, previews, speculation , 3comments

Back in 2008 I predicted what Magic would look like 50 years in the future, and I eventually turned many of those cards into an actual set that could be played. It was then that I thought of a card called “Cinder Ritual” as seen below: (more…)

Top 10 Scars of Mirrodin Cards for Standard September 26, 2010

Posted by James in : all, reviews, previews, strategy, standard , 2comments

I don’t think poison or artifact themed decks will immediately have a strong impact on standard, and my top 10 list will be restricted to the cards I think will have an impact right away. My top 10 list is the following: (more…)