Monthly Archives January 2012

Baker’s Recipe: Molten Chocolate Lava Elemental Cake

Wiping the sweat from his brow, Thaxus rapidly realized just how annoyed the rest of the party was. Why is it every time you’re looking for a Molten Lava Elemental all you ever find are Magma elementals? And no, they are not the same thing Toidi!

Delving deeper into the sunken volcano, Thaxus finally uncovered his prey. This was going to take a group effort, but the molten extract was absolutely going to make tonight’s dinner that much better.

The Molten Chocolate Lava Elemental’s history is full of questions and miscommunication. It is rumored that legendary Archchef Jean-Georges Vongerichten was the first to utilize the essence in a dessert, but the Lord of Chocolate, Jacques Torres, disputes this claim. Regardless of where this came from, the Molten Chocolate Lava element is becoming increasingly difficult to find in the wild as more and more imitations have arisen.

Now when you visit an eatery or inn after a long day of questing, what is advertised as being a molten lava cake is little more than a chocolate cake injected with some hot fudge. This is not an accurate representation of this legendary dessert. Molten Chocolate Lava cake is a cross between a chocolate cake, a soufflé  and a chocolate pudding. In fact, it is really nothing more than undercooked!

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Nerdy Music Video: Portal 2 – This is Aperture

What do you get when you combine Portal 2 and “This is Halloween” from the Nightmare Before Christmas? Pure awesomeness.

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Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: Red

There is probably something wrong with me because I absolutely love playing mono-red in Commander. Sure, it’s probably the weakest color, but over the last few years a lot of new and unique spells have been added to the red mage’s arsenal. And then promptly taken by the nearest Izzet player.

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land

Afflicted Deserter & Werewolf Ransacker

The first round of werewolves in Innistrad didn’t wow me, but it seems like R&D has figured out what to do with them – make people do everything in their power not to flip them. Recursive removal is a great thing and Commander is the one format where there is almost always an artifact worth destroying.

But the politics of this card are amazing. If someone doesn’t cast a spell, an artifact gets destroyed. If a player wants to screw over someone else, they just need to cast two spells and suddenly it’s like a game of Hot Potato only someone ends up getting bolted.

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Portals of the Week

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Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: Black

With a name like Dark Ascension, is it really a surprise to anyone that Black seems to get some of the best toys in this set?

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land

Black Cat

This card is adorable! Sure, I would have loved if it was more involved with luck (though the random discard is a nice touch). Most easily compared to Ravenous Rats, Black Cat isn’t a bad card but in multiplayer this kitten just doesn’t do enough. Unless you happen to have some great recursion engine…

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Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: Blue

I hate blue mages when they’re being predictable. Draw-Go may be one of my least favorite deck types ever, but even I can’t help but be excited when blue is given a bunch of odd toys to make wonky combo decks. Thankfully, Dark Ascension provides just that.

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land

Artful Dodge

This is a card I see having use two different ways. First, is any deck involving Kiln Fiend. He loves getting spells cast on him and loves being unblockable even more. This is a fine addition alongside Distortion Strike. The other way this can be used was brought to my attention by Mark Rosewater as an anti-werewolf measure. It’s not easy casting two spells in a single turn to transform a werewolf back to a human, but being able to pay UU to do it can be great. Personally, I would prefer Defy Gravity as it is an instant, but it is nice knowing the tools exist.

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Arena Review: Eclipse Phase

Panopticon by Stephan Martiniere - Small

In Brief

I like to know what I’m getting into with a new game so here are the basic details about Eclipse Phase. The game is several years old but it’s made a big impact, winning the Origins award for Best RPG in 2010 and earning Gold and Electrum status for all of its sourcebooks on Drive Thru RPG. Its core book has Platinum status, putting it in the top 0.11% of sales for that site. For a single-gameline Third Party company, that’s damn impressive.

Genre: Gritty sci-fi.
System:
d100-based original system.
Potential Library: Small (6 sourcebooks and 4 adventures).
Publisher: Posthuman Studios.

It’s the near-future and humanity is screwed. Military supercomputers, the TITANs, built to protect the free world took it over instead, going off the wall and firing nukes everywhere. Earth is an irradiated hellhole, remnants of the TITANs remain in quarantine zones, and humanity is scattered throughout the solar system.

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Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: White

Now that Dark Ascension is fully spoiled, it is time to really look at the cards and try to find out where they work the best. If you’re looking for a captivating analysis of the Standard environment, this isn’t place. But if you want to find out how to make use of almost every card in Dark Ascension at the kitchen table or while editing your Commander deck, look no further! Following my own absurd precedence, I will be starting with white.

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land

Archangel’s Light

I don’t know why the first card of every set is often an odd one, but I’ve seen this happen before. There’s no denying that Archangel’s Light is the worst mythic in the set. Yes, this card can simultaneously help you against mill and beat down decks but the casting cost is way too high for it to ever get much use. If this card cost half as much, it might be okay but as it stands… I’m sorry for when you get this in a booster pack.

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The Five Crimes of Dungeon Masters

We’ve already discussed that when gaming parties go bad that you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villianry. There’s an analogy about one bad apple and a basket of fruit somewhere in there, but I think Star Wars covered it. This type of game destroying behavior isn’t just limited to the players. The dungeon master (DM) can be just as liable and the behavior just as destructive.

In some cases it can actually be worse. Since a DM holds all the cards, they can usually mitigate the circumstances when one PC goes rogue (pun!). In contrast, there’s very little the party can do about a bad DM. So here they are, the five biggest crimes a dungeon master can commit. As before, they’re presented in no particular order.

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Dark Ascension Visual Spoiler is complete!

Yep, all 158 cards of Dark Ascension have been spoiled! Check them all out on our complete visual spoiler!

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