black tagged posts

Arena Review: Planechase 2 Night of the Ninja

Planechase 2 (2012) Reviews
Chaos Reigns | Night of the Ninja | Primordial Hunger | Savage Auras

I think my favorite part about Planechase 2 is that Wizards used it as a fantastic opportunity to revisit older mechanics and breathe new life into them in ways that just wouldn’t work for a regular release. Ninjutsu is a great mechanic but is very limited by the fact that it can only appears on ninja cards (much like how bushido is only on samurai – even though Chub Toad has it!). Given how poorly received Kamigawa was as a whole, it isn’t a plane I see us going back to any time son.

Night of the Ninja is a blue-black deck that makes the most of unblockable creatures and turning them into ninjas over and over again, while constantly triggering entering and leaving the battlefield abilities. Much like Chaos Reigns, Night of the Ninja contains six new cards (though one of them is in each deck). The actual packaging and set are more of the same as Chaos Reigns, though the deck boxes are a nice touch. Except for the part where a sleeved deck won’t fit in them.

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Casual and Commander Multipleplayer Oddities: Uncovered Antiquities

A long time ago, I tasked myself with diving into the depths of Magic: the Gathering’s elaborate history to track down some hidden gems that have been forgotten over the ages. I ventured through some secrets in Alliances and then found some gems hidden in the Dark, but then Innistrad came out… and Dark Ascension. And Avacyn Restored. So the series got put on hold, but now I finally have time again to uncover Antiquities.

The second Magic: the Gathering expansion ever, Antiquities used to be full of expensive cards simply because of their scarcity. But now, card prices have drastically dropped (in most cases) allowing older sets to become much more manageable. This list isn’t about reminding you about what awesome cards are known about in Antiquities like Power Artifact, but about showing what gems have been forgotten about over the last 18 years.

Being a set based around artifacts, it seems only fitting to begin there. Cursed Rack is a unique piece in the Stuffy Doll arsenal. With many decks in Commander abusing cards like Reliquary Tower, it is hard to limit your opponents maximum hand size. Cursed Rack provides a colorless way to do just that when you aren’t able to make use of the Misers or Jin-Gitaxias. If you constantly face off against someone abusing their hand, take it down.

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Avacyn Restored Casual & Commander Review: Black

Wizards has had a current role of not making the storyline so good versus evil which translates to white versus black. Ever since the demise of the Ineffable at the end of Apocalypse, the villains have been spread across the color pie. But with Avacyn Restored, it is pretty clear that the good guys are white and the bad guys are black, which sadly means black got the short straw.

Casual and Commander Review: Avacyn Restored
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Gold, Artifacts & Lands

Appetite for Brains

Targeted discard of any type in multiplayer is bound to be a bad idea. Much like counterspells, the return just isn’t there so you’re left targeting a single player in hopes of making the right call. I love this card for dueling, but in multiplayer, Syphon Mind is still the gold standard.

Barter in Blood

While this is a reprint, it’s a fantastic one. Innocent Blood is amazing and doubling it just makes it even better – usually. With so many creatures persisting or undying or being indestructible, having a way to get rid of a lot of them in one fell swoop is a great play. If you aren’t playing this already, seriously think about it!

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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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Innistrad Commander & Multiplayer Review: Black

With Blue and White reviewed in Innistrad, the real gem of the flavorful horror-themed set has to be black. Easily one of the more powerful colors in multiplayer, Black necromancers are always excited to get some new toys and Innistrad delivers!

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Lands

Abattoir Ghoul

This reminds of Engulfing Slagwurm in a weird way. But the combination of first strike and a twisted take on lifelink make me really like how this undead butcher shapes up. At 4 mana, this is a zombie who can hold down the ground and gain you some life. He’s a great addition for zombie lords.

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Magic 2012 Commander & Multiplayer Review: Black

The colors keep coming and so do the reviews, luckily Black seems to actually be fun for the casual player when it comes to reprinting classics and providing new spells to get black mages ready for battle.

Magic 2012 Reviews
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifact & Land

Bloodlord of Vaasgoth

Vampires are getting a lot of love as the new Black tribe (sorry Zombies!), and the Bloodlord is exactly what Commander vampires are looking for. I mean, there are now four Vampire lords! What most people seem to be missing is that on his own, this is a 6/6 flier for only five mana! But the ability to essentially give all your new vampires +3/+3 can quickly turn the tide in your favor.

Also keep in mind that multiple instances of Bloodthirst are cumulative so Bloodrage Vampire gets Blooodthirst 1 and Bloodthirst 3 for effectively Bloodthirst 4!

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Magic the Gathering Commander Review: Heavenly Inferno

With Counterpunch and Devour for Power out of the way, I’m finally getting onto a deck that isn’t black and green! Heavenly Inferno is an interesting deck designed around summoning demons, dragons and angels and then beating people to death with them! It sounds good in theory until you realize a few parts of this deck really don’t play well together.

Kaalia of the Vast alone holds the forces of Angels, Dragons, and Demons within the palm of her hand. Watch her toss each bone-crushing creature onto the battlefield with merciless glee while your horrified enemies are sliced, diced, and then deep-fried

Oros, the Avenger is the time-shifted dragon legend who really isn’t that exciting. With the ability to burn non-white creatures, he can work out as being some awesome sweeper but in Commander, you’re playing black and red already so his utility isn’t so great. Plus most boards I play on are covered with things bigger than a toughness of 3.

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Magic the Gathering Commander Review: Devour for Power

The second Commander deck to review is Devour for Power! The Green-Blue-Black wedge that loves graveyard recursion almost as much as Counterpunch, Devour for Power is full of great cards to augment any Commander deck. To keep this review somewhat reasonable, I’ll be doing a card breakdown. Much like the other decks, this one includes a card box that is too small, some oversized cards that serve little purpose and some fantastic new singles.

When The Mimeoplasm becomes your commander, death becomes your friend. Opponents will watch in helpless terror as you devour creatures from one graveyard to help you pound creatures into another. It’s a fiendish carnival of cadavers, and you’ll be the ringmaster!

First up are the potential commanders! Vorosh the Hunter is the dragon reprint and the only legend in these colors up until now. He still plays well with proliferate and loves killing off players permanently with Commander damage. But he’s old – onto something exciting!

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Magic the Gathering Commander Review: Counterpunch

Commander has become huge in the Magic the Gathering playing community, but I’m still in awe of how much Wizards wants to support this format. As someone who survived Combo Winter, the rise of Rebels and the absurdity of Fires before getting crushed by UG-Madness, I grew tired of Standard Magic years ago. Of course then Affinity rose up, then with Faeries, Jund and now CAW-Blade – it’s enough to make many veterans tired of the time. Thankfully, Commander is a much needed break.

For the uninitiated, Commander was once known as EDH – Elder Dragon Highlander. Inspired by the cycle of dragons and the film, EDH became more and more popular. The gist of the format is: you make a 100-card deck around a single legend and you only get one of each card except basic lands. Full rules are available here.

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New Phyrexia Commander/EDH Review: Black

With white and blue taken care of in this six-part Commander/EDH review of New Phyrexia, it’s time to look at the core of Phyrexia: black! And boy does it deliver.

Blind Zealot

Dark Banishing on a stick, while most players will immediately compare this creepy looking chick to Nekatraal and Bone Shredder, I still think she’s worth considering in Commander. Three mana for a 2/2 with mild evasion isn’t bad and her sac ability could allow for some fantastic shenanigans with Grave Pact. Definitely worth considering if you need to round out your mana curve. Plus, she can destroy ANY creature – none of this nonblack, nonartifact restriction!

My biggest issue is that she can only destroy a creature controlled by the player she dealt damage to.

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