magic: the gathering tagged posts

Magic: the Gathering Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Review: Red, Izzet & Boros

Personally, when it comes to Commander, this entire block has had a lot of disappoints for me. But that’s because I run a monored Jaya deck in the format, so multicolored options limit me a lot. But when I’m not playing Commander, I love basking in all the colors – and Boros is one of my favorite color pairings.

Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Reviews
White, Orzhov & Selesnya | Blue, Simic & Azorius
Black, Dimir & Rakdos | Red, Izzet & Boros

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Awe of the Guilds

Mostly limited fodder, Awe of the Guilds can make for some interesting plays due to its limitations. But being sorcery speed means you can’t use it to screw combats you aren’t directly involved with.

Clear a Path

Well, you now have a way to stop Wall of Deni– nope, you still don’t.

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Magic: the Gathering Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Review: Black, Dimir & Rakdos

This review takes the darkest color and pairs it up with its two natural allies in a delicious Grixis blend. Black is always fun in multiplayer, but when combined with red or blue, it is a combination of colors that can do pretty much anything. So whether you like the secrecy of Dimir, the recklessness of Rakdos or the selfishness of black, this Dragon’s Maze review is for you.

Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Reviews
White, Orzhov & Selesnya | Blue, Simic & Azorius
Black, Dimir & Rakdos |

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Bane Alley Blackguard

This is an odd vanilla creature. But Wizards is shifting black into the higher toughness than power bracket with this set. But for me to care about a vanilla creature, it has to do something special.

Blood Scrivener

The power of this card is absurd. Being a 2/1 zombie for 1B is already solid, but that ability is exceptional. As someone who’s playstyle regularly goes all-in, having a quick way to refill your hand is nice. It pairs wonderfully with Hellbent in a twisted way, but what I really love is that it triggers whenever you would draw a card – not just during your draw step.

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Magic: the Gathering Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Review: Blue, Simic & Azorius

The second part of our Dragon’s Maze review looks at the color Blue and two guilds: Simic and Azorious! These blue aligned guilds show off just how versatile the color of manipulation can get when paired up. But even mono-color players will want to take a look at some of the offerings.

Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Reviews
White, Orzhov & Selesnya | Blue, Simic & Azorius

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Ætherling

The new Morphling feels a touch out of place to me for one reason:  where are my white and black lings? We’ve gotten Torching and Thornling! But Ætherling is an interesting take on the Morphling design. The bigger body is nice, and the self-flickering is very powerful. While not a ground breaking card, it certainly is worth considering if you run the original depending on the speed of your playgroup. The only real concern about him is the casting cost. While he costs 6 on paper, he really costs 7 or more since you’ll want to protect him too.

Hidden Strings

Dimir’s new Cipher spell is close to what people wanted. While I had been hoping the Dragon’s Maze would combine abilities across guilds – like Cipher Detain, this is still close. A different take on Hands of Binding, the ability to untap another permanent makes it so the attacking creature has vigilance or can be used to barter deals with unlikely allies at the table in times of need. A solid little cipher spell, it’s what I had been hoping the ability would do.

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Magic: the Gathering Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Review: White, Orzhov & Selesnya

I spent way too much time figuring out how I would break down this set review. Doing 10 or 15 seemed excessive, but thankfully the Guild-aligned split cards did it for me. So these semi-shard reviews include all the cards in a single color, along with the multicolor cards of two different guilds. That make sense? So this review includes all White cards and all multicolored cards from the Orzhov Syndicate and the Selesnya Conclave.

Dragon’s Maze Casual & Commander Reviews
White, Orzhov & Selesnya

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Boros Mastiff
Nothing starts a review of a set off like a limited common fodder. Boros Mastiff isn’t exciting, or playable in most multiplayer formats. With the small cost, the conditional lifelink makes it just another random lifelinking two drop that white keeps getting.

Haazda Snare Squad
The rules on this seem finicky to me, especially since it can only tap an opponent’s creature. It is an interest variant on the Master Decoy, but as a common, this isn’t a card I see getting much play at kitchen tables.

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Magic: the Gathering Duel Decks Review: Sorin vs. Tibalt

The newest Magic: the Gathering Duel Decks got released over the weekend, and like always, the price kept climbing so I waited until I spotted them for MSRP and picked up a pair. Once a year, Wizards release a set of Duel Decks focused on a pair of Planeswalkers battling it out and this year, we’re going back to Innistrad as Sorin and Tibalt go head to head.

Suggested Ages: 13+
Suggested Players: 2 players
Contents:

  • Two ready-to-play 60-card decks
  • Two deck boxes
  • Two creature tokens
  • A strategy insert
  • A Magic “Learn to Play” guide

Retail price: $19.99 available at Amazon.com

Like the other Duel Decks, Sorin vs. Tibalt is two 60-card decks specially made to battle one another. For the spring releases now, it seems like Wizards is sticking to two planeswalkers from the previous block which I love for two big reasons: it makes planeswalkers super accessible to casual and new players and it ties back in with sets you can currently buy. These Duel Decks also include two spirit tokens with Magic card backs (with the Avacyn Restored art),  two deck boxes (which can’t fit sleeved decks), a how-to-play insert and a strategy insert outlining how the decks work.

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Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review: Multicolor, Artifacts & Lands

It’s the final stretch of Gatecrash! These big sets have a lot to talk about (and making the reviews 11 parts in all doesn’t make it much easier). So here are the last few cards: a lone gold, a handful of artifacts and a single land!

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Domri Rade

Like Vraska, Domri is the only unaligned multicolor card in the set. As a three drop walker, he’s cheap and interesting… but all walkers now fall into one of three categories: friendly, ignorable and kill it immediately.

In a Bloodrush centric deck, I love this card. He’s cheap and keeps refilling your hand… sometimes. But when combined with Mirri’s Guile or any of the multitude of rigging your deck, he’s a personal Howling Mine. The second ability is great for removal as an Arena attachment. But the final ability is what will cause Domri to die. It doesn’t matter if you hit 7 or not, your opponents will only read “Creatures you control have double strike, trample, hexproof, and haste.”

To keep Domri alive, keep his counters low.

Armored Transport

I hate playing against this card in limited! In constructed, it can be interesting with an aura or two but a 2/1 for 3 isn’t all that exciting.

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Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review: Red

I love mono red in multiplayer. Much like blue, it’s a color that just shouldn’t work. The shortsightedness of red is about impulsive actions and not thinking about consequences. If I wanted to care about consequences, I wouldn’t include a bunch of self-destruct buttons.

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Act of Treason

Hey, a reprint! A fun card with the likes of Bazaar Trader.

Cinder Elemental

Another reprint! Originally from Mercadian Masques, Cinder Elemental is a nice blend of creature and utility, but it is beyond slow.

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Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review: Green

Green is a great multiplayer color. Massive creatures and powerful spells make for a terrifying opponent. Add in mana acceleration and a few of the newest Gatecrash cards, and you’ve got a wrecking ball that will destroy your opponents.

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Alpha Authority

When it comes to auras, the easiest question to ask is: will Uril want this? In this case, nope, he doesn’t want it. As an aura, it’s okay but most of the time, you want to cast auras on creatures who already are hexproof.

Burst of Strength

A neat little combat trick, Burst of Strength probably doesn’t do enough to warrant inclusion in a deck unless you have a lot of plans for that +1/+1 counter.

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Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review: Blue

Blue is a weird color. In constructed Magic, Blue is easily the most powerful color. In duels, it makes sense. The color is about control but here’s the catch: the best blue mage can’t control a whole table. So when looking at Blue, it’s about looking at it as a support color often for multiplayer and not as a core color. Or maybe it is just because all these cards look terrible in comparison to the rest of this set’s offerings.

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Ætherize

Mass bouncing is fun and ripe for abusing, and as a political card I love the options this presents. But at the end of the day, this will just result in a single player turning against you and maybe one player will be in your debt. But it does a lot more than a simple Fog

Agoraphobia

This feels like a blue Cage of Hands and I like that. The combination with evolve is neat. I wouldn’t call this a must-use, but the multiple use applications make this a very interesting cog.

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Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review: Black

These guildless reviews are out of order! Normally Blue follows White in the color wheel – but not in Gatecrash! There’s a new color wheel: WBUGR! Now let’s look at some removal and kill things.

Gatecrash Casual & Commander Review
Orzhov Syndicate | House of Dimir | Simic Combine | Gruul Clans | Boros Legion
White | Black | Blue | Green | Red | Other

Return to Ravnica Casual & Commander Reviews
Azorious Senate  | Izzet League | Cult of Rakdos | Golgari Swarm | Selesnya Conclave
White | Blue | Red | Black | Green | Gold, Artifact & Lands

Balustrade Spy

Milling is getting far more interesting with Return to Ravnica and Gatecrash. The grind mechanic is fascinating and holds the perfect balance of suspense and utter uselessness. Plus this spy is a vampire with flying, so abuse the entering the battlefield trigger!

Contaminated Ground

I want to make a Contaminated Ground, Psychic Venom, Mana Short, Copy Enchantment Deck.

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