Last week, Wizards of the Coast were looking for people to stress test their latest video game endeavour. Many people were granted access to a closed beta, to which Wizards gave out keys to the beta testers, which they can hand to 5 other people. I was fortunate enough to have Jake give me a key, so I was able to take part in the stress test. Before that though, I got to know the game a bit – So, here are my first thoughts of Magic: the Gathering Arena.
Rarely does a block in Magic: the Gathering cause me to think twice about it – Pirates vs Dinosaurs in Ixalan? I’m way on board. Vehicles in Kaladesh? Sounds exciting! Oh, a new Un-Set? Even better. However, this is one of the few rare moments when Wizards of the Coast have caught me off guard – and for once, I don’t know whether I like it or not. Naturally, I’m on about the newest block, Dominaria.
Drafting is a great format for entry level play and veterans alike, it gives all players a functioning deck without the advantages of having spent a fortune on their collection. It’s also a great way to try out a new set, grab some great new cards and get more from your average pack of random boosters.
The “buy-in” for a draft is usually three booster packs of fifteen random cards, average price of about £10. Everyone sits around a table, everyone opens one of the boosters they brought, picks a card from it and passes the rest to the left. This continues until the pack is depleted, then everyone moves onto their second pack, passing in the opposite direction, and again with the third, at which point everyone should have a collection of forty-five cards, from which you build a deck of forty or more cards which includes the basic land cards you’ll need to add. (more…)
We’re big fans of Magic: The Gathering here on GeekOut South-West. We play it ’til there’s nothing left of it to play. From a casual game with friends to full blown lore facts, this game has it all and we love it. It frequently appears in our Top 10 articles and makes for a good article too.
But how do you get to the position of building many random decks in the first place? How do people end up with so many cards? Well you may (or may not) be surprised that I myself have over 1,500 MTG cards that I keep in a massive box. Why do I have so many of them and what do I do with them all? I have them thanks to booster boxes and I use them to make casual decks.
Sometimes the decks turn out great, with a lot of character behind them. But more often than not, they become a curiosity for a few games – Something to throw friends off with. I am best known for my white enchantment deck, which I call Keyword Ascension, but lately that’s felt like it’s too much to play with. So, I have built a good number of casual decks. From my Red/Green Werewolves to my Blue/Green ‘Kitchen Sink’, there’s a deck for all play styles.
With this said, there’s a lot of decks that just don’t work out. However, one booster box can turn that deck that just didn’t work into a real thoroughbred. For instance, when I was building my Keyword Ascension deck, I had a Zendikar block booster box. I believe it was Worldwake, which then introduced me to the Kor Spiritdancer – Who I immediately threw into my deck. Not only was she a perfect complement to my deck, she’s one of my main creatures!
This month, we bought another booster box. As a disclaimer, this is not cheap, but it is certainly cheaper than buying individual booster packs. The booster boxes can set you back typically between £70-£90 and you can probably get a better deal from a local games shop. It’s worth looking around, but a booster box contains 36 booster packs. Due to the sheer size and cost of this, I always like to buy a booster box with someone else – In my case, recently I have been buying booster boxes with my partner.
It’s a satisfying experience, opening all of those boosters and finding the rarest cards in there. This month’s booster box was from the Eldritch Moon set, which quickly revealed a card called Lilianna, the Last Hope. Just a couple of days before the box arrived, Jake and I discussed how he needed Lilianna in his zombie deck. As well as the power of the new zombies he got in the new box, he now has a pretty competitive zombie deck. There’s always a flip side to this kind of purchase though…
See, next month, a new block comes out. A block in Magic: the Gathering terms is a group of card sets which make up a theme/story. When I first got into MTG, the block was the Zendikar block, where these monstrous creatures were suddenly appearing. They were called the Eldrazi – and now, 4 years later, they’re back. They’re a lot more manageable now…
… and what about next month? I guess we wait and see what Kaladesh holds for us. Maybe we could do one more booster box..? So what do you think about booster boxes? Are they a waste of money, or is it the real way to collect Magic: the Gathering cards? What about building decks from them? As always, share your thoughts in the comments below or over on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.
So, you’ve decided to finally take the financial plunge that is Magic: the Gathering and you want to know what to look out for when making your first deck. Recently, I invested in my third ever booster box which doesn’t come cheap – So join me as I look at building decks in Magic: the Gathering and some hints and tips I like to share with people.
You voted for it, you’ve got it. This week, we’re looking at some of the most blood thirsty creatures ever known to sci-fi/fantasy. No, we’re not on about a leech, nor a parasite, but they certainly could fall under these categories. We can only be talking about Vampires, a type of undead that likes to nom on your blood, essentially draining you of your very life force. What a horrible way to go.
Have you ever looked outside at the dark night (not to be confused with the film that scores better than 5/7), then romanticised about someone nibbling on your neck? These guys will be a literal pain in your neck when they clamp down on your flesh and drain you of your fluids (That doesn’t sound healthy). Join us as we count down our Top 10 Vampires. (more…)
Did we ever tell you guys we really like Magic?
Okay, it’s addictive, there’s no two ways about it, but out of a fairly simple premise there are just so many different ways to play, and we’re not just talking about different tactics, or all of the different deck types you can build. Officially and unofficially there are so many formats of play that can alter the way you think and how you play the deck that you know so well, and it can keep the same old one-on-one slug-fest from getting a little dull. (more…)
A good hero needs a good villain. Whilst there are many well known male villains, some of the greatest villains are female. From double-crossing, murder and outright chaos, to cerebral assassinations and even toe-the-line villainy, female villains can be as vicious if not more than their male counterparts. In this weeks Top 10, we count down our ten favourite female villains of all.
We’re not focusing on any one medium in this list – Instead, all mediums are welcome. From video games, through to comics and films, we focus on ten of the greatest female villains to ever come into existence… I didn’t want to use this line but here we go: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Urgh, cliché done.
After all of this time, I’ve put my money where my mouth is and I’ve found the perfect little geek figurine to go with my Chibi Qubeley.
Have you ever seen people sitting around in places, such as coffee shops/cafes playing these strange card games? Don’t you ever just think that they look peculiar playing these strange card games? You do? How dare you, I am one of these strange grown men with an affiliation of playing card games in coffee shops and cafes. In fact, come to think of it, I normally play these at places such as the local Starbucks (or in my case one of the other coffee shops that are jotted around Bristol, such as the Coffee King in Cribbs Causeway).
Whilst it’s all well and good that people like me will sit around and play these card games, if you’ve ever been swayed by them in the past then you’d realise they seem incredibly complex to get into. Especially the one we’re talking about today – Magic: the Gathering.