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[Magic Mondays] Return of the Split

Spoiler season for Dragon’s Maze started last night and among the first things WoTC dropped was this baby:

Needless to say, I am stoked. I loved the split cards first reprinting in Dissention and then the craziness that was Planar Chaos and this new iteration feels like an evolution of a Magic mainstay since Invasion. Granted Fire//Ice and Boom//Bust are probably the only two splits that see any regular play at Comp Rel, but there’s plenty of them that have pretty solid uses–and I’m betting this one will be seeing serious play:

Why?

See, there was this card in Champions of Kamigawa called Glimpse of Nature. For those not familiar, it was a sorcery for G that had rules text to the effect of whenever you cast a creature for the rest of the turn, you draw a card. Sadly, it was banned almost immediately when Modern was first formed because of decks like this one played by LSV in the community cup just before WoTC replaced Extended with Modern. The the main concept was build into an Elf-powered ball of mana and then hardcast Emrakul. It could do this on turn 2. Turn 2.

Beck is cut from the same cloth. The extra mana cost makes it a bit harder to combo off on turn two with, but it works with ETBs and not on cast. Which makes me wonder if RUG Twin will make a come back over Raka (WUR)–I know I’m certainly going to give it a try–I can definitely see Combo Elves trying to make a come back in Modern with it.

Beyond that, the rest of last night’s spoilers were pretty much around were I expected. Ral’s a solid walker with some neat abilities that are 110% Izzet. Malek is going to be one heck of an EDH general. I am surprised Resto’s ability is staying in standard, albeit at a lower power level.

Can’t wait for tonight to see what new goodies get spoiled. We have 8 guild champions left and who knows what else waiting to see the light of day.

’til next time!~

 

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[Wednesday Ramblings — Feedback] How do I Community?

Check out all my RamblingsSeriously, what can I do to get out there as part of the community?

Does anyone want to do a post cast every so couple of weeks about Magic or Gaming or What Have You?

Do I need to get more serious about the Webcomic? Does anybody care about a  drama with midgrade art?

What can I do here on the blog to have more impact? What am I doing well, what am I failing at?

Do you know of any places that are interested in infrequent columnists? I don’t need a regular job right now, but I do need to get my name out there, so if you hear about any guest spots, let me know?

Beyond those musings, not much to report. Life is meh, the writing goes, and I don’t have enough hours in the day. Still, I want to do something creative with my life instead of just sitting at a desk, chasing a project with an endlessly moving target state. As such, I’m brushing up on my HTML, I’m going to start drawing again, I’m going to finish a story this year, and I’ll likely sleep about five hours a day to get it all done, but that’s what I’ve got to do to get out of where I am. The conventional route of plying experience to get a new job seems disinterested in my attempts to use it and so I will set out on my own and harness what creative talents I have to sail on.

Catch you Friday!

[Magic Mondays] Tastes Like Chicken

MY co,umn about Magic: The Gahtering

With the first tastes of Return to Ravnica only days away, I felt it would be worthwhile talking about why Magic’s flavor is one of the reasons I enjoy playing and, intervening years spent not playing aside, why it continues to keep me doing so.

Foremost on this list are the characters. As a writer I have a great respect for the creative design team for most any game, but Magic in particular has a special place in my heart. It’s relatively easy to bring a character to life on the page and only a little harder to make them deep and real feeling. If you don’t care about the main character by time the first chapter ends, the writer’s done a pretty bad job. This, of course, isn’t how most interact with the heroes and legends of Magic. Many of the most influential characters exist only as footnotes or references on other cards. Hundreds of cards reference Urza, but he himself has never been printed. Yet, for most who know anything about Magic’s history, Urza’s name carries quite a bit of weight. I would say the same of Gerrard and the Weatherlight’s crew, even though they were each printed in Invasion, and lets not forget my all time favorite fictional character, Jaya Ballard, whose reputation for snark exists in nearly 70 cards’ flavor text.

Then there are the heroes I played through Odyessy and Onslaught. Kamahl, as he hunted Braids, Chainer, and the Mirari. His sister, Jeska and her fall into becoming Phage. Ixidor and the wrathful Akroma. The aven soldiers: Aesha, Teroh, and more. The infamous pit fighters: Jareth, Arcanis, Rhorx, and Silvos. All of them trapped in a world being twisted and mutated as magic goes awry. I loved this cycle so much even if it was the end of Dominaria. All because of the flavor. There was a war, horrible things were happening, a god was born. That’s not to knock Invasion, that cycle was also one hell of a time to play Magic, but Odyssey and Onslaught were my first real forays into Magic and I missed out on Invasion.

Mirrodin was barbecue, it just dripped of flavor. The concept of an artifact world was just mind blowing. Then there was Kamigawa which was quite nearly one big Elder Dragon Highlander deck with all the legends crammed into it. Ravnica is still my favorite block after Onslaught. The ten guilds were an outstanding way to convey the world’s setting, tone, and character. It’s why I’m so stoked about Return. It’ll be interesting to see what Maro does with the nearly seven years of being the lead designer for Magic under his belt and coming off of the creative design heavy sets of Scars and Innstrad, I can only see awesome as the outcome. I will settle for nothing less.

Anyway, works hell so I’ll be going. Catch ya’ll around!

Stuffy Fight Club
Creatures
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Ulvenwald Tracker
3 Void Stalker
4 Copper Myr
4 Silver Myr
4 Courtly Provocateur
2 Nibus of the Breath
2 Silklash Spider
4 Stuffy Doll
Planeswalkers
1 Tamiyo, The MoonsageArtifacts
2 Clock of Omens
2 Staff of Nin
4 Ring of Evos IsleLands
4 Evolving Wilds
8 Forest
8 Island

Oh! Here’s draft two of Stuffy Fight Club. I’ve subbed out black for blue and pretty much said screw spells. I’ve got 2 Negate, 2 Essence Scatter, and 4 Rewind in my sideboard. Along with 4 Naturalize, I’m only a couple cards shy of having it completely done. I would’ve liked to have some gut shots or dismembers, but I’ll probably throw in 3 Prey Upon and call it a day.

[Story – WIP] Rebirth – Chapter 1x

This was, at one point, the first chapter of Rebirth, but times have changed and its now somewhere near the middle. Rex has arrived from Farenheim in response to rumors that entire city has vanished the same way the Enthi had at the start of the novel almost two months ago. After the confrontation with the Brigade in New Fareh and later in Fayholme, Rex believes some very dark is responsible for the destruction and find himself apprehensive as he ventures into the unknown.

Feel free to comment, as always any feedback is appreciated.

Fog had rolled in with the storm, obscuring the beach in a fine mist. One that muffled the crashing waves but did nothing to soften the pouring rain. Even with my aura burning, I was getting soaked. I couldn’t turn back though, I close enough to the city now though to see its silhouette through the haze. Aside from the storm and waved though, there was no noise where there should have been. Even with the rain, there should have been the dull murmur of people conversing as they hurried through the streets. It looked like the first part of the rumors had been true—but what about the second? Only one way to find out.

I moved forward, the fog clearing with each step in that particular way it does while you’re standing amongst it; like you’re in a bubble. Anticipation rolled off my skin, mixing with the equally plentiful rain that blasted the open stretch of sand. Despite myself, I tensed up causing my aura’s light to wane and the mist to close in around me.

Soon, the base of the wall loomed out at me and my gaze climbed its face. I stopped after only a few feet. The white stone wall, which used to tower over me, was devastated. What remained was blackened and charred. Forgetting that there might be pirates or even Augmented Loh troops, I rushed through one of the gaps in the wall.

Scrambling up and over the debris, I found myself in a courtyard. There were no signs of life in the small open area. I forced myself to relax, to center, and felt my energy start to flow freely again. My aura flared up, burning off the fog and filling the space with blue light. Ornate columns emerged from the mist, a few still stood but many were knocked over and lay shattered on the stones. I cast it out in long sweeps around me, looking for energy, no matter how faint. Almost immediately, I knew it would be futile. The Currents of energy that used to run throughout the city were sluggish and weak. It was, in a sense, like all the water in a river had been removed, laving behind only mud. I knew before I’d even started there would be no survivors.

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