Month: June 2015

The Mana Dork – How Does Banding Work? by Jesse Mackenzie

How Does Banding Work When you play Commander, you come across some very weird, old ways of doing things in Magic. The card pool stretches way, waayyy back, after all. Back to when the colour pie was less defined, and some keywords hadn’t quite made their way into being keywords yet. And some, like banding, were keywords when they probably shouldn’t have been. Banding used to be a cool, flavourful ability for white creatures that represented teamwork and tightly defined military tactics. It was supposed to be white’s answer to trample—what better way to show a team of well-trained soldiers acting like a huge, armoured behemoth than to actually code it into the rules? Well. Uh. Here’s banding’s actual reminder text, as of Fate Reforged: Any creatures with banding, and up to one without, can attack in a band. Bands are blocked as a group. If any creatures with banding you control are blocking or being blocked by a creature, you divide that creature’s combat damage, not its controller, among any of the creatures it’s being blocked by or is blocking. Simple, eh? So, today, we’re going to break down how banding actually works, because I love playing Commander and somebody in the store at some point is probably going to make a banding deck. It might be me. I might have one of these: And also one of...

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Free RPG Summary!

Today, Saturday June 20th is Free RPG Day! We have games, draws, specials and more! Games: 11AM – 2pm – Fiasco 11am – 3pm Tunnels and Trolls 1pm-4pm Edge of the Empire 3pm – 6pm Dungeons and Dragons Character Generation Drop-in. Participate in any of the above (all free to enter), and you will be entered in to win Free RPG Day prizes! Free RPG Day Specials: D&D 3.5 Premium Monster Manual D&D 3.5 Premium Dungeon Masters Guide  All AD&D 1st Edition Leather-bound are on sale for 40-50% off MSRP! (Prices as Marked) This includes: Players Handbook Dungeon Masters Guide Monster Manual Unearthed...

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Strictly Casual – Origins – A Blast From the Past Further Back

Origins – A Blast From the Past Further Back As Magic Origins will launch within the next few weeks, I have become a bit more nostalgic. In case you don’t know, Origins is the prequel of sorts for the five planeswalkers – Gideon, Nyssa, Jace, Liliana and Chandra. There will be a number of people who will look at those names in nostalgia, because they remember their first appearance around the time that they started. I have to admit seeing what they have planned is really cool. Seeing cards set in multiple planes and having cards specific to each planeswalker seems like a combo-lover’s dream. The planeswalkers chosen also seemed an interesting choice. I’m hoping that they will be doing some more Origin stories over the next few years – particularly Sarkhan, Sorin and even the OG Elder Dragon Nicol Bolas. And this all made me think about my Origins in playing Magic. I started playing Magic the Gathering back when the OGs were the Force of Nature, Leviathan, Shivan Dragon, Lord of the Pit and Personal Incarnation. Most of this was before the time of the Elder Dragons whom I grew to love from Chronicles. All of these cards were the big beaters – the heavies that I first loved to play. I was automatically drawn to these Forces of the colour wheel. And they were also the...

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The Mana Dork – Modern Masters 2, or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Frog

THE MANA DORK—Modern Masters 2, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Frog I’ve got my opinions on Modern Masters 2 as a reprint set, or the price point, or the quality of the printing. (Heck, I’ve had my opinions on the quality of the printing since Khans of Tarkir—seriously, buy a Theros pack and a Khans pack, they will smell different, it’s not the same anymore.) But that’s a different column. I’m here today to give you a proper tournament report on a Modern Masters 2 draft. And let me tell you, it’s a pretty sweet draft set. Mostly because of this guy. He was a very early pick for me, and he did work. Became the mascot, in a way, since how can a mutant frog wizard not be your mascot? MM2 has a set of pretty clear draft archetypes—cards with a lot of synergy in similar colours. You had BW spirits, RW affinity… and for me, grafting, in green and blue. Grafting is a lot of fun, I have to say. The way it functions is this: all your Graft creatures consist of +1/+1 counters, and every time a new creature comes in, they can receive a +1/+1 counter from each of your graft creatures. Then, you can usually spend mana on graft creatures to give anything with a +1/+1 counter an ability....

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