Monthly Archives: September 2016

Kaladesh Release Weekend

by November 26, 2016

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Kaladesh Releases tomorrow and we will be doing drafts at noon and 3:30pm. $20 gets you 3 packs and 1.5 packs per person into the prizing,  from which everyone gets a participation pack if they stay until the end of the event.

We will be running Sealed at 6:30 using prerelease kits – $36 taxes in and you get a release weekend foil promo as well as a chance at FNM foils and your kit foil – its foil-a-palooza!!

We will also be running our regular commander pods at 7:30 and 9:30 for $6 entry fee.

Saturday at noon and 3:30 there will be more Kaladesh Drafts $20 per draft!!

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THE MANA DORK-Highway To The Aether Zone

by September 23, 2016

The Mana Dork

Normally, I kick off my columns about a new set with a series of puns related to upcoming card names or mechanics. However, this is Kaladesh, and it has already done a better job than I ever could:
Start Your Engines
 
It’s Kaladesh pre-release weekend at A Muse N Games, folks! Here’s what you need to know about the set.
NEW MECHANICS: ENERGY, VEHICLES, AND FABRICATE
Powered by the aether suffusing its atmosphere, Kaladesh is Magic’s most technologically-advanced plane yet. As a result, we’ve got three new mechanically-inclined mechanics on their way!
Voltaic Brawler
Energy
Energy is a new type of counter that’s placed on the players themselves, similar to poison counters and experience counters. Many cards in Kaladesh give you Energy, and Energy can be spent on anything that allows you to spend it.
Note that, yes, every card that spends Energy has a way to give you Energy. There are some cards that give you Energy without having a way to spend it, but no Energy card in the set is dead on its own.
When you’re playing Sealed at the pre-release, keep an eye out for the “Thriving” cycle of commons — Thriving Ibex, Thriving Turtle, Thriving Rats, Thriving Grubs, and Thriving Rhino. Each of these will give you two Energy when they enter the battlefield, and they’re solid creatures for their mana costs. If you’re building an Energy-based deck, having two or three of each of the Thriving creatures in your colours will be a great way to build up Energy and put some defenders on the board!
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Vehicles
 
Vehicles are completely new to Magic, and they function a little differently than what you might expect.
Each vehicle is an artifact that can sometimes become a creature, if you use its Crew ability. To crew a vehicle, you may tap any number of creatures with total power at least equal to the vehicle’s Crew number. So in the case of Skysovereign up there, you can tap three 1/1 Servo creature tokens, one Voltaic Brawler, or any combination of creatures whose total power is at least 3.
When you do this, the Vehicle becomes a creature until end of turn, and can attack or block as normal if it doesn’t have summoning sickness. At the end of the turn, everyone goes on furlough and the vehicle is parked, no longer a creature.
It’s important to remember: every permanent you summon gets summoning sickness, not just creatures. So if you drop a Vehicle onto the board, you cannot Crew it and attack with it right away unless it has haste.
Which brings us to Pilots.
Speedway Fanatic
 
If you’ve opened up a couple of sweet Vehicles and you’re looking to make a deck that goes vroom, keep an eye out for creatures with the Pilot type, like the Fanatic up there. They’ll give your Vehicles some very handy bonuses!
Fabricate
 
Magic tends to have a lot of different ways to give creatures +1/+1 counters, but I have to say, this is one of the most interesting ones I’ve ever seen.
Angel of Invention
 
 
The Angel here is a pretty complex creature when it comes to Fabricate, but I picked it because it’s a good example of how Fabricate can play out.
When you play a creature with Fabricate, you can choose to either put +1/+1 counters on it equal to its Fabricate number, or put a number of 1/1 Servo artifact creature tokens into play equal to its Fabricate number. You cannot mix and match — so for the Angel here, you either get two +1/+1 counters or two 1/1 Servos. You can never get one counter and one Servo.
 
This means that not only will there be a lot of creature tokens running around — making it easy to Crew some Vehicles — but also that anthem effects get a lot more powerful.

Look again at the Angel of Invention. If you choose the +1/+1 counters, you’ve spent 5 mana on a 4/3 creature with flying, vigilance, and lifelink — that’s quite a strong creature! It will do a lot to help stabilize your life total in the late game.

But! If you choose the Servo tokens, you’ve spent 5 mana to put 6 power on the board, since the Angel buffs its own Servo tokens! You can use the newly-2/2 Servos to block and clog up the board while you execute your gameplan, making it a good option in the mid-game when you need to hold off some creatures.

There are going to be a lot of interesting choices around Fabricate, and I have to say, I’m looking forward to making them.
Mox Opal
MASTERPIECES
Remember the Zendikar Expeditions from Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch? From here on out, each Standard-legal block is going to have its own set of extra-valuable reprint cards!
They’re called the Masterpiece Series, and on average, you’ll see 1 out of every 144 packs. They’ll feature a custom border and a third, new foiling treatment — different from both normal pack foils and the From the Vault foils.
For Kaladesh, we’ll be seeing Masterpiece Series: Kaladesh Inventions, featuring 54 artifacts across both Kaladesh and Aether Revolt, including such expensive reprints as Mana Crypt, Mox Opal, and Crucible of WorldsKaladesh Inventions cards, like the Expeditions before them, are legal for use in Limited formats when you open them, and for the formats in which they are currently legal. So, yes, you can use that Mox Opal at the Pre-Release if you open it, but you won’t be able to include in a Standard deck at the Kaladesh Game Day on October 22.
With the Masterpiece Series cards, Wizards is hoping to do two things: put more copies of these valuable cards into circulation, and drive down the price of other cards in the block. They’re not going to bring down the price of the existing printings all that much — you don’t make Lamborghinis cheaper by selling a gold-plated Lamborghini! — but Wizards hopes that everyone digging through Kaladesh packs for Masterpiece Series cards means the supply of other Kaladesh cards increases, making them less expensive as a result.
If you open a Kaladesh Inventions card at the Pre-Release, congratulations! You can use it in your Sealed deck!
Contraband Kingpin
GENERAL PRE-RELEASE TIPS
 
Despite only having three new mechanics, Kaladesh is a pretty difficult set to evaluate — each of the three mechanics strongly encourage you to go all-in on building them, and with the exception of Fabricate, they’re each very different from anything Magic has seen before.
That being said, there are a couple of things that have stood out for me.
First and foremost — remember that Vehicles are not creature spells on their own. Without other creatures around to Crew them, they’re just going to stay parked on the board, doing nothing. So I’d be careful about using too many Vehicles and not enough creatures. When I’m deckbuilding, I’d count the Vehicles as non-creature spells, because they’re essentially just added bonuses when I have creatures around.
(Note that it is legal to crew a Vehicle with another Vehicle, and then crew a bigger Vehicle with that vehicle, and on and on and on, but that’s generally reserved for the most desperate of situations!)
That being said, they are a great way to add late-game punch. If you’ve got a Servo token or two that you’ve been saving to chump-block, you can drop down an Ovalchase Dragster and punch some much-needed damage through instead of holding up the Servo every turn.
Also, while I haven’t looked at each colour in depth yet, I will say that some of the cards in Blue add some very subtle, but powerful effects that shouldn’t be overlooked. Glint-Nest Crane looks like a very good way to find artifacts and hold off some Servo tokens, while the repeatable scry from Aether Theorist should do a lot to smooth your draws for a few turns, and more if you can get a good source of Energy.
Finally, make sure you get some water and good snacks. Don’t be like me, folks. Never be like me.
Commencement of Festivities
SEE YOU AT THE PRE-RELEASE!
 
As usual, Open Dueling will be available with the new Planeswalker Decks. Pay $25 to enter, and get a Planeswalker Deck and the chance at an even bigger prize!
Spots are still available for each of the three Pre-Release flights, but they’re going quickly! You can reserve your spot in-store for $40, or buy tickets to the Midnight flight, the Noon flight, and the 5 PM flight on Eventbrite.

See you at the Inventors` Fair!

Jesse Mackenzie is a regular contributor to A Muse N Games. He is definitely going to try and assemble the Animation / Decoction / Fabrication Module contraption at the Pre-Release. Tune in every two weeks for The Mana Dork, his column about all things Magic! 

Special 09/23 Commander Rules

by September 17, 2016

FNM

Magic the Gathering players have frequently commented “I wish I could play with Conspiracies in Commander.” We’ve heard that request, and we’re going to make it a reality.

Friday September 23 will be a special one night commander event! Commander players will get this one time opportunity to play with Conspiracies in Commander.

Special Deck building rules are as follows:

  • Players will have the option to use up to 5 points worth of Conspiracies in their command zone.
    • Mythic Rare conspiracies are worth 5 Points
    • Rare Conspiracies are worth 4 Points
    • Uncommon Conspiracies are worth 2 Points
    • Common Conspiracies are worth 1 Point

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much does it cost to enter?
$6, just like a usual FNM Commander

Do I have to play conspiracy commander?
You don’t. Players who don’t want to participate in Conspiracy Commander will be placed in pods with other players who don’t wish to participate in Conspiracy Commander.

What is the prizing?
Casual Commander prizing is each player gets a booster or $5 in store credit for participating (their choice). FNM Foils are given out for Style Points, and for this event, creativity will be rewarded.

THE MANA DORK—THE GAME THAT HAD NO GREEN OR BLUE

by September 8, 2016

The Mana Dork

 

I have to say, Conspiracy: Take the Crown did not disappoint!

Not only have I built a new commander (I’ll be telling you about Grenzo, Havoc Raiser in a future article!), but drafting the set gave me a tale for the ages.

Join me, my friends. Sit back, and listen as I tell you the story of the Game That Had No Green Or Blue.

We begin, of course, with the draft that led to it.

Spy Kit

THE DRAFT

Pack 1, pick 1—a foil Spy Kit. I regret nothing. Yes, there was a decent rare in the pack, and probably some better uncommons. I don’t care. Spy Kit is hilarious, and it works with all of the “Hidden Agenda” conspiracies that care about creatures. Win-win!

After that, I tried to stay in White and Black for much of Pack 1 (with the exception of an early Messenger Jays—assuming my opponents all vote “feather”, the Jays are a 5/4 flier for 5 mana that lets me draw a card and discard a card, which is really good in draft). I knew I was heading into a multiplayer game after this, and people are generally reluctant to attack in multiplayer, which means a control strategy is good to have. And White and Black had the best control cards in the set.

Unfortunately, I committed very publicly—about halfway through the pack, I had a Smuggler Captain and a Noble Banneret face-up in front of me, so my opponents knew I was in those colours. The Black and White cards dried up very quickly, and I was forced to pivot into other colours to get playable cards.

Which led me to Red. Hello, aggression, my old friend. I’ve come to draft your cards again.

I was able to pick up a Garbage Fire at 5, which was surprising—5 damage is very high for 3 mana. The second pack added a lot of White cards to the pool, which let me get multiple Custodi Peacekeepers, each of which could tap down creatures with as much as 7 power. I named the Peacekeepers with my Noble Banneret and Smuggler Captain, and turned them face-down.

Kami of the Crescent Moon

The third pack gave me a very tough choice, but not for the reasons you might think—I opened Kami of the Crescent Moon and Spectral Grasp in the same pack.

Now, if you’ve played Commander with me at the store, you know how much I looooooove drawing all of my opponents cards. It was really tempting to pick Kami of the Crescent Moon and either stuff it into my Gwafa deck, or just grab more blue cards and hope to have something playable. Or both.

Spectral Grasp, meanwhile, is a great way of dealing with an opponent’s big beater. Unlike normal Pacifism effects, Spectral Grasp only stops a creature from affecting you, specifically. It’s a lot more political, which helps you stay under the radar. And it’s just a better card for my existing gameplan.

And I’m here to have the best Conspiracy game I can, and to try and win.

Spectral Grasp it is.

The rest of the third pack was unremarkable, except for a Garbage Fire I was able to pick up at 9. I ended up very solidly Red and White, with a splash of Black if I wanted it. Little did I know how prophetic that would be.

THE LIST

For the curious, here is the decklist I ended up running. My gameplan was to hang back and protect myself with Custodi Peacekeepers while my opponents fought it out, then use Garbage Fires to take out threats and pump up Kiln Fiends to swing for the win.

THE GAME

And it is here that we come to the focus of our tale. The Game With No Green Or Blue.

Image result for mtg conspiracy 2 monarch token image

The players were as follows:

–          Mono-Black Monarch

–          Mardu Sinuous Vermin (“Mardu” is a slang term for the colour combination of White-Black-Red)

–          Mardu Daretti

–          … and myself, Red-White Control Featuring Foil Spy Kit.

Before we shuffled up, I had run around the store gathering up just enough Goblin tokens for the Hold the Perimeter I had drafted… only to see that the Mardu Sinuous Vermin player had drafted it as well! So two of us start with two 1/1 Goblin tokens that can’t block, and two of us start with a 1/1 Goblin token that can’t block and a 1/2 Soldier token that can’t attack. Hilarity!

The early turns involved a lot of drawing cards and staring at each other warily. Mardu Sinuous Vermin and Mardu Daretti played their namesake cards; Mono-Black Monarch ran out a couple of creatures to protect herself, and got the monarchy well into the midgame. Meanwhile, I had dropped my non-foil Spy Kit and a Goblin Racketeer, which promptly walked into a Death Wind. With no green player to ramp out of control, or blue player to counter all of our things, we were in a deadlock.

Turns 7-10 were where things got interesting.

Garbage Fire

I cast Besmirch to steal a Stromkirk Patrol from the Monarch player, in order to steal the monarchy from her with her own creature. The next turn, the Sinuous Vermin player asked me if I’d let him hit me with a Goblin token in order to take the monarchy, so he could draw into a burn spell to help deal with the Daretti across the table. So we cut a deal: in exchange for him revealing two cards in his hand to me (perfectly legal under tournament rules!), I’d let him hit me. He showed me a Murder and a Kill Shot—both perfectly good removal spells, neither of which could hit Daretti. I nodded, he swung, he Took the Crown.

The turn order passes to the Monarch player, who casts Marchesa’s Decree—should’ve known she’d have a way to steal the crown, no matter what!—and sits there quietly, holding back blockers.

It’s the Daretti player’s turn. He untaps with Grenzo’s Ruffians and equips them with a Hedron Matrix before attacking. They’re set to deal 9 damage to each of us if they connect.

It’s a good thing I had a… Garbage Fire of a draft, amirite?

While I could let the Sinuous Vermin player spend one of his removal spells, I felt like being the hero of the table for a little while. I cast Garbage Fire, dealing 9 damage to the Ruffians, and celebrations were had. This was, though, the first step of my undoing.

The turn comes to me. My second Besmirch steals a Pyretic Hunter, and I swing at the Daretti player with the Hound, a Kiln Fiend, and a Goblin token equipped with the Spy Kit. I’m expecting blockers, and I’m planning to reveal the Adriana’s Valor to save a creature or the Incendiary Dissent to push through lethal… but Daretti concedes, allowing my creatures to kill him.

And if you’re a seasoned drafter or Conspiracy player, you know what happened next—I had left myself open to attack, and the Sinuous Vermin player took advantage, using a removal spell I hadn’t seen on my Soldier token and swinging in for lethal damage. If I had let the Vermin player use his removal spells on the Ruffians, I could have used my Garbage Fire to take out one of the attacking creatures and saved myself.

Marchesa's Decree

But our tale is not over yet, oh no.

We’re down to the Sinuous Vermin player and the Monarch player. The Monarch player now has two Marchesa’s Decrees and the monarchy; the Vermin player has his Sinuous Vermin and one or two other creatures. Both players are at just 1 life.

The Vermin player can’t attack – he’ll lose to the Decrees. The Monarch player has nothing to attack with. There’s very little in either of these colours that can remove enchantments. It’s going to come down to who can draw a solution off of the top of their deck.

And after a few turns of tense draws, the Sinuous Vermin player casts Gang of Devilsand hits it with his own Murder, dealing 3 damage to the Monarch player and winning the game.

In true Conspiracy fashion, an epic game ended with an epic betrayal, and it was fantastic.

Murder

COME BY FOR THE YAM FEST, AND ALSO THE POKÉMON!

This Saturday, A Muse N Games is having a sidewalk sale as part of the St. James Village Biz Yam Fest! Come by for a games day all day, and bring a donation to Winnipeg Harvest. And if you want some deals, make sure you’re around between 11 AM and 4 PM, when the store will have a sidewalk sale with 20-40% off selected products! (FYI: the sidewalk sale is cash or credit only, and all sales will be final.)

As well, you’ll be able to meet Ben, who created the character Keet for the latest expansion of Red Dragon Inn! And of course, the Lures will be out, for all of your Pokémon needs.

Finally, make sure you tune in to this space in a couple of weeks—I’ll be talking about some of the new commanders that have come out recently, and getting excited for Kaladesh!

Jesse Mackenzie is a regular contributor to A Muse N Games. Tune in every two weeks for The Mana Dork, his column on Magic!

Dungeons and Dragons: Storm King’s Thunder Resources

by September 7, 2016

Storm King's Thunder

The launch of the new Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition story line for adventure League is fast approaching.  With that in mind here are a bunch of useful resources online that may be of use to the brave adventurers that come out for D&D Adventurers League events

The Story:

http://dnd.wizards.com/dungeons-and-dragons/story
Check out the story for this season and get a preview of what’s gone horribly wrong in the realms that can only be set right by the adventurers.  This time it looks like the giants want to take their shot at conquering the realms, will they fair better than the dragons, elementals and demons tried before?

Adventurers League Players Guide Storm King’s Thunder Edition:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2OEHuo9GN3HNlQ1eGFVV3BucWs
All of the rules specific to Encounters and Expeditions.  This includes character creation rules, detailed information about factions, allowed downtime activities, and handy stuff like spell casting service costs.

Adventurers League Dungeon Masters Guide Storm King’s Thunder Edition:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2OEHuo9GN3HNk1ELTJJYzFmM3c/view
Want to know what it takes to run the Storm King’s Thunder modules yourself? Check out this guide of handy information for running Adventurers League modules.  Remember that running games also gets you rewards that you can apply to your Adventurers League characters.

Adventurers League FAQ:

http://dndadventurersleague.org/sage/index.php?title=Frequently_Asked_Questions_(FAQ)
Got questions not covered by the Adventurers League Players Guide?  This is the place to go.  This is updated with new details provided in the FAQ articles on http://dndadventurersleague.org/

Sage Advise:

http://media.wizards.com/2016/downloads/DND/SA-Compendium.pdf
Rules clarifications and links to the errata for Dungeons & Dragons.  Always good to double check to make sure you have the latest information on the rules and are aware of corrections that have been made.

Character Sheets:

http://media.wizards.com/2014/downloads/dnd/5E_CHARACTERSHEETSV3.ZIP
New characters seem to be a common sight around Adventure League tables, more so when new character options become available at the launch of new story lines.  We will continue to provide blanks character sheets in store (and DMs to help you get them filled out) but these have some bonus features.  Not only can you find standard printer friendly versions of all three sheets (character, optional info, and spell sheets) but there are also variant sheet layouts, and form fillable versions (great if you have bad hand writing or want to use a tablet or smart phone for your character sheet).

Adventurers League Log Sheet:

http://media.wizards.com/downloads/dnd/DnDAdvLgLogsheet.pdf
While we are fairly casual at our events, if you want to be able to use your characters at other Adventurers League events (other stores, conventions, or home games) you’re going to need some of these to chronicle your character’s career and all the cool loot you got along the way.  Blank log sheets are also available in store, just like blank character sheets.

As always our helpful Dungeon Masters are available in store to answer any questions you may have.

Magic Kaladesh Prerelease Events!

by October 22, 2016

Saheeli Rai welcomes you to KaladeshKaladesh

Sealed Deck Event – Magic Kaladesh Prerelease
Each participating player receives 6 boosters, 1 foil prerelease promo, and 1 DIY Thopter!

$35 early bird rates end September 21 at 8pm.
Regular registration will be $40 September 22 and 23 or at the door.
There will be 3 available flights – midnight, noon and 5pm
Each flight will feature 4 swiss rounds, and prizes will be handed out following the 4th round.

Prizing:
2 Packs per player go into the prize pool.

Each player staying through all swiss rounds will receive 1 booster.
The remaining boosters will be shared by players with 1 or fewer losses.

Registration:

Eventbrite - Kaladesh Midnight Prerelease

Eventbrite - Kaladesh Noon Prerelease

Eventbrite - Kaladesh 5PM Prerelease