Author Archives: Scotia

Scotia is one of the Owners of A Muse N Games

Modern Masters 2017 League

by March 29, 2017

Leauge starts April 2 at 2pm (Ends April 16 at 6pm)

To tnter the league, a player gets 3 packs of Modern Masters 2017 for $35.

  • Players will open three booster packs and use those boosters to build a 30-card deck.
  • The league will last three weeks. (Players may enter the league at any point during the league)
  • Every week, players will add a booster pack to their pool, rebuilding as often as players would like. Players can also add a booster after three losses. (MM17 boosters are 20% off for league members for league purchases = $12)
  • Matches consist of a single game. Each player gets one free mulligan at the start of the game.
  • Players can bring their league decks and play games throughout the week in addition to getting together on Sunday afternoons for league day!

THE MANA DORK—The Planeswalker Deck Challenge

by February 11, 2017

 

Pro Tour Aether Revolt has just wrapped up, in which the heavily-favoured Saheeli Rai / Felidar Guardian “Copy Cat” infinite combo… was thoroughly run over by aggressive Vehicle decks.

Caught in the Brights

How could this happen? An infinite combo that wins on Turn 4 is the stuff of Modern. Not only that—Wizards missed this combo entirely during development of Aether Revolt, as Sam Stoddard admitted in a recent column. So you’d think Copy Cat is a sure bet, right?

Nope. 6 decks in the Top 8 were Vehicle decks, joined by an Energy deck and a Delirium deck. Copy Cat was nowhere to be found in the finals. People were able to prepare for a sorcery-speed combo that includes a Planeswalker who can be directly attacked, and Copy Cat’s results suffered accordingly.

It just goes to show—plan for the metagame, folks. Run disruption. Run answers for the decks you plan to face. Strong cards do not make a strong deck. You need a strong strategy first, composed of threats and answers that you’ve carefully chosen from across the 1,400+ cards currently legal in Standard.

So guess what I’m not doing for Aether Revolt Game Day this weekend?

Tezzeret, Master of Metal

THE CHALLENGE

For Aether Revolt Game Day, I’m going to buy one of the set’s Planeswalker Decks and compete with it.

I will use only the cards from the Planeswalker Deck and the two boosters it comes with. I’ll document any changes I make, as well as my match-ups and what happens in each game, to the best of my ability. I’ll then share it in the next edition of this column. The only element of mystery I’ll allow for now is whether I’m buying the Ajani deck or the Tezzeret deck.

Why?

I’m doing this because I want Magic to be better. Especially for new players.

Wind-Kin Raiders

I believe that while Planeswalker decks are exciting and cool, they can — and should — be more competitive out of the box.

Let’s look at the decks. The Tezzeret deck is built around the Improvise mechanic, and has you spamming out several cheap artifacts in order to bring down the cost of high-CMC finishers like Wind-Kin Raiders, Fen Hauler, and Barricade Breaker. The Ajani deck uses a low-to-the-ground aggressive strategy that features several Revolt cards and some synergies with +1/+1 counters to swarm down an opponent’s life total.

They have some exciting, unique cards and are very much capable of stealing games, but neither of them have much in common with decks from the Top 8 of the Pro Tour. You’re expected to do lots and lots of work on a Planeswalker Deck to make it viable for competitive Standard play.

Why does this have to be the case? 

Path to Exile

The Commander decks in recent years show that Wizards can make some truly excellent pre-constructed products. Not only that, but for many years, Wizards released Event Decks which could easily hold their own in competitive play, even if they weren’t Tier 1 strategies. They even built a Modern Event Deck, with staples like Path to Exile, Inquisition of Kozilek, and four copies of good lands like Isolated Chapel and Caves of Koilos.

Why are they not building introductory products like this for Standard, their flagship format?

I bought my fair share of pre-constructed decks when I was a young Magic player, and played my fair share of games—but if you had given me something with the power level of an Event Deck, even if I had had to save an extra week or two of my allowance for it, I would have been frothing at the mouth and begging all my friends to play.

I want every new player to have that feeling.

So between you and me, I think we can—and should—push for Planeswalker Decks to be much closer to Event Decks, and I plan on using my experience this weekend to show why.

THERE IS ALSO FREE GAME DAY THIS WEEKEND IF YOU PREFER A DIFFERENT KIND OF CARDBOARD

Magic isn’t the only thing happening at the store this weekend—make sure you come by and check out Free Game Day on Sunday at noon, where we’re opening up our demo library for anyone to come by and learn some new games! Admission is free and we’ll have store employees on hand if you have any questions, so come on down!

(And if you’re a Dicemasters person, fret not—the bi-weekly Dicemasters event is Saturday at 2 PM!)

See you at the store!

Jesse Mackenzie is a regular contributor to A Muse N Games and has a lot of experience being a new player. Tune in every two weeks for The Mana Dork, his column about all things Magic!

THE MANA DORK -In Defense of Magic’s Story

by January 24, 2017
 
Long, long ago, my father and I used to play Magic. He had a Blue-White fliers deck, and a classic Black discard deck with Dark Rituals, Hymns to Tourach, and Hypnotic Specters. I’d build whatever I could out of his leftover Green and Red cards, and we’d play each other.
Hypnotic Specter
(“Do you know why this Hypnotic Specter is strong?” “… You can cast it after Dark Ritual?” “Not just that — it takes cards from your opponent’s hand. It takes options away from them. They can’t counter your spells if you took the counterspell away.” “OH!”  — 9-year-old me, learning about the metagame clock and card advantage instead of, y’know, how to catch fish and fix things.)
I got so into the game that my dad picked up one of the earliest pieces of Magic lore ever published — Tapestries, a collection of short stories by leading fantasy authors of the time. It didn’t delve much into Urza, Mishra, and the Brothers’ War, but the authors did have an absolute field day with the idea that you spent the game summoning creatures and then just… leaving them there. The book was filled with classic fish-out-of-water stories and bildungsromans with a fantasy flair.
Tapestries gave me my first taste of lore — that intoxicating concoction that turns a collection of numbers and game mechanics into an elf. Into something I can care about.
I tore through the stories and chased them down with the flavour text on every card in our collection. I caught glimpses and facets of Urza and Mishra, like shards of light from a jewel’s reflection. I watched the Kjeldorans war against Lim-Dûl in the italicized text on every soldier I cast.
Kjeldoran Skyknight
When my father stopped buying cards, I took a break from the game as well, though not for long — I was back six years or so later, in time to see Kamahl’s story of rage, and then of redemption. Then came Mirrodin’s struggle against Memnarch, and Toshiro’s battle against Kondo and O-Kagachi, with Kamigawa’s war against itself in counterpoint.
Then another ten years gone, until Sarkhan traveled back in time to save Ugin, and I traveled to a brand-new games store on Portage Avenue to attend a draft and support a friend’s new business.
In all that time, the lore captivated me — though not so much how it was packaged in novels. I found actually playing the game preferable to slogging through 50,000 words of action I wasn’t taking part in, and kept up on the lore through research in my downtime.
So imagine my reaction when I returned, and discovered that Wizards was now publishing Magic’s story directly to the web in digestible little short stories and vignettes every single week. “Joy” understates it.
And then — and then — in 2015, we saw the Origins reboot, and each of our (now-)iconic Planeswalkers got origin stories and motivations. Again, that alchemical moment, when these powerful, modal enchantments became something with faces I could care about.
In 2016, the Gatewatch. A team of these icons, traveling planes and battling foes in a way Magic hadn’t seen since the days of the Weatherlight.
It was with the Gatewatch that I saw the criticism mount.
Imprisoned in the Moon
To hear some of the commentary online, you’d think the Gatewatch dooms us to years of plain, careworn comic-book super-feats and gosh-darn-it Boy Scout do-gooderism. Stories with no stakes and no growth — only cool explosions, cooler monsters, and pushed, tournament-level mythics with first names instead of descriptive ones. Woe, oh woe were the purists when Emrakul was revealed as the villain in Shadows block. Weep, oh weep did the devoted fans with every “Ashaya” and chess-playing Eldrazi Titan. The Internet rang with dismay.
Clearly, Wizards is just pandering. Or setting things up for the movie. Or sacrificing artistic merit for the sake of selling a product. Or giving in to the Tumblr crowd. Or something. Whatever explanation is popular this week. It changes depending on who you ask.
Yahenni's Expertise
If you cannot tell — personally, I think that thanks to the weekly-short-story model and the Gatewatch, Magic’s story is the best it’s ever been.
I know we’re all nostalgic about Urza and Mishra and Yawgmoth and the Weatherlight and Venser and Elspeth, and nostalgia is wonderful and all, but look: here and here are the two most recent stories by Chris L’Etoile, a writer from BioWare’s legendary stories that Wizards brought in specifically to work on Magic. And then there’s Alison Luhrs, showing off here and here and here and here and here, a Wizards employee with a background in playwriting who’s turning out some of the company’s finest work — especially with Yahenni, a Kaladesh character you have to meet.
Go on. Read them. It’s worth the time, trust me.
When you’re done, I want you to read this story and pretend that you know nothing else about Magic.
Yes, I just made you read about Jace. But look at that story again — if you take away all of Jace’s appearances in Alara and Zendikar and Return to Ravnica and all the core sets, if you just look at that story and the ones that came after it, Jace is a fascinating character.
Origins Jace is what happens when you take Memento, the Hunger Games, and every Cold War double-agent spy thriller and blend it all up. Out comes an exasperated nerd who could be the brainy sidekick on the radio in any action movie — except this is Magic, so this sidekick gets pushed to the forefront occasionally and told he has to save the day. Or at least not die while he comes up with a plan.
It’s a novel take. Maybe I’m benefiting from not having been around for seven or eight years of Jace in core sets, but I’m entertained, and I can’t wait to see what happens when he returns to Vryn.
And when it comes to the Gatewatch — ensemble-cast media spellbinds us, like it always does. Marvel has propelled itself to juggernaut status based on how skillfully it has used its ensemble casts, to give you an example, while DC tries and tries again. Frankly, you’re not going to break the surface these days if you don’t have a broad cast that people can connect with, and the Gatewatch is precisely that.
I now have characters with weekly adventures I can invest in, delivered in an accessible way, and I cannot tell you how happy I am. Sure, George R. R. Martin delivering 2,000 words of Innistrad intrigue would be great. But today, I will take Alison Luhrs telling stories of Orzhov machinations on Ravnica just as gladly.
Dark Intimations
Finally — finally — if nothing else I’ve said here compels you, consider this: Nicol Bolas, Magic’s greatest antagonist, is coming back in Amonkhet. Revelations are at hand. Years of lore will be connected in ways we don’t expect.
Don’t you want to see what happens next?
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS FREE GAMES DAY — AT THE STORE, AT LEAST
Sunday, January 29th is Free Games Day at A Muse N Games! Bring some friends and bring a game, or try one from the store’s extensive demo library! Staff will be on hand to help you if you have any rules questions, and there’s no charge to participate, so come on down!
On the Netrunner side of things, we’ve got the Netrunner Store Championships on Saturday January 28th. Bring your decks and a $15 entry fee and try to reveal — or hide — those corporate Agendas to win glory and fame (and some sweet prizes!).
Outside of that, there’s organized play every day — Modern on Monday, Standard on Tuesday, D&D, LCGs, and now Frontier on Wednesday, drafting (now with Aether Revolt!) and X-Wing on Thursdays, boardgame shenanigans, Sealed, and Commander (casual AND competitive!) on Fridays, more drafting on Saturdays, and D&D Expeditions on Sundays!
See you at the store!
Jesse Mackenzie is a regular contributor to A Muse N Games and completely unapologetic about how much he likes Jace and the Gatewatch. Tune in every two weeks for The Mana Dork, his column about all things Magic!

THE MANA DORK SPECIAL EDITION: THE GIFT DORK

by December 6, 2016
The Mana Dork
Are you looking for a gift for that special geeky someone, or family, in your life? Look no further.
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Hello, everyone! I hope your various holidays are going well for you, whichever you choose to celebrate. 😀
Usually, I write about Magic: the Gathering here on the site, but today, I figured I’d take a moment to help out anyone trying desperately to find a geeky gift within a particular price point. If you’re that person, welcome! I hope the following info is helpful.
We’re going to look at ten different gifts today — one for each price point from under $10 to above $100. Most of these are going to be board games, since they don’t need any extra accessories and they’re easy to wrap.
Ready? Let’s go!
* * *
1. ORNAMENTS FOR WINNIPEG HARVEST ($3)
 
Pictured above, these lovely dice ornaments are available from the store for $3 each. $1.50 from every ornament goes to help out Winnipeg Harvest, making them perfect for the socially-conscious gamer.
(Or, really, anybody who’s having some particularly bad rolls in their Dungeons & Dragons game and needs some new dice from off the tree!)
* * *
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2. CRAFTS FROM LOCAL ARTISTS ($10-$35)
 
A Muse N Games always has art from local artists on display, but they’ve got several items in especially for the Christmas season. Make sure you stop by and check out the dice bags, cards, coasters, and much, much more!
* * *
codenames
3. CODENAMES ($25), or CODENAMES PICTURES ($25)
 
Vlaada Chvátil is one of my favourite board game designers, and Codenames is perhaps his crowning achievement. I can’t recommend it enough.
In Codenames, you split into two teams, Red and Blue. There’s a grid of twenty-five different code words in front of you. Each team has to guess which code words belong to their team before the other team guesses all theirs. Each team has a Codemaster who can give clues — but the clues can only be a single word followed by a number. So if you’re on my team, and I need you to guess “Left”, “Neighbour”, and “Bible”, let’s say, I might give you the clue “Flanders 3” — and hope desperately that you’re a Simpsons fan!
I love Codenames because it can support groups of any size, the randomized code words make it infinitely replayable, and the clues often rely on shared experiences and references you might not remember, making every game different!
If you don’t have Codenames, you owe it to yourself to pick it up “for your significant other” (cough). If you or your giftee do have Codenames, you can pick up the recently-released Codenames Pictures, which replaces the code words with abstract images for an additional layer of difficulty!
* * *
04_fiasco
 
4. FIASCO ($35)
 
Fiasco is a role-playing game from Jason Morningstar designed to be played in about three or four hours. Unlike most role-playing games, you don’t need a Game Master to play!

In Fiasco, you give each player a set number of six-sided dice — some dark, some light. The players pick what “playset” they’re playing — whether it’s a shady casino heist, a Bond-movie caper, or a Coen Brothers-style crime gone wrong in small-town America — and who everyone’s character is. Over the course of the game, they’ll act out the scenes in-character, and award each other dark or light dice based on how well their characters performed.

(To see Fiasco in action, here and here are videos of Wil Wheaton and friends playing through a session of Fiasco on Tabletop!)

Hanging out and making your own movie is a great way to spend an afternoon, and if your giftee is on the creative side, Fiasco will probably go over quite well! Highly recommended.
* * *
05_flashpoint
 
5. FLASH POINT: FIRE RESCUE ($48)
 
Have you ever wondered why you always have to be playing against each other in board games? Are you tired of Monopoly disputes lasting much, much longer than the actual game? Flash Point: Fire Rescue to the rescue! (Pun intended.)
Flash Point is a co-operative game, where everyone plays as firefighters working to put out the blaze in a family home. Every turn, you have a set number of action points you can spend to move through the house, put out fires, or pull victims to safety. If you help 7 of 10 victims make it to the ambulance, you win!
The game also has an “expert” variant with a more challenging map, different roles for the firefighters, and rules for combustible materials and randomized set-ups. It’s great for families — easy to grasp for the kids, but still challenging for the adults as well!
Flash Point: Fire Rescue is one of my favourite co-operative games on the market, and if you’re looking for something the whole family can play, look no further
* * *
06_splendor
 
6. SPLENDOR ($50)
 
Codenames might be the most talked-about game among my friends in 2016, but Splendor is a close, close second.
In Splendor, you play as Renaissance merchants, buying and selling gems to increase your wealth and impress the local nobility. Turns play quickly, with each player choosing to do one of three things: collect gems, build a card, or reserve a card to build in the future. As you play through the game, your gems and cards you’ve built help expand your economic power, allowing for bigger and bigger turns and more and more chances to get prestige points from visiting nobles. 15 prestige points wins the game.
Splendor is one of the best games I know of for teaching the concept of building an engine: developing a strategy that will help you win the game, and then carrying through with it. If this sounds like it’s up your giftee’s alley, Splendor is sure to please!
* * *
07_takenoko
 
7. TAKENOKO ($60)
 
This is by far the most adorable board game I’ve ever played.
Takenoko revolves around the adventures of a ridiculously cute panda bear as it tries to eat all the bamboo in the Imperial Gardens, and an exasperated gardener who tries desperately to stop it from doing that. Your job is to manage the growth of the bamboo and the panda’s appetite, so that the bamboo patterns match special achievement cards in your hand. At the end of the game, the player with the most points from their achievement cards wins!

(The panda probably also wins, too — so much bamboo they get to eat!)

Takenoko is an accessible game that doesn’t overwhelm you with different mechanics and options. At the same time, the different choices you make throughout the game affect each other, and you have to do a good job of reading your opponents to make sure you complete your cards before they complete theirs.

If your giftee likes pandas, cuteness, and a surprising but not overwhelming amount of strategy, Takenoko is a fantastic choice! If your giftee doesn’t like pandas… I’m very, very sorry. I’m sure they’re nice people.

* * *
08_coup
 
8. ADD COUP TO ONE OF THE OTHER BOARDGAMES I’VE LISTED (+$20)
 
Alright, I’m cheating here by not actually giving you a $70 game, but Coup is so good! It’s up there with #10 on this list for one of my favourite games of all time.
In Coup, you’ve got two cards in front of you, face down. They represent important people you have influence over. You can claim to use the abilities of any card — but be careful! If people call you on it and you don’t have the card, you have to turn one of yours face-up and you’re halfway out of the game. But, if you do have the card, the person who called your bluff loses one and they’re halfway out! The last person standing wins.
Coup plays like poker with only fifteen cards and two-card hands. I love, love, love the interplay and bluffing and guessing in a game that has so few components. Best of all, the games are only about 15 minutes each, so you’re never out of the action for very long!

Buy Coup. Seriously. You won’t regret it.

* * *
09_fivetribes
9. FIVE TRIBES ($80)
The ancient game of mancala gets a number of surprising new twists!
In Five Tribes, the board consists of thirty small squares, each of which depicts an oasis, village, encampment, or desert, and each of which starts with a number of people on it. The people are Elders, Viziers, Builders, Merchants, and Assassins, and over the course of the game, you’ll be picking up and moving around these people to get different bonuses. Build towards purchasing the services of a powerful Djinn, or developing many of the squares, and you’ll be in a position to win!

Like Splendor, the gameplay of Five Tribes lends itself to building an engine: finding a strategy that isn’t immediately obvious, and taking advantage. The rules are quick and easy to grasp, but the complexity of the decisions you’ll have to make and the moves you can and can’t do help make Five Tribes a wonderful strategic brain-burner.

Five Tribes has taken mancala and made something fantastic and unique. If your giftee likes complex games that while away an afternoon, Five Tribes is going to go over very well.
* * *
10_scythe
 
10. SCYTHE ($110)
 
This is the big one. It’s also my favourite game of the year, and one of my favourites all-time.
Imagine it’s just after World War I or so, on an alternate Earth. The countries of Eastern Europe have developed steam-powered robots that help them farm, and fight. Now, you have to help a folk hero for your people claim territories and resources, and advance the cause of your nation, in the face of ever-increasing threats. This is the world of Scythe.
The designers at Stonemaier Games have created something that has the epic feel and scale of Risk, with wonderful art and storytelling, and layers upon layers of strategy and engine-building, in an extremely streamlined package. One of my favourite things about it is that you don’t have to get in fights to win — but you have to look like you can win them, which creates an amazing feeling of tension as you jockey for position on the board.
Scythe is not an easy game to grasp, but it is extremely rewarding. If your giftee is big into board games — the more strategic, the better — I can’t think of a better gift than Scythe.
 
* * *

stockingstufferpromotion

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL — GIFT-WRAPPING, STOCKING STUFFERS, AND MORE

 
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that A Muse N Games has gift-wrapping available, for the price of a small donation to Winnipeg Harvest! All the easier to help make sure your gifts get home safely wrapped and covered, AND people in Winnipeg don’t go hungry over the holiday season.
As well, if you spend $200 or more at A Muse N Games, you’ll receive a FREE stocking-stuffer game to go along with all the wonderful gifts you’re already giving! Want to have a fun afternoon or evening playing all sorts of different games with friends and family? This is a great way to do it.

That’s it for me for now — hope I’ll see you at the store in the next few weeks!

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

Aether Revolt Prereleases January 14 & 15

by January 19, 2017

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We are excited to announce that we are now adding a 6pm SUNDAY prerelease!!
Below are the details of all our prereleases for this new set as well as links to event brite if you want to secure your spot without a trip down to the store.

 Aether revolt prereleases will start promptly with deck construction at the listed start times. Price is $35 taxes in if you register before 10pm Wednesday January 11, or if you register for multiple events at once  in store (midnight, noon, 5pm and introducing 6pm Sunday!) At the door for one event is $40 (or after 10pm on Wednesday January 11 until even starts).

Each participating player will receive a special prerelease pack containing 4 packs of Aether Revolt along with 2 Packs of Kaldesh.
Two Aether Revolt booster packs per player will be placed into the prize pool. Any player who plays through all four rounds of swiss receives an Aether Revolt booster pack from the prize pool.

Preview the Aether Revolt cards here:
http://magic.wizards.com/en/products/aether-revolt-cards

Register in store or online through Eventbrite:
Saturday January 14:
Midnight: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aether-revolt-midnight-prerelease-tickets-29679110017
Noon: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aether-revolt-noon-prerelease-tickets-29679160167
5pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aether-revolt-5pm-prerelease-tickets-29679198281

Sunday January 15
Sunday 6pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aether-revolt-sunday-6pm-prerelease-tickets-29679228371

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1783 Portage is NOW OPEN!!!

by November 5, 2016

Come visit us at our new location we’re still moving in over the weekend but it’s getting close 🙂 Please come and visit us and check out our new digs!

Thanks to everyone for your patience through this process and for all the help and love, it is truly appreciated.

Thanks,
Scotia and Brian

Nov 1 Update on the move and where you can find us

by November 1, 2016

AMuseLogo

Update On the Move and Where we are NOW:

Due to reasons beyond our control, our move into 1783 has been delayed. We hope to still move in soon, but we don’t have a fixed date of what “Soon” is. We will be opening Regular Hours at 1839 ½ Portage Ave in the meantime.

This week features some long awaited releases:

Thursday – A Game of Thrones – Lions of Casterly Rock Deluxe Set
Thursday – Netrunner – Escalation Data Pack

Friday – Dungeons and Dragons – Volo’s Guide to Monsters (WPN Exclusive Edition & Mass Market Versions)
As we are open you can come and pick these up at your convenience.

We know how important weekly organized play is to our customers, for the time being we’re still going to host organized play events at 1839 ½ Portage Ave.

That means OP as usual for the following events
(new events or time changes are in bold):

Wednesday
 6pm-8pm Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Encounters [Free]
6pm -10pm (New end time) Casual LCG Night

Thursday
7pm Magic The Gathering Draft featuring 3x Kaladesh [$20 Entry Fee]
6pm-10pm Casual X-wing [Free!] Drop in and go PEW PEW!
{No experience necessary, new players who want to learn are welcome}

Friday
6:00PM – Close – Open Boardgaming / Friday Night Shenanigans [Free!]
6:30PM – FNM – Sealed (6x Kaladesh) [$36 Entry Fee]
7:30 – FNM Commander Flight 1 Casual & Competitive [$6 Entry Fee]
9:30 – FNM Commander Flight 2 Archenemy / Planechase [$6 Entry Fee]

Saturday
Noon – Magic The Gathering Draft featuring 3x Kaladesh [$20 Entry Fee]
1pm – Conquest – Tournament Kit [Entry Fee $6]
2pm – Dice Masters Rainbow Draft [ Entry Fee Approx 12x packs]

Sunday
11:30AM – D&D 5th Edition Encounters [Spend $2 or more in store to participate]
Noon – Star Wars Armada – [Kit & Entry fee TBD based on # of players]
1pm – Imperial Assault – [$6 Entry Fee ]
2pm – Magic The Gathering Kaladesh Playtest League [New! $20]

C4 2016 and our new location – 1783 Portage Ave

by November 1, 2016

AMuseLogo

***UPDATE – (November 1, 16) As of Nov 2 we are opening for special orders and holds and Organized play at the old location 1839 1/2 Portage Ave as the move to new location has been delayed a few days. New November Hours are in effect, we thank you all for your patience during this period of change. ****
To our valued customers and friends,

Many of you will know already but for those who don’t we will be closed from Oct 24 to Nov 1 for Comic con and our move to our new location – 1783 Portage Ave.

Come visit us at Comic Con at Booth 432 Friday Oct. 28-Sunday Oct 30 for good deals, cool costumes and awesome games!

The new store should be opening Nov 2 Wednesday at 11am but with November and the new store we are increasing our hours to the following **:
Monday – Closed (this is the same)
Tuesday – 5pm-1opm (this is new!!!)
Wednesday 11am – 10pm (extended from 8pm)
Thursday 11am -10pm
Friday 11am – 11pm
Saturday 11am-6pm
Sunday 11am- 6pm

**(these hours will be in effect even if the store move is delayed which is still a possibility due to some factors beyond our control)

THE MANA DORK – Quiet Speculation, Commander 2016 Edition

by October 20, 2016

The Mana Dork

First things first—this weekend is Kaladesh Game Day! Come by the store for tourneys at noon (Facebook event) and 5 PM (Facebook event), where a $6 entry fee gets you a shot at some pretty nice alt-art cards for top-8 and top-32 finishes, as well as a gorgeous mat if you win it all!

I don’t have much of a Standard brew going for this Game Day, but luckily, Commander 2016 is just around the corner—spoilers start next week on Monday October 24th, we’ll probably see the full decklists that Friday, October 28th, and the set of decks as a whole comes out Friday, November 11th.

So it’s definitely time for some rampant Quiet Speculation!

Mana Confluence

PREDICTION #1: A WHOLE LOTTA COLOUR-FIXING

This is one of the easiest predictions to make, so let’s get it out of the way first.

Commander 2016 has been confirmed to feature Magic’s first four-colour legendary creatures. (Nephilim, we hardly knew ye.) In order for the decks to be playable out of the box, they’re going to need to include many colour-fixing cards—cards that will ensure you have access to multiple colours of mana very easily.

While I’ve seen some rampant quiet speculation that fetchlands like Flooded Strand will be included, I highly doubt this will be the case—they are quite expensive, and Wizards will not want to repeat the problem they had with Commander 2013, where heavily-invested players snatched up multiple copies of what was supposed to be an introductory product only to turn around and sell it.

Instead, here are a few reprints I think we’ll see that haven’t (all) been printed in Commander products:

What will be truly interesting to watch for are possible new lands that tap for four colours. We’ve had many iterations of dual-lands and tri-lands in the past, but never quad-lands—if there are quad-lands in this set and they don’t enter the battlefield tapped, they could have an impact on Legacy and Vintage, where cards from Commander set releases are also legal.

If I had to guess at what a quad-land’s design would be like, it would look something like this—

Mountain Valley Waterfall
Land

Mountain Valley Waterfall enters the battlefield tapped unless you pay W, U, R, or G.

T: Add W, U, R, or G to your mana pool.

Now, that’s pretty strong, but judging from the designs of Transguild Promenade and Rupture Spire—which enter tapped and require you to pay 1 generic mana or sacrifice them—I think making the ETB effect cost coloured mana lets this remain within the realm of possibility.

Taigam's Scheming

PREDICTION #2: VILLAINS

We know Commander 2016 will feature four-colour legendary creatures for the first time, and from the schedule of the short stories that go up on Wizards’ website, there’s a window of five weeks that could be dedicated to Commander 2016-related stories.

With that, here’s my second piece of rampant quiet speculation: the face cards of Commander 2016 will feature villains from the game’s history.

Here are my guesses, along with a possible colour-pie philosophy for each four-colour combination:

  • Sans-White (Blue/Black/Red/Green) — This is a perfect colour combination for a mad scientist. White’s sense of community ideals and public good are not present, making this colour combination ideal for depicting progress at any cost. I predict we’ll see Ludevic, Innistrad’s demented genius of grafting and biological invention, as our sans-white commander.
  • Sans-Blue (White/Black/Red/Green) — Blue is the colour of knowledge, willpower, and self-perfection, so what do you get when you take that away? A populist demagogue, a rabble-rousing public speaker and rebellion leader who relies on the wisdom of mobs to accomplish their goals. For this one, we’ll go way back to Magic’s earliest expansions—I predict that Tourach, founder of the Order of the Ebon Hand, will be the sans-blue commander.
  • Sans-Black (White/Blue/Red/Green) — This is a tough one. We so closely associate Black with villainy that it’s difficult to pick out a character who is A.) not selfish or power-hungry at all costs, defining characteristics of Black, and B.) has not yet received a card. In a surprising twist, I’ll predict that Feather, Ravnica’s last surviving Firemane Angel, has chosen some tragic and unsavoury strategies in a fight to regain control of the Boros guild from Aurelia.
  • Sans-Red (White/Blue/Black/Green) — Red is the colour of passion, energy, and heat. When extrapolated, it becomes the colour of desire, of giving yourself a reason to do things. When we take that away, we get the personality of a doomsday cult leader, an inevitable acceptance that everything is going to end. I predict Taigam, the dark-minded monk from Tarkir who betrayed the Jeskai Way and Narset to join the Sultai Brood, will be our sans-red commander.
  • Sans-Green (White/Blue/Black/Red) — Losing green’s sense of harmony, wholeness, and things-are-fine-as-they-are opens up this colour combination to depict any number of masterminds from the history of the game. While Urza is commonly believed to be a sans-green character, I highly doubt we will get an Urza card. Instead, I predict Eliza of the Keep, a necromancer from Grixis who sought to defend her home during the reunification of Alara, will be our sans-green commander.

Anax and Cymede
PREDICTION #3: TWO COMMANDERS IN THE COMMAND ZONE

This one is completely crazy—and totally invalidates Prediction #2, which is much more likely—but hear me out, because it’s fun to talk about.

Designing cards with four colours in their colour identity is extremely difficult, and there are a few ways to build them so the casting costs aren’t very restrictive—

But what if Wizards decided to go wayyyyy out there, and design two creatures that could co-exist in the command zone?

It doesn’t require much of an adjustment to the rules—just increment your commander tax for each card individually, define your deck’s colour identity using the colour identity of the two commanders combined, and come up with a new mechanic that allows your new commanders to co-exist. And it opens up some interesting gameplay decisions about when you cast your commanders, and how.

Let’s say that Doran and Ashling, two characters from the world of Lorwyn, are teaming up to fight off Oona and preserve the balance of the Great Aurora.

To get a Sans-Blue deck (White/Black/Red/Green), you could do something like this:

Doran, Many-Ringed 1WBG
Legendary Creature—Treefolk Shaman

Alliance (You may begin the game with up to two creatures with alliance in the command zone.)

Whenever a creature you control receives damage, prevent an amount of that damage equal to its toughness.

0/6

Ashling, the Defiant 1R
Legendary Creature—Elemental Shaman

Alliance (You may begin the game with up to two creatures with alliance in the command zone.)

XXR: Deal X damage to each creature and each player.

2/1

Now, like I’ve said before, this is completely out-there and incredibly unlikely. But come on—we’ve all tried to come up with “tag-team” rules for Commander at least once, right?

That’s it for me! Have fun at Kaladesh Game Day this Saturday, and make sure to praise me for my clairvoyance—or have some good-natured fun at my expense for my foolishness—when we see what’s happening with Commander 2016 next week!

Jesse Mackenzie is a regular contributor to A Muse N Games. He has totally come up with tag-team rules for Commander, and will tell you about them if you ask. Tune in every two weeks for The Mana Dork, his column about all things Magic!

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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