Magic: The Gathering

THE MANA DORK – The Second Sun Approaches!

by May 11, 2017

Amonkhet Prerelease –  The Second Sun Approaches!

amonkhet-prerelease-mana-dork

Hail Nicol Bolas, the God-Pharoah! May his return come early, and may we be found worthy!

amonkhet-prerelease-approach-of-the-second-sun

The store’s Amonkhet prerelease is only hours away, and Magic’s newest set has a ton of fun toys for Limited and Constructed play. Cycling looks like it will be making some noise with the new cycling dual lands and a number of fun payoffs like Drake Haven and Archfiend of Ifnir. The new exert and embalm mechanics are going to make for some very interesting choices during games, the Aftermath cards will have players agog (atog?), and the prevalence of -1/-1 counters will have implications for removal spells and build-arounds in every colour.

Here’s everything you need to know to do probably-better-than-last-time-maybe-or-at-least-walk-in-with-more-confidence-because-confidence-is-good-right-yes-excellent-good-show!

amonkhet-prerelease-aven-wind-guide

EMBALMS AWAY

Embalm is pretty straightforward: it’s like Flashback, but for creatures. Once the Embalm creature is in your yard, you can pay the Embalm cost and exile the creature to create a token that’s an exact copy of it, except it’s also White and a Zombie. (Which raises the question: most Zombies are Human, but Humans are also Human. Does that mean an Embalmed Anointer Priest is a White Zombie that’s more Human than Human? These are the things I think about.)

 First things first: yes, the Embalmed token itself also has Embalm, but it doesn’t matter, because tokens can’t exist in the graveyard. (Or in your hand, library, or exile.) Whenever a token would change zones — by dying and going to the graveyard, for example — it vanishes from existence as a state-based action, before players receive priority. Which is a fancy way of saying that before you could activate the token’s Embalm ability, the game has already ushered it along into the next life.

That being said, Embalm is still powerful and something you should think about when building your deck for the Amonkhet prerelease. You’re getting two creatures off of one card, on a bit of a layaway plan. Don’t count them as two creatures when you’re building with them, of course, but do remember that you’ll be able to clog up the board state a little longer, and that you’ll be facing down extra blockers and board stalls some percentage of the time. I’d definitely consider looking at exile spells like Cast Out and Final Reward for the creatures, and bounce spells like Winds of Rebuke to deal with the tokens. (Remember what I said about how tokens can’t exist in players’ hands? Turns out, if you bounce a token… )

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I HAVE BEEN EXERTING MY BRAIN BUT CANNOT COME UP WITH AN EXERT PUN

Once more unto the breach, my friends, once more, or close up the Hekma with our Naktamun dead! Exert lets a creature give 110% when it swings to convey some additional benefit, at the cost of not untapping the following turn.

A reminder for using Exert — you must declare whether or not you’re Exerting a creature BEFORE blockers are declared. The option to Exert a creature triggers as the creature’s being declared as an attacker, so you have to decide before your opponent declares blockers.

This means you must Exert your creatures carefully if you want to successfully use them during the Amonkhet prerelease. There’s no use Exerting every time and skipping every second combat — AND giving your opponent a combat step where he knows you can’t block! I’d be careful to Exert only when you need it for your creature to get through or when you specifically need the creature’s Exert bonus. If you can read your opponent and anticipate what the boardstate will be in a turn or two and whether or not it’s safe, go ahead!

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IN THE AFTERMATH

Aftermath is pretty straightforward: it’s like Flashback, but for spells.

Wait, what? Don’t those already have Flashback?

Actually, Aftermath is a new take on split cards like Fire // Ice and Ready // Willing. Cards with Aftermath also function as two separate spells, but one of them can only be cast from the graveyard. Then, just like with Flashback and Embalm, the card gets exiled.

 Once again, we’re getting the value of two cards for the cost of one, on a bit of a layaway plan. This time, though, we’ll have to be more careful — many of the Aftermath spells have heavier mana costs than normal, and none of them have cycling, so they’re not going into your graveyard for free. I would look at the “normal” side of an Aftermath card when building your Amonkhet prerelease deck and judge whether or not I actually want it in my deck before including it.

 (Also, a side note for the more invested among us, and by “invested” I mean “people who like Isochron Scepter“: as of Amonkhet’s release, all split cards are treated as though their CMC is the combined CMC of both halves when in any zone other than the stack. This makes them much more difficult to use with Scepter and similar effects, but much easier to actually remember how they work without six minutes of Googling and a judge call. Overall, I’m a fan.)

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I LIKE TO RIDE MY CYCLING CARDS, CYCLING CARDS, CYCLING CARDS

An old friend slides back into Magic with Cycling’s appearance in Amonkhet!

Cycling is sometimes challenging to evaluate. Cycling cards are usually a little overcosted, but the benefit is that they’re not dead in your hand or deck — if you’re in a situation where you’re holding a Cycling card that does nothing for you, you can cash it in to draw a card instead, and have another chance at drawing that premium removal spell much-needed land drop. In general, you can safely include narrower effects and more toolbox-y cards in your deck when they have Cycling, because they don’t take up an entire card slot.

With Cycling, I’d be careful to manage the number of cycling cards versus the number of cycling-payoff cards in your deck. I’ll be looking for at least 8-9 cycling cards before I include my first Drake Haven or Horror of the Broken Lands.

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GENERAL NOTES

As always, drink water, eat healthy, get some rest, and don’t be afraid to call a Judge if you need to, they’re there to help everyone at the Amonkhet prerelease.

Also, remember BREAD — bombs, removal, evasive creatures, aggressive creatures, then duds. Live by the bread, die by the bread. Be the bread.

(… if you’re wondering why none of those phrases used “bread” originally, I recommend breadening your horizons. Eh? … Eh?)

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THE PLANESWALKER DECK CHALLENGE CONCLUDES IN OUR NEXT COLUMN — WHILE YOU’RE WAITING, COME HANG OUT AT THE STORE 

I have finally plunged the Dovin Baan Planeswalker Deck we’ve forged over the course of Aether Revolt (1, 2, 3) into the crucible of Standard combat at A Muse N Games, even as the fires of the Revolt began to smolder. Soon, my friends, I shall tell you tales of towers, rats, and energy. Soon.

In the interim, A Muse N Games is hosting Amonkhet prereleases events all weekend! Swing by at midnight, noon, 5 PM, and 6 PM Sunday for sweet, sweet Amonkhet Prerelease Sealed action — and a chance at sweet, sweet prizes!

On top of that, the GPT Farewell Tour continues with GPT Montreal Standard on Sunday April 30 and GPT Vegas Legacy on Sunday May 7, both at noon (11 AM registration)!

Finally, it is time for the human boardgames to be celebrated! International Tabletop Day is Saturday April 29, and A Muse N Games has a bunch of fun things planned and prizes waiting! Bring a game, bring a friend, bring both, bring neither, just come on down!

See you at the store!

Jesse Mackenzie is a regular contributor to A Muse N Games. He has spent the last week staring at As Foretold and dreaming of free counterspells on his opponents’ turns. Tune in every two weeks for The Mana Dork, his column on all things Magic!

Hour of Devastation Game Day

by July 6, 2017

Hour of Devastation Game Day
Hour of Devastation Game Day is a Standard format tournament with swiss rounds and a top cut.

Details

Date: August 5, 2017
Start Times: 12:00 pm & 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: $6 (taxes included)

Prizing

Hour of Devastation Game Day Promos

Abrade Game Day Promo Card — One for each Hour of Devastation Game Day participant (while supplies last)
Adorned Pouncer Premium Game Day Promo Card — One for each player in the Top 8 of an Hour of Devastation Game Day event
Mastermind Playmat — One for the winner each Hour of Devastation Game Day Event

Hour of Devastation Game Day Abrade Hour of Devastation Game Day Adorned Pouncer

Hour of Devastation Game Day at A Muse N Games will feature two Standard events at 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm on August 5th giving you two chances to win some great promotional cards or even prove you are the “Mastermind” with the official Hour of Devastation Game Day playmat from Wizards of the Coast. The events will feature swiss rounds and a top cut for the best of the best to compete in. While it is a competitive event, we welcome newer players to come try out their hand in some organised play with a great atmosphere at A Muse N Games. Be sure to bring out your friends who may not have tried in-store play before and introduce them to organised play! Let people know on Facebook your coming on our event pages for our noon event or our 5:00 pm event. Be sure to come by our store to ask any questions about the Hour of Devastation Game Day or any of our other events

Leading up to the event you can try out your new Hour of Devastation cards in your Standard decks on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm at the store to make sure you’re ready for the competition. If you are looking for a more casual event check out our Hour of Devastation League designed to introduce new players as well as experienced players to have fun in a more light-hearted atmosphere.

Magic Hour of Devastation League

by July 6, 2017

Hour of Devastation League

Hour of Devastation League Kickoff is on Saturday, July 22 at 2:00 pm. Regular League meetups will be on Sundays starting July 30 at 2:00 pm and run until the finale on August 13.

To enter the league, a player gets 3 packs of Hour of Devastation for $20.

  • Players will open three booster packs and use those boosters to build a 30-card deck
  • The Hour of Devastation League will last three weeks. (Players may enter the league at any point during the league)
  • After every 3 losses, or once each week, players can add an additional pack of Amonkhet or Hour of Devastation to their card pool for $6 (taxes included)
  • Matches consist of a single game. Each player gets one free mulligan at the start of the game
  • Players can bring their Hour of Devastation League decks and play games throughout the week in addition to getting together on Sunday afternoons for league day!
  • Prizing will include various promos, foils, and other goodies, depending on total players involved in the Hour of Devastation League

Hour of Devastation League is a great way to get started into playing Magic the Gathering if you’re a first time player or a great way to introduce your favourite game to a friend who has never played or is just learning. We provide a great atmosphere for new players as the staff as well as other players will be around to assist with deckbuilding and helping teach the game. Everyone has the same deckbuilding restrictions so you do not have to worry about being blown out by players with $200+ decks that are tuned perfectly for the meta. Every deck has a lot of flavour and exciting new strategies can be found playing in the Hour of Devastation League. Feel free to come by the store to ask any questions about the league or Magic the Gathering in general!

Hour of Devastation Release Weekend

by July 19, 2017

Hour of Devastation, the latest Magic the Gathering set, will be here on July 14th, 2017! Here is what we have scheduled for the release weekend:

Friday, July 14

Noon: Hour of Devastation Draft
Players receive 2-packs of Hour of Devastation & 1-Pack of Amonkhet, and draft the best 40 card deck they can.
Entry Fee $20
Prizing: 1.5 Packs per player into the prize pool.
Each player playing through all swiss rounds receives a booster pack from the prize pool!

3:30 pm: Hour of Devastation Draft
Players receive 2-packs of Hour of Devastation & 1-Pack of Amonkhet, and draft the best 40 card deck they can.
Entry Fee $20
Prizing: 1.5 Packs per player into the prize pool.
Each player playing through all swiss rounds receives a booster pack from the prize pool!

6:30 pm: Hour of Devastation Sealed
Players receive an Hour of Devastation Prerelease kit (while supplies list). These includes a Foil Promo, Spindown Counter, 4-Packs of Hour of Devastation and 2-Packs of Amonkhet.
Entry fee $36
Players will enjoy 4 rounds of swiss.
Prizing: 1.5 Packs per player into the prize pool.
Each player playing through all swiss rounds receives a booster pack from the prize pool!

7:30 pm: Commander
Both casual and Competitive pods as usual.
Entry fee $6
Prizing: Casual Players each receive a Booster Pack for participating.
Competitive Players – prizing to the winner, prize TBD based on players entering. (8 or more players and a revised Dual will be up for grabs.

9:30 pm: Archenemy / Planechase Commander
Entry fee $6
Prizing: 1.5 Packs per player into the prize pool.
Each player playing through all swiss rounds receives a booster pack from the prize pool!

Saturday, July 15

Noon: Hour of Devastation Draft
Players receive 2-packs of Hour of Devastation & 1-Pack of Amonkhet, and draft the best 40 card deck they can.
Entry Fee $20
Prizing: 1.5 Packs per player into the prize pool.
Each player playing through all swiss rounds receives a booster pack from the prize pool!

4:00 pm: Hour of Devastation Draft
Players receive 2-packs of Hour of Devastation & 1-Pack of Amonkhet, and draft the best 40 card deck they can.
Entry Fee $20
Prizing: 1.5 Packs per player into the prize pool.
Each player playing through all swiss rounds receives a booster pack from the prize pool!

Hour of Devastation Prerelease Weekend July 8-9

by July 15, 2017

Hour of Devastation Prerelease

A Muse N Games is hosting 4 Hour of Devastation Prerelease events for the newest Magic: the Gathering set! Midnight, Noon, and 5 pm on Saturday, July 8 and then 6pm on Sunday,July 9.

Hour of Devastation prerelease events will start promptly with deck construction at the listed start times. Early Bird registration $35 taxes in if you register before 10:00 pm Wednesday, July 5. Regular registration is $40 taxes in.

Each participating player will receive a special prerelease pack containing 4-packs of Hour of Devastation, 2-packs of Amonkhet, a spindown life counter, and promotional foil card! Two Hour of Devastation booster packs per player will be placed into the prize pool. Any player who plays through all four rounds of swiss receive at least one Hour of Devastation booster pack from the prize pool.

Further prizing information will be announced closer to the date of the Hour of Devastation prerelease. You can preregister now in store or online below.

Midnight

Noon

5:00 pm

Sunday

Amonkhet Game Day

by May 14, 2017

Amonkhet Game Day is a standard format tournament with swiss rounds and a top cut.

Details

Date: May 20-21, 2017
Registration: 11:00 am
Start Time: 12:00 pm
Entry Fee: $6 (taxes included)

Prizing

amonkhet game day prizing

Promo cards—one for each event participant
8 rare, premium promo cards—one for each player in the Top 8
1 first-place playmat—for the winner of our Game Day event

Amonkhet Standard Showdown

by May 7, 2017

Amonkhet Standard Showdown starts May 6th at A Muse N Games!

Amonkhet Standard Showdown

Entry Fee $6. 3 rounds of standard action with Amonkhet Standard Showdown booster packs from Wizards of the Coast up for grabs. Events start every Saturday (with the exception of May 20th for Amonkhet Game Day) at 3:00 pm.

Amonkhet Standard Showdown booster packs consist of 2 rares or mythic rares, 1 Amonkhet full-art, and 1 premium card from a currently legal Standard set (it can be any rarity, and it can be a full-art land). It is worth noting Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations will not appear in these booster packs. Prizing distribution will be determined based on the number of entrants.

The Amonkhet Standard Showdown events are a great way to show off your latest deck builds using the new Amonkhet set and/or any standard legal cards. Along with our Tuesday night Standard days, these events give you weekly opportunities to play in a fun and competitive atmosphere.

Amonkhet League

by May 10, 2017

League starts May 7 at 2pm with the finale on May 28!

To enter the league, a player gets 3 packs of Amonkhet for $20.

  • 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)
  • After every 3 losses, or once each week, players can add an additional pack of Amonkhet to their card pool for $6 (taxes included)
  • 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!
  • Prizing will include various promos, foils, and other goodies, depending on total players involved in the league

Magic Open House April

by April 12, 2017

Magic Open House

Magic Open House is an all day event with many events throughout the day to celebrate Magic the Gathering at A Muse N Games. We will be hosting our usual Saturday draft at noon, mini masters tournament throughout the day, and a 2 pm standard tournament.

There will be participation prizes from Wizards of the Coast as well as draws and prizing for the tournaments. Bring a friend who has never played Magic before and you will receive a premium full-art basic land from Amonkhet and your friend will receive a free welcome deck (while supplies last).

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!

Grand Prix Trials Farewell Tour 2017

by June 3, 2017

grand prix trials
Earlier this year, Wizards of the Coast announced that in store Grand Prix Trial events would be ending after Grand Prix Las Vegas. A Muse N Games will be the only store in Manitoba hosting Grand Prix Trials for both Grand Prix Montreal (May 19-21) and Grand Prix Las Vegas (June 14-18). To help send the Grand Prix Trials into retirement, we are happy to announce the Farewell Tour 2017!

Magic the Gathering Grand Prix Trials Farewell Tour will be hosted by A Muse N Games consisting of 10 tournaments between March 25 and June 2. We will be running GPT Events for Standard, Legacy, Modern, and Limited.

 

Date Time Event Type Entry Fee (taxes included) Add this event to your Calendar
Sat, March 25 Registration: 11:00 am
First Round: 12:00 pm
GPT Vegas Legacy $20 Facebook

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Sun, March 26 Registration: 11:00 am
Deckbuilding: 12:00 pm
GPT Vegas Limited Featuring Modern Masters 2017 $95 Facebook

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Mon, March 27 Registration: 6:00 pm
First Round: 7:00 pm
GPT Vegas Modern $20 Facebook

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Sun, April 9 Registration: 11:00 am
First Round: 12:00 pm
GPT Vegas Modern $20 Facebook

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Sun, April 16 Registration: 11:00 am
First Round: 12:00 pm
GPT Vegas Legacy $20 Facebook

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Sun, April 30 Registration: 11:00 am
First Round: 12:00 pm
GPT Montreal Standard $20 Facebook

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Sun, May 7 Registration: 11:00 am
First Round: 12:00 pm
GPT Vegas Legacy $20 Facebook

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Fri, May 26 Registration: 6:00 pm
Deckbuilding: 6:30 pm
GPT Vegas Limited Featuring Amonkhet $50 Facebook

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Sun, May 28 Registration: 11:00 am
First Round: 12:00 pm
GPT Vegas Modern $20 Facebook

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Fri, June 2 Registration: 6:00 pm
Deckbuilding: 6:30 pm
GPT Vegas Limited Featuring Amonkhet $50 Facebook

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GPT Farewell Tour Playmat

Winners of each Grand Prix Trials event will receive the GPT Farewell Tour 2017 Playmat! There will also be some playmats that will be given away so everyone has a chance to get one!

grand prix trials

Event Details

Standard – Entry Fee $20

Three packs of Amonkhet per player will be entered into the prize pool.
Prizing will be distributed after swiss rounds, before the cut.
First place will also receive a GPT Farewell Tour 2017 playmat.

Legacy and Modern – Entry Fee $20

One pack of Modern Masters 2017 per player will be entered into the prize pool. Players may opt to substitute and receive Eternal Masters or three packs of Aether Revolt instead.
Prizing will be distributed after swiss rounds, before the cut.
First place will also receive a GPT Farewell Tour 2017 playmat.

Sealed Modern Masters 2017 – Entry Fee $95

Each player will receive six packs to build their decks. Two packs of Modern Masters 2017 per player will be entered into the prize pool.
Prizing will be distributed after swiss rounds, before the cut.
First place will also receive a GPT Farewell Tour 2017 playmat.

Sealed Amonkhet – Entry Fee $50

Each player will receive six packs to build their decks. Two packs of Amonkhet per player will be entered into the prize pool. If there are 16 or more entrants, top 8 will additionally booster draft Amonkhet.
Prizing will be distributed after swiss rounds, before the cut.
First place will also receive a GPT Farewell Tour 2017 playmat.

FAQ:
Q: Can I register in advance for a tournament?
A: Yes, players can register in store at their convenience.

Q: If I win an event, do I have to use my byes with the GP of the corresponding type?
A: WotC has informed us “Winners of your Grand Prix Trials may apply their byes to any (or all) of the three Grand Prix.”

Q: The event says that it starts at noon, but registration starts at 11am, when should I show up?
A: The first round of the event will start promptly at noon. The store opens at 11am. We encourage players to arrive no later then 11:45.