Blog the Magic Gathering

A poor man's blog for Magic the Gathering (MtG), Wizards of the Coast (WoTC), deck construction, cards, combos, game play, MtG podcasts, etc.

What is "Magic: the Gathering"? Magic is a collectible fantasy-themed playing card game kinda combining Uno, War, Chess, and art dealing: match colors, draw 4, high card beat low card, different cards attack in different ways while you ogle hot chicks and dragons drawn by your favorite artists on cards you can sometimes sell for big money.
It's Pokimon for grown ups. Srsly, get your Pokimon player a Magic deck and they'll instantly sprout pubes and consider a career as a mathmatician.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008:


Shards of Alara Spoiler: Cards and Comments

The Windwright Mage is my favorite card so far, mostly for the art (I'm often tempted to make a deck with nothing but hot chicks), it's also in my favorite shard: Esper - blue, white, & black with a focus on artifacts. :)

Shards of Alara Spoiler (and my comments):

Ajani Vengeant 2 Red White
Planeswalker - Ajani
+1: Target permanent doesn't untap during its controller's next untap step.
-2: Ajani Vengeant deals 3 damage to target creature or player and you gain 3 life.
-7: Destroy all lands target player controls.
[You can use the +1 ability to stall an opponent by tapping enemy lands until you can destroy all their lands completely, but it's a slow card: you have to wait a couple rounds to bring this card into play, so it's not really a card I'd want for my opening hand, and it may take a few turns before it's -7 ability can be used, so it might get removed before you get much use out of it, and a 3 seems too easy to kill. I don't think I'll be happy with this card unless I have a couple of low mana cards to combo with it, maybe some mana accelerators.]

Blightning 1 Black Red
Blightning deals 3 damage to target player. That player discards two cards.
[3 damage for 3 mana, that 1 to 1 ratio is standard for Red cards, but it's harder to get a black and a red mana at the same time, so they let you discard a couple of your opponents cards. Not bad, but watch out for cards your opponent would LOVE to discard.]

Bull Cerodon 4 Red White
Creature - Beast
Vigilance, haste
It holds motionless vigil, watching Naya in silence through the screen of the whitecover. When it senses anything amiss, it launches forward with the uncanny sound of torn fog.
Illus. Jesper Ejsing
[Eh, I still don't like high mana cost cards, but it's priced fairly.]

Caldera Hellion 3 Red Red
Creature - Hellion
Devour 1 (As this creature comes into play, sacrifice any number of creatures. Put a +1/+1 counter on this creature for each creature sacrificed this way)
When Caldera Hellion comes into play, it deal 3 damage to each creature.
Illus. Raymond Swanland
[If you like mono-red, you've got a 3/3 boardsweeper at a decent cost. Try to hit your opponent and sacrifice a few goblin tokens just before damage resolves and you just might have a game-winner. I like the art, even if it is only a big worm, from Hell; it's kinda dragonesque, almost looks like it's spews fire.]

Corpse Connoisseur 4 Black
Creature - Zombie Wizard
When Corpse Connoisseur comes into play, you may search your library for a creature card and put it into your graveyard. If you do, shuffle your library.
Unearth (When you pay the unearth cost, put this creature from your graveyard into play. It gains haste until end of turn. Remove this card from the game at end of turn or if it would leave play. Play this ability only at time you could play a sorcery.)
Illus. Mark Hyzer
[Nice for Dredge. I'm goth, I love playing in graveyards. ;)]

Courier's Capsule 1 Blue
1 Blue, Tap: Sacrifice Courier's Capsule: Draw two cards.
[I might play it if I can reanimate it, but it seems kinda expensive. You could theoretically play it on your first turn and activate it on your second, so it's not a horrible thing to get in your opening hand, but you might not have alot mana left over for other spells unless it stays in play unactivated for a turn or two while you're hoping it isn't removed. I'm not too excited about this card. Wizards of the Coast probably wanted to prevent "fast card draw", so they made it more mana-expensive to prevent people from making insane combos and breaking the game. ...but it's card draw, so people will use it.]

Deft Duelist White Blue
Creature - Human Rogue
First strike
Shroud (This creature can't be the target of spells or abilities.)
Illus. David Palumbo
[I don't like it. A 2/1 firststriker is most useful in the early game, but it's 2 mana means it can't come into play until the 2nd round and will need to be hastened or it won't even see combat until the 3rd round, but by the 3rd round your opponent's creatures might be tough enough to not care about 2 damage; I would look for combos to use with this card before considering it for a deck, something to make enemy creatures weaker or something which benefits from you being able to keep a creature in play. A Deft Dualist can clear the board of weenies though, slowly.]

Goblin Assault 2 Red
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a 1/1 red Goblin creature token with haste into play.
Goblin creatures attack each turn if able.
[Play this early then bring out your Caldera Hellion. Honestly, I root for elves over goblins, because I like hot chicks, but goblins can be amusing... and deadly.]

Hellkite Overlord 4 Black Red Red Green
Creature - Dragon
Flying, trample, haste
Red: Hellkite Overlord gets +1/+0 until end of turn.
Black Green: Regenerate Hellkite Overlord.
Illus. Justin Sweet
[I would probably never play this card if I had to pay the mana cost, but Dragonstorm works.]

Jund Battlemage 2 Red
Creature - Human Shaman
Black, Tap: Target player loses 1 life.
Green, Tap: Put a 1/1 green Saproling creature token into play.
[Untap to combo. The mana cost is decent, but you might want to wait for your Black or Green mana to show up before bringing it into play (unless your opponent can discard your hand).]

Kiss of the Amesha 4 White Blue
Target player gains 7 life and draws two cards.
[Eh, it's ok, mostly boring.]

Naya Battlemage 2 Green
Creature - Human Shaman
Red, Tap: Target creature gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
Green, Tap: Tap target creature.
[3 mana for a 2/2 with nice combat tricks to combo with untappers. Looking good, in more ways than one... the art is lovely. :)]

Qasali Ambusher 1 Green White
Creature - Cat Warrior
If you control a Forest and a Plains and a creature is attacking you, you may play Qasali Ambusher without paying its mana cost and as though it has flash.
[I hate the cat-people art, but I love free stuff. :D]

Rhox War Monk Green White Blue
Creature - Rhino Monk
[WoTC -> TMNT? WTF? Enough with the Mutagen already.]

Sharding Sphinx 4 Blue Blue
Artifact Creature - Sphinx
Whenever an artifact creature you control deals combat damage to an opponent, you may put a 1/1 blue Thopter artifact creature token with flying into play.
[6 mana means I'd expect to win or lose the game before ever being able to cast Sharding Sphinx and a cheap counter would give my opponent mana advantage, but it's ability can give you a quick swarm of thopters, so it might be a game-winner. I don't really care for it very much, I'm paranoid about my big spells being countered.]

Stoic Angel 1 Green White Blue
Creature - Angel
Flying, vigilance
Players can't untap more than one creature during their untap steps.
[I totally love the concept of playing angels, but MtG angels are nothing but violent and boring. MtG angels suck.]

Tezzeret the Seeker 3 Blue Blue
Planeswalker - Tezzeret
+1: Untap up to two target artifacts.
-X: Search your library for an artifact card with converted mana cost X or less and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.
-5: Artifacts you control become 5/5 artifact creatures until end of turn.
Illus. Anthony Francisco
[I like untapping, I love fetching, and turning artifacts into creatures sounds like a breakable mechanic, so I'm really excited about this card, I just wish it had the art of the Windwright Mage.]

Tower Gargoyle 1 White Blue Black
Artifact Creature - Gargoyle
[4 mana for a 4/4 Flyer in my favorite colors, nice, but I might need some mana fixers to get it out earlier.]

Windwright Mage White Blue Black
Artifact Creature - Human Wizard
Windwright Mage has flying as long as an artifact card is in your graveyard.
She knows the names and secrets of each of Esper's twenty-three winds.
Illus. Chippy
[3 for a 2/2 lifelinker and she'll probably get her flying, because her shard is heavy on artifacts, and she has a decent mana cost; I'd use her.]

A visual spoiler can be found here:


Thomas Painter   
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