Monthly Archives: October 2017

Amonkhet League Finale 

Yesterday was the finale of the first Fenland Gamers Magic League. We had been using the Amonkhet set for this. 

My first game of the afternoon was Michael. Michael’s deck was a nasty one. I haven’t won against him all season, although I did come close once! I started off well this time. But it soon all fell apart and I was looking defeat in the face again. With 2 life left, and a Painful Lesson in hand, instead of waiting to take the beating from Michael I committed suicide. I played Painful Lesson on myself. 

Next up another player I had never won against, Josh. That was a very quick game. I spent most of that game waiting for a swamp to surface so I could play one of the cards I had in hand. 

Jamie threw down a challenge to play him next. But before I accepted I went to my sideboard and swapped in Harsh Mentor. I’m glad I’d pulled this card. It was a silver bullet for Jamie’s deck. Playing it early would disrupt his game plan. 

The corner stone of Jamie’s plan are these two cards.

Which usually chips away at you until he can swing in with his creatures. You take a bit of damage in the build up, and your creatures are stopped from attacking. Eventually at the crucial moment you can’t block either. This time I was able to get Harsh Mentor early, which forced Jamie to remove it with an instant spell which I think was Cut/Ribbons. That spell in the graveyard nearly won him the game. If he’d had one more mana it would have. But I get ahead of myself, back to the removal of Harsh Mentor. That scuppered my plan. I wasn’t worried I had a second, and hopefully would draw into it quickly. I even used my suicide card on myself to try and draw into it. Luckily I play with Wander in Death that allows me to pull back two creatures from my graveyard. While I was waiting for either of the two cards to turn up I was doing a pretty good job of making sure Jamie didn’t execute his plan and keeping his battlefield empty or not able to attack. So when I drew Wander in Death with Jamie on 7 health and myself on 8. I knew I had him. Harsh Mentor was out on the board, next turn bam! Jamie was shut down, he knew it was over if he couldn’t pull it out of the bag. He did the math, the Ribbons half of Cut/Ribbons was short by 1 mana for killing me. Jamie decided to make the futile jesture anyway of dealing me the 7 damage. I was on 1 health, my go. Unable to switch off my attackers with out hurting himself, or block me with creatures, I swung in for the kill and sweet sweet victory. I was a bit vocal, and a quick tease of Michael from Josh and me as I had beaten Jamie when he hadn’t been able to. 

After beating Jamie it was my turn to play Sarah. Harsh Mentor was returned to the sideboard, it had done its job. The game started out poorly. And I was soon in single digit health. But then my cards started kicking in. With my Cartouche  of Ambition out I had life link, and my life total started going up. I had weathered the storm and was hitting back. Somehow in a game I thought I was going to lose, I clawed my way back to get a victory. Two wins in a row! 

Next up was Jamie’s son Lucas. The cards were just totally unkind to Lucas. He just had no answer for the cards I was playing. By the time I’d won I had accumulated over 40 life. 

My final game of the afternoon was Chris. Another player I had not won against all season. Another big hitter. We traded blows. Scuppering each other’s plans along the way. But I ended up victorious. Bloody hell what was happening 4 back to back wins. What a way to end the season. 

I’ve really enjoyed our League. My final record for the season was 11 wins, 16 losses.

Michael took the Most Wins and the Most Plays awards for the season and walked away with two boosters as his prizes. Sarah got the friendliest player award and a booster. So congratulations to them both. 

For those interested here is the final version of my deck.

Deck: Fenland Gamers Amonkhet League 2017.dec
Counts : 30 main


  • 1 Bloodrage Brawler
  • 1 Dune Beetle
  • 1 Gust Walker
  • 2 Blighted Bat
  • 1 Cursed Minotaur
  • 1 Wasteland Scorpion
  • 1 Emberhorn Minotaur
  • 1 Merciless Javelineer


  • 1 Blazing Volley
  • 2 Magma Spray
  • 1 Impeccable Timing
  • 1 Mighty Leap
  • 2 Cartouche of Ambition
  • 1 Faith of the Devoted
  • 1 Painful Lesson
  • 1 Sweltering Suns
  • 1 Wander in Death


  • 1 Cradle of the Accursed
  • 3 Mountain
  • 2 Plains
  • 1 Sunscorched Desert
  • 3 Swamp

A big thank you to our hosts Fenrock. Great facilities and just as important coffee. 

Our next Magic League will start in November, and will be using the Ixalan set. If you are interested in joining in on the fun you can find out dates and times on the Fenland Gamers Facebook page in the events section,

In the meantime we do have on the 21st a Commander session planned if anyone local fancies playing. Once again details on our clubs Facebook page.

Ixalan Rare, Mythics, and Foils I Pulled #6

Two more after this one folks. I know it’s dragging on. It’s getting boring. But I’m determined to see this through to the bitter end. I do like that Spell Swindle card though. I love that it counters a spell, plus you get lots of treasure artifact tokens too. That’s just rubbing salt into the wound if you ask me.

I can also see Priest of the Wakening Sun seeing some action to. Life gain, plus being able to sacrifice (at a cost) to find a dinosaur from your deck. Yep I’ll take that. I also like the look of Kinjalli’s Sunwing, basically stopping opponents blocking with newly cast creatures. Switches of that flash ability. Love it.

Winning the arms race

Somehow Jonathan, Edmund, and myself managed to fight our way through the trials and tribulations of life to get to the White Lion last night to play games.

One of the hardest things to do for a game night is deciding before hand what to take along to possibly play. Too many games competing for attention. Thanks to the “I’m going” option of the Facebook event for the evening it helps narrow the options down. But it’s still a hard decision. You have to cater for those going (taking into account their likes and dislikes) and potentially for anyone else that turns up.

In the end, after minutes of indecisiveness, I grabbed Tiny Epic Quest, The Manhattan Project, Love Letter: Batman and Red 7.

Our first game of the evening was the classic worker placement game The Manhattan Project. 

When I recorded that we were playing the game in the boardgame stats app it showed as a first play! So it has been around two years since Jonathan and I last played the game. That’s so shameful. A great game like The Manhattan Project deserves to be played more regularly. But with so many games between us, and new stuff coming in, it’s so hard to get everything to the table.

With there being such a long gap since our long play we were having to refresh our memories of the rules, whilst explaining the rules to Edmund. 

I have the expansion for the game, which is modula (you only play with the bits you want to). The bit we have played with is the Nations module, which are some cards that make each player unique, giving them an ability that only they can use. I combine the expansion Nation cards with the cards from the Nations mini expansion.

Jonathan had forgotten about testing bombs, which he remembered after I tested mine. But at that point it was too late he’d screwed his game plan up. I was the first to test a bomb, therefore picking up 8 whole points. There was some pressure from Edmund but I’d got a good engine going on my player board that meant I was mostly just doing actions on my board and not the main one.

I managed to grab the win. But Edmund and I had ran way ahead on the points front. 

We really are blessed with some great worker placement games in our collections. It’d be fair to say we enjoy that mechanic. We must try harder getting them to the table. But it won’t be easy.

Our second and final game of the evening was a learning game of Red 7.

I’d picked this up at the Expo. Since it’s release a couple of years ago now it’s had really good buzz. 

Having now played the game I can see why. At first it seems so simple. 49 cards, split between 7 colours each numbered between 1 to 7. Each colour is associated with a rule, for example for Red the rule is highest value wins. Each player starts with a hand of 7 cards, and a face up card in front of them called their pallete. On your turn you can play a card to your pallete, to the canvas (like a discard pile) to change the rule. Or do both. The only condition is you have to be winning at the end of your turn or you are out.

This is a real thinker. It’s great fun playing it in the basic mode, or the advanced. Basic mode is a single round game. Advanced is first to a point total based on number of players. With 3 players it was 35 points. The advanced mode sees cards being removed and kept to one side to track points. The winner of a round scores the cards that meets the winning criteria. They go under that players player reference. So removed from the game. Which adds another level of strategy you have to consider. Plus it’s possible to draw cards in the advanced mode. It’s so much fun in advanced mode. It gets even more thinky! 

Plus we didn’t use the optional rule that brings into play the icons on the odd numbered cards!

Oh Edmund rocked this game and won the basic game and the advanced one.

This was a fun game. Lived up to the hype. Will definitely be hitting the table again.

A great evening gaming again, with great people. Cliched I know. But it’s true.

Same time next week?

Hobbit Hole Ixalan League Night #1

Last night was the start of the MtG Ixalan League at my FLGS The Hobbit Hole (link on the right hand side of the page).

For an entry fee of £10, you get three Ixalan booster packs, a league deck box (cardboard), a tracking sheet, and the opportunity to play MtG on a regular basis.

Before I go on and talk about my experience of the nights playing MtG in this league. I should point out I have signed up to one previously, however didn’t really get any games because it clashed with game night. And that I have been running an Amonhket one for The Fenland Gamers over the last couple of months or so (it’s taken longer than four weeks due to various factors).

I think that the League format is a great way to get new and old players playing together on a more even playing field. It removes the card pool advantage a long time player has. There is also the affordability of it. You don’t have to buy lots and lots of boosters to play. It limits that to an initial three, then one a week after that, plus you may buy an additional pack for every three loses in a row you have. The fact you get a rather nice looking cardboard deck box as well for that tenner makes it that you are getting a little bit more value for your money. Remember my FLGS sells three boosters for a tenner. Plus you are getting that deck box.

Then you need to factor in that for participation (after playing 10 games) you get a promo Unclaimed Territory land card. Plus if I’m remembering right we are also going to get an additional foil card from the shops foil card folder of our choice!

That takes the vfm (value for money) by the end of the league to way over the initial tenner. I’m not counting in the extra boosters you can buy during the league to strengthen your deck. They are what they are, boosters bought at £3.50 a time.

Now we are talking about boosters how did I do with my three for the league?

Well I pulled the foil Vanquisher’s Banner below. I’m really chuffed with that. I had target bought the regular version at the weekend. But to now have the foil, super cool.

Spoiler alert but I did lose three games last night. So that will explain to the observant and those that care why there are four cards in the following photo of the rares that I pulled. I got the chance to buy an extra booster to help improve my deck (possibly, maybe).

I played John the owner of The Hobbit Hole for my first two games. Our first game was over quickly, I was not drawing well, and John just destroyed me. Our second game I lasted longer, but the end result was the same. Maybe my decision to go with a green/blue (simic) dinosuar merfolk deck was a mistake?

My third game against Mark, a player returning to Magic was just as bad as the first two. But this third loss did mean I could get another booster to try and make my deck stronger. Yay!

I tweaked my deck, added in a couple of mountains, so now the deck was going to become blue/green/red (temur). Took out a couple more lands ( I was sure I had too many lands in my deck). They were replaced by a couple of red removal cards, and a red dinosaur.

Mark and I then had a rematch. This time the deck was working better, and I got the win.

My final match was against Kath. This was a bit of a slow game, with a lot of build up, getting our forces into place. Then we started trading blows. This sort of game was ideal for me. I was able to get my dinosaurs and merfolk into place. I had been frustrating Kath with some of my blue control cards early on that stopped her using her creatures to attack.

But our game came down to one play. I was on 11 health, Kath was on 7. She swung in with everything on her battlefield. 12 points of damage coming in. A killing blow. Unless…

I played Fiery Cannonade. A card that had been sitting in my hand for most of the game, waiting for the right moment. It’s time had come. One of the cards Kath was attacking with was not a pirate. It was an unblockable merfolk (can’t remember which one), a 3/2. It was gone. Only 9 damage delivered. I was still alive just. The big play had failed, leaving me able to swing in with my dinosaurs (yeah they all had more than 2 health) and deliver my killing blow.
So for the evening my record was 2 wins, 3 losses.

Next week I get to buy another pack, and hopefully pull some great cards to make this an awesome deck.

A great evening of playing Magic at my FLGS.

Ixalan Rare, Mythics, and Foils I Pulled #5

So we are over the hump of these posts, and on the homeward stretch.

I have to say there are some cards here I do like the sound of. How playable they are in reality is another thing. There is a bit of me that says sell Hostage Taker. But then there is another bit that says keep it, you may need it. Then I go and check the price it is currently. It’s a £15 card!!! I may just take the money and run on that one.

Anyway you don’t want to hear about my MtG trading plans. You want to see more rare and mythics that I pulled. So never one to disappoint here are the next batch of nine cards.


Getting some staples for Commander

I decided that to help me build my first commander deck it was cheaper to use a precon commander deck to get some of the “basics”.

I didn’t want to cannibalise my Commander 2017 or Anthology decks. They are my let’s play magic with a group of friends go tos.

So I grabbed a 2015 precon to act as that sacrificial deck. This will be my first 2015 precon. But seeing as I haven’t any of the others (well all of them), and I won’t be in a position to get them all. It won’t become part of that “let’s play magic” thing I just mentioned for 2017 and Anthology, I don’t feel guilty using it as card fodder.

This deck gives me Sol Ring and Command Tower for starters. Plus 74 other cards (excluding basic lands).

Just to target buy these two cards would be around £6.

I loved the following card Karmic Justice when I saw it. It’s like a warning, leave me alone or something bad will happen to you. Plus with me going with Gishath, Sun’s Avatar as my commander I can play it. But Karmic Justice is a £5 card on Magic Madhouse and eBay but £1.75 from Chaos Cards. So depending on availability of the cards on the sites I would have been looking at between £8 and £11 for three cards! Obviously target buying was looking to be potentially more expensive than just getting the precon. Plus would I have even looked at or known to look at Karmic Justice without getting the precon?

For me just on a value for money exercise I think taking this approach to building my first commander deck, and getting my hands on some of the deck staples, plus expand my card pool to build from, and learning about cards to put into my deck then this was a good buy for the money.

So Karmic Justice protects, kind of, cards like Thought Vessel below.

I like not having to worry about hand size. It means you can keep answers to problems in hand ready to play at the right moment. Like the following bit of jank.

Can I find a place in the deck for this bit of jank below? But this digresses from the point of the post because neither card is in this precon deck.

I’m still looking through the cards, and trying to think if they fit in with the deck I want to build. But then again I just know the commander at the moment, with no real plan.

Maybe in my next post on this first deck I should look at this commander and try and work out a plan for the deck?


Ixalan Rare, Mythics, and Foils I Pulled #4

Just about about half way I think in this long boring series of photos of MtG rare, mythic and foil cards from the latest set Ixalan.

I will say that I’m loving the art on the merfolk and dinosaur cards. However the vampire and pirate cards I am on a whole finding have my least favourite art of the set. I don’t know if it’s because they tend to be darker, or I’m just not liking the style. Just something isn’t clicking with me.

Oh you don’t want this middle aged man’s thoughts on the card art, go make your own mind up by looking at these cards for starters…

Ixalan Rare, Mythics, and Foils I Pulled #3

Here we are with the third in this series.

Luckily I have been able to do all these in one go and schedule them for release. Sadly for you that means I have probably used my best introductions up already, and after this post it just gets worse.

I should really be saying more about these cards. But in reality I’m not a judge of what is good and what is bad. For instance Burning Sun’s Avatar, and Regisaur Alpha look good cards to me. I like both their enter battlefield effects. Alpha gives you a 3/3 green dinosaur token with trample, and other dinosaurs you control get haste! Seems sweet to me.
And Rampaging Ferocidon looks made for Commander. Switching off life gain, and dealing damage when creatures enter the battlefield to it’s controller. I’d think this would be a real pain when it is out, and force others to get rid of it.Where as Fathom Fleet Captain doesn’t set my world on fire, and I could not see myself playing it.

But I’m sure experienced Magic and Commander players will correct me on my assessment of those cards.

See you in the fourth post in this series.