Monthly Archives: July 2018

Read the feckin label

A brief painting update.

I did some dry brushing on the mini to give it a “dirty” been living on the trail look.

I was happy with what I’d achieved. May not have been the best painting in the world. But as a first effort.

So I thought I’d finalise things by sealing it varnish.

Sadly I grabbed the wrong tin and as the photo below shows kinda ruined it with black primer!

I don’t want to add more layers of paint and lose detail. So I’ve ruled out painting over the major cockup. That leaves removing the paint and starting again.

Which after finding a UK blog post on the subject I made a trip to my local Morrison’s to get either the Dettol or own brand cleaner recommended today.

As I write this the model is in a jar of Dettol disinfectant doing its magic on the paint.

Oh well back to the drawing board.

I blame Scottish me

Those of you that haven’t blotted out my poorly written ramblings with copious amounts of single malt (if you have good taste) or binge drinking white lightning or some other cheap alcoholic beverage (if you don’t), will remember the other day that I bought some more paints and primer ( I also had a couple of Zombicide paint kits ordered). I don’t think I mentioned that the other day I used the primer in anger on a halfling wizard.

This morning I was feeling guilty for doing absolutely nothing yesterday. So I set up a painting station (that sounds like I know what I’m doing) in my living room in front of the tv this morning.

Using my none existent painting skills I’ve applied my base colours to the mini.

The paint might be too diluted. And almost a wash (ooh another technical term) , as the staff shows.

But as a first attempt I’m happy with the way it’s looking. Painting with the magnifier to see what I’m doing is taking some getting used to.

Just need to let this dry before trying to get the motivation to do the next coat/touches.

Update Star Realms NOW! United Assault Now available

We have a new expansion available in Star Realms, once you update the app that is.

The following screen grab shows you what you get for your money.

According to the app notes on the App Store there are also UI updates, and support for new foil cards.

It’s not great value for me because I don’t play the campaign. But if I did. But we know i’m getting it just for the new cards to play with.

Read the full release HERE.

It’s the final 2018 Commander

Yesterday was another day of Commander 2018 spoilers, so the final Commander reveal (official) and som pretty neat cards. Here are the ones that caught my eye yesterday.

There is a lot of buzz for Yuriko, The Tiger’s Shadow. If a lot of decks aren’t being planned or already up over night on edhrec (the only place to look for Commander deck listings, and card ideas) I’d be rather surprised. Heck I’d like to build a deck round this Commander.

We got the final storm card. You know how I feel about this 5 card series.

So will Friday see just more cards spoilt or complete deck-lists?

Watching paint dry

In this awful lizard weather there isn’t much going on. Well most of my friends are working while I have a day or two off. Due to swapping jobs I have less holiday over this summer than normal, so I’ve used some of it this week to be around to help Mum as she recovers from last weeks dalliances with ill health.

I have sourced a booster box of Battlebond for a good price that should be with me the end of next week. So like the booster box of Conspiracy 2 I have sitting around, the plan is to draft them with my friends, play some Magic, put the cards into a cube themed on that booster box. Then I can draft that set whenever I want with my friends. Plan is to do this also with Unstable. That’s been the plan/dream I’ve talked about before on hear. The reality of getting folks together to play makes it much harder than how simple it sounds.

Yesterday also saw me buy some paints and primer. Yes that old I must learn to paint my minis has cropped up again. I’ve done the dead easy bit on one of the halfling wizards, I’ve applied the primer. Along side it I’ve primed a spare plastic model that I will use to practice techniques on before trying them for real. I just need to muster the energy and enthusiasm up to continue on with this project. Especially in this heat.

Now I’ve bored you enough with the mundane happenings of life in the super slow lane of the middle aged, here is some more Commander 2018 spoilers…

So what goodies did yesterday’s spoilers bring us?

Well the third Planeswalker along with these cards that caught my eye. Naturally these are not all,of the cards that were spoiled. Just the ones that I liked the look of and said wow that would be good in deck xxx.

I’m really loving the storm series with these decks. Much better than those curses from 2017. Taking those curses out were the first thing I or anyone did when upgrading those decks. I can see and appreciate the design/idea about them. I just think they were bad. This storm series I can see myself getting hold of extra copies of these cards.

Plus there is a card that gives me a hard decision about stepping out of the horrors from the deep deck idea being mono blue.

Adventuring in Ravnica is getting physical

For D&D players and MtG players, and especially fans of both (like me) there has been the chance to crossover and role player in the MtG universe using the FREE pdf Plane Shift files that WotC produced. As recent sets have been released we have been treated to an art book and Plane Shift pdf. So from the WotC site you can download Plane Shift files for Zendikar, Innistrad, Kaladesh, Amonkhet, and Ixalan. Sadly since the Dominaria art book was released there has been no sign of a Dominaria Plane Shift file. Which is sad really. I think there are a lot, ok one or two people who’d like to see this.

But with falling attendances, and various hints that WotC are trying to cut back on costs and squeeze every penny (cutting out direct sales to stores, increasing prices to distributors, decreasing prize support to stores) they can out of the product (yes this game we love playing is at the end of the day a product) the recent news in the last couple of days (I think a SDCC announcement) is that come 20th November they are releasing an actual physical product that by the sounds of it replaces this free shit they were giving us.

This new physical manifestation will be for what will be the then current set Ravnica, and called in typical D&D style The Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica.

Along side this source book, there are also 2 other products being released to support it.

The first is something every D&D player, or even gamer can’t get enough of, dice. This according to the product page for your $25 get you the pretty picture container, and One d20, one d12, two d10s, one d8, four d6s, one d4, and one guild die.

The other supporting product which there are no details currently at the time of writing for other than it’s name is The Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica Maps and Miscellany. Which I’m at $20 I’m assuming is “world” maps, general maps of key locations and stuff!

So in reality the MtG loving D&D player is going to have to shell out $95 in totally to explore and go adventuring in Ravnica. You can reduce it, but until release we won’t know how necessary that guild die is. It maybe able to map it across to an existing due to avoid the purchasing of it. Unless they sell it separately, but then why should they?

I like the idea of these Plane Shift being a physical product. However I feel that WotC should also still be doing the free pdf. It’s the fans who downloaded and are playing those that showed WotC there is a demand for this. Rewarding them by removing the free and charging them instead feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth.

Personally I’d love to see a farewell to the Plane Shift series with Dominaria released. It’s also not clear if the art books will continue. I’d like to think that these will continue, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t unless the sales don’t justify them being produced.

I’ll be pre-ordering this stuff no doubt. I’m an addict.

So here we are with yesterdays spoilers and the pick of the ones that I think could fit in one of my existing decks.

I think with Fury Storm I’m detecting a theme. Will we see one in each deck? Which colour will be left out from the theme?

Deck plans

One of the things I love about MtG is the deck building and how expressive that deck building allows a player to be. Often decks (at a casual level anyway) reflect the person that built them in some way. God knows what my decks say about me.

This post is a housekeeping post for me. It’s my list of Commander decks that I would like to build. I know this is boring for those that read this blog. But I need to keep a record somewhere and this list and keeping it up to date is that.

Everyone knows I’m old and have a failing memory. So before old age catches up with me, and makes me forget I’m adding a new deck idea to the list.

With the recent reprinting of Crucible of Worlds that allows lands to be played from the graveyard, and Scapeshift that allows you to fetch lands after sacrificing lands, it got me thinking about a deck using the graveyard as an extension of your hand of cards. Yeah not a new idea, and a little late to the party since Muldrotha was printed in Dominaria. To some extent the Kess wizards deck is this idea but for instants and sorceries.

And I thought I have Muldrotha, and now have Crucible of Worlds and Scapeshift. I have Eternal Witness and The Gitrog Monster. So some “key” pieces that I’d require for a deck based on this idea. So like the Horror from the deep deck idea, I have some key cards, I just need to start assembling the initial deck. With Muldrotha I want to play cards from the graveyard irrespective of their card type. So this may even see Kess make an appearance as one of the 99.

Here is the new list of deck ideas.

  • Muldrotha, the gravetide
  • Infect/wither deck (Atraxa as the commander possibly)
  • Atraxa deck upgraded
  • Horror from the deep
  • Death and Taxes
  • Care bear
  • Abuse etb – Brago, King Eternal as the commander
  • Saproling and fungus (go wide or go home!) possible Commander Slimefoot, the Stowaway
  • Naturally part of this post is my ramblings and initial thoughts for the deck. They may not make sense or even be feasible, or the final decks might be totally trash. We will have to wait on see on those fronts. In the meantime I need to be playing more Commander and getting use out of my existing decks.
  • Which brings me to…
  • Spoiler season started Sunday for the Commander 2018 decks (which are due to be in our grubby hands on 10th August). Each day this week the official spoilers will be based around one of the decks.

    The 2018 Commander decks will see Planeswalkers returning as Commanders. All 4 have been spoiled (due to a leak). I’ve only come across one good image of the officially spoiled Commander, which is Saheeli, the gifted. So I’ll share those as good images come available.

    There were also other cards spoiled yesterday which were all related to the Saheeli deck. I’ve highlighted the 3 cards from those cards that I can see going into other decks of mine.

    I do have a complete set of the 4 decks on pre-order. The decision for me now is which ones to double down on to use the cards in other decks. Out of the 2017 decks I got 3 out of the 4 to use for deck building or upgrading.
    At the moment the Commanders aren’t jumping out to me. However the themes

    • Izzet (Blue-Red) Artifacts “Exquisite Invention”
    • Jund (Black-Red-Green) Lands “Nature’s Vengeance”
    • Bant (White-Blue-Green) Enchantments “Adaptive Enchantment”
    • Esper (White-Blue-Black) Top of Library Matters “Subjective Reality”
  • very well might. Which will be fun to play? That will decide which I will want to upgrade.
  • Anyway I’m looking forward to the next lot of spoilers, and the complete deck lists when they eventually go up.
  • It’s all about the game and how you play it.

    After a little bit of radio silence with life stuff and drama I’m back folks.

    A friend of mine foolishly sent me a photo of the scene that greeted him when he arrived home today.

    From this brief exchange you can see I was supportive and empathised with the situation.

    Naturally HHH and his entrance music came to mind.

    This afternoon Diego and I had a gaming session round his. His Atlanteans beat my Romans in Imperial Settlers.

    Whilst I managed to trade my way to victory in The Voyages of Marco Polo. A game that hadn’t hit the table in over a year. And had only just made my collection this past weekend. I managed to get a second hand copy with the mini expansion and a wooden insert for a real good price.

    Both games the end scores were pretty close. Especially considering during the games it looked like there was a run away winner each time. In Imperial Settlers Diego had the lead, and a late end game scoring saw me within 2 points of him. Then during Marco Polo I was in front for the majority of the game. Briefly lost the lead in the end game scoring and then snatched victory by 2 points.

    It was a great afternoon gaming. Nice to meet Diego’s daughter (months old). There was even cheesecake between games.

    Angel Tribal Commander Initial Version

    Back to back deck techs, this time it’s my initial version of my Angel Tribal deck. This was a deck that I had been planning and thinking about on and off for few months before it actually became a reality.

    Can you guess the game plan for this deck? Yep death from above. The flying version of big stompy. But it has a plan B! Plan B just so happens to be Approach of the Second Sun. Not much of a back up plan I know.

    The hardest decision for this deck for me I think was who to have the Commander. I nearly went with a multi-coloured Commander. But it was hard enough being mono coloured and cutting cards. Add in cards from another colour, and mana fixing cards.

    I’m so happy with the theme in this deck. It really comes across in the card names or the art.

    I did surprise myself that I didn’t go bigger on the tribal cards. I suppose it helps that a few of the angels give others buffs of some kind when played. Whether that’s +1/+1 counters, lifelink, vigilance, etc all of a sudden my battlefield can become quite scary.

    So let’s look at the stats etc for this deck.

    The AMC doesn’t surprise me. And considering that angels are generally costly creatures to cast, the mana curve is not a surprise either. What was a surprise was the cost of building the deck if I was to buy it today. Bloody hell it’s expensive. For a deck that’s meant to be a fun casual thing to play. Wow!

    Commander: Lyra Dawnbringer

    Here is that all unimportant deck list.


    1 Angelic Wall
    1 Angel of Condemnation
    1 Archangel of Tithes
    1 Gisela, the Broken Blade
    1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
    1 Restoration Angel
    1 Angel of Invention
    1 Angel of Sanctions
    1 Archangel of Thune
    1 Baneslayer Angel
    1 Herald of the Host
    1 Lyra Dawnbringer
    1 Reaper of Flight Moonsilver
    1 Serra Angel
    1 Aegis Angel
    1 Angel of Renewal
    1 Angel of the God-Pharaoh
    1 Linvala, the Preserver
    1 Serra’s Guardian
    1 Subjugator Angel
    1 Sunblast Angel
    1 Winged Shepherd
    1 Angel of Retribution
    1 Bruna, the Fading Light
    1 Emeria Shepherd
    1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
    1 Avacyn, Angel of Hope
    1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
    1 Reya Dawnbringer


    1 Authority of the Consuls
    1 Glaring Spotlight
    1 Land Tax
    1 Path to Exile
    1 Sensei’s Divining Top
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Swords to Plowshares
    1 Ashes of the Abhorrent
    1 Helm of Awakening
    1 Lightning Greaves
    1 Pearl Medallion
    1 Rest in Peace
    1 Take Vengeance
    1 Thought Vessel
    1 Entreat the Angels
    1 Herald’s Horn
    1 Invoke the Divine
    1 Teferi’s Protection
    1 Urza’s Incubator
    1 Angelic Accord
    1 Cast Out
    1 Day of Judgment
    1 Helm of the Host
    1 Leyline of Sanctity
    1 Regna’s Sanction
    1 Settle the Wreckage
    1 Thran Temporal Gateway
    1 Wrath of God
    1 Fumigate
    1 Gilded Lotus
    1 Vanquisher’s Banner
    1 Austere Command
    1 Hour of Revelation
    1 The Immortal Sun
    1 Approach of the Second Sun
    1 Overwhelming Splendor


    1 Arcane Lighthouse
    1 Field of Ruin
    33 Plains

    So that is my initial angel deck. What next? Well there are some new cards in Core set 2019 that I want to look at. Will they be good enough to force their way in?

    Big Green Stompy Commander Deck

    This is my initial big green stompy Commander deck. It’s a simple game plan, swing in with big stompy green beasts. As I’ve pointed out in previous posts there seems to be a theme/game plan I like. Unlike a couple of my decks I like playing this is not a Tribal deck.

    A disclaimer I don’t usually make but it holds true for all my decks, these Commander decks are not meant to be competitive, but fun casual decks. The inspiration for this deck was to play big stompy green creatures. So that was the criteria for selecting most of the creatures in the deck. Big stompy creatures aren’t cheap to cast so I’ve tried to make use of greens natural ability to ramp.

    Commander: either Yeva, Nature’s Herald or Melira, Sylvok Outcast.

    Most of the time the commander is going to be Yeva, giving flash to my green creatures. However if you know you are up against an infect/whither deck then Melira becomes the commander.

    The big elephant in the room as the stats for the deck below will show is that this deck is about 5 – 9 lands short from the number people would normally be comfortable with. So why am I not worried, and settling for 25 lands in total?

    Well for starters I have Leaf Gilder, Llanowar Elves, Elvish Mystic and Boreal Druid that tap for mana. Rishkar, Peema Renegade gives each creature with a counter on it the ability to tap for mana. Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger adds an extra mana per land I tap (plus slows down opponents). I have 7 sorceries that allow me to go fetch at least one land if not more. 3 mana rocks in the form of artifacts. 3 artifacts that give me a discount on spells. 6 enchantments and an artifact that boost mana production.

    So even with a lowish number of lands I should be generating an awful lot of mana. Mana that will be sunk into the mana sinks I have in the deck. Which is basically the hydra. The more I can throw into these beasts when I cast them the better. Even funnier is if I have Doubling Season and/or Primal Vigor out at the time. Then these become scary big.

    This vanity casual deck isn’t cheap to build. According to the decked app and its link to CardKingdom its more expensive than I was expecting. I am taken aback little by the costing. Doubling Season alone shows why I proxy in the card, and produce it when it is needed. I think it’s in 3 decks at the moment.

    Ok here is the initial deck list.


    1 Boreal Druid
    1 Elvish Mystic
    1 Feral Hydra
    1 Hungering Hydra
    1 Llanowar Elves
    1 Mistcutter Hydra
    1 Hooded Hydra
    1 Leaf Gilder
    1 Melira, Sylvok Outcast
    1 Primordial Hydra
    1 Deathgorge Scavenger
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Lifeblood Hydra
    1 Managorger Hydra
    1 Rhonas the Indomitable
    1 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
    1 Steel Leaf Champion
    1 Thrashing Brontodon
    1 Elvish Piper
    1 Ivy Lane Denizen
    1 Yeva, Nature’s Herald
    1 Gigantosaurus
    1 Verdurous Gearhulk
    1 Aggressive Mammoth
    1 Carnage Tyrant
    1 Hydra Broodmaster
    1 Hydra Omnivore
    1 Oran-Rief Hydra
    1 Rampaging Baloths
    1 Greater Sandwurm
    1 Tornado Elemental
    1 Khalni Hydra
    1 Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
    1 Ghalta, Primal Hunger


    1 Adventurous Impulse
    1 Attune with Aether
    1 Forced Adaptation
    1 Lay of the Land
    1 Sensei’s Divining Top
    1 Silent Gravestone
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Unbridled Growth
    1 Aim High
    1 Blackblade Reforged
    1 Bonds of Mortality
    1 Emerald Medallion
    1 Gaea’s Blessing
    1 Karametra’s Favor
    1 Land Grant
    1 Lightning Greaves
    1 Moss Diamond
    1 Song of Freyalise
    1 Thought Vessel
    1 Beastmaster Ascension
    1 Crushing Canopy
    1 Cultivate
    1 Gift of Paradise
    1 Growing Rites of Itlimoc
    1 Nissa’s Pilgrimage
    1 Retreat to Kazandu
    1 Rhonas’s Monument
    1 Helm of the Host
    1 Pir’s Whim
    1 Return to the Earth
    1 Whirlwind
    1 Doubling Season
    1 Overwhelming Stampede
    1 Primal Vigor
    1 The Mending of Dominaria
    1 Caged Sun
    1 The Immortal Sun
    1 Wave of Vitriol
    1 Zendikar Resurgent
    1 Praetor’s Counsel
    1 The Great Aurora


    1 Arcane Lighthouse
    1 Detection Tower
    20 Forest
    1 Scavenger Grounds
    1 Temple of the False God
    1 Tranquil Thicket

    Naturally this isn’t the final deck list. Decks are living breathing things. New cards come out, you find an existing card that would work better. Who knows I may have to adjust the mana base up. I’ve only played this deck once. It seemed to work, and got to do its thing. But it needs more play.