Category Archives: MtG


Let the fun and games begin! Yep after pre-release weekend last weekend, we know hit the release weekend for Rivals of Ixalan. These two weekends are like shooting fish in a barrel for your FLGS. Release weekend means that most stores will be running draft or sealed events. Excuses to buy even more MtG product from the new release. Sadly I won’t be at any store events this weekend.

Here is a photo of my haul of product from my FLGS. Which means lots of sad look at what I pulled posts soon.

This evening was spent playing MtG though.

At our regular Friday hang out for gaming The White Lion Hotel, along side the normal gaming, one or two of us played some MtG.

The MtG session started off with Justin testing his new deck against the raw aggression of the CardKingdom Rookie Red deck. The first game was over fast as the aggro of the red deck kicked in as its meant to. The second game was played at a more slow tactical pace because Justin got three of his cheap 0/3 blockers out. Although I stopped his Nissa from being a problem by zapping her with direct damage. While we were jostling for a tactical advantage Charlie arrived. In the end the cards were kinder to Justin and he won. But as a game gets drawn out, the longer it goes on the more likely it is that this red deck will lose.

Using the 2017 Commander decks, the three of us started a game of commander. Our fourth player hadn’t turned up. After taking 3 rounds of Charlie hitting me for 5 life, things started to change and the smashing each other for damage began to get shared around. Charlie likes the cat deck and it’s artefacts and cats working together. Justin was playing the Vampires, whilst I was the Wizards. I actually like this deck, and it’s graveyard shenanigans, both it’s own and the opponents. In the end the game came down to Charlie and I could gang up and kill Justin, or one of us could kill the other and leave it for Justin to finish off the survivor. It was my turn, Charlie said we had a deal. But I didn’t trust him, so I killed him. Which meant I was wide open for Justin to kill me for the win.

Our next game was four player. Our fourth player having turned up some what late. They had the dragons. Boy there are some cool cards in the wizard deck. I was able to stop any real big nasty threats stay on the battlefield. Which meant not being hit by big bad dragons. I had lots of land, great cards to play. But we were running out of time. At 9:30 despite the best efforts of a poor three man alliance, I was declared the winner having the most health at that point in time.

It was a fun evening playing MtG.

Oh out of no interest to you lot what’s so ever here is a photo of the first 3D object that was printed on our new 3D printer at work. We had the students set it all up, and run this test printing. They will be using it alongside their 3D Modelling unit. My interest well its gaming related for sure 😉

Winner,winner,chicken dinner

It’s pre-release weekend in the world of MtG for the next set in the Ixalan block, Rivals of Ixalan. Which means it’s time to milk those addicts for lots of money as they throw money at store owners just so they can have early access (by a week) to the cards in the new set. For store owners this weekend and next weekend is going to be like shooting fish in a barrel, and time to rake in some much needed cash.

Naturally I’ve been waiting for this set to be released because it gives me more dinosaurs to work with, with the dinosaur commander deck I want to build. So having to wait a week less to get my hands on those sweet sweet cards isn’t a chance I’m going to pass up.

So yesterday I was booked into the morning pre-release event at my FLGS The Hobbit Hole. £22 (Early bird booking price instead of £25 on the day) for the pre-release kit, some games of MtG, and 2 participation booster packs, a bargain.

Justin had decided to join me at the pre-release the night before, so we travelled together to The Hobbit Hole. It felt like we were representing Fenland Gamers at the pre-release.

Just after 11am, after giving any late arrivals a chance to show up, everyone got their pre-release kits, and opened them. I’ll go over the pulls later in the post. But as both of us were going through our 6 booster packs in our pre-release kits, from one of the other tables one person was getting really lucky. In the 4 boosters from Rivals of Ixalan that they opened they got 4 elder dinosaurs. Plus the promo card they got was the legendary creature Sphinx. That sure was an awesome box to get. However I was happy with my pulls, I got some of the cards on my hit list that I wanted.

After opening the boosters, it’s time to build a deck to play with. Justin and I built our 30 card decks. I was going red/black pirate, with one or two vampires. Luckily just before we were meant to start playing I checked the deck size. They were meant to be 40 cards!!!! Doh! We had just got in the habit of 30 card decks for our league. I’d forgotten this format was 40. We had seconds to throw in 10 more cards. Something that was easier for me than Justin I think. Mainly because I had pirate cards I thought I could fit in, and now could.

My first round match up I won the first game. I even went to my sideboard and fetched a copy of Aquatic Incursion to cast using Mastermind’s Acquisition. This gave me a couple of chump blocking 1/1 merfolk tokens to use. I lost the second game. I got my opponent down to about 14 health, and my plan was to turn the creature they’d been pumping up to a 9/9 against them. However I was short 1 mountain to do that and was killed first. Our third and final game I won easily and quickly. I’d won round one 2-1. Wow I was chuffed. I believe Justin also had won his match up too 2-1. Would we meet in the next round?

Sadly we wouldn’t. I was paired up against Kar-Fai for the second round. This was our first time playing each other at MtG, but not our first time on opposite sides of the table at a tournament. Previously Kar-Fai and I had faced off against each other playing Netrunner (Which he did attempt to tempt me back into playing). I don’t think I’d beaten Kar-Fai at Netrunner. Would I beat him in MtG?

It soon became obvious during our first game that this was literally a mirror match up of decks. I think the main difference was Kar-Fai was using more artefacts/vehicles than me. While I had a little bit more removal. I was also playing less land. In my deck I had a total of 12 land, plus the Traveler’s Amulet. As long as I had a land and the amulet in my starting hand I was golden! Mainly because I could fetch a second land if my next card drawn wasn’t a land, or I could use it to go fetch a land I needed, like a second swamp or mountain.

It was my removal, and the Mastermind’s Acquisition that gave me the edge I think. I won our first game. The second game was close I was down to 3 health before making my comeback and winning the game. The Mastermind’s Acquisition allowed me to look for a solution at the crucial moment to turn the tide in my favour. I’d won the round 2-0. Revenge for the Netrunner defeats finally, and I’d only had to change games to do it!

We had time to spare so Far-Kai and I played a friendly game. This time it was my deck against a second deck that he had also built from his cards pulled. It was a close game, but in the edge his merfolks were victorious.

I was a bit gobsmacked I’d won 2 rounds now. I was feeling a little pressure, and a little apprehensive about the third and final round match up. Surely this would be pitching me against a much better MtG player than me. I’d been lucky so far.

The third and final round. I had the fast start this deck was capable of (and to be fair the one I played most games, as was Kar-Fai) with Fanatical Firebrand. I played an early Dark Inquiry that allowed me to remove Tetzimoc, Primal Death. I wasn’t going to have that putting out pray counters and clear my battlefield when it came out. The rest of the first game went to plan and I won. Game 2, I was within striking distance of winning when those damn pray counters tagged two of my creatures. Unluckily for my opponent having 1 creature out against 4, wasn’t going to give them enough time to even things up a little by bringing out that Tetzimoc. My next turn I swung in with everything, I had, pumped up one of my creatures so that it made no difference which one was blocked, I’d do a killing blow. I’d won 2-0, and quickly too.

Oh my god I’d won my 3 rounds, and only taken 1 loss. Ok I’m going to finish high. The question now was how high? As John read out the final positions, as we got closer to the top I wasn’t mentioned. Ok, I’m top 3. Cool. Not third, not second. WOW!!! I’d won. Out of a field of 16 players, over 3 rounds I was first. This is the first time I’d won an event. Bloody typical though it was an event with nothing on the line like store champ, or prizes for winning. But hey a win is a win.

Because this was a pre-release event everyone got participation boosters at the end. There was 1 pack for playing the first round, then a second pack for playing all three rounds. Everyone got these at the end. So in reality we were all winners!

Justin and I had a really great time at this pre-release. This is what MtG is all about not that other rubbish that’s been happening online. At the moment WotC have made a move in the right direction over the background checks for judges. The jury for me is still out on the one sided biased handling of bullying/harassment online. But they bought themselves a little grace time with me, with that announcement on Friday.

Here are the stats for the day. I went 3-0 (2-1,2-0,2-0) on the rounds, that’s a 6-1 win/loss record. However I did lose a friendly game between Kar-Fai and myself after I won our round 2 match up. So technically that win loss record with the friendly game is 6-2.

So I’m sure you are curious about the deck I built.

Deck list

Counts : 40 main

1 Daring Buccaneer
1 Fanatical Firebrand
1 Grasping Scoundrel
1 Vicious Conquistador
1 Desperate Castaways
1 Dinosaur Hunter
1 Dusk Legion Zealot
1 Gleaming Barrier
1 Goblin Trailblazer
1 Storm Fleet Swashbuckler
1 Fathom Fleet Boarder
1 Forerunner of the Coalition
1 Swaggering Corsair
1 Brazen Buccaneers
1 Brazen Freebooter
1 Fathom Fleet Cutthroat
1 Ravenous Chupacabra

1 March of the Drowned
1 Mutiny
1 Prying Blade
1 Traveler’s Amulet
1 Buccaneer’s Bravado
1 Arterial Flow
1 Dark Inquiry
1 Hijack
1 Impale
1 Mastermind’s Acquisition
1 Pirate’s Pillage

5 Mountain
7 Swamp

My sideboard naturally for this type of event was all the other cards I pulled. Which is too many to list here. However here are…

My highlights from cards pulled

These are the foils I pulled. The Ravenous Chupacabra was a really useful card yesterday to be able to play.

Before the pre-release apart from elder dinosaurs I had ear marked some cards I hoped I’d pull. These are the ones below from that list that I pulled.

These following ones are cards that weren’t on my radar, but I’m pretty glad I pulled them.

So that was my Rivals of Ixalan pre-release event at The Hobbit Hole. A great days entertainment playing MtG and getting new cards.

‘Twas the Friday and Saturday before Christmas

It’s a dangerous thing this internet. Especially that YouTube thingy bob. I’m innocently watching these Magic the Gathering deck tech videos and suddenly “oh that card would be good in …[insert name of a deck I’m building at the moment here]” pops into my tiny easily influenced mind.

That’s why Soul Warden and Kor Firewalker (above) are on their way to me. Kor Firewalker is a sideboard card for the death and taxes deck I’m building, and it’s there just for a students burn deck. Soul Warden might make it into the deck but could see use in the planned angel deck. I’m looking forward to completing the death and taxes deck and seeing how it fairs against my students decks. Which reminds me I need to put up the revised Dino deck list.

Last night was the last Friday Meetup of the year. Before others arrived John and met up to squeeze in a play of The Pillars of the Earth.

I had never played the game before. So I wanted to see what all the fuss was. Why was it demanding so much money when it was out of print?

Yes since the game originally came out mechanics have evolved, there are some really great worker placement games that have come out during that time also.

Building the cathedral is a nice piece of theatre. It has that wow factor when completed at the end. Pulling out the master builders from a bag to determine action selection order, with the added factor of if you come out early it costs you money to take advantage of the fact, a nice touch.

It’s a good game. I enjoyed playing it (yep I won). But having played it I’d not have payed the stupid money it was going for when it was out of print. I’d happily play it again. Will I go out of my way to buy a copy for the collection? No. Having it in Jonathan’s collection is good enough for me.

We also got the latest (Kickstarter only I believe) expansion for Flash Point, Tragic Events to the table. I liked what these cards bought to the game. But need to play the game in expert mode a couple more times to make a more informed conversation about them. This was after all the first time the game had hit the table in over 2 years. And that last time we played was the novice game not the expert.

Our final,game of the evening was the classic gateway game Ticket to Ride. I rocked the game this time. I completed my initial two tickets, and just went unopposed taking the 6 carriage routes on the map. Racking up 15 points each time I did one. Naturally I triggered the end game, plus was able to get my last two carriages out for a final 2 points. This was a surprisingly easy victory.

Yesterday an amazing deal appeared on Amazon for the 2 player starter set for Star Wars: Destiny. It was being sold for half price! So I alerted Dale, bought the 2 copies I wanted (so I had a playset) , then alerted a couple of friends on Facebook a bargain Christmas gift was to be grabbed. As a couple of store owners pointed out on a UK Destiny page, this price was cheaper than they could get it for! One store owner had bought 10 copies to sell in his shop.

Naturally today it’s back to full price. But I have my 2 copies sitting on my stairs.

Our game group has been discussing on and off starting a rpg of some sort. I have Paranoia sitting upstairs, Edmund has recently got the D & D 5th Edition beginners box set. But no decision has been made to what system to use, let alone setting, and who is playing etc. Which brings me nicely to the just released Genesys system from FFG. Which is meant to be a generic system that can be used with any theme/setting. They give examples/ideas of five example themes/genres in the core book, like sci-fi or modern. Although I don’t play Netrunner any more the world of Android still interests me. I’d love to play a rpg set in it. My only fear about spending time building up the world for a campaign is that FFG release a module for this that is Android. I know with the art books for the last four or so sets of Magic the Gathering and the pdfs you can download from the Wizards site you can run a D & D campaign set in the Magic universe. But with those two sources it shouldn’t be hard to set a campaign using the Genesys system there either. Although I’d like to “play” in that universe, and the differing settings, I’m not sure the others in the play group would be that keen. I’m also thinking about the Star Wars rpg (a reprint of the original one is due out by the end of January – I have that pre-ordered) and the Middle Earth rpg. But first we need to start playing!

Council of Nations

Wow no posts for 3 days, you all must have been hoping I’d given up blogging. Sadly I haven’t. I was truth be told just being lazy.

Friday evening saw Jonathan and myself meeting up at The White Lion Hotel to play some games.

Our first game was a recent addition to Jonathan’s collection Council of Four . This was a foreign version of the game, which meant two things. Jonathan had gone online and printed out the translated English rules (in colour), and that he got it a lot cheaper than the English version over hear. I think Jonathan said around the 8 or 9 euros mark, compared to (I want to say) over £20. So a massive saving. And the game is language independent. Which means it really doesn’t matter if you get the non-English language version.

I think my main issues with this game are production issues. The assistant tokens for instance (see close up below) look awful. The art work could be much bigger, and less white space. I also had an issue with the black permit cards. They look more brown. Especially when they actually have a black border, that is black! Not only that the black meeples were also not very black. The graphic design could have done with a little bit of tweaking on the use of the arrow symbol. The same arrow icon was used in several spots for different things. Ideally there should have been a different symbol or type of arrow used to symbolise it’s different meaning.

The actual game itself isn’t bad. It was fun, I liked that you can combo emporiums, which can be very powerful. Build an emporium in a city next to one you already have an emporium in you get that connected cities bonus too, and repeat until you come to the end of your chain of connected cities. I had a very effective “engine” going that gave me money, points, and cards every time I built a connecting emporium.

I won our game. It was close. I had that combo engine going, while Jonathan was being more targeted in where he was building his emporiums and collecting bonuses for building in cities of the same colour. It did look like I was running away with the game. But after taking into account bonuses earned during the game, and the odd end game bonus, the game result was much closer than both of us were expecting.

And that is one other thing I like about this game, that we both had different plans in place for scoring, and I can see the possibility of one or more other ways to. And that’s a nice thing to have.

I’d play this again. Would I ask to play it again? Maybe not. It’s a good game, just not a great game.

Our second and final game of the evening was an old favourite, Nations the Dice Game. This game soon went out of print after it came out a couple years back. I had bought mine just after I think it was my first UKGE, after hearing the buzz about it at the expo. When I heard that Stronghold Games had picked up the rights to the game, and not only were they reprinting the game, they were also going to be publishing an expansion for it, I was excited. At the time of the news breaking I did ask Stronghold via social media if the expansion would be compatible with the original printing, and was assured that it was.

Which brings us to Friday night. I had the new expansion Unrest and the perfect excuse to get the base game back to the table.

This expansion adds a new die to the game, that makes rolling for resources a bit riskier, but has a bigger pay off. There is also a new reroll token, new nation boards, bonus tiles, pass bonuses, and more progress tiles.

The new nation boards actually fix an issue I had with the original game. In the original game it made no difference which nation you chose because they were all basically the same. Everyone got the same starting dice and tokens. Now with the new boards it matters which one you chose, and also which side. You get that feeling of uniqueness.

Ok the game is still over really quickly. But the added bonus tile that gives you a second thing to aim for other than just the famine and war bonus, is a nice addition. Plus passing now also gives you a little something, unless you are the last to pass.

I like this expansion, I don’t think I’d play the game without it. Even with new players. It adds stuff to the game, but not that much. Fixes a couple of problems. Yep glad I bought this expansion.

You know how this will end. A big thank you to The White Lion for allowing us to play there Friday evening.

Saturday was the final day of our Ixalan league. Unstable and life meant this last MtG meet up before Christmas was attended by five of us. I played 6 games, two best of three, and came away with a 1-5 record overall. These weren’t quick wins. They went to the long game. Which for 5 of the games saw my deck bettered. After I handed out the three prize packs for most wins, most plays, and most friendly player, and some packs were bought off me, I was left with 3 packs. I consoled myself with those 3 packs and was rewarded with the following card:
This is my third Huatli, Warrior Poet planeswalker. So nearly a play set. But is it good enough to break into my R/G Dino deck? I do like that ability to generate 3/3 dino tokens. Maybe in the sideboard?

Yep another thank you to Fenrock for hosting our MtG league.

Our next planned league will be at the end of January once Rivals for Ixalan has come out. But there will be one or two one off events before then. Keep an eye on the events page for Fenland Gamers to find out when they are announced.

Bouncing deck ideas

Part of the fun for me with games like MtG is the deck construction. The exploring ideas, expressing yourself through the decks you build. Some people naturally gravitate towards certain deck archetypes, such as I did in Netrunner with Anarchs and NBN on the corp side. Within MtG I don’t have an archetype that I gravitate towards. I like red, green and black. I’ve even enjoyed playing blue! I’m pretty much the same in Star Wars: Destiny. I don’t prefer villains over heroes, or one colour over the other. I just like to play characters I like irrespective of their faction.

Like other games in this field, I see a card and want to build a deck around that deck. It may not be a Tier 1 deck, or even 2 or 3. But hopefully it will be fun, and win a game or two. If it pulls off the idea that the deck is built around I call it a success. For example the recent Ixalan blue control deck I built. There was no real win condition within the deck, although it did win a couple of games. However it did meet it’s goal of frustrating the hell out of my opponents, and demonstrated to my students what it might be like to go up against a control style deck.

This morning I saw Harsh Mentor in my collection, unlike other times I’ve seen it, something in my mind made some connections and paired it with Rampaging Ferocidon.

Not only that it also connected it to the recent Rookie Red deck that I got from CardKingdom. The wheels and cogs started turning and the idea hit me, a mono red deck that punishes your opponents for their actions. So I’m naturally going to spend time now researching cards (hopefully cheap) that can go into this deck to further this game plan.

In the meantime I have an angel deck that is brewing. At the moment it’s a mono white deck, which will definitely be flying and have lifelink. But need to think about ramp for it, and early cheap creatures that can be played. How viable this deck is? Well that’s another question.

My dinosaur commander deck is on hold until after Rivals for Ixalan (the next set) is out (latter half of January). There will be more dinosaurs to chose from then, which makes sense. I have the mana base for the deck more or less worked out. There are a couple of cards (creatures) that reduce the cost of playing dinosaurs also that need including. But I’m hoping that there will be even more in the next set.

I will also over Christmas start to look at building some “tutorial” decks that will introduce the concept of going infinite.

I also want to rebuild the blue control deck so that it has a win condition and uses more than just cards from Ixalan. I am thinking about mill for this. The vampire deck (which has been rather successful against the “student meta”) also needs rebuilding and taking into account cards outside of Ixalan.

And yes I know that my local meta is against students, and that if my decks were up against a more experienced MtG player they would get trashed easily. But that’s not going to stop me exploring ideas and introducing the students to new mechanics and concepts within MtG. Mind you I am learning as I go along. It’s not as if I’m some super MtG Pro Player. I’m just a casual player sharing the love for a great, fun game.

So as you can see I have a lot of MtG deck buildings ideas and projects on the go, or planned. And that’s where a lot of the fun is for me.

Right I’m off to research some cards…


B/G Dino Deck (Modern?) V1.0

After Christmas I am running a tournament for the students, and I wanted a deck to play with for that.

With Ixalan out it was only a matter of time before I built a dinosaur deck. But unlike the recent deck building challenges I wasn’t going to restrict myself to just cards in Ixalan. I was going to make it a standard deck, but the tournament is going to be modern so that a student can play their Eldrazi deck. So this deck is hopefully a modern deck.

In the version listed here I have no basic lands at all. So this has a little drag between land being played and being able to cast anything. In reality turn 3 is when things start kicking in. Turn 2 could be used to cast a commune with dinosaurs (cwd). But in reality I have to weather any storm until turn 3.

The Decked app shows the following stat analysis of the initial version of this deck:

Here is my initial version of the deck:

Counts : 60 main / 15 sideboard


2 Drover of the Mighty
3 Otepec Huntmaster
3 Raptor Hatchling
3 Rampaging Ferocidon
3 Charging Monstrosaur
1 Glorybringer
2 Regisaur Alpha
3 Burning Sun’s Avatar
2 Carnage Tyrant
1 Gishath, Sun’s Avatar


2 Commune with Dinosaurs
1 Abrade
2 Haze of Pollen
3 Lightning Strike
2 Crushing Canopy
2 Gift of Paradise
2 Growing Rites of Itlimoc
2 New Horizons


2 Cinder Glade
1 Frontier Bivouac
1 Jungle Shrine
2 Looming Spires
3 Rootbound Crag
2 Rugged Highlands
1 Savage Lands
3 Sheltered Thicket
4 Timber Gorge
1 Vivid Crag
1 Vivid Grove


1 Glorybringer
1 Regisaur Alpha
1 Carnage Tyrant
1 Gishath, Sun’s Avatar
2 Blazing Volley
3 Abrade
2 Fling
1 Haze of Pollen
1 Crushing Canopy
2 Hazoret’s Monument

I have to admit today I have been playing the deck with Vivid Crag, Vivid Grove, and the 2 Looming Spires replaced with 4 basic lands (2 Forests and 2 Mountains) in an attempt to speed up the deck a little. It means I can technically start building up from turn 2, and potentially play a cwd turn 1.

The other deck I’m working on is an Angel deck. Who knows how that is going to shape up? Some of the pieces for that are on the way. I’m yet to start putting it together. But lifelink and flying I think will be a thing. Along with trying to ramp up quickly to get them out to play.

So what do you think of this deck? What would you swap out?

Dinosaur Stomps

Yesterday was day 3, session 3, or whatever you want to call the penultimate Ixalan League afternoon for Fenland Gamers.

Ok let’s jump in with my win-loss record for the afternoon. I went 7-2 yesterday. But I didn’t get to play 3 of the people yesterday. Two of those were very strong decks indeed.

My first two games were against Lukas and his vampires. I’m not sure what the issue is here. Is it the inexperience of the player, the deck, or poor card draw? This is an easy match up for me. Lukas isn’t posing much of a threat on the battlefield. I have answers for his plan. I think reflecting on things I think the problem is a combination of all of the above. Vampires shouldn’t be this easy to defeat.

Justin played against me for my next two games. Which saw us win one each.

My fifth game was an interesting game. I managed to stabilise at 3 life to grab the win. With a built up battlefield I was able to control the game and finally after defending some attacks in which they shouldn’t really have attacked, grab the win.

My next two games were against Michael, Winner of season. He easily powered his way to victory in our first game, thanks to not drawing enough mana early on. But our second game was a different story. With Michael not getting the right mana I stomped (although I don’t play that card) to victory. Season 2 isn’t being kind to Michael. His deck just isn’t as dominating this time round. He is suffering a lot more losses.

I faced Lukas again for two more games to see how his strengthened deck was doing. But the same issues were there. I think some deck and play advice are needed. Next time it’s help Lukas time.

Justin and I had played each other twice and had both won a game. So our last game of the afternoon was a decider between us.

We were both amassing creatures on our battlefield afraid to attack. I think I had the slight edge, both in numbers and amount of damage they could dish out. Justin had one or two big hitters I wanted off the board, and I could take them out only if they were head to head with certain creatures of mine. So ideally Justin had to attack me so I could control which creature fought which. That way we’d both take heavy losses but I’d come out on top. When Justin did blink first and attack, the exchange was brutal. But when the dust cleared I had the upper hand. Which got worse for Justin when Angrath’s Marauders came out.

Double damage. With a battlefield I was rebuilding faster than Justin. I definitely had the upper hand. But the clock was ticking, I had 2 less cards in my library than Justin. I’d mill out first. With basically 4 turns left, I pumped up my Jungle Delver to a 5/5 over a couple of turns, and bought out a Ixalli’s Keeper.

With 1 card left in my library I swung in with everything but my Ixalli’s Keeper. I also made sure I had enough mana saved to pull off its ability. Justin had 14 life left. Could not block everything I had, especially my big hitters. Whichever big hitter wasn’t blocked I had plans for. That unblocked big hitter was going to get a +5/+5 boost from a sacrificed Ixalli’s Keeper as an “in response to you declaring attackers”. Which with the double damage boost would be fatal. Luckily that final all or nothing attacked played out my way. The buffed up big hitter delivering that winning blow, and winning our tie breaker game.

That was a close game. Almost milled.

Once again our hosts Fenrock were amazing. They are making some great changes to the climbing experience there. Plus you can also try out virtual reality now! Yep Fenrock now have a pc setup with an oculus rift with various games (even minecraft) for people to play using it.

There will be a gap between the end of this current league and when the next one starts. Mainly because we will be using the next set Rivals of Ixalan for it (and that isn’t out until mid January). So the plans are to organise some fun events to pass the time. Such as an Unstable draft, more Commander, maybe even a highlander or two-headed giant session. It’s a shame Iconic Masters is so expensive, would love to do a draft of that. So keep an eye out on the Fenland Gamers Facebook page for when the events are announced.

Ixalan Mono Blue Control Challenge

After playing the red rookie deck from Card Kingdom, and having a lot of success with it against my students. I thought well they have seen a focused red deck that is aggressive from turn 1. But they haven’t really experienced a focused blue deck, and all the shenanigans that can do.

So I got thinking. Is it possible to build a mono blue control deck using just Ixalan cards? That’s the challenge, using just cards from Ixalan build a 60 card mono blue control deck.

Same as the first challenge, leave your decks and sideboards in the comments below (if you haven’t commented before I will have to approve the comment first, but after that you are golden to post whenever).

Then at the start of next week I will post the deck and sideboard that I have come up with (some people can rip that to shreds), and also pick up to two other decks from the comments below. Those two decks will each get two Ixalan boosters.


Ixalan Vampire Challenge – My Deck

Last week I posted a MtG deck building challenge where those interested in doing so, were challenged to build a vampire deck and sideboard using just the cards available in Ixalan.

I have a deck. Whether it’s any good is another thing. I have tested it against a couple of student decks. It’s 3-2 at the moment. I still need to put it up against the Rookie Red.

Here is the deck and sideboard that I came up with. I should point out this has been built with cards that I own.


4 Duskborne Skymarcher
2 Skittering Heartstopper
1 Queen’s Bay Soldier
2 Inspiring Cleric
2 Legion Conquistador
3 Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
3 Paladin of the Bloodstained
2 Bishop of Rebirth
1 Vona, Butcher of Magan


1 Demystify
1 Duress
1 Legion’s Landing
1 Ashes of the Abhorrent
2 Pillar of Origins
1 Sanguine Sacrament
3 Walk the Plank
3 Queen’s Commission
1 Ritual of Rejuvenation
3 Call to the Feast
1 Ixalan’s Binding
1 Vraska’s Contempt
2 Vanquisher’s Banner
2 Axis of Mortality


6 Plains
5 Swamp
2 Unclaimed Territory
4 Unknown Shores


2 Blight Keeper
2 Skittering Heartstopper
3 Vicious Conquistador
2 Adanto Vanguard
2 Tocatli Honor Guard
1 Legion Conquistador
2 Sanctum Seeker
1 Sanguine Sacrament

This is geared up to generate 1/1 vampire tokens, beefing up the vampires with the Vanquisher’s Banner (it gives +1/+1 to all vampires). The Axis of Mortality is a fun move to pull off. Run the health down then pull the trigger and swap them around. Suddenly your opponent is open to just one or two 1/1 creatures getting through. This also generates life, because those 1/1 vampire tokens have life link, plus one or two of the cards give me life when they enter the battlefield. Which is handy for Vona. But with my 1/1 creatures I have enough protection to protect me from decks that hit the floor running such as the Rookie Red deck.

Sadly no one put a deck up in the comments of the previous post. So there are no other decks to share. On the plus side that means I don’t have to send out any Ixalan boosters to anyone, and I can have them for myself.

There will be another challenge later in the week.

Gruuling afternoon

Yesterday life whittled down yesterdays league participants to 6 for our second session.

I’d arrived early to rebuild my deck from my card pool I had for the league (the packs opened the previous session) and the one I cracked for this session. The majority of the others had their packs at the end of the previous session. I went red/green (gruul I believe it is known as). My only turn 1 card was a couple of Commune with Dinosaurs that would allow me to hunt for a dinosaur in the top 5 cards of my library. But in reality I’d be looking at playing a creature turn 2 onwards. I had options then, turn 2 blockers, attackers, even the chance to make dinosaurs cheaper.

When I deck build I do like to have more low cost options, and have some more costly options but not as many. That way I stand a better chance of getting playable stuff in my opening hand or a mulligan. Plus if I don’t draw much land, which can happen, I can play something, and draw something I can play.

Out of 11 games I went 6-5. So my wins edged it this time. And a very big improvement over the opening session of just 1 win.

I was happier with this deck and the way it built up. There is hardly any removal, a single Crushing Canopy.

I pulled a Deathgorge Scavenger, and Charging Monstrosaur in my loser booster. Which made the deck even stronger. Both were really effective.

We gave Lukas a quick play lesson for his deck and told him what he should be looking for in his opening hand. Sadly we didn’t have his card pool to hand to see if we could help him strengthen his deck.

As usual we had a great afternoon of playing MtG, at our great hosts FenRock. Who are currently doing some exciting changes to the climbing facilities they have.