Category Archives: MtG

Ixalan Prerelease Weekend Incoming

We are less than a week away from the prerelease weekend for the next MtG set Ixalan. 

(Image above taken from the Internet)

My local FLGS The Hobbit Hole is running several prerelease events over that weekend. The first is a midnight one on Friday night. I like Magic but not that much.   So I’ll be popping along for when the store opens at 10am on Saturday and seeing how tired John the store owner is. But you should be checking with your FLGS/LGS to find out what their plans are. 

This prerelease WotC are also trying to get players signed up for their latest digital version of MtG, Arena and its closed beta. However  signing up doesn’t guarantee you will be selected, but attending the prerelease will increase your chances apparently. I believe the encouragement will be via prerelease players being given a special treasure token (whilst stocks last, stores do not have an unlimited supply).

I think that’s it Magic wise for this blog until next weekend I’d imagine. Which might be a relief for some of you. Ok I might put up a reminder Thursday. But be warned it’s the Empire at War set for Star Wars:Destiny hitting stores in the UK this week. So I will be boring you with that during the week. 

Magic Saturday

Yesterday was an epic day of playing Magic the Gathering (MtG).

It started off with attending the Ixalan Open House at my FLGS The Hobbit Hole. Sadly the Welcome Decks used for this by MtG were the Amonkhet ones. The only link to Ixalan was the full art foil Walk the Plank card you got for playing four games of Magic with the Welcome Decks. Which was a shame really. But I can see why that’s the case. It would undermine the prerelease abit, plus instead it would swamp the event with current FNM players wanting the early access to Ixalan cards. The focus of the Open House is to teach MtG to new players wanting to learn the game, bring back players that drifted away, not scare them off. 

Was it wise to hold the Open House the week before a prerelease? I could argue for or against this. I maybe wouldn’t have slapped Ixalan on the event. Mainly because I was expecting Ixalan cards in the Welcome Decks. So I was a little disappointed that the decks were Amonkhet based. But I’ve already discussed  why it is as it is. 

(Above image nicked off the Internet)

However the full art foil Walk the Plank card from Ixalan was cool. I felt I knew the card already though because of the Magic Arena game play videos I saw a week or so ago. 

How did I do playing my four games at the Open House? Attrocious is the most positive spin I can put on my games. In the end I was setting my target as getting my opponent to single digit life. I’m going to have to look back at the previous Open House event I went to. But I don’t think I’ve won a game with one of these Welcome Decks yet. 

This time I went with the Liliana Vess Welcome Deck, so black. Which means 30 cards were black, and the second colour WotC added to this blue. So 30 blue cards also, to make a 60 card deck. I believe this blue/black combo is also known as Dimir.

Despite my lack of wins I still had a fun time.

A Fat Pack Opening

At home I opened an Eldritch Moon Fat Pack. 

This comes with the following contents:

  • 9 Eldritch Moon boosters
  • A life counter die
  • 2 cardboard deck boxes 
  • Players guide with card encyclopaedia of cards for the set
  • 70 basic lands cards
  • The card box
  • 10 double faced card checklists

I’m not sure this Fat Pack is good value for money. With 9 boosters costing between £27 – £31.50 if bought separately. £2 for the spindown life die. Plus the two cardboard deck boxes, the card box, lands and checklists. Is this enough value added to justify getting this? I don’t think so. 

What did I pull from the 9 packs?

  • 3 Legendary creatures
  • 1 Planeswalker 

So not bad.

Fenland Games MtG League Day 3

The afternoon was spent playing in our MtG league.

Things started off just like the morning with me losing my first game. I had been hoping that I had got losing out of my system in the morning, obviously not.

I did win my next game against Justin. The card tweak my student made to my deck (yeah I’m not proud I had a student who plays Magic look over my deck and my sideboard in the week, they swapped two cards out) worked well. They replaced Cartouche of Zeal with Cartouche of Ambition. The life link was really handy. Things just went my way in this game.

But Justin got his revenge immediately in our next game when things did work so well. No Cartouche being drawn this time. Plus Justin got to finish me off with his “signature” play using Fling and sacrificing a creature that had been beefed up considerably to an 8 attack!

I then won my next game. Which was my last win of the day. I played one of the strongest decks in the league next. I got off to a blinding start. I Magma Sprayed away my opponents Slither Blade their main way to kill you off. It gets beefed up, made unblockable etc, and the slow drip drip death happens. So I was able to stop that before it started. A big win. My Cartouche was out, using the same one my opponent uses. 

It ended with my opponent winning. But only just it was close they were almost milled. One card left. Sadly I wasn’t able to hold on for one more turn. 

My next game was against Josh who somehow I hadn’t played against before! That’s shocking. But 

My final game of the afternoon was against Jamie. If I’d drawn a second mountain land sweltering suns would have wiped the board clean removing all of his creatures and allowing me to get the win. Sadly that didn’t happen and I lost. 

I will say my bonus pack for losing has potential. For starters a second Cartouche, and non-basic lands. The first ones I’ve pulled in the packs I’ve cracked open for the league. Yes I will be consulting my deck doctor in the week.

I think in 11 games in total today only one of them did I not mulligan. A couple of times I was down to a starting hand of five cards! Yeah that sums my days play. 

But despite an atrocious win record for the afternoon I had a great afternoon playing. 

Giving in to temptation

I knew that once I got home any unpurchased boosters would not remain unopened. So a weak willed me opened 17 booster packs when he got home. 

Here is the highlights of my pack opening:

  • 1 invocation 
  • 1 foil full art basic land
  • 1 foil creature
  • 1 Legendary creature
  • 5 full art basic lands

I’m not sure how I feel about this. On one hand I’m a bit disappointed but on the other I pulled an invocation! 

I’ve had a great day playing MtG. Looking forward to continuing the experience next weekend with the prerelease weekend.

I think my big win of the day though wasn’t Magic related. It was getting my car through its MOT without needing anything extra doing to it to get it passed.

Nissa, Genesis Mage Planeswalker deck pulls

You’d think that with all the MtG posts recently that this blog has turned into a MtG blog! Plus MtG has become my “lifestyle” game of choice. 

You already know what I think of the Planeswalker preconstructed decks for value, and what the contents are. I covered those in the recent post about the Nicol Bolas Planeswalker deck. 

I haven’t answered why I buy them. With the Nissa, Genesis Mage Planeswalker deck I’ve bought four in total. So it’s not a thing I do a lot of. I’m a casual player. No argument about it. So I don’t have a massive card base to construct decks with. So things like preconstructed decks are ideal for me, buy and play. I can scratch that  Magic itch without investing in lots and lots of cards. 

Anyway the Nissa, Genesis Mage Planeswalker deck recently arrived. In the two Hour of Devastion boosters I pulled a foil, and that nasty looking scorcery. 

I also gave into temptation and cracked open an Amonkhet booster and pulled a Liliana, Death’s Majesty Planeswalker. Sweet!

Don’t forget your FLGS and the Open House events they are holding this weekend.

Magic Open House Tomorrow

Are you a new or returning player to Magic the Gathering? Want to learn/try Magic?

Want free stuff? 
Well get yourself along to your FLGS or LGS in some cases, this weekend. Like my FLGS The Hobbit Hole in Chatteris, many are running the Magic Open House.
The Magic Open House is aimed at new and returning players (i.e. Used to play, but haven’t played it in a long time). Where they can go along to their FLGS, choose one of the free Welcome decks, learn how to play Magic, play a few games with their new deck, get a free promo card (which is I believe a full art walk the plank card from the new Ixalan set – there will be a lot of regular Magic players that will want this and will be green with envy).

Once my car has been M.O.T.’d tomorrow morning I’m hoping to get along to The Hobbit Hole, play a few games and then shoot back to play in our Magic league.

Nicol Bolas Planeswalker Deck from Hour of Devastation 

WotC when they release a new set of cards, usually release a couple of preconstructed decks for purchase along side the booster boxes, Fat Packs, Gift boxes etc. These preconstructed decks are themed around a Planeswalker and aimed at newer players.

What do we get for our hard won cash this time?

Well we get the following:

  • A 60 card deck
  • A foil Nicol Bolas, the deceiver Planeswalker card
  • 2 Hour of Devastation booster packs
  • A cardboard deck box
  • A strategy insert
  • A quick reference card

In the two boosters I pulled one foil and one full art basic land. Plus this rather nifty board wipe card. 

So the big question is, is this worth the money? Well this preconstructed deck costs £13.99 rrp but you are looking more towards a tenner if you shop around. The two boosters are £6 – £7 of value, for the sake of argument let’s say the account for roughly half the value of this. You do get a cool foil Planeswalker card. But does all the rest justify the rest of the cost? If you are a regular MtG player probably not. I can’t imagine the preconstructed deck has any high value cards in it. If it had the value of this pack would have shot up and it’d be near impossible to buy. For a new player or returning one as a jumping off point I think it’s worth getting. You get a ready to play deck that you should be able to play and have fun with. After a few games, you can buy some boosters and start customising the deck.

Cracking open the Hour of Devastation “fat pack”

Ok unlike the prerelease packs I have had a couple of “fat packs” before. I think they have been rebranded as a bundle now! But still I really like buying MtG boosters this way. 

So what comes in these “fat packs”? Here is a photo of the back of the box telling you exactly what you get for your money.

Like most Magic players I’m a big fan of the full art basic lands. They are gorgeous. These “fat packs” are a great way to get a load of them for the current set. In this sets “fat pack” WotC promise on the box that you get at least 25 in this bundle. I counted 26 in mine.

I like the double sided tokens. Which effectively doubles the amount in the box to use. 

So what did I pull in my 10 booster packs?

  • 4 full art lands
  • 4 foils
  • 1 Legendary creature

I was also really happy getting Mirage Mirror and Overwhelming Splendor. Both great cards I’d love to play in a deck.

I’m a fan of the card boxes. The cardboard is nice thick sturdy card that has stunning art.

How does the “fat pack” workout value wise? Well depending on the cost of a single booster being £3 to £3.50. Then the 10 boosters alone are between £30 to £35. The spindown die is approximately £2. It then depends on the value you attach to the 80 land cards (I got 26 full art ones), 25 double sided tokens, and card box. The players guide is nice but would you pay for it separately? I’m not sure you would. I would argue that paying £30 for this you are getting great value for your money. Especially if you are a noob or casual player (like me). If you were planning on buying 10 boosters then you would be silly not to buy this bundle. My local FLGS sells 3 boosters for a tenner if I remember correctly. Which makes this bundle even better value as you are getting an extra booster pack for the same money, plus all the other stuff.

My second prerelease pack ever, without going to one!

Within days of my first post about opening my first ever prerelease pack we are looking at my second one. This time it’s the Amonkhet prerelease pack.

This prerelease comes with the standard components.

  • Leaflet on how to build a deck from the packs in this prerelease pack.
  • A life spin down die
  • A promo card
  • A card of challenges tied in with the prerelease event.
  • 6 Amonkhet booster packs

So what were my pulls from the 6 Amonkhet boosters?

  • 1 Legendary Creature – God Rhonas the Indomitable 
  • 2 Foils (one creature, one land)

Whether any of the other cards are any good or worth mentioning who knows? There are some I’d love in my league deck. But sadly they can never be. 

So I think these 6 boosters edged it over the Hour of Devastation prerelease pack ones. Mainly because of the Legendary creature. Each legendary creature for me is another potential commander for any commander deck I get round to building. 

Here’s the promo I got.

I’d love to know if anyone has ever played this and won. It’s not a cheap card to play. 

So that’s it for my prerelease packs for the time being. Maybe I’ll track some more down to crack open next month. 

Hour of Devastation Prerelease Pack – My First Prerelease Pack Ever

You have to give credit where credit is due WotC know how to manage a collectable card game. They make the release of new sets an event. It starts weeks in advance with spoilers of cards in the upcoming set, videos about the Lore/story etc. But a week before the actual release they hold a prerelease event. This prerelease event gives players a chance to get their grubby mitts on cards from the new set a week early. Then on the actually release of the new set there are usually lots of events held by stores for this new set. A lot of money is made in those two weeks for the lgs and WotC. Shooting fish in a barrel comes to mind.

To facilitate the prerelease event WotC produce a prerelease pack for players to purchase. These prerelease packs contain everything that the player needs for that prerelease event. Which is basically a sealed format where players build a 40 card deck to play with from the booster packs in the prerelease kit they got.

Sadly these prerelease events usually fall at the wrong time of month for me or clash with a Fenland Gamers meet up. So I’ve not been to one. However thanks to the power of the internet and that marvellous use of it of online shopping. I was able to get hold of the current (for another couple of weeks) set Hour of Devastation prerelease pack. 

So for the approximate price of £20 what does a MtG player get for their hard earned money?

  • A rather attractive cardboard box! Which has some fantastic artwork of the planeswalker Nicol Bolas. 
  • A spindown d20 die.
  • A challenge card – complete these and there is a prize for doing so. I’m not sure what. 
  • 6 booster packs. In mine I got 4 Hour of Devastation packs and 2 Amonkhet.
  • 1 foil date stamped promo card
  • A sheet of Deck building tips

Taking the street value of a spindown die is approximately £2, and boosters cost £3.50 each (although I think £3 might also be a price point some lgs or online traders sell them for), I make that a value of between £20 – £23.

Below is the promo card I got.

I got 2 foil cards from the 6 booster packs.

As a relatively newish player (a couple of years now) and mainly casual play, I have no idea what value cards have. A good pull for me is a full art basic land (I love these, the art is stunning), a legendary creature (potential commander in the EDH/Commander) or a foil. 

At an actual prerelease event these packs give great value. Everything (except the basic lands) you need to build a deck to play with, and an evenings entertainment playing MtG. Plus early access to the cards for the new set, promo. I think it’s a cheap night out. 

Is it worth purchasing afterwards? I think that it is how much value you place on the foil promo, and themed countdown die? If you were going to buy 6 boosters anyway, this way gets you a little bit more value for you money. But not an amazing amount.

Well that’s my first ever prerelease pack. It was fun cracking open the boosters. The promo card is nice. Could be really powerful in a commander deck (possibly, maybe). I must try and get to the Ixalan prerelease.

Oh WotC have a great post about sealed deckbuilding at a prerelease event here.