And here it is, the final playtest of the original Duels of the Planeswalkers from 2009. All seventeen decks have now been featured, and when we circle back to the digital realm we’ll begin looking at the next series. For now, though, I’ve got Sam to pass through as she gives Root of the Firemind a whirl!
Those who have spent any amount of time reading about Magic from Mark Rosewater are likely to be familiar with the concept of the ‘golden trifecta.’ This is a term he uses to refer to the “three genius ideas that Richard [Garfield] rolled up into one amazing product.” In short, the ‘trifecta’ comprises the collectible trading card structure of the game, the colour pie which gives it definition, and the resource management system of mana, which maintains a level of variance. A great deal of ink can be used up writing about what Garfield got right. Today, we’ll instead be looking at something he got wrong.
Before Sorin was the creator of Avacyn and preserver of Innistrad’s humanity, he was a mono-Black planeswalker who showed up in Zendikar as the plane’s volatility was coming to a head. Today we take his Vampire-themed Duels of the Planeswalkers deck into battle to run it through its paces. Acting as foil is Sam, who’s running the White-weenies-n’-gear brew Weapons of the Warrior.
Although Magic is a game filled with larger-than-life characters, it tends to occupy a bit of a fixed position for many of them. Part of this is due to the ever-changing nature of the game, where we seldom get to stay in one place for more than one block at a time. As a result, there’s a tendency towards the two-dimensional, as there just isn’t enough time to show development and personal growth.
When you consider the flavour text of cards in Magic, some tend to stick in the mind more than others. Sometimes they’re profound, such as with Double Negative:
They feared each other for their differences but were absolutely terrified at their similarities.
…or Intruder Alarm:
One footstep among many is silent. One footstep alone is deafening.
The Hour of Bolas is here at last, and Rhys the Redeemed is in grave trouble. To survive he’ll have to rely on the power of the earth and landfall, but only if Bolas’s exhumed minions don’t destroy him first! To reenact this clash and test Eons of Evil, I’m joined by Jimi.
In our last review, we looked at the much-overlooked Chandra, who was given her second deck in Expasnion Pack 2. Although Chandra’s story could be summed up as “always the bridesmaid, but never the bride,” we ended by noting that big things lay in store for her with Magic 2014. In both the Core Set release as well as the Duels of the Planeswalker tie-in, she’s been given center stage, a starring role beneath the limelight. The character of today’s focus might simply wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, didn’t the series hit its highest note last year?
We’re back with another round of Duels of the Planeswalkers, and today I’m joined by Sam. To put Heat of Battle to the test, she’s running Eons of Evil, the deck built for Nicol Bolas. Will Grixis carry the day, or can Chandra seal a victory in fire and ash?
There are a number of reasons that people become famous through accomplishment. Sometimes it is for for creating a great work of culture, like an author or actor. Others create something of a much more utilitarian nature, like a scientist or engineer. Still others attain the vaunted perch of fame through an extraordinary deed, a moment or act of heroism. No matter the path, the common thread through these is esteem, the act of having earned the respect of the people. We begin today’s piece by looking at a man who became famous for precisely the opposite reason.
It’s our opening game for the Duels of the Planeswalkers (2009): Expansion Pack 2 review, and I’m joined at the table by Jimi. Long a fan of Red, she’s excited to get ahold of Chandra’s latest deck Heat of Battle, while I buckle in for a return to the tumultuous terrain of Zendikar and its landfall mechanic. Can I take Rhys to glory, or will be Chandra’s day when the ash settles?