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Posts from the ‘Features’ Category

11
Feb
OStrike

Oath of the Gatewatch: Vicious Cycle Review (Part 1 of 2)

Nearly four years ago, we reviewed a deck called Slaughterhouse from Avacyn Restored. It was a deck that played in a space we’d seen before with preconstructed Magic, although not commonly. Following in the footsteps of Mirrodin’s Sacrificial Bam and Coldsnap’s Beyond the Grave, we summarized this style of deck as follows.

The objective of these decks is simple- take advantage of permanents that don’t mind dying to feed ones that reward you for when they do. Towards that end, many of its cards involve sacrifice and sacrifice outlets, along with the fodder that drives the deck forward.

If we were to summarize the objective of today’s Oath of the Gatewatch deck, Vicious Cycle, we could do no better.

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9
Feb
MV

Oath of the Gatewatch: Desperate Stand Review (Part 1 of 2)

Black/White (“Orzhov”) decks seem to be having something of a renaissance these days. Historically one of the less-common two-color pairings in preconstructed Magic, they’ve been on the rise since Return to Ravnica block. Some of this shouldn’t be surprising- after all, Gatecrash brought back the Guild of Deals with all of its extorting glory, and the Orzhov made the 50/50 cut to have a second deck devoted to it in Dragon’s Maze.

But it didn’t stop there.

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6
Feb
GravNeg

Oath of the Gatewatch: Twisted Reality Review (Part 2 of 2)

It’s our next playtest for Oath of the Gatewatch, and this time I’m taking Twisted Reality for a run. Featuring Wastes and loads of Eldrazi, I’m up against Phil’s Vicious Cycle. Can the Eldrazi finish what they’ve started on the plane of Zendikar, or will they find a final, eternal sleep? Read more

28
Jan
drdrd

Oath of the Gatewatch: Concerted Effort Review (Part 2 of 2)

We’re back with another playtest of Oath of the Gatewatch, the second and final set in the Battle for Zendikar block. We’re looking at the Green/White Concerted Effort deck today, which makes use of the support mechanic to grow its creatures over the course of the battle.

Joining me across the table is Phil, who has opted to go with the White/Black Desperate Stand, a Black/White deck looking to abuse cohort. Here’s how it shook out.  Read more »

24
Jan
glad

Oath of the Gatewatch: Concerted Effort Review (Part 1 of 2)

Infect, from 2010’s Scars of Mirrodin, was an updated take on the poison mechanic introduced at the dawn of the game in Legends. It also has the distinction of being one of the very few mechanics in the game that intersects with planeswalkers. Dealing -1/-1 counters to creatures and poison counters to a player, attacking a planeswalker was indeed about the only way you’d see ‘normal damage’ from an infect creature being dealt.

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15
May

Coming Soon…

201213Precons

2
Oct

So… Hello Folks!

Here’s to hoping this post finds everyone in good spirit and good health! It’s been awhile since I’ve updated, but I was struck today by a particular comment left by Limbonic_Art. 

So sad this site is now almost dead… Is it all because of the store?

This thoughtful comment caught me on a few levels. First, though we haven’t been updating, the site is far from dead. It’s still charting between 800-1000 views a day, which is pretty amazing. That tells me that Ertai’s Lament has succeeded in one of its aims, which is providing a resource for those looking into the older decks.

Of course, for those looking for signs of life itself, such as Limbonic, it certainly could appear moribund thanks to the lack of visible activity. That brings me to the next point- if we haven’t been updating in just over a month… what have we been doing?

First, we’ve been running Moonlite Comics. I knew going into it that it would be a lot of work, but even at my most generous estimates I vastly underestimated how much goes into it. Right now, I’m essentially working two full-time jobs, seven days a week. It sadly doesn’t leave a lot of time left over for other things, no matter how much aspiration is there. I’m steadily working towards finding the right balance between the store, my regular day job, and everything else, so that’s a work in progress.

There’s also one other big reason for our absence.

LorcDec

Say hello to Declan and Lorcan Kirkman! Our wee ones entered the world together on 16 September, a full TWO MONTHS ahead of schedule! It’s been unimaginably hectic around here on top of everything else, but they’re fighters the both of them and they’re doing even better than we dared to hope. No major issues to speak of as yet, and two days ago they both surpassed their birth weight after the initial drop in weight most babies experience. They’re thriving (but prayers are always welcome!)!

Jimi hasn’t left the hospital since they arrived, making a huge sacrifice for our babies in terms of sanity and exposure to horrible food. Sam and the boys have stepped up to help run the house, so we’re all getting through.

So yeah… things have been a little busy around here, but Ertai’s Lament is far from dead.

I promise.

I remember Gathering Magic before it was Gathering Magic, when it was just a really popular casual Magic site run by two guys. As the end arrived and their updates became less and less, you couldn’t shake that feeling of impending doom. Not so here. We’l be back very soon with a lot of catching up to do. I’ve already been poking around the Intro Packs of Theros, and one of them in particular blew my socks off.

Thanks for reading, and see you soon!

27
Aug
IntroTHR

News: Theros Intro Pack Rares Revealed!

Ordinarily spoilers for the Intro Packs have come in two waves. First, we get a look at the deck packaging, letting us see the rares and names of the decks. Then, later, we get the fill deck list spoiled. Today, the mothership had something a little different for us- just the Intro Pack rares.

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21
Jul

The Streak Comes to an End

Around three years ago, we started Ertai’s Lament with an ambitious goal: to write a review of a Magic the Gathering preconstructed deck every 48 hours. No-one is more amazed than I that I’ve been able to stick with it, and we’ve written as much as we have. I read on Amazon that the average book is 65,000 words. I did the math and discovered that I had written just over thirteen books’ worth of articles here.

Thirteen books.

But as you might have noticed, we finally missed a review window. The streak had died.

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26
Jun
Rhox War Monk

Whispers of the Muse: Triumph’s “Bant on the March”

Welcome to another installment of the most popular (and to my knowledge only) crowdsourcing precon deck tinkering advice column on the internet! Today we’re back with an interesting twist courtesy of Triumph: block constructed! Here’s what he had to say…

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