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Posts from the ‘Intro Pack Reviews’ Category


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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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


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


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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Battle for Zendikar: Call of Blood Review (Part 2 of 2)

Although we are going to be pivoting into the Oath of the Gatewatch decks, we did get in some playtesting in the lead up to that set and some reviews to pass a final judgment on. Call of Blood didn’t cover itself in glory when Phil last piloted it. Will it have better luck today?

For today’s match, Phil selected the Blue/Green Swarming Instinct.

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Oath of the Gatewatch: Twisted Reality Review (Part 1 of 2)

When Ice Age released in 1995, it was only the sixth Magic expansion, but the first to be intended as a stand-alone set. While the previous year’s Legends was of comparable size to Alpha/Beta, it wasn’t structured to function as a stand-alone in the way Ice Age was, with a basic reprint level of core cards (like Giant Growth) that made for a well-balanced environment.

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Battle for Zendikar: Eldrazi Assault Review (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome back to Ertai’s Lament’s coverage of Battle for Zendikar’s Intro Packs.

Before my two-year hiatus, we had a pretty regular routine here at the Lament. Part 1 was a deck review, followed by Part 2’s playtest and final score. Although we’re keeping the same structure, the schedule this time around won’t be quite so regular.

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Battle for Zendikar: Call of Blood Review (Part 1 of 2)

Back in Magic 2010, the first of the revamped line of Core Sets, a rare black enchantment was printed that over time would turn quite a few heads.

At five mana, Sanguine Bond was a card that screamed ‘Johnny,’ the Magic player profile that delighted in clever play through combos and card interactions. It did nothing on its own when played, but rather relied on other circumstances for effect.

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Battle for Zendikar: Eldrazi Assault Review (Part 1 of 2)

Happy New Year and welcome back to Ertai’s Lament!

That latter greeting probably applies as much to me as to anyone else, since the last time I reviewed a deck here was on 17 July, 2013- over two years ago.


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Bogbrew Witch

Magic 2014: Death Reaper Review (Part 1 of 2)

Thus far in our walk through Magic 2014, we’ve found that the decks hew fairly conventionally towards what is increasingly becoming a standard core set formula of showcasing two different aspects or themes of the colour pairing. The first deck we looked at, Lightforce, paired a lifegain strategy with an aura-based one. Though Bestial Strength was a bit more conventional in nature, Death Reaper picks right up where Lightforce left off.

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