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.
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 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!
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.
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.
But as you might have noticed, we finally missed a review window. The streak had died.
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.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks since we took over Moonlite Comics, but we took a break from work to playtest Bestial Strength. Sam grabbed the Blue/White Psychic Labyrinth, we grabbed a table in the gaming area, and off we went! Here are the notes from the matchup.
It might not seem readily apparent, but the Black and Green colour pairing is one of the more common in the Magic core set preconstructed environment. When Magic 2010 came along and standardised the two-colour core set Intro Pack, Death’s Minions was amongst them as a base-Black deck with a splash of Green. It would immediately set a precedent.
It’s the opening match of Magic 2014, and I’m once again joined by Sam looking to put my deck to the test. To do so, she’s enlisted the aid of Fire Surge, the Red/Blue counterburn deck with as many creatures as mine. Will that tempestuous combination take the day, or will my auras and lifegain prove the measure?
Ahh, Summer. Although many of us could probably do without the brutal heat, there’s a certain romance to this time of year that tends to manifest itself in the evenings. Cicadas on the trees, fireflies in the meadows, frogs in the pond, there’s something magical about the season that lets us look forward to it every year. By the same token, there’s another much-anticipated arrival that makes itself known around this time each year- the latest core set.
The last time we found our friend Gideon, he was helming one of the worst decks of the original Duels of the Planeswalkers series, Weapons of the Warrior. Has he cleaned up his act? To find out, Sam’s sleeved up Apex Predators, Garruk’s lastest offering.
For every point, it seems, there must be a counterpoint. Much of our look at Duels of the Planeswalkers thus far has focused on decks that have either significantly evolved a previously-employed archetype (in Duels 2009), or instead chosen to focus on a different facet of the namesake planeswalker.
Today, we look at a deck that has remained largely unchanged.