As we look ahead towards Eldritch Moon and the implementation of the one-deck-per-week schedule, we’ve got some loose threads to tie up. Ghostly Tide, the Blue/White Spirits/Skies deck, is the last to be reviewed for Shadows over Innistrad, and in addition to three decks from Battle for Zendikar, we also need to conclude Oath of the Gatewatch’s Surge of Resistance.
But playing one deck at a time, we put Ghostly Tide through its paces, with Josh taking the field armed with Unearthed Secrets, the deck themed around investigate. Would his forces prevail, or would his defeat prove to be his deck’s biggest mystery? Read more
I found madness to be one of the more interesting mechanics of Shadows over Innistrad, and pairing it with tribal Vampires seems like a chocolate-meets-peanut-butter win. Of course, to get a sense of how the deck comes together, we’ll need to take it into battle. Joining me at the table is Josh, who’s piloting the Red/White Angelic Fury.
We’re back to round out our coverage of Shadows over Innistrad, with a look a the delirium-filled Horrific Visions. To help test the deck, I’ve enlisted the help of Josh, running the Blue/White Spirits deck, Ghostly Tide. Which deck will emerge victorious? Read more
Josh is back to help playtest the Shadows over Innistrad decks, and today we’re looking at how investigate performs with Unearthed Secrets. Josh has chosen the Vampires-n-madness duo of Vampiric Thirst. Will he manage to solve the mystery, or will he be become buried in Clues? Read more
At last! We’ve had an unprecedented string of deck reviews without their corresponding playtests, but I’ve finally managed to get some games in. Joining me at the table is Josh, a good friend whose previous focus is on more competitive Magic, but has enjoyed the opportunity to playtest some preconstructed Magic as well. For our look at the Red/White Agnelic Fury, he’s opted to pilot the delirium-themed Horrific Visions. Read more
We’ve arrived at the last of the five Intro Pack decks for Shadows over Innistrad, the Boros-colored Angelic Fury. Thus far, we’ve seen three mechanic-centered decks, with Unearthed Secrets (Clue tokens and investigate), Vampiric Thirst (madness), and Horrific Visions (delirium). The fourth deck, Ghostly Tide, was tribal Spirits, which leaves Angelic Fury as a bit of a conundrum.
Long considered a secondary tribe in the game, 2009’s Zendikar was a renaissance for the Vampire. Not only were they made one of the major tribes in the lore of the game- with the deluge of cards to follow- but they were also awarded an Intro Pack deck all their own. Rise of the Vampires was one of the better decks of the set, reflecting the speed that every Limited player knows was bound up in the Zendikar environment.
One of the things I often liken preconstructed decks to is “museum pieces.” This is mainly true for decks that are from a particular set as opposed to standalone products like Duel Decks. Theme Decks- and their modern counterparts, the Intro Pack- are a great way to explore and experience the themes and mechanics of a set without investing a lot of money in boosters or individual cards.
The original Innistrad released in September of 2011, and for the first time since Lorwyn/Shadowmoor in 2007-08 we had a fully tribal Magic set. Lorwyn’s tribes were sunnier, more whimsical in nature: Elves, Goblins, Giants, Kithkin and more painted an idyllic portrait of a world where the sun always shined; a world which took a turn for the dark once Shadowmoor arrived. Even then, however, it was more ‘dark faerie world’ rather than ‘Tales from the Darkside.’ It would take the arrival of Innistrad to bring a feeling of horror to Magic.
In the Autumn of 2010, Wizards of the Coast held a second talent search for new designers called, naturally enough, the Great Designer Search 2. Whereas the inaugural Search in 2006 was more mechanical in nature, there was a very deliberate emphasis on world-building for the second time around.
Contestants were instructed to form Wiki pages, and collaboration was an important aspect of the assignments. Although your humble author had no deep-rooted ambitions to go into game design, nevertheless as a longtime player of the game I gave it a shot.