There’s a scene in the movie Storytelling where John Goodman is sitting down for dinner with his wife and sons. After the middle son says something inappropriate, Goodman boots him from the table. As he gets up to leave, he drops and expletive and storms off. After a silent moment, the youngest son remarks, “it’s not fair if Brady can say the f-word and I can’t.”
“Yeah well Mikey,” replies Goodman, “listen up, because here’s a lesson: life’s not fair.“
It’s now time for the $75 question- how well-constructed is The Slivers? With new copies of the deck often commanding that high a price, we’d at least want to know whether or not the deck actually works. To find out, Jimi picked up Deep Freeze to try and shut down the hive mind.
If you’re like most any Magic player, you’ve probably thought a time or two of a cool card idea that hasn’t been printed yet. If you’re like many, you might even have fleshed the idea out in your mind a little- maybe determined what colour the card is, or how much it might cost. Perhaps you’re like a few who have gone a step further and dreamed up mechanics to play around with, or a handful of custom cards. And if you’re like a very few, you might even have designed your own expansion.
When we began Ertai’s Lament in June of 2010, we knew what we wanted to do- review Magic’s varied and storied preconstructed decks- but little direct sense of how we wanted to go about doing it.We knew we wanted to give a full accounting for each deck, which meant both a card-by-card analysis as well as a playtest in the field against another deck to see how it did in practice, and we had our starting point as the recently-released set of five Duels of the Planeswalker paper decks, but beyond that it was all glorious trial and error.
Reviewing Deep Freeze was a wonderful exercise in nostalgia for a deck and set that I have very fond memories of. If there was one thing that could top that, though, it was actually playing a game from that vintage set. Sam cracked open The Swarm, a Green-White creature-heavy deck, and we set about to recreating 1997 on our kitchen table. Here are our game notes.
In 1997, a series of events occurred without which there would be no Ertai’s Lament. The first of these events- the overarching theme- was the release in October of the start of ‘the Rath Cycle’ with Tempest. Tempest is, to date, my favourite set, as enshrined, ensconced and untouchable as most any other long-lived memory (I was 22 then), and I had returned to the game relatively recently after taking a couple sets off.
I’d first started sensing something different with Magic during the Weatherlight set. I’d picked up a box of Mirage and Visions which, while intriguing, seemed as loosely-threaded as previous expansions of the game. But beginning with Weatherlight, Magic had the start of something new: a story.