Magic Weekly Update

They’re coming. A rag-tag group of renegades tired of government control and oppression, ready to take the power into their own hands and lead a revolution. Will you join these renegades or stand behind the corruption, manipulating their tactics and policies to gain power. No, I’m not talking about the inauguration, it’s Aether Revolt  release weekend! Now is a prime time to put your deck-building skills to the test and invent some wondrous new combos of your own. If you missed prerelease last weekend, we’ll catch you up on what the experts learned from their play time and the most powerful strategies already taking shape. Let’s begin the assault!

Take ’em Down:

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the new Standard, we must take note of a few new changes that have caused much rumbling within the community. It’s time for the updated banned cards list, which goes into effect starting today. For Standard format, there’s only three cards you need to worry about, but they’re easily some of the most heavily used and liked. Wave goodbye to EmrakulSmuggler’s Copter, and Reflector Mage:

Emrakul, the Promised EndSmuggler's CopterReflector Mage

Sorry if this news has destroyed any of your current decks Planeswalkers. Believe it or not, this is the first time we’ve seen cards banned in Standard in over five years! Five years! As you can guess, several people were unhappy with the latest ban hammer. If you find yourself questioning why, you can read Wizard’s reasoning behind the bans in the article above or read why the head game designer himself thought the changes were necessary. What are your opinions Planeswalkers? Will the bans improve Standard or ruin it? Let us know in the comments below.

Don’t wallow in the doom and gloom for too long though, because as of today we’ve got literally dozens of new cards to play around and experiment with. How about we get to that-

Build ’em Up:

First, let’s take stock of all that happened during prerelease weekend. Several players gathered together at the Oogie Games Niagara Falls location to participate in the event:

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and indoor

If you missed it, no worries! They still hold Friday Night Magic events every week, and there will definitely be more prereleases to look forward to in the future.

But what did the professional players think of the new cards? Well, you can see a few first impressions in the lessons learned from prerelease article. Since then, the pros have been hard at work planning the best card combos and deck synergies to share with you.

Let’s start with the best new cards in general. Take a look at the Top 20 cards from Aether Revolt  and feel free to voice your opinions on the best new cards to play with in the comments below. Of course, several of those cards are powerful enough to build an entire deck around, so we’ll also take a look at the best build-arounds from the eyes of one of the top pro players in Magic.

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Maybe you don’t want to base your entire deck around one or two cards though. Maybe, you love to use some fun card combos and build around that instead. Then you’d be interested in the best combo decks from Aether Revolt  or perhaps the best synergies from the new set.

Satisfied yet? No? Oh, I see. You’re currently in love with or obsessed with a specific color and just can’t go without making a deck of a specific color of mana. Well I’ve still got something for you. If you’re a fan of allied color pairs, this article will give you general tips and strategies for each pair along with the key cards to look for. Check back next week for some enemy colored pairs, you silly rebel you.

Finally, if you don’t have any decks in mind and just kind of build whatever comes to you, you can still draw some inspiration from professional brews. Here, you can find a mix of decks of all types and colors to get the gears in your brain moving.

Hopefully that’s enough to motivate you to create some new decks and get out there and play this weekend!

A Storied Past:

One of my favorite parts of every new set release is, of course, the story. Last time on Kaladesh:

  1. We had the reunion of a daughter and mother who long thought each other dead.
  2. The return of everybody’s favorite albino kitty Planeswalker and his induction to the Gatewatch.
  3. The return of a long-absent villain who’s new schemes and intentions are still shrouded in mystery.

How will the Gatewatch save the citizens of Kaladesh? Will Chandra prove to be the leader that the renegades need? What is Tezzeret’s diabolical plan?

Find out, by either heading to the Aether Revolt story archive, or, if you don’t feel like reading, catch up with this story summary video:

That’s all for this week Planeswalkers! Have fun with the new set and thanks for reading!

 

Magic Weekly Update

The long awaited moment has finally arrived, Planeswalkers! It’s time for the Aether Revolt  prerelease weekend! Time to get out to your local game stores and play with the new set a full week before it arrives on store shelves. We’ve got the tips and tricks to help you get prepared and come out on top. Lets begin-

Take Back the Power:

Alright, if you’ve never been to a prerelease before (what’s wrong with you?) let me shed some light on what’s so great about it. You get to play with the new set early, and you don’t have to worry about constructing any decks or buying cards because you make a deck with the cards you receive at the event. Everyone starts off on equal footing, and you get to keep the cards you play with after the event! That way, even if your deck gets a big old goose egg in wins, you can still potentially snag some awesome and rare cards just for showing up. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and end up in the top 8, you’ll get rewarded for your efforts with more packs. But more than that, if going to tournaments or big magic events has ever intimidated you, this is the perfect time to join in. Prereleases tend to be a more casual tournament with a friendly environment because every player is new to the cards and strategies and trying to puzzle them out. Sure, people could go in with a definite strategy in mind, but the cards you receive will be random so there’s no guarantee you’ll get the cards you want for any specific deck.

For more information on prerelease check out the Aether Revolt  prerelease introduction below:

Or, read the Prerelease Primer which will answer any questions you have and give you tips on how to go about constructing your 40 card deck at the event.

Of course, if you’re having trouble finding a store, the Oogie Games in Niagara Falls will be hosting the prerelease all weekend with a midnight release tonight, and another tournament on Sunday. Call now to reserve your spot!

Gaze Into the Aether:

So hopefully I’ve gotten you excited about attending the prerelease, but the best way to do well in any type of Magic event is preparation. You may not know exactly what cards you’ll get from your boosters, but being familiar with the new mechanics, keyword abilities, and cards in general can definitely help you make the most out of what you receive.

Many of the new elements introduced in Kaladesh  will still be there, such as energy and the vehicle card type, but Aether Revolt  will also introduce two new abilities in Revolt and Improvise:

Hidden StockpileFoundry Assembler

Revolt can punish your opponent for destroying your artifacts, creatures, planeswalkers or spells as you get bonus effects whenever they leave the battlefield. You can keep your opponent intimidated and always questioning whether destroying or exiling one of your cards is truly worth it.

Meanwhile, Improvise rewards you for using and creating artifacts. The more you have, the better the ability gets. For information on all the new mechanics and abilities, as well as tips on how to use them, head to the Aether Revolt Mechanics feature on the official site.

Art by Deruchenko Alexander

Now, with the new mechanics out of the way, let’s take a look at the cards themselves. You can see every card from the set revealed so far in the Card Image Gallery. With all the new information to sort through, sometimes its hard to get the big picture. Even if you’re familiar with the cards, forming a deck at the event can be difficult if you don’t know which colors and cards work best together. No worries, I’d suggest first taking a look at this breakdown by color which includes the general strategy of each color, what it pairs best with, and the best cards to help you get there.

If you want to get even more specific, Pro Player Louis Scott-Vargas goes through every card of every color and rates their usefulness. On top of that, he chooses the best three commons of every color. If you’re interested, read on below:

As of now, there’s been no article for Green, Multicolored or Artifact cards, but they should be coming soon. Of course if you want to go more broad, you can also check out Louis’ list of the Top 10 Cards in Aether Revolt. These are the cards you’ll most likely want to build around should you get lucky enough to open them at a prerelease.

By the way, did you know that some lucky jerks get to play with the new set even before the prerelease? That’s right, it’s called a Pre-Prelease and is usually reserved for actual employees of Wizards themselves or special groups. Well, luckily, one group was kind enough to record their pre-prelease experience and share it with the world. I’d recommend reading to get special insight on what they learned from the new set before heading out this weekend.

To keep up to date with all the latest Aether Revolt  news, make sure you keep an eye on the Hub Page where they’ve got the cards, story chapters and news conveniently gathered into one place.

Coming Soon to a Store Near You:

A blog post about prerelease would be nothing without some special card previews. First, you can take a look at a special group of colored artifacts arriving in Aether Revolt  as well as a simple description of how they work and how best to use them. Introducing the Kaladesh Implements:

Our next card preview will focus on a huge story reveal for next set:

Dark Intimations

Now, before you freak out entirely, the article assures us that Nicol Bolas is not on Kaladesh. However, this all but confirms that he will show up in the next set, Amonkhet. After all, why print a card revolving around a Bolas Planeswalker card if you don’t make one? This is big news for fans of the biggest villain in Magic, as we haven’t really heard from Bolas since Shards of Alara  and we’ve heard nothing from his arch nemesis Ugin since Battle for Zendikar. Even without the dragon himself, the card seeks to imitate him by using his colors and being a powerful spell in its own right. You’ve also got to appreciate the fantastic art on this card, foreshadowing a massive, constructed artifact creature whose twisted metal configurations strongly hint at the big dragon himself. And who’s standing at the center of it all? None other than the main villain of this story arc, Tezzeret:

Tezzeret the Schemer

So lets take a look at the new Planeswalker card from our lovable, manipulative, metal-armed dictator. First, a cost of four for a starting loyalty of 5 is a pretty good deal, especially considering that his ultimate ability is only -7, meaning you could use it after only two turns. His +1 ability makes him incredibly powerful in this set. Between abilities like Improvise which let you tap any artifact and numerous effects centered around artifacts, being able to get an artifact for free that can also act as another source of mana makes Tezzeret an excellent play at any point in the game (assuming your deck makes use of artifacts….which….why wouldn’t it?). His minus ability also combos well with the first one by letting you pump your own creatures, or taking out an opponents. In true fashion with Tezzeret’s nature, both the plus and minus abilities let you control the battlefield and fight your opponent on your own terms. Now, his ultimate -7 ability is great, letting you turn any artifact into a powerful creature, but it’s not an instant game winner like so many other Planeswalker ultimates. Instead, you may have to wait a few turns to build your powerful artifact army, but on the plus side, once the emblem is made, it stays with you the rest of the game, even if Tezzeret is removed or killed. Overall, Tezzeret will be an incredibly powerful and useful Planeswalker for this set, but only if you build a deck around him. Unlike a lot of other Planeswalkers, he won’t be useful just slapped into any old deck. In the right deck under the right circumstances, however, he can easily be one of the most powerful Planeswalkers in Standard.

That’s all we have for this week folks! Hopefully I’ve gotten you hyped enough to go out and enjoy some prerelease action! Have fun out there, and thanks for reading.

Magic Weekly Update

Friday_Night_Magic_3Less than ten days to Christmas, Planeswalkers, and the supposed, “big reveal,” Wizards has been teasing (I’m guessing Tezzeret’s new card, all signs seem to point to it…unless it’s a clever ploy). In the meantime we’ve got a couple more Aether Revolt  card reveals to tide us over in addition to the last week of Standard Showdown. We’ll break down what decks worked best in Week 3 in your preparation for the Week 4 finale. Continue reading

Magic Weekly Update

Friday_Night_Magic_3‘Tis the third week of Standard Showdown, Planeswalkers, how are your creations doing? Having trouble taking down foes, or are you the one doing the take-downs? Either way, we’ve got news on the most popular decks and strategies emerging from Wizards’ latest promotion as well as our first bit of card reveals and news from Aether Revolt  (finally)! Let’s dive right in- Continue reading

Magic Weekly Update

Friday_Night_Magic_3December is upon us Planeswalkers, but Santa’s little helpers over at Wizards of the Coast are still a couple weeks away from showing off the shiny new toys we can expect from the next set, Aether Revolt. If the wait is giving you some holiday blues, however, you can still get a sneak peak at the upcoming set with the first story chapter released on Magic’s website this weekend. There’s enough artwork from new cards to keep the specualtions and rumor mill churning until the next reveal. Meanwhile, for you non-story chestnuts, Wizards is making the season bright with the new Standard Showdown!  We’ve got the tips and tricks to keep you sharp and win those prizes so let’s get started. Continue reading

Magic Weekly Update

Friday_Night_Magic_3

Its been an entire month and a half since the release of Kaladesh  Planeswalkers, and while the set has been a grand success, offering enough unique strategies and combinations to influence a huge variety of decks, even the best of us are starting to get burnt out. Unfortunately, we’ve got a whole other month and a half to go before the continuation of this block in Aether Revolt  in January, but Wizards has decided to fill the void with Commander 2016! That’s right, one of the most popular Magic formats of all time is getting an entire release devoted to it, and we’ve got all the tips, tricks and advice to get you started on your own personal army! Let’s dive right in. Continue reading