Magic Weekly Update

Friday_Night_Magic_3The Crown is up for grabs Planeswalkers! At Conspiracy: Take the Crown  release weekend it’ll take more than just your skill and knowledge of cards to win. You’ll need to scheme with, ally with, charm, and manipulate others to get to the top. While I can’t help you bring out your inner social butterfly, I can at least help with the knowledge part of things. So wet thine tongue and sharpen thy wit as we prepare your path to the throne.

You Can’t Escape the Draft:

For those still unfamiliar with Conspiracy  and why it’s unique, let’s do a quick summary. It’s a free-for-all, multiplayer format where players compete with 40-card decks following a booster draft. New mechanics and card abilities will change how you draft and play the game with cards that require players to vote, affect all opponents, or have special advantages based on how you draft.

The most fundamental aspect of everything above is, as you probably guessed, the infamous draft. If you’ve ever gone to a prerelease tournament, you’re already familiar with Sealed Draft, in which you’re given several booster packs and must make a deck from what you’re given.

Booster Drafts have the same basic concept of making a deck with the cards you’re given, but with the added strategy of only being able to add one card from a booster at a time. Here’s how it works:

  1. Begin with eight players at a table. Everyone is given a 14-card booster pack.
  2. Open your pack, pick one card, and pass the rest.
  3. The person on your left will hand you their booster pack, minus the single card they picked. Once again, you pick one and pass the rest.
  4. Continue until all the cards are drafted.
  5. This goes on for three rounds, players passing in a different direction each time. First right, then left, then right again.
  6. Once the draft is finished, build a 40-card deck with the cards you picked.

That’s all folks, sounds fun right? It may seem easy on paper, but there is a surprising amount of strategy involved. You have to deduce what colors the other players are drafting and if they’ll steal cards of the colors you want. You’ll often have to choose between two cards that would be great for your deck or a pack that has absolutely nothing you want. Do you waste a pick on something really powerful, like a Planeswalker, even if it’s not the color or colors you want?

Sorry, did I make that seem a little overwhelming? No worries, I can help you out. For starters check out the official draft guide which goes through a booster draft step-by-step and lays out strategies and advice. Normally, you want to keep the cards you drafted well hidden, but the problem with Conspiracy, (or the awesome thing depending on how you look at it) is that there are cards that change how the draft works, or have effects depending on how you draft:

Garbage FireRegicideSpire PhantasmAnimus of Predation

As if a booster draft wasn’t already strategy packed enough, Conspiracy  just adds a whole other level of fun and crazy on top of it. Luckily, the guys at Wizards have prepared something for this as well. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the booster draft guide, check out the Conspiracy Draft Guide which details how and when to use the draft specific cards as well as some other new mechanics from the set and a basic breakdown of each color’s role.

Hopefully that’s everything you need to, if not be comfortable with draft, at least be prepared for draft. Practice makes perfect though, and the best way to practice is to get out and actually play! Even if you’re too anxious for official, store tournaments this weekend, Conspiracy  is the perfect set for gathering (HA!) a bunch of friends around the table and doing your own personal draft.

But Wait, There’s More:

Of course, after the draft, you’ve still got to play the actual game and there are plenty of cards which affect play as well:

Capital PunishmentLeovold, Emissary of Trest

But if you need a detailed description of how the different card types and mechanics work, the Conspiracy Hub has everything you’re looking for. Additionally, if you’re looking for the actual rules concerning multiplayer Magic as well as how the new mechanics and special cards fit into it all, you can check out the highly detailed and expansive release notes.

In a set as unique and complicated as Conspiracy, having the knowledge of how cards work and what works best together can easily give you an advantage in both drafting and actual play. There’s of course no better substitute than just being familiar with every card. Before you head out to play this weekend, you can skim every card from the set. It may be impossible to plan for every outcome, especially in drafts, but knowing which cards you’d prefer and when they work best can be a key strategy as well.

Extra Life:

I’ll be ending this week’s article with a cause near and dear to many at Oogie Games and Wizards of the Coast. Extra Life is a wonderful charity event all across the country that benefits the Children’s Miracle Network (a.k.a. it’s for kids). Donations go directly to hospitals all over the U.S. including our own Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Most gamers will help out by participating in a 24-hour gaming marathon on November 5. Magic, however, is doing their own 24-hour streaming event, starting September 17 at 8 A.M. on Twitch.

The stream will have tons of cool content, such as interviews with Magic celebrities and events dictated by donations. For example, there will be a Sealed Draft where donators can pick which set they want the players to draft. With enough votes, this could even be the new and upcoming Kaladesh  set, meaning people would get to see the cards a full week before they hit store shelves.

For more details on exactly what the 24 hour stream will include, head over to the official Daily Update. After that, if you’d like to donate, head over here.

If you live in or around Buffalo and are interested in either joining the guild on the November 5 Game Day or just want to get more involved, head over to the Extra Life homepage to see what it’s all about. Then to the Buffalo Guild’s homepage to see what the guild is about, check out the forums or register.

That’s all for now Planeswalkers. Hope to see you out playing this weekend or through Extra Life events! Thanks for reading!



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