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3.30.2017

Amonkhet Story Art Spoiler

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Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

We are still incredibly hyped by yesterday's Amonkhet Magic Story, penned by Wizards of the Coast staffer Michael Yichao (@michaelyichao), and are greatly anticipating the next Magic: the Gathering story.  This is likely one of our favourite moments before the release of any MTG set - when we start to learn about the new Plane the game is to visit.  This is where the Wizards of the Coast narrative team, concept artists and world-building experts shine most for us.  

Earlier today, Redditor Augustby posted some images, we assume from the WotC MTG site (although we cannot find these at the moment), which paints a backdrop of the rich and exciting world we are to visit next.  Enough yattering from us, here are the images we speak of, and be certain to visit the official Amonkhet page linked here to see the latest and greatest.






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3.29.2017

Amonkhet Story 3-29

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Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Happy indeed.  Here at MTG Realm we have waited WEEKS for today - the very first Magic: the Gathering story to be posted for the new Ancient Egyptian-themed set.  We have one very important thing to say - the wait was totally worth it !
Amonkhet Invocation Dark, illustrated by Ritual Richard Wright

Wizards of the Coast staffer Michael Yichao (@michaelyichao) delivered an egaging, insightful, and entertaining first look at the Plane of Amonkhet.  We were already prepped with some background on this Plane but were soon engrossed in all the minutiae of the environments.  WotC did prepare us ahead of today's story when we learned that on Amonkhet, death is merely another chance to serve, with the new embalm ability to raise your creatures from your graveyard, creating Zombie versions to fight for you again.  What took us by surprise was just how many Zombies (or the undead), were waiting for the arrival of the Gatewatch (minus Ajani) on Amonkhet.

We have said too much now.  We direct you to the first Magic Story installment for Amonkeht - Episode 1 - 'Impact', linked right here.  Go on - we will wait until you get back.


The Gatewatch (Jace, Chandra, Nissa, Liliana, and Gideon) arrive on Amonkhet expecting a hellscape worthy of the Multiverse's most dangerous foe. What they encounter is much worse - sand, sandstorms, and more sand - Anakin's Kryptonite.

"I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere." - Anakin Skywalker

We can feel the searing heat of the double suns as Yichao paints a picture of the barren desert landscape.  We can feel a sense of panic as the Gatewatch Planeswalkers discover an environment almost bereft of mana to which to cast spells.  The ensuing panic of the attack of the undead and massive (Frank Herbert Dune Sandworms) Wurms, and the shock of their first fleeting encounter with an Amonkhet god.  

With the first Magic Story episode concluding with the discovery of a robust civilisation, we are most definitely looking forward to the next magic story !  We will wrap up for now, but here is some eye-candy from the great story today.

Amonkhet art, illustrated by Daarken
Amonkhet art, illustrated by Seb Mackinnon

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3.28.2017

Amonkhet Art Dump

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Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

More Magic: the Gathering news updates over the last 24 hours.  Yesterday's post to the MTG Realm blog was titled 'Amonkhet Info Dump', so it is rather appropriate that we have now a number of absolutely stunning pieces of art to become part of the Amonkhet card illustrations or key art.

We direct your attention to a short video, posted in several different languages on the Magic: the Gathering YouTube Channel, which briefly goes over what one may expect at a Amonkhet Prerelease event and is prefaced with some nice details on the backstory / vorthos and a number of images.  We should get to those now - 
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Discover the ancient and powerful civilization of Amonkhet.

The inhabitants of this fertile valley raise monuments dedicated to the glory of their gods and compete for their blessings, but something sinister lurks behind this seemingly organized society.

The train their entire life for a chance to face the Trials of the Five Gods and join the elite ranks of the Worthy and to claim an honored place in the Afterlife (these are mummified). They prepare for the great God-Pharaoh's return.




The 'Cursed' appear to be those who fail the tests / trials and become Zombies who, with other creatures roam the deserts.


Two God Names Confirmed
• Ifnir appears to the black-aligned god, 
• Oketra is the white-aligned cat god.



New and Returning Races
• Jackals 
• Minotaurs
• Zombies

Amonkhet Places
• Luxa River
• The Broken Lands

• Shefet (a desert) 



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3.27.2017

Amonkhet Info Dump

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Happy Monday MTG peeps,

This is our second post for today.  Our earlier post which may be linked over here provided news of 4 Amonkhet spoilers.  We need a second post to talk about today's post on the WotC website titled 'So Much Amonkhet News', by staffer Blake Rasmussen.  We suggest you put your beverage down and read that now before going on, before you do pop on over, here is the very lovley Ultra PRO playmat for Amonkhet Game Day -


Are ya back ? Good.
Let's go over the new Amonkhet mechanics revealed today:
• Exert
• Embalm 

As we have no info previewed on Exert, other than what was provided in the article, we will turn our attention to what was relayed for 'Embalm' -

Embalm is an activated ability you can activate if the creature card with embalm is in your graveyard. Notably you're not casting the card from the graveyard, so things that counter spells won't work against the embalm ability. The original creature spell can be countered, of course, but that just puts the card in the graveyard.

To activate an embalm ability, simply pay the embalm cost and exile the card. You do this any time you could cast a sorcery, meaning during your main phase when nothing else is happening. When the ability resolves, you create a token copy of the card, but as you'd expect, going through the process of mummification causes some changes. It's got that whole undead thing going on, so it's a Zombie in addition to whatever creature types it used to have


This goes a bit to explain the interesting Amonkhet 'Punch Card', (with a 'brick' counter!) and the token format card.  Embalm looks to be juicy and delicious and we can't wait until official Amaonkhet previews beginning next week to find out what 'Exert' may be.  Here is a round-up of all the cards previewed whether is is from the Amonkhet set, welcome decks or the Planeswalker decks.




Graceful Cat
Impeccable Timing
Mighty Leap
Ancient Crab
Angler Drake
Cursed Minotaur
Dune Beetle
Gravedigger
Tattered Mummy
Fling
Glorybringer
Hyena Pack
Giant Spider
Sixth Sense
Spidery Grasp
Amonkhet Punch Card *
Trueheart Duelist *

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Amonkhet Spoilers 3-27

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Happy Monday MTG peeps,

Earlier this morning, some unofficial Magic: the Magic the Gathering Amonkhet spoilers were posted across several different websites with no clear source at this time.  They do all appear to be from a promotional package mailed out to WPN gaming stores, containing events calendar and promo cards.  Let's have a look now and a reminder that these are unofficial and we would refer you to the WotC page linked above.




Archfiend of Ifnir, 3BB
Creature - Demon, rare
Flying
Whenever you cycle or discard another card, put a -1/-1 counter on each creature your opponents control.
Cycling 2 (2 , Discard this card: Draw a card.)
5/4


Glorybringer, 3RR
Creature - Dragon, Rare
Flying, haste
You may exert Glorybringer as it attacks. When you do, it deals 4 damage to target non-Dragon creature an opponent controls.
4/4


Oracle's Vault, 4
Artifact, Rare
2 , T : Exile the top card of your library. Until end of turn, you may play that card. Put a brick counter on Oracle's Vault.
T : Exile the top card of your library. Until end of turn, you may play that card without paying its mana cost. Activate this ability only if there are three or more brick counters on Oracle's Vault.

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Amonkhet Planeswalker Decks Spoilers also went up with these two images taken with a potato-cam -


Gideon, Martial Paragon, 4W
+2: Untap all creatures you control. These creatures get +1/+1 until end of turn
0: Until end of turn, Gideon, Martial Paragon becomes a 5/5 Human Soldier creature with indestructible. Prevent all damage that would be dealt to him this turn.
-10: Creatures you control get +2/+2 until end of turn. Tap all creatures your opponents control.
(?)


Liliana, Death Wielder, 5BB
+2: Put a -1/-1 counter on target creature
-3(?): Destroy target creature with a -1/-1 counter on it.
-10: Return all creature cards from your graveyard to the battlefield.
(?)


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3.24.2017

Friday MTG Miscellany

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Happy Friday MTG peeps,

Although it may have been a slower week here on the MTG Realm blog, we still had a flurry of Magic: the Gathering related posts to our sister site, MTG Realm on Tumblr, so today's post will be a regurgitation of select content over there.  

If you are off work tonight or do not have to cram for an exam, take a breather and head on out to a Friday Night Magic event tonight.  We'll be off to our favourite local gaming store, OMG Games, here in Barrie, Ontario where we hope to exploit the current standard constructed metagame (and not play one of the two ubiquitous popular decklists).

Anywhoos, let's get caught up with some posts -
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Photoset March 24, 2017
Magic: the Gathering - FNM Promo Arts

Today on the WotC site, Nicholas Wolfram expanded upon Blake Rasmussen’s previous post with some of the upcoming card illustrations to expect to see at Friday Night Magic Events.  Again, superb work by all the artists, and am very happy with the card choices.


APRIL - Servo Exhibition 
• FNM Promo Art by Vincent Proce
• Kaladesh Art bySara Winters

MAY - Unlicensed Disintegration
• FNM Promo Art Florian De Gesincourt
• Kaladesh Art by Izzy

JUNE - Aether Hub
• FNM Promo Art by Jonas De Ro

• Kaladesh Art by Sam Burley

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Photoset March 24, 2017
Magic: the Gathering - Magic Mural 2


Another amazing gaming store wall mural to follow up our previous post.  Here, we see a beautiful piece inspired by the iconic art of Jace, the Mind Sculptor from the Worldwake set, illustrated by Jason Chan.  Posted by  Luciana ‘Lu’ Couto of City Class Games in Osasco, S√£o Paulo, Brazil.


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Photoset March 24, 2017
Magic: the Gathering - Magic Mural

A very lovely wall mural (acrylic) commissioned and be worked on by artist Susanna Covelli (@susannacovelli_art).  


Inspiration from Ajani’s Presence and Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, both illustrated by Raymond Swanland.


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FUNNY TO MOST PEOPLE, BUT PERHAPS NOT 'DINNER-TABLE' APPROPRIATE

Photoset March 21, 2017
Magic: the Gathering - Bodily Function


Interesting solicitation from the Facebook Page ‘Magic the Gathering Rocks My World’.



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3.20.2017

DD Mind vs Might Decklists

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Happy Monday MTG peeps,

We should bring to your attention that the full Duel Decks: Mind vs Might decklists were released today over on the Wizards of the Coast website.  Magic: the Gathering fans had been speculating for a few weeks now what goodies may be in this product releasing at the end of the month. 

These pre-constructed theme decks have been rleased on a regular basis each year, and have been developed specifically to be played against eachother.  In recent years, Duel Decks had been connected to the themes of the large fall sets and contain some early preview cards.  This does not appear the case for this product as there is only reprints.  What we do have to look forward to are reprints that some gamers have been looking to acquire including some new art.  Here they are now -



MIND
• Lovisa Coldeyes
• Zo-Zu the Punisher
• Gutterual Response
MIGHT
• Jhoira of the Ghitu
• The Unspeakable
• Desperate Ritual



From a review of the decklists, it looks like we have 10 rares, and 1 mythic rare in each deck, including supporting uncommons and commons.  Without having played these yet, we imagine that the 'Mind' list may run a risk of getting run over early game, but promises to stabilize and deliver a solid later game.  Here is the info you may need to know -

Description
Duel Decks let players dive right into battle with ready-to-play, sixty-card decks that contain powerful cards united by a theme.

Will calculated schemes of the mind outwit and prevail? Or will the pure, bold power of might triumph?

Participants play with a random Duel Deck at the beginning of each round and then see which faction wins at the end of the tournament.


Contents: 
2 Ready-to-play, 60-card decks
2 Deck boxes
10 creature tokens
2 Spindown life counters
Strategy insert
Rules reference card

Duel Decks: Mind vs. Might
Release Date: March 31, 2017
Official Three-Letter Code: DDS
Twitter Hashtag: #MTGMVM
Languages Available: English, Japanese

MSRP: $24.99 *Applies to U.S. Only

Zo-Zu the Punisher illustrated by Wayne Reynolds
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3.18.2017

Amonkhet Spoiler 3-18

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Happy Saturday MTG peeps,

We now have our first possible Magic: the Gathering spoiler for Amonkhet.  This may be genuine or perhaps a bogus card posted by a terrible person.  We urge caution and refer you to the official Wizards of the Coast webpage here.  OK, so let's talk about this in detail.

Here's the image that was originally posted to the MTG subreddit linked over here, and subsequently reposted dozens of times across fan forums and websites.


In Portuguese with the following rough translation -

Dusk - 2WW
Sorcery, Rare
Destroy all creatures with power greater or equal to 3
//  FLIP //
Dawn - 3WW
Sorcery
Consequence (Cast this spell only from your graveyard, then exile it.)
Return all creature cards with power less than or equal to 2 from your graveyard to your hand.

210 / 269 R
AKH • PT  Illustrated by Noah Bradley


This was posted by redditor 'nerdyfanboy1' in this thread titled 'Get a translation? Possible spoiler for Amonkhet'.  The poster also provided this comment on the source -

“Ok so a friend of mine posted this on his Facebook. Said he pulled it from one of his modern masters 3 boxes. So that's my source”

It is not entirely impossible to find a card from one set accidentally put into a different set's booster pack, which WotC has admitted in the past as having happened with issues at the printers.  From the jagged card corner on the bottom right and damage to the top right, one could imagine this damaged card not being properly cleared from the machine.

The biggest oddity here is the card layout.  In the past, we have seen split cards, flip cards, and  double-faced cards, but not any which placed the second piece of the card at a 90 degree angle such as this one. 


Forum member atomicflip had this graphic produced to summarise some of the comments made on a card face design improvement where players could easily identify a card within a graveyard which could be cast again with flashback, or in the case of Amonkhet, the new unconfirmed mechanic of 'Consequence'.  So again, perhaps not that far-fetched.

The next issue with with the collector's number.  In the past, mono-coloured split cards were found within that colour where mutli-coloured splits were found near the end.  In the case of Dusk / Dawn, one would have expected the collector's number "210 / 269" to have been numbered somewhere below 20 perhaps.  Again, there could be a change made by Wizards of the Coast with the ordering system.

Alright - our feelings.
We love us some recursion, especially when it is prefaced by a board-wipe.  We have personally lost track of flashback cards in the 'yard' and like this improvement.  We do not care for the squashed-down art however.

Your call - Fake or Real ?
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3.16.2017

MTG Path of the Planeswalker

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Happy Thursday MTG peeps,

Here at MTG Realm we do love us our Magic: the Gathering lore and would admit that our favourite day of the week (other than Friday Night Magic at our local shop OMG! Games, here in Barrie, Ontario) is most decidedly Wednesday.  This day typically provides a new story installment on Wizards of the Coast Magic: the Gathering website.  Last week, one of our blog's readers asked after where to find the full web series for the Path of the Planeswalker comics.  Although we fired off links, we want to follow-up with all the story links in today's post.

Path of the Planeswalker is a compilation of the planeswalker web comics, that appeared on magicthegathering.com, along with a previously unseen bonus comic. It was published in January 5, 2010.   Here is the round-up of the web comics series -

 

Fuel for the Fire, By Doug Beyer
Chandra steals a scroll from the Sanctum of Stars on Kephalai. Jace chases after her on an errand for the Infinite Consortium.

The Seeker's Fall, By Doug Beyer
Tezzeret tries to uncover the secrets of the Seekers of Carmot.

The Hunter and the Veil, By Jenna Helland
Liliana is ordered by Kothophed to find the Chain Veil and comes across Garruk.

Flight of the White Cat, By Brady Dommermuth
When Ajani's brother is killed in an attack on his tribe, his spark flares. On Jund he encounters Sarkhan Vol.
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The Veil's Curse, By Doug Beyer
After she cursed him, Garruk embarks on a hunt for Liliana, bringing him to Jace on Ravnica. Meanwhile Liliana uses the Veil to her advantage.

Honor Bound, By Jenna Helland
Elspeth witnesses the Conflux.

Journey to the Eye, By Jenna Helland
Chandra searches for the Eye of Ugin.

Awakenings, By Doug Beyer
Jace chases after Chandra in a race to the Eye of Ugin.
 

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3.14.2017

MTG B&R Update

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Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

Yesterday's much anticipated Ban and Restricted Announcement brought no changes at all to Magic: the Gathering fans.  To some, this was welcome news while others are vocal about the domination of standard constructed by two decklists - that of Mardu Vechicles and and the Saheeli combo.


Personally, we thought the January Banned and Restricted announcement hitting Reflector Mage was pretty much spot on, but this delivered a real kick in the kackers to Smuggler's Copter pilots who we think was unjustified as there were answers for.  Although quite impossible to prognosticate accurately, we think standard would indeed be a much more diverse environment if the Copter were still with us.


To that end, we do not think there are many good answers to the Saheeli Rai / Felidar Guardian combo which wins games on turn 4 quite regularily.  Other than getting an Authority of the Consuls out early or having a fog effect (like Commencement of Festivities) immediately followed up with a board-wipe (like Fumigate) the chances of surviving until the next turn is slim to none, and Slim just left Town.


We are hopeful that this does breed creativity but do fear that diversity is not to be found until Amonkhet is released.  Further reading is encouraged - pop on over to Matt Sperling's article over on ChannelFireball.  While there, also have a look at this week's Standard Format Power Rankings.


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