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Wizards - Pair O’ Dice Games

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Reaction and Recovery – A Short Diatribe About My Taste in Games

A few months ago Scott and I started to work on a project categorizing gamers. Essentially we wanted to come up with umbrella terms that scooped gamers into recognizable groups so that it would be easier to review a game and tell which groups we thought would enjoy it. It’s actually a fairly daunting process in that there are so many subtle variations and one does not wish to detract from any group by sliding them under an umbrella where they would not feel they belong. Still there are certainly different kinds of games out there and in general I would say we all tend toward liking certain groups of those games.

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Magic the Gathering – Spotlight on Reach of Branches

Magic the Gathering: Reach of Branches rare
I feel the need to mention that I am currently recovering from surgery. Not to get into the gory details of it but I had a cornea transplant last week. I’m determined to keep up with the blog as much as I can but seeing is a bit rough right now and most likely I will need to keep my posts short. I am just now able to look at a computer screen without wearing sunglasses as my eyes (well eye really since the one is still under a patch) are just now adjusting to light.

Reaching for something to write about

One of my favorite cards from Morningtide has got to be Reach of Branches. It may not be the flashiest card out there but that just means you’re more likely to get it in a draft. Especially since it’s not really worth splashing even though it only takes one green mana to play.

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Three-Dragon Ante – Games I Play

Three Dragon Ante – Game Overview

Three-Dragon Ante Box

Three-Dragon Ante is a simple non-collectible card game produced by Wizards of the Coast. At its core it is meant to be a poker-like gambling game that should feel like something a group of adventurers would play while sitting around the local tavern just after returning from an adventure.

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Attending the Morningtide Pre-release Tournament

Are you excited about the Morningtide Pre-release next week? The two-set Lorwyn block reaches its conclusion, and while I don’t know much about the story of Lorwyn’s Hobbits- uh, I mean, Kithkin… I’m definitely looking forward to the new cards.

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Through and Through with Blue: Lorwyn Draft Walkthrough

I was one of the lucky people that got Veteran’s Day Observed off as a holiday so I took some time to play a Magic draft and take enough notes to write up a walkthrough (I think I need to find an easier way to do this if I am going do it more often… typing all the cards out was a real pain in the butt). I hope that the result has enough detail to be interesting and useful.

Pack One

First Pick: Sentinels of Glen Elendra

Magic Lorwyn draft walkthrough first pick

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Limited Impressions: How to Avoid Blue and Influence People

So it has been just over a week since Lorwyn made its way to the online Magic world. I am almost exclusively an online player so I have really gotten my first in-depth taste of Lorwyn in a competitive environment, and so far it seems decent. Maybe a few too many bombs, maybe one too many sick combos, or maybe I am still a noob.

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Jyhad/Vampire: the Eternal Struggle Deckbuilding Tips – The Crypt

Jyhad may be an old game, but it’s still one of the best multiplayer trading card games out there. I’m going to run down some basic deckbuilding tips for those seeking to start tuning their decks. This article focuses on tuning your crypt.

Being an old game you might think that new players are rare. Yet I was recently given a box of Jyhad boosters as a gift (now that’s a rare find!) and had the opportunity to introduce my gaming group to the game of predator-prey that is Jyhad.

Jyhad and V:tES card backs

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Rocketville Review

Rocketville is an Avalon Hill game by Richard Garfield.

What follows is a modified and updated version of a review I wrote for Board Game Geek back in March of last year. The review aims to tell the reader what type of game they are dealing with and does not get into the details of how the game plays. For information of that sort see Avalon Hill as they have a detailed and accurate description of the basic play of the game. I know this is a bit non-topical since the game came out a while ago but as you can often pick up Rocketville for a very reasonable price perhaps this review will convince some of you to give it a try (or show others of you that even for a very low price, this is not the game for you.)

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A Tangential Story About the Lorwyn Pre-Release

First of all I would like to say I like this set. Lorwyn seems to have a lot to offer the kinds of Magic environments that I enjoy, namely casual and limited. Anytime you see me talking about Magic I would recommend you keep that in mind. For example I disliked Ravnica because in casual multi player games there were too many insane bombs and quite frankly the same held true for limited as well. I also felt that while needing to play three colors sometimes made drafting interesting it also meant that if you didn’t get any fixing, and never had any option to pick fixing, you may well be out of luck and there was of course more opportunity for mana/land screw. Welcome to my first tangent…

What I really wanted to write about was Lorwyn and my experience with it at the pre release. I managed to go 4 – 0 in the single flight I played in and didn’t even lose a game. I am however mostly a casual player that drafts a couple times a week online so I’m not a pro by any standards. On the other hand I must admit I am an avid spoiler reader. I pop around checking out what is coming long before the lists are complete and this tends to be what gets me excited about the pre release. For all of their rhetoric to the contrary I suspect our friends at Wizards know this as well and secretly do not hate the spoiler sites. I guess this could be tangent number two…

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How to Succeed at a Magic the Gathering Pre-release

With Lorwyn days away, friends are asking me how they should prepare for the pre-release tournament of this new Magic expansion. The answer is essentially the same as for any other expansion set, and I’ll cover the bases for everyone looking to get the most out of the experience.

First of all tournament newbies often ask when to show up and what to expect. The details vary a bit by location, and the best way to find out is to check with your nearest tournament organizer. What I can tell you about is the tournament itself.

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Magic: the Gathering Deckbuilding Tips

Here are some useful deckbuilding tips for novices I’ve learned over the years, generally applicable strategies for most any deck design, though some of these tips are slanted toward multiplayer Magic.

Creatures

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Indie Games, Wizards, and Gleemax

There’s an interesting post by Randy Buehler, the new VP of Digital Gaming at Wizards, on his blog at Gleemax. Halfway down he describes their upcoming Indie Strategy Game Portal.

Being recently introduced to Gleemax, which is still in its infancy as a gaming community site, I’m undecided about its prospects as a game portal. On one hand, there is the question of objectivity. Will Wizards be able to promote games made by others alongside their own offerings, without bias? On the other hand, as the makers of Magic and D&D (among others) they have an enormous following and recognition, which may provide a built-in fanbase. Especially as they seek to support their newest iteration of D&D (and magazines Dragon and Dungeon) with moves into the online sphere and bring more of their gaming to the web.

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