Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Casual Gamer

Budget Black

The new standard season is upon us. It also happens to be holiday shopping time. The worst time to be a casual gamer. Your already tight gaming budget is squeezed even more. 

Once you're done with the holiday shopping hopefully you've got forty dollars left in your pocket for fun money. If so then don't fret because you can still rock a fun deck and not bust your budget.

For fans of this blog, this very sporadically updated blog, you know my passion is budget Magic. Yes the best decks in any format cost a few hundred bucks. Look at mono-black. Just four Thoughtseize and four Hero's Downfall, two staples of any black deck, eat up nearly $150. Not exactly budget friendly for eight cards. 

Yet there are replacements like Despise & Murderous Cut. Not as strong as the staples but they do cost just over $4, or 2.7% of what the staples cost, for playsets. That is pure budget Magic. 

The first rule of budget is mono-color decks are best. The answer is simple: land. If you are playing mono-colored then you don't need anything more than basics. That's like $3 in cost for your mana base leaving you $37 for the rest of your deck.

The second rule is to find a theme or a card to build around. For my budget black deck I picked Waste Not. For one it is the card designed by the entire Magic Community during voting last year. Second, I like the mechanic of the card. It's a discard engine meaning it's fueled by discard. So I found my card and my theme in one spot, Mono-black discard!

The third rule is fitting the deck to the budget. With no huge commitment to land base and Waste Not being less than $10 for a play set, I've got $27 dollars to work with. That's like a salary cap for a pro sports team. Here is what I came up with:

Trigger Happy

Creatures (12)

Master of the Feast x4
Disciple of Phenax x2
Fate Unraveler x4
Gray Merchant of Asphodel x2

Spells (25)

Despise x3
Bile Blight x3
Sign in Blood x4
Waste Not x4
Mind Rot x4
Rakshasa's Secret x2
Tormented Thoughts x2
Murderous Cut x3

Lands (23)

Swamp x23

Sideboard (15)

Tormod's Crypt x2
Dark Betrayal x4
Viper's Kiss x3
Extinguish All Hope x2
Necropolis Fiend x2
Dead Drop x2

There is my mono-black discard deck. Not bad for less than a tank of gas (even when prices are low).

The largest problem discard runs into is your opponent running out of cards. You can't target an empty hand. That is where Sign in Blood & Master of the Feast come into play. They both are cards that help restock your opponent's hand so that you have more fuel for Waste Not. This turns a drawback for the Master into an advantage. It also can make Sign In Blood a very dangerous card come late game.

Fate Unraveler turns the screws even harder. You're putting cards into your opponents hand, might as well make them pay for it. Even having one of these guys out makes cards like Sign & Master into bigger threats.

This deck is a true mid-range deck. It sets the table in the first three turns and looks to crank up the pressure beginning on turn 4. Your first turn most of the time will be a land drop. If you have a Despise in hand then cast that but otherwise you're on drop & pass duty.

Turn two opens the deck up a little with hopefully a Waste Not but you can also use a Sign or Blight if the situation calls for it. The best play is always the turn two Waste Not. It brings your deck online.

Turn three brings most of the deck into play. You should be getting land drops for the first three turns. At this point you have to decide what the best action is. I like Mind Rot to start the discard but a Master of the Feast can really put pressure on early while keeping your opponent's hand stocked. My play would be to always choose discard first.

Once Waste Not gets going you should be drawing cards and dropping zombies. Tormented Thoughts on a Master turn 4 is crazy good. It usually drops your opponent's entire hand and you end up with a flood of cards & zombies. As you keep drawing you'll keep dropping more Waste Not and the quicksand gets thicker for your opponent.

Here is the price list for the deck from TCGplayer Mid:

That is "Trigger Happy", my Magic on a budget deck for the holiday season. You can still get Mom a copy of Lethal Weapon and play competitive magic. It's a holiday miracle. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Casual Gamer

The Booster Box Challenge

It's finally here, rotation. 

Goodbye Ravnica block. 

Goodbye Core 2014. 

Hello Khans of Tarkir. You sexy beast you!

The biggest challenge to rotation is finding a deck you enjoy in Standard. Most people just lost half, if not more, of their current Standard deck. That either means trying to fill the holes with a new set or scrapping the old for something brand spanking new. 

You spent two years playing Esper control, why not try Temur Aggro?

That is why most people budget bigger for the post rotation set. It's got the cards that will be the foundation for Standard for the next 18 months. You'll need more than a couple of cards to begin rebuilding or starting a new. Hardcore Magic players will buy a case of boxes (6), while the casual gamer will grab a booster box. 

So I'll ask, is it better to spend that budget on the box or on the deck? 

Me, I personally think buying a box is smarter. It gives you a good base of commons and uncommons to build from over the next 18 months, plus it gives you great trade bait to pick up the cards you want, and maybe a few extras for down the road. Sure buying an entire deck in singles gives you the deck you want but then there is no flexibility and no trade bait, outside of your money cards, to pick up some versatility. 

Yet it made me wonder, "What kind of current Standard deck could I put together for 109.99?". That's a larger budget than I usually use for a deck, but if I'm willing to drop 109.99 on a box of Khans then 109.99 isn't out of the ballpark for a deck I'll play with for over a year. 

Here is the deck I came up with:

Waiting 2 Exile

Creatures (7)

Generator Servant x4
Narset, Enlightened Master x3

Spells (30)

Deflecting Palm x2
Lightning Strike x4
Magma Jet x4
Anger of the Gods x1
Howl of the Horde x3
Arc Lightning x4
Chandra, Pyromaster x2
Jace, The Living Guildpact x2
Stoke the Flames x4
Cone of Flames x1
Elspeth, Sun's Champion x1
Dig Through Time x2

Land (23)

Temple of Epiphany x1
Temple of Triumph x1
Battlefield Forge x2
Evolving Wilds x2
Island x2
Plans x2
Shivan Reef x2
Mystic Monastary x4
Mountain x7

Sideboard (15)

Erase x2
Magma Spray x3
Reprisal x2
Negate x3
Banishing Light x2
Winterflame x2
End Hostilities x1

And that is what I'll be playing for the next few months until the new set in January.

The deck I guess would fall into the category of Tempo. It can be a burn deck or a control deck. To me it is a Narset deck. When she was spoiled about a month ago, I lost my mind. She was everything I wanted in a card and more. So I built this entire deck around her.

The mana base was most import to figure out. For budget purposes I avoided fetch lands. I feel evolving wilds are just as useful and I'll take the "tappped" disadvantage so that my fetch can grab me one of my three basic land types instead of two. 

The other big money land choice would have have been Mana Confluence but I took four Mystic Monastary instead. It gives all three mana and at end game I don't have to worry about choosing between one life and casting a spell. Confluence is great for speed decks that don't care about life totals. This deck works well with tapped lands because it is flexible in play style. 

Once the mana base was taken care of I began working on my main deck. Generator Servants are a no brainer. He pushes out Narset on turn four with haste. That puts a lot of pressure on a deck to answer. Plus he helps bring out Planeswalkers earlier or cast a Dig Through Time for 3 cheaper (2 mana, delve the servant).

The rest of the deck was just finding the optimal instants and sorceries. Howl of the Horde is a game ender. Narset triggers the raid ability plus usually provides an burn spell to copy. Nothing more fun than turn four Narset then getting double Howls plus a burn spell for the win. 

The sideboard is put together to adjust for situational match ups. Negates are more protection than control. There is only a handful of spells that can remove Narset from the field. Negate counters those. The rest of the sideboard is pretty straight forward.

Now the important part, the price:

That's a full deck and a sideboard for less than a box of Khans. I'm excited to keep tinkering with this deck but after play testing this weekend, and spending the past three weeks putting the deck together, I am confident this deck would be FNM ready for Standard this Friday.

What would you play if you had to take the booster box challenge? Aggro Mono-Black? Mardu Midrange? Delver?

No matter what you play, it's going to be a fun time. We're past rotation and that feels like a new day. 

A day full of free burn spells!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Casual Gamer: I've Got Gas

It's almost the most exciting day of the summer, well besides Rex Manning Day, it's almost Magic's Core set release date. This Friday we kick off a new year of Magic with a power packed Core set. After a weekend of prerelease action I have found my favorite card from the set.

Hi, my name is Chris and I'm a red aggro addict. 

For Journey Into Nyx my pick was of course a red card. I love Prophetic Flamespeaker. Now I've found the card to complete my Flamespeaker deck. That card is Act On Impulse. An uncommon that not only has awesome art but one helluva an ability.

When you play Red aggro the biggest problem you face is running out of gas. Red just doesn't have draw power. You knock your opponent to 6 by turn 5 but by then they have their board set to handle your onslaught. Now you don't have the cards to replace your falling minions. That's running out of gas. You're dead on the side of the road.

This is why Act On Impulse is huge. It's red draw in a way that truly fits with red. 

One of my friends who plays at the shop, Brent Buchanan, plays a deck that uses Prophetic Flamespeaker. I really like the deck he plays and used it to build this mono-red devotion deck that I like to call...

"Devoted to Exile" (A.k.a. I've Got Gas)

Creatures: 22

4 Legion Loyalist
4 Ash Zealot
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Rakdos Shred-Freak
4 Prophetic Flamespeaker
2 Fanatic of Mogis

Spells: 17

2 Dragon Mantle
3 Lightning Strike
3 Magma Jet
3 Wild Guess
4 Act on Impulse
2 Chandra, Pyromaster

Lands: 21

17 Mountain
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

This deck is simple. Just overload your board with fast creatures. Then when you start to run low use cards like Mantle, Guess, and Impulse to replenish your stock. The Shrine is very important because it will provide the mana needed to fully take advantage of Act On Impulse.

Here is how a good first five turns goes:

Turn 1 - Mountain in Loyalist (attack)
Turn 2 - Mountain into Burning Trees (as many as you can play) then into a Freak or Zealot. (Attack)
Turn 3 - Mountain into Flamespeaker (ATTACK)
Turn 4 - Shrine into Chandra. (Loyalty counter and ... ATTACK)
Turn 5 - Activate Shrine and play Impulse to overload the board with hopefully a Fanatic (or two)

Yes this deck has holes. Every deck does. It also has a lot of fun in it. When you do drop your Act On Impulse make sure you haven't done your land drop for the turn. That way if you exile a Shrine this way you can play it and possibly even play another Act to really see the deck go off. The true awesome is when you hit Chandra's Ultimate and use it to do a triple Act On Impulse. 

The downside to this deck is pretty much the meat and potatoes are all cycling out at the end of September. Much like Red Aggro this deck probably doesn't have a long shelf life. That is unless Khans has a ton of double red two drops. Then we might really be cooking with gas.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Casual Gamer

One of my favorite challenges is to build a competitive deck that is cheap. A few weeks ago I was talking with Hunter Mayes, one of our regular FNM players. He mostly plays red with either a side of black or green. He wanted to test out blue. I figured why not whip up a deck idea that costs less than ten dollars to build. Then he could try it out and it would cost him less than an intro deck to put it together. Probably less since most of the cards are probably in a junk pile. 

This deck will be a good taste of what it is like to play blue. When I started playing Magic The Gathering in 1994 I was a blue player. I always liked that blue was all about tricks. It's a color made to play on your opponents turn and a color that can shift the entire board drastically with a simple combo. Both of which I wanted feature in this deck.

When Journey Into Nyx was announced I knew I wanted to make a Battlefield Thaumaturge deck. His ability to make a spell one less mana for each creature it targets has some interesting possibilities. My favorite card to use with it is Curse of the Swine. It becomes a two casting cost card that turns every creature you want into a 2/2 boar. That's strong.

Even stronger is all those boar tokens have a converted mana cost of 0. That means you can cast a Ratchet Bomb and sac it to remove every token on the board. That leaves the battlefield open for attacks. This is why I used cards that gave draw from damage to refill my hand with more fun spells. 

Below is the deck list and in the end the cost was less than $10.00 on TCGplayer.com. Again most of these cards are in people's junk boxes. The Ratchet Bombs and Thaumaturge might be the only cards not in there.

Pig Bomb

Creatures: 19

3 Vortex Elemental
4 Battlefield Thaumaturge
4 Scroll Thief
2 Stealer of Secrets
4 Thassa's Emissary
2 Mnemonic Wall


4 Gridlock
4 Curse of the Swine
4 Ratchet Bomb
4 Frost Breath
2 Pull from the Deep


23 Island

The deck looks fun to play. It accomplishes what I wanted for a blue tester deck. It can play heavy on the opponents turn with cards like Gridlock and Frost Breath. Plus it has a quirky combo to drastically shift the game. 

It also spawned a more expensive deck idea that I've named Boar Bomb. This one I am really excited about. If I was playing this deck I'd build pig bomb first and learn to play that. Then upgrade to this deck.

Boar Bomb

4 Lagonna-Band Trailblazer
4 Battlefield Thaumaturge
4 Nyx-Fleece Ram
4 Scroll Thief
2 Thassa's Emissary


4 Glimpse the Sun God
4 Gridlock
4 Launch the Fleet
4 Curse of the Swine
3 Ratchet Bomb
2 Pull from the Deep


4 Hallowed Fountain
11 Island
6 Plains

This deck is set up to handle a lot more and be more effective when the board is in your favor. A little less draw but cards like the Ram and Trailblazer can handle a lot of early game rush. Plus they can block boars, which makes Swine an even stronger spell. Fleet is a kill spell when the board is open to spawn an army. The rest stays the same.

We've got a lot going on this week for Magic. Monday we kick off our Commander Mondays. We'll have casual commander play going on with sign up at 3:30 and matches at 4:00 PM. This event will run until 7:00 PM each Monday. Then Thursday we have booster draft with sign up at 6:30 PM and the draft at 7:00 PM.

Friday is our first double FNM with 19 and Under Friday Night Magic having sign up at 3:30 PM and matches at 4:00 PM. This will be three rounds and wrapping up around 6:30. We will then have sign up for our all ages FNM with matches for that beginning at 7:00 PM. Entry for both events is $5.

Finally on Sunday we have our 8th Edition charity draft. There are twelve open spots. If we have more than twelve interested there will be a drawing for the spots. Each person in the draft will pay a $20 entry fee. All entry fees will be donated to the Hospice House of Mid-Michigan at Sparrow in the memory of Suzanne Bonjour. We will also include any other donations that people wish to give. 

Hope to see everyone this week for at least one of our events.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Chris' Annual "What They Should Do" NFL Mock Draft

I'm a nerd. I'm a comic book nerd. I'm a Magic the Gathering nerd. I'm also a huge draft nerd. Football, Basketball, and Fantasy Football drafts are my favorite things. Every year I release this first round NFL mock draft where I play the GM for each team. This mock draft will probably never happen. Yet this is how it should happen.

Let's put the Texans on the clock!

Pick 1 - Houston Texans - Jadeveon Clowney - DE

If Houston doesn't grab Clowney then it is because somebody offered a ton of picks and their first born. No matter who picks here this should be the player. He's a true once in a generation player with talents never seen before at his position. If work ethic is the biggest concern then JJ Watt will make all the Texans fears go away.

Pick 2 - Tampa Bay Bucs - Sammy Watkins - WR

The Rams are great at the draft and they need a lineman. There are three good LT in the draft. They can move back to get one of them plus value. The Bucs want a WR to go with Vjax. Tampa Bay will probably give up their 7th pick plus a 2nd and a 4th to move up. It might cost them a 1st next year instead of the 4th if there are multiple interests from teams. Watkins makes Tampa one of the most dangerous young offenses in the game.

Pick 3 - Jacksonville Jaguars - Blake Bortles - QB

Jags would love to move this pick. Too bad the two players worth trading up for go at 1 & 2. Jacksonville will grab the QB they need to build their franchise around. Bortles is easier to sell to the coaches and owner than Johnny Football.

Pick 4 - Cleveland Browns - Greg Robinson - LT

Browns need a QB but they have tons of picks. They'll address that later. An elite LT is a must to win in this league. They have a stud WR and TE. Now they need a guy to keep their future QB healthy. Robinson is the best tackle and probably the 2nd best player in the draft.

Pick 5 - Oakland Raiders - Mike Evans - WR

Oakland likes over hyped wideouts. They should take a LT or Mack here. They won't. Wouldn't be shocked if they went way off the board for this pick. Evans will be some teams #3/4 WR in 4 years.

Pick 6 - Atlanta Falcons - Jake Matthews - LT

Keep Matt Ryan from getting rushed and the Falcons win. Matthews does that. Welcome back to the playoffs ATL.

Pick 7 - St. Louis Rams - Taylor Lewan - LT

Rams get the left tackle they need and grab some picks from Tampa Bay. Jeff Fisher likes players with a nasty streak. Lewan is a more talented Richie Incognito. 

Pick 8 - Minnesota Vikings - Derek Carr - QB

The Vikings will get a QB here. They wanted Bortles. If Johnny Football was over 6 feet tall he'd be the pick. The vikes draft carr and then sign his brother to play back up. His arm makes this pick sellable to the fan base, especially with Patterson to throw to.

Pick 9 - Buffalo Bills - Eric Ebron - TE

Buffalo is all about upside and potential. CJ Spiller and EJ Manuel are shining examples of this. Ebron could be the best TE in the league in 4 years. He also could be Heath Miller. Not a bad pick but not work the 9th pick.

Pick 10 - Dallas Cowboys - Johnny Manziel - QB

Jerry loses his mind with each pick that Manziel falls. He finally sells out to the Lions. He trades their 16th pick, a 3rd, and a 5th to move up to grab the ultimate ticket seller. Tony Romo throws an interception.

Pick 11 - Tennessee Titans - Khalil Mack - OLB

Titans kinda want a QB and could use a CB, but Mack drops right into their lap. The beer flows freely in the war room.

Pick 12 - New York Giants - Aaron Donald - DT

Giants like to replenish the D-Line as the solution to all their problems. Donald is the best DT in the draft. Not sexy but it works.

Pick 13 - St. Louis Rams - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - S

Rams got their LT. Now they get to grab Ha Ha as a luxury pick. He'll help push the Rams into a top 5 defense.

Pick 14 - Chicago Bears - Justin Gilbert - CB

Bears wanted Aaron Donald. They need a CB to stop all the great wideouts in their division. They take Gilbert over Dennard because his ball hawk skills are more attractive to the Bears def style.

Pick 15 - Pittsburgh Steelers - Darqueze Dennard - CB

Steelers don't know how Dennard fell to them but they are excited. Probably the best fit between player and team in the draft.

Pick 16 - Miami Dolphins - Zack Martin - OT

Lions get screwed by their trade back by losing out on their top three targets. They decide to double down. Dolphins want Martin to sure up their O-line. Dolphins give DET the 19th pick and a 3rd rounder.

Pick 17 - Baltimore Ravens - Odell Beckham Jr. - WR

Flacco needs targets and Beckham is that kind of target. Ravens get their real #1 option.

Pick 18 - NY Jets - Kyle Fuller - CB

Rex likes defense. He loves to draft it. Jets need a lot of help but Fuller is the last elite CB left on the board. Best player available rule takes effect here.

Pick 19 - Detroit Lions - Calvin Pryor - S

Lions fear losing out on a top tier secondary player. Pryor will lay wood and probably pick up some fines for it. He'll fit in perfect.

Pick 20 - Arizona Cardinals - Ryan Shazier - OLB

This pick has been a no brainer for weeks. Shazier probably already owns an apartment in Phoenix. 

Pick 21 - Green Bay Packers - CJ Mosely - ILB

Packers fill a need. Mosely is a solid Bama linebacker. He'll be a fan favorite for years.

Pick 22 - Philadelphia Eagles - Brandin Cooks - WR

Super fast, runs great routes, and is amazing after the catch. Plus Coach Chip used to watch him burn the Ducks in Pac 10 play. DeSean Who?

Pick 23 - Kansas City Chiefs - Marqise Lee - WR

KC needs weapons. They should grab a QB. Lee will be a good Steve Smith style receiver. 

Pick 24 - Cincinnati Bengals - Morgan Moses - OT

Cinci needs O-line help. Moses will be the last gift the team gives Andy Dalton.

Pick 25 - San Diego Chargers - Anthony Barr - OLB

He plays down the road at UCLA. He is the pass rusher they need in a division with less than fleet footed QBs. He'll play well with T'eo. 

Pick 26 - Dallas Cowboys - Dee Ford - DE

The Browns get the QB they want in Tony Romo. They give up the 26th pick but get a conditional 2015 5th rnd with Romo in return. Dallas gets a speed rusher to replace Ware and sell out their games as Manziel is announced the starter.

Pick 27 - New Orleans Saints - Bradley Roby - CB

Off the field issues be damned. The Saints see talent first. Roby will start game 1 and could be the rookie of the year. He also could be the best player in prison.

Pick 28 - Carolina Panthers - Cody Latimer - WR

With Steve Smith gone then the Panthers need to fill one spot ahead of all others. Latimer is the most solid receiver in the draft. He does everything well and nothing great. At worst he'll end up the teams #2 wide out in 3 years.

Pick 29 - New England Patriots - Jason Verrett - CB

Patriots enjoy value for their picks. Verrett is undersized but plays bigger than he is. He is the kind of player that thrives in New England. The best get better.

Pick 30 - San Francisco 49ers - Stephon Tuitt - DE

Aldon Smith is one more mental breakdown from being banned from the league. Tuitt is a backup plan that could be a true stud. His motor keeps him from being a top 10 player. 49ers will fix that.

Pick 31 - Denver Broncos - Joel Bitonio - OT

Denver needs to protect the QB. Bitonio can play all five position on the O-line. He'll plug where needed and his effort will make him a locker room favorite. This pick benefits the man who will replace Peyton more than it does Manning this year.

Pick 32 - Seattle Seahawks - Allen Robinson - WR

Percy Harvin showed why the Vikings traded him last year. He's talented yet can't stay on the field. Golden Tate is a Lion. The Seahawks grab Robinson to help Wilson with a HUGE target. Great dump and run receiver. His size will help when Wilson gets flushed from the pocket.


That's my 2014 NFL Mock Draft. Again the draft won't probably go at all like this but it should. Enjoy and remember that we draft Magic The Gathering each Thursday night with sign up at 6:30 PM.



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Casual Gamer

It's almost time to Journey Into Nyx!

The spoilers have all been released and one of the most interesting cards to come out is Athreos, God of Passage. His ability and casting cost make him one of the most powerful cards to be released in the block. He doesn't do damage with his ability but takes life. That means his damage can't be prevented. In a black/white weenie deck he quickly forces your opponent into a lot of tough decisions.

I for one had one thought when I first saw Athreos and that thought was that he created a perfect match for Purphoros.

In my mind these two are the power couple of Magic the Gathering. When working together they make a weenie deck something to truly deal with. Damage when you enter and lost life when you die (or rebirth for 2 damage). That means to deal with a basic 1/1 from entry to attack to death you could hang 6 damage with a little engine that could. Finally we feel the true power of Mon's Goblin Raiders. (You've played this game too long if you get that joke)

Why even play anything but creatures. I haven't tossed a deck together yet but 24 lands, 6 gods, and 30 low casting cost creatures sounds like fun to me. The thirty creatures don't even matter. Just grab ones that die easily. That is why I call this deck idea, "The Suicide Squad".

The only problem is that Athreos is already sitting at roughly $30 and Purphoros is quickly climbing towards $10. To run 3 and 3 will end up costing you close to $120 just in gods. Even with thirty cheap creatures and land you're still dropping close to $125 for a deck. Not a price tag this casual gamer is comfortable with. Then again my birthday is coming soon and price tags get fuzzy around that time.

Until then I am still working on my land destruction deck. Last week I had talked about Junk Jund and gave a bare bones alpha deck list. As you'll see a lot usually changes between Alpha and Beta deck construction.

Earth Day Is Cancelled 
(Name Under Review)

Creatures: 15

4 Elvish Mystic
4 Satyr Hedonist
3 Voyaging Satyr
4 Ember Swallower

Spells: 22

3 Magma Jet
3 Mizzium Mortars
4 Bramblecrush
4 Demolish
4 Desecration Plague
2 Peregrination
2 Frenzied Tilling

Lands: 23

10 Forest
13 Mountain

Sideboard: 15

2 Fog
2 Pithing Needle
2 Ratchet Bomb
3 Scouring Sands
2 Mindsparker
4 Peak Eruption

As you can see I've dropped the black from this deck and decided to streamline it with just green and red. That causes less mana problems in the early game and the introduction of Desecration Plague made black very expendable. I've also started to fill in the gaps with the deck to help deal with any issues that might arise.

The main focus is of course on land destruction. The earlier the better. In a perfect world your first four turns go like this:

Turn 1 - Forest into Mystic
Turn 2 - Mountain into Hedonist
Turn 3 - Mountain into Swallower
Turn 4 - Forest, sac hedonist, and monster Swallower.

That's a 7/8 attacking on turn 4 as your opponent watches three lands go bye bye. You lose three lands too, but luckily you've got enough mana producers to keep you at 2 mana with the ability to roll out more quickly.

The sideboard is built to help against certain matches. If somebody plays any red then sideboarding Peak Eruption is a must before game two. Ratchet Bomb takes care of token decks for 2 mana and Needles stop heavy planeswalker decks. I like Mindsparker to spank on control decks.

Again this deck will have holes. It also has a price tag more comfortable than The Suicide Squad. The Mizzium Mortars are the highest priced card in the deck and those should only run about $4. Even with sideboard nobody should pay more than $25-30.

It's now time to actually put this deck together and begin play testing. Keep checking back for future blogs to follow the progress of this deck (and it's new name).

Until then remember we have our Prerelease tournament this weekend. Currently 20 of the 48 slots have been reserved. You can preregister by stopping into the store. The tournament sign up starts at noon and deck construction begins at 1:00 PM SHARP. First prize will get a booster box of Journey Into Nyx and each player is guaranteed to win a booster pack of Journey Into Nyx. Entry is $25.

Can't wait to see everyone this Saturday as we finally take a Journey Into Nyx!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Nerdageddon Grand Opening Press Release

Nerdageddon Celebrates Grand Opening Weekend with Superhero/Villain Costume Contest, Free Comic Book Day, and release of 64th Magic the Gathering Expansion

Brighton, Michigan – Nerdageddon Comics Cards and Collectibles – www.nerdageddon.com - is excited to celebrate our new store, new community, and wonderful customers. Beginning at 3pm on Thursday, May 1, 2014, you are invited to kick off grand opening festivities at Nerdageddon – 117 East Grand River Avenue, Brighton, Michigan 48116. Thursday, channel your inner superhero or villain, and the best costume will win great prizes (Judging begins at 3:30pm, winner announced at 6pm). On Friday May 2, Nerdageddon will release the 64th expansion of Magic the Gathering, Journey Into Nyx. And on Saturday May 3, Nerdageddon will host our first Free Comic Book Day. As a Gold Level retailer for the event, Nerdageddon will proudly offer a wide variety of the most popular comic book titles for FREE to our customers on that day.

“Despite the brutal winter, Nerdageddon has been extremely fortunate that so many people have patronized our store,” says Shalini Karnani Bonjour, Nerdageddon’s Director of Awesome. “The support is truly amazing. We’ve been able to hire two part-time employees and double our inventory since opening in January. This three-day grand opening celebration is the official announcement that we are happy to be in beautiful downtown Brighton and look forward to a long and successful future serving all of the area’s ‘nerd needs’.”


Thursday May 1, 2014
3pm – Costume Contest Begins
3:30pm – Ribbon Cutting with Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce
Enjoy complimentary refreshments and superhero balloon sculptures by Tim Thurmond “The Balloon Sculptor”
6pm – Costume Contest Winner Announced

Friday May 2, 2014
12noon – Magic the Gathering’s 64th Expansion – Journey Into Nyx
Available For Purchase – Booster boxes, Booster Packs (3 for $10), Fat Packs, Intro Decks, and Singles
6pm – Friday Night Magic Booster Draft (Entry fee $15. Sign up at 6pm. Draft begins at 7pm)

Saturday May 3rd, 2014
12noon – FREE COMIC BOOK DAY (while supplies last)

About Nerdageddon Comics, Cards, and Collectibles:

Website: www.Nerdageddon.com - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nerdageddonccc - Twitter: @nerdagedddonccc - email: nerdageddonccc@gmail.com; Shalini@nerdageddon.com; Chris@nerdageddon.com - address: 117 E. Grand River Ave. Brighton, MI 48116 – phone: (810) 522- 6185

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Casual Gamer

There is always one card during spoilers that just sparks my creative juices. That's a good and a bad thing. Especially when you discover that card just before you go to bed at night. Needless to say Eidolon of the Great Revel is now responsible for one sleepless night. 

This week has been a big spoiler week for Journey Into Nyx. The already revealed three gods and a green/white Ajani have made jaws drop around the shop. As I was relaxing in bed I decided to check the spoiler sites again just incase a new god had been revealed. The Eidolon happened to be the new reveal for the evening. 

At first most bashed this card because it has a bad synergy with red burn. I mean who is play 4+ mana burn? Nobody wants to drop a three point lightning strike only to get two back in the face from your very own private dancer. Yet to me this was the card I had been looking for to fit in with a deck mechanic that has been a favorite of mine since I started playing MTG: Land Destruction.

The thing about land destruction is that it is pricey. There really isn't a land destruction spell that costs less than 4. That kind of price tag just doesn't fit in most 1-2-3 burn decks. It also plays to what Lex Luthor from Superman the movie said about the importance of land. He was going to blow up half of California and kill Lois Lane because of land. Land is the most important card in Magic the Gathering.

People always ask when coming to the store what cards I am looking to buy or trade for. The easiest answer is land. Scry lands, Shock Lands, Fetch Lands, Dual Lands, and all the crazy lands in between. No matter how much this game changes it all comes back to one card that holds it all together, land.

So after sitting up, rocking a baby back to sleep, and sitting up some more I came up with what I call Junk Jund. This is the foundation I am using for my deck design to start the build for Eidolon. This deck is playable in standard and costs less than ten dollars to build. You should have most in your junk boxes at home.

Junk Jund

Creatures: 15

4 Elvish Mystic

4 Satyr Hedonist
4 Voyaging Satyr
3 Ember Swallower

Spells: 22

4 Lay of the Land

3 Bramblecrush
4 Demolish
3 Gild
4 Destroy the Evidence
4 Frenzied Tilling

Lands: 23

10 Forest

8 Mountain
5 Swamp

Yup, pretty basic. Yet this is how I like to deck build for future sets. I like to see how glue cards work. This deck will have it's teeth with Eidolon and a few more cards, but the true basis of the deck is here and that is fast land destruction.

For the Eidolon to truly work you want to keep your opponent below three mana production. For most that will be land. The first step is getting your land destruction out by turn three. Then begin ticking down your opponent's land count.

My MVP of this deck is Destroy the Evidence. In land destruction this card is pure money. It's five mana and it takes two lands out of your opponent's deck plus mills a few cards on the way. It also takes away your opponent's next land draw with the second land dump. That little ignored fact is huge in land destruction.

Ember Swallower is an interesting card. A 4/5 for four is nice. Make him a monster and he wipes three lands. That hurts you, but if you put your opponent at 0 lands on turn 5 with a 7/8 to deal with that is a game changer. Plus with mana rampers like Mystic, Voyager, and Hedonist dropping three of your own lands shouldn't hurt as much. 

I enjoy Gild for removal because exile works well to take care of gods. Bramblecrush is good for land removal and planeswalker removal. Demolish is the staple for land removal. You should be able to play it on turn 3 to begin land control. 

By no means will this deck go win a PTQ, but it is a good start to what I hope will end up being a strong tournament deck. Even better is the current price tag. It allows me to feel better about plugging in about 40-50 dollars in money cards down the line. 

Keep checking the blog for updates on play testing. There is going to be a ton of spoilers coming over the next few days. Fingers crossed for a big land destruction spell. Follow us on Facebook as we talk about the spoilers daily. 

Finally circle April 26th, 2014 on your smartphone as Nerdageddon hosts our first prerelease. Entry will be $25 and first place will get a booster box of Journey Into Nyx. Other prizes will be determined by the amount of players. Sign up begins at noon and deck construction starts at 1:00 PM. We'll have door prizes through out the day.

Now I'm off to throw this junk together. Enjoy spoiler week!