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Omnath FNM Edition February 13, 2010

Posted by Norm in FNM, Worldwake, Zendikar.
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Last night found me pitted in Psychic Battle otherwise known as Friday Night Magic. It was the first night for Zen, Zen, Wwk draft and boy was it a fun one. As I walked to the store considering my strategy I thought I might try to force a green blue deck with fliers and fatties. I’ve seen this strategy work on Draft Better and figured it would be worth a shot as Allies can fall short unless you draw some bombs and every body and their brother is drafting black red. Turns out I made the right choice as I was one of two people drafting green.

My blue strategy took a quick backseat to a second pick Journey to Nowhere and multiple Kor Skyfishers. White was truly a splash color as I was really heavy in green with the typical cast. Worldwake really filled out my deck when I was past the mother of green in Worldwake, Omnath, Locus of Mana. I was kind of shocked to see such a bomb passed pick three of the pack. My awesome reward for playing green.

Worldwake Green

My other green from Worldwake was pretty good too. Explore is one of the few draw spells in green, ever. Khalni Garden is one of the best comes into play tapped lands, free creatures are good. Also I took a chance on running Savage Silhouette and having an extra target for that spell to act a wall or whatever works for me. Quest for Renewal is particularly strong and very simple to get online. When I had Savage Silhouette out with this quest up opponents just couldn’t get through. Depending on your board position you maybe able to get four counters on the quest the same turn it comes into play. Regeneration on blockers interact really well with the quest too. Since I was splashing white I snagged two Loam Loins floating around, these guys rock.


I went 3-0 handling my opponents easily, Canopy Cover usually provided the path for my creatures to smash and multiple Territorial Baloth and Loam Lion gets me there. Omnath delivered as well, the highest I had him was 10/10, but I had to use mana at one point to kill a Archon of Redemption with a kicked Oran-Rief Recluse. The trickiest part about Omnath is getting him in play. Maybe I was more paranoid than I needed to be because I always slow rolled him hoping to draw out other removal from my opponent. He is really vulnerable the turn you cast him. When I had enough land in play, I would tap out putting all my mana into the pool so he would be larger as soon as he was in play.

I lost round four to the only other player drafting green. He was playing green red and had burn to keep my side of the board clear. The games were close and he had to top deck Mold Shambler for the win game one. Game two he wins with Bladetusk Boar one of the best red creatures in limited.

I’m no draft expert but I’ll put my money on green for now.

Zendikar Orb Request September 3, 2009

Posted by Norm in Zendikar.
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To: Anyone who is putting time into the Zendikar Orb of Insight and keeping track of their results.

If you’d like to share your results with me I’d be happy to post them. My job/life currently is preventing me from putting the time in myself. You get full credit for your effort as well as a fake foil play set of Sorin.

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle Offical Spoiler September 2, 2009

Posted by Norm in Spoilers, Zendikar.
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Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

So here is an update and the official spoiler of Valakut, the Molen Pinnacle. Well here it is and while the actual wording is a little different the card is the same as what was spoiled.

In my mind there is going to be a huge shift toward mono color decks in this new block. Perhaps in the second and third sets we might see a shift back toward multicolored cards. So what this means for standard is going to be very interesting. What is really curious is what will happen to the very color specific cards in Shards Block. I’m assuming one of two things will happen in Zendikar. We will see cards (specifically lands) to support the specific color requirements of Shards or multi color will fade out due to better acceleration in mono/dual color decks. Bye bye Reflecting Pool and Vivid lands.

Zendikar – Spoilers, Art, and Mini Site September 2, 2009

Posted by Norm in Spoilers, Zendikar.
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Welcome to Zendikar spoiler season!


Today the Zendikar mini site has launched complete with spoilers, new art, and the orb of insight. The art and flavor of this new set is really exciting. Dare I say as exciting as the Shards of Alara spoilers season? I know everyone can’t wait to see what the new make up of standard will look like so stay tuned folks.


Zendikar Spoiler – Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle August 30, 2009

Posted by Norm in Spoilers, Zendikar.
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While looking at Zedikar Spoilers on Gathering Magic.com I stumbled across Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Now I’m not sure if this card is official or not but I’m really interested in that triggered ability, “…as long as you control 5 other mountains.” After the Shards of Alara block forcing three color decks are we seeing a direct and dramatic shift back to mono color? I seem to think so. The high color specific cost of Sorin and Chandra. The color specificness of the other official spoilers do seem to be pointing us in a mono color centric block.

Again assuming this spoiler is correct can we expect a cycle of these lands? Probably. Will green add elves or mana, will black destroy target creature, will blue draw a card, and white give +1/+1 counters. Cold be really awesome cycle.

Zendikar Spoilers – Sorin Markov Revealed August 30, 2009

Posted by Norm in Spoilers, Zendikar.
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Last week we got the final bit of rules text for Sorin Markov. One of three new planeswalkers in Zendikar. If you read my previous post when the art was spoiled you know that I had a feeling this guy was going to be a planeswalker. After taking a few minutes to consider the card I’ve got to say I’m having mixed feelings. First the good.

What I like is that the first ability is a guaranteed, once per turn, Vicious Hunger. Not shabby at all, even if you leave it open to execute on your second main phase after combat to finish off some wayward blocker. I also like that you can build up to 8 loyalty, activate the ultimate and repeat without loosing the card. Controlling another player’s turn is also just awesome. My final thought on what I like is the art. I know I said this in the last post but that art is killer.

What I don’t like about Sorin is the casting cost. He is going to have to sit in an almost mono black deck unless you are the 5 color control player who has access to all the colors. Even with Lorywin/Shadowmoor rotating out will make more that two colors hard to play. And while that isn’t really a big deal I’m wondering if the casting cost is too much.

Finally where I’m really on the fence with this guy is the middle ability. In my mind I keep thinking that by turn six I hope my opponent is already at 10 or less life. But at the same time I’m thinking what about some sort of black control deck that keeps the board clear and when your ready to make your move you only have 10 life points to worry about. This ability will be especially awesome in mutiplayer games where there is that one guy who always goes up 20 life and is really unreachable by the end of the game. Even taking a few opponents down would be interesting. This could also work in your favor bumping you up for 1 or 2 life to 10 entering the mid game when you finally stabilize. That ability would be pretty awesome in a faeries deck for sure, too bad that deck is rotating. All on all I’m not totally sold on that second one. We’ll see how it plays out.

So those are my initial thoughts on Sorin Markov. What do you guys think?

Zendikar Art Spoiler August 14, 2009

Posted by Norm in Spoilers, Zendikar.
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In a unique twist for spoilers each day this week in the Wizard’s Daily Magic articles was a poll box called “You Decide.” Readers could choose different parts of a card in the poll. This being the first week it seems art was the #1 choice of the voters. I have a feeling that name will be next followed by rules. Here is the art:


Pretty wicked isn’t he. My first thought was new planeswalker. But since there was probaby a power/toughness choice in the poll (I can’t remember exactly) I’m assuming he is just some badass vampire ready to eat your annoying little sister.

Or perhaps he’s Liliana’s exboyfriend come back from the dead and ready to trash her new fling, Vampire Nocturnus.

Zendikar – Textless Basic Land Forest August 14, 2009

Posted by Norm in Spoilers, Zendikar.
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The week of textless concludes today with forests. Now keep in mind there are 10 more textless lands we haven’t seen yet. I expect we’ll see them as we get closer to the spoiler season. As I’m sure Wizards got a nice bump in Arcana traffic this week with those lands.

zendikar-textless-forest1 zendikar-textless-forest2

zendikar-textless-forest1b zendikar-textless-forest2b

If you are looking for wallpapers of any of the spoiled lands then follow the link to today’s arcana post and you will be rewarded. However if you are an iPhone user I’d suggest just grabbing the art that is provided each day because the aspect ration is just about right and it looks better with out any logos or clunky dates.


Zendikar – Textless Basic Land Mountain August 13, 2009

Posted by Norm in Spoilers, Zendikar.
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Before we get to the textless Mountains I wanted to give a quick nod to everyone attending GenCon this week. I have been trying to work it into my schedule but external forces are against me. My brother and a few friends are going to make the drive from Pittsburgh for Saturday and Sunday. I’ve been enjoying all the GenCon twitter updates so keep them coming (if your on twitter and I’m not following you let me know and I’ll fix that.)

Now on to the Mountains.

zendikar-textless-mountain1 zendikar-textless-mountain2

zendikar-textless-mountain1b zendikar-textless-mountain2b

Zendikar – Textless Basic Land Swamp August 12, 2009

Posted by Norm in Spoilers, Zendikar.
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This week is like the 5 days of Christmas in August. Textless Basic Sawmps out today.

zendikar-textless-swamp1 zendikar-textless-swamp2

And their counterparts.

zendikar-textless-swamp1a zendikar-textless-swamp2a

Tomorrow we’ll get to see mountains!


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