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Ship Shape January 31, 2012

Posted by Norm in Casual.
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Working on getting the blog back in order and back to my first blogging love, magic.

Currently, I’m preparing for another Legacy GP and getting back into standard.

I’ve been drafting more than ever but haven’t felt the need to write about it. I love Innastrad and drafting the set is awesome. I still haven’t mastered drafting the set but now that Dark Ascension is out it’s going to be fun integrating the new cards.

The whole magic blog scene has changed a bit since I was doing a daily post. So I hope there is still room for this amateur out there.


Wizards New Community Site September 1, 2009

Posted by Norm in Casual.
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wotc-community site

How many of you have joined the new Wizards of the Coast community site already. If so it looks like a giant leap forward and I only have good things to say.

If you don’t already know this about me, I generally dislike forum sites. I find them hard to search, navigate, post, remember my password, etc. I know I’m swimming up stream here but that has just been my general feeling about forums. So I really didn’t participate much in Gleemax and I had little concern for the new Wizards Community site when it was announced.

First off I’ve got to say that the new site is more of a social network than a forum. It really is Wizards own version of myspace, except nice and clean and easy to use. I think that whoever designed the navigation deserves a case of beer and a raise! Seriously, great job. The ease of use factor is off the chart and I never once found myself wondering were a link is for something. Granted there is a small learning curve as I need to familiarize my self with how everything fits together. But I was never lost and never unable to go where I wanted to.

I really like that each person gets their own little home page to act as a hub for this little world. You get your own custom url so you can always remember how to get back to your home page, that is if you forget to click on your name in the top left corner. My profile is: community.wizards.com/casualmagic/ so please stop by and add me as a friend. If you are feeling frisky you can join my casual magic group.

Moving on, not only does each member get their own blog but also a place to upload photos and video. Pretty awesome.

The only thing about this social network that makes me wonder what is going on is all the places to upload; forum, blog, wiki, comments. Wiki, really? I don’t know why the site needs a wiki and a forum so I’ll have to take more time and look at how people are using it.

All-in-all I’m really impressed and I’m looking forward to getting into the the nicely overhauled community site.

On a different topic Blizzard is also doing something similar with Battle.net. So if you enjoy their game I suggest you check them out as well.

Alara Reborn – Cascade April 20, 2009

Posted by Norm in Alara Reborn, Spoilers.
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Today we get a look at Wizards official how to videos regarding new mechanics for Alara Reborn. Check out the video on Cascade.

Alara Reborn – Glory of Warfare April 17, 2009

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I was just checking my google reader and saw Glory of Warfare for the first time on Top8Magic.com. Wow. This is a must have for my Kithkin deck that I’m probably going to take to regionals. Glory of Warfare makes token decks rethink themselves for sure. Springjack Pasture anyone?

Actually I’m really glad I’ve been collecting Goblin Assault. Whew, Glory of Warfare just made my day!

Alara Reborn – Time Sieve April 15, 2009

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I knew for Alara Reborn to be awesome it was going to have to pack a lot of cards and abilities that really up the anti for the block. So far I’ve been impressed with a number of cards. After viewing today’s spoiler card I am once again in awe of Esper.


I have a feeling Esper is going to be a force and while the ability cost isn’t cheap this card is really going to mix things up. Time Sieve probably has the best chance of any card in recent history of becoming broken. While taking an extra turn doesn’t mean you’ll win the game hands down it does help you set up a number of things while your opponent can only sit and wait. I can’t wait to see what good things are in store for this card.

Alara Reborn Official Spoiler Week 1 April 14, 2009

Posted by Norm in Alara Reborn, Spoilers.
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Welcome to official Alara Reborn spoiler week. My personal facorite card in the new set is hands down Dragon Broodmother. Revealed in Kelly Digg’s article today.


I cannot wait to build around this card! I’ve now got a use for those Goblin Assault and Crucible of Fire cards that have been collecting dust in my binder. I’m thinking that overall this is going to be an awesome card at the kitchen table. I doubt there are going to be a lot of comptitive builds around this guy. Maybe if the dragon tokens had haste.


Another card we get to see today is Lavalanche spoiled on Robot City.


A more inexperienced version of myself would probably have gone nuts over this card.  I’m think that the three mana cost is a good one here, especially to keep this Chandra esk ablility from going nuts. There could be some cool applications with this in a deck that can ramp to huge amounts of mana and sweep your opponent and board in one fell swoop. I think this is a really good card and will be a great addition to limited formats. Time will tell regarding its constructed application.

Shards of Alara Block Constructed April 12, 2009

Posted by Norm in Block, Constructed.
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Happy Easter folks. As I said before I’m back in my hometown this weekend visiting my parents and my old haunts. Last night I was able to meet up with Rick for a few games of constructed and Jace vs. Chandra. We went 2-2 with the duel decks, whoever played first seemed to have the advantage.

mark-of-asylumWell as I promised earlier I took a look at a few block constructed ideas. My first thoughts were to organize a plan around Master Transmuter or something Nayaish, but I got distracted by the idea of using Necrogenisis to swarm your opponent. If there is a good build with Necrogenisis I didn’t find it yesterday, too much of a plan b card. So after spending some time with deck building my best strategy is white weenie exalted. The main problem is that there are no one drops I want to play in this build. So version one of this deck has creatures that I think will work well together with some protection from noncombat damage in the form of Mark of Asylum. I don’t think that naturalize will be main deck or even in the board for a lot of decks in this format. Since it is so early and we don’t even have the full list of Alara Reborn I could be wrong.

On a side note I’m going to be very interested to see a format where counterspell has very few cards. Control is going to be hurting in this format, a lot. So we may see a shift from the fast past of the current standard to a slower longer game. Maybe games were turn one and two aren’t as important because they will be about setting up your mana. I know that sounds really bad but I’m kind of thinking out loud here.

So back to my deck. Here is the list, keep in mind this is v.1 untested.

2x Battlegrace Angel
4x Aven Squire
4x Knight of the White Orchid
4x Sigiled Paladin
4x Akrasan Squire

4x Mark of Asylum
4x Oblivion Ring

3x Elspeth, Knight-Errant

4x Path to Exile
3x Martial Coup

24x Plains

So like I said I think I can get away with this list by running Mark of Asylum. Oblivion Ring and Path are the spot removel I’ll need to keep my attacking path clear. Otherwise I’ll just fly over with the Squire and Angel.

Alara Reborn: Ardent Plea March 9, 2009

Posted by Norm in Alara Reborn, Spoilers.
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While you were sleeping Wizards of the Coast uploaded a spoiler for Alara Reborn, Ardent Plea.

[note: I wrote this post and then somehow it dissapeard when I originally published – I rewrote as best as I could recal.]

Word on the street is that we are looking at Elspath recieving divine intervention of sorts. I’d say some sort of blessing of the sword is what is happening. I’ve seen speculation that this enchantment will put angel creature tokens into play. I’m not so sure about that because if that were true I think this would be a rare card.

I’ve got a few theories on the abilities Ardent Plea will grant, but I do think they will grat abilites to creatures. One idea is to grant lifelink/shroud to creatures you control. That is kind of boring so how about something more exciting. Creatures you control could receive exalted/flying, which would be particularly awesome, especially in token deck. My first thought after seeing the card today was something like creatures get +2/+0 and are artifacts in addition to their other types. I thought that because of the sword in the image and the fact that the Shards are coming together, overlaping esper and bant.

Another wild idea is that planeswalkers you control get shroud or some sort of protection ability.

From a flavor perspective I wonder who Elspath is making a plea to? Nicol Bolas? Another angel or planeswalker perhaps?

Anyway awesome artwork to spoil first.


And I almost forgot about this bit of news from The Magic Sock Podcast. He recieved 10 gold chocolate coins from Wizard’s PR firm working Magic. Check out the link and let me know what you think. Personally I think this is a really clever way to get the internets talking and speculating. My first thought here is that there is a connection to Rhox War Monk. The old pancake flipper fiping up some chocolate.

Steel City Con Recap October 27, 2008

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I had a great time with Aaron this past weekend at the Steel City Con. That is until the show was invaded by storm troopers. 


And then I was held hostage for a while… 

Thankfully Lego Vader showed up and bailed me out. 

All in all it was a fun show to do but there were very few people interested in magic. I was hoping to meet some new folks in the area who play and share the blog with them. Next weekend’s GASP Con is a very gamer focused event and I’ll be there some of the time (when I’m not at the PTQ). 

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the about section, give it a look. It has been updated to include info about me and Rick.

Steel City Con Tomorrow October 24, 2008

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I’m at Aarons tonight preparing for the Steel City Con by playing some magic this evening.