Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Digging Into the Box VI: More of the Geekdom (More Magic: The Gathering)!

As most of my loyal readers know, I teach mathematics for a living which means that I'm a numbers guy at heart.  Sure, I try to fool everyone into thinking I'm some sort of wordsmith but I don't think it's actually ever worked.  Numbers though are what I know - and they are what I can't help but pay attention to when it comes to blogging.

I definitely blog for myself - and by that I mean that I write about what I want, when I want.  However, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I do keep track of what posts are popular (and which posts are duds).

By and large, my Barry Larkin Collection posts are my least popular.  This makes sense to me because they are short posts typically showcasing a single card - and every single time it is of the same player.  If you aren't a Larkin fan, Reds fan, or a fan of the set being showcased, there's probably not much of a reason for you to click and read that article.

On the other hand, I have other posts that typically end up quite popular (and I can usually guess when those will occur as well).  However, a few days ago I posted this entry which ended up greatly surpassing my expectations.  Who knew that a post about Magic cards would be so popular?!

What can I say:
1.  It's fun to be surprised.
2.  I like to give my readers what they like - at least sometimes.
3.  I'm still working through the box of cards my brother gave me and there are still quite a few more Magic:  The Gathering cards waiting for me to go through.

Put those three things together and you get this - my second post on Magic:  The Gathering in a week (after exactly zero such posts for the previous six years here at Nachos Grande)!

At this point, I've sorted through about half of the Magic cards that my brother sent me.  So far, every card has been from Return to Ravnica - and almost every card has been a common (I guess that's what happens when someone "pack searches" first).  That's ok though, I can't complain about free cards!  Anyhow, since they are pretty much all commons, I thought it'd be fun to try and pick out my favorite common from each of the colors, plus one gold, one hybrid, and one land for today's post.

I'll go through the colors in the order they appear in the set, which means we begin with my choice for my favorite white card.

Unlike most of my other selections, I don't think this is a card that I would ever be overly likely to actually play in a constructed deck (and remember, I haven't played Magic in about a decade so I'm not necessarily trying to choose the most powerful commons but rather the commons that interested me for one reason or another).  Instead, I chose this card because it's both funny and interesting - and it's an ability that I happen to like (putting tokens into play is always fun, especially ones that fly).  I even had a bird deck back in the day (it was terrible and should probably remain forgotten).

Next, we turn to blue where we get the first card that I probably would try to play in certain decks.

The Stealer of Secrets would have been perfect if it had the Merfolk creature type - I used to have an all blue Merfolk deck and a blue/black Merfolk deck - this card could have fit in either.  Unfortunately, being a Human Rogue instead would be useless with the majority of my old cards.

The black common that interested me the most was one of a classic creature type:  a rat.

I used to use a card called Ravenous Rats all the time in my weenie black decks.  This card is even better than that in that you can play it for one mana should you be that desperate (of course, if you are then you are probably going to lose the game anyhow).

As I mentioned earlier in the post, not every card that interests me has to be something that would necessarily slot into one of my old decks.  Sometimes I'm simply amused by the card name:

Electrickery is an awesome name.  It almost feels like Wizards of the Coast (publishers of the game) wasted such a cool word on a relatively benign card though.  I guess 3 mana to do one damage to every creature you don't control could be good...maybe?  I don't really remember what the going rate for red removal was when I played - or where it is now for that matter.

My choice for green is a fairly boring card but I liked it anyhow.

Yep, a new fog.  When my brothers (both of 'em) and I first started playing Magic, I remember the actual card Fog being considered a "game changer" by us.  When we first started playing the game, the only way we tried to obtain victory was by smashing our way through each other's defenses...and Fog ruined that plan.   This card would have been even more highly sought after because not only does it basically act like fog, but it actually increases the size of your own army.  Good stuff for beginnings - not so good though once we realized there were about a hundred other ways to win the game (land destruction I recall being considered the "cheapest" and least fun).

For the gold commons, the choices weren't quite as robust as I would have liked.  Still though, there was one card that I think I'd almost definitely slot in an old deck of mine...

This seems like a dumb card at first glance, but it's actually quite powerful in the right deck.  I would have liked it even better if you could take any revealed card and put it in your hand rather than only creatures and lands, but still, it's a fun way to sift through your deck and fill your graveyard at the same time.  The old decks based on Threshold would have loved this card!

While the gold cards were somewhat disappointing, I actually found the hybrid common selection to be almost pitiful.  In fact, the only hybrid that I have seen so far that interested me I showed off in the last post (Sundering Growth).

Moving on to the final category:  Lands.

There are a bunch of the dual(ish) lands in the common slot, but rather than trying to pick a specific color combination to deem my favorite, I went with this:

I can't decide if this card is good, ok, or downright terrible.  I do know that it has a pretty cool picture - it's bright and cheery while also being quite interesting to look at (notice the city in the background).  It's also the perfect card to end this post on - because I'm guessing most of you can't decide whether the post itself was good, ok, or downright terrible!


Matthew Scott said...

I think that last card is built for a combo play. That is a hefty penalty to pay to get it out. Always cool to see the MTG cards. Each time I see them makes me want to play again. Need to earn my geek card back.

Tony L. said...

I had a college roommate who played MTG professionally, did commentary for television on it, won championships, and eventually worked for Wizards. I never got into it, but I've heard that my college roommate is/was something of a legend in that world.

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