Is it to early for a “2014: Year in Review”? Honestly I can’t remember another two week time frame in Magic history where we have had such a tsunami of news, articles, changes, and events. With this flood of information spewed onto websites across the World Wide Web, I felt that summarizing the events into this one article might be helpful. So,let’s get you up to speed on what has been happening thus far in the year of the Akroan Horse (Reference to the Chinese Zodiac Calendar with a flavor nod to a Theros card).
Magic the Gathering™ the Movie
Hasbro, Wizards, and Twentieth Century Fox have confirmed a deal that will bring Magic the Gathering™ to the big screen. This is exciting news for those of us that enjoy catching an occasional flick with slurpees and stale popcorn. Not only will there be “a” movie, but talks of “movies” (plural) on the scale of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings are a high possibility. Leading this project is Simon Kinberg who was also behind the movie adaptations of X-Men and Fantastic Four. Find the full the story here: HollywoodReporter.com
My take: I am ecstatic that Magic the Gathering™ will be coming to the big screen. Finally, a media outlet that will merge non-MTG players (Muggles) into our world. What I do not want to see is another crash and burn feature film that disappoints me on an agonizing level. Case-in-point, let me take you back to the year 2000. The movie I was hoping that would be truly amazing? Dungeons & Dragons™. For those of you that wasted money on this flop you know exactly what I am talking about.
However, nothing can be worse than the D&D movie,and I honestly feel that Fox will succeed in extracting a blockbuster from Magic the Gathering’s rich history of stories and novels. I would revel a storyline based on Gerrard, Hanna, Squee, Vhati, and Commander Greven from the 90s. Maybe we begin with an introductory story scripted from The Brothers War centered around Urza and Mishra. Of course bringing Jace, Chandra, and my favorite, Liliana, to the mainstream would also be welcome.
What would you like to see in the first Magic the Gathering™ movie? Please comment below!
Magic 2015 Redesign
As a player I quit playing Magic after Apocalypse and did not pickup the cardboard addiction again until New Phyrexia. At first, I was a bit confused and disappointed at the new “Modern” borders that replaced the old borders I remember. It only took me a small amount of playing time and now I am quite fond of both the new, modern look and the old, classic design. Actually, I am still a bit disappointed that modern artifacts are gray/silver instead of brown, why couldn’t they have kept brown! Sigh.
I guess what I am trying to say is that change is always inevitable. Starting with the 2015 Core set, Magic cards will have minor changes with regards to the bottom of the card being black, a custom font (appropriately named the Beleren Font), and a holofoil stamp that will grace the bottom of rares and mythics.
Perhaps the best reason for the 2015 changes are to thwart counterfeiters similar to necessary changes governments take updating their currency (the U.S. $100 bill for example). We will discuss Counterfeit cards in more detail further down the article. My overall opinion on the new borders? Meh. I couldn’t care either way as long as it still looks like a Magic card.
M15 Rumor Mill – Garruk
It’s more than expected that Magic the Gathering™ Core Sets include a planeswalker for each color. With this being said, there has been some speculation on the color of Garruk in 2014. This is primarily due to the darker image of him portrayed in the press release (see image left). Will we be getting a reprint of (yawn) Wildspeaker, Primal Hunter, Caller of the Beasts, or will M15 hold something different for the infamous Green Warrior?
Here are some possible alternatives that I have contemplated:
- Still under a curse, will we see a reprint of “Flippy Garruk”, Garruk, the Veil-Cursed?
- Is it possible that we receive Garruk 5.0 that is multi-colored or non-Green?
- Will Garruk and the other four planeswalkers be reprints, but in the black variant fashion similar to those found at San Diego Comic Con 2013?
Those are my thoughts, what do you think the M15 Core Set holds for Garruk?
Articles, Videos & Podcasts
As part of my daily MTG therapy, I like to spend an hour or two a day perusing the internet for articles, podcasts and/or videos. Here are a few areas that have entertained me in the past and I am sure will occupy my time again in 2014.
Currently my favorite “hangouts” for Magic chat via forums are: MTGSalvation.com, Google + MTG Community, and the EDH Subreddit. I have found all three of these communities to be quite satisfactory for a daily dose of worldwide MTG communication.
My daily grind in the work world involves eight hours pinned to a desk developing and promoting the military clothing website I work for, www.MilitaryUniformSupply.com. While working, my Pandora station is usually pumping out kick ass tunes from the Black Keys, White Stripes and Red Hot Chili Peppers. However, I do like the occasional Magic the Gathering™ Podcast to get my MTG fix during the day.
Yesterday I was able to tune in to the new season of CommanderCast. CommanderCast.com has a weekly podcast with William and Calvin that can be heard on Mondays and a bi-weekly podcast with Nole and Eric every other Thursday. These podcasts are all EDH/Commander based and can range from 45 minutes to 2 hours on a wide array of topics. It’s great to be able to listen to online chat about my favorite format to help break up the work day.
Another podcast that I have stumbled across is on MagictheAmateuring.com. I have only listened to a few of their most recent podcasts (end of 2013, beginning of 2014), but definitely find them entertaining. The podcast is hosted by Maria, Meghan, and Ben, a trio that reminds me of the 1980s sitcom “Three’s Company”. Podcasts are centered around new Magic players Maria and Meghan and are filled with light-hearted puns and humor.
MTGCasualPlay.com Active Writers
For those of you unfamiliar with MTGCasualPlay.com, we are a small collection of beginning/amateur/casual writers. As a group, we write and use this website as a platform to share our MTG ideas with the world. As a website, we welcome other MTG players that would like to begin their writing career. If you are interested in joining our team check out this post: Writing Magic the Gathering Articles – Podcasts and YouTube Videos.
In addition to myself, here are our active writers for 2014 (writers that have posted so far in 2014):
- Dan has an amazing talent for descriptive and entertaining writing. His current focus has been Modern Deck Tech on a budget, be sure to check out his column “Yogurt Decks”.
- Jared Mancil continues putting out solid articles and unique decklists for Modern, Standard and EDH. Be sure to catch up on his latest brews.
- We also welcome newcomer Andrew. Andrew gave us insight on his indestructible Lichs in his first of hopefully many more write-ups.
We are also tickled to promote YouTube Videos here on MTGCasualPlay.com
- LaskaHunter7. MTGO EDH Deck Techs and Game Play.
- Windmill Slam. MTGO Booster Draft Commentary and Game Play
Of course, I am hoping that some of our 2013 writers will slide up to the keyboard once again on MTGCasualPlay.com. Thank you to all of the past, present and future writers/contributors to our website! 🙂
What Forums, Articles, Videos or Podcasts do you enjoy on a regular basis? Be sure to comment in the section below.
Born of the Gods Spoilers
2014 opened the gates with a flood from the soon to be released set Born of the Gods. In my opinion, this set is absolutely drool worthy. Keep in mind that my opinion is quite narrow as I evaluate sets from strictly EDH/Limited perspective. I should have no problems filling out my Top 10 Born of the Cards for EDH list to be published within the next couple of weeks.
Here is my quick power ranking of the new gods from best to almost just as good. It goes without saying that all five of these gods would be amazing as a Commander of their own EDH Deck.
Here is a Ranking of Gods if put into existing EDH Decks, plus their Commander Beneficiary:
- Ephara, God of the Polis. Winners: Roon of the Hidden Realm or other Blink/Flicker EDH Decks.
- Xenagos, God of Revels. Winner: Prossh, Skyraider of Kher. I haven’t done the math, but this should put opponents on a two turn clock or quite possibly one-shot someone?
- Phenax, God of Deception. Winner: Lazav, Dimir Mastermind or other Mill Themed Dimir Decks: Mirko/Szadek/Oona maybe even Nekusar.
- Karametra, God of Harvests. Winner: Rhys the Redeemed or other EDH Decks with Tokens, Huge Spells or Fat Creatures.
- Mogis, God of Slaughter. Winner: Thraximundar. Take two damage or put a +1/+1 Counter on Thraximundar. Whoah.
My favorite times of the year always include spoiler seasons for new sets. Here are a couple of sites that I usually frequent to get the scoop on new cards:
- MTG Salvation Born of the Gods Spoiler: I tune in every weeknight for an 11pm CST release of the newest goodies.
- The Mana Source has been doing a great job of getting next day videos posted with the newest spoilers along with thought and commentary.
I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to read my 2014 article. Scrolling back through this mess, I can see that it looks like quite the ramble. Anyways, I have two final sections that I would like to cover. The two snippets below discuss an uglier reality of Magic the Gathering that has been brought to light in the year of the Horse (2014). Feel free to read on if the readings of Counterfeit Cards and Bullying interest you, otherwise, I bid thee a good night and thank you for reading my article!
Counterfeit Magic Cards
It seems that a company in China may have perfected funny-money Magic cards to almost an unrecognizable fault. Yes, there have been counterfeit Magic cards since the beginning of the Garfield age, but this time could prove to be different.
Rumor has it that a flood of counterfeit cards have already reached the shores of America and infiltrated collections and hobby shops. It has also been predicted that a second wave of bogus cards are due to drift ashore around the time I publish this article.
Although I have not personnally encountered these counterfeits it has been determined that once put into a card sleeve they are undistinguishable between real and fake. The manufacturer was even able to replicate the infamous blue paper found in the middle layer of a Magic card. Here is what to look for with regards to determining card authenticity:
- Kerning (spacing between letters) of the font (most distinguishable in the footer of thecard… artist name)
- © and ™ on the fake cards are stamped incorrectly
- Gloss/Matte finish differs from that of a real card
- The “feel of the card” is just wrong
For a full news article (including images) covering the Chinese counterfeits in detail I recommend reading: Polish Tamales Counterfeit Magic Card Warning
How Counterfeiting Effects You
One of the fall-outs of this illegal counterfeiting ring is the doomsday scenario in which the price of Magic singles plummet. Honestly I am dissappointed in the unhealthy amount of players posting online that they welcome counterfeiting and believe it opens the doors to affordable legacy and vintage staples. For years, players have vocalized their anger towards rising prices of cards needed to compete in Legacy, Modern, or even Vintage formats. In my opinion, should players have access to $10 Underground Seas and $3 Tarmogoyfs, local game shops will not be able to sustain their business. After confirming with a few local games stores, I have received feedback that the best revenue is found in the buying and selling of singles. Should the price of singles plummet, then a stock market like crash will cause several game shops to close their doors. Selling sealed product will simply not be enough to pay the bills for our neighborhood gaming venues. In summary, yes, you can have every card and play any format, but you will have to do so at your kitchen table because the local gaming store has been replaced with a Title Loan business.
For a well written (and significantlly better) article on this subject I encourage you to read Star City Games Chas Andres column: Counterfeit Cards
Do I believe the doomsday scenario will come to fruition due to these next generation counterfeits? No. I remain optimistic. I am not selling my collection nor am I refraining from buying cards. However, I will thoroughly examine trades and purchases of higher dollar cards. I will also be weary of too good to be true deals found on sites such as ebay.
Mark Rosewater’s Response to Counterfeit Cards
creatingpseudonyms asked:Your thoughts on the counterfeit ring in China? Give us some assurance to calm us down : )
We are very much aware of the issue and are working towards a swift resolution to it. We have a lot of tools at our disposal to help resolve this problem and I can assure you those resources are being used.
1,000 Tarmogoyfs for $450 – Free Shipping
As of the publish date of this article, $450 barely nets you a playset (4) of the infamous Ljurgoyf. Is it possible to broker a deal for $0.45 Tarmogoyfs? I have included a video below of an undercover investigation by MTG LION detailing a course one might travel to bring counterfeits to our communities.
Excerpt from MTG LION YouTube Channel:
I had a two and a half hour conversation with the person making the Chinese counterfeit magic cards. This video is our Skype conversation and my website which only changed the Name and Email. Everything else is the same. The link to the information is learningkitty.com I contacted Delson Huang pretending to be a massive buyer of Counterfeit Cards. Delson is the owner of the printing press that is making the high quality fakes. I learned a lot about how these cards are being sold.
Visit MTG LION YouTube Channel to continue reading
It’s just not on the playground anymore kids and it doesn’t matter if your are male, female, 16 or 61, there seams to be an influx of hate and cyber-bullying taking place on Magic the Gathering Online.
Personally, I spend a very small amount of my time every month playing MODO. When I do play I have been fortunate enough that my opponents have been a pleasure to play against, or at the very worst, just didn’t conversate at all. I am usually one of those online players that like to type fun comments and joke around during an online battle. Grabbing a beer and playing Magic Online with good company can be a relaxing way to end the day.
Needless to say, I was quite astonished when I stumbled across an article by Rada Rudyak on GatheringMagic.com. This was an eye opening article into an issue I did not know existed. I find Rada’s courage to publish such an article very admirable and encourage you to read this as well: BE KIND by Rada Rudyak
Thanks again my friends!