Merry Christmas Everyone!!

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Merry Christmas Everyone.

 

Due to Christmas and the new year we will be closed on the following days and some days will have reduced opening hours;

 

Sat 24th 10.30 am until 3pm

Sun 25th to Tuesday 27th Closed

 

Wednesday 28th to Saturday 31st open as usual.

 

Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd Closed

 

Tuesday 3rd Jan open as usual.
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ftl91_splinter

The players agreed to play 5 rounds and cut to top 4 rather than 4 rounds and top 8 because there were so few of us. I managed to 4-0-1 the swiss, intentionally drawing my last round as the only player on 12 points to guarantee 1st seed (giving me the play in every match in the top 4). The rest of the top 4 consisted of a Jund Deck, a Hate Bears deck, and a Affinity deck.


Unfortunately due to breakers I had to play Tom, a good friend of mine on Jund, while the Hate Bears and Affinity players who'd traveled in for the event together got paired against each other. Tom and I play a bunch of Modern against each other pretty much every week, and we both know the ins and outs of each others lists. Being on the play put me at a huge advantage especially because I was packing 2 main deck Blood Moons, and I managed to 2-0 him with a bit of luck on my part. In the other semi-final game 1 was a grueling slog fest eventually ending in the favour of the Affinity player, game 2 ending much quicker with Affinity the victor of the match.




blood moonGoing into the finals I was feeling pretty confident. I'd 2-0'd him in the swiss, and got to be on the play. Game 1 went off without a hitch, I had a good amount of interaction early and managed to combo off fairly easily. Post-board I figured my match up got even better with a full 4 copies of Ancient Grudge waiting in the wings.

In game 2 he tapped out for an Etched Champion on turn 3 with his only other artifacts in play a Cranial Plating, a Memnite and an Inkmoth Nexus without mana to activate. I untap and decide to fetch shock to mainphase Ancient Grudge the Plating followed by the Champion putting me down to 8 life. He untaps, plays a Galvanic Blast to put me to 4, then plays a Arcbound Ravager and a Darksteel Citadel to exactly have me dead animating his nexus to sacrifice all his artifacts onto the Memnite.


blastMemnite

That's not exactly something I could predict and it seems almost insane not to make the play I made to kill the Plating and Champion, but there are other lines I could have taken. There was no chance I was dead to Inkmoth Nexus and Plating, and I would be able to Snapcaster Mage - Lightning Bolt his Nexus once I'd untapped again. While the play looks correct, I definitely should have taken more time to consider other possible lines and factor in what my opponent could have in hand.


Game 3 I was on the play again and feeling good still despite losing the second game. My opening hand was Deceiver Exarch, Deceiver Exarch, Lightning Bolt, and 4 lands. Its underwhelming, but I thought if was probably better than an average 6 card hand. The game was going along ok, Id managed to stay above water but was missing a Twin or Kiki-Jiki to finish the game. He manages to make a 4/4 Inkmoth with a Arcbound Ravager which puts me on a three turn clock. With me on zero infect, he casts a Spellskite in his mainphase before combat and I completely blank and forget to tap the Nexus in responce which would have bought me an extra turn later. As it happens this mistake ends up costing me the game and the match, along with a 'golden ticket' to the 'bright lights and sunshine' of Huddersfield and a RPTQ. But hey that's Magic, live and learn.


SpellskiteInkmoth Nexus


This weekend I'm playing in a local Standard PPTQ at the other Leicester store. Its capped at 26 places so will also be fairly small and will be largely played by locals with a couple of grinders possibly coming in to stake a claim in Leicester soil. Hopefully I'll get a chance to redeem myself. At this point the standard format has been pretty well threshed out, we've had multiple Grand Prix, a Pro Tour, and a number of Open Series to see how the format has shaped up. Between that and knowing the local meta fairly well hopefully I can make another great deck choice for this tournament.


Once again that's it from me this week but before I sign off I wouldn't want to miss a chance to share Michael Flores' RPTQ winning decklist. Here it is in all of its glory:


FloresAlastair

 

 

Rees’ Pieces #12: PT Dragons of Tarkir

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As I write this I've just finished watching the finals of Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir. As much as I was cheering for Shota Yasooka to take the title, he was the last in line to get ran over by RG aggro and Pro Tour DTK champion Martin Dang. Dangs been on a tear recently just coming off of a win at Grand Prix Liverpool a month or so back. Congratulations to Martin.

Dang

Running up to this event I've been more excited than for any Pro Tour I can remember. Dragons brought a load of new interesting cards into the format and the possibilities seemed crazy. While there have been a couple off Standard tournaments since release no-one was really breaking new ground, the super teams trying to break the format saved all of their best for the Pro Tour. Everyone new that the format was still very undiscovered, a paradise for brewers and deckbuilders everywhere. Let's have a look at what's made it big in Brussels:

I think the biggest story coming out of the Swiss is the success of blue control decks, either Blue/Black, Blue/White or Esper and that's the majority of what I'd like to discuss today. These decks got a bunch of new tools from Dragons of Tarkir, I'll just run you through the list of new Toys they have to play with:

Dragonlord Ojutai

Ojutai
This guys been seeing more and more play since release, in both UW and Esper control and then even in other decks as a high quality finisher. It protects itself until you find a way to protect it and can start swinging in to gain card advantage and finish off your opponent. The clock this guy lays down is very real, and the pressure it applies against other slow decks is great as it both hits them and draws you cards while only being exposed to removal when you want it to be.

 

Dragonlord Silumgar

Dragonlord Silumgar
Not seeing a lot of play straight after coming out, we saw it as a one of in Reid Dukes Sultai Reanimator deck from the Invitational a few weeks ago. While it wasn't played by a lot of the control decks this weekend Shota Yasooka played two copies main deck and it really did some work. In the top 8 we saw him play one to steal a Surrak the Hunt Caller, giving it haste to attack for lethal. Its immune to a lot of the cheap removal in the format, allowing it to stabilize by itself against a lot of aggro decks, but then also does a huge job in the midrange and control decks stealing planeswalkers or powerful creatures while providing a big flying blocker with deathtouch they have to get around.

 

Anticipate

Anticipate
This ones a tricky one. There were 3 UB control decks in the top 8, one splashing white for Ojutai. Of these Andre Ohlschwager was the only one to play 4 copies of Anticipate in his main deck; both Andrew Sullivan and Shota Yasooka choosing not to play the card at all. Its a very good magic card, but a lot of the time in the control decks we've seen you just need raw card advantage to pull you ahead or stabilize and you need to be casting Bile Blights and Ultimate Prices early in the game. It does a good job of smoothing out your draws though, and will almost always give you a good card for the situation out of the 3 you see. Taking land off of it is completely fine early game so don't be afraid to.

 

Foul Tongue Invocation

foul

This is the first of the 'dragon reveal' cycle that I'm going to talk about, and these cards really broke out in a big way at the Pro Tour. Firstly its an instant speed edict effect which the format was lacking, helping out against decks like UW/x Heroic with all of their protection spells or Abzan Aggro with its plethora of hard to handle creatures like Rakshasa Deathdealer of Fleecemane Lion. The life gain is super relevant though helping you buy more time to get to late game where you can start casting Dig Through Times, Perilous Vaults and Crux of Fates. Especially against Mono Red or RG aggro decks where they're playing Hordeling Outbursts and Dragon Fodder the life gain helps this card still be relevant even if they have plenty of 1/1s to sacrifice.

 

Silumgars Scorn

Scorn

I just mentioned how the Dragon Reveal cycle has proved to be very good, and this is arguably the best. Counterspell is back! Kinda. If your opponents playing on curve this is a virtual counterspell, and if they want to pay around it they give you more time to just find the dragon to turn it into an actual counterspell. This card might be one of the most defining in the new standard format (and tilting people's great too).

 

Icefall Regent

I(cefall

This dragon was far from the most hyped up from Dragons of Tarkir (which is fair given the cycle of mythic Dragonlords), but it proved to be a all-star in Shota's deck. With all the 'dragon reveal' cards it gives you an incentive to play a bunch more dragons and you can't really jam 4 copies of Silumgar (either) without making the deck real clunky. It does a reasonable job of protecting itself from removal making your opponent really commit to dealing with it, and the Dungeon Geist ability helps you stabilize vs aggro decks trying to run you over.

 

Dragonlords Prerogative

prerog

As far as mirror breakers go this is a damn good one. While 6 mana for 4 cards is a tad underwhelming against a lot of the field in a control mirror this card is insane. With the ability to make it uncounterable revealing a Dragon, its just an 'I win the game' card against other control decks where you just want more cards than your opponent. Again, a six mana draw spell isn't exactly what you want against Mono Red or Abzan Aggro but playing a couple in your 75 seems like a good idea.

 

I can't really talk about decks from the Pro Tour without discussing the winning deck right? So here's Martin Dangs RG aggro list:

Maindeck
4 Foundry Street Denizen
1 Frenzied Goblin
2 Goblin Rabblemaster
1 Lightning Berserker
4 Monastery Swiftspear
3 Zurgo Bellstriker
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Hordeling Outburst
4 Atarka's Command
1 Become Immense
4 Lightning Strike
4 Stoke the Flames
4 Wild Slash
4 Mana Confluence
1 Temple of Abandon
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Forest
10 Mountain

Sideboard
2 Goblin Rabblemaster, 4 Eidolon of the Great Revel, 1 Goblin Heelcutter, 1 Destructive Revelry, 2 Hall of Triumph, 4 Roast, 1 Scouring Sands

It looks like a fairly typical mono red deck splashing green for 4 copies of Atarka's Command and a Become Immense main deck. This kind of deck really preys on the slower decks in the format, as you can see from his top 8 matches.  The two new cards that I'd like to focus on from the deck are Atarka's Command and Zurgo Bellstriker. Command is excellent in this deck (Dang described it as 'the best card') going to the dome, pumping your team or stopping the life gain from a Siege Rhino or Nyleas Disciple the card just does everything you want, and is the real reason you're splashing green in your otherwise Mono Red deck.

AtarkasZurgo

Zurgo is another important card. It gives you a 2 power 1 drop on turn 1 and also allows you to play it as a threat without commiting to the board later. Traditionally this deck has fantastic game 1s, and then post board the opponent brings in their Anger of the Gods and Drown in Sorrows and you have a much tougher time winning games 2 and 3. Now because of all the Dash creatures in the deck it really allows you to play into these with impunity. Going 1 drop into T2 dash guy and their Drown in Sorrow is just a one for one removal spell. Dangs deck looks to be really well positioned going forward, and definitely one to look out for.

Once again that's it for me for now, thanks for reading and I hope I've given you some kind of insight into the new control cards from Dragons of Tarkir and they're functions in decks going forwards.

Alastair

Rees’ Pieces #11 – Here be Dragons

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Liverpool has been and gone and now I have three more events to look at going to: Grand Prix Utrecht, Grand Prix Lille, and Grand Prix London. On top of this there are PPTQs to play, and the MtgUK Eternal Championship in May. Before GP Liverpool I came to the decision that unless I cashed the event I wouldn't travel to play in Utrecht, between the costs of flight and hotel it just didn't seem worth it; especially with the Modern Masters 2 limited I could be playing at home anyway. Lille however is much more reasonable and I do love Legacy so that's a trip I will be making. That aside however my main focuses at the moment are Standard and Modern for PPTQs.

Modern Masters 2 huh, its shaping up to be pretty cool. Tarmogoyf is getting another much needed reprint, and Karn Liberated, Etched Champion as well as Emrakul the Aeons Torn are also confirmed. The release weekend coincides with the UK eternal event I mentioned earlier which is handy as it means MM draft side events all weekend (yay!). Here's hoping the limited format is as good as the last Modern Masters.

7Mb14h

Moving on to discuss the new standard format and the meat of this article, post Dragons of Tarkir standard looks awesome. That is all... No really.  The sets out, prereleases have gone, and tournament results are starting to come through so its time to get stuck in. I’m not going to go through everything I think is good and playable, but instead highlight a few cards I’d like to discuss. Yes Deathist Raptor is a good card, but its not got me excited to play standard like some of these have:

Anafenza, Kin Tree Spirit - Far from a vanilla bear, Anafenza has a very powerful effect, unfortunately she is not a warrior but she might be a key player in a mono white or W/X aggro deck in standard. Curving Anafenza into Anafenza sounds tricky but troublesome for your opponent. Its worth noting that she also does a Melira impression with Kitchen Finks while being a better stand alone creature, while Pod has been banned this might still do something. We'll have to wait and see.

Anafenza

 

Arashin Foremost - This dude is a warrior and a sweet one at that, very Silverblade Paladin-esque. In a BW warrior deck this guy seems insane. He’s a good 3 drop to curve into a Mardu Strike Leader or Surrak the Hunt Caller and can lead to some mighty beatings. The double white in its mana cost is restricting but I imagine this will be a played card in some decks. At this point I’d also like to point out that Goblin Rabblemaster is a Goblin Warrior.

Arashin Foremost

 

Avatar of the Resolute - There are a few important things to note about this card. Firstly its a 2 mana 3/2 which is a decent body for an aggressive creature. Secondly it has GG in its mana cost adding devotion for cards like Aspect of the Hydra and Nylea, God of the Hunt, and thirdly it has trample to push damage through from cards like the aforementioned Aspect or Become Immense

Avatar

 

Anticipate - If we ignore Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise this is probably the most powerful library manipulator we've had in standard since Ponder was reprinted in M12. Its almost certainly going to change the way control decks are built in standard giving them more turn two plays and allowing them to cut down on lands (no more 3 lands off of my Ingenuity, grrrr...). It allows them to dig for the specific answers they need earlier, not to mention that in a format with delve spells cheap cantrips get better. It also looks like it could see some modern play in combo decks like Scapeshift or Splinter Twin or even maybe in UWx control decks.

Anticipate

 

Collected Company - 4 mana, 2 dudes, instant speed, seems purty good if you ask me. This is the card that currently has me thinking about it the most in the set for standard and modern. In a deck like Abzan Aggro this card might even be better than Siege Rhino, and the fact that its an instant you can hold up for your opponents turn against control is great. I have a magical christmas land where I cast this hitting a pair of Mantis Riders but I won't go too far down that rabbit hole. The larger the card pool the better this kind of effect becomes and the possibilities for this card in Modern are very exciting.

Company

 

Contradict - I'd just dismiss this card as unplayable but there's a chance it'll be a one of in some kind of control deck. I'll be honest I just wanted to make pun of it.

Contradict

 

Hate Cycle - These are a set of very powerful colour hosers, Rending Volley for sure (Screw Twin, no really) and perhaps one or two of the others making it over into Modern. The worst of the cycle for Standard is probably Display of Dominance; UB doesn't have a swathe of non-creature permanents, and two mana for a Gods Willing isn't great. The rest I would expect to see a lot of sideboard play, Surge of Righteousness against the Red or Black aggressive decks and similarly Encase in Ice against the Red Green Aggro decks that have been popular recently. I really like UW Heroic still, so hopefully no-one plays Self-Inflicted Wound.

Untitled

 

Myth Realized - This one is super interesting. It works a bit like a Glint Hawk Idol without flying but with a few key differences. Firstly it costs a single mana to play, this isn’t hugely relevant until you take its ability to grow whenever you cast a noncreature spell which lets you play it early and then let it sit and grow while you play a control or tempo game. There are multiple places this card could go, and its far from a definite player in the new standard format but there are some cool possibilities either in control, tempo, or maybe even a combo deck. Anticipate being printed also gives this card a boost, as it gives us a cheap cantrip we can play.

myth

 

Surrak, the Hunt Caller - This guy is a sweet addition to Green based aggro decks, often coming in as a four mana 5/4 with haste and then giving the creatures you play haste for the foreseeing future. He is a warrior which leads to a nice synergy with Arashin Foremost for a brutal curve of creatures. Also, he adds two devotion to Green which lends itself to a mono Green aggro deck utilizing Nylea, God of the Hunt, Reverent Hunter, and Aspect of Hydra. Starting pretty low on the pricing scale he’s slowly starting to creep up.

Surrak

 

Sidisi, Undead Vizier - Now this is the last card I’m going to discuss today and part of the reason why is that I’m currently watching Reid Duke and Jacob Wilson do a nsidisiumber on people with it in the Top 8 of the SCG Invitational. At first I thought the card looked fine, but not great but I didn’t see the full potential of the card. In the BGx midrange decks, you want to play a card like Satyr Wayfinder to help hit cards and enable graveyard interactions with cards like Tasigur and Murderous Cut. Previously after that he just sat around after getting his value until eventually being chucked in the way of something as a chump blocker, now Wayfinder gives you a body lying around that you can trade in with Sidisi for the best card in your deck at the time whatever that may be. Reid is even playing it in a Sultai Reanimator shell where you can get extra value by sacrificing a card like Hornet Queen or Reclamation Sage for you to then bring back with Whip of Erebos giving you even more insane value.

And once again that's going to be it from me this week, hopefully I’ve been able to give you an insight into my thoughts on the cards above. Next week I’ll be looking at a few decklists for the new standard format looking towards Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir. Thanks for reading,

Alastair

Rees’ Pieces #9: Tiny Leaders

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Hi there, today I'm going to be talking to you about a relatively new Magic format which has been picking up in popularity recently. Its a variation of Commander but instead of 100 cards you have 50, and in addition you can only use cards with a converted mana cost of 3 or less. You can find the official rules along with the banlist here: tinyleaders.blogspot.co.uktiny_leaders


The first I heard of Tiny Leaders was 4 or 5 months ago when a friend of mine in my Commander play circle found the format and suggested we give it a try. Honestly I wasn't particularly impressed, the power levels of the decks we'd built were pretty low and at the time it just seemed like a duller version of regular Commander and we soon deferred back to the 100 card format.


Around 6 weeks ago, I started to notice an uptick in the format with more people starting to write about it culminating in a match I watched in a (relatively) local game store between Alesha and Anafenza. The game seemed really entertaining and the decks were doing much more powerful things than those I'd played with long before. I started to get more excited for the format but still wasn't sure who I wanted to choose as my Leader.


Then later that weekend I was watching the SCG Open Series and the commentators started talking about the format between matches. Patrick Sullivan was getting excited about Zozu the Punisher, and all he wanted to do was blow up lands and stop his opponent casting spells. Immediately I washooked and started rummaging through the stacks and folders of cards in my room to try and find as many Stone Rain effects as possible.


Unfortunately I couldn't find all the land death spells I wanted and ended up ordering a few cards. While I waited however I became impatient and decided to put together another deck in the meantime. What else stops  my opponents from playing magic? Oh look here's my Death and Taxes deck, and that's how Thalia was born. Here's my current 50:













Glowrider

Stonecloaker




















Dust Bowl

Rishadan Port

Arcane Lighthouse


Drifting Meadow



Maze of Ith

10 Plains


Small cheap creatures with disruptive abilities backed up by incredible equipment in the Swords and a small land destruction package to help tax my opponent's resources. The deck plays out pretty much as I'd intended to limiting control or combo type decks with disruption from creatures like Ethersworn Canonist, Leonin Arbiter or Thalia herself; meanwhile beating out aggro using the incredible power of the swords along with good removal like path to exile and council's judgement.


By that friday though another idea had come to mind. Another one of my favourite things in magic is to spend a lot of time doing absolutely nothing. Such as casting Life from the Loam over and over again. I've always been tempted by Legacy Lands but never caved and bought into it; still though I'd picked up some of the cheaper pieces. Tiny leaders seemed like a great place to mess around with the deck, and get some durdling done. Once again I went out wondering who to use as my Commander, and I remembered that Yasova had been printed in Fate Reforged. She let me play Intuition, Gamble and Loam all in the same deck. Game on! Idid another dig and came up with most of what I needed, picking up a Gamble from a friend of mine. I'm still missing some of the more expensive pieces (see Tropical Island and Tabernacle), but here is the list:



Satyr Wayfinder

Young Pyromancer

Tarmogoyf

Eternal WitnessYasova

Courser of Kruphix

Ancestral Vision

Gamble

Ancient Stirrings

Crop Rotation

Life from the Loam

Mulch

Edge of Autumn

Punishing Fire

Intuition

Krosan Grip

Compulsive Research

Exploration

Sylvan Librarylife

Lightning Rift

Seismic Assault

Engineered Explosives

Elixir of Immortality

Crucible of Worlds

Dack Fayden

Wooded Foothills

Scalding Tarn

Misty Rainforest

Taiga

Tropical Island

Volcanic Island

Mountain

Forest

Island

Forgotten Cave

Lonely Sandbar

Tranquil Thicket

Smoldering Craterintuition

Remote Isle

Slippery Karst

 Command Tower

Grove of the Burnwillows

Wasteland

Rishadan Port

Maze of Ith

Dark Depths

Thespians Stage

Vesuva

Academy Ruins

Raging Ravine


Its not as smooth as I'd like it to be, for example I had to wasteland my own taiga to replay it out of my yard to get a third red mana for Seismic Assault the other day. A Seismic Assault that was added to the list after the Lightning rift, which probably tells you a bit about how I think. The deck is however insanely sweet, even though I have to whether the glares I get when I'm at 2 life having done nothing but durdle for the entire game only to finally lock them out of the game with the engine I'd finally got to.


At this point I was super excited to play the format, I'd built a couple of sweet decks but hadn't played many actual games. The next weekend I traveled back to the same games tore again to try and get a few games in and also try out a sweet Legacy Death Shadow list (Legacy FNMs whoop whoop). Playing the decks most of the matches were fairly close and a ton of fun, with a couple of instances of Swords of X and Y just running away with the game (strongly recommend having main deck answers to these). It did however lead me to find space for the Elixir of Immortality in the Yasova deck as some of the games ended with 1 or 2 cards in my library and on 1 or 2 life.


Coming out of the weekend I had a pile of new deck ideas which I wanted to try ranging from Doomsday to Goblins. I'm ashamed to say that as of the date of writing Zozu Land Death is still not complete, but I am the proud owner of a bunch of other decks with a pile more in the works. The formatis awesome, and its definitely worth giving it a try even if you don't like the sound of it there's almost certainly a deck that's up your alley.

 



That's it from me this week, thanks for reading and apparently Paul Cheon doesn't like his opponents to have lands either.

Rees’ Pieces #3: Tarkir Going Down & Jeskai Heroic Is a Thing!

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This week it appears as though the flurry of price drops in Khans of Tarkir over the past few weeks has slowed down, with only a few small changes. I'll give you a quick rundown:


- Near the top of the pile Sorin has dipped a tad down to £19.99, Abzan still popular but being outshone this past weekend by GB Constellation and he's not seeing much play elsewhere.


sorin solemn visitor


- Fetches still continue to fall with both Flooded Strand and Polluted Delta at £12.49, with Windswept Heath now £9.99, and Bloodstained More falling further to £8.49. Wooded Foothills is still at £11.49 for now but I would suspect it will follow suit down to the £10 mark soon.


khans tarkir lands Fetches


- Dig through Time has fallen a little bit further down to now £8.49. UB control and Esper haven't done particularly well the past couple of weeks however a UW control deck showed up at the SCG Open a week ago. Despite the fact that it's seeing a bit of modern play and Jeskai has been doing pretty well in standard its price has continued to fall.


- Mantis Rider has dropped down to £4.99 now, at the very start of the format the Jeskai Tempo deck was very dominant doing well at the Pro Tour, multiple Opens and Grand Prix. This past weekend it didn’t have a great showing and since (much like Sorin) it only really sees play in one deck which has probably led to its descent in price.


- A quick note on Crater's Claws. If you've been one of the few people stocking up on these; they have now doubled in price to a whopping £1.99.


The Rest of the Standard Market


Like I said, Khans has been fairly quiet the past week, and the same can be said for the rest of standard:


- Ajani Steadfast has taken a small hit dropping from £14.99 to £11.99, not too surprising seeing his lack of play.


- Chasm Skulker has gone up in price at £4.49 with foils going up to £7.49. Travis Woo talked about the card in one of his recent articles and it also saw play in the Jeskai Heroic Combo deck that took down the SCG Standard Open this past weekend (more on that later).


- Athreos the Overhyped has dropped down to £7.99 surprising... Nope, no-one.


athreos


- Apparently not everybody wants to be a cat, as Kitty King Brimaz drops down to £19.99. This is a bit suprising, as he sees play in both Abzan and Jeskai strategys as well as some of the white based aggro decks.


- Elspeth has gone down to £19.99. While her days in the sun aren't done yet she's not seeing nearly as much play without the help of Supreme Verdict and Sphinx's Revelation.


- Ashiok Nightmare Weaver has now gone up to £9.99. While he saw a bit of play last format in Esper decks and a decent amount in block (Go GTA), he seems much more suited to this format where the field is dominated by midrange 'Good Stuff' decks.


A Look at the Tournament Scene 


That’s it for Standard price changes over the past week, but I'd like to briefly mention two archetypes that dominated the SCG Open this past weekend. The first one is well known, and that is Green Black Constellation. Its been doing well since the new format began but this past weekend there were 3 of these decks in the top 8 though for the most part they were defeated by the Jeskai Heroic combo deck I'll move on to in a moment. The key cards from the archetype that are unique are Doomwake Giant, Eidolon of Blossoms, Pharika God of Affliction, and Whip of Erebos; while these cards haven’t moved much yet it'd be a safe bet to say they'll be ticking up a bit soon.


The other deck I'd like to mention was pretty much off the radar up until now. Ivan Jen stormed through all comers with his Jeskai Heroic Ascendancy deck.




ivan jen
Ivan Jen after taking the first game of the SCG Standard open final

While Ascendancy was on everyone’s radar this is a completely new take on the deck which looks far superior to any other version we've seen forgoing green and the mana generators normally used when comboing off for aggressive heroic creatures like Akroan Crusader and Favoured Hoplite. This allows the deck to function well with or without ascendancy. It’s worth noting the combo in this version is slightly different as it uses retraction helix and springleaf drum (another new addition to the deck). Again none of the cards have really started to go up in price yet, however the deck seems like it could definitely be format warping. Jeskai Ascendancy, currently only £3.99 will almost certainly start going up in price again. Stain the mind, is looking like a very favourable sideboard card and is almost certainly going to see more use; currently £1.35 these seem like a good investment. The last card I'm going to mention is Spirit of the Labyrinth; it hurts both of the ascendancy decks in standard but also is becoming more and more playable in modern with the rise of treasure cruise. As a result it wouldn't surprise me if Spirit saw a rise in play and price.


That’s it from me this week catch you next time,


Alastair




REES!
Rees is a magic expert, but sadly also a magiciser; he can never commit to one deck. Maybe one day he will settle down.

June Opening Times

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Important Information Regarding Our Opening Times

Due to staff going on annual leave our retail store will be closed for a few days in June.

Wednesday 5th of June closed after 5.30pm

Thursday 6th closed all day

Sunday 9th closed all day

Tuesday 11th June closed after 5.30pm

Thursday 13th of June closed all day

Tau Empire – Serving Suggestions

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Had enough about Tau yet... No? Greater Good - because here are some serving suggestions based on my many hours with my head stuck in the new codex.

I had intended to do a slot by slot review, but there are plenty already, and I wanted to try something a tad different, ato get the post stirring on what people think will be good unit builds, as with all the cool toys Tau have access to, its VERY easy to build some uber  death star unit (Farsight, we are ALL looking at you), but points efficiency is a must, especially to take advantage of dual FoC if thats how you swing.

And in all options, Markerlights help, so I won't mention them beyond this, as Markerlights make eveything better!

Now its a long one, so you grab a drink and settle in... (more…)

Model Magpies Not-so-Annonymous

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Fenriryan's Blog, Uncategorized
Hi all - my name is Fenriryan and I am a recovering Model Magpie.

But what is a Model Magpie - its what every gamer is at heart, but tries to avoid being. You see the new shiney toys and all you can do is stare and yearn for it (and block out the sound of your wallet/other half crying out).

Its likely the most dangerous urge of a gamer, possibly a close second to table flipping in rage (though a rceent discussion of uber store flipping in rage may alter that order further)

I like a varied palatte - 40K, Fantasy, Necromunda, Malifaux, Bloodbowl, Firestorm Armada, Warhammer Quest, Infinity, Kill Team. I am proud of every collection, but I have so many that alot of it simple doesn't see any table time. Yet for each system I have a backlog of hobby work to do, and a list of minis that have triggered the primal Magpie within.

And with the slew of Kickstarter projects too, I feel guilty as I can barely support what I have, and yet there is more coming out that I would like to support - Dropzone Commander & MERCS, I'm looking at you...

As a result, every 6 months I would sit down and realise what I have left on my workbench, have a serious guilt trip over it, then storm through most of it amd burn my self out.

As such, starting 2012, I decided to start following the Paint One, Buy One (POBO) philosophy... Ive slipped of the wagon a few times, but I always find my way back to it, and my backlog is greatly reduced from where it was (if I don't count the entire 2.5k of Beastmen who need basing).

I hope that by the end of the year I will be clean and resolute in my strict adherance POBO.

So thats my story - my name is Fenriryan and I am a recovering Model Ma... Ohh... Archangel. DAMMIT!