This year, the EDH message boards did a secret santa thing. Here are the cards I got from FinalLogic
Often times, I have mentioned or pictured hats made out of Magic cards, I have recently come across 50 copies of [card]Giant Shark[/card] thanks to Andy over at Commandercast, and I am going to show the world how to make these hats. In order to make a hat, you will need the following. 41 cards, scizzors, duct tape, and a bucket hat to use as a template. This hat has made many cameos in photos of me, and is even so prolific that my wife's Facebook account auto tags it.
Step 1: Tape 10 cards to each other in a line.
Step 2: Tape a card to the top and to the bottom of each card in the original line.
Step 3: Loop the center row and tape the two ends of the center row. DO NOT TAPE the ends of the top or bottom rows. They will form the top and brim of the hat.
Step 4: Place the cards onto the bucket hat. We will use it as a form to keep the hat in its proper shape while we tape it together and add the last few cards to support the hat's structure.
Step 5: Spiral the cards on the top of the hat and then flip the hat over.
Step 6: Put tape inside the top of the hat to hold it closed. This will leave a few of the top cards a little floppy. Some glue or more tape will keep floppy top cards seated properly.
Step 7: Tape one more final card over the small hole at the middle of the spiral. We don't want to show the world our unsightly bald spot do we!?!
Step 8: Put the bucket hat back inside the card hat to use as a guide. Then tape cards in between the loose brim-cards one at a time, as evenly spaced as possible. The brim should gain an ever so slight slope to it during this step.
The inside of a finished hat should look like this.
And the final product! BRILLIANT!
As I'm not currently playing a whole lot of Magic, that is when I tend to start doing a whole lot more trading. Recently, while listening to a Commandercast episode, I was introduced to a cool new way to trade over on PucaTrade.com. It's a cool little site, and I thought I'd present a little bit of infr from it's creator and let you all in on the "secret." I sent a little email over to Eric Freytag, the site's founder and here is what he had to say.
Who are you and Why do we care?
My name's Eric Freytag, and I go by LaysanRail on PucaTrade and most place other places on the internet, except Twitter where you can find me @PucaTrade.
I created PucaTrade one day when I realized that Magic the Gathering was becoming less of a 'card trading' game and becoming more of a 'card buying' game. Cards had become really expensive and hard to find. I turned to the internet but noticed there were only a couple of ways to trade online, and they were slow, forum-based, and risky. Bilateral trading makes sense in the marketplace of a pre-technological society, but feels clumsy and out of place in our modern electronic marketplaces. I set about designing a better way to trade, and launched the Beta version of PucaTrade in April of 2013.
What is PucaTrade Exactly?
PucaTrade is more than a website. It's a new way to trade. PucaTrade offers technology-facilitated multilateral trade of Magic the Gathering cards.
What's multilateral trading? It may make most sense to define bilateral trading first. Bilateral trading is exchange between 2 people (think: the classic way to trade). Multilateral trade is exchange between more than 2 people (example: Person A sends to Person B sends to person C sends to person A etc..).
There are many benefits of multilateral trade, but what people seem to like most about PucaTrade is that there's no haggling or negotiation involved. Our cards values come from the ones posted on magiccards.info, so you always get what your cards are worth. Plus it's fast, secure and offers maximized trading potential.
So who/what all is involved in maintaining PucaTrade?
There's currently 3 people on Team Puca, and since we all have day-jobs, progress and improvements to the site can occur a bit slowly at times. I spend much of my spare time now looking for the investment needed to hire full-time employees and make all of the improvements our amazing members have suggested on the 14+ pages in our forums.
So, PucaTrade is awesome, tell us a little about yourself and your history with the game. When did you start playing Magic, and what is your favorite card?
I started playing Magic back when [card]Uthden troll[/card]s were "bombs." That was the first Magic card I ever really looked at, I remember staring at it and I could almost feel the 10,000 hours of my life that I've now spent playing Magic getting sucked into the [card]AEther Vortex[/card] hidden in the Uthden Troll, but all I said was: "Whoa. This thing is cool."
What formats are your favorite to play?
I bounce around quite a bit, actually. I played 60-card casual almost exclusively until 2009, when I learned about EDH and got pretty sucked into that format. Since then I've toyed with Modern, Standard, and drafting is always a good time as well.
What types of decks do you like to play?
I would describe my play-style as 4 parts Timmy to 2 parts Johnny, and I absolutely love engine-based decks. It's funny, I was actually just on an Episode of CommanderCast where we were talking about engines, but I'm not sure if I represented the concept clearly or accurately. Engines, to me, are systems of Magic cards (instead of a collection of self-sufficient ones). I think all effective engines can be summarized in the following equation: Continuous Actions (Spells or Effects) + Proportional Mana = Value Engine. Let me extrapolate on that for a second:
This can be paraphrased as "stuff to do." Often times it's cards in hand, but activated abilities and repeated triggers count as well. Triggered effects work well with engines because there's no limit to how frequently they can occur. Look for any card that has the phrase "whenever X happens" in it, then do X a lot.
This, simply put, is enough mana to do a bunch of your continuous actions. You don't need infinite mana, but the amount of mana you have will often determine the extent to which your engine can run.
My favorite deck uses combat-based triggers ([card]Augury Adept[/card], [card]Maelstrom Archangel[/card], [card]Charnelhoard Wurm[/card]) in tandem with spells that produce multiple attacks ([card]Waves of Aggression[/card], [card]True Conviction[/card], [card]Time Warp[/card]). The deck also uses combat-based ramp ([card]Centaur Rootcaster[/card], [card]Avenging Druid[/card], [card]Sword of Feast and Famine[/card]), which means that it can really struggle against decks that are sweep-heavy. But fortunately, there's not a ton of those in my play-group.
You can check out the full decklist here: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/combatcombatcombat/
Well, Thanks Eric, for creating a way to get rid of cards I don't want and have random coolness show up in my mailbox when I do. That's all we have time for today, so until next time,
Use YOUR shoes as counters!
So recently, I was doing some trading on PucaTrade, and it got me to think about the economics of Magic, and how there are a kabillion cards out there that have basically no value due to unplayability, having been obsoleted, or just plain lack of interest.
While trying to think of a way to bring some value back into these cards, I was reminded of something a guy in my playgroup did some time back to one of my old hats. He covered it in basic land while I was crashing on his couch (I had moved out of town at the time). After that, this spawned into him making several more of these hats, and even being featured at a pro tour for his hat ideas. At one point, we even sold a [card]Petrahydrox[/card] hat to a Judge at an event. So I thought to myself, what if I traded for/bought TONS of unwanted cards, made them into hats and resold them. I tallied up the costs, and it seems like I'd have to charge $25 per hat (including shipping in the US).
My question to any of my readers being: would you buy one of these for $25? I think this could be a cool way to increase the value of bad cards, by buying up several copies and removing them from circulation by making hats, and reselling them so I'm not just wasting my money stimulating the MTG economy. The true issue would be demand. So I ask you all...Would you buy this hat?!
It's no secret that Hoard Magic's popularity exploded after it's introduction and it still sees quite a bit of play around the EDH/Casual community I have put together a hoard deck that is meat for a different feel than the aggressive nature of a zombie apocalypse. The deck uses Soldier tokens and many walls and defensive creatures, and follows slightly different rules:
Siege magic is like Hoard Magic but with a defensive twist to the Horde.
Creatures in the hoard deck must block the attacking creature with the highest power until they would deal lethal damage to it, and all have vigilance instead of haste. They still attack every turn.
if the siege deck's life total ever becomes 20 (starts at 0) they win.
Players win by causing the entire deck to go away and killing all permanents.
When players deal damage to the siege deck it first subtracts damage from it's life total before putting cards from the deck into the graveyard.
The siege deck takes the 3 prep turns instead of the players.
Siege (Hoard) Deck:
35 Bird Soldier Token
30 Soldier Token
1 [card]Cenn's Tactician[/card]
1 [card]Steel Wall[/card]
1 [card]Intangible Virtue[/card]
1 [card]Jötun Grunt[/card]
1 [card]Raise the Alarm[/card]
1 [card]Serra's Blessing[/card]
1 [card]Veteran Armorer[/card]
1 [card]Veteran Armorsmith[/card]
1 [card]Wall of Glare[/card]
1 [card]Wall of Resistance[/card]
1 [card]Field Marshal[/card]
1 [card]Orim's Prayer[/card]
1 [card]Veteran Swordsmith[/card]
1 [card]Wall of Nets[/card]
1 [card]Aysen Crusader[/card]
1 [card]Benalish Commander[/card]
1 [card]Daru Warchief[/card]
1 [card]Enlistment Officer[/card]
1 [card]Hero of Bladehold[/card]
1 [card]Rhox Pikemaster[/card]
1 [card]Wall of Reverence[/card]
1 [card]Wall of Swords[/card]
2 [card]Castle Raptors[/card]
1 [card]Conqueror's Pledge[/card]
1 [card]Staunch Defenders[/card]
1 [card]Aven Brigadier[/card]
1 [card]Captain of the Watch[/card]
1 [card]Darien, King of Kjeldor[/card]
1 [card]Nomads' Assembly[/card]
1 [card]Oathsworn Giant[/card]
So, I like to play around with the data from THIS THREAD over on the commander forums when I can't decide what deck to build. Today, I sorted the commanders into groups based on how many people claimed to play them. I am having trouble providing accurate names for any one category because sometimes terrible generals are in "higher" categories I don't have much else to say about the data, just thought that it might be of interest to others when sorted in this way.
What do you think, would you divide them at different points? Useful way of looking at things? Useless splattering of data?
Personally, I tend to avoid commanders from lists A-C, so as to give and have different play experiences during commander play. I (as some of you may know) have a series of articles on list E, and enjoy trying to make bad good. These are the points where I break down the generals into categories in my mind. I'm unsure of the break between B & C, as it's less clear (to me) or if there even needs to be a 5th list.
I recently got a message from a reader who recently became a father, curious about how best to integrate Magic, family and work all into one crowded lifestyle. It’s something I have been doing for over 5 years now, and I would have sworn I had written something on being a MTG dad, but I didn’t, so now I will.
A Planeswalk in the Park:
So, you’re about to become a father (or mother) and you are also a diehard Magic fan, Congratulations! Being a parent is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, and it can be for you too, you just have to become a master of time management.
Things WILL be different, before adulthood, I was drafting on Mondays, playing Warhammer Fantasy on Tuesday nights, Drafting Wednesdays, and playing casual on Friday nights. Once I had a job and a normal adult life, I cut back to once a week every Friday Night. Fear not, children are awesome and cute little combinations of you and your S/O. Babies take up a large portion of time, but Gaming/Magic can still have a significant place in your life. Here are the stages of being a Magic player with a child, and what to expect.
0-3 Months (BABY!):
When your baby is brand new, they will become the entirety of your universe for a good couple of months. Babies need to eat a lot, and so you likely will have to take a break from Magic for a month or so. I played very little immediately after the birth of my kids (each one) and with good reason! It was such an exciting time getting to meet the little one I had just helped create, and they were so awesome!
3-12 Months (Family/MTG [card]Balance[/card]):
This is where things get better (for sleep and MTG). Baby will not be sleeping all night yet, but will only get up 2-3 times at night. After this point, every other Friday night I played Magic, and on the opposite weeks I stayed at home and hung out with the family. One thing that is extremely important is not to neglect your wife/GF or baby. If you both work (or even just one of you does) it’s likely that you won’t see much of each other on weekends, so be sure to set aside some weekend time for the loves of your life! The most important lesson I have taken away from gaming with kids is to not let your family feel like Magic/games are more important than them. At this stage, It’s a great idea to invest in a table that is bar-height for preparing decks and storing cards on. Baby will be pulling-up and/or walking soon so be sure your [card]Library of Alexandria[/card] is FAR out of reach.
12-24 Months (the [card]Curiosity[/card] Years):
This is when you have to be the most worried for your cards. Your child WILL notice how much daddy (or mommy) LOOOVES those pretty colored cards, and wants to be a part of it too. You can use the aforementioned table of bar-height for part of this stage, but soon little one will begin to climb things…like your chair…and pull your Black Commons and Uncommons box down onto the floor…and ripping off one side, completely ruining your organization system. (Not that that exact thing happened to me or anything). This is when you probably need to move the table in to an “off-limits” room. It’s always good to have a space for adult-stuff to be. Kids will try (and likely succeed) to touch EVERYTHING they can see. Kids have an infinite amount of time and energy and love to explore. Cards will suffer from this.
3+ Years (Someone to Teach):
This is the best part, kids around this age will want to start playing games with you, and can probably grasp some of the fundamental ideas of Magic. I started playing with my daughter with a deck of all vanilla creatures and land around 3 years, and she loved it. We play all sorts of other games too, but Magic and Dragon Strike (D&D intro board game from the early 90’s) are some of her favorites. I can’t wait until my little gamer girl starts DM-ing and building her own decks! It makes me a little teary-eyed just thinking about it.
The moral of the story is, having kids and playing Magic (any hobby game) isn’t mutually exclusive. They, in fact, mesh quite well together in certain phases. The important things to remember are: Family First, Balance the things you love in the free time you have, let kids be curious (but not TOO curious), and let them in on the hobby ASAP! Follow these easy steps and it will be a breeze!
That’s all I have for now, so until next time…
Use YOUR shoes as counters!
I rarely have the opportunity to play much Magic these days, but a week or two ago I had the opportunity to play some EDH with a few friends and with a little twist...no tutoring.
At first, I was worried about mana fixing, but then I realized a crucial fact; Banning tutors puts severe limits on most, if not all, of the most broken strategies in EDH. Mana ramp is constantly seen as a problem, and when you can't search for lands, it's much harder to ramp.
Combo decks, you know, the kind people hate that use the likes of [card]Survival of the Fittest[/card], [card]Tooth and Nail[/card] and tutor generals...All banned!
Tutors can be fun and in some cases are not broken, but in a highlander format, tutors increase redundancy and make it much more easy to use the same broken strategy over and over again. Originally, I was not in favor of this much more restrictive version of play, but in practice it created a much different and interesting environment. The best part being, the color that is least effected by a no-tutors rule is Red.
Often considered the worst color in EDH and in multiplayer magic, Red gets a major boost in this format. On the other hand, blue and black are still major power players due to the sheer drawing power those colors have as well, but it is less of a deal than when tutors come out to play.
I find my interest in EDH rekindled a bit, after a long hiatus due to repetitive game play, and seeing the same 10 cards in many players decks all of the time. One thing I will note, is that [card]Consecrated Sphinx[/card] became much more of a problem, it was in every deck that had blue and was even more effective in this format.
All in all, I urge people to run less tutors, if they are not comfortable banning them. Toolbox decks are well and good, but its quite fun to fly by the seat of your pants and try to top-deck into victory. It also helps make problem players less problematic, because they can't [card]Tooth and Nail[/card] for [card]Primeval Titan[/card] and [card]Avenger of Zendikar[/card] any more, and must seek other methods of victory.
That's all I've got for now, until next time...
Use YOUR shoes as counters!
So, Planechase 2 is out, and I have something to say about it. It has it's good and bad parts, but all in all, I am happy to have more planes for my planar deck and new cards in preconstructed products always make me happy.
I loved the Planechase format as soon as I played it. Old-school Chaos Magic was officially being supported, and more support for any of my babies (see variant formats, not actual children) makes me happy.
I still don't care for the constructed version of the format, where everyone has their own planar deck and what have you, but I love the idea of one planar deck with each plane in it. It feels like a wild ride though the multiverse where each planeswalker is much better off on planes that support his colors/preferred specialty. The Phenomenon cards were a spectacular addition, as cards like this existed in old Chaos Magic stacks from the days of yore. I haven't had much chance to play the cards, but I look forward to using them.
New cards in the decks are a nice touch. It was a big selling point for the Commander product, and was nice and helpful for promoting Planechase 2 as well. The down-side being that the new cards were a little lackluster.
You can look at it one of two ways, but the value of each of these decks, when broken down individually, is less than buying the cards within them online. You only gain value (over buying singles) on the ninja deck, and it is of course the chase deck much like its Betrayers predecessor, the Rat's Nest deck with [card]Jitte[/card] in it.
This has a flip side of course, it's unlikely that Planechase 2 decks will be as hard to find as the infamous Counterpunch deck from the commander decks. [card]Sakashima's Student[/card] is the only real money card, and obtaining these decks (and the planes) should be relatively cheap.
All in all, WOTC could have done more to sell these decks to more competative players to increase the decks' success, but since they didn't the product will be easier to get a hold of. Keep your fingers crossed that the lack of amazing tournament staples doesn't decrease sales too much or say goodbye to Planechase 3.
That's all for this time, but until next time...
Use YOUR shoes as counters!
I have many things related to game design that I love and currently have 3 places where I post items. I want to try and semi-consolidate them all here so that there is one easy place people can follow to get all of the good ol' fashon Shoe writin' they can handle!.
Starting next week, the new schedule for my writing will tenatively be like this:
Monday: Mad Scientist! MONDAY - I want to try to have a regular feature involving my first published game, and the fun stuff that can and does happen with it. Also, any updates on the revised second printing will go here. These posts will be on the main Shoebox Games Blog. (See below)
Tuesday: Shoebox Games - Something will go up on my gameing/ game design blog.
Wednesday: WOOBERG Wednesday - Something will go up here.
Thursday: Comic Vine - Cool Concepts (where I post lists of cool characters from the Marvel Universe and stories I would like to read (or write) with those characters)
Friday - Radical Resources: Fridays I will link from Shoebox Games to posts on other blogs and sites that could be helpful in game design, interesting to read, or just plain old funny!