Friday, September 30, 2016

Kaladesh Pre-Release (Guest Post)

Greetings, people of my sibling’s blog. I am Liam TGO (“The Good One”), Christina’s brother. She came to me for assistance, since she needed to step into my territory a little bit.
She wanted a blog post about Magic: The Gathering, a game I play perhaps a little excessively.
Now, I know some of you don’t know what Magic: The Gathering even is. This is fine. Prepare to be educated! If you already know what Magic is and know how to play it, skip ahead to the story.
Imagine you’re a wizard. A “planeswalker”, if you will. Now, the world is actually a massive Multiverse with multiple universes, with residents that do different things on each one. Planeswalkers can move from plane to plane, gathering armies and setting into motion events that would have never taken place had outside visitors not… erm… visited.
This Multiverse is made of five colors: Black, white, blue, red, and green. Which takes us to our newest section: “All You Need To Know About…!”

All You Need to Know About the Five Colors!
White: The color of order and structure. White is good at “exiling” creatures, or removing them from the playing field without killing them. White tends to set rules and try to make the enemy follow them, rather than, you know, kill them.
Black: The color of ambition and cost. Tends to have the most powerful effects, but makes you pay a price in the process. It tends to just outright kill creatures. While many evil characters tend to be black-aligned (yes, it sucks, but let’s postpone the racial conversation for another time), black is not the source of all evil - in fact, the eradication of it in the different planes because of this perception leads to many problems the characters have to face. All the colors have potential for evil - white can be a dictatorship, red can be terrorist, blue can be a dick, and green - well, green’s just awesome. Good luck finding an evil green creature.

Oh, look! I found one.

Blue: The color of forethought and saying “no." Blue doesn’t have much effect on the battlefield itself, at least not directly. It tends to care more about the spells people cast, and “countering” them with effects.
Red: The color of freedom and instinct. Red tends to be the opposite of blue: it cares a ton about the battlefield, and often times “burns” creatures, either damaging or outright killing them to pave the way for your creatures. 
Green: The color of nature and force. Its defining characteristic is big fucking creatures. Its way of killing things is have said big fucking creatures fight other, smaller, wimpier creatures.
In case you can’t tell, green is my favorite color.
Back to the blog! Those are the colors. The card types are: instants and sorceries (magical spells that do cool things), creatures (things you put on the battlefield to attack your opponent), lands (things you put on the battlefield to give you “mana”, or the "currency" you use to put the cool cards out on the field), a couple of other non-important ones (in the context of this story), and planeswalkers. 
“But Liam!” I hear you derisively say. “I thought I was a planeswalker!” 
Well, annoying person, you are right. But you can play planeswalker cards, too. They’re rarer cards to find in packs and can cost a fortune, but you can get them. And play them. And dominate with them.
Last Saturday, I had the honor of going to the Pre-release for Kaladesh. A Pre-release is the weekend before a new set (a collection of cards released by Wizards, the company that makes Magic) comes out, when a bunch of stores let you buy some of the cards early and play with them in a tournament setting. The set in question is Kaladesh, a plane that has a heavy steampunk theme where you get nifty trinkets and artifacts. 
Actually, the whole set is based on a card type I didn’t even mention called artifacts, which are man-made devices that you set on the battlefield that do cool things. But that’s not important. What is important is the Pre-release.
I went with my good friend Jacob, because the Pre-release event we were going to was a team-based event. We arrived at the shop, opened up our packs, and I was left staring at this planeswalker beauty: 

While the woman herself is a beauty, I’m talking about the card. You’re staring at about $50 right there. The card is cool, the artwork is cool, the effects are cool, the whole situation was just really… cool.
Jacob looked over my shoulder around that point, showed me another amazing card in red (Combustible Gearhulk), and said, “I’m pretty sure one of us is going to be in red.”

I gave him a dirty look, we continued opening up our packs, and we built two decks.
My deck was red-white. It had the two aforementioned cards, as well as a boatload of other amazing cards in those colors, and a ton of removal. Jacob’s deck was blue-green, and had three cards that traded our crappy stuff (rare as that was in our decks) for our opponent’s good stuff (read above, where I mentioned blue being a dick), as well as a bomb rare that just takes something good an opponent has without the trade, and another even bomber bomb rare that likes it when you play spells.
(Beginner's hint: Every time you do something other than play a land, you are probably casting a spell that requires mana, and some cards have abilities that read "When you cast a spell, I do awesome stuff.")
So the way the two decks played out was, I’d play my good things, the opposing team would answer them (or try to). Jacob would take their best things in the process, and we’d have all the best cards on the board. Cue the slow grind to victory through incremental removal and more stealing of things. We ended up winning every game, except for the last one that we didn’t even play, because we and the opponents decided to go home early and take our prizes. It was almost 11:00 at night and we were tired.
Did I mention neither of us are adults yet (we're 17), and we’re going against people who are anywhere from our age to thirty or forty years old, with way more experience than us? Yup. 
Moral of the story?
… I dunno. That’s Chris’s job. Have a nice day!
Liam TGO


The moral of the story is my brother is a dork. But he was nice enough to write up this week's post, so I can't complain (too much). 
Thanks for reading! :)

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