Podcast Episode 28: Reviewing Magic the Gathering: Dungeons and Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms

Bleh, what a bad titleā€¦ And that should be a pretty good indicator of how our review goes! Besides the new MtG set, we also take a trip back to the past of terrible D&D card games with Spellfire, Blood Wars and Warlords. Check it out here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/45853989

The two cards I view from Spellfire in the podcast are these:

Spellfire Ravenloft Strahd Von Zarovich 100/100 | eBay

Dev blog #37 – Nothing doing

Hey all, so not much news on my front this week. Starting my new job has kept me super busy. The European and Japanese translation team are working hard away. The Chinese team are waiting on me to hurry up, but I have been so busy. I feel really bad about that, but I am barely doing anything outside of working and mothering. There just isn’t enough time in the day! Is this the end for Claire’s development career? Well, I hope not, and I will tell you more later but I am hoping to program some web games to do with my new job! But more on that when I have something concrete to talk about.

James meanwhile has met the challenging goal of 90,000 words on the Dragons of Tirenia. As you can see in posts before this one, he continues on his mad quest to work through all of the Dragonlance canon. He’s getting his game on tonight with a bunch of friends playing a D&D session set in Auromia, the counterpart to Rome in Tirenia. I’d say that plot is squarely in Act Three territory now, and hopefully one day he’ll turn it into an adventure module.

Anyway, the show I am in is almost over! So hopefully I get more time to wrap up the translation builds in good time for my translation partners. We banked an episode on Dark Sun last month and just released it, but we’re back to fresh recordings next week, with another session with the Bundle Buddies (this time for their podcast, not ours) and the first new episode of ours in over a month. We were thinking about doing an episode on Magic the Gathering since we play it all the time, but there has been new Ravenloft news as well! And uh…. yeah, I am super excited about that!! So we’ll see what we come up with next recording sesh. James also reckons its time for me to finally do a video game spotlight episode. I guess I should, but I have a bit of impostor syndrome, because honestly it comes so naturally to me to just let James talk and talk, since he holds onto information much better than I do. Well, we’ll see!

Catch ya later!

Magic the Gathering: Amonkhet – first impressions, unboxing, and planeswalker decks reviewed

To watch our Amonkhet unboxing… where we find a super rare card!!… click here.

Source: Wizards

Claire and I just played best-of-three with the Amonkhet Planeswalker Decks. She used Gideon’s deck, which uses white and red mana and is based around the new Exert mechanic. I used Liliana’s deck, which is black and green and focuses on -1/-1 counters. They were a lot of fun, and they seemed quite balanced.

In each game, Claire got off to a very quick start. Creatures with Exert make very powerful attackers, and she used it at every opportunity to make her creatures more powerful, or harder for me to defend against. The drawback of Exert is that they won’t untap on the next turn, but it’s pretty easy to circumvent. Gideon, Martial Paragon in particular combos very well with the deck. Well done to Wizards of the Coast: he’s a very enjoyable and powerful card for casual Magic play, exactly what should be in an introductory deck. We also appreciated the tactical choices in this deck. Choosing when to exert, and when not to exert, makes this deck more interesting to play.

Liliana’s deck felt a little weak by comparison. It’s a bit slower, and so I was always on the back foot against Gideon’s armies. That said, once it gets going, it’s capable of doing some terrifying damage. In the first game, I was down to three life, and Claire was still on 20. Crocodile of the Crossing with a Cartouche of Ambition meant that I had a 6/5 lifelink creature attacking every turn, and it quickly turned the game around on its own. There are a number of creatures with ridiculously large stats for their costs, balanced by the fact that they give -1/-1 counters to your creatures when they enter play. The Tattered Mummy is a great target for these. This ‘survival of the fittest’ theme feels very black and green, but in a very different way to usual. I can’t comment on Liliana, Death Wielder, as I was never able to get her into play. There’s also a sub-theme of ‘landmark’ artifacts. These artifacts all have a weak activated ability, but gain a brick counter at the same time. With enough bricks, you can finish the landmark, and it becomes much more powerful. I played with one of these, but I never felt like I had the time or the resources to be able to build it.

In the end, Claire won two games to my one. In each game, Gideon’s deck did a lot of damage before Liliana came back for a counter-attack. The game play was engaging, and a good way of showing off the new mechanics in Amonkhet. Claire and I agree that these decks are much more fun than the old intro packs, and we’re keen for a rematch. They also seem more balanced than we remember from the previous Planeswalker Decks. They’d be great for a new player getting into Magic. Alternatively, a casual player who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on Magic could grab the Planeswalker Decks for each set, and have a good set of pre-made decks to use, for the price of a small board game expansion. Recommended for the casual player!