OK. First of all, let me say that I kept putting this purchase off. When this first came out, I decided to get the new event deck instead, yadda yadda yadda, so this has been out for awhile. But I am sooooo sorry! This product is very, very nice. I’d say it is the best of the Dual Decks I have seen. (Granted, I haven’t seen many all of them, but i have seen many.)
So let’s dive in and see why!
This deck has a very shiny foil quality…one that appears on the two main cards. Jace, Architect of Thought, and Vraska the Unseen.
The back gives you some general information, and shows off some of the kinds of cards here.
The overall presentation of this dual deck is more appealing than the last dual deck, Heroes vs. Monsters.
What’s inside? Here are the contents when you take everything out of the box.
from left to right, You get propaganda and instructions, two decks. Two foil cards of Jace and Vraska, and two deck boxes.
Lots of things to say here! The foils are very nice. Jace is clearly seen to be the good guy here. While Vraska is the villain. She looks especially creepy in this foil. Her eyes look like they might turn you to stone for real!The deck boxes are beautiful. In fact, throughout this set the art is some of the best art I have seen in MTG. The two papers…I just toss the blue one. To me, that is a waste of paper. The instructions are important as they contain a deck list and suggestions for playing each deck. And do you notice anything odd about the two decks, as presented here still in their cellophane? Study for a minute, and then I will return to this subject after a couple of pics of the instructions.
Jace and Vraska never looked better!
I don’t know if my picture is doing it justice, but the art depicted here is really great! Especially the updated art for “Night Whispers.” (creeeeepy!)
OK. Back to the decks. Did you notice that there is an Assassin token on JACE’S DECK?
You see, the ultimate ability of the Planeswalker Vraska the Unseen gets out three assassin tokens, that are 1/1’s, and have “If this token causes combat damage to a player, that player loses the game!”
The thing is, the Assassin token itself has been sort of a rare item. In all of the booster packs I have opened, this token has only ever come up once!
So I was exited…I mean, now maybe I can have three! But I was disappointed. Only one was there on top of Jace’s deck. Now stay with me for awhile longer.
You see, normally in these pre-fabricated decks, all the spells are kind of roped together by type. So instants and sorcerys usually get one “clump” in the original package, as do the creatures and lands. And tokens. So my thought was, “Rat’s Rump. Only one token.”
The Assassin token became a mini-game in itself, as I continued to open the set to photograph!
So I continued with Jace’s deck. I mean I removed the cellophane and all…
Here are Jace’s creatures. Of note, “Jace’s Phantasm” has been a card played a lot in the past at the SpartanNerd household.
Here are the rare creatures.
These are pretty good. Body Double is my favorite, turning your opponents creature on its head under your control.
Jace is blue right? Time for some Instants and Sorcerys.
These two are the rare instants and sorcerys. However, the one that has been getting all of the attention in the world of “Modern” tournaments is “Remand.”
You get to send a creature back to its owners hand! This knocks off the counters and enchantments. And of course let’s you know at least one card that your opponent has. AND you might just be putting your opponent behind if they are trying to combo you. On top of all this goodness, you get to draw a card. And for only two mana!
Jace gets three special lands.
Dread Sanctuary add’s an illusion to your creatures for on turn. And on top of that, pumps some guys who’s power and toughness are related to the number of illusions you control. Halimar Depths is basically a land with scry 3, except you don’t get to put the cards on the bottom of the deck if you don’t like them.
Neither land is a huge game changer. Halimar Depths is slow. And Dread Sanctuary asks a lot of you for what it does, four mana.
No more tokens showed up. Not even a Illusion token, which the Jace deck seems to want to have…
Now for the Vraska deck.
Exept for Reaper of the Wilds and Acidic Slime, Vraska’s creatures are sort of un-glamorous. Wight of Precinct Six sees a lot of play at the SpartanNerd House…One of the kids likes to play green-black.
Here are the rare creatures.
Reaper of the Wilds can cause trouble….
Oh Yeah. Back to the tokens. Would you believe another Assassin token was sitting on top of Gatecreeper vine?
Vraska has a few Instants and Sorcerys.
Night Whispers gets you about the same power and information as Read the Bones. Treasured Find WOULD be a key card if this deck tried to play out of the graveyard, which Green-Black does very well. But my favorite here is “Underworld Connections.” And I needed another copy. So now I have that!
And after the instants and sorceress, who was mixed in? Assassin token!
So here is Vraska, for the very first time in the SpartanNerd house, with all three of her deadly chumps!
Here are Vraska’s special lands
Golgari Guildgate. YAWN. Rogue’s Passage; pretty nice. Tainted Wood. What’s that! A dual land from a set that doesn’t seem to be allowed in Modern! (It was originally printed before the sets allowed in Modern)
All in all, considering the two foils, Underworld Connection, Remand, and Reaper of the Wilds,
So how did the decks play out?
I played against SpartanNerd #2, who really just wanted to do something else…:( The Golgari deck here isn’t really a graveyard deck. (The Wizards said they designed this deck NOT to behave in the way most Golgari decks work.)
Basically, though the Jace deck is a monster of a Jace deck. I could totally imagine him playing every card in the deck!
I won with no problems whatsoever! And I decided to just keep drawing until every card got to touch some play. At least for this match, Jace was able to lock down the creatures, delay them by sending them to the top of the library, or canceling them somehow.
The Jace deck seems to overpower Vraska. But in the coming weeks and months, if I find out different I will keep you posted, oh Hub City Geeks!
So what do I rate this Dual Deck? 5/5! This is the best artwork I have seen on a Magic product. And the decks are fun to play and pop with the personality of the character they are identified with.
I give the Dual Decks a 5/5 What’s your score? Leave comments!