Born of the Gods…Event Deck Unboxing and Review (updated 3/30/14)

***Note the update at the bottom!

I have strong opinions about the event deck this time around…

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that when “Born of the Gods” came out, one of the cards I was most looking forward to was “Bile Blight.”  I attended the pre-release and day of release events.  I pre-ordered a box as well.  Out of all forty to fifty booster packs of BNG that I opened, I only saw ONE BILE BLIGHT!

I instantly began a conspiracy theory.  It was an uncommon…shouldn’t I have been able to pull at least two?  My theory was that they were all locked up somewhere else.  I guess I was right.  They shipped with this EVENT DECK.

OK.  So I seriously thought about NOT buying this event deck when I saw the decklist.  (I have already been playing mono-black and have a lot of the cards in this deck.)  But it came with two bile blight.  And no one I know was wanting to trade theirs…So a partial reason for me getting this was to get the two uncommon cards.

On the upside, I also got an additional Desecration Demon and another Heroes Downfall.

Here are some pictures and my review.  I should have a pretty expert opinion about this deck, because I am playing a much more powerful version.

This is how I bought the deck at "The Tangled Web."  Note the price.

This is how I bought the deck at “The Tangled Web.” Note the price.  $24.99.

A closer look at the box.  What you see is a sleeve over the box.

A closer look at the box. What you see is a sleeve over the box.

The back of the box.

The back of the box.

This message isn't very inspiring.

This message isn’t very inspiring.

The title of the deck is "Underworld Herald."  There is only one card in this deck that fits that title.

The title of the deck is “Underworld Herald.” There is only one card in this deck that fits that title.

Remove the sleeve from the bottom, not the top.

Remove the sleeve from the bottom, not the top.


These fifteen cards are the sideboard. I have never tried to play Cremate. Mayve I should give it a shot. Then there are two more kill spells, “Dark Betrayal” to take out you mirror match I suppose. Durress is like a weak Thoughtsieze. You get two more gifts of Orzhava, and also two junk artifacts, “Staff of the Death Magus.” Lots of filler here, folks.

OK.  So here are the cards.  I removed the "Bible Blights" and "Hero's Downfall" to play in the tournament last night.  That's why they remain sleeved....(in My Little Pony" sleeves.  Shhh..don't tell anyone!

OK. So here are the cards. I removed the “Bile Blights” and “Hero’s Downfall” to play in the tournament last night. That’s why they remain sleeved….(in My Little Pony” sleeves. Shhh..don’t tell anyone!


More cards from the set. Notice the Desecration Demon, Crypt Ghast, and Erebos’ Emmisary. There are five kill spells that have specific types of targets…MAIN DECKED. I thought this was supposed to be a competitive deck?


Here is what else came with the deck. I don’t need to be told that I am a Planeswalker anymore. So I’ll just trash that now. The other things are the divider, the instructions, and the counter dice.


The instructions are just that. They give you general advice on playing the deck. But they also explain a few mechanics to a noob. Note the art. Fated Returned. I guess it looks dramatic….


Here is a close-up of the deck list.  Does this add up to $24.99?  I think so, considering the Desecraton Demon and Crypt Ghast are included.  As well as the Hero’s downfall.  That seems to be right at $20-something dollars.


Why isn’t the spin-down counter Black and Red?

Thoughts on playing the deck

Let’s just get this out of the way now.  There are some really stupid things about this event deck.  I mean, who doesn’t have “Rakdos Cackler” and “Rakdos Shred-freak” in abundance?  Maybe a beginner.  But thats about it.  Also, no SHOCK LAND.  or at least SCRY LAND?  What else is dumb?  This deck wants to push “Mogis Marauders” as a key card.  (When he enters the battlefield, X number of creatures gain “intimidate” until the end of the turn, where X is your devotion to black.)  The problem is the words “until the end of turn.”  Another big dumb thing really is a big dumb thing.  “Fated Return.”  Why in the world is this card in a “competitive” deck.  You will be bloodrushed, burned, over-run, Maze-Ended, or even Sphynx Revved to death before you get a chance to play this card.  Maybe it was meant for Commander (EDH)?  And one more gripe.  Why is there only one Pack Rat?  That card only works in multiples!

What I like about the deck is what I removed.  Bile Blight and Hero’s Downfall.  I will play with adding the other Desecration Demon to my deck, but things are working pretty well without him.  My other two copies are doing the job, in other words.  I also like “Herald of Torment,” which is one of my favorite BNG cards, though it doesn’t really work well.  Maybe it’s me…I don’t know.  But it seems a three-drop flying demon should be pretty good, even if he burns you for one every turn.  (This makes him about the cheapest demon in Magic, I believe.)

I never had Tormented Hero before, and also could use another Crypt Ghast.  Another decent card here is Xathrid Necromancer.

See what’s going on here.  Pack Rat…Tormented Hero…Crypt Ghast….Xathrid Necromancer…kill spells…old common unleash guys

Yep.  This deck lacks direction.

My rating of the Born of the Gods Event Deck “Herald of Torment” is 2/5. *** I took off one point because of the inclusion of a bunch of old cards.  I took another because some of the cards are meant to work with other cards that unfortunately are not included here, causing a lack of focus.  And the final point came off because that spin-down counter isn’t anything close to red and black.  In fact, it is an ugly shade of turquoise.


***Update 3/30/14.   I played five rounds with the deck, vanilla with no modifications tonight.  And totally dominated all five rounds.  I am revising my rating.  3/5.  Where I saw a bunch of cards with no direction, I didn’t count on the strength of Tormented Hero and something bestowed onto him.  He’s a 2/3 for one mana.  That’s beast right there!  My opponents were playing black, so I had to side-out doom blade and Magis Maurauders.  But the sideboard had dark betrayal and cremate, both of which worked very well!

Pokemon Square Off…..Fennekin vs. Froakie

I’ll admit now that my knowledge of Pokemon is sort of limited.  I have been playing the TCG with my boys for about two years…I have a humble collection.  It all fits in one little tin.  

Prior to that there was a cartoon on, of course, and then there was the video games.  I didn’t care for the original game, which I had on my Gameboy Color way back in the day…I think the cartoon is a bit cutesy…And we saw a movie about MewTwo, which made the then five year old SpartanSmurf #1 cry it was so emotional.

So if if I seem a little off on these reviews, excuse me!  Also, readers should note that there are no sanctioned Pokemon TCG tournaments within a hundred miles of where we live…So we usually just play casual, where anything goes…irregardless of what would be legal in a tournament.  )I do not think either of these decks would hold up in a serious tournament anyway)

My two children recently got these two decks.  You can read my unboxing reviews here and here!  They matched a two out of three, and here was the results!

SpartanSmurf #1 wins coin toss
The new rules say if you go first, you can’t attack first on that turn
The basic Pokemon out, Fennekin on SpartanSmurf #2, Froakie on SpartanSmurf #1 Honage and Farfetch’d on the bench.
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Tierno, kind of like Cheren…(You get to draw three cards)
Fenekin gets the first attack in, with Scratch.  This requires only one Fire energy.
SpartanSmurf #1 gets the first evolution….His Froakie becomes Frogadier.  He uses “Water Dripping” Which requires only a water energy.  Fennekin is weak to water.
Live Coal from Fennekin to Frogadier….a two energy attack.
SpartanSmurf #1 Aqua Waves…..Knocking out Fennekin.  (Not surprising)  That required two water and one other.
SpartanSmurf #2 does nothing.
SpartanSmurf #1 Aqua Waves again, knocking out Pansear
SpartanSmurf #2 plays Furfrou, and attacks with Tight Jaw, which paralyzes Fogadier.  This buys some time for SpartanSmurf #2.
SpartanSmurf #2 Sharp Fangs Frogadier for 50, a three energy attack, which knocks out Frogadier.
SpartanSmurf #1 puts out Pawniard.  He cuts Fufurfrou for 20.
SpartanSmurf #2 uses tight jaw, paralyzing Pawniard (and hitting for 20)
SpartanSmurf #2 knocks out Pawniard with sharp fang.  Looks like Furfrou is a BEAST.
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Honage, a steel Pokemon.  His attack takes two energy, including a steel.  This is a dangerous attack, which lets you flip tip you get a tails to hit for 30X.  But he fails.  (Continuous Slash)
Furfrou knocks out Honage
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Panpour.  He tries fury swipes, which is similar to continuous slash, but does 10 X each head from three flips.
SpartanSmurf #2 plays tight jaw to Furfrou  again paralyzing him.
SpartanSmurf #1 wins plays a poke ball, and wins a flip.  He gets out another Honage
SpartanSmurf #1s next Pansear attack was collect, which apparently isn’t as good as it used to be.  (SpartanSmurf #1 says it used to let you draw three cards.)
SpartanSmurf #2 knocks it out with sharp fang.
SpartanSmurf #2 does tight jaw, but loses the flip.  So no paralysis.
SpartanSmurf #1 evolves Froakie on the bench.
SpartanSmurf #2 used sharp fang, knocking out Honage.
SpartanSmurf #1 advances his Froadier from the bench.  He plays down a Pawniard
SpartanSmurf #2 tight jaws SpartanSmurf #1’s Frogadier.
SpartanSmurf #2 sharp fangs the Frogadier, drawing his last prize card!
SpartanSmurf #1 wins the coin toss.
SpartanSmurf #2 plays Inkay as his first Pokemon
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Pawnard and Bidoof on the bench, with another Pawniard as his attacker.
SpartanSmurf #1 puts a steel energy on Pawniard
SpartanSmurf #2 puts a darkness on Inkay, and pecks for 10
SpartanSmurf #1 cuts Inkay for 20
SpartanSmurf #2 pecks for 10.
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Tierno
SpartanSmurf #1 evolves Pawniard into Bisharp…Then uses Wicked Jab.  This costs only 1 energy, and allows a coin flip to paralyze the enemy, but he loses the coin toss.
SpartanSmurf #2 now has Furfrou and Inkay on the bench.
SpartanSmurf #1 plays crushing hammer, and takgets the Furfrou on the bench.
SpartanSmurf #1 knocks out SpartanSmurf #2’s Inkay
SpartanSmurf #2 advances his other
SpartanSmurf #1 does Tierno, and loads his bench with Froakie, Skitty, and Farfetch’d  He Metal Claws Inkay, knocking it out. 
SpartanSmurf #2 plays Furfrou, and sharp fangs Bisharp to knock him out.  SpartanSmurf #1 advances Froakie
SpartanSmurf #1 wins a flip with a Poke ball and evolves Froakie into Frogadier. 
SpartanSmurf #1 Water drips Furfrou.
SpartanSmurf #2 uses the new Pokmaon catcher, to switch out Frogadier with Pawniard.  (nowadays this card requires a coin flip)  SpartanSmurf #2 tight jaws and wins the flip paralyzing Pawniard
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Poke ball again, but loses the flip.
SpartanSmurf #2 sharp fangs the stunted Pawniard for 50, knocking it out.
At this point, the two trainer are at a tie with prize cards
SpartanSmurf #1 plays a Froakie to the bench.  Then uses his active Frogadier to aqua wave Furfrou for 40 plus 20 more by winning the coin flip once.
SpartanSmurf #2 tight jaws and wins the flip, paralyzing the Frogadier
SpartanSmurf #2 tight jaws again, but loses to flip.
SpartanSmurf #1 uses Frogadier to water drip Furfrou and knock him out.  SpartanSmurf #2 advances a slugma from the bench.
SpartanSmurf #2 plays Tierno.  Then Poke Ball, but loses the flip.  He combustions Frogadier.
SpartanSmurf #1 then aqua waves, and knocks out the slugma, finishing off all of SpartanSmurf #2’s pokemopn.
SpartanSmurf #1 wins the toss
After Lunch!
SpartanSmurf #1 gets two Froakies.  SpartanSmurf #2 gets Fletchling and Furfrou.  Fletchling is the active Pokemon
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Tierno, and gets Farfetch’d and the stage 1 andStage 2 of Froakie, Frogadier, Greninja
SpartanSmurf #2 gets another Fletchling.
SpartanSmurf #1 aqua-edges Fletchling for 80.  SpartanSmurf #2 advances another fletchling from the bench.
He razor winds.  It deals 20 damage to the Grenninja
SpartanSmurf #1 aqua edges the fletchling, knocking it out.  SpartanSmurf #2 advances Furfrou.  He Tight Jaws Greninja, paralyzing it.
SpartanSmurf #1 Poke ball, loses.
SpartanSmurf #2 puts energy on Slugma.  Then tight Jaws.  But loses the flip and fails to paralyze.  the Greninja.  IT now has 60 damage.
SpartanSmurf #1 has been evolving the other Froakie on the bench.  Now he has two Greninjas!  (It should be noted that SpartanSmurf #2 has accused him of cheating.  I am not so sure.)
SpartanSmurf #1 Aqua-Edges Furfrou.  Now it has 10 life left.
SpartanSmurf #2 tight jaws but fails to paralyze again.  Looks like curtains for Furfrou
Naturally, the Furfrou gets knocked out.  SpartanSmurf #2 advances a Slugma.  Weak sauce.
SpartanSmurf #1 swings for 160 (Slugma is weak to water.)
These two decks are balanced against each other pretty good.  The Fennekin deck really took advantage of the Furfrou, colorless “blah blah blah” Pokemon.  I never got to see Fennekin actually get going.  But it stood no chance agains the water attacks of Froakie and his evolutions, and I predict that most of the time it never will.  So the champions of the Fennekin deck are the colorless Pokemon, and Froakie and his ilk are the champions of the Froakie deck.  If these decks were taken to a tournament, they would lose.  They don’t have enough synergy.  And at least to me, that is what wins the Pokemon TCG…cards that work together.

Pokemon XY Kalos starter deck unboxing and review! Froakie!

SpartanSmurf #1’s deck came in the mail, (finally….)  Was it worth the extra four bucks?  (To be fair, he didn’t know that I would find it in Target…He thought he would have to pre-order!)
Here is the front of the box.  Froakie is the main Pokemon being promoted here.

Here is the back.

Here is what you see when you open the box.

This divides into two dividers.  You can see the promo cards here…Froakie, Frogadier, and Greninja.  All a set.

Here are all the pieces.  Notice that the booster pack is from Pokemon Black and White.  (XY Boosters will not be available ’til next year.)  The coin is bigger than the old coins.  The counters are of a cheaper quality.  And because of Power Creep, I suppose they started printing 100 point damage counters.

Here are the cards spread out!  This deck is only 57 cards…You are supposed to add the promo cards.  It is of all Pokemon that have been released before, so you are not really getting anything new exept new artwork.

So now we are going to square the two decks off against one another….See the next post!

POKEMON XY Kalos Starter Set unboxing and review! Fennekin!

Pokemon cards.  This is what is great about Pokemon to me.  Not the video game or cartoon.  But the cards.

SpartanSmurf #1 wanted the “Froakie” box, and ordered it off of Amazon.  Big mistake.  I saw it and this at Target, on the SHELF!  So I snatched up Fennekin and gave it to SpartanSmurf #2 early….

Front of the box!

Back of the box

When you open the box, this is what you see.

The special foil Fennekin and his evolutions are in a separate piece.

beneath the promos, you see this.

Smaller flatter counters this time around, but a bigger coin!

Here are all of the cards that came with the deck.  The booster pack was from “Black and White: Legendary Treasures”  None of the cards here are of Pokemon that have never been revealed….

So, tomorrow the “Froakie” box should come, and we are going to match the two decks against each other.  I will post the results!