SpartanNerd Sundays…Faith and Mulligans

Ephesians 6:10-18- The Armor of God

My favorite style of Magic The Gathering play is called “constructed”.  I like either “standard” or “modern”. But Legacy and Vintage are beyond me (I’m a cheapskate, remember?).   And I am not good at limited and drafting….

So, you load up a constructed deck…   Maybe 25 lands and your favorite 35 other cards.  And play!
You are putting your faith in what you put in the deck, right?  You know there is nothing there that you didn’t provide ahead of time.  You know that there are no red cards if you are playing black and white.  You know there are four Fencing Aces double striking the truth…You put them there!

I generally mulligan….draw six different cards after the first draw…when I have no land or nothing worthy to play.   Here’s the devotional bit….if I have 5 lands in hand, what are the odds of Mana flood?  I have faith that there is NO WAY the next three turns are going to be all land….I mean, it could happen…(this IS a card game) But probably not.

Does that make sense?   Statistically the odds are in that favor.  
This principle runs truer than true with the Mazes End strategy, where you might just run three copies of each guild gate…If one Dimir Guildgate is out, and the other was milled…guess what…You know you have one more!  You hold Three Boros guild gates?  You need not worry about losing them, and furthermore you know you will be drawing something different each turn.

What does this have to do with anything?

Your deck, ahem, “library” in Magic is like your Christian testimony.  When the old devil tries to vex you away from the truth, you can think back on your life and say to him…”I remember when Jesus did this in my life, or did that in my life.”  It is called “The Shield of Faith.”  You can use it to protect yourself against the fiery arrows of Satan!  You can rely on the things God has provided in you!  You can have those experiences…that spiritual growth…always in mind.

But you have to keep your faith in those things.  The Bible says you have to “Take Up” that shield of faith!  Then swing that sword of truth!

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Dragon’s Maze, Magic the Gathering Trading Card Game Review

I got my pre-order in for a Fat Pack of Magic The Gathering Dragon’s Maze cards on Wednesday at Mad Max’s Comics and Games, and picked it up after work on Friday, as I was permitted.  I also bought the pre-made Azorius deck that goes with Dragon Maze.  Me and my two boys played “Booster Draft” with the included 9 booster packs from the Fat Pack.  Last night I tweaked that Azorius deck.  Here are my thoughts.

Booster Drafting was kind of hard….we only had two “mythic rare” cards.  Also the “rare” cards were also scant.  Each pack come with a guild gate, and it seems that each of our packs also came with at least one “cluestone.”  (Similar to the “keyrunes” in the previous two sets.  Basically throwaway cards.)
But after we got going, and pulled the cards we wanted, I can kind of see what is happening here.

You see, “Dragon’s Maze” is a kind of set meant to overturn the applecart of the previous two sets.  For instance, in my experience, Azorius was kind of weak.  Detain was great, until, you couldn’t detain.  Then you were screwed.  The creatures tend to be smaller and detain tends to trigger only when the creatures enter the battlefield.  So people playing against Azorius kind of knew what to expect.  So the Dragon Maze comes along, and adds more detain, and gives a few more larger creatures to play.  BAM.  Forget that janky three-color mess.  Azorius is strong enough on its on.

For Simic, evolve never really took off.  It was OK to add to your already working green deck, but didn’t seem to be a strategy that worked on its own.  Dragon’s maze is set to fix that.

Boros was too strong.  So in Dragon’s Maze, most of the cards that are worth anything seem to be more expensive to cast.  Hence, a way that some other guilds might be able to get out front.

How about some other things of note….I believe the new “Maze’s End” legendary land is rediculus.  Come on.  Really?  Control 10 gates with different names, you win the game.  Did anyone try and play “Hellkite Tyrant” in Gatecrash?  So you load your deck up with keyrunes and other artifacts, you might be able to build up to 20 if the other players play artifacts.  When you control 20 artifacts, you win the game.  Maybe this card will work in Commander?  Otherwise, there is just no way.  And that is my feeling with Maze’s End, except that there are no legendary’s (in my knowledge) that are five color.

So this card is there just so you can say you have one, I guess.

Also, this time each guild gets a legendary creature to run the maze.  We pulled exactly two of these out of the booster packs.  One kid got the Gruul one.  The other got the Izzet.  Neither seemed that great to me.  Maybe time will give a different answer.  Since I bought the Azorius deck, I have the foil Azorius legendary.  She detains creatures of four converted mana cost or less.  By the time you are on turn 5, which is the minimum for casting her, an opponent likely has a fatty out. So, it works good against the weak cards…..not the endgame cards.  At least she has protection from red!

Fuse is another different idea.  Now you can cast a split card as a single play.  “Turn” and “Burn” for instance.

I like it so far.  Of the three, “Return to Ravnica” “Gatecrash” and “Dragon’s Maze,” I would say that “Gatecrash” was the best.  It got me thinking more aggressively about the game, with Boros and the “battalion” ability finding synergy with “exalted” and “haste,” and Grull with it’s crazy aggro “bloodrush” ability.  I suppose “Dragon Maze” is so far my least favorite of the block.

“Chronic Flooding”  (It has rained gallons lately!)