SpartanNerd Unboxing, Playtest, and Review….Journey to Nyx Event Deck

All week I have been preparing for a modern MTG tournament at The Tangled Web, the only local comic book and cards store here in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The only problem…when I got there..I found out it was a STANDARD TOURNAMENT!

So no “Amulet of Vigor/Primeval Titan” action for me…and furthermore, I hadn’t brought a suitable Standard deck!

Luckily there is a product for one such desperate weekender as me…an EVENT DECK!

(Many thanks to the store owner for knocking a little off of the price for me in my situation.  It was much appreciated, and I implore ANY reader to find this store and shop from there.  They are very nice people.  And the community of Magic players there are very competitive, generally kind, welcoming to new people, good sports, and challenging opponents as well.  You people who don’t live near here only WISH you were so lucky to have such a thing near you to regularly express your nerdery!)

 

All that said.  Here are pictures, and my review of the product!

Here it is.  Fresh in the package just before opening.  (It is sitting on my angel playmat.)

Here it is. Fresh in the package just before opening. (It is sitting on my angel playmat.)

 

2 box unsleeved

This is what the box looks like unsleeved.

 

3 box back

 

4 uninspiring message

You get this rather un-inspiring message…the deck is titled “Wrath of Mortals.” REALLY! (MTG has a famous card, “Wrath of God,” which supposedly destroys all creatures with one big move.) So this is kind of a lame title. Wrath or Mortals.

 

5 spindown counter

I’m glad the life counter actually matches the deck this time. (If you have been reading my blog, you know it kind of bothers me when the dice doesn’t match!)

7 divider

You get this divider

8 inserts

And these two pieces of paper. You know what is going to happen to the one on the right?

 

9 decklist 10 thaumaturge art 11 Harness By Force art

These three images show the important stuff on the papers.  Note the DECKLIST!  I really enjoy the art from “Journey Into Nyx”  That’s why I’m showing you this!

 

12 creatures

Here is the suite of creatures you get.  These are really good creatures, in general.  There are a few that I generally sided out, or just plain took out before the match.  More on that later.

13 chimera 14 Guttersnipe 15 YP

 

These three were the best creatures.  Especially “Spellheart Chimera.”  I have actually made a deck for SpartanSmurf #1 featuring this card before.  He wouldn’t ever play it…(he said he didn’t like the way the chimera looked…ingrate!)  But when I saw this in the deck at a full four copies, and that “Young Pyromancer” and “Guttersnipe” were in here, I knew that this wasn’t going to be an entirely new thing for me after all!  For once, it seems an event deck has a solid strategy!

 

16 Ogre 17 Aetherling 18 Daring Thief 19 Oracle 20 BThaumaturge

For this deck, I could take or leave these guys.  “Aetherling” is a great card always, and he got me one win.  I never saw “Ogre Battledriver” all night.  I actually added more “Battlefield Thaumaturge.”  But he isn’t all he’s cracked up to be.  Usually he would get burned off before you could use him.  And this deck has a curious lack of “strive”cards to allow his first ability to work.  You also probably won’t ever get his heroic to trigger in this deck.  There isn’t even a single aura spell in the deck.  “Daring Thief” was always killed off before he could untap.  I only saw “Oracle of Bones” once all day.  I did get a free burn spell out of him!

 

21 Chandra Phoenix

“Chandra’s Phoenix” is almost more burn spell than creature!  Too bad you only get one.

 

Now for the instants and sorceries.

40 edited sorceries

The most notable of these is “Lightning Strike.”  You get four full copies.  But it is rather generic.  The most fun is probably “Searing Blood.”  I mean, a card like this is really format warping.  Creature burn with player burn all for just two red…amazing!  Great for hitting those mana elves.  I was pleased to get a copy of the red board sweepers, “Mizzium Mortars” and “Anger of the Gods.”  I never saw “Steam Augury” all day.  But “Divination” was a star!

(“Searing Blood” is comparable to “Bile Blight”, in my opinion.  A card that really discourages chumps.)

Now for the lands.  This is where the trumpet says “WAA, Waa, waa.”

34 Land

You get 12 mountains, 8 islands, and 4….GUILDGATES.  REALLY?  NOT EVEN A SINGLE SCRY LAND?  NO SHOCK LAND? NO MANA CONFLUENCE?

Nope.  You get slow-butt guildgates for mana-fixing.  They might as well have just given us 4 more islands.

This is one of the areas where Event Decks in the past generally drop the ball as well.  The main deck cards are pretty good, so I guess they decided to skimp in this area.  Don’t want you to be too successful.

This deck came with a sideboard as well.

35 Sideboard

I sided in every card here at least once, except for “Izzet Staticaster.”  Not really sure why he is here.  I guess to flash in and block someone but not actually hurt them.  I think I will change this card to “Goblin Electromancer” when I get the chance.  The Elixir is always a star.  Basically, I swapped out the Battlefield Thamaturges whenever I sided, as well as “Ogre Battledriver”, “Aetherling”, or anything else that I only had one copy of and switched to a more “control” game.  It is hard to straddle the fence, though, playing burn and control.  The upside is, the “Spellheart Chimera” got to be a surprise big flyer a few times.  Too bad his toughness is only 3.  This makes him susceptible to being killed by bigger flyers, namely “Stormbreath Dragon.”

PLAYING THE DECK.

36 what I changed out

Before I began, I asked my opponent to oblige me in letting me get my head around the deck.  I had a few minutes to “improve it.”  First thing I did was swap two guildgates for “Mana Confluence,” which was in the modern deck I intended to play.  Next I added two more “Battlefield Thaumaturges” from my trade binder, and added “Keranos, God of Storms” and “Niv Mizzet, Dracogenius” from SpartanSmurf #1’s trade binder.  I can’t remember what I swapped out….  Regardless, I was wrong about Battlefield Thaumaturge.  He sucks in this deck.  Maybe not some other deck.  But this one isn’t a place where he shines.  Keranos was good.  He got me at least one win, but I never had my devotion high enough to make him a creature.  Niv Mizzet got me two wins.

Adding these cards got me some attention.  People said “Really?  That comes in the Event Deck?”  But I had to set them straight that I modified it so that I could have a fighting chance.

This deck performed well against green decks that depend on “Elvish Mystic.”  It did well against a Dimir deck that tries to mill you to death and hit you with “Consuming Aberation”.  It did well against red-green at least once.

The deck didn’t do well against “Courser of Kruphix”, who pretty much takes away your burn advantage.  It also didn’t do well against “Prophet of Kruphix,” who makes it so that your opponent can always respond to what you are doing and gives every creature flash.  So Kruphix is the enemy of this deck, it seems!  Also “Stormbreath Dragon” did pretty well against it, but I was able to “Fated Conflagration” him more than once, as well as a “Palukranos, World Eater” once.  Surprisingly, I didn’t see a Black Devotion deck for the entire tournament!

At the end of the day, I had five single wins.  Which means I went 2 wins 3 losses.  Not bad for a deck I never played before, and just bought so I could have something to do instead of pout about bringing the wrong deck.

 

The JOURNEY TO NYX Event Deck gets 3/5.  I took a point off for a poor mana base.  The other point comes off because Battlefield Thaumaturge would probably be better replaced with “Omenspeaker,” who at least lets you Scry 2.

Do you agree?  What would you rate the Journey to Nyx Event Deck?  Let me know in the comments!

 

SpartanNerd On Card Review…Masters of the Universe Hot-Wheels and Matchbox cars

I teach in an elementary school…so my toys are welcome!

I have a habit of opening most things I buy, but I decided to keep these cars on card.  Notice I didn’t say “Mint On card.”  No the packages are a little banged up etc, and they were when I got them for that matter.

 

These cars hang on my office wall, and the students really enjoy looking at them.  In the past I have also displayed my 200x He-Man with Iron Cross Variant MOC as well.

Here are some pics of the cars I have.  The Matchbox cars were purchased on clearance at Wal-Mart or Big Lots, and the SpartanWife got the newer Hot-Wheels for me for Father’s day a few years ago.

cars all six

Here is my complete collection. I hang these on my office wall.

 

matchbox back hot wheels back

The backs of the cards…The Hot-Wheels (right) shows off the other cars in the line.  Too bad I don’t have more of these!  On the other hand, the front packaging of the Hot-Wheels cars is more boring, featuring the same “He-Man on Battlecat” art for each different car.  The 200x Matchbox cars show a picture of the car’s corresponding figure.  But the back of that package is bland, only showing you the same sentence in multiple languages.  The good thing is that you get to see what that mini-poster looks like…(top right.)

cars 6 logo cars 5 eternia

The orange car features the Masters of the Universe logo.  The truck features side-panel art of the three towers.  I would point out that the current MOTUC ideas really show a desire to bring out the three towers, though there doesn’t seem to be any official way for them to happen.  This little car is another example of that.  Anyone else notice that He-Man is wielding his axe in his LEFT HAND!

cars 4 manat cars 3 strat

cars 2 he cars 1 skele

 

I decided not to remove the price tag stickers for fear of tearing the print from the card.  That poster bugged me for a long time.  It never occurred to me to see what it was a pic of by looking at the back of the box!  But I was strong.  I never opened it!  I like how the He-Man has that Iron Cross on his chest…just like my Mint On Card figure!  I like how Skeletor gets the Limo!  That fits him soooo well!  Man-At-Arms gets the armored tank also.  But Stratos’ and He-Man’s choice of car are more puzzling.  Why not make Stratos have a plane?  That totally could have happened.  He-Man gets a Sedan?  Really?

Overall, I enjoy looking at these.  I am always finding something new.  Did anyone else notice that the Matchbox cars are facing the opposite direction of the Hot-Wheel’s cars?  See…I have really studied these things!

I rate them…On card…4/5.  Mostly because He-Man gets a Sedan, and not a Monster Truck, or Dodge Viper, or some other muscle car.  Nope.  His is Cab Forward Design.  And Fuel Efficient, of course, with 30 MPG (Hwy miles.)

 

What would you rate them?  Let me know!

NATURE OF THE BEAST Magic the Gathering Commander unboxing and review

 

Ever the cheapskate, the SpartanNerd was shopping at the Goodwill, and…what…was…in…the…case??????? (The glass case at the front for “specialty items?”)

 

That’s right!  the final Commander set that I did not own.  For $30?  Nope.  $10?  Nope.  $8?  YES!  They also had Power Hungry and Evasive Manuevers.  But I already had those!  (I thought about getting them anyways.  What a deal!)

 

So I present my unboxing and review!

 

(Disclaimer.  I used a different camera this time, with some blurry results.  Sorry!)

Here is the box.  Notice the Ceremonial sticker at the top.  $8.00!

Now for the back.

Anyone notice that this commander is a MOOSE?

Lets crack it open.

NATURE OF THE BEAST comes in a similar deckbox as the others in this set.  This time it is green, to highlight that this deck is aimed at green magic players.  (Not Martians.  People who play green magic, silly!)  When you remove the top of the box you get to see the main commander moose, Marath, Will of the Wild.  He is pretty good, having counters determined by the amount of mana spent to pay for him, and able to give those to someone else.

Now for a look at all three commander cards.  Yep.  Just like the other sets, this one has three also.

 

Of the three, I have only ever seen Mayael the Anima actually played before.  Competitive players like card draw, and green doesn’t get that much.  So that’s my theory why.

The other two, Marath Will of the Wild and Geiji Honored One both add to the Beast flavor of this deck…both can pump creatures.

So what else came with this deck?

Here’s a pic.  I don’t need to be reminded that I am a Planeswalker anymore, so I trashed that right away!

The pick also shows another paper, which is the “instruction manual” for the deck.  The most important thing here is the deck list, which I will reveal below.

First of all, there is a strong tribal vibe to this deck.  There are more Beast creatures than anything else.  Here is a picture of a select few.

Not only are they Beasts.  THEY ARE BEAST!!  And nearly every one has an ability that either has something to do with land or pumping someone else.

They’re not ALL beasts though.  Here are the other creatures.

These guys compliment the beasts pretty good.  They are all ust as expensive and all.  The least inspired of them seems to be the Archangel, who it is nice to see the classic art of.  However, it’s still just a plain old 5/5 flyer with vigilance.  Not really sure why she’s here, except that it caters to a certain style of fan.

There are some good artifacts in this deck.  I am a fan of the colored artifact hammer thing here.  Of course we get the Sol ring, which I learned the hard way was banned in Modern…Hey.  It’s a great card.  Too great I guess.  Then there is the Swiftfoot boots.  An underpowered filler.  This is the kind of thing I groan about when I get it in a booster pack.  Yet every Commander deck in this set came with a copy of this card.  Why?

There are a lot of different kinds of land in this deck, but I thought I would share my favorite standouts here.

Mosswort Bridge is a “Hideaway Land.”  I had none of these before!  It’s cool!  Basically you get to exile some cards, and then you can play them much cheaper.  A great advantage for this deck especially, with its really high mana curve.  The Contested Cliffs card is aimed at that tribal beast flavor, forcing a fight between a one of your beasts and someone else’s probably weaker creature.

Blah Blah Blah.  Yes there are instants, sorceries, and enchantments.  But lets get down and see how the first match went.

I played the first match against three family members, each of which were playing one of the other decks unmodified, except for the Nekuzar the Mind Razer deck.  (The person playing this deck really wasn’t into it today anyway.)

I used Marath, but never casted him.  I did get to cast Mayael the Anima, twiche actually…(she was sent back to my hand.)  On about turn twelve, the Power Hungry deck was finishing everyone off…I mean, it’s hard to beat that big flyer, no matter how much “trample” you can get from your beasts.

Which confirms why my Magic color of choice is BLACK and not GREEN.  I disagree with that philosophy, to sort of quote Gideon.

Regardless, I got a great value for this deck.  I’m sure I will have many more wins to it.  But for now, I am putting it with the other decks, I HAVE A COMPLETE COLLECTION!

 

I am going to rate this deck 3/5, removing a point because there aren’t many flyers, or at least people with reach.  And removing a point because the commander is a MOOSE.  (the main reason I haven’t bought this deck is simply because of that.  I think I am going to nickname THE NATURE OF THE BEAST, “The Getalong Gang!”

What do you rate it?  Let me know by sending a comment, oh Hub City Geeks!

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…VINTAGE ALERT! 200x Two Bad

SpartanNerd, you wanted a MOTUC Two-Bad.   Well.  Too bad!
So I will settle for the next best thing.  200x Two-Bad.
IMHO, the vintage 1980’s Two-Bad was not very good.  I remember making him punch the opposite face all the time.  And that’s about it.  He couldn’t stand very well, because he was top heavy.  He couldn’t hold weapons because his hands were permanent fists.  And his shield didn’t fit on his arms correctly.  I did enjoy the power of punching with the spiny loaded arms and waist feature combined, however.  This was the strongest action feature in the original figures.
200x Two-Bad doesn’t have any of those problems, and the action feature is also pretty cool.  So he is an advance in every way!
Here is Two-Bad in his original packaging.  Notice the price tag.
The dude at the Barnyard Fleamarket shaved a little off.

This back is different from Beast Man and He-Man.  We get a nice large pic of the figure.  It still has the annoying foreign languages all over the package.  They should have made a different card for the foreign languages, and gave people something else to collect, rather than this all-inclusive strategy.  I like the white outline around the figure.
I took this pic when I removed him from the packaging.  Impressive!
Two Bad has no problem standing.  The weapon is cool,
sporting a hinge between the two pieces.

No big button behind this figure.  His arms are spring loaded themselves.
Notice that the Baddra side of Two-Bad is the exact same color as Spikor!  In this pic you can see that Two-Bad is noticeably shorter than the MOTUC figures.  😦  Also, both heads seem a tad smaller than He-Man and Beast Man’s heads.

Here is a shot of all of my baddies together.  The best thing about Two Bad is he helps fill my ranks a bit!

So, what is my rating of Two-Bad?  I like that he is an improvement on the 1980’s figure in every way.  His arms are way better.  The Horsemen sculpted him, and he is very detailed.  He has excellent weapons.  He stands nicely.  The only point was taken off because of his slightly off scale build, which was probably done to save money on a fig that was fully tooled.

I rate 200x Two-Bad 4/5.  Do you agree?  Let me know!

SpartanNerd Scoop….Detective Comics #27 review

Why is this a scoop…Almost nobody has reviewed this yet!  I Googled to read other peoples reviews, and they were quite scant.

Variant Cover #2.  This was the cover most often seen in ads.

So I scooped all of Nerd-dom this time!  (Probably not really)

Detective Comics #27 in 1939 was the first time Batman appeared anywhere.  Not long after, Detective Comics was completely about Batman.  And that is all the information I could regurgitate that I most likely learned from Wikipedia at some point!

Fast forward to the New 52.  The current DC Comics universe.  New readers might not know, The New 52 was a massive relaunch of DC Comics two Septembers ago.  The SpartanNerd began reading them then, being intimidated by the vast history of DC Comics before the relaunch.  I felt it would be a good jumping-on point.  And I was correct!  This relaunch included a re-numbering, each issue became #1.  And so now, we are back at #27, and to celebrate the milestone of the original Detective Comics #27, DC has printed a MASSIVE tribute issue!

There are six variant covers…I picked up variant cover #2 in the comic book store last night.  Cover #1 will likely come to me in the mail with my subscription.  Other covers include a Frank Miller Catwoman cover.  (And then there are 3 more, oh math scholars!)

Cover #2, by Christ Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn is kind of cartoony…featuring Batman very large, with Batwoman, Batwing, the Talon, and someone else….???  (I almost thought it was the Talon, but then saw him in the air….)

There is an ad, right behind the cover, but it is just about the only ad in the whole thing.  There is an ad for the Kubert school somewhere in it, but besides the back cover, that’s about it.  (A quick flip reminded me of a Scribblenauts ad.)

The first real page is a table of contents\credits page.  We get seven different stories in this issue!  I am going to go down them all, and put forth my review!  There will likely be SPOILERS….READ NO FURTHER IF YOU WANT UNTAINTED EARS!




The table of contents\credits page.


THE CASE OF THE CHEMICAL SYNDICATE…

Hope you heeded my warning!  This first story is meant to be a classic Batman story.*  The art is the average of what we have seen since the late 1980’s   We see Bruce Wayne talking to himself, and talking to himself.  Which was sort of off-putting to me at first.  But I have been reading these things long enough to know that something was going on.  In the end, we were seeing snips from “The Journal of the Bat-Man.”  I like that Batman says one time “I’m still too new at this!”  The end of this story has someone falling into an acid vat, and the last panel of course shows their hand climbing out.

Now, I am certain that this isn’t supposed to be a canonical story.  The New 52 story of the Joker has been hashed out several times.  We saw the Red Hood fall into a vat in the Zero Year Batman story.  Not to mention the Joker reinforcing this origin story in “Death of the Family,” and even making Harley go through the experience.

No, this isn’t a mainline story.  It sets the stage for the vignettes we are going to be getting throughout the rest of the book.

I LIKE THE ART, I LIKE THE STORY, RATING 5/5.  I like the pulpy nature of it!
*This is a re-telling of the original Detective Comics #27.  Oddly, I didn’t remember it panning out the way this did



OLD SCHOOL…

This story begins with a cover, letting you know what it coming!

The “cover art” of “Old School”

Basically, you begin with old-style comics material, with Batman and Robin in their original looks.  As the story progresses, Batman’s costume evolves, and the artwork does as well, until it looks like Detective Comics artwork looks now, as different villains do ridiculous things to him.  How is this vignette justified?  Batman has fallen asleep in a comic books store, and people are dressed in costumes all around him for Batman’s 75th Anniversary party.  The last panel, he picks up a copy of “Detective Comics #27”  (The original.)

THIS IS A REALLY DIFFERENT STORY.  RATING 5/5!



BETTER DAYS…

Probably a non-cannonical story also.  This one shows Batman as old as he would be for real, with Alfred in a wheelchair.  We see Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne also.  Dick is still night wing, and Damien is currently Batman.  And Barbara Gordon is the commissioner.  They are celebrating his birthday, and an alarm goes off.  So the younger heroes go off to work!  But Bruce decides to suit up and beat them to the crime scene!  They come back, the work already done, wondering how it was possible….

I like how we get to see Damien alive…But other than that, I think it is weak story.  And I don’t care for all the cursing…it seems there is some four letter bomb on every page.  I don’t like the lines either.  It says Bertram is the artist, who is that?  It looks like …. something you would see in I don’t know.  Something I wouldn’t read.

WEAK STORY, POOR ARTWORK.  UNNECESSARY CURSING, MINIMAL ACTION.  BUT DAMIEN WAS ALIVE.  2/5



HERO…

Oddly, this story is labeled “Hero” in the Table of Contents, it is called “Rain” on its first page.  The art is far superior to the previous vignette.  And it says Five Years Ago.  This is to tell the regular readers that this happened at about the time the Justice League came on the scene in the New 52 Story arc.  It is the shortest story, and the most puzzling.  I like it…but…

Basically, Batman comes in from the Batmobile, swoops down and saves a woman and her child, who then says “Thank you for saving me…again..”  Before Batman can question him about what he said, BOOM, an explosion happens and Batman saves the kid.  The kid is called “Junior” by his mom.  What I can make of this is the kid must be James Gordon, Jr.  But maybe not…He looks like it with those glasses and the way that hair is parted.  But if this is five years ago, it seems the kid couldn’t be James Gordon, Jr.  He looks to be early 20’s?  This kid looks like he’s 11 at the oldest…

WHATEVER….MAYBE I MISSED SOMETHING OR FORGOT SOMETHING SOMEWHERE.  5/5!



THE SACRIFICE…

I am all about sacrificial characters.  So right away, I am pulled into this story.  The first thing we see is The Phantom Stranger, a character fairly new to me, with the whole Pandora/Trinity War/Forever Evil story arc.  Anyways, the Phantom Stranger shows Batman what life would be like if he got his wish…If his parents had lived through their murder.  (If his father was only wounded).

Batman sees several things.  His parents live on and shelter him.  Dick Grayson winds up on Death Row, he is married to Natalya Trusevich (recently killed by the Mad Hatter in The Dark Knight #20, a Russian pianist.  She was tragically dropped onto the Bat-Signal.)  They have a child as well.  And Ras Al Ghul is taking over Europe.

As pleasant as the thought is to Bruce of not losing his parents, he sees that the world lost something more without the Batman.  And in order for Batman to exist, his parents had to be killed.  Such irony.

I like that they brought Natalya back.  All around, not much has been said about Bruce’s grief over the loss of his lover.  It was all around the same time that Damian was killed, so that overshadowed this story.  (That and the fact that the Mad Hatter thing was a little weak).

WE GET TO SEE THE PHANTOM STRANGER, A FUTURE WITHOUT BATMAN, AND WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED BETWEEN BRUCE AND NATALYA.  THE ART IS SUBDUED AND MUTED, NOT MY FAVORITE.   SO 4/5.


GOTHTOPIA…

“And all is right in the world”…Catwoman gets to be Batman’s lover,
Batman has a permanent understudy.

Now for the real deal.  This is what would have been printed in Detective Comics #27 if it wasn’t a big extravaganza.  And there has been tons of hype!  And…the final panel of the last Detective Comics story arc featured “Catbird,” the new “Robin,”  not really putting the question of who the next Robin will be to rest, however.  Catbird is Catwoman in a Robin-esque costume.

All the previews prepared us for this.  Gotham is now the safest city in America, bighter and more akin to Metropolis.  And it is a “Utopia” because of Batman and his fellow heroes.  It is furthermore a Utopia because people have what they desire.  The Roman Sionis is Commissioner.  Catwoman is Batman’s lover, and fully knows his identity.  (They are seen together in the bat cave unmasked.)  The Oswald Cobblepot is the mayor.  All of the heroes seem to be brighter.  “Blue Belle and Brightbat” are apparently Batwoman and Bat-Girl.  (Maybe.)  Batwing is now “Flying Fox”.  The Talon is “the Gothamite.”  Birds of Prey are now “Wings of Truth.”

And Batman is redesigned.  He has a lighter colored costume.  It almost looks white!  Really a bright grey.  As the story progresses, we’re not really sure what is happening.  Batman appears to be more of a policeman in this comic, not really fighting crime so much as helping people with tragedy.  And he is unable to explain or save people who are committing suicide, (there is a higher suicide rate than usual.)  Apparently Bruce catches wind that something has changed about him, and Selina and the other Heroes want to stop him from uncovering the truth.  Batman winds up in the asylum with his enemies at the end.

Questions…Should I be buying all relevant issues to “get” this story?  It says I should follow the Gothtopia storyline in Batwing 27, Batgirl 27, Catwoman 27, and Birds of Prey 28.  I haven’t read any of these titles before.  Should I have picked up Batwing last night?  I guess we’ll see.  I haven’t read a single Batwing story.  It does say “next: INSTITUTIONALIZED.”

MY INTEREST IN THIS STORY IS PIQUED.  I HAVE BEEN WAITING TO SEE DETAILS ABOUT BATMAN:ETERNAL.  THIS ISSUE HAS ME A LITTLE PSYCHED.  BUT I AM NOT SURE ABOUT WHAT IS NECESSARY, AND DC HASN’T MADE THAT CLEAR.  I LIKE THE ART AND THE STORY, AND RATE THIS 5/5.


TWENTY-SEVEN…

The final vignette, a future reality.  Batman has clones of himself working as Batman.  He sees an older version of himself tutoring his new clone.  It is apparently 200 years in the future, and Batman is still at work.  We get to see lots of different future Batmen and Robins, and future villains and threats.

THIS IS A COOL STORY, THAT MAKES YOU THINK.  WITH TERRIFIC ARTWORK.  AND IT IS GOOD TO SEE A FUTURE BATMAN.  THIS STORY GETS A 5/5 FOR SHEER COOLNESS!


SpartanNerds overall review of Detective Comics #27…It was all I hoped it would be!  5/5!



SpartanNerd Review…Commander Unboxing…Evasive Maneuvers

Evasive Manuevers….Commander Deck Unboxing and Review.
Commander, or EDH (whichever you prefer,) is a format for Magic: The Gathering that people seem starved for…Usually they are trying to sneak in a round in between Standard tournament matches, etc.  I have been sort of puzzled by that…thinking it is fun…but is it that fun?
My experiences with Commander come from playing at home with my boys…no surprise really.  The games would tend to be longer, but otherwise, besides the “commander factor” the same and just as fun, just more restricted fun.  (You may only have one copy of each card in your 100 card deck, besides basic land)
BUT that was before this deck!  I think the reason I have had “meh” feelings about the whole thing is that my decks didn’t really “do anything.”  They were more of a collection of cards that I like…that were generally unplayable in standard for some reason.
So my first cohesive deck is one that I buy ready made, it it works great!
Evasive Maneuvers comes in this blister packaging,  You can see the oversized foil Derevi, Empyrial Tactician clearly.  Notice the price…I used a $10 coupon, so this cheapskate didn’t pay full price!  (I hear that Oloro’s deck is fetching around $100 on the internet!)

Here’s the back.  I didn’t read it.  But it is supposed to sell you on buying the deck.  Derevi is impressive enough for me, and I have been playing his colors in Standard for awhile.  (White, Green, and Blue, also known as Bant)

When you open the box, you see this.

and here are the contents, underneath the foils.

This deck comes with not only Derevi, but also two other Commanders,
Rubinia Soulsinger, and Roon of the Hidden Realms (A Rhino!).  The deck comes with a regular
card of these also, as they complete the 100 cards.
But clearly Derevi is the star!

Here is a picture of the deck list.

Here is some blurb about how to play the deck.

and a nice poster.

I wish I could have made it to a “serious” tournament before this review…unfortunately Christmas Singing obligations kept me away from the one at the Tangled Web today.  There are two more planned for the future that I know of, and I may be able to attend those and play this deck.

So my first match was against my oldest son, who is currently playing a self built Excava, Blood Witch Commander deck.  (See Excava here.)  It is an aggressive Rakdos strategy, and he uses a lot of burn spells and haste, as well as favors goblins.

I beat him soundly!  And on all fronts.  Here are the cards I used to do so….There are certainly more cards to see, however.

The Mistmeadow Witch got a lot of attention from some veteran players last night
as I showed off  the deck to the people at the Standard tournament at the TW.
Apparently, Kithkins were a big deal in former Magic sets.  This cards activated ability was the way I ousted Excava the first time.  He was never able to get her out again before I finished him off.  (I mean he could have..he chose not to)

This card is kind of a more powerful Tidebinder Mage.  It flys…so….He had no flyers.  

This is apparently a reprinted card from the ancient past of Magic.
I used this to cast Blue Sun’s Zenith, (not shown here).  But that instant put cards in my hand when I was starting to feel a lack of fun because I had no hand anymore.

I was delighted to get to play a “level-up” card.  This deck has two!  I had never played one before,
but have played against people that do at Modern tournaments.

This was one of my last plays.  It didn’t get to do much….

I put this card onto Dungeon Geists…I never had to use it, though.

I DID use this card…Sort of a Wrath of God.  And because I had the two tokens afterward,
they were part of me winning the game!

I mention this because one of the key things was that MANA WASNT A PROBLEM!
I used this spell to get Evolving wilds back out…(It was the only land card in my graveyard)

Rubinia made an appearance, giving me control of Krenko, Mob Boss.  My son really didn’t appreciate this, so he just burned her.  A key point to remember for the future…She’s not to hard to kill off.  AND, if she’s tapped, she isn’t doing much else, is she?

Thoughts on the match…Excava is no lightweight…But I just had more access to stuff.  I had out Darksteel Ingot, Basalt Monolith, and Selesnya Signet, in addition to 12 basic lands and Faerie Conclave and Bant Panorama.  By the end of the game…with the mana-fixing artifacts coming out early giving me the power to do just about anything I wanted.

This caused another problem, though.  My hand was empty for the mid-game.  And I was powerless to do anything but block and activate abilities, of which all I had was the Mistmeadow Witch and Derevi.  Derevi’s ability was great…He got sent to the command zone twice, and I was able to get him out cheap!  But my source of card draw came from SpartanSmurf #1 playing Sign In Blood, which got the Blue Sun Zenith into my hand, which I played at the end of his turn in response to him trying to remove Mistmeadow Witch…( I wasn’t able to counter him)

The game ender came after all this.  I got out Kirtar’s Wrath, and nuked everything.  He had more stuff out than me, so it was not biggie…This gave me the upper-hand with the two spirits, then I was able to also get Derevi out of the command zone.  At the END OF HIS TURN (So he was ready to attack next turn!  Then I played Aethermage’s Touch, which got out the Skyward Eye Prophets, and I got to play Curse of Predation.  SpartanSmurf #1 didn’t have much life left, so when I swung all-out, it was curtains for him!

Commander damage didn’t even figure into all of this…It was all regular damage!

Thoughts on what you get.…You get the three commanders…all Bant, so that’s cool.  I especially like the Rhino…Rhino’s are becoming one of my favorite animals.  (Maybe it is their big nose!)  Some of the cards in here are apparently lusted after by long-time players.  “Sol Ring,” for example.  You also get a pretty nice box…But it won’t fit your cards if you sleeve them…it is a snug fit as it is.

I am keeping the deck list for reference.  The Wizards are wasting paper by including the blue propaganda that comes with almost every Magic: The Gathering product.

My Rating…I give Evasive Maneuvers a 5 out of 5!  I can’t wait to get more of these decks….I have been hint dropping the SpartanWife for Oloro, Ageless Ascetic’s Esper Commander deck.  Basically, I see him as kind of like me…Sitting in that chair, He-Man’s sword leaned up by the side, drinking a Diet Dew, totally ripped (now I’m dreaming)