SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Commander 2014 “Sworn to Darkness” EDH Deck

This year, a big revision is made to the rules for Commander…Planeswalkers can now be your general!  I supposed technically only the five that were released for Commander 2014, but it isn’t much of a stretch to see all Planeswalkers allowed as commanders.  (Evidently some circles of players were already doing this regularly.)

The decks this year contrast the decks from the past two years, in that they are a single color.  At first I was like, “Mono-colored Commander decks…BORING!”  I didn’t do a lot of spoiler reading or anything, only really checking out what each Planeswalker Commander could do, and skimming deck lists for notable cards.  But after really looking at “Sworn to Darkness,” I see that this is one of the finest decks ever produced for the format!  (Remember, I unboxed and reviewed all five of the Commander 2013 sets.)

The first thing I have to say, though has nothing to do with the product so much.  Commander 2014 costs more than 2013.  $5 to $10 more.  I think when you see this review, you will see where that value is.

First, the packaging.

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A nice package.  I finally learned… (five decks later!)…That it is best to OPEN FROM THE BOTTOM!  Anyways, the package shows the oversized “Ob Nixilis, of the Black Oath” card, with flavorful purple styling complimenting the black shadows.  The yellow burst says that there are 15 brand new cards in this set.  It also says that there is a 100 card deck meant for multiplayer formats.  The backside of the deck shows Ob Nixilis again, along with five amazing cards, including Ghoulcaller Gisa, who we will revisit in a minute.  You get some hype about the deck, and that’s about it.

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Here are the contents.  Notably, this time, you only get one oversized foil card.  You get the same kind of deck box that we’ve seen before, which is really pretty nice.  All five of my others have stood the test of time!  You also get a guide to the deck, a general guide to playing Magic, (But commander is a variant, so…)  And then you also get the deck of course.  It’s cool that you get Ob Nixilis’s emblem on top.

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The propaganda that comes with the deck gives you some of Ob Nixilis’s story.  You also get a blurb about Gisa.  The other side most importantly features the decklist.    I suppose I should mention that I think the art is pretty good.  Ob Nixilis is a pretty detailed character, if he does have a boring color scheme.  But hey, he is “Of the Black Oath,” so I guess that is forgivable.  (or is it unforgivable…hmmmm.??)

The Deck

When you get the cellophane off of the deck…first you get a ton of tokens on top!

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But this time a new twist….DOUBLE SIDED TOKENS!  Great Idea, Wizards!

The backside of all of these cards is a Zombie.

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Alright already!  What does this deck really do?

There are so many rares…I’m not even sure how many.  Most of the cards in this deck!

I am going to present the cards as pictures with some commentary where appropriate.

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First the potential generals. Ob Nixiis of the Black Oath is VERY GOOD.  On turn five of every game, you have the opportunity to have a 5/5 flying demon.  WOW!  (That was his negative ability.)  Or you can choose to drain a little and plus him up 2.  But if you are able to get his ultimate to work, you can get a machine going

Ghoulcaller Gisa is a great sac outlet, and a way to get zombies out and over-run your opponent.  And this deck has plenty of fatties to sac!  (Anyone else notice that her initials are “GG”?

Then there’s Drana, who can destroy anything and swing in for nasty damage.  She really punishes large creature strategies.  But also she can be pumped by targeting your own creatures.

GG and Ob Nixilis are the two most obvious commanders for this deck.  It is good that we get Gisa in case some players object to the Planeswalker as a commander.

What else?  Here goes!  I will show you each rare with some commentary where it is most significant

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Morbid is some of what makes this deck fun! Here you get a 5/5 black demon with flying if something died this turn. And lots of things die with this deck, either to kill spells, in combat, or being sacrificed!

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I can’t say enough about Lashwrithe. If you get this on the field, then just pay two life to equip it, you make a creature with huge power. And then sac it with Gisa…BAM tons of zombie tokens!

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Wow. The first command I own!

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Black Sun Zenith. YES!

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I really don’t like the art on this one. Look closely….

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You get a suite of sweepers! The more stuff dies, the better creatures tend to get in this deck!

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Check out the next four cards.

 

 

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Sadly, I find the first major quality control issue I have ever seen in a new Magic the Gathering product.  I’m sure there is some machine somewhere that prints these cards and assembles the decks in a uniform order.  The machine must have been malfunctioning.  All of the cards, fromPestilence Demon through Bad Moon had a blueish ink spot on them.  At first I thought it might be part of Pestilence Demon’s art…it made it look extra pestilence-y.  But apparently not after seeing the same smear on the other cards.

 

I intend to call the Wizards and see what was up with this.  Anyone else had such an issue?  I also hear there are people who collect misprinted cards.*(nope.  See below)

 

 

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What? The D-word on the SpartanNerd blog?

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GRAVE TITAN! Someone somewhere has read where this is one of my top three favorite cards! It is one of the first rares I ever pulled from a booster pack! It continues to be amazing!

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Luitenant…a new mechanic for this set. It is way better than “tempting offer” in the last set.

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This guy is scary!

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Here is the opposite of Platinum Angel!

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How the deck plays.

As of this review I have played exactly three games with this deck.  I tried out Ob Nixilis and Gisa both as generals.  They are both excellent!.  I am trying to get out a speedy review, so I might update this section later.*

My first matchup was great because it was against a largely vanilla Prossh, Skyraider of Kher deck, from Commander 2013.  The matchup was about an hour and fifteen minutes long.  Prossh tries to get tokens on the battlefield and then sacrifice those to make stuff bigger.  Most of those tokens are chump blockers.  Eventually, I barely lost.  Both of us were drawing cards and finding win-cons.  Prossh was just more ready at the right time.

Ob Nixilis’s ability to get out 5/5 flying demons is killer!  You can do a lot with those.  Big flyers.  Sacrifice them to get card draw or beef stuff up.  Block chump flyers.  Or pile up and attack!  The +2 drain ability is the almost irrelevant part.  I never got to ultimate him, so haven’t tried out the emblem thing yet.  The Prossh deck made a lot of irrelevant tokens.  I was able to sweep those several times, while the 5/5 fliers lived on!  I was able to remove Prossh and other baddies by bouncing Shriekmaw a few times, at least once with Profane Command.  Also, Drana’s ability is a great removal.

In my second match, against some kind of hexproof deck, I had mana screw.  The thing about this deck…It wants to have at least five mana.  So OH WELL!

The third match was against a Karn Silver Golem deck.  My opponent was able to get out all kinds of nasties.  Platinum Angel was one of them, Cranial Plating was another.  And lots of Myrs, and a Bonehoard.  I won this match, though.  This time I made Gisa my general, and I think I will use her from now on.  She is AMAZING in this deck!  I think she might have moved up on my list of favorite cards.  Her ability, pay a swamp and sac something for 2/2 zombie tokens equal to the sacrificed creature’s power, isn’t anything to sniff at.  Especially when you are making 5/5 demons pretty regularly, equipping Lashwrithe on something pumping its power big time, or other things.  In fact, you can just start a chain reaction of zombies, if you think about it, if you start with sacking one zombie, then you get two.  choose one of those, then you have three.  Get it?  She is amazing.  And this deck was able to overrun that wimpy affinity thing.

What will I change?

This deck needs some Lilianna.  Of every flavor.  I think I will switch out some of the mana rocks.  For instance, Charcoal Diamond enters the battlefield tapped, can be tapped for a swamp, and costs two.  WHY?  Welcome to the deck, Elbrus the Binding Blade.  (Oh how he loves Commander!)    Otherwise, I think I will keep this deck as it is.  Maybe changing in or out one or two creatures.  Maybe Geralf’s Messenger or something.  I don’t even really want to play Vampire Nighthawk, another favorite card!  I was really down on the inclusion of Swiftfoot Boots.  This was in EVERY DECK LAST TIME.  But then, I equipped in onto a 5/5 demon on the same turn he came out, and changed my mind.  Haste and Hexproof isn’t irrelevant after all!  Some of the mana could be made more interesting.  And why doesn’t this deck have “corrupt?”

My rating for “Commander 2014: Sworn to Darkness.”

Of the many official Commander decks I have seen, I think Sworn to Darkness stands a head taller than them all!  I would give it a 6 out of five if I could.  the only thing I found wrong is the little misprint that was on four or five of the cards.  I will keep my readers posted on how or if the Wizards make it better for me somehow.

SO I RATE “SWORN TO DARKNESS 5/5.  DO you agree?  Let me know in the comments!

 

 *Update #1…

I took “Sworn to Darkness” to the sealed deck two-headed giant tournament at the Tangled Web this past weekend, and got to play some multiplayer with this deck.  The mana-hunger of this deck is no joke.  And that seems to be where it is weakest.  On the other hand, sitting without that much land to do things makes you less of a threat.

I chose Ghoulcaller Gisa as my General.  People were surprisingly unfamiliar with her.  (The other commanders were Freyesa, the green planeswalker from this set.  Narset from Khans, and Derivi from last years set.)  Anyways, the green Planeswalker guy scooped early, frustrated because he “washed out” all of the islands, making the other two players choose him as a target.  This gave me plenty of time to bake my strategy.  The surprising card of the day was “Crypt of Aberdeen.”  That card produced insane mana as creatures were hitting the graveyard due to their sweepers, etc.  Once I had Gisa and Drana on the battlefield at one time.  Could you imagine!  Before I could activate the combo and load the board with zombies, they were both killed off!  Gisa was cast no less than five times, thanks to that cool little land. The other surprising card is Shriekmaw.  Because the deck reanimates things so readily, I was able to get several creatures destroyed with his enters-the-battlefield trigger.  One more big surprise…Aether Snap!  This kills off stuff with counters, including Planeswalkers!  Someone had a Gideon out attacking people.  Aether Snap put an end to that!  I wound up losing this match being next to last.  My opponent put Raving Dead under Mimic vat, and began attacking me with multiple copies.  Cards like that in the other set have also proven to be risky…(I’m thinking about Serra Avatar in Oloro. Ageless Ascetic’s deck.)  The deck was fun and held up, so once again, very satisfied!

I have since swapped a few cards.  I removed one of the lands and switched to Reliquary Tower…this deck gets enough card draw that it might be useful to hold cards.  On the other hand, ditching cards in the graveyard fuels stuff up…I swapped “bad sol ring” out for Elbrus, and added Lilliana Vess and Lilliana of the Dark Realms.  Someone asked me about Ob Nixilis Unshackled.  I DO have a copy, and might consider adding him.  My opponents were cracking fetch lands, so Ob Nixilis Unshackled’s ability would have been useful!  Can’t readily remember the other swaps.  But They were cheaper to cast, and involved zombies, usually.

One more thing.  People were really interested in the misprinted cards, especially Pestilence Demon.  I was encouraged to hang on to them, as the aftermarket value tends to be pretty high nowadays for such cards.  The wizards don’t let that stuff slip out too often anymore.  Even more so since it makes the Pestilence Demon look even cooler!  So I won’t be sending them in, Hub City Geeks.

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 Unboxing and Review…Magic the Gathering Planechase “Primordial Hunger”

Today we went out of town, looking for Star Wars miniatures and the like.  No luck there.  But I DID find something I have been meaning to pick up!

A few years ago.  Not that long ago, really, this was a common item.  But now you can’t find it anywhere.  I heard it was “wildly fun” and decided I wanted to get it.  But haven’t been able to find it locally.  But this store I went to in Gastonia today, “All Things Collectable” had one of each from the set.  I decided to just get one.  And why not JUND?  Red Green and Black are the SpartanNerd family colors!

Here are some pictures and my review.

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Yep. I paid all of the $30 this time.

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The back of the box gives lots of details, and shows off the other sets of Planechase as well.

 

 

 

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First things first. The most important part of the Planechase deck. THE PLANES!

 

Each plane has two abilities.  One that triggers when you move to the plane and usually at other times, like during your upkeep.  The other ability is called the chaos ability.  And that ability is usually something pretty powerful.

Here are some pics of each plane.

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My favorite so far has been the JUND plane.

You also get this dice.  It has only two marks.  The Planeswalker symbol and the Chaos symbol.

(Not pictured are the two Phenomenon cards.  My photo was too blurry.)

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You roll the dice on every turn.  It either lands on the Planeswalker, the Chaos, or nothing.   This variable can REALLY shake up a game of Magic.

 

What else do you get? A deck to play with this set.  (You can play with any deck you want.  This is a suggested deck.)

 

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Inside the deck box I was surprised to find two cellophane wrapped pieces. One is the deck. The other is the instructions and propaganda.

 

Lets have a look at those cards…

 

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How about a little at a time….

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Some of these are insane. The Spider is what one me my first Planechase match. I easily could have used the sorcery beside it though, at one point of the game.

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Here are some special lands. Notice. Two Gruul Turf..a bounce land. And notice the other card. Kazandu Refuge. It enters the battlefield and you gain one life. And its a dual land. Not bad! But Skaarg the Ragepit is what won my game.

 

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Of the other cards in this deck, besides basic lands, you get this one card specifically meant for Planechase.  Fractured Powerstone.

 

Playing the Primordial Hunger deck and Planechase

I played my first match against the two SpartanSmurfs.  SpartanSmurf #1 played his Red Burn deck.  SpartanSmurf #2 played a Golgari deck I recently put together that includes two Deathrite Shamans.

Basically, SpartanSmurf#2 (the youngest) was able to get out “Nemesis of Mortals” early on because of one of the planes, and was able to monstrosity him almost right away.  And he was able to make quick work of his sibling, leaving me to deal with him.  It didn’t take much, though.  I played that giant spider, “Dragonlair Spider,” and the plane gave all new creatures Devour 5, which meant that I could devour stuff and pump him.  The Nemesis of Mortals was a 10/10.  So I made the spider a 25/25!

How I won the game was by swinging with the spider.  He was chump blocked by an Elvish Mystic.  Then I activated Skaarg the Ragepit, and it was over!

How would I rate Planechase?

The truth is I wish I had even more of the Planes cards.  But it was plenty of fun with just the few that came in this set.  I give the “Primordial Hunger” set a 5/5.  The deck gets a 4/5.  It is a beast!  I will mention that to actually get the most out of Planechase, it is suggested that you have at least ten Planes cards per player.  But just having the one set between the three of us worked just fine.

So what’s your thoughts on the Planechase set?  Let me know.  I am itching to give away a prize!

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Masters of the Universe Classics Moss Man

I took a trip to the Barnyard Fleamarket in Greer, SC…

Last time I went I got Sir Lazer Lot (number 2)…200x Beast Man and 200x Two Bad.  And I got all that goodness for around $60.  The guy who sells them is nice, and knowledgeable.  You should check it out, especially if you are a cherry picker like me.

 

This time I got MOTUC Moss Man and MOTUC Buzz Off!  And I came in at $50!  (Another reason to cherry pick, people!)

Keep reading for pictures and a review.

Here is Moss Man in the same old box everyone else in MOTUC comes in.  Note that the second head wasn't carded straight.

Here is Moss Man in the same old box everyone else in MOTUC comes in. Note that the second head wasn’t carded straight.  Also note.  It is marked $35.  But I got him for $20. The vendor was ready to move him!

 

The back shows off some other guys.  Just like in the good old days...Except back then there was no Green Goddess or King Grayskull...Moss Man has a particularly annoying real name.  KREANN'OT N'HOROSH.  It would be OK, but they insist on using it in the DC comics for some reason.

The back shows off some other guys. Just like in the good old days…Except back then there was no Green Goddess or King Grayskull…Moss Man has a particularly annoying real name. KREANN’OT N’HOROSH. It would be OK, but they insist on using it in the DC comics for some reason.

Now let’s open this bad boy up….

Something here I can only describe, but not photograph.  WOW THERE IS A PINE-SOL SCENT TO THIS GUY!

Seriously.  The SpartanWife described it as Eucalyptus.  Maybe.  I know.  Vicks Vapo-Rub.

I don’t remember the vintage Moss Man having that smell.  Maybe he did.  My vintage one has lost its scent over the years, at least.

Moss Man is a repaint and flock of Beast Man.  I don’t have Beast Man for a comparison…  But this is how it was in the 1980’s, and they have honored that in MOTUC.

The thing that annoys me most about this figure is OH SO APPARENT that you really can’t ignore it.  I hate to start off a review with something bad to say.  But his eyes are looking off to the left.  This gives him a real PSYCHO ALL THE TIME feeling of unsettlingness.  From now on I am going to refer to this head as the Beserker Head.

Moss Man comes with a strap to hold a pouch of something…maybe seeds?  And this knife.  My first instinct, with the psycho eyes and all, was to put the knife in his hand as if he is about to stab someone!

 

Looks like Moss Man is a Lefty.  Just like Spikor!  His weapon is really detailed.  Mattel could have gotten away with just throwing in another mace that was already sculpted.  But this one looks very fitting for Moss Man!

Moss Man comes with a second head.  This is supposed to be the 200x head.  It is much calmer and at peace.  I think of this as a god head.  He is described as a “god of nature” in his bio.

Hmmm….He would be a green hairy smelly Beast Man if he had his armor…HE DOES!  This armor came in the Weapons Pack!

Now for some pictures of KREANN’OT N’HOROSH in action!

 

Orko says “This book says find what you need in a cave north of the Mystic Mountains.”

 

“Hello there. You brought me a gift?”

Obsidian. How nice!  Just what I needed, I think…

(I picked up the rocks at the flea market too!)

A Comparison Photo!  This time I have my original Moss Man from the childhood days of yore.  He is looking worse for wear.  He is balder, and has a lot of strange fuzzes attached to his flocking.  But you can see that Mattel did a pretty good job of updating Moss Man.  I am particularly fond of the fingers and toes on the new one.  I like the pouch and knife.  I like the other weapon.  And I appreciate the stoic stare of the other head.

 

So what is my rating here?  Moss Man definitely scores nostalgia points with the SpartanNerd.  I remember playing with the same figure in the photo above in ACTUAL MOSS in my yard.  (That probably wasn’t too safe, in hindsight.)

I am going to give him a 4/5 all on Nostalgia.  He is very well translated into the modern style.  I don’t like the crazed look in his vintage head’s eyes, though.  So that is a mark off.

A lot of other people before me complain about him not being flocked around the joints and stuff.  Those people just like to complain.  He looks fine.  Maybe a little mangy.  But it isn’t too distracting.  And what was all that nonsense about flocked vs. unflocked ears?  I don’t even care.  I am just glad to have an awesome updated Moss Man.

I give Moss Man a 4/5.  What is your rating?  Let me know!  Subscribe to SpartanNerd.com and check in often!

 

Battle for the Obsidian!

 

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 Review…G.I. Joe figures from Dollar General…Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander

Here at the edge of the world, we don’t have too many stores.  At one time, there were more, and then the apocalypse happened, and almost everything moved out.  And then Dollar General Market came in and filled the void.

I visit this store almost everyday, and saw these on the pegs right around Thanksgiving.  But I refrained from purchasing them.  I don’t collect G.I. Joes, and the SpartanSmurf’s have a history of owning them but not playing with them.  I admit that I was tempted, though.  I have never owned as awesome a Cobra Commander as they had on the shelf.  Furthermore, the figures seem to be painted in 1980’s generation 1 cartoon colors, and they were on sale for only $6.00.  (The cheapskate in me screams…”What a deal!  G.I. Joes are running almost as much as $15.00 at department stores!”)

So after Christmas, these were still hanging on the shelf…And the SpartanSmurfs had some money they were itching to spend…so where did I kind of point them???

Only one taker.  SpartanSmurf #2.  He is fond of Snake Eyes (and Ninjas in general), and thought Cobra Commander was cool also.  They also had a Duke, who looked nothing like Duke.  So neither one of us was interested.  (See…He takes after his old man!)

Here are some pics and a review, followed by some comments and a rating!  (I promise I took a pic of the box.  But somehow that is nowhere to be found?  The box is a window, prominently featuring the G.I. Joe branding, and on the back showcases six total figures from the line, but all painted in different colors than seen at the Dollar General Market.  You’ll just have to take my word for it I suppose. The only figures we saw were the ones mentioned here.)

Snake Eyes.  CLASSIC!
Cobra Commander.  CLASSIC!  This staff is also a sword.
Cobra Commander and his accessories.

Snake eyes and his accessories.
He’s holding a pistol.

A battle pose, by SparnanSmurf #2!

Thoughts on these figures.

“‘Ow Be-zar!”  (Spoken in that dreadnok voice).  The marketing strategy here is…..I guess maybe some kid will come through with his weekly allowance, or maybe will come through with his mom and ask for this, and it is certainly reasonable as an impulse buy.  On the other hand, it seems it should appeal to people like me, more nostalgic types who have that 1980’s childhood aesthetic sense about them, who would see them and recognize them on account of their paint job.
These figures are excellent.  Cobra Commander especially.  (I am more fond of the all black suited Snake Eyes rather than the early versions.)  Cobra Commander’s eyes could be shoddily done, but they are not.  The work is clearly good.  And you get a stand!  (I am not sure, but don’t most Joes come with a stand nowadays?)
The only difference in these and what I might find at say, Target, are the accessories.  They seem a little scant.  But hey.  It’s a $6.00 G.I. Joe!  So I guess the corners had to be cut somewhere!

My rating?  I am going to say 4.5/5, taking off a point only because there aren’t many accessories.  Other figures at Dollar General seem to have the same trend though, for instance the Marvel characters they have on the pegs have no accessories.  So I guess these guys are better than them!  But still, it isn’t a full on G.I. Joe experience without the backpacks, extra guns, knives, swords, etc.   And I also wish the back of the box had a bio of the characters, (like in the old days!)  Anyone disagree with my 4.5, let me know!