Friday, September 28, 2012

6 Gatherings of Magic...and a Giveaway!

We are continuing our fabulous games giveaway to promote the last week of the Story Realms Kickstarter!  6 days left and we are doing a blog post each day about a different game topic.  Today we are covering one of our favorite games: Magic the Gathering.

For fun, we've decided to just share some groups of cards along different themes.  Here are 6 different ways to think about Magic Cards.  These cards aren't the super effective must-have cards.  We're not giving out strategy or deck-building advice.  Today, we are just celebrating all of the wonderful art and design that goes into Magic the Gathering by showing some cards we think are fun to think about.

6 Glimpses at Fantastic Folklore and Mythology


Almost every Magic Card has a story behind it. Sometimes these stories are completely original, but often enough you can learn a lot of traditional folklore by looking in to the inspiration for these cards. 

Kitsune Riftwalker: Kitsune (Kit-soo-nay) are tricky fox spirits from Japanese folklore.  The kami mentioned in the quote are powerful nature spirits from the Japanese Shinto religion.

Shahrazad: Obviously based on the legendary storyteller from Arabian Nights.  I hear the subgame this card instigates can even make the game feel like it's taking 1001 nights to finish playing.  

Fable of Wolf and Owl: This card isn't based off a specific story but definitely harkens to the feeling of Aesop's fables.  In fact, Aesop is attributed with creating the Fable of the Wolf and Crane.

Gilder Bairn: The Gilder (one who covers things in gold) Bairn (Gaelic word for child) is type ouphe which is a word that means fey, elf, or goblin.  The quote also harkens to Will-o-Wisps.

Crib Swap: There are tons of legends about babies being swapped for something evil.  "Changeling" is a traditional term that refers to a fey, elf, or troll baby swapped to be raised by humans.

Wrexial the Risen Deep: Wrexial is based on the unspeakably horrific "Old Ones" from the more modern Cthulu mythology that grew out of the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.

6 Muses to Inspire Stories and Adventures

Stories can often be inspired by art, quotes or concepts that intrigue you and make you ask the right questions.   Magic has many cards like this, but here are a few that made our minds really start to wander down a story path. 

Sarpadian Empires Vol. VII:  What past lives within it's page?  How can it come alive?  Will heroes be required to "wake it up" or make it slumber once more?

Riki of the Two Reflections: Reflections have inspired many stories.  Why does Riku have two different reflections?  Does his alter ego wander the world, or simply stare back through the mirror?
Sunrise Sovereign: He has only spoken 100 words in 100 generations.  When he speaks his next word, what will he say?  Who will hear it and what will they do to unravel it's mysteries?

Draconian Cylix: Sacrifice to save another.  Is it the drinker who is sacrificed or has a sacrifice been made to fill the cup?  What must be done to find the cylix and who would pay such a price to use it?

City of Shadows: So ominous and yet so calm.  What mysterious power causes people to vanish?  Do the townsfolk invite unwary travelers in or plead with them to leave before it's too late?

Overbeing of Myth: The man looks feeble next to the grandeur of the overbeing.  Is he surprised or did he summon it?  Is he in trouble or about to be granted great power?

6 Cards that Just Make Us Smile


Magic cards don't always have to be the most effective to be worth having.  Sometimes it's enough that the theme, the art, the mechanics all come together to make you smile at the sight of the card.
Deranged Hermit: A few bounce, recursion, or flicker effects can quickly create a devastating army...of squirrels.  I just can't get mad at losing to squirrels.  They're so cute.
Jinxed Choker: I can't help but laugh at the idea of a card that devolves the complex game of magic into the children's game of hot potato.
Bubble Shield: It's like those guys from Bubble Bobble wrecked my game of magic.  Now all the warriors and monster are stuck in little bubbles, trying to fight but unable to harm each other.
Cinder Pyromancer: "If the whole world burns, I'll never grow cold." Luminescent eyes, wispy flame, and a disturbing quote.  This card may not be that powerful, but it's just solidly cool.
Endless Ranks of the Dead: The horde of zombies you've always wanted. Theme meets mechanics perfectly.  It's one of those cards you read and think, "Yes!  That's exactly how that should work."

6 Cool Quarter Bin Rares

Here in Eugene our local magic shop has a quarter bin where you can find some pretty cool rares for cheap.  You might not have access to the same great deal, but these rares are ones you can get very inexpensively and have a lot of fun with.  

Rooftop Storm: It's getting close to October so we've got zombie on the brain. The only thing better than lots of zombies is lots of zombies for FREE!

Undead Alchemist: And more hordes of free zombies!  This card is fun even if it's not a zombie focused deck.  He can make an army and mill an opponent all on his own.

Infinite Reflection: This card creates some interesting situations.  You can plan for it by enchanting your own cool creature or turn it around and use an army of your opponents' best critters against them.

Warstorm Surge: This card is powerful in a casual commander format. Makes your creatures pull double duty and it can work well with other cards to create some awesome winning combos.

Realm Razer: A fun form of devastating land destruction that doesn't slow down he game forever.  With the right timing, you can press a creature  advantage against "tricky" spell decks.

Szadek, Lord of Secrets: He gets huge fast, but he doesn't trample and he can't do real damage.  Still, he mills like crazy or be a devastating surprise attack if suppress his ability.

6 Sources of Fun and Amusement

Around here we focus on fun more than effective (though sometimes they go hand in hand).  Here are a few cards that just liven up the game and help ensure you have a good time.

Fecundity: Every time someone's toy gets broken, they get a new one!  What's not to love about that? 

Doubling Season: Sometimes more IS better, especially when you get to use Planeswalker ultimate abilities without having to wait at all.  Huge token armies are fun too. It's always fun to double!

Doran the Siege Tower:  More craziness comes up than you would expect when toughness becomes power.  That 15/1 trample, haste looks pretty silly as a 1/1 and that 0/8 suddenly looks scary indeed.

Life and Limb: Lands are creatures and creatures are lands!  This burst of mana and monsters gets a lot done in little time, but be very wary of mass creature destruction that also leaves you landless.

Zedruu the Greathearted: Try to win the game by giving away free stuff!  That's what we are trying to do anyway and I can tell you it's loads of fun!

Sun Titan: The titans are pretty powerful, but the Sun Titan lets you come up with all kinds of crazy combos and keeps bringing back the fun in long multi-player games.

6 Entertaining Puzzles to Build a Deck Around


Sometimes a card comes along and just makes you wonder, "How can I use this?"  It can be fun

conundrum to build a deck around the concept presented on one intriguing card.  Here's a few puzzles we've had fun trying to solve.

Fate Transfer: All counters of any kind.  Magic has a lot of different counters and a lot of creatures that can benefit in some exciting ways if they suddenly get a bunch they weren't supposed to have.

Sundial of the Infinite: End your turn instantly? Only your turn?  Why?  Lot's of reasons, actually.  There are  a lot of exciting combos to explore with this card including avoiding certain triggers or keeping cards you normally couldn't keep.

Nucklavee: Creature recursion is not uncommon, but spells are often so ephemeral.  Blink him, bounce him and get those spells back.  What are the best spells to exploit over and over again?

Xenograft: There are many different tribal decks, but what could you do if it was all one tribe?  Suddenly, creatures never meant for tribal benefits are running around with their elf ears on.

Sphinx Bone Wand: Another fun way to get more mileage out of instants and sorceries.  The uses in a red or blue deck are pretty obvious, but this artifact gives direct damage to any deck of any color.

Near-Death Experience: Is my life total high?  Great.  Am I almost dead?  Fantastic!  Alternate win cards are always fun puzzles, but winning by being "almost" dead is an interesting challenge indeed.

Hopefully these cards we've gathered gave you something interesting or new to consider about magic.  If you have any cool cards that you think should be on these lists, tell us about it in the comments.  Of course, if you only leave one comment on our blog, you should leave it yesterday's post because...

The Giveaway Continues!

We are still giving away $150 dollars in game prizes to celebrate the last week of the Story Realms Kickstarter.  Check out the contest details and the all important post: 7 Reasons to Back Story Realms on Kickstarter...and a Giveaway. Today we even added a new way to get entries!!

Because we just hit 500 backers on Kickstarter, we are going to add 8 more game prizes into the mix! Here are some cool games from past successful Kickstarters you could win, and they all include special Kickstarter extras!!!

2x Carnival w/ Sideshow Expansion
2x Farmageddon w/ Grumpy Melon Seed Pack
1x Super Showdown w/ Kickstarter Cards
1x Lines of Fire w/ Kickstarter Extras
1x Dead Fellas w/ Kickstarter Cards
1x Creatures w/ Kickstarter Cards

Will will add even more if games if we hit 550 or 600 backers?  Keep up that spreading the world and hopefully you'll soon find out!  Also, here are 6 more games to consider getting with that $150 of grand prize money or the $50 runner up prizes.

6 Game Salute Games the Growing Up Gamers Crew Loves to Play: 

Alien Frontiers: Be the first to colonize an alien world in this incredibly unique worker placement game.  Your “space ships” are dice that are rolled each turn and then placed onto different board locations to gain resource, make new ships, earn technology, colonize the planet and earn special powers.  Turns move quickly and there are a lot of fun strategies to explore.

Yomi: It’s an intense, but fun, one-on-one battle with this fast paced street fighting card game.  You must gather your strength, anticipate your opponent’s moves, and strike with the right attacks.  There are 10 different characters each with their own deck.  Each deck also doubles as a standard deck of playing cards with incredible art.  Yomi is a simple game to learn, but has a depth of strategy that’s fun to master.

ShadowRift: ShadowRift is cooperative deck-building game where the player face off against one of six different hordes of monsters to save a town from certain destruction.  Each player starts with the same basic deck of cards and each game starts out with the same basic town.  Throughout the game, you can buy cards to improve the heroic abilities of your own deck and improve the class of citizens living in your town.  Slay monsters, power up, and try to build enough walls or hold out long enough to close all of the ShadowRifts before the town is overrun. 

Empires of the Void: Become the greatest empire in the galaxy.  In this space strategy game, you build space ships, research technology, and spread your empire across the space by taking over other worlds.  You can win planets quickly by force, but the best results come from taking the time for diplomacy.  Players can trade resources, bribe, bargain, and conduct grand space battles to expand their territory.  There’s no player elimination.  After 11 turns of play, it’s the person who has won the most victory points that will be the grandest empire of all.

Eminent Domain: Survey the galaxy to expand your civilization... Will you colonize nearby planets, or take them over by force? Harvest resources for trade or do research to improve your technology? Eminent Domain challenges you to chose your path to victory through a clever combination of deck-building and role selection, with fun and unique planets to discover and technologies to enhance your chosen strategy.

Puzzle Strike 3rd Edition (Preorder): Puzzle Strike is an asymmetrical "deck building" fighting game where each player starts with a different set of special abilities. Using high-quality "chips" instead of cards, players customize their characters further by purchasing new abilities, putting together fun combos, and sending gems crashing down on their opponents in this classic video game inspired game. The newest edition of Puzzle Strike has the latest versions of all the characters and puzzle chips to ensure a robust competitive level of play, but we enjoy this game as a fun casual throw-down and are most looking forward to trying out new chips in the Puzzle Strike Shadows Stand-Alone Expansion! Either way, this game provides a great balance of strategy, luck, and sheer fun that is not to be missed!

7 Reasons to Back Story Realms on Kickstarter...and a Giveaway.

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