Win a Brew Box!

UPDATE: The contest has ended, and the winner is… Matt B (@astormbrewing)! Congratulations, Matt! I’ll contact you about getting your prize in your hands! Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their thoughts on this exciting new offering. Be sure to stay in the loop with the folks over at Brewport Games to make sure you get your monthly Brew Box as soon as it’s available!

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What’s a Brew Box? This is a Brew Box!

The Brew Box

The brainchild of Charles & Brooke at Brewport Games, the Brew Box is a subscription-based service that ships a monthly package of MTG-related goodies to subscribers. Packs, sleeves, dice, tokens, etc. You can read more details about the Brew Box concept here.

At this point, the Brew Box is in a trial phase, but Charles and Brooke were kind enough to throw one of their prototypes my way, and I’ve decided to pay-it-forward to a lucky random winner.

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To enter, all you have to do is:

1) Retweet the tweet announcing the contest: Link to Tweet

AND

2) Leave a comment on this post with your thoughts on the Brew Box concept, and if you have any ideas for the folks at Brewport. What sorts of things would you like to see in the Brew Box? Be sure to include your Twitter username so I can contact you if you’ve won!

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The winner will be announced on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 2nd.

Here’s what you’ll win!

Sleeves, dice w/ dice bag, tokens, and a draft set!

I’ll also likely throw in some In Contention tokens and stickers as well.

Get to it!

Want to see what some other members of the MTG community had to say about the Brew Box? Watch Reuben Bresler’s unboxing video, or read Heather Lafferty’s blog post.

On Mana Leak.

Wow. Considering the fact that for the past several hours, whenever I think about the fact that Mana Leak has been confirmed in M11 I’ve been pretty much speechless, I probably shouldn’t be attempting to write about it. Nevertheless, I’m going to tilt the pitcher and see what pours out.

First off, we haven’t seen Mana Leak in Standard since 9th Edition rotated out in 2007.

Three. Years. Ago.

Back then, it was often seen hanging around with cards like Compulsive Research, various blue Signets, Mystical Teachings, and the Pickle twins, Vesuvan Shapeshifter and Brine Elemental.

There was no such thing as a Planeswalker card. By the time Lorwyn hit the scene, Mana Leak had been gone for nearly three months.

Remember Faeries? No? Let me help you out:

   

See, Faeries didn’t have the help of Mana Leak. And anyone who played during Lorwyn’s time in Standard will tell you: Faeries didn’t NEED Mana Leak. Faeries had their own version of Mana Leak in Spellstutter Sprite, not to mention one of the best blue spells (and probably my favorite) ever printed, Cryptic Command. And that’s not all. Scion of Oona was around in case anyone tried anything funny, like attempting to somehow remove your Mistbind Clique or Bitterblossom. (Ah, yes…Bitterblossom. That’s a story for another day.)

But us, now, in 2010? We could really use a Mana Leak. Counterspells nowadays are either incredibly narrow, terribly situational, costed too highly, or some combination of the three. What used to be Scion of Oona is now Hindering Light.

Alongside Deprive, blue mages now have a realistic opportunity to play a GOOD counter-suite. In the early game, Mana Leak is essentially Counterspell; and in the late game, Deprive fills the same role.

The question now becomes whether it is worth it to counter a spell in the current Standard. We’ve become overrun with creatures and planeswalkers as of late. Generally, we’d rather deal with creatures in another way (Day of Judgment, instant-speed spot removal if necessary) since we have ways to remove them after they’ve hit the table, and summoning sickness gives us the opportunity to do so without giving the creature a chance to make an impact. The exceptions to this are creatures with haste and those with enter-the-battlefield abilities.

So, what creatures are we seeing in Standard that would fall into those categories? Wall of Omens, Sea Gate Oracle… Do you really want to spend a counter on those? Sphinx of Lost Truths, sure, that’s one I’d counter. Ranger of Eos, too. Bloodbraid Elf? No. And as much as Mike Flores wants me to “admit” it, I do not want to counter a Vengevine.

Okay, so that leaves Planeswalkers. I am perfectly happy spending a counterspell on a Planeswalker, as even though it seems like a one-for-one, we all know the card advantage that ‘walkers provide. But if the only spells worth countering in Standard are Planeswalkers, wouldn’t it be acceptable to just run Negate and take the risk of facing the occasional Sphinx or Ranger? Why do we “need” Mana Leak?

The truth is, permanents—creatures, specifically—have become so powerful that even “good” counterspells have lost a step. We need our counters to be versatile or they’re not worth running at all (see also: Standard). I’m beginning to wonder if that hasn’t been Wizards’ plan all along: Weaken the counterspells, then make creatures better and better until “classic” counterspells are balanced. Are we reaching a point where Counterspell itself would be a fair card to reprint? Think about it. No one expected Lightning Bolt to come back. (Hell, I remember being excited to see Incinerate come back in Tenth Edition!) Creatures were pushed to a degree that made Lightning Bolt no longer the powerhouse it once was, hence the return of the most classic burn spell ever printed.

Is it so crazy to think that perhaps Wizards is pushing the game to a level where Counterspell is balanced?



Be sure to check out the latest episode of Yo! MTG Taps! over on StarCityGames.com!

On Deprive

If you haven’t yet heard, the following is a card rumored to be in Rise of the Eldrazi (unconfirmed; rarity unknown):

EDIT: Confirmed.

Initial thoughts:

What makes this better than Cancel?

1) You can play it on turn 2.
2) You can play it late-game effectively as “Counterspell.”

In the first example, playing it on turn 2, you’re now behind; yes, you traded with their 2- or 3-drop, but now on turn 3 you need another counter to deal with their 3- or 4-drop, which is likely better than whatever card they played on turn 2. So do you play ANOTHER Deprive (assuming you have it)?

Honestly, I don’t even think this is worth playing on turn 2.

Let’s say you don’t play it on turn 2, but you hit your first three land drops and then want to counter something. What’s better in this situation? Cancel or Deprive? Cancel, obviously. Deprive leaves you with 1 mana open which will likely go unused. In the meantime, now you’re set back a turn and you’ve likely wasted any advantage that Deprive provided you.

So, okay, late game then. This is where Deprive is at its strongest. But when is it really going to be that much better than Cancel? Really only when you’re returning something like Halimar Depths, as far as I can tell. It allows you to tap all but 2 land, unlike Cancel, but is that really such a huge deal?

For the moment, I’m going to predict that if Deprive sees play in Standard decks akin to UW Chapin Control, it’s going to be in numbers less than 4, as its early game drawback just seems like too much for a deck whose strengths lie in getting to Stage 3. However, I can see it being a possible staple in some sort of UG deck that can recover from the tempo loss using the myriad of mana accelerants available in Standard.

Announcing…

Yo! MTG Taps! is proud to announce
the launch of our Official Website, IWantMyMTG.com
!

From now on, all episodes of the Yo! MTG Taps! podcast will be appearing on IWantMyMTG.com, supplemented by event coverage, videos, photos, tournament reports, musings, decklists, and any show news.

Speaking of show news, Yo! MTG Taps! is now being featured on TheStarkingtonPost.com! We want to thank Bill Stark for the fantastic opportunity, as well as welcome any new listeners to the podcast. We’d love to hear from you!

And don’t worry, Island fans, AffinityForIslands is staying exactly where it is!

Yo! MTG Taps! Episode 15 – Now Available!

Yo! MTG Taps! Episode 15 – Shot Down is now available for download!


Check it out over on MTGCast!

Joey & Bigheadjoe go over some of the recent news regarding the Reserved List, Rise of the Eldrazi spoilers, and both GP Kuala Lumpur & GP Yokohama.

Legacy, Reprints, & the Reserved List

GP Kuala Lumpur – Standard – “Ding, Dong, Jund Is Dead In Kuala Lumpur”

GP Yokohama – Extended
Clash of the titans – Katsuhiro Mori (Thopter Depths) vs Masashiro Kuroda (Hypergenesis)

NEW SEGMENT – PRO TOUR FLASHBACK!
Masashiro Kuroda’s PT Kobe ’04 win.

Mythic – Zvi’s Deck Tech from PT San Diego

Rise of the Eldrazi pooled spoilers

PATRICK CHAPIN’S NEXT LEVEL MAGIC – Now shipping!
$35, or $27 if you bought the e-book last summer.

FREE STICKERS!
Just send us your mailing address.

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