So, Szpirs was on a sleep-deprived mission to Wal-Mart and stumbled on something…magical. It was a box – a mystery box. It’s a cool idea…a booster pack from each of the Standard sets plus one pack from ‘Magic history’. Seems like a great way for a new player to build up a card-base for Friday Night Magic events or a lapsed player to catch up on the last few blocks. Who, lacking both sleep and willpower, could resist such a thing? I’m like Abu in the Cave of Wonders:
So…let’s see what’s inside. Join Szpirs and Stew as we explore the mysteries of…the Magic Mystery Box.
Stew: Hey Szpirs.
Szpirs: Itttt’s Monday!
Stew: It is.
Szpirs: Magical, magical Monday!
Szpirs: I did something stupid yesterday. I bought one of those MTG Mystery Boxes from Wal-Mart.
Stew: While I was in New York, one of my coworkers did the same. It’s not stupid, it’s MTG!
Szpirs: I agree with that statement in principle. As far as the box goes, the price is basically the same as buying boosters individually. There’s a random spin-down die included. I’m a sucker for those.
Stew: Yes, you are. I find that Wal-Mart isn’t at all cheap for MTG. You’d do better at your local comic store.
Szpirs: True say…I was sleep-deprived and my will was weak.
Stew: It’s not that bad to spend like 40 dollars on yourself every now and then. Man, you can’t be a monk all the time.
Szpirs: Monks have awesome AC and damage adjustments.
Szpirs: So let’s crack this thing…one booster pack from each set in Standard…spin-down die is…ugh, grey Kaladesh. I have like fourteen of these already.
Szpirs: Mystery pack is….Return to Ravnica. You play much of this set?
Stew: Actually that was during my dark times… I had sold off my collection and stopped playing.
Szpirs: I was out for it too. I remember the first Ravnica block fondly, though. I liked how it gave some identity and personality to creatures and spells…practically every card was associated with, and branded as, one of ten factions…none of which was clearly ‘good’ or ‘evil’.
Stew: Yeah, Rav block was awesome. It had an amazing rare, Dark Confident, and shock dual lands…
Szpirs: Boros Recruit is a fav one-drop of mine…and the pain-for-gain Rakdos spells appeal to the goblin in me. The whole setting reminded me of D&D’s Planescape…the urban setting, the coexistence of many different/opposing creature types and personalities….the long-simmering build up to a plane-shaking throwdown…
Stew: Open the pack, Szpirs.
Szpirs: Yessir. Okay, the rare is…Nivmagus Elemental…blue/red one drop.
Stew: It’s pretty crap but I’m sure someone tried to fiddle with it at some point.
Szpirs: The ability seems to have some possibilities…but I feel like you’d want to keep your instants/sorceries handy in the early game…could be a late-game card but at a one-drop, that doesn’t seem likely.
Stew: Very unlikely.
Szpirs: Then again, pumping in response is a good tactic…the extra +1 counter is a good value…could be a blocker and/or a surprise swing.
Stew: I would rather have another draw spell or kill spell in my hand than this creature. Though creatures on the board win games, I don’t see this one doing that.
Szpirs: Uncommons….Risen Sanctuary (again with the elementals…), Brushstrider, and Racecourse Fury. Which is the pick?
Stew: Brushstrider is probably the best of them. Risen Sanctuary is a solid beatstick but not a great value.
Stew: …to be expected in a booster pack. You’re not going to have 15 awesome cards.
Szpirs: ..Then two with promise…Grim Roustabout and Frostburn Weird. The Weird is flowstone….trades toughness for power for an R or U…Grim is a Drudge Skeletons with nerfed regenerate and Unleash.
Stew: I like the weird. Solid early game blocker with some swing potential.
Szpirs: Instants… Sundering Growth, Rootborn Defences, and Giant Growth.
Two of them have Populate which seems like a neat mechanic. I guess this set had lots of weenie/token builds…
Stew: Yep, looks okay if you have token generation. I would go with Sundering Growth. A
Disenchant with a free token? Good value.
Szpirs: OK, last two…Traitorous Instinct and Chronic Flooding….mill vs …what’s the shorthand for stealing a creature for a turn?
Stew: I don’t think there is one yet. Probably ‘confiscate’.
Stew: Yoink works.
Szpirs: These two are kinda apples and oranges…I feel like Flooding wins because every deck relies on land…not always on steal-worthy creatures.
Stew: Nah, I’ll take the creature steal. “That’s a nice Blightsteel Colossus there…” *yoink*
Szpirs: LOL I used to run a deck like that until Mark tried to kill me that time…
Stew: You can’t steal dragons from Mark. He doesn’t like that.
Szpirs: Cool. All in all, not a bad pack if you’re running R/U.
Stew: Surprisingly, yeah.
Szpirs: I figure we’ll keep going chronologically….next week we’re going to Zendikar.
Well, that’s it, Geeks. Drop us a comment and let us know if we got our picks wrong…and if any of y’all were playing during the Return to Ravnica block, your insight would be welcome.
Have a magical Monday.