Magic Monday: Crackin’ Packs Vol. 2 -What’s in tha Box?

Stew and Szpirs continue to explore the depths of the Magic Mystery Box: a tidy little box of cards with boosters from each of the current Standard sets plus one from ‘Magic History’. We’ve cracked packs from Return to Ravnica already….now we’re headed into Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch. Buckle up, Geeks.

Szpirs: Stewwwww! Wanna open some Zendikar packs?

Stew: Sure, sounds like fun. I got back into MTG just as Battle for Zendikar (BfZ) hit and Oath of the Gatewatch (OotG) was about to come out.

Szpirs: What brought you back? Was it something about BfZ or just coincidence?

Stew: Coincidence. I honestly missed playing the game and going to a Local Comic Store (LCS). Magic has a long history with me and I really did miss it. I’m still getting crap I used to play with because I loved those cards so much. Besides, with the expedition lands in BfZ and OotG, I had to try for one. To this date I have opened 0.
Szpirs: LOL What are the expedition lands? I’ve heard you talk about them with Mark and Devon before.

Stew: Expedition lands were the super Rares in those two sets; foil reprints of lands from past sets with full card art. So like Polluted Delta is a $25 card, normally – not a bad price. The Expedition version is almost $200. Hell, the Expedition is more expensive then the Judge foil reprint.

Szpirs: Judge? Like, Judge Reinhold?



Stew: So, for being a judge and going to events to help and judge plays, you get foil promos of classic cards like Sol Ring, Gaea’s Cradle and Wasteland. They are usually highly sought after as they are foils of cards that weren’t printed in foil originally.

Szpirs: Awesome. I wasn’t listening – opening packs.

Stew: Dammit, Szpirs.
Szpirs: Remember how we were talking about expedition lands…
Stew: WHAT?! Really?
Szpirs: Nope.
Stew: LOL. Yeah, it’s a long shot. Which rares did you pull?
Szpirs: Tyrant of Valakut and Munda, Ambush Leader. Very creature heavy pulls on these two packs, from the looks of it. Munda’s probably the better card in the long game if you’re running lots of ‘ally’ type creatures…but I like the direct damage possibilities of the Tyrant.
Stew: Yes, but the Tyrant is meant for working with a partner…Mundas lets you dig a little further into your deck to get a better draw.
Szpirs: True…but you can trigger the Tyrant’s surge power without a partner…it’s less of a benefit, sure, but you can still get your 3 damage from it. Pair it with a Lightning Bolt and you’re throwing around 6 damage and dropping a significant flying threat. I think it’s my pick. Way better than that magus thing from last week….
Stewie: I still like Munda. Seems like my kinda card.
Szpirs: Here’s the uncommons…we’re doing two packs, so there’s six of them.
Szpirs: Embodiment of Fury seems to get a lot out of the landfall mechanic…and I can see how the vampire could be pretty broken in a lifegain deck…but for what I’m working on now, Sylvan Scrying is the pick. Great, efficient mana ramp.
Stew: Yeah, that’s my choice too.
Szpirs: The Kor are garbage; too expensive for a ‘maybe-it-will/maybe-it-won’t’ ability. The Eldrazi are OK but nothing special. Valuable adds to a tribal deck, I guess?
Stew: Pretty much. There’s some Eldrazi creatures that have some neat abilities but the luster vanished quickly. Desolation Twin seemed like fun but it’s horrible. Endless One is pretty good.
Szpirs: LOL. I’m building a standard ramp/big swing deck  based on the one I made when we drafted and the Twin is still my biggest beatstick.endless one.jpg
Stew: I would save your mana and run four Endless Ones instead.
Szpirs: That is four more Endless Ones than I have…
Stew: They are pretty cheap. For a dollar-Rare, it’s not bad.
Szpirs: Okay, we’re getting into the weeds now…common black creatures: Slaughter Drone and Geyserfield StalkerI like the drone better…mana cost is reasonable and the activated ability is a good punch
Stew: The stalker is too expensive for what it does.
Szpirs: On to Red: Zada’s Commando or Nettle Drone. Both are Timmies… but the Nettle has machine-gun potential.
Stew: I like the first strike of Commando. Both could be useful in block or drafts.
Szpirs: Blue pulls are garbage…Coralhelm Guide, Cloud Manta, and Ancient Crab.
Stew: Coralhelm is pretty good – more for draft and sealed but, yeah it’s horrible… just not the worst.
Stew: You know me;  If I’m building something for speed or accuracy, I choose bears – like the war cleric.
Szpirs: Green…we’ve got Tajuru Stalwart, Tajuru Beastmaster, Loam Larva, or Tajuru Pathwarden. This is tough. I like the larva for the mana ramp but the beastmaster and pathwarden are both considerable attackers.
Stew: Meh.
Szpirs: For non-creature spells, we got Unnatural Endurance, Unnatural Aggression, or Mire’s Malice.
Stew: Fun.
Szpirs: The awaken mechanic on Malice is kinda neat but expensive…both the devoid spells are great though.
Stew: They had a few good ones. Either would be a solid add.
Szpirs: Two lands…Sandstone Bridge and Crumbling Vestige.
Stew: Yes to both…unless something better comes around. You’re not going to see a lot of performance from recent common lands.
Szpirs: Cool. Most of the common pulls were pretty okay…I can see why there’s so much love for the Zendikar block. Next stop: Innistrad. Three packs left in the Mystery Box…and I picked up an Aether Revolt pack to get the full block experience with Kaladesh.
Stew: Ooooh, spanky.
Well, that’s it, Geeks. Anyone enjoying these booster articles? Imma keep doing them unless you tell me to stop….at least until the Mystery Box is empty. Leave a comment and have a magical Monday.

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