9th edition is upon us and as with the last three passing Core Sets we get treated to a Release Event to meet it. And what else do you, a Magic player, have to do on a Saturday? Not convinced? Maybe sixty reasons will help!
First, though, a few details. Release Events are to be held at local stores around the world this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They will be Limited, either Sealed or Booster Draft with an entrance fee recommended at $2 or less (plus product). To find your location or to see more information check the Wizards listing here
Reasons 1-5: Free Stuff
Reasons 6-8: Legacy
Reasons 9-15: Staples
Reasons 16-30: The Return of Old Favorites
Reasons 31-50: Art
Reasons 51-60: Miscellaneous
Reasons 1-5: Free Stuff
Who does not like free stuff? Its free and its stuff. I would say ‘Nuff Said but I hear I am unfunny and ruin things of that sort so I guess I need explain a little further. Free can be defined as costing nothing, and stuff as woven material, especially woolens. Wait! That’s Belgareth’s English Definition. Us silly Americans. Anyway what I meant to say was that stuff is an unspecified material. Like I said who doesn’t want that?
Reason 1: Foils
Like a prerelease or Friday Night Magic the first three/two players at Ninth release events receive a special foil which is printed in small quantities and can only be found at one of these events. If you have to have one and don’t want to trade some of the outrageous things people will ask for it you better get down to the a Release Tournament!
Reason 2: Packs
Who doesn’t love booster packs? They hold infinite possibilities. Anyone want a foil Hyppie? Maybe a nice shiny Wrath? That only way to get them is to rip those packs! And remember the free part? Yes, free. If you want them for free all you have to do is top eight! And with all those new players coming for deckboxes it shouldn’t be too hard. What about deck boxes? Oh yes, I almost forgot.
Reason 3: Deckboxes:
That’s right. Bring a new player you will receive a free Serra Angel painted deck box. And you might not want to tell the guy at the counter that but just about any of your friends could be a “new” player. Just remind them to leave their DCI card at home and you are good for a free box. [Editor's Note: Anyone who does this is unscrupulous :no:. -Gob]
Reason 4: Life Counters
Next up: Life Counters. Not only will you receive Packs for making Top 8 or just Foils for playing you will also receive a Life counter for making Top 3. Once again they follow in the Serra Angel theme, in themselves being stand up Serras.
Reason 5: Randoms
Just like at a Friday Night Magic you do not even have to Top 8 to get any of the above. There will be random booster giveaways, a guaranteed Life Counter given out, and extra deck boxes randomly assigned.
Reasons 6-8: Legacy
Legacy. Everyone’s favorite format right? Well it depends. If you are talking to Qwerty, CynicalSquirrel and SapphireTri then yes it is everyone’s favorite. For most of us though the dual lands are rather intimidating. However as we all know Wizards has decided to push the format and Ninth continues this by pushing some of more rare portal cards which no one could find.
Reason 6: Gift of Estates
The Uber-Tithe is being reprinted in Ninth, and as an uncommon! This will make it available like never before and with much more reasonable prices then before. Expect to see it as a mainstay in the Legacy meta.
Reason 7: Cruel Edict
This is a card which will have much less of an impact on the Legacy meta-game however still is a card that was sought after at inflated prices. This is another card that I am sure players will thank for reprinting. (Yeah I wanted Imperial Seal too. Sorry)
Reason 8: A Bad Boil, An Overcosted Goblin, A Small Bear, and A Quiet Monkey
While not the best or most played cards ever printed, Boiling Seas, Goblin Piker, River Bear, and Tree Monkey are all seeing their first appearance outside of Portal and therefore can be mentioned. And while not much, they, as well as Cruel Edict and Gifts of Estates, will all be legal two months before expected in the Eternal formats. Even more reason to be pleased about Ninth. And your first chance to get your hands on these? Your Release Event!
Reasons 9-15: Staples
Staples are one of the most important parts of the game. They keep coming back and you know once you buy, open, or trade for them you will never have to get them again. I see a hand in the back row. Yes you, go ahead. What’s that you say? That you always run out of staples when you are doing paperwork and you have to go buy more? Oh no, I don’t mean staples that are bought at Staples. I am speaking of cards which define meta-game and are played regardless of the season. And is there a better place than a Release Event to buy, open, or trade for them? I think not.
Reason 9: Painlands
I sure you have already heard but if not I will let you on a little something. The Painlands, all ten, allied and enemy are coming back. Adarkar Wastes, Battlefield Forge, Brushland ,Caves of Koilos, Karplusan Forest, Llanowar Wastes, Shivan Reef, Sulfurous Springs, Underground River, and Yavimaya Coast are all returning for another stint in Type Two.
Reason 10: The Urzatron
Urza’s Mine. Urza’s Power Plant. Urza’s Tower. Three cards that in the last year and a half you have either learned to hate or have come to love. Be it in Tooth and Nail, Blue Tron, or your casual Rogue deck, the Tron has been through a workout. If they can not be considered staples in the last year, god knows what can be. What about god?
Reason 11: Wrath of God
If you don’t have your playset yet this is your chance. If you do here is your trade bait. Wrath of God may be nearing its exit from the game but it is still around for at least a few years and while it is I am sure it will find plenty of play.
Reason 12: Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena a staple? Well yes. It has been around for almost four years now and each year it saw play. Whether it be in Death Cloud or in Mono-Black Control it has always found a place and will continue to do so.
Reason 13: Weathered Wayfarer
Tithe on legs this time. The Wayfarer saw plenty of play in its first go around and with Ravnica promising to be heavily multi-color and with White as a very promising color right now there is no reason for it not to now.
Reason 14: Savannah Lions
A ultimate White Weenie going on twelve years, Savannah Lions is being reprinted (again) into a format made for it. With Isamurus and Paladins running around there has never been a format more ready for the Lions to pounce on it.
Reason 15: Glorious Anthem
Yet another reason as to why White Weenie will be the deck to be Glorious Anthem is once again back for more fun. Charging your creatures everywhere Anthem has been the heart and soul of White Weenie for many years now
Reasons 16-30: Old Favorites Return
This is where the line begins to blur a little. Where things begin to confuse. Where six degrees of separation turns into seven because of separation. Where extremicon only makes twenty posts. This is where things that should not happen occur. See the line between Staples and Old Favorites is not clear. If you noticed, I chose to make the separation in that Staples are cards that have not been gone long and will be playable while Old Favorites is cards that have not been with us in a long time as well as some which are far past their day in playability. Once again these are cards that make it worth it for the older players to come on out to the release event and play. Just for the chance of opening a Hypnotic Specter and remembering the days of when you ripped it first turn with a Dark Ritual and tore your friend Bill apart. Or the days when you won your PTQ off of Taiga to Kird Ape. So for you old geezers, onto the old geezers.
Reasons 16: Blinking Spirit
Big Blink. Blinky. B_S. Many names, the same result. I may be small. I may cost too much. Kill me! Wait, you can’t. It does its job better than newly reminder texted Drudge Skeletons could have ever hoped. So get out to your Release and event and start tricking newbies. Now!
Reason 17: Paladin En-Vec
Mentioned earlier as one of the new faces for White Weenie, Paladin En-Vec can bring the deck back to the promise land, with a little help from R&D. They made White powerful enough, now all they have to do is make Red a little better (without Mirrodin block) so that the second Protection on this card does anything. Regardless, players will have smiles on their faces when they open this guy this weekend.
Reason 18: Clone
Okay, I may take some slack for this one. I know how us Blue players get. And I know how worked up everyone is about Blue getting the screw once more. So I am sure bringing Clone up will not make them happy. But I mean, come on people, in its day it was one of the most fun cards around. I know Nex3 will be happy to see it and if he is then I am sure there are others who are as well. I also know it returned in Onslaught and saw no play. It will not now either. R&D saw it was safe so now players can get introduced to Shapeshifting by one of the originals.
Reason 19: Polymorph
Generally cards on this list will be creatures. However, a card like Polymorph deserves a spot on a list like this. You can’t tell me you don’t want a card like this in your packs, can you? I mean, look at the art!
Reason 20: Hypnotic Specter
Say it with me. Ready? Hippie. Again, I would like to leave it with a ‘Nuff Said. Hypnotic Specter ruled the day at one time, the key to Mono-Black, ripping opponents' hands everywhere. Its best friend Dark Ritual also enjoyed these days. Specter is still a favorite of casual players. This is possibly the reprint that I am most happy about. Let's say it again. Hippie.
Reason 21: Sengir Vampire
Like Clone this is a card which was proved to be “safe” in Torment. Not much attention was paid to it by the Spikes of the world but the Timmys were not all that unhappy. After all, Sengir is also a casual favorite. It's old, it's cool, it’s a Vampire, and now I am repeating myself. Just let it be said, it's back! Get the garlic.
Reason 22: Will-O’-The-Wisp or Irrlicht if you ask votan
Votan has a playset of Black-Bordered Irrlicht that he would like me to boast for him. There I am a sell-out, happy? Anyway W-O’-T-W is classic style. Your huge creature is getting shut down by my 0/1. What's up? It is that cool and the only way you can see it yourself is to go to the release event!
Reason 23: Kird Ape
A 2/3 on turn one is pretty I hear. Sadly Taiga is no longer Type Two legal and that will not happen anymore. Kird Ape is past its prime but that does not mean you can't savor the old moments when it dominated. Crack a pack and see what happens.
Reason 24: Rathi Dragon
This is a card you want to open! Because it is cool? Well yes. But also because you can win the tournament with it. This guy is a powerhouse, setting a four turn clock if not three on turn four. In Constructed it's not that bad either, being a win condition for the fast Mono-Red decks that could come about in the current Type Two format.
Reason 25: Llanowar Elves
With Birds taking a break until Ravnica, the most famous Elves of all get a chance to return to the forefront of competitive Magic. With a new fierce art and a even more aggressive Flavor Text, these Elves are not playing around; they mean business and they are going to get the job done!
Reason 26: Seedborn Muse
Another card that has long been a favorite of casual players. Wizards is trying to give reason for players from every walk of game to buy and play Ninth Edition. Why not a release event, amirite? Sorry, I said I would not say terms like that. I must go cleanse myself with a ritual of self-destruction.
Okay I am back. Anyway as I was saying Seedborn Muse is a card that just about every player likes and a card you should be picking up a playset of.
Reason 27: Force of Nature
It’s a Force, alright? Once again a favorite of casual players, it was once a mainstay in the Core Set. However with sixth and many rules worries Wizards attempt to remove cards which sounded clunky or were just overly wordy. This is pretty much the case. But in a move to make the Core Set cool again, FoN is back. Be happy!
Reason 28: Verdant Force
As cool as Force of Nature is, Verdant Force is the much cooler of the pair. Not only is being played casually, he was also a major tournament force and may still see some play, at least in the days before we say goodbye to Tooth and Nail. Saprolings are cool. Elementals are cool. Big creatures that are actually good are cool. Verdant Force is definitely cool!
Reason 29: Bottle Gnomes
Who cares if they were just in Mirridon? Does that mean they can't still be a old favorite? They are old. And they are cool. Just the idea of a gnome that is a bottle has inspired some of the cooler arts in the game. If you do not like these guys there is something wrong with you!
Reason 30: Quicksand
Playing white and need removal? Playing Blue and are worried they might resolve something early? Doesn't matter. Just stick in a Quicksand. It is cool, stylish, and flavorful. Plus it's playable. What else do you want?
Reason 31-50: The Art
Art is a part of every card. "Really?" you say. Yes, really. It is something that many enjoy, at least when it is good. In Ninth I will give R&D credit. It is good. And if you love art or Magic in general, seeing good art is something you like. [insult to someone in art forum]. And I am sure he would love them even more if they were foiled. I had a hard time even picking twenty but I got myself to. So here are the twenty best new pieces of art in Ninth Edition:
This truly looks like a Dancing Scimitar if you ask me with the man in the background. Also the flames and flying make it look much more threatening than in the past however it also gives that feel that it was at one time less than it is now.
This is the kind of art a card like Fellwar Stone really needs. The art pays homage to the original while still maintaining that look of infinite possibilities.
This is a Hypnotic Specter that’s very ready to pillage, plunder, and fly. Compare to the old one and see why this is such a step-up.
Another card with improved card art over its predecessor, Clone looks much less Twin-like and much more like a Clone. Prior art made it simply look like the same figure next to each other however this new art much more clearly shows the transformation which occurs.
The “You Choose Ninth” feature yielded this art and I must say maybe Wizards should let players be the Art Director for every set because this is a strong piece with the Wizards "linking" himself with his creature in a spell-formed fog.
Rod of Ruin is a card which I doubt the perfect art will ever be found for. The card is simply too general. And as far from perfect as this may be it is very good displaying the "Ruin" as well as the "Rod."
Good old Icy. How we missed you for so long and now you are appearing yearly. This art really does a much better job of illustrating what an object like Icy would do with gears and crushing magical force.
As I talked about earlier, Force of Nature definitely is back for some more fun and this art clearly exhibits a creature which looks rather forceful to me!
Classic Rebecca Guay here, folks, and that means something. In the past Elvish Piper has looked far too much the brute elf while it really need be more in touch with nature as exemplified in Guay’s piece.
For me the color and concept of this piece are what make it work. These Goblins come out of nowhere and starting making threats for you to come and fight for their side. Flavorful and beautiful.
Another piece directed by you the new Gravepact art can make a play at the best art in the set. Being both creepy and flavorful it fits it card perfectly. Think of how it will look in foil!
The background colors really work to bring out the forefront one in this new art for Zur’s Wielding. An orderly seen turns into an abnormal one upon the casting of one spell much like the occurrences that take place when this card is played.
This new Temporal Adept is one of the cards which I feel is more of a personal choice then one that reflects the majority. Once again I am a fan of the colors and this one has a plural of them! Also for Ratchet and Clank fans this card probably has come comical value.
Que Serra? To be honest I never really liked the other new arts. However, this one is awe-inspiring and the one which Wizards is pushing the hardest, with reason at that.
This may be the first time I am actually happy with Circle of Protection art. In the past it has been very bland and just lacking. A wizard with a very white aura casting a spell which deflects the color of its hating. Seems flavorful to me.
This is one way to illustrate Gift of Estates which I honestly never would have expected. It however does work very well and once again the colors and reflections are strong.
This Battle of Wits art is yet another very flavorful one with two wizards dueling in a library, exemplified the wits promised in the title. The opposing spell colors also work to its advantage.
While maybe not sporting the colors which it should, Paladin en-vec is still a very good piece looking much more the Paladin than before. The detail of the horse and shield are very amazing on inspection.
This is another piece which uses detail to its advantage. One of the things worth noting is the double appearance of the symbol of Yawgmoth on the demon. Also notice how artifacts are crumbling around the Demon in this new artwork for Yawgmoth Demon.
Reasons 51-60: Miscellaneous
As I sure you have noticed there are obvious reasons which have been included in other reasons but never really talked about by itself. This is the section for discussion of them.
Reason 51: Trading
This of coarse included in the reasons like “Old Favorites” and “Staples” but Trading also encompasses past sets that are at the release event. Need that last Hand of Cruelty for your block PTQ? Still trying to get your dual lands for the Legacy Grand Prix? Are there better places than somewhere full of players just like you who also want to trade? There aren’t.
Reason 52: T-Shirts
Just like any Prerelease your local store owner will have the option of ordering T-Shirts to celebrate the release of Ninth. Most likely sporting the New Serra Angel art that is everywhere, release shirts are always very nice and a good way to show your support for the game you play. Generally less than $20, there is no reason not to want one!
Reason 53: Sidedrafts
If you drop early from the main event, get there late, or have time afterwards, what better way is there to spent an afternoon than kicking back and drafting the most recently printed Core Set? Also a great way to raise your rating assuming you don’t draft blue. Speaking of ratings...
Reason 54: The DCI
All release events are DCI sanctioned so you know it will count for your rating. Don’t have a DCI card? A release event is a great time to get one and start playing competitive Magic.
Reason 55: Fatter Fat Packs
I am sure you have bought one in the past. A fat pack is a product which generally runs at $30 dollars that is a favorite of players to learn a set. A fat-pack includes six packs, two deck boxes, a poster, a life counter, a promo, card dividers, and forty lands. Starting with Ninth it also has a new look.
Reason 56: Taco Bell
Eh? Taco Bell? I have a feeling that most of you are confused but some of know just what I am talking about. Everyone’s favorite 4/3 beater is back from Kamigawa and can now be played for the next two years. So wherever you are hungry just pick-up a Ninth Edition booster and hope you pull an Order of the Sacred Bell
Reason 57: Russian
I can’t say that your dealer will, but I know mine has stocked it. With Ninth, Magic will now be printed in an eighth language, Russian, and this has resulted in some pretty cool names in Russian. Of course, to non-Russian speakers, the most exciting thing about the new language is that Russan-language 9th Edition cards will be black-bordered! And when is your first chance to see it? The release event of course!
Reason 58: Being at a place with others who share your interests
This is one of the major draws of any Magic tournament but even more so for this one. You get to go to the release event and witnesses others' reactions to the new reprints. You get to be with friends. You get to meet new players. Just the experience of a large Magic tournament is great and it can be promised that many of these events will indeed draw those crowds.
Reason 59: To get stared at
Well, no, I can not promise there will be girls there to stare at you. And no I also can not promise there will event be girls there. However I can promise that these two will be staring at you:
This fun cycle is just another one of the amazing things about Ninth Edition. To discover more you are going to have to get down to your local Release Event though!
Reason 60: Fun
Yes that is what I been saving up. This reason is very hard to put into words yet also very obvious. All of the other reasons are encompassed in this reason. Magic is a game, a game in which fun occurs. That is why you and I play this game. And frankly to spite any negative reasons you may be able to put forth you will have fun if you attend one of these events. I just gave you fifty-nine reasons as to why but really this is the most important. Fun. Fun. Fun. So get out there to you local shop or convention, play Ninth Edition, and Enjoy the experience!
This, as you already know if you can read, is my thanks section. Here are the people I would like tot hank before I get the little red light.
Qwerty for somehow sparking this idea in my head, for helping me with the article throughout. [Editor's Note: O_o-Q]
Alex for making my awesome banner on shortnotice and quicker than you could believe.
Also thanks to chaosof99, Senori, SapphireTri, gamermk, and Goblinboy who all also played a role in my writing of this article (and who edited this article). Thanks to you all!
Ah, you thought they were gone, did you? You thought you would not ever have to see my horrible tastes in music again, did you? So sorry but you will. They are back and with a vengeance. Anyway a few things before hand.
If you did not see my last article it was titled 'Too Many Questions: The Death of Deck naming (if you have not read it, a link can be found in my sig). Some wondered if "Too Many Questions" would be my column name for all articles. As this article proves, it will not be. However, expect it as a returning theme, if you would.
Also on a quick note I would like to make the claim that Black Hand is not dead in block. People would like to tell you that Gifts owns the format and that Hand is a deck of the past. And while it is true you are not going to be be seeing Yukoras like you were before the deck will evolve and stay in the top tier. You have my word ;).
And now to everyone's favorite flame-pit part of articles. My Top 5 songs as listed by iTunes Play Count:
Honorable Mention: A Dios Le Pido-Juanes
Five: Feel Good Inc.-The Gorillaz
Four: Walking With a Ghost-Tegan and Sara
Three: Just A Ride-Jem
Two: Such Great Hieghts-The Postal Service
One: Breathe (2 A.M.)-Anna Nalick
If you would like to contact me my email as well as Instant Messenger Information can be found in my profile.