Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Leak Sauce #11 Magic 2012

Leaking info to you and bringing the discussion.

EDIT - July 1, 2011 - UPDATE
With Magic 2012 spoilers being previewed left and right, this post has changed quite significantly since March 16th. If this is your first time coming to this page, you'll notice the earlier parts of this post are outdated since I kept adding edits to the bottom of the post with new content. Since other sites already have almost the entire visual spoiler up, there's no need to update this post anymore. If you are new to this site, please feel free to look around and I hope you enjoy your stay. This particular article is a bit on the dry side since it's mostly an info dump so I would definitely recommend checking out other articles around the site which should be much more interesting.


Have you been hankering for Magic 2012 spoilers? Here's your fix if you aren't up to date on the whole story. Last weekend, the image above was posted on the official Arcana and it was stated that this picture applied to both the new Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 game as well as the set Magic 2012. Source here.

It's blatantly obvious that Ajani and Liliana are no longer hanging out with the popular crowd as Gideon and Sorin have replaced them. The big question now is: "Which versions of these Planeswalkers are we going to see?" This is a very relevant question as this could just as easily be Jace Beleren and Chandra Nalaar or Jace the Mindsculptor and Chandra Ablaze. Only time will tell.

It's important to take a look at this setup of the new core five Planeswalkers because of what this may or may not imply. The tagline for Magic 2012 is "Gather your Allies" (Source here). Just recently at PAX East there was a quote stating, "I have made allies out of my enemies." - Gideon (Source here among other goodies from PAX East such as Commander Precon Previews). We last saw Gideon leaving for Ravnica to gather help against the Eldrazi threat on Zendikar, Jace and Chandra are part of the reason the Eldrazi are freed thanks to their involvement in a battle against Sarkhan, and Sorin is one of the three Planeswalkers to seal the Eldrazi away ages ago (and neither of his allies showed up as planned to check on the seal as Ugin has already been shown dead) as well as recently being witness to Nissa foiling his plan to fix the seal before leaving Zendikar as he had no better options at the time.

What am I getting at with all of this info? All of these characters, except for our fuzzy friend Garruk, are involved with the Eldrazi and have reason to stop the threat before the Eldrazi devour anymore of the multiverse. Incorporating Garruk would be rather simple as there are numerous routes they could take with his character. This could very well be our dream team of "good guys" to deal with the Eldrazi threat. This could also imply that we'll be seeing the Zendikar versions of Jace and Chandra.

As the new artwork for Chandra above was already shown in a previous link, here's the new Jace art (Source here). It's important to point out the similarities between this new image and the original Planeswalker art for Chandra and Jace. Chandra is in a very similar pose while Jace has almost identical Blue energy swirling around his hand. The art direction leans in the favor of the original Planeswalkers being reprinted for yet another Core Set.

Remember the Planeswalker Signature Spells in Magic 2011? It looks like the concept will be making a return with all new spells (Source here). The image above is for a new spell titled "Chandra's Phoenix". I'm personally intrigued as I'm a fan of what they pulled off with the original signature spells. They made great support spells and build-around cards for several deck types without even needing their respective Planeswalker to excel. A few have been tournament worthy and the majority of the rest are casual favorites for all sorts of shenanigans. What's not to love?


EDIT - May 23, 2011 - UPDATES!

Mechanics were finally shown on the Mothership today.

"Trollshroud" is now an evergreen keyword (that certainly took awhile). The evergreen keyword is titled Hexproof. Dungrove Elder below is an example of this:


Not really a mechanic but still noteworthy: WotC realized that the phrase "When [this card] is put into a graveyard from the battlefield" was a bit ridiculous and wordy. Now it's finally shortened to "Dies". Streamlined for your convenience. An example below is the reprinted Archon of Justice:

The returning mechanic this time around is Bloodthirst from Guildpact. While Bloodthirst doesn't excite me, I'm sure others will enjoy its revival. The Gorehorn Minotaurs below want to show off their bloodthirst:

The most exciting card out of the bunch for me personally is Chandra's Phoenix (shown below). The art shown is the "Buy-A-Box Promo" artwork. The art displayed earlier in the post will still remain as the actual card art. This works alongside Chandra Nalaar, Chandra Ablaze, and even Chandra-less decks. Red mages should be happy all around.




EDIT - June 17, 2011 - UPDATES!

I'd like to apologize for the lack of updates on this post but I wanted to wait things out and see what direction this set was going before posting anything comprehensive. Also: everyone knows I'm not turning this into a visual spoiler so I'm only pointing out major concepts of 2011.

Comprehensive look at each color
____________________________

White:
- There are a hefty amount of auras already previewed in White and we still have over 100 cards left to be previewed.
- Auramancer is a new card that brings back an enchantment from the graveyard.
- There are at least four Griffins printed so far and a Griffin Rider that gets a bonus if there is a Griffin in play. There's no telling if this means Griffin tribal is the focus for this particular core set but it's something to consider.
- So far there are already six creatures that have abilities based around combat tricks.

Blue:
- Hexproof will also be in Blue. This was to be expected but it's still important to note.
- Illusions seem to be the focus for Blue tribal in M12. So far we have Phantasmal Bear (U for a 2/2) and Phantasmal Dragon (2UU for a 5/5 flyer). Both of which die if they're targeted by anything.
- Lord of the Unreal is a human wizard who is also the "Illusion Lord". He gives all Illusions hexproof and +1/+1.
- Jace's Archivist is getting plenty of people excited already. 1UU for a 2/2 that can tap for U to force all players to discard their hand and draw cards equal to the greatest number discarded this way. A repeatable Windfall ability is nothing to sneeze at.

Black:
- Vampires are the primary focus (was there ever a doubt?) and Bloodthirst seems to be their main ability. Flavor-wise this makes perfect sense.
- Bloodlord of Vaasgorth is the vampire lord for this set (we seem to get a new one every set). He's 3BB for a 3/3 flyer with Bloodthirst 3. He also gives all vampires Bloodthirst 3 when they're cast.
- Devouring Swarm is rather notable since it's a flying Bloodthrone Vampire/Nantuko Husk variant.
- Zombie Infestation will be reprinted.

Red:
- There are already 3 Dragons previewed so far. This doesn't necessarily mean anything since M10 also had 3 while M11 only had 1.
- Bloodthirst is also in red. This also makes sense flavor-wise.
- Goblin Grenade will be reprinted.
- Inferno Titan will also be reprinted. That doesn't automatically mean the Titan cycle will be reprinted but it's highly likely.

Green:
- Hexproof is primarily in Green. We already knew this but there are already 3 creatures shown with Hexproof.
- Hunter's Insight is rather notable as it's another decent card draw spell for Green.
- Elvish Archdruid will be reprinted so Elves are going to remain the tribal focus of Green for M12 (I won't lie, I was hoping they would mix it up for a change).
- Garruk's Horde is the new signature spell for Garruk. Garruk's Companion has also been shown to be reprinted. The thing to note is that neither of these have any synergy with Garruk Wildspeaker. Does that mean we'll be getting an all new Garruk? There's no telling just yet.



EDIT - June 22, 2011 - UPDATE
Core Set Mini-Site:
http://www.wizards.com/magic/tcg/products.aspx?x=mtg/tcg/products/magic2012

Notable reprints include:
Grim Lavamancer
Primeval Titan
Rite of Flourishing
and all the previous ones already mentioned


EDIT - June 23, 2011 - UPDATE
Jace 3.0 Preview!!



Copy pasta from today's post:
Before anyone yells, "Fake!" Realize that this is a mock-up. This was posted on Gathering Magic and other sites today so you have them to thank for creating the mock-up. It will be replaced with the real version once WotC adds the real version to the M12 Image Spoiler.

G4TV's Attack of the Show actually previewed this today. All of the speculation and rumors have turned out to be true (except for all of the fake versions people have come up with of course).

For those that can't see the image. Jace, Memory Adept costs 3UU and his abilities are:
+1 Draw a card. Target player puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
0 Target player puts the top ten cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
-7 Any number of target players each draw twenty cards.


EDIT - July 1, 2011 - UPDATE
I finally get back from out of town and after some silly happenings that I won't get into here, I'm not going to be updating this particular post anymore (in case you're worried, it's nothing serious). Plus, I'm pretty sure everyone is keeping up with the visual spoilers on every other site and forum at this point so I'll just leave this post with two final images:





Set Name Magic 2012
Three-Letter Abbreviation M12
Number of Cards 249
Release Date July 15, 2011
Prerelease Events July 9-10, 2011
Launch Parties July 15-18, 2011
Game Day August 13-14, 2011
Design Team Mark Globus (lead)
Doug Beyer
Aaron Forsythe
Ken Nagle
Development Team Tom LaPille (lead)
Kelly Digges
Peter Schaefer
Mike Turian
Steve Warner
Dave Humpherys

This is Kylak signing out and wondering if Gideon will become the new poster child for awhile.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Video Spotlight #23 The Fantastic Mr. Star Fox



Sharing videos I managed to find scattered across the internet.

This would be a College Humor original that manages to parody two foxes with one arwing (Star Fox and The Fantastic Mr. Fox). Be prepared for references abound and Peppy on the verge of facepalming.

This is Kylak signing out because I can't barrel roll away from who I am.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wicked Anime Reviews #8: Durarara!!



Anime reviews delivered directly to the face!

What's it about?
A highschooler decides to move into a big city thanks to the encouragement of his friend. He quickly learns that things aren't quite what he expected. Rival gangs, a twisted information merchant, an urban legend of a headless rider, weird experiments, a demonic serial killer, and a love triangle are just some of the things he gets involved with shortly after moving. No big deal right?

What rocks?
The single thing that Durarara does perhaps better than any other Anime is break apart the perspective of the story to show how it's composed of the sum of its parts. The actual events don't get fully exposed to the viewer because we're seeing each event unfold from the perspective of multiple groups or individual characters. As you continue to watch, the layers get added onto one another and you can finally see the full picture of what's going on.

Another thing Durarara does well is making a massive cast of lovable and quirky characters that are all capable of bringing laughter in one way or another. The advantages of having a large cast means you'll be sure to adore at least a few of the characters.

What sucks?
Having a large cast for such a short series is both a blessing and a curse. Due to the sheer number of characters, and the fact that most details are shrouded in mystery at first, things start off a bit slow. You'll be wondering for the first few episodes whether the series is really going anywhere and you definitely won't get fully involved with some of the more interesting characters right off the bat. A great example is Celty. It's very obvious in retrospect that she's a main character but you won't get heavily introduced to her until several episodes in. Mid-way through though you'll feel like she was a close friend all along.

This is Kylak signing out and warning you about flying vending machines.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Musical Chairs #3 *removed* See link

The content of this post has been removed.

A link will be added to the new post soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Video Spotlight #22 Tag Match - Thousand Pounds Fight Team



Sharing videos I managed to find scattered across the internet.

The Thousand Pounds fight team has been all over the net already for weeks now but for some strange reason no one posted this delicious piece of footage. The hilarious part is: this was done with only four hours of footage time which means it could have been even better. If you take a look through their channel over here (click) then you'll notice that they have a ton of goodies planned and a lot of test videos which will lead up to something greater. If you missed out on the hilarity then check out their Ultra Combo videos as those are the vids that have taken the internet by storm lately.

This is Kylak signing out and loving the music choice for this vid.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Flash Game Reviews #3 Rebuild


Flash Game Reviews.

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/562116

STORY:
ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! Most games would just stop there. While I'll admit that there isn't a complex story here to be found, there is at least an attempt to expand upon the day to day events in the game that tells the tale of the survivors and how they go about each activity that you command them to do. This method adds a lot of flavor and there's obviously a lot of effort put into these daily reports.

GAMEPLAY:
This is a turn-based strategy game where you plan what your survivors do each day and then click to end that particular day. Random events can occur on top of all the scouting, scavenging, recruiting, and hunting missions. The main challenge is managing your resources, keeping the morale up, fortifying your defenses, and knowing when and where to expand your city. There are multiple ways to win which also adds another layer to the strategy.

GRAPHICS:
The simple cartoony graphics actually work rather well for this game. The attention to lighting of different areas that have been scouted and the fact that zones will change based on the sheer number of zombies is a nice added touch so that each zone doesn't stay static.

MUSIC:
The music works for the first play-through with it's eerie feel but you begin to tune it out beyond that due to its repetitive nature. There's only one track throughout the entire game and that's really a shame.

LASTING APPEAL:
This is one of the few flash games that will suck you in and make you waste days of your life. While it's rather simple to beat the game on the easier difficulties, the real fun comes from attempting to beat all difficulties. Good luck on that by the way, you'll need it.

OVERALL:
This is one of those ideas that you wonder why no one has ever done this before and yet here it is being pulled off masterfully. It's a fun concept that's easily accessible to anyone and especially geared toward those looking for a zombie survival SIM. It's difficult to grade this one seeing as there really isn't another game like it on the web but if I had to point out any flaws it would be that the Soldier job is more important than any other job by far and excess members of other jobs don't help out nearly as much as they should as it's typically inefficient to have more than 2 or 3 of another job (where as having 100 Soldiers is purely beneficial).

Final Score: 9 out of 10

This is Kylak signing out before my defenses are overrun.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Leak Sauce #10 Mirrodin Pure or New Phyrexia?





Leaking info to you and bringing the discussion.

The third set in the Scars of Mirrodin block is either going to be Mirrodin Pure or New Phyrexia. Wizards of the Coast knows the outcome but won't give it away just yet. For now, the set is codenamed "Action" (to finish the codenames of the block: Lights, Camera, and Action). I'm here as usual to give you the facts and some spiffy artwork I've gathered here.

The facts:
- The Buy a Box Promo = Surgical Extraction (Due to the flavor added to the Blue Phyrexians, this will most likely be a Blue card)

- The two pieces of art at the top of this page belongs to Melira, Sylvok Outcast and Phyrexian Metamorph.

- Melira is in fact the very Sylvok girl that Thrun, the Last Troll is training. He believes she may help tip the scales of the current war due to her unique nature. She happens to be the only being on Mirrodin to not be born with any metal skin. Her artwork proves she is NOT a Planeswalker as many believed her to be.

- Tezzeret's profile page in the multiverse section of the main website has been updated. Tezz was sent to Mirrodin by Bolas to monitor the Phyrexians and prevent a leadership from taking hold. He has since used his wit to establish himself in the Phryexian hierarchy to gain power for himself. He isn't working for the Phyrexians and will most likely manipulate them as he pleases.

- Karn is currently being held in the core of Mirrodin by the Praetors as their leader. On a good day he typically spouts insane mutterings as the Praetors whisper twisted psalms into his head as they await for him to fully become the new Father of Machines. Imagine what a bad day would be like.

- A quote on the current state of the Phyrexians:
"The plane of Phyrexia was all but destroyed when Urza's Planeswalker allies devastated it during the Phyrexian Invasion of Dominara. But that was not the end of Phyrexia entirely. Yawgmoth and his minions ensured that Phyrexia would endure by creating an insidious colonizing weapon known as "the oil". When Karn unknowingly introduced the oil to Mirrodin, Phyrexia was reborn."

"Access to Mirrodin's interior core of pure mana enabled Phyrexia to accelerate its unnatural evolution in a matter of decades. But Phyrexia is changed by the world of Mirrodin. In its original system, Phyrexia had access only to black mana. Here on Mirrodin, Phyrexia has evolved along each axis of mana color, creating factions in the formerly monolithic threat. This has made Phyrexia both stronger and weaker than before- stronger because it's more varied and adaptable, weaker because it now lacks the unity of purpose it once had."

- The five Praetors will finally get their own cards in the third set. Some info on the big five:

(WHITE)
"Led by Elesh Norn, the white-aligned faction believes that Phyrexia must adhere to the teachings of the Father of Machines. They intend to indoctrinate everyone about the truth, even if it means tearing them limb from limb and reattaching the parts into a creation that is worthy of Phyrexia. They are dogmatic, hierarchal, and orthodox in their methods."

(BLUE)
"Led by Jin-Gitaxias, Augur of the Core, the blue-aligned faction uses experimentation to find the ways to perfection. They are clinical, methodical, and research-orientated, with no sense of compassion for the creatures they mutilate in the name of the True Science. They collect scores of research subjects and perform gruesome tests, all in the name of progress."

(BLACK)
"Led by the mysterious Sheoldred, Whispering One, the black-aligned faction has one goal: enslave. Believers will serve. Unbelievers will be made to serve. All will bow to Phyrexia. Geth, the undead lord of the Vault of Whispers, had embraced Phyrexia long before the rest of Mirrodin knew the threat. Now, he controls a vast army of undead in service of their goals."

(RED)
"Under Urabrask the Hidden, the red-aligned faction rejects the hierarchy and order of the main Phyrexian leadership. They cultivate industry and birth-furnaces, which will reforge the world in their perfect vision."

(GREEN)
"The green-aligned faction aims to create a natural state in which predation will thrive unhindered. Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, seeks to eliminate sentience in favor of power. Consumption and strength are all that matter in the Tangle now. To accomplish his goals, Vorinclex has a powerful and ruthless ally: Glissa Sunseeker has become Glissa, the Traitor."


- A quote from the minisite:
"Elesh Norn's church is a mockery of all faiths. She is like a child who has watched her elders from the other room at an important meeting. She sees the ritual but knows not the intent. And like a child, she scrambles to her room and replicates what she saw with her toys, pretending to be like an elder in a meeting, though she's only going through the motions.

"Her pretext of faith as justification for her actions is a flimsy delusion continued only by her misunderstanding of life and Phyrexia's true purpose. Take a look at her angels, vicious and effective soldiers I shall admit, but unnecessary in form and function.

"The angel was a messenger to the heavens, bestowing grace and mercy to believers. Even in the depths I know this. In Elesh's fantasy to be a true church she must also have angels, even if they no longer bestow grace and mercy. They have the shape of the messenger, though they have nothing to say. Her fractured religion serves only as demoralizing propaganda to willingly covert a few and expends precious resources modifying the forms of her minions to fit her religious theme.

"My concern is not anything to take with heavy hearts, brother, for we both know when the resistance falls under my shadow and your flames, her precious dream of being a beautiful goddess will shatter like her porcelain skin." – Sheoldred, to Urabrask

- Yet another quote:
"The others think Urabrask is an arrogant fool who is simply spoiling for glorious battle with the Mirrans. But I'm not so sure.
...
There is just enough method to his madness to leave me wondering.
I see an endgame here... and I do not like it."
~Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur


- Below you can enjoy some artwork for upcoming cards:


Above: Urabrask, the Hidden (The Red Praetor)
Full artwork here on the artist's deviantart page:
http://cryptcrawler.deviantart.com/art/MTG-Urabrask-the-Hidden-197052196


Above: Geosurge (Take a look at the artwork of Seething Song as it's strangely similar)


Above: Chancellor of the Annex (A twisted Phyrexian angel)


Above: An upgraded Blood Seeker with half of a Soul Warden attached.


Above: An upgraded Marble Chalice.


Above: Unknown Title (It's very apparent that this angel looks identical to Platinum Angel except it happens to be composed of Darksteel)


Above: Unknown Title (A Phyrexian holding a corrupted Mirrodin and its five Lacunae in its clutches)

Number of Cards 175
Release Date May 13, 2011
Prerelease Events May 7-8, 2011
Launch Parties May 13-16, 2011
Design Team Ken Nagle (lead)
Dave Guskin
Joe Huber
Matt Place
Mark Rosewater
Development Team Aaron Forsythe (lead)
Dave Guskin
Zac Hill
Tom LaPille
Erik Lauer

Edit - March 7th:
Sorry for the late edit but things have been rather hectic. At this point, these spoilers aren't all that new anymore but I figured I would add them to the pile regardless.

Above: Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger (The Green Praetor who happened to bring along this quote: "Everything knows hunger. The beast gnawing upon a bone, the earth waiting to claim that beast's own bones, the plants that scavenge its blood from the dirt. To feed, to consume, to make the strength of another your own – these are not merely Phyrexian ideals. They are fundamental precepts of the universe!")

Above: Argent Mutation (Thanks to this quote, we can assume that the hand in the picture casting the spell is owned by Karn and he happens to be on the Mirran side: "There is always a point in a father's life when he sees his child so far down a path that the potential to take another road is no longer a possibility. I wonder when my creator first looked at me with jubilation and regret, seeing me unable to become anything more than what I was. I think about that now, because I feel that way when I look upon my world." – Karn)

Above: Sheoldred, Whispering One (The Black Praetor makes her debut and while there was a story blurb that went along with the wallpaper, this article is long enough as it is and I doubt anyone needs me to add even MORE walls of text.)

Above: Chancellor of the Dross (And due to there already being a Chancellor of the Annex, there is a strong possibility that this will be a cycle.)

Above: Caged Sun (I wonder what the Mirrans are up to since they're ornately caging their own Green Sun... This looks awfully similar to Conjurer's Bauble)

Above: Elesh Norn (The White Praetor)

Above: Puresteel Paladin


This is Kylak signing out and hoping you're ready for whatever may befall the land of Mirrodin.

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