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Subject: Magic: The Gathering - Kaladesh - Late to the Table rss

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Val Ofiesh
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No one needs another review of MTG, especially on a release that has been out two months. But it lingers on my mind that I should write a review, not because I have special insight to the game, but rather because I am the most unlikely of Magic fans.

I am female, close to 60 years old, and have always left the local store as the boisterous hoard of Magic players would descend on the tables in the back room. However, Kaladesh, changed that.

One afternoon in September, a store clerk was assembling a promotional item and this object demanded to be admired.

When I learned that this was Magic, I was surprised. I had associated the game with dark imagery of vampires and the like, not to mention noise and young men a third my age. As more objects (saphire and emerald thropters) were hung and colorful posters placed in the windows, I questioned if I had unfairly dismissed this game.

So, I went to a Sunday afternoon pre-release event. Clearly I was a clueless anomaly in the environment, and of course, I lost all three matches. But I did find this among the cards in my box.

A gold foiled Lotus Petal.
I was totally charmed.

Probably not what die-hard Magic players want to hear, but I commuted to learning the game. That meant buying and trying - sealed deck league, draft format, standard, and Commander. I've barely scratched the surface.

POSITIVES:
1. Art. Kaladesh displays a buoyant feel, mixing Bollywood with Steam Punk in a way that epitomizes whimsy. It creates the sense that it is indeed, magical. 2. Vocabulary. Bet that surprises you, reader. However, I've taught high school English and I can think of another game that introduces teens to such varied word choices. Had I been a fan sooner, I might have hosted an after-school Magic club. And seeing younger players (age 9-13) engage and read these cards is a delight.
3. Game Play - Fairly easy to learn but it is useful to have someone teach it, rather than go by reading the insert. There are nuances to playing that don't come across easily from 'play land, tap,' etcetera.
4. Critical and Strategic Thinking. Oh, yes. It has that in every game. I've only become comfortable with heavier games in the past year, and although this is middle-weight in my view, one must consider every choice from the very beginning. I'm still caught making sub-optimal moves.

DRAWBACKS:

1. Cost. Yes, it is a cash sinkhole. I think joining a league that does sealed deck is likely the most cost effective for new players. We started with an investment of six packs ($25-30) and add only one pack each week.
I actually enjoy draft format the most, this runs $15 pee event. When compared to a Friday night out and the cost of a couple drinks or dinner out, the cost is not so bad. But if one tries to do both from the get-go it will run up quickly.
**the TOOLKIT BOX to which this review is linked is the BEST VALUE purchase.

2. TIME. There is a lot to understand in terminology and procedure. Learning how the thousands of legal cards interact is not a simple task. And deck construction takes time.

RECOMMENDATION: Absolutely a yes! At least try it once in your lifetime. Especially on Kaladesh. I hope more women and girls are drawn in to trying this game because this more playful look to the art. So, to you men out there: don't just teach your sons, bring your wives and daughters to the table as well. If ever there was a version of Magic that might appeal, it's possibly Kaladesh.

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Charlotte Malone
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Excellent review! I am also "not the MTG target audience" and have always avoided playing, despite having many friends that do. In addition to your post, I just this week heard another woman praise the game's EDH format. I may have to give it a go.

Thanks for posting!
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Jerry Martin
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Not sure if you are aware, but the Lotus Petal is extremely rare and worth about $50-60. Just saying so that someone doesn't try to rip you off. It could cover the costs of playing for a few months at your current rate.
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Val Ofiesh
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Syvanis wrote:
Not sure if you are aware, but the Lotus Petal is extremely rare and worth about $50-60. Just saying so that someone doesn't try to rip you off. It could cover the costs of playing for a few months at your current rate.


Thank you. I should have elaborated in the story. When I found it, I showed how 'pretty' it was to the others at the table. Everyone shouted, "We have a masterpiece!" The store clerk, Carlos, came over and immediately sleeved it. Within a minute he had looked up the value and told me which store in town would give the best, same-day cash offer. ($75 on pre-release weekend).

I'm keeping it ... along with the majority of cards I've bought. However, I've given almost 200 excess (any +5 copies) commons away to the youngsters at store (ages 9-15).
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Reggie P
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Thanks so much for posting! It's great to hear you getting so much enjoyment out of my all-time favorite game. Twenty years in and it just hasn't gotten old! I suspect the more you delve into it the "heavy" weight of the game will become more apparent. Strategy, sealed deck play, commander, planechase, archenemy, so many different formats to enjoy, and so cool that the "game" changes each year with new mechanics and themes. I hope you continue to enjoy it, it truly is a masterpiece as far as I'm concerned.
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Reggie P
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creevedog wrote:
Excellent review! I am also "not the MTG target audience" and have always avoided playing, despite having many friends that do. In addition to your post, I just this week heard another woman praise the game's EDH format. I may have to give it a go.

Thanks for posting!


EDH (or Commander as some put it) is really an incredible format! It's also a great fun, economical way to explore the game without having to experience the "financial sinkhole" that so many players gripe about as the reason they got out of the game. These days, it's primarily what my friends and I play, because it's just so much fun and the opportunity for expression and creativity in deckbuilding is vibrant. I encourage you to give it a go! It's a game that starts off very fun and gets better with age, just like its dedicated player base
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