Generous Patron

Today on Gemstone Mining, we’re going to take a trip to Valor’s Reach stadium and the world of Battlebond! This set was released with a set of very valuable reprints and a cycle of dual lands that are in high demand, but the other cards in the set fell by the wayside because they weren’t played in any competitive formats. Our gemstone Generous Patron is an Elf Advisor that seems to encourage giving away +1/+1 counters to other players’ creatures, but a more insidious plan is possible if we look a little deeper…

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Reyhan & Tana

Commander 2016 will go down in history as one of the most unique Commander sets to ever be printed; the four-color legends and the partner mechanic were amazing firsts for the format. At one point we planned to write an article for each of the 105 possible pairings of the partners, but that endeavor proved to be unsustainable. However, that doesn’t mean we still can’t talk about the more interesting combinations.

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Zones

Magic: the Gathering has a set of rules unlike almost any other game in existence. Its rules have to cover every conceivable interaction between every card, like a piece of software needs to be thoroughly tested to make sure its users can’t exploit a bug in the code. One of the most important rules features for keeping things comprehensible is the concept of “zones.” Zones divide the cards in a game of Magic into several areas which each have their own rules. To understand why this complicated-sounding system actually makes things simpler, we first need to understand what the system is. Let’s dive in!

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Rankle, Master of Pranks

Symmetrical effects used to be everywhere in Magic: the Gathering. However, aside from board wipes they are something we seem to be getting less and less of as time goes on. As I understand it, it’s because newer players don’t understand that an effect on their card might hurt them, or help their opponent. Why would Goblin King buff our opponent’s goblins? Why would Deft Duelist‘s shroud stop me from helping him? These things are off-putting to people who are just learning the game. Every once in a while, though, Wizards prints an interesting symmetrical-effect card (usually at Mythic rarity). Rankle, Master of Pranks is one such card.

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Syr Konrad, the Grim

It’s that time of year again, folks: Time for Pumpkin Spiced Foodstuffs™, jack o’ lanterns, people saying the word “spooky” a little too often… What I’m trying to say is that it’s almost Halloween, and in the spirit of the season today we’re going to look at a pretty spooky new card from Throne of Eldraine: Syr Konrad, the Grim .

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Workshop Elders

Throne of Eldraine has arrived, and with it comes a plethora of fun new cards to try out. We could take time to break down what’s to come of the new Standard or Modern meta, but instead we’re going to focus on one of the more overlooked cards of the set.

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Adventures

Throne of Eldraine is finally here, and with it comes a whole slew of new cards that people are hyped to brew around. Some of those cards have a brand new mechanic – Adventures! An Adventure is a special kind of instant or sorcery spell which is attached to a creature card. They work a lot like split cards, but there are a few differences. Let’s jump in:

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Mana Abilities

Last time on Eye of the Stack, I broke down exactly what it means to “cast a spell,” from the moment you announce it until all the costs are paid. In paper Magic, most players I know create their mana before casting their spells, and while this certainly isn’t wrong I think it comes from not knowing that they can activate mana abilities during the casting process. This time, I want to talk a little more about mana abilities, what defines them, and the implications of being a mana ability.

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Trostani Discordant

I’m a Selesnyan mage at heart. Tokens, small creatures, and big swings are in my DNA, and I’ve had some sort of token deck in EDH for as long as I can remember. A few years ago I built Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice and had some fun with it, but It wasn’t well-tuned and was a more casual deck. I eventually decided to rework it when the Guilds of Ravnica set came out, and that led me to decide I had the wrong Commander to begin with.

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