Friday, December 29, 2017

Magi-Nation Duel: Tavel's Travels

This was the story published on the Magi-Nation Duel website, about Phil Tavel's travels across America to visit game stores and play against players young and old!  He challenged players in all the game stores he came across, and those who managed to beat him would earn a 'Powers of the Creators' card. 

Tavel’s Travels, 2001
Amazing Discoveries- Tucson, AZ

By Marcello Bolivar

Storm clouds were brewing as Phil entered Amazing Discoveries in Tucson, Arizona. The store held many excited duelers eager to lock horns with the Creator. From within the crowd stepped forward two of Magi-Nation's most potent duelers. Within minutes Phil was sitting down to face off against Stephan Classen, while Taylor Harter patiently bided his time.

As Phil and Stephan prepared to duel, the excited group crowded around to witness the encounter. As the players pulled out their decks, their region preferences quickly became apparent: Phil was going to play his vaunted Naroom deck while Stephan had chosen to fly the Arderial banner.

As play began, Stephan revealed Delia as his leadoff Magi and swiftly brought out a torrent of Vellups. The formidable wall of creatures at the conclusion of his turn demonstrated why Delia is often affectionately dubbed "Lady Vellup."

Not to be outdone, Phil followed Stephan's solid opening round with his own flurry of creatures. The lovable Naroom Magi Evu arrayed a Furok, a Plith, a Balamant, and a Bwill before him. As the first round of play ended, both players seemed poised for a long struggle.

Stephan forcefully dispelled that notion by using Warrior Boots to pull in an Ayebaw. Under a Vellup and Ayebaw assault, Evu soon found himself without creatures to protect him from defeat.

Phil began his next round with his second Magi, Orwin, seeking to balance the scales. Delia soon found herself caving under a Naroom onslaught led by a cuddly Furok. The momentum shift was short-lived, however, as Stephan called in Sorreah to establish Arderial dominance over the arena of play. The next two rounds were an efficient display of Arderial power as Stephan pulled out the whole Xyx arsenal to defeat Orwin and Yaki in quick order. A gracious and deserving victor, Stephan found himself one of the elite owners of a Power of the Creators card.

Taylor Harter now stepped forward from the wings seeking to avenge a prior loss to Phil at Gen Con this past summer. It was fitting that Taylor chose the Core as his region, considering the Core's recent capture of the Great Library of Naroom.

Opening with Warrada, Taylor started out slowly by simply putting out a Chaos Jile. Phil however, wasted no time with Evu. After Evu's obligatory Vortex of Knowledge, he used Warrior Boots to bring in a Furok to defeat the Chaos Jile, then followed that up by bringing out an Eebit, a Plith, a Bwill, and a Balamant.

Seeing the opposing forces before him, Taylor sprung his trap. He wasted no time in turning Phil's Balamant and using essence of Naroom to take over his Plith, which then attacked Phil's Eebit. The dark powers of Core were not finished however, as Taylor then used Agram's Plaything to overcome the Bwill and dispatch Evu.

The game was fierce, as Taylor used Core's manipulative powers to repeatedly take control of Phil's gauntlet of creatures. Phil counterbalanced the Core's evil ways by transforming his remaining creatures into relentless energy-draining machines.

The game saw Magi after Magi fall to defeat. First Naroom's Evu fell, followed shortly by Warrada, the true power behind the current throne of Core. That left Agram to face Orwin once and future ruler of the Core versus the great Elder of Naroom. Weary from battle, Orwin fell at last to Agram's dark attack. Yaki came forward to carry the banner and vanquish Agram, but that reprieve was short-lived as Zet emerged to push the forces of evil to eventual victory.

Having avenged his earlier defeat, Taylor happily accepted his Power of the Creators card. With two of Magi-Nation's top-ranked players and two PotCs as newfound plunder, Arizona's duelers served notice that they are a force to be reckoned with in the World of Magi-Nation.

Phil Tavel's Creature Beat-Down Deck
1st Evu
2nd Orwin
3rd Yaki

2 Balamant
2 Bwill
2 Eebits
1 Forest Hyren
2 Furok
1 Giant Carillion
1 Leaf Hyren
1 Plith
2 Pylofuf
2 Stagadan
2 Twee
2 Wasperine
2 Weebo

2 Energy Band
2 Rayje's Belt
2 Relic Stalkers
2 Robe of Vines
1 Tomorrow's Jewel
3 Warrior Boots
2 Water of Life

2 Bottomless Pit
1 Grow
2 Resonate
2 Shockwave
2 Tap Roots
2 Umm...No
1 Vortex of Knowledge

Stephan Classen's Arderial Deck
1st Delia
2nd Sorreah
3rd Ora

2 Ayebaw
3 Elder Vellup
2 Lovian
3 Vellup
2 Xyx
2 Xyx Elder
3 Xyx Minor

1 Alaban Gloves
2 Rayje's Belt
2 Storm Rising
3 Warrior Boots
2 Water of Life

2 Beam of Light
2 Cataclysm
2 Lightning
3 Shockwave
1 Shooting Star
2 Sorreah's Dream
2 Thunderquake

Taylor Harter's Core Deck
1st Warrada
2nd Agram
3rd Zet

1 Chaos Jile
2 Chaos Plith
3 Core Grag
1 Darkbreed Hyren
2 Koil
3 Shadow Vinoc
3 Wudge

2 Agram's Plaything
1 Essence of Naroom
2 Rayje's Band
2 Rayje's Belt
2 Rayje's Boots
3 Shadow Bones
2 Shadow Cloak
2 Tomorrow's Jewel
3 Warriors Boots

2 Blight
3 Corrupt
1 Dream Rift
3 Turn
1 Vaporize

Here was his full tour schedule and list of winners! 

Date Location City Winner
Tues 11/6/2001 Wizards of the Coast Tukwila, WA
Thurs 11/8/2001 Beckmon's Cards Twin Falls, ID
Thurs 11/8/2001 Mystic Comics Logan UT
Fri 11/9/2001 Attactix Aurora, CO
Fri 11/9/2001 CollectorMania Parker, CO
Sat 11/10/2001 Wizards of the Coast Broomfield, CO
Mon 11/12/2001 Reader's World Springfield, IL Dave Autzen
Tues 11/13/2001 The Game Preserve Indianapolis, IN Travis McKinney

Michael Welling

Andrew Steckley
Wed 11/14/2001 Be A Gamer West Dundee, IL Tim Kouba

Noel Meyer
Tues 11/20/2001 Collectible Investments Berkley, MI Shane Reeves

Chris Staunton

Khris McKee
Tues 11/20/2001 The Guardtower Columbus, OH
Sat 11/24/2001 New World Manga Livingston, NJ Taylor Nummi

Joe Montalbano
Mon 11/26/2001 Wizards of the Coast Garden City, NY
Tues 11/27/2001 The Game Castle Londonderry, NH
Wed 11/28/2001 Jumpgate Portsmouth, NH
Wed 11/28/2001 The Knight's Quest Gardner, MA Vince Sosa

John White III

Jeremy Coulomb
Wed 11/28/2001 Griffon Games Greenfield, MA Tim Adan

Colton MacLeay
Thurs 11/29/2001 Sarge's Comics London, CT
Thurs 11/29/2001 The Gamer's Realm Windsor, NJ
Fri 11/30/2001 Dream Wizards Rockville, MD Graham Bannon
Fri 11/30/2001 Wizards of the Coast Hanover, MD Nathaniel Wise
Tues 12/4/2001 Dr. Bob's Game Shop Huntsville, AL
Wed 12/5/2001 Ground Zero Mobile, AL
Thurs 12/6/2001 The Strategy Center Clermont, FL Bob Hutchison

Jeff North

Jason Edgley
Thurs 12/13/2001 Lone Star Comics Hurst, TX Jeffrey A. Sass

Justin McDonough
Sat 12/15/2001 Amazing Discoveries Tucson, AZ Stephan Classen

Taylor Harter

Robert Davidson
Sat 12/15/2001 Wizards of the Coast Mesa, AZ Tom Scott
Mon 12/17/2001 DNA Cards and Comics Pacifica, CA CJ Vossen

Tim Gin

Simon Lai

John Peralta

March Johnson
Tues 12/18/2001 Bizarro World Davis, CA Lazarus Agbowo Jr.

Jared Tholer

Shivam Bhatt
Wed 12/19/2001 A-1 Comics Roseville, CA Denver Martin

Patrick Sander

Carey Cox

Matthew Momsen

 Finally, here are some of the surviving images from his journey!

Mesa, AZ

Twin Falls, ID

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bablovia and other Silly Things

Welcome to the wacky world of UN!

Bablovia is Magic's newest world, based on silly behavior, jokes, and basic mayhem.  It is the setting of the third Un- (silver bordered) set, for jokes, hilarity, and fun, Unstable!

The world class intro to Bablovia!

Un-sets and silver bordered cards are all about what's possible in a card game but not generally possible in Magic: the Gathering black border competitive formats.  Un-sets also have a lot of comedy, jokes, and fun creature types, without the constraints of world connections, story line, or specific settings.  Here for your enjoyment are the listings of history and flavor elements of various Un-sets. 


there are ton of jokes in Un-sets, so these articles give a few of them away!

Unglued had a large number of jokes.  Unfortunately, most of them weren't online yet, as the Duelist covered most articles on Magic.  But here are some of them, at least!

Unglued! Jokes, "get it??"

Unhinged was the sequel to Unglued, as Unglued 2 never made it to print.  It would be 9 years later until we saw another Unset, Unstable!

Promos of Unhinged!

Get it?  Unhinged Part 1.

Get it?  Unhinged Part 2.

Unstable is finally released in 2017, and there are many new fun mechanics: here are the explanations behind the cards! 

Scraps part 1.   Part 2.

A good description of many of the art designs for Unstable.

There are text and flavor variants!

A fun thing, Wizards of the Coast sends out a silver-bordered Holiday card each year: You can see them all and their wallpaper here.

Unseen!  Unglued 2 never made it to print, but Maro has shown off a variety of ideas and cards, including poisonous vegetable creatures!

Unseen 1Unseen 2!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Magi-Nation Duel Storyline Events History

Magi-Nation Duel was a trading card game that came at the right time (just around the start of Pokemon, in 2000), but had trouble keeping up with the larger more well funded card games.  It was based around a storyline, of a fantastical people living on the moon of the planet El, who could summon creatures from their dreams.  

One of the larger appeals for Magi-Nation Duel was that the company, Interactive Imagination, hosted large events called “Storyline Tournaments”, which would track winners across the globe, and affect the lore behind the cards (and even change and create cards!) based on the outcomes of these events.  
Before you is a history of the game- a list of all the information still available about the storyline tournaments, and how they affected the game.  Linked also are their short stories, to give you a taste of the fiction that inspired the game.  

The game was originally released in Oct 2000, to the United States, with Limited Edition, at GenCon 2000!

May-June 2001: Awakening Expansion was released. 

June-August? 2001:  “Fools Rush In” – 1st storyline tournament, Naroom was the winner of this one across the average of the world, with Cald is close behind.  Tryn and Barak entered the Naroom shadow geyser because of it. 

Fools Rush In was a worldwide storyline tournament, following simultaneously to the story of the Game Boy Color game.  Only Awakening was released at the time (1st expansion), so the game did not have many regions at this point.  

Redemption of Ogar/Corruption of Ulk Storyline Event Tournament (Midnight Magi Madness) – July 5-8th, 2001 Origins - A tournament to see if Ogar would be redeemed to the light, or Ulk would be drawn to the shadows. 

Rich Riley won this event with his Underneath deck.  He held the title, “Redeemer of Ogar” online, and the story: “The Call of Nightmares” was written for it, as Ogar, the Underneath shadow Magi, was redeemed to her home region.  Rich used an Underneath deck with Korrits, Parmalags, (of course Ormagons and Thunderquake), and Tunneler’s boots to be an endurance deck. 

The card: Sorrowing Ogar was made for this victory. 

GenCon Storyline Tournament (Aug 2-5th 2001) – Paul Heaver won this event, to create the card Woot!   He piloted a Naroom deck to victory, with the Magi: Wence, Tryn, and Eidon.

The first world championship was held at this event also.  

November 2001: Dream's End expansion released.


“When a Tree Falls” – October 19th-21st 2001 The Fall of Naroom to the Shadow Magi attacking after the defeat of Agram.  Hrada and Warrada, the Dark Twins, were the ones who attacked, leading the other shadow Magi. 

 We're still looking for information on which region did the best, but it's suspected that the Core was the overall victor here, as the Shadow Magi took over Naroom.

April 2002: Nightmare's Dawn expansion released.

“Fists of Rayje” – May 3rd-5th 2002-The legendary Magi,Rayje returns, in order to settle conflicts between the regions.  Where he went first bringing aid was determined by the storyline event. This was a worldwide storyline event, showcasing Rayje's (pronounced "Rage") help across the moonlands around the time of the great relic robbery.  

The card: Sinder, Apprentice was made for this storyline tournament result, as Cald was the most successful. 

“The Great Relic Robbery” – July 5th 2002, 
Origins Storyline tournament.  Bria's theft of the Scroll of Fire, and the attempt of the Cald Raiders to raid the Great Vault of Knowledge in Orothe and get it back.   
Hosted at Origins Convention in Columbus, Ohio July 5th 2002.  From the Grand Magi Council #5- Chris Jilot apparently took 1st place in this event, earning himself two round byes for the Gen Con Storyline tournament.  

The card: The Last Words, (and alternate version) were made to showcase this storyline event, where Orothe stole the Scroll of Fire, and the Calders attempted to get it back.   

"Mission of a Dream Warrior” – June 2002, Origins League for a Day, Creation of Tuku, the dream warrior.  Fans were curious of the monkey dream creature pictured with Tuku, so the “Tuku’s Hapu” story was created! 

Tuku and Hapu cards were made for the popularity of this event and character. 

Gen Con "Create a Card" Storyline Tournament (T'Dek, created by winner Matt Loomis) and the 2nd World Championship (Matt Loomis won this also):  August 8-11th, 2002.

November 2002: Voice of the Storms expansion released.

“Gift of the Monarch Hyren” – December 12th-29th, 2002: A worldwide storyline tournament determining which region the Monarch Hyren would aid.  Arderial was the winner of-this event by a majority and received the gift of the Monarch Hyren, in the form of the card:  Rainbow Hyren.  The Rainbow Hyren in Traitor's Reach was made for the success of Arderial.

This was the last worldwide storyline tournament for Magi-Nation Duel, and it showed the powers of Hyren (Dragons in the Moonlands), and their progenitor.


"The Dream Cannon” – June 28th 2003, Origins storyline tournament.  The start of the Invaders from El storyline.  This story was affected by the storyline tournaments that took place at Origins, Columbus, OH June 28th, 2003.

“War of the Twins” – July 2003 Gen Con storyline tournament – This tournament decided which region had a traitor for the Core, and Kybar’s teeth was invaded by the Dark Twins.
Quote from the Magi-Nation website about this event:

This story was affected by the Worlds storyline tournament that took place at GenCon, Indianapolis, IN July 26th, 2003.  World Championship (132 player max)
Each player must bring a standard Magi-Nation deck, containing 40 cards and three Magi. All current rulings and errata will be in effect. The winner of this event will be the 2003 Magi-Nation World Champion. If you can only attend one Magi-Nation event at GenCon this year, this is the one to play in. Read the storyline for this event, to be affected by match results.
We're still looking for information from this event, to determine who won each, and which decks they used.

Late 2003.  Traitor's Reach expansion completed, but never released to print. 

September 2007: Magi-Nation TV show Season 1 airs. 
January 2010: Season 2 of the Magi-Nation TV show airs. 

And that was all.  Magi-Nation Duel did not continue successfully, and their final expansion was never released.  A animated TV show aimed at kids was only marginally successful, and ran for two seasons, based on the events of the moonlands and Tony Jones arriving there.  The rest may be lost to history.

In the next Magi-Nation themed article, we're going to cover the Magi nation Leagues, fan based MND events, and the current things fans are still doing to keep the game they love alive.  

Friday, September 22, 2017

The End of Eternal Winter

Coldsnap was a throwback expansion, claimed to be a file "found" many years as a 3rd set in the Ice Age block.  To that end, Wizards developed the set, and had the author of the Ice Age story block, Jeff Grubb, write about it.  He wrote this story, about the goals of Heider, a winter mage hoping the eternal ice would remain eternal.  The story is set after the events in the Ice Age Trilogy, after the conclusion in "The Shattered Alliance".  Heider is a new winter mage hoping to stop the warming world climate, and keep the eternal ice age going. 

This story was originally published in the Coldsnap player's manual, and here it is again for all to read. 

Clicking on the images will bring up a larger image, so the text is more readable. 

And here is the Storyline synopsis.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ixalan World Guide Images

At the worldbuilding panel at PAX West this year, the Magic team showed off some of their images from the Ixalan world building guide.

Here are these images, for you to peruse and learn more about the Sun Empire, the River Heralds, and the Legion of Dusk.  You can see larger versions of the images by clicking on them

The Legion of dusk are vampires following a strict church from the continent of Torazon, coming to Ixalan by ship to find the Immortal Sun artifact that was lost to them hundreds of years ago. 

The River heralds concept art.

The Sun Empire's concept art, as well as that of Huatli. 


You can find more on the plane of Ixalan on the main world guide article. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Discover the Plane of Ixalan

With a major treasure hunt beginning, our world of Ixalan arrives with mechanics and flavor.  Dinosaurs and Pirates, undiscovered lands, and danger beneath the rivers and seas!  (A plane that 'walkers can never leave, yarr)

Introduction article to the world and rules of Ixalan.

The planes is introduced by Alison Luhrs, in the Magic Story podcast.

The Interactive Map will help out find your way on the journey!

Geocaching is a fun activity, and Wizard of the Coast has released numerous trackable tags to move around our own world, to discover the world of Ixalan as well! 

World guide images from PAX West.

Planeswalker's Guide to Ixalan, Part 1Part 2.

Ixalan's trailer, welcome to a world of Dinosaurs!

The Magic Worldbuilding panel from PAX West revealed some new things about the world. 

Plane Shift DnD campaign reveals more about the plane.  Adventure and learn that X marks the spot.

The Plane page: Ixalan.


We come to Ixalan following Jace, now a castaway on a deserted island, arriving here fresh from his defeat by Nicol Bolas on Amonkhet.  Jace' mind and memory were crushed, and so, we will journey the seas with him to find himself, and see what this new world has to offer.  Ixalan is a plane of two continents,  Ixalan, a continent of dinosaurs and tropical lands ruled by the Sun Empire and the
merfolk River Heralds (similar to Aztec and Incan cultures of our world), and a far off continent of Torrezon, with the vampire conquistadors of the Legion of Dusk and the traveling pirates known collectively as the Brazen Coalition.  Ral Zarek on Ravnica was tracking Vraska's planeswalking, but was unable to determine where she traveled to- which we now learn is Ixalan.  She's seeking something, and has guidance from a compass, given by Nicol Bolas to find Orazca, the City of Gold.  She is taking on new roles as a captain of a ship, and we as readers will see how she adapts to freedom and the ability to lead a crew with her powers and abilities. 

The Vampires are seeking a relic stolen from them centuries ago, known as the Immortal Sun.  Their goals to reclaim it would reduce their need to drink the blood of the wicked, to allow them to live eternally without blood needs. 

The pirates too are seeking the power of the Immortal Sun. They are seeking it and raiding the Sun Empire in goals to find the ultimate treasure for immeasurable power.  Their refugees were from Torrezon, who escaped to the sea to form their pirate coalition. 

The Sun empire is in a time of prosperity, from powers given by sun priests and riding dinosaurs.  They believe in the threefold suns, championed by dinosaur avatars of three colors.  The empire is hoping to defend their land and maintain power on the continent, and seeks the Immortal Sun to fight off these new invaders of the Legion of Dusk (Their first conquistadors arrived around 2 years ago). 

The merfolk of the River Heralds are people of the river waters, protecting the natural world with natural magic.  Their strength is waning, and are no longer able to drive the Sun Empire out of the center of the continent.  They protect the Golden City of Orazca which hides the Immortal Sun, yet no one knows the actual location of the city- but they will defend it and it's secret location with all their remaining power.

Side Stories:

The Conqueror's Galleon lands in Ixalan. 

The map of the continent of Ixalan.  The continent of Torrezon isn't pictured, nor have we found Useless island labeled. (click to expand)
Ten Burning questions from Ixalan!

A revelation about Angrath: "[Kaldheim] is not his homeplane, nor would he be considerate enough to specifically show her that one, it just happened to be metaphysically nearby" in the story, "Glimpse the Far Side of the Sun". 

Official storyline:
Jace finds himself, alone, on Useless Island. 

Hualti strives to become the Warrior Poet, and finds a new foe in Angrath.

Having found her way to Ixalan from the guidance of an ancient being, she begins to lead a company of the Brazen Coalition, in the quest to find the Golden City.  Instead, Vraska finds a castaway.  

The Shapers of Ixalan seek to repel all invaders, even those of the Trifold Sun. 

Jace and Vraska make landfall at High and Dry, and find common ground on their quest to Orzaca. 

The Race is on to the golden city!

A final part of the race, Orazca appears!

The full story page is here.

Rivals of Ixalan

Jace recovers a flood of memories, and Vraska is forced to observe them, learning his shattered past.

Many race to Glimpse the Far Side of the Sun.   Here we see Jace relearning skills he had lost long before, when he left Vryn.  He also learns that Ugin left a mind trap in his memories, to send him to Ixalan in case his mind was every searched for traces of memories of Ugin.

The Arbiter of law, and his chaos. Huatli continues to strive for the Golden City, and Jace and Vraska encounter Azor.

Plans are made between Vraska and Jace, and they will be ready for Nicol Bolas' endgame, with Sabotage.

Who tells the stories?  Hualtli returns to Pachatupa with a tale.

Conclusions for many character's stories, we see that the wool over people's eyes isn't always so clear.

In alternate timelines, this is what could have occurred.  

Is anything missing?  Inaccurate?  Please leave us a comment, and we'll see what we can improve!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sailing and Geocaching for the Brazen Coalition

So we received a geocache trackable in the mail!

Figured this was a good opportunity to make it as pirate themed as possible.  For those that don't know, the world of Ixalan has a organization of pirates, known as the Brazen Coalition, who seek out treasure and riches across the seas.  

So, we'll make this trackable, tag #TB8K9A3, go on a journey.  Its goal?  Reach a geocache in Japan!  

To get it started, we launched it where some have found it best to rest.  

Walking to the cache, we stopped at a group of old ones, marking the path.  Felt we were on the right track!  But the old ones stayed silent.  Hiding whatever more they would upon their guarded hill. 

Further on, we realized, there be muggles around.  Muggles in geocaching is apparently anyone in the area who's not geocaching, or an 'uninitiated' person in the game.  We waited until it was only us and the dead.  Dead tell no tales, maytee!

So thar it be!!!  The treasure is logged, soon to appear on the main #mtggeocachers website.  You can follow Sailing for the Brazen Coalition here, and hopefully help it journey across the seas.  We'll be posting more lore about the Pirates of Ixalan as it appears, and help everyone find some gold for themselves!