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M11 Pooled Spoilers!

Welcome everyone, to the first proper spoiler post for Gwafa’s Bazaar. We’re bringing you our views on the three cards you’re bound to see all over the place today – Scroll Thief, Bloodcrazed Goblin, and War Priest of Thune! It is a bit hard to comment on the financial significance of commons and uncommons and every other man and his blog is going to be discussing their uses in limited or constructed play, so I am just going to jot down some musings on these three brand new cards. Without further ado, let’s get to it.


‘Nothing puts me in a worse mood when I’m trying to enjoy a quiet night off from walking the planes than finding a freaking fish person rummaging through my scrolls. There used to be a snake that hassled me in the same way, but at least it didn’t kick me on the way through! Fortunately if I catch him in time I can fry that blasted merman with a bolt of lightning and it’s no real skin off my nose if my foe gleans some knowledge from my missing scrolls – it’s the cleaning up I have to do afterwards.’

It will be fun to play with Ophidian in limited for sure. It doesn’t have inbuilt evasion like Thieving Magpie or Looter il-Kor, but if there is good enough bounce or removal around it shouldn’t be too hard to get in for a couple of extra cards – and in a controlling limited deck, that advantage can make all the difference. I don’t see me picking this over Sea-Gate Oracle for constructed any time soon, but stranger things have happened! Mostly I want to see how @Norbert88 responds to this card. Will he be pleased/disappointed by this magpie wannabe?

Bloodcrazed Goblin

Life isn’t easy being a one drop goblin. Wizards have to keep finding new ways for you to be wacky and questionably playable, but somehow they keep doing it. This goblin is dependent entirely on the cards around him – if there is something like Sulfuric Vortex to pair him with, he’s – well, he’s still pretty bad. Sorry little buddy, but even at 3/3 we would have to try pretty hard to make you worthwhile.


The flavour text on this card could be describing R&D’s approach to the game over the last few years – keep your spells out of our good honest creature battles, you durned planeswalkers! Really though, this guy is perfectly playable. His level of play will be determined by the questions that he answers – will there be enchantments that need to be blown up in M11 limited? In standard? He is like a much easier to cast Gatekeeper of Malakir, if we assume that killing an enchantment is as good as Edicting your opponent. It isn’t. Except when it is! This kills Spreading Seas and Oblivion Ring which are the major standard worries I can think of, which could be enough. Elspeth can launch him as well, which is pretty nice.

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Hey folks, just a quick post to alert everybody to a brand new deck archetype that just won an MTGO Premier event – Naya Allies! It beat Red, UW counterless control and Jund in the top 8 and FFfreak, Brad Nelson himself, finished 22nd so you know this was no lousy competition. The best part is, the deck is super budget – for the time being! Without further ado, here’s the list:

lord_ra (1st Place)
Standard Premier #1043317 on 03/23/2010
Main Deck

60 cards

Arid Mesa
Forest
Jungle Shrine
Mountain
Plains
Raging Ravine
Stirring Wildwood
Sunpetal Grove


23 lands

Akoum Battlesinger
Bloodbraid Elf
Hada Freeblade
Kabira Evangel
Kazandu Blademaster
Ondu Cleric
Oran-Rief Survivalist
Ranger of Eos
Talus Paladin


30 creatures
Naya Charm
Violent Outburst


7 other spells
Sideboard
Dauntless Escort
Devout Lightcaster
Ondu Cleric
Path to Exile
Tuktuk Scrapper


15 sideboard cards

With only a handful of rares and Bloodbraid Elves to worry about on the cost front, this list could be a real trend-setter in standard. I wish I had time at the moment to test the deck, as it is I can only provide the list and encouragement to try it out for yourselves.

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Hey dudes and dudettes! My writing resources have been invested in articles for other sites these last couple of weeks but I expect to have a new Bazaar post up soon. In the meantime it’d be great if you could check out my first ManaNation article and leave a comment: http://www.mananation.com/examining-extended-mono-red-burn/

I’m taking these articles in a slightly different direction to the Bazaar and I want to know what people think, so let fly!

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Quarterly Review

Hi everyone, and welcome back after the holidays! Welcome also to all new readers who have found their way here from Quiet Speculation, where I did a well-received guest piece last week. We’ve passed from 2009 into 2010 while I’ve been on break, and a lot of people have been doing year in review/year ahead articles. Since I’ve only been writing since the start of November, I figured I should do a quarterly review instead.

Looking Back

The success so far of Gwafa’s Bazaar has exceeded all my expectations. When I began I was excited to get a dozen views on my posts, and now only a couple of months later there has been over 200 views a day for the last week according to the wordpress stats page. Currently the blog has had over 9,000 views, which is just mental.

Thankyou all for reading, and a special thankyou for everyone who has linked to me or told a friend to read something of mine. A super duper extra special thankyou to Trick from ManaNation for his This Week in Magic posts and Kelly from Quiet Speculation for featuring me! Thankyou also to everyone who has left a comment or sent me a tweet about a post, I really appreciate them.

So how did I do with my predictions? I was spot on with my predictions about extended staples back in November, all the cards mentioned there have doubled or tripled in price online – excepting Ravager, which I advised against purchasing. Steam Vents was a real surprise package, thanks to the Scapeshift deck it is up to over 20 tickets! I overstated the success of standard GW at Worlds, its been almost nothing but Jund since then, but I did make a few tickets trading on hype at the time. Most of the other cards I recommended have seen small gains, or gone nowhere, but you can’t win ’em all unfortunately.

Looking Forward

The Price of Extended series was massively successful – apparently people really wanted to know how much extended decks cost! As well as that though, quite a few people commented that they appreciated the explanations of each deck. I might try and work some more strategy into the blog, and I think the Price of Standard will be a sure hit when I want to run another series – and when the metagame diversifies a bit, nobody wants to know whether Siege-Gang Jund, or Bloodwitch Jund, or Sedraxis Jund is the best value standard deck.

What would you like to see from me? I’d love to know what keeps people coming back to Gwafa’s Bazaar, so I can give you more of that. Please let me know in the comments or on twitter. 2010 is going to be a great year for Magic and hopefully for this blog and its author. I have a few projects being worked out at the moment, but more on them as they crystallise. Happy New Year everyone!

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MTGO Community Cup Results!

As well as the $5k this past weekend, wizards of the coast hosted the inaugural MTGO Community Cup, where they invited magic online writers and community leaders to play in a 2 day tournament extravaganza against the makers of Magic and of Magic Online! This was similar in intent to the sorely missed Magic Invitational, but instead of top pros, this time it was the joes taking on the magic overlords. Congratulations to the Joes, though, as the Community team emerged victorious!

All the coverage can be found here, and I’m going to take a quick look at the winningest decks from the unified standard tournament – unified meaning only 4 of any card can be in all the decks of each team, so each team can only have 4 Verdant Catacombs and 4 Path to Exiles between their 8 decks.

Tom laPille, 4-colour Esper Control

Main Deck

60 cards
3  Arcane Sanctum
3  Crumbling Necropolis
4  Drowned Catacomb
3  Glacial Fortress
7  Island
3  Jungle Shrine
4  Rupture Spire
27 lands

4  Sphinx of Lost Truths
1  Sphinx of the Steel Wind
5 creatures

3  Ajani Vengeant
2  Celestial Purge
3  Cruel Ultimatum
1  Doom Blade
3  Double Negative
4  Esper Charm
3  Essence Scatter
3  Jace Beleren
2  Negate
4  Path to Exile
28 other spells

Sideboard

1  Ajani Vengeant
2  Celestial Purge
3  Doom Blade
2  Identity Crisis
2  Mind Control
3  Pyroclasm
2  Swerve
15 sideboard cards

SphinxofLostTruths

Tom’s deck was the winningest deck on the day, and it is not one we’ve seen a lot of in normal tournaments. It is reminiscent of a deck proposed by Richard Feldman, which he called the best deck he’d ever made. He called it Rembrandt, and you can find his article about it here. Tom adds black for Esper Charm and a couple of finishers, this may have been due to the unified restriction and some finishers being needed elsewhere. Despite clashing with a near-full power Jund build on the community side, Tom came away 4-0! This deck is certainly worth investigating, leveraging the card advantage of planeswalkers in place of traditional card draw.

Mike Turian with Bant Exalted and Lee Sharpe with Warp World also did well for the wizards team with somewhat under the radar decks, for the lists check the link at the top of the page. On the community side we have poor GamingAngelSam who didn’t do so well with a blue black mill deck, and interestingly, with the full resources of the MTGO community giving advice, the community team couldn’t find one good use for Lotus Cobra! I’ll have to email Pete Jahn to ask why his Warp World list excluded the little mana snake. The community team did have a couple of interesting brews that went well though, like Spikeboy’s Bant aggro and CC_Danger’s RW Luminarch deck.

CC_Danger, RW Luminarch (created by hamtastic)

Main Deck

60 cards
3  Arid Mesa
8  Mountain
13  Plains
24 lands

2  Caldera Hellion
2 creatures

3  Ajani Vengeant
4  Angelsong
3  Chandra Nalaar
3  Earthquake
3  Elspeth, Knight-Errant
4  Intimidation Bolt
4  Luminarch Ascension
2  Martial Coup
4  Safe Passage
4  Scepter of Dominance
34 other spells

Sideboard
1  Ajani Vengeant
1  Earthquake
2  Knight-Captain of Eos
4  Lapse of Certainty
4  Pyroclasm
3  Shieldmate’s Blessing
15 sideboard cards

ajani_vengeant

Now this is a deck I can get behind! Wiping the board over and over and grindingly slow non-creature threats are, unfortunately, a pet strategy of mine. This deck has been getting constant underground buzz since Luminarch Ascension was revealed, and while it is not a budget deck by any means it is at least another alternative to Jund. The creator, hamtastic says the deck is a lot stronger with Day of Judgments so take that into consideration if you test this deck.

You may notice the common card between these decks is Ajani Vengeant, a card I was flabbergasted to discover is a mere $7, or $5 for the promo version on starcity games. Ajani Vengeant goes for $17.50 online. If that’s not a significant indicator, I don’t know what is.

So thanks very much to wizards for running this show, it wasn’t a goldmine of sweet tech but it was certainly entertaining to follow. Here’s to more invitational events in the future!

Edit: giftsungiven in the comments points out AjaniV was not only the prerelease promo, but also the release promo, meaning there are loads of that version out there. Cancel the buy recommendation folks! He could still rise if one of his decks becomes the top dog,  but nowhere near the MTGO level.

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Gwafa’s Bazaar

Welcome one and all to Gwafa’s Bazaar, your source for tips on whats hot and whats not in the world of trading magical cards. I’m your host, Russell, and I write the intermittent series ‘Endless Whispers’ on http://www.mtgcast.com. I’ve decided to start a new blog here to examine the finer points of card evaluation and the market for cards. It’s something I’m fascinated by, and for the budget conscious player there are a lot better ways to get the cards you need than cracking a case worth of boosters in practice drafts.

So what sort of posts should you expect? Well, I’ll be dissecting results in both paper tournaments and MODO premier events, checking the price fluctuations on key cards, speculating about upcoming sets and underrated gems we already have, and making buy and sell recommendations. I’ll also point out other magic finance resources as I come across them, and possibly post a few budget decks that can compete without breaking the bank. Let me know what you want to see!

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