25 South St. Concord, NH 03301   |   (603) 228-3712   |   Hours: * Mon 6pm-9pm * Tue 10:30am-5pm * Wed 10:30am-10pm * Thur 10:30am-5pm * Fri 10:30am-11pm * Sat 10:30am-5pm *

Magic: the Gathering

2013′s State and Provincial Championships – New Hampshire

Posted on September 22, 2013

2013 New Hampshire States

New Hampshire 2013′s State and Provincial Championships

Sunday, October 6 – Entry Fee: $25

Doors open at 9 am and tournament starts at 10 am SHARP

25 South St. Concord, NH 03301   |   (603) 228-3712


There will be a maximum of 80 seats for this event, so please pre-register if possible.

Each player in the top 8 will receive a From the Vault: Twenty
From the Vault: Twenty

AND each player in the top 8 will receive the 2013 top 8 playmat:
2013 Top 8 Playmat

In addition, the champion will receive a championship plaque, a custom ID card and playmat designed specifically for them*.  *Champion is responsible for getting all requested information and photo to supplier by date on coupon



GATECRASH PTQ Concord, NH 11/24/12

Posted on November 13, 2012


Sat, November 24, 12am – Sun, November 25, 12am

Where: 172 North Main Street Concord, NH 03301

Doors Open: 8:30 am\

Registration: 8:30-10:00am

Format: RtR Sealed, Swiss cut to top 8 Draft

Price: $35.00

Prize Support: 2 Packs per Entry to top 1/4

Door Prize : From the Vault: Realms to one entrant pulled at round 1

Side events: 4-3-2-2 Drafts $12.00

Pro Tour Qualifier Sat, August 4, 10am

Posted on August 1, 2012

Pro Tour Qualifier at Collectibles Unlimited in Concord NH 08/04/12

Pro Tour Qualifier at Collectibles Unlimited in Concord NH 08/04/12

PTQ : Concord NH
Sat, August 4, 12am – Sun, August 5, 12am

Where: 172 North Main Street Concord, NH 03301

Owner: Michael Boddy

Time: Registration begins @ 9:00 am

Price $25.00

2012 States in Concord, NH 03301 – October 13

Posted on October 7, 2011

2011 State & Provincial Championship at Collectibles Unlimited in Concord, NH 03303

2001 States New Hampsire in Concord, NH at Collectibles Unlimited

Collectibles Unlimited in Concord, New Hampshire will be hosting the 2011 State & Provincial Championship tournament on October 15, 2011. Come play at 25 South St. Concord, NH 03301

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Championship?
 October 15, 2011

Where are they? At over 60 venues in North America You can locate the one closest to you HERE.

Who runs these events? The championship series is run by local organizers working together with Sunmesa Events help.

How much does it cost? The entry fee is $25, you can get even more of those kinds of details HERE.

What do the winners get? Check that out HERE.

How does one get into a state championship? Can you just enter or do you have to be invited? Anyone can play, it does not take a special invitation (but if you need one consider this it!)

How long does one of these usually take? What time does it start? Visit with your local organizer about details like that, we promise you the championship in Ohio will take longer than the one in New Mexico. You can find your local organizer HERE.

Hey, I won a championship a couple years ago and never got my Custom DCI Card can I still get that? For Sure! Check out the Custom DCI Card page HERE.

If I have an issue with a particular organizer or something is wrong with The2011′s do I contact Wizards? Actually No, The2011′s is an independent program run by local organizers. The tournaments are sanctioned by the DCI, so if you have a match result appeal speak to them. But for all other issues begin with your local organizer first and then if that doesn’t work out you may discuss your issue with Sunmesa Events HERE.

I’d like to judge or get a dealer table at the championship who do I speak to about that? Staffing, venues, dealers and all other issues of that nature are handled by the local organizer. You can find out who that is HERE.

Does the Champion get an invite to the Pro Tour, Worlds or similar cool invite? No, the championship has always been far more about pride and personal achievement. If you look at many of the best players in North America you will find they often began their journey by winning a championship.

Will there be a Writer’s Contest this year? No, we have elected to put our focus into direct advertising this year. That said, we are very grateful for all the coverage smart Magic players have given generously over the years.

My friendly local game store is much closer and does great events can they run the championship for my area instead? This is a question we get asked a lot, and it’s a hard one (folks in Montana are amazingly blessed by many great places to play). Bottom line, the folks running the championships now are Sunmesa Events customers. They pay us money to help them out with this event, so for us to make a change the need for a change must be clear. We make changes very reluctantly. When the time comes to make a change we thoroughly research the situation and select the location we believe will best serve the players.

Used to be you had to play where you lived is that still true? No, back in 2009 it was decided to allow players to play anywhere.

Why did you do that, what’s a Delaware state championship mean if the champ is from New York?Several reasons actually. Since there are only 62 venues in North America a large number of players were just too far from the place their championship occurred. Also verification of who was (and more importantly was not) a resident was a problem. Exceptions provided trouble proving who lived where. Seriously, we didn’t want to exclude active duty military because they were stationed out of their state or province, same for students, foreign nationals etc. We agree in general that a Delaware resident should be the Champ in Delaware but luckily we discovered after the change that “out of area” winners were fairly uncommon.

How come you don’t have all the names and photos of the champions? That answer lies in the same reasons we don’t get all the Custom DCI Cards out to all players. Sometimes we don’t get a photo at the championship, other times the information is not given to us by the organizer, finally sometimes we simply misplace or misfile the data and it’s lost to us for awhile. One reason we placed the past champions (including the MIAs) was to work on completing the record.

Do you have a Facebook page? Yes we do and you can access it HERE. You must be logged into Facebook for that link to work.

Who created the playmat? The image is called Dragon Slayerdone by Kekai Kotaki. You can check out more of his art HERE.

Will you be publishing the Top 8 Decklists? Yes, you should be able to find the Decklists HERE.

FNM Results 12/17/10

Posted on December 18, 2010

The winner of last night tournament was Brendan O’Donnell posted below is the winning deck list.

# In Deck                                                       Card Name

3                                                                     Gideon Jura
2                                                                     Elspeth Tirel
4                                                                     Spreading Seas
3                                                                     Condemn
4                                                                     Preordain
2                                                                     Journey to Nowhere
4                                                                     Mana Leak
2                                                                     Stoic Rebuttal
3                                                                     Day of Judgment
4                                                                     Jace the Mindsculptor
4                                                                     Squadron Hawk
3                                                                     Seachrome Coast
4                                                                     Celestral Collonade
4                                                                     Glacial Fortress
1                                                                     Halimar Depths
1                                                                     Misty Rainforest
1                                                                     Scalding Tarn
3                                                                     Tectonic Edge
1                                                                     Marsh Flats
4                                                                     Plains
3                                                                     Island

Side Board:

2                                                                     Jace Beleren
2                                                                     Negate
2                                                                     Spell Pierce
2                                                                     Lumrnowch Ascension
1                                                                     Kor Santcifier
3                                                                     Flashfreeze
1                                                                     Day of Judgment
2                                                                     Journey to Nowhere

In second place is Scott Rivit posted below is the decklist

# In Deck                                                       Card Name
4                                                                     Grasp of Darkness
2                                                                     Searing Blaze
4                                                                     Arc Trail
2                                                                     Moriolc Replica
4                                                                     Kiln Fiend
4                                                                     Perilous Myr
4                                                                     Goblin Guide
4                                                                     Burst Lightning
2                                                                     Inferno Titan
2                                                                     Staggershock
4                                                                     Lightning Bolt
4                                                                     Sign In Blood
6                                                                     Swamp
7                                                                     Mountain
4                                                                     Dragonskull Summit
1                                                                     Lavaclaw Reaches
2                                                                     Blackcleave Cliffs

Side Board:
3                                                                     Memorcide
2                                                                     ?
4                                                                     Doom Blade
2                                                                     Manic Vandal
2                                                                     Dark Tutelage
2                                                                     Goblin Ruinblaster

And in third place was Jack Champagne posted below is his deck

# In Deck                                                       Card Name
4                                                                     Pulse Tracker
4                                                                     Vampire Lacerator
4                                                                     Viscera Seer
4                                                                     Bloodghast
4                                                                     Kalistria Highborn
4                                                                     Gatekeeper of Malakir
3                                                                     Dark Tutelage
2                                                                     Arc Trail
4                                                                     Lightning Bolt
2                                                                     Mark of Mutiny
2                                                                     Doom Blade
6                                                                     Swamp
3                                                                     Verdant Catacombs
3                                                                     Marsh Flats
3                                                                     Lavaclaw Reaches
4                                                                     Dragonskull Summit
4                                                                     Blackcleave Cliffs

Magic results for 12/1/10

Posted on December 13, 2010

The winners of Wednesday’s draft was Adam Burr-Mecum!

# in Deck:                   Card Name:
1                                 Kemba Skyguard
1                                 Soliton
3                                 Stoic Rebuttal
1                                 Ghalma’s Warden
1                                 Arrest
1                                 Aurioh Sunchaser
1                                 Scrapdriver Serpent
2                                 Silver Myr
2                                 Giant Hawk
1                                 Memnile
1                                 Golem Artisan
1                                 Neuroh Invisimanner
1                                 Bonds of Buuchsolver
1                                 GlimmerPoint Stag
1                                 Copper Myr
1                                 Myr Smith
1                                 Rust Tick
1                                 Perilous Myr
1                                 Revoke Existence
9                                 Plains
8                                 Island

Magic results for 11/26/10

Posted on December 13, 2010

Sorry for the delay guys we have been experiancing technical issues which have now been resolved so here are the results for the tournament that took place 11/26/10

In first place was Brendan O’Donnell

# in Deck:                   Card Name:
2                                 Mimic Vat
2                                 Sun Titan
2                                 Baneslayer Angel
2                                 Gideon Jura
4                                 Jace the Mind Sculptor
4                                 Condemn
2                                 Journey to Nowhere
3                                 Day of Judgment
2                                 Ratchet Bomb
4                                 Mana Leak
3                                 Preordain
3                                 Wall of Omens
2                                 Starc Rebuttal
1                                 Marsh Flats
1                                 Scalding Tarn
1                                 Halimar Depths
4                                 Celestrial Colonnade
4                                 Glacial Fortress
3                                 Tectonic Edge
6                                 Plains
5                                 Island

In second place was Bryan Hook

# in Deck:                   Card Name:
4                                  Highborn
4                                  Bloodghast
4                                  Lacerator
4                                  Puke Tracker
4                                  Captivating Vampire
4                                  Vesera Seer
4                                  Gatekeeper
3                                  Hexmage
4                                  Doomblade
2                                  Dark Tutelage
15                                Swamps
4                                  Verdent Catacombs
4                                  Marshflats

And in third place was Dave Melvin.

# in Deck:                   Card Name:
4                                 Necropede
4                                 Distortion Strike
4                                 Vines of the Vastwood
4                                 Cystbearer
4                                 Blight Mamba
4                                 Livewire Lash
4                                 Ichorclaw Myr
3                                 Prey’s Vengance
3                                 Birds of Paradise
2                                 Carrion Call
2                                 Giant Growth
2                                 Verdent Catacomb
4                                 Misty Rainforest
4                                 Island
12                               Forest

Results Wens 11/17/10 Magic Draft

Posted on November 18, 2010

The winner of Wednesdays draft is Anthony Galdieri, posted below is the winning deck list.

2 Galvanic Blast
2 Turn to Slag
1 Infiltration Lens
1 Arc Trail
1 Contagion Clasp
1 Mimic Vat
1 Cerebral Eruption
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Saberclaw Golem
1 Barrage Ogre
1 Oxidda Scrapmelter
1 Chrome Steed
1 Ghalmas Warden
2 Vulshok Replica
1 Auriok Replica
1 Rust Tick
1 Glint Hawk Idol
1 Perilous Myr
2 Copper Myr
13 Mountain
4 Plains

Results Monday 11/15/10 Magic Draft

Posted on November 18, 2010

The winner of Monday’s Draft was Jack Champagne, listed below is the winning deck!

1 Carnifex Demon
1 Sunblast Angel
1 Razor Hippogriff
1 Skin Render
2 Kemba Skyguard
1 Moriok Replica
1 Aurick Replica
1 Wall of Tanglecord
1 Leaden Myr
1 Copper Myr
1 Abuna Acolyte
2 Fume Spitter
2 Instill Infection
1 Trigon of Corruption
1 Arrest
1 Culling Dias
1 Grasp of Darkness
1 Throne of Geth
1 Revoke Exsistence
1 Origin Spellbomb
1 Accorders Sheild
8 Plains
8 Swamp

FNM Results from 11/12/10

Posted on November 13, 2010

The winner of last nights standard tournament was Chris Mahon.  Posted below is his deck list from last night.

Main Deck:

4 Joraga Treespeaker
4 Overgrown Battlement
4 Primeval Titan
3 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Kozilek Butcher of Truth
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

4 Growth Spasm
2 Cultivate
4 Explore

4 Summoning Trap

2 Everflowing Chalice

1 Eye of Ugin
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 Tectonic Edge
4 Khalni Garden
13 Forest

4 Obstinate Baloth
2 Pelakka Wurm
3 Terastodon
2 Ratchet Bomb
4 All is Dust

Results for 11/5/10 Magic tournament

Posted on November 6, 2010

The results of last night tournament with accompanying deck lists.

1st Place Brendan O’Donnell

4 Kalistria Highborn
4 Viscera Seer
4 Vampire Lacerator
3 Pulse Tracker
4 Bloodghast
4 Gatekeeper of Malakir
4 Captivating Vampire
2 Dark Tutelage
3 Doomblade
2 Vampire Nighthawk
3 Vampire Hexmage

4 Marsh Flats
4 Verdant Catacombs
15 Swamp

4 Duress
4 Disfigure
2 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Dark Tutelage
1 Doomblade
1 Vampire Hexmage
1 Memoricide
1 MoltenTail Masticore

2nd Place Matt Knapp

3 Frost Titan
2 Inferno Titan
1 Primeval Titan
4 Lotus Cobra
4 Mana Leak
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Garruk Wildspeaker
4 Jace the Mind Sculptor
4 Explore
4 Preordain
2 Destructive Force

5 Forest
4 Island
2 Mountain
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Raging Ravine
2 Copperline Gorge

3 Obstinate Baloth
2 Flashfreeze
3 Pyroclasm
1 Burst Lightning
2 Jace Beleren
2 Negate
2 Spell Pierce

3rd Place Steve Dillon

4 Frost Titan
1 Inferno Titan,
2 Everflowing Chalice
1 Jaces Ingenuity
1 Negate
4 Jace the Mind Sculptor
4 Preordain
2 Into the Roil
4 Pyroclasm
3 Burst Lightning
4 Mana Leak
4 Lightning Bolt

6 Island
5 Mountain
2 Tectonic Edge
1 Mystifying Maze
2 Terramorphic Expanse
2 Halimar Depths
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Misty Rainforest

3 Jace Beleren
1 Mark of Mutiny
3 Goblin Ruinblaster
2 Mindbreak Trap
2 Lavaball Trap
4 Flashfreeze

Results for Magic Draft 10/28/10

Posted on October 28, 2010

Starting this week we will be posting the results of the sanctioned Magic tournaments held in the shop.  So check in every Thursday and Saturday to see how everyone fared in the tournaments!

Coming in first place in last nights draft was Jack Champagne with a 8:1 game play ratio.

Right behind him was Chris Mahon

and rounding out the top three was George Wilkinson.

Here is a list of the placement of players:

1) Champagne, Jack
2) Mahon, Chris
3) Wilkinson, George
4) Hooper, Blake
5) O’Donnell, Brendan
6) Knapp, Matthew
7) Carmody, Dalton
8) Burr-Mecum, Adam
9) Belanger, David

Hope to see everyone this coming Friday for our standard format tournament and next Wednesday for another draft!

Games day 10/30/10

Posted on October 13, 2010

Game Days are the first opportunity for you to play Standard on a global
scale with the newest cards. They immerse you in the storyline of the new set,
and give you the opportunity to win preview cards from the next Magic
set, Mirrodin Besieged!

Where Can I Play?

Game Days are happening worldwide on October 30-31! 

What Happens There?

Game Days are Standard format. The tournament will be Swiss-style, with the
top 8 players after the Swiss rounds advancing to the single-elimination finals.
In the case of an event with 16 players or less, only the top 4 will advance.
Where necessary, the standings after the Swiss rounds will be used to determine
final order in the standings.

In the case of an event with exactly 8 players, there will be three Swiss
rounds with no single-elimination cut.

What Do I Get?

All participants receive an exclusive Memnite promo card (while supplies
last). The top 8 players each receive an exclusive full-art Tempered Steel promo
card. The cards are awarded to the Top 8 players even if the tournament cuts
only to the top 4.

The top 2 finishers with Mirran-affiliated decks receive a Peace Strider
preview card from Mirrodin Besieged, and the top 2 finishers with
Phyrexia-affiliated decks receive a Pierce Strider preview card! This is in
addition to any top 8 prize cards you might win for their overall event

Selected top 8 decks and all Game Day winners will also be featured on

What Does an “Affliated Deck” Mean?

All cards in Scars of Mirrodin are watermarked with either a Mirran or
Phyrexian symbol to represent the card’s affiliation. You can build your Game
Day deck to be affiliated with one of the two sides; this makes you eligible to
win the Mirrodin Besieged preview cards. (Having an affiliated deck is
not required for Game Day; you can play any Standard-legal deck you choose.)

An affiliated deck must have at least ten watermarked cards from its
affiliated faction in its main deck, and no watermarked cards from the opposing
faction in its main deck or sideboard. The deck must still be Standard-legal.

Magic prerelease 9/24-25 and Launch party 10/2

Posted on September 21, 2010

Go to the Scars of Mirrodin Prerelease and experience the newest
Magic: The Gathering set a week before it goes on sale! Play, trade,
spend time with friends, and win cool prizes. Play in any tournament and receive
an exclusive Wurmcoil Engine promo card (while supplies last)!

What Happens There?

Scars of Mirrodin Prerelease Tournaments are Sealed Deck format. Each
player receives 6 Scars of Mirrodin booster packs to build a deck. The
tournaments are run using Swiss rounds with a minimum of four rounds per event.
(Tournaments with only 8 players may run three rounds.)

Some events may be run using a modified Swiss-style structure and/or
single-elimination rounds. Contact your local Prerelease Tournament organizer
for specific details.

What Do I Get?

Wizards of the Coast provides 2 Scars of Mirrodin boosters per
tournament participant for the overall prize pool. Each participant will receive
1 Wurmcoil Engine promo card and 1 Launch Party flier (while supplies last)

Contact your local Prerelease Tournament organizer for specific entry fee,
prize payout, and event information

What Else Can I Do?

In addition to the main Prerelease Tournament event, some locations may offer
additional public events. Other product mixes are allowable as long as each
player in the event receives the same number and type of packs.

Open Dueling — Open Dueling is a casual format primarily for players
not participating in the main Prerelease Tournament. Open Dueling players
receive 1 Scars of Mirrodin Intro Pack chosen at random and 1 Wurmcoil
Engine promo card (while supplies last). Open Dueling players play against other
Open Dueling participants as well as main tournament players who are between
matches. After an Open Dueling participant has played five matches, upon
confirmation of the results by the event organizer that player will receive one
complimentary booster pack provided by the organizer as a prize.

Team Events — Playing with friends as a team is a fun and exciting way
to enjoy Magic. For Two-Headed Giant events, the recommended product mix
is 8 Scars of Mirrodin booster packs per team.

Booster Draft — Players participating in a Booster Draft event should
each receive 3 Scars of Mirrodin booster packs.

Sealed Deck — Each player in a Sealed Deck event will receive 6
Scars of Mirrodin booster packs to build a deck.

2010’s State/Provincial Championships

Posted on September 21, 2010


Public Information

All Universal Tournament Rules and Magic: the
Gathering Floor Rules are in effect for this event unless specifically
overruled by information in this Format Document



The entry fee for the The2010’s State/Provincial
Championships is $25.00.

Tournament Length


Number of Swiss rounds



17 – 32


33 – 64


65 – 128


129 – 226


227 – 409


410 or higher




Top 8



Registration Information

MTG Championship Series North American Qualifier

Posted on August 21, 2010

For information check out this website: http://magic.tcgplayer.com/TCGplayer_Championship_Series/

Please note that the game takes place 9/11 at IBEW

Artwork for promo cards in the 2011 core release

Posted on August 11, 2010

MTG Games Day 8/14/10

Posted on August 5, 2010

Compete for the crown of Magic 2011 Champion at your store!

Game Day takes place at participating Wizards Play Network locations
worldwide one month after the Magic 2011 release. Game Days are
the first opportunity to play Standard format on a global scale with the cards
from Magic 2011!

Where Can I Play?

Game Days are happening worldwide on August 14-15! 

What Happens There?

Game Days are Standard format. The tournament will be Swiss-style, with the
top 8 players after the Swiss rounds advancing to the single-elimination finals.
In the case of an event with 16 players or less, only the top 4 will advance.
Where necessary, the standings after the Swiss rounds will be used to determine
final order in the standings.

In the case of an event with exactly 8 players, there will be three Swiss
rounds with no single-elimination cut.

What Do I Get?

All participants receive an exclusive Liliana’s Specter promo card (while
supplies last).The top 8 players each receive an exclusive full-art Mitotic
Slime promo card. The cards are awarded to the Top 8 players even if the
tournament cuts only to the top 4. Two Mitotic Slime promo cards will also be
awarded as door prizes at each location.

The winner receives the Magic 2011 Game Day winners
certificate, as well as the Magic 2011 Champion title. Selected
top 8 decks and all Game Day winners will also be featured on

FNM News

Posted on June 30, 2010

From now on we will be holding both a Standard format tournament as well as a draft.  The standard tournament will start at the normally scheduled time.  The draft will begin after the second round of the Standard tournament. Good luck and hope to see you guys Friday!

Available 6/12/10

Posted on June 10, 2010


60-card Magic deck featuring eight rares and 20 oversized scheme cards.

Bring About the Undead Apocalypse

Reanimate zombie horrors, use big creatures to lethal advantage, and hunt
down other Planeswalkers with your aberrant army of the undead.

Assemble the Doomsday Machine

Use machinery incompreshensible to others to build a doomsday device. Its
sole purpose: to destroy the world and any Planeswalker foolish enough to oppose

Trample Civilization Underfoot

When you’re a Planeswalker possessed by a maniacal desire to obliterate
civilization by unleashing the forces of nature upon the world, carnage can be
the only result.

Scorch the World with Dragonfire

When you use your force of dragons to rain down incendiary destruction upon
lesser Planeswalkers, how can they hope to stop you?

Retail Price $19.99

Duels of the Planeswalkers

Posted on June 10, 2010

60-card decks inspired by the Xbox Duels of the Planeswalkers online game.
Each deck includes five rares, one of which is foil and a 15-card Magic 2010
booster pack.  Retail price $14.99

Deck Builders Kit

Posted on June 10, 2010


Jump-start your collection with 285 battle-tested cards, perfect for building
several different decks! This box also includes a guide containing dueling tips
and expert advice on how to custom-build the deadliest and most effective decks
possible! And since no two Toolkits are the same, you and an opponent can each
pick one up and then duel for the right to say, “Here I Rule!”

Each box contains:

  • 125 semi-randomized cards suitable for building several different
    Magic decks
  • Four 15-card booster packs from a variety of recent Magic: The
  • 100 basic land cards to help you cast your spells
  • Deck builder’s guide with tips about building the best Magic decks
  • Magic “learn to play” guide
  • Full-art reusable card storage box

Pick a Card—Almost Any Card

Posted on April 9, 2010

I have been thinking about my preview card this week within the context of the Top 8 decks from Grand Prix-Huston that took place last weekend. The card is a single-mana pinpoint discard spell in the tradition of Duress, Thoughtseize, and Ostracize. There are restrictions on which cards it can take, but it is also more open-ended than either Duress or Ostracize. Let’s take a look at the card in question:

As you can see, the only restriction as to the card types you can select with Inquisition of Kozilek is lands—although that’s not the only restriction on what cards you can pick. You are limited to picking cards with a casting cost of three or less but your pick can be sorcery, creature, instant, enchantment, or even planeswalker (if you happen to catch someone playing with original Jace). Duress is just not up to the task of taking down a Kargan Dragonlord and Ostrasize is not gonna get you around the Realms Uncharted looming in your opponent’s hand. Inquisition of Kozilek can handle both of them, and do so without having to pay 2 life to do it. Let’s take a look at some of the decks from the Top 8 of Houston and see just how many targets there would be if you played this card against them.

Check out the Tomoharu Saito–designed Hypergenesis update that Shuhei piloted into the Top 8 of the event:

Shuhei Nakamura’s Hypergenesis
Extended – Top 8, Grand Prix-Houston 2010

Main Deck

60 cards

2  Calciform Pools
3  Forbidden Orchard
1  Forest
3  Fungal Reaches
4  Gemstone Mine
4  Reflecting Pool
4  Tendo Ice Bridge

21 lands

4  Angel of Dispair
4  Bogarden Hellkite
4  Progentis
4  Simian Spirit Guide
4  Terastodon

20 creatures
3  Akroma’s Memorial
4  Ardent Plea
3  Compulsive Research
1  Deamonic Dread
3  Hypergensis
1  Oblivion Ring
4  Violent Outburst

19 other spells


2  Coalition Relic
3  Crovax, Ascended Hero
3  Firespout
1  Oblivion Ring
2  Ricochet Trap
2  Shreikmaw
2  Venser, Shaper Savant
15 sideboard cards

Putting sideboards aside for the moment, in the maindeck you can nab the following:

4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Ardent Plea
3 Compulsive Research
1 Demonic Dread
3 Hypergensis
1 Oblivion Ring
4 Violent Outburst

It is highly unlikely that you are going to want to take Hypergensis—although your opponent could suspend it—but you would certainly be happy to disrupt Shuhei’s plan by taking a Violent Outburst or Ardent Plea out from among a hand of otherwise uncastable fatties. Taking a Compulsive Research or Simian Spirit Guide could be fine but you are almost always going to want a card that is going to become a Hypergensis. Against this deck you are not going to be getting any flexibility to offset the limitation of not being able to hit a sideboarded Venser, Shaper Savant or to thin a hand of creatures by taking Bogardan Hellkite.

How about against Charles Lancaster’s exciting black-white Smallpox deck that got as far as the Quarterfinals?

Charles Lancaster
Extended – Top 8, Grand Prix-Houston 2010

Main Deck

60 cards

4  Fetid Heath
4  Flagstones of Trokair
3  Godless Shrine
4  Marsh Flats
2  Plains
4  Swamp
2  Uroborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

23 lands

2  Baneslayer Angel
4  Bloodghast
4  Dark Confident
4  Gatekeeper of Malakir
3  Kitchen Finks
2  Stoneforge Mystic
4  Tidehollow Sculler

23 creatures
4  Smallpox
2  Smother
1  Sword of Fire and Ice
1  Sword of Light and Shadow
4  Thoughtsieze
2  Umezawa’s Jitte

14 other spells


3  Celestial Purge
2  Damnation
3  Deathmark
2  Extirpate
4  Leyline of the Void
1  Wrath of God

15 sideboard cards

Now this is a deck that Inquisition of Kozilek really shines against. Look at all the potential targets for discard—basically every non-land in the deck except for Baneslayer Angel:

4 Bloodghast
4 Dark Confident
4 Gatekeeper of Malakir
3 Kitchen Finks
2 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Tidehollow Sculler
4 Smallpox
2 Smother
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
4 Thoughtseize
2 Umezawa’s Jitte

With the exception of Bloodghast—which you are almost never going to want to them to discard—pretty much every other card in the deck is something you would conceivably want to take. You can force them to lose Tidehollow Sculler or Thoughtseize, Smother or GAtekeepr of Malakir, or Smallpox or Dark Confident. Obviously Thoughtseize offers you even more flexibility in Extended—which was the format for last weekend—but paying two life is not always good for your health.

Kenny Ellis’s deck from the Top 8 has plenty of cards that you could nail with Inquisition of Kozilek since he built his deck in such a way to take even more advantage of Muddle the Mixture than most other decks in the format. Ken’s white-blue control deck was able to “tutor” up a maindeck Mind Spring and a sideboarded Martial Coup. How lucky for Kozilek to have so many targets!

Kenneth Ellis
Extended – Top 8, Grand Prix Houston 2010

Main Deck

60 cards

2  Academy Ruins
1  Ancient Den
1  Azorius Chancery
1  Celesital Colonnade
1  Faerie Conclave
1  Ghost Quarter
2  Glacial Fortress
2  Island
4  Mystic Gate
3  Plains
2  Seat of the Synod
1  Snow-Covered Island
1  Snow-Covered Plain
1  Tectonic Edge
3  Tolaria West

26 lands

0 creatures
2  Cryptic Command
1  Echoing Truth
2  Engineered Explosives
2  Jace, The Mind Sculptor
1  Mind Sprind
4  Muddle the Mixture
1  Negate
4  Oblivion Ring
4  Path to Exile
2  Repeal
3  Sword of the Meek
4  Thirst for Knowledge
4  Thopter Foundry

34 other spells


2  Celestial Purge
1  Chalice of the Void
2  Ethersworn Canonist
2  Glen Elenda Archmage
1  Martial Coup
4  Meddeling Mage
1  Negate
1  Shadow of Doubt
1  Tormod’s Crypt

15 sideboard cards

Just look at all the cards you can snag against this deck.

1 Echoing Truth
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Mind Spring
4 Muddle the Mixture
1 Negate
4 Oblivion Ring
4 Path to Exile
2 Repeal
3 Sword of the Meek
4 Thirst for Knowledge
4 Thopter Foundry

People certainly play with cards that cost more than three—and this whole block is all about that—but there is a reason that Spell Snare has been a tournament staple. It seems like the best cards cost two mana. From Counterbalance to Tarmogoyf to Jitte and on and one and on. Do I think it will replace Thoughtseize? Not in Extended, but I think this card will immediately find a place in Standard, where it can take things like Blightning or Knight of the Reliquary. That is flexibility not currently available in Standard on the first turn. In Block Constructed it can hit either end of the Cunning Sparkmage / Basilisk Collar combo (as well as intermediary Stoneforge Mystic), and it should be a valuable tool for players preparing for Pro Tour–San Juan.

I think we already get the point that decks in Extended play with a lot of cards that cost three or less, but I want to showcase one more deck from the GP in Houston but mostly to take a paragraph to congratulate Adam Yurchick on finally getting a win after a pretty ridiculous string of near misses that had him in danger of being dubbed the Silver Surfer.

Adam Yurchick
Extended – Top 8, Grand Prix Houston 2010

Main Deck

60 cards

1  Academy Ruins
4  Dark Depths
3  Island
4  River Tears
4  Sunken Ruins
2  Swamp
2  Tolaria West
4  Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

24 lands

4  Dark Confidant
4  Vampire Hexmage

8 creatures
1  Boomerang
4  Chrome Mox
3  Compulsive Research
1  Engineered Explosives
2  Jace, the Mindsculptor
4  Muddle the Mixture
1  Rite of Consumption
1  Slaghter Pact
1  Smother
2  Sword of the Meek
1  Thirst for Knowledge
3  Thopter Foundry
4  Thoughtseize

28 other spells


1  Chalice of the Void
2  Damnation
1  Darkblast
3  Deathmark
2  Duress
3  Extirpate
1  Gatekeeper of Malakir
1  Ghost Quarter
1  Jace, the Mind Sculptor

15 sideboard cards

Adam finished 2nd at Grand Prix-Philadelphia a couple of seasons ago, finished 2nd at GP-Oakland earlier this PTQ season, finishes 2nd at last year’s National Championships, and even finished 9th in Pro Tour-Hollywood. The sound you heard on Sunday was not a jet passing overhead, but an enormous sigh of relief from Adam as he was able to close out Shaun Rodriguez in two games in the finals with a Jace to the face for the win.

“Jace feels pretty good!” said Adam as he reduced his opponent’s library to the two cards Shaun had been holding. “That is the first time I have ever ultimated it in my life!”

RISE of the ELDRAZI pre-release – Concord, NH 03303

Posted on March 29, 2010

RISE of the ELDRAZI pre-release

At Collectibles Unlimited

Registration Opens at 10:30am and closes at 11:45am

Any registration after 11:45 will have less build time and up to a first round loss depending on tardiness.

Format: First sealed event starts at NOON. The second sealed event will start at 6pm. Drafts will be done as time and players permit.

Cost: $25.00 for sealed and $15.00 for draft

Sat Apr 17 10:30am – 11pm Eastern Time
25 South Street, Concord NH, 03301 (map)

On the Rise Part I

Posted on March 29, 2010

On the Rise, Part I

Welcome to Rise of the Eldrazi Previews, Week One (of three, large sets get three preview weeks). The plane of Zendikar is going through some major upheaval, and so too is the block. Rise of the Eldrazi is the first time we’ve rebooted the mechanics without rebooting the creative. Why did we do this? How did we do this? Who did this? All will be explained today. (Well, technically over the next three weeks.) Hang on to your hats because some serious stuff is going on. And yes, before the article is done, I have a spiffy new preview card to show you.

If They Build It

Before I jump into how Rise of the Eldrazi was designed, let me start with the fine tradition of explaining who designed it. Without further ado, the Rise of Eldrazi design team:

Brian Tinsman (lead) – In the history of Magic, how many designers have lead the design for three or more large sets? Four. Myself obviously (Tempest, Odyssey, Mirrodin, Ravnica, Shadowmoor, Zendikar, Scars of Morridon, and the 2011 large fall set codenamed “Shake”), Bill Rose (Mirage, Portal, Invasion, and Shards of Alara), Mike Elliott (Urza’s Saga, Mercadian Masques and Onslaught) and Brian Tinsman (Champions of Kamigawa, Time Spiral, and Rise of the Eldrazi). Brian’s only one set away from tying for second. (And while I can’t tell you which one that will be yet, I already have a large set picked out for him to lead.) My point here is that Brian’s not an up-and-coming Magic designer. He’s a veteran. He’s been doing this longer than anyone currently working on Magic design other than Bill and myself. As you will see today, Brian was given a daunting challenge with Rise‘s design, and he stepped up to meet it. Brian’s reputation as a Magic designer is that he loves exploring places that design has not yet gone. No set better exemplifies this desire than Rise of the Eldrazi. In fact, as the preview weeks go by I’m going to spend some time explaining how different Rise is. It is my hope that I’ll strengthen what I call the Brain Tinsman brand. When players see that he is lead designing a set I hope it gets them excited, because they know they’re about to board a roller coaster of an experience. A Tinsman set is never boring and will definitely make you rethink things you thought you knew. Rise of the Eldrazi is no exception.

Aaron Forsythe – Here are a few little known facts. (Well, little known if you’ve never read Aaron’s three-part article about how he came to work at Wizards.) When we were first setting up magicthegathering.com, I’m the one who suggested we hire Aaron to be the editor-in-chief. I had followed his writing (and editing) and just had a gut feeling that he’d be right for the job. I had no idea that I was hiring my future boss. Aaron’s first design team was Fifth Dawn. We included him on the team because we thought it would make for a compelling article, a chance for an outsider to report on Magic design from the inside. And then Aaron blew our socks off. I was looking desperately for designers, and Aaron was a natural. We brought him into R&D with the intent that I was going to train him to be a Magic designer. Somewhere along the way he instead became the head developer, and then through another series of events ended up the director of Magic R&D. Aaron is someone who was in training to become a future head designer, became a head developer instead, and currently runs Magic R&D. So when I say a team is blessed to have Aaron on it, I am in no way exaggerating. My biggest regret as the guy who oversees design is that I have so little of Aaron’s time. But Aaron was excited by the premise of Rise of the Eldrazi and chose to make this design one of those he would work on. The set was better for that decision.

Graeme Hopkins – Graeme came in third in the Great Designer Search. During his interview for the final portion of the GDS (we brought the three finalists to the Wizards offices for the last challenge), Graeme had such a good interview that before the weekend was over, he was offered a job in the digital department, where he still works today. Luckily, they let us borrow him from time to time to do design. I am never unhappy to have Graeme on one of my design teams. He always delivers in spades. Rise of the Eldrazi was no exception. (And I can’t wait to show off some of his cool stuff for “Shake” next year.)

Devin Low – This was Devin’s last design team. He has gone on to do design for another company. While Devin was the Head Developer before he left, we made plenty of use of him on design teams. In fact, one of my regrets is that I never got him to lead a design team. (He almost led the design for Eventide, but circumstances didn’t work out.) Both Devin and Aaron are what we call cross-hitters in that they are capable of leading either a design or development team. Cross-hitters are few and far between. I miss working with Devin. It’s kind of bittersweet to me that this was his final design team. Luckily, it does him proud.

Gregory Marques – Like Devin, Greg has gone on to design elsewhere. Like Aaron, Greg got his start on the Fifth Dawn design team. The biggest difference was that Greg didn’t even work for Wizards at the time. Interestingly, Greg ended up getting hired at Wizards, but not through Magic. While his day job was designing new games, he had a little time for Magic design. Rise of the Eldrazi made good use of his design skills.

Bill “Quill” McQuillian – While it’s important to have design veterans on every set, we also like to occasionally get other people onto designs, partly because it’s good to have fresh blood in Magic, partly because it’s a nice reward to the many people who help out on Magic in various ways. Quill has been at Wizards for a long time. Long ago (before current senior editor Del Laugel), Quill was actually the lead Magic editor. Nowadays his primary responsibility in R&D is overseeing the Avalon Hill brand. (When Wizards was bought by Hasbro, they gave the line to us as we’re the company that oversees what we call “core gamers,” people who take their gaming seriously as a hobby.) It is always interesting to get a person with a completely different vantage point on a design team, as they make comments that no one else will. Now if only we could convince Quill that an Eldrazi board game makes perfect sense as an Avalon Hill product ….

Escape from Zendikar

As I said above, Rise of the Eldrazi has the distinction of being the first set to reboot mechanically while staying in the same place creatively. How did that come about? It was the result of two forces colliding together:

The “lands matter” theme of Zendikar – It was a radical idea without any track record of success. Many people were, reasonably under the circumstances, nervous. Rather than over commit to an untested theme, it was thought it best to try out the new idea in a smaller space. One large set and one small set felt right.

The Eldrazi – The creative team had to figure out why the land was so crazy on Zendikar. Eventually they came to the idea that beings—giant, powerful, ancient beings—were trapped within the plane. And when a story starts with giant, powerful beings trapped somewhere, odds are at the end of act two (all stories have three acts, at least according to one model of story construction) they’re going to escape.

Mechanically we wanted to reboot, and creatively something big was scheduled to happen at the end of the second act. It became pretty clear that the answer was to have the rise of the Eldrazi be such a significant event that it changed the world. As the new world was mechanically different and we would want players to draft it separately, past lessons (what you might refer to as Coldsnap) had taught us that we wanted a large set.

When Rise of the Eldrazi design started here’s what Brian and his team had to go on:

That’s it. That’s what the design team had.

Give ‘Em Eldrazi

It was crystal clear to Brian that this set was all about the Eldrazi. Everything revolved around them. Magic was getting a new set of villains, and Brian had to introduce them to the world. This meant that the design team had to start by figuring out who the Eldrazi were and how the game was going to represent them.

In Hollywood, there is a thing known as a three-beat. When you pitch your new idea, you have to couch in terms the executive already knows. On a three-beat it is always “[popular example of media you're pitching] meets [another popular example of media you're pitching].” For example, if I was pitching a television series, I might say my show is “Glee meets Lost.” (“There’s an ongoing mystery with a tightly woven mythology that the main characters unravel …. through song.”) If I was pitching a movie, it might be “Avatar meets Iron Man.” (“Robots versus aliens, what’s not to love?”) I bring this up because I’m about to give you the three-beat for the Eldrazi:

Cthulhu meets Galactus.

For those unfamiliar with awesome stories, here’s the rundown in a Wikipedia-ish nutshell:

Cthulhu is a malevolent being of alien origin buried deep within the Earth. It is the creation of horror author H. P. Lovecraft. Cthulhu and other beings like it are members of a powerful and ancient race awaiting the day they escape their prison to enslave the planet. Cthulhu is so horrible that people who merely get a sense of what it truly is are driven insane.

Galactus, from the Marvel Comics universe, is a godlike being that feeds on planets. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to be a villain on a grander scale than had ever been seen before. He treated the heroes like a human would treat insects, something far beneath his attention.

Luckily, Brian is quite knowledgeable about Cthulhu.

He didn’t know quite as much about Galactus, but I filled him in. (Man, that guy goes through heralds like nobody’s business.)

If the set was going to be about the Eldrazi, Brian felt strongly that they had to be an integral part of the design. It wasn’t enough to merely reference them in the creative—the Eldrazi had to be represented by cards. It became quickly apparent that the only existing card type that made sense was creature. The Eldrazi, though, were no ordinary creatures. The set would have to find a way to give them a distinct identity.

The first thing Brian and his team latched onto was their size. Much as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were trying to distance Galactus from a normal villain, so too did the Rise design team want to separate the Eldrazi from normal creatures. This meant they had to be big. Not just a little big—really big. Brian joked about how they should have a common Eldrazi that was as big as a normal Timmy rare. That was merely the Eldrazi Scout … you know, the smallest of the Eldrazi.

Quick aside. The creative team will fill you in on who and what exactly the Eldrazi are. For this meeting all you have to know is that there are three main Eldrazi, all of which are mythic and legendary. In fact, one of them has already been previewed.

I’m sure we’ll preview another one any day now. What? You want to see it right now in the middle of my aside—the first ever aside preview? Could I do such a thing? It’s never even been attempted before. Still, it would be kind of cool to show you another legendary Eldrazi. Okay, damn the consequences—I’ll do it!

Once you’ve picked your jaw off the floor, I’ll continue with my aside. The legendary Eldrazi are the main bad guys, but they’ve created an entire subclass of servants that do what they tell them. The most powerful ones are colorless. Some others are colored. Anyway, when I talk about the Eldrazi, be aware that there are Eldrazi other than the “big three,” such as the two at common. You heard me. Two at common.

Didn’t you guys know that? I told you all about it.

Quick aside in the aside. Okay, this last aside isn’t turning out to be so quick, but I promise this aside inside the aside will be brief. In my article The Revenge of the Mons last December, I told you all exactly what to expect in Rise of the Eldrazi, although I might have change a word or two to “goblin.” Here’s was my explicit Rise of the Eldrazi teaser as it appeared:

Goblin of the Goblins is going to be a goblin built around the Goblin goblins, all of which have no goblin and are goblin. For example, there are two Goblins at goblin, the goblin of which is 7/7. All of the Goblins have a new goblin called goblin. Goblins with goblin have a goblin; whenever a goblin with goblin goblins, the goblin goblin must goblin that many goblins. The Goblins are very goblin but there are goblins that can create 0/1 goblins called Goblin Goblin that can be goblin to goblin one goblin goblin to your goblin goblin and will help you be able to goblin the Goblins. In addition, the goblin has a new goblin called goblin goblin. You may spend goblin on goblin with goblin goblin to improve their goblins and goblins. This Limited goblin is much goblin than the one in Goblin.

As it’s Rise of the Eldrazi previews, I thought I’d show you the non-goblin version:

Rise of the Eldrazi is going to be a set built around the Eldrazi creatures, all of which have no color and are giant. For example, there are two Eldrazi at common, the smaller of which is 7/7. All of the Eldrazi have a new keyword called annihilator. Creatures with annihilator have a number; whenever a creature with annihilator attacks, the defending player must sacrifice that many permanents. The Eldrazi are very expensive but there are cards that can create 0/1 tokens called Eldrazi Spawn that can be sacrificed to add one colorless mana to your mana pool and will help you be able to cast the Eldrazi. In addition, the set has a new ability called level up. You may spend mana on creatures with level up to improve their stats and abilities. This Limited environment is much slower than the one in Zendikar.

So when I talk about the Eldrazi, be aware that there are more than just the main three. Also note that there are two types of Eldrazi subclass, the colorless and the colored. The colorless are what I’m talking about today. There are also colored Eldrazi that do things like provide Eldrazi spawn creature tokens.

Before the asides, I was talking about how the team had been joking that the best way to show how giant the Eldrazi were was to have a scout (the smallest of the colorless Eldrazi) show up at common the size of normal rare or mythic rare monsters. Over time, the joke turned from a joke to a reality. It was decided, to make sure that the impact of the Eldrazi was felt in Limited and that the sheer size of them was communicated, that two of the smallest of the giant colorless Eldrazi would appear in common. Here’s one of them:

Size wasn’t enough for Brian, though. Size communicated their giant, well, size, but it didn’t communicate other important aspects about them, such as their age. These were ancient, otherworldly beings. What if they were so ancient and strange, thought Brian, that they existed outside the colors of Magic? For years the ideas of doing colorless spells has popped up in design. Each time I’ve killed the idea because it seemed like a gimmick and not something integral to the set. When I heard Brian propose the idea of the Eldrazi being a colorless (and specifically not artifact) race, I told him it was the first time that the colorlessness felt like it meant something.

So the Eldrazi were giant colorless creatures, but Brian and his team weren’t done yet. The reason the Eldrazi were locked away was the untold damage they’d do if allowed to remain free. That “untold damage,” Brian felt, needed to be conveyed on the cards. Brian knew he wanted a keyword mechanic to go on the Eldrazi, and only the Eldrazi, to convey this sense of great destruction. The answer to this problem was, of course, the annihilator mechanic.

The legendary Eldrazi were then given one more bit of oomph. All three of them have “when you cast” triggers for a big effect, as R&D felt that you shouldn’t earn the bonus unless you actually summoned them properly. Also, the “shuffle into library” text was added to prevent easy reanimation and make the Eldrazi difficult to permanently kill.

So the Eldrazi were giant colorless creatures with the annihilator ability, and the legendary ones also had awesome effects when cast as well as a new tweak on the anti-reanimation clause of other big creatures like Darksteel Colossus. The team was done, right? Just one tiny thing left to do: design the entire set around the Eldrazi so they could both be played and be meaningful. That task took a little longer.

Join me next week when I begin to explain how they did it.

Until then, may you know the joy of hardcasting an incredibly expensive creature.