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MTG: Shadows Over Innistrad Pre Release event

I’ve been a Magic: The Gathering player for about a year now. The Mr. has been playing for around 13 years and counting, and he was the one to introduce me to this fascinating world of creatures, spells and a crap load of expensive cards.

This past weekend the Shadows over Innistrad Pre Release event happened. It was tough, it was exhausting, it was so much fun.  We usually attend these events at a local shop called Level Up, its where they first taught me how to play while Ed was away. Also because it’s closest to his place/my workplace. The owner is a cool dude, and I met really nice folks in there. I feel comfortable playing there too, I try to avoid this other place where most egomaniacs meet.

I normally don’t like competing, let alone in draft formats –but last night they held a 2HG event. It stands for “2 Headed Giant”. A DCI-sanctioned multiplayer format, 2 vs 2 , 4 rounds of aprox. 50 minutes each and 30 lives for each team.

The sign-up cost of a Pre Release is $30 that includes a sealed pack with 6 boosters, a spin dice and a promo card. I got “Thing in the ice” –  from what I was told It’s a pretty powerful, sought after card. I failed to take pictures of the matches cause we used my phone’s life counter app while we were at it. Sawry!  I was a bit bummed we didn’t get any Planeswalker. I want a Sorin for my deck. This particular new set is revisiting Innistrad, and it’s Victorian/Gothic Horror themed. It is the 70th Magic expansion… that’s a lot of cards since it first started in 1997. It’s got spirits, vampires, humans, werewolves, zombies and other interesting things not for the faint of heart. Artworks are impressive as usual.

Here is a storyline from MTG Salvation: Innistrad is a world beset by terrible evils on all sides and betrayed by the hope it held most dear. Avacyn has finally returned, but what new evils have come with her? Madness is plaguing the inhabitants. Terror falls from the skies on blood-spattered wings and nameless horrors lurk in the shadows. Odd things are afoot: the forces that had protected the humans have been twisted into something dark and strange. Jace Beleren of the Gatewatch investigates its dark mysteries. Meanwhile, Sorin is in search of the whereabouts of Nahiri.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.27.02 PMI always let Ed do his card voodoo thing and build our decks. From what I’ve learned from him, they need some synergy to get positive results. Trusting your partner, people! (On a side note, I have never played in a sanctioned tournament against him, I’d rather just grab my stuff and run!)

I played Black-White. It had a ton of enchantments that helped us diminish the targeted damage and filled our battlefield with spirits and tortuous creatures. He played Red-Blue, which controlled our opponent’s creatures and did damage. I’m not going to go into details, but you basically draw cards and the same time as your teammate, attack at the same time and are able to discuss your strategy at any time.

So, we got got randomly paired against people I was a bit intimidated by. Others had never seen before, some were older than me, others were kids that warned us “not to get fooled because they were kids”. Right. Kids that most likely have more free time than I do to play Magic! So, I bought myself a new set of counter dice and my friend Chef gave me some Barbie-pink sleeves for my deck. I was armed, dangerous and ready to snatch some wigs.

Ultimately, we placed second, after winning the first three matches and losing the final round to this guy I met one of the very first times I walked into the shop and asked strangers to play with a noob.  Ed was THRILLED cause we won a bunch of boosters. I had fun, I think it’s the best I’ve done in a tournament like this. Got to defeat guys that have obviously played much more than I have or do regularly. We might buy a booster box –  and if we do, that’s gonna be another MTG post.

NERD SPOT

ANIMAL CROSSING

Last weekend my lovely boyfriend and a friend of ours *finally* set up a shelf for something I’m really invested in, so I thought I’d share a bit on Animal Crossing.

My pride and joy

 

I’ve always gravitated towards toys/cartoons and bright colors. Years ago, I was a designer toy collector, even started customizing some and must admit I was pretty good at it. That was until it became way too expensive to keep up and my cats came into the picture (they destroy things, trust me). It was an interesting period of my life, I must say. I was late into the AC game… Initially discovered it when I bought my first Nintendo DS, I must’ve seen it online or something, can’t remember but there it was…Wild World. At the time, there was the Tokidoki boom going on, so I suppose I was attracted to kawaii-esque illustrations by default. It was go for me, judging by it’s cover. Shortly after, i moved to Italy by myself and that game was my source of entertainment.

For those who haven’t played, Dōbutsu no Mori is an RPG that simulates new life in a new town. It has a real time format and you basically build yourself a house, build relationships with neighbors a la Sims, work for pay and get yourself cool items while developing your town. They even made a movie based on the original game from 2005.

Then, I played City Folk on Wii and so on, and as of late last year I began collecting amiibos and amiibo cards. It’s a slow, light play game with cute characters, what’s not to like?
The amiibo cards were designed for the Happy Home Designer 3DS game that launched in late 2015. I suppose Nintendo noticed everyone’s hoarding tendencies and lack of space within each full expanded home. There are 4 series so far, each consist in 100 cards and they come in 6pc. booster packs. As of now, I’m a couple of cards close to completing the first set… almost there. The issue lies in I don’t have many people to trade cards with where I live.


Cards and amiibo figures are also compatible with  Amiibo Festival, which let’s be honest here…underwhelmed me. As everyone else I’ve asked an honest opinion to, we were all  waiting for a Mario Party kind-of-game. Where are the minigames?! I feel it was designed for children around the age of 6.

 

 

img_1189It is cute, nonetheless, and gives me an excuse to collect all the amiibos. Ed has given me most of them, including some of the Sofubi toys. I still have a few more to go and then will move on to collecting the plush toys, I really want Reese and Kicks.

So, there’s that. I’m fully conscious some may consider my hobby childish, but I’ll keep doing my thing, no one ever said Nintendo was cheap.

Not pictured: a calendar my friend Sophia got me for Christmas, gachapon toys.

NERD SPOT, PAULIE SAYS

A GAMER’S GIRL

My parents never bought me video games, mostly because I never asked for them. I remember getting board games I never used and focused myself into arts and crafts and my ever-growing Polly Pocket collection.  I played on occasion, with my neighbor and her Game Cube, I discovered Smash Bros. and the one game dear to my heart no matter the console: Mario Kart. Later in life I bought a Wii, it was my first -mine all mine- console, and later came a pink DS Lite with some girly, effortless titles. Of course as it’s expected of me, I blinged it with cheap crystal stickers and am proud to say I still have it. I remember my brother was into Atari when he was younger and later played PC games and Xbox. I found my niche to be Nintendo.

When I met Ed he rekindled that dormant love for video games. I also met a new array of games I ignored before, Magic The Gathering is among those. And Zelda,  the true love of his life. I had played it before but never thought it would become such a big part of our life together. Never had I thought I would go in so deep into gaming. He presented me with a set of MTG cards on our very first date and I made it my task to learn how to play it while he was away (we dated long distance for months) so I went to a gaming shop on a weekly basis to learn how to play… and also made new friends along the way. It was hard, but sharing something like this with your partner is much more fun in the long run.

Given that I accepted the deal, you know, dating him, I also committed myself to participate in things he enjoyed. I support his gaming nights where instead of hanging out with me he goes and plays against other experienced/veteran players, I’ve even hung out entire days doing nothing at a shop while he plays in tournaments because I know I can offer some support between rounds. I’m often known as the girlfriend who brings him food(a.k.a. nerd fuel). It’s funny how I was a regular and now I just come around in a supporting role. On weekends we gather with friends and do role-playing, which I still find a bit confusing and overwhelming but I’m sticking to it, it is fun after all!

He supports what I do too, and my own gaming habits. I’m a HUGE Animal Crossing fan (and I’m gonna make a separate post about that later on), and while I don’t have as much available time to play as I did before, he has been the one buying me amiibos, going to meet ups to trade cards with me and making sure my collection is up to date… Still need to fully display them all but that’s happening rather soon… We also have a soft spot for board games, including those like Monopoly that I once received as a Christmas present from relatives but had no one to play them with.

I’m not the indicated to give relationship advice, but being open to new experiences and sharing the love for games has made our relationship much stronger than it was. It’s teamwork, I suppose. He will always be Player 1 for me, though I’m sure he would rather be my Player 2.

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