Magic

D20 Holiday Gift Guide-Trading Card Games

D20 Holiday Gift Guide-Trading Card Games

This guide is our best, most honest recommendations for gifts for the holidays; based on interest, experience level/age (and budget).

Parents cheat sheet:

TCG or CCG (Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games)

Magic and Pokémon, are what are known as collectible card games.  (Think collecting baseball cards, where you could actually play those better cards in a game.)  The games are in their simplest form like the old card game War, where players put down two cards and the higher one wins.  Each player has a starting amount of life, and they play cards used to attack, defense and respond to try and get the other player to zero (or in the case of Pokémon, to get 6 of the other players Pokémon to get to sleep).  What is interesting about the game is that the cards themselves add and modify the rules of the game, creating an evolving set of game play. (That’s why the kids geComander-2014t excited about the new set of cards as they come out, each set adds new possibilities that they can puzzle out.)

From the parent’s point of view, the aspects of the games that are good are encouraging reading, math, and logic skills.  BTW…ignore the age recommendations on the boxes…Magic is listed as 13+ and Yugioh is 6+…whoever set those levels clearly had no clue about the reality of kids.   Pokémon is the usual game that starts kids playing, and it is very common for them to just enjoy collecting the cards without having a clue how to play it. Don’t worry…very normal. We do a Pokémon League on Saturdays where the kids get points for playing and actually get double points for helping the younger/new players figure it out.  It’s good to eventually get them to learn how to play the game, because that is when they will start reading the card for real and to start working on the math that is part of playing the game. (P.S. We no longer carry Yugioh in the store beyond a few left over starter decks.) 

It is also good for creating opportunities to learn fair play, though that benefits a lot from our help.  Some of the rarest cards can end up being valuable ($100 or more), so talk to your kids about keeping them safe at school, as well as being both careful and fair in their trading with others.  Keeping their cards in sleeves (usually between $3.5-$5 a pack) and in a deck box with their name on it ($3-5) will both keep the value of the cards intact and make it less likely for their cards to get mixed up with other kids by accident.

Players (kids and others) love opening up the packs, with that anticipation of finding some treasure within.  The individual packs are very fun as stocking suffers or small gifts, but have the possibility of being a disappointing choice as a primary gift, since they are only “good” if they happen to have good cards in them.  See the list below for better choices.

 The recommendations below are from our staff (and me) and are our best, most honest advice.

Pokémon (age 6-up)

Item Name Cost Description/comment

Just Collecting for fun

Good Bundle boxes $13-30 each These have a number of booster packs and either a full art cool card, little Album or toy figure that matches the cool card.  These are great for little kids…lot of “oh, ahh” per inch and there is at least one great card in each.   This is full of great stuff and really big, so it will open well for max under the tree happy factor.

New/learning players (6 and up)

Good Pokémon Intro decks $13.99-17.99 When they first start to play, they really need a deck that has been built for them that works together well.  If you want to play with them (which is actually pretty fun), get a second one.  (Dad advice…get a set of sleeves for each deck so when the cards get spilled all over, it’s easier to get them back to be usable.)

Knows how to play

Better Triple Packs or boxed sets $11.99-15.99 These big stocking stuffers have 3 packs and a bonus card.  The Dragon Vault has special smaller packs where all the cards are foil so those are very cool

Intermediate-Advanced Players

Better Pokemon Tins- $19.99-24.99 These latest tin’s contain Ex (really good) versions of some of the best cards as well as a number of booster packs.
Better Ultropro Premium Side loading binders $24-29 These binders load the cards from the sides instead of the tops.  Because of that, the cards don’t fall out and it is much harder for other light fingers to take things out without being noticed
Best Full art Single cards or Ex-Cards or a box of boosters $15-50 for the singles, $110 for the booster box (36 boosters) If you know the cool card they are looking for, we can usually help. Otherwise, get them a gift certificate so they can come in and really trick out their decks.  Or get them a full box of boosters.  While no one really knows what is in each booster, generally each box has a few of the prized full art cards and they WILL be happy.  Let us know if you want these since we don’t always have a lot in stock.

Stocking Stuffers

Single Packs. $ 4 each More fun for new players or kid collectors then advanced players. The more advanced the player the more they will be happy if the pack has good stuff and otherwise it’s a scratcher. Good for stocking stuffers only.
Card Protectors (Sleeves) $3.50-$5 Price is based on style and maker. Keep cards protected and from getting mixed up with other players-They come in units of 50 which is dumb since the decks are 60.  (We try and keep extra sleeves to make up for this…)
Pokémon Binders $11.99-28.99 Either smaller 4 card per page or larger 9 card per page binders, always a good choice, particularly for younger players.
Deck boxes $3-7 Available with lots of colors and styles, pick their favorite

 

Magic The Gathering

Background: The current sets of Magic cards are Battle for Zendicar, and the Tarkir Set (Khans, Fate Reforged, and Dragons)

Beginning Players

Good Intro Packs $15-17 60 card pre-made, ready to play decks and a booster pack.  The decks are good for playing with other players, but not meant for learning from scratch.
Good Hero’s vs. Monsters Dual Decks $20 Two 60 card decks with lots of cards from the Thero’s set.  These decks are balanced and really made to play with each other, so they are great for getting started or for an experienced player who wants to bring in a new player to teach.
Better Deck Builder’s Toolkit $20 A great mini-collection for new players (and one that kids particularly love).  Contains 125 semi-random cards good for building decks, 4 booster packs from recent Magic sets, 100 basic land cards, deck-builder’s guide and learn to lay guide, and a storage box.
Very cool Holiday Gift Box $22+25 4 Packs, a special bonus card and the coolest storage box we’ve ever seen.  This is a great goodie for any Magic player.

Beginners and Intermediate Players

Best Fat-Pack $40-50 Special box with 9 booster-packs, land, life counting die, and most fun for the kids, a full color booklet that shows all the cards in the set as well as having the backstory for the series and some special hints and combinations.

Intermediate-Advanced Players

Good Draft Gift Certificate $15 -25 Gift certificate for one of our Draft events.  Good for Friday Night Magic or the kid’s Date Night Magic ($25), these events include three packs of cards and an evening playing with the decks built from them.  Lots of fun for kids from 9-14 or for experienced players ready for the big time on Fridays.
Better Premium Deck boxes $15-32 Great leather like (or actual leather) deck boxes, either single deck or Duel Decks
Better Magic Event Decks, Vs. Decks and Two Player Clash Packs $20-40 These are interesting collections of competitive cards.  We have these from a number of sets.
Best 2015 Commander Decks $32-45 These came out in Nov. They are 100 card decks with lots of great cards (and three over-sized versions of the main cards).  At the best, Commander is a great social multi-player format designed to use all sorts of fun and unusual cards that might not normally be in decks.  At the worst, they are great collection of cool cards.
From the Vaults Sets $49.99-169 Special Limited sets of foil version of classic cards.  These are limited edition sets.  We currently have From the Vault Angels (69.99 on sale), Annihilation ($49.99) and a few From the Vault 20 ($159)
Booster Boxes $120-$259 Booster box of 36 packs of any of the sets of boosters we have in stock.

Stocking Stuffers/Small Gift ideas

Single Packs. $ 4 each Always fun to open, Return to Zendicar is the latest, Origins is a good staple and there are great cards in the Dragon’s of Tarkir set.  If you want to get more advanced, there are older packs that range from $5-17 a pack
Card Protectors (Sleeves) $3.50-$10 Price is based on style and maker. Keep cards protected and from getting mixed up with other players
Deck boxes $3-6 Available with lots of colors and styles, pick their favorite
HUGE D20 Life counting dice $12-16 An oversized 20 sided die used to keep count of life totals.  Available in the 5 different magic colors.
Box of Mini-dice $7-12 These mini-dice are loved by experienced player to use for counters on the cards
Play-mats $16-20 Providing a great surface to play on, these mats come in a number of great designs.

 

 

Zombie Conspiracy – A D20 Special

Zombie Conspiracy is A D20 homebrew special game.  We took Conspiracy, Wizards special multiplayer drafting set, and blatantly messed with the rules to make a game that is perfect for 3-6 buddies who just want to spend a couple of hours cheerfully womping the heck out of each other without all the waiting between rounds and not getting to play with yer buddies of regular magic.  Conspiracy was a cool idea, a draft format that not only was designed to play with 3-6 people all in one big group, but also had cards that messed around with the draft.

So here is the thing….We really liked the idea of Conspiracy…but when we played it there were a couple of things that just weren’t that much fun.

The first problem we found that was that as much fun as it was to play, if you spent all that time drafting a cool deck and got knocked out in the first ten minutes, it didn’t just make you “ah, I’ll get you back” mad, more the “don’t sleep with both eyes closed anymore, because I will kill you in your sleep” mad.  Second was what we call in Commander, the Fluffy Bunny Syndrome….people tending to hang out, doing their best “Don’t mind me, I’m just a harmless little bunny” impressions, trying to be the least threatening person at the table while waiting for enough stuff to come out to do their alpha strike.  Boring….

Enter Zombie Land—How our version works is that you get points for knocking out other players and if you are knocked out then, well, you rise from the dead and come back in.  We’ve played it a bunch and it works great.

How it works

  • 1 point for each other player you knock out.  You get a bonus of one if you never get knocked out.
  • If you get knocked out, you pick 2 lands to put in play and then take 3 rebuilding (no attacking or interacting with other players) turns and come back in. (If your turn comes up before you are back to rebuild, skip it until it comes back to you so other players don’t have to wait.)
  • Being milled out does not count as a kill unless you directly force the player to draw that last card.
  • The game goes on for 1-1:30 hours, depending on players preference (and how long the store is open.)  Players with the top half scores get bonus packs from a pool of 1 pack per player.

 

About Conspiracy.

Conspiracy Video

What are the Cards?

The Mechanics of the new set

You can’t have a good conspiracy on your own.  And that is the secret sauce to the special Magic set , coming out on June 6th.  This draft -centric, multi-player set is all about what we can do for, er, to each other.   This is a special set, much like Modern Masters, with limited initial qualities, though they say that there will be some reprinting after (we are being wary..squirreling away our boxes to let people play with until we know the score.)

Messing with a Draft: Drafting is one of the most fun things you can do in magic. And this set takes the standard “get 3 packs, open 1, pick a card and pass to the left/right” and tosses it in the blender.  One of our customers described it beautifully by saying that it “broke the 4th wall” of a draft, and I think that’s true. In this set, there are cards that start the game during the draft itself, letting people mess with each other as the draft is going on.  (BTW…all Conspiracy drafts are casual format–will of WOTC.)

Battle For Zendikar @ D20 Games

Hey folks,

The next set of Magic cards is (almost) here.  Battle for Zendikar is a return to one of our all time favorite settings, Zendikar, a lush world where even the lands come alive to defend against one of the all-time scary set of uber-monsters in all of Magic, the Eldrazi (the race that featured creatures that would make Godzilla look like a pet hamster such as Emarkul, the 15/15 protection from every color beast that is still the biggest and baddest critter in all of Magic.)

This epic struggle features the lands coming alive to help out, and with it comes the favored full art lands in every pack.  As if that wasn’t enough, there are super rare lands that aren’t actually from the set, the Expedition lands.  These lands are special full art versions of the Fetch and Shock lands.  If you happen to be lucky enough to pull one of these super rare beauties, make sure to sleeve it and keep it safe.  It looks like they will be selling for between $100-300 each, depending on which one.

ONE VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:  One of the big rules of the store at D20 is treating each other honestly and fairly.  I’m super proud of how people treat each other here, so I just want to remind people of something that will have almost everybody shaking their head in agreement:  We treat trading unfairly with someone as the same as stealing.  If you know that someone has a card that is worth a lot, trade with them the way that you would want to be traded with.  Honesty is doing the right thing when you probably won’t get caught and it is just you who make sure you are a stand-up guy.   So (and this is to our jr. members especially), remember that if you aren’t sure, you never have to make a trade.  And if we find out that there have been serious “take advantage of” type trades, it is not ok.

 

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Open at midnight Thursday Oct 1st to pick up booster boxes and fat packs.

Zendikar Expeditions

Ulamog, the Ceaseless HungerBattle For Zendikar Prerelease @ D20 Games

 

One of the all time great sets, Zendikar is back with a (for) vengeance.   The invading Eldrazi…the crew of supersized god-like bad guys that gave us such cards as the all-time king of “Oh…you didn’t just cast….”, Emerkul!  And this is a land known for, well, Lands.  YeEmbedded image permalinkp, the Zendikar  lands are back! (“Why yes, I did first pick a foil basic land from this pack”)  Not only are these full-art beauties are a must for any well dressed deck, but the return of the Landfall mechanic means that just playing a land can do anything from buffing up one of your guys to having another pop out an extra 5/5 creature!
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

.

 

 

Magic Origins @ D20 Games

 

Hey folks….some frustration evil is afoot with my Eventbrite software, so the ability to sign up online is, well, offline.  We ARE having THG on Sat night, just come on by.  Limited to the first 20 teams, but it is unusual for us to completely sell these out so just make sure to be here by 4 pm if you want to make sure you have a slot.

This set is in the slot normally taken by the yearly core sets and goes back to the origins of some of the original planeswalkers.

This weekend’s release events include:

  • Friday Night Magic @ 7
  •  Two Headed Giant (using the prerelease Packs!) $17.50pp
  • Sunday 11am Standard

 

Click here for the full spoiled list of cards…

For a great Sealed or Draft simulator to get familiar with the cards, click here

Spell Mastery example
Mastering spell Mastery

New abilities in the set (and those who make a return):

Renown (new)

Example of card with Renown
Get some Renown

Renown triggers the first time a creature with renown deals combat damage to player. The ability puts some number of +1/+1 counters on that creature (the number after the renown keyword). Also, it causes the creature to become renowned.

Renown won’t trigger if the creature deals combat damage to a Planeswalker. In the unlikely event that the creature deals combat damage to its controller (through a damage redirection effect), renown will trigger. A creature that’s renowned stays renowned until it leaves the battlefield, even if it somehow loses all its +1/+1 counters.

Spell Mastery (new)

You count the number of instant and/or sorcery cards in your graveyard as a spell is resolving to determine if the spell mastery ability applies. Don’t count the resolving spell itself. It’s still on the stack at that point, not in your graveyard.

Menace example
Sometimes Menace is a good thing

Menace (new)

A creature with menace can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures. Once a creature with menace is legally blocked by two or more creatures, removing those blockers from combat won’t change or undo the block.

Prowess

Prowess is a triggered ability that gives a creature +1/+1 until end of turn whenever you cast a noncreature spell. Creature spells won’t cause prowess to trigger, even if those spells have other card types, such as an artifact creature spell.

Scry

To scry N (where N is a number), look at that many cards from the top of your library. Then, put any number of them on the bottom of your library in any order and the rest on top of your library in any order.

We will be having prereleases the weekend of July 11th and 12th, and release events the following weekend. (Color choice is first come first served, and will be random at the event, so sign up a head of time.  Online registration stops a couple of hours before each event so if you can’t sign up at that time, we may not be sold out in the store.  Check website and we will post when we sell out.)

 

 

 

July 3rd & 4th… Advanced Plus Pack War marathon

Advanced Plus-Pack WarsWe need a big favor on Thurs or Friday from our Magic Players…come in for a super cheap mystery box Pack Wars event.  We need to have at least one event every year with 50 or more players to keep up our Advanced Plus status with Wizards.  But it turns out that we can do this as a casual event, over 24 hours, so we decided to do pack-wars and give everyone who helps a reward of an extra cheap pack. Pack wars, for those who haven’t gotten a chance to play before, is basically taking a pack, opening it without looking and putting in 3 of each land, shuffling up and playing.  It’s a great way to have extra fun rather then just opening the pack. (One offer per player.)  We are doing it mystery box style, so there will be packs in the box from everything we sell.  We will even have a few packs marked to be swapped for Modern Masters 2015 packs!

    • $3 for a pack (use for pack wars)
    • $5 for two players (two packs) if you bring in a player who has never registered for an event with us before**.
    • $0!!! (my treat) if you preregister (or have preregistered) for the Origins prerelease next weekend.

**Players under 13 must have a parent to sign them up for a DCI #

Grand Reopening Events

Origin’s prerelease this weekend!  This Friday will be the last Draft for Dragon’s of Tarkir!!

NO POKEMON OR OTHER EVENTs this weekend (July 11th and 12th) because of big magic prerelease!!

Magic Origins, the next Magic set (replacing the summer core set) will have it’s prerelease on July 11th  @10 and 4, and the 12th at 10 and 3(two headed giant).  Cost is $30 in advance.  Sign up in the store or online.

 

Ben

Info for Pokemon Prerelease and Earlier time for Date Night Magic….

Hey folks-here’s the scoop.

Date-Night-MTG

Magic Date Night:  Saturday Night….NEW START TIME  OF 4;00…not 5:30….and pizza is included in new price ($25) (less external food options.  Pick up is by 8:30 at the latest (I’m taking my guys to see the Avengers.)

XY-roaring-skies-Prerelease-and-release_03

Pokemon Roaring Skies Prerelease event is this Saturday morning May 2nd.  Here’s the deal.  We provide the space, but it is run by the Pokemon league folks, and as much as they would like to, they can not do preregistration for the event.  They’ve been allocated stuff for about 26 players. so it will be first come, first served, with registration starting at 10:30 am.  It is $30 (cash directly paid to the organizers).  Each player gets 6 packs of the new stuff to make their best decks with, plays a few rounds, and gets two more bonus packs when they return their land at the end.  We WILL be doing our version of this event for the release the next week, so if you can’t make it,  don’t want to risk not getting in, or don’t make it before they sell out, you CAN sign up in advance for the RELEASE event the week of the 9th (I started doing this for every new set after the first time when I had to watch a small parade of teary eyed kids…the Dad in me couldn’t take it).

There WILL be standard Pokemon League side by side with this event since we have the added space…

Parent to parent happy kid tips:

  1. It is not competitive and is good for all levels of players
  2. It will be a full house, so kids should either have parents around or be comfortable with that type of scene (as should you).
  3. Make sure they have food or $$ for snacks (please make the food both clean finger and rug friendly…I put in our human sized chessboard rug myself…)
  4. To avoid the sad kid syndrome…let them know that if they don’t make it into this one, that we will have a special one the next week for the release where they will get the same number of packs, but where you can sign up in advance so you are guaranteed a spot.  Let them know that not everyone will get in and that you will give it a try.  (See me if this happens….I can provide great words of comfort that come from someone who is not their parent, and is therefore much more heard.  I know…my kids treat me like the wah-wah voice of the Peanuts cartoons as well.)
  5. Make sure they have a box or ideally small bag to keep their stuff in…with name on it.  Every time we  have kids leave a pile of good cards on a table and get very upset when someone else picks them up.

This is for the Release event on the 9th….NOT FOR THE PRERLEASE on the 2nd.

Tiny Leaders-A new Magic format….

Welcome to Tiny Leaders.   We will be playing the format during Tiny Leaders Thursdays.

This is a new format of magic created by Bramwell Tackaberry (who still maintains a Facebook group dedicated to the format… in the spirit of Commander, but designed as a 1 on 1 format instead of for group games.

Here is the summary of the big rules:

Uses Commander rules-except:

  1. 50 card decks (including a “commander”)
  2. Cards must have converted mana cost (add up the total mana cost) of no more then 3.
  3. Players start with 25 life.
  4. 10 card sideboard-decks must stay at exactly 50 cards
  5. Best 2 of 3 game matches.
  6. Ignore Commander Damage rules
The Banned List: Our list is still undergoing changes, but the cards currently present are:
  • Ancestral Recall
  • Balance
  • Black Lotus
  • Black Vise
  • Channel
  • Chaos Orb
  • Contract From Below
  • Counterbalance
  • Darkpact
  • Demonic Attorney
  • Demonic Tutor
  • Earthcraft
  • Edric, Spymaster of Trest
  • Falling Star
  • Fastbond
  • Goblin Recruiter
  • Hermit Druid
  • Imperial Seal
  • Jeweled Bird
  • Karakas
  • Library of Alexandria
  • Mana Crypt
  • Mana Drain
  • Mana Vault
  • Metalworker
  • Mind Twist
  • Mishra’s Workshop
  • Mox Emerald, Jet, Pearl, Ruby, and Sapphire
  • Necropotence
  • Painter’s Servant
  • Shahrazad
  • Skullclamp
  • Sol Ring
  • Strip Mine
  • Survival of the Fittest
  • Sword of Body and Mind
  • Time Vault
  • Time Walk
  • Timetwister
  • Timmerian Fiends
  • Tolarian Academy
  • Umezawa’s Jitte
  • Vampiric Tutor
  • Yawgmoth’s Will
Additionally, these Legendary creatures cannot be used as Commanders:
  • Derevi, Empyrial Tactician
  • Erayo, Soratami Ascendant
  • Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
Play Rules: There are no “free” mulligans.  Tiny Leaders uses the standard “Pairs mulligan” rule: the player shuffles his or her hand into their library and draws one fewer card than their last hand, a player may not mulligan a hand with 0 cards
If a commander would be put into a graveyard from anywhere or exiled from anywhere (so long as it is face-up or a player can look at it face down,) it’s owner may choose to put it in the command zone.
Each time you cast your commander, the next time you cast it from your command zone, it will cost (2) colourless mana more to play.Format Exclusive Cards: Three generals are available for use, to fill the colour identity holes left by no legendary creature existing with that colour identity and mana cost.

1. Mardu [Legendary Creature] WBR (2/2)
2. Sultai [Legendary Creature] UBG (2/2)
3. Jeskai [Legendary Creature] WUR (2/2)

 

“That’s Just Broken” Fate Reforged Set info…

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Shamanic Revelation - Buy a box promo for Fate Reforged
Special limited alt. art buy a box promo for Fate Reforged

The second set in the Khans of Tarkir Block, Fate

 

Reforged, is on it’s daily reveal of new spoilers leading up to the Jan 17th and 18th prerelease and Jan 23rd release, and it has us muttering the phrase, “Well that’s just broken” over and over again with a concentration of some of the best cards we’ve seen in a magic set in years.

Boxes are available for preorder now at $99.99 this week, $105.99 after 1/13, 110.99 after 1/20, and $119.99 after release.  The Buy a Box promo for the first 30 boxes sold will be Shamanic Revelation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1420485814176{background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;}”][vc_column_text]

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Register for Prerelease.

Sat events usually sell out, and early registrants will get to pick which of the special clan packs they would like.  As usual, we will be doing casual (3 rounds, win a round win a pack) and competitive (4+ rounds with two rounds winning needed for a single pack, but 12 or more packs for the top winners, depending on the number of players.  Sun. at 3 will be a two headed giant team event.  All of the events will be sealed (build the best you can from 6 packs provided in the prerelease kits) and also as usual, fun is the main goal of the days. 😉

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