Super FNM Draft Friday 1/1 ….FNM with Lots of extra FNM Promos. Lottery for extra promos based on tickets earned by participating in every Septathlon event!
Bonus Raffle entry Tix for number of events you attend for the Friday FNM Goodie raffle. Raffle items will include promo cards, playmats, Modern Masters Packs, a From the Vaults and more stuff. The more people that come to events, the more we’ll stuff in the give away…
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 get 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+ …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.
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)
Just Collecting for fun
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)
Pokémon Intro decks
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
Hidden Fates Pin packs
These big stocking stuffers have 3 packs and a bonus card. The Hidden Fates is a more rare set that has been hard to find.
Hidden Fates Collections
These boxes have special rare promo cards and sets of the Hidden Fates Packs. We have about 10 in stock.
These latest tin’s contain Ex (really good) versions of some of the best cards as well as a number of booster packs.
Ultropro Premium Side loading binders
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
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.
$ 4-$8.99 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. There are Pokemon special packs up
Card Protectors (Sleeves)
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…)
Either smaller 4 card per page or larger 9 card per page binders, always a good choice, particularly for younger players.
Available with lots of colors and styles, pick their favorite
Magic The Gathering
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.
Deck Builder’s Toolkit
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.
Holiday Gift Box
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
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.
Draft Gift Certificate
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.
Jace or Gideon, these special 9 card packs have sets of unique printings of some great cards. Also makes a good stuffer
Thorne of Edraine Brawl Decks
These were about $40-50 when they first came out, but just reprinted and we are able to sell them for a WAY better price.
Great set for helping players give a fun king of the hill style intro to other players they wanna share what they like..
From the Vaults Sets
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 box of 36 packs of any of the sets of boosters we have in stock.
Stocking Stuffers/Small Gift ideas
$ 4-29.99 each
Always fun to open, from $3.99 Magic Packs up to $29.99 that we usually try and discurage the kids from buying with their own money, but make GREAT stocking stuffers.
Card Protectors (Sleeves)
Price is based on style and maker. Keep cards protected and from getting mixed up with other players
Available with lots of colors and styles, pick their favorite
HUGE D20 Life counting dice
An oversized 20 sided die used to keep count of life totals. Available in the 5 different magic colors.
Box of Mini-dice
These mini-dice are loved by experienced player to use for counters on the cards
Providing a great surface to play on, these mats come in a number of great designs.
Ok folks…I’ve had it. I’m taking a small (and probably spectacularly pointless) stand against the whole idea of getting all all of our families/friends together and actually off work, and then ripping them out of bed (or from going to bed in some cases) to go wait in lines for the chance to get smushed, stressed and utterly exhausted all for a chance to save some money on presents for the very people who we just missed a chance to lounge around with in a comfy robe and furry slippers.
During this week Nov. 21 to 29th
Take off an extra 5% from what you are buying (with the exception of sale items) (Always)
Get to buy a Modern Masters pack for 1/2 price ($6) for every purchase over $40 (OR)
Get a Free Modern Masters 2015 pack for every purchase over $75 (OR)
Get a Free Pokemon Pack for every purchase over $40 (OR)
Get to pull a Free Mini board game (value between $7-15) for every purchase over $60)
Obviously, I a big believer in playing some table top games together as a way of having fun where we even get to look up from screens and actually LOL. (LOL–yes I’m aware of the irony.) So here is our solution. We’re going to have our holiday sale the weekend before Thanksgiving. We are a local shop, and we do want/need your business so we can afford to keep providing a nice place for people to come and play together so we appreciate when you buy stuff from us very much. Our idea is to let you pick up gifts for the holidays and while you are here, hopefully pick up something really fun to play over Thanksgiving as well, since having fun with people you love is about the best gift there is. And I want to keep the game playing to the games and do our best to make it pleasant to shop with us.
We’ve hand picked a number of great games, and as usual have a great selection of goodies for Magic and Pokemon players. We’ll be posting our yearly staff gift recommendation list in the next week. And we’ll be doing a bunch of game reviews to help out.
Recommendations for great Holiday games (this will be updated regularly)
Codenames; Sort of a multi-match team password where the “spymaster” tries to give a clue that will get their team to match the words from a big spread of cards that belong to their team without picking words that belong to the other team. Very hot game.
New York 1901: Think Blockus meets Ticket to Ride. Pick cards that let you build your collection of skyscrapers on the still flat map of NYC while you still have the space.
Coup Rebellion CS4: This follow on to the very popular ultimate bluffing game Coup can be played in about 20 minutes per round and works for 3-6 players…super, super fun.
Dead of Winter: We finally have this impossible to get in zombie tour to force in stock…Everyone who has bought it loves it, so if you are into the living the zombie (or zombie free) life, get a few folks together for this one.
Cover Your Assets: Great game that works equally well for kids and grandparents,and can get ’em to actually play together.
Loonacy: Perfect for post Turkey brains…not a lot of high level thinking, but a fast paced game with a bunch of goofy laughing. Now with a cool Mad Men style retro version.
Roll For It: A fast paced dice rolling game with simple rules that is fun for all ages…
Qwirkle: Think scrabble meets Bejeweled (shapes and colors instead of words). Grat Family Game
Evolution: This brand new games ia perfect in the spirit of getting stuffed. This 2-6 person game has each player creating their own customized species to vie to see who prospers and who gets eaten. Big thumbs up on this one for 10 (smart 8) and up.
King of Tokyo Fans!!!: The classic king of the hill monster game hops over the pond with the new King of New York version of the game. This 2-6 player game is all about light hearted battling of giant monsters to see who can take the biggest bite out of the Big Apple
And for those who like their fun Dark and Delicious…two Strong recommendations:
Gloom: the Edward Gory/Lemony Snicket game where you lead your dark family to the worst possible life before knocking them off in some poetically tragic way,while your opponents try and give them (gasp) a good day. 😉
Betrayal at the House on the Hill, 3-6 players fingernail biting exploration of the wonderfully creepy house. flips in the middle of the game by turning one of the players into the Betrayer who gets secret instructions setting him/her against the rest of the players who have their own secret instructions how they try and survive the night. This game is easy to get into and virtually impossible not to hvae fun with.
Update…the event was great. They raised over $1500 for Children’s Miracle Network. The Nerdy Knights were very, very cool guys and we were impressed both by what they were doing, and their spirit in doing it. Great job guys…you are welcome to come back next year. (Oh…and a shout out to my trivia team partner who helped prove that the combo of age and beauty turned out to be unstoppable…woo hoo!!! And good job to the second place team who ended up being a couple of our regular kid players who snuck up from behind and womped on the mostly adult crowd!)
So here’s the scoop. This group of players, who call themselves the Nerdy Knights contacted me to ask if we’d be willing to stay open for 24 hours to play games in the store. After the echos of the initial laughter faded, it turned out that they do this every year as part of a nationwide event for an organization called Extra Life, that has groups like them all across the country do these game marathons to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network to give money to a bunch of Children’s hospitals. After making sure they were legit, I dusted off my cot and gave them the thumbs up. Taking care of each other is a big part of what the store is about, and building in some taking care of others has been a goal of the
How this works. From 6 am Saturday to the same time on Sunday, the Nerdy Knights will be here, playing games, streaming on the net and gathering donations. Side by side with that we will be having tables dedicated to everything from Table-top board game Speed Dating, to Special Magic tournaments. D20 will donate the space and games for use in the events. Events with packs (ie Magic) the store do at a hugely discounted rate so any profit (and most of the $) will go to the charity.
The events (big time subject to change) Check here for the latest updates and schedule. NOTE…being here either before or during the after hours (after 9pm) is only for the volunteers or the participants in events. (Ok…you can donate a cover charge just to watch….whatever brings in more donations for the kidlets.)
Events for the public to Participate in so far: (We will add more as we get more volunteers to run them.)
Zombie Conspiracy: Bring any number of friends in for this two hour Magic Draft/beat on your buddies fest.
Cost-$8 to D20 and $10-15 donation to the charity.
d20 Games – Speed Dating with Board Games
We’ll Set up 4 tables with some of the best new games and some of our all time favorites. Play for 1/2 hour and we will then play musical chairs (literally) to see where you end up next. $5 donation per game tix ($10 for 3, and $25 donation for 10–enough to play the whole time.) If you love a game and want to stay at the table, you can use two tix to stick around for another 1/2 hour. Have fun, meet people, and win goodies at the table, including promo’s, snacks, and discounts. (Volunteers can earn one ticket per hour they volunteer for the event.)
Cover-1 ticket per game session. $5-1 ticket, $10-2 tickets, $25-10 tickets
7:00pm – 9:00pm
West Coast Team – Nerd Trivia.
5 rounds of 10 questions each. Each round will be a different category and will have prizes at the end of the round. At the end of the final round the team with the most points will go into a lightning round to win the Trivia grand prize provided by NKRN
Categories will include Star Wars, Nintendo, Pokemon, Comic books, and others
Teams of a max 4 people – Cover- $20/team
D20 After Dark-Adult only games
Tables set up with Games of a more adult nature (ahem…)–see above for details
Cover Donation $15
D20 Adults only Magic Draft….Modern Masters 2015!!!
Cover-$15 to D20 (we will subsidize the rest of the cost of the packs) plus $15 Donation to the store
Community Service Jobs
Speed Gaming -Game Masters – for the speed dating-sequel version of board games we will need one person with each board game to teach the players how to play.
Twitch Chat Moderators – people watching the twitch chat during the event to bring in the participation of the online community. Tasks will include helping running the online raffles and monitoring the online portions of live events (I.e. Trivia, Cards Against Humanity, etc)
Sound Mixer Tech – preferably someone with experience or can easily be taught how to run a small 12-channel mixer to make sure audio and music is played throughout the stream appropriately. Typically students in the drama department in schools will be ideal for this
Set-Up and Clean-Up – for the evening before and morning after we can use 2-3 extra hands for setting up and taking everything down once the event is taken care of
Promoters – Someone standing outside and encouraging community engagement by handing out the fliers and trying to draw people in
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.
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.)
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.
Open at midnight Thursday Oct 1st to pick up booster boxes and fat packs.
Battle 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. Yep, 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!
For those of you who have been to the new store, you know it is great, but has one big flaw….in the immortal words of Kiss Me Kate….It gets Too Darn Hot. We are looking to be both green and cool blue by putting in solar power on the roof to get the temp to stay as cool as our players.
So, since running a game store is more of a public service then a fountain of excess cash, we are reaching out to our community to raise what we need to get this problem fixed for all of us.
First thing we are doing is we have a real (and soon virtual) donation jar in the store. Were giving people tickets to thank them for their donations, and I’m going to kick in some good stuff based on how much we raise. The drawing to give away the goodies will be Aug 23rd (Ben’s Birthday). Here is a partial list of what we will contributed to the thank you gift drawing. $1-1 ticket, $5-6 tickets, $10-15 tickets, $20-35 tickets, and $50 or above will get you double tickets.
From the Vault: Angels (1)
Pokemon Charizard EX Box
From the Vault Annihilation (1)
From the Vault Angels(1)
Pokemon Mega Absol Ex Box
Dragon’s of Tarkir Release box (2)
From the Vault Annihilation (1)
Commander Decks (3)
Pokemon Tin (choose from any we have)
Free Drafts (3)
From the Vault Angels (1)
Pokemon Ex or Mega of your choice from what is in stock
This year’s From the Vault is about to come out and people are asking how we are going sell them.
What is From the Vault? These are special super limited sets reprinting some of the best cards in Magic with new art and in all foil versions. This year it it is Angels.
Here is how the lists will work:
“Lock it in List”
10 slots on list
$79.99 until 8/5,
$89.99 until 8/12,
$99.99 until 8/19, $109.99 after that. (subject to change if market price goes way up)
“The big List”
10 boxes to be sold, random selection from list.
$49.99-Extra bonus entries in list awarded for “good customers” (Regular attendees for events, doing lots of business with the store. This is entirely at the discretion of the management. This will also include some recognition of those customers who go out of their way to be welcoming and helpful for new or learning players.)
On the 23rd we will be pulling from a raffle to help us raise some funds to get a better ventilation system for the store to help with those extra hot days…we will be doing a bunch of prizes, including FTV Angels, Annihilation some most excellent cards, and Garruk’s axe.
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
New abilities in the set (and those who make a return):
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.
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 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.
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.)
Advanced Plus-Pack Wars—We 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 #