Ben Calica

Ben is the owner of D20 Games.

Wanted: Great DM’s (Audition time)

We’ve moved down the street (1502 Park St, in Alameda) to a location that is 3 times the size, mostly to allow us to become an event/rpg heaven. We are open while we build out, but already have two of what will likely end up as 4 dedicated RPG rooms. We are going to expand our existing afterschool and adult programs to include holiday and full summer programs.

Our core reason for being is to provide a safe place for people to get to connect and thrive face to face with each other. This philosophy is core to the kind of games we run and the paths we make for our players. We are looking for people who come naturally to that.

We are already doing kid, grown-up, and what is becoming one of the favorite, parent/kid D&D. Our future is going to depend on us having wonderful RPG experiences and we know where that starts. So we are starting to hold auditions to add to our collection of truly great DM’s. We are particularly on the lookout for those with strong affinity/experience working with both kids and/or neruo-spicy folks.

To Apply  and be ready to:

  • Send in a 5 minute video of you in action
  • Provide 3 references from people that you have DM’d for
  • Provide proof of LiveScan
  • Be ready to run a one shot for our evaluation players.

We are looking for two types of DM’s. People who are doing it as a beloved advocation, and would love collecting a mass of store credit to be able to get all the D&D goodies they want without having to justify spending the $$, and actors, teachers, etc who have a great skill that they would like to turn into additional income.

We want people who are going to be around for a while because they love doing this. From a compensation point of view, we do store credit based on the number of players for those who want to do it that way, and will be looking to add employees, or do contracting gigs for the others. If you can help us make $$ to keep the store thriving and do good for the players, we want to make it so everyone does well.

 

Big Move update…-old store extended through the weekend.

Hi folks….

Events this weekend.  (2-9-24)

For those who don’t know yet…we are in the middle of a big (really, really) big move down the street to 1502 Park Street.  (Check out D20gamesalameda on instagram for updates to the work as I look up enough to realize I should be taking pics. )

We keep threatening to get the next events at the new store, even under construction, but so far that has been limited to the D&D rooms.  The rest have been at the existing store (though it is getting more and more spacious as things get moved out. To give us a chance to do the build and move thing…we will have Release events for the new Magic set at the old store on Friday and Sat, and in the new store on Sunday. We may press people into service for final moves, etc. (We will have one of the Magic events for the weekend be the ones to help bring over the tables and chairs. Many hands make light work and all.)

We will be open during construction and still will be doing a kick starter for tricking out the place in the next phase.  (These will include first dibs on a lot of special events like afterschool and summer programs as well as one of a kind drafts and access to some truly rare pokemon items.)

Things we can really use help on.

    • People with good screw removal and patching skills on Sunday to help take down the gridwall in the old store.
    • Help on end of sat to move tables over to new palace after 7pm
    • Anyone with skills for finding/installing heat pump
    • Big Big one…anyone with big old truck/van who is willing to take a drive this weekend up just past sacramento to pick up a big batch of bamboo flooring we got a deal on from someone’s house.  (this one comes with a major thank you prize, either Magic, Pokemon or D&D.
    • Anyone with great web skills who can help us set up D20Gamestore.com as a full (email) entity so we can send emails out without accidently getting on a black list this time around. (I made some boo boos in sending out our emails over the years and apparently we’ve been put on Santa emails nasty list for the d20alameda.com site.  I really need an ace to help with this.
    • Help find new homes for a few special things:
    • The special rotating glass cases we got from Paulines that we never ended up using the way we intended needs a new home.  I’ll sell them for $100 each, or if they can go to a “good” place, will give them away.  If they don’t go to a new home by Monday, we need to get them delivered to the Restore in Oakland. Spinning cases looking for new home
    • The Mom Couch needs a new home!  (This beloved and extremely comfy couch should go to a good home. )  It has extremely high.  (ok..I have no illusion that this couch belongs anywhere but a rec room, but I’d rather see it go to a good cause if possible.  If not, need help getting it hauled out of here on Sunday or monday.)
      the mom couch
      The beloved Mom’s couch in action…

We will also have grindwall that will need a new home, but that is very good stuff and should get sold off. We will also have several shelving units to find new homes.

If any of these things sound like things you would like/are able to help with.  Let us know.  [email protected] or call when we’re open.

 

Black Friday/Small Biz Satureday. Thanksgiving Sales: Relax…go play…we’ll be here- ;-) (Again)

Enough…Thanksgiving is for being with people, not shopping….

We are doing sales for the whole week through Dec 1st, so take your time.. Come in for Small Business Saturday, or another day this week. We are having extra hours this week and next, open at 10 am every weekday through the 1st. (Except Thanksgiving …closed for that cause I gotta make my Peking duck turkey, people).

However, We do need as much business as you can through our way because we have huge news….over the next 3 months we are going to be moving down the street to a new location that is 3x our current size.  That means that we are gonna be able to offer multiple D&D rooms, much more play space, and not just one or two kid things after school, but full afterschool and summer program D&D (and, fingers crossed, Chess, Lego Robotics, and Real robotics).  So I’m departing from my usual focus on minimizing sales in exchange for helping others, to use this time to put together some great deals to put $ into the make the new D20 special build out fund. (We will be doing a kickstarter coming up very soon…keep eyes out for that.)  That means we have both good deals as well as the return of the famed Loot bags in updated forms.  So far we have Magic Event at Home bags from Silver ($49.99), Gold ($99.99) Platinum ($199.99), and the one off Ultimate ($599.99). (Each one has amusingly more value then those prices).  We also have a D&D bundle, as well as a full set of Dice Goblin Loot bags for those of us who realize that “enough dice” is clearly an statement made by the uninitiated.

 

We are Closed for Thanksgiving…Open at 10am Friday the 24th.  Next week we will be open extra hours, Monday-Friday at 10am.

Black Friday =Family Friday—if you wanna come into pick something up and go home and play, great.  But don’t stress about it.

Go play!!!  Sure, I’m the board game guy, so that’s my auto suggestion, but go for a walk, hike, de-dust the football (and stretch first..those of us who’s memories of being 12 are a few times older then being 12.)  But go goof with each other, and have some (gasp) fun!  Relax, go back to the leftovers a bunch of times when no one is looking. Or just chill out.

I’m not saying we don’t want and need yer business.  We absolutely do.  Competing with the near cost prices of Amazon means that every sale from customers who appreciate that we are creating a home for community more then anything else is absolutely key for us.  (So save some of your gift money to spend with us).  But it does mean that I’m not going to make my sales last 45 minutes so you have no choice but to leave the house in order to get them.  We’ll be doing sales all week , but we’ll base them on how many we need to sell at that price so, you can come in this weekend, or next week, etc.

Our big thing is to make sure that we listen and can point you to things that will actually be fun to play and make people happy.  (And no fake reviews either.  Ok…that was a little shot at Amazon…couldn’t help myself.)

Coming…list to a page of our recommended gifts for this year, as well as any other special stuff.  But for right now, just think about special stuffing.  (Ok…if you come into the store today, you can get some great games to play over the holiday.)

 

 

Find Your Fortune in The Lost Caverns of Ixalan at D20 Games!

Embark on an Uncharted Quest with “The Lost Caverns of Ixalan” at D20 Games!

Prepare to chart a course into the unknown with Magic: The Gathering’s latest set, “The Lost Caverns of Ixalan.” This set beckons players to uncover the secrets of a land where the ancient and the arcane intertwine. With new mechanics like Craft, Descend, and Discover, your journey through the untamed wilds of Ixalan will be fraught with peril and promise.

Prerelease and Release Events at D20 Games in Alameda!

Join the adventure a week early with our Prerelease Events, and continue the excitement with our Release Events:

Prerelease Events:

Release Events:

Cost for each event is $30 in advance and $35 on the day of the event. Secure your spot early and save!

New Game Mechanics to Master:

  • Craft: Forge your path to power by crafting artifacts of immense strength. As you play, you’ll gather components that can be assembled into tools of victory, giving you an edge in the heat of battle.
  • Descend: Venture deeper into the game with Descend, where meeting certain conditions unleashes abilities of mythic proportions. With DESCEND 4 and DESCEND 8, your creatures will gain new abilities as you reach these thresholds, offering a strategic advantage that grows with your gameplay.
  • Fathomless Descent: A mechanic that rewards the bold, Fathomless Descent takes you to new strategic depths, offering rewards that grow with the risks you take. This mechanic encourages daring plays that, if successful, can lead to a cascade of powerful effects.
  • Discover: Continue the legacy of exploration with Discover, a fresh take on the Explore mechanic, leading you to unearth new strategies and hidden strengths. This ability allows you to reveal the top card of your library and make crucial decisions that could alter the course of the game.
  • Map Tokens: Navigate your way to triumph with Map Tokens, which build upon the Discover mechanic, marking your progress as you journey through the game. These tokens serve as milestones, unlocking potential as your exploration advances.
  • Finality Counters: Mark the pivotal moments of your conquest with Finality Counters, a new way to signify the turning points that can lead to ultimate victory. These counters accumulate on certain cards, leading to powerful effects that can end the game in your favor.

Are you ready to forge your destiny with the craft of your hands, descend into the depths of strategy, and discover the untold power within the caverns? Join us at D20 Games and find out!

D20 Games
1530 Park Street,
Alameda, CA 94501
[email protected]
Phone: 510-522-2109

Discover the secrets of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan at D20 Games!

 

Wilds of Eldraine @ D20 Games

Welcome back to Eldraine, the land of storybooks come to life. When we last left our story, (in Throne of Eldraine),the twins Rowan and Will Kenrith, (the children of High King Algenus Kenrith,)set out on a quest to save their father from the planeswalker Oko.. Along the way, they meet a variety of characters, including knights, wizards, and other classic fantasy creatures. They also learn about the different courtly factions of Eldraine, and the conflict between the knights and the magical creatures of the Wilds.

In Wilds of Eldraine, the twins continue their quest to save their father. They travel to the Wilds, where they face off against Oko and his forces. They also encounter a variety of new creatures and characters, including the witch Eriette, her sisters, and Talion. In the end, the twins are able to defeat Oko and save their father. They also learn that the witch Eriette was responsible for the curse that was plaguing Eldraine. With the curse lifted, peace is restored to the land.

Events (Release and Prerelease) 

Events:

Mechanics 

  • Roles
    Players attach these aura tokens to their creatures to give them a specific benefit. Players can generate these tokens through spells and abilities.
    • Cursed — Enchanted creature has base power and toughness 1/1.
    • Monster — Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has trample.
    • Royal — Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has ward {1}.
    • Sorcerer — Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and has “Whenever this creature attacks, scry 1.”
    • Wicked — Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 and “When this Aura is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, each opponent loses 1 life.”
    • Young Hero — Enchanted creature has “Whenever this creature attacks, if its toughness is 3 or less, put a +1/+1 counter on it.”
    • (Commander) Virtuous — Enchanted creature gets +1/+1 for each enchantment you control.
  • Celebrations
    Players receive a bonus if two or more nonland permanents enter the battlefield under their control this turn. These bonuses include +1+1 counters and other bonuses.
  • Bargain
    Sacrifice an artifact, enchantment, or token, and get an extra effect when the card comes into play.
  • Adventure permanents
    Some of these permanents have off-color spells. For example, the Sorcery portion of the Adventure has a Blue casting cost, while the creature nightmare has a Black casting cost.

 

 

Lord of the Rings Tales of Middle Earth -MTG comes home

(The set releases on 6/23, but preorders are open now and can be picked up at local game stores starting 6/16 when the prereleases begin.)


Lotr Basic landThe Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is a new expansion set for Magic: The Gathering it brings the iconic world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth to life, letting you follow the paths of favorite (or favorite villainous) characters from the Third Age.  Whether you choose to reenact your favorite moments from the series or turn the tales of Middle-earth on their head is entirely up to you​2.

Events (Release and Prerelease) 

For the Love of Hobbits and Rings:There and Back Again Saga
The set was clearly designed by people who knew and loved Tolkien’s world.  The flavor and mechanics of the cards are joyfully amazing.  For example, more often then not, hobbits in the set create food tokens (yes, there is a Second Breakfast card), and there is a saga that not only creates Smaug as a 6/6 flying dragon token, but when it dies, it creates 12 treasure tokens!  There are various versions of main characters that match their different transformations in the journey, such as 4 versions of Frodo, from peaceful hobbit to Sauron’s Bane, or Gandalf as the fireworks laden Friend of the Shire, to the White Rider, swooping down in the light of the dawn sun, with the riders of Rohan at his back.  I’ve been playing the Draftsim practice drafts/sealed simulators just to get a chance to get familiar with the cards, and the kid who fell in love with LOTR is beyond excited to get a chance to play. 

Gandalf Lord of the ShireMasters Set that you don’t need to be a Master to enjoy
This is supposed to be a Universes Away/Masters set, but it feels much more like coming home than going into a new world.  Kind of makes sense since MTG was inspired by D&D, which came from (drumroll….) Tolkien.  (if you don’t believe me…check out the early changes to D&D based on hobbit lawyers.)  Even though the set is in the higher cost Masters slot ($50/55 instead of $30/35 for sealed), don’t take that to mean that the set isn’t friendly for all levels of players.  In fact, the thing that will make the set most fun is how much you like Lord of the Rings. The Balrog

This set is shaping up to be a fantastic journey through the realms of Middle-earth, filled with nostalgia, surprises, and a sprinkle of that unique MTG magic. Whether you’re a fan of the fantasy epic, a dedicated MTG player, or both, this set promises to offer a thrilling new way to experience Tolkien’s world. Can’t wait for the set’s release? Neither can we!

 

 

Alternate Art Fun…

There are some amazing alternate versions of the cards, including some that piece together to create full scenes on their own.  There are a bunch  of cool art treatments to collect. More info here.

Alt art connected Lord of the Rings Magic cards

New Mechanics

The Ring

The Ring (front)

The biggest new mechanic has to do with The Ring, and what happens when it tempts you. I know that tempt sounds like a bad thing, but in this case it is some of the very good stuff.  When the ring tempts you, you attach the ring card to one (and only one at a time) of your creatures.  Every time the ring tempts again it adds another ability to that card. If your ring bearer dies, the ring falls off and you start from the beginning.

Amass Orcs

We’ve seen this mechanic before in building up hordes of zombies.  Basically, you create an “army” that is a token with whatever number of counters that the Amass tells you to add.  Every subsequent Amass just makes the one army token bigger. (It doesn’t create lots of them.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vote for Us…Best of Alameda (by 5/31)!!!

Every year I intend to reach out and ask people to nominate us for Best of Alameda, and every year I forget to do it till its too late.  Did the same thing this year, but it turns out that we got nominated and into the final round without my asking.

We’re up against Toy Safari, who I love, and who absolutely wins in the toy store side of things. But in terms of games, I feel comfortable in putting our hat in the ring.  Not only because we work hard to hand pick games and figure out what people need, but because we are a place where people can actually play face to face with each other.

If you feel so inclined, we’d love the vote of confidence.  I know that kind of thing isn’t really important, but it does feel good to be appreciated through all this. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parent/Kid D&D at D20 Games

Family playing D&DUpdate…now starting on June 29th!

We are starting Parent/Kid D&D at D20 Games.  Starting Thursdays at 5-7 (come in starting 4 for extra help with characters/questions), the idea is for up to 4 parent & kid combos to get a chance to play D&D together.  This can be an old-school player sharing their misspent youth with their kids, or kids getting to share something that they love with their kids. (We are also looking to do a weekend table.)

What: D&D ongoing adventure (6 weeks)

When: Thursdays at 5-7 (Time will actually be 4-7, but first hour is for help with characters and other questions) Or Sunday  3-5 (we will be there from 2pm on to help with questions and game help.)  The first session will be mostly about getting your characters in good shape and answering questions to make it much more fun/easier to play.  (For those who pay for the whole 6 weeks, this will get added in as an extra bonus week for a total of 7 weeks of D&D)

Cost: $40 per pair/ session  ($220 for all 6 weeks). Limited to 5 teams per table.  If we get more than 5, we will start a list for a second table which will start when we have at least 3 extra pairs and a .)

Requirements: At least one of the two players should be familiar enough with D&D to play.  More mature of pair is responsible for  ensuring that players are not being disruptive enough to ruin game play for everyone. (Tools we have to help with that include the fact that any ‘loud” talk at the table has a good chance of being heard  by wandering monsters.)  We strongly suggest that each combo have their own copy of the Players Handbook. (And be very liberal with the post-it notes/paper clips to get easy access to the things about your character that you need to get to during play. (spells, special abilities, etc.)

Players will start with a 3rd level character generated using either Standard Array or Point buy for the stats, and classes/races from any of the official D&D 5e printed content (excluding Critical Role).  (If you want to do Point Buy, here is a good tool to help.)Players should bring an extra character sheet to give the DM, and should have reference cards for their most commonly used spells and abilities. (We want to minimize people frantically flipping through books when it is their turn to act so we can spend more time playing.)

Here are some useful resources to help get you started.

My personal recommendation is to figure out what class you would like to play, and then pick the race that has ability bonuses that help with that class and then set up your stats to help.  One thing to remember that the bonuses you get from the basic ability scores only make a difference on the even, not the odd numbers.   So, for example, a strength score of 14 and 15 would be +2,  and 16 or 17 would get you +3.  You wanna work to get as many of your ability scores into even numbers.  (Don’t worry about not getting it perfect.  For the first couple of sessions, we will let people go back and fix things if they realize they had a different option that works better for them. )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March of the Machines-Release events–Plus Bonus Sunday Special event

This weekend we will have part two of the prerelease/release for March of the machines, and I can report that the set is hella fun!  (We actually had a near full house on last Friday).

Plus I’m gonna do something on Saturday at 2ish that is spectacularly stupid.*

Aside from pretty epic story-telling, the last couple of Magic sets see to be getting more and more fun to play, and March of the Machines looks to keep that trend going .  (If you wanna check out the set in a fun way, do some practices drafts/sealed using Draftsim.)  Remember to get tix in advance to save the extra $5…$35 day of event, $30 in advance, so get tix at store or online early)

Events:

*So about being purposefully stupid:

About 4 months ago, Wizards did an epically stupid thing in creating the $1000 30th Anniversary Edition with “reprints” of most of the important cards they promised they would never reprint.  About a month ago they sent us the copy they promised each of the local game stores.

What:  On Saturday I’m gonna take them and do something on camera that I’ve banned from the store.  We’re gonna play Rip it or Flip it.

Why!!!: I’m not actually being that “flip” about this.  With each pack we rip, I’m going to publicly call out Wizards for some things they are doing that are as bad to LGS’s as the Open License debacle was for D&D developers.  I’m hoping if this gets enough attention, it might spark some changes here as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March of the Machines-Prerelease and Release events

Elesh Norn has been a busy girl.  After the machinifcation of New Phyrexia, she decides that everyone should have their chance to take a shot (or end up in the perfection of infection).  She flicks her wrist to open portals to 5 different plains with the now perfectly corrupted Atraxa, Ajani and Nahiri at her side.  With the other heros trapped in stone, one of the biggest battles in MTG in recent years enters a world(s) of epic battle.

Aside from pretty epic story-telling, the last couple of Magic sets see to be getting more and more fun to play, and March of the Machines looks to keep that trend going .  (Been doing some practice drafts/sealeds using Draftsim, and I’m getting pretty psyched for the real thing.)  (Remember…$35 day of event, $30 in advance, so get tix at store or online early)

Events:

This weekend and next, we have a plethora of sealed events using the prerelease kits from the new set. Players can get their boxes of 6 packs to open and get to build their decks starting 1 hour before each event.  Prerelease kits have six 15-card packs, 1 random exclusive promo foil rare or mythic rare from the set, and a special spindown die. We provide the basic lands, so you don’t need anything more to play.  We pride ourselves that no one here will make you feel anything but welcome (we all started from scratch at some point).  

All events are sealed using the prerelease kits.  Make your best decks and win a round, win a pack.   If we have enough players to accommodate both, we will also have competitive prize pools for the 10AM sealed events. (Competitive prize pools mean more chance to win lots of packs if you do very well, but more rounds and the chance to win no prize packs if you don’t. Better for more expert players.)

The prerelease and release events are great chances for players who haven’t gotten a chance to play in person to come to a friendly, fun event where everyone is starting from scratch and no one knows much more than anyone else yet.  We recommend if you are new, or you have a friend who is new, to play in the Two-Headed Giant events, which are two-person team events. So long as one person in the team knows how to play, you can both have fun without any pressure to know the rules right away.

 

New Mechanics for this set include some goodies, from Battle, cards that must be protected, fought and then transform into goodies.  (Source wizards.com https://magic.wizards.com/en/news/feature/march-of-the-machine-mechanics)

 

BATTLES

Phyrexia had success invading Mirrodin, so they’re trying it again. Everywhere. But, just like the Mirrans, the residents of all the planes being marched on aren’t taking it lying down. There are battles to be fought, so many that we have a new card type to represent them: battles.

Invasion of Fiora

Invasion of Fiora // Marchesa, Resolute Monarch

 

Each battle in March of the Machine is a transforming double-faced card. The front faces (the faces you cast) are the first permanents to feature beautiful landscape art—landscapes being attacked, but as you’ll see, that’s thematic. But first, let’s get them onto the battlefield. Battles can be cast during your main phase if the stack is empty, just like creatures, sorceries, and other non-instant spells.

Each battle enters the battlefield with a number of defense counters on it equal to its defense, found in the lower right corner of the front face. This tells you how much damage it takes to defeat a battle. Much like planeswalkers, battles can be attacked and damaged. But unlike with planeswalkers, the general idea isn’t to cast them, protect them, and hope they stick around. You’re battling to take them out.

A battle’s subtype provides rules for how it can be attacked. Since every battle in this set has the subtype Siege, they all play by the same rules. (Could future battles have different subtypes and have different combat rules? It would certainly seem some bright, forward-thinking people set the system up that way.) As a Siege battle enters the battlefield, its controller chooses an opponent to be its protector. Every player except a battle’s protector may attack it. Only a battle’s protector may block creatures attacking it. Don’t confuse protector for controller. You’re going to attack battles that you control, the first time you’ve been able to attack your own permanents. Fun!

Battles are susceptible to more than just combat damage, though. Some spells and abilities may specifically say that they cause damage to be dealt to battles. Also, any spell or ability that says “any target” can target a battle, so get ready to stoke the flames of war.

Stoke the Flames

Stoke the Flames

Any damage dealt to a battle causes that many defense counters to be removed from it. When the last defense counter is removed from a Siege battle, the battle is defeated and a triggered ability triggers. As this ability resolves, the battle’s controller exiles it then casts the back face from exile without paying its mana cost—and there won’t be a mana cost, so that part’s easy. The back faces are a variety of things; most of them are permanents like Marchesa, Resolute Monarch (long may she reign), but there are some sorceries in the mix.

Marchesa, Resolute Monarch

Invasion of Fiora // Marchesa, Resolute Monarch

 

TRANSFORMING DOUBLE-FACED CARDS

In addition to battles, there are other transforming double-faced cards in the set. As a quick refresher, here are some of the key things you should know. The front faces of transforming double-faced cards are marked with a triangle facing up on the top left. The back faces are marked with a triangle facing down on the top right.

Elesh Norn

Elesh Norn // The Argent Etchings

 

Elesh Norn

Planar Booster Fun

 

Transforming double-faced cards, or TDFCs as we in the biz call them, have only the characteristics of their front faces while not on the battlefield. So, if you’re searching your library for a creature card, you could find Elesh Norn, but if you’re searching for an enchantment card, you couldn’t find The Argent Etchings. You always cast the front face, and a TDFC always enters the battlefield with its front face up unless something explicitly says otherwise, such as Elesh Norn’s last ability.

One last thing in this refresher course: mana value. The back face doesn’t have a mana cost, but its mana value is based on the mana cost of the front face. So, The Argent Etchings has the same mana value as Elesh Norn: 4. Thanks for heading down memory lane with me. Back up to the new stuff!

BACKUP

The forces defending their homeworlds aren’t doing so alone. They brought plenty of backup. Backup is a new triggered ability that allows creatures to help a friend . . . or even themselves . . . in a pinch.

Boon-Bringer Valkyrie

Boon-Bringer Valkyrie

 Extended Art

Extended Art

Backup always comes with a number. Whenever a creature with backup enters the battlefield, you put that many +1/+1 counters on a target creature. If you chose another creature as the target, that creature also gets every ability of the original creature that is printed below backup until end of turn.

For example, when Boon-Bringer Valkyrie enters the battlefield, you can either put a +1/+1 counter on Boon-Bringer Valkyrie itself, or you can put a +1/+1 counter on another creature and have that creature gain flying, first strike, and lifelink until end of turn. Note that even if you have another creature gain those abilities until end of turn, Boon-Bringer Valkyrie will keep them.

Note that backup confers only abilities that are printed below the backup ability. You can’t respond to the backup ability by giving Boon-Bringer Valkyrie additional abilities and have backup give those abilities to the backup target. However, token copies of a creature with backup work just like the original. For example, if a token enters the battlefield as a copy of Boon-Bringer Valkyrie, that backup ability can have another creature gain its keywords until end of turn.

On a few creatures, abilities that wouldn’t make much sense to have another creature gain until end of turn, such as flash or landcycling, are printed above backup. Creatures that are the targets of backup abilities don’t gain any abilities printed above backup.

INCUBATE

If the glory of Phyrexia is not apparent to you, perhaps baby Phyrexians would be more convincing? Incubate is a new keyword action that allows you, yes you, blessed spreader of Elesh Norn’s perfection, to create Incubator tokens. This sounds wonderful, no?

Traumatic Revelation

Traumatic Revelation

An Incubator token is a new kind of predefined token, joining ones such as Food and Treasure. An Incubator token is a colorless artifact token with “{2}: Transform this artifact.” Oh, did I mention it was a transforming double-faced token? That’s new. It’s a transforming double-faced token. The back face is a 0/0 colorless Phyrexian artifact creature.

Incubator token

Incubator // Phyrexian token

 

The instruction to incubate will include a number which indicates how many +1/+1 counters to put on the Incubator token. Those counters don’t do much while the token has its front face up, but they do a great job of keeping the Phyrexian artifact creature alive once it transforms.

CHAOS ENSUES

It really does.

Towashi

Towashi

Planechase is a major feature of the Commander decks in March of the Machine. On previous plane cards, chaos abilities had the trigger condition, “Whenever you roll [CHAOS].” Starting with March of the Machine, this condition has been replaced by “whenever chaos ensues.” With respect to the planar die, nothing has changed; rolling [CHAOS] will still cause these abilities to trigger. However, now there are ways to have these abilities trigger that don’t involve the planar die at all.

Of course, that only makes sense if you already know what Planechase is. You can gain this knowledge now with an explainer on Planechase by Gavin Verhey.

MARCH ON

New keywords, new strategies, even a new card type. March of the Machine promises to bring the Phyrexian threat to a close. Learn whether the threat has been removed or taken over the Multiverse in Magic Story. You can also preorder March of the Machine products before they arrive on April 21 from retailers like Amazon and at your local game store. Stay tuned and enjoy the new cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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