Post RTR Standard Brewing: Rabble Red

Mono red aggro decks are sure to be strong right out of the gate in Standard, post rotation. Here is my Sligh/ Rabble Red build.

4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Firedrinker Satyr
4 Satyr Hoplite
4 Akroan Crusader
3 Mogis Warhound
3 Arena Athlete
4 Goblin Rabblemaster

4 Titan’s Strength
4 Dragon’s Mantle
1 Coordinated Assault
1 Hall of Triumph
4 Stoke the Flames

20 Mountains

Mono Red Heroic

The core of this deck is mono red heroic. There are 16 one drops, 6 sort of two drops (Mogis Warhound is not really a two drop) and 4 Goblin Rabblemasters. In testing, you really want to go one drop then next turn go combat, heroic enabler followed by another one drop. Lightning Strike won’t cut it anymore with cards like Courser of Kruphix, Butcher of the Horde, etc. Finally there is a minor token theme and I think Hall of Triumph would be insane. In fact, I have 1 more in the sideboard for mirror matches.

As you may have notice there are actually no actual Khans of Tarkir cards in the deck and that is not by design. The two strongest cards from the set for this deck is Monastery Swiftspear and War-name Aspirant. I am not sure if Montasty Swiftspear is in fact better than Satyr Hoplite. I am leaning towards the Satyr Hoplite for now because it can survive a Drown in Sorrows and maybe even an Anger of the Gods better. As I said, this deck doesn’t really want two drops. Arena Athlete is probably the weakest card of the deck though but the “can not block” ability is so powerful that if you cut Arena Athlete for War-name Aspirant you also need to cut some one drops for Frenzied Goblin or heroic enablers for Hammerhand. War-name Aspirant is also a nombo with Foundry Street Denizen.

It is hard to build a sideboard right now but I am going with something like this for the first week.

3 Magma Spray
2 Circle of Flame
1 Hall of Triumph
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
2 Purphoros, God of the Forge
1 Mountain
1 Blinding Flare
1 Harness by Force

Magma Spray, Circle of Flame and Hall of Triumph is for mono red and mono black aggro decks. The eidolon is for mid range decks that have to lower their curve to keep up with this deck. Blinding Flare and Harness by Force is help against those big green decks. Finally I wanted a robust threat against control decks. Stormbreath Dragon and the new Sarkan is bit high of the curve so I want to try Purphoros, God of the Forge.

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Lost CCGs: WWE Raw Deal

There was an explosion of collectible card games (CCGs) in the late 90’s and in the shuffle, a lot of great games got lost in time. If you can find them for cheap, they can actually be a lot of fun. I want to highlight some of these forgotten CCGs in my new blog segment simply called Lost CCGs!

I have to start with Comic Images’ WWE Raw Deal which is probably my favorite “lost” CCG. It was quite popular in its heyday but they couldn’t quite capitalize on the momentum. It is such a shame but not surprising. I found these Paul Heyman and Evolution decks for only $2 each. If my memory serves me right, these are two cornerstones for powerhouse decks.

Raw Deal Evolution and Paul Heyman

I imagine professional wrestling to be incredibly difficult to convert as a card game. There are just so many elements to stimulated a match in a fun way but the mechanics of this game do reflect them flavorfully without being too complicated. Without going to much in detail, you have to build up fortitude to land bigger moves and you do that by successfully executing smaller moves. So to land say a shooting star press, you need to land a couple of punches and kicks first. When you take damage, you actually mill that many cards from the library aka the arsenal. Moves can be reversed if your opponent has a reversal in his or her hand or if it is among the cards milled. It is actually one of the few games I like that has the deck as your life mechanic. Also I love how you keep the moves you land in front of you so you can’t help but to use your imagination and just visualize the match from start to finish as you play the game.

So why did Raw Deal failed? I think the game got a bit complicated with the added rules each set brought. For example, I read the rule book a couple of times and I am still unsure about some of the prematch mechanics. Also cards can be a bit wordy and confusing itself. You have to read some superstar cards a number of times to get what is going on.

Anyways, living card games (LCGs) where there is no rarity or random booster packs are seeing more popularity lately and WWE Raw Deal would actually be perfect rebooted as a LCG. *Fingers crossed*

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How Much Value Can You Get From a Baseball Card Repack?

It is pretty much common knowledge that repacks aren’t worth it. But what if they are on sale. At what price are repacks worth it? I put that theory to the test. I got this repack for $10.99, 40% off. It has two authentic jersey & card sets and 10 packs. So at 40% off was it worth it?

The ten packs are:

2007 Topps Baseball Series One
2007 Topps Baseball Series Two x2
2008 Topps Baseball Series One
2008 Upper Deck Timeline
2007 Fleer Ultra
2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes
2008 Bowman
2008 Upper Deck Series 2
and of course what repack isn’t complete without a 80’s pack
1988 Donruss Baseball

As you can see 2007 and 2008 probably wasn’t a good year for baseball cards. I see a ton of packs from these years in countless repacks.

Value is kind of subjective and cards almost never go for book value. So value to me is if I am going to keep the card or if I think they are going have any trade value. I have most of the 2007 and 2008 base cards. In fact, I actually have too many base cards from 2007 and 2008 so I really should getting rid of them to free up some space in my room. Here are some of the more “valuable” cards I pulled.

Random Baseball Cards

I overlooked a bunch of boring inserts and rookie cards of bench players, relief pitchers etc. Odds are that I probably have the Kuroda rookie card already and Diamond Kings are really the only 80’s baseball cards I care about because my brother collects them.

Here are bunch of cards I may use as throw ins in trades.

More Random Baseball Cards

For my two card sets I pulled…

Ichiro Roberto Alomar Jersey Card Frames

Ichiro which is going to my PC and it is a nice score for this repack. The other is Roberto Alomar who was a Met at one point but the card is really hard to be excited for.

Oh and this is probably going to throw the calculations off but I did pull an auto.

Bob Fontaine Jr Autograph

It is from the Bowman pack and it is from one of their experiments, baseball scouts autographs. I think it is a little weird and I have no idea what the market is for these cards.

I actually have had some success with pulling hits from repacks. I pulled a couple of relic cards and I remember pulling a pretty sweet Beam Team autograph once. So maybe the odds of pulling an hit isn’t astronomical.

So all in all, repacks aren’t completely worthless. There is some concern that packs are resealed but maybe I am lucky but I never had that problem. With this repack, I did get a stack of cards that probably is just going to take up space but at about a $1 a pack with some random throw- ins it can be a fun cheap break. So my unscientific conclusion is if you can get repacks for 40% off or better or maybe a repack that comes to about a dollar a pack it is worth it.

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Oddball Pack Break: Dragon Ball GT Collectible Card Game

I recently came across this pack of Dragon Ball GT.

Dragon Ball GT Pack

From what I can get from the packaging, it is a card game made by Tesla Distribuzione in 1998 and it is not in English. I am not 100% sure what language it is in (Italian?) but I can make out that you can pull 1 metal card or 2 rares. Interesting. The pack is something you don’t see every day so it really piqued my interests.

Dragon Ball GT Cards

Dragon Ball GT Metal Card

So I pulled a metal card and the cards in general are wicked cool. The game came out in the late 90’s which is basically when everyone was making CCGs aka TCGs and it really felt like a new one was coming out like every week. The CCGs business model was flaw though. In a nutshell, you really need a large passionate fanbase for the game to be fun (and profitable for the company) but CCGs can be a huge commitment, so many aren’t willing to make the commitment unless they are sure they can play with at least a core gaming group. Spending hundreds of dollars on a game that no one plays is no fun. So there is a bit of catch-22. I know companies tried everything back in the day like ambassador programs, tournaments etc but most are short lived. Everyone thought they can be the next Magic: The Gathering. This is unfortunate because there are lot of CCGs out there that are actually solid games but are largely forgotten nowadays.

Anyways, I was thinking it can be fun to try to find some of the more obscure CCGs and blog about it…

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Are Miscut Baseball Cards Worth Anything?

This miscut 1987 Topps Devon White rookie card that was pulled from a repack caught my eye the other day.

Devon White Miscut

I know miscut Magic cards can be worth a pretty penny (though admittedly only to a niche group of collectors.) Miscut Magic cards where you can see two cards are especially of note. I was wondering how rare is this and if miscut baseball cards are worth anything. Maybe this normally $0.05 card is worth $2.00?

Either way I think this card is quite interesting and unique and I am considering maybe starting a little miscut/ misprint card collection. The more miscut the better!

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2013 Panini Cooperstown Blaster Break

These are my first packs of 2013 Panini Cooperstown. I seen them in stock for over a year now and I really wasn’t interested… until I saw them for half off!

2013 Panini Cooperstown

2013 Panini Cooperstown

2013 Panini Cooperstown Cogan's Disks

I didn’t pull any players I really collect and as I expected the cards are kind of boring. It may be kind of blingy for a set like this but I wish the base set was like the crystal shard parallels. It would be like the Topps Finest equivalent for Panini. Also it is no surprise that the inserts are kind of an afterthought. The Cogan’s Disks inserts though are a bit more interesting. You don’t see round cards everyday… though there may be a reason for that. They are a bit hard to store. They also snagged on the pack and I almost threw away one or two of them. Luckily I’m kind of OCD and always double check everything before I throw anything away.

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My Favorite Games for Board Game Night

I wanted to do something a little different this week. I recently have been playing a lot of board games and I regularly host a board game night so I wanted to share some of my gaming group’s favorite games. They tend to like lighter games so the list clearly reflects that. The games are organized by categories since comparing board games often like comparing apples to oranges.

Favorite Co-op Game: Pandemic
When it comes to co-op games Pandemic is king and you absolutely need Pandemic’s On the Brink expansion. You really do feel like you are saving the world when you go through all the motions. The game perfectly scales up difficultly and it has several variants to keep things interesting. Forbidden Island is another good co-op game and it is absolute must in any board game collections since it is so cheap. I also want to try Flash Point: Fire Rescue in the very near future.

Favorite Travel Game: Love Letter
Love Letter is such a simple game with only 16 cards but it surprisingly packs a lot of game. It has a bit of luck, a bit of deduction and a bit of bluffing. We usually start board game night with this game because it is so quick to play and set up. I have the Legend of the Five Rings version and the theme is just perfect for the game.

Favorite Deck Building Game: Star Trek Deck Building Game
Dominion has gotten old lately and I saw the Star Trek Deck Building Game: Next Phase Edition game for only $10 in Amazon. You can’t beat that and right now it is actually one of my favorite games to play. Unlike many deck building games, there is also space combat and space exploration and I love it. There is actually three scenarios in the game, a free for all scenario, a Borg Invasion co-op scenario (our favorite) and a team vs team scenario so it is quite versatile and it manages to stay fresh even after playing a ton of games.

Favorite Deduction Game: Lady Alice
My gaming group didn’t really play deduction games until I found a copy of Clue in the trash and we decide to try it out. To our delight, we love deduction games! Lady Alice is a strict upgrade from Clue though. It combines deduction, bluffing and betting all in one game. In Lady Alice, you play as Sherlock Holmes assistants and you make accusations each turn (like Clue). The other players will tell you if you are correct or not and you have to deduce the right answer from those clues. But unlike Clue, you don’t have to roll a dice to move around the board. Instead you are betting on what you think is the correct answers on the board so you don’t have to take notes and it is possible you can win without making the final accusation.

Favorite Euro Game: Settlers of Catan
Settlers of Catan is one of our gateway games. We used to play this game a ton. The beauty of the game is that basically anyone can win regardless of skill with many paths to victory and it is great way to introduce euro game mechanics. Our favorite expansion by far is the one that adds fishing which make the coastal cities more valuable. Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of time during the week anymore and the set up of this game takes forever so more often than not and we wind up playing other options. Still it is a classic that we bring out from time to time and to be fair there is a million ways to customize a game (for a cost).

Favorite Drafting Game: 7 Wonders
7 Wonders is another euro-y game and it by far the best drafting game out there. Like Catan, there are a ton of paths to victory and a ton of choices to make each turn. It has a good theme and the games move fast. Sometimes it really feels like the counting of the points at the end of the game takes longer than actually playing the game. But if you are looking for a lighter drafting game, we also like Sushi Go.

Honorable Mentions: Tsuro, Wits and Wagers, Heroclix and Munchkin
Tsuro is probably my favorite abstract game, Wits and Wagers is my favorite trivia and party game and Heroclix is probably my favorite miniatures game (although the rules are super complex and the wording on cards can be a bit ambiguous). I am not sure what category Munchkin falls under but it was my board game group’s favorite game for awhile. I am sure others still want to play it but all the backstabbing in Munchkin kind of gets old for me.

You may notice there are no traitor games like Resistance/ Werewolf type of games on the list. I totally admit I am a terrible liar and my brother always picks up on that so I am terrible at those games. With that being said I have heard good things about Bang! The Dice Game and I would like to try that out at least once.

I have tried a ton of games but I know I barely scratch the surface. I am always open for board game suggestions and you can leave that at the comment section below or feel free to tweet them at me.

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