MTG Mondays: Sardia

Buried under a thin layer of dirt, it was known for centuries as Mount Sardia.” – Colossus of Sardia

Colossus of Sardia by Jesper Myrfors

Hello everybody and welcome to another week of tales and stories from the vast history of Magic the Gathering. I hope all is well and that the flow of the streams of mana were in your favour. Today we will be talking about a mountainous region on the continent of Terisiare on the plane of Dominaria. The name of this region is Sardia.

For such an insignificant region on the continent, it definitely left its mark on the pages of history. Sardia was known for having clans of dwarves and tribes of goblins. In a rare instance, these two races seemed to work together instead of slaughtering each other as usual. But when you got two races, one who is talented in anything mechanical and the other who is known for their destructive instincts, things can get a bit hairy.

The outcome of their collaboration was a substance that for all intents and purposes was gunpowder. This material was as rare as diamonds on Dominaria, but these two groups discovered and developed it, which made them very important. On Dominaria a vicious war between two brothers, Urza and Mishra was raging all across the land and they needed anything they could get their hands on to defeat the other side. Both the brothers bought into using what they called the ‘goblin powder’ to enhance their powers and all was good.

Urza had enough of his brother getting the same supplies and when he found out that the dwarves of Sardia were supplying Mishra and that they also rose to destroy Argive, the birth place of the brothers, these events sent Urza into a rage. Urza built a massive machine called the Colossus of Sardia from resources he gathered from the dwarves, so big it was nicknamed Mount Sardia. The Colossus of Sardia was sent by Urza to go and crush the dwarves of Sardia and that is what it did. The remaining survivors complained of horrible rains that cause severe burns and destroyed all of the Sardian dwarves equipment. Not a lot is known about the dwarves now, but it is accepted amongst the peoples of Dominaria that they are more than likely all dead.

The Brother’s war ended and things went back to as normal as they could be for the people of Dominaria. Most of Sardia was destroyed. A woman whose title was the Archmandrite set up a council of mages to try and contain the horrors and difficulties left behind by the Brother’s war. This council was meant to be a unified front for Terisiare and most of the major tribes were called on to send a representative. Kathwar, chief of the Malpiri people stood forth for the Sardinian people which gave a new hope for peace and unity in the lands of Terisiare.

The story of Sardia is an interesting one for a number of reasons. Firstly, you had goblins and dwarves workinh with each other instead of killing each other as usual. Secondly, the result of the outcome was something that was coveted by two of the most powerful artificers in the land. But greed could not keep them away from wanting more and the dwarves of Sardia paid the ultimate price. As I said for such a small and seemingly insignificant land, they had a big part to play.

A small story, but another piece to the ever expanding tome that is my lore book. I hope you enjoyed my writing and as always, thank you for reading!

MTG Mondays: Phyrexia

The warm rain of grease on my face immediately made it clear I had entered Phyrexia.” – Gate to Phyrexia

Phyrexia

Hello to you all and welcome to another tale from the histories of the Magic the Gathering universe. I hope you all have had a productive week and that you managed to keep that smile on your face. This week in my home we have had a warm week that would rival some of the heat waves you would see on the planes of Rabiah and beyond. It is not a heat that this storyteller is used to, but I am not complaining. Speaking of hot planes, we will be looking at a plane that has come up in almost every tale I have put up thus far. Yes we are talking about the big one, folks. Today we will be looking at the history of Phyrexia. So relax and hopefully you will enjoy the story of this dark and desolate place.

The first major thing you need to know about Phyrexia is that it is an artificial plane, as in someone created it. The plane is the perfect yet horrifying combination of metal and flesh to create this metal hell or machine hell which it is sometimes known as. Phyrexia was created by an unnamed planeswalker, the only thing that is known of this planeswalker is that even though he was a humanoid, he preferred to assume the form of a dragon. The planeswalker died a month before Yawgmoth, the ruler of Phyrexia was transported to the plane. The size of the plane was said to be three times the size of the Thran Empire at its peak.

Yawgmoth by Mark Winters

Some people from the Thran Empire started to become sick with an illness called, Phthisis. The cause of this illness was from long term exposure to power stones, which the Thran used to power a lot of their wonderful machines. The inflicted were sent to the new plane to keep them isolated from the general Thran population. Yawgmoth came up with a way to cure these people through a process he called, Phyresis. The process of Phyresis was basically replacing infected of damaged body parts with machine parts, this is where the name Phyrexia came from.

“Unskin these impure bodies, Great Yawgmoth, that flesh may welcome your blessings.” – Phyrexian Altar

Yawgmoth wanted his people to strive and the only way he seen this happening was if they went from Phyrexia onto other planes, so for the next century, Yawgmoth created a cult of personality around himself. He created a church with priests and acolytes who were to worship him. Yawgmoth also created abominations, terrifying engines and demons to make sure when the time comes he will have the strongest armies at his back and he can count on their loyalty. For a creature to ascend and become a stronger being on Phyrexia they had to demonstrate their survivability on the hellish plane and prove that they were worthy enough to lead.

Yawgmoth knew that Phyrexia was started to break apart and the plane would eventually collapse and cease to exist, so he needed to find a new home…or an old one. The Phyrexians never forgave Dominaria for forcing them out and Dominaria was the plane they were going to invade. Yawgmoth created weapons, trained soldiers, build war machines and manifested demons and other horrifying creatures for the day when they march back into their old home.

Something was already tearing Dominaria apart though, The Brother’s War between Mishra and Urza. Mishra and Urza were two brothers who fought for the dominance of Dominaria and allowed greed and the hunger for power take over their minds. Yawgmoth seen this as an opportunity and sent his demon, Gix, to scout out Dominaria. Gix made contact with Mishra and convinced him to travel to Phyrexia. Mishra was given weapons and powers by the Phyrexians to aid him against Urza. When Urza discovered that his brother had been converted into a grotesque abomination by Phyrexia, Urza used a weapon called the Golgothian Sylex to unleash a blast that killed Mishra and ended the war, but plunged Dominaria into an Ice Age. Phyrexia was cut off from Dominaria, but Urza had a new enemy on his list, the ones that corrupted his brother, and Urza now had the power to fight them, as he ascended into a planeswalker.

Urza had his own problems as he was also locked out of travelling back to Dominaria. So Urza travelled the multiverse until he met a rogue Phyrexian agent called, Xantcha, and for a while Urza and Xantcha travelled the multiverse while being hunted by the Phyrexians who used Phyrexian portals to chase them. When the Ice Age ended on Dominaria, Urza travelled back to Dominaria, but so did Gix. A new Phyrexian cult was being formed on Dominaria and Urza had to put a stop to this. Urza, Xantcha and Ratepe, a human slave that had an uncanny likeness to Mishra and lover of Xantcha went to the ancient caves on Dominaria and fought an epic battle with Gix. The demon was slain, but at a high price as Xantcha and Ratepe were also killed. Urza knew this wasn’t over yet, so he mobilised Dominaria to prepare for war from the oncoming Phyrexians.

“Phyrexia’s touch is painful to all but the blackest of hearts.” – Phyrexian Boon

Yawgmoth knew what needed to be done. He needed to create a staging area for his invasion and so he went about doing exactly that and built the plane of Rath. The new plane was constructed with the newly discovered material, Flowstone, and hidden in a pocket of space just beyond the sight of planeswalkers and other powerful beings. The plans were set, the soldiers and machines were ready. Dominaria was going to be obliterated.

The Phyrexians came. The skies above Dominaria were dark with ships, demons and other manifestations all coming from the plane of Rath. I still remember the screams and the panic as the soldiers from Phyrexia touched down and slaughtered all that was in front of them. Benalia was the first to be destroyed and soon other states fell such as Tolaria and New Argive. Dominaria was being crushed and there was nothing they could do to stop it. Being a master of stealth myself, I was able to avoid most of the Phyrexian forces…most. I did have some run ins with a couple of soldiers, but I made short work of them. Though with all this destruction and death, Dominaria united and had a coalition force which eventually drove the Phyrexians back and defeated them, or so they thought, that was only the first wave. The plane of Rath itself landed on Dominaria and their were battles all over the Dominaria, the coalition forces were stretched thin.

Urza had his own planes and he united nine planeswalkers and called them the Nine Titans. Urza armed his new allies with power armour and travelled to Phyrexia. When the Nine Titans reached Phyrexia, they caused wanton destruction and slaughtered many of Yawgmoth’s warriors. The tides were starting to turn, but just as things were going well, one of the planeswalkers, Tevesh Svat, betrayed the Nine Titans and killed one of the other planeswalkers called Daria. Angered by this betrayal, Urza used a failsafe that he build into his suit. Urza equipped each of the power armours with a kill switch, basically if anyone turned traitor he could kill them outright with a control from his own suit, and that is what Urza did and killed Svat. Urza was also convinced to kill another planeswalker called Taysir by Phyrexians that looked like angels. Urza was lead to a chamber to see his brother Mishra, as a lord of the wastes and being tortured none stop for thousands of years. This eventually broke Urza and he began to worship Yawgmoth.

This wasn’t good enough for Yawgmoth though and he wanted Urza and another planeswalker named Gerrard to fight to the death, but there was a stipulation, Urza was stripped of his powers. Gerrard chose to serve Yawgmoth as Yawgmoth promised that he would bring Gerrard’s love, Hanna, back from the dead. The fight, even though it went on for a while, was eventually won by Gerrard who decapitated Urza. Nothing stood in Yawgmoth’s way now. The Nine Titans were defeated, the Coalition Forces were crippled and Dominaria was ripe for the taking. Yawgmoth travelled to Dominaria himself for the first time in thousands of years.

Things changed for Yawgmoth though when he landed on Dominaria, he had become what I could see as a cloud of death. Anywhere he went, he killed anything and everything, but not only that he also raised the dead and they fought for him. Everything was bleak, Dominaria was finished, we held our breaths and waited for the day we would meet our end. But there was one hope left, during the era of the Thran Empire, they built a satellite to control all of their artifact warriors called the Null Moon. Dominaria had a massive warship called the Weatherlight on their side. The Coalition Forces used the Weatherlight to destroy the Null Moon which rained down white mana from the heavens and covered Yawgmoth in holy light. Yawgmoth in his final desperation attacked the Weatherlight directly, but there was an incredible weapon called the Legacy onboard which fired a hole through Yawgmoth, eventually destroying him. With their god defeated, the Phyrexians crumbled and died. The war was over and Dominaria still stood, though ruined, it stood.

Between the death of Yawgmoth and the initial destruction caused by the Nine Titans, Phyrexia was nothing more than a stack of ruins. No one really knows if there is anyone left alive on Phyrexia or if it is just a giant graveyard. But it was accidently resurrected. On another plane which I will be getting to much later called Mirrodin, the creator Karn left some Phyrexian oil at the core of Mirrodin which corrupted not only it, but an immensely powerful Golem called Memnarch. The Golem created a new wave of monsters whose goal is to turn Mirrodin into a New Phyrexia. The Mirrodin people were slaughtered and New Phyrexia was established, though controlled by five praetors who represent each colour of mana.

So that is the story of Phyrexia. Now you realise how dangerous and powerful Phyrexia really was and how it had the power to almost wipe Dominaria out. Yawgmoth was one of the most malicious and frightening villains in the Magic the Gathering universe and I for one am glad that he is no more. That’s not to say the danger is gone, but at least there is one less nightmare to worry about. I have travelled through many cultures, wars, plagues and met some truly incredible and powerful beings, but Yawgmoth is one that I am glad I never have to lay eyes on again.

I hope you enjoyed the story of Phyrexia, even though it was dark and grim. The truth needs to be told, no matter how bleak the tale is. I will continue to tell these tales. So, I will say, as always, thank you for reading.

MTG Card Discussion: Merchant of Secrets

Merchant of Secrets by Greg Hildebrandt

Name: Merchant of Secrets

Set(s): Commander 2017, Eighth Edition, Legions.

Rarity: Common

Colour: Blue

Cost: 2 Generic + 1 Blue

Type: Creature – Human Wizard

Stats: 1/1

Ability:

When Merchant of Secrets comes into play, draw a card.

Discussion:

Well let me just say straight off the bat, this card is way too expensive for what it does. A three cost card for a 1/1 that allows you to draw a card? Forget about it, there are so many better cards out there that allow you to draw cards.

I just believe that the three cost is a little too expensive for my taste. It may be a ‘one and done’ situation or if you had a way to constantly put it back into your hand to play it again it may become useful, but that three is just too pricey for me to consider it a decent card.

Final thoughts on the card:

It is too expensive for what it is. If it was maybe a 1/2 for 3 mana with that ability I may be able to justify it, but I just can’t.

So, let’s give it a rating:

5: Amazing, it should be in all of my decks.

4: Very good, I can see numerous uses for this card.

3: Good, I can see some uses for this card

2: Fair, It might be handy here or there.

1: Poor, I fail to see the usefulness of this card. MERCHANT OF SECRETS.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Have you used this card in a deck? Do you think it is a great card or it is not so great? I would love to know your opinion. As always, thank you for reading.

MTG Mondays: Mishra

“Both complement and antithesis to his older brother Urza, Mishra also mastered the intricacies of artifice. It was Mishra’s strength that first gave rise to the massive Phyrexian war engines on Dominaria, and it was his weakness that pushed him, Urza, and Dominaria itself to the point of annihilation.” – Mishra

Mishra by Anson Maddocks

Greetings weary travellers. Today is a grim day for today I will be telling the story of a mage and artificer so powerful and ruthless that along with his brother caused so much death and destruction on the plane of Dominaria. This is a man’s name you’ve read often in my writings and now I will finally tell you who he is. Today, we will be talking about, Mishra.

Mishra and his brother were both born on Terisiare to a noble family from the kingdom of Argive, one of the three kingdoms on Terisiare. Mishra was born on the last day of the year, while his brother Urza was born on the first day of the same year. I wouldn’t say I am an expert on their childhood, but what I do know is that their mother died when they were young. Their father married another woman who shunned the boys and wanted nothing to do with them, and at the age of ten the boys lost their father. In his final wish he told the boys to go to an old woman named, Tocasia, an archeologist who owed the father a favour. He told the boys to become appreciated to her and learn all they can, and they did.

Tocasia had a camp in the desert and it was inhabited by two different groups of people willing to learn, the Fallaji, a group of tech savvy desert tribesmen and children of nobles who wanted their offspring to learn the art of archeology. Urza and Mishra both worked hard, but they each took something different from their experiences there. Urza was seen as cold and was primarily concerned with the artifacts that were uncovered, while Mishra was more interested in the actual digs themselves and seemed to enjoy interacting with the people. This led Mishra to become the overseer of all the digs at Tocasia’s camp.

While going through some digs, Mishra, Urza and Tocasia uncovered a copious amount of Thran artifacts, but Urza realised that the discovery of the artifacts surround a focal point. Mishra, Urza and Tocasia travelled to this focal point and found a massive ancient Thran city which they dubbed, Koilos or “secret” in Argivian. Both brothers searched the city far and wide until they made it to the middle where they found a machine powered by a Thran Powerstone. The brothers through their curiosity investigated the machine, and like the cat that got too curious, something happened. The machine exploded and the brothers a great distance. When each of them woke up, they were both holding one half of the Powerstone. This explosion would have terrible consequences for the entire plane of Dominaria.

The stones differed greatly, Urza’s was called the Mightstone and it was able to power things past their usual limits. Mishra’s was known as the Weakstone and it drew the strength out of artifacts and living beings. Also, ever since he visited Koilos, Mishra began having terrible dreams about being lured to somewhere. Mishra and Urza fought over the stone and Tocasia tried to stop them by getting between them, but unfortunately she was killed. Mishra in his shame fled into the desert.

Mishra was found wandering in the desert by a group called the Suwwardi. The Suwwardi were the militant arm of the Fallaji. He was enslaved with all of his possessions taken from him including the Weakstone. Mishra was forced to do work until someone recognised him from the digs, Hajar. Mishra was lucky as Hajar spoke to the leader of the Suwwardi about having Mishra as a teacher for the leader’s son so he could learn Argivian. For a while this went well and both sides benefited, but the leader was worried, for in Suwwardi culture, it is a sign of weakness to rely on other people. The leader was planning to have Mishra killed, but something truly unexpected happened. Mishra had a terrible dream and woke up screaming, soon a massive mechanical beast rose from the sands and started killing the Suwwardi, even the leader. Mishra ran and obtained the Weakstone and used it on the beast. Not only did it make the beast weak, it willingly listened to Mishra. The leader’s son became the new leader and appointed Mishra as his Wizard. Together and with the beast, the new leader unified all of the Fallaji under one banner.

The brothers war tore through Dominaria and affected and killed a lot of people. Blood brothers meant nothing, they were going to wipe each other out and destroy anyone who got in the way. While they were distracted, Mishra and Urza’s forces were both infiltrated by the Brotherhood of Gix. The Brotherhood was a group of priests that worshipped artifacts. They got so deep into Mishra’s head that they became his council before they eventually betrayed him.

No one is entirely sure what happened to Mishra, but it is here that it becomes a bit sad. While his mind and armies were able to fight Urza forevermore, his body could not. He was getting old and a lung disease made him severly weak. The theory is that Mishra was taken to Phyrexia by the Brotherhood of Gix and either one of two things happened, either he was killed and his skin was spread across a machine or he willingly became a Phyrexian himself to finish off Urza.

In the final battle between Urza and Mishra, terrible devastation was brought to the people of Terisiare. Whole kingdoms were brought down and homes torn asunder. Ashnod, realised that Mishra was influenced by Phyrexia in some way or manner and she couldn’t take it. She betrayed Mishra and gave Urza the weapon to end the war, the Golgothian Sylex. Urza, upon seeing his brother and realising the amount of death and destruction they both caused, knew this had to finish. Urza unleashed the Sylex Blast, killing Mishra, destroying most of Terisiare and ending the war.

And that is the end of Mishra’s life. Am I sad to see him go? No, not really, but I am sad to see all that potential go to waste. Mishra and Urza could have used their powers to help people but they instead decided to almost destroy their own world. Mishra in my eyes caused too much misery in the world to be pitied, but I am a human man all the same, so I will spare him a small thought.

So that is the end of Mishra’s story, I hope you enjoyed my writing and as always, thank you for reading!

Film Review: The Lost Boys (1987)

Title: The Lost Boys (1987)

Genre: Teen Black Comedy Horror

Directed by: Joel Schumacher (Phonebooth, Tigerland)

Age Rating: 15 (Ireland)

Run Time: 98 mins (1hr 38mins)

Hello to you all and welcome to another review. Today I will be reviewing the 1987 comedy horror film about vampires called, The Lost Boys. The film was directed by Joel Schumacher (St. Elmo’s Fire, Batman Forever) and written by Jeffrey Boam (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). The film stars Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland and Jami Gertz. The film also has a lot of talent including Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Alex Winter and Bernard Hughes.

Beware the creatures of the night!

Plot:

Michael, his younger brother Sam and his mother travel to Santa Carla, Carlifornia to live with Michael’s wacky Grandfather, affectionately called Grandpa. The reason for the move is that Michael’s mother is going through a divorce and they need somewhere to live. Life is hard to adjust to for Michael and Sam, but they have to make do with what they have.

After going to an outdoor concert on a beach, Michael meets David, Star and the rest of the gang and David challenges Michael to a motorbike race. Michael accepts and just as they are about to drive off a cliff, David continues to drive but Michael stops just in time almost driving over the cliff, David just stops and laughs at him. David and his gang get up to more extreme behaviour such as hanging off a bridge and letting go one by one. The gang offer Michael a goblet of blood which Star warns him not to drink, but he does it anyway.

In the meantime, Sam meets two teenage boys in a comic shop, the Frog Brothers, vampire hunters who have known about the Vampires for a long time, Sam obviously thinks they’re are crazy and leaves them to it. Sam and Michael’s mother gets a job in a video rental store, but she and the manager, Max, become attracted to each other and consider dating.

Michael wakes up at home and is sensitive to the light, also the family dog becomes aggressive and growls at him, something is changing in Michael, he is becoming a creature of the night. Sam figures out that since Michael hasn’t killed anyone he is really only a half vampire and the affects can be reversed, but what do they have to do? Only kill the head vampire. The Frog brothers are called in to help the situation and after testing Max to see if he was the head vampire, which he passed, they all come to the conclusion that David is the head vampire. It has also come out that Star is a half vampire and she wants to cure the terrible affliction too.

The heroes go to the vampires lair but only manage to kill one of the vampires before alerting the other vampires to their presence. The heroes rescue Star and a half vampire child named Laddie. While Grandpa and Lucy are both out on dates, the heroes have to defend their house for themselves. They load up on holy water, stakes and other weapons. David and the gang attack the house and a battles ensues.

David and Michael fight each other and Michael is forced to tap into his vampire powers to finally defeat David. But there is a problem, Michael, Star and Laddie do not turn back into humans. It turns out that David wasn’t the head vampire! But who was? Well Lucy and Max come home from their date to the chaos. Max reveals himself to be the head vampire, and plans to turn them all into vampires. Max almost gets his wish until Grandpa bursts through the wall in his jeep, killing Max by driving him into a broken fence post. Grandpa gets out of the jeep and says: “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach: all the damn vampires.” Which leaves everyone shocked that he knew about all of this before. THE END.

So, what do I think of the movie?

Well we will start off with the story. I think the story is funny, wacky and it has a lot of character in it. I think having the three storylines going on at once, being Lucy’s, Michael’s and Sam’s made it a lot more interesting and gave the movie different tones. For example, Michael’s story was the horror story and in my opinion there was very little humour, while Sam’s story with the Frog brothers was quite comical and gave the film a lighter edge. Finally Lucy’s story was the most normal of the three and just a typical love story, and separately they worked fine, but together I feel they worked really well and created an interesting story that was easy to follow and was a lot of fun.

The style of the film is absolutely awesome let me tell you. I will let you in on a little secret, my favourite style of vampires are the rocker looking, leather jacket wearing eighties and nineties vampire styles. From The Lost Boys to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and role play games such as Vampire, the same style can be seen throughout and I just think they’re are cool but also play into the monster aspect of the vampire. A lot of vampire movies nowadays have forgotten that very fact that vampires are MONSTERS!

The acting is pretty solid, but in saying that there is a decent crew of actors involved from Keifer Sutherland who always puts in a good performance to Corey Haim and Feldman who were definitely a product of their time, but their goofy acting works well in the film and fits into the comedic aspect of the movie.

The soundtrack to The Lost Boys is fantastic and full of talent. From Gerard McCann and ‘Cry Little Sister’ to Echo and the Bunnymen and from INXS to Roger Daltrey from The Who, this soundtrack is powerful, mysterious and fits the tone of the film down to a T.

Overall I think the film is pretty great. You can almost instantly feel Joel Schumacher’s direction style influencing the film. I think Schumacher can balance styles really well in the way he shoots his movies. As I said before it is almost as if two or three films are happening at once in this film, with a serious, horror vampire story to a silly teen comedy, but with Joel Schumacher’s style he can blend them together and just make them fit like Lego blocks, which is not an easy task, so he definitely deserves some recognition. Schumacher movies can be a hit or a miss, but I unreservedly think this is one of his hit movies.

So, let me give it a rating:

The Doomslayer rating system:

10 – Masterpiece

9 – Close to Perfection

8 – ExcellentThe Lost Boys (1987)

7 – Very Good

6 – Good, worth a watch!

5 – Okay, but I’m glad it’s over!

4 – Bearable

3 – Baaaaaaad!

2 – Who spent time making this?

1 – Travesty, they should never go near a film set again!

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

MTG Card Discussion: Flickerwisp

Flickerwisp by Jeremy Enecio

Name: Flickerwisp

Set(s): Eventide, Magic Online Theme Decks, Modern Masters, Commander 2013, Commander 2014, Modern Masters 2017, Commander Anthology, Archenemy: Nicol Bolas, Double Masters, Commander Legends, Kaldheim Commander, Time Spiral Remastered.

Rarity: Uncommon

Colour: White

Cost: 1WW

Type: Creature – Elemental

Stats: 3/1

Ability:

Flying

When Flickerwisp enters the battlefield, exile another target permanent. Return that card to the battlefield under its owner’s control at the beginning of the next end step

Discussion:

So, here we have a Flickerwisp. Let us look at it in basic terms first, it is a three cost, 3/1 Flying creature, which is…okay. It is not bad, but I would have maybe preferred a 2/2 or even a 1/3, which led me to think, what is the purpose of this creatue?

So it has the ability to exile one permanent for one turn, which is a pretty handy ability don’t get me wrong, but I don’t see a massive use for this other than giving you one more turn of breathing space if you’re getting hurt or affected by something on your opponents side. The crucial ability I feel it is missing is Flash. With Flash I feel like it would be a lot more useful and dangerous, but without it, it’s only an okay card in my opinion.

Final thoughts on the card:

It is too expensive for what it is, weak and unusual attack/defence especially for white and an okay ability.

So let’s give it a score:

5: Amazing, it should be in all of my decks.

4: Very good, I can see numerous uses.

3: Good, I can think of a few uses.

2: Fair, It might be handy here or there. FLICKERWISP.

1: Poor, I fail to see the usefulness of this card.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Have you used this card in a deck? Do you think it is a great card or it is not so great? I would love to know your opinion. As always, thank you for reading.

MTG Mondays: Lat-Nam

“To empty your mind is to fill your grave.”
Lat-Nam teaching

Map of Terisiare, Lat-Nam is on the left.

Hello, hello, hello and welcome to another tale from the annals of history of the Magic the Gathering universe. I hope you all had a good week and the rewards from your hard work and effort were plentiful. Speaking of hard work and effort, today I will be talking about a college in the Magic the Gathering universe, but not a regular college, oh no. This college teaches magic, and the name of this college is Lat-Nam.

The college of Lat-Nam is on the island of Lat-Nam to the west of the island continent of Terisiare. The college was co-founded by two highly skilled wielders in the ways of magic and friends of mine, Drafna and Hurkyl. The reason for the creation of the college was because the people of Terisiare weren’t skilled in the ways of magic, so Hurkyl and Drafna set up the college to show the people how to learn and use magic. They also brought in other teachers and scholars from all over Dominaria.

During the devastating Brother’s War between Urza and Mishra, two brothers who were highly skilled artificers, Dominaria was being torn apart by massive war machines. Further more the landscape was being harvested for resources that both brothers needed to build their terrible war engines. Eventually the continent of Terisiare was the stage for the final battle between the brothers. Urza unleashed a massive explosion which killed Mishra, and destroyed most of Terisiare. Lat-Nam survived the destruction and became a safe haven for many of the refugees from the war.

“All the knowledge of Lat-Nam could not protect its sages from the Brothers’ War.”
Gerda Äagesdotter, Archmage of the Unseen

Lat-Nam became a focal point for the magic users of the remains of Terisiare and for three thousand years Lat-Nam stood and trained some of the greatest magic users Dominaria and beyond ever knew. Lat-Nam’s fate was to be decided though. During its three thousand year life span, two other schools were set up, The School of the Unseen and The City of Shadows. They were both secret training grounds for the mages that attended Lat-Nam.

The School of the Unseen became a successor to the City of Shadows and soon produced some of the most powerful mages and artificers in the Magic the Gathering universe. But all was not well. An extremely powerful Necromancer named Lim-Dûl used the powers that were left over from the Phyrexians to destroy the college and harvest what he could from it. The survivors ran to all corners of Dominaria to get away from the madness of Lim-Dûl and the teachings of Lat-Nam eventually and sadly came to an end. Lat-Nam does continue in a way of sorts as a new college of mages set up by Urza called the Tolarian Academy.

Though it was laid to waste by the brothers, many schools of magic trace their origins to the College of Lat-Nam, including the first Tolarian Academy. – Sage of Lat-Nam

I liked the concept of Lat-Nam as it was a beacon of hope for the people of Terisiare and a way to lift them out of their ignorance of the ways of Magic. I believe that Drafna and Hurkyl were good people and they only wanted to help. I mean Hurkyl sadly gave her life to save the people of Terisiare. It is a shame though that most sparks of light and love get put out by the forces of evil and darkness. But all you have to is keep trying and doing your best and that evil will be extinguished, some day.

I hope you enjoyed my writing and my travels through the planes. Maybe someday you will be able to travel the planes too and see some of the amazing sights I have seen. As always, fellow students, thank you for reading!

MTG Mondays: Korlis

“We have a proud history of self-sacrifice. But it is easy, in these bleak times, to find one among us who is eager to die for any cause.”
—Tavalus, acolyte of Korlis

Children of Korlis by Quinton Hoover

Greetings to you all on the plane of Terra and beyond. I hope the previous few days wasn’t too taxing on your abilities and you still have the energy to fight another day. It is a gloomy day here as I look out my window and write this story for you, but that doesn’t wipe the smile from my face or the enjoyment I have in writing these tales. Today, I will be talking about a city-state on the continent of Terisiare, and the name of this city-state is Korlis.

Korlis was one of three coastal kingdoms on the continent of Terisiare. Korlis was for the most part a peaceful place. It was ruled by a council of merchants and its main income was trade. The people of Korlis traded far and wide on the continent of Terisiare and they made a tidy sum on their commodities. But apart from being a wealthy kingdom, Korlis was surrounded by natural beauty. Flowing through the city of Korlis was the clear waters of the River Kor and around the city was a lush, green forest, but as they say, all good things come to an end.

The brothers, those damn brothers, Urza and Mishra and their war. Urza’s forces arrived at Korlis and do you think it was spared the tragedy of the Brother’s War? No, it wasn’t. The abundant forest around Korlis was stripped for its lumber to feed Urza’s war machine. And he took every twig and left the land around Korlis barren.

“This item is not from … now. It reflects a sky no longer ours and gleams with hope that does not exist.”
—Tavalus, acolyte of Korlis

Korlis, like the rest of Terisiare tried to hold on during the Brothers War, but alas it was no luck. The brother’s war machines were way too powerful. The war ended with Mishra being killed and Terisiare literally being torn apart by a powerful blast, and with it was Korlis, which collapsed like all the other kingdoms and civilizations in Terisiare. All that is left of Korlis is a small island that has a human civilization that is slowly fading out of existence.

Korlis is another sad and tragic tale that was caught up in something that had nothing to do with them. They were wealthy, had an important merchant kingdom and were surrounded on all sides by beauty and nature. But two lunatics with machines had to march through their lands, strip everything they owned and in the end blast Korlis out of existence along with the rest of Terisiare. A tragic tale, but not the only one in Magic the Gathering.

Well, students of the flowing energies, I hope you enjoyed. As always, thank you for reading!

MTG Mondays: Hurkyl

With just a few seconds to escape, Deryan saved Hurkyl’s editions on restoring physical objects from ash.” – Rescue

Hurkyl’s Recall by NeNe Thomas

Hello all and welcome to another tale from the chapters of the histories, stories and heroes of Magic the Gathering. Today is a gloomy day on the isle that I call home, but that doesn’t diminish my enthusiasm to bring you another story from this most intriguing world. Before I begin, I just want to say I hope you had a productive few days and that the powers that be benefited and blessed you with good tidings. Now onto the character that I will be talking about today, Hurkyl.

Hurkyl, whom I already mentioned in the story of Drafna, was the wife of Drafna, a very skilled magician in the ways of artifacts. Hurkyl, along with Drafna changed so much on Terisiare in relation to magic and its use. The plane of Dominaria was in a bad way with a bloody war raging on the plane between the brothers, Urza and Mishra. People felt that they were forced to pick one side or the other, but Hurkyl and Drafna offered another way, the Third Path. This, Third Path, was neutral to both sides, but they wanted to either eliminate both sides or at least be able to defend themselves when or if the brothers came to Terisiare.

Apart from the Third Path, Hurkyl and Drafna set up the College of Lat-Nam on Terisiare. The reason for the college was so the people of Terisiare could learn or re-learn how to use their magical ways, which for most of the people on Terisiare was practically gone. The college gave the people of Terisiare talents and powers to use for the upcoming struggles they would face.

After Terisiare came under attack from Mishra and his forces, and the capital city was under siege, all hope seemed lost. Mishra and his forces led by the ruthless general, Ashnod, slaughtered all in their path and his powerful war machines had no equal. It was up to Hurkyl to attempt to save her people that day, and save them she did. While three giant Dragon Engines, massive mechanical creatures from Phyrexia in the shape of dragons, were destroying everything around them in Terisia City, Hurkyl summoned all her strength and released a huge spell called Hurkyl’s Recall, which banished the Dragon Engines. This allowed a lot of people to escape and survive, but unfortunately for Hurkyl, it drained her strength and ended up killing her. This spell was noted as the first use of magic on Terisiare.

Hurkyl’s research at the College of Lat-Nam wasn’t enough to stop the two brothers, but for centuries thereafter her spellcraft taught artificers restraint.” – Hurkyl’s Recall

So a short one this week and a story told already but from another perspective. I believe that Hurkyl was a good person and she only wanted to see her people thrive and learn the ways of magic and become as powerful as her and her husband, but unfortunately like all plans in war times, they don’t go the way people expect. Terisiare lost a special person when they lost Hurkyl, but her legacy will live on, for her sacrifice saved a lot of people that day.

I hope you enjoyed my writing, I would have liked to meet Hurkyl, maybe study at Lat-Nam for some time, but I had other matters to attend to. Who else would have wrote these histories down? As always, thank you for reading!

Album Review: “Vivid” (1988) by Living Colour

Band/Artist: Living Colour (Vocals: Corey Glover, Guitar: Vernon Reid, Drums: Will Calhoun, Bass: Muzz Skillings)

Album: Vivid (1988)

Genre: Hard Rock, Soul, Jazz, Funk, Glam Metal, Pop, Heavy Metal, Arena Rock, Punk, Rap

Label: Epic

Hello everyone out there in music land, this is my review of the 1988 rock album Vivid by the band, Living Colour. This is the debut album of Living Colour and already it had been backed by legends such as Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones and Chuck D from Public Enemy. Jagger was not only a producer on the album, but he actually featured on some of the tracks. The most recognisable song on the album, whether you like rock music, played Guitar Hero in the past or watched WWE would be the Grammy award winning song ‘Cult of Personality’ which in my opinion is one of the greatest rock songs ever.

So after that little introduction, let us get into the album and have a looksee what I thought of it and the individual songs enclosed.

Cult of Personality: “Look in my eyes, what do you see?” An absolutely out of this world rock song is what I see, or rather hear. The song uses samples from important figures of history and the lyrics are talking about how a person could create this personality that people flock to almost worship whether it be good or bad. The guitar and singing are absolutely on point but for me the guitar wins outright. Vernon Reid plays that guitar like he was born to play it and turns this from a good song or even a great song to one of the most iconic songs of the late 80’s-early 90’s. Excellent song.

I Want to Know: A fairly standard late 80’s hard rock song. That is not to say its bad, far from it. I really enjoyed the harmonies in the chorus, but overall I find the song fairly forgettable. No one instrument or vocals really stand out for me, until near the end when the song seems to pick up a bit of excitement and you can really hear that funky bass complimenting that kick ass guitar playing. A good song, but forgettable.

Middle Man: This song has more of a funky vibe to it and it sounds a lot smoother than the first two songs. Corey Glover, the vocalist, is allowed to be a lot more free in this song and he is using his voice to carry this song which instrumentally is not bad at all, but it seems like they are there to back up his amazing vocals. A great song.

Desperate People: This song had a strange opening and I had no idea where it was going the first time I listened to it, but then it breaks down into this bad ass hard rock song that just knows how cool it is. Glover doesn’t have to work too much to compliment the song vocally. The drums are raw, not amazing, but just raw and loud. A very good song to head bang to.

Open Letter (To a Landlord): This song absolutely rocks! Every instrument just god damn works in this song. The bass is funky but does such a great job keeping that rhythm going. The guitar is not constant but when it does come in, it hits hard. Glover’s voice is angelic in this song and just blows me away. The drum work done by Will Calhoun just shows how much of a master he is of his drum kit. A fantastic song about the people who live in deprived areas and how important those people are.

Funny Vibe: This song is so funky! Muzz Skillings, the bass player absolutely owns this song. But under the funky bass, the song has a serious message about misperceptions of people based on the colour of their skin and how some people just get a “funny vibe” from the look of a person. Lastly the song has a great outro, that is basically all I have to say, good song. Chuck D performed some rapping on this song.

Memories Can’t Wait: Another bass heavy song, which in my ears absolutely owns this song. Don’t get me wrong, Reid’s guitar playing is great, but that bass is just incredible. The guitar and bass are an ultimate team on this song and Glover and Calhoun are along for the ride. A very good song. By the way, this song is also a cover of a Talking Heads song of the same name.

Broken Hearts: A different type of song. Slower than the other songs and more drawn out. Glover holds his notes a lot more and draws his vocals out. A relaxing song, with some beautiful bass and guitar work which absolutely reminds me of 80’s hard rock music. Mick Jagger played the Harmonica on this song, just a little trivia.

Glamour Boys: Another different type of song, more fun and pop orientated than the previous other songs. The song is talking about young men’s obsession with fancy clothes and accessories. The song is okay, but I feel it is pretty safe and “radio-friendly”. Nothing really sticks out to me, it is sort of mediocre compared to what they can do.

What’s Your Favourite Colour?: A funky, fun and fast song at barely over a minute and a half. The song is basically just a self promotion, asking: “What’s your favourite colour, baby? Living Colour”. It’s okay, but it is not really anything. It is fairly meh to be honest.

Which Way to America? This song needs to slow down, it is a bit messy. It feels like it should be a slower song but they are rushing through it and I don’t think that it works. The bass and drums are trying to keep it together but the vocals and guitar are just messy. I am not a fan of the song to be very honest. A whimper of a song to end on.

Final Thoughts:

Talent? Yes. Attitude? Yes. Great songs? Yes. Consistency? No. This album is really good and some of the songs such as ‘Cult of Personality’, ‘Open Letter’ and ‘Broken Hearts’ are genuinely fantastic songs. But near the end of the album the band starts to play any old stuff and it doesn’t work for me at all. I would have preferred if they had left out the last three songs and be a great album then tarnish what had come before with some very meh songs. So while I do enjoy listening to this album and I believe Living Colour are truly underrated and deserve a lot more exposure, some of the songs are not so great.

Favourite Song: Cult of Personality

7/10