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Tabletop & Card Games

5 Tabletop Gaming Accessories You Never Knew You Needed

5 Tabletop Gaming Accessories you Never Knew you Needed

Tabletop games of all kinds are notorious for defying organization, presenting the players with a plethora of pieces, cards, books, papers, and of course, dice.  In addition to the anxiety that clutter creates, this chaotic game state can have a negative impact on the game itself; without an organization strategy, gameplay can be disrupted from the displacement of pieces, damage to books, or difficultly locating certain objects.  Luckily, there are a number of excellent table top accessories to help keep your gaming space manageable.  Here are five tabletop accessories that help you keep your games organized and streamlined so you can get more out of your gaming experience. 


Boogie Board Writing Tablet

As one of the most useful and functional gaming accessories in many years, the benefits of digital life pads and writing tablets, such as the Boogie Board, are hard to overstate.  With the ability to take note of any stat change, loss of life, or puzzle detail, a writing tablet replaces scratch paper in almost any gaming situation.  Additionally, writing tablets are versatile, hyper portable and extremely affordable, making them one of the best tabletop gaming accessories you can buy. 

4 Reasons why Gruul Midrange Placed Top 8 in Grand Prix Memphis 2019

4 Reasons why Gruul Midrange Placed Top 8 in Grand Prix Memphis 2019

Along with the Rakdos Aggro deck that took 1st place, Grand Prix Memphis 2019 had another shocking top 8 contender in a Gruul Midrange deck piloted by Shota Takao.  Takao’s success is surprising because, despite many competitive MTG players positing that a green and red aggro deck could be strong in the format, few Gruul decks had found virtually any success up until this point, and the deck at first glance seems largely unoriginal.  At closer inspection, however, there are a number of facets to this deck that are genius in their simplicity, which, in combination, have created what could soon be one of the best decks in MTG standard.  Here are four reasons why Gruul Midrange might have been able to outperform hundreds of other competitors for a spot in the top 8 of Grand Prix Memphis 2019. 


Card Advantage in Red and Green

Generally speaking, it’s more difficult in Magic: The Gathering to accomplish card advantage in Gruul colors than, for example, Dimir or Esper, because those guilds have access to both blue and black.  This deck, however, has cheated out card advantage with creatures that function in the same way a draw spell would.  Direfleet Daredevil, for example, is card advantage because it steals a spell from your opponent’s graveyard, functioning as either two spells or, in the case of stealing a spell with Jump-Start, a 3 spell swing.  Similarly, Growth-Chamber Guardian replaces itself when it adapts, allowing you to put another copy of GCG in your hand from your library and working exactly like drawing a card.  Further, Takao’s list runs Karn on the board, which is extremely cost efficient card advantage in a colorless Planeswalker, and one of the best Planeswalkers in MTG standard, despite currently being underrated.  


Keeping Cool: Easy Tricks to Prevent Tilting in Competitive MTG Arena and Live Play

Keeping Cool Easy Tricks to Prevent Tilting in Competitive MTG Arena and Live Play 2

Regardless of the variance inherent in Magic: The Gathering, sometimes even the most talented and capable players can lose to their own frustration and inability to regain control over themselves and their situation.  Once on tilt, players harp on past mistakes or bad beats, losing focus on their current lines of play and frequently making additional misplays because of their clouded judgement.  These errors can quickly spiral out of control, causing game and match loses or even spilling over into future games.  Most of us have had this experience at least a handful of times during our history of competitive MTG, but the good news is that this problem is preventable and easy to resolve with practice.  In this article we discuss how to stop tilting in games generally, and provide easy tips for playing competitive Magic: The Gathering to not only improve your live play, but make Arena ladder grinding a substantially more enjoyable experience.  


Breathe with Purpose

When it comes to calming techniques, almost all experts agree that breathing correctly is essential to reducing anger in a short period of time.  This is because the rapid, shallow breathing that results from upsetting situations signals to the body the need for more adrenaline, creating a positive feedback loop that needs to be disrupted.  So the next time you miss a Search for Azcanta trigger, or make a bad attack into Settle the Wreckage, make sure to focus on taking long, deep breaths to keep your body out of a fight-or-flight response.  These breathing strategies are additionally applicable to virtually every other game, helping to stop tilting in Overwatch, League, and Call of Duty as well. 

The Latest Decks in MTG Ravnica Allegiance Standard: Rakdos Aggro

The Latest Decks in MTG Ravnica Allegiance Standard Rakdos Aggro

The results from Grand Prix Memphis 2019 are in, and the top finisher of an almost one thousand person field was not, as many would have predicted, one of the more popular archetypes such as Mono-Blue or Sultai Midrange, but instead a Rakdos Aggro deck that incorporated powerful spells from both red and black.  Similar to the points discussed in our previous article, this Rakdos list has numerous advantages over the more traditional Mono-Red Aggro decks, while still incorporating several of the red cards from Allegiance.  In this article we take a look at what the most recent best MTG standard deck did right, analyzing both the cards it borrowed from previous archetypes and the spells it pulled from obscurity directly into the competitive MTG spotlight. 


Something Old

Although this specific deck list has not previously been considered a top tier MTG standard deck, several cards in Rakdos have seen competitive play, and many are individually considered to be some of the best cards in Ravnica Allegiance standard.  To start, the biggest name is the list is Goblin Chainwhirler, a card that has terrorized the format since its release in Dominaria and continues to be played in a number of top competitive decks.  A 3/3 first strike for only three mana, Chainwhirler effectively deals with some of the most powerful cards in the format, such as Jadelight Ranger and History of Benalia tokens, with its combat prowess alone.  Chainwhirler additionally has one of the most devastating come-into-play effects on a red card printed in years, doing 1 damage to all your opponent’s creatures and Planeswalkers when it resolves.  This effect dominates one toughness creatures like Llanowar Elves, Mist-Cloak Herald, and Runaway Steam-kin, and effectively keeps decks from going wide and attacking around this first-striking monster.  This new Rakdos list is also incorporating a playset of Rekindling Phoenix, a permanent fixture in standard since its Rivals of Ixalan release.  Although many of the mono-red lists were putting Phoenix in the sideboard to keep the main deck as low to the ground as possible, some of the best MTG Arena decks are putting them in the main, as Phoenix flies over the powerful ground creatures of Sultai like Wildgrowth Walker while dodging board wipes like Kaya’s Wrath.  Finally, this Rakdos list makes use of Lava Coil, the premier red removal spell of the format.  For only two mana, this sorcery deals 4 damage, effectively eliminating some of the best creatures in MTG standard such as Nicol Bolas, Shalai, and Tempest Djinn.  Additionally, Lava Coil exiles the creature that it kills, making in exceptional against Sultai decks with recursion or creatures that have death effects such as Rekindling Phoenix or Hunted Witness

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