Sunday, 23 March 2014

SolForge: Thundergale Invoker, bonus art

Continuing on from my Games & Tea Guest Article on my vanity card for SolForge here are all the remaining bonus arts that I got.  The story behind how we got to this point is on the other article.

Here is an early storyboard style of the card with a completely different level 2/3.  maybe at one point this could have been a 4 level card, but the two middle arts are similar enough that i suspect they were just variations on a theme.  You can already see the key features are in place.

This appears to be one of the final 'faceless' versions of the level 1 card.  I suspect a lot of the vanity cards started out in a similar way.  As Anton was working remotely with us I suspect that was the hardest part - using reference pictures at angles that were different to the required poses.

Here is the reworked level 2 in various stages.  Oddly the far left picture looks more like my dad! The colorised far right one still underwent some positional changes before the more final version below.

This early level 3 is a lot more abstract due to the shading, focusing on the figure himself and the wind gauntlets.  I quite like this one and may swap to using it as my forum avatar.  The ethereal qualities are probably too serene for the final battle ready level 3 and the chaos of the wind on the final version is more in keeping with the theme.

And thats it! There are other pictures of me and slight variations on these, but I think that you get the overall process.  As StoneBlade have been known to give away vanity cards as prizes I can't wait for the tournaments to start! :D

Thanks again to Anton & Eric for their hard work and to StoneBlade for sharing these sketches with me and allowing me to share them with you.

SolForge - The Making of "Nesh, Wind Giant"

On August the 2nd 2012 while watching the SolForge live-stream for the final count down I decided that the game and the community were interesting enough to increase my investment from one of the low tiers to one of the high ones.  I wanted the prize on offer (At Club1980 drafts are free...) and couldn't make use of the GenCon tickets on the layer above so it seemed perfect.

I resolved to forget about the game for a year and when the new Magic core set came out that summer I'd begin to wind down my activity and spending on that and reap the savings.  I'd looked at the lower tiers when signing up but come the e-mail asking for pictures on March 13 I'd pretty much forgotten about the 'Your likeness on a card' tier.  At the time I'd joked i'd give the honour to someone else, or that I'd try to get one of my cats on the card.  When it came up though I thought it would actually be cool to see this through.

My first contact was Eric - the concept writer for SolForge - and he laid out what we'd need to provide.  Over the next few messages I stated that i didn't really care which faction, but gave two real ideas.  The first was job based, I work in infection control so how about a Nekrium guy whose job it is to do the reverse.  The second was based on my partner and I going on long walks in the British countryside.  It was from one of these walks in Wales that we got our source pictures.  I created a Tempys shamenesque character called Nesh (a northern dialect word I picked up at uni) who is more at home on remote ridges than the battlefield.

I sent over 4 pictures with some fully body and close ups that I'll spare you but these two capture the essence.  A guy who is more of a tactician than a solider.  I mentioned that I'd prefer equipment more than weapons to that end, and I mentioned that I'd love scale birds.

Time passed.  Many more hikes were done (including Norway - I think my card would have been a little different with those pictures used!) and it became Jan 2014.  Eric got back in touch saying that Anton (the artist) required some more close up shots at varied angles so that he could get the faces right.  Naturally I panicked about this and eventually managed to get some I was reasonably happy with, for example this one.

This is my deliberate attempt at an enigmatic face.  This is harder than you'd expect when home alone and having to resort to selfies.  Many digital photographs were deleted that day...

It was in response to this that I received my first idea of what the card would be like.  Pleasingly this sketch had the file name of "Nesh - example", which was the name I'd given to the write-up in the original e-mail discussion.  For me it helped to visualise the character, but I'd no hope of becoming a unique named character as that was a much higher tier.

I did as instructed and copied the pose (long arms come in handy for these selfies I tell you!) and sent it off.  Note the cereals in the background - FoodStuffFinds till I die yo!

At this point I was getting excited.  I showed the initial pic to a few fellow players and they agreed it looked pretty cool.  Eric mentioned he's seen the final versions and that he thought they looked cool too so all was good.

Time passed.

Set 2 was announced as being "in March" and the end of the month rapidly approached.  As the preview cards came up I wondered at each time whether I would recognise myself.  On the morning of March 18th I had to be at work early for a conference and didn't check anything digital until I was in the car on the way there (being driven I might add).  There was the usual tournament stats post up which had been linked from the forum, and I just happened to notice a new card had been previewed below...

Thundergale Invoker appeared to be a Tempys card like mine was from first glance, and it involved wind...  I had a zoom in and then a rather large smile on my face!  I couldn't explain out loud in a car with work people, but tweets and messages were sent to those in the know.  Much was said about me sending naked pictures to StoneBlade (I didn't :p) but everyone agreed it was indeed a good likeness.

The article here detailed the cards abilities and it seemed to fit in with the kind of play style that I have.   Essentially it allows you to move your pieces around with the power of the wind if you played them in the right slots.

I immediately messaged Eric after work to say thanks to both him and Anton and to ask permission to write this experience up for posterity and to beg for some of the art that went into the process.  So I've included a few of the more exclusive key pieces here but to save on the Games & Tea internet I'll host the majority back on my regular blog.

 Here we see three of the original pictures I sent in, alongside what I guess is the very first concept sketches for the card.  This includes the original idea of looking out at the action from afar, suiting up, and entering the fray.  The wind gauntlets are particularly cool, looking decidedly like something from the Dynasty warriors series.  While this makes the CosPlay harder, I think that it's a great idea.

Before I finish up here I'd like to thank StoneBlade in general but specifically Eric and Anton for taking the time to make something that I am very happy with.  If this much effort went into all the players vanity cards then that's a lot of extra work.  I look forwards to discovering who all the people behind the faces are over the next few weeks and continuing to aggressively draft 'me' and then getting sad when the creature dies.

But hey - there are plenty more copies to draft and play, and we'll always have those scale birds, right?

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Modern Masters - Fairies40

A while back we did a normal Modern Masters draft (non-phantom) and I ended up in Fairies.  Turned out to be a decent deck as I went 3-0 winning the draft (yay) and then beat a few non-draft modern decks afterwards.

As I'd like to keep the deck list for posterity before I convert it to fairies 60 I'm putting it here.

Land (17)
9 Island
7 Swamp
1 Vivid Marsh

I & S (12)
1 Spell snare
2 Erratic Mutation
1 Echoing Truth
2 Traumatic Visions (counter or land cycle)
1 cryptic command (first pick!)
1 warren weirding
3 peppersmoke
1 drag down (-2, -2 is fine)

Guys (10)
1 Meloku the clouded Mirror
1 Pestermite
2 Latchkey Faerie
2 Spellstutter Sprite (counter faerie!)
2 Dreamspoiler Witches
1 Thieving Sprite
1 Festering Goblin

Toys (1)
Aether Spellbomb

I did have other playables, but this was the version that seemed to work the best.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Magic The Gathering - Deck Builder's Toolkit 2014 Core Set

It's that time of year again! The one MTG product that I bother to write up and open because frankly it's very useful for new players and overlooked by the majority.  It has always been a pain to find a full card list and as I'm making one for my reference it seems worth putting online.

A quick note before we begin - there is no such thing as the Deck builders Toolkit 2013 - they have moved this years in line with the core set numbering and as such skipped a year in name alone.  This makes a lot of sense.

The booster packs included in this year's offering are:

Return To Ravnica

While the inclusion of a core-set booster that will be rotating almost immediately is a little confusing I'm guessing they didn't want to include too many 'gold' coloured cards that would make new players confused.  It seems like a step back from last year's product  but is reasonable for casual play.

While the contents of these boosters are entirely random I do seem to have reasonable luck with them as I got a Deathrite Shaman (which I traded for $15 worth of Modern cards) and the new Garruck card which has a $25 value at the moment.  As the box retails for £18 here (and boosters are £3.50) I pretty much already have my money back and doubled.  That said - boosters are a lottery and I'd say we are looking to get £6 of value from the rest of the cards.

As ever there are four sealed packs in the box, White, Red, Gold and Gold Stripe.

The non-random (white banded pack) cards are :

White (M14 unless stated)

Pacifism x2
Hive Stirrings
Seller of Songbirds      RTR
Master of Diversion
Assault Griffin             GTC
Dawnstrike Paladin
Avenging Arrow         RTR
Capashen Knight
Sunspire Griffin           RTR
Angelic Wall
Griffin Sentinel
Suntail Hawk

Serra Angel

Blue (M14 unless stated)


Paralysing Grasp         RTR
Frost Breath
Archaeomancer x2    
Wind Drake                DGM
Voidwielder                RTR
Stealer of Secrets        RTR
Messenger Drake
Seacoast Drake
Doorkeeper                 RTR
Tome Scour

Skyline Predator         RTR

Black (M14 unless stated)

Wring Flesh
Mind Rot
Festering Newt
Stab Wound             RTR
Liturgy of Blood x2
Child of Night
Nightwing Shade
Accursed Spirit
Corpse Hauler
Deathgaze Cockatrice
Drainpipe Vermin     RTR
Minotaur Abomination

Doom Blade

Red (M14 unless stated)

Shock x2
Act of Treason
Chandra's Outrage
Annihilating Fire     RTR
Seismic Stomp
Goblin Shortcutter
Regathan Firecat
Pitchburn Devils
Viashino Racketeer   RTR
Blur Sliver
Dragon Hatchling

(now in red banded pack)

Tenement Crasher     RTR
Riot Piker                  DGM

Guttersnipe             RTR
Flames of the Firebrand

Green (M14 unless stated)

Centaur's Herald      RTR
Predatory Sliver
Kraul Warrior          DGM
Aerial Predation       RTR
Elvish Mystic x2    
Deadly Recluse
Brindle Boar
Rumbling Baloth
Giant Growth
Hunt the Weak
Axebane Stag         RTR

Briarpack Alpha
Howl of the Night Pack

Colourless (M14 unless stated)

Sliver Construct

Then you get 5 copies of each of the 4 basic land arts across each of the 5 colours in the set meaning
20 Plains
20 Island
20 Swamp
20 Mountain
20 Forest

This covers the rest of the red banded pack and the entirety of the gold banded pack.

There are also
4 Transguild Promenade
used to split up the gold stripe pack.

The remainder is the Semi-random deck seeds which I got the following for:

Syncopate        RTR    UC
Guttersnipe      RTR    UC
Izzet Charm     RTR    UC
Blast of Genius  DGM    UC
Goblin Electromancer x2   RTR
Essence Backlash        RTR
Nivix Cyclops             DGM
Explosive Impact         RTR
Chandra's Outrage       M14  

(an excellent start to an Izzet deck! Also the first gold cards in the fixed cards from the box. The art on the poster adds in Divination from the fixed cards)

Slivers - all M14
Steelform Sliver  UC
Battle Sliver  x2 UC
Manaweft Sliver  UC
Predatory Sliver x2
Sentinel Sliver
Striking Sliver
Blur Sliver
Groundshaker Sliver
(wow - a three colour shard! They have included lots of multiples when you include the fixed cards, and the poster hints that you need a Pacify or two to clear the way for attacks)

Sacrifice - Mostly M14
Gnawing Zombie  UC
Barrage of Expendables  UC
Tenacious Dead  UC
Goblin Rally  UC  RTR
Act of Treason
Blood Bairn
Pitchburn Devils
Festering Newt
Drainpipe Vermin  RTR
Altar's Reap

(this is a new and odd archetype - cheap guys that die for profit and harm to the opponent.  Without the Blood Artist this seems less viable, but there is certainly support in the kit for this - and maybe in M14 draft!)

Library Depletion (or Mill)
Psychic Spiral  UC  RTR
Codex Shredder  UC  RTR
Millstone UC M14
Coerced Confession  UC GTC
Tome Scour x2  M14
Doorkeeper  RTR
Psychic Strike  GTC
Paranoid Delusions  GTC
Pilfered Plans   DGM

(Mill decks are nothing new for the toolkit, but a hybrid card and a lot of Dimir gold cards from the block means this is a touch more powerful than usual.  That said it's unlikely to be more than a casual strategy)

Missing Shards

These are on the poster, but I haven't located the full decklists yet.

Voracious Wurm
Angelic Accord
Unflinching Courage
Centaur Healer
Soul Mender
Brindle Boar
Dawnstrike Paladin
Predator's Rapport
Divine Favor

(notes that merely gaining life cannot win you the game, but with these key enchantments and such out it certainly helps!)

Red-Green Aggression
Gruul War Chant DGM UC
Slaughterhorn (x2?) GTC C
Marauding Maulhorn M14 C
Advocate of the Beast M14 C

(Notably no Burning Tree on the poster, but it'd certainly make sense in the deck)

Lyev Skyknight
Air Servant
Warden of Evos Isle
Frost Breath

(detain and fly deck - basically blue white evasion renamed)

Seller of Songbirds
Trostani's Judgement
Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage
Eyes in the Skies

(while I noted the fixed cards avoided guild mechanics this introduces and excels around the populate mechanic.  Nice)

Red-White Swarm
Sunhome Guildmage
Truefire Paladin
Righteous Charge
Firefist Striker
Show of Valor
Viashino Firstblade
Master of Diversion
Riot Piker
Skyknight Legionnaire
Wojek Halberdiers

(wide decks with lots of small guys attacking? That will be the battalion deck then!)

Mana Ramp
Nimbus Swimmer
Seek the Horizon
Urban Evolution
Woodborn Behemoth
Verdant Haven
Gatecreeper Vine
Axebane Stag
Axebane Guardian

(apparently there is no ramp in standard according to the internet - this proves them wrong)

Black Control
Doom Blade
Diabolic Tutor
Sengir Vampire
2x Quag Sickness
Mind Rot
Child of Night
Perilous Shadow
Deathgaze Cockatrice

(A good old traditional deck where you kill everything, and win through card advantage - and big vampires)

Well that's the lot!  Again I think this is an improvement on last year, and while I think that M13 booster docks it a lot of value in the eyes of established players it will certainly help the pre-rotation players out with a few more staples to build with.

If you have a massive spares box then print off the poster and give a new player free choice of a few commons and uncommons to build their own shards.  If you don't have that but do have a player that owns intro decks or sample decks and nothing else then this is still the next best step in MTG.

I do like bridging products and this seems to have been the catalyst that took our playgroup from owning cards to building and competing so it certainly works.  Also - the DBT boxes are much better than a FatPack for storing cards!

(Updated shards with the odd fonted text comes from the great people at MTG Salvation's combined efforts to find all the shards in this thread)

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Why are we playing bad iPhone & FaceBook games and not Magic?

The WOTC Head Designer Mark Rosewater is on Tumblr and mentioned the fact that MTGO is not available on Macs (although I have Windows 7 on mine so I can use it if I really wanted), and this reminded me of a more fundamental question - so I asked it:

"Why can't I play Magic in more social ways digitally? Paper MTG is the market leader, but all digital versions a generational step behind competitors. I too have a Mac, Family & iPhone and basic Magic available during my down-time would be perfect. The question is - why no FaceBook playable sociable MTG based on precon sample decks? The same as LGS get to give out free, but as free to play iPhone/FaceBook app. It's the next logical step after Duels in acquisitions. Is there a Digital 7 yr plan?"

I realise this is a little mixed up due to the character limit so I figured I'd vent here to avoid submitting further embarrassing questions.

Why can't I play Magic in more social ways digitally?

I have Go, Ascension, various drawing and word games on my phone.  I can play them against friends as live.  We take it in turns as and when we have a sec.  It's fun as the games are more frequent than I can manage face-to-face.  We'd love to play MTG like this (it's the main game in our social circles) - we'd love it so much we would pay money.  Plug in daily MTG and MTG related adverts for new sets and events into the app and you have an acquisition & retention strategy that makes Duels of the Planeswalkers look like nothing.

Paper MTG is the market leader, but all digital versions a generational step behind competitors.

Forget the fact that MTGO looks a bit dated and only works on one platform. The interface itself is very dated and based on past assumptions about interface design that have been superseded (see Interface Culture by Steven Johnson - which is itself now out of date...), but more importantly it has a massive barrier to entry.  It's not free to sign-up.  It contains no tutorials to my knowledge (personally I'd put them on YouTube so the Tutorials act as an advert for the product).  An experienced MTG paper player is easily put off and confused by the way it unfolds.  It took me several attempts to make a deck and to jump into even the beginner rooms.

Compare this to a new player experience for League of Legends, or Happy Wars.  I have no doubt the product suits the existing players (so much so that they will struggle to drag people onto the new client even though it's technically better), but I love MTG and have no desire to play.

Duels is great - it's what got me playing - but it's also one of my biggest concerns.  It's a lovely sealed style environment - playing set restricted card pools against each other is what I love most in paper - but each year it gets dumped and you start again.  Also the cards (older versions anyway) were so badly explained in terms of their real world legality that when I transitioned to paper I bought things that were not 'standard legal' and thus had to scrap a lot of ideas once I made it to FNM.  Now I Tournament Organise at a small store the main question from Duels players is where they can buy that deck they love. And we have to break their hearts.  Stick Duels to standard base decks, with Modern as the unlocks or bought decks and this problem vanishes and you get new players that PREFER Modern coming in. Bonus!

I too have a Mac, Family & iPhone and basic Magic available during my down-time would be perfect.

Why are we playing bad iPhone & FaceBook games and not Magic?

I know GP winners who play terrible, grindy card games on their phones - those ones where the cards are just a means to an end with no real mechanics or structure.  They have pretty art and the more time you put in the better you are due to the time based advancement mechanics. The thing is they are available on our phones and iPads and we can play them with our friends asychnronously.  MTG didn't even keep their iPhone card gatherer application up to date and deleted it within a few months.  This was a YEAR ago.  I can't build decks on my phone officially. I have to use 3rd party apps (some of which WOTC tried to remove or change when theirs came out) to look up prices or store collections.

Playdek have been brought in to do a D&D game. Their Ascension game is the most use thing on my phone next to texting. Something basic like that would be fine - something free and accessible to those who watch Day9 on the ProTour and want to figure out the basics.

The question is - why no FaceBook playable sociable MTG based on precon sample decks? The same as LGS get to give out free, but as free to play iPhone/FaceBook app. It's the next logical step after Duels in acquisitions. 

If I had an MTG app on FaceBook I could go ahead and delete most of the other games.  All it would need to be is the preconstructed single colour basic decks that we get given to hand to new players.  They ask how to play, we break out two of these decks and they get to take them home.  Do that digitally.  Allow us to play our friends using it and record our win losses.  Allow us to combine these to make 2 colour 60 card decks and there are 20 different decks to be played - 25 if you can double colours up. That is more than enough content to keep people interested and again - you link to Duels from this (The Next Step...) and DailyMTG and Twitch Coverage and so on.  To me this would be a nightmare to program, but FaceBook isn't going anywhere (and you could probably do it on the actual MTG site using Forum ID as a log in too for those that fear it) so it'd be worth the investment.

Is there a Digital 7 yr plan?

Mark talks about the 7 year plan for paper Magic. I don't think digital has one.  Tablet DOTP is a nice step, but it should be Tablet MTGO & iPhone links (build decks on phone - play on tablet or Computer).  I realise this is all things that would take a lot of investment, but I can't see how it wouldn't be worth it in the long run.

Complexity creep is frequently cited as the number 1 thing most likely to 'kill Magic', I think that the new wave of Digital products outclassing MTG from every angle is more probable and by the end of this year the blue ocean of digital TCGs will be a hotly fought arena.  I do hope paper Magic survives.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Combo season

Seeing as I have the wireless keyboard/iPhone set up on the bus for the main Blog I figured I might as well add a few words here.

Gatecrash has gone well, the front loaded costs mean that I've spent much less on extra cards (I bought 4 Zegana for $26 and a week later the price doubled) and I've traded aggressively for things I need for decks only.

Unexpected Results into Boborygmous is a lot of fun, and can do well at FNM. It can also go 1-X...

Probably taking Burn At The Stake combo deck tomorrow if I go. I have the latest version of 'counters matter' and haven't got round to sleeving the almost mono Black gu that is the denial ramp deck. That looks to be the most fun of all, but the hardest to tune.

Solforge promises to be around the corner, and I have two new Ascension expansions (one in hand, one on way) to contend with too. As new players get into it I find myself playing the original more and more - is the new stuff just too complicated?

It's looking good for gaming, and MTG has a combo viable standard environment. Things are good.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

New Set Blues - GateCrash

Oh hello there - long time no see!  Do I have you in round 1? A preview of the finals already then!  What have I been up to? Well mostly GateCrash these past few weeks.

We've had...

£157 worth of Devak0rp pre-orders
1 £25 Birmingham Simic pre-release
1 £33 Stafford Orzhov Pre-release (travel costs)
1 £52 Birmingham launch Draft (!! - i'll explain)
1 £12 Birmingham launch Draft (more affordable) (& 30p on a card)

That makes £279 on Magic in two weekends.  ouch!  That said - with the £60 of eBay things that have gone it's a reduced £219 - and I plan to make it go down further.  To explain what I have I guess I should go through in order - more for my own sanity than anything.

Preorders I - the bulk.

I decided that buying a box was fun fairly early on, but then always wanted to play that box.  At £90 I figured that if I did a similar amount of drafts and sealed and averaged at £2.50 a pack then I'd be fairly sorted.  I also realised I'd be missing all the neat tricks commons and uncommons. 1 £25.14 preorder later and those were all booked - 4 of each uncommon, and around 6 of each common.  I may need to trade for a few that I get 3 ofs but it should be OK.  These are 'incoming'.

Preorders II - the junk

I like gadget rares, and with pre-odrering the lower cards I had spare funds to cherry pick a few.  I think I got maybe (redoes maths - oh!) £50 of those, which does sound quite a lot now.  The plan was to spend less on events though.

Preorders III - the shock

12 cards, shocklands, 84.51 or £7 each.  This is scary & ouch territory except they are currently £10 each in the stores and any spare ones I pull can now be back converted to pay off the main bill.  Also these are stable cards so where as the others will go up and down these will settle around £6-£8 so can be treated as fluid assets in MTG terms.

First event - ManaGeek Birmingham pre-release.

Having been undefeated in prereleases since 1 loss in AVR block I've gotten quite good at extracting value from these.  My unremarkable Simic pool 5-1 losing to the winner's fast Boros meant 5 packs (plus the 6 'entry packs).  Fab but tiring day.

11 packs - £25 - £2.27 per pack

Second Event - ManaGeek Stafford Pre-release

Tired at the start, fever rose through the event and I was misplaying like a trooper by the end.  2-4 to scrape 1 pack and throw away the extra £10 of travel costs from playing the much easier Birmingham event (that actually gave correct prizes this time!) meant that I was heavily overtaxed by playing Orzhov.

7 packs - £33 - £4.71 per pack (OUCH!! should have got a fatpack and stayed in bed!) for event
18 packs - £58 - £3.22 per pack so far

Also - my pulls were rubbish.  Having planned to draft these packs with the semi-pros on the Tuesday I instead spent three days in bed sulking due to some insane fever I still haven't quite shaken.  Massive missing out of EV there as I'd have got at least a few things I wanted as it wasn't even the good junk rares.

Third event - Waylands Launch Draft

I'd been looking forwards to this quite a bit.  The hazy, crazy part of my brain had been mentally preparing myself for Tuesday's draft, and then carried on til Friday as I didn't get it out of my system.  All of the talk from the 30 players in the room was how bad Dimir was in sealed, I guessed it'd be pretty swift in draft so in my 10 person pool tried it out.  being the only person in an archetype gets you a few interesting cards, three unblockable rogues, three mill guys, one intimidate 1 drop & two cloudfin raptors. 3-0.  I came 2nd due to a player who had an amazingly fast Gruul deck.  As again Boros threatened me most I figured Gruul may be next.  3 packs played and 4 prize ones plus promo.

Why was this £52?  I paid for 4 people to enter as my cousins came to stay.  I can't really factor those in to the packs can I?  Especially when they got to keep their mythics... :(

7 packs - £13 - £1.85 per pack (I must be better now!)
25 packs - £71 - £2.84 (more economical)

Fourth event - Global Gaming Launch Draft

We like Global Gaming, it's small and local and full of people like me - only younger!  They out play us easily, and often have better decks due to being focused, but they lack limited experience so can be interesting to draft against.  I got a first pick bulk mythic dragon which I can NEVER resist in limited, so built Gruul around that - it was pretty cool and only lost to one guy. Once in rounds, and again in the final.  Oh well - another second place!  As we'd agreed to split the packs evenly instead of 5 I got 7, hooray!  He got a shock and a guild leader, I got the black mythic that is another bulk one.  Such is life.  Maybe I should have kept ALL these packs sealed...

10 packs - £12 - £1.20 per pack (now we are talking!)
35 packs - £83 - £2.37 per pack and only one short of making a box across all events!

Not only did I play the box instead of sitting at home trying to stop the cats from attacking my foils I also played in events I may not have and got a few sneaky trades in.  Sure I spent an extra £39 on funding the cousins, but I'm sure I can trade that back off them as they get bored of the shiny mythics (although they have discovered eBay too - curses!)

So that is
£83 - packs/events
£39 - Youth contributions
£157 of pre-orders/speculation
so £240 on me, minus the £60 from eBaying 4 mythics that I'd never once sleeved to play (2 sorin, 2 Thundermaw) so £180 down so far.

Not a bad way to buy and play a box, and in theory I think some events I could have done better in by chosing more carefully and not playing sick!  I have three of the shock lands I'd already pre-ordered so that's £30 back at some point (probably in trades) and other interesting things like the Ghost Council which are money rares that I'll never likely play.

Another draft Tuesday too, better get cataloguing and eBaying some more to pay for this...