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Hello games and friends! This week, Aaron and Dave sit down to talk about Magic: The Gathering. Here’s what they discussed.

Wizards of the Coast has made some major changes to its release schedule, starting in 2015. Chief designer Mark Rosewater wrote an excellent article describing how and why the changes are in place. The guys agree this change will make things easier to follow.

What’s available in the Standard format has been updated as of Sept. 26, and the Aaron and Dave list what’s in and what’s out. If you’d like to keep track of what’s legal, bookmark It’s a clean, up-to-date resource.

Meanwhile, the guys dragged out their Standard decks to identify what’s not longer legal. Dave had to pull several cards, including:

Meanwhile, Aaron lost Madcap Skills, which he’ll replace with Inferno Fist.

Decked is a fantastic app for Magic players. It features a well -maintained database and is compatible with Mac OS X, Windows, Android and iOS.

Dave found a fantastic resource on sealed deck construction. Building a sealed deck at a pre-release or launch event can be intimidating, but the “B.R.E.A.D.” method is quite useful. Here’s how it works:

  • Bombs
  • Removal
  • Evasion
  • Aggro
  • Dirt

The guys go over it in detail, and Dave notes that his record improved after implementing it.

Finally, Wizards of the Coast will release its 2014 Magic: The Gathering holiday gift box on November 14.

Dave can be found at @davidcaolo on Twitter.

Aaron can be found at Wet Frog Studios and Aaron Mahnke dot com.

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Show notes and links:

Featured game review – Shadowrun Crossfire


Dave’s take: It’s fun and you should get it, but gird your loins. You probably won’t win.

Matt’s take: It’s a compelling game but I can’t recommend it as a definite buy. Too difficult. Perhaps expansions will make it easier.

What are we playing?

character sheet

Dave’s messy character sheet, as described.

Aaron – D&D 5th edition. The venerable RPG has gotten a nice makeover from parent company Wizards of the Coast. Also mentioned:

Aaron’s recommendationIf you’ve got an interest in D&D, and are lucky enough to have a game store near by, to and play D&D Encounters. It’s a very casual atmosphere and extremely welcoming to new players.

Dave – Gloom (by Keith Baker, plays 2–4 ages 8 and up), a story-telling card game about making your “family” miserable while making others happy. It’s twisted in an Edward Gorey kind of way. Also mentioned:

Dave’s recommendations: Gloom is hilarious but needs the right group. If you’re not comfortable making up a story on the fly, or if public speaking is not your thing, move along. Otherwise, have at it. Kids should enjoy making silly stories.

Matt – Steam Park (by Aureliano Buonfino, plays 2–4 ages 10 and up), a great-looking city-building game that’s deeper than you’d think at first glance.

Matt’s recommendationFun for the family and more thought-provoking than you’d think. Setup is time-consuming, though.

If you like…

Tanto Cuore Review


This is the segment that introduces you to new games. This week our feature review was Shadowrun Crossfire. If you like that game (or deck-building games in general), you’ll probably like…

  • The Pathfinder adventure card game combines elements of a classic RPG and a deck-builder. It’s a cooperative game for 1–4 players.
  • Dominion. You can’t talk about deck-building games without mentioning Dominion from Rio Grande Games. Hire minions, construct buildings and stuff your treasury. For 2–4 players aged 13 and up.
  • Fantastiqa. Slay creatures and fulfill quests in this atmospheric deck-builder. You build your deck by subduing creatures you find. From Gryphon games, plays 2–4 ages 8 and up.
  • Android Netrunner. Cyperpunk! Expose the secrets of massive corporations hidden behind ice. Fantasy Flight Games, 2–4 players ages 13 and up.
  • Munchkin. The light-hearted, hack-and-slash card game is everywhere. There are more iterations available than we can count. This one’s good for the family. Munchkin is from Steve Jackson games, and plays 2–8 ages 8 and up.
  • Tanto Cuore. This (admittedly divisive) card game has you hiring maids to work in your mansion. Here’s our full review of Tanto Cuore. It’s from Japanamie Games and plays 2-4 ages 12 and up.
  • Ghost Stories is another title that’s very, very difficult to win. It’s a deck-builder like the others, but it offers four levels of difficulty: Initiation, Normal, Nightmare and Hell. That should tell you all you need to know. Ghost Stories is from Asmodee and plays 1-4 players aged 12 and up.

Dave can be found at @davidcaolo on Twitter.

Aaron can be found at Wet Frog Studios and Aaron Mahnke dot com.

Matt can be found at Wicked Fun Games.