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The Details

Paper Magic Release Date: Friday May 15th, 2020

Magic: The Gathering Arena Release Date: April 16th, 2020

Available Paper Magic Products:

  • Booster Box – a box of 36 15-card booster packs.
  • Collector Booster – Contents: 6 foil commons/uncommons, 1 foil basic land, 1 Commander-focused card, 1 non-foil extended art rare/mythic rare, 1 foil rare/mythic rare, 2 non-foil showcase commons/uncommons, 1 non-foil showcase rare/mythic rare or borderless planeswalker, 1 non-foil alt-art Godzilla Series Monster card, 1 foil showcase or borderless planeswalker, 1 premium token.
  • Theme Booster – These larger booster packs are full of cards all based on a single theme, like a color or color pair.
  • Bundle – 10 15-card booster packs, 20 foil lands, 1 alternate art card

The Mechanics

Every expansion comes with interesting new mechanics. Some of them will be brand new, but Wizards always brings something back from the past. The mechanics from Ikoria are listed below.


Cycling is a returning mechanic. The cycling mechanic allows players to pay a cost (often a mana cost) to allow them to discard the card with the cycling ability and draw another card.

Wizards uses this ability on cards to add additional flexibility. You have the option to pay the cycling cost and simply pitch the card for a replacement if the card isn’t useful. Some of the cards will even had additional effects tied to cycling the card.

Keyword Counters

Longtime MtG players will be very familiar with +1/+1 and loyalty counters. These appear in almost every set in one form or another. Ikoria introduces Keyword Counters. Certain cards and abilities will allow you to place counters that include abilities like Flying and Trample to creatures in play. This is interesting because, unlike enchantments are artifacts that grant these keyword abilities, the counters stay active until the creature dies.


Mutate is an ability that has an alternate casting cost for a creature. When you use it you may choose to place it either ON or Under an existing creature. The result is a creature with the name, converted mana cost, power, and toughness of the creature on top, with the abilities of the creatures underneath it.


The companion mechanic is more about rewarding careful deck construction than anything else. These are creatures that begin play in exile as long as your deck was build under certain restraints. You can then play from from exile. This is an interesting and very powerful mechanic. I can’t wait to see if anything comes of it.

The “Biggest” Crossover in Magic: The Gathering History

Ikoria is a plane filled with colossal monsters so it only makes sense that Wizards would find a way to incorporate the most famous giant monster of them all: Godzilla.

There are alternate art cards for several cards in the set that feature Godzilla and other monsters in that universe. These are bound to be big ticket collector’s items so definitely handle them with care if you or your kids open one!

The Cinematic Trailer

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Ravnica Allegiance is the most recent expansion released for Magic: The Gathering. It features the continuation of the long running narrative featuring the planeswalkers in the “Gatewatch” and the would-be dragon god Nicol Bolas. Bolas is up to something, and is trying to pit the various planeswalkers against each other. What is he up to? We shall soon find out!

Ravnica Allegiance Set Info

  • Release Date: January 25, 2019
  • Card Count: 259
  • Available for purchase as:
    • Ravnica Allegiance Bundle
    • Ravnica Allegiance Booster Box
    • Ravnica Allegiance Guild themed booster packs – 30 cards including 1-2 rares or mythic rares
    • Ravnica Allegiance Collector’s Booster Packs – 15 cards included 3 rare or mythic rare
    • Ravnica Allegiance Planeswalker Decks – 60 cards, 2 booster packs, code for the deck in MtG Arena
    • Ravnica Allegiance Deckbuilder’s Toolkit – 125 cards, 100 basic lands

Ravnica Allegiance Guilds

One of the key features of Ravnica is its assortment of Guilds. These organizations represent different color pairings. Wizards designers used those color pairings to help create personalities for the guilds and use those personalities to determine their abilities.

The Grull Çlan – Red/Green

The Grull clan is a band of violent warriors the break, bash, and crash through the expanding edges of civilized space. Order and subtlety have no place in their tactics or their home on the Rubblebelt. The Grull represent the aggressive force and overwhelming strength of red and green.

Riot Cards ask you questions related to the board state. Do you need to crash in quickly or build big?

The Orzhov Syndicate – Black/White

The Orzhov Syndicate is institution both religious and financial. Money and power are brokered by clerics both living and dead, and those who default to their debts end up paying in blood and spirit. The Orzhov represent black and white’s mastery of the forces of life and death.

Afterlife cards reinforce the value of card advantage, specifically that afterlife creatures will often take more than one card to deal with.

The Simic Combine – Blue/Green

The Simic Combine is devoted to growth through physical evolution. What is strong can always be made stronger. Their wizards barrow from all manner of natural and magical creature to augment themselves. The Simic represent blue and green control over the forces of nature.

Adapt reinforces the idea of a consistent mana curve by giving early game cards that also have powerful late game effects.

The Rakdos Carnival – Black/Red

The Rakdos Carnival is a never ending show of grim comedy and violence . The performers fuel their works through blood, pain and flames and when they eventually themselves die in the act… an audience member will do just as well. The Rakdos represent the relentless violence of Black and Red.

Spectacle cares a lot about order of operations and sequencing events. Spectacle cards work best when you cast them in the right situation (most often after combat) or in the right sequence.

The Azorious Senate – Blue/White

The Azorious Senate sits in a position of absolute control. Their goal in the sprawling Ravnica is to enforce an endless number of rules and regulations, and to bind and imprison those who defy the law… or their authority as lawgivers. The Azorious represent the absolute order of blue and white.

Addendum cards teach about timing in magic. They are instants (or cards that can be played at instant speed) so they could be cast any times, but they are more powerful when they are played during your turn (during the main phase). Beginner players often have trouble with instances/responses/the stack. These cards might not be what players want to play with, but they are cool to play against.

Hybrid Mana and Split Cards

Hybrid mana is a type of mana that first appeared in the original Ravnica block. It represents a cost that can be paid with either type of mana represented in the cost. Visually this is represented by using a design that incorporates both colors and small versions of the mana symbols within the a circle.

It allows for increased flexibility in deck-building because cards with hybrid mana in their cost can be used by either color even if the deck was being designed to be only one color. For example, you can use a black/white hybrid creature in a mono-colored white deck. The added flexibility is valuable in decks that are both colors, but it isn’t required.

Split Cards first appears during a block called “Invasion.” These are cards that are printed sideways on the standard magic card. They are, essentially, two separate spells printed on one card. If you have that split-card in your hand, then you may choose to pay the mana cost for either spell on that card and cast that spell.

Resources from Around the Web

Magic: The Gathering is a very popular game so there are many, many great resources across the web. Below are just a few of the resources that are specifically related to Ravnica: Allegiance that we thought you might want to look at.

Rules Explanation Video

Loading Ready Run has created a wonderful rules overview to help explain the different mechanics and rules at play when using Ravnica Allegiance cards.

Visual Spoiler

Wizards of the Coast has a Visual Spoiler that includes images of all of the cards in the set.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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This past weekend was not only PAX East, but it also featured the first Mythic Championship AND a panel featuring the full unveiling of the next expansion for Magic: The Gathering.

War of the Spark is the next set. It will be released on May 3rd, 2019 and will feature the dramatic conclusion to a story that has been building up for years. (Yes. You read that right. Magic has had a continuous story that has been building up to this moment.) Nicol Bolas (a crazy elder dragon who is seeking ultimate power) has been visiting various planes to gather armies (Ahmonket) and artifacts of great power (Ixalan) to help him attack the city of Ravnica. His goal has been to dominate the city and draw planeswalkers from across the multiverse to attack him and stop him. Why, you might ask? Because he is laying a trap for them. It’s all very intense and will play out through the themes represented in the cards and their art.

War of The Spark preview season is going to include card previews for every card in the set, instead of single card reveals. These previews happen ing in the next couple of weeks will now feature sets of five cards, and are going to be from every level of rarity, and for all types of players. These cards will be used to tell a complete scene in the ongoing story in War of The Spark

Planeswalkers Matter

War of The Spark will feature thirty six planeswalkers, with one planeswalker as the buy-a-box promo. With the previous promise of a planeswalker in ever pack, we now know they are going to fulfill that promise with planeswalkers at various rarities (The infinite cohost called it). There are going to be twenty uncommon, twelve Rare, and three mythic planeswalkers in the set. These characters are drawn from throughout the multiverse of Magic and throughout its history.

In addition to uncommon and rare planeswalkers, War of The Spark features new abilities and mana costs never seen before on cards before. Hybrid mana symbols are being printed on planeswalkers for the first time ever, allowing for flexible casting costs and fitting them in as many decks as possible. Wizards also confirmed in their War of The Spark Panel at Pax that all thirty seven planeswalkers will feature a static or triggered ability as part of their rules text.

Having abilities on planeswalkers where their vary presence influence the battlefield leads to many more opportunities for cool cards and cool play

Positive Proliferation

Proliferate shows up as a returning mechanic for War of The Spark. Last featured in the Scars of Mirrodin block, this mechanic lets you add any kind of counter to any number of permanents that you own. Which not only supports planeswalkers but creatures with +1 counters.

Amass an Army

Amass is a key word focusing around the Dreadhorde, Nicol Bolas’s personal army of zombie warriors. Each card with Amass lets you create a zombie army token with +1/+1 counters or add more counters to your existing creature. The intent behind the ability is to create a single giant creature to destroy your opponent in only a few crushing attacks. Where it lacks in its ability to create multiple army tokens, the ability to go big leads to a massive creature dominating the battle field. Hope you don’t find a way to give it trample!

That Trailer Though

The War of the Spark trailer is the most viewed trailer in the history of Magic for a reason. Give it a look!

I didn’t know I wanted a CGI Magic Movie until right now.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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EA announced that they were releasing Elder Scrolls: Legends on PS4 and Switch at their EA Play Media Briefing during E3 week this year. They also confirmed that the game would have cross-play between all of the platforms it is available on.  This is a serious advantage over Hearthstone, which has not expanded much since its initial offerings to mobile devices and PC gaming.

Elder Scrolls Legends is a digital collectible card game that pulls its influences from one of Bethesda’s longest running and popular settings. What separates it from other free to play online card games is just how well integrated the Elder Scrolls lore and feel is integrated into both its single and multiplayer content. Legends offers both competitive and casual multiplayer modes, but also offers single player story modes along with a single player arena mode (Their version of a limited card deckbuilding format).

Elder Scrolls features cards and deck construction that encourages multiple styles of play. Most card games limit you deck construction to cards of a single playable class and a set of neutral cards. Legends treats your deck and your personal avatar as two separate things to be customized. 

First and most pleasantly, the cards allow for multicolor deck construction as well as full support for multicolor cards. Each color of cards in Elder Scrolls Legends represents one the themes with the world of Elder Scrolls: White is the color of order and armies, Red is the color of rage and fury, Blue is the color of sorcery and knowledge, Purple is the color of control and ancient (undead) power, and green is color of nature and hidden threats. The races of the Elder Scrolls series often appear in multiple colors: Imperial forces are white and purple, Argothian lizardfolk are green and purple, and Khajiit Catfolk appearing in both green and white. These races, of which I only named a few, are often featured in Legends multicolored cards. While Legends limits deck construction to a maximum of two colors, it allows for more diverse design with each color as themes not only work within their own color, but with other colors as well. It also allows for more cards to be relevant as the same color can be played in different ways, even more so when paired with another color.

Your personal avatar will also serve you well in the free to play progression system within the game. The game rewards both single player and multiplayer content with gold (to buy packs, arena passes, and stories), Soul Gems (the common resource among card gam11es to craft individual cards, as well as a random cards. The cards you will receive after multiple played games will be based on your in-game avatar, and since races are connected to multiple colors, this gives you control to the type of rewards you receive as you play.

I would recommend Elder Scrolls Legend as a digital card game to family gamers who are invested in the lore of Elder Scrolls, and are looking for solid single and multiplayer content. With its Teen rating to the ESRB, Elder Scrolls Legends is also a playable alternative to younger gamers who want to experience the Elder Scrolls series without the more mature content that is a mainstay of the Bethesda Series.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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