Magic the Gathering Archenemy

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What Is Archenemy?

Archenemy gives you everything you need to play a new casual variant of the same name. In an Archenemy game, one player—the archenemy—takes on the role of a merciless tyrant bent on total domination. The other players form a team dedicated to stopping the archenemy at any cost, taking a shared turn Two-Headed Giant–style.

But teaming up on the archenemy isn’t unfair—it’s a desperate survival tactic. The archenemy comes to the fight armed not only with a normal 60-card deck, but also with a deck of 20 oversized scheme cards. These represent the clever plots and monstrous machinations of the archenemy, and they give his or her deck the power boost it needs to—maybe—take out two, three, four, or even more opponents.

We’ll take a look at a scheme card in a moment, but first let’s talk about how to set up the game.

Arranging the Pieces

To play Archenemy, each player needs a deck made of normal-sized Magic cards. By default these will be normal Constructed decks consisting of at least 60 cards (such as, for example, the 60-card decks featured in the four Archenemy game packs), but in theory you could also try this with 100-card EDH decks, 40-card Sealed Decks, or any other Magic decks. The player playing as the archenemy also needs a scheme deck made of at least 20 oversized scheme cards (also included in each game pack—note that some schemes appear in more than one game pack).

If each player has an Archenemy game pack, players can take turns using their scheme decks as the archenemy. If you want to customize the scheme deck, there are only two rules to follow: the deck must have at least 20 scheme cards and it can’t include more than two of any single card.

At the start of the game, each player shuffles his or her traditional deck. The archenemy also shuffles his or her scheme deck. The archenemy keeps the scheme deck face down and can’t look at it or rearrange the cards in it, just like his or her library.

Set Your Schemes in Motion

The archenemy’s turn plays out just like a turn in any Magic game, with one major difference. As the first main phase of the archenemy’s turn begins, that player sets a scheme in motion—yes, that is now an actual game action!—by turning the top card of the scheme deck face up. It might look something like this:

Most scheme cards, including this one, have abilities that trigger “When you set this scheme in motion.” As with other triggered abilities, archenemy and his or her opponents have the chance to respond to these abilities by casting spells or activating abilities.

Some schemes say ongoing on their type line, like this one:

An ongoing scheme remains face up until an effect causes it to be abandoned (put on the bottom of the scheme deck). Most ongoing schemes have a condition that causes them to be abandoned, although it will likely take some work on your opponents’ part. Note that ongoing schemes aren’t on the battlefield; they’re not permanents, and they can’t be destroyed.

Schemes that aren’t ongoing are simply put on the bottom of the scheme deck once all their abilities resolve or are countered (for having no legal targets, for example).

Some schemes may ask you to pay some amount of mana to reap their full benefits:

If a scheme’s triggered ability has one or more targets, as this one does, you’ll choose them when you put the triggered ability on the stack, as with any other triggered ability. You won’t choose how much mana to pay for X Mana, however, until the ability resolves. So your opponents will know what’s going to take damage, but they won’t know how much.

A few “hot seat” schemes let you put one of your opponents in a very awkward position by asking, “Self or others?”

Will your opponent take one for the team, choosing the option that puts less total hurt on the archenemy’s opponents? Or will he or she decide to let teammates take the heat, leaving his or her own position unchanged? A team player will look at this choice objectively, consult with his or her teammates, and choose the option that’s best for the team as a whole … but not everybody’s a team player!

If the opponent you choose doesn’t have any teammates left, he or she can choose “others” and suffer no ill effects at all. On the other hand, that player is facing you and your scheme deck all alone—not an enviable position!

Revealing a scheme as your first main phase begins is mandatory. Gravely intoning its name and flavor text and then cackling madly is optional.

Win, Lose, or Draw

The rest of the rules are pretty straightforward. The archenemy starts at 40 life, and each other player starts at 20 life. Each player draws an opening hand of seven cards, and players may then take mulligans as normal. In multiplayer games, the first time a player takes a mulligan, he or she draws a new hand of seven cards rather than six cards, then subsequent hands decrease by one card as normal.

The archenemy goes first and draws a card during his or her first draw step. (We told you they were malevolent!)

The archenemy’s opponents share a turn, in the same way that teammates do in Two-Headed Giant. You each untap your permanents during your team’s untap step, you each draw a card as your team’s draw step begins, and so on. Each teammate can play a land during the team’s main phase. Each teammate chooses which of his or her creatures will attack the archenemy or a planeswalker the archenemy controls, and then those creatures all attack at the same time. You can’t attack your teammates.

The team of players opposing the archenemy needs to work together to have any hope of defeating the archenemy’s quest for domination. But you can’t share cards or other resources. You can’t give your teammates mana to cast spells, for example.

If you or a member of your alliance is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice and leave the game, the rest of the team continues the fight. However, the usual rules for what happens when a player leaves a multiplayer game apply: All permanents and other cards that player owned leave the game, any spells or abilities controlled by that player cease to exist, and any effects that caused the player to gain control of permanents he or she doesn’t own end.

The archenemy wins the game by defeating each member of the opposing team. The opposing team wins by defeating the archenemy. Every player on that team wins the game, even players that left the game before its conclusion.

Remember, players lose the game when their life total is reduced to 0 or less, when they have to draw a card from an empty library, when they have ten or more poison counters, or when an effect says that player loses the game or an opponent wins the game. If the archenemy would lose the game at the same time as the last remaining member of the opposing team, the game is a draw.

In addition to the default “One vs. Many” Archenemy format, there’s a Free-for-All variant. The twist? Everybody gets a scheme deck! Maybe you’re all archenemies who have finished off those pesky heroes and are now fighting over the wreckage of a ruined world. Perhaps a few heroes have tapped into some source of terrible power and risen to fight you on equal terms. Regardless, this variant has the potential for some super-powered, crushingly brutal back-and-forths. And in this format, asking “Self or other?” isn’t putting someone on the hot seat—it’s doing them a favor!

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How to Teleport and Time Travel

Last night the key was revealed to me on how to Teleport and to an extent on how to travel through Time. Allow me to preface this with the following:

Back in 1991 a friend of mine and I were playing a game on the computer (possibly Bard’s Tale or Ultima 5) and our conversation wandered from “If a gate were to open in front of you that went to an alternate dimension or another world, could you leave everything you know behind and step through” to “is time travel possible?”. We probably pondered that possibility for a couple of hours before we came up with a plan.

What took place that afternoon was a letter. I wrote it to myself at about 6 PM. Shortly after it was written my friend and I went out to dinner with my mom. When we got back home we discovered something that blew my mind.

This is the letter:

“On the night of March 22 1991, will put a pencil, red in the top of my computer desk. I will go back in time and do this. I shall check the drawer at approximately 10:02 P.M. on that Friday night. I swear to do this if I ever Time-Travel.”

I’ve kept that letter with me ever since, folded and in my wallet.

When we arrived home from dinner we looked at about 10 PM in that computer desk drawer and yes, there was a red pencil in there. I will be honest in saying I do not ever recall having placed that pencil in there prior to my writing that letter (which was done in ink).

Later that night my friend and I agreed that we would unravel the mystery to time travel. I was to go to school to learn physics and quantum mechanics while he was to learn to become a pilot. The theory was that it had to be a fast moving machine (like the DeLorian in Back to the Future) and we figured a plane would be about as fast as we would need.

Sadly I never learned anything beyond Freshman Physics and he never became a pilot.

However, after last night there has been a renewal of hope and new insight to how to Travel through Time.

Imagine this scenario, you are being chased by someone and all you know is that you must get away. You are chased down into a field and come to a wall made of brick. There is no foothold with which to climb over and the person chasing you is closing in fast. To get away is simple. Teleport through the wall to the other side.

Teleport through the wall? How the hell am I supposed to do that? This is how:

Travel back in time to when the wall was not there then simply move past where the wall will be, then travel back to your “present”. You will have then successfully teleported beyond the wall. However, the trick then is How do you Time Travel.

Sadly I have yet to unlock that mystery. However, with this new key and insight that I found myself face to face with last night I discovered something.

Where I had previously theorized that it would require a machine or tool to Time Travel, I discovered that it does not! Perhaps it is simply an opening in the mind that will allow for this stepping into the past or future and back again. The events that took place last night (actually it was at about 1 in the morning) opened my mind to an entirely new theory.

What were the events you ask? Woof, you’d probably not believe me if I told you..

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Dead Set review – sometimes you gotta leave Hollywood

Sometimes you gotta leave Hollywood behind.

Recently you will notice that most of my movie reviews have had me going off on how inadequate Hollywood has become. I’ve had this one film sitting on my self for a good while now and tonight I finally watched it. I am talking about is the TV mini-series written by Charlie Brooker called Dead Set.

Based on a fictional set of Big Brother taking place in the United Kingdom, Dead Set pushes the envelop well beyond anything that American audiences could deal with on network television. I’d wager good money that you would be hard pressed to find even a cable channel willing to air anything like this without toning down the gore and violence. Perhaps on HBO or Cinemax.

I honestly have nothing bad to say about this film (I’ll call it a film even though it was originally aired over a 5 day period as a TV mini-series).

We begin with the setup; we are behind the scenes of a Big Brother episode. It’s an eviction night and the producer, Patrick (Andy Nyman), is as about as rude as they come. Sure he has pressure, but you learn to dislike him from the get-go. Kelly (Jamie Winstone), is the gopher – go for this, go for that, get coffee, run some copies, etc. You immediately like her (she is also the one in the photo above).

Okay, so the pressure is on, and one of the contestants is evicted. There is a threat of a newscast preempting the show and that of course is the queue for zombies to show up.

What follows is a myriad of fast moving filming, (I will warn you that there is a lot of camera shaking, something I don’t mind as I feel it gives it a little more.. ‘you are really here with us’ type of feeling – but I can see where some would not like it and perhaps get a bit motion sick) general chaos, and bloody mayhem.

Listen, these are Zombie we are dealing with, not people who peddle flowers. There is blood. There is violence. There are smashed skulls, ripped flesh, spilled entrails, and loads of chopped bodies. When I say it’s gory, I mean it. This guy is not Rated G. It’s Rated R all the way.

The storyline is simply okay, it’s not original, but it’s presented in a very zombie-fan-fun way. What I mean by that is, it’s about people trapped in a location and are held within because of well, zombies.

Now for the extra zombie-fan-fun part. Although the film probably has nothing to do with it, I can certainly imagine that this takes place in the same time frame and universe that the Snyder version of Dawn of the Dead remake took place. Even fits in perfectly with the 28 Days Later time frame. Again, I’m not saying that’s what Dead Set is, it’s not. I’m just saying that in my view it is easy to imagine them all taking place at the same time.

All in all, grab a copy and follow the instructions; watch it in wide-screen and in a darkened room. If you are a zombie fan, this is a MUST SEE.

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Eldrazi Fat Pack Pull

The new tradition:  Get a Fat Pack of the newest set to be released for Magic the Gathering and post it’s contents.  It just so happens that today, April 23rd, 2010 is the Official Release Date for Rise of the Eldrazi!

Seriously, these are great buys!  In my last Fat Pack Pull from WorldWake, I feel I got an above average pull.  On this Eldrazi Fat Pack pull, I feel it too was an above average pull, but only slightly. 

Okay, in the Fat Pack you get the traditional stuff; a D20 (they call it a spindown life counter), 40 card pack of land, 8 boosters, chapter insert of a book, Players Guide (my favorite because it shows full color spoilers of the cards), the wrap around art-sleeve, and the holding box itself.

What’d you get?

 I got:

24 Uncommons:
1 Blue
4 Red
4 Green
4 Black
4 Artifact
4 White
3 Eldrazi

2 Foils:

  • 1 Foil Null Champion
  • 1 Foil Totem-Guide Hartebeest
  • 5 Rares:

  • 1 Lightmine Field
  • 1 Hedron-Field Purists
  • 1 Consuming Vapors
  • 1 Gigantomancer
  • 3 Mythic Rares:

  • 1 Lighthouse Chronologist
  • 1 Vengevine
  • 1 Khalni Hydra

    Yeah, with getting 3 Mythic Rares, I’d say this was an above average pull.  Not as spectacular as my WorldWake Fat Pack Pull, but still….  Now to figure out how to incorporate some of these Eldrazi cards into some existing decks…

    1,883 total views, 1 views today

    Wii and Netflix

    The Wii console can now stream Netflix movies via it’s on demand video streaming service. A channel gets set up on your Wii (via a special Netflix – Wii disc) that will allow you to contact the Netflix servers. You will be able to rewind, pause, fast forward, etc as you can on the other streaming platforms.

    You do have to have an internet connection.  You do have to have a Netflix subscription.  It does not affect the number of DVD’s you get by snail mail.

    5,169 total views, 2 views today

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