Ten Magic the Gathering pieces of equipment I would use if I were an adventurer

If I were an adventurer, however, I would take different items than if I were a wizard.  All of these items are equipment cards from Magic the Gathering.
Everything but the
kitchen sink.
Every adventurer needs adventuring gear.  you know the stuff.  Ten provisions, a waterskin, rope, a mirror (how many times do they come in useful?), a warm cloak and a bag of gold in order to see them through their journey.  

Adventurers also need sturdy and adaptable clothes to see them through their long overland travels.  If they are able to go through the lesser known harder trails, they will be able to avoid hostile encounters.

Bob was prepared for
power cuts.
If you’re not trading these with gnomes for dragon artefacts, a good telescope will show you that you are heading in the right direction or give you plenty of warning that something is approaching.

As an adventurer, you will explore many dark places that may be infested with undead.  The bright light of your blazing torch will keep them at bay.  If you get desperate, you can fling it at an opponent in an attempt to kill them.

Adventurers always need to scale things and a grappling hook can help them do that.  They can also use it as an extra weapon in order to ensnare and wound opponents.
Every warrior hopes for a mighty sword and you don’t get much mightier than this.  Plus what is cooler than attacking someone with fire and ice at the same time?

You will need a bow for hunting or in order to inflict damage on enemies from a long distance.  

This is a dagger that every adventurer hopes for.  If it is thrown it will never miss.  Chadda Darkmane definitely found a similar dagger useful in his adventures.  
Comes with fairy lights.
Every adventurer appreciates good armour and you don’t get much better than darksteel.  

Finally, adventurers always have to sneak around places and a cloak of invisibility is just what they need.  

There we go.  So if we take me as a 0/1 Creature – human, after equipping myself with all those goodies, I am now a 4/4 indestructable, unblockable creature with double strike and shroud.  In addition, I can tap to deal 1 damage to a creature or player, unnattach the heartseeker to kill a creature, or sacrifice my torch to deal 2 damage to a creature or player.

When I attack, I have the chance of finding and new land and I can select a creature that can block me, or, if I decide to not be blocked, I can draw a card and deal 2 damage to target creature or player, putting my opponent on a 2 turn clock (4 first strike damage, 4 regular damage, 2 damage from the Sword of Fire and Ice).  Nice.  I can’t be killed by anything other than sacrifice effects or non targeted effects that remove me from the game.

What equipment would you like to use?


Twelve forces of destruction inspired by Magic the Gathering

Here re twelve absolutely unstoppable monsters (around Tarrasque level) that would cause worldwide devastation if a band of valiant heroes do not stop them in time.  Usually, these forces of nature are locked away and the heroes may be able to keep the door of their prison closed or sometimes, they may have to come up with another way of stopping the creature (like there are ways of stopping the Tarrasque).  However, as H.P. Lovecraft, Peter Davill-Evans and Dave Morris has shown us, entities this powerful cannot be destroyed for good.

Hellkite Overlord

Even smaller dragons cause havoc in the lands of humans, but this one really takes the biscuit.  It fits the criteria of dragons – flying and firebreathing but it is also larger than most dragons and it can attack as soon as it is summoned, trampling anything in its path.  If by some miracle, it is dealt lethal damage, if it has access to some green mana, the mana of nature, it can regenerate itself so it will start the whole cycle of destruction again.

Hydra Omnivore

Just as big as the Hellkite Overlord and capable of damaging any number of opponents with its multitude of heads.  This monster not only causes massive damage.  It causes massive damage to everyone at once so even ganging up on it isn’t that effective.  Good luck.

Stormtide Leviathan

This creature is so big that it displaces enough water to flood the rest of the lands.  It also surrounds you with plenty of water so that creatures who cannot traverse it or fly over it cannot attack you.  what is more, it is impossible to defend against it if you are on an island so it will be coming to swallow you up soon.


This is the beast of beasts.  It is huge and can attack and summon another beast just like it in the same turn.  You aren’t just dealing with one massive force of nature – you are dealing with a steady stream of monsters all just as hard to kill and there will be no end to the assault unless you kill the original Godsire.

Avatar of Slaughter

This is a huge nasty creature, but the death and destruction it will cause is nothing compared to the damage caused by the rage it incites. It makes everyone simultaneously bloodthirstry and deadly and they will not stop until they are dead or all of their enemies are.  This creature can start a huge world wide bloodbath.  Beware its release.


This creature is the physical manifestation of the darkest thoughts of twisted wizards. Its presence is enough to wipe your mind of all of its spells and more through the sheer terror of its appearance.  Left mentally defenceless, this nightmare will crush you like a bug.

Gaea’s Revenge

The world itself is angry and it is now fighting back.  Nature herself has assembled an elemental to destroy anything that is not like itself and it will not stop until the artifice and corruption that blights it has been layed low.  Cheap tricks and dark magic are not going to stop this elemental.

Demon of Death’s Gate

Mighty demons require mighty sacrifices.  You can summon this demon with mana or you can summon it with blood.  Wither way, it will crush your enemies.

Vengeful Archon

As well as being a powerful creature, this archon will definitely avenge you by reflecting any hostile magic against its perpetrator.

Blightsteel Colossus

It’s huge.  It can’t be destroyed and it will kill you with its corrupting disease.  Only a sick and twisted world could come up with such a sick and twisted artefact.

Dark Depths

Marit Lage is imprisoned under the ice.  If it is released, its 20/20 flying indestructable form will make short work of even the most powerful planeswalker.
Whatever you do, make sure that the ice stays thick.

Emrakul, The Aons Torn

Finally, we have a huge beast that goes further than the previous eleven.  They were only content to destroy a world.  This thing destroys worlds.  It is almost unstoppable.  It is huge.  It flies.  It can manipulate time so that it seems to move twice as fast and every time it attacks, it devours creatures or even lands.  Finally, it will never truly die.  If the Eldrazi come for your plane, you find a way to get off that plane.  Or you try to imprison them.  or you get devoured.

Only one of these creatures is enough to overturn the world, but they can do so in many different ways.

Until next week…

Magic the Gathering Spells I would like to know if I were a wizard

If I were a fantasy wizard, I would like to know these ten spells above all others.  They will be extremely helpful in my magical adventures.

Ancestral Recall

First of all, I would use this spell to reveal to me the knowledge of the past.  With this spell, I could expand my magical power.

Lightning Bolt

Of course, I will come across some dangerous creatures so I will need this spell to make short work of them.


And this spell is just in case I come across several dangerous creatures at once, so I can take out several of them.


Some creatures are not dangerous, just annoying.  I will use this spell to send them back from whence they came so that I do not have to suffer their presence.

Pay no Head

If I come across a rival mage who has their own lightning bolts then this spell will protect me from them.


And this handy spell will protect me from less damaging but possibly more insidious spells.


Like this one.  If I come across a rival mage, then I might want to be pro active in removing dangerous spells from their mind.  I may also want to remove people’s memories of me in case I want to infiltrate a castle.

Desert Twister

If I just want something destroyed, I could harness this force of nature to crush anything I want.


Invisibility is handy in many situations. Hiding, sneaking, escaping.  This is a handy utility spell that can get me out of all kinds of sticky situations.


Sometimes travelling is a wonderful experience where you get to see magnificent panoramas.  Sometimes, it’s just a tedious chore and this is why teleportation is something that every self respecting wizard should know how to do.

So there we go.  What spells would you like to know to get you through your adventures?

Twelve Magic the Gathering legends I would like on my side when trouble starts brewing

Previosuly, I wrote a post on ten adventurers based on Magic the Gathering cards I would take with me to a dungeon.  However, those adventurers were just starting out.  They showed promise and the ones that made it would rise to greatness, but they were pretty straightforward and low key.  In this post, I present twelve (well, actually fourteen) heroes, heroines and unspecifieds of legend who I would like to see band together to form an unstoppable force in crushing their enemies.

Arcum Dagsson

This master of invention is never short on ideas on a good artefact to build that will get you out of a tight spot. Need a large axe?  He’s on it.  What about a crystal ball or a planar portal?  He can do it all as long as you provide the materials.  His versatility makes him a great asset to your band.

Captain Sisay

While Arcum can provide an infinite number of artefacts, Sisay can recruit an infinite number of great legends to fight at your side.  She is a born leader and people flock to her banner.  If you’re stuck in some far flung part of the world, she could probably find someone to get you out of it.

Ertai, Wizard Adept

Yes he’s arrogant.  Yes he can be a pain, but you’d rather have him on your side being snarky than fighting against you and countering every spell you throw at him.  No wizard can defeat him in a duel and this will cause a lot more frustration and anger than a few sarcastic comments.  Wizards of the Coast has noticed that the counter every spell strategy actually does frustrate players and so they have made counterspells weaker over the years.  There’s nothing worse than having a bunch of cool spells that you can’t use.

Kahmal, Pit Fighter

Now this is a warrior mage.  He’s not shy to provide a strong arm or a blast of flame to deal with any problem you may have.  This guy packs a huge punch, both physically and magically.


Two heads are better than one as they say.  No one will take the Stangg twins by surprise as they will always be there to watch each other’s backs.  Togther, they make a fearsome team in the battle against your enemies.


Teferi is an ex-planeswalker so as well as thousands of years of knowledge, he also has his time manipulating powers and phasing to fall back on.  He is basically a time lord and who wouldn’t want a time lord in their party?

Tolsimir Wolfblood

This elf is all about the group.  He inspires those who share his philosophy and he can call a wolf to be his companion.  He is the perfect ally to go into battle with.

Edric, Spymaster of Trest

It’s always good to have information about where you’re going or who you’re facing and this guy will probably know about it.  Of course, he is a spy, so he’s probably spying on you too, but no legendary saga would be complete without a bit of treachery.

Squee, Goblin Nabob

Every band of heroes needs an annoying mascot for comic relief.  This is a good one as he can’t actually die.  Which may prove handy, like it does for Captain Scarlet.

Arcanis the Omnipotent

Mystery is always good for a story.  This fellow(?) does not even have a creature type other than wizard.  Some say that he is the last survivor from the wizard school of Tolaria.  Whatever he is, he can summon many spells into his memory and also vanish into thin air at a pinch.

Mirri, Cat Warrior

When you’re stuck in the wilds, Mirri is your best cat warrior to lead you through the forests and protect you from the beasts.  She strikes first and is always vigilant.

Darien, King of Kjeldor

This is the king that united several kingdoms.  When trouble’s about he can raise an army to protect you all.

Karn, Silver Golem

Karn was first created as silver was the only material that could travel through the time portal.  He is also a pacifist after he accidentally took a life.  This gentle giant can do all the things that living things cannot.  He can also bring life to other artefacts for a short time.

Toshiro Umezawa

Every band of heroes also needs an anti hero.  In Magic the Gathering, being black does not necessarily make you evil as this guy proved.  He saved the plane of kamigawa from a destructive war between spirits and mortals started by a white aligned human.  Of course, being black meant that he also made a sure a little profit came his way too, but what’s the use in saving worlds if you can’t have a few perks?  Still, they didn’t last long.  He ended up on another plane and blind, but you can’t have everything.

So there are the legends I would like in my band.  They would also make interesting gamebook protagonists as there’s no reason why you should just be some nameless warrior.  It’s always good to inject a bit of personality into your protagonist and writing in the second person should not stop that happening.  There’s plenty of scope in these characters (in fact, has there ever been a gamebook where you play a construct or a golem?) and there’s plenty of scope remaining with the other Magic legends and stories.

Until next week…

Ten mooks you will come across in gamebooks

A mook and an elite mook.

The life of an adventurer is a dangerous one.  When you are sent on a quest to slay an evil lord or you want to infiltrate a sorcerer’s dungeon to steal their treasure or if you are just travelling the countryside, you are likely to come across a whole variety of dangerous creatures.  These adversaries pose a physical threat and may even be extremely skilled and tough but they don’t have many tricks up their sleeves beyond a straightforward assault and maybe an ambush.  These creatures are known as mooks and it seems that every self respecting villain has employed a horde of them.  Most of the time, you should be able to defeat them without trouble unless they appear in large numbers or you have been
weakened or if you face a more powerful mook.

Here are ten common mooks that you would encounter in most fantasy settings.


Goblins and their bigger versions, orcs generally infest a lot of Titan and they are usually enslaved into service by some evil sorcerer.  They are not very bright and alert and you can probably sneak past them or scare them away.  A single goblin should be no threat to anyone with even basic combat training.  The danger is being attacked by a horde of goblins.


Giants, along with trolls and ogres are an elite mook version of goblins.  Some of them may not want to kill you – merely intimidate you into handing over your money.  Some of them may prefer a wrestling contest, but most of them will prefer to bash your brains in.  If you are unlucky, you may come across an ogre with enough intelligence to really capitalise on all of that corruption and malice inside of it.  Fortunately, most of them just want to kill and eat you.

In times of war, many people are conscripted into the army.  You may be lucky and be facing some conscripted peasant with a makeshift spear or you may be facing a disciplined and trained fighter.  Soldiers are their most dangerous when they are highly trained and disciplined and are directed by an intelligent and daring commander.  Feoir manages to raise a powerful army backed up by a crazy dragon which requires you to pull all of the disparate threads of the Isles of the Dawn together at the last minute.  It is only through your own cunning tactics that you win.


On of the staple undead soldiers for necromancers, zombies are shambling rotting corpses that you can easily outrun.  They are most dangerous when they are in a large group and they all start shuffling towards you, arms outstretched, moaning for your brain.  If this is happening, you need to make sure that you have an escape route.

Small animals
These creatures include rats, insects, wolves and bears.  These creatures are generally not in the service of some evil lord – they just want some dinner.  You can probably keep them at bay with fire or if you wound them enough.  Most animals will not fight to the death.  Be careful when outdoors.  They could strike at any time in the wilds.

Large animals
The elite mook version of your bog standard animal, these creatures are extremely strong, quick and have great senses in order to track you down and eat you.  They may have tough hides and sharp teeth.


Most normal plants will do nothing other than provide a physical barrier to your path when you are outdoors. You may also be unlucky enough to get poisoned if you eat or come into contact with a part of a plant but that is rarely going to be fatal.  Some plants, however, can grab you with tendrils and squeeze the life out of you or release deadly poison.  There are also plants with sentience out there, who will get very angry if you are destroying their habitat.


Elves are intelligent combatants who may have magic to back them up.  In some worlds, they may be on the side of good, but in some worlds, they may just want to be left alone and they may let you know that with a few well placed arrows.  Don’t be fooled if they don’t hit you the first time.  They were a warning.  The next ones definitely will.  Their dark versions will be deadly to all intruders.

Faerie folk

Be careful if you come across these vicious and capricious creatures.  They do not prefer a full frontal assault but may sneak into your camp and steal your treasures, lead you through dangerous marshes, ambush you and inflict some pain upon you before vanishing into the undergrowth or just disrupting your magic.  These creatures are highly unpredictable and if you come across them, you should run a mile.

Constructs/animated objects

These creatures involve golems or normal objects that can fly around and buffet you.  They generally have low intelligence and their main tasks are guard duty.  These constructs may have an element of surprise if they are just normal objects that can fly or of they are disguised as statues or suits of armour.  Be careful.  Depending on their material, constructs may be impervious to certain types of weapons or to magic.

If you are an adventurer, good luck when you face these monsters.  You probably will face all of them at some point.  And if you are an evil sorcerer, good luck in stocking up on your mooks.  However, don’t forget to have some more dangerous challenges for all of those pesky adventurers out there.

Magic the Gathering Characters – Ice Age

Hi all!  Here is a Christmasy (well, snowy, at least)  post for you which I actually wrote back in 2011, but shelved because I did Christmas themed gamebooks in 2011 and took my one and only opportunity to cover the Mayan apocalypse in 2012 (wow.  Considering we had an apocalypse a year ago, things are going pretty well).  Don’t forget to check out Tin Man Games’ 12 Days of Gamebooks at their blog.  They have opened door 11 today!

There are plenty of interesting characters in the multiverse of Magic the Gathering. My only problem is that they always get killed off far too quickly and easily.  However, there are a lot of interesting characters which can be used in gamebooks.  I will look at two from the Ice Age, Alliances and Coldsnap sets.

They are the friendly enemy double act of Arcum Dagsson and Sorine Relicbane.

The world they live in is now covered in a permanent winter bought on by a huge explosion caused by Urza at the end of the Brother’s war.  

The war had been fought between Urza and his brother Mishra with artifacts inspired by the designs of a lost race known as the Thran.  Urza caused a huge explosion (the equivalent of several nuclear warheads) in a battle between his army and his brother’s army.  Just before he caused it, he discovered that the Mishra he was fighting was not actually Mishra, but a robot replacement from the evil machine hell known as Phyrexia.

Some of these Phyrexian relics have been found in the Ice age and Arcum Dagsson, an artificer of the country of Soldev really wants to use them to make his own artefacts in order to help his land, which, like most civilisations is beset from the harsh weather and cruel monsters.  However, Relicbane a Soldevi heretic (because he hates machines), fearful of the disaster of the Brother’s war and the horrors from Phyrexia want all of these artefacts to be destroyed.  They both have valid points of view.  For example, Dagsson has several useful items:

—Arcum Dagsson, Soldevi Machinist  

But Relicbane is fearful of another war with machines which may have even worse consequences than a plane wide ice age.

He thinks that there is a cult which wants to open a portal to Phyrexia and let its horrors loose on their plane, destroying all life.

At one point, Dagsson has to defend himself in a tribunal and the debate between the two is written in the flavour text on many Magic cards.  Dagsson demonstrates several artefacts that can be helpful towards the people of Soldev.

Take this item, for instance. How would it destroy us, Relicbane?” —Arcum Dagsson, Soldevi Machinist

However, Relicbane counters by pointing out some of the more dangerous and twisted artefacts.

Dagsson does acknowledge that some artefacts are dangerous and that they have been misused.
However, Dagsson can’t stop focusing on all the secrets and wonders that his artefacts have uncovered.

He also can’t see past his ambition of the power of humans combined with machines.

The trouble is that both men refuse to compromise.  Dagsson loves machines to the point where he has forgotten that the ice age that he is living in was caused by them.

In the end, it is revealed that there is a secret cult which wants to open a portal to Phyrexia and they use Dagsson’s steam beasts as part of their plan.  Dagsson is mortified.  

“Nothing has ever broken my heart so much as this—the betrayal of Soldev by my beloved machines”Arcum Dagsson, Soldevi Machinist

They cause widespread devestation, but Relicbane gets no joy from seeing this happen.  They are both on the same side after all and they both wanted the best for their people.  

The tragedy from this story is that both mens’ views were too far and they refused to compromise.  Relicbane wanted all artefacts destroyed, but Dagsson had demonstrated that some of them were harmless and his own creations such as his sleigh and the whalebone glider would not be corrupted by the influence of Phyrexia.  
Dagsson, however, refused to see that Phyrexian machines are evil and want to destroy all life.  He still wanted to replicate them despite living in an ice age caused by a
war between artefacts, half of them Phyrexian.

I like the way the artist used the
victim’s perspective on this card..

Why I like this story

This conflict is different to most of the conflicts in gamebooks and in Magic the Gathering in that both of the opponents want the best for Soldev, but they have different opinions on what is best.  No blood is spilt between them and I feel that Relicbane takes no joy in taking this stance.  He would love Soldev to thrive but he thinks that any machines would lead to its destruction.  His mistake is taking a too extreme stance against artefacts.  It is clear that those not of Phyrexian origin are purely beneficial and so by demanding that all artefacts should be destroyed, he alienates any sign of credibility and deserves having his claims being called hysterical.

Dagssson can see that improper use of machines is dangerous but he goes too far and he is blinded by his passion for artifice and so he goes too far.  His mistake is delving into Phyrexian lore.  If he had stuck with making things himself, then he would have made some great harmless artefacts.  Steambeasts, however, were able to be controlled by the Phyrexian cult and so they were turned upon Soldev.

Its a complicated story that goes beyond the prevalent and simple ‘kill the sorcerer’ plot and using an antagonist with the same goals but a different approach would add more depth to a gamebook and more possibilities with the hero’s response.

Turning Titan characters into magic the gathering cards

I’ve found an online Magic the Gathering card creator and with it, I will make Magic the Gathering cards of six famous Titan wizards – the Star Pupils and the Demonic Three.

The Healer

This character’s card has pretty obvious abilities.  As a healer, it prevents damage.  He can also remove diseases in the form of -1/-1 counters.  However, his disease prevents him from actively taking part in combat.


The old wizard has a few tricks up his sleeve.  As we know from Forest of Doom, he can turn you into a frog.  He also creates small magical trinkets to sell to adventurers to help them in their quests or he may teach them spells.  This is represented by his +1/+1 counter ability.


Nicodemus does not like to be bothered which is why he goes away if you do not pay his upkeep cost and why he has shroud.  Nicodemus is a retired badass wizard who now hands out helpful (usually) advice to adventurers now which is why you can draw two extra cards at the beginning of your draw step but then you have to discard one as sometimes he gets things wrong.

Balthus Dire

Using my conversion table, Balthus should have a power of 4 and a toughness of 6.  Balthus makes tokens as he is rasing an army to invade the Vale of the Willow.  His collection of dangerous spells is represented by his damage ability.


The Warlock of Firetop Mountain can come back to life if he is killed as long as he has body parts to bring him back.  He is also able to gain control of many creatures and command them to guard his mountain or conquer Allansia.

Zharradon Marr

Marr’s experiments in Marrangha where he uses the parts of captured creatures in an attempt to create the ultimate weapon.  This is why he can destroy creatures.  Also, if he puts more effort into his magic, he can create better beasts.

What other characters could we make into Magic cards?