Tom Gorner - Hades: King Of Olympus
As many of you may already be aware, Lorcana has recently stormed into the TCG world, captivating enthusiasts far and wide. Its infusion of nostalgic themes, straightforward accessibility, and delightfully engaging gameplay has made it quite the sensation, drawing seasoned TCG players and newcomers alike into its spellbinding fold.
Of course, part of the fun of collecting and playing is ripping booster packs and I was lucky enough to have an excellent pull from a pack I won at my local Lorcana tournament. The enchanted version of Hades: King Of Olympus is a stunning enchanted card and one of my favourites from the 12 cards available in enchanted format. An 8 cost, non-inkable card with 6 strength and 7 willpower and the ability to shift and gaining an additional lore for each villain you have in play when you choose to quest. It certainly is an appealing card if you are running amber and with the ability to shift for 6 ink, it makes it somewhat more of an attractive addition to any amber deck.
That aside, this card is my pull of the month due in part to its stunning artwork. Juan Diego Leon has done an excellent job in creating an image that really pops from the card, the outreaching hand making Hades appear somewhat more sinister. The rarity of the card has also led me to have it graded, to protect the card itself but also to allow me to display the card without risk of it degrading over time. The beauty of such enchanted cards is they are simply reimagined from the standard cards available in the set, so there is no need to keep them in a ‘playable’ condition since you can use the standard variant for play.
I am extremely excited to see what Rise of the Floodborn has to offer to the Lorcana universe and the teasers so far have been excellent! I would strongly recommend Lorcana to anyone who is eager to dip their toes into the world of TCGs as it is easy to learn and play, fun to collect, and the communities and player bases being forged across the globe are friendly, welcoming and eager to get new players into the hobby!
Melissa King - Virtue Of Loyalty
October was an incredible month for the Magic The Gathering community, as we fell head-first into the mystical plane of Eldraine. Wilds of Eldraine has been an incredible set, bringing the adventure mechanic back into the game and reprinting some absolute powerhouse cards, such as Doubling Season, Rhystic Study and Smothering Tithe.
Normally, I play commander (EDH), but I love indulging in pre-release and draft events when a new set drops. Wilds of Eldraine has been so much fun to draft with its diversity of cards and new mechanics, making it so difficult to pick a single “Pull of the Month” for this set! My chosen card is one which has been a bomb for me in both pre-release and draft (winning me games when it hit the battlefield!) and a card which I can now also use in my commander decks.
The Virtue cards are powerful, mythic rare enchantments with adventures, meaning they can be cast at instant or sorcery speed for low cost, and then re-cast later from exile for their full cost. Whilst I wasn’t lucky enough to pack the black Virtue, the one I did pull really put in the work for me in my games.
Virtue of Loyalty is a 5 CMC (3 colourless and 2 white) enchantment which pumps your board by giving your creatures a +1/+1 counter and letting you untap them at the beginning of your end step. The instant speed adventure creates a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance for 2 CMC (1 colourless and 1 white). Whilst the adventure doesn’t really provide you with much more than a blocker, the enchantment really is worth the cost. The value of being able to make your creatures bigger and untap them on your end step gives you an intimidating presence when you pass the turn, especially if you’ve gone wide and built up an amazing board state! Ok, so maybe this would have been better if the buff didn’t happen after combat, but surely that would just be broken, right?!
Virtue of Loyalty was definitely my Pull of the Month, winning me a number of games in pre-release and draft. I love it so much that it has gone straight into my Cadira, Caller of the Small commander deck, as Cadira is built around creating tonnes of 1/1 white rabbit tokens and flooding the board with creatures. Go forth and conquer, my beautiful swarm of bunnies!
Jay Davies - Mew EX Gold Secret Rare
Choosing the best pull has been a tricky one, especially as I’ve been fortunate enough to acquire some very sought-after cards, including 3 Erika’s Invitation Secret Art Rares and 2 Giovanni’s Charisma Secret Art Rares from 151, and a handful of beautiful Galarian Gallery cards from Crown Zenith.
I was also lucky enough to grab a ‘Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat’ ahead of the scalpers, a promotional card showing everyone’s favourite Electric Mouse Pokemon drawn in the style of Van Gough. Sadly though, as it was a promotional card and not a genuine pull my conscience wouldn’t let me declare it as my Pick of the Month.
In the end, I had no choice but to go with this gorgeous Mew EX Gold Secret Rare. The Ultra-Premium Collection comes with a solid metal version of this card, and I didn’t think the real deal would be able to top it, but it does.
Great foiling, and it looks to be cut perfectly. It might not be the most valuable, or most sought-after card in the set, but so far, it’s one of my favourites.
Imogen Rogers - Monkey.D.Luffy, Kingdoms Of Intrigue
I just this month got into the One Piece TCG, and when I say, “got into”, I’m now the owner of 5 of the starter decks and probably a whole box worth of packs. Amongst those I gravitated towards the purple and blue cards, and yet I’d say the black Monkey.D.Luffy, MDL, is the best card I’ve pulled for any game this month. Why?
In the One Piece TCG black, is the most defensive colour. Its entire strategy is turtling until you can bring out a massive threat and swing for game which isn’t a strategy I’m normally a fan of, yet this one card has me looking into making a black deck. The card carries a hefty 7 cost, but does everything you want from a big beefy black card. It can swing for game with a base strength of 7000 and unlike most other cards MDL can attack any character, allowing it to act as a scalpel that cuts through the problematic elements in an opponent’s defences. “Oh, so it’s one of those big swingers you said black has for closing out games?” yes, but actually no. MDL also has a great defensive option by returning 7 cards to you deck from the trash (One Piece’s graveyard equivalent) you can effectively attack with MDL a second time in a turn, at the cost that he can’t attack at all the next turn. On paper this sounds purely offensive, except that normally you can only target the cards that have attacked in the previous turn, meaning this ability gives your opponent the wonderful conundrum of whether to try and take out MDL, or risk ignoring him and getting hit again, twice, in two turns.
I do love a card the plays mind games.
Rob Wright - Roaring Moon, Paradox Rift
Pokemon 151 is but a memory and Paradox Rift is just peeking over the horizon – good thing too, because those pulls from 151 were not so good, but the PR on PR is nuthin’ but rare – translate: the pulls are a lot better.
I took my usual over-excitable self (as opposed to the miserable-pessimist self) to my FLGS for the Paradox Rift pre-release and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The Build and Battle box gave me the Minum Art Rare and the Tera Tsareena full-art, both of which are drop-dead gorgeous, then in my prize packs I managed to pull the Skeledirge and Roaring Moon ex – CRACKED, BRO! Sorry, like I said, over-excitable self. So, what to go with – beauty or the beast?
I have decided to go with the beast – Roaring Moon, and what an absolute beast it is! It is one of the new Ancient Pokemon (++OXYMORON ALERT++), which, like Tera Pokemon, can be a different type but are also different versions of more familiar Pokemon. Roaring Moon is a pre-historic version of Salamence, a Pokemon that I have always thought doesn’t quite get the card it deserves, and is a Dark, not Dragon, type.
It is a Basic Pokemon with 230 HP and has two attacks, both of which cost two dark and one colourless energy. The second attack does 100 damage, plus an extra 120 damage if a stadium is discarded from play. This in itself knocks out a whole load of V’s and ex’s, but it is the first attack that is truly ridiculous – it knocks out any Pokemon, but does 200 damage to itself. And because it is an Ancient and Dark, it has access to a whole host of cards to charge this up quick-smart and UNLEASH. Yeah, it’s The Beast, with a capital BEAST.