Coming to a Theater Near You…

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Know what would make an awesome movie? Knights vs. Dragons. In fact, that's the basis of many, many movies. Know what's a terrible idea for a Duel Deck? Knights vs. Dragons.

Yes, many people were excited when they heard the announcement. Knights? Dragons? #winning. What we all seemed to forgot, however, is how awful these decks would actually work in principle.

You see, the fundamental flaw with this Duel Deck is that it is not Knights vs. Dragons; that's not how the game of Magic works. The game is still me versus you, except I'm playing a Knight deck and you're playing an awful Dragon deck. What this product really translates as is Two Drops vs. Eight Drops. Suddenly it seems like a much worse idea.

I understand that there are things to help the dragon deck along. There are a couple mana ramp cards as well as a lot of burn. A lot of burn. Mostly bad burn, but still a lot. In fact, the deck has almost as much burn as it does Dragons (And the only reason it's not a tie is because they cheated and put a creature with changeling in). The deck also has more spells than creatures, which doesn't seem to really fit for a Dragon themed deck.

What's even worse about the Dragon deck are the Dragons they chose. Of the ten Dragons, one is a changeling which doesn't even count, one is a crappy, non-flying artifact that had to be errata'ed to be a Dragon, two of them are both very recent and terrible (Mordant Dragon? Do you have any idea how many of those pieces of crap I already own? Even if you don't have lots of them, if you had any hopes of opening a Jace, the Mind Sculptor in a pack then chances are you own your fair share) and four of them were in From the Vault: Dragons. That just leaves Kilnmouth Dragon which is kinda cool, and Shivan Hellkite which we just had in Tenth Edition.

The only possible draws on the dragon portion of this product are Bogardan Hellkite and Thunder Dragon, except those were both already in From the Vault: Dragons, so they're not exciting anymore. At all.

Clearly I have a lot of hatred towards the Dragon deck, but that doesn't mean that the Knight deck isn't without its faults as well. As a whole, the deck is pretty much in line with what you'd expect, which is fine. There's one thing that I can't forgive however: mythic rare Knight of the Reliquary. As much as I'm sure everyone appreciates getting foil Knight of the Reliquary's handed to them, I can't forgive them for putting a mythic rarity symbol on it. In fact, I can only describe how I feel about it using words that my editor won't let me use. [Editor's Note: Darn straight.]

Why does this piss me off so much? After all, they've done it before. However, when they did it before, it was on cards that were printed before mythic rarity even existed. Maybe they would have been mythic rares, given the chance! The thing is, Knight of the Reliquary had that chance. It had that chance, and it said "no thanks, I'm just a rare, guys." I understand that there aren't really any mythic rare Knights that they could have used for this deck and that the foil Knight of the Reliquary would help sell it, but maybe the fact that there aren't any mythic rares for them to choose should have been a good signal that this wasn't their best idea.

In conclusion, I'm really glad that we were able to call our distributors as soon as the decklists came out and drastically cut our numbers on this embarrassment of a product. At the time of writing this we have sold exactly one of these, and I'm getting ready to lock the doors in a few minutes. Wizards, stick to planeswalker themed Duel Decks. They make more sense, they sell better (Phyrexia vs. the Coalition was almost as much of a dog as the all foil Sliver decks!), and you'll never have people complaining that the foils aren't really mythic rares.

Dr Jeebus

Dr. Jeebus is the most electrifying man in intellectual sports entertainment. He has been playing all forms of Magic since early 1995, and was recently voted the angriest Magic personality on Twitter. Though Jeebus does not have the time or money to go pro, but he's still really good and understands both the intricacies of play and of design, so you should listen to him. His notable accomplishments include beating a pro player so severely as to make him cry while at the age of 13, and defeating 5 multiplayer opponents using a single Thoughtlash.

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12 thoughts on “Coming to a Theater Near You…

  1. Yeah, this was a dumb product. I'm actually shocked the all foil sliver deck didn't do well, though. That seemed like a great idea to me…

  2. Hold on…you're complaining about a rarity bump that's only a bump in name only? Let's say they did put Knight of the Reliquary in at the "correct" Rare slot. You still only get 1 in the entire deck anyway, so what was the difference? No foiling?

    If you can name a knight in the game that could stand to be Mythic AND fit the G/W theme they settled on, I'll stand down. But all I see in this point is a complaint that doesn't even make sense.

  3. Hmmm. It looks like someone forgot that people like playing cards for fun. Let me look through all my silly decks that I play for fun and not to win at FNM. I only started playing During M11 so I have never seen many of these cards and I'm actually excited to buy the decks and play 'em against each other.

    1. I didn't forget that at all. As I said, the knight deck (rarity bump aside) is fine and what I'd expect. My problem is pairing it against a deck of 6-8 drops just because it thematically sounds cool. The product is two decks designed to be played against each other, but one of the decks stands very little chance, and the only reason it has any chance it because so much of the deck isn't part of the actual theme.

  4. I see your point. I agree, they certainly could have made a better deck. BUT I also know that I shouldn’t expect too much from a 10 dollar deck. By the way, what store do you sell through? I try to buy from vendors I know personally or have an association with. It’s my way of supporting small business owners and their employees.

  5. I loved this article this is pretty much how I felt about all the dual decks up to this point. They always seem to be lopsided. You would think with the mass amount of cards they have to choose from they could at least take the time to test options and make them close to equal. It's sad because in concept dual decks are great for casual gamers and a way to get random cards you might want foil for a somewhat reasonable price.

  6. What are you calling "crappy, non-flying artifact that had to be errata’ed to be a Dragon"??? It's a WURM! Dragon errata is some misleading desinformation… 😀

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