Saturday, May 10, 2014

Our adventure to The Mages Realm or See TLH get their butts kicked in MTG

               The bluffs, the plays, the heart of the cards; any collectible card gamer knows the thrill, and with the release of Magic: The Gathering’s newest set, Journey into Nyx, Team LoveHate’s Otakubeat had to get our fix. When we heard of The Mage’s Realm in Sacramento doing a sealed tourney for release, we had to make it. And we were not disappointed in any aspect of the night.
"The Gathering" for tournament sign up
 We arrived around 6:45 to see the large gaming room already well populated; a good 20-30 people in the room for the tournament. The majority of us had not played for years, or had not played official tourneys before. This is where the staff of The Mage’s Realm was AWESOME. Everyone there seemed to truly enjoy what they were doing, and were more than happy to get “the noobs” up to speed. “The Mages”, a fitting title for the employees of the Realm, were more like wizards, think Gandalf style. Infinitely knowledgeable, good senses of humor, and a desire to see others succeed were the premier qualities there. The Mages had plenty of insight into much more than just card games. Almost any Geek related topic from video games, to anime, to theoretical matchups (combat or otherwise), seems to be well within their repertoire. All geeks are welcome here. It should also be noted that this is not your standard dark gaming den. The Realm is open, well lit, clean, and most importantly, doesn’t have that overwhelming claustrophobic aura to it. It is in no way boring inside, but it doesn’t have that sort of “dark back alley” feeling many comic and game stores do. It seems like they have struck the perfect balance of running a professional business while still being personable, and carrying that geek friendly vibe.
            As far as Journey into Nyx goes, I am left with mixed feelings. The new mechanics are a lot of fun, and really throw an interesting new level of strategy in, as I found out in a round that killing one of my opponent’s chump blockers lost me the game. The new meta seems to be to build the biggest badass you can, this does lead to a slightly more long term “think 5 turns ahead” approach, which is both a good and bad thing. It does lead to deeper strategy, and a greater feeling of reward when you do win a match, but it takes some getting used to. During the launch, many of the matchups were barely able to get 2 of their three games done in their hour allotment, and the beginning of the game now seems incredibly slow. The game is still immensely fun, and I would say that Wizards of the Coast has done it again, creating a game that is still fun to play, even with the game being old enough to drink this upcoming august.
            All in all, The Mage's Realm is pretty awesome, stop by when you get a chance, especially if they are doing a tourney, #TLH_Otakubeat would rate it at 9.5/10. As for Journey into Nyx, it’s another solid release. A few new mechanics thrown into the mix keep things interesting, while not requiring to relearn how to play. A pretty solid good time, rated 8/10.
#TLH_Otakubeat To follow The Mages Realm please follow them on The Facebooks here!!!

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