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Unboxing a Dominaria Bundle Pack

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2018 is Magic the Gathering‘s 25th anniversary year. And with the anniversary comes a new set going back to the world of Dominaria–the plane (or world) that most of the game’s story was set on for its first several years and card sets.

Though this post is looking at cards, if you want comics content, here are some links to posts I did a few years ago (and stuff I may revisit again in the near future–but time will tell!)

The Shadow Mage | Ice Age | Fallen EmpiresArabian Nights | Nightmare | Antiquities War | Urza-Mishra War | Elder Dragons | Homelands | Dakkon Blackblade


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Chloe insisted on visiting with me as I began opening packs, and even made quite a fuss when I wouldn’t let her onto the table. The photo above shows her on her "pedestal" looking around, having come running at the sound of me opening the first booster pack…which admittedly probably sounded very similar to me opening a packet of kitty-treats.

When I opened the first booster, I was just curious to really look at the spread of cards, where I first really noticed that there seemed to be a great mix, with each booster having at least one of each color and an artifact! I knew already that there’s specifically at least one "Legendary" character in each pack, but I hadn’t fully paid attention to the mix in individual boosters. I was impressed, and decided to "document" the entire bundle…mostly for myself, enjoying going through such a huge stack of boosters, and curious about being able to look back and see what I’d gotten with what else in which pack(s).

Then I realized that even though I am NOT a video blogger, I could show off an "unboxing" in this way. So…as said above, if you don’t care about Magic: The Gathering as a card game and such, there are some links to my 2012 coverage of a bunch of the original comic books, published by Armada (Acclaim Comics).

I’ll show the cards from each pack, note the Rare, and whatever other thoughts occur to me from going through.


Pack #1:

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This pack was where I first noticed the "balance" in the packs specifically. Artifact, Black, Blue, Green, Red, White–even a multi-color Legend as the Rare!

I wasn’t overly thrilled with this one, as I already had a Grand Warlord Radha and would have preferred some others I didn’t already have…but that’s a theme that’ll run through opening most booster packs!

Rare: Grand Warlord Radha


Pack #2:

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The second pack yielded a foil as well as a rare. This is my second foil Island of Dominaria; not bad, though, as I tend to like Blue. Not much else of huge note to the pack. The rare is the Legendary. While not as cool as some other stuff, it’s got some potential to me, especially in a White deck.

Rare: Evra, Halcyon Witness

Foil: Island


Pack #3:

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I think this pack was the first I got Tetsuko Umezawa in a booster. Also got another Serra Angel, which I believe gives me a full 4-copy "playset" of the card in this edition. I like the art on the Urza’s Ruinous Blast; and it certainly represents a key moment in MTG history!

Rare: Urza’s Ruinous Blast


Pack #4:

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This was definitely the best pack of the bundle! An Artifact, at least one card for each color, a multicolor, two of the Memorial to ____ lands… AND a foil!

And the foil, at that, is a rare. FURTHER…it’s a Mythic Rare!

This is the first time I’ve gotten a foil-anything that wasn’t common; for it to be a foil of a Mythic Rare is fantastic! It’d probably be asking way too much for it to have been a foil of Karn, Scion of Urza, but as Jhoira was a card I’d started out wanting, I’m quite happy with it. (though I have two non-foils of her previously).

Added bonus to this pack is it also came with a non-foil Rare, the Helm of the Host, which creates a token copy of whatever creature has it equipped…which has some fun potential to it!

Rare: Helm of the Host

Foil Rare (Mythic): Johira, Weatherlight Captain


Pack #5:

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Very little could "hold up" to the previous pack! Some fun for this one, though, includes the Rat Colony, which I definitely want to build a deck around. I built my first "Rat Deck" back in July 1995, when the only rats in the entire game were Plague Rats, Pestilence Rats, and Bog Rats. I even had to use Vampire Bats to flesh the deck out a bit, reasoning that bats were "rats with wings." Since this new Rat Colony allows one to have any number of it in a deck…for purely casual play, I don’t even need any other rats. Just load up with this, have some support spells, and basic lands, and voila!

This pack gives me a new token as well, with the Cleric. I’ve got plenty-ish of the Saproling and Knight tokens (verrrry glad I had not ordered any Saprolings online.

I’m not overly keen on lands as the rare card I a pack…but at least the Cabal Stronghold is new-to-me!

Rare: Cabal Stronghold


Pack #6:

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This pack has a couple of cards for my inevitable "Fungus Deck" from the set. Fungal Infection essentially deals a damage while also generating a Saproling; while Sporecrown Thallid gives +1/+1 to Saproling and other Fungus creatures.

Aryel, Knight of Windgrace will be a nice addition for a "Knights deck."

And look–another foil! Shiny…

I’m a bit amused at the art for Arcane Flight…perhaps simply the ridiculousness of a cat sprouting wings and taking flight. Talk about a nightmare for birds!

Rare: Aryel, Knight of Windgrace


Pack #7:

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Not much to stand out for this pack. Jaya’s Immolating Inferno definitely has a lotta potential in a Red deck, and definitely makes me want to get Jaya herself all the more!

Rare: Jaya’s Immolating Inferno


Pack #8:

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The timing for getting the Dread Shade here was good…I’d just been reading part of the serialized fiction on WotC‘s website that had characters pondering facing one of these. So that makes for a "fun" pull. Also cool to get Llanowar anything for the nostalgia (though I’d prefer the "classic" Llanowar Elves by name–another card in this set, but not this booster).

This pack also yields my first Knight of Grace, which is a counterpart to the Knight of Malice, and I look forward to using them in a "Knights deck."

Rare: Dread Shade


Pack #9:

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Here’s another fun pack! For one, Traxos, Scourge of Kroog is a card I liked the look of and was definitely interested in! I believe it’s basically a dragon engine…regardless, it puts me in mind of them, which is a great bit of nostalgia.

After just marveling at my first Knight of Grace, this pack had another one. Better yet, this time in the same pack I also got the Knight of Malice. Nice little pairing, there!

And this pack has another Token I hadn’t realized existing: Jaya‘s Emblem, I believe from her "main" Planeswalker ability. Now that I have this…definitely want the actual card all the more!

(Note for this photo: I had Traxos on the Black pile rather than the Artifacts pile. Oops!)

Rare: Traxos, Scourge of Kroog


Pack #10:

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Final pack of the box, last one to get anything "good!"

And…not much of interest for me in terms of opening-the-pack excitement. I believe the saga card The Mending of Dominaria is new to me; but it didn’t really live up to the "potential" that a "final pack" COULD have had.

I don’t think I’d particularly noted if I got any of the other ones, but I’ve realized/am guessing that the handful of cards with the "planeswalker" symbol watermark (like seen above on Final Parting) denote key "story moments" for the set.

Based on an "ad card" (backside of a token) there’d been something about "following the story" that referenced several cards including Final Parting; one of which is either a holdover or a "spoiler" for the set’s serialized story!

Rare: The Mending of Dominaria


The Rares:

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Ten boosters, 11 rares…the "extra" being a Mythic Rare…not bad!

And of course, beyond simply being 10 boosters…the bundle came with a "spindown counter" (20-sided die/D20 with the Dominaria set symbol as the "20"), a pack of 80 or so basic lands (which’ll be quite handy for building decks!) as well as a "fancy" storage box that I really like the art for.

Given the price of the bundle’s basically the same as buying 10 individual boosters…I’m liking the bundle better for the "extras" it comes with…and that it seems like each bundle has a Mythic Rare in it, plus several foils.


Favorite Pull of the Bunch:

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And of course, for "rarity" as well as just being a really pretty Blue/Red card combined with the foil effect, and being a character I was interested in getting from the start, Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain is my favorite pull of the bundle!

While I "suspect" there’s a fair bit of "value" to the card as a foil of a Mythic Rare…I figure the "sentimental value" is enough for me to hang onto the card. I pulled her from a booster, and how many Mythic Rare foils are there really out there like this? (other than specially-packaged Planeswalker Deck cards)

For me…this card is extra-unique in/for my collection.


That’s that for now… ten boosters in a bundle; the bundle now "unboxed!"

It’s cool that the Dominaria set came out RIGHT as I was getting pulled back into the game/story/etc. Even if just feeding the OCD and money I shouldn’t really spend…this was a worthwhile purchase for the time, and likely future time actually going through the cards, deckbuilding, and hopefully actually playing the game.

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25 Years of Spawn

Spawn recently had a 25th-anniversary Director’s Cut issue published, as part of the Image 25th anniversary year releases.

I initially bought the McFarlane cover (an homage to Ultimate Spider-Man #1), enjoying the homage and ‘tradition’ of homage covers of the title.

I wound up buying a second copy (different cover) in a RARE case of finding a worthwhile variant.

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The cover’s a painted version based on the original #1 issue’s cover. And having a 2nd copy of #1 anyway, I realized I could put together a great little "art piece" utilizing the two issues, and so treated the purchase of the 2nd copy to be akin to buying a print.

And here in an 11" x 14" frame (the perfect size for bound-in comics posters or 2-panel wraparound covers and such) (or in this case, two distinct/separate issues), I have a copy of 1992’s Spawn #1, and 2017’s Spawn Director’s Cut #1.

Of course, being in the frame like this still physically protects the issues–they’re held tightly in place better than they’d be in a bag ‘n board; but the frame’s glass can be simply popped out with a little effort, so I still have "access" to these AS COMICS along with having this on my "art wall."

Fantastic Friday Find – Spidey & Wolverine

On a whim, I stopped by a Half-Price Books…where despite extreme frustration with their pricing for comics I decided to flip through a few. This issue stood out immediately, and out of simple curiosity, I pulled it to see what exorbitant amount they wanted for it, given their other ridiculous prices on single-issues.

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The price sticker read $1.50. I looked closer to make sure I wasn’t misreading a 7…but yeah, it was $1.50. A whole dollar under cover price, less than half the cost of a contemporary Marvel, yet this issue is nearly 30 years old.

I’ve been aware of this issue for more than twenty years: it’s an issue a friend and I discovered in 1992 or 1993, but weren’t able to get as we couldn’t find it anywhere for a reasonable price.

It had actually come back to mind for me recently as an issue to specifically look for…but this saved me the hunt, and was significantly cheaper than the up-to-$10 I otherwise would have been willing to spend.

Though I’m excited to finally get to read this, I do have a couple other reading projects ahead of it…but just having this issue after all these years is fantastic!

Free Comic Book Day 2015 – A Few Issues’ Thoughts

Free Comic Book Day was this past Saturday, and I picked up a number of issues. Rather than attempt to write up single posts for each FCBD issue, here are some of the ones I’ve had a chance to read so far and my thoughts on them.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles FCBD 2015

fcbd2015_tmntI think this is the one I was looking forward to MOST of all the FCBD issues this year. And truthfully, I was not particularly disappointed. We get an all-new story–an in-continuity continuation of things that seems to fit within the present–it does not spoil the Mutanimals stuff, and takes place after TMNT #45, which works well with me getting it 3 days after #45. The art fits right in with the main series itself, so doesn’t even stick out. This isn’t some integral issue to stuff–I’m pretty sure one will be able to read the ongoing without ever knowing they missed this, but reading this will give newer readers some context of recent events and even core tidbits going back to the start of the IDW continuity. A lot of the issue is contextual exposition that I’m not used to seeing in the series…but given the nature of this it works very well for me, and I think would give the newer readers enough to contextualize the current story while teasing the detailed nuances of the actual stories that came before so one might seek those out.

The Tick FCBD 2015

fcbd2015_tickI remember watching and enjoying the animated Tick series Saturday mornings back in the day…scary to think it’s been 20-some years! Sadly I can’t really clearly remember the characters’ "conversational" voices in my head. This was still a quick, fun issue for the most part–the first story with Tick and Arthur dealing with a giant creature eating the city, and the third story with them being distracted by one threat or adventure after another, keeping them from holding a spot in line for the art museum. The middle story wasn’t really to my taste, explaining some of Tick’s time blacked out, apparently from an old #1 issue. Probably a lot more fun for long-time fans of the COMICS, but it means nothing to me not having read those. The art’s good, and the stories fun, and the price was certainly right. As "just" a fun FCBD issue, this is definitely worth reading, and I enjoyed reading it.

Secret Wars #0

fcbd2015_marvelsecretwarsMarvel’s hype-machine has certainly done its job…at least in getting me to where I’d actually be interested in getting a copy of this free issue (at a $4 discount from USUAL Marvel pricing!) The cover particularly stands out to me. However, I am not at all impressed by the interior…and was honestly rather disappointed to see Hickman’s credit on the cover and be consciously reminded that this IS actually his story. This issue didn’t really give me context for stuff, and I had no idea if it’s a "catch readers up to prepare them for the rest of the series" #0 or a "This is where the story truly begins" #0. The story seemed to actually try to be both, but felt choppy and lacked any kind of "editor’s notes" to refer me to any specific stories or to even place this against whatever issues are already out for various titles. Given I’ve hardly touched Marvel in a couple years, I’m lost. So while my frustration with DC and Convergence might give way to trying Secret Wars #1, I’m more curious about several of the tie-in minis and may well skip the core Secret Wars book…especially for the price point and knowledge that there’s virtually no way this does NOT get a collected volume whether I "support the single issues" or not.

Valiant 25th Anniversary Special

fcbd2015_valiantI already bought and read Bloodshot Reborn #1 weeks ago, so while I could buy into a story set some time after the last I’d seen the character within The Valiant, now suddenly finding this "untold" story segment kinda bugs me. This could’ve been included somehow in Bloodshot Reborn #1 or done as some other sort of giveaway or such. Or perhaps hold off a few weeks and kick off May with Bloodshot Reborn #1 next week, so this would have fallen where it should have. The lists of first appearances, greatest team-ups, greatest battles, etc. included both classic and contemporary Valiant so didn’t really interest me as presented. There are a couple teaser images for Eternal Warrior and Archer & Armstrong that are interesting enough. I honestly did NOT appreciate the inclusion of a chunk of Ninjak #1, given that came out awhile ago and #2 just came out last week…again, better to have held the release of #1 til after this, or "preview" something else. Give us a nice image for each title and a page apiece listing all the contemporary Valiant’s titles with their collected volumes available, perhaps. Give us some sort of timeline of where the various volumes fall in relation to each other. SOMEthing. Aside from the opening page TELLING me it’s been 25 years of Valiant, this did not feel at ALL like anything "special" for it…for that, give us the new stories from the hardbacks that kicked off the new Valiant close to a decade ago. Give us some new art from classic AND contemporary creators. I don’t know. This just felt like a big preview book and ad…but hey, it’s "free," it’s "just" a Free Comic Book Day issue to try to "sell" people on the stuff, so not like i"m even the target audience. C’est la vie.

Divergence #1

fcbd2015_dcdivergenceI don’t actually know what I expected of this issue, but whatever it was, this wasn’t it. I suppose I’m glad this is "original" material…I’m certainly quite tired of "just" reprint or "preview" material trying to sell me on stuff. Given the text intro addressing what this issue IS, I gather I’m not alone in that regard. We get the identity of who it is in the Batsuit taking focus in Batman come June, as well as a new status quo for SUperman (did Lois do her thing in a recent issue, or is this the first we’ve gotten of it?). And I had a hard time with the Justice League short, even though Johns wrote it. I found myself skimming it and I’m honestly just not any more interested in Darkseid now than I was nearly four years ago nor any previous time: I just don’t care about the character at any real length, especially as portrayed in the last 15-20 years. I also get tired of the constant messing about with characters for the sake of trying to appear new and hip and cool and relevant. Just goes to show how much I am NOT the target audience and have no particular problem continuing to primarily ignore DC stuff. Plus I have half a year’s worth of Batman Eternal to "catch up" on and I am burned out on weekly stuff.

All-New, All-Different Avengers

fcbd2015_allnewalldifferentavengersSomething to the cover of this issue just looks like some sort of "all-ages" comic rather than an actual in-continuity Marvel main universe continuity comic. And it certainly highlights just how out of touch I am with contemporary Marvel…I see the female Thor, a new Vision, the Nova I don’t care for, the Spidey I’m not interested in, some weird anatomy for the kid Marvel I know nothing about, Captain Falconamerica, and "Iron Man" (Stark, Pepper, who-knows-who). I have no real context for their story on the interior except it’s "the future," which could mean simply we’re getting an advance look at status quo, or this is a story set a few years down the road…I don’t really, honestly care enough to think too much. We also get a short story with a couple people turned into Inhumans and meeting a core group of experienced Inhuman characters…and maybe it’s just me, but it comes off very much of the Inhumans somewhat replacing mutants, which just does not sit well with me. This isn’t a horrible issue if you’re into the current Marvel stuff, but it does nothing positive toward "selling" ME on the Marvel Universe moving forward, and is truly something that I would not BUY and only have/read because it was free.

 

Doctor Who

fcbd2015_doctorwhoI actually couldn’t even "get into" this. I muddled through the chapter with the Twelfth Doctor, but only slightly skimmed the Eleventh and Tenth. For having so thoroughly enjoyed the tv series I just don’t seem to be able to get into the comics. Perhaps because the tv show is tight enough and thorough enough that I find it hard to "get into" adventures set within existing continuity "between episodes" or such. I picked up several copies specifically to share…but I’m half wondering as of this typing if I want to do that to anyone. At least they might enjoy the single issue as a random piece or for the photoshopped cover, even if it does nothing toward getting anyone interested in the comics. There’s also the issue of pricing and format…namely having four ongoing Doctor titles plus a rotating series of mini-series for the other Doctors, and hardbacks instead of paperbacks. At least when IDW had the license there were larger collected volumes than what Titan has done thus far (granted, they’ve only been publishing Doctor Who for about 10-11 months now).

Tales of the TMNT #55 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

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