Tag: coral-barrier

Avatar Bruce Gray - August 19, 2014

Crack a Pack MTG Magic 2015 with Bruce (3rd)

M15 Fat Pack - Crack a Pack MTG

Crack a Pack MTG Magic 2015 with Bruce (3rd)

 By Bruce Gray – Casual Encounters

                Welcome back to another Crack a pack MTG with Bruce.  Last week we busted open a pack of Journey into Nyx, but that draft format has come and gone.  Sure, you might get a chance to Retro draft that, but let’s be real, the new hot game in town is M15 draft.  We had a chance to watch the Pros draft M15 and got some neat new perspectives on things as some of the best drafters on the planet did their thing.  Honestly, to watch Ben Stark or some of the other greats of the game draft is something else.  I also had a chance to listen to Limited Resources and hear how Marshall Sutcliffe and Brian Wong, both very well respected limited players, regard the M15 draft format and with some interesting results.  Both of them commented on how unusual a format this is because there doesn’t seem to be a correct draft order for the cards.  Everything COULD be playable…but in that same vein everything COULD be the wrong pick.  It makes for some interesting choices and reads at the draft table.  So, with those ideas in mind, I thought a pack of M15 would suit our style just right…so here we go!










This is pretty average pack, but there are certainly some stand out cards in this pack that really catch my eye.  The first place to start is with our Rare.  Stormtide Leviathan is a massive 8 mana  8/8 creature that also has Islandwalk, turns all lands into islands along with their other type, and ensures that only creatures with Flying and Islandwalk can attack.  Ok…normally I’m down on 8 mana fatty, but this guy can just lock an opponent out of their game plan and seal the deal for you.  I’m actually mildly interested by this guy and what it could mean at the end of the game if I need to bust open a board stall.  This will actually get a little consideration because the upside is actually so high.


Next, Quickling is exactly the sort of card I want to run.  This is basically a flying “bear” with a downside…except I don’t think it is actually a downside at all.  The fact that it was Flash means you can flash it in, bounce a creature that was about to die, and then recast your creature meaning that you don’t actually lose out.  You could also reap the benefits of an Enter the Battlefield trigger if you can wangle it.  No, this is very versatile, cheap, evasive, and could synergize nicely with a wide variety of fun creatures.

On Limited Resource, Marshall Sutcliffe was expounding on the virtues of Coral Barrier and I have to agree with him.  This innocuous little 1/3 defender comes along with a squid token giving you a very solid return for your mana investment.  Also, the fact that the squid has Islandwalk could also be very relevant.  If you can synergize this guy with an Invasive Species or a Quickling you could really see some benefits and start to build a board state that really puts you in the driver’s seat.  This is a very solid creature and would be high on my priority list.


The next creature that I would be looking at is the always boring Carrion Crow.  A 2/2 flier for 3 mana makes this a Wind Drake.  No one is going to write home about a Wind Drake, but the Crow is a serviceable flier and could make all the difference.


Sign In Blood is another card I’ve always liked because of the versatility. Usually I would cast this on myself to draw a pair of cards because I need to restock my hand. However, this one is versatile enough to target your opponent and effectively “shock” them .  This seems like a silly way to use your spell, but if you are out front and you just can’t quite close the deal, sometimes “shocking” them with a Sign In Blood is all you’ve got left.


Shrapnel Blast is nice card mostly for the rather sick amount of damage it can deliver in short order. My only issue is that I’m not really sure that I dig the U/R artifact deck in this draft format and so I don’t prioritize this very highly.  The only way I end up on THAT game plan is if I find “angry scissors” (Ensoul Artifact) early on and can then craft my deck to make use of artifacts.  Otherwise, if I see things like Shrapnel Blast, Aeronaut Tinkerer and Scrapyard Mongrel, they aren’t as interesting to me and will be things that I would be looking at later in the round.


Plummet is always a fun card and something I like very much.  Nothing like a Terror for fliers.


Research Assistant is an interesting card because of the “looting” ability that it packs.  Late in the game, when I’m drawing more land than I need, I will HAPPILY pay the expensive activation cost on this guy for the chance to draw something more useful.  Otherwise, he’s interesting, but not a super high priority and at common I’m likely to see at least one more before the end of the draft.


Ephemeral Shield is a nice combat trick.  I’m not sure if I like it better than Ajani’s Presence from Journey Into Nyx.  Ajani’s Presence has Strive meaning I can protect more than a single creature, but Ephemeral Shield has Convoke meaning you could still cast it even if you had no mana up to cast it. Either way, Ephemeral Shield is a very solid trick that can come in handy to save creature or lead to some sort of busted combat scenario.  It isn’t a high priority for me, but if I find myself considering playing White I’d like to know that I have at least one in my pile.


Satyr Wayfinder, Thundering Giant, Black Cat, and Runeclaw Bear are all perfectly acceptable creatures, but they are largely interchangeable depending on what strategy you want to play.  My motto for Drafting is always “more bodies is always good” and these help you to fill out those creature spots in your deck.  I won’t turn my nose up at these guys.


Feast on the Fallen. Ok, I feel like this is a TERRIBLE card.  The set up cost, of making an opponent lose life in order to trigger the effect, is very high.  And then, what is more, you get a SINGLE +1/+1 counter! I’m sorry…that seems like a very low return for working hard to do damage to an opponent.  Beyond the relatively low return, Feast on the Fallen does nothing to the board state.  It doesn’t STOP my opponent from doing anything to me, it eats a card slot in my deck, and has a marginal effect even when I can trigger it.  No, this is a bad card.  I’ll pass it all day long.


Top 5 cards

  1. Stormtide Leviathan
  2. Quickling
  3. Coral Barrier
  4. Carrion Crow
  5. Sing in Blood


First pick

For my first pick in this pack I would be weighing the Leviathan or the Quickling.  In the end, I would likely pick the Quickling.  With the Quickling I can almost be assured that I can cast it every game.  2 mana is very achievable (and if you don’t draw 2 mana before the game is over you may have done something terribly wrong) while the 8 needed for the Leviathan is not a sure bet. Besides, the Flying “bear” with synergy is super appealing and very much of interest to me.  So, at the end of the day I would take the Quickling and leave the Leviathan to go around.


It also bears mentioning at this point that this pack is a BUST for players in White and Red.  The vast majority of the cards in this deck are Black, Green, and Blue meaning that you could reasonably expect that there will be players beside you that will also be in those colours.  After a single pick I wouldn’t get worried, but I would start to become conscious of such factors as the draft continued.


Well, there we go.  We’ve seen a number of M15 packs and seem some pretty interesting stuff.  Would you have gone with the LeviathanQuickling?  Something else?  These choices start to get tricky and some other points of view will help us all, some shoot me a tweet and let me know what you think.


Next week I’m going to go and truly find a Retro pack…something from the Return to Ravnica block will be on deck.  Which set? That’s a surprise for next week, but it will no doubt bring back a measure of nostalgia for those of us who enjoyed RTR or GTC draft formats.


So, until next time, may you open only Mythic Rare Bomb.


Thanks for reading


 By Bruce Gray – Casual Encounters
@bgray8791   on Twitter
Avatar Bruce Gray - July 31, 2014

Crack a pack MTG Magic 2015 with Bruce

2015 core set booster packs - Crack a pack MTG

Crack a pack MTG Magic 2015 with Bruce

by Bruce Gray – Casual Encounters

Welcome back to another Crack a pack with Bruce.   I would like to first off apologize for being a little behind this week.  It being the summer and all I was away with my family, but I am back now and excited to Crack open a pack for all of you and to see what we find.  We’ve had some interesting packs in the last couple of weeks and if you want to catch up with things you can find those articles right here on Three Kings Loot. This week we’ll be opening a pack of M15 because it will now be the default draft environment if you are out in the shops.


M15 is an interesting set to draft because the overall power level of the cards is much more flat.  There are much fewer absolute bomb cards in this set, but there are also a much higher level of generally viable cards that can make spots in your deck and offer you some interesting twists mid-game.  Let’s take a look at what we’ve got in this pack.















Once again, this pack is a very mediocre pack.  There just are not any huge, obvious bombs in this pack that make it clear what direction you should be taking it.  The rare is Aggressive Mining which is a fine card, but is not something I would be looking for to start my draft off.  For starters, it’s an enchantment that has very little impact on the board when I cast it.  As I have said before, I want my first pick to be something that when I cast it I can tangibly see an impact on the board.  Aggressive Mining does very little initially.  Also, while the situation can arise in draft that you have too many land cards, I very rarely ever want to physically prevent myself from playing further land by casting Aggressive Mining.  Sure I can net some extra cards, but at what stage of the game am I comfortable doing that?  My initial sense is late in the game at which point Aggressive Mining is likely too late…or helping me to pour on the pressure because I’m out in front anyway.  It also isn’t even worth that much, so drafting it for value also falls short.  While Aggressive Mining is a neat card, and might have a place in a Constructed deck somewhere, for a draft I’ll pass and find something else.


So, what else grabs my attention.  Believe it or not, the card that gets my attention first is Frost Lynx.  This simple little 2/2 for 3 mana is exactly the sort of card I like to play in a draft.  It has a serviceable body at a decent cost and even comes with a very useful ability to “freeze” another creature.  While this guy isn’t flashy, he’s very useful and something that I can get behind.


Another card that I could see myself get on board with is Coral Barrier.  It seems weird to be ready to get behind a Defender, but 2/4 worth of power and toughness for 3 mana is good value, and if I can find a way to recur it I would be pretty happy.  Also, the squid token has Islandwalk which is surprisingly relevant.


The third card that grabs my eye is Encrust as a piece of reasonable removal for Blue.  There isn’t much to say about this card, but it is reliable and reasonably costed and always seems to do good work. Also, you might notice that this point, we’re three cards deep and they are all Blue meaning something from this pack might wheel because the other players at the table might not want to be grabbing Blue at this point.


Oreskos Swiftclaw is another decent body as a 3/1 for 2 mana.  He’s vanilla and hardly exciting, but if you want the aggressive body, he’s the guy for you.


Wall of Frost is the 4th Blue card that gets my eye and is another defender.  This one is another one that doesn’t need much in the way of discussion because he’s just solid, but not flashy at all.


Dissipate is a solid counterspell and something that I would be looking at to wheel.  I don’t prioritize counter magic too highly in a draft if I’m Blue, but it is nice to have a little in your deck to keep your opponent honest.


Verdant Haven can play a useful role to let you splash for another colour, but let’s be honest, this will likely be there late if you really want it.  I’ll take my chances on finding one later in the draft if I really want one.


Torch Fiend, Ornithopter and Soulmender are all sort of blah creatures that you’ll take in the last half of the round, but you won’t be getting excited over any of them.


Gather Courage is a solid Giant Growth type effect, but I’m not a huge fan and would really rather grab this much later when I know I have some bodies to target.


Sacred Armory is about the poorest card in the pack, which isn’t too bad.  It is still a playable card, but I’m not really excited about pumping my creatures for power only with this, but it could be a useful mana sink if you lack other options.


Top Five Cards

  1. Frost Lynx
  2. Oreskos Swiftclaw
  3. Wall of Frost
  4. Encrust
  5. Coral Barrier



First Pick


My first pick, as discussed, would NOT be the Aggressive Mining, mainly because I don’t think it does enough for me. I’d pass on it and see if it comes back to me.  No, my first pick in this pack would be Frost Lynx.  A serviceable body, a relevant ability and it doesn’t overly commit me to playing any one colour too heavily at this point.  It fits in almost any deck, even if I just need to splash it, and can impact the board quite significantly by freezing something else. As much as this isn’t an exciting first pick it is a reasonable choice.  Also, seeing the amount of Blue in this pack I might hope to see something else that is useable come around when the pack wheels.  Perhaps the Dissipate or Coral Barrier could still be there to give me another solid Blue card to add to my pile.


Well, there we have it…another week…another pack.  What would you have picked out of this pack?  Would you take your chances on the Rare?  Would you have gone with another of the Blue cards in this pack?  Something else?  Let me know…I’d love to hear what you guys think and what you feel should have been the first pick, so tweet at me and let me know.


Next time we’ll bust open another pack of M15 or a pack of Journey into Nyx…I haven’t decided, but once I do I’ll let you all know. Thanks for reading and until time may you crack nothing but mythic bombs!


by Bruce Gray – Casual Encounters
@bgray8791 on Twtitter
Avatar Three Kings Loot - January 7, 2014

M15 Core set spoiler- Card Gallery, Release notes and Artwork

Garruk M15 Core Set  Art 2M15 Core set spoiler- M15 Logo

Set Name Magic 2015—Core Set
Number of Cards 269
Prerelease Events July 12-13, 2014
Release Date July 18, 2014
Launch Weekend July 18-20, 2014
Game Day August 9-10, 2014
Magic Online Prerelease Events July 25-27, 2014
Magic Online Release Date July 28, 2014
Pro Tour Magic 2015 August 1-3, 2014
Pro Tour Magic 2015Location Portland, Oregon, USA
Pro Tour Magic 2015Formats Swiss:

  • Standard
  • Magic 2015 Draft

Top 8:

  • Standard
Official Three-Letter Code M15
Twitter Hashtag #MTGM15
Initial Concept and Game Design Aaron Forsythe (lead)
Max McCall
Shawn Main
Mike Gills
Jenna Helland
Final Game Design and Development Billy Moreno (lead)
Shawn Main
Adam Lee
Tom LaPille
Sam Stoddard
Languages English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
Available in Booster Packs, Intro Packs*, Clash Pack*, Fat Pack*

(* – Not available in all languages)

M15 Core set spoiler-  M15 symbol

[Set Review click here]

M15 Core set spoiler



Aegis AngelAjani's pridemateAjani the SteadfastAvacyn, Guardian Angelbattle masteryBoonweaver GiantcongregateDauntless River MarshalM15 Core set spoiler- Devouring LightM15 Core set spoiler- Divine FavorDivine VerdictEphemeral Shieldsfirst Responsegeist of the moorsHeliod's PilgrimHushwing GryffM15 Core set spoiler- Inspired ChargeKinsbaile SkirmisherMass CalcifyMarked by HonorMeditation PuzzleMidnight Guardoppressive raysoreskos swift clawParagon of New Dawnspillar of lightPreeminent CaptainPrismatic RuneguardRaise the AlarmRazorfoot GriffinResolute ArchangelReturn to the Rankssanctified chargeSelfless CatharSeraph of the MassesSerra AngelSolemn OfferingSoulmenderSoul of TherosSpirit Bondssungrace pegasusTriplicate SpiritsWall of EssenceWarden of the Beyond


Aeronaut TinkererAetherspoutsAmphin pathmageCancelChasm SkulkerChief EngineerChronostutterCoral BarrierdissipatedivinationEncrustEnsoul ArtifactFrost LynxFugitive Wizardglacial crasherhydrosurgeIllusory AngelInto the VoidinvisibilityJace, the Living GuildpactJace's IngenuityJalira, Master PolymorphistJorubai Murk LurkerKapsho KitefinsM15 Core set spoiler- Nimbus of the IslesMahamoti DjinnMaster of PredicamentsMercurial PretenderMilitary Intelligencemind sculptNegateParagon of Gathering MistsPeel from RealityQuicklingResearch AssistantSoul of Ravnicastatute of denialStormtide LeviathanM15 Core set spoiler- Turn to FrogVoid SnareM15 Core set spoiler- Wall of FrostWelkin Tern


Accursed SpiritBlack Catblood hostcarrion crowCaustic TarChild of NightCovenant of BloodCrippling BlightEndless Obedienceeternal thirstfeast on the fallenFestergloomFlesh to DustGravediggerIndulgent TormentorLeeching SliverLiliana Vessnecrobitenecrogen scudderNecromancer's AssistantNecromancer's StockpileNightfire GiantOb Nixilis, Unshackledparagon of open gravesRotfeaster MaggotSengir VampireShadowcloak VampireSign in BloodSoul of InnistradStab WoundUlcerateunmake the graveswall of limbsWaste NotWitch's FamiliarXathrid Slyblade


Act on ImpulseAggressive Miningaltac bloodseekerbelligerent sliverblastfire boltBorderland MarauderBrood KeeperBurning AngerChandra, Pyromastercircle of flameClear a PathCone of Flamecrowds favorCrucible of Fireforge devilFoundry Street Denizenfrenzied goblinFurnace WhelpGenerator ServantGoblin KaboomistGoblin RabblemasterGoblin RoughriderhammerhandHeat RayHoarding DragonInferno FistKird ChieftainKurkesh, Onakke AncientLava AxeLightning StrikeMiner's BaneRummagin GoblinParagaon of Fierce Defiancescrapyard mongrelSeismic StrikeShrapnel BlastShivan DragonSiege DragonSoul of ShandalarStoke the FlamesThundering GiantMight of the TyrantsTorch Fiend


carnivorous moss-beastCentaur CourserCharginf RhinoChord of CallingElvish mysticferal incarnationGarruk's PackleaderGather CourageGenesis HydraHornet NestHornet QueenHunter's AmbushHunt the weakInvasive SpeciesKalonian TwingroveLife's Legacyliving totemNaturalizenetcaster spiderNissa, Worldwakernissa's expeditionOverwhelmPlummetParagon of Eternal WildsPhytotitanranger's guileReclamation SageRestocksatyr wayfinderShaman of the SpringSoul of ZendikarSunblade Elfundergrowth scavengervenom sliververdant havenvineweftYisan, the Wanderer Bard


Avarice AmuletBrawler's PlateBronze SableConstricting SliverGargoyle SentinelGrindclockhaunted plate mailJuggernautOrnithopterObelisk of UrdHot SoupMeteoritePerilous VaultPhyrexian Revokerprofane mementorogue's glovessacred armoryScuttling Doom EngineShield of the AvatarSoul of New PhyrexiaStaff of the Death MagusStaff of the Flame MagusStaff of the Mind MagusStaff of the Sun MagusStaff of the Wild MagusThe Chain Veiltormod's crypttyrant's machinewill forged golem


Garruk, Apex PredatorSliver Hivelord


Battlefield ForgeCaves of KoilosLlanowar WastesShivan ReefYavimaya CoastDarksteel CitadelEvolving WildsForest 1Forest 2Forest 3Forest 4Island 1Island 2Island 3Island 4Mountain  2Mountain 1Mountain 3Mountain 4Plains 1Plains 2Plains 3Plains 4Radiant FountainSliver HiveSwamp 1Swamp 2Swamp 3Swamp 4Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth


Beast (Green) Token Beast Token Dragon Token Emblem Ajani Token Emblem Garruk Token Goblin Token Insect Token Land Mine Token Sliver Token Soldier Token Spirit Token Squid Token Treefolk Warrior Token Zombie Token

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 Promo pack

Soul of ZendikarSoul of Ravnica - Promo

M15 Core set Artwork

 m15 core set spoiler- Garruk the slayer m15 core set spoiler- Hot Soup m15 core set spoiler Art 2 m15 core set spoiler Art 3 m15 core set spoiler - Peel from Reality M15 core set spoiler- Soul of Shandalar

Spectra WardSoul of new phyrexiaGarruk M15 Artwork

M15 Core set spoiler-  Three Kings Loot M15 pre-Orders


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