Amonkhet Is Coming…!

I never want to draw another crocodile.

Sure, Cap can fly…but she’s not good at it. Applejack seems to be concerned…maybe because Cap didn’t catch that rope, maybe because that’s a stolen speedboat…I don’t know. I’m pretty sure that applejack isn’t qualified to drive a speedboat, so that might be a contributing factor. I gave thought to the idea that Cap is invulnerable, and doesn’t really care about crocodile bites, except that no one really wants a whole lot of crocodile saliva all over them and their stuff.

Plus…her old jacket isn’t invulnerable, and they could mess that up a whole lot.

So…why all of this Egypt themed stuff, including King Tut, the made for TV villain from “Batman ’66” (my preferred Batman)?

Good question. This weekend was the pre-release weekend for “Amonkhet”, the new Magic: The Gathering block. Amonkhet is the 74th Magic expansion, and the first in the Amonkhet block. It will be released on April 28, 2017, and is a large expansion…meaning more cards per expansion, and two expansions per block. It is set on the plane of the same name, which has an Ancient Egyptian theme to the art design and story of the set…hence the pre-Amonkhet art I did today.

I did not attend the pre-release, despite actually having serious interest in the set. The reasoning on that was pretty simple. I had been looking forward to Kaladesh, and the pre-release tournament event really put me off to the block. Mostly because the players had a lot in common with the crocodiles in the art above. Not really harmful, but very unpleasant to be around. It really slowed my interest in the game for some time, only in the past couple of weeks regaining enthusiasm about it.

There’s a whole lot going on in the Amonkhet release. Amonkhet is a “top-down-designed Magic set,” meaning that it was designed and developed with flavor (text and art) in mind first, before play mechanics. The set is inspired by Ancient Egypt and features the planeswalker Nicol Bolas as the primary “meta-antagonist.”

Amonkhet contains at total of 269 cards and includes randomly inserted premium versions of all cards. The Planeswalker decks contain 10 additional cards that are considered to be part of the set, and are built around the planeswalkers that are key to the plotline. One of them is a Liliana Vess deck, which I am very, very excited about. Full-art basic lands (which are both beautiful, and very popular) appear in approximately one out of every four boosters and are available in other products as well. The set introduces punch cards with markers and counters to the game…meaning that the improvised methods of keeping track of counters won’t be needed any longer.

I kind of like the pretty purple beads I use as counters, though.

The storyline is pretty simple…Amonkhet is a plane ruled by Nicol Bolas. The desert oasis forges warriors. They train their entire life for a chance to face the Trials of the Five Gods and join the elite ranks of the Worthy and to claim an honored place in the Afterlife. Everyone prepares for the great God-Pharaoh’s return, pretty much all the time. When The Gatewatch arrives to take out Bolas (because he is a straight up evil Dragon Pharaoh), they meet with fierce resistance. The cards that represent the “Story Spotlights” that tell us this in Amonkhet are “Renewed Faith,” “Cruel Reality,” “Anointed Procession,” “By Force,” and “Gideon’s Intervention.”

So yeah…overthrow evil God-Pharaoh…pretty standard plot fare for someone that loves comics as much as I do. Heck, it’s tangentially related to the plot line of things happening at the Edu-Mountain.

Next week, on the official release day, I have Prom Night, so I most probably won’t be able to do much more than buy a set of cards, and open them the next day. That said, I’m looking forward to that.

It’s important to have things that you’re looking forward to at the end of the week…especially on a grading week.

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