Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 12:26AM
Hello everyone, its been a long time. Its my fault, not yours. You see, a funny thing happened after we started the website. My wife and I started a family, and well this is the result...
I know, adorable. Since he was born, I haven't put much effort into anything other than raising him, working and playing Magic. That's literally it. Well to fill a void here at NERDBLOGGERS I will now be trying to do a regular MAGIC update. We will see how it goes. My first topic is a Wizards release coming to you this FRIDAY, August 31st.
Realms is the latest release in the From the Vault series that Wizards releases annually around Labor Day. Some of the previous reprints from this series include popular staples like Mox Diamond, Sensei's Diving Top, Berserk, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Strip Mine. Overall the sets have been well received particularly by the Commander community, for giving them "pimped" versions of cards that previously didn't have foil versions (Berserk) or have became scarce to the community (Mox Diamond). Anticipation for Realms was at a all time high just before Gencon, with possible reprints like Karakas (a Legacy power card), Maze of Ith (popular in Commander and Legacy), and Wasteland (Legacy staple). There was an "unboxing" video release during Gencon, here is what we got.
Well, one out of three is not bad, I guess. The set as a whole is quite underwhelming. The only "stars" of the release are Urborg and Maze of Ith, with a couple of OK reprints thrown in like Grove of the Burnwillows and Vesuva. Some of it is pretty much crap, I'm pretty sure Shivan Gorge didn't even see block play let alone getting play now. Overall I give this set a C+. It does have a few cards I want to pick up for Commander, so I will likely get it if it is available at my local game store.
This brings me to my final observation, availability. Wizards releases FTV in a limited print run to stores certified to sell their product; the individual store's sales reflect the number of copies of the FTV sets they get. My local game store, will receive 8 copies, sell them for 15 dollars over retail on a first come first serve basis. Online retailers like Coolstuff and StarcityGames will inflate the price even more, making it pretty hard for the average player to pick up at a reasonable cost. I personally do not like the way they do this and think WIZARDS needs to change its policy on how this set is delivered to the players. I feel like their Commander release coming in the fall at the MSRP of $75.00 may be a test for the future of these From the Vault expansions. Only time will tell.