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Winter mailday; an accidental post

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I had a plan here. Even wrote something possibly profound I was to publish three days ago. Then I managed to delete draft as I was to publish it. It was all very 2020. Right now it's Christmas, and I'm up (further) north to visit my mother-in-law. We're in the dark of winter, far removed from most of civilization. The change of air is wonderful. And it feels like time moves a bit slower here. It's a welcome change of pace after an intense autumn and winter. I wanted to write something short here anyway, perhaps mostly to keep up the regularity. And after having spent way too much time researching the last post about print runs, I figure we mise well take an easy route today and look at a recent mail call. I had the pictures on my phone, so we can even show the spoils. People still like #maildays, right? It feels like one of the last vices we're still to enjoy freely these strange days. Some time ago I wrote a post about Brothers' Highlander and showed off my dec

Deconstructing print runs

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"Numbers for Revised, Fourth, Ice Age, Chronicles, Homelands and promo cards are guesses based on almost no information. I think I'm in the ballpark, but don't bet money on it. Distribution between starters and boosters for The Gathering is almost completely guesswork. Other numbers are from net postings and such. No inside information was used to build these numbers." -Stephen D'Angelo, Rarity Information at Crystal Keep, circa January 1996 It is hard to overstate the impact of Stephen D'Angelo and the Crystal Keep webpage. The D'Angelo Files and Crystal Keep were the go-to sources of Magic information in the early days of the web. In an era before wizards.com or The Dojo, there was D'Angelo and his collection of wisdom from the internet and beyond. And wisdom he had.  Apart from his updates on card lists, rules and errata, he took a stab at estimating the print runs for Magic sets. Some of these had questionable official numbers, and some had

Gathering Unlimited

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"The unlimited mix is primarily for new players, as opposed to collectors and old established players."      -Richard Garfield, May 1994 Today a dear friend turns 27. And yeah, I know some may argue that its birthday is eight or nine days from now, as production delays made the delivery go past the official due date. I also know that USA technically passed their resolution for independence on July 2nd, not the 4th. And as celebrations go, today is the generally accepted one for the awesomeness that is "the unlimited mix". Unlimited Edition was an unexpected friend, and one perhaps not so aptly named. The original idea was to let ten million Magic: the Gathering cards saturate the demand for the first year of Magic, after which it would be replaced by Magic: The Ice Age. But the game was a smashing success, and Magic: the Gathering sold out in weeks. Players demanded more, and so Wizards created the first real re-stock of the game, one made particularly for the playe

Witch Hunter

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So here we are, idling by as days turns into weeks turns into months. Can't really say I'm a fan of combining the Nordic darkness with a raging pandemic. I miss doing things. Like meeting people. Maybe even taking some new deck out for a spin.  Sitting in my contemporary office, I flip through the binder for inspiration. And yet again I pause at this guy: Hammer time Witch Hunter. What a dude. When I look at him, I can't help thinking that any environment where Witch Hunter is a reasonable card is a good Magic format. The flexibility, interactions and modest power level just seem to bring about intricate and interesting games. As I revisit the card, it dawns on me that Witch Hunter seems to be an enemy-colored "mirror card" to Goblin Wizard. Nerd trivia: Goblin Wizard is one of a handful creatures to have the exact same name as oracle creature type. Additionally this card makes the rules for Goblin Wizard tokens a bit odd, as you can name the card Goblin Wizard f

Garfield signatures

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Two weeks since the last update. So much for posting here every 10 days I guess. I blame the wild news cycle of the last couple of weeks, and a solid dose of cabin fever. Anyways, a couple of months ago I heard that a friend was selling his Chaos Orb. Now I technically already owned twelve or so copies of that particular card, but due to some Mari Kondo-esque Orb arrangements and strong pet peeve against moving cards between different decks, I had an irresistible urge to buy it anyway. Also, if I had it, I argued with myself, my friend could always borrow it if he found himself drawn to flipping cards some time in the future. Then it turned out another friend of his was also looking to unload his copy, and was willing to part with it for a very reasonable price, so I bought that one as well. I didn't super need it by any means, and it might have been " doom shopping ", but I do love the card and getting it gave me a moment of solitary joy. So suddenly I had two more Unlim