Winter mailday; an accidental post

I had a plan here. Even wrote something possibly profound I was to publish three days ago. Then I managed to delete the 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 deck for the format. I noted that I missed a few cards to make it black bordered, and signaled I was actively looking for a Savannah and Jayemdae Tome in particular. A few days later, Mitja called me, and a couple of weeks after that I found this in the mailbox:


This is sweet. Early this summer I mostly phased out from Facebook, and one of my few concerns was that I wouldn't be able to locate rare Magic cards the same way, and in particular that I would lose a lot of connection with people in the community whose friendship I value. Well, turns out you can use emails or phones as well to talk to people. And strange cards have a tendency to pop up when you're in good company.

Getting a new Beta dual, any Beta dual, feels like a big thing. This was my sixth overall, and each one comes with a story I can vividly recall. The last one before the Savannah was three years ago or so, but it is likely this one will be my last. The price tag for most of them have simply grown too daunting, and even though I'd like to have one more for Project M, I can't really justify something like an Underground Sea. A possibly fun fact here is that Savannah is my least frequently used dual land by far. At some point I got one to play in the Lord Magnus EDH, but for the longest time my dual collection was 37 cards as I couldn't muster the excitement to get the last three Savannahs to unlock #40Before40. Eventually I did get them, but it was more for the hashtag than for any deck prospects. And now I somehow have five Savannahs, just to scratch that Beta itch in the highlander deck. I guess they are legal as five-offs at MobsterCom, so maybe I'll find an excuse for the baker's playset sometime in the future.

On the other hand, that extra Jayemdae Tome will see a lot of love in many different constellations. I've managed to pick up two A/B copies before this one, but they both hold permanent residence in the Project M deck and are as such not to move unless it is for a very special occasion. In particular, I've had a third Jayemdae Tome at the top of my wish list for the deck I've played at Dwarven Warriors for the last years. And lest not forget, Tome is a supremely sweet card. Drawing cards is a noble way to spend one's mana.

Next up we have this guy. I used to have a playset of him, but it appears I traded them away at some point. I've much enjoyed playing Gaea's Avenger in ordinary constructed 93/94, and they've provided me with some sweet victories for monogreen decks in the earlier half of the 2010s. But highlander formats - particularly multiplayer ones - is where Gaea's Avenger really shines. If Jayemdae Tome is the Jace, the Mind Sculptor of 93/94, Gaea's Avenger is the Tarmogoyf. And as one of the original chase cards from Antiquities, it is kinda affordable as these things go. This guy is going straight into the Brothers' Highlander deck.

Then there's a bunch of good ol' bulk of sorts:

I noticed some time ago that I almost accidentally had acquired most of the expensive Arabian Nights cards for the purpose of various decks during the last thirteen years; most every card to make a serious dent in the wallet except Diamond Valley and Jihad were somewhere in the binder. And recalling the joy I get from flipping through my Unlimited binder, I figured that trying to complete Arabian Nights would be the logical next step. After this shipment and a few random pick-ups, I'm currently short less than ten cards. These are not the minty-est of cardboard (the Mountain was, quote, "Mitja loved"), but as these collections are more akin to coffee-table books or physical card encyclopedias, a handful dents don't bother me much here. It's not like selling them is any kind of end-game regardless.

Ok, so this one might not qualify as bulk anymore. How on earth is this bag of salt more expensive than Gaea's Avenger? Yeah, the art is amazing, but Repentant Blacksmith still combines being a highly mediocre card with having a Chronicles reprint that sell for pennies.

Dark and light version of Moorish Cavalry. The light and dark versions are due to a printing error where seven out of the eight quadrants on the Arabian Nights print sheets accidentally got overprinted. Only one quadrant (on the common sheet) got printed "correctly", which means that some commons exists in both the intended (light) version and the overprinted dark version, depending on their placement on the sheet. Most players don't care much about the different versions, but if you're going for a complete set it is common to get both. And while we're here, let's bask in the glorious flavor of giving a bunch of people on horses trample. I mean, this is basically what the word suggests to the non-Magic part of the population. Birds fly, archers first strike, cavalry trample. 

This was not really the post I intended to write, but it feels nice to do short update here regardless. And it was a very sweet mailday after all. Next time we'll look back and do the yearly retrospective here. It has been a strange one for sure. Until then, I wish you the best of holidays and some relaxing days with whomever you decide to spend it with this year. Cheers!


  1. Hi MG. I just want to greet you and thank you for all the work you are doing. Definitely my favorite reading. I am also an old magic enthusiastic from Czech republic.

    We have just a small playgroup in our country and meet very rarely. Nevertheless it is also very nice and friendly occasion.

    Have a nice holiday and all the best to your family in 2021.

    1. Hi, I want to confirm Jirka's words, I am also a big fan. Its a pitty there not as many posts as couple of years back. :)

      Only the best for 2021!


  2. Nice cards! and yes you should get the complete Arabian for sure :) i recently started some new projects myself, getting more Antiquities cards and try to finish my the dark set so i can check that of the bucketlist, and i agree that you should go with the difference variances for the sets, the dark has a few and antiquities also but probably most in Arabian Nights.
    I always thought the "front tail" on Avanger was hilarous XD Happy new year //Jhovalking

  3. Thanks a lot you guys, encourgaging comments from around the world really makes my day :)


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