Best. Advent Calendar. Evar.

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Posted on Dec. 2, 2015, 7:14 a.m. by clayperce

Inspired by an old Cardboard Crack cartoon, this year we're doing a crack-a-pack Advent calendar :-)

We've got packs from 25 different expansions, so we're looking forward to seeing a bunch of cards we've never seen before. They're all super-cheap though, so we're not expecting anything amazing. Still, you never know!

Anyone else in?

Arvail says... #2

enter image description here

December 2, 2015 7:19 a.m.

EpicFreddi says... #3

This is not competetive enough for me. I need a partner to do a booster battle calenar!

December 2, 2015 7:23 a.m.

RussischerZar says... #4

Best advent calender is Modern Masters (any), since it's 24 boosters :P

December 2, 2015 7:29 a.m.

clayperce says... #5

TheDevicer, thanks man!

EpicFreddi, battle calendar = I love it! We're totally going to have to upgrade to that next year!

RussischerZar, Yeah, I think the only thing better than MM would be MM battle calendar! Maybe someday! :-)

December 2, 2015 7:44 a.m.

clayperce says... #6

We cracked a bizarrely thin Fallen Empires pack. Here's the rare ...

Troll moment of the evening: "We got the black Preator!" (face-palm)

December 2, 2015 7:52 a.m. Edited.

Arvail says... #7

Fallen empires? I think I'd rather open 14 basics from most sets.

December 2, 2015 8:19 a.m.

Gidgetimer says... #8

so what i'm hearing is TheDevicer wants to crack a pack of homelands.

December 2, 2015 8:25 a.m.

clayperce says... #9

TheDevicer, I think we would have as well!
Did I mention this was all about cheap packs? :-D

December 2, 2015 8:25 a.m. Edited.

RussischerZar says... #10

WTF is with that giant-ass rabbit on that picture?

December 2, 2015 9:07 a.m.

clayperce says... #11

RussischerZar, we wondered that as well, and spent way to much time on Google trying to figure it out. I was betting the whole thing was meant to invoke some sort of early 90's drug-induced holiday-hell, with the Easter bunny and Halloween candy corn in the background.

Turns out that's a Pookah on Ebon Praetor, per the artist himself.

The most amazing thing about it all though: The artist actually sold the original. Whut?!?

December 2, 2015 11:42 a.m.

clayperce says... #12

TheDevicer, you're going to get your wish. Today's is Homelands :-(

If things don't start looking up, I'm changing the title:
Worst. Advent Calendar. Evar.

December 2, 2015 11:48 a.m.

clayperce says... #13

December 2nd

Cracked a Homelands pack this evening, and the highlight was this spectacular rare (I had to put it in a spoiler so y'all wouldn't hulk-smash your phone or computer or whatever with jealous rage):


We peaked ahead ... tomorrow is Coldsnap, and it's got to be better!

December 2, 2015 10:22 p.m.

Arvail says... #14

December 2, 2015 10:29 p.m.

clayperce says... #15

December 3rd

Cracked a Coldsnap pack. Unfortunately, no Dark Depths :-(
Really, the highlight was a Snow-Covered Forest. But it looks like it would have been a really fun set to draft ... build-arrounds like Sound the Call and Aurochs Herd, Ripple effects like on Surging Sentinels and Surging Dementia, and Snow mana like on Skred and Frost Raptor -- all make it look like Coldsnap would have been a really fun set to draft.

So without further ado, here's our rare:


December 4, 2015 10:57 p.m.

clayperce says... #16

December 4th

Today was Weatherlight, and we were really hoping for Winding Canyons or maybe a Gemstone Mine. And while we certainly didn't do that well, we wouldn't have been embarrassed to play the Disrupt, Sage Owl, or Mind Stone we cracked.

Our rare however, was another story:


Tomorrow: Nemesis

December 4, 2015 11 p.m.

Niiiiiiiice. Looks really fun.

December 4, 2015 11 p.m.

Arvail says... #18

December 4, 2015 11:21 p.m.

clayperce says... #19

Yeah, we're really enjoying it. Even despite the occasional "Ewww!"

You sir, have an incredible knack for picking the Best. GIFs. Evar. Thanks so much!

December 4, 2015 11:30 p.m.

Arvail says... #20

I try to live up to my title. I also have a huge list of favorites on Imgur to fall upon.

December 4, 2015 11:45 p.m.

clayperce says... #21

December 5th
Today was a Nemesis pack, and the top pick was Fanatical Devotion. What a great card! And it's going to see play soon too, in Stealing away souls!

Other fun stuff included ...

And now, for the rare:


Tomorrow: Prophecy

December 5, 2015 2:53 p.m. Edited.

CheeseBro says... #22

watcha get today?

December 6, 2015 6 p.m.

clayperce says... #23

December 6th
When the highlight is a foil Greel's Caress, you know it wasn't a great day for crack-a-pack :-(

The set obviously had a strong lands-matter theme, but it was NOTHING like Zendikar. More along the lines of sacrificing lands (Agent of Shauku and Troubled Healer) and being very careful about ending your turn tapped out or not (Calming Verse, Hazy Homunculus, and Well of Life). Considering the set was released back when mana burn was still a thing, that could have made for some interesting play. But there was really nothing in the pack that made us go "Cool!" ...

... which shouldn't have been any sort of surprise, as we could have looked up Mark Rosewater's opinion of the set before adding it to our Advent calendar: "Prophecy was, in my opinion, one of the all-time lows of design (my pick for the second-worst designed set after Homelands) but it did demonstrate some things not to do ..."

Ah well, live and learn! And as for the rare:


Tomorrow: Odyssey! And perhaps a history lesson in graveyard shenanigans ...

December 6, 2015 6:28 p.m.

clayperce says... #24

Er, I mean Greel's Caress

Oooh, foiley!

December 6, 2015 6:40 p.m.

clayperce says... #25

And thanks for reading along, CheeseBro!

December 6, 2015 6:42 p.m.

Jay says... #26

I've been lurking along haha pretend I'm not here

December 6, 2015 6:44 p.m.

Arvail says... #27

I mean, those are ok. I like the one from the 5th. The ability anyways.

December 6, 2015 6:44 p.m.

CheeseBro says... #28

clayperce: hopefully you open an Entomb! I opened on of those from an odyssey pack!

December 6, 2015 6:46 p.m.

clayperce says... #29

Did y'all hear something back on Post #25? Thought I heard something. Hmm. Oh well, never mind ;-)

I'm not sure what our fav' rare is so far. Probably the Herald of Leshrac from the 3rd.
But really, we're just still in shock that MaRo would have rather cracked Fallen Empires than Prophesy! :-P

December 6, 2015 6:58 p.m.

clayperce says... #30

Good on ya CheeseBro! And yeah that would be seriously cool. God pack would probably be that plus a Price of Glory and Diabolic Tutor for the uncommons. But really, as long as it's not some Commander un-staple like Aven Shrine, we're good!

December 6, 2015 7:07 p.m. Edited.

Coinman1863 says... #31

Might as well post so I can see the rest of the fun :)

December 7, 2015 3:09 p.m.

CheeseBro says... #32

so, what today?

December 7, 2015 5:33 p.m.

clayperce says... #33

Not sure yet, CheeseBro. We were rushing this morning didn't get to it, so now we've got to get everyone home from school and work and whatnot ...

"As ever," said Urza, "We wait" (from Mind Over Matter)

December 7, 2015 5:49 p.m.

clayperce says... #34

December 7th
Well the packs got out of order and we didn't notice, so we opened a Judgment pack instead (guess we have to wait another day to see if we get that foil Entomb!) ... oops!

But the good news is Pick 1 is, for the first time, our rare!


As expected from the block that introduced graveyard shenanigans to the world, the pack also had bunch of fun graveyard-matters cards: Grip of Amnesia; Rats' Feast; Funeral Pyre; and Exoskeletal Armor.

We were kind of bummed we didn't get any of the Incarnations (e.g., Genesis and Glory at rare), but we did get a bunch of interesting cards:

And we also have a new pick for best flavor text of the calendar (so far!): Cabal Trainee

Tomorrow: Odyssey. For real this time! :-)

December 7, 2015 7:21 p.m. Edited.

CheeseBro says... #35

ooh, nice card! what today?

December 8, 2015 5:08 p.m.

clayperce says... #36

December 8th
It looks like Odyssy would have been fun to draft, with Magic's first real graveyard-matters cards (e.g., Crashing Centaur, Werebear, Overeager Apprentice, and Crypt Creeper), some interesting Instants (e.g., Shelter, Afflict, Rites of Refusal, and Muscle Burst), and some curious manafixing (Bog Wreckage). Out first pick was pretty easy though:


Tomorrow: Torment
(Well, unless we mess up the order again!)

December 8, 2015 7:44 p.m. Edited.


Noice mate.

December 8, 2015 7:48 p.m.

clayperce says... #38

December 9th
An easy first pick today:


The rest of the pack was nice too. As expected, black set was black, with cards like Shade's Form, Enslaved Dwarf, and Anurid Scavenger. We got two of the "disorder" enchantments (Pyromania and Narcissism). And we were super-pleased to get one of the Madness cards, Basking Rootwalla ( for a 1/1? Heck yeah!)

Best flavor text of the pack was probably the Pardic Lancer, though the calendar has had better.

However we may have cracked a new worst card, so far: Aven Trooper. Blurgh. I don't know though: Mwonvuli Ooze or Aven Trooper? Hmm ...

December 9, 2015 9:43 a.m. Edited.

CheeseBro says... #39

what was your rare?

December 9, 2015 4:46 p.m.

clayperce says... #40

Sorry forgot to mention: Morningtide was the rare.

December 9, 2015 5:17 p.m.

CheeseBro says... #41

yeah that was ur foil but what about the normal rare?

December 9, 2015 7:37 p.m.

Arvail says... #42

Foil Morningtide?

enter image description here

December 9, 2015 7:41 p.m.

CheeseBro in older packs, if there was a foil rare, it took the slot of the regular rare. there was no getting two rares in a pack back then.

December 9, 2015 7:46 p.m.

clayperce says... #44

Oh, I see what you mean CheeseBro. There wasn't one. It wasn't until Time Spiral that Wizards started putting foils in a common slot.

December 9, 2015 7:47 p.m.

CheeseBro says... #45

oooooh! Thanks canterlotguardian and clayperce! I did not know that!

December 9, 2015 7:47 p.m.

akatalin says... #46

interesting foil or rare. Was the foil always uc or r? or could it be a common?

December 10, 2015 12:57 a.m.

clayperce says... #47

Back then, a foil card replaced the card normally found at that rarity. For example, the common foil from Dec 6th took a common slot, while the rare foil from yesterday took the rare slot.

Some other differences with the old foils:

  • They weren't foiled all over, but only on the border. It's a really difficult printing process I guess, and the printing tech back then just wasn't up for doing a full card.
  • The early ones all had the shooting star thing on them, like prerelease promos today.
  • Before Urza's Legacy, packs didn't have foils at all :-(
  • It was the foil Lightning Dragon from the Urza's Saga prerelease that got us all going :-)
December 10, 2015 6:09 a.m.

clayperce says... #48

December 10th
Today was a pack of Legions, which was notable as a creature-only set with a very strong tribal theme. In fact every single card we cracked was tribal: 4x Clerics; 2x Elves; 2x Goblins; 2x Slivers; 2x Soldiers; and 1x each of Beast, Wizard, and Zombie).

And while it might have been fun to draft 4x Onslaughts + 2x Legions, I feel deeply sorry for anyone who ever tried to draft 6x Legions ... most of the cards were flat-out terrible.

Our rare though, was pretty decent:


Interestingly, another difference with the old foils is Wizards didn't used to check for duplicates. Our pack had both a Starlight Invoker and a Starlight Invoker. Who knew?

December 10, 2015 11:05 a.m. Edited.

Nice rare. Also, the creature-only set would make for a very interesting Standard, so that's always cool.

December 10, 2015 8:09 p.m.

Arvail says... #50

That rare tho...

enter image description here

December 10, 2015 9:38 p.m.

This discussion has been closed