Hearthstone Chat – Time-Tinker Trouble

Game Cafe has been holding “Fireside Gatherings” for the Hearthstone app game by Blizzard Entertainment.  Watch our Facebook page and calendar for when they happen.

This is a story of me (LordGameCafe) playing through a solo adventure on the Hearthstone app, that many players who have tried the game can probably relate with.  Solo adventures have you playing against an AI where you get a choice of random improvements as you beat tougher and tougher bosses that also have tougher and tougher powers.  It forces you to think differently with every hero you play, and I like that.  Until I played…Toki, Time-Tinker

Toki, Time-Tinker has just one power: Go back in time and start your turn over.  Remember how I thought these were quick games?  Double that.  Toki relies on random effect spells, so you have one chance to back up each turn and do it over if you don’t like the effect.  With my rotten luck, I did this often.  Sometimes only playing certain spells the first time, and then doing something else if they failed miserably.  I was finally getting the hang of it, but then The Scarecrow happened…


See that big scythe in his picture?  A lot of damage with life link, and it doesn’t deplete and go away.  He just kept mowing me down.  Start my turn over, and I could experience the dread twice a turn.  His power wasn’t helpful either…


He can sacrifice his own minions for eight health EVERY turn for one mana.  Needless to say, he is a juggernaut of doom that was comical for me to face him.  I even had nice little combos like this one:


Mana Worm is cheap, and gets +1 Attack whenever you cast a spell.  Cast this Enhance-a-matic spell, and get more spells to buff your worm.  I also got the special hero award that made a copy of every spell I cast.  So then I was actually filling my hand with spells and dealing out random damage.  If I didn’t like how it went, I could backup with the hero power then decide to play safe and wait a turn, or try my luck again and have to live with the consequences.


Notice The Scarecrow has no weapon to the left of his icon?  The card in my deck that seemed useless against all my other opponents was what saved me against Scarecrow!

Scarecrow Weapon    Blingtron 3000

Blingtron 3000 always seemed to give my opponent an awesome weapon, while I would get something useless (+1 Durability when you summon a penguin.  You have no penguins?  Too bad).  He was a blessing against Scarecrow, taking away his awesome indestructible weapon and giving him….anything else.  I didn’t care.  And it worked.  Scythe was gone!


So with his Super Scythe gone, he could still sacrifice his own minions for life, but I could slowly start gaining ground.  Random enemy destruction spells were the best.  They wouldn’t hit me or my minions, and I could do my turn again if I didn’t like the results.


I even got some new spells from Scarecrow’s deck, because of the random spells I was throwing.  This Spiteful Smith would have helped old Scarecrow, but it was a warm body for me to turn on him.


A hand full of cards for me, Scarecrow has nothing with a squirrel courtesy of one of my random effects, and I can finally taste victory!


Scarecrow finally cratered.  This was the most satisfying victory of any of the solo adventures I’ve had so far.  I didn’t feel sorry for Scarecrow, and am thankful I beat him.  I’ve played through The Witchwood and Kobolds & Catacombs so far.  The Frozen Throne and Karazhan await!


Hope to see you sometime at a Game Cafe Fireside Gathering!

– LordGameCafe











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Pathfinder Second Edition – Playtesting & What We Know so Far

Pathfinder6In 2008, Paizo released playtest information for their newest addition to the roleplaying community–Pathfinder. Now, almost a decade later, Paizo has announced Pathfinder Second Edition. Paizo has invited everyone to join them in the journey to making second edition! Check out the video announcement for second edition here!

On August 2nd Paizo will be releasing a public playtest both online and in print versions.  However, the printed copies are quite limited, and preordering products is highly advised. Playtesting will last for several months, and it’s no coincidence that this playtest release coincides with Gen Con this year (August 2nd-5th). Check out Paizo’s Pathfinder Playtest Blog here.


Online versions of the rulebooks and other playtest materials will be made available for free! Paizo is so pumped about their new edition that the printed versions of the rulebook will come in softcover, hardcover, and an exclusive special edition cover. Other items available include a playtest adventure (Doomsday) and a Flip-Mat Multi-Pack. It seems a little excessive to release so many different versions of just a playtest core rulebook, but it gives players a myriad of ways to enjoy the beginnings of this brand new edition.


Why now? Paizo tells us that the last decade has given them time to think about their RPG and how they can make it more fun, easier to learn, and more conducive to telling the stories that we want to tell. Changes in store include some tweaks to outlying weak spots, smoother/cleaner rules, and better balance across all levels. All classes will be fine tuned and each class will have something unique they add to gameplay. In addition, Alchemist are added as a core class, and Goblins are a playable race. Archetypes will now be a more prominent aspect in the game, as well.

However, we can also assume that this is also a response to the success of Dungeons & Dragons 5tpathfinder arth Edition, which has streamlined its rules, included archetypes, and incorporated the most loved aspects of its predecessors. D&D 5th Edition has exploded over the past few years, whereas Pathfinder has only been holding steady or declining. With most of its books available in PDF form online, most players did not have a reason to purchase anything for Pathfinder unless they enjoyed having the print versions.

Hopefully this new version will give Pathfinder the kick it needs to get back into full swing. Ideally, Paizo will have taken some cues from D&D 5th Edition by streamlining rules, making it easier for people to jump in and create characters, and making the roleplaying aspect less micromanaged by Game Masters.

Paizo touches on what the main changes will be. “Gone are the confusing action types playtest1like move, standard, swift, and immediate, instead replaced with a simple system of three actions and one reaction each round. All of the varied systems and formulas for determining your character’s bonuses and statistics, like saving throws, attack bonuses, and skills, have been unified in a single, easy-to-use proficiency system based on your choices and your character’s level. You no longer need to collect a specific set of magic items to be a balanced character, relying on specific magical statistic bonuses. Instead, you get all of the bonuses you need from your regular armor and weapons, allowing the rest of your items to be truly wondrous.” Check the full playtest FAQ here.

We won’t be able to do a full comparison of D&D 5th Edition and Pathfinder Second Edition until we get our hands on the playtest materials, and even then, everything will still be subject to change. Paizo wants to use our feedback and make Pathfinder even better; make the characters you want and play the stories you dream. They will be collecting feedback on a weekly basis to make tweaks for the final product, set to release some time in 2019.

New to Pathfinder all together? Jump in now to get a feel for the game. Check out Game Cafe’s First Level Fridays–an event made just for beginners, or contact your friendly local game store for more information!



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Whoopsie Doodle – Dominaria Spoiled

dominariaIt’s been no secret the last few months that the next Magic: The Gathering set Dominaria had peaked the interest of Magic players new and old. Preying on our nostalgia, Wizards of the Coast knew that we would all yearn to return to where it all began.

saprolingNo big secret indeed–whoopsie, a large portion of the set was leaked in Chinese. WotC recognized the leak, and rather than having poorly translated Chinese versions running amok, they decided it was best to just release the correct English translations. Much of the card art has not been released, as WotC probably wanted to leave some mystery to the new set.

WotC did make an announcement about the leak, which you can view here. They also previewed some other “exciting” news about Magic, but it seemed much more like an afterthought to keep interest peaked in the community.

Despite WotC’s whoopsie doodle, we are super pleased with what has been spoiled. We are also seeing the story of Dominaria unfold rapidly. Read the first few chapters here.

Previewed in the leak were Saga cards. A new mechanic to magic, these Saga cards are legendary enchantments with powerful effects. Although we don’t know the full rulings on these types of cards yet, we can take a look at them and make some speculations.


We aren’t too terribly impressed with the formatting of the card; it seems awkward to have the card art on the right hand side.

For the first time we have non-permanent legendaries! Check out this legendary sorcery, Urza’s Ruinous Blast. It definitely has an interesting border to it, and we’re wondering if all of them will be the same!urza

We are getting some great reprints of goblin and elf staples (e.g. Goblin Warchief and Llanowar Elves), as well as the enemy check lands. It also has lots of support for wizards, too!


With all the legendary cards, this set is going to be great for Commander or Pauper formats. Although, with a large portion of the cards with the supertype Legendary, the set might be awkward for drafting or sealed purposes. Muldrotha, the Gravetide is a prime example. It can definitely see some play in Commander, and will do well against wheel decks.

domsetWe’re definitely getting some fantastic new planeswalkers, including a new version of Karn! Karn, Scion of Urza is a colorless planeswalker with card selection. He comes in with 5 loyalty counters, and he definitely passes the “bolt” test (won’t die to Lightning Bolt). Speaking of Lightning Bolt, there’s Wizard’s Lightning! This is basically a new bolt as long as you control a wizard. This could see some play in Modern (notable wizards include Delver of Secrets, Snapcaster Mage, Cursecatcher, Aven Mindcensor, etc.).

Damping Sphere is OP. It shuts off Tron, shuts down Nykthos, Shrine to Nydominaria1x, kills Storm. This may become an auto-include for sideboards for Modern.

Keep checking back for more spoilers, and hopefully we’ll get some card art soon, too. This set releases on April 27th, but some WPN stores are able to sell boxes during prerelease weekend (April 21-22). Check out the article here. Preorder your booster boxes now! Check out our preorders page here!


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Evergreen Titles – Entering the Board Game Realm

boardgamesTrying to look for a board game, but not sure what to get next? Are you just now delving deeper than Sorry or Monopoly? Are you a board gamer looking to introduce your non-gamer friends to the glory of it all? Fall down the rabbit hole with us, but not too far.

Over the years we’ve noticed some trends in board games that we call “Evergreen Titles.” These are great introductory to intermediate games that have been continuously printed and supported by manufacturers, distributors, and your friendly local game stores. (Sorry, guys. You won’t find that obscure game from the 1980s that was only ever printed once and sells for $200 on eBay on this list.)

Here’s our top “Evergreen Titles” list (in no particular order):

catan1Settlers of Catan: Yes! This one needs to be here! It is the #1 gateway game into “real” board games. A board game for 3 to 4 players (5 to 6 with the expansion), Settlers of Catan is a resource management game in which players collect wood, grain, sheep, stone, or brick to build settlements, cities, and roads. Collect, trade, or steal resources from those around you to build your civilization and collect victory points!

Munchkin: Munchkin is a slapstick dungeon card game for 3 to 6 players. It’s as simple as killing monsters, grabbing their loot, and leveling up! Play cards to steal items from your opponents and curse them, or offer them help for items in return! Each time you kill a monster, gain a level. Reach level 10 to win the game! Munchkin has several themed versions available, so pick your favorite, or smash them together to create a super dungeon! Check out any Munchkin Deluxe version for a cool board and some Munchkin minis to keep track of levels.Munchkin-Deluxe-03

Pandemic: Play a fully cooperative game to save the world from disease! You all win together, or you all lose together. Take on a key role to treat and eradicate disease as constant plagues continue to escalate around the globe! Can you and your friends save humanity? Pandemic is a 2 to 4 player game. Win the game by finding the cure to all the diseases or eradicating it entirely. Watch out! The next epidemic is just around the corner! With several expansions, versions, and even a legacy campaign, Pandemic has continued to prove itself a staple over the last decade!pandemic1

7 Wonders: Be the leader of one of the great seven wonders of the world! 7 Wonders is a game for 3 to 7 players (with a 2 player variant) that lasts over three ages (or rounds). 7wonders1During each age, players will draft cards to help them gain resources to build up their civilization (Drafting is a mechanic in which each player is dealt a hand of cards, they look at those cards, pick one, and then pass the rest of the cards to the person next to them. This continues until all cards have been picked or discarded through game mechanics). At the end of the third age, points are tallied up to see who is the victor! Featuring great art work and a different game experience, 7 Wonders is must-have in any board game collection.

Ticket to Ride: This might be one of the best family games out there right now! Ticket to Ride is a railroad building game for 2 to 5 players. Although the premise sounds tickettoridelackluster, this game is actually super fun and easy to learn! Collect cards of various train cars and use them to claim railways across North America. Create the longest railway across North America to win! This game also comes with many expansions or versions available, including Nordic Countries, United Kingdom, Africa, and many more.

Check out your friendly local game store to see if they have a board game night! Join us at Game Cafe on Wednesday nights at 6:00pm for a night of family fun! Check out the latest games, play your favorites, or try something new! We also have a ladies tabletop gaming night every third Thursday of the month! Check us out on Facebook or at www.playgamecafe.com!


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Oh, Rats! Spoilers for Masters 25!

billboard_mtg_masters_25By Michelle Harvey

Hello, fellow Magic lovers! A couple weeks ago we at Game Cafe decided to take a look at the very few Masters 25 spoilers and give a couple of guesses, in anticipation, on sunderingtthe set. Turns out the mysterious art on the packs was not Blightsteel Colossus or Platinum Emperion, but instead Sundering Titan. Not quite as scary, but still fairly destructive in its own way.

Also, granted most of our guesses didn’t make Wizards “Master” cut, one of our guesses did! We got Brainstorm and with sick new art! Although they did not change the art on every card, it seems as though Wizards really pushed it to the limit trying to cover each format fairly well with some pretty awesome reprints.rishimp

Starting with Legacy format, we get to have some cool lands! Rishadan Port is on the list along with all of the enemy colored filter lands. We also have Imperial Recruiter, granted its printed at mythic, this is the start of making Legacy a more accessible format for the average person. They are also printing some rather iconic legacy cards like Dark Ritual and Swords to Plowshares! It’s nice to see that Wizards is attempting to make legacy more accessible.


Moving onto Modern! This is where things get exciting! We are getting some key pieces to popular decks and some cards that a lot of us thought were going to be banned! We’re going to start with the “could be banned” portion of this reprint. Blood Moon and Chalice of the Void. Blood is being printed at rare; nice! This is going to make it very easy to get and keep the playing field fair for the meta. Chalice on the other hand is being printed at Mythic. THANK GOODNESS. This is a very popular card in Modern, practically being shoved into any deck it possibly can. With the reprint, I’m sure that even more decks will try to put it in anywhere they can. Yay, Modern Magic oppression.


Moving forward with the Magic: The Gathering’s most difficult to deal with cards is Thalia, Guardian of Thraben! This kick-butt human is every non-creature based decks worst nightmare, making every non-creature cost more, as well as being a first strike terror of doom! Well, maybe not completely, but she is pretty darn scary! Also, deserving an honorable mention Vendilion Clique, Street Wraith, Lightning Bolt, and Ensnaring Bridge are getting a reprint. Ensnaring Bridge gets amazing new art as well!


Enough about Modern already, geez! It’s time to see what Wizards thought needed reprinted for COMMANDER! Starting off with a few gems like Animar, Soul of Elements, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Hanna, Ship’s Navigator, and Prossh, Skyraider of Kher! Yay reprints of amazing generals! It’s nice to see Wizards giving us more Commander access without it being in an expensive anthology type set. We also got some nice non-general cards like Protean Hulk, Cultivate, Magus of the Wheel, and Reef Worm!


It really seems like Wizards of the Coast is really stepping up its game with this Masters set! Here at Game Cafe, we are pretty excited for all of the amazing cards being printed. See all of the spoilers and pick your favorites here. And if you just can’t contain your excitement, join us Friday, March 16th for the release draft at 8:00pm (view details here)!

Oh rats

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Star Wars: Legion

swl01_anc_sliderStar Wars: Legion is a miniatures game for two players set the in Star Wars universe. Suggested play time is 1-2 hours, however, 2+ hours is more likely. Setup, objective swl01_box_leftchoosing, and determining terrain will take some time. Star Wars: Legion is played over the course of six rounds; at the end of these rounds, the player with the most victory tokens wins the game! (Victory points are typically earned through objective cards.)

This game is basically Warhammer 40k for Star Wars and is more affordable. The miniatures are easier to assemble and come with instructions. A painting tutorial is also included in the core set, so even if this is your first venture into the miniatures hobby, you’ll be able to jump right in with both feet.

swl01_photo_lukeThe game comes with all the normal components that you would expect from a miniatures game (e.g. objectives, vehicles, terrain, etc.). Think of your commanders like your HQ (with minor changes). Pick your favorite iconic character such as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker (or recently announced for an expansion, Leia Organa and General Veers)!

swl07_piecesUpgrade your troops and commanders to make your army unique. This game seems to lend itself well to either competitive play or casual play. You can add in your own terrain, determine its type of cover, and make this 3’x6′ play space your own (establish the frozen tundra that is Hoth, or perhaps the tree-filled planet of Kashyyyk). Customize your battles by playing small skirmishes, or have a massive battle with ALL the troops!

Unlike 40k, Star Wars: Legion will have organized play! As usual, Fantasy Flight Games will support this game through their OP kits, including their first kit for the Launch Weekend. (Check it out here.) Star Wars: Legion is set to arrive in stores on Thursday, March 22nd, and further expansions have been announced already. We can continue to expect new waves every so often, just like X-Wing and Armada.

Read more about Star Wars: Legion here! Contact your friendly local game store about preordering this item and any expansions.


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THE MEMPHIS ADVENTURE – Grand Prix and Standard Magic

gpmemphisBy Morgan Saye

Alrighty little planeswalkers, gather around the Garbage Fire that is Standard Magic. I Morgan The Mighty (And Mouthy), have just returned from the latest Standard Grand Prix. Let me tell you, ’twas many mighty battles, but, alas, I lost my final one for this tournament of money and power! Eight matches I played against some of the strongest (but not necessarily the brightest) planeswalkers in the MULTIVERSE! *pause for dramatic effect*

I brought Esper God-Pharoah’s Gift to this GP, and, trust me, I was nervous. The day that we headed down to Memphis, Channel Fireball released an article about the event and the decks you should expect to see and expect to play. My deck was on the DO NOT PLAY THIS DECK list.

Round One for this event was mono red, and, lemme tell ya, I got my butt Savage Stomped. Angel-of-InventionIt’s honestly a bad matchup and there are changes that I would have made to the main and side in hindsight (changes in notes of decklist link) to have made this matchup better. Its creatures just outclass mine for the most part, and if I can’t stick an embalmed angel I can’t win really.

Round Two!!! I played the mirror match; honestly, it was an easy win. Tetzimoc was the ‘Glorybringer’ in this matchup, as well as the side boarded Liliana, Death’s Majesty. Being able to turn board stalls around with a well timed board wipe and keep fueling my grave while applying pressure is really the difference between the ‘W’ or catching the ‘L.’ Round Three!!! One of the most boring games I played all day, Sultai Midrange. It was a back and forth that drew into time, however, I chose to concede the game as to not be in the draw bracket. The draw bracket would have been full of more midrange and control that I would rather have not seen. Again, the matchup would have been better with the deck changes I made in hindsight.

Round Four!!! My opponent was piloting UB Control. It was a repeated game of bait and switch; and, let me tell ya, this guy Mental Misstepped himself out of the game.the scarab god I kept baiting his counters and removal and he fell face first for them, easy 2-0. Round Five!!! I’m feeling the heat now, I see day two as a real possibility, even if all of my rounds are ‘win and in’s. This is one of the matchups I had expected to see, a Sultai variant of UB control. Hard fought match, but with my sideboard it came to a close win. Again, in these matches its all about the bait, if it looks juicy enough they bite.

Round Six!!! I honestly had hoped this deck had died out with its earlier iterations, Mardu Vehicles. To be honest, this match was more grindy than Grind Stone. Game one was a ton of back and forth with a final crack back with angels for the win. Game two I sided in a ton of removal as to keep the board clear, the hero in this matchup was Angel of Invention. Solid 3 games, but a well fought 2-1.

Round Seven!!! I sit across a new deck on the scene, Naya Big Bois (Naya monsters). On the first turgpgn of the match, BOOM, a pro tour stamped card. I ask, “Did you actually play in that pro tour?” He responded with the good old, “Which one haven’t I played in?” Alrighty, cool, a pro. My nerves are on fire now. Alex Majlatin, numerous top eights, been on the tour since like 2013; this one is gonna be rough. I steal game one by the pure value of my creatures. Game two I win simply because something I foresaw came to fruition. I decided on playing two God-Pharaoh’s Gift in the main deck as I anticipated at least one of them getting Cast Out or Thopter Arrested every single game. He used the last card in hand to deal with the first, it caught him off guard when I played the second. I rode that one to victory in a solid 2-0 on a pro!!

Round 8, the final round of day one!!! This is it the for real win and in. I sit down, lose the die roll, and get creamed before I could even get to five mana. As you might be able gateto guess, mono freaking red. Game two, however, I wasn’t a push over. I played two Settle the Wreckage and resolved two Gate cracks, the game was over. Game three, the same old Magic: The Gathering story happened. Stuck on three lands for three turns with a four land answer in hand. All in all a decent day, but not quite a holy one.

It was a fun event, I was the ill prepared one. If I could go back in time and change my deck choice, I would have played the Naya Monsters as that list is the definition of board pressure, which I believe to be the most important in this current standard. Either you need to create a lot of it, or control all of it. It upsets me as a player to sit down at tables all day and only see 4 different decks other than my own, I would like to see a broader Standard format with more developed strategies than Naya or UB good stuff. Please, Wizards, make the rotations longer, but keep up with the aggressive bannings.

Check out some other articles about the Memphis Grand Prix here or here!

If you also think standard is a Garbage Fire, and are hoping for more in Dominaria, check out our preorders here!


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Yu-Gi-Oh! Shakedown

yugioh1By Morgan Saye

Alrighty, listen up! Lemme tell you about the state of YUGIMONS!!!!

So recently the almighty Konami has released its biggest banlist update since like 2008. monsterMoving a total of 28 cards up and down the banlist, unbanning cards like Apoqliphort Towers, Performage Damage Juggler, Monster Reborn, and Solemn Judgment. Bringing back the scariest monster since the Envoys could shake the format quite a bit especially with the bringing to three of Saqlifice. Konami blessed us by bringing back generic staples, such as Monster Reborn to one, Solemn Judgment to one, Brain and Mind Control to three, Bottomless Trap Hole to three, Torrential Tribute to three, Thunder King Rai-Oh to three, and Card Trooper to three.

But beware, the Burn package that evil Konami hath wrought upon us with the unlimiting of Ceasefire and Ojama Trio, get ready for chainburn to see a resurgence. chainburnAlso expect to see top 8 changes as many meta cards became limited and banned, such as: Dandylion (banned), Performapal Skullcrobat Joker (banned), Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow (banned), Maxx “C” (banned), Level Eater (banned), Grinder Golem (limited), Firewall Dragon (limited), and, finally, SPYRAL Resort (limited [should be banned]). My money is on either the True Draco Monarch variant or Mythical Beasts (I might be a little biased)!!!!

Speaking of Mythical Beasts, we got a new pack that doesn’t seem to just be a money grab for Konami. A new seemingly competitive archetype comes out of the Extreme Force booster taking advantage of an almost legacy mechanic, spell counters!!!! heavymThe Mythical Beasts are my favorite thing out of the booster, but trust me there is a little something for everyone. Link support for old archetypes such as Noble Knights, Steelswarm, Metalfoes, Zefra, Qliphort, Archfiend, and Ritual Beast. Introduction of new archetypes like Mekk-Knight and Tindangle look cool, but are nowhere near the competitive level. And finally, here are your #MoneyCards:

  1. Heavymetalfoes Electrumite – $55
  2. Saryuja Skull Dread – $40
  3. Mythical Beast Master Cerberus – $18
  4. Hey, Trunade! – $18

Check out these cards and more at your friendly local game store! Stay tuned for more Yu-Gi-Oh! updates as the meta evolves and new sets are released.


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Photosynthesis: Board Game Review

photosyn2By Michelle Harvey

Photosynthesis is a two to four player game about sunlight and trees! Throughout the game you will plant seeds, grow trees, and chop them down to collect points. Photosynthesis is played over a set number of turns, making for a quick 30-45 minute game. That being said, the first time you play will take a bit longer due to learning the rules, as usual.

photosyn1Photosynthesis is a game intended for two to four players, but I personally recommend playing with at least three people. When you play with three or four players, the game is more exciting and more difficult. With more people the game board fills up quickly and creates another element of challenge. If you run out of space, it forces people to cut down or grow their trees more quickly. Having more people makes your play strategy adapt and change frequently, producing a unique play experience every time.

Basic game play is simple! To start, each player gets to place two trees (one at a time in player order). Then, each turn you have two phases, a photosynthesis and a buy phase. In the photosynthesis phase, simply look at where the sun is facing on the board and whichever trees are in direct sunlight get sunlight points! If your trees are shadowed by your opponents trees, or even your own, you do not collect any sunlight points for the overshadowed trees. Never fear! The next photosynthesis phase is just around the corner and when the sun moves so does the positioning of its rays!Photosynthesis-exemple-lulièreNext, you enter the buy phase! This is when you get to spend your sunlight points to grow your trees or chop them down! After everyone has taken their turn, the sun shifts to the next position and you start a new round. Here’s the kicker, the game only lasts 3 full rotations of the sun (unless playing the advanced mode).  If it is your first time playing, I do recommend viewing a tutorial online. The rules are a bit vague and can be quite confusing at first, mostly because of the different zones you are required to use when planting trees and sprouting seeds. But once you start playing it’s easy as pie to get the hang of things.

There is also an advanced mode that adds a new element. You are not allowed to grow a tree when it is in the shade of another tree. Sounds like an easy change, but it is not. The more crowded your forest gets, the less light for you to grow in, until people start chopping!

Now you may ask, how do I win?!? To win the game you gather points by chopping down your trees to gain tokens that have point values assigned on the back. You are not required to show people the point values you collect. It is actually more fun to keep them a secret!

Photosynthesis is by far one of the most overlooked game that I have come across, who wants to play a game about growing trees? Let me tell you, never again will I judge a game about growing trees before I play it. It has been one of the mostphotosyn entertaining and genuinely fun game I have played in a very long time. It is a simple enough game that just about anyone can play, but each game is different and has unique challenges based on each person’s strategy. The other reason I  am so smitten with Photosynthesis is the artwork. Each type of tree has beautiful coloration and features a super cute woodland critter. The pieces in the game are also 3D, so it looks really neat when the forest is growing. It looks similar to an actual forest growing. Everything considered Photosynthesis is a truly brilliant game that I feel everyone should at least try. Even if you don’t think you will like it, you may grow to love it!

If you’re looking for more information about Photosynthesis, stop by the website here, or contact your local game store!


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Magic: Unbanned and Unrestrained

Bloodbraid-ElfWith the release of Unstable, the announcement Masters 25, previews of the upcoming Dominaria set, and the latest update to the Modern ban list, Wizards of the Coast seems to be playing with our heart strings as of late. Surely with the Dominaria set, WotC is attempting to woo back retired magic players, as well as those that have been wishy-washy about attending events. This time in Magic: The Gathering appears to be the most promising yet. Why?

When WotC announced Masters 25 and put Jace, The Mind Sculptor on the front of the packaging, rumors of his unbanning began to surface. Today, Jace and Bloodbraid Elf become live on Magic Online scene, and are officially unbanned for tournament play starting this Friday, February 19th. WotC claimed that with the overall power creep of cards that have been released, Jace and Bloodbraid Elf just didn’t seem too overpowered anymore, and, perhaps, might not even see THAT much play. Read the full explanation here.

Jund is definitely viable as a deck again. Bloodbraid Elf will probably see more play than Jace, just because tapping out on turn 4 to play Jace is not optimal for any tier deck. He might become a one of in most decks that run blue as a late game play, or a sideboard card (particularly against Lantern Control).

We can only speculate on how this will affect Modern format, but we’re certainly ready to find out.

Speaking of Masters 25, spoilers show three cards that we know to be available: Phyrexian Obliterator, Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Jace, The Mind Sculptor. masters25

There is a fourth spoiler, but the internet is in a tug-of-war between whether it is Platinum Emperion or Blightsteel Colossus. The new art has the Magic community frazzled and picking apart every minute detail of the new artwork. What do you guys think? Platinum or Blightsteel?masters251

With only a few spoilers out, Masters 25 has a lot of push and pull. WotC announced that it will feature cards from each of its “major releases.” A little ambiguous, yes? This means they have a lot of leeway concerning which cards they want to print. Unfortunately, this already nixes any of the Un-sets (no B.F.M. for us). However, we can speculate that Bloodbraid Elf is most likely going to be printed. Other iconic cards speculated to be reprinted include Shivan Dragon (because, of course), Brainstorm, Ponder and/or Preordain, hoping for Mutavault or Cavern of Souls.

Stay tuned for more updates on Masters 25, set to release on March 16th, and other upcoming sets and events in Magic: The Gathering!


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