Hello, fellow basement dwellers! I have had the pleasure of meeting a great many of you in this first brilliant month since YMB opened its doors. Though if we have not yet met, allow me to introduce myself–I’m Derek, Your Mom’s Basement’s resident Magic: The Gathering confidant/lackey.

              You see what I did there?

Anyway. Your Mom’s Basement has been open awhile now and Dan, Doug and I are finally getting settled in a bit. Thus, I figure it is time to establish a semi-regular Magic: The Gathering blog, just to keep in touch with our growing community.

Those who know me are aware that while I’m not the most competitive player, Legacy is my format of choice (though I’ve been particularly fond of Peasant of late) and I usually stick to it. However, at present, Your Mom’s Basement deals primarily in Standard. As such, I will valiantly attempt to touch on subjects ranging across formats, to tickle everyone’s fancy.

Today’s There Is Only Szule (my last name, pronounced “zool”. Yes, like Ghostbusters.) happens to fall on the day of the full spoiler of M13. I’d like to just do a brief entry touching on some of the cards I’m excited for and some that I’m not. The good, the bad, and the ugly, if you will. First things first. The Good: Ajani, Caller of the Pride.

“Oh, NOW you want me?”

Uh, yeah. Yeah, I do. In the lead for most expensive pre-order, this re-upped planeswalking kitty is a bomb. I’ve heard plans for everything from Standard mono-white aggro to making him the all-star of Legacy contender, “Maverick”. At four starting loyalty, he is one of only four planeswalkers to have greater loyalty than its casting cost (the others being Chandra Naalar, Gideon Jura, and Sarkhan the Mad), in addition to being a full two mana less to cast than the others. His game-winning second ability is usable upon resolution, and does not kill him. Wherever he ends up, I know I probably won’t want to be on the other end of the table.

Next up, we’ve got the Bad: Battle of Wits

“Finally! I’ll keep. Island, go.”
         “Swamp, Duress.”

I’ve never understood the purpose of releasing a card that is nigh unplayable in any format. Arguably, the king of those cards is Battle of Wits. Seeing an unfortunate second reprint, the enigmatic enchantment makes its way back into standard for the first time since Ninth Edition. All humor regarding the sheer idiocy of the card aside, I feel cheated. If I ever have the displeasure of opening a pack of Magic 2013–a set which I am particularly excited for–and staring down a copy of Battle of Wits, I will have no words. It will be as though I’ve just opened a pack with no rare at all. But I digress.

Finally, we’ll move on to the Ugly: Mindclaw Shaman.

          “I resent that!”

The fact that this mechanic is very uncharacteristic of red aside, this powerhouse uncommon is scary. Casting spells from opponents’ graveyards costs you at least four (colored, even!) mana. Generally more, and with greater investment. At just five mana, this 2/2 body opts to bypass opponents even casting their spells while you just, well…claw it from their minds. This is definitely up there on my list of coolest (albeit NASTY) cards in M13.

Well, that’s all for today, guys! Hopefully I’ll see you at YMB’s Magic 2013 release event on July 13th! Until next time! This is Derek for Your Mom’s Basement–Signing off. 🙂