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BMoor's "PAX East 2012 Report"
April 12, 2012
 

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 was one of PAX East's high-profile displays! Here in the main exhibition hall, the DOTP2013 booth was full of consoles running the new game, and fans were lined up to get in and play it for themselves! 

 

 

Gameplay images of Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013! As you can see, the PAX East demo featured a "campaign mode" in which the player goes up against a series of other planeswalkers. Pictured here is me versus Kiora Atua, the shapely seagoing sorceress stabling Simic-style summons as she sings sultry sea shanties by the seashore. Would've beaten her, too, if my Vampire Nocturnus hadn't decided to show me a Swamp just as she'd started dropping Eldrazi titans. But I'll be waiting for another crack at her this summer! 

Even the loading screens in DOTP2013 are an accomplishment! Each one features a painted panorama from one of Magic's usual artists, and depicts various planeswalkers and tidbits of backstory regarding their past conflicts. Besides being beautiful, these information blurbs really demonstrate how, even when not restrained by the size of a flavor text box, Magic's writers have mastered the art of telling a story one image at a time. 

But with all the excitement for the video game, we can't forget the cards themselves! PAX East's video exhibition hall is eclipsed only by its tabletop and board game cathedral, in which all manner of pen-and-paper, board-and-pawn, and, yes, card games are sold, demonstrated, and played. Magic: the Gathering dominated this part of the convention, running booster drafts, Mini Master tournaments, and Commander games nonstop! [And don't forget, this is the last weekend you have to enter BMoor's Commander Contest! The winners will be announced this Monday!] Eight-man queues were filling up and firing off as fast as the judge's staff, pictured here, could get them organized. 

This was the line to get into the Magic: the Gathering panel at PAX East, which talked about Avacyn Restored and some of the behind-the-scenes stories that went into it. If it looks like I'm at the head of the line, I was actually one of the last people in the line to get inside... and all these people are behind me, meaning most of them didn't get in at all. PAX East draws such an incredible crowd that lines like these are unavoidable! 

Taken inside the panel, in which Brady Dommermuth, Dave Guskin, and Dave Humphries shared info and preview cards of Avacyn Restored! This is the only photo I took, as I was in the nosebleed section and couldn't get a good view. But in this photo you can just make out the text of the card-- Thunderous Wrath, a red instant for 4RR that deals 5 damage to a creature or player. But less legible is Avacyn Restored's debut mechanic: Miracles! This card can be cast for its miracle cost of a mere R if it is the first card you draw on your turn and if you cast it immediately upon drawing it. That's right, a mechanic that rewards you for lucky topdecks! The boys from Wizards of the Coast revealed that these Miracles would appear in all colors except black, but that black would get some new toys of its own. Guess we'll have to wait and see what they are! 

As if any more proof were needed that WOTC pulled out all of the stops for PAX East, they even brought in Jace Beleren and Liliana Vess to mingle with the crowd and stop for photos! Cosplaying, where fans dress up as their favorite fictional characters, is a common pastime at conventions such as these. So how do I know this was the real Jace and Liliana? Because as soon as I had taken their photo, a WOTC staff member handed me a free Event Deck! Other freebies from Magic: the Gathering included Avacyn Restored basic lands and Nicol Bolas horned crowns.

                    

 

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