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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Dec 21 2011 1:27am
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It's the holiday season and people are frantically trying to figure out the perfect gift for everyone on their lists.  Traffic has been reduced to a crawl around the local malls and shopping centers as the days go by.  Sadly some people are hard to shop for.  Sometimes they do not give you any ideas, or they try to make you believe that there is nothing they really want for the holidays.  I fall in the latter.  This fun little piece is intended to show off a few last minute ideas that may have been overlooked during the year! 

Magic Gifts  

If you are looking at this article I have to believe that you are shopping for your favorite Magic the Gathering player.  I have a couple of gift ideas for you here! 

I believe the best release this year was not Innistrad or Magic 2012 or any of the actual large sets.  I think the best release and the one that was the most fun was the Commander (1) decks that came out earlier this year!  You get three oversized cards and a deck for a pretty fair price.  Commander is a fun format and if it is good enough for the Minnesota Vikings it will be good enough for your gamer gift receiver!  I recommend the Mirror Mastery deck but I am bit biased here.  I just enjoy doing broken things.  If you have some extra cash and want to supplement your Commander purchase, I would buy a copy of From the Vault: Legends.  It may not have been the most well thought out From the Vault product but it will allow for some Commander deck blinging out.

I am going to use this picture as often as possible. 

Another gift that would recommend would be the newest premium deck series Graveborn (2).  This reanimator deck is a fully foiled deck and is a pretty good value for the MSRP.  You get a rather neat deck for the price and some solid Legacy foils.  Entomb was included (very glad that it has it's orginial art!)  and you can get Animate Dead as a foil in paper magic now!  You also get sick new art versions of Crosis, the Purger and Cabal Therapy.  Reanimate and Duress also get the foil treatment here so you can get other versions of these popular staples! 

The other major release that I would recommend for the magic player this year is Duels of the Planeswalker (3).  The video game is available from Steam, PSN and the XBOX Live Arcade.  Chances are you can probably head down to the local game store with the code and redeem it for the Titan promo.  I'd use that as a stocking stuffer! 

Other things I would recommend for neat little gifts are the two Duel decks that came out this year.  I would recommend the Ajani vs Nicol Bolas deck over Knights vs Dragons mainly because I liked playing the Ajani deck more than I did the Knights deck.  You could also pick up booster packs of the sets that came out over the year.  Innistrad, New Phyrexia, Mirrodin Beseiged and Magic 2012 all came out this year.  I'd go for New Phyrexia and Innistrad before the other two sets though.  I personally think the best cards came out of those sets!  I would be remiss if I did not remind you about gift certificate options at mtgotraders.com and capefeargames.com.  I've always felt that gift certificate were fantastic catch alls as a suppliment to gifts.  Of course I also had a panic attack last night at the big box store because I had no idea what I was going to get my son.  (4 year old boys enjoy toy cars right?) 

Board Game Gifts.  

Board games are a popular thing to pass time.  These games are great for quick play at PTQs or for gathering the family around the table for an all-inclusive night of fun!  Deck building games are also very popular right now.  They are quick to learn, easy to play and a lot of fun.  Dominion is one such game.  It saw two expansions come out this year.  Cornucopia and Hinterlands came out this year.  Ascension (Designed by Pro Tour Champions Justin Gary, Brian Kibler and Rob Doughery) also had two expansions.  Return of the Fallen and Storm of Souls (though it was just announced that there was a shipping delay was going to keep Storm of Souls off the shelves during the holiday season) were released to much fanfare.  Resident Evil had three expansions come out this year, keep an eye out for Alliance Outbreak and Nightmare (Which apparently came out not too long ago)!  Nightfall entered the genre this year and has two expansions to go along with it.  Popular franchises entered the marketplace this year.  Star Trek, Blood Bowl and Penny Arcade have deck building games now (Check out the Penny Arcade game, it is a ton of fun!)  A Few Acres of Snow is a very good deck building game.

Here are some other board games ideas for you as you shop at the Local Game Store. 

7 Wonders
Forbidden Island (this is a co-op game, great for family night!)
The Settlers of Catan (a great introduction to strategic board games and it is a classic!)
Ticket to Ride (Fantastic introduction to train games) 
Power Grid (Has a ton of maps, who knew building power stations could be fun?)
Cosmic Encounter
Galaxy Trucker
Infinite City

Video Game Gifts

This is just going to be a list.  Video games get so much hype now that it is easy to find out information about them.  I mean EVERYONE knows about Skyim (I took an arrow to the knee just now).  I will give a list of ten games that I would recommend (I also recommend Skyrim, thought that would go without saying!) 

Batman: Arkham City
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
King of Fighters XIII
Sonic Generations
Fortune Street
L.A. Noire
Kirbys Return to Dreamland
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Rayman Origins


Not a single war game or sports game.  Not a fan of the war games, and I think the only sports game that came out this year that was worth a darn was NBA 2k12. 

This time of year though is not about the gifts given. I believe it's about the time spent with the people you love.  I personally got the best present I could get when I was asked if I would like to have Cassius on Christmas Day.  Like I said it's all about the time spent with people you love.  Games help to bring us together, and give us an excuse to spend a lot of time with the people that we want to be around.  What do you want to see in your hands over the holiday season?  Leave a comment!  The staff at PureMTGO.com want to wish you all the best in this holiday season and a wonderful New Year! 


Id love to get some board by Paul Leicht at Wed, 12/21/2011 - 07:31
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Id love to get some board games but Id have no one to play them with sadly. My gf plays when I force her but her interest only goes so far. Exceptions: She likes Scrabble and seemed to actually enjoy Kings & Things* tm.

Ticket to Ride has always by JXClaytor at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 20:07
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Ticket to Ride has always been my first game that I play with players who are unsure about liking board games. It's quick, simple to learn, and has a nice bit of strategic depth.

I've been thinking about by Westane at Wed, 12/21/2011 - 13:09
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I've been thinking about picking up Dominion for my wife and I, or the official D&D board game... There's really no point... she's playing Skyrim... and I'm playing Skyrim...

Justin Treadway stuff by apaulogy at Wed, 12/21/2011 - 14:20
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Although I have gotten no response about the "Thraximundar" shirts (T_T), he has a bunch of apparel and artwork for sale on his website for the holiday geek in you:


Justin, if you read this, I really want one of those shirts.

Great idea - we have a TON of by deluxeicoff at Wed, 12/21/2011 - 17:09
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Great idea - we have a TON of boardgames at our home...here's the "must have" imo, I promise they're all amazing and you'll play them A LOT:

1) Polarity - Dexterity based strategy with magnets, (sometimes hard to find, thinkgeek has it)
2) Ascension - that's a good one, we love it.
3) Blokus - this is one amazing strategic game.
4) Tsuro 'game of the path' - 20 seconds to learn...amazing game. Every person that sees it wants to buy it asap.
5) Khet (diflexion is original name) - lazer based geometric strategy supreme!

@ Westane by Stu Benedict at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 07:45
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I just picked up Skyrim last night ... probably a bad idea to play it directly after Uncharted 3 though ... it makes Skyrim's graphics and voice acting just terrible in comparison : (

but def. give Dominion a try .. lots of fun

Are any of the deckbuilding by Drbenwayy at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 18:52
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Are any of the deckbuilding games you highlight not trading card games but a complete game within the box with all the cards? My brother really enjoys board games and has a lot of them (Ticket to Ride a present from my parents this year) and I'd like to get him a game. We really enjoy playing Race for the Galaxy, a self contained card game and would like a suggestion along the lines of this. I tried to get him into magic and we played for the first time the other night but he said he doesn't enjoy it. Any input from anyone here is appreciated.

All of the deck building by JXClaytor at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 20:05
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All of the deck building games are self contained and are full games out of the box. Unless of course they are expansions, then you just add the expansion into the base game. No need to purchase booster packs or anything like that.