I am excited to announce that my latest article, Jumpstart Deals and Steals for Commander, is featured today on TCGplayer Infinite. The image below is a hint of what is in the article. Going forward, I will be publishing Magic: The Gathering content on TCGplayer Infinite. Also, I plan to continue writing additional articles on this website. Friday will still be the release day each week for new content. Thank you for the continued support and patronage.
Lang Van is a Vietnamese restaurant that has been open for over 25 years. It is located near the corner of Shamrock Drive and Eastway Drive in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lang Van serves lunch and dinner every day except on Mondays when closed. Recently, Charlotteans came together and raised over $50,000 to support Lang Van. The owner, Dan Nguyen, was struggling to keep the restaurant afloat during the COVID-19 crisis. Why are residents donating money to help Lang Van?
Lang Van offers over 130 dishes on their menu (prices not current). Customers are certain to find something to enjoy even with dietary restrictions or preferences. Pho and Hu Tieu, Vietnamese noodle soups, can be ordered with a variety of meats and seafood. For those interested in something besides soup, the vermicelli dishes are a great option. If a customer is overwhelmed by the menu, Nguyen is willing to assist. Lang Van receives positive reviews about the freshness and taste of their food on Trip Advisor. However, food is not the only thing that receives high praise at Lang Van.
Nguyen and her employees are focused on taking care of customers. They offer a high level of service to each person whether they choose dining inside or takeout. Nguyen makes every customer feel welcome and appreciated at Lang Van. This sentiment is echoed in a 2017 interview with Nguyen. The main priority for Lang Van's staff is always the customer. Nguyen decided to only allow takeout orders during COVID-19 for the safety of her staff and customers.
During a recent visit, I tried the #43 Hu Tieu Hai San. It is a delectable seafood noodle soup and lighter alternative to Pho. I do enjoy Pho and typically order the #26 Pho Dac Biet from Lang Van. Also, the #2 Goi Cuon (Fresh Summer Rolls) is a nice appetizer to enjoy during warm weather.
While waiting for a takeout order, I watched Nguyen greet multiple customers by name. She brought beers to a few customers while they waited to place an order. Nguyen and her staff made everyone feel welcomed and appreciated. The way Lang Van treats its customers, along with great food, makes it the best Vietnamese restaurant in Charlotte. Also, Lang Van is the highest-rated restaurant in Charlotte on Trip Advisor. I encourage anyone who enjoys Vietnamese cuisine or dining out to visit Lang Van.
Miniature Market is an online and retail gaming store located in St. Louis, Missouri. They sell board games, trading card games, tabletop miniatures, and other gaming-related products. A robust buy back system is available for customers to sell Magic: The Gathering singles and sealed product. Customers can also sell miniatures for Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons. In addition to offering cash for buy back lists, Miniature Market offers a 30% trade bonus for store credit.
Buy Back System Overview
The buy back system on Miniature Market is easy to use. Customers can filter by MTG set, rarity, and foiling. There are options to sort by alphabetical order and price. Foil cards are highlighted to show differentiation between card editions. Prices are shown for Near Mint condition. Played condition is accepted at 75% of the Near Mint price. A robust FAQ is available to help answer questions about the buy back system and process.
Processing and Payment
Miniature Market reviews all buy back lists before approval. They advise customers not to send in any items until an approval email is sent. The FAQ states that this can take 24 hours during weekdays or longer over weekends. This not a positive customer experience since card quantities and prices quoted at submission is not guaranteed. The delay for approving buy back lists adds to the wait time for receiving payment.
The processing time for received orders is three to four business days, not counting weekends. Orders received on a Friday may have extended processing time. Customers should understand that the entire process can take around two weeks.
Buy Back Experience
I submitted a buy back list to Miniature Market featuring multiple Commander format cards. The buy back list was approved within 24 hours. I compared the cash prices of cards between the Miniature Market and Card Kingdom. Prices were lower on Miniature Market for cards such as Karakas and Cathars' Crusade. However, some cards I submitted had substantially higher cash prices on Miniature Market. Tana, the Bloodsower was $6.50 on Miniature Market and $2.50 on Card Kingdom. Sram, Senior Edificer was $3.40 on Miniature Market and $1.80 on Card Kingdom. Sen Triplets from Mystery Boosters was $13.25 on Miniature Market and $8.00 on Card Kingdom. The additional cash offer of $10.85 made it worthwhile to split the buylist between two vendors. While a few cards were graded down to played condition, I was pleased with the amount of cash received. Unfortunately, Miniature Market labeled the PayPal transaction as goods and services. This caused me to pay at 3.4% transaction fee. I have never had an online vendor label a buy back or buylist payment as goods and services. Miniature Market will mail a check for payment, but it is not as fast as PayPal. The overall process between shipping and receiving payment was less than two weeks.
Even with the PayPal transaction fee, I believe Miniature Market is a suitable buylist alternative to Card Kingdom. I found the system fast and easy to search for card prices. The highlighting of foil cards helped me avoid selecting the wrong edition. The overall process of selling cards to Miniature Market was smooth. However, Miniature Market's response time to questions and comments is slow. Customers should not expect the same level of customer service offered by Card Kingdom. While Miniature Market may not always offer the highest buy back pricing or level of service, it is a worthwhile consideration.
*This article is not sponsored or affiliated with Miniature Market.*
Commander (EDH) is one of Magic: The Gathering's most popular formats. In EDH, players build Commander decks with a wide range of themes, strategies, and competitiveness. Players enjoy brewing decks with interesting mechanics and gameplay using cards across MTG's history.
The MTG Reserved List features a list of cards that Wizards of the Coast said they would not reprint again. This means that cards on the Reserved List have a finite print run. Reserved List cards played in EDH range in price from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. I recently wrote an article highlighting three inexpensive Reserved List cards with the potential for Competitive EDH play. While not all Reserved List cards are cEDH playable, there are many seeing play in EDH. This article identifies Reserved List cards under $10.00 that are playable in EDH decks. Some Reserved List cards have the potential to shine with synergistic commanders.
Braingeyser has an advantage over similar MTG cards because it targets any player to draw X cards for two additional blue mana. Mind Spring has a similar effect and casting cost, but only works on the caster. Blue Sun's Zenith and Stroke of Genius are instant-speed spells that cost three additional mana. Braingeyser works well with the new Sultai commander Zaxara, the Exemplary. It also synergizes with Kruphix, God of Horizons, Mizzix of the Izmagnus, and The Locust God.
If you ever wanted to turn all non-Aura enchantments into creatures, look no further than Opalescence. Opalescence saw competitive constructed play due to Replenish. While Opalescence is not widely played in EDH, it does work well with a few commanders like Tuvasa the Sunlit, and Karametra, God of Harvests.
Karn, Silver Golem
Karn, Silver Golem is an adored character in MTG's lore. The Urza's Saga version is the only creature spell for Karn. Decks want Karn because of its activated ability. A popular home for Karn is in Daretti, Scrap Savant. Additionally, Karn synergies well with Horobi, Death's Wail by turning artifacts into creatures for one mana. Who does not want to destroy each creature on the battlefield?
Great Whale is a similar card to Peregrine Drake and Palichron. Unfortunately, it does not have the reduced casting cost of Peregrine Drake or the ability of Palichron. The upside of the Great Whale is its creature type and enters the battlefield trigger. Players can earn bragging rights if they combo off with Great Whale instead of Peregrine Drake or Palichron. Great Whale is included in some large sea creature decks, Animar, Soul of Elements, and Maelstrom Wanderer.
Peacekeeper perfectly describes its ability to prevent creatures from attacking. This creature hinders other player's strategies for a small upkeep cost. It works well in decks with commanders like Angus Mackenzie, Gwafa Hazrid, Profiteer, and Gaddock Teeg. White combo decks like Selenia, Dark Angel, and Heliod, Sun-Crowned may want Peacekeeper to slow opponent's attacks.
Breathstealer's Crypt is a gold enchantment from Visions with a global effect. While life loss or discarding cards may not always occur, knowing what each player draws is helpful information. Liliana, Waker of the Dead from Core 2021 seems to synergize with Breathstealer's Crypt. Also, Breathstealer's Crypt synergies with the Grixis commander Nekusar, the Mindrazer. Other commanders like Sygg, River Cutthroat, and Taigam, Sidisi's Hand may want Breathstealer's Crypt.
Márton Stromgald fits well in aggressive, go wide, creature decks. His creature types are human and knight according to Gatherer. While Márton may not be a goblin, he can increase the tribe's strength on the battlefield. Decks producing many creature tokens could include Márton. A few commanders that work well with Márton are Adriana, Captain of the Guard, Iroas, God of Victory, and Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin.
Scorched Ruins is a land that produces four colorless mana. It also requires two untapped lands sacrificed upon entering the battlefield. This drawback is similar to cards like Lotus Vale and Lotus Field. Scorched Ruins does come into play untapped unlike Lotus Field. The ideal home for Scorched Ruins is a commander deck taking advantage of colorless mana. Commanders like Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, and Kozilek, the Great Distortion may want to include Scorched Ruins. Additionally, it synergizes well with a green commander named Titania, Protector of Argoth.
Retribution of the Meek
Retribution of the Meek is a three mana board wipe that checks the power of creatures. Citywide Bust has the same effect but instead looks at the toughness of creatures. Put Retribution of the Meek and Citywide Bust in the same deck for interesting reactions from other players. The partner commanders Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa // Tymna the Weaver may want Retribution of the Meek since many of the hatebear creatures have power under four. Retribution of the Meek slots in decks like Arcades, the Strategist, and Doran, the Siege Tower since they only care about creature toughness.
Carrion is a spell that creates multiple black insect creature tokens by sacrificing a creature. Carrion's card text was updated on Gatherer, so please do not go searching for maggot tokens. Insects produced by Carrion can reduce the casting cost of Torgaar, Famine Incarnate, and Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. Carrion could also fit in aristocrat decks like Ayara, First of Locthwain, and Mazirek Kraul Death Priest.
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