Thursday, October 17, 2013

Places to Shop - Nonno 21

Nonno 21 is located near Nambu bus terminal a major transport hub in Seoul.

Their online store is

Like Hobby Plus I strongly suspect Nonno21 might be retail only. Certainly their website doesn't display magic very prominently. 

Contact Details
Phone number: 02-3465-0094
Korean Street address: 서울특별시 서초구 서초동 국제전자센터 9층

Places to Shop - Hobby Plus

Located very close to Nambu bus terminal Hobby Plus is registered with Wizards for tournament play but don't really have the space for it. 
I am under the impression they just sell sealed product.

Their online store is http//

Contact Details
Phone number: 070-8614-4900
Email address:
Korean street address: 서울특별시 서초구 서초동 국제전자센터 9층

Places to Play - PlayFirst, Goyang

Like DiveDice, Playfirst has an online presence and also doesn't have a space in its name.

It's also a little out in the sticks unless you are a resident of North Western Gyeonggi do.

They have both a Korean http// and English web store which is very impressive.

Contact Details
Phone number: 031-966-9985
Korean Street address: 경기도 고양시 일산동구 식사동 809-13번지 2층

Edit (23/12/2013): Their English site is under renovation and looks to have changed web address to

Places to Play - Battle City Mokdong

The Mokdong branch of Battle City is unsurprisingly located near Mokdong station on the purple line (line 5).

Contact Details
Phone number: 02-2692-6279
Korean Street address: 서울특별시 양천구 신정동 902-3번지 목마빌딩 지하

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Battle City, Geumjeong

Geumjeong is on line 1 (the dark blue line) and also intersects with line 4 (light blue line). I guess that makes it regular blue?

Take exit 5 is the information I have. 

They looked to have changed address recently which made people think they had closed.

Contact Details
Phone number: 02-939-6625
Email address:
Street address: 238-1, Sanbon-dong, Gunpo-si Gyeonggi-Do
238-1번지 3층경기도 군포시 산본동

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Duel Zone, Nowon

They have a large online store and seem to be a franchise.

Nowon station is near the end (or start depending on your perspective) of the light blue line (line 4) and intersects with line 7.

Contact Details
Phone number: 02-939-6625
Email address:
Korean Street address: 서울특별시 노원구 상계동 581-102 2층

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Duel Shop Maebong

This store is very new and I am not even sure of the name yet. It's located neat Maebong station on line 3 a couple of stops from Nambu Bus Terminal.

Contact Details
Phone number: 02 574 6086

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Places to Play - Witches Brew Board Game Cafe

This store isn't a designated Magic shop but is registered with Wizards.
They might not be able to provide the same level of tournament or product support as some of the dedicated card stores but they do have one advantage over them.

The Brew part of witches brew stands for beer! 

They also look to take the cafe part a lot more seriously than most other stores.

They are located near Gyeongin University and Gyeong-in National University Subway stop. Sometimes referred to as Gyeongin Dae.

Contact Details
Phone number: 010-5419-2936
Email address:
Korean Street address: 인천 계양구 계산동 970-64 2층 위치스브루(계산로 77)

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Taken Board Game Cafe

Wizards refer to this place as Tycoon rather than Taken. Just reading it in Hanguel leaves that open for interpretation.

Taken is not close to any subway stops and looks like it would require a bus/taxi ride on top if you are not in the area. The closest station is Jemulpo on the Incheon stretch of line 1 (the dark blue line) a couple of stations away from Juan station where Duel Land is located.

Their phone number is 032-864-3369 and email is

Unfortunately I don't have a map for them.

There FNM is standard (W10,000) and starts at 8:00 pm.

Contact Details
Phone number: 016 - 630 - 0319
Email address:
Korean Street address: 인천광역시 남구 용현동 194 - 25 번지

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only


Places to Play - Duel Land Incheon

Duel Land is located near Juan (주안) station on line 1 (the dark blue line) of the Seoul Subway system. This is on the Incheon section of the line rather than the Sinchang line when the two branch of at Guro.

The map provided looks fairly decent. Take exit 4 and it is not that far. I have fallen for that trap before though so a picture of the street/store front would be nice.

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - OLD Dalmuti Suwon

EDIT: This is the old location for Dalmuti. Their now location is at (

This is my local game store and is a board game cafe as well as being a major Magic hub.

Suwon station is a major transport hub and Dalmuti is very close to Suwon Subway and bus stations. If you used the subway you want to take exit 7 gate 2 which will bring you up right near Baskin Robbins..
Dalmuti is on the road that runs down the side of Baskin Robbins. It is about 120m down that road.

Dalmuti is on the second floor and the building it's housed in doesn't have obvious street access. You must use either of the side entrances.

You can look out for the green and white Dalmuti sign but the garish yellow of the Nori Zone sign is easier to spot. Walk through the Nori Zone signage and there is a door on the right leading to upstairs (and Dalmuti) just before you enter Nori Zone proper. 
Or just go to Nori Zone and hang out with screaming middle school kids, the choice is yours.

The store has a full magic schedule. FNM is usually a draft starting at 8:00 followed by constructed at midnight. As well as various other drafts and standard tournaments, on Sunday at 1:00 there is an English Language draft.

I have found the customer service to be fantastic but in the usual Korean way. It might be a little bit more laziz faire than what some foreigners are used to.
They also have an online store

Contact Details
Phone number: 070 4212 8606
Email address:
Korean Street address: 경기도 수원시 팔달구 매산로 14-5 2층

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Places to Play - About TCG

 About TCG is located near Sinpung station on line 7.

They have some pictures of Jace in their store and t
heir website address is

That is pretty much all I know about them.

Contact Details
Phone number: 070-7578-2679
Email address:
Korean Street address: 서울특별시 영등포구 대림동 909-40 지하

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Dive Dice Hyehwa

Edit: This store has changed ownership and has now been renamed too Red Dice

Not to be confused with their sister store Dive Dice Hongdae which I rate very highly.

I have heard some complaints about this store. Nothing that sounds like a deal breaker but it is probably amplified by the fact most Korean magic shops are awesome. I feel they always go out of their way to look after me at Dalmuti.

Dive Dice Hyehwa is located near Hyehwa station on the light blue line (line 4) in Northern Seoul. Sometimes this area is also referred to as Daehak Ro (대학로).

Get out at Exit 4 and then follow that road until you get to the main street and then turn right. 

It's easy to miss and walk past. It's signage is on the front of the building on the third floor and it shares the building with a Norae Bang which hogs most of the first floor signage. 

Contact Details
Phone number: 02-765-7455
Email address:
Korean Street address: 서울특별시 종로구 명륜2가 211번지 유니지오 빌딩 303호

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to play - Duel Mall

Duel Mall is located in the city of Daejeon and is pretty big on Yugioh.
Their online store is

Unfortunately the maps I have for this place are via the normal Korean Internet maze of flash and outdated explorer add ons so I can't post a much.

Contact Details
Phone number: 010-4909-0342
Email address:
Korean Street address: 대전광역시 서구 둔산동 1945번지 2층

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Yatap Battle City

Battle City is near Yatap station on the Bundang line (yellow line) in Seoul.

Contact Details
Phone number: 031-707-7278
Korean Street address: 경기도 성남시 분당구 야탑동 368-6 지하1층

If a picture says a thousand words then this entry is pretty much finished.

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Alice

Alice is located in Gwangju famous for being the current residence of the 2nd best blog (the first being Expat Hell obviously) in Korea. The home of Via Korea seems to have multiple magic shops but the one with the biggest online presence is Alice.

They have their own cafe site ( and host regular FNM.

Contact Details
Phone number: 016-682-3835
Email address:
Korean Street address: 광주광역시 동구 충장로3가 19-10 3층

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Michaels, Daegu

Located in Daegu so out of my comfort zone in regards to how the **** do you get there. 

I'm interested to know if these are related to the Michaels in Seoul or whether its just a strange coincidence.

Daegu has a facebook group named Magic the Gathering Daegu (

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Card Castle

This store has it's own web store at

Edit: April 2014 - Apparently this store is moving to a new location and will ahve a new address soon.

Card Castle is in Changwon (near Busan) and accessible by bus. 

Contact Details
Phone number: 055-237-2417
Korean Street address: 경남 창원 의창구 도계동 330-5 대영상가빌라 203호 좌측

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Total TCG

Total TCG seems to be new to Magic and hosting FNM. They are also known as Dual Land or Hobby Hobby.
They are located in Gwangmyeong which is on the dark blue line (line 1). It has it's own station but it is branched of from the main line similar to stations like Sadongtan. Have a look at the subway map and you will instantly understand what I am saying. 
On their cafe website they have fantastic directions which are a real cut above the regular not to scale pretty looking map most stores give you.

Take exit 3, walk through some sort of mini park with a huge horse statue looming large over it. And then...... just look at their website since it does a much better job and I can't copy their photos.

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Places to Play - Saboten Store

Now that I am comfortably a regular at Dalmuti in Suwon I don't see myself travelling to different stores which are all further away in the foreseeable future.

So this entry is about a store which I haven't been to so I am sorry for any inaccuracies but I thought I would put the information out there and if something is wrong it hopefully gets corrected.

Saboten has there own website which is covered with pics of anime girls. I'm guessing there will be a lot of Sword girls stuff in the trading card section.

They are located near Sadang Station which is where the light blue line (line 4) and line 2 intersect.
Judging from the map I'm guessing you take exit 10 or 11 and then ..... good luck.

FNM is a draft starting at 7:30pm on a Friday.

Contact Details
Phone number: 010-2999-4381
Email address:

* I have not been to this store and this info comes from online sources only.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Podcasts - 2013

I don’t know how sustainable this is but I’m currently listening to a lot of magic podcasts, usually on my way to and from work.
I have downloaded a lot only to delete them 10 minutes in either due to poor production, bad sound quality or just random rambling and lots of dead air and ummmms. Top 8 magic was the one I was most disappointed in because the sound quality is just a huge turn off so I never get far into it.
Amongst all that chaff there is some really good stuff most of which is pretty well known.

The king of Magic podcasts is Limited Resources hosted by Marshall Sutcliffe. Magic coverage is his full time job and it shows. The production quality is fantastic and both main hosts (Marshall and Brian Wong) are entertaining. For Theros limited they did a 5 hour show which I have to admit it took me multiple settings to finish but it was worth it.

The Eh team and Heavy meta are pretty similar in that they are very long podcasts with decent production values but they go off topic a lot. That is part of the charm for me as I enjoy listening to the hosts. So there is more general entertainment than strict magic talk so they are not something I can recommend to everyone even though I love them.

Drive to work is a roughly half hour podcast by Mark Rosewater which he makes while driving to work (hence the name). It’s very similar to his Making Magic column which is one of the things that got me back into Magic back in the day as I found it really interesting and read pretty much his entire archive. He has some interesting stories and the length of his drive to work seems to match pretty well with mine. Sometimes a little dry (I am not interested in certain topics) but sometimes really interesting especially when talking about how gamers and designers think and game design.
It sounds really clear for something recorded in his car.

The deck tease was a really pleasant surprise. The way other people talk about it and the impression you get from the picture on Itunes, the name and the intro music is completely different than what I found to be the podcast to be.
In my opinion it’s easily the best interview style podcast and most interesting one. The only interview podcast that I have subscribed to.
Brainstorm Brewery is the magic podcast I get most excited about to see a new episode. It’s a magic finance podcast and at times really interesting with some great hosts. The episodes or even sections inside the podcast really vary in quality though. Sometimes there is too much rambling and lingering on boring topics.
If you have the slightest interest in Magic finance this is the go to podcast.

Spike Feed is the most recent podcast I have added to my subscription list and I am fast becoming a big fan. It’s fairly new and I have now listened to every episode. Very good chemistry between the hosts, good variety of topics (limited, constructed and finance) and excellent production values thanks to one of the hosts being a professional producer.

My Top 7
Limited resources
The Spike Feed
Brainstorm Brewery
The Eh Team
Drive to work
The Deck Tease
Heavy Meta

Pro Tour Theros - Coverage

For the first time ever I watched a significant amount of Magic event coverage on the weekend. Previously all I had seen were grainy videos where it was really hard to tell what was going on and 90% of the time nothing was happening. Watching people thinking, shuffling or talking to a judge is not exciting.

I started watching Pro Tour Theros because my friend Levi was playing in it. I quickly realized he wasn’t going to get camera time even though he made day two. I really enjoyed the coverage and was amazed at how professional it was. I think Theros is a great set to cover because it’s quite fast in both formats and there are not a lot of counters so people tend to only go into the tank before something really significant is about to happen.
I only play limited and Modern but I still enjoyed the standard coverage and some of the decks were fun to watch. In particular the two Japanese decks. Mihara’s green red deck was fun to watch with some really splashy plays but the mono black devotion deck featuring pack rat had me checking my binder to see how many cards I would need to make the deck (way too many).
The way they handle the feature match area is awesome and I enjoyed some of the features like the deck techs and 1st pick 1st pack. When there is a pod with only a couple of “name” players I wouldn’t mind a feature that goes into there 2nd and third picks etc until the archetype they are into is obvious.
You can get that via the draft viewer but that breaks up the flow for me because I had the coverage showing on my TV set watching it just like I watch a football game.

There are a few articles about the coverage and I was surprised (though I shouldn’t have been) that a lot of people complain about it.
There is a good piece on Star City by John Butler.
That unfortunately was very poorly edited (like I can talk) that raised some pretty good points.
Implementing a ranking system looks to be something Wizards have already taken on board.

A lot of Butler’s suggestions would give the games a lot more edge and we might lose a bit of the “nice’ vibe about how the major pros treat each other. I think that would be a little sad but it really would increase the drama if more players showed that they really wanted the win and acted more like Poker players rather than the awesome collection of nice guys we seem to have now.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


I'm feeling better about Thero's draft now. 
Getting the right mix on your mana curve is very important and it has a slightly different feel. There is no particular slot where you must stack with cards but you need to be playing your mana and using it every turn. 
My deck the week before had some great cards and hit hard in the fith and sixth spot (2 Horizon Scholars, 2 Sea God's Revenge and 3 Prescient Chimera) but losing the mana race against the green decks was the end of me.

This week I drafted a blue black deck that turned out quite solid despite my neigbours again fighting with me over blue. And the player to the left drafted blue black as well.
I won the first and third rounds 2 nil but lost the second round 2-1. The deck felt great because it always felt like my 5th or 6th drop was pushing me over the edge rather than evening up the game. There were a couple of games where my opponent thought we were racing until I played a Grey Merchant or two to show otherwise (insert evil laugh).

In the final game of the round I lost I came off second best against a Bow of Nylea which felt like playing against Umezawa's Jitte, in that as long as he had creatures it was sad times. I eventually killed all his creatures which gave me a window of about 3 turns to either kill him or put him on the defensive.
Despite having a Prescient Chimera and a Carven Lampad in play to his nothing but the bow I still couldn't do enough (thanks to the bow switching from combat nightmare mode to life gain mode) to worry him before he drew some very good fat. 

I'm not sure if the bow is good enough for constructed but a lot of the time cards that are that good in limited eventually get there. 

2-1 and a couple of packs as prizes felt good. Opening and drafting Espleth (third pack over a Lash of the Whip) was sweet icing on top.