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Monday, April 30, 2012

call for spell of the week

Enter the snake pit!


Send a screenshot of you casting your best Medusa spell to thefriendlynecromancer@gmail.com by tomorrow night (1 May 2012), and I'll post your picture on my blog on the morning of 2 May.

Here's a mailto address link to get you started: Click Here.

Make it awesome!

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pirate101: More Worlds Than Skull Island, Monquista, and Valencia?

I received a question yesterday from one Nicholas Lionrider of Spiral Live fame:


Again, I'm not going to really say much here of my own accord, but let me link you to a couple of places and let you connect the dots. One, you should pay attention to what's being said about the worlds before it links to the three you mention (From the Pirate101 website):

"Travel with your Pirate crew through unknown Skyways and experience familiar worlds like you've never seen before!"

Two things: unknown skyways and familiar worlds.

Next, let me link you over to the Wired Geek Dad article where Matt Forbeck talks a bit about the worlds of Pirate101:

"While both games are set in the Spiral, they only share one world to start with: the Asian-flavored realm of Mooshu. Among the new realms in Pirate101, you’ll find Skull Island, Cool Ranch, and Valencia."

I'm pretty sure that answers your question. ;)

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pirate101 question: What's the difference between a companion and a crew member?

Here's another Pirate101 question I received from a friend on Twitter:



Again, I'm going to rely on what others have said to answer this question and hope that helps connect the dots for you.

The article in question that Kelsey is referring to is here: click. I went back through that article and couldn't see any reference to a "non-crew member." But I understand you're confusion. Here's a quote from the article:

"One of the last pieces that really will make this game a hit is the idea of collecting your pirate crew. The KingsIsle team has come up with very colorful characters join your ranks. From Goat Monks, to Bonnie Anne the Highlander Fox who is the best sharpshooter in the skies, there are lots of wild characters who you can choose from. The crew is yet another extention of your character and will fight beside you to the end. There are going to be hundreds of different and unique crew members for you to find and recruit throughout the game, and the ones available to a Buccaneer will be different than the ones available to a Witchdoctor and so forth. It's highly unlikely that any two players will have the same crew, and you can even assign them ranks on your ship!"

With that in mind, I'm going to juxtapose that with the nice overview of combat from the Pirate101 website: click. Here are the paragraphs I want to point you to directly:

"Battles begin with a planning phase, where you choose actions for your Pirate and Companions. Before executing your move, you can review information about characters and objects on the board by mousing over their portraits.

•Characters and Companions are under your control

•Other players’ Characters and Companions will have colors unique to them

•Inanimate objects have a brown background

•Enemies always have a red background"

"When you’re defeated in combat, you’ll be returned to the last Life Fountain you visited – unless you’re currently in a Crew with other players. If all of your crewmates have been defeated as well, you’ll all return to your own Life Fountains. However, if any crewmates are still alive, you’ll all stay where you are."

So, as you can see "crew" has a couple of different meanings:

1- "unless you’re currently in a Crew with other players"

2- "There are going to be hundreds of different and unique crew members for you to find and recruit throughout the game"

And then also:

"•Characters and Companions are under your control

•Other players’ Characters and Companions will have colors unique to them"

So your crew is made up of you and companions. Other players' crews are made up of themselves and their companions. You and your crew can join a crew with other players and their crews.

Clear as mud? Don't worry it'll all make sense once you start playing the game. In fact, it'll make sense so quickly that you'll see there was nothing to worry about and life is awesome.

Can't wait.

Happy Dueling!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Super Early Questions about Combat in Pirate101

I was asked a couple questions about Pirate101 over Twitter yesterday. These, specifically:



Ok, so, seriously, we're under NDA, we can't really talk about this stuff, but I think I can point you in the right direction based on a few things that we read about the game yesterday. Although things are bound to change over time because a lot of things are somewhat flexible in Alpha.

1- I think I'm ok telling you that my main character's name in game is "Friendly Thomas" :) Friendly Thomas the Witchdoctor at your service, mates!

2- MMORPG.com did a couple of articles yesterday that will answer a lot of these basic questions (combat preview and classes), and on the surface, I agree with a lot of what is being said in them. Specifically what Garrett Fuller said about picking up the new combat style: "The combat in Pirate 101 is really a lot of fun, and will delight folks looking for something different in the MMO space. At first it took us a few tries to get used to it. Once it is understood, you will find that making key decisions and strategizing really can impact your battles. Just like in Wizard 101, players will need to think about their choices and work together to win. It is a system that is easy to learn and has a lot of depth to master."

Personally, I'm familiar and enjoy Tactical Strategy games. Let me plug a couple if you'd like to get a small flavor of some that are out there.

  1. Ninjabee's Band of Bugs Tactics Strategy game. (The free demo is worth a download.)
  2. I've talked a bit here on my blog about Magic The Gathering Tactics.
  3. I've played Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn on the Wii, again great game.
  4. In this fantastic Gamespot review yesterday, J. Todd Coleman and Josef Hall gave a head nod to Shining Force, which I've never played. Here's what the article said, "On the gameplay front, vice president of development Josef Hall says, 'We wanted to take some pretty hardcore concepts and package them in a non-hardcore way.' Central to this has been a big shift in the combat mechanics. Whereas Wizard used a card combat game mechanic for all battles, Pirate101 is a fairly complex turn-based affair that draws inspiration from a true classic. 'We absolutely loved Shining Force,' Coleman and Hall say together, referring to the 1992 Genesis tactical role-playing game by Climax Entertainment. 'We wanted something more akin to chess than a card combat game, and we felt that bringing a game like that which we loved and repackaging it for a broader audience was a great way to do this.'"
(feel free to mention your own favorite tactical RPG in the comments . . . one that I've been wanting to try out but haven't had the time is Wakfu. I've also noticed people citing similarities (in comments to some of the articles yesterday) to Skies of Arcadia? I'm not familiar with that game.)

So that's all I've got, but hopefully that helps give you a little better footing on what the combat for Pirate101 will be like and hopefully put some fears to bed. :)

Happy Dueling!

Imp Raffle Winners! TAG!

Congratulations to the following people who Random.org so kindly chose to win a free Tag Game for their Wizard101 account today!

  1. Malorn WillowSmith, who said he like picture 4. :)
  2. Blaze Firesword, who said he like picture 18!
  3. mattv980, who said he also dug picture 18.
  4. Rachel IceHeart, who was down with picture 10 (because of the "legendary noob!" saying) and picture 5 (because . . . well . . . it's Sierra Mist)
Enjoy the heck out of that tag game! (which I will be sending you shortly)



Happy Dueling!

p.s. Also, I'm deleting all comments from yesterday's post in just a few minutes to hide email addresses and contact information. Thank you all for participating! -Friendly

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spell of the Week -- Imp . . . (Plus a RAFFLE!)

Oh sure, you can cast the mighty Gnome and bring down the fury of Forest Lord like none other, but can you handle the fury of IMP?!?!



Oh sure, laugh now, but I'm telling you every spell has its time and place. With a 90% accuracy, you almost can't get more accurate with the level one spells. Angus Unicornpants loves this spell when he only needs a little bump to win yet he's up against the ropes himself. And . . . yeah . . . a lot of people end up having this spell in their available cards since it's pretty much a requirement to go down the life tree to get to those healing spells like Satyr. Um, I just want to give you a reason to cast it again, and CAST IT YOU DID! Check out these awesome submissions for Spell of the Week by the active readers of the Friendly Necromancer (p.s. read to the end of this post . . . I've got a little Raffle for you):

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1- Jason Titan:

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2- Flash333:

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3- Frogge13:

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4- Kyle Firesword:

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5- Sierra Mist:

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6- Isabella Starsong:

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7- Terri Nightshield:

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8- Sophia Emeraldblossom:

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9- Jason Thundershield:

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10- Elizabeth GoldenThistle:

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11- Julia BlueBlossom:

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12- Thomas Ghostblade:

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13- Charles Stormsword:

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14- Deathywiz:

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15- Mark Drake:

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16- Allison DeathWielder:

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17- Grayson/Gorman:

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18- Seth Dragonhunter:

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19- Matthew Jadeheart:

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20- John LegendMancer:

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21- Thomas EmeraldDust:

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22- Austin Shadowsword:

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YAY! Thank you so much readers, now for the kicker! I have a few housing tag games to give away courtesty of KingsIsle. I would like to raffle a few of those off. Please leave a comment below by the end of today (4/26/2012) telling me which imp screenshot you thought was the best. Also leave your in-game name and a way of contacting you (Central account name, email, or Twitter account preferred) so that if you win the raffle, I can give you your prize. I am not raffling a winner from the screenshots provided, but rather I'm raffling a few winners from those who leave comments on this blogpost (so really, it doesn't matter who you vote for, it just matters that you voted).

Example Raffle entry: "I like #23. I'm Thomas Lionblood - thefriendlynecromancer@gmail.com - THANK YOU, FRIENDLY!"

Thanks and good luck!

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

PIRATE101! RAISE YER PISTOLS, MATES!

Ahhhh, my fellow Wizard101 players and fans!! Today is indeed a HUGE day for us and for KingsIsle. If you haven’t heard about this yet, don’t be surprised. It's been a huge secret. What you probably have heard so far (I’m 100% sure) is that KingsIsle has been crafting a second game for a long time. (Although, I know from talking to the employees of KingsIsle in the past that *this* second game isn’t what the second game started out to be four years ago.)

Guess what?! The news has now hit the Interwebs (press release and everything)! You’re going to want to watch MMORPG.com, Gamespot, IGN, Gamasutra, and a bunch of other gaming news sites for information on this announcement today (you know, the usual suspects fellow new hungry bloggers).

No this is not April first. No this is not a joke. I’m dead serious when I say, my friends . . . my CREWMATES! YARRRRR!

PIRATE101 BE UPON US, AND IT IS EPIC!!!!! :)



(*I wish I could insert a picture of my character here, but I can’t*)

Yup, I’ve played the game to its extents in Alpha. I’m under NDA still, as are all the other bloggers that have played this game (head nod to Tipa from West Karana and Paige Moonshade on my friends list), so I can’t say much about this, but all those news sites linked to up above are going to give you a really solid idea about this game . . . . GO READ NOW (and report back to me hehe)!

I was so excited when I first started playing this new game, that I actually reserved a little spot on Blogspot for my chosen class . . . just in case I someday wanted to shift my Pirate101 operations over exclusively (shhh, thefriendlywitchdoctor.blogspot.com). More than likely I’ll be using The Friendly Necromancer for both Wizard101 and Pirate101 blogging, but I’m not sure at this point (Better safe than sorry).

What I think is safe to say at this point is that if you like Wizard101, you’ll feel right at home in Pirate101. W101 fans are going to love this game. W101 lore junkies are going to love this game, everything from the music to the characters to the things you fight, but say goodbye to the battle circle (don’t be too sad, you won’t miss it after a while) and say hello to a whole new host of colorful friends AND LOOTZ! PIRATE LOOTZ! :)

(*Again, I wish I could insert a picture here, but I can’t LOL*)

There is so much I love about this game, and I am completely thrilled by it. My major complaint has been that I haven’t had enough time in the day to finish all my side quests yet.

OMGosh you guys, I can not wait for you all to play this. I think it’s going to be a game changer for me, in more ways than one. Stay tuned. (p.s. If you haven’t been policing the KingsIsle employment page, I know KI has raised their employee count well beyond its past 150 number . . . in fact with all the hiring they've been doing at KI and with all those new jobs available, I smell THIRD game in the works . . . *insert conspiracy theories here* WOOT!)

RAISE YER PISTOLS, MATES!

HAPPY DUELING!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Call for spell of the week

OWN THIS LIKE A LEVEL ONE LIFE WIZ!


Send a screenshot of you casting your best imp spell to thefriendlynecromancer@gmail.com by tomorrow night (25 April 2012), and I'll post your picture on my blog on the morning of 26 April.

Here's a mailto address link to get you started: Click Here.

Thanks and have fun with it!
Happy Dueling!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Why are there Pricing Differences for Wizard101 in Other Countries?

I received a nice email the other day from Diana Lotus, and I thought I'd share it here:

Hello Friendly Necromancer!

My name's Ewa and I'm 42. I'm from Poland. I play Wizard101 with my children on U.S.A server for 3 years. We love that game! Since December 2011 there is a polish Wizard (Gameforge), so i thought that we will play that one. I write to you, because i wanted to show you the prizes. People sometimes write, that things for crowns on US server are too expensive, but these are just shocking! (I'm attaching some screens).



I had to stay on american Wizard, cause we can't play when everything costs so much (for example 6000 crowns costs 10 euro). I don't get why the game makers get less money than someone who's just translating. Maybe KI can do something with that, or you know something about it? We're looking forward to hear from you.
Greets, Ewa (Diana Lotus).

P.S. I hope you will understand my English, sorry for the mistakes :)

Thanks for the note, Diana! I really have limited experience in this area. I know that a lot of bloggers are very interested in the UK version of Wizard101, but I tend to turn a blind eye to the other versions of Wizard101 because I just don't have time for it. However, I found your question and screenshots compelling, so thank you for reaching out to me! Don't worry about your English. I understood what you were saying. :)

I asked my contacts at KingsIsle this question and received two different responses. They both were very to the point.

The first response was, "GameForge is responsible for determining pricing."

The second response was, "Jeśli jesteś graczem z Polski, możesz się również zwrócić do naszego partnera Gameforge: http://www.wizard101.pl. Odpowiedzialny jest on za europejskie serwery w różnych wersjach językowych Wizard101, między innymi również za polską wersję." Which, when run through a translator at http://www.poltran.com/ basically says . . . GameForge is responsible for determining pricing . . .

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Let's see if we can do some math here.

Um, currently the exchange rate between Euro and US dollars is €1 = $1.32.

So (roughly) €10 = $13.20, which nets you 6,000 Korony (That's Polish for Crowns).

A $10 USA pre-paid card can be redeemed for 1 month of Prepaid time or 5,000 Crowns (and a pet).

$1 = 500 crowns on the USA servers.
$1 = 455 Korony on the Polish servers.

So right off the bat we have a difference in exchange rates. Next, just going off the pictures that Diana sent me:

Polish Dragon's Hoard Pack is 750 Korony vs. 399 Crowns.
Polish Wyvern's Hoard Pack is 990 Korony vs. 399 Crowns.

So, wow, yeah, those are quite a markup aren't they? Interesting. I'm really not sure I would be able to get any details on the Gameforge/KingsIsle contract of agreement for porting Wizard101 over to these different localizations, but obviously both companies are taking their cut of the profits.

I think it's important to note that when it comes to Hoard packs, we are truly talking vanity items. There isn't anything in those packs that you absolutely NEED to have a good time playing Wizard101. I think it does kind of say that a Wyvern or a Bone Dragon mount on the Polish server is a rarer and more valuable sight though! If that means anything. /shrug

If it was me and the English text and voice-overs weren't too cumbersome, I'd be playing the US version as well. I think you've made a good choice. On the other hand, perhaps these alternate foreign versions of Wizard101 would make great learning tools for parents who wanted to teach their children a second language or perhaps reconnect their children to their original heritage? I love when people use games to enhance learning. I think it's a very smart way to approach teaching. GAMIFY as they say. :)

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For me personally the awesome thing about this whole correspondence was that I went ahead and downloaded the Polish version of Wizard101! :) Check out my WWW named Śmierci wizard (Necromancer):


I have no idea what that means . . . I just liked the WWW vibe going on there. I also dug how I got to start out with a free 7-day mount! WOOT!


WOOT! Dark Pixies are HOT!


Fortunately the voice-overs are all still in English, so I could understand what was going on, and I've played the game enough that I could play it blindfolded and still know what's going on as well, but the same magic was there. At least there's that!

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Thanks for the email, Diana! I don't know if anything will come of it, but at least I'm more informed of our wizards over in Poland. :)

Happy dueling!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Game Strategyst came in the mail!

WOOT! I've been waiting for this one to come in the mail! It's about a month overdue. ;p


I'm very serious about this crafting business as you can see. ;p

My two-page article attempts to cover the very basics of crafting: where to go to get into crafting, what you'll need, a few tips, some motivation, etc. The article also features a sidebar on the meat of Legendary crafting and crafting those darn Spirit Caller Drums. :)

Also by me is a two-page review of some of the newer Super Hero Squad Online heroes. I talk about Psylocke, Classic Daredevil, Pure Elektra, Angel, and Phoenix. What was really fun about writing this article is that I got a chance to play these characters before anyone else did. hehe. I have to admit, running around as Angel before anyone else had me giggling. I drew quite a crowd one night showing off his power emotes. ;) Reminds me that I haven't updated my SHSO blog in a while . . . and there's even new content at the moment! Asgard has gone all cool looking in anticipation of the Avenger's movie! (I'm so stinking busy atm.)

So, I think people might be a little disappointed by this issue; not because of my articles (LOL), but because there's really only one free in-game code that I could find in the magazine . . . and it isn't a Wizard101 of SHSO code. :/ But you know, in the end, I'm just happy that I was able to get another couple articles published in this magazine! For me, it's an honor. There's some great writers working for this mag, and there are some fine people running it as well (was sorry to see the previous editor leave, but Jason Winter's return was awesome). I really hope Game Strategyst doesn't meet the same fate as Beckett's Massive Online Gamer.

This issue is a giant smush of random awesomeness. They cover everything from Where's My Water to Pokepark 2 to Dark Ascension Rises MTG decks to Wizard101 to Webkinz to Moshi Monsters and back again! If it seems random, Que Sera Sera, y'all.



That's kind of just what happens when you throw together Game Strategyst with Fun Online Games. /shrug

I'd say the big winner article out of the bunch this time around would have to be Little Space Heroes by Carolyn Koh. There's even a foldout poster on the inside for this game this issue. Nice! That's one I've yet to check out. Carolyn always seems to be writing about awesome stuff. She's good! :)

Hope you enjoy this issue! Peace!

Happy dueling

Monday, April 16, 2012

Avalon Information Spilleth OVER! Wizard101 Central's amazing info dump to the rescue!

As to be expected whenever KingsIsle releases a new world on test, the fans over on Wizard101 Central start kicking some major booty and publish some of the most wicked information out on the net.

The splurge of information that happens right after a world hits the test realm always ALWAYS astounds me. It really shows the power of a mega community like Wizard101 Central and what a great job that community's members do.

The test realm forum is exploding with information, of course, but here are a few threads that really caught my eye.

Hot topics:
Is Guardian Spirit Overpowered? click

Omnipotent was changed to Archmage as the level 80 title. click

Fans seem to really like Avalon with few varying opinions. Overall difficulty level is appreciated. click

Guides:
Kathrine Light's guide to Young Morganthe fight. click.

Nicholas's guide to fighting Matkis Axethief. click

Guide to new spells in Avalon. click

Guide to the level 78 pets and hybrids. click

Guide to The Mysterious Well and Flevur Flave by Kathrine Light. click

Guide to Sword of Kings weapons and poll on which you like best. click

A plethora of guides including and above and beyond those above. click

Crafting:

Reagents needed to craft the Tag Game. click.

Level 70+ gear recipes. click

Gardening:
Blue Huckleberry plant. click

Disappointments expressed:
Disappointment over the Treasure Card shop expressed. click

Disappointment over bank restrictions. click

Disappointment over the lack of a fourth Balance utility spell. click

Disappointment over the skeletal dragon pet looks. click

Cool pet drop:
Pet Book. click

As you can see, in the short time that the test realm has been out, there's just been A LOT of information sharing going on. No one is really sure how long the test realm will remain up, but if you're a subscriber, you should take it for a test drive and see why the majority of the fans are calling this one of Wizard101's best expansions to date.

Happy dueling!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Black Cat Entries!

Surprise! You all win! I decided to skip the Raffle part of the Raffle and just give everybody surprise crowns, but I'd still like to give a little something extra to the grand prize winner.

**UPDATE**
Thanks for helping choose the winner! Congrats to Sierra Mist!


VOTING IS NOW CLOSED!

Honorable mention to ditto for this hilarious pic. :)

Thanks EVERYONE! You're all winners! That's some good luck on Friday the 13th for you!
**UPDATE**

(click the pictures to make them bigger!)
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1- Valdus Skulldust:


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2- Valdus Darkstone:


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3- Sierra Mist:


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4- Shocker1217:


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5- Seth Dragonhunter:


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6- Sean Redhammer:


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7- Savannah Blueriver:


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8- Riley:


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9- Nathan DragonFlame:


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10- Michael Hawk:


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11- Kyle Firesword:


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12- Joshua Lionbane:


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13- Jason Goldriver / Swordroll:


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14- Jackhen99:


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15- Flash333:


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16- Elijah LightThief:


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17- Ditto Wizard:


hehe . . . I'm gonna disqualify Ditto for the grand prize, but still . . . this is EPIC!

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18- Courtney Thorn:


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19- Autumn LotusSong:


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20- Mark Fireheart


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Best of luck!

Happy Dueling!