Lucky Nugget Casino Review – 150% Bonus Match Up To €/$ 200

Lucky Nugget Casino Review

Lucky Nugget is a gem of an online casino that has been operating successfully online since 1998. Obviously, for a casino to last this long in today’s competitive market, it must be doing a lot right, and that includes being a legitimate operation and treating its customers fairly. If it were doing any less than that, there is no way the casino would have been able to continue operating all of these years.
Lucky Nugget Casino is powered by Microgaming software, one of the giants in the industry.
Another thing that makes Lucky Nugget Online Casino one of the best casinos is the presence of some unbelievable bonuses. You can choose whether to take advantage of the 100% bonus up to $1000 or 150% bonus up to $200 free on the first deposit.
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Lucky Nugget Casino Review

The very first phrase you see written on the site prominently in the top left-hand corner is “Established 1998.” Immediately, this gets a site a ton of brownie points in our book because longevity in this industry is only achieved through offering a great product with great customer service. Without happy and long-term customers, an online casino will crumble within a few years or a few months and slowly fade from view.
Seeing that the Lucky Nugget Casino had been in business for almost 20 years had us excited to continue the review. The initial issue, though, was that we could have guessed the site had been around for 20 years just by looking at the homepage. The site’s homepage was a menacing wall of text with an aesthetic design straight out of 1998.
Now, if this is the first site you’ve ever visited, you’re probably going to leave and look for somewhere else to play immediately. It’s easy for a new player to gauge the site based solely on the first impression which is totally understandable. The reasons we are not so quick to dismiss the Lucky Nugget Casino are two-fold. One, it’s extremely rare to find sites that have been successfully in business for this long and that carries a ton of weight with us. Two, we’ve seen A LOT of sites with awful homepages that still provide a phenomenal product.
The old adage of “Don’t judge a book by its cover” continues to hold true in this regard to online gaming sites. To get to the bottom of everything, we began our intensive “vetting” and review process. As you may already be able to tell, we do not just give you the positives about a site. We give you the honest scoop, period. Frankly, we have zero problems bashing a site into oblivion if we have to and zero problems giving a site credit where credit is due.
The point is that with our reviews you’re going to get information and analysis that you can ACTUALLY use. Too many review sites allow companies to pay for glowing reviews which just means you’re getting false information and are stuck holding the bag after a terrible experience with an online casino. This is NEVER the case with our reviews. We’re going to give it to you straight, regardless of if that is good, bad, or even sometimes ugly.

Ratings Breakdown


The Lucky Nugget Casino instantly got brownie points from us because they’ve been successfully in business for almost 20 years which is impossible to do in this industry unless you are treating your customers well and taking care of them. On top of that, game selection at the casino is strong including a lot of the expensive (for them to buy) branded games from Microgaming.
While all of these are big positives and definite cause for you to check out the site, there were a lot of things we’d like to see improvements on. First, we’d like to see the user interface for the site upgraded to be more current and easily to navigate. When you actually get where the games are, though, this is light years better, but we need to see congruence throughout the site. We’d also like to see some minor improvements with customer service options (they’re good, not great) and some expansion in the bonus department.
Overall, the site was “O.K.” and is one of those sites that may be a perfect fit for some due to the immense about of games offered but might be a miss for others due to the initial issues with the user interface. At the end of the day, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the site has been operational successfully for almost 20 years and with 4 million + players online at the time we were writing this review.
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Lucky Nugget Casino Game Variety

Though it took us a while to find them, it’s hard to deny that the game variety at Lucky Nugget Casino was strong. With over 300 different slot offerings (and possibly more on the download client), 20+ video poker offerings, 9 roulette offerings, 30 blackjack offerings, and live dealer options, you’d have to be crazy if you couldn’t find a game you liked at the casino. The games were all of high quality, and several of the slot games were branded.
The reason we docked a point was that they did not have a lot of popular table games that we would like to see like craps or any other table games outside of blackjack and roulette for that matter. A few additional table games were offered in the live casino but were not available as a non-live dealer game. We’d really like to see them expand this out before we can give them a full five-star rating.

Lucky Nugget Casino Banking

Lucky Nugget Casino had a ton of different options available for deposits and withdrawals which are always great to see. The issue we had was that they did not list the fees or limits associated with each of these options. While we don’t think they are trying to hide anything, this is information that is extremely important when judging whether or not a website has great banking options or not. The majority of the industry has free deposits and some sort of fees on withdrawals, but there’s a growing trend of sites that are waiving all fees across the board. We’d love to know whether or not Lucky Nugget is part of the majority or the minority. Due to the lack of readily posted information, we had to dock some points from their banking rating.

Lucky Nugget Casino Bonuses

The casino had several different promotions including welcome deposit bonuses and a few game specific promotions for you to take advantage of. We were a little confused/off-put that they had several promotions that were listed that looked to just be ads for the bonuses already offered in the games. We also would have liked to see a bit more creativity in the bonuses, but as always, we’re happy to see some healthy deposit bonuses and any forms of free stuff.

Lucky Nugget Casino Customer Service

The site offers 24/7 live chat and email support to its customers and visitors. Usually, this would score at least a 4 on our scale; however, we weren’t completely satisfied when we tried out the live chat. The agent was friendly and prompt, but we didn’t get the answers we were hoping for or offers of additional help from an elevated agent or supervisor. That being said, we would imagine that most requests would be handled well by their customer support based on our interactions, so we only docked a half point for that. The additional point off is because we would like to see phone support added as that is becoming much more of a standard across the industry.

User Interface

This was a tough one to score for the site because it felt as if there were two different sites rolled into one. When we first visited the main landing page of the site, the user interface was awful. It was hard to navigate, contained just a wall of text, and was not visually appealing at all. However, once we got to the instant play section of the site (which took a while to find), the interface was significantly better and felt like a totally different site. There were still a few issues with that site (scroll bar way too small to click, multiple lists of games in one), but overall it was much better than the initial. We probably would score the first part of the site a 2/5 and the second part a 3.75 or 4/5. We averaged them to get the 3 out of 5.
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While getting ready to review the slots portion of the website something became painfully clear. The poor layout of the homepage continues throughout more of the internal pages as we searched for the slot games. That being said, the casino has a downloadable client that we’re going to focus on for the rest of this review. This is mainly because they say that not all of their offerings are available via the instant play option and also because navigating the site is making our eyes bleed.
While downloading the Lucky Nugget Casino client, we had some more bad news. The download client did not work correctly and would never load. We tried downloading it multiple times, and it would fail to open several times and kick some scary looking error messages our way. Because of this, we were forced to go back to the instant play option which they say does not have all of the options mentioned.
Once we got to the instant play section, the layout and graphics did get considerable better. Frankly, it looked like a new site within a site. The slot games were organized into a Popular section, Jackpots section, and a general Slots section. The games were alphabetized and searchable which are both positives and making us potentially start warming back up to the site.
The one interesting thing about the slots list was that it was alphabetical, but there were two sets of games on the same list, so it ran from A to Z once and then A to Z once again. If you’re looking for a game, be aware of this and keep scrolling.
One other side thing that we weren’t huge fans of was the scroll bar on the right side of the screen to get through the games was about a millimeter thick. You had to have expert aim to be able to grab the bar and scroll through the games. If you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, that will work and fix this problem, but if you have a cheaper mouse or your scroll wheel is broken like ours is from years of online poker slamming, you’re going to struggle to scroll.
Regarding game quality, things were great for the site. They had a ton of options which included newer, high-quality games as well as several branded games (games designed after TV and Movies). We’ve included the complete list of games available on the instant play side of Lucky Nugget Casino here. Remember, the site claims they have more offerings in the downloadable client, but we could not get it to work properly on multiple tries.

Lucky Nugget Casino Games

The casino game offerings at Lucky Nugget Casino were equally as vast as the slot offerings. They’re definitely toward the higher end of variations offered for roulette and for blackjack. We would have liked to see a few more popular table games outside of roulette and blackjack, but the selection in those categories was still strong.
The casino games were broken up into Video Poker, Roulette, Blackjack, and a separate Live Casino tab. The Live Casino tab housed all of the live dealer games offered by the Lucky Nugget Casino. If you’re unfamiliar with live dealer games, you’re definitely going to want to check them out. Through the use of streaming technology, you’re able to take a seat at a real live table from the comfort of your own home. All of your decisions are made from your computer or mobile device, and then the action all takes place at a real table set up with a real dealer somewhere in the world. This option is great for anyone still skeptical about online gaming who wants to see the action take place with real cards and real roulette wheels.
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Lucky Nugget Casino Banking Options

The Lucky Nugget Casino has a lot of different banking options available, and they vary by which country you are in. The site did not have limits and fees posted for each method, and we were unable to get that information from anywhere on the site. We would highly recommend contacting support to get things clarified before you get set up to make a withdrawal so that you use the best method available.

Bonus Promotions

The site had several promotions including specific game promotions and deposit bonus promotions.

Deposit Welcome Bonuses

The site gave you the option of choosing between two different deposit bonuses. It looks like you have to make your selection at the beginning of the process as there are two big Claim Now buttons when you first come to the site.
  1. 100% Deposit Match up to $1000
  2. 150% Deposit Match up to $200

Life of Riches

For every £50 you wager, you get one entry into a drawing to win a piece of 1,000 free credits. This is a monthly promotion.

Lucky Draw

Players will earn drawing tickets for depositing and playing on the site. 10 players will win a share of 200,000 loyalty points from the site.
The site listed several other “promotions” that looked to be nothing more than the bonuses already available on the games. It’s possible we are misreading this, but it was a little deceiving.

Customer Service

For customer service, the Lucky Nugget Casino offers email support and 24/7 live chat support. We tested out the live chat, and we drew some positives and negatives from it. The positives were that we were able to get a real agent on the line fairly quickly. They were friendly and prompt to try and assist us with our question. The problem was that we didn’t get much help with our question and they didn’t offer any other options afterward besides “Have a great day.”
Our request was a bit strange, so maybe we’re being a little hard on them, but it would have been nice to see them elevate our request to a supervisor or someone that might have been able to help us. Our guess is that with more “normal” requests you will get better service, but anything that confuses your agent doesn’t look like it’s going to be elevated to the right level properly.
The site also had no phone support which isn’t a huge deal, but phone support is becoming more and more standard in the industry, so this dinosaur in the industry is probably going to have to get with the program sometime in the near future if they want to continue competing.
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The Lucky Nugget Casino was an interesting one that almost warranted a complete rewrite once we found our way into the actual game section of the site. The home page of the site is a nightmare to look at, and the navigation of the site is rough. Getting to the actual games was a challenge as we couldn’t get the download client to work and finding the instant play client took way too long.
However, once we got to the instant play client, the game selection was great and of high quality. Not to mention, the site has been around successfully for almost 20 years, so it’s hard to neglect the trust that comes with that. No site could operate that long unless they were doing right by their clients. Bonuses offered were ok (not bad, but not great) and customer service was also ok. Banking had a lot of different options, but without access to the possible fees or limits, it’s hard to say whether this is good or not.
Overall, the Lucky Nugget Casino is best described in one word – O.K. The site was not something we’re ranting and raving to our friends about, but it’s certainly not terrible and the fact they’ve been in business for almost 20 years says a lot about how they operate. This is one that is going to be up to your personal tastes and preferences. We’d recommend checking it out if you were recommended by a friend, have limited options in your area, or if you’re just curious. Most countries probably have some better options that exist, although if this site has the games you like, it may be a win for you.
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Lucky Nugget Casino 350 No Deposit Free Spins Bonus (Register)

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Lucky Nugget Casino Review

Let’s get down to brass tacks.
Below is our Lucky Nugget Casino review. If you’re on the lookout for a real money casino with a positive history spanning almost two decades, excellent software and games... then... you’re going to want to read this to the very end.
Let’s get started.

Games You Can Play at Lucky Nugget

Thanks to software giant Microgaming you’ll have more than 250 games to choose from.
And good news for you – slots makes up the majority of their selection.
What kinds of slots can you play? Lucky Nugget has machines in every category including classic (3-reel traditional) slots, progressive jackpots, video slots (with features, bonus rounds, etc) and mobile slots that can be placed on almost every device including iPad, Blackberry and even a Kindle.
They even have my favorite (type of) machine... slots based on movies, TV shows, comic book characters and pop culture.
I enjoy these machines the most because they take elements directly from the theme’s source and integrate it into the slot game.
For example, in The Dark Knight you’ll see cutscenes from the movie. If you trigger a bonus round you’ll also race The Joker (or Batman, depending on which character you’re playing as) for credits.
It’s a load of fun. You should play it.
If Batman’s not your thing, that’s okay – there are TONS of other slots you can play.
For example:
  • Thunderstruck
  • Mega Moolah – This progressive slot has paid out MILLIONS to players in the last 5 years. Will you be next?
  • Pharaoh’s Fortune
  • Diamond 777
  • Peek-a-Boo
  • Big Kahuna – Snakes & Ladders
  • Tomb Raider – Secret of the Sword
  • Hitman
  • Double Magic Mega Spin
  • Fantastic 777 Mega Spin
  • High 5 Mega Spin
  • Major Millions Mega Spin
  • Pub Fruity
  • Who Wants To Be A Stallionaire
  • Cherry Red
  • Agent Jane Blonde
  • Immortal Romance
And loads more. Many of these games are available to play from your phone and tablet, too. I think Microgaming are among the best online slots providers with games to suit all tastes.
But what if you don’t like slots? What then?
Lucky Nugget is a well-rounded casino. That means they have other games you can play which include:
  • Roulette – This includes French, American and European Roulette.
  • Blackjack – This includes Vegas Strip, Atlantic City and Casino Gold Series Blackjack.
  • Video Poker – This includes Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Bonus Video Poker, Tens or Better, Double Bonus and Double, Double Bonus Video Poker.
And more.
Most, if not all of these games are available to play for both real and play (fake) money from Lucky Nugget’s download, instant play and mobile casino.
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Lets Talk Bonuses

When you join Lucky Nugget today you’ll be eligible for their promotions. These are their top offers.
Welcome Offer – You get two choices – you can either get the player bonus or high roller bonus.
The play bonus is a 150% match up to $200. I like this offer because you get more bang for your buck compared to most other casinos.
The high roller bonus is a 100% match up to $1,000. You don’t get as much money for every $1 you deposit, but you can get MORE free money.
It’s your choice.
Both offers will have a 50x play through requirement.
That’s their welcome bonuses. Other than that other promotions you can participate in include:
  • Free spins with no deposit
  • Free credits
  • Loyalty bonuses. Get 3 points for every $10 you spend on slots which you can later use to exchange for cold hard cash.
I suggest checking out (and bookmarking) their promotions page to stay up to date on all their offers.

Ready to Make a Deposit?

Great – you can use the following banking methods:
  • Click and Buy
  • EcoPayz
  • Maestro
  • MasterCard
  • Neteller
  • PaySafeCard
  • UKash
  • Visa
  • EZIPay
  • GiroPay
  • UseMyFunds
  • Bank Transfers
  • eChecks
  • Skrill
  • Trustly
And more. Many options are location specific. You’ll want to log into Lucky Nugget to see all the options available to you.
The bottom line?
We give them an A-. They are in business a long time, highly trusted and respected in the industry and offer great promotions and fast cashouts to their customers. So head over and sign up today.
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Blacklist is the Vegas of Coverage

It finally struck me. Blacklist coverage is like Las Vegas. It’s a casino. They lure you in with the hope that a randomly assigned reader or two will give you a high score or two that makes the service worthwhile. You’re rolling the dice. A few may get lucky. Maybe you get an 8,9, or elusive 10 on your first try. Or maybe you fork out for 2, or 3, 4, 5 reviews. The likelihood of it is slim but it happens enough, at least for someone who isn’t you that you keep coming back.
But what it’s not is a coverage service. You get twitter limited characters that can’t possibly give you any useful or valuable insight. Sometimes the reviews are fair and sometimes they’re not. But even for the “bargain” you pay for blacklist “coverage” you overpay.
Here’s my most recent coverage for a submission I made. It’s a period film about a sports legend who won 11 consecutive PGA tournaments in 1945.
Strengths: “We all love an underdog, and despite being white in a time when that was a massive advantage and living near a golf course, Byron has to struggle.”
What? Who is this vetted reader with a year of coverage experience? I understand subjectivity but professional coverage also demands a certain degree of objectivity. What other useful nuggets did this woke aspiring screenwriter submit?
Weaknesses: “The characters don’t interrogate their gender archetypes...” (what? Did I just submit this to a gender study class at UCLA?)
But this is my favorite. “The extreme racism of the era is whitewashed from the character journeys and dialog.”
I guess for this reader every film needs to be about racism.
This reader reads for the blacklist.
I could roll the dice a few more times at the blacklist casino in hopes for more, but why bother? At the blacklist the house always wins. And how could they not with dealers like this?
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7 Melons Casino Overview

7 Melons Casino has its priorities sorted out right and aims and providing a high-quality gaming experience to the players based in Switzerland. This casino is licensed and operates under the Grand Casino Bern which has been providing a quality gaming experience to the players since ages. It is also regulated by Buffalo affiliates which also regulates of some of the renowned casinos like Jackpot City Casino, Gaming Club Casino and Lucky Nugget casino.
In an attempt to achieve the same love from the players, just like its sister sites, 7 Melons Casino also offers some of the best games to the players. These include games across several gaming platforms. To name a few, these include slot games, video poker games and table games. These have been powered by some of the best gaming software brands like Microgaming and Netent. And to make the gaming experience of the players at this casino site nothing short of perfect it also hosts live games to play with!
The list of perks that you get to enjoy at this casino also includes some amazing chances to win. This casino site has a unique bonus system which adds to their winning offers like its weekly draw, and loyalty programme. So start playing at this casino site to enjoy terrific bonuses and free spins. And if you want to know more, read this 7 Melons casino review below.
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Play At a Safe and Secure Online Platform

A perfect online casino can never be complete without offering security and safety to the players. 7 Melons Casino understands this too and has taken complete care about the security of the players. It has ensured this by securing its online casino site with an SSL layer which ensures all the data of the players is safe. In addition to this, it also holds a license from the Swiss Federal Council which shows that its serious when it comes to the security of the players. Continue reading this review for more such information about 7 Melons Casino.


  • CHF


  • English
  • Dutch
  • French
  • Italian

Restricted Countries

  • Only available for the players residing in Switzerland

Mobile Casino

In present times, mobile devices rule the world. They have established their presence in every domain of life; from shopping to paying bills to booking appointments. Needless to say, their importance in the gaming industry can also not be underestimated. 7 Melons Casino understands this too and thus offers an exclusive mobile casino for its players. It has also made its casino site compatible with all the platforms like android and IOS. This also means that you will be able to access this online casino on all your devices like iPhones, iPods, tablets or androids mobile. Thus making it easier for you to relish gaming on the go.

Live Casino

To make 7 Melons Casino, a one-time gaming stop for all the players, this casino brand also presents live casino games for the players. These let the them play real-time with the players all around the world. Not only this, these live games are hosted by live dealers who add more to this fun. All you need to do is log in to your 7 Melons casino account and go to the live games tab. This will give you access to these live dealer games. So sign up at this casino site and head to its gaming lobby to fulfill all your gaming needs!

7 Melons Casino Software

The gaming fun that the players get to enjoy at an online casino site largely depends on its software. Thus it has been powered by some of the best gaming software brands like Netent and Microgaming. These together have not only ensured that the players get a flawless gaming experience with its user friendly graphics and superior quality audiovisual effects. But these have also made its gaming lobby full of the games that can make this casino site easy to fall in love with.


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7 Melons Casino Games

The games at an online casino play a major role in deciding the amount of fun that the players. 7 Melons casino knows this and has thus made its gaming lobby a dream come true for the players. It offers the best of both; quality and quantity to the players. Further, to make looking for your favorite games easier for you, we have briefly described the games it offers below.

7 Melons Casino Video Slot Games

Thanks to their popularity, slot games have permanently made their place in the hearts of the players and also in the gaming lobbies of all the reputed online casinos. 7 Melons Casino also acknowledges this and offers high-quality slot games for the players. Its gaming lobby is loaded with slot games that are going to be loved by the players. These include classic slots, 3 reels slots and the latest 5 reels. Some of these include Wild Scarabs and Immortal Slots, Thunderstruck II and Lucha Legends.

7 Melons Casino Table Games

If slot games are not your thing, table games are definitely going to make their way to your heart. These let the players enjoy playing with cards and decks in the comfort of their homes. And, the good news is that 7 Melons Casino has an equally terrific collection of these too. So if you want to give a rest to slot games and go with the cards to try out your luck; these are the perfect choice for you. Log in to your 7 Melons Casino account and enjoy the games like Blackjack and its variants.

7 Melons Casino Video Poker & Other Games

The list of games at 7 Melons Casino is as terrific as its gaming standards. This casino site makes sure that the players never run out of choices when it comes to playing the games it offers. The types of games that you can enjoy at this casino site do not just end with the few games mentioned above. Along with these, you will also find the games like video poker, scratch cards and keno in its gaming lobby. These make sure there is no place for monotony once you start playing here.
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7 Melons Casino Bonuses and Promotions

Weekly Draw

You can be sure that 7 Melons casino is never going to shy away when it comes to rewarding its players. It ensures this by giving the players a chance to enjoy huge free spins every week its weekly draw promotion. The best part is that it does not make playing online each week more fun for the players but also gives them a chance to grab free spins offers. So get ready to enjoy these and spin the reels slot games for free. Don’t forget to log in to your account and play online for real to relish this free treat!

No Deposit Bonus

No Deposit bonuses are the favourite of the players as these bring along a chance to play online for free. Since these let them enjoy the games that at this casino without having to worry about the funds in their accounts. 7 Melons Casino also understands this and does not want its players to be devoid of this fun. Thus it also offers no deposit bonuses to the players. These are frequently offered and can be easily checked in the promotions section on its online casino site. Also, don’t forget to keep a check on your registered email address as some exclusive no deposit promo codes might be sent to that.

Loyalty Program

Though this casino site offers frequent bonuses to the players it also makes every day they play here a chance to win. Thus it presents its loyalty program which is very elaborate and full of chances to win. This makes sure that the players get to be a part of fun each time they log in here. With this, you will be awarded loyalty points for every real money you place. These can be redeemed for bonuses and also help you climb up the loyalty tiers. As you climb these up the levels, bonuses and the fun that you get to have at this casino site will only go on increasing!

Birthday Bonus

Birthday presents and treats hold a special place in our lives. Since when chosen correctly a birthday gift can lighten up any one’s day. 7 Melons casino has wisely chosen the birthday treat of its players and gives all it is player a birthday bonus to the make their special day extra special. What could be a better way to celebrate your birthday than being able to relish the games you love with a huge bonus by your side. But hey! Don't forget to visit this casino site to grab this bonus offer.
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Mega Moolah Free Spins No Deposit Bonus in Microgaming Casino

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Mega Moolah Jackpot Full Review

The biggest win in the slot reached over £13 million (almost $16,9 million) and has made a player rich guy in a few minutes. This case was even marked by the Guinness World Records and the slot was considered a Millionaire Maker.
Another good thing is a low volatility index with a return to the player percentage being of 94-95%. The coefficient is pretty good and guarantees regular payouts within the gameplay. Unfortunately, Mega Moolah slot does not have a demo version — this is explained by a progressive jackpot and its size.
Although there is no opportunity to test out the game and develop a winning strategy for free, you can boost your gambling skills due to our Mega Moolah review. On the page, you will discover the features, bet requirements, a variety of bonuses, and tips on how to become a champion of the slot. Go ahead and dive deep into the wildlife of virtual safari.

General Information

This is a five-reel video slot with twenty-five pay lines to get several combinations that guarantee regular payouts. The game provides such features like Wild symbol boosting your wins and Scatter leading to bonus rounds. We have already mentioned 4 Jackpots making people rich.
The main theme of the slot is an African savannah full of wild inhabitants like lions, antelopes, monkeys, zebras, elephants, buffalos, and giraffes. Besides all these creatures, you will face images of playing cards that have different values as well. When you get three symbols in a chain, this can bring a great payout to your pocket.
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How to Play the MEGA MOOLAH Game: Interface and Rates

The distinctive feature of Microgaming products is simple gameplay, high-quality design, and handy settings. Mega Moolah slot is not an exception. When you launch the game, check out the sizes of all progressive jackpots. You can constantly monitor how they change in real time.
During the gameplay, you will receive a notification, if someone won a huge jackpot anywhere in the world. Such messages help you know how often gamblers get the top rewards.
The slot interface and playing process are pretty easy. You will have a few buttons to manage the gameplay:
Paylines & Coins
  • Select Lines – due to this button, you can select the number of functioning pay lines;
  • Select Coins – check or change the number of coins per line;
  • Bet Max – use this button to set up a maximum bet per game round;
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The Case of the Missing 40,000 Jerry Nugget Decks

The Case of the Missing 40,000 Jerry Nugget Decks: A Detective Story
NB: I first published this article (with pictures) at PlayingCardDecks here.
Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards. The story of the original Jerry's Nugget decks is a fascinating one, and there are many interesting side-stories to explore about along the way. You can read the main story about the Jerry's Nugget decks in my previous article here: The Legendary Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards.
But the full truth still remains somewhat hidden, and there are aspects about the Jerry's Nugget story that even today we can't totally be sure about. And with the passage of time, several juicy tidbits of lore have become attached to this famous deck.
In this article I invite you to join me in a quest to explore another juicy story that has become part of the Jerry's Nugget legend. Is it true that the final stock of 40,000 Jerry's Nugget decks was bought up from the casino by a mysterious overseas buyer? Because this is an oft-repeated part of the story, that you'll hear whispered rumours about across the landscape of the internet. But this a statement of fact or fiction, and is it truth or myth? It could mean that right now someone is potentially sitting on a small fortune of Jerry's Nugget decks worth around $500 a piece. If it's true.
So please put on your Sherlock Holmes trench-coat and deerstalker hat, arm yourself with a good amount of deductive logic and persistence, and join me as we see if we can really get to the bottom of this mystery, and dredge up the truth behind this famed haul of 40,000 decks!

A Secret Stash of 40,000 Decks?

If you are curious - like I am - and do some digging about the story and history of the Jerry's Nugget decks, it won't take you long to stumble across mention of the claim that a stash of the final 40,000 decks of Jerry's Nuggets was bought up in a single swoop, cleaning out the casino's remaining inventory of these prized decks.
The story about some lucky buyer nabbing a final stash of 40,000 decks is circulated quite widely around the internet. Do a Google search for "40,000 Jerry's Nugget" and look at how many hits this gets! Some places that sell the decks even include this in their ad copy. For example, here's the ad copy over at one online retailer, which was selling authentic decks for $525 before they sold out:
Another online retailer says the same. Many reviewers have parroted this information as well, such as this example. So do various sites dedicated to information about playing cards, such as this example.
As far as many people are concerned, this information is more along the lines of "fact" than fiction, and it's become part of the story that everyone accepts. Little wonder that it is often repeated by collectors in discussion forums about playing cards, and that it has given more than just one person a tinge of envy.

Who is the mysterious buyer?

So who is the lucky guy with 40,000 decks of precious Jerry's Nugget decks hidden in his basement or garage? And is the story even true?
Some of the sources for this story seem quite credible. And they also reveal the buyer's name: French magician Dominique Duvivier. One person quotes Jordan Lapping, apparently among the first cardists to get Jerry's Nugget decks and use them for flourishing.
Dominique Duvivier is a French magician who performs and works with his daughter Alexandra, and together they have a high profile in the world of French magic. They are even well known in the circles of international magic, and were featured on the cover of the June 2013 issue of Genii Magazine.
Norwegian magician Allan Hagen has a long-time interest in the Jerry's Nugget decks, and he also mentions Duvivier's purchase of 40,000 Jerry's Nugget decks as apparent fact in something he posted on Reddit in 2015, where he describes his perspective on their rarity and value.
You'll read similar reports in an article published by Ukrainian cardists Alexander and Nikolay about Jerry's Nugget decks in June 2017. Two things are common to all these accounts: the number 40,000 for the haul of decks purchased by the mysterious overseas buyer. And now his name: Dominique Duvivier.
I contacted a number of different sources, including people who had personal connections with some of the key players who were closely involved when Jerry's Nuggets decks first became a fad among magicians and cardists in the late 1990s. One source told me: "Interesting, the name of the European magician - it was a big secret back then. Someone actually told me his name back then, but it was on the proviso that I never publish it. Well, I see it's out of the bag now."

Was Dominique Duvivier the buyer?

But is there any evidence that Dominique Duvivier was really the mystery buyer whose name had been a carefully kept secret for some time at least? It was time for some more detective work. Google brought me to Duvivier's personal website.
It didn't take long to discover that Duvivier does indeed have a real fondness for Jerry's Nuggets Playing Cards. They are everywhere - in his photos, his videos, and his instagram.
Judging by the many French-language comments on his site, it also becomes apparent that Duvivier is highly respected and appreciated in his home country for his magic. It's also evident from reading some of the comments that his Jerry's Nuggets decks are a signature of his performance. Some even consider them to be the equivalent of a Stradivarius that Duvivier uses to perform with as a master magician.
But it was when I checked Duvivier's youtube channel that I found some real gold: Dominique himself performing with Jerry's Nugget cards in this clip. In fact, if you check out his other videos there, you'll find quite a few where he performs magic with Jerry's Nugget playing cards, like this performance from 2014, this more recent ace cutting routine, and this false shuffle. Duvivier has even contributed a Jerry's Nugget themed trick to the magic industry, entitled Jerry's Nuggets Cards in Bag.
You can watch the promo video for this trick in French or English. His daughter Alexandra Duvivier successfully used it to fool Penn and Teller on their show Fool Us. Here's the episode, and some unseen footage.
But just because Dominique Duvivier happens to really, really like Jerry's Nugget playing cards doesn't prove that he bought out a massive stash of the last 40,000 decks from the casino. So this still begs this question: Did any of this even happen? And is there really someone on this planet with a hoard of 40,000 decks, whether it is Dominique Duvivier or anybody else?
One of my favourite photos on Duvivier's site is this one here, with his haul. If that's any indication, surely the legendary haul was starting to seem somewhat plausible. It was time to ask around, and check in with some of the people who were around when the Jerry's Nugget decks first became the rage.
Of the sources I consulted, few could be considered more reliable than Lee Asher. For many people Lee is synonymous with the Jerry's Nugget phenomenon. He also had close connections with the events of the time, and was instrumental in bringing the Jerry's Nuggets into the limelight in the first place, by singing their paises. He was kind enough to respond when I contacted him for comment about Duvivier's alleged haul of 40,000 Jerry's Nugget decks, and Lee bluntly told me the following:
"This is misinformation. There weren't 40k decks left in 1999. We don't even know if Jerry's even printed 40k decks."
Really? Apparently Lee Asher knew Duvivier personally, and he was the very person who first told Duvivier that the casino even had the cards for sale. He also visited his home and shop in Paris many times throughout this period of time. In Lee's words:
"Without a doubt, I NEVER saw 40k of ANY deck there. That's basically nine pallets worth. The house, their magic shop and night club weren't big enough to house these decks. It also seems Duvivier isn't the last one to buy the remaining decks. Jerry's Nugget Casino believes they sold the last case of cards to someone in Japan in 1999."
Well, it seems that the story had to be put to rest. Was this entire story perhaps just a magnificent urban legend after all? And if it was, where does the number of 40,000 decks come from, and how did this story get so much traction that it spread all around the internet, and is accepted unquestionably by so many people? My task had just become a bit harder, but I wasn't going to give up yet. It was time to try to track down where the many websites that quoted this story got the figure of 40,000 from in the first place.

Where does the figure of 40,000 come from?

With some more digging, the oldest article I could find on the subject was by a card collector who has a collection of fine articles on his site, White Knuckle Cards. This particular article dates back to 2009, and is one of the earliest references to the legendary stash of 40,000 decks that I could find.
This particular article seems to be the first time the figure of 40,000 pops up, pre-dating all the more recent mentions of it. And it's not hard to figure out how it spread from there. On 6 August 2015, someone called "Doctor Papa Jones" added these details to Wikipedia's article on Jerry's Nuggets, evidently relying on the White Knuckle Cards article. As a result the Wikipedia article now read as follows: "In 2000, a private collector purchased the remaining stock of 40,000 decks".
So now this "fact" is on Wikipedia and has some real "credibility". In fact, the number 40,000 stays up on Wikipedia for the next five years unchallenged! And that allows it to spread around the internet and go wild. Because where does everyone go when they're looking for reliable, authoritative, and trustworthy information about something? Wikipedia!
Despite the mention of the magical stash of 40,000 decks, Duvivier's name remained out of the spotlight for a further four years. It was simply a mysterious "private collector" who had purchased the big haul. But in 2019, someone connected the dots to Duvivier, and so the Wikipedia article was changed to include his name.
So how did that happen? Well the supporting reference that Doctor Papa Jones included in his 2015 edit was a link to an article by Dan and Dave Buck, dating back to 7 Dec 2011. This article is also no longer available, but can be tracked down with the help of the Internet Archive here. It doesn't give the figure of 40,000 but does drop Duvivier's name.
So the evidence seems to suggest this development: Apparently relying on the White Knuckle Cards article from 2009 as a source, the number 40,000 first embedded itself in the WIkipedia article on Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards in 2015. Slowly the story grew, until somebody finally connected the dots that were hidden in plain sight elsewhere on the internet, and as a result Duvivier's name gets added four years later. Now things are set up for a great story: Mr Duvivier is sitting on a massive stash of 40,000 Jerry's Nuggets in France.
The story gained even more traction as a result of the revived interest in Jerry's Nuggets that inevitably happened when a tribute deck was printed in 2019. It was inevitable that many would rely on Wikipedia as a source, and so the details even ended up being quoted in ad copy for the reprinted decks. What had previously just been a matter of quiet rumour or speculation, was now considered as fact. Oh, the joy of Wikipedia - it has certainly helped promote quite the legend here!
And it doesn't take a genius to see that if this is true, Duvivier could be sitting on a small fortune. At $500 each, 14,000 decks would be worth around $700,000. Naturally a market flooded with them would drop their value. But even if the going price dropped to $100 a piece, that would still value his holdings at over $100,000. Even if he just sold the occasional decks at $500 a pop, this windfall could generate a nice little secondary income. That is, if the legend is true, a fact yet to be proven....

Revising the figure

Because this year, the Wikipedia article was changed. By now of course the (mis)information about Duvivier's haul had gone far and wide, and a lot of potential damage has already been done. But on 25 March 2020 someone called "TheCongressGuy" changed it to read that Duvivier "purchased the remaining stock of 1,500-2000 decks".
Suddenly the number of Duvivier's legendary purchase had been reduced from 40,000 to something around 5% of the size. A figure of 1,500-2000 seems much more likely. So who made the change and what was their source?
I did some more digging and managed to track down TheCongressGuy. He is Kevan Seaney, who describes himself as an "antique playing cards collector, specializing in the Congress 606 brand" and posts here. In February 2020 he wrote here that he'd learned that Duvivier had not purchased 40,000 decks. I was curious, and eventually found the following video that he posted about this:
And who was his source that Kevan credits for correcting the previous (mis)information about the number 40,000? If you watch that video, you'll find out that it is none other than the great Lee Asher. Lee Asher isn't just "anyone". He's a playing card expert, and the current president of 52 Plus Joker The American Playing Card Collectors Club. He's the guy who first generated public interest in Jerry's Nugget decks, brought them to the attention of cardists like the Buck twins and Chris Kenner, and was later a purveyor of these icon decks via his website. He's also had personal connections with Duvivier, was the person who informed Duvivier that they were available from the casino, and has personally spent a lot of time with him in Paris.
And Lee Asher is a key person that has helped get real Jerry's Nugget decks into the hands of a new generation today. He's the guy who was instrumental in making a collaboration happen between Jerry's Nugget Casino and Expert Playing Card Company, by suggesting that EPCC get the exclusive licence needed to reprint these iconic decks in 2019, as announced in an official press release here.
It's plain that along with EPCC's Bill Kalush, Lee Asher (pictured below) was singularly responsible for getting an officially licensed Jerry's Nugget deck back into the hands of a new generation and into the collections of those who couldn't afford the massive sticker price of the originals. So if anyone has a passion for the original Jerry's Nuggets, it is Lee Asher. Of anyone in this picture, Lee is the person with the most credibility, and his opinion and perspective should carry a lot of weight.
With Asher as his source, Kevan Seaney points out that 40,000 decks of Jerry's Nugget playing cards is the equivalent of around 8 pallets. That's a massive amount, and would weigh around four tons. And it would take up a tremendous amount of space! Kevan cites Lee Asher as saying (via voice messages in Instagram) that in 1999 Asher told Duvivier that he could get the decks from the casino, and that Duvivier bought around 1,500-2000 decks at the time. Lee subsequently visited his home and store - France's oldest magic shop - in France many times. And according to Asher, there was no way Duvivier had room for 40,000 decks. Kevin also says that Lee Asher pointed out to him that these were technically not the final lot of decks sold by the casino anyway, and that the last decks (a "case" of unknown size) probably went to Japan.
Wow. That really changes things! So based on this apparent "new information" from Lee Asher - who to his credit has apparently been saying this all along - Wikipedia gets a new edit by TheCongressGuy aka Kevin Seaney. The impressive figure of 40,000 is reduced to a much more modest 1500-2000, which is paltry by comparison to the much larger figures circulating the internet, and not nearly as impressive a story. But this is only after Wikipedia has been singing a different tune for five years, so the `damage' has been done, and the story of Duvivier's windfall of 40,000 Jerry's Nuggets is already accepted by most people as a true story.

Duvivier's own story

Suddenly it occurred to me to investigate Duvivier himself. Was this perhaps a line of inquiry that might produce some solid leads and definitive facts? Has the man himself ever commented on all these stories about his legendary haul? Could I find anything directly from the man himself that would shed some light on these legends? In fact, why hadn't I thought of this earlier? Just because nobody else seems to have dug up or reported anything from the man's own mouth, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. I slapped myself for my own foolishness, and headed back to Google.
As it turns out, Duvivier has written about this! But because it's an article in French, it's escaped notice from most people. Since he's popular as a professional magician in France, he not only has his own website, but he also writes his own blog. And sure enough, he's addressed this very topic in a blog article that he wrote in April 2011 under the title "Magiphageuh No 14: Les Jerry's Nugget".
With the help of an online translation tool, we learn this:
"As most of you already know, I only use real "Jerry's Nugget" cards to work with and have been doing so for many years. As these cards happen to be extremely rare to find on the market (I am obviously talking about the original Jerry's Nugget cards and not the recently reprinted ones) and they excite the magical world a lot, I am therefore constantly asked how many I own, how long have I owned them, what deal I made to get them and with whom, why do I have so many cards, why did I choose these specifically, why don't I want to sell them, why, why, eh?! And I hear such amazing stories about myself on these famous "Jerry's Nugget" cards that I decided to speak on the subject myself today."
This sounds very promising! Duvivier then goes on to tell the story about how the Jerry's Nuggets gained their legendary reputation, and the unique qualities they have. In France in the 1970s, American playing cards were quite rarely seen, and Duvivier knew a French pilot commandant called Reyno who loved magic, who would occasionally bring back cards from the US to a small circle of French magicians. At this time even standard Bicycle and Tally Ho decks were prized by these French conjurers, so besides them a Jerry's Nugget deck was considered a real crown jewel.
Over the years Duvivier occasionally got more of the Jerry's Nugget decks, sometimes even an entire case of them at once, especially via his friend Michael Weber, who was his main supplier. We fast forward to 1999, when he finds himself heading to Las Vegas to perform at The Magic Castle. Here's the story in his words, courtesy of an online translation tool:
"In 1999 (if I'm not mistaken) my daughter Alexandra and I were hired to perform for a whole week at Magic Castle and then for a few contracts in Las Vegas. You may think that I had only one idea in mind at the time: a trip to the original casino where my favourite cards were from, Jerry's Nugget! Michael Weber had told me that there were still a few decks for sale there, so as soon as we arrived I immediately asked Philip Varricchio, who had come to pick us up in a limousine, to take us there. He was rather surprised, as we hadn't even put our bags down at the hotel (yes, I'm a fool) and the old Jerry's casino wasn't really known for being a must-see place! So I told him that I wanted to go there to buy Jerry's Nugget cards. According to him it was impossible to get them for the simple reason that they hadn't been around for a long time, but I was so insistent that he finally complied (hey, hey, hey!). When we arrived there, we went to the gift shop of the casino and I asked the salesman if he was selling their decks.
- Yes," he told me, "I have a few.
He shows me a small piece of wall in the back of the store where a hundred decks were on display. I ask about the price. Not even expensive!
- Well, I'll take them," I say (laughs).
And of course I ask if he has more in reserve! Yes, there were about a hundred boxes left (each box containing a large number of cards, 144 decks!). After a little negotiation, the unit price was even lowered to less than $1.
That's it, that's how it happened and that's it. In fact, in all this story, the most difficult, the longest and the most expensive was to get the stock back to France.
Since then, I've been seeing, little by little, the bids going up on these cards in a rather hallucinating way, whereas, of course, that wasn't my initial motivation at all. From the moment I bought the remaining stock, it's as if everyone wanted to own even more! But I just wanted to have enough stock of Jerry's Nugget decks because I'm a card fanatic and these in particular. I use these cards because they're the best cards I know and I've fought like a big man to own enough of them for me (I should mention that I never had a middleman or a partner to buy these cards). Anyone could have done as I did and I don't understand why no one did: you just had to take the trouble to go to this casino, because the cards were available! In any case, now they are all warm and cosy in different safes, which I won't tell you about. They say I'm the person with the most cards in the world, but I have to say I don't care. I know Chris Kenner is the one who planned it, he has a lot of them too. I've been offered golden bridges to sell a few packages, or even my entire stock. I've had some incredible offers over the years. I never intended to create a buzz with these cards: I just use them for my own personal consumption, that's all...because they're my favorite cards."
Probably the key sentence in that account is this, and the best translation seems to be something like this:
"Yes, there were about a hundred boxes left (each box containing a large number of cards, that's 144 decks!)."
The formula is simple: around 100 boxes with 144 decks each. If true, that would mean 100 x 144 = 14,400 decks. Given that this is directly from the horse's mouth, suddenly the story becomes slightly more plausible. So too is his additional statement:
"In all this story, the most difficult, the longest and the most expensive was to get the stock back to France."
That suggests he didn't bring the whole stash to France in one go, which might explain why visitors like Lee Asher and others who saw his home and magic shop never saw any evidence of them. I'm not a French speaker, so I'm happy to be corrected if I'm misunderstanding anything Duvivier has written - by all means check the article for yourself in the original French, to see if I've got it right. But the long and short of it seems to be that Duvivier is saying that what he bought from Las Vegas around 1999 was not a stash of 40,000 Jerry's Nuggets decks, but 14,000 decks.
14,000 is not nearly as impressive a figure. But even though it's only a third of the size of what the legend floating around the internet says, 14,000 decks is still an incredibly impressive haul. Certainly the amount of pictures and videos that show Duvivier performing with Jerry's Nugget cards, seems to suggest that they are very much part of his regular repertoire. It could just be possible, and maybe I've finally found the truth!
Perhaps the most defining photo of all is this one (credited to Zakary Belamy), which shows Duvivier enjoying a bath with his Jerry's Nugget playing cards! Given the value of these playing cards on the market today, some might consider this sacrilege, but it sure suggests he has a large enough supply of Jerry's Nugget cards. At any rate, his collection of them seems large enough that he can even afford to take them to the bath for a photo op along with his favourite yellow rubber ducky.

But is it true?

Was the mystery solved at last? It was time to get back in contact with Lee Asher, and share my findings. But despite the claims of Duvivier in his 2011 article, Lee is not convinced that Duvivier is a credible source. To be fair, this is what Lee Asher has been saying all along, and for years he's been saying that the story about the legendary haul of 40,000 decks wasn't supported by the facts.
Ultimately what this comes down to is: are we going to believe what Duvivier says? For the most part, Duvivier has appeared to have had little interest in setting the record straight, despite the fact that the rumour of him nabbing 40,000 decks persisted as long as it did. And if he does have a large stash, why has he shown little interest in selling any of the decks that he does have, instead being happy to hoard them or use them only for himself? Would he really have spent all the time, energy, and money necessary to ship even 14,000 decks of playing cards across the ocean from the United States to Europe, just for his personal usage, at a time when the street value of these was only a dollar or two a piece? And if he did, where did he put them, and why has nobody ever seen his stash, including those who visited his home?
There are other details about Duvivier's record of events that call aspects of his narrative into question, such as his complete omission of any mention of Lee Asher, who was the one who made him aware of where he could get them. And in those days, the casino gift shop was very small, so is it really reasonable for them to display 100 decks on their back wall, as Duvivier claims in his 2011 article, when they had such little space to work with?
I had some private correspondence with another magician/cardist who has also stayed at Duvivier's house, and that individual expressed similar sentiments. He agreed that there was no evidence of Duvivier ever owning that many decks. Just do the math: 40,000 decks would mean Duvivier could use a brand new deck every single day for more than 100 years before he chewed through a collection of decks that size. Again: very unlikely. If he really did have that many, it would be way more than he could ever use, and surely he would have sold some by now - which he hasn't. This person remains somewhat skeptical, but acknowledges that the figure of 14,000 is a more realistic number that is not beyond the realms of possibility, especially if Duvivier has them locked up in a storage facility in Paris somewhere.
As an educated guess, it seems that there is good reason to cast some suspicion on this story, and there are some aspects about it that seem rather unlikely. Shipping that many decks, at the time only worth a buck or two each at most, all the way from Las Vegas to Paris would be crazy. But a man willing to jump into a bath with a yellow rubber duck and destroy $1000 worth of playing cards in the process strikes me as crazy enough to do it. Perhaps Duvivier's story is true after all.

A final twist

I was now several weeks into my adventures as an investigative journalist, and I was getting ready to wrap up my story and publish it. But there was one final lead that I had not yet explored. If I was really going to try every possible avenue of information, I had to try contacting Dominique Duvivier himself. Why not? Admittedly, the odds of getting a response from someone about his apparent stash of precious Jerry's Nuggets wasn't likely. If there was any truth to the story about his legendary haul, even to some degree, then he's undoubtedly had hundreds of inquiries over the years. Just imagine the long lines of people asking him about his stash, trying to convince him to part with some of it. If yet another email comes in on this subject, he'd probably roll his eyes and press `delete'. He is working full time as a professional magician after all, and has a career to worry about. I couldn't blame him if he was tired of responding to what undoubtedly would be countless messages from prospective buyers.
But I had no intention to buy anything, so as a good amateur journalist, I had to try. It was a long shot, but to my surprise, I got a response from Duvivier the very same day! It wasn't much, but it included one unexpected bombshell - especially after the journey I'd been on so far: "You'll be glad to know that a special article is going to appear in next Genii Magazine. It's called Dominique Duvivier and Jerry's Nugget cards."
I was stunned. Was someone else working on exactly the same story as me, and had they beat me to the punch? Maybe even Duvivier himself? Could it really be true that in little more than two weeks time, the next issue of Genii was scheduled to come out, and would potentially reveal all? Suddenly I knew that I had to wait with publishing my story. In further emails, Dominique was tight-lipped about any more details. At the very least, surely I would have to wait until that issue of Genii was available, and fork out my cash and purchase a subscription in order to read it. I owed it to my readers to explore every last clue, and give them a story that included all the evidence.
So that is what I did. I waited for the July issue to appear online. Digital editions of Genii are released online each month on the 20th of the month. Finally 20th of June rolled around, and I eagerly perused the contents of the latest issue. Nothing. Nothing remotely Duvivier related. Nothing Jerry's Nugget related. Was Duvivier for real? An inquiry with the editor of Genii produced this response: "Not this issue. Coming up." Would it be August or September maybe? Further inquiries produced only silence.
In follow up correspondence with the Frenchman himself, Duvivier told me "I wrote the article myself. It?s quite long." That sounded promising, but it could just be about his love affair with Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards, rather than a "tell all" story about his haul. There still was no guarantee that it would even be published. And I couldn't be sure that it would offer any more information than his blog article from 2011 which already gave his side of the story, or that it would be any more reliable than the version of events he'd provided there. Was it really worth waiting any longer? It was time to share my findings with the world anyway, and I could always provide an addendum to my story if any credible new information appeared.

Final Thoughts

Is this the final word on this subject? No. I've tried to do the best I could based on information available to me, and shared as much as I could with my readers, so that you can form your own conclusions based on the evidence so far. Undoubtedly there are still some missing puzzle pieces, and in future years some new information could come to light that shows that some of my conclusions were misplaced or that puts aspects of this story a slightly different perspective.
Today we are two full decades removed from the time when the original decks first sold out at the Jerry's Nugget casino. And the further removed in time that we come, the harder it becomes to uncover the truth. Memories become murky. As it is nobody at the casino seems to remember the specific details of what happened. At the time they were probably only too glad to get the remaining stock out of their hands, and nobody could have anticipated how these decks would become the famous icons that they are today. Even their chief evangelist Lee Asher has to be somewhat surprised at the turn of events he's produced since first singing their praises some twenty years ago!
So what can we conclude from all of this? Here's some final thoughts that I'll leave you with:
1. Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
Unfortunately, it's a fact of modern life that not everything on the internet is true. And as we've seen, this also applies to sites like Wikipedia. For topics that have a large number of experts or people interested in a particular subject, changing the facts on a Wikipedia article will quickly see the changes being reverted. But with a more niche subject, like Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards, and especially when it concerns circumstantial material that nobody is quite sure about, it's easy for misinformation to enter Wikipedia. And once it's embedded there, eventually the lore spreads and becomes considered as "fact". So it's important to check your sources, and don't take everything you see online as gospel truth - even if it's on Wikipedia.
2. The legend about the stash of 40,000 decks should be put to rest once and for all.
It's a myth, and there simply is no evidence for this claim anywhere. At most, there is the claim from Duvivier himself that he bought up about 14,000 decks. That might be true, but again, we only have his word for this. As a counter-point, there are those like Lee Asher who know Duvivier and have visited him many times, and insist that they never saw any evidence of this. The enormous cost of shipping a large stash like this to Europe already makes it somewhat hard to believe.
There's no doubt that Duvivier is a huge fan of Jerry's Nugget decks, and he appears to own and use them more than most. But in the end, how credible is he? How seriously are you going to take someone who is happy to post a picture of himself in a bath with a rubber duck and playing cards from a Jerry's Nugget deck? Either that means he has far more decks than he knows what to do with, or he is a little loopy. Or perhaps it's a bit of both. You've had an opportunity to read all the evidence for yourself, so you decide.
Either way, we can safely say that there has never been a stash of 40,000 decks, and the jury is out on whether there was even ever a stash one third of this size. But even if the size of the legendary stash turns out to be smaller than first thought, the reputation and magnetism of the Jerry's Nugget decks has only increased in size, and these now iconic decks will remain firmly embedded in playing card lore.
Update from the writer: After the original publication of this article, Dominique Duvivier personally phoned me on 24 July 2020 to discuss it, and to share his side of this story. He remembers events slightly differently than Lee Asher does. As Duvivier recalls it, his own interest in the Jerry's Nugget decks dates back to the 1970s and 1980s. At that time he was sourcing them from his friend Michael Weber, who along with magicians like Chris Kenner was also interested in these decks. According to Dominique, he only met Lee Asher during his USA tour in 1999, after he had already bought out the remaining stock from the Jerry's Nugget casino. Duvivier confirmed that the figure of 14,000 accurately reflects the approximate number of decks he purchased from the casino at this time. He shipped the majority of these to France by boat, and stored them in a warehouse, intending them to serve as a life-time supply for himself and his family. Look for his story in an upcoming issue of Genii magazine.
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Bubble Bath Review: FFBE Raegen/Zile/Ryumynui/Lucille


It's been a long while since we've poured the water folks, but at last we've got ourselves a banner with new units to scour. We're still in full swing with the second Anniversary fiesta, and the most recent patch was a pretty big one. Lot's of new toys at our disposal (Cactuar fusing is finally here!) But our big focus is going to be on the units themselves.
As always, we've got a small selection of other offerings from the community here and abroad to supplement your bathing experience. Without adeu:

TL;DShould You Pull? CG Reagan Xyle Luminui Lucille

Banner Over all
TL;DR Folks, I wish ya luck on this banner!

-> CG Reagan Raegen SUPPORTATK

TMR: Hero's Vow - Dark: Entrust Icon +50% LB Crysts, +30% ATK when wielding a Dagger, Sword, Katana, or Great Sword (Only one weapon per +30%, so mix and match; Limited to one per unit)
S ShieldHatHelmClothesLight ArmorHeavy ArmorAccessory
HP (+30%) MP ATK (E: +100%) MAG (+20%) DEF SPR
3802+450 (4252) 166+75 (241) 156+30 (186) 128+30 (158) 128+30 (158) 134+30 (164)
*these stats do not incorporate passives. E= requires equipment to gain annotated bonus
The first Veritas out of their armor is the old Darklord himself. The father of Rain (no spoilers needed, it's in the unit bio) has a deal to offer up in his kit. Let's take a look.
The first ability to look at his Blue Blade Ruin. It's a Libra that also comes with a small hit and a 40% ATK/MAG Break for 2 turns to a Single Target. If your team doesn't have a Libra on it somewhere, Raegen's got ya covered for the first encounter. Instant Flash is the next utility-esque Ability. It's an AoE 1 hit also with small damage, but it's cheap and also refunds 18 MP back to your entire team. With the DW, that's 36MP for it's 15MP cost. Soul Blazer is up next, as another ST 3 hit Ability that increases your parties Resistances to Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Light, and Dark by 50% for 3 turns. It's somewhat on the MP intensive side though at 64MP, but the bang for your buck in coverage here is pretty damn good.
Mountain Dive is his 'Full Break' Ability, ST 3 hits with small damage going out. It's also on the high cost side for MP, and there are better breaks you'll get from your breakesupport once you've got your team established, but it's there if you're still getting your team set. Hero's Edge is a lot like his son's Leadership Ability, but also comes with a slightly harder AoE 3 hit. The buffs are at 60% and last for 3 turns. Much like Mountain Dive, it's there if you need it; but most established accounts will be able to look over this Ability.
Burning Blood is a ST 3 hit that also has Fire Element on it, that also happens to increase Raegen's LB by 6 Crysts. If you've got a HT buff up, you can skip this one too. Erythrite Blade is the what you're after here folks. It's a ST 7 hit (chains with the Orlandeau family) that Imperils Fire and Ice by 60% for 3 turns. Elbis' and Erwin's TMRs, please report to the Raegen department. This brings us to his last Ability, Complete Awakening. It doesn't run you any MP, as it's cost is a full LB gauge from Raegen. If you decide to forgo Secret Slash Attack (his LB), you're buying Raegen a 3 turn 200% Buff to his ATK/MAG/DEF/SPR stats, 30% Damage taken (ALL), a 6,000 on a x15 mod Heal (split over those 3 turns), and a 20MP 0.2x mod Refresh (also split), all for 3 turns. The 200% buff to his combat stats is pretty enticing, but I do believe it's a dps loss to burn the turn to buff over going with his LB and continuing to spam out Erythrite Blade. If any math-magicians would care to chime in below, feel free to do so.
That covers his Abilities, but Sir Raegen here also happens to have a few spells he can cast too. Firaga and Blizzaga are there to help you cover those elements. Raise and Curaga though are welcome on your dps, in the event things get a little hairy. Lastly, he's got Barblizzaga/firaga that confer your team a 70% Resistance to Ice/Fire respectively for 3 turns. The magic here shouldn't be used too often, but are welcome in the kit regardless.
In his Passives, Dual Wield comes stock on Raegen. We've also got some passive stat buffs noted above. The real pleasure though is that we've got four Equip Masteries you can choose from when it comes to getting the most out of your Raegen. Those weapons are Sword, Dagger, Katana, and Great Swords that'll boost his ATK by 50% for equipping any of those four (but only triggering once per weapon type). The previous statement about Elbis' and Erwin's TMRs holds true here, as equipping both is a solid 100% ATK boost, and cover both of his elements neatly. Doing so will unlock at least one slot for any Killer Passive you want to put on him for the weeks particular event/trial boss. He's also got Clear Will, which is a modest 1,800 (1xSPR) Heal at the end of your turns, a 10% MP Refresh, and 2 LB Crysts per turn.
So, taking a soak with this kit here, we can see that his base kit is extremely Fresh Player friendly. DW stock and a nice range of weapons to choose from make his gearing options pretty flexible. His chaining capabilities with the Orlandeau family also make him a pretty good Friend unit to put up. The rest of the kit will see use as you begin to build your team comp, but will really begin to hone in on Erythrite Blade once your team finally takes shape. As stated thrice now, the two biggest TMRs for you to go after are Elbis' and Erwin's to really help Raegen dish out some solid numbers whilst taking advantage of his dual Imperils nicely. Running him out of MP will be rather hard to do with Clear Will too, unless you're spamming out Hero's Edge (which you won't); so don't be afraid to go ham with him.
When you look at gearing your dps units, you want a TMR that's either a specialist (high in one stat), or really good with it's flexibility. Raegen's TMR does both. Hero's Vow - Dark has 4 different weapon types for you to select from, each one granting your equipped unit a solid 30% boost to ATK for equipping one of those four options; meaning you can get 60% ATK out of one Materia slot. 50% High Tide on top of all that is extra gravy for this salisbury steak. TMR Materia's like this going forward are going to be much more coveted as with the advent of the 7* era, the JP version also saw the Passive cap raise from 300% to 400% about four or five months after it landed.
Looking at Raegen's LB, Secret Slash Attack, you'll see it hits like a bus dropped from low orbit. Uncapped, we're talkin' a solid AoE 7 hits with 9.6x mod that also Imperils Fire and Ice by 76% for 3 turns. Capped? Well, that's where the low orbit comes in. The mod slides to 12x and the Imperil jumps to 100%. If you pull Raegen and intend to use him on your team, cap this. The only prohibitive/negative thing I've got to say it's it's cost is 36 LB Crysts. Still though, you're getting a lot for those 36 Crysts with his LB.
Raegen's 7* form is beastly folks.
First up is his TMR Equip Passive for awakening him to 101. If you slap Hero's Vow - Dark into one of those Materia slots (and you should), all of his 5-6* Abilities get an additional 2x mod added to them. Further more, he also gets an additional 40% TDW (+40% Equipment ATK) when Dual Wielding. That's a big thing because you will be DW'ing with him, and this ups his primary dps Abilities mod to 6.8x.
105 see's him get two new Abilities and one Passive. The first Ability runs 60MP and is a 2.8x AoE 1hit that also fills his LB by 2-3 Crysts. The second Ability costs 58MP and sports a 3.45x mod that's a ST 8 hit (6 frame data, Chains with an upcoming group dubbed Absolute Tranquility. Thanks to u/fourrier01 and u/crushedMilk for the heads up on this) with 50% ignore DEF (6.9x mod). The Passive is a 30% Elemental Resistance boost to Fire, Ice, and Dark Elements.
110 houses his two CD Abilities. Both open up on the 4th turn and each has a 3 turn CD and both come in at 99MP. The first one is a 14.5x ST 7 hit (Orlandeau frames) that Imperils Fire by 100% for 2 turns and adds Fire Element to him for the same duration. The second is for his other Element, Ice. Same 14.5x mod, but this one hits 8 times (with 6 frames, no clue on who it chains with). Same goes for the Imperil to Ice and buff duration.
115 has the stock 20% Passive boost to a stat, this ones to his ATK.
Which brings us lastly to his 120 Capstone Passive. It's a 20% boost to his HP/MP, along with DEF/SPR. He'll also gain 2 LB Crysts per turn, and an additional 50% HT.
His 7* form carries on with the dual Elements of his base kit, and really turns up the heat with his TMR Equip Passive to put your foes on ice in short order. If you luck out and manage to pull two of him on banner, cap his LB (This patch also normalized the LB up rate) and set aside some of the TMR moogles we're getting from the 2nd Anniversary to fuse into the dupe.
Is he a Unit of Choice ticket candidate?
I'm going to go with a yes here folks. Much in the same way Sephiroth power-crept upon the once mighty Orlandeau, Raegen does the same here with two other elements. His stock will also rise significantly if you happen to be sitting on our GLEX (currently) Fryevia with her Enhancements. His 6* form is pretty damn good to start with, and gets better in the 7* era. Couple this with his flexable TMR to help you eek out 60% more ATK with weapons that have been shown a lot of love with different Elements to choose from here and you've got a nearly complete package. He's not one of those meta-defining units, but he's certainly no slouch either.
In the Arena: Eh, he's got a few AoE abilities, but the low mods on them and the lack of Counters in his kit don't make him the most savory unit you could bring here. There's better units to put on your team here over our man Raegen.
So, how does Raegen fare out of the box?
  • Fresh Players: I did mention at the end of his 7* soak that he's nearly the complete package. For your crowd, this is correct. Raegen's got a dabble of everything you need to help you get yourself through the main story, and will more than likely remain on your core team as you begin to piece that team together. As stated earlier, Elbis and Erwin both have TMR's that you need to take full advantage of his dual Elements; but isn't something you have to drop everything to get. If you've pulled Raegen, you've got a unit that's set to remain on your team well into the 7* era.
  • F2P <6MO: There's a good chance you folks have potentially one Hyomoto laying around (probably on an Orlandeau if you've got a Fryevia) and are most of the way through Elbis' TMR. Get this man on your ES party because his TMR is pretty damn good, doubly so if you've pulled two of em (do note, his TMR is limited to one per unit, but it is just that good to have two of). If you've got a geared up 'Landeau, gearing his replacement will be super easy for you.
  • F2P >6MO: Same as the above, your Orlandeau is about to hit bench status, and Raegen's the reason why.
  • Vets: I'm looking forward to seeing the damage output videos some of you put up on YT with him front and center.
  • Non-macro: This man devoid of his TMR, and other TMRs is still a high functioning unit. I'm going to urge you to get his TMR though with the load of TMR moogles we've been getting recently though. Like, highly urge you to do so. The 60% ATK boost for the weapons that the Materia functions on all have some pretty good Elemental coverage, or raw ATK as you simply can not go wrong here.

-> Xyle Zile ATK

TMR: Bomber's Bicorne: Hat +36 ATK, +31 DEF, Null Paralyze
S ShieldL ShieldHatHelmClothesLight ArmorAccessory
HP MP ATK (+50%, E: 50% TDH) MAG DEF (+20%) SPR
3699+390 (4089) 150+65 (215) 149+34 (283) 100+26 (126) 119+26 (145) 123+26 (149)
*these stats do not incorporate passives. E= requires equipment to gain annotated bonus
When I zee Zile, I can't help but think: "That's the love child of a RNG and COR from FFXI". What's our cannoneer have on display for us?
Before we get to the 'tree' of his Abilities, let's cover the ones that lie outside of it. Spreadshot is a cheap, low damage hit to all enemies. Heavy Shell is moderate AoE 1 hit that's somewhat expensive. That leaves us with Blank Fire, an 80% ATK/MAG buff for 3 turns on the expensive side at 80MP. In the paltry passives on show, Zile's got a very low 60 HP heal with a 1.2xSPR mod at the end of your turns. The rest of his passives are already annotated above
Because he's got a branching path set of abilities, we'll be breaking out the graph to help folks visualize how to navigate the path.
Heavy Reload Unlocks
24MP, +4 LB Super Reload, Powerful Shell
1st level Unlocks
Super Reload (30MP, +8 LB) Devastating Reload, Super Shell
Powerful Shell (lvl 1 cash-out) AoE 1 hit 5.5x Critical hit, 34% chance to fail
2nd level Unlocks
Devastating Reload (36MP, +12 LB) Forbidden Reload, Exploding Shell
Super Shell (lvl 2 cash-out) AoE 1 hit 10x Critical hit, 12% chance to fail
3rd level Unlocks
Forbidden Reload (60MP, +16 LB) Exploding Shell
Devastating Shell (lvl 3 cash-out) AoE 1 hit 15x Critical hit, 12% chance to fail
4th level (0MP) Final cash-out
Miraculous Shell (20%) AoE 1 hit 26.5x, +20 LB Crysts
Exploding Shell (80%) AoE 1 hit 26.5x to all allies
The jist of his kit is all about powering up his cannon for a number of turns, each turn unlocks either the option to 'double down' on his damage, or cash out with the shell for that level. The entire path will run you 150MP, but will also see you earn minimum 40 LB Crysts, or 60 if you get the Miraculous Shell, which means you've got enough to pop his LB off. Do note that 80% of the time, you'll be cratering your party with the final payout, which makes the whole Reload tree pretty much moot.
After a soak with his kit, he makes more sense if you go with his LB over the Reload tree. This will require a second unit in your group to be his dedicated Entruster to really take advantage of his DPS. You can still opt to go the Reload route, especially if your going for a hefty chain finishing hit for numbers that'll make a Vegas Casino owner blush over. Gear wise? This mans a 4* base built with a TDH build in mind with the mods on show. If you're in that odd position where you've got 200% (or even 250% with Explorer Aileen's TMR), and no feasible TDH unit to put those god-mode TMRs on; I highly suggest you give this guy Zile a ring.
Zile's TMR, Bomber's Bicorne is the cheaper knock-off version of Prishe's Hairpin. If you've got aforementioned TDH TMRs, and are sans a Prishe; pick up that phonograph and Morse code our man here.
His LB, Knightly Crossfire is actually pretty boss. The major con to this LB though is it's cost, which comes in at a staggering 60 LB Crysts. As mentioned in the soak, if you intend to be using him seriously; you'll want to bring an Entrust unit to help speed him to this hard hitting LB. At it's base, we're talking about shelling your foes with 3 salvos coming in at a 14.8x mod. Cap this and it ups to 17.2x. The 3 hits is what makes it scary. If you have LB pots -after- you've capped your fresh 7* units, Zile's one of them units that might be worth a look.
In the Arena: No. Mods are too low on Heavy Shell to hit cap, he's got meh for HP, and no Counters. Yes, I'm Edna Mode when it comes to units without Counters in the Arena.
Confront the problem. FIGHT! WIN! And call me when you get back, darling. I enjoy our visits.
So, how does Zile fare out of the box?
  • Fresh Players: He's going to be hard for you folks to really get the most out of him. His kit is built around some rather prohibitive TMRs to really take advantage of his output. That said, if you pull both him and Ryumynui; she's a great unit to use as his Entrust partner to help you clear away foes in short order. Be sure to pick up his cannon from the Story Event for a cheap weapon to get you started on your war path.
  • F2P <6MO: Ah, now were starting to get into the crowd that'll really be able to take advantage of this kit. Maybe not completely, but closer.
  • F2P >6MO: Closer yet. Go on, give him a spin if you've got an open slot and a penchant for large numbers.
  • Vets: I dunno about you folks, but I might be faffing with him while I wait for Ang to get his 7* for $#@%s and giggles.
  • Non-macro: Eh, I don't think Zile's gonna be your cup of tea folks. I mean, you can get some good numbers out of him. No doubt, but not the same numbers folks with some hefty TMRs will be raining down. The sprite looks good though, and the animations are on point.


TMR: Nymph Harp: Harp +26 MAG, +102 SPR, +20% HP, +1 LB Cryst per turn, Damage Range 130%-170%, +70% Accuracy, 2-handed
WindEarth: 15%
HP (E: +20%) MP ATK MAG DEF (E: +20%) SPR (+20%)
3188+390 (3578) 169+65 (234) 109+26 (135) 121+26 (147) 122+26 (148) 144+34 (178)
*these stats do not incorporate passives. E= requires equipment to gain annotated bonus
The third stab for discount bard unit is here. Does Ryumynui have the gusto to perform accolades for your party or is she a whoopee cushion?
Analyze on your Support unit these days is stock. Filling up the monster-dex means this is a requirement somewhere in your party. Hide is here in her kit to help you with Hide cheese strats. Pacify is a cheap ST Dispel she can whip out as needed. Alluring Air comes in on the cheap and is a 30% chance to inflict Confuse to all foes. This one's a hard pass. Escape is here to nope out of those preemptive battles your looking to avoid in the Bahamut Exploration.
Ah, here we are. The first Ability worth a mention on her, that being Entrust. There's a reason I put Zile first in the review over his female contemporary here. See, these two work pretty damn well together. Yes, Ling would be a better fit for Entrust, but she's time limited. Ryumynui on the other hand is unfettered by this 'limited time' notion. Her cheap LB cost (20 Crysts) and own Eccentrick via Passionate Bullet means she will fill up her LB every turn. Recall the mods on Knightly Crossfire, and you've got a handy way to keep the gunpowder hot.
Now, while we've just covered one of her bardic Abilities, there are four left to cover. Healing Cantilena is a somewhat weak HP/MP Refresh that's split over 3 turns as she sings. A Song for Praise is an AoE 65% full stat boost for 3 turns while singing. Charming Warm-up is the TL;DR one turn Ability you'll need to use in order to unlock General's Tale. Before we move to that though, Charming Warm-up does have a 30% Damage Mitigation (ALL) tied to it. The downsides to this is that it only lasts for one turn, and is limited to Ryumynui only. General's Tale combines Healing Cantilena and a slightly more robust Song for Praise into one. The HP/MP Refresh is pretty weak, but the stat buffs jump to 80%. In her Passives that aren't already in the Stat Graph, we've only got to cover Nomad Poet. Just a simple 100HP+8MP you'll Regen with every 4 steps taken in explorations.
Right, let's soak on this one... There's a lot left to be desired here from the third stab at a discount bard. Her base kit without really taking a look at her LB isn't anything spectacular. If you're filling your slot with a bard, you'll be looking to fill it with either of the big 4; those being Ramza, Lunera, Roy, or MS Nichol. That said, she's got a few uses for budget builds or Fresh Players. Her Entrust and Passionate Bullet make for an instant LB every 3/4 turns, meaning any high LB cost unit can just skip right to it with this combo. The other useful side to her kit is her LB. I'll leave that for it's own section though.
Ryumynui's got a TMR, and it's not anything you'll be farming hard, unless you've got Charming Kitty Ariana. So, outside of this limited time healer, the TMR's got almost no uses. I'll be blaming the 2-handed tied to it. 26 MAG and 102 SPR is pretty meh for a niche Weapon type. HP+20% though is decent, as is the 1 LB Cryst a turn via Auto-limit; but it's all brought back to reality with the two-handed weapon classification. Remove that and it turns into a serviceable TMR in my eyes (says the man with Lunera as his primary bard).
Her LB is the other juicy bit in her kit that we haven't gone into depth on yet. One Boy's Odysseia comes in at 20 LB Crysts, and it's base function is 36% HP and 31% MP refill to your party. Yup, that's a flat percentage you'll be getting back. Cap this and the HP side jumps to 60% and the MP half to 55%. Recall that Passionate Bullet? This is spammable with 200% HT up, which can make your team close to invincible if your tank can soak all damage and remain above 40% HP. Just like I said with Zile, Ryumynui's LB is worth a look after you've capped your 7* units.
In the Arena: She's got no Counters, and her one 'attack' Ability is an AoE 30% Confuse. Hard no.
So, how does Ryumynui fare out of the box?
  • Fresh Players: There's a serviceable kit here. She'll eventually be traded out for one of the big four listed earlier, but she's still gonna find her way onto budget builds I think with her low LB cost, Entrust, and damn fine LB.
  • F2P <6MO: You folks can pass on her. If you're lacking a bard, try your luck here; but I'll be secretly rooting for you to get one of the four better options.
  • F2P >6MO: Same as above, but I don't think you're looking for a bard by this point.
  • Vets: Nooooope.
  • Non-macro: I'll level with ya here. The kit isn't super stellar, it's not going to win you fights if she's the last member standing. However, she'll definitely provide throughput for other units. Pre six months, she's got some life on a bench. Anything post that though and you start to run into the other four units encroaching on her spot in your team. The TMR on her is also passable in it's entirety.

-> Lucille Lucille SUPPORTATK

TMR: Brontes: Gun +120 ATK Lightning
HatClothesLight ArmorAccessory
Lightning: 30%
HP MP (+20%) ATK (+20%) MAG DEF SPR
2538+240 (2778) 122+60 (182) 110+16 (126) 89+16 (105) 107+16 (123) 95+16 (115)
*these stats do not incorporate passives. E= requires equipment to gain annotated bonus
What's this?! Abilities straight out of FFT?! eyes narrow I'm on to you Lucille... trying to be an FFBE unit.
Right. I'm just going to cut right to the only important Ability in her kit: Ricochet at 73. You see the Dual Wield for sale in the King Mog shop for 12k? Get that if your a Fresh Player and make sure it makes it's way to your girl here on your Arena team. If you aren't a Fresh Player, you can pull out your neuralizer and... what was I saying again?
Lucille's TMR, Brontes is a noteworthy TMR in my book. It's a non-2 handed gun with a decent ATK stat to it and it's also got the Lightning Element on it. While guns right now don't have any big units that really want to equip them (aside from maybe Prompto), that's a thing that can change in time. Not something to hard farm for, but you'll want to fuse all your dupes into your main to eventually get this little nugget.
Her LB is passable. Lightning damage to a ST for 16 LB Crysts with decent mods won't save Lucille from the bench.
In the Arena: Ricochet was the only Ability covered in that section. This is why. If your a Fresh Player, this is her sole use. She's to be replaced with more Ashe's or her superior counterpart in Amelia. Yes, I know I'm breaking the 'No Counter' rule here, but the Stop cheese from Ricochet is going to see you Fresh Players hit the 100 win streak in short order.
So, how does Lucille fare out of the box?
  • Fresh Players: She's gonna be used in your Arena team... but that's about it. Her place there is also highly suspect as two units on the 4* base level will replace her.
  • F2P <6MO: TMR fodder from here on out, and not even the ES farm team kind either.
  • F2P >6MO: As above.
  • Vets: More as above.
  • Non-macro: One of those odd times where even you folks sit at the same table as the macro crowd.
Right, we've come to the end of the bath this week. All in all, the banner's going to be a subjective pull for you. Raegen is a good pick-up, but doesn't break the meta in any way. The two 4* bases are middling in their kit's usefulness, and the 3* base is quickly replaced in an Arena team.
Hands out lucky red packets
Good luck, and Godspeed!
submitted by MAXzerios to FFBraveExvius [link] [comments]

Denver Nuggets: A check on the assets and what to do with them

Hey guys, I’m a Nuggets fan from China and below is my analysis on Nuggets operation. The article covers Mason Plumlee, Wilson Chandler, Darrell Arthur, Juan Hernangomez, and possible future for Nuggets.
Mason Plumlee: good player, bad timing
This is the next issue on the table, should Nuggets re-sign Mason Plumlee? Usually this should have been a no-brainer, but Nuggets just got caught in an unusual situation.
Mason is good, and still improving. He is probably one of the top 5 long passers in the league, not quite creative, but reliable. That combined with his quality finishing makes him a top pick and roll partner in the league, as Lillard and McCollum would tell, and it's not his fault that Nuggets is in desperate short of threatening guards. Mason is not as effective delivering handoff, the play-type that Nuggets heavily relies on, since he lacks shooting range to pull the defender out, but he managed to keep the offense running when Jokic sits.
He also worked on his criticized defense. According to he contested 435 shots within 6 feet from the rim in the last season and allowed a shooting percentage of 52.0%, a grade comparable to Hassan Whiteside or Robin Lopez. He still had trouble boxing out, but with these strengths he already deserves a starting position. I would say 13 to 15 million per year sounds about right. Plus, Nuggets might even get a discount considering all teams' tight budgets this season.
However, the Nuggets already have a overlong list of expensive big reserves. If Plumlee stays, they will spend 35 million dollars on bench players sharing 3500 minutes, a disadvantageous situation as Harris and Jokic expecting big extensions. Let's take a look at how Nuggets got caught up in this Plulee issue.
A brief review on the Nuggets Blazers deal
The major thrusts for the Plumlee-Nurkic trade still stands. Nuggets solved their locker room problem, and Blazers heged a exploding payroll. For the on-court part, Nurkic was a unpolished, struggling young player in his third year, while Plumlee looked like a reliable forth grader. A late first round pick wound have been a fair compensation, but Plumlee was five years older than Nurkic and his rookie contract was counting down, so I would say Nuggets suffered a minor loss in the trade.
But minor loss matters, and it can matter a lot when the team strives. Plumlee is not an ideal combo big to pair with Jokic for his price. He is most productive in a 1-5 pick and roll supported by 3 shooters, and yet diminished in any other task. Nuggets knew that, but now with Millsap on board (as well as Trey Lyles and Taylor Lydon acquired from a trade I don't understand), his lack of adaptiveness suddenly becomes a severe problem. Meanwhile, Nuggets still need to dump unworthy contracts and upgrade at wing and point guard to ensure long term competitiveness, which would have been easier if they found a better bargain and kept the 20th pick. Perhaps they could have taken a slower pace by simply sending Nukic away without extra bid and relying on their young talents for the playoff race.
But on the positive side, Plumlee did improved the team. After Plumlee joined, Nuggets went 15-12 and only missed playoff by a unbelievable 3 pointer from the MVP. He helped Nuggets to achieve a outstanding +4.2 margin of victory in March and April, a typical level of a 50-winning team. It would only take 2 more losses for Nuggets to look uncompetitive and should that happen, would Millsap still choose here? Teams exceeding expectations catch free agencies attention. This summer Houston seduced Paul, and Miami at least got to meet Hayward, so maybe the 20th pick was Nuggets entrance fee for the big names' casino, and we won a bite on the apple.
2019 Summer: the real chance
2018-19 season is only 15 months from now. Nuggets already have 45 millions guaranteed for that year, including Millsap, Faried and Taylor Lydon. The best chance would be opting out on Jokic to make sure he signs our max, and Gary Harris is taking his 20 million. If we keep all rookie contract the number sums up to 105 million on 10 players. Wilson Chandler and Darrell Arthur will potentially take 20 extra millions if they choose to stay. Keeping Plumlee, and we're well over the expected tax line of 122 million. It won't help to give up on several below-expectation rookies.
For such price, we better accomplish something. Bottom-line conference semi-finals. But the real problem is, Nuggets will pay high amount of tax for a roster not significantly better than today. Sure, the young players will improve, but Millsap, Faried and Chandler won't be as good.
But the good news is that we are not locked up. So far the team will expect to have only Jokic, Harris and several rookies for 2019-20 season. Faried's contract will expire. So would Chandler and Arthur's, if any of them choose to stay. Millsap will hold some cap space, but Nuggets will have the crucial flexibility to make improvement. By that time, our young core of Jokic, Harris, Murray and Hernangomez will reach their prime, and hopefully have proven themselves in several competitive series. The 19-summer is the real chance for Nuggets.
That leads to the conclusion on Plumlee. It's ok to keep him, and even a bit overprice is affordable, since tax in 2018-19 is unavoidable anyway. But his contract should in no circumstances extend into 19-20 season. I think a 2+1 deal of 36 million would be ideal.
Will Chandler opt out next year?
Wilson Chandler and Darrell Arthur both have player options on 18-summer, and their choice may wipe 20 million off club's salary book and inject significant flexibility. Given their age, money should be their top concern, so let's talk about how much they would worth.
Wilson is distinctive in today's NBA. All small forwards playing over 2000 minutes last season can be divided into two groups: the franchise players, and the functional players like shooters or defense specialists. But Wilson is different. He was at most the fifth best player in the team, but his usage of 22.0% was way too high for a supporting role, and his average level efficiency is not quite convincing. There is simply not a big market for ball demanding small forwards.
Wilson is very likely not part of Nuggets' long-term plan since he is not suited for Jokic. He is not efficient off the ball, making only 34% of his catch and shoot 3 attempts, the lowest among Nuggets' major rotation. More often he chose to waste the open look, dive into the crowded paint and end with a turnover. Neither could he support the team with brutal isolation when offense stuck, like Gallinari or Barton did. As for the defense he had good combination of size, strength and mobility, but his attention was always a problem. According to his defensive real plus minus ranked 62 among 69 players on the same position, and in 14-15 he was 43 in 55.
For reference, PJ Tucker was offered 3/33 by Raptors this season, CJ Miles 3/25, Jared Dudley signed 3/30 last season, and these are all better players according to rpm, so a 3/25 million contract seems to be what he can get. I tend to believe he will stay for his 12 million in 18-19 season, in which case tax paying would be unavoidable.
Darrell Arthur, the player I'm most concerned with
Nuggets fans should pay more attention to Darrell because he is a player with many possibilities. Jokic is solid, so are Millsap and Harris. Murray, will full health, is going to improve anyway. But Darrell is unpredictable. Will he recover? Can he continue his amazing shooting? Will he replicate his defense performance in 15-16? We would be really lucky if it's yes to all three questions.
The guy just earned himself a 23 million contract a year ago. In 15-16 when he was healthy, Darrell was a stretch four plus a defender. With his mobility, he contested 3.3 spot up plays per 36 minutes and allowed only 0.83 point per play, lower than 82.6% of all players. He also provided center-level rim protection, reducing opponent’s percentage down to 55.8%, ranking 13th of 169 6'10-or-less players that defended over 200 shots below the rim.
Darrell didn't get a higher contract only because he is bad at rebounding, thus unable to switch to center. But what he could provide is still exciting. A rotation made of him, Plumlee and Faried is really luxury from both basketball and financial perspective. It's hard to say how much Arthur is worth since everything is up to his condition. I wish he could at least be ready to bear a task of 1000 minutes, even though that many contributions from him may not exactly be necessary.
Hernangomez: How Millsap's deal might affect his path
There's nothing to complain about landing Millsap with a max. Actually, Nuggets robbed him of 30 million dollars with the team option on the third year. But it is still necessary to see a few moves ahead. Undersized power forwards typically have short primes. Admittedly Millsap did a great job staying competitive in his early 30's, but is also implies an increased risk of unexpected cliff fall in the coming years, which is why the 2+1 deal is such a remarkable victory. To ensure that Jokic's prime will not be wasted, Nuggets still need a backup, and it seems their perfect choice, Juan Hernangomez, would be forced to play 3 after Millsap joins.
Juan could develop into a decent stretch 4, if not a top one. His size and shooting could be lethal in pick and roll, with quality defense on isolation and above average rebounding as bonus. He is facing an identity choice: playing power forward would require him to gain some weight so he could hold his position better, while small forward is more about remaining swift and versatile, But now the Nuggets seem to feed him an answer. Among the 6 reserve bigs (if Plumlee returns) Juan has the greatest potential to switch down to 3 without being much of a burden. The dilemma is like a diminished version of Anthony Davis issue a few years ago: the better player is forced to adapt to a different role because it's the only viable solution.
Vison for the Team
The NBA is a league dominated by stars. If Nuggets want to be a regular playoff team and even more, the best hope is for Jokic to grow into an All-NBA player and truly build around him. We need to collect players synchronized with his growth, players that support him and complete him. We need a decent pick and roll guard to create mismatch post up opportunities for him, we need versatile forwards to release him from switches, and we need a bit playmaking and isolation from the wing.
But there’s no hurry. This is Jokic’s team, and Nuggets shouldn’t go after any players that’s gonna challenge his authority. Don’t pay future first round picks to trade off expensive contracts. Don’t tighten cap room up in 19-summer, and don’t make any upgrade that contradicts current plan.
submitted by jpfustc to denvernuggets [link] [comments]

(LONG) The Ultimate Trip Report: 7.5 Action-Packed Days in Mid-October. Lots of Budget-Friendly Activities!

Just returned from the most epic week in Las Vegas with my husband! We budgeted about $1000 per person for the week, all expenses included. We went over by a couple hundred in the end. We planned a lot of activities and sightseeing in advance to avoid gambling too much out of boredom. We weren't very lucky at anything except blackjack, but we were able to leave Vegas at only $40 in the hole between the two us, which I consider a moderate success! And we weren't bored for a minute!
Day 1 (Wed 10/19)
Day 2 (Thurs 10/20)
Day 3 (Fri 10/21)
Day 4 (10/22)
Day 5 (Sun 10/23)
Day 6 (Mon 10/24)
Day 7 (Tues 10/25)
Day 8 (Wed 10/26)
Thanks for reading! I might try to come back and add some pictures and links here as I get the chance. Feel free to ask me about anything we did!
submitted by happenedinvegas2 to vegas [link] [comments]

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