Sunday, December 19, 2010
Alright lame but heck I had to do a recap of the year or just the more memorable moments. Pretty much everyother tv show, social media, and whatever does this. So keeping up with originality, I should stick with the crowd. Not really going to be rewards, just what's memorable about magic for me and well everyone else.
Card of the year?
Sheesh this is a tough one, there really is two top candidates. One was the most dominating card in all of standard for the first half of the year, until it rotated(or cascaded) out. The other is a major powerhouse in standard, and sees play in every format up to vintage. Unfortunately for bloodbraid’s sake, I am going to have to take:
Too Nice: so what’s it like winning card of the year?
Jace: Shhh I am brainstorming
Too Nice: well the dci are currently investigating you for warping type two, what do you say to that?
Jace: Listen, no one seals my fate, before I get to fate seal them!! Also judging by what’s coming in this blog I suggest to the readers to stop now, it just goes downhill from here.
Too nice: Well there you have it Jace, the mind sculptor, proving all you need in life is money!
Cards of the year 2010:
1. Jace, the mind sculptor
2. Bloodbraid elf(released in 2009, but had a great run in 2010)
3. Survival of the fittest(had a really good run in 2010, legacy card of the year)
5. Primeval titan
6. Fauna shaman
7. Goblin guide
8. Baneslayer angel
9. Lightning bolt
10. Raging ravine
Biggest trend of 2010: The growth of independent tournament series.
Around three years ago, no one had any of these tournaments to go out and win money, amateur would either have to go to a PTQ , win, then win big at the professional level or do well at Grand Prix. The starcity open series, tcgplayer opens, and others are great ways for amateurs to win some money. Also the focus, is slightly taken away from pro-players and more on the open circuit.
The birth of commander as format. EDH and commander were always everyone’s favorite casual format, but wizards my think about sanctioning and making it official. Obviously it wouldn’t be for rating, just bragging rights.
Other honorable mention:
Huge trend in the call for banning cards. I mean it’s always been there but now it’s more prolific than ever. Wizards has already banned mystical tutor, to some surprise, but who knows how legacy will look tomorrow.
Most Memorable tournament(for me):
October vestal legacy event
It had a solid 16 finish, a therapy that wasn’t, plus it rehashed the bravado that we should all expect for me. It was at a time were you know, I needed a lift, and I got it. If you want more coverage check out my blog from that event, and check out blue waffles.
Friday Night Magic - 2010-09-10
I beat spencer in a tight match, with my Chandra killing his Baneslayer, and it was the first time I ever played against Jeff in a close match, that I ended up losing. This is also important as it was the last time I ever played RDW while shards block was legal in type two.
Hopes for 2011(magic wise)
1. Bigger prize pool at third
2. No cards get banned in 2011 or 2010 in any of the formats.(ie no cards get printed that are nuts and what’s legal in legacy and standard stay legal)
3. Good red cards(hopefully goblns) get printing, a good two drop, like hellspark elemental
4. Someone from 3rd Universe playing on the pro tour.
5. The jets winning the superbowl(if that’s no magical, I don’t know what its).
6. Titans return in 2012.
7. People stop being lurkers on this blog
8. My attempt to try and be a DM doesnt fail
Props of 2010:
Bryan Deyo, for making 3rd sanctioned for gaming.
Bobby Greene, for making an awesome cube
Mark Jacobs, for having an awesome D&D game
The people at 3rd universe for playing the game each and every week.
People who make bad calls
Lurkers who read someone hard work and refuse to post any comments!!
People who post gross stuff on their blogs
Most memorable quote 2010:
"Do you think i'm pretty without any make up?"
Until next year...
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
1. Be confident in what you do, but never arrogant. Humility is important, confusing but important (lol esoteric rules joke). Put yourself in the right framework.
Honestly I would probably just say I am competent at the game, someone like Dan Jordan is good at the game, Gerry Thompson is great at the game, and the Finkels, LSVs, Nassifs, and Buddes are truly awesome. Everything really needs a framework for improvement. Many people I see get real confident and well basically assume there unstoppable, as soon as you do that, well you headed right into a wall. Be truthful about yourself, sure you smart and good, but look for areas of improvement.
I dated a girl back at Marist, and she said was probably more moral than 99.9% of human beings. That promptly end our relationship (not on the spot, more like wow that’s stupid), cause it’s just impossible. Sure you can be good, but how many tough ethical decisions do you make a day? Probably none. Same goes to magic, sometimes you play like a pro, but we all slip and well noob it up.
2. Just cause you aren’t the best, even good at something try it out, it could be lame, people might make fun of you, but hey f_K em.
A while back I got into writing lame poetry, at first it was to impress someone (I am looking at you Panos), but after awhile I found it aesthetically pleasing. I also started this blog to blog about gay erotica and then it turned into a magic blog. Both have been well mediocre to terrible, but hey irritating people is fun too. Sure you might lose a lot in magic, but hey really the journey is the most important bit. If you’re not good at draft, try type two, not good at that, try edh, not good at all of those, well play anyway if it’s fun to try and improve, besides I really need my rating to increase. I think Babe Ruth said it best:
“I spent my money on women, cars and booze, the rest I squandered”
Oops wrong Ruth quote,
“The fear the striking out should never stop you from hitting a home run”
Sorry about the technical difficulties, my point is hit at the hot girl at the end of the bar, apply to that job that’s a reach, and try a new hobby, cause at the end of the day they could all lead to good things or not. But heck we all know what happens when you do nothing.
“Gee, its lonesome in the outfield. It's hard to keep awake with nothing to do”
3. Be pleasant, be a good sport, try and obey the rules, but never forget the most important rule of standing up for yourself and keeping your honor intact. If you don’t have honor, you don’t have much.
I pretty much always shake hands after matches, a long time ago I beat a player, and he refused to shake hands with me after the match because A. I suck B. He was mana screwed. At the end of the day, well we all know who looked real bad at life rather than magic. A lot of people also say you should only shake after a tight match or a big match. Why not every match? Sportsmanship is important and shaking confirms the legitimacy of the result.
That’s not to say shake EVERY match, as if someone’s a jerk, is cheating, or hates life. One PTQ that I went to in NYC a few months ago, I beat my opponent but never opted to shake, why? the whole time he complained about my deck choice, and how lucky I was. He also insisted on having me shuffle his deck after every fetchland rather than me cut it, almost called a judge on it. Those may be true but, really try and enjoy yourself.
At college, I had similar situation. There was a guy I know through friends who well, is pretty much not a nice guy. I will call him Chuck. Last week in school senoir year, he got into an altercation with someone, spat on them and kicked them in the face. When I scolded him for doing this he tried he threatened me, and spat at me. Five minutes after things were calmed down, Chuck tried to offer a handshake and make it all better. I didn’t take it because well, I deserve better than that. To this day it has alienated someone of my college friends, but at the end of the day you can’t forgive people for everything.
I never really regreted that, for many reasons, one he was a dick outside of that situation, and well two, if people think I should be treated like that, oh well. Afterward I learned to stick up for myself, and fight for me, people aren’t always going to be good to you. However, still treat people with respect and sportsmanship.
4. Live with your decisions
Many magic players learn this the hard way, that taking things back, are actually against the rules. A slight aside, the slogan “no regrets” is actually the stupidest thing anyone has ever said. Probably up there with “hey let’s do heroine.” Life is one big lesson for the next life(as in the next generation). You should have regrets about things you have done, that is not to say be depressed constantly about times you messed up. Heck at times all of us are whores, liars, and not good people. We are all stupid financially, and with playing magic. However, there is a lesson at the end of the day.
“hey man I don’t even care about the past, it’s all about the future, no regrets”
The past is really all we have to learn from. The emotion of regret is according to Webster “to feel sorry and sad about something previously done or said that now appears wrong, mistaken, or hurtful to others” the point is to move on from that feeling to feeling of confidence, but you need that cycle. Sure you may have stolen from the candy store, sure you may have dated the wrong girl just for ass, sure you may have spent too much money, the point is to live with those decisions and not run away from them(all of those are real memories). Cause in fact Magic, just like life has no take backs.
5. Love what you do; who you’re with, the point in life is to enjoy it.
At the end of the day, all we know about this world is well that there is this world. Technology hasn’t proved any other planet with life, although we might suspect extraterrestrial life. Gods, spirits, and angels only appear in what we can so far tell are works of fiction. The only thing you know about this worlds, is well you, what’s there in front of you, and how you feel about all of it. Altough, many would even dispute that claim. Eitherway there is this illusion or reality that comes before us known as life. Magic is the funnest game out there, but many people get upset over it at times. My advice, find the right play group, format, and store to try and maximize the excitement of the game. It isn’t fun, do something else, which may sound anti-magic but heck it’s the truth. The game isn’t for everybody. The reason why we play, is because we love it, not any other reason.
In life you got to do the same thing. Don’t like your girlfriend? Dump her. Don’t like the school you go to? Go to another. Don’t like your job? Grab the Pennysaver. Magic shows that if you take the right approach to things you can be successful, if you can’t find sucess try something else.
Anyway those are the lessons Magic can show you, I hope you liked them. As a good exercise, if you’d like, write what gaming has shown you. If you didn’t like a lesson I put, write why, and then flame me constantly with criticism.
Until next time…
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wizards of the Coast official position on banning cards is well, you shouldn’t ban cards, only in dire circumstances. In the past five years, in standard they have let the cards play out unitil rotation…leading to well a player base filled with whiners(not the kind in california or france). The past two standard formats were dominated by Bitterblossum and bloodbraid elf, which in the end weren’t banned, and well dominated until their respective rotations. The last cards to be banned where the well affinity bannings in 2005 which banned all of the artifact lands, disciple of the vault, and arcbound ravager, which led to well the format being dominated by tooth and nail where some people argued for that to be banned as well.
Affinity was one of the most degenerative decks of all time, probably next to academy as the best type two deck of all time. The format forced people to main deck artifact hate, which was almost insane given how bad artifact hate was against the rest of the decks in the meta. Affinity had turn 3-4 kills, was quite resilient to hate, and could win out of nowhere. And that’s even without skullclamp which was banned the previous fall for well being one the best cards of all time.
I guess it all kinda arbitrary, but I suppose it needs to reach the affinity line in terms of power, performance, and well reiliancy. Altough one could quickly argue that all of those strategies and Jace are just as dominiate, I would tell them that having the rest of the field would have 8-12 dead cards against non-affinity opponents. Affinity also gave the opponent very little time to react, and made things very non-interactive(not a Webster word). Either way, point conceded that its very arbitrary the line to ban cards.
Now, that brings us to legacy, legacy being an eternal format which well I guess the “wait till rotation” route doesn’t work out. The last card to be banned was mystical tutor, a key card in both reanimator and Storm decks. Mystical was thought to keep getting more and more powerful, decks were simply made to find there instant or sorcery, play it and win the game.
Alright I guess I will just make a chart based off of past criteria and well my pretend expert opinion:
Jace the Minscupltor
Totally guilty of that, in the last stars city open it was 50% of the top 16. Once played the card needs to be immediately dealt with.
Create a non-intereactive style of play?
Well not really, the thing about jace is that it gets better with player skill, it bounces creatures, finds answers, and controls the opponents draw step. In fact, the card is all about intereaction.
Quick end to games? A combo engine?
Not really, it will certainly put the opponent ahead but it’s not an engine. It finds answers.
Finds a home in a variety of decks?
Yes, it’s not just putting one strategy ahead, there are many kinds of jace decks. Right now we have RUG cobra, UB control, and UR destructive force. Which is a definite argument for it stay giving that it allow multiple types of strategy.
Well not really, the valakut ramp decks apparently have good game against the blue decks, and another plan is just win before turn one with vampires, goblins, or elves. Pyromancer’s ascension deck is also a good choice against the Jace decks too. Yes it’s a card advantage, and will take the game over if unanswered but it’s not unstoppable.
You can kill planeswalkers with burn, attacking it, or playing another Jace. Who needs Maelstrom pulse and oblivion ring? Well everyone, but they are not the only the cards.
You probably shouldn’t ban it, there will always be the ‘best’ card in standard. Its powerful, it does win games, but at the end of the day it promotes interaction and smart play. Sure its one of the best blue cards since well I guess brainstorm that doesn't mean its ban worthy.
Survival of the fittest.
Yes it certainly is the most popular strategy. However, it doesn’t show up as much as Jace does, however it is a bigger format.
Create a non-interactive style of play?
Yes, it certaintly does. Games in which survival “goes off” are incredibly non-interactive, the other player has to have the answer within a turn or lose.
Quick end to games? A combo engine?
Oh yeah, that’s what it is, an engine with vengevines or necrotic ooze.
Well no, but it’s quite resilient. There are a lot of good cards against survivial. But they have plenty of search and discard and counters to play around the hate. Also many have alternate wins with being a ug madness deck or a gw agro. So while you have all those anti-survival cards you have to deal with mongrel or goyf coming in at you.
Will it continue to dominate?
Well I will put it this way if they ban both vengevine and necrotic ooze, survival would still be quite playable as a draw engine, in fact there will probably be cards in the future that will break it.
At the end of the day, I am against survival being banned; however, it seems that has much more criteria to be banned than Jace does. One it’s a combo engine and two there is no rotation
While I say that it’s more bannable than Jace, I still am against banning it. In fact, I am against banning mystical tutor as well. There has to be points were we accept the power level of some cards. Survival is definitely equal to mystical’s power level so I won’t be surprised to see it get the ax.
Mark Sanchez the best QB in the NFL, yeah I said it
The guy in my comments who I remember in the 7th round for taking out a baby and skinning it in front of everyone. Now whose the lying cheater!! =P
You guys for not mentioning anything about blue waffles
Anyway until next time….
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The road to recovery began on saturday. Last night, I attended the Jupiter games Legacy Power nine tournament. The prize pool is well ridiculous; I wish 3rd universe had this kind of payout each week.
Top 8 drafts the power nine.
9-16 drafts a set of duals
16-24 drafts the set of fetchlands.
Around $2,000 in prizes.
This is almost as a good as a 5k payout. Legacy players from as far as Columbus Ohio were in attendance. I of course sleeved up my favorite archetype of all time:
4x aether vial
4x goblin lackey
4x goblin warchief
4x goblin piledriver
4x goblin ringleader
4x goblin matron
4x gempalm incinerator
3x mogg war-marshall
2x siege gang
2x warren weirding
1x goblin sharpshooter
4x bloodstained mire
2x scalding tarn
2x arid mesa
4x rishadan port
4x cabal therapy
3x blood moon
At the end of the day, the only card I would change is blood moon in the side, I think Jitte deserves some testing, to get an edge on aggro matchups. The reason why should become apparent. Possibly pithing needle deserves a look too.
Well round one was called after I filled out my decklist...
Round One mono blue Merfolk.
I think every time, I see turn one island aether vial, I get more excited than a kid eating blue waffles. Check them out online if you never heard of them, they are blueberry waffles made by eggo, yum yum. My opening hand was:
Mountain, port, warmarshall, Piledriver, Piledriver, gempalm, and a fetch.
I got a read on him, by seeing a silver gill adept on his decklist. Turn two I baited him by playing war-marshall and he responded by countering with force of will, turn three I played piledriver, and then played another. They sat there and chumped and eventually I was able to kill all of his dudes from sharpshooter and the gempalms I drew off of my endless stream of ringleaders.
The next game was a blur; I just remember blowing him out with pyrokinesis. I hope all of my matches are this easy lol.
Round two 3/4 color control
In the first game, He gets stuck at two lands, and I essentially port him out of the game. His only play was dark confidant, and that quickly got gemplamed. I kept tapping his green to stop mean ole tarmogoyf from showing up.
Game two was probably one of the best of the Tournament. I sided in cabal therapy’s. Turn one aether vial, turn two, I therapy’ed naming tarmogoyf, I got 3 tarmogoyfs, his hand was then land, deed and smother, I then tapped my vial, dropped lackey, and sacked it naming deed.
Ouch, four cards in one turn. I then easily won the game. Cabal therapy is nuts =).
Round three “the rock”
Before the match the guy talked about how he had no clue about legacy, I hoped that continues.
First game I blew him out with lackey, rishadan port and goblins, he kept asking to read all of my goblins, which confirmed his lack of legacy knowledge.
The next game he played some goyfs and a jitte, and well that was all she wrote.
Game three, I kept this hand
Fetch, Goblin Lackey, Goblin Piledriver, Siege Gang, port, gempalm, Goblin Warchief.
Would you keep this hand?
Well I did, and I won turn three. Best summary of a game ever? Ok fine, turn one lackey sigh, turn two, swing, drop siege gang, play piledriver, turn three swing and sac.
Round 4 gw survival
Game one, all I saw was a savannah, a birds, and a forest…yeah I had no idea what he was playing.
Game two, I came out really slow, he got a turn two survival and well that was pretty much it.
Game three, my opening was something like this:
Mountain, Goblin Lackey, Goblin Piledriver, mountain, Wasteland, gempalm, Ringleader.
I got off lackey, and was able to ringleader into good stuff. He once again had a really bad hand.
Nice guy though, but man he played slow. Thought for hours during mulligan and eventually kept.
So 4-0, looking pretty good. If I win two out four, I get prize, If I win the next two, that’s a top 8. So as long as I don’t play zoo, particularly zoo with stoneforge mystics and jitte, I could be quite successful.
Round 5 Zoo with stoneforge mystics and jitte
Well, game one kept a hand with two wastelands and two aether vials, hoping to screw him out of the match. I knew he was zoo from overhearing people talk about him. And well, he fetched for two basics, and played a turn two stoneforge mystic.
Game two, he once again had turn two stoneforge, and well, that was all she wrote. Jitte is retarded
Although as a side note, he got in an argument with his wife on the phone during the whole match, so I guess I kinda did win on the account I didn’t have to deal with that.
4-1 =( in matches
1-0 in not having to deal with angry women.
Round sixUG Survival
Game one, I win the roll. I go turn one lackey, he plays land go. I swing in drop warchief off of lackey, drop two piledrivers. He untaps, looks at it and scoops. He didn’t have a single creature in his hand.
Game two, he begins to start survivaling out his vengevines, I stop him with extirpate. You remember that card from last match that owned, well guess who showed up. Jitte is retarded.
Game three, well this the most well, I guess the judge decided this one. I went turn one, I named survival off cabal therapy, got one! I saw Jitte, and few creatures, no force of will. Two turns later. I play Goblin matron grabbing incinerator, it resolves, I then sack the Matron to therapy….
“yeah sure *smiles*”
“alright I will name Jitte”
“oh wait force of will”
“no it just resolved.”
“no I didn’t know you played it”
Now in the real world of magic, there is no way that spell didn’t resolve. However, the judge saw it differently, he saw it as a lack of player communication, which I don’t think I’ve could have been more clear. The force of will was allowed, and the coming jitte well cost me the game.
Either way, I shook on it with him. I will probably file it under him not paying attention, rather than something more malicious. Still in a big match you should be paying attention. I did wish him luck...
0-1 too bad calls
Well it’s do or die time, I really hope I can get a good match up out of the next round….
Round seven u/b merfolk
Game one, he plays underground river and pass, I go turn one lackey. He plays mutavault. Right
now I have him on fish, but I am not 100% sure. I play Goblin Piledriver, no response, I hold lackey so it doesn’t activate and block. No port or waste. Next turn I swing in, and gempalm incinerate his vault. After it becomes a 2/2, but before declare blockers. I get a ringleader, from that point I just smash him.
Game 2, I don’t remember this game at all, but I win, so hey my bad guys.
Round 8 Affinity.
Game one, this game was soooooo tight. Like tighter than robin hoods tights tight, like he was a soprano for a reason tight.(and yes I know I could have used a perverted joke, ok fine opposite of goblin matron tight). The match started off with him mulliganing down to five. He started out with memnite, opal, land, ravager, the next turn he played cranial plating, ouch! That’s a better five than the 1998 Bulls. All I could do was muster up a mogg war marshalls and slowly block. A ringleader came later, and eventually siege gang helped me to it. Eventually, I had piledriver, matron, and a sharpshooter in hand. He had plating, 3x myr enforcers(one untapped), ravager, and an ornithopter(untapped) on board no hand. My board had 4 tokens, warchief, and siege gang. He was a 18, I was 7. All I could do was matron for a gempalm and hope that would buy me a turn. He swung in with all of his enforcer and the ravager(he knew I had gempalm and siege gang to stop onithopter from going in). I block with three of my tokens and let an enforcer through, I am at 3. Eot I gempalm his onithopter. Next turn I go in with matron, Sharpshooter, siege gang, warchief, a token and a freshly played piledriver. That is exactly 17 damage plus a goblin sack from siege gang was the game.
Game two, a lil different complexion. He went first, and dropped ancient den and thoptor. I wastelanded his land. He then laid down nexus and passed. I promptly wastelanded that on my turn. From there I had port and slowly beat in with goblin tokens, holding my ringleader back because I wanted to port his lands.
And that was well all she wrote….
Well not really…6-2 and 14th gets me a play-set of volcanic islands.
This was a great finish in a high level tournament, but it definitely made me think about well I guess the whole rest of my life. For those who don’t want a heartwarming speech go look up those blue waffles I talked about. Anyway before this things in my life weren’t going too great. The Jets got shut out by the packers, broke up, my job turned down my request for a raise, and the 3rd reic…I mean the Republican Party took Congress. That got me thinking, life’s a lot like magic, there’s always times when you succeed, and there are always those times when you mess up or someone makes a bad call. The point is well, keep playing cards. Life always finds a way to balance things, but if you keep working at trying to succeed, more often than not you will. Life is about fighting through adversity, at many points in the tourment I thought I was done. After round 5, I was almost on tilt from the bad call. However, you got to balance your emotions and play strong through the times when your ahead AND the times your behind. At the end of the day, if you have a good set of friends and a good head thats a top 8 in my book. (ok, lame but you get my point lol).
Robert Greene for not only driving me but for the bad lands
Lil bear for texting me about magic while his was busy.
My 7th round opponent for turning in the correct results for me
Jupiter games for being a great legacy scene.
People who sleeve up merfolk
Goblin Lackey, for well, being awesome
Santonio Holmes, for well, being awesome
This guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVtEX1J7tXQ
People making bad calls
People who sleeve up zoo with stoneforge mystics and jittes.
And this girl: http://www.bluewaffle.net/
Anyway until next time…
Monday, September 20, 2010
I was dead set on writing about Magic 2011 limited. However, the only thoughts I have right now are on cube. For those that do not know, Cube is a limited format, where a player with a large collection, in our local case Bobby "lol Foils" Greene, builds a limited format, containing some of the best cards in the game. Cube has a lot of nuances. This article will be mainly a strategy and general ideas on how one should approach the cube. For those seeking more information than my lame opinion try http://www.cubedrafting.com/. For those who have never played in a cube, ask grandpa about it, and if its cool with grandpa welcome aboard,just don't pull a "Garrett." Anyway, without futher ado, here are some thoughts on the cube:
1. Card advantage is key.
When ever I draft cube I see fact or fiction and Sylvan Library get passed around the table faster than a joint at a strait edge convention. I just pick that stuff up and start giggling.("did dave rice pull a mike phelps and ruin his nice guy image?") Guys, even if the cards you drafted are worse, they should outnumber and thus probably overpower their cards if you have drawn more than them. A player who sees 21/40 cards should beat the guy who sees 14/40 cards. Tempo, should also be mentioned, but only to a small degree. I will put it this way, the decks that win everyweek wins off of card advantage, however please take sol ring and black lotus early and often. Altough if you think about it, sol ring is better than lotus in card advantage, it will be there for you everyturn.
2. Build a deck with powerful cards with some synergy, not a deck with weak cards and tons of synergy, it will not pan out as well.
Cube is not about building constructed deck out of cards you drafted, its about building a broken limited deck. A lot of people I see(myself included) go after the cool one too punches. That said, when you pick a survival of the fittest(a good to great card by itself) and find squee take it. It makes one of your best cards, your best card. However, many people get stuck with their darksteel collusuck or their squee, goblin nanothing, sitting in their hand and mocking them with their uselessness.
3. There's really only three good archtypes in cube.
Mid-range blue with green sometimes white for bant and azorious stuff, or red for blood braid, some gruul stull but mostly izzet stuff. This deck has efficent creatures, some card avantage, and counters to stop the other blue decks with awesome cards and aggroo decks with reach. They like cheap card advantage, big creatures, and exceleration.(key cards Noble Hierarch, Lotus coatl, Sylvan library, and broken blue spells). Then the more control version of blue with white or black or black/red for removal and card advantage with contract(draw 7's), wrath effects, and discard. Jace the mind scupltor and planeswalkers shine in this deck, not that they dont in others, but they shine even more here. Esstentially one is creature based with blue spells to break the game open, and the other is instant and socery based, with creatures to finish the job. It's about ration and the other colors you use in blue, I suppose. The last is the underdrafted agroo achetypes, hopefully has green for some card avatange with survival or sylvan library, or has black/red for discard, bob, and hopefully contract from below. I keep saying contract from below because its the best card ever. Red I hate to say it has a lot to catch up with the other colors in this, and is mostly in support with burn for removal and only really has wheel of fortune as the busted card. Altough reach and removal is something that is good to pick up. Keep in that mind
So in summary there's:
A. The midrange to more aggressive blue deck
B. The more controling blue deck
C. the undrafted aggroo deck
The overall problem is that blue is the most drafted color. Everyone is either playing it as the main, or as the splash color. I love watching cryptic command shuffle around the table as everyone knows they can't possible play it. Blue's downfall in the cube is the color, being the known as best color.
4. Look for a shard, guild or color combo that shows up.
When looking at the draft, there are plenty of discounts to be found for the smart shopper. The cube is filled full of clunky mana costs, that perfectly to fit your bant, UBR, or some other deck. I was in bant last wednesday, I had to decide between baneslayer angel or bant charm. Bant charm was the perfect card, it counters a broken spell, it takes care of a good creature, and destroys an obnoxious equipment. However, I took baneslayer, why?? Someone, is going to be in white out of five people. The charm is really only for my deck. Sure enough 15th pick bant charm came my way. This isnt to say don't pick the best card, but also think about what other players are taking and what is likely to be taken because you could end up with two good cards rather than one.
Also think about fixing, grabing a land 4th or 5th pick solidifying a splash can be a very solid choice. Don't get caught running 3 or 4 colors and no fixing.
5. Have fun.(oh dave and his folksy lessons on life)
At the end of the day, magic is about making mistakes and learning from them. In fact, you can probably see a whole bunch of them right on this page. Still, go out and hack with stacks.
until next time....
Friday, September 10, 2010
By David Rice
Hear that sound, man you in trouble,
Rolling that dice, he’s about to get double.
Seeing that Gnome roll around seawell,
You know he shot Chenron, straight to hell.
You bout to get shocked!
He’ll show what he’s got!
He’s changes shirts to green, blue, or red,
Watch out demon’s you about to get dead.
He’s got fireball, lightning grasp, and magic missle,
Watch him clean up bad guys as quick as a whistle.
You about to get Dropped!
Painting the town colors in lots of spots!
Now his on a boat, catching some waves,
Going to save some lizards in a cave.
Relying on homeboys Rothar, Gwayne, and Kalareth,
They will win, now that’s a safe bet.
You bout to get shocked!
Getting hit dad’s respect is what he saught!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
In the beginning, we had four rounds and whoever was on top after the four rounds, was the winner. Usually that meant whoever, had 12 points or 4-0 was declared champion. The people in the 3-1 bracket usually were in the top four places of the tournament. We went that route for many reasons. One, it was easy, go undefeated and win. Two, it was a small shop, no need to get complex. Three, the prizes were not big enough to fight over. And four, well the tournament organizers didn’t know how program playoffs into the system.
Then bigger tournaments happened at third universe. Occasionally there would be two people who were undefeated. The biggest debate was when Robert “Civil war vet” Greene and Dylan Demartino, both sitting at 4-0, one got a box, and one got three packs o_0. Tie breakers determined the winner, and with a big prize, the difference is huge. Playoffs were immediately entered into the discussion about how to resolve this matter to ban tie breakers. The next prerelease came and went. This time playoffs were added, with a cut to the top 4. In the fourth round, Jesse “Cruel Ultimatum” Adams and Garrett, intentionally drew thus giving each 10 points(3-0-1), which after much debate is more than 9 points(3-1). Intentional draws are when too players decide to draw the match(before play has started) so each get one point in the total standings, rather than one getting three points and the other zero. Thus both benefit rather than one benefiting and one losing out. Intentional Draws have been in competitive magic since the beginning of the pro-tour. Believe it or not they were very controversial, as they are inherently anti-competitive as you are “supposed” to try and win each game. (http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/misc/853_The_Most_Broken_Tournament_Mechanic_Ever.html).In fact, similar strategies like “taking a knee”( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarterback_kneel) were at one time controversial, are now like intentional draws accepted by the public. Many seeing an intentional draw for the first time were not happy with this move, although I am perfectly fine with the practice
In the weeks that followed, we had a cut to top 8, which had mixed reviews. I remember one tournament were I was 1-3 and then playing in the top 8, which was almost embarrassing. I really didn’t have any reason to be there. Playoffs in any competitive environment are supposed to mean something; you achieved the right to be there. 1-3 is achieving something? Not really, that’s a bad performance. I shouldn’t be allowed to try and win the tournament with that record.
Anyway we see that we need to have the following, a system that promotes competition (where you try and win every game), a system where people do not lose on tie breakers, and one that is based off of achievement. The best one I can think of is one based off of record rather than standings:
4 wins gets the best prize, maybe two packs and a good foil and a so-so foil. 3 wins gets a pack and a so-so foil. (depending on attendance, Bryan’s generosity, and meaning of the event.)
And that’s the new format I propose. For one thing, there would no longer be anyone who comes in first. So there will be no champion. However, you will get what you achieved, it isn’t based on crazy math, and it’s based on wins. It’s also pretty simple, everyone gets it. If anyone thinks of a better idea please post below.
There is an old cliché in sports “you are your record.”
Until next time…
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Take a look at Polymorpher's Ascension combo:
3 Call to Mind
4 See Beyond
4 Mana Leak
4 Time Warp
4 Dragon Fodder
3 Halimar Depths
2 Treasure Hunt
4 Pyromancer Ascension
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Lightning Bolt
This takes the new Pyromancer Ascension deck into a different direction. The old win condition was lightning bolt copied many times and killing your opponent. Lightning Bolt is a great card and all, but besides some defense, it does not help you win the game, unless you have already “gone off”. With Polymorph you can have a turn four 15/15, which is pretty good.
The deck's strategy is two fold. Your first is to resolve a Pyromancer's ascension, do the time warp more than a drag queen on Broadway and then polymorph into the win. (in some cases you may be able to tap for 15!). The second is to draw into the polymoph and then swing with Emracruel. There are plenty ways to draw into the combos with ponder, treasure hunt, halimar depth’s, and preordain. For those waiting for a combo deck, here it is!
The deck seems quite hard to play at points but it has a lot of intricacies. For instance, what to discard to blightning is a tough decision.
Cool plays include a Pyromancer’s Ascension at two counters and two goblins out, you can polymorph targeting both, to make really hard disrupt Polymorph, they have to have two removal spells or two counters, or one of each. Out of the board you can “tooth and nail” into Iona and Emracruel.
Either way if anyone builds this by tomorrow let me know how it fares. Next week I will interview a few players at third about draft strategies, favorite cards, and my thoughts on Magic 2011 limited.
Until next time...
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The deck I am picking is goblins, probably my favorite archtype of all time. There are a lot of misconceptions about goblins. Like "the best turn one is Goblin Lackey", "the deck is not resiliant enough", and "Goblins takes no skill to pilot". Hopefully these will play into my hands.
The decklist I have floating right now is:
4 x Aether vial
4x goblin lackey
4x goblin piledriver
4 x goblin warchief
4x goblin ringleader
4x goblin matron(the most underrated goblin)
4x gempalm incinerator
2x goblin chieftain
2x sting scourger
2 x siege gang
3 mogg warmarshall
4x relic of progenitus
The deck has a lot nuances. Essentially is much different than the standard red deck(pun intended lol). It is very comboish, with quick draws and speed. To show its resiliency, all you need to watch is a few matrons into ringleaders and see how it can come back from nowhere. In fact, Matron, like most tutors is the most skill intensive card in the whole deck. Matron has some versatility, you can grab card advantage to get ringleader, an answer in the form of stingscouger and gempalm, a threat by "himself" in siege gang or set up the nuts turn with either warchief or piledriver.
The best card in the whole deck is vile *cough* i mean Aether Vial. Aether vial, gives you free mana and uncounterability. The card works incredibly well with matron, either by vialing him out, or vialing out what you tutor out. Goblin lackey the second best, albeit more explosive, is quite possibly one the most fun cards in all of magic(if your on the right side of the table).
My sideboard is set up to deal with multiple strategies. Blood moon is just so incredible in this format. Some decks run only one one basic land in there whole deck. Think spreading seas is good, imagine spreading seas for 24! Back to my point of legacy being "real magic", my side board shows how red can answer particular stratgies. It can spoil you mana base and blow up your creatures and artifacts. Relic of progenitus is in for dredge, reanimator, and against Lands. Altough blood moon might be good enough against lands :)
Anyway I apoligize to all five of my readers for the short entry, if I win, I will write the longest tournament report of all time, which quite possibly two of you may even bother reading.
Until next time....
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Hmm lets start with.....
For anyone who accidently stumbled upon this page. My favorite color is red. It all started one night at a party, I saw Chandra across the room, she approached, and lets just say the burning sensation has persisted to this day.
1. Destructive Force
Each player sacrifices five lands. Destructive Force deals 5 damage to each creature. Socery. 5RR
One of my favorite cards of all time is Wildfire, that card saw play in every "type two" format. This is probably not going to see much play for the next couple of months. giving the current quick format and jund hanging around. However, I think if scars provides some artifact mana, you may see me chuckling as I smash in with a 6/6 each turn and my opponent has no board. It dealing five to flyers and nonflyers could also be its down side. Otherwise we may have been able to see a baneslayer, or sphinx team up with a wild fire effect. Rolling terrain, demolish and goblin Ruinblaster are all type two legal these days and will be post rotation. So it is definately something that can make a splash.
2. Ember Hauler
Card type: Creature
Creature type: Goblin(<3)
Card text: 1, Sacrifice Ember Hauler: Ember Hauler deals 2 damage to target creature or player.
What did I do to get this printed? Lets just say that burning sensation has spread into R&D. For those who don't about sligh/RDW decks, he is a perfect two drop. He might even take Kargon and Geopede's role. Each of those guys can be better than him, but a lot of times are inconsistent. Ember hauler, is both a quick creature, and a seal of fire on the board. He will always do part of the job. If only combat damage went on the stack still....
3. Leyline of Punishment
Card type: Enchantment
Casting cost: 2RR
Card text: If Leyline of Punishment is in your opening hand, you may begin the game with it on the battlefield.
Players can't gain life.
Damage can't be prevented.
HAW HAW, KORE FIREWALKER is unbanned. The only problem is that white and red mages are gonna have to have sideboard head games, altough it is awesome against baneslayer. Red mages will now just attack in, and not have the five life from lifelink to deal with anymore.
1. Grave Titan
Card type: Creature
Creature type: Giant
Casting cost: 4BB
Card text: Deathtouch
Whenever Grave Titan enters the battlefield or attacks, put two 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens onto the battlefield.
Nice, I have always been a fan of siege gang comander, and this could be the "black" siege gang. Only it could be better in many ways. Siege gangs two damage ability sure is pretty good. However the 6/6 power/toughness makes it a big efficent creature, that adds dude each turn. Ten comming in off of one card at six mana is quite efficent after all.
2. Nantuko Shade.
Guess whose back? Back again? Shady's back, Tell a friend. For those who don't remember Nantucko Shade he was in a word a "beast". I could see mono black aggroo become big post rotation. Wizards has been praying for it after all.
3. Demon of death's Gate
Card type: Creature
Creature type: Demon
Casting cost: 6BBB
Card text: You may pay 6 life and sacrifice three black creatures rather than pay Demon of Death's Gate's mana cost.
There is gonna be a lot of great stories with this guy in limited. Will they have an answer or not. If your play red/green in Magic 2010, definately think about bringing him in. The main play i see this guy though is an alternate win condition for dredge decks, altough he is competing with tombstalker for that role.
1. Mana Leak.
if you dont what it does, just tap down every turn at each fnm for the next couple of months and then you will learn :)
2. Leyline of Antcipation
Card type: Enchantment
Casting cost: 2UU
Card text: If Leyline of Anticipation is in your opening hand, you may begin the game with it on the battlefield.
You may cast nonland cards as though they had flash. (You may cast them any time you could cast an instant.)
I am huge fan of the new leylines that have come out. This seems to have more vintage applications. In draft I hope to get one of these, just to be like,declare blockers overwelming stampede, or Aether adept eot seems pretty sweet.
Honestly I think blue didn't get too much for this core set...altough it is the color of Trickery, so they may have fooled Dave 'too Nice' Rice.
ehhh, white, the color of boringness. While I was catching that burning sensation from Chandra, Ajani got up and halted the whole party. For what reason do you ask??? to show everyone a powerpoint presentation of quebecois nationalism. BUZZ KIll(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHYYkZpZGjo). White is the color of toast, pocket protectors, and canada. Its just plain boring.
That said, I guess I should do my "least favorite cards" from this set.
1. Leyline of Sancity,
Card type: Enchantment
Casting cost: 2WW
Card text: If Leyline of Sanctity is in your opening hand, you may begin the game with it on the battlefield.
You can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.
This a great sideboard card for white decks. I could see this seeing sideboard play in all formats. A big hose of storm combo decks, burn and many strategies.
Card type: Instant
Card text: Put target attacking creature on the bottom of its owner's library. Its controller gains life equal to its toughness.
White totally needed another one mana removal spell in standard...
1. Fauna Shaman
Card type: Creature
Creature type: Elf Shaman
Casting cost: 1G
Card text: G, Tap, Discard a creature card: Search your library for a creature card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library
Wow! For those who are new to the game. Survival of the fittest is one the best green cards of all time. To temper this a bit, it has summoning sickness, you can only use it once per turn, and creatures are much easier to deal with than enchantments. That said, it has great synergy with Vengevine, one of the best creatures in the current format. It also could pair Vengevine and blood braid together, but that would be nuts, one cool thing is could is, in response to blightning you discard vengevine and grab.....
2. Obstinate Baltoth
Card type: Creature
Creature type: Beast
Casting cost: 0 with the discard lol(really its 2GG)
Card text: When Obstinate Baloth enters the battlefield, you gain 4 life.
If a spell or ability an opponent controls causes you to discard Obstinate Baloth, put it onto the battlefield instead of putting it into your graveyard
This is the card that has to see play. Its impossible for it not too. Ravenous baloth and Hierarch tore it up back in there hay day. This guy is better than baloth, not counting the discard ability. Counting the discard ability he hoses the best deck in the format. Blightning thank you very much.
Now for ARTIFACTS,
Card type: Artifact
Casting cost: 3
Card text: 1, Tap: Scry 2. (To scry 2, look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them on the bottom of your library and the rest on top in any order.)
I am suprised I wasn't crass and put this in the blue section. If you rip this in sealed consider yourself really lucky, he can shift all of your bad cards and make sure you draw your bombs. In constructed, he could turn into a "rocco" card. Thus making the games take forever. Sensei's divining top was ridiculous, and this guy has a built in shuffle effect, albeit a higher cost to play, but I could see if the format becomes slower crystal ball seeing a lot of play.
Well that is my list for magic 2011. I hope to see all three of my readers tonight at the release event.
Until next time...
Monday, July 12, 2010
Shoot to past week, and an ultimate comeback tale, to where I win the FNM and carry Rachel McAdams off into the distance. That didn't quite happen. However I did make a small change. I added nest invader and a Garruk into the deck, over four Putrid Leech. The reason why is that there is no UW control. Henry, the only UW player has made the switch to boros. Nest invader would almost certaintly help me in pretty much every match over the leech. My match ups were as follows:
Round One Shawn with Mono Green Turbo Land:
I played Shawn round one. He was from the WCC crew . Before the match he said he knew of me o_O, I have so far fooled him and Alex Bertoncini(http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/deckshow.php?p_first=Alex&p_last=Bertoncini) into thinking I am famous(no joke). If you want to be honest I don't remember too much of our games. Just a lot cascading and winning. He didnt have any of the card draw that you needed in order to keep the deck going. Eventually he spurted out, and lost to goblins, elves, or saprolings.
Round two Brendan with U/G Turboland:
Ahh finally "real" turbo land(i hope no one takes offense to that but any deck with Jace is better, I am even running it in Goblins). Before this match i never faced the deck before. This was a real tight series.
I kept with my three land rule, and mulled, this hand had about as much gas as the gulf of mexico.(I do all of these analogy jokes for kids prepping for the SATs, its honestly because I care.) The match is all about having to deal with the little excelerators either the oracle or the lotus and then for gravy, get at his hand blighting, or hopefully build a board presense with ravine, siege gang or a team. It was very back and forth though, he was able to stall with "deal with this or I could go off card" each turn. Eventually he couldnt keep up with it.
I sided out Sarkon and Garukk, the Planeswalkers dont seem to be effective in this match. This is only a thought though. I took bit blast because how slow it is. I added Mind rot and burst lighting to keep up with my plan on how to fight turbo land.
This might have been one the best games of the night. I was able to answer all of his dudes early, but I wasn't able to really build a board presence with though. My Blood Braid went into Blighting, in fact all four blightnings were played against him. However, without a solid board presense I was not able to stop avenger of zendikar comming down, or the second one for that matter and lost. Great game altough it didnt go in my favor.
This game was unlike the other two I answered his first couple of critters with either burst lightning, lightning bolt or terminate. Mind rot out of the board helped out quite a bit and he just wasnt able to recover. Plus I kept swinging in for five each turn.
Round 3 'Killin' Dylan Demartino with Jund.
Ahh the Jund Mirror match, our games were tight, but i honestly don't remember it too well. If I am wrong, Dylan, please flame in the comments. I can take it!.
He was on the draw, he started things off with off with a putrid leech. I brought a nest invader(lands were tapped the turn earlier :\) , next turn he attacked and got in for four. Blood Braid elf came in on my side and brought a removal spell for the leech, leaving a red up. Dylan began stalling on mana. He swung in, I then bolted his Thrinax. I cleared his board with pulse the next turn. Eventually I was able to bring out Sarkon the mad. I began making Dragon's. The crucial play of the game was being too aggressive. I had one dragon in play and a nest invader. Sarkon had two loyalty. I choose to make another fearing a pulse. Dylan then pulsed both dragons away. Good god that was a mistake. it was one of the few times, you let sarkon sit there and draw out there removal. They kill Sarkon, you still have the dragon, the kill the dragon, make another one. Bad play by me.
I had to mull and then got blightninged, so it wasn't too interesting. I stalled on land, and felt quite helpless. Props on Dylan for winning though.
Round 4The kid who forgot his elmo shirt, with brilliant ultimatium.
Pregame discussion: Bobby forgot to wear his elmo shirt to FNM. Currently we are all doning the full face sesame shirts. He decided to show his lack of commitent to the cause of public broadcasting this week by not wearing it on friday.
I won the die roll, and got things started off, I went turn two Nest Invader, Turn three Blightning, he seemed to be slow on his mana. I dropped Blood Braid into Lighting bolt to get him to six. He then cast Day of Judgement on his turn. EOT I Lightning bolted him, and then blightinged him to close it out.
Sb plan: -3 Bit blast, +3 Mind rot, -4 terminate + 4 doomblade( may seem silly but i know he has kor firewalker)
The match is I go in and race, make him discard cards he may or may not need, and then he either is a turn. After he day of judgemented, I went I dropped siege gang with two open. He then got his Combo underway. I divided the piles horribly, (cause I am a terrible player). I gave him three Ermrakul, which gave him three time walks and a 15/15. hmmm, bad plan???
I wasnt able to attack his life as much as i wanted. But i did get his hand with a mind rot and a blightning. Eventually he wrathed away the board(once again no Thrinax), I began attacking with Ravine each turn, to get him at 6. He ultimatiumed. I kinda luck sacked this match a lil. The ultimatium was Jace, Path, Time warp, Land, & Land, Path and the lands were useless(no creatures in play). He took the Jace and the blank, and then brainstormed into nothing. I swung in lethal the next turn. Honestly, I didnt play well enough to really win the match or to get bragging rights.
3-1, second place, better than 23rd :).
Congrats to Dylan for taking first. Later in the week I will reveal the my favorite constructed cards from Magic 2011 I am most excited about.
Until next time...
Monday, July 5, 2010
Before my first report on next week's Fnm I thought I should state the purpose for this blog. I have started this blog for a few major reasons, one I think I should start writing more. Since the end of school all I have been doing is punching code and using sytems at Reuters. While it pays the bills it does not really get me to express any creativity. Two, the game Magic: The Gathering is one my biggest passions throughout my life. I have played since Ice Age(the set not the age) and it has created a lot of joy. The game has a lof nuances and lessons that keep on challenging planeswalkers like myself. Third, it also will let me improve on my play(and your's too). With this I will not just have the wins and losses written down, I will have stories and decisions and how the played out. One of my biggest highlights will be on mulligans. Particularily after last week's disappointing string of losses, mostly in my mind because I kept bad hands. Lastly, I like irking the crap out Bobby Greene, any way to get under skin just a lil bit more is always fun. And what better way to do it than posting lame gags online. How many bobbys does it take regenerate a 7/4?? Unknown its never happened before. (its gonna be a quiet trip to Columbus)
The format will probably include both the Standard or limited FNM, and then the second half will focus on the cube and what i picked and how it went.Well I guess thats it for now :), I will write about the Fnm, the prerelease, and my feelings on M11 next week.