Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red Dawn

The Grand Prix is finally underway this weekend. Being an amateur player, there are few events that could be so rewarding. In one weekend you could qualify for the pro tour, take home a major trophy, take home $3,500, and have bragging rights for at least the next 3 FNMS. Also with the format being Legacy, it just seems like magic as its supposed to be. The best cards without any of the cards being beyond belief unfair. I mean sometimes these cards can be just nuts with the right draws and right situation, but a lot of it seems to be best cards that need the right player. Essentially the brokeness balances itself out with two skilled pilots.

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:

8x fetch
4x rishdan
4x wasteland
7x mountain
23 land
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
4xBlood Moon
4x pyrokinesis
4x relic of progenitus
3x overload

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

Favorite cards from Magic 2011

Hello again, I hope all four of you who read my blog haven't been turned off already. As promised I am here to give my favorite cards from both constructed and limited Magic 2011. As a rule, I have chosen not to pick any card from magic 2010, because otherwise lightning bolt and Baneslayer would have to receive consideration. Now keep in mind these wont necessarily be the five best cards, just what I am most excited about seeing play. I have decided to pick at least one card from each color, and then poorly articulate why it is in my list.

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.

Constructed picks:
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)


Casting cost:RR

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.
Flying, trample

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.
3. Blue.
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( 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.

2. Condemn
Card type: Instant

Casting cost:

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.


Crystal Ball

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

the ultimate comback?

Hmm first "real" blog post, trust me the pressure is building. Before I begin my tale of the past magic weekend I shall take you to the week before. I was a game up against Jesse "Lil Bear" Adams, already down 0-1 in the FNM standings, but I just 'Junded' him game. He was to blightning me twice. Don't matter, I got two sweet Blood Elves off the top lol. Game 2, BAM! I mull to five, he has a hand full of gas, and then before i know it I have less life in me then C-SPAN. Game 3's opener is this, Ravine, Rootbound crag, Leech, Blightning, Lightning Bolt, Blood Braid Elf. This was one of my worst kept hands ever, however "somewhat" understandable. If I draw Land next turn, I am in the game. If I draw it in the next two turns, I can come back. I don't, I lose...badly. Jund has one rule, if it has less than three lands in the opening, ship it back faster the Space Special.( The result led me to 1-3, and keeping bad hands against Spencer and my other opponent. Being on tilt ain't fun.

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( 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.

Game One,
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.

Game two
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.

Game Three
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!.

Game one:
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.

Game two:
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.

Game one.
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)

Game Two
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???

Game 3.
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

why start the blog?

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.