Sunday, August 15, 2010

New fnm format????

Well, I have decided to add my two cents into what the new tournament format at 3rd should be. There has been a lot of discussion about how we should organize the prize pool. Hmm, I guess I should go through the history of Friday Night Magic at 3rd universe.

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. ( fact, similar strategies like “taking a knee”( 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

choke a red player long enough he goes blue

Before I start today's blog, could I get a set of hands, who here wants to play a new deck not containing Jace, Blood Braid Elf, or vengevine?? Oh wow that’s all six of you out there. Well anyway today I am going to write about a new deck that I been thinking about, I would play it tomorrow unfortunately, I got *sigh* Stef meeting my parents and thus her becoming an even bigger part of my life. I tried to remain alone and miserable with my thousands of stacks of cards, but then she came along. (For those not picking up on the sarcasm please do so now). Anyway, this post is for those of you who want to go a little rogue, but still want to compete. All cards are below $20, so it’s not too hard to build.

Take a look at Polymorpher's Ascension combo:

3 Call to Mind
4 Preordain
8 Island
7 Mountain
4 Ponder
4 See Beyond
4 Mana Leak
4 Time Warp
4 Dragon Fodder
3 Halimar Depths
2 Treasure Hunt
4 Polymorph
4 Pyromancer Ascension
1 Emracruel
4 Scalding Tarn

2 Flashfreeze
1 Iona
4 Negate
4 Lightning Bolt
4 dispel

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...