Sunday, November 28, 2010

Banned and Restricted early announcements

I need this to go on the record so I can safely say "I told you so".

The banned and restricted announcement for December approaches. And while I do believe this is the time to speculate and examine constructed I believe the community has been overly biased. I like to apologize for your financial problems, inability to trade, or to be able to grow from 2007.

Jace will not be banned. WotC publicly denies any association with secondary market prices. We currently have no legitimate agro deck in this rock paper scissor world of standard, this is a power creep issue from transitioning into the new standard (something I would like to address in a later entry).

Survival will not be banned. Legacy was tossed on it's head less than 6 months ago, and while I do appreciate kicking something when it's down, the likely hood of it happening again is next to impossible. Cards in legacy receive banning when they end games in absurd ways, 1G + G and G to activate with a good draw? There are staples that cost 0.

Vengevine will not be banned. If a card were to actually receive banning from the deck it would be rootwalla, as the deck would still function without bringing forth an uncanny herd of vengevine, but that won't be banned either. The deck is balanced in terms of a format that has been dominated by blue cards since it's incarnation.

There are plenty of cards that should be on the chopping block long before any of these, sensei's diving top, lion's eye diamond, force of will, etc. None of these are going to be banned, not yet at least.

Nothing is going to be banned. The next week will be full of people complaining about how no one is really listening to them, and how WotC is an evil corporate empire, and WAAH WAAH WAAH!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Magic Player Rewards Program Discontinued, a blessing in disguise for dummies.

Obligatory "if you haven't heard yet" blah blah blah This

Quick grab some tissues and put on your angry face.

I'm sure there's a lot of people moaning, sobbing, delicious tears. While I do enjoy the collective misery that this has and will ensue I have a few constructive thoughts as to why this is a good thing even for those who are still mourning their WotC welfare.

Chaos theorist type people, this has almost no relation to the recent WPN changes, I'm sorry your upset and it's easy to point at big ole Hasbro, but that doesn't make any sense. Yes cards are involved, and yes people are angry, but I could use the same argument for...well anything, the governme...WOTC isn't out to get you. You have to remember they are a business, they want your money.

I get it, most of you are probably still in the denial phase and just easing into anger. You might not care because your free cards, that your not actually entitled to, causes you to break into a fit, I can't reason with you. Can't say I didn't try.

What PRP was suppose to do.

WotC has had a history of promotions that rewarded players for participating in tournaments and in some cases teach the game itself. These ended with much fret. And like arena and the guru program, PRP had a goal. A goal with a projection that obviously was met.

Magic is in a very heavily place right now. The increase in tournament attendance through years of "magic is dying" speaks for itself. Programs are put into motion to create this state.

But why remove them?

It hurt LGS's, which in turn hurts WotC. Do you remember Day of Judgment pricing at $6.00? That promo is pretty awesome, wanna buy some m11? No? Why's that? Pack EV has became to low. What's that? Google it, learn something. TL;DR with more desirable promos in circulation there becomes less of a need to buy packs. Again, WotC is a business, they want your money. I think the old expression "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free" applies here.

It can also be argued that tournaments have grown to big, many LGS's struggle to maintain the capacity to support their player base. Magic is hitting puberty late, but it's happening whether you like it or not. The community is growing at an alarming rate that it can seem awkward at times. It's grown to fast, so fast that a simple hobby store can't support this kind of growth, not yet at least. Think of this as the next step in maturity, comic stores became games store, and now game stores feel as if they are cribs. The game is no longer in diapers, it's tall and lanky, covered in acne, horribly misunderstood, and has no desire to be coddled. We should take a page out of a parenting guide and realize that this is natural and remain supportive.

They grow up so fast.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

MTGO's future(s)?

I may have been playing Magic since the mid ninety's but the online experience is fairly new to me. I finally gave into the two things keeping me from MTGO: buying digital merchandise, or what most refer to as imaginary cards, and buying everything twice. The second of the two, seemly easier to address in theory, becomes even more difficult as more and more invest into their second collections, compensation comes to mind. With the lack of any development for the foretold browser only v4, I can't imagine WotC refunding a cent.

We may eventually see a future set that addresses the issue, where paper packs come with a digital code for a MTGO equivalent, and a digital pack will also order yourself a paper pack that would be delivered in a matter of business days, this change due to postal delivery services, easily changes the price of a pack, something that would cause more complaining than the release of mythics. Of course this option in itself brings about it's own problems from hacking. Nothing like finding out that the pack you just bought was already used by some PC performing script of trial and error. Another possibility would inquire the use of data scanning devices, additional hardware that would need to be purchased in order for additional digital devices not needed to be purchase. A way for this to be marketed toward the causal crowd would need to be addressed, as the current incarnation is plug and play, one of the many features that shouldn't be removed regardless of any improvement.

As it's been stated WotC continues to look for ways to bring the MTGO closer and closer to paper in hopes that one day they are one in the same. Even though there is a two week gap between the release of a paper set and it's online version, at 4 sets a year...that's 8 weeks, 1/6th of the year where the two are no where in sync. The answer that the ORCs are told to give normally has something to do with the lines of code necessary for programmers to add. I like many others have to call bullshit. Most sets are finished, tested, and tweaked months in advance prior to actual release. Spoilers of future sets became public well over a month prior to the pre-release, this finalized product could easily be given to the programming team.

So is WotC willingly preventing it's online product the opportunity that they themselves project to reach in order to save the sanctity of a pre-release? Or does this go to show that Hasbro being a gaming company of 87 years isn't willing to invest additional money in what would be experimental innovation in the industry they literally monopolized? Most likely. But the squeakiest wheel gets the oil, as time goes on, less will believe the copy/paste tripe that is feed, the sale of digital product will be affected, and Hasbro will take action as they have with the eye sores of MTGO versions prior.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jace's price is everyone's fault.

One of the most common trend with mythics and their prices is finger pointing. The "it costs money, I don't have any so I'm angry, its so and so's fault" gets old. And instead of having to listen to another random spout unrelated garbage whenever someone mentions anything having to do with standards poster child I figured it was time to make another reference blog.

His designer Mike Turian, his design philosphy on him here If it was up to him, tectonic edge would of actually been a wastleland reprint. Grieving your opponent is awesome. Hes the kind of guy that most nostaglic has beens and never beens like, completely fair, turn 1 birds of paradise, turn 2 stone rain, turn 3 port, balanced. It's his fault.

Mythics, limited printings as opposed to rares, the supply was smaller. It's at fault.

Evan Erwin, Star City Game's hype man, host of the Magic Show. Weekly reporting the in's and out's of the game. What's to come, and what is and what will be amazing. Evan announced Jace's pre-order price at $22.49, and stated how you should pick up your set before his price went up. Many "I told you so's" followed, and many who missed out were enraged. It wasn't mrorange's context it was the reoccurring flame war his statements instigated that drew even more attention to Jace. It's his fault.

Everyone that did in fact pre-order Jace, with 0 supply and back orders of demand there was no reason for price to not go up. It's their fault.

The naysayers, people who responded to the hype with legitimate arguments that without any top 8 results cards can't have any real value. Gas to the fire. It's their fault.

Conley Woods, generally upsetting easily up-settable people with his own brand of deck building, finished top 8 in Grand Prix Oakland running not 1 but 3 Jace's. It's his fault.

The hoarder, someone who keeps anything he opens just in case he decides to play it. They are the kind of people who haven't gotten rid of their Elspeths, Hell's Thunders, and Sovereigns of Lost Alaras yet just in case they decide to build a new deck in the next 3 weeks. He might of opened one during the pre-release or in the one box he purchased, he doesn't know what to do with it but he knows its worth money, time to save it just in case. It's his fault.

Rise of Eldrazi, for being a stand alone set. The amount of Zendikar/Worldwake drafts coming to a near halt. Less Worldwake being opened resulting in less new supply circulating. It's at fault.

People who buy singles, because despite what some may believe Jace is in fact being purchased. Demand effects price. It's their fault.

People who buy packs, in doing so you support the product, even if they aren't worldwake packs, you are buying merchandise that have a potential to contain mythics. It's their fault and go back and re-read mythics.

Anyone that plays any in their decks, in doing so you are advertising, regardless of how it came into your possession. It's their fault.

You, for whining, your rash, ignorant, foul mouthed response regarding anything that had to do with Jace, the Mind Sculptor. You came into contact with someone prior to your listing and in doing so generated more advertisement on what upsets you. Or you encountered another like yourself, you clash and began a large flame war which attracts someone prior to your listing. Also for still not getting it, or being in the denial phase about it. It is your fault.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Musings on my previous post.

Sorry Don but I stole your title. I never expected this amount of feedback. KBR, mtgsalvation's admins, Ben Bleiweiss, Mana-nation giving mention to Don's blog which directed folks to mine. You would think that someone targeted themselves with esper charm, "missed" an angel of despair trigger, made some kind of joke about a prop bet, or used tms's pre-order price to justify Kozilek's and Time Reversal's. A lot of people got really riled up for the wrong reasons, but I'll tackle some of these beasts another day...coughfollowmyblogcough.

Heath called me yesterday afternoon, we discussed possible solutions to prevent this sort of confusion from occurring with future customers. And while their system can't properly set a limit on singles without effecting their entire inventory (i.e boosters) they are looking into a software solution that can give them this sort of option in the future.

I appreciate everyone's constructive feedback and support.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cape Fear Games Fails

I spent quite some time trying to coming up with some catchy title so it doesn't sound as harsh from the get go. Unfortunately there is no nice way to put this.

I was at work watch Ochoa's deck tech, and notice the inclusion of renegade doppelganger, a card that normally would be quickly discarded as a bulk rare. With Conley's soul sisters deck drawing as much attention as it was it would only be a matter of time before this started showing up on everyone's radars. So I went to to check prices. Cape Fear Games had 20 listed at .40 each, there were plenty of other vendors with it listed much lower, and still are listed as such. The quantity was large enough so that the price wasn't that much of a premium.

The Following is an exchange of emails between their customer support and myself:

Hi Brian,
> We are unable to complete your order. We would like to be
> able to hold cards for local players. You have been refunded
> via paypal.
> -Andrew

Unacceptable, it was listed, and I paid for them.

We have our policy clearly listed here:

"Cape Fear Games reserves the right to cancel or limit an order for any reason

We are here to serve the players first and foremost and while we do not mind dealers and speculators ordering from us we may limit the number of a specific card your able to buy from us. "

We are a business after all and while we hate canceling orders we are not here to support speculators reselling cards at our expense. If you feel there is a way to word that in a clearer way please let me know and I'll be happy to update our policy.

This makes your original email to me fraudulent, you claimed that you were holding them for local players, yet you stereotyped me based on the quantity of my order, copy/paste your policy, and then re-stock them back onto tcgplayer for double at what I ordered them for. Maybe you should have your system set a limit on quantity ordered.

I apologize if I was wrong in my assumption but it is frustrating trying to keep cards in stock and then have other sites/ebayers buy them out instead of just buying 4x of each. If you would ever like to try us again we will be happy to send you 4x of any card(s) you wish to order but if this experience has left you unhappy I also understand. We do our best to respond to all e-mails personally and in a quick manner.

So they couldn't sell them to me because they wanted to save them for local players, and tried defending it with a prejudice against what I was buying their product for. Speculators are the people that apparently do their jobs the way they wish they could, and "policy's'" are put into place to make sure that they don't have to watch prices. And then they made an offer to sell me a portion of what I ordered, like they are my magic bartender telling me that I had enough. I didn't respond to the last email, there wasn't much more to say. Until they felt the need to send me yet another email.

Hi Brian,

We appreciate your concern and will take it into account for future policies. I assure you our original email wasn't fraudulent. Since our inventory on TCGPlayer is the same as our website and in-store inventory, then it is still being available for local players. As Heath said, we don't support speculators. If you need more than 8 of a card, you are more than welcome to email us ahead of time or at the time of your order with an explanation. That will encourage us not to cancel it.

What do you need 20x Renegade Doppleganger's for, so recently after the Dredgevine deck did well? Are you speculating on the card, trying to take advantage of the speed with which we update prices? Do you really think we are stereotyping based on the quantity and context? If we are, do you think there is any basis for this? Your only other order was for 33 Armament Master's, it's not helping you make a case that you are not a speculator.

We would like people to be able to order however many of a card that they would like, which is why we don't have a limit on quantity, however ordering just one card is a little suspect.
If you would like to paypal $5.51, I will be happy to send you 8x at your original price.

We always welcome your feedback, and hope you order form us in the future.


Store Manage

I responded with a very simple question: what made this order different than the previous?

Absolutely no purpose to further try to contact me, they had to feel like a big man for trying to stop someone who was trying to cheat them by buying things from their online store. There were plenty of other things I would of like to say with what I wanted them for, creative paper machete projects, cages that needed to be lined, my preference in wiping material. I shouldn't have to defend what I'm buying magic cards for.

In the end it didn't matter, they had product listed at a price and I paid for it, but since I'm a speculator I'm a 2nd class customer, and the high demand from the speculating boogie man meant I knew something and they should raise the price on them. As of this blog they have 14 of them currently listed at 0.95 even though you can purchase them from magicinferno at 0.35, and 12 other vendors that have them listed much lower than Cape Fear.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PC World doesn't want The Magic Community's Business

PC World recently released an article about the world's geekiest tournaments and had this to say about Magic: The Gathering.

The article can be found here: (apparently I can't make that into a click-able link)

"Magic: The Gathering is sort of like Dungeons & Dragons in card form. You use the powers provided by different cards to damage your enemy in various ways--for instance, you can attack your opponent using dragon armies or fireball spells. The Magic World Championship is held once a year in various cities around the world. It provides a nifty bonding experience for people who spend the majority of their disposable income on pieces of paper with pictures of dwarf princesses printed on them, and who enjoy sitting for countless hours in what appears to be the world's largest middle-school lunchroom"

The original photo contained an image of a yu-gi-oh card image on top of what looked like a photo of a PTQ mid round. After much verbal abuse from their twitter, site, and forums they finally changed the photo and much of the snarky commentary. The new article now reads.

"Magic: The Gathering is sort of like Dungeons & Dragons in card form. You use the powers provided by different cards to damage your enemy in various ways--for instance, you can attack your opponent using dragon armies or fireball spells. The Magic World Championship is held once a year in various cities around the world. It provides a bonding experience for people who spend the majority of their disposable income on pieces of paper with pictures of princesses printed on them, and also provides a chance to win cash prizes."

Apparently we still spend a majority of our income on cardboard princesses.

For those interested I set up a Facebook group that shares a name with today's title.

Goggling Dwarf images was scary.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Most Overrated cards in M11

Instead of writing about the same regurgitated spoiler article like some kinda movie remake of an 80's franchise. I thought it would be fun to examine the fecal matter, more so the part that most of you have been eating.

Squadron Hawk: Welkin hawk 2.0 is a welcome upgrade to the nostalgic and the flavor is appreciated. Thing is though Welkin hawk wasn't very good during its day, and it never had to worry about forked bolt. Wall of omens and martial coup accomplish the same task several times as efficient. Wall drawing a more efficient spell, especially in the early game. And martial coup, which acts as the board sweeper that hawk would be stalling for plus I get more dudes for less mana. Maybe the next incarnation will have flash or missile launchers or something that would make a sorcery speed 3 card filter for 4 1/1 fliers at 4wwww desirable.

Time Reversal: Time spiral was good because the 6 lands you committed tapping for mana untapped giving you a fresh hand to combat your opponents fresh hand. As for time twister I will quote wikipedia as it sums up why it is so incrediablely powerful.
"Whereas the other Power 9 cards are simple in concept Timetwister is more complex. It forces all players to shuffle their hand, graveyard, and library together and draw seven new cards. The effect is symmetrical, meaning that it affects all players alike. Thus it is not at first apparent why Timetwister is a powerful card. Its power lies mostly in situations where the player casting it has fewer cards in his or her hand than the opponent. Then the player casting Timetwister can essentially catch up on cards in hand towards his opponent. Decks can be built to create these opportunities more often, especially the use of cards like the Moxes makes these situations come up more often."
There is a large gap between 3 and 5 mana, and an even larger one without moxes. I am very excited about how this card is pre-ordering at 30+ as there will be many that will learn the hard way.

Demon of Death's Gate: Because we needed another card to make baneslayer look good. Vacuum test monoblack and on the play vs mythic:
Turn 1
Swamp cast a dude, you pass and your opponent plays a land and casts a mana dork.
Turn 2
Swamp cast 2 dudes, sacrifice all 3 and pay 6 life your now at 14, you pass and your opponent plays a land and casts yet another mana dork.
Turn 3
Swamp and swing for 9, your opponent is at 11, you pass and your opponent plays a land and casts Baneslayer and passes turn.
Turn 4
Attacking is no longer a choice as the angel can now block you gaining 5 life to your 4 trample damage, you pass and your opponent swings bringing you down to 9 and them at 16.
Turn 5
With Baneslayer tapped you now have an open shot you swing for 9, they are now at 5, you pass and they untap and they race you go down to 4 they are now at 10.
Turn 6
They go to 1, you pass, you die.
Everyone plays Baneslayer, whether your Mythic, NLB, UW control, Super Friends, naya or Time Sieve.

Mitotic Slime: Siege-gang commander -3.0, Kozilek's predator beta? Without an additional effect or a cheaper cost mitotic slime fits into the "to little to late" category. For the same cost I can play a more versatile set of creatures that may die to a board sweeper but having 2 2/2's after a DoJ is a narrow perk.

Obstinate Baloth: The rest the world realizes that yes it does in fact counter blightning. Jund is very much an adaptable deck and versions without blightning have proved themselves viable. This card will in fact make Jund better as most will bluff blightnings fearing their opponents into siding out better cards for the 4 drop. Not only that but Jund can trade with it much easier now, being that vengevine was blightnings replacement in most non-blightning builds.

Fuana Shaman: Survival of the fittess would never of made the impact that it has if it had a 2/2 for a body. The kinda of deck that could abuse this is much to fragile, and the deck that doesn't acts as a grizzly bear with cycling, and in most cases will have to cycle twice to get vengevine in the yard.

Dark Tutelage: This is not a Dark Confidant, even tho it does in fact deal damage as such, with it's slightly less color dependent cost its an awful phyrexian arena at best. Bob's 2/1 body was his strength allowing you to run him into your opponent repeatedly until they realized it was better to stop taking 2 to the dome and giving you tempo.

Viscera Seer: Poor little guy is never going to get his chance to shine. What looks like an attempt to make standard dredge work will be overshadowed by one the greatest hosers ever: leyline of the void.

Friday, June 25, 2010



Combustion cannot be countered by a spell or an ability. Combustion deals 5 damage to target white or blue creature. The damage can't be prevented.

I'm not going to lie, I don't know the red equivalent to deathmark/celestial purge/flashfreeze/the awful green one. It's probably bad, but not enough to try to
make an acceptable equivalent for m10. It kills baneslayer, but so did any 2 common burn spells/plated geopedes. Maybe if all the playable white and blue creatures didn't have protection from red or shroud this could be a playable card. Unfortunately no one plays instant prevention, and no waste counters to protect wall of omens.

Maybe next time they will give red an edict like spell, or stop making a splash-able hoser that shuts down a deck in the first 2 turns.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bursting the format bubble.

Extended has changed, sets are rotating, fire and brimstone, lions and tigers and bears, cats and dogs? Pros are being "innovative" by copy/pasting last years standard. And most randoms still are holding onto the overextended rumor.

Inserting stereotypical "if you haven't seen it yet check this out".
But more so this:

Overextended is a truthiness rumor, and shame on Firefox for not updating their spell check. There really was another format being discussed while the rest of us were having nostalgic extended memories and in some cases narrowed legacy thoughts. The "real" format the FFL were testing was nicknamed double standard, which is quite literally what it sounds like, standard, encompassing the past 2 years of magic, times 2. A sort of transition format to transition standard players into extended, sound familiar?

Whether or not you agree with the extended isn't as popular as legacy argument, the numbers speak for themselves. So instead of making another format, forcing players into a position to try and build a third (technically fourth) competitive deck, it was decided to try and re-enforce the one that was struggling.

If this isn't enough to sway you from hording your collection and all that depleting value Linus then wait as long as you like. Maybe the great pumpkin overextended is real.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blogger lessons relearned and GP part final of final.

I have been writing journals as long as I can remember. I did it not only because I felt the need to manifest my thoughts into a large physical pile of paper that could be revisited, but I did it because it was enjoyable.

I am writing this as an end to my overly postponed GP report.

This is not saying that I didn't enjoy it, far form it, but taking the time to compile old information was tedious, a lot of notes (my notes), I had trouble comprehending. I believe that I waited to long and forced myself to set a pace for subsections for a non existent audience. Not that the practice wasn't a bad thing, unfortunately the writing experiment made the writing process feel more of a job than something I enjoy.

And I should get paid to do a job.

Just to sum up the event, I went 5-3-1. Going round 1 against faeries forced me to tie and paired against a lot of control match ups. I punted round 2 really badly against the mirror, so bad that my friends will probably never let me live down. Round 3 I beat what look to be a rav block pre-con. Round 4, I kept dredge at bay with thopter combo even tho he had zealot on board with two dredge returns in his yard. Round 5, fae, lost again. Round 6, scapeshift w/o cryptic command, he tried comboing a turn early. Round 7, zoo, thopter combo is awesome. Round 8 my buddy Dustin playing elves, taps out ghost quarters trying to combo faster than me, I top deck pieces both times. Round 8, fae with lolgoyf, I miss played thirst and he went anal retentive on me after calling a judge, I had to remind him that he was x-2-1 but missing day 2 by one round is serious business. I didn't take the match up serious enough and should of mulligan game 3, oh well.

Props to Charly and Danny for making day 2. Ben Rubin for smashing Charly with my token cards. And all my friends for almost getting us kicked out of our hotel room.

Slops: our gauntlet, for not being a legitimate gauntlet for the meta. A sloppy zoo build and no faeries deck. PTR, who received a perma-ban for shoving some kid. Pizza hut, for taking an hour and a half to deliver a block away. Alan Comer, for trying to get me DQ'd at the trial, paused my game state bc my opponent, who beat him, and myself didn't properly keep track of the damage that my dark confidant did while Doran was on the board. I saw him playing at tables 200+ the main event.

The extended meta has changed quite a bit since GP Oakland, if I were to try to replay the deck I would definitely send the Repeal to the board, as it was a dead card all but one round.

I hope to do more posts that feel less stale in the future.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

GP Oakland: Part 3: Day 1 (Part 1 of 2)

My list was more or less Gerry's version from channel fireball's newsletter -1 Extripate main for a duress. I liked being able to turn 1 thoughtseize into turn 2 extripate, without having it in my opening it felt like a dead card pre-board. The extripate went into the board as an answer to scapeshift, usually forcing them to have to draw into rude awakening. Before I go further on choices...

* 4 Dark Confidant
* 4 Vampire Hexmage
* 4 Thoughtseize
* 4 Muddle the Mixture
* 4 Thirst for Knowledge
* 3 Thopter Foundry
* 2 Sword of the Meek
* 1 Engineered Explosives
* 2 Beseech the Queen
* 2 Duress
* 3 Repeal
* 4 Chrome Mox
* 4 River of Tears
* 4 Sunken Ruins
* 4 Dark Depths
* 4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
* 3 Island
* 1 Swamp
* 3 Tolaria West
* 1 Academy Ruins


* 1 Slaughter Pact
* 1 Echoing Truth
* 3 Deathmark
* 2 Sower of Temptation
* 4 Leyline of the Void
* 1 Duress
* 1 Dark Blast
* 1 Chalice of the Void
* 1 Extripate

The third tolarian west was crucial as reseting the combo and tutoring for ee or ruins made or broke games. And the basic land 2-2 was changed to 3-1 to help reach the double blue. For the board 4 leylines were an obvious answer to dread and thopter, so the extripate would of been overkill to say the least. Dark Blast for elves which got alot of attention the week prior. Chalice for hypergen, living end, elves, anything where 1 or 0 would do more harm to my opponent than me. Echoing truth was more of a hurkyl's recall that could do more than just shut down a wave a thopter tokens. Deathmark, slaughter pact, and sower's for zoo. Sower for the mirror as well. The Duress was more of anti-sideboard sideboard card.

Prior to signing up I went over to the channelfireball booth to go pick up a free t-shirt that they were offering when you purchased $20 worth of merchandise. The motivation behind it was that if you were in a feature match or if you won and wrote an article you would get paid. I got some dice and a binder. I had trouble trying to figure out what else to get, and then I saw the box of future sight, I saw it as a free gamble at goyf so I bought 3. I don't remember what was in the first 2, but the over priced creature himself came out of pack 3. It was mine for all of 2 minutes as I sold it back to them for 65. Looking back at that now since goyf's over inflated price dropped back down, it was a good decision. Seating went up for introductions. And the first of many mobs of people at different corners of the building began.

Monday, March 1, 2010

GP Oakland: Part 2: Grind

I wake up from floor with about 3 hours of sleep on me. We all get ready and go across the street to Marie Calendars. Unable to eat due to being overly anxious I spend my time at the table re-sleeving. From there we head to the hotel. Parking at 26 a night, joy. We check in and head to our room where we find no fridge, I received a phone call while the guys bickered about something, turned out to be "who has to wait for the fridge to show up", me not paying any attention got suckered into doing so. Luckily it didn't take more than 10 minutes at most. I really wished I knew where I was suppose to go. I met a really nice girl on the elevator who shared my predicament, she turned out to being Blaine Rybacki's girl friend, I think...I didn't invest any time trying to verify that, the only thing I could think about was trying to get some quick byes.

My list was fairly close to my previous post, side board looked something like:
3 Threads of Disloyalty
2 Sower of Temptation
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Duress
1 Extripate
4 Leyline of the Void
3 Vendilion Clique

Grinder 2 Round 1
My opponent was a nice guy, he seemed really relaxed and could care less how he did in our match, I wish I could of said the same. His tiny green men started doing what they did and I lose turn 3 both games, signing the result sheet I prayed to not see another of these at all over the weekend.
Grinder 4
I had some solid matches against plenty of decks I didn't expect. 2-0 Gabe Walls round 1 not even knowing who he was til yesterday. 2-1 against a living end deck thanks to my leylines. 2-1 to a heavy control version of AIR, when bloodmoon and magus isn't enough its time to call in the chalices and pithing needles. End up going 2nd only to lose to Doran agro. I win 18 packs of worldwake and rip a Jace, I sell that along with most of my loose cards and compensate for most of my travel expenses for the weekend.

I'm not sure which grinder it was but Alex managed to knock out Matt Nass with his hypergen deck. If you go through the interviews he whines about it briefly, I got a good laugh.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

GP Oakland: Part 1: my day 1

One of the benefits of having no readers is that I can take my sweet time and not have to worry about apologizing for a report that is well over a week late.

It all started Thursday evening where we were all gathered at Charlies house waiting for the last of our team to arrive. Our intention was to leave by 6:30, but last minute borrowing/woman aggro prevented most of us from coming close to our temporal goal. We set sail 8...ish on our 5 hour journey north. We managed to get pulled over roughly 3 hours in, Charly's intention was to allow a trucker pass before we exited, so he slowed and flashed his brights, the truck passed and we exited, seemed simple. Quota has to be meant and making a bigger fuss out of something small is normal in the tournament scene so I didn't mind to much, we explained to the officer what he saw and he let us be.

We got to Danny's buddy's house about 45 minutes outside the hotel, our room wouldn't be available until noon and sleep is good. I managed to get in a few games against Dustin's elf deck while keeping the cat there at bay. I was on the fence about vendilion clique both main and board, and without any real zoo to actually play test against these past couple of weeks, so me referring to them as "slow" is an understatement. At turn 3 with UU1 available I should be transmuting, thirsting, or holding a muddle. I managed to go to floor somewhere around 5, spending the next 2 hours trying to fall asleep amongst the orchestra of snoring, this was gonna be a long weekend.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Worldwake limited

Blue and white are obvious dominate colors. Even at a full 8 man table the hate draft is slim as most have fallen into a black rut due to zendikar. Cards like tideforce elemental and vaporsnare as 4th and 5th picks feel like cheating. Surrakar banisher and calcite snapper as 3-4 of's. White isn't as easy due to the ally hungry bads at your local FNM. Refraction trap gets overlooked quite a bit, can't say no to 3 dmg shinning shoals, mindlessly going into the red zone with one in hand soft locks the game early. Another gem that gets overlooked, Battle Hurda, 3/3 first strike is almost unblockable in this format. Cards like Iona's judgement, lightkeeper of emeria, and apex hawks tend to be slim.

Last week I saw 9 Roiling Terrain pass thru my hands, after I pulled my second Lodestone Golem, yes 2nd, I wish I drafted LD.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thought into thirst

A lot of depths decks have been running this over thirst for knowledge.

Plunge into Darkness
Choose one - Sacrifice any number of creatures, then you gain 3 life for each sacrificed creature; or pay X life, then look at the top X cards of your library, put one of those cards into your hand, and exile the rest.

Entwine {B} (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

Let me just say I side out at least one thirst every game, normally due to the fact I run into drawing 2 a lot. And 2 generally means Im holding one blank, by the time I would get the opportunity to play the second Im already dead. But does that mean I should play plunge? It costing 1 less allows you to do things like keep mana open for meddle much easier. Of course there is more to it than its mana, as you would need to pay at least 4 life at any given time to consider it taking up thirsts slot. Extended is a much faster format, and even fast combo decks like depths needs all of its resources to ensure it gets there. If playing plunge means setting yourself up for next turn bolt, tribal flames, 3-5 creature damage your more than likely dead vs zoo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Waiting for Rise of the Edrazi.

The last 15 cards spoiled for worldwake were disappointing. Where are the 2 other planeswalkers we were apparently going to see? Where the hell is the card that R&D said "would make all your landfall cards make more sense", are you telling me that your hype card was explore, was it treasure hunt?

So glad I didn't preorder any of this. Buy a complete commons and uncommons set as there are some nice standard staples, but don't invest money into packs. Draft it and let your Zendikar fetch you anything you need.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baneslayer wont go down.

I work in jewerly and since 2003 the market value of gold has more than tripled. And every couple months my boss would claim that this is it and it will finally stablize. Ive recently been saying the same with Baneslayer Angel, who is now slowly approaching 60 a piece. With worldwake slowly being spoiled I'm seeing the error of my ways and begin to cringe knowing that I wont be able to play anything competitively white for the next 2 years, assuming they reprint her.

I present exhibit A

Loam Lion

If you control a forest Loam Lion gets +1/+2

Its a white kird ape. Naya and GW in standard, zoo and GW in extended both have room for the kitty.

Exhibit B

Hada Freeblade

Whenever Hada Freeblade or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a +1/+1 counter on Hada Freeblade.

White weenie decks are already running Kazandu blademaster, I use to joke about how great it would be to run more than 4 muscle slivers in a deck and now I get to =D.

So now Im tempted to jump on the first one I find in the low 40 dollar range. With ebay being flooded with world wake pre sales I don't see this happening yet, the best time to strike will be more or less the week of the pre release where most will be more focus'd on man lands, bad Ally cards, and Jace's that will be horded in hopes to trade for playable Jund rares.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

20/20's get there.

Okay so I sleeved up GT's 1st place PTQ deck from the 17th and took it to an FNM.

* 4 Vampire Hexmage
* 4 Dark Confidant
* 4 Thoughtseize
* 4 Muddle the Mixture
* 4 Thirst for Knowledge
* 3 Beseech the Queen
* 3 Thopter Foundry
* 2 Sword of the Meek
* 1 Engineered Explosives
* 1 Into the Roil
* 1 Doom Blade

* 1 Slaughter Pact
* 4 Chrome Mox
* 4 Dark Depths
* 4 Sunken Ruins
* 4 River of Tears
* 4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
* 3 Tolaria West
* 2 Swamp
* 2 Island
* 1 Academy Ruins

* Sideboard
* 3 Deathmark
* 3 Duress
* 3 Extirpate
* 1 Sword of the Meek
* 1 Thopter Foundry
* 1 Ghost Quarter
* 1 Hurkyls Recall
* 1 Tormods Crypt
* 1 Chalice of the Void

Round 1 Teachings

I went into this tournament with next to no goldfishing. First game he mulled down to 5. I went turn 1 thoughtseize, turn 2 thoughtseize, turn 3 depths. Sideboard I removed the explosives, 1 thirst, 1 doomblade, and 1 muddle for 3 duress's and the 1 chalice. Game 2, kinda dragged, I managed to hit all my discard, depths, some chrome moxes, and all 3 of my muddles. About turn 7 or so we both had 1 card in hand, I played beeseech, it resolved, and Im not sure why, but I went for a thoughtseize, this was more or less due to the fact that I was distracted by my buddies, he shows me his land, I take 2, next turn he ripped an Aven Mindsensor and it was bird beat down from there, I drew urborgs and moxes like no ones business. Game 3, dragged about the same, we both had all are permission/disruption and traded off through the math, at that point the rest of the tournament was waiting on us and time was eventually called.

0-0-1 bleh

Round 2 Martyr

My buddy Danny was running WUG martyr because hes a little greedy with bant charm. Game 1 I got the turn 2 kill, removing his path with thoughtseize. Sideboard removed 1 explosives, 1 thirst, 1 slaughter pact, 1 muddle, for 3 duress's and the chalice. Game 2 I thoughtseized him turn 1 to find path, journey to nowhere, and bant charm, yay. The game drags out and Emeria goes active, I eventually scoop. I side again, removing the chalice for the muddle back. I combo turn 2 w/o the thoughtseize, he had 3 martyr's and no removal. He gain 15, I swing for 20, and that continues for about 4 turns.


Round 3 KCI

Yes, Danny gave my buddy Leo an extended legal second sunrise deck, better know as sunny side up or eggs. It plays a bunch of artifacts that blow up to make mana to play more artifacts, some of them draw, you cast sunrise, repeat, and eventually you banefire for alot. Unfortunately the deck is a turn or two to slow for the format, I combo'd both games against the guy who only signed up to reach the minimum required for the FNM.


Round 4 Hypergensis

I came here to not play against gimicky decks, Game 1 I go off before he does, Game 2 he goes off before I do, zzzzzzzz. Game 3 I first turn chalice for 0, by turn 3 I go off and he sac's simian spirit guide and casts wipe away on my token. We both laugh hysterically because at this point I over extended my hand and he has to more or less hard cast a sundering titan. I sit hosed for blue and was forced to beseech for a sunken ruins to play thopter foundry along with my swords. He hard casts his shapeshifter (the name fails me, update that later). And then later his progentious, counters kept the monsters at bay and went into the red zone.


Due to the small numbers and the tie breaker I take 3rd. Its enough for me to say "taking it to oakland". But we'll see. One thing that I'd probably consider is to have explosives as board, I find myself siding it out every game, ya its great against zoo, but for something like elves I'd have to already have it in hand as they will more than likely go off before me. That and whether or not I should force in some cliques. I need to find some zoo decks to test against so the other half of my sideboard feels like it is useful.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Top 8 doesnt make it a real deck.

Elves are on the rise. As the sea of decks begin flooding MTGO and most forums, its only a matter of time until it snags a PTQ of a GPT, and when it does expect primal command and summoner's pact to match the price's of their blue cousins. Regal force seems to already be moving out of the dollar bin. When this does in fact happen the logical choice will be faeries. The question is how long should I wait for the tides to change, or will firespout keep this from happening.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scapeshift has shifted the meta.

GP Oakland is less than a month away and I'm still shaky on what I want to play. With scapeshift becoming much larger in the meta my plan to run Sullivan Special seems nearly pointless. Without a first turn ascension scapeshift more or less outraces me by a turn. And even with bloodchief going active at the end of my second turn on the play scapeshift still has cryptic command and into the roil main by that point its nearly impossible to recover.

After reviewing a few articles the census says that dark depths is by far the worst match up for scapeshift. And low and behold the past couple of extended dailies on MTGO have dark depths 4-0, and Gerry Thompson wins the online PTQ on Sunday.

There are 2 different versions, the thopter foundry/sword of the meek hybrid that GT piloted, and the traditional version that runs vendillion cliques, both seem viable. My only concern is that the meta will shift yet again prior to Oakland, with some nasty incarnation tuned to beat dark depths. What that is exactly is yet to be seen. I will be proxying me up some 20 dollar man lands and begin testing hoping to find "paper" or to start examining the mirror.