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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Shadowmoor: The sealed launch party

I had hoped to go to the event with my friends today, but unfortunately everyone was doing other things. But I suppose that's okay, I probably would have been the ride, and not everyone can take 7 hours of sealed MTG. When I opened my packs, I wasn't really all that impressed with anything I got, didn't really feel any colors. Turns out I was wrong, I got pretty good packs. I figured I would end up facing down the common cycle of avatar enchantments, so I packed hate for those. Turns out I didn't need it, as I only faced one of the enchantments all day... still, the cards were useful. I ended up going green/white, with quite a few persist creatures along with cards to take -1/-1 counters off them when they come back. That would typically let me stall until I overwhelmed the opponent with Windbrisk Raptor, or my sheer numbers. Oh well, here is the run down.

The Deck
g/w sealed
2 Nurturer Initiate
1 Rhys the Redeemed
1 Devoted Druid
3 Safehold Elite
1 Chainbreaker
1 Scuttlemutt
2 Kitchen Finks (yaa)
1 Farhaven Elf
1 Rosheen Meanderer
1 Raven's Run Dragoon
1 Woeleecher
1 Thornwatch Scarecrow
1 Windbrisk Raptor

1 Steel of the Godhead

1 Niveous Wisps
1 Strip Bare
1 Inquisitor's Snare
2 Aethertow

9 Plains
8 Forest

It occurs to me at this point that I didn't keep as good a track of this event as I have others, so unfortunately I really don't have the specifics outside of ending life totals and the sort. If I had to pick an MVP it would be Windbrisk Raptor, a 5/7 flier that gives your attackers life link is pretty much the nut. The combination of Kitchen Finks and Woeleecher also lead to a huge life gain bit. In the end, there wasn't a single match that didn't end with me at some point having 30+ life. One match even ended with me close to 80. Rhys didn't stick around long in any game. Mostly I dropped him as fodder for player's removal. With creature destruction and burn being so limited in this set, having someone burn out my Rhys and not have any solutions vs. my persist combos/ raptor was generally a good play. I did however get an active rhys in the semi finals, generating 32 tokens in the end, and swinging to push my life total into the 80s thanks to the raptor. Not that it mattered at that point, as we had 2 cards left in our decks xD

All in all it was enjoyable, and I walked away with 7 packs, 2 promo vexing shushers, and a deckbox. It was a good time.

Round 1 Vs Patrick
1-0 (2-1)

Round 2 Vs Kevin
2-0 (4-1)

Round 3 Vs Andrew
3-0 (6-1)

Round 4 Vs Todd
4-0 (8-2)

SemiFinals Round 5 Vs Todd
5-0 (10-2)

Finals Round 6 Vs Anthony
6-0 (12-3)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On old friends, awesome playlists, and nintendo

Let me first say that it is becoming harder and harder to find Capri Sun boxes which haven’t cut their sugar. It brings to mind the fact that Cadbury Eggs cut down on their sizes last year as well. If anyone has some sort of tasty supplement for either, please let me know.

That said I ended up buying Mario Kart Wii today. What can I say, it’s Mario Kart. For the wii. Not much more to it. None the less, it is a game that is as enjoyable as ever. I have never played a Mario Kart that wasn’t enjoyable. Outside of a few more playable characters/maps, there isn’t that much more positive I can say on the game. As far as negatives go though, I feel they sort of nerfed battles. I always enjoyed the 1 vs. 1 vs. 1 vs. 1 aspect of the battles, just 4 players gunning for a win. Now CPUs get dragged into it and you are split into 2 teams. I don’t like it. But that is the only bit that I didn’t like.

Oh, the wii wheel is unnecessary, as is the case with most Wii Accessory’s.

I have also determined that the best ’environment’ play list for me is the following albums set to repeat shuffle:
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand - You could have it so much better
The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour
Runrig- Heartland’
Runrig- Everything you see
The Killers- Sam’s town

It’s the best I’ve come up with anyways.

Last night on a routine trip to Denny’s, Mitch and myself ran into Paul. An aquantince of mine, friend of Mitch’s that moved down south for a while, and then moved back up here. It was enjoyable, we went back to his place and played Magic for a few hours. It was quite enjoyable. Shadowmoor becomes T2 legal, and releases this Friday. Apparently there is a release event for it at midnight on Thursday, I plan on going to it... regardless of the fact that means I will be getting 4 hours of sleep.
Anyways, we got to discussing DnD 4.0 last night at Pauls before leaving. Apparently they are going to be restricting some of the things you can do in the game. While Paul approaches it with disdain, I look at it as a step in the right direction. DnD can do something MMos, and TCGs can’t do. It can nerf shit hella easier.

I think I will make up a 4.0 dungeon.

My god, release party on sunday too! My schedule for MTG is looking
Sleep until 5~6 on Thursday. Midnight MTG, work 8:30-5:30. Crash, Work saturday, release events on sunday!
On a side note, I think I really don’t care about you anymore

An Eggman Travy

Boring a way through me
Controlling completely
There is a fire in me
Fire that burns
Fire that burns

This fire is out of control
I’m going to burn this city
Burn this city
If this fire is out of control
Then i
I’m out of control
And i burn

Burning a way to me
Destroying so sweetly
There is a fire in me
Fire that burns
Fire that burns

This fire...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

On Shadowmoor

One of my favorite types of tournaments to attend are prerelease events. You get to play with cards before they actually "come out" and everyone is basically on an equal level. Being that I love Draft, I also love Sealed. You are given a pool of cards and told to do one of the things I feel I do best, build a deck. And it's enjoyable. It's probably the closest you can get to casual play in a competitive environment in my opinion. Not that Friday Night Magic isn't semi-casual, I just think that prereleases are a tad more fun.
And you meet people. Typically, you play people who are there for fun as well. Unfortunately I had one match that wasn't all that fun, just as a result of attitude. That was one of my least favorite aspects of the Grand Prix, was the cocky ass attitude some people had. But what are you going to do I suppose.
Mitch and I ended up being two-headed giant partners this time around. We ended up building him a Green/white deck that pretty much exploded in peoples faces, and I went with a red/black deck running removal and burn. My deck didn't do nearly as much as him.
In match 1, I managed to swing for 7 by turn 3. Mitchel showed me up by swinging for 20 something to end the game. It was hella tight.
Match 2 didn't go in our favor. Our opponent's decks exploded, ending the game in the first 10 minutes of the match. It was ridiculous. They were a fun enough pair though, and agreed to a casual rematch while we waited for everyone else to finish. It was another game of me playing semi-support for Mitch while he smashed their face in over and over again.
My most memorable play though occurred in Match 3, and it would have to be playing Giant baiting with the conspire, swinging in with 2 giants (which unfortunately got stopped) but then using Rite of Consumption to do 4 damage and grab 4 life, and copy the giant with Cemetery Puca. It was a good time (except for our opponents, Ben and Amber), but once again Mitch did most of the work in terms of damage. Not that having both of us swinging with Spirit Avatars was really helping Ben and Ams. Before the match we decided to split the packs regardless of the outcome anyways, so everyone walked away happy, and me and Mitchel walked away with 6th place.
I also walked away with 7th place (3-1) in the main flight I participated, drafting a black/red deck in that as well. Emberstrike Duo was my star player I think. Having 4 copies of him in my deck lead to me consistently drawing him in matchs. 1st turn Manaforge Cinder followed by a Duo, followed by another Duo followed by an Inkfathom Infiltrator happened in probably 5 of the games I played in. Then giving him Fists of the Demigod, well, that's just silly. First strike and Wither is incredibly OP. Having gotten a Demigod of Revenge that I could play in my deck helped even more. All in all, it was a pretty solid deck. The match I lost was a match to a g/w deck, that exploded in my face 2/2 games we played. I think I was dead by turn 5 each of those games, blast you Shield of the Oversoul!
But it was an awesome weekend.

A Satisfied Travy

Saturday, March 29, 2008

On Dreams, Aspirations, and Redemption

Yesterday on my lunch hour I went against my instincts and splurged on a PSP to play Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7. Final Fantasy 7 was the game that made me love Sony, as I was a big Final Fantasy 1 fan back in the day when the NES was bad ass. Ever since then I have bought most FF7 related products, and when Crisis Core came out I was torn between buying a PSP and not. After all, DoC was a bit of an upset, but I figured what’s the worst that could happen, there are a few other games I want to try out for the PSP anyways. Anyways, Sony has redeemed itself in my eyes. The controls aren’t terribly original and aren’t terribly difficult to learn, its more of pressing x and moving around, switching between heals and the sort.
The storyline itself is pretty interesting, although I could do without the whole Genisis copying bit, but it is interesting meeting Sephiroth’s friends, and getting a feel for Zack’s personality (I feel Last Order didn’t really do him much justice) and the graphics are pretty fricken awesome. All in all it is a pretty awesome game, and I suspect I will be buying a ps3 for Final Fantasy 13 when it hits shelves later this year.

Onto today though. It’s not often I leave the store when it comes to working. Doing the occasional transfer happens every now and again when I am dumb enough to drive my car to work. Today I was called up front and the sort to do the pack groceries bit when my manager informed me that one of the store owners, ( I can’t resist) Akel-sama (or mayhaps Akel-dono would be more appropriate), all right I will stick to Mr. Akel, needed help gathering a cart. The said cart was chained to a fence downtown, to prevent anyone from stealing it from the people who stole it, it was pretty interesting.
Anyways, along the way Mr. Akel and myself had a bit of a conversation, he got to know me. Interestingly enough, he had similar aspirations as I do, as far as pursing some sort of English degree. I suppose, I find it reassuring. I think that his feelings on the matter reassure me of my feelings on the matter, and I think it will force a tad more effort out of me as far as pursuing my college goals go. And I bet it will keep a smile on my face for a few days to come while working

Some days I really love my job

Monday, March 24, 2008

Grand Prix Philly

It's been about a week since the Grand Prix in philly ended. It was fun, while it lasted. Day 1 was pretty amazing for me, except for the fact that my deck ended up getting stolen. But I suppose these things happen. The thing that hurts the most I suppose is the fact that not only were my hard earned cards in there, but also my friends. Anyways, after Day 1 I ended up touring Philly a bit, it was a good time and I have plans on uploading the pictures at a later date. Faeries was definitely the route to go. Anyways, my tournament report

Before the tournament I scurried around, buying up the last few cards I needed for my deck. Namely, 1x Vedelkan Shackles, 1x Force Spike, and 1x Riptide Laboratory. I decided in my faerie deck's build, I would run 2x Desert over 2x Mutavault in case of the mirror match, as well as 1x Time stop as I figured it could be useful. My sideboard was almost entirely geared into dredge hate, as I felt it was my only truly unfavorable matchup.

Main Deck

4x Cloud Sprite
3x Mistbind Clique
3x Pestermite
4x Scion of Oona
4x Spellstutter Sprite
2x Vendilion Clique

4x Counterspell
3x Cryptic Command
4x Force Spike
4x Remand
1x Time Stop

2x Vedalken Shackles

2x Desert
18x Island
1x Mutavault
1x Riptide Laboratory

4x Leyline of the Void
3x Echoing Truth
2x Stivle
2x Hurkyl's Recall
4x Tormod's Crypt

0-0 (0-0)
Round 1 - Jeff w/ U/W 8-post
Game 1
He mulls down to a 6 card hand, which ends up only having 1 land. After a few round of beats on my side, he concedes.
Game 2
Between my Cloud Sprite, and his fetch + shock lands, he plummets from 20 to 13 pretty quick. He attempts to throw a Chalice of the void up for 2, but I remand it. He attempts to Condescend my Remand, and I force Spike it down. The next turn he tries it again, and it goes through. After that, he Decree of Justice's for 3 - 4/4 Angel tokens. I drop my Shackles and take one of them, and we trade men. After that he attempts to Wrath of God down the bored, which I counter with a Cryptic Command. He cycles another Decree for 11 1/1's, which he proceeds to swing into me with after I shackle his last angel token. I take 1 out with desert at end of combat, blocking another one with the angel, and letting the rest through; taking my first blood for the tournament of 10 damage. He then taps out for 2 Exaulted Angels, and I cryptic command down his men, dropping some more faeries, and swinging in for the win.

1-0 (2-0)
Round 2 Semion and R/b Goblins
Game 1
He drops down a Goblin Piledriver, and I proceed to literally counter down every other play he makes for the rest of the game, swinging over head of his piledriver for the win.

Game 2
This game goes more in his favor. And by more in his favor I mean he Cabal Therapies down most of my useful faeries, and rapes my hand of counterspells. Then using Earwig Squads (resolving 3 of them via prowl) destroys my deck of solutions. I am completely overwhelmed by his army

Game 3
The most interactive game. I counter down most of his therapies, as well as a few of his other spells. I resolve my Shackles. Rather than having me grab the piledriver he sacs it as well as his Skirk Prospector to play another spell. I shackles down his Earwig Squad, and end up keeping the rest of his board clean enough for me to swing with the Squad ftw.

2-0 (4-1)
Round 3 Spencer with Mono-Red Burn
Game 1/2/3
This is the game/match that would in my opinion, stop me from getting to Day 2 as a result of my own poor playing. One of my friends bought a burn deck of their own to the GP, and so in play testing a lot of the time it came to me out aggroing him, over countering down his burn. Not that I wouldn't counter down his burn when possible, but I would let the deck take more of an aggro course. And with this in mind the games would be pretty much, burn you / swing, take your turn. I swing back. I got so into the aggro aspect of the deck, that I forgot the more controlling aspect of the deck, and forget to desert down his Blinkmoth Land the turn it swings into me, the land netting the 3 damage overall needed to really win the one game I lost. But this match was pretty much burn/counter/aggro, with noting truly interesting going on in it. It ends 1-2 in his favor.

2-1 (5-3)
Round 4 Chris with G/w Spirit Stompy
Game 1
I quickly aggro him down with Cloud sprites, then manage to drop my land tapping Cliques several turns in a row, swinging in with them for an easy victory. It should be noted that I nearly set up a Riptide Laboratory/Mistbind Clique don't untap your lands anymore combo. Should I manage to rebuild the deck, I may consider running 2x Laboratory rather than the 1
Game 2
This Game I get completely overrun by Troll Ascetics with enchantments on them. Not fun at all. Well, it was still fun, but quite painful xD
Game 3
This game he manages to drop a Teeg, which nerfs my solution vs. a resolved Worship. I start using my Vendellion Clique + the Laboratory to search my deck for solutions at the end of each of his turns. I figure this game is probably done for me, though I manage to drop a shackles and tiff his teeg, working him down to 1 hp. To my surprise he makes the play error of attacking into me with an armadillo cloaked Troll, which I proceeded to blocking with his teeg, allowing me to bounce the worship to his hand and taking the win with fliers.

3-1 (7-4)
Round 5 Jon with G/b Rock
Game 1
My easiest matchup, and I must say I quite enjoyed playing with Jon, it was hella fun, and one of my only opponents to really make me feel like he wanted me to do well when the match was all said and done with. In anycase, game 1 basically went, me dropping faeries a plenty, and swinging overhead; countering down large threats and board wiping cards.
Game 2
Same game plan as the last game, and again with my victory.


Round 6 Rich with R/b Goblins
Game 1
Let me say for the record, that even though goblins are winnable against, they are probably one of the toughest matchups for this deck, and at the same time, the most fun to lay against. Game 1 I keep a land with an Island, mutavault, desert, figuring I would draw into my second Island. I don't. And so my basic counterspells in hand are pretty much nerf'd. I don't put up much of a fight with my cloudsprite, and he overwhelms me with piledrivers
Game 2
This time around I have all the islands I need, not that he doesn't beat the heck out of me. I manage to counter down a good portion of his threats, and with a well timed Time-stop, manage to win the game.
Game 3
Another Game that ended in his favor, overwhelming me with a couple of resolved piledrivers, and me having no resolved shackles to deal with them. At this point I decided that if I ran the deck in another tournament, I would probably cut 2 sideboard cards for +2 Shackles.

4-2 (10-6)
Round 7 Andrew with R/g burn.
Game 1/2/3
This in my opinion is faerie's other unfavorable matchup. But unlike goblins, where it's a fun match either way, this match is no fun at all. Burn. It hurts, and really is just heart of the cards, either you have the aggro to get em down with the counters to back you up, or they have an overwhelming amount of burn. It really isn't all that fun of a match up. Scratch that, it isn't fun at all. The games end quick. This match ends up in my favor 2-1

Round 8 Ben with U/g Tron.
Game 1
Ah yes, the match of absolute cakewalk. The match that in my playtestings, I just couldn't lose. Unfortunately I completely lost my heart of the cards in this match up, and had to mull down to 5 in every game. Game 1 ends in his favor, me not being able to counter down a mindslaver, which proceeds into locking me down.
Game 2
This time even after mulling down to 5, I manage to drop a ton of aggro. I still don't have enough counters though, but manage to stall him a couple of turns via my land tapping clique. Finally, the turn he would have gone off and taken the match win, I drop a time stop on his upkeep. A card of complete and total jank + awesomesauce, saving me for the second time this tourn.y
Game 3
A close game, but once again I have to mull down. It really was ridiculous, but I suppose these things happen. I still manage to get him down to 4 before he locks me down.
I feel it should be noted, for the record, that unless you are forced into a situation where I was, where you keep drawing no-land hands, there is no reason to lose a tron match-up.

5-3 (13-9)
Round 9 Hans with Enduring Ideal
Game 1
Although I really didn't have a reason for playing the final match, I figured maybe there would be a slight chance of a victory. I didn't expect an Enduring Ideal deck, and although I get him to 4, he gets the ideal off as I am a naab and counter some silly enchantment. The game ends in his favor
Game 2
He gets a junky hand of nothingness, and he ends up conceding this game
Game 3
The deck just can't keep pace with faeries, and I overwhelm him countering down bothersome spells.

I end 6-3 in the GP, place 222 out of 969 people. Of the matchs I lost, 2 were from poor luck (not drawing the lands I needed/mulling) and 1 was from dumb gameplay. The dumb gameplay part is a lesson learned, don't get ahead of yourself. If it wasn't for that, I am sure I would have made it into day 2. Of course at the end of Day 1, while trading, someone walked off with my deck when I wasn't looking, which really sucks as stated previously. But these things happen, Day 2 I spent trading and going about the city; managed to finish a few decks I have been working on, and all in all enjoyed my stay in Philly. I suppose better luck for me next time.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

On last minute changes

Ever have I loved straight up control in MTG. Tron is a great deck, control elements that finish with taking your opponents turn forever. But this week a Mono-blue faerie deck managed to place in a PTQ. And so, I have switched from Tron to Faeries. I'm more comfortable with the deck then I was tron anyways. So hopefully it will do well. With only one Auto-loss MU, and nothing else that gets to the point that it is difficult to deal with (outside of dredge ofc) it looks to be a bit more consistent than Tron. Of course part of me feels bad, as Tron is pretty amazing; and I have always loved playing my casual version of it. But it can't be helped, the fae rox my sox.

I renewed my WoW account the other day. I haven't had much time to play, mostly I figure that is something else I will work on after the GP this weekend. That and finalizing school preparations. Full-time work. Full-time College. One has to wonder just when they are going to get their gaming fix. But hey, it's something that has to be done, and I can't be sitting around on my behind forever gaming. Well I could, and hopefully a college degree with help with that a bit.

In any case, today I am going to make an attempt at finding some of the jank I need for decks to be built at the only local card shop that sells singles. I doubt they will have much, but we will find out eigh?

Monday, March 10, 2008

On New Blogs and Big Events

Today I decided to make an attempt at maintaining a new blog here on Blogspot. It should be easy enough, I hope. I figure I will aim for a gaming oriented blog, with maybe a little extra thrown in-between. We will see how that works out.

As far as games go, I have always been more of a RP/Card Game kind of guy. I think most people play board games and video games as opposed to Card Games. Not to say that I don't spend a fair amount of time on Video Games myself (World of Warcraft and the Xbox namely), but Card games are just so much more mentally intensive. I fancy myself pretty good at what I do, I feel that in the last year or so I have really pushed myself to my limits as far as card gaming goes. This weekend will be the test for me I suppose.

Last year I had planned on attending the Grand Prix in Ohio, but unfortunately that got shoved away as a result of work. This year I plan on attending the Philadelphia Granx Prix, this weekend to be exact. I suppose at this point I should mention the card game I speak of is Magic the Gathering, a passion of mine since I was in Middle School (much to my parent's disapproval). The tournament format is Extended, which means the last few blocks are legal. I have ended up drafting together a U/G Tron deck, which I hope will work wonders for me. This tournament will mean a lot to me. If I make it to Day 2, not only does that mean I have paid for my trip there, but it also means that I really have come as far as I think I have, as that will give me an official "pro point" and a cash prize of course :>
And then naturally, if I don't make it, that means I either had rotten luck or really do need to kick it up a bit.

Playing in these tournaments is difficult for me, as a result of holding down a full time job and the sort. Come this fall it will be even more difficult as I will be going to school full time as well. So hopefully, through some way shape or form, I can do really well at this tournament, and qualify for the trip to the Hollywood Pro Tour. Of course if I don't, no hard feelings.

And on a final note, this is hillarious: