i appear to still be good at magic

Went to a draft yesterday at a store I hadn’t been to before. They do $10 drafts, but you play outside pods and rounds are played until there is only a single undefeated player left. So we had around 25-26 players with various numbers of drops throughout the night, and somehow I ended up the only 4-0 O.o which got me a Fanatic of Xenagos FNM promo and 11 packs of Khans :O

I drafted a pretty generic, unexciting Mardu deck, no big bombs but lots of solid creatures and removal. 2 of my matches were really, really close; my round 2 I played against a Temur deck with some really huge creatures (Savage Knuckleblade, 2 Snowhorn Riders, 2 of the 6/5 Craw Wurms) and stuff like Singing Bell Strike, counterspells, etc. I was able to win because my opponent wasn’t keeping track of my land, so I was able to untap my Bell-Stricken creatures at the right time to kill his creatures for free. Both games I won we were both at <5 life on the last turn, so it really could have gone either way.

In the finals, I played against a Jeskai deck with multiple Scaldkins, Jeskai Ascendancy, Sage of the Inward Eye, gross removal cards and Deflecting Palm. I won game 1 because, while he had Ascendancy and Sage out, he wasn’t drawing any spells, so he eventually ran out of steam and I was able to swing through with Shambling Attendants and a +3 Ainok Bond-Kin. Game 2 we had a face-off between Leaping Masters early on that devolved into a board stall with each side having 4+ creatures out. I had revealed a Feat of Resistance to flip my Watcher of the Roost earlier, so once I was able to land Shambling Attendants I started swinging with them while Ainok Bond-Kin prevented him from blocking to kill, since I could Feat to give protection plus first strike. I was at 6, he was at 11, and I finally thought I could win. First, I EOT Burned Away his Efreet, since first strike plus any kind of pump could screw me over. In my hand, I had Arrow Storm, Suspension Field, and Dead Drop, with a couple cards in the yard and about 11 mana. I attacked with my whole team: +1 Attendants, Hordechief, Bond-Kin, Watcher, Pony Brigade, Leaping Master, Hateblade and 3 goblin tokens. He had 4 blockers: a Warshrieker, Leaping Master. Jeskai Student, and Wetland Sambar. I was calculating based on him blocking the Attendants and 3 of my 2-power creatures, but he actually traded/full-blocked all my 2s and too 8, putting him to 3. After combat, I cast Arrow Storm for 5… and he Deflecting Palmed it into me, putting me at 1 >_< He still had 3 cards in hand, but I had enough cards in the yard at this point to Dead Drop, getting rid of his last 2 creatures (Warshrieker and Student). Crossing my fingers, I passed the turn… he drew, and threw down his cards. 4 lands. He’d been bluffing spells the last 4-5 turns >.> but I also didn’t have the critical mass I needed to attack through anyway.

I’ll post a picture of my deck later. Anyway, it was an exciting match and entire tournament for me, I definitely plan on playing there again!

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first conspiracy draft

After being a bit disenchanted with Magic over the last few weeks (also just life issues that heavily dissuaded me from playing too much Magic), I decided to run down and do a Conspiracy draft before stores stopped hosting them. My first draft went… very well, if I do say so myself :X

vortex

Had a nice Defender theme going along with some very strong cards and Sulfuric Vortex as a finisher.

I won the 4-player match, which got me free entry into another draft since players wanted to draft again rather than play out a finals match. My second draft went less well, but I still had a solid deck and also pulled out a win in a 3-player match even though I got kind of screwed early on. I definitely drafted more fun cards the second time around :3

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rags – theros block draft – june 5, 2014

draft_140605

Well, after a couple weeks in Portland, I finally made it to a draft! Shout out to The Friendly Local Game Store, which has only been open a couple weeks but looking to build a solid community! The store’s attention to customer comfort, order, and cleanliness reminds me a lot of I’m Board, plus they have $8 casual drafts (no prizes) on Thursdays, so I think I shall be a long-time customer! It is a bit far away from my apartment, unfortunately, but I don’t think any stores are conveniently located near me anyway.

So, draft. I opened a Daring Thief. In hindsight, knowing what else I could have drafted, I probably should have taken it, since it’s kind of ridiculous with Evanescent Intellect. However, I took Whitewater Naiads over it, which is a less risky card that’s got a similar power-level. My second pick was a Hydra Broodmaster, which made me think I might repeat my last Theros draft. However, I picked up 3 Nyx Infusions as well as a Dreadbringer Lampads and 2 Cloaked Sirens, seeing little good in green, solidifying me in UB. Also helped that I got passed a Scourge of the Fleets mid pack. Pack 2 I opened Herald of Torment, which was cool, then wheeled 2 Servant of Tymaret, which, after having played with them, they are pretty insane. I’ll have to pick them much higher in the future. Aside from the Forlorn Pseudamma, I didn’t really get or see anything else interesting in the BNG pack. Theros too felt rather unexciting; I picked up Tymaret first pick, then got passed a Nighthowler, but nothing else fun stood out.

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rags – theros block draft – may 11, 2014

draft_2014-11-5

So, in remembrance of my last day in Madison, I decided to go out and draft Nyx/BNG/Theros when I know basically nothing about any of the sets ;) The most I got was a really general overview of the archetypes from friend Alan who died and went to Seattle. The rares I opened were Dictate of Karametra, Fated Return, and Daxos of Meletis. Point of interest, the person on my left opened a foil Thoughtseize :/

Anyway, knowing nothing about what cards are in the sets, I thought to myself “Hey, Interpret the Signs seems like a pretty cool card, let’s take that!” Which followed that since the next pack had a Polymorphous Rush, a rare with the same color as my first pick (!), I took that too. After that, I started taking actual cards and not being an idiot. I believe I started with Colossal Heroics, since semi-Overrun effects seem good. Golden Hind and Nessian Game Warden also got picked pretty early. I also took Bloodcrazed Hoplite kind of early, thinking it could go well with the Colossal Heroics, but the rest of the black cards seemed pretty bad so I quickly jumped ship. However, I did get Cloaked Siren and Bladetusk Boar pretty late, as well as Stormchaser Chimera, so I decided to go for UG splash R, which ended up working out rather well. In packs 2 and 3, I prioritized fixing and flyers, first-picking the Satyr Wayfinder and getting Peregrination pretty early. I was overimpressed with Sphinx’s Disciple, grabbing 2, but ended up only playing 1 due to its small body. Pack 3 was kind of haphazard. I just took the Daxos because I thought maybe I could splash it, then Anax and Cymede because it was rare and I wasn’t too impressed with anything else in the pack. Luckily, I picked up a Traveler’s Amulet and a lot of solid cards in a passed Polis Crusher (!!!), Welkin Tern Vaporkin, the two Horizon Chimeras, and two Leafcrown Dryads.

There were a lot of red removal cards I saw going around, but didn’t really feel like I had enough red to support them consistently, which is why I passed them. I ended up with the sole Fall of the Hammer for my hard removal, hoping I could just ramp into flyers or big groundstompers. With my high flyer density, I also passed on the green flyer hate, and didn’t see any good counterspells or bounce in blue – well, I did see a Dissolve, but I think it was between that or Leafcrown Dryad and I felt like I’d rather just have more early creatures.

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the gaming table

Posting a picture of the table I use for household gaming while also showing off my purchases from today.

The Gaming Table

Not sure who reads this, or if I’m technically allowed to post this or not, but Fantasy Flight Games will be doing a Netrunner tour around the country, I suppose? They will be visiting my local board game store I’m Board! in Middleton, WI, on October 18, doing demos and having giveaways and stuff. With Alan moving out to Seattle and no one else particularly interested in Netrunner, as well as the plethora of video games I’m playing or will have to play, I’ll probably try to get rid of my set, but, in general, Netrunner is a cool game, so check it out if you’re interested!

In other news, Square-Enix decided to cut off access to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn last night unless you have a serial number associated with your account. Turns out Amazon only just shipped my copy yesterday as well, so I shall be suffering withdrawal for a couple days :( Sorry Cameron, you’ll have to corner the crafting market without me! But save me all the Aldgoat Skins!!!

grand prix – san jose

Grand Prix – San Jose. An exciting tournament since it was the first in a very long time to be team-based! And the format was Return to Ravnica sealed, which has been one of the most popular sets ever, both from a design standpoint and from the nostalgia value! 571 teams of 3 people showed up to San Jose, California, for this great tournament.

That, unfortunately, meant 11 rounds of Swiss, with a cut to top 2 (teams) in day 2. 11 rounds… is a lot.

Our team consisted of Becker as point, Aaron as anchor, and me as cleanup. (No, those terms mean actually nothing, since the team earns a win if any 2 of the members wins their individual matches.) We iron-manned wonderfully, getting over the hump at 6-1 (with 1 bye). Unfortunately, land screw plagued both me and Aaron, losing us the next two rounds and throwing us down to 6-3, out of contention.

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