Magical Monday 1.26.2015

Welcome once again to my Magical Monday. For those in the know this last weekend was my LGS’s first Modern TCGplayer tournament, which was both my brain child and my first real opportunity to show off my deck design skills by winning a large event.

Unfortunately, i both failed to win which hurts. But the event was not the large event i was hoping it would be, which REALLY hurts. Release events for us are not big turnout events, but i guess they are large for our surrounding game shops as we only had 2-4 out of towners and a lot of our normal people decided that they would rather work then help make us the place to be for magic tournaments. Sigh…

* note, I have received some feedback letting me know that my word choice left something to be desired by those that had to work vs make it to the event. I want to be clear, i totally understand. Obligations are just so for a reason. I did not mean to make anyone feel like they are not supporting the LGS if they had prior obligations to attend work or whatever. I just wanted to say that people had to work and that that took away from the expected turnout.

I was able to draw into the top 4 being one of the two undefeated players. So that was nice.  But i made a deck registration error giving me my first game lost of the day and then in the simi finals to boot. Where i mulled to a solid 6, stumbled on lands for too long and just got beat to death by a 3/4 flyer. Thankfully, the gentleman that defeated me was able to win out so i can’t feel too bad, i did only drop one game it just happened to be a 2 for 1.

Let me be a lesson to you all kids. Someone will loose to mis-registering their deck. Don’t let it be you.

Okay now that the main event i was planing for is over i want to share my list and see if you all have suggestions.

A few quick notes, i felt that the best deck was delver so i wanted to beat that and i feel the best cards in the format are Thoughtsieze, Young Pyro, Lighting Bolt and Lingering Souls. With the best card draw being Bobs.  Yep see how Delever is the best deck… I know i often make no sense even to myself.

Mardu Delver…

4 Thoughtsieze
4 Lighting Bolt
2 Darkblast
4 Lighting Helix
2 Lingering Souls (This was my deck reg error, thought i cut 1 for Liliana but guess i didn’t and had 3 in my deck)
2 Crackling Doom

1 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Dark Confident
4 Young Pyromaster
3 Pack Rat
2 Butcher of the Horde

2 Seismic Assault
4 Liliana of the veil

Lands including 1 Mutavault 8 fetches 3 basics and a lot of shock lands. Other then the one game where i only had a fetch and a Mutavault my lands were not an issue.

Overall the deck ran like a charm. Each card won me a game and were nuts at different time. Sure Seismic Assault was a bit of a hedge for decks running Blood Moon or those games were i want to flood out or vs a deck with as much removal as i had. Crackling Doom was for Boggles and Affinity. Nothing says “F you too” as when they go all in and you Doom them.

If the tournament was tomorrow would i change anything? Well anything other then that registration error?

Not really. The deck just ran well until i was due to lose one, it is not the decks fault that i had to win both games and couldn’t. You can’t win every game.

Personally i feel that this deck gives you the best option to out play any deck. Has game one hedges vs every deck i could thing of other then Jeski combo. To win that you have to get lucky and Thoughtsieze the right card at the right time. Although Darkblast can catch a Jeski player with their pants down as well as Crackling Dooms. But it is a hard match up. If the deck lives though the loss of Cruse.

Well that was it. Next week i hope to have some new Standard lists ready for you all.

<3s

Magical Monday 1.19.2015

Like every other person that writes about Magic on the planet i want to talk up the new set and how they apply to my pet deck. Dictate of the Defecting Palm as a refresher, here is the list.

4 Deflecting Palm
4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet
4 Anger of the Gods
2 Searing Blood
1 Crater’s Claws
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Fated Conflagration
4 Stoke the Flames
4 Dictate of the Twin Gods
2 Circle of Flame
23 lands
4 r/w temples
4 r/w pain lands
2 r/w/u tru lands
rest mountains

My current sideboard is full of things to deal with Whip of Erebos and token makers like Hording Outburst and Goblinside. Guess i am also rocking a few Arc Lightnings.

After more then a few reps with this deck over this many months, i have taken note of its faults. Namely the lack of card filtering ie the tendency for it to flood out. It is a funny balance right, you are totally dependent on this 5 mana enchantment to finish the game so you want enough mana to cast it and then win out on the back of blowing people’s mind. Or blowing our wad to stabilize and then hunting for a win con.

However looking at Fate Reforged we have a great answer to not just one of issues but both!

Filtering and another win con all in one. Just happens to also be immune to sorcery speed removal and if the opponent uses a removal spell on this guy then i guess i will just have to try to not piss myself laughing.

Arcbond, is also another great one. Picture this it is the end of turn 5 and you flash in Dictate on to a board full all that is left in your hand is this guy, a land and some kind of sweet burn spell. Arcbond your Rhino, Anger your team you take 12. Pass.

What do you think?

<3s

Resolutions 2015

Welcome back everyone. Good to be back after the new year and all the hoot’nanny that goes along with it. I want to start off by wishing everyone a good new year for the coming weeks and whatnots.

Long time readers know that every year i do a little review of last years goals and then set some new ones that i try and check in with midway through the year as to try and keep them on track. So lets began the year in review.

1, Be more forgiving in game. Wow, DDo was a huge part of my world at the start of the year last year. Now i barely play but i am happy to say something flipped in me and i am fairly forgiving of others mistakes as well as my own. Not real sure when that happened but i am glad.

2, Gencon and weight loss. So in January i was reeling from suddenly not being employed and i let it get to me in a bad way. A large part of that was a hit to my over all health mostly at due to my large belly. And i want to say i was doing well again. Or at least better. Then Remmie had his run in with the car and MY health was no longer an issue. But i could still fast walk from one side of the con to the other and not be super winded and that was my goal.

3, Education. Can’t say expanding my edu has been a huge focus. I mean i have been learning a lot of things in lots of areas but mastering a topic hasn’t happened. But i can always do more and i should.

4, Podcasting…. So i did some pods. I can’t help being on break, right?

5, The pen and paper module, well i did make some strides in that area. I did get to run it once this year with a trusted test group and while i think we added some things that made it less then amazing it was fun and showed me where my problems are. Now i just need to get them fixed and fleshed out.

Okay so with those in mind, i need to set some goals.

1, Be kinder. I am not a nice guy. Nor am i intentionally mean. But what is the difference between some one that is unintentionally mean and some one that is? Not a lot right? I have a lot of pain and baggage from my past that touches me every day every minute and it colors how i see the world. About once a month my wife gets her fill of my shit that i don’t even know that is bothering her and calls me on it. And it would be nice if she didn’t have to call me out so often.

2, Write more. I started another project that might if it goes well, change the way my family lives. It is risky but comes with great rewards. And instead burning all my free time on bullshit i should try and write more. I mean i have a hour or so each night before finally mentally chilling out i could spend some of that time sharing.

3, Play more. More DDo, more Magic, more Pokemon, more everything. To do all of that i need to better handle my time. there is 24 hours a day and if i spend 7 of them asleep and 15 of them working i have 2 hours somewhere for other things. I just need to get those 2 hours in a place where they can be better spent.

4, Try out the pro’s lists. I am not a deck copier. Sometimes i think i would get better results if i was. So i want to try a few “pro” lists and see if my own desire to build my own deck is holding me back or if it is my play skill.

5, Show Profit. My other other job is at my local game store, The Arena. I have been working as the Community Manager there for a few months now and the turnouts for a lot of our different tournaments/events have grown but sales have not grown by enough to say i am very profitable. And i both love this job and want to see my shop grow because they are my friends/my shop. So i need to start to show larger payoffs at the end of the day and i think that will happen as long as i keep giving it my all.

Bonus, Get my level 1. In Magic the Gathering, judges are a tournament resource like any other and in my area we need more of that resource. I have been working with a couple of guys to get them their lvl 1 judge and one of them did last weekend and i could not be more proud. But just like how i haven’t actually played in the last few larger tournaments to spend my time running said tournament. I didn’t want to over work the judge we were able to bring in to help us out with out event.

There we go, six simple to say hard to do goals. Plus the standard ones of getting back on the healthy track and more Edu…

<3s and i hope your 2015 is a great one.

Magical Monday 12.29.14

Welcome to the last Magical Monday of 2014, hope your holiday was solid and may your new year be better then this one was. And now Magic.

Some time last week on one of my Facebook groups i pondered the possibility of a Trail of Mystery/Secret Plans constructed deck in today standard. It feels a little far fetched but keep an open mind for a moment while we knock out a fast list.

4 Trail
4 Plans

4 Ruthless Ripper aka Free Black morph
4 Temur Charger aka Free Green morph
4 Dragon’s Eye Savants aka Free Blue morph
4 Grim Haruspex aka Black draw when a dude dies morph
4 Rattleclaw Mystic

4 Ghostfire Blade
4 Sultai Charm

This is the 4 piles of 9 we need for a 36/24 split. Aka the normal 60/40 spell/land split where i start every build. But the deck just doesn’t have any real gas and with Trail helping us both insure we hit our land drops and smoothing our mana i just feel like as long as we are base G/U/B we might as well have some FUN!

21 lands
3 Villainous Wealth

Snap!

But is that enough to take this deck from fine to FINE? I don’t know. I bet you a dollar that 4 Sagu Maulers wouldn’t be an issue. I think that the chargers could go for some much needed gas to power things up. And cutting one or two Blades for Abzan Charms wouldn’t suck either. But really we could splash 1 or 2 of any basic land and have a reasonable shot at running just about any morph or charm you would like to run. Want some sick out of the board teck? Jeskai Charm or Icefeather Aven or some of those crazy planeswalkers?

I don’t know if i am brave enough to build this with actually cards but i feel this deck would cost less then 10 tixs on Magic online and that just might be the place to give it a try. I just need to get my account unlocked…

<3s

Magical Monday 12.15.2014

Werds Kids. Good to be back, sorry for missing last week my grownup project needed my attention fairly hard core until Friday and then my Community Manager job for my local cardshop kept me fairly swamped.

So what have you all missed? Well i did make it to FNM the last 2 weeks. We drafted trip Khans and i was able to draft a sick little Abzan deck, rocking some great rares and Archers Parapets. Parapets are quickly becoming one of my favorite cards in the set. It just does everything. Then last Friday, like i said i was busy so i had to take my back up modern deck with no real idea of the local meta or anything. Thought i would lock out everyone, but ran to time second match and hit a draw. Moving me to a lower bracket where people were a little more ready for off the cuff decks. Had some poor draws, either flooding out or having double Dig through Times just miss when looking for answers… And ended up 1-2-1 for the night. Crazy.

Then Saturday we went to McPherson, for a Store V Store event. Basically it is a ploy to get people that might not travel to play Magic out and playing others in the area while at the same time let others in the area know that we are here. We had full teams for each sub event, ie Standard, Commander and Draft. Then each member of team played each other player from the other store’s team. Four rounds of magic vs people you don’t play against every week is a good change, with only store pride on the line.

I want to share a few things i went undefeated in the draft. Although i did end up drawing match one due to a weird moment where i was on the draw and letting my opponent take his mulligan/s. I had a so so hand where i had planed to mull if my opponent kept 6-7 cards and he mulled to 6 then played a land tapped. And said go. And i was all like wish you had asked if i was ready…. Oh well i am already up a game and proceeded to have a super slow draw play out super slow. When i knew the game was over I scooped to move to game 3 (which i felt i am favored to win normally fairly fast in the match up), i asked about time and was told that we were over time. I heard a couple minutes over. Later after we were all done I was told it was more like 30 secs. So i was a little salty all night over a misunderstanding, but it did motivate me to play super tight and really watch the clock.

Also i want to talk just a little bit about how i like to draft. I am often asked what to do in draft, by people. And what i try and due is find my seat. I know it is easier said then done, but that is my goal. Just watch for the signs and be ready to move. This deck should have been a 4-0 deck, no question. I started out red/white/black or Mardu. I took the rare from a weak pack, then a morph black card, then a few good white cards but then there was nothing in my colors…. So i start taking the good morph cards. I was reading the signs that the people on my right were in black for sure. And i thought red also so i better move or be ready to jump ship anyway. And i loaded up on the solid morphs. Then pack two i was rewarded with a Trail and more great morphs. In side i was just smiling. Then in pack three around pick 4 or 5 i got a second Trail then a Secret Plans super late and was in winner winner chicken dinner mode.

Okay the deck:

traildraft

Like i said this deck was just nuts. I did drop 2 games all night. One where i scooped them up for time and the other was in the last round where i thought i won when my opponent dropped 3 singing bell strikes over 2 turns and then was able to get in with a 1/1 flyer for the win as i never drew a 6th land to untap and win.

I would draft this 100% of the time if i could, the deck was great and i had a blast. But would i try and force it? No. But if it open, i will be on it!

Magical Monday 12.1.2014

Once again welcome to Magical Monday hope that your Thanksgiving was a good one. Reports of Walgreen’s sweet Mtg sale is spreading like wildfire. So much so that people are going to Walmart as asking for a price match because of a lack of product left at Walgreens. And while Walmart doesn’t have to it does meet all their price matching points and they should. Two packs for 3.80, is a good deal.

Okay that is enough of that, lets talk about a few things about my last post. I feel about 2 inches tall. I didn’t read every word on Fated Conflagration and it turns out that i should have as it doesn’t hit players. That “p” word is in fact planeswalker… Damn.

Also I ordered up 3 Deflecting Palms $1 a piece no problem. I looked at Stokes and they want $5 a piece. WTF? But while not… If you can find them in stock anywhere you can order them for $5. I will just plan on winning a playset this month.

So lets look at a build.

 

4 Deflecting Palm
3 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet

4 Anger of the Gods
2 Arc Lightning
3 Jeskai Charm
3 Mantis Rider
4 Goblin Rabblemaster

1 Fated Conflagration
4 Stoke the Flames

2 Dictate of the Twin Gods
3 Dig Through Time

23 lands
4 r/w temples
2 r/u temples
4 r/w pain lands
4 r/w/u tru lands
2 u/w fetchlands
3 mountain
2 island
2 plains

I feel that this deck does everything the mono red deck does but adds in the one of the best cards available in Dig. Dig lowers the need to have 4 Dictates. One of the issues i had was having two many dictates in hand and not enough action and sometimes you just need 2 more burn spells to finish a game and digs just equals action. The other thing that really got me about the deck was the lack of options when dealing with some situations. And i think that Jeskai Charm adds a ton of flexibility to the deck. There was at least one point where had i had the option to give my team +1/+1 and life link would have won a game even earlier or saved me vs Travis.

Thoughts?

<3s

Magical Monday 11.24.2014

Dictate of the Twin Gods can be a real magic card if you aren’t afraid of maths or mana flood. Below is the deck i took to my local shop for a win a box tournament we had last Thursday night. It was a ton of fun for a short 4 rounds of play with a fair reward on the line for a small entry fee. The deck was inspired by Conley Woods’s Dictate of the Twin Gods Combo deck. While he didn’t have the best run in this video set i think he showed how the deck could win from out of the blue and take a tournament by surprise.

4 Deflecting Palm
4 Lightning Strike
4 Magma Jet
4 Anger of the Gods
3 Arc Lightning
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Fated Conflagration
4 Stoke the Flames
4 Dictate of the Twin Gods
2 Circle of Flame
23 lands
4 r/w temples
4 r/w pain lands
2 r/w/u tru lands
rest mountains

So how did it play? 3/1 good enough for 3rd. Not the win i was hoping for but good enough i am going to keep it together and retool/find the rest of its missing cards. I had to bum a few key cards for this tournament and i need to make some changes for the future.

R1, was a win when i should have lost. G1, I got the land flooded right the heck out. I am not afraid to admit i thought that i might have made an error in deck choice. G2, I drew a good mix of lands and spells and ran my opponent over. G3, I thought i was done. But got a window to throw a 5/7 Courser back at its owner for 20(taking him to 3) damage (thanks to Dictate + Deflecting Palm) going to 2 off a 3/3 lion. Thankfully i had scryed a burn spell to the top on my upkeep and put that game away. It was real close had my opponent monstroused his lion i would have lost.

R2, Was vs Travis. He had loaned me some of the missing cards and knew the idea behind my list but not the details of the 75. G1, Once again i tasted the land flood and lost the turn before i tried to go for the kill thanks to an attacking Sarkhan. G2, I resolved a Dictate during my own end phase as he went for a dig through time and hit him for 10 damage and scrying for 2  with a Fated Conflagration taking him to 1 life. He kept a Sarkhan and game in for lethal thanks to my Dictate+ his Lightning Strike.

R3, was short and sweet vs a Jeski combo/weenie hybrid. Both games i burned his only men down resolved a Dictate on turn 5 and followed up with double Fated Conflagrations on 6 and 7.

R4, was very fun as this was the only other games where i needed to cast Deflecting Palms, Heroic W/U. My opponent got to play in to my main deck Angers and once his men were too large for angers they when back to his face again and again.

Bonus round, While waiting for the rest of the games to finish i played against a B/W weenie deck. Damage came in fast until a sweeper showed up like Anger or Arc Lightning even one of two main deck Circle of Flame.  Then got to a point where burn could go to the face for the win.

There was a game where i was dead. Or i should have been dead. I had double Dictate and a Deflecting Palm vs his 6 1/1s tokens while i was at 14 on turn 5. I flashed in a Deflecting Palm at the end of his turn because i had to go for it. Turn six played a land an passed. Took 12 from his 1/1s going to 2 he played a 2/1 and passed. I cast a Magma Jet end of his turn pushing down 2 more lands and then pealing another going to 7 lands in play. My hand is Dictate + Deflecting Palm, figuring that i would just draw the game out he attacks… with just the 2/1. Wow, i get to win. Flash in Dictate #2 and then palm his 2/1. 2×2=4 4×2=8 palm 8×2=16 16×2=32 to the face. Had he attacked with any other man i would have had to draw the game but woot for me.

This deck is not perfect, but there is a ton going for it. Good mana if a little floody at times. I would like a way to get to 5 or even 7 reliably but then never draw another land again or a way to use extra lands. Something like Tormenting Voice if it was an instant would be great. There is also the option to go Jeski for the charm and your own digs. That would let us have less Dictates in the list but still find them a fair amount of games. While increasing the number of 4 damage burn spells and allowing us some other options/tricks. Another perk of adding in blue mana is the option to add in more scry lands. Magma Jet was the deck MVP allowing me to push away extra lands once they were no longer needed was great, and more scry would be welcome.

Circle of Flame was both the worse card and one of the best. So hard to explain why i chose to run 2 in the main vs just having them in the sideboard and i am not sure i can other then to say they can win some game ones that we should loose and when they are bad they are super easy to cut. There is a card that i ended up leaving out of the deck and i am thinking that it might have to work its way in the 75 someplace, Spite of Mogis. This is should be a great card in a 27 instant & sorcery deck. Card is almost Swords to Plowshares in this current standard.

As always, please leave a comment if you have feedback.

<3s