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Author Topic: Mattblog! for all things Matt  (Read 34621 times)
AngryPheldagrif
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« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2008, 03:11:04 am »

I saw the question several times but I haven't really come up with a good response until now.

The reason you take Finks is not just because it is a more powerful card overall, nor even because it goes into any deck you can draft other than UB, but because of what it forces your neighbor into. Finks fits into GW, GR, or UW, with the first and third being the more powerful archetypes. Meanwhile, the next guy over is looking at X/R and you can easily manipulate this by passing him workhorse green cards and forcing him into GR. Or you can cut green hard and force him into improvising with B/R, U/R jank, or even abandoning it altogether (though when red starts flowing to him in pack 2 he is likely to fall into the trap and take it up again).

The net result in any situation is that you effectively have the entire rest of the first pack to put your neighbor into whatever color combination you want, and stand to clean up in pack two.

I will say that in 99% of packs I will NEVER take Burn Trail P1P1, unless every other card is mediocre. Getting passed Burn Trail is just an average signal. If I get passed a Finks in a pack with the rare still present, I jump for joy and wonder what the guy on my side is smoking.

Even forgetting EVERYTHING said above, I will say on the record that Burn Trail is overrated. It is a sorcery-speed lightning bolt for  {3} more with hard-to-attain option of tapping down on your turn to add a second copy. It is at its best against mediocre opposing cards and is extremely vulnerable (mainly due to being a sorcery) to the god enchantments, persist creatures, and simple creatures with toughness over 3. Were it simply an instant, the card would be several magnitudes better.
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« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2008, 11:53:59 pm »

A strong 3-0 tonight. We had exactly 8 people, including Kevin. My deck was similar to last week's but with red instead of white. The player to my right also drafted G/R, so I wound up with little removal, but that's okay, I got tons of great guys.

P1P1 I was torn between Wasp Lancer and Scuttlemutt. I should have taken the Mutt, to keep my options open, but I took the Lancer since it seems few people here go blue, and I was expecting to reap the rewards of that. What I was NOT expecting was ot get passed a Firespout! I learned later he took a Finks over it, which is obviously a mistake but not as bad as it could be (the kid's pretty new to Magic, cut him some slack). Anyway I shifted straightaway into R/G. A string of mid-to-late picks went Sabotage, Smash, Sabotage, and it was a minor relief knowing my sideboard was full up.

P2P1 I wasn't sure whether to take Finks or hate/raredraft Thistledown Liege. I shrugged and took Finks. Somewhere around P2P4 I a choice of Tattermunge Duo #2 or Biting Tether. I mentally kicked myself for not having taken that Scuttlemutt, but since I already had a Farhaven, I took the blue bomb. Later I go back-to-back Devoted Druids, which was hot.

P3P1 I don't remember (Valleymaker seems likely), but P3P2 I got passed a Mirrorweave by the same kid that passed me a Firespout. Yoink! In this pack I picked up/hated two cards that went shockingly late: 11th pick Turn to Mist, 12th pick Lurebound Scarecrow.

//Drafted July 16th, 2008: 3-0 (0 byes)

Bloodmark Mentor
2 Devoted Druid
Juvenile Gloomwidow

Kitchen Finks
Farhaven Elf
Tattermunge Duo

Drove of Elves
Slinking Giant
Mudbrawler Raiders

Scuzzback Marauders
Crabapple Cohort
Wicker Warcrawler

Foxfire Oak
Morselhoarder
Inescapable Brute
Valleymaker (MVP)

Runes of the Deus
Firespout
Gleeful Sabotage
Gloomwidow's Feast
Presence of Gond
Biting Tether

9 Forest
7 Mountain
1 Island

SB: 2 Safehold Duo
SB: Wild Swing
SB: Gleeful Sabotage
SB: Lurebound Scarecrow
SB: Smash to Smithereens

This was a great deck, with three (should have been four) accelerants, three (should have been four) blue sources for my splash bomb, and tons and tons of fat. Plus a great assortment of spells (Feast, Sabotage, Smash, Runes).

The Duos didn't make it since I had only one other white spell, the Finks. Kevin had accumulated a stock U/W deck with no special tricks apart from a Power of Fire. I told him not to run Ghastly Discovery.

Round one was against another slow, fat R/G deck. I went turn2 Bloodmark, turn5 Scuzzback, which gave his Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers pause. I held Firespout in hand, but he dropped a Morselhoarder and then Rage Reflection, stymieing my offense (which had gotten him to 3 after he made a bad attacking error), followed with a Blazethorn Scarecrow. I was working on a way to break through (probably involving Firespout) when he Ember Gale'd and swung for 18. Poof!

+1 Sabotage, +1 Wild Swing, -1 Gloomwidow's Feast, -1 Juvenile Gloomwidow

Games 2 and 3, however, I just kept the pressure up and he didn't quite keep up. Game 3 he again had Rage Reflection, but I Sabotaged it along with a Chainbreaker and he didn't recover from that.

+2 Safehold Duo (warm body), -1 Bloodmark Mentor, -1 Foxfire Oak

Round two was against a B/r deck. He won game one off three plays: Scar on my Bloodmark Mentor enchanted with Gond, running my Scuzzback into a Sickle Ripper, and him Gloomlancing my Morselhoarder while my only card was Drove of Elves. Game 2 I won by coming out very fast: turn 3 Scuzzback, followed by whatever. Again my Gond-enchanted creature (this time a Druid) died to a Cultbrand Cinder. His Blowfly Infestation wiped the board, but I followed up with a Crabapple and that was that.

On second thought, I went dropped Gond and brought Oak back in.

Game three was loooong. He had Corrosive Mentor and he just kept withering and Torturing my guys down. I had a Duo which I enchanted with Runes and swung. He used the black Wisp and a withering Sootwalker, thinking it would kill it, but my guy survived due to his green-triggered pump. He kept polluting the board with more black guys and I couldn't seem to get his stupid Mentor to die (since I had no removal). Kevin loaned us his coins but we ran out of them and had to use torn-up rules inserts. I think there were 15 or 16 -1/-1 counters on the board at one point. All the while I was keeping Valleymaker in hand, along with another card, to guard against Gloomlance. Eventually I ran him out of cards and dropped the Valleymaker and that was enough to win. He did manage to Torture my Warcrawler to death, however!

Round three was against a U/w/b deck. I know he had double Silkbind, but I pretty much ran him over 2-0. Inescapable Brute was very nasty when he stalled on just two guys, since every turn it killed a guy and lived to tell about it. Valleymaker did a lot of burning.

I never once drew Tether, and though I had Firespout several times, I never got to cast it. Oh well!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 12:00:15 am by Matt » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2008, 08:36:49 am »

I'll post my deck later, but I just wanted to raise one discussion point.  I've been finding Advice from the Fae particularly spicy.  Obviously it's awesome in a UW deck like mine that is almost always ahead on guys, but even when I wasn't ahead, it's always been sick.  Anyone else have experience with it?
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« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2008, 12:14:38 pm »

I'll post my deck later, but I just wanted to raise one discussion point.  I've been finding Advice from the Fae particularly spicy.  Obviously it's awesome in a UW deck like mine that is almost always ahead on guys, but even when I wasn't ahead, it's always been sick.  Anyone else have experience with it?
I've had it a couple of times, and it's always been amazing.  If you're behind, it really helps you dig to find a way out, and if you're ahead, it helps you bury your opponent.  I always hate passing it.  In general, I'd have to say that all of those spells are very good. The green one is probably the only one not worth paying 4C or more for.
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« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2008, 12:10:04 am »

Flame Javelin is the only one I'll pay {6} for, though.

I've never been as impressed by Advice as you guys. It's certainly playable, but I keep expecting it to be an instant. Out of the four or so times I've cast it, I've only 'kicked' it once.
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« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2008, 08:44:32 am »

Seeing 5 cards is generally enough to get there for me and find something good.  That's something like 1/6th of your remaining deck; it's far better in Limited than it ever would be in Constructed.

By the way, Mirrorweave + Lurebound Scarecrow does not cause a Wrath of God.  I blanked on the obvious rule that basically says, "If something looks for a nonexistent choice, that ability does nothing."  It's designed to keep the game from breaking in these sorts of situations.
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« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2008, 12:41:13 am »

P1P1: Grim Poppet, although there was some spicy uncommon I forget. P1P2 Biting Tether over Mistmeadow Witch. Then I picked up Briarberry Cohort, Faerie Swarm, and another Cohort. I was rocking monoblue until about 12th pick in pack two, when I flirted briefly with U/W.

//Drafted July 23rd, 2008: 2-1 (0 byes)

2 Briarberry Cohort

Leech Bonder
Tatterkite
Wingrattle Scarecrow
Thistledown Duo
Parapet Watchers

Faerie Swarm
Wanderbrine Rootcutters
Barrenton Cragtreads
2 Kinscaer Harpoonist

Grim Poppet

Grief Tyrant
Puncture Bolt

Curse of Chains
Torpor Dust
2 Consign to Dream
2 Aethertow
Mirrorweave
Biting Tether
Flow of Ideas

13 Island
3 Mountain

SB: Drowner Initiate
SB: Cerulean Wisps
SB: Illuminated Folio
SB: Thoughtweft Gambit
SB: Scarscale Ritual
SB: Steel of the Godhead
SB: Helm of the Ghastlord
SB: 2 Whimwader

Eh, I was not impressed by this deck. I passed a Blight I should have taken (and should have splashed black with Tyrant instead of red). I was very lacking in creatures overall, and especially the hybrid guys, whose power you need to make a nearly-mono-color deck work. At least my noncreature spells rocked.

I totally missed the fact that Aethertow has conspire in one game in round two, sending one guy back when it should have been a two-man blowout. I also walked a guy straight into an on-board G/W witch activation in round one. I'm terrible at actually PLAYING the decks, though I think I build well and draft OK.
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« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2008, 01:13:27 am »

Eventide Release event! I opened my cards, and laid out my deck: wow, not very inspiring. One bomb rare, and in a terrible color (Ashling the Exterminator). My blue is horrendously terrible, except for some W/U cards. It's super easy to drop black, blue, and green for having nothing at all to reccommend them leaving W/R as the weapon of choice:

//Eventide release event, July 27th, 2008: 2-2 (0 byes)

Turn to Mist
Barkshell Blessing
Unmake
Recumbent Bliss
Fire at Will
Double Cleave
Flame Jab
Curse of Chains
Wild Swing
Armored Ascension

Rustrazor Butcher
Puresight Merrow

Tatterkite
Ballynock Cohort
Thistledown Duo
2 Flickerwisp
Hearthfire Hobgoblin
Boggart Arsonists
Duergar Hedge-Mage

Scrapbasket
Watchwing Scarecrow
Ballynock Trapper
Cultbrand Cinder

11 Plains
5 Mountain

SB: Woeleecher
SB: Painter's Seevant
SB: Smash to Smithereens
SB: Patrol Signaler
SB: Scuzzback Scrapper
SB: Elvish Hexhunter
SB: Rage Reflection

I was really short on playable guys, but I had a great assortment of spells. Round one I was smashed by a W/G deck which I couldn't race (and racing is all this deck can do to win). I won round two against a similar, but worse, W/R deck. Round three I won, let's be honest, on the back of my opponent's manascrew. Partially he brought it on himself, running probably too few islands for a deck with most of its good spells in blue, and partially on my skills at shuffling/cutting his deck. He showed me his deck, and it was packed full of great stuff; on paper, I lose every time.

Round four I don't really remember.

Afterwards I engaged in a team draft. I started off with Thistledown Liege, then for pick two had to choose between Thistledown Duo, Steel of the Godhead, and Trip Noose. Obviously Trip Noose is the best call, but it meant signaling to my downstream that W/U was open, which it wasn't supposed to be. White dried up pretty harshly soon thereafter, and I ended pack one with only 5-7 playables.

In pack 3, the Eventide pack, if I had realized it, I would have dove into U/G and been able to grab 3 Mimics. But I realized this too late...still, I picked up a lot of the beefy middle of my deck in pack 3, along with an Inundate that would go great in my nearly mono-blue deck.

One guy who wound up on my team had a crazy good R/G deck, with Jaws of Stone and TWO Firespout. My deck was not a good deck, but I played it to the best of my ability.

There were a bunch of crazy situations in these games, but I'm too tired to write them down and I won't remember them in the morning, so just imagine a series of tense races, clogging the boards, and making just the right tempo decision at just the right time, three or four times per game, every match. I was 2-1 in matches against the opposing team (the loss was to a silly W/G deck with Oversoul AND Wilt-leaf Liege, and plenty of other goodies), and down 0-1 in my final match, when it was announced that our team had accumulated the requisite 9 match wins and were the victors. We drafted the rares and uncommons, including playing War for the non-money ones. I got a lot of neat stuff for that.

I believe my deck looked something like this:

Inundate
Cerulean Wisps
SB: Spell Syphon
Trip Noose
Torpor Dust
Clout of the Dominus
Oona's Grace

Somnomancer
Tatterkite
Wingrattle Scarecrow
Wicker Warcrawler
Stream Hopper
Slippery Boggle (sided in sometimes for a warm body)
Riverfall Mimic
Noggle Bandit
Noggle Bridgebreaker
Sturdy Hatchling
Trapjaw Kelpie
SB: Nucklavee
Thistledown Liege
2 Merrow Levitator
Parapet Watchers
Wanderbrine Rootcutters
Faerie Swarm
SB: Advice from the Fae

17 Island (often sideboarded down to 16)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 01:30:10 am by Matt » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: July 31, 2008, 12:33:17 am »

I'll post thoughts about my draft later, but I want to see what you all would have done with this pool:

Hobgoblin Dragoon
2 Kithkin Spellduster
2 Oona's Grace
Scourge of the Nobilis
2 Dream Thief
2 Shell Skullkin
Talonrend
Streamhopper
Hotheaded Giant
Raven's Crime
2 Jawbone Skulkin
Heartlash Cinder
Inside Out
Slippery Bogle
2 Recumbent Bliss
6 Snakeform
2 Clout of the Dominus
Flame Jab
Shorecrasher Mimic
3 Riverfall Mimic
Duergar Assailant
Noggle Ransacker
Fire at Will
Puncture Blast
Grazing Kelpie
Noggle Bridgebreaker
2 Merrow Levitater
2 Grazing Kelpie
Cache Raiders
Duergar Cave-Guard
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« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2008, 06:39:35 pm »

Sorry for the delay, it was super-late when I got back.

As you can see, Kevin's pod did EEE, while mine did SEE. I started off Silkbind, then Armored Ascension, but the white hit the brakes hard after that and I went into pack 2 looking at U/G. When I saw lots of Izzet coming, I switched to RU and wound up with a killer deck, possibly the best I've ever drafted:

//Drafted, July 31st, 2008: 2-1 (0 byes)

2 Riverfall Mimic
Inkfathom Infiltrator

Parapet Watchers
Silkbind Faerie
3 Noggle Bandit

3 Merrow Levitator
Shrewd Hatchling
Noggle Bridgebreaker
Wanderbrine Rootcutters
Watchwing Scarecrow

Savage Conception
Aerie Ouphes

Spitting Image (was Inside Out originally)

Flow of Ideas
2 Clout of the Dominus
2 Snakeform

13 Island
4 Forest

SB: Inside Out
SB: Savage Conception
SB: Dream Thief
SB: 2 Oona's Grace
SB: Gravelgill Duo
SB: Kinscaer Harpoonist
SB: Razorfin Abolisher
SB: Bloom Tender
SB: Idle Thoughts
SB: Kithkin Zealot
SB: Cenn's Enlistment
SB: Inquisitor's Snare

My only concern was all the R/W I had to pass. If I had pushed for it, I could have had at least four R/W Mimics! This would prove portentous, as the guy who slurped up all those goodies would meet me in the finals and stomp me 2-0. He also had Crackleburr, wtf.

I really wanted to play both Savage Conceptions, but I didn't think I could splash TWO double-green cards. This is my favorite kind of manabase in this format: almost mono-color, with a small splash. Much nicer than 10/7 or something.

Parapet Watchers possibly should have been Razorfin Abolisher. I really don't know, but my mistake was not even considering it.

The rounds themselves weren't terribly interesting, so I'll just hit the highlights:

I actually sided the green out for the white (Snare, Enlistment) against the lightning-fast R/W deck in round 3.

Snakeform is really disgustingly good at killing things with -1/-1 counters on them. I nuked more than one Hatchling this way.

Clout of the Dominus is my new favorite card in this format. Shroud is SO GOOD, especially on El Burro Bandito. Haste is nice too.

Getting more than one Levitator out was sick, sick, sick. I loved being able to go: tap Lev to give itself flying, do the same with the other, then cast a Noggle to untap both and activate Mimic. Swing for 7 unblockable, then next turn drop a Clout and do it again for 11 more unblockable! Some really huge beats.

In one casual game against Kevin, I had the Ouphes/Levitator combo going, which was sick enough, but then I jazzed it up with Spitting Image to be able to kill two of his guys each turn. It was just as well, my Hatchling wearing a Clout was going to kill him soon anyway...
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« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2008, 07:48:14 pm »

Merrow Levitator is far better than he seems.  I had him in some early drafts and he was unimpressive.  In this draft, he was quite silly.  First, he kills every guy that gets Snakeformed, since it untaps them.  But I saw him put to good use in Matt's draft by tapping to jump itself and then untapping because you played a blue spell.  It's really easy to get a good concentration of them, especially since Eventide has so many spells that give you cards.

Cache Raiders was so much better than expected.  I figured that in most decks he's going to be fine, but that every other five drop is more impressive than him.  I was wrong; Matt saw so many of the cool things that Cache Raiders can do.  He can pick up auras to move them around, making it easier to play one on an singly on-color guy.  He obviously picks up land, which turns out to be fine with Flame Jab.  He also just picks up random guys that have been Pacified or that trigger your Mimics.
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« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2008, 11:46:20 pm »

2-1 tonight, we actually did S/S/E. It wasn't too bad, but I liked S/E/E better.

This was a very good deck. I started off Recap, Duo, Gouger, and was off to the races. If I had seen anything worth splasing in blue, I might have gone R/u over R/w, but whatever. My hardest pick was P2P3, Gouger #2 or Silkbind. I'm not sure what I should have done.

//Drafted August 06th, 2008: 2-1 (0 byes)

Duergar Assailant
Intimidator Initiate

Riverfall Mimic
2 Mudbrawler Cohort
Heartlash Cinder

Ashenmoor Gouger
Tattermunge Duo
Silkbind Faerie

Murderous Redcap
Horde of Boggarts
Cragganwick Cremator
Sootwalkers
Hatchet Bully

Cultbrand Cinder
Dominus of Fealty
Balefire Liege

Ember Gale
Prison Term
Turn to Mist
Giantbaiting
Flame Jab

14 Mountain
4 Plains

SB: Mudbrawler Raiders
SB: Poison the Well
SB: Ember Gale
SB: Fists of the Demigod
SB: Crimson Wisps
SB: Smash to Smithereens

I would have liked another Initiate or more burn (some kind of reach, anyway), the Powers and Bolts and Blasts get hated something fierce. Heartlash Cinder was a good man, always 4/1 or better. It's possible I should have played the second Gale, but I'm not sure over what. Possibly the Horde, which I never cast (always had better things to do with the mana).

Round one I just outclassed my opponent's G/W deck, which really didn't seem to do anything, which was kind of unexpected because he's usually a very good drafter.

Round two I beat Anusien/Kevin. I lost the first game to his R/W mimic enchanted with Scourge of the Nobilis; I could have counterattacked with Heartlash to bring him to 3. But he kept a 1-land hand in game two which I rolled over, and my big 5-drop rares came out to play in game three.

Round three, I definitely had the better deck. I won game one easily. Game two I lost to Oona, which is no shame, but game three I came out very strong, knocking him to 5 by about turn seven, but then I got a glut of land (six in a row!) while he dropped Blight on me and piled on the 3/3s. A Kulrath Knight did most of his dirty work. I should have brought in the other Gale.
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« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2008, 11:12:12 pm »

Cashed in my store credit at the closest shop tonight after my plans for the evening fell through. Started off with a weak pack, taking Heartmender. But I then went on a spree, taking Finks, Rosheen, Safehold Elite, and then a late Prison Term. For awhile it wasn't clear whether I was green or white as my base, but since if I was white I would probably be W/r, Rosheen was still playable either way. Pack two coughed up a silly third-pick Trip Noose and when an 8th pick Puncture Bolt came my way, I committed mentally to W/r. Pack two didn't really supply much, maybe 4-6 cards of the final product.

I cracked pack three and was horrified to choose between Dominus of Fealty and Puncture Blast. I knew I'd never swing RRRRR, so I regretfully took the Blast. Pick two I had to choose between a Jab and a Mimic; I took the Jab after much consideration (I really wanted a critical mass of r/w hybrid cards) and I'm glad I did because the mimic tabled. Nice.

//Drafted August 12th, , 2008: 3-0 (1 bye)

Bloodmark Mentor
2 Battlegate Mimic
Safehold Elite

Duergar Mine-Captain
Boggart Arsonists
Kitchen Finks

Heartmender
Cenn's Enlistment
Rosheen Meanderer
Ballynock Trapper
Duergar Cave-Guard

Scuzzback Marauders
Kithkin Spellduster

Barkshell Blessing
Flame Jab
Puncture Bolt
Curse of Chains
Trip Noose
Inquisitor's Snare
Puncture Bolt
Prison Term
Illuminated Folio

7 Mountain
10 Plains

SB: Kithkin Zealot
SB: Safehold Duo
SB: Barrenton Cragtreads
SB: Cinder Pyromancer
SB: Resplendent Mentor

This was a great deck. Look at all that removal! Plus I had Heartmender with like six other persist guys; I was hoping to get Mender+Spellduster going at some point.

But I have a question: did I make the right calls on my selection of 4cc cards? Mostly I'm concerned that Cenn's Enlistment should have been Barrenton Cragtreads. Since I really couldn't tell which was better, I picked the CE on the basis that it worked well with Mine-Captain.

Illuminated Folio never got cast, and probably should have been a SB card. Otherwise I was pleased with the deck in all aspects.

Round one: bye. Bah, humbug. Scouting revealed that one guy had managed to accumulate Ghastlord of Fugure, Overbeing of Myth, AND the Dominus I passed. He also had a Blight and Leech Bonder. I hoped not toget paired with him.

Round two: I got paired with him. Damn. But I came out super fast in game one, and took him down, although he used a Macabre to take out my Flame Jab recursion. I sided Spellduster out for Pyromancer, on the assumption that I would need reach, and that I hadn't seen anything to Dust.

Partway into game two, my Pyromancer got stranded in hand by his Leech Bonder, but I had a Finks and a Rosheen beating down. When he tried to use Bonder a second time (first had shrunk my Rosheen), I Blasted it in response, then untapped and dropped Pyromancer, gleefully looking at his 4 life. Apparently he didn't like this and Blighted the board clear. I dropped a Mimic, he dropped Isleback Spawn, while I stared at the Curse of Chains and Prison Term in my hand.

The game stalled out a bit then; he couldn't race, and I couldn't get past his huge Spawn. I added a Boggart Arsonists to the board, then he played Noggle Ransacker. This turned out great for me; it drew me Cenn's Enlistment AND Flame Jab, and I had been stockpiling land in my hand. I discarded Curse of Chains randomly, and began my turn. I drew a second mountain and won: I Prison Termed his Noggle (since I couldn't target the Spawn) and swung with both guys, losing one but bringing him to 2, then Jabbed him, played Mountain #2, and discarded a Plains to Jab For The Win.

In round three I played against a nearly mono-black deck, splashing for Torrent of Souls and maybe a few burn spells I guess. He had a Gift of the Deity and plenty of targets, and Kulrath Knight and plenty of wither guys, but his deck was somewhat slow and I ran him over pretty well by playing 2-drop, 3-drop, and just removing everything he tried to play while beating for 4-5 a turn. He had a couple Edge of the Divinity too, and all those auras got him kind of blown out by Snare, Term, and Chains (and the burn would have done too except I didn't draw it).
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« Reply #43 on: August 13, 2008, 10:24:47 am »

I have to say I've had Folio a number of times and it has never been good for me.  It always ends up just sitting in my hand while I do stuff that matters.  At this point I just don't take it anymore and hope someone else falls into that trap.
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« Reply #44 on: August 13, 2008, 10:43:11 am »

I saw a mono-red guy play it.  He cast it, it cost him a turn, and he kept activating it and not getting much with it.  I think if it was ever good, it was before retrace, since that's basically the same idea, but it doesn't punish you for drawing lands instead of spells.
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« Reply #45 on: August 13, 2008, 04:26:26 pm »

I've seen Folio be good AGAINST me. It can break stalemates real well, I just have only gotten it in very aggressive decks like this one where you don't really ever get stalemated.
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« Reply #46 on: August 21, 2008, 12:02:42 am »

I forgot to write up last week's draft! Here it is!

//Drafted August 13th, 2008: 2-1 (0 byes)

2 Duergar Assailant
2 Cinder Pyromancer
Hotheaded Giant
Hatchet Bully
Outrage Shaman
Balefire Liege

Stream Hopper
2 Riverfall Mimic
Noggle Bandit
2 Crag Puca
Noggle Bridgebreaker
4 Clout of the Dominus

2 Flame Jab
2 Puncture Blast
Unwilling Recruit

16 Mountain

SB: 1 Hotheaded Giant
SB: 3 Heartlash Cinder

Triple Eventide is nutty. Look at all that crazy R/U. I had one Heartlash main over a Cinder Pyromancer, which was a mistake I've corrected in the list above.

First I crushed a slow white deck. Not worth talking about, as he couldn't block anything I did.

The match I dropped was against a good W/B/R deck; we were 1-1, when I kept a risky 1-land hand in the third game, with Stream Hopper, Assailant, Flame Jab, Riverfall Mimic, and other cheap cards, but stalled for several turns. If I'd gotten my second (and third) land on schedule, I would have blown him out; as it was, he almost took me down with a Mimic+Scourge of the Nobilis, but I topdecked my third land to Blast it back down. But it was for naught, as by then I was under 8 life, and he eventually swarmed me.

Third match was also pretty much a blowout, the only noteworthy thing was getting out two Pyromancers and going:

EOT, zap for 2 (14)
Untap, zap for 2 (12,, play Crag Puca, zap (10), play Clout on the Puca, zap (8), attack for 4 (blocked).
Untap, zap (6), play Balefire Liege, zap (4), play Flame Jab and burn you out.


Now for tonight's SSE, a much more subdued format:

//Drafted August 20th, 2008: 2-1 (0 byes)

Vexing Shusher
Medicine Runner
Juvenile Gloomwidow

Gilder Bairn
2 Wistful Selkie
Hungry Spriggan
Gloomwidow
Farhaven Elf
Scuttlemutt

Craggenwick Cremator
Wilt-Leaf Liege
Hatchet Bully
Wildslayer Elves
Shrewd Hatchling

Cultbrand Cinder
Crabapple Cohort

3 Favor of the Overbeing
Ember Gale
Rekindled Flame
Puncture Bolt

11 Forest
6 Mountain

SB: Woodlurker Mimic
SB: Mudbrawler Cohort
SB: Flourishing Defenses
SB: Gloomwidow's Feast
SB: Smash to Smithereens

SB: Banishing Knack
SB: Pila-Pala

I opened the Shusher P1P1 and the Liege P1P2 after I was already well into green. The plan was originally to shoot for being G/R in Shadowmoor and being able to get both R/U and U/G from Eventide, but I never got the blue worth getting. I did have the Knack and Pila-Pala (plus the Gilder Bairn) and two manafixers to cast it, but never wanted it. I took the Rekindled Flame over a Snakeform; not sure if that was right.

Dropped a game I should have mulliganed; five land, a Form, and a Hatchet Bully. His hand sucked too; Inkfathom Infiltrator only, but when he Clouted it up, I couldn't stop it at all and a mana glut kept me from racing it. That game cost me the match when we split the next two.

Round two I rolled over a guy playing Apothecary Initiates and Goldenglow Moth. Whatever. I did drop game one to a double-mulligan though.

Round three I was against Kevin (Anusien). He got game one largely from being on the play with mono-red; I almost stabilized, but he was just a wee bit too fast. I stomped him game two (did he hit me at all?) after siding in some cheaper guys just to be warm bodies, and then game three he mulled to five and again put up little resistance.
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« Reply #47 on: September 03, 2008, 11:18:21 pm »

One of the weirdest draft decks yet tonight!

I opened a Ghastlord of Fugue and grabbed it, probably looking to be blue. About four picks in I saw a Puca's Mischief, but passed it for something else better. But when the very next pack had ANOTHER Mischief and nothing else for me, I remembered stories I'd heard about the PM being surprisingly strong, so I took it. When the other Mischief tabled, I knew to start drafting around them!

I made a boneheaded pick of Mimic over Snakeform in P3P1. Snakeform is probably the better card overall, but what made it really bad was that I had a very very controlling deck, and never would need to smash face for 5. It also didn't help that I saw virtually no G/U cards...until the one pack with SIX of them. Argh.

I ended up with 3 Banishing Knack. That can't be right. They worked super well with Mischief, getting my guys back. I iwsh I'd had more than one guy to abuse them with though.

Here's the deck. Notice all the cards I can give away with Mischief to little or no ill effect: 2 Farhaven Elf, Dust, 2 Gond, sometimes Faerie Swarm or Briarberry Cohort, or a depleted Ouphes. I also had a hot hot Cache Raiders/Farhaven thing going in round 3.

//Drafted September 3rd, 2008: 2-1 (1 byes)

2 Shorecrasher Mimic
Briarberry Cohort

2 Farhaven Elf
Parapet Watchers
Silkbind Faerie

2 Watchwing Scarecrow
Wilderness Hypnotist
Faerie Swarm

Ghastlord of Fugue
Aerie Ouphes
Cache Raiders

Torpor Dust
2 Puca's Mischief
Consign to Dream
2 Banishing Knack
2 Presence of Gond
Inundate

12 Island
5 Forest

SB: Dream Fracture
SB: Hungry Spirggan
SB: Aerie Ouphes
SB: Banishing Knack
SB: Somnomancer
SB: Monstrify
SB: Isleback Spawn
SB: Gleeful Sabotage
SB: Wingrattle Scarecrow
SB: Slippery Bogle

I lost round 1 to a nearly mono-black deck: I got game 1 on Puca trading profitably over and over. Game 2 I drew like 10 lands and 4 nonlands. Game three I was winning with Briarberry and Silkbind, but he outraced me when I stalled on 3 lands with a host of more expensive cards in hand.

Round two I got a bye. Waste of an hour.

Round 3 I lost game 1 to a pile of Giantbaitings, which left me very low. A U/G Hatchling that got pumped by Tattermunge Witch left me at 2, but I had good board presence (including a PM) and tons of mana from abusing Cache Raiders/Farhaven Elf and was about to turn the tide when he topdecked the Flame Javelin to kill me.

Game 2 he had a slow start. I Dusted his Vexing Shusher, and dropped turn 5 Ghastlord.

Game 3 he mulled to 5 and I made extremely profitable trades with Mischief - his Rustrazor Butcher whittled my Watchwing down to 0/1, but then I just swapped them, etc.

Double Mischief was hella fun. That card has risen in my estimation.
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« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2008, 11:22:22 pm »

Had a very good 3-0 performance tonight (2-0, 2-0, 2-1). I also continued my unbroken streak of beating the snot out of Kevin in draft.

From the very first pick I had all sorts of tough picks. My first and third packs were ludicrously strong. P1P1 it was Incremental Blight vs. foil Finks? I went Blight, since the pack ALSO contained a green cohort, white cohort, I.Snare, and something else good, and I wound up sending like 3 people downstream into green/white. I was torn through the entire first pack as to my second color, though - my pick order went Blight, Turn to Mist, Flame Javelin, Scuzzback Marauders, River's Grasp, etc. By the end I had Turn to Mist and an EXTREMELY late Ballynock Cohort in white, River's Grasp and Turn to Mist in blue, and Flame Javelin and Scuzzback in red.

In pack two I got hooked up massively, my early G/W signals paying off. I got a Gouger AND Lancer, and a Fists tabled late.

Eventide was as ridiculous as ever. I had to let someone get a third pick Murkfiend Liege, since I just couldn't use it, and there were also at least 3 Cache Raiders I saw floating about.

The deck:

//Drafted September 24th, 2008: 3-0 (0 byes)

Rustrazor Butcher
Spiteflame Witch

Wasp Lancer
Ashenmoor Gouger
Boggart Arsonists
Gwyllion Hedge-Mage
Faerie Macabre

Voracious Hatchling
Desecrator Hag
Canker Abomination
Sootwalkers
Wanderbrine Rootcutters
Smoldering Butcher

Scuzzback Marauders
Cultbrand Cinder

Flame Jab
Torture
Fate Transfer
Fists of the Demigod
Beseech the Queen
Flame Javelin
Cankerous Thirst
Incremental Blight

10 Swamp
7 Mountain

//sided in
SB: Torture
SB: Double Cleave
SB: Smolder Initiate
SB: Ember Gale

//did not side in but could have
SB: Smash to Smithereens
SB: Elemental Mastery
SB: 2 Edge of the Divinity
SB: Spiteful Visions

Desecrator Hag never did anything but every other maindeck card was great at least once. I actually found myself Beseeching for Flame Jab a lot - I really hate tutoring for a card, only to give the opponent a turn to play around it.

Voracious Hatchling probably deserves the MVP award. Lifelink won me at least two games.
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« Reply #49 on: October 18, 2008, 11:32:51 am »

Well that's it for Shadowmoor. I'll write about Shards, but in the Limited/T2 forum.
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« Reply #50 on: October 18, 2008, 11:35:52 am »

Wait, no it isn't, I forgot this one:

//Drafted October 1st, 2008: 2-1 (0 byes)

Intimidator Initiate

Briarberry Cohort
Somnomancer
Puresight Merrow
Emberstrike Duo
Sootstoke Kindler

2 Boggart Arsonists
Silkbind Faerie
Lurebound Scarecrow
Noggle Bandit
Noggle Hedge-Mage

Noggle Bridgebreaker
Murderous Redcap
Horde of Boggarts

Cultbrand Cinder

Clout of the Dominus
Banishing Knack
2 Fists of the Demigod
Knollspine Invocation
Fire at Will
Consign to Dream
Ember Gale

10 Mountain
6 Island

SB: Mudbrawler Raiders
SB: Rustrazor Butcher
SB: Heartlash Cinder
SB: Traitor's Roar
SB: Inescapable Brute
SB: Impelled Giant
SB: 2 Razorfin Abolisher
SB: Cinder Pyromancer

Don't remember anything about it though, other than Knollspine winning me a double-Paris game and 2 Fists not being too many even with only 4 B/R guys.
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« Reply #51 on: December 28, 2008, 10:28:00 pm »

New blog topic: Two of my friends who used to play back in the day just decided to pick the game up again. I will document the process here.

Player A sold all his cards years ago - he quit sometime before Mirage. Was always enamored of Royal Assassin (who wasn't?) and Noritt (go figure). To begin with, he bought a 10th ed. intro pack and the Grixis theme deck. Since then he bought a ~2000 card collection on ebay (for a price that was honestly too much, but it did include some nice stuff), and a "Vampire deck" he seemed to think would be a Legacy powerhouse. I didn't have the heart to explain just how horribly beaten that deck would be against literally any legacy deck.

Player B joined up a little later, but still had his cards from back in the day: a green deck with elves and wild growth powering into Erhnams, Craw Wurms, Craw Giants, and Force of Nature, backed by Stream of Life (?) and Fog (!); and a little red number with various goblins (and their grenade), Giant Strength, and Fireball/Disintegrate. Fairly pedestrian for decks from 1996, real "Shandalar" stuff.

As for myself, I decided to hold back and restrict myself, not too finely-tuning my decks and limiting the portion of my collection I'd be using. I put together some fun and strategically-varied decks, using only older cards. At first even these casual decks were overpowering their concoctions, but the gap has been steadily decreasing. Lists follow:

//5cU Control ("Donais")
1 Telepathy
1 Flood
1 Sylvan Library

1 Cursed Totem
1 Aeliopile
1 Snake Basket
1 Elkin Bottle
1 Zuran Orb
1 Jester's Cap
1 Sol Ring
3 Fellwar Stone

1 Mind Twist
1 Demonic Tutor
2 Gaea's Blessing
1 Regrowth
1 Braingeyser
1 Balance
1 Savage Twister
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Swords to Plowshares
2 Disenchant

4 Brainstorm
4 Mystical Tutor
4 Impulse
3 Arcane Denial

3 Rampant Growth
1 Swamp
1 Plains
1 Mountain
6 Island
3 Forest
2 Thawing Glaciers
1 Brushland
1 City of Brass
1 Strip Mine

(sometimes I drop the 'pile for Lobotomy)




//PropaOrb
4 Mana Leak
3 Swords to Plowshares
2 Disenchant
1 Regrowth

3 Winter Orb
4 Propaganda
2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Control Magic
1 Sylvan Library
1 Meekstone
1 Black Vise
1 Land Tax
1 Spirit Link

4 Birds of Paradise
2 Quirion Ranger
2 Tradewind Rider
2 Suq'Ata Firewalker
4 Ophidian
1 Man-o-War
1 Uktabi Orangutan

1 Sol Ring
1 Marble Diamond
1 Sky Diamond
1 Moss Diamond
5 Forest
7 Island
1 Plains
2 Undiscovered Paradise





3 Bayou
1 Taiga
1 Karplusan Forest
4 Swamp
1 Pendelhaven
1 City of Brass
1 Mountain Valley
1 Grasslands
1 Desert
4 Ebon Stronghold

4 Blood Pet
4 Ashen Ghoul
4 Nether Shadow
2 Krovikan Horror
3 Hidden Horror
1 Mercenary Knight
1 Spirit of the Night
1 Verdant Force
4 Hermit Druid

3 Soul Exchange
1 Oath of Ghouls
1 Stormbind
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Sylvan Library

4 Buried Alive
3 Firestorm
4 Hymn to Tourach





4 Necropotence
4 Demonic Consultation

4 Drain Life
3 Corrupt

4 Hymn to Tourach
3 Diabolic Edict
3 Spinning Darkness
4 Contagion

1 Zuran Orb
1 Ivory Tower
3 Nevinyrral's Disk
4 Order of the Ebon Hand

4 Dark Ritual
17 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Lake of the Dead

I also initially had a High Tide deck, but it was ridiculously overpowered. I kept putting further restrictions on it (making a hard cutoff at Saga, so no Snap or Cloud to untap; banning Time Spiral from it entirely, etc.) but it was just too good, so I abandoned it in favor of a W/u deck, using Runes of Protection and pro:black creatures plus Sleight of Mind to adapt to the circumstances. (List not available.)
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« Reply #52 on: December 28, 2008, 10:50:33 pm »

Player A's first attempt at deckbuilding was pretty sad. He put together a B/U deck out of his 10th/Grixis pile, but he lacked the cardpool depth to do anything, and had pretty pathetic card-evaluation skills to boot. 1/1 Swampwalk guy for B? Sorry buddy, not really playable. I quickly added red to his deck for some Shards power and that has since become his primary deck. Initially it focused on pingers - Vithian Stinger, Prodigal Pyromancer, and Blood Cultist - to do most of the dirty work of keeping the ground clear, with a varied removal suite (Soul Reap, Vicious Hunger, Ghastly Demise, Resounding Thunder) to back it up. Tidings and Cruel Ultimatum for draw power, and Vein Drinker & Sharding Sphinx for finishers. Some light countermagics (Syncopate and Prohibit).

It's interesting to watch what happens when you turn players loose who don't have any kind of Magic theory under their belts. He quickly identified Flame Jab as a pretty decent card, but cut all his pingers for it, reasoning that they did similar things, which, while true, completely ignores all principles of card advantage, which I don't think he'd ever had explained to him.

His skills are slowly improving. Out of his collection, and with about $3.50 boost from a local card store, I built for him a B/W "sacrifice" deck, centering largely around Phyrexian Ghoul/Nantuko Husk, Spawning Pit, Scavenger Drake, and token-makers like Nuisance Engine, Raise the Alarm, and Brood of Cockroaches (not a token but it can be repeatedly sacrificed, making it strong). Bone Splinters for removal, obviously; I tried to fit Welkin Hawk in, but he had only two and the store inexplicably had zero. Future plans include adding Grave Pact and Promise of Bunrei in the deck. There's not quite enough white to support Spectral Procession, though Jotun Owl Keeper does a respectable impression, and in some cases (opposing sweepers) is much better.

Unfamiliarity with "damage on the stack" has hobbled his success with it, but he likes the deck a lot (Ghoul and Drake can attain very large size, which is fun, and there's a lot of stuff to do each turn, which is very engaging). His most recent benchmark was to finally (FINALLY) start casting Raise the Alarm as an instant, not in his main phase. This is sooo crucial. Since correcting this, his largest remaining chronic mistake is to not hold back lands, both for bluffing and in case of drawing a Retrace spell. I suppose I could break out Geddons to try and force this lesson, but I'll give him time. (UPDATE: I took out the Cenn's Enlistment, since it was causing him to play wrongly, and the deck actually can use pretty much all the mana it can get.)

He's still not always remembering to charge his Spawning Pit with chump blockers, and missing other little tricks (sacrificing Husk to itself before casting Balance is something he keeps forgetting he can do), but I can't really blame him - Skirk Ridge Exhumer tricks can be really intricate, and some on-board kills aren't so obvious. It's easy to forget just how difficult it is for someone who isn't used to it to process all that goes on in a Magic game. There's just a ridiculous amount to keep track of, and this is a particularly complex deck, with many, many potential lines of play on most turns. I had this driven home to me last night when, after reminding him of an on-board kill he missed, he complained that I "just think too fast for [him]." Which is true, but not because of any innate intelligence; I just have a thousand hours more than he does behind the wheel.

All on his own, he also built a B/G deck centering around the hybrid stuff from Eventide. It's nothing special, but I figure that can be his deck, one that I never put any input into. It's not fun when no matter what you try, someone comes along and just says, "No, do it this way, it's better than whatever you were doing." He also threw together a pile of red cards which can be loosely termed a burn deck, but I doubt it could reliably beat a Sealed Deck; the less said about it, the better.
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« Reply #53 on: December 28, 2008, 11:35:46 pm »

Returning to my casual decks: the main problem, which I should have but didn't foresee, is that all of my decks are built to abuse some aspect of the game which was very difficult to abuse in 1996, and hence my proteges are not used to having to think about when constructing their decks. Hermit Druid is really only well-solved by graveyard removal, and who used Tormod's Crypt back then? The Donais redux is similar. The Propa-Orb deck takes advantage of the lack of artifact/enchantment removal in most decks, while Necropotence is just plain powerful.

To rectify this, I pulled a little reboot: I decided two things. First, I would bring myself back down to their level by using only my bulk draft leftover cards (containing no rares and few of the power uncommons like Firespout). Second, I would not be upgrading my semi-tuned 'old' decks (see first post) with new cards, although I might allow a little bleeding of unused older cards into any new decks I might concoct.

After it became apparent that Serendib Efreet was not a viable multiplayer creature, I tore up the W/u color-change deck and rebuilt it into a U/W control, with some card choices specifically intended for multiplayer games (asterisks below). This is the first of my decks merging old cards with new. Here is the result:

1 Icy Manipulator
1 Bottle Gnomes
1 Ivory Tower
1 Phyrexian Splicer*

1 Debt of Loyalty*
1 Ray of Command*
2 Legacy's Allure

1 Keep Watch*
1 Foresee

1 Meddle*
1 Desertion

2 Disenchant
1 Humble
3 Faith's Fetters
3 Wrath of God

1 Lurebound Scarecrow
1 Foriysian Interceptor
2 Guardian of the Guildpact
2 Longbow Archer
2 White Knight
1 Silver Knight
4 Heavy Ballista*
1 Morphling
1 Errant Ephemeron

11 Plains
7 Island
2 Esper Panorama
2 Bant Panorama
1 Azorius Chancery
1 Kjeldoran Outpost

It has a nice precon feel, sort of "my first control deck". The minor creature-stealing theme is fun, and the Ballistas (a strong rattlesnake card) make for good politics.

Neither player quite understood Morphling the first time they saw it. It took getting their targeted removal countered about four times for the lesson to sink in: don't try Pacifism on Morphling.
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« Reply #54 on: December 29, 2008, 01:56:02 am »

Matt,

Thanks a lot. This is a great set of posts. I too yearn for the peaceful days when we could sleeve up anything that struck our fancy.

Quote
a green deck with elves and wild growth powering into Erhnams, Craw Wurms, Craw Giants, and Force of Nature, backed by Stream of Life (?) and Fog (!)

Toss in some (ok, seven) Walls of Wood to replace the Erhnams (Arabian cards were hard to get), and replace the Craw Giant with a Gaea's Liege (Legends wasn't out yet), and you have where I started in Magic. The Killer Bees I got out of my first Legends pack was a great addition.

In a vein attempt to recapture those days, I've made a series of casual decks. Basically, just fun decks which are not powerful enough to be viable in any format, but which use mechanics which are fun to use. For example, I made a deck with Atogs and a bunch of artifacts. Another deck wraps random blue cards around Repulse and Exclude, two of the most fun to play cards of all time. There's a Goblin deck and an Elf deck, neither using the optimal cards at all. These are fun.

I just need to make a deck for Killer Bees.

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« Reply #55 on: December 29, 2008, 02:44:50 am »

A lot of scrubs in my meta learned a thing or two about playing against my many Mesmeric Orb decks (White Vigilance, Black NetherShadow/AshenGhoul/Skullclamp, and of course, Gaea Welders (with gaea's blessing)).

It taught a lot of people about "game plans", "answers", and "what your deck can deal with and what it can't"

In fact, taking any sucky deck and swapping 6-8 cards with Mesmeric Orbs and Gaea's Blessing pushed people to their next stage in Magic.

(most people who have faced my crappy Orb decks enjoyed the experience (as opposed to being sore losers) if only to understand a new dimension to their gameplay.)
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« Reply #56 on: December 29, 2008, 07:58:48 pm »

A lot of scrubs in my meta learned a thing or two about playing against my many Mesmeric Orb decks (White Vigilance, Black NetherShadow/AshenGhoul/Skullclamp, and of course, Gaea Welders (with gaea's blessing)).

It taught a lot of people about "game plans", "answers", and "what your deck can deal with and what it can't"

In fact, taking any sucky deck and swapping 6-8 cards with Mesmeric Orbs and Gaea's Blessing pushed people to their next stage in Magic.

(most people who have faced my crappy Orb decks enjoyed the experience (as opposed to being sore losers) if only to understand a new dimension to their gameplay.)
Hm, I don't think they're quite at that level yet. We still need to work a little on the raw mechanics of the game:

"Attack, THEN Fling your Atog"
"Don't play your creatures in your first main phase"
"Milling is useless unless it goes all the way"

That sort of thing. I'll worry about threats and answers when Player A stops putting Memory Sluice in his (non-milling) decks.

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« Reply #57 on: December 30, 2008, 02:21:49 am »

Not a whole lot changed in tonight's session, but I did get a chance to try out my Q deck:

4 Leech Bonder
4 Puresight Merrow
1 Pila-Pala

4 Power of Fire
4 Presence of Gond
4 Banishing Knack
2 Utopia Vow

3 Civic Wayfinder
3 Drift of Phantasms
4 Wickerbough Elder

3 Exoskeletal Armor
2 Repeal
1 Firespout

2 Seaside Citadel
1 Simic Growth Chamber
4 Terramorphic Expanse
2 Mountain
6 Island
5 Forest

It performed admirably. Once I got enough blue sources out, I was able to slowly but surely gun down everything on the board. I didn't lose a single game (all three-player multiplayer), but part of that was successful politicking and laying low.

I think it needs another land. Probably a bounceland? Not sure what to cut. Maybe an Exoskeletal Armor, they're not good early on. I like that the deck is very nearly standard-legal.

I had underestimated just how good Leech Bonder really is. His ability to move any counters opened up great vistas for me, when I realized I could steal the +1/+1 counters from my opponents' Scavenger Drakes and various vampires like Sengir or Mirri the Cursed.
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« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2009, 12:41:29 pm »

Hey Matt,

Great Topic to start a thread on.  I think that we can all go back to the days and remember the good times - which is NOT to say that tourny and current high level Vintage isn't good times.

I started playing when The Dark came out, and quit around Mirage or just as it had been released, having not bought any packs from the set.  I picked it back up at Mirrodon.  Before that happened, I had found my old cards one day and wanted to get back into it.  Having no knowledge of card shops in Toronto at the time I re-made a Goblin deck for a friends birthday.  I went through  the basics of turns and used a classic elf deck to battle it out with him.  As he learned, I gave him all the Goblins that I had and silly things like Goblin caves etc.  He quickly started to learn where the Gobbos were falling apart and what they needed to do to win a game of Magic.

It was at this point that I heard of 401 Convenience ( a store that sold smokes and gum, but really it was a front for a HUGE collection of Magic and other games/collectables(sp)) and we started blowing a silly amount of money on singles and started to build our casual decks from what we thought would be tight ways to abuse an area of play (for me it was a deck based on MyR Retriver and Diciple/Brain Freeze, with Tinker DSC as the secondary win condition).

Since then we've went on to play in tournys and found the decks that suit or personalities and play styles (Oath and Gobbos for him and Storm based and Drain based for me) - which still seem to fall in line with what we both started learning from.  I never mentioned it, but I actually started off as a mono U player, using clones and Dopplegangers w/ Icy's to beat my opponents w/ thier own decks.

We decided to make some casual decks as well and I of course went back into the hay days with my Mono U control, updated with Ley Line of Singularities and modern bounce/counters to fill it out.

4 Leyline of Singularity
4 Echoing Truth
4 Counterspell
4 Cancel
4 Control Magic
2 Icy Manipulator
4 Brainstorm
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Fabricate

4 Juggernaught
4 clone
4 vesuvan Doppleganger

19 Islands
1 Ice Flow

No side boards as I recall.

Well, thank-You Matt for creating this thread, it's been amazing to recapture the good ol' days and attempts to get em back.  I hope that your friends like my list and maybe even want to give straight control a shot, I know that it was a deck that served me well when I started (when creatures were king in high school games) and was a blast when updated for casual play.

Haunted.
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« Reply #59 on: January 25, 2009, 10:24:41 pm »

Two updates:

1. J. (formerly Player B) decided to go and buy some cards on his own (springing a G/U deck, based around the Mimic and associated hybrid & Simic stuff), and Ed (formerly Player A) also ebayed some rares for one of his decks. I'm very glad, since the increase percentage of rares means two things: first, more powerful cards on their end gives them a chance to win despite lackluster playskill; and second, it means that soon I can start incorporating more options into my decks. Very Happy Cards I just can't wait to bust out include: Isochron Scepter, the Wishes, Zombie Infestation, Armageddon, Fact or Fiction (!), and ultimately, my favorite card ever, Survival of the Fittest.

J. seems the more enthusiastic of the two; he loves playing something surprising, and usually green. First it was Fog and Giant Growth, now it's Yavimaya Ants and Snakeform (although who could blame him for the Ants? I love that card too!), and various white things like Righteousness and Graceful Reprieve.

Ed is more determined to get better as a player. J. is just looking for an entertaining time, but Ed seems to take it more personally when he sees a mistake he's made.



2. The playskill issue has reared its ugly head. When we all sit down for a multiplayer game, anyone can and does win, but whenever one of them drops out (to rebuild a deck or get a sandwich or something), we're left playing duels, and it's really hard for them to beat me, regardless of which decks we're piloting. I don't know if I've lost a 1v1 game against either player in...maybe ever. I'm at least 20-and-0 right now, and that can be real discouraging. Ed especially seems to take this hard.

The issue revolves around the very fundamentals of what it means to be 'good': I, like probably most of you, have hundreds or thousands of games under my belt, across many formats, across every archetype, serious play experience with a thousand different cards. In any matchup, I know what I have to do to win that matchup, and my friends as yet do not.

This is most easily understood in the mulligan: I know what hands to keep, and which to mull, not simply content to see some mix of lands + spells. However, this is most starkly seen in combat: I know, almost reflexively at this point, when to go on the offense, and when to hang back. Ed tends to always hang back unless he's sure he won't lose anything in combat (only attacking when he has a big flier, etc.) - especially with a deck like his token/Phyrexian Ghoul deck, he suffers badly from:

-not knowing when to just take a hit from an attacker (jealously guarding his life total - it doesn't help that this is actually a respectable plan in multiplayer games)

-when a 5/4 attacks, does he make his Ghoul a 4/4 and trade, or lose another token to make it a 6/6 and live?

-when to start a race (his answer seems to be, "when the opponent can't possibly hit me back at all")

-when to just start repeatedly sacrificing/replaying Brood of Cockroaches (this ties into the "guard life totals" thing, but also he doesn't make the best use of all his mana every turn)

and so on, a dozen more examples. He's gotten much better about strict mechanical things; he rarely forgets to put his chump blockers into Spawning Pit, or miss a Scavenging Drake counter; the only thing he still fucks up regularly is tapping his basics before his Orzhov Basillica. What he needs help with now is stuff like: do I play out Teysa this turn and Bone Splinters that fatty next turn, or the other way around? Etc. He doesn't have that instinctive sense of ebb and flow that defines Magic, doesn't know when to take a control deck into "aggro-control mode", and can't yet easily figure out Who's The Beatdown.

And so he loses when he and I play, and loses a lot (a friend who's never played Magic before was watching us, and remarked, "This game seems very one-sided...like Matt always has exactly what he needs to beat Ed.") I don't know how to best teach this stuff to him, except through long experience. I may start just narrating over one player's shoulder while Ed and J. play each other. One silver lining is that, because my winning streak has been continuous regardless of what I'm playing or what I'm playing against, there's never been any kvetching about luck. Ed can play B/W Ghoul and lose about 50/50 against J.'s Green Fat deck, but when I take the wheel and go 6-0 he can tell that there's something I'm doing differently, and he's determined to figure out what that is. That's a good attitude to have.




I kind of want to just start doing drills, like having him watch over my shoulder and list all the lines of play he sees as worth considering, and pointing out any that he missed. Ideally, I would walk him through the dozen thought processes that inform every one of my turns, so he could see just how engaged he has to be to play at a higher level. It's really astonishing how much a player has to know to even navigate a single turn correctly. Even on the first turn, even when you have no 1-drop, there's a multitude of things to consider:

Should I mulligan this hand? (entire articles have been written on this topic) Am I on the play or the draw? Are the spells I have in this hand useful in this matchup? Does this hand have the support cards needed to leverage my slower, more powerful bombs? If it doesn't, what are the the chances I'll draw what I need, by the turn I'll need them, and when is that, exactly?

Which land do I play first? Do I play the CIPT tri-land and betray my deck's contents, or do I play the generic basic? If I have two swamps and a forest, do I need to prepare for the possibility that I might draw a BB spell to play on turn two? Do I need to worry about a possible Strip Mine, or Ritual-Icequake? If I'm on the draw, what did my opponent do, and how does that affect my choice of land drop? If I'm on the play, do I have an instant (such as Shower of Sparks) that I can't cast now, but I might be able to cast after my opponent does something? Do I even want to do that if the opportunity presents itself (I might want to save that Brainstorm for later)?

And that's without even broaching the subject of tone of voice, attitude, confidence, and other Poker-like bluffs/mindgames.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 06:57:44 pm by Matt » Logged

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