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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Snapcardster App - first experience

Snapcardster App is something that seemed like a dream app when it started to be advertised for the first time. I was looking forward to trying it one day and I hoped it would allow me to finally make a sheet with all the cards I own. Doing that card by card and manually is not something I wanted to do and that's when Snapcardster App comes in because it allows to scan the card.

What I knew about the app is that the it would be able to scan the cards, put them in your collection and you'd be able to offer the cards or buy cards you'd be interested in. I've seen some places like that and some work till today and some proved to be a failure. Snapcardster streamlines buying and selling and in general it should make it easier by scanning the cards which is something I didn't encounter yet (there might be apps like that, but are either paid - I ignore those - or they really don't exist). As far as I know this is the first app that can recognize a card, its language and expansion.

One more thing that I read somewhere relatively recently is that it allows for keeping a track of Magic Online collection. That is something I was looking for as well since Cardhoarder has some problems with my big collection and MTGGoldfish would handle it only if I paid for Premium Membership (this would actually be the perfect tool for me and it tracks both Online and paper card prices). I hoped that maybe Snapcardster App could provide me with what I need though for free (spoiler: I was wrong but the app itself seems very promising).

Recently, I saw a tweet that we can try the app for free and so I finally downloaded the app. The iOS version is in Beta as far as I know and might work less flawlessly than other versions. The experience described below comes from using this on iOS 12.0.1, iPhone 6 with should meet the requirements to run the app.

My first impressions were really bad (I could compare that experience to installing and playing Magic Duels) since the App obviously didn't really want to work on my phone. Nevertheless what happened happened and it may affect my final rating (if there will be one at the end of this 'review'). First I had to create an account. I tried but I got several errors telling me that I'm not connected to the internet and I got that both on my iphone and my computer which had Magic Online running and being online (that's the first program that complains about internet connection being bad). I tried Facebook login then, which did something but I was unable to login via the webpage (I tried for a long time). 30 minutes later I tried again on my cell phone via the normal registration route. It went through after three attempts that usually froze the app. First step done! When I launched the app in my flat to finally scan some cards it always froze after I wanted to add some cards. I tried few times until it started crashing so reinstalled the app and it worked 'fine' for the 37 minutes I used the app (note that I encounter the same problem when I tried next time I launched the app).

The app is still in development so the final version might may look or function in a different way.

So how does the app actually look like?

Home

The main screen shows a camera icon in the top left corner that allows you to scan cards. There are two possibilities what you can do with the scanned cards, you either will be offering them for sale or add them to your collection. About the actual scanning I'll talk later. In the top-right corner there is some settings that show your name (not fan of this), email address. It let's you choose your currency, you can anonymise username. It has links to Terms and Conditions, License page that shows big 404 error, Contact us that will open your mail client and will let you send an email to the support (not fan of this either, I'd prefer a form or just the contact info). The last option under the settings is log out (which I had to actually use since I had problems with signing in and syncing).

On the bottom there are five icons, the first one is Home (current screen) that shows latest articles from different Magic sites (like Channel Fireball, TCGPlayer or Hipsters of the Coasts) and also shows Snapcardster news.

Collection

Collection is the place where you can manage your cards. The first screen shows created folders and 'All cards' which is used by default when adding cards. Folders can be created. When creating a folder you can move cards from All cards there, but I didn't find the possibility to move cards between folders later which should be possible (should be possible in the future). You can add cards to either folder via two possibilities - either by scanning a card or by inputting it manually (I'll talk about scanning later). Inputting manually is very tedious as on any site or app, but I found it in general relatively fast compared to other apps or sites I used which were often very slow and that was usually the reason why I didn't use them (the search doesn't really work correctly though). Considering the database contains all languages and includes Magic Online data, it's fast (still it's slow for doing something like this with a big amount of data, it's better to type it down).

There are two views, one that shows the quantity of cards, the second one shows all unique cards in the collection (set, condition and price). If you tap on the card it will take you to the card's info page including image, oracle text, price. You can then show the card on the marketplace and buy it if it is available.

Next button gets you to your submitted/imported decklists. There is a text view again which shows the amount of copies played as we are used to, otherwise you'll see list of the cards that are in the deck, what the cards cost, what their set and condition are. The app itself doesn't have a deck editor, the website does but it is quite tricky and in beta still.

From the collection you can also access want list. That can be populated from different places (deck view, explore etc.). It will allow you to keep the list and whenever you feel like to buy the cards you can put them in your cart and buy them (they may not be available). A Japanese Scalding Tarn I am looking for quite a while is not available for example so it may sit there in the want list for quite a while (it seems that there is a mail notification for when the card is available. It showed a Japanese Scalding Tarn for 103EUR and I'm not sure if that was some bug or not because it immediately went back to just English and German and didn't allow me to buy it (there was a downtime because of changing payment provider).

Shop

The place where you can buy the cards you want. You can search the cards by pretty much anything and there are even groups made for you to check out (by format Standard, or set for example Ravnica Allegiance etc.). The set view (shows images) is nice and can be sorted but I would appreciate if there would be the card's name written as well. You can also just type the card's name in a language it was printed and the app will find it for you and show you a screen which will let you choose preferred language, condition and will then allow you to put it in a cart and buy it (if they have it).

As for the prices, I checked prices of some format staples. Older cards were usually priced lower compared to price trend on Magic Card Market which we use in Europe while newer cards were priced slightly higher. Good Commander cards I checked though very seriously overpriced. Since shipping is free on Snapcardster some cards may be gotten for cheaper than on MKM. The delivery time shown in Snapcardster though was way too much for me (it was showing two weeks, some cards were showing one week, compared to 2 days in average from Germany) but I can't tell you what the actual delivery time would be since I didn't order anything yet (entering shipping address showed me 404 errors so I'm not sure if it managed to understand that I reside in the Czech Republic). The cards are available from different sources and for different prices. The price you see when you browse the cards is the cheapest one, if you want to get more copies, the price may simply go higher.

I am a person who wants to know where the cards come from and how much they cost and when they arrive and in general want more transparency. This system is not something I'd be happy about but it is something that will make things way more simple for the Snapcardster App users and in this era we need things that are simple and easy to use.

Selling should be available in the future and I don't know how it will work. That's the part I am interested in. I'd like to know if I would be able to set a sell price, what the transaction would cost me and where I'd be sending the cards. Anyway one day we'll find out.

In order to be able to buy something you need money in your Wallet. That can be accessed by tapping the word in the top right corner. There you will have several possibilities how to charge it - by bank account transfer, credit card or paypal. Since we will be able to offer cards in the future, there is also the possibility to get money from your wallet account to your bank account.

On the right side of the top bar there is access to your cart which will let you buy the cards you put there. Make sure you have enough funds in your wallet before checking out.

Explore

Here you can look at random cards. If any will interest you, you can add them to a cart, add them to a want list or ignore them (note that swiping right will add them to the want list, swiping left will ignore the card).

Messages

The last icon on the bottom bar is Messages. You can add friends and if they add you back you can communicate with each other both through the app and web (I am not sure if this is the case in all browsers but in Chrome the message popup icon is exactly where the button for next page in collection and should be changed).

Scanning cards

It insisted that Darkblast was either Acidic Slime or Extractor Demon. I get the latter but Acidic Slime?

When I finally logged in I decided to try the app on few cards laying around so I would know what it does. Since I couldn't find more information about how good the application is in recognizing the cards I didn't know what to expect. The app recognized my Black Lotus but it didn't know from which set it was and it created several different copies of it under my Collection (this seemed rather strange since I thought that there is only one white bordered Lotus version?). Since I don't know how it should be really working I decided to wait till I would get home to test the app on more cards.

I decided to create a Folder labeled Legacy and scan some cards I have in a binder I use for Legacy cards. There was 219 cards there. Before I even started the card scanner scanned some normal objects and added them to my collection (namely Plains which was my bed sheet and Winter Orb which was a back of a Magic card). That made me think where I should turn my camera to when not scanning. When I tried to scan some cards it took a while before they were recognized. Some cards didn't want to get scanned or rather were later recognized like a different card. The first card that was so reluctant was Intuition which first scanned as Enchantment Alteration, then as Preemptive Strike and lastly as Aven Windreader. I skipped the card and continued. I run into few more cards like that I couldn't scan. While scanning some Lightning Bolts I saw that three of them (Unlimited, MPR and M11) got all scanned as Lightning Bolt from a set I never heard of. When I scanned original Veteran Explorer it was added as Veteran Explorer from Battlebond and that's when I finally understood that probably 90% of the scans would be wrong.

I don't know if my device specifically has problems with running the app and scanning cards or if for example the lighting conditions or language (Japanese) could be the reason. Note also that my cards were sleeved, most of the time double sleeved which can also make it difficult to scan. Nonetheless I also tried the scanner on unsleeved, English Standard cards and the performance was similar in terms of errors.

EDIT: I tried TCGPlayer app on my cell phone to see how the two would compare. I scanned the same amount of cards in 12 minutes. The recognition of a card takes longer in the TCGPlayer app but it is capable to scan several cards at once. It messed up Brainstorm, Inkwell Leviathan, Darkblast, Veteran Explorer and few other cards but the rest was correct. It had problems pretty much with the same cards as the Snapcardster App (for example Intuition took a while and Veteran Explorer just didn't want to scan correctly no matter what). It scanned Fire // Ice without problems though.

Import and export

Import is possible in several different formats. There is Arena format which I'm not entirely fond of since Arena currently knows only Standard plus few sets (it works for older cards but it won't recognize the set even if you write correct card number and set code). Tappedout-deck and tappedout-inventory comma delimited lists work for everything. It is the last format that is the most interesting because it allows to enter foil/nonfoil, alter/normal, signed/not signed, condition and language information.

You can either copy/paste the cards you want to import or load the file to the text editor. You can edit that in the text editor before importing (I had to do that because it always cut the Qty, from my file for some reason. Then you just click through it, set what you need and then it will import the data. The last page shows the status of a last import. So don't let that fool you, you still have to hit 'Import' in order for it to import the cards.

Export exports data in a csv format using the tappedout-inventory one. You just need to click on the 'share' button in collection/folder view.

On the web app, I looked at the scanned cards and tried to export them by clicking an icon usually used for sharing stuff. I learned that out of the 249 entries only 139 were exported and I didn't know why until I realized that Magic Online sets (and probably sets like CE etc don't get exported either). So I spent some time (about half an hour) changing the entries. I learned that some cards had the correct set and language but most didn't. The actual scanning took me 37 minutes including the time when I had to relaunch the app due to it getting frozen. The editing took me 28 minutes but mostly due to the fact that it was the first time I was doing that. There was a very noticeable delay when changing set so it felt like playing KCI on Magic Online when I had to always wait until colorless mana showed up in my mana pool, because if I didn't it MODO lagged for like 30 seconds and that was really bad since my click time for comboing off was 8-13 minutes. Anyway I didn't need to wait for the set to change and could just go ahead and click it and it eventually changed.

Since I don't have other devices I could use to test the app I can't tell you what a normal performance is. For me I suppose it would just be easier to take my binder and manually type the card's name, language, condition and set and then import it as a CSV file. Since that thought came to my mind I decided to actually do it. Typing the 221 cards I worked with into an excel sheet took me 34 minutes, while doing so I realized that Snapcardster uses 3 letter codes for everything and some of my codes wouldn't match. The import feature actually works but I was stuck with errors and cards not importing for a long time. It was because the word Language is misspelled in the system. This will hopefully be changed so someone else trying the same won't end up with the same 'No card for' error. Set codes have three letter codes, promos and other odd cards use the three letter codes + something that says what it is (promo, masterpiece..etc). Example a Prerelease promo is not PRE but pPRE, MPS cards also need a set MPS_AKH. Language is entered via language codes for example, IT (Italian), EN (English), DE (German), RU (Russian).

I ran into another problem linked to importing cards which I thought was happening sometimes but I soon learned it was always the case. After I imported cards I had to always log back in because otherwise it was just showing me a blank screen (refreshing the page or navigating elsewhere and coming back didn't help) I suppose all this will be fixed later.

Deck view

I imported my Vintage Xerox decklist via simple text and then stared at the possibilities how to edit each entry. The only quantity on Snapcardster is 1, so one cannot edit all Force of Wills for example to Alliances. What you have to do is change all the relevant entries.

The deck view is actually nice. There is a deckbox for it (graphics element I guess which is ok, in the deck view though it shows an image over which you hover. it's just a bit strange), Name, Format, by whom, (date?) and price for which you can get it via Snapcardster. You can see how many percent of cards from the decklist you own. You can add it to your cart or add the missing cards to your want list or cart as well.

I didn't manage to import my sideboard and I also need to figure out how to enter split cards (Wear // Tear, is the correct syntax), so far I was unsuccessful with it. It also shows Länder, Kreaturen and Sprüche instead of Land, Creatures and Spells. Cards in Green are the ones in collection, in yellow it shows that you have some copies in your collection and those that are in red mean there is 0 copies of the card in your collection.

Changing the decklist is a bit more tedious than I expected. I tried to delete the sideboard but there is no way to change the quantity of one card in the decklist. All the cards of one name have to be deleted and then added back. The manual input entry adds those cards in the collection but I'm not entirely sure if deleting them in the decklist deletes them (I ended with like 20 copies of Containment Priest because I always put them main deck and not in the sideboard). If you edit your decklist this way you'll have to add or remove the cards later from the collection. Not being able to type in a number/delete the 1 from there is also something I do not appreciate even though that is a minor flaw compared to what I described above.

This sums up my initial review of the app. Snapcardster App looks like a very promising app that can be used to track your collection and decklists (and that allows full import and export), and will allow you to buy and offer cards with ease. I believe that one day this will be an awesome app and we might get access to a new marketplace that will allow us to buy and sell cards comfortably for reasonable prices. So far if you are iphone 6 user I wouldn't recommend the app because it freezes, sometimes crashes and requires reinstall or re-log in way too often. Scanning cards is practically not working. It is possible though the app works fine on Android. If you are an Android user, I'd be happy to hear how it performs. The web interface requires a lot of work as well.

Since the app is still in development I will (most probably) review the app later once again to see how the development is going.

Thanks for reading
S'Tsung

Friday, February 8, 2019

Akodo Dairuko custom playmat

I have some blank playmats laying around so I decided to draw/paint something on one. Here's Akodo Dairuko.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Grand Prix Prague or MagicFest Prague?

Prague is one of the cities that is easily accessible and is cheap for many. We get a GP or MagicFest as the events are called now each year. This time we got Ultimate Masters GP at the beginning of the year. The cap for the players was 3000 and over 2800 registered for the event.

UMA is a great set for drafting but sealed deck is something I didn't really enjoy much. I played some on Magic Online and one in real life and all of them were rather painful. I had some moments of glory but most of the time I just couldn't deal with cards like Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, or even just one Snapcaster Mage that ruined all my plans. I decided not to attend the main event even though it was actually a good deal.

My plan was to play Vintage and Legacy side events and some limited on Sunday. In Vintage I did not want to play the control version of Mentor I played last year but rather switch to the more aggressive version. I was considering running green color instead of white but I decided to still run white but change the configuration of my deck. Here's how my URx Xerox deck looked like.

I spent most of Thursday looking for cards for the Vintage decks and Legacy decks. In the evening I was so tired that I just fell asleep without actually finishing the decks. When I got up on Friday I looked for the rest of the cards for Eldrazi and Grixis Control. While checking what is going on social media I saw many tweets from people I never heard of that they are in Prague and that it's awesome because there is snow. I prepared mentally for not a pleasant trip to the PVA Expo where the GP was held. I wrote down the cards that overlap and packed my stuff for the GP - some water, food, decks, pen and paper. All this would be very expensive at the venue and I didn't want to spend more money than necessary since I have no income. I drank a coffee and ventured to the freezing cold weather outside. I waded through the snow pondering about why people think the snow is nice.

After an hour I reached the venue. 'Snow-covered Plains' was blinking in red in my head and I had the urge to take out my cell phone and take a photo of the flat snow covered field in front of me. I put that thought aside and walked across it to reach the expo. As usual there were no signs showing a Magic event was held there, but the large crowd of people before the entrance was pretty clear about what is going on there inside.

I signed up for Vintage and watched the judge place my registration on a blank sheet with Vintage written on it. It looked bleak. I went to the lobby and met with several Vintage players. I asked them if they are playing in the event and they all said 'no'. Later I ran into several registered people and thus went to the black gathering point with a little bit of hope. The judge found all the players and told us to take care of the event ourselves so we did.

In the first round I was quite surprised that my in theory Grixis player played Nahiri and pretty much killed me with it, or rather threw a Colossus at me twice and I could just deal with it once. I could have avoided this situation but I didn't think ahead enough to come prevent this from happening. Time Walk is what made me lose the game and it was a really bad feeling. On the other hand, I had the game more or less under control which was a good sign that I should be able to play well in the following rounds.

Next round I wasn't really sure what I'm up against and kept a hand good against PO. My opponent wasn't on PO then and if I had used my brain to remember what Tom told me earlier I would have most probably figured out that he was on RUG Xerox (including Inferno Titan). Anyway the game did not go according to my plans and my opponent was well ahead of me and I couldn't put enough pressure on him. I somehow won the second game though. The third game was a bit strange because my only land was Wasteland. I had Black Lotus, Gitaxian Probe and Young Pyromancer in my hand and I hoped this would be enough to win the game. It was way too risky keep but it worked out for me because I destroyed my opponents only land and got 2 creatures in play. Tom's first mana source was Mox Sapphire which resulted in a huge counter war that I won. He drew a land next turn but that was already too late and he lost the game. (EDIT: it seems I messed up, this happened against Niklas - see Saturday Vintage event).

In the final round I faced Nathan on PO. Since I already knew what he was on I played Stony Silence on turn 1 and then hoped I'd draw a creature that could deal 20 damage before I'd die. The creature I got was Snapcaster Mage so I played it just like that - a 2 mana bear that I hoped would be soon joined by another copy of the card or Young Pyromancer. It didn't. Nevertheless I managed to get my opponent down to 1. At that point my opponent resolved his first Paradoxical Outcome (I countered the previous ones), drew bunch of cards, played Merchant Scroll fetching Repeal and then it was F6 time for me. My only card in hand being the bounced Stony Silence I couldn't do anything. In the following games I was able to get Stony Silence in play and apply enough pressure to win. The games were close but I won (we split the prizes).

After the Vintage event we all scattered. There was still Legacy event coming up but I had quite a lot of time before it would start. I went to see the food stand. There was a huge line for Kebab and coffee so I ventured to the back where we could get some noodles and other stuff. The price was shockingly high (210CZK) but I was hungry. While there I saw Vojta trying to figure out what he wants to eat for that price as well. We talked about how Legacy changed after the banning of Deathrite Shaman and if Death and Taxes still have a chance in this new format. My sideboard wasn't really ready for the Grixis Control decks but I still wanted to give it a try. Usually at a GP one can run into pretty much anything. Unfortunately my 'anything' were really bad matchups and I lost all the matches I could.

I managed to get a hold of the Belgian players and together we went to a Vietnamese place I go to at Jindrisska. We enjoyed the food and had some fun talking about all kind of stuff. Afterwards I went to the post office to ship orders and the local arcades bar to play some Pump it Up. I went right to the Pump it Up machine trying to ignore everyone because there was seriously too many people for me. While passing through the crowd I heard all kind of strange comments one of which was 'Oh another Magic player, what is going on, is there some kind of Magic fest here?'. I was too afraid to lift my head up and look around but it is true that this place is popular among local Magic players. Not sure if any from the MagicFest were there though. Anyway I found this quite funny and wondered about the MagicFest name once again. The word 'Fest' changed its meaning through the years so maybe in the end it's not as bad as I originally thought so. I played few credits of Pump it Up and went back to my flat.

I wondered if the next day people would actually show up for Vintage Double Up. I knew that at least one other Czech player would join but I wasn't sure about any of the other ones I met, I expected them to play the main event. When I arrived and registered I was once again the first person to sign up. The event fired though.

In my first round I lost the die roll and wondered what my opponent was. He played Chrome Mox which caught me offguard and I wondered what he is possibly on, he removed Legion Warboss from the game, and I started to suspect that his deck wouldn't be a Vintage deck. The card that landed in play on turn 1 was Blood Moon and I considered for a long time if I want to counter it. It was clear that Blood Moon might would be the least of my worries later but since I had no land in play yet and my only basic was an Island I decided to counter it. Unfortunately another Blood Moon or Magus of the Moon followed and later on I died to a horde of some Goblins or Pia and Kiran Nalaar. I checked my sideboard wondering what I can possibly side in and came to the conclusion that I may need to put in Containment Priests so I could take out Pyroblasts and Missteps. Shattering Spree and Swords to Plowshares came handy too. I was sure that I didn't want to draw the Priests but it was still better to have a card I could possibly play at one point than a card that was completely dead. I managed to avoid them.

I knew that I had to be fast, avoid Fiery Confluence and also counter all the Goblins or 4-mana threats. Luckily for me I somehow managed all that and won both games post-board. When we signed our match slip I still couldn't believe it.

Next round I played against Niklas on RUG Xerox. Tom told me that he loaned the deck to Niklas (since that was easier than loaning single cards) so I knew what he was on. Not that the information would make a difference. Our first game was pretty normal Xerox mirror match. There are actually two ways how it can go, one player either gets way ahead on cards or one player resolves Young Pyromancer first and manages to keep it in play. This time it was the first case. In the following game I managed to have more Young Pyromancers than my opponent and it was time for game 3. It looked similarly messed up as the one I played against Tom the day before. After I destroyed my opponents blue source he was left with a Mountain and couldn't draw another source. I was beating down with Snapcaster Mage waiting for Young Pyromancer to show up. I won in time.

In the last round I played against another nice player. Our first game was rather intense I was against torn between having Stony Silence in play or being able to play something and counter cards. I kept Stony Silence in my hand and Voltaic Key followed by Tinker that I didn't manage to counter. I think the game could have been a bit different but I can't really say if I could have won it. In the second game my opponent simply had it all. Ancestral Recall, Library of Alexandria, Treasure Cruise. When he finally played something it was Tinker. I tried to counter it but failed at it (no surprise there). I still had Swords to Plowshares in my hand as well Dack Fayden and I hoped that one of the cards would resolve. I played Swords to Plowshares at the end of the turn because I didn't have enough mana to play both next turn and it got countered by Mindbreak Trap. On my turn I drew Stony Silence which was pretty much a dead card. I played Dack Fayden and it resolved. I stole the Colossus and hoped my opponent wouldn't steal it back. He did. I still had a chance to block and steal it again. I just needed to deal with my opponent's Dack Fayden as well. I drew Monastery Mentor which wasn't what I needed. I looted and my opponent flashed in Notion Thief. Well, at least I could discard that Stony Silence. My plan just went awry but I still had a chance. I played Monastery Mentor and three Moxen I kept in my hand and hoped my opponent wouldn't have another Dack Fayden or Time Walk. He got both and I spectacularly lost. Good fun game.

After we were finished we went to the prize tix station to get our (split) prizes. Then once again I had some time before Legacy would begin. I decided to pilot the little white creatures and that was a really bad decision. I was very tired and totally lost^_^. I played against Canadian Treshold and died to too many Delvers. Then I played against BR Reanimator that just showed me Chancellor on t1 and reanimated something on turn 2. My mulligan to five at least didn't matter, I had no way how to win. In game two my Surgical Extraction got discarded and I faced Elesh Norn. My top deck was Rest in Peace that I didn't need anymore. I waited if by a chance I wouldn't draw Swords to Plowshares or Path to Exile. Neither card showed up so I scooped. My last opponent had green sleeves and in general looked like an Elves player. I really hoped he wouldn't be on Elves. He was. I'm not sure who suffered more - me or him. My opponent was very unlucky with his draws but I was unable to draw something relevant too and lost after very painful 40 minutes (all my equipment got destroyed, including some Vials). Stoneforge Mystic beatdown managed to get my opponent down to 3 but that wasn't enough. It felt really bad. We had a nice chat though and had some fun commenting our unlucky draws. I told my opponent to collect his 40 tix and he was quite surprised he actually won something.

After the event was over I called Tom if they have some plans for dinner and if I could join. We were supposed to meet at Vinohradsky Parlament. I had no idea where it is but when the address came to me I was certain I can't miss it (or could I, after 0-3 in Legacy everything was possible). I was on my way to Flora when I realized that going by the C line metro might be faster (I didn't know what was faster, but this route is supposedly 6 minutes shorter). I got to Namesti Miru and walked towards the middle street that I expected to be Konevova, I didn't need to check anything, the restaurant was right in front of me. I walked in, got suspicious and hateful looks. Walked upstairs and was shown were the rest of the players were sitting. We talked about competitive Magic, Belgian Magic scene and life in general. The food we ordered was delicious. After we had enough of beer and food (I ordered some Cranberry drink which wasn't great) we headed to Airbnb. We looked at the main event pools and pondered about what kind of decks we would build. I have to say that Robbert's pool was very tough to crack and till today I have no idea what I'd end up playing (mostly BUG value splashing Faith's Fetters, but it sounded really crazy). Then it was time for me to leave and get back to my flat since I promised to bring cards for the next day. I reminded myself that Karlovo namesti was closed and went to Andel then.

I searched for the cards for a while and then was tempted to run MODO. I clicked on the MODO icon on my taskbar and got message saying that the client is out of memory. I went to sleep and wondered how my sleep would be evaluated by my fitness activity tracker. I knew it would look bad since I hardly sleep well during events. I usually don't sleep at all. This time around I actually slept but the graph didn't look either and I felt pretty badly when I finally woke up.

Sunday's Legacy Double Up was scheduled at 11:30 so I had enough time to sleep. I got up when my phone decided to tell me that I really should get up. I didn't have the time to cook some eggs so just quickly ate what I edible food I encountered and ran to the subway station. I arrived on time, registered for the Legacy DU and managed to remind myself that I don't have Snapcaster Mages and Volcanic Island in the deck. I put the decks there and then went to see who'd I play against in my first round. Matthias Schmid was the name written next to mine and I knew that my opponent would be the more experienced player there. He played well whenever I played against him. Very soon I found out that we are playing a mirror match since my opponent after playing and Island, played Badlands and Baleful Strix. At least I could just play Hymn to Tourach. I still had one more Hymn in my hand and also Snapcaster Mage that I considered casting flashbacking the Hymn again. There was one turn during which I really hoped my opponent wouldn't top deck Jace, the Mind Sculptor because I couldn't counter it. He top decked it and Brainstormed. I killed the Jace and played my own one. I started fatesealing until my opponent played Gurmag Angler I couldn't deal with. I wondered what to do but assumed that bouncing the card and naturally drawing a card per turn should be enough to find something. This was most probably the wrong decision but nothing bad happened to me or Jace and I won the game later after I managed to land my own Angler, Strix and get rid of the Angler on the other side of the table. I certainly made some mistakes during this game but fortunately they didn't cost me the game (thx to Hymns). In game two I kept a hand with Island, Ponder, Hymn to Tourach, Hymn to Tourach, Badlands, Snapcaster Mage. I was on the draw and had a cantrip to find another black source. I hoped to avoid Liliana, the Last Hope or anything else I couldn't deal with. I top decked Bloodstained Mire and not sure if I played the cantrip. Next turn I played Hymn to Tourach and discarded my opponent's Liliana, the Last Hope and a land which was a very big relief for me. My second Hymn hit Chandra, Torch of Defiance and from there I just won. I have to say I felt really badly about this. After we talked a bit about matchups and a mirror match it seems that the mirror is pretty much about Hymns and Commands. I didn't like the idea of that at all...

Round 2 I played against Sneak and Show. I was on the play and played Badlands instead of Underground Sea that I didn't want to lose. My opponent didn't know what I am on and played Show and Tell on turn 1. It cost me a Snapcaster Mage and Force of Will. I played Baleful Strix next turn and found another Force of Will. I countered Sneak Attack and later won. In game 2 I tried to counter what I could and tried to play all my discard spells. Those got countered though and eventually I ran out of counterspells. My opponent had Sneak Attack and killed me with Emrakul. Not entirely sure what happened in game 3 but I won somehow...

Round 3 we both wanted to split. My opponent asked me if I wanted to play and I said yes. I had 'unless you are on Grixis Control' in my mind but didn't say it out loud. After we both played our Baleful Strix it was clear that neither of us actually wanted to play the mirror match. After I won the game we decided not to play the remaining games and collect our tix.

I amassed a big amount of tix during the weekend and wasn't sure what to do with them. I thought that the best would just be to get Ixalan boxes but in the end I decided to go for GRN which contains cards I want and shocklands. I still had 280 tix remaining after I got some boxes so I took some Dominaria packs and t-shirts.

After this it was time for some more Legacy and also some friendly games of Vintage. I tried to force my brain to think, I needed to figure out how to pilot Survival or how to play against it. It was clear that the deck is from a totally different world and that UWR has a hard time beating it. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben was giving me VERY HARD time which is nothing new but I just couldn't believe how much it taxed me against this deck.

Later, the Belgian players not playing day 2 or other events and me went to Crazy Cow somewhere at Dlouha. I may not be a fan of steaks but I had to say that what I ordered was really good. I spent another awesome evening with good people. We followed the coverage as much as we could to see how Pascal Vieren was doing. He was doing really well and after a spectacular finals won the GP (and then hopefully also enjoyed a good steak at Crazy Cow).

After the dinner we went to the airbnb and played few more games of Vintage. In the last game Survival finally went nuts.

This concludes my post about GP Prague. For me it was an awesome experience and I'd like to thank all the Belgian players that I spend the time with, all the Vintage players that came to participate in the events and to Channel Fireball who organized the whole event. Thanks to everyone I managed to talk to or play against and shout out to Matej Zatlkaj who I could talk to for a bit when he got a short break.

On Monday I woke up and had the itch to play Magic. It was the first time I was said a GP was over. I crawled out of bed and went to check why MODO crashed on me the last time. I didn't really figure it out but in the end it downloaded and launched. Question was what I wanted to play. I played some Ravnica limited and followed it with Legacy and Cube. I was happy playing Magic. It was truly Magical weekend (and few days that followed).

Thank you for reading
S'Tsung