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Monday, December 20, 2010

Drawing - Togashi monk

Another image from the L5R world...I did not really work much on it...maybe later.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Drawing - Yuna FFX-2

The time when I feel completely useless is here and well I usually need to do something more or less creative and produce something - no matter if it is a drawing or a bracelet. Anyway... Unicorn Clan personality and Kumiko started this. I'm not really that content with either of those pictures..none of them look the way I wanted them too. Even though I have to say that I managed to do something I never thought possible. So well in other words I'm getting somewhere...

To try out my improvement of skills I decided to draw a second version of Yuna from FFX-2. After two hours and few minutes trying to make Photoshop work I ended up with this...

I'm pleased more or less...even though I have to say that I lost my patience with the image quite soon. It needs some more work...

Drawing - Yoritomo Kumiko

Another drawing I made...this time a Mantis clan personality. (she looks like the former clan champion...so hm..I will borrow her name as well/)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Drawing - Unicorn Clan personality

I wanted to draw something new... I wanted a new element to come into my drawing so well..in the end I decided to draw someone riding a horse charging...
It ended up to be some Unicorn clan samurai^^. I thought that drawing something like this will be an impossible task but after all it's not that bad. (Now as I look at it I should move the horse's nostril somewhere..at least)

Monday, November 22, 2010

L5R Alter - My first L5R alter

It's been a while that I wanted to do an alter of some card. After a month of trying to move my paints to my game store I finally managed that.

In the middle of the night I took a brush into my hand and started 'painting'.
I wanted to know what acrylic paint can do with L5R cards. I started with a card from samurai. I doubt that the paint can hold on EAW card but I will try that later (maybe) too. Well, anyway here's the result...my dueling Crabs will like that card^_~

Saturday, November 13, 2010

(Movie) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I've just seen the movie. The first half an hour is more or less the introduction that took hundreds of pages. The vast majority of what was 'going on' is skipped and some things are completely changed. Who changed the storyline did a great job on creating a new one that fits. The tid-bits of information given to us are given at the right time.

The story is about Lisbeth Salander the hacker and Mikael Blomkvist the journalist. We don't learn anything about the other characters in the movie. There are flashbacks from Lisbeth's youth which will become relevant in the second part. We don't learn much about the two principal characters either. Probably difficult to do but still...In the end we have no idea what to think about Lisbeth, but we don't know much about the relationship between Mikael and Lisbeth either. (we will see what the director is up to in the second movie)

The film was very well-made and has a really great cinematography. The actors all portray their respective characters well. Especially the principal ones Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth) and Michael Nyqvist (Mikael) and Sven-Bertil Taube (Henrik). The pieces of the puzzle and 'following' of the storyline is well thought out and very well done. The movie is 2,5 hours long but the pace of the story is pretty fast and won't let you get bored or anything. There are scenes that break the rhythm and evoke other emotions in the viewer.

The movie is in a really serious/realistic setting and the music adds the 'seriousness' to it as well.

The movie is harsh (as Scandinavian movies are) so nothing for children.
(includes sexual violence which is hard to digest)
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Personal Rating: 2/5
Simply disappointed...
I haven't seen many Swedish movies, but those I saw were pretty good. This was bad in my opinion even though I have to say that from the technical point of view it was perfect.
It seems that this movie is highly rated otherwise^^. I was just utterly disappointed with it for some reason. So well if you don't know what movie to watch and you are ready for something different and rather difficult to digest you can try this.

EDIT: USA is shooting a remake of this movie...I don't want to see I guess.

Stieg Larsson - Men Who Hate Women (The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo)

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist published an article about industrialist Wennerström. Because of this he was sentenced to three months in prison. He gives up his position and soon after that he is offered an unlikely assignment by Henrik Vanger. Mikael accepts knowing that he does not have that many options in his life anyway.

Vanger hired Blomkvist so he could investigate the disappearance of Harriet Vanger (Henrik's grand niece) who disappeared 36 years ago. She's considered dead yet Vanger receives a pressed flower mimicking a gift Harriet used to give him for his birthday. This present torments Henrik as he thinks that Harriet's killer sends these flowers to mock him.

After some time Blomkvist finds out new evidence and later on teams up with Lisbeth Salander. This girl has been in guardianship since her 13th year of life. She's a skilled hacker, has a photographic memory but she's a society outcast. She works for Dragan Armanskij as a private detective and that is how Mikael's and Lisbeth's paths crossed. She was given a task to create a profile of Mikael for Henrik when he wanted to hire him. Later Lisbeth and Mikael work both on the Harriet's case.
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This books seems to be a best-seller. I seriously never heard of it and I was unaware of this trilogy being turn into a movie (I'm going to watch the first movie in a while). I read many reviews many good and many bad ones. Actually there are things I have to agree with those people giving this book a low rating.

The books all start pretty slowly. You need to get through the first 100 or even more pages to finally find out what's going on. There are many things bugging you and then boom! After a certain point the story is so dense that you just want to continue reading and not to stop reading till you reach the end. Everything is pretty fast then as it ends in another 200-300 pages. There are people who complain that this book should be shorter. Well in a way they are right, but I would say that this book was actually too short for me. So it depends.

The author describes many things like...what the characters buy and what kind of equipment/furniture they have. This actually can give you more information about the characters and I don't find it irrelevant. It's quite nice and special in a way as I never encountered such a way of saying things.

The language is rude sometimes (quite often, but considering it comes from Sweden...). I already wrote why the author is writing about sexual violence ... there's a lot of sexual scenes both 'normal' and violent but again - Sweden (and the fact that the author was pretty disturbed by a girl that was raped in front of his eyes when he was young). Actually what is being discussed and told in great detail (political issues and anything about journalism) is probably pretty realistic as Stieg was a political activist and journalist.

Personal Rating: 3.25/5

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Marketing Development Using IM

At school I attend class called this way and our assignment is to create a marketing strategy for L5R. As I spent some time collecting data from TCG players I published the results there.

If interested you can check it out at

STsung's TCG Research

I spent half a year doing this but I don't think that this is any valid information or anything. Well, actually I found out some interesting facts that I did not expect. But I don't consider this a serious work even though I tried hard to getting this done right.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Toy fair in Ostrava

The Czech National Championship was held in Ostrava at Veletrh hracek (annual toy fair). My free time is somewhere between limit of 0 and 0 but I decided to attend the tournament and see everyone from the Machine Dance community. I hoped that I could spend some time with them and find out how everyone is doing.

The Fair

I went to Valmez with my parents to see my grandmother. During the trip I started reading a new book - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Men Who Hate Women is the original title). The author is Stieg Larsson, a Swedish author. He was disgusted by sexual violence. He witnessed a gang rape of a young girl when he was 15 and that changed his life. He never forgave himself for failing to help the girl, whose name was Lisbeth - like the young heroine of his books, herself a rape victim, which inspired the theme of sexual violence against women in his books.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a first book of a trilogy and I have to say that the book is really good. (I will write about it later on this blog)

The next day I arrived at Cerna Louka where the Fair was held. I have to say that this was the smallest fair I've ever been to. There were stands with clothing for children, children toys and brick boxes and such. There were few things that caught my eye though. Just in front of our (Rare-Items) stand there was LaQ stand.

LaQ is a building toy from Japan. The actual brick box has 7 different types of parts. There are triangular and square bases that can be connected with any of five different edge connectors. The box contains a limited amount of pieces from which objects (resembling real objects) can be formed. It is quite a challenge to build an object you want to. It takes time and quite a lot of thinking and planning how to do what you want. But its awesome^^.

The other stand that caught my interest was entitled Tantrix. Tantrix is a game originating in New Zealand in the year of 1988. The game evolved a lot and now we have a multiplayer strategy game out of it and several puzzles for 'individual players'. I tried a Discovery Tantrix which consists of 10 tiles with three different colour curves. You start with 3 tiles. From those you have to create a closed curve of a given color (in my case yellow). That was pretty easy to do. Next you take another tile and you continue in doing another closed curve. The 'game' has one more basic rule. That says that ALL the curves on the tiles have to of the same color. You can't have one curve that consists of parts from two different colors.
I got pretty fast to number 9 where I found out that my curve (having the right shape though) is not the solution. I was trying to figure out what is wrong when I realized that the solution is the same curve but mirrored. Everything was correct after I mirrored all the tiles. I got the same problem with no. 10. Creating the correct shape was pretty easy. Figuring out the right colors for each curve was what took me more time.
The Discovery series has an advanced version Xtreme version which is harder.

The next stand I spend some time was showing a pedagogic tool used to 'enhance the use of logic in individuals'. The tool/game is called Pyramid creator it has a 2d version and a 3d version. You have a certain pieces and a grid in which you place the pieces. For each puzzle (of a certain level) you have a starting point. Than you add the rest of the pieces and you have to fill the whole area of the grid. It seems simple but I have to say that this was far more "difficult" than the Tantrix puzzle. It required me to think of the only solution for the base pieces. When I got this right I got the rest as well. Again it showed me that I have problems with mirrored shapes. I got everything right according to my brain but it was incorrect for some reason. After mirroring my thoughts I got the right solution. Hm...well I don't know what causes this. Anyway it was fun.

The last interesting stand for me was with RC models^^. Anyway there was also a WeyToy stand which was showing a magnetic based games. I've seen these products at bigger game fairs (in France and Germany for example) already so it was nothing new, but still I was surprised to see it here in Ostrava.

The fair was really small but it there were some interesting things after all. Being in a different 'position' (having a child) I would most probably appreciate more of the stands.

The tournament
There were about 14 participants. 5 random songs were chosen from which we could choose 2 songs. The scores of the two songs would be added and the 8 people with the highest total would continue on. I played Determinator (hard), chose a wrong speed mod and even managed to miss one note. After that I tried My life is so crazy (hard) with the same speed mod which should be the right scrolling speed for me. The stepchart showed to be actually quite tricky. I won the qualifier and continued to top 8.

I won the whole tournament but I have to say that this time being 18kg heavier than last time and not actually doing ny physical activity showed on the results and my stamina.

Thank you everyone for playing and spending time with me^_~.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drawing - Rurouni Kenshin

Well, it's been a while that I tried to draw something. Last few days I started to doodle but nothing good came out of it...and today well after a while I came up with this. I had Oishi and some other duelists in my head (from L5R)and Himura Keshin. In the end...this picture was done o_O.

It does not look like a complete fail^^ as many of my other drawings do...so I decided to post it even here.^_~

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Esper Aggro

Well, it's been a while that the Extended and Standard formats changed. I knew that for T2 I would still be playing UW (Planeswalker)Control but I wasn't sure about extended. My faeries rotated out so now what? I build a Jund with elves and C. Colossus but that is not that interesting. It's similar to my t2 deck from months/years?? ago. So now with Scars of Mirrodin out I decided to try some artifact based deck.

The deck is not finished I still don't know what to add and what is the right mana base. I ran Tidehollow Sculler + Thoughtseize/Inquisition of Kozilek. I was considering to play Turn Aside as this would counter the spell I don't want to see. But looking at my opponents hand and discarding what I don't want to see is better and I love sculler. These disruption spells are good but I'm not really sure about how it will work for the time being I have problems with black mana. Either way there is one more slot for a card and I don't really know what that could be. Now trying COurt Humunculus (yay, it works actually) I want something with CMC < 2 and something that would be able to attack well or do something significant (in that case it would have to cost 1). I ran twenty lands but I find this too much, but playing with the deck will decide the final number.

As I need a source of W/B/U I decided to run a play set of Marsh Flats that gives me either W or B and play set of Seachrome coast. I want the land on turn 1 so it comes untapped (or turn 2). I should get either white in any case and then something else on t2. The artifact spells will take care of the rest.

This deck can be deadly but it can also go wrong quite easily. But well it's nice to have my entire hand in play and attack for a lot on T2 and in T3 having the game practically over. In theory it works now I need to see how it works in reality.

Anyway just a thought for a deck...

Esper Aggro
4x Memnite
4x Ornithopter
4x Mox Opal
4x Springleaf Drum
4x Tempered Steel
4x Steel Overseer
4x Tidehollow Sculler
4x Master of Etherium
4x Ethersworn Cannonist
4x Court Humunculus

4x Marsh Flats
4x Seachrome Coast
2x Swamp
4x Plains
4x Island
2x Mystic Gate

Friday, October 15, 2010

L5R - Phoenix Honor

After figuring out how to play Lion Honor I decided to try Phoenix Honor that would run a bit more similarly to the Lion Honor I have. For that I decided to try using Shrine of the Champions.

This deck needs quickly personalities that can defend later in the game. The deck needs a really quick start otherwise it gets really bad. Some temples and it should work. I got problem against Lion that can have more honor than I do at the beginning. Not being able to get a Favor can be a problem. But otherwise it seems to work. I can't imagine what it does against other honor decks. My lion build is capable of attacking and destroying provinces, my little Phoenixes not. Even though Houhou/Yojimbo + Sanzo x 2 works^^. Let's play with this deck for some time and see how it fares against other decks.

Phoenix Honor - Shrine of Champions
Dynasty deck: 40

3x Seiden Sanzo
3x Silver Mine
3x My Father's Shrine
3x Temple to Shinsei
1x Expandable Resources
1x Counting House
1x Travelling Peddler

1x Winter's Embrace
1x War of the Dark Fire
1x Emma-O's Guidance
2x Temple of Tsukune (will be replaced by some Promo Temple - Tek'tik'tir?? or something like that)

3x Isawa Kumai
2x Isawa Kyoko
1x Isawa Kyoko XP
1x Shiba Ningen XP3
3x Asako Misako (not sure of 3 of)
3x Asako Hoshimi
1x Isawa Mizuhiko
3x Houhou
1x Isawa Mitsuko
1x Daigotsu Oki
1x Otomo Seimi

Fate Deck:

3x Claw and Shell
3x Rout
3x Settling the homeless
3x Wall of Honor
3x Advanced Spellcraft
2x Blessings of the Sky
2x Discretionary Valor
3x Direct Approach
3x Final Duty
3x Hamstrung
3x Forewarning
3x Proper Deference
3x Reinforce the Gates
3x Unimpeachable Name

Sunday, October 10, 2010

L5R - Lion Honor

I opened a Lion Starter few months ago and from that I tried to build a deck. At first it was a military deck, but usually it started winning by attaining 40 honor, so I started turning it into a honor deck. It stayed as a switch for a long time but later I decided not to mix it and try to maximize the honor gain. In the end I came up with this. (I have other decks, but this one took ages to build and still this is the deck I prefer the most)

The deck might have many problems I don't know about. I haven't played against dishonor nor any other honor deck so who knows how this deck would fare against them.

Anyway this deck is fun and I like it. For sure I will keep it^_^. Even though attacking with this deck becomes tricky. But still works and I can beat honor by turning into a military. Shunran and Senichi are good attackers^_~.

This deck does not use its stronghold much which might seem odd but well in the end it works well. From time to time I even use the ability but most of the time it something like stronghold being used once per game.
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Generally you buy paragon's with honor. You defend with the minimum you can and you either send home or kill. The primary aim is to gain honor in the battles though.


Lion Deathseeker/Paragon Honor - Venerable Plains of Ikoma
Dynasty deck: 41

1x Akodo's Guidance
1x Well-defended border

2x Hidden Entrance
3x Copper Mine
3x Barley Farm
3x Famous Bazaar
1x Traveling Peddler
2x Deeds and Words
1x Kitsune Den

3x Matsu Haruya
3x Akodo Senichi
3x Matsu Shunran
3x Matsu Ushio
3x Matsu Nishijo (might be replaced with Matsu Kinihara)
3x Matsu Yosa
3x Matsu Akuto
1x Akodo Ryozo
1x Matsu Benika
1x Daigotsu Oki

Fate Deck: 40

3x Stand Down
3x Paragon's Strength
3x Courtesy
3x Remember Their Valor
3x Reinforce the Gates
3x Wall of Honor
2x Forewarning (against New Order and Alter history...but um...)
1x Thriving Light
3x Outer Walls
3x I will not die alone!
3x Force of Spirit
3x Calm Before Death
3x Temporary Truce
3x Prayer for Guidance
1x Strength in Honor

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mythic Rare experiment

When I we were opening display after display I started observing the locations where we opened a mythic rare. Some time later when Scars of Mirrodin was out I decided to use the same key for the two sets of locations I observed.

I took 5 displays and opened a booster from each from one specific location. I opened Venser, the Sojourner, Koth and Mox Opal. In the other two boosters normal rares were present. So I took one booster from each from another specific location and opened Sword of Body and Mind and Venser, the Sojourner.

I will most probably continue in this little experiment for some time. I don't mind having more mythic rares^^.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Legend of the Five Rings

Years ago at Pragocon I discovered a game called Legend of the Five Rings. The game had Chinese/Mongolian/Japanese flavor and the game mechanics were a mystery to me as I was watching the players play. I wanted to know how the game works and I tried hard and for several years to learn to play this game. I played L5R for a really short period. I learned the basic rules and I build a deck. All this was insufficient though for me to really get into the game. There were things that bothered me. The games took a really long time and many times there were things that should just not happen. Something was wrong. Either it was us (the players) or the rules. I can't say as all this was 12 years ago.

Anyway this game is known to be the most complicated CCG game. There are four win conditions, ten factions you can affiliate with and a very large card database (even for the most limited format which is Celestial).

To learn to play the game alone is almost impossible. (unless you go through the Judge Rules which actually give enough information how to handle each situation in the game). Thus another skilled player is needed to explain the game. If this isn't your first C/T/L card game you might be able to grasp the game pretty quick. But still there is a problem with deck building and playing the deck itself. The basics of the game are quite simple but that's not the only thing you need.

If you go search the internet for some decks you probably won't find two decks being the same (unlike in Magic where the top tier decks differentiate with one or two cards and side board). Most of the sites won't tell you how to play such a deck so understanding how it was build and why (and against what) might be a mystery for some time.

When I first played the game I was explained how to win the game in military terms. Each player has 4 provinces from which he buys personalities (used to fight battles over those provinces) and holdings that produce gold to buy the personalities (and other stuff as well..). If you are playing a military deck then you try to destroy all the provinces your opponent has. When he has no provinces left he loses the game. I have no idea what deck I was playing nor what I played against. But it looked like this - both of us were playing personalities and till the force of our army reached 20 we started attacking. This led to a really long and chaotic battles. A lot of actions could be taken from the personalities and thus 8 cards on our hands was usually sufficient. But well it seems that this was the wrong way to play this game. That's why I build a scorpion dishonor deck. My artisans weren't much for a battle but were capable of reducing Family Honor of my opponent. (losing personal honor has consequences on what the player can do in the game. this results in slowing him down). When the player's Family Honor gets to -20 that player loses the game. That's what my deck was capable of. The problem I encountered was some time later when I discovered a different approach of playing a military deck. I played against Unicorn military deck. My opponent played many cheap personalities and attacked in swarms. This was too fast for me and I quickly died. At that time I was incapable of finding out how to improve my deck and help wasn't really near.

Few years later I came back to the game and there were people willing to teach me the game. But most of the time I did not get any good information about the game rules and the turn structure. The games mostly resulted in once again a pretty long game where in the end the biggest unit with most attachments got through and destroyed all the provinces. Something was wrong with the game...

Few years later I tried once again. This time the game looked completely different. When I first started to play, the game was just changing its design. But the differences in the design weren't that big. Now few years later the cards look completely different. It was confusing at first as strategy cards were no longer red and there were different types of cards (actually there were card types missing rather than the other way round).

During one long night I was given a L5R lesson in the form of Mantis vs Lion starter. I played Lion and even though at first choosing to be military I switched to play Honor (when you reach 40 and it is your turn you win the game) it worked. As I had someone thinking the same way as I do and really trying to win the game as best as the player can I finally understood the mechanics of the game. Now everything made sense (except that the rules are quite different from those I more or less knew) and soon I was able to come up with what the deck I have in hands would need.

It was a long process coming up with Lion Honor. I had no idea what cards existed in the game and what effects I could search for (yeah, of course something that says "gain honor"). Anyway I started trying to figure out how I could use my stronghold and accordingly build my fate and dynasty deck.

Each player has a Stronghold, Border Keep, Fate Deck and Dynasty deck.
Stronghold is something that defines the players deck (Clan). Each Stronghold has an ability and determines the win condition. It also determines the province strength, starting family honor and gold production. Border keep (a novelty to me but I got used to it quickly). Border Keep is a holding that lets you "mulligan" cards in your provinces and also produces gold. Dynasty deck holds you personalities and holdings. Fate deck constitutes of other cards that represent spells, armor, weapons and battle strategies.


My stronghold says: "Battle: Target your unbowed Personality and discard a card: Bow a target enemy Personality with lower Personal Honor. Gain 2 Honor if you discarded a Bushido Virtue."

This limited me enough to search for something. I started looking for Lion Paragons with Personal Honor = 4 for my Dynasty deck and for Bushido Virtue cards for my fate deck. I soon discovered that I can't build a fully Paragon deck and that I need to borrow some other personalities. The same was with Fate deck. I started to think about the numbers of Paragon personalities needed and Bushido Virtue needed. I later realized that the number is not actually that big. In the end I ended up with Paragons with PH=4 and deathseekers that are required for Fate cards that can gain me a lot of 'Honor'. After some time I got to a build that I liked and it was supposed to work the way I wanted it. But for some reason it did not work. Why? Later I found out that the Gold Production of Lion Clan is one lower than of most other clans and thus the personalities I play need to be cheaper. This let me choose different personalities and the deck started to work well. (it's funny deck, it dies surely to other Honor and Dishonor decks but it still can switch to military mode).

This period of building this deck taught me many things and showed me a different approaches I can take. In the end I realized that tempo in the game is really important and the choice of the cards I want to play is really important as well. Now I can say what I need in turn 1, turn 2 etc and what I need if the game goes awry etc. I'm not good L5R player but after those 12 years I finally understand what it means to play L5R. Building a deck yourself and playing the way you want is really important. I was always stating this when speaking about Magic. Nowadays in Magic anyone can just take a deck and play it to some extent. In L5R it doesn't work out so easily.

In the meantime I build a Mantis Commander deck which I'm really struggling with but for the time being counting as the best competitive deck I have (there are two proxies though), Crab clan deck which started as a berserker deck built by Lukas, later has been changed by me to be more of hero deck, then back to berserker deck. Later I changed the stronghold and made it less berserker, more hero and less Crab. The deck did not manage to get stable ... (now it's in a duelist/hero variant). I also played few games with Phoenix Honor which I liked but there were things I just couldn't do much about (like not being able to get the right personalities) and this deck just couldn't fight battles (unlike Lion). I build a Scorpion Ninja deck lately that showed me that Scorpion Ninjas aren't good and can't get better...now after few months I'm still searching for a clan (for sure it's not going to be Dragon Clan).

Usually in L5R a player choses a clan that suits his play style. Each clan has its primary win conditions and secondary ones. The primary ones can be played at competitive level. Even though most of the decks are military...it does not mean that they use the same 'strategy'. They don't. Dragons are duelists, Crabs are strong and hard to kill, Lions are little tacticians (that can augment their strength in battle), Mantis use naval and ranged attacks. All this might not tell you anything specific but well just understand that each clan has a different tactic they use. If you find a style you like you can keep to that clan.
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Now there's one last thing I should mention. Most of the players would probably put this at the beginning. The game setting is set in Rokugan a fictional empire that is similar to feudal Japan though it also includes aspects of other Asian cultures, mostly Chinese but also Mongolian and sometimes Korean. There is magic and mythical/magical beings in the game.
If you know the setting of Kara-Tur or Oriental Adventures by WotC you also know everything about Rokugan.

The society in Rokugan is divided into clans. There are Great clans and minor clans.

The Crab Clan is considered the least cultured or courtly of all the clans. They guard the Carpenter Wall that separates the Empire of Rokugan from Shadowlands. In Shadowlands we can find various undead creatures, demons (Oni) and other evil creatures like goblins for example. They guard the Wall for ages and that is why they are masters of defense. Their warriors are experienced in battle, wield massive weapons - tetsubo (a long two handed club) or no-dachi (long two handed sword used by infantry against cavalry).

The Crane Clan is considered the most artistic of all the clans. They are known for their trained courtiers, artisans and duelists. Crane samurai are arguably the finest duelists in Rokugan. They are trained in Iaijutsu (martial art consisting of drawing a katana out of its scabbard - saya) which makes them good duelists as they can quickly draw the sword and kill the opposing dueliest with one slash.

The Dragon Clan controls the mountains to the north of the Empire where they reside in their strongholds and ignore what's going on in the rest of Rokugan. Most of their homeland is being cut off by heavy snow for most of the time of the year. Their samurai are masters of niten ichi combat style which consists of using both katana and wakizashi, those who showed affinity for elements (thus becoming shugenja) were of taught of them by Agasha. The rest showing neither talent in battle nor 'casting spells' became monks.

The Lion Clan is known as a very aggressive and honor-driven clan. They are the Emperor's Right Hand, personally defending his causes above all else. Some of the finest generals of all Rokugan have come from the Lion clan. The Lion Clan also has the biggest army in the empire, and it's known for its rigid adherence to the Bushido's Code.

The Phoenix Clan is known as the most skilled with magic in the empire, and also as the most peaceful. They have schools of magic associated with each element (Fire, Water, Earth, Air), including the empire's only school dealing with Void magic.

The Scorpion Clan is known as the Underhand of the Emperor. They are known for their courtiers' abilities. Their ninja are experts in assassination and espionage. Scorpion knowledge is not shared with outsiders, but is a true thing of power. Scorpion architects have constructed many key structures throughout Rokugan. As a result many of those structures have secret passages and rooms unknown to all but the Scorpion clan. It is a Scorpion tradition to always be masked or face painted.

The Unicorn Clan is known for their cavalry and horsemanship. They are considered barbarians by the other clans because the clan as a whole spent nearly 800 of the last thousand years outside of the Empire. They hunt game and eat red meat and have adopted a number of other customs that are considered taboo by the rest of the Clans (eating meat - especially red meat - is meant only for the lowest ranks in the social hierarchy. it's considered barbar).
Before they left the Empire the Unicorn Clan was known as the Ki-Rin Clan. The Unicorn clan as we know it is 'founded' by the descendants of Ki-Rin clan. However the horses they brought back from far off lands are faster, stronger, and larger than any found in Rokugan.

The Mantis Clan was originally a minor clan. But became one of the Greater clans. Their duty within the Emerald Empire is to guard and patrol the seas of Rokugan, protecting the Empire against threats from the oceans.

There are many minor clans usually bearing the name of animals (hare, ox, badger, fox whatever else...). Some of these clans were absorbed by other Greater clans (example Fox clan was absorbed by Mantis clan, Snake clan by Spider clan.)

And lastly there is the Spider Clan which is not actually a Greater Clan as the rest of the clans. The clan is now hunted through the Empire, since it has been revealed that it is the Clan of the Dark Lord Daigotsu.

Well, that's all the basic info about clans you can probably get. The 'world' of Rokugan has its history as well as its clans. There are many stories being written and a lot has happen in this setting. Many will quote what which personality said and many will be telling you of what happened. I'm fed up with being targeted with "we also want our empire, you have your own!". I have no idea how Mantis got an Empire and personally I don't care about it.

The setting is a melting pot of Asian cultures and for me it is really difficult to accept this as a fact. This makes many things just wrong and it creates false 'knowledge' of Japanese culture. Some players understand this and can distinguish between the fantasy world of Rokugan but some just can't. It hurts me and pains my eyes. The names and some behavior just don't make sense.

If you know Oriental Adventures 3e, then you probably know the setting. Kara-Tur setting was pretty similar as well (except that it has different history and is a part of Abeir-Toril, thus Forgotten Realms setting.)

Overall this game is really a good game, complicated but that's also the charm of it. I spend several years telling me that when Magic goes wrong this is the game I'm going to switch to.

Well Magic got wrong, I play L5R and I like it (but I still hope that Magic gets back to where it was...but I guess I can't hope in this)

SoM Prerelease

Today some of you might expect me posting about Scars of Mirrodin. I did not play the sealed deck and I did not really go through the spoiler so well... I can't describe my experience with SoM much. I knew of the 3 planeswalkers' existence and I knew about the new Mox. I read the spoiler once. I did not really get to the artifact part though. At first I liked the idea of infect but seeing it in action at the tournament I'm not convinced that this was a good idea. Proliferate was something that could have a real impact on the game so it shouldn't be ignored. And metalcraft? Hm, well having three artifacts that actually do something except than doing nothing worth noting is quite difficult. But who knows this might actually work. Chalices come to mind, we have an indestructible artifact, mox and memnite...something has to come out of it. But what it is going to be?

Anyway I ignored the (Scars of) Mirrodin spoilers and rumors for the whole time but I managed to hear something about Mirrans and Phyrexia (messing with Mirrans). I couldn't believe it. After opening few boosters I realized that it's actually true. Then I remembered the email announcing Game Day. For the SoM game day each player can build a deck that is affiliated with Mirran or Phyrexia. The cards in SoM are watermarked. The more or less circle watermark belongs to Mirran and the other one is Phyrexian (poison counter has the Phyrexia watermark). Each deck must contain at least 10 cards of one faction and none of the other one. The two best players of each faction will receive a Mirrodin Besieged promo card (either Phyrexian or Mirran based on the deck they played with). BTW each participant will receive Memnite promo card and top 8 players will receive Tempered Steel.
----------
On Saturday morning we got up and started cleaning our game store. Then we moved a computer, screen and other stuff to create a judge station in the main gaming room. On the screen we had a timer and DCI reporter was running there as well. I was showing pairings and standings on the screen.

I tried to make smaller but nicer (than last time) numbers on the table number markers and Lukas sticked them to the tables. An hour later everything was ready and people could come in.

Most players were pre-registered so those got a 20 sided die and a pencil for free. All of the players got Thermal navigator which could be redeemed - a drink and a candy of choice. Two players arriving from airport came a bit late otherwise we would start on time.

I gave each player his pool and told them what to do with the checklist. Everyone started sorting out the cards and first mythic rare was revealed. Tomas opened a foil Venser. Everyone was at awe but not so many people knew that he also got Wurmcoil Engine and other good rares. We all agreed that this deck would be the winning deck. In the end it wasn't the case. The not so experienced player played it and did not win the tournament. The person who opened this pool though won the whole tournament^_^.

The tournament went on smoothly and I hope that all the players enjoyed it. I had to explain what protection from artifacts does to some players but otherwise everything was ok.

I hope that next pre-release tournament will be as good as this one or even better. Thank you everyone for coming and playing.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

UB Control...

We are trying to figure out some new decks for the new T2 constructed. Yeah, we know that Scars of Mirrodin can change a lot of things but we have what to do and it is something we like to do.

EDIT: Well, as it seems counterspells are not so good as they are on extended. Mana Leak does not really work here, cancel can help but it's nothing awesome.

This deck would need a fast removal for cards like birds of paradise and lotus cobra as these can mean serious problems later. I added Jace's Ingenuity twice and 4x smother. But still this deck is winning with Jace or Titan but it's a really bad deck right now. I wish something like this would be playable with changes but I would like to stay in these colors. Why white has to be so powerful?

UB Control
3x Brittle Effigy
2x Grave Titan
3x Cancel
3x Mana Leak
3x Gatekeeper
4x Consuming Vapors
4x Sea Gate Oracle
4x Jace the Mindsculptor
4x Abyssal Persecutor
4x Spreading Seas
4x Drowned Catacomb
4x Creeping Tar Pit
1x Jwari Refuge
3x Mystifying Maze
Islands and Swamps

Friday, July 16, 2010

Discard/dreams?

I started to think about a deck for our next Extended casual tournament and I wanted to try a BR discard deck now that we have "megrim" for 1B and drawing cards in form of Temple Bell. Dark Tutelage also caught my eye and I wanted to try it.

BR Discard
4x Liliana's Caress
4x Rotting Rats
4x Liliana's Specter
4x Blightning
4x Burning Inquiry
2x Temple Bell
2x Dark Tutelage
4x Lightning Bolt (not sure of this)
3x Terminate
3x Sign in Blood
3x Underworld Dreams (antijace^^ but well not sure of this card yet)/3x Nyxathid (usually does nothing...)
2x Earthquake (not sure about MD)
---
As for lands I have 4x Dragonskull summit and 4x Graven Cairns. Lavaclaw reaches seems to be slowing me down a lot. But I can try to give it a second chance.

We will see what this deck can do and what it needs more and what less (if I continue playing with it).

What is in consideration...

Inquisition of Kozilek
Duress
more card draw
leyline of the void
or even megrim or two (forget this)?

hm suffer the past does not seem bad^_^ either.

Monday, July 12, 2010

M11 Prerelease

On Saturday I participated in our local preview tournament. I was looking forward to it. I thought that I could open something nice.

In my first booster I opened a green leyline what a surprise. I continued in opening and got Elvish Archdruid. Nice card but definitely not for sealed deck. Third booster did not bring anything better. In the fourth one I opened to my surprise Angelic Arbiter. Nice card but well with so many doom blades, assassinates removal that card is not such a bomb. In the last two boosters I opened Brittle Effigy and Mystifying Maze^_^. I was happy to get those.

I went through my cards and I liked black, blue and red. White wasn't that bad either as I had three removal in it and flyers + arbiter. But even that did not make me want to play it. I chose to play blue and black. I got some aether adepts, air servant, phantom beast, some counter spells and preordain, foresee and even jace's card draw.

In round one I played against bw deck. With my blue spells I was slowing down my opponent till the point I could play something dangerous myself. I wasn't lucky in drawing a swamp card though so I died when I ran out of blue spells. In game two the same fate was awaiting my opponent. It was a sad game. In the third game we had lots of fun with my Air Servant. I played him for the first time expecting it to be killed. It got killed, so I played gravedigger and taking it back to my hand. My opponent played Mind Rot though. I couldn't counter that and discarded that card once again. My opponent played Rise from the grave and reanimated my poor Servant. The card on my hand was Aether Adept. So after my opponent let me play I played it targeting once again my Servant. I got it back and played it. With this card in play I killed my opponent.

In round 2 I played against quite fast BR aggro. I had to deal with Goblin Balloon Brigade, Bloodthorne Vampire + Reassembling Skeleton and 3/3 Defender that can fly and lose defender. That was too much for my blue spells. I decided to switch to red. I knew that my opponent played cards like Rotting Legion and Fire Servant which are much slower than mine. My curve ends with 4 if I won't count Lava Axe and Fireballs.
I put that in and beat my opponent so fast that he did not even know what to do. I have to admit that I was unfair with Brittle Effigy. This removal held my opponent at bay for some time and that's all I needed. Game 3 was even faster.

For round three I was paired against some person having 2:0 as well. Nothing to be surprised about...but he looked pretty arrogant and the look in his eyes was pretty uncomfortable and he was looking at me in disbelief. Surprised that a girl can have 2:0? No matter what we started playing. On turn one I had to show him my hand. He discarded Volcanic Strength as that was the only non creature, nonland card. He played Cudgel Troll later and Nightwing Shade I played Prodigal Pyromancer hoping to be able to kill both creatures with my Fireball later. He got me under 10 life but he tapped out eventually to play something. I played fireball targeting his two creatures dealing 2 damages two each. Pyromancer dealt the last damage to the this-turn-not-regenerating Troll. After this I finally started attacking.
The second game was similar. Early he played Duress. I showed him my opening hand - Pyroclasm, Fireball, Doomblade and some lands. He discarded Fireball. I did not play anything till he played Cudgel Troll. On the following turn he played Howling Banshee. I killed his Troll then and turn later I killed the banshee as well. After that it was my turn to be attacking with Vulshock Berserker.

Round four was quick. I was paired down as I already played with the rest of the people (and I was the only one having 3:0). I mulled to 5 having only one land and died as I couldn't draw more lands. In game two I got stuck at two lands and couldn't draw more. Not funny. My secondary points went down. Now my "fate" was in Lukas' and Kuba's hands. Lukas winning the match would mean 3rd place for me, Kuba winning would mean me being first. I had more faith in Lukas but in the end it was him who lost the last game and I came up first.

BR
2x Quag Sickness
1x Doom Blade
1x Howling Banshee
1x Mind Rot
1x Bog Raiders
1x Barony Vampire
1x Gravedigger
1x Reassembling Skeleton
1x Liliana's Specter
2x Prodigal Pyromancer
1x Goblin Piker
1x Goblin Balloon Brigade
1x Vulshok Berserker
1x Fiery Hellhound
1x Pyroclasm
1x Chandra's Outrage
1x Act of Treason
1x Fireball
1x Lava Axe
1x Volcanic Strength
1x Brittle Effigy
1x Mystifying Maze

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gnome Warlock

A second deck... Dizdemona my pinky purple Warlock...

Dizdemona
Allies: 36
1x Infernal
4x Grimdron
4x Parvink
3x Sarmoth
3x Moira Darkheart
3x Tristan Rapidstrike
2x Acolyte Demia
3x Apprentice Tap

Abilities and Equipments: 17
4x Steal Essence
4x Shadowbolt
4x Life Tap
3x Vanquish
2x Sever the cord

Quests and Locations: 17
4x Chasing A-Me 01
4x Missing Diplomate
4x Kibler's Exotic Pets
2x In Dreams
3x Your fortune Awaits you

Tauren Shaman

I bought some cards from Azeroth so here's my first deck...It will need some other cards to please me but well let's say it's deck no.1

Grennan Stormspeaker
Allies
3x Zy'Lah Manslayer
2x Ophelia Burrows
3x Zygore Bladebreaker
4x Taz'Dingo
4x Hierophant Caydem
3x Kulan Earthguard

Abilities and Equipments
3x Annihilator
4x Searing Totem
2x Draconian Deflector
1x Fist of Mukoa
3x Ghost Wolf
4x Frost Shock
3x Chain Lightning
3x Vanquish

Quests and Locations
4x Chasing A-Me 01
3x Enemies Old and New
4x Torek's Assault
3x In Dreams
2x Sunken Treasure
1x Your fortune Awaits you

Friday, July 9, 2010

Orc Shaman

I played WoW TCG and I started wandering what my own deck should look like. I tried playing several decks but they seem unfinished or being badly build. I sat down to think about a deck that I would consider playable.

I'm not really sure what to do with the quests. I need to try what the deck needs and I also don't know what the number of the quests should be. I would say 16 should be fine, this deck is quite fast but still needs to drip a 6 drop. So well..let's say 15.

I don't know if band of the inevitable is good thing. The card is really good and good against warriors I mostly played, but is it worth playing against other decks? probably yes, each class uses items/equipment of some sort I guess.

Now I need to find someone to play with and try it out.

Shalu Stormshatter
Allies
3x Rehgar Earthfury
4x Kazamon Steelskin
4x Furious Kalla
4x Kagella Shadowmark
3x Kagra of the Crossroads
3x Ghank
4x Bloodsoul

Abilities and Equipments
2x Storm Shock
4x Fire Elemental Totem
4x Grounding Totem
4x Lightning Arc
3x Quickstrider Moccasins
3x Band of the inevitable


Quests and Locations
4x Orgrimar
3x Uncatalogued Species
3x Torek's Assault
3x Your Fortune Awaits you
2x Gahz'ridian

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MtG: Duels of the Planeswalkers

There were few people that came to our store and were asking for Duels of the Planeswalkers. I had to tell them that I have no idea about the game, decks whatsoever. Yesterday I decided to try the game out. I've already played it several times as you could try it at the last GPs or other big events organized by WotC. But when I was playing it on Xbox (sitting on a huge green sofa and looking at a big LCD screen) the game was rather confusing and boring. I had difficulties with realizing what cards are played and I was confused about the comtrols. It was better to take out my deck and catch an opponent IRL.

I downloaded the game and had few difficulties running it. First I managed to create a new account on steam (ten minutes later realizing that stsung account is actually mine as I used that one for Counter Strike) and later I managed to run the game.

The aspect ratio of the few first screen was wrong and I was wondering if I will have to deal with other problems but hopefully the game loaded just fine and I could start playing it.

So if you have no idea what the game is about. It's a Magic: The Gathering card game simulation. So don't expect an action game or something.
The simulation is not complete as it does many things for you automatically. You don't need to shuffle your library, draw a card, search your library etc. There are things you can set differently (for example browsing your entire library - otherwise it will let you browse only the relevant cards you are looking for). This game was first released on Xbox and now is available on PC via steam. It costs 9EUR and there is an expansion set available for another 3 EUR.

The graphics and the user interface is nice, the music is nice as well and the sounds used during play are not that disturbing as those in MTGO (the official Online version of Magic). Each spell and action has an animation which is quite ok but it can get long (hopefully you can skip the combat ones).

When the game fully loaded I clicked on something saying that I play Magic for a long time and I was ready to go. I started a campaign and I was shown a list with Planeswalkers' names. I chose to play the first 'battle' against Chandra. I chose to play with a red deck hoping for some burn and fast creatures. During the first game I tried to figure out how to operate the game. It came to me quite easily even though there are things I did not figure out myself without checking the controls in the settings later.

With arrows you can move between permanents on the table and your hand. Enter is used for confirming or playing spells. A tab key is used to skip phases/steps. Whenever you are given priority you can press spacebar to stop the timer and play what you need or just play it right away if you are fast enough (the cards you can play are highlighted in blue). Sometimes I managed to 'miss play' or choose a wrong target several times because of not stopping the timer and having the automatic skipping of steps/phases turned on.

This takes me to the settings. When I played my first game I was given tips like "Flying means that a creature with flying cannot be blocked by creatures without it" or something like that. This is slowing you down if you already know this so you can turn it off. Also the computer just skipped the rest of your turn if it "knew" that you can't play anything. This way you got from the first main phase directly to your opponents one which was confusing me. There was also some weird automatic targeting and resolving spells. That's why I went into settings and tried to figure out if I can make this MANUAL or not. Hopefully you can turn all these settings off. But than it also means more clicking and more pressing of the tab key^^. But at least you have control over the game (more than before). But it prevents you from resolving Holy Day at a wrong time^^.

As I mentioned before the game does some things for you. What is quite annoying is that it taps lands for you, sometimes it will tap wrong lands. For example in one of the challenges I wanted to play one card for GG, one card for G and one for 2B. I played the black one first and it tapped a forest and two swamps which resulted in me not having three forests untapped. So if you already know what you are going to play during the whole round you should count with this as well.

Now to deckbuilding and computer AI. The game has certain kind of preconstructed decks with which it plays. You have some of the decks at your disposal. The decks are rather simple. One of the more sophisticated decks is this one for example...

Ajani Goldmane
3x Bull Ceredon
1x Brion Stoutarm
2x Farhaven Elf
3x Grizzly Bears
2x Knight of the Skyward Eye
3x Rip-Clan Crasher
3x Tundra Wolves
3x Wooly Thoctar

2x Blaze
2x Incinerate
2x Naturalize
4x Pacifism
4x Rampant Growth
1x Sangrite Surge
1x Wild Swing
+24 lands


A magic player would expect that after unlocking some cards (which you can do, each battle won unlocks one card) he or she would be able to change the decklist. Well, he's not and that's probably because of the AI (it would not know how to play against your own decks). What you can do though is add the unlocked cards to your deck. Each deck can have 20 additional cards that can be added. The game adds lands in the 3:2 ratio automatically. But I don't really feel like playing with a deck that consists of 100 cards or something...

I don't know how the AI works and I don't know if each duel in the campaign has different AI or not (in that case it would only depend on the decks). I got just up to Jace with Elspeth's Wings of something deck. I have to say that I had real troubles beating Liliana. She always played some drudge skeletons early in the game then added megrim and underworld dreams. She played mind rot when I really needed to keep my cards and added ravenous rats to all that. When my creatures were on the table flying or with first strike she just gave them +0/-2 and I was doomed. If I even managed to get her life total under 10 she played consume spirit. Just cool...

I beat her after I have no idea how many mulligans - my winning hand was Youthful Knight, Suntail Hawk and 2 plains. During the game I managed to draw another Knight and played it. All of the creatures managed to do some damage. I played pacifism on Drudge Skeletons and I forced Liliana to block with her 2/1 imps and rats that hopefully just died because of first strike damage. Liliana played Megrim and Underworld dreams. Having 6 lands at that time. Later she forced me to discard 2x Angel of Mercy, 2x Holy day and I was slowly losing life because of my draws. She played more discard spells than usually and that was her doom. I was afraid of Consume Spirit but she did not draw it. She finally got 0 cards on her hand and I happily attacked for 5 with a blessed Knight (angelic blessing) being at 1 life and having 3 lands in play. (I was waiting for the 3rd land for AGES. I had the last chance to top deck a land card and I did not even expect to draw it...dreams would kill me next time I would draw. but the land card came^_^)

If you are tired with dueling you can go to challenges and solve the puzzles. You are given a situation and you have to win in that round except the last challenge (where you take two rounds to beat your opponent). There is one challenge we had difficulties with (and the last one as well, but that was just because we forgot what Condemn does...otherwise the last challenge is simple). The challenges are quite fun. I want more of these^^. Even though there are some challenges that we solved in a way that we would not really be trying in real game because we would expect that our opponent would do something else than what the AI in the game does. Also a deck with 5 condemns is pretty suspicious... (and the challenges have more solutions)

Well, that's about it I guess. Have fun with the game both offline and online.

EDIT: One more thing...is it possible to do something during upkeep??? Because there's Razormane Masticore in one of the decks does it even trigger in the game? ...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Arcade Service Travel Bug

By accident I checked the geocaching site and I found out that ACTB is located just few hundred meters away from the place I was standing at that time. I had to go and get it... (around 1am)
I will go take some photos of it with my arcade machine and will post the photos later.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

パラパラ Frontal Impact

The sound will need to be changed before I submit this...but anyway here's Frontal Impact!

Video - My Trip To Pilsen Micro Edit

For micro editing I decided to use footage from our way to Pilsen to play Pump it up. I shot the first videos not featuring me and Xsoft shot the videos while I was playing Pump It Up.

I appended the videos in AviSynth, edited the videos in AviSynth as well. Sound tracks are put together in Goldwave and everything is exported using Virtual Dub.

All this just because Adobe Premiere seems to be on strike.

Anti blightning deck

In our game store there is a tournament for beginners (the level varies, sometimes there are serious extended decks played, sometimes real beginners come to play in these tournaments - most of the time it used to be the mixture of both) each Sunday.

It is said to be of extended format but it usually comes down to some weird type 2 decks with Lorwyn/Shadowmoor cards + few Extended decks (like Thopter/Depths, Scapeshift, Zoo or Doran rock). 2/3 of the kids play some kind of blightning aggro or burn deck (they usually win over other deck types as no one can do much about Blightning). I participated in the tournament last time to fill up the last even slot with some 'Boros can't win deck'. Taking my Zoo would not be fair.

Most of the games looked like Blightning followed by Blightning. I was left with no cards in hand usually. After this usually it was 'the person who draws more burn spells wins'. My deck did not run that much burn and the games weren't fun at all^^ Unless you like top decking and being happy for anything that can instantly deal damage to your opponent. Once though I luckily drew Ranger of Eos, I played it along with the cards it found (Goblin Guide and Spark Elemental) and my opponent just burned two of those creatures and terminated the last one (and still he had 1 card in his hand left)..after that I just died to Staggershocks, Lightning Bolts and some unearth guys.

After the tournament I started thinking about a deck that would wake these guys up - showing them that way that Blightning aggro does not need to be the best deck ever.
At first I just thought about running some mono white deck with life gain and kitchen finks but Lukas remarked that the number one anti-blightning card is Wilt-leaf Liege^^.

I got this for them...and if they happen to be odd in numbers I will actually play this next time.

Oversoul (of dusk)
4x Wilt-Leaf Liege
4x Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers
4x Kitchen Finks
3x Oversoul of Dusk
2x Loxodon Hierarch
2x Loxodon Gatekeeper
4x Llanowar Elves
4x Steward of Valeron
4x Watchwolf
1x Path To Exile
3x Oblivion Ring
1x Condemn
4x Stirring Wildwood (I don't plan playing Temple Garden)
4x Wooded Bastion
Plains and Forests...

SB: hm...more protection from red? ^^
and some enchantment/artifact removal...(actually pridemage might do...might replace something in MD but well doing sideboard for completely random meta is quite difficult especially when the level can be between anywhere between beginning players' decks, casual decks to normally played extended decks).
Heh, if they ever ask me for a game I look forward to be targeted with Blightning^_^.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

パラパラ Velfarre2000

We had a shooting session with Jana and Veronika on Saturday. Each of us recorded what we wanted for school and then we were ready for post production. The problem is that the videos are of really bad quality. The camera was changing focus during the recording and even the colors were changing at the same time. I tried to mess with the source file with Avisynth and then later I imported in After Effects.

This is the final result. It is me doing Para Para routine called Velfarre2000.

note: Para Para is a popular Japanese synchronised group dance that is danced in clubs, but you can see dancers outside in the streets as well.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Extended for fun

On Saturday I found by an accident some Pillars of the Paruns. Luki seemed like he would want to build a deck based on multicolor split cards. The day later we went to a park and played few games of Magic there. Wind was blowing (it seemed that a storm would come sooner or later). Still we decided to play. I wasn't sure if I want to play with my Zoo (not a cheap deck really^_~) and Luki proclaimed something like "the best deck for this weather [windy one] is to play a multicolor deck with lot of planeswalkers, vivids and gemstone mines". It took me a while to realize what he meant with it. But well you know counters weight quite a bit and can hold a card down.

When we came back the idea of planeswalkers and 5c deck was still there in his mind so we decided to build some casual decks for extended. His proclamation made me laugh several more times so I wanted to go for some Persist deck. Luki kept to his 5c control.

At first I wanted to play it in Jund colors with Sprouting Thrinax and Soul's Fire but I was too lazy trying to figure out what the mana base should be. So I took Quillspikes, Devoted Druids and Rites of Consumptions and decided to add few cards that would come in handy.

Yum Yum -1/-1 Counters
Creatures: 22
4x Quillspike
4x Devoted Druid
3x Putrid Leech
3x Murderous Redcap
2x Nantuko Husk
2x Bloodthrone Vampire
4x Kitchen Finks

Other spells: 16
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
4x Maelstrom Pulse (Putrefy)
4x Vines of Vastwood
4x Rite of Consumption

Lands: 22
I added some lands...without really thinking about it
It worked though.

7x Forest
7x Swamp
2x Twilight Mire
2x Overgrown Tomb
4x Verdant Catacombs

Kitchen Finks gain a lot of life and they are quite good attackers and good blockers. Redcap can kill some creatures even though it won't kill Wild Nacatl nor Kird Ape etc. That's why I choose to play 3 of them.

I needed something to sacrifice my creatures. I wanted to play Nantuko Husk 4x but I realized that there's a creature for 1B having the same ability. Not sure which creature is better so I have 2 of each for the time being. I wanted this deck to be more aggro so I added Putrid Leech as well. It does not have persist but can pump itself which saves it against Bolt, Helix, Firespout etc.

I wasn't really sure about the rest...Vines of Vastwood is there for protecting Devoted druid or well that was the original idea as I need devoted druid to be able to produce mana. Inquisition of Kozilek seemed good idea as well. This will get me rid of all the cards I don't want to see. I was left with one more slot in the end. I was thinking about adding Safehold Elite but then decided to add some kind of removal. The only universal removal is Maelstrom Pulse but how good is that at extended? Putrefy should be good enough.

I'll have some Matrixes/Needles in sideboard. Most probably Firespout as well. We will see how this can fare against other Extended decks than the 5cc and Zoo I played against.

Battle Night no.15

This Saturday there was Battle Night no.15 held in Prague. The event took place in Abaton.

There were two stages where dance and rap battles were taking place + one chill out zone where you could relax and chat with the others.

I have to say that I was amazed by Abaton space and the people who came for the event.

Just writing this down as it was a good experience. Rather tiring and nothing for me but experience nonetheless.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Grixis Control changing into UB?

Well, it's been along time that I wanted to play Grixis Control and I never really managed to play it at tournaments except one qualifier tournament (a long story short...I lent my deck to someone who was wanted to go there but did not show up. instead I went there but the guy did not give my deck back...so I played with my partly proxied Grixis Deck (see Jaces were in UW at that time)).

I started with version that did not run Blightning and run double negatives, essence scatter and negate. Later I was adding more removal and ended up only with 4 countersqualls and 4 blightnings. The final deck after a long time of changing it (I even tried a burn version of Grixis but I did not like it, Snapper aggro did not work either^^. I also tried paying Nicol Bolas and Sorin..but none proved to be as good as Jace TMS^^) had:

Grixis Control
3x Cruel Ultimatum
3x Gatekeeper of Malakir
4x Sedraxis Spectres
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Sphinx of Jwar Isle
2x Countersquall
3x Jace TMS
4x Blightning
4x Spreading Seas
3x Terminate
3x SGC
+26 lands
61 cards in total

This deck was fun but not really for competitive play even though I got quite a nice result with it at GPT BXL. At least I have to say that I had lots of fun with the deck. So I don't regret messing around with this deck for so long. After playing UWR Planeswalker, Grixis Control and UW control I have to say that the deck I chose next was really boring - Mono White aggro. I switched to Jund and failed to qualify for Nationals (I was so close - actually one silly mistake about forgetting that damages don't go on stack anymore -_- *facepalm*). Now I need to come up with something that I would like to play even just for fun.

Lately my friend showed me that similar Grixis deck that won a PTQ Amsterdam.
That player had different mana base than me (27 lands in total vs my 26) and ran Staggershocks instead of Countersqualls, he had different numbers of Jaces (4 in his case), 2 ultimatums and did not run SOJIs (I also tried no-SOJI versions but I felt better with it there anyway). The differences in mana base were as follows. (I write this more for myself to see it written at one place, might be irrelevant but my manabase wasn't the best...I'm not good at this. Figuring out my mana base for my UWR 'walker was a nightmare...hopefully someone intelligent came up with this deck later^^ so I copied the mana base and it started to work right).

3x mountains - 2x mountains
1x catacomb - 2x Catacomb
2x summit - 3x Summit
4x scalding tarn - 3x Scalding Tarn
3x islands - 2x Islands
5x swamps - 4x Swamps

With the new rotation Grixis decks won't be playable and thus I need to come up with something new. I just sat down and started thinking about the new upcoming format. I was thinking about Jund sacrifice/ramp deck with Eldrazi, UG ramp/control and UB control. In the end ... I tried drafting out the UB as this might actually end up as some kind of control without running some crazy Eldrazi (but that also means that I will have to find a way how to deal with Eldrazi match ups).

UB Control
3x Gatekeeper of Malakir
4x Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
2x Sphinx of Jwar Isle
4x Jace TMS
4x Everflowing Chalice
3x Consume the Meek
2x Consuming Vapors (might play 4x)
4x Spreading Seas
4x Cancel (wish there would be more counters I could use)
2x Into the Roil (experimenting with this/otherwise 2x Consuming Vapors)
2x See Beyond (experimenting, it's there as it shuffles the library and draws cards)
---------
4x Drowned Catacomb (or well Refuge but I hope some good dual gets printed)
2x Evolving Wilds (so I can search or shuffle my library, not sure about the number)
4x Creeping Tar Pit (a must)
9x Island
7x Swamp
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SB:
Vampire Hexmage (against all those Jaces and Gideons)
Suffer the Past (I want to try this)
Consuming Vapors (if they won't be all MD)
and then who knows what people will play^^
you know stuff like negate or flashfreeze..blah blah.

I haven't tried to play with this deck much yet, but I'm going to do that when I find the time to do so. I played few games against my Grixis Control (ok someone else's now you can say) and it wasn't that bad. Both decks work in more or less the same manner so I really need to test the UB against something else and change the deck accordingly. We will see where this will lead to.

I need to make it work against Eldrazi decks though...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Faeries

It's been a while that I wanted to build some all common faeries. I don't have to test them though and can't think of anyone having all common legacy deck. I would like to try something like this...

MU Faeries
4x Spellstutter Sprite
4x Pestermite
4x Latchkey Faerie/Ninja of the Deep Hours
4x Cloud of Faeries
4x Rune Snag
4x Counterspell
4x Brainstorm/Ponder
+ some bounce spell (snap and call to heel?, +2x echoing truth)
Well, Cloud of Faeries is a must for me, same goes to Spellstutter Sprite. I love Pestermite (even though 3 might be enough). This faerie helps a lot and can solve many situations. I'm not sure of Latchkey Faerie though as a four-of.

I would like to play Counterspell and Rune Snag (mana leak seems "weaker to me" and daze does not seem necessary MD but I might discover that it is needed - who knows what's being played at legacy all common...). Actually Force Spike could do the job?

Brainstorm is a question. There are no cards that allow me to shuffle my library so Ponder comes to mind.

Instead I also considered playing Ninja of the Deep Hours. Because with bounce spells and counters it could really be a tempo deck and that would allow me to more draw cards and even counter more. And 2/2 unblocked sounds good already (better than 1/1 faeries). If I would play this card I could probably play that Shinobi ninja that bounces opponent's creature...

Mulldrifter comes to mind as well when talking about bigger creatures and something that gives me cards. Not sure about it. I could play a combination of the two and drop latchkeys altogether. What's better? When in need of bigger creatures there's always the faerie that gets +1/+1 if I control another permanent. I don't like the idea of playing something like that it could be a possibility as well.

Bounce spells. There are many I could use. Those most relevant to me are Snap that untap lands, Call To Heel that can draw me a card when needed and bounced Spellstutter Sprite does not sound bad and Echoing Truth (that is the card against Empty the Warrens). But I don't know what I need though... I have to try it first.

Hm does including Spire Golem seem silly?
---------------
Um that was just me thinking aloud...I don't really have experience with this format so it's difficult to build a deck just like this without testing it and knowing what's being played. But I will probably just sleeve something and play with it when the time comes^^.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Eventually ending up playing Jund

After wondering for a long time what to play in the next qualifier tournament I decided to come back to the one option I was trying to avoid - Jund. A deck that was a mystery to me. The deck was never winning by some strategy or good plays but rather randomly. And with me cascading into rampant growths or terminates...Anyway

The deck list I was toying around was:

Jund
4x Bloodbraid Elf
3x Maelstrom Pulse
2x Sarkhan the Mad
3x Broodmate Dragon
2x Terminate
4x Putrid Leech
4x Sprouting Thrinax
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Liliana Vess
3x Siege-Gang Commander
4x Blightning
(26 lands, 4x ravines, 2x reaches)
SB:
3x Jund Charm
2x Dragon's Claw
1x Basilisk Collar
1x Terminate (should be replaced by Pulse)
4x Doom Blade
4x Goblin Ruinblaster
At the Launch Party there were 4x Doom Blades, 3x Inquisition of Kozilek, 4x Contaminated Grounds, 1x Terminate, 3x Mind Rot in my SB. It was quite fun to play with these cards. Inquisition and C. Grounds showed up to be really fun against Mythic Bant and Boss Naya. But well I have to admit that 2 damage to all creatures and as much removal as possible is a better way.

In the first round I played against levelers. It was an easy win in the first game and in the second I was too slow for the little guys. 2x Time of Heroes and Venerated Teacher killed me. In the third game I sided in all the removal, inquisitions and I was fine.

In the second round I played against Vampires. It seemed to me that one single cascade means a win for Jund.

Next I played against Mythic Bant. I kept a bad hand and was shown hierarch, lotus cobra and t3 Baneslayer. That was all I needed to see. After side it was me who won. Contaminated Grounds worked wonders^^.

Round 4 was a bad match up for me. I played against Boss Naya. Whenever I tested this deck against my Jund deck I just lost...and it looked that way in this match as well. Even though the game was much better for me but later Naya managed to win.

In round 5 I played a very interesting mirror. Our life total was going down by the same increment but the player who played something first simply won. (I lost)

Anyway I tried to play with 2 Sarkhans maindeck and I have to say that all the games with him were fun. He proved to be really good late game. When he has nothing to do he can just draw a card which comes handy as well. Having a 5/5 flying creature instead of Lavaclaw Reaches also showed up to be good (against Mythic Bant or Naya) and with Broodmate on the table it gets even more interesting (in mirror this it's a killer). Having a 5/5 flyer out of a saproling is not bad either. And against Eldrazi guys he does wonders. Oh your guy is indestructible? How about sac it! (I played against some Eldrazi Greens with Eldrazi creatures...it was quite fun when I managed to survive early game)

After the tournament I knew that I want Jund Charm (deals with Vengevine and little guys - hierarchs, birds etc). Also I needed something against Jund except Ruinblasters (c.grounsd). I decided to try out Dragon's Claw and Collar. I tried that at NQ in Prague.
-----------------------
Nationals Qualifier

69 people came to participate and it all started with a long speech from our judge. He wasn't even funny but some quotes of his won't be forgotten probably. One of them is stating the format the tournament is played (after we were paired and the decklists were collected).

First I played against Ondrej Smid playing Jund as well. He was pretty unlucky and I beat him in both games.

In my second round I encountered Tomas Golan playing Boros. It seemed that he's playing mono red to some point. He did manage to deal some damage with Goblin Guide but was unable to draw something relevant (probably even a plains card) so I beat him in the first game. In the second one he sided mana barbs. He started with Goblin Guide and was attacking with it each turn giving me lands all the time except one card - Jund Charm. In the meantime I played Dragon's Claw hoping to gain some life knowing this would be crucial later in the game. My opponent played Mana Barbs for the first time. I pulsed that one. Second followed though. Hopefully my opponent played Ranger of Eos and Goblin Guide which dealt him more damage than I could do. I killed both creatures gaining and losing life in the process so in the end it wasn't that bad (still 12 life wasn't good). Few turns later he played almost all he had on his hand thinking I couldn't kill it if he plays second manabarbs after it. This would kill me if I still wouldn't have that Jund Charm (he forgot about the card). Still even though he lost to me he qualified at this NQ. Congrats!

The next round wasn't really interesting. I played against Eldrazi Green. I kept my opponent out of mana acceleration and that worked. After this I played against 2 junds and lost both of the matches. In the first game I got stuck with 3 lands and in the second I mulled to five because of not having lands as well. In this game my opponent showed me a god hand - ruinblasters, bloodbraid into blightning...and that was all he needed. In the second match against mirror I lost both games to my stupidity. It was rather not realizing the fact that damages don't go on stack. When I realized it during combat it was too late. The other mistake was that I miscalculated my life total. I should have won this match. *facepalm*

Last round I encountered Mono Green Beatdown and was really overrun. Congrats to the player as well (I suppose he qualified).

I ended up 19th. 16 players qualified.
The tournament was nice.

EDIT: I might have forgotten some matches. I played against UW control and I have to say that Wall of Blossoms (er of Omens?) is really annoying. I dealt myself about ten damages before I could deal some damage to the opponent myself. Then I was simply waiting for Day of Judgment...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Figure Drawing

We had our Digital Video Postproduction class in the studio where Drawing classes were given. After some time (of putting lights together, unpacking and setting things up) I decided to draw few pictures myself.

The first one took me about 5 minutes. It was the last figure drawing for which the class was allowed more than just 1 or 2 minutes.



After this we had to draw a series of figures for which we were given a minute and half or so.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Restaurant Impuls - Pilsen

The Magic: The Gathering National Qualifiers took place in a restaurant IMPULS located at Sokolovská 48. From some people I heard that this place used to be really bad and that they don't look forward to playing there. When I got there though I realized that this place is far better than I expected.

Actually there is a arcades' hall and bowling bar Impuls and that place really looks terrible. It wasn't the place we were heading though (might be possible that this is the place people were talking about). If you go down the stairs along the building there is a restaurant of the same name - Impuls (I don't know if the two are ONE place or two different) and that is the one we ended up playing the NQ.

The restaurant serves Italian food - pizzas, pasta etc even though I did not see any sign that the place is actually a 'Pizzeria'.

When we got there we were surprised that the place is actually pretty big. There's a lot of space everywhere, the place is quite clean but nothing special. Don't expect an Italian styled restaurant. There is place for 60 people in the room.

The first thing I did was ordering a cappuccino. I did not expect anything good but the quality of the coffee surprised me. It wasn't the kind of coffee I buy when I want a good quality coffee but it was highly above standard for Czech restaurants (even those calling themselves Italian).

I ordered a salad with fried chicken. The vegetable was fresh and tasted good. The chicken was well flavored and was of higher quality. For dinner I ordered gnocchi with different kind of cheeses. It was delicious. Far better than in most so called Italian restaurants.

With this entry I would like to praise this place and the chef. The place is probably in the middle of nowhere and you probably won't find a reason why to go there. But if by a chance you happen to be around, go check it out. The food is good and is worth it.

If you are from Pilsen you can order the food on their website.
http://www.alcapone-pizza.cz/

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rise of Eldrazi draft no.3

Yesterday I couldn't take part in the Launch Party draft. Lukas took part in it though and won it. Unfortunately he did not get anything good in his 4 boosters.

Today I arrived to participate in Type 2 tournament but only 5 players arrived. There were 8 players for Extended tournament though -_-. We (the players that came for t2 tourney)played few games against each other (my Jund against Valakut, WW, Boros, Vampires) and then we decided to draft in our not so lucky number - 5.

I started picking up blue and added white later as I got Knight of Cliffhaven, white invoker and wall of omens. I ended up with this the deck that follows...

UW
1x Knight of Cliffhaven
2x Dawnglare Invoker
1x Gravitational Shift
2x Narcolepsy
1x Ulamog's Crusher
2x Frostwind Invoker
1x Lay Bare
1x Kabira Vindicator
1x Champion's Drake
1x Halimar Wavewatch
2x Regress
1x Wall of Omens
1x Hada Spy Patrol
1x Deprive
1x Makindi Griffin
1x Guard Gomazoa
1x Repel the darkness


In my first round I played against BGw. I played two levelers and tried to level them up. My opponent wasn't playing anything but then suddenly played Deathless Angel. That WAS a problem. I did not have anything to deal with it at that moment. I took five and in the next round big Eldrazi creature arrived to support the Angel. It was pretty quick game.

In the second game I kept a hand with 2x narcolepsy, Deprive, Wall of Omens and Halimar Wavewatch. I thought that lands would just come to me (I played 20 lands in the deck). To my surprise my first 4 draws were nonland cards. It did not matter though. In the end I managed to counter Eldrazi Conscription and use Narcolepsy on Eldrazi creatures. In the mean time I played Gravitational Shift and blue Invoker. My opponent had about 8 creatures on the table but attacking with all of them would mean 1 damage to me. My 5/5 flyer manage to win this game. I was afraid in the third game that I would terribly die but hopefully Regress, Deprive and 6/6 merfolk won me the game.

In the second round I encountered RBu deck. It did not start well for me. My Hada Spy Patrol got enchanted with Lust for war and the 0/3 merfolk died to Flame Slash. I had to level up to be dealing 3 damage and taking 3 damage. It seemed that the lust would kill me. My opponent also played few hatchers and vent sentinels. He got me to six life and I was afraid of another lust or staggershock. That would kill me for sure, but hopefully none came and I won winning the damage race with Hada Spy patrol. In the second game it seemed even worse for me. My first two creatures died to removal and the other two got Lust for War. In the meantime my opponent dealt six damage with Lord of Shatterskull Pass, he got Narcolepsy in my turn. I was at 11 life and my opponent had remaining 7 life. He played Essence Feed though and got up to ten. This meant that I wouldn't kill him in the next attack. My only chance of winning was drawing a spot removal or bounce spell and kill him in the second attack (as I would be at 5 and I needed to get rid of one of the enchantment). This time I did not give up and drew the card. It was Regress^_^. I won at 2 life^^.

The third game was the easiest one. It was a mirror match except that I had bounce and tapping spells. That was all I needed. I waited till my opponent leveled up his merfolk to 6/6, then I bounced it and leveled up mine Halimar merfolk. In the second game my opponent got unlucky -mana screwed - so I killed him with my levelers and Champion's drake. Ok my merfolk got Guard Duty and still it dealt the damage once and that was all I needed.

3:0 and I could pick the best rare we got. The rare card wasn't Gideon but it was Sarkhan the Mad.

After we left I found out that I left all my backdrafted cards in the game store (except Sarkhan that I put immediately to my album - after realizing that I just left it laying on the table...). So well *facepalm* for leaving my rare cards there, hopefully I have my Sarkhan the Mad.

Next time, bounce spells are really good with levelers, counterpells are not that cool. Even it still is really powerful in this format.

EDIT: btw I managed to play Ulamog's Crusher and make it fly with Invoker^^. Also my few creatures against 9 creatures + Soulsurge Elemental was capable of winning because of their evasion abilities.

Today's draft was fun.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Boss Naya vs Jund

Before the last qualifiers I build Boss Naya to test it. After few games against Jund and WW I realized that this deck has HUGE potential. This deck can work wonders if it is in the right hands. Mine are not the right ones I would say even though I can see many things that can be done in many situations and many players don't see them.

Anyway I would like to share one game with you. I played Jund and I kept hand looking like this
    3x Blightning, Bloodbraid Elf, Mountain, Swamp, Dragonskull Summit
My opponent had something like
    Baneslayer Angel, Bloodbraid Elf, Noble Hierarch, Lightning bolt, Terramorphic Expanse, Misty Rainforest, some other land
I played first as I lost the previous game. In the first 2 turns each of us played just lands. For me it was because I had nothing else to play and Naya player was afraid of Blightning so he kept all the cards. In my third turn I played my first blightning. My opponent discarded Noble Hierarch and Baneslayer Angel. He kept on drawing cards and I played my other two Blightnings. The only card left in his hand was Bloodbraid Elf.

He played it and hoped for something. Bloodbraid Elf cascaded into Mystic who found Sledgehammer.I knew that this is a problem already. I was stuck with three lands and couldn't play neither BBE nor Sprouting Thrinax. At that time my opponent played Ranger of Eos finding two Nacatls. That's when I knew that even if I get a forest now I might be screwed. I got catacombs in play searched for a forest and played my own BBE. The first card was Blightning.

As I thought my opponent discarded the previous turn found cats and kept the hammer. I continued with playing Thrinax hoping to have a blocker at least. The game continued for a while. I managed to play Garruk and started blocking my opponents creatures equipped with the sledgehammer. But three of my creatures had to block each time and that was wrong...I was doomed when my last hope - Sprouting Thrinax - was removed with Path To Exile and Garruk died to lightning bolt after I traded the last Beast with Stoneforge Mystic.

So if you play well and your opponent is a bit unlucky you can still win a game after a playset of Blightnings. Playing your deck well against a certain deck is a key to victory and I really believe that Boss Naya is a good deck. It can be pretty fast and it can generate a huge CA. Against some decks it plays the role of a control and it can take care of many situations.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rise of the Eldrazi

My first draft of RoE did not go that bad. It did in the end because I lost a game because of giving up (not knowing that I would top deck and turn the game over).

At the beginning I ended up taking mana fixation - Ondu Giants, Growth Spasm etc. Later some 'good' cards came in different colors. With good cards I mean the cards that I considered that could be good in the format but I had no idea. This way I picked Wildheart Invoker, Emrakul's Hatcher, Pelakka Wurm, Corpse Hatch, Pawn of Ulamog, Broodwarden - in general I was picking cards that could generate larger number of Eldrazi Pawns and could pump them.

Later to my surprise I was sent Hand of Emrakul so I picked it (twice). The rest of the cards were more or less random - Vent Sentinels, Zof Shades, Virulent Swipe...I got few totem armor enchantments and some disenchants/naturalizes. I took those as I was afraid of my opponents equipments and auras.

In the first round I started the game with some acceleration and creating few spawns at the same time. My opponent played some flyers and I really needed to take them down. My only possibility how to get rid of them was to force my opponent to block and trading leveled up Null Champions with 2/1 flyer seemed fair to me.

My opponent was having Null Champions as well and some other level up creatures. I played Bala Ged Scorpions in my deck though and I have to say that they proved to be good (the opportunity to kill 'merfolk looter' is something really good, drawing a card in this format is way to powerful).

Later the game became a stall. Both of us were playing creatures and we couldn't attack. I was waiting for my Hands of Emrakul but none came. Green invoker came though a turn after my scorpion was domesticated. I played my lovely Invoker and at the end of my next opponents turn I pumped it^_^. I got it back and then I was happily attacking with my creatures.

In the second game it was Broodwarden that killed my opponent along with few Eldrazi Spawns.

In second round I played against Cormack. He played the same colors as I at that moment (black and green) but had more removal than me and was using Umbras. He played the same creature cards though (except the Eldrazi I guess). He simply killed me because of CA as killing his creatures meant killing them twice and he had relevant removal for bigger creatures and I could only kill just the 'meek' ones. I wanted to compensate this somehow. My only possibility was splashing white for life gain, some guard duty and some disenchants. All the games were more or less equal. It was about who first gets Invoker in play.

In the last round I played against Kuba with a UW control. Knights of Cliffhaven were really a problem for me. Flyer with power 2 is already a problem. I had removal that could kill it but my opponent had counterspells. I did not manage any massive attack as I had "infinite" blockers there and creatures that could block anything I had. It all came down to 4 power and higher is the only relevant creature attacking on the ground. Flyers are a treasure. His deck was nice, I would have liked to play it.

In the third game I died to White Invoker, the only card that could kill me in my opponent's deck. It arrived after 'million' cards drawn from the looter.
Anyway I learned that the level up creatures are really good in these games. I had to shift my point of view on those cards.

Even though my standing was bad I enjoyed the draft. It was nice but the format felt just wrong...
-----------------------
I arrived late for the regular draft and that allowed me to explore something new. We tried Continuous draft (BTW this in bigger number of players ie.6 is good for really exploring the set as you draft a new deck with each opponent).

I ended up with something like this:

4c
1x Kabira Vindicator
1x Wall of Omens
1x Soul's Attendant
1x Knight of Cliffhaven
1x Hand of Emrakul
1x It that betrays
1x Eldrazi Constcription
1x Balefull Omen
1x Nirkana Cutthroat
1x Dread Drone
1x Null Champion
1x Essence Feed
1x Arrogant Bloodlord
1x Guard Gomazoa
1x Brimstone Mage
1x Lavafume Invoker
1x Spawning Breath
1x Deprive
2x Narcolepsy
1x Lay Bare
1x Coralhelm Commander

I had nothing to fix my mana, nor any acceleration but I still went for blue (and all those other colors). All I concentrated on was that 'late game is important - the lands will eventually arrive'. At one point of a game it looked like this =>



It was fun having Deprive, Lay Bare and the Commander and not being able to play these cards. Omen was trying its best though^^. I put the card in a deck as I thought that this could do the last damage needed in a game, but this card was my win condition. At the beginning I thought that Eldrazi spells will have to be my win condition as the rest does not do much, but in the end the Omen wasn't bad^^ even after revealing 5 land cards in row. The deck once again does not seem to be playable...It seems I miss the point of Rise of the Eldrazi.

Tell me does it look like a mess to you as well (the deck I drafted)?