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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Drafts

Few days ago I realized that the release of Rise of the Eldrazi is getting closer and closer and that I should go draft ZEN+WWK for the last time.

On Wednesday I participated in regular draft which ended up in complete failure - 0:3. I started drafting white (journey sent by tomas) and started picking up blue later. I got steppe lynxes, wind zendikon, windrider eels, welkin tarn, sky ruin drakes, kor hookmaster, journey to nowhere, refraction trap and many 2 drops. This though was not enough to win a single game. In the first round I played against BR aggro deck which simply overran me. I was capable to keep up but I lost both games (all I needed was one more turn). In the second I played against BW which killed me primarily with nighthawk. That deck was better in terms of tricks. Kor Sanctifiers could easily get rid of my removal and something that brings Nighthawk back from the grave is bad for me as well... My deck was not capable of dealing that much damage in early game and I had almost nothing for late game. In the third round I knew I would simply die...I played against BR as well. Cunning Sparkmage showed me its value.

I left after I finished my last game to catch the bus home.
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Today's draft was something completely different and it was really overpowered. We drafted 1 booster of M10 and 2 of Zendikar. I started picking blue (illusionary servant sent to me by Jiri) and white for faster creatures. Later I started hate picking what would kill me and that resulted in me switching color. That showed up to be good against other players playing blue.

I ended up with

UG
2x Windrider Eel
1x Unsummon
1x Aether Figment
2x Tanglesap
1x Illusionary Servant
2x Mold Shambler
2x Grazing Gladehart
1x Oran Rief Recluse
1x Sky Ruin Drake
1x Giant Spider
1x Vastwood Gorger
1x Zephyr Sprite
1x Tajuru Archer
1x Stonework Puma
1x Prized Unicorn
1x Timbermaw Larva
2x Umara Raptor
1x River Boa
1x Vines of Vastwood


In the first round I played against monored. I knew that my opponent has few barrages, seismic strikes (or how it is called) and unstable footing. I was afraid of that and tried to realize what damage I can take before I need to start chump blocking. The problem was that my calculation went to 13,14 life + 3 if I wanted to be sure. So any damage taken was risky. I was glad that I won this round as anything could kill out of nowhere.

In the second round I played against UW. My opponent was more or less unlucky and was incapable to keep up with my green creatures that followed my army of flyers. Last was pretty much the same with the exception that the player managed to kill many of my creatures and was capable of attacking as well. I still had all the answers I needed - recluses, flyer removal, bounce and fog.

Today I left with Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Animeshow

This Friday and Saturday an anime convention was held in Bratislava. We went there with ITG, ITG multiplayer, Everstep Multiplayer and lasergame. I have to say that it was quite physically demanding to get it there and set up everything. Due to my bad physical condition I wasn't able to do as much as I would like to. Same counted for getting all the stuff back to the car o_O.

It seems people enjoyed our stands but I have to say that meeting some of the people not knowing what they are playing and thinking that everything is for free and for them only was quite annoying. In overall the organization of the convention seemed to be lacking. Announcements of tournaments did not work at all at game consoles/computer stands. Cosplay was poor as usual and I wondered what to do at the convention. I wasn't able to play much ITG or Pump because of not feeling well and my only plan was playing Magic (not so many magic players showed up and I understand that...why going to anime convention to play magic after all).

I managed to play Guitar Hero Metallica and Rock Band for a while as well. I still can't play Rock Band and GH is still fine with me. I don't know why still. I played some expert songs from Metallica and some seemed really boring. But what I can say...is this. Hearing the clicking of the pick or the sticks hitting the drums actually helped me to stay onsync with the other player a bit. The notes were scrolling too slowly for me (on expert difficulty). Yeah, people couldn't understand how someone can play on Expert but well..what can I say.

I checked Mahjong and Go and that was more or less everything that caught my eye. I don't like to sit in a room and watch anime and there wasn't much I would be interested in. Karate lessons are fun^^ but otherwise?

I'm glad I played bit of pump. I played some songs on NM and FS and was glad that I can still pass them (A them). The few songs I played on ITG I also enjoyed. It was really nice to see Mary and Leckse once again (and all the Slovakian people). But in overall I'm not convinced that it was "all good" (as a convention).

I enjoyed the Legacy tournament on Sunday morning. I have to say that I was surprised that people actually came with Legacy decks. I realized here that Tarmagoyf in legacy is a completely different card than in Extended!! I had fun, played some nice games and managed to get a second place. Got boosters for that but nothing of value in them. Bad luck.


In overall I'm glad I went there. Even though the meaning of nowadays conventions eludes me...

Thanks to NX and thanks to all who talked to me, played ITG or Magic with me etc. Thanks guys.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

(San Diego) Astrology

On my visit to San Diego I encountered an organization trying to save Ituri rain forest and these people are doing some astrology profiles. No matter how generic these are or whatever there's so much truth in this about me. If someone would ask me to define who I am. This is something I would use.

'They are clever and full of compassion, but they harbor the presence of darkness. With the realistic understanding of the dark side of the life, their character is deeply ambivalent and sometimes fatalistic. Their deep sufferings can sometimes build a wall of inhibition that occasionally restrains their amorous initiatives. They radiate a profound personality, are aware of the opposing forces within them and are always ready and willing to adopt the best solutions to remedy any psychological dilemma.'
'Is a living symbol of strength and power, generally inspires fear and respect. His compelling dynamism, intense activity, independence, curiosity about others make him irresistible, a person of multiple charms. He tends to renounce confining traditional roles, opting for more unfettered life. With a wide-ranging mind, he can adopt any number of careers. His many experiences serve to enrich his life and add depth to his nature. Material benefits matter little to him. In the arena of romance, he dominates his partners. With children, he relates as a big brother rather than as a father. Solitude is often the price he pays for position and authority, but he becomes accustomed to it. Better still he draws on experience gaining new energies and great strength.'

Hans-Martin Roder

I know the following might sound pretty random to everyone (except those who heard the whole story) but I want to write this and keep this log.


Years ago my cards and albums were stolen at GP Prague (on the first day of the event).

Cards get stolen, it happens all the time but for me this was a hard blow. I invested quite a lot and decided to play competitively (I was pretty naive back then^^). This ruined all my plans and after this I decided to stop playing altogether (not that I would actually seriously started playing that game anyway). I could not afford a third beginning (tis wasn't the first time I lost majority of my collection). But that meant that I would stop seeing all my 'friends' and people that were actually in contact with me.

And that is where one German player comes in. I would like to mention him because what he did is something I would not expect and what he did is something that helped me in my life later even though not directly.

I told Hans-Martin what happened to me and he said that he would send me a new deck in few weeks time so I could start over. I told him that I would greatly appreciate this but did not count that this would actually happen since in our country people don't give a damn about others most of the time. Two weeks later the deck arrived though. Holding the cards in my hands I tried to think of a way how to honor this player. I couldn't come up with one except meeting at another Grand Prix in Prague as that one was already scheduled two years from the previous one where my cards got stolen.

This gesture of good will helped me a lot. I started playing once again and Magic got me through many difficult parts of my life later. Soon after this happened I moved to a different country. I did not speak a word of that language but Magic is a game people speaking different languages can play, right? It was difficult to find type 1.5 players but eventually I found some of them and this helped me learn the language and actually talk to someone.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Decision

Not my day today but there are few things I realized. Well, one day big change in my life should happen and it should lead to one of my dreams no matter how silly they may seem. In my whole life I had two wishes that never left me for some reason - one becoming a game designer - specialized in 3d modeling. The other one was having my own game store/hobby store.

I'm no good at 3d modeling and probably won't ever be. We will see about this, if I manage to finish school with that specialization. But still school makes me nervous and I've encountered one person I can't stand and that is really bad. I thought I would kill him.
My parents create another tension from the other side. They want me to finish the school, with the best results if possible etc. and that's really what they care about. With my diploma they expect me to work in a big company and earn a lot of money etc. No matter what they imagination is, this is exactly something I can't stand and won't be able to endure for a long time. I've spent few years working and trying to earn money. I spent some time doing all kind of statistical analysis, translating, software testing, doing websites, graphical design and typography. I also ended up at call center and IT help line. None of this is something I'd like to do. I just can't stand the local hierarchy and system. It's killing me. I've done loads of work and did not really get paid. (Rare-Items is an exception)

Two days ago at Grand Prix trial I realized one thing. The games I lost were lost primarily for one reason - not enough self-confidence. When I feel that the chances of me winning a game are getting too low (but still with quite a big chance of winning in other people's terms) I change the way I play. I don't aim to win but do some silly illogical plays. (I knew I could continue in game one and maybe even win, but I did not proceed in that way. Why? Because I counted the game already lost...why? self-confidence.)
I think it's time to change this. In a game of magic I usually have the "power" to win the game but I don't do it. It's time to be confident and "to win" in real life though. I know I can do this, there are many things I can achieve and my life taught me that I'm very capable person. The problem is that I don't feel like one...

Now I can try to realize my dream. I don't feel capable of doing it, but my brain tells me that it is completely feasible. With another person on my side whom I trust, this seems more than just feasible. I feel that this could work. That there is something that could grow. Should I believe this or not? I believe in it, but I don't trust myself...is there anyone who does?

My parents really don't help me in this. Seems like they are destroying all my hope and confidence I ever had. I don't know if I still have any left. Let them read it I don't care. I just can't stand this anymore. I wish to realize my dream and keep to it. 13 years of a dream, that has to mean something...
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OT: I read Lauma's blog post today and there are things I agree with and some I don't. I had similar thoughts as her probably for the past two years.
Part of the Dance Game community has made a hell of my life, another part made it heaven. Both are past. There are still good things that will last and I wish to hold on to them. But I was never really of that 'community'.
There's one thing I'm always coming back to ... Magic. I've spend a lot of time thinking about whether it's a good thing or bad (me coming back to the game and related stuff). It all comes back to 'GOOD', even though everyone says 'no'. All the impacts of me coming back to the game were positive in the end unlike with many other stuff. I just keep coming back. This game always announced big change in my life and maybe it truly is a time for another one. Major one. No matter if I end up without money and place to live. It should be me dealing with the consequences. I've come to the Czech Republic to get back on my feet. The time has come to do something.

GPT BXL - Pilsen

I did not want to go home and decided to go elsewhere (even though I hardly slept in the past few days). On Friday Legolas called me if I wouldn't borrow him my UW deck so he could go to Pilsen to participate in GPT Brusel in Pilsen. I told him that I'm fine with it if he gets the rest of the cards (as I borrowed few to a different player already). He got the deck in the afternoon and asked to go to Pilsen with other players from Prague. As I realized that I would arrive Sunday morning I decided to go to Pilsen as well. I asked if I could join the team and was said that there is no room if Legolas is coming. He did not call anyone though so I called him to ask him if he goes there or not. He told me that he won't come. I took his place then. The problem was that he got my deck. He did not manage to give it to me in the morning so I left without my deck, not really caring about it. I also planned to check Fantasy Park in Pilsen to see if PIU NX is still there (I knew that the restaurant the tournament takes place is nearby, but wasn't sure where).

The meeting was at 8 at Pisnice. I have to say that it was an overkill to get there. I got up soon after 6 am (at 2:30am I went to sleep). I tried to open my eyes and realized that one of my eyes just won't work much for the rest of the day, but otherwise I felt "still alive" and ready for the crazy ride. At 6:46 I left Hloubetin and at 8 we all met at Pisnice o_O (I realized that I would be in Pilsen already if I would leave from Beroun, heh).

Anyway we found the place and the others registered. I checked what cards I have on me and realized that I have partly sided Grixis Control with me (I sided Essence Scatters and Terminates in because of some deck and sided out spreading seas and some other one of). Also Scalding Tarns ended up in my Zoo deck (as my last tournament was Extended) and Jace 2.0 were in my UW deck. Not to mention that my SB being almost the same as Jund one was with my Jund deck (at home).

I asked few players if they don't have some cards from those I was missing. I wasn't really successful with it but I registered (not presenting my deck to the judge as it wasn't ready yet). Joska registered me and commented with "You know that 'Each player has a deck...'". I smiled to that and went back to register my deck and later present it. Now the funny part comes in. How many lines did your longest deck list ever contain? I usually take up half page of A4 sheet to register my deck. In this case I ran out of space and the number of lines was THIRTY-THREE. It felt like registering a highlander deck.^_^.

(I might finish the report...later)
FP is closed for those interested in that information.

Anime Jikan - Decin

This weekend I was supposed to go with NX and Rare-Items to Decin to bring dance pads and prizes for the DDR tournaments. First I thought we would go there in the morning so we would get there on time (starting noon) but we arrived later. That day it was snowing all across the Republic and some places were quite problematic.

We managed to get there and at that time we got there a Hard tournament started. We both were asked to play in the tournament so we joined the rest of the participants. We played about seven songs on a EverStep multiplayer system.

The USB hubs weren't the best so we had the results could be anything from 50-90 percent. The chosen songs were fun, some harder than it was likely. Mitsuo also chose few songs with mods - one with boomerang, one being on reverse, one with hidden (that I MANAGED to clear somehow). I can't remember what was it but he chose one song (and maybe mod) that no one managed to clear except me. (hell why I can't remember what it was?)

After the tournament I went to check what's going on in other rooms. There was a retro hall with PSOne running Tekken. Some players had their own DSs and PSPs there and Xsoft was managing Stepmania in the room. That room seemed to the best choice to be in^^. Next, there was a Ultrastar stand upstairs, Everstep stand (downstairs), DDR room, Naruto room (have no idea what was going on in there) and the main room. You could watch some anime as well at the convention and simply have fun. You could do some origami, read mangas, do some quizzes, color some manga pictures and so on. It was fun^^. Also you could win some prizes if you answered few questions printed on the entrance ticket (for example: How many pandas are there in [certain room]?, or how many players take part in CS tournament?). To answer the questions you had to check out all the rooms which I find as a good thing. It was worth it. Even though the number of Pandas at the con is still a mystery to me (I counted 3).

Good job Mitsuo as always, thanks NX for taking me there as well and I hope to meet you all next time. People were having fun and enjoying themselves. It felt good. You (Anime Jikan) might not be Advik, but you are unique and it feels good to be there.

It was nice to be there but we were both quite dead and left the con after midnight and that is where my new story begins.

Thanks to everyone!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Photo - Unusual night....

Seeing one roe in our street seemed unusual. Seeing a second one following the first one into the forest was even more unusual. A minute later third one joined the other two. This seemed almost impossible!

Yesterday I took the bus at 9 from Prague. When we were arriving to Vraz something seemed wrong. I get off the bus one bus stop earlier than normally and still there was something wrong. I couldn't figure out what though. I walked few meters and then I realized that all the lights are off. But still there was quite a lot of light. I looked up to the sky and saw a full moon staring down at me.

I walked up the hill and enjoyed the darkness. Beautiful night sky, all the stars forming constellations and the full moon. There were pretty fast clouds in the sky, changing the shadows all the time and sometimes hiding the moon. A windstorm was coming.

Few minutes later the wind was really strong. I heard something heavy fall from time to time and there were stuff flying around hopefully not hitting me.

When I arrived home I decided to take some photos of the moon.



It looked so calm...but it was a chaos outside.
The day after the electricity was on for a while but then went out once again. Since 1pm we have electricity and we could finally drink something warm^^.

It was a really beautiful experience...