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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)?

Vector Art - Phoenix Tattoo design - 10k views

Almost a year ago I posted my Phoenix Tattoo design on DeviantArt. I get print request here and there but I thought that it is just some crazy idea of one person. Anyway today a message showed underneath my work. After reading it I realized that the image has almost 10 000 views after that year. I just can't believe it!

If I would take all my image views and added them together I guess I wouldn't reach such a value. It's time to do some other representative piece of work!^_^

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dark Nyah

In september 2009 I decided to try to sew something from an elastic fabric and for that I chose Nya costume. I did not follow the costume precisely and that wasn't even the aim. I just wanted to learn something and end up with something that would look good.

I first wore the costume at Bakacon 09 and it was quite successful.^^

The Gap Series by Stephen Donaldson

'The world in which the series is set is one run by, well, a corrupt and virtually commercial police organization. All protagonists become pawns in games played wholly or in part by people in the police organization's highest echelons, and the story is pregnant with betrayal, anger, conspiracy. Every time you think you've got the ulterior motives worked out, when the rug is pulled from under you, other factors get added, and you don't know what the heck is happening. The "Gap" series is a story of enormous complexity with all the bits fitting neatly together - though not until after a lot of mental exercise on the part of the reader. '

The books are pretty harsh. The future is not one with silver linings, people are driven by greed, a need for power and the tendency to corrupt. In this, well, pretty sick world, pretty horrible things happen, morally and physically. It's a harsh science fiction series, but an extremely brilliant one.

I don't know how better to describe this series. The author has to like Japan and their way of thinking. There's a lot of 'things' I would consider Japanese. 'Real Story' seems to be a normal science-fiction book, but from the beginning of the second book you will find out that it holds more than just a story. Characters are realistic, fully aware of what they do. They think, act with or without success. 'Setting' is also well made and prepared (all the politics). Everything makes sense and is logical. Every character has it's own role and his own attitude in this ruthless world (ehm space). It's also fun even in the situations which are so depressive that they would force you to commit a seppuku.
He also uses really interesting and original 'word conjunctions' which makes the description/action etc. richer.
I really love this series.

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Monday, April 19, 2010

A year in the merde by Stephen Clarke

Few years ago I bought a book called 'A year in the merde'.

The book is about Paul West, an English man who comes to work for a French company establishing English Tea houses in France. That does not sound special right? Well, the book describes all the situations you can get to when trying to work or live in France. Paul is trying to understand the French people, their habits and he tries to become one of them. He finds out that going to a post office or getting his work permit done is not as easy as it seems. Even ordering a cafe is problem!

No matter what, as a person who had to come through many of the described things it was nice to read. I experienced the very same situations in my life and at that time I was just swearing and was incapable of understanding how things can be working this way. But they do. The system works but you need to adapt to it. It was a nice reminder of all the hardships I had undergo.

The book is easy to read, quite short (288) and sometimes rather rude. But still it is loads of fun and even though I don't like stories like this or can't really put myself in Paul's place I would recommend people reading this. It is a series of books but the first one is sufficient to give you quite big insight what problems can arise (while describing the French people as well).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Herna Outpost - webove stranky

Byly vytvoreny nove stranky Herny Outpost a pred nekolika dny byly spusteny.
Je mozne, ze se stranky budou casem menit, aby poslouzili lepe nesim ucelum. Zatim se muzete seznamit s novym vzhledem^_^.

www.hernaoutpost.cz


New website for (soon to be my) game store is up and running. Now just in testing mode. You can check it out if you want^^.
www.hernaoutpost.cz

STsung's Univ Blog

My blog is becoming a real mess. Most posts are about Magic: The Gathering and probably no one reads them. I created a new blog that is dedicated to my school projects so they don't get lost on this blog. In the near future I will delete all the school project posts here.

The link to the blog is =>

http://univstsu.blogspot.com/

To orient yourself it's better to choose a class from the Category list (I might rename it to 'Classes' simply later).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Castle of Cards no.3

Ok I continue getting closer to my challenge done. So here it is a new castle of cards. This time with the base 12.

I used 3 decks of 60 cards, one sideboard (15 cards) and the rest is from Rise of the Eldrazi (in both green and black sleeves).

New Observation:

Adding more and more rows makes the bottom rows much more stable. The weight added to it makes it pretty stable when build well.

When I was trying to make the castle fall I found out that taking a card out of it is not that easy as it seems and that the structure above is pretty heavy. I wanted to lift a part of the castle so it would fall down in a more interesting manner but I couldn't manage that because the part above was too heavy for a single card. I took the card out and the structure was still holding.

I also managed to bump into the table without making the structure fall.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

NQ pilsen

I tried another qualifiers with my mono white deck and it did not go well that much. My final result for this tournament is 3:4 and it even seemed that I would end up with 2:5...hopefully it did not happen, otherwise I have no idea what I would be doing by now.

In the first round I played against UWR which did not manage to do much except few counters and it did not even manage to draw day of judgment.

In the second round I played against another player from Prague. He played Jund this time and it was a nice build with Traces of Abundance, basilisk collar and goblin ruinblasters main deck. I lost the first game and in the second game I could have most probably won if I would be capable of counting the damages right. Ok, probably next time.^^ *facepalm* Here I found out that life gain is a good thing against Jund when things go awry. So in the next rounds I tried gaining as much life during the game as I could.

Third round was once again against Jund. My protection guys managed to win the game. In the fourth round I lost to a different Jund though. It just happened somehow and I couldn't do much. I kept a hand with Steppe Lynx, Steppe Lynx, Firewalker and White Knight. I played one more creature in between and I saw 4 lightning bolts and later a pulse targeting firewalker. Just cool. I don't know if this was better 'death' than blightnings. In the first game I would have won if my creatures wouldn't get pulsed from cascade. blast->elf->pulse we all love to see that.

In the fifth round I hoped to win. I encountered another good match up - Vampires. They were splashing red for bolts and blightnings and that's what killed me (4x blightning in 2 games). I was forced to discard Pledges and a Baneslayer Angel. Otherwise the game would be impossible to solve for the opponent. But it seems that I die to blightning too easily. I have to solve this problem somehow.

2:3 and I wasn't happy about it. Sixth round I hoped for something easy and I got Eldrazi Green! I would be glad to play against it with UW but with WW I knew that my only saving grace would be Day of Judgment and then some Pledge with Honor/Ajani. My life gain was enormous and I killed about 4 planeswalkers in that game but two Eldrazi monuments awaited me decided the game. Two attacks with it and I died. In the second game I did not draw DoJ nor anything else that would help me much (even a creature would be nice^^).

2:4 and I felt really bad. One more game could get me the score of 3:4 and I wouldn't feel that bad. 2:5 would be outrageous though.

My last match? Boss Naya. I had no idea how Boss Naya managed to have 2:3 score.
I decided to use the very same strategy and side in as for Eldrazi. I lost the first game even though my life gain would let me play for maybe 30 minutes more and than I would die to Baneslayer with sledge^^. I gave up (already after a long time, I should have given up much earlier. But I thought I had no chance in winning this match). I sided all I could against Boss Naya + celestial purges for Ravine or Ajani (or some bothersome Bloodbraid Elf). I kept a hand with 3 lands, honor and day of judgment. It proved to be a good hand. After second DoJ I managed to kill my opponent with pledge and honor. In the third game we got stuck for quite some time. DoJ did not seem to be willing to come but I was trying hard to survive with life gain. It seemed that one Wild Nacatl would kill me. Ranger fetched for 2 soul wardens and I played two pledges later. I also had two honors and Ajani (that died to lightning bolt). Even with these 'mega big' soldiers I had difficulties as I had to block a big knight of the reliquary with behemoth sledge and I wanted to get rid of it. All my creatures died in the process and it was time to draw something that would keep me alive because Birds of Paradise + sledge + 3 hierarchs is not good for me. I used my last card on Raging Ravine attacking for 9. Then finally!!! I drew Baneslayer Angel, Baneslayer Angel and Conqueror's Pledge. That's when the round ended and I had three turns to kill my opponent. I managed that hopefully.

Final result 3:4. It seems that I'm getting worse and worse in Magic^_^.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Manga picture

This day and this little picture is something that made me realize what my general problem is - cohesiveness. There's so many things I need to improve, but this is something that I really need to work on if I want my drawings to look good in the future.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Taking the castle to a new level! (base = 10)



If I will be able to shuffle my deck at the Free Standard tournament I'll be surprised^^...but I will have to manage somehow I guess.^^

Saturday, April 3, 2010

After NQ



Nationals' Qualifier #1

About 94 people came to participate in the tournament. 12 people qualified.
I played Mono White aggro deck. The idea of playing monowhite scared me for a while and the idea of playing stupid aggro as well. In the end I decided to try it even though I did not trust the deck at all.

In my first round I quickly overrun my opponent playing Jund. He probably got some weird hand. He showed me four lands and that was it. In the second game I got him to like 4 life points and then he played Garruk. Bane of my little guys...
I only had brave the elements and oblivion ring to solve the problem (when we were testing this, I found out that garruk putting a beast in play is the main problem I have with Jund). None came. I tried Elspeth, but she did not help as the flyer got killed by lightning bolt. In the third game I got mana screwed and couldn't play anything. It took quite a while till Igor killed me. That was most unfortunate. But that happens.

In the second round I played against Bloodchief Ascension. My opponent showed me this ascension, some burn spells, blightning, kalastria highborn and vampire nocturnus. My weenies were quite fast and my opponent did not manage to charge the ascension in time. I played everything I could and searched with Ranger only what I could put directly in play. One blightning would be capable of killing me and I wanted to avoid that.
I miscalculated one attack in the second game which resulted in a loss. In the third game my opponent was still trying to use bloodchief ascension as a win condition even though I had like 8 removals for that card. To my surprise he played two ascensions but did not manage to charge them in time.

In the third round I played against burn, which normally is pretty good match up. I lost the first game, did some not really good plays (even though that would have not changed anything). In the second I sided and hoped for 2 lands and firewalker. I mulled to 4 to get least a land in my hand. I lost to 3 hell's thunders^^. (byla jsem umichana *sniff*^^)

Fourth round was against Jund. In the first round I killed him with two lynxes and three fetchlands. In the second he mulled to 4 (I don't know why, this does not happen to me with Jund). He 'almost' got more lands than me (he did, but KOTWO helped me change that) and managed to play some cards, but I was simply faster and won the game.

I considered dropping from the tournament at this point. As there were many UWs, 2x Open the Vaults, 1x Pyromancer's ascension and some other decks...I did not want to play against them. Anyway I decided to go on and I encountered Tomas Bilek with UW control. He won the first game with Iona and in the second game I tried my best to deal as much damage as possible and win with Elspeth. I could have gotten him to 6 lives and then one attack with Elspeth would do the job. But well...I never got the chance.

Now after the tournament I need to find a way how to deal with Bant efficiently and UW controls. (or choose a different deck)