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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jace//Brainstorm

For quite some time I tried to figure out what basic land I could alter, but even after 30 minutes of looking and trying to find a land I would like I couldn't decide. So I searched for a different card and ended up with about 6 Brainstorms in my hand. These cards even borderless would look good. Might do some of them as prizes for Legacy tournaments, but today it was time for some more experimenting.

I did no want to spoil what I already have so I did not do more alterations to the card. But next time when I will gather more wit I will try it out. Both of my hands were really shaky today. I used Jace as reference, but not that it would be close to looking like Jason Chen's Jace.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Puzzling Master Achievement obtained

Today after several hours of staring at the last challenge in DotP (and playing Magic and altering an Island in between) I managed to beat Tezzeret! Yay!

Altering some cards for my EDH mana base

I haven't done alters in a long time, but now starting once again I see all my mistakes. This will allow me to get better. It seems that I lost my patience too, but I can work on that once again. Here are some lands and Darksteel Ingot for my EDH.

I like the Ingot. The colors are good. The lands could still be better, the swamp needs even MORE work. But I'm satisfied, I got better even though there's so much more to improve. It isn't that bad^^. It looks good in real life.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What to do with crap cards? - Menger Sponge lvl.1

I guess that most of you Magic: The Gathering or other card games players have many cards you don't really need. All those crap cards you wouldn't be able to sell. No one wants them and you can usually just throw them away (or keep them and use them for proxy cards - that's what I do).

After a draft I usually went home and started building a castle of cards. But this is something that does not last long. The structure can be pretty stable but still can be easily destroyed. Someone asked me to build a castle of cards with the base 12 and I managed to do that one day... photo follows. But that's the only thing I have left (and a video).



So what else can we do with cards? Well, not sure when but some time ago on Daily Magic you could read about what to do with all those crappy cards - a Menger Sponge. If you want to imagine what Menger Sponge is then imagine a cube at first. Then divide each face to 9 squares. Take out the little middle cubes of each face and the central little cube. That's it. And now... how to make it?

You will need to form 20 cubes out of 6 cards each. All you need to do is fold the cards and put them together in a certain way. I guess you can figure it out yourself, it takes a while and each of you will have a different approach. Just check the photos that follow.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Defeating Karn


Today I finished the standard campaign mode but it took me some time.

The remaining Planeswalkers I had to beat were Sorin and Karn. Sorin played mono black vampires and in the first game showed me some 1/1 bloodthirst bat. On turn two he played Child of Night. On turn three he played Nighthawk which was a problem for Sarkhan's deck I played with. On turn 4 he played Vampire Nocturnus!!! The top card was a swamp but still the next turn he killed me. For the second game I choose Chandra's deck hoping for some burn spells that could take down 5/4 Flyer. I succeeded and could try two new challenges or beating Karn.

I solved the challenges and tried playing against Karn with Nissa's deck (finding out that it is BG). Karn played Mox Sapphire on turn 1 along with Island and Voltaic Key. I was like WTF? But that wasn't the worst. Next turn all I saw was (a weird image) Tinker and Darksteel Colossus on the table. I have to say that I was taken back. I did not expect anything like that. I blocked with my little elf I played earlier and waited a round if I wouldn't draw some removal (not sure if Nissa plays any edicts). I didn't get any.

So I tried it once again. This time I had 2 lands in my hand + sylvan ranger that was there to fetch a swamp for Eyeblight's ending (I had it on my opening hand). Prepared like this I decided to try it once again against the killer combo. Nothing happened though. My opponent played Mox Sapphire, land, Voltaic Key which was soon followed by Icy Manipulator. Later he played two Lodestone Golems and tried to play one elf each turn. Wasn't fun. I had Viridian Shaman and the black removal and waited for something worse than the golems. Steel Hellkite was the first target for Viridian Shaman. Next he played Clockwork Dragon. I tried attacking with Nissa's Chosen hoping he would block with it. I gave my elf +7/+7 killing the dragon and still having Eyeblight's ending for something else.
Few rounds later I decided to attack with everything, use Ezuri's Overrun and play the +X/+X (where X is the number of creatures under your control) spell. This won me the game!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Duels of the Planeswalkers - Little storm


Today we got the chance to see how storm works in DotP. Good that you have the option, it was fun.

I played most of the time with Tezzeret's deck but for some reason my opponent always had what he needed to destroy my creatures and occassional counterspell wasn't enough. So when I got stuck the biggest aggro decks were what worked. Why? I would never play mono green in real life....

But well I have to say that playing Elvish Piper and then putting some 6/6 Flying, Trample, Shroud creature in play felt good^^. More because this is unlikely to happen in real life as there's always some burn spell/removal that will just get rid of your Piper.

But I have to admit that I actually like the decks. Each of them has something unique and plays in a certain way. It's not just mono red burn or white weenie but lovely UG Ramp with Eldrazi, Esper metalcraft with some control elements or jund tokens that you can sac or devour.

There's not so many cards that would be messing up with the way you play so it actually has the chance to win a game in DotP. Playing the standard mode feels more like playing limited, but still it's not bad at all. There are cards from all the Magic history there is, some cards are way too strong some are pretty bad but all the decks have a nice feel and can do wonderful things. This makes the games fun.

I might actually finish the game.

Friday, June 17, 2011

DotP first experiece + Frost Titan redemption


When you buy DotP this is what you get - foil Frost Titan (if you get the PC version). There's also invitation to Magic Celebration that will take place in your local store on 10th of September. Come, participate, get free boosters and play paper magic! And you'll get some extra DotP stuff as well.

As for the game my first experience is actually quite good. It looks good and it seems to teach you magic in a certain way which is good. For example the first challenges are not challenges at all. It will tell you how certain ability works and all you need to do is apply it.

I got stuck with Tezzeret and his Machinations (?) deck. He showed me turn two Etherium Sculptor. On turn three he showed me another one and then played Snapsail Glider TWICE! He got metalcraft and that was probably all he needed. I tried to attack with some red creature but that died to Go For The Throat. When I tried casting another creature he cast Undermine which resulted in me having 2 points of life left. In the second game I tried with the same deck it was similar. With the exception that two 6/6 Razorfield Rhinos killed me in the end. So after that I tried Garruk's deck (I don't like green!) and I easily won.

After unlocking the deck I had to play with that so I continued with Tezzeret's deck. I had slight problems with it though as the computer did not want me to have 2 islands untapped even though I could HAVE THEM untapped. I was incapable of playing Stoic Rebuttal twice and when I needed to play it and could I missed the spell on the stack. This happened to me once again but even with the spells that resolved I managed to win. But it was rather disturbing as I almost lost the game and it did not really look well for me. I was struggling with 5 lifes but one attack of 5/5 Furnace Whelp would kill me. Hopefully I got more flyers later on and could attack. Not to mention that I managed to search for a land and not take it^_^.

That's it for the time being...I'm still a bit confused with those blocking/not blocking creatures (I managed to use certain abilities when I did not want to...) and also I manage to skip post combat main phase sometimes. But I think that I just need to get used to it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Duels of Planeswalkers 2012 - coming in 5 hours


The new Duels of Planeswalkers game is going to be available on steam in about five hours. So what this game has new? Except the large support, additional stuff you can win (both IRL or for the game), new promo cards (Grave Titan, Frost Titan or Inferno Titan) and so on?

Well, there is the standard 1-on-1 mode where you play against the CPU. But it also has two new modes. Revenge mode and Archenemy. In Revenge mode the planeswalkers you play against have even better decks then in the standard campaign mode.

Archenemy is a multiplayer mode where you (players) play against one opponent that has an Archenemy scheme deck at his disposal alongside his normal deck.

There are also challenges in the game but are not accessible via the menu, they are under each of the modes noted above.

Another feature the game offers is Two Headed Giand mode online.

The game also offers a certain customization of your deck. The problem is that it is pretty limited. But still exchanging cards in the deck with others you can unlock is much better than having all those cards in one deck.

Also the game will feature cards from the upcoming Magic 2012 expansion set, so the players of the new DotP will know the cards sooner than those who stick to paper magic. (but well that might not be true as over 140 cards are already known)

So have fun, the game is available for 8,99EUR.

Highlander - more blue

Playing with my BG deck was quite fine except that I got tired of Force of Will and Misstep always hitting my top. I hardly had a creature that could do some relevant damage except Glissa and when I got to play my big creatures I usually died. In multiplayer games I had a lot of fun with the deck, but still it took some time till I could actually do something. So I decided to build a new deck. This deck should be faster, have more responses and still have creatures that are more than just annoying.

I'm still in the process of tweaking the deck so the final decklist might be different. But for the time being it fared well. But against land destruction it has no powers.

This Saturday we have a Highlander tournament here to celebrate the Commander release so we will see how this deck can play against other decks than those I already played against.

The Mimeoplasm
COMMANDER: The Mimeoplasm

Creatures [24]
1 Acidic Slime
1 Chameleon Colossus
1 Eternal Witness
1 Fertilid
1 Fleshbag Marauder
1 Frost Titan
1 Genesis
1 Grave Titan
1 Indrik Stomphowler
1 Kitchen Finks
1 Mulldrifter
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Primeval Titan
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Sower of Temptation
1 Tarmogoyf
1 The Mimeoplasm
1 Thrun, the Last Troll
1 Trinket Mage
1 Troll Ascetic
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Yavimaya Elder

Planeswalkers [3]
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Liliana Vess

Spells [37]
1 Beast Within
1 Brainstorm
1 Chainer's Edict
1 Counterspell
1 Crop Rotation
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Cryptic Command
1 Crystal Shard
1 Cultivate
1 Damnation
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Dimir Signet
1 Dissipate
1 Faerie Trickery
1 Golgari Signet
1 Harmonize
1 Kodama's Reach
1 Krosan Grip
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Mindslaver
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Necromancy
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Putrefy
1 Regrowth
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Simic Signet
1 Skyshroud Claim
1 Sol Ring
1 Staff of Domination
1 Sylvan Library
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Voidslime

Lands [35]
1 Academy Ruins
1 Bayou
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Breeding Pool
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Faerie Conclave
1 Flooded Grove
5 Forest
3 Island
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Mishra's Factory
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Polluted Delta
1 Strip Mine
1 Sunken Ruins
2 Swamp
1 Tolaria West
1 Treetop Village
1 Twilight Mire
1 Underground River
1 Underground Sea
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Vesuva
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Wasteland
1 Watery Grave
1 Yavimaya Coast

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Inkwell Looter

Today I've been browsing the internet in between rounds of local Game Day. I accidentally landed on a blog named Inkwell Looter.
It's a Magic: the Gathering art tribute blog with a lot of satire. It's really nice to read and the art and ideas are really pertinent and funny.
There's few of the art. Self explanatory.



Friday, June 10, 2011

M12 Spoiler - What WotC showed us

It's been a while that we all heard the rumor that Planeswalkers will be in the core set with exception of Liliana and Ajani which would be replaced by Sorin and Gideon. Also we all heard that Titans would be reprinted.

What more we know about m12? Well, we know that Bloodthirst comes back. There will also be a change in terminology - is put into a graveyard from the battlefield will be 'dies'. And the troll shroud (this creature can't be target of spells or abilities your opponent controls) ability gets a keyword - Hexproof.

And now few cards from M12. Enjoy.

Gideon's Avenger 1ww
Creature - Human Soldier (R)
Whenever a Creature an Opponent controls becomes tapped, put a +1/+1 counter on Gideon's Avenger.
"The good don't sit and wait for the evil to act. They Prepare to defend. They prepare to punish"
2/2

Gideon's Lawkeeper W
Creature - Human Soldier (C)
W, tap: Tap target creature.
"The essence of lawful society is swift deterrence."
1/1

Greatsword 3
Artifact - Equipment (U)
Equipped creature gets +3/+0
Equip 3

Goblin Fireslinger R
Creature - Goblin Warrior (C)
Tap: Goblin Fireslinger deals 1 damage to target player.
"A rock between your eyes hurts. A turning rock between your eyes ruins our whole day"
1/1

Duskhunter Bat 1B
Creature - Bat (C)
Bloodthirst 1
Flying
"The swamps go silent at its approach, but it still hears the heartbeat of the prey within.
1/1

Trollhide 2G
Enchantment - Aura (C)
Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and "1G: Regenerate this creature."

Turn to Frog 1U
Instant (U)
Target creature loses all abilities and becomes 1/1 blue Frog until end of turn.
"Ribbit."

Gideon Jura 3WW
Planeswalker - Gideon

Sorin Markov 3BBB
Planeswalker - Sorin

Archon of Justice 3WW
Creature - Archon (R)
Flying
When Archon of Justice dies, exile target permanent.
In dark times, Truth bears a blade.
4/4

Chandra's Phoenix
Creature - Phoenix (R)
Flying
Haste
Whenever opponent is dealt damage by a red instant or sorcery spell you control or by a red planeswalker you control, return Chandra's Phoenix from your graveyard to your hand.
2/2

Dungrove Elder
Creature - Treefolk (R)
Hexproof (this creature can't be target of spells or abilities your opponent controls)
Dungrove Elder's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Forests you control.
All the trees of the forest are his army, andevery leaf his shield.
*/*

Gorehorn Minotaurs 2RR
Creature - Minotaur Warrior (C)
Bloodthirst 2
Some of the eleven minotaur clans of Mirtiin are expert crafters and learned philosophers. Others just like to hit stuff.

Garruk's Horde 5GG
Creature - Beast (R)
Trample
Play with the top card of your library revealed.
You may cast the top card of your library if it's a creature card.
7/7

Bloodlord of Vaasgoth
Creature - Vampire Warrior (MR)
Bloodthirst 3
Flying
Whenever you cast a Vampire creature spell, it gains Bloodthirst 3.
3/3

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Duels of Planeswalkers Challenge Mode

Few days ago a friend of ours came to our game store asking us for help with challenges in DotP. I already played the first DotP and I enjoyed the challenges. Even though I had problems with controls in the game which made me to replay some of the challenges even though I got them the first time I saw it.

There is one challenge I want to note. (This is a spoiler as the solution will be contained in the following text)

In the first game I noticed that WotC was placing Phage the Untouchable everywhere they could. But she never really was there as a win condition (for you as the player of the game) in the challenges. I always thought that it is a pity not to be able to play Phage from a different zone and let the other player lose the game this way until...the new expansion. (not the newest)

Anyway your opponent has something like Air elemental, your Drake/Dragon, Mahamoti Djinn, Darksteel Colossus and Phage. You have two little soldiers on the table. So there's no way killing your opponent by creatures.

In your hand you have Brainstorm, Tidings, Dispeller's Capsule, Planar Cleansing and Evolving Wilds. Seeing all these cards together was already quite too much for me. New cards that I would not ever play plus Brainstorm and Tidings? Colossus on your opponent's side and Air Elemental? No matter what your task is just to win this turn.

The first thing I did was play brainstorm and I saw that there is no solution there. So I tried playing Tidings instead, there I had it Polymorph! And what to do with it? GET PHAGE ON THE TABLE from the library. Anyway to have the sufficient mana to play Polymorph and Excomunicate I had to play a fetch land to fetch an island and then brainstorm. Brilliant solution, nice challenge! Now the Phage challenge actually exists.

I have to say that the only thing that I missed was that my library only has 4 cards in it (Well, yeah it's done for obvious reason (fetch land) - Polymorph has to be in those 3 cards you draw.). That's something I would notice in real life.

Grand Prix - Magic Game Show

I've been to all Grand Prix in Prague but this time I couldn't play in the main event as I attended a different event. But anyway I had to come to see the site, chat with few players, draft and have some fun.

On Friday afternoon we attended Prague Retailer Convention where WotC told us something about their marketing strategy. They it was our local distributor telling us about their strategy. After this we had the opportunity to talk to other store owners and discuss how the Magic community behaves in the region. Players are not participating in the tournaments as they used to and new players quickly become independent players (they know all the prices of the cards, they get the cards where it is the cheapest etc. - that usually does not mean a local store).

I also talked to Kajko who is a store owner and also does awesome Magic Alters. I always liked his alters and I wish to become as good as he is.

After that I went to the site. When I arrived there I realized that many store owners went there as well.

I spent some time looking at Maelstrom Pulse and trying to decide what is supposed to be on the card and then proceeded to registration. Tobias - a young player coming to our store was there and started to ask me million of questions. Together we decided to attend the Magic Game Show. Text from the official GP Coverage follows.

"The Magic Game Show, brought to you be the curly-haired ginger wonder, Rich Hagon, has fast become an institution. Players form up into teams of 1-4 people to tackle an array of cruel and challenging conundra, such as working out which Planeswalkers spend more Loyalty points when they activate their "ultimate" ability, which Magic expansion all the "Construct" cards came from, and the legendary "art" round."

We had a team of four. One a long time player of Magic, Tobias, me and Tom who's more into competitive Magic. This combined old cards knowledge, flavor and storyline knowledge and new cards knowledge. First question though was though for all of us. Figuring out what construct was printed were was too much for us. Our start was really a disaster.

The question noted above with the Planeswalkers loyalty counters was easy but still I made a mistake not really knowing Sarkhan the Mad well. I haven't seen that card in ages... Actually it might be a year or so and I already forgot its game text? Eh.

There was also one question that was meant for Czech players I guess as we had to write down names of our pro players. We did not manage to write down one of them even though we knew the players brother and we had no problems with him (sorry man! next time I won't forget you). Even with this question earning us 10 points we did not manage to win. We managed to come up fourth with a huge point difference between us and the team on the fifth place.

This is how it looked like, there were 21 teams with the last team being probably Levy and Nakamura, who in the end won the whole quiz and got their hands on a booster box of Worldwake. (if you can distinguish a girl out of that crowd than it's most probably going to be me^^ (hint - on the right))

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Merchant Scroll (FoW)

After seeing Sandreline's awesome Mental Misstep with Sensei's Diving Top I was wondering what else could be done. If you never heard of her you better check her work out (hint). Well, couldn't really come up with something but I bought some Merchant Scrolls from some player who came to participate in Extended tournament.

After few games of playing against a blue highlander decks and being really annoyed by Force of Will I had my idea. So what would you say about this?


I have another Merchant Scroll to spoil, so I might actually experiment with it in the near future. But for that I should do a little research...so tell me, what is the mostly searched spell by merchant scroll in your case?

Alter? Horizon Spellbomb doodle...

Horizon Spellbomb - an artifact that I can get from the graveyard and play it once again, sac it for a card and a land and be happy. But it has a slight problem. It looks terrible. From my point of view it has really awful illustration and the new artifact design is something I despise since 8th edition so I try to avoid it as much as possible. But well with new cards being printed it does not really work that well.

I tried opening Adobe Photoshop and tried to figure out what I could do with the card. I painted the background with that terrible green. Then I tried different hues of the color. Then I started to play with the yellow/white glowing circles but it did not really help much. In the end I painted red glow out of the red gems in the bomb. But it still looked terrible. But at least something was going on on the card.

Anyway I'm too lazy to take a brush and try to paint on the card so I took few felt-tip pens and tried doodling. It looked a bit better. But it was still too bright and too clean and such, eh. So I smudged few of the colors all over the card to make it look much more messy.

Now I'm quite satisfied, I managed to get it as messy as I could ^_^.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pimp my deck alters

I build a Glissa highlander deck few days ago. Since then I played many games with it. It works nice and there might be changes to the decklist. But the one thing that I don't really like about the deck is - the white borders of my Nihil Spellbomb and Japanese Vampiric Tutor. This might seem as a silly thing but it really doesn't look good.

So well, the solution?

Alter the cards!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Glissa, the Traitor

For the past weeks I was trying to come up with an idea for a highlander deck. At first I was trying something with blue. I used to play UB control deck, but well such a deck can easily die to many other decks. So next I tried UG but that usually was ending up in planar portal + beacon combo and some really boring cards. In the end I build a silly aggro deck in Naya colors (see Mayael). I didn't like it at all ... even my mono green highlander was more fun and better toolbox than Mayael.

So now...Glissa comes in.

The deck should be able to be cycling artifacts that can take care of a lot. I was trying to figure out a creature recursion as well but not sure how much I want of it. The deck will need to be tested and I will need to figure out what I want and what's missing. There's 38 lands for the time being but I would want to play 35-36 and add maybe Genesis, Regrowth. But for the time being the deck plays nice.

This deck works as EDH deck, but as it can't generate blue mana it loses one of its 'abilities'. As a highlander deck it works with Academy Ruins instead of Glissa.

Glissa, the Traitor


Creatures [18]
1 Acidic Slime
1 Avenger of Zendikar
1 Duplicant
1 Eternal Witness
1 Fertilid
1 Fleshbag Marauder
1 Grave Titan
1 Indrik Stomphowler
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Primeval Titan
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Sheoldred, Whispering One
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Sundering Titan
1 Sylvok Replica
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Yavimaya Elder

Planeswalkers [3]
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Karn Liberated
1 Liliana Vess

Spells [40]
1 Armillary Sphere
1 Attrition
1 Beast Within
1 Black Sun's Zenith
1 Coalition Relic
1 Crop Rotation
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Cultivate
1 Damnation
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Darksteel Plate
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Executioner's Capsule
1 Expedition Map
1 Exsanguinate
1 Genesis Wave
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Harmonize
1 Horizon Spellbomb
1 Krosan Grip
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Mimic Vat
1 Mind Stone
1 Mindslaver
1 Mirrorworks
1 Nevinyrral's Disk
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Phyrexian Reclamation
1 Profane Command
1 Putrefy
1 Sculpting Steel
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sylvan Library
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Wayfarer's Bauble

Lands [38]
1 Academy Ruins
1 Barren Moor
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Evolving Wilds
8 Forest
1 Island
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Mishra's Factory
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Strip Mine
8 Swamp
1 Breeding Pool
1 Tainted Wood
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Tranquil Thicket
1 Tree of Tales
1 Twilight Mire
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Vault of Whispers
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Volrath's Stronghold