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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Happy Angel

On Sunday I requested to get my Real Edition back and I got it along with a long lost Dual Shooter. I managed to get Beatmania IIDX Sirius running and wanted to play really badly. There is so much stress and so many things not really going on well that I really need something to get rid of it... and one of the best way is to start hitting those 7/14 keys. (and not cut my finger once again). It helped.

A day later we went to see Cloud Atlas. A wonderful movie I'd say. So many connections and so well done. You might disagree but that's what I feel. After that some more Beatmania IIDX. I plugged in the other half of the controller and we played with my flat mate. It was wonderful. He was unable to hit the notes at the right time or pressed a different key and I realized that I kind of missed this. This game really makes you suffer for not being good at it^^.

With the other half working I could finally try some doubles. I'm no good at it. I mamaged to A Elisha on normal but that's about it. My skill is lost... Same goes for single player but well that's kind of easier.

I got a new skill though. Those 2 notes streams don't make me cry anymore. It seems that playing Jubeat actually helped me with something.

Today I went back from work - not really feeling well. I poured some Irish Cream in a mug (^_^ nothing better available) and drank a bit. In the meantime I let the 'machine' boot. Played few songs...when playing the first song I noticed bluish mist coming out from the turntable and decided to capture that somehow. I did not managed that well on a photo so I took a video. I like the colors, the flashing lights and the sound of the sanwa keys.

Hope you can enjoy that at least partly as well. Because I'd like to share this happiness.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Android: Netrunner LCG

Some of you might remember the game called Netrunner. It is a game that intrigued me and I liked it. But it was more for its flavor than the mechanics of the game. The real reason why this game was not the number one for me is because of its complexity. (I was too young when this game was released).

Netrunner was published in 1996 and the game was created by Richard Garfield, who is also the creator of Magic: The Gathering. This game was created later than Magic and there are some things that fix some issues that Magic has (mana screw/mana flood problem mostly). Anyway Living Card Games usually avoid this as well. But many (living, collectible, trading) card games feel similar. This one stands out in many ways.

Android: Netrunner is an updated version of Netrunner but that takes place in Android world (Fantasy Flight Games Android Board Game) which well for me means that it looks similar to Android. It looks great but does not tell me anything. So this time I look at this game from the mechanics point of view.

Netrunner is a game in which one player takes on the role of a Corporation and the other player takes a role of a runner - a hacker that tries to steal the Corporation's information. The Corp player tries to advance agendas and to protect the information about its operations it uses computer programs called ice. The hacker tries to hack into the system and needs to break the ice in order to get to the informatin. The Corporation player needs to play an agenda, protect it on the server by playing ice programs. Ice programs each contain of subroutines that try to stop the runner by various effects. There are also some tracing subroutines. The agenda needs to be advanced - a certain number of counters need to be put on it. When the number is the same as on the card you managed it and you score that card.

The runner on the other hand needs to attack a server containing a card. If he gets past ice he can see the face down card. If it is an agenda card he takes it and gets points for it. One of the interesting things here is the fact that server is also your hand, your deck of cards or your discard pile. In each of these zones there can be agenda cards and if the runner hits them he gets them.

When one of the players gets 7 or more points he wins the game. There are different win conditions as well though. They differ depending on what you play.

There are many things that can happen in the game but I won't tell you what exactly. Just try the game out. The game provides many options but many times you need to bluff as well. You can get into a really bad situation or a really good one. Being cautious and ready for everything can cost you a game as you won't be fast enough. There are moments in which you really need to risk. If there is something you forgot about than it will cost you a lot. You really need to know how to play with your opponent, there's nothing like a good play you could do without the knowledge of your opponents thoughts. You need to adapt or you really have to control. Many things can go awry and there are many things you need to track.

I really like this game. (I might write more about the game later...for this time this will have to do)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Horde of Notions Blink

For quite some time I wanted to build some blink deck. But I wanted it to be either Bant or UW and that is probably the reason why I was unable to build such deck. I always wanted to add some black and sometimes even red (but I usually drop the color as I usually want ot play 1-3 cards). I always abandonned the deck and tried something else.

Today though my flat mate started building Grand Arbiter Augustin deck so I tried a deck of my own. I did not care about general but rather filtered all cards with comes into play abilities. I put those creatures aside. There was about 70 creatures that seemed good to me. I cut down all the cards with 'draw a card' effect except Wall of Blossoms and Baleful Strix and then started eliminating cards with mana cost like xRR or xBB. In the end I came up with 100 cards that seemed relatively ok. I wasn't sure if the deck would work especially when I did not take much time looking at the mana base. I just picked some lands I had on the table and put them in (that wasn't a good idea).

Anyway I played with the deck and had quite some fun even though my opponent could hardly enjoy the game as he was playing an aggro deck that could hardly deal with my creatures. I'll need to test this deck against something more disruptive than his deck. Anyway there are cards that will have to go and my deck will have to change its manabase. Cards like Puppeteer Clique were almost impossible to play and I hardly managed to get all five colors. Deadeye Navigator is a card I like but is too expensive. Not sure if I'll keep it. I'm not entirely fond of Wrath of God or Oblivion Stone either but I had to try those. I have to say that Oblivion Stone saved me in one game today already.

So here's the first decklist without any changes made to it. I need to change the mana base. I need the dual lands to be fetchable and be a forest if possible. And cards that need 4 colored mana should be also replaced...^^

Horde of Notions Blink
Creatures [40]
1 Acidic Slime
1 Angel of Despair
1 Armada Wurm
1 Avenger of Zendikar
1 Baleful Strix
1 Blade Splicer
1 Centaur Healer
1 Deadeye Navigator
1 Eternal Witness
1 Farhaven Elf
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Flickerwisp
1 Gilded Drake
1 Grave Titan
1 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Karmic Guide
1 Kitchen Finks
1 Loxodon Hierarch
1 Mistmeadow Witch
1 Mulldrifter
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Primeval Titan
1 Puppeteer Clique
1 Restoration Angel
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Shriekmaw
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Sphinx of Uthuun
1 Spike Weaver
1 Stonecloaker
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Sun Titan
1 Thragtusk
1 Venser, Shaper Savant
1 Wall of Blossoms
1 Wall of Roots
1 Wood Elves
1 Woodfall Primus
1 Zealous Conscripts

Planeswalkers [1]
1 Venser, the Sojourner

Spells [20]
1 Bant Charm
1 Beast Within
1 Cloudshift
1 Conjurer's Closet
1 Farseek
1 Ghostway
1 Liberate
1 Mimic Vat
1 Momentary Blink
1 Nature's Lore
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Otherworldly Journey
1 Parallax Wave
1 Path to Exile
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Turn to Mist
1 Wrath of God

Lands [38]
1 Arid Mesa
1 Bayou
1 Breeding Pool
1 Command Tower
1 Flooded Strand
5 Forest
1 Hallowed Fountain
4 Island
1 Marsh Flats
1 Maze of Ith
1 Misty Rainforest
2 Mountain
3 Plains
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Savannah
1 Scrubland
3 Swamp
1 Taiga
1 Temple Garden
1 Tropical Island
1 Underground Sea
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Wasteland
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills

EDIT: -1 Puppeteer Clique
- 1 Centaur Healer
+ 1 Glen-Elendra Archmage
+1 Necromancy

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Graduation 2012

We did it!

Playmat draft - Stoneforge Mystic

I'd like to create a custom playmat and that is why I started drawing some mystics. I wanted something special that would show the mystic, a sword and a 'bird' if possible. I couldn't come up with something till I actually (by accident) saw JJ's alters of SFMs. I decided to use that as reference and tried coming up with a version I'd like. But it's quite difficult. I will be drawing on the playmat with copic markers and for that I need something rather precise and I need to learn how to work with them and I need to figure out how to make my mystic look good. Quite difficult task but challenge accepted!

I don't have a scanner so I had to take a photo. So far I have 4 versions and I'm not content with any of them^_^

Ajani, Caller of the Pride alter

I was asked by Zdenek to alter his Ajani which he won at one booster draft. I said I would try it but that it does not need to end up good. The yellow color was alarming already. Yellow paints are a pain and I have to say that those I have are really bad. I have to come up with a way how to paint with them so they look ok and that the paint underneath is not so visible.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Birds of Paradise Alter

Last week I wanted to do a Birds of Paradise alter but the only one I wanted to paint on was Birds of Paradise from 8th edition. I took the card and tried priming it but something unexpected happened and I rather not want to talk about that. Anyway the card in its original state was in a bad shape as you might see in the photo below.

So it had to be a full art alter in order to cover the damaged parts of the card. There were few ideas I had in my mind - night scene, Ravnica city, snowy scene. Or I could do something completely different...At that moment I was staring at my painting of Mount Fuji and that's what I wanted to do. I also remembered that I've seen Mount Fuji BoP already somewhere (done by Gali or Galli?) and I used that as a reference. I tried my best, but I'm not satisfied with it and this time it won't probably change. I'll have to do another one later to improve my skill and be more satisfied about it. (or paint over this one)

Here's the result.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

2HG EDH Series Usti nad Labem

There is an EDH Tournament Series in Usti nad Labem. Honza asked me if I would be interested in playing and I said yes. We would go there have some fun and participate in the tournament. For that we needed some decks that would not play the same cards. We both play The Mimeoplasm normally so one of us had to play something else. Honza got Niv-Mizzet (the new one) from me and he made this card his general. Thus some blue cards had to go from my deck (like Force of Will and Jace, the MInd Sculptor) and some stayed as I had better chances using them recursively. I was supposed to be the one playing threats and Honza would be backing me up with counterspells and such.

We arrived at the site early (oh dreadful place...) so we had some time to chat with other players. I wasn't introduced to anybody but everyone seemed quite friendly and no one made bad remarks or anything which used to be the usual in Prague or well other places I went to (won't name).

We were let in finally by the owner I presume. Some time later we registered and waited for the pairings. The TO then recapitulated rules for 2HG EDH Series - 45 life, free French Mulligan, 1 of 1 game, 60 minutes, no sideboard. After this there was a note about banlist. So we checked it once again (because the one on the internet wasn't the same as the one on the paper I received at the tournament) and found out that Intuition is banned. I put in Victimize that I bought earlier. I really like the card, should be some fun with it. Pairings followed soon afterwards.

We - Plazmadrak (meaning Plasm - Dragon) - were pitted against team named Selesnya (probably the player who named their team this way is a Selesnya Guild member - at least PWP site says I beat Selesnya member in round 1). They played Teysa and Jhoira. My opening hand features Bitterblossom and Sword of Feast and Famine so I decided to keep that hand. Turn 2 Blossom wins the games, ain't it right? Well, I did not play it on T2 because Jhoira player was untapped so it was T3 when I played it. Jhoira died to Lightning Bolt and Teysa player also played his general. I was attacking with my fearies and was wielding the sword. Teysa player was the one active. He played Shrine of the Loyal Legions. Later he played Liliana of the Dark Realms and was fetching some lands. We decided to ignore her and attack the player instead. Gideon Jura was played later but that did not ruin our plan. The card was bounced and turn later Time Stopped and my flyers could be attacking the player all the time. Jhoira player tried playing his general again but Jhoira was sent to Command Zone once again. Honza also played Vendilion Clique to see what cards he has on his hands. Nothing much - Foil, Counterspell and many cards he could not even play. The path was clear and I could play more or less anything.

In Round 2 both are deck decided to be on strike. Honza was unable to draw lands and I was on the other hand drawing just lands and mana producing creatures. Our opponents (Ustecti luckeri) were playing Kiki-Jiki and Teferi. The red deck was full of land destruction and most probably Blood Moon and Magus of the Moon. None showed up to wreck my mana base but I think that I wouldn't care. I was drawing fetch lands all the time and got all my basic lands in play. Kiki-Jiki player thus decided to start torturing Honza destroying him his Volcanic Island. Honza's hand was good and we would be alright if he could draw one more additional land in four turns. But this did not happen and later we were killed by Detritivore whom I feeded quite a lot with all those fetch lands (and destroyed lands). I tried my best playing Go For the Throat 3 times, Honza used Pithing Needle on Kiki-Jiki but this wasn't enought and we lost (two Detritivores were just too much). (Zealous Conscripts and Gilded Drake took care of my attempt of at least blocking)

Round 3 was the epic failure of all times even though we managed to win in the first additional turn after the round ended. This time we played against a team called Philipe Morris. One player played Oona and the other one Cpt. Sisay. The Oona player started with Isochron Scepter + Counterspell which was not good for us. I tried playing Sylvan Library so I would have better chance drawing Krosan Grip, Honza tried finding an answer as well but we were not lucky. Library was destroyed and we were in top deck mode waiting for a miracle. Hopefully we feeded the counterspell from Isochron Scepter with something and then played Venser bouncing it. But the Sisay player was already developing his board and we were facing Sigarda, Karmic Guide and Yosei. Not to mention that there was Sword of War and Peace and Umezawa's Jitte equipped to Sigarda. We were so focused on trying to deal with Sigarda that we forgot that we can kill them in one turn. Anyway we were producing flyers that could chump block Sigarda and when she could finally go through the player decided to attack us instead of killing Jace TMS or Garruk Wildspeaker. This was a pretty big mistake as that's what killed them two turns later. Time Stop was one additional turn for us and Cryptic Command allowed us to attack with Overrun (allowed me as I was the one with creatures) for 35 damage (lethal).

Round 4 was the fastest game. It was either us or them as we both decided to win via combo. Our opponents were playing Sygg and Grand Arbiter Augustin. The both played signets on their second turn followed by their generals. We tried countering GAA but the spell was Force of Will'ed. Later we tried killing the Augustin and we managed that. But tutor was played on Sygg player's side followed by Buried Alive into Triskelion + Phyrexian Devourer + Necrotic Ooze. Reanimate followed and we could just shake their hands.

Fifth round was relatively uneventful. Or at least we were not under constant pressure even though the decks showed us that they can actually do that quite easily and in one turn. One player was playing Damia and the other one Sigarda (our favorite^^). In this game the wierdest play ever happened. Damia player played Liliana of the Veil because he probably wanted to get rid of my Thrun (the only annoying creature in play). Liliana was Commandeer'ed. She survived the attack from the otherside of the table. Each of us discarded a card. In my case it was Woodfall Primus. I played The Mimeoplasm destroying a land with it (and one more land was destroyed by wasteland). I started outracing Sigarda but later we killed the opposing team via Lord of Extinction + Triskelion combo.

We ended up third and won some booster packs in which was 'nothing worth noting'. But the tournament was nice. We played 5 games, had some fun, made silly mistakes, won majority of the games...well it was nice. I'll try not to miss another tournament of the series.

Our decklist for those interest.

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
Creatures [12]
1 Deceiver Exarch
1 Gilded Drake
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
1 Goblin Electromancer
1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
1 Trinket Mage
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Venser, Shaper Savant

Planeswalkers [3]
1 Jace Beleren
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Tezzeret the Seeker

Spells [44]
1 Ancestral Vision
1 Batterskull
1 Coalition Relic
1 Comet Storm
1 Commandeer
1 Condescend
1 Control Magic
1 Counterspell
1 Cryptic Command
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Desertion
1 Devil's Play
1 Expedition Map
1 Fire // Ice
1 Force of Will
1 Hinder
1 Impulse
1 Into the Roil
1 Isochron Scepter
1 Izzet Charm
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Mimic Vat
1 Mind's Eye
1 Mizzium Mortars
1 Muddle the Mixture
1 Negate
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Opportunity
1 Pact of Negation
1 Pithing Needle
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Pyroblast
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Remand
1 Remove Soul
1 Spell Crumple
1 Splinter Twin
1 Stroke of Genius
1 Syncopate
1 Time Stop
1 Time Warp
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Treachery

Lands [40]
1 Academy Ruins
1 Arid Mesa
1 Barbarian Ring
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Cephalid Coliseum
17 Island
1 Lonely Sandbar
11 Mountain
1 Riptide Laboratory
1 Seat of the Synod
1 Steam Vents
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Urza's Factory
1 Volcanic Island
The Mimeoplasm
Creatures [28]
1 Acidic Slime
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Deathrite Shaman
1 Elves of Deep Shadow
1 Eternal Witness
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Fyndhorn Elves
1 Genesis
1 Geth, Lord of the Vault
1 Grave Titan
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Lord of Extinction
1 Mulldrifter
1 Phantasmal Image
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Sheoldred, Whispering One
1 Shriekmaw
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Sower of Temptation
1 Sphinx of Uthuun
1 Thragtusk
1 Thrun, the Last Troll
1 Triskelion
1 Wickerbough Elder
1 Woodfall Primus
1 Wrexial, the Risen Deep
1 Wurmcoil Engine

Planeswalkers [5]
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Garruk, Primal Hunter
1 Karn Liberated
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Liliana Vess

Spells [28]
1 Animate Dead
1 Bitterblossom
1 Black Sun's Zenith
1 Brainstorm
1 Buried Alive
1 Careful Consideration
1 Compulsive Research
1 Damnation
1 Dance of the Dead
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Go for the Throat
1 Harmonize
1 Krosan Grip
1 Life from the Loam
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Necromancy
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Pernicious Deed
1 Putrefy
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sylvan Library
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Victimize

Lands [38]
1 Bayou
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Breeding Pool
1 Command Tower
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Drowned Catacomb
1 Flooded Grove
1 Flooded Strand
3 Forest
1 Hinterland Harbor
3 Island
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Strip Mine
1 Sunken Ruins
2 Swamp
1 Tropical Island
1 Twilight Mire
1 Underground Sea
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Wasteland
1 Watery Grave
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Woodland Cemetery