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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014

Yesterday at 7 pm local time Steam users coujld finally download Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014. It took about a minut to download the game but installation of it took ages for some unknown reason. 17 minutes past 7 pm I finally ran the game. The very first surprise was that the game was actually running at regular speed and it wasn't lagging^_^.

A Scavenging Ooze voucher showed up. Then I could enjoy Brad Rigney's Chandra model and choose the difficulty of the game (by stating that I play Magic 'A lot').

In DotP 2014 there are two single campaigns (normal and revenge), multiplayer (free-for-all and two headed giant) and Sealed Deck Campaign (two sealed deck slots are for free, then you have to buy a slot for 2 USD). First I decided to try the normal campaign. To make things more entertaining this time you get to see few videos and listen to Chandra telling you her story. You as a planeswalker start on a certain plane and after finding what you were looking for you move to another plane to search yet for another thing. On the planes there are encounters and decks to beat. The encounters are sometimes really special, especially those ones from Shandalar. The encounters stick to the storyline and the cards used are from the block having the same name as the plane. That's pretty nice actually.

As I pre-ordered the game I got Chandra's Firewave deck unlocked. I wasn't looking forward too much playing with it but in the end it wasn't that bad (last two games I primarily played with Mono White Weenie decks). In the first match I terribly died due to drawing cards that I couldn't even play so I went to the deck editor. Added in Grim Lavamancers, Sulfuric Vortexes, Inferno Titan, some more efficient burn spells and creatures and a completely different deck was born. With this it finally felt that you can actually win some games^^. Sulfurix Vortex seemed a bit overpowered. The majority of the games we won just because of playing this card and because of this card we couldn't fully enjoy the Jailbreak encounter^_^ (the game starts with a creature controlled by you enchanted with Prison Term and you have 9 turns to beat your opponent).

After few planes I decided to try out the Sealed Deck Campaign. I left tips and tutorial messages turned on so I turned them off after the game tried to explain me what sealed deck is actually about. I opened my booster packs and went through the cards in the deck manager. That actually looks pretty nice. It can sort your cards by color, rarity etc. You can add the amount of lands you want and it also shows you some kind of 'deck strength'. But who knows what the criteria are. My deck was supposedly 'Awesome'. I opened two Shivan Dragons and Earthquake so I was in red. I added green because other colors did not have enough creatures. So I had a deck with some Advocates of the Beast, some Beasts, haste and 'musle' slivers, some Giant Growths, Shocks and the Dragons. It was working quite nice. During the campaign after winning a game against some decks you are awarded with more booster packs (in total three). Those you can add to your pool and use them to enhance your deck even more. I opened one more Shock and Shivan Dragon^^. I got stuck against Liliana's deck that killed everything I had so I changed my deck to RG beatdown and that worked fine.

Next it was time for some challenges. There are ten Challenges in total. 5 are initial ones and the other 5 are advanced. But to be honest none of them are that much of a challenge. Most of them are about the knowledge of Magic: The Gathering rules (about how trample and lifelink works etc). This certainly is a good step to teach players how to play, but I would enjoy some more challenging challenges for a Magic player. (a following screenshot is not actually a spoiler)

After wondering what Protean Hulk can fetch in the final challenge for quite some time we got back to playing the normal campaign. We were just one plane from Ramaz. In the final match you play with Chandra against Ramaz's RUG ramp. We played some small creatures and attacked only to be hit by Earthquake. So more little creatures and attack. Burn spells did the rest...Not much of a challenge. It wasn't Cruel Control nor Darksteel Colossus on turn 1.

Anyway 10USD is the price for the game and that's not much. You get Scavening Ooze with it so that actually awesome. It was fun playing the game and I enjoyed it. It seems that the power level is lower compared with the previous games but nonetheless it was fun and I had to sideboard about three times during the whole game (a deck full of burn targeting only creatures against creatureless decks...does not work that much). As an introduction to Magic this game is much better suited than the previous ones. But the previous ones can be more challenging and can teach the player a bit more about deck styles and cards effects. The best thing about this game is probably the fact that you canplay with your deck you created from the m14 pool. That means that there can be some more intersting games.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Torn Asunder Draft

On Wednesday night we finally met to draft Torn Asunder. We were six in total and decided to draft from more booster packs than advised. Unfortunately we decided to play with more cards and that ruined my whole draft as I counted with 20/20 for some reason.

My first pick was some completely random personality. The rare in the pack was completely useless in limited and the uncommons were unplayable as well as it required a ring to play them or something similar. Later on I started picking Dragon Kensai and some strategies that I could use with them. It seemed to me that there were two cards that should be picked right away - Defensive Stance and Frozen in Place. Frozen in Place is a card that can immediately win a game against certain military decks and in Shugenja deck with Suck the Marrow can be pretty awesome as well. It seemed that one player next to me was drafting Shugenjas and one was drafting Dragon Kensai. I did not want to switch so I continued in my theme. My deck was Phoenix/Dragon military but was doomed to fail... I picked early Sturdy Armor and Uji's Saboteurs as those cards seemed really good.

In the end I ended up with military deck. My fate deck consisted of cards that usually were giving force penalties or force bonuses. A Cleansing Breath seemed as a card that can give tempo and can be deadly for military opponent. Frozen in Place was simply awesome. Uji's Saboteurs, Sturdy Armor along with Chiyurei's Axe (which was hardly awesome), Destriers and Goju Kaxt. I thought that this card would be really great but with lack of kill actions ... and Saboteurs being uncommon. My dynasty deck consisted of all Phoenix and Dragon personalities that had power of at least 3. Not really good military personalities though. I was trying to pick personalities with Elite and Stalwart keyword but in the end I did not need those keywords at all. The advantage was more or less ... none.

I did not like the fact that there are many cards that give force penalties and bonuses (and I don't even talk about the stronghold's ability). Almost no bowing nor kill actions (melee/ranged attacks) in the set in common or uncommon slot. This makes Imperial Favor a HUGE advantage. What seemed rather sad .. that if you wanted to be picking certain keyword you had to be picking the very same card. Thus having a card with same cost and that was something I did not really want. I needed more box personalities for my scheme but it was in vain. It was much better to wait for a big ONI personality and pick that one. If you can't buy 2 personalities of good force/gold ratio it's better to buy one that almost no one can do about (except Imperial Favor). There were two movements in the pool we had and I supposed that's all (considering commons and uncommons). One was Zerk uncommon and the other one.. I don't even remember. A must for a military deck fighting Honor deck.

A player did not need to care about honor loss so adding cards with honor loss wasn't an issue - if it meant a personality with 6-7 force in the end...

Honestly I thought that this set would be better designed. I haven't drafted Legend of the Five Rings much...several times actually. But I would expect something more fun and more ... interactive .... than FORCE vs FORCE and the biggest problem being 'sending home from Imperial Favor'.

Next time I need to give it more thought before I start to draft. I usually pick cards that seem good. But in the case of L5R I should start picking Honor cards right away. I just don't like military and in the first game I simply did not want to attack and that is the reason I terribly died. Ok, the other reason was Bofana Exp. ^_^.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Random Photo of the Day

When I was waiting for a tram at Vltavska today I thought that I would catch on fire. The heat was simlpy too much for me. No idea what the temperature was outside but it was high. The tram took ages to arrive and when it arrived people could hardly get on it - it was so overcrowded there. Not so long time ago I waited at the very same spot. The rain was heavy, quite a lot of people were waiting for a tram to come. I took the photo that follows at that point. The tram came soon after and it was hardly full. Interesting...

Random Photo of the Day - Jace, the Mind Sculptor Better than All

I preordered 2 sets of Jace TMS. Some time later I won another set of Jaces. A year later I was forced to sell some of them because I did not have any money due to certain circumstances that I don't want to recall. Now I have 2 sets. One set is for sale if anyone interested....because once again I'm not in the best financial situation and I don't even see a good financial situation coming any time soon. But I'm trying to survive. In the worst case scenario, there are still shops that can give me cash for the cards immediately. But to be honest I'd rather sell the cards to someone who'll play with the cards.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Jund

I'm not entirely sure how this post should be named but well it is time to write something about the past few days... Since Modern Masters release (actually since Wednesday) I had a lot of work. Sorting cards, selling cards (creating listings), trading and sending all those cards to different locations in the world. And I also had to open majority of the booster packs myself and I don't really like that. Anyway I spent days and nights doing this. I had to be fast in order to sell the cards for reasonable price and as I need money for M14 fast. When I went to sleep it was usually light outside once again.
During the day I was usually running around Prague collecting some cards and selling them. This was pretty exhausting especially with the public transport not entirely operating due to floods. But thanks to this I managed to ran into Molik a friend of mine that now lives in Brno so we hardly see each other. She came here to offer her help to those whose houses were flooded. During the night - - WORK. When I was completely exhausted and couldn't go on I went to sleep but I was soon woken up by loud noises from outside (as they are repairing gas tubes or something underground...). The works start usually before 7am. That's insane. Anyway on Saturday I signed up for Modern Masters draft. With about 6 hours of sleep in the previous 3 days I still decided to go (as I promised that already). I started drafting 5cc but red color in general and white aggro creatures were open. So I switched and started taking these. This was a good decision but made too late. I had a nice weenie deck that could deal 12 damage in the first 3 rounds but at the tournament the deck just decided to not work (I admit that the deck was highly instable because I did not have enough playable cards and had to play some random cards). After the draft, which was really nice, I had a lot of work to do yet once again.

On Sunday I wanted to have some free time and I used it to be with my family and go see the new Star Trek. If I should write something about it (I mean the movie)...I would use these three letters: l o l

During the night and most morning I was preparing orders. When I was tired of looking for certain Moderm Masters cards I decided to put together a Jund legacy deck and Deathblade. My friend decided to win a dual land for me but he needs a deck for that. He asked for Deathblade so I put that together. As for me I had no idea what to play but after WMCQ at which I played Jund I decided to go for Jund and see what the deck can do. Anyway looking for cards for the deck was even more frustrating than finding cards for the orders. Mainly because I knew that I (for example) own sets of all fetchlands but I couldn't find them (and still did not find them....darn).

On Monday I was supposed to meet about six different people with whom I would either trade or sell them cards or buy cards from them. I ran into one by accident. I bought the cards and continued on. I should have met few more people at one location but none of them showed up (One probably arrived but too late for me). After this I headed to another game store and bought some heavily played dual lands. After that a horror at local post office started. I waited in one line, then was sent to a different place where I had to once again stand in line. From that place I was sent once again to the original location where once again I had to stand in a line. It took about 30 minutes but I successfully submitted everything. After this I just wanted to eat something and rest.

But something different happened. There was odd number of players at the Legacy tournament so I was asked if I would play. I decided to play. I wanted to try the Jund deck but did not have Dark Confidants, Wastelands, 1x Grove oft he Burnwillows, Deathrite Shamans and Thoughtseizes (as those were in Deathblade except the Grove that I simply don't own). Kenji though was so kind and let me use his cards for the tournament. I still did not have a set of Thoughtseizes and I did not have the Grove. Instead of it I had Taiga in the deck which showed up to be the bane of it^^ (and Inquisition of Kozilek instead of Thoughtseize).

In round one I lost the first game fast. In the second game I had a nice hand but I forgot that the Taiga I have in my hand is not actually Grove of the Burnwillows (I had to play my proxy card as Taiga). Due to this I lost the game because I simply couldn't cast anything and I did not have the Grove. I facepalmed myself and decided to at least CONCENTRATE on the game. Not to mention the fact that I had NO IDEA what cards could help me in this match up and what cards I don't need. Logically Punishing Fire + Grove should have been all I needed (and 5 mana)

In round 2 I knew that I needed to play against someone I know and someone who would be kind otherwise I would freak out. Please note that after such sleep deprivation I wasn't in a really good state. Upon looking at the pairings I knew that everything would be ok. I played against Martin with his Junk rock. I lost one game because I couldn't deal with Lingering Souls and Dark Confidant but I won the other two games. I had no idea what to side in nor what to side out. I sided in Engineered Plague (spirit or human) and Maelstrom Pulse and decided not to side in Surgical Extraction (which I would normally side in). In the end it did not really matter as I managed to win (somehow) as always had the card advantage.

Round 3 was interesting. I once again played against someone I know and I also encountered his deck. I had plan - all out attack! and Abrupt Decay as the only combo breaker (Helm of Awakening + Sensei's Divining Top -> Grapeshot). I tried to deal as much damage as I could and was waiting with Lightning Bolt in my hand. Punishing Fire followed. All this was nice I still needed to deal two more damage somehow. When my opponent resolved both the Helm and Top I knew I was screwed unless..... my opponent played Gitaxian Probe and payed with his life. I was like 'I can actually win...but I have yet to see if I won't lose'. Fortunately for me he couldn't counter any of the spells and his back up plan with Intuition did not work either as he was one mana short and one card in library short^_^ (I did not know this). In game two I sided in Slaughter Games, more directed discard, Surgical Extraction and Pyroblasts/REB. My REB hit Counterbalance and I discarded a second one. A turn later I removed Grapeshots from the game and then tried to beat my opponent with some creatures. He seemed to stabilize though at one point (when he played Vendilion Clique) but my top decks were good (Dark Confidant and Punishing Fire among that) and I won.

In the last round I played against enchantress. I wasn't entirely sure what to do with it. I knew that Krosan Grip, Maelstrom Pulse and discard will be my only chances. I won game one easily as I managed to discard everything that I did not want to see on the table and what ended up on the table just got Abrupt Decay'ed. In game two I sided in Slaughter Games, more discard, Maelstrom Pulse, Krosan Grip. Not entirely sure what was right but well I did not really need burn spells and I needed to get rid of Enchantments. Hopefully Dark Confidant showed that 'Greatness at any cost' is an overkill. My opponent started with Leyline of Sanctity in play which rendered my hand useless (Duress, Thoughtseize and Liliana). I was drawing lands for a while but then soon had 3 Bloodbraid Elves, Dark Confidant and Tarmogoyf. I played Confidant that hit me for 3 each time - Liliana of the Veil, Liliana of the Veil, Maelstrom Pulse. Pulse got rid of Helm of Obedience fortunately. At this point I started playing Bloodbraid Elves that hit Tarmogoyf, Duress and Abrupt Decay. I was facing Elephant Grass though and once I decided not to attack and rather play BBE. That was probably a mistake as with a bit of luck I would have won a turn earlier. But still...Sterling Grove was in play and it coud probably find another Grass or something else that would annul my attack. Anyway I won...my opponent's deck did not produce a way how to stop my goyfs and elves.

After this tournament I have a slight idea what this deck can do and I would make at least one change in the decklist. Ofcourse getting rid of Taiga and replacing it with Grove of the Burnwillows is the first thing to do. But I should play more Sylvan Libraries. 2 would be great. The card is 'pure awesome' in this deck o_O. I did not think that it would have such an impact but it simply wins the games. I need to cut something though... not entirely sure what. Ooze, Bolt or Hymn?

Main Deck:
3 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Dark Confidant
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Liliana of the Veil
4 Tarmogoyf
1 Scavenging Ooze

3 Abrupt Decay
2 Hymn to Tourach
2 Lightning Bolt
4 Punishing Fire
1 Sylvan Library
4 Thoughtseize

3 Badlands
3 Bayou
3 Bloodstained Mire
1 Forest
3 Grove of the Burnwillows
1 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Wasteland
2 Wooded Foothills
1 Taiga

Sideboard:
2 Duress
1 Engineered Plague
2 Krosan Grip
1 Life from the Loam
2 Pernicious Deed
2 Slaughter Games
3 Red Elemental Blast
2 Surgical Extraction

My friend with Deathblade won the tournament. So in the end we managed to get heavily played Badlands as our prize. *happy*

One more interesting thing I wanted to write about...Yesterday I checked out our mail box. There was an envelope from Japan. That could only mean one thing. I ordered a Japanese version of Jace, the Mind Scultor on June 3rd and yeasterday it arrived. I was amazed and the Jace is awesome! Here are both the cards together.

I'm not entirely sure if this post makes sense....but I'm really exhausted. I need to get some sleep. There were so many things I needed to keep in my memory during the last few days that it was really difficult to concentrate or to even think about something. But forcing myself to think during the tournament was a good thing. Unfortunately it showed. In the last game I could hardly remember to trigger Dark Confidant's ability. ^_^

Friday, June 7, 2013

Random Photo of the Day - Modern Masters

Modern Masters was released this Friday and that means that I had the opportunity to open some of those golden colored booster packs. I don't usually like opening booster packs but this time it was different. I eagerly opened them and awaited some nice cards. My first rare was pretty bad - Countryside Crasher but it was followed by Vendilion Clique, Pact of Negation and Kira, Great Glass-Spinner...Now what I have is album full of Moderm Masters cards and also quite a nice mess to thrash. Just looking at this...I wonder if it was worth the money? (Card value wise - YES, it was)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Random Photo of the Day - Four-leaf Clover

Anyone spent ages looking for this unusual version of clover? I did. I remember that I spent hours looking for one at our grand parent's cabin.
When heading for PTQ Marian simply went and picked up one four-leaf clover. In less than one minute he once again spotted another one. I was quite amazed! How can someone find one so quickly?
Marian made top 8 but unfortunately lost the first round in top 8.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

PTQ Dublin - Esper Control

A friend of mine came for the PTQ and he played with my Jund deck (with some changes) so I had to come up with a different deck. I did not have much choices as I hardly have cards for type 2 decks except for Bant and Esper control decks. Lately I just sell or trade cards but I don't keep t2 cards for myself.

I decided to play Esper Control because Bant without Thragtusk did not seem right. Building a control deck against a meta I hardly saw is difficult and the deck is difficult to pilot (without prior experience). I expected that the field would be aggro and midrange heavy. Esper and UWr would be a minority.

At first I wanted to play a version that runs Snapcaster Mage, Restoration Angel and Augur of Bolas but later switched to running 4x Lingering Souls, Sorin and Jace. I put more or less this list together and played few games against that Jund deck and it was winnable.

[DGM] Esper Control
stsung
Type II

Main Deck:
3 Augur of Bolas
2 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Obzedat, Ghost Council
2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

4 Azorius Charm
2 Detention Sphere
2 Dissipate
2 Far // Away
2 Forbidden Alchemy
4 Lingering Souls
2 Sphinx's Revelation
4 Supreme Verdict
3 Warped Physique

4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Glacial Fortress
3 Godless Shrine
4 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
3 Isolated Chapel
3 Nephalia Drownyard
1 Plains
3 Watery Grave

Sideboard:
2 Appetite for Brains
2 Duress
1 Jace, Memory Adept
2 Negate
1 Pithing Needle
2 Rest in Peace
1 Terminus
2 Tragic Slip
1 Warped Physique
1 Witchbane Orb

Round 1 - Junk Reanimator
I played against Reanimator - a deck I thought I would be facing quite a lot the day before. I main decked cards against it and did not play against a single one. Now with Esper Control having almost nothing against it I had to play against it several times. For the first ten minutes I was trying to figure out what I can do against this deck. I knew that my Revelations would be removed from the game most probably and that my only possibility how to win would most probably be hit by Acidic Slime. Anyway I decided for a plan. Wait for 2 Angels of Serenity on the table and then remove them from the game via Detention Sphere. That backed up by Dissipate saved for Acidic Slime. The game took ages. I was trying to survive and was chump blocking everything with power 5. Obzedat was trying to gain me some life and stall. Eventually my opponent played two Angel of Serenity and I could send them to oblivion. After that I was in full control of the game but was afraid to kill my opponent. When the round ended I simply had to beat him and figure out how. I had 3 turn to do so and I could either mill him or overrun him with my creatures (and his).

In this game I realized that Dissipate is hardly a card I want and I was missing 3x Syncopate that I was usually running before (with Snapcaster Mage)

Round 2 - Gruul Aggro
I played against Klara - the second girl that participated in the tournament. She was playing gruul aggro (with some white?). It was a game I should have not lost but I did not expect somebody to play Brimstone Volley. Attack with 1/1 Noble into my Lingering Soul token seemed wierd but burn spell dealing 3 damage and Rampager would do the job as well. I blocked and was hit with Brimstone Volley when I tried playing Sphinx's Revelation. I facepalmed myself and decided not to do this mistake once again. I won the remaining 2 games.

Round 3 - Junk Reanimator
I played agaisnt Junk Reanimator and that I couldn't do much because of my draws. In game 1 I played Augur of Bolas quite early and hit both Detention Spheres I had in my deck. After this my chances of winning the game were more or less 0. I went aggro mode with Lingering Souls and flash backed both Souls so I could either swing for the win (which could possibly happen) or terribly die (which was most likely to happen). At 8 life my opponent played Sever the Bloodline removing all my 8 tokens and a turn later played Thragtusk.
In game two I saw a perfect Salvage and died rather quickly.

Round 4 - Naya Midrange
Oh this deck was pure evil. I resolved 2 mulligans and my hand was still bad. In game two I tried my best to keep up but without Syncopates I would give anything to have them I was simply screwed. I managed to kill some creatures with Warped Physique and eventually played Supreme Verdict. But Thundermaw Hellkite followed as I feared. I tried playing Tamiyo to keep it tapped but 4 mana open on my opponent's side was quite fearsome. Restoration Angel showed up EOT. I couldn't deal with either flyer and lost the game.

Round 5 - Junk Reanimator
After two different pairings we finally could start playing. I knew that my opponent is a good player and that I could hardly win but in the end it showed up that I could actually win. There are things that I did not even realize. Playing Far//Away in response to Angel of Serenity's trigger is something that did not really dawn on me. Even though I know how rules work and that I've done similar play many times in my life I just did not realize it during this tournament. But at this point I already knew that Far/Away is a card that I want to play 4-of main deck and cut Warped Physique which was really bad. In the first game I quickly died and it was more or less my intention because games against reanimator take ages (in my case^^). In the second game I brought in 2 Jace, Memory Adept, Terminus (what's the plural of this?) and Rest in Peace. I hoped to play Rest in Peace and mill. I had to stay alive till I would draw Jace that did not want to show up and them win. On the last turn in which I could draw that card he finally showed up. In g3 I was completely lost and forgot to counter Restoration Angel. This meant a lost game for me and it was really a hard blow. But it was something I should expect. I can usually concentrate for about 15 minutes at most and then it gets really difficult and if I have to play under pressure I can't make good decisions. I hope that my opponent wasn't angry with me as he had to survive the whole round and additional turns playing against me.
I learned a lot during this game only and that was good. Also after this round I realized that Sin Collector is something I want to play. I missed Slaughter Games and Sin Collector can hit Unburial Rites as well Sphinx's Revelation.

Round 6 - Gruul Aggro
I can't lose this match up. Or at least it does not seem likely.

Round 7 - Naya Goodstuff
Again I played against this annoying Naya deck. I had no idea what to do with it. Anyway I won by playing Lingering Souls and creating Sorin's Emblem. It was not the first time that Sorin showed up to be actually doing something and in this case (and the previous ones) he seemed to be game breaking unlike Tamiyo that proved to be good against not good players but terrible against those who can actually play well. In game two my opponent sided in 2x Ruric. I had to sweep the board but those 6 extra damage simply killed me. In game three I kept rather strange hand. It had enough creature removal but no counterspell or Sphere. I did not mind as I did not expect too many permanents I couldn't deal with. Unfortunately my opponent played Domri Rade on T2 and I was unable to deal with it. Even though he started with 5 cards he won. He always hit a creature card and got Domri to 7. At this time I drew Detention Sphere and removed him from the game but it was too late as my opponent had more cards than me. Few turns later I lost the game. There was no way of getting rid of Restoration Angel on my opponent's hand and that is what killed me. My removal would simply mean 'one more creature in play on opposing me'.

Round 8 - Reanimator with Progenitor Mimic
I played against Justin so it was at least a pleasant match. Justin had a clear plan against me. Play Garruk and keep it on the table. That was all he needed to win both games. My Souls just couldn't get past Restoration Angels and I never had Detention Sphere nor counterspell. I played till the end but I knew that it is useless.

3:5 at this tournament - a score that I expected to be the best I could manage with this deck. So I can't complain. After the tournament I at least figured out what cards I'd like to play and what cards are not good or don't feel right. Sin Collector is an awesome card that will surely go main deck. The same goes to Syncopate as I was missing that card way too much. Detention Spheres were cool and if I would have one more in sideboard I would be happy. Augur of Bolas even though in 3 copies was simply too mmuch. This card should rather be replaced by 4 Collectors. This deck needs more quality draws than looking for something which is a reason I would actually cut those Forbidden Alchemies as well and just leave Azorios Charms which is an awesome card even though Voice of Resurgence is annoying. Far//Away proved to be the best card in the deck (after Sphinx's Revelation I guess^^) so next time I'll run four of these and I'll cut Warped Physique. That card is simply meh and even 2 of those seemed to much in certain games. As for Obzedat vs Aetherling. In the end I decided to play Obzedat over Aetherling but it was a mistake. I'll probably try playing 2x Aetherling and 1x Obzedat (because I like the card not that it would be stellar in this deck). As for Sorin and Jace and Lingering Souls... I'm not convinced. Lingering souls were hardly good against even aggro decks that just ran or trampled past and I hardly managed to race someone with them even with Sorin's Emblem. Jace is a card I still don't like but it is still the best card choice that I can get on this format...

Playing with Esper Control at this tournament was a nice experience. I terribly died due to my mistakes but learned some things at the same time. It reminded me that I still have a lot to learn about Magic: The Gathering and that being a good player still means that you actively play and know what other people play. I played also against quite a lot of Reanimator decks during the past few days and it seems to me that many players don't really know what to do with the deck. It would help me to play more against players that actually know what they are doing. This happened to me at the PTQ and it was completely a different experience. I'll probably try to participate in the upcoming PTQ as well. It was worth it even though my score was really lousy but I expected that.

Monday, June 3, 2013

World Magic Cup Qualifier Czech Republic #3

This weekend Cerny Rytir organized the third World Magic Cup Qualifier and PTQ Dublin at DDM Spektrum near the Cerny Rytir store. I decided to participate because finally I had a deck I could play with and actually manage to win more games than lose (unlike with Esper which is a real challenge to play, especially when I don't actively play and have no idea what to expect). I did not want to pay the starting fee so I decided to sell the promo card to get the money for the starting fee. This worked out well. So at 7am I tried to get up and get to the site. I was the second one to register so I had plenty of time for writing down the decklist etc. Many players came to me asking me if I have card x or y during that time. I'm not entirely sure what is better - players asking for cards 30 minutes before the tournament or players asking for the cards during the night before the tournament (yes, some people bothered to write me at 3am^^). That is the reason why I decided to go offline the next night.

Round 1 - BUG Aggro
I was completely caught off guard. I did not expect a deck like this and had no idea what to do with it. The game was so fast that I did not really have time to think about what to side in. Anyway I sided in Abrupt Decay, 4x Pillar of Flame and Grafdigger's Cage. I won the second game mainly because my opponent kept a one lander and that land even came into play tapped. That gave me some time and I had enough burn spells to get rid of all the creatures (as he was forced to play one spell per turn). Game three my hand wasn't so good and my opponent soon had 3 Strangleroot Geists and Young Wolf in play. My only removal was Liliana that I could hardly side out so I played her making one of the creatures bigger and 'saving' one life and lost a turn later (Dreg Mangler joined those Geists and Wolf).

Round 2 - Zombies
At first I had no idea what my opponent was playing. The first card I saw was Bloodthrone Vampire. I just couldn't figure out what kind of deck would play this (unless it would be Vampire combo^^). My opponent was mana flooded and hardly played some cards. Falkenrath Aristocrats dealt some damage but without Gravecrawlers or other creatures to make them indestructible they did not last long. After killing all the threats I simply overwhelmed my opponent with my own creatures. In game two I sided in yet once again 4x Pillar of Flame and Grafdigger's Cage. Pillar of Flame just worked wonders and soon the game was over.

Round 3 - Bant
Round 3 was quite unfortunate for me. In game one I was overrun by a set of Loxodon Smiters. 'Where did you go Blightning' was ringing in my head during the whole game but still I had to try my Rakdos's Return (to be honest I did not expect those Smiters that much). Some Voice of Resurgences joined these 4/4s and I just died. After such game I thought that the deck is more aggro than control so sided in more removal and got rid of those Returns. My opponent did not play much creatures so I tried to play my own creatures but my Tusk was countered by Dissipate. Second Dissipate got rid of another card and then my opponent finally started playing some creatures. Once again I was facing Voice of Resurgence. My opponent was down to 6 and I was hoping to draw something that could deal the remaining 6 damage. I was in top deck mode. The next 5 cards I drew were lands unfortunately and my opponent played Thragtusk that killed me few turns later.

Round 4 - Zombies
Once again I was facing zombies. This time I found out why Bloodthrone Vampire is a good card. I let the Vampire sitting there and my Huntmaster was stolen from me and then sacrificed. I encountered two more Mark of Mutiny cards but still won the game. After siding in Pillars and Cage I easily won.

Round 5 - Possibility Storm deck
My opponent played Abundant Growth on turn 1 so I was trying to figure out what kind of deck I was facing. Some kind of Enchantress? Type 2? The next card he played was Mana Bloom so I picked that card from the table and started reading it. Head Judge of the event was passing by and asked my opponent if there was a single player that did not actually need to read the text on the card. I played Olivia Voldaren but she was rendered useless (some enchantment that gives -5/-0 and can be returned to its owner's hand for 2U). Later he played Possibility Storm and that was more or less end of the game. I still wondered how such a deck could win so continued drawing cards and playing Farseek after Farseek usually hitting Mizzium Mortars though (via Possibility Storm). I was extorted down to 9 via Blind Obedience. When my opponent played another Obedience I conceded (I was wondering if Assemble the Legion was in the deck..it was). Game 2 I sided in Acidic Slimes, Rakdos's Return, Slaughter Games and Abrupt Decay (Dreadbore did not seem to be doing anything). On t3 I played Liliana and started discarding cards. I was sure that this would kill my opponent. I used her ultimate ability and later played Sire of Insanity and in few turns won.
My opponent brought Pithing Needle in for the next game but I did not mind. I played Garruk and all the creatures I had and simply attacked and attacked. Backed up by Acidic Slime and Slaughter Games I could hardly lose. (but my opponent helped me with that as he did not manage to draw more lands and thus couldn't deal with my threats)

Round 6 - Gruul Aggro
I was overrun by Gruul Aggro. After first attack I went down to 13 and after the second one I was down to 4. In game two I managed to stop the attack and played Huntmaster of the Fells. I stabilized and then managed to get rid of all the threats. Game 3 was quite fun^^. My opponent was attacking with some creatures and killed anything I played (Huntmaster once again). He played Thundermaw Hellkite when I had 14 life. I took 8 damage. I had Olivia Voldaren on my hand so I played it and hoped not to die. Single burn spell would kill me no matter what. I let Hellkite deal another 5 damage and blocked the 3/3 creature that was attacking alongside it (I pinged it so Olivia would survive). Next turn I stole Thundermaw Hellkite and wondered if I could still win. I attacked for ten, played Garruk, put a 3/3 beast into play and still had Abrupt Decay to deal with the lonely attacker if it would be pumped by Bloodrush ability. In my next turn I attacked once again and won the game.

Round 7 - UW Spectral Flight
2 Mulligans and it did not look good. Actually it did look good until my opponent was capable of attacking with a single creature for 10 the first turn and for more the next one. I did not draw Liliana so I could get rid of it and died a turn later. In game 2 I somehow won as I was able to get rid of all the creatures that could be enchanted and I removed Geist of Saint Traft from the deck. In game three I kept a hand with Dreadbore and Abrupt Decay. I thought that this would be sufficient as removal. Unfortunately the first creature my opponent played was Knight of Glory. I did not draw Liliana of the Veil nor Pillar of Flame nor Mizzium Mortars. Later the creature was enchanted and hit me few times. I could still play Abrupt Decay on Spectral Flight so I could block it but for that I would need a creature in play and the only one I managed to play was countered.

Round 8 - UWR
Sire of Insanity and GG. In second game I played Thragtusk after Thragtusk and played Slaughter Games on Sphinx's Revelation. That was all I needed. My opponent in top deck mode wasn't a threat.

I went 5:3 which was quite ok. I did not win anything nor placed well but it felt nice. The deck was working well except occasional mana flood or mana screw and I think that I can get some better results with it at another tournament. But a friend of mine will play with it so I'll have to come up with some thing else. Everyone was nice to me and there was no real tension there among the players. I enjoyed the tournament and I'm glad that I participated. I also got my hands on some Japanese cards. ^_^

Decklist was similar to the one I posted in the previous post. I would do some more changes..like cut 1 Rakdos's Return and add one more Olivia Voldaren and play Curse of Death's Hold and Gaze of Granite in SB...etc.

Jund Control
stsung
Type II

Main Deck:
2 Arbor Elf
3 Garruk, Primal Hunter
4 Huntmaster of the Fells
4 Liliana of the Veil
2 Olivia Voldaren
2 Sire of Insanity
3 Thragtusk

1 Abrupt Decay
1 Dreadbore
4 Farseek
2 Ground Seal
3 Mizzium Mortars
2 Putrefy
2 Rakdos's Return

4 Blood Crypt
3 Dragonskull Summit
2 Forest
2 Kessig Wolf Run
4 Overgrown Tomb
2 Rootbound Crag
4 Stomping Ground
4 Woodland Cemetery

Sideboard:
1 Abrupt Decay
2 Acidic Slime
1 Grafdigger's Cage
4 Pillar of Flame
1 Rakdos's Return
1 Sever the Bloodline
3 Slaughter Games
1 Tragic Slip
1 Vraska the Unseen