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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kiki-Jiki vs Roon and Pithing Needle

On Tuesday afternoon I met with Jan Jestribek for few games of EDH. He played his unfinished Roon deck (out of cards I don't really need) and I played Marath. My opener consisted of 5 lands and Knight of the Reliquary and one more card I cannot recall. I put away 4 cards (3 lands and the card I cannot recall, I think it was Deranged Hermit) and I drew Kiki-Jiki, Zealous Conscripts and Restoration Angel. I wasn't really happy with that but kept the hand. I did not expect to win this game because playing those just like that is quite difficult. (And at that time I did not know what awaited me)

My opponent played two lands and then started playing mana rocks. That did not really look good. I was stuck at three lands (fortunately 3 lands because I managed to play KotR and unfortunately because I wouldn't be able to play Kiki-Jiki or Conscripts). I did not really want to sac a land to play Restoration Angel but I did it in the end. I still did not draw the fourth land^_^ and Jan had like all the mana to cast anything several times in his deck. In the meantime I was watching the board on the other side of the table grow and Birthing Pod did not really help it either (with Kitchen Finks that just couldn't die....oh yeah..). I drew Wickerbough Elder that got rid of the Pod but it came back nonetheless (but it saved me). The biggest problem though (except the Pod that would kill me) was the general that could flicker Kitchen Finks, Restoration Angel, Wall of Blossoms or Eternal Witness. That was not good (with Bant Charm in the graveyard)....Anyway some time later I managed to play Kiki-Jiki but my Kiki-Jiki target was flickered away. Jan played Pithing Needle then naming Kiki-Jiki. I drew Courser of Kruphix (this was actually relevant because apart from the need to draw more cards I was down to 7 life) and I tried to draw something that would help me get rid of the Needle. Using Skullclamp and killing some elves or Marath's tokens I managed to draw Beast Within (while playing a land each turn...). Beast Within got countered. Later my Restoration Angel died so I tried to get it back with Eternal Witness, play it once again so I could blink my Elder but it was flickered in response. Too bad...I still couldn't win with Kiki-Jiki. It took one more turn for me to deal with the Needle. There was Eladamri's Call on top of my library so all I needed was to draw it, play it and fetch Harmonic Sliver. Jan did not have a counterspell for that and died (I would be dead the next turn). Also I managed to steal the general from time to time (not that it would help...well it gained me some life, that was important at that time)^_~ and I killed one of his lands - I stole it with Zealous Conscripts so I could sac it find a different land and play Kiki-Jiki. Many funny things happened during the game^_~

It was quite fun^_~

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Competitive EDH - The Mimeoplasm Adventure

Cerny Rytir game store started a weekly tournament in EDH. The first month was for free. After finding about this I had to participate. I knew that my chances of winning the tournaments is quite big and winning free credit for free is good, isn't?

I managed to miss the first tournament because there were some strange things going on. It changed the date and time so I wasn't really sure when to come. Anyway I inquired about the correct date and time and came for the second tournament. There were ten players in total. As there were still some problems with disinformation we started pretty late. Three rounds were played.

In the first round I played against Jhoira of the Gitu. Really nice deck ^_~. I Peek'ed at my opponents hand on t1 and saw a Blood Moon there along with City of Traitors. Unfortunately the land I played wasn't an BASIC Island. He played the Blood Moon on turn 2 and from there I just couldn't do a thing. In game two everything seemed good for my opponent but I knew that I have my chances and kill him in one turn if I'll wait long enough and try to avoid any kind of obliterate effects (just keeping a black source in my hand would do). I won to my opponent's surprise. I won the third game as well.

Then I played against Geist of Saint Treft. The first game he played the Geist early and equipped him with Umezawa's Jitte. One attack before my death I managed to kill my opponent with my Necrotic Ooze/Phyrexian Devourer/Triskelion combo (I needed to play Intuition, Thirst for Knowledge and then reanimate which took me a while and I ended up at 6 life or so). In game two I just killed him after he played his general. He didn't have Force of Will so I won.

In the last round I played against a german highlander deck that can kill via several combos. In game one he totally crushed me with Lark combo. In game two it was my turn to kill him on turn 3. In the last game it was about who draws a black source of mana first. It wasn't me unfortunately.

In the second tournament there were 11 players or so. I played against black Mikaeus in the first round. The deck wasn't suited for 1-on-1 so I won pretty fast. Next I spent the whole round playing against the Geist player from the previous tournament. In game one I killed him on t3 but the second game took ages. It came down to him attacking me with Glen Elendra Archmage that was later joined by Snapcaster Mage. I was in top deck mode, with combo in my graveyard and was waiting for my opponent to play all his counterspells and get rid of the Archmage. So I played The Mimeoplasm for the first time, it got countered. I played The Mimeoplasm for the second time and it was once again countered. I played Rune-Scarred Demon (that would fetch Cavern of Souls). It was Delay'ed. Jace, the Mind Sculptor hit the board on the other side of the table. He used the card to Brainstorm few times and fate seal but did not bounce his Archmage to replay it so he could counter something once again without losing the card (I already played some Tutor that got countered). Fortunately for me I was drawing lands all the time so I could play my general 4 times in total during the whole game. The fourth attempt was actually a success. And I could proceed into the finals yet once again playing against the german highlander deck. This time I won. Game one was fast but the second was quite funny. I played Survival of the Fittest that ended up under Oblivion Ring. So I played Flash -> Terastodon, destroyed the Oblivion Ring, tutored my combo and reanimated Necrotic Ooze. That was funny^_~.

In the third tournament, 14 players attended, I suffered one lost against High Tide. I just couldn't do much. In the first game I played ten lands and then died to Tendrils of Agony. In the second game I tried to play some stuff but everything got countered. My opponent fizzled in the first attempt but still he managed to kill me two turns later by comboing off again. So I was prepared to be really aggressive the next time I play against it. In general the tournament did not start well. I lost the first game against Elves because I couldn't count to three. My opponent had no idea how to play the deck so I was actually lucky that I got few more turns to try to win but still I didn't draw anything relevant (he did not realize that his elves have forestwalk nor that Berserk played on one of the elves would actually kill me). In game two I won pretty easily and in the third game my opponent kept some bad hand (consisting of more lands than elves). Anyway I came up second or something^_~.

In the last tournament that was held yesterday I played against my own deck - Marath Pod - in the first round. I horribly died in the first game because I forgot about Scavenging Ooze. When I finally top decked Toxic Deluge I still couldn't win because I still needed one more turn to bury my creatures and then reanimate. Too bad because Scavenging Ooze would hit the table again and would eat my little creatures. I should have either replayed/re-reanimated Sylvan Primordial or just find some more permanent removal for the Scavenging Ooze. I was to dumb to do that though. In game two I had 2 tutors, 2 reanimation spells, Frantic Search and 2 lands. That was good enough^_~. In game three I started with Buried Alive, 3 lands and reanimation spell. So I kept the hand, drew Elf of the top and killed on T3.

In round 2 I was paired against the High Tide played. In game one I mulled to 4 and kept a hand containing Entomb, Exhume and 2 lands. I managed to play Entomb, but my Exhume got Thoughtseize'ed. I have to say that I did not see this coming but I should have. Few more turns later I managed to resolve Survival of the Fittest and discard Terastodon and fetch Dryad Arbor. I played the land because it was my fifth land and hoped it would stay there so I could reanimate Entombed Griselbrand. My opponent played Treachery on the Dryad Arbor but I still top decked a land and played the general. After Impulse/Frantic Search my creature resolved so I had 16/16 Griselbrand in play^_^. I knew that the card wouldn't last long but 'at least' I could draw 14 cards. My opponent bounced my general with Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I drew 14 cards and won later. In game to I managed to bury my combo but I did not have the chance to reanimate it due to Force of Will. I only had my general, no other lands in sight and no cards in hand. I was doomed. After drawing Woodfall Primus and Rune-Scarred Demon of the top and seeing Time Spiral being drawn of Dark Confidant I conceded. In game three I mulled to 5 keeping Buried Alive, mana dork, Skithyrix and 2 lands. I played Buried Alive on T2 while my opponent was tapped out and hoped that somehow I would manage to reanimate the combo. I did not have Reanimation spell but Skithyrix seemed threatening enough to lure a counterspell and thus I would also have a fourth creature in my graveyard. After Skithyrix being Force of Will'ed I tried playing Mimeoplasm and it resolved. (not sure if it was the first time or second time).

In the last round I played against Child of Alara. A five color deck that I had no idea what it does. I suspected some graveyard action but had no idea what the deck looked like. In game one my opponent kept a hand with Bojuka Bog, High Market and who knows what. He tried to desperately draw a forest but I destroyed it each time. Anyway I played buried alive and my combo was sent to oblivion (Bojuka Bog). Later my opponent played his first forest. I was already at 7 mana. I drew Sylvan Primordial so I destroyed the Forest and looked for a black source so I could possibly hard cast Griselbrand. When my opponent played another land and fetched for a dual land I destroyed it with Woodfall Primus. Later I played Jace, the Mind Scultor to make his life even more miserable and sending yet one more forest to the bottom of his library. Then at 10 lands I played Jin Gitaxias and my opponent scooped. In game two I had both Buried Alive and Reanimate in my hand. So I just played both of it on turn 4 and it worked out. (I knew that he had sorcery speed removal of graveyard, but wasn't sure about instant one or counterspells...that's the disadvantage of a deck that kills on t3-4)

On the side note I cut Counterspell and added Diabolic Intent. This tournament I managed to play it twice and I'll keep it there for the upcoming tournament. I will also cut Reflecting Pool because I almost lost one game due to having Boseiju and Reflecting Pool as my only lands. Mana Confluence will replace the Reflecting Pool. The cards I usually mulligan are Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Recurring Nightmare. Both cards can be insanely good but most of the time I don't really want to see them. I might try playing without them. But what will replace them...I have no idea... Probe and Death? ^_^

This Saturday there should be a bigger tournament in EDH. So I'll try attending it and I'll see how my deck can fair at bigger event. For the time being there are either EDH multiplayer players that come to the tournaments (and they lose terribly), some French EDH players and some German Highlander players. The german highlander players though have the best decks, French EDH players have quite solid decks but it seems that the german highlander players' decks are from completely different realm than those build for EDH by French EDH players. This month all the groups of players attended the tournaments. Will this change? We will see. The upcoming weekend tournament might show who actually is interested in such a tournament.

Mimeoplasm Combo
stsung
Vintage

Main Deck:
EDIT: I just noticed that there are two cards missing....the missing cards are Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Liliana of the Veil.

1 Arbor Elf
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Deathrite Shaman
1 Elves of Deep Shadow
1 Elvish Mystic
1 Fyndhorn Elves
1 Griselbrand
1 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Massacre Wurm
1 Necrotic Ooze
1 Phyrexian Devourer
1 Primeval Titan
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
1 Sylvan Primordial
1 Terastodon
1 Triskelion
1 Woodfall Primus

1 Abrupt Decay
1 Animate Dead
1 Brainstorm
1 Buried Alive
1 Careful Study
1 Compulsive Research
1 Diabolic Intent
1 Dance of the Dead
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Dismember
1 Duress
1 Entomb
1 Exhume
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Flash
1 Frantic Search
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Go for the Throat
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Intuition
1 Lim-Dul's Vault
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Natural Order
1 Necromancy
1 Peek
1 Pernicious Deed
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Reanimate
1 Recurring Nightmare
1 Show and Tell
1 Strategic Planning
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Sylvan Library
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Thoughtseize
1 Toxic Deluge

1 Bayou
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Breeding Pool
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Cephalid Coliseum
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Drowned Catacomb
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Flooded Grove
1 Flooded Strand
2 Forest (246)
1 Hinterland Harbor
2 Island (234)
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
2 Swamp (238)
1 Tropical Island
1 Twilight Mire
1 Underground River
1 Underground Sea
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Wasteland
1 Watery Grave
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Woodland Cemetery
1 Yavimaya Coast

Monday, May 26, 2014

Casual EDH Attempt no.1 - Prossh the BEAST and Marath Pod

Elder Dragon Highlander or Commander as it is now known is gaining popularity and there are many groups playing EDH in pubs or other places for fun. There are also EDH tournaments 1-on-1 using the French rules that can be found at duelcommander.com. After quite some problems finding people with whom I could actually play I decided to participate in some of these tournaments. I build The Mimeoplasm that wins via Necrotic Ooze, Phyrexian Devourer and Triskelion combo. So far it works pretty well. Also by some coincidence (already mentioned in this blog somewhere) I learned about the existence of one awesome group playing EDH. I wanted to go there and have some fun and for that I needed a deck. I couldn't just show up with my t3 kill deck. So I tried thinking about generals I could try that AREN'T blue because I knew that playing blue in my case would mean anyone would hate me rather soon^_^. The first non-blue general that came to my mind was Prossh. I always wanted to try some Jund deck that can sacrifice creatures and do something...(ideally win) but Kresh did not really appeal to me since it is just BIG. Prossh on the other hand...creates many tokens no matter if the card resolves or not and can also deal 21 damage in one swing. The next general coming to my mind was Marath, Will of the Wild because that is also a card that can do various things (the counter moving ability did not really catch my eye but the other two seem rather overpowered). I grabbed my cube (following the Holiday Cube Magic Online list) and put some cards together. I added few cards that weren't in the cube like Horizon Canopy, Kiki-Jiki etc... and a deck was born - Marath Pod. I did not build Prossh at that moment because I would have to search cards outside of the 720 card pool and I was too lazy for that. It would also mean that I would have to (double) sleeve the deck which I wasn't really looking forward to much/

Building anything out of cube usually ends up being a good deck though as it contains mostly good cards and this one proved to be a much better deck than I expected. My general idea of the deck was a...Birthing Pod deck but I guess I forgot why this card was banned in some formats. I've seen some Marath decks before but none of them was a combo deck except one Enchantress deck. I've seen some aggro decks from this general that really needed to kill via combat and there wasn't much synergy. This is not what I'd like to do with creatures if I'm forced to play some. I wanted to play creatures that can actually do something and then Pod into/Tutor some combo pieces if something would go wrong (the combo kill wasn't suppose to be the win con).

Combos are my thing in EDH because I'm not really good at attacking and I don't even see how such a deck could deal 30 or 40 damage. In this case I have Kiki-Jiki that can be paired up with Restoration Angel or Zealous Conscripts for example. I also really like Purphoros, not that I would want to animate him but his ability is just seriously annoying and it is a win con as well. That's why I tried adding creatures like Deranged Hermit or other token creating cards (Huntmaster of the Fells, Master of the Wild Hunt, Xenagos, Garruks etc). There is also Spike Feeder and Archangel of Thune combo. This can be easily tutored so I can have endlessly big creatures and infinite life. And if this wouldn't be enough I can just have some fun with Reveillark, Karmic Guide, Mirror Entity and some creature...let's say Acidic Slime.

Otherwise this deck actually plays hell a LOT of creatures which is not really my thing. I usually forget to attack with them when I can, but anyway it's mostly utility creatures with few exceptions that are good at attacking and that's about it (Brimaz - I just needed another CMC3 creature that would be good and couldn't come up with a better one). There are some cards I wouldn't normally play but as they actually do something with the general I decided to include them in the deck - Mentor of the Meek and Basilisk Collar. These work quite nicely with Marath's abilities. Killing anything spending one mana is actually good (plus playing Collar and equiping it) and drawing cards of the little tokens is nice as well (it's not Skullclamp but works as well). I have to say that I mostly use it with other creatures and the card is not that bad as I expected.

This deck has some insane starts and can kill in an agressive way or it just kills with combo. I killed the whole table several times with this, it was rather fun but seemed far too efficient for this play group. I'm not really certain about efficiency and consistency of this deck but I wanted to build something weaker. I did not managed that...and that is why I decided to try something else. Here is the Marath's decklist.

Marath, Will of the Wild

Creature [44]
1 Karmic Guide
1 Mentor of the Meek
1 Sun Titan
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Master of the Wild Hunt
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Flametongue Kavu
1 Archangel of Thune
1 Zealous Conscripts
1 Thragtusk
1 Spike Feeder
1 Purphoros, God of the Forge
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
1 Harmonic Sliver
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Voice of Resurgence
1 Reveillark
1 Wickerbough Elder
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
1 Mirror Entity
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Deranged Hermit
1 Wall of Blossoms
1 Arbor Elf
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Elvish Mystic
1 Restoration Angel
1 Sylvan Caryatid
1 Avacyn's Pilgrim
1 Blade Splicer
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Knight of the Reliquary
1 Academy Rector
1 Genesis
1 Eternal Witness
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Lotus Cobra
1 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Acidic Slime
1 Fyndhorn Elves
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Kitchen Finks
1 Courser of Kruphix

Instant [6]
1 Eladamri's Call
1 Beast Within
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Unexpectedly Absent
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Path to Exile

Sorcery [2]
1 Wrath of God
1 Green Sun's Zenith

Artifact [3]
1 Birthing Pod
1 Skullclamp
1 Basilisk Collar

Enchantment [3]
1 Aura Shards
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Oblivion Ring

Land [38]
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Forest
1 Stirring Wildwood
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Rootbound Crag
1 Taiga
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Plateau
1 Temple Garden
1 Temple of Triumph
1 Windswept Heath
1 Temple of Abandon
1 Brushland
1 Plains
1 Savannah
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Wooded Bastion
1 Gavony Township
1 Sunpetal Grove
1 Stomping Ground
1 Wasteland
1 Copperline Gorge
1 Razorverge Thicket
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Marsh Flats
1 Flooded Strand
1 Mountain
1 Karplusan Forest
1 Raging Ravine
1 Fire-Lit Thicket
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Temple of Plenty
1 Misty Rainforest

Planeswalker [3]
1 Garruk, Primal Hunter
1 Xenagos, the Reveler
1 Garruk Wildspeaker

Some time later I went to local game store and was asked by a couple if we wouldn't want to play a game of four of EDH or two headed giant. We agreed but I told the players that my decks are not really fair. After two games in which we totally crushed them even though we were caught off guard by some cards like Crypt Incursion or a card that prevents one damage from a source we decided to go our ways. I hope they will continue playing EDH after this experience. For occasions like this I wanted to build something really bad but couldn't come up with anything so I decided to build some of the WotC PCDs. The first Commander decks were actually nice so I wanted to see how the new ones ended up - I build Marath and Prossh.

After I put the Prossh deck together I realized that I've already seen that somewhere (same goes to Marath). Two of the players at the EDH group I started to play with have those and play with them. I wasn't aware though that the decks are preconstructed. I took both decks with me to the LGS and played some games with a friend of mine. After figuring out what some cards do (I had to proxy the new commander cards) we finally could play. The games unfortunately ended up in Prossh's favor. The Marath deck just couldn't do anything except an occasional Fireball killing the general etc. I thought that the decks would be balanced in some way but certainly not these two...Actually the general was more of a problem not the remainder of the deck. I have to say that the Jund deck is really nice, there are nice interactions and cards I really like but it's kinda overpowered. Marath's deck is rather slow and at 6 mana all it can do is play some beasts that don't usually do anything. Prossh on the otherhand comes with Kobolds that he alone can eat and make himself bigger...and as there is something like general damage....you get my point.

The very same day I promised my flatmate that we would play some Magic and that we would try these decks out. When I found out about how these two decks play against each other I told him on my return that I would put together some better Prossh deck and we would try it against Marath Pod (the one above). I put together some pretty random list but I was sure that it would actually work. I opened my binders and went through black, red and green cards. The cards of interest were Purphoros and Blood Artist. That meant inclusion of Food Chain that combos with the general and Goblin Bombardment. As that means sacrificing your own creatures, Grave Pact seemed a good idea as well. So what I wanted is to ramp into the general but not really by running mana rocks as I don't like those. They die to Pernicious Deed and cannot be sac'ed into Altars, Food Chain, Goblin Bombardment or Prossh etc. So I picked some mana dorks and some more expensive creatures fetching lands like Wood Elves and Solemn Simulacrum. This deck wants to play Prossh fast and if the general dies it wants to play it the next turn if possible and not wait two turns. I put in cards that work with the Kobolds like Ogre Battledriver, Hellrider and Craterhoof Behemoth. Well...Beastmaster Ascension works the best with it I guess but I simply don't have it or did not see it in my binder (it's not a card I would play anywhere, I don't like effects like this in general). After that I added some removal - both spot removal and global removal. As this is also relatively comboish deck it needs tutors and card draw engine. I even included Tooth and Nail as that seemed as a good idea in theory^_^. That usually kills immediately as well. I threw in some 38 lands that were laying around and the deck was ready for a game.

There are cards I would cut or not play (Nightsoil, Profane Command) at all but I did not have the time to think about it a bit more. I just grabbed the 100 cards and went to try it against Marath (whose deckbuilding time was about the same). My flatmate played Marath and he wasn't really aware of the cards inside the deck (not mine nor his) and that is why I won several games even though I should have lost. But no matter what it seemed that my Marath deck was too slow for this BEAST (what an irony...Marath is a beast but hardly can compare with Prossh's power level). When Prossh hit the table and stayed there for a turn it was usually game over. This deck can play Prossh on turn 4 and kill on turn 5. Marath can hardly do that even though Marath's deck can attack quite well sometimes. But still this flying creature is simply too much for Marath.

After these games I also tried playing with Prossh against The Mimeoplasm combo and vice versa. In this matchup it was Prossh losing most of the time. The deck was capable of winning when some of the banned cards from French EDH showed up on the table otherwise it died terribly. But when it won it was spectacular. I'm taking Prossh with me tomorrow (erm today) to the local playgroup and we will see how it will fare in that environment, hopefully it won't kill everyone too fast or too often (but from what I've seen so far it most probably will...the general is really insane and I thought that Derevi was overpowered, haha...).

Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

Creature [20]
1 Acidic Slime
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Wood Elves
1 Elves of Deep Shadow
1 Elvish Mystic
1 Deathrite Shaman
1 Inferno Titan
1 Hellrider
1 Avenger of Zendikar
1 Eternal Witness
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Sprouting Thrinax
1 Ogre Battledriver
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Sylvan Caryatid
1 Purphoros, God of the Forge
1 Blood Artist
1 Skullmulcher

Instant [7]
1 Hero's Downfall
1 Terminate
1 Jund Charm
1 Krosan Grip
1 Putrefy
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Dismember

Sorcery [12]
1 Dreadbore
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Kodama's Reach
1 Cultivate
1 Seize the Day
1 Restore
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Tooth and Nail
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Nature's Lore
1 Diabolic Intent
1 Profane Command

Artifact [7]
1 Coalition Relic
1 Skullclamp
1 Carnage Altar
1 Sol Ring
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Phyrexian Altar
1 Ashnod's Altar

Enchantment [11]
1 Pernicious Deed
1 Fecundity
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Food Chain
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Grave Pact
1 Sylvan Library
1 Goblin Bombardment
1 Tooth and Claw
1 Awakening Zone
1 Night Soil

Land [38]
3 Forest
1 Wasteland
1 Blood Crypt
2 Mountain
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Command Tower
3 Swamp
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Sulfurous Springs
1 Badlands
1 Rootbound Crag
1 Taiga
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Temple of Abandon
1 Woodland Cemetery
1 Llanowar Wastes
1 Polluted Delta
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Dragonskull Summit
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Windswept Heath
1 Stomping Ground
1 Temple of Malice
1 Temple of Malady
1 Graven Cairns
1 Wooded Foothills
1 City of Brass
1 Karplusan Forest
1 Arid Mesa
1 Fire-Lit Thicket

Planeswalker [4]
1 Xenagos, the Reveler
1 Garruk, Primal Hunter
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Garruk Relentless

Photo of the Day - Magic the Gathering Orders

From time to time some players stare at an order being prepared at the LGS and don't understand how someone can order this or that. They do not realize that majority of orders contain really crappy cards or things a competitive player does not really need. I myself sometimes wonder what some people do with the cards they order from me because I can't really see anything playable in the orders. So when I start getting orders that are similar I'm surprised (for example there is a Bx Heroic deck based around Agent of Erebos or defensive UB mill - for type2, bogle orders are also more common for modern etc...).

So here are two photos of two different orders I processed today. Both of value 30EUR.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Delver of Secrets

Certainly wierd post...Delver just made me pretty upset...now there's a question, will the card win me some tournaments as Jund did?(Jund - the most despised deck by me that I ended up playing eventually, because it was simply the best at that time...)

I've been playing TCGs for quite some time (over 18 years) and I still have difficulties with changes to the game I like. And with a change I mean even a new set being released but that's something I usually get used to but there were few cards that changed Magic for me completely. One of the cards was Jace, the Mind Sculptor - a card I fell immediately in love and had to play it in all my decks be it Legacy, Extended or Type 2. It is true that seeing the card 8 times per game was quite too much even for me but still I wouldn't give up on it. Later on, one day, someone decided to print double sided cards. That alone could be forgotten and no one would really need to care about that ... but one of the cards was Delver of Secrets and that is a card that completely changed Legacy. This card also changed Magic for me but in a different way and because of this card I can't figure out what kind of deck I would want to play. Is there a deck that would suit me and would beat Delver based decks? Delver of Secrets is a blue card (and blue is my favorite color) but it can swing for 3 and costs 1 mana and it FLIES! How outrageous!

Since I can remember I used to play all kind of control decks. I had a period in which I played all kinds of Zoo but it was never a deck I wanted to play and that is also a reason why my sideboards usually contained Meddling Mages, Negates or Countersqualls and/or discard. I never played blue to gain access to aggressive creatures and now one of the best aggressive creatures ever printed is blue (along with Geist of Saint Traft).

When the card was printed it saw play in standard and I remember that as the most annoying deck ever (UW Delver Flash). As I let my boyfriend at that time use my lands for control decks I had to play anything that did not play blue, black or white. I ended up playing Kessig Wolf Run (from red to blue) and I had real difficulties catching up with something like T1 Delver, T2 flip and few turns later game over. It just seemed to me that the card is seriously out of place and was looking forward to this card leaving type 2 (I played that format because of my boyfriend and it was quite a discovery, but in the end this format usually bores me. It's fun to build decks for it though). The card rotated out and the format became quite fun^_~. But the card is so strong that it sees play in legacy and modern even now.

When we broke up I had the chance to go and play some Legacy after quite some time. During the whole time we were together I did not get the chance to play the format and thus I was quite surprised to ran into all kinds of Delver decks when I finally got to play in a tournament (last time I played more or less anything was viable and could beat more or less anything. I used to play counter slivers - so not so unfamiliar with this kind of deck - but any deck that made sense was capable of winning a local legacy tourney). My first Legacy tournament (after the long break that is) was the most unusual tournament ever. It was a weekend tournament that consisted of 6 rounds. I came there to play with my highlander deck which was the closest deck I had for Legacy. I had to cut some cards as they were banned so I played with 90+ cards. I ran into some maverick deck, followed by pikula (both of these showing me Stoneforge Mystic and Batterskull) and the rest of the decks I played against were Delver based. Two were UR Delvers and the remaining two were RUG Threshhold decks. I somehow managed to win against three of them but in the finals I was incapable of drawing some one drops and died because my only spell I managed to play was Force of Will'ed. Delver did the rest. At this tournament I was surprised about the efficiency of Delver and just couldn't really grasp it...that was the only thing I remembered and what shocked me at the tournament. Losing the game on turn two because of Storm comboing off or RUG Delver wrecking my mana base with Stifles and Wastelands did not scare me off but this little blue creature did...

The next tournament I played in was a smaller tournament consisting of four rounds. Once again I managed to ran into 4 Delver decks. My starts Noble Hierarch -> Stoneforge Mystic -> Batterskull were winning games and I did not mind any wastelands but I learned a 'wasteland' lesson the hard way. In round two I played against some heavy red Delver that killed me with Price of Progress so I tried to fetch for basic lands and stay alive. On turn four I played Flametongue Kavu that actually resolved and killed a lonely Delver that hit me for 9 already (my opponent was shocked and was even more furious when I finished him off with a kicked Burst Lightning^_~). I won the game later and even managed to win the last one. The next deck was some kind of 4 color good stuff. I wasn't really sure what to expect but Thoughtseize caught me unawaress (not that I could do much about it). My first mana dork got countered, my second one as well. Third one survived, next turn Mystic. Unfortunately my equipment was discarded and I lost the game. The second game I got a good draw but it wasn't enough. My deck was complimented and noted that it plays like Maverick (had no idea what that is at that time). In the last round I just ran over some RUG Delver with Wild Nacatl but it was quite difficult to keep the creature 3/3.

After few more tournaments I decided to actually build a legacy deck (it was a maverick deck) and discover what other decks are playable at legacy. I discovered that a wide range of decks are playable but majority of them was either Delver based or it ran Stoneforge Mystics. After even more time I started wondering what kind of deck I'd want to play. I wanted to play Stoneblade but everyone was playing it and it was really difficult to win mirror matches. So I was avoiding blue for quite some time...even though from time to time I actually tried to play with RUG Delver (and me playing Delver usually meant something like tapping Delver about 16 times to win the game^_^). It never worked for me. No t1 Delvers, no t2 flips...no lucky draws. I wasn't really sure what I was doing wrong but it just did not work wonders for me as it did for others. I have to admit that there were many games in which simply flipped Delver killed me easily and I couldn't do a thing about it and I also knew that my opponent does not really now what could be coming...but still Delver did the job (with occassional help in form of burn spells). In the end I ended up with Esper Stoneblade and UWr Miracles. But still it does not suit me that well for some reason.

Few days ago I put together Eric Rill's 4c Delver deck (and I'll possible try to go to a tournament with it...wish me luck^_^). Not that I would want to play Delver but this creature simply wins games easily (sometimes). What I like about this deck is the inclusion of Deathrite Shaman and Young Pyromancer. Those are cards that I like. Combined with cheap spells Pyromancer can very quickly build an army of elementals that many decks can hardly get rid of. I played with this deck against Jund, Miracles and wanted to try something more common. I did not build UWR Delver or anything but I put together quicky UR Delver that is supposedly played quite a lot. The games we played were really crazy. From Turn 1 Stifle, T2 Wasteland game over to t1 Delver, t2 flip, few burns spells GG. In some games I wondered what I was playing against. Brainstorm into two Goblin Guides was an overkill and game after (on the photo) was even more crazy even though it did not consist of Delver killing me^^. But an excellent case of 'Still Had All Deez'.

No matter what after playing with BUG Tempo for quite some time and playing against RUG Delvers, BUG Delvers and UWR Delvers something just seems seriously wrong to me. It seems like a large portion of decks are build around this card. I like blue decks but not aggressive decks (as aggressive as it can get nowadays) and this just wrecks my vision of BLUE in Magic. I thought that I somehow managed to accept the fact that this card exists but now it started to show up in modern decks and now once again I feel similarly to how I felt during the first legacy tournament. Being Spell Pierced and Spell Snared when I tried to get rid of a sole attacker that was swinging for three at the latest Modern tournament was a really scary experience and I encountered three Delver decks and hatebears that day. I lost only to one of the Delver decks but that loss is what I remember the most. I really wish that Wizards of the Coast would make the game less creature dependant...but I guess this won't ever happen. Creatures are simply... simplier but I have serious problem attacking with them. ^_^

Sylvan Library

A commission.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Demonic Tutor

Grave Pact revisited

When there are no Stronghold Grave Pacts around one needs to find a different solution. I don't like the new illustration..but 8th edition one is nice, but the design of the card and white borders are simply meh...

So in order to be happy playing the card I altered it...

Spell Pierce no.2

I'd like to alter more of those...
For sale.

Monday, May 19, 2014

STsung Alters online

Today I launched my site showcasing some of my Magic: The Gathering alters and custom playmats.
This site is up and running thanks to Jakub Jandak.

http://stsungalters.com

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Saving heavily played Overgrown Tomb

I bought this card with 40% sale due to its state and decided to alter it so it would look nice again. (seems like Google added some blue this time...)

Monday, May 12, 2014

STsung Alters

I decided to create a blog and maybe a site for my altered cards. I already have a facebook page with the same name (http://facebook.com/stsungalters) so I decided to keep the name and use it on the blog. It can be found thus at http://stsungalters.blogspot.com.

As for the web page, I'm not really sure if it will become public. I'll gather some feedback and info and it might get online later. For the time being it looks like this ->

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Tokens

When I'm feeling down or I'm particularly angry I sometimes start creating things. In this case I did not have a mat I could paint on nor paper I could actually draw on...but what I had plenty of everywhere in the flat ... were Magic cards. So I started doodling and wanted to come up with some tokens or such....after a not really successful 4/4 Angel token that I rather abandoned (thus no name and P/T) I decided to draw a soldier token based on awesome Sonellion's Soldier Token. My Soldier did not turn out so nicely but it at least has some colors^_~.

Sol Ring

I wanted to do an alter. But I feel like crap, the weather outside changing all the time makes me dizzy and tired and in between I feel sick. So I just wanted to grab some random card I can destroy and ...well destroy it. This Sol Ring was laying around in my room for quite some time. The card is bend and heavily played. No one wanted it for ages so I decided to paint on it....I primed the card more or less but wasn't sure what to do. My flatmate's idea when I asked him what to alter was to replace Spellskite's background with some 'space' because Jakub Jandak described the card as 'Smashed spider on a supernova'... So I decided to 'paint' some 'nebulae' (colored something) and 'stars' (less colored dots). I also had the urge to use a golden paint so...that ended up on the 'ring'.

Here's the result of the experiment^_^