Friday, December 25, 2009

STsung's Naya Aggro

I'm not a competitive player but I'm not a bad player either. At last tournament I got pretty angry because well it's been quite some time that people are having bad comments about my deck and its build. I have a story for you out there reading this. This will help you understand why I start to be pretty upset and occasionally yell at someone who's not even to blame.

It all started with Alara Reborn and the time where everyone was testing for the National Tournament in Magic: The Gathering. My poor self decided to go for constructed FNMs at that time as I had already enough of limited (I'm no good at limited). I build a Naya deck meant for fun primarily but a deck that would be able to survive a "FNM competitive" play. It looked something like this:
4x Woolly Thoctar
4x Bloodbraid Elf
4x Boggart Ram-Gang
4x Mogg Fanatic
3x Hellspark Elemental

//other spells
4x Incinerate
4x Naya Charm
3x Path to exile
3x Oblivion Ring
2x Colossal Might
2x Double Cleave

It was first build and I had no idea if this could work or not. It was sufficient for local play, but it was far from being playable at Nationals. I was capable of winning with some tricks and the weirdest sideboards card ever. My deck continued to evolve though. Playing Colossal Might when you don't have access to R and G mana on round 2 is not that good as creatures die quite easily to removal and it's another lost card. Same goes to Double Cleave. That card is fun but not for a field with lots of removal. I dropped Oblivion Rings as well and decided to add Volcanic Fallouts instead.

Some time later the format has changed. I had to drop shadowmoor cards and I could add Lightning bolt. I did that. At a certain time I kept Incinerate and Lightning bolt in my deck. I dropped Mogg Fanatic which was replaced by Qasali Pridemage. Ram-gang became unplayable as well so I wanted to try my luck with Behemoth Sledge. This card is not a creature and is not good in "bigger" numbers so I triedto find a creature that would help me. I did not come up with any but since I slowed the pace of the deck by quite a lot I decided to add Ajani Vengeant instead. This card could be a "Lightning Helix for 4 mana" or it could keep something tapped. The deck became less aggressive. But Ajani helped the deck and worked pretty well in Type 2. I had enough life gain, enough removal - both global and spot - and I could control the game to some extent. Naya Charm and Ajani were cards that could easily win the game.

Later there weren't much of Type 2 tournaments and there was Extended rotation which meant that my Sliver deck was no longer playable. I decided to rebuild my Naya Aggro deck so it would be playable in Extended.

4x Woolly Thoctar
4x Bloodbraid Elf
4x Boggart Ram-Gang
4x Qasali Pridemage
4x Tattermunge Maniac (Fanatic wasn't that good already)

//other spells
4x Lightning Helix
4x Naya Charm
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Path to Exile
2x Ajani Vengeant
3x Volcanic Fallout

I played mostly against Elves, Burn decks and other kinds of tribal and aggro decks. I usually had to play the control part (being the one in defense) in order to win. At one point I even decided to stop playing white and just come there with RG aggro deck. I did that and I won, but the deck was really dull and not fun to play (not that my contemporary deck wouldn't be dull as well). My RG deck was pretty fast and worked fine (purely aggro with some burn) so I started wondering about my Naya deck. Pridemage, Naya Charm and Ajani were slowing me down. Bloodbraid Elf is an card advantage but I found out that this card is too expensive as well if I want to speed the deck up. I realized that when drafting naya colors I always go for Wild Nacatls so I realized that this card is kind of a must. That replaced the stupid goblin. I decided to keep Pridemages in some number and Ram-gangs as their ability is too good. At that time I wanted to play Kird apes along with Wild Nacatls as that would would give me the speed I needed and some good blockers if something would go wrong in the worst case scenario. But I did not put them in the deck yet as I had to fix my mana base first. That's the time when I decided that Wooded Foothills would do me good and that all I would need to care about is white but I wouldn't need that much of it. At this moment I was experimenting with the number of Bloodbraid Elves and Path To Exiles and I finally came down to a conclusion that Bloodbraid Elves are bad for this deck. Having a playset of Path to Exiles was much better. But the question 'what to play instead of the BBE?' arose. I knew I would need something good to replace the elves but couldn't come up with anything. I also had problem with Volcanic Fallouts. They weren't good against Merfolk (too big) or Elves (too expensive). So I added more "spot removal". What I found at home. It did not really work but I did not come up with anything better. All the cards that came to my mind were expensive and not really Extended playable (Banefire, Snakeform, Oblivion Ring...). I knew I would need something with CMC 2 at most.

4x Woolly Thoctar
4x Boggart Ram-Gang
4x Kird Ape
4x Wild Nacatl
2x Bloodbraid Elf
2x Qasali Pridemage

4x Path To Exile
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Lightning Helix
2x Oblivion Ring
2x Snakeform

Now we are getting to the time when people started to play different decks at our store. All the decks were much faster. Many came there playing some tokens GW, BW and even RW. These decks were fast but Fallout was a key. I did not really need to change my deck (I did start to play Pyroclasm along with Fallouts and this is the time I dropped Oblivion Ring altogether it wasn't needed anymore as no one bothered playing Enchantments or Artifacts). After this pretty short period people started playing all kinds of Bant decks. My deck was much worse against these decks so I went back to a more "control" version. That's the time I decided to finally play Umezawa's Jitte and wanted to buy Knights of the Reliquary. It was quite a difficult hunt for these cards though so I got them quite late. But Umezawa's Jitte was the card saving my a** quite often. Also I started to think about adding black for Deathmarks as I was overhelmed with Dorans, some goddamn angelic beings and other GW(U) creatures. Giving these decks another mana source for free was NOT a good idea. I also had Meddling Mages in my sideboard for my T2 deck and I started to miss the card in my Naya Zoo. But I discarded this idea as I had no good fetch lands for Blue/Black and who the hell would play Five Color Naya AGGRO deck? (me, obviously)

The time went by and new expansion set was released and to our surprise we got a new load of fetch lands that we could use and Arid Mesa seemed promising^^. Exactly what I needed.

Later with time my deck changed a bit as I got both Knights of Reliquary and Jittes.

4x Woolly Thoctar
2x Knights of Reliquary
2x Bloodbraid Elf
4x Kird Ape
4x Wild Nacatl
4x Qasali Pridemage

4x Path To Exile
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Lightning Helix
2x Umezawa's Jitte
2x Naya Charm

Well, at this point many people started to play Naya Zoo of all kinds. (it probably started earlier but at this point there were other people starting to play Naya Zoo in our store and people started to call the decks in some way and started asking questions like "is that Juzam's Zoo?"). I'm not checking internet sites and forums about what people play at pro level and I don't go to big tournaments. But I realized that there's something serious going on. The first person to talk to me about Naya Zoo was Petr who proposed that I should play some pretty weird land from Future Sight (Grove of the Burnwillows) + Punishing Fire. It looked as a good idea to me but having such a combo in my deck wouldn't really help its aggro plan. I ignored that proposal.

Anyway as this was the time of Landfall I started experimenting with that. Naya colors offer two possibly good landfall creatures that come into my mind - Steppe Lynx and Plated Geopede (both creatures that I drafted with joy). I started experimenting with those adding thus more fetch lands to main deck. At first I played with 4x Arid Mesa, 3x Marsh Flats, 3x Verdant Catacombs. I put Steppe Lynx and Geopede in the deck discarding few Pridemages, Bloodbraid Elves and Naya Charms. I realized that the deck does not work THAT well with that. Harrow came to my mind as one of the landfall enablers but I did not even get to the point of testing it. Too much of a drawback and I did not plan to play too many basics anyway. In the end I wasn't satisfied with Steppe Lynx and rather put Goblin Guide in my deck. This card is a double edged sword though. It can give a card advantage to my adversary but it can also deal some damage early in the game which is what my deck needs. For a while I kept switching Steppe Lynx and Goblin Guide trying to figure out which card is better. (I had two periods of testing that). It all came down to Steppe Lynx is bad and Goblin Guide is better.

Landfall and fetch lands brought a new possibility though. I did not need to limit myself to three colors. So I added Hallowed Fountain and Meddling Mage so I could stop some decks combo decks. Meddling Mage actually came handy and helped me many times. Even at times when it was the only NON-red creature in my deck.

At one tournament I managed to mix my sideboards and ended up with my Jund deck sideboard there. I was wondering what to do with Thought Hemorrhages, Death Marks, Ruinblasters and Pithing Needle and such. Well I thought for a moment and remembered that Deathmark could actually come handy. I played 7 Swamp fetching lands in main deck already so adding a swamp shouldn't be an issue, shouldn't it?

I had few funny games at that particular tournament. Because one player decided that making an island of my dual land is a good idea. Meddling Mage arrived and screwed up the game for him pretty much. Some other guy got caught of guard when his creatures died to lightning bolt, path to exile and Deathmark in the same turn.

After this tournament I realized that five color naya aggro is not bad after all.
My sideboard was changing a lot at that time and my main deck stayed mostly the same. I started looking for an alternative for Woolly Thoctar though.

4x Woolly Thoctar
2x Knights of Reliquary
3x Goblin Guide
4x Kird Ape
4x Wild Nacatl
3x Qasali Pridemage
3x Plated Geopede

4x Path To Exile
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Lightning Helix
2x Umezawa's Jitte

At this time many people started to have bad comments about my deck. It all started with 'what type of deck do you play?', 'Kibler zoo, Tribal zoo, Juzam's zoo?'. I had no idea what these decks are about and was lazy to google (or deck check. I won't say that I don't know about sites where I can get the information). For me at that time there were two types of Zoo - a creature one and landfall one.

People were always picking on me, claiming that I play a really bad build. 'Who would play Jitte in a Zoo deck?', 'oh you don't play steppe lynx?', 'where's Tarmogoyf?', 'I don't see any Baneslayer angels', 'you don't play the Punishing fire combo?'. Many people were borrowing my deck and couldn't win much with it. Not that I would do much better but still I could win games against Dredge, Valakut/Scapeshift combo, aggro Bants and some Zoos. When playing against Zoo decks I realized few things and discovered few things.

- Umezawa Jitte slows the game down, but is good when it arrives in the game (3 is too much in main deck but 2 is good - even though sometimes both show up in my hand.)
- Goblin Guide is a 2/2 that easily dies and can't even kill something and when it can attack it would end up blocked, killed and giving my opponent an advantage
- my deck usually gets my opponent to 4-1 life and there the game is stuck. I loose because of those few damages I couldn't deal
- I need more life gain or get the deck more effective in its aggro rush
- pridemage is good in mirror
- tarmogoyf is much better than vinelasher kudzu but when this card is played in a different landfall zoo it can work nicely

When playing against different decks I realized few more things

- deathmark COMES in handy often even though when you don't want an overload of them in your hand (two or three in a deck would be good)
- wrath of god/day of judgment would make a difference. the decks are trying to convince me that playing DoJ is actually a good thing (two or three in SB would be nice)
- scalding tarn was a better choice for my earlier deck, marsh flats is better for my current deck
- there are more and more games in which gaddock teeg would make a difference
- having a mountain in my deck is not that good idea...the need is more for plains and forest

Ok so now I present current version of the deck.

STsung's Naya Aggro
4x Kitchen Finks (life gain, I don't have goyfs so...why not put this in. Kudzu is a bad creature for my deck)
2x Knights of Reliquary (I have only two, one more would come handy)
3x Qasali Pridemage (good in mirror, can get rid of Jitte if I don't get mine)
3x Meddling Mage (good for many reasons, but probably bad for others as well...but hell with BANT!!! - I need to test this)
4x Kird Ape
4x Wild Nacatl

4x Path To Exile (I still don't like to play 4x path to exile but it's needed)
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Lightning Helix
2x Umezawa's Jitte
4x Tribal Flames (can kill a goyf or it can finish the player. it solved my 4-1 remaining lives problem)

4x arid mesa
4x marsh flats
3x verdant catacombs
1x Stomping grounds
2x sacred foundry
1x temple garden
1x overgrown tomb
1x bloodcrypt
1x hallowed fountain
1x steam vents
2x plains
1x forest

2x Gaddock Teeg
4x Ancient Grudge
3x Deathmark
2x Day of Judgement
2x Ravenous Trap
1x Relic of Progenitus
1x Tormod's Crypt

Ok, so now...if you ever start complaining about my deck or trying to tell me how bad it is I'm probably going to yell at you. I'm already fed up with all those comments and remarks and everyone being so clever and such a good player at Magic: The Gathering. I started with this deck a long time ago and it is now that I'm close to finishing it. I never asked for help and never asked for opinions. I'm the one who wants to find out what is good and what is bad and I need to realize that myself. (and the main problem is that I'm a control player and that I can't just play aggro decks)

It seems to me that many of you guys did not really go through deck building and play testing. I'm used to build my own decks from a certain pool of cards usually those I own or can get easily by. I'm angered when I see people come to a tournament with a net decked deck and doing silly plays. This can really upset me. Also opponents telling me that they net decked the cheapest deck and want to win with it (especially against someone with non-competitive deck that I build myself). Sorry guys but I take this as an offense. And if you wonder why it took me so long to build this deck then here it is...

I don't have a play group and I don't want to play online nor test my decks on MWS even in offline mode. I would like to play with different people, different formats and learn from it and build my decks accordingly. That's what I've been doing all the time. Do you understand that? For me that is play testing and I think that these two words are not understood well. The context has changed for many.

I wrote hell of a text for my blog and even for a deck analysis article so that's where I will end.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Borderless zombies

After spending half of my day trying to figure out what cards to put into my EDH deck I decided to try altering some cards. My creativity is as at point zero right now so I just wanted to make some cards borderless. I did not want to start with Liliana or some other a bit more expensive card. I went through the deck and three cards stood out - Death Baron, Viscera Dragger and Infectious Horror.

I took out Dragger and started erasing it. After a while I started mixing the colors and that made me want to go for this card. I like the colors used on this card very much.

After this card I started painting on Infectious horror not really caring how it would turn out. Not that I would have much patience today. But it served my purpose I got rid of that terrible new design border.

So next time, more zombies? (who knows...)

Korlash, the big black creature...

It's been a while that I've been thinking about constructing a highlander deck. I had 3 ideas. One is a blue/black control that if survives the early game then can get whatever it needs (in late game) and kill the opponent with it. I did not manage to find some cards for it and well the deck is slow and probably pretty boring for MP games. (I have the base for the deck so I might finish it one day, sooner or later)

The second idea was Esper control that would be killing with artifact creatures (the sphinxes). For that I would need to get the artifact creatures though so I discarded that idea as well. But it would have everything counters, removal both white and black, "reanimation" of artifacts and such. It could work well...somehow.

The last idea was purely aggro deck (that would be fun as many players play aggro decks - goblins, elves, merfolks etc.) I decided to have a tribal deck that would have some combos in it and finally it came down to Zombies. Black can tutor, has removal, reanimation and that's all I should need (I will be lacking artifact/enchantment removal which might be a problem).

At first it seemed to be Zombie's deck with discard but later I decided against it because it was slowly starting to be a control I ended up with something that looks like this for the time being. There are many cards I would exchange but I have to come up with better ideas later...I haven't tried the deck yet so who knows if this is going to work or not. We will see next time we have a session.
//creature spells
carrion feeder
festering goblin
putrid imp
withered wretch
viscera dragger
cabal interrogator
cemetery reaper
zombie trailblazer
nantuko husk
lord of the undead
death baron
smokespew invoker
frightshroud courier
graveborn muse
infectious horror
vengeful dead
soulless one
undead warchief
corpse connaisseur
corpse harvester
gempalm polluter
grixis slavedriver
twisted abomination

//tutors and some other stuff
demonic tutor
vampiric tutor
sensei's divining top
hymn to tourach*
sign in blood
mind stone*
funeral charm*
drain life

cover of darkness
call to the grave
phyrexian arena
tortured existence

rise from the grave
cruel revival
oversold cemetery
ashen powder

liliana vess
sorin markov

death pulse*
diabolic edict*
last gasp*
unmake* (removes from the game)
sudden death (hehe split second)
nameless inversion (yay it's a zombie)
tendrils of corruption
plague wind
nevinyrral's disk (only way of getting rid of other stuff than just creatures)
doom blade*

Mishra's factory
Cabal Coffers
Crypt of Agedeem
Volrath's Stronghold
Unholly Grotto

The cards marked with asterisk are cards that I would prefer to change for something better suited. But I will just test the deck as it is next time and see how it goes. Hopefully it will be playable.

The general for this deck would be Korlash, Heir To Backblade.

There's just one thing I'm missing and that is something/some creature that would generate some zombies or creatures. Cemetery Reaper comes to my mind but that removes a creature from my graveyard and I need to have those creatures there.
But we will see...oh yeah it seems that I should play pithing needle if I want to defend my graveyard from crypts or relics hm.

So what do you think about it?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Where to enjoy some tea... - Bily Jerab

It is quite unusual but Czech Republic has many tea rooms, a place where you can drink high quality tea from Asia. I used to go to a tea room once, twice a week. I visited many tea rooms across the Czech Republic. Some I visit still (U dvou salku - Namesti Miru) some I don't (Dobra Cajovna, Vaclavske namesti) and some I never wanted to go again (Ruzova cajovna, Mesicni kocka).

Lately I give my preference to Bily Jerab located at Svandovo Divadlo tram station (Stefanikova, Prague). The tea room is in the basement. The place is welcoming and calm (the capacity is not big). The people are nice and the choices of teas are good. They have high quality Chinese and Japanese teas (they have the milk fermented oolong for example which is quite rare to get here). You can get taste some Vietnamese teas, get the classical Indian and Turkish teas etc. There are also flavored teas, mates and sahleps. They serve several kinds of couscous and some cookies (even macha cookies - cookies made from the 'tea' macha).

If you like good teas and calm places where to chat or spend your time, pay visit to this place (if you haven't done that already). It's quite hidden but when you find it I think you will enjoy it the same way I do.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Faerie Power!


Spellstutter Sprite - I wanted to try this faerie because well it uses really light colors and I wanted to know if I can manage to paint in "similar" manner.

Mana Leak - ugh I wanted something more... dark ... but it seems that I can't draw a tendril ugh -_-

Vendilion Clique - even though being it pretty messy I like the outcome of it.

Mutavault - just wanted to try painting it...not that I would be any good at that...hehe but it should be recognizable. ^^

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cafe Imperial

Czech people most probably know Zdenek Pohlreich. Foreigners might not. Pohlreich has become very famous because of one TV show where he is criticizing and giving advices to different restaurant managers.

He is working as a chef at Hotel Imperial and that is were we were headed today.

Hotel Imperial is a 5 star hotel in a Art deco building in the center of Prague (Na Porici 15, Prague 1). From the outside the building does not really look inviting but inside you will find out that the building is still decorated in the original art deco style and that makes it unique and special in a way.

In the restaurant you can choose from not so varied menu which (as Polhreich says) is not a disadvantage but a good thing to have if the food is of a high quality and tastes really well.

This is one of the places where you can go and order a delicious Czech meal (of course other meals are delicious too).

The food has a lot of flavor and is well prepared. It is the taste/flavor that is the most important for Pohlreich. Not the way it looks (why decorate a meal with something that does not go well with?).

The coffee served there comes from Lavazza company and I really like this kind of coffee (as you probably know from previous post). So that's another plus^_~.

If you are looking for a good place to have a really tasty meal that you can enjoy I advise you to try this place. The place is full all the time so you need to reserve your place though.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Where to get a coffee? Lavazza Cafe

It's been some time that I go to Lavazza cafe at Metropole Zlicin, Prague to have a good coffee or desert. The place is nice and is actually quite calm which is surprising (especially now when so many people "go out" shopping). You can either sit on a sofa or a chair as you like.

They have a wide variety of coffees and each cup of coffee is a small miracle^_~. The company is not afraid to do experiments, to do extensive researches and come up with what people desire. Thus you can try out different kinds of coffee that you haven't tasted yet. All coffees can be served decaffeined.

They also invented their own kind of 'subdivided' cup into which certain foams would be inserted (thus individually) - hazelnut, chocolate and whole milk (check it out, it's at least interesting if you don't want to try it). These would be then served along with the coffee.

What I would like to point out is also their design. Always renewed and really good - modern and innovative.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanks for inviting me to play EDH

Thanks to the guy who invited me to play EDH. It was fun even though I can imagine that one player being almost asleep and not really paying attention to anything (well, I wasn't alone^^ - goblins seemed to be asleep) isn't that fun to play with.
Thanks for a short chat.
Thanks to Tank as well for the Chocolate (now we will see if he pays attention to FB notofications, hehe)

Also today my zoo deck showed me that 4 fetchlands on opening hand. First four cards drawn = 4 fetchlands. why not...what is the probability for this (counting in the fact that I shuffle my library after I sacrifice the land...)?
(I have to find out...what the probability is more or less)

And of course my control deck running 25 lands starts almost ALL the time with 2 lands and sometimes does not even draw the third one. On the other hand my cool Zoo starts with 4 lands running 21 lands and I even tried going down to 19. but decided against it as I need some nice landfall...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Subway (Czech Republic)

I've always enjoyed Subway 'restaurants'. In US it was one of my favorites and I still enjoy their food in the UK, Germany and Austria. For the past month I've been passing by Subway located at Narodni Trida. I decided to go there today.

I asked if I can order what I want. Not that anyone would actually tell me from what I can choose. Anyway I ordered chicken teriyaki, then I wanted some bacon and chedar cheese. The girl doing the sandwich for me did not hear me even though I tried telling her what I want several times and quite loudly. She just went on ignoring my order.
They did add what I asked for later though.

What I did not appreciate much was the choice of the sauces. In general the primary choices were ketchup, mayonnaise and two different kinds of mustard - not something I would expect at Subway. Not to mention that usually there are more choices of what you can get in Germany and UK (at least what concerns types of cheese and vegetables).

There's not so much place in the restaurant at Narodni Trida and I did not even like the setup.

Anyway the last issue is the price. I ordered a half of the sandwich and it cost me 125CZK which I find a lot for something like that when it can't even reach the quality of Subway in neighbor country.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Freestyle Motocross

This Saturday we went to see the 10th Freestyle Motocross in Prague's O2 arena.
The event was good even though the Czech team Bohemians should not have won. Ultimatos were the best riders and I thought that they would end up in finals with Casinos but no ... the Czech team had to get most of the support.

And I have to say that Justin Hoyer is crazy - backflip on a ski scooter o_O.

Also cheers to the youngest riders, keep it up guys!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday Night (whatever^_~)

This week is tough, me doing stuff for school, trying to move things around in our house and take care of 3 cats and a parrot. I can't believe that it takes so much time taking care of that small parrot. So well school decided to give us extra lessons last week and this week which did not really help me recover from anything. I worked on my projects but it seems that I haven't advanced much. In the meantime I also work on my TCG and RPG paper which might one day be published.

Anyway even though I counted to go to sleep early on Thursday I ended up at Cerny Rytir. I came at 18:15 which is not my usual arrival time (normally I arrive at 18:45). Final registrations were announced so I said I would go ahead. DCI Reported couldn't find my name so I had to give my DCI number. On the first pairings I realized my name is still Stefankova, Jaroslav (this means that my surname is in "female" form and my given name in "male" one). I don't know why but I thought that if I'm the only female at the tournament people would come to me. No, it does not work that way. Anyway I started calling out the name of my opponent not even sure how to say it. He turned around after a while and looked at me with a surprise in his eyes saying "oh, I wasn't sure how to call you ---". He was certainly taken aback that I'm a girl. Yeah, he counted cards in my deck, asking me for the number as well and when he was satisfied that it was well randomized and in order we started playing. At the end he told me that he liked playing with me and that he appreciated that I came up with my own deck that is not a net deck. That made me feel a bit better after quite a nervous game. (I'm often target for people who think that I don't know the rules and could use that as an advantage or something...well whatever what's in their minds at that moment).
Apart from this the tournament was nice even third round seemed to be pretty funny (not that funny after all) for many people. The player playing nearby was playing UWR deck but all he could was plains and red (and arid mesa, no he does not need Scalding Tarn^^). I managed to play a really funny game starting with 2 mountains, refuge and summit (having only black cards in hand). My opponent started with 4 swamps and nighthawk. I put down my nighthawk, he played another nighthawk, I played another nighthawk, he continued with malakir bloodwitch so I put down mine as well^^. It started to get awry my bloodwitch got hit by tendrils of corruption. I managed to play another vampire and could stabilize the game if not for another Tendrils of Corruption. I did not have any removal so I just laughed and waited for my apparent loss. After that I went to watch (Control)Bant vs Naya aggro. Bant player had Rafiq in play with Wall of Reverence (War Monk sent to Oblivion were Rafiq followed him few turns later). Naya Aggro had Bloodbraid Elf in play with Behemoth Sledge. He was attacking with it each round gaining a lot of life (more than the Bant player with later two Walls of Reverence). Anyway I thought that the Bant player would still win as he clearly could. But the Naya player top decked Ranger of Eos and got two Scute Mobs (note that it was turn A LOT - each player having 3/4 lands in play). Another top deck of his was a second Behemoth Sledge (a surprise to everyone watching the game). Stepan unluckily lost the game (the Bant player).
On Friday after quite exhaustive 5 hours of lessons I went to Cerny Rytir to check DnD4e player's handbook. After some time trying to find the book I realized that it's not even there. So I played few games against T2 R/G Valakut and Extended Valakut. I have quite a good matchup against R/G valakut after siding it would be even better as I don't need terminates and such against this deck (fallout takes care of all the goblins). The Extended Valakut wasn't that nice with me though. But we were drawing such weird hands that we could hardly call those games 'testing' (zoo was the winner but well...none of us can say which deck is better in this match up).

After that I was invited by Tank to a party. I went there to meet the other at Dejvicka and we found out that we are going to be only 4. It was good though. We were five (the other person living in the flat joined us). We talked about stuff, ate some, drank a lot (not in my case). I played the piano at first trying to remember some pieces - it didn't end up that well. I also played DDR to show them how the game is played. This horrified the owner of the TX4500 v2 so he did not even try to play afterwards. I gave him the master unlock code for the game so now he can play all the songs and on all difficulties. It was quite fun even though playing on that setup was quite impossible and the cable from the control box was getting loose when I was playing something harder (like a 10). The poor guy did not know much about TCGs too so ... well I think he discovered that there is another kind of freaks in the world^_^.

It was a nice evening but I had to leave for home. At midnight I arrived home and tried to get some sleep. But that silly bird decided to wake me up!!!!

EDIT: ouch this looks like a wall of text...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday 13th - public transport

I woke up late at 8:22 am and did not feel well. I got up finally 4 minutes later. I managed to get something to eat and got out of the house.

I wanted to catch the bus so I more or less ran to the bus station. There many people were waiting for the bus. The bus left quite full. But I managed to sit down. I was glad for that. At that time I still did not know what would await me at Nove Butovice.

I went downstairs to the station and was shocked. Too many people were waiting there (even for a 8 minutes long wait for another train). After a while I heard on the radio that the subway is not operating. They were telling us to go outside and use the other means of transport. I went upstairs to the main bus station and could not even go through the door. There were so many people standing there waiting for a bus "somewhere". I gave up the main bus station and went to try a different one. There were some people waiting there but no one managed to get on the bus as it was already full.

There were many people on the other side trying to catch a taxi. Some were fortunate some not. (there are usually 2 or 3 taxi drivers there - today it was not enough).

I also so many people walking in the direction of Motol. So I decided to join them.
I set on my "journey". I passed one bus station, second one and arrived to local gas station. There I crossed what years ago was a field and emerged on the other side next to following bus station (buses still full o_O). I continued in the direction of the golf course and decided to go right through it even though its forbidden. When I managed to get on the other side of the course I found a track that goes around the golf course (so if this happens to me next time I can use that track labeled 'A').

After 45 minutes of walking I arrived to Vozovna Motol and finally got on number 10 tram. I sat down as my injured leg hurt as hell. Too bad I encountered there some crazy older lady who started to yell at me how bad person I am. Really I don't need to get more upset than I am already.

Anyway I managed to get to school. But it seems we won't manage to do anything today.
End of story no. 1

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Don Miguel's bar

If you don't know where to go out to eat in Brno you can try out Don Miguel's restaurant. They serve South American dishes and they are really delicious. The personnel is well educated and polite. The only minus would be the fact that the place probably won't count as calm (compared to other Mexican restaurants I went to it could be though).

It is located at

Palackeho 35
Brno - Kralovo Pole

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bloodlines by Loren Coleman

A third book in the Urza Saga cycle. Bloodlines is an genetic engineering project that when completed should produce a heir to the Legacy Weapon. Many bloodlines projects were established all over Dominaria, the strongest being run in Benalian plains. Here in this place Gerrard Capashen is is "bred" and will become the hero of the upcoming novels (glad he dies later on...).

One rogue bloodline project is run by Gatha a rogue Tolarian student. He runs the same project in a Keldon mountains enhancing the Keldons. Phyrexians find out about the project and start to fight the Keldons. This way they know what they should improve.

Also the artificial plane of Rath which will become important in later novels is introduced here and we learn about its development (and development of Phyrexian negators by Davvol).

The book has several problems. One is that the book spans over a thousand years or what which makes it quite difficult to follow (especially when we still have the same characters in the book and they are not even planeswalkers etc...). The second problem is...this book works as a link between Urza's Saga and Weatherlight. That means that the Urza's Saga is not truly finished and this book would not even work well as an introduction for the following cycle.

Still the book holds a lot of important information about the Magic: The Gathering storyline.

Personal Rating: 2.5/5

The book is not really that good. There are storylines that don't really go well together. It is hard to orient in the book and the timeline and the story itself is not concluded. We learn a lot about the MtG storyline and its characters/spells but that does not make it good either. There are many forced things in my opinion and brake the "natural flow" of the book even if there would be one.

I also miss a lot of logic in this book. Especially....about the bloodlines itself o_O.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Time Streams by J. Robert King

A third book telling the story of our White Planeswalker Urza te Artificer. Urza gathered intelligent and young mages and artificers and together they created New Tolaria Academy at the very same place the old Tolarian Academy stood. This time this should be the place where the ultimate weapon to defeat Phyrexians would be build.

After the old Tolaria was destroyed by Urza himself time streams cover most of the island. Some of them are slow and some of them are fast. Urza comes back with the students and together they study the streams and start building the New Tolaria.

Unfortunately in one of the fast streams a Phyrexian survivors build a fortress and labs. The book mainly focuses on the battles between the Dominarians and Phyrexians.

The book shows Urza gaining more and more sanity and with time he really starts to do good. He creates alliances among the goblin tribes, Viashino and forestfolk. Even Serra's Realm inhabitants join the coalition and they together create the Legacy weapon.
The book is fast paced with a lot of stuff going on and highly emotive. Especially the difference between Karn and Urza is striking (a machine being more human than any other human and Urza being else completely). It shows many values and shows that Heaven does not always need to be a "heaven". This book also describes all the spells and cards precisely. This description is even more subtle than in other books so it does not disturb you at all (it's well incorporated).

Personal Rating: 3.75/5
I don't give it more for several reasons. It is a third book to a series of books (and to understand it you need to read the first two. One being really good and the second one...??? I guess I will rerate that one).
The battles are sometimes never-ending and that's not something I like in any kind of books. Sometimes the skips in years are to big for me. Just one sentence telling you that 6 years has passed? It takes time to adjust to that. Some things are forced even though that's not the authors fault but more of a fault of the game designers.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

ZEN Game day

At the time of the T2 rotation I built a B/R aggro deck that I later modified to include Bloodchief Ascension. I build this deck because it could take care of Bant and Jund that was being played at that time. In the mean time players started to include more and more Zendikar cards. 5/4 cc, UWR controls, boros aggro, mono red aggro etc. I wasn't really sure if my deck could stand it. I knew that vampires shouldn't be a problem, Jund decks should be fine, some UWRs should be more or less fine. I tried it against boros landfall, kithkin soldiers and goblins and it worked more or less.

I decided to go to Magic Game Day in Cerny Rytir. But before that I wanted to test my deck a bit. I went to Outpost and tried few games about some "all (mythic) rare + rampant growth and llanowar" deck. I lost every single game. Then we tried to play some highlander games. I played with Turbolands which is a deck that I can play with and win usually. But that day was probably not my day. I started to think that the decks are trying to tell me not to go to the standard tournament the day after.
We switched decks after some unfortunate games. And you know what? I knew what my opponent played and guessed the nature of it. But you know what I ended up with? Lands, fetching lands and even more fetching lands. It seemed like turbolands deck o_O It looked like I would be playing a COMPLETELY different deck from the one I played against.

After that I went to play against someone else (Lukas 2 in this case) and lost every single game as well. I was like WTF? People started to make fun of me, that I can't play Magic etc. At first it was ok, later it wasn't that fun.

People for the upcoming draft gathered and were watching us play. I even kept a hand with 4 lands and almost nothing to play (lightning bolt and burst lightning). It was one of my best hands that day^^. I lost anyway. I was pretty annoyed as I knew that this deck could win quite easily over that control and even against that all rare deck. My deck was on strike probably...

Anyway both Lukases tried to convince me to come tomorrow so I decided to come.
I arrived at 8:50 to Prague frozen to death (0 dgrs celsius was quite surprising). I went to Cerny Rytir and found out that it was closed and wouldn't open till registration time (10am). I met a group of three players there trying to figure out how Planeswalkers work but I decided against telling them how it works as I did not want to get in any problems.

On my way "somewhere (warm)" I met Ondrej so we went to McDonalds together to prepare our decks, sideboards and play few games (other groups of players were there already too). I played against some Junds and was quite happy with the result. I borrowed Goblin Guides, lend few cards and then I was quite ready (I forgot my goblin guide, thought hemorrhage cards at home^^).

First Round
I was expecting to play mostly against Junds and in the first round I hoped to play against someone rather inexperienced. I ended up paired against Tony with his who knows how many color control. Planeswalkers were quite annoying, especially Ajani Vengeant but Pithing needle worked later^^. I have to say that Wall of Reverence twice in play + later Shepherd of the Lost was a problem. Especially taking in account that these creatures have flying and I can't get past them.
My opponent sided White Knights and showed me few Trusty machetes. I have to say that the first strike + protection from black was something I wasn't really happy with. I had two fallouts on my hand though. I played one when my opponent finally decided to equip the machete and attack. In his next turn though he played another White Knight. I was like WTF and played yet another fallout when he tried to equip the machete. When I saw White Knight in Tony's next turn on the table I just couldn't believe it. He attacked with him though and gave me the chance to kill him with my unearth+bloodghast creatures.

Next to me played Albert against some poor player. It was probably his first tournament and both players learned that players have some responsibilities and that there are rules to follow for each format. Albert being competitive and the other guy completely lost in the tournament...Quite sad.

Second Round
I was paired against Albert playing mono red goblins. I have to say that we had some interesting plays^^. Funny was when I put Goblin Guide in play and attack saying "ok, now show me a lightning bolt". Albert revealed the top card of his library revealing Lightning bolt (saying: "ah here's your lightning bolt"). It was his turn and he played Goblin Guide as well. It was my turn to reveal a lightning bolt. In my next attack my opponent revealed another Goblin Guide. And you know what? My next card was also a Goblin Guide. Lightning bolts killed our guides and we could continue in another series of "looks like mirror cards (that was hellspark elemental vs yet another hellspark elemental)" with the exception that I had swamps in play^^ and I later killed my opponent with Burst Lightning.

In the second game he sided Ruinblasters and destroyed my only Dual Land I had in play. This way I couldn't play Blightning (killing my opponent with it) nor Bloodghast if I would draw a swamp. I got the swamp but it ended up destroyed as well. With two mountains there was nothing I could do to win (even though I could have won this game if I would charge that goddamn Ascension).
In the third game I managed to win quite easily. I was simply faster. Fallouts could deal with all goblin tokens and SGC was fine.

3rd Round
Tiberius and yet another control. I wasn't sure of the outcome but after winning the first game and seeing what deck he plays I decided to try siding as I did in the first round and won in a completely different way then the game I won before. It was quite interesting. At least my opponent was (probably) caught offguard because of my different approach.

4th Round
This is the round where everything went awry. I played against Jund and could have won. I won one game, lost the second. In the third game I lost because I missed two chances of doing 2 damage with my bloodghast. This is NOT the first time it happened to me. I'm used to put a land into play and then think about what to do. The moment I put it into play I was like "crap, my fallout trick won't work." as an afterthought I thought "yeah, this is going to cost me - a lost game". Too bad that it happened that way. My opponent went to 1 life. That Bloodghast attack would make me win this round. After that nothing mattered to me...

5th and 6th round. Same decks I played against. I wasn't happy about playing against this kind of controls. I can kill a Baneslayer or two and take care of planeswalkers but some crazy SPHINX with Flying AND SHROUD was too much for me. My only tactic was let my opponent tap his lands to play baneslayer and then get rid of the rest of them. The Baneslayer in play would die to Terminate most probably ... but well...

There was nothing I could do except run a heavy discard that would be most probably countered anyway. ^^ And TWO BANESLAYERS on the table? What the hell? Also after siding Adam showed me Harm's way and Vedalken Outlander. Both cards were in the deck only ONCE. Well, why not (still two baneslayers did the job).

I'm glad I went to the tournament. I could end up in Top 8 if I wouldn't mess the 4th round which is sad. SILLY mistake and the difference is so huge.

It was nice. Thanks to everyone.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Planeswalker by Lynn Abbey

The book's name hints that it will be probably about a planeswalker, more precisely about Urza. It is about Urza but not the way I would expect it. At the beginning we learn a bit about Urza's psyche, his regrets and his aim - vengeance against Phyrexia in the name of his "murdered" brother.

It wasn't regret that later sent Urza on his own private invasion to Phyrexia. It was revenge for his brother. Somehow Urza convinced himself he hadn't killed Mishra, the the Phyrexian Gix had done it...But Urza was Mishra's slayer. Not in his mind, though... Urza blamed Gix and plotted to get even. His motive was mad, and his invasion madder still. Urza attacked Phyrexia - one planeswalker against armies of demonic monstrosities. He lost of course...

We learn about Urza's moves and his psyche through a Phyrexian newt named Xantcha (at the same time learning about her own past). She became a companion to Urza. But never a real friend. Urza always cared about artifacts more than real people. It was Xantcha who after 3000 thousand years wanted Urza to become more sane and that is why she started to look for a person who could play Mishra's role. She found such person - Ratepe. Urza later claims that it was because of these two that he regained his sanity. But is truly a sanity?

Personal Rating: 2/5
I might write more comments later...
Really bad book in terms of almost everything. Might be because the author wanted us to have some empathy with something/someone who's not human nor anywhere near human. It alienates us from both the planeswalker and the Phyrexian and the only human and sane person dies.
I did not like the accentuation of the 'etherworldly' stuff either. Once, twice ok. But everywhere in the book, just to remind us that neither of these characters are human? That also makes the personalities of those characters broken.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

having a good day part 2

Bloodchief Ascension aggro vs Naya
I went to the bus station and almost collapsed from exhaustion. I knew I needed food and drink. I forgot earlier that today is actually a holiday so nothing was open. Too bad for me as these days I need to eat often and drink a lot. There was nothing I could get in Beroun (except the tournament place but that junk food would kill me) so I had to wait till I get to Prague. There I managed to get lunch and water. But I still felt like crap. I went to Outpost so I could drink either coffee or melissa tea whichever would help me get better.

In Outpost there was a highlander tournament so I watched few games. Then I went to check a group of 4 people struggling with Magic: The Gathering. I asked the fifth not playing player if he does not want to play with me. He took a madness deck and we played few games.

After that I played against Stepan (Bacil). He played with my Naya deck against my Blightning/Ascension aggro. One of the games is worthy noting here.

My opening hand looked like
2x bloodghast
1x hellspark elemental
1x bloodchief ascension
3x mountain

I was hoping to draw a swamp later or some red cards later. In my 4th round I managed to get a swamp and put the Ascension finally in play. My opponent got damaged by my hellspark elemental in the meantime. To get the first counter I played Blightning. I wanted to keep the card but I had nothing else except it to deal 2 and more damage. My opponent unwisely put a dual land untapped to play so I got a second counter. I played a lightning bolt then and was hoping that my opponent wouldn't destroy my Ascension too early. I drew a card and you know what? It was another Ascension. I put it in play.

Stepan produced Ajani from somewhere and decided that I don't need my Cairns anymore. That meant I wouldn't be able to put Bloodghasts in play.

Later my opponent played boggart ram-gang. I was pleased. One little terminate and first card to trigger the first Ascension and charge the other one. My opponent went to 4 lives and I got to 22. In the next few turns my opponent did not let me untap my Cairns and I did not draw any burn spell. Stepan put Qasali Pridemage in play and sacrificed him right away which cost him another 2 life. I got another counter on the second Ascension but I had no idea how to charge it or how to get rid of Ajani's counters as he got 7 already and I still had NO burn spells on my hand.

Stepan sacrificed Ajani and my lands went to graveyard. I wasn't really happy about it as I haven't drawn a land card since a long time. I was waiting for a slow death. My ascension was fully charged though so I wondered if that could save my life. In my next round I drew Blightning and wasn't happy about it. I could have played it on myself and discard both Bloodghasts. Without any lands I had no chance getting them in play normally..I had 6 cards on my hand so I getting more then seven cards shouldn't be an issue.

Stepan was at 2 life, had two fetch lands, few duals in play (he was rather mana screwed considering the fact it was turn "A LOT" and couldn't use the the fetch lands as that would kill him), pridemage in play attacking me each time. He got boggart ram-gang from his graveyard and put it in play. That was already too much for me but with my life total I wasn't afraid that much. I knew that sooner or later Pridemage would die^^. My opponent played lightning helix and then got rid of the Ascension. All I needed were few lands. Both bloodghasts were already in the graveyard and then...I drew my first land. A swamp^^. I put it in play, attacked with bloodghasts. One died because of a helix the second one got blocked.
My opponent played Ajani and used his Helix ability.
In my next turn I did the very same as in my last turn with the exception that I got a mountain and could hopefully destroy that boggart and kill Ajani.
In a third round I got yet another mountain. I was happy^^. I knew that my opponent has Path To Exile on his hand but that did not bother me. Land would help me kill him finally^^. I put down the land, bloodghasts got back in play, played Blightning. Both of my bloodghasts ended up in RFG zone^_^. Now with 5 lands I could do anything I wanted - from killing my opponent with 1 burst lightning, 2 of them, blightning or hell's thunder^^.
It was fun. Soon after I had to leave. I did not feel much better but I felt like being capable of moving and not fainting in the process. I managed to come to NX's house.

There I tested X-Pad Extreme Dance Pad (or something in these lines). It is a hardfoam softpad and is much worse than I expected. (double) Bouncing effect, not accurate (lagging), bad sensor protection, wrong panel distribution etc.

After that we went to have a dinner and later we went to try out the new Dobra Cajovna at Narodni trida (Ostrovni). It was a really nice evening and I thank NX for it. Now it's going to be a pretty long night as too much tea means that I can't sleep. But well it was worth it.

Also I would like to thank Joza for the Extended tournament and Stepan for playing with me.

You made my day guys^_~.

having a good day...?

Beroun - Extended Tournament

Today an Extended tournament was organized by Joza in Beroun at Manazerska Akademie. I wanted to go there if I would manage to get up. Since Thursday I have quite some difficulties with getting up and I'm pretty low on energy. Anyway I got up and went there.
8 players came in total. I expected more (Joza as well). Not even the local people showed up. Seems like they are not really interested in constructed or what. I'm not sure if they even showed up for draft later that day.

Anyway at this tournament I had the chance to see something similar to Brian Kibler's Naya erm excuse me...Rubin Zoo Deck, Dark Depths+Hexmage combo deck, Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek combo deck, Doran deck, Affinity deck and Death Cloud decks (couldn't really name the deck myself...but its about death well...).

I have to say that I've seen some really interesting plays and some really lucky top decks. One player hoped he could kill his opponent with a bit of luck. He looked at his opponent's hand with thoughtseize so he could discard something that would spoil his way to victory. The opponent smiling just showed him his hand - three times mana leak. The player just gave up shaking his head in disbelief.
Another player got really unlucky when he got one Muddle the Mixture but had to discard it. He drew another one in the next round but his opponent top decked another thoughseize...
As I haven't seen the Thopter Foundry combo up to that day I was quite interested in how this can work. I understood how it works in theory but I had to see it in reality to really see its power. I have to say that with Doran it was even better^^. Attack for three? Why not^^. And with gaining lives each time you sacrifice the Sword...nice. But I wouldn't play such a deck.

Anyway during the third round one player got up and went to the electronic yamaha in the room. After some time trying to figure out how it works and where to turn it on I found the button titled 'Power On'. I pressed it and it started to work. The other player played few pieces which I enjoyed a lot. Some of the other players still playing were making some comments like 'Oh, that's too much culture for us'. The weren't angry or anything so I took my turn and played a bit too. The key C1 and B2 were getting stuck. That was quite a problem as both of these keys were used a lot and hitting a key that does not produce a sound was pretty weird. It stopped us from continuing playing. Anyway this little distraction was really enjoyable.

One memorable quote would also be: "What are the goys' numbers?", "[counting the card types]...instant, 5. But hey Hexerei could count for a sixth type, couldn't it?"

Anime Party Decin

This weekend there was a 'small' local Anime Party in Decin. You could go see some anime, sing with karaoke, draw, color some anime characters, play Nintendo Wii games, try out Go, try some quizzes, play DDR etc.

Rare Items was a sponsor for an EverStep tournament (tournament in Machine Dance) and that's the reason why we came. We both took part in the tournament and had some fun. The choice of songs was good and the (tournament) system was ok too.

I took few photos from the event so you can check them out. Nothing much but believe me the event was good and these people get my respect!

Anime Party Decin

Friday, October 23, 2009

Brother's War by Jeff Grubb

This is one of the first books from the Magic The Gathering world. It is the second Artifacts cycle book (Antiquities).

This book tells the story of two brothers Urza and Mishra and their war that destroyed most of the world they lived in. The brothers are of a noble birth but their parents couldn't take care of them. That is how they ended up in Tocasia's excavation camp. Here both of the brothers took a real interest in artifacts. Mishra was more interested in digging them and Urza was more interested in actually studying them and later building them.

One day the brothers and their teacher discovered the ruins of Halcyon's caves where the portal to Phyrexia can be open. There something weird happened. The result of this was...Mishra's and Urza's planeswalk and one particular stone shattered. You both know the two halves - the weakstone and the mightstone.

Everything went wrong when the two brothers fought over the stones and killed their teacher in the process. Mishra ran away and was caught by Fallaji. He spent some time working there as a slave but was later saved by Hajar. He became the Qadir's son teacher. Urza on the other hand started to work in a clock shop. Later became interested in Jalum Tome which he could only obtain by moving a big statue from one place to another. In doing so he would become the local Princess' groom and would also get the dowry (the Tome was part of it). Urza did that and this way became the Chief Artificer of Kroog. He had almost all he needed to start working on his creations (starting with enhancing Ornithopters).

Later in the book both brothers become the heads of one or another nation. The brothers war that follows is something that strips the land bare. It is a war that is thought with artifacts but amidst all these artifact creatures a group of scholars finds out about mana - the memories of (certain) land. The first to find this out is Hurkyl who is capable to return the artifacts to where they came from.
Not only the group of scholars use magic though. Elves from the island Argoth always used magic and fought against artifacts. Urza himself in the end discovers the power and becomes planeswalker.

The final conflict between the brothers (and the brotherhood of Gix) results in a disaster that provokes an Ice Age.

note: the book also tells the story of Ashnod and Tawnos apprentices to Mishra and Urza.

Personal Rating: 4.5/5
Note: Book based on a TCG but doesn't need to be considered that way. You don't need to be Magic player to know what's going on in the book. Magic players will be surprised about how well Grubb managed to put everything from Antiquities in the book without spoiling it but making it better for us.
There's not a single story going on in the book which is good. All stories are complete and don't really lack anything which is good. The book itself (even though having a prequel and sequel) is good by itself and does not feel like a short novel as some of the other Jeff Grubbs book do.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mortal Kombat 4

Today after not really pleasant incident with my mother I left 2 hours earlier than I normally do. I did not eat anything and did not plan on getting anything as my stomach wouldn't be able to digest anything at that moment. I went directly to Outpost were two people were.

I spent some time crying and trying to collect myself. Partly it worked, partly not. I red a few lines from Brother's War but couldn't really concentrate on it. Then I went back to the other room and found out that Jirka was playing Mortal Kombat 4. I asked him if he would let me play and he did.

I chose some random character (Scorpion) and tried my luck. In those few fights I realized that I'm used to a different key setup so I changed it to my original MK1 setting and found what I was using for run and step in/out in MK4. After Reiko kicked my ass and I set the right keys I decided to finish the game this time. Even though the keyboard was lagging and sometimes when there was too much stuff going on the game was slowing down and the response time got longer.

I got Scorpion and Rayden for this and beat the game with more or less (actually LESS) success. In the end Shinnok was defeated and I (Scorpion)became the Supreme Mortal Kombat champion. I felt like a MK noob but it took me a while to realize what game I'm playing and what I can do in it. Still when Jirka said "throw the stone" I reacted in the right character on he screen picked up the stone and threw it against my opponent (it was a reflex).

After playing MK4 for some time my mood got better. But it's only temporary. I know that coming back home will inflict the very same damage and I'm not really prepared for it.

Now I should be at school having Sound Production class but the lesson is canceled. Our lovely teacher is injured and spent some time in the hospital. I hope she'll be fine. Seems like today is a bad day for that. As another of my friends got seriously injured.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

WotC not wanting altered cards to appear on eBay?

MC199 eBay Account Suspended: Trademark Violation - Unauthorized Item (XXXX)

Your eBay account is suspended for at least one year for violating our policy.

The rights owner or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the rights owner, Wizards of the Coast, Inc., notified eBay that this listing violates intellectual property rights. When eBay receives a report of this type of violation, we remove the listing to comply with the law.

It's against the law to sell fake or unauthorized copies of a brand-name product. It can also be misleading for buyers. So if the product you're selling bears the brand name or logo of a company, but it wasn't made or authorized by that company, you aren't allowed to list it on eBay.

Reason for suspension:

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Well, I thought that Avex Trax taking down videos from youtube was bad, but this?
Altered cards are NOT a copy of the product but the product itself. bah...

Arid Mesa - taking browns to the next level!

It's been a while that I wanted to extend Arid Mesa. I did it today...and I'm pleased with the result.

Thran by J. Robert King

This book tells us the story of a Thran named Yawgmoth. He was exiled from the technologically advanced Thran empire because his unorthodox methods of healing. He was convinced that not only magic can heal a 'human' body and he was right. He was fascinated by the mechanics of the body. He later started to experiment with diseases - curing them but also infecting others with them.

Yawgmoth was called forth back to the Thran Empire to cure Glacian, a genius artificer. Yawgmoth found out later that the illness comes from the Untouchables, people being banished from the city (to caves beneath) so that they wouldn't infect the others. After realizing this Yawgmoth used his knowledge (about manipulation and domination) and his healing skills to dominate the Thran people. He managed to get to the top and get the power over most of the Empire.

Elves, catfolk, dwarves, minotaurs and other Thran though made an alliance to fight Yawgmoth.

Yawgmoth finding out about the planes of Multiverse came with an idea. He would move his people to a different plane and there he would rule them. A planeswalker Dyfed found him a dying artificial world. Yawgmoth came there as its ruler/god and moved the Untouchables there. He cured their disease and started to play with their bodies (and minds). He started using more artificial implants to improve his people. A religion/philosophy came out of this. The less human flesh (replaced by metal) the better being.

Yawgmoth continued in the transformation of his people for about 9000 years and was preparing himself for the domination of Dominaria if by a chance a portal from/to Phyrexia would open.
Personal rating: 4/5
Who needs a good hearted protagonist? Or some "new" planeswalker to have a good book? Even without magic itself in its known form we have a good story and a pretty good antagonist character.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Magic demo

I have to say teaching people Magic is not an easy task. And playing with little boys thinking they can do whatever they want is even more tiring.

Today I spent most of the day trying to teach the basic rules of Magic: The Gathering. I have to say that boys in the age between 9-12 had real difficulties with concentrating on the turn phases/steps and couldn't really memorize effects of certain cards. Explaining something like shroud and first was already a problem.
Some were performed better some where completely lost.

Adult players were faster in understanding the basic rules and did not need explaining different kinds of permanents (explaining what is an enchantment and sorcery/instant was quite difficult for some younger players to grasp!! not to mention that explaining what the card does is not sufficient for the player to understand how to actually use it). As usual there are things that people don't grasp at first like the fact that mountain is not a red permanent. I also got a bit stuck when explaining combat damage and triggering/playing abilities. Normally I would just put it on the stack and everything would be fine but now I got a bit lost in it. So next time I rather don't want to start about stack at all. (Unless it comes really to using the stack).

I also played against some players who think they can play Magic and are good enough to be capable of winning something. There were two groups of such players. In one group there were people cheating on purpose and not really playing by the rules consciously. I have to say that after trying to cheat on me for several times the players could at least give up at that. And I was probably too naive thinking that they would stop doing some illegal actions over and over again. I explained about 5 times what regeneration is and what it does, I tried explaining RFG and graveyard zones but the player just did not get it or ignored me ... Also players shuffling their decks so they would have what they need is erm not fair. I hope they will get few match losses and will think about the way they play a bit.

In the second group there were people who have expensive cards/decks but have no idea how to play. I have to say that with these it pains me to play against them. But I have to say that I coped with playing against bad players better than my colleague.

Also after few hours of playing I realized that my concentration and ability to even count my life total went down a lot (I started to use dice for life total..). Being so disoriented and trying to explain something is quite hard.

Now I'll probably dream about that...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hand Drawn Animations

In the past week I managed to get 2 hand drawn animations done. Both of them are 50 frames animations.

At first I had no idea what to animate. I was told, do what you are used to drawing. The only thing I can draw to some extent is... well a character. I started drawing some guy doing karate katas and got stuck on turning in space. I could do techniques well but moving in 3d space on a 2d paper was quite hardcore. After trying few more stuff like doing a fight scene in 2d etc I completely gave up and tried to think of an easier movement than this. I came up with few Para Para movements and did them.
It took me a lot of time to do this. Even stepping left and right and moving the hands is not that easy (because it's not JUST the hands that are moving but the whole body is shifting its balance etc).

The second animation is a small dragon getting out of an egg^_^.

What I learned? It's not easy to animate complex moves and especially do animation 3d space. But also it does not need to be perfect and reality close to look good^^.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Drawing - Scrap no. 11

Another from the school sketches colored. I did not take much time to color it. The resolution it is uploaded to deviantart is the original size I worked with. I might work on this more later...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Zendikar Launch Party or FNM?

Yesterday I drafted Zendikar with few other players. And as I already played drafts and sealed decks during the past few days I did not want to spend even more money on Zendikar. We had an appointment with Molik and NX but he said that he does not have time so I ended up in Outpost. There I spent some time testing my Vampire and Soldier T2 decks but I did not learn much.

Launch party started but no one was really interested in sealed deck. Many people came for a draft though. I signed up after some time trying to figure out if I want to spend money on it or not (as I hardly sold anything from previous drafts).

Now a more serious report from the FNM. My final result was really bad but the games themselves were really "epic" or "hilarious" as some people would say.

I started drafting mono black getting black vampires. Later I got 2 Hagra Diabolists and started getting Allies in Black and Green. I did not get too many of them and got slightly of color getting Narrow Escapes, white quest and some creatures. In the meantime I got green baloths, larva, gladeheart etc.

1st Round
Game 1
I was paired against Ivan playing a blue/red deck with flyers (blue) and some bigger creatures (red) and burn. My opponent got a wall-like creature (some Kraren) in play. Later he added two fliers (both being 1/2). Each round he was attacking with them. My first creature on the table was Giant Scorpion (1/3 Deathtouch). Too bad that it does not have Reach. I used him for attacking as I was sure my opponent does not want his defender dead. Later on my opponent got a bit more lucky then me and top decked a 4/3 vanilla creature. He thought he would kill me with it and it actually looked like that. Too bad that I top decked Spidersilk net^_~ and equipped the Scorpion with it. In the next turn my Scorpion finally killed one of the attacking creatures (the 4/3 vanilla). In that round I played Narrow Escape on one of my lands. In my next round I did almost the same. I killed another creature with my scorpion and then bounced back my Kabira Crossroads (at that time it was my only source of white mana). I also top decked Grazing Gladeheart. With this I could gain more life and I managed to get 15 life from 1 life. (in the meantime my opponent was still attacking me with his creatures and I was always killing one of them hoping that he would run out of them sooner or later). I started getting creatures on my own too and managed to get to the point where my opponent had 5 life. I was waiting just for one Ally to finish the game fast. But no... Ally did not want to come. Anyway after a really long fight I won the first game.

My and my opponent's life total during Game 1, Round 1

Game 2
In game two I started with doing two silly mistakes resulting later in the game losing just because of that. I would have won easily if I wouldn't be stupid. eh...rather not comment on this. The game was rather short compared to the first one.

Game 3
When we were starting our third game we had heard that we have just 3 minutes to finish the game. My opponent's draw was good and he thought he would kill me in those few minutes. He got 3 creatures in play (1/2, 2/2 flyer and 4/3) and was attacking me each round. 7dmg per turn? Not bad. But he had to deal with Narrow Escapes and Vampire's Bites. The game ended in a draw each of us having 12 life.

Round 2
Game 2
I started wuth Kabira Crossroads gaining two life and then I was just putting lands in play. My opponent showed me two Zekthar Expeditions early in the game (I wasn't happy about it). I used disfigure on one and I had to let the other one pass through. In total I lost 13 life in that round (could have been much worse...ufff). At end of turn I played Narrow Escape. In my turn it was my turn to attack and than I played another Narrow Escape on Kabira Crossroads.

When I finally thought that I might actually win the game Ob Nixilis "entered the battlefield". My opponent put a land into play and triggered the ability. I wasn't happy about that either. I thought it would be my end but I top decked Grazing Gladeheart and started gaining life. Ob managed to do more damage but I was drawing lands and putting them in play. Eventually I got the chance to block Nixilis and kill him with my scorpion. After this it was my turn to start dealing damage. My opponent went down to 6 life and I went to having 22 life. When I thought the game can't get worse Nixilis came back. And it still wasn't the worse thing that could have happened because my opponent pulled out Sorin Markov out of his sleeve!

This guy killed one of my creatures and gained him two life. That meant that I could not kill my opponent with one attack (I should have killed Sorin and dealt with the player later but I messed that up). In that attack all but one creature my opponent controlled died. Sorin was still there killing my creatures though. Another red Expedition arrived in play. With Electropotence, Sorin and Trusty Matchet this elemental could have dealt 18 damage. My opponent got distracted though and did not manage to kill me. I went down to 11 and was ready to fight for my life till the end but my opponent gave up thinking he would die. (I dealt 2 dmg to him with river boa/he got two life but did not use Sorin's ability in the previous turn).

With the mistakes on my side he should have won. But I guess he was too nervous for that. Even though I have to note that my first opponent was REALLY nervous when playing against me and losing the first game. He was SO CLOSE to winning.

Round 3
Game 1
In the last round I played against blue/green deck. The game looked somewhat like
STS: Kabira Crossroads
OPP: Island, Caller of Gales
STS: land
OPP: the U land that gives you 1 life, attack with Caller of Gales
STS: land
OPP: the U land that gives you 1 life, attack with Caller of Gales
STS: land, Giant Scorpion
Few turns later my opponent had still the Caller of Gales in play. He had completed green quest and Territorial Baloth in play. He sacrificed the quest, played a land, gave Baloth flying and attacked for 10. I was just smiling. My life total went down to ten.
In my turn I had Larva, Giant Scorpiom in play. I played Territorial Baloth, my opponent's expression on his face suddenly changed. I played a land and played Harrow. My opponent's expression went even more grave. With Harrow I put two forests in play and attacked for 15. I won the game.

Game 2
STS: Kabira Crossroads
OPP: Island, Caller of Gales
STS: land
OPP: the U land that gives you 1 life, attack with Caller of Gales
STS: land
OPP: the U land that gives you 1 life, attack with Caller of Gales
STS: land, Giant Scorpion
... we spend about a minute laughing and wondering how this is possible. Note that I shuffled my cards by piling them, doing few faro shuffles and letting my opponent cut the deck. I took a mulligan and shuffled the deck the very same way as before drawing the first 7 cards. Note that this was LIMITED!!!! I had few cards in play sets in the deck (narrow escape and vampire's bite) but not these ONES. (same story on my opp's side)
Even though I placed badly I have to say that I don't regret spending the money. I had lots of fun playing those games. But now...I should finally stop drafting 3x a week!! (or I should sell some of my cards to get some money for that)

Purifying Fire by Laura Resnick

Purifying Fire is another book from the Planeswalker series (Magic: The Gathering book thus). This book is about Chandra Nalaar and her inner struggle with her past and her undisciplined self.

We meet Chandra Nalaar who for some reason steals an ancient scroll and brings it with her to a (Fire Mage) Monastery so they could study it. A blue mage comes after her and takes the scroll back. That's quite a rash beginning. At first Chandra is reckless and really thick headed. She just cares about herself and does not really think about the consequences of her acts. It's just about her getting what she wants for no matter what price.

At first I thought that Chandra would be really insupportable but later on she hopefully matures a bit (Chandra Ablaze might be actually quite ok).

The whole story is rather short and not developed fully for a novel (it feels more like a prelude to something bigger). Otherwise the book is entertaining and well written.

Personal rating: 3.5/5

Can't really say more about needs a sequel. ^_~

Monday, September 28, 2009

Zendikar - prerelease

My first (positive) experience with Zendikar was a draft. I managed to draft some interesting Naya aggro. I got Timbermaw Larvas, white ascension and some red insect with first strike (I thought that those would be my killers in the draft). I got then Grazing Gladehearts (as I thought gaining life might be what I will need!). After that I saw that getting some extra lands in play would help me a lot so I got my hands on Harrow and Khalni Heart Expeditions. This would help me get some lives and deal some serious damage. Meanwhile I got Zektar Expedition, some red wall (0/4 that can boost itself), 4 damage preventing spells (tanglesap and shieldmate's blessing). I was hoping to get some creatures but there was nothing useful in my colors so I picked Savage Silhouettes and Adventuring Gear. I have to say that when I played with this I was surprised what it can do and how much damage it can deal o_O even though I knew that 7 creatures was a GREAT risk.

Sealed deck seemed pretty bad after I got the cards from the deck swap. I went through the cards and wasn't really happy about it. No playable rares except Day of Judgement. I put the playable Cs and Us aside and counted them. Later I checked which colors I could drop and what creatures/spells are better. I ended up with an Esper deck. Black was sure. Green and red seemed aspiring but blue and white had tricks and some not so bad creatures.

It was mainly based on intimidation and flying with landfall. I got Windrider Eels and vampires to deal damage. I also got 3/3 Angel and 2/5 flyer but those did not usually come to my hand. Merfolk Seastalker was a must, Aether Figment was dealing quite some damage too. For gaining life I got a white land giving me 2 life, Narrow Escapes and Vampire's Bite (this card was working wonders^^). Got few bouncing spells too which I mainly used on my permanents and Day of Judgement.

My first round was a win. I got 2:0 and was finished quite soon so I went to check out the others. Someone told me that he was killed by the white angel ascension twice fast so I started to be afraid of playing against that person (as he also got 2:0). Others got 2:1 wins.

In the second round I got to play against him. I won the first game because he got a really bad draw. In the second game I was trying to survive till some bird producing angel ended up on the table. Later Ascension showed up too and I managed to survive for a long time. I was waiting for ONE single card. Day of Judgement would help me and my opponent knew that so he was saving up creatures on his hand for that. Anyway he won as I did not draw anything helpful.

The third round was the most random and most chaotic game I ever experienced. I'm capable of having a mess on the table but it never gets to that point where I have lands and creatures together and not knowing what certain cards do. I won the game so it was fine after all...

Fourth round was a complete failure. My opponent was shuffling my deck and actually managed to force me to take mulligans up to 1 plains, 1 swamp and two cards (one of them was playable). Too bad for me as the next 7 cards were blue + 2 plains. He took quite some time to kill me though. In a second match it ended up the same. I had nothing I could play even though my hand was good (mana screw *sniff*). I haven't seen much from his deck and my opponent has seem completely nothing from my deck except plains and a swamp. He did not even know that I play blue^^ (I showed him my hand after the game was over).

In a fifth round I hoped for a win once again. I got to play against RG. My opponent seemed to be pretty distracted and was tapping and retapping his lands which annoyed me the most. I was thinking about calling a judge but tried to survive that. All his cards were scattered all over the table and it was hard to see what card is what (in terms of types). I got distracted pretty badly by this and lost one game because of that. Also I started with 4 cards, this did not help that. Anyway I was ready to win this match as my opponent showed me all his tricks in game 1 and I knew my deck could handle that. Too bad that I started game 2 with few mulligans AGAIN. My vampires and flyers made it in the game though and stayed there for some time. Not sure why my opponent hated a vampire that made him lose life for each creature coming under his control. I think there were other cards making much bigger difference. After a pretty long fight I won both games (game 3 started with 2 mulligans as well...OMG) making silly mistakes on the way as I gave my opponent 5 rounds for free...-_-

Interesting play was against my last opponent. A win would mean top 8 for sure. He got a really nice bant deck^_^. With drawing cards, fair attack (those big trample beasts, angel producing birds, tapping merfolk and such) and tricks. I was already in a really bad state and couldn't concentrate at all. I lost the first game, not really being able to do much with it. I won the second even though I made like 5 really bad plays.
The third game was a failure. It even went to me playing a wrong land. (I got a swamp and island on my hand and I knew that I need 3 islands in play. There were two in play and one my hand). I have no idea what I thought but I played the swamp card. Why not...this way I could tap only 2 creatures, just cool. Not to mention silly attacks I made and some really bad plays. The game was in more or less stall. But I just couldn't go on and gave up, after such a bad play I did not deserve a win. Anyway I could have won the game. All I needed was kill the tapping merfolk and attack twice. The first two cards I would draw were black removal.^_^.
No matter what I enjoyed the game and played against my opponent once more. A really interesting game too. It was funny looking at my opponent when I started bouncing back my creatures^^. It was just then when he realized that my comment about Day of Judgement saving me was actually a valid threat for him. There were three turns in the game and the last one killed me (one round before I would kill my opponent). It was fun game.

Chandra Ablaze?

After I returned home from drafts/sealed deck of Zendikar I decided to paint on some card. I wasn't really sure what that card should be. I was thinking about Sorin Markov but after looking at the picture more closely I realized that I don't feel like mixing shades of grayish brown.

Then I remembered Squop say "Why don't you use Chandra as your bookmark?" (I'm reading now Purifying Fire by Laura Resnick. That's a book from the Planeswalker series and is centered on Chandra Nalaar.)

I decided to take the challenge as my last Chandra ended up more or less green. I wanted this one to look more fiery (yellow/white and orange).

And well here's the result. I actually like the way she turned out!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unexpected Adventure

Today I decided to take part in Extended tournament (I knew about 15-20 people would come). For that I needed to get up and catch the bus at 11:16.

During the night my cats decided that they need attention. Damian started meowing and couldn't stop. Amanda jumped on me and wanted to be caressed for like half an hour. I finally fell asleep and hoped for at least 6 hours of sleep. Somewhere in the middle of a dream I heard a loud 'thud' and then hundreds of not so audible thuds. This slowly woke me up as I later realized that those sounds are caused by falling cards. I did not hear any tearing or scratching sounds so I decided to continue sleeping. I fell asleep soon after but was once again woken by the very same sound. I started to wonder from where the cards fell as well...the loud 'thud' meant that it was a box full of cards falling off somewhere. Anyway I ignored it and fell asleep once again hoping to finally sleep till morning. 4 hours later Damian decided to start meowing so loud that it would wake up even a treefolk.

I got up and gave up on sleeping. I came to the mess which was previously 'cards sorted by format legality and color' and put it back in the boxes. Then I started wondering about what should my sideboard for the upcoming tournament contain.

For sure I wanted Ancient Grudge, Everlasting torment or Sulfuric Vortex (I don't have this one so I took the Torment as replacement) and Volcanic Fallouts. Then it started...I came across Choke so I started wondering how many blue controls I would encounter. I discarded the idea later though. I was also thinking about safe passages/fogs but I should do well without them. Path to Exile came to mind too (as I played only two up to that point). Later I decided to put Oblivion Rings in my sideboard (it didn't save me later though).

At 11am "I set off on my journey". Normally I catch the bus without problem. My speed was steady and fast and I was sure to make it there 3 minutes before the bus would leave. 4 minutes before the buses departure time I saw it in the distance standing at the bus stop. So I sprinted to the bus station. At the crossroad though a police car was standing and waiting for who-knows-what. So I stopped and waited for green light to light up. When it did I sprinted across the street not caring about the policemen looking at me in shock. I managed to get to the bus and the door. But the bus driver just drove away. I got really p*ssed off and wondered how to get to Prague (when the next more or less direct bus would already mean failure to get there on time). I called Squop hoping to tell him this "news" but he couldn't answer my phone call as his speaker went dead.

After that even more angry I went to the main bus station to check the Prague's ("Integrated") transport. I checked the line 380 and found out that on Sunday's the bus leaves at 12:43 which is too late for me. Then with a bit of hope I checked line 384 (last time I wanted to get to Beroun with this bus the driver told me that's too far and left me in Prague). I found out that it should be on its way in 4 minutes. I waited for 4 minutes. Bus nowhere to be seen.

I started reading Shadowmoor book and finished a story about a really annoying white kithkin hero. Few minutes later the bus showed up! I did not believe my eyes I sprinted once AGAIN to it and this time I got on it. I psychically prepared for a LOOOONG sightseeing ride to Prague.

Now imagine a narrow sinuous road going uphill and downhill and a large bus. Hopefully the bus has a priority on the road, otherwise I can't imagine how long it would take us to get to Prague.

I continued reading the Shadowmoor stories. The second story was about 5 kithkin brothers. One called Wander wandered in the forest and was lured to a swamp by a clique of faeries. He died by eating a poisonous mushroom then. His brother Might tried to find him and died after a fight with boggarts. 3rd brother Kind died because he was too kind healing a merrow. The merrow not healed fully died too on its way home. Clever died when he wanted to outwit a treefolk. The last one called Hero died by accident (a sleepwalking giant stomped on him). The moral of the story is "That kithkins should never leave on their own alone".
I have to say that after reading all the books and stories about "white" creatures winning all the battles and being heroes and whatever I enjoyed reading this story (already trying to survive Rafiq and Elspeth was too much for me...these Kithkins were even worse...o_O Even Jodah was quite ok heh). When I finished reading the story I realized that we are in Prague.

We (me and Squop)went to Andel by subway and on one of the stations three "suspiciously" looking boys entered the train as well. One of them was clutching a deck list in his hand. This was quite suspicious. At that time I got Birds of Paradise from Squop (going to alter that one^^) and I wondered what the boys' reaction would be.

At Andel we parted out ways as the boys went directly to the game store and I went to buy something first. We caught a tram though so we caught up with the boys.

It was pretty crowded in the game store. 19 players registered for Extended and I have no idea how many registered for All Common Series tournament. Both me and Squop entered the tournament.

I have no idea how DCI Reporter does the pairings but you know what? Me and Squop ended up playing against each other in the first round. The first game was sad and the second one even more as I sided Ancient Grudges and Oblivion Rings to deal with Squop's Esper deck (artefacts).

I went to see what other decks I might encounter. There was one Esper Deck with Time Seive, two affinity decks, two elf decks, RG, GW, lifelink deck, faeries, burn, slivers etc. The player playing the burn deck did not really want to play against me.

In the second round I played against the above mentioned player. I won^_~. In a third round I got to play against elves. I wasn't happy about it much. First game was a serious mana screw. Even though I had two duals on my side I couldn't play much except Path to Exile, Lightning Helix and Lightning bolt. I killed few elves and then quickly died. In the other two games I was keeping up with the elves until too many lords showed up on the table.

Fourth round was funny^^. I played against poisonous slivers. It was W/U/G deck with Virulents, Sinews, Sidewinders, Shifting slivers etc. I won the first game fast. In the second my opponent sided quite a lot of cards. I got my creatures on the table and started to attack and was quite happy about it and was ready to tap all nasty creatures who would want to poison me. My opponent showed me Isochron Scepter with some white fog imprinted on it. I was like WTF???? o_O. I did not side any grudges or oblivion rings but I realized then that Ajani Vengeant can take of that Isochron Scepter quite fine^^.

Last round was a tough one. Elves once again...those pointed ears and horned creatures that even fallout can't kill usually. I don't have any Wrath of Gods so I just hoped my burn spells would deal with them. In the first game I was trying my best to keep up and not to get killed by a swarm of elves. I managed to win after a really long fight. The second game started in a similar way. Soon both of us were in top deck mode. Not funny. My opponent had Treetop Village, Mutavault, Llanowar Elves, Pendelhaven and Sentinel in play. I had Treetop Village^^. Got Pridemage and Whooly Thoctar in play. That one was sent to Oblivion though. I was trying my best to get rid of the lands though. Pridemage blocked mutavault but I realized (too late) that damages don't go on stack anymore. After some time swearing I sacrificed Pridemage and got rid of the Ring. Then I got rid of mutavault and treetop village.
End of round was announced. I top decked Oblivion Ring to get rid of the last standing elf, got Wild Nacatl in play and Ajani followed. In turn 5 I won the game.

Final results 4:1 and second place. And you know what I got? In ONE Alara Reborn booster I got Maelstrom's Pulse! Buhehe.

After the tournament we played some games for fun. We played a two headed giant. My naya deck + B/U discard against Time Seive deck + Quillspike Combo. In the second game we played our opponent was at 3 life. We were trying to found out if we can win in that round. We let our opponents play (I could have killed them in that round). Few rounds later when I our opponent when to life 2 we again started to think about a way to kill them (our opponent thinking they had 3 life). Duress was what we thought that would solve the problem (as Megrim was in play). Well, our opponent thinking having 3 life continued. The player playing next to me realized that he actually has a second megrim in his hand. Both of us would merit a strong FACEPALM.

Later we played one on one. David had 2 quillspikes and 2 nantuko husks in play. I had loads of saprolings and other creatures. In his hand David had 3 Rites of Consumptions and he was like 'after we finish the game I will tell you something about one card I would not play in the deck'. I realized that he most probably has Rites of Consumption so I got rid of the nantuko husks. BTW my opponent could have killed me long time ago. He then realized what the card is for and killed me with quilspike^^.

Also what happened to me today and was quite unlucky...
I played Slivers against a mill deck. My opponent played Tome Scour. First card - sliver. The following four cards were lands. After that he played Mind Funeral. I had to mill over half of my library till I revealed 4 lands o_O (anyway I won as I top decked second Virulent sliver, hehe but it was close).