Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday...status report

This Friday was my last day at school. I was woken up by my cell phone (which is a bad sign - me being too tired). I got up and managed somehow to get to the bus station.

I arrived bit late for school but I found out that there's no one there. Soon I found out that there is no electricity in half of the building. I spent some time reading my book - Hyperion - and then moved upstairs where electricity was fine. That's when I wrote the last FNM's report. After this another student came and our teacher also came. He said that he can give us feedback concerning the last project. Finally I got my feedback and I'm content with it. Now I would fancy the rest of the feedbacks from the rest of the projects.

After class I went to Outpost so I could return the Faeries' deck I played with. I played few games against goblins and kithkins and then was asked to play t2 against someone else. This person was playing B/W tokens. After siding (Infests, fourth Volcanic Fallout and magma sprays) against him I managed to win few times. That made me quite happy. My 'goblins' aren't probably a competitive deck^_^.

At 3pm I had a meeting with a friend of mine who arrived to Prague for few days. It was nice seeing him again and talking to him. We exchanged some news and complained about the financial crisis.

5pm. Martin had to go because he had other appointments. I left for Outpost once again wanting to draft later. We spent some time talking about M10 and the 'new' cards (like Elite vanguard or honor of the pure)...After that we went inside and waited for the registration to begin. At that time I started to feel dizzy and the blood pressure has fallen down to a number that made me feel really crappy. I couldn't move, started to tremble. I started wondering if I get home...because the change in pressure was so fast.

Few minutes later a storm came. But it was just a prelude to what was to come. I felt that something far stronger will come in about an hour or two. I decided not to take part in the draft and leave as soon as possible to get safely home.

I collected all my wits and headed for the bus station. I managed that quite ok. But on the way to Beroun I started to feel worse and worse. I literally crawled back home. The instant I came home the storm burst out in its fullest. Incapable of doing anything I went to bed.

note: I have distinction from CAAD, could probably have one from IM and for the last subject...who knows??? we received no feedback whatsoever from the professor.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Friday" Night Magic

It's been a while (a week) that I decided to go to FNM at Cerny Rytir because it's the only place I could play t2 constructed before the rules changes take place.

This week was a tough one for me (finalizing projects and stuff). On Thursday I stayed in Prague with Squop even though I planned to go home and go to sleep. I had some vegetables as a lunch as I did not feel well and then we headed to Outpost. We also bought gel ball point pens so I could sign cards (which I completely forgot to do! hit me...)

After Squop left I was too tired to do anything. I stayed at Outpost going through few Duelist magazines and eating Hobit's soup in the meantime. In Duelists I was checking MaRo's and Garfields notes and comments about rules. Few sentences made me laugh ...especially this one.

"Richard Garfield initially hoped that Magic rules would be short - the cards themselves containing all necessary information. Players could learn the game details a bit at a time during play. Well, Magic didn't turn out that way."

Anyway this article was about creating a game that would appeal to general audience and would be simple to play ('how do you produce engaging games with short simple rules?'). Magic came out of it even though we all know the rules are not that simple. And in a few weeks time the rules will change to be more simple (damage not going on stack...and um mana burn eliminated and some other stuff).

After this I played Magic with some player there. He had all common WU control so I took my Esper nonsense to play against it. I managed to get 3 sculptors in play with 3 p. strixes and Esperzoa. Too bad that my opponent got 3 mulldrifters and 3 oblivion rings and 2 faith fetters. My removed from game and fettered creatures could not do anything against those few fish with wings^_^. It was quite fun.

A storm came at that time. I felt even worse than when I came to Outpost and decided to stay till the storm goes away. When I was on my way out Medik asked me if I go in the same direction as he does. I did not plan that but I decided to go with him. He told me that he goes to play FNM and I decided to join him under one condition - either I borrow a deck from his team or he gets me some lands so I could play with my deck. He got me a deck.... Faerie's control o_O.

At first I thought that it was just a bad joke. After registering myself and getting the deck in my hands I had to accept the fact I would really play a deck I have no idea how to play.

First round was a torture for me and probably for my opponent to as I took about twice as many rounds to kill him than was necessary. I did not even realize that um mutavault has shapeshifter (or changeling).

I ended up against a dredge deck. I gave up the first game even though I could have somehow killed both Magister Sphinx and the horror that got it to graveyard in the first place. I managed to win the other two games even though in the third one I thought I would lose at one point and would feel really bad about it as I surely had everything on my side to win.

The second match was against 5c deck. LOADS of removal and planeswalkers (Ajani the Vengeant and Nicol Bolas). In the first game my opponent got mana screwed so well after some time I killed him (with path to exiles, oblivion ring and terminate on his hand). In the second game I just couldn't do anything about the planeswalkers except return them to the players hands and try to counterspell them later. Did not really work...
In the last game I finally sided and managed to win (this time counterspelling the planeswalkers and one returning to hand was needed - I drew the right card so I could get rid of the last planeswalker too^_^).

The third round was a catastrophe compared to the first two ones. I managed to make a major mistake not realizing that the goddamn witter blossom is a faerie and lost the game because of it. I could have clearly won but I would have to use my brain in a better way for that. Because of this terrible mistake I gave up on thinking for the rest of the round...and it showed in my play.

I managed to use wrong counterspells that I was left without anything for Wrath of God. But well, that wasn't such a problem ... or such embarrassing situation as the ones I managed previously (laugh at me).

Also managed not to realize that I don't have access to 3 blue mana without biting myself so well um...even though I thought about trying to save myself with cryptic command I miscalculated the situation... anyway I rather not talk about this as I made another completely silly thing earlier.

One game all I could do was play cryptic command tapping opponents creatures. Infest did not decide to come in those 6 cards I managed to draw before I got overrun. Well, what I could do?

Last game was fine except the fact there was nothing I could do to win the game. I just enjoyed it, managed not to do mistakes but still lost.^_^.

Thanks for the tourney guys...
I ended up 8th out of 24. Not that it would say anything.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Magic: The Gathering

Today after almost crying for few hours I decided to leave for Prague and play some Magic. There was an All Common tournament at Outpost so I said why not play and see what is being played. I build a deck out of cards I had on me (so it looked like blightning, incinerate, terminate, hackblade, putrid leech...). I came there to end up last but hoped that I would manage to stand a chance at least a bit so I would see what other players were playing. I managed that. ^_^. In the first round I encountered Stepan with his Faeries^_^ I won the first game somehow.
The second game we both sided but surely for the faeries it was much better. 3/1 rogues were faster than my creatures and I did not have enough terminates/incinerates in my hand to handle them. My opponent also played Call to heel on his own faerie killing my attacking creature and drawing a card. It brought smile to our faces when considering the fact that damages won't go on stack in less then few weeks. But inside my heart it felt completely different. It was a nice memorable moment in the game though. I lost the other two games.

After that I was killed by Stepan's Naya Aggro played by Squop. Wasn't really fun but it showed me that Naya can be fast, hehe. My draw was really bad, Squop managed to get a good draw and killed me much faster than I expected.

After that I was more enraged than anything so I don't really remember anything, I planned to drop but I continued in the tournament nonetheless. I lost everything. Someone showed me that protection from green and red is a good way how to rend my deck helpless^_^ even though I was trying to defend myself and was actually managing that for quite some time. I made few silly mistakes that could actually have a serious impact on the game but I just didn't care about that. I don't know what was wrong with me I had two solutions to the problem even and did not bother playing either one....hmph?

After the tournament I calmed down a bit and was signed up (I wasn't really sure if I want to play, but now I thank Raptor for signing me up and Squop for buying me the boosters) for Alara block draft. My deck consisted of the following.

Relic of Progenitus
2x Esper Cormorans
Glassdust hulk
Fieldmist and whatever other borderpost
Sludge Strider
3x Crystallization (last 4 cards were 3x Crystallization, Grizzly Lotau)
2x Parasitic Strix
Esperzoa (I chose this over Sledgehammer, thought I would regret it later, but I did not play against the player who took it)
Jhessian Zombies and that WU Defender (mana fixing! ^_~)
Faerie Mechanist
2x Architects of will
Windwright mage
3x Ethersworn Shieldmage (+esperzoa? = lovely)
Angel Song
Etherium Sculptor

First match was against a domain deck played by Raptor. He showed me quite soon his Fusion Elemental and in the meantime he was provoking me with his portal lands. I played my first crystallization on fusion elemental. He devoured this creature later though. Behemoth's Sledgehammer (or how it is called I mean the +2/+2 lifelink, trample artifact) ended up on the table and I had really no idea what to do with it. After this I let him create 8 saprolings which were later devoured by some BIG wurm. I did not survive this even though I surely could. But for that I would need to use my brain. My state of being completely depressed and chaotic continued. I even managed to play a card I couldn't legally play^_^ (I usually tap in a way that is wrong for me but this?? ugh...). I lost the other match as well. Lord Malfaegor (spelling?) decided the second game as I was forced to sacrifice all my creatures... *sniff* *sniff* (I met another Malfaegor in the second round)

In my second round I encountered some naya or jund deck. At first I thought I would lose the game as my opening hand looked like this: Crystallization, Crystallization, 3 lands, Borderpost. First creature on the table was Rip Clan Crasher so I decided to use the enchantment on him in my next round. I was afraid that I would later regret this as I was expecting bigger creatures than this. Putrid leech followed but same fate awaited him. I managed to draw some creatures later in the game too even though I really had a mana flood in this match (I got like 6 lands in a row...).

I won the second match somehow too (my flying creatures were hopefully dealing more damage than those of my opponent that were running on the ground hehe).

Third round I again played against Stepan. He drafted some green/red stuff but I did not manage to see what he planned with the deck. Two situations in which he surely wanted to kill me happened.

The first one...

I attacked with all my creatures on the table and attacked, he played Volcanic fallout in defense to get rid of my attackers. Too bad I had another Ethersworn Shieldmage in my hand. (opponent had 8 lives, my creatures would deal 6 damage if one would be blocked - volcanic fallout though made 2 dmg and the six damage was still dealt => game over)

In the second game I had 1 life. My opponent as well. He had the bant infiltrator on the table for some time and I counted that he would kill me in his next round. I thought that everything is lost and considered giving up but still for some reason I drew the last card, looked at it, in a second (a very long time)I realized that the card could actually save me and let me win the game. The drawn card was crystallization^_^. I enchanted the infiltrator and won the second game as well. Best top deck ever.

Well that's about it^_^. I came 3rd and got my hands on Master of Etherium^_^.

When I came back I found that one of my cats decided to taste my Master Transmuter...
RIP Master Mransmuter...
Also my Mulldrifter I left here on my keyboard (actually I left it on my monitor but it fell down) ended up erm...trampled?
I don't care about all the other cards on the table... most of them survived anyway. One thing is good. The cat I could not actually find was actually in my room so it was good that I did not close the door. But on the otherhand...other cats had access to my Magic the gathering mess on my table^_^.

Now it's time to sleep ... it's already the morning...and I can't still imagine how I'm going to finish my Logotypes assignment today...


Status Report

Well, since last Friday I'm in a really bad mood. A depression came, feeling down is not what I need right now at a time when I need to work on assignments and finish them. Tomorrow I need to hand in 3 assignments. I managed to somehow finalize 2 of them. The last one needs to be finished on Monday but after 3 days spend on searching images for my montages I just gave up. Not even my changes on the assignment proved to be of any good. I gave up and left for Prague to compete in All Common tournament in Magic: The Gathering. I build a deck from the cards I had on me at that time and counted to end up last in the tourney. (see later post)

One more week and the first semester of school is over, but I'm pretty nervous about my assignments. With depression like this and yeast starting to show up I can't concentrate and creativity is something I completely lack. I try to do my best but I simply can't do what I would want from me.

At the same time I'm still fighting the feeling I feel about Magic. I play a game and I feel like crying because it reminds me that in few weeks the game will never be the same. The game will change and all I treasured for 14 years will be gone. Now whenever I hear the sentence "damages on stack" I just feel like shedding a tear.

Wish me luck...I really need to submit those three assignments tomorrow and I also need to write a paper for Thursday. As the school system is down the whole weekend I don't even know the topics and I don't even know what is needed for the projects I finalized (that reminds me...I should note this on the Assignment cover sheet).

Also today after being completely angry because of my attempts at some better montages...I started it up In The Groove and played few songs. I played few 9 level songs getting slightly higher results than those on my groovestats. Later I tried some tens (Tension, Know Your Enemy) and some elevens (Infection, Robotix, Xuxa, July). I can still clear the songs no bar but I felt EVERY muscle in my body hurting. It was a fight with my own body and I even could not follow the arrows and concentrate on something like 'Fantastic' or 'Excellent'.

Next week I wish to start playing regularly. But who knows if it will come to it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

mtg is over....

Magic: The Gathering is no longer 'Magic' for me. The game's original concept and flavor are gone and with that Wizards of the Coast just killed it for me.

Since this very day Magic is a trading card game that has a good mechanics and working rules but will never ever be the same for me. They could just rename it to...whatever they please.

The game stayed with me for years and years, helped me overcome many crises and inspired me a lot in many ways and probably taught me quite some stuff. I met many people and was able to start talking to them (outside of the game).

I will never forget one particular Magic: The Gathering story that explained in child's words what is magic and how it is cast and how mana is drawn.

With this I'm saying my (probably 3rd) Good Bye to Magic. But this time it is different. This time I don't see a way out of this mess unless WotC decides to take the changes back and start doing something that would be closer to the original concept of Magic.

Let's go back to Arabian Nights. I'm fine with it. Let's go back to the asian setting(and I don't speak about KAMIGAWA!). Even... creature heavy expansions were fine. Let's do another torment or onslaught. How about horrors/nightmares once again? crap...I thought that after Alara Reborn things would be better.-_-. Now I don't see it coming. Let's see what time brings...but the new wording is like ehm, well...

Whatever anything, just go back to pre-8th edition please...*sniff* Or just create a new game, rename magic or something...just don't take this away.

WotC I never liked you but this time, I truly hate what you've done.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wizards of the Coast's biggest joke of all

Yesterday when I entered Outpost a fellow player told me "the damages won't be put on stack". I was like 'What the hell?'. When I got to a computer I just went to check the rules' changes.

The first chage about mulligans is actually good. It saves time at least. WotC also decided to change some of the terms so they would be more clear. One of the not really good ones is the term "battlefield" instead of in-play zone. Removed from game will be 'exiled', spells will be cast, lands etc will be played and abilities will be activated. All this is quite ok.

Now to the points that made me upset.
Mana Burn is eliminated

Yeah, you read that right. From my point of view there are two reasons why not cross out this rule. One is - mana burn keeps players at least a bit cautious about tapping lands. Also mana burn made a big difference in many games I played even though I have to agree that this is something you don't probably see happen everyday.
The second reason is the flavor. For me Magic: The Gathering is a game that represents a duel of two powerful wizards that cast spells (instants, sorceries) and summons creatures. The wizards start by drawing mana from lands and then casting spells using the mana. If you draw too much it will backfire on them. That's how it works. Too much power is never good. Mana can't just disappear ...

Artifacts spoiled the game, Kamigawa came, Planar Chaos just tried to mock every color's nature, colored artifacts seem just out of place, new artifacts are not even constructs! Anything that is crafted is an artifact---. And now??? Mana burn no longer existing? What the HELL??? O_O
Combat damage does not go on stack

This is the major change that will probably have a great impact on the game. We will have to test the rules and see for ourselves but what I can say now is...
When Sixth Edition came out I was confused, but soon enough I found out that the rules change was a good one. Many new possibilities for the players were open and the difference between a good player and not so good one started to show. Actual skill plays a role. Maybe not so much but it does.

If damages won't go to stack the whole combat is more about "creatures just killing each other". I thought that Magic is about much more than just that. I can just start playing a different TCG...

I don't know I have to see what impact this will have on the game but it seems as step back. Is it to simplify the rules? To make less difference between good players and not so good ones? It seems to me like that even though Magic will have now two different play mechanics - one that is used in combat and one that is used in the rest of the phases.

Here I Rule campaign, Planeswalkers, mythic rares...and now "simplifying of rules". What does that show? WotC needs more money and more players or what?
I will stop my rant here and come back when I try out the rules.
I would like to quote someone's post from the WotC forum as he realy sums it up well.

Dear Wizards,

Long has your name signified the creation of magic, in name as in experience. the magic of starting with homemade rules, doing crazy things with cards that dont make any sense. It was fun. the game was magic. the game still is magic, after 5 years of learning how the major magic community plays the game. Joining local drafts and slowly learning what was what, how things worked, that was magic too. When i started out as a new player, whatever confusion I had was dwarfed by a love of the game, and problems were soon sorted out. It's not as if it is so hard to work out whether playing Phage is different from Dramatic Entrancing it. And even when I first learned how to sac a Sakura Tribe Elder after blocking, or a Mogg Fanatic for 2 damage, it never feels like cheating, it was magic to see the possibilities. those who feel cheated by such a move are likely not to stick with the game. The rest of us will embrace it and apply it. Why cater to those with less love of the game than the rest of us?

Changing the names of the fields will be pointless and annoying. Another post mentioned that doing this will make it harder to teach new-comers (as with exile). As many have expressed, it seems as if these changes are focused on helping newcomers, so this change seems counter productive. removing mana burn is also pointless, creating a major over-powering of many cards designed with mana burn as a drawback. And removing the stacking of combat damage is destructive, not constructive. it completely eliminates the power, the point of Sakura Tribe Elder and Mogg Fanatic, with a major reduction of power in the more recent Thopter Foundry.

I doubt anyone will ever read this post, as it is buried deep in a fourty something page forum, but the simple fact that the forum runs so deep gives me hope. will we see change? i kinda doubt it. It seems as though the immovable rock of magic has been struck by the unstoppable force of consumerism. As very lucid person stated, planeswalkers, mythic rares and now this is is enough to force his quitting the game. if the changes go through, I expect both a large complaint and a mass exodus. this will probably lead to change, which hopefully will attract players back. And we'll all be stuck with this one weird set marked M10 with funny text.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Drawing - Liliana Vess

I decided to draw a fast sketch of Liliana and see if she would end up better than my hand drawn Jace. After some time Vess seemed to be actually good looking compared to Jace so I continued with my messy strokes and kind of "finished" it. With finishing I mean just adding enough colors and hiding most of the mess underneath different colors^_^.