Saturday, July 17, 2010

UB Control...

We are trying to figure out some new decks for the new T2 constructed. Yeah, we know that Scars of Mirrodin can change a lot of things but we have what to do and it is something we like to do.

EDIT: Well, as it seems counterspells are not so good as they are on extended. Mana Leak does not really work here, cancel can help but it's nothing awesome.

This deck would need a fast removal for cards like birds of paradise and lotus cobra as these can mean serious problems later. I added Jace's Ingenuity twice and 4x smother. But still this deck is winning with Jace or Titan but it's a really bad deck right now. I wish something like this would be playable with changes but I would like to stay in these colors. Why white has to be so powerful?

UB Control
3x Brittle Effigy
2x Grave Titan
3x Cancel
3x Mana Leak
3x Gatekeeper
4x Consuming Vapors
4x Sea Gate Oracle
4x Jace the Mindsculptor
4x Abyssal Persecutor
4x Spreading Seas
4x Drowned Catacomb
4x Creeping Tar Pit
1x Jwari Refuge
3x Mystifying Maze
Islands and Swamps

Friday, July 16, 2010


I started to think about a deck for our next Extended casual tournament and I wanted to try a BR discard deck now that we have "megrim" for 1B and drawing cards in form of Temple Bell. Dark Tutelage also caught my eye and I wanted to try it.

BR Discard
4x Liliana's Caress
4x Rotting Rats
4x Liliana's Specter
4x Blightning
4x Burning Inquiry
2x Temple Bell
2x Dark Tutelage
4x Lightning Bolt (not sure of this)
3x Terminate
3x Sign in Blood
3x Underworld Dreams (antijace^^ but well not sure of this card yet)/3x Nyxathid (usually does nothing...)
2x Earthquake (not sure about MD)
As for lands I have 4x Dragonskull summit and 4x Graven Cairns. Lavaclaw reaches seems to be slowing me down a lot. But I can try to give it a second chance.

We will see what this deck can do and what it needs more and what less (if I continue playing with it).

What is in consideration...

Inquisition of Kozilek
more card draw
leyline of the void
or even megrim or two (forget this)?

hm suffer the past does not seem bad^_^ either.

Monday, July 12, 2010

M11 Prerelease

On Saturday I participated in our local preview tournament. I was looking forward to it. I thought that I could open something nice.

In my first booster I opened a green leyline what a surprise. I continued in opening and got Elvish Archdruid. Nice card but definitely not for sealed deck. Third booster did not bring anything better. In the fourth one I opened to my surprise Angelic Arbiter. Nice card but well with so many doom blades, assassinates removal that card is not such a bomb. In the last two boosters I opened Brittle Effigy and Mystifying Maze^_^. I was happy to get those.

I went through my cards and I liked black, blue and red. White wasn't that bad either as I had three removal in it and flyers + arbiter. But even that did not make me want to play it. I chose to play blue and black. I got some aether adepts, air servant, phantom beast, some counter spells and preordain, foresee and even jace's card draw.

In round one I played against bw deck. With my blue spells I was slowing down my opponent till the point I could play something dangerous myself. I wasn't lucky in drawing a swamp card though so I died when I ran out of blue spells. In game two the same fate was awaiting my opponent. It was a sad game. In the third game we had lots of fun with my Air Servant. I played him for the first time expecting it to be killed. It got killed, so I played gravedigger and taking it back to my hand. My opponent played Mind Rot though. I couldn't counter that and discarded that card once again. My opponent played Rise from the grave and reanimated my poor Servant. The card on my hand was Aether Adept. So after my opponent let me play I played it targeting once again my Servant. I got it back and played it. With this card in play I killed my opponent.

In round 2 I played against quite fast BR aggro. I had to deal with Goblin Balloon Brigade, Bloodthorne Vampire + Reassembling Skeleton and 3/3 Defender that can fly and lose defender. That was too much for my blue spells. I decided to switch to red. I knew that my opponent played cards like Rotting Legion and Fire Servant which are much slower than mine. My curve ends with 4 if I won't count Lava Axe and Fireballs.
I put that in and beat my opponent so fast that he did not even know what to do. I have to admit that I was unfair with Brittle Effigy. This removal held my opponent at bay for some time and that's all I needed. Game 3 was even faster.

For round three I was paired against some person having 2:0 as well. Nothing to be surprised about...but he looked pretty arrogant and the look in his eyes was pretty uncomfortable and he was looking at me in disbelief. Surprised that a girl can have 2:0? No matter what we started playing. On turn one I had to show him my hand. He discarded Volcanic Strength as that was the only non creature, nonland card. He played Cudgel Troll later and Nightwing Shade I played Prodigal Pyromancer hoping to be able to kill both creatures with my Fireball later. He got me under 10 life but he tapped out eventually to play something. I played fireball targeting his two creatures dealing 2 damages two each. Pyromancer dealt the last damage to the this-turn-not-regenerating Troll. After this I finally started attacking.
The second game was similar. Early he played Duress. I showed him my opening hand - Pyroclasm, Fireball, Doomblade and some lands. He discarded Fireball. I did not play anything till he played Cudgel Troll. On the following turn he played Howling Banshee. I killed his Troll then and turn later I killed the banshee as well. After that it was my turn to be attacking with Vulshock Berserker.

Round four was quick. I was paired down as I already played with the rest of the people (and I was the only one having 3:0). I mulled to 5 having only one land and died as I couldn't draw more lands. In game two I got stuck at two lands and couldn't draw more. Not funny. My secondary points went down. Now my "fate" was in Lukas' and Kuba's hands. Lukas winning the match would mean 3rd place for me, Kuba winning would mean me being first. I had more faith in Lukas but in the end it was him who lost the last game and I came up first.

2x Quag Sickness
1x Doom Blade
1x Howling Banshee
1x Mind Rot
1x Bog Raiders
1x Barony Vampire
1x Gravedigger
1x Reassembling Skeleton
1x Liliana's Specter
2x Prodigal Pyromancer
1x Goblin Piker
1x Goblin Balloon Brigade
1x Vulshok Berserker
1x Fiery Hellhound
1x Pyroclasm
1x Chandra's Outrage
1x Act of Treason
1x Fireball
1x Lava Axe
1x Volcanic Strength
1x Brittle Effigy
1x Mystifying Maze

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gnome Warlock

A second deck... Dizdemona my pinky purple Warlock...

Allies: 36
1x Infernal
4x Grimdron
4x Parvink
3x Sarmoth
3x Moira Darkheart
3x Tristan Rapidstrike
2x Acolyte Demia
3x Apprentice Tap

Abilities and Equipments: 17
4x Steal Essence
4x Shadowbolt
4x Life Tap
3x Vanquish
2x Sever the cord

Quests and Locations: 17
4x Chasing A-Me 01
4x Missing Diplomate
4x Kibler's Exotic Pets
2x In Dreams
3x Your fortune Awaits you

Tauren Shaman

I bought some cards from Azeroth so here's my first deck...It will need some other cards to please me but well let's say it's deck no.1

Grennan Stormspeaker
3x Zy'Lah Manslayer
2x Ophelia Burrows
3x Zygore Bladebreaker
4x Taz'Dingo
4x Hierophant Caydem
3x Kulan Earthguard

Abilities and Equipments
3x Annihilator
4x Searing Totem
2x Draconian Deflector
1x Fist of Mukoa
3x Ghost Wolf
4x Frost Shock
3x Chain Lightning
3x Vanquish

Quests and Locations
4x Chasing A-Me 01
3x Enemies Old and New
4x Torek's Assault
3x In Dreams
2x Sunken Treasure
1x Your fortune Awaits you

Friday, July 9, 2010

Orc Shaman

I played WoW TCG and I started wandering what my own deck should look like. I tried playing several decks but they seem unfinished or being badly build. I sat down to think about a deck that I would consider playable.

I'm not really sure what to do with the quests. I need to try what the deck needs and I also don't know what the number of the quests should be. I would say 16 should be fine, this deck is quite fast but still needs to drip a 6 drop. So well..let's say 15.

I don't know if band of the inevitable is good thing. The card is really good and good against warriors I mostly played, but is it worth playing against other decks? probably yes, each class uses items/equipment of some sort I guess.

Now I need to find someone to play with and try it out.

Shalu Stormshatter
3x Rehgar Earthfury
4x Kazamon Steelskin
4x Furious Kalla
4x Kagella Shadowmark
3x Kagra of the Crossroads
3x Ghank
4x Bloodsoul

Abilities and Equipments
2x Storm Shock
4x Fire Elemental Totem
4x Grounding Totem
4x Lightning Arc
3x Quickstrider Moccasins
3x Band of the inevitable

Quests and Locations
4x Orgrimar
3x Uncatalogued Species
3x Torek's Assault
3x Your Fortune Awaits you
2x Gahz'ridian

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MtG: Duels of the Planeswalkers

There were few people that came to our store and were asking for Duels of the Planeswalkers. I had to tell them that I have no idea about the game, decks whatsoever. Yesterday I decided to try the game out. I've already played it several times as you could try it at the last GPs or other big events organized by WotC. But when I was playing it on Xbox (sitting on a huge green sofa and looking at a big LCD screen) the game was rather confusing and boring. I had difficulties with realizing what cards are played and I was confused about the comtrols. It was better to take out my deck and catch an opponent IRL.

I downloaded the game and had few difficulties running it. First I managed to create a new account on steam (ten minutes later realizing that stsung account is actually mine as I used that one for Counter Strike) and later I managed to run the game.

The aspect ratio of the few first screen was wrong and I was wondering if I will have to deal with other problems but hopefully the game loaded just fine and I could start playing it.

So if you have no idea what the game is about. It's a Magic: The Gathering card game simulation. So don't expect an action game or something.
The simulation is not complete as it does many things for you automatically. You don't need to shuffle your library, draw a card, search your library etc. There are things you can set differently (for example browsing your entire library - otherwise it will let you browse only the relevant cards you are looking for). This game was first released on Xbox and now is available on PC via steam. It costs 9EUR and there is an expansion set available for another 3 EUR.

The graphics and the user interface is nice, the music is nice as well and the sounds used during play are not that disturbing as those in MTGO (the official Online version of Magic). Each spell and action has an animation which is quite ok but it can get long (hopefully you can skip the combat ones).

When the game fully loaded I clicked on something saying that I play Magic for a long time and I was ready to go. I started a campaign and I was shown a list with Planeswalkers' names. I chose to play the first 'battle' against Chandra. I chose to play with a red deck hoping for some burn and fast creatures. During the first game I tried to figure out how to operate the game. It came to me quite easily even though there are things I did not figure out myself without checking the controls in the settings later.

With arrows you can move between permanents on the table and your hand. Enter is used for confirming or playing spells. A tab key is used to skip phases/steps. Whenever you are given priority you can press spacebar to stop the timer and play what you need or just play it right away if you are fast enough (the cards you can play are highlighted in blue). Sometimes I managed to 'miss play' or choose a wrong target several times because of not stopping the timer and having the automatic skipping of steps/phases turned on.

This takes me to the settings. When I played my first game I was given tips like "Flying means that a creature with flying cannot be blocked by creatures without it" or something like that. This is slowing you down if you already know this so you can turn it off. Also the computer just skipped the rest of your turn if it "knew" that you can't play anything. This way you got from the first main phase directly to your opponents one which was confusing me. There was also some weird automatic targeting and resolving spells. That's why I went into settings and tried to figure out if I can make this MANUAL or not. Hopefully you can turn all these settings off. But than it also means more clicking and more pressing of the tab key^^. But at least you have control over the game (more than before). But it prevents you from resolving Holy Day at a wrong time^^.

As I mentioned before the game does some things for you. What is quite annoying is that it taps lands for you, sometimes it will tap wrong lands. For example in one of the challenges I wanted to play one card for GG, one card for G and one for 2B. I played the black one first and it tapped a forest and two swamps which resulted in me not having three forests untapped. So if you already know what you are going to play during the whole round you should count with this as well.

Now to deckbuilding and computer AI. The game has certain kind of preconstructed decks with which it plays. You have some of the decks at your disposal. The decks are rather simple. One of the more sophisticated decks is this one for example...

Ajani Goldmane
3x Bull Ceredon
1x Brion Stoutarm
2x Farhaven Elf
3x Grizzly Bears
2x Knight of the Skyward Eye
3x Rip-Clan Crasher
3x Tundra Wolves
3x Wooly Thoctar

2x Blaze
2x Incinerate
2x Naturalize
4x Pacifism
4x Rampant Growth
1x Sangrite Surge
1x Wild Swing
+24 lands

A magic player would expect that after unlocking some cards (which you can do, each battle won unlocks one card) he or she would be able to change the decklist. Well, he's not and that's probably because of the AI (it would not know how to play against your own decks). What you can do though is add the unlocked cards to your deck. Each deck can have 20 additional cards that can be added. The game adds lands in the 3:2 ratio automatically. But I don't really feel like playing with a deck that consists of 100 cards or something...

I don't know how the AI works and I don't know if each duel in the campaign has different AI or not (in that case it would only depend on the decks). I got just up to Jace with Elspeth's Wings of something deck. I have to say that I had real troubles beating Liliana. She always played some drudge skeletons early in the game then added megrim and underworld dreams. She played mind rot when I really needed to keep my cards and added ravenous rats to all that. When my creatures were on the table flying or with first strike she just gave them +0/-2 and I was doomed. If I even managed to get her life total under 10 she played consume spirit. Just cool...

I beat her after I have no idea how many mulligans - my winning hand was Youthful Knight, Suntail Hawk and 2 plains. During the game I managed to draw another Knight and played it. All of the creatures managed to do some damage. I played pacifism on Drudge Skeletons and I forced Liliana to block with her 2/1 imps and rats that hopefully just died because of first strike damage. Liliana played Megrim and Underworld dreams. Having 6 lands at that time. Later she forced me to discard 2x Angel of Mercy, 2x Holy day and I was slowly losing life because of my draws. She played more discard spells than usually and that was her doom. I was afraid of Consume Spirit but she did not draw it. She finally got 0 cards on her hand and I happily attacked for 5 with a blessed Knight (angelic blessing) being at 1 life and having 3 lands in play. (I was waiting for the 3rd land for AGES. I had the last chance to top deck a land card and I did not even expect to draw it...dreams would kill me next time I would draw. but the land card came^_^)

If you are tired with dueling you can go to challenges and solve the puzzles. You are given a situation and you have to win in that round except the last challenge (where you take two rounds to beat your opponent). There is one challenge we had difficulties with (and the last one as well, but that was just because we forgot what Condemn does...otherwise the last challenge is simple). The challenges are quite fun. I want more of these^^. Even though there are some challenges that we solved in a way that we would not really be trying in real game because we would expect that our opponent would do something else than what the AI in the game does. Also a deck with 5 condemns is pretty suspicious... (and the challenges have more solutions)

Well, that's about it I guess. Have fun with the game both offline and online.

EDIT: One more it possible to do something during upkeep??? Because there's Razormane Masticore in one of the decks does it even trigger in the game? ...