Monday, April 30, 2012

Tamiyo, the Moon Sage

This beautiful lady from Kamigawa came to Innistrad to study the Moon and the first time I saw her I thought that she would end up being the new Jace. But well in what deck I'd like to play her?

When thinking with what cards she's good the first that came in mind was Gideon. Also playing her early with swept board can mean GG. But well, what walkers can protect Tamiyo if she can't do it herself? We have Sorin, Lord of Innistrad and Garruk Relentless. These walkers are good enough to protect our lady. This probably shows what colors I'd like to try either Esper (UW/UB) or Bant (UGx).

Esper version has access to Forbidden Alchemy flashback and Lingering souls flashback and instant removal in black color.
Go For the Throat/Doom Blade for the most annoying creatures, Tragic Slip (cool with Snappy^^) and occassional Tribute to Hunger that hopefully hits Thrun but still Phantasmal Image is better for this. Curse of Death's hold can be a choice as well and if the little critters from AVR will be played this card will still be viable.

If people will like Cavern of Souls and more 'tribaly' decks will be around it's of no use to play counterspells like mana leak. I expect more walkers to be played and I would definately find use for 1 negate main deck either way. But we will see, for the time being Oblivion Ring will be the card I want till the field kind of settles down. (Probably Terminus can deal with the threats as well)

Esper Superfriends

Green has access primarily to Garruk and acceleration (Mana Dorks or ramp) come to mind as well. With bit of green we can play our new time walk for its normal cost or prepare for it with Ponder for example. I've been experimenting with Wolf Run for quite some time and I wonder what Tamiyo could do in such a deck but I'm not convinced that she would be that good in it. The following list seems completely crazy. Of course this list would run Kessig Wolf Run + 2 sources of red (and Inkmoth Nexi).

URr Wolf Run

Ascension the Game port for iOS

My post about the game - if you don't know it already

I read on Facebook that I can get this game for 0.99USD so I grabbed an iPad and tried to buy it via the Apple Store. I have to admit that there was a slight problem with getting it. I don't know why but it was always redirecting me to itunes instead of being downloaded right away. After few minutes of trying to download (as it was already payed for) it I was finally rewarded with 'Ascension Downloaded' message.

I played a game and tried to see how it works. I was difficult for me at first to see and realize what my opponent bought as the animation was too fast for me. When it was my turn I played my cards and bought a card. I wanted to beat cultist, but I wasn't awarded a VP. Later I found out that I have to either drag the card to Void or tap on 'defeat'.

The interface is nice, but it took me a while to figure out that I have to activate my constructs and that I need to be dragging cards to the right places (my deck, discard and void). But I guess Apple product users are used to this. I'm not. Anyway it looks awesome and Round counter is good.

I encountered one problem though. Sometimes I got a wrong number of Honor points when there were two sources giving you VPs (I had Voidthirster in play). Also when leaving the game all the settings you set are reset for some reason. Online play is more like playing by mail, so I discarded this idea at all. I think that the game could use some chat window. It's at least something I miss and talking to my opponents is something I usually need. It happened to me many times while playing Magic that I needed to say something.

On game screen there is 'play all' button which will put all the cards 'on stack' and resolve them. It's good when your hand looks like 'mystic, apprentice, apprentice, militia, militia'. It just counts the runes and power for you and you can see what you can buy - it is highlighted in green. When there is something you have to do or choose a target it will let you go through it step by step (if you are banishing from two different areas for example) which is nice, but well in such games it is necessary. What is not mandatory and has the 'may' in its wording you have to do yourself and it won't be reminding you. ^^

Rating: 4.5/5

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Avacyn Restored Prerelease

I started writing an article about Avacyn Restored and limited but I was unable to finish it as I had so much work because of the prerelease and school. So my first post about Avacyn Restored will be from the tournament.

We had 40 people who registered and only one person from those registered couldn't come. We started the tournament with 39 people or at least that's what I and reporter thought.

After I managed to tell people to sit down and calm down I distributed boosters, checklists and the achievement cards. The 'High-five someone who controls a legendary peranent' was soon the most favorite achievement. Those who high-fived got the chance to get this achievement because of Sigarda - that's also a card I opened. Lukas Sevcik was the one who received my pool.

When I got my pool I was convinced that the upcoming 6 rounds will be a torture. It seems that the set is proaggro and that there's not so many tricks and funny cards to play. The Soulbond mechanic is nice for sure...but hey why does it seem to me that Naya Humans is the best you can get?

I went through my cards and saw few flyers in white and the 'hexproof' and 'ophidian' humans. But when I put that together I got 10 cards and no bomb in it. So I continued going through black and red. Black had twice Death Wind, Soul Cage and Maalfeld Twins but that wasn't convincing. Red on the other hand had Havengul Vampire, Thunderbolt and some lancers. Nothing awesome but 5 humans and soulbond abilities. In green I had Craterhoof Behemoth and Champion of Lambholt. Another creature with similar ability was Howlgeist. I hoped for some borderland rangers and some cheap creatures like Timberland Guide. There was nothing that would help me look for and ramp for (my mythic) but Timberland Guide was good anyway, especially with Champion of Lambhold. In artifacts I got Moonsilver Spear and I was ready to play it even though I still think that there could be better cards than that.

Round 1
In round one I was surprised by Taskmaster on T3 and was convinced that this 4/3 flyer would kil me. But I top decked Moonsilver Spear and actually had a creature I could equip it to. So I attacked died, but produced a 4/4 Angel. Yay, my first achievement. I continued attacking and kept always an angel and some other blocker so I wouldn't die. In the second game I had to deal with Lifelink 2/4 angel and Slayer's Stronghold. My creatures except few weren't big enough to be able to damage race 4/4 Lifelink creature. In the end though I was able to win (my moonsilver spear was destroyed).

Round 2
White/Red humans with black this time. In the first game it was Moonsilver Spear that shined as my opponent did not have an answer to that main deck and messed up a part of the game where he could get two extra rounds to be able to deal with the equipment. In the second game I had to deal with lifelink. But still I got Champion of Lambhold early and I still had hand full of creatures. So it was a quick game. I realized that my deck does not like lifelink at all. One creature with power 2 and lifelink was a limit. Three creatures with lifelink, that was way too much.

Round 3
Petr Kaminek and his UW flyers, 3/1 unblockable, some card draw, bounce and white decree (um entreat the angels I mean). Lifelink once again and I was really fed up with that. In the second game what really ruined my game was Stolen Goods. The card hit Havengul Vampire. The vampire became too big for my creatures and I couldn't deal with it.

Round 4
Black/Red were the colors. Early Exterminator that I couldn't block with my lovely recluse. The vampire was big enough to kill any creature I would play so I couldn't do much with that. One of my games was really fast though. One pair of creatures dealt some damage as they were quite small, but then they managed to hit for 8 and the turn for 8 as well as I had twice Joint Assault in my hand. I was hoping that my opponent wouldn't expect that (I mulled to fived in that game). In the last game my opponent kept a hand with 2 black sources and no red one. He was unable to play anything and was beaten by my creatures.
During this round the last seal on Helvault was broken.

Round 5
UWR. It was nice to see blue once again. This was the first player that played 1/4 and 0/4 creatures against me. I was quite taken aback and my litlle creatures could just watch the wall. When I finally managed to get enough power to beat through I was shown Peel From Reality. Anyway I was drawing lands (and cards that were put on top of my library) all the time and I was beginning to feel the possibility of me playing my mythic rare - Craterhoof Behemoth. After drawing seven lands straight my opponent finally tapped out and I played this big creature and attacking for 29. It did not kill him that turn, but few turns later bounced Howlgeist did the job. Actually he needed a bit of help from Timberland Guide so I would deal remaining 5 damage instead of 4.

Round 6
This was more or less mirror. He played Naya humans and had Bonfire of the Damned which swept the bord on T3 or so. My little creatures were dead I had no other creature to which I could equip Moonsilver Spear. In the second game we played creatures and more creatures, dealing some damage and forcing opponent to block but in the end I miscalculated (twice) and lost (due to missed trigger and whatnot). As there was no 6:0 record and I was the only one playing against all those who ended up 1,2 and 3 I could have won the whole event.^_^. Everyone wanted something from me and was asking me questions and I couldn't concentrate on the game - and this kind of game is hard for me even if I actually can concentrate. I can't play a creature deck against another heavy creature deck, I just get lost.

After last table finished playing I said to the winner that he can and should open the Helvault so we can share what's inside. He opened it and took out oversized legendary creature cards, Angel/Demon tokens and dice. I then gave out the prized and let everyone take something from the vault.

In overall the tournament was a success. We had a full store, people were happy, calm and enjoying themselves. The games I played were friendly and I'm thankful for that as I have to admit ... I don't like Avacyn Restored. It's yet another ISD. Afterall it wasn't so bad for me but still I don't like the format.

RG aggro
2 Timberland Guide
1 Druid's Familiar
1 Gloomwidow
2 Hanweir Lancer
1 Somberwald Vigilante
2 Joint Assault
1 Champion of Lambholt
1 Thunderbolt
1 Havengul Vampire
1 Moonsilver Spear
1 Wandering Wolf
2 Howlgeist
1 Diregraf Escort
1 Stonewright
1 Nightshade Peddler
1 Nettle Swine
1 Riot Ringleader
1 Craterhoof Behemoth

(I'll add some photos when I download them)

I broke one of the seals on our Helvault. All my achievements I managed were:
  • Destroy a Demon an opponent controls
  • Put an Angel or Demon creature token on to the battlefield
  • Control three or more creatures with flying (yay 4/4 tokens^^)
  • High-five someone who controls a legendary permanent (Sigarda)
  • Cast a mythic rare card (I thought I wouldn't be able to achieve this, but well 29 damage via it was quite impressive)
  • Win a match
  • Quote the flavor text of a card while playing it ('So the vampires like hot blood, do they? Let's see how they handle ours.')
  • Force an opponent to sacrifice a creature
  • Control three or more humans
  • Control four or more paired creatures using soulbond - sometimes I did not even have any targets left!
  • Attack with five or more creatures in one turn - yay my army of 1/1 creatures attacking! (unblockable from the Champion)

But to be honest my biggest achievemet of the day was - staying awake. Now I need to tidy up and clean the store...*yawn*. Next madness begins in 10 hours.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Second Chance Prague 2011

On the date which was bad for many reasons we played in Kotei and Second Chance Event in Prague 2011. The first day was the worst tournament ever in my life and a post about cheating followed later (Cheating Some General Rant). Cheating wasn't the only issue. It seems that I did not write a report from the tournament and that's a good thing or at least I thought it better. For the tournament I chose LSC Honor deck which wasn't that good anymore, especially when the filed was full of Dishonor decks and out of those 6 or how many I encountered 5 and the last was a mirror match that I managed to lose even though I win the dice roll and was on the play (kinda does not apply in this game, but well I was the starting player). There were several players that were intentionally cheating and calling a judge was of no use to me either. Judge was giving out wrong rulings and did not care about stalling or missed triggers. I lost a game because of this and I was seriously angry. I was enraged when I played against another player who can't play anything well. But as it was a bad match up I lost and he was commenting my plays and was trying to tell me that doing that or that won't help even though his thoughts were completely wrong and I was thinking about something completely else. I knew I could hardly win. I managed not to kill him, left Cerny Rytir and kicked the outside wall several times surprising nearby smokers. Cool with the record of 0:4 at that time because of twice idiot judge and once because of bad matchup I just couldn't be calm. It was no fun. I did not check 'drop' so I continued. I played against a friend of mine who let me win a game. I was gaining honor fast but I was unable to deal with all Jutsushis and one single Ambush. In the last round I played against another LSC player who was kind, nice and played well. A pity that his record was 1:5, he struggled with the same problem as me.

The second day started much better. I decided to play DGC and hoped to win at least one game. Everything was going ok. I played with the players from Top 8 of the main event and the games were tense and fun. On the photo above you can see that I truly played Mantis. I was playing at the top tables and was enjoying the tournament but then something unexpected happened. There were new pairings. And then... there were once again new pairings but these this time sent me across the room, I was like WTF? More people were trying to figure out what happened. We were told to wait and not start to play. Few moments later we were allowed to play - something was seriously wrong.

I lost the game and everything went downhill for me.

That's about it. Remembering the event is hard. Wish I could forget it - but a year later photos from the event are up. And few photos actually have me in them. I thought that I would never write about these events but I had to at least like this. It was too much. The organizator does not deserve anything. All those people who made the event possible should be at least thanked or mentioned. But neither happened. Due to several lucky coincidences the tournament was actually started and finished.

Never again. (This wasn't the only issue that bothered me, there were many other that preceded and that followed)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Grixis Control

Today it was time to test my new deck - Grixis Control. I wasn't sure if I want to try it and was considering sleeving Wolf Run once again but then I just let it go. I grabbed some cards that could come handy and put them into my side board, registered all the people and printed pairings for the first round. In the first game I played I had the chance to play against monored goblins. I wanted to know how my deck would fare against something like that.

Round 0 - Goblins
Goblin Fireslinger, followed by Berserker. I killed Berserker and waited for something else. I played Liliana of the Veil and let us discard a card. Hellrider came and hit me Liliana for 4, the remaining damage was dealt to me. I killed Hellrider with Incinerate next turn and left the Goblin there. I played Grave Titan afterwards. More creatures on the other side -> whipflare -> win. Second game was similar to the previous one. Liliana of the Veil and one sweeper was enough. Grave Titan did the job once again.

Round 1 - BR Aggro
In the first game Grim Lavamancer and one more 1/1 creature was dealing some damage. On T4 Falkenrath Aristocrat resolved and I was unable to deal with her. I tried playing Galvanic Blast turn later, but was hit with Brimstone Volley. Turn later I tried Geistflame which killed her and I was once again hit hard with another burn spell. I was at 4 at that time and I tried to kill my opponent with a Grave Titan. My opponent had 1 card in hand (Shock) and drew a second one, beating me in the first game.

+1 Whipflare
+1 Batterskull
+1 Negate
+1 Flashfreeze
+1 Wurmcoil Engine

In the second game it was once again 'Lavamancer aggro' instead of Noble thus giving me some time. I was beaten down to 3 life though anyway. I tried Grave Titan once again. Two turns from a win but one card from a lost game. I won^_^

Third game was dominated by my Batterskull and Wurmcoil Engine.

Round 2 - RDW
In the first game I was lucky because my opponent decided to deal with Liliana of the Veil killing her with two cards. This was crucial for me as he did not manage to deal the remaining four damages to me. He knew this was a mistake and was aware of that but still did it. This was good for me as I could hope for a win. I won the first game. After sideboarding (more or less the same as for previous round) I mulled to 2 red sources and Slagstorm. My ratched bombs were destroyed, but I also had Ancient Grudge in my hand and destroyed the two Shrines with it. Liliana of the Veil got me again rid of 3 cards and won me the game. Who would expect that?

Round 3 - Monowhite Humans
I feared this match up as I knew Angelic Destiny and Hero of Bladehold are cards I get hardly rid of. I miracolously managed to win the first game as I was able to deal with Crusaders but I wasn't looking forward to the second game.

+1 Doom Blade
+1 Whipflare
+2 Curse of Death's Hold
+1 Negate

I wanted some removal for the creature that would get Angelic Destiny on and was wondering if a Sword wouldn't hit me instead of Angelic Destiny. I played Ratchet Bomb trying to get it to 4, but it was sent to oblivion and Hero of Bladehold followed. I had no counterspell nor removal but I could possible block Hero with Snapcaster and flashback Galvanic blast. Too bad though that my opponent played Angelic Destiny. I tried playing Forbidden Alchemy which was my only hope but there was nothing that could solve the problem. I died two turns later.

In the third game I did not drew source of blue once again and wasn't able to get more than 4 lands. I managed to stay alive for a long time and got rid of Doomed Travelers, Champion of the Parish and one Mirran Crusader. In order to do that I played 2 Olivia Voldaren and 1 Ratchet Bomb. I could let the bomb go to 3 though and had to destroy it with 2 counters taking down two Honor of the Pures and giving me the chance of killing all the other creatures except Mirran Crusader. I blasted the crusader but another one followed.

Round 4 - RDW
I started by mulling to 5 or something as I did not have lands nor a sweeper (or removal whatsoever). I expected T1 Noble and turn two Berserker. But in the end it was T2 Shrine and another Shrine followed later. I was unable to counter that as I did not have any source of blue. My only chance of getting rid of this was playing Ratchet bomb and hoping that I would destroy it earlier than my opponent manages to kill me with it. I drew the bomb but when I destroyed it the Shrine was at 8 counters. Koth came afterwards and I was unable to deal with him as I still did not have a source of blue (actually I had but it just came into play tapped)

Game 2 I sided in

+1 Whipflare
+1 Batterskull
+2 Ancient Grudge
+1 Negate
+1 Flashfreeze
+1 Copperline Gorge
+1 Wurmcoil Engine

In the second turn I was overwhelmed by little creatures and this time it wasn't Grim Lavamancer but Stromkirk Noble on T1 followed by other one drops creatures. I played Whipflare getting rid of them. That slowed my opponent a lot and I could develop my mana base. In between he played red shrine and I destroyed it with Ancient Grudge (having already Copperline Gorge in play for flashback). Koth came and tried his best with +1 ability. I then played Batterskull but my opponent did not have a response to that and I killed Koth with it. Later the germ died and I played Wurmcoil Engine having counterspell to back it up (I did not want any Act of Treason or Act of Aggression). This was too much for my opponent and he gave up. In game three I was unable to get second red for a while but when I got it I could sweep the board and be alive. Koth came. Mountains started to attack me, I killed each of them and my opponent was at 2 lands while I had 6. I played two snapcaster mages in order to at least have one that could attack Koth and hopefully kill him. One Snapcaster Mage died but the other one was capable of killing the red 'walker. Later in the game I had all I needed and won.

Grixis Control

After this tournament I would do slight changes.

-1 Mana Leak
-1 Olivia Voldaren
-1 Slagstorm

I'm not really sure what I would put in though (probably +1 Forbidden Alchemy). I'll give the mana base another chance next week. I was mulliganing quite a lot but majority of the games I won were when I mulled to 5. Desperate Ravings was working wonders and after this tournament I wouldn't put it away. Hopefully next time I'll play against other decks than monored or primarily red decks. I wanted to test my deck against different types of deck but unfortunately I wasn't given the chance - blame the Wizards Event Reporter^_^

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wolf Run Ramp

Yesterday I decided to unsleeve my deck and say it good bye but as I spent quite some time playing it I would like to share some information or feelings about it. Before when it was primarily me playing in standard tournaments now and then I played Solar Flare or Esper Control. This deck faired well and there was nothing I would like to change about it. My boyfriend after giving up on L5R decided to go back to Magic. I offered him that he could use my cards and that was the end of my Esper Control. My color choices were somewhere in Green + something. So I started with Wolf Run Red. It wasn't my build whatsoever. Probably Kibler's (Actually I had Iyanaga's deck sleeved up for testing purposes and from there I moved on). Anyway I made few changes to it and just tried playing with it.

Wolf Run Ravager ver. 2
3 Huntmaster of the Fells
3 Inferno Titan
4 Primeval Titan
3 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Thrun, the Last Troll
1 Acidic Slime
Sorcery [11]
4 Rampant Growth
4 Slagstorm
1 Whipflare
2 Green Sun's Zenith
Instant [4]
4 Galvanic Blast
Artifact [4]
4 Sphere of the Suns
Land [25]
4 Copperline Gorge
5 Forest
4 Inkmoth Nexus
3 Kessig Wolf Run
5 Mountain
4 Rootbound Crag

First tournament I encountered RDW that killed me even after I played all my Huntmasters in the second game. I was unable to draw fourth land and the Sphere was depleted. In the third game I tried to survive and was later in the game killed by my own flipped Huntmaster. The secong game I lost was against Mono Green with Dungrove Elder. I managed to get rid of the first one, but I was unable to deal with the one that followed and I wasn't simply fast enough. I won the remaining 3 games but playing the deck did not feel right in any way.

I found out that being beaten by controls is not what I want and that the deck can't be played as a control in any way (my usual problem). My results were usually 2:2 or 3:3 and I did not like the deck at all. Time for a change came and the numbers of players playing this deck was thinning anyway. I discarded red and added white. I needed something that would help me fight control decks and a bit more against zombies and RDW. White has a very nice card - White Sun's Zenith and more control cards like Gideon. The removal side was Ratched Bomb for earlier threats, tokens and annoying planeswalkers and Day of Judgment. For fast decks Timely Reinforcements were enough and even White Sun's Zenith was capable of stopping aggro decks sometimes. I played 2 copies of White Sun's Zenith and I did not regret that.

Wolf Run White
Creature [12]
1 Acidic Slime
1 Birds of Paradise
4 Primeval Titan
4 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Thrun, the Last Troll
1 Huntmaster of the Fells
Sorcery [10]
3 Day of Judgment
3 Green Sun's Zenith
4 Rampant Growth
Instant [2]
2 White Sun's Zenith
Artifact [6]
2 Ratchet Bomb
4 Sphere of the Suns
Enchantment [3]
3 Oblivion Ring
Land [25]
2 Evolving Wilds
4 Forest
4 Inkmoth Nexus
2 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Mountain
3 Plains
4 Razorverge Thicket
1 Rootbound Crag
4 Sunpetal Grove
Planeswalker [2]
2 Gideon Jura

I played with this deck and my results were either 4:0 or 3:1. Against controls it was way better. This deck played nice and I liked it much more than the red version, it also showed on my results. Quite soon though I realized that this deck is much slower and that sometimes I really want to play ramp 1 on T2, Solemn and Titan. After a long time of trying to play Wolf Run I realized that this should be the way the deck plays still not accepting that much. I was trying to figure out what makes this deck different from Valakut? I was usually winning with this deck except some losses against Twin combo. Valakut alone was capable of dealing with annoying creatures and was capable of instant win. When someone wanted to mess with it I went red aggro/burn strategy that won me many games and surprised many players. For some reason I never had such explosive games with Wolf Run so I wanted to make Wolf Run more like that. I took out the white and replaced it with black.

Wolf Run Black

The black version simply needed to be fast. Grave Titan was capable of dealing with both RDW and Zombies and proved to be a bigger threat than any other titan. Grave Titan is not good against tokens but even Inferno Titan was like... killing one spirit when it came into play or hitting annoying planeswalker. Black version can also side in Curse of Death's Hold which helps a ton against all those annoying tokens, zombies and even mono red. One just has to be faster. The problem with this deck is that it is worse against control decks and delver. White was ok against Delver and 50/50 against UB. Red was better against Delver but was not that good against control decks. Black version is kinda meh. Either Thrun + Wolf Run early managed to win or Autumn's veil does the job. Really Cavern of Souls would come handy. My results with WR Black were slightly worse than with the White version. Still Black Sun's Zenith can hit creatures other WR can't really take care of and it can deal with other titans as well. Spot removal in black also can deal with such creatures even though we lose the possible burn spell hitting a planeswalker.

When playing with WR White I did not find a deck against which this version would be really good but the deck was good against more or less anything. WR Black is either good or bad. In overall I feel that it is the worst out of the three. Surprisingly I spent most of the time playing this version. Now it's a time for a change.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Shogun - Board Game

Shogun is a game from 2006 which uses Cubetower to decide the outcome of battles fought in the game. The cube tower was first used in Im Zeichen des Kreuzes and then in Wallenstein. Wallenstein game system is used for Shogun game. The game is set in Sengoku Era Japan. You take on the role of a daimyo (land lord) and you are trying to become a Shogun.

Them main piece of the game is a game board. On it there are drawn provinces you are trying to conquer and hold. In addition each player has a Daimyo card and action grid.

Two years are played. Each year is divided into 4 seasons. Only three seasons are actually rounds in which players take actions. When winter comes players count their points. Each season ten action cards are randomly put on the table. First five are visible, the rest is unknown. According to this you take your province cards and war chest cards and put them face down on your actions grid. Actions that can be done for example are - recruiting more warriors, earning money, building temples or other kind of buildings etc, attacking a province etc. One of the fields on the actions' grid is also initiative. This decides who goes first, this can play a big role. There are also event cards that effect the round and each player will get a special action card for that round.

Battles in this game are important and they are decided by the combat tower. When a battle is fought the result is decided by throwing cubes representing your and enemy army into the tower. In the tower there are various shelves that each can catch some of the cubes. The cubes that fall out of the tower decide the outcome of the battle. This also means that the loser still has his cubes in the tower so attacking the player next time can mean that he has a higher chance of winning. The losing player's cubes are destroyed in 1:1 ratio. The reminder of the winner's cubes are placed on the province and he takes the province card as well.

When winter comes if a player has less rice than his provinces peasants revolt. If the revolt is not quelled the player loses the province (it becomes neutral). After all players do this points are counted. Players get points for number of provinces, buildings, highest number of buildings in an area etc.

The game might seem complicated but it isn't. Or at least that's my impression. You just need to use your cards wisely according to what you know. The game is quite a mix of two different board game types. I really like this game. The time needed to finish the game is quite long though - especially when the players are not sure how the game works, so if you are going to play it for the first time keep in mind that you'll need at least few hours of free time. It is advised that you play the first game with someone who already knows it.

The game is mainly about managing your resources. The combat tower adds another element which you need to take in account. It's not just some dice rolling so it is good to remember whose cubes are in the tower and in what numbers.

I give this game 4.5/5 on my scale.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Some stats

I was wondering what to do with this blog in the future and for that I needed some stats. Google provided them to me so I'll share it with you.

My blog in the past few years turned into something like 'Magic: The Gathering' blog but I did not expect anyone to read it. I'm no pro player or anyone known (at least in this field).

So in general the most read posts can be divided into groups. On the first place we have fanart drawings with Liliana Vess being on the first place and Yuna from Final Fantasy 10-2 on the second. The third place was taken by my cat drawings??? (WTF?).

On the second place there are two posts from Music Games category. One is rather random - keyboard mania (airflow) and the second one is about a link to a bemani radio ran by my friend.

3rd place belongs to some random posts about Magic: The Gathering spoilers (most hits on WotC community page as well).

4th place belongs to Magic Alter posts. The first one won by Jace, the Mind Sculptor followed by Bayou and Eternal Witness. Sensei's Divining Top and Trinket Mage also got there.

On the fifth place we have posts about some applications/plugins for magic players.

6th place is Legend of the Five Rings spoilers. Seems like people were actually coming to my blog and actually saw my spoilers hosted at

L5R spoilers are followed by Magic: The Gathering decklists, Magic tournament reports. The last two places are for Legend of the Five Rings.


1. drawings (fanart - liliana vess)
2. keyboard mania (airflow) and BEMANI radio
3. magic spoilers
4. magic alter (jace tms)
5. cockatrice and autocard anywhere
6. l5r spoilers
7. magic decklists (extended zoo, highlander zoo)
8. magic tournament reports (standard reports)
9. l5r decklists (lion paragon EE, crane honor/dishonor CE)
10. l5r tournament reports (Kotei, second chance, regular league)
11. Deckbuilding card games reviews

Few more observations or well something I did not expect. My L5R posts are actually read by quite a lot of people and especially the Lion Paragon decklist was viewed several hundred times (as well my Crane decklists for the previous arc). L5R spoilers were actually followed by people mostly from USA and Czech Republic on

The most searched word on my blog is Liliana and surprisingly ' how to figure the average mana cost for a deck' is on a third place...seems like people have problems with that^_^

The game reviews I wrote are viewed as well. The highest ranked ones are deck building games (just few of those, but still it's notable). So next time I should provide some photos^_~

The refering URLs and sites are mainly google, mtgsalvation and cmus (CMUS is Czech Magic: The Gathering portal). The percentage of that follows

google 53.41772152
cmus 16.20253165
rest 8.607594937

This is quite a surprise, not sure if I should be ashamed or glad about it.

Hm that's about it, not sure if that helped.

The New Era - Card Drafting Game

The New Era can be used as an expansion set for 51st state board/card game or be played as a stand alone game. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic setting known as Neuroshima.

There are five faction in the game with one being new - the hegemony. They have one 'wild' 1 distance arrow token each turn which is pretty good actually. The remaining 4 factions are - New York, Merchants' Guild, Mutants' Union and Appalachian Federation and are not changed from 51st state. The game ends when one player or more players get 33 or more victory points. Victory points can be earned in several ways - special actions on location cards and by rebuilding/reconstructing locations. Each location in play also counts as one point.

At the beginning of the game each player gets a home base card according to their faction (which is chosen randomly) which produces 3 workers and one resource (depending on the faction).

After that cards are drafted from a pile of cards that consists mainly of locations. This is called lookout phase. After that comes a Production phase in which each player receives resources and workers.

The most important part is the Actions phase in which a player can do several actions.

He can either conquer a card and get a one-time use of the icons in the red area in the next production phase or cooperate with a card and take the icons in the blue area each turn during the production phase or incorporate a card. Incorporating a card means that the player adds it to the player area and can use the center ability.

You can also interact with opponents' cards. You can either cooperate with a location or attack it. To cooperate with a card you need to produce a blue arrow token of a corresponding value. (found in upper-right corner of the location card). If this is successful you will place your marker there and each turn receive what is printed in the blue part of the card. Attacking a card is similar but you need a red arrow token. When attack is successful you will destroy the location (turning it face down) and you will receive what is in the red part of the card (the other player receives what is in the blue part).

Cards turned face down can be reconstructed (by spending a building material). When this happens that player receives 1 victory point and can place any location card from his or her hand there.

There are other actions that can be taken (like sending two workers for a single resource, sending a worker to a location so you can perform some action there, discard two cards to draw a card etc)

In the actions phase players take actions one by one. A player can either take an action or pass. When a player passes other players cannot interact with them. When all players pass they count their points. After cleanup phase a new turn can start following the same turn structure.

The game is rather unique and is quite complex. I think that the game also needs a better balance. You can easily get screwed and be unable to play a turn or two. It is true that in the last two turns you can still get many points and even win but still having locations that cost 2 or 3 and not be able to build them is very bad. When you manage to build some of them you can rebuild them and get points from that.

There are several strategies that can work and there are locations that are too good to stay on the table. When you are unable to destroy them, it can become very bad for you.

I like the mechanics of the game but sometimes the cards just can't be played and that makes me crazy. From time to time during the drafting you are unable to pick a card you want - what I mean with this, is that all possibly picks are dead cards for you. This means the game could probably be a little bit more balanced. It is an awesome game though.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Highlander Series - Fourth tournament

After the third tournament in which I played with EDH deck I decided to play with a regular Highlander deck and see what I could manage. Soon after the tournament I tried building few decks - Reanimator (that would be BUG running some dredge stuff and Hermit Druid but Life From the Loam being on the banlist) or Bant deck but not playing combo. In the end I was mixing black, green and blue but I wanted to add white as well. I ended up in 4c.

I did not have a chance to play with the deck before the next tournament so I was surprised that it actually worked.

In the first round I played against the youngest Czech player who qualified for Pro Tour. His father was here as well.

My deck was rather aggro and my opponent wasn't capable of doing much. In the second game he played Lorescale Coatl when he could and the creature grew a lot. First damage andBrainstorm dealt me quite a lot of damage but I had enough creatures to chump this creature each turn. Resolved Primeval Titan found Creeping Tar Pir and Celestial Colonnade. Both cards able to go through. I let one opponent resolve (facepalm) Chord of Calling that foundRiftwing Cloudskate bouncing my Colonnade. Anyway Creeping Tar Pit was still there and won me the game.

After that I scouted the remaining games and Tar Pit won all of them (2).

In the second round I played a really long game against Josef Sedivy. Both of us weren't drawing lands for quite some time. In the meantime my opponent played Jace TMS as he had 4 sources when I got 3. Jace was fatesealing all the time. I did not want to concede and continued playing. I tutored Jace Beleren and waited. I had to play some cards to get the counterspells out of my opponent. I managed that in the end. But after both Jaces died, I still had to deal with creatures.In the end what killed me was Wurmcoil Engine and Phyrexian Metamorph copying it.Damnation helped but I needed Maelstrom Pulse to get me rid of those tokens. In the second game I was trying hard to kill my opponent with my little creatures. Skinshifter proved to be good attacker. But to be honest my last two top decks (Counterspell and Aven Mindcensor) was what won me the game resulting in a draw.

Round 3 against combo deck with Academy Rector. I found out that my deck lacks few cards^^.Nihil Spellbomb is one and Stifle is the card I wished to have as well. I can deal with Hulk but not when there's a lot of creatures with 'Sacrifice a creature: blabla ability'

Next round I played against Jan Sedivy - first player playing partly red in his deck. Dark Confidant showed how good he is. The most expensive card that he drew was Phyrexian Metamorph^_~. In combination with Aven Mindcensor I pulled off a win.

In the fifth round my opponent seemed to play quite a lot of colorless lands - Kor Haven,Volrath's Stronghold, Mutavault and mmaybe few more. In the first game I got him to 7 life pretty fast but than the game became stall. I was capable of dealing 6 more damage, but I was unable to deal the one damage.

In the second game my opponent's mana base killed him. Of course I helped him with that. I used Wasteland on his only source of green - Temple Garden and hoped that this would be enough. He was quite desperate when he played Phyrexian Metamorph copying my Avacyn's Pilgrim. I played Damnation a turn later and continued attacking. He wasn't able to draw green source and lost. In the last game we both tried to win as one of us would get some prizes. Trygon Predator on my opponent's side + Oracle of Mul Daya did not seem good to me. Sylvan Library and Sword of Feast and Famine seemed as something I shouldn't play. I was mana screwed so playing the Sword and equipping was impossible, not to mention that it could be countered. So I slowly waited and was tutoring responses to anything that could kill me. I tutored Acidic Slime and Phyrexian Metamoprh so I could deal with Rafiq and Birthing Pod. We were running out of time. None of us could win even the game started pretty aggressively.

I ended up sixth in the tournament and learned what my deck lacks. At least I need a removal in the form of a creature (bone shedder, shriekmaw) and graveyard removal ( Nihil Spellbomb). My mana base also needs reviewing (at least including Watery Grave would help).

Dark Bant
Main Deck:
1 Acidic Slime
1 Arbor Elf
1 Avacyn's Pilgrim
1 Aven Mindcensor
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Birds of Paradise
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Dark Confidant
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 Eternal Witness
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Fyndhorn Elves
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Gideon Jura
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
1 Jace Beleren
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Kitchen Finks
1 Knight of the Reliquary
1 Llanowar Elves
1 Loxodon Hierarch
1 Mulldrifter
1 Noble Hierarch
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Primeval Titan
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Rhox War Monk
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Shriekmaw
1 Skinshifter
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Sower of Temptation
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Tarmogoyf
1 Thrun, the Last Troll
1 Trinket Mage
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Wall of Blossoms
1 Wall of Roots
1 Wurmcoil Engine

1 Ancestral Vision
1 Batterskull
1 Birthing Pod
1 Brainstorm
1 Counterspell
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Cryptic Command
1 Damnation
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Duress
1 Eladamri's Call
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Force of Will
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Maelstrom Pulse
1 Mana Leak
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Path to Exile
1 Putrefy
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Sylvan Library
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Wrath of God

1 Arid Mesa
1 Bayou
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Breeding Pool
1 Celestial Colonnade
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Drowned Catacomb
1 Flooded Grove
1 Flooded Strand
3 Forest
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Godless Shrine
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Hinterland Harbor
1 Island
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Stirring Wildwood
1 Sunpetal Grove
1 Swamp
1 Temple Garden
1 Treetop Village
1 Tropical Island
1 Underground Sea
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Wasteland
1 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Bastion
1 Wooded Foothills

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Inferno Titan blast (Heartless Summoning UBR)

Playing Wolf Run is not something that I like. I don't know how to play it well and it's not fun at all^^. So I was trying to figure out what else I could play avoiding UWR colors that my boyfriend started to play. I still can play UB control but I wanted to try something new. For long I wanted to play Grixis colors but control in those colors just seem inferior to Esper one so I went into different direction. Reanimation is something that is in my head for quite some time and I also like Phyrexian Metamorph/Phantasmal Image Geralf's Messenger. I tried a deck with some reanimation and Flayer of the Hatebound but it did not work. Now I put together a Heartless Summoning list.

I wanted to play red so I could have access to Inferno Titan ( Massacre Wurm can be an instant kill), Slagstorm ( Black Sun's Zenith works too)and Galvanic Blast (even though black removal can work as well). Blue for Fact-or-Fiction Sphinx, maybe for Frost Titan but also for Phyrexian Metamorh and/or Phantasmal Image. I also put in Ponder to help me look for what I need and of course Havengul Lich. Black is there for Demonic Tutor-demon and Heartless Summoning.

Anyway this deck ramps with Sphere of the Suns and Solemn Simulacrum and from time to time Heartless Summoning comes at the right moment and helps a ton. After you just play creature after creature and win^_~
- Grixis

24 lands (needs more thought, I had difficulties with UU)
4x Slagstorm
4x Galvanic Blast
4x Heartless Summoning
4x Sphere of the Suns
4x Ponder

3x Solemn Simulacrum
2x Rune-Scarred Demon
2x Sphinx of Uthuun
4x Inferno Titan
3x Havengul Lich (I would probably take one out and play Rune-Scarred Demon...)
2x Phyrexian Metamorph

Author's note:

The first tournament I played, I managed to come up second. I was able to win against BW Tokens, managed survive against Esper Walkers and Monored deck usually is stopped by a Grave Titan quite easily. Second tournament though was a catastrophe. It was mainly my lands screwing me up. I was unable to have the lands I need and that slowed me down and I went 1:3 in that tournament. After this experience I decided to get rid of this deck even though being it only UB I can imagine it working. Also BG Heartless can work but I decided to stick with Wolf Run Ramp. But I have to admit that the games were quite unusual and my opponent's wrong judgment was actually what eventually killed me in two games. I hate when this happens but it does^_^.