Sunday, August 26, 2012

My last standard - Solar Flare

Return to Ravnica is coming closer and the time when SoM block rotates as well. I haven't really played standard much and I wanted to play one more time. There were two standard tournaments this weekend. After three days of not sleeping I wasn't really sure if I could make it to the first one.

At 8 am my alarm clock tried to wake me up but for some reason I woke up an hour later. My father gave me a lift so I managed to get on the last bus with which I could get there on time. There weren't so many players but the tournament took place.

As I was tired of playing ramp or RG aggro I wanted to play something that could at least a bit be considered as a control deck. I took out my Solar Flare and decided to play with it. It needed few tweaks though. The cards I had available were my Naya Pod deck, RG Aggro and EDH decks. I took out restoration angels and blade splicers from pod and got go for the throats from EDH decks. I put that in my deck and ended up with something like this....Hybrid deck between Solar Flare and Esper Midrange I guess^_^.

3 Phantasmal Image
3 Sun Titan
2 Gideon Jura
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
2 Day of Judgment
4 Forbidden Alchemy
3 Lingering Souls
2 Oblivion Ring
2 Go for the Throat
3 Ponder
3 Blade Splicer
2 Restoration Angel
3 Mana Leak
1 Unburial Rites
3 Darkslick Shores
2 Drowned Catacomb
3 Evolving Wilds
2 Ghost Quarter
2 Glacial Fortress
3 Island
4 Isolated Chapel
3 Plains
3 Seachrome Coast
1 Swamp
SB: 2 Timely Reinforcements
SB: 2 Divine Offering
SB: 2 Flashfreeze
SB: 2 Negate
SB: 2 Nihil Spellbomb
SB: 1 Surgical Extraction
SB: 2 Celestial Purge
SB: 1 Dead Weight
In the first round I played against mono red. I won the first game, but in the second I was unable to draw a single Celestial Purge nor Timely Reinforcements. I died because when I finally could play something I was already down to 11. I won game three though and wondered what my next match up would be. As there were 3 delvers that won it was highly possible that I would play against delver.

Second round I played against... delver. My opponent is known for being unlucky while playing magic. I won both games. The second game was bad for my opponent who was incapable of drawing 4th land.

Round 3 and it wasn't delver. It was a zombie deck. He played gravecrawler, diregraf ghoul and one more creature. I played Day of Judgment and was quite happy that I did not see Blood Artist till that time. Blood Artist finally came but at that point of time I was already at 6 mana and could drop a Titan and win. In the second game I had relatively aggressive start and managed to beat my opponent with my little creatures.

Next deck was mono white human aggro that did not even give me a chance to do something. I lost the die roll and day of judgment would not be able to save me. In the second game I tried surviving for quite some time, but I was unable to destroy moorland haunt. There were 2 Honor of the Pure on the table and those 3/3 flyers were just too much for me.

My last game that day was against Battle of Wits deck. One of the games was quite fun^_^. Fog bank can be pretty annoying^^.

Came up second, opened nothing but was really glad that I played...

Anyway if I would want to play in next tournament I would take out Lingering Souls, Unburial Rites, Sun Titan, Oblivion Ring a Forbidden Alchemy. The rest of Restoration Angels, Blade Splicer and some Snapcaster Mages would go in. I really missed Snappy in many games. I'd prefer to keep Tamiyo, but if I would need more space it would be her to be the first on the list to be taken out, followed by Gideon.

Sideboard would need one more Celestial Purge, no need for Timely Reinforcements twice. Batterskull is probably a better choice. I'd rather play Dissipate over negate or flashfreeze.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Jubeat no.2

Tonight I played Jubeat once again and I decided to try other markers as wells. I actually tried just one - the one that shows 0 to 10. I played a song and got over 250 combo and I knew when to hit each note even though there were times when my hands just missed that. But my brain KNEW that it missed. I find this quite wierd. I'm not entirely sure if this revelation should make me happy or not.

Now level 9 songs don't seem impossible and I can consistantly pass level 8 songs on advanced. Hm. So maybe when I manage to play again, I'll try something more difficult. But well...I have to say that with this marker chosen the notecharts actually make sense!!

Here's a video for you - Green Green Dance [EXT]. I just like the song. Before with the default noteskin I couldn't read it at after switching to the new one, I can get a combo going.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Jubeat on ipad

Gamescom - Vierpfeile stand
When I was at Gamescom I visited Vierpfeile's booth located at hall 10.1. They had an ITG Dedicab there, pop'n music 14 with DJ Dao controller, Jukebeat and some other rhythm games. Even though I felt terrible I step on the dedicab and played few songs (as that usually gives me energy for the rest of any convention, fair etc). Well, it wasn't the case this time but I managed to get some full combos, FECs and 96+ on level 10 songs. I wasn't really proud of my results but I was surprised that I could go for a ITG Xuxa full combo. It was ages ago when I played this song on anything four panel^_^.

After that I went to check PNM 14. First shock was that it was actually a CS version so I was like WTF I should do with the game. But then I managed to get back to the options, select nine buttons and play some of the songs I haven't played in a while - Balalaika and Shamshir no mai. When playing the first song I realized that the controller seemed smaller to Rodent's one. I remembered that I already had this problem before (as I own DJ Dao and at cons there were usually Rodent's controllers). Anyway it was fun.

After some time I came back to the stand and was called by NX to try some song. It was from a new song pack - a song by Donk Terrorist. It was set to level 9 difficulty. I played the song, it was too easy. Schmichel was there and showed me Your Own Destiny. I tried the song (difficulty 12 o_O) and managed to fail it quite early. But well I made an impression as it seems. I was told to try again and managed to get much more further that time. I managed to fail few more times at the very same place (where you have to hit two triples fast after each other). Then I was shown some other hardcore song and I managed to fail it as well, but I wasn't doing bad^_^.

I had to try more 11 level songs after that and I cleared them. None of them were so extreme as Your Own Destiny and Hookie Mammoth.

And now we are getting to the epic fail of the day. I asked someone if I can try jubeat. I found out that it is called Jukebeat in Europe (and that is why I was unable to find it anywhere). I know I'm like 2 years or more behind everybody else so for me this is new^_^. I picked some random song on some random difficulty (4) and failed. I just couldn't manage to find out when I'm supposed to hit the notes. The blue lines that were used as marker for this game weren't really helping me. I was trying to figure out when is the right time (as I can't play according to music) to hit the notes but I just failed at that. I decided to try Jubeat when I get back from Gamescom.

EDIT: I tried.

Today was the day. I downloaded the game for free and tried the songs that were there for free. I failed them on on advanced difficulty but this time I was getting lots of blue judgments, some flashy yellow and less misses. I was wondering where the problem was. I changed the marker and found out that I can't figure out when to hit the notes. I switched back to the original one and everything was fine once again. It was probably due to the fact that I already got used to the default one (played on arcade already).

There are KONAMI packs you can purchase with Japanese songs and other song packs featuring western stuff. There's Cindy Lauper pack or Lady Gaga's one for example. I downloaded the first and some KONAMI pack featuring SigSig. And then I was struggling with the blue/yellow pixelated cubes.

When I first played Jubeat on the arcade I remember that I was capable of full comboing a level 6 song (on advanced) but still fail according to the machine. I remember that I had a hard time synchronizing with the game but I know that I managed to get better scores than C and managed to A something like Take on Me. I could clear level 7 songs. So when I tried Jukebeat and failed more or less everything I was surprised. This game has to be played a bit differently when played on a smaller area as it seems. Anyway here's my first attempt at playing Jukebeat. It's not the best video ever, nor score but it was fun^^. I have to say that it is quite challenging to come up with n idea how to shoot the video ^_~.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bonfire of the Damned

When I woke up today I felt way better than in the past few days. I'm still ill but I collected some strength. I worked for a while, drank coffee and got something to eat. Then it was time to rush for the bus. I had to be there in less than 9 minutes and I managed that. Not good time for me as I could be there normally much faster but at least I found out that I can still run the whole distance (1.5 km).

After I arrived to the game store I started working. Meanwhile a modern tournament for beginners was starting. At first there was 5 players. Later two more came which still wasn't a good number. 8th player came but he said that a ninth player would come as well. I volunteered to play in the tournament even though I didn't have a deck that would suit the tournament. I checked my cards hoping I would find some cards from drafts but I gave them all away so I picked my Solar Flare. This deck is pretty slow and should give some time for my opponent to play something and not be consistently under pressure.

Modern for Beginners
In the first round I played against a UW deck. I played T3 Lingering Souls that were countered and yet once more countered. After this experience I decided to wait for my opponent to play something. I wasn't prepared for counterspells at beginners' tournament. He tried few cards and I decided to counter few of them with my mana leaks. Later he played Venser. All his lands were tapped though (except the exiled one) so I decided to play Gideon. Gideon later managed to kill both Venser and my opponent. Game two looked completely different. Elite Vanguard, Ajani's Sunstriker and Latch Seeker were nothing I would expect after such a first game. I copied the Sunstriker so I would have some lifegain and let my opponent be chewing at my life total. I knew that the 'turn of day of judgment' would come. After Day of Judgment there were few walkers and oblivion rings involved, but my Gideon managed to win once again. At this point I thought that DoJ would the card deciding each game (but it wasn't as I found later)

In round 2 my opponent showed me lots of spiders and Vampire Nighthawk. He was playing black removal so my creatures were dying and my 1/1 Spirits couldn't attack as each spider had reach and was simply bigger. My Lingering Souls were waiting for Nighthawk to attack but that never happened (my three souls were prepared to block the vampire)

In round 3 I played against some Angel deck. At first I thought that it would be mono white but then Gisela surprised me. My opponent was gaining life and playing lands. And then the bigger creatures came. None were good enough for my Titans though. In game two I needed a bigger blocker that could handle bigger angels so I copied one and that won me the game. Fortunately I drew Go For the Throat and that solved my Nighthawk problem.

Round 4 was interesting. I played against another player with 3:0 so I was wondering what he could be playing. First thing I found out is that he played naya and the first card he played was Grim Lavamancer. I did not like that much. Later he played more creatures and among them was also Loxodon Hierarch. I was unable to draw a fifth land for some time but I managed to draw Restoration Angel so I played it (one of in the deck). The card was exiled with Path to Exile which helped me a ton. I got my fifth land and I only needed to wait for the sixth. I got to that point and played my Titan. It was exiled with another Path To Exile. I wasn't happy about that. Later I managed to play Tamiyo, but she was killed with two burn spells. Some time later (when my opponent was still not hit by my creatures) I played another Titan and Phantasmal Image copying it. Both died but my last Sun Titan with army of Phantasmal Images managed to deal lethal damage. Game two was quite fun as well as I saw few new cards. One of them was Archon of Justice. I did not want this card to die as it would exile my Gideon. Tamiyo was there to save me. These two walkers were cooperating quite well. Gideon was killing creatures and Tamiyo was tapping them.

Avacyn Restored Booster Draft
After the tournament I continued working. Later I was asked if I'm going to draft. I said no, as there was too few people for me. One more player came though (being sixth) and it was decided we would actually play. The TO though found out that there's not enough boosters for us. We could draft Avacyn Restored or Innistrad + Dark Ascension. In the end there was 8 of us and we decided to draft AVR as there are better cards^^ (Bonfire, Cavern of Souls).

I opened my first booster pack and checked the rare. It was some Otherworldy or whatever Atlas. Then I went through the cards starting with the first common. Hanweir Lancer and Riot Ringleader caught my eye, but the last card was way better. My first pick was Wolfir Avenger. My second pick was Mist Raven. My third pick was picked from among lots of black and red cards (including Homicidal Seclusion). Similar booster with many black cards passed once again. After the firt booster I had 4 playable cards. That did not seem good.

Booster packs from the other side did not help much. Even though player sitting left of me was sent into red there was still not much from green or blue (I suspected he was taking green). I started picking white cards but from time to time a blue creature came (Fettergeist - passed to me twice). In the last booster pack serie I managed to get Wingcrafter, Nephalia Smuggler, Mist Raven, Wandering Wolves and YEW SPIRIT which helped me a ton (I managed to get 21 playable cards). After booster pack number two I thought I would have to play bant.

Round one was against RG humans with BIG creatures like 7/7 and 6/4 Soulbond wurm. I lost game one - being overwhelmed by humans and Malcontents dealing more damage I counted with. In game two I had cards following the curve and won easily. In game three my opponent kept a hand he probably shouldn't. I mulliganed as well. The cards on my hand were good but they needed one more card - Forest. The six cards were better.

Next I played against white/black deck. Once again I lost the first game. Terminus dealt with my creatures and Gloom Surgeon wasn't making things anything easier. But due to this card I knew what my opponent played in his deck. The second game was really long. Dealing with 3/3 and 4/4 flyers took me quite some time. But Nephalia Smuggler and Wingcrafter + Wolfir Avenger made everything possible. In game three my start was pretty good and I eventually won.

Last round. This was the game that decided who would get Bonfire of the Damned. I played against black-green deck with two Seclusions and creatures that were capable of sacrificing themselves or another creature. As usual the first game did not turn out well. But the second one went much better. My opponent did not really have much removal (if any) so it was about drawing the right creatures and then doing everything to stay alive. Nephalia Smuggler + Mist Raven or Timberland Guide were just too good. I have to admit that having 3 copies of Sheltering Word was actually good in the end as it was saving my Smuggler. Still the best creature was Wolfir Avenger with Flying (and counters from the Gudie)

After all that time that I drafted M13 I have to say that I changed my point of view on Avacyn Restored. It was a nice change to draft this set. I hated AVR before, because if the format being pretty fast and about creatures but I really enjoyed this draft. It was fun even though some draws (like 4 islands in a row followed by two forests when my opening hand was 4 islands, borderland ranger and nephalia smuggler) were really irritating. Way better than any M13 draft. I left with 4 boosters (nothing good in them) and Bonfire of the Damned.