Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Farseek Textless

I tried my best to create a textless Farseek. It's quite ok. Maybe after ten more it will actually look good^_~

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hellkite Tyrant and Consuming Aberration

Argh I spent three nights on this card and I don't like I'll get back to it to clean the stains..but um...I should have tore that card in half and never come back to it.

One more comission.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

GTC Game Day

Spending quite a lot of time in a local game store I was more or less forced to build a type 2 deck. Everyone was asking me for a game of standard and that's what I never had - Legacy, EDH, Highlander yes, but not type 2. So I build such a deck and after few games I realized that I might actually like to take it to a tournament. Game Day seemed as a nice choice as that would mean more rounds and more fun thus. I was pretty ill the day I decided this and wasn't sure if I could recover till that time (I'm still ill). Some time ago I decided not to play Magic while being ill because I can't keep track of anything - be it my life total or what is going on on the table. But the Game Day was near and I did not want to miss it.

I came back home and started wondering what my sideboard should look like. That took me about three hours of mindlessly roaming my room. Later I lay down to sleep and an idea showed up in my head - Skullcrack, Nephalia's Drownyard and Rakdos's Return are not cards I would want to be hit with. So at least two cards in my SB were decided - Witchbane Orb. Along with some Negates and random cards. I put also Planar Cleansing in my SB because this can take care of annoying Planeswalkers and there's no Vindicate I could use on them in this format.

In the morning I managed to wake up (I was already awake when my alarm clock started to ring). I ate a bit and ran for the tram. I arrived on time, bought 2 copies of Witchbane Orb and waited for the first round.

Round 1 was against Matej Maly who completely devasteted me with his combo deck. Well, in the first game he killed me with Nicol Bolas. I had Detention Sphere in my hand, but Bolas took care of my white sources so I was pretty much screwed up. In the second game I couldn't do anything and did not have the counterspells I needed. So Omniscience + Enter the Infinite ended the game.

Round 2 Mariusz and his UB Mill deck. I showed him that I can mill faster^^. He was playing Consuming Aberrations and Lazavs in his deck and I was able to take them down one by one. His deck ran a lot of removal spells and such which was pretty much useless against my deck that hardly played a creature. So I milled him faster and won.

In Round 3 I played against Patrik Fiala. The only person I played before the tournament so I knew what to expect. The question was what would happen after he and me sided. He kept a bad hand (obviously) and lost. More or less the same happen in the second game. But I have to admit that I was milling the best cards I could so there wasn't much he could play any way.

Round 4 was the toughest. I was already pretty tired and hardly concentrating. When someone by accident noted that we are going to play a mirror match I knew that this round would take ages. I dropped Nephalia's Drownyard early so I started milling soon. This helped me a lot as I managed to hit all the lands that my opponent needed. After really long game we started a second one. I waited a bit and then played Witchbane Orb when it seemed to be more or less safe. After that I was hoping to draw Nephalia's Drownyard so I could mill my opponent but it never showed up. During that time my opponent went through his whole deck and finally killed me with Snapcaster Mages, Dissipates and Restoration Angel. I knew this would happen but my hands consisting of 5 lands could not provide any answer to that. I could have maybe saved one more turn but still there was no way I could win this. My Planar Cleasing was countered so I couldn't get rid of my opponent's Orb so I could play Psychic Spiral. Getting rid of the previous Dissipates was difficult enough. There weren't so many threats I could actually play (except Drownyard and Supreme Verdict which can't be countered)

Round 5 against Boros aggro. Augur of Bolas showed to be a good blocker^_^. It cannot do anything with Boros Reckoner but it can stop 1/1, 2/1 etc from attacking. Enough time to draw Supreme Verdict and then take care of occasional Hellkite or Hellrider or whatever is in the deck. My opponent wasn't lucky and died quite soon. My hand containing 3x Sphinx's Revelation was too much to handle.

Round 6...I rather not talk about that. I won the first game easily. I played against Jund. Dreg Manglers, Deathrite Shamans, Strangleroot Geists, Ghor-Clan Rampagers etc...In the second game I did not kill Hellrider when I had the chance and was then killed by 2x Bloodrush saying +4/+4 Trample. In the third game I managed to do even 'stupider' thing by playing Restoration Angel and forgetting to block the one and only creature in play on the other side of the table - Falkenrath Aristocrat. This sealed the doom. I managed to draw six lands straight then but even if I would draw something I deserved to lose^_^. Such plays should not be happening at all. I lost two games I practically couldn't lose....What a shame. My won Firemane Avenger will remind me of this Restoration Angel/Falkenrath Aristocrat combat for quite some time^_^ I guess.

The Game Day was fun. I was afraid that it would be a torture as I'm still ill, but it was really enjoyable. Thanks for the games!

Esper Control
Type II

Main Deck:
4 Augur of Bolas
2 Obzedat, Ghost Council
3 Restoration Angel
2 Snapcaster Mage

4 Azorius Charm
2 Devour Flesh
2 Dissipate
1 Dramatic Rescue
3 Sphinx's Revelation
4 Supreme Verdict
2 Terminus
4 Think Twice

4 Drowned Catacomb
4 Glacial Fortress
4 Godless Shrine
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Isolated Chapel
3 Nephalia Drownyard
4 Watery Grave

2 Blind Obedience
1 Detention Sphere
1 Duress
1 Jace, Memory Adept
2 Negate
2 Planar Cleansing
1 Psychic Spiral
1 Rest in Peace
2 Ultimate Price
2 Witchbane Orb

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Angelic Skirmisher Alter

Beatiful illustration by David Rapoza. I really like the colors as well. Extended borders by me^_~. A tournament prize.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Garruk Relentless Checklist Alter

Another commission. Not sure what the commissioner will think about this though...I really went freestyle doing this and did not really care much about the overall quality of the alter. I just wanted to know how something like this can end up.

I used Spoon02's Garruk as reference.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Restoration Angel

There's about one Restoration Angel alter what I like and find good so I was wondering how mine would end up. Yeah, I'm not that precise and not that good at doing nice lines. Erm...Changing my mind on BSA. This one ended up much worse.

EDIT: I brought them to the commissioner and he liked them a lot. They found their place in his Naya midrange deck.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Boros Charm Alter

Personally I have no idea how Boros painted this. The angle is too alien for me. So I tried my best making it look not bad. Here is it...I have another Boros Charm primed and I'd like to try something completely different. Let's see how it ends up. So for the time being there's extended borders Boros Charm.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Baneslayer Angel Alter

I always wanted to alter BSA but at that time the card cost 70 USD and that was a bit too much for me. The BSA illustration is beautiful and I always wondered were Greg Staples comes with the ideas. I couldn't do the card justice, I should try later once again (but that would also mean getting the card, it's out of stock o_O)^_^. At least I managed to figure out the greenish/reddish color on her...I also used a toothpick to get nice round dots this time and it worked wonders!! ^_^ Why this idea did not come to my mind earlier?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stoneblade vs BUG Tempo

I guess this has happened to anyone. You draw your seven cards, look at them and wonder how the hell this combination of cards could have happened. And then some of you want to try it out. There are hands that actually work pretty well but sometimes it is simply completely wrong like keeping a hand that looked like - Phyrexian Tower, Wasteland, Volrath's Stronghold in a three colored deck playing against land destruction. I actually managed to play few black spells during that game before my colorless mana base was destroyed^^.

Anyway not so long ago with my BUG deck I once had a hand that looked like this: Hymn To Tourach, Hymn To Tourach, Snapcaster Mage, Underground Sea, Underground Sea, 2x Fetchlands. I played against High Tide and I knew that this would most probably be an overkill for my opponent. I played my first Hymn. That one got countered. I played second one, it resolved. I drew yet one more Hymn which I played and it also resolved. Then I played Snapcaster Mage on the Hymn and the game was pretty much over. I guess my opponent won't have nice memories of the game.^_^

Something similar but not so evil happened few days ago. I played Stoneblade against my own BUG deck. I kept a hand with 3x Inquisition of Kozilek, Swamp, Plains, Sensei's Divining Top and Stoneforge Mystic. I played the first discard spell and a hand with three spells that I did not like much was shown to me - Force of Will, Daze, Ponder, Abrupt Decay and Tombstalker (and lands). I discarded Ponder. The second Inquisition hit Abrupt Decay and the last one hit Daze so I could play my Stoneforge Mystic and win later. The game in the end was quite fun because my Mystic was incapable of beating my opponent fast enough. But this hand worked.

But still nothing can beat my no lander from the last Highlander tournament. Three of my mana sources that I got during the game got destroyed and I still could have won the game if I managed to get a land one turn earlier. Unfortunately it did not happen but it was the most epic game ever.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Esper Control Standard deck - A thought

A friend of mine is asking me quite often if I'm going to play some standard and I always say that I have build a deck first. Today I decided to give it thought so I'll share them. I'm not playing t2 and I have no idea how this is going to work but in theory it should. I spent some time sorting Gatecrash cards and former edition cards so I know what cards are available. I just did not look at them the way a player of this format would.

Last time I played standard was at RTR Game Day which I managed to win and the time before that it was the before last Game Day in which I came out second because mono white was too fast and killed me on turn 4 so no wrath could safe me (played Solar Flare). At the RTR GD I played Bant Control. The deck was slow as hell but was capable of beating quite a lot of decks. I had problems with resolved Rakdos's Return and really fast aggro decks. Zombies and RDW were giving me a hard time. I could deal with UWx and something slower. But true control still beat me. The deck needed to be rebuild and I did that. Played with it few times just for fun (winning) but not playing at a tournament. What helped the deck was more Azorius Charms against fast decks and Nephalia Drownyard for the really slow ones^^. Anyway I wanted to build something like one of these decks.

The colors should be - White and Blue for certain but not sure about the other color. So I wrote down some cards by color. (cards in bold are the ones that would make it to main deck)

Supreme Verdict
Detention Sphere
Azorius Charm
Feeling of Dread

Snapcaster Mage
Augur of Bolas
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
Jace, Architect of Thought
Jace, Memory Adept

Restoration Angel
Oblivion Ring
Blind Obediance

Lingering Souls
Forbidden Alchemy
Obzedat, Ghost Council
Merciless Eviction
Dimir Charm

Searing Spear
Aurelia's Fury
Pillar of Flame

Centaur Healer

After looking at this I realized that there is Dimir Charm and Obzedat and Lingering Souls at one place. Thus the third color was chosen - Black.

So what the deck needs? Something to survive early threats. For that there is Ultimate Price, Dimir Charm or Azorius Charm. In Dimir Charm's range there's quite a lot of creatures so it seems to be pretty valid. It also helps milling or looking for a card and can counter a sorcery spell. Azorius Charm slows down or draws a card and Ultimate price does just one thing and I decided to drop that card. I should be able to play some Wrath effect if this works and won't be useless because of Boros Charm I can play my win con in this case that would be Obzedat.

This deck can mill via Nephalia's Drownyard and could possible use Memory Adept to its advantage. I think that there are many annoying cards that can slow down and if that means surviving till 6 lands there's Merciless Eviction that can deal with indestructible creatures or annoying walkers. Obzedat and Jace, Memory Adept are both cards that can win a game at this point. It will take time but it should work. Not to mention the fact that we still have here Lingering Souls and we all know the power of this card.

Anyway I really wanted to play Dimir Charm. The card not only works as removal but can prepare Terminus for the next round or find a missing land. That is something I really needed in my previous decks. Obzedat is a fun card but I think that it deserves to be played. It's not that bad as everyone claims it to be. And Blind Obedience is really awesome. The card is really good. Now after I put all those cards I like together there is a deck I would actually like to take to a tournament.

Esper Control

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Dungeon Explore - Ironscale

I painted the Ironscale Kobolds today/yesterday. They look nice in reality. All the photos seem bad....hmph...But well I need to still work on the Kobolds but in general they are ok for the time being.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Drawing exercise - Aurelia

I wanted to try out copics on something more complex but I had to give up...This is not going to look good even if I spend half a day more on it...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My first experience with doing a custom playmat

Last year I wanted to start working on a custom playmat. The first time I saw a custom playmat I knew that I would want to create one by myself. I had no idea what it should be. For quite some time I was trying to figure out what should be portrayed on the mat. In the end I came with two ideas - first one features Stoneforge Mystic, a bird and a sword and the other one featured planeswalkers.

Step 1 - What
In the end I settled on manga style planeswalkers for several reasons. The first one being this - I was no capable of drawing Stoneforge Mystic and the background the way I wanted. The second reason was because it was simply too difficult to do if you had no idea how copic markers work when used for something other than manga. I've already done manga style pictures with copic markers on paper so at least I knew that this shouldn't be such a problem.

Step 2 - What colors

After this I started drawing sketches and then started figuring out what colors I should use. I was already decided that I would use Copic markers because I simply love the product. The colors are so beautiful and working with them (on paper that is) feels really good and I just love the brush tips. I bought colors for both drafts thus and it cost me roughly about 240USD. I already got few markers as a gift before (I don't count that). It wasn't really easy on choosing the colors. Yeah each walker has its own color so they are in shades of that color mostly. But still there are so many shades of that particular the end I made a list of 30 colors I'd like to use and bought those. I used all of them except one color (I actually used it as a shade color for yellow red something but primary use was meant for Chandra's 'armor'). Believe it or not but this took me few hours. Coloring the drafts took me about 6 hours (SFM) and 8 hours (Walkers) respectively.

Stoneforge Mystic
Girl Planeswalkers

Step 3 - Measuring
After doing a A4 draft I had to figure out how big this should be on a mat. The size of it should have been something like 23.9 x 14.1. But in the end it was a bit smaller (I compared it with the other Ultra Pro mats that I own and it was the actual mat being smaller not the measurements being wrong). Anyway I created the playmat size version of the draft and wondered how the hell I should place it on the mat. My 'walker girls were not really placed well in the draft so I had to change that and had to place them at a very specific place. It took ages to figure out but in the end it worked out well. (The primary problem was that I don't have a scanner nor printer, that is why I did everything in hand and had to use rulers and such^_^).

After drawing seemed that it would take me ages when doing it 'for real'.

Step 4 - Playmat and pencil, playmat and copic marker
After this I decided to take a mat and try to do some strokes with the copics and pencil. I was scared! The colors were extremely bright and I couldn't take the pencil out of the mat! Also the copic marker left TOO much color on the mat and I had no idea how to work with it not causing stains, smudges and simply not precise lines. It was really frustrating. Also I realized that I won't be able to do the lineart with copic marker as it is 'soluble' (or rather the colors mix up) by another copic marker. So I had to try my luck with multiliners. And with these I encountered another problem....I started doing a line and then the tip ended deep inside the textile. Fortunately there is a brush tip multiliner as well and that does NOT have this problem.

Step 5 - Playmat and pencil, playmat and copic marker
The real thing! At this point I was almost ready to start working on the actual thing. But I had to buy the playmat. I got it along with Gatecrash booster boxes. (First I had to open the boxes, sort the cards, write down what I have, the prices etc etc...). Few hours later I finally grabbed a ruler, pencil, multiliners, copic markers and THIS shiny white Ultra Pro mat.

I started measuring and made few dots and lines. They weren't that precise as I wanted them to be. While doing this I managed to smear something on the mat. I was enraged. I tried to get it off with water, soap ... simply anything but it did not work that much and I knew that it was in the place of Tamiyo's face. I was wondering if I should abandon this mat or not. But I continued on. The part I started on was relatively wet so I had to wait quite some time till it dried. Some parts were still wet and the colors went in all the directions they could. This was NOT good. Anyway I started doing a pencil sketch, then multiliner one and finally started using copic markers.
I almost managed to overcome the multiliner problem. I had to use much less force than I'm used to and then it was quite fine. I had to be doing the strokes also from certain position. That meant that I had to be moving the mat all over the table (wasn't fun as there's hardly place for it - especially when there are cards everywhere all over it). Next time I should also start from right to left. I noted that the color gets on my hand and then when I put my hand on something not dry it makes the colors blend together and when it is a combination of a very light color and dark one there's nothing you can do with that. It also leaves marks on the blank mat. So as I use my left hand to draw I should start on the right side. It would avoid at least this problem. It annoyed me MANY times. I started to use local game store's life tracker 'notepad' so this wouldn't happen again. Not sure what paper was used for it but it sucks color pretty well unlike any kind of anything made of paper I have in this flat and does not let it soak back to the textile.
After finishing coloring Elspeth I realized that the pencil drawing is hardly visible. At least that was a good news. Actually it felt really good after I finished Elspeth. She looked good. Also encountered many more problems. But the one that bothered me the most is that. If I want to achieve something and make it look the way I want the color needs to be quite wet. When it dries it is not possible to make any other changes. So next time I need to be more critical during the coloring process. There are many things I'd like to change on the drawing but I couldn't as it dried in the meantime.

The finished product is somewhere on this blog.

It felt good after finishing that. I was smiling! Today I used it in two events. It was so nice...