Friday, January 22, 2016


I attempted to create something looking cute in Adobe Illustrator.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Oath of the Gatewatch Prerelease

New hope

Since Kamigawa I periodically participate in prerelease events. Since Alara Reborn I write reports or some kind of a post about the prerelease events. That does not mean that each set actually has such a post published though. The posts from the the last two years are less about Magic but more about the bad experiences I had with people during the tournament. Those are not posts I'd want to have published and for that reason I decided not to publish them. Dragons of Tarkir post was so negative that I decided to ignore the next prerelease completely or play just BFZ Prerelease events online.

This time around though I'd like to publish the post because I experienced something new.

Due to my very bad experiences from tournaments in local game stores except few tournaments I decided to go to a different place to see if the experience would be the same or not. I really needed the experience to be a good one so that I would be willing to play paper Magic again. Since Petr Brozek's words and articles convinced me that he has very good intentions with his players I decided to head over to Tolarie in Pardubice. I was afraid that things wouldn't go well but on the other hand people already know me there a bit.

I wanted to arrive on Friday, sleep over there at someone's place and then get up for the tournament. All this because I don't handle my daily job well and I hardly sleep (roughlt 5,5 hours a day, my new year's resolution is to SLEEP MORE). Thus getting up at 6 in the morning on a sixth day of a week did not really seem likely and I really wanted to participate in the event. So I bothered Petr during the week about this. In the end I had to get up in the morning on Saturday and get there on own anyway...

Getting to Pardubice is not a big deal and it takes about one hour and half to get there. There are trains that go there twice an hour (or 4 if I count all the railways) so I decided to catch one. I got up between six and seven in the morning. I ate something, grabbed my stuff that I half-prepared the day before and ran to the subway station. Running was a bit difficult since everything was frozen and slippery (it was supposedly -4). Since I ran in between the stations I managed to get into trains that the site I used to get info about how to get to Pardubice did not count with. I managed to get to Pardubice one hour earlier because of this so I had a nice (but actually pretty fast) walk to the store. Petr welcomed me and let me in.

It wasn't my first time being there but once again I looked around and enjoyed the place. Players started to arrive, chatting about OGW cards, being in a good mood and making jokes about the expeditions and the new colorless mana symbol.

Sealed Deck

Later we all sat down and we were told about all the new mechanics and stuff in the set which once a again brought up the silly comments about the look of the new colorless symbol. Then we could open our hedrons and enjoy are pools. My pool did not contain cards I wanted to play so I just went through each color and picked some cards I wanted to play. The number of the cards was even less than 7 per color so there was no chance I would be playing a two color deck. I actually had a bunch of colorless cards but there was no way for me to use them effectively and I had no card like Endbringer. I managed to open Oblivion Sower though which was pretty cool. Then I had Fall of the Titans and Serpentine Spike which meant that I would be playing red. I expected that Fall of the Titans would actually kill someone, but that card decided not to show up during the matches (oh I remember my Khans of Tarkir first pick - Sagu Mauler passing Foil Murderous Cut. How many times do you think I managed to play Sagu Mauler? 0 times^_^). My pool had about 4 good blue cards but not really splashable ones. White seemed horrible even from a first glance so I just gave up on that color. Black contained two cards I wanted to play and some other cards possibly playable. Green was strange. But 5/4 Vigilance, Trample and Baloth Null though made me want to play the color. So I put some random bears in the deck and tried making it look like a deck. My only fixation was Unknown Shores and Evolving Wilds and I was grateful for that at least. The deck more or less looked like this...I cut few cards and replaced them with some creatures (the 2/5 that can become 4/1 for colorless mana). In general the deck at first glance did not look bad nor good but I had bombs in my deck and hoped that these alone could win some games. The mana base was certainly a problem so I just hoped to be able to play something and not get crushed by some insane BW or RB aggro (my plan was to survive till I can play my 7 mana cards and win later^_^ Seven lands and two red sources proved to be pretty difficult thing to achieve)

I sat in front of a person that would normally spoil my mood for the for the rest of the day but there were many more good things going on or already happened. That was the only reason I managed to ignore him. When he opened his hedron he showed us his promo and proclaimed that it is the worst card he could get. We all knew that the card is actually good and certainly worth more money than our promos so he did not get any empathetic reactions from us. He also opened the most expensive cards but he was complaining about that as well even after all of us told him to stop that. I came there to play and this was one of the last things I wanted to hear. He claimed that he never opened anything (worth money) but even with a bad pool he always managed to win something. I made a mental note that this person will certainly not win the tournament and most probably won't be placed well either (but well I had no idea who he is or how he plays but obviously his reputation precedes him). After I build my jund deck without any fixation and cards that I would rather not play I went to bother Petr at the counter. He got a nice BR aggro deck with Chandra^_^ which seemed pretty brutal.

In the first round I was paired against one of the players sitting at the table I sat during deck building (very kind person!). I saw that he was building a 4c deck so I was pretty surprised how his first turns looked like. He played a swamp and Reaver Drone o_O. That certainly caught me off guard! 4c deck with black one drop? To my surprise the drone was followed by another one. I was like 'WTH?'. This happened in the following games as well^_^. I thought that my Kozilek's Sentinel would stop the 2/1 assault but it was Completely Disregarded and I had to wait three more turns to land a creature that could block those little critters. Fortunately that creature stayed in play^_^. My opponent also played quite some mana fixation from green but in general the green cards did not really seem to help his deck. I somehow managed to survive till the point that I was able to cast Serpentine Spike to clear the board and swing for lethal but otherwise my deck had no chance against that (most probably if he had played only 3 colors without that green I would just lose, but this way he was rather slow - not counting the 2/1s that scared me a lot...)

In the following round I had the opportunity to see how the white Ally cards are annoying. 3/2 for 3 that can fly seemed pretty unfair. But facing all these creatures I felt like my 2/2s are useless and they pretty much were^_^. My deck decided to screw me though because I drew only one land after keeping 3 in my opener. Having 5 lands though would mean that I would trample those Kor Allies.

Next I was paired against the only player I knew I did not want to play. Since I saw his pool full of good white creatures I knew that I would face those white allies once again. I was totally crushed by the allies game 1 - Relief Captain. Game 2 my deck showed me an ideal hand more or less. In the third game my opponent was complaining about my deck being unfair and that he lacked the color he needs (second color being red). He did not like that I always had an answer to his Endbringers and Displacers. But that was ALL I had just those answers I did not manage to draw a creature nor my third color and when I finally did draw a creature I was down to 5 life and couldn't deal with Endbringer and would rather draw another removal spell. Fall of the Titans or any removal would be enough for me to deal the remaining two damage but that did not happen. My opponent was color screwed but he also played quite a lot of colorless lands. I did not really see too many cards actually needing that (except all his rares that, probably good reason to run those). Anyway he had the chance to finish me way sooner if he would just pinged me at the end of each turn and actually managed to trigger his Ally triggers each time he played an ally. He let half of his creatures die just because of not triggering his triggers. So after this experience I really wonder how he ever managed to win a tournament but I guess sometimes we all are lucky enough to win a tournament, I wished for his pool but anyway looked forward to playing Baloth Null or Serpentine Spike to win a game (and yes, those cards were unfair^_^).

In between matches I thought I could probably play some games of something. I had Vintage with me that day but none of the players that finished their matches seemed to be willing to try that so I started going through some crap Petr bought from one of the players. I found some interesting cards and was willing to pay few crowns for them (since there were cards one can hardly come by - commons). Next time I should bring an EDH deck (both French/multiplayer) because that seemed something the players actually brought to the tournament. Not sure what their reactions would be if I would show them my Tasigur...(still it wasn't banned)

I don't remember much from the following rounds actually. I just wanted to sleep and I wasn't really paying attention to what was going on. No matter what I could really do much in that round. I was utterly crushed by allies. Thinking of it...are there other creature types other than Eldrazi or Ally? My deck decided to screw me completely this time but in this case I think that even if my creatures would have decided to show up the game wouldn't be much longer anyway. This was the only match in which I couldn't do a thing to stop the assault. My opponent played everything precombat main phase and then just attacked with everything...I felt like playing against Magic Duels AI...

After I scooped I went back to going through the crap cards. Meanwhile some kind of heated debate started about "Chinese cards". At first I didn't know what was going on but then I found that out. One of the players bought Bayou from somewhere (online I guess) and the players probably started to discuss whether the card is real or not. I wanted to inspect the card because I can recognize a fake from a real card. The front (apart from being really white bordered) seemed quite fine but the back was pretty bad. I told the player to scan the card and a real one to compare those two and I tried to explain how to recognize a fake from the real card but I think all I said was lost in the debate. I did not manage to get more information about the trade anyway...Just beware of fake cards. It seems that they are in circulation. Always require a high quality scan of the card if you can't buy it in person. And if it is something really expensive buy only at GPs or something.

During the unfortunate game I drank Red Bull but it took a whole round to kick in. I was still half asleep during the next round but I played against different colors this time so I had the opportunity to see some other cards (I had to explain to my opponents that they don't need to tell what each card does because I already knew). In general I could see that my 2/2s were not really going to get through toughness 3 creatures that seem to be abundant in OGW. Being able to pump them would help but my 'color' fixation was pretty bad. In this round though my opponent had even more 2/2s than me. So after some trades of those 2/2s, my bigger creatures 5/4 and 4/5 managed to get through after I managed to play them (the 2 card advantage was so good but even that sometimes it wasn't enough). By this round it also seemed to me that everyone opened Endbringer, but after seeing what other cards those players had in their pools I was actually glad that the only Eldrazi I needed to face was just the Endbringer.

When pairings for the last round were posted I found out that I would face the unfortunate Bayou owner. In this match Fall of the Titans finally decided to show up, but my opponent was down to 2 life and I had a 5/4 Vigilance, Trample creature in play that my opponent couldn't deal with anyway...

After the sealed deck I realized that I simple needed better attackers and then the deck would be fine. Actually any 3/2 or 4/2 would do (and there are such cards as I found out the day later while playing prerelease in Prague).

When we all had to leave Tolarie I went to a pub with few of the players and we played some nice games of EDH and some Vintage. The Vintage games were fine and showed me that I really should reconsider my mana base if 20% of the field will be Shops. As for EDH first I played with one player as my team mate. Both of our decks (both his) weren't good enough to do anything so we had decided to concede. The same happened in the next game so we switched our team mates. That went far better and it was quite nice actually. There I could see that the players rather force to play something or try to make something 'powerful' happen even if it is not necessary. I wanted to figure out why but our little debate was cut short. One reason certainly was that they know each other and know the decks, but I was sure that forcing something could mean game over (it was countered anyway). So after few more games it was more or less time to leave because I was really exhausted and couldn't even figure out how much mana my rocks and lands can produce^_^.

After asking someone if they can direct me to the central station I realized why I don't usually go with others somewhere and reminded myself that this might have not been such a good idea in the first place. There are some people that simply won't help you even if it is them that wanted something from you which usually ends with me being pretty screwed. I know many people like that and well all those I met in the capital. Because of some of those people I was just left stranded somewhere in the middle of nowhere at 3am during cold winter with no way of getting back to my flat (not the worst thing to happen), I was left alone in a foreign country without any cash (I survived that too, way better than the person that left me there) or I was invited to a tournament that I couldn't pay for and also happened to be in other country (hopefully a certain card costing 650USD "solved" my problem).

But it wasn't the case of these people that checked when trains leave for Prague and told me to go by bus to the train station. After a short sprint because I did not want to wait for twenty minutes for another train I hopped on a train going to Liben Station that happens to be about 8 minutes from where I live. During my way to the flat I connected to Facebook and wondered what I could write about the prerelease. There wasn't much interesting from the games I played so there won't be anything like a report. But I wasn't really sure what to write about the whole day either. I wrote a short post and then it was my time to get off.

I watched some Bron/Broen episodes (so I wouldn't be tempted to open modo) and then went to sleep (around 2 am which wasn't a good idea). In the morning I got up grabbed a pack of sleeves and left for another prerelease.

Comparison, conclusion to my experiment

When I arrived to the store I knew that the tournament won't go well for me. There was to 74-76 people. I tried to talk to few of those but no one actually listened to me even though everyone was curious what I opened the day before and what my record was. Even though I tried answering those questions no one really cared so the questions irritated me quite a lot. I spotted Vinni so I headed to the table where he sat. We had a short chat and then it was time to open our pools.

I did not really like what I opened. After my yesterday's experience with 2/2s I wasn't sure if a playable deck could be made out of this. It did not really matter though. I wanted to have some fun but I guess I was even too dead for that.

During the tournament I figured out though what I wanted to write about the day before. Because while being there, playing I realized all the differences between the prerelease in Tolarie and the one I was participating at that time.

Well, the first thing I already mentioned. Being asked questions so only people could boast is something I really don't like and since Modern Masters 2 I really despise it. I don't care if someone opened a Foil Kozilek's Return or Wasteland Expedition. People mock others, laugh at them, are being mean or are just trying to do something 'fishy' and some even cheat and that's not all. Starting this kind of tournament on time is something almost impossible but on the other hand the events in the store don't usually start on time. There are players that just come late and they don't really care. Many players don't have their own decks so one needs to wait for all the players to get a deck etc (I speak in general now). When pairings are posted many players are outside smoking or whatever and are unwilling to come and check the pairings. It takes time till all players are seated. I probably never really cared because I always had all the time in the world but after the experience in Tolarie I realized how strange the tournaments are in Prague. There are things that all players should be doing automatically and wish for a smooth tournament not be jerks or not be able to come even on time.

I wouldn't say that players in Tolarie were overly friendly or anything but they were nice, respectful and wanted to have fun. They were willing to deal with problems on their own and if they couldn't they called a judge. They were seated on time and reported their results. Shouldn't this be happening everywhere?

People like this exist certainly in Prague and were present at the prerelease (more of them than it might seem to you after all my rants) but finding a player that really wants to have fun and wants to enjoy the game/tournament that is a rarity. I had the chance to meet such a person in the last round. There were few more around me and we had quite some fun and could discuss some crazy games. My opponent from the last round put me back to reality when he told me that I cannot be angry if I lose. I wasn't really angry about losing as I expected the worst already but my deck was showing me mana flood after mana flood (with 17 lands in my deck...I always had 10-12 of them) and that is something his friend/brother or whoever told him as well. I realized that my behavior was certainly different from the one the day before and it wasn't because I was exhausted or anything. It was because there were many things that annoyed me during the tournament and they all added up and I couldn't cope with them. I was fed up with the people there and then when playing against someone nice I still couldn't just relax and have fun. I realized that when I was in Tolarie I could just be there and have fun and relax. Here in Prague I couldn't.

Anyway I really hope this person had a great time and will show up again because we seriously need such people! And he also had a really sweet deck.

Epic battle between Jund and BGw deck. The Abzan deck had to face a BIG Oran-Rief Hydra though and in one swing 10/10 First Strike Trample creature decided how the game would end (supported by 3/3 Trampler that pump itself). Even 3/9 Defender couldn't cope with that...

Ok, I think this concludes the post. What I wanted to say is this. There are good people and good communities in this country.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Traditional Art vs Digital Art - My Story

I wanted to write a post about Traditional Art vs Digital Art because lately I had a small dispute with my father about it. That let me think quite a lot. Obviously there are many misconceptions about art in general and I was one of those blind people for 20 years. But since I like drawing and painting I never stopped doing that. It is unfortunate though that 20 years have passed and my skill is far from what I would wanted it to be. So here is some kind of recapitulation of my big adventure - drawing/painting and the message I would like to share.

Since the post got a bit out of hand I created a separate page for it. Here's the link ->

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Screenshot of the Day - Draw on Magic Online

A draw can happen sometimes, it is rare but it happens. All the draws like this I managed against red based decks so I wasn't surprised about this one either. In a game three I was hoping to draw Kitchen Finks or Siege Rhino because I really felt I would need it. It came down to me being down to 2 life and my opponent had 1 card in hand. He did not scoop though so I was wondering what the card could possibly be. So I did the only thing I could, I 'turned my creatures sideways' and expected to be bolted or something. But the card in my opponent's hand wasn't a bolt it was Deflecting Palm! And well this was the result of it^_~

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Painting Exercise - Monk

Yesterday after MODO's downtime I waited for 38 minutes for a game of Vintage. I played against Oath and I was glad that the games were quite fun. After that I asked Thiim if he's not up for some games so I could try Bant Mentor deck. I found out that without setting auto-yields and pressing F7 I'm terribly I spent quite a lot of time staring at the Prowess ability triggers and Monastery Mentor ability at first and timed out^_^. I got faster later but I managed to mess other things up and the remaining two Mentors I hoped to draw were somewhere in the last 16 cards of my library. Do I need to repeat that I timed out?

Anyway this probably led to painting this -> A Jeskai Monk with Prowess.

Painting the Monk was quite difficult and more time consuming as well because the tablet I used (or the style) decided to act up. So after some time I just decided to stop painting and consider this 'finished' for now. It looks ok on the screen, not sure how it will look like when printed. But so far...looking at this token/image does not make me think of a long stack of Prowess abilities! (I will make a screenshot and upload it later).

Monday, January 4, 2016

Magic Duels - Love or Hate? It comes down to deckbuilding

note: I had difficulties writing this post is a bit chaotic...

Since quite some time ago I was trying to grasp the reason why people simply hate or love Magic Duels. This time I don't talk about all the competitive players that just often say the game is total crap or casual players that like this game because they can play the game they used to play ages ago for free. This post is about something else completely.

There are many 'arguments' that go like this 'Duels look awesome, modo is still in middle ages', 'Duels is hardly a game of Magic, play on Magic Online'. Even though I could agree with the previous statements none of those are actual arguments for me. Magic Duels and Magic Online are two completely different things and I think that some people need to see that from someone else's point of view. Actually, I would say, just look at it without comparing it with something else - that 'else' being real Magic with the rules we all know (this includes playing using Magic Online client). It is the very same case with Hearthstone vs Magic and randomly generated numbers. The games are similar and both contain RNG, but they have different impact on the game.

There was a long 'discussion' on RNG but many tried to figure out if HS is more affected by that or not. The thing is that both games use random effects and they differ (Magic uses lands that need to be drawn and played, HS for example has many cards with effects like 'At the end of your turn, deal 8 damage to a random enemy.'). The difference is one of the primary reason why some people do not like HS even though many of those people won't be able to explain you the reason why they do not like it and will just say RNG (and vice-versa). Magic Duels is a Magic game, just a different one than some would expect.

Now back to Magic Duels. I spent some time playing Magic Duels in between Magic Online matches just to grind some gold so I could build something I would consider a deck. Because one thing I don't like about TCGs is not being able to play what I want. Grinding wasn't an easy task when the quests looked like 'win 2 games with this or that archetype'. Now when the actual Quest says 'make 15 abilities trigger' it is way easier. At that time I wasn't really paying much attention to the games, all I wanted was a better card pool so I could build something that would be fun to play and would be able to play against other players and not utterly die.

I was actually doing the very same thing in Duels of the Planeswalkers since I bought all the special and premium content. I did not go through all the unlocking of cards for a deck and tweaking it. DotP provided me with nice decks that were fun to play and I could choose a deck to help me win a certain match. In DotP though there wasn't the need to figure out what a field looks like because there were only preconstructed decks. There wasn't much to explore. But it is different in Magic Duels.

Magic Duels is a free to play game. Anything that is 'free' comes with a price though. It usually is 'time'. In this case Magic Duels seems to be a game in which one can get everything quite fast (in a month) but trying to get everything fast can mean less fun since the best way to win fast is to build a fast aggressive deck (unless Wizards of the Coast or whoever is taking care of the game will figure out how to randomize the AI decks more). I put together GW aggro deck to play against the AI on Hard. A fast aggressive deck was the right choice since the AI does not really play much during the first rounds. This was a deck I build just against the AI to win fast and grind some gold. By doing this I did not really have much fun and I also couldn't see what the game has to offer. It was a mistake because the game actually has quite a lot to offer. One needs to abandon the idea of a constructed or limited experience from real life Magic. The thing is that Magic Duels has its own metagame that will change with each set released. To see what certain cards do one can actually try them against the AI first.

All the difference between the 'real Magic' and Magic Duels is the fact that Magic Duels has different deck building limits (if I omit the fact that there are only two sets available and not even all cards from those sets are present). There is no 4 copies limitation that we know from 'real Magic' but rather there are different limits set for each rarity. A deck can contain 1 copy of a Mythic Rare card, 2 copies of a Rare card, 3 copies of an Uncommon card and 4 copies of a Common card. This makes all the decks less powerful than those that can run all the mythics and rares in four copies but also makes them more varied. So in a way it feels more like a drafted deck one could say. Partly yes, because there is focus on commons and uncommons but on the other hand there is normal constructed limitation to the number of cards in one's deck and that is 60. With 60 cards and less powerful cards there is even a bigger difference in the 'strength' of the deck (it is way less consistent). This creates a completely different field. Slower decks can be played. Synergies that hardly work in a game of draft or sealed deck can be viable due to several reasons. Well, in 40 cards deck one can build a pretty fast deck. And from all those packs one cannot simply draft all the cards he or she would want for his or her deck supporting a certain strategy/synergy. 40 cards are usually pretty consistent as there are always ways to get the cards one needs - either by building a deck with a good curve or a deck that simply digs to find its bomb. In a 60 card deck both of these apply but getting the right cards at the right moment is way more improbable. Since the decks are slower in general the decks in Magic Duels can run more colors even though there isn't very good mana fixing (there is, it is just different from Fetchland -> Dual Land). Playing more colors can sometimes allow a player to play a certain card effect in a deck in 4 copies (for example playing Planar Outburst and Languish which can make a total of 4 board wipes - not that I would be fan of WW and BB in the mana cost).

Also in Magic Duels there are not only cards from Magic Origins and Battle for Zendikar. There is a certain pool of cards that is from other sets and some of those cards are pretty powerful compared to ORI and BFZ cards.

The last thing that makes difference and should be noted when building a deck is that in paper Magic tournaments you play a best of three matches. Here you play only one. That is the reason why there should be more emphasis on commons and uncommons and that meta cards have to be included in the deck rather than in sideboard.

My revelation about all this came when I wanted to build a mono blue deck that could win by milling my opponent. I did not want to do this because my pool is very limited and I'm missing many cards I would want to play. That is the reason why I build a very aggressive deck to grind. But that is hardly fun. So I wanted to change that even with those cards I have. So I tried putting together some mono blue mill deck. It was utter crap and I knew it. I was looking at it though with my 'Magic Origins limited experience'. After one not so successful game my flatmate build a similar deck but added some cards that usually end up passed till someone is forced to pick them. I played with that and after a while I realized that these cards actually work and that I just don't need to fear much. The decks are actually relatively slow and there is time to set up the board. So I decided to stick with Sphinx's Tutelage but change it because I wanted to take a different path.

I put all my Sphinx's Tutelages in the deck and wondered what else I could put in there. I had two versions in mind, one being more like a control that would really win by milling primarily (in that case it would be UB) or a UG version running a lot of creatures that would help me (Ingest creatures, Bounding Krasis and Elvish Visionary). After looking for a while at my pool I figured out that UB version won't work because I simply don't have the cards I would want. No Read the Bones, no less than 5 cmc removal, only 1 Languish etc. So I looked at the UG version. Not only my number of Tutelages was not optimal (2 only) but I do not even own Elvish Visionaries and Krasises. So I looked for more disruption spells. What I found where expensive counterspells, 1 Disperse and not much of anything else (and two Claustrophobias). In the end I was so desperate that I put Talent of the Telepath in the deck and you know what? Each time I actually managed to play this card it did exactly what I needed. Any deck runs a certain type of removal and this card usually can hit it. After this I had to think once again about how my deck should look like, because the field in which it would exist is far from Magic Origins from the 'real Magic'. What I had in mind originally was something similar to this (I will try to build that if I manage to open all those cards):

Since I hardly own the cards though I decided to go for an artifact approach because Esperzoa with Aether Vial is a nice draw engine. But is it just fancy or it can actually work in Magic Duels environment? It was time to find out.

I played some ranked matches and was utterly crushed by certain cards rather than decks in general. On the other hand I have to admit that the games were fun. I actually payed way more attention to what was going on and it wasn't just 'tapping my creatures sideways'. I expected to terribly die to some fast decks but in reality I was capable of facing those decks and not utterly die. But I was pitted against decks that seemed way more 'normal' than I would expect. I encountered BG Elves that even though couldn't kill me through combat damage, they still could win via Shaman of the Pack. UR Prowess also gave me a hard time. I could stop the attack but 2x Exquisite Firecraft just killed me because I always had to take some damage. Lastly I played against some ramp deck that killed me with Ulamog (a card that haunts me everywhere be it Vintage Cube, Modern or Standard). But even Rolling Thunder would do the job.

After those games it seems that my deck needs more disruption or ways how to deal with something or be simply faster. No matter what, I could win those games. So even with this pile of cards that does not resemble a deck much it is possible to play interesting games and win.

If I would want to build a safe deck against those decks I encountered in the past few weeks I would build UB Control since this deck can run both counterspells and removal (be it spot removal or global). White has also global removal, spot removal and some nice finishers. But for that I will need to grind A LOT of gold first, but there is already enough cards in my collection from which I can brew some decks that won't be the top decks out there but should be able to withstand those rank 15 I encounter (at rank 1^_^).

Anyway in the last few days I encountered one player and I will use him as an example for my conclusion (rather my flatmate communicates with him and tries to teach him some Magic). He is a new player to Magic and would like to be a competitive player. He told us that for him it is better to play tier 1 decks and see what those decks do rather than figuring out how to build such a deck and why. This was quite shocking to hear because till now I had the impression that all the players starting with Duels of the Planeswalkers/Magic Duels have a very healthy attitude towards the game and they like to build decks and see what works. This person though just wants to skip this and learn in a different way and I really hope there's not so many new players with this attitude. Because with this attitude one does not really need to play Magic Duels but can just start to play the real game.

All those players net decking and not trying to build their own decks will be in disadvantage if they don't go through learning how to build a deck first. I know that this does not really matter nowadays because most people simply don't have the time to brew and just want to win. Learning just how tier 1 decks work in a field of other tier 1 decks is usually enough. Magic Duels and Duels of the Planeswalkers are games that are a good reminder of what Magic used to be about - deck building. When one starts to build decks and test he will truly get the most from the game and he will learn the most. To me this is very important. It used to be very important. So in the end those people that like to explore the game and build decks are those that will most probably like the game. Those that think that building a tier 1 deck and playing with it is the best thing to do won't most probably like Magic Duels.