Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vintage Daily

UR Delver
It's been a little while since Lodestone Golem was restricted so I was wondering what deck I want to play. I'm trying my best to learn to play URw Control or Grixis Control. But I lose concentration fast with those decks and one misstep and the game is over. So I decided that in the upcoming tournaments in the following 1-2 months I would still be piloting UR Delver.

The deck though needs to prepare for other match ups than Ravager Shops while still keeping in mind that MUD deck can still be a viable choice. I personally think that Shops or other kind of MUD/Eldrazi build is viable. The deck to choose seems to be Mentor though. Since my losses from tournaments are usually against these decks I decided to switch Lightning Bolts for Sudden Shocks. This is probably very straightforward and clear to most of you but for some it might not be. The reason why I did not like Sudden Shock before was the fact that it does not kill Lodestone Golem. That alone was such a big problem that I decided to run 4 Lightning Bolts in my deck. But since the biggest offender is gone (3/4) Sudden Shock is the card I prefer now. The fact that it can kill Mentor or Pyromancer without me worrying if my opponent has more counterspells than me is what is needed now. Doomsday is another match up that is pretty bad for me but Sudden Shock can deal with Laboratory Maniac. I still have yet to win over Doomsday (rather skilled Doomsday player) but this is a little bonus. The card does not help against Oath though. But since Oath was good when Shops was around we might see less of that as well.

Since I expected a resurgence of Dark Petition storm I put another Flusterstorm in my deck. It is a card I always wanted main deck in two copies because of mirror match and Mentor but I couldn't afford it since the card was dead against Shops. Against Mentor, Storm and other blue decks that really need something to resolve it is a very good card. It does not counter Time Vault or Oath but helps win a counter war.

Since Oath, Belcher and more Vault/Key decks seemed to appear I have 2 Wear//Tear in my sideboard. Because the need to destroy something at instant speed (or enchantment) became important and I'm even more inclined in running 3 of these if MUD decks would be less prevalent. I still like my Ingot Chewers but the reason why to play them (costing one mana, being a creature) is less and less relevant. Adding few cards that cost 2 mana to the deck make it a bit slower though. I haven't really seen a problem in that so far but I can see it clearly in my games. Having one more mana open when finding an answer to something is actually a pretty big deal - especially if you need to play few Gushes in order to find the answer.

Anyway all this was rather theoretical and it was time to test it a bit. I entered Vintage Daily and wondered what I would encounter. I encountered Dredge and Storm. I was surprised that game 1s for some reason weren't so utterly bad but that might also be the reason why I lost one of the deciding games against one of the dredge players - who practically won on his t2 after I finished my t1. Anyway what was a wake up call for me was Rending Volley and Serenity that all those players sided against me. It seems that not only me was prepared for Monastery Mentor (Cabal Therapy naming Monastery Mentor against me was also something telling me that Mentor is obviously a problem). Unfortunately Rending Volley also hits my Delver of Secrets and Containment Priest. I also saw Wispmare and Ingot Chewer. These cards weren't such a surprise but certainly this 1/3 Flyer not only wrecks my Rest in Peace plan but can also block Pyromancer and Elemental tokens all day (and chump Delver which can be relevant since I don't usually win Elemental vs Zombie fight unless I have flipped Delver in play). I even sided in Wear//Tear to deal with Serenity or Nevinyrral's Disk. Sounds odd but Serenity killed me...

I played only one match against DPS and I seriously have no idea how the game could have proceeded if I would have chosen a different path. Anyway after this match I decided to play with DPS myself (not in a tournament but at least play few dozens of games...against different types of decks).

The Daily was won by Lexor19 with his Eldrazi MUD. If interested you can watch the replays I recorded and uploaded to youtube.

The next Daily went way better for me so I bring you a short report^_^.

Round 1
In round 1 I wasn't even sure what I play against for a while since my opponent started with Ancient Tomb and Sphere of Resistance. I expected some Eldrazi but later found out that I was wrong. Next he played Thorn of Amethyst but I wanted to play a creature on t2 anyway so I didn't mind. Later he played Hangarback Walker confirming me that he's not on Eldrazi and rather plays Ravager Shops. I already had a bunch of creatures on my side of the table so I easily won (since he was rather mana screwed). In the second game I had to let Hangarback Walker resolve since I did not have a blue card to pitch. I played Stony Silence on my turn 1 making Hangarback 1/1 but I suspected that Ravager would follow sooner or later. Ravager and Phyrexian Revoker followed along with Mishra's Factory. So I started killing the creatures hoping that the flying 2/2 that would come out of Walker/Ravager wouldn't kill me. I felt safe since I had about 8 removal spells for that card and Dack Fayden as well (Revoker 'needled' Mox Sapphire). I had Young Pyromancer to deal with the non-flying creatures and in three turns I indeed found Dack Fayden and stole the Thopter.

Round 2
In the following round I played against kingofcube that beat me in the previous Daily. The initial shock that was caused by my opponent siding in Rending Volley subsided so I tried to concentrate on the game and count with the card. In game one it seemed that I would either stare at an army of 2/2 Zombies or 4/4 Zombies. I conceded after countering Dread Return but since I couldn't deal with neither Bridge, Zombies nor four Bloodghasts it clear I wouldn't win this game no matter how I tried (should have conceded a bit earlier). In game 2 I had Young Pyromancer, Containment Priest and Sudden Shock to possibly deal with Bridge from Bellow. None of the cards got discarded so it was quite a 2/2 beatdown. In the deciding game I made certain strange plays and hoped that sacrificing Containment Priest wouldn't end up in me losing the game. I could only think of losing to Elesh Norn but that does not mean that something else could have happened. I just hoped that Delver, Pyromancer and some elementals would be win the game (they did). This shows that my knowledge of Dredge is limited and it would be good to play with the deck someday (I don't have cards for it though so I will have to proxy it somehow).

When you play Cabal Therapy because you are afraid of one particular card - Time Walk - and don't hit it. That's exactly the moment when your opponent top decks it. I made it even worse. I chained some spells, found the Time Walk and won^_^.

Round 3
In Round 3 I played against Montolio so I expected to play against Mentor. I was wondering if I really should play accordingly or just wait till my opponents plays something to see if he really is on Mentor. I mulled to 4 though and I wasn't sure if I can possibly beat a deck that can do anything better than my deck. It was a long game and it seemed winnable though. But when Dack Fayden joined Jace, the Mind Sculptor I was doomed. I tried to deal with few Mentors and I managed to deal with them but my removal ran out and I just couldn't deal with 20+ card advantage on the other side of the table. I conceded and wondered if I can possibly win. Anyway for four card hand it was actually pretty impressive. I hoped for an aggressive hand in the following game. My hand was actually fine but my opponent's hand was better and once again I faced these two walkers and Mentor and conceded. Since I wanted to see how game 1 would end and how much chance I could have we spent majority of the time we got for the round and this exhausted me. I learned what I wanted though so that was a good thing. On the other hand I was too tired to play against another Mentor deck.

Round 4
In the last round I was paired against another Mentor deck. This time Princess_Power deck from P9C he won. I suspected this because I faced Young Pyromancer early but I dealt with it. It cost me a Sudden Shock that I wanted to save for Monastery Mentor but even the Pyromancer would kill me so I just had to play it. One of my lands got Wasteland'ed which also seemed to point to Princess_Power Mentor deck. I looked at my opponent's hand having all the counterspells in the world but he had no way how to kill me or draw more cards. Eventually my Dack Fayden resolved. I wasn't really sure if this card alone could win the game but obviously drawing three cards a turn is something that win games. After looting for something that seemed like eternity I managed to play few creatures and one finally made it and stuck in play. In game two my opponent played Young Pyromancer on t1. I played mine on t1. He Bolt'ed mine and the Pyromancer died. I tried Bolting his but the Pyromancer unfortunately survived. From there it was quite easy to see that I won't win that game^_~. In the deciding game it got to a moment in which I had Delver in play and I had nothing else in my hand except Mental Misstep that I wanted to use for Lightning Bolt/Swords to Plowshares. The Delver had a long way to go though (14 life). When my opponent was down to 1 life he played Ancestral Recall, Gush and few more cantrips. I was expecting my creature to die since he had so many cards in hand. He played Bolt, I Misstep'ed it, he countered that, I Misstep'ed the Bolt again. He conceded. But I certainly did not deserve to win. I messed up (this wasn't the only moment in the tournament I messed up^_^ Not looting against Montolio as much as I could was also a huge mistake! Especially after I mulled to 4) by not playing my Moxen and Black Lotus because if I would have had those in play I could have just paid for Flusterstorm/Spell Pierce etc and still keep the two Missteps...

After my opponent conceded I stared at BFZ/OGW packs I received wondering what went wrong but I was too tired to file a report. We played few games with my last opponent instead but we were both pretty tired and it showed in our games. After totally screwing up not countering the ONLY card that would kill me I decided that it is time to go to sleep^_^.

This Daily did not really show anything new to me except that everyone fears Gush decks which is understandable. My deck was viable but well I just played 4/8 rounds against decks I could have normally played against pre-restriction. Anyway I received 6 booster packs and some PP so I should use them well - to learn something about Legacy or Vintage. Winning something will be nice since I can't spend much money on tournament fees or cards. But paying for tournaments is really better than just playing in TP room.

After doing changes to my Delver deck I made changes to URw Control and TPS deck as well. These slight changes helped me play URw Control better and I even put Sudden Shock there. Unfortunately I'm not entirely sure what this deck can possibly do against Eldrazi so I decided to keep it as my pet deck and possibly come up with either something else - for that I got 4 copies of Thing in the Ice - or learn more about other decks. I have a lot to explore in order to become a better player and the best way to learn at first it to play with the decks I can encounter (if possibly in tournament environment). To play the deck means that I can discover how the deck behaves, what cards it is actually weak too and how it can win which also helps me figure out how to sideboard or in general play against it.

In one of the Daily Events this weekend I got crushed by Storm and I wasn't really sure if I played well against it or not. I was wondering what the odds were but I couldn't come up with them. So I decided to give DPS a try. I have the deck online but since it was already past 1 am and I had to get up for work I would have to play with paper cards that day. I already agreed to play some paper Vintage that day. So I took more or less the cards needed for the deck and hoped to play some games with it at our testing session. It seems the group was actually glad to play against it^_^. After calling me a coward not playing with it I just beat them all^_^.

Dark Petition Storm
I played some games against the wall to figure out if I can count to ten (20). There was a player with Oath, Remora Mentor and Vault/Key control. My first opponent was on Oath. That sounded as a good match up unless I would face Oath t1 and I couldn't win on that turn myself. Anyway I don't know anything about the match up so I just tried playing against it. I kept a strange hand at first and lost to t1 Oath. In game 2 I mulled to 4 most probably not being able to win anyway. Since game 3 everything changed. My draw was better. I could see my opponent's hand and get rid of his Flusterstorm and Force of Will. I needed him to waste his Mana Drain then and decided that Necropotence would be a good card to get countered. It did so I went off and won. The following games went also in my favor no matter how many counterspells my opponent had. When Oath landed on the table I just had to try to win and it worked out in those cases.

Next I played against Remora Mentor build. At first I was horrified by the Mystic Remora. But I still had a way to go around it...or rather I had Defense Grid in my deck and in some cases I just needed to play my spells and hope. I have to say that I was more successful than I would expect which can only be due to variance (I need to play way more games). Mindbreak Trap and Flusterstorm gave me a hard time but the Mentor is not really that fast. It's not like facing Griselbrand on t2. There is usually some time that I can just hoard my cards and then play them (Time Walk is a problem though with Mentor in play).

After this I played few games against Key/Vault deck. I was already pretty tired because games against Mentor were usually quite exhausting. I could see that there are ways how to win against Key/Vault. It was tricky and not really easy though. My opponent though had a different opinion thinking he can't really win. But I had to see for myself. In those few games we played I was the one favored (rather my deck...not me).

A contest of whose hand is worse...

While playing DPS I realized that I actually mulligan in a different way. Usually when playing a new deck I keep all hands that seem to be at least a little bit playable. But in this case the hand either really had a way how to win or was likely to win if I get card A or B or was totally unplayable. I'm not sure if that it is because the deck is a combo deck or because I have some experience playing Storm in other formats. I kept two very strange hands though that day after mulliganing to 5. One was 3 Moxen, Crypt, Mind's Desire. I won with this one playing few Moxen, land and Desire (I tried it because I had to..I would be dead next turn). With the second hand 2 Duress, 1 Cabal Therapy, Lotus Petal, Polluted Delta I lost. But I would have lost the game even while having nuts.

It was actually enjoyable to play DPS but I'm not entirely sure if it helped me much in exploring what the deck can do or cannot do. I learned that even Mind's Desire for 4 was usually enough even though I'd prefer 6 to be the number. After seeing my hands and plays I realized that there isn't much choice in countering certain spells. Those cards I used as bait were always cards that would lead me to victory as well.

So now back to figuring out what to do with Things in the Ice. So far it seems that it needs to get teamed up with something that can also deal damage. Snapcaster Mage is not sufficient...

Here is a funny screenshot for those who managed to read the whole post...Thing in the Ice meets Planeswalker control in Vintage. The first Thing got stolen by Nicol Bolas and the second one was destroyed by Garruk!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Seoung Mi-na from Soul Calibur 3

Shadows over Innistrad Prerelease

Since Onslaught I was participating in prerelease events. This time though I was ill and I couldn't participate in the paper prerelease event. I was tempted to go but in the end I did not. I thought that maybe the following week I could possibly play in the release event instead. I forgot that I would be most probably too busy with SOI preorders though. I was sleep deprived and exhausted so I skipped the release event as well. The only remaining possibility to participate in prerelease/release event was to participate in SOI Prerelease events on Magic Online. Since I already participated in the previous prerelease and release events online I wasn't afraid much of losing those tix I would put in that. This time the situation was a bit different - I had no prior experience with the set and I was too reluctant to even read the spoiler.

On Friday I wanted to come back from work and play in the events that would start more or less by that time. Instead I stopped by one of the LGSs. I talked to some players at first about SOI and Magic in general and then I was asked by other players to join a game of EDH. I played with a borrowed deck - UB Ninja tribal led by Vela the Night-Clad. We played few games of two headed giant. We (Vela, Narset) played against Ulamog and Jenara and it ended up in our favor. Obviously it wasn't a good idea to pair two blue decks together after all...

After this we went with Ondra to McDonald's (it was late and nothing else was open) to play some games of Type 2. Since I do not follow the metagame at all I was rather lost. I borrowed Grixis Control and tried few games with it. As expected I did not really feel like in control of the game but Chandra and Kalitas were sweet. When I played against Ramp I felt totally helpless...(killing Dragonlord Atarka with three cards...oh yeah, certainly didn't feel like a winner)

I figured that if I would want to play a control deck I'd rather play Esper with Ojutai and some real counterspells! Even though Transgress the Mind would actually help a ton in that match up. After some games it was time to go.

When I came to my flat it was well past midnight. Since I wanted to buy cards for Modern Faeries that day (the day before) I sat behind my desk and opened Magic Online. After I spend about an hour (and more) waiting for different bots to let me buy the cards I decided to pay 28 tix and enter one of the prerelease events after all. At first thinking that I would just build a deck and go to sleep.

Sealed Deck
At first glance I saw Sigarda and Alter Ego because that just popped at me. After making sure to see all cards in my pool I noticed Startled Awake which also seemed to scream 'play me'. I ignored that for a while and divided my cards by playable/unplayable and looked at it once again. Blue and black did not contain defensive creatures nor removal and there was less of those cards compared to the other 3 colors. So I decided to go with Sigarda. But looking at white the color was far behind red which had even few bombs in it. Wolf of Devil's Breach seemed way overpowered and Avacyn's Judgment seemed as a very good card if I would be able to play it for its Madness cost. So I decided to splash Sigarda and play RG aggro.

Round 1
In round 1 I played against Grixis. I wasn't really sure what the deck would be doing. But it drew/looted many cards. I tried to attack as efficiently I possibly could (note that does not need to mean really efficiently since I'm very bad with creatures in general) but then facing 1/5s and 1/3s was actually problem. When my opponent added 3/3 flyer to the mix it was quite bad for me. I could still have more creatures and swing for lethal but that was not going to happen since my opponent played Avacyn's Judgment for its Madness cost wiping my whole board out -_-. And by doing that he put two extra creatures in play! The second game wasn't any better. After this crushing defeat I wasn't really sure if my deck could do anything in the upcoming rounds. But how do you guys feel if someone is 10 cards ahead in any format? This happens a lot in Vintage and even there with all the cards that could help me overcome that I lose. When this happens in limited and there is no Ancestral Recall to save feels way worse. And who the hell came up with the idea to play a 5 round sealed deck at 3 am?

Round 2
In round 2 I faced BG Delirium deck. At first he just played better creatures than mine but I knew I could withstand that unless he would play some flyers I couldn't really deal with at that time. Double/triple blocking seemed as a horrible idea but it was the only way how to deal with 6/6 and 6/5 creatures (and I really needed to get rid of Tireless Tracker). I managed to trade with all the creatures but then my opponent found Mindwrack Demon in his deck and played it (Recruiter is a good rare and OP uncommon). That was a bit too much for me. When sideboarding I regretted a bit that I did not try to put together UB mill deck. In the end I was glad I did not have the option to side like this in the 3 minute time limit (or how much, I was too lazy to even think about how the deck should look like). So instead I just clicked on 'Submit deck' and waited for my hand to appear on the screen. It looked good. It was my turn to show my opponent my mythic rare cards. My elemental wolf did not die and it could deal all those twenty damage by only discarding cards and tossing them at my opponent (one of them being Avacyn's Judgment). Game three was not to be since my opponent spend part of his timer being disconnected. Anyway after this match I figured out that my bombs are actually good and that my deck can probably win the following games if I just realize that I can discard a card with Madness and play it^_~. So there was no need to build a different deck. I also needed to facepalm myself for my attacks and blocks. I always wonder how you guys cope with all those creatures...

Round 3
I hoped that round 3 would be quick after the second one and it was. Turn 2 Lambholt Pacifist and turn 3 attack for four was a good beginning. Two turns later I played Sigarda wondering what would happen to her. Since I played against UG I expected some enchantment tapping my creature and not allowing them to untap. That actually happened. Next turn I played Tormenting Voice playing 4/3 Haste thanks to Madness. I drew my Mythic and Avacyn's Judgment. That seemed enough for a 'Still had all deez' scenario. Game two on t5 I had 4 creatures in play and my opponent couldn't block any of them and he conceded.

Round 4
In round 4 I found out that my deck that hardly had something that could be considered as a reasonable curve actually managed to show it to me (and my opponent). To my surprise though my opponent decided to race me even though I was winning the damage race. I couldn't think of a card that would mess the life totals till Silverstrike happened. I read the card, not really believing it and hoped to still win the game even though that was unlikely since I needed to top deck a removal spell. Luckily I top decked Rabid Bite for the win. In game 2 I was killed by Geist of Saint Traft Invocation. Even though I tried to block the creature with the enchantment several times my opponent always had something preventing me to block and kill the creature.

In game 3 I kept a two lander hoping I would draw a 3rd land soon. I had 3 two drops so I had some time before it would become a serious problem. I was facing only one big First Striker and one creature that happened to be Indestructible for quite some time. Later when my opponent started playing flyers I really needed to find some lands. I managed that even though it cost me 10 life. I played Watcher in the Web finally followed by Sigarda. I hoped that these two creatures would stop the attack of never ending spirits and later win the game. Nothing happened to Sigarda hopefully so after several turns of chumpblocking 9/4 First Strike creature, Sigarda managed to get through 5 spirits and win the game later.

Round 5
In Round 5 I also started by curving out but that was soon to be stopped by Sage of Ancient Lore. I was lucky to have removal for the creature but Elusive Tormentor replaced it tormenting me for the rest of the game. I had two fatties that could swing without a problem past 4/4 body but even that plan ended up in vain since my opponent created four 1/1 Devils that deal damage somewhere if they die. Anyway my 5/5, 5/4, 4/5 creatures could still win the game but I needed my opponent to cooperate and mess the game up (I top decked a win con though so that thought process was ...rather useless).

Well, I just needed my opponent messing up when trying to kill one or two of my creatures and it fortunately happened. Next turn he could still possibly block and kill my red mythic but the rest of my creatures would still get through. In the following game we both started with Werewolves. My died first and my opponent played Soul Swallower joining two Wolves. I had Mad Prophet in play though (awesome card!) and got Avacyn's Judgment. I wiped his board and later outnumbered him even managing to play Sigarda. While werewolves were flipping, Sigarda was dealing 4 damage per turn. My opponent did not find removal for her and died few turns later.

After the sealed deck was over I was glad that I got some packs and PP that I could spend on something else. I felt very embarrassed by playing so badly in the first two rounds but on the other hand is that normal that everyone expects you to play well during your first prerelease event without even knowing the cards in the set? One thing is certain I'm obviously not that fast to adapt to a new set and it certainly takes some time for me to figure out even how a deck I build works (not that I would build something difficult to play).

Limited Break
After the finished Sealed deck League I played some Legacy (because I decided to play at least a match a day) and Modern (I'm trying to figure out some UB Faeries build). In Legacy I beat some poor Delver players. One of those players got totally destroyed ^_~. I did not expect to be the 'aggressor' - destroying all lands and creatures.

In Modern I was trying to play with Fae and was doing so-so. Some people asked me why I still have Remand in my deck after game 1. Some were asking nicely, someobviously took me for some dumb player. Since I only have an idea how MD should look like I haven't really put much thought in how my sideboard should look like. I put there some cards but since it contains strange cards that I hardly imagine siding against something, there are no reasonable cards I could put there instead of Remand. But still that does not change the fact that I should have counted with this scenario (me siding out something like this and replacing it with something better - hard counter for something. I used to run Flashfreeze/Negate 8 years ago or so but I'm not sure if that would work in nowadays field). If I want to build a deck I put together 60 cards and then try to tweak it till I like the deck or gather enough information about match ups and such. After that I look at the cards that become dead or weaker and find something I can replace them with against certain match ups. That means that usually sideboard is the last thing I come up with. Often I rather play without sideboard first. I put Damnation, Steel Sabotage, Hurkyl's Recall and Dragon Claw in my SB but only because I though I would need those cards and couldn't come up with anything better. I wasn't thinking at that time what cards these would be replacing.

Anyway I don't know why but I got the feeling that everyone just expects me to play certain decks containing very specific cards. People expect that everyone net decks? Maybe since even in limited people are like 'I used LSV's pick list' for this draft.

Some time ago I made the wrong decision going to several Modern events. In one I played Grixis Delver and I was called an idiot by playing Spell Pierce (I don't need to say that this card won me two matches, I dropped with 2:1 record that day). Next time I went there playing Junk and someone complained about me playing Infest effect card against Naya Burn. I don't say that I chose the right cards to play or side in but I played with what I had available to me and tried to use it as best as I could. I had no idea what Modern looks like. I just wanted to play some games of Modern. I think there is nothing wrong with that. After few more experiences like this in other formats as well (playing Kolaghan in Junk in t2, or playing Delver or PTE in Vintage) I decided not to bother anymore (even though I won't give up paper Vintage).

After being upset because of what my opponents decided to type me I clicked on SOI Prerelease Draft and it would either me being the 8th player or I would go to bed. I managed to get in the pod. Modo showed me that the tournament started but froze just afterwards. I wanted for a while wondering if it would let me join the tournament or I would have to restart but luckily it showed me the first pack with some delay. Tireless Tracker was there staring at me at rare slot so I picked that because the card seemed OP and I also played against it during the sealed deck and the card really difficult to deal with.

That sent me into green. Rabid Bite followed. In the next pack there was only one card that interested me and that was Tormenting Voice but I decided to pick Foreboding Ruins if I would want to splash red or black as I expected being in one of those colors. Doing that was probably a mistake but I didn't really care. I knew that my picks would most probably be pretty random anyway (being it middle of the night and me feeling like crap, I was trying to convince myself not to even open Magic Online but I failed at it obviously). Next there was Reduce to Ashes followed by Fiery Temper. Next decision was between Uncaged Fury and Byway Courier so I picked the creature. Next picks were also creatures Bloodmad Vampire, Intrepid Provioner and some random picks. In pack two I opened Asylum Visitor and there was also Sinister Concoction. Those were the only cards that caught my eye. Not in my colors. I was have red actually after pack one so I still could possibly switch even though I did not want to abandon Tireless Tracker. Removal is good and it seems scarce in SOI so I decided to go for that. In the following pack there was Slayer's Plate which did not seem bad but I did not have many creatures and probably wouldn't have that much of them in the end (not with low cmc) so I picked Dead Weight instead. Throttle followed^_^. Sinister Skeleton was in the next pack. I really wanted to pick it but in the end I decided to pick Harvest Hand rather because I knew I would be able to play it in anything and I did not want to commit to black yet (even though after those three picks...). Stallion of Ashmouth, Watcher in the Web, Merciless Resolve, Macabre Waltz, Farbog Revenant and some random picks followed.

In the last pack I opened Flameblade Angel that kind of wrecked my black plan. There was also Biting Rain but I decided to pick the Angel. The following picks were Intrepid Provisioner, Convicted Killer, Thornhide Wolves, Dance with Devils, Solitary Hunter, Merciless Resolve, Aim High, Stoic Builder, Aim High and random picks.

Round 1 I wasn't really sure what to expect from my opponent. He started with Ember-Eye Wolf and Cathar's Companion - both cards I'd rather avoid playing but I don't know what can be good or not. Next turn he showed me Burn from Within. I was glad I got rid of the card early in the game. Next he played Scourge Wolf which was certainly pretty annoying for my 1 toughness creatures. But my deck was full of bigger creatures so I knew I could deal with that later. Next turn my opponent played Nahiri, the Harbinger. I did not like that at all. Next turn I drew my Flameblade Angel though so I hoped that this card could deal with Nahiri. Unfortunately it got destroyed. So I was playing my creatures and waiting for the moment to attack so I would kill Nahiri in one swing. That moment came when Nahiri reached 9 counters. I dealt with her and next turn with my opponent. It was a long game.

Next game I kept a hand with one creature but one that if it dies it investigates. I had enough land so I hoped to draw some creatures. My opponent wasn't really fast last game so I thought that it would work. So when my opponent curved out and dealt quite a lot of damage I was a bit surprised. When I got the upper hand and swung with the team, next turn my opponent stole the creature I played after my attack and attacked with it killing me. In game three after I mulled I kept a hand with 2 lands and Tormenting Voice. I drew a land and a 4 drop. Next turn I drew another one but still nothing was lost. My opponent played a plethora of 1 power creatures so my life total was relatively safe. Since I drew Tireless Tracker I played it and I hoped it would survive. It did so when I drew my fourth land the land seemed to turn in my favor. Later I had 4 creatures in play and attacked with them. It seemed safe but my opponent had enough tricks to deal with 3 of my creatures. One of aforementioned 1/1s was Topplegeist that could go online anytime since my opponent also had white and red vessel in play. I played Flameblade Angel hoping it would deal the remaining damage with its ability (because it would be obviously tapped for the rest of the game). I was on a good way to win but my plan was wrecked by Drogskol Cavalry that I passed in the draft (picking removal instead). When the Spirit entered play we both had 5 minutes on our timers. So I switched to 'play fast' mode hoping to still win the game if by a chance I would draw a removal spell. During that time I sometimes swung with some of my creatures to keep the numbers of spirit down on the other side and I really hoped my opponent wouldn't start attacking me because in 3-4 turns I would be dead. He did not though. Later on my opponent played Breakneck Rider that would certainly kill me in 2 turns. My opponent needed to swing with a flyer or two and then alpha strike to deal the remaining 13 damage. He did not attack though with the spirit and next turn he turned all his creatures sideways but timed out (he would have dealt 11 damage).

Next turn I played against a player I already encountered during a draft. I do not recall what set but I remember that he knew what he was doing and killed me in about a 5 minutes with an ideal deck. I beat him fast in game 1. In game 2 I totally messed up and died pretty fast. In game three I did not really want to lose. After I played Tireless Tracker and few creatures I waited two turns because there was 3/5 standing in my way. When I could finally attacked I waited one turn. Then I attacked with everything destroying all creatures my opponent had. Then I added some creatures and my opponent conceded but first he needed to complain how dumb I am that I can't attack when I'm far ahead in the game. Well, creatures is not my thing (creatures on both sides of the table).

In the finals I seemed to have everything I needed but my opponent played got a 3/2 flyer that was threatening my life total. When I finally got rid of it, he played Macabre Waltz and replayed the card. I couldn't deal with it in time and my only creature was Tireless Tracker staring at 1/1 Deathtouch so racing wasn't an option. My opponent tried to be as fast as possibly though really forcing damage through and that is why he decided to destroy my only blocker and swing for lethal. I ruined his plans with Aim High and he conceded.

In game two my opponent started with an enchantment that can become a 4/4 creature, those Deathtouch rats and Stoic Builder. Hopefully for me my Stoic Builder ran into my opponent's one so I could Dual Shot both creatures. I could start to beatdown my opponent but unfortunately my attack was stopped. By a little army of zombies. In the meanwhile 1/3 Lifelink Spirit was dealing some damage to me and my only chance to deal with it was via my Devils. Unfortunately I clicked on a creature next to the attacking Spirit. This meant that the difference in our life totals was too big and I couldn't kill my opponent after he would decide to attack me. So he attacked and I conceded.

In the last game I kept Foreboding Ruins, Mountain, Forest, Tireless Tracker, Solitary Hunter, Fiery Temper, Pack Guardian. That seemed that it could deal with the creature recursion quite fine. My opponent once again played rather aggressively and this wasn't really trying to kill my Tireless Tracker. Since a Stallion that could pump itself for 3 by that time was a problem for me I was forced to block it with my Tracker. I was left without creatures on board but my opponent had only a 3/2 and 2/3 (along with 1/2) in play. So I played Pack Guardian, created a Wolf and blocked. Then I stared at few 2/2 Zombies, 1/1 and 1/2. I drew 2/2 artifact that comes back as an artifact and played it. My opponent couldn't attack so I had some time to draw 2 lands so I could play 6/6 body. I drew a fifth land and already had Reduce to shes and Throttle in my hand. My opponent then played 5/3 Menace creature. I killed it, drew a land and played my 6/6 Trample (for the first time). I attacked with the creatures without summoning sickness and turn later my opponent scooped.

That was my adventure with Shadows of Innistrad and I do not regret entering those events. It was nice to see my opponents decks and I tried my best to win some games/matches. I did not play well and sometimes colossally messed up but that usually made me more cautious and I won the other games. I wasn't particularly happy that my opponents were telling me how badly I play, even though it was a hyperbole from them it was the truth. I played badly.

Thanks for reading and if you'd want more posts like this let me know. I rarely play limited so I'm not sure if you'd be interested in something like this (and obviously I'm not the best at it^_^)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Transporter Room (Galaxy Class Ship)

EDIT: I updated the date of this post. Original post is from December 2012

I was asked by my sister to create a model of transporter room for her Star Trek fanfilm. I told her that I'm no good at modeling in 3ds max but I tried nonetheless (think that's the correct word^_^).

I revisited the model of Galaxy class ship transporter room I did 4 years ago and I tried to make it look better. I'm not entirely sure if I achieved that. But at least it looks a bit more cozy and not like some dark hole...(if you get what I mean^_^)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Legacy Challenge first steps with Shardless BUG

Since last month Magic Online players can participate in a monthly premier event named Legacy Challenge. I couldn't participate in the very first Challenge because I decided to play in several Vintage events instead. This time though I decided to give it a try. I plan to participate in few big Legacy events in the near future and I need to see what a Legacy tournament can look like and choose a deck for those events.

A month ago I was still convinced that Grixis Delver is the deck I wanted to play. But after being massacred by Shardless BUG again and again I decided to give my greatest enemy - Shardless BUG - a try. I was well aware that Shardless BUG is not my friend but I wanted to learn a bit about the deck to see what it can do and what it cannot do. If I would learn to play the deck I could play with it in the upcoming tournaments.

I played with it in the tournament practice room with mixed results (losing against Storm and Miracles in general and winning against Delver and Eldrazi, 15-1 the latter) and participated in two tournaments in which my final record was 3-1. I found out that Eldrazi is a good matchup and any kind of Storm is a very bad one (what I lost to in the finals of the two tourneys). Lastly I tried playing a Legacy League which was a nightmare...I ran into too many Jaces. I wondered if there is a way to beat Miracles somehow because the games usually ended with me losing to a second or third Jace. With all this experience (not much) I did not really know what to expect in the Challenge and I did not expect to do well. But I joined the event to learn and gain some experience with the deck.

Round 1
In the first round my opponent played Mox Diamond discarding Wasteland. This was something I did not expect and started to wonder if I face Eldrazi, Lands or possibly MUD. The Mox was joined by Mutavault and then Chalice of the Void showed up on the stack. Since I did not get the chance to play one of my Deathrite Shamans I was a bit sad about it but on the other hand I already found out that I don't usually care much about Chalice for 1. I let it resolve since I had zero counterspells in my hand - Deathrite Shaman, Deathrite Shaman, Abrupt Decay, Underground Sea, Polluted Delta, Wasteland, Ancestral Vision.

On turn 2 my opponent played City of Traitors and Smokestack. I stared at my hand wishing I would be playing my Vintage deck and with a tear in my eye I pressed F2. At that time I did not know that Tangle Wire would be the next card followed by Crucible. For that reason I decided to destroy the Chalice rather, play my Deathrite Shamans and deal with Wasteland. This way I would have enough permanents to tap and sacrifice and still be able to play something. But unfortunately 20 life against Smokestack and Tangle Wires was too much for me to handle.

When looking at my sideboard I missed my Ingot Chewers and Wear/Tear from my Vintage deck. Lone Krosan Grip wasn't much. Other cards I could sideboard were Toxic Deluge, Dismember, Life from the Loam, Thoughtseize and Surgical Extraction. The second game was quick as well. T1 Wasteland, T2 Chalice of the Void, T3 Crucible of Worlds, T4 uncounterable Lodestone Golem. My hand with Creeping Tar Pit, Shardless Agent, Verdant Catacombs, Verdant Catacombs, Abrupt Decay, Maelstrom Pulse would have been ok if I could only play my spells. Lodestone Golem sphere effect was simply too much alongside 2 Rishadan Ports.

Round 2
After the first surprise I hoped to play against something 'normal' for Legacy.

Swamp, Wasteland, Deathrite Shaman, Tarmogoyf, Bayou, Disfigure, Polluted Delta. My opponent started with Misty Rainforest -> Underground Sea and Deathrite Shaman. So it was most probably either a Delver deck or mirror match. I played a Swamp and my Deathrite Shaman. My opponent played Ponder, Volcanic Island and Bolted my poor Shaman. I did not like that. So I decided to Disfigure the opposing Shaman and Wasteland his Volcanic Island so I wouldn't need to face Young Pyromancer. Next turn my opponent missed a land drop so I destroyed his second hand. Then we both played some lands and I could play my only nonland card - Tarmagoyf - that got countered. Few turns later I had Abrupt Decay, Force of Will, Brainstorm in hand. I drew Force of Will so I played my Brainstorm. I drew 2 Shardless Agent and Tarmogoyf. I put the Tarmogoyf on the top of my library so I could Cascade into it. After I played the second Agent my opponent conceded.

I sided in some additional removal and kept no-creature hand - Polluted Delta, Disfigure, Underground Sea, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Abrupt Decay, Force of Will, Tropical Island. My opponent played Deathrite Shaman so I wondered if I want to try to play Disfigure into Daze. Even if the card would be Daze'ed though he would lose some tempo. So I decided to play it. DRS died. Next turn it was Delver that took Shaman's place and Abrupt Decay awaited it. Next creature my opponent tried to play was Gurmag Angler, I FoW'ed it since this creature is quite a big problem for Shardless BUG. Then it was time for me to play something. I played Tarmogoyf that was joined by another Tarmogoyf the following turn. My opponent played Painful Truths that I couldn't counter. Then he played Deathrite Shaman and next turn discarded my hand with Cabal Therapy (FoW and Maelstrom Pulse). He had Delver of Secrets and Deathrite Shaman that could possibly race my remaining Tarmogoyf. I was down to 6 life, my opponent was down to 1. I drew Baleful Strix and played it. The card drawn was Abrupt Decay. Unfortunately I couldn't play it without fetching. I haven't seen a single Lightning Bolt from my opponent yet so it was actually pretty likely he had one in his hand. That combined with Deathrite Shamans ability would mean I'd die. So I attacked with my Tarmogoyf forcing my opponent to chump the Goyf. He Bolt'ed my Strix and then attacked with Delver. I Decay'ed it and hoped my Tarmogoyf would stick. My opponent played Brainstorm tapping his Tropical Island so I wasn't afraid the Goyf would die but I suspected Submerge. He played Delver of Secrets and then passed the turn. I top decked Dismember so I played it and attacked with my Tarmogoyf. It got Submerge'ed. Next turn I replayed it and my opponent conceded.

Round 3
The first game against this player was one of my most embarrassing games ever and I can imagine my opponent swearing a lot during the game.

I kept Maelstrom Pulse, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Underground Sea, Baleful Strix, Shardless Agent, Verdant Catacombs, Disfigure and awaited what my opponent would play on t1. He played Mox Diamond discarding Mishra's Factory which scared me a bit but it was followed by Bloodstained Mire (fetching a Swamp) and Life from the Loam which meant I wouldn't need to face Smokestack and Lodestone Golem. I did not expect much disruption so I played my Strix and Shardless Agent. I really wanted to hit a creature because I knew that my lands could be destroyed any time. What did I Cascade into? Ancestral Vision. I frowned and drew three cards - 2 lands and Tarmogoyf. Next turn I played Tarmogoyf, Deathrite Shaman and destroyed Tabernacle which was the most stupid play ever. My opponent dealt with Deathrite Shaman so I wouldn't eat his Loam/lands and replayed the Tabernacle. Then I was facing Nether Spirit I couldn't deal with and Dark Depths. I had enough mana to play for my creatures though so I was attacking each turn. One turn my opponent tapped his Mishra's Factory for something so I Disfigure'ed the Spirit and dealt 8 damage this way. I still had Maelstrom Pulse and Wasteland to do one more attack like this (my opponent was down to 7). I miscalculated my mana though and couldn't believe how badly I played. I top decked a land though so I won the game (I seriously pitied my opponent).

I hoped that in the following game I would not mess up like this again. What I wanted to have in my opener was enough land and if possible a creature (Tarmogoyf or Shaman preferably). I kept a hand with Force of Will, Underground Sea, Wasteland, Force of Will, Tropical Island, Tarmogoyf, Brainstorm. I could have had some fetchlands but it seemed ok to keep (worst case scenario was Brainstorm...). My opponent started with Pithing Needle. I was like WTH but then realized that well Deathrite Shaman is a problem for him. I countered the spell and hoped to draw the Shaman. I drew Underground Sea (good). The land I played earlier was hit by Wasteland so I played Brainstorm to see if I can find something I could possibly play. There was a land, Deathrite Shaman and Abrupt Decay. That seemed fine. I played the Shaman not being afraid that it would die anytime soon since my opponent did not have any green sources and Tarmogoyf that would most probably become a problem soon for my opponent. He continued to Wasteland my lands and also played Pithing Needle naming Deathrite Shaman so DRS's role changed to 'attacker'. In few turns my opponent died to DRS's and Tarmogoyf's attacks.

Round 4
In round 4 I once again lost the die roll and I mulled to six keeping Underground Sea, Bayou, Abrupt Decay, Abrupt Decay, Wasteland. I did not really like the hand but 5 cards could be worse (there was Brainstorm on top). My opponent played a Mountain and Goblin Welder. I couldn't think of a deck that would want to play the card. This card could be found in Painter decks though (I wasn't really thinking 'Legacy' at that time). The next card my opponent played was indeed Painter's Servant naming Blue. I had 2 Abrupt Decay in my hand so I could stop the artifact recursion and get rid of one Painter. Imperial Recruiter followed fetching Jaya which I wasn't really happy about but still dealing with Painter would solve one of her abilities (my lands wouldn't get blown up). I destroyed thus the Welder not really anticipating that the situation could get even worse. Next turn my opponent played another Recuiter this time fetching Magus of the Moon. Since I don't really play Forest and I did not have Deathrite Shaman in play I had to Decay the Magus. That meant I would have to stare at Jaya and hope she wouldn't kill me. I was rather fortunate though. I managed to play Tarmogoyf, 2 Shardless Agent and Deathrite Shaman. This meant that Jaya had her hands full with getting rid of some of the creatures and I had some time to find another Abrupt Decay, Maelstrom Pulse, Liliana of the Veil or Disfigure. Jaya wasn't the only problem for me though since Grindstone would kill me. I drew Force of Will though and since Jaya was busy with my creatures I could hardcast it when my opponent played the Grindstone. On t11 I finally managed to stack the cards on top of my library and cascade into Abrupt Decay dealing with Jaya. Next turn I played Jace, the Mind Scuptor and fatesealed my opponent. Few turns later I won.

The second game was quick. I couldn't counter Magus of the Moon on t1.

In the deciding game I kept Tropical Island, Polluted Delta, Force of Will, Brainstorm, Wasteland, Polluted Delta and Thoughtseize. I played Thoughtseize t1 seeing Grindstone, Imperial Recruiter, Pyroblast, Simian Spirit Guide, Ancient Tomb, Bloodstained Mire, Mountain discarding Grindstone. Next turn I drew Hymn to Tourach so I happily played it, I hit Simian Spirit Guide and Great Furnace though. My opponent then played Imperial Recruiter that I countered. Next he played Spirit Guide that resolved. The Guide shouldn't be a problem for few turns and the game could get worse. He played Jaya then which I Decay'ed and hoped to draw a creature soon (Tarmogoyf if possible or Agent). Then I learned that the deck plays Blood Moon as well. I wanted to Force it but I decided to Decay it because my opponent had one mana open and the deck runs...erm 8 Blasts? I top decked Shardless Agent and cascaded into Tarmogoyf. The Agent was countered. My opponent played Imperial Recruiter finding Painter's Servant and played it. I tried to Force it but my Force of Will was countered. I found Abrupt Decay soon so I got rid of the Servant, my opponent blasted one of my Tarmogoyfs but died soon after.

Round 5
With 3:1 record I expected to fall in the competitive meta (Miracles, Delver, Storm) and I did not expect to win any other match but I hoped so (so I could get my 25 tix back). I kept a hand with Polluted Delta, Deathrite Shaman, Underground Sea, Baleful Strix, Hymn to Tourach, Hymn to Tourach, Baleful Strix. That did not look bad. My opponent's turn 1 was Flagstones of Trokair and Mother of Runes. My hand suddenly did not look that good since I couldn't deal with Mother of Runes and I expected Thalia to follow. She did. So I played my Strixen and later tried to discard the remaining cards my opponent still had. I drew few Wastelands and destroyed Rishadan Port and Wasteland. In the meantime I was taking damage from Thalia and Phyrexian Revoker (Deathrite Shaman). It did not look good at all. My opponent played one more Mother of Runes and Revoker this time naming Liliana of the Veil. My following draw was Liliana of the Veil. I conceded.

I mulled because I did not want to have only one land on play and kept Wasteland, Golgari Charm, Disfigure, Underground Sea, Bayou, Hymn to Tourach. That looked fine. My opponent did not Wasteland my land and did not even play Mother of Runes/Aether Vial. That was good. I played Hymn to Tourach hoping to hit Stoneforge Mystic or Thalia but it was Swords to Plowshares and Plains that was discarded. Thalia and Brimaz followed. Brimaz caught me offguard. I played Baleful Strix so I could try to block the creature but I drew Dismember so I Dismember'ed the cat and attacked with Tarmogoyf that I played a turn earlier. My opponent played Aether Vial and Stoneforge Mystic finding Umezawa's Jitte. I destroyed one of his lands and Disfigure'ed his Mystic. I drew Krosan Grip but decided to keep it since anything that would crawl out of Aether Vial with one counter would die to Golgari Charm and I might still need to deal with Jitte later. What I did not expect was Rest in Peace played next turn. Suddenly my Krosan Grip had a completely different target. I drew Hymn to Tourach so I played it hoping to make my Goyf bigger and I attacked with it. Thalia chumped my Goyf. My opponent was down to 1 life and any creature that would go through would win me the game. He played Council's Judgment so I waited for the vote and voted the same card (Baleful Strix). I attacked with Tarmogoyf waiting for a two drop wanting to chump my Tarmogoyf. It was Thalia though which has 1 toughness so I played Golgari Charm and dealt the last point of damage.

Game 3 we both mulled to five. I was too reluctant to mull to four but it was probably what I was supposed to do. My only land was Creeping Tar Pit which was bad. Even though I drew another land my opponent's land drops were Rishadan Port, Rishadan Port and Wasteland. The only thing that could save me was that my opponent would be stuck with his Rishadan Ports for the rest of the game. I for some reason decided not to check my opponent's hand when I still had mana to do so and that probably cost me the game (I did not draw a land anyway so in the end it didn't matter but it was a serious misplay).

Round 6
During this round I was trying very hard not to fall asleep in the middle of the match and I even forgot to click on record/stream (so I can't review game 1 now). I kept a hand with no fetchlands once again and I hoped that my Deathrite Shaman would stay alive and my land would stay in play. Since the blue fetchlands everyone played where Misty Rainforests I wasn't sure what my opponent was playing. My opponent though fetched for a Tundra so I expected Miracles. I knew that this match would drain the remaining energy I had in me. But at least I knew that my lands would be safe^_^ and losing Deathrite Shaman to Swords to Plowshares seemed as a good deal. This slowed me down but I had more creatures to play and eventually played Jace, the Mind Scultor that resolved. I tried to put a Sensei's Divining Top on the bottom of my opponent's library just to see him play another one next turn (did I really put it on the bottom?). Next I found Tarmogoyf, counterspell and Abrupt Decay. So I played my Goyf keeping FoW for Terminus and tried dealing lethal damage. The FoW countered Snapcaster Mage that could deal with both of my creatures in and play and the game ended soon after (me winning).

After staring at my sideboard for a while I did not really know what to do with it. I usually take out 1 Disfigure, 1 Force of Will, 2 Baleful Strix and 1 Decay if I feel like it. My hand in the second game seemed ok even though it lacked any counterspells or Null Rod. I had Deathrite Shaman, Verdant Catacombs, Abrupt Decay, Bayou, Polluted Delta, Maelstrom Pulse, Tarmogoyf in my hand. I played the Shaman and passed the turn. It got STP'ed and my opponent also had Sensei's Divining Top in his hand obviously. He played it as well. I played my Goyf hoping it would survive a bit longer but Snapcaster Mage showed up ruining that. I Thoughtseize'ed my opponent and discard one of the Jaces. Next turn Jace, the Mind Sculptor showed up on the other side of the table. I couldn't counter it but I had Maelstrom Pulse in my hand hoping it would resolve. It resolved but my opponent played another Jace and added Monastery Mentor as well. I knew I was screwed, I did not expect a third Jace. I Decay'ed the Mentor but was already behind. Then I played Hymn to Tourach to try to get rid of my opponent's remaining 2 cards. In response my opponent played Swords to Plowshares targeting my Tarmogoyf. Without that creature I would never be able to deal with Jace (nor my opponent) so I tried to counter the card which probably wasn't the best idea either. My opponent drew a card with his Top and played Flusterstorm on my Force of Will. Next turn all I could do is stare at Foil Entreat the Angels since the only card in my hand was Vendilion Clique that I couldn't even play.

But I still had one more game to go but I'd rather not even write about it. On turn 5 I faced Jace once again followed by Mentor. I decided to be greedy and played Toxic Deluge hoping that Jace did not find anything. It got (obviously) countered and I faced an army of white Monks. I could have Decay'ed the Mentor and tried to Toxic Deluge (Golgari Charm) the rest. Not that it would have worked but my play was the worst one I could choose *facepalm*. I asked what my opponent would do if his Mentor died and would have played Blood Moon so I would just die anyway. The second game was winnable though I just messed up somehow.

Round 7
After round 6 I felt a bit unlucky and hoped that I wouldn't need to face Storm in the last round. Volcanic Island -> Lotus Petal did not really see myself as the winner of the match. On the other hand I played against Sneak and Show not Storm. But since this deck plays usually many counterspells and Blood Moon I wasn't really sure if I could even win the match.

Game 2 I kept a hand with discard and no counterspells. I managed to discard 2 Sneak Attack, Show and Tell, Force of Will and Omniscience. My opponent had Jace, Vryn's Mage in play so I knew I would sooner or later had to deal with Show and Tell once again. But my opponent was in top deck mode and I had two Goyfs on my side. I won the game a bit later.

Game 3 I had access to Force of Will, Thoughtseize, Hymn to Tourach (couldn't play that) and Krosan Grip in case of Blood Moon. My opponent started with Jace, Vryn's Prodigy again. I discarded his Sneak Attack but I knew I would face Show and Tell soon. I countered that but a turn later Blood Moon hit the table. I still at 2 lands couldn't deal with it since I haven't seen Deathrite Shaman nor a third land so I could possibly play the Grip. A turn later Emrakul came to see me.

After the tournament ended (for me) I wished that there would be more rounds to be played. Even though I was half asleep since the Death and Taxes match (probably the reason I lost every single match afterwards...) I wanted to play against other decks. I couldn't find Legacy games so I joined few EDH games and Vintage games (at once by accident - I won them all^_^) and then went to sleep.

I expected to lose my entry and learn something. I lost the entry since I did not managed the 4-3 record. I'm not entirely sure about the learning part. What I found out is that I can't play with the deck while being tired and that I lack experience in general with the deck. What I did not expect though was that the tournament was actually fun. So from time to time I might actually participate in the Legacy Challenge.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Meren and co. or Meren the Recurring Nightmare?

For my second EDH article for pureMTGO I decided to choose Meren of Clan Nel Toth. The deck was supposed to be better suited for the online field and it certainly was. But while playing with the deck I realized that the deck can actually be pretty ruthless and thus most probably be good enough for competitive play. It also seems to me that only few cards can be swapped in order to make the deck competitive.

This is the decklist I came up with for PureMTGO. I like it very much even though some cards I find rather annoying (Phyrexian Rager, Wall of Blossoms). I might swap these for more versatile creatures instead if I come up with any (but most likely adepts are Yavimaya Elder and Devoted Druid).

Since I expected Tasigur to be banned and I'm not going to play my beloved BUG Reanimator anymore (since too many cards got banned) I could play Meren as a general if I decide to show up at some French EDH tournament. Since Necrotic Ooze wasn't banned yet I can still play the Necrotic Ooze combo in this deck and ruin some player's day with it. For this occasion I decided to come up with more competitive version. Even though there are still cards I don't really like that much - Solemn Simulacrum, for example and some other high CMC cards (I should put Thought-Knot Seer in the deck). But I need to keep some of them so I can use Birthing Pod. I will also need to change the mana base a bit more to support the deck a bit better so I wouldn't need to run big amount of basic lands.

If interested to see what the deck was doing during some of the games I played online you can view some videos that I uploaded (those are vids for puremtgo, thus showing the more 'casual' version of the deck. The competitive one would certainly mean that people would scoop way more (and even when playing with this deck people scooped like 70% percent of time).

Here are some videos.
Here is a video showing what can happen if your opponent has way too much mana early in the game.
Meren vs Chromium
Meren vs Merieke Ri Berit