Monday, January 23, 2017

Aether Revolt

Since quite a time I do not really play limited. Last time that I actively played was when I could draft KTK/FRF. I played some drafts and sealed decks of the more recent sets but I wasn't fan of either DTK, BFZ, OGW nor KLD. On Magic Online when draft Leagues were introduced I played few events and had one of the most terrifying experiences with limited. The drafting itself totally changed and I couldn't use the information from drafting. The reason was simply because one would later play matches cross-pod meaning that any player could play more or less anything and the power level of the deck could be either way better or way worse (this not reflecting the drafting skill of the player, because simply some pods simply have higher power level of decks in general or lower).

When there were Favorite Flashback drafts of Zendikar I decided to join and I had lots of fun with the set. I was even able to live with the fact that the deck I'd face most commonly would be Boros landfall aggro. I even managed to end up in that once. I wondered if my experience with Aether Revolt would be similar to this one or the one that I experienced during Scars of Mirrodin/Mirrodin Besieged limited GP. At that time I was ready to stop playing Magic but playing Scars of Mirrodin limited was something that totally changed my mind. I realized how much I love the game and I loved the design of the set. That is why my expectations of playing limited after quite a while were relatively high. When playing SOI, EMN or KLD limited I really liked to see all the mechanics and cards. Awesome decks could be built and playing them or playing against them was a really nice experience even though quite frustrating sometimes.

Aether Revolt though was totally different. For some reason I did not experience the 'WOW' effect I experienced when playing with the earlier sets. My first pool and deck did not really seem too funny nor good (I don't usually build good decks and my decks are hardly funny).

In the end the deck wasn't that bad as I envisioned it when I put it together. I expected a lot of my Cat Monkeys and they proved to do exactly what I needed them doing. I also put quite a lot of hope in my Solemn Recruit but this card never managed to attack even once. Always got 'pacified' in a way or killed. Verdurous Gearhulk and Ridgescal Tusker were simply BEASTS. Felidar Guardian was awesome and the MVP of the deck was actually Unbrindled Growth. After five rounds I ended up with 3-2 record which did not seem possible for my deck, but my opponents were even more confused than me.

The record doesn't matter I could have gone 5-0 or 0-5. What mattered was the course of those games. I'll give you few examples.

  • Turn 1 Greenbelt Rampager, t2 Greenbelt Rampager, t3 Prophetic Prism, Unbrindled Growth, t4 Quicksmith Spy GG.
  • T2 Smuggler's Copter, t3 random creature, t4 Sram's Expertise -> Aethersphere Harvester, GG.
  • T2, Shock, t3 Hungry Flames, t4, Caught in the Brights, t6 Noxious Gearhulk, t7 Marionette Master, GG.
  • T4 Sram's Expertise -> Smuggler's Copter, t5 Angel of Invention, GG
  • t2 Metallic Mimic, t3 Metallic Mimic, t4 Solemn Recruit, Humans followed...GG

I know that my deck also contained some bombs but even with those I couldn't deal with the rares my opponents played. I hate decks full of bombs or just one bomb.

After this experience I was seriously upset and I did not enjoy the event.

In my next pool I had Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian and I decided to build some Jeskai deck. I really liked the deck. It had some removal, very aggressive creatures that I did not want to play, the combo and some terrible artifacts I needed to stay alive. The deck was doing many things, was fun to play but my brain just couldn't somehow play with it nor face yet another stream of rares. After trying to survive Smuggler's Copter and Aethersphere Harvester attacking me for what seemed like an eternity I eventually died to those cards because I couldn't simply deal with them. I won game 2 but the deciding game I mulled to 5 and had to face 3 rares once again (Solemn Recruit being the third rare). I just couldn't bear that and dropped from the tournament playing Vintage in between rounds of the ongoing sealed deck.

Try to guess what deck I played in Vintage? I picked my biggest enemy - Monastery Mentor - and played with that against Shops. Honestly I had some fun and I was crushing my Shops opponents. Mentor upsets me no matter on which side of the table the card is but Aether Revolt upset me way more. I was ready to give the set another try. Before the event I decided to go through Magic Duels campaign hoping to see some commons and uncommons in action.

After I was thrown into a tutorial showing me how Revolt mechanic works I faced my first opponent. My hand contained 2 Aerial Responders and a creature that could possibly be 4/3. I didn't care about that one and hoped that the Responders would win the game. When my opponent played Master Trinketeer I wanted to scoop but if my opponent would just be creating Servo tokens I could still fly and deal some damage while gaining life. Till the end of the game my opponent didn't do anything. Just created some servos and crewed a vehicle. In the following game my hand looked more like a constructed game. My hand contained all the rares I would need till the end of the game, I did not care about my draws. The following game was yet another exhibition of Rares and Mythics. Liliana, my next opponent, actually started bashing me and almost killed me but her advance was stopped by two rares I drew and managed to play (I was helped by the AI not really valueing its card much). In the final match I was provided with Heart of Kiran, Gideon and Chandra and the only cards I needed were already in my hand. Tezzeret also got mana screwed so well all I needed to deal with were 1/1 Thopters. This wasn't an enlightening experience either. Rather similar to the prerelease one. If you want to see me struggle with Magic Duels UI and see how I randomly kill my campaign opponents you are welcome to watch the video above this paragraph.

My following sealed pool wasn't the best one either. The cards I valued the most were Yahenni's Expertise and Daring Demolition. In general the strongest color was blue and I had some sweet cards in red and white color was the most aggressive. I put together White-Blue-Red deck because there was no way I could splash the black removal. I played two rounds before I dropped. Both of my opponents didn't know the cards but had a nice decks with killer rares in them. Both of them tried very hard to lose and not kill me but in the end in both cases I lost to their rares. I wasn't more angry during a limited game of Magic.

When I came back to my flat I showed my pool to my flatmate and asked him for an opinion. Well, he picked exactly the same cards as me and had the same dilemma with Expertise and Demolition. He would have ended up in Grixis most probably not playing the double black cards and but the cards that killed me would have easily killed that Grixis deck as well. At least someone was seeing my pool the same way as me and it made me feel a little bit better. But it did not change the fact that I could play a normal game of Magic and had be totally upset about being totally crushed by some darn rares.

Trying to forget about AER-KLD limited by playing Legacy
After I cooked dinner that was by some miracle edible (it actually tasted good). I opened Magic Online and put together the strangest deck ever for Legacy.

The thing is, I wanted to play a deck that would feature Nahiri, the Harbinger and I also needed some creatures so she wouldn't die. Those creatures needed to be able to win though as well so I put Mentor in the deck. Trinket Mages to look for the Tops I need to have constant flow of Monks and Prowess triggers and Snapcaster Mage that can flashback what I need. I did not expect much from the deck but after few matches against Miracles that I lost only because I managed to draw a white fetch instead of a blue one I have to say that the deck is not that bad. I mean, it does something! It can win games if played well.

In one of the games I even managed to throw Emrakul at my opponent twice! That was hilarious. I lost the match anyway, because my opponent played few Cabal Therapies and Thoughtseizes that stripped me out of all the nonland cards I had in my hand. Anyway the game wasn't that one sided as this might have suggest. I was in a winning position for a while till my opponent killed my Jace, the Mind Sculptor and played Thragtusk. I needed two removal spells for it that I didn't have and died. In the last match I played (around midnight, the moment when you tell yourself 'just a quick match and I'll go to sleep) I faced yet another Miracles deck. The games were pretty cool and I was surprised that my opponent brought in Blood Moons post-board. I was wondering if I would make similar deck in Vintage. Just take part of my Blue Moon deck, mix it up with Mentor and try to make it work. I would be a big blue deck, not using Gush engine. It could possibly work :-/.

Here's a screenshot of a game I thought I would win, but my opponent's Counterbalance totally changed that because I couldn't Flusterstorm and counter my opponent's Terminus. Moral of the story always kill Jace, the Mind Sculptor when you have the chance. I've seen many Jaces during my Legacy games but I did not feel so cheated like facing ANY rare from KLD or AER in those sealed event's matches. Limited GP is upon us and I have NO IDEA what the set is about - except obviously bombs.

End of a rant-y post

Thanks for reading

Monday, January 16, 2017

Playing Standard and banned cards

On 9th of January there was an emergency ban of 5 cards - Emrakul, the Promised End, Reflector Mage, Smuggler's Copter in Standard and Gitaxian Probe and Golgari Grave-Troll in Modern. Luckily for me the announcement was made at 8pm my time. Even though I expected Emrakul, the Promised End to be banned for some reason I did not sell them prior the announcement. So when it was announced it took me about 20 minutes to get rid of the banned cards and Ishkanahs that I expected to drop in price too. But those 20 minutes were worth it. In two hours Emrakul was down to 7tix, Copter went to 0.7tix and Ishkanah went down to 7.

I was wondering what to do with all that tix I got from the cards I sold. I just earned some tix actually and still would be able to rebuy the cards later. I wanted to buy Cavern of Souls for my White Eldrazi deck since I still was missing two. But since I got more tix than that I decided to buy some Standard for the remaining tix. I remembered Joshua Claytor's article - - Using budget to get most out three pillars of Kaladesh Standard - and decided to buy some Temur Energy cards, including Dynavolt Tower and Confiscation Coup. At first I just wanted to try RG Pummeler aggro but that did not really sit well with me. While 20/20 Trample creature sounds good enough to kill someone, I did not feel like I could be the one to play a pump spell on the creature and attacking with it. I'd rather have the possibility to fly over other creatures with Thopter tokens (and somehow avoiding Ishkanah and its little spiders). Since the first time I saw the card Whirler Virtuoso, I fell in love with it. I always wanted to put it in a deck. I was on BG Delirium at that time though and didn't see a reason to change that. Later I bought RG Marvel and found place in that deck for it. While the card showed to be good, it's not really necessary in it. So when I saw I can put together Energy deck that does not need to use the Energy to put into play some Eldrazi or Ishkanahs I put it in RG Energy aggro which created a strange Temur aggro deck. I filled the remaining slots with some cards I found relatively fine. The sideboard was rather questionable since I did not know what to expect and my brain was too lazy to think about it. I put some countermagic in it and decided to played few matches in the TP room so I could decide later on what to change. After some matches during which my only concern was to deal with Smuggler's Copter I added Natural States and Galvanic Blasts. The next day I did not really meet some resistance in the TP room but I at least got to see some cards that I could possibly encounter in Standard or limited that I would play soon (because of limited GP I preregistered for and few prerelease/release events).

After these matches it was time to enter few Leagues because obviously in the TP room I wouldn't encounter a 'normal' deck. My first League was all about RG Marvel. I have to say that my deck struggled against Ishkanah, Kozilek's Return and some Eldrazi octupi. Obviously my sideboard wasn't ready for this and I simply lost. My deck wasn't aggressive enough to win by turn 4. It wasn't just Marvel I struggled against. Spell Queller and Avancyn also taught me a lesson so I quickly bought few copies of Tears of Valakut and put 3 copies of Negate in my sideboard. My deck obviously could attack and deal a lot of damage but it did not count with several Woodweaver's Puzzleknots (otherwise the Marvel players would have indeed succumbed to my creatures attacks) or Kozilek's Return dealing 5 damage to all my creatures. Anyway after I lost all the matches against Marvel I was still motivated enough to try again with the same deck. With proper sideboard I could see winning some games against that annoying marvel deck and I wanted my 120PP back.

In my second league I battled UW Flash featuring Gisela and Bruna and I was happy to actually have Negates in my sideboard because I learned that unanswered Chandra from a Marvel player and Gideon from a Flash player is very bad. It was a very bad feeling when I had to stare at a planeswalker on a empty board knowing my chances to get rid of the planeswalker are close to 0. Even the burn spell that could target my opponent wasn't good enough since both of these planeswalkers would have 4 Loyalty counters on them on my turn (I learned the hard way that Incendiary Flow is a Sorcery and not an Instant). In the last event I played I played against three UR Dynavolt decks, Humans and Boros Vehicles. To my surprise I won against those UR decks but lost to Humans and Boros (because I decided to keep unkeepable hands so I did not even get a chance to win or put up a fight. I almost won against Humans, but Avacyn wrecked my come back). After seeing the UR Dynavalt deck in action that also pestered me with Chandra post-board I decided to give the deck a try. I bought few cards for some ridiculous fractions of a tix and did not bother buying Void Shatter and put Scatter the Winds in instead. On second thought though the 'exile' effect on the spell might actually be worth a tix because I could have easily encountered a Delirium deck.

I knew that I would be missing some cards but I could play with 75 cards that would work and keep the idea of the deck intact. I bought Weaver of Lightning (cost more than I was willing to pay and obviously does not really help much) to help me with aggressive decks (based from my experience running my UR Dynavolt opponents over) and from my last experience with flying Spirits and Angels I also put Tears of Valakut in there. It was time to try few TP matches so I would know how to play with the deck. The first match (at 2am) was a funny one. I expected Humans deck after seeing Plains and Forest but since my opponent did not play any creature it was odd. Then an idea that my opponent was on Bant Marvel came to my mind but that wasn't the case either - he was playing a retreat deck with Aetherflux Reservoir as its win condition (or one of them). It was a funny game and I decided to upload it. I was surprised that this deck attacks with 7/8, 4/1 and 5/6 bodies. Way bigger than the creatures from the Temur Energy deck even though I managed to have 11/11 Longtusk Cub and 7/6 Bristling Hydra (the Cub was targeted with 2 Harnessed Lightnings for 10, Hydra had to kill Chandra with 7 counters).

After I got up and played more matches I found out that I actually like playing with the deck and planeswalkers weren't bothering me that much. As for planeswalkers, when I was still playing with the Temur Energy aggro I remembered my feelings about planeswalkers - they are simply too overpowered. They made me very upset. When I was trying to win my matches with bunch of commons and uncommons and I had to face one single planeswalker, the game became a war of my deck vs that single walker. Not just planeswalkers were problematic. Actually every single Mythic I faced with the Energy deck was very problematic. I understand that if my deck was more aggressive it wouldn't need to deal with them that much or if it would be more of a control deck it wouldn't have such difficulties either. But I wanted to have fun with the cards I liked and facing Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, Archangel Avacyn, Chandra, Torch of Defiance of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar was VERY demotivating. My 40 tix deck couldn't deal with it. I guess I felt what other players feel when playing against something they feel is unfair. When I entered a friendly League with my BG Delirium a while ago all my opponents made not nice remarks about my deck choice and asked me why I am in a Friendly League instead of a Competitive one. I did not feel like doing anything wrong when I was entering the League (my first Friendly League attempt) but then I faced decks that could hardly deal with Emrakul. I felt the same way facing those mythics. In my case though it was something I could actually deal with if I tweaked my deck a bit or played a bit differently. But it didn't change my feeling when playing the game. It was the same one that I felt when facing UW Flash that played Reflector Mages and Smuggler's Copters. I was upset, very upset because I did not have cards of equal power to deal with them. It did not feel right and being killed by Emrakul certainly had to feel the same. I didn't mind dying to Emrakul because I was usually the player who had 2-4 Emrakuls in their deck. Either me or my opponent could simply die to this card but we both had the possibility to cast the card. We were even. During those Leagues I did not feel very good in terms of having the means to beat unfair cards in the form of Copter, Emrakul or Mage.

Playing with decks not costing over 300tix was actually a very nice experience and I think that I will continue in it for a while till some unbeatable deck arises. After all the matches I played in post-ban environment I realized that BG Delirium is still the same deck, it just does not run Emrakul. But since Reflector Mage and Smuggler's Copter are gone the deck's power level should actually be higher, at least till the release of Aether Revolt which can change the metagame quite a lot and I'm not sure if I will be willing to buy new Standard cards. But if I could keep in in the range I put into Temur Energy and UR Dynavolt I'm all in. It was refreshing to play a different format, with different types of decks and facing cards I have not even seen yet.

Many people deem Standard to be expensive but now it certainly is not so if you want to buy a deck, win some Chests and packs. Just do it. You might see that the format is actually fun and with Aether Revolt coming you can either sell it or get deeper into Standard because you'll already have a base for other decks. I'd advise you to read the article I mentioned earlier - Using budget to get most out three pillars of Kaladesh Standard. The article is kind of outdated now already but it applies to all formats be it upcoming Standard or Modern. The budget might change but for relatively small investment you can have lots of fun in Standard. A friend of mine playing normally Vintage bought few cheap decks for Standard and then build on that, got his walkers quite fast.

Give it a try! Now is the time to brew and come up with cool ideas. The format is full of options.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Got to play Jubeat Prop!

The last Sunday wasn't special just because I had a great time drafting and playing Zendikar Limited. For those not knowing what Magic: The Gathering is, it is a trading card game. Zendikar is one of its sets that was printed in 2009. It is a set I like and I like to play with it. While doing that I opened cards I could sell for quite a lot fo money but that was not the most important fact of the day. It was my mood that was unusually positive. I smiled, I laughed and I felt happy which is rather an unusual feeling for me. I started wondering when I last felt like that. I remembered that the last time it was when I was playing on Pump it Up Prime in Paris.

Remembering this I just wanted to go somewhere to play that game which was obviously not possible. But I also remembered playing Jubeat at one event and wished at least for that which was actually possible but still very unlikely. While I was still in a match and thinking about music games I received a Facebook message asking me if I'm in Prague. I replied with 'yes' and continued in my Magic match that went rather awry. I was wondering what could possibly be the follow up message if the answer would be 'yes' and I tried to suppress a feeling of hope that I could play some BEMANI games. After I read the following message my heart stopped for a second. I could come and play some Jubeat on DJ Dao ASC! This message came out of nowhere when I just thought that the day couldn't get even better after all those ZEN drafts. I finished my unwinnable match during I had the urge to be salty, but unlike my opponents who were very salty about losing to me, I did not type a thing except GLHF or GG. Then I went to find a bus stop from which I could get to a nearby subway station (the station near our place is closed) and reach my destination where I could play the awesome Japanese music game named Jubeat.

I didn't know what would be happening at my friend's place, I did not want to offend him or anything. I was so happy I could play the game and I have no idea if I can possible repay that. For you who do not know Jubeat. It is a Japanese music game that is mostly accessible only in Japan. While there are machines in other countries of the world they are very scarce. Playing on one of those machines is rather rare thus if you aren't in Japan. There is a possibility to buy a arcade style controller from Dj Dao, but finding something that can possibly emulate or simulate the game is another task and not an easy one. It also means that one needs to get hands on a suitable monitor with exact dimensions and one that does not lag or will go out of focus with time. There's way more problems in getting to play Jubeat at home than you can possibly imagine and that is one of the reasons why I was so happy. My attempts at getting Jubeat running on my computer ended up with a success but it took me about 3 months to get it working and in the end for nothing since I do not own a controller, nor any other hardware I need for it. But at least I know what struggles someone trying to do the same will face.

When there I use a different marker than the one showing digits I struggle to hit the notes at the right time. Thanks to that this video could be shoot. Lovely colors!

When I came to the controller and looked at the screen I noticed Jubeat Prop written on it. Well, honestly I did not even hear about Jubeat Prop. Last time I played, I had the opportunity to play Jubeat Saucer Fullfil which was, well, something new to me at that time too. I started browsing the songs and the music was sorted by style (what do we have in Jubeat?) so it was obvious that I didn't know any of the songs. I was told to try Frozen with holds. I was wondering how bad holds can be in Jubeat. I still did not get used to charge notes in IIDX even though I can somehow survive those songs featuring them. But in Jubeat it was totally different story. I totally failed. From time to time I realized that I should keep my hand on the button. When I did I couldn't follow the other notes though. In Flower song I just saw a bunch of flashing yellow and white markers and couldn't figure out which to press and which to press and hold. It was CHAOS.

I played some level 10 songs on Extreme. Well, I managed to pass some.

After that I played some songs that seemed nice to listen or seemed that could have an interesting notechart. After some fun with the new songs I started browsing other songs and from time to time I was recommended a song or two. Sayounara Heaven was the second song I was recommended. Hey, that chart was actually quite nice. Still I probably like the Beatmania IIDX version of it more but it was nice to play Nekomata Song in Jubeat (I know there are others as well). Next I just browsed the songs randomly and when I saw Reimu Hakurei on some of the images I decided to explore Touhou music and just couldn't NOT play Bad Apple. It felt similarly to the PIU stepchart. After that I played other Touhou songs that I liked (Scarlet Moon!) and then moved to section labeled Anime, played few songs there and continued to other category. I asked my friend to record some videos, so here is one.

Triple Zendikar

Flashback drafts on Magic Online are very popular. Last year we had Modern Year Flashbacks and this year we'll get to draft our favorite formats. One of the most popular limited formats is Triple Zendikar and recently we had the possibility to draft it on Magic Online.

When Zendikar came out 8 years ago all the players playing limited or constructed formats had to think twice before playing a land. Zendikar introduced Landfall mechanic - whenever a land comes into play, something happens. This is the first format when drawing a land is something you did not need to fear and often was wanted because it would give you a certain advantage. Who would not want a 4/4 Flyer for 4 mana or 3/3 First Strike for 2 mana? Yes, such creatures can be found in Zendikar limited. Zendikar also features Trap cards - when a condition is met they can be cast for an alternate cost. Some traps are played in constructed usually in sideboards (notably in Vintage) but some of the traps are very good in limited play. White traps are good removal, red one has removal effect written on it as well. Whiplash Trap is a bounce effect for decks like UG or UR tempo.

When the whole block was out I put together a RG Summoning Trap deck that was capable putting Emrakul into play on turn 4 and UR Runeflare Trap combo deck that sometimes managed to kill the opponent with that card. It was the only deck that could actually play Trapmaker's Snare, a Trap tutor otherwise totally unplayable card.

The reason why I also tend to like Zendikar more than other sets is because I experienced many nice and some strange moments during that time. I saw a 'falling star' and wished for happier life (my wish wasn't really heard I guess). On the very same day while drafting two Zendikar priceless treasures were open - Force of Will and Mana Drain. It was nothing like opening an Expedition or Invention. It was something way more unexpected. I also won a big Legacy tournament where I received a box of Zendikar. I thought that opening it would be ok, since the set contains fetchlands. Well, my best pulls were Sphinx of the Jwar Isle and Archive Trap.

During the past two years we also had the possibility to draft 'History drafts' at GPs. Often Zendikar block or Rise of the Eldrazi were available, the product being rather limited so only lucky few had the opportunity to draft it. ROE is also a nice format and on Magic Online it is also one of the formats that was accessible for us at some strange moments, not just during the Modern Flashback scheduled drafts (for example when Emrakul, the Promised End was spoiled!)

Fast forward to year 2017. Since Triple Zendikar is one of my favorite formats as well I decided to give it a try since Favorite Flashback League was open. I played 3 different drafts and I drafted three different decks. Three different decks may not seem as something unusual but after finishing my three drafts and playing against Boros Landfall all the time I felt the urge to write this down. When Draft Leagues where introduced I stopped playing limited altogether because it totally changes the draft and playing against the same deck all the time is something I do not want. Anyway I do not usually force something so I ended up with 3 different decks, the first one was some kind UG deck, the second one ended up to be Boros aggro and the last one was BR deck.

My first draft seemed to be the epitome of a failure. I started in boros but obviously I wasn't the only one with the idea. The cards were gone real quick so in the end I ended up in UG, not being able to keep either of the two colors I originally drafted. I picked some good blue cards though - Welkin Tarn, Merfolk Seastalkers, Windrider Eels and Sphinx of Jwar Isle. In green I managed to get my hands on Turntimber Ranger, 2 Oran-Rief Survivalists, 2 Timbermaw Larva and one of my last picks was Vastwood Gorger. In order to make it work I needed some looters which I managed to pick and some other random creatures and if possible with Ally creature type. I put together this deck and did not really feel too confident with it.

My UG deck was obviously good enough for 2-1 and still capable to 3-1. I just wanted to play some games and have some fun and I certainly managed that. I was also given some lucky packs to open, because my pack 1 pick 1 was Arid Mesa and pack 3 pick 1 was Scalding Tarn. Everyone like free tix, right^_^.

My second draft was way better. My first pick was Kor Skyfisher. It was followed by Umara Raptor, Windrider Eel and Welking Tarn but that pretty much was the end of blue cards. I continued picking white cards and later had to switch to red in pack 2. Since I was picking blue flyers high I passed Plated Geopede, but Bladetusk Boar is something that made me pick a red card and stay in that color till the end of the draft. I still hoped I could have enough cards for a deck and pick some random 2-drops on the way still, because I really needed those. In this draft I also opened a fetchland, this time in my second pack. This deck seemed to be better than the above one as it went 3-0 easy. But I was rather greedy in some games and lost one because of it. I facepalmed myself and reminded myself not to be so reckless next time. Aggro deck needs to attack but not mindlessly! Narrow Escape, Kor Skyfisher and plenty of my removal did the job though.

After the second draft I realized that the prize structure is kind of strange and is not the 150/100 I was used to for 100. But rather 150/70 with different entry and double elimination instead of single elimination. I was trying to figure out if that change is a good one or not. Going 2-1 and getting your entry back seemed ok. This, not so sure. But on the other hand thanks to the double elimination I managed to get 150 out of the drafts I normally wouldn't. That means I got 30 PP out of each draft (90PP in total). With the old system I'd have just 50PP. I went to eat something while thinking loud about the double elimination. I wasn't really sure if playing 4 rounds with a deck I drafted and didn't like is something I'd like to undergo. But since this is a flashback draft and one enters to play as much as possible it may be actually a good thing. But imagining I'd have to play 4 rounds with KLD, I would think twice before entering. That is something I'd rather avoid if possible.

After a short break I re-entered the league. This time I wasn't that satisfied with my first pick - Giant Scorpion. The idea of my deck was clear I just needed to pick the cards. With the exception of Spire Barrage the cards were relatively ok. No Vampire Nighthawk nor Punishing Fire that I'd fancy but good enough to beat many decks. After the two previous leagues though I realized that I might still play against the very same archetype - Boros Landfall. This time around though I managed to play against my very first opponent not running white - they were on UR tempo. The other decks were heavy white and red. I did not have problems with that. But after my 2-0 I played against a Boros landfall deck that featured 2 Emeria Angels. I couldn't believe my eyes when my opponent played Emeria Angel on turn 4. I killed it with Magma Rift not being too happy about that play but that card simply had to go. What I certainly did not expect was a second Emeria Angel on turn 5. In the following game I also had to face two Devout Lightcasters. I considered that very unfair and wasn't happy to lose to that. I'm not really sure where that person picked those cards, someone had to pass it to them! I wasn't very enthusiastic to play match 4 only so I could get my entry back (and some PP).

I'm really thankful that we got the possibility to draft Triple Zendikar again. I had so much fun playing in those Leagues. I smiled, I laughed and even survived all those salty players not being happy to lose to me. But this time I did not really feel like playing totally badly, and my decks weren't totally unplayable, so I think my victories weren't that 'unfair' or 'lucky'.

Thank you WotC, Lee Sharpe and the modo team.