Archive for January, 2009

Stop, Drop and Blogroll

I just wanted to draw your attention to the four links I have on the right of my blog. These are the three other blogs I read the most often, and all are worthy of your viewing pleasure.

Five With Flores & Top8Magic go hand in hand. The small amount of magic success I’ve had can be attributed to the impact on my game that Mike, Brian, Matt, Steve & co have had. I drove my construced rating up 300 points thanks to these people, and this is where you can find them these days. In particular, Mike taught me to love building my own decks, and to have fun doing it, which lead to a top 8 with arguably the most exciting deck in the history of Time Spiral block, Radha-Me-This. There haven’t been enough positive adjectives invented for what I could say for the authors of Fivewithflores and Top8Magic, so just hurry up and visit already.

The Starkington Post is written by a newer Magic personality that I have a lot of time for, Bill Stark. Bill has knowledge and determination to spare, along with the charisma to bring to you in an entertaining fashion. Over on the Magic mothership, Wizards seem to be grooming Rich Hagon as the guy to take over Randy’s seat in the booth (if it is to be taken over at all) but when Bill and Rich shared a booth at PT KL, Bill put Rich to shame. I highly reccommend this blog because Bill has a lot of smart things to say, and the passion for the game to bring it to you without fear of being wrong – a flaw many writers have nowadays.

Little Kuriboh’s Blog, currently going under the name “Little Kuriboh’s Greedo” is the blog of the creator of the wonderful internet parody series, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series (YGOTAS). It’s appoximately thirty-two 5-10 minute episodes into its life, and pretty much all of them are hits. LittleKuriboh has a job/wife/life etc., so it’s a phenomenal effort to keep a series like this runing throughout all of it. The blog is interesting to me mainly because i’m a big fan of the series, so check out both links. Who knows? Maybe you’ll become a fan too.

Honey Garlic (I don’t know if this is meant to be one word or not) is co-ran by my good friend (that i’ve never met) Ryan. It’s full of quirky facts and info that never fails to at least bring a smile to my face, if not more. Ryan is in-depth with the Lolitics side of the blog, but we won’t hold that against him, as both the main authors are all worth your time to read. The only thing that you might not like is its focus on Canadian domestic issues, but all the posts have issues you can draw parallels with in your own life, so it’s all positive value in my books.

So that’s what I like to read on the internet. If I introduced you to one of these blogs, and you really liked it, drop a line in the comments box! I’m always interested to find out if my few readers (and my traffic stats tell me you’re out there!) like the same sorts of things that I do.

The Most Exciting Deck in the History of Time Spiral Block

2 Plains
2 Flagstones of Trokair
4 Llanowar Reborn
4 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Forest
8 Mountain

4 Greater Gargadon
4 Radha, Heir to Keld
4 Tarmogoyf
3 Riftsweeper
3 Mystic Enforcer
3 Akroma, Angel of Fury

4 Chromatic Star
4 Ghostfire
4 Riddle of Lightning
3 Stonewood Invocation

1 Disintegrate
2 Stonecloaker
2 Sunlance
3 Magus of the Moon
3 Boom//Bust
4 Ancient Grudge


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Paper-Smothering in Conflux Standard

Mike Flores recently blogged about some of his favourite articles from the last year. In one of them, he talks about Rock-Paper-Scissors metagames and how it becomes better to win tournaments with a certain type of deck. In the example he presented, Rock was Fae, and the most prevalent deck. Red Deck was Paper, because it beats the red deck, and Scissors was traditionally some form of Green deck with life gain, or certain builds of 5-colour that beat red deck but invariably lose to Faeries.

What I took away from this article was a proposal that Scissors was the right deck to play, because as the tournament wore on, the Rocks would play themselves a lot of the time, and the Paper would sweep away the Rocks, so if even just a couple Scissors survived towards the end, they’d be swimming in a sea of paper and be well positioned to cut through the top 8, so to speak.

What i’ve been wondering lately though – if the Red Deck beats Faeries as it is, with the benefits it is getting from Conflux – is there any excuse NOT to play Paper anymore? Life was already pretty miserable for Faeries, and it only gets worse with the new additions. Between Banefire, the new Unearth Sparky and Volcanic Fallout, you get a bunch of great anti-Fae cards that serve double duty by being good against various strategies trying to pose as the Scissors deck. Even the mighty hoser Burrenton Forge-Tender trembles before the X-Force of Banefire.

The strength of the Red Deck is the ability to “dial” it different ways. You can still play the traditional beatdown Red Deck Wins, it packages well with white and black to make good beatdown or control decks, and i’m sure that you can package all three of the previosly mentioned Conflux cards into an Unearth-Burn deck that allows you to play Volcanic Fallout in a non-controlling deck that doesn’t harm your own strategy. This last type of deck, Unearth-Burn seems the most exciting to me, as it fits the way I like to play Red Decks – it’s very much out of the mold of the Snow Red deck I made between Coldsnap and Time Spiral three years ago.

I haven’t spent a great deal of time thinking about other new implementations on the Red Deck, this is just sort of my beginning thoughts on where it could go. Below is a prelim list of how I might build Unearth-Burn

4 Mogg Fanatic
4 Hellspark Elemental
4 Hell’s Thunder
4 Demigod of Revenge

4 Tarfire
4 Incinerate
4 Flame Javelin
4 Volcanic Fallout
4 Banefire

4 Ghitu Encampment
20 Mountain

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Left 4 Alone

I bought Left 4 Dead last week. It’s amazing, everyone should get it (for PC, not ShitBox 360) and add “plubby” to Steam. It seems a bit repetitive at times on Single Player, but I imagine that it would be a complete blast with friends…like you!

So buy it NOW! Buy it twice! Buy it on your PC of choice!

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I’m baaa-aaa-aaa-aaa-aaack!

No that’s not a sheep joke, that’s me singing Back in the Saddle by Aerosmith >_>

So my internet connection is back! Huzzah! We will soon return you to your regular blogging schedule, I promise.

MichaelJ wiped the floor with me in the TP room on modo yesterday. It was quite humiliating, I don’t play that badly against other people. I guess I was just starstruck.

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My home internet is broken! Help me fix it! Do you have any idea how torturous it is to pretend to like Football Manager!? GAH!

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Counter-heavy Reflecting Pool Control

Following on from the last post, this is how I would build the deck the unnamed person posted. It’s perhaps tuned a bit for the creature-heavy local meta, otherwise I would probably play Broken Ambitions over Remove Soul. The mana is not convincing, but it seems to work OK for me at the moment.

I like that the deck can pack up to sixteen counterspells post-board.

1 Nucklavee
4 Mulldrifter
2 Broodmate Dragon
3 Cloudthresher

4 Wrath of God
4 Condemn
4 Remove Soul
4 Cryptic Command
4 Esper Charm
2 Cruel Ultimatum
2 Tidings

4 Vivid Creek
4 Arcane Sanctum
3 Seaside Citadel
4 Reflecting Pool
4 Sunken Ruins
3 Flooded Grove
2 Mystic Gate
2 Cascade Bluffs

3 Mind Shatter
4 Bitterblossom
4 Guttural Response
4 Negate

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A Reality Check

Sadly this thread will have no more mentions of The Miz. 😦

One of the first threads I ever posted on MTG Paradise was my White Weenie deck. It had barely any land, an awful Creature-to-Equipment ratio, and all in all was pretty bad. Everyone suggested that I add Skullclamp to my deck, but I wasn’t a fan of killing my guys (It had some creatures that didn’t gain bonuses when it was equipped) just to draw cards. But more and more people told me that I was nuts to not play it, so I said that I would at least test it. The card they were suggesting that I should cut was Vulshok Morningstar, so I tested a few games against various decks with both Morningstar and Skullclamp, and much to my delight, the Morningstar came out the better card. Still the ever-intelligent members of MTG Paradise insisted that I was wrong, and that Skullclamp was the better card. So I struck up a compromise – while Morningstar was the better performing card, I would add Skullclamp to my sideboard and simply add it in whenever I felt I needed. Still, that wasn’t good enough. I ended up very frustrated, but then a member named “Upturned Headstone” posted this: ” If you refuse to add Skullclamps when they’re the only card that makes White Weenie even remotely competitive, then you’re beyond help. Good luck with your deck.”

This sort of snapped me back into reality, and I made one more post addressing a couple of other posts, and then left the thread to die.

The point of all this being that: I was new to the game when I made that thread and those comments. It was nearly five years ago. recently I came across someone who doesn’t have that excuse to hide behind making the same mistakes. How can someone, who is supposedly quite a talented deck designer, take a post full of comments and say “I tested infinite games, so I know you’re wrong” (implying that the person making the suggestions didn’t test at all). If you’re not going to listen to comments – in particular the comment that say “you have two of X and Y, but X is better and here is why” – and then multiple people agree with them, why bother posting the deck at all? Did he think he’d struck deck design nirvana and was just looking for praise to descend from all the little magic-playing peons?

In my opinion, this deck designer has always had some high-quality ideas that were marred only by an inaccurate knowledge of how the metagame works, and this is supported by his finishes. It frustrates me no end to see someone with that amount of playskill, and a knack for deck design on a level that is quite rare…piss away all this talent because of Pet decks, favoured cards, and a refusal to admit the strength of the strategy of other decks.

Names have been removed to protect the guilty here, but I think we all know who i’m referring to. My lunch break has ended, so this entry must too. Two posts in a day…wow that doesn’t happen often, and especially not recently.


Ok, so I lied about The Miz. <_<

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