Posts Tagged 'magic the gathering'

Team Kate and Wills

Let's all play some Standard! Wait, no.

That’s what I  nearly registered my deck as on Sunday 1st May, as a sort of commemorative joke, because the deck that I had brought was in fact Team America. Given that we were at GP London on the weekend of the Royal wedding, however, it just felt kind of wrong. Not to mention that I’m sure many would question whether the list that I ran actually qualifies as a real Team America deck or not. Whatever, a blue/black/green shell that pretty much plays all the best cards that it possibly can (read: Force, Bob, Goyf, Brainstorm, Thoughtseize, Big Jace, Hymn, Wasteland etc.) is the exact kind of deck that I like to play – even if it is full of buzz words like ‘tempo’ that don’t really mean anything. Essentially the combination of cost-efficient card draw, discard, removal and beaters leads to a pretty good deck. Here’s the list:

Continue reading ‘Team Kate and Wills’


I told you so.

Yesterday, as the observant ones amongst you will have clocked, was the Mirrodin Besieged Games Day and I played the idiotic, super-speedy Kuldotha Red deck. I had a pretty good day, going 4-1 in the swiss and feeling moderately confident in the deck. I certainly saw a lot of players who just had no clue how to pilot the deck (holding on to Signal Pest(s) until turn 4 or so is just plain wrong) who were nonetheless still doing well on sheer power level even through misplays.

In the quarterfinals I lost two not-at-all-close games to Boros where the guy sided in at least 12 cards that just ruin the deck that I was playing (Cunning Sparkmage, Kor Firewalker, Arc Trail, Divine Offering, Basilisk Collar, etc.) – it was kind of brutal. Still, I came 4th on standings at the end of the day and won some packs – which had nothing in them of worth, although the Top 8 card (foil full art Black sun’s Zenith) certainly made up for some of that.

The overall winner of the event, however, was my friend Toby (now two times Games Day Champion of Cambridge!) piloting his U/W Shape Anew deck. What was he newly shaping into? Why, it’s our friend Blightsteel Colossus, of course…

Oh hai guys!

I told you so! Of course, this isn’t really the be-all and end-all of Magic: the Gathering, it was just sort of funny that the poster-child for Timmy power creep won our local event.

I think in terms of playing the deck again, I would certainly choose to do so and probably not with any changes (perhaps a couple of copies of Mortarpod in the board for some spice). I would also hope to face more straight control or any of the combo matchups, and I would also be happy with the mirror, as the only things I played against in the swiss were two copies of Mono-W Quest and three variations on UB Infect control (one with Grand Architect). The latter is the one that crushed me by dropping a really early Platinum Emperion – harsh.

Sway of the Stars

Some people really like the UrzaTron. I really like playing with Loci. Following on from yesterday’s competitive Pauper 8-Post three colour control deck, today I give you my casual Legacy 12-Post mono blue combo deck! I decided that I couldn’t be bothered to draft anymore after selling a bunch of my cards online, so I built this for a laugh instead:

Mono Blue Sway Baby!

The list is really straightforward (and a little limited perhaps by my budget and the fact that I built a round a ten mana sorcery – which is even more than Warp World, previously the funniest thing to spend a ton of mana on):

(22) Lands: 4 Cloudpost, 4 Glimmerpost, 4 Vesuva, 10 Island
(12) Creatures: 4 Epochrasite, 4 Triskelion, 4 Aeon Chronicler
(14) Instants: 4 Mana Leak, 4 Condescend, 3 Negate, 3 Evacuation
(8) Sorceries: 4 Ancestral Vision, 4 Sway of the Stars
(4) Artifacts: 4 Prophetic Prism

Break me!

So, as previously mentioned, the deck could probably do with some better cards (which would cost more tix) and could probably also do with one or two more Islands. I also just kind of stuck with what I knew in terms of cards that work well with the ‘Posts e.g. Prophetic Prism. In case you don’t see the combo, the idea is to use your defensive cards and countermagic to live long enough to suspend an Aeon Chronicler (or two) and cast Sway of the Stars. Everything gets reset, and you should have enough cards in hand that Chronicler one-hit kills them the next turn. Of course, dropping Triskelion on turn 3 and protecting it with counters is also pretty strong as a plan b.

I also though I would try something new for this post – a video replay of a game I played with the deck online vs. Elves, but so far everything is cocking up! Depending on how this works out, I may be experimenting with video recording a little more in the future. I hope to get a video up real soon!

URb 8-post

It’s my Pauper deck that I play online on MTGO. Pauper is a real man’s format for real men, in which you can only use commons. This deck is super sweet and I love it. The deck has gone through a bunch of iterations and has plenty of sweet interactions. This is the current build, though the sideboard has a few slots that change quite frequently (as it should do) and there are one or two cards in the main that I will be re-assessing soon e.g. is Mnemonic Wall pulling its weight? Is the spicy Strangling Soot I added the other week worth playing?

Click the image to see it larger!

75 Main Deck:
3 Izzet Boilerworks
6 Island
1 Bojuka Bog
5 Mountain
4 Cloudpost
4 Glimmerpost

3 Expedition Map
3 Firebolt
3 Flame Slash

4 Prophetic Prism
4 Prohibit

1 Arc Lightning
4 Compulsive Research
1 Capsize
1 Staggershock
1 Strangling Soot

2 Mystical Teachings

1 Mnemonic Wall

1 Ulamog’s Crusher

1 Kaervek’s Torch
3 Rolling Thunder
4 Condescend

15 Sideboard:
1 Arc Lightning
1 Echoing Truth
3 Negate
4 Pyroblast
3 Shattering Pulse
4 Stone Rain

Magic Football!

The Bat Dad!

Super Bowl XLV is tonight – TONIGHT. For a sport that I had watched maybe half a dozen times before a couple of months ago, I’m surprisingly excited about this event. Less excited about the half-time music (Black Eyed Peas? Really? What happened to Bruce Springsteen?) but I think there is genuinely an element of the actual game itself that’s getting to me; that is as opposed to looking forward to it just because it’s an excuse for a party. I never was very big on American Football as a sport, and I suppose as a physical game I’m still not overly enamoured, but the game overall does have two major things going for it:

  1. The obvious level of entertainment; the showmanship; the general OTT American approach to big-name events such as this; the atmosphere it creates; the interesting and often actually engaging commentary, etc.
  2. The tactics. For a long time Barrett has been trying to tell me how tactical the sport is, and for a long time I’ve argued that it surely can’t be more so than any other sport, but I’m beginning to see what he means.

Anyway, before we get to watching the Super Bowl (grokking Mana Energy Potions, plenty of booze and food along the way) I’ve got a Magic sealed event to go to at Inner Sanctum Collectibles. 3xMirrodin Besieged boosters, 3xScars of Mirrodin – time to open some ‘walkers and crush. Or scrub and start drinking early – either works for me!

P.s. have ended up as an honorary Packers supporter for the night (Sean’s team) as nobody wants to see the Steelers win. Nobody.

More Than Meets The Eye

There has been some discussion for a while about the various merits of the big artifact creatures you can choose to Tinker for in Vintage. Now I’m no expert on Type 1, but I have a pretty good grasp of the reasons for choosing your robot from the currently available selection.

  1. Darksteel Colossus – It’s big, it kills them in 2 hits (often even over blockers because of the low toughness of most non-robot/Oathed in guys in Vintage thanks to trample), it has the neat ‘shuffle it back into your library’ effect. It’s the classic robot. Indestructible maybe isn’t the most relevant as most removal will cause sacrifice or exile it.
  2. Inkwell Leviathan – It takes longer to kill them but it has a few neat advantages, namely that it has islandwalk (are you playing Vintage? Then there’s a high chance you’ll be playing with Islands) and retains trample for the non-blue decks. It also has shroud (because it’d suck to get this guy Pathed) and, most importantly in my eyes, can be pitched to Force in a pinch.
  3. Sphinx of the Steel Wind – can also be pitched to Force, and also has enough keywords to require dedicated reading time for the unprepared. It takes a lot longer to kill them (4 turns compared to 2 or 3), doesn’t shuffle back in and is still vulnerable to some removal, however it is good for getting back into the game after an aggro start from your opponents.

Now, bearing all of this in mind, the spoilers for Mirrodin Besieged today brought us this monstrosity:


Yep, that thing kills them in one; still has trample and is indestructible; now shrinks any guy that gets in its way; still shuffles and did I mention that it kills them in just the one swing? It remains to be seen if the Type 1 crowd will pick up on this over the other options, but it is certainly pretty spicy. 

P.S. The rules for poison counters don’t change in EDH/Commander. This thing is pretty nuts there, if expensive (didn’t stop them nerf’ing Emrakul).

Day 15

Need to get my hands on one of these IRL

Your Dreams

This actually seems a fairly apt day for this particular topic to come up, as I went and had a stab at the Cambridge PTQ for Nagoya, stupidly losing my third match and dropping – dream crush. The day started out OK, but the deck apparently has serious problems with Jund (and all the hyper-aggressive builds of it that I faced today). The control and ‘combo’ match-ups were extremely positive, as expected, and I didn’t play against Faeries all day, so I guess I’ll never know.

So, yes, one dream I could have listed would have been qualifying for the Pro Tour – but there’s still the rest of the year for that. Also, in my list of dreams it doesn’t rank that highly – if we’re taking dreams to mean hopes and aspirations, that sort of thing. Then it would be the perhaps mundane things of wanting to get my own house, to be able to afford a good standard of living off my own back, etc. coupled with the decidedly more grandiose designs of pretending that I am a musician and a writer. Time (and sufficient effort, I believe) will tell.

As far as dreams in the sense of REM sleep and things your mind produces whilst you’re asleep goes: I have a giant reptile motif that pops up fairly regularly and when I was younger I had a recurring nightmare in which a giant face in black and white just got continuously closer and closer, into pixellated nothing but somehow still kept coming, like a loop, accompanied by a snippet of sound like half a word, or half a syllable maybe, that got progressively (unbearably) loud. That was odd.

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