My Day at WMCQ DC (WAY LATE)

Not really a tournament report as much as a personal reflection and diary of the day. To late for a full on report, things have changed a lot since then!

I was really excited for the WMCQ in Washington, DC. Not because I had really expected to do well or I was attempting to prove any kind of point, but because it was a nearby event that I could go to and be comfortable at within my surroundings.

I had been to this convention center before since it is also where the SCG DC Open was and had been in the area a lot either going to visit places or for work type stuff.  It was a pretty relaxing thing for me.  Kinda felt like I was part of the home team.  I really enjoy going to play at places where I have already been or know something of. Philly is another comfortable location, as will Richmond be in a few months.  Can’t beat playing in the building that you graduated college from, right?

But anyway, the day started out much earlier than Trevor or I planned.  A friend from our play group messaged us at 6:30 am asking if we could lend him cash to get in since he didn’t have an ATM card. Fine, but since I’m up this early I’m making tea first. Which was perhaps the best decision in the world.

We go pick up our friend and rather than Metro in we decided to drive.  Metro is normally an awesome option unless it is 4-20, Earth Day, and they are single tracking or closing tracks all over the place and making it difficult to get around.  Plus there is $15 parking a few blocks away from the venue that isn’t all that bad. And on the way back I could hit my favorite restaurant!

So we get to the convention center and it is kind of a mess thanks to AwesomeCon also going on in the same building. So you have this mass of nerds kind of just all over the place with some really poor directions. We figured out which room the WMCQ was in and made sure our Pre-registers went though and sat down at what was a pretty empty table. Trevor had printed out our deck lists before hand, but of course, mine go left behind so I had to fill one out real quick.  Oh well, I guess at least it wasn’t both that I had to do.

The room filled up quickly and we started off the day with nearly 400 players.  It was yet another day of an SCG event being split into two rooms causing confusion for many players.  In fact, I think it is a good thing that they had so many other events happening at the same time because there were enough drops after round 1 to get at least all the WMCQ players in one room.

The most important thing I learned about today is the fact that I am not a bad player. I know what calls to make when when I know the decks I’m playing against. The issue is that my playgroup likes to play a lot of the same archetypes.  So for the weeks leading up to the WMCQ I was testing over and over against the various Aggro decks.  Against those decks, I just kicked face.  However, going up against something like G/W tokens or Planeswalker Superfriends, I just wasn’t sure of the reactions I needed to have.

Many people are telling me the solution to this is to get on MTGO, which I might start doing as soon as I have the income for both paper and online Magic. But until then I don’t really have a desire to try and balance both and feel as though I losing something to gain one other thing.  Not to mention time to play both online and in person and do school work and actually work is limited. Some people would say I’m not dedicated, but I would say balancing just three out of those four things and doing pretty well at all of them shows more dedication to life overall than just one item.

Anyway, my Golgari deck is getting put back together, maybe made into a light Jund deck and I will keep you updated on that. Hoping to have that ready for GameDay. I am going to continue keeping the Bant Control/Prime Speaker deck in order and updating it as I go.  I have cards I need to pick up over the next week or so, but I have been working on trading for more of them as opposed just buying them.

I think that is all I have for now. I’ll get a decklist for you guys as things become more solidified and tested.

 

Pre-release and why I was kinda sad.

I of course picked Golgari for the one event I got to go to.  I was super excited at first because I figured between the Golgari pack and my allied guild pack (Dimir) I would have some options and then with 4 Dragon’s Maze packs I would get some decent options.

I didn’t.  I didn’t get anything it felt like. Some soft removal in the way of enchantments, but nothing really good.  My pool basically did just consist of the Gatecrash and Return to Ravnica packs, I think I used maybe 5 cards not including lands, from Dragon’s Maze.  The rest of it was not in my colors nor did I have the fixing for it.  It did not result in a fun time.

Afterwards I was talking with Trevor and I think overall I just wished that along with the two guild packs from the two earlier sets, there had been a pack of Dragon’s Maze dedicated to the two guilds.  Somehow split the cards and give us an ‘Alliance’ pack so to speak.  Something that actually gave us cards from the set in the colors we wanted to play so we could see them.  I don’t care how the mishmash of cards happen in that pack, but to have something like that would have been helpful.

But, enough of about me. How was your pre-release? What guilds did you play? Any stand out cards you stumbled into? Reply here or on twitter: @mtgreiunicorn

Bant Mid-Range, A surprising amount of fun

So come to find out that the land base for Naya Blitz is also the land base that Trevor is currently using.  Whoops!  Normally we have double set of things, but Sacred Foundry is not one of them.  And I don’t have the money to just buy 5 lands (he only has three and if we were to buy a play set we may as well have 2 completes).

So the hunt for a deck continued.  We looked at BUG and Esper and neither was really sitting well with me.  So I went to Bant.  Looked at a few different things that were around between control and and mid-range and was starting to like the mid-range thing.  I’ve said previously that I find Bant Control incredibly boring to play against and I don’t think I would find it much more fun to play, but the creatures in Bant Mid-Range were interactive, tactical, and fun.  Plus, I had nearly everything for it.

All I had to do was pick up a Sphinx’s Revelation, a Thragtusk, and a Zegana.  no small amount, but still a lot less then a play set of Shocks.  Plus with my LGS discount, it was great!

So we then try to trek down to Virginia Beach to make FNM down there with Trev’s sister. That didn’t happen.  There was traffic, and forgetting of things, and me having to jump out and do my firefighter thing.  Yeah.  I don’t know how to stop.

So there was no FNM.  We found out that there was a standard tournament the next day, but it would be during Family Shenanigans. After that stuff though, we did go over and do some play testing.  Nothing to serious, but it gave me a good few runs to get used to the idea of the deck and the how things worked together.

First few games were against the Sister-In-Law and her UB Mill Deck.  Not only in these matches did I really get to work on things and mechanics, but we also worked through some issues she was having.  It was a good fuzzy feeling to have.  Someone else from the store took over her deck as they had been helping her tweek it.  Each match resulted in a different play plan from me which was awesome to see how many directions it went in while the change in players against the same deck was awesome!

The second deck I played against was a very simple and budget WG Humans.  It was much faster than my deck, but it tended to run out of steam.  As long as I was hitting the turn three Smiter and had some Farseeks or Azorius Charms around, I seemed to be okay, but I am worried about the match up when it comes to a more Tier 1 type deck.  Which really, will be the purpose of testing tonight.

Bant is something I though I would never touch.  I’m not a big white or blue player, but when you through in the green like this it seems to keep my interest.  I didn’t feel as though Bant Mid-range was on the same auto-play that Bant Control tends to be, and that I had enough things to both react and keep the pressure on, something that control tends to worry me with.

Looking at the tweeks to the deck that have happened over the past weekend, I really like the addition of the one Think Twice.  The sideboard molding is what I’m going to have to continuously watch though.  Rest in Piece is the card I’m running, but I’m sincerely thinking about Tormod’s Crypt or Ground Seals instead.  I don’t want something that will mess up my graveyard too, particularly with Think Twice if it does get added.

Not to mention the meta three weeks form now is likely to be vastly different from the one we saw this past weekend or even next weekend.  I could decide that this deck is going to get weaker as the meta shifts and moves. I may decide to shift into the more creature heavy Prime Speaker Bant list.  I might just find my Sacred Foundaries that I need.

I’ll get a report up with deck list if I go to standard tonight!  Please don’t forget to follow me on twitter @mtgreiunicorn!

Moved!

So everything is out of Trevor and my old place and into the new one.  Now comes the challenge of unpacking it all.  Normally this is not to much of an issue as everything kinda has a pre-designated area that it goes to.  It is quick, pretty painless, and efficient.  This time, however, the apartment is such a different layout we are really having to get creative with where things how and how it gets laid out.  This is not a bad thing by any means because it is making us really thinking of of what we actually need versus which can go into storage(aka my parent’s basement) or even to Goodwill.

I’m hoping that after this week thing will be more settled and I can start deck exploration for World Quals in D.C. on April 20th.  I have to start early so I can fit in between paper writing for school since I’ve hit the one big core class for my Master’s that will be taking up a lot of time.  But I think I can do it.  This week I want to play with Naya Blitz a bit and see how I do with that.  It is still very Aggro, which I’m accustomed to, but it has a lot less control aspects.

As far as Article writing goes, well, it has been through its first set of edits and I’m mulling over recommendations from people.  I like to let thing percolate   Also I’ll do work on that and then feel guilty for ‘ignoring’ school work.  Yeah I’m a nerd.

I also have some comics that I want to start commenting on again here in the next few weeks! I’ve bought some stuff as my LCS/LGS has had a sale, so while some it maybe a few years old, I still think talking about it will encourage you all to go out and support the industry a bit, whether it is through digital pick-ups or local stores.  I always push for local stores though!  However, I understand fully how difficult it is to get to a local store occasionally.  I’m also waiting on a few new things to come in from not so large publishers that I think many people will find interesting!

 

Team Enchantment

So, You Make the Card for Magic: The Gathering has gone off into Run Off mode.  Last week there was a poll opened up with all the card types besides Planeswalker.  When they said something this morning, basically Instant/Sorcery and Artifact were gone.  Creature tried to vie for a spot, but didn’t quite get there.  Apparently it was not a 6/6.  But it was third, so maybe it was a 4/4 equipped with Rancor or something who knows.  Which just goes to show how awesome Enchantments are.

So we currently have the option of either a Land or an Enchantment to chose from. Land had 26.56% and Enchantment had 26.53%.  This is way within a margin of error of misclicks, or time outs and other stuff, so I fell the run off is more than fair!  Plus more than fun!

I am in the Enchantment camp.  I find envisioning a Land card very difficult unless we know what set it is going to come out in, what the story and background of that set is, what kind of flavor is around.  Non-basic Lands I feel need to fit the set they are coming out in.  If it comes out in a Core Set, well, then I feel like you get this kinda non-descriptive Land that tried to be good at everything and thus doesn’t particularly excel at anything.

I find Enchantments to be much more flexible.  The flavor can be conveyed through multiple means and can fit into a bunch of places quite easily.  The mechanics of Enchantments allow the players who are voting on this to really think about what they want to see a creature do and make it happen.  Or even how they would like to see a game state morph from one turn to the next and come up with a real challenge to the current constructs of how to play.  These ideas are really exciting to be as a player.

Enchantments are some of my favorite cards in the game.  I love cards like Curse of the Bloody Tome, Pursuit of Flight, Rancor, and Stab Wound to name recent ones.  They tend to just stack on to of one another, building formidable creatures.  Gift of Orzhova on an evolving Adaptive Snapjaw in draft because you got BUG?  Yes please!

Now you are giving us the opportunity to make this crazy thing happen?  At a time when Enchantment Removal is not run often? And I can do all the things with it potentially? Yes, this makes me very happy.

Really, though, overall an Enchantment is going to be much more fun to design then a land.  We are going to get some crazy things going and they are going to evolve and spread and continue to turn into other things.  A Land, well, is just gonna hand out until the next From the Vault: Realms.  Really.

So go vote for Enchantments HERE.  Now.  Just got do it now and thank me later.

Writing this made me realize that maybe it is time I go try my hand a Bant-chantments…hmmm…

P.S.-Wrote this on my lunch break at work.  It is a quick opinion piece. Maybe I’ll do one more in depth once this weeks homework is done.

Getting My Grind On

So when I got back from GP Charlotte and the Planeswalker Points started ticking in I noticed how close I was to actually getting a bye for next season.  So last weekend I pretty just played in different events the whole time.  Started with FNM and then played from 11 am Saturday until about 6 pm.  Would have gone back Sunday if I hadn’t needed to pick up Trevor from the airport and go do some stuff for our new place.  Instead I contemplated what I had learned the past two days and came to the conclusion I had been avoiding.

I need to play B/G or some variant there of.  It fits me.  I need much more practice in other combinations, which just says I need much more practice as a player.  Trevor says that B/G fits my love of the cycle of life and death, that it is only a natural combination for someone like me.  Whatever that means.  But I recognize the need to adapt to other colors and the fact that I am exploring them I think says a lot.

But, my B/G deck just wasn’t doing it with the advent of Gatecrash.  Not sure why exactly, but something just stopped clicking.  I think the biggest issue was for a while Burning Tree Emissary just snowballing faster then I could.  And still maybe is.

Either way, last night I switched over to Kibler’s Ooze deck.  I’ve never straight up copied a deck card for card without the intent of swapping things out as I went.  Not gonna lie, either, I had a lot of fun with it.  One game I had three Predator Ooze’s out at once and it was just a slaughter.  The other games were so close and I think it was just a means of me not quite having a grasp of what I had left to draw yet.

However, out of the three decks I have been considering for DC Open this weekend, it is the highest contender.  I’m gonna look at what is popping up and maybe make a few adjustments, but I don’t necessarily think I need that many.  Add the fact that it is general mechanics that I am accustomed too with just some new faces and I think I have a really strong place right now.

Beyond that, last Thursday I was on a podcast titled ‘The Deck Tease’ with some other wonderful women players and judges.  We had great conversation regarding things like writers in magic, particularly what is seen as a lack of women, Cockatrice, and GP Charlotte. You can find the exact episode here.

This is something I really enjoyed doing and really look forward to doing again in some capacity.  Perhaps Trevor and I will sit down and just have one of our banters back and forth.  Or feel free to invite me place!  I like to talk to people like that 😀

Anyway!  Thanks for all your continued readership and hopefully we can all move on to bigger and better things from here!

Commons that Should See Standard Play(IMO)

So I think we are all recovering from a weekend of Gatecrash Pre-releasing.  I know that Trevor and I played for nearly 24 hours straight between FNM into Mid-night madness, then back the next day for more events.  We got a whole 3 hours of sleep and only left the store to go get dinner.  One of these days we will make it to a Sunday event…maybe when there aren’t ten million and one things going on with school, work, and family.

Anyway, now that I have sat here and sorted our Commons and Uncommons into WUBRG+Multi/Either colored, I wanted to share a card from each color that I feel should see some standard play.  Or at least would be competitive if you were on a budget to build a deck, but still wanted to do well at FNM or even some Trials.  This is only my opinion, and that probably is not worth much, but I would love to here if these cards are making it into your decks or if you have any ideas to build decks around/with them!

Here we go!

White

So I had a difficult time choosing between two cards here.  Both Holy Mantle and Angelic Edict I really like in decks.  However, I think I would definitely go with Holy Mantle.

Ain't no rubble gonna stop me!

Ain’t no rubble gonna stop me!

A two white and two colorless for +2/+2 and protection from creatures.  What?  That is ridiculous!  That is a way to to just make problems all over the place.  I see pairing it with a Hexproof creature and then you pretty much have a good array of creatures to make practically indestructible.  Even if you don’t, the ability to give something protection from creatures is just huge!  To me it is like a Rancor on Steroids since yo  u get the addition on the front, back, and in general.  In most cases, people would have to use two burn spells to really get rid of this creature now.

Edit

So in my flurry of sorting cards and looking for things to put in decks at nearly midnight, I’ put Holy Mantle which is an uncommon rather than a common.  Which is completely my delirious mistake.  So I’ll talk a bit about Angelic Edict right here!  For one white and four it is a powerful sorcery speed card that just exiles a creature or enchantment.  And as we can see, it looks like enchantments are going to see a lot of play coming up.  It is also a great answer to many creatures that don’t seems to have an exact answer any other way.

Blue

Hands down: Spell Rupture.  A blue and one to counter any spell?  They have to pay to let the spell go through?  And they have the pay the amount of a creature who has the biggest attack?  In a format that currently has lots of big fatties or ways to make things big and fatty?  I’m sold.  Even if they pay to get one thing out, they would more than most likely be tapped out for the rest of their turn, or your turn.

Good Day, perhaps not anymore, for I am here to ruin it.

Good Day, perhaps not anymore, for I am here to ruin it.

Black

I’m going to have to go with Undercity Informer.  But I can’t, cause he is an uncommon.  Black is another color that I feel picked up a lot of strong cards this time around where as in RtR it did not gain much unless it was dual or multi-colored.  However, black will be a go to color for multiple things between cipher and, in particular, mill.

So from there a lot of people probably think I would say Balustrade Spy.  Well your wrong.  I’m going to go with Grisly Spectacle.  Two black and two for a spell that destroys a non-artifact creature and then has you mill that creatures power?  I see a lot of good uses for this, and while I personally think the casting cost should be altered, I don’t think it is a complete barrier to use.

Red

If this was not a list just for Commons, this spot would surely go to Skullcrack.  However, the truth is the biggest Common card in red is Madcap Skills.  That way to make creatures bigger?  Right here.  It costs a red and one.  It gives you +3/+0 and enchanted creature can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures.  This is a card where you lay it down and just go ‘What now?’ and hope they aren’t me with Golgari Charm.

He looks crazy, which is great since he has a crazy effect.

He looks crazy, which is great since he has a crazy effect.

Green

Green is another area where it is tough for me.  I normally play lots of green, but the past weekend I did not play it as often as I would normally.  Two cards come to mind: Verdant Haven and

I enjoy it when they get primal warrior women somewhat right in the art :D

I enjoy it when they get primal warrior women somewhat right in the art 😀

Disciple of the Old Ways.  To me they both belong in G/R decks, most likely mid-range.  Verdant Haven is great for mid-game ramp, particularly if you aren’t sure if Farseek is doing its job.  However, at a green and two, I’m not sure if it is really playable in standard.  I suppose this one will depend on how the Meta starts to form.  With Disciple of the Old Ways, I find her completely playable in most cases.  A 2/2 for a green and one with an activated ability seems like it would be an awesome addition for a G/R aggro, when that activated ability is First Strike, it is even better.

Artifacts

I know a lot of people would consider Prophetic Prism the right choice here, and maybe I do…in the right deck.  But I find Skyblinder Staff to be much more useful.  Particularly with how flashing angel’s in is a cool thing(I’m looking at you Restoration Angel).  It costs one to get it on the field

Lens flare!

Lens flare!

and then three to equip.  Perfect against pesky Restoration Angels with its +1/+0 and can’t be blocked by creatures with flying.   Do I think it is a mainboard card necessarily?  No.  But I don’t really think that any of the artifacts are.

Gold/Multi-Colored

To be fair, many of these cards are Uncommon or higher, but in the realms of lowly commons I think Kingpin’s Pet takes it home.  I mean…he is a damn flying pit bull!  At least that is what I see.  I suppose I need to actually talk about the card though.  It is a 2/2 for a black, white, and one with flying.  And it has Extort.  To me this is almost a guaranteed Extort opportunity from turn 3 on.  He is moderately difficult to remove and putting something like the Holy Mantle on him just is amazing!

Hybrid Colors

At least in the decks I tend to use, counters are a big thing.  Counters go on all the things!  Thus, to me, Bioshift is a great card.  I can move any number of +1/+1 counters around?  Do I see Undying creatures just lasting forever?  Why yes I do.  I see me continuously bringing back the likes of Stangleroot Geist and that should have you afraid.  Cause I’ll just keep chump blocking with him and just keep moving those counters somewhere else.  And since I’m already in Blue, may as well Snapcaster the Bioshifts back.  Yes, this seems devious.

The art is really eerie too.

The art is really eerie too.

So that is what I have.  Please leave disagreements, other suggestions, or ideas in the comments.  I enjoy talking with you all about deck tech, really I do.  I plan on doing another commons list like this more focused on guild cards, although it may be Common/Uncommon.

Have fun!