Friday, June 28, 2013

Turn Em Sideways

Well, I went for a change of pace last week at Standard FNM. I played my Judge Duty Aggro deck, even though I wasn't actually on Judge Duty. I just felt like something different. Plus, I had lent out my playset of Voice of Resurgence, so .. yeah. Anyway, here's my list, give or take:

Lands (21):
4 Stomping Grounds
4 Rootbound Crag
2 Temple Garden
10 Mountain
1 Kessig Wolf Run

Doodz (28):
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Stromkirk Noble
4 Flinthoof Boar
4 Lightning Mauler
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Boros Reckoner
3 Hellrider
2 Ghor-Clan Rampager

Spells (10):
1 Rancor
4 Pillar of Flame
4 Searing Spear
1 Domri Rade

Sideboard (15):
3 Skullcrack
2 Domri Rade
1 Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded
3 Ash Zealot
3 Traitorous Blood
3 Reckless Waif

Okay, so I don't ever actually bring in Tibalt against anything. I wanted to bring him against Control, but nobody really plays Control anymore, and I have a few slots for them anyway (Waif, Domri).

Well anyway .. how did it go? Quite smashingly, in fact. I ended up 3-1. I lost to a Bant deck, maybe control, maybe midrange, maybe somewhere between the two? I thought he was on Midrange or Prime Speaker, so I overextended like a boss .. right into his Verdict. And he had all the Charms and 'Tusks and Angels and all the stuff that shuts down Aggro. That was pretty rough. I also had a close match against a W/U Humans deck that seemed to come down to who drew better

All in all, it was fun to play something different. I enjoy surprising people at the local shop with my abrupt changes in strategy.

What's next? Judging. And it's going to become a much more regular thing most likely. My L2 is stepping down from Judging FNM at Mox Mania, and it looks like I'm going to be taking that over. So .. cool, regular gig! :) I'm looking forward to it. Even if it means I lose a little flexibility in what I do on Fridays. But I spend just about every Friday at FNM somewhere anyway, so ... yeah. Then I'm also working the TCGplayer Open this weekend in Madison, and I'm hoping to get on staff for SCG Minneapolis coming up.

This weekend I also hope to try some more Modern. The fellow I lent my Voices to has expressed interest in trading for them. I'm hoping to be able to get some of the Modern staples that I need to play some kind of U/x Control deck (probably U/W/R). If not, I'll just toss in a Spell Snare and Electrolyze into my Delver deck and wing it. :) Fun!

Okay, that's it for now. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Hi everybody!

Yeah, so I've been waiting for a particular moment for about 4 years now since starting to play Magic again. Last night I finally achieved it. And ... I'll talk about it in a little bit.

Return to sender.
So! I played Junk Rites again at F and/or M last week. It was alright. I went 3-1. I don't remember the matches I won, but I remember losing to a B/G deck. It was .. kinda controlling? But it had some midrange capabilities, too, with Geralf's Messenger and Thragtusk. I don't remember what went wrong, but I think it was a combination of just enough disruption and steady pressure that did me in. Mostly Geralf's Messenger from what I remember. Jerk.

Also, Acidic Slime is good against the Maze's End deck.

I think I might be about ready to move on from this deck. I'm not sure what to do next. That U/W/R Control deck looks pretty sweet. I love most of the cards in that deck. Boros Reckoner, AEtherling, Sphinx's Revelation, Supreme Verdict, Turn // Burn, etc. We'll see. :)

Okay, so I did something last night I've been threatening to do for months. I finally had an impetus to do it. Namely, my new toy:

Foil, too!

Is this the ultimate Timmy/Johnny card or what? So what did I do with this stupid crazy card? Well, I played some multiplayer with friends last night, and I cast it on turn four in one game. Then I cast this on turn five:

Followed by this:

This one was foil, too!
... devouring a Goblin token, resulting in an 8/8. Cool! Next turn, I got eight Saproling tokens, and followed up with one of my favorite creature of all time:

Pass turn! :D Upkeep, trigger. Each babby dragon eats four Saprolings, and I end up with two 17/17 babby dragons. TIMMAH!!1 Then the next turn I get two more babbys (one of them eating a Goblin token to make it a 5/5, and the other one sadly going hungry). Then she got Terminate'd, and the larger of the babbys all got Angel of Serenity'd. And then I got killed before I could do much else. Frowning face.

Okay, I didn't really frowning face. I was so happy to finally play Doubling Season in my Devour deck. I've been eyeing that card ever since I discovered it 4 years ago when I first put together that Devour deck. But, you know .. $20 card (then $25, then $30). Couldn't really justify shelling out cash for a casual-only card. But  ... recently I just did it anyway. Heck with it. I want DOUBPLE TOKENZ and DOUBPLE COUNTERZZZ. And NOW I HAVE THEM.


Anyway. So what now? I'm taking Tuesday off this week. I don't have a huge burning desire to Standard. I'll play FNM because .. FNM. But I'm not in a hurry to do much right now. It appears that I'll be on staff for the upcoming $5K event in Madison, so I'll need to sharpen up my IPG knowledge. I'm also hoping to get on staff for an SCG event coming up in Minnesota. Fun!

Okay, well that's it for now .. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Better to Be Lucky than Good

Hey everybody ...

Yeah, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. I played some more Standard last night over at Misty Mountain on the east side of Madison. I mostly wanted to pick up my box of Modern Masters, but I also miss those guys over there sometimes.

So I'm still playing Junk Rites. Have I posted a decklist lately? Well, here it is:

Land (23):
2 Gavony Township
21 Other Lands

Doodz (26):
4 Avacyn's Pilgrim
4 Arbor Elf
3 Voice of Resurgence
2 Friend Hunter
4 Restoration Angel
4 Thragtusk
2 Acidic Slime
3 Angel of Serenity

Spells (11):
4 Grisly Salvage
3 Mulch
4 Unburial Rites

Sideboard (15):
2 Pithing Needle
2 Garruk Relentless
2 Deathrite Shaman
1 Voice of Resurgence
2 Acidic Slime
2 Abrupt Decay
3 Sin Collector
1 Sever the Bloodline

I feel like the creature count is off. I thought I was running 3 Friend Hunters, but then that would add up to 61 cards. And I'm not that tech. I don't know what the other cut would have been. Maybe I'm only running 3 Arbor Elves? Hmmm.... Anyway, here's how it went:

Populate THIS. Actually, please don't. D:
Round 1: vs. Selesnya.
I recognized my opponent, but for whatever reason I don't think I'd ever played him before. He needed to read a lot of the cards I played, and his mana base was less than perfect (using Guildgates and Evolving Wilds for fixing). But he had some good cards and put up a good fight. Sigarda came down both games, and he even got his Grove of the Guardian token out, and the Guildmage to populate it. But I was able to stay alive with Thragtusks and eventually grind him out. Win, 2-0. Match Record: 1-0.

Graveyard shenanigans AND Aristocrat shenanigans? D:
Round 2: vs. Junk Aristocrats/Immortal Servitude.
Is this a thing? Junk Aristocrats with the Immortal Servitude combo in the same deck? Well it seemed to be pretty effective. This is one of the matches where I got lucky. I had a near perfect draw the first game, including the turn-four Angel of Serenity. He got game two after Servitude'ing his Voices, Aristocrats, etc., and comboing me out with Blood Artist triggers. Owch. Third game, I landed a Pithing Needle to stop his Skirsdag High Priest. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite close it out. He had Bloodthrone Vampire and Cartel Aristocrat out to keep sacrificing his own things, and he got several rather large Elemental tokens out (via Voice). A rather sizeable Immortal Servitude made things worse. But he couldn't quite alpha strike without me being able to chump and then kill him on the crackback. If he would have gotten a Blood Artist down, I would have been dead. So what happened? I Mulched into a Friend Hunter and Restoration Angel. I Rites'd my Friend Hunter, exiling my Angel of Serenity. Then I Rites'd my Restoration Angel, blinking Friend Hunter, exiling four of his Elemental tokens. And he didn't have an answer to that. BTBLTG. Win, 2-1. Match Record: 2-0.

Yup, gettin sick of this card. D:
Round 3: vs. Naya Beatdown.
That's kind of a cool thing about Standard right now. There about 3-4 different flavors of Naya you could play right now, along the aggro-midrange spectrum. This one was right in the middle. Most of it was pretty aggressive, topping out with Advent of the Wurm and Thragtusk. Okay, so the critical moment of the match was this ... He had two Boros Reckoners attacking, with me at 13 life. I had a Thragtusk out, holding a Restoration Angel (with mana available to cast it), and an Angel of Serenity ready to cast the following turn. My plan was to just take it, blink the Thragtusk, and wipe his board. So I go to 7, and he passes turn. EOT, Angel. In response, Searing Spear, Boros Charm. D: Guess what I didn't do .. again. Respect the burn. I could have done just about anything else, and I would have lived. If I Resto before blockers, he would have Spear'd the 'tusk, but I would have still gotten a Beast, and I could have blocked the Reckoner with Resto, either trading it, or killing it and taking 3 to the dome. Or, I could have blocked with Thragtusk, then tried to blink it before damage. Either way, I don't die, and then I wrath his board the next turn. As Robert Fripp likes to say, the only mistake is the failure to learn from a mistake. Loss, 1-2. Match Record: 2-1.

Will you be my friend? :D
Round 4: vs. Naya Midrange.
Another Naya deck, this time with a bit more top end. Still plenty of Reckoners and things, but with a Dragon at the top end, with an option to overload Mizzium Mortars if it comes to that. Well, it was a pretty close match, but other than getting blown out in one game by the aforementioned overloaded Mortars, I feel like I'd probably win this match more often than not, depending on luck and how well I play. My opponent in this match is a pretty good player, and he usually beats me when we play. So I feel pretty good that I've been able to beat him the last couple weeks. Anyway, I don't remember exactly what happened, other than grinding him out with card advantage from Angels and Thragtusks and Rites and other such things. You know, what this deck does. I do seem to recall that I got lucky with a topdeck one game, though. I don't remember exactly what or how, though. Hmmmm. Win, 2-1. Match Record: 3-1.

So yeah, that was cool. I'm really enjoying the Friend Hunter interactions in the deck. Sometimes I exile something, and he just dies and they get it back, but I'm usually okay with the tempo loss. Plus, sometimes trading my 1/3 for their removal spell is fine. Plus, then I can usually Rites him back anyway. Plus, I love the shenanigans that he can pull off. I love shenanigans.

I'm still not sure about a few slots in the deck, though. Voice of Resurgence is rad, but I'm thinking about relegating some number of him back to the 'board, in favor of something else. Maybe a maindeck Sever the Bloodline? Another Friend Hunter? And I'm looking at my sideboard, and I'm wondering what I need Abrupt Decay for. Most of what I'd use it for, I can do with Friend Hunter, Voice, Garruk, and/or Slime. I'll probably take it out. I'll probably also put in a third Pithing Needle, because that card rocks in the right matchups (Aristocrats, AEtherling).

Suspend counters!! :/
Oh yeah, so Misty is doing a generous promotion where you can trade any 3 prize packs for a Modern Masters booster. So I did that. And I opened .... *drumroll* ....
Jhoira, and a foil Gargadon. Oh. Cool. Well at least they're worth a little something. Oh, and I think there was a Manamorphose, too. Yay.

Anyway, I think that's it for now. Thanks for tuning in. :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Modern Masters .. or, Stupid Finks, Get Outta My Kitchen!


So Modern Masters this last weekend. I typed up a report for a message board that I frequent, so I figured I'd take the lazy route and just copy & past and edit here.

Dang Finks! Oh wait... I'm the one who played this card this weekend. Cool.
Friday night I did a casual draft with some folks I know from around town. A guy bought a box and wanted to do some Rochester and Winston drafting. So we did that. Winston seemed to have too much variance to be any good, and everyone's deck was jank except mine. I had a siiiiiick deck with lots of ETB effects and recursion. One game, I think I Clique'd my opponent like 4 different times. I'd blink a Kitchen Finks or Cloudgoat Ranger, let them die, and then Death Denied them all back to my hand. The Rochester draft was much more "fair," except one guy's nutso Affinity deck, with all the Frogmites and flying artifact enablers .. and an Arcbound Ravager, because it wasn't good enough as it was. I think I had a B/W Rebels deck that had some good stuff, but not much big stuff to really go over the top. Still, lots of fun.

Sunday I was on Judge duty for the big store-capacity MM draft event. There wasn't really a whole lot to do, since most of the players were pretty experienced. Mostly stuff like forgetting Suspend counters. And pushing in lots of chairs and picking up lots of trash. One guy went 2-0 with a mono-red Storm deck (yes, it really works!). Lots of pretty sweet-looking decks.

Kill your Mulldrifter and Valkyrie it?
Then I got to play in one myself, with free entry as thanks for Judge duting. I first-picked a foil Adarkar Valkyrie and went W/B. I got passed a second (non-foil) Valkyrie in pack two, and I did get to loop them in one game (after which my opponent just scooped). So that's pretty cool. I passed a Glimmervoid for a Path in pack three, not realizing it's like a $15-20 card. That Path was totally worth it, though. Path'ing in response to the Dredge aura thingy, and Path'ing a Stinky Imp were pretty sweet. The rest of my deck was a mishmash of ETB effects and a few Rebels. Kitchen Finks, Cloudgoat Ranger, and Marsh Flitter were all-stars. And Path. :) The only match I lost was to a Tromp the Domains deck. Splashable Overrun. Card's fair. Not.

This is not a fair card in Pack Wars.
But yeah, I won two packs for my efforts. I played Pack Wars with my girlfriend . I had a Sword of Light and Shadow, and she didn't, so I won. The other pack had another Adarkar Valkyrie. So of all the MM I've opened, 3 of my 4 rares are Adarkar Valkyrie. Cool? But hey, the foil one seems to be like a $20 card, so ... yeah. And I got a Sword!

I'm debating what to do with the box I bought. I paid $250 (plus tax) for it, and I'm hesitant to crack it. I've heard horror stories of people cracking them and getting Dragons for mythics. But of course, there's always the 'goyf lottery. I'm thinking I'm gonna hold onto it and sell it on ebay next Modern season. Then take the proceeds and buy my Cryptics and Cliques and Bobs and whatnot.
So .. what's next? Standard tonight. Still planning on playing Junk Rites. Depending on how it goes this week, I may or may not switch it up for next week. We'll see.

Okay .. well, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Junk in tha Trunk

I don't know what that means.


This guy *has* to be good. I wanna figure out how.
So, um, I dunno. I'm still playing Junk Rites in Standard. I'm having fun with it, but I'm starting to think about moving on. I've been getting a brewer's itch lately, and I might like to try something Simic. Maybe even something with Elves. It occurred to me recently that Gyre Sage is an Elf, and I already knew that Master Biomancer and Zameck Guildmage are both Elves. Maybe ... hmmmm. Then I did a Gatherer search on all Elves in Standard, and I noticed there are a few Selesnya Elves, too. I wonder if I could run some kind of weird Bant Elves thing, where I can try to abuse Progenitor Mimic and Trostani's Summoner in Standard. It could become the kind of silly Timmy thing I enjoy doing that results in the board being flooded with random token doodz (like my old Clarion Ultimatum/Landfall and Spider Spawning decks). I really want to do something with Master Biomancer, too. I dunno ...

Will you be my fiend?
Anyway, Junk Rites. I keep finding fun little things to do with the deck, most of them involving Friend Hunter, Restoration Angel, and/or Angel of Serenity. I almost made a play last night where I was going to Fiend Hunt my own Angel of Serenity, then Resto it at instant speed to wrath my opponent's board, but he scooped before I could do that. Aw. :(

I also didn't do a lot of sliming last night. I was hard-pressed to figure out what to take out to make room for more Slimes. The matchups where the Slime plan is good (mostly Control or Midrange) are often the kinds of matchups where I bring in 3 Sin Collectors and a 4th Voice of Resurgence. Maybe take out a Thragtusk and a Friend Hunter? I dunno.

Cool card.
I'm finding myself really enjoying the UWR matchup for some reason. It seems like it's a lot of setup, some dinking and/or dunking, and then the action all happens in a small series of explosive key turns. Most of it actually seems to involve AEtherling. I'm rather pleased with myself that I was able to deal with it very well last night. One time, I just Pithing Needle'd it, which is pretty awesome. Another time, I set up an alpha strike, and Serenity'd it to force the blink and swing through, which was also pretty awesome. But another game I had no answers, and he was able to just pound me with it. 8 unblockable damage is a lot.

Modern Masters coming this weekend! I'm pretty excited about it. It looks like a lot of fun for draft. My plan is to open Doubling Season and play OMGTOKENZ0RZZZZ. Or, more realistically, probably just Goblins. But I'll be content to open some foil 'goyfs, too.

Poor little deer. :(
Speaking of which, I really like the new Tarmogoyf artwork. It actually looks like something! I still can't figure out what the original is supposed to be. It's this dark amorphous blob of .. something. I can tell it has a limb that is holding to a guy who seems not that excited about the number of card types in the graveyard, but other than that ... what the heck is it? The new artwork .. okay, I can see it ... it's this big creepy craggy thing that's scaring that poor little deer. :'{ Good stuff.

Um ... not really much else for now. Thanks for reading!