Off The Cuff

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had time to post, and even now I don’t really have the time to devote to a well thought out article with valid points, so instead you get this.

Gamer’s Gauntlet has been open for a few weeks now, oddly coinciding with my absence from this blog, and it already is proving to be a young store positioning itself to go places. There are three nights of ‘organized’ play, with varying levels of competitiveness.

Monday is the brand spanking new Commander League, and although I didn’t know when I showed up yesterday, I’m at least partially in charge. For our freebie trial run last night, we had two full pods of four, and several of our usual suspects were unable to attend that particular Monday, so we expect to swell our numbers before the holidays hit. The current ‘plan’ is to charge a nominal fee each week(no more than $5, and likely less), and play 2-3 games using a modified version of Armada games’ point system tailored to suit our needs. There may or may not be weekly prizes for top point earners, but either way the fees go into a pool with a 100% payout at the end of the season. Our payout schedule is NOT top heavy, and overall is not designed with competitive play in mind. The only real prize for winning the league is the bragging rights associated with victory, so come on out and meet some new Commanders next week!

Friday and Saturday are Draft and Standard, and although I won’t gush about them the way I did about Commander, they are both well run and popular weekly events that are growing each week!

Lastly, and perhaps mostly, on December 17th, GG is holding a Standard event with some special prizes. Based on 50 entries, A Mox Pearl, some Tropical Islands, Force of Wills, and $300 in store credit will all be part of the prize pool! To see the full listing, check out http://www.facebook.com/events/204929029585275/

Ok, with that said, I can talk just a little about how my Magic life has been running over the past month or so. Again, this isn’t here so much as to provide you with some sick tech or something, but instead just to let me speak a little. This blog is for me too ya know!

I only went to one PTQ this season due to my pending marriage and the tough semester schedule this fall. I missed Top 8 after having to play in the last round and losing to Russel Slack after making what turned out to be a TERRIBLE mulligan decision. I had the old Swamp Swamp Swamp Island White Cards and mulled into a hand where I only played one spell, and just like that, an entire day’s work went poof. It was very disheartening to lose like that, especially since I felt I was a total lock to win a draft with all the practice I had on MODO.

The lesson here is realizing my mistake. At the time, and perhaps you after reading that little story, think that I should have mulled to five since I clearly kept a bad six, and you would be correct. However, what you couldn’t know is that I made a mistake before that one. My three White cards were Midnight Haunting, Thraben Sentry, and Voiceless Spirit. I had seven Plains and a Traveler’s Amulet  in my deck, and only three other White cards. There were also five Swamps left in my deck that one could consider ‘dead’ draws, but every other card was live, and with powerful, momentum swinging spells like Banshee, Evil Twin, and (assuming I draw Plains sometime) Slayer of the Wicked to complement the usual solid black removal. Yes if I drew one of my few large guys it’s not great, but it will get cast eventually, or I’ll draw spells to cast if not land. The kicker that makes this an easy keep with a little thought is how powerful Midnight Haunting and Sentry are against Russel Slack’s very generic looking G/W deck. His was the 5th G/W deck I played that day, and his was certainly not scary looking from the previous two games. Nothing against Russel of course, just saying his deck didn’t appear to be bomb laden the way mine was, and was very beatable  with the deck I had.

::sigh:: bummer I won’t be going to Honolulu next year, in the dead of Winter. At least I also learned to never play Mindshrieker ever again. The card is fucking terrible unless you don’t care at all about killing your opponent and only want to mill someone very, very slowly.

In Standard, my Ooze deck proved to be too slow against aggressive decks, which was expected, and the meta has passed it by. Now that tempo based decks are around, the deck needs to just go hide for a while. It was a fun idea though. I actually picked up the tempo deck, but quickly realized I prefer something closer to Flores’ counterburn deck, and have been rocking it on Saturdays at GG. Really though, I think I just love Desperate Ravings. I know that writing this now isn’t some breaking story, as all the pros have caught onto it, but I just want you to know that I was there first. Not to continue to toot my own horn too much, but Chapin’s Grixis control deck looks suspiciously similar to something I built before ISD was even released when I was looking for a States deck.

For Limited, I’ve been avoiding MODO ever since GG opened since I can just draft there fairly frequently for real cards, and although I’m not sure it makes me a better player more efficiently than MODO does, it’s certainly more fun. The PTQ season is over anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter. My current favorite color combinations to, well, not force, but always keep my eyes open for are U/R and B/W. Both decks usually require several uncommons to be really great, but they are acceptable even when you barely have 23 playables. The U/R decks are very interesting, especially the ones that DO NOT feature Burning Vengeance. Something about the spells in those colors really clicks well, and the same goes for B/W. Maybe that’s a future article with actual information instead of this enjoyable rambling that I suppose is over for now.

Back to the other pastime that has totally killed my writing time, SLAYING DRAGONS!

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