Tuesday, April 19, 2016


And just like that the blog looks to be going on hiatus again. Additional employment as a community manager means all my typing and time spent on social media will be focused elsewhere for the time being.
Last Sundays draft left me a bit upset. After the first pack the player on my right was Green White as was the player on my left who had also taken two white flip cards pick 1 and 2 to really plant his flag. I was set up in the middle in red black. In pack two the player to my left opened and took a foil Olivia as most people would. He then completely abandoned his entire first pack (all 15 of his picks were in Bant colors) and switched to red black so he could play his Olivia. Not only did this fuck me I also think it's a really poor decision (the player to his left was clearly in red too) though others at the table thought it was justified. I think it's a great card but not the type of bomb that would make me bend to fit her in an already solid deck and scramble to get playables.Every good card in his deck pissed me off. I wasn't Mr Salty level of salt but I wasn't Mr Happy either. 
I lost to eventual winner Dan who smashed me with werewolves while my deck failed to cooperate. The game I took off him was also a bit of a non event as he scooped them up on turn 4 to my Triskaidekaphobia. 
I then won the next two which included epic justice in my eyes perhaps epic salt to others. I beat the player who had jumped into my colours pack two in about 6 minutes even when he resolved an Olivia on turn 3.
The red black dual land and a foil Triskaidekaphobia (mwahahaha) were the spoils.
Total $ Spent: 100Total $ Recouped; 6.80
Balance: 82.20Total Rounds of Magic played: 16
Days: 18
Avg cost per day to play:  5.55

Who knows when next time will be.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


The 6.8 recouped is for a Sin Prodder and the expenditure was for one grade A Shadows over Innistrad draft.
Opened nothing of value and didn't win any substantial prizes. A couple of Korean Promos that I guess may be worth something if you found the right person.

Total $ Spent: 84
Total $ Recouped; 6.80
Balance: 77.20
Total Rounds of Magic played: 13
Days: 11
Avg cost per day to play:  7.00

The draft itself was an unusual one. I didn't really get a single haymaker but I liked my deck. It was Red Black Vampires full on tribal but unfortunately there was another Red Black Vampires deck at the table and he was sitting on my left. My deck looked much better than his but his results were far superior.
I went 0-3 despite my optimism. The guy on the left made it to the finals losing to the guy on my right. I guess that makes me the patsy in the middle. I am not losing too much sleep over my card evaluation skills just yet, I did miss blue was open until far too late unfortunately but the guy on my right is notoriously uncooperative and hard to read at the drafting table. Both those player either side of me hate and rare draft a lot. It worked out for them this week but I don't think its a good long term place to be.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Dice Latte

The Dice Latte is a new board game cafe close to Hankuk University of Foreign Studies on the subway map.
They stand out as the only Magic shop I know of run by a foreigner and have their own website as well as facebook page so you can get up to date info directly.


Out of the Shadows

Shadows over Innistrad did not disappoint.
I played the midnight pre release and opened a difficult pool. I was lucky enough to open a foil Avacyn but didn't realise how much of a big deal that was until the Korean players lost their shit when I cast it. Apparently it's worth in the 60-80 range which is great because it was an expensive weekend of Magic.
I love the new set and there is definitely a fun factor present that hasn't been in post Khans sets that I can't quite explain. The midnight pre release wasn't as fun as it could have been though. I came right at the end of an EDH game that ended quite tensely over stuff that to me is just part of the game. It was the return of Mr Salty and I was lucky not to have to play him in the tournament. Everyone was a little tired which doesn't help.

All my opponents were nice though the tournament was rushed with little time for deck building and only 40 minute rounds. The whole 4 round tournament was done by 3:40 am and I finished with a record of 2-2. One of those losses would have been a draw but as the prize structure is one win earns a booster I conceded though the board looked pretty even.
My pool had some real shortcomings but at least when I lost it was to something ridiculous. A flipped Thing in the Ice bounced my entire board including my Sleep Paralysis that was keeping his 7/7 flyer at bay. That 7/7 flyer happened to be a horror as were the rest of his creatures. Quite the beating.

I didn't plan to play again but late Saturday night word got out we could draft instead of having to play sealed. I was in and we ended up doing two drafts. The mood was a lot better and draft suits this set a lot more. It's seriously twice the fun of sealed and only half the price. The local level two judge was in attendance to show us all how to draft double faced cards correctly as well as be an awesome opponent.

I went 1-1-1 with a green deck splashing red blue thanks to fantastic mana. The next draft felt like a bit of a train wreck and was Blue Black madness based deck. When I had my enablers the deck felt awesome but when it didn't it was just a bunch of underwhelming 5 drops. I ended up 2-1 and my loss was another story. If you are going to die then losing game 3 to a player qualified for PT Madrid using Triskaidekaphobia is a nice way to do so. I also dropped a game to Nahari's Machinations along the way.

I feel like I got a whole sets worth of stories out of a single weekend.

As for Pay to Play, what a blowout. I can't sit too long on my Foil Avacyn if I want to recoup most of the money spent. Was a lot of fun though but the lesson is definitely to avoid sealed. It's expensive and I could have easily missed it and still had a great weekend.

Total $ Spent: 68
Total $ Recouped; 0
Balance: 68
Total Rounds of Magic played: 10
Days: 4
Avg cost per day to play:  17

Thursday, March 31, 2016

All New Pay to Play Challenge.

My last Pay to Play challenge sort of petered out when I sold a huge chunk of my collection for enough money to draft for a couple of years. There was also the fear I would soon stop playing paper Magic much as attendance numbers were falling hard in Suwon and I didn't have the motivation to travel further. It was the 'Eldrazi Winter' and I think that block is going to be looked back on in a pretty poor light despite Marshall and LSV continuously defending it on Limited Resources.
With Shadows over Innistrad those problems look gone for the time being. I expect the set to be really popular as I know I am excited.

Now that things have settled down and I have a bit of time to myself it's time to restart it. I wanted it to be a fair reflection of how much it costs to play Magic and what you get for your money. This is not pack to power where I am trying to game the system and end up with a tier one deck in each format for only 10c a day or some rubbish. Just an average player whose only advantage over a newer player is experience.

Starting from April 1st (that's today) I will track how much I spend, how much I get back from any sales (not counting my cards from prior to Shadows)  and how many days it has been. I will also keep track of how many rounds I played as some sort of crude measure of "bang for your buck". To start with I have a deck box, an empty card portfolio and some sleeves which have seen better days.
I have a couple of other portfolios (conveniently coloured differently) with older cards but those transactions will be kept separate.

Total $ Spent: 0
Total $ Recouped; 0
Balance: 0
Total Rounds of Magic played: 0
Days: 0
Avg cost per day to play:  0

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bye bye Zendikar

The return to Zendikar is over and it seems I am not alone in being happy about that. I would say it was an interesting set with a lot of things to think about, but interesting doesn't always equate to fun.
Attendance was down and there were some real flaws in both sets design.
It's actually felt like a pretty mediocre year and a bit of Magic as everything has been significantly less fun to play than triple Khans.

The final two weeks of Oath//Battle draft did not fire at my store and I wasn't bothered. We played EDH one week and I was fine with doing that instead. EDH!!!
The EDH games were a little bit excruciating though as one of the players was new to the format and was very slow. You quickly learn that you shouldn't perform your operations the same as you would in a duel but he hadn't realised that so still made us wait while he searched for a card and then he passed the turn. Shortcuts like "I'm fetching a forest, go" are essential to keep the game moving as is thinking about what you are going to do on your turn BEFORE it starts. The going into the tank on upkeep is infuriating.
I don't like it in regular Magic but when 4 other people are waiting, sigh.

All that glumness is set to get blasted away by positivity though because I am super excited about the new set. So much so I plan to make the effort to attend the midnight pre release event.
Duels of the Planeswalkers has the Shadows over Innistrad expansion scheduled to hit on April 6th which is pretty soon. I have some coins in the bank and plan to take my time scaling the ladder this time while experimenting with some new Innistrad themed decks. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Monday Magic #19

While I have been enjoying Duels of the Planeswalkers and the increased payouts for both quests and PVP play, for actual play with real cards i'm not quite feeling the 'Magic'. I don't know why, it's probably just mental tiredness as I'm happy but busy an with plenty of mental stimulation at work each day. As opposed to my last job where it was pretty dreary and days seemed to take forever.

I missed playing Magic the week before and hardly felt it and only went this week because I had other stuff to do in Suwon that day. I did really enjoy it while I was there even though I did poorly (1-2). I had a lot more fun going 1-2 than I did a couple of weeks ago when I went 3-0. I don't think I need to get great results to have fun but if I am not enjoying the set then I usually don't get very good results.

As always with Magic a new set is coming and that is always a shot in the arm. I do agree with another local player who voiced some reservations about the current R&D team. Recent sets have been pretty mediocre. I guess Khan's might have spoiled us but I feel disappointed to be stuck with worse sets for an entire year. It hasn't been awful and I like Origins but it hasn't been great either. A very forgettable year for Limited overall.

Between Conspiracy 2, Innistrad and Eternal Masters surely there will be a good one. Hopefully its not Eternal Maters because that's going to be a hard to find $50 draft.