Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Alive but lacking in Magic

Last weekend was the pro tour, for a limited format I haven't tried and a constructed format (standard) I haven't played in at least 12 months. I still watched some, but that is more a statement of how much free time I have right now than a signal the passion is coming back.

This is not what I expected, a lot of people called 2016 a bad year due to politics and celebrity deaths. None of that phased me, though watching Rogue One the same day I found out Carrie Fisher died was emotional. 2016 was hard, I had brain surgery late July and it was great to get it done. While recovering I went from working 3 jobs to zero though (if only for 2 weeks) and I am still feeling he consequences of that. I left one of those jobs due to a truly horrible human being of a coworker and it really shook me how awful she was too me.
Even though I was now completely free of needing to take medicine and finally healthy after 5 hard years, I was in a funk. I don't want to project my own experiences onto the game of Magic as a whole but I feel it's in a bit of a funk too. The game just looks expensive and unenticing to me. The new sets don't look as fun as Khans and Innistrad and the tournament scene just seems lacklustre. There are no GP's in Korea and rarely a regional PTQ, Suwon especially feels disconnected from the grinder scene, with an old player base slowly disappearing.
A generation of podcasters on brainstorm Brewery, Heavy Meta and the EH Team all moved on from Magic and it felt a little bit less fun and more numbers orientated (card prices/wins losses) to me.

I am sure I will come back to Magic, people always do. But right now I need something else.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ambushed!

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

Bloodless

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.

http://www.thedicelatte.com/

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