Monday, November 17, 2014

TPZ Shop

TPZ Shop is located in Incheon. It is near the Station (예술회관역) also known as the Arts Center. The shop itself is very close to Domino's Pizza.

They seem to have their own blog with much better pictures and directions.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The five biggest FU’s in Magic

Everyone’s enjoying a great Standard format and one of the best limited sets of all time while cracking pretty fetch lands. I think it’s important to remember the not so good times, so without further ado.

This is my list of the five biggest FU’s from Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro towards players.

5- Limited Product Availability
Things like Commanders Arsenal and most of the From the Vaults product look great. Unfortunately a lot of people who wanted them either couldn’t get them or had to pay through the nose. MSRP was often ignored and members of the community felt left out because some were bestowed a good deal and others were told to take a hike. The one that hurt most was Modern Masters 2. They make an awesome set and tell everyone how awesome it is to draft and then hide it on the top shelf of the pantry. I love drafting and Modern, I got to draft Modern Masters exactly zero times and only got to play sealed once.

4 – White Ward
Seriously, I got this in my first ever starter deck. It’s amazing I didn’t quit this game on the spot.

3 – Old School Tourney Rules
Ignoring the fact that the player base was fairly dodgy back then, tournaments were also the wild west organizational wise. Sealed deck would use starter decks that came with a random allocation of lands. This was your pool and there was no adding of additional basic lands or land station. If you opened 23 green spells and one forest, suck it up princess. Travelled 2 hours to get here and lost in the first round, what a shame it was single elimination.
Have a single land in your opening hand, well that’s a locked in keeper because you were only allowed to mulligan zero land hands (after revealing to your opponent).

2 – White Borders
White borders were a nice way of differentiating between older printings and reprints. They didn’t just protect the expensive cards nor even just those worth more than a dollar. White Borders went all the way down to making sure you knew basic mountain number 3 was a reprint. I can understand trying to protect collectors or players “investments” but white borders didn’t really achieve that. All it ended up doing was making sure new players were branded as new. I guess the plan to make new players wear a mandatory “noob” t-shirt failed due to the cotton pickers strike of 95 and the introduction of white borders was an emergency fix.

1 - Taking away Leagues from MTGO
Magic Online belongs here and there are numerous reasons why. The program is the one thing on this list which does feel like a serious FU to players. My nomination for one thing that stands out is the Duke Nukem 3D like promising that “Leagues are coming back”. The emphasis should be on back because this is a feature Magic Online used to have. A great way for people to pick up and play when they wanted with little wait time between matches. This feature was too user friendly and made less money than forcing people to booster draft so it was removed.

They at least deserve points for creativity because this is the first instance of a 10 year old program having features actively removed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Podcasts 2014

Last year I made a list of my favourite podcasts and since then my listening list has changed a little bit. So I thought it was worth revisiting for 2014.

Magic the Amateuring was a podcast recommended by Dan and at the time it was certainly a good listen. I think it probably still holds some value for newer players but since one of the main hosts Ben left, the show just is not working for me.
Limited Resources is currently going through a transition period as the excellent Brian Wong has departed from the cohost chair.
My enjoyment of The Deck Tease fluctuates with my interest in that particular guest. I don’t really care about what the childhood of someone I don’t know was like. When it is someone I am already familiar with, then bring it on.

I can’t think of a single podcast that I could recommend for new players, which kind of annoys me. Most Magic podcasts go for too long and need tighter editing. For new players I think telling them to listen to a 1,2,3 or even 5 hour long podcast is just too daunting.
If anyone knows of a 1/2 hour podcast that touches briefly on news and then talks a bit about draft and standard I would love to hear about it. I think podcasts are an unobtrusive way for people to think about Magic while traveling or at work.
There is a dearth of Limited podcasts in general, with Limited Resources being the only one that comes to mind. I listen each week and think it is a good resource for improving at Magic. It is long, dry and goes very deep on some topics which make it a big commitment for someone who may only draft once a month.
Magic the Amateuring do talk a decent amount of limited but it’s hard to gauge if someone will enjoy the sense of humour that show has.

I feel a nice and tight 30 minute podcast that features a decent amount of limited would fill a void in the community.

If you are looking for a podcast with a local slant then the Travelling Mages are hosted by Jose Lily who currently resides in Seoul. They have had a couple of Seoul regulars on as guests and dedicated one show to Magic in Seoul in particular.

Last years top 7 were:
Limited resources
The Spike Feed
Brainstorm Brewery
The Eh Team
Drive to work
The Deck Tease
Heavy Meta

I still listen to all 7 of those but certainly not every episode. The Spike Feed, Brainstorm Brewery and Heavy Meta seem as good as ever but the other 4 have all fallen a little in my eyes.
The Eh Team podcast and members seem at a crossroad with their involvement in Magic. The chemistry is just not right with only one joker and three straight men.
Mark Rosewaters Drive to Work is divided into different series and I have little interest in most of them. They are kind of repetitive and predictable. I am enjoying the meta series based on individual years of Magic though.

I have tried a lot of new Magic podcasts this year but most of them I have discarded or are in the “not sure” category. I have enjoyed some episodes of The Travelling Mages, Potpourri, Constructed Resources, Monday Night Magic, The Modern Enthusiast, Tap N Sac, Insider Stories, So Many Insane Plays and Money Draught. They have all had episodes or segments which weren’t so enjoyable though and I am not comfortable recommending any of them yet.

Two podcasts which I have locked into my regular rotation this year are Ced Talks and At Your End Step.
Ced Talks is hosted by SCG commentator Cedric Phillips. I don’t listen to the non Magic shows (which are clearly labeled) but it’s a great podcast and certainly in my top 7 now. I’m really enjoying At Your End Step but it hasn’t quite got the runs on the board for me to comfortably put it in the top 7.

My Top 7 for this year are:
1 – The Spike Feed
2 – Brainstorm Brewery
3 – Ced Talks
4 – Heavy meta
5 – Limited Resources
6 – The Deck Tease
7 – Drive to Work

The Spike Feed is very well edited and does not waste any of the listener’s time. The producer is a full time producer and has won an Emmy doing his day job. Features a lot of standard, legacy, finance, news and modern discussion.

Brainstorm Brewery is a finance based podcast with great chemistry between the hosts. Not as tightly edited as the Spike Feed but they usually cap the episode at an hour long.

I have already talked about Ced Talks but it does amaze me that Cedric and Patrick Sullivan can still be interesting even after I have seen them put in long hours on event coverage each week.   

Heavy Meta is a long, rambling, drunken mess. There have been some genuine my gut is hurting from laughing too much moments. Usually midget related.

Limited Resources is in a little bit of a lull for me but Marshall is the consummate professional. Once the new set is released or the 2nd host spot is sorted I expect this show to regain the fire.

The Deck Tease, still the best interview podcast that is Magic related. Insider Stories might threaten for this spot later on but is in its early days so far.

Drive to Work is the only podcast n the list that comes out of Wizards of the Cost. I have it seventh this year but that is still pretty amazing when you consider this is a one man podcast.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

1 year of English drafting

Last weekend marked the one year anniversary of Suwon's weekly English draft. We had 13 players, unlucky for some but not me. I opened a fetchland and went 3-0.
I took a Chief of the Edge pack one pick one hoping to finally try the black white warriors deck or even Mardu. It didn't work out that way though and I ended up in Jeskai after taking a Sage of the Inward Eye around 5th pick.

All 3 rounds were great matches, and this is definitely one of the best limited formats of all time.One of the new players to the draft, got to live the dream and drafted 5 colours while casting Villainous Wealth.

My prize boosters contained a total value of about $2.85 which was a lot better than last weeks 3 packs which were worth about $1.59. Meanwhile one player was excited to open what he thought was a foil Bloodstained Mire. After calming down, closer inspection revealed it to actually be a Bloodfell Caves. In an instant exhilaration became apathy. Solemnly his remaining prize pack was opened and apathy became exhilaration, this time a real Bloodstained Mire was present in addition to a foil Sarkhen!