Monday, July 20, 2015

Shopping updates

Red Dice is a store that I have never been to but is popular with the Seoul EDH crew.

It was brought to my attention that they now have an online store
It doesn't look like it has anything the other online stores in Korea don't have but it's nice to have options and gives a good example of what to expect when you visit there.

Playfirst have rebranded their website and look much more foreigner friendly. They ship overseas and the English components on their website actually work so this will probably become the website I recommend by default to people overseas.

The coolest thing I found on their site was a Korean Black Bordered Shivan Dragon from 4th edition for $37.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Busan is Back!

The old Busan MTG Facebook group looked dead so I was wondering what was happening down south.

Well looks like they are doing ok and have a new Facebook group with a more regional name.

If you live in the south east of the country then you should definitely join. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Back to the Future

I planned on skipping the Origins pre release. Nothing against the set but I am not a fan of sealed in general. I don't know hat happened but I used to enjoy the puzzle of building the best deck from a random set of packs but I guess the seeded packs just make the deck building part too obvious. Deck building doesn't seem as frantic as before and there seems less of an advantage for good players as there are much less traps for players whose new card evaluation skills aren't as polished.
Why am I paying twice as much to play a format I enjoy half as much. I will hopefully be drafting this set for two months so I should get all the cards I need in time.
Saturday night local legend Dan the Man put a message on Facebook that would change all that. Due to a lack of English kits the Sunday pre release would be draft instead of sealed. I was in.
On Saturday I heard about a standard deck that played a lot of cards I like and which I wouldn't need to acquire too many cards with only the 4 Atarkas command representing a bit of a head ache. I was starting to have visions of playing game day and trying to win a textless Languish.

Dan's info was solid and we did get to draft, which seemed really lucky as pretty much 99% of stores in the world only seemed to be offering sealed.
I didn't get anything valuable but I opened a Priest of the Blood Rite for my cube. Traded for a couple of other nice cheap things like a Thragtusk for the Cube and a 4th Splinter Twin for my Modern deck.
I enjoyed the format but I am wary of giving it two thumbs up because I also enjoyed my first Dragons of Tarkir draft. In fact only Journey into Nyx and Born of the Gods struck me as sets that I was sure didn't add much to limited after just one draft.
A good sign was that a first time drafter who went 0-3 had an interesting (mono black) deck. We showered him with prizes and he got two packs of Origins and a couple of seeded packs with promos to get him started.
Jinsung and Myself were the only two players who were at the last weeks draft so this pod had a completely different feel. The whole day was very relaxed and I was very tempted to take up the invitation to join in a second draft in Korean.
That would cut into family time though so I had to pass. It was a great day and it was nice to win a Path to Exile promo that people are so feverish about.

I acquired one of the Origins cards I needed for my standard deck which leaves my wants for that deck at 13 cards. I am hoping to borrow some of these since I only need them for the one weekend. The race for Game Day participation is on.

With building  a standard deck, polishing my cube and trying to build a Grixis deck of some sort for the Modern WMCQ I sure have plenty of Magic projects on my plate. 3 wasn't enough so I have made enquiries about a Nath of the Gilt Leaf or a Jeleva so I can start on a second EDH deck to give Progenitus a bit of a rest.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Rating the Commons - Origins Blue

I wanted to try the thought experiment of ranking the commons in the old pick order style that seems to have gone out of fashion. I don't expect to get it right, but that is half the point of this exercise.
I find the current trend of grading where a bunch of cards get a C or 3 stars or whatever the middling grade is to be a bit useless.
The set reviews that Limited Resources pt out are great but I think they are way too time consuming for a lot of the more casual or just busy players. I think it would be great if Marshall and LSV could get together to put a more consumable product out that was perhaps distilled into 6 or 7 minutes a colour and only focussing on interesting differences in their pick order.

So without further ado, here is my stab at ranking the blue commons in Origins. I look forward to forgetting to review this ranking at the end of the format because if my workplace has taught me anything, f**k accountability.

These are my top 3 commons in a vacuum. Claustrophobia is 3 mana removal and probably the best of the three but in limited you need a certain amount of guys and I feel like you may be sweating later on in the draft if you picked Claustrophobia over Separatist Voidmage or Ringwarden Owl.

Agggh the formatting with Blogger and pictures really sucks. Ebough so that I am giving up on this venture. Might be time to look at a new avenue for writing and strip this site down to just the details about how to find the various shops.

















Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Puca's Mischief #8

I have been putting together Splinter Twin with the hope of participating in the Modern WMCQ this September. Trading locally got me some cards but my main plan was to rely on Puca Trade.
One of my main wants was a second Vendillion Clique. While only a sideboard card in a lot of twin lists it also fits in a lot of decks that I already have pretty much assembled.

It took for what felt like for ages (it was a month) before someone agreed to send me one. Meanwhile with the MERS situation in Korea affecting my schedule I fell out of the habit of sending cards out. I already had points in the bank, and I wasn't getting the card I wanted so I didn't really have the motivation.

With Clique on it's way, and Puca proving to me that I can get desirable cards sent to Korea, I have the fire back. First on the agenda is finishing that Twin deck, then polishing the rough edges of my cube and then perhaps starting the grind for Tarmogoyfs. Realistically though, by the time I have built one modern deck, I have started making googly eyes at the next.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Walking Dead

This is the final post in the "too much personal info" trilogy of blog posts. Puca is taking off and it has been a while since a new shop has opened, either will be a welcome relief to write about.

Last week I finished Dragons Of Tarkir with a pretty awful 0-3 with a deck I thought was pretty solid after drafting it. It was an aggressive black red deck with good removal and lots of low drops and some decent punch later up in the mana curve. I didn't feel I played too badly either, though I certainly wasn't "feeling it" after the pre draft ruckus.
The deck I drafted while looking good on paper was pretty poorly positioned in a format filled with low cost guys with huge toughness that people main deck. Magic is not the same as it was 6 or so years ago and for an entire format I have been oblivious to it. All of my opponents had a 2 or 3 drop with at least 3 toughness and usually 4. I had opponents drop 1 mana 0/4's against me.
None of the games were virtually over by turn 5 just because I curved out, all the games turned into a grind.

The first round went to game 3 and after taking fatal damage I looked at my next card on top of my library, it was a Sarkhan's rage which would have been a lethal amount of direct damage to my opponents face.

In the second round I used a twin bolt to kill a flipped Silumgar Assassin with the trigger on the stack. My opponent tried to tell me that didn't kill it in a way that obviously included an unsaid "tough luck, you wasted your spell". After explaining that while Morph doesn't use the stack the trigger does we moved on. Nothing wrong with that exchange but later I reminded him to gain life from his Qarsi Sadist trigger he forgot about in his hast to clear away my blocker with his Ruthless Deathwing. I drew a Temur battle rage off the top which would have killed my opponent the next turn if not for that two life.
My opponents aren't handing out lollipops so why am I. Playing against new players is a different case but the players present were all veterans.

Round 3 I played against a turn two 2/3 and a couple of turns later a 2/4 with vigilance. This is, in the final game of the format where I realised that the aggro plan was just not going to work. I love playing a million 5 drops, why wasn't I doing that like everyone else.
The reason is quite meta and it's not really Magic related.

I suffer from Trigeminal neuralgia which is a condition where your brain thinks it's in agony even if nothing is wrong due to an unprotected nerve. To cope with this I have a pain killer prescription which leaves me as a happy zombie. It's made me quite shallow in that I don't think deeply about anything, which isn't that conductive to playing Magic the Gathering. There have been days when I can't legitimately remember who won the dice roll that took place 10 seconds ago.
If someone asked me what I know about the latest draft format or what I think Origins draft will be like I will just look at them like a deer in the headlights.
Since changing my prescription in January my results have nose dived. I like to blame Fate Reforged for it's unbalanced rares but that excuse just expired. It looks like I will be changing prescriptions in 3 months which might help but as just as likely to leave me all groggy.
My plan to attend the Modern WMCQ this year might be a bit of a fools errand if I can't turn this slump around.

Anyway, that's all the stuff that has been hiding in my closet and I am just happy to get this out there and off my chest. Hopefully nobody reads it.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Ugly Dragonling

No other word to describe it, this weekend was ugly.

This month's FNM promo is Path to Exile which is a huge upgrade from recent FNM promos and adds a lot of EV to events. We had to change our local prize structure as a result, the change is probably for the better but it was the first warning of the impending storm.
I knew that people would be keen to get their hands on the promo but I hugely underestimated how crazy it would get.
I arrived and picked up my Eturtle Witness play mat and sleeves. A Korean player showed me his new swag, a Tassipuur playmat that cost him $80. Smiles all round, for about 5 minutes.

With 7 players in the shop and 5 Path to Exile promos on the line the EV of the event was very high. There were another 3 Korean players on their way and the store wanted to wait for them as they had advertised a 2:00 pm start on the Daum Cafe Magic site as opposed to the 1:00 pm start time on Facebook. This did not go over well. Most of the draft wasn't willing to wait while the manager clearly wanted to. These players were driving some distance and were semi regulars. This sparked a heated debate and when the seating sheet was printed off and had 10 players on it while only 8 were in the store things went ballistic. Players just grabbed their packs and started opening them while exchanging angry words with local player and the manager.
One of the Korean players arrived at this exact time and was told "Too late, the draft has started". Not even a hello. I hadn't touched my packs yet.
People calmed down temporarily but even the drafting of cards didn't go down without incident.
Mid pack when a player was politely asked to stop reviewing his cards so we can all move on he fired up with some angry responses and threatened to  "rules lawyer" this draft.
There was more ugliness that I won't go into but overall it was an awful end to Dragons of Tarkir drafting.
I apologized to the Korean players about what happened and just hope that they will still be willing to play with us and continue to donate promos in the future.

I was lucky that my games were played without incident, they did give me something to think about though as I went 0-3, but that is another post.

Looking forward to a week off and a fresh set.