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Sometimes I miss posting on here. The last thing I posted about was my SCG Top 8 performance. That was a great day, and it really made me want to devote myself to Magic more. Since then I’ve played in 4 more Opens, cashing in 2 and missing cash after starting off 6-2 and 5-1 in the other two. My PTQ performances haven’t been quite as good (5-3 a few times and 4-4 once) but overall I think I’ve been becoming a better Magic player as the year has gone on.
Last weekend was pretty rough though. Since I’ve been focusing on school this semester, I haven’t played much Magic outside of FNM. In my first PTQ since August, I went 0-3 with a miserable Sealed pool. I can complain all I want about having a bad pool, but I probably misbuilt my deck and definitely made a few misplays along the way.
I was feeling pretty shitty about that performance, but I things changed pretty quickly. On Tuesday, my friend was 13 QPs away from qualifying for the MTGO Player of the Year race. The season ended Wednesday morning, so the plan was to just keep playing until we had enough QPs to feel safe about qualifying. My friend played by himself for the first few hours, and got a few QPs. When he went to class for a couple of hours, I took over. I had never played Mono Black Devotion, but with Owen’s GP winning list, I felt ready.
In the first 8-man, I lost round 1. I felt like I couldn’t get ahead, and that I sideboarded very wrong. At this point I was worried. I thought I was pretty rusty, and I was afraid of wasting my friends tix if I was just going to lose in the first round again. But I fired up another one, and really focused. By the time my friend got to my apartment, I had won the 8-man going 3-0, and I had started another 8-man, where I was up a game in round 2 after winning the first round. Now I’m getting excited for Standard PTQ season, and can’t wait to play more Black Devotion.
In other news, I’m going to play my first Standard FNM ever this week. It’s kinda weird that I’ve never played one before, but I don’t really own any decks. I usually find myself boring cards for big events, so for FNM I would always just draft. This week though, we’re going to jam a sweet burn deck. Should be fun :)
glimmerpost asked: Whoa, hey Gerfeffi, I didn't know this was your blog.
Haha yeah. DO you know me from MTGS? I used to have a link in my signature, but I stopped posting often a while back so i got rid of it. I always mean to start again, but when I decided to start doing well in school and playing more MTGO, I kinda lost the time to do this. I’m sure I’ll get back to it sooner or later though.
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Today I played Legacy Burn. I thought it was a good deck, and that it was a reasonable meta choice with all of the “fair” Deathrite Shaman decks in the format.
So round 1 I play against Rest in Peace Control. I really don’t know much about the deck, except that it’s a lot like Countertop and that it runs Helm of Obedience (maybe I didn’t remember this until I attacked with Goblin Guide on turn 1?). After I won game 1 I thought my matchup was good, but as soon as I saw the Leyline in g2 I thought a bit differently. So I sided out the Lava Spikes for things that can deal damage despite a Leyline. But then he played Rest in Peace into Energy Field, and it was gg.
Round 2 comes and I’m on the draw, thinking I have a great opener of Goblin Guide, Grim Lavamancer, Searing Blaze, and Sulfuric Vortex. But when the opponent played a turn 1 Nettle Sentinel, I knew I was in trouble. He comboed out on turn 2. Game 2 I looked at a one lander, mulled to a one lander, and mulled to Mountain, Bolt, Bolt, Chain Lightning, Ensnaring Bridge. If I could kill my opponent’s dudes until I got to play Bridge, I think I would win. But instead, I just killed 4 creatures, and lost to a turn 5 Natural Order into Progenitus while still at one land.
At this point I just want to go draft, but my friends tell me to keep playing to earn PWP for GP byes. Fine. I get matched up against Stoneblade, and win in no time. Then I play against High Tide, which fizzled for me. Then I played against Josh Cho, who decided to not show up after he hit 2-2. Then I played someone who misplayed terribly every match. Then I went up against MUD, which meant that all I had to do was have a removal spell for Metalworker. Then I played Jund, which was my best matchup, where I had 9 cards to bring in. Before I knew it I was 6-2.
My last loss came in round 9, which was against Sneak Show. I had 2 Price of Progress in my hand after my first draw step, so I decided not to show my opponent what I was playing. My hand was Searing Blaze, Searing Blaze, Rift Bolt, Price of Progress, Price of Progress, and 3 lands. I play Scalding Tarn and pass. On my second turn my opponent fetched a second Volcanic Island, and played some cantrips. On my turn I just played a Scalding Tarn and passed. Then Show and Tell came, and I realized how dumb I was being. What other deck was UR? So I tried unloading my hand, but it was no use, Emrakul did his job. G2 I kept a hand with Pyrostatic Pilalr and Ensnaring Bridge, and my opponent mulled to 4 anyway. He couldn’t really dig for too long, and if he did go off I stopped him anyway.
Game 3 was the big one. If I won, I got top 32, and $100. If I lost, I got top 64 and $50. My opponent mulligans his opener, and I take a look at what I have. I’ve got 2 Goblin Guides, Price of Progress, Rift Bolt, Lightning Bolt, and 2 lands. If my opponent doesn’t combo off on turn 3, and I draw a Bolt effect and a land by turn 3, I think I just win. But then the turn 3 Griselbrand came down, and there wasn’t much I could do besides ripping an Ensnaring Bridge. It didn’t happen. Guess I can’t complain about being in the money for two days in a row.
Question with 4 notes
scarsoftheshatteredsky asked: Dude congratulations on the top 8 appearance. I think the advice of thinking before we press okay is a huge deal and applies to a lot of aspects of our gameplay that people don't often think about. I'm glad you made it pay off!
Thanks so much! It feels really special. If someone would have told me that I actually would have cared more about the Top 8 than I would about the prize money, I’d tell them they were crazy. But after winning, it just feels special to have done it. It was a great day.
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I spent the last week really focusing on my Magic game. No longer was I just going to sit there and go through the motions, I needed to figure out the best lines of play and each decision would affect the game a few turns form now. I slowed my game down a little bit, stopped using hotkeys as much, and I discussed the possible outcomes of each of my moves with a good friend who knows a thing or two about winning.
So when the Star City Open came, I was ready. It felt like I couldn’t lose, and before I knew it I was in the Top 8 without losing a single match. I lost my Quarterfinals match, but that’s OK. My opponent’s deck was very very good against all of the aggro decks running around, and I didn’t really stand a chance. Kudos to him, he put together an amazing deck.
I think I learned a lot this week. I think the most important thing that I learned was to “think before I press OK.” My friend told me this the other day, and it didn’t sink in until I accidentally clicked through my chance to play Victim of Night to kill my opponent’s Atog which was up to a 12/12. That loss really stuck with me for some reason, and I spent my turns at the Open making sure that I wouldn’t be making misplays. My play wasn’t perfect of course, but I think that I made a few smart plays and didn’t mess up too many times.
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I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I need to do something about it. I started off playing Magic Online about six months ago. Once I got used to the program, I was doing great. I put about $80 into MTGO in the first month or so, but since then I’ve been able to buy new cards and decks and to pay for events based solely off of my winnings.
But today I just had to add more money to my account. This is even after I sold the promo Force of Will that I earned last month for 58 tix. My Constructed rating has dropped over 250 points. I need some kind of change.
Maybe I need to stop playing bad decks. Mono Black Control is a great Pauper deck, but it might not be as good as a lot of decks I could be playing. I could try switching it up to Post, Affinity, or Stompy.
I borrowed RDW in Standard a few months ago, and I was doing really well online. My friend needed his deck back, so I hadn’t played any Standard before a few days ago. I just bought the deck again, but now I’m doing terribly. 0-4 in two events so far.
Well I’ve got one week to turn it around. Next weekend is the SCG Open in Edison, and I’m going to be running RDW. But before next weekend, I need to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Maybe it’s a little bit of my MTGO mechanics; I could probably stop pushing F2 and F6 instead of just hitting OK I think sometimes I accidentally click through times I need to play spells.
But it goes deeper than that, I think. I think I’m misplaying. I need to think things through. I need to figure out what my opponents are doing, and I need to play around them. I need to think before every action I make, and not just throw out Ash Zealot because I have RR open or cast Searing Spear just because a creature is in the way.
Time to start winning. The next Standard tournament on MTGO is 1 AM. I need to win this one.
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Reminds me of Avacyn Restored Limited. Nope, it was game one of a Standard match.
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I started out the night with the usual M13 draft. I went 3-1 with a deck that included Talrand, 2 Talrand’s Invocation, Void Stalker, Sleep, and lots of very solid cards. My loss came against a deck with Tormented Soul + Dark Favor, which I was never able to answer in time. I walked out with 4 packs, and upon opening them I found a Drowned Catacombs and little else. Ah well.
Almost everyone at the prerelease had preregistered, so by the time I got there I could only choose from Rakdos and Selesnya. I don’t really think that Selesnya is good in a Sealed format, so I went with Rakdos. My pool contained Dreadbore and Rakdos, which were great for my deck, as well as Pithing Needle, Wild Beastmaster, Mana Bloom, and Supreme Verdict. I made a Rakdos deck with a nice curve and about 6 removal spells. My first three matches went very well, with Carnival Hellstead doing tons of work.
In the fourth and final round, I went up a friend of mine who was 3-0. Game 1 was extremely tight, and after finally dealing with Mercurial Chemister, my opponent was at 5 life and I was at 4. His Hypersonic Dragon was lethal, and I sat on the board with 3 small creatures while he had 2 blockers. I draw Explosive Impact and think that it means that it’s the end of the game, but a Dramatic Rescue leaves my opponent at two life. If I would have attacked, he would have bounced my guy and I could have won in response. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, but I’m still mad that I punted that game. In game 2, my opponent kept a one lander after a mulligan, but had 6 lands on turn 8. Things went OK after Electrickery takes out three of his blockers including the Chemister. Game 3 was another nail biter. I swung with a group and lost my Keyrune, but I got in for 2 damage to get to play Rakdos. Unforutnatley, a second Void Wielder came down and ruined my plans. I couldn’t get in for the rest of the game, Hypersonic Dragon came to finish me off. It was a great match, and I walked out as a 3-1 with 4 packs. Even though I could use those packs to draft at next week’s FNM, I decided to open to make myself feel better about punting the match. But nope, the most notable card I got was probably Dreg Mangler. Oh well, it was a fun night nonetheless. I had a fun deck, and played with tons of cool cards.
I’ve been busy, but after I’ve finished a few things tomorrow, I want to post a ton of decklists I’ve been working on for RTR Standard. Hopefully that can get done soon, but if not you can look forward to it this weekend.
Since I’ve last been posting, I’ve been to my university’s Magic club twice. The first Friday’s draft gave me an insane GW deck, partially because we had a lot of players who had never drafted before, and partially because I opened Ajani, Odric, and Liliana. :D I sold the 2 walkers for $8 each, and along with the packs I won I’m in the money. The next week I played a god awful Ubrw deck with 2 Gem of Becoming and an Evolving Wilds for fixing. Basically I couldn’t win a game if I didn’t win with Arctic Aven, Sphinx of Uthuun, or Staff of Nin. I had 4 more packs that I could have saved to pay for this Friday’s draft, but I was in a bad mood and decided to open them. I found another Ajani and Liliana, which are both going to get traded for some packs.
I’m working on building Legacy Burn. I don’t care for the deck especially, but most of the cards are easy to pick up. I also don’t really have or try to acquire actual decks, because I don’t play enough Constructed for it to really matter. This is just a little project so that I’ll have a real deck to play at SCG: Edison in February.
Last I’m excited for the prerelease! It looks like I’ll be going at midnight again, then maybe to a 2HG event on Sunday. Probably going to go Golgari, as I’ve loved the BG cards in the couple of RTR drafts I’ve played on Cockatrice.
Anyway, that’s it. I’ll get back to posting soonish hopefully!
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