Things I have learn’t about the Modern metagame: Part 3

Okay, so the reason I’ve taken a while to do another one of these is simple. I haven’t played many different decks since last time. I’m played a lot of burn and RDW, and a lot of mono-black varients, neither of which are particularly interesting. No offence to anyone who plays burn, but it’s a really boring match most of the time. Either they draw the cards to kill you, or they don’t. Or I play t2 Kor Firewalker and ride it to victory.

The more interesting decks I’ve played against are as follows:

Grixis Control: Another control varient, but weaker than UWR I think. Electolyze, Cryptic Command, Bolt, etc, with additional hand disruption and Terminate, plus a different manland. Not worth the loss of Day of Judgement, Ajani, Elspeth, and Path in my opinion. One guy I played gets style points for Cruel Ultimatum, but  you really shouldn’t be maindecking it.

Domain Zoo. 5 Colour zoo, with the Kird apes, Goyfs, Loam Lions, Goblin Guides, Deathrite Shaman, Dark Confidant, Elspeth, Knight Errant etc, and Tribal Flames hit for 5. Was interesting to play against, but a 5 colour manabase dependant on fetchlands doesn’t like 8 strip mine effects and Leonin Arbiter. Not one bit.

Affinity: Only played against this once, but it didn’t go well. I play an affinity varient in paper magic, so I know how stupid it can get. I didn’t draw great hands and the other guy got empty your hand+thoughtcast t2 nut draws both games. I don’t have a great match-up against this anyway. The decks with Thalia do it slightly better, but I need some sideboard tech for it. Kataki, War’s Wage would be my go to guy.

R/G aggro: Modern version of the standard deck Naya Blitz. Probably has 5 guys down by turn three. Goblin Guide into t2 Burning Tree, Burning Tree, Tarmogoyf is something I’ve played against. My outs here are the pro red guys in the sideboard, as well as Mirran Crusader if it doesn’t get hit with Lightning Bolt.

Jund Aggro: I like jund aggro, but it has a horrible match up against this deck. Vengevine and Loltroll don’t like mirran crusader and it gets even worse for them post board when I can put timely reinforcements in. The manabase can be fragile too. And good luck casting demigod of revenge.

That’s all folks. I don’t have more things to say, because of the silly amount of times I’ve played against burn in the last week or so. Things I have learned are that I really need path to exile and the curving Mentor of the Meek into Hero of Bladehold is awesome.

Here is the deck I’m playing. Since last time I took out the Ring of Thune and put a Flickerwisp into the sideboard. Needs Thalia, Linvala, Path and some more sideboard tech, but those are kinda expensive.

4 aether vial
1 flickerwisp
1 ajani, caller of the pride
2 eight-and-a-half-tails
3 hero of bladehold
1 judges familiar
4 leonin arbiter
3 mentor of the meek
4 mirran crusader
4 serra avenger
2 student of warfare
4 honor of the pure
4 sunlance
1 oblivion ring
4 ghost quarter
4 tectonic edge
13 plains
1 ethersworn canonist

2 burrenton forge-tender
2 celestial purge
1 flickerwisp
2 kor firewalker
1 mentor of the meek
1 rule of law
2 tempest of light
4 timely reinforcements

Things I have learn’t about the Modern Metagame: Part 2

Warning: This post contains serious Magic: The Gathering talk and will probably make me seem lame in the extreme to anyone who has never played.

Okay, so here is part two of my adventures into the world of modern. I’ve been getting better at piloting my deck and have learned more things, played some of the more common archetypes. I’ll list some of the things I’ve played against in vague order of how much I have played against them

1. UWR. This thing is a monster. Card advantage from Think Twice and Sphinx’s Revelation, Ajani Vengant, Path, Burn, Countermagic. For those who have never played it, it’s essentially the most insane Counterburn deck. It’s kills all your guys, draws a ton of cards, then beats the crap out of you with Manlands. Then it plays Snapcaster and does it all again.  My match up isn’t as bad is it could be, as I have Tectonic edge and ghost quarter to kill Celestial Colonnade, then 4 things that are Pro Red in my sideboard. I tend to be able to get damage through in the first couple of turns and then it all comes down to whether I can get a threat to stick. Most of the times I have beaten UWR come from flashing in a Hero of Bladehold off an aether vial when they tap out to deal with something else. Vial is very, very important in this match up. It is beatable, but I cannot afford to misplay against this.

2. Eternal Command. This is similar to UWR, but instead of the white and the manlands it has Tarmagoyf and Eternal Witness, Aether Vial and Thirst for Knowledge. And Clique. While it is a little weaker on the straight up control, it has a bit more punch and has the possibilty of reccuring Cryptic Command over and over. Vial is important but vulnerable to bounce. The All-Stars here are Serra Avenger and Mirran Crusader. If I can get either of these to 4/4 it become difficult Eternal Command to deal with them. Honor of the Pure+ Serra Avenger has beaten this deck almost singlehandly before. Easier to beat than UWR, but that just because I can go up to 4 Pro greeen and 4 Pro red cards at once. Still, it’s another monster of a deck.

3. Kiln Fiend. From monsters of a deck, to something that is just kinda bad. An all in deck that wants to play a crap ton of spell and either exile them to Nivmagus Elemental or 1 shot kill with a kiln fiend. If I can get a blocker or two down they run out of steam. Flickerwisp takes the counters off Nivmagus and unless they double Kiln Fiend I can usually get enough blockers down to prevent an early demise. Or just killing their guy works too. I see a lot of this deck and rarely lose to it. .

4. Dredgevine. This is difficult, doubly so because I have no graveyard hate at all (need some Rest in Peace), but modern dredge is currently very inconsistant from the bannings of a couple of key cards. When I played they have had hideous turn 3 boards with 6 or 7 guys sometimes, then others they have no guys at all. They all seemed to be running City of Brass too and did a lot of damage to themselves. Not much to say here, other than that Mirran Crusader craps all of this deck. Just gotta hope they don’t nut draw and deploy some threats that bypass all the vines, zombies and other crap that get vomited out from the graveyard.

5. Weird, Elf, ritual combo thing. I’ve played a few versions of this. I didn’t even know it was a thing. Some used storage lands, others just rituals. The aims seems to be to create a bunch of mana and all seem to use Bogardan Hellkite as their threat. I lost to this a few times, just from not knowing what it was, but if I can pseudo-strip mine their lands and kill elvish archdruid, it’s all good.

6. Crypt of Agadeem cycling thing. Cycle a bunch of black dudes, make loads of mana with Crypt of Agadeem. Not good against 4 Ghost Quarter, 4 Tec edge.

7. Burn. Only played this once. Boarded in lots of Pro red stuff and Timely reinforcements. Stomped them.

8. Melira Pod. This thing is a bitch and I only had one match against it. I haven’t played against the full power Kiki, Pestermite, Exarch one that wins out of nowhere either, I played a Melira, Viscera seer, Murderous Redcap combo one. And the guy playing it was bad. Even with all this I still only just won. Kitchen finks+Melira is ridulously unfair. When you add Viscera seer it gets worse. I basically have to draw leonin arbiter and hope it doesn’t die.

That’s about it. I’ll post more as I play more things.

I’m really enjoying this deck. It’s very resiliant and has much better control match ups than traditional aggro. Still needs 4 Thali and 4 Path to Exile, but I don’t really know what I would cut. And maybe a couple of Rest in Peace. Oh, and maybe some artifact destuction. I’m considering extra Flickerwisps too, but some games they are poor at best, while others they are amazing.

If you have any ideas I’d be interested. I’ll post the decklist below.

4 aether vial
1 flickerwisp
1 ajani, caller of the pride
2 eight-and-a-half-tails
3 hero of bladehold
1 judges familiar
4 leonin arbiter
3 mentor of the meek
4 mirran crusader
4 serra avenger
2 student of warfare
4 honor of the pure
4 sunlance
1 oblivion ring
4 ghost quarter
4 tectonic edge
13 plains
1 ethersworn canonist

2 burrenton forge-tender
2 celestial purge
1 ring of thune
2 kor firewalker
1 mentor of the meek
1 rule of law
2 tempest of light
4 timely reinforcements

Things I have learn’t about the Modern metagame: Part 1

I enjoy Magic: The Gathering. And like anything I enjoy, I want to be good at it. Don’t mistake this for being super competetive, I don’t need to win all the time. But I like to be good at whatever it is I’m doing.

So, I’ve been playing modern (one particular format for any non-mtgers) on Magic the Gathering Online. Just playing against randoms and trying to learn the metagame a little, so maybe I can eventually enter some random events. I’ll write some of my learnings up and maybe make a little series of it.

For those who are interested I’m playing a version of White Weenie Hatebears. I’ll post the deck list at the bottom.

So tonight’s learnings are:

1. Timely Reinforcements is really, really good againt Sucide Black

2. Sunlance is not as good as Path to Exile, this should be obvious.

3. Do not keep one land hands, even with Aether Vial

4. DO NOT KEEP ONE LAND HANDS, EVEN WITH AETHER VIAL

5. Open the Vaults is a thing and I need to figure out how to beat it.

6. Restore Balance is a thing and I need to figure out how to beat it.

I think that is it for this evening, I’ll do another post when I learn more things.

Here is the list:

Mainboard

4 aether vial
1 ring of thune
1 ajani, caller of the pride
2 eight-and-a-half-tails
3 hero of bladehold
1 judges familiar
4 leonin arbiter
3 mentor of the meek
4 mirran crusader
4 serra avenger
2 student of warfare
4 honor of the pure
4 sunlance
1 oblivion ring
4 ghost quarter
4 tectonic edge
13 plains
1 ethersworn canonist

Sideboard
2 burrenton forge-tender
2 celestial purge
1 flickerwisp
2 kor firewalker
1 mentor of the meek
1 rule of law
2 tempest of light
4 timely reinforcements

Magic: The Socialing

For my first post I’m going to talk about what is possibly my favourite hobby, Magic: The Gathering.

Image

Well, why should you care about Magic: The Gathering. It’s just a lame cards game for kids and guys who live with their parents for way too long, right? WRONG

For anyone who doesn’t know, Magic: The Gathering is a trading card game, played all over the world, with regular competions and is popular enought that if you are really, really good, going professional is an option.

This isn’t me. I’m just a guy, who very much enjoys spending an evening with friends playing cards, usually at a pub. The friends I have now are almost all from playing Magic, and the group of people in my area who play are very much a community. We have a facebook group to chat and organise events. We meet on fridays for Friday Night Magic (I’ll explain this in another post). Most importantly, people who play Magic, at least from what I’ve found, care about the group. If someone has a problem, we will try and fix it. If someone doesn’t own the cards to join in, you can be 99% sure someone will lend them something. As a group, we want people to join in. It is far and away the best social experience I have found. It gets people talking. As someone at an event, you know you will always have at least one thing in common with the people there.

Something else I that I find amazing, is the variety of people that are brought together by playing a card game. The age range of our group is from about 17 to around 50. Most people are around 20, as it is a uni town the group was set up by students in the first place, but there is no awkwardness, whether you are a student, a secondary school teacher (who sometimes brings work he needs to mark to get it done between games), a bouncer or someone who sells batterys. When we meet up everyone is a Magic player and that evens it out.

What I cannot emphasise enough though, is how much playing with people you like being around matters. I’ve been lucky with the people here, and when eventually I have to leave, finding a new group who are as welcoming as they are is a little daunting.

So, if you are reading this and you are curious to find out more, to find out if it is something you would be interested in, there are a couple of ways.

1. The best way to find out is to find a group near you and either contact them somehow, or just turn up at an event. This http://locator.wizards.com/ is a link to a page where you can find events near you. Don’t worry about intruding, variety is key with Magic, people want other people there, with different ideas and different ways of playing, to keep things new and interesting. If you are like me and don’t really enjoy asking people you don’t know about anything, standing awkwardly for a while will probably lead to someone coming over, asking about you and getting you involved. If you say you don’t know how to play, someone will teach you. If you say you want to get into Magic, someone will suggest how.

2. If you don’t fancy just turning up somwhere and asking, without knowing how to play then Duels of the Planewalkers is a good start. It’s a game on Steam, on Xbox, on PS3 and on tablets. It’s a good starting point and will teach a new player the rules, but isn’t nearly as fun as sitting round a table with friends, face to face, where you can talk. While it is true that something is lost in translation, it is still a really good introduction.

I know I haven’t really talked about how the game is actually played and I will get to that in another post, but for now all you need to know is it’s great fun, the players are welcoming, it’s great fun, it’s different from anything else you might get up to in the week and it’s a really good way to meet new people. Whoever you are, you should give it a try. The worst that can happen is that you find don’t like it and you have spent an evening trying something new. Go try it, you may find it really is your thing. Also, did I mention how much fun it is?