This Week in Magic

I usually do not post about Magic the Gathering. Mainly because Aki posts about it. A Lot. And I rarely have anything interesting or worthwhile to say. This week however was a bit different. I had a small vacation (since my son was with his grandparents and my wife was working). So what could I do? Turns out – nothing much but play through various different types of MtG. So this will be my random rambling about different formats.

Two-Headed Giant

At Monday I headed to my cabin with a couple of friends. We were supposed to play Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay but due various reasons over half of the group could not come. And as those who could were vivid Magic players we kind of randomly decided to go with that.

Now Cabin Magic or Mötky (coming from “mökki” = cabin and “Mätky” = MtG) is something we always do during summer. Heck, two years ago we played it so much that we had a running joke of lighting the sauna with Enter the Infinite. This year we came up with the idea of playing two-headed giant with EDH decks.

I had Dimir milling deck that I had just whipped up to see who annoying deck I could make for a change. And when Ville had a Dimir discard deck our alliance was quickly formed. We went against Boros legion without any consideration about overlapping cards. We won 3-0. Without breaking a sweat. I could say that it was too easy. But it was a really nice day, we were taking a couple of beers while playing and came up with a slogan “I (dimir) NY MILLATAAN” (roughly translating to “I love milling”).

Since we have been playing EDH for a couple of years now it is always nice to spice up the things every once in a while. 2HD Giant was immensely fun format and I have no doubt we will be playing it again. Though this time our opponents will quite likely have built their decks together. Still Shared Trauma will quite likely work out just fine.

Mini Masters

At Wednesday Aki had organised a “ripping party”. He had bought a few box of boosters and some of us got together to rip them open. We were going to play draft and/or sealed but ended up trying Mini Masters. In short it means that you take three of each land and add them to the cards of one booster and you are ready to go.

It was quite a fun format. Unbalanced action was the name of the game and few “shuffle this card back to your library” meant that beat down damage was essential. As a free-for-all game it was not that much fun but between two players it worked out just fine.

I really would like to play a larger pool of cards than I get to with EDH so Mini Masters was really fun for me. We played sealed too (actually two times) but somehow my card pool in both games was almost identical. I ruled with WB fliers (what a twist!) but my RB warriors were not that effective.

Magic Duels

As I knew I was going for my first pre-release party at Saturday I was really pleased to notice that Magic Duels had been added to AppStore. I downloaded it and spent most of Friday playing it.

I really liked trying out the synergy of cards before the pre-release. But I didn’t got as much red cards in Duels as I had hoped for so I ended up running with BG elves.

After spending something like eight hours playing through Quests, shouting at the game for not allowing me to cast a counter spell and my battery dying at the end of 30min long Quest game I was almost done with the game. It is really slow and it’s quite infuriating to play with awful decks just because you do not have the cards. I mean if that is what it is to like to start playing MtG these days I would never even consider it again.

I am not saying the game is bad per se. It can be quite enjoyable. If you do not have the actual cards. But it does take away the main reason why I play Magic – you do not get to see people. It seems like it can be relatively easy to hook up a game with a friend if you would like to and this is a nice addition. And I would be lying if I said I had not consider about spending actual money to buy cards in this game to get a deck I would enjoy playing with.

But since the pre-release I have not even considered to play it again. In all likelyness it will end in the same folder with Hearthstone and Might and Magic: Duel of Champions. That I haven’t played since I last wrote about them.

Pre-Release Party

At Saturday I went to the Origins pre-release party – first “prellu” for me. I was pretty nervous since I had no idea what kind of players I would encounter. Having been beaten by Aki’s modern decks in round four does not instill trust in current gaming formats. And of course I had been drinking the last night…

I had chosen to play red for the pre-release. I could argue I had studied the spoilers and knew what I was doing. But most of all it was because I love playing reckless red and in EDH it is usually too goofy even for me.

While opening the boosters I quickly noticed that I did not get any red goodstuff of the set (excluding the promo Pia and Kiran Nalaar) I actually had enough cards to make it a monored deck! AND I had four Fiery Impulses which I had grown to love in Magic Duels. I did consider splashing something in but decided against it since I knew my best strategy would be doing damage us fast as I could.

Following the guidelines that came with the box I used most of the red and artifact creatures I had and left out a couple of damage spells. After running my first games against… BW fliers I quickly noticed this was working against me. We actually had very even game but when my speed failed I had nothing. I lost both games with the opponent having 6 life.

I made some changes, one the next round with ease and was very pleased with myself. Not only was this my first official gaming event it was my very first official win (in some sense). The opponent was playing RGB goodstuff and it was just too slow. After the game we went through his deck and he was able to ditch green and he later commented it was a right thing to do.

On the third round I went against WB control and was ready to fold from the beginning. But I got a perfect start for the second match and won it in a heartbeat. In the third game I got manascrewed and lost. And only after that I was able to let go of the big creatures and 16th land in favour of more bolt!

The last round was pure awesomeness. I went against RB deck (iirc) and we were really evenly matched. I won the first game, lost the second and was more nervous than in ages in the last game. We were both down to only a couple of lifes, hellbent and praying for a bolt to win. And it went on and on like six rounds. Then I drew the Bonded Construct and just played it to block. Suddenly I realised that I had enough mana to sac all my artifacts with Chandra’s parents and I bombed my opponent to 0 life. We were both really enjoying the tense situation of the game and it was the best possible way to end this experiment.

(And if someone is interested HERE is the link for my final deck.)

After thoughts

I cannot even recall when I have played this much Magic during one week. And in the top of that I managed to try out four new different things. It has been an absolutely great week, even though I cannot wait for my brain to tone down from MtG to some other things as well.

2HD Giant and Pre-Releases were so much fun I’ll definitely plan to play them again. Mini Masters was fun but not as much as sealed or draft. And as of Magic Duels? Who knows. I’ll quite likely play it every now and then but I can certainly live without it too.

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