Control is back in limited Magic!
I had one of the most exciting Prerelease weekends in recent memory, thanks to the epic shenanigans brought by the Silumgar brood’s Exploit mechanic. Sure, the sealed pools were especially bonkers given the seeded booster pack containing 14 on-color cards for the dragonlord we chose to follow (ex. my choice of Silumgar gave me 14 blue and black cards all in one booster, one being a foily blue/black promo rare), but that just allowed us to dive deeper into experiencing the new Dragons of Tarkir set.
I played sealed events at two great local game stores – Gamer’s Gauntlet in Clinton Township and Stadium Cards & Comics in Ypsilanti (Michigan) – and chose the Silumgar pack for both. I originally intended to run Silumgar for only one event and try a different color pair for the other, but abusing the Exploit mechanic was too much fun for me to only play with it once. Interestingly, I found that the two decks played differently, even though they both contained many of the same cards. It only took a few key cards differing in each deck to completely alter the approaches I took to controlling my opponent and paving the road to victory.
I ended up 4-1-1 in the first event and had a 4-2 record for the second, splitting the Top 8 prize in each. The whole weekend was a blast – I won more than a booster box’s worth of Dragons of Tarkir (DTK) packs, played some fantastic limited Magic with old friends, and gained deep insight into the value-crazy control archetype for DTK/Fate Reforged limited. Read all about my DTK Prerelease exploits, below.
It’s time for another episode of the Bad Magic Podcast! This weekend Dragons of Tarkir travels back to the (new) present with Prerelease events, so this episode is all about those exciting quarterly blowouts!
Hear about my experience with the old Regional Prerelease format and listen to how I approach new sets and prepare for my local game store’s events.
Back by “popular” demand (some dude on Twitter asked if I was doing any more of these), there’s a new episode of the Bad Magic Podcast!
This episode is all about Magic the Gathering Online (MTGO). Hear about my play experience with the new client, learn about the problems plaguing online players, and get my recommendation on whether new players should get on board the game.
Episode 7: MTGO.
Looks like the Flip it or Rip it! action is alive and well at Stadium Cards & Comics (Ypsilanti, MI). This time the Ripper won a (formerly) $200 foil Dark Confidant from Modern Masters – Congrats!
Remember, it’s only worth money if you know what the card is, otherwise it’s just cardboard! Right!?
For more Flip it or Rip it! fun, check out this video I made at Grand Prix DC last year. Gotta love those player reactions!
I’ve always been a fan of casual kitchen-table style Magic and appreciate what Wizards has aimed to do with the Duel Deck series. On the one hand the decks give newer players the opportunity to try out a smorgasbord of cards from across the game’s history; on the other hand the Duel Deck series offers hardcore players access to reprints of decent cards, often with new art. My interests tend to fall in between these categories – I love battling with basic thematic decks for funsies, and I love having solid reprints for my EDH decks.
I have played with nearly every pair of Duel Decks since their inception with Elves vs Goblins (which I viewed as a remake of the great battles my best friend and I waged during Onslaught block when we first learned to play the game), and my generally impression of them has been mixed. In every set there is one really solid deck with complex mechanics and card interaction that supported extended playability. But usually the other deck seemed like a hastily thrown-together pile of cards that barely matched a them. For example, the Coalition deck in Phyrexia vs. the Coalition was a 5-color domain deck that brought a few Invasion Elder Dragons to the party, while the Phyrexia deck was a basic stack of black Urza’s block reprints. In the Knight vs. Dragons set, a powerhouse of green and white Knights annihilated the mono-red Dragon deck, usually just by playing Silver Knight and/or Loxodon Warhammer. The Dragons were mostly barely-limited-playable fire-breathing dragons like Dragon Whelp, and had not-really-combo cards like Voracious Dragon with hardly any ways to make goblins to eat.
Nah, we don’t need any Goblins in this deck….
I’m not really complaining about getting a sweet new-art foil Bogardan Hellkite or Phyrexian Negator from those decks to spiffy up my EDH decks, but they just didn’t seem evenly-matched for a product that was designed to be battled. Then again, if each set has a complex deck and a simple deck, it allows for everyone to be able to pick up a deck and get it on regardless of skill level.
But then comes Speed vs Cunning, the newest set in the Duel Deck series. Really I picked this up today at my local game store because I wanted to build a red-black-white deck with the new Khans of Tarkir clan leader Zurgo Helmsmasher, and I was enticed by the included copies of the new tri-lands, another copy of Lightning Helix, and an alternate art Impulse. (Yes I know I basically paid 18 bucks for 6 dollars worth of cards, but that’s not the point here!) My buddy Zach was in the store at the time, so we sat down and battled a bunch of games.
Good bye MTGO v3.
At least there’s a new Weird Al Yankovic album out to help me make the transition to the new client.
After a short three-month hiatus from Magic, my first tournament since the end of February went pretty well:
I took the classic blue-white control to my first Game Day victory at Gamer’s Gauntlet (my new LGS now, I moved again in March to north of Detroit) last weekend against a field of some very challenging archetypes and brews, including several of my worst nightmares: Black-White Midrange, Junk (Green/black/white) Midrange, and Red-Green Monsters. Fated Retribution did some heavy lifting and might even deserve a maindeck slot in this local metagame.
My list and the other three members of the Top 4 are listed HERE.