by Dan Rae
I want to start off by saying sorry for taking so long to get an article written. I have been super busy with school work that when I get free time to write, I am pretty much beat and I do not want to just rush out some poorly written article that talks about random topics that you truly do not care about. Let’s just hope that is not the case with this one.
So not only does the title of this article describe my actual life, with school work, it also indicates pretty much all of the Magic I have been able to play lately. I have been brushing up on my limited game for absolutely no reason. There are no regular Legacy tournaments around me and I have not invested in a Standard deck yet, I just have no idea what I want to play and while Worlds surely showed us what was good (Tempered Steel), I just do not think I want to play in a format like that. I realize that Tempered Steel did not win the event but there were 4 of the exact same list in the Top 8. I guess that is just some good friends were making sure they all had the best option for the game which surely makes sense. I think my problem with Standard is that people are very rarely original. They normally just net-deck and their innovation is having a different sideboard by a few cards. I do not really want to go to my local FNM and just play against the same deck every week over and over. There is much more innovation in Legacy due to the large card pool. I read a tournament report in which Turbo Fog won a 5 round event. Most people are not sure if the report is a giant troll or not, but still, decks like Turbo Fog can possibly win events. So yes let’s go back to limited.
Friday after Thanksgiving I did some family things, watched a horrible parade, and then went to draft. There were 9 people and I felt pretty good about my chances. I ran a Boros deck containing Fiend Hunter, a couple of Rebukes, and a combination of good creatures and burn. There were not any bombs in my deck and I sliced through my first two opponents and then I went up against red black and his deck was so underwhelming except for one card which shut me down, Googly Eyes.
[Editor’s Note: for more Magic Cards With Googly Eyes, see here]
Both games 2 and 3, my opponent played a creature that I wanted to deal with and each time I had the Rebuke to take that creature out. Nope, damn Googly Eyes, came down and then I had to find another way to deal with that creature or hope my opponent tapped out his black mana. Neither of those things happened and I lost, taking 2nd and winning two random promo cards which I stuck in my binder and do not even know if they are still there. I went home, played some MW3 and “prepared” for sealed the next day.
I arose Saturday and was off to play in a Grand Prix Trial for Austin. The format was Innistrad sealed and luckily my friend Jeff was willing to drive to the event and as the Judge, he registered all of the packs already which I thought was the greatest part. I got my sealed pool and had blue right on top and the first card was Snapcaster Mage. Well even if I do poorly, I still pulled a good card and I’ve fine with whatever happens during the day. The rest of my blue was poor and green was even worse. Black offered me a limited bomb in the form of Bloodline Keeper and red has double Brimstone Volley plus Stromkirk Noble, which is obviously amazing early or against humans, but pretty poor being drawn on turn 12. White had some decent creatures but the removal was poor. Then I made it to the gold cards and boy, was I happy. I had two Grimgrins, one of them being foil and knew I needed to be playing some version of black blue. I got everything around for my blue black and realized I hated my blue cards and I did not think that Grimgrin could get me there alone. I finally decided upon Red black with a blue splash for double Grimgrin. I had my 40 card deck ready to go and while I waited, I talked about Misfits with my friends. Seriously if you like good television you should check out Misfits, which can be found on Hulu. It is an amazing British show in which some delinquents get special powers and have a hell of a time with them. One of my favorite lines from the show is, “Why is there are gorilla in a gorilla suit?” –Nathan
Round one I faced a lovely gentleman with some green hair. The guy was really nice and I think his name was Chris. Chris started off and played land and I dropped a creature on turn two and it was taken out by Geistflame. My turn three I didn’t know if I wanted to cast Kessig Wolf to just have it die to Geistflame or do nothing. I decided to cast the wolf and see what happened. Chris missed his fourth land and as I looked at my hand I knew I would be winning this game. I cast Bloodline Keeper on turn 4 and then Grimgrin on turn 5. Chris did manage to steal my Grimgrin and kill my Bloodline Keeper with his attack, but still a 9/9 Grimgrin causes problems for an opponent. I don’t remember the other game but I know that I won most likely on the back of my awesome sealed pool with some play skill.
In Round two went against John and really do not recall what happened here at all. John beat me in one game due to being mana light but I took the round overall. Then after crushing my friend Phil in some Mental Magic (even though he could have named Pithing Needle to beat my Maze of Ith and me) we got paired against each other. Phil told me his pool wasn’t the best so he made a Boros deck and just hoped his creatures could crush faster than an opponent could recover. That is exactly what Phil did to me in game 1. Games 2 and 3 his creature onslaught was held back and Grimgrin did work.
Seeing this was only a 10 man event, only my teammate Chadd and I were undefeated and both first and second were guaranteed 6 packs each. We just decided to ID and I “officially” took 1st giving me 3 byes to GP Austin. I those 6 packs and turned them into store credit picking up a foil Jace Beleren and foil Mayor of Avabruck for my cube. The night only got better from there when I got to witness Dollar Board Rollathon, eat at the Olive Garden with friends, and hit up the arcade with those guys.
Finally through sheer awesomeness some guys here at Wilkes and me convinced our Student Government to give us money to run a free draft tournament. That happened last night and there were 27 people in total with more showing up late but we couldn’t slot them. My first pack was Reaper from the Abyss and I got into black red pretty early and it was cemented when I was passed Brimstone Volley, Balefire Dragon, and multiple copies of Harvest Pyre. My deck played well but in Round 2 I was horribly mana screwed and the Instigator Gang on my opponent’s side did not help my situation. Then in Game 2 I mulliganed to 4 and at that point it was over. Seeing as I was the one running the event I knew I had to go 3-0 to win any prizes so I just desleeved my deck and put my awesome rares into my binder in which I got to trade away my Japanese foil Laboratory Maniac to a Vintage player. So while the final round was going on I got to walk around and watch players make some good plays and make some poor plays.
Limited is the type of format in which you just have to play it and build decks and see what works and what doesn’t. I heard one player say, “I wanted to get all the flip cards, and I am!” Well his deck was pretty poor by taking random flip cards in every pack over removal spells and such. I always try to tell players that just because a card is good in constructed, or poor in constructed, does not mean it will be the same in limited. A lot of players write about limited and do videos of their drafts. I suggest watching the Dragons: Ryan McKinney and Ken Adams because they have a couple of nice videos where they cover their picks and such. That is something I want to try to do with cube drafting, hopefully with the One Drop Cube I want to assemble.
The Magic talk has ended and it is the time to talk about an awesome board game. Risk Legacy recently came out and wow I am blown away after just playing one and a half games (I’ll get to that in a minute). Basically Risk Legacy is similar to your other Risks in the way that you still have your armies, move around and fight using the same mechanics. Well in Legacy there are different armies and each of them starts with the possibilities of two traits. Once one is picked, you sticker it (can sticker be used as a verb?) to the army’s info card and throw away the card with the other trait. You place troops like normal, and you have a base which you place on the map. Risk Legacy is different because there are scar cards which you actually sticker on the board and they either help or hinder the defending army. So the game is different every time because after the game is finished the winner gets to do something special. Our first time playing, Jeff managed to win on his first turn because two of the other players did not fortify their bases and Jeff acquired the four stars needed to win. In honor of his win Jeff placed a Major city in Australia named Douche-opilis. So now with the second game started we could not place our armies onto countries with a scar on them or a city on them that was not our own. While placing my army in the beginning I had complete control over South America and troops in Central America and quickly moved troops into Central America to hold off. Within about 5 turns I managed to take over a base in Madagascar, had control over my base, the star I started with, and pushed through the Americas to take over a base in Ontario and win game 2. With my win I decided to take the option to name a continent (none of them started named) and what we know as South America is now The Peoples Republic of the Squire. There are definitely more things that go along with the game such as achievements which allow you to open envelopes to add to the game play and even this secret envelope:
Until next time, keep on storming! ….Oh wait, I don’t have a sign off phrase. How about, The Squire Will Always Love You?…Na.