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By: country hillbilly, Zach Whitten
Dec 22 2011 2:12am
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 Drafting With a Hick - Merry XMas Pure!

Hey all you wonderful readers out there in PureMTGO land.  I have some fun content for you today, and I am sure you are inundated with "Holiday Cheer" and whatnot.  I wanted to start this article by apologizing for my lack of focus on the comments section - especially to "A_New_Hope" - one of the loyal readers here on Pure.  As I am with new sets I am as a writer still, I have many areas I need to improve in.  The first is still my very annoying ticks, but this past week another was brought to my attention...  I have been trying to get discussion going - then I have just let myself tail off into the next week without going back and checking my articles.  I DO read all my comments, but I have been guilty of not responding in a timely manner or simply not responding at all because the times are inopportune, etc.  I really apologize for this - specifically to A_New_Hope and anyone else I have offended.

So guys next weekend is Christmas, and no matter what religion you are this is typically a fun time stateside.  All of the shops are playing holiday music, people are generally in a more cheery mood (I'm SURE this has nothing to do with long Christmas vacations...), and most importantly people are spending $$$$!  Even WotC has been getting in on the fun, as my buddy George the Penguin said in his article this week .  PLAY SOME CLASSIC GUYS - SERIOUSLY!!

What about Modern Warfare 3, Zach?  

Thanks for asking Mr. Rhetorical, here is this week's clip before I forget:

 Quick MW3 Status update:

My Son and I are currently Prestige 3, level 65 (should be prestige 4 by next week!)

He doesn't know it yet but he is about to get a sick pair of x31 headphones (Turtle Beach) so we can hopefully up our game.  I actually need to watch out, he is now requesting a PVR so he record his footage and put it on YouTube....

So this week I participated in four drafts.  I joined two Mercadian Masques Swiss drafts and two Innistrad Swiss drafts.  I really need to say two things before we get into the nitty gritty, and I will make the type a bit larger so my point can be well received:

  1. I am SUPER type A - if I am not winning I am typically NOT having fun
  2. I get aggravated quicker than I would like to admit, but it is part of me.  I am snarky and probably a bit of a hypocrite (I get mad in situations where I would have no problem on the OTHER side of the table)

I say these things because I hear repeatedly that I should stay more positive in my articles, and that it is just a game, etc.  I know it is, and the way I act does not in ANY way extend beyond the video games.  If I lose a draft where i rip nothing but think I have an amazing deck, I will not take my aggression out on my wife, my son, my daughter, my clannies, etc.  It is my way of reacting and when I say I would be a different person if I acted differently, I FULLY believe that.  I want you guys to know you can revel in the times when I am angry sad or mad - I revel in the times when I get others feeling the same way (as it usually means I am winning!).  Any way, I wanted to get that out there.  I am an honest guy so you get my honest feelings - each and every video!

On to this week's fun times!

TRYING OUT NEW DRAFT VIEWER - MIGHT BE LONGGGGGG Article!

We start out the week with an MM draft I did with George (aka whiffy penguin).  What happens?  I get paired with my buddy round one, of course!  (And I make a head slappingly stupid combat decision to boot! YAY!)

Anyway, here is my first every MM draft, in all of its' glory:

 

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 So wow - that takes up a lot of space!!!!  Let's get to the videos!

YouTube Draft

 

 

Round One

 

 

Round Two

 

 

Round Three

 

 

The format was fun but what a fail......  Hopefully next time will be better!

Now we go the the first Innistrad draft I did (#12 recorded)

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 Now THAT is my kind of draft!  Let's hop right in and see how we did, in the form of videos.

YouTube Draft 

 

 

Round One

 

 

Round Two

 

 

Round Three

 

 

 It was really a pity we had the misclick.  I truly thought this draft was going to get me back on the wagon and started back on the 3-0 train.  I am honestly starting to feel as though I am a below average drafter with this set.  This whole experience has been so humbling....  And on that note we should continue to be humbled.....  I do believe it is time for MM Draft #2.

Here is the draft viewer:

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Now for teh YouTubeszzz:

YouTube Draft:

 

 

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Man  what a sad day.  I truly thought it was going to get better after the beating I took in the first draft.  This feels so different and foreign to me compared to Urza's block.  I have no idea if this is attributed to me not knowing ANYTHING, the sets having a lower than normal power level (is this really true?  There are some STRONG commons), or the fact that all three blocks are being released at once.  I really have no clue.  Hopefully some day I will find out and right the ship!

 

Now it is time for my last draft, and the real reason why I made those two disclaimers above in pink.  This draft had everything going for it.  I picked two colors that work well together, I had tons of removal, some bomby cards, and a good plan of action.  I was READY to 3-0 this draft and get back on the chuck wagon.  Let's see how it went, first with pictures!

 

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This looks PROMISINGGGGGGGG - what a draft!  Here it is in YouTube form:

YouTube Draft:

 

 

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Wow.  Just wow.  This draft is pretty much the whole reason I took a week off and didn't even write last week.  I have no IDEA what went wrong.  I was happy with each and every pick.  I guess this is one of those outlier cases where it was just bad luck?  Pick me apart on this one - what were my major misplays and how COULD I have won?  I truly want to know guys.  I will do my best to follow up with all comments until my next article goes live, PINKIE SWEAR!

Thanks for listening through all of these pictures!!  Love you guys and have a merry Xmas!

Zach / The_Hoff / abstrakt66

33 Comments

AAARRRRRGGGHHHHH by Phroggie at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 09:27
Phroggie's picture
5

I DON'T KNOW WHAT WENT WRONG EITHER! (and I haven't even watched your videos). I've been sticking to playing Swiss, because I suck at any other format - I've attempted 4-3-2-2, 5 times (2 of those SOM Block because they took Swiss away and I still had the boosters, not happy about that I can tell you) and I have only once gotten to the 2nd round. With Swiss I average 2 of 3 matches, and have taken home the "trophy" more times than I've attempted 4-3-2-2.

BUT TONIGHT - we're heading out of town for a week, and I just didn't have the time to play a Swiss game, yet I really wanted to draft. I started with an M12 4-3-2-2 (and you have to wait a good hour for an M12 Swiss to fire at the moment), started well with a Fireball, then Incinerate... eventually had a reasonable Blue/Red deck - several removals, few game finishers but the deck was a tad short on critters and I picked up about 4-5tix of rares. I held my own in the first round reasonably but the better drafter and player won (turned out to be the winner of the entire draft, lucky me with an under 1700 limited rating to go up against that guy).

But that's cool, I knew the risk of playing 4-3-2-2 and it's been a while since I've focused on M12. I squeeze in another hour to try another draft, back into ISD which I've been feeling pretty confident with lately. Starts of with a Reaper from the Abyss mythic, good direction there, I follow the black/morbid/removal trail and it was okay - I filched a Past in Flames mythic and put together a passable deck, certainly nothing brilliant but with a tiny bit of luck and the right cards it had a quite a bit going for it. SLAUGHTERED to bad mana draws and luck.

So I shake that off... but now I'm determined, one more go... it's hitting bedtime but that's why you play 4-3-2-2 right? Because it's a lot faster than Swiss. So I hit ISD again, starts of with a Mentor of the Meek, quickly pick up a Travel Prep and Spider Spawning... I end up with a very strong G/W deck, I haven't got doubles of key cards I like for consistancy, but it has Kessig Cagebreakers, a couple of 3/3 Spirit guys, and lots of fellows happy to die, leave a token and beef up my Wurm and Lumberknot. IT BLOODY DAMN WELL LOOSES in the final round to mana.

End result, a wasted night, egregious frustrations, if I'm generous about 14 tix of mythics/rares (it could have been worse sure, but I'm not going to really get those tix back on the Classifieds), 40ish tix of boosters and entry lost, and not a single win or prize. If I played those same drafts in Swiss I would have walked away with 4-6 boosters returned. I'm far from a great or even good player, but this track record with elimination tournaments is horrifying. 8 elimination drafts with a total prize return of 2 boosters, net result = -22 boosters.

< / rantyfrustration >

Hey Phroggie, Same man. I am by country hillbilly at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 11:55
country hillbilly's picture

Hey Phroggie,

Same man. I am so unsure about what is happening. Watch my last ISD draft I posted here - the RW one. I would L O V E for someone to tell me what I did wrong and how I could have built the deck better. I was about as excited to run this one as I had been to run any previous. Is red/white just under powered? I had every good piece of removal (volley - chains - fiend hunter - slayer). Just at a loss...

Zach

I still haven't time to watch by Phroggie at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 19:01
Phroggie's picture

I still haven't time to watch the vids but will over the weekend.

But I think things like this happen with that slight disconnect between knowing the theory, running with it, but still missing that "something" which doesn't quite gel. And when a game holds a strong element of randomness and luck it can just put you into that infuriating cycle, I think it's a very similar touch point for those with gambling problems.

I experience the same problem in 2 other of my gaming loves, Poker and Blood Bowl (Warhammer style dice + strategy game). Sure sometimes you play bad, and I can accept that - but when your making all the right moves and you still can't catch a break... it's madness.

I'd sunk a few beers in my games last night and that genuinely upped my reaction and frustration. I even went into my 3rd match with the right attitude of being okay with loosing - but then I drafted well, built a solid deck, no obvious play mistakes and still lost... that's what sunk the knife in.

Correct thing to do: walk away. But when you're in that frame of mind it's nigh on impossible - I share your pain buddy :)

That's why when I find myself by Paul Leicht at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 19:44
Paul Leicht's picture

That's why when I find myself doing poorly in a PRE (not the same competitive level as an 8-4 draft usually but it can be rough in some of these) I stop playing in it for a while. That need to just play one more to correct the obvious error that fate is making is so strong. But as you point out it is a compulsion that should be ignored.

I think one thing to remember about competition is there is always a bigger knife/gun if you get my meaning. There are times when it seems like you can't lose and then times when winning should be easy and isn't. Part of that might be you, your hand, frame of mind, etc and part of it just might be your opponent.

It just seems really immature Zach by SlowRoll at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 13:06
SlowRoll's picture

The attitude you speak of is actually just a lack of self control on your part. The average magic player is young and immature, so they may not think anything of it; but you completely lose readers like me when you behave this way. I'm grown with kids of my own too. So please understand that the last thing I want to spend an hour on is watching a grown man act like a spoiled brat every time something doesn't go his way. Not trying to insult you, I'm just taking a moment to return the favor and be honest with you as well. From everything I watched and read of you, you want honest feedback. I genuinely appreciate it when people take the time to record drafts, you included. But the overall draw to these types of videos is entertainment. If you're serious about improving the quality of your draft videos:

A.) Get the kids and dog out of the room when you are recording (I assume it's the dog I can hear mouth-breathing/panting in so many of your prior videos)

B.) Record many, post few. It's ok to cherry pick your drafts. You are putting out a lot of content, but the quality isn't always where it could be. BTW cherry picking doesn't mean just posting drafts you win in. Some of the best drafts online are ones that have epic games where the "hero" loses. That makes us appreciate the times you do win and gets viewers rooting for you.

C.) Get out of the Swiss/4-3-2-2 rooms. You know what you are doing at this point Zach, go compete against better players.

D.) And last, but not least. Have fun doing what you do, or go do something else. I've been top 10 in the state at 2 different hobbies (Magic was one) in my life, but we all reach a point where our expectations are so high that we lose the simple joy of playing. If you honestly believe you can only have fun if you're winning; it isn't because you are a type A personality. It's because your expectations are so high that you feel that anything short of destroying the competition is somehow a failure on your part. You need to have a passion for what you are doing. Love of the game and all that. This is incredibly tough in Magic and Poker because of the variance that comes with a deck of random cards. You can make all the right plays and still get crushed some days.

If you're going to continue to put out content for the rest of us to see(which I hope you do), you really need to find a better way to deal with the disappointment you are 100% guarenteed to experience along the way. Good luck and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Hey SlowRoll,First, thanks. by country hillbilly at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 13:51
country hillbilly's picture

Hey SlowRoll,

First, thanks. I appreciate your well thought out criticism. I agree with *almost all* of it. I always watch my videos and get embarrassed when I act the way you suggest. I do think it has to do with personality, not maturity level, but I digress. I'll join an 8-4 and post it and see how everything goes. The one thing that worries me is not getting enough content, but we shall see.

Again, thanks for the adult perspective, come back next week and see if I can put it into practice!

Best,

Z

P.s. written on iPhone so ignore typos!

inn draft (12) by Drawingdead at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 14:13
Drawingdead's picture

i was unable to watch the matches as i am at work and its blocked but i did read through the picks of the first inn draft and can maybe offer some insight.
P1 pick 4: Ghoulraiser over moan was wrong. Moan is one of the best cards to be in black for and you passed it for a sub par 2/2.
P1 pick 5: anything over village cannibals. it's going to be a vanilla 2/2 too much of the time. The vampire is straight up better as is the goliath and the stitchers app is also a fine pick.
P1 pick 8: Think twice would have been the best pick (and would have paid dividens with all those delvers)
P2 pick 1: Galvanic Juggernaut is a nice colorless option over a card you shouldnt be picking. the bat was also a decent option.
P2 pick 3: i'd have hate drafted over picking a drudge skeletons with haste. but tbh thats personal opinion.
P2 pick 11: hate that vengence. its an archetype on its own great to take out with no cost to you.
P3 pick 2: victim is better with the delvers youd have at this point. murder of crows is borderline bomb as well.
P3 pick 5: dissipate maybe? great in this block and again synergy with the delvers.
P3 pick 8: no moan again? You passed along a great deck.
P3 pick 9: delver would be the easy pick with the changes i suggested.
Again i did not get to watch the matches but i can definatly say you didn't draft the most powerful cards. This isn't to flame you or anything just hoping i can pass along some insight.
Good luck in future drafts.
Edited to add holy crap what a late bonds of faith in that 2nd inn draft. and if you had gone g/w early youd have had a sick deck out of p1 and would have likely seen better cards for it in p2 and 3. And yes red is weak in inn. Unless you open a sick red bomb its a shallow color and everyone will splash your removal so it still dries up early.

Thanks for the tips by country hillbilly at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 14:30
country hillbilly's picture

Thanks for the tips DrawingDead. As I said in my previous comment I'll hop in an 8-4 soon (maybe tonight) and I will fight my urge to pick chaff like I OBV did here.

Do you hate the cannibals? I have found I really like the way they gain on the death of ANY human, on either side.

Thanks again for the advice,

Zach

I love the Cannibals as well, by Phroggie at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 19:15
Phroggie's picture

I love the Cannibals as well, unless you've got a string of Humans yourself I wouldn't maindeck - but your bound to play against someone with lots of Humans!

I know the feeling by Alternate at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 17:12
Alternate's picture

1) Thank Google for doing their usual BS. They have a button that has snowflakes falling as you watch the video. I accidentally left it on and didn't know the snowflakes accumulate on the bottom.

2) You don't need to put up the draft and then the youtube of the draft. Just the vid at this point.

I mean for ISD especially, we have all played more than enough of ISD, and that means almost everyone, to know what cards are good and why you take them.

3) Spotting the mis-picks in your ISD draft is numerous. I mean there were a massive chunk of them. Moan of the Unhallowed is one of the best black cards in the game, and you passed it over for a Ghoulraiser. There are way too many late ghoulcaller's bells to take that one creature than one card that can make 4 creatures. I mean you need more than 1 win condition.

And the other massive misplay? Well everyone talks about synergy. I call that BS. But you did have a lot of creatures going to the graveyard, yet you passed over spider spawning, a win condition on it's own. I would splash a forest over a plains for Spider Spawning over Slayer of the Wicked, and you are already in black so the flashback also works with your self mill.

4) I consider every Masques draft a failure unless you open a foil Rishidan Port.
Otherwise it's just old cards from my paper playing days with new rules that should be changed based on the set. For example, there is a lot of things in Masques that tap down your opponents mana, or you get things when your mana is tapped, but without mana burn, it becomes purposeless. Also I have learned from Masques is that you want creatures... creatures... and then more creatures. There are a few bombs, but they are here and there especially with these stupid "collated" packs.

5) Are you getting as bored with ISD as I am? I mean you said you are up to post #12. You get paid for this. For free I have posted 15 and I am really bored with the set. Regardless of how great my deck is, and I can have 23 Geist Honored Monks and 17 Mana and still lose all because of mana screw or opponents top decking the exact card they need at the exact right time. Sigh. (Although I would love to see how a deck comprised entirely of Geist Honored Monks would work... hmmm)

But how can you sound so depressed? I mean you live in SoCal. It's warm there unlike here on the better coast, you can learn Spanish for free, and the Mexican food must be amazing. And it's not "racism" because A) Mexican isn't a race B) It's not because it's true. I've been to the left coast.

Haha sup Alternate? 1) Touche by Clan Magic Eternal at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 17:44
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Haha sup Alternate?

1) Touche - suck it google.

2) Which part should I skip? The recorded draft or the viewer? I think the viewer is actually good for some people at work - as they have YouTube firewalled (the horror!)

3) No arguments :/ I swear I am like 2-3 weeks late on what is hot and what is not. Spider Spawning has been wayyyy more popular lately - and I underestimate Maon of the Unhallowed too much :*(

4) I thought I would be way more keen on Masques, it turns out I'm just not, yet. Maybe when ISD gets old I'll play it more (as I am an eternal player at heart)

5) I think it has a lot to do with the fact I usually draft to escape something that is pissing me off - like my Cowboys sucking (at least 2 of the drafts here were from the blown game against the Cardinals when Jason Garret froze his own freaking KICKER!!)

I'm in a GREAT mood at the moment though. Hopefull I can do the first draft while still in this mood!

Always love the comments bro, thanks!

Zach

Oh I forgot to mention one by Alternate at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 17:52
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Oh I forgot to mention one thing.

What is this whole "lets be nice to everyone while holding hands?".

Why should I say GL to someone? I don't want them to have luck. There is enough of that in MtG. And what really "grinds my gears" is when you say something like "GL bud" and he responds with a right click "Hello and Good Luck". I want to jump through the screen and f**k a n**ga up.

And if you play COD, I wish there was an actual NON-CENSORED chat so I can say the things you know I would say if I was playing a game. It's probably why I can't play paper. I would get arrested for assault and fined for slander after a guy topdecks when I'm about to win and I throw the table to the side and hang him from the ceiling by his underwear.

I think trash talk should be encouraged. Not like "you suck dude" or "lucky topdeck", after the game it's over, but during the game you should say whatever you want to a person. Forget the people saying you should be courteous to everyone. I don't care about anyone but myself when it comes to winning.

And if you want a reason to trash talk, well some people might call it classless, but the CIA classifies it as Psychological Warfare. I think of it as a win condition rather than not being nice.

**And I didn't watch the second ISD draft when I wrote my first post, but you trying to sound upbeat is hilarious. I actually lol'd. I just think that at this point, with everyone knowing the cards and what you are doing, you should spend your time talking as much c**p as you want to the guy, and use his name. He would be honored to be mentioned on TV.

For you forcing to be upbeat, you get a 5 star rating for this.

Oh and the new Smirnoff Marshmallow Flavored Vodka is great. Your kid would also probably love the Whipped Cream flavored one. It's good to get them started early.

And I only comment because I love you. Muah.

Wow, have you ever heard of by andreFM at Fri, 12/23/2011 - 05:37
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Wow, have you ever heard of good sportsmanship?

You're probably being deliberately over the top and ironic here, but even still, I had to comment, as I think this type of attitude is completely worthless.

Alternate, you are so by greyes3 at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 18:03
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Alternate, you are so gangster.

It's not about being a by Alternate at Sat, 12/24/2011 - 16:22
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It's not about being a gangster, it's just about common sense.

If I go out of my way to say "GL bud" and they just right click, I think that is disrespect. But then again, this is a game of winning.

And does anyone really mean GL?

I played poker until they shut it down, and every time someone would have pockets and get's beat by nothing, they say NH, or Nice Hand. Do you mean it? No. You had pocket aces and a guy who had the Doyle Brunson (10-2 off-suit) and flopped 3 tens, you just lost to a retard. You aren't happy about it.

But be honest, when you say GL, do you mean it? I guess you never played sports did you.

I have played competitive sports my whole life, and when I was captain, you start with the handshakes and "Good Luck Man" and as soon as you go back to the team, you talk about fu**king them up. When the game is going on, you talk trash, you go out of your way to take players out (I did play Soccer, Football, Baseball, and Basketball), and you congratulate your players when they take out a member of the other team as soon after you go over to "check if he is ok".

It's a competition. What is this with "lets all be nice and sing Imagine by John Lennon".

You are spending money, you are playing someone for the right to gain from that money, I don't care whether or not someone else doesn't like me, I want to win and that's it.

Before and after the game it's ok to be nice, but during any game, it's all about winning.

Well there is being courteous by Paul Leicht at Sat, 12/24/2011 - 17:01
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Well there is being courteous and being an asshat. Hard to pull both off at the same time. I don't think you were very gangsta if that makes you feel any better. I thought you were being "real", for you. That doesn't mean I relate. I think even if you can't find it in your heart to wish your op luck so that the victory isn't cheapened by misfortune you can avoid saying that to your op.

After all it is no skin off your back to be nice (or to simply be not nasty) and someone whom you beat while being nice (or just not nasty) might just gain respect for you without thinking of you as an "asshat/jerkoff" etc.

Now I get what you mean about it being for money but that is business. Does business really mean more to you than being someone someone else might respect? Maybe so. You can't eat respect. On the other hand if you have respect people might just get your back when your chips are down. Imho that is priceless.

Either way I prefer a trash talking knuckle dragger to a dead mook any day if you know what I mean.

Why do you have to come on by Alternate at Sat, 12/24/2011 - 21:08
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Why do you have to come on here and be a voice of reason? If I wanted civility I would have called Al Sharpton, but no, you have to come on here with your logic and sense making, and surprising calmness.

DAMN YOU.

But I know that a lot of people that play sports don't understand the reason behind trash talking.

1) When you trash talk, you get someone angry. When they are angry, they play differently.

2) If a player isn't that good, trash talking can make you sound better and your noob-ish opponent might quit early.

Either way, if you can get under your opponents skin, you have already won a lot of games. This is true in all things people do, from Magic to Business.

After the game I have no problem, and will be really nice. But during games I don't want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I mean I'm a huge Mets fan and I have season tickets right by the dugout. Don't think I don't talk trash to the Mets players when they are playing like c**p. Now some people take it differently. I think one time I made Josh Thole sad when I quoted his numbers against lefties when he was going to face a left handed pitcher, while David Wright thought what I said about him wanting to strike out so the game would be over and he could bang anther model was funny and actually laughed. (I also said things to Jose Reyes, but I'm not sure if he Habla Espanol).

Oh and Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukkah/Hannukah/Channukah... Chanukah, and Exciting Kwanzaa to all.

Isn't trash talking mets by Paul Leicht at Sat, 12/24/2011 - 22:05
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Isn't trash talking mets players a meta-sport of the Game?

RE: Trash Talking. Yeah I get the idea, it's also called psychological warfare. (Also cf George Baxter, and Jedi Mind Tricks.) But though I am familiar with the techniques, I prefer not to be THAT guy.

I can't tell you how many guys used to sit there and try and out psyche me during blitz chess games in WSP and the Village chess shop but the thing is we weren't even playing for stakes really (fees at the shop might add up to $5-$10 max) so ...what's the point of that?

The thing is some guys can't stop doing it once they start. Just habit for them. For me it was a lesson in how not to act. And I noticed something else. Whenever I saw someone stop doing that and start actually playing the game they got a lot better.

I had a guy front on me when I told him to stop kibitzing in a money game between friends of mine and he got up in my face until he saw how I reacted. I wasn't being nasty but I just looked at him and took off my shades and he flinched and backed down.

Then he recognized me as someone he knew and calmed down a bit. Then he sat down in my friend's place and lost a whole lot of games (and $s) in a row. All because he was so into that psychological stuff he got himself rattled. Kibitzing isn't quite on the same level as trash talking to an opponent but when you are doing it like he was doing it, it is so clearly akin to that. I can tell you the same guy when in the right mind space is a darned good player.

And the guy he lost his money to is a local champ who always smiles and has a kind word and is concerned if someone is hurt, sick or upset. He also does not do give backs.

Now Blitz isn't at all like magic on the surface but there is something similar going on. The games are enough about decision trees that working that angle into your game is adding a layer of complexity that is imho unnecessary.

RE: My reasonableness, you should go back a few hundred articles and see some of my responses. I've mellowed a bit. I used to be a lot more confrontational.

RE: Holiday stuff, you too.

I truly respect both side of by country hillbilly at Sun, 12/25/2011 - 00:47
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I truly respect both side of the fence you guys are referring to. I often try to come across as nice because I have gotten many opponents who start matches saying they have read (or seen) my articles. It is humbling and I make sure I don't come across as an asshat so I do not instantly offend them or give them wrong ideas about who I am or what I represent.

OTOH, when I don't know the guy, and he slams money money Runner (2 mythics in a topdeck war or some such) - my human REACTION is to say something. Even if it is only to the camera and the viewers, it is my way to vent. I try not to be 'immature' but I am only human :(

(Crazy I am sitting here responding on XMAS EVE at 9:45 - DEDICATION!)

<3,

Z

Alternate is my hero. Hoff by walkerdog at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 18:29
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Alternate is my hero. Hoff want to lend me a deck for the classic event?

Yea hit me up Tyler by Clan Magic Eternal at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 18:46
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Yea hit me up Tyler

Thanks a lot! by silverwyvern4 at Thu, 12/22/2011 - 20:24
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Thanks a lot!

Thank YOU for checking out by country hillbilly at Fri, 12/23/2011 - 16:01
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Thank YOU for checking out the article man. Much appreciated!

village cannibals is one of by Drawingdead at Fri, 12/23/2011 - 15:01
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village cannibals is one of those cute cards that will trap you. 10% of the time its a superstar but the rest its just another grey ogre. the upside of the other cards in that pick was enough to push them over taking that risk tho again as i didn't watch the matches its hard to say how useful it was to you.

I don't remember EXACTLY how by country hillbilly at Fri, 12/23/2011 - 16:02
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I don't remember EXACTLY how well they were, I do remember this was the first time I realized the effect was now limited to my side of the table only!

thanks, It's fine man, I by A_New_Hope at Sat, 12/24/2011 - 17:49
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thanks, It's fine man, I shouldn't get annoyed anyway. I like your content and am glad you offer it up. Merry Kwanzhanamas.

The issue I was having was with you and others saying that I had said that ISD was high variance becaue of it's bombs. What I actually said is below but I'll summarize: ISD is far more luck based than normal for a limited set because of it's high variance interactions, such as t1 delver or reckless waif flip turn 2, combos that are only good with both enablers and enabled cards drawn and spoiler cards.

"Well you probably did plenty wrong but mostly it's just that this is one of the worst limited formats for getting an edge with skill.

At first glance the format looks really skill based with all of the interactions and synergy being more important than individual card power. Well it turns out that all that synergy winds up creating a lot of high power and high variance.

I recently drafted a deck with 3 invisible stalkers and 3 butcher's cleavers, the nuts right? (wasn't bad otherwise either), yet went 1-2. Why? I only drew one of each in 2 games the whole draft. If I had drawn them 6 times I probably would have won the draft. There are a number of fairly high power cards that are insanely disrupted by other cards in the format. Like stitched drake or makeshift mauler or skaab goliath, the flashback unsummon just wrecks these cards, but without some way to stop them can easily run you over very quickly. Draw your enablers and not your enabled cards and you often just lose and vice versa.

The transformers are also super annoying at increasing shuffler variance. If you draw a bad curve and they land reckless waif, another dude and follow up with brimstone volley its just game over much more than a bad curve drawn in other limited formats. There is also the butcher's cleaver and I've found spectral flight to be insane when they dont have an answer for it since it tuns anything into a hasted dragon.

It's a fun format, people will think theyre great deckbuilders with all the synergy theyre using but in the end the format is awful awful awful if you want to do well consistently. Bad players will ranch you all day long."

I know someone who saw the by Alternate at Sat, 12/24/2011 - 21:24
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I know someone who saw the code for the shuffler and he knows mucho mucho more than I do because he wasn't supposed to see it in the first place.

I might have said this before, but it doesn't hurt to repeat.

The shuffler is broken. The issue with it is the lack of variables. They use 1 variable per 40 card limited deck while they should be using 2 1/2 variables for the limited shuffler. There should be a variable for the initial deck, the land, and the sideboard cards. If you haven't noticed, when you sideboard a card in, you have an over 75% chance of drawing it in your opening hand. But if you screw with the mana base from your sideboard, you will either get flooded or screwed.

My friend told me it looked like it was coded by a 12 year old trying to read a C++ book.

And looking at all my matches and using a program that has charted out certain parameters, over 65% of limited games I have played are lost by me, or my opponent loses due to mana issues, and that is with a constant 17 mana per deck.

So when 65% of decks depend on winning and losing based on mana, there is much more than just "luck" in MTGO or ISD to be more precise. The same 65% applies to M12 drafts and SOM Block, while a move to 18 mana leads to a 75% chance of flooding, and 16 mana leads to a 25% chance of getting mana screwed.

Now this is just my games, but the heat chart doesn't lie, and if you have seen my drafts, and some of you have, you know I don't drat bad decks or mana-intensive decks.

I found out that the percentage of getting mana screwed of logged actually goes down 15% to 50% if you play a 2 color deck in ISD with Travelers Amulet, and goes down another 5% with Amulet and Grotto.

I think if you want to not have to deal with mana issues, which if 65% of games are determined by it, the only way, and this is what my charts and math say, is to play 2-3 Colors with Travelers Amulet and Shimmering "Playboy" Grotto.

I think people need to look at ISD decks as 19 cards pre-determined cards, (Amulet/Grotto/17 lands) and only getting to run 21 playables compared to 23 normally. Or you can just take a bet on whether or not you will screwed over by mana. Either way, I am playing Grotto's in 2 color decks to much success. When I need that second color, or a double of one color, I find it more available.

RE: Shuffler Your numbers by country hillbilly at Sun, 12/25/2011 - 00:56
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RE: Shuffler

Your numbers HAVE to be off. I have played an S-ton of limited and nothing has a %75 average - screw or non-screw.

I'm not just calling you out though, I'd love to see your data. This may make for an interesting thing to revisit!

Best,

Z

Thanks for coming back ANH by country hillbilly at Sun, 12/25/2011 - 00:51
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Thanks for coming back ANH (don't mind the acronym!)

Isn't that true for ANY format if you pick aggro? I understand the variations and synergies are different, but the ideas go cross-format. If you had a deck full of Welkin Tarns in ZZW limited you were probably going to win (not counting lucky marsh casualties) - but let's be real - that is aggro vs a slower deck. I have not been afraid of a Reckless Waif YET - so I think variance plays a large role too....

By the way, I am starting to really get over crying about power level in this format. Just the other night I got rid of a Liliana with an empty board and he had 3 crits in 2 turns. Tune into the first draft I post next week to see how (PRODUCT PLACEMENT!) hehe.

Thanks again for coming back bro.

Zach

There is aggro in any format by A_New_Hope at Sun, 12/25/2011 - 02:27
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There is aggro in any format but the aggro in this one is a bit higher variance, like usually delver is pretty mediocre, sometimes its awful and sometimes its so insane it does 15 damage on its own, waif isnt as high variance but it goes from 0-9 damage pretty often.

In any case its not so high variance in just the aggro its all the stuff put together. Hitting all your components has never payed off so well and missing them has rarely been as punishing. You don't just get manascrewed in Inn, you get Enabler screwed and enabled screwed + God-draw screwed out of nowhere from your opponent.

Also as I said before the format is one of the least bomb impacted anyway, there are few unbeatable bombs because they get overshadowed by the archetype decks. The busted Mill deck, the infinite loop spider spawning deck, the burning veangeance deck, the black red blaggro deck, green white pwn u, ect.

Everyone should be doing by A_New_Hope at Sun, 12/25/2011 - 02:29
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Everyone should be doing tempest block sealed atm anyway lol, I just doubled my money in my first one and I didn't even open that well, its swiss, go 2-1 and get all your packs back to play again, 3-0 and get 10 packs for your 6 + what you opened. Awesomeness.

I have paid for 2 Tempest by Alternate at Sun, 12/25/2011 - 22:02
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I have paid for 2 Tempest Sealed and played in 10.

But sadly, even though I have played guys who had 2 wastelands (1 Foiled), 2 guys with grindstones, 1 Meditation, Ensnaring Bridge, etc., and the most valuable card I have opened in what amounts to 60 packs in all, is a Lotus Petal and 1 Reflecting Pool.

And I have never gone 3-0, just 8 2-1's. Then I made the mistake of joining the 64 player Ravnica draft, but I have never played or seen the cards before, so I got knocked out in the first round.

But explain that. How can I not even get a single Wasteland?

Either way, I am more excited about the Saga drafts coming up. There are more money cards and I have wanted a Tolarian Academy since I stopped playing with them many moons ago. Also a Gaea's Cradle would be nice. But it seems like I can't open anything good.

Wasteland is a mythic by GainsBanding at Sun, 12/25/2011 - 23:46
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Wasteland is a mythic uncommon. True story.