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By: phe0bus, David B Strimple
Dec 01 2011 5:56am
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 I jumped into Innistrad with very little research when it came out.  That is how I imagine the average player approaches it.  As you can imagine, this led to a number of issues.  Card evaluation is always a lot more fluid at the beginning of a set, but this set gave me a problem that I hadn't had to face before.  I played Magic from Dark to Alliances, then took a nice long break.  I picked it back up at the end of Zendikar, beginning of Worldwake.  So, if there was ever a mechanic like flashback before Innistrad, I had not seen it.  In essence, the graveyard is now another hand of cards, that you play face up.  That took me the longest to get used to. 

After five tournaments I had told myself often enough all of the things that I was doing wrong, and set out to correct them.  I thought of this as phase one.  When I went into this tournament I was convinced that I was on to phase two.  Whatever that was, well, I didn't know, but I was convinced that I was a better player after five tournaments.  After the video, I'm fairly certain that it still belongs in phase one.

A NOTE ON THE VIDEOS:  I had one comment on my last article.  The videos are not entertaining without audio.  Unfortunately, audio isn't much of an option.  I don't have a space where I can go without interruption the vast majority of the time.  I tried it once, and the project had to be scratched by the third round.  The bad news is that it takes me forever to edit the videos.  I would guess about four hours of editing goes into every hour of playing.  The good news is that if you are really interested in the game play, you can sit through a 45 minute long match in about 15 minutes because I cut out all of the down time that I can.  Sometimes I wish I had my own audio as a reference.  I often look back at my decisions, and question what I was thinking at the time.  Sometimes I find that I had a clearer view of the strategy in the heat of the game, and sometimes I just find mistakes.  It is interesting, and I must admit that I do it for myself more than anything.  I mean, with all of the work that I put into it, I would have to love it to do it. 

Okay, enough babble.  Onto the ...



Is it funny how I tell you what I am going to pick, and then I make a different pick?  I could edit out my words, but I think a little honesty is better (and more entertaining). 

I got six Server the Bloodlines in my first eight drafts.  Not bad. 

Overall, I like how the draft came out.  I have enough Morbid to really make it work.  I also like the multiple Ambush Vipers.  Prey Upon with the Vipers and Boars should be fun.  I valued the Sleuths a bit much, and didn't value the Darkthicket Wolf enough to give it a mention.  But, the Sleuth does add to my morbid options, so they probably work better in this deck than most, again, with all of my Ambush Vipers and Prey Upon. 

Round 1

It was exhilarating to face Liliana and not care.  Loved it!

Round 2


Confession:  One time in each of the first two matches I passed up a win.  I saw them both in game right after damage was assigned.  If you have made it this far through the videos, you will have seen one of those plays.  The other was edited out to make the video come in under 15 minutes.  Those were crappy plays, and need to be corrected. 

Round 3, Game 1

Round 3, Game 2


It took me days before I could bring myself to watch this video.  I screwed up, and I had an inkling that it was a lot worse than I knew.  I was right in that assumption.  Another little snafu that took me forever to correct had to do with the art on cards like Geist Honored Monk and Morkut Banshee.  They look like they can fly so I think they have flying.  Even though there were times in the video where I obviously knew this, I'm not so sure that this misconception didn't play a part.  I should have been using my other creatures to block the Monk like the Manor Skeleton, not the vampire tokens.  I was in a race that I knew I could lose, and I made the plays to lose it, not win it.  I was pretty much on cruise control, having just won five straight games, and feeling like I would win my sixth.  When the horrible play began, I was so distracted by the movement of the equipment that I could not focus on the play at all.  I had the time.  I should have thought it all through.  The lesson there is to take my time.

Round 3, Game 3

When it was all over, I wasn't that upset.  I figured I would look back at the videos and learn a lot.  But then I started thinking... did I even consider Sever the Bloodline in the graveyard?  At times there was evidence that I did, but I doubt it was always in my mind.  I decided then and there that I was not going to forget another graveyard play.  I'm pretty sure that I have made good on that promise.  I often play with the graveyards displayed, and that has helped a lot.  This was my last tournament in phase one.  I really did improve afterwards.  Well... at least a little bit.



I don't mind no audio by Qarlo at Thu, 12/01/2011 - 16:37
Qarlo's picture

I like the way you do your drafts with the concise editing and the informational pop-ups. One question, was this draft an 8-4 or another type?

Bad luck on the misplay, I'm still in phase one myself.


Swiss by phe0bus at Thu, 12/01/2011 - 21:15
phe0bus's picture

I always start out in Swiss. I've been playing 4-3-2-2's this week, and actually finding the Swiss more challenging.

HI, Nice videos. I do miss by tdoggy1 at Tue, 12/06/2011 - 05:22
tdoggy1's picture

Nice videos. I do miss the audio, but thanks for posting what you can and nice editing indeed.
Maybe the swiss are better players than 4322 as they actually have a better payout?