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By: MirrorMage, Daniel Corradi
Mar 08 2008 1:15am
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Howdy readers. We need to talk.

We may have a problem on our hands.

You see, I may have set the bar a bit too high. There is no way in heck I'll be able to outdo last week's article. I could always try, so I went to the pub, had a pint of non-American, non-English beer and made a list of possible articles of similar or equal levels of greatness:

1) I could pick up a girl on Magic Online using nothing but pick-up lines from card flavour text. "Hey baby you need to relax, just reach out and torch someone."1

2) I could drink twenty-six cups of coffee and pretend to be Kenji Tsmura, continuously quoting Avril Lavinge songs. "Hey, hey, you, you...."

3) Jail. I could go to Jail, and create a new and better Magic Online clan from nothing but ex-cons.

Or I could just douse your expectations. I might do that instead. Ready? There. Done. This week we'll cover my failures and successes in a couple of leagues, and my plans for Morningtide. So, without further ado, the "not-as-exciting-as last-week's-article" article:

Econometrics test. I had an econometrics test last Thursday.

I recieved a flurry of private messages on Magic Online last Tuesday. A few Coldsnap league regulars asked "Hey, are you going to join the Coldsnap league this week?" (They all seem to like me ever since I made this thread). Shortly after, a few clan mates asked me if I was going to play in the newly spawned Masters Edition league.

Faced with the decision of whether or not to join a league and an impending test which I was nowhere near ready for, any rational or responsible individual would politely decline, studied for the test, and then maybe, just maybe, joined one of the leagues.

I joined both. That same night.

I am an idiot. Self-control. I really need some self-control. Remind me never to take up smoking.

Though, I ended up doing better in the leagues than I did on the test.2 That's not to say the leagues distracted me, it might have taken a couple of hours when I play tested builds and combed my pool, but for the most part I was in the library studying until my brain became a little pile of mush.

Here's the MED pool:

Well, this is without a doubt an improvement on last's week pool. No Rabid Wombat. Thank god. The shiny Wall of Air made me cringe though.3

Blue is mostly unplayable, which is a shame since I opened a Persuasion. Green is better this week with Hunted Wumpus, Singing Tree and Wyluli Wolf, but I really don't want to play green- it's brought me nothing but woe in this format. Red has forsaken me again. Now...

Rant: Why must I always open multiple 1/1 Goblins?!! Why can't they be multiple Lightning Bolts instead? Why must life be so unfair? Whine! Whine! Whine! Whine! Cheese. Okay, I've let it out. (*Sigh* I'm going to go get some emotional closure with vanilla ice-cream and a James Blunt CD.)

Moving on, I will most likely splash for Incinerate and Dwarven Catapult. Walking Wall, Phyrexian War Beast, Dragon Engine, and Ashnod's Transmogrant will make my main deck regardless of my colours.

That leaves white and black, and between them they have six removal spells (Well, if you count Paralyze as removal). There are not enough white creatures to make Crusade playable, which is a shame. I'm close to the card personally and it might have been fun to try. Khabal Ghoul and Hyalopterous Lemure are both solid creatures and Divine Transformation can easily seal the game on turn four if my opponent can't find an answer. After testing in solitaire for a few hours, I finally settled on this build:

Eight removal spells. Yes, count them- EIGHT!

I decided not to splash for Fissure and ran sixteen lands, main-decking every black card in the pool, with the exception of Breeding Pit. For those who can't tell, it's an aggro build. Still, I wish I opened a Juzam Djinn. Actually, scratch that- Juzam Djinn. I wish I opened a Force of Will. Yeah... that would have made the deck perfect.

This build has some mana problems. Consider this opening hand: Plains, Order of Leitbur, Mountain, Order of the Ebon Hand, Swamp, Paralyze, and Ghost Warden. It's not a bad hand, but considering this is an aggro build, the loss of one or two turns to my mana base might well cost me the match.

It also lacked bigger creatures. On the flip side, the creatures I do have can't be targetted by most removal (Though they are highly vulnerable to an opponent playing red as his main colour.) I've had games finish where with an opponent revealing a Terror or Feast or Famine useless in hand.

In the end- I was happy. Actually, I was more than happy- I was ecstatic. This deck was much better than last week's failure. Unlike last week, this deck managed to win games, and unlike last week's, it was actually fun to play.

It's very satisfying to swing a Dross Crocodile for the win. Ahh, the little crocodile that could.

So, how did the deck fare? It finished a remarkable 3-2.

One match loss went to a 5-0 shark ramping up tiebreaker points. (They really need to change how individuals are paired in leagues.) The other was to a deck that devastated me with Smash and Afflict. Ces't la vie. So, can I say it?

I have redeemed myself in Masters Edition. Hell yes.

Now, on to Coldsnap:

It was more of a challenge to make a build out of this Coldsnap pool. As a rule of thumb, you always try to play Green, even if you've opened complete junk. Red-Green if you can, but Green as a main colour is absolutely essential. Ronom Hulk eats the rest of this set for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a midnight snack.

My red was too shallow to be playable, it had double Martyr of Ashes and Thermopod, but no removal (Thanks a lot league pool gods) and no snow lands to back it up. Green was decent, Resize is one of the best uncommons you can open, but aside from a single Ronom Hulk, Simian Brawler, and two Sound the Calls, it lacked creatures. (Note: This league continues the trend of me opening none or one Aurochs Herd.)

I pondered over black for a bit, but once again- without snow lands, there wasn't much I could do. You see, playing a deck without snow lands would make me feel like I was in a Celine Dion concert: horribly uncomfortable, but strangely aroused as if I had a chance, but in reality I had no chance. Okay, maybe that analogy was horrible, but the point is without snow lands, you can't activiate the abilities for virtually half your cards and you miss out on a world of card synergy.

The colours were I did have snow lands weren't consistent, but powerful. Blue had a bomb, Vexing Sphinx, and two Krovikan Whispers, and white had another bomb Sunscour and Boreal Griffin. I decided my cards were too weak to make a deck based on consistency, so if I was going to win, it was going to be on the back of raw power. I had to become Mr. Bombastic. Plus, if I played white, I could play Juniper Order Ranger as well. I settled on this White/Blue/Green build:

I was lucky with my pairings.

Well, luck was part of the equation. This wasn't a bad deck, it's was a frustrating deck. Like an old Super Nintendo where you kept blowing into the cartridge holder to get it to work, and you always had to try a few times before it actually did. When this deck finally worked- boy did the good times roll. Sunscour into Juniper Order Ranger? Ouch! That's gotta hurt.

I finished a respectable 3-2, which was a lot better than I expected to finish.

All counting matches for both leagues were played on the same day, all ten of them. Since I work weekends, Friday night was virtually the only night I cold possibly play these matches without fear of being paired against sharks. So I'm pretty sure I threw a couple of games to tiredness. For those of you new to league, try to play all your counting matches the night the league fires, else you risk being paired with someone trying to secure his standing in the top eight.

Okay, enough about leagues. Now it's time for Morningtide.

Well, after waiting a mere forty-eight days since its offline release, Morningtide finally comes online. I've never played in an online pre-release before. Partially due to budget constraints, but mostly because I wasn't a competitive player.

This time I've set aside a cool $100 for triple Morningtide drafts and will give an update on how those go next week. But for now, I'm excited about what the release of Morningtide means for my GW Kithkin Aggro Deck. (Also known as the "Little Green-White Deck That Couldn't." Yes, someone actually plays it. Kithkin pride!).

It will wreck the biggest deck in the metagame: Green/Black Elves. Imagine this:

Turn 4: You play Chameleon Colossus

Turn 4: Your opponent plays Chameleon Colossus

Tun 5: You play Tivadar of Thorn. Oh snap! Oh no you didn't? Yes you did!

That's right; Colossus is going to give GW Kithkin Aggro a HUGE boost in the metagame. White can pack answers to Colossus that most decks simply can't in the form of Temporal Isolation and Tivadar of Thorn.

Or... like most of my experiments, it will be a complete failure. Oh well, if that's the case you'll find me making the jump to Mono White Kithkin Aggro.

On an ending note, I've decided that I will not play any of my games for this article on the account "MirrorMage" anymore. Instead, I've taken the same route as such pretentious writers as "Into the Aether" and opted to create an account in my article's name- "Gonna Fly Now" (The capitals will be fixed next downtime).

In pure Rocky hommage, I shelled out the tickets for a Rumbling Slum avatar. Expect to see this name in a variety of Premiere Events (Standard, Extended, Tribal), leagues, and drafts. Sometimes in last place. Okay, most times in last place. Just make sure to watch the replays for a quick laugh.

Until next week companheiros!

Token Rocky Quote: "Do other fighters pound raw meat?" - Reporter. "No I think I invented it." - Rocky

Song of the Week:  Men at Work - Down Under

This Week's League MVP: Sunscour

Number of Times “Jon Finkel appeared in this article: 0

1) Who can name the card?

 2) I know this for fact. My proffesor went through each and every single question as soon as the exam finished. So I sat there going "Damn, damn, damn, oh-thank god I got that one, wait no- I forgot to add one little squiggly line to end of my three-line equation, Damn." That's okay though, you can live of playing Magic right? Hahaha.... oh god.

3) The foil Ivory Tower is worth a bit of money. A word of advice, if you open any MED foils for sought after cards, make sure you research what they're worth. Don't be quick to auction them or unload them. MED foils are extremely rare and dealers don't have most in stock. With a little bit of patience, you can sell them quite high.

4) You just have to love some of the plays in Masters Edition:

3:54 koen_knx plays Jokulhaups134218965,533:.
3:55 MirrorMage cries like a little girl1312423342



by MirrorMage at Mon, 03/10/2008 - 04:12
MirrorMage's picture

You know, you're right! I think that's a great idea, I should set my expectations high. Thanks for the support.

As for Wall of Swords, in hindsight that may have been a better idea. I used it mostly in my sideboard, whenever I faced a match up who tried to build a deck around flying. It never occured to me that a straight W/B build might have been the way to go. *Doh*  

by Tarmotog at Sun, 03/09/2008 - 22:33
Tarmotog's picture

I enjoy reading ur articles except for the part where u start beating urself up by expecting urself not to do well. U're  a guy who can take a big step into things so dun start pulling urself down.
Start declaring that u'll be at the top of multiple PEs just like how u declared to be Jon Finkel =) Even if you don't pull it off in the near future, ur time will definitely come and I'm sure all of ur audience will enjoy seeing u at the top (with ur crazy way of showing it). (and I'll bet that u have that moment visualized in ur mind now.. )

Keep up the great works!

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sun, 03/09/2008 - 11:00
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how did you not play wall of swords? It is quite possibly one of your best uncommons in the entire pool.  And splashing red does nothing but cause early disruptions in ur mana base with WW and BB 2 drops.  You should have stayed 2 colors and definitely have played wall of swords because it is rediculous. 

Thanks! by MirrorMage at Sat, 03/08/2008 - 11:38
MirrorMage's picture

Thanks for the kind words. It's always fun to write these articles up and it's great to hear that people actually enjoy them.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 03/08/2008 - 04:31
Anonymous (Unregistered)'s picture

You are extremely entertaining to read.  Most people who attempt "Humor articles" end up sounding ridiculous or extremely juvenile, but you're pulling it off. 

Keep up the good work. 

by SypherSun (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 03/08/2008 - 05:50
SypherSun (Unregistered)'s picture

I agree, these articles are a great and funny read!

It would be nice to play the by wannareset1990 at Tue, 07/11/2017 - 07:46
wannareset1990's picture

It would be nice to play the game. It has something to do with experience. - HomeLife Warranty Protection