Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 7:34 PM
Hello everyone! Welcome to another chapter in my Magic: The Gathering playing life! Today, I'm blogging about my recent experience at StarCityGames.com Open Series: Atlanta. This was a weekend of pure MTG bliss, and I'm happy to say I managed to survive a Standard Open, a Draft Open, and a very fun side draft. These Open Series events are held almost every weekend across the US, and for more information, be sure to check out the StarCityGames.com website.
My very first Open Series event was back in May in Orlando, and it was a complete blast! I was very excited about hitting up another one in the future, and when I found out Atlanta was having one... I jumped on the chance to go! If you have an Open Series event near where you live, I strongly suggest going. Large tournaments are a great place to meet people, learn A LOT about MTG, and to have a good time. These tournaments might seem a bit daunting at first, but the people are generally super friendly and just as excited as you are to sling some spells.
Compared to my trip to GP Dallas, the trip to Atlanta was rather short. It was a simple 6 hour drive (Still painful, trust me!) but it was also pretty fun. There is something epic about sitting in a car with a bunch of friends, getting pumped up for a weekend of MTG. This was also a great time to decide what formats I wanted to play in, and what decks I wanted to use! The week before the event, I had a pretty epic cold, and I was unable to get any playtesting in. I was rather nervous about participating in the Standard Open, and I was soon trying to force one of my friends (Shoutouts to Eric, Brandon, and Chris B!) into playing in the 2-Headed Giant Sealed event (One of the nice things about the StarCityGames.Com Open Series is the large array of side events: Drafts, Standard Win-a-Boxes, etc. Something for everyone!). Even though some of them seem interested, they decided to only participate with me if they scrubbed out. I didn't want to waste my morning while everyone was in the Standard Open, so I ended up just going with the flow.
The drive was pretty uneventful (but super fun), and I soon found myself digging the idea of playing Mountains all weekend! Red Deck Wins ended up being chosen deck, and I couldn't have been happier with the choice! Here is the list I ended up running:
4x Scalding Tarn 4x Arid Mesa 4x Teetering Peaks 11x Mountain
3x Hero of Oxid Ridge 3x Chandra's Phoenix 4x Ember Hauler 4x Goblin Guide 4x Grim Lavamancer
4x Searing Blaze 4x Lightning Bolt 4x Burst Lightning 4x Forked Bolt 3x Shrine of Burning Rage
3x Dismember 3x Manic Vandal 2x Combust 2x Mark of Mutiny 1x Act of Aggression 4x Vulshok Refugee
A little MTG Interuption and Side Nom Photos:
Whenever I go to a tournament, I always try to find some sort of awesome place to eat. Everyone was telling me about this amazing place called The Vortex in Atlanta, and lemme tell you... IF YOU LIKE BURGERS, OH MY GOSH... SO GOOD! It was the best way to start the weekend off, and man... it really set the mood! There was a wide array of burger choices, including some that contained ingrediants like bananas, peanut butter, and a lot of other strange toppings. I went with a much safer choice, and went with the guacamole burger. YUM!
Back to MTG and Tournament Day Extravaganza!
I'm a morning person. I can also be the bane of existence for anyone that I room with, especially non morning folk. For some reason, as soon as that alarm goes off, I'm absolutely bouncing off the walls - super excited to start the day. It's even worse when I'm at a gaming convention, or at a tournament (ADRENALINE). I don't think my roommates were prepared for such spirits that early in the morning. We somehow managed to squeeze 6 people in one hotel room, and air mattresses reigned supreme! I'll just say that a no hyper rule was soon set.
Registration started at 9AM, and I was awake my 6AM. I feel that it's very important to -wake- up before a tournament, and I believe breakfast is integral to that! After getting ready, I went and purchased a large number of snacks for the day. I was even more excited about my deck choice because matches went by pretty quickly. I had more then enough time to snack between rounds, when normally I don't eat for the whole day (I love food too! ). The hotel was also a nice short walk to the convention center, and I was soon registered for the tournament.
If you haven't been to a large tournament like this before, they start the day off with a Player's Meeting. This is the time when you can do a very last minute deck check, and maybe check out some of your possible competition! This is also when Judge's gather up your decklists! (Please be sure to check deck lists a couple times before this point, haha. If you get randomly deck checked before a match, nothing is more embarrassing then taking a loss because of a typo!)
I'm not going to go into specifics about each round, but I'll just say I managed to play against Caw Blade 5 times! I will be forever thankful to the Hero of Oxid Ridge, who did some complete work this weekend. YOU ARE MY HERO! I think overall, I went 2-1, 2-0, 2-0, 2-1, and 0-2 vs. the Caw! Two of my Caw experiences were against pretty notable players, and I was definitely stressed before those matches. I managed to win against one of those players... then get completely smashed by the other, haha. There was a total of 10 rounds, and trust me... It gets really tiring after 6-7! (I played the mirror twice (Nice meeting you, Kenny!), a UB deck being played by a super awesome guy, a GW infect deck, and I'm completely blanking on the final deck! There was a decent amount of variety.)
Learning Stuff: I think one of the hardest lessons I've learned this weekend is that it shouldn't matter who you're playing against! It can be a bit difficult to stifle that small scream of horror when you realize you're going up a very notable player, but the important thing is WINNING. Your mind should only be on the game, the cards on the battlefield, and the cards in your hand. And... I guess the cards in your opponents hand, ha! Don't let whoever your opponent might be tilt you. Pros lose games too!
FEATURE MATCH OF PAIN AND DESPAIR!
I don't think there is any other way to title this part of the blog! I've been to my share of tournaments, but I haven't done well enough to be featured. My round 1 matches were very fun, but I was still really nervous about playing the deck. I managed to squeak out a win, and I was pretty jubilant... My world soon came crashing down when the loudspeaker announced the last thing I was expecting to hear...
"Michelle Roberson to the Jace table!"
(This is what the feature match area looked like! This is Todd Anderson vs. Charles Gindy)
StarCityGames.com has some amazing coverage, and they also stream a match during every tournament round... I was one of the lucky people chosen to experience this. As I was walking through the rows of people playing, I managed to see a couple of friends on this journey. They knew I was pretty horrified, and I think they found it difficult to stifle laughs as I walked by.
This is when stuff got sassy!
I sat down to my opponent (Wesley Wise), who seemed like he's had the experience before. I managed to babble some incoherent mess about being nervous, and having this be my first feature match. He was extremely polite, and I was thankful he was so nice! I don't consider myself the type of person that gets super nervous being in front of cameras... but when it comes to me playing, I get nervous.
(You put a lot of yourself in a game of MTG, especially when it's a competitive match. I don't want to make mistakes, and even though I shouldn't care if people are judging me about how I play... I still care. I didn't have much playtesting, and I was really worried I was going to let people down with my playing. I still feel a bit embarrassed about how I did during the match, but I'm a hardcore perfectionist. Also, as a female player... I feel there is this unnecessary pressure to do really well, or I'm going to let down the whole female playing MTG population. I feel that some people automatically assume that because I'm a female, I'm going to be terrible/bad/theworst at MTG. This is something I want to change, and after this experience... I want to make sure this doesn't happen again!)
Game 1: I was nervous... I'm not denying that. When I'm nervous, I have a tendency to giggle uncontrollable, and non-stop talk. It's not something I'm proud of! Because of this... I somehow managed to start choking uncontrollably on my saliva. This was not going the way I wanted. I'll just say that this might or might not have insta put me on tilt. Nothing like coughing uncontrollably on camera! I kept a sketchy hand, and I regretted it once I started topdecking nothing but spells. As soon as he played that mountain, and that lone Goblin Guide... I knew I was in trouble! I kept a hand that was the type to be super explosive if I would have topdecked another land. I was extremely greedy, and I got punished for it. The game was over rather quickly.
Game 2: Sideboarding, eh? OH NO, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO SIDEBOARD IN OR OUT! Yep.. That basically explains this match, haha. I can't stress how important it is to playtest. PLEASE PLAYTEST! I will never make this mistake again! Even though I was sick, I really regret not testing. This game was pretty similar to game 1, and it was over pretty quick. I started the game off with pretty decent hand, but Wes managed to draw into a majority of his sideboard. Thank you Wes, for making the killing blows swift!
(This is almost like having your name in lights... right?!)
Learning Stuff x2: This was another tough learning experience for me. It's so important to be relaxed (I guess this is similar to lesson 1!). Try not to concentrate on the stuff going on around you! I should have been shouting to myself... "MICHELLE CONCENTRATE ON THE GAME, NOT THE STUFF GOING ON AROUND YOU!" There are no excuses I can use about my performance in this feature match, I can only learn from this experience. Next time will go better!
This is one of my favorite things about Magic: The Gathering. With playtesting and experience, you'll notice things you've done in the past, and you're given the opportunity to not make the same mistakes!
End of the Day... Recap recap recap!
After this feature match, I was pretty tilted. I couldn't stop blushing from the embarrassment, and I was extremely driven to do better in my next rounds! Oh.. and trust me... I believe I did! My final score for the day was 6-3-1, and that has been my best overall result at a large tournament. There was over 600 participants in the Standard Open, and I managed to place an overall 71st! I'm not content by any means, and I have already been planning on how to improve my game. I really think I could have done a lot better with playtesting, and after going to this tournament... I CAN'T WAIT TO GO TO MORE! There are a couple more StarCityGames.com Opens in the next year, and I'm sure I'll see you there.
(I also participated in a Draft Open, and I'll be saving that story for another blog! I know this one has already gotten a bit long, but the Draft Open experience deserves its own space! I'll also give you some more stories about some of the people I got to hang out with, information about some of the epic card alterers there, and some more info on what I learned! Hopefully, I'll be able to entice you into going to a major event like this in the future!)
Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 10:19 PM
Why hello there! Oh... how I've missed you, my lovely MTG themed blog! I'm sorry for the lack of posting, but it's been a semi hectic couple of weeks. I've had the chance to travel to San Diego Comic Con, and I also got to go to PAX Prime in Seattle! I know it's not the best excuse, but I've really missed you all! I plan on writing a lot more, and I have a ton of content coming... I PROMISE! Today I will be mostly writing about my recent experience at PAX Prime, and I can't wait to brag.. err... share with you all the awesome things I've seen this past weekend!
If you already didn't know, I currently reside in North Florida (really far from Seattle, trust me)! I just started going back to school (much to my dismay) and classes started last week. It also happened to be the same week I was going to be away for PAX Prime! I got to start my week by pretty much begging my professors to not drop me from classes! I wanted them to let me enjoy my weekend of nerdism without worry. It all worked out, and I was soon on a plane to Seattle! Most of my flight was spent playing Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, and trying not to pass out on the person next to me. I've always found it awkward when someone I didn't know falls asleep on me... (I'll get back to that later in my pt 2. of this blog, ha)!
Where was I?!
PAX Prime was a working event for me, and I was given the opportunity to spend some more quality time working my butt off for the Frag Dolls and Ubisoft. It's always a pretty fun experience, and this time was no different! If you were at PAX, you could find me demoing Rayman Origins, and lurking the MTGO gaming area!
Another awesome area that I tended to creepily lurk was the Card Kingdom booth. While I was there, I managed to win a CK shirt after playing an intense round of MTG against @agstrauss. I also managed to get my hands on a really awesome custom playmat featuring the art of Joe Vollan, Anson Maddocks, and Mark Tedin! Oh... and some cool tokens too! Thanks for taking care of me, Card Kingdom and Dan! :D
Almost to the juicy stuff!
One of the major highlights of the weekend was the Innistrad Party! After going to the Scars of Mirrodin party last year at PAX, I was extremely excited about this party! I'm happy to say that it extremely surpassed all of my expectations, and I was completely blown away. This party really made PAX special for me, and I was very excited to find out that I was invited.
I've been very interested in Innistrad ever since they showed the art of Liliana Vess lounging on her throne, sitting seductively... as a man seems to wither away on the ground next to her. The look on her face is perfect, secrets secrets! Everything I want in life, clearly! I'm a huge fan of anything horror genre related, and this set is very very very tempting, yummy, want want want! I was extremely giddy about any info I could get on Innistrad, and I couldn't wait to get out of work on Saturday to make my way over to the party.
With the party starting at 6PM, and the expo hall closing at 6PM... I pretty much made a mad dash with my MTG cohort Jamie back to the hotel. We quickly changed into our party dresses, and hopped into a cab. In my rush, I completely forgot my camera, but Jamie (thankfully) managed to snap some shots (I'll be posting them soon, sorry!). One of the first things that you noticed about the party was the HUGE LINE OF PEOPLE WAITING TO GET IN... this line also went down a very steep hill. I was dressed for partying, and with that... comes great difficulty walking with high heels. I managed to gracefully stumble (not fall, ahem) in front of the large line and my friend Rob managed to rescue me! He escorted me down the hill, and I managed to not eat any gravel. THANK YOU ROB!
Jamie and I stood in line, and we were finally rewarded with our badge! This one will hang out next to my MTGO Community Cup badge. I don't normally keep my event badges, but these two have a very special place in my heart.
Oh my, excite!
The entrance was lined with vibrant red roses, and as you walked up the stairs... the roses faded away into dying, cadaverous versions of what once was. It was a great way to enter the party, and we were soon surrounded by hard hitting beats, delicious food and drink (mini grilled cheese sandwiches!), and MTG fans everywhere! People were dancing (some not so well) and we quickly went around and tried to find people we knew! It was awesome walking around the party floor, because there was oversized versions of cards coming out in Innistrad! One completely stuck out to me, and I really can't wait to get my hands on Olivia Voldaren!
The center of the room also included 3 gigantic cards from Innistrad! I'm sure you've read the news about them, but I'll link you just in case! After Jamie and I found a comfortable seat at the party, we were soon rushed to our feet to witness an overwhelmingly awesome video featuring a little bit of everything you could ever want. I don't want to give anything away... but I'll just say - HOLY MY GARRUK WOW UGH LILIANA AWESOME! It was literally one of the coolest things I've ever seen, and I can still remember the feeling of the crowd as they realized what they just saw. As soon as the video ended, the three cards in the center of the room rotated - Transformation!
I'm extremely excited about this mechanic, and at one point... a bunch of us were sitting down at some tables, and Mark Rosewater himself comes over and asks us what we think. I'm sure I babbled something completely nonsensical, but man... I can't even express to you how awesome the party was! I also can't wait to see how Innistrad affects the game, and prerelease events can't come soon enough!
One of the major highlights of the party was hanging out and meeting some really awesome people. I got the chance to hang out with my fellow Community Cup teammate, and overall super awesome person Marshall from the Limited Resources podcast! I also got to see another one of my CC teammates... Graham from Loading Ready Run. The rest of the Loading Ready Run crew was there as well (All super awesome people)! Shoutouts also to: Daniel Tack, Zac Hill (Who I only run into when going in the opposite direction!), Jon Rosebaugh, Nightelyn (Who had the cutest dress ever!), Michael Robles, MTG Color Pie, and a TON OF OTHER PEOPLE! I need a whole other blog post to write down all the thank yous, and awesome meeting yous!
Also... I FINALLY HAD THE CHANCE TO MEET PATRICK JARRETT! I won't go into detail, but I'm pretty sure I squealed pretty loud, haha. We both actually live in the same state, have gone to a couple events together, but I guess it takes a trip to Seattle, and a gigantic party for us to meet!
Oh.. P.S! I totally fangirled over finally getting to meet Brian David-Marshall at the Innistrad party! I also got the chance to draft with him on Sunday night, but I'll save those details for PT. 2! :D All you need to know was that it was triple Rise of Eldrazi... 0_o
(PT. 2 will include stories from Karaoke on Thursday night with a lot of very interesting and amazing folk, drafting on Sunday with some more awesome folk... and maybe a couple awkward and embarrasing stories!)
Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 6:00 AM
Hey everyone! Sorry for the slight delay in my posting.. it's definitely been a hectic couple of weeks. I know I still owe you a Community Cup post, and I'm still working on that... In order to bring you some reading enjoyment, I thought I would write up a little tournament report about my recent experience at a midnight M12 Prerelease.
And yes, you read that right.. it was a midnight prerelease! I ended up taking a nap right before the event, because from past experiences.. we normally didn't get out of there till 6-7-8AM. I was sad about missing FNM, but I really wanted to be on my game for some new M12 action. I've always been a fan of core sets, and I rather enjoy limited play. The format was sealed, and I really couldn't wait to crack open some packs! I managed to make it in time to watch the rest of FNM, and I was really excited about the variations in decks. Once we were all seated, I was pretty happy to find out that I was sitting next to a couple good friends of mine.. and it was very nice to see what they opened as well. I think one of my favorite parts of prereleases is the fact that it is a little bit more laid back. Usually.. I see a lot of new players, older players, and it's normally just a great mix! If you're new to MtG, I strongly suggest going to prereleases, and even release events. People still really want to win, but players seem a bit more excited about having a great time.
Here is the pool of cards I opened.. Organized by color! :D
1x Pride Guardian 3x Auramancer 1x Demystify 1x Stave Off 1x Elite Vanguard 1x Armored Warhorse 1x Lifelink 3x Griffan Sentinel 1x Divine Favor 1x Guardians' Pledge 1x Pacifism 1x Day of Judgement
2x Brink of Disaster 1x Taste of Blood 1x Tormented Soul 1x Blood Seeker 1x Royal Assassin 1x Diablic Tutor 2x Doom Blade 1x Grave Digger 1x Dark Favor 1x Warpath Ghoul 1x Child of Night 1x Sorin's Vengeance
1x Jace's Erasure 1x Flashfreeze 1x Unsummon 1x Aven Fleetwing 2x Divination 1x Skywinder Drake 1x Sphinx of Uthuun 1x Merfolk Mesmerist 1x Phantasmal Bear 1x Cancel 1x Mana Leak 1x Amphin Cutthroat 1x Merfolk Looter 1x Mind Control
1x Skinshifter 1x Lurking Crocodile 1x Carnage Wurm 2x Reclaim 1x Plummet 1x Lure 1x Hunter's Insight 2x Vastwood Gorger 2x Gladecover Scout 1x Rampant Growth 1x Acidic Slime 1x Trollhide 1x Cudgel Troll 1x Sacred Wolf
3x Chandra's Outrage 1x Incinerate 1x Shock 1x Manic Vandal 1x Wall of Torches 1x Tectonic Rift 1x Goblin War Paint 1x Goblin Piker 1x Volcanic Dragon 1x Fireball
1x Quicksilver Amulet 1x Dragon's Claw 1x Wurm Tooth 1x Thran Golem 1x Crumbling Colossus 1x Crown of Empires 2x Manalith
So before you continue reading.. what would you use to make your sealed deck? I thought I had a decent spread of good cards in each colors, but two really stood out to me. I was really excited about the 2 Doomblades, and the Mind Control. I always try to draft removal.. so I instantly wanted the Doomblades. I know the set also has some crazy bombs, so I thought... MINDCONTROL YES! Other cards that stood out to me in UB were: Show and Tell Sphinx!! (Sphinx of Uthuun), 2x Divination (Card draw always good!), Royal Assassin (More removal), and Sorin's Vengeance (10 life, eh?)! Green also really looked appealing to me, especially all the Hexproof creatures. I actually have a tendency to draft or make really strong beats decks, so I decided on trying something new. I'm happy to say that it was a good choice! Here is the deck I ended up using:
1x Crown of Empires
1x Amphin Cutthroat
1x Mana leak
1x Phantasmal Bear
1x Merfolk Looter
1x Sphinx of Uthuun
1x Mind Control (Does Work, BTW)
1x Skywinder Drake
1x Aven Fleetwing
1x Merfolk Mesmerist
1x Diabloic Tutor
1x Sorin’s Vengeance
2x Doom Blade
1x Child of Night
1x Dark Favor
1x Warpath Ghoul
1x Royal Assassin
1x Grave Digger
I ended up with a lovely 5-1-1.. and it was an overall blast! I think I actually had one of my best games of MtG also! I was playing against a very strong RUG deck, and I was down to 3 life. I was totally expecting a Fireball to the face, but I managed to get a pretty fun combo down (Royal Assassin + Crown of Empires)! I managed to wipe out his board, and finished with a couple flyers. I have a tendency to scoop when I feel like I have no chance of winning, but topdecking Crown of Empires definitely saved my butt! I think I really have MTGO to thank for this as well. Lately, I've been really striving to finish games completely, and try to figure out what options I have.. even when it seems like I'm losing. Be sure to play out games completely! I feel that MTGO really takes the pressure of having someone stare at you when you're taking a little longer on a turn. It has a timer, but having someone stare at you, and getting frustrated can be annoying, haha. You'd be really surprised at what you can do, and how you can win games.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 2:52 AM
Hello everyone, long time no blog! I apologize for the delay, but it's been a semi hectic couple of weeks! Basically.. I had 2 finals, 2-3 speeches in class, a lack of normal sleep, and the opportunity to visit the Willy Wonka Factory of Magic the Gathering! If you've read a couple of my other blogs, I was spamming the fact that I was one of the few chosen to go represent the community at the MTGO Community Cup in Renton, Washington. The event was held at WotC headquarters, and I got the chance to meet a lot of people that I respect and hope to emulate one day. I'll forever cherish the memories from this event, and I can't say thank you enough to WotC for the opportunity!
Day 1 + Some of Day 2!
Night before flight:
I'm not going to lie to you guys, but I'm absolutely terrible at packing. Did I really need 5 pairs of shoes for a couple days? Probably not.. did I end up wearing a majority of them? Nope! Did I feel absolutely over-prepared with the mass amount of extra crap that I brought? YES! (BTW: It's totally freezing in WA, and I loved having the extra clothes as well!) So, I ended up getting dropped off at the airport about 4 hours before my flight. It was the only ride that I had available at 6AM, so I ended up watching a ton of South Park and eating junk food. It was actually a really nice relaxing way to spend my morning, and I was soon on my flight! The flight was also pretty uneventful, and I found myself napping most of the way. When I ended up at the airport, I was soon whisked away by the ever so awesome Chris Kiritz (WotC_K) to the hotel where we were all staying! This is where I ended up meeting a lot of my teammates!
((A little sideline story.. but before my trip I was a little nervous about meeting my teammates! Even though I playtested with a majority of them online, I really didn't know what to expect. You'd be very surprised how awkward some people can be when they first meet me, haha. I can be a little loud and sassy sometimes! Also, the MtG community can be a bit mixed when it comes to meeting female players. Some look at females with scorn, some with creepy-lusty-bloodshot-scary-eyes (the worst!), and the normal ones.. well yeah, they look at female players normally, nothing special! I was happy to find that everyone that I met this weekend was very socially adjusted. There was no creepiness to be found anywhere, huzzah!
Also, there was going to be a couple big names there (LSV OMG).. and I was worried that they would be conceited jerks, ha! It's nice to know that they were WAY NICER THAN EXPECTED! It made me respect them so much more as players/people/mtg superstars, and I feel like I'm a bigger fan than ever!))
After a majority of us met up at the hotel, we were soon on our way to this really interesting restaurant. I really wish I wrote the name down (EDIT: Name of the resturant was Claim Jumpers, yum!), but everyone just mostly spoke of the MASSIVE PORTIONS OF FOOD ONE WOULD RECEIVE! I was not let down, and I was soon chomping down on some deliciousness! (BTW: Throughout the week, it was pretty much like Christmas! Everywhere you turned there was pretty much some sort of sick promo card being shoved in your face, IT WAS AWESOME!) In this case, it was the promo card that you got when you purchased the original Duels of the Planeswalkers on PS3! Seeing as Liliana Vess is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PLANESWALKER, I WAS SOOOOO EXCITED! :D Even now.. whenever I look at the card, I smile uncontrollably. Here is a photo with my meal, plus the lovely foil alternative art Liliana Vess:
During dinner, we ended up having a lot of introductions. We got the chance to stand up and talk about ourselves a bit, and it was a really nice way to start the week! At the dinner, I was lucky enough to sit across from my teammate, Enigma256. He was the member that came from Vienna, and this week was filled with a lot of firsts for him.. INCLUDING MT. DEW! :D
Dinner went by pretty quickly, and we then decided to do a little practice draft (SoM) in the hotel lobby! Our first event against WotC was drafting, and we were wanting to be prepared. I ended up drafting a lovely little RW deck, filled with Pith Drillers, Galvanic Blast, Divine Offerings, Turn to Slags, and a plethora of other removal. For my kill, I ended up just drafting a ton of Leonin Skyhunters, a Porcelain Legionnaire, Oxiddia Scrapmelter, and an ever so vigilant Glimmerpoint Stag! It was a pretty fun draft deck, and I ended up going 2-1. My only loss was to my fellow Community Cup teammate, and Loading Ready Run member, Graham! There is some video floating around on the internet.. where I'm giving a pretty nasty beating to another teammate. I don't want to give away names, BUT MAN IT WAS SWEET! A little friendly competition was a great ice breaker, and I could tell that I was already falling for a lot of my teammates (in a friendly way, mind you!). All of them were super nice guys, and I'm so glad that I had the chance to hang with them this week!
Since there is quite a time difference from Florida and Washington.. I soon found myself super drowsy, and I ended up heading to bed earlyish! The next morning was definitely going to be filled with excitement.. SINCE IT WAS DUCK TOUR TIME! Ever since I saw the schedule of events, the Duck Tour was easily one of the more exciting slots. I REALLY COULDN'T WAIT! All during dinner and draft, I pretty much talked about how awesome the Duck Tour was going to be! (Also.. how much I love Food.. I SERIOUSLY LOVE FOOD!)
As soon as we were all ready, bright and early.. We were soon picked up in a really nice bus, and the photo taking began! The ride to Seattle was 30 or so minutes, and it was a fun way to get pumped up for the Duck Tour. I'm sure I was one of the more excited about the chance to ride on a Duck Car/Boat thing, but it was SO FUN! I was actually born in Seattle, and never really had the opportunity to see it. This was my first opportunity to do so, and I really wanted to go into it with high spirits!
And if you don't know what a Duck Tour is, basically it's this CAR/BOAT Hybrid thing that owns hard. The weather was beautiful, and a little chilly that morning.. and we were soon on our way to the Duck Tour meeting spot. Since we were there a little early, we ended up walking around a bit.. and taking photos.
Here is a group shot for your enjoyment (I bet you can't guess which is me!):
I totally stole this photo from the Daily MtG coverage of the Community Cup.. and if you want to see more photos, be sure to go check it out here!
In my next blog, I'll go over all the Community Cup members a little bit more specifically, but if you want to go check out the bios that we had done, go here!
Okay, back to story time! No more interruptions, I promise! We were soon all on the Duck Boat, and our Captain.. Captain Bob La Blah, was a very interesting fellow. He definitely lived up to the name! Overall, the tour was a lot of fun.. and we got to see a lot of Seattle! Instead of filling this up with a lot of text, I thought I would just show you guys some of the photos I took. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and Seattle is a very clean city!
We were also lucky enough to hang out with some of the members of Loading Ready Run! They sure did love to pose for photos! :D
A side of one of the beautiful Museums that Seattle has to offer! Lovely!
BIG DUCK IS BIG
The water looked very cold, and beautiful.
It was really a wonderful and beautiful experience! I was very happy for the chance to see Seattle, and to share the experience with my Community Cup Teammates!
Also, I know I spoke a little bit about Engima never trying Mt. Dew.. I did manage to get photographic proof of how awesome it is! Here is a little before and after!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this little introduction to my MTGO Community Cup experience! I should have the next blog up in a little while.. and it'll be about the other half of the day, and maybe some of the next! It will be about my first experience facing off against the evil WotC staff in SOM Block Draft, and Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 Archenemy!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011, 8:30 PM
So a couple weeks ago, it was announced that I was one of the members of this years Community Cup Team! I am still in shock, and in a couple days.. I'll be flying out to Seattle to sling some spells against WotC! In preparation of the Community Cup, I've been testing non-stop with a lot of my amazing teammates, and also by researching as much as I can.
One of the formats that I've been most afraid of was definitely Modern. There is such a vast amount of cards.. it was a little daunting! Luckily, a lot of the MTGO Community forum members have been posting a lot of really awesome deck lists. I can't even say thanks enough for all the people who've been posting lists. After some extensive testing.. I've definitely fallen for the format. There is so much variety, it's hard not to enjoy it! I've played a lot of Standard in the last couple months, and after dealing with SO MUCH CAW ACTION, seeing something completely new is invigorating!
I don't want to specifically post which deck(s) I'll be playing, since you NEVER KNOW WHO'S READING (WotC better not be reading this >_<)! I don't want to give away any of our super secret tech.. but I'll just say I've been messing around with Boros, Scapeshift, and some Hypergenesis. All three are pretty fun, and I've also really had some fun testing them. If you have any good ideas to maybe make any of these more unique.. feel free to tell me! Any help is appreciated. :D
In order to prepare, I've also been drafting pretty extensively! I've always been a huge fan of drafting, so it really wasn't "practice" as much as "super awesome fun-time!" Usually when it comes to draft, I make it to the top 2, or top 4.. and then I scrub out, haha. I think it's because I want to WIN SO BAD, that it kind of puts me on tilt whenever something even small happens.. So lately, I've just been concentrating on the game more, instead of winning or losing! And I've noticed a huge change in my ability to play.. I actually won my very first draft! I know a lot of people have won 302948209839058 drafts, but for me.. this was really exciting! And tbh.. I won the draft by 2-0ing, 2-0ing, and 2-0ing! IT FELT AWESOME! It still makes me smile when I think about it! I ruined some days! :D I ended up opening a Phyrexian Obliterator in the NPH pack, and I instantly knew I was going to go Mono Black.. luckily, I also managed to get my hands on some really awesome black removal. I was really pondering splashing another color in there, but I'm very happy I ended up really forcing mono black.
When it comes to the Standard format, I'm really not as worried, haha. Since the pool is shared, I'm not really concerned with just facing 50 matches against Caw Blade! And tbh, with my luck.. I'm sure I'll be the one person who ends up facing it! I'm really excited to see the decks that come out of this shared pool, and I'm hoping to see some really interesting tech from WotC. Well.. not that interesting, hopefully it's interesting and bad!
Even though my main concern is MtG and playing it.. another part of the preparation that I'm going through, is PACKING! I HATE PACKING! Even though the trip is only a couple days.. I always over-pack, and I bring like 93849839 pairs of shoes. Am I really going to need that many shoes, probably not.. but I like to look nice, haha. I'm also planning on bringing a couple extra sleeve packs, just in case of draft! I always find myself bringing an extra draft pack - wherever I go, and it feels very nice to be prepared!
Sorry for the semi-short, semi-rambly blog post! I've been trying to put as much time into MtG as I can, and if you have MTGO - you should come and /join CCC and sit and chat! Also.. homework! Since I'll be missing a week of class, I've been trying to make sure I don't mess anything up! That means.. GRINDING OUT THE HOMEWORK TOO! It's very hard to not write about MtG for my class grades, but oh well.. Hopefully my teachers won't mind!
We are also always looking for playtesting partners as well. :3 I plan on updating a lot during the CC.. WHICH MEANS SO MANY PHOTOS! I hope you guys are excited as I am!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 10:48 PM
Hey guys! Before you read on any further.. please check this out! Scroll down a little bit.. yes.. yes.. a little farther! CLOSE CLOSE........!
I don't know if you noticed (I hope you did..), but that's totally me on the MTGO Community Cup Team! Seriously, I can't even begin to express how super excited I am! When I first found out that I was being offered a spot on the team, I totally cried my face off. I'm not talking about a pretty single glistening tear crying.. I'm talking about nose running, super red face, oh goodness someone put that girl away crying. Even now when I think about it, I break out in a super big goofy smile. I feel like this is one of the biggest opportunities that I have ever received, and I don't even know how I can say enough thank you's for all the support and well wishes that I've received!
***Insert emo story here*** I first got into MtG for the social aspect of it.. like I'm sure many of you have. I've also always been super competitive, so it was a pretty awesome fit! Even when I was growing up, I've never really felt like I totally fit in with the crowd that I hung with.. especially in high school (everyone feels that way though, right? O_o). I used video games (Warcraft 3: DotA, please!) a lot as an outlet then, and I still felt like something was missing.
These awkward feelings definitely changed after I started college! It was refreshing to be around so many people who were interested in the same things I was then.. video games, comics, anime.. etc! So one night, while a bunch of us were chilling in the common rooms.. someone whipped out some MtG cards. (Back when I was really young, my cousin actually introduced me to the game (Ice Age block), but I didn't really know much about the game.. just super basics!) My new friends ended up teaching me how to play, and I'll just say after some learning and a couple hours.. I was totally a master spell slinger! I was also soon very much addicted. Since then.. I have played on-and-off pretty religiously, only having to stop when financial/relationship awkwardness occurred. I have made so many friends because of MtG.. friends that I actually like, haha! ***End emo story!***
I decided to really get back into MtG right around the time when the Rize of Eldrazi set was coming out.. and I can't be more happy for my timing! With SoM coming out, and my fresh MtG Online account.. I was in an AWESOME PLACE! I felt like my interest in the game was resparked in a way that it hasn't been before.. and I was pumped to really try my hand at taking my game to the next level. I know I still have a long way to go.. especially when it comes to learning about all the intricacies of this game, but I'm driven, hardworking, and SUPER STUBBORN! I'm the type of person that strives to be the absolute best that I can be.. even in something stupid like winning a hamburger eating contest. I WANT TO WIN!
Even when I hear negative comments about some of the opportunities that I've received.. or people talking badly about my skill level.. it just makes me want to work harder. I feel/want/am determined to show them that.. yeah.. I am good. I will be the best! You can't CAN'T CAN'T let that stuff get to you!
So.. enough of that ranting, haha.. I think it's time to talk about some of the preparation that I will be doing to ensure victory for the Community! The Erik "Hamtastic" Friborg Memorial Trophy will be ours.. and I'll do everything in my power to make sure I can do the best job that I can. I am very lucky for the opportunity to honor the memory of Erik "Hamtastic" Friborg, and I don't want to mess that up.
What I'm worried about: Unified Modern. OH MAN! The Modern format scares me a lot. It's such a broad format, with SO MANY CARDS.. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY DO! UGH! So in order to prepare for this.. I've been trying to cube draft the older sets as much as I can, and also by watching videos.. EVERY VIDEO I CAN FIND! ON EVERY CARD EVER! I've also been reading about past extended format top deck lists, and just by studying my butt off by reading the decklists the community have been suggesting on this thread. I also consider myself very lucky to have such amazing local friends and card shop who are willing to help and support me. I would feel very lost without them!
What I'm excited about: I am pretty excited about the shared Standard format, and the SoM block draft. These are definitely the two formats that I feel the most strong at.. I've been playtesting standard SOOOOOO MUCH in the last 6 months, it's pretty disturbing. I've just started my SoM block draft practice, but I'm having a lot of fun with it so far. I'm planning on trying to draft twice a week + normal playtesting time. I've also made a couple of uh.. semi interesting SoM block-esqe decks on MTGO that I've been practicing with. Some of them are pretty terrible, but my main objectives are to get as comfortable as I can with the cards.
If you guys have any suggestions for me at all on how to prepare.. PLEASE TELL ME! Don't be afraid to hurt my feelings, haha. I'm all about any sort of advantage I can get to do the best that I can. I am so excited for this, I really feel like my dreams are coming true. I've never felt like I've had so many friends before.. EVER! So thank you all.. :D
I will always remember waking up from sleep.. signing onto my Twitter, and seeing all the responses I got regarding making the Community Cup Team! I was pretty much speechless! I felt very purdy, special, loved, Easter Egged, awesome, happy sauced... Seriously: LIST COULD KEEP ON GOING! :3
Also.. before I forget! I recently went to a Starcity Games National Qualifer.. and I managed top Top 8! WOOHOO! This is my first non-FNMish top 8's, and I was very excited. Out of the 8 decks in it.. I was the only one not playing Caw-Blade! I was actually playing a really awesome build of Valakut, running 4 Nature's Claim main. They never expected it! They also gave away pins to people who made it to Top 8, and I totally put that sucker on my playmat. I feel like such a braggart, but I love that little pin! If I didn't have such a crazy week.. I would totally write up a tournament report! I promise you.. next tournament that I go too.. I'LL WRITE UP SOOOOO MUCH! About ever aspect of the tournament, and I'll take photos! HUNDREDS OF PHOTOS!
Sunday, May 15, 2011, 11:40 PM
Hello internets! I hope you're having a lovely night.. filled with MtG of course! I've been pretty obsessed with Swiss drafts on Magic Online, so I thought I would do a quick blog on a recent draft. I'm not talking normal obsession, but something that borderlines on crazy. I really dig the fact that I can sit down in my computer chair, not worry if I didn't shower or anything.. and play MtG any hour of the day! Also, if you're really nervous about starting out on drafts, you can find a lot of resources online that teach you a lot!
As I'm typing this out, I'm listening/watching a draft video from a pro MtG player. I promise you won't be upset if you watch some of these videos, they can be very entertaining (Also easy to find!) I feel like I've learned a lot just by watching draft videos from pros.. they have a tendency to explain things out, and do things I wouldn't expect. You also learn a lot about the different phases of the game. I feel like I need to play MtG Online more just so I can get better at the physical card game. I'd probably make less mistakes if I did so.
Also... If you're new to MtG or MtG Online, I strongly suggest swiss drafting on MtG Online. It's a great way to learn the game, and a fun way to get more cards. You also really get a lot of good experience and playtime! Once you get the hang of Swiss, you can always hop into single elimination, and get better prizes.
So I'll start this off with my card pool (Sorry if the photo looks strange!):
Loxodon Partisan, Kemba's Skyguard, 2x Loxodon Wayfarer, Lumengrid Drake, Vedalken Certarch, Spread the Sickness, Memorcide, Phyrexian Rager, Grasp of Darkness, Virulent Wound, Tainted Strike, Horrifying Revelation, Flameborn Hellion, Koth's Courier, Metallic Mastery, Viridian Emissay, Copperhorn Scout, Soliton.
Ardent Recruit, Crush, 2x Origin Spell Spellbomb, Gold Myr, Perilous Myr, Revoke Existance, Burn the Impure, Embersmith, Myrsmith, Brass Squire, Heavy Arbalest, Palladium Myr, Strata Scythe, Strider Harness, Training Drone, Tumble Magnet, Master's Call, 2x Ghalma's Warden, Turn to Slag, Elspeth Tirel, Flameborn Hellion
(DISCLAIMER: I'm not going to say that I'm the best limited player out there. I'm still learning as much as I can, having fun with it, and trying to be competitive at it. So read on if you like, but remember to research as much as you can before you completely follow what one person says. )
I really wish I took some screen shots of my opening packs, and I'll be sure to do that next time! I remember the first pack that I opened (Mirrodin Besieged) had a really jank rare, so I ended up choosing Burn the Impure. Whenever I'm not completely sure on what I want to draft, I try to pick some sort of removal or creature control. Being able to get rid of annoying threats is SO IMPORTANT! I played against an infect deck first and then a deck running some HUGE BOMBS! If it wasn't for the Crush, Revoke Existence, Burn the Impure, and Tumble Magnet.. I would have surely lost those matches. Also.. as tempting as it is, don't try to rare draft too hard. You'd be surprised how much that messes you up in the end. Unless of course it's something completely nuts. I totally did it with the Memorcide! I'm trying to build up a UB deck, so I totally wanted some. I get what I want, clearly!
Later MB picks included Training Drone, and Brass Squire. I was really hoping to pick up some cool equipment to use on them. I wasn't completely set on which colors that I wanted to draft... I always try to wait till the second pack to decide. Unless I get some really cool bombs. The lovely Elspeth was in the first SoM pack that I opened and I was really excited.. it also kind of picked out one of the colors I was going to play (Being able to ramp up is also very important.. so be sure to grab those mana Myrs, and Spell bombs)! This is the very first Planeswalker that I have opened on MtG Online, and I'm already trying to brainstorm up some fun decklists to use with her. Next couple packs included Myrsmith and Revoke Existence. I was pretty surprised at the lack of equipment that I found in this draft pool as well. I seriously tried to pick as many of them as I could!
Another rule that I try to follow is being sure to pick out nice bombs or fatties! You want something that isn't easily removed, and really hurts your opponents. Even if you're able to control whats going on down on the field, being able to hit back is pretty important. I really like Flameborn Hellion, and Ghalma's Warden. I wasn't too stressed out about getting metalcraft, especially after I picked up the Myr's and Master's Call.
After posting my list on Facebook, I also got some really good advice. First off, I should have not used the Ardent Recruit, since I didn't have the early metalcraft to support it. I also should not have used the Training Drone.. once again, I didn't draft enough equipment to support him. Instead, I should have used Kemba Skyguard, and Loxodon Partisan. Even though I ended up still winning game 1, I could have won quicker with those two additions. Fliers, and a semi heavy with battle cry are pretty important!(Thanks to Brad, Dan, Andrew, and Michael)
I ended up going 2-1 in this draft, and it should have been a 3-0! When I say that, I really mean it. During my third match - game 2, I had my opponent down to 1 life.. and I miss-played critically because I was down on my time limit! I have a tendency to think a lot on my turns and I really need to speed it up. You would have been frightened if you saw my reaction. Even thinking about it now.. it totally makes me grumpy. Important lesson learned for sure!
Here is a quick review of the rules I try to follow: 1) Removal, 2) Big bombs, 3) Mana acceleration, 4) Don't rare draft.. too hard and finally 5) Play your turns in a decent amount of time.. or you might try to eat a gallon of ice cream while crying softly to yourself.
Saturday, May 7, 2011, 5:18 AM
Happy prerelease day everyone! Woohoo! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I've been about New Phyrexia! In order to celebrate it, I've decided to go to 2 prerelease events! One started at midnight, and the other is starting at 10AM. I just finished the first one about 30 minutes ago and I was pretty sad that I had to leave early. My sister is bringing over her brand new puppy (Corgie, OMG.. I'll be posting photos of her at the end of this blog!) for me to babysit! I managed to play through 3 rounds, and ended up going 1-1-1.
ANGER ANGER RAGE!
By the way.. I hate losing. Everything about losing just really makes me mad. It seriously drives me insane. Oh, and drawing also REALLY MAKES ME MAD. If I'm not winning, I'm probably super angry! I'm not going to punch holes in walls or anything, but I've managed to channel said anger rage into a semi pleasant grimace. I know I talked about this briefly during my last blog, but I thought I would expand on it a little bit.. (And in case you didn't read it: Rule Number 8: Don't let crappy things get to you. It's important to keep a clear head, and not let that loss or two affect your next game. You can always win out!)
I want to do well so badly that I let that thought linger instead of worrying about the next best play.
It really is surprising how much keeping a good composure will affect your game! You end up making really stupid mistakes when all you can think about is how much your deck sucks, or how you're only going to top deck land. Recently, after every game loss, I've been writing down every play mistake I've been making, and even asking my opponent if they saw any miss plays. When you're so angry and upset about a loss, you tend to forget that, yeah - play mistakes happen, and I shouldn't make that mistake again. I think this has probably been one of the best lessons I've learned. Now I just need to figure out how to really put this into action.. Maybe more candy?
Okay.. back to Prerelease #1! Sorry for the slight rant on my anger issues.. >_>! I thought I would write up my card pool, and then attempt to explain some of my choices. And to be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Sealed (I'll explain this later as well!). I really prefer Drafting for my Limited play! (And I apologize for the strange format!)
9x Swamp 6x Island
1x Sky-Eel School 1x Riddlesmith 1x Bleak Coven Vampires
1x Mortis Dogs 1x Necrogen Scudder 1x Blind Zealot
Instants, Enchantments, and Scorceries:
1x Tezzeret's Gambit 1x Disperse 1x Mutagenic Growth
1x Grim Affliction 1x Instill Infection 1x Parasitic Implant
1x Rust Tick 1x Snapsail Glider 1x Vault Skirge
1x Porcelain Legionnaire 1x Darksteel Juggernaut (FOIL OH YEAH!)
1x Hex Parasite 1x Silver Myr 1x Leaden Myr 1x Etched Champion
Artifacts and Artifact Equipments:
1x Gremlin Mine 1x Lux Canon 1x Sickleslicer 1x Strider Harness
Artifact: Darksteel Relic, Phyrexian Hulk, 2x Necrogen Censer, Auriok Replica, Golem Foundry, 2x Infiltration Lens, Saberclaw Golem, Trigon of Infestation, Echo Circlet, Corpse Cur, Slash Panther, Hovermyr, Insatiable Souleater, Ichorclaw Myr, Mycosynth Wellspring
White: Razor Hippogriff, Loxodon Convert, Master Splicer, Suture Priest, Shattered Angel, Shriek Raptor, Remember the Fallen, Fulgent Distraction, Loxodon Wayfarer
Blue: Vault Skyward, Psychic Barrier, Neurok Invisimancer, 2x Numbing Dose, Defensive Stance, Corrupted Resolve, Chained Throatseeker, Psychic Surgery
Black: Whispering Specter, Toxic Nim, Dross Hopper, Corrupted Harvester, Blackcleave Goblin,
Green: Maul Splicer, Viridian Harvest, Viridian Betrayers, Molder Beast, Cystbearer, Tel-Jilad Fallen, Carapace Forger, Greenhilt Trainee, Slice in Twain
Red: Spikeshot Elder, Volt Charge, Invader Parasite, Assault Strobe, Tormentor Exarch, Ogre Menial, Razor Swine, Scrapeyard Salvo, Goblin Gaveleer, Melt Terrain
Prerelease events are supposed to be fun, and I know I've been one to forget this sometimes, haha! During pack opening, one of the players across from me was talking about how this was her first big MtG event.. and how she really didn't know what she was doing (She also just played her first FNM that night too). So.. instead of worrying about deck building, I spent a good amount of time explaining to her what cards did, what Phyrexian mana means, etc! I know this might sound like an excuse, but after hearing her talk about how she feels that she's in over her head and stuff.. I couldn't help myself! I want to see more people (especially ladies!) willing to come out and compete! TBH, helping her learn more about the game really made the night enjoyable for me. She seemed a lot more relaxed afterwards, and she even won a couple games.
Okay, back to sealed deck construction! After looking at my pool a bit more, I think I might have done a little bit better going with a Red|Green Metalcraft deck. When I was drafting Scars in the past, I generally went Red|White, Red|Green, or Green|White.. It's pretty much my comfort zone. In this case though, I was really in the mood to try something completely different (I also had to leave around 5AM, top 8 wasn't going to start till 6-6:30AM.. -_-!). So I said to myself, "I NEVER PLAY BLUE! LETS TRY THIS, YAY!"
I want to grow as a Magic player, so I thought this would be a good time to attempt something very different. Plus, I opened a Silver Myr and a Leaden Myr in my first pack. That's how fate works or something, right?
Rares and Mythics
I'm not the type of player that opens the best bomb in the set, but I generally open some decent rares. I opened my SOM packs first, then my NPH. I was really trying to savor the opening of completely new cards. They smell the best, for sure! I was rather pleased that I opened a Lux Cannon, but I wasn't really happy that I didn't see it a single game today. One of my SOM packs contained the Foil Darksteel Juggernaut and the Etched Champion. Etched Champion and Darksteel Juggernaut definetly did some work! Every game that I won today, I can pretty much say thank you to them. Oh yeah, and before I forget.. Hex Parasite was a pretty nice card to open as well. He definetly came in handy againts the Foil Elspeth Tirel I had to face in round one (That guy also opened a Steel Hellkite, some people have all the luck)!
Cards I really liked!
Blind Zealot (2-2 1 colorless, 2 black with Intimidate): First off, I want to give props to Jana Schirmer & Johannes Voss for the absoluetly amazing art on this card! I want this on a playmat NOW! This card definetly served me well. Oh.. You're not going to block it? I guess I'll just sack it and destroy one of your creatures. :D
Mortis Dogs (2-2 3 colorless, 1 black): THIS CARD IS A BEAST (or beasts I guess..)! Whenever I played him, I would get excited about anything I could equip to him. During one match, I had a Sickleslicer and Strider Harness on him. Swing for 7.. oh you're going to kill him..? Take 7!
Grim Affliction (2 colorless, 1 black): This was probably one of my more favorite removal cards that I managed to open up. I only wished I had more stuff to proliferate.
Porcelain Legionnaire (2 colorless, 1 white Phyrexian mana): Being able to play him turn 2 was definetly really nice. I really didn't mind losing 2 life to have a 3-1 first striker.
I'll be writing up a part 2 to this blog a bit later tonight! My next draft starts in about an hour, wish me luck!
Oh.. and as promised.... Photos of my sister's puppy :
Thursday, April 28, 2011, 6:42 PM
Hello everyone, and I hope I find you in good spirits today! Just in case you haven't read my other blog post, I'm pretty much writing up a list of rules that I've learned so far while attempting to grind it out to pro-ness. I will soon be telling you a little bit about my recent experience at a National Qualifier down in Orlando, Florida. If you're not in the mood to read much (EVEN THOUGH YOU SHOULD BE, AHEM) the title is a very apt description of some of the things I will be bringing up.
Part 1 (FNM, The night before National Qualifiers)
FNM has been a pretty integral part of my Friday nights for a while now. There is something about going to an FNM and crushing the hopes and dreams of fellow MtG players (Just kidding, I promise!). The best part about the night was seeing some of the decks that the newer players brought. One gentleman crafted a lovely delight containing some 200+ cards, in 3-4 colors. Watching him attempt to shuffle was very pitiful, and I offered to help him shuffle half of it. I also found myself laughing pretty heavily when that deck got Jace, The Mind Sculptor -12'ed.
By the time Top 8 rolled around (12:20AMish) I received a text message from the person that agreed on driving us up to National Qualifiers the next day, saying that he could no longer make it. The next 30 minutes or so was spent calling people super late at night trying to figure out how we were getting to qualifiers, who was riding with who and who was driving!
Rule Number 6: Plan stuff out early, and don't forget a back up plan!
I ended up taking 6-7th place at this FNM, and instead of getting booster packs, I ended up spending my winnings on a new set of dice! Whenever I meet new people at events, I try and see if people are willing to trade D6s as well.. This is what you end up with:
Part 2 (WHY DOES IT SMELL SO BAD?)
We managed to get a couple more people to go with us, and the ride was pretty uneventful. At one point I fell asleep, and I guess during that time I actually sleep-spoke about my Valakut deck and trades. Did everyone else laugh about it? Of course.
After we entered the shop, we quickly found a empty table and began some play-testing. This is where things started to get bad. A couple older people wearing weird shirts (later I found out these were Pokemon Judge shirts) told us that we needed to get up for them. We grudgingly agreed, and moved over to the other side of the room. This is when the room started to fill up. The trickle was slow at first, then the prepubescent monsters started to swarm in.
I'll always remember the look of unconstrained, uncontrolled hunger of those that were there to get there grubby little fingers on the new Pokemon set. I still sob softly to myself when I think of the HUNGER (or at least when I remember the smell).
Before I forget, the venue was decently sized. It's probably able to hold 100 or so people comfortably, and offers only one bathroom. I really didn't expect them to double book the venue. Yet, the room was soon filled with about a million Pokemon fans. They also had a majority of the store marked off for them, leaving about 4 small tables for the National Qualifier.
Oh, did I mention that I'm from Florida, and it was like 100 degrees outside that day? Yeah.. It was cooler outside then inside. I don't play MtG for the aerobic aspect of the game. I don't play the game to sweat all over my cards.
Let me sum up this whole tournament for you:
1) It was hot. Probably a million degrees. Everyone was sweating.
2) It was stinky. It's a room filled with trading card game fans. Think about it.
Rule Number 7: Please wear deodorant, or at least take a shower. Don't make people suffer more then they already have to.
3) It was crowded. Every time someone moved, or breathed.. it would cause a domino like affect, and my chair would get jostled.
4) It was very loud. Do you really need to squeal about something Pokemon related? PLEASE NO.
5) I was very angry.
I'd easily rate this as one of the worst tournaments I've ever been to. I guess I've been spoiled by my local shops, and I can truly say that I'll never make the journey to that venue again.
Part 3 (PREORDAIN GUY)
I can happily say that I've never felt like I've been talked down to because I'm a female while playing MtG. I've had the usual stuff happen to me, generally one of these: 1) Oh, you're here because your boyfriend brought you right? 2) If you're looking for the clothing store, it's two doors down.
During my second match, I sat down to a nice enough looking opponent. It wasn't till his turn 1 play did I actually realize what sort of pain train I was in. He laid down a single Island, tapped it, then played Preordain. The next 20-30 words out of his mouth included something along the lines of: "You know what this card does right? Basically, I get to "SCRY". Do you know what "SCRY" means? IT BASICALLY MEANS I CAN LOOK AT MY TOP 2 CARDS, AND BLAH BLAH, IT DOES STUFF BLAH BLAH. GIRLS DON'T REALLY PLAY MAGIC RIGHT, LOLOLOLO" At this point, I just thought he was joking.. I mean seriously... I've seen someone Preordain like 8 billion times.
I know it's very important to not let people get into your head while competing in MtG, but the atmosphere mixed with this guy's personality definitely rubbed me the wrong way. I found myself miss-playing and doing pretty terribly. I should have turned the situation into a positive thing and taken advantage of his stupidity. The only thing that made this situation good was that it was one of the best learning experiences I've ever had. You can't let stupid people and terrible atmosphere ruin something that you love/enjoy.
Rule Number 8: Don't let crappy things get to you. It's important to keep a clear head, and not let that loss or two affect your next game. You can always win out!
Sunday, April 24, 2011, 1:26 PM
I'll start off this little blog post with a quick hello and introduction. My name is Michelle and I generally go by my gaming handle Sunie. I'm a Frag Doll Cadette and have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the gaming industry and the chance demo/play at different gaming conventions. For more information on this check out the Frag Dolls! Yes I am a female, and no I'm not a GURL GAMERZ.. but I am someone who loves to play and win. I have competitive experience in a couple games, and I do have some tournament wins as well.
I was recently told to join this little diddy by the ever so awesome Michael Robles (twitter.com/michaelrobles) and to begin writing about some of the adventures I've had while playing MtG. Over the last couple of months.. I have been seriously attempting to compete my butt off in the game. I've been playtesting (SO MUCH), going to FNMs/local tournaments, National Qualifiers (OW MY RATING), and even had the opportunity to go to Grand Prix Dallas (SO FUN). I know I have a long way to go before I can hit up the Pro Tour... but that is my overall goal. So if you want to hear about some of the awkward things that generally happen to me, or about my journey to pro-ness... I'm sure you'll enjoy checking out this blog.
Since you've already read this far, I thought I would share with you a little bit about my experience at Grand Prix Dallas. To start this off, I didn't fly in a plane to get there.. A couple friends and I (Scott, Dustin, and Arthur) squished into a small vehicle on Thursday night to begin the 18 hour drive to Dallas. The drive was veryveryvery long and grueling, and it's very difficult to playtest when you're sitting in a car that is much too small and listening to Reggae (Driver's Choice). By the time we made it to Texas, we all looked pretty wrecked. Before we checked into the hotel, we went over to the convention center to register for the main event.. and to get the Grand Prix Dallas playmat! Even though we were all super tired, we decided to play in the super FNM! It was pretty fun and a great opportunity to last minute playtest, get some extra booster packs, and sweet promos.
For the main event at Grand Prix Dallas, I was playing Valakut. It was a more aggressive build rolling with Viridian Emissary, and a couple other little surprises. It's a pretty fun deck to play, and I was very glad that I took it to this event. This was my very first big MtG tournament, and I was pretty nervous about my level of skill going in. I know it's terrible, but my overall goal was to not scrub out.. Aka go 0-2 drop. I ended up going 4-3, and I felt like I really learned a lot! The amount of stuff that I learned about the game from this event is pretty awesome. So many little combat tricks, and just great general things about the game. If you have the opportunity to go to a Grand Prix or any other major MtG event - GO! I promise you that you will have a complete blast, meet awesome people, and learn a lot!
Another thing that I noticed at this event was the amazing amount of pros walking around. It was like the MtG internet came to life. No.. I didn't completely fan girl it out and squeal non-stop the whole event. To be honest, I didn't even walk up to any of them and ask them to sign my stuff (Even though I somewhat wanted too). Every time one would walk by, I would calmly turn to my group of friends and silently squeal about how they did at a past event with what deck, and how much I enjoyed an article they wrote. It was only a little sad, I promise!
Awkward Story Time and some MtG Tourney Rules -
Rule Number 1: Don't go up a person that is in a match and hit on him or her - I promise you it will be awkward for all parties involved...
So during the third game in one of my matches, I got to experience this rule. I was playing against RUG, and not really having a great time. So... while I'm about to decide on my play, an awkward looking gentleman slithers up to the empty seat next to me. His breath hisses between his teeth, and I can smell his lunch.. I'm assuming it was some sort of rancid nacho hot dog pizza combo (Rule Number 2: Bring mints or brush your teeth, especially if you're playing or hitting on someone.. -_-). My opponent looks at me, looks at the dude next to me, looks at me, then gives us both a really strange look. At this point, I was already looking for the nearest exit. I continue with my play, then pass the turn. The next thing I hear is an ever so subtle, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING LATER TONIGHT, WANNA GO GET DINNER WITH ME?" (And it wasn't really subtle, he said it VERY LOUD in my ear) So I simply respond with, "Probably crying over the fact that I'm going to have to drop after this match if I lose, but thanks for asking!" I might or might not have said it a little angrily/sarcastically.. He then gave me a strange look and walked away. As the game continued, I managed to get a lucky Summoning Trap (or 2, Muhaha!) and pull out a win.
Rule Number 3: It's important to dress appropriately, or at least wear a bra.
So for this tournament, I decided on wearing a comfortable baggy black t-shirt, jeans and flip flops. My objective was to be comfortable in the Texas heat, and then warm enough in the A/C'ed event hall. Some people in the event hall did not follow this type of idea. During another one of my matches, I was sitting diagonal to another female player. She was dressed a little more risque then I usually see at a MtG tourney, and she was very-very cute. She was wearing a very-very low cut shirt, no bra, and very-very short shorts. During the matches, all I could hear was how cold she was, and how she wished she brought a sweater (Rule Number 4: Try not to complain or talk too loudly during matches, it's annoying for everyone!). She then turned to me, and asked how much I hated males treating girls like pieces of meat at tournaments.. and if I liked to flirt to get my wins too. I made a face that looked very similar to this emoticon: O_o.. My opponent then looks at the girl and responds with, "Nice ___s" Fill in the blank with a 3 letter word that describes a part of the female anatomy.
Rule Number 5: Have fun! Even though the objective is the win the tournament, be sure to enjoy the other great aspects of an event like this. Don't forget that you're surrounded by a lot of people who actually share a lot of the same interests you have, challenge people to matches, or even trade. With side events, artist signings, and vendors - GO HAVE A GOOD TIME! I will always remember the fun that I had at Grand Prix Dallas!
I am also highly addicted to playmats. I only have 3 of them so far, but I have totally pulled a Smeagol or two when someone touches them.
I forgot this for a moment, but I also had a really awesome opportunity to be interviewed by the ever so awesome Frank Lepore (Twitter.com/FrankLepore)! That alone made the trip completely worth it! If you want to check out the interview it can be found here: interview!