This week a ran UWr Miracle control and had an absolute blast. The deck was very thought intensive and a lot of decisions I made really mattered, whether good or bad. I had a really great time, only went 2-2 but I had so much fun playing with the deck. The other nice things was that 2 of my friends came up to me afterwards ad said that it was one of the most fun decks they had ever played against. I think as skill intensive as it is to play, it is equally skill intensive to play against.
Quick report – Match 1 was one of the most epic matches of magic I have ever played. From my revelation of “I’m running 3 torpor orbs maindeck” against Ed Guise, a pod player, to having both of my Entreat the Angels followed up by my opponent’s sever the bloodline, it just always seemed like we both had the right answers at the right time. I knew Ed was a good player, so I hoped he’d realise I had no creatures and sideboard out all of his removal. To combat this, I sided into my secret sideboard tech of 2 Sun Titans and 3 Phantasmal Images. That was quite a surprise for Ed, but again made for a very exciting game. Lost 0-2, but definitely the best 0-2 loss I’ve ever had. Such close games. Read his report at http://wrongwaygoback.com/edguise88/
Match 2 was against a blink deck. When I dropped Torpor Orb Turn 2 both games, she was well beat. Stopped Restoration Angel and Acidic Slime blink shenanigans and pretty much stopped her deck dead in it’s tracks. Helped that I had Tamiyo the Moonsage go Ultimate and won with an Entreat the Angels for 9.
Match 3 was against another good friend, Gabriel. He had a solid GW human build that he piloted very well, not overextending. Both games I lost to Increasing Savagery, which is fairly nightmare-ish for a “wrath” control deck. Game 1, I decided that my life total was safe enough with a Gideon out so didn’t Terminus, thinking I would wait a turn. Lo and behold, Oblivion Ring on Gideon and then Savagery and swing for lethal. 0-2, but another very enjoyable match against an opponent who played against my deck very well. Game 2 he won with me having a Tamiyo Emblem and Terminus in hand, by End of Turn casting midnight haunting, then flashing back increasing savagery to swing for an exactly lethal 12. I’m not 100% sure I have this match correct, I remember there being a very difficult to deal with Sigarda, Host of Herons at some point.
Match 4 was against Alex, a member of our little “team” that we have going. He had a good deck which just didn’t get anywhere game 3 unfortunately. I enjoyed the game, can’t remember too much, but I think I took the macth 2-1, with Alex playing a very tight game.
Anyway, all in all I loved playing the deck, my opponents seemed to enjoy playing against it too. My sideboard switch seemed to work as a surprise tactic. Running Sphere of the Suns was great, an excellent decision as it allowed me to be a turn faster with Terminus hard cast or the Planeswalkers. I won most with Gideon, but Entreat also worked hard. Torpor Orb was the all star. At my local FNM everybody seems to be loving enter the battlefield abilities and it is just so good. It also means that opponents often sideboard into artifact hate, which is good for me, as I only have 3 Torpor Orbs as artifacts they’d want to hit. And when I want to side into plan B of Sun Titan and Phantasmal Image, it is an easy 3 cards to cut and they’d be sat with Artifact removal in their deck with on Sphere of the Suns to target.
I will add a deck list later – not at home at the moment.
Part 2 – Why I play magic…
Why do I play this great game of Magic the Gathering. I read an article on Star City Games the other day where a player asked himself the exact same question. For me it is an interesting one.
First, a little about me. I used to play magic at high school. We had a little Magic the Gathering club run by a teacher after school and then when the teacher left, we carried on for a year or 2. Back then, it was all about rummaging through the 5p cards at my local game store and building decks. This was awesome fun. We kinda grew out of it/stopped being allowed to play and my cards lived in a box under the bed for some time. Then, at university my friend went to a gaming convention and came back with a starter pack. I bought my cards back up from home and started getting back into magic. We infected another of my flatmates so the three of us spent many a night playing with very budget, all cards allowed decks. I remembered how much I enjoyed the challenge of deck building and was surprised that in the back of my mind I still knew what most of the cards I owned and had not played with for 6 years did. Played Dual of the Planeswalkers on the PC as well at this time. Again, this subsided as I progressed through University. I then went working and travelling for a year, before starting a PGCE and “learning how to teach”. While I was living at home, I still played Magic occasionally with my flatmate and his friend Dan. Me and Dan went to the M12 pre-release and I was hooked again. I had never taken part in tournament magic, much less a limited tournament and this was great fun. I then moved away, back to Lancaster and wanted to play again. I hunted down the Local Game Store, which was closing and found out that FNM was held just around the corner in a small Cafe. I went along one Friday and became hooked on Competitive (Standard mainly) magic. I have now also started drafting on MTGO recently.
Hopefully that wasn’t too boring. Anyway, back to my original question. Why do I love playing Magic so much?
- I love playing. This may seem like a stupid response, but I enjoy strategy games and board games and I like the thinking involved in playing. With so many cards and so many different possible interactions I find the game itself incredibly rewarding to play. I love the intensity and the concentration of tournament play and the laughs and jokes in casual play.
- I love brewing. I enjoy brewing and thinking about magic just as much as I enjoy playing it. I have lists in various pockets of clothes, where I have a spare 5 mins a jot down a deck idea, or think about some new cards to include. I enjoy standard, with it’s wide but not too wide card pool and have a large enough collection to mean I can throw most decks together pretty quickly.
- I enjoy watching magic being played. With the internet being much faster than when I used to play, streaming live video of tournaments from SCG or Wizards is fantastic. I love watching both sides of the game pan out and thinking about the decisions I would have made. Also, the commentators discussing sideboarding and deck choices really helps and interests me.
- I enjoy reading about magic. I am a regular lurker on MTG Salvation, reading through threads that interest me and hyping up about the new sets. Most days I read the SCG articles which interest me and I find blogging about Magic very relaxing.
- My number one reason to play Magic is……… Friends. Playing magic is a great social experience. I have met many great people through FNM and it is often the highlight of my week. I love trading, talking and playing and this is just a great environment. Credit to the players at my local store for being competitive and friendly, it is sometimes a difficult balance to find and the FNM group are nearly all great guys who have a lot of fun.
I play magic because it is a focus. I find that I have spent much less time playing video games now that I am regularly playing MTG, because I’d rather be brewing or meeting up with friends for a few games. Or lately, playing online. Unfortunately, I am moving town soon and I hope that the new town brings equal amounts of fun at FNM, although I have my doubts. I could switch to playing online, but that will be a big decision as I would have to sell off large parts of my collection to fund this. I will miss it if I do not get to play competitively and brew so I will endeavour to find people with a similar outlook to me with their magic playing.