Things have been crazy busy here, but in a good way.
Want to write a little bit about a few aspects of my recent trip down to LA, starting with the “1st LA MtG Invitational” 😉
Participants were Opie & Diana Simons, and uh, me
We played with the following restrictions:
– Invasion and Odysee blocks only
– No buying individual cards for deck building
– Photocopying permitted (hell, encouraged)
– All photocopies/proxies need to be in sleeves; if any cards are in sleeves, all must be in sleeves
– All other std rules (60 cards, max of 4 per named card, etc)
We also played a very soft house rule of “two free muligans” (basically allowing up to three draws of seven cards)
Observations & Comments
I’ll start with me, since that’s probably the easiest… I played a deck I’ve dubbed NecraMonger. It’s a synergistic multi-color deck featuring: (relative) speed/drawing, creature, direct and in-direct dmg, healing and regeneration. I built the deck entirely from cards I already owned and made EXTENSIVE use of photocopying. I photocopied about 180 cards total (not unique), including lands, then winnowed down to my deck + sideboard. (I’m being a lil vague about my deck since I haven’t played it against Deeje yet and want it to be at least somewhat of a challenge for him.)
PHOTOCOPYING IS THE BOMB. Diana was fortunate to be asleep up at Yosemite when I was ranting to Deeje & Opie about the cost of MtG and the building of a MtG caste built on player income vs. skill. Just as it is UNREASONABLE for MLB players to earn $10M+ a year, it’s rediculous that a quality T2 (that’s CURRENT CARDS!) deck can run north of $400.00. I will be playing photocopied decks going forward. Total cost to build NecraMonger + sideboard? $1.98. Real card value… unknown, but I’m guessing $250-$300.
Overall, the deck worked fairly well, though it has some serious holes that need work (there are a bunch of Judgement cards that would definitely help matters). What this deck lacks in flexibility it makes up for in consistency (all due to photocopying). I lost two games all weekend, only one due to mana issues. I won one game (the first game vs. Diana) that I probably shouldn’t have. I believe I won all of my games vs. Opie in 10 turns or less; Diana’s deck went long vs. mine several times.
On the consistency front, while much is owed to photocopying, an equal amount it due to my finally being a bit more cautious with land allocation. I read an interesting article on land proportions (http://www.mtgnews.com/story/1008/1/1/1/) while I was thinking about how I wanted to build the deck. While I didn’t do the specific math, I definitely kept the principles in mind. The deck was further balanced when Diana and I “traded” (proxies) one of her multi-colored lands for one of my healing mechanisms. Her card was exactly what I had been looking for.
Alright, next up is Diana. Daaaaamn, she’s moving up fast! Diana built a very compelling 3 color deck that gave my deck (and me
Playing Diana is interesting. There’s no smack-talk, and not much to read — I wouldn’t want to play high-stakes poker with her, lol. This fits the deck she played well; with no obvious tells, you really have no clue if she’s going to take the dmg you’re throwing at her or instant your critters out of existence. It was also interesting to see her switch-up her mana usage to mirror mine; during the first few rounds of our first game, she played her sorceries/critters ahead of combat. Once she noticed that I generally played those after combat (leaving my mana free for fast effects during combat) she switched to mirror… or I imagined the whole thing, lol. As I said, hard to tell with her.
As for downsides… Diana ran only 19 lands plus some fix up cards (lay of the land, etc). She also had a few killer cards of which she appearantly only had one or two in the deck. I suppose this was part of the reason why her deck was so flexible/surprising (higher card variety), but it also made it more inconsistent. I suppose in some ways that’s an inevitable tradeoff, though perhaps Wishes are meant to give players the best of both worlds??!!??
And finally, Opie. Opie built FOUR DECKS. Unfortunately I didn’t get to play any of them multiple times to get a true read of their potential. I was disappointed to see him play a TogDigger deck (and was probably a little overly vocal about it), though, like deeje’s GrinderDigger, it was well built and effective… I suppose that’s the reason it’s become an Archetype within the Odysee block. I would much rather see him (and all of us) be Rouges (http://www.mtgnews.com/story/1026/1/1/1/).
I don’t remember the rest of what Opie played with enough detail (shoulda taken notes) due to the variety. I know he played a mono-green fast-mana (lots of critter generated mana) deck that I was probably very lucky to beat before he got close to playing Panub or Crush of Wyrm’s. He also played a two color Red deck (RB??). Bless him for trying that, but Red pre-Judgement is probably the weakest color with all this graveyard, pumpable, phantom, etc shit running around. (My hastily built RB Odysee-only deck is now a thing of distant memories, and if anything, probably only HELPED deeje tune his GrinderDigger deck. Perhaps in the next block.)
On the other hand, Opie is Opie, which has always meant a killer attitude no matter the situation… and more and more (MtG specific) means a damn good player. Opie hands down got the “Play of the week” with a killer combo. I forget the card names (shameful), but basically, he used a “gain control of target critter till end of turn” (when he had 0 and i had 2 critters) comboed with a “each player sacrifices a creature” card. UGH!!! Talk about a flexible, extremely mana efficient way to restore balance to the table. It hurt like hell, but I couldn’t help but give him a high-five, lol.
I’m seriously looking forward to my next visit & a chance to play some more. Now we just need to get deeje looped in!