Rivals of Ixalan Prerelease

Finally time to refresh the limited format! My Rivals of Ixalan prerelease pool was nothing special, but I had a Zacama, Primal Calamity and I didn’t come there to NOT play three-color nine-drops so I just said yolo and tried it. I did cast the Zacama once (I won that game) but the best thing in my deck was probably 3 copies of Legion Conquistador. I managed to start off 4-0 then split the last round, good for a few draft sets. I certainly hope Rivals slows the format down, similar to how Hour of Devastation slowed down Amonkhet.

Also, lol at the Standard bannings. I don’t want the game to be unhealthy, I don’t take pleasure in their flagship format being so bad for so long… but all I can do is lol.

This bit from Patrick Sullivan nails it, and here’s Pat Chapin’s article to which Sullivan refers. I hope WOTC’s new Play Design team, filled with actual competitive players, is picking up on some of this stuff so future formats will be healthier.

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Noooooo just no

The Magic community recently became embroiled in a controversy over online bullying. A cosplayer named Christine Sprankle accused a YouTuber named Jeremy Hambly (Unsleeved Media) of harassing her so badly that she had to quit her cosplay business. Debate raged across the Magic internet, including of course on the MagicTCG subreddit. The MagicTCG mods quickly began issuing bans with extreme prejudice. For example, I was perma-banned for posting this:

“I don’t want WOTC getting involved every time some dorkus malorkus is rude to someone online. Terrible precedent.”

Now, by way of self-reflection, I cannot be too indignant. Historically I was mostly shitposting for lulz in that subreddit so I probably didn’t belong there in the first place. Nonetheless, issuing mass bannings for not immediately falling in line on a social media feud gives me pause. The issue continued to simmer and WOTC eventually issued a lifetime DCI ban to Hambly and shorter bans to some other folks as well, notably pro player Travis Woo.

The whole thing is a few weeks old at this point and has largely blown over but for whatever it’s worth, here are my hot takes:

– I think Hambly is a charlatan and you are some kind of idiot and/or sucker if you buy into any of his blathering.

– I feel badly for Travis Woo, I think he got a bum rap.

– The MagicTCG subreddit is unsalvageable. They banned all of the clever, funny people (*AHEM*) so now it’s down to, like, seriously, people sharing their mom’s card alters.

– Cosplay is fine but I don’t understand why anyone would pay someone else to do it.

– Everybody should just try to be cool to each other and not be such turds all the time.

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Donestable

Did an Unstable draft at the store tonight. I would have preferred Iconic Masters but the majority present voted for Unstable and I’m no wet blanket! I first-picked a foil Grusilda, Monster Masher, which is basically like The Scarab God.

Since I took that first, I just focused on taking black and red cards to fill out a deck. I did not try too hard to read the other cards to “learn” the set during the draft portion. I figured I’d just draft a quasi-normal deck and play quasi-normal Magic. I did also take a Phoebe, Head of S.N.E.A.K. since it was another rare with a seemingly powerful, repeatable ability.

I took a couple of the “contraption” cards but to be honest (and maybe I’m just dumb) I could not get my head around how they worked so I just left them out.

My round one opponent had Spike, Tournament Grinder and also happened to have a bunch of targets physically with him, so one game he literally had Sol Ring and Umezawa’s Jitte in play. Lucky for me he had otherwise poor draws and couldn’t leverage THE FRICKIN’ UMEZAWA’S JITTE HE HAD IN PLAY.

Round two opponent had a green-red die-roll/counters deck, I barely got there in the first game by grinding hard with Grusilda, Monster Masher many, many times, and I had to fade a few consecutive die rolls on the last turn. The second game, he had huge guys while I had nothing, then in the final game I curved Dirty Rat into Half-Orc, Half- into Hazmat Suit (Used) and rode that pretty hard all the way. Split the finals.

So, while I did win, and while I did have fun… I don’t think I’ll draft this again any time soon. I like spewing and screwing around probably more than a lot of people but paying an entry fee to do so kind of stresses me out in a weird way. For example, one of the games in round two, opponent had some effect that let him re-roll every die roll, plus some equipment that let him ping me then roll a die to untap the pinger and repeat… and he nearly killed me from 10 or something by doing that, and I had to fade those last couple rolls. That’s not fun for me. I mean, I’m not a dick about it. I can shrug that off like I can shrug off One With the Wind on Jade Guardian at this point but if I’m choosing whether I want that to be what’s going on, I’ll say “no thanks.”

I cracked my prize packs for funsies. The tokens are really sweet, I like those. Some of the cards will definitely make it into my cube. The lands… I’m sorry, they’re not that cool. As good as they may look, they will be diminished by overuse. They are the Ugg Boots of basic land. They are pumpkin spice latte lands.

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Iconic Masters Draft

Did an Iconic Masters draft at the LGS, this is the first one I’ve done, though I did scrub out of a sealed PPTQ on the weekend the set came out (despite having Consecrated Sphinx in my pool, because I am a shitty scrub).

In this draft, I P1P1’d a Yosei, the Morning Star and stuck to white & blue stuff. It turned out alright.

I was a little light on removal, having to play “quasi-removal” such as Guard Duty, Diminish and Repeal. It helped that my opponents drew pretty poorly. In any case, I’ll take it 🙂

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So close…

I started off 8-0 with this black-white deck featuring a Vona, Butcher of Magan. I would sometimes side into a green-white dinos deck with some fatter creatures if that made sense.

Alas, in round 9 my opponent had turn 2 Wanted Scoundrels in games 1 & 3, and in the final game he put One with the Wind on it for the utter dreamcrush. Bogles: The Format.

My round 7 opponent game me some all-time great salt, however, so I can look at this log and remind myself not to react this way myself! 😀

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Oh no not my Blood Moon

This bike meme slays me. Maybe I’m a jerk, but as the guy in the comic says: whatever.

I made a version applicable to my own life situation:

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Blue-Black Barely

The format continues to stress me out, but I got a 6-3 with this blue-black deck:

I was 5-3 going into the 9th match, but I got there in game 3. Opponent gave me a Cancel off of a Sword-Point Diplomacy in the late game, which surprised me. When I cast it a couple turns later on his Charging Monstrosaur he said in the chat “I thought I exiled that?” I was like “Nope.” so maybe that was a misclick on his part that benefited me. Hey, I’ll take it, and MTGO shows the exiled cards and whatnot so *shrug*

My pool supported a few different “okay” decks that I employed in various situations. I had a mediocre green-white dinosaurs pile that I sided into against a bigger deck… and I got myself into this situation:

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