Sunday, December 4, 2016

The end of the year of Modern Flashbacks

The year of Modern Flashbacks is coming to an end.

Its all Return to Ravnica block and M14 left.

Nov 30 - Dec 7: RTR x3
Dec 7-14: GTC x 3
Dec 14-21: RTR block, RTR+GTC+DGM
Dec 21-28: Magic 2014

RTR was the best of these formats IMHO. GTC is blindingly fast and the block format draft was quite strange. Magic 2014 was just superslow, make sure you draft Divination highly.

So what are your thoughts on the year of Modern Flashbacks? It seems to have brought prices down (along with everything else that has happened). Was it fun?

Holiday Promo: Thopter Pie Network

Every year on the occasion of Christmas time Wizards print a special card given only to its employees and sanctioned games stores, so are pretty unique This year's holiday promo is Thopter Pie Network. However, if you are thinking right now whether it is a good investment I will dispel your doubts very soon. Let's analyse the price of these promo cards using Mtggoldfish as a tool to quotation. We may notice that a newly released Chrismas promo card in December is worth more less 100 USD and it starts steadily declining in value as the time goes. Take a look at current prices:

2015: Goblin Sleigh Ride, 26.19 USD
2014: Mishra's Toy Workshop, 38.08 USD
2013: Stocking Tiger, 26.14 USD
2012: Naughty / Nice, 32.48 USD
2011: Yule Ooze, 35.36 USD
2010: Snow Mercy, 70.18 USD
2009: Season's Beatings, 40.22 USD
2008: Evil Presents, 68.42 USD
2007: Gifts Given, 136.11 USD
2006: Fruitcake Elemental, 48.79 USD

As the times goes on the investors expect the higher return rate on investment. However, the data presented above shows that regardless how many years passed these cards don't gain on value (only one exception Gifts Given). Despite of a limited printrun of Holiday Pormos a strategy to buy and hold a card for few years and observe how the profit is steadily raising doesn't work here. So, putting it all together - Holiday Promo cards are terrible investment, unless you may get them really cheap and you will sell them as soon as the possible.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Drafting Magic 2013

Magic 2013 was the draft format I got started with on youtube. I have liked it the best of all the core sets.

Its the flashback draft format happening right now on Magic Online. Try it out. You might enjoy it.

A couple of tips

1. It is a very midrange format. It is hard to be super aggro but it does work from time to time.
2. Exalted is real. This is one of the reasons for tip #3.
3. White is the best color.
4. When you go black and it is open - go heavy black! The shade works.
5. Red comes with good burn and mediocre creatures.
6. Friendly color combinations work best.
7. You need strong uncommons to do well with blue. However, the uncommons are very strong.
8. One toughness creatures die easily. If they don't, they are very good.  Consider sideboarding them out against Red.
9. Creatures with enter the battlefield effects are awesome.
10. Green is a stronger color than usual.

The pressure

A feeling of pressure during a tournament could totally ruin you and your performance. How to deal with it? Read on to find out.

  • Keep expectationes low. Don't visualize yourself holding a trophy just after winning four rounds. Simply do your job and play to your maximum ability.  So focusing or worrying about results when you are playing is pointless. The more expectations you take with you into a tournament, the more mental weight you will have piled on your shoulders each round you play.
  • I bet you feel very comfortable during FNM, but why many players get nervous in Grand Prix event? The game is the same. Rules are the same. You played Magic bazillion times before and you are not doing anything different than what you have done many times before. Perceive every game of Magic as a kitchen table game. It is just Magic.
  • Paired against local pro player or worldwide fameous name? 'Hell no, I'm surely doomed.' Is it really true? While playing against a newbie, does it mean you are giving him adventage? Definately not. You are trying to win a game at any cost. Either your opponent. Don't pay attention against whom you are playing. No matter if it is pro player or potentially worse player than you are. Pay attention to matchup and state of board, instead. 
  • Losing is a natural thing. It doesn't mean you are a bad player. The sooner you realize it, the better it is for you. A new dawn will come and so the new tournaments. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Tom Ross wins SCG Modern Open Columbus with Tron

Tom Ross won the SCG Modern Open! Great job! But it was not RG Tron. It was GW Tron!

Why would you give up the best dual land in Modern to play white instead of red?

Well, there are a couple of reasons.

First, lets have a look at the deck.

Main deck
4 Ancient Stirrings
1 Brushland
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
1 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Karn Liberated
3 Oblivion Stone
3 Path to Exile
3 Razorverge Thicket
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Sanctum of Ugin
1 Spellskite
4 Sylvan Scrying
2 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Power Plant
4 Urza's Tower
2 World Breaker
2 Wurmcoil Engine

3 Blessed Alliance
1 Ghost Quarter
3 Nature's Claim
1 Ravenous Trap
2 Rest in Peace
2 Thragtusk
3 Warping Wail

The idea of playing GW instead of GR is not new to Tron players. The main reason has been Path to Exile. Get a powerful spot removal spell instead of  Pyroclasm - should work well in certain metas. Timely Reinforcements also was a staple in the GW Tron decks. This is noticeably missing in Tom Ross's list.

As the author of the Modern Bible of RG Tron I have never advocated GW Tron. Today, I might have changed my mind.

The answers are all in the sideboard. Rest in Peace seems a much more powerful answer to Dredge than Relic of Progenitus. Blessed Alliance also swings the troublesome Burn Match in a way the older sideboard cards just never did. 

Also, it helped that Blood Moon decks are very popular. Contrary to popular belief, Blood Moon is not very effective against Tron decks with Oblivion Stones, Ugins and Karns.

Amazing deck choice, Tom! One day I may even consider playing Warping Wail which I am still on the fence about. 

Treasure Chests in paper Magic

From November 26 through December 17, stores around the world will be able to host Standard Showdown tournaments on Saturdays with special promotional prize boosters earned through undefeated play. Apart from performance, Wizards suggested distributing them as prizes for new players.

Stores will receive 40 prize boosters (ten for each event). Additonally, stores can also get 44 Standard Showdown Boosters to use as buy-a-box promos over the holiday season. Each purchase of a Kaladesh Booster Box will get you two boosters and each booster contains three-cards:
  • one premium Standard legal card, including Zendikar Expeditions and Kaladesh Inventions, not including double-faced cards.
  • two Standard legal rares or mythics (Battle for Zendikar through Kaladesh, excluding Oath of the Gatewatch and double-faced cards).
Zendikar Expeditions and Kaladesh Inventions appear in roughly 1 in 33 boosters.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Penny Dreadful - a new super cheap format on Magic Online

What would you say if I told you there is a format where you can play some super powerful rares and a deck costs less than 75 cents? Well, now there are.

Penny Dreadful is a new player run format on Magic Online where every card in the format costs 1 cent or less. That's the rule. There is - to my knowledge - no ban list. Every card on Magic Online that costs 0.01 or less is legal in your deck.

The format self-regulates, as a deck that dominates the format will increase in price slightly and become illegal by the next rotation. There is a rotation upon each new set release on Magic Online.

In a format where the staples will cycle with every set release, brewers take center stage in a race to define the next meta. At less than 1 Tix per deck, no card is out of your budget!
Mechanics that weren't quite powerful enough to compete in Modern and Standard are now king in Penny Dreadful.
Now I just have to figure out how to find someone to play with without joining the clan. 

Yes, its the ship! Treasure Cruise is legal in Penny Dreadful!

Best way to find matches is probably to join the Penny Dreadful clan on MTGO.
The Penny Dreadful web page: 
The Penny Dreadful Reddit: runs a weekly tournament on US-friendly hours: