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MtG: Sealed Booster League Example-UPDATED

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10 Sep 2013 03:50 - 02 Oct 2013 14:19 #160582 by bioball
Since the past few months have been filled with a lot of Magic talk, I thought it might be good to post some examples of a small sealed deck league I'm participating in with San and a few other friends. We started out with 6 M14 sealed boosters and built a 40-card deck out of those. Then after each league match we open up a new booster pack, add the cards to our pool, and play again.

I can't remember what was in the booster pack I opened but here is my current pool:

Total Qty Card
1 Staff of the Wild Magus
1 Staff of the Sun Magus
1 Duress
1 Doom Blade
1 Xathrid Necromancer
1 Altar's Reap
2 Blood Bairn
2 Undead Minotaur
1 Nightwing Shade
1 Shrivel
1 Liliana's Reaver
1 Blightcaster
1 Deathgaze Cockatrice
1 Dark Favor
2 Mark of the Vampire
1 Vile Rebirth
1 Accursed Spirit

1 Spell Blast
1 Phantom Warrior
1 Scroll Thief
1 Claustrophobia
2 Zephyr Charge
2 Air Servant
1 Trained Condor
2 Illusionary Armor
2 Tome Scour
1 Negate
1 Elite Arcanist
1 Messenger Drake

2 Plummet
1 Sporemound
1 Woodborn Behemoth
1 Rootwalla
1 Gladecover Scout
1 Advocate of the Beast
2 Hunt the Weak
1 Elvish Mystic
1 Lay of the Land
1 Brindle Boar
1 Giant Growth
1 Naturalize

1 Mutavault
1 Cyclops Tyrant
1 Striking Sliver
1 Blur Sliver
1 Goblin Shortcutter
2 Regathan Firecat
1 Volcanic Geyser
1 Battle Sliver
1 Chandra's Outrage
1 Goblin Diplomats
1 Dragon Hatchling
1 Fleshpulper Giant
2 Canyon Minotaur
1 Smelt
1 Wild Guess
1 Barrage of Expendables

1 Silence
1 Soulmender
2 Celestial Flare
1 Indestructibility
1 Wall of Swords
1 Siege Mastodon
1 Master of Diversion
1 Fortify
1 Suntail Hawk
2 Pay No Heed
1 Pillarfield Ox
2 Charging Griffin
2 Stonehorn Chanter
1 Angelic Wall
1 Path of Bravery
1 Pacifism
1 Sentinel Sliver
Last edit: 02 Oct 2013 14:19 by bioball.
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10 Sep 2013 04:00 #160585 by bioball
Here is my first deck from that pool: Muck v1

Basically in my opening 6 packs, I pretty much had dick. So I figured my best hope was to pool together all the flying, intimidate, unblockable creatures I could. I also wanted to snag Black's Doom Blade/Duress and combine it with Blue's Negate, Counterspell, Frostbreath to hopefully slow down the game. Then heavy enchantments could be brought in to pump my evading creature up and finish off my opponents. Looking around my buddies were pulling out Serra Angels, 3x Predatory Slivers, and 3x Scroll Thiefes so I knew I was fucked.

Creatures:11
1 Scroll Thief - A 2U (1/3) with a card draw ability
1 Trained Condor- Flying; give flying
1 Xathrid Necromancer- Drop a 2/2 token everytime my humans die; also is a "human"
1 Accursed Spirit- intimidate
1 Blightcaster
1 Deathgaze Cockatrice- Flying; deathtouch
1 Elite Arcanist
1 Liliana's Reaver
1 Air Servant- Total workhorse, flying (4/3) and can tap other flyers
1 Messenger Drake- Flying
1 Nightwing Shade- Flying, pump

Spells:13
1 Duress
1 Spell Blast
1 Vile Rebirth
1 Altar's Reap
1 Doom Blade
1 Negate
1 Cancel
1 Claustrophobia
1 Frost Breath
2 Mark of the Vampire- +2/+2 and lifelink
2 Illusionary Armor-+4/+4 but goes away when creature is targeted

Lands:16
8 Island
1 Mutavault- I have a weakness for Mishra's Factory, also this land becomes a creature of any type
7 Swamp
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10 Sep 2013 04:24 - 10 Sep 2013 04:45 #160587 by bioball
When I opened my second pack I immediately found relief in a second Air Servant and I also gained a Young Pyromancer. This started me thinking about how I could maximize some tricks as well as move my mana curve into the lower numbers. Muck v1's problem is that it has too much ass. I could hit hard, if I lasted long enough. And as great as the flyers are, a lot of them contained two mana symbols so were difficult to cast especially when trying to keep mana free for counterspells.

And so with a little bit of Red removal, Muck v2 was born around a few synergies:
1. Air Servants + Zyephyr Charge Total workhorse(s). They are 4/3 flyers who can tap other flyers. So they can clear their own path to victory AND their tap ability does not require them to be untapped. They synergize well with Zyephr Charge which is "1U: Give target creature flying"; my creatures can also get flying (great for the 4/1 Firecats)

2. Xathrid Necromancer, Young Pyromancer, & Blightcaster The Three Musketeers. All are human so when they die, the Necromancer generates a 2/2 token. The Pyromancer also generates a 1/1 token when I cast instances or sorcery, while the Blightcaster allows me to give a target -2/-2 until end of turn when I cast an enchantment. Ideally, I'd like to have 2/3 out on the battlefield so that I can get a little more out of my non-creature castings.

3. Blood Bairn The creepy kids (2B; 2/2) are awesome because when I sacrifice creatures to them, they get +2/+2. So all those token creatures, especially the 1/1's, are being converted into 2 damage. And if I sacrifice a human in while the Necromancer is out, then one creature who is human can generate +4/+4 (remember the Mutavault can become a 2/2 creature that is human).

4. Cheaper Enchantments So I kept the Mark of the Vampire because +2/+2 and Lifelink is pretty good. But I tossed the Illusionary Armor in favor of Lightning Talons (2R; +3/+0 First strike) and Dark Favor (1B; +3/+1) because they were just as good and cheaper. I try to get these enchantments on Black creatures as it prevents the easy Doom Blade.

5. Direct Damage & Stall I added Shock, Flames of the Firebrand, and Lava Axe for the creature removal aspect and as a finisher (Lava Axe). Again, if Pyromancer is out these also become 1/1 creatures. Negate and Frost Breath also will clear the way and hopefully provide a chance to knock down at least one troubling spell. But I might replace Negate with Alter's Reap (Sac' a creature to draw 2 cards).

Creatures:13
1 Young Pyromancer
2 Blood Bairn
2 Regathan Firecat
1 Scroll Thief
1 Xathrid Necromancer
1 Accursed Spirit
1 Blightcaster
1 Liliana's Reaver
2 Air Servant
1 Armored Cancrix

Spells:12
1 Shock
1 Dark Favor
1 Doom Blade
1 Negate
2 Zephyr Charge
1 Flames of the Firebrand
1 Frost Breath
1 Lightning Talons
2 Mark of the Vampire
1 Lava Axe

Lands:17
5 Island
5 Mountain
1 Mutavault
6 Swamp

As you can see the deck is now much faster in developement and I think has better card synergy: Mana Curve for Muck 1 v 2
Last edit: 10 Sep 2013 04:45 by bioball.
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10 Sep 2013 18:29 #160619 by dragonstout
Looks fun! Poor Nate's pool is much worse, IMHO. Hmmmm...or maybe it's an illusion and I'm just thinking that because you're doing 3-color and he's 2-color, so you naturally have higher average card quality? No, your first deck looked pretty sweet.

Your deck looks fun. If I were playing I'd make a LOT of changes, primarily that there's no way I'd play 3 colors with that pool. 5-5-6 manabase is just asking for trouble. If I WERE going to play 3 colors, I'd also definitely go 18 lands. I lean towards 18 lands nowadays anyway for even slightly controlling decks.

But there is fun stuff you can do with those three colors that you couldn't just do with two, so more power to ya!

Also: it makes me REALLY sad to see you cut Elite Arcanist, especially in a deck with Doom Blade, Shock, Negate, Frost Breath, and potentially Cancel and Altar's Reap (note that with Altar's Reap on the Arcanist, you wouldn't have to sacrifice anything). It is fragile as hell, though, and an especially awful two-for-one if it gets killed. But such a cool card!!!

I am jealous of your league! I am in second-baby jail.

Hope you guys are going to the Theros Prerelease or Release Event!
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10 Sep 2013 18:44 #160621 by bioball
Yeah I don't like 3 colors either but I wanted Red's removal and Firecats to help speed things up. I like Black's creature + enchantments, Blue's Air Servants and stalls, and Red's direct damage. So I really can't decide where to break- B/U or B/R.

Elite Archanist + Alter's Reap was not a combo I fully realized- its a good one. I could sub out the Armored Cancrix and Negate for the combo.

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10 Sep 2013 19:37 #160628 by dragonstout
Here's the problem: three colors works okay when the third color is a splash. But here you've got Young Pyromancer, Scroll Thief, and Blood Bairn, all of which really want to be cast early, but there is nothing at all to help you *get* all three of those colors early beyond wishin' and hopin'. I feel like you're going to be relying on one of two things happening:
- you get really lucky and get all three colors of mana early, no problem!
- the opponent is slow and clunky, so you have time to not be able to cast things

Also note that combo'ing Zephyr Charge with Air Servant requires double-blue, which, with five islands, is gonna be happening pretty darn late in the game.

With Core Set sealed deck, I'd say that hope #2 is actually a pretty darn good hope; I definitely can't see anything quick happening from Nate's pool, though he's told horror stories about some superfast RW sliver deck with freaking Ajani, but that might just end up being the big lucky bogeyman of your group until Theros cracks everything wide open.

Your deck looks really cool, though. I'd be more excited to watch it when the mana works than watch whatever dumb 2-color deck I'm suggesting, I'm ONLY worried about the mana working. As long as you're okay with one game per match being a total mana-disaster in exchange for doing really cool shit in the other games, then go for it! Caution is overrated!

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11 Sep 2013 07:38 #160662 by dragonstout
BTW, just as a note to Altar's Reap, which might not have been clear: if someone Doom Blades (or whatever) your dude, you can cast Altar's Reap and sacrifice the dude that your opponent just tried to kill.

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11 Sep 2013 19:25 #160696 by bioball

dragonstout wrote: As long as you're okay with one game per match being a total mana-disaster in exchange for doing really cool shit in the other games, then go for it! Caution is overrated!


Very, very true. Since this is a "fun" league, I'd rather play a deck I enjoy rather than one that is super efficient. Its more exciting for me to try an pull rabbits out of hats than just drop bomb after bomb. I did jigger it to include Elite Ancantist over Mutavault and modified the land a bit. It runs smoother.

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11 Sep 2013 19:28 #160697 by san il defanso
In one game against Warren, I lost 10 health to Mutavault before I ever got a creature in play. It's safe to say that I hate that card, unless I have it.

Really, the whole game is about "I hate that card unless I have it."

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11 Sep 2013 19:50 - 11 Sep 2013 19:51 #160699 by dragonstout

bioball wrote:

dragonstout wrote: As long as you're okay with one game per match being a total mana-disaster in exchange for doing really cool shit in the other games, then go for it! Caution is overrated!


Very, very true. Since this is a "fun" league, I'd rather play a deck I enjoy rather than one that is super efficient. Its more exciting for me to try an pull rabbits out of hats than just drop bomb after bomb. I did jigger it to include Elite Ancantist over Mutavault and modified the land a bit. It runs smoother.

Over Mutavault??!?!?

Admittedly, Mutavault and 3 colors don't mix very well. I just wouldn't count it as a land when doing the accounting.

At least the Sliver guy doesn't have a Mutavault!

Losing 10 life to Mutavault before ever getting a creature into play, though (implying that he took 6 turns before you got a creature out) is probably a sign you should've mulliganed that hand, though. Which is not to say that I haven't kept hands like that, either, but that's because I'm a fool sometimes :-) Learning to mulligan in a way that's not just "do I have enough land?" but rather "does this hand have a reasonable sequence of plays?" took forever for me. It's so easy to hope "well, if I DRAW some good stuff this hand'll be good!" and ignore the fact that your opening hand is a pretty large chunk of the total number of cards you'll see all game long. Part of my problem is that mulliganing is one of the least interesting decisions in the game for me, despite being so very important.
Last edit: 11 Sep 2013 19:51 by dragonstout.

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11 Sep 2013 20:08 #160702 by san il defanso

dragonstout wrote: At least the Sliver guy doesn't have a Mutavault!


Yeah, he totally does.

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11 Sep 2013 21:16 - 11 Sep 2013 21:17 #160708 by dragonstout

San Il Defanso wrote:

dragonstout wrote: At least the Sliver guy doesn't have a Mutavault!


Yeah, he totally does.

:'-[

That's gonna be a pretty formidable FREE creature.

I played a full set of Mutavaults in Legacy Merfolk for a while, which was maybe my favorite Legacy deck. With 12 creatures in there that all give +1/+1 bonuses to all other Merfolk, Mutavault was pretty much always a *free* (okay, 1 mana activation) 4/4 or larger. Good times!
Last edit: 11 Sep 2013 21:17 by dragonstout.

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11 Sep 2013 21:19 #160709 by bioball
Mutavalt is great in that respect, but I was using it more as a 2/2 creature and somehow getting it killed then never drawing a land again. I figured I'd try another human wizard in its place since it will afford some of the same synergy.

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23 Sep 2013 16:27 #161633 by dragonstout
I dunno if you guys went to the the prerelease, but if not, then hopefully you're going to the release events next weekend. In which case I highly recommend this Paulo Vitor Damor da Rosa article, which I think is definitely at a level very understandable and helpful for casual players:
www.channelfireball.com/home/pvs-playhouse-theros-prerelease/

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01 Oct 2013 23:11 #162254 by dragonstout
You guys are killing me, I want to hear how the meetup went last Thursday!

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