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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Altered Art Soltari Guerillas

This looks much better in person, but its not bad, in my opinion.  I kinda wished I didnt do teh goofy looking gun on the botton.  Maybe I'll go back and make it not look like a baloon animal?  Oh well.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fall 2011 Rotation Update: Welcome to Innistrad

So Fall has come around, and along with the cool weather is the annual rotation. So Zendikar has rotated out of, wait what do you call it, oh yeah Standard. The good news is, this has next to no impact on me at all. I've slowly come to the realization that Standard just holds no interest for me, so I've written it off completely. I've been toying with the ideas of waiting until after the Standard rotation of a set before even really worrying about picking up any new rares or mythics for my casual deck. This should allow me to miss out on all the Standard price inflation, and pick up some much better values on the cards. Secondly, I should have a much better idea of what cards I really want, and cut back on things that end up in the bulk sell bin before they are even used. When I go back over my notes from Zendikar block, I find that my initial lists are much larger then what I really want now.

So what is there on my acquire list for the rotated block? Great question, glad you asked! The good news is this list is really small, since I have already managed to trade into a one-of-set of all the lands I wanted. The mythics consist of Jace, the Mind Sculptor and a Lotus Cobra. Only two mythics out of a block containing over a 100. Wow, I only want less the 2% of the magic cards being printed. It's a shame that these two cards carry a combined price of $65, if I'm lucky enough to find used copies, but that is still way better then getting these even a month ago. When it comes to rares, I find that not only is there not a single one I want that I have not already traded into, but that I have dozens which I no longer want.

This brings me to the annual Fall purge of cards, and wow do I think this is going to be a big one! I expect I will be down to a little over 1000 cards total after this one. This will basicly be an even split between proven casual cards, my Standard legal cards plus my Legacy Zoo deck. This sell off should not only cover everything on my acquisitions list, but also all the organized play I expect to do for the next year, with a good bit left over.

Next up, the Innistrad set. I opted not to play in any of the Prerelease events, primarily as the promo card was not of interest to me, and thus the event didn't represent stellar value for me. My son and I did decide to play in the release draft, mostly as a source of entertainment, not as a Magic decision. We both played miserably and dropped with 1-2 records after the 3rd round. I did manage to draft 2 of the new rare dual lands, essentially covering my cost of entry, and we did have fun despite our miserable win record.
I found the set to be very flavor full, and fun to draft. I found the new flip cards to be a hassle from a play perspective, because of the constant upkeep checks in every turn. I expect the up coming seasons including these cards will be filled with many game state warnings.

Lastly on my magic mind today, are some updates to the site. Extended has again proven to be less then relivent over the last year, not only to me but to the community at large. For this reason it is being eliminated as a searchable article tag. In related new, the new Modern format has not yet proven it's relivence to me, and I have opted not to add it at this time. I am going to keep the Standard blocks as searchable tags at this time. Despite my own lack of interest in the format, the vast majority of organized Magic played in the world continues to be in the Standard format.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome Back?

Man, it has been such a long time since I wrote anything for this outlet, mostly because it has been a really long time since I carried enough to have anything to say. I really had to look back over my last few posts to even remind me what had been going on, then I remembered why I hadn't cared in a while.

I had come to the conclusion to stay an active force in this game, as a budget player, you had to play Standard and win packs. Then I was reminded how, with just a little resources, I had managed to brew up a fairly original Standard deck. It was really coming along, developing a winning record, and the ability to bring home packs consistently. Then...they banned my deck. Well, they didn't ban the whole deck, but the one card that made the the whole thing work.

I simply will never understand why DCI takes the approach of banning utility cards, which allow for creative deck building instead of banning the problematic work horse card. Stoneforger Mystic was a utility card that made budget decks possible. A few copies of this allowed you to play with single copies of expensive Mythic cards, and still have a working deck. The banning of that card forced the acquisition of hundreds of dollars in cards in order to keep the design viable. In other words, the ban-hammer closed Standard to budget players. I guess it really comes down to Wizards doesn't want players to be able to function with out having hundreds of dollars of Mythic cards?

I guess that leaves me with Legacy. My Zoo deck, will be morphed back to Grove Level Zoo the next time I pick it up. My Merfolk deck can probably still be finished over the next year. Merfolk gives me a more controlling option to go along with my agro deck. Goblins, despite being almost fully completed, will most likely be sold off. I just can't see it ever being as good of an agro option as Zoo is, and it's components just aren't used in much else. The same case can be made for Affinity, were the very existence of Nullrod, makes the deck too inconsistent.

I find the Fall rotation approaching, and all I want to do is get rid of even more cards. I estimate my collection to be about 10000 cards right now, and I wouldn't be surprised if that drops by 50-80% this fall. I've found that my lack of investment in new cards really hasn't diminished my ability to play, because even my highest levels of investment simply weren't enough to stay viable in today's Standard environment. I now find myself becoming comfortable with the thought of just having one transformable Eternal deck. My current thinking is that Tendrils could be viable in both Eternal formats with very few cards which didn't overlap. My other thought is to sell it all off, maybe keep a casual deck, and just play limited when the block formats are fun.

This leads my thinking even further down the road. If I can be comfortable today with 2000 cards, how low am I really willing and able to go.?

Could 500 cards be enough to address the occasional need to play:
  • DoMT/EDH collection ..............300 cards
  • Transformable Eternal Deck.......100 cards
  • Transformable Warp World........100 cards

Or could I be happy just not owning any cards, counting on friends to spot me a deck for those few times a year that I wanted to play constructed?

If that's the case, should I even play limited, knowing I'm just going to get rid of most or all of the cards?

I don't know what the magic number is, but I am really beginning to think that the step I am prepared for this Fall, is really just another stepping stone in this journey.