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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grim Tidings #29 - Deck Diagnostic Part III

5C Proliferate, Part III – Mana Fixing
Fixing the mana problems for my 5-Color Proliferate should be pretty easy.

Minor Problems
The best way with any deck to figure out what adjustments you need to make is to just play it and see how it does. I’ve done that a lot over the past month, and I’ve thankfully taken notes of what types of problems I’ve had as the deck evolved.

My current decklist is predominantly Blue and Green. Through my tuning process, I’ve whittled down the White, Black and Red components so they are minimized (for the most part). I’ve had some problems though in the last few weeks having enough (any) red and black mana online, as well as getting enough acceleration to start casting spells a turn or two earlier.

As I normally do, I started off with a standard 110 land manabase, with a bunch of additional artifacts/creatures. Why 110? I don’t know. I’ve played this game for a long time and that is what it seems to take.

I dumped in a bunch of the dual lands, shock lands, fetch lands, etc. to get me half-way there. What’s nice about the “core” is that these lands don’t enter the battlefield tapped so I’m never hurting tempo. Then I started adding in the five color lands like the Lorwyn Vivids, Gemstone Mine, and Mirrodin’s Core. Since these lands and counter driven, I opted to not go highlander with them to maximize the chances I could put additional charge counters on them when I proliferate.

The Basics
What was left were my basic lands. I tend to include about 25% basic lands in all of my 5-Color decks. It offers me a little protection against Wasteland, and reduces the massive damage from Anathemancer.

Honestly though, there is nothing wrong with using basic lands. They really are pretty great. They produce colored mana, they are immune to Blood Moon effects, they are fetchable with the majority of the land search spells, and you have a wide assortment of artwork to choose from. Although no one does it, you really could build a 5-Color deck with ALL basic lands and probably do alright.

What’s tricky is figuring out the proper ratios. Fortunately I’m an engineer, so I can build a crafty spreadsheet to figure it out for me. (I'm such a nerd!)

Math Is Not Your Enemy
Can you count? Great! You’re already half way there.

That’s really all you need to do for part one. Count the number cards for each color, including all mono-colored, multi-colored, and hybrid cards. (The Multi-color and Hybrid cards will get counted multiple times depending on how many colors they are.) Artifacts and colorless spells don’t matter.

Write these numbers down. By default, you will have at least 25 cards of each color if you are abiding by the standard 5-Color deck building rules.

(Mono + Multi + Hybrid = Subtotal)
Red: 11 + 12 + 2 = 25
Black: 20 + 11 + 3 = 34
White: 25 + 7 + 0 = 32
Green: 33 + 12 + 2 = 47
Blue: 39 + 6 +2 = 47
Total: 185

Ah! Remember before when I said I thought I had Red/Black/White minimized in this deck? Apparently I don’t. There are quite a few multi-color Red cards that require black and/or white which are driving the subtotals above the 25 card threshold. That’s not a problem, but its good to know.

Now, just calculate the percentage of each color’s subtotal divided by the total:

Percentages
Red: 25/185 = 13.5%
Black: 34/185 = 18.4%
White: 32/185 = 17.3%
Green: 47/185 = 25.4%
Blue: 47/185 = 25.4%

By itself, this data might be enough to establish a decent ratio of color distribution for you manabase. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really reflect the density of color requirements from spells that require two or more of the same type mana in their casting cost (like the triple UUU found in Sphinx of Magosi).

More Math
For part two, go back and count the actual mana symbols in each casting cost.

Examples:
Sphinx of Magosi (UUU3) counts as three Blue.
Jace Berelan (UU1) counts as two Blue.
Ponder (U) would be one Blue.
Ancestral Vision (n/a) still counts as one Blue for its Suspend cost.
Plaxcaster Frogling (UG1) counts as one Blue and one Green.
Gilder Bairn (u/g u/g 1) would count as one Blue, since there are two half-hybrid mana symbols.


If something doesn’t exactly fit a category, don’t worry. Use your best judgment. (We round up at the end anyways.) Then do you data as we did before:

Mana Symbols
Red: 27.5
Black: 48
White: 44
Green: 64
Blue: 74

Total: 257.5

Note, it is possible for a color to fall below the 25 card threshold when counting mana symbols, since hybrids only count for 0.5 of each symbol. Then run the percentages as before.

Percentages
Red 27.5/257.5= 10.7%
Black 48/257.5 = 18.6%
White 44/257.5 = 17.1%
Green 64/257.5 = 24.9%
Blue 74/257.5 = 28.7%

Evaluation
It’s tough to say which methodology is strictly better. I think method one (raw card counting) indicates your immediate needs for starting your opening hand, but method two (symbol density) is more reflective of the long term need.

Since they both contribute value, I prefer to weight them equally, and just take the average between both methods to get my suggested ratios:
Averages
Red (13.5% + 10.7%)/2 = 12.1%
Black (18.4% + 18.6%)/2 = 18.5%
White (17.3% + 17.1%)/2 = 17.2%
Green (25.4% + 24.9%)/2 = 25.1%
Blue (25.4% + 28.7%)/2 = 27.1%

Application
I want to apply these ratios to my basic land strategy, so I’ll multiply the average percentages to the number of available slots I have left for my basic lands. Regardless whether I choose to have 25 basic land slots or 100, the ratios of each land type should still fall into these same proportions:

Red 12.1% x25 slots = 3.0 Mountains
Black 18.5% x25 slots = 4.6 Swamps
White 17.2% x25 slots = 4.3 Plains
Green 24.9% x25 slots = 6.3 Forests
Blue 28.7% x25 slots = 6.8 Islands


Obviously you cant have a fraction of a card, so round off your final calculation. I like to round up, since it gives me a little flexibility if I change a few cards every so often without having to recalculate this all over again. Looks like like I need 27 basic lands. I can live with that.

3.0 --> 3 Mountains
4.6 --> 5 Swamps
4.3 --> 5 Plains
6.3 --> 7 Forests
6.8 --> 7 Islands

A Note on Colorless…
Be careful with how many colorless lands you include in any 5-Color deck. You should always include the “Strip Mine Package” (See Grim Tidings #17), but try not to over do it unless the colorless land has an absolutely amazing ability. I thought Novigen and City of Shadows fit the proliferating-counter theme nicely for this particular deck, but I tried not to have many other colorless lands to accidentally screw up my evil plans.

So on to playtesting with these minor tweaks…

Week 4 Results
Yay! There are enough players for Group Games tonight… just what my casual theme deck needs to flourish! And how!

I was quite pleased as my mana fixing proved to work out. I had an ample flow of lands in all of my games, and I rarely waited to get the right color for any particular casting cost.

Overall, I was so impressed that I declared my playtesting efforts were officially over. I have plenty of defensive posture, I am drawing a lot of cards, and my mannose is set. I’m quite glad I spent the time analyzing each of these facets of the decklist.

This series has helped me a lot to think through the basic problems of deckbuilding. I hope you enjoyed reading my ramblings as I thought this through step by step. Next week, I promise I’ll post the actual decklist so you can finally see what the heck my 5C Proliferate deck looks like. Until then...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Grim Tidings Bonus - Altered Swords to Plowshares

Check out my newest card for First Reminder:
Not bad for my first piece of altered artwork. I like it at least.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grim Tidings #28 - Deck Diagnostic Part II

5C Proliferate, Part II - Draw

Everything seems to be progressing well with my 5C Proliferate deck, as my major overhauls are complete for the most part. Over the last three weeks, I’ve injected the deck with a substantial amount of removal and drawing capability to help build a strong skeleton that can be fleshed out with a 'proliferating counter’ theme.

One of the biggest problems from the initial games I played with 5C Proliferate was that I had no sustainability after my opening seven-card hand. I consistently went into top-deck mode after a few turns, and had to rely solely on luck to mount any sort of offense. In short, there was no sustainability at all.

Now, I did include some elements of card draw, but as I revealed last week, my initial intent was to have a highlander decklist, with a wide variety of spells to chose form. What I ended up with in result was a diluted deck that always petered out around turn 5.

Starting Point
What nice about the card drawing aspect is that I have more opportunity to incorporate the proliferate counter theme into the card selections. I immediately tagged a few notable spells that fit this description:

Jace Berelan
Enclave Cryptologist
Sphinx of Magosi
Etched Oracle

Sadly with just 1-ofs, these gems were the equivalent of a whisper at a Lamb of God concert. (Speaking of which, when are these guys going to release a new album?) It became evident that I needed to concentrate the ability to draw extra cards to keep the pressure on.

Card Advantage Basics
There are a few basic “laws” that govern Magic games, one of which is that the standard rules only allow you to draw card per turn. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get that card each Draw Step, but normally, that’s the only new spell you’re going to see. until your next turn. I find this “law” to be the biggest limiting factor to each magic game. It is the step I look forward to most each turn, as it presents me with the ultimate decision of whether to attack, activate, destroy or pass depending on what I draw.

So what if you draw an extra card? Well, now I get two choices. I am not forced to make a linear decision, as I have multiple variables which I can leverage to my advantage.

Additionally, you have broken a basic Magic “law” that you can only draw one card per turn. In some ways you have taken two turns. Granted, you don’t get a second untap or attack phase, but if cards in hand are the most important resource you have, you are essentially getting an extra turn when you draw that second card.

Besides, these are 300 card 5-Color decks. Not every spell is going to be applicable (or even castable!) at the precise time you draw it. If you are really desperate for creature removal, you’re going to need to dig as deep as possible to get that Swords to Plowshares in your hand quickly.

So How Many Jaces are Too Many?
After week #2, I had increased the card drawing density substantially, but as always, its never enough for me. I ordered additional cards online to help this critical elements, and here is the final suite I assembled:

4x Jace Berelan
1x Tezzeret the Seeker

4x Enclave Cryptologist
4x Sphinx of Magosi
4x Etched Oracle
1x Bringer of the Blue Dawn
1x Mulldrifter
1x Sphinx of Lost Truths
1x Sage of Fables
1x Myojin of the Seeing Wind
1x Dusk Urchins
1x Wall of Omens
1x Wall of Blossoms
1x Orhan Viper
1x Eternal Witness
1x Cold Eyed Selkie

1x Pursuit of Knowledge
1x Ancestral Visions
1x Ponder
1x Brainstorm
1x Cryptic Command
1x Future Sight
1x Steady Progress
1x Trigon of Thought
1x Crystal Ball
1x Sensei’s Divining Top
1x Skullclamp

I tried to maintain my highlander notion if I felt the card was somewhat conditional or out of theme, but overall, this is a lot of card draw. In addition, I started piling on the tutor effects as well, to reduce any topdeck mode and just go get you what I want when I needed it:

1x Tinker
1x Transmute Artifact
1x Academy Rector
1x Enlightened Tutor
1x Idyliic Tutor
1x Liliana Vess
1x Demonic Tutor
1x Beseech the Queen
1x Diabolic Tutor
1x Night Dealings

Alright, time to shuffle up!

Week 3 Results
Unfortunately, it was just Jedi Jed and myself this week, so I was forced back into one-on-one duels. (I’m certain 5C Proliferate is much better suited to a multiplayer setting to help divert attention away from my wicked machinations.) To make matters worse, Jed’s deck is absolutely fantastic too. I’m not going to put weight on going 2-8 against him that night. Rather, I’ll use the data I gathered it as a teaching tool to help me understand the tendencies of my current decklist.

Overall, I was impressed. I rarely ever had less than 5 cards in hand, and I was setting up my proliferate tricks quite frequently. Most games came down to being just a micro-second too slow to deal the killing blow, but I was drawing enough threats and answers to “do” what the deck is supposed to “do”.

I would love to play 4x Jace the Mindsculptor in addition to the 4x Jace Berelans, but I’m not dumping any more money into this casual theme deck.

I still have some smoothing of the mana base to work out, especially with my minimized red/black sources, but I am on the right track to success. Next week I’ll address those issues before I get to discussion of the final decklist and the weird proliferate synergies I’ve discovered in this diagnostic effort. Ciao!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grim Tidings #27: Deck Diagnostic Part I

5C Proliferate, Part I- Defense

In Grim Tidings #26, I revealed some serious problems with my 300 card 5-Color Proliferate deck. I’m dedicating the next few weeks to perform diagnostic checks on the concept to see if I can make it work.

Lets dive right in with my first task at hand: Staying alive long enough to even attempt a proliferate strategy.

Most theme decks run the risk that a player might spend too much time “setting up” if the strategy is non-linear. Proliferate falls into this category, in my opinion. In order for the proliferate mechanic to work, it relies on having other permanents already in play with counters on them. By itself, proliferate doesn’t do anything. It requires permanents on either side with counters already on them. Otherwise there is no incentive to activate the mechanic.

This puts the player at a disadvantage right off the bat, as there is a time-delay between getting the counters started before the engine starts manufacturing more. This could be a turn or two, or even more, considering that the marquee proliferate cards have cmc of 5 or 6.

An Ugly Starting Point
When I first assembled my deck, I didn’t really take this cold hard truth into account. I simply assumed if I packed as many proliferate cards into the decklist as possible, accompanied with as many cards with counters on them, it was inevitable that I would be ready to go as soon as Contagion Engine (or whatever) hit the table. After the first few games, I realized my folly.

From my memory, I think I included:
1x Swords to Plowshares
1x Path to Exile
1x Austere Command
1x Wrath of God
1x Serra’s Liturgy
1x Vile Requiem
1x Royal Assassin
1x Damnation
1x Puncture Blast
1x Puncture Bolt
1x Jund Charm
1x Pure//Simple
1x Shattering Pulse
1x Virdian Shaman

…And not much else. There were (and still are) an assortment of creatures with come-into-play removal effects, but they were generally too hard to cast in a timely manner to make a difference.

That’s only 14 cards, out of 300 (4.6%). In an average game, you’re opening hand will have 7 cards. Assuming the game lasts 10-15 turns, you may likely see 8.0% of your entire deck (barring tutors or additional card draw). That’s a pretty narrow window to align to have the proper removal when needed.

Modification On-the-Fly
After a few defeats, I quickly started realizing my problem. I scurried back to my card boxes and started pulling more support to aid my cause. I added 1x Unmake, 1x Condemn, 1x Oblivion Ring among others to help plug the leaks in my dam.

Sidenote: You’ll notice that I kept pulling 1-ofs. Why? Well at the time, I opted to keep the deck highlander, with the exception of the core Proliferate cards. In my arrogance, I was confident my list could support itself, and there was no reason to concede that I may need multiples of the most basic cards. Not until the next day did I decide that in order for this to work, I was going to have to abandon this highlander notion.

Plows to the Rescue!
So after much consternation, I began rebuilding in my defense earnest. Knowing that some of the best removal spell are featured in White, Black, and Red, I started there, pretty much from scratch. (This decision was two fold, as I was finding the best spells with counters (for proliferate) seem to be Blue and Green. This way, I’m not cluttering up the UG” theme” spots with boring utility.) So what were my choices?


4x Swords to Plowshares
3x Wrath of God
1x Balance
1x Serra’s Liturgy
3x Damnation
1x Vile Requiem
4x Lightning Bolt
3x Krosan Grip
1x Jund Charm
1x Naya Charm
1x Pure//Simple
1x Maze of Ith
1x Kor Haven
1x Forcefield

I opted out of the -1/-1 slow-kill strategy in order for efficient streamline removal. In most cases, I picked the spell that only cost 1 colored mana, or was the most aggressively costed mass removal, without condition.

Next, for some conventional defense, I looked at the creature base, and how many blockers I could drop early. All-time great defenders like Wall of Blossoms/Omens were already in my list to help draw a few extra cards. My choice was to expand the wall base, and add 4x Wall of Roots, which doubles as mana acceleration as well. These changes brought my defensive quota up to around 30 cards, doubling my previous count.

There are still some outliers in the defense category sprinkled amongst the creature base (Skinrender, Carnifex Demon, Guul Draz Assassin) but because ethey are conditional or high-costed, I’ll pass on discussing them until I get the ratios down. For now they will just add conditional versatility.

I am starting to feel a little more comfortable with this, especially since I simultaneously upped the card drawing aspect in the deck. I am hoping that by seeing cards each game I will have access to the proper removal when needed.

On to Monday Night playtesting….

Week 2 Results
Overall, I felt the deck had a significantly better performance. There are still definitely places for improvement, but I certainly was executing my proliferating agenda.

Tonight’s format was multiplayer free-for-all, which is more favorable than the one-on-one duels I faced off with last week. The added presence of other player’s threats diverts attention away from my permanents, while also pooling removal amongst all players to address a problem collectively.

It seemed my availability of spot removal was sufficient. I managed to deal with a turn three Baneslayer with a Swords to Plowshares, as well as regrowing it a few turns later to exile a fully-leveled Figure of Destiny. I was also pleased with the timeliness of my Krosan Grips, which prevented an activation of Contagion Engine against me in a clutch late game moment.

My density of mass-removal was adequate as well. I became the target of an early Skithiryx, but I only suffered 4 points of poison before I “Wrathed” it and the rest of the table away.

I was a little disappointed in my flying defense though. On one occasion, I was pinched between two Angels of Despairs vs. another Angel of Despair and Reya Dawnbringer. There was little I could do to stabilize both sides, and I ended up losing that match. I’m happy with the Walls of Roots, but I need to shore up the air a little better to steer my enemies elsewhere. I’ll look into Wall of Reverence or Denial perhaps if I can fit them in.

Next Step
My mail-order should arrive this week with more reinforcements on the card drawing front. I think the draw aspect allows for more synergy between counters/proliferate than removal, so hopefully the deck will continue to flesh out with these additions. More next week as I explore this area in depth.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Life and Times of a Magic Player: Looking Towards 2011

The last few months have brought about a lot of changes for the Magic Community, both on the personal, local, and global level.

Wizards continues to make, what I can only describe as poor decisions regarding it's player community. Restricting TO affiliations, decreasing professional level events, dogmatic enforcement of the Reserved List, elimination of the Player Rewards program, universally hated changes to the B/R list, and an ever increasing barrage of narrow products, seem to do little but add to player frustrations. I hear from an wide swath of players, who truly wish the simple things could be simple. If Wizards is going to continually fight TO efforts to promote their product, and build their community, then honestly why bother? This is forcing me to reevaluate many of my own community driven efforts. It has become clear to me that my status as "simply" a TO is not effective, and not really desired by Wizards. I feel that I must either forgo being a TO, or expand my efforts and work on my L1 Judge status. This is a decision I have yet to make, and will remain in a holding pattern for the time being.

On a personal level, I find myself increasingly frustrated by this game which I normally enjoy so much. The Fall rotation brought about a lot of changes in details, but the broad strokes remain the same. It become increasingly clear to me that Standard will remain a Mythic Rare driven format. It's going to be an all or nothing proposition. Players must be willing to invest big dollars into decks and cards, despite limited shelf life, or resign themselves to being uncompetitive. There is little to no room for a budget player in the format, and thus there is no place in it for me. I have accepted this as fact, and while I doubt I could buy less packs then I already do, new set releases hold very little interest to me moving forward. I will only play in release events, if the promo card is something I specifically want for my collection. I will assemble a common set, but only for applications in Pauper Extended. Cards above the common level, will only be assembled for specific uses.

This acceptance of what Standard has become, and is likely to remain, lends itself to another breakthrough on the Magic front. For many years now, I have embraced  a nearly Buddhist desire to have "less stuff", really only wanting what I really need. My Magic collection has flown in the face of that for years. When I'm pressed to a number, I would guess that I have something like 40,000 cards at any given time. My guess would be that I only actually use about 1,000 of them. The next couple of months will be used to identify those 1,000 or so cards, and getting rid of the rest. I should be able to steam roll my excess into a hand full of cards which will hold more personal value for me.

Now the question becomes, what to do with that value? As counter intuitive as it seems, Eternal has become the best budget format in my mind. Not because the cards are cheap, but because of their nearly limitless period of use. Short of a change to the B/R list, major dynamic shift, or obsolescence by a new card, today's relevant cards will remain so. I have very recently taken the plunge, and finished my play set of Force of Will, enabling a lot more choices in Eternal formats. Now my land base will tend to be the biggest obstacle to virtually any deck. My recent experiment into Vintage reaffirms my conviction. Not only was the deck cheaper to build then my first Legacy deck, but it was more successful. I was able to build a 9 Proxy Belcher, with no cash outlay. Granted, this was in large part due to additions to my collection made during my Legacy expansion, but zero is zero in my book. This deck also did better for me, then my first Legacy event. I went 3-3 on Sunday, breaking even. My first attempts at Legacy left me 0-4. Seems better, if not yet good.

In any case, my role as a Magic Player is in the process of shifting significantly. Who knows where i may end up...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Grim Tidings #26: Flip-Flop

I think the majority of magic articles I write aren't very helpful.

For the most part are a stream of self-congratulatory praise of how great my proven decks are. Sure, my cutting sarcasm and wit occasionally generate a chuckle (I still love the Chaos Orb piece) but for the most part, I they all smoosh together into a long wordy rant of why I think this-or-that card is so great and why you should play it too.

It’s my own fault. I pretend that everyone who reads my ramblings knows who I am, and has the same preference in play style. I assume everyone plays Casual-Competitive Magic, that they all play 300 card 5-Color decks, highlander style, and they have access to all 10,000+ cards to randomly insert in Deck XYZ at any moment’s notice. Obviously this is untrue.

The root of the problem may lie in my core deck: “First Reminder”. I gush on and on about this deck, partly to brag on my collection, and partly to show-off my self-proclaimed cleverness. The deck has gained notoriety (for whatever that’s worth) at my casual table, as opponent’s groan when they see me pull out the customized black-and-purple deck box adorned with a mosaic of Grim Reminder snippets.

No one who has played against it can deny its strength. It’s a really good deck. Plus the fact that I’ve played it for several years makes me fairly competent in piloting it. As time passes, I tweak it to address the meta-game, but overall, it remains essentially intact.

Meanwhile…
I get bored. Each year it seems I reassemble Second Reminder gain to inject some new life into my Magic games. I try to test out some of the new mechanics, or give my friends a break from the menace First Reminder has become.

Then I get bored again. Either I’m addicted to power, or I’m addicted to deckbuilding, but for some reason I can’t keep Second Reminder put together. Two years ago, I dismantled it and built 5-Color Enchantress. Last year I dismantled it and built 5-Color Kiki. In both cases it was a welcome diversion, as it gave me something new to think about, discuss, and waste my time/money on.

But now I need a new project. A few weeks ago, I traded for a bunch of the new Proliferate cards in an attempt to build a new theme deck.

4x Inexorable Tide
4x Contagion Engine
3x Contagion Clasp
4x Steady Progress
4x Thrumming Birds
2x Throne of Geth






Boy was I excited! I researched a plethora of synergistic cards, and then rummaged through my binders to assemble what I thought would be an unstoppable flow of counters and headaches for my opponents to deal with. Last Tuesday, I finally got my chance to test it out against a live opponent: Jedi Jed.

Epic Fail
Oops. After shuffling up for a few games, it became apparent I had forgotten three of the basic principles of deck-building at the casual table: Mana-fixing, Sustainability and Defense.

I had too many comes-into-play-tapped lands.

I missed land drops.

I didn’t have enough card draw.

I didn’t have any early blockers.

I didn’t have enough removal.

I didn’t have finishers.

It was pretty much just a stack of crap.

Flip-Flop
What made things worse for me, is that simultaneously, Dark Jedi ran his course through his own artifact-themed deck. He rebuilt to his own “Best-of” deck, prepared to kick my ass. (He really needs to come up with a catchy-nickname for his deck, so I can refer to it easier. Aegis has the “Deck of Many Things”, I have “First Reminder”, Jed has nothing yet. Gotta work on that.)

So now he sits in a dominant position, with a Tier-1 deck, while I languish with an obviously untuned pile of junk.

Deck-Building 101
Well, at least I have a project to work on now. There were brief moments when 5C Proliferate did what it was supposed to. And I was able to clearly see where it needed the most help. It gives me hope that the proliferate concept is not a total loss. Perhaps I can still make this work.

So back to my starting comments. Up until now, Grim Tidings has been a dissertation of proven and sucessful decks and cards. I'd like to start a new series within Tidings to help document this poor deck's evolution to hopefully become what I imagined it would be.

I’m not going to post the preliminary deck-list. It doesn’t work. I think what I have to do is break it down into functional problems, and address them over the next few weeks or months.

What I built was a proliferate deck that I thought would be good. What I really want instead is a good deck, that features proliferate.

Hopefully this exercise will be enjoyable to follow along with. I’ll start with the most immediate problem first: Defense. I have to find a way to stay alive long enough if I want to pull this off. Then I'll address card draw and mana, and see what develops.

I’d like to keep the individual articles in the series short, so I can focus on specific topics individually rather than tackling the whole mess all at once. Stay tuned, my friends. I'll let you know how it works out piece by piece. In the end, hopefully I can compile a solid decklist, and together, we can learn something along the way.