Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Switching the Colors

Rakdos Aggro just isn’t quite fast enough. With the inclusion of Burning-Tree Emissary in standard, there is just simply no reason not to play a Gruul Aggro. The BTEs make for excellent mana-fixing, particularly for any 1G creatures. There are two excellent choices in aggro at the moment for me, including Gyre Sage and Scavenging Ooze. In addition, they can fix for other creatures/planeswalkers. I find them quite useful for their purposes; Gyre Sage gives me more green sources and some potential late game attacking, while Ooze gives something to do with dead creatures, late game attacking, and life gain.

I am running a fairly aggressive mono-red deck, with splash for green. Green also gives me access to some artifact and enchantment removal, along with Plummet for any big flyers. It has proven to be fairly effective thus far in testing, and I hope to keep playing around with it to see if there are any improvements to be made. Firedrinker Satyr hasn’t killed me yet, and the 2P1D fact has proven extremely useful. We shall see what comes down the pipe for Born of the Gods.

40k Hobbying Conundrum

I should start with a brief admission. The most arduous times in my life in terms of indecisiveness have come in my thinking about 40k as a hobby. It does indicate at the very least that my life has been pretty easy thus far, and I have been able to figure out any stupid problems that have appeared previously. As usual though, my thoughts always become muddled when considering my 40k.

I love my Grey Knights. All it takes is a re-reading of the fluff behind the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Malleus, and I am right back in there. The Grey Knights will always be my favorite chapter. Sometimes though, I find myself interested in starting an alternate Marine army. It’s tough to justify the choice though from a reasonable perspective, particularly when I want to buy at least one Dreadknight, at least one Riptide, and some MissileSides for my GK/Tau combination.

I have always been attracted to the idea of a DIY chapter. The problem I run into consistently, however, is the inability to generate a consistent theme across the full spectrum of the game. The army can look really cool, but it may not work well in terms of the rules. I don’t even have any intention of playing a high powered tournament army; I just want something that plays in such a way that I can justify its look, fluff, and style of play. Thus far, Grey Knights prove to be the only chapter that I can do that with.

Blood Angels interest me a great deal as well. There are two different builds that really interest me as a whole: NippleWing or Death Company. Neither of these builds really seem all that stellar in terms of winning, but they would be extremely fun to play. NippleWing, in particular, seems quite cheap in terms of the monies. There is already someone at my store who has the NippleWing ready and done, and my originality OCD is kicking in. What does appeal to me is The Black Rage Apocalypse box set. The price and the awesome factor really make it quite the option.

We shall see what comes down the pipe. Death Company would really be cool, but we shall see. There is a beam of hope: The rate of expansions may provide some cool options down the way. For those who read this stream of consciousness, thank you.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Experiments with 40k Tournaments

These past few weeks have proven to be a number of personal and professional experiments. The personal experiment recently has been related to my attempts to make some major changes to the 40k scene at Arkham Games. The first of the major experiments was the use of Torrent of Fire. It is an excellent program, and Chip is a very helpful, motivated individual looking to change 40k. Unfortunately, the program proved to be difficult to use at the store. That’s OK, and it doesn’t make ToF any less powerful or game changing as a whole. It unfortunately did not pan out as planned. I have found some new programs to use, and it also helps change up the overall format of the tournament. These modifications, as an ever changing and improving formation, will hopefully make the tournaments run more smoothly at Arkham. 
Another major experiment came in the form of the Random Doubles tournament. In the end, this tournament format proved to achieve none of my intended objectives. I had hoped to achieve a few specific results. The first of which was to create a variety of new pairings, opponents, and tables being used at the tournament. This worked in the first round, but, due to the format that had been suggested, the second round proved to be a lot of repeats. In fact, one table just changed partners. This did not really vary the players as much as I had hoped. The second objective was the hopeful arrangement of persons with a fairly diverse score range and potential for victory. Essentially, I had hoped to see some new faces at the top of the pyramid. This did not happen either. It was the same faces that took top spots. Finally, I had hoped to breed some new friendships and fun games, and this objective was partially attained. I think the majority of folks had fun games, but I think there were some that just did not. In fact, the aftermath proved more toxic than in the past few tournaments. I’m not sure why this particular tournament bred so much hate, but it did. What can I do about it? 
It seems reasonable to consider other routes of tournaments, and the previous formats seemed to be much better for everyone. A very small change will be made to tournaments in the emphasis on Victory Points instead of Win-Loss path. This is easier to pair and program with the software I have available. This is in some ways a change for the sake of ease, but it also gives folks a greater chance at victory, instead of losing one game and being out of the running.
I will share more thoughts on this idea at a later time.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Legacy Deck?

I recently participated in the Theros Game Day yesterday. I brought a Rakdos Aggro deck, and I ran into some really tough match-ups. I ended the day 2-2 with the 8th place spot and picked up the promo Nighthowler:

Pretty cool huh? I was actually considering a Golgari Aggro deck, using a few of these bad boys.

I have also been considering Legacy as a potential format. I have been looking at some Legacy Burn decks to try out. These decks are pretty cheap and they look really fun. I'd be ok with running them, even if I didn't win consistently at all. I'd just like to have something to throw down with. My Modern deck is in the works very slowly, but it would be a matter of ordering some cheap cards.

Random note: Arkham Games tourney in early December.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Options and Choices

For once in my entire career of playing Magic: The Gathering, I have many different options in terms of a potential standard deck post rotation. I have been collecting a variety of cards in red, black, and green. This, thankfully, gives me a crazy variety of decks to play. Some of the ideas are:
  • Golgari Aggro
  • Gruul Aggro
  • Rakdos Aggro
  • Jund Aggro
  • RDW
  • Mono-Green
  • Mono-Black
There is a good chance I could create a couple midrange decks, but frankly, I really don’t like playing midrange. Some of the midrange decks are fairly fast in terms of mana generation, but I just don’t necessarily like playing the game in such a way. It seems very similar to a control deck, with the win condition based on an earlier collection of creatures. Magic, for me, is the most fun played at high speeds, with an unrelenting brutality. It is not even the Theros block that gives me such freedom, but it is instead based on the removal of Innistrad from Standard play. There were so many cards from Innistrad that operated at such a high power level. These cards made a number of other RtR block releases completely pointless. Now that they are gone, suddenly RtR block can see some play at a high level. This is my own perception of course, but it definitely makes me excited to try and build a strong Standard deck. I don’t necessarily care to make Standard a constant endeavor with all of the other engagements I have, but I’d do my best to compete.