Category Archives: Magic the Gathering

Tournament Report: DE TCGplayer States – 7th Place

Kevin

by Kevin Michael

My alarm goes off, it’s 9:40. It’s time to for me to call up approximately 100 people and get ready for the NJ TCGplayer States tournament that’s happening today. After getting all showered up and brushing my teeth, I get a text: “Where are you?” After freaking out and calling the store that was hosting the tournament, I realized that I had somehow made myself and everyone else believe that the tournament started at noon. But all was not lost! After some quick Googling and triple checking, I found out that DE States was starting at noon, and that we might just be able to make that one instead. So, I loaded my car with a sad Chris Bauer and an excited Antonino Baldasari, and off we went at 100mph down Route 95.

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DE States Tournament Report- 3rd Place

Kevin

By Kevin Michael

It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to play any Magic at all. With working 2 jobs, I’m lucky to even play a single game of Magic once a week. I was actually very excited to play in this tournament though. I’ve been preparing (but not actually practicing) to play in this tournament for about a month. Going into this tournament I knew I wanted to play with the most powerful cards possible, so my initial thought was to build a R/G monsters deck. The deck list looked something like this:

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Brewing with Scavenging Ooze for Standard

Kevin

By Kevin Michael

The spoiler for M14 has finally been completed. While there was a bit of an upset that certain cards weren’t included in the set, we still got some pretty sweet ones! The card I’m personally most excited about is Scavenging Ooze . Although I think this card will affect Modern more than Standard, that doesn’t mean we can’t try to brew with it! Today I’m going to share some decks that I’ve made up that I think Scavenging Ooze would be sweet in.

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Standard Goblins

Kevin

For those of you that don’t know, the Comic Book Store had a record breaking 87 person tournament last Sunday for one of our crazy planeswalker tournaments. It was a brutal 7 rounds of Standard, and at the end of the tournament there was one player left with a 7-0 record: Christopher Headley playing……. Goblins. That’s right, you read correctly. Somebody 7-0’d the largest Standard tournament we’ve ever held with a strategy that most players wouldn’t have even thought existed. Christopher smashed through the tournament with his little green men, beating quite a few tier 1 decks on the way. So by now I’m sure you’re itching to see a decklist, but I’ve got something even better! I asked Christopher to write a bit about his deck. So without further delay, here’s Christopher’s take on Standard Goblins!

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Star City Games Open Philadelphia – Tournament Report

Kevin

By Kevin Michael

Today I’m going to share with you my tournament report from the Star City Games Open-Philadelphia. Like any good Magic player, I procrastinated my deck choice until Friday night. I ended up playing this (a couple of cards might be off because I can’t find my decklist from the event).

Creatures: (28)
Arbor Elf
Gyre Sage
Flinthoof Boar
Burning-Tree Emissary
Borderland Ranger
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Falkenrath Aristocrat
Thundermaw Hellkite

Spells: (9)
Bonfire of the Damned
Putrefy
Pillar of Flame

Lands: (23)
Blood Crypt
Overgrown Tomb
Stomping Ground
Dragonskull Summit
Rootbound Crag
Mountain
Forest
Swamp
Kessig Wolf Run

SB: (15)
Domri Rade
Garruk Relentless
Pillar of Flame
Ground Seal
Dreadbore
Electrickey
Rakdos's Return
Thragtusk
Zealous Conscripts
Putrefy

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Budget Decks for Standard

Kevin

by Kevin Michael

Standard isn’t quite as expensive as it’s been in the past, but it’s far from being wallet friendly. Most decks will run you between $300-$500 in this current Standard. These are some pretty scary numbers, but never fear! You can always take the budget route. So today I’m going to share some budget decks with you so you can get a look at the cheaper side of Magic. All of the following decks cost less than $100 to make:

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Elitism In Magic: Not Everyone Cares

Kevin

By Kevin Michael

You’re a semi-competitive Magic player and it’s a Friday night. You know what that means? Friday Night Magic, of course! You really love playing Magic, and its a great way for you to unwind yourself. You have made quite a few friends at your local shop, and you look forward to seeing them every week. But, as you walk into the shop on that glorious day you see…. those guys. You know the guys I’m talking about. They always have the “best” standard deck and they’re always discussing something about Magic, so of course you want to join in on the conversation. Now, you aren’t the worst player in the world. You have a good standard deck you’ve saved up to build, you’ve won your fair share of FNM games, and you’ve even beaten the “best” players in the store a few times. But despite this, for whatever reason, these players will never include you in the conversation, or will just laugh at any input you have. It’s almost like they’re royalty and you’re a peasant who’s just lucky to be the same room as them. There are a bunch of different types of players that play this game with us, but today I’m going to focus on one group in particular: the Grinders, and the elitism that they form.

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Modern Masters

Kevin

 

Modern Masters gets released in about a week! It’s hard to believe that the set is really coming out and it seems like it’s going to live up to most of its hype. For those of you who have been hitting the arcade after school instead of checking the internet, this is Modern Masters:

Modern Masters Product Info

and for the more Nosey Goblins, this is a list of cards that have been spoiled so far:

Modern Masters Spoiler

Today I’m going to share some sweet Modern decks with you so you can get a feel for the format.
We’ll start out at level 1. The following decks are the “best” decks in the format. They are Jund variations, Scapeshift, and Birthing Pod. All of these decks attack at very different angles and make up for a very healthy format. The first list I’m going to share with you is a traditional Jund deck that recently won a Premier event on Magic Online.

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You’re Giving Away Information

Kevin

It’s turn 10, your opponent is at 4 life and you’re at 3 life. He’s playing a BR deck that has a few burn spells in it and you’re playing Red Deck Wins. You both have quite a bit of lands in play and you have 2 cards in your hand ( Searing Spear , Land) and your opponent has 3 mystery cards in his hand. He draws for the turn, and slams down a Swamp saying “I can’t believe I drew another land, this is insane, all I need is seriously just one searing spear and you’re so totally dead”. We draw for our turn, and we get a Pillar of Flame. Ding! We just won the game. Our opponent flips his hand on to the table and reveals 3 lands. They say that there was no point in playing them because it’s better just to “bluff” with those cards. This person obviously has no idea what the meaning of bluffing is. Today I’m going to tell you about some tells you’re giving your opponent and about some tells they’re giving to you.

Every single Magic player has their own tells. If you can find them, you can figure out what cards they have drawn so far in the game, and use this information to push the game into your favor. My personal favorite tell is the above situation, but I also love when my opponent miracles a card then ops. not to play it. When playing a game of Magic most players are pretty oblivious to what their opponent is doing. Yeah, maybe you pay attention to them when they’re shuffling or when they’re obnoxiously flicking their cards(there is a reason for doing this), but are you paying attention to the fact that they are sorting their hand with their different spells when they’re thinking of what to play? When most players look at their hand to figure out what spells they want to play they pull those cards together. By watching our opponent move those cards around in their hand you can figure out how many relevant spells or lands they actually have left and play accordingly. The worst thing you can do while playing a game is get too emotional and start to shout things out. Everyone gets a bit tilted when they draw their 6th land in a row, but there’s no reason we should give our opponent the information that were drawing dead. For all we know they could think we’re sitting on a hand full of removal spells and they could play quite differently. The best way to deal with the dreaded mana screw in is to calmly draw our card, put a hand on our head, and start to sell that we’ve drawn a spell. We should ask our opponent a few questions like: How many cards are in your hand? What’s your life at? Did you play a land last turn? We can even take this questioning on to the next level. If they did play a land on the last turn you could make a joke saying “Wow, you sure did draw a lot of lands this game” and see how they react. They might just spill the beans at that exact moment and let you know that they’re holding just as many lands as you are. These are just some of the advantages you can get by just talking with your opponent and keeping your cool.

 

Why do players flick their cards? Somehow players have stolen this habit from each other and don’t even know why they do it. It’s a good and bad habit to have. The purpose of flicking your cards and moving them around is to hide information. You don’t want to let your opponent know what you drew for the turn. You want to hide as much as possible from them and know as much as possible from them. You don’t however want to take an extra 10 minutes a match flicking your cards. I’ve seen players draw their card for the turn and immediately starting moving their hand around which is a good habit. But then keep doing it, over, and over. The turn doesn’t start for them because they’re too busy playing with their hands and have to reread what cards are in their hand every 5 seconds. A good way to get out of this habit is to draw your cards and move them around, but then immediately put your hand down and examine what is happening on the current board. After you pick up your hand, you should then think about what you need to do next to evolve the board state into your favor. It may sound a bit silly but if you get into this habit you’ll save a lot of time during your match.

Next time you are playing against someone, look up from the table every once in awhile. If you watch their body language, and their hand, you can most likely find a lot of hidden information that they’re practically giving away. And make sure you aren’t giving away any unnecessary information, try to stay calm and collected through the whole match even if you’re having mana problems. Happy bluffing!