A Magical Huffalump Resides Here: November 2008

A Magical Huffalump Resides Here

My name is Ed, I am a programmer. Just another dude with another blog. I like MTG, Open Source (more towards FREE software). I like sports, and eventually I hope to do business and do good for the world in general. This blog is gonna be about Magic The Gathering. Decklists and snippets will be posted here. It may lead somewhere or nowhere, as with all things arcane, that was bloody obvious =)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Elves! A Rant... hey its my blog!

Just some thoughts that have been simmering...

One of the more hotly (well as hot as a forum discussion on mtg can get) is whether or not Elves!
should be neutered.

The reasons so far have been

1) took 6 out of 8 slots in PT Berlin 2008
2) Kills on turn 2

Some have compared it to dredge.

Other more imaginative persons have compared it to *gasp* FlashHulk

Now I am not arguing if the deck is over powered or unstoppable.

The dredge point is double edged. Proponents of not neutering Elves! say that, dredge is more powerful,
others say no. Thats about it actually =)

Thats the funny part.

There is not actually very much to argue about.

Reading the forum was like reading a bunch of kids ranting and scribbling.

So many ridiculous sweeping statements with no thoughts.

TROLLS challenging to playtest.. when their statements show their ignorance.

One kept harping on playtesting and that Elves! kill on T2.

Point is Elves! on average kills on T3/T4

Vargas's version had the fastest at 20% T2 (or was it 40% ... if it did his deck must suck and kept fizzing ;))

Did people even watch the webcast??????

I followed it every step.

Tezzerator died, because of mulls down to 4/5 (I can't recall and I can't be bothered to check)

If it was a best of 3 Vargas would have been long dead in the water!!!

It was a best of FIVE

And it was credit to Vargas's experience, to pull and react with his sideboard.

People speak of Viridian Shaman like it was some kind of panache for all of Elves! troubles.

But if you watch the match Vargas was very proactive with his side board, he boarded ALL Jittes as well as the Shamans.

This TOGETHER with the mulls was what killed Tezzerator.

I would even argue that it was skills that won the day.

The Tezzarator deck was finely tuned, but I suspect it was a case of playing the deck well but not being able to react well.

We should give credit to Vargas, not just his deck.

As for comparison to Jittes as well as the Flash.

Heres why its a stupid comparison.

Legacy was a tried and true environment. People knew what were the best cards for various purposes.

So when Flash came in. TRULY the best HATE was brought to bear on the Flash and it ...


Now that argument I can live with.

It was done with sound knowledge. We knew that was the best we have and it could'nt deal.

(Oh and I loved flash, it once again showed that P9 is no longer as powerful as it actually was... want to know how to open up the T1 market and kill demand for p9 ? UNRESTRICT Trinisphere. Trinisphere was unrestricted purely to let the p9 fantasy live on... oh and the price? it only went up in 2003, so the p9 value is really speculative at best -- but then you'd get legacy.... *faints*)

Also flash had the zeroth kill 20%.

NOTHING at that time would deal. FLASH had the kill with the counter back up.

it was beautiful.


and not too fun after awhile.

it was truly broken.

Now you want to compare that with Elves! ?????

Extended just had it legs cut out from beneath it. We do not even know what are the best and most effective cards.

And people are treating the results of PT Berlin like its the GOSPEL ???????


Grow up.

You have brains???? no?

I am not saying that Elves! should not be banned.

It may well be that Extended do not have the tools.

But we don't know that.

If we kill EVERY deck that is dominant. You kill an aspect of Magic.

Sure you say magic will live.

But is it magic or is it Pokemon dressed up as Magic?

You say control and combo are boring.

Dude even aggro gets boring. Control and combo are what gives Magic the competitive edge against the plethora of GAMES out there. And there are many games. Every damned expansion is competing with those games.

Now personally I think Elves! Should be banned.

I find it boring actually. One of the top 8 matches was particularly painful to watch. They were creating many.. many ... many insects. Cos they had big dragons and big life.


Oh if you watch rather than just read, you would have felt the pain of watching rather than wowed at the fantastically huge life and dragons.

Hey they banned Sensei's Divining Top for that reason. So why not Elves! ;)

Note: I am not usually this caustic. its just that the overbearing, condescending tone (some were moderaters... let die all hope...) and worst.... illogical sweeping statements made just so disgusted me that I cannot post a reply.. as it would just make two of us look stupid instead of just one.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Magic 2008 November - Rant on the current state of affairs - ( Pro tour Berlin !!)

Been a while since I last typed =)

Oh I am still on magic.

I think I am likely hooked for life.


I like to think that one day my kids will play the game with me ;)

Still I have'nt really been able to play, mostly just collecting and trying to make some small profits here and there.

But this is'nt about me rambling about me, this is a quick summary of my thoughts of the latest developments in the game as of now 3rd November 2008

This season is when extended rotates. Almost three sets are rotating out. (I think... I could be wrong of course =))

And extended cards are essentially from onslaught block onwards.This means a lot of things for many cards and decks.

Go on read pro tour berlin =)

All I can say is wow....

I guess I am a sucker for content: There I was just rumaging about the site waiting for the blogs to come online. And W00T I found the link to a live webcast.

It is definitely an eye opener and really watching a real match really lets you know what can or cannot be done in a tournament =P

I am a kind ham strapped Singaporean, in that if they did'nt say, you probably can't do. So in a tournament the more season players sometimes try to cowl you into making errors. And it doesn't help when the store owner or the judge is chummy with them.

And no I ain't no sick kitty (you really need to know chinese to appreciate that), but I tend to go lawful good or lawful neutral (I dunno, a DnD classification explains it most succinctly in this scenario)about things in general. So this webcast really lets me know acceptable behaviour and norms of play. Oh about the lawful part... yah once I know the rules I go chaotic evil. So try not to piss me ;) An really shame on you if you have been trying to ruffle feathers just to get an advantage.

The latest breakout deck? Elves!

Well who would have thought =) gogo Kamigawa! I always knew you were good for something!

Suddenly glimpse of nature is a chase card! Use to be that 1-5 USD would get you a playset. I distinctively remember that I bought a few extras, as i was speculative at that time and I saw something in Glimpse of nature ... but it did'nt materialise in terms of potential. Until now =) Talk about value investment huh.

Oh what made the magic work? Well from my myopic non tournament point of view, it looks like heritage druid and the all new nettle sentinel made the difference. Of course the elves from the older set are important pieces, and its not that they are less important or less crucial to the combo. But the trigger effect for nettle sentinels compled with the mana producing power of the heritage druid put into play the last pieces of the puzzle.

What is beautiful about this deck is that it is almost all common and uncommon. Glimpse of Nature and Chord of calling are rares to be sure, but both cards have been dollar bin rares or close. (Until today of course Glimpse of Nature is 30 USD per playset)

And its Elves!

Elves as a tribe have been casual(not meant as an insult) or weak for the longest time.

And now W00T, its won a pro tour.

I was a little sad of course, as I was rooting for the Tezzerator. He crunched through what.. 3 or 5 Elves match ups. But then crumbled. I think it was his confidence that did him in in the end. If you believe in the energy thingy, I believe his confidence just withered after the 3 or 4th round. While LSV was unfettered and that allowed him to take the game and energise his deck and draw ;)

What I think was key. Thought Seizes. now duress might be as good.... but probably not in this environment as duress is non creatures and thought seizes can hit anything non-land. I am glad I have my 4 already =P

Just watch the games, thought seizes heavily disrupted the games. Why? Duress was good.

But usually not that good. I have a little theory and I think it is likely due to the power level going down, resulting in a reduction in redundancy.

Oh Tezzerator was just so chumped by Viridian ShamanViridian Shaman.... STILL the games lost were where he had to mulligan to 4 or 5. His deck chicken out. Thats sad.

Still i think Tezzarator is gonna be the next big thing or one of the next big things. I believe Elves will survive and continue on to be a archtype to watch out for. Why?

Turn 2/3 kill and the fact that it can play anything. Anytime.

Is it easily disrupted? Yes. But it also solidifies real quick.

Oh the latest tech for Faeries? Riptide Laboratory. It was real nice to see it. The trick was'nt new of course, people have been using it on occasion to bounce their Dark Confidant etc. But to use the Champion effect oh so deviously, Mistbind Clique to tap out your opponent. That was neat.

Engineered Explosives? That one was already high.

Chrome Mox? W00t baby, those are going 40 USD and rising. Its refreshing to see them going uppity up, they have been languishing at the twenties or less for the longest time. I just wished I picked up some foil ones when they were low.

I liked the fact that Faeries made top 8. It is nice to see Lorwyn make its mark in extended (and firespout from Shadowmoor).

I do not really know what to make of Shards of Alara yet. But at this point this just came to mind. ... Dear Wizards, if you are reading this. Please for the love of God (and your own body), don't EVER do a 4 block set again. It is financially and mentally straining. I get totally spaced out thinking of what to do with the cards. I really love mill, and I am glad you pushed hard. But the other strategies just kind crammed it out.

Ah screw it, if thats what it take to push Milling and poison as a strategy then just do it ;)

Oh please bring back armageddon and counterspell.

I know you won't do it, at least not now. Not when you have spent literally years cultivating the current standard and to a certain extent extended. But once you(or the fanbase) is sick of strategies that only BEGIN on turn 3/4 . Please remember that we still love lightning bolt, winter orb, counterspell, armageddon, dark rituals.... hmm while we are at it just throw in the power nine =D Seriously...

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