August202014

Pro-tip from a friendly judge: among all others, there is one Game Loss that is REALLY EASY TO AVOID, yet gets given out a surprisingly high amount of the time:

Tournament Error - Deck/Deck List Problem

For those that have never run up against this infraction and do have experience at competitive tournaments, good for you!  For everyone else, follow these easy steps:

1. Make sure your deck list is readable.  I’m sure you can find templates to use, but here’s one straight from the DCI:

http://www.wizards.com/dci/downloads/CONSTRUCTED_DECKLIST.pdf

If you don’t write very legibly, you can always use that template to type up your deck list and print it out ahead of time.

2. Count your cards.  Do you have at least 60 in the deck?  Make sure the right number is on the deck list.  Count it again.  Count it again.

3. Same goes for the sideboard.  Make sure it’s accurate (remember: it can be anywhere from 0-15 cards, but should still be right.  If you have 12, make sure that’s what’s written down).  Also remember that any limitation on the number of copies of a card apply across both the main deck and sideboard.

4. Make sure your tray tables are up and seats are returned to an upright position.  If you, for whatever reason, don’t remember the deck list, you can use some tools to help.  You CAN use electronic devices between matches, so feel free to use whatever means you need to make sure your deck is restored to what is on the deck list between matches.  Failing that, you can usually ask a judge to see your deck list.


That’s about it.  If you follow the steps I’ve outlined, you shouldn’t run into a Deck/Deck List Problem.

I don’t speak for all judges, but I can say that I personally hate giving out these game losses.  I want you to play full matches!  So be a little prepared and you never have to worry about it.

August112014

mtg-talk:

Combo of the Day: Become almost unkillable!

"6/1/2011 Phyrexian Unlife won’t affect damage that reduces your life total from a positive number to 0 or less. For example, if you’re at 3 life and are dealt 5 damage, you’ll end up at -2 life. The next time you’re dealt damage, it will be dealt as though its source had infect."

Watch out for First/Doublestrike though!

I was discussing this very combo over the weekend at the SCG Open in Syracuse. I definitely want to build a deck that capitalizes on this.

Now to see if I can shoehorn in Melira…

August62014

guessimnevergonnalearn:

so a friend offered to teach me how to play Magic: the Gathering and so now I’m watching beginners videos on it and it sounds so damn confusing!

All I can say to this is videos may not be the best thing for you. I know I very much like to teach through play; it’s how I learned and I’ve seen success with it when teaching people.

It’s also fun! Way more fun, in my opinion, than watching videos.

August12014
I missed you, Lili.  My first planeswalker way back when.  I also feel she’s a good power level for 5 mana (and ridiculously so with draw effects or a way to get her to her ultimate).  
I don’t really have much else to say about this card.  I just really like it.  I kind of wish Liliana got a new card in M15, but I’m happy enough with the new Garruk.

I missed you, Lili.  My first planeswalker way back when.  I also feel she’s a good power level for 5 mana (and ridiculously so with draw effects or a way to get her to her ultimate).  

I don’t really have much else to say about this card.  I just really like it.  I kind of wish Liliana got a new card in M15, but I’m happy enough with the new Garruk.

May222014

mtgexpert said: Are you familiar with the standard brave naya lists? If so, you may know that the pump goes well with double strike, so many people have been thinking about running fencing ace. What's your opinion? Also, what would remove from the deck to supply a spot for the fencing ace? Thanks!

Correct me if I’m wrong (sadly, I don’t keep up with standard), but I think this is the list you’re talking about (or is at least approximate):

http://www.starcitygames.com/article/28037_A-Brave-New-Naya.html

For anyone who doesn’t want to go read that article, this is the list:

Boros Reckoner
Dryad Militant
Fleecemane Lion
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Loxodon Smiter
Soldier of the Pantheon
Voice of Resurgence

Boros Charm
Brave the Elements
Selesnya Charm

2 Plains
Sacred Foundry
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Temple of Abandon
Temple of Plenty
Temple of Triumph

For purposes of this conversation, the sideboard doesn’t matter much; we’re talking strictly mainboard here (also, Fencing Ace really wouldn’t have a place in the sideboard).

There are actually a few lists out there that could match this description.  For most of those, Fencing Ace could probably find a place (for example, this list.  I could see Fencing Ace replacing Scion of Vitu-Ghazi).  

I like the idea of Fencing Ace in a deck that can, essentially flash out pumps.  Our friendly swordsman with something like the Rampager makes for a really deadly combo.  I particularly like lists that run Boon Satyr for a more permanent boost (also effective with any bestow creature, but the satyr can flash).  I would probably go for something like an Ordeal, but that still nets you card disadvantage when you lose the ultimately still vulnerable Fencing Ace.  

Personally, I might take out a Voice, Soldier, and Lion.  Meaning the creature list will look like this:

4 Boros Reckoner
4 Dryad Militant
3 Fencing Ace
3 Fleecemane Lion
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
2 Loxodon Smiter
3 Soldier of the Pantheon
3 Voice of Resurgence

Running 3-ofs mean you still have a good chance of hitting that card in a game.  Plus, you end up with 9 total 2-drops (at the loss of a 1-drop).  It might be a little unwieldy (Fencing Ace really does require support to be effective), but I kind of like it.

All that being said, I’m not really a great player.  I’m good, but not that good.  One of the many reasons I choose to judge now.

May142014

Wanting to mentor

first-wing:

I basically want to scream rule questions and advice in the face of the people I know that are studying up to become judges. But all I can say is “If you ever have a question I’m always reachable”. And they don’t have questionssss. Sob.

If these people are your friends, why not start a judge club or something? Like a book club, but everyone has to bring a particularly interesting ruling or something.

Or, do your own take on judge classes instead.

If these people are serious about judging, they’ll want to learn. It doesn’t have to be an in-person thing if that’s too hard for people; it can be a skype conference or a google hangout or something.

This will also have the benefit of getting local judges talking to each other.

April262014

Pre-release at the Primrose

Hey guys,

Just letting everyone know that Hairy Tarantula, A&C Games, and Atomic Age are holding Journey Into Nyx pre-release events today (April 26) all day.


Come on by!  We would love to see you!

April172014
In terms of flavour this has to be my favourite board wipe to date.  Is it actually going to hit the board any time soon?   Probably not (though Karametra seems to argue otherwise).I suspect this will be more of a casual card.  Some use in limited, if you’re lucky.  There is almost certainly someone constructing a deck around it already, but otherwise it’s not actually a great card (even if it IS hard to find a 10/10 for 8 mana, this isn’t even the only one in the block).  If it goes off, though?  Wow.I especially like the fact that it gives you time to react before you lose everything.  Not much time, mind you, but potentially enough to maybe, hopefully, save yourself a bit of trouble.It’s just too bad it doesn’t exile everything; that would be pretty sweet.  I’m giving this card a 2.5/5, but a 5/5 for flavour.

In terms of flavour this has to be my favourite board wipe to date.  Is it actually going to hit the board any time soon?   Probably not (though Karametra seems to argue otherwise).

I suspect this will be more of a casual card.  Some use in limited, if you’re lucky.  There is almost certainly someone constructing a deck around it already, but otherwise it’s not actually a great card (even if it IS hard to find a 10/10 for 8 mana, this isn’t even the only one in the block).  If it goes off, though?  Wow.

I especially like the fact that it gives you time to react before you lose everything.  Not much time, mind you, but potentially enough to maybe, hopefully, save yourself a bit of trouble.

It’s just too bad it doesn’t exile everything; that would be pretty sweet.  I’m giving this card a 2.5/5, but a 5/5 for flavour.

April112014
I’m trying to pace my excitement about Journey Into Nyx, but dang is it hard. I was a big fan of Theros and even found cars in Born of the Gods that I thoroughly enjoy, but JOU is hitting me right where it hurts.A perfect example of that is Iroas.  I mean, this is a really good card.  Basically, this card says “alpha strike 5ever”.  I mean, it forces your opponent to not block or make potentially bad trades, which is awesome.  Then it also guarantees that you will want to keep throwing creatures into the fray.  The part that hurts?  Red/White is not my favoured colour combo.That might have to change, of course.  I could splash green to make myself feel better, then laugh all the way to victory with cards like the new Ajani and Brimaz (why yes, I would like a consistent source of pumps, with the ability to explode into 100 life, along with invincible attacking cats).What I’m saying is it looks like JOU is bringing some very fun cards to the table (and a functional reprint of Furnace of Rath?  YES).  I can’t wait to see what comes out and I really can’t wait to get my hands on these.

I’m trying to pace my excitement about Journey Into Nyx, but dang is it hard. I was a big fan of Theros and even found cars in Born of the Gods that I thoroughly enjoy, but JOU is hitting me right where it hurts.

A perfect example of that is Iroas.  I mean, this is a really good card.  Basically, this card says “alpha strike 5ever”.  I mean, it forces your opponent to not block or make potentially bad trades, which is awesome.  Then it also guarantees that you will want to keep throwing creatures into the fray.  The part that hurts?  Red/White is not my favoured colour combo.

That might have to change, of course.  I could splash green to make myself feel better, then laugh all the way to victory with cards like the new Ajani and Brimaz (why yes, I would like a consistent source of pumps, with the ability to explode into 100 life, along with invincible attacking cats).

What I’m saying is it looks like JOU is bringing some very fun cards to the table (and a functional reprint of Furnace of Rath?  YES).  I can’t wait to see what comes out and I really can’t wait to get my hands on these.

April42014

neraciro said: Hi Doug. I'm writing a short story at the moment, but it's not going well. I've scrapped what I thought was bad twice now and I'm onto my third effort to write up a proper draft. What advice do you have to offer a person like me? I'm currently torn between the age-old idioms of perseverance is best and knowing when to give up. It just feels like currently I'm beating my head on a stone wall and nothing good's coming out of it.

dougbeyermtg:

It sounds like you’re brute-forcing your way through writing and revising in one step. I sympathize. In my experience, that will drive you crazygonuts. Try separating your process into two phases.

In the first phase, take your Inner Editor and stick ‘em in an Oblivion Ring. All thoughts that have to do with evaluating what you’re writing get shelved for now. Your goal in this phase is not to write something amazing—“amazing” is evaluative. “Good enough to satisfy my aesthetic standards” is evaluative. “Non-crapola” is evaluative. All those Inner Editor thoughts get turned off, as best you can. Your goal during this phase is this: FINISH. WRITE WRITE WRITE until you FINISH and type the words THE END. A this point it matters ZERO PERCENT what goes on in your story; you are just hurling clay at the potter’s wheel so that you can craft this sculpture later. This phase is not about quality — it is about finishing. It is Supposed. To. Suck.

THEN put your writing aside for a while. Simmer. Take a walk. Take two walks. Eat something delicious. Pet a fuzzy animal. Refuel.

THEN enter the second phase. Now you’re a different person, in a way. You Naturalize that O-Ring and bring your Inner Editor back in full force. You aren’t criticizing the author of this clay in front of you— you’re using the raw materials they’ve provided you to shape it into something. The something might be almost there, and it might just take a bit of smoothing and spinning to get it to be great. (My rough drafts are not like this, and if yours are, I kind of hate you a little.) Or it might take squashing the whole thing back into a lump of clay to begin to form it into something beautiful again. But I find that every draft d’ crapola has at least one shining hint of a great idea buried in it. Look for that. Look for those moments that move you, even though you wrote it. Look for things that make you giggle all alone at your laptop. Look for stuff that makes you want to say, “Wait. Go back. Zoom and enhance on that last part”—that’s your cruddy draft, and your Inner Editor, telling you when something is working.

When you do both of those phases at the same time, what happens is that the Inner Editor becomes paralyzing. Its voice becomes so loud that it reaches beyond words on the page, all the way to words you haven’t even typed yet. You toss out everything you have before you’ve even whipped up a batch of raw materials. You stop working before you’ve managed to create that tiny gorgeous detail that you were trying to reach. Resist the urge to bring in the critical thoughts too early. Give yourself permission to go to weird and awful places, because just beyond those places are the best ideas and the best lines of dialogue and the best heartstring-plucking imagery you’ll ever have. Keep going. Your breakthrough might be ten thousand words from now, so you have two options: write ten thousand words agonizingly slowly over the next year, criticizing yourself about every line and hating every minute of it, or blast out ten thousand words THIS WEEK, and be basking in the glow of that tiny mote of awesome by Sunday.

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