Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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:: 1680 words

magic-the-gathering modern

Should I still write tournament reports even though I did poorly? Spoilers, but the answer is that has never stopped me before! In today’s installment of “I thought you were quitting paper Magic?”, I attended an MCQ yesterday for MC Richmond. The format was Modern constructed. I initially wasn’t planning to play because (a) the entrance fee was kind of ridiculous; (b) modern is a bit of an unbalanced debacle right now because of Hogaak; and (c ) my one assembled Modern deck (Grixis Death Shadow) hasn’t been used since 2017, and was completely absent in the meta for the recent MC Barcelona.

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grand-prix limited magic-the-gathering

Grand Prix / MagicFest Seattle Photo Dump: I wasn’t actually planning to play much competitive Magic this year, at least not on paper, but when the family planned a US trip in June, I figured I’d take a short side trip to attend and experience a US GP. I had the choices of Washington DC on the 14th-16th (Limited), Seattle on 20th-23rd (Limited), or Dallas on 28th-30th (Modern). After some wrangling with the family’s schedule, Seattle was the one most convenient to go to, and Limited meant I didn’t have to try and put together a decent deck.

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Damn, that was a grind. But it felt super rewarding especially as a free-to-play player since the closed beta, always struggling for wildcards to build the decks. I had never tried going for Mythic beyond the first month, when I realized what a grind it was. This standard format was also pretty dynamic, which meant the best deck changed constantly, so it was hard to be successful by sticking to one deck, which meant a lot of WCs are needed to be able to shift with the meta.

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Now that I’m playing MTG again regularly on MTG Arena, maybe I’ll start writing a bit more Magic stuff. With War of the Spark now out and the metagame not yet established, I thought I’d be foolish and waste my wildcards on some brewing. As a reminder, I’m still an F2P player on Arena, so wildcards are precious and few lol. I did have some 50k in gold and a few gems saved up when War of the Spark hit, so i have already played a few sealeds (only 1 got to 7 wins) and opened quite a few packs.

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pop-culture magic-the-gathering movies

Two endgames to discuss in one post! MTG War of the Spark and Avengers Endgame spoilers ahoy! Endgame #1: War of the Spark The latest Magic set has been a home run in terms of lore and flavor and storytelling, bringing the last three years worth of MTG lore to its conclusion as the villainous dragon planeswalker Nicol Bolas aims to complete his plan to achieve omnipotence over the multiverse. The set is packed with planeswalkers summoned to Ravnica by Bolas’s schemes, which means mechanically that a lot of new planeswalker design space is being explored.

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ccgs magic-the-gathering gaming

I’ve been playing MTG Arena for a good while now, a little bit during the closed beta, and now I think we’re still in open beta (?) because things still keep changing around. But I figured I could put in a little commentary about how this thing is going so far. I’m coming off the POV of a long-time Magic the Gathering player of course, with a little bit of comparison to Eternal and Hearthstone, the two digital CCGs I’m most familiar with.

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I had an out of country trip last weekend to Kuala Lumpur to play Magic, but I was a bit tempted to not write about it all. The reason being that inevitably after one of these MTG-related trips the first thing people ask me is “Nanalo ka ba?” (Did you win?) and this time, the answer was sadly no. (Let’s get the spoilers out of the way early shall we.) However, I realized that not all stories have to have happy endings.

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I had booked the Singapore trip earlier in the year, since I almost always attend Grand Prixs in Singapore as its an easy trip and gives a good opportunity to visit friends. Unfortunately, I ended up not having time to prepare for the tournament itself. Fortunately, it was a limited event rather than constructed, so I figured maybe I could wing it and still do well. (Spoiler: I could not.)

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I don’t really play Magic regularly anymore; Last year I only played Standard because I was Q’ed for the WMCQs. But when there’s a local Grand Prix, oldies like me crawl out of the woodwork and try to believe we can still do well in a tournament with minimal prep. Grand Prix Manila 2017 was to be Standard format, held on June 2-4, 2017, at the SMX convention center. At the start of the year I already knew I would be playing in this year’s GP Manila, but since I hadn’t played Standard for well over a year, I didn’t really know what I would be playing.

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I was sent to London for work for a few months, which meant an opportunity to play a third GP for the year after Manila back in January and Singapore back in June. This will be the most GP events I’ve played in a one year period. I didn’t have time to practice, so I went with an updated version of the Jeskai tempo deck I was playing at the start of Khans rotation.

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GP Singapore 2015 would be my first Modern GP and maybe only my 3rd or 4th Modern event altogether. Modern is a difficult format to prepare for; there are many decks to prepare for and it’s almost impossible to master all the matchups. For this reason, I felt much less prepared for this event than for GP Manila back in January. I put together Grixis Twin for this event. It’s a bit difficult to pilot, but I felt it had a reasonable matchup across the board and there’s always a chance of comboing out when you’re falling behind.

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One of my many, many loyal blog readers pointed out to me that I had yet to post about Grand Prix Manila, which took place in the first week of this year. I’ve been meaning to post about it, but it got lost in my backlog. So here we are. Yes indeed, I still play Magic, “on and off”, as it happens with most Magic players with busy lives and/or multiple other hobbies.

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Last weekend was Grand Prix Manila 2012, held at the SMX at Mall of Asia. I don’t really consider myself a “regular” Magic player anymore so I’m not going to give a full tournament report, though I will record some details for posterity. Let’s start with the deck. I played some version of Naya Pod, limited by what cards were available as usual: A Pile of Naya [Creatures] 4 Birds of Paradise 3 Avacyn Pilgrim 1 Ulvenwald Tracker 4 Strangeleroot Geist 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben 1 Daybreak Ranger 2 Borderland Ranger 2 Blade Splicer 2 Fiend Hunter 2 Wolfir Avenger 1 Phyrexian Metamorph 2 Hero of Bladehold 2 Huntmaster of the Fells 3 Restoration Angel 1 Oxida Scrapmelter 1 Acidic Slime [Spells] 2 Birthing Pod 1 Bonfire of the Damned [Lands] 4 Copperline Gorge 4 Razorverge Thicket 3 Sunpetal Grove 2 Rootbound Crag 2 Gavony Township 1 Slayer Stronghold 2 Cavern of Souls 4 Forest 1 Mountain 1 Plains [Sideboard] 1 Ancient Grudge 2 Ray of Revelation 1 Zealous Conscripts 2 Garruk Relentless 2 Celestial Purge 3 Thunderbolt 2 Arc Trail 1 Surgical Extraction 1 Oblivion Ring

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Haven’t done a tournament report in a while. Heck, I haven’t really played tournament Magic in a while, not seriously at least. For that reason it may have been a bad idea to run with a deck that requires a lot of matchup knowledge to play. The tournament was Grand Prix Singapore 2011, the format was standard and my weapon of choice was Caw Blade: [Lands] 4 Island 3 Plains 4 Celestial Colonnade 4 Glacial Fortress 1 Inkmoth Nexus 1 Marsh Flats 1 Scalding Tarn 4 Seachrome Coast 4 Tectonic Edge [Creatures] 4 Stoneforge Mystic 4 Squadron Hawk 2 Mirran Crusader [Spells] 4 Preordain 4 Spell Pierce 3 Mana Leak 3 Into the Roil 2 Condemn 1 Sword of Feast and Famine 1 Sword of War and Peace 1 Batterskull 1 Jace Beleren 4 Jace the Mind Sculptor [Sideboard] 1 Sword of Body and Mind 1 Sylvok Lifestaff 2 Spellskite 3 Flashfreeze 2 Divine Offering 2 Celestial Purge 2 Day of Judgment 2 Dismember

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I haven’t written a tournament report in a while (maybe because I’ve been playing rather poorly lately? =/), but Prereleases are always fun right? Here’s my Scars of Mirrodin prerelease report! The first hour was spent waiting in an unbearably hot basement area for the 8th player on our table to register his sealed pool. What? yeah, he was late, and the event started early so the airconditioning was not yet on.

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limited m11 sealed magic-the-gathering

Here’s the situation: It’s game 3 of a sealed game. You know your opponent has Mind Control, Aether Adept and Plummet still in his deck, so you should finish it quickly to avoid losing to topdecks. The field is as shown (click for larger view): If you Stampede and swing with everyone, you win! Unless he has Condemn, in which case you will lose. You never saw Condemn in previous games.

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limited magic-the-gathering

Just a quick dump of my impressions of RoE limited from the prerelease. I’ll probably post a more detailed analysis later. The RoE limited format is fun and it is slower than Zendikar, but you still need to keep an eye on your curve (even though that curve may now end with 7-8-9-and up instead of 5-6… ). Lots of ground stalls, so guys with evasion are much more valuable.

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limited magic-the-gathering

I played in the Rise of Eldrazi Prerelease Event yesterday at Eton Cyberpod in the Ortigas area. It was a new mall, so I went there a bit before opening time in case I had trouble finding the venue. Turns out that wouldn’t be a problem as there were a bunch of Magic players outside the mall waiting for it to open when I got there. It turns out that the mall had recently changed it’s opening hours from 10 AM to 11 AM though, so we all had to wait outside in the heat for an additional hour before we could start the event.

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magic-the-gathering

I’ve decided to no longer post MTG-related stuff here at roytang.net. Instead, you can read about my MTG-related opinions and misadventures at MTG Storm!

Roy Tang is a:

roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.