One of my biggest pet peeves as a magic player is when people complain about the large amount of variance(read: luck) involved in the game. More often than not these are the people who aren’t doing quite well, and they can be pretty vocal about it. For instance, someone at a Gatecrash release I attended was talking about how he always draws terribly and his opponent always has the nut draw. While this is the case sometimes, if you’re always performing this way it might not be variance that’s the problem. Sometimes what one would call variance, isn’t even variance at all.
The goal of this post is to look at what you as a player can do to reduce both true variance and play mistakes. I feel the most common type of “variance” that can be avoided is what you draw in your game. If you’re drawing too many lands consistently, maybe you should reduce the land count. If you’re running into clumps, you could easily shuffle more. Shuffling is never bad. When you think you’ve shuffled enough, shuffle again, it won’t hurt. Keep in mind that sometimes variance is involved, and that 17 land, 40 card deck has the right land count, and you are just getting screwed over. Land counts shouldn’t be reduced until a large amount of gameplay.
Another common misplay I see is with mulliganing. Yeah, that 1-land hand would be pretty sweet if draw a land and can vomit out all your 2-drops . But what happens if you don’t draw a land? Especially if on the play, you could easily lose the game straight up if you miss a land drop. Even more common is when you keep a land that’s gonna be really sweet on turn x, but you’re playing against the deck that kills you on turn x-1. Think about the matchup, how your deck performs, and whether or not you’re on the play.
Perhaps the hardest and most crucial part to performing better is deckbuilding. Card evaluation is pretty big. Knowing the set and power of different archetypes is pretty big. You may have opened [mtg_card]Gideon, Champion of Justice[/mtg_card], but your white pool might not be good enough to play. On the other hand, that [mtg_card]Aurelia’s Fury[/mtg_card] is powerful enough and could easily be splashed in your Orhzov pool. I also find knowing the cards in the format extremely helpful. Knowing what’s in your opponents deck can do wonders to how you play.
Sideboarding is also very crucial to how you perform. You need to know which cards go in verses which deck and know what cards to board out. Some cards are also bad on the draw but good on the play, and vice versa. One of the biggest examples is [mtg_card]Huntmaster of the Fells[/mtg_card] and how priority works. If both you and your opponent have a Huntmaster out, the player whose turn it is will have their Huntmaster dead before it can even trigger.
Variance is a thing, and sometimes it takes you and puts you in a place you don’t want to be in. But if it’s happening every game, every match, get real. You can do more than you think you can. Playing the best deck and playing your deck the best you can does wonders to your game. I know, I’ve been there before.
Troll Country Games Presents: The Mile High Melee: Spring
Date: March 9th 2013
Format: Standard; Swiss w/top 8
Prizes: $250 Cash & $750 in product prizes
Event Series: TCG Silver & Starcity IQ!
Registration Opens: 8:30 am
Tournament Begins: 10:30am
Entry Fee: $20.00
Side Events All Day: $15 Draft pods of 8 & $5 Commander pods of 4
Hotel Rooms (including breakfast): $89 suites sleep 6; $79 rooms sleep 4
For more info Visit our facebook or give us a call at 720 514 9911
It’s Brian again… just wanted to give an update and some guide lines for the Deck Doctor thing that we are going to try and get to take off. Ill just lay down some suggestions in a few bullet points and hopefully this thing takes off!
Thats pretty much it! Send in those deck Lists!
Hello, everyone! This is my first of hopefully many articles that I get the privilege of writing for Troll Country Games, so let’s start with an easy topic that I am sure that everyone is already brewing with: Boros Human aggro! We (well, those who follow the top 8 listings) have seen how well both RDW and aggro decks in general have been doing. I plan on combining both the RDW plan and the Naya Humans plan (minus green) and see what popped out… Here’s the list that I have so far:
[mtg_deck title=”Boros Humans”]
4 Champion of the Parish
3 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4 Precinct Captain
4 Truefire Paladin
4 Frontline Medic
4 Silverblade Paladin
4 Spark Trooper
3 Sublime Archangel
4 Boros Charm
4 Sacred foundry
4 Clifftop Retreat
4 Cavern of Souls
2 Slayers’ Stonghold
3 Rest in peace
4 Mizzium Mortars
4 Pillar of flame
Now I’m sure a few of these cards need some explanation as to why they made the cut or not. Here’s a breakdown of each card and why I choose them…
Champion of the Parish: Pretty obvious, deck is called Boros HUMANS so why not play one of the best? Great early game beats, grows huge over time… overall solid pick
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben: Actually not to huge on this card… Control is kinda dead but what it does do is make reanimator a few turns slower and cripples Bant Auras. First strike is still a thing, it’s a human, and has little to no impact on our deck so decided to give it a go…
Precinct Captain: If he only popped out humans… *sigh* well he doesn’t, but what he does do is make you have to block him, or he creates even more synergy with some other aspects of the deck that I will get into further… Did I mention first strike is a thing?
Truefire Paladin: Another card I’m not 100% sold on but I was surprised at the lack of good aggro humans that are present. I do enjoy the fact that for his 4 mana pump he pretty much can kill 75% of the creatures used right now… Vigilance is also very helpful… Another human too
Frontline Medic: Now were getting to the meat of this deck! I mostly enjoy this for the indestructability part and I see that usually being more relevant than the “make a sphinx revelation or bonfire 3 more.” Might be wrong in that but with 33 creatures, I seldom see indestructability be a bad thing…
Silverblade Paladin: Probably the second best card in the deck… Everyone knows how deadly this guy can be… combined with Frontline Medic, Precinct Captain, Spark Trooper, Sublime, just gets dumb… did I mention that he’s a human?
Spark Trooper: A card a lot of people aren’t talking about and I’m not 100% sure why not… this is anywhere from a 12 to 24 point life swing for 4 mana. Biggest weakness is first/double strike, but with all of the double strike enablers and indestructability that we have as well it shouldn’t be a problem…
Sublime Archangel: Has amazing synergy with Silverblade, Boros Charm, and Spark Trooper… Just might be that last little bit of damage that is needed to take someone out… has the added benefit of flying as well. Could see the justification in changing this out for Firemane Avenger, but remember Firemane doesn’t trade well with a Restoration Angel.
Hellrider: Card that takes everything over the top. Again with 33 creatures your going to be doing a lot of damage… Yea he’s not a human, but I shouldn’t have to explain why I am running this guy… Only issue I see is that the 2x red MIGHT be a problem especially with Slayers’ Stronghold and Cavern of Souls…
Boros Charm: One question… why was this card printed? Without a shadow of a doubt the best charm in the game… Supreme Verdict? Nope! Combat tricks? Get there! Double strike for the win? GG! Need 4 more damage to win? GG! Let’s take the 2 best cards in this deck (Frontline medic and Silverblade) and put it on one card…bonkers…
Slayers’ Stronghold: That extra 2 damage and/or the haste effect might just end the game is some places
Now I am not the best side boarder in the world, and of course every meta is a bit different… The one that I made was just for the general best decks in the format and what is getting played the most… go ahead and tailor your sideboard to whatever you see fit!
That does it for my first article for Troll Country! Nothing to flashy or fancy, just another aggro deck to sit in the pool with all the rest of the aggro decks in the format.
Now on a side note, I would LOVE to see the website take off like a channelfireball or gatheringmagic.com and be a standout in the magic community, but my experience and expertise is limited. So please, if you could submit ideas as to things that you would like to see on the site that would encourage you to traffic here daily that would be appreciated. Also if you can help me make my articles better than would be helpful too! Be gentile this is my first time writing articles. One idea that I had was to copy what Conely Woods did and do a “Deck Doctor” type thing where you submit your decks and an experienced player would sit down and see what we could do to make it better! If you have any other ideas of think that deck doctor re-hash would be a good idea, please leave a message in the comments and let us know!
P.S. went ahead and set up the deck doctor email its firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a lot of FNM players that have been hearing about the Mile High Melee tournament series run by our store; located in Denver, CO. Well, I thought I’d throw a little of my experience out there for you all because there is a few things that you may not have thought of before attending your first competitive level event.
First things is first, you may be used to allowing your opponent to take back stuff and let them change how they are going to play. This is absolutely great at an FNM, promotes a friendly atmosphere, and allows for an all around fun time. This is something you are going to drop at the MHM. You will find quickly that your opponents will not allow you to do this. Cash money means people expect you to play at a high level of play. Its hard not to be the nice guy, but you should hold you opponents to the same standard that they will be holding you. You must think before you play and if you don’t, well, you get punished.
Don’t hesitate to call a judge. There are a lot of times you and your opponent can figure it out at a casual level, or at least you think you do. The judges are there to help you figure out complicated interactions. When you are unsure or something seems out of place it takes a hand in the air to figure it out. It is also super important that if you catch yourself making a mistake that you call a judge too. Judges often consider who called the judge into the equation. Announce your triggers! [mtg_card]Geist of saint traft[/mtg_card] attacking? You must visually and vocally represent the token! There’s little room for error. They will block you geist, take no damage, and you may have punted the game.
Keep a life pad! Phones apps are okay IF they have a life history. Have dice, just not for life. If a judge is called, the judge almost always will rule in favor of a life pad!
There’s a couple of things I find when I attend a tournament will give me quite an edge. They may seem really obvious, but trust me, they make a huge difference. Firstly, get a good night’s sleep. If you loose one game to a play mistake because you are tired you may have lost the tournament. One game can make all the difference. You’d hate to be out of prize because you HAD to play one more game of LoL. Eat a decent breakfast. I always wake up at least an hour early for a shower and to cook myself some eggs and potatoes. There is plenty of information out there that says we think clearer on a full stomach. Greasy fast food is not going to cut it. Grease and high fat foods make you sleepy and out of it. I never rely on caffeine for a tournament either, energy drinks and sodas are a terrible idea for focused thinking. The sugar rush, caffeine spike and subsequent crash will cloud your mind in the middle of the later rounds where the tournament gets harder and harder. Stick to water or Gatoraide if you need something with a flavor. Water is the best choice and keeping hydrated will keep you thinking straight. It will also keep you awake like caffeine and sugar never could. There’s is no better way when you are stressed out to take a moment, unscrew your water cap, take a sip, set it back, make a decision. This helps you set a rhythm and take control of the game when you may be in a panic situation. Not to mention this may draw your opponents attention from the game. There’s nothing wrong with unintentionally breaking your opponents concentration for a second. Who knows? Maybe this costs them the game when you interrupt their train of thought. (I am certainly not suggesting to intentionally distracting your opponent by the way.) Bringing me to another important part of food. Have your lunch planned! No fast food! A good sandwich at the hotel lounge or bring one in your car and step out during the lunch round to have it outside. Snacks are great but again avoid high sugar or high fat. Granola and fruit are what I always pack. I usually eat one per round just to keep my mind off of food. The importance of food is simple. Sugar and caffeine give you a rush. That’s fine for four rounds. But at a large tournament you’ll be playing nine rounds. You need to sustain yourself and not just be riding one peak to another.
If you find yourself getting angry or upset call a judge and ask to step away for a moment. A judge will be more than happy to give you a moment to vent for a minute or two rather than have you say, or worse, do something you will later regret. The biggest piece of advice I find myself using when I feel myself getting overly excited or upset is to STOP. Sit back in your chair, close your eyes, take one deep, slow breath. It’s not going to fix all your problems but you are going to break your thought loop and it will slow you down just for second and bring you up just a notch.
These are just a few things and I know some of them may seem obvious but I know these are all things that I have learned from playing in large tournaments that I thought I’d share to help you in your next tournament. Remember its an endurance test not just playing one game really well. Take it one game at a time, don’t think about the end result. Most importantly, enjoy the game. If you aren’t having fun then you are not going to do well. Be happy, be excited. When these things are lost in your tournament then you should head home. Post a comment and let me know what some of your tricks are!
Gatecrash Prerelease Events only $30 per person!
(Additional events only $25.00)
2 pack rounds for every event!!
Saturday 1/26 Timbers Hotel
Sealed Midnight PreRelease
Registration begins at 9pm.
Event caps at 140 players.
Sealed Noon PreRelease
Registration begins at 9am.
Event caps at 140 players.
Sealed Noon 2HG PreRelease
Registration begins at 9am.
Event caps at 16 teams.
Hotel Features Include:
$79 rooms sleeps 4 : $89 rooms sleeps 6
Free Breakfast for all guests staying at the hotel
Restaurant/Bar in the hotel
Sunday 1/27 @ Troll Country Games
Sealed Midnight PreRelease
Registration begins at 9pm.
Event caps at 48 players.
Sealed Noon PreRelease
Registration begins at 10am.
Event caps at 24 players.
Sealed Noon 2HG Prerelease
Registration begins at 9am
Event Caps at 12 teams.
Release: February 1st, 2013
Tensions build on the city-world of Ravnica, where each guild plies its own agenda to outsmart and outmaneuver the others. Uncover the remaining five guilds with the Gatecrash set so that your guild can be the first to unravel Ravnica’s deep-rooted secrets.
Pre-release Events: January 26-27, 2013
Release Date: February 1, 2013
Launch Weekend: February 1-4, 2013
Magic Online Release: February 11, 2013
Pro Tour Gatecrash: February 15-17, 2013
Game Day: February 23-24, 2013
October, 1 2012 at midnight Return to Ravnica becomes legal in standard,
Order booster boxes now: $100 online special
The Magic 2013 Core Set features 249 black-bordered cards, including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. The Magic 2013 Core Set is available in booster packs, intro packs, and fat packs
[mtg_card]Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker[/mtg_card]
Type: Legendary Creature – Goblin Shaman
Utility: Creature, Token Producer
Commander Usage: If your using Kiki-Jiki as a general a great theme would be to take advantage of the plethora of control spells such as,Act of Treason,Mark of Mutiny,Traitorous Instinct, etc. The point is to be able to say, take your opponents biggest baddie and make a second copy of it, then swing with both. If your’ not using Mr. 7 years bad luck himself as a general he is best suited for combos with Blue and White.
Commander Decks: Any deck that wants to win. There is really no downside to this creature. Although, control based decks would benefit the most from the almost villainous ability.
Combos: So here we are…this really can go on for a long time, and is quite painful to write-up. I will do my best for you though. The biggest and most abused combo is withIntruder Alarm. It’s fairly simple, make a token, untap, make a token, untap, repeat forever, swing and win or use something likeAvalanche Riders to destroy and opp’s land-base.. Ok so with that card we can make infinite anything, wonderful. One can use [mtg_card]Sundial of the Infinite[/mtg_card] to circumvent the “end of the turn” trigger from Kiki, and keep your tokens for a little longer. Some more combo’s (I won’t start explaining how to use the combo because this section can go on forever).
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Minamo, School at Water’s Edge[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Palinchron[/mtg_card] or[mtg_card]Peregrine Drake[/mtg_card]. (infinite tokens)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Palinchron[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Peregrine Drake[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Emrakul’s Hatcher[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Umbral Mantle[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Sword of the Paruns [/mtg_card](infinite tokens)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Sword of the Paruns[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Umbral Mantle[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Composite Golem[/mtg_card] (Infinite colored mana)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Breath of Fury[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Phantom Warrior[/mtg_card] or other Unblockables (infinite combat rounds and thus damage)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Freed from the Real[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Morselhoarder[/mtg_card] (infinite tokens + mana)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Faces of the Past[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Thornbite Staff[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Mogg Fanatic[/mtg_card] (infinite damage)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Thornbite Staff[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Wild Cantor[/mtg_card] (infinite mana)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Sky Hussar[/mtg_card] (infinite tokens)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Pestermite[/mtg_card] (infinite tokens)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Aura of Dominion[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Ashnod’s Altar[/mtg_card] + any creature (infinite colorless mana)
That should be enough to keep you busy, there are more but I’ll leave it to you to find them.