Saturday, 31 December 2011
One problem I had was that I couldn't get it to connect to my wireless. Reading an FAQ, it said I had to set it up first (i.e. connect with an account) before it would connect to a wireless network (which seemed a bit strange as I wasn't home when I got it). Looking into it, their website had an installer for Windows (unhelpfully labelled "PC") and one for Mac. Not particularly helpful if I am running Ubuntu...
Sunday, 18 December 2011
In this post, I will go into further detail about what's happening. Basically, stop reading if you don't want to hear about baby stuff (follow the first link above for a brief summary).
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Interestingly, there are no white cards in the pack, but the other colours are fairly well represented. The top 4 cards are Unburial Rites, Rage Thrower, Mirror-Mad Phantasm and Mayor of Avabruck // Howlpack Alpha.
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
When I opened the pack, the first card I picked was Skaab Ruinator. Massive creature, evasion; generally a great bomb. Meant I was going to be in blue again, but I had a win condition, whereas last time I just had ways to delay my inevitable defeat. It also meant I would have to be looking into playing cards that filled my graveyard, so kept that in mind. I can't remember what my next pick or two were, it might have been a Victim of Night. But my pick either 3 or 4 was Laboratory Maniac, which looked so fun I took it and decided to build my deck around it...
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
One thing that I didn't know how to do initially is was how to move things around on the dock on the left hand side. When I was using the old version (Classic I think it was called), I had some application links on the top bar, which were automatically transferred over, which was handy. I tried dragging them up/down to reorganise them, but that didn't seem to work. I eventually figured it out - I had to drag them outside the dock (i.e. drag them out to the right away from the dock), and then I could move them up and down. Not as obvious (to me anyway), but I figured it out in the end. Thought I would post it here in case someone else is trying to figure out how to do it.
Overall, I'm not that bothered about Unity, and don't mind using it. Its alright and now I've used it for a bit, I've gotten used to it. Still haven't figured out how to move the 'close' buttons to the right hand side of the top toolbar (they are on the left by default) - I can change it for when it is minimised, but not for the maximised window, which uses the top toolbar (which is a bit weird, but OK).
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
I had updated it quite a bit since the last time, and was taking a few things of the evolving metagame into consideration (when I first made the deck, it was mostly for fun, and the only thing to really play against was Caw-Blade). I had taken out the battlecry aspect because, although it had a nice synergy with the deck, wasn't always going to come together (as I would need a creature with infect in order to make the battlecry relevant, so I decided to instead focus on cards that are good or at least alright on their own, as well as with others).
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
My first pick was a Manor Gargoyle, passing Tribute to Hunger and Geistflame. The Tribute came round again so I took it late, which was handy as I had been taking a lot of black that pack. I had a few green cards and an Unburial Rites, so was looking into playing black with green/white as a splash. In the next few packs, I got more black cards and a few good green cards, but not too many white cards. I did also open a Gavony Township, so was thinking so splashing both green and white, even if only slightly, and looked for mana fixing some more.
Friday, 14 October 2011
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
So far I have done a practice sealed deck creating and playing with Liz, and started an Innistrad league, and done a draft at Hemel. Playing with Liz was the first time I used the double sided cards, and I tried both with sleeves and without using the checklist cards. I like the cards themselves, but so far think they are a bit awkward to play with. I didn't like them too much in sleeves because I wanted to be able to see the other side a bit easier when it was in play (and it would be a bit obvious what is in your hand if you try to look at the other side while in your hand). I didn't like the unsleeving it to transform it too much as it was a little awkward. Hopefully these issues will be lessened once I know what is on the other side of the card a bit better so I won't need to check the other side as much. Playing with the checklist cards was a bit better when they were in play because it was easier to check the other side, but I didn't like using the checklist cards while not in play too much. When I played a checklist card, I had an awkward moment when I didn't know what to do with the checklist card - I couldn't keep it in my hand as I had cast it, I didn't want to put it on the battlefield in case I mistook it for a token (I sometimes use the back of cards for tokens), so I ended up making an awkward pile away from my graveyard (again so I didn't mistake it for my graveyard pile). I also had the problem of not knowing exactly what the cards did by name when having checklist cards in my hand, with extra awkwardness when drawing multiples (image below is my hand from turn 2 or 3 when I was playing against Liz)
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
I started off the draft, with nothing particularly interesting in either pile, but opted to take a Plummet in the last pile as it is somewhat alright (and going to have some targets with multiple opponents) as I didn't want to risk getting something worse. In hindsight, I should have taken the card off the top as it was Sorin's Vengeance which the person after me took.
When the pick came round to me again, the first pile hadn't been taken and now had about 6 cards, so I took it as there were a few slightly alright cards.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
As with some of my other recent posts, I will look into what is in the deck at the moment, and think about cards to take out and replace with other ones.
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
The draft started off with a couple of potential colours, but it turned out that I was going to be heavy black so I stuck with that, picking up a few cards from other colours in case I wanted to splash, which I did in the end (I don't think I had enough to make a mono colour deck).
Monday, 29 August 2011
When I went along with some friends, I think all the regulars were playing was Magic (there was a handful of people there, enough for a multiplayer game that wasn't too big). We watched a few games to get the jist of it, then borrowed some decks off people there (I think the first time me and my two mates piloted the same deck as one), and we borrowed other peoples decks for the next week or so to learn the game.
Saturday, 27 August 2011
This is an update on the Black/Blue/Red draw-discard based deck, build around Underworld Dreams and Megrim.
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Sunday, 14 August 2011
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Monday, 18 July 2011
In general, I think the set is quite fun. I didn't do very well on the day (a mixture of my opponents being very good, but mainly me playing badly).
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
I think it appeals to the three main player types (Timmy, Johnny, Spike) fairly well. It appeals to Timmy because it is a creature that can swing for huge amounts. It appeals to Johnny because of the keeping counters between zones. It appeals to Spike (although Commander is usually casual, I'm sure there are Spikes playing it) because it is aggressive and keeps its advantages (counters) between zones.
I like it as a commander because you can play it early and attack with it, so it is relevant in the early game. Also, so long as you keep on hitting your opponents, it scales nicely with other creatures being played. Later on in the game, it is still a strong commander if it managed to get a few +1/+1 counters on it - it can be somewhat risky with low CMC commanders that they have less of an effect later on in the game, and on the other hand, commanders with really powerful effects usually cost a lot of mana, but this doesn't have those drawbacks.
It also encourages attacking and using it aggressively because, well, if it dies (hopefully trading something), you can get it back and it is the same size (you don't have to start over again). The cheap cost means that playing it from the command zone a few consecutive times isn't going to be greatly prohibitive.
After a bit of planning and searching through gatherer (and my current card collection), I put together a deck (deck list at the bottom of this post).
Here are some of the synergies of some of the card choices I made for the deck.
Rancor, Aspect of Mongoose, Fallen Ideal, Loxodon Warhammer
These are a couple of things to boost the commander (or another creature if needed), that can be reusable. Three of them return to my hand to be re-cast, and the other is a decent equipment that I can re-equip when Skullbriar re-played.
Noxious Revival, Golgari Guildmage, Evolution Charm, Stitch Together, Rise from the Grave
Returning things from my graveyard, to a mixture of my hand/library/battlefield. I sent an email to The Mana Pool recently about Skullbriar as I had concerns about it getting a -1/-1 counter and not being able to play it again as it would die before I could do anything to remove the -1/-1 counter, so I ensured I had a selection to return it to my hand or library to remove the counters if I wanted.
Some static effects that stay around regardless of whether Skullbriar is in play or not.
The most common counter in Magic (I think) is +1/+1 counters, so there are a lot of ways to add these counters, and some other creatures that benefit from them (in the case that I can't put counters on Skullbriar)
Most of the creatures in the deck are associated with +1/+1 counters, and while the first ability might not always trigger as I don't think there are many Warriors, anything with a +1/+1 counter will have trample, which ups the aggression in the deck considerably.
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
There are more green cards in the deck than black cards, so the effect to put counters on them is relevant a lot of the time. The downside is that it only effects creatures that entered the battlefield this turn, but Skullbriar can enter the battlefield multiple times if it dies, keeping the counters each time, so it is relatively powerful.
Simic Initiate, Aquastrand Spider, Fungal Behemoth, Cytoplast Root-Kin, Soul's Might, Llanowar Reborn
Among other cards, a selection of ways to add counters to creatures.
My favourite combination is casting Soul's Might on a Fungal Behemoth :)
So far I have only managed to play one game since creating the deck, against Liz playing the Kaalia of the Vast pre-made Commander deck (since I got the set of pre-made decks to play with her, this has been her favourite; I don't think I've had a chance to play it myself).
The game was close, I got to play Skullbriar a few times, and it was still relevant as the game progressed, and was slowly adding up some counters. Oran-Rief, the Vastwood was powerful, but did slow me down a little (as I needed to tap it for the effect, I was effectively a turn behind).
In the end I lost against a free Angel, but it was a very close game and, most importantly, a fun game.
This is the current card list, I think there are a few cards I am not too sure on so might replace later on (will have to see what's good in later sets). Doubling Season seems a bit too obvious (and is fairly expensive to buy), but is something I may consider in the future. I haven't included the 'Commander Staples' of Sol Ring (they're all in the pre-made decks at the moment, and a lot of the spells in this deck are colour intensive) and Lightning Greaves (commander already has haste, and I would like to target it to add extra counters).
Some of the effects return cards from the graveyard to my hand or library, while this means Skullbriar will lose its counters, if it has a -1/-1 counter, I would like it to return to my hand or library to re-set it.
Commander: Skullbriar, the Walking Grave
Scute Mob - A cheap creature that can be relevant in the later game
Simic Initiate - A great turn one play to follow with a turn two Skullbriar
Predatory Hunger - When I first started playing Magic, someone lent me a deck with this to play multiplayer with. It was awesome
Rancor - Reusable, powerful
Battlegrowth - Eh, it gives a +1/+1 counter if something needs it
Noxious Revival - Returns something, not great but decent enough
Aquastrand Spider - Early Graft creature, can be helpful as the deck doesn't have a lot of flying
Golgari Guildmage - Efficient. The green ability is great with the commander, the black ability is handy if Skullbriar dies with a -1/-1 counter on it
Bramblewood Paragon - Gives Skullbriar trample (if it has a counter), to help encourage more counters :D
Earthbrawn - Pump in a pinch, or just an extra counter
Evolution Charm - A selection of options, helpful for a Skullbriar -1/-1 counter situation, or to get some more land to play more stuff!
Stitch Together - Some interesting recursion
Demonic Tutor - Go find something awesome
Golgari Signet - Acceleration
Contagion Clasp - Kill opponents creatures, proliferate my +1/+1 counters
Aspect of Mongoose - Reusable enchantment to make Skullbriar harder to kill
Quest for the Gemblades - Add a load of counters to Skullbriar
Shambling Shell - Reusable counter adding
Hunting Moa - More counters
Spike Feeder - Use of counters
Fertilid - This likes having counters of its own, and is a great target for additional counters apart from Skullbriar
Dismember - Excellent removal
Grim Affliction - Removal and increasing my own +1/+1 counter, erm, count
Beast Within - Catch all removal
Putrefy - More removal
Beseech the Queen - Search for stuff (I think I play this in any Black Commander deck)
Cultivate - Efficient acceleration
Mighty Emergence - Once Skullbriar has a few counters, this triggers each time you re-play it
Beastmaster Ascension - Make stuff bigger. It likes the few proliferate spells, and the deck is mainly combat focused
Fallen Ideal - Reusable enchantment, and one of the few ways to deal with flying
Loxodon Warhammer - A powerful card that can be re-equipped when needed
Tumble Magnet - Appreciates the proliferate spells
Dragon Blood - A simple way to continuously add counters
Cytoplast Root-Kin - An awesome card to spread the counter love :D
Fungal Behemoth - Slowly adds counters and then benefits from them
Creakwood Liege - Pumps creatures, and creates some more if needed
Forgotten Ancient - An interesting way to use counters
Fangren Firstborn - The goal of the deck is to attack anyway, I may as well benefit from being so...
Sporeback Troll - More graft
Garruk Wildspeaker - Lots of options with a planeswalker
Hunting Triad - Creatures if needed, or a load of counters
Vigor Mortis - Recursion, with added counter bonus
Vulturous Zombie - Gets counters of its own, and is pretty fun in multiplayer
Spiritmonger - Gets counters, regenerates
Ob Nixilis, the Fallen - Gets counters of its own (there are a few cards that get their own counters, but that doesn't mean they don't appreciate extra ones)
Plaguemaw Beast - Repeatable proliferation
Liliana Vess - Planeswalker abilities can be useful
Incremental Growth - Lots of counters! :D
Soul's Might - Adding a huge chunk of counters if you're lucky. Nice synergy with Fungal Behemoth
Spread the Sickness - Removal AND proliferate? Yes please
Rise from the Grave - Returning stuff
Angelheart Vial - Likes counters, card advantage
Vigor - Gives out many counters
Jugan, the Rising Star - Gives out counters
Simic Basilisk - Graft
Triskelion - Likes extra counters (fun with graft)
Brutalizer Exarch - Utility (the remove-a-problem-non-creature-permanent has been useful when I've played it before)
Contagion Engine - Kill an opponents creatures, multiple, repeatable proliferate. Sweet
Cytospawn Shambler - More graft
Decree of Savagery - Yay counters :D
Protean Hydra - Gets some of its own counters (tempted to replace with the one that doubles its counters that's been previewed in M12...)
Strength of the Tajuru - Addings lots of counters
Profane Command - Handy utility
Command Tower - Mana fixing
Rupture Spire - Mana fixing
Overgrown Tomb - Mana fixing
Llanowar Wastes - Mana fixing
Golgari Rot Farm - Mana fixing
Terramorphic Expanse - Mana fixing
Evolving Wilds - Mana fixing
Vivid Grove - Mana fixing
Llanowar Reborn - Extra counter
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood - Extra counters
Havenwood Battleground - Acceleration if needed
Slippery Karst - Can be useful
Vivid Marsh - Mana fixing
Polluted Mire - Can be useful
14 Forest - Well, kind of essential
8 Swamp - See above
Saturday, 11 June 2011
Having just done my first week back at work after a week and a half off, I've noticed that the time seemed to pass at different speeds each time.
Luckily, the time off seemed to last and the time working went fairly quickly. I don't usually notice it as the weekends seem to go at the same speed (or at least my perception of it), so its only really apparent when I have longer off. The only time I really notice the working week has gone fast is when its seeming suddenly got to Friday. Long term, it doesn't seem as though I've been working for as long as I have since finishing my masters (which, granted, has been less than a year, but it doesn't seem like anywhere near it).
As said, this is just my perception of the time passing. Maybe the seemingly quicker weeks is because my sleeping pattern has changed from late nights and sleep ins when I was a student to early mornings for work.
Part of me thinks I should be more productive in my spare time, albeit the small amount of it that I have, but the problem then comes of not being able to think of anything productive I can be doing for a few hours after work with less energy than I'd like as I've been at work all day. Think I'll just stick with relaxing in my spare time for the time being, seems to be working for me for the moment :)
Friday, 27 May 2011
Thursday, 26 May 2011
The second draft I did was doing it the proper way - New Phyrexia, followed by Mirrodin Besieged, followed by Scars of Mirrodin, so will be more informative to usual drafting of the set. We had a fair few people coming along so had about 13 people in one large pod.
Friday, 13 May 2011
Thursday, 12 May 2011
Monday, 25 April 2011
In this posting, I am going to look at all the cards that cost Phyrexian mana (PX is one Phyrexian mana of the colour specified by the standard WUBRG notation); the ones you can either pay the one coloured mana for, or two life, and some of the artifacts that have an ability that uses this mana. In Mark Rosewaters column on the subject, he said "I'll write an article soon about the impact of Phyrexian mana on the color pie—it's too big an issue to discuss today", which is a pretty big understatement, as the spilling of effects is very severe in some cases (but hey, at least there's no 'destroy enchantment' that red or black can get to play). I will be looking at limited (drafting mainly), constructed (standard, I follow it a bit and use some sort of rogue deck when I do play occasionally) and casual (fairly general, probably thinking about multi-player as it's what I usually play if I'm not playing the above two formats).
Friday, 22 April 2011
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Sunday, 3 April 2011
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Thursday, 24 March 2011
After my recent failed attempts at trying to spot the ISS, its orbit moved such that it wouldn't be visible from the UK. Earlier today I found a site that was recording the brightness of stars in the sky, to see the effect of light polution in different places.
I don't remember much in the way of seeing stars from my previous times I had gone out to look (although we did see the bright moon recently), so thought I would be able to contribute by informing them that Luton is pretty bad for star gazing. I went outside to have a quick look and was amazed... I could actually see some stars!
I went back inside to put some shoes on for a proper look, and made a quick sketch of the constellation the site was interested in (Leo). Returning to the garden, excited at actually being able to see something but clouds for once, I started searching the sky for constellation I had sketched...
From what I got from the site, I was supposed to be looking south, so pointed myself in that direction using the tricorder app on my phone (I already knew roughly which way it was, but it makes the Star Trek noises). While it was possible to see some stars in the sky, there were not as many as I was expecting, and not enough to make the constellation I was searching for.
I turned around to face north, in case I had made a mistake about the direction I should be looking in, but there were even less stars there, and the red glow coming from Luton town centre wasn't helping one bit. I turned around to search all over the sky, but accepted that the stars were not bright enough to be able to see that much.
Somewhat dissapointed, I went back inside, and filled out the form to indicate the visibility in this area, not the worse as I could actually see some stars, but the second worse as there were only a small few that I could actually see.
It is a bit unfortunate that there isn't much to look at in the sky in Luton, but I'm seeing the positive side that at least I got to see a few stars, instead of just dark clouds in an empty sky.
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
After some further developments to the Life & Poison Counter app I've added to from an existing open source project, I uploaded it to the Android Marketplace, here:
As mentioned in the description, it is a free M:TG app with no ads that allow you to keep track of life and poison counter totals.
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Have started looking out for the ISS passing over Luton in the evening, to see if I could see it. Tried last night but is was too cloudy. Tonight me and Liz went out to see if we could spot it, but it was still fairly cloudy out. Liz commented that as it was cloudy out we wouldn't even be able to see a plane fly over (which is apparently what the ISS would look like). A moment later, I turned to the side and pointed out a plane landing at the airport about half a mile from the house, clearly visible and huge.
Obviously, it wasn't what she meant (she was talking about planes high up not landed), but the timing of it did make me laugh :D
Sunday, 27 February 2011
I've spent a minimal amount of time looking over some of the applications on the android marketplace, I looked over some Magic: The Gathering life keeping apps, and eventually found one that was free, and didn't have ads (which apparently a lot of free apps do have): Life Counter. I was extra impressed as it was an open source app, so installed it and used it against a game or so with Liz, and it was quite handy, a low number of features, but all that was needed to help me keep the score.
Well, almost everything...