måndag 27 maj 2013

Rule anecdotes and a slight errata

As a general rule, we try to play with updated rules and Oracle errata. From time to time players mentions missing mana burn (Power Surge is pretty bad with new rules), not being able to turn of Winter Orb with Icy, or being able to win using the Mirror Universe/City of Brass combo. However, as most of you know, many of the old rules were pretty strange. To quote my Beta rulebook I got from Viktor "Oldschool" at BSK 2011:

"During the course of a game, a dispute that you cannot solve by referencing the rules may occur. If both players agree, you can resolve the difference for the current game with a coin toss. After the duel, you can come to a decision about how you want to play such a situation in the future. If the players don't agree to a coin toss, both players retrieve their ante and the duel is a draw."

It of course got better a few years later, in the era of the newfangled tap symbol and whatnot, but it was still far from intuitive. I lost a game in a tournament as late as 1998 against a deck that got infinite Dark Rituals by playing a Yawgmoth's Will, as the replacement effect of the Will was slower than the ability to play Dark Ritual from the graveyard (as the Ritual was a Mana Source). At one point in the game, there existed a place called "in-between turns" (where extra turns and skipping turns effects "stacked"), as well as a "before-the-untap-step step" (where Power Surge had effect). Most players agree that the rules got a great improvement when 6th edition came along with the stack and state-based effects (among other things). As it is very hard (and also not as fun) to play with old rules, we've always chosen to play with the latest comp rules. This is btw how you played a spell before 6th edition:

Note e.g. that if someone plays a spell, and you respond with Ancestral and draw a Counterspell, you can't use that to counter the first spell.

In this same vein, we usually stick with Oracle errata on cards; the only exception up until now has been Chaos Orb which has got errata to prevent people from spreading out cards (while still getting to flip it). This idea of using current errata has in particular made White Ward playable and Relic Bind worse (on the other hand, Basalt Monolith used to have power level errata that made it impossible to combo with the Relic Bind back then as well).

So, what's the new errata you ask? The card in question is City in a Bottle, and for all purposes concerning 93/94 magic, this is the new text on the card:

Whenever a nontoken permanent from the Arabian Nights expansion other than a basic land card or City in a Bottle is on the battlefield, its controller sacrifices it.
Players can't play cards from the Arabian Nights expansion other than basic land cards.

Welcome to 93/94, Mountain v78!

Pimping out the Goblin deck just got harder

I'll end today with a sample hand from BSK 2011:

Snap keep!

torsdag 16 maj 2013

A casual report of HUVUDTURNERINGEN

During the n00bcon weekend, a second smaller tournament was held at the time of the world championship top8. This tournament was referred to by the participants as HUVUDTURNERINGEN ("The Main Tournament"). The winner was no one else than Robert Schram, aka the winner of BSK 2011 as well as the finalist of n00bcon 2012 (among other achievements). Robert wrote a short tournament report yesterday, and I felt it needed to be shared. This report was originally written in Swedish by Robert, and I can only take credit for the translation and image texts. /MG

It was finally time to travel to n00bcon 5: World Championships 2013! This report is not about the world champs tournament however, but about the side event known as The Headless One's MAIN TOURNAMENT 2013.

Due to conflicting schedules with my work, I wasn't able to get away in time to participate in the n00bcon tournament. Regardless, I decided to travel down to Gothenburg to drink a few beers, hang out with good people, and perhaps get the chance to turn some magic pictures sideways.

Pictures like these, brah!
 I arrived at Rotary Pub just before 6 PM. The last round was just finishing up, and the cut for top8 was soon to be announced. Me and some of the players who didn't make the cut decided to hold a side event tournament, which we simply called THE MAIN TOURNAMENT. For this tournament, we also decided to play without sideboards. My deck of choice was one of my simpler decks, aimed for casual gaming (I currently support 10 different 93/94 decks).

4 Kird Ape
2 Dragon Whelp
1 Force of Nature
3 Scryb Sprites
2 Scavenger Folk
2 Elves of Deep Shadow
2 Erhnam Djinn
3 Llanowar Elves

4 Chain Lightning
3 Fireball
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Mind Twist
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Channel
1 Regrowth
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Fork
2 Giant Growth
2 Berserk

1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Ruby

LANDS (18)
2 City of Brass
4 Taiga
4 Forest
5 Mountain
1 Strip Mine
1 Hammerheim
1 Pendelhaven

"We may have missed the t8, but you're still MY BEST FRIEND!"
Game 1: Opponent: GaJol
The deck immediately showed that it was capable of winning. I won the last duel with Force of Nature into GiantGrowth-Berserk-Berserk. Game 2-0!
Looks like GaJol is on top of this game though.
Game 2: Opponent: Glennisch
The deck worked like a charm once again. These duels were even tighter than in the first Game.
We also drank quite a bit of Fireball during this game.
"I may have beaten you this game, but nothing can beat OUR FRIENDSHIP!"
Game 3: Opponent: JhovalKing
And once again the deck delivers. In the last game JohvalKing is killed by his own Juzam. This game was nothing but really tight duels. 2-0 again.

JohvalKing on Fire!
Three rounds and 3-0 takes me to the top4. I celebrated this with a beer.

Semi finals: Opponent: Glennish
My memory is giving up on me here, but I do remember that we had a hilarious match. We also drank more Fireball. This was a very tight game. I won with 2-1.
At this point of an evening, you may start referring to Kird Ape as Kidr Ape.
Finals: Opponent: Egget
Duel 1: It starts with me playing small guys and Pendelhaven. When egget finally gets some answers (like Icy), he's in bolt range. 1-0.
Duel 2: It get an awesome Channel-Fireball start, but egget responds with a Lightning Bolt and I lose. We laughed quite a lot here :)
Not every Fireball serves you well.
 Duel 3: I'm the beatdown, egget is on a dangerously low life total when he stabilizes and starts his own Mishra beatdown. Egget is on 1 life, with me on 7, and he attacks with three mishras to hit me for 6. For some reason he didn't attack with his 4th Mishra... :) I'm down on one life, and egget plays regrowth for Fireball, and casts Fireball for 1. I respond by tapping my only two mountains and play Fork. Egget realizes he doesn't have mana up for a Mana Drain and I manage to win!
The glorious prize!
 I'd like to thank everybody for an awesome tournament, and I really hope we'll get together for some 93/94 again soon!

//Robban "666killer666" Schram

tisdag 14 maj 2013

Bay area sweetness and some new cards

It's been over two weeks since I updated here, which is fairly unusual. The main reason for the pause is me moving up North. I'm no longer a Bavarian, but now a Norwegian in Oslo. Not quite the feel of Sweden yet, but it's nice to have a name on the door again, and I know at least one old school player in this city I'd like to meet up with. The apartment here is awesome btw; I've really missed it and my roomates.

So what happend the last few weeks? We're looking a date for the Pimpvitational, and the 93/94 format is becoming more and more visible in Sweden in general. On a personal note, I've gotten my first power card to my blue-black deck. I actually traded for it with a well-known player from Gothenburg as well, which has a kind of nicer ring than buying it from somewhere on the web. Gave quite a bunch of cards for it though. I also got a few more cards since n00bcon, these are my latest additions:

One of Elof's old Drains btw, that gotta carry some luck ;)

I'll keep it short today, but I'll update later during the week with some random tech and what the 93/94 scene in Oslo looks like. For now I will however show one of the most pimped decks I've ever seen in the format. Dustin from San Francisco sent me a picture of his friend's Erhnam Deck (after the restriction of Mana Drain). This is about as impressive as it gets :)

Bay Area is looking strong