Return to Ravnica Draft no. 3

Well unfortunately my latest foray into the world of RTR limited was bad, lie really bad. I didn’t have all that much confidence in my deck and the signals felt like they were a mess. I ended up in U/W splashing red and went 1-2. I didn’t feel like my deck was all that good and it was about I expected to happen. I started out seeing if I could get some kind of azorious/bant defender deck going but that fell apart really fast. After that I felt like I was already committed and didn’t really try to change to adapt to what I was seeing. If nothing Looking over the draftcap I could’ve gotten a somewhat better Izzet deck, but that’s hard to say after the first pack due to the fact what I did affected what 7 others did.

Well this entire post and the draft that I’m talking would be a waste if I didn’t think about why it went wrong. Refusing to read the signals and not being as flexible as I could’ve been hurt. I have a desire to be the tempo deck and just win by playing more efficiently but that’s not always and I need to accept that. I also should do online draft simulations, while the bots aren’t the best it does help as a form of mental exercise and confidence booster.

Round 1 was just straight up Rakdos with nothing really flashy and I just grinded him out.

Round 2 was an Izzet aggro with Guttersipe playing a central role. I just crumbled to this.

Round 3 was a fairly stock selesnya deck, that had collective blessing which just blew me out. Never drew my keening apparition so I just died to it.

 

Here’s the draftcap:

Pack 1 pick 1:
Brushstrider
Seller of Songbirds
Crosstown Courier
Sewer Shambler
Launch Party
Electrickery
Rubbleback Rhino
Frostburn Weird
Counterflux
Island
Gore-House Chainwalker
Batterhorn
Common Bond
–> Azorius Justiciar
Rites of Reaping

Pack 1 pick 2:
Concordia Pegasus
Eyes in the Skies
Downsize
Inspiration
Vassal Soul
Trestle Troll
Rakdos Guildgate
Teleportal
Swamp
–> Doorkeeper
Traitorous Instinct
Axebane Guardian
Archweaver
Slitherhead

Pack 1 pick 3:
Electrickery
–> Gatecreeper Vine
Guttersnipe
Mountain
Voidwielder
Paralyzing Grasp
Mind Rot
Chorus of Might
Coursers’ Accord
Essence Backlash
Shrieking Affliction
Lobber Crew
Call of the Conclave

Pack 1 pick 4:
Trained Caracal
Keening Apparition
Inspiration
Survey the Wreckage
Rakdos Shred-Freak
Grisly Salvage
Dark Revenant
Swamp
–> Isperia’s Skywatch
Ogre Jailbreaker
Bloodfray Giant
Izzet Guildgate

Pack 1 pick 5:
Tenement Crasher
Grim Roustabout
Deviant Glee
Survey the Wreckage
Trestle Troll
Azorius Guildgate
Treasured Find
Conjured Currency
Swamp
–> Stealer of Secrets
Axebane Stag

Pack 1 pick 6:
–> Aquus Steed
Crosstown Courier
Drainpipe Vermin
Cremate
Drudge Beetle
Rakdos Guildgate
Forest
Giant Growth
Racecourse Fury
Grave Betrayal

Pack 1 pick 7:
Korozda Monitor
Aerial Predation
Goblin Electromancer
Blistercoil Weird
Skull Rend
Plains
–> Knightly Valor
Bellows Lizard
Street Sweeper

Pack 1 pick 8:
Grim Roustabout
Goblin Electromancer
Vandalblast
Mountain
Knightly Valor
–> Stealer of Secrets
Pursuit of Flight
Druid’s Deliverance

Pack 1 pick 9:
–> Crosstown Courier
Sewer Shambler
Rubbleback Rhino
Counterflux
Island
Batterhorn
Rites of Reaping

Pack 1 pick 10:
–> Eyes in the Skies
Downsize
Inspiration
Trestle Troll
Swamp
Traitorous Instinct

Pack 1 pick 11:
Mountain
Mind Rot
–> Chorus of Might
Essence Backlash
Shrieking Affliction

Pack 1 pick 12:
–> Inspiration
Survey the Wreckage
Dark Revenant
Swamp

Pack 1 pick 13:
Survey the Wreckage
–> Conjured Currency
Swamp

Pack 1 pick 14:
Forest
–> Racecourse Fury

Pack 1 pick 15:
–> Plains

—— RTR ——

Pack 2 pick 1:
Rootborn Defenses
Mizzium Skin
Daggerdrome Imp
Launch Party
Dynacharge
Thrill-Kill Assassin
Lyev Skyknight
Plains
Explosive Impact
Stonefare Crocodile
Urban Burgeoning
Essence Backlash
Golgari Longlegs
Pyroconvergence
–> Righteous Authority

Pack 2 pick 2:
Keening Apparition
Avenging Arrow
Sewer Shambler
Terrus Wurm
Viashino Racketeer
Drudge Beetle
Seek the Horizon
Izzet Charm
Azorius Keyrune
Swamp
Doorkeeper
–> Hussar Patrol
Spawn of Rix Maadi
Search the City

Pack 2 pick 3:
Eyes in the Skies
Inspiration
Splatter Thug
–> Vassal Soul
Treasured Find
Perilous Shadow
Traitorous Instinct
Druid’s Deliverance
Chorus of Might
Transguild Promenade
Tavern Swindler
Nivix Guildmage
Swamp

Pack 2 pick 4:
Aquus Steed
Selesnya Sentry
Crosstown Courier
Terrus Wurm
Dynacharge
Chemister’s Trick
Rakdos Guildgate
Vandalblast
Pithing Needle
–> Voidwielder
Golgari Longlegs
Forest

Pack 2 pick 5:
Crosstown Courier
Electrickery
Grisly Salvage
Fall of the Gavel
Knightly Valor
Tower Drake
Centaur’s Herald
–> Hussar Patrol
Destroy the Evidence
Rites of Reaping
Swamp

Pack 2 pick 6:
Towering Indrik
Azorius Guildgate
Minotaur Aggressor
–> Azorius Charm
Dispel
Bellows Lizard
Pursuit of Flight
Horncaller’s Chant
Sundering Growth
Mountain

Pack 2 pick 7:
Downsize
Cremate
Viashino Racketeer
Electrickery
Rakdos Cackler
Forest
–> Paralyzing Grasp
Catacomb Slug
Axebane Stag

Pack 2 pick 8:
–> Swift Justice
Rubbleback Rhino
Skull Rend
Cancel
Batterhorn
Druid’s Deliverance
Oak Street Innkeeper
Island

Pack 2 pick 9:
–> Mizzium Skin
Daggerdrome Imp
Dynacharge
Plains
Stonefare Crocodile
Urban Burgeoning
Pyroconvergence

Pack 2 pick 10:
–> Keening Apparition
Terrus Wurm
Viashino Racketeer
Swamp
Spawn of Rix Maadi
Search the City

Pack 2 pick 11:
Treasured Find
–> Perilous Shadow
Chorus of Might
Tavern Swindler
Swamp

Pack 2 pick 12:
–> Crosstown Courier
Terrus Wurm
Chemister’s Trick
Forest

Pack 2 pick 13:
Destroy the Evidence
–> Rites of Reaping
Swamp

Pack 2 pick 14:
–> Pursuit of Flight
Mountain

Pack 2 pick 15:
–> Forest

—— RTR ——

Pack 3 pick 1:
–> Seller of Songbirds
Rootborn Defenses
Sewer Shambler
Assassin’s Strike
Rubbleback Rhino
Trestle Troll
Rakdos Cackler
Rest in Peace
Giant Growth
Ogre Jailbreaker
Batterhorn
Traitorous Instinct
Auger Spree
Savage Surge
Plains

Pack 3 pick 2:
Inspiration
Sewer Shambler
Viashino Racketeer
Drudge Beetle
Zanikev Locust
Rakdos Keyrune
–> Mizzium Mortars
Swamp
Forest (FOIL)
Cobblebrute
Traitorous Instinct
Druid’s Deliverance
Lobber Crew
Street Spasm

Pack 3 pick 3:
Tenement Crasher
Grim Roustabout
Terrus Wurm
Towering Indrik
Rakdos Shred-Freak
Azorius Guildgate
Golgari Guildgate
Syncopate
Plains
Stealer of Secrets
Dead Reveler (FOIL)
–> Dramatic Rescue
Gobbling Ooze

Pack 3 pick 4:
Drainpipe Vermin
Korozda Monitor
Selesnya Guildgate
Stab Wound
Teleportal
Mountain
Knightly Valor
Pursuit of Flight
Coursers’ Accord
Spawn of Rix Maadi
–> Rogue’s Passage
Ash Zealot

Pack 3 pick 5:
Downsize
Cremate
Launch Party
Viashino Racketeer
Thrill-Kill Assassin
Forest
Catacomb Slug
–> Explosive Impact
Axebane Stag
Coursers’ Accord (FOIL)
Guild Feud

Pack 3 pick 6:
Eyes in the Skies
Survey the Wreckage
Rubbleback Rhino
Island
Mind Rot
Cobblebrute
–> Explosive Impact
Axebane Guardian
Axebane Stag
Slime Molding

Pack 3 pick 7:
Drainpipe Vermin
Skull Rend
Giant Growth
Knightly Valor
–> Tower Drake
Pursuit of Flight
Destroy the Evidence
Rakdos Ragemutt
Mountain

Pack 3 pick 8:
Centaur Healer
–> Blustersquall
Island
Perilous Shadow
Chorus of Might
Spawn of Rix Maadi
Risen Sanctuary
Rogue’s Passage

Pack 3 pick 9:
Rubbleback Rhino
–> Trestle Troll
Giant Growth
Ogre Jailbreaker
Batterhorn
Traitorous Instinct
Plains

Pack 3 pick 10:
Sewer Shambler
Viashino Racketeer
–> Zanikev Locust
Swamp
Cobblebrute
Traitorous Instinct

Pack 3 pick 11:
Tenement Crasher
–> Grim Roustabout
Terrus Wurm
Plains
Gobbling Ooze

Pack 3 pick 12:
Drainpipe Vermin
Korozda Monitor
Mountain
–> Pursuit of Flight

Pack 3 pick 13:
Cremate
Forest
–> Catacomb Slug

Pack 3 pick 14:
Island
–> Axebane Stag

Pack 3 pick 15:
–> Mountain

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Revolution: the show that gets dumber the longer its on

Beware ye who enter of spoilers for Revolution if you care for some reason

Last time I wrote about Revolution I gave it faint praise, after watching the next few episodes I see that this praise may have been too much.  At its best the show is mediocre, far more common is that it has plot elements and tropes drawn from other genres that only make shreds of sense in context. Its insistence on explaining the premise of the show and seeking to undo that premise is also laughable. But instead of vague generalities, let’s take a look at why this show has gone downhill in quality and now the only reason why am I actually it is to mock it with friends.

the Setting

The more they explain about the setting, the dumber it ends up being with few exceptions. I covered the big point last time in that rather large nation states have emerged. Everyone in the setting is dumb in that what they’ve built down/or up* to is rather limited. Often it just gets used to enable tropes from another genre instead of being a part of a cohesive world. Praise where praise is due: heroin being legal, drug cartels allying with new governments/revolutionary movements is something that happens in the real world and having it happen here was more than I expected. I can also justify in my own personal canon why some of this stuff makes cohesive sense, but I’m still left with the impression that I’m thinking about this more than the writer is.

The characters

The characters continue to be two dimensional, bland and by and large incompetent; the only exception to that last one being Miles. The flashbacks to expand on characters don’t really help either. Off the top of my head: Neville was just made into more of a crazy man, Nora’s did nothing, Aaron’s made me hate him, Miles’ was uninformative and Rachel’s was the pinnacle of stupidity, but I’ll get to that in a bit. And of course they killed off the British woman, making her entire existence completely pointless as a character. The villains are also two bit fascists serving an ego-maniacal nut.  I’m not invested in these characters at all.

The Pacing

Yes pacing really does deserve its own category, why? Because the pacing is godawful. So many of these episodes can be explained as Charlie and co. take on a sidequest from rescuing Danny. Anything major actually happening takes several episodes to resolve. This isn’t helped by the fact that they are apparently taking the longest route possible.** I’d forgive this if the sidequests were interesting but they’re not.

Plot

So the main plot is that heroes are trying to rescue Danny, Monroe is trying to turn the power back on, something something DoD something…and a bunch of other stuff is happening around Monroe that they don’t bother to flesh out. I’ve already covered the problem with the first plot, the second plot is just stupid and only works because the show says it does instead of Monroe being crazy. There was something about a war breaking out that hasn’t been brought up again and anytime that isn’t spent with Monroe and Rachel comes off as some kind of exposition on these wannabe nazis. The final plot is one that has been mostly been ignored up until now but it gaining more air time. I have no opinion about the last one cause it explains so little.

There was also something about how the Monroe Republic and only the Monroe Republic have rebels who want to recreate the United States that has more or less disappeared as well.

Why the Power went out

So we know that the power went out because in pursuit of cheap energy, a way to suppress electricity was discovered and then…something something something. I realize that this ship sailed with the pilot but you don’t always have to show or tell. You could have just left it as physics went haywire and never explain it. Instead this plot keeps getting dumber and dumber and I’d be surprised if it didn’t get dumber from on out as well.

So all in all this show is dumber and its getting dumber. Its already been given a full season run so there’s no telling how dumb it can get. I’ll be watching to mock it relentlessly though.

 

*The idea being that with modern society having the rug pulled out of it continuing modern technology isn’t possible, but you can use modern tech before it breaks to make machines that can be replaced.

**Which actually makes sense if you want to evade the authorities I guess.

MTG Standard Pauper: Izzet Control

 

 

A new season of standard means new decks all around. After playing against aggro/combo* a ton I decided to try my hand at control and see how well I would do. The main deck that you see above I used in this week’s MPDC(Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, check here for more info) and ended up going 2-2. The sideboard I did heavy retooling after the event and am still in the process of tweaking it.  Overall the deck is based on the idea of counter anything threatening, swing with my guys in an empty board and use instant speed draw to keep up my hand. Let’s break down the deck

1 drops

4x Delver of Secrets-this guy is still good, while not the focus of decks like he used to be, he’s still a threat.

2 drops

1x Wild Guess-Discard land when I can cast everything, get cards in exchange. Anymore than 1 of and it’s a pain to cast and not as useful.

3x Essence Scatter-Creatures are scary, creatures get countered

3x Negate-Removal, auras, token generators are all scary as well

4x Searing Spear– One of the default burn spells for every deck with red, this is no exception

4x Think Twice-One of the few ways to draw cars at instant speed, flashback also gives me more ways to use my mana

4x Goblin Electromancer-This card is awesome, reducing the cost of most of the cards in my deck means that I can do more with less and be more aggressive in playing out creatures

3 drops

4x Brimstone Volley-I prefer this over pillar of flame because that 1 extra point of damage is relevant more often than not and if I get lucky than morbid can kill anything or take away a 1/4 of my opponent’s life total

4x Cancel-It’s a universal hard counter, with an Electromancer in play it becomes Counterspell

2x Stealer of Secrets-I honestly have tested this compared to Scroll Thief mainly because 1. I already had 2 of this card and 2. it seems that the extra point of power is better than toughness. If this actually stays and connects i’m pleasantly surprised.

4 drops 

3x Essence Backlash-You have to win with creatures, this punishes you for trying to cast a creature spell. I haven’t tried rewind yet but that might be better here. I should also cut 1 of these for something else.

2x Inspiration-The other source of instant speed card draw.

Lands

6x Mountain

2x Izzet Guildgate

13x Island

1x Haunted Fengraf

Need more red sources, fengraf is just one of those cards that every standard pauper works in for good reason

Sideboard

3x Curse of the Pierced Heart– Adds inevitably to the game once you get into top deck wars and for those matches were nothing sticks

1x Essence Scatter-For aggro decks

2x Geistflame-Another source of removal, might be inferior to Electrickery

4x Inaction Injuction– Also for aggro decks and/or decks that aren’t hexproof based

1x Negate-For those decks with a lot of non creatures spells

4x Pillar of Flame– This is for matches were exiling the creature is very relevant: young wolf, loyal catharstitched drake

Overall thoughts: Counter magic is kinda terrible, especially at common; having access to Syncopate would be nice. Not having any sort of universal counter at 2 CMC like Mana Leak is problematic.  Playing this deck has been educational and fun so I’m probably going to keep it as my ‘main’ deck during this standard season in the sense of this is the deck I’ll keep refining and playing around with casually if not necessarily in events depending on the meta. Although once Gatecrash comes out I might jump ship to a Simic based deck.

*Not traditional combo but the basic idea of a combo deck is true