Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SQ Sunday Orlando

As mentioned last week, I was busy getting started at my new job and getting ready for GP Orlando, a big Magic The Gathering tourney.

Good news: It was fun drafting and playing a lot of Magic and hanging out with friends. I know I mention MtG a lot here, but with all this GamerGate bullshit, I feel like now more than ever to keep in mind that what you do shouldn't define you, you should define it.

Why do I like playing Magic? I like the sense of discovery when you make a deck, and it works. As someone who comes from the world of Engineering, that shit sets my brain off. As a person who's known to be tense and skittish as fuck, there's a great sense of relief after a hard fought victory. And a loss just means that my next match is a little easier, and a little friendlier, and little more full of bullshitting.

Why do I like playing music? Because it feels REALLY GOOD to play a chord on a perfectly tuned guitar. It feels good to put some chords and notes together into something you want to play over and over again. It feels good to play on stage songs that started out about comics or video games and then become another subject entirely, or play to a theme that's not there on the surface. And there's always one person who sticks around at every con and sits there through to the very end, listening to a man twice their size (and most likely their age) play some rock that isn't an anime opening, and come to me after the show and say "Wow, that was really good"

Bad news: Meh, didn't do so great. 5-4 in the main event, dropped at 3-3 in the Sunday Super Series. It's clear that I've hit some kind of upper limit with my ability to play Wizard Poker.

Worst News: MY TRADE BINDER GOT JACKED! There's a very small chance a friend of mine picked it up after I left him, but I think I'm shit outta luck on this one you guys :(.

Thursday, I discovered that Orlando has a pretty bitchin' rock station, that played a lot of Offspring and Five Finger Death Punch, not the old fogey shit The Gator in South Florida plays.

Friday, I participated in some side events, mostly mini-tournaments known as "Grinders", 32-man single elimination tournaments where the winner gets a two round bye. I lost in round 1 most of the time, but I got in more deckbuilding practice for the main event next day.

Saturday, I pulled two Fetchlands, and as per the rule with Sealed tournaments, you pass them to another person, so that the cards you pulled can be validated. Because I was on the edge of the table, I ended up getting my pool BACK. There were some good cards in the Mardu and Abzan colors, so I went with 4-Color Good Stuff. I lost my first two rounds, then won my next three. At this point, I needed to win the next 4 in a row to make it to the next day. I lost Round 6.

Sunday, there was a Sealed Super Series, which is another tournament, but with some awesome prizes. I too lost in Round 6, because I didn't hear the announcement that the next round would begin. My friend, who I drove up with, was doing well, but dropped out early, so we got home at a decent hour.

Lessons Learned:
1. KILL THE MORPH CREATURES. Morph creatures are creatures you can play facedown for 3 mana, that you can flip over for a different cost. Sometimes it's less, sometimes, it for more, but you get another ability, like bouncing another creature, or giving another creature a boost.

2. LOTS OF REMOVAL- Kill Shot, Smite The Monstrous, Bring Low, Burn Away, Throttle, Savage Punch, yeah, a lot of options.

3. OK, my list of good cards:
Disowned Ancestor- 1 drop road block
Arc Lightning- Versatile removal for 3 Mana.
Alabaster Kirin- Strong flier with vigilance
Rite Of The Serpent- Requisite 6 mana conditionless removal
Icefeather Aven- 2 Mana, 2/2 Flier that can bounce creatures
Singing Bell Strike- Good for shutting down problematic creatures early
Wooly Loxodon- Late game beef

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