Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Charity raffle for Finks' marathon run

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone,

Although i will do an announcement on here closer to the event for the regionals going on in Leeds on the 18th, most of you will already know.

I hope that everyone also knows that alongside the regionals tournament that Rik will be holding a raffle to raise money for Sense International (hope i got the name right?), in support of the Team Leeds member, Matt kitchen 'finks' who will be running the London marathon on the 26th of April.

The hope is that people will be kind enough to donate cards, boosters, or anything else that can be used as prizes for the raffle, so if you have anything lying about that you could spare, please email either myself, or Rik Powell to let us know.

I have arranged for Rik to contact me giving me the list of prizes already donated, which i will publish in follow up articles every few days as the list (hopefully) grows. I have also asked Finks to write a couple of paragraphs about Sense International to give people an idea of the good work that their money or prizes will help to continue.

I am aware that a bitterblossom has already been donated by Finks, and that alongside this there is a box of future sight and loads of other judge / promo foils and other cards.

I am going to add to these by donating the following

1 x bitterblossom
1 x foil mpr cryptic command
2 x nicol bolas, plainswalker
4 x foil promo ajani vengeant
4 x foil promo doubtless dourbark (thought id never be rid of these!!)

I hope these cards both drum up some more interest in the raffle, so we can raise more money for Matt, and spur other people to donate cards or boosters to the cause too. Why not, if your drafting between now and the 18th, donate your prize boosters, or even just 1 if you win more than 1, to the raffle.

Anyway, i will keep people posted on the donations and Sense International in the next few days. Hope the draft goes well in Leeds tomorrow, i will doing the second drafting with Jim from Runi games, which will be going up thursday.


As always, feel free to comment on anything related or unrelated to this or any other article. If you would like to contribute to the TLM blog, please send anything you would like to be published to ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk - p.s thanks for all the naked pictures, woot!

Esperlark for Regionals

By Jim Marlow

Hey guys,

So by now you know im playing some sort of reveillark deck for regionals of the w/u/b variety, and i have finally slain the 61st card from my deck to produce pretty much the exact 75 i will be taking to Leeds (and then later to ipswich and cambridge) in an attempt to get to nationals

4 x tidehollow sculler
4 x mulldrifter
4 x stillmoon cavalier
3 x vendilion clique
3 x reveillark
2 x sower of temptation

4 x path to exile
4 x cryptic command
4 x esper charm
3 x wrath of god.

4 x arcane sanctum
4 x reflecting pool
2 x mystic gate
2 x sunken ruins
2 x fetid heath
2 x vivid creek
1 x vivid meadow
1 x vivid marsh
3 x island
2 x plains
2 x swamp


4 x burrenton forge-tender
3 x bitterblossom
2 x jace beleren
2 x scepter of fugue
2 x infest
1 x wrath of god
1 x sower of temptation

Having written last article about how good thoughtseize is, i realised after much deliberation that it simply doesnt fit into this style of deck, why? well firstly because if im using it to manipulate a control players hand, i would prefer to use scepter of fugue, and against aggro style decks i am happy for them to flop their hand on the table, because i am wrathing. I think already having the vendilion cliques gives me a bit of an edge in control mirrors, so i found myself boarding out the thoughtsiezes when i was hypothetically boarding.

Here's how i would sideboard in some of the more common matches.

Vs Fae.
-3 wrath
+3 bitterblossom

This is a pretty simple move here, i am already preboarded to some extent because of the cavaliers main, plus clique and sculler to spoil the party. I think bitterblossom basically pushes the match in my favour because i can deal with theirs in multiple ways (charm or cavalier). I might like to squeeze in the jace's or the scepters here too, what do you guys think?

Vs 5cc/cruel
-2 wrath of god
-2 sower of temptation
-4 stillmoon cavalier
+4 burrenton forge tender
+2 scepter of fugue
+2 jace beleren

This is pretty basic sideboarding, because most of the cards im siding out are pretty weak against 5cc. I want to leave a wrath and the paths in against walls and plumeveils, which can become problematic if they slow me down too much, but i think with the jace's and scepters i can get ahead on cards and win.

Vs Dark Bant

-4 esper charm
+1 sower of temptation
+2 infest

I am not sure whether the esper charms or tidehollow scullers are worse in this matchup, i think it might depend if im playing/drawing too, but either way, i feel this match is fairly winnable, with 6 wraths main plus the cavaliers essentially providing protection from their deck the only thing that scares me is a birds of paradise with a loxodon warhammer....and rafiq maybe?

Vs kithkin and w/b tokens

-4 tidehollow sculler
+1 sower of temptation
+2 infest
+1 wrath

Is this right, should scullers or esper charms be out for both, not sure really? either way i feel like this match should be ok with lots of wraths. I really want to play auster command because it feels soo good against both these decks right now, because wrathing all their guys plus killing either bitterblossom or glorious anthems in multiples must feel good. anyway maindeck cavaliers and 6 wraths, seems ok.

Vs boat brew

-4 stillmoon cavalier?
+4 burrenton forge-tender

Im guessing here, i need to test this matchup more, i think i probably want the infests in too, who knows?

Well if you can see any glaring mistakes with my deck or sideboard plans please comment, but i am feeling pretty good about it right now. I am going to be back in Leeds sometime on Easter weekend, so my house will availible for deck testing / drinking for most of the week, as im pretty sure there will only be 2 of us in, so we could probably put people up for a night or two if people want.

I will be giving an update about the t-shirts very shortly (today or tomorrow) both on here or on facebook, but basically i need to get back to Leeds before i can pay, because my card has expired today and i left my chequebook in Leeds, hence me getting back there early.

See you all soon


As always, feel free to comment on anything related or unrelated to this article. If you would like to contribute to the TLM blog, please send articles, ideas, naked photos, or anything else you would like me to publish to ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk

Monday, 30 March 2009

Further thoughts on standard

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone

Having racked my brains for a couple hours solid i have finally decided that i will be playing, in one form or another, esperlark for the duration of this years regional season.


Well firstly i am familiar with the deck, having played it, with some degree of success, through the champs earlier in the year, and it is probably the last serious standard deck which i played extensively at larger events.

Secondly i decided to write a list of the cards i most wanted to play in standard right now, here's what i came up with

cryptic command
wrath of god
path to exile
volcanic fallout
tidehollow sculler
sower of temptation
vendilion clique
mistbind clique

So ci was writing out my list of cards that i would be happiest playing in standard, and about 4 or so in i knew i should play reveillark, and i had to stop myself before i wrote out an esperlark decklist.

I think the thing i like about reveillark right now is not just the ability to abuse an obviously overpowered creature, but the support of almost almost every one of the best cards in the format right now -

permission - cryptic command and sower of temptation
removal - path to exile
card draw - mulldrifter and esper charm
discard - tidehollow sculler and thoughtseize

Having built esperlark decks before i know that it is very hard to simply fit in all the creatures and spells that you want, because of course the choice to use the lark engine means that you are bound to a quite high creature count, especially of the x/2 variety, but obviously this leaves very little room for the other quality W/U/B spells out there.

After some number crunching and poring over other decklists out there, i have gotten to the point where i have a couple of cuts to make, but need some help, so i thought i would publish the deck so far anyway. This deck looks a bit different from most reveillark decks, but i can not ignore the power of vendilion clique or thoughtseize in the format right now, even though they are not often included in most esper lark decks.

Current Decklist

4 x tidehollow sculler
4 x mulldrifter
3 x stillmoon cavalier
3 x vendilion clique
3 x reveillark
2 x sower of temptation

4 x cryptic command
4 x path to exile
4 x esper charm
3 x thoughtseize
2 x wrath of god

25 land

Of course, the clever of you will have realised this is currently 61 cards, which is a shame, but i can not find any card that i would not like to have in the deck as it is right now. Also, i would love to include the 3rd wrath or 4th stillmoon cavalier against the current x/w decks out there, and i would really like to find room for a loxodon warhammer against any deck with spectral procession, which can sometimes stall this deck a little, and i think the lifelink is pretty key against dark bant and other weenie variants.

My current sideboard is

4 x burrenton forge-tender
2 x celestial purge
2 x sceptre of fugue
2 x wrath of god
2 x glen elendra archmage
1 x thoughtseize
1 x stillmoon cavalier
1 x sower of temptation

The most obvious card to take out for me is thoughtseize, simply because it isnt in any other lark decks, but its so good i wonder why not.

Anyway, im probably right off the mark with this one but hopefully your comments could help me out, otherwise i might just commit a cardinal sin and take the 61 to regionals.....it didnt do Nassif any hard did it?

As always, please feel free to comment on my shabby deck, or anything else related or unrelated to the article. If you would like to contribute to the TLM blog, please email the article, or idea for an article you would like to produce, or have produced to ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk

Choosing a deck for Regionals

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone,

So this year i have already arranged my time off and accomodation for this years joint GP/nationals 4 day event, which promises to be fantastic. Of course, however, this largely depends therefore on me qualifying for nationals this year, which although i feel is certainly achievable, it will be no mean feat, if for nothing else due to the current standard format being very open to a large number of decks.

My interpretation of the current metagame is that at any premier tournament before alara reborn comes out, 90% of the decks will be the one of the following

- Cruel / 5 colour control
- Faeries
- Kithkin (W and W/R)
- Dark Bant
- Reveillark
- Blightning
- W/B tokens

My initial thoughts on what deck to play was to play either some innovative creation of my own, probably using reveillark, or to play something that is slightly below the radar at the moment, for example i was dabbling with the Japanese swans deck on magic workstation for a little while. However, having read Wagz' tournament report i have come to realise that, if the manchester tournament is anything to go by, the calibre of the pilots, and the decks played at the events this year is second to none. For this reason i thought it safest to stick, at least for the shell, to a proven deck strategy.

So im playing faeries...right?

I distinctly remember saying before i left to go home i would probably play faeries if i had to chose a standard deck right now, but something seems to have stirred my confidence in the blue menace and im really considering switching to something else.

Ok so of the decks listed above i eliminated both forms of kithkin, dark bant and blightning immediately, simply because i dont think these decks are as good as the others. Despite the popularity of the 'boat brew' deck, i just havent warmed to it, so its not for me.

This left me with fae, 5cc, w/b tokens or lark

And here, even as i am writing this i am thinking which deck i should play. (when i started writing this i was pretty sure it was going to be W/B tokens, but thinking about it, fae and 5cc seem pretty good now too)

I think of these decks i am most drawn to either reveillark, or W/B tokens. Although i have been playing faeries for a long time i am worried that will be a lot of hate floating around in the form of volcanic fallouts and/or scattershot archers or cloudthreshers.

Other than this i am pretty set on playing some combination of cards which lets me see the opponants hand, because i think the recent extended season has shown me the power of this - so i think i can not pass up the oppurtunity to play tidehollow scullers, thoughtseizes and vendilion cliques, maybe all three!

I think if i play W/B tokens i will play something like Matteo's list from kyoto, but i want to put a maindeck loxodon warhammer, because as well as the wrath effects, i think the warhammer is key in the aggro mirror matches, where he with the biggest dude wins, and the warhammer helps with this.

I will knock up a lark list tomorrow and put it up here for criticism alongside my proposed take on W/B tokens, that i have already written down.

Anyway, sorry for the kind of non-article, it was meant to turn out as me saying why i would be playing w/b tokens and how the others are all rubbish, but now i think about it i would happily play at least 4 decks in the current metagame, which is both an exciting and worrying proposition, because although it shows the degree to which Wizards have worked for a fair rock, paper, scissors format, but it also makes it much harder to pick the right deck..

As always, feel free to comment about anything mentioned in this article, or on any other subject. If you would like to contribute to the TLM blog, please send your article, or idea for an article to ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Ziggurat.dec and the Manchester Nats Qualifier

By Wagz

Hi all! Good attendence from Team Leeds (tm) today at the Nats Qualifier in Manchester. 50 players registered for round 1 and from Leeds came Andy Edwards, John Ingham, Kier, Andy Devine & pals, Kenneth Hall, Craig Stevenson and myself. To spoil the ending, Craig made top 6 (the spread for qualifying) and I came top of the rest of us at 9th. My decklist:

4 Ancient Ziggurat
4 Reflecting Pool
3 Yavimaya Coast
3 Brushland
2 Karplusan Forest
3 Forest
1 Mountain
1 Plains
4 Noble Heirarch
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Burrenton Forge-Tender
4 Gaddock Teeg
4 Rhox War Monk
4 Woolly Thoctar
2 Ranger of Eos
3 Rafiq of the Many
4 Wilt-Leaf Liege
4 Realm Razer
3 Path to Exile
1 Loxodon Warhammer

2 Burrenton Forge-Tender
1 Path to Exile
1 Ranger of Eos
1 Briarhorn
3 Scattershot Archers
4 Caldera Hellion
3 Pithing Needle

A tournament report:

Round 1 vs. Andy Devine (Doran)
Having discussed the round how our decks were diverse in that his was tuned for game 1 mirror and mine was tuned for control decks all around, I wasn't happy with the pairing. I see an opening hand of 3 lands, Noble Heirarch, Burrenton Forge Tender, Gaddock Teeg and Loxodon Warhammer, my instinct is to chuck it. I override this instinct after looking closer at the Warhammer and realising it's the only way I'm actually going to win this matchup. We went back and forth for a long time, playing Rafiq wars to drastically change life totals (each of us having a warhammer in play). I eventually am swinging for 16 with my Rhox War Monk to 9 with his Doran and he scoops with the life totals at 98-23 and 9 minutes of the round left. Game 2 was much quicker but I had the tempo advantage and sneaked a win.
My Boarding: -4 Realm Razer, -2 Burrenton Forge-Tender, -1 Gaddock Teeg, +4 Caldera Hellion, +1 Path to Exile, +1 Briarhorn, +1 Ranger of Eos.

Round 2 vs. Kenny Hall (Fae)
Great, how many of my friends do I have to play today? Do I just know too many people? Erm, anyway, his was a "control" deck, the sort I'm tuned to beat. So game 1 a turn 5 Realm Razer yields the concession of course. Game 2 involves some sideboarding I wasn't sure about since he wasn't playing with Cryptic Command or Broken Ambitions, making Gaddock Teeg less than awesome. I keep a bad hand of 4 lands and 1 of each 4 drop, but it pulls out and I get 2 Scattershot Archers out to help me push through my big guy advantage.
My Boarding: -2 Burrenton Forge-Tender, -3 Path to Exile, +3 Scattershot Archers, +1 Ranger of Eos, +1 Briarhorn.

Round 3 vs. Chris Allsopp (Elementals)
Apparently a long time TO and a short time player, some mistakes are present in this match but my deck does its thing regardless. Game 1 I get attacking for 10 and we're off to game 2. He makes a turn 3 Horde of Notions and I have only a Burrenton Forge-Tender to help me. He kills my Lieges and Rafiqs until I get down a Caldera Hellion as a 4/4 to leave me that and the BF-T versus the Horde. He attacks and I double block, before damage he aims a Nameless Inversion at the Hellion, awkward. I forget to sac the BF-T to save the Hellion as I'm amazed I killed the Horde and I proceed to make Liege and another Forge-Tender ftw.
My Boarding: -4 Realm Razer, -2 Ranger of Eos, +4 Caldera Hellion, +2 Burrenton Forge Tender.

Round 4 vs. Noel Bresland (Kithkin)
I'm feeling pretty good at this point. I attended the event to gain rating but now I feel like I have a chance of taking one of the top 6 spots. I know that many people still don't know me so I am sometimes able to act like a noob for my own gain. With that in mind, I have been setting up the bottom card of my deck as I take it out of the box before shuffling as Reflecting Pool, and this game after shuffling and presenting I take two beads out of my bag of dice and set them aside. Noel immediately knows I am playing 5cc and I act like I'm annoyed I gave it away but ask him about how much of a tell it was. He plays first and I make turn 1 Noble Heirarch. Evidently confused, he Path to Exiles this and then when I make turn 2 Woolly Thoctar he clicks that he's been duped. He takes game 1 anyway and we side for game 2. I keep a good hand and get somewhere but a Stillmoon Cavalier keeps me at bay. I draw a Pithing Needle set to Figure of Destiny the turn after he taps out to play 2 and lay his hand down. He draws Ajani the Elder and makes counters. I haven't drawn a Caldera Hellion at this point so I lose :(.
My Boarding: -4 Realm Razer, -2 Burrenton Forge-Tender, -3 Path to Exile, +4 Caldera Hellion, +3 Pithing Needle, +1 Ranger of Eos, +1 Briarhorn.

Match 5 vs. Craig Stevenson (Doran)
Another Leeds player, srsly? Craig has friends in very high places and has a decklist provided by Patrick Chapin. Of course. I'm sworn to secrecy of the details but Pat might write about it in his article on Monday or else Craig might do it on Friday. Needless to say, I got horrifically spanked and was out of contention. Mise well play the last one for rating though, since that's what I came for.
My Boarding: -4 Realm Razer, -2 Burrenton Forge-Tender, -1 Gaddock Teeg, +4 Caldera Hellion, +1 Path to Exile, +1 Ranger of Eos, +1 Briarhorn.

Match 6 vs. Ross Silcock (5cc)
Good matchup for me I think, but Ross is a decent player. Excellent at Legacy - ask Andy Edwards. Erm, anyway, after mulls from us both I get turn 1 Birds, turn 2 BF-T and Gaddock Teeg. I make some big guys and press my soft lock until he deals with stuff and the board is clear. I topdeck a Gaddock Teeg (what else) and he can't stop me from getting in ftw. Game 2 I get stomped on, since my deck really likes going first. Hence game 3 I get turn 2 Thoctar, turn 3 Thoctar, turn 4 Rafiq and some stuff. I empty my hand of 2 Noble Heirarchs after he plays Broodmate Dragon and he is forced to chump my 4/5 Double-Striking Birds. He plays another Broodmate and I make some other guy. He spends a turn Cruel Ultimatuming me even though I have no cards in hand since he needs the life and really needs a Wrath. I of course topdeck a Realm Razer and he scoops.
My Boarding: -3 Path to Exile, -1 Loxodon Warhammer, +2 Burrenton Forge-Tender, +1 Ranger of Eos, +1 Briarhorn.

So, 4-2 overall but the results will have raised my rating in the Constructed, Composite and Total departments, putting me fairly firmly in the top 75 range for Nats Qualification. As Ben says below, I hope to see as many Team Leeds players as possible in Nats, and our own qualifier will help that, whenever it is (waits for Rik to announce it, even though I've already booked the room :p). Good luck to anyone playing in further Nats qualifiers - I would certainly recommend this deck, but the Chapin decklist looks even stronger. Thanks to anyone who actually read all this - let me know and I'll give you a kiss on the cheek.


Guest Article : These plains were made for walking

By Ben Heath

These planes were made for walking...

This is what I like to call the awkward second article, after the smash hit success of my first article (1 comment and rising, people!) I decided to talk about the upcoming Nationals Qualifying season.

In order to explain why I’m writing this article, my aim for 2009 is to make the Nationals, through qualifying or (by some major miracle) ranking. I must explain that when I made this vow 6 months ago my rating was not one you really wanted (1515 composite, stop sniggering at the back there).
Fast forward to now and it’s a very different story (1754 total rating),but the same can be said for a lot of people as well.

This season Team Leeds has had a player on the Pro Tour, two players making Day 2 at GPs and Top 8s at three different 2008 Champs, and I’m sure that these won’t become unique events. My point is that Team Leeds is getting stronger and stronger, and if things go our way and we play the way I know we can, I reckon we’ll have at least six, yes SIX players at a National Championships. Rewind back to last year when we only had two representatives (Andy Edwards and Robbie Aluzas), and it would be a massive improvement if many more of us get to Brighton, which I’m sure we will.

Anyways, the format for the majority of the qualifiers is Standard, and I’ve been spending this past week building decks and fitting revision around it, okay screw the revision, it’s mainly been spent deck building! But when you leave me on my own for a very long time, well I tend to go a bit crazy, and this is what happened when I let my imagination go completely out of control...

Deck List

4 Garruk Wildspeaker
3 Chandra Nalaar
3 Ajani Vengeant
2 Liliana Vess
2 Jace Beleren

4 Path to Exile
4 Cryptic Command
3 Broken Ambitions
2 Remove Soul
1 Negate
4 Volcanic Fallout

2 Wrath of God
2 Infest

4 Vivid Creek
3 Vivid Meadow
2 Vivid Marsh
1 Vivid Crag
4 Reflecting Pool
1 Exotic Orchard
4 Rupture Spire
1 Plains
1 Forest
1 Island
1 Mountain

I don’t know whether to run this or my new Ziggurat.dec (yes that’s what the archetype of the deck is called!). Let me know your thoughts as well as what you would put in this sideboard!

Later, peoples!


Thursday, 26 March 2009

Drafting with Jim - #2

By Jim Marlow

As most of you at TLM will know, i have returned home for the Easter holidays for a few weeks. My usual haunt for midweek drafting is Inner Sanctum Collectables, a fantastic shop in Cambridge, roughly 30 minutes drive from mine. The crowd at Inner Sanctum (both staff and players) are both friendly and very good magic players, and i certainly struggle against some of the better players. However, another shop has opened in the last six months, in my town no less! Bury St Edmunds does not strike me as a niche market for CCG players, but i welcomed it all the same, because i had been known to return from cambridge as late as 12.30am, which is a tad late for me.

Anyways, it felt good to be able to walk to Runik Games, Symon Rose's newest branch following the success of his now well established Ipswich store. The store in Bury is quite small, but is more than enough space, toilets, food and drink on sale, and Symon boasts what i believe to be one of the most comprehensive and well priced selection of single cards i have seen, especially given the size of the shop.

The gaming community in Bury is only just coming out of the woodwork, following the opening of the store, and from speaking to most of the players, they were either new to the game entirely, or the store had prompted a return from a long absence. The draft therefore was a tad unorthadox, with land being taken out of boosters before 1st pick, and of course ridiculous late picks, not uncommon with new players at a draft. One thing that did strike me was that the players did not review after each pack, and it really dawned on me both that the review period is just, if not more important than the actual draft (it tells you what your deck is currently lacking), but that i dont use the review to full effect, (usually i just caress the bomb rare i hope to open, and think how many games i can win by flipping it on to the table turn 6, yippee!)

Onto the draft, which was in fact a triple conflux draft, due to a lack of Shards supply to the store. I was partly glad of this because i still think my card evaluation of conflux leaves a little to be desired.

Im afraid with this odd draft i was unable to keep track of my picks, and so i simply have my completed decklist, it is fairly strong, but lacks early blockers, and so i think it is vunerable to quick weenie (particularly aerial) attack.

3 x brackwater elemental
3 x grixis slavedriver
2 x fusion elemental
1 x dragonsoul knigh
1 x macta rioters
1 x worldheart phoenix
1 x charnelhoard wurm

3 x drag down
2 x fiery fall
1 x absorb vis
1 x traumatic visions
2 x exploding borders
1 x spore burst

1 x nicol, bolas, plainswalker

1 x rupture spire
6 x mountain
4 x swamp
3 x forest
2 x island
1 x plains

I was really happy with the deck, its got bombs and removal, plus other fatties, which is pretty cool i guess. Im not sure about the mana though, i was kind of rushed to build, so it was a little thrown together, so that might be something worth commenting on

Round 1 - Darren

Darren told me he had been in and out of the game since he was young, and the store had prompted him to start. We both kept both games, and in both my deck made pretty light work of his, sadly for him. It was mainly a case of dragging down a guy, whilst fixing toward a turn 5 fusion elemental, or in game 2 a turn 6 charnelhoard wurm, getting back my exploding borders for the win next turn.

Round 2 - Rob

Rob was a very enthusiastic player, and he had only played for as long as the store was open. I thought it was great that the store was causing new players to start, and although i took this round home too, it was a complete washout. In game 2, Rob played turns 1 and 2 court humunculus' (humunculi?) and soon after flopped a whole army of dudes out, all off of 4 lands. Without any mass removal, i was dead very soon.

Round 3 - Dave

Dave seemed like a competant player from watching him in other rounds, and he had also drafted a solidly themed esper deck, with plenty of flyers and triple parasitic strix to go with at least one esperzoa. Despite overwhelming Dave in game 2 with my far larger creatures, Dave took the round 2-1 from me with his army of flyers that my deck simply had no answers to.

I want to congratulate Dave on his win this week at Runik Games, and i think the night went to show that the best decks were made by people who drafted with a specific strategy, and came out with decks brimming with not just raw power, but synergy. Some of the other players, who were perhaps not as experianced at magic, seemed to be learning very fast and picking up new strategies for both limited and constructed play, and i look forward to seeing the progress of the less experianced players over the next couple of weeks.

Overall i had a great night, got a booster for my troubles (shadowmoor?!?), and met some really friendly players, both experianced and less so. One of the best things about my night at Runik Games was listening to the 8 man chaos multiplayer game going on behind me around a large table. It was great to see the guys and girls playing casual really enjoying magic, and it very much so reminded me of why i started, and continue to invest my time and money into the game, which i think can often be forgotten once you begin to enter the realms of more competative play.

Finally, it was really cool of Symon to give out a Conflux intro pack as a random prize on the night, based upon us all rolling a die. How cool is that?

Anyways, i hope to have a more detailed account of my draft, and will hopefully play some more interesting games next week, although i am lead to believe it may be vintage constructed (?) at Runik, so i may go to Cambridge to draft, or i may simply skip a week.....so no tears from the fans when it doesnt go up next week ok, promise?


If you have any comments you would like to make regarding this article or any other on the Team Leeds Magic blog, please feel free. If you would like to contribute an article to the TLM blog, please send it to ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk, thanks!

Guest Article : Heathy goes to PTQ Leicester

By Ben Heath

Hey guys, this is the first of many, i hope, guest articles to be hosted on the TLM blog. Thanks go to Ben for taking time to write for the blog. If you want to write an article for the blog, feel free, simply send it to ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk. Similarly, if you would like an article to cover a particular area/format of magic, then send an email to the above address. After all, the blog is here for you, the reader(s, hopefully!).


Greetings from planet Heathy.

Today, Sunday 22nd March, was the last chance for British players to go to PT Honolulu, the PTQs coming to Leicester for the last leg of the Extended PTQ season. After a mildly successful time in Birmingham, Jim and I decided to head to Leicester and hope for some better luck over there. Jim was playing his trusty Fae deck whilst I was playing Doran Rock, deck list below. We were joined by Paul Wray (zoo), Craig Stephenson (TEPS) and Andy Devine (loam zoo...I think).

Anyways, without further ado, here’s how I got on...

Round 1

First up for me was the loam deck. Good match up for me, as the cards in both graveyards help me power up goyfs when needed. Any threats generated by him were dealt with well.
Won 2-0.

Round 2

Up against wizards with artifacts. If there is one moment which stands out as the worst moment of today, this was it. Game 1, opponent on 6 life, Tarmogoyf and Thoughtseize in hand. Use Thoughtseize to reveal a Chalice of the Void and Spell Snare. Easy choice, Spell Snare, right? Wrong. I took Chalice of The Void. I lost that game, and it was mine for the taking. Game 2 went much better, dealing with Vedalken Shackles with my opponent on 3 life. Dealt the lethal damage with 2 minutes of the round to play. Didn’t bother with Round 3. Drew 1-1. 4 points. That one mistake proved to be my undoing for the entire night.

Round 3

Next up was zoo. Another easy matchup, outraced my opponent in Game 1, but Game 2 was a different story. Lots of shock lands and Thoughtseizes makes Ben a very sad panda, and in no time I was on 7 life with my opponent on 18. Two Loxodon Hierarchs and a Doran later, and I was on 7 points after three rounds.
Won 2-0. 7 points.

Round 4

Feeling confident after three rounds and only one glaring error, my hopes of my first PTQ Top 8 were smashed by another wizards matchup. Vedalken Shackles, controlling Doran, were my undoing in both games, despite boarding in Kataki, War’s Wage, I didn’t see it at all. I happily admit to being outplayed in this match, but deep down I knew that my night would end after Round 6.
Lost 2-0. 7 points.

Round 5

Next was the type of deck that is my least favourite to play against, which is the combo deck. This one was Swans, but unfortunately for my opponent I had answers left, right and centre. Game 1 I Doran’d him into submission, in Game 2 his Swans met my friends Thoughtseize, Path to Exile and Putrefy. Turned out later that Putrefying my opponent’s Chrome Mox in Game 1 was vital, as he would have been able to have casted Firespout twice, completely wiping my board.
Won 2-0. 10 points.

Round 6

Going into Round 6 I was in 11th place, with strong tiebreakers, a good win against an opponent who was also doing well (which is what I was expecting) would have stood me in great stead. I therefore don’t quite understand why I was paired up with Andy Devine in Round 6, who was down in 20th place. With me on 10 points and Andy on 9 points, we eventually decided that Andy would concede to me to boost my chances of getting into the Top 8, but we played anyway. I won Game 1 after Thoughtseizing all his threats before Goyfing him into submission. Game 2 was when I made my second major mistake of the night, and as a result thoroughly deserved to lose (attacking with a far too weak 2/3 Tarmogoyf into another Tarmogoyf and a 3/3 Wild Nacatl...d’oh). Game 3 I unfortunately got mana-flooded and was pretty disappointed to be actually lose the matchup as I thought it was a pretty good match up for me, but as far as the tournament was concerned I won 2-1 and was on 13 points...honest...

I ended up in 10th place with 13 points, a mere 4% on tiebreakers away from 6th place, who was also on 13 points. Although gutted not to make it, I had a good time, and won some pretty awesome cards in the boosters I won, thanks especially to Andy for letting me win the final round, even though it was all in vain (thanks dude). Thanks to Jim as well for the lift. Now I’m off to celebrate with my mates and get absolutely rat-arsed, later!


Deck List

2 Chrome Mox,
4 Thoughtseize,
4 Birds of Paradise,
3 Path to Exile,
4 Tidehollow Sculler,
4 Tarmogoyf,
4 Dark Confident,
2 Umezawa’s Jitte,
4 Doran,
2 Kitchen Finks,
3 Putrefy,
2 Oblivion Ring,
2 Loxodon Heirarch.
4 Windswept Heath,
3 Treetop Village,
2 Overgrown Tomb,
2 Godless Shrine,
2 Temple Garden,
2 Ghost Quarter,
2 Swamp,
1 Plains,
1 Polluted Delta,
1 Bloodstained Mire

4 Bitterblossom,
2 Kitchen Finks,
2 Gaddock Teeg,
2 Ethersworn Canonist,
1 Path to Exile,
1 Tormod’s Crypt,
1 Relic of Progenitus,
2 Kataki, War’s Wage.

WNM April 1st - Announcement

By Jim Marlow

April Fool's Day sees the first of 5! WNM events in Leeds this month, the first of which shall be a Shards/Shards/Conflux booster draft.

The draft shall take place at the usual venue of TJ's bar at the woodhouse club, on woodhouse street, just of the side of Hyde Park.

The price of the draft is £9

If you bring a new player, both you and your friend get £1 off the draft.

If you want to be one of the fools drafting with TLM on April 1st, registration closes at 6.45pm for a 7pm start, although members of TLM will be playing magic of various formats in TJ's from 6pm, so feel free to come early to play, or have a drink from the full and reasonably priced bar.


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Tournament Report: PTQ honolulu - leicester 22nd March

By Jim Marlow

Hey guys,

So, having driven home from Leeds the night before i woke up at 6 to drive to Phoenix games in Leicester, armed with a faeries deck, very similar to the one posted in the earlier article, but with 2 path to exile swapped into the main for 2 stifle (this turned out fantastically, i wish i could have fit a 3rd in).

Anyways, before i get into the match reports, i just wanted to mention that Phoenix games is a lovely, albeit small, gaming store, with a really nice gaming area, so if anyone gets a chance drop by for an event (we were informed on regionals coming up shortly there). However, it was a shame that despite being informed that registration finished at 10.30am for an 11.am start, the shop was still not open at 10am!, which was a bit lame. There was obviously a lot of organising to do, but after having a breakfast in McDonalds me and Ben ended up sitting in my car finishing off our decks, which was kind of lame, so hopefully if anyone goes to Leicester the staff at Phoenix games will have worked out the slight administrative kinks they had with this PTQ.

Round 1 - Kris Pietron - Swans

Game 1 - This game was incredibly long and drawn out, but eventually i managed to come good with mutavaults and spellstutter sprites. Kris did well not to reveal what deck he was playing (i first though fae with polluted delta, next teps with a turn 2 ponder) until my turn 3 vendilion clique revealling 2 chain of plasmas in hand. This of course was bas news, but i stripped 1 and then cliqued again post combat next turn to take the other. From here it was simply a matter of finding a threat, and after a few self proclaimed mistakes by Kris i countered a swans and took the game.

Game 2 - This game started much like the first, but i had kept a hand with lots of permission in hand. Having answers to most of Kris' action in the first 4 or so turns seemed strong, especially with beats coming in from a spellstutter, soon joined by a vendilion clique, which left a hand with not a lot of gas. The defining play of the game came when Kris made a turn 5 Teferi off an EOT mystical teachings. I played glen elendra archmage, then my path to exile on Teferi met pact of negation, which effectively nullified most of my hand. From here it was simply a matter of time before Kris drew into his combo.

Sadly, there was only 3 minutes of the round so we called it a draw at 1-1

Round 2 - Johnathan Coutts - Naya Burn

Game 1 - John led off with stompin ground into kird ape, which didnt scare me too much because i know zoo can be an ok matchup with a semi decent draw. John helixed my spellstutter countering his turn 3 dude, which was very bad news for me, and after playing draw go, i had no choice but to let him resolve a sulfuric vortex, which meant i had 3 turns, and quickly died.

Game 2 - John got a first turn kird ape again, and resolved a second turn 3/3 wild nacatl, which seemed strong despite a good opener from me. I was beatedn up by his dudes for a little bit, trying to leave counter magic open to vortex, but all the time dying to his 1 drops. I got low on life, but with venser in hand and visions resolving i allowed a char to resolve, which took me to 3 life (1, if you count the seal of fire on the table), because if i drew land i can make spellstutter, and then venser, bouncing and blocking (i tanked for about 10mins on this play). My 4 from visions were of course fetchland, fetchland, fetchland, shockland - awkward.

Round 3 - James Ritche - Elves!

Game 1 - I knew James was playing Elves! allready from seeing him playing across tables, but he didnt seem to confident with playing the deck, and its a pretty good matchup already for Fae. James flopped a load of elves onto the table early on, but i had engineered explosives for 1 to clear them up. Soon after i drew academy ruins, and slowly destroyed all but 2 cards in hand and a wirewood symbiote and birchlore rangers on his side. I cliqued to reveal pact and glimpse, taking the pact, then pass. He then plays land, glimpse, glimpse, and then attempts to bounce his birchlore - i stifle.....we shuffle.

Game 2 - Once again an early onset of elves is firespouted away, but James gets badly manaflooded, and of course flops them onto the table to show me he has no outs before getting bashed around silly by various dudes i resolve, obviously not fearing a sudden combo.

Round 4 - Chip Raynor - Loam

Game 1 - Chip was a really nice guy, and local to Leicester, which is cool. Our game 1 was fairly close, with a knight of the reliquary growing. However my turn 4 vendilion clique managed to put a loam on bottom, and sometime later, having snared a second copy, i managed to clique again to take the other. Chip mistakenly attacked with his finks (with the reliquary sadly in exile), leaving my mutavaults to get in for lethal.

Game 2 - This was my first non-game of the day. Having cycled lands for the first couple turns, Chip resolved a knight of the reliquary, to get end of turn path to exiled, but sadly this was the only creature Chip drew, nor did he draw any loams, darkblasts, or anything else of any relevence.

Round 5 - Noel Bresland - kithkin

Game 1 - Noel was playing what looked like a very similar deck to the one in standard right now, which was very evident from his turn 1 goldmeadow stalwart. I took couple hits then path to exiled his stalwart, now with a spellstutter of my own. The game changing mistake came in turn 3, where i made a draw step vendilion clique, seeing 2 ranger of eos, a wizenned cenn and land. I should have waited and leaked the attempted ranger this turn the just cliqued next turn for the other. As it happened i punted, let him keep both, then got beaten silly by Figure of destinies while trying to rob wagner an Engineered explosives onto my deck (no dice)

Games 2 & 3 - i am reporting these together because they were ridiculously similar, happily in that i drew out pretty much the stone cold nuts against Noel's deck. In both of my opening hands i had a copy of engineered explosives and my misers academy ruins, which was nice. Whats more both these games saw me drawing heavily into my sideboarded firespouts. The only thing i had to worry about was Noel resolving a spectral procession, but luckily i kept him off this and it was over. I almost feel bad about how well i drew in these last 2 games, in game 3, having already used engineered explosives, and with academy ruins, my 4 card hand contained 3 x firespout and 1 x path to exile - delicious!. Im pretty sure Noel could have stalled out a draw in game 3, but he attack with his figure, and i had the mana to firespout his fresh blockers, then activate mutavault, swing with that and 2 x spellstutter sprites, give one +4/+4 from jitte, which luckily was just enough for lethal.

Round 6 - Christopher Rossiter - Faeries

Game 1 - As with all Faerie mirror matches, this one was explosive..... but seriously this was a long drawn out affair, with various riptide laboratory shananigans being used. Sadly throughout this Chris was able to more than half my life with a Mutavault, and when he resolved another creature it was over.

Game 2 - This was another really close game, but i managed to keep up with Chris' land drops, although he had 2 riptide labs to my 1, which gave him a pretty big advantage. I beatdown with a spellstutter for turn before it was joined by another. Chris vensered my vendilion clique back to my hand, annoyingly. I then sowered Chris venser, and he sowered my sower, leaving me with venser, 2 x spellstutter and 2 x mutavault, and chris with 2 x sower, and 1 x mutavault. I attacked with everything, and chris traded off my sower for a vault after i didnt use my riptide lab (i may have the board wrong because he used his lab to save something else), anyways, i play a postcombat venser of my own, getting rid of both and bouncing the sower, then strip it from his hand leaving him with 2 lands and a mystery, with the board now empty for him (with bounced mutavault in hand), and i have2 x spellstutter and a clique with him low on life.

Anways, it was close to time and chris was win and in and for me it depended on breakers, but i had reasonable ones, plus i was paired up, but in the end i thought it better that one of us made it to the top 8 rather than neither of us, so after this play i scooped to Chris and wished hime good luck in the top 8 (incidentally does anyone know who won it?)

So i hope you enjoyed the report, congratulations to Ben Heath who did well as well that day, and also it was good to see fellow leodensians Paul Wray, Craig Stevenson and Andy Devine in Leicester.

Overall it was a pretty good day, despite not getting any prizes for my troubles i will probably still get some rating out of it, and see new places. Good luck to whoever won the ptq, hope you do well in Honolulu.


Please feel free to comment on this article or about anything related to Magic or Team Leeds. If you would like to contribute to the TLM blog, please email me at ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Extended Fae: preparation for PTQ Leicester

By Jim Marlow

Hey everyone,

So yesterday was sadly my last WNM for 4 weeks due to me going home for Easter holidays from uni, but for the lucky few of Team Leeds going to the last PTQ of the Honalulu season, you shall be graced by my presence. I will of course be playing the blue menace, which is well known to have been my deck of choice for many months over the course of standard and before that block constructed.

I firmly believe that faeries is the best deck in extended right now, for many of the same reasons that it was good in standard. Obviously the deck has some of the best spells avalible in the extended card-pool, but moreover the deck is resilliant to mediocre draws, and can stall out long enough to gain slow control, whereas many decks in extended simply crumble without great draws.

This is the decklist i will be playing in Leicester.

4 x spellstutter sprite
4 x vendilion clique
3 x sower of temptation
2 x glen elendra archmage
1 x venser, shaper savant

4 x ancestral vision
4 x stifle
4 x spell snare
4 x mana leak

3 x engineered explosives
2 x umezawa's jitte

4 x polluted delta
2 x flooded strand
4 x mutavault
2 x hallowed fountain
2 x steam vents
2 x riptide laboratory
1 x academy ruins
6 x island
2 x plains

3 x relic of progenitus
4 x ethersworn canonist
3 x kataki, wars wage
2 x path to exile
3 x firespout

Card choices

4 x vendilion clique - i recently put the 4th in over a 3rd jitte because i wanted to better my matchup against the combo/control decks in the format. Clique is great against both fae and teps because he puts a clock on as well as stripping the hand, and hopefully you can play with 4 you will have a backup clique when they deal with your first.

4 x stifle - again a move to fight teps and the mirror, which i think are the trickiest matches to navigate with this deck. The deck is fairly resiliant to the aggro lurking in the format so i think i can afford to play the 4th. Also, stifle can end games against zoo if you manage to get 1, or even 2 of their fetchlands away.

2 x riptide laboratory - Obviously riptide lab is totally sick, and when active with something like clique, venser, or spellsutter you can lock opponants out of the game. However i really wanted to put in an academy ruins because i was going down to 2 jittes and i thought that it would be better against aggro style decks, and i didnt really want to have 8 colourless mana producing lands in the deck, so the third lab had to go.

0 x cryptic command - For a long time cryptic didnt seem to get played in faeries, and now it seems to be in favour with many players as a 1 or 2 of. I began by playing it, but aside from the fog effect against zoo, i simply cant justify cryptic as good enough for the deck. Instead i think the glen elendra archmage's do a better job, because they counter all the accelerants from teps, both without costing 4 a time, and without adding to the storm count. It pains me to take this out because of my love for them in standard, but the triple blue cost was the last straw and i took them out.

The sideboard is obviously nearly all white, but i think the white splash instead of black gives me far more, and better options against the bad matchups for Fae. Although ethersworn canonist maybe not the best option against elves of teps because they know about it, i think its probably as good as thoughtseize, plus i dont think most players playing elves or teps will expect Fae to board it in.

Anyway, wish me luck in Leicester, and good luck too all other members of Team Leeds going, look forward to seeing you all there


Feel free to leave comments regarding the article, or anything else. If you are interested in contributing to the Team Leeds Magic blog, or want to contact me for any other reason my email address is - ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Tournament report for WNM, 18th March 2009

By Jim Marlow

Tonight saw 14 players drafting Shards/Shards/Conflux in Leeds, a good turnout considering two players came wishing to test constructed formats instead, and because of university demands a few players had already said they were'nt coming.

Congratulations are in order for Steve Tyson and Fu Sheng Wong for winning their pods, these are their decklists and 1st picks from the draft.

Steve Tyson

1 x stoic angel
1 x predator dragon
1 x skyward eye prophets
2 x woolly thoctar
2 x rhox medicant
1 x steward of valeron
1 x knight of the skyward eye
1 x rakeclaw gargantuan
1 x topan ascetic
1 x court archers
1 x knotvine mystic
1 x druid of the anima
2 x gift of the gargantuan
1 x spore burst
1 x might of alara
1 x obilisk of naya
1 x path to exile
1 x resounding silence
1 x excommunicate
1 x celestial purge

1 x unstable frontier
1 x jungle shrine
4 x plains
3 x mountain
5 x forest
2 x island

Pack 1, pick 1 - Stoic Angel
Pack 2, pick 1 - Predator Dragon
Pack 3, pick 1 - Skyward eye prophets

Fu Sheng Wong

1 x wandering goblins
1 x beacon behemoth
1 x nacatl hunt-pride
1 x knight of the skyward eye
1 x bull cerodon
1 x knight captain of eos
2 x scattershot archer
1 x ranger of eos
1 x ethersworn adjudicator
1 x cavern thoctar
1 x hellkite hatchling
1 x naya battlemage
1 x exuberant firestoker
1 x naya charm
1 x yoked plowbeast
1 x welkin guide
1 x wild leatau
1 x qasali ambusher
1 x hissing iguanar
2 x obilisk of naya

1 x savage lands
1 x grixis panorama
1 x swamp
1 x island
3 x mountain
3 x plains
5 x forest

Pack 1, pick 1 - naya battlemage
Pack 2, pick 1 - bull ceredon
pack 3, pick 1 - ethersworn adjudicator

So congratulations to both Steve and Fu, and thank you for sharing your decklists, the next draft will be in 2 weeks time, sadly however, i shall be back home for easter, so shall be doing a draft report from inner sanctum collectables.

Feel free to leave comments regarding the article, or anything else. If you are interested in contributing to the Team Leeds Magic blog, or want to contact me for any other reason my email address is - ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk

Drafting with Jim - #1

By Jim Marlow

Well, seeing as im pretty much as good a limited player as the likes of Luis Scott Vargas and Oliver Ruel, i thought why not share my drafts with the rest of Team Leeds too.

This article follows through my picks and matches in this weeks WNM, a full tournament report with winnin players and decklists will feature in a separate article.

Pack 1, pick 1 - Naya Battlemage

not the greatest first pick, but in a shallow pack its not the worst either.

Pack 1, pick 2 - Vithian Stinger

my favourite card in limited right now

Pack 1, pick 3 - Qasali Ambusher

This pick again feels weak, but the pack was very shallow, but maybe this signals i should be moving towards jund more than naya.

Pack 1, pick 4 - Topan Ascetic

Pack 1, pick 5 - Vithian Stinger

Sick! - especially when i picked this over 2 bone splinters (1 foil) and a fleshbag marauder.

Pack 1, pick 6 - Rockslide Elemental

Pack 1, pick 7 - jund panorama

Pack 1, pick 8 - rakeclaw gargantuan

Pack 1, pick 9 - steelclad serpent

Remaining picks - glaze fiend, obilisk of naya, lightning talons, vectis silencers, marble chalice, mountain.

Pack 2, pick 1 - steward of valeron

This is not the first pick i was hoping for

Pack 2, pick 2 - jund battlemage

Im not sure how big my black splash bill be right now, if any, but still pretty strong

Pack 2, pick 3 - Vithian Stinger


Pack 2, pick 4 - rip clan crasher

Pack 2, pick 5 - mosstodon

Pack 2, pick 6 - viscera dragger

Pack 2, pick 7 - jungle weaver

Pack 2, pick 8 - jungle weaver

Pack 2, pick 9 - cylian elf

Remaining picks - steelclad serpent, plains (foil), immortal coil, lightning talons, tortoise formation, banewasp affliction.

Pack 3, pick 1 - ember weaver

This guy is almost always a 3/3 first striker in my deck, but is he really 1st pickable?

Pack 3, pick 2 - exploding borders

Pack 3, pick 3 - Vagrant Plowbeast

Im not sure this guy is any good, i didnt end up playing him, what do people think?

Pack 3, pick 4 - Toxic Iguanar

These seem pretty good if i face a similar deck to mine, because im light on removal

Pack 3, pick 5 - macta rioters

Pack 3, pick 6 - dragon soul knight

Pack 3, pick 7 - nacatl outlander

Pack 3, pick 8 - macta rioters

Pack 3, pick 9 - Sylvan bounty

Remaining Picks - toxic iguanar, salvage slasher, scornful Aether-lich, worldly counsel, vectis agents, plains.

My final Decklist
2 x toxic iguanar
1 x nacatl outlander
1 x rip-clan crasher
1 x steward of valeron
2 x macta rioters
3 x vithian stinger
1 x ember weaver
1 x jund battlemage
1 x naya battlemage
1 x qasali ambusher
1 x topan ascetic
1 x rockslide elemental
1 x viscera dragger
1 x mosstodon
1 x rakeclaw gargantuan
2 x jungle weaver
1 x exploding borders
1 x sylvan bounty
7 x forest
6 x mountain
2 x plains
1 x swamp

Round 1 - Paul Suciu

Game 1 - I won the die roll and played first, managing to get nacatl outlander and a vithian stinger on the board. I drew into more dudes and quickly overwhelmed.

Game 2 - Paul got a turn 2 jhessian infiltrator, and turn 3 equipped it with lightning talons, a few more swings and it was over

Game 3 - This was almost the same as game 1, but Paul managed to find some decent guys to stall the board, the turning point in the match was when i blocked Pauls 2/2 wubrg knight with a 2/2 macta rioters, only to pop my panorama before damage, from the it was only a matter of time.

Round 2 - Matthew Kitchen

Game 1 - I lead off with turn 2 rip clan crasher, and matt apparently kept quite a slow hand against a pretty explosive draw from me.

Game 2 - Once again i put pressure on early, but this time Matt found some guys to stabilise slightly. Sadly, matt sealed his fate by attacking with a tower gargoyle into an ember weaver and active vithian stinger. From there i managed to squeak out the last few points of damage

Round 3 - Steve Tyson

Game 1 - This game seemed to mirror all the others i played today, with me spitting out a load of big dudes and winning before Steve got his fatties out.

Game 2 - Turn 3 and 4 woolly thoctars for Steve made my 5 land hand seem pretty bad, and it was my turn to be on the recieving end of a sick beating.

Game 3 - once again, the game was stalled by the huge number of creatures on the board, but Steve managed to stall long enough with rhox medicants to draw into creatures that were far bigger than mine, and not long after i was chumping.

I hope you enjoyed this report, feel free to comment on the draft, or email me at ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk

Nats Qualifiers

By Wagz

Hi all. Noticed today was a list of Nats Qualifiers:

Or, for the lazy:

03/28 - Manchester
03/29 - Southampton
04/04 - Sheffield
04/11 - Oxford
04/19 - Plymouth
05/09 - Richmond
05/09 - Birmingham
05/10 - Leicester
05/10 - Bristol (not on the list)
05/16 - Reading
05/16 - Cambridge (not on the list)
05/17 - Ipswich
05/17 - Cardiff
05/23 - London
05/25 - Gravesend

This is the full list plus super secret tech Bristol and Cambridge qualifiers (my sauce is a Cambridge player).


Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Draft Simulators

By Wagz

Hi all! I'll be helping out with this Blog as and when I feel I have something to write. I'd like to combine my introductory article with giving the link for a draft practice website:

You need to sign up (free) to try them out, but note that this isn't real practice. I use this website when new sets come out to get a feel for what boosters will look like when I open them, so you can see what strategies might begin to present themselves. The main downsides with these things is that the bots run on the experience and card evaluation of others, so at the moment cards like Wild Nacatl and Hissing Iguanar can be picked up in bunches of 3 or 4, even in a SSC draft. Also, you don't get to experience actually playing the decks you construct from your draft pile.

In conclusion, online bot drafters are terrible and you cannot get real practice of drafting from them. You can however, get realistic ideas about what cards get opened in what frequencies, which is valuable information when new sets get released. I wish MTGO v3.0 was still in the beta testing stage so I could do 3-4 drafts a day again for free, they were good times.

WNM March 18th - announcement

By Jim Marlow

As usual, this weeks Wednesday Night Magic will take place in TJ's club on the woodhouse estate.

The format for this week will be shards/shards/conflux draft.

We aim to have the draft started by around 6.45pm so please try to arrive before 6.30 to give yourself plenty of time to register. People will be at TJ's from around 6pm so come as early as you like if you would like to trade or play games of any format before the event. TJ's also has a fully liscenced bar selling very moderately priced drinks.

The price for the draft is £9

If you are a new player, or bring a new player to the event, both players get a reduction of £1 from the cost of the draft.

For new players, TJ's club is on Woodouse street, LS6 2JH - just off the side of Hyde Park. It is easily found on google maps for those coming from futher away.

I look forward to seeing everyone there.


Welcome To TLM (Team Leeds Magic)

By Jim Marlow

Hey Everyone,

Just a quick post to welcome everyone to the blog.

Having played magic for a couple of years now i decided to give something back to the community of magic players in Leeds and elsewhere. When i began playing magic, one of the best ways in which to learn is by reading the thoughts of other magic players. Although i am by no means a great magic player, hopefully this blog will be used both as a useful learning resource for those players who may be as accomplished as myself, and more likely a resource for myself from the feedback i get from the very many more players who are better than me.

In following weeks i will be following the Wednesday Night Magic in Leeds, and providing the following.

  • Weekly metagame and match reports from the alternating draft and type 2 constructed tournaments.

  • Posting Decklists and results of all Wednesday Night Magic winners.

  • Reporting on my long and arduous progress through the DCI judge programme

and hopefully many more exciting things.

So to all members of Team Leeds Magic and anyone else who may be reading this, i hope you find it useful.


P.S. - if anyone has any ideas for articles they would like to write or would like to help out with the production of the TLM blog, please e-mail me at ss07jm@leeds.ac.uk