Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Making Magic in the Arena - Jumpstart

Jumpstart is one of the innovative and interesting formats I've seen the designers at Wizards of the Coast come up with. This weird hybrid format, combining the focus of pre-constructed decks with the variety that comes from a Limited format like Draft or Sealed.

Though boxes of it are hard to come by and too expensive when they are, largely due to Covid-related manufacturing issues, a version of it has come to MTG: Arena for us to play in the meantime. Is this new way to play all it's cracked up to be? Or is Jumpstart dead in the water?

Let's find out.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Mind Games - Prey (2017) - Part 1

I can't believe I haven't played this one on stream yet, especially since it's one that I never tire of. Arkane Studio's Prey is one of, if not the, most criminally underappreciated and undersold games of 2017.

Where Dishonored and it's sequels derive heavily from the Thief franchise that game before it, Prey drinks from the same well as System Shock did. In all but name, this is the closest we'll get to System Shock 3 until the actual System Shock 3 exits development hell.

It is my hope that by the end of this series, you will come to love this game the same way I do, if you haven't already.

Credit to Sam Callahan for providing the thumbnail.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In League with the Legends - A.R.A.M.

Recently, League of Legends implemented a new feature called "The Lab", where it will introduce experimental modes of play that are unique from the others.

For our first round in the Lab, we play a classic mode from League of Legends: ASMR... I mean ARAM, short for "All Random All Mid". Four random champions are selected, and after a mulligan the deck is built based on those champions.

Which means that there's no need for us to build anything for it. Let's just dive in and see what happens.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Magic: The Gathering - Commander Night Playback - Achieving the Moral Victory

Statistically speaking, if a 4-player pod are building and playing decks are similar power levels, any one player should win roughly 25% of the time. This means that players should expect to lose the vast majority of their matches.

While this week's matches fall into that other 75%, I still managed to get in my licks and make an impact on the board.

Almost on accident, our first match went in a tribal direction. One of my friends ran Goblin-tribal with Muxus, Goblin Grandee. Another ran Morophon, the Boundless as a God-tribal deck, and the third player ran a Gishath, Sun's Avatar deck with dinosaurs.

So what tribe did I go with: Human Advisor, of course! And thanks to Bruvac, the Grandiloquent, I have the perfect commander for my Advisor-tribal deck. (wink wink)

Time Twister - Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped - Finale

This episode has been a long time coming. Since we began our adventures with the remade PS1 games back in November or December, depending on how you're counting, we've had many incredible journeys across fantastical worlds.

But all good things must come to an end. And this series is no different. Today, we collect the remaining gems and relics and place the finishing touches on our adventures. Afterwards, one last confrontation with the good doctor is all we needed to end this story... until next time of course.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Making Magic in the Arena - Brawlin' with Bolas

Especially after that last MTG Arena stream with the Esper/Sultai Control decks, I've found myself growing somewhat disinterested in the current standard environment. For that reason, it was important to give something else a try in order to keep me going.

That's when I remembered that time I played Brawl using Nethroi as my Commander. Those matches were some of the best I've had in Arena for a good long while, and maybe continuing down that path would rekindle the spark I have for the game.

Naturally, when picking a Commander, the first one that comes to mind is good ol' Tricky Nicky. After doing a bit of research into Brawl deckbuilding, I found a good-looking decklist that I wanted to try out. The only change I had was replacing the Rakdos Guildgate with a Temple of Malice.

Let the games begins!

Monday, July 13, 2020

Magic: the Gathering - Commander Night Playback - Green is Too Powerful

It is often said that green is the most powerful color in Commander, possessing a glut of useful tools that feel almost disproportionate to what other colors are capable of. Of course, I've played decks that use Green, like Muldrotha and Marisi, but I've never played a mono-Green deck...

...until now. One of the members of our playgroup handed me a decklist that he wanted me to play on his behalf if he wasn't able to join us. When game time was upon us and he hadn't show up, the very least I could do was honor his wishes.

So it came to pass that I ran Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse, with a deck designed around using both of her abilities to build an unstoppable board of powerhouse creatures. Standing in the other corners were Arcades, the Strategist, Sygg, River Cutthroat, and Sethron, Hurloon General.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Making Magic in the Arena - Under Control

Now that Core Set 2021 has been given some opportunity to percolate in the wilds, it's time to delve back into the Arena to see what we experience.

We played two decks today, both Control decks. Though one was in Esper colors and the other was in Sultai.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Magic the Gathering - Commander Night Playback - Casual Game of Thrones

Well, this was supposed to be the week I went to Anthrocon. You might be surprised to know that there is some fierce competition in the intersection between furries and MTG players. I have a Kenrith and a Muldrotha deck that I've been prepared for the occasion, but obviously the quarantine rightfully cancelled those plans. Covid-19 just makes such travel unsafe.

But whenever one door closes, another one tends to open. One of the members of our playgroup has a friend that they've wanted to teach Magic to for a while, and so I joined the two of them for a more beginner-friendly, casual Commander match that we could use to teach the rules of the game.

This gave me an opportunity to play one of my more "for fun" decks, helmed by Queen Marchesa (long may she reign) because Monarchy is one of my favorite mechanics to introduce to a multiplayer game.

My play group member brought out their Sygg, River Cutthroat deck, and handed their friend a Gishath, Sun's Avatar deck because everyone loves big stompy dinosaurs!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Time Twister - Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped - Part 3

After a short break, we're ready to continue our adventures through time. We're so close to our inevitable confrontation with Dr. Cortex and the evil Uka Uka that it won't be much longer now.

But first, I lose my patience with bastard cops who keep ramming into me. All Cops Are Bastards.

Apologies for the audio in this one. I suspect I know why it's such buggy, and I should be able to fix it next time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

In League with the Legends - Playing the Long Game

Core Set 2021 is just coming out, and the meta for MTG Arena is going to be in flux because of it. So while we give things time to settle, let us return to Runeterra to see play a few matches with some new decks/strategies.

This time, we'll be aiming to play the long game, with tactics intended to stall out and out value aggressive decks over time.

As always, thanks to MobaLytics for sourcing all of these excellent deck ideas.

Deck Lists:
  • Endure Spiders/Aristocrats:  
  • Heimer Control: