Wednesday, February 23, 2011

MBS Release Sealed #1

The deckbuilding and the rounds are all contained in the one video below. I've decided to record the replays of the matches rather than the live match. I feel like this will condense the length of the videos and eliminate boring stretches and dead air. It also removes my ability to blame play errors on talking and playing at the same time :).

One of the main advantages of supplementing the videos with a blog is that it gives me an outlet for all the random ramblings rumbling around my ahead without cluttering up the videos too much (and without eating too much of the time on my clock!). So here goes:
In terms of deckbuilding I think I want to elaborate on my approach. Basically, due to the high number of playable artifacts, the deckbuilding process can get really cluttered by the vast number of available builds and the excessive number of playables within those builds. The large number of playable artifacts also means that you can almost always play your bombs regardless of how deep their corresponding colors are. So, in order to simplify the deckbuilding process I start by ignoring everything other than bombs and high quality removal(note that I would include volition reigns and corrupted conscience as bombs, as well as maybe a few other uncommons). So, while I'll likely be happy to play small but efficient flyers, solid midrange/utility creatures or big fatties if they're on color with my bombs and removal, I won't allow them to pull me towards playing their color. The logic is that other than bombs and removal, the rest is usually replaceable by similar cards in your other colors and artifacts, even if they are a bit worse. I think the payoff is usually going to be far greater if you build the deck to maximize the quality of the top 4-5 cards  rather than the quality of the average random creature, partially because of the larger than normal discrepency in the power level of the bombs and the rest of the set. Of course, this all falls apart when you don't open any bombs. And I'm sure once in awhile you'll just open a completely nuts aggro deck (or aggro infect) with all the right tools where it might be ok to ignore a bomb or two. But I think that this is at least a good way of approaching most pools and ensuring you end up with at least a serviceable deck within the time limit, especially for those of us new to the format.

Looking back:
- I think I should've cut myr galvanizer for either dross ripper or flayer husk. Most likely the flayer husk since I was already pretty heavy on the 4-drops. It just didn't do anything without propagator, whereas flayer husk at least provides some extra game after it chump block, and dross ripper is an actual relevant creature by itself. Playing a vanilla 2/2 (or smaller) that does pretty much nothing else seems pretty awful in this format. All in all, the change is pretty marginal, and I think I'm happy with how I built the deck.

-I don't know why, since it never really turned out to be that relevant, but it felt really good to cast pierce strider. I have a feeling I'll be drafting that card a lot higher than I should.

-I'm sure Into the Core will be the cause of many blowouts over the next little while, but as we saw here, there will also be times where you just wish it was a shatter. I think I will stop dreaming of the gigantic blowout every time I draw it, and be a lot more willing to play it when there is at least one reasonable target + any other artifact on the other side of the table. It ended up in my hand as I died twice, when there were opportunities to have played it that, as it turned out, would have prevented me from dying! Also, I'm going to have to remember to play around it when I can do so easily. Hint: You don't HAVE to play Sphere of the Suns when you have more mana than you will ever know what to do with and no splashes!


  1. Welcome back. Hopefully the first of many voyages into the new format :)

  2. Talking about a game already played doesn't give people an incite into what you are thinking at the time you make certain plays. Very unimmersive.

  3. Into the Core can hit your artifacts too, which would have won you that last match. You made a lot of other mistakes as well, but you were not winning the other match that you lost. You should be looking at the mistakes that you made rather than mildly complaining about his luck/your unluck.

  4. I've only watched the deckbuilidng so far. I'll comment on the games if I've got time and once I've watched them. You took a surprisingly long time to build a deck that was pretty straightforward IMO. Like I understand you want to be thorough but R/B was the clear build after looking at the pool for 5 seconds. Overall I agree with your build but with some serious caveats:

    A) If you want to splash blue (I don't think you need to but it's an option), Vedalken Anatomist is MUCH better than every other blue card you considered.

    B) Trigon of Infestation actually does nothing in your deck as far as I can see. What dream world are you living in in which you get to hit your opponent with an insect and then proliferate them out over NINE turns with Clasp? You have no other infect clock (I suppose you have Arbalest but that is slow and easy to disturb as well), can't make use of token creatures and if your opponent can't kill you or the clasp over nine turns, like anything of yours would kill them. This mistake is further compounded by the removal of Dross Ripper. This card is good normally but becomes excellent when you have black mana, it isn't just some random duder.

    C) My experiences with Darksteel Plate have been "meh"-stastic. It makes threats harder to kill but doesn't really make anything into a threat. I think just an extra dude like Vulshok Replica would be better.

    D) As you mention in the "looking back", Galvanizer doesn't really do much. Flayer Husk would have been much better.

    Cool idea to set up a blog. I personally like live games more than commenting on replays but do whatever you like more or works best for you.

  5. ok! So I think I'll go back to recording the matches as they happen.

    I'd like to defend the trigon a bit too. I was definitely playing it more defensively than offensively. I'm not playing a ton of creatures and it gives a good way trading with a bunch of little dorks without having to throw away removal. It also can help force them to overextend into one of my sweepers. The synergy with clasp is more to keep adding counters and shrinking creatures I already chump blocked than to actually win.I agree it's not the most exciting card, but I dont think i really needed another hill giant.

    Round 3 was frustrating but I think I did a nice combination of looking at my mistakes while complaining about luck :P. I normally try to turn the mic off before i start complaining too myself, lol. Definitely realized can hit my own artifact, but im not sure when you think i should've used it on my own artifact. (Had i used it on his trigon + 2/1 early I agree I may have won. Using it on his trigon and my equip later didn't make much sense and wouldnt have won me the game.)

  6. Recording replays is absolutely not the way to go.
    It's much better with the live matches as they happen with the thought proces not being spoiled by you knowing what is gonna happen.

    But thanks for making videos anyways. :-)

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  8. I personally like seeing the games as they're happening, but this is almost as good. They're your recordings so you should do what's easiest/most comfortable for you, so I can't complain too much as I'm just a consumer rather than a producer of this content. =)

    I didn't see too much... I suppose into the core may have been better as his trigon is just going to kill off your board. It's possible that you should've taken out your own sphere of the suns with the trigon when you still had a 4/3 guy around. He would've shrunk it once to 3/2, but as he's at 7 and you have a darksteel plate that should've been enough... On the other hand, he drops a Steel Hellkite and your 3/2 doesn't do anything any more.

    In any case, thanks for this! Been waiting for some MBS content to hit... I think mtgovideos has the first/only videos of MBS on the web so far?

  9. Jeff has it perfectly. If you would have used it on your Sphere of the Suns, then your guy would have been big still, allowing you to race. It only would have been awkward if you drew a BB spell, but that is not that likely (not that many in your deck, if I remember correctly). I cannot remember exactly the situation, but you should have gotten rid of the Trigon of Corruption as soon as possible, even if that meant getting rid of your Sphere.