Feb 14

This Week, er Fortnight in Gaming

With the tiredness at end of the Magic PTQ I was a bit mashed from gaming so haven’t played as much in the last two weeks.

Within that time there has been the Born of the Gods pre-release/release.

Other games I have managed have included The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game. This was quite enjoyable. I had liked the DC game and the Penny Arcade one is ok so this theme probably appeals to me most out of the three. Would like to play the second one and then them mixed together now though.

I also played some Hearthstone after a few fowk mentioned it. It seemed ok, I quickly unlocked all the base decks and then played one random online game for the achievement but didn’t get further than that.

I played some Settlers of Catan for the first time in ages and it was fun as per.

I avoided Flappy Bird as it looked shit.

And that’s about it really, not a lot of new gaming to report. Let’s see this week.

Jan 14

This Week In Gaming

This weeks gaming was taken up by a lot of prep for the Magic PTQ in Dundee on Saturday.

Wednesday 22nd January

I managed to get a couple of test games of Magic against a Red/Green deck, something I lacked experience of, before more people arrived. When they did we broke out Red Dragon Inn and had some hilarity. Once that was done we cracked out the UK edition of Cards Against Humanity for the first time. I enjoyed it more than the US edition due to losing a load of references which are meaningless, replacing them with ones about Jimmy Saville etc. I think the favourite answer I put was for super hero duo where I had Pussy Galore and Dick Fingers which was pretty difficult to compete with. We followed it with some more Red Dragon Inn.

Thursday 23th January

Constructed night at Highlander

Round 1 vs Marcus Heder

I’m playing against an Esper control deck by Marcus who has previously beaten me with it. My Nightveil Specters do the work though and let me cast a Jace and a Divination (countered). Game 2 I forget to side in Mortars for Blood Baron but still manage to push it through winning 2-0.


Round 2 vs Tom Clark

Playing a big red deck played by Tom, who has beaten me with it and then loaned to a friend to beat me with it. I prepare to go 1-1.

Game 1 I win whilst on 1 life after a pretty epic match. I have 2 Blood Crypts in play. My Nightveils let me cast a Fanatic of Mogis and a Stormbreath Dragon. I later manage to Chain a Boros Reckoner to a Blood Crypt. Splashing for shocks/scrys to let this happen has paid off in both matches so far.

Game 2 I lose. Game 3 manage to stabilise and then push through with Demons.

Round 3 vs Marc Mirror Match Ferg Ferguson

The last time we played in a competition it went to to top decking in game 3 with us both on 1 life.

This time I win both matches finishing the final one on 35 after Gary shenanigans.

Round 4 – the final – vs Phi Nguyen

A match against red green monsters has me pretty smashed as he gets way more card draw than I through Garruk. Oh well, I finish 2nd in a 16 person tournament which is pretty good prep for Saturday.

Garruk the cheater cheat card of card advantage

Garruk the cheater cheat card of card advantage

Friday 24th January

FNM at Major Arcana is a must having the PTQ the next day.

Round 1 vs Richard Crosby

I sit down with a player I don’t recognise and have his friend tell me he’s only been playing 2 weeks. Ouch this might be rough. I get an amazing hand and win both games quickly. He’s playing a 2 colour deck which has a few guildgates. It looks ok so I point out some minor mistakes he had made. He had a spare deck with him so I suggested he take that and play and I would play with his deck – open handed explaining my plays as I went. Hopefully it helped – I think he won some games later.

Round 2 vs Anand Alagappan

Great, Anand is a good player playing White/Green which if I don’t have enough removal can take over against me. The first game goes on for ages – The scores swing either way due to Armadillo Cloaked Loxodon Smiters vs my Whip. It’s 4-21 then 14-17; 14-13, 2-25 then 14-13, 22-5. I win a few turns later and Lifebane Zombie is the obvious sideboard option.

Armadillo Cloak 2.0

Armadillo Cloak 2.0

I win game two after managing to pump up two Nightveils, one with a Boon Satyr the other with Armadillo Cloak. Stealing a Forest and splashing for Black White scry pays off again.

Round 3 vs James Goring

He’s White/Black so it’s a case of me Thoughtseizing his Blood Baron and him Sin Collecting my removal. I manage to win 2-0.

Two nights in a row I go into a final round 3-0. This time we are a round short due to lateness and 30 players so we have 3 of us on 3-0.

Round 4 vs John Mc Cartney

And it’s a repeat of last nights final round – Green Red monsters. First game I keep a solid opening hand – 2 Swamps, 2 Pack Rats, Doom Blade and some other removal.

Turn 4 I see no land so swing and kill Domri. Turn 5, same story to kill Xenagos. Turn 6, no mana and this time it’s Garruk my rats kill.

I have a hand of 3-4 drops, 2 * 2/2 Pack Rats and a board opposite of around 8 mana including some mana dorks. It ends with me on 4 mana able to replace a rat, kill one dude or make a Specter each turn.

Game 2 is a repeat. Oh well, I finish 3rd with another 3-1.

Saturday 25th January

I elected to not go out on Friday night (shock), which proved unnecessary. Firstly due to the Scottish record turn out of 139 delaying the start. Secondly due to the result of the first three matches. I had been concerned about being mana screwed a couple of times but hadn’t had time to trial the deck with a sensibly increased count so went with it as is, rather than risk breaking a different element at this late stage. Probably a mistake.

Round 1 vs Jared Stovin

He’s playing Red with a splash of white. He wins first game due to me being totally mana screwed and I win game 2 to come back to 1-1. I totally forget to side against Assemble the Legions and get overwhelmed in game 3.

Black mana black mana, what you gonna do, what you gonna do with no Infest to use

Black mana black mana, what you gonna do, what you gonna do with no Infest to use

Round 2 vs Lewis Crombie

I sit down opposite a player with mono blue, a deck I haven’t faced in months. Crap – no idea what to side etc. I lose the first game to a Thassa. Game 2 I keep a dodgy 1 land keep on the play due to Thoughtseize and not wanting to get even more boned going down to 5 or so. I am pretty resigned to losing at this point anyway. He has the total nut draw and I remove a Thassa still leaving me dead in a few turns if I don’t draw land, which I don’t.

Round 3 vs Craig Banach

None of the locals with Commander decks etc have went 0-2 so I stay in for now. Craig is playing Red Green which is what destroyed me in the last two final games. It’s a repeat story, Garruk drawing more dudes than I can remove. 1-2 and me at 0-3/2-6 whichever way you look at it.

Round 4 vs Michael Little

I sit now facing a new player, whos deck I had given some advice to on Friday.

I win 2-0 with the most memorable move being to face a Heliod, bestowed Hoplite and Fabled Hero. A forced sac leaves him with a Fabled Hero and the God now and enchantment. An attack in match two with 2 pack rats turns into me discarding two cards to make them 4/4s and wrath his board. The other part was not seeing him play a creature so Thoughtseizing to remove a pro-black spell etc so he his hand empty. He had been dropping land for the past 3 turns then moving his hand below table so I hadn’t realised. D’oh!

Round 5 vs Connor Stewart

Sitting at 1-3 and it’s mirror time. I lose game 1 but manage to drop Gary in game two for the win. Game 3 I win so sit at 2-3. I can remember nothing of this match, which is the reason I stopped playing Black before, the games all merge into 1 especially in the mirror. Drop stuff, remove stuff, combat trick, Gary for the win.

Gary super Common

Gary super Common

Round 6 vs Callum Palin

This is a Red White deck, which I always find can overwhelm if I don’t have enough removal. Sure enough he wins Game 1 but I only see mountains so have no idea he will have Assemble the Legions in the board.

Game 2 he drops a Plains and a Favored Hoplite. I Thoughtseize on Turn 2 and see a Daring Skyjet, a burn spell, 2 Madcap Skills and 2 Banisher Priests. Holy crap, he kept a 1 lander that is dodgy but with 2 land would be horrible. I take the Madcap skills and Turn 3 drop a Lifebane Zombie exiling a Banisher Priest (irony etc). I win and then panic. I hadn’t sided in my cards to deal with Assemble the Legions. I go to board saying this and he says with sincerity he doesn’t run it. I believe him and don’t bring them in, shocked. Sure enough he doesn’t as I see after I win the third game.

Post games he says he didn’t know what to side so I point out what he has, I think he took out some cards great against mono-black although it escapes me what now.

Round 7 vs Gary Smith

Another match against a local player. I know his deck, not having played it, but it’s a Red/Green monsters deck. We both say beforehand this is the worst match up for each other. I’m surprised as the creature draw advantage he gets should push him ahead.

I win game 1. For game 2 I bring in Lifebane Zombies but he wins it due to Garruk with one hit giving 4 creatures including a Burning Tree and a Sylvan Caryatid. I manage to win Game 3 which sits me at 4-3. Positive record! Only took 7 matches.

Round 8 vs Alastair Headden

Another Red/White deck, I get mana screwed again and get destroyed in both matches.

That was my second PTQ, the first being Modern, where I borrowed a deck which I had played at one Constructed night and finished 2-4. To come 4-4 at the next is definitely an improvement. I didn’t expect to do much better but had hoped to end with a positive record, especially after the last two constructed tournaments where I ended in top 2/3.

Sunday 26th January

I take it easy chewing the fat at Highlander and grabbing some games of Commander. After tea I get to play Sentinels of the Multiverse but I think either we were lucky or took an awesome selection of characters as we easily beat the boss. Afterwards Higglebottom turned up so I got some pack wars in. My luck continues with him getting value in every pack and me getting trash.


Monday 27th January

A slight household emergency interrupts my plans to get some X-Com in. I settle for some Cockatrice with Ferg where we playtest a deck idea we had. Followed by some Legacy and Modern nonsense.

Tuesday 28th January

Pretty burned out after non-stop Magic all week and then annoyed that my blog post dies at lunchtime I settle for writing this as my gaming thing for the day.

Jan 14

This week in Gaming

Well this week was less gamey than I expected mainly due to hitting this blog repeatedly trying to fix the white screen of death.

Wednesday 8th January 2014

It was Cerberus games night and I got through some games of Braggart, No Thanks!, Love Letter and Zombie Fluxx.

Thursday 9th January 2014

Constructed Standard Magic at Highlander. After doing really well with my deck before Christmas I got a run of bad luck, total mana screw and ended up 2-2. Won mirror. Lost mirror against Ferg 2-1 (final game we were both at 1 life top-decking). Lost 2-1 to white wheenie after forgetting about their pro-colour spell and not killing something when he was tapped out. Won final game against Control.

This guy was always late to the party

This guy was always late to the party

Friday 10th January 2014

Constructed Standard Magic at Major Arcana, got absolutely smashed due to mulling to 5 repeatedly and then getting mana screwed. Final game against Colin though was hilarious. He mulled to 5 and I had 2 Thoughtseize in hand. I kindly left him a Rakdos and nothing to hurt me with. Game two went the same, we were next to the finalists and probably put them off with our tears of laughter.

I could show up but it's more fun to hide in Alan's library

I could show up but it’s more fun to hide in Alan’s library

Saturday 11th January 2014

No gaming today, instead we had a Game of Thrones marathon at Alzos. Totally pumped up for next season now, again.

Sunday 12th January 2014

Read Saga volume 1, fantastic wee graphic novel from Alzo. I had missed this when it started, if I knew the writer I would have definitely picked it up.

Monday 13th January 2014

Not much nerdy shenanigans, just some Wallabee and internet Not-Scrabble.

Tuesday 14th January 2014

Finished the week with a bit of X-Com and a bit of Pratchetts Long War

How have you spent this week in gaming and what are you playing next week?

Jan 14

Wizards fixed the datas

So it appears that we have more readers than we first thought!

After posting last week about the nationality data issue with Planeswalker Points the article spread round a few places online, even being spotted by Tony Pagliocco who works for Wizards. He contacted us to find out more info and got on it fixing it in a couple of days. So well done and thanks to him!

This also brought something to our attention, in an attempt to fix an issue giving this blog a bunch of white screens of death we had (wrongly) attributed it to some plugin updates. So the Google Analytics one is now back on. Unfortunately this means we got no real info on visitors as Statpress gives different, inaccurate results. I don’t think we can believe it’s 800 visits in 2 days number, as awesome as that would be.

Oh well, here for lols is the screenshot of the wrong data. You’ll be glad to know it’s sorted and I am now back to being 292nd. You’ll also note that the number of players in Scotland is over 1000, here having only 395 showing a large number of players were effected. I doubt I’ll ever appear on the front page of that table again though so it’s amusing to keep.


Jan 14

This week in Gaming

It’s a new year so let’s attempt a new series of something which will peter out at some point. Yay! I realised I’d done at least one bit of gaming every day this year so let’s see how long it can carry on.

Wednesday 1st January 2014

I kickstarted the new year with a few games on Netrunner, which I treated myself to when it was way to cheap on amazon. Unfortunately laziness meant missing a section of the manual and it was played wrong. Rectified soon. As it was after Christmas I also played some of X-Com, a gift from Dek as well as some Magic 2014.


Thursday 2nd January 2014

After spotting the issues we did wrong, blasted a few more games of Netrunner. It was quite enjoyable, but I don’t know enough about it to make proper decks or decide which of the squillions of add-ons to buy.

Friday 3rd January 2014

Played a fair bit of Magic: the Gathering. It was Friday I noticed the bug in the online score system, which I reported to Wizards and then later blogged about.

Saturday 4th January 2014

Saturday was a mini-nerd fest due to Graeme returning from university over Christmas. Alzo won his first ever game of Cards Against Humanity. Another two encounters on our Descent campaign were done and we finished off with some Zombie Fluxx. We also got a 4 player game of Monaco going after a different 4 player game failed to work split screen.


Sunday 5th January 2014

Bit of a quiet one, threw in some games of Commander and helped CJ with some cards he needed for a disgusting Pauper Commander deck.

Monday 6th January 2014

Blogged about the Magic scoring issue and noticed the spike in traffic here, yikes! Got a call to meet in pub for Nerdery. Played some silly magic Standard then two giant Commander games. First one I did sillyness with a borrowed Bant deck, second game I was mana screwed with a Simic deck. Stuck on 5 lands with disgusting 6+ drops. Game was won by Colin with Rise of the Dark Realms, followed by a wrath whilst controlling a Blood Artist. Earlier we had all copied a Tutor, Unexpected Results and Blasphemous Act for great hilarity.

Tuesday 7th January 2014

Didn’t do any gaming before this post other than some Wallabee. Managed to grab an item an e-friend needed from a cache though so that was fulfilling. Also got a call at night that @tpupaz was trying to contact me investigating the bug. Woo, internets fame and stuff.

What I intend to play next week:

Probably some Netrunner, might play a game of Deadzone if Mantic send the missing bits to Major Arcana. FNM for nerdy Magicness. Dunno what else I will squeeze in.

Jan 14

Wizards have borked the datas

Update: Tony Pagliocco and his team have now fixed the issue!

I logged into Planeswalker Points to see how I’d done for the year. For Scotland I was sitting about 50th for the year and 299th of all time. Pretty cool for having only played Magic for a year.

A few days later I was discussing with friends, one of whom had an old 6 digit DCI number and couldn’t find their new one. I fiddled around trying to spot and saw something strange. I was now 13th for the year and 21st best of all time. Something wrong there methinks.

The thing that stood out was that the only people whos names I recognised started about the same time as me. Everyone I knew to be above me was missing. I contacted one to check and he had been changed to be registered to Britain rather than Scotland.

Ah some bizarre nationalist political point I’m making in the run up to the referendum this year, or perhaps a stance taken by the Scottish magic community to show they are opposed and see themselves as British! Well no, looks like Wizards did some kind of data update and broke the data, reverting old accounts to be British and not Scottish.

Why is this important? Soon we’ll have the World Cup Qualifiers. Players have to be registered as Scotland (and England, Wales, etc respectfully) to be allowed to take part in the qualifiers to try and be in the team representing their country.

Last years Scottish team was Stephen Murray, Jamie Ross, Alan Hutton and Bradley Barclay. A quick check shows none of them in the lifetime top 100 for Scotland.

Brad is now the 7th best in Britain, Jamie Ross 114th. Various other Scottish players from Dundee are now in the British list too.

As soon as I saw this I contacted Wizards to let them know. Their reply was:

Thank you for contacting us. Changes to nationality are typically applied at the beginning of the year. While we are not able to provide information about a specific account to anyone but that account’s owner, it is possible that some players may have requested this change. If any players have mentioned to you that their accounts have changed nationality in error, then please ask them to contact us directly, and we would be happy to help those players.

So rather than check why loads of people including half the Scottish team from last year have definitely had their nationality changed they are leaving it up to individuals to check and then contact them if they spot a problem.

So if you want to play in your countries World Cup Qualifiers you need to:
1. Check your nationality is down as the correct one
1. b. if not contact Wizards to have it corrected
2. Go to your Friendly Local Games Store and win some matches at FNM, Pre-release, Release weekend or the upcoming Grand Prix Trial or Pro Tour Qualifier to make sure you have at least 100 points (for Scotland, different countries vary).

Dec 13

First ever draft win

I have managed to win my first ever draft, having always got mana/colour screwed any time I managed to pull together a decent deck. Here’s what I managed with other people in my colours too.


  • Spark Jolt
  • Chained to the Rocks
  • Messenger’s Speed
  • Lightning Strike
  • Setessan Battle Priest
  • Bronze Sable
  • Cavalry Pegasus
  • Chosen by Heliod
  • Akroan Hoplite
  • Observant Heliod * 2
  • Wingsteed Rider * 2
  • Two Headed Cerberus
  • Spear of Heliod
  • Gift of Immortality
  • Fabled Hero
  • Anax and Cymede
  • Divine Verdict
  • Portent of Betrayal
  • Heliod’s Emmisary
  • Hundred-Handed One
  • Bordeland Minotaur
    • Relevant side:

  • Silent Artisan
  • Last Breath * 2
  • Satyr Rambler
  • Prowler’s Helm * 2
  • Anvilwrought Raptor
  • Traveler’s Amulet
  • Scholar of Athreos
  • Opaline Unicorn * 2
  • Burnished Hart
  • Traveling Philosopher (had in game 1, swapped out for Portent of Betrayal)

Round One vs Simon

Simon is a really good player who bested me in the two headed giant tournament we played at last time. He had what he described as an insane Blue White deck.

I start and drop a land. He drops the 1/1 lifelinker. I drop a land, he equips an ordeal and swings for 2 going to 22 life. I have a spear in hand so play that. He puts on a second ordeal, swings to make it a 4/4, gaining 20 life going to 46 life, with me on 14. Not a good start for an aggro deck. He’s locked because of the spear now though. I gradually manage to drop Fabled Hero, Pegasus and Two-Headed Cerberus and the Setessan Battle Priest. I’m swinging for 12 a turn and win whilst on 6 life. Tense and a bit crazy. For game two I swap out the vanilla 2/2 and put in a Portent of Betrayal.


Game two I fight through 3 vaporkins? (he has 5!). Eventually besting him to win 2-0.

Round Two vs Kian

I’m up against a blue/black deck with Ashiok. Game one he drops and Ashiok but I managed to kill after 2 activations. I then turn attention on the player and after equipping on Fabled Hero and swinging in with a Pegasus it is hilarious.

Game two he manages to drop Ashiok and some deathtouch dudes, eventually I kill Ashiok with 6 cards in hand, no flyers and him having two deathtouch defenders.

Game three is a bit more even, but I eventually manage to Chain a deathtoucher to rocks, and tap down another to win 2-1.

Round Three vs Dan Birthday Boy Rayner

It’s the final and I’m up against the store owner and it’s his birthday. He’s playing a Green/White deck and that explains why I was being cut from the right on packs 1 and 3. I still got passed 5 of the 6 rares in my maindeck though, Fabled Hero and Hundred Handed were definitely from the left though.

Game One I drop a couple of dudes. He drops the Green 2/2 who gets a counter when you target. He equips with two ordeals and swings through for 12. I had taken him down to about 14 at the time. It’s turn 4 and he’s tapped out with an 8/8 on the table and I have about 5 power. Time for a Portent of Betrayal then!

Game Two is a bit of a grind but he eventually manages to get me down to one life and he has three creatures on board.

Game Three and it’s all to play for. Spear does it for me again, to kill blockers. I have Anax and Hoplite out, flying with Pegasus. I have 10 power on board and he has 12 life. I get the land I need and equip Anax with +2/+2 so it’s game for my first ever draft victory.



Totally worth a quick Saturday afternoon. After doing terrible with my silly standard deck recently I then went 3-1 on Thursday with my Modern Goblins.

  • Thassa, God of the Sea
  • Temple of Mystery
  • Bident of Thassa
  • Pyxis of Pandemonium
  • Sin Collector (promo)

Oct 13

Theros Pre-Release

The latest Magic set is finally out and was hyped a huge amount. A massively well-designed Greek theme had everyone salivating at the flavour we’d get from the set. As is normal for sets now I attended the pre-release at Major Arcana for 2 headed giant and Highlander for sealed.


Saturday Two Headed Giant Sealed @ Major Arcana

This release my team mate was Ewan Higglebottom Hiddleston. We were each getting a sealed set of 6 packs to build a deck from. I made a nice Black blue deck which looked quite fun whilst Ewan made a Red Green aggro build. We didn’t know how it would work together but figured we’d have fun doing it.

Match 1: Sion and Daniel

In the first match we were against Dan and Sion who are both pretty good players. I think we put this down as a loss before we started – Dan had shouted out that his packs had 3 mythics including 2 planeswalkers so it was always going to be tough. This was also the first time we all got to play with the new mechanics so it was interesting. An obvious loss leaves us sitting at 0-1.

Match 2 (bye)

We got a bye for round 2 which gets you an automatic win but unfortunately also means you miss out on trying the deck out in the environment so go into game 3 with people who have played 2 matches already. The downside of the 2HG format is you aren’t allowed to sideboard so I didn’t even want to glance at my unchosen cards as I knew there were things I needed in the deck. 1-1

Match 3: Adam and Unknown

Next match didn’t stand out and we managed to win going to 2-1. Can’t remember second players name and it’s not on the match record site

Match 4: Daniel and Helen

Match 4 was always going to be tough, I had played Daniel before and knew he was a good player. At one point Ewan and I had control with 3 creatures each. Then next turn Daniel drops an Agent of the Fates. It gets bestowed 3 times and suddenly we’ve been board wiped and they have a massive deathtouch dude. We tried to recover but buff spells kept wiping us out and we weren’t drawing removal leaving us at 2-2

Match 5: Ross and Liam

For the final match we were against a team with new players in it. Arcana is really good as a casual environment as you play against people for fun, as it was the final match and this was a pre-release we ended up telling them some optimal moves and let them re-do some plays to their benefit. We managed to win in the end though so went 3-2.


Another fun casual pre-release although I’m not 100% sure about 2HG sealed. Pre-release is awesome because you get to play with lots of new cards. Not being able to sideboard kills that aspect of it and on top of that making a wrong card evaluation or missing a combo that’s in your pool can really reduce the effectiveness of your deck.

Sunday Sealed @ Highlander

5 colour Sunday as some like to call it. I get a chance to build a deck, play 3 matches per round and also sideboard. I start the day by trading for a Thoughtseize so am chuffed anyway. After yesterday’s Black box I decide to grab a Blue one. Opening it and looking at what I have I have a choice between White/Red and White/Blue. I build White/Blue first but am not happy. I call over Ray Doyle, one of the more experienced players who tells me White/Red is much stronger and switches it around. I make a couple of cutsand am ready to go.

Match 1: vs Jamie

For the first game I face Jamie Jackpot Keddie. Even if I hadn’t been opposite him deckbuilding I knew I’d be facing something that was heavily Green. Game 1 sees me lose to fat Polukranos. I sideboard and going first come out the gates running wearing him down after a few turns. It’s 1-1 and there’s not been this much smack talk/trolling at a table since last time we were on the same team. Neither of us tilt though. Game 3 I manage to get a fair board presence and wear him down to 10 life. I have 6 power on board, a kill spell and an Act of Treason (reskin) in hand. He has one creature. His turn he drops a creature with 4 power and taps out. I smile, kill the other one and on my turn steal his 4 power hitting him for lethal. Time to leave him in the loser room and progress next door.

1-0 (2-1)

Match 2: vs Zayd

It’s mirror match time as I face Zayd who I have previously faced at a pre-release. We are both on the top table – no pressure now. I take one point of damage and slowly wear him down to win the first game. For game two it’s a bit more even handed but I slowly wear down and use combat tricks to remove blockers resulting in a 2-0 win. Afterwards I look at his deck and he has loads of humans but hadn’t included a Titan of Eternal Fire which would buff them all. I advise inclusion and get over Specs to have a look.

I’m now at 2-0 (4-1)

Match 3: vs Julie

For the third match I stay at the top table facing Julie, someone who regularly trounces me in constructed. She’s playing a black blue deck this time and is unlucky with land draws in game 1 which I win. For the second one it’s a bit more even and we are both down to 6 life before I triumph.

Blood hell, I’ve went 3-0 (6-1). I look round and mutter that it’s time to get beaten by Ray Doyle or Dave Tait next and send me back to the middle of the pack.

Match 4: vs Dave

The pairings are up and I’m facing the Doctor at table 1. He has an obscene amount of flying sphinx’s and as expected I fall from grace to run 3-1 (6-4). Afterwards we play a couple of games for fun and I beat him once, which is the first game he has lost with it, so that was a consolation.

Match 5: vs Frazer

I’m now up against Frazer, someone I’ve never met before. He’s playing Black White and manages to quickly stabilise, removing my early threats and dropping his own to win the first game. For the second it’s a rout on my end and I beat him in 6 turns. The decider is a bit more even with us both on about half health before he triumphs to make my record 3-2 (7-6).

Match 6: vs Ray

I sit down, why the hell am I playing you game 6? says I, expecting Ray to be in the final. He’s had a bad day and both of us are 3-2. I’m quite happy as 3-3 would be what I’d expect from a pre-release and 4-2 would be a great finish for me.

Match 1 starts and I come out running, after turn 4 I have a board and Ray has nothing *scoop*, seeing the writing on the wall. Here comes the boarding as I get demolished. Match 2 and Rays deck hates him. He drops about 2 creatures, all of which I kill straight away or he chumps with. 2-0.

I end the day 4-2 (9-6) in 8th place having beaten two players who I would have sat down to face expecting to lose to – Ray and Jamie so am delighted with my 3 packs.

Afterwards we have a draft where I do my usual draft quality and go 1-2 beating yesterdays team-mate Ewan in the battle of the 0-2’s.

Release weekend – Trios limited

The following weekend is team sealed where Jamie, Ferg and I form The Overgrown Chins which due to data entry error becomes The Overgrown Chimps. I make up a sweet White/Red deck with tonnes of heroic triggers and buffs to trigger it, as well as two Pegasus to give the humans flying.

Match 1 – David, William and Anand: The Leftovers

I face off against William in a mirror match. I am totally mana screwed losing the first game after mulling to 5. Game 2 I am on the play and mull to five, I have the same play as last time, human 1 drop, pegasus, fly at opponent drop more dudes. I win and it looks like it’s going to be a who goes first in aggro wins result. Game 3 I get completely mana screwed again losing 1-2 but Ferg and Jamie do the business making us 1-0.

I had stuck in 16 lands as my deck curved out at 4 with only a couple of 4 drops plus devotion costs. As mana/colour screw was a feature all day I think that may have been a mistake in retrospect.

Match 2 – John Irish Malanaphy, Sam Wood, Michael Stabby Douglas: Trait Doctoring Appreciation Society

I play Stabbys fat green deck. This match looked to be on to a loser. Stabby and Sam went to the last Grand Prix and are really good. Irish is normally in the top 10 in Scotland and has attended Pro-Tours. We are informed however that their pool was absolute balls.

I win the first game after a mull to 6 but just can’t deal with the big fat creatures for the next two losing 1-2 (again), but Ferg and Jamie do the business making us 2-0. After the match we compare decks and are informed that Ferg’s sideboard is better than any of their three decks.

Match 3 – Jon, Ray Doyle and Sean-O: Doctor and Patients

I play Sean-Os fat green losing 1-2 (yet again) winning game 2, but Ferg and Jamie do the business making us 3-0. We are somehow in the final against All Lands Up Front which is strange for me as I’d had shitty luck all day. The upside was I hadn’t noted any misplays. In a couple of matches Jamie had triumphed first so was watching me for my third game. After them all he agreed I’d made optimal plays each time just not drawing the right cards.


Match 4 – Gary Campbell, Dave Tait and Matt Wood: All Lands Up Front

This is it, all to play for. we are informed that Dave has won all matches, Matts won none and Campbell has been decider in most matches. In round 3 I watched him win the deciding game through using two of the fog reprints.

Game 1 I sit down opposite Matt in another Boros mirror. I make a misplay on turn 1 but we slowly whittle each other down eventually facing off. I have enough blockers to fend him off whilst doing 5 flying damage a turn due to a pegasus. We eventually get to 1 life each. He passes turn and I topdeck Lightning Strike. He looks and his is 2 cards down. Hammer of the Gods saves me by allowing me to turn land into 3/3 Golem blockers.

Game 2 and Ferg has lost to Dave Tait meaning he comes over to coach Matt partway through. we are again mirroring each other slowly doing damage. I see Dave give advice pointing to cards. No attack is made and the turn is passed. I drop a land and move to attack, blockers are declared. Play that, aww shit I hear Dave mutter as he realises the combat trick in Matts hand is a sorcery. Massive misplay turns the game, gives me tempo and I win with us both sitting at 8 life.

I triumph over The best deck in our pool but Ferg has fallen leaving Jamie against Campbell (currently no 3 in Scotland). Jamie has lost the first game and is fighting hard for game 2. He’s whittling him down to 3 life but the bow is saving Campbell. Jamie is sitting with 10 of his 17 land on board and 2 in his hand. Drawing land for about 9 out of 14 turns. He drops a dork every chance he has and gets through damage with his opponent convinced he’s holding 3 combat tricks back. He eventually runs out of gas and Campbell breaks through pushing us into second place after an amazing 3-1.


I’ve really enjoyed Theros. It’s strange to experience my first Standard rotation. My deck had went 3-1 at the last FNM and was finally tuned. Now I lose half the spells and have to find replacements or change the deck around. It looks interesting though and once everyone is not running RDW it might work.

May 13

Dragon’s Maze Pre-Release

The 27th-28th April was the pre-release weekend for the new Magic the Gathering set: Dragon’s Maze. I attended Gatecrash which was my first proper tournament, but was really looking forward to playing.


Back in the 90s at college we were given promotional stuff of Portal, and I later picked up a starter of that and Portal 2nd edition. But that was the furthest I had ever looked at Magic. I then picked up Duel of the Planeswalkers 2012 and fell in love with the vampire deck. Then 2013 came out and just as I was completing it Major Arcana was opening in Dundee. I dug out the old stuff I had and then picked up an intro box and have been playing for about 5 months.

I really liked silly tribal stuff so had a Vampire multiplayer deck which I gradually improved for duels, although it was never as good as those crazy £300+ decks. Who cares about that, it was brilliant fun. Getting 238 +1/+1 counters on a Vampire Nighthawk in multiplayer provoked a massive grin. I then made more silly tribal decks and, before Gatecrash a terrible mill deck. Another deviation was a mono green ramp deck. Mainly though I was sticking to Black/Red. For Gatecrash I went Dimir and did terrible, then under the excellent advisement of others ripped it apart and went Gruul having great fun. Day 2 I went Gruul too and did a bit better.

So, I had went Black and Red a lot, Green a little and Blue/White barely.

Saturday with Major Arcana: Two Headed Giant

For this pre-release I wanted to go something a bit different. Day 1 was 2 headed giant at Major Arcana, 2 vs 2. My teammate chose Gruul (Green, Red) and I chose Selesnya (Green/White). Opening my packs I quickly decided to go White/Red/Blue. I got Aurelia, 2 Render Silent and a ton of other good white/blue stuff.


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