Sunday, June 10, 2012

[JT] CGC: MtG Podcasts with a splash of FNM

Two posts in one week?!  What?!  Told you I caught a second wind ; P

*cue intro music... fades out*
Hellllllo again and welcome to The Card Game Corner (said in the voice of Chewie from The Mana Pool).  So this time around, I am going to do what I have been saying I would do for weeks now: a small review of Magic podcasts.  I will be talking about three casts; mainly because they are the three I am listening/have listened to over the past few months.  Also, because it is relevant to one of the podcasts, I will be doing a small FNM report from this week.  Ok, enough intro.  Just hit play already!

3) The Avant Card Show

Let's start at the end of the line with the now defunct Avant Card Show.  If you are into casual magic and just having fun while you play, they are a great place to start.  They are (er.... were...) a great, hilarious cast that focused on multi-player.  Unfortunately, my judgment is a little bit skewed since I actually listened to them SECOND, after my number one podcast which we will get to in a little bit, so ACS just couldn't quite live up.

That being said, I will re-iterate that they are a HILARIOUS podcast that I REALLY wish would come back for more episodes... 

2) Limited Resources

I mentioned this podcast before, but I HAVE to mention them again.  I have recently decided that Standard just is not for me.  It's fun, but the huge money curve in the game just is NOT worth it.  So I am sticking to playing fun, budget-ish Standard decks while focusing on Sealed play, and Limited Resources (episode 1) is the podcast I have gone to to help better my game.  Marshall Sutcliffe (@Marshall_LR) and Jon Loucks (@JonLoucks) give great insight to both how the format is played as well as how the cards themselves fit into that format.

It is here that I wanted to give a little FNM report, because this was the first week that I was able to draft after subscribing to the School of LR.  I sadly didn't perform too well, but I think it is worth talking about it anyway.  First, what I drafted...

-Butcher Ghoul x5
-Corpse Trader
-Undead Executioner
-Nephalia Smuggler
-Tandem Lookout
-Mist Raven
-Gryff Vanguard x3
-Havengul Skaab

-Bone Splinters
-Predator's Gambit x2
-Peel from Reality
-Ghostly Flicker x2

Human Frailty x2
Grave Exchange
Essence Harvest x2
Second Guess
Galvanic Alchemist x2
Searchlight Geist
Ghostform x2
Havengul Skaab x2
Rotcrown Ghoul x3
Scroll of Griselbrand
Battle Hymn

The first thing I want to talk about is the picks.  Pack One, I crack a Tybalt and a foil-y Desolate Lighthouse.  After having listened to LR's reviews of the cards in Avacyn Restored, neither one of those cards were worth the first pick.  So what did I take?  Gryff Vanguard.  A 3/2 Flyer for 5 that draws me a card seemed to be the most solid card out of the pack (and it helped that blue is the color I know best).  I won't go into every pick, but I wanted to highlight the first pick because those considerations I made were only made because I learned to evaluate cards more from LR.

The play itself was kind of rough though.  My deck was able to stall out (5 Butchers and blink/bounce effects can get VERY annoying), but this ended up being my major downfall.  Round 1, I get matched with the guy who drafted Craterhoof Behemoth.  Long, drown out games are NOT what you want to be playing against that thing.  It didn't end well.  Round 2, we ended up going to time because neither one of us had the bombs to really finish out a match.  There was a notable game in it though where my opponent had me down to 5-ish life while he was at 20, but thanks to my Butcher Ghouls, Nephalia Smuggler, and Mist Raven, I was able to stabilize and come back for the win, sending it to game 3.  I had a strong start, but we went to rounds halfway through the game.  Again, long drawn out matches are not a good thing.  Round 3 (of 3), I had the bye >.<

So it overall was not a great outcome, but I felt my deck was stronger than any other deck I had drafted before (besides my first draft, which I just lucked out and went 3-0 with) thanks to learning better card evaluation and play skills from LR.  I cannot wait to draft again and keep clawing my way up.

1) The Mana Pool (@TheManaPool)

I don't think there was any doubt which would be my number 1 podcast after my small rant in the previous post.  These are the dorks that started me off with M:tG podcasts.  Hell, I am listening to their most recent episode right now, as I type this.  I said it once, I will say it again: if you play for the sheer enjoyment of playing, LISTEN TO THE MANA POOL!  You will NOT regret it.

They, like the ACS, focus on casual multi-player, but I feel they go far beyond what ACS did.  From the live episodes where they play actual games for our amusement to the episodes where they preview the cards from the coming set, they show just how much fun each card can be.  They have covered so many different areas of the game, including the story, the mechanics, and even the play styles (psychographies) of the game.  I will not lie and say that my current obsession with the game is not in part thanks to them.

Ok, so now you know my top three favorite podcasts.  They are great for while you are working or while deck building.  They give great insight into the game and make it all the more enjoyable.  All three are worth checking out, but be warned:  you WILL be hooked once you start ;)

Ok? Then download, play, and repeat.

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