Weez in ur Keep, makin sum Kobolds (my first Pro Tour Qualifier)

Yesterday, Decaffeinated and I went to the local Magic Pro Tour Qualifier (PTQ) feeding into Pro Tour San Diego. PTQs are local tournaments that qualify folks to go play in one of the Magic: the Gathering Pro Tour events. Pro Tour events have their own online coverage and larger-scale cash prizes.
Full coverage in the extended. If the title confuses you, read on, and check out m’s entry on lolcats.

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What do you play?

This coming weekend, Decaffeinated and I will be trying our skills out at a Magic Pro Tour Qualifier event. Three weeks later, we’ll try again in a different form at the Regionals Magic event. For both events, card sleeves are required — these are plastic sleeves that go around the player cards and make sure that no wear or damage to any individual card makes it identifiable — basically, it keeps you from using marked cards (and marked sleeves can be swapped out easily enough).
Since I don’t own any sleeves, that meant a trip to the game store to pick some up. While I was paying, I chatted with the clerk, mentioned that I was going to go to Regionals for the first time, and he asked, “What do you play?”
I said I was still deciding, and he kind of laughed and said that he plays Izzetron.
I found that a singularly odd question. It’s as if I suggested going to get food somewhere, and a friend asked me, “What do you eat?” with the expectation that I’d answer, “Macaroni and cheese.” Given the huge pool of cards and all the interesting ways to play Magic, the concept of just having a specific deck that I always play feels as curious as having one specific food that I always eat.

Current decks in Standard

Courtesy of Frank Karsten’s latest online tech article, here’s a list of the current most frequently played decks on Standard Online. I’m trying to decide what I want to build and play in the upcoming Regionals event, which takes place on June 9th. I don’t want to play any one of these decks verbatim, but they’re useful in terms of “decks to beat” and as inspiration for how certain decks are built. More in the extended, including the list and comments
Edit: I’ve added a bunch of links to interesting archetypes and deck concepts from the Standard forum on Wizards’ message boards.

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With my infinite time and money…

One thing I have to watch is my tendency to assign myself more projects than I have time for. Be it at work or otherwise, there’s always more interesting stuff to do than time in which to do it.
The corollary to watching how time is spent is making sure I don’t spend money on things I won’t have the time to actually work on. That said, there are some outstanding projects I’d really like to find both time and money for.
The first miniatures game I ever played was Warhammer 40,000 – Rogue Trader, a quirky little game that spawned a vast empire of miniatures gaming and derivative IP in the form of computer games and a burgeoning online world. I’ve held onto my Rogue Trader book, as well as other jewels like Chapter Approved and the Compendium, but I sold the bulk of my miniatures, keeping just the Space Marines:
(Picture found at The Stuff of Legends, a really handy miniatures website.)
Since then, the game world has advanced and grown. The most recent edition of Warhammer 40,000, the fourth edition, features cleaned-up rules but the same rich world, with twenty years of additional material. Among the “new” additions since I last played are the “young” race of the setting, the Tau:
The Tau fascinate me, and a 40K Tau force is one of the ways I’d spend time and money, if I somehow acquired a surplus of both. However, there’s an option even cooler than a 40K Tau force. Far more than Warhammer 40K, my game of choice in the day was Space Marine, a game geared toward larger-scale battles, using smaller-scale minis. Instead of being 28mm tall, a person is 6mm tall — roughly 1:300 scale. I was first drawn to Space Marine — later rechristened “Epic” — by a friend’s copy of the very first epic game, Adeptus Titanicus. AT featured giant war machines from the world of Warhammer 40K, like this Warlord Titan:
Sometime in college, I acquired nine or so Warlord Titans in a trade (I traded away some 40K stuff I was never going to use). Fixing these up is one of those projects that requires no additional money, just time. However, if I once again had that inifnite money and time, I’d also pick up these:
Yup, those are epic-scale Tau, available (at a price) from Forge World. Sadly, as a niche product in a niche category, they’re not cheap. That squad of infantry (called “Fire Warriors,” by the way), would run me about $24, or about $1 for each 6mm-tall soldier. Ouch. That’s way more expensive than my old epic minis cost me, even adjusting for inflation.
Okay, enough of that. Now back to writing a paper.