Upcoming Standard events in the Bay Area

We have a series of big weekends coming up here in the (south) San Francisco Bay Area. Here they are, in order, with some relevant links:
Saturday, August 1st – Superstars August Standard $1K tournament
That’s tomorrow. I plan on going, and I’ve put together a deck that includes an interaction that has had me giggling inside since I figured it out. I’ll post about it tomorrow.
Friday, August 7th through Sunday, August 9th – Superstars Standard $5K tournament
As with the last Superstars $5K, this event features multiple flights that qualify you for the top 32 on Sunday. Note that there’s a moderate discount for preregistering online, so if you’re sure you’re going to go, you might as well save a couple bucks and sign up now.
Saturday, August 22nd – PTQ for Austin at Superstars
This is the final Bay Area PTQ, and we’re once again back in San Jose. I love PTQs, and hope to see good attendance on this one – let’s not let the East Coast massively outdo us at PTQ attendance this year.

But I SAID for Green.

Gerry T’s latest article at ChannelFireball is a nice reflection on his performance in a recent big tournament. It also includes an exchange that makes me laugh every time I return to it:
He excited took his turn, explicitly tapped Reflecting Pool for Green, and two other lands to cast Firespout. It took me a moment to realize exactly what had happened, but then I informed him that all of his guys died, as out of his eight or so lands, he tapped the one basic Mountain that he had.
Opponent: I said Firespout for GREEN, not Red.
Me: But you also paid Red for it by tapping your Mountain.
Opponent: But I SAID for Green.
Table Judge: Yeah, that doesn

Mitamura versus Nakamura at nationals

If you followed the coverage for this year’s nationals in Japan, you may have already read Bill Stark’s writeup of the round two matchup between 2008 PoY and eventual nationals winner Shuhei Nakamura and PT Honolulu 2009 winner Kazuya Mitamura.
As it happens, the match was also caught on video. Check out the two videos below for some very nicely done and very clean coverage of the match:

San Diego Comic Con 2009 – Gaming schedule is up

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m off (tomorrow!) to San Diego for Comic Con International. The Con starts on Wednesday evening with preview night, and then runs through early-ish on Sunday evening.
When I first started attending the con as a kid, I spent the bulk of my time in the gaming rooms, with occasional forays to the exhibition hall. Of course, the convention had 10,000 or so people then, rather than the hefty 140,000 or so it clocks in at now. These days, I spend most of my time looking at the indy booths for interesting new work, talking to creators I know and like, and attending panels. That said, I’m still bringing a deck in case I decide to opt out for a while and play Magic.
This year’s gaming schedule has finally been posted. You can find the general listings by clicking here.
It looks like we once again see the expected mix of open gaming, organized console play, and CCGs, with the last category being represented by Magic and Pokemon.
You can find the Magic schedule here. There are Limited and Standard Constructed events on all four main convention days (Thursday-Sunday). Note, however, that if you’re thinking of popping by the convention and playing for a day, you’re out of luck – the convention is sold out. There’s also some EDH play, in tournament and league formats, for those who are into that apparently growing format (hey, I’m tempted, but have neither experience nor deck ready).
So, if you’re on your way to San Diego and want to game, now you’re all set to plan your days.

This would be my Nationals deck

I’m not going to U.S. Nationals, either as a competitor (hey, not qualified) or as a potential grinder and side event player. Instead, I’m off to the San Diego Comic Con, where I may or may not play any Magic, but I will enjoy the company of roughly 140,000 fellow popular arts and culture fans. Which is to say it is, if you’ve never been there, a stunningly large event.
If I were going to Nationals, I know what I’d bring. Despite delving into various other theoretical options fueled by M10 in the past week, I am not only fond of this deck, but convinced that it, unlike some of my other pet decks, is actually powerful. I’m talking about an update of Cascade Pulse, a design of mine that I wrote about in late June.
Click through to the extended entry for an updated post-M10 deck list, and an explanation about how this deck works and what makes it so powerful.

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Because Grizzly Bears was always lame

Over on Twitter, Aaron Forsythe asked this question:
“Functional reprints: Is the problem that you have to buy new verions of random commons again, or that we said 50% new when it was 40%?”
Evan Erwin’s answer neatly summarizes most of the complaints I’ve seen about this:
“Mainly that some of them seemed silly/unnecessary. I agree with most, but, was Grizzly Bears really worth changing?”
Trust me, it is. More in the extended entry.

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How to: Recur Profane Command with Eternal Witness

When I check my Google Analytics account, I find from time to time that visitors have been brought to this site hoping to find out how to use specific cards or card combinations. Clearly, “What should I do with Gifts Ungiven?” is a top hit, and for more on that, I direct you here.
With that in mind, I though it would be nice to have a couple primers on useful interactions, culled intermittently from queries in my Analytics logs. To start that off, I’m going to answer this one:
“How do I repeatedly recur Profane Command with Eternal Witness?”
Click through to the extended entry for more.

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I attended the Sunday prerelease flight today at Superstars in San Jose. There was a good turnout today, and more yesterday.
Thanks go out to Eric Levine for his affable head judging of the event.
My understanding of Sealed, which I play very, very rarely (basically, at PTQs and the occasional prerelease) is “build to your bombs.” Today, my six packs included the following clear bombs:
Planar Cleansing
Ajani Goldmane
That, along with a generally poor quality of anything outside of green and white, led to a very brief and focused deck construction experience for me. I ended up with a green-white build with various two, three, and four drops, as well as some big-mana spells. I had almost no removal, and very little to do against yo random permanents (consider the beating I took from a Whispersilk Cloaked creature in game one, round one).
I went 3-1, picking up an extra six packs, and subsequently arbitraging some of my winnings into another (my fourth) Elspeth.
My favorite play series on the day:
Planar Cleansing to clear the board.
Howl of the Night Pack for four 2/2 Wolves.
Overrun for 20.
The round I lost came down to Master of the Wild Hunt in both games. In game two, I hit Planar Cleansing to eight-for-one my opponent, and then he drew the Master off the top. Ouch. He had two in his deck, notably.
Overall, it was a good time, and I enjoyed going with some friends. I also enjoyed doing a bit of trading (which I rarely do) and taking the time out to help a newer player revise his deck to make it more effective, as he had good cards but was having trouble winning. It was a fun chance to meet players I never see at our PTQs. There are simply a lot of people who play only the occasional draft, or only kitchen table Magic, who nonetheless come out for prereleases. I did my bit of proselytizing for PTQs as a fun experience, since I genuinely think PTQs are.
Also, although I don’t know if it’s a commentary on M10 sealed or not, with my deck I decided to choose “play” all day when I had a chance, and that worked out well for me.