Tags: magic online mana screw


Will The Pain Ever End?

Oh my god, I don't believe it happened again. One is going to start thinking I'm just horrible at this game.

On the plus side, Magic Online v3.0 won't work on my current computer, so perhaps my agony will be ended for me.

Opening pack I'm facing Sulfurous Blast, Castle Raptors and Stuffy Doll. Blast is the correct choice (I think), but I have come to HATE the Blast. It kills all your creatures, but doesn't always kill his. Once in a while it's amazing when you fall behind, often it's an even trade, and maybe it's three to the head. The Raptors are very, very solid.

I take the Blast anyway. Get passed foil Lightning Axe and a bunch more red cards. Don't really have a second colour so I go with blue and have a Kraken and some weak blue. Final build - mostly red with 10 Mountains and 7 Islands. I have Warrens and two Grapeshot to go with Whispers, Dead, Lightning Axe and Brute Force as just the 1cc spells, not to mention two Coal Stokers. My hope is to get storm synergy (two suspend guys) or fast attackers with some removal, or at worst, Sulfurous Blast once I've put out the Wildfire Emissary, Slipstream Serpent or Deep-Sea Kraken.

Game 1 I roll him. He's a 1601 ranking and I remove all his creatures and don't even need to pop the Kraken for the win. I miss my fourth land drop, but that's okay - my decks can handle that for a turn. Game end has me at 6 lands and 10 spells. I note that he's playing Havenwood Wurm.

Game 2 I should have mulliganed. I keep 3 mountains, 2 islands, Skycutter and Primal Plasma. I then throw away the Plasma when he has 7 mana untapped and I foolishly attack into Havenwood Wurm. I'm an idiot. He draws four slivers to my Mogg War Marshal and Ironclaw Buzzardiers and I get my but kicked with 10 lands and 6 spells, including an un-popped Kraken. I note that he actually has TWO Havenwood Wurms.

Game 3. Opening hand:

Coal Stoaker, Conflagrate, Synchronous Sliver, Ironclaw Buzzardiers, Snapback, Island, Island.

Do you keep?

Obviously not - even if you draw one of your ten mountains, you also need to draw lands 3, 4 and 5 to get your curve out. And the Stoker doesn't curve into anything if you play the Buzzardiers on turn 3. The removal is pricey or temporary - there's little to like about this hand.

So why did I keep it?

See game 2 - I'm an idiot. I was playing first and didn't want to risk getting screwed, which is stupid, stupid, stupid. I should have drawn against him, because my deck has a half-dozen cheap removal spells and can handle the rush of inadequate creatures.

Turn 1: Island
Turn 2: Island
Turn 3: Curse the Gods
Turn 4: Opponent asks why I'm upset with my draw as I discard Conflagrate.
Turn 5: Island, Snapback Mana Skimmer (LD always shows up at times like these!)
Turn 6: Begin writing LJ post in my head.
Turn 7: Island.

His board is Mana Skimmer (tapping my Island) and Phantom Wurm. Amazingly, I'm not dead! I play Coal Stoker, Dead the Skimmer and Grapeshot the Wurm to 3/1. In response, he flashes in Havenwood Wurm. Oh well, so much for not being dead.

On his turn, Uktabi Drake joins the fun and Strength in Numbers finishes me off when I block! And of course from my opponent...

"Good Game".

Fuck You.

(Of course, I didn't actually say that, and it's not his fault at all, but I had to let it out for all of you who have always wanted to say it)

Final Tally - 9 spells, 5 lands, which just goes to show that the order they arrive in can often matter a lot more than how many actually appear. I'm heading back into the trenches because I'm on tilt - expect another update in about 45 minutes.

The Pain Continues

Mere hours ago (read down a few inches, I'm too annoyed to properly link), I felt I got screwed by the mana/opponent gods in a Magic Online match. I'm sure I'm not the first to feel that way.

In an attempt to regain my sense of happiness with life, I absconded with the Armoire from Easter dinner at my parents so I could rush back and fit a draft in before bedtime.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

The MTGO client (not the server) crashes at the end of pack 2 so I never see what I could have taken first in the 3rd pack instead of an off-colour Spitting Sliver. I look forward to arguing with Customer Service and getting nothing.

The draft is a disaster with a money-drafted first pick Mystic Snake over Pulmonic Sliver followed by Looter over Plague Sliver. I take the Strangling Soot third as a possible splash and then grit my teeth with frustration for the next 25 picks as nothing but quality black and white cards come sailing through in both directions while I persist in trying to force the colours. The choice between Assassin and Tendrils 6th in pack two is particularly frustrating.

On the other hand, I do have the soft-lock option of Mystic Snake, Tolarian Sentinel, Reality Acid and Whispers. I also have two Dream Stalkers and a Wipe Away. But all the synergy in the world isn't going to overcome having only three creatures with a power greater than 2, two of which are 5-mana hill giants (though one has wings). I should definitely have abandoned green but I really didn't expect it to be cut in pack two after I starved it for the first 15 picks.

I deserved to lose in the first round, and I do. But it's how I lost that is so frustrating.

Game 1 we both mulligan and I get a reasonable draw of Looter, Shell-Dweller, Dismal Failure and Mystic Snake. Of course, he's playing reactive black/red so a Deathspore Thallid stares at my wall and a Dauthi Slayer smacks me around as I sit holding useless counterspells. Eventually I Wipe Away an Enslave and wait three turns to Acid the Slayer. This leaves me at 6 life with a board of Havenwood Wurm, Herd Gnarr and two Saprolings vs his 1/1 Thallid with 3 counters. He's at 9 life and dead in two turns without a really good answer.

Pardic Dragon

That's a really good answer. And no, for the wits among you, he did not suspend it.

No problem. In reviewing the game, there's nothing I could have done differently with the knowledge I had.

Game 2 has him giving away a card with a mulligan. I have a fantastic curve of Whispers, Spinneret Sliver, Thallid Germinator and Tolarian Sentinel. I'm holding Reality Acid and the potential to destroy all of his lands if the Sentinel lives, but Premature Burial, Assassinate and Lightning Axe (Madness Gorgon) means I've got an empty board instead.

Frustrating, but not entirely unexpected.

Except that now I'm holding two lands and Reality Acid vs. his three lands and a Gorgon.

Dream Stalker off the top puts the Gorgon away and I can't help but grumble as he stalled at three lands - if only the Sentinel had lived! Uktabi Drake hits at an optimal time and I'm pounding for three against nothing - I begin fretting about having enough time for game 3 after all the server lag.

Oh wait, all he needs is a creature to stop me. In this case, it's a Mana Skimmer that trades with the Drake and I see why the 1/5 half of the Acid combo isn't so good by himself (doubters feel free to chime in). He finally draws the fourth land and that allows him to lay Wildfire Emissary, Coal Stoker and Flowstone Channeler in rapid succession to my un-playable Strangling Soot. I draw Wipe Away and over the course of two turns use the Acid and the Wipe to destroy the Emissary. I then trade a Herd Gnarr for the Flowstone as he's just played a Deathspore, and an on-board -0/-2 option isn't something I want to face with my deck of weak creatures with nothing in hand to trigger the Gnarr. Dismal Failure keeps the 1/5 alive when he attempts to "Dead" it after combat, forcing Aetherflame Wall to be discarded.


Thank you Bill Gates for putting an option into Windows that wipes out everything you've typed and can't be un-done with CTRL-Z. When filled with rage, what I really want to do is re-type the last thousand words of my post.

I believe I'd rather be swallowed by a Sarlac then re-live these past two hours.


[/End Aside]

A second Dream Stalker lets me Acid the Deathspore and then slow Acid the Coal Stoker. A sideboarded Wistful Thinking dumps Enslave, Sulfurous Blast, Rathi Trapper and Swamp into his graveyard. Boy was that a good sideboarding decision after seeing all his reactive spells. I guess I'm "lucky" that he stranded the Enslave by only drawing 5 lands and 14 playable spells by turn 13. He draws Ib Halfheart and another Deathspore to my two lands thus putting me five lands ahead of him (or more accurately, 5 spells behind).

Bored yet?

Don't worry, it's over soon. My second land was a Swamp which allows me to Soot. I figure I can kill Ib Halfheart and get aggressive with my two 1/5s against his Deathspore and Saproling. This was probably a mistake as Ib wasn't threatening me, but I'm running out of solutions in my deck and want to get him low in life in case I don't draw the Havenwood Wurm. I also want to avoid a goblin swarm if he suddenly finds all his lands. Surprisingly, he still sacrifices his only two mountains for two goblins. I attack into his swarm and trade a 1/5 for the Thallid and Saproling.

In play, he now has 3 Swamps and two 1/1 goblins with a card in hand versus my 1/5 and 9 lands with a 10th sitting in hand. I have twice as many permanents in play.

Of the remaining 17 cards in his deck, 11 of them are lands.

Of the remaining 17 cards in my deck, 7 of them are lands.

So what do I draw?

That's right, Utopia Vow! Ha! Weren't expecting that, I bet!

He plays a Mountain and then a Swamp. And then draws Void for 2, randomly hitting the Vow along with the 1/5 so he can hit me to 11.

I have five turns to draw an answer to two 1/1s. Remember those three creatures I mentioned with a power higher than two? They're all still in my deck. So is the Spike Feeder and the Walk the Aeons (4 Islands in play) and Mystic Snake and the Looter. It's almost inconceivable that I could lose to two 1/1 vanilla creatures.

Forest. 9 life left.

Granted, a second Mountain gives him Pardic Dragon as an out, so it's not all upside.

Island. 7 life left.

Uh oh, there's that second Mountain. But no spells! He's finally drawing all his lands! I'm going to win!

Forest. 5 life left.

This isn't good. Where the heck are all my spells?

Swamp. 3 life left.

You have GOT to be kidding me.


Whew! I'm saved! Sure, I'm at 1 life, but I have 10 lands in play (and 4 in hand) and only 3 left in my 11 card library. Any two creatures gives me a chance!

Giant Dustwasp.



Emit colourful euphamisms very loudly. Begin outraged LiveJournal posting.

Sharing My Pain

Second round of the 8-4 queue. Game 3. I need a win to get my investment back and be in a good mood all week. I had just lost game 2 from parity by drawing 4 straight lands - suddenly a reasonable 9/6 spell/land is a 10/10 and I'm dead.

All I need is a reasonable draw, so of course...

15 spells, 3 lands.

Amusingly, I could have won the game with that - I had an agressive start and with so many spells I had all the tools I needed to survive and even win early.

Mwonvuli Acid Moss.

I haven't seen it in play since the first Pre-Release, but I was lucky enough to get a visit today. It's both mana acceleration and land destruction, what's not to like?

Ironically, I saw the Moss the previous game and pondered putting in an 18th land for Flickering Spirit which I drew. I had also taken out the Mindstab which was mostly useless versus his Green-Red because it seemed too lucky - if I drew it in my opening hand it would be fantastic, just like Mwonvuli Acid Moss, otherwise all the targets would be in play.

Very. Very. Frustrating.

But at least it didn't crash! And really, isn't that the unlikeliest thing about all of this?

Back to MOO2!