Wednesday, January 8, 2014

MTG - UB Mill in my Cube

The dreaded mill deck.  Frustrating to play against for the most part and sometimes you just feel dirty for winning with it.  Mostly because it's such a passive deck for the most part.  You don't need to attack your opponent's life total in any way to win with this style of deck.

UB can sometimes also be built as a control deck where you eliminate your opponent's threats until you can drop your own and win, but I'll focus on the milling aspect of the two colours for this deck.

The following are the cards you want to look for and draft

These are the main milling cards in the cube and if you can grab a few of them (especially the recurring ones) you can easily mill your opponent out as the decks are usually only 40 cards (And of those 40 cards you only need to mill away around 30 or so).

In addition to the actual milling cards it helps to pick up some defensive creatures like Wall of FrostFog Bank and Mnemonic Wall so you can stall your opponent.  Some kill cards like Doom Blade or Murder are also useful for taking care of things your walls can't stop.

There are a few cards that may not seem like they would fit but are actually really good for the deck.  Jace's Archivist and Prosperity can help you achieve your goal of milling your opponent.  Jace's Archivist may not seem useful but if you are milling your opponent they most likely will not have as many lands as you so their hand will be fairly large.  The added cards will usually be more beneficial to you than it will be to your opponent.  Similarly Prosperity can force your opponent to draw more cards than he intended and bring him closer to being milled while at the same time filling your hand with more useful spells.

Of course if you can't mill your opponent to death, you do have the option to go on the beatdown, especially if you can land a few large creatures like Oona, Queen of the Fae, Frost Titan or Lazav, Dimir Mastermind.  If you've milled your opponent early enough it will be easier to drop one of these bombs and just take over the game.  This alternate strategy is also advisable after game 1 where your opponent might side in more cards to make his deck bigger and harder to mill so for your own sideboard you might want to add some unblockable creatures like Keymaster Rogue and Deathcult Rogue to your sideboard and switch strategies between games.  These creatures also work well if Trepanation Blade is already in your card pool.

Like the other decks I looked at it is a fun deck to play, especially if you like frustrating your opponents.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Holiday Gaming

Christmas break is always great for gaming.  Even more so this year as I did not bring any marking or other work with me (normally I bring a boat load of marking or planning home over the holidays).  The majority of my gaming this year was online games with friends, mostly League of Legends but we did also delve into Team Fortress 2 a bit and I played a little bit of Star Wars: The Old Republic (finally got my Bounty Hunter past the first chapter)

Anyways, while playing League with my friends I quickly realized that it would be quite a while before most of my friends get to my level (and I'm only Silver at the moment!).  Sometimes it's frustrating I suppose but I've decided that I just need to get better so I can carry them harder whenever we play normal games.  I've become quite a good Leona player and can set up a good deal of plays to help feed the carries on my team.  I also can't wait for the Season 4 LCS to start.  Will give me something to watch again.

On the MTG front I did enlarge my cube (see earlier post) but due to various issues I never did get a chance to try it out.  I'm thinking of starting some kind of MTG cube league at one of the local gaming stores so I can play more cube with more people.  I just have to be careful no one steals anything (I'm thinking of buying some unique sleeves to help prevent this).  Thankfully there are no big money cards in my cube.

Family gaming has become quite a thing in my household too as my in-laws have been coming over to play games on a weekly basis.  Generally it's board games like Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan.  This holiday season we got the Seafarers of Catan and the 5-6 player expansions to Settlers so I am thinking of inviting my sister-in-law and her husband to join in.  It helps that their son is around Penny's age so the two can play together while we play our own game.

Steam had massive sales this holiday season as they usually do and I got a Steam gift card from my sister (she always gets me gaming related gifts which is great as no one else does).  I picked up a few games I had been wanting to play (Hitman: Absolution and Assassin's Creed 3).  I missed out on the 75% off Skyrim sale on the last day because of the alleged DDOS attacks but oh well.  I'm sure that sale will happen again in the future.

Work also gave me a reimbursement for my internet which I turned into a new desktop that plays games better than the laptop I was using.  It's hardly a super gaming computer but it does play all the games I want to play at medium-high settings and some games at high-ultra settings.  The biggest bonus is that I can upgrade it fairly easily with a relatively cheap graphics card (it's got an AMD APU processor so I can pair it up with a graphics cards to get better mutual performance).

I'm looking forward to this year as Penny is getting older and learning her numbers and is getting quite an imagination.  All this translates into a great opportunity to teach her how to play RPGs and other games.  She already likes playing with my dungeon tiles and rolling dice so it should be an easy transition.