Thursday, February 27, 2014

League of Legends - Reaching a Plateau

Since the start of Season 4 I've had a pretty decent time in my ranked games.  My placement matches went 8-2 but for some reason I was still placed in Silver 4 (my ranking at the end of Season 4).  However I did really well in my next few games and managed to climb into Silver 3 relatively easily playing support or jungle.

It was here that I ran into the same problem I did in Season 3.  I could not get any higher.  I would get to around 90 LP and then suffer a string of defeats that knocked me back down to 0 LP.  This process repeated itself for several weeks and was quite infuriating.

I eventually realized I had hit a plateau with regards to my skill in the game.  What clued me in was my massive losing streak with Leona.  At one point I had a whopping 80% win record (over 20+ games) with Leona but then lost a bunch of games in a row.  When I started to play Thresh I started winning again and I attribute that to learning new skills that helped me move on from my plateau.

While some skills are universal, like map awareness, where to place wards and wave control, there are some skills that are specific to champions.  For example with Thresh I had to learn to better predict champion movement because of the short delay with his hook.

Learning to play Thresh also improved some of those universal skills.  A good example is map awareness.  With Thresh's lantern, having good map awareness is even more important for setting up ganks or saving team mates.  With Leona, map awareness was mostly useful for avoiding ganks, so I did not really pay attention to the position of my team mates.  After playing with Thresh for a while I've become much more aware of my team mates (especially my jungler) and I've pulled off a few lantern ganks and lantern saves that have swung fights in my team's favour.

With that said, I made it into Silver 2 earlier this week and I'm hoping my skills have progressed enough to get me further.  Going for Gold by the end of this season!

Friday, February 21, 2014

MTG - Born of the Gods Cube Update 2

Since the release of Born of the Gods I picked up a few more packs and made some more minor changes.

With the addition of Graverobber Spider in the last update I felt I didn't need more reach creatures.  More land-fixing never hurts especially with the abundance of gold cards and especially if I want people to try and play some of the shard cards or even Chromanticore.

Taking out Goblin Wardriver will make R/x aggro decks easier to work with.  Everflame Eidolon also has a better late game than the goblin does.  Archetype of Aggression is very aggressively costed and makes your whole team better.  When combined with some of the firebreathing creatures it will give R/x decks more reach.

Finally got one and I think the hard counter will be better than the situational counter.

I did manage to get my hands on a Temple of Plenty as well but still not sure where to fit the temples in without taking out the keyrunes/cluestones.  Now I just need to find a Brimaz, King of Oreskosz and Scourge of Skola Vale and I think the Born of the Gods update will be complete.

Friday, February 14, 2014

D&D - Dungeons and Princesses

So this past weekend was BCs Family Day long weekend.  As such I got to spend some time with my daughter when I normally would be at work.

My wife had gotten her some Capsule Books a few months back and she decided to introduce one of them to Penny.  Penny chose the Disney Princess one and her mother read her the story.  Each book had a bunch of thick cardboard cutouts of the princesses as well as cutouts of the princesses dancing with their princes.  Penny had a lot of fun moving them around on the included playmat and was having a good time.

But I noticed something about the cutouts as she played with them.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

MTG - Born of the Gods cube update

I got to play at the Born of the Gods prerelease and managed to get 2nd place.  Not bad as I got a few packs of the new set.  To be honest though, not much in the new set excites me.  Regardless, I picked up some stuff from the prerelease that I felt would be good additions to the cube.

I took the dragon as my pre-release promo because the art looks cool and the ability is quite relevant.  Charmbreaker Devils was kind of a niche card and although it helped the Izzet blitz decks, it cost too much.  Izzet blitz wants to win quick and a 6 mana creature just doesn't do that.  The dragon also makes Utvara Hellkite and Scourge of Valkas more useful.

I decided to remove Foundry Street Denizen because I removed a lot of the cards that made the goblin more effective (Goblin Rally and Krenko's Command).  Impetuous Sunchaser is still aggressive and with the right auras can be quite scary.

Phalanx Leader was hard to use outside of a dedicated mono-white weenie deck and I felt that Akroan Skyguard would make for a more consistent GW heroic deck.
Loyal Pegasus added more consistent aggressive evasion as it only requires 1 other creature instead of 2 other creatures.  It does kind of become useless though if it's the only creature you have but in an aggressive weenie deck, that probably won't be likely.
I liked Ornitharch at the pre-release.  Either it's a 5/5 flyer or a 3/3 flyer and 2 1/1 flyers.  Both forms are good in my opinion.

Courser of Kruphix is an interesting card and I don't have anything like it in my cube.  I still don't fully understand its uses but from what I've read it makes green decks better.  At the end of the day it's a fairly efficient creature and will help with mid-range decks.
I like tokens and Fated Intervention is one heck of a token generator.  Instant speed for surprise blockers or if played on your turn can help smooth out your draws.
Raised by Wolves provides more tokens and another useful aura.  Should make heroic decks easier to build with more auras.  Also it goes well with Howl of the Night Pack.
Karametra's Favor pretty much does everything Gatecreeper Vine does and then some.  The aura ramps and is a decent heroic trigger.  Does dilute the defender theme a bit so makes Overgrown Battlement and Axebane Guardian slightly worse but I think the trade-off is fine.

Herald of Torment makes early black aggression even better.  Plus it has awesome late-game potential compared to Arrogant Bloodlord.

Despite me not liking to play against counter spells, I felt my cube needed a little more.  I originally wanted Nullify but I did not get one in any of my packs.  Thassa's Rebuff does encourage playing permanents though which is what I want.
Although Sudden Storm isn't strictly better than Frost Breath, I felt the scry addition is powerful enough to make the swap.

Chromanticore is such a fun looking card I couldn't resist.  No idea if anyone will ever try to make a 5 colour deck but this could fit in so perfectly.  Gonna miss Ulamog's Crusher as it is a good creature and fits any deck but it will be fun to see if anyone will make Chromanticore work.
I was never fully happy with Korozda Gorgon as it's ability depended a lot on whether you could get enough scavenge or green evolve creatures.  With Graverobber Spider you can at least use its ability without depending on anything else other than creatures dying (and creatures will die).

I managed to pick up 2 of the 3 temples for this set at the pre-release but I haven't included them in just yet.  I'm probably going to wait until I have all 10 temples (currently I have 7 of 8) before trying to figure out how to include them.  I currently have all the Keyrunes and Cluestones slated to be replaced by the temples but I'm not sure about that.  I really want a way to fit the Keyrunes/cluestones and the temples so I can have lots of colour fixing and some acceleration.

There are a few other cards from Born of the Gods that I would like to add to my cube but I will have to wait until the set is fully released before I can pick them up.