Sunday, March 22, 2015

MTG - Dragons of Tarkir Pre-Release

New set out for Magic meaning another pre-release!

I was really excited to play in this pre-release because of all the dragons that were going to be in the set.  And my pool did not disappoint (more about my pool later).  Penny had to come with me for the first bit though as my wife had to work and the in-laws couldn't babysit for her right away due to church commitments.  Penny did a good job helping me sort the cards into their colours and even picked out the sleeves she thought I should use.  The selection turned some heads and I'm not sure whether my opponents thought I was a scrub or not because of it.

The great and powerful Trixie will help smite my opponents!

I picked Atarka because I liked the Red and Green pool in the set.  Lots of big power creatures who gained additional abilities for being big (thanks to the new rule Formidable).  Sealed deck in my experience comes down to whoever has the biggest creatures or the most evasive creatures.  Rarely do you encounter a deck with a ton of answers to all your big creatures so eventually you can just run your opponent over.

Notable cards in my pool were

Dragonlord Kolaghan
Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury
Kolaghan's Command

Twin Bolt
Tail Lash
Roast x2
Atarka Pummeler
Atarka Efreet
Dragon Fodder x2
Lose Calm
Dragonlord's Servant
Sarkahn's Triumph
Volcanic Vision
Tormenting Voice x2
Mardu Warmark
Sprinting Warbrute
Summit Prowler x2
Qal Sisma Behemoth

Pinion Feast
Stampeding Elk Herd x2
Atarka Beastbreaker
Glade Watcher
Ainok Survivalist x2
Sheltered Aerie
Salt Road Ambushers
Aerie Bowmasters
Whisperer of the Wilds
Dragon-Scarred Bear x2
Ruthless Instincts
Tread Upon
Ambush Krotiq
Revealing Wind
Inspiring Call
Segmented Krotiq

Deathbringer Regent
Virulent Plague
Foul-Tongue Invocation
Self-Inflicted Wound
Silumgar Butcher
Sibsig Host
Mind Rot x2
Reckless Imp
Qarsi Sadist
Hand of Silumgar

There wasn't anything super exciting in White or Blue that would have made me want to switch.  Especially after opening those Red and Black cards.  It's a shame I didn't get enough good black to run straight RB.  Would have made the mana base way more stable.

My final deck ended up being
Dragonlord Kolaghan
Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury
Kolaghan's Command
Twin Bolt
Tail Lash
Roast x2
Atarka Pummeler
Atarka Efreet
Dragon Fodder x2
Sarkahn's Triumph (though this was often sided out for Pinion Feast)
Stampeding Elk Herd x2
Atarka Beastbreaker
Ainok Survivalist
Sheltered Aerie
Salt Road Ambushers
Aerie Bowmasters
Whisperer of the Wilds
Dragon-Scarred Bear x2
Jungle Hollow
Swamp x2
Forest x8
Mountain x7

Match breakdowns after the break.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Final Fantasy XIV - Mini-Games!

The Golden Saucer was recently added to the game and boy is it ever fun.

For those unfamiliar with the original Golden Saucer, it was introduced way back in Final Fantasy 7 (and to my knowledge was never re-introduced in any other Final Fantasy game).  It was a giant amusement park and acted like one in the game with all manner of mini-games.  It also had some interesting rewards like Cloud's final limit break, Omnislash, in the Battle Square mini-game (fun fact, my brother managed to obtain Omnislash on the first disc of the game by grinding out 50+ levels in random encounters and then taking his super powered Cloud to the Battle Square to win the Omnislash manual).

Many of the mini-games recreated some of the sequences in the game like the bike battle (my favourite) or the submarine battle (also a favourite of mine) while others were more traditional carnival/amusement park games like basketball toss or strong man games.  And don't get me started on Chocobo Racing and breeding.

In FF14 the Saucer pretty much does the same thing.  It has lots of mini-games, a bunch of random events, chocobo racing and Triple Triad!  I never played Final Fantasy 8 so I had no idea what Triple Triad was other than it was a game within FF8,  It's fun and you get to collect cards and use your cards to win more Golden Saucer points (the currency within the Golden Saucer).

At the moment the rewards at the Golden Saucer are cosmetic items, chocobo racing items or Triple Triad cards.  I got lucky and managed to win 10,000 golden saucer points from a mini-lottery and bought a new hair style (only available at the golden saucer).

Then I spent the leftover points on racing feed (though I still have to actually race my chocobo).  I won another mini-lottery and will probably save the points for some of the cosmetic weapons for my other classes when/if I get them to 50.

Little things like this definitely make this game nicer than other MMOs I've played.