Card Me: Fleetfeather Sandals

Standard

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Card Me: A favorite hobby of mine is playing card games. There is just something really remarkable about how laying cardboard onto a table can bring people together for lots of fun/frustration. As a naturally shy person in real life, I enjoy how card games can bring me out of my shell for quite the social activity.
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I honestly believe a lot of people who play Magic: The Gathering get too caught up in the rarity symbol for cards. Granted, the game is literally designed around the notion that the generally good cards are rarer and thus harder to pull in booster packs. If you want a strong deck the pros play, expect a majority of the cards in a deck recipe to be sporting a rare-and-up symbol.

However, I am someone who will go out of his way to use a “weird” card if I deem it powerful. For me, a particular card I like in my Mono Green Midrange deck is Fleetfeather Sandals.

Fleetfeather Sandals
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Card Name: Fleetfeather Sandals
Mana Cost: 2
Converted Mana Cost: 2
Types: Artifact — Equipment
Card Text: Equipped creature has flying and haste.
Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery.)
Flavor Text: “The gods gave us no wings to fly, but they gave us an even greater gift: imagination.”
—Daxos of Meletis
Expansion: Theros (Common) Theros
Rarity: Common

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Now, at face value, many people are going to tell you that this is a “bad” card. But this card is like a secret weapon of mine. I don’t really understand why people have overlooked this hidden gem.

Sure, it comes into play at two mana, and the equip cost is another two. Nonetheless, the equipped effects are more than worth it. Granting a creature both flying and haste means you are giving your guy/gal wings to take action immediately. Continue reading

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Card Me: Effect Veiler

Standard

“Staples” in card games exist because they are universally effective in just about any deck.

In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Effect Veiler is a powerful card that sees itself wedged into many decks for its versatility. At the very least, having a few copies in your Side Deck is always a smart move.

EffectVeiler-ORCS-EN-SR-LE
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Effect
During your opponent’s Main Phase: You can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard to target 1 face-up Effect monster your opponent controls; negate that target’s effects until the End Phase.
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Effect Veiler has a variety of advantages as a card.

Its main effect of “veiling” an opponent’s monster to negate their effects is the No. 1 reason why this card sees play.

Let’s say your opponent summons their boss monster like Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max, whose effect can chunk your Life Points for devastating damage.

SuperdreadnoughtRailCannonGustavMax-CT10-EN-SR-LE Continue reading

Card Me: Scavenging Ooze

Standard

Scavenging Ooze may not be the prettiest card in Magic: The Gathering, but its sheer power makes up for its appearance.

Scavenging Ooze

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Card Name: Scavenging Ooze
Mana Cost: 1Green
Converted Mana Cost: 2
Types: Creature — Ooze
Card Text: Green: Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, put a +1/+1 counter on Scavenging Ooze and you gain 1 life.
Flavor Text: In nature, not a single bone or scrap of flesh goes to waste.
P/T: 2 / 2

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Aside from being easy to bring out as a two-drop, Scavenging Ooze is prominent in many formats at the moment for both its potential and flexibility as a card.
Being able to exile any card in a target graveyard for a measly Green is quite deadly in itself because it hoses any graveyard-focused deck. However, its secondary effect of gaining a +1/1 counter and an extra life if it eats a creature is what makes this card dangerous.

Early in the game, Scavenging Ooze is still a decent 2/2 fighter, but it easily becomes stronger as a regular game plays out. Later on, there will definitely be plenty of  Green floating around for Scavenging Ooze to trigger multiple uses of its effect. Plus, you can bet a lot of creatures will exist in the graveyards for Scavenging Ooze to munch on.

In other words, having a fed and beefy Scavenging Ooze later in the game (and we’re talking at least 5/5 stats from its effect alone and with extra life gain to boot) is easy for this card to pull off consistently. When you’re hungry for wins, Scavenging Ooze certainly boosts your chances with its appetite for graveyard cards.

Card Me: Mono Green

Standard

Mean Green
Going “mono green” in Magic: The Gathering has proven itself to be quite powerful in the current format. The No. 1 reason I chose to switch from my Simic deck to mono green stemmed from an abysmal performance at local tournaments with an alarming inconsistency.

To put it bluntly, Simic was just a crappy archetype without its money cards, and even then it was not even a high-tier archetype.

Stripping my deck of its blue color and going pure green meant I could streamline my strategies. Instead of running into situations where I would be screwed by an absence of a given color, just having green in my deck means I only need to draw lands to supplement my deck.

Of course, as a result, my deck lost its share of built-in tricks and potential versatility in favor of relying on what the one color (green in this case) had to offer.

Continue reading

Card Me: Elvish Mystic

Standard

A “mana dork” in Magic: The Gathering is quite a silly term. Basically, it refers to creatures who can provide you with additional mana in some fashion.

Cards like Elvish Mystic can really spruce up your strategy in the right deck.
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Card Name: Elvish Mystic
Mana Cost: Green
Converted Mana Cost: 1
Types: Creature — Elf Druid
Card Text: Tap: Add Green to your mana pool.
Flavor Text: “Life grows everywhere. My kin merely find those places where it grows strongest.”—Nissa Revane
P/T: 1 / 1

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In Magic, mana is of course a valuable resource. With mana, you may play the cards in your hand and pay for other expenses within the game’s mechanics.

Using cards like Elvish Mystic to provide you with the extra Green, or another color for that matter, can lead to big advantages for your match. You can have extra mana to play more cards. You could use the additional mana to “ramp” toward expensive spells faster, such as Craterhoof Behemoth.

“Mana dorks” are certainly useful, but they are not meant for every deck strategy. I utilize a full set of Elvish Mystic cards in my “green ramp” and elf deck, but I would not use them without a purpose.

This is because “mana dorks” are generally poor in combat and are vulnerable to creature removal.

Still, cards like Elvish Mystic should be appreciated because they can be incredibly potent when used to their full potential.

Toward the Top Part 8

Standard

One Step Closer
It was quite the challenge, but I finally reached Gold 1 in “League of Legends.”

Now, it is one more division before I can call myself a Platinum-rated player. In a time where the cream of the crop are in Diamond/Challenger brackets, Platinum isn’t as impressive as it used to be back in Season 1. Nonetheless, I consider it quite the milestone I need to surpass before I can really call myself “decent” at LoL.

When you sit down and try to improve yourself at this type of genre, there is a lot of elements to learn beyond the raw fundamentals. Essentially, LoL becomes a new game once your rank hits a certain point.

One more division to go!

Card Me: Vorel of the Hull Clade

Standard

When it comes to Simic, it is all about the power of potential. Vorel of the Hull Clade epitomizes this Simic focus with his nifty effect.

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Mana Cost: Vorel of the Hull Clade
Mana Cost: 1GreenBlue
Converted Mana Cost: 3
Types: Legendary Creature — Human Merfolk
Card Text: GreenBlueTap: For each counter on target artifact, creature, or land, put another of those counters on that permanent.
Flavor Text: “I used to hurl rocks and eat scraps of meat burned over a fire. Look at what I’ve become and tell me Simic does not hold infinite possibility.”
Watermark: Simic
P/T: 1 / 4
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Besides having great 1/4 stats for his converted mana cost, Vorel is capable of doubling all counter types on a target permanent that are part of the artifact, creature or land mold. Continue reading

Card Me: Fathom Mage

Standard

Fathom Mage, you’re such an intriguing card for Magic: The Gathering.

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Card Name: Fathom Mage

Mana Cost: 2GreenBlue
Converted Mana Cost: 4
Types: Creature — Human Wizard
Card Text: Evolve (Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, if that creature has greater power or toughness than this creature, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.) Whenever a +1/+1 counter is placed on Fathom Mage, you may draw a card.

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I really like Fathom Mage. I have her in my Simic deck. I think her effects have great synergy.

Being a 1/1 creature means her Evolve is easy to trigger. With enough Evolve triggers, you could turn Fathom Mage into quite a formidable creature to fight your opponent. Plus, her secondary effect is where the real potential lies. Whenever Fathom Mage gains a +1/1 counter, you have the option of drawing a card (who wouldn’t, honestly?). Continue reading

Toward the Top Part 7

Standard

Ups and Downs
Well, it certainly has been a long while since I wrote a “Toward the Top” thing for “League of Legends.” Truth be told, I “tilted” hard. Like, it was probably the worst kind of tilt you could do in LoL. I was just really embarrassed for myself as a player that I let it get so bad.

“Tilting” basically refers to long losing streaks, which are often brought about from frustration and other negative feelings. Let’s say you lose a disheartening game, you then try to “make up” for it, but then you lose again. And then, you find yourself constantly seeing that “Defeat” screen over and over again.

Before you know it, your rating has fallen by a lot.

For me, however, I tilted all the way from the cusp of Gold I all the way down to the pits of Gold V. As in … I hit rock bottom for my division. I fell to the lowest point of Gold V (zero points) not once, not twice, not even thrice, but FOUR times total.

So you might be thinking, “Wow, Nhan, how did that happen?” It was a lot of things, actually. I played poorly. I made a lot of horrible judgment calls about playing when the tilting initially began. There were many instances of bad luck. Yada yada yada.

Nonetheless, I fought back with a lot of diligence and patience.

Lo and behold!

Gold II (x3B)

I just got back into Gold II again.
Continue reading

Card Me: Thragtusk

Standard

Thragtusk, why do you exist? Who thought you were a good idea for Magic: The Gathering?


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Card Name: Thragtusk
Mana Cost: 4Green
Converted Mana Cost: 5
Types: Creature — Beast
Card Text: When Thragtusk enters the battlefield, you gain 5 life. When Thragtusk leaves the battlefield, put a 3/3 green Beast creature token onto the battlefield.
Flavor Text: “Always carry two spears.” —Mokgar, Kalonian hunter
P/T: 5 / 3

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Simply put, Thragtusk is an overpowered card in more ways than one. Either of its effects are respectively strong by themselves. The ability to gain life whenever you put this bad boy into play is very substantial. The amount of life regained is nothing to sneeze at, considering that this, “you gain 5 life” text means you will heal yourself for a large chunk (remember: each player starts with 20 life at the beginning in a normal game, so this healing effect is 25 percent of this initial value by default).

In regards to the second effect, the 3/3 token you generate for having Thragtusk leave play means a new threat is left behind in most cases. The token’s 3/3 stats are very generous when you factor Thragtusk’s own 5/3 stats and the healing bonus.

In other words, the converted mana cost of five does not appropriately match the sheer advantage offered by playing just one Thragtusk. There are cards that have great in-game value for their effects, but cards like Thragtusk take the cake and sell it right back to you. It is too darn efficient. To me, the card seems to be a huge oversight in terms of design. The card should have had an expensive mana cost for both of its effects. Continue reading

Card Me: Sleep & Ætherize

Standard

When I first got into Magic: the Gathering awhile back, Sleep has always found its way into a deck slot at some point.
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2BlueBlue
Converted Mana Cost: 4
Types: Sorcery

Card Text: Tap all creatures target player controls. Those creatures don’t untap during that player’s next untap step.

Flavor Text: “I give them dreams so wondrous that they hesitate to return to the world of the conscious.”

—Garild, merfolk mage

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A relatively simple card, Sleep has been a key reason why I can emerge victorious in my games of Magic. I particularly like how the card art shows Mr. Horse getting some quality, dreaming time as well. Continue reading

Capitalism through Cards Part 3

Standard

So my Simic deck has gone through another alteration. This time, the focus is now into Simic-style aggro instead of the mana ramp strategy I was using before.

The main problems with the old deck stemmed from its lackluster speed and overall consistency. It took too long to get going, and by the time I could stabilize and establish a board presence, I found myself staring into the eyes of defeat constantly. To play on a razor’s edge a few turns into every game became very unpleasant, so to alter the deck again proved necessary. Continue reading

Birds of Prey Part 2

Standard

So a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh! players have flocked over to YGOPRO for their online Duels.

Unlike Dueling Network, the website many Yu-Gi-Oh! players have been using prior to this newer program, YGOPRO features a slick system that takes care of a lot of the complex triggers and mechanics automatically. Dueling Network relied on the players doing things by manual means (from determining how card effects resolved to other tedious things like calculating damage).

YGOPRO’s quicker and well-programmed system makes it an attractive choice for Yu-Gi-Oh! players who want streamlined matches without having to wait a century between turns.

I decided to recreate my Harpies deck from Dueling Network with some minor modifications to try out on YGOPRO. Continue reading